This post shares about some new projects as well as comment on censorship as seen in digital media.
First of all an interesting story came out couple of days back. Canonical is sponsoring an initiative called Linaro . Linaro as the FAQ points out would just use Canonical’s infrastructure such as Launchpad for project execution (mailing list, wiki, bug-reporting, code etc.) but otherwise would be an independent body doing work on ARM. The Interweb has been busy with news on the same. The best place to know what is happening is though on Jamie Bennett’s blog although one can also use Mark Shuttleworth’s blog post for background info. as well . What it means for you and me here in India, devices such as DSK Mobilis (which was in PLUG’s May call) or the Notion Ink Adam Tablet (both devices designed from India, assembly don’t really know) and many more devices which should help us in better UI experience as time goes on. I would be looking forward when the GNOME head comes up. Till that time KDE guys would enjoy 😦
I just came across an interesting bit of news today. It seems ARM is excited about the WebM project. Now why is this interesting? If ARM hardwires the webM codec in the chip itself then recording, transcoding and viewing webm videos would be faster, have good response and be cheap as well (due to no royalty) . Although the webm project may be sued as seen in comments on stories regarding the webm project. So all in all interesting times for mobile devices.
Ok, now for something a little serious. For years now, I have been frustrated by youtube. Many a times I have seen Youtube give false tags, bad classification (a non-adult video being given adult video) but most of all censoring clips which are in the adult domain but still for some god knows what the video is censored. For e.g. look at this. Be careful as the video has been called as an adult. From my perspective a 15+ or some gradation like that would have been better. The way the video has been censored (repeating frames over and over) makes me mad. The censorship that youtube does for some reason gets unnoticed in the mainstream. Its good though that wikipedia does have a page on it.
Its not just youtube but censorship in general which makes me mad. If one looks at the movie-making process such as :-
a. Director,producer and artists act in movie
b. Then the Director or Movie Editor or Producer or all of them depending on the movie and each person’s interests and contribution edit the movie. The edit is basically to make the movie a bit more edgier and many a times unconsciously/consciously also censor the movie there itself.
c. After that goes to the Censorship board or the Movie ratings system which would censor and rate it. A starting point to read on Censorship in India can be helped by this wikipedia article. More often than not movies are censored (as in shots cut) rather than just using the movie ratings.
I have been able to see lot of world cinema as has been able to opportune film festivals in lots of places and have seen how movies are censored beyond repair especially in India. As an example , one of the movies which I liked and has been horribly edited and shown sometimes on channel ‘Zee Studio‘ is the ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ which was a book which later was also made into a film.
Whether one likes or doesn’t the philosophy and memoirs of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara later known as ‘Che Guevara’ one cannot escape the beautiful story-telling being told both in the book as well as the film.
Unfortunately, on zee studio the movie shown is a mere shadow of the original one. Even UTV World Movies . The movies shown just doesn’t have shots cut, but sometimes the dialogues are edited out.
For me its a sin if an author/director makes a sensitive movie and then it gets ruthlessly censored due to few people’s ideas/taste in movie. One another movie which I had the opportunity to see in full was Halle Berry’s Monster Ball the indianized version of which doesn’t tell you what happened where. I could just go on and on but I guess people get the point.
Now how does that relate to software development. From whatever little I have seen/known Indian software developers most of them have conservative. I would argue that traits like risk-taking, being imaginative/being innovative would happen only when the surrounding culture is open (Freedom of thought) . This is where our society fails for the most part.
A very interesting initiative started by creative commons caught my eye. Creative commons is raising funds to the tune of $100,000 . What has been interesting to see is some of the applications they have received for the Grants. This is totally inspirational.
So at the end, we do live in interesting times but we also need to fight against regressive dogmatic views like Censorship.