A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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Mobile Review - Nokia 95-8GB

A highly regarded early smart phone.

When you get used to Symbian the functionality is there is the best that could be said.

Its well made and has good battery life (though drops if use smart functionality).

Has an excellent camera best I have used on a smart phone But impossible to use the web beyond a basic level through lack of any keyboard.

Lots of geeky applications, but software support starting to fall behind

Conclusion: OK phone, excellent camera, some geeky potential, but limited as general web smart phone due to lack of keyboard and touch screen.

6/10

The recent police violences at the student demo's is nothing new - rather a new group of people are experiencing systematic police abuses.

The recent police violences at the student demo's is nothing new - rather a new group of people are experiencing systematic police abuses. This film is about what happened at the Kingsnoth Climatecamp 2008, at the big G20 demo after this they killed a man.

The harassment and exclusion of legal observers, the violent arrest of women refusing to be searched, the aggressive interrogation of local residents, the threatening of journalists with arrest for doing their job, the confiscation of 100s of items such as childrens' costumes and crayons, attempted dawn raids on the camp, the use of batons and CS gas against peaceful protesters, and the forced search of 1000s of people and the adding of their personal data to a secret database. This type of political policing has to stop, and the right to legitimate protest re-established. 

http://visionon.tv

The battle for the internet is switching from a cold war to a hot war

The battle for the internet is switching from a cold war to a hot war, and the proxy battles over piracy have spilled into the open war over freedom of speech. The government/corporate extra-judicial attacks on the funding and domains of such groups as wikileaks and the counter-attacks of groups like “anonymous” are the visible fire of a wider battle. The open internet is under sustained and systematic attack, and we can't be sure that there are strong enough forces in the field to keep in place the “stupidly simple and open” standards that the the web/internet is built on. The danger is that a “peace settlement” over net neutrality will replace them with something “better” and it is in this that the danger lies.

As the battle lines are now clearly drawn, it's time to rally the forces of openness to counter the forces of closure.

How to help with building a news Channal on visionOntv

its interesting times... here are the editorial guidelines http://visionon.tv/wiki/-/wiki/Main/Editorial%20guidelines

The channels have a separate login at the bottom of the channel page (to do with the software we use) you need to create an account there then send me the user name so can make you an admin. if you click remember login it stays logged in for a long time so you don't have to keep putting in PW.

When you are logged in all you need to do is "submit video" at top of channel page with the video URL from youtube, or video file URL etc. Then its up to you if you wont to promote it to featured area if its very good.

Then we send out the link to the channel rather than the individual video - to promote the film as for alt-media flows are more important then individual videos http://visionon.tv/grassroots

London Anarchist Book Fair - Catholic Worker

Are a community of the international radical Christian ‘Catholic Worker’ movement. The Catholic Worker is Catholic, ecumenical, pacifist, communitarian and anarchist in the spirit of gentle personalism. The London Catholic Worker was brought together by the action of the Jubilee Ploughshares in 2000. Those who came together had long sensed the need for a Catholic Worker community of hospitality and resistance in the world’s second imperial city. Our work is now made up by two houses of hospitality, a community café and a drop-in soup kitchen, and continue to focus our resistance on the ‘war on terror’, British nuclear weapons and the arms trade. More info at http://londoncatholicworker.org/

Lets make opensource tools - the mediaplayer

This video's distribution is damaged by the use of copyright corporate music

 

Please "just don't do it" as the is lots of good copy-left music out there.

Copyright Info: Cleaning Up the Royal Bank of Scotland

Your video, Cleaning Up the Royal Bank of Scotland , may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:

  • Entity: Sony Music Entertainment Content Type: Sound Recording

As a result, your video has been blocked in these locations:

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visionOntv - Channels guide

 

Channels guide

Main channels

visionOntv's 5 main channels are aggregators, which automatically post trusted feeds of quality films from around the world. We manually promote other good films as well. This means there are interesting new films to watch every day. We are in the process of adding new aggregator channels, such as climatecamptvolympics, and noborders.

If any cool films catch your attention, drop us an email at info (AT) visionon (DOT) tv, and we will add them.

Inside each aggregator channel there is a menu tab with the channel name on the far right. Here you will find useful  resources:

Crew - tells you who is a member of the channel community. You can join the community here, to be kept up-to-date and help organise the channel.

Forum - start a discussion about anything which interests you on the channel.

Read the News - digest all the latest text news from selected reliable sources.

Publish - post your own video or text news, and have it syndicated to twitter, facebook and visionOntv's embeds on sites around the world.

Download - get copies of films for screenings and showing to people or in places without web access.

Resources - all the resources for that channel (logos, music for films, etc)

Channels for embedding

More channels adds a large number of channels covering different topics, places and people. You can easily embed any visionOntv channels in your website or blog here. They will update automatically as new films come online.

Feel free to suggest a stream of content not already covered - write to us at info (AT) visionon (DOT) tv, and you can embed and curate your own channel. If you'll embed it, we'll create it. It's a really cool way for distribution of quality independent films to grow.

End of the internet as a open-platform comes much closer

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey anoucment means that the end of the internet as a open-platform comes much closer http://bit.ly/cpDh2j can't help feeling we are sleep walking into this. Though as the undead of the corporate media is riseng from its coffins - we are seeing the peasants with burning torches in the streets #demo2010 but will site such as #fitwatch still be accessible when we lose #netneutrality and do you think your ISP will allow tools like this http://tcrn.ch/c7Ah15 #Adblock any more? As paula at @fossbox says "well, they're just handing the entire UK infrastructure to corporate empires - no discussion, no appeal :( "

Its a HUGE problem, at http://visionon.tv we wont to be at the centre of the open-internet debate do you wont to help make this happen – if you do join the site and make it real the DIY way.

Many films on the background to this subject here http://visionon.tv/plugandplay

ClimateCamp Media

The Ratcliffe Swoop prosecutions caused a backlash against activist media that reverberated around the Edinburgh climate camp. We were not present at the Ratcliife Swoop, and played no part in the gathering of video there. When we saw footage posted of identifiable activists doing criminal damage, we were astonished, as throughout the history of video activism this has been an absolute "no no", without the express consent of the activists pictured. We immediately took this material down from visionOntv accounts where it had been posted, and told the Ratclifffe media team why we did so. Regrettably the footage was later re-posted by the producers to accounts outside of our control.  Having said that, as of writing, we have been unable to find out any details of the prosecutions and exactly which footage was used.

But as a response I (perhaps naively) thought it might be helpful to try to do consensus/affinity group process with activist film at the Edinburgh climate camp. To kick this off, we showed a sneak preview of END:CIV on the Saturday to a crowd of around 50-70 people which sparked off a good and respectful debate about aesthetic of activist film and the old spiky/fluffy debate about effective action. People came away challenged and thoughtful.

The next day after the action on the RBS HQ we showed the rough edit of it to get feedback and make sure it was OK to put out. It was enthusiastically received but there was also a very forceful verbal attack of “you must do this” “do it now, or you are endangering activists” and a refusal to answer simple questions about “why” in exchanges with one person. Finally, after some bad feeling, I found out that she had seen an “object for causing criminal damage” being held by one person in the film. OK, that is a genuine issue, so I agreed to look at it again. I asked her to show me where it was in the film but instead she rushed off to tell everyone that climatecamptv had refused to remove the “weapon” and that we were putting out films that were endangering activists. This led later to many different groups and individuals coming along to have their say over the next day about how the film should made.

See later where this led.

I had watched the film 3 times during editing for legals, and had shown it to to a number of other trusted people. After we had packed up the screening we looked at the “object” on the video and found it to be a plastic horn not an “object to cause criminal damage” at all. Humm... a storm in a teacup you would think, but read on.

Let's briefly go through it - the film of the action had a few legal issues.

* The pushing on the bridge (possibly assault) leading to the earlier dressing-up sections (unmasked) being possibly incriminating of this possible assault.

* We had no video of the breaking of windows (criminal damage) thus this was less of an issue in the film. Nor did we have film of any identifiable possible perpetrators.

* There was one additional shot which could potentially have been "creatively" used by police to prosecute an activist.

* The bridge-pushing was problematic as all the activists were unmasked, with all the FIT team on the roof and 3-4 corporate media TV/photo actively filming. Many photos/images would be available so on the one hand it was clearly done in the open, and therefore accountable. On the other, if they were charged, our video would likely be used in the prosecution, both for and against the activists. It's an issue we face many times and it unless we know otherwise we have to have to err on the side of caution. Without the opportunity to ask them whether they were accountable thus OK to show it or not, we decided to blur this section – rendering the need to blur the early stuff irrelevant as we now had no incriminating video of this “crowd” action.

The other potentially incriminating shot was removed, at the request of the individual filmed.

After running it past the affinity group made up of CCTV/visionontv crew and some trusted legal support we left it to a volunteer to polish the final edit for showing that evening before putting out to the web. In my experience you can never run a film past an audience too many times before it's finished from both a legal and an aesthetic point of view.

The day of action was very busy, and we were all running around filming. While we were out and about a number of people came in to look at the earlier action video being edited and asked the editor to make changes – he responede to their requests and made a lot of changes to hide and obscure many details throughout the film.

When we saw the film in the evening just before the screening we were shocked. Editing a film by committee is always a disaster and the film was now an incoherent and sinister mess making climatecamp look like a bunch of criminals. We now had a film we couldn't put out. This wasn't our volunteer editor's fault, it was a problem with the process we had begun but were not around to control. To top this, at the end of the day the editor had found the people who were at the front of the bridge-push and they had made it clear that they were unhappy being blurred out as it was the best thing they had done in ages. They were willing to be accountable for their actions, so we didn't need to thus put any obscuring in the finished film.

We now had to re-do the film from an earlier version. It was dark and we were late for the nightly screening, we had one computer to gather all the films up and convert then to the right format and re-edit this film – we decided it wasn't possible to screen the action film and concentrated on showing the other 9 finished but less exciting films we had ready. We started the screening with non-action films to cries of "we want to see the action". So an old version of the action film was rush-encoded and was ready half-way through the screening. Unfortunately this contained the ptoentially incriminating shot we had earlier taken out, and was screened to about 40 climatecampers. NOT good. Another person had a very solid go at us...

What did we learn from this?

Should protesters never trust any video/photo on an action OR should they trust video activists as THEY know what they are doing?

For me, not trusting experienced video activists leads to the very real danger that through bureaucratisation it pushes the working affinity group structure underground and renders it ineffective – the option of bureaucratic/consensus process isn't an option with film which is at its best a skilled creative story-based process.

But now we have to deal with the rumour mill which quickly churned around the "weapon" / plastic horn issue. Rumour has more power than truth when there isn't a functioning media. I heard the misinformation that we had put out footage of window-smashing weapons three times while leaving the camp to get home. And that's why I wrote this post as this rumour could distort the very real pro/anti-media debate in activism which needs to happen in a constructive way.

On the subject of social media and underground/wannabe mainstream film-makers/photographers, there are very real dangers that is the subject of another post.

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