Category: projects

Take responsibility! And how to do it properly!

Take responsibility! And how to do it properly!

Long time since I wrote a blog post, and I’ll explain you why in another big one when I have the time to do it :P. But now, take responsibility!

When you manage a project or more, for many years like I do, you get better at it but also busier and busier. I used to be a “creator” and now I’m a “creator-manager” because I have to manage many things. I don’t even want to start by explaining what I’m managing because it is a lot: TROM-jaro (test, curate, build, report…), TROM books (review, write, design, promote, memes…), VideoNeat (keep it active), and a ton more. Any website looks bad on mobile? Well, tell Tio about it :D. Typo in a book? Tell Tio to fix it. Bugs? Tio. Criticism for any of our materials?…Address it to Tio. Did you translate any of our materials? Tell Tio to add it to tromsite.com and check it. New ideas about how to manage these projects or what to be added to them? Well…Tio is there to listen. You can’t find God in your life? Ask Tio where the dude is. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that I am busy means that people are interested in such things, which is fantastic. But I am unable to cope with it. However instead of complaining I DO STUFF to fix it.

Translations were killing me.

Before eating the meat, let’s eat some veggies. First of all, TROM (and other projects that I manage) create a lot of content: new books, videobooks, audiobooks, videos of all kind, tools, curate apps, news, memes, etc.. I am overwhelmed with the many formats and kinds. So, if anyone wants to translate any of our projects, how is he/she going to do it? They need multiple programs, access to our projects and so forth. A TROM book needs a Draw Project file to edit it + the PDF to translate the text and get the links from + a way to host it + a way to display it (a reader).

Fixing the mess.

Alexio, who is part of our TROM team, told me about this awesome new website builder called TiddlyWiki. In short is a neat way to build a website where you are not required to login or use any special software to do it. Do it in the browser if you wish. So, I took a lot of my time to rebuild tromsite.com in that format. Entirely. You can see the result here: https://www.tromsite.com/translation.html#:HOME.  And the instructions of how to do it, over here: https://www.tromsite.com/translation.html#:Instructions. It was a massive amount of work, but at least now I can take this off of my pressurized chest now. There, people have everything they need, in very simple forms, to translate and dub our materials + host this website anywhere. If that doesn’t help, then nothing will. Yes, people need to know how to host this website, but if they follow the steps (very simple ones) in the instruction PDF, then they can do that easily. I gave them the details, the links, the means. It is my way to say goodbye translators! With a smile on my face. Translators are amazing people who do a ton of work, so don’t take this wrongly. I live with one in the same apartment and he is a german-translating-machine. A super nice guy who does a shit ton of work. That’s why when I decided to divorce myself from managing the translations, I made sure that anyone can translate tromsite.com without my input.

For tromjaro.com it is even easier since there are no files to translate there – so via a plugin anyone can translate the site from the site itself. No hosting needed. Just to translate.

For trade-free.org it is a bit more complicated because that website is weird. It is a new kind of website which streams videos from p2p. But if you follow the simple instructions form the main page you can do it! Roma made a super cool script that allows for a new kind of 100% custom made translation process.

So, tromsite.com, tromjaro.com, and trade-free.org are ready for translate!

I can’t tell you how good I feel knowing that I won’t have to deal with the translations. Look….I want to do stuff ok? I don’t want to manage stuff! I want to make some cool videos, a new documentary, new books, and so forth. But I want to make sure all of these can be easily translated. But please translators, leave me alone 🙂 – I (we) gave you more than you need for the job, and if you feel at times that is a bit difficult for you to translate something or host your translated website, then please take more responsibility and learn how to do it. I simply cannot hold people’s hands for everything. They need to do it by themselves. Be strong! Be translators! Also, use our Translation Chat from here https://www.tromsite.com/act/#translate-dub and others will help you out. 😉

I think, in general, I would like for people to take responsibility more for such things. I didn’t know how to make videos, but I learned because I felt it was important to make the TROM Documentary. Same when it comes to websites. Or Linux. Or other things. We need more people who do stuff, rather than just talk about doing stuff or relying on others to teach them how to do stuff.

I am so busy I can’t even write blogs anymore 🙁 – I want that life back, ‘alright?!

Now that translations are away from my personal space, I hope that I will have more time for creating stuff and that translators will be able to more easily translate these creations. I won’t even thank you, translators! Please do it for you! Not for me. Stay awesome!

Another ‘big’ change to VideoNeat

Another ‘big’ change to VideoNeat

I started VN a few years ago because I wanted to reference good documentaries for articles or in general to say to people “Hey look at this documentary to learn more about X”. You see, when it comes to documentaries there are 2 big “enemies”:

  1. Bad quality
  2. Location is unreliable

 

1. Bad quality:

A book is as good as its content is, and the same is true for documentaries. Just because a video is called “documentary” it does not make it good. From my experience, curating documentaries for the past years, most documentaries are BS. Made to shock and sell. The best documentaries come from governmental financed entities, that are independent of course, and who produce kinda “boring” documentaries in the eyes of the “normal” human that lives in our super-cool-man-breakthrough-society!

So to find good (well-made) and factual documentaries requires a lot of digging into the mud that the Internet has become because of our trade-based society. This is why I am checking every single documentary that goes on VN (or lecture/movie for that matter). Of course this relies on me doing a good job. And I try to do it well. This makes the process slow, I know, but I watch a lot of documentaries and so far I added a ton of them regularly. This is the best feature of VN. Since the project is involved into no trades (no ads, no data collection, etc.) then it is an honest project so you’ll find only quality materials there. I cannot say this about the vast majority of such similar websites that simply post dozens of documentaries a day for the sake of “views = money”.

2. Location is unreliable:

I know that many do this, but I feel like I’m having a heart attack when I see people watching a documentary on youtube or facebook. To me is like you eat food that you find on the street while you are driving at fast speeds. You pass by, see some food, grab and eat it, and if you like it or not you pass that place so you don’t know how to get back to that place if you ever want to + do you really want to eat food that you find in the streets randomly? I can make a documentary about any kind of crazy topic and make it look very scientific and post on youtube or facebook, and gullible people will watch it and think it’s the “real shit”. I never watch a documentary unless I know who made it. Else it is easy to get scammed into bullshit.

Also these online places like facebook and youtube only produce disposable products. The same documentary that you see today on those platforms will be deleted tomorrow. It simply is unreliable. So then, how can you use these good pieces of information to inform others or as sources? You can’t. They are like electrons sensitive to any measurements, too damn sensitive for today’s copyright trolling world. So we have to adopt a new approach. But the approach should not be to use other streaming websites rather than youtube, but use p2p. Meaning, that video file (documentary/movie/lecture) is stored on people’s computers and they share with each each other in an automated fashion. This way there is no central point that this documentary is stored on, so it becomes very reliable as long as people “seed” it. By seed it is simply to upload it to others – to let others download pieces of that content on their computers too. This is automatic. You download a p2p file and normally the torrent client that you use is then going to also “seed” that file to others who want it. It is neat and it has survived laws, political changes, even technological change for the past decades.

And this is why VN relies on “magnet” which is nothing more than a bunch of numbers and letters that once opened with your favorite torrent client it knows how to download that file in this decentralized way.

So that you are not confused if you are not new to this, p2p basically means peer-to-peer and it describes the technology behind this; torrent is mainly the file that contains the info to download the other files – it does not contain what you want to download, but the info about what you want to download and from where; and “magnet” is simply the same as the torrent file but instead of relying on a digital file that you have to download and then open with your torrent client, it works by this kind of unique number (hash) that it has attached to it – it is almost like sharing a link. That’s why is better to rely on magnets and not torrent files.

So, what changed to VN?

My idea is to rely 100% on magnets since that’s the best option, but the problem is that good documentaries are not very popular on p2p so there are less to no seeds, and thus downloading them is very slow (most of the time), and not at all (sometimes). I am trying to personally improve the situation but I am just one guy (computer) into the system. If anyone wants to help VN, please download and seed any VN documentary!

Because of this I am forced to add links to streaming or downloading websites that are not p2p. Up until now I had a database of such websites and every time I added a new documentary to VN I had to manually search for it on every single such website, and check to see if it works, and then make a button for that particular website and add the link and then the button to the documentary’s page. One by one! This made it very uncomfortable to add new materials to VN because it took me quite a while to do so. On top of that these websites are also as sensitive as electrons, and they get banned, blocked, shut down, or they change their url or their content. To combat that I tried to rely on people flagging links as broken, but that added more to my work since I had to fix them. After a while we ended up with many broken VN links for the download and watch sections for each documentary. This was not sustainable!

So what then?

I said why not create 2 custom google search engines for each of the “watch” and “download” that simply are using the same database of websites to search for a particular material. After all it is similarly to what I had to do manually, except that now I don’t have to take each and every website and search on it manually. And when a website goes down for whatever reasons I don’t have to do anything since the custom search simply won’t find any results on that website. I am also able to add a lot more websites to these custom search engines. So basically I had to manually replace the links for ALL VN materials one by one to work with the custom search engines. I still have to make sure that the results are sensical and not nonsensical, but I have to do this 2 times for one documentary (for watch and download) instead of 50 times for each documentary for every website like I did before. This took me several days to fix. Now it is all done, and this is the ‘big’ VN change that has several PROs and CONs.

PRO:

  • searches on way more websites so it is more likely to find links to download or watch a particular materials
  • 10 times less work for me for each documentary, and this allows me to post more often on VN
  • no more broken links
  • very automated

CON:

  • Google! I hate google and they may change their business model so they may even remove this custom search engine service and/or limit it, etc.. Thus, in the long run it is unreliable, but I found no other alternative to this
  • The results, at times, may be completely off. Say you want to find the documentary Life by BBC made in 2001; well, the engine will get confused because it is such a short and common name “life” and will show you crazy and unrelated results. So you have to put up with that and sort through the mess.
  • Ads. All such external links will be full of ads and scams. Of course no one should use the internet without an adblocker but even with it you’ll still see ads.

So get used to VN in this ‘new’ format 😉

 

IDEALLY

Ideally I would love to see VN similar to popcorntime:

Popcorn time is an amazing application promoting dumb content. Popcorn time only relies on p2p to stream the content. Simple, useful, efficient, non-destroy-able. To make VN this way it is in theory possible, but we would need tens of people seeding VN content at all times and to integrate it with WebTorrent technology so that people can stream the content from p2p. Difficult task for me.

Right now we kinda do this in a way. If people have WebTorrent installed on their system then simply click VN magnet links and they, if enough seeds, should be available for stream directly without the need to wait until they are downloaded.

If the seeds thing was not an issue for VN, I would remove the “watch” and “download” links entirely and rely only on magnets. If I find help with this then that’s what I’m going to do.

But for now, because VN’s content is quite unique in the world of p2p, I will have to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past years.

I DO NOT recommend that you use anything but the MAGNET on VN. And please SEED!

Me and Aaron :) – and TROM

Me and Aaron :) – and TROM

Aaron came to visit me and we spent an entire month having really deep and interesting discussions about TROM. For those who don’t know, Aaron is translating TROM materials into German (he almost translated everything) – https://www.tromsite.com/de/ He is such a kind and wonderful human being, like pretty much everyone who is active with TROM. Well, everyone! 🙂

I and Aaron brainstormed a lot about how we should approach this project and some of the ideas, that will be detailed in future TROM books and the new documentary we will make this year, are that we should focus on trade-free goods and services and/or projects. We want to promote such things because we do 2 things at once with that: 1. We talk about the source of most problems (trade), and 2. We create free (truly free) services for people. Think about VideoNeat, TROM books or curated news and videos, quizzes, TROM-Jaro, MusikWave, and so forth. We want to put a label on them all as trade-free and create a directory of many such services or goods (if we find) from all around the world. Let’s “attack” the world with solutions and education.

We are also thinking of creating a yearly event based on this trade-free idea where people can come and present their trade-free goods and services. Imagine inviting people from many domains: from open source, to volunteers and citizen scientists, or activists of all kinds. It sure will start small, but we have to start somewhere.

Our “immediate” plans for now are the following: Finish the massive The Origin of Most Problems book and release it + finish the big Entertainment book and release it + create the script for the upcoming documentary that will be all about the origin of most problems. As we said before, we want to release the documentary in several languages at once in a decentralized way (website + streaming). Also release TROM-Jaro and restructure a bit tromsite.com so that we emphasize on all of the TROM free tools that we’ve created over the years.

In May this year several people who are helping with TROM (they are part of the project) will meet me in Spain in my town, to work on new ideas and the new documentary and brainstorm some stuff. Plus, to meet each other for the first time!

Dima, who is writing books for TROM and also translates TROM stuff into Russian, is also working on another documentary about activism and he will interview us for it.

So, lots of plans for this year! Thank you for your financial support everyone, it allows me to still keep on focusing on this project! And I love it! I’ve meet very interesting minds in this last 2 years, minds that are now close friends and are helping TROM grow. Will try to grow this entire thing together, in terms of the project, in terms of relationships and support.

I really love to write on this blog from time to time, thought didn’t have much time lately….and btw, Aaron is translating some of my blog posts into German so go check his website if you are German 🙂 – thanks Aaron!

My Facebook Advertising experience

My Facebook Advertising experience

So, Facebook is this monster that is so big no one can fuck with. They have 0 competitors and a “privacy policy” that no one can understand, is subject to interpretation, and can change any time. In other words, you do as they wish and there is no argue about it.

Recently someone contacted us at TROM and proposed to give 500 Euro to promote tromsite.com trailer. Fantastic! We never invested any money in advertising for the project because for one we have no money for that, and second the last think that I would want to do with limited funds is to give the money to FB or Google. But, if we would have lots of funds we would do this more often because we want to reach new minds. Ok, so this great guy called Mark gave us 500 Euro to advertise tromsite trailer. This is the trailer:

On FB the trailer had a top and bottom text to attract people’s attention (FB videos are like that) + caption (since most FB videos are autoplay on mute). I created an ad for it, targeting people like volunteers or those interested in TVP, TZM, or environmental issues and the like. FB said we would reach between 5.800 – 27.000 people daily and it will run the ad for 14 days:

 

 

I had to wait 24h for the ad to be approved by FB, which turned into 2-3 days wait. Finally they approved it. We started to get a lot of engagement and comments. So much so that I will transform all of these comments into a comic book because the discussions were very important for TROM. You can see the entire thing here.

These are the results for the first 12 days:

So, 53.357/12=4.446 people reached per day. That’s bellow the minimum that FB told us we will reach. Really bad and I consider FB’s approach to be a bit scammy. They promised way more reach. As you can see we’ve already spent a total of around 410 Euro so we had 90 Euro left. Let’s calculate how many people the entire ad would have reached: so, for 409,54 Euro we reached 53.357 people; thus, for 500 Euro we would have reached 500*53.357/409,54= ~65.142, or 4.653 people per day. FB said that we should reach a minimum of 81.200 (5.800*14) and a maximum of 378.000 (27.000*14). What about that FB? Should I consider this a scam?

Anyways, 2 days before the ad had to end I get this message from FB:

Heh….violence? Shocking? I had to “appeal” it and wait another 24h for FB to reply – in FB’s world that was, again, 2 days or so. This is my appeal (I have to mention that I am tired of fighting these retarded companies – been doing this for a long time with FB banning me several times, Youtube the same):

 

They replied finally:

This is their attachment:

And then they became robotic:

I doubt there is anything I can do at this stage. Will try to see if I can get a refund but I don’t think this will happen. If not, then we’ll use the rest of 90 Euro to advertise the trailer on Youtube maybe. The FB Charlatan is such a hypocrite. They only care about their profits, of course.

This is the reason why I created a live update on TROMsite.com (click top logo on any page – except homepage) so that people can get the updates from there and not from FB or other third parties that are censoring stuff left or right. Think about it, if we cannot advertise our tromsite.com trailer, that is all about education and a positive look at the future, plus we make 0 profits, then how can we achieve much with this project? The only good part is that we’ve reached many new minds and had great conversations there. Thank you Mark so so much! If we will do this in the future we must be aware of the Charlatan that is FB and do this in a smarter way if possible, to avoid the shit-show that FB can draw you into.

Will keep everyone updated on TROMsite.com live.

EDIT: In one image it says: “this ad ran for 14 days and you spent 460 Euro on the ad.” This is bullshit on 2 accounts. One, the ad ran for about 12 (maybe 11) and the other days it was banned/suspended so I see they calculated those days as “active”. Second, when I started the campaign I’ve added a budget of 500 Euro, then FB started the campaign by charging me 40 Euro, and then started to calculate those 500 Euro for the ad…they advertised for the 40 Euro they took, but if I were to have left it as it was they would have charged me 540 Euro so I had to change the budget to 460 Euro. Very annoying!

VideoNeat is back, and why that’s important.

VideoNeat is back, and why that’s important.

A month and a half ago, half of VideoNeat went offline. I knew this will happen one day and I was prepared to let it go. To move away from the project, because it was too much of a hassle to rebuild it in case it will happen. But I spent the last month and a half rebuilding VideoNeat.

 

But dude, why you spend time on this and not only focus on TROM? You know, we have Netflix, Youtube, shit like that for documentaries, why bother reinventing the wheel? Or at least why not just make a list of recommended documentaries and people will find them online to watch if they are interested….

I think people do not have the ability to distinguish between good science documentaries and bad science documentaries. Just because it is called “a documentary” it does not mean it properly “documents” a particular subject. I feel like people nowadays are just impressed by the way something is presented and they don’t go further than that. If they see a cool Netflix trailer for a documentary they are hooked. The package is what people are looking for, and not the content. From my experience of curating documentaries and science materials for the past years, I would say that when you see a great package it is very likely that the content is shit. Netflix, NatGeo, Discovery, and the like, are in the business of selling you stuff, so it is in all of their interests to make documentaries that look “wow” so that you pay to watch them, or TV stations and Cinemas pay to broadcast them. BBC or PBS are very different in that they get a budget from their countries (from taxpayers money) to make educational materials, so they don’t have to sell the stuff they create, and so the quality of their products trumps the other like Netflix because the focus is on making these documentaries for the public. These last ones are far from perfect, but it is something you should bear in mind. But these publicly funded organizations that make documentaries are limited in budget and distribution. US makes some documentaries from its citizens’ money via such organizations (like PBS), and then US is like: “We only make them available for out taxpayers, our citizens, and the rest of the world can suck a duck.” And so these documentaries are rarely available anywhere else.

Show me a site like VideoNeat with its library and I’ll shut it down :D.

So no, Netflix and other sources do not compare to VideoNeat. Not to mention that VideoNeat is free, providing multiple options in terms of watching/downloading. If a documentary cannot be found on youtube, it is on p2p, or Dailymotion, or Internet Archive, or other sources. At times there will be links to pay for a particular documentary/course/movie, but you’ll find more options than on any other website. Plus people can submit more links (more options).

The basic idea is this: good documentaries are hard to find, and Netflix and the like (although more available) make quite shallow content.

 

Ok dude, but we can find documentaries on Youtube for free nowadays. So why make a website that sends me to youtube to watch a documentary?

I know people who search “documentary 2017” on Youtube to watch documentaries, and my head explodes when I see that. Here’s the thing: if you watch funny videos, or videos that do not try to explain you the reality, then I see no harm in searching “funny videos 2017” on youtube and watch a bunch. But when it comes to watching documentaries, then you can’t be that naive, can you!? We live in a world of attention whores, a rush for likes, views, shares, because that brings money money money. Therefore Youtube is just another platform for prostitution and many people along with scripts (bots) upload a shit ton of fucked up content there for this reason. Content that is messed up: the footage, the year, the title, the everything. They will take good documentaries, chop them up so they are not detected by google copyright or for other reasons, combine them with other documentaries, and label them with a bombastic title and a “2017” tag, so that they can get more naive people watching them and make money off of ads. Not to mention the shitload of ‘documentaries’ that are just videos made by lunatics about all sort of conspiracies. Youtube is full of crap. If you are really looking on youtube for documentaries then you are either knowledgeable of what I said and you know what to search for, or you are very naive.

 

Look dude, there are a dozen of websites out there (like topdocumentaryfilms), who sort these documentaries for us and recommend us good ones. So you are a copycat of those websites basically.

These websites are one of the worst parts of the Internet. They do not sort documentaries, they find tons of content that can be labeled as “documentary” and simply add them on their websites for ad revenue. Look at these websites: they are full of ads. Their goal is not to curate documentaries for you, their goal is views, likes….money. Not to mention that the vast majority of the content they post becomes unavailable in just a few weeks after posting because they take videos from YouTube and embed them on their website and these videos are deleted soon after (for all kinds of reasons). These websites are zombie full of ads.

VideoNeat never added or will add any ads. I make no money from VN. I rely on donations to keep the site alive. If I’ll have no money I’ll shut down the site. I won’t prostitute it over anything. That being said I have 0 reasons to add stuff to VN for views. I only add stuff for VN that I watched and consider good quality material.

 

Ok, enough with asking myself questions. Let’s point out to other important aspects.

 

One source = Troubles.

Vpro is a public broadcaster (like BBC or PBS) from Netherlands. They make very good quality documentaries and post them for free on youtube either in English or with English subtitles. They contacted me a few months ago and asked if I want to post their documentaries on VideoNeat. Sure, I said, but I must review what I post so that it is good quality. All great so far. I posted several documentaries and looking forward to posting more. It’s great that they themselves post these for free on Youtube as they are easily accessible, but because Vpro is quite unknown worldwide (not like BBC or PBS) these documentaries can ONLY be found on youtube and this is problematic. Why? Because Vpro can shut down or restrict their channel at any point, and all of those documentaries will be gone. Or maybe Youtube will close their account, who knows. If that’s the only source where they post their documentaries then it is a shaky decision. Same applies to ABC Four Corners, great journalism-based documentaries and again public broadcasting (in Australia this time) – it is super hard to find their work in any form online, and that’s perhaps because they are largely unknown and/or do not make the effort to distribute their content on multiple platforms.

This is where VideoNeat tries to stand out: options, options, options. And you can always help by submitting links. If you see a documentary only available on Youtube via VideoNeat, but you find it on another website, then don’t be a dick :D, submit the link (I made it so easy – just paste the link, and send, that’s all). Look at what happened to the old VideoNeat – it relied on a single source for streaming, that source was shut down, then all the site got fucked. This aint’ gonna happen’ anymore with the new VN. Now with the new VN you can use p2p along with streaming and indexing sites. You can find direct links to watch a documentary, or link to websites that search online for that documentary, or magnet links to stream/download that documentary via peer to peer (sharing) technology. Plus download these materials when available. Even buy them at times.

Actually, the original idea of VN was a database of documentaries for sourcing purposes for TROM ebooks. I linked hundreds of times from TROM ebooks to VN to cite/source parts of TROM ebooks, so that’s what I wanted VN to be. But then I realized I also have to make it easy for people to access these materials because if I make a claim in an article and I source a documentary, but people can’t watch that documentary (only read a description of it), that’s pointless. So I had to make this option a must.

 

Why VideoNeat is crucial for TROM.

Besides the fact that it acts as a database of citations/sourcing, VN is a wonderful tool to keep people sane on a daily basis. TROM is about educating people on how to think scientifically and contemplate a very different kind of world than today’s one. People need a shit load of scientific baggage to accept a world without trade, to contemplate a world without work, to get comfortable with a world where we share instead of sell. It is a life long journey. VN can (and is) keep people busy with relevant stuff. As simple as that. If I only focus on TROM and release TROM ebooks that can be read in a few days, though it takes more than a month to make one, then what are people doing the rest of the month? At least with VN they can keep on enjoying good science content.

 

Being busy is great and sucks.

I work way more on VN and TROM than most people work at their jobs. I said this many times but it is hard to explain properly. So I have this ‘masterplan’ about VN – to make it a great tool (stream from p2p, offer options, and all that I explained and more), and I start working on it and doing it, but then I feel so tired to explain it to people. I do a lot of work and I have tons of ideas, but it is hard for me to explain them to you. I want to explain to you why this is important though I feel I can’t do that properly because it is too complex to perhaps understand for someone who doesn’t read my mind :D. I don’t just make VN, I know a great deal about other documentary-based-websites, I know a great deal about how and why some documentaries are bad quality, and so forth. I am doing this kind of thing for a while now, so it is not like I make a simple, blog-like website, where I share some documentaries I see, and post some links to Youtube where you can watch them. I add proper sourcing for these documentaries (so you can trace them down and see who made them), I add a proper description, I add proper trailers/previews, I create a system that enables people to watch these documentaries. I made VN stand time in a world of the internet where everything is so shaky.

 

Don’t use the Internet without these!

I wrote about this on VN (tips page) but I’ll briefly mention it here too: The Internet is a reflection of our profit-based (trade induced) world. People want and will take advantage of you for their own gain. This is not a conspiracy, it is pure business. Your browsing is tracked to show you targeted ads, your internet traffic is monitored to punish you if you do ‘bad’ things. Whatever these are, they exist. Give them all the middle finger with these 3 tools that will allow you to enjoy VN and use the Internet like a boss:

  1. Virtual Private Server to encrypt all your internet traffic. No one would be able to look at your traffic. I recommend Private Internet Access (PIA). The best one out there, period. Don’t get fooled by their cheap stock footage on their site, they are old in the business and everyone recommends them. $40 a year is a bargain. They also block trackers and ads. Free VPN’s are very limited.
  2. AdBlocked. I recommend AdGuard. It is free as a browser extension and $8 or so a year for desktop and app license. On phone, you don’t have to root it as with other AdBlockers to make it work.
  3. P2P client. The best, most robust, and safest way to share stuff. This is basically about “torrents”. I recommend installing WebTorrent as a P2P client. It is free and open source. On VN most items have a MAGNET link. Click it and it’ll open WebTorrent and you can download and watch the stuff. Simple as that. No ads and nothing like that.

That’s it. Be smart online. On top of these, I would recommend the Brave browser (for beginners). Free and open source browser that blocks trackers and ads by default and allows for downloading of torrent files (p2p) and also to stream these files. You can simply install Brave browser and that’s all. But I would recommend the above 3 options.

 

That’s all. Enjoy VideoNeat! It is not as simple to watch as before where you would click and play, but it is something like (click, click, play; or click, wait….play). The new VN is robust, secure, fast, optimized for all screens.

The end of VideoNeat and TROM Series youtube channel

The end of VideoNeat and TROM Series youtube channel

Last night I finished rendering the next TROM Series episode, 1h 16min long episode. Today I wanted to upload it to our TROM Series Youtube channel and surprise: I wasn’t logged in and my password was invalid. I was also unable to recover it. Nothing to say that my entire google account for TROM series (gmail: tromsite@gmail.com and everything associated with it) was shut down overnight. I had to ‘google it’ (the irony) and after reading a bunch of forums I realized that’s the case. I submitted a request for more info to a google page for disabled accounts and I’ve got an email (to my personal address) that indeed it was disabled.

Ok. So now I am not sure what lead to this, and this is the frustrating and scary part. Indeed on that account, there were several documentaries posted on google drive, and we had tons of copyright strikes on our youtube channel, some of whom we disputed. But to close all my account: gmail, picasa photos, youtube, google drive (for which I paid each month), and all google services like access to API’s…that’s a hard hit that will for sure force me to move away from google, at least not rely on it for anything because this can also happen to my personal account any time without warning.

Since documentaries from VideoNeat were connected (I think) to tromsite@gmail.com google drive then those are dead now. That’s almost half (if not more) of VideoNeat (plus images like posters and thumbnails). Google Drive, like all hosting entities out there for sure says “If you do not own a material do not upload here.” but how can you know if you are allowed to upload a documentary or a photo or stuff like that…As I knew all the documentaries I uploaded there were free for educational purposes, for which they were used. More than that what you might have seen on VideoNeat was a youtube-kind-of-version of those files, converted and streamed by google (not by me), not what I uploaded to their drive. More so, google removed a few such files (because weirdly it has bots scanning for copyrighted materials on your ‘personal’ drive that you bought) and deleted a handful of them and I was like “Oh, ok, didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to upload those, but good to know google automated system can detect and fix that like they do on youtube.”. So they had the power to delete any file that was ‘infringing’ their terms and services, and I was “Ok, whatever.” So why, if that was the reason to end all my account, didn’t they just delete all files that were “filthy” (copyright-wise)? Or at least send me an email “Tio, bro, be careful because we detected lots of copyrighted stuff on your drive.”. So I suspect that wasn’t teh reason at all.

Maybe it was the youtube channel where we uploaded stuff that had ‘copyrighted’ materials in them. TROM Series could not avoid getting away from that since we used fragments from documentaries in our videos, that were (again), for educational purposes and we successfully disputed these claims for our TROM Series and we won, at least that’s what I thought because youtube is like “You really want to dispute this? Becuase if you lose we will shut down all your account!”. And I disputed several such claims, never heard back from google, so maybe they decided later on that “Yeah, he didn’t win the dispute, so let’s remove his channel.”. TROM Series was also the channel where TROM Documentary was first uploaded and then butchered by copyright strikes. So maybe it was a really filthy channel….

Therefore, was it my gdrive and my collection of documentaries? Or my youtube channel where we posted original content? I will never know since that’s in google’s policy: they do not disclose the reason more than the email you saw above for which I had to do a request to get it. Basically google can shut down your account and give you no warning. That’s so Hitler-like that is hard to believe, but it is true.

 

What now?

First, acceptance. There is nothing I can do. To submit counter-notifications is synonymous to perhaps going to court for this or hire a lawyer. Not going there.

Second is to transform VideoNeat into something else where you can’t watch documentaries but you can only read about them. It sucks, but soon all videos will be gone. I will make a beautiful website where I recommend documentaries and I’ll provide the best sources of where you can watch them.

Third, reopening a TROM Series Youtube channel and NOT dispute any claim. If we have a video that might get us in troubles we will post a short video announcement about that and let people know where to watch it (on tromsite.com for sure). We have no choice.

Fourth, speaking of that, I will take all the stuff I made over the years (videos, books, etc.) and save them all to an offline hard drive + upload them in several online places to not rely only on Youtube or Vimeo. Tromsite.com is still the hub where TROM stuff will always have a home and not be raped by companies. This is why it is important to have a website because Youtube or Vimeo or others can get too bossy and fuck you up and you will realize everything you did will be gone overnight. I was aware of this before this is why the TROM Documentary and TROM Series were also uploaded to Vimeo. But now I will extend that to other places. I am also concerned because TROM Series is uploaded on my personal google drive as well, for those who want to download the episodes and do voice over for them. So I’ll have to do something about that too. In brief, I will have to completely divorce from any entity on the web: google, vimeo, etc.

I hope you understand that I’ll be somewhat busy the following days with this and won’t be able to work much on TROM. I will keep you posted here.

 

Update 1: I see the channel is still up https://www.youtube.com/user/TROMdocumentary/videos so this is likely a gdrive issue. I can’t access the channel. So it will live like a zombie channel there forever I suppose. Trying to contact google to see if at least we can recover the youtube channel, though I doubt.

Update 2: I can’t contact google apparently. The decision is quite final. The only way for me to fight with them would be the legal way – legal and meaningless words, lots of time, perhaps money, and who knows what. No way for me to do this. So goodbye forever to the above. Also, just to mention this: I or no one else made any money from VideoNeat or TROM Series. And videoenat was mainly used as a source of information (to cite claims) for TROM ebooks – like to prove a point or to source from where I got that info. It is not my fault that this world is fucked up and I can’t even source these documentaries because they are blanketed beneath rules, money, tribes, whatever. What are you people doing these ‘educational’ things for if you lock them up and keep them for yourself? And you are doing this in a world where to copy a documentary a billion times for a billion people costs nothing. Awful species. The shame of the universe.

Update 3: I created a kind of personal Twitter, a page where I can post updates and it updates live, no need to refresh. Here it is https://www.tiotrom.com/live/ – from now on I’ll use this all the time to post updates. I will try to ignore fb, twitter, and the like (the unsocial networks) from now on. I’ll rely on my own website at the expense of losing eyeballs. At least I keep my balls :D.

Update 4: I am working on rebuilding VideoNeat. This time though it will be unbreakable. Indeed you won’t be able to watch documentaries on the website directly, but I’ll say just don’t worry about that. You’ll see. It will be mobile friendly and I will also add some awesome special stuff like George Carlin’s specials, more lectures, and other stuff. Btw please support me if you can https://www.patreon.com/tio – I am nearly broke and I have to spend money on templates and plugins for the new VideoNeat. Thanks!

Update 5: VideoNeat is back! :).

My Own Music Website

My Own Music Website

MusikWave – http://www.musikwave.com/

I don’t listen to music that often (I prefer listening to Alan Watts, Jacque Fresco, or other such ‘entertaining’ people 🙂 ) but I do like to listen to music from time to time, especially while working on some websites or design the magazine. I never pay attention to the lyrics though, as I saw many do, so I can listen to all kinds of crap yet I enjoy it :).

I was surprised when I found a few years ago that people pay to listen to music, I honestly had no idea that with so many free streaming services out there people still pay to listen to music. I come from an environment where if you buy something online you are an oddity. The people I know never pay for Windows, or any software, movies or music. Maybe because they do not have the money and they got used to find them much easier for free, online. For instance, the torrents can even be streamed right now via services like WebTorrent so it is even more easy to watch movies via torrents. Also, free (and ‘illegal’) services like PopcornTime made Netflix or Hulu look completely outdated and pointless.

Anyways, I used Grooveshark.com to listen to music for the past years, and I have tried many such streaming services, but that looked to be the best one. I don’t download or have any songs on my computer since 2007, I find it completely irrelevant since you have an internet connection 99% or 100% of the time (without internet I honestly don’t know what do do with my computer 🙂 ). Grooveshark was closed a few months ago though due to being ‘illegal’, so I tried to find another such service but found none that was good enough or ‘legal so it will not get shut down. I tried the very well known and legal Spotify and I got lost through its user interface plus I did not find many of the songs I was looking for, not to mention the annoying ads (but even without the ads, I would have never paid for such a limited srvice). So, looking for an alternative I found a great template that automatizes pretty much everything: sorts albums, artists, songs, etc. It uses Last.fm for sorting and Youtube for streaming, thus it is 100% legal and you can find all the songs you can imagine via this service.

So, I bought and set up this template and made my own music website :). As simple as that.

Even though as I said I do not find music that important/interesting, I am completely impressed by this template and in my view it make services like Spotify look completely obsolete. It is true, for mobile is not a great experience right now, but as soon as the developers improve that, I will update the website.

I will also look into how this template works because I would love to make a VIdeoNeat TV kind of service, with streaming science videos from youtube in a very smart way.

So, enjoy it as it si free and great 🙂

MusikWave – http://www.musikwave.com/