LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amazon has launched a self-publishing platform for video creators, a move that could make money for the company and budding filmmakers in the same way YouTube has created a community of online celebrities.
Amazon Video Direct, which kicked off Tuesday, shares money with video creators through the method they choose: ads, subscriptions, rentals, or simply by the number of hours streamed to tens of millions of subscribers of Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service.
Amazon keeps about half the revenue, or if the video is restricted to Prime, it pays a set fee of 15 cents per hour viewed in the U.S.
Several production companies made videos available Tuesday including Baby Einstein, Pro Guitar Lessons and Conde Nast.
The service allows creators to publish videos in the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, Japan and Austria.
SEATTLE (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz’s now-defunct presidential campaign is being sued over the background music it used in two videos.
Audiosocket, a music licensing company based in Seattle and New Orleans, filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Seattle against Cruz for President and the advertising firm Madison McQueen. It says an agreement between Audiosocket and Madison McQueen expressly barred the use of the songs for political purposes.
The lawsuit seeks hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Neither the Cruz campaign nor Madison McQueen immediately returned emails seeking comment.
The songs at issue were used in campaign videos titled “Victories” and “Best to Come.”
The Texas senator dropped out of the presidential campaign last week after losing the GOP primary in Indiana to Donald Trump.
Virtual reality has moved into the classroom, with a host of online resources to allow students to watch 360-degree videos. Young people can search YouTube for these navigable videos and even use a Google Cardboard for a true virtual reality experience.
So how can students create their own virtual reality experiences? Recently I had the opportunity to visit Unarthodox, a special space in New York City that hosts classes designed to promote creativity and self-expression. One of their newest classes focuses on virtual reality and gives participants a chance to create their own videos. I had the chance to ask the folks at Unarthodox a few questions about how to create virtual reality videos.
What type of camera is used to capture the the 360 degree video?
For our introductory class, we use an entry-level camera. Specifically, the Ricoh Theta S, which shoots 360 degree video at 1080p.
Have you found that YouTube is the best way to share these videos? Are there other options you have explored?
YouTube is definitely a very accessible way to watch 360 videos; however, recent changes to iOS mean that iPhone users are locked out of 360 videos and have to download a separate app. We’re also exploring sharing and viewing through Facebook, but it’s still very early to call any one option the “best.” Everyone wants to be the “Netflix of VR,” but as we’ve seen with the revolution of Hulu, Vimeo, Netflix, Amazon, etc., people will ultimately go wherever the best content is.
How can you envision this technology being used to teach students literacy skills?
With any new platform and technological evolution, there’s a growth in excitement, which translates to motivation. Children are naturally intrinsically motivated, and if you increase the amount of options they have to express themselves and lower the barriers to do so, they’re more likely to accumulate whatever skills they need to create their vision, including literacy skills.
Virtual reality is an exciting tool that can connect to your curriculum. If you’ve tried using VR in your classroom, share your experiences below!
Monica Burns is an Author, Speaker, EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
ROME (AP) — Beyonce told Serena Williams to dance and the tennis champion let loose.
Top-ranked Williams recounted Sunday how she came to have a part in the singer’s video, “Lemonade.”
Williams says, “I have known the director since I was like nine years old. I know Beyonce pretty well, so they were like, ‘We would love for you to be in this particular song. It’s about strength and it’s about courage and that’s what we see you as.'”
Williams’ appearance came on the song “Sorry,” which features Beyonce showing her man the stupidity of his cheating ways.
Williams says, “She told me that she just wants me to dance, like just be really free and just dance like nobody’s looking and go all out. So that wasn’t easy in the beginning, but then it got easier. … I thought that particular song on the visual album was really a strong song, and it was also really fun at the same time.”
ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Six Ohio school districts closed on Friday while authorities investigated what turned out to be a misinterpretation of an anonymous video threatening the safety of “American students.”
Officials initially believed the threat might be directed toward Ohio University, but late Friday they said there was no risk to the university from the video, which was posted on the social media app Yeti by a user in Europe.
Investigators shared an image from the video that shows a hand holding a gun and the words: “Tomorrow American students will die. Some of u are ok. Don’t go to school tomorrow.”
A concerned member of the app’s Ohio University group alerted authorities to the threat, but they determined that the video appeared in the user’s Yeti feed based on keywords being monitored, not because the person making the threat was affiliated with the group.
Ohio University’s main campus in Athens remained open as officials there worked with law enforcement to evaluate the threat, university spokeswoman Katie Quaranta said. She said the week of final exams was wrapping up and weekend commencement ceremonies for thousands of graduates would proceed as scheduled.
The FBI has been working with local law enforcement officials, spokesman Todd Lindgren said late Friday. He declined further comment.
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith told The Athens Messenger that his office learned early Friday about a general threat produced around Athens and made toward American students.
The districts that closed were Athens City, Nelsonville-York Local, Federal Hocking, Trimble Local, Alexander Local and Tri-County schools. Those largely rural districts have a total of more than 8,000 students, based on enrollment data provided to the state for last year.
In an audio message sent to parents, Athens schools Superintendent Tom Gibbs said his district decided to close given the “short time frame to respond to the threat.”
The Ohio Department of Education was monitoring the situation as the closed school districts worked with local law enforcement, department spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — The nation’s longest continuously operating coffeehouse is putting together a video featuring Arlo Guthrie and Garrison Keillor to celebrate the upstate New York folk music venue’s impending renovations.
The not-for-profit organization that runs Caffe Lena (LEE’-nuh) in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York, announced earlier this year that it will undergo $1.5 million in improvements to the building that houses the second-floor concert venue.
Organizers have been working on a music video that features Caffe Lena veteran Guthrie, “A Prairie Home Companion” host Keillor and Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary.
Caffe Lena, which turns 56 next month, is looking for people to gather on the street outside the venue Saturday morning to be filmed singing the final chorus for the video, which will be released through social media in the fall.
This story has been corrected to correct venue’s age to 56 instead of 66.