Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are YouTube views independent?


People who have uploaded videos on YouTube know well that views are linked to the number of times a video is viewed "as is". This does not depend on the IP address or the specific pc, and even if the page is refreshed, this is still counted as a view. This simple views system, thus, takes into account only the access to the video without regard to the origin of the viewer; if he is the uploader or not and the number of times he has viewed it.

However, the catch here is that YouTube's views count stops at around 300 own views, increasing again if and only if the other viewers reach that number in which case the count will continue again.

As you can understand, when you encounter videos with staggering views, say in the realm of 20,000K, 50,000K etc. you can be sure that the views are significantly inflated. Fans of a video are likely to see that video tens of times, and more casual viewers a couple of times. 
So, how many are the independent viewers? 

The short answer is it depends. 

Is the content of the video informative, of a technical or academic nature? Chances are most views are independent. Contrast this with music videos, videogames, sports highlights etc. Here, many people will bookmark the video and see it from time to time, show it to friends, share it in forums and in Facebook.

This is backed by the fact that the vast majority of top viewed YouTube videos have to do with music and humour.

Certainly, the actual independent views are a fraction of the nominal value in display. You can take this into account when intuitively estimating the real independent views of YouTube. Remember that independent views can be only smaller or equal to the view count. In reality, virtually all videos will have independent views less than the overall views.

Should football evolve?

The rhythm of daily life is increasing, people are now trying to run as quickly as possible, reason for this being technology-driven competition at all fronts. And we already have the new generation, the young children, who are the first "bionic" generation.

For several years, particularly the last couple, sitting down to watch a football game is becoming all the more difficult for me, watching the entire match uninterrupted or even one halftime. The large pitch (or the few players), the offside (necessary evil), and tight defenses mean that not only the goals are rare, but the opportunities come by the scoop.

Adding to this, it's the midfield game which is all but nonexistent. I remember games of the World Cup in France, which despite being tight had nice midfield play. Now I notice that due to prevailing tactics, training, etc. the game tends to be played - apart from the rare chance - vertically on the flanks and horizontally in the back with procrastinating passes between defense and vice versa.

If you exclude Messi and the game wrapped around him, the sport of football makes me yawn. Even with Barca the only bad thing with this group is that the opponent usually employs heavy defense, and even at home plays conservatively and closed, causing you not rejoicing much as a neutral. Plus the fact that the show of Barca is entering with the ball in the net which sacrifices the thrill of distant shots.

Sports such as tennis, basketball (for me less because of the static goal), kickboxing, rally are more suited to our constant, for better or for worse, need for stimulus. The match does not have to be Federer - Nadal for me to be interested. The big benefit of the game as a spectator sport is that it lacks "dead" plays as in football.

Obviously I'm not saying we do away with the offside. That would unavoidably lead to "camping" near the goalpost. Nor do I suggest we shorten the pitch, which is very costly. Mentioned below are some suggestions to modernize football.

- More players (fewer runs, increased passing, technique must be high)
- Wider goal posts (more shots)
- Concrete borders (too radical... but interesting)
- Shorter game duration (less concern in conserving energy, more in outbursts)
- Remove yellow card - straight red (fair play, greater net game time)

These will not undermine football, but will be able to make it more spectacular.

What do you say? Are you a proponent of the current legacy format of football? Is it perfect to you as it is, or you would welcome such changes to make football more spectacular?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Are Scorpions overrated?

For their fans they are legendary, a band synonymous with classic rock and although their career spans more than 30 years of hard rock and heavy metal, they have kept their own distinctive base sound, the Scorpions sound. Arguably the band, that it is at the set of its career, will be remembered for its rock ballads, despite the dissaproval as stated by the band instead being remembered for their rocking songs as well, while stressing the live band factor.

Scorpions have relied always on songwriting and craftmanship. This has created their many loyal fans, but as well as dislike among the fad-driven audience. People who call Scorpions objectively overrated, that is they don't just don't like them, which is perfectly fine, but also advocate that they don't deserve the following that they have. For better or for worse as for (even greater) success, Scorpions have remained faithful to their original sound, keeping consistent the reliance on melody and guitarwork to carry their songs.

Their image to non-fans might be hurt by the fact that their only non-ballad song that is widely known to the mainstream is Rock you like a Hurricane. The major portion of their hits has been more slow tempo, mellow ballads than raw, heavy rock. So in the minds of people who dismiss them, they go as "yet another 80s band that jumped on the bandwagon of power ballads and... forgot to jump out.". To be exact they where among the first to do them and do them well. Before even the term "power ballad" was coined (and in many cases falling to cliche sounds), Scorpions were causing crowds to lit up their lighters in a light wave with their sentimental songs like Holiday, When the Smoke is going Down and Always Somewhere. Timeless songs that rely not on studio gimmicks & fads but on melody, wailing guitars and Klaus' authoritative and confident delivery.

Their other side, that of arena rock, of pump energetic rock is made apparent with a better look of their releases. Apart from the classic Hurricane, seriously rocking songs have come out from Scorpions starting with sophisticated In Trance in their dawn in mid 70s, continuing with Blackout, properly named Dynamite, killer riff of No one like You , headbanger's own The Zoo, written with arena in mind Big City Nights and slick Rhythm of Love. 

Carrying from their most successful days in the 80s, we can find some real rock gems in their last, and final, album Sting in the Tail. A return to roots and top form. They certainly are departing in style with such rock acts as driven Raised on Rock and the homonymous Sting in the 

Their last album is one of their highlights, while exiting at a high note, including engaging rock ballads Lorelei,uptempo The Best is Yet to Come,  introspective with profound guitar yet with a razor sharp chorus The Good Die Young. These come to sit along the legacy of songs that need no introduction; Still Loving You, Wind of Change and Send me an Angel that have come to exemplify the classic Scorpions sound.

Maybe the biggest testament of Scorpions' quality is their remarkable longevity. While other acts have come and gone, others exist in obscurity and others have long become "dinosaurs", Scorpions retire leaving a generation behind with fond memories of their songs and a whole new generation ahead that will be discovering them, one of the biggest bands in rock.