YouTube’s most watched UK videos of 2012

As there are now just a few days left in 2012, this is going to be another fun/festive post :-)

Last year I explored YouTube’s most popular 10 videos in the UK for 2011, and it turned out to be an enjoyable post to write, (and hopefully also to read/watch) so I thought I would do the same again this year!

In the UK, the 10th most popular video was the BBC video posted as part of their coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which featured James Bond escorting the Queen to the games. The video is entitled James Bond escorts The Queen to the opening ceremony and is a must see – hence why it is below :-)

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In 9th place, is the The Nick Clegg Apology Song, as created by The Poke. Mr Clegg (leader of the Liberal Democrat party) made a political party broadcast in September of this year, apologising for breaking his promise about not raising university tuition fees. The Poke then used Autotune along with some video editing, to make a very funny apology song out of Mr Cleggs speech.

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Pop/Opera duo Charlotte & Jonathan, came in an impressive 8th place, with their video which has received over  25 million views since March this year. The video is a recording of their performance on the TV show, Britain’s Got Talent, a show which they untimely finished second. Check out their video here.

The 7th most popular video in the UK this year was Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space. Felix broke world records as he jumped from over 24 miles above the earth, landing safely after a reaching a maximum speed of 833 miles per hour!

6th place was taken by the fantastic market trader who had a ‘£1 Fish’ song. Songs seem to be doing pretty well this year in terms of trending on YouTube! The camera man asks the market trader to “Do your fish song for me…” and the trader starts a fantastic song in order to try to sell his stock. Again, this is a must see :-)

There is also a remix done by The Poke (the same people who made the Nick Clegg apology song) which is also worth a watch.

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asdfmovie4 was 7th on the list last year, and the next edition of the comedy animation was sure to be a hit too, which it was with asdfmovie5 taking 5th place on the 2012 list.

4th place was claimed by Lucy Spraggan’s audition on the X Factor. She sung a song she had written called Last Night, which the audience loved, and became an instant hit!

A cover of the song Somebody That I Used to Know took the bronze medal position, coming in third. The band Walk off the Earth did a cover of the Gotye song, which involved all five of the band members using the same guitar to play the song. It was very clever and a pretty good song, hence why it was a major hit.

KONY 2012, a video by a US activist group about the use of child soldiers took third place. The video is almost 30 minutes long, which is pretty impressive considering how popular it proved. Its popularity was probably due to the emotional impact it had on people.

Now for the big one, the video that was top of the UK list and top of the global list. The video which is now the most watched video on the internet. The video which became popular in the shortest amount of time. The video which had spread around the world in just a few weeks. That video is Gangnam Style. If you haven’t seen it, or heard it, you are among a select few! Earlier this month, the video by Korean artist Psy, made YouTube history, topping 1 billion views! The video has been rated millions of times, with over 6 million likes, and around half a million dislikes.

So that’s it, the 10 most popular YouTube videos of 2012. In memory of the great videos that have trended this year, YouTube have put together a fantastic compilation video, which includes references to loads of the websites popular videos this year, or as YouTube put it: “We invited some YouTubers to star in a mash-up of culturally defining moments of 2012. Can you spot all the references?”

If you have seen all of the above videos, it is great fun to watch this YouTube 2012 mash up.

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Global Top Ten

If you are interested, here is the global top 10 trending videos of 2012:
YouTube's Logo

  1. Gangnam Style
  2. Walk Off the Earth
  3. Kony 2012
  4. Call Me Maybe
  5. Obama v Romney epic rap battle
  6. A dramatic surprise on a quiet square
  7. Why you asking all them questions?
  8. Dubstep Violin
  9. Facebook parenting
  10. Freefall from the Edge of Space

What was your favourite video of 2012, and which video(s) do you feel had a major global impact?

JibJab’s 2012 year review

We are now in that part of the year when I like to write more general interest posts with more of a fun and festive theme.

JibJab's LogoLast year I commented on JibJab’s 2011 year review, (2011 Buh-Bye) and as in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, JibJab have created a Year in Review video, where they take the major events of the year, and mash them together in one fast, fantastic, usually quite funny, video.

JibJab are an American based company, so the content is usually slightly more geared towards American current affairs. However, that said it usually includes lots of globally significant events too.

This years video was released on the 20th of December, a day before the world was supposed to end, topically calling this years video, The End is Here! Luckily the world didn’t end, so you can watch the video here now :-)

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You might need to watch the video more than once to find all the years significant events references, as there are quite a few!

Some of the major references you probably picked out include: the amazing global popularity of Gangnam Style; the 2012 London Olympic games; the release of Marvel’s the Avengers; the issues Facebook had when it floated on the stock exchange; Barack Obama’s election victory; Lance Armstrong loosing his cycling titles; the growth in the number of people doing Zumba; the rapid melting of Arctic Ice; Felix Baumgartner’s 24 mile jump (from space); not forgetting the widely discussed end of the world!

I always look forward to JibJab’s Year in Review video, but it is impossible to fit everything in, so like I asked you last year, what do you think was missed out?

Track Santa this Christmas Eve with NORAD

Today is Christmas Eve, which means that billions of people around the world will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow. Different people of different cultures celebrate Christmas in different ways; some celebrate today, many tomorrow, and others over a twelve day period.

About Santa

If you live in the Britain, France, the USA, Russia, Germany, Canada, Australia, or a (big) handful of other countries around the world, then you are probably familiar with the character of Santa Clause, or Father Christmas.

Christindl, Pere Noel, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas or whatever you call him, is a man who lives at the North Pole and sets out to deliver presents to good children across the world on Christmas Eve.

Good children will go to sleep on Christmas Eve and in the morning awake to find their stocking full and presents underneath the Christmas tree, courtesy of Santa. In return Santa asks only that children are good, and he uses information that robins relay to him to decide whether a child should go on the naughty list, or the nice list – he checks each list twice, just to be sure!

Track Santa With NORAD

This year, why not track Santa on his journey around the world with NORAD? Every year, the US military undergo a massive operation involving countless jets, radars and satellites to follow Santa on his journey, for the benefit of children everywhere, and to make sure that he doesn’t run into any difficulties.

NORAD Track Santa logoFrom December the 24th every year, you can track Santa thanks to NORAD. You can follow his route, watch videos as he completes parts of his journey, and learn about the different places he visits. As I write this Santa is over New Zealand, and has just visited Christchurch.

What are you waiting for? Track Santa now!

Remember this Christmas Eve to put the fire out before you go to bed, and to leave some milk/bear and a mince pie out for Santa, and maybe some sprouts or a carrot for the reindeer.

Merry Christmas all :-)

Jump Start Your Revenue Generation In The Cloud

Independent software vendors (ISVs) need to constantly release new products, upgrade features to existing products and maintain market share in an era defined by shifting tastes and a quickly evolving consumer base. Cloud based solutions can facilitate this process and help to jump-start your revenue.

According to Jiten Patil, cloud expert and senior technology consultant at Persistent Systems, customer “stickiness” is never guaranteed and poses a challenge to the ISV revenue cycle. But take heart, there are a few simple solutions to address these challenges and none will require shifting resources away from your core business.

Computing from the cloudPatil breaks the large ISV landscape into two general categories. The first are ISVs that are introducing a brand-new product, whether they are a startup or an established firm releasing a renascent offering. The second are ISVs retooling existing solutions to take advantage of customers’ new interest in cloud-computing technology. Regardless, nearly all ISVs can boost revenue generation by following a few simple steps.

1. Refine Your Strategy and Accelerate Your Go-To-Market Process

ISVs must develop new methodologies to bring products to market quickly. This means that you must make sure that the product design facilitates fast product delivery. According to Patil, it should be a priority to accelerate the marketing, promotion and sales process so that the all-important order-to-cash process can begin.

It’s important to hire talent with skill sets that support your product deployment strategy. You will want to complement your engineering talent with employees with strong skills in sales, marketing and cloud based product delivery.

2. Identify Your Unique Cloud Roadmap, and Build In End-to-End Revenue Generation

Patil said companies must first identify a unique cloud roadmap. This roadmap may deviate from traditional cloud-based solutions, or it may imitate a go-to-market strategy that’s already proven successful. Whichever route your company chooses, make sure that you’re working toward creating an end-to-end revenue generation process throughout the duration of the promotion, marketing and sales cycles. ISVs should employ strategies like continuous delivery of promotional content, new product trial offers and value-added features, Patil said, to keep clients engaged.

Of course, the cloud can facilitate product updates on-demand to quickly address software problems. However, according to Patel, ISVs should also use the cloud to keep customers apprised of new products, solutions, updates, and other information in real time. Together, these processes can build brand awareness and expedite the go-to-market process.

3. Use Cloud Solutions for Continuous Packaging and Distribution

ISVs should consider how cloud based technologies can be used for packaging and distribution of their applications. The cloud can also provide an extended development and testing platform for your products. This can streamline and speed up your product development and quality assurance process and enable you to begin generating revenue more quickly.

By following these guidelines, ISVs can use the cloud to accelerate the revenue generation cycle. ISVs ultimately need to plan for continual growth by embracing the new business strategies engendered by cloud computing. Doing so will ensure your business will remain competitive for years to come. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides Fanatical Support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.

Year End Update

As the year ends I would like to look at some of my post over the last year or so to give an update about what has unfolded since I wrote them.

2012 Ending

The End is Near

I will start with Citizen Science. In 2011 I wrote an article about online gamers as scientists, and this year a couple of posts touched upon the issue of citizen science.

Recently the UK press has carried a story about a WW2 carrier pigeon whose remains were found in a chimney. The bird had a capsule on its leg that contained a message in code. Experts were unable to understand the message so they released the data into the public domain in the hope that somebody would be able to decode it. A perfect example of citizen science, the use of the Internet to access millions of brains.

A gentleman in Ontario responded with what he believes is the meaning of the note, although debate is rife around the issue of verification. He claims that the code is from WW1 and nothing more than a series of acronyms. Read this BBC article for more.

Still way back in 2011 I wrote a post about prosthetic limb technology and the fact that someone had opted to amputate a hand in order to have a robotic replacement fitted. Recently doctors have reported great improvements in prosthetic control, including controlling the artificial limbs through thought.

This experimental science has been going on for some time now, with implants in the brain interpreting neuron activity in order to make the limb move. As sensors get better movement improves and so control is greater. This week researchers in the US have released video of a woman operating a robot hand through thought. Watch it here on the Independent newspaper site.

One thing that isn’t addressed in the press coverage that I feel is important is that the person does not have to be attached to the arm, they can operate it remotely. This must have implications for how research and the handling of dangerous materials may be treated in the future.

If you want to see where this technology might take us just have a look at this video reportedly of someone controlling a remote control quadcopter using only thought waves. Incredible stuff!

More recently I wrote a piece about the compulsory tagging of students in a Texas school district. The project has run into problems as one of the students was withdrawn and moved to another school for refusing to wear the tag on religious grounds. Read the report here.

Andrea Hernandez refused to wear the tag saying that the bar code it contained could be the mark of the beast, an interpretation she takes from the book of Revelation. When they removed the mark from the tag she continued to refuse to wear it however so was effectively expelled. She is taking the school to court over the matter presenting problems to all those involved in the project.

I also wrote about the MOSE project to protect Venice from the rising seawater that floods the city ever more frequently. Recent news (in Italian) states that the project will no longer be ready in 2014 (2012 was the original date set for completion) but will possibly be finished in 2016.

The major problem seems to be lack of money. The project budget has increased massively, and the economic crisis has meant that money is found piecemeal so that the work can continue.

I do not want to be too critical of the land that bore my wife and children, but unfinished engineering projects are not uncommon in Italy, let’s hope this one does not end like many others.

Next week I will be taking a self enforced holiday, so no post on Thursday. Happy winter solstice to all, enjoy the festivities, thanks to everyone who has read and/or commented over the last year and I will be back in the new year (presuming that the Mayans were mistaken).

An analysis of the iPhone 5

Is is nearly 3 months since the 6th incarnation of Apple’s iconic iPhone, the iPhone 5, was released. Often I think it is more interesting to discuss a technology a few months after its release, rather than just straight away, as faults have been exposed, and there are opinions about long-term use.

In this article I am going to explore what the critics think of the iPhone 5, the good, the bad and the faulty!

So what makes the iPhone unique from any other phone? Samsung would argue very little, because as soon as Apple’s latest smartphone was released, Samsung announced that it was filing a lawsuit against Apple, because it had infringed many of its patents.

Size and Weight

The iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 is bigger than its predecessor (the iPhone 4S). It is taller, the same width, and slightly thinner. When smartphones first hit the market, there seemed to be a race to make them smaller. Now however, the trend seems to be towards developing a bigger screen. Tablets are getting smaller and smartphones are getting bigger – will the two ever merge? I think they might, so watch this space!

Despite being bigger, the latest model is 28g lighter than the previous model, weighing an amazing 112g. Considering the technology inside the device, that is an impressive weight!

Camera

The pace of development of inbuilt cameras in mobile phones is staggering. The iPhone 5 has an 8 megapixel camera, which is very competitive considering that just a few years ago, 8MP was pretty good for a digital camera – which isn’t also a phone.

Reception

One of the main criticisms of the iPhone 5 is that it has stopped being a phone. Logically the primary purpose of a smartphone should be to call and text people, browsing the internet, using apps, taking pictures and other features are optional extras, and shouldn’t be the main function of the device. That said, there have been many reports about people finding that the iPhone 5 has really bad signal problems. I know of two people who are on the same network, one with a Samsung Galaxy S III and one with an iPhone 5. The person who owns the Galaxy can almost always get signal, whilst the person who owns the iPhone can’t. When the phones are in the exact same place, the Samsung device can get signal, but the Apple device can’t.

Speed

Because of all the new features of the phone, it needs to have a good processor, and it does. There was hope that it might have a quad-core processor, which it didn’t, however it does have a pretty good A6 processor, which is very speedy, and is what makes the iPhone 5 feels quick and slick. Match that performance with the 4-inch Retina display, and you have a very fast and flashy phone!

Siri

Siri has seen a few updates, but nothing major. The initial introduction of Siri in the iPhone 3GS was revolutionary, and there is still relatively little viable competition out there for Siri, however one expects an iPhone to come with Siri these days.

Maps

The iPhone 5 was the first phone released by Apple with iOS 6 – which had Apple Maps installed. Apple Maps is Apple’s own version of Google Maps, which has replaced Google Maps on the operating system.

Some of the navigation features have been praised, as having better clarity and being more useful than the Google alternative; especially due to the inbuilt Siri compatibility.

That said, there are major issues with Apple Maps, in that it can be really inaccurate. Australian police have actually advised people against using the software, after they had to rescue motorists stranded in the wilderness of a national park who were trying to find a city, which Apple Maps thought was in the middle of the the wilderness, not where it should have been!

Many places are not where they are meant to be, some just a few miles out, others quite a lot further! One example is Berlin. You know, that city in Germany. The capital city of Germany. Well according to Apple Maps, Berlin is on the continent of Antarctica, which isn’t only the wrong continent, but also the wrong hemisphere! Have a search for Apple Maps fails, and you get some pretty funny results!

Berlin, Antarctica - Apple Maps

Apple Maps really does think that Berlin is in the Antarctic!

Awards

The iPhone 5 isn’t short of awards. The phone is top of Time Magazine’s top 10 gadgets list 2012, which is a big achievement!

Sales of the phone are something else for Apple to celebrate. In the first three days of the phone being on sale, there were 5 million sales! That is 1 million more than the iPhone 4S got in its first three days.

Your Thoughts

Do you own an iPhone 5? If so, what do you think of it? Do you like the phone and iOS 6, it it revolutionary, or was it a waste of money?