Around the Internet, sites have voluntarily enacted a #blackout to protest the upcoming US legislative proposals, entitled SOPA and PIPA. These proposals, if they become law, will empower private interests to attack websites such as YouTube, and by association, localshow.tv - potentially dragging us into court over baseless complaints.
If you want to know more about SOPA/PIPA, watch this video.
A few years ago, Congress took up the cause of "frivolous lawsuits" that, they argued, were being used to mire pharmaceutical companies in neverending legal battles over their products. Now, they have reversed course, with the intention of giving big-media the tools to sink innovative startups - simply by calling us into court (when we cannot afford the legal expenses).
Here's a moment of honesty: localshow.tv can barely afford to stay online (our margins are that slim). This is the very definition of bootstrapping. If we could afford it, we'd participate in the SOPA/PIPA blackout too, but the truth is, there isn't even enough money to implement the blackout. That's the reality of running a startup. In other words, there's no money left for a legal defense fund.
However, the entertainment industry has a long track record of suing just about anyone they can, and they don't always win in court. In other words, we can count on SOPA/PIPA to enable some lawsuits that should never have been.
Don't let this happen. Contact your Senators and Representatives immediately, and let them know you want a free and open Internet. The EFF Action Center will help you get in touch with the right people.
For the past several days, localshow.tv has been featured in the Chrome Web Store, inside the Entertainment and Lifestyle sections. This has driven a lot of traffic to the site, and has generated some encouraging anonymous feedback:
I don't normally rate apps but this is pretty incredible. ... Long live the music video and live shows.
Thanks, anonymous person!
Since there has been so much attention on the Chrome Web Store, I updated the Chrome Web Store promo image today to look like this:
The crowd image is taken from this CC-licensed image, authored by avlxyz. According to the caption, the performer on stage is Deborah Conway at Fitzroy Gardens on January 30, 2010. I chose this image because it is a first-persion, eye-level view of a live concert.
Thanks, avlxyz, and thanks to the folks at Chrome Web Store for featuring localshow.tv!
So NXNE came through Toronto last week, and it was a frenzy of musical activity. I was in attendance at the NXNE Interactive conference, which was the daytime counterpart to the evening's live music bonanza. Some of the highlights for me were seeing Fucked Up at Yonge-Dundas Square, Harper Blynn's late-night-Saturday Rivoli show, and the Get Rich or Die Streamin' talk on Thursday. The NXNE experience inspired a lot of interesting ideas for localshow.tv, so be on the lookout for some cool new features coming out in the next several weeks!
Some of these new features are already live, and I want to point out the most exciting: search! You can find the search feature at the bottom of the main menu. Just type in a band name, click the button, and the result will play immediately. In this screenshot, I am searching for "easy star all stars".
The Friends menu has been completely redesigned, and there is now a QR Code in the menu that makes it really simple to share links using your cellphone. Here is how it might work: you're watching localshow.tv in the living room with some friends, and everyone decides they like a band. One of your friends might buy a concert ticket when they get home, so they scan the QR Code in the Friends menu, and the link is immediately bookmarked for later.
Finally, the landing page has received a facelift. You might have noticed the white background was replaced with a dark gradient, but the biggest addition is a "boot-up diagnostic" in the lower-left corner. This is responsible for making sure all of your technology is capable of running localshow, and if it isn't, it will direct you to a useful error screen.
If all of these are working, the whole sequence will turn light-gray. Any red items are questionable. You totally don't need to know this, but here is the key for decoding the bootup sequence:
. Br - Browser
. Fl - Flash
. Yt - YouTube
Finally, the Chrome App has been doing well in the Chrome Web Store. If you are accessing localshow.tv using your browser (as opposed to a Smart TV device) then I strongly recommend using the Chrome App, because it can be configured to launch in fullscreen.
Stay tuned for more!
This past month has been action-packed, with back-to-back conferences. First Google I/O, which was an absolutely amazing time, and then Toronto's Mesh Conference. Next week, NXNE comes to Toronto, so things aren't slowing down at all. You can expect to find localshow.tv at the NXNE Interactive afternoon sessions, but of course we'll be at many of the shows too.
The most timely announcement is that localshow.tv is now available through the Chrome Web Store! Of course, the app is free, so just give it a quick download and you're one click away from localshow.tv at all times. The best part of installing the app is fullscreen mode, which is the best way to view localshow.tv.
Once you've installed the app, it is really simple to configure it for fullscreen. When your mouse hovers over the localshow.tv app icon, a little wrench will appear in the upper-right corner. Click on the wrench, and then select "Open full screen", just like in this picture:
After you complete this step, localshow.tv is going to behave just like it would on Google TV or another Smart TV device. If you connect your laptop to your television, then you'll be surfing in style!
In other news, localshow.tv now supports Android tablets, including the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab series! This fulfills a dream I've had for a long time: to be able to demonstrate localshow.tv in a bar. Finally, this dream is a reality, and the Mesh Conference was the first chance for me to take localshow.tv on the road - and it worked great!
So, whether you're using your Smart TV in the living room, sitting in front of your laptop, or on the road with your tablet, you now have a variety of new ways to use localshow.tv!
I'm extremely happy to announce that localshow.tv will be represented at Google I/O this year, but only by the narrowest margin. The signup came and went within an hour, and by the time I checked the website, all of the tickets had already been sold! Fortunately, Google held a cool contest called "last call" during which the final 100 tickets would be awarded to the meritorious. I risked a day off from localshow.tv to participate, and it totally paid off. I submitted youtube-remix for the YouTube API contest, and earned a ticket! If you see this really awesome guy hanging out in Moscone, that's probably me, so be sure to say hi!
In all seriousness, I am very excited to attend, and I'm looking forward meeting new people and spreading the good word about localshow.tv!
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