Ukrainian man hasn’t slept in 20 years

I tend to be a bit of a night owl but I can’t see how this is humanly possible.

I used to read boring scientific periodicals in the hope they would send me to sleep. But as soon as I felt my eyes getting droopy and put the magazine down, I would find myself wide awake again. I thought it would just be a phase but its gone on for over 20 years now and I’ve simply had to get used to it.

If you figure he’s had 8 hours more a day than the rest of us mortals than over 20 years that works out to 2,433 days or six and a half years! One wonders why he isn’t a whole heck of a lot more productive than the rest of us, he should have a few Nobel prizes under his belt by now – what gives?

Thanks to Kottke for the pointer.

Blog University, Napa

I’ll be up in Napa tomorrow for the New Communications Forum Blog University. If any of you kind readers are going to be there, look me up.

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Google Video Search

Google Labs just announced that they are now providing a video search engine. Details in a BBC article here. This is slightly different than the video search announced by Yahoo earlier in that is indexes the closed caption content provided with television shows and returns results that show where in television segment the search terms were spoken and then shows a screen capture from that segment.

For an example, here’s a persistent search showing mentions of the word blogs.

It’s still in the labs so the actual video footage is not available but if they do point to when the show aired and when you might be able to catch the segment again. If Google delivers on what they are writing about, this could be a version of Google acting as a gigantic, internet-enabled TiVo for the rest of us.

More detail with screenshots here on the about page.

UPDATE: According to CNet, Yahoo has been working on a similar index of closed caption video text of Bloomberg and BBC programs in their partnership with TVeyes. The article also mentions Blinkx but I couldn’t get it to pull up any meaningful results.

Bring Down the Wall says Gilmor

Dan Gillmor argues for the newspapers to unlock their archives from behind the pay wall and provide them to the reading (and blogging) public as a community resource, collective history, and public record. With advances in contextual advertising such as Google’s Adsense (now available as an API by the way), there must be a way for newspapers to make more money off their archives than they currently do from the occasional $2.95 they get from individual readers and the collective royalties they get from the commercial databases such as Lexis-Nexis and Factiva.

If I was a publisher with a pay-per-view archive, here’s what I’d do:

1) Re-publish every article in the archives with a unique URL,
outside the pay-wall. It would be helpful if the articles published
since the newspaper went online could have the same URLs, but don’t
worry if that’s too expensive; if the stories are important enough,
they’ll be found and pointed to. It’ll just take a little longer.

2) Leave every new article on the Web at the URL it had upon publication. That’s easier.

3) Encourage the readers to use the archives, with house
advertisements, website notices e-mail to local librarians and other
ways to get out the word.

4) Let local bloggers know that you welcome their links, and that you’ve made the change in part because they need it, too.

5) If a local blogger points to your article, use Trackback or other such technology to point back.

I think most of the pay-per-view media sites are all looking at each other to see who will make the first move. Large sites such as the New York Times have the most to gain from such a move because of the attraction of their brand will generate the most traffic. But if a mid-tier player makes the first move (especially someone in a wired part of the world such as the San Jose Mercury News), they could gain first mover advantage and keep momentum up from the subsequent blogger pile-on effect that would use this source as their default research and linking resource.

If no one jumps, the pending citizen journalism efforts will take their place so someone will make the move sooner or later.