Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-29

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-22

Figured Out How New Yahoo! Movies Site Works

The good news: We’ve figured out how the new Yahoo! Movies site works.
The bad news: Not everything is rosy.

The biggest difference is the new HD trailers are encoded in MP4 instead of MOV. I actually prefer MP4, but the biggest issue is the quality has severely dropped. We typically encode 1080p @ 10Mbps. The new Yahoo! 1080p MP4 encodes are at 4Mbps, less than half the original quality of the old MOVs. This is almost if not as bad as YouTube encodes, and YouTube encodes aren’t watermarked. It saddens me Yahoo! has taken this path.

Another problem is Yahoo! trailers/clips aren’t always associated with a movie. For example, a new trailer they released yesterday was for Cirkus Columbia. If you tried to search for that movie, it’s not even listed in their database.

We weren’t able to automate posting new Yahoo! trailers that didn’t have a movie associated with it. Those will be done manually for now, which means delays.

As for instructions on how to find the download links for Yahoo! trailers on its new site, I’ll be updating our Download from Yahoo! tutorial when I have some free time. The process is a lot more complicated than before, so it may take some time before I publish it.

Update: I’ve posted a rough draft of the new instructions. If you have any questions regarding the instructions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

Quick Update on Yahoo

Status

Yahoo! appears to have done a complete revamp of their movies site. At this time, no new Yahoo HD trailers will be posted until I understand how their new site works. Unfortunately after a quick glance, I’m not sure you can even play videos in HD anymore…

Existing Yahoo! HD trailer links still work and one can only hope 1 of our 3 biggest sources of HD trailers doesn’t go away.

STOP SOPA AND PIPA!

Today is officially SOPA Resistance Day. If you haven’t heard about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act), don’t let their names fool you as they’re anything but.

Learn why Wikipedia, Google and many other sites are protesting against these 2 bills.

I had emailed my 3 congressmen sometime in December:

I understand that a similar proposal to the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act called Protect-IP will be up for voting in the Senate early next year.

Given the huge opposition from the people against SOPA, I implore that you understand the implications of Protect-IP and not only vote against it, but convince your peers to do so too.

Thank you.

Of course my email to my House rep was worded a bit differently since SOPA is the House bill and PIPA is the Senate bill. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy of that email.

So far I’ve received 2 responses and all I got out of it was “Thanks for your expressing your view. Please sign up for my newsletter.”

So contact your representatives TODAY. Don’t wait till tomorrow or when you think you’ll have some spare time.

Hopefully as more and more people contact them, we’ll be able to stop the destruction of what made the internet great.

Here’s Rep. David Reichert’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the protection of intellectual property on the Internet. I appreciate hearing your views on this matter and welcome the opportunity to respond.

U.S. law enforcement agencies may protect against violations of intellectual property rights when perpetrators are acting within the United States. However, the Internet provides a way for businesses to expand across borders, and poses a challenge for the enforcement of intellectual property rights when violators are acting outside the U.S. Currently, U.S. authorities cannot reach foreign websites offering pirated or counterfeit goods to U.S. citizens.

In response to these concerns, Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) introduced the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) on May 12, 2011. This legislation would authorize the Justice Department or an intellectual property rights owner harmed by an Internet site “dedicated to infringing activities” to pursue a cause of action against either the registrant of an infringing domain name or an owner or operator of one. Moreover, the bill allows the Justice Department to pursue such actions against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign domain names as well. The bill has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar for consideration. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. This legislation would also authorize an action by the Justice Department against registrants, owners, or operators of foreign infringing sites. Though both bills would increase the criminal penalties for those that sell counterfeit goods of certain categories, like counterfeit medicine, the House legislation includes military equipment as a special category.

Promoting and protecting innovation is critical to U.S. businesses remaining competitive in the global economy. Many industries, from pharmaceutical companies to recording studios, depend on intellectual property protections. These industries contribute greatly to the U.S. economy and serve as significant job-creators. At the same time, some have expressed concern that this legislation goes too far, and would lead to government overreach resulting in the chilling of free speech online and the stifling of innovation. As a result of these concerns, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) have released an alternative proposal, called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, which would authorize the International Trade Commission to investigate, and if necessary, take action against foreign websites involved in the advertising or selling of counterfeit products. This proposal is based on the premise that the International Trade Commission would be better suited to investigate such issues because of its current investigative role in determining whether certain imports into the U.S. violate U.S. property rights. Rest assured, should this legislation come to the House floor vote a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to get in touch with me. Your interest and input are valued and I hope to hear from you in the future regarding other matters of importance. I encourage you to visit my website and sign-up for my monthly e-newsletter at http://reichert.house.gov to learn more about other issues impacting the 8th Congressional District and our nation. You can also follow my work online and receive frequent updates on legislation being considered in Congress by visiting me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/davereichert) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/repdavereichert).

Sincerely,

David G. Reichert
Member of Congress

Here’s Sen. Patty Murray’s response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act , which is currently pending in the United States House of Representatives. I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

In the Senate, this legislation would fall under the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee. While I am not a member of that Committee, I want to assure you that I will be following the progress of this bill and will keep your views in mind if this or related legislation comes before the full Senate for consideration.

If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=GetEmailUpdates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Patty Murray
United States Senator

Update: At least we know Sen. Maria Cantwell is on our side: Internet Censorship Bill Coming Up in Senate in Three Weeks

Nevertheless, Wyden has at least three colleagues from both parties opposed to cloture – Jerry Moran, Maria Cantwell and Rand Paul. They will need a lot of help to block the 60 votes needed to clear cloture and get PIPA to the floor.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-15

New Category: Most Watched Trailers

We’ve added a new category to our homepage: Most Watched Trailers This Week.

For awhile now, I’ve always wanted to display trailers that were popular with our fans. I finally found some time to look into how to call into Google Analytics’ API. Here’s a very good starting point: Google Analytics – Data Feed Query Explorer. After fiddling with the explorer, I got the query that would generate the results I wanted.

The next obstacle appears that I need to authenticate with OAuth in order to execute the query from my webserver. I found this useful tutorial on how to get an OAuth token from Google: Google OAuth for Installed Apps PHP Example. Initially I was getting a weird error that said my site was not registered:

The site β€œhttp://hd-trailers.net” has not been registered.

After a quick search, I found the page where I’m suppose to register my website: Manage your domains. Registration was pretty straight forward. For the “Target URL path prefix”, make sure it matches the domain you’ll be requesting the OAuth token from.

After generating the OAuth token and secret, I injected the OAuth token into my request and things worked pretty much immediately.

Hope you enjoy the new category!

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-01-08

New @Netflix

Status

Just wanted to announce that we’ve added a new page to our site. Now you can see what blu-rays Netflix is releasing this week as well as what’s new to watch instantly! http://www.hd-trailers.net/netflix-new-releases/

Problem Fixed: New Facebook Likes Not Showing Up

For the past few weeks, I’ve noticed that new Facebook likes weren’t showing up on our site. The funny thing was old pages which had likes previously would increment correctly. New pages would register your like, but not reflect that on the page once you refresh. I did some research online, but only a few people were experiencing the issue and no one really had much clue what was happening.

Obviously it wasn’t affecting everyone or else you’d have tons of websites complaining. I had sent in a bug report as well as contacted my friend who works at Facebook who forwarded my issue to the appropriate department, but I never heard back.

I’m happy to announce that the problem has been fixed. I took some time this weekend to investigate the issue and found out it was related to the open graph changes I made in the middle of November. It turns out that if you include og:tags, the like button behaves differently. When I removed the og:tags from the site, the likes were incrementing correctly and even showing the previous like count.

After a bit of searching I landed on this page: Open Graph Protocol on Facebook. The real useful thing was the Facebook URL Linter, a debug tool to show you what Facebook sees when it parses your website. It turns out I was missing fb:admins or fb:app_id from my meta properties. After adding the app id (which you can register for one here), things started working again.

Another really useful trick I learned was that you can force Facebook to clear its cache and re-parse your page by using the Facebook URL Linter tool. Sometimes Facebook fails to fetch your thumbnail or if you decide to change the title/description, new people liking your page will still get the old data. But if you run your page through that debug tool, it’ll refresh.

Hope this helps anyone else who’s hitting a similar issue!