To the satisfaction of many who wondered, the
revolution inauguration was indeed televised captioned.
Even conservatives over at RedState commend the Obama team in this regard. But I am going to put a damper into this celebration. Notice that YouTube seems to have emerged as a de facto provider of important communication infrastructure to the government. Which would be perfectly fine, except that it appears that YouTube got a special dispensation from the federal privacy rules. Are we witnessing a phenomenon that is the reverse of trademark genericide? One may use “to xerox” to mean “to copy”, or “kleenex” to mean “a tissue”. We are all familiar with that. But in today’s age, it seems that whenever “online video” is mentioned, “YouTube” is understood. While this is a great compliment to YouTube, is it good when the government does it? How does this sit with the many Obama supporters that are proponents of Net Neutrality? P.S. In a somewhat ironic (albeit unclear in what way exactly) twist on the subject of YouTube and accessibility to the Deaf community, YouTube now mutes some videos. I just thought I’d add that in there.
One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.