Tugboat with stuck horn at Port of Everett

Listen to the tugboat’s stuck fog horn at Port of Everett that kept my neighborhood up all night

Sunday night just as I was about to go to bed, I heard a strange noise coming from outside. It wasn’t too loud so I didn’t think much of it, but then I got a notification that someone had just started a thread on my neighborhood’s Nextdoor page: “Boat horn/siren 11pm?” When I got onto Nextdoor, there were two other threads that were rapidly filling up with people complaining about the noise, which was apparently really loud in parts of the neighborhood. There was speculation that maybe it was coming from a train, or maybe a boat at the Port or the Navy base.

So of course, instead of going to bed I decided to hop in my car and go try to find the source of the noise and get it on video:

It turns out the noise was coming from a tugboat with a stuck horn, as first reported that night by My Everett News:

The tugboat horn did not stop until around 3:30 AM, keeping many people awake for most of the night. In the follow-up story the next day on My Everett News, they included a photo of the offending boat, which you can actually see in my video starting at around 1:25:

Tugboat with stuck horn at Port of Everett

Tugboat with stuck horn at Port of Everett (click to enlarge)

A lot of people must have been disappointed that they missed out on the sound of the horn, because my video turned out to be fairly popular. It was featured on a handful of local news sites, radio reports, and even the national Fox News site:

So I guess I’m officially a video journalist now.

Best Protein Shake Ever

I had to post this excerpt from the Malcolm in The Middle episode “Malcolm Holds His Tongue” (Season 4, Episode 7) for my buddy Phil.

Best protein shake ever.

The 100 Peeps Challenge: “How can something so simple be so delicious?”

Time to share another of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite television shows of all time, Malcolm in the Middle, in which Francis takes on the 100 Peeps challenge (okay technically they’re referred to as “candy quacks,” but they’re obviously a reference to Peeps).

I won’t ruin the ending for you. If you want to see how the 100 Peeps challenge turned out for Francis, you can check out the full episode on Netflix (Season 2, Episode 1).

Guess who has obtained over 200 Peeps and thrown down a 100 Peeps challenge to his friends?

Some Kinda Big News Guy or Something

Thanks to my weird real estate fetish, I’ve been in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television more times than I can even remember. Even so, I’ve never had a week quite like this one.

Tuesday: Quoted in a Bloomberg / BusinessWeek story:

Agents encountered multiple bids on about half of offers in Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Oregon this year through March 15, said Tim Ellis, real estate analyst for online brokerage Redfin. In the San Francisco area, Redfin agents reported that three of four offers involved competition, he said.

Tuesday: Appeared live on Q13 5:00 News:

Wednesday: Appeared on separate Bloomberg radio and separate KOMO radio news briefs (which unfortunately I was unable to record).

Wednesday: Appeared in a KING 5 story.

Thursday: Appeared in a KOMO 4 story.

Friday: Appeared on the nationally-syndicated NPR program Marketplace Money

Throughout the Seattle area, the number of homes for sale is down more than 30 percent from a year ago. In some parts of San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Diego, the shortage is even more pronounced.

Tim Ellis: Inventory is just dropping like a rock. I think that’s really the big story.

Tim Ellis is a real estate analyst with the property firm Redfin. He says housing inventory always picks up after the holidays. But in many markets in the U.S., inventory has dropped for the last two months. Why is this happening? Ellis calls it a hangover from the housing bubble.

Ellis: You know, the traditional, kind of, buy a home and then hold it for a while and then sell it, that cycle on average lasts about 7 years. Well, when you think about where were seven years ago, that was kind of right at the peak, is was right at the height of the boom, so the people who bought seven years ago might be today’s sellers in a normal market, they can’t afford to sell.

Seven media appearances in one week, spanning print, radio, and television. Doubt I’ll manage to beat that without committing a major crime or something.

YouTube Doesn’t Care About Original Indie Content

Yesterday I uploaded the video below to YouTube. It’s just a simple amateur recording I shot of the Fountains of Bellagio last week while I was in Las Vegas.

Shortly after it finished uploading to YouTube, I received the following email:

Dear TheTimSeattle,

Your video, Fountains of Bellagio: The Pink Panther Theme, may have content that is owned or licensed by EMI Music Publishing.

No action is required on your part; however, if you are interested in learning how this affects your video, please visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for more information.

– The YouTube Team

Yup, despite all the booms and ooohs and aaahs distorting the music, YouTube nearly instantly recognized The Pink Panther Theme song playing in my video, and felt the need to send me a nasty-gram warning me about the usage of “third party content” in my video. At least this one didn’t get totally blocked like the one-minute video I uploaded a year or two ago of the contents of a Woot Bag of Crap with massively distorted audio of “The Final Countdown” playing in the background.

Okay, fine. Whatever. I get that the big publishing companies want to “protect” their “intellectual property,” and it’s easy for YouTube to automatically detect things like this and take action.

What I don’t get is why when someone uploads an exact copy one of my videos that’s on YouTube, YouTube does absolutely nothing. I shot the video below of a crazy electrical installation about a year ago.

After I uploaded it to YouTube and posted it to Seattle Bubble, it took off, rapidly racking up hundreds of thousands of views. Shortly after it became popular on YouTube, some user downloaded it and uploaded it to Break.com as their own. Then, other users started uploading copies to YouTube.

Did I learn about this via an automated message from YouTube about my video’s copyright being violated? Nope. I only found out because friends pointed out that my video was embedded on various websites, and when I clicked through to YouTube from those sites I discovered that my video had been uploaded by another user.

To its credit, YouTube does react quickly when you use their Copyright Infringement Notification form to report this sort of abuse, usually taking down the offending video the same day. However, it’s still quite annoying that I’ve had to personally hunt down copies of my video that have been uploaded by other users (seven other users, so far) and manually fill out that form, despite the fact that YouTube obviously has technology capable of automatically detecting things like this.

It’s also worth mentioning that when you fill out YouTube’s Copyright Infringement Notification form, there’s a field where they ask for the address of original YouTube video that the offending video is violating the copyright of. And yet, when they do take down the offending video, they don’t bother providing a link to the original content anywhere on the page. Instead, you just get a generic page that looks like this:

They can put links in the video space. Why wouldn’t they put a link to the original content on the removed video when a user like myself explicitly tells them where the original content is?

If YouTube really wants users to upload original content, why wouldn’t they use their existing tools to provide better copyright protection for independent original content, instead of intentionally turning a blind eye to infringement that they are easily capable of automatically detecting?

I can only conclude that YouTube doesn’t care about original indie content.