Friday, 30 June 2017


It was not too long ago that we were bombarded with visions of a "glorious future" for journalists and content creators in cyberspace,  as readership and viewership transition from print and broadcast to online, but now we can see the real world results of  the transition and they are not pretty; where like the Titanic, long established media organisations or perhaps even media "institutions", are gradually taking in water and are gradually settling lower and lower in the water, conscious that they are heading into the twilight, whilst unsuccessfully struggling to turn around, grasping at straws along the way.

Sure, there are many sources of free news and opinion online on sites such as You Tube and so forth but many of these content creators have had to turn for financial support from readers through e-begging sites such as Patreon and others, especially since You Tube had begun demonetising certain videos posted by some of those content creators on You Tube, so it is pretty obvious that having personal media channels on You Tube or other social media platforms does not provide enough remuneration for many to cover their living expenses.

For example, a You Tuber who calls himself "Jason Unruhe" and who has had a You Tube channel called "Maoist Rebel News" now complains about You Tube's recent demonetisation policy. He also has an account on e-begging site Patreon. Just beware some the expletives he comes out with at times.

Whilst I agree with Jason that capitalist profit motives generally reward producers of trash content which goes down well with dumbed down consumers who comprise the majority in capitalist society; over producers of quality and intellectually stimulating content; still it amazes me that Jason seems to expect that capitalist-owned You Tube would have been different.

On the right-libertarian side of the political spectrum is an author who goes by the name "Styxhexenhammer666" and here he explains quite frankly why he has set up an account on the e-begging site Patreon.

In this more recent video, Styx speaks about the problems of video demonetisation by You Tube and how Patreon pays more.

However, Styx also writes books on the occult, so he has other income streams to rely on, whilst he lives rather economically in what I believe is the Vermont countryside.

You Tube describes its demonetisation policy of certain videos or conversely, its monetisation policy related to putting advertisements on some videos as follows:-.

Advertiser-friendly content guidelines YouTube is where the world chooses to watch video. With the most current, comprehensive, and compelling video library on the web uploaded by a diverse set of creators from around the world, YouTube is also where thousands of brands come to connect with their audiences.

All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with YouTube’s Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. To be eligible for advertising, videos must comply with the AdSense Program Policies. YouTube also reserves the right, at its discretion, to not show ads on videos and watch pages—including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats. This article provides some guidance about our policies and best practices to ensure your videos are eligible for advertising.

We aren’t telling you what to create—each and every creator on YouTube is unique and contributes to the vibrancy of YouTube. However, advertisers also have a choice about where to show their ads. As with everything related to YouTube, use your common sense, don’t abuse the site, and be respectful of others.

Content not eligible for advertising

YouTube uses technology and policy enforcement processes to determine if a video is eligible for advertising. We continually work hard to make our algorithms as accurate as possible and to understand nuances, including for categories like music, gaming, and news. Our intention is to treat each video based on context, including content that is clearly comedic, educational, or satirical in nature.

If the following describes any portion of your video or video metadata, including the title, thumbnail or tags, then the video may not be eligible for advertising under the AdSense Program Policies. In some cases, YouTube may also choose not to show ads from all advertisers or all ad formats.
  • Controversial issues and sensitive events: Video content that features or focuses on sensitive topics or events including, but not limited to, war, political conflicts, terrorism or extremism, death and tragedies, sexual abuse, even if graphic imagery is not shown, is generally not eligible for ads. For example, videos about recent tragedies, even if presented for news or documentary purposes, may not be eligible for advertising given the subject matter.
  • Drugs and dangerous products or substances: Video content that promotes or features the sale, use, or abuse of illegal drugs, regulated drugs or substances, or other dangerous products is not eligible for advertising. Videos discussing drugs or dangerous substances for educational, documentary, and artistic purposes are generally eligible for advertising, so long as drug use or substance abuse is not graphic or glorified.
  • Harmful or dangerous acts: Video content that promotes harmful or dangerous acts that result in serious physical, emotional, or psychological injury is not eligible for advertising. Some examples include videos depicting painful or invasive surgical or cosmetic procedures, or pranks involving sexual harassment or humiliation.
  • Hateful content: Video content that promotes discrimination or disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people on the basis of the individual’s or group’s race, ethnicity or ethnic origin, nationality, religion, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalization is not eligible for advertising. Content that is satire or comedy may be exempt; however, simply stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be eligible for advertising.
  • Inappropriate language: Video content that contains frequent uses of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the video may not be eligible for advertising. Occasional use of profanity won’t necessarily result in your video being ineligible for advertising, but context matters.
  • Inappropriate use of family entertainment characters: Videos depicting family entertainment characters or content, whether animated or live action, engaged in violent, sexual, vile, or otherwise inappropriate behavior, even if done for comedic or satirical purposes, are not eligible for advertising.
  • Incendiary and demeaning: Video content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory, or demeaning may not be eligible for advertising. For example, video content that shames or insults an individual or group may not be eligible for advertising.
  • Sexually suggestive content: Video content that features highly sexualized content, such as video content where the focal point is nudity, body parts, or sexual simulations, is not eligible for advertising. Content that features sex toys, sexual devices, or explicit conversation about sex may also not be eligible for advertising, with limited exceptions for non-graphic sexual education videos.
  • Violence: Video content where the focal point is on blood, violence, or injury, when presented without additional context, is not eligible for advertising. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point is not. If you're showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic, or documentary context, that additional context is important.
We  also offer a number of content and audience targeting tools that advertisers can use to control where their ads appear on YouTube.

If you think we've disabled ads on your video in error, learn how to appeal videos marked “not advertiser friendly.”

Best practices for creating advertiser-friendly content

In addition to the policies and guidelines above, here are some tips to help ensure that your content is appropriate for advertising:
  • Do be respectful of others, including your viewers and the people or groups that you may feature in your video. 
  • Do use accurate thumbnails and metadata. Regardless of the content of your video, if the title or thumbnail does not comply with these guidelines, the video may not be eligible for advertising.
  • Don't embed your own ads in your video since it violates our ad policies. Learn more about paid product placement policy.

Context is key. If your video contains potentially controversial or offensive content, give your viewers enough information to help them understand what they're seeing. You can also help us understand if your content is suitable for advertising by providing additional context.

Well Google owns You Tube, which is going mainstream, and it can call the shots at any time or even implement them arbitrarily, and there is nothing which content creators hosted on You Tube for free can do if You Tube decides to not to place advertisements to their videos or perhaps in the future, even to dump those content creators not bringing in the moolah, to save on storage space and Internet capacity ("bandwidth") demands.

On the other hand, other You Tubers criticise their fellows who have complained or who thought that they could make a career out of of posting videos on You Tube.

This young You Tuber who goes by the humble name of "Mediocre Editor" rants against such You Tubers.

You Tuber "Alanah Pearce" describes how You Tube cut her income by 75% and how she has turned to e-begging site Patreon.

The YouTuber by the name of "TheSillyOldDude" slams big You Tubers who have complained about You Tube enforcing its policies.

You Tuber Futon Squad tells You Tubers to stop complaining.

In a more sober tone, You Tuber Damien who apparently also has a day job tells You Tubers not to count on You Tube for a career.

This You Tuber with the "Buzz Worthy TV" provides a more sober and balanced perspective on the issue. She sees You Tube as a stepping stone to a more stable career.

I have never donated any money to content creators through Patreon, not even solo music composers whose work I greatly appreciate, though I have occasionally bought their music online through sites like Bandcamp, to support them instead.

Two such solo music composers of epic and new age style music whose work I greatly appreciate are:-

Adrian von Ziegler - Switzerland -

Brunuhville - Portugal -

Both Adrian and Brunuhville sell their music via Bandcamp, Apple iTunes store and on physical CDs.

My friend's son Yusef Kifah - Bandar Sri Damansara, Malaysia, produces mostly techno music and sells his music through the Apple iTunes store. He's also a disk jockey (DJ) at realspace ((not virtualspace) venues.

Another friend's son who goes by the nickname "J-Boi" is a guitarist in the band Shadow Puppet Theatre - Kuala Lumpur - and whilst they have produced a CD, they don't appear to have either a Bandcamp or iTunes presence just yet. However, these guys have day jobs and music is like kind of a hobby.

I've haven't read, seen or heard much from those new media boosters or self-styled new media CON-sultants for a while now; and it kind of looks like they have vanished into the woodwork, now that the proverbial scheiss (shit) has hit the fan.

The Telesur TV article on the retrenchments at the New Your Times follows below.

Angry New York Times' Staffers Walk Out over Planned Layoffs | News

Hundreds of journalists — many of them copy editors at the New York Times — walked out from their offices Thursday and staged a protest in front of the newspaper's office in response to management talk of cutting the copy editing department in half.

ESPN to Lay Off 100 On-Air Talent: Source

"Top managers sat stone-faced at desks as staffers gathered about them and then walked out via the stairways," Poynter, a journalism training website, reported.

"New York Times editors, reporters, and staff will come together to leave the newsroom and their offices in protest of management’s elimination of copy editors," said a statement by the NewsGuild of New York.

Calling the expected layoffs a "humiliating process," NewsGuild President Grant Glickson, wrote in an open letter, "Cutting us down to 50 to 55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality in the report, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic."

On Wednesday afternoon, nearly two dozen editors also wrote a letter to Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn expressing their outrage over the cuts and demanding they reconsider the move.

Banquet said in a statement, that the newspaper has a higher ratio of editors to reporters than its competitors.

"After a year and a half of uncertainty about their futures, New York Times editors and staff have expressed feelings of betrayal by management. The staff has been offered buyouts and if a certain number of buyouts is not reached, layoffs will ensue for the editorial staff and potentially reporters as well," Glickson wrote.

Welcome to the Information and services economy, where your future is certain to be uncertain.

Don't be surprised if the Internet industry hires spin doctors and compliant media to promote the "hip, hype and happening" notion - "Insecure jobs - COOL!, secure jobs UNCOOL!"

Yours trully


Wednesday, 21 June 2017


India's information technology (IT) industry and business process outsourcing (BPO) service providers were once hailed by the media as a miracle of sorts, the pride of India and the industry was India's largest employer or at least India's largest private sector employer, which employed millions of people and it was rather glamorous to be an IT workers in India.

Indian IT workers have also been a rather fortunate lot compared to their counterparts elsewhere in that Indian IT companies once maintained up to 20% or more of them on standby on full pay to be immediately deployed on projects as and when needed, but this practice is coming to an end in favour of short term contracts, as India's IT companies increasingly come under rising cost pressures.

However of late, India's IT and BPO services  industry have been retrenching workers by the thousands, with the "big boys" of Indian IT planning to retrench as many as 200,000 staff.

The commentator in the first video below gives a good analysis of the financial factors affecting India's IT industry in terms of the strengthening exchange rate of the Indian Rupee versus the US dollar. Since most IT or BPO contracts are quoted in US dollars to customers in the US and also in most other countries, a stronger Rupee vs the US dollar means that the company in India earns fewer Rupees in numerical terms, once those US dollars are repatriated to India and converted to Rupees. 

He also mentioned that with India's IT multinationals being compelled to hire more American workers at their facilities in the US at American pay levels, India's IT multinationals end up having to pay more in salaries than if they imported IT workers from India to work on H1-B visas, so to contain costs, they have to retrench their workers in India.

Why Indian Software Companies Laying off staff? complete analysis into current situation

However the solutions he gave are very much echo the often-heard cliched phrase "upskill oneself to move up the value chain", but in reality, how many IT workers have successfully managed to upskill themselves and have "moved up the value chain"?

Secondly, assuming they all can, will there be as many jobs "up the value chain" to absorb all that many upskilled IT workers, plus new IT workers coming out of the universities and colleges armed with the newer IT skills?

As real world experience has shown, in most cases IT companies will cast their old employees on the scrapheap and hire new ones at lower pay.

The rest of the videos below highlight the situation for IT workers in India and their collective efforts to fight back through tribunals, courts and on the picket line.

WION Special: Tougher times ahead for Indian IT industry

IT Sector Layoffs - Senthil from FITE explains the other side of the story!

Massive layoffs in IT companies – The Urban Debate (May 19)

Infosys, Cognizant, Tech Mahindra lay off news left IT employees in panic mode

Job crisis plagues IT sector – The Urban Debate (May 30)

IT Layoff 2017 India

The Big Picture- Layoffs in IT firms: reasons and gravity

Donald Trump Effect - Be Careful About Your IT Career

IT jobs no longer secure - 30 Minutes - TV9

Bloomberg on Trump's impact on Indian IT industry.

IT Employees Seeks Action Against Cognizant For Massive Layoffs In Chennai

Protest against layoff of TCS employees (22-01-2015)

Sudha Thiagu speaks about TCS Layoff issue

TCS Mass Firing - Chennai Court says No to the Firing - First victim Got a first victory

Madras High Court Say No to firing in TCS - Victims Hope other Courts & Govt will be with them

The bottom line simply is that IT skills acquired in college or university mostly do not remain relevant and marketable throughout one's working life, unlike more traditional trades such as plumbing, carpentry, welding and so forth, and traditional professions such as medicine, dentistry, law, architecture, engineering, botany, zoology, agriculture, chemistry and so forth.

With the rapidly evolving nature of computing and information technology and its rapid rate of obsolescence, the skills of IT workers become similarly obsolete just as fast, forcing IT workers to constantly keep themselves updated with the latest IT skills, like hamsters running on a treadmill, faster and faster just to stay in the same place, and quite frankly few can keep up with the pace, given the responsibilities of married and family life as they grow older.

Whilst all the above is happening in India's IT industry, one wonders what the future bodes for Malaysian IT and BPO workers.

In 2015, I met a Malaysian who used to head his own company which operated a data centre. He told me that his company was no more as the data centre business is too fiercely competitive and he now works for a foreign-owned data centre operator.

Data centres are purpose built facilities, usually a purpose built building which houses servers - i.e. computers which host websites, e-commerce sites, cloud-based applications hosts and so forth, in temperature and humidity controlled environments, often served by redundant electricity supply, redundant data connections and adequate standby power generation capacity to guarantee up to 99.995% or more availability.

Data centres was the sexy industry in Malaysia to be in back around 2012 and 2013 and probably still is to an extent today, but the latest sexy industry to be in today are Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) but I wonder for how long, before the next "gee whiz" industry comes along.

Meanwhile, property development seems to have taken off in Cyberjaya, with tall buildings sprouting all over the place, just like in the major cities and towns of Malaysia.

When Cyberjaya, the heart of Malaysia's IT and multimedia industry was originally conceived and built freshly form the ground up in the mid-1990s, it was supposed to comprise only of low density development, with low rise buildings of not more than four storeys high, with much greenery between them, supposedly to provide a calming and soothing ambience for thinking and creative minds to flourish but that's no longer the case, as Cyberjaya gradually transforms into a concrete jungle, like the cities and major towns in the rest of Malaysia.

Yours trully