Embed media using only URLs in WordPress 2.9

October 16, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Here’s another great feature coming up in WordPress 2.9: easy media embedding using just the URL of the photo or video you want to place in your blog posts.

The catch is the URLs must be enclosed in shortcodes, and that the media must come from one of the predefined media providers: YouTube, Blip.tv, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik.com, Revision3, Google Video, PollDaddy, DailyMotion.

Of course, there are methods for adding more providers: using (a) wp_oembed_addprovider() function for oEmbed-compatible website and (b) defining a handler/callback function that checks the URL and generates the necessary embed code in its place.

Finally, wp_expand_dimensions() lets you resize the media to the largest dimensions possible given an example width-height ratio.

Read more about these in Viper007Bond’s post.

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Living Asia Channel

February 23, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Living Asia Channel

The Living Asia Channel Blog is a more intimate look into the people and places featured on this 24-hour travel and lifestyle cable channel. Posts contain both scenic photos and more candid snapshots of the TV crew’s various adventures, sometimes with anecdotes to boot!

If you can’t turn on the TV from where you are, try surfing over to this blog and explore the Philippines with the Living Asia Channel.

Other Asian News

Experts doubt North Korea was behind the big Sony hack

The Lai Dai Han Legacy

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Manila Bulletin strikes back against Anton Sheker, claims fair use

July 21, 2008 | 3 Comments

Update: Anton Sheker confirms the story and shares his feelings on the matter.

What’s the latest development in this photographer-blogger lawsuit against Manila Bulletin for copyright infringement and damages? The newspaper has filed a counter lawsuit for exemplary and moral damages at 2 million pesos.

According to Abe Olandres, Manila Bulletin “claims fair use in its publication of the photos”. I’m not quite sure if Manila Bulletin or the Philippine copyright law is at fault here. I hope that our lawyer bloggers a.k.a. blawgers lend their expertise on the matter.

How does Anton Sheker feel?

Mixed emotions but the the fight for copyright and how this will affect any dealings with future copyright issues online pushes me forward…I can now scratch out this part of my bucket list!

I’m sure many Filipinos will be disappointed when it just so happens that the plagiarizing party comes out of this unscathed. Fair use or no fair use, does resorting to counter lawsuits and technicalities reflect the ethics of true journalism?

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Photographer-blogger sues Manila Bulletin for copyright infringement

June 11, 2008 | 4 Comments

Filipino photographer and blogger Anton Sheker has filed a lawsuit against Manila Bulletin for copyright infringement and damages.

In October 2007, Sheker presented proof that this major daily publication used his photos of Vigan. They appeared in a Travel & Tourism article in March 2007. He got featured in the Picture Perfect column as artist of the week, but without his photos.

Even ABS-CBN, who has allegedly done the same thing to several bloggers, reported about this. According to the article:

The law does have its say on the matter. The country has a Copyright Law under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines that protects literary and artistic works, including photos. In one of its sections, it is noted that “Works are protected by the sole fact of their creation,” an automatic copyright protection, as some may view it. Penalties for violators may be subject to fines ranging from P5,000 to P 150,000, and P1,000.00 for every day of continued violation, among others. (A copy of the Intellectual Property Code can be read here: http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1997/ra_8293_1997.html)

Does Anton stand a chance in court? Will the small-time Pinoy blogger leave a scar against a mammoth media outfit?

The same newspaper that threatened to slap me with a criminal case if continued my claim.

If Manila Bulletin has nothing to hide, why are they being defensive?

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Use Stock Photos on Your Blog For Free with PicApp

March 21, 2008 | 3 Comments

It’s hard to find good images to spice up your blog posts. You probably use Google Image Search to do that, but you’re probably violating copyright laws if you used them for your blog without asking permission whatsoever. Or you visit stock photography websites, but when you realize you have to pay, you use the ugly-looking watermarked images instead.

PicApp is a stock photo site lets you use the best photos from the biggest names in photography like Getty Images completely free! Of course, there’s a trade-off.

First, images are embedded using JavaScript and Flash, just like videos. Why? The embedded image has ads, which appear below the a smaller verion of the image upon loading. Shortly after the image grows and covers the ads, but hovering your mouse on the embedded object makes the ads reappear. There’s also a toolbar at the top left for sharing options and image details.

The images don’t look that great. You get to embed in two sizes: for landscape photos it’s 357 or 420 pixels wide, for portrait photos it’s 287 or 338 pixels tall. Not very big. And there’s a lot of artifacts and other unpleasant details in the photos. But if you compare them to the quality of videos we’ve been enjoying on the web, there really isn’t much difference. We’ll have to wait until the high-definition revolution really goes mainstream before PicApp and Getty Images rethinks its average offer.

And what’s up with the slogan: “Because a picture’s worth!”

Overall, it’s great that big names in mainstream photojournalism is opening its database to the ordinary blogger. If you have a really tough time looking for photos that will fit your posts, you may just find PicApp an invaluable resource. It’s still in beta, meaning it’s a very young service and could improve vastly in the future, but one can only hope.


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