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Episodes: Clusterfuck
Drinx: Homebuyer's Sunset
Comment: Who to Blame for This Clagnificent Fustermuck
Events: ROX Season One DVD Release Party & 20th Anniversary Celebration
People: Johnny D
Locations: Humboldt County
Pix: J Tube Tube
Media: Coffee PSA
Things: Caffeine
Ideas: Webcast News
Vocab: temulency
News: rox.com for sale
Webdev: HTML5
Other: Mapplethorpe April 8th 1990
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Episodes: J&B's Mid-Life Crisis
Drinx: Stone Fence (Road Version)
Comment: Loaded, Loaded
Events: "J&B on the ROX" Debuts on Cable TV
People: Helen Hill
Locations: 713 East Cottage Grove
Pix: Stone Fence Squared
Media: Skinhead Rap
Things: ROX Season One DVD Release Party & 20th Anniversary Celebration Flyer (Frames Version)
Ideas: the world's first TV show in cyberspace
Vocab: potable
News: Spitting Rhymes for 99
Webdev: Encryption ROX
Other: Do Not Become Confused
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Frequently Viewed

Episodes: Golden Showers
Drinx: Amaretto Sour
Comment: typhoon vs hurricane
Events: B Gets Arrested for Streaking
People: Xy
Locations: Missoula Super Wal-Mart
Pix: Nip
Media: Streak
Things: Women's Urinals
Ideas: Pros and cons of marijuana use to be TV show topic
Vocab: yonic
News: J + Day = Julian
Webdev: Medius Interruptus
Other: Video Shorts
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July 1st, 2016:

Caffeine

Yes, caffeine is a drug.

June 16th, 2016:

Webcast News

By DEBRA JO IMMERGUT

Updated May 28, 1998 12:01 a.m. ET

Unlike his embattled counterparts in traditional network TV, Internet broadcast mogul Joey Manley is pretty confident about his future. But then, he has an ingenious business plan: militant lesbians, pot-smoking road-trippers, and anticorporate agitprop, viewable 24 hours a day, on demand. If you'd rather watch a show starring performance artist Frank Moore, the “spastic messiah” of San Francisco, than the latest episode of “Touched by an Angel,” then Mr. Manley's got your must-see TV.

As director of Free Speech Internet TV, a sprawling Web site that features over 500 “programs” — snippets of digitized video that range in length from several seconds to more than an hour — Mr. Manley represents one possible future for the endangered breed of network executive: a guy in Boulder, Colo., sitting in front of a computer, posting videotaped programming onto the World Wide Web. He believes that, by the time the much-ballyhooed convergence of Internet and broadcast television arrives, he'll be miles ahead of the big media players. “They're going to attack it as if it were regular television,” he predicts. “And they're going to fail. We're already learning things that will help us compete.”

Mr. Manley's site is one of a proliferating number of Webcasting sites on the Internet — sites that provide video footage, live or canned, for home viewing. According to BRS Media, the number of audio Webcasts has increased by more than 2000% in the past two years. Video is too new to count, but estimates for real-time video Webcasters range in the thousands, from the live feed from CNN to interactive sex videos.

“The Internet is becoming another broadcast network,” says Peggy Miles, a consultant and author who specializes in the burgeoning field of Webcasting. “It now has more audio and video content than the biggest broadcaster, with millions and millions of programs available on demand. ”

One can trace the recent explosion in the number of sites offering video and audio content, says Ms. Miles, to improvements in the software that enables Internet users to access such files. Up until a year or two ago, Web surfers had to download audio and video files, a process that was aggravatingly slow. And once accessed, the quality was lamentable: Audio files sounded garbled; video files looked more like living-room slide shows. But the situation has improved now that streaming media, which cuts out the download delay and allows instant access to files, is the standard. And further refinements are made all the time. This week, RealNetworks, producers of the software used by over 80% of Webcasters, announces the latest version of its RealPlayer streaming media system, and Microsoft is also rolling out its new Webcasting software. Both are available for free on the companies' Web sites.


As the technology comes up to speed, scads of traditional broadcasters, from Disney/ABC to the Sultanate of Oman Television Network, are investing in Webcasting. But the Webcasters who are truly exploring the limits of the new technology are the so-called “community Webcasters” such as Free Speech Internet TV, which give broadcast time to material that would never make it onto the airwaves. The video programs are unmistakably homegrown.

“We believe that people have a lot to say and especially now that technology is proliferating into the middle and even working classes, they have the tools to make media products. We have an obligation to present their media,” says Mr. Manley. And as he points out, the shows on his network have no resemblance to “America's Funniest Home Videos.” The site, funded by Colorado telecom entrepreneur John Schwartz, has a clear-cut political agenda, leaning firmly toward the left. There's a four-part interview with Noam Chomsky, an 18-minute documentary examining how a Canadian air show promotes arms sales to third-world nations, shows on every hot-button left-of-center concern from Mumia Abu Jamal to “corporate evil and globalization.” Gay and lesbian issues are covered in particular depth, from mini-documentaries produced by “Dyke TV” to “Goatboy and the Music Machine,” a show billed as a glimpse of “alternative queer living” in the mountains of Tennessee.

Ironically, the network's most popular show has little political content as such. “Rox” is a series created by two post-grad ne'er do wells in Bloomington, Ind., and was originally produced for the local community access channel. Known only as J and B, the two put together a long-running string of 10- to 30-minute videos documenting their infatuation with marijuana, their run-ins with landlords and the time they broke a little-known Gary, Ind., law against appearing in public less than four hours after eating garlic. Wry, funky and innovative in its experimentation with the medium, their show became something of a cult classic, but sadly, success tore the duo apart. J now writes for Wired News; B is a grad student at Indiana University. But thanks to the video-on-demand nature of Free Speech Internet TV, their shows can be viewed in perpetuity.

With programming like that, Free Speech Internet TV may be one of Webcasting's pioneers — last month they won the “Make-it-Happen” award at a RealNetworks' conference in Burlingame, Calif. — but they do have plenty of competition. There's Psuedo.com, for example. While the folks at Free Speech strive for earnest engagement, Manhattan-based Pseudo leans toward artsy hipness and hosts dozens of live programs each week, from “GO! Poetry's” spoken word performances to “Near Death Experience,” a show about death-metal music. With its smartly designed interface and its clever niche programming, Pseudo is a standard setter in the world of home-grown Webcasting.

Along with its many curiosities, Pseudo offers content that might actually contribute to the larger culture. For example, Franklin Furnace, the venerable artist's organization formerly based in New York's Tribeca is now a “virtual institution” that exists only on the Internet. Since February, Pseudo has been Webcasting Franklin Furnace's “shows,” mainly performance pieces by emerging artists, every other Friday at 5 p.m. Tomorrow, Lenora Champagne, who has performed at Manhattan's PS 122 and the Public Theater, will appear live on the program with a piece called “Anxious Women.”

Further down the food chain are the truly grassroots Webcasters — such as the students at West Branch High School in Morrisdale, Pa. Their video offerings include very blurry footage of the recent junior-senior prom and occasional live hook-ups to Spanish class. This is clearly not a mass medium. Indeed, very few community Webcasts are worth watching for more than a few minutes. And in an age when the average living-room television is approaching movie-theater dimensions, it's off-putting to squint at the tiny two-inch-wide RealVideo screen. Still, peering through this miniscule window in the corner of your monitor at programs produced in basements and rented studio space around the globe, you can't help feeling that you are seeing the larger world. Will these basement media moguls survive once Webcasting captures the attention of the big entertainment conglomerates? Mr. Manley at Free Speech, for one, plans to stick around. “We've had a defensive stance from the get-go. We wanted to build a reputation, an audience, before the giants log on.”

May 13th, 2016:

HTML5

A lot of the videos hosted here on the rox.com site are old Quicktime .mov files. As such they don't play well in modern browsers or take advantage of the capabilities of HTML5. Our videos hosted on remote servers like YouTube or Vimeo are another story, and that's where we've been deploying all our goods recently anyhow. But that leaves a ton of old videos lying around on our own server that no one can play. We could convert them to MPEG-4 movies, but is it worth the trouble? Here's a test case, the "World's Shortest Music Video" featuring Brown Betty. No, your browser isn't malfunctioning — this video is only one second long.

April 15th, 2016:

Encryption ROX

Thanks to the good folks at Let's Encrypt, this site is now rockin' the https protocol.

That's right, you can now access your favorite site at https://rox.com/ and surf secure in the knowledge that all your knowledge is secure. Or something.

In fact, your connection to rox.com is encrypted using a modern cipher suite. Yeah, we're not sure exactly what it means either, but smart people say it's important. Plus it sounds impressive. What better way to honor the anniversary of our debut as the first TV show on the internet?

Did we get everything switched over correctly? Hope so, but if you find anything's broken, holler at us.

October 28th, 2015:

rox.com for sale

After extensive deliberations, we have decided to lower the price for the rox.com domain. We are pleased to announce that the domain can be yours for a mere $299,999.99. Not a penny less!

(All figures are in US dollars. Serious inquiries only.)

August 22nd, 2015:

Re-Upping Katrina

Moving video around the web has gotten a lot easier over the past decade. Studious types may remember that YouTube launched the same year Katrina hit: 2005. In remembrance of the ten year anniversary, we've re-upped the three episodes of our "Katrina trilogy" in full quality.

Anyhow the three episodes are ROX #93, ROX #94, and ROX #95. Watch 'em all in full resolution thanks to the hosting services of Vimeo.

For your viewing convenience, here are direct links to the respective media pages: After the Levees Failed, Hangover Cures, and Fifteen Months of Katrina

January 12th, 2015:

Who to Blame for This Clagnificent Fustermuck

ROX #98 is our first venture into the heady world of high-definition, yet curiously it features a buttload of low-resolution videos. That wasn't the plan, it just happened. These videos were submitted by viewers and accumulated from various sources over the past decade, and as such the episode serves to document the rapid evolution of mobile video devices in that time period.

A host of cameras are operated here by J&B, Erik Brewer, Scott Brown, Paul Smedberg, Ed the Meat Poet, and Mike Whybark. The lowest resolution videos come from Jaylene, but the oldest footage comes from the late Richard Lawmaster. That shit was shot on film, yo.

We also got video from the mysterious M, keepin' it real in Humboldt County, who also supplied artwork, poetry, and music.

The bulk of our soundtrack comes largely once again from Paper Champion, in the form of three numbers: “Something,” “Lucky 13” and “Disco.” Without the musical nudge, this episode might never have been completed. There are also unauthorized samples from RATM, Spirit, and of course Operation: Cliff Clavin, but you'll have to listen carefully to catch that last cuz it's faster than the speed of punk. All these fall under fair use, or so our pricey corporate lawyers advise us.

There's also an excerpt from a live performance of “Check the Playground” by the always sporting Kid Kazooey and the Ballroom Roustabouts. In their defense, I want to point out that they knew absolutely nothing about this absurd production. I hope they're cool with it.

Special thanks are due Mr. G, the Outlaw Tesla-K, Adil, Erica, the Packet Sniffers, Brian Jones, Rabbit Hatch, the Louisiana Secretary of State, M.A.D., the roxlyst, and Vivian Perez for bravely sampling the Homebuyer's Sunset.

January 11th, 2015:

Homebuyer's Sunset

Ingredients

1 maraschino cherry 
2 ice cubes
fill martini glass with chilled vodka
splash of grenadine
splash of mango liqueur

PO-TA-BLE

Featured Content
Fresh ROX::
#98: Clusterfuck
Crusty ROX::
#64: The Overt Promotion of Anarchy
Now in production::
#99: Go Viral or Die Trying
Recently added media:
Recent pix:
J Tube Tube
Getting self-reflexive.

Meditation
Open your mind and who knows what might happen.

Syrup & Cola
J&B offer a libation to whatever gods there be.

Season One, Disc 10
This is what a ROX Season One DVD looks like: Good enough to drink.

Random pix:
Mystery Piper
We don't know who she is.

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Today's date: 2016-08-24