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Sherri L. Smith
Works at Laptop Mag/Tom's Guide
Attended Rutgers University
Lives in Bronx, New York
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Sherri L. Smith

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What the hell is going on at Twitch?

Been paying attention to Twitch news the last few days?

Yesterday, Justin.tv, (http://www.justin.tv/) the parent company of Twitch and general-purpose streaming site, was shut down. Everyone's accounts are being deleted, all the saved videos are being erased.

Today, Twitch announces past broadcasts can no longer be saved forever. They will now be deleted after 14 days for normal accounts and 60 days for subscribers. In three weeks all past broadcasts older than 60 days will be erased. http://blog.twitch.tv/2014/08/update-changes-to-vods-on-twitch/ 

Highlights can be saved indefinitely, but they are now limited to 2 hours in length. (Many existing highlights on Twitch are way longer than 2 hours.).

What is up with this mass deletion of content and all these sudden limitations?  I don't see how this would be a result of a Google acquisition. All three of these moves seem designed to cut costs and save on storage space, two ideas that are completely foreign to Google. Why would a company that was about to get a billion dollar cash injection and unlimited resources start wiping all this data and limiting archiving? Google loves data and wants to keep everything around forever. Just look at things like G+ Auto Upload and Gmail.

It's not copyright-related because deleting content older than a certain arbitrary date doesn't do anything to fix copyright violations. Twitch still has live video and 60-day old video, and if you're going to call streaming a video game copyright infringement, all of that is still infringing. There's nothing about a video being old that makes copyright infringement more or less bad.

There is also no need to "clean up" Twitch before an acquisition. If Google bought a site that was full of infringing content it would just have a bunch of DMCA takedown notices to process (on top of the million it normally processes a day, that's no big deal). The DMCA protects sites that make an effort to remove content. That's why YouTube exists today.

Also today, Twitch announced it would automatically scan videos for copyrighted music and mute them. This includes game music. They've already muted videos of Pokemon for containing Pokemon music and Punch Out for the NES because it contained music from Punch Out. Yes, a video game site banned video game music. Keep in mind these videos still infringe copyright. There is nothing magical about audio; images from a game are also copyrighted and Twitch has left the video up, which means they are still violating copyright. That Mario sprite is ©Nintendo and if the audio isn't covered under fair use, the video isn't either.

I don't see a company prepping for a Google takeover, I see panic. Panic and a lack of understanding of what it should be doing. I think Google would want to keep all the old data instead of deleting it and enforce the DMCA on existing videos by processing takedown requests as they come in, which is all the law requires.

Why is Twitch doing this? Who the hell thinks any of this is a good idea? I think if Google was behind these changes you would see a much more organised and experienced transition. Part of me thinks the Google deal fell through or something and this is Twitch's attempt to tighten down costs and try to stand on its own. 

It's just weird that all of a sudden there are all these changes over at Twitch and all of them seem to be misguided, harmful to the service, and don't really solve any of Twitch's problems.

I see three instances of cutting storage costs and one ham-fisted misapplication of copyright enforcement, none of which smell like Google to me. Thoughts?
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Sherri L. Smith

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Another E3's in the can and I'm feeling kind of bummed. We'll always have Just Dance 2015 though.  Check out some of my favorite moments of #e32014  on +Tom's Guide.
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Go Sherri!!!! Love the photo!!!
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Hmm, how do you make an awesome phone even better? You can start with a new color, adding Harmon/Kardon speakers and audio technology that restores compressed audio to its original quality. Check out my review of the HTC One M8 Harman/Kardon Edition smartphone on +LAPTOP.
HTC adds Harman/Kardon audio technology to the One M8's gorgeous design, excellent battery life and powerful performance.
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hi
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A slim, 15.6-inch laptop with a 4K display and free Adobe Lightroom? Sign us up! Just try to keep tabs on the battery life. Check out my review of the Toshiba Satellite P50T notebook on +LAPTOP! 
The first laptop to offer a 4K touch display, the Toshiba Satellite P50T delivers stunning views and powerful graphics, but mediocre battery life.
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In case you missed it, here I am on Fox NY discussing women in #gaming an the persistent gender gap. 
When it comes to gaming, women make up nearly half of all players. So you'd think we're the ones designing the games, too, right? Nope. There's a huge gender gap in the industry. Now there is a big push to change that. Although women make up 48 percent of all gamers, 90 percent of the people who make the games are dudes.
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If Tron, Xanadu and Iron Man had a baby, you'd get the Alienware 17 (2014). Check out my latest review on +LAPTOP.
The Alienware 17 gaming laptop retains the stunning looks and awesome display of its predecessor and adds a more powerful CPU and the latest Nvidia graphics.
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Kwasi Enin has been accepted by the eight Ivy League schools: Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Princeton and Cornell.
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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, sits down with Space.com's Tariq Malik and David Brody to discuss the historic moon mission and its lasting legacy.
This Hangout On Air is hosted by SPACE.com. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
Preview
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Apollo 11, 45 Years Later: Buzz Aldrin talks with Space.com
Mon, July 14, 2014, 12:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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+Fox News  picked up my hands-on for +LAPTOP with three of Toshiba's upcoming tablets the Encore 2 8-inch, the Encore 2 10-inch and the Android-powered Excite Go. 
Toshiba is kicking off summer with three new tablets.
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Seems I'm on a bit of a roll lately. +NBC News has picked up my Best Headphones for Grads article on +Tom's Guide. Whoo hoo!
Fun, functional and fashionable, headphones are a great gift for the graduate in your life. Whether listening to class notes, gaming with friends or just roc...
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Yass mama!
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Young people commemorated Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial 75 years ago, honoring the legendary singer's efforts against racism.
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Work
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Tech Journalist
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Writing, Editing, Reviewing
Employment
  • Laptop Mag/Tom's Guide
    Senior Staff Writer, 2011 - present
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Bronx, New York
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Gadgets are like shoes, you can't have just one.
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Techie, gamer and foodie who's always searching for the latest and greatest the world has to offer.
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  • Rutgers University
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