Sunday, November 11, 2012

Caption Action 2: November 2012 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for November 2012.

This month's newsletter seems to be all about numbers. So here they are, from small to big:

1. That's you! We need you to push these targets to caption:

Ford, the car maker. Ford has a branded web series, "Escape My Life" which just posted its final episode. See it (or not) at http://www.youtube.com/user/fordescape?feature=watch. No captions. If you are on twitter you can tweet @fordescape.

We don't get it. Why do companies continue to produce web series without any captions? Don't they understand that deaf and hard of hearing people are consumers too? In fact, we have noticed advertisements for this series around the web. Do they seriously expect us to buy their cars when they are ignoring us?

Machinima and Syfy. They have a hot new web series, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. (How hot? It was just released Friday, November 9, and already has over 950,000 views for the first episode.) It was actually supposed to be on television, but they released it as a web series instead. See it (or not) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT79x4qM4FE&feature=plcp. On twitter, tweet @Machinima_com AND @syfy. We have sent tweets to many media sites that reported on this web series to make them aware of the neglect of deaf and hard of hearing.

Read more: http://www.causes.com/causes/306249-caption-action-2-internet-closed-captioning/actions/1703375

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It Has Been FIVE Years Already!!

Five years. That's how long deaf and hard of hearing people (and family and friends) have been asking Yahoo to update their video player to support closed captioning. Yesterday @yahoocare was asked about updating the Yahoo video player.

Their response did not give us much hope that Yahoo would be updating the video player anytime soon. Here is the Twitter exchange:


How do we know it has been five years? Easy! Yahoo has a website, suggestions.yahoo.com that is searchable. We searched it on the key terms captioning and deaf. Below are the requests that were submitted to Yahoo FIVE years ago:


People are STILL sending Yahoo requests for captioning, as recently as four months ago:


This is why we are pushing the Yahoo petition so hard. We don't have any other way to show Yahoo that we are damn serious about wanting them to update their video player NOW. It has been way too long already. As the evidence above shows, Yahoo has had PLENTY of time to update their video player to support closed captioning!

Pass it on....tinyurl.com/captionYahoo

Friday, November 2, 2012

Web Series You Aren't Watching: 2. Electric City

Some web series are publicity magnets. One of them is Tom Hanks' Electric City. Electric City, which is exclusively on Yahoo with no captions, is at http://electriccity.yahoo.com. What is it about? Here is the description from Wikipedia:

"In a post-apocalyptic setting, mankind is reduced to small settlements whose main business is to produce electric power. With fossil and nuclear fuel sources mostly depleted, the communities are dependent on naturally created electricity, be it by air, water, or muscle power (the latter of which is used as a punishment for criminals and other undesirables of this society). Under the motto "All in service to all" everyone must contribute to society's welfare."


Do you notice something odd about the picture above? There are no captions, but there is a "talking head" symbol accompanied by the words "English, Francais, and Espanol." Those are the languages that this web series is available in...for hearing people!

That's right. For this web series, instead of investing in upgrading their video player to make it accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people, Yahoo chose to invest in voice translation of their web series.

When it debuted, Electric City received a lot of publicity because of Tom Hanks' involvement. In addition, it was an early web television programming effort from Yahoo. Coverage was extensive, including interviews with Tom Hanks. Just a sampling follows:
  • Mashable - Interactive ‘Electric City’ Web Series From Tom Hanks Debuts
  • New York Times - Apocalypse Soon: Tom Hanks Discusses His Web Series ‘Electric City’
  • Entertainment Weekly - Tom Hanks' dystopian web series debuts on Yahoo
What about the next web series Tom Hanks produces? If it is only on Yahoo, you're out of luck. There won't be any closed captions unless Yahoo updates its video player to support closed captioning.

So there you have it...another reason to sign the caption Yahoo petition, or pass on the url http://tinyurl.com/captionYahoo!