The BBC’s new online archive will let you rediscover gloriously un-PC shows – but oh, the gems they’ve left out

It ain’t half frustrating, Mum! The BBC’s new online archive will let you rediscover gloriously un-PC shows – but oh, the gems they’ve left out 

For telly addicts, the announcement that the BBC was throwing open the doors to its archive promised a bigger treat than being given the keys to every brewery, restaurant and sweetshop in the country.

We were going to gorge ourselves.

The arrival of BBC Store, an online shop offering 7,000 hours of Auntie’s tastiest offerings to anyone with an internet connection, felt too good to be true. And an initial glance yesterday into the treasurehouse proved oh-so-tantalising.

Here was so much comedy. All of Ab Fab, for instance, and even the deliciously un-PC wartime sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. Yes, BBC Store offers much for those who despair of politically correct television.

You never see It Ain’t Half Hot Mum repeated because the BBC bods, to the frustration of its co-creator Jimmy Perry, wince over scenes featuring a white actor, Michael Bates, wearing a turban and in ‘brown-face’ — made-up to look Indian.

The digital download will come with the explanatory disclaimer: ‘An enormous hit of the Seventies, the exploits of a Royal Artillery Concert Party in India in 1945 is an un-PC product of its time but remains a cherished piece of vintage comedy.’

Source: Daily Mail

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Raiders of the Lost Web

Raiders of the Lost Web

If a Pulitzer-finalist 34-part series of investigative journalism can vanish from the web, anything can.

The web, as it appears at any one moment, is a phantasmagoria. It’s not a place in any reliable sense of the word. It is not a repository. It is not a library. It is a constantly changing patchwork of perpetual nowness.

You can’t count on the web, okay? It’s unstable. You have to know this.

Digital information itself has all kinds of advantages. It can be read by machines, sorted and analyzed in massive quantities, and disseminated instantaneously. “Except when it goes, it really goes,” said Jason Scott, an archivist and historian for the Internet Archive. “It’s gone gone. A piece of paper can burn and you can still kind of get something from it. With a hard drive or a URL, when it’s gone, there is just zero recourse.”

Source: The Atlantic

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Missing episodes of Monty Python precursor At Last the 1948 Show found

Missing episodes of Monty Python precursor At Last the 1948 Show found

Two missing episodes of the cult comedy series At Last the 1948 Show, a precursor to the Monty Python series, have been unearthed. The episodes, in which three then hatchling Pythons starred, feature one of John Cleese’s favourite sketches.

They have been placed in the national archives of the British Film Institute (BFI), which was alerted to their existence by a member of the public and one of them – episode three – will be screened at a film festival next week.

The discovery of the footage, which follows that of two more episodes last year, means that 11 of the original 13 episodes have now been preserved, with audio recordings of the remaining two also surviving.

Steve Bryant, the senior curator for television at the BFI national archive, said: “Once almost forgotten, the recovery and restoration of episodes of At Last the 1948 Show by the BFI over the past 25 years has led to it being acknowledged as one of the key milestones of British television comedy.

Source: Guardian

See Also: BFI announces discovery of two episodes of pre-Python classic British TV series (BFI)

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Play it again: One fan’s quest to save old video games

Play it again: One fan’s quest to save old video games

by

We now recognize the late Yasujiro Ozu as one of Japan’s finest film directors, but his early works are lost to history, victims of a time when cinema was seen as disposable entertainment and not an art form worth saving. Joseph Redon doesn’t want the same thing to happen to video games.

“You wouldn’t classify opera as ‘old music.’ It’s classical music. Video games are the same. These titles are classics and should be valued as such. Even a lousy game hints at how the medium evolved so we must preserve everything, not just the best sellers.”

A network engineer by trade, he has a broad smile and a way of speaking that’s as measured and methodical as a clean line of code. When the French native moved to Tokyo in 2000 to research and archive retro Japanese PC titles he was shocked to find collections left to languish within an inclusive community. He wormed his way inside through online auctions and forums to contact others who shared his passion. In 2011, he established the Game Preservation Society, an NPO to save gaming from the landfill of pop culture.

Source: Japan Times

 

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Million minutes of archive film footage goes online

Million minutes of archive film footage goes online

A million minutes of archive film footage has gone online, much of it not seen for 50 years.

The videos from Associated Press paint a picture of London’s changing landscape and culture.

Source:ITV

See Also The Associated Press Puts Its Vast Archive On YouTube (NPR)

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The International Olympic Committee Just Rescued Its Priceless Video Archive

The International Olympic Committee Just Rescued Its Priceless Video Archive

Seven years and 100,000 hours of work later, the IOC’s archive has been digitized and preserved

In a time of ever-changing formats and a glut of unforgettable footage, archival preservation of all that tape doesn’t come cheap. That’s what the International Olympic Committee (IOC) discovered when they set out to rescue its threatened audiovisual archive, reports the AFP.

In 2007, the IOC discovered a large portion of its audiovisual archive faced corrosion and destruction. Some of the film was deteriorating, and many video resources had to be transferred to other media because the equipment to play it was long gone. Saving it cost them seven years, 30 million Euro, and 100,000 hours of work. But now, they’ve rescued, digitized and conserved over 30,000 hours of video and 500,000 pictures.

Source: Smithsonian

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Is SnapChat-style digital decay on the rise – and should it be welcomed?

Is SnapChat-style digital decay on the rise – and should it be welcomed?

Data is everywhere. While your photos, documents and emails for the last two decades are probably archived and accessible somewhere, your tweets, social media updates, instant messages and blogs are not only on the internet for all time, but fully indexed and searchable by Google.

It was the fashion a few years ago to ditch worldly possessions, live out of a laptop and declare yourself a ‘digital minimalist’. There were excitable news reports on the ‘cult of less’, irritating TED talks, books and blogs, but thanks to cloud accounts, Flickr and portable HDDs it has transpired that data is just as hard to prune as physical possessions.

“Currently, ‘forgetting’ data – i.e. deliberately deleting it – routinely requires more effort than having it preserved,” says Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford and author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. “This increases the ‘cost’ of digital forgetting, and thus tilts the default towards preservation. As a consequence digital minimalists need to spend significant time and effort to get rid of data.”

Source: Techradar
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