Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hey Look! That Crazy Stunt Bike Dude Has a New YouTube Video

In April 2009, Danny MacAskill posted this amazing video of him and his bike jumping on and over fences, stairwells and buildings. Since then it’s generated more than 21 million YouTube views.

So here’s a new one: Same cool stunts (to my eyes, at least). More exotic locations. And it looks like it will be a hit, too. Helped by a push from Boing Boing, it’s gathered more than two million views in the last week.

And, as Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth points out, it’s also an ad, paid for by Red Bull.

That won’t be entirely clear to most viewers, since the words “Red Bull” don’t show up until the end of the seven-minute-plus clip. And also because the folks at Google’s YouTube have plastered the video with overlay ads for products that are not Red Bull’s.

But the Red Bull people are apparently okay with that, since letting Google run an ad on your video is an opt-in decision.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work