Professor, Designer, Husband, Father, Gamer, Bagpiper

I've been pondering alternatives to youtube for sharing videos that I want to embed in webpages or 3D environments like hubs; essentially, videos that need to persist, whether personal or research.  I've used youtube in the past for my lab's videos, back in those halcyon days where we didn't realize how toxic a platform youtube was destined to become.  (I even have a personal youtube page, which hasn't gotten much use.)

Not wanting to use youtube raises the question, "if not that, then what?"  Vimeo is an option I considered: it has no ads, a very nice player, reasonable terms for the free account, and so on. But I had an eyebrow-raising discussion with someone who had a video go very very viral on Vimeo, which resulted in a demand that they switch to an expensive paid plan (as in "expensive for a company, untenable for an individual"), I've reconsidered that (at least for personal uses).  I don't really blame Vimeo, of course: bandwidth isn't free, and one massively popular video can consume a lot of resources, so someone needs to pay.

Today, I realized there was a simpler solution.  I've been using Dreamhost (aka "the best damn hosting service out there") for many many years, and have all my servers on a VPS.  With that, I can just toss videos on there, and use good old HTML5 Video to stream to the browser!  I grabbed an old video and tossed it on one of my servers, and put this HTML code in this page, creating the video below.

<video width="640" controls>
<source src="" type="video/mp4">

Invited talk at the Workshop on Usable Privacy and Security for wearable and domestic ubIquitous DEvices (UPSIDE) at Ubicomp 2014

And if a video gets insanely popular, "success disaster" is ameliorated by a single web server's bandwidth;  so, client performance will suffer, but I think that's a better solution than the alternatives.  And if beyond that, success causes Dreamhost to "have a chat with me", I can move it somewhere else (like youtube) that can handle the load without bankrupting me or annoying my hosting provider, thanks to the ease of adding a simple URL redirect on my server.  (Sure, I'll need to change some old pages, perhaps, but that's relatively easy, and if people have the URL of the video, the web's natural infrastructure will take care of redirecting them).

Thank you W3C and browser vendors;  while this doesn't have all the bells and whistles offered by commercial services (e.g., adaptive quality, speed, and resolution controls, for one), it will serve my purposes just fine.  

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