The Alternative Big Brother Show

As many of you may know, as well as a computer scientist, I’m also a YouTuber.  Last summer I tried an experiment, I wanted to see if I could make a daily show during my time off from uni, of course, any daily show needs a topic and I didn’t much like the idea of doing a daily vlog again.

Alternative Big Brother Show IdentWell as it happened, channel four’s final series of Big Brother was about to begin and so, with a topic at hand, I had my show.  The Alternative Big Brother Show or ABBS as it became known on Twitter, was a minor success.  With most shows acquiring at least a few hundred to thousands of views in 24 hours and Channel 4 flying me down to appear on magazine show Big Brother’s Little Brother after winning a video competition which I can now reveal, they contacted me directly and told me to enter as they wanted me on the show!

One reason for its appeal was that my show gave a summary of the events in the house for that day at the end of the day.  The difference being that Channel Four’s own show, wouldn’t cover it until the next day.  So what you saw on TV was actually the round up of the day before.  Makes sense considering it would take time to edit it all together, something I discovered myself.  Another reason is probably the fact that I didn’t actually like Big Brother and so much of what I said in my show involved making fun of the house mates.  That said, even after calling on everybody to evict Sunshine Martyn from the house, Sunshine and I have remained in friendly contact through Twitter.

As it has turned out, this was not the UK’s final series of Big Brother as Channel Five has now gone and bought the rights to the series and the twelth series will air very soon indeed.

Return of Alternative Big Brother Show?

So I’ve received several messages recently, either through Twitter, FormSpring, Facebook and YouTube, asking me if I will be bringing back The Alternative Big Brother Show, even Sunshine herself has offered to co-host the series with me.  The answer I’m afraid is no.

As much as I loved making ABBS, it was probably the most exhausting thing I have done.  Each episode required a 24 hour live feed of The House in my living room which was watched as much as possible with notes being taken.  I would trawl Twitter and Big Brother sites looking for news.  Then, at midnight every day, I would write the script, film it, edit it, write the description for it, upload it and market it on Facebook and Twitter.  Each night I would get to bed at 03:00 and need to be up again in the morning to do it all over again.

So why can’t I do this again now in 2011?  I coped before after all and I did enjoy doing it.  Well the answer is rather dull I’m afraid.  I have a job, I’m now working on a Student Internship.  To top it off, the new Big Brother hasn’t started yet so if I were to cover it in my evenings, I’d likely still be covering it in my University time.

Anything else from Wormholer693?

The good news is, I’m not gone from YouTube, for those of you who have stuck around, you will have seen lots of new videos done in my free time and now, I’m pleased to announce a new web series from us at Wormholer693!

While not on the same scale as ABBS, Postcards From Eddy is a less regular animated web series which illustrates the postcards I receive from my Brother Eddy which are, to say the least, unusual.  The first episode has premièred on the Wormholer693 YouTube channel today.  I hope that, while not as fast paced as ABBS, you’ll appreciate the comedy in these as Eddy explains his turmoils with The Hordes of Consutramang, Seduction of Tribal girls and even, where sheep come from!

In the mean time, thank you for your support and I hope you enjoy Big Brother on channel five.

YouTube Exploit – Monetize ANY Video On YouTube

If you’ve ever had a video on YouTube start receiving thousands of views, you may receive an email from YouTube inviting you to monetize it by placing adverts on it.  Today I may have discovered a way to do this with any video!

Today I noticed a new My Videos page on YouTube, this finally gave me the option to view how many Likes and Dislikes a video had received.  Before this new page arrived, I would have to click a video’s link to view this information, thus adding a number to my own view count, something I’ve often been uncomfortable with doing.

However, I noticed something else, on the videos that I have already got adverts on, there was a link reading “Monetized.”  On clicking this link I received a page of information about my video monetization options.

I looked at the URL of the page I was on, it began with

followed by the ID of the video I was on.  I wondered what would happen if I changed this ID with the ID of a video I did not have ads on.  It worked!

I filled in the form and clicked Save Changes.  Now I’m just left to wonder whether it will be accepted for monetization, there’s no reason it would be rejected normally but I’m looking forward to seeing if it will be rejected on the basis that I was not invited to do this.  I’ll update this article when I know.

Was it deliberate?

The question arises, was this page made deliberately available?  If so, is it the case that YouTube is now allowing everybody to monetize their videos?  Or was this a complete accident.  As of yet, the YouTube Blog has not stated anything but it is something I’m sure many will look out for.

If this is the case, could this mean we are approaching an end to YouTube Partners? A YouTube Partner is a person whom has been pre-approved for adverts on every video they make.

But would this be wise?  I must admit, I think the careful filtering of videos to make sure only the most popular have adverts on them is a good idea.  I certainly wouldn’t want every video on YouTube covered with ads.

Should YouTube open up Revenue Sharing to the wider public so that any person can apply?  If so, this would be much the same as Google’s policy on Adsense, allowing anybody to place Google adverts on their content online.

Tweeting Seat, The Extra Public Bench

Today I ran into my brother and Chris McNicholl in Dundee’s City Centre. Chris was showing off his tweeting park bench, a seat that litterally tweets when you sit on it.

Combining two cameras, one built into the seat facing the forward and another looking at the bench from a distance, the TweetingSeat posts images of your experience when taking the weight off your feet. I was lucky enough to bag an interview with Chris which you can watch below.

Embedding your latest Youtube video

I was wanting to embed my latest youtube video on my website. What I mean is, I wanted a simple embed script that would always show the latest video I’d uploaded. After discovering that Youtube doesn’t provide a simple way to do this I started googling to see if someone had written a script for it. I had no luck, so I’ve written one.

Taking use of some simple web scraping from the YouTube API, it’ll take the latest video from any Youtuber and embed a player with the what ever size the coder chooses.

It’s written in PHP and is just one function that can be called anywhere on your page. It takes three parameters: the username, the desired video width and the desired video height.

So here’s the first part which I recommend you place at the top of your page, I’ve commented it to help show what’s happening.

Function to embed the latest video from a YouTube Channel.
Parameters: The username of the Youtuber, the desired width of the video, the desired height of the video.
Example call: get_latest_video(‘wormholer693’, ‘640’, ‘385’);
Author: Andy Barratt

function get_latest_video($username, $width, $height)
        //Set the URL of the search we’re using to get the specified user’s uploads.
        $url = ‘’.$username.‘/uploads’;
        //Get the results from the url above and store them in a variable.
        $data = file_get_contents($url);
        //Create a filter to find the url of the first video in the retrieved data.
        $filter = "/<media:content url='(.+?)’/";
        //Use the preg_match function to run our filter on our data and return scraped text then the filtered text (video url) in an array.
        //store our videoURL in a variable.
        $videoURL = $results[1];
        //if a video was found
                //generate the code required to embed the video.
                $embedCode = ‘<object width="’.$width.‘" height="’.$height.‘"><param name="movie" value="’.$videoURL.‘"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="’.$videoURL.‘" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="’.$width.‘" height="’.$height.‘"></embed></object>’;
                //echo the embed code
                echo $embedCode;
                echo ‘No Video Found.’;

So the above is the actual function and below is how we call it, we just call the function stating the username, width and height of the video and it’ll do the rest. So just place the following bit where ever you want the video to appear in your code.

get_latest_video(‘wormholer693’, ‘470’, ‘283’);

You can see this code in action on my Videos Page. Feel free to use it, I’d love to know what you think in the comments below.

Royalty Free Music

I keep finding music and thinking, I could use that! But then I keep wondering what video i’ll make to use said music on. For instance, just discovered Ride of the Valkyries as Royalty Free on

They even have sound effects, why haven’t i used this site before?

Free Sound Effects
Download Free Sound Effects from AudioMicro.

hehe, and to top it off, i get 5 free credits for telling you about it too, love this site XD