gorgon – photosynth for video in real time

I read about our new Gorgon all seeing eye drone and wondered if there was a commercially available tool to do the same thing for mobile phones. First a bit more on the Gorgon drone from PopSci:

Two MQ-9 Reapers retrofitted with the new $15 million wide-area aerial surveillance sensors, or WAAS, will fly test missions later this year, and the Air Force plans to have ten such planes in battle by next spring, in rotation on a 24/7 patrol. “It’s an incredible force enhancer,” said Colonel Eric Mathewson, Director of the service’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force at the Pentagon. Sierra Nevada Corporation, makers of the WAAS, chose the name, a spooky reference to the cursed sisters from Greek mythology—Medusa being the Beyoncé of the trio—whose gaze turned men to stone.

Perhaps a better description from this Washington Post Article on the Gorgon drone:

This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town.

The system, made up of nine video cameras mounted on a remotely piloted aircraft, can transmit live images to soldiers on the ground or to analysts tracking enemy movements. It can send up to 65 different images to different users; by contrast, Air Force drones today shoot video from a single camera over a “soda straw” area the size of a building or two.

It turns out Microsoft is doing something similar as was seen at TechCrunch TechFest last year. In this video called Qik Meets Photosynth they are combining different low res video streams into a much larger stream that is color corrected and aspect correct. Pretty darn cool. The video is below:

If we all streamed video from dash cams in our cars, we could have a real time traffic map of major roads combined. Things that make me go hmmmmm….

Video Publishing on Windows Recommendations

Video. We are all free and the new youTube nation, right? Um… no.

Recording and creating videos is still a real pain. Especially for newbies on Vista. In one experience last week Windows Movie Maker on Vista did a great job of letting a friend create a video. But you can’t yet post the (new?) wmv file format to youTube. So create? yes. Publish? no. Or maybe we just couldn’t figure it out.

From this post by Jon Udell in response to a question by Beth Kanter he uses the following tools:

  1. Camtasia – like Windows Movie Maker but exports in various formats with less hassle. A must have.
  2. Windows Media Encoder – free and few people know about it. Hard to use but it lets you screen capture on a local PC for integration into a video.

From our experience doing help videos for Tendenci, you pretty much have to go with Camtasia on a PC.

Security Through Obscurity is a Bad Idea

Prettypicture
Digg, a popular social networking site where alpha geeks vote up or down stories, is having an issue today. Specifically the "users" are voting up stories that link to the codes to unlock HD-DVD videos. This code, no longer secure of course, allows people to copy the full resolution of purchased HD content. Once unlocked they can be shared across pirate bay or whatever.

So the codes are out there and digg needs to stop deleting content that mention them. What IS funny is that the top story on digg as I write this has a simple link to an image. A pretty picture. The picture at the top left. It only makes sense (to a geek) by also referencing this image which provides the translation.

Take aways? First – don’t fight a mob with censorship when they are busy copying and pasting content. You ain’t gonna win that battle. Second – rethink the whole "security through obscurity" idea. It doesn’t work long term.

For more on this particular story, try this post on Digg fights user revolt over HD-DVD ban. And a definite shout out to dsilverman for the twitter heads up!

Vudu – Won’t Make It

And speaking of video we have another video start up called vudu as written up in the NYT. However, like many Americans when the ad copy uses the word "revolutionary" or "premium" my BS filter goes off. In this case Vudu states it is:

VUDU is a revolutionary new product that will transform the way you get
and watch movies. VUDU is instantaneous—no more driving to the video
store…

and then with a layout like joost they continue

All you need is the VUDU box, a TV, a broadband Internet connection, and a love of movies.

As observed on GigaOM, the problem is the cable operators already have a box in every home. And the satellite folks have a DVR in every home. And joost is doing peer to peer movie distribution. So what is revolutionary about Vudu? Well, nothing as far as I can tell.

I shouldn’t be so hard on them for that opening sentence, but if that is the mind set then they aren’t long for this world.

Bring on the Class Clowns – Short Form Video Rules!

From Accenture on Consumer Generated Content (thanks for the link Dan)

Asked to identify which type of content offers the highest growth potential for their industry over the next five years, the greatest number of respondents —

  1. 53 percent — cited short-form video, followed by
  2. videogames (13 percent),
  3. full-length film (11 percent)
  4. music, (11 percent),
  5. consumer publishing (9 percent) and
  6. business publishing (4 percent).

Numbered bullets added by me because I like lists. Lists are simple. But back to the topic – this is a very interesting list indicating what is already very apparent. Video, short form, is the future. Bring on the class clowns!

The video at right? Just a cool consumer generated video tribute to smilemaker that I like.