Tagvideo

Facebook discovers telepresence?

Facebook is testing a feature that would allow the camera to automatically scan for people in its range and lock onto them, one of the people said. For example, the camera could zoom onto a painting that a child brought home from school to show to a parent away on a business trip. Facebook has also been developing a 360 degree camera for the device, but people familiar with the matter say it’s unlikely to be ready in time for the initial launch.

Source: Facebook Is Working on a Video Chat Device – Bloomberg

This is nothing new in the telepresence space. Cisco and Polycom have similar technologies available. The technology is impressive and useful in conference rooms to tell who is speaking.

Bringing this technology into the home was an obvious step. If (and I say if because anything speculative doesn’t exist yet) this device exists with the facial tracking software will be useful for chatting at home.

Facebook is behind it so people are going to scream about that. And they’re not wrong. Google and Facebook are advertising companies. They thrive on personal information so they can sell that information to companies who want to sell us stuff. (And doing a poor job from the looks of ads I’m being served.)

There is a big world of data yet to be exploited and Facebook will do their best to exploit it.

Michael Jackson was almost Jar Jar Binks

Today I Learned:
1. Michael Jackson wanted to be Jar Jar Binks but George Lucas wanted to do the work with CG instead of prosthetics.
2. Jar Jar as Lian Neeson’s character from Taken would be terrifying.

The video is episode three from a series called These Are The Actors You’re Looking For where Jamie Strangroom tracks down actors who played lesser Star Wars rolls.

He has also interviewed Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) and Greedo (Paul Blake)

Stop YouTube videos from autoplaying

I subscribe to a number of YouTube channels. I like to queue up the videos I want to watch all at once. Then I go back and reorder and watch them. As you may know, YouTube loves to auto-play every single video you open.

I’ve stopped Flash from auto-playing on the Google Chrome browser already. But YouTube uses HTML5 video when Flash isn’t available. So they play anyway.

Until now!

So if you’re tired of videos bleating in the background without your consent, we’re completely with you! 🙂

That’s why we’ve created a Chrome plugin to help you stop HTML5 videos from playing. The videos will auto-pause right after page load. Buffering will start anyway.

Here’s a link to the plugin in the Chrome Web Store

This plugin works flawlessly with YouTube. I can open 10 videos and while they buffer in the background, not a single sound comes across my headphones because nothing is playing.

When I’m ready to play them, I press play and they’re already pre-loaded.

Dispatch from the Trenches #7

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Instead of jabbering on for thousands of words, here are three videos I enjoyed this week. I hope you enjoy them too.

THE DISTRICT

“The District” is a Washington D.C. based timelapse project I decided to take on since I’ve lived in the area my entire life and I think it has beauty and architecture that needs to be seen.

Beautiful collection of shots from around Washington, D.C. This is a beautiful city with interesting sights and architecture. This collection captures them beautifully.


Beautiful Ghost: A Filmmaker’s Look at Chernobyl

On the 27th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Christiaan Welzel and his wife, Kseniya, entered the Exclusion Zone. Christiaan’s cinematic footage captures the eerie beauty of the desolation and decay.

Haunting visit to a place of terrible things. the room full of gas masks is haunting.


Stunning Video: The Portuguese Man-of-War Up Close

The Portuguese man-of-war—a colonial organism related to the jellyfish—is infamous for its painful sting, but one photographer finds the beauty inside this animal’s dangerous embrace. For nearly two years, retired U.S. Navy combat photographer Aaron Ansarov has collected and photographed man-of-wars that wash up on a local Florida beach.

It’s a beautiful look at a deadly creature. The photos in the Deadly Beauty series are stunning.