Scribfire is working now, alleged French anti-cyber thugs and video joy...
cmw.osdude 120000QT77 Visits (2575)
I have a number of tools that I use for keeping my blog running. Some have expressed curiosity, so later this week I'll write something that gives some detail about how I create and manage my blog, along with some suggestions to keep it all smooth. One of the blogging tools that I found, which pleased me greatly, was Scribefire. It's a plugin for Firefox that talks to your blogs and lets you edit the entries. It worked well, but for my my primary blog it never seemed to retrieve the entries. How annoying!
It was able to get entries from other blogs, so I became convinced that there was something about titles in my blog that was causing the problem. I searched to no avail. Finally, inspired by what I do not know, I started trying to trim everything I could think of from existing titles. As it turned out, I had a few titles where I had used "#". Those were the problem entries. I changed each "#" to "No." and it all loaded very nicely. Hooray!
I'll cover how I use Scribefire along with some other tools in an entry, hopefully over the next day or so.
Cyber allegedly attacked at French McDonald's
In the strange, but true category we have the story about a man with cyber vision attacked. Steve Mann, a scientist who has used a computerized vision system to help him see, claims in his blog that he was attacked by employees of a McDonald's in Paris. The interesting side of this is that his equipment, which is essentially screwed to his skull, captured images of the event as it occurred. If it happened as he says, it is a bizarre event, reminiscent of something from a future, science-fiction world where there is conflict between people who are "enhanced" with technology and those who aren't. The photo shown is from the blog and is said to show one of the men attempting to forcibly remove Mann's eyeware.
Is it possible that this is a hoax or a misunderstanding? I could easily be fooled by the information that I have. It's a strange tale. It's a cautionary one, though. Technology of all kinds is going to intrude more and more on our lives. Some of it will be invasive and dangerous to our privacy and our persons. Others will improve the quality of peoples lives immeasurably. Still others will be somewhere in the middle, with the potential for harm, depending on how it is applied. In the sci-fi stories it is always a matter of distrust and fear that fuels the violence. In this case, it appears that the McDonald's staff was zealously trying to apply their "no photography" policy-- and idea that seems almost ridiculous when so many people have a camera with them all the time and regularly share themselves through social media. I'm guessing that they would not have objected to some high-school aged girls taking silly Facebook photos of each other over milkshakes.
Technology will intrude and some of it will be pretty weird. Both sides of that story need to understand that there is the potential for fear and conflict. We're going to have to be mature about it and find ways to deal with it.
I went with my daughter to a sporting event in Austin, Texas. The event was being broadcast and as I walked by the technical area I noticed that rather than the sort of giant video mixer that looks like something from the Death Star (which I thought actually was a video mixer but seems to be a steam plant) the director had an LCD screen and a little laptop which he used to manage everything. His system was a little magic box on a rack that connected all the cameras together and allowed him to mix live video using key presses. Wow!
Of course, the first thing that I thought of is "If there are fancy packages to do this sort of thing, I wonder if anyone has explored this in open source." As it turns out... you bet! An article from last September, "DIY BROADCAST : How to build your own TV Channel with Open-Source & other goodies
" outlines a number of tools that you can use to create, edit and mix your own video, even live! Simply amazing!
Depending on what you are doing there will be some hardware requirements, but the author seems to have pared things down to something manageable. Some of the tools he outlines are:
Obviously, I can't qualify most of this. Several of these tools I've used, but others I need to explore. I also need to learn about hardware and who knows if I can actually afford any of it. (Cheap camera equipment to a Hollywood person is very different from a spouse's definition.) I've pointed Scott Lanningham to this and am curious if anything will jump out at him. The point to you is that technology marches on and that things that were impossible a while back are more possible now. If you find something interesting there, please share it here!