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Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 122

by Roblimo (#49828177) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

By "nobody" I think you mean you. Videos draw far fewer comments than text stories. This one, for example, has over 10K views and is still climbing steadily, vs. only 114 total comments.

Your login hassles: try emailing feedback@slashdot.org - that ought to get you some help.Probably not with the 'fucking' logon system, but with the regular one...

Comment: Re:Some videos (Score 1) 122

by Roblimo (#49828167) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

"These same points were made back when Slashdot started video'ing people, to no great effect. Vinegar is needed to catch your attention. You have the perfect opportunity to use 'directed practice based on feedback' which would turn you into a world-class videographer in a couple of years."

Thank you for your words of wisdom. If I want to do world-class videography, I will. But that is not the same as editing (and sometimes making) simple interview videos for a low hourly rate. And being Slashdot, I assure you that sophisticated videos with slick transitions and perhaps a music deck behind the dialogue would draw complaints about how they are "too fancy." I know. I made some. Amusing reactions.

I'll let (the late) Ricky Nelson sing for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

I'm 62 and on disability, and one day my heart will go BOING! again and I'll be gone. Meanwhile, I do these Slashdot videos for fun and side money. If anybody *appreciated* more complex videos, I'd make them, but I suspect a true reader survey would show that good, full-length transcripts and short, simple videos would be the most popular choice. Or maybe "no videos," a choice to which I'd respond, "So don't watch them!"

You say: "If a video doesn't meet your requirements, it's impossible to tell *why* they don't meet them..." I said you could email video submissions and suggestions directly to me. I (lamely) obfuscated my email address, so here it is in the clear: robin@roblimo.com. If you send me a video submission or suggestion and I turn it down, I will almost certainly tell you why.

Did I need to be harsher to get your attention? :) Slather some vinegar on you? :)

Nah. That would be rude. I'm going to listen to some Primus and go to bed.

Thx

+ - Amazon: Build Us a Better Warehouse Robot->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes: Amazon relies quite a bit on human labor, most notably in its warehouses. The company wants to change that via machine learning and robotics, which is why earlier this year it invited 30 teams to a “Picking Contest.” In order to win the contest, a team needed to build a robot that can outpace other robots in detecting and identifying an object on a shelf, gripping said object without breaking it, and delivering it into a waiting receptacle. According to Engadget, Team RBO, composed of researchers from the Technical University of Berlin, won last month’s competition by a healthy margin. Their winning design combined a WAM arm (complete with a suction cup for lifting objects) and an XR4000 mobile base into a single unit capable of picking up 12 objects in 20 minutes—not exactly blinding speed, but enough to demonstrate significant promise. If Amazon’s contest demonstrated anything, it’s that it could be quite a long time before robots are capable of identifying and sorting through objects at speeds even remotely approaching human (and thus taking over those jobs). Chances seem good that Amazon will ask future teams to build machines that are even smarter and faster.
Link to Original Source

+ - New SOHO Router Security Audit Uncovers Over 60 Flaws In 22 Models->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: In yet another testament to the awful state of home router security, a group of security researchers uncovered more than 60 vulnerabilities in 22 router models from different vendors, most of which were distributed by ISPs to customers. The researchers performed the manual security review in preparation for their master’s thesis in IT security at Universidad Europea de Madrid in Spain. They published details about the vulnerabilities they found Sunday on the Full Disclosure security mailing list.
Link to Original Source

+ - The Bizarre Process We Use for Approving Exemptions to the DMCA->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc writes: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act imposes severe penalties on those who overcome copy-protection technologies. It allows for exemptions for a variety of purposes--but in a weird proviso, those exemptions must be re-approved by the Librarian of Congress every three years. Over at Fast Company, Glenn Fleishman takes a look at this broken system and why it's so bad for our rights as consumers.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 122

These videos are "Meet the Press" style on purpose. They exist to let you see some of the people behind the software, stories, and hardware they (or their companies) make. Steven, for instance, is one of the world's more popular tech journalists. Next time you see his byline, you can mentally call up his image. You may not want to do that, but others obviously do; thousands of people watch /. videos.

I agree with you about charts and graphs, up to a point. And people who have some sort of device or whatever should have a working model to show off. Otherwise, it's like my favorite PR pet peeve: Sending out a press release about a google glass look-sort-of-alike thing that is only a display and saying, "...I would love to schedule an interview for you with a Vufine team member." Instead of a review unit? Come on!

This is not a hypothetical situation. It's a press release I got today from this company: http://www.vufine.com/

Obviously, a hands-on test of an eyeglass-mount projector would be more informative than either a video or text interview -- and more fun for me, too. Why didn't they offer a test unit? Not to keep, of course. Just for a few days. Hmm?

Back to the talking head syndrome. I've made a lot of screencap videos, TV news shorts, online ad videos, TV spots, and a few music videos. So yeah, I can do fairly complex video work. 30 cuts in a 60 second piece? Sure. I've done that. BUT here we're sharing information, and a lot of it is pretty dry. We have no budget for motion video or animation, either. I could have included some shots of Steven's articles and pics of TV antennas, cableco logos, and other pieces of "visual interest." If you and a bunch of others feel the extra work/time/money is worthwhile, I'm happy to do that in future videos.

There's a whole other reason for videos of people talking: You know they're not being misquoted. Raw source material protects you against reporters changing meanings or opinions. I've been the misquoted person more than once, and I didn't like it. Even in a case like today's, where we ran a 4 minute video and 20 minutes' worth of text transcript, you can reasonably (and correctly) assume that I have the rest of the interview on a hard drive somewhere. Accuracy insurance.

Audio only? Be my guest! Listen to this video's audio on your smartphone while driving if you like. 100% up to you. But if it was sound only, you wouldn't have the option of watching the video. I was talking with someone else today about video vs. audio podcasts. His company did audio casts for a while, but he says they got a lot more response when they switched to video. And they do *not* provide transcripts.

A lot of this discussion falls into the "can't please everyone" category. Some people prefer watching people talk to reading what they say. (I'm a reader, myself.) But some people prefer visual information intake. Not you, obviously -- which is okay. Read the transcripts, don't watch or listen to the videos.

Last note: You said, "(I need to point out that anyone can grab a camera and record someone talking for ten minutes. What makes Slashdot better than all the YouTube teenagers who do this for their HS project? You have the intent, time, and money to do this. Do it right, then learn to do it well.)"

Geez! You're big on catching flies with vinegar, aren't you? :)

BUT if making simple videos is all that easy, why have we only gotten *one* usable video actually submitted by a Slashdot reader - ever? And it was over an hour long, and our management now wants our videos to be under 5 minutes. So we ran an excerpt of the guy's video and provided a link to the full-length version at his (non-commercial) site.

I have a guy who offered himself up for an interview because he though his product was better than one we did a video about. He does some interesting stuff I'm sure at least some /. readers will enjoy learning about. I'm going to try to schedule him in for next week, and see if he has any raw product demo footage around that I can use to make the video more interesting.

Do you have a video you want to run on Slashdot? Or a topic suggestion? Happy to check them out. Use the usual submission bin or email robin at roblimo dot com.

Thx.

Media

Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video) 122

Posted by Roblimo
from the parting-with-a-cable-company-is-such-sweet-sorrow dept.
On May 29, Steven J. Vaughan Nichols (known far and wide as SJVN) wrote an article for ZDNet headlined, Now more than ever, the Internet belongs to cord-cutters. A few days before that, he wrote another one headlined, Mary Meeker's Internet report: User growth slowing, but disruption full speed ahead. And last December he wrote one titled, Reports show it's becoming a cord cutter's world. SJVN obviously sees a trend here. So do a lot of other people, including cable TV and local TV executives who are biting their nails and asking themselves, "Whatever shall we do?" So far, says SJVN, the answers they've come up with are not encouraging.

NOTE from Roblimo: We're trying something different with this video, namely keeping it down to about 4 minutes but running a text transcript that covers our 20+ minute conversation with SJVN. Is this is a good idea? Please let us know.

+ - Who's behind mysterious flights over US cities? FBI->

Submitted by kaizendojo
kaizendojo writes: The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Link to Original Source
Hardware Hacking

Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack? 200

Posted by timothy
from the my-water-into-wine-machine dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter recently asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along those lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them?

+ - GameStop swoops in to buy ThinkGeek for $140 million->

Submitted by Lirodon
Lirodon writes: Remember a few days ago, when our former parent company was the subject of a $122 million takeover bid by Hot Topic? Slashdot remembers. Well, another geeky retailer entered the fray in the battle for ThinkGeek, and won. GameStop will be acquiring Geeknet for $140 million. The video game retailer has promised synergies, such as in-store pickup and integration with its rewards program.
Link to Original Source

+ - Mozilla Integrates Pocket Into Firefox

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today updated Firefox 38 to version 38.0.5. A small bump like this usually indicates just a few changes here and there, but this time is different: A new Firefox Hello tab sharing feature and Pocket integration have been added. irefox for desktop users can now share the active tab or window in a Hello conversation, as well as save the current page in Pocket. Both features leverage Firefox Accounts, an account system that provides access to Mozilla services (and now, apparently, third-party services too).
Security

Professional Russian Trolling Exposed 236

Posted by timothy
from the in-ex-soviet-russia dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Today the New York Times published a stunning exposé revealing the strategies used by one of the Web's greatest enemies: professional, government-backed "internet trolls." These well-paid agent provocateurs are dedicated to destroying the value of the Internet as an organizing and political tool. The trolling attacks described within are mind-boggling -- they sound like the basis of a Neal Stephenson novel as much as they do real life -- but they all rely on the usual, inevitable suspects of imperfect security and human credulity.

+ - Corn Ethanol is Worse than Keystone->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: For years, environmental activists have opposed the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming that development of Canada’s oil sands will be “game over for the climate.” But if those same activists are sincere about climate change, why aren’t they getting arrested outside the White House to protest the use of corn ethanol?
Link to Original Source

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.

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