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Input Devices

Slashdot Asks: How To Best Record Remote Video Interviews? 96

You've probably noticed that Slashdot's been running some video lately. There are a lot of interesting people and projects in the world we'd like to present in video form, but some of them are too far away for the corporate overlords to sponsor travel to shoot footage in person. (Another reason my dream of parachuting to McMurdo Station will probably never manifest.) We've been playing around with several things on both the software and hardware side, but in truth, all of them have some flaws — whether it's flaky sound (my experience with the otherwise pleasing RecordMyDesktop on Linux), sometimes garbled picture (Skype, even on seemingly fast network connections), or video quality in general. (Google Hangouts hasn't looked as good as Skype, for instance. And of the webcams built into any of the laptops we've tried, only Apple's were much worth looking at. Logitech's HD webcams seem to be a decent bargain for their quality.) We've got a motley bunch of Linux, OS X, and Windows systems, and can only control what's on our side of the connection: interviewees may have anything from a low-end laptop with a built-in webcam to elaborate conferencing tools — which means the more universal the tools, the better. (There may not be any free, open source, high-quality, cross-platform video conferencing tools with built-in capture and a great UI, but the closer we can get, the better.) With all that in mind, what tools and workflow would you suggest for capturing internet conversations (with video and sound), and why? Approaches that minimize annoyance to the person on the other end of the connection (like the annoyance of signing up for an obscure conferencing system) are especially valuable. We'd like to hear both sides, so please chime in if you've had especially good or bad experiences with capturing remote video like this.
Google

Japanese Court Orders Google To Turn Off Auto-Complete Function 236

An anonymous reader writes with news that a Tokyo District Court has granted its approval to a petition seeking to force Google to turn off the auto-complete feature for its search engine. "The petition against Google was filed by a Japanese man who claims the feature breached his privacy and eventually led to the loss of his job. According to the man, whose name has been withheld, when his name is typed into the Google search engine auto-complete suggests words associated with criminal behavior. And when those suggested searches are clicked, over 10,000 results are shown that disparage or defame him. According to the plaintiff, this negative Google footprint has prevented him from finding employment since his initial firing several years ago." Unfortunately for him, "Google has rejected the order, saying that its U.S. headquarters will not be regulated by Japanese law, and that the case, according to its in-house privacy policy, does not warrant deleting autocomplete-suggested terms related to the petition, lawyer Hiroyuki Tomita said Sunday."
AI

Clever Clues Clobber Crossword Computer 70

Hugh Pickens writes "Steve Lohr reports that an impressive crossword-solving computer program called Dr. Fill matched its digital wits against 600 of the nation's best human crossword-solvers, finishing only 141st at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in New York. 'I wish it had done better,' says Dr. Matthew Ginsberg, the creator of Dr. Fill and an expert in artificial intelligence. Dr. Fill typically thrives on conventional crosswords, even ones with arcane clues and answers; it solved one of the most difficult puzzles at the tournament perfectly. But the computer does poorly with clever clues based on puns or jokes, because humans and machines solve the crosswords very differently. Humans recognize patterns based on accumulated knowledge and experience, while computers make endless calculations to determine the most statistically probable answer. The computer program is literal minded, and tends to struggle on puzzles with humor, and puzzles with unusual themes or letter arrangements. Take this clue from a 2010 puzzle in The Times: Apollo 11 and 12 (180 degrees). The answer is SNOISSIWNOOW, seemingly gibberish. A clever human could eventually figure out that those letters, when rotated 180 degrees, spell MOON MISSIONS. Humans get the joke, while a literal-minded computer does not. 'Occasionally, Dr. Fill just doesn't get it,' says Ginsberg. 'That's my nightmare.'"

Comment Philosophy major here. (Score 1) 504

I went from HTML coding as hobby in 1994 to computer tutor -> Y2K tester/patcher -> Job finding club.

There the host knew my old boss who's into technical/customer support and she also read that I put down computer hardware stuff in my resume. From there, I learned flash and web by myself. Moved to hong kong in 2000 where no one knew flash and joshua davis was just starting out. Made money off it. Learn print, layout stuff with AI. Switch Co., more prints, picked up camera in 2007, learn more prints, learn facebook, wildfire, etc.

Shoot stuff on the side for monies. Day job graphic designer for a PR firm, though not as much graphics nowadays, mostly online stuff. Night job, shoot stuff.

None of my previous employer asked, cared, or seen my degree.

Comment Re:Programming for programmings "own sake" (Score 1) 276

Finding my wife gave me my first experiences of happiness, but I was still unsatisfied.

Aww.. but hey, have you tried a second wife? ;) Apparently meditation for you as comedy's for me eh. I don't focus in success and failures also. I tend to focus on immediate and mid term happiness and ignoring the long term.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 1040

Most people think they're "above average" drivers. Any trucker will tell you how few driver actually are above average, and it has less to do with reflexes and more to do with courtesy.

I wish I can mod you up. So little people get this.

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