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Comment Re:TV will do this next (Score 1) 316

Then we'll see "self pix" like remote TV reporting. No need for a camera person to tag along and no need for a remote van with that tall transmitter tower that can get mixed up with the electrical wires overhead.

This has already happened. Around here (one of the top five markets, and on the national 24/7 news channels, for that matter), they are constantly airing footage shot by viewers. Sure the quality is bad (technical issues like exposure, rolling shutter, etc), the composition is bad (not shot by someone who knows how to frame a shot or tell a story with video), and the overall experience is bad, but people love to see their name and video on TV so they'll even give it away for free. The station gets video for free that they otherwise wouldn't have access to, so they're thrilled as well. It's win-win or lose-lose, depending on your perspective.

Many stations send out one person, a reporter/camera person combo rather than the traditional two person camera operator and reporter team. I'm sure it's a bit awkward holding the mic and camera while asking questions, but it's significant savings (at the expense of, in my opinion, compromising content, something another poster mentioned from Thom Hogan's article about this). Similarly, a lot of newscasts are heavily automated. This leads to a lack of flexibility and occasional problems with on-air content, but stations have generally decided that those compromises are worth it in exchange for downsizing.

I can't say they're completely wrong; those are business decisions to save money at a time when there's little money going around anyway, but it's also cheapening the product and putting out substandard quality. I believe that content is king and that at some point, people will turn to the news that has actual reporters reporting along side compelling, quality video. But that's just me, and the past five or so years has worn hard on my theory.

Note that I work in TV, regularly edit material that airs nationally, worry about what my job will look like in ten years, but I don't do news.

Comment Re:Depends... (Score 1) 247

Another problem with using "plus addressing" as I describe above is that I have come across legitimate companies who use a website for unsubscribe requests, but their website will not process the address I used.

Yeah, it's actually worse than that. There are legitimate companies that can't send mail at all to an address containing a plus sign. It's all bad (lazy? ignorant??) programming and doesn't conform to the standards, but there isn't a thing I can do about it. If I want to get mail from certain companies, I can't use the plus notation (most recently it was a small local computer shop of all things). Frustrating, but I've given up on fighting about it.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 467

This seems like as good a place as any for me to relate my experience.

I had a Garmin GPS that was a few years old (perhaps a year or two out of warranty) and it was time for a map update. The Garmin-documented procedure involved running their "WebUpdater" to determine which software to order (particularly important because my device didn't have enough memory to store the brand new top-of-the-line map update and they offered a couple of different versions). I should have just ordered the map update CD from Amazon and skipped reading the official documentation...but since I wanted to make sure I did it right, I followed their process...and ended up with a bricked GPS. Most of their support team was worthless, but one guy really did try to send me a fix. Unfortunately, it didn't work. So there I was, ready to hand over around $100 for a map upgrade, possibly another $200 for a second GPS for Mrs. ibennetch, and instead gave up on Garmin entirely. Oh, and to top off the joy, their phone queue was at least 90 minutes long before reaching a real person. Ugh.

Comment Re:Not satellite access required. (Score 1) 93

And by the way - GSM goes easily to 35k feet (11km) - if there are no obstrucions - you know - like in the AIR. We use a ferry to travel from Tallinn (Estonia) to Helsinki (Finland) and only right in the middle of this ~80 KM journey is there no cell reception from either shore. I would extrapolate that at least 30 km (3 times the height of commercial air traffic) is easily doable.
Cell phone reception only sucks if you have buildings or plants in the way. Or a mountain.

Just because you have good reception straight out from the tower at 30km doesn't mean you'll have good service 11km in the air. The cell phone towers are tuned to have good horizontal coverage, not vertically. It's not a perfect sphere of coverage; these are directional arrays that are designed to provide coverage where most of their customers are...on the ground. The first link that came up in my Google search seems to have some more information about coverage patterns.

Comment Re:Ooh! (Score 2) 134

The one that gets me is on the last trip - when opting out - the lady was trying to convince me to go through the scanner "Why not go through? There's no radiation from these machines" she says. I was so floored I couldn't even reply.

A TSA agent a few weeks ago told me they're sound waves. I have to question the science portion of their training program...

And yeah, I've had a few agents try to argue with me or try to convince me it's safe as well. I'm not really interested in explaining myself or arguing with them.

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 1) 144

I've got to correct myself here -- I got an email from the gentleman who provides the x-mo systems and he informs me that they're indeed running extremely high framerates (4000 and 3000) for this particular show. I've worked with and met him before, and I'm pretty pleased that he spent some time in the comments of this article that's about his systems. I'm not sure how they're doing it, but without trying to sound crazy if anyone could figure it out, he's the guy. Anyway, I can admit that I was wrong about the framerates, and he tells me I am, so there you go. He's actually replied as an AC in sibling thread, so check that out for more information!

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 1) 144

You're right on. I'm a tape guy and I've used all of the X-Mo systems; you're absolutely right that the lighting and camera noise affect the framerate. If you're able to pull the 600-1000fps you mention for night games, your ballpark is much better lit than ours. Adjusting for minimal flicker (grrrr), we usually run 350fps for night games, actually very similar for basketball and hockey (360 helps the flicker there a bit more). Besides, more than that and it becomes very difficult to tell a story around that one replay and the tape guy has to be cued really tight to the moment of action. Great for a freeze on a safe/out play, not so great for an outfield bobble. But you know all that already.

Look at the clips -- it looks to me like they're running a framerate around 500 and the clips are slowed down more (either by the EVS on playback or by the professor for posting). They all stutter quite a bit and I'd be shocked if it was near 1000fps, much less the 5000 he claims (note that the link he sources for the 5k fps comment says "up to" while he states that it is 5k).

I don't have much to add, but you've packed a lot of information in to your post and I support what you said.

I'm surprised this is even news, actually; with many or most RSNs having an X-Mo system now, seems most baseball fans would have seen something like this already. I know we talked about the way the bat wobbles, the bat breaks, the sweet spot, etc years ago.

Comment Re:Which is the scary part? (Score 1) 86

You're close, except:

A widely used web package has a backdoor inserted.

is mostly incorrect, it wasn't the phpMyAdmin project, it wasn't that the source code was compromised; the problem is that one specific mirror was compromised and a modified copy of the phpMyAdmin source was distributed instead of the official files. It's a stretch to blame that on the phpMyAdmin project.

So, what kind of security/procedure/audit could have been in place, needs to be in place, so that something like this will raise an alarm even when the hacker isn't the most incompetent backdoor author in history? What kind of audit is needed to be sure it hasn't already happened?

I'm thinking of some sort of mathematical function where you plug in an arbitrary number of bits, say an entire file, and get out a small representation that is very, very difficult to duplicate. We could call it a hash, I suppose. Then you post the hash to the main web page for each file you distribute, and when someone downloads a file, then compare the hash of the downloaded file to the hash on the web site. Since the mirrors only host the downloads, and not the website, a compromised mirror wouldn't be able to change the website's hash. I need to find a patent attorney, I could make millions on this idea!

(please note that paragraph probably sounds more snarky than it was intended)

Comment Re:nothing like a holodeck (Score 1) 207

What we're missing is force fields. I think that's how holodecks are supposed to work - holograms bordered by force fields.

It's supposed to be a "mix" of force fields, holographs, and actual energy to matter conversion, IIRC. Perhaps holographs/force fields to simulate distance and open spaces, with actual matter for the close up stuff. So a holographic person is like computer controlled meat-puppet.

Yes, that's the general idea, based on my rather intense reading of the Star Trek The Next Generation: Technical Manual in my younger years. That being said, the reality of how it was presented in the show was different from the theory presented in the Manual, even though it was supposed to be the guide for writers to reference. It's just one of those things where we have to accept slightly different rules in each episode. By the way, I believe the technical manual specifically mentioned that at the end of a holodeck session, the replicated material would be turned back in to energy, essentially reversing the materialization process.

Comment Re:10 GigE should be enough for most situations... (Score 1) 180

In the last studio upgrade we did, we retrofitted everything with Ethernet -- 10G switches. Cameras are all ASI -> GigE (MPEG-2 Multicast), switchers, and final outs.

So do the switcher and routers take in the MPEG stream, or you convert back from the GigE to HDSDI or ASI video?

It then goes right out via the internet (Internet2 -- FSN is also a partner so we can send right to them), and a satellite truck as a backup.

Sounds like what we do (private IP-based network to distribute to our partners), but the GigE stuff in house sounds fascinating.

Comment Re:Impressive TDF live coverage (Score 1) 82

(I feel like the slashdot community's changed a lot since I first joined and HEY, GIVE OFF MY LAWN!)


I am not interested in keeping this up -- sorry for pissing on your lawn -- I'll give off now.

Wow, way to take my quote completely out of context. I meant the exact opposite of what you imply here -- if you look at the quote in context I clearly said nothing negative about your comments with regards to the "get off my lawn" comment. Rather the opposite, that your post started a discussion that I find interesting for once.

Also, I think it's poor form to submit something to slashdot then get offended at the discussion. You don't need to continue on with me specifically, but I haven't seen a thread here where you responded to legitimate discussion appropriately. You can't have it both ways -- if you're going to submit an article for discussion, you should be ready to deal with the discussion. Without discussion, it's just you ranting to the ether. But that's just my opinion, obviously, and since you've indicated that you don't wish to continue then I simply bid you a good day.

Comment Re:Impressive TDF live coverage (Score 1) 82

it is producted by the French, and NBC is one of many many broadcasters present there who add a bit of their own flavour to that coverage and use it

I meant "produced" in the sense that they contract for the feed then do with it what they will -- add commentary, decide when to cut to commercials, whatever -- the stuff I talked about in the post. The "producer" of a movie does not operate the camera. You sound like a grammar-Nazi kind of person.

No, sorry, you instead just sound ignorant. Movies and TV are very different and some of the terms, while sounding similar, mean very different things. Before writing a blog post about your analysis and submitting it to slashdot, it would do you well to learn a bit about what you're discussing.

Along those lines, in the blog post you wrote:

and the Internatinal (sic) Olympic Committee might decide that it can do a better job than NBC or another production company.

Your position might be strengthened by learning about how Olympic coverage actually works. I'd start by learning about the OBS, the host broadcaster for all Olympic games. In fact, for many large sports events there exists a host broadcaster and other feeds coordinate with or purchase outright from the host broadcaster.

Indeed, learning about how broadcasting works in this setting may enhance your understanding of your third point. I'm not saying the point is invalid, actually the opposite, but understanding the revenue stream and where the feed comes from might have changed your analysis a bit.

and the commentators often had English accents, suggesting that they may have been picked up locally at the last minute.

Again with not understanding the purpose of the host broadcaster and thinking that something as huge as Olympic coverage is thrown together at the last minute.

As to his idea that they have 'deleted their archive', that is somewhat laughable - removing it from public access
is very very different from deleting it, something I can assure him has not happened.


First, that's not what you said in the posting. You wrote "NBC -- how many early TV video tapes and kinescope recordings have you lost? Don't keep repeat (sic) your past mistakes." -- sounds to me like you believe they're gone forever.

You should say what you mean. You're discussing a technical field which has a lot of precise terminology (TV production) with an audience that feels the same and probably has even more need for precise terminology (I believe it was either Care and Feeding of Your Hacker or The Jargon File that devoted a relatively large amount of space to discussing the need for precise language within the hacker/nerd/geek culture). Aside from that, I'm not sure why you feel NBC has an obligation to make the content available for posterity. They have an archive department which is responsible for, well, archiving shows and footage. Two years from now, if NBC News wants footage of judo or the rugby finals, they'll be able to get it. Likewise, in four years when they're revisiting who won the whatever in 2012, I anticipate them being able to find that video as well.

You also wrote: "NBC did a much better job on the Tour de France than the Olympics, but it was an easier event to cover, they had experience covering it in past years and they did not have to deal with the presentation of ads. " are aware that NBC has carried the Olympics before, right? And the logistics are pretty overwhelming for both events.

And again you confuse the NBC with the IOC: "NBC did their best to control leaks of Olympic material. For example, WiFi hotspots were not allowed in the stands and they did their best to stop social media leaks. "

The internet streaming is a very very small part of the whole process

Let's revisit that statement in 2020.

The majority of your analysis is about the current state of internet streaming rather than looking ahead, so it's fair to also look at how small the internet streaming is in comparison to the worldwide broadcast market. Sure, that percentage is shifting more towards the internet, but if you write an article about the current state of internet streaming, a comment like the GP made is a fair response and "Let's revisit that statement in 2020" just sounds like a knee-jerk, defensive response. The GP is correct and, I'll connect the dots for you, the small percentage of viewers and revenue from the internet side of things means there are less resources committed to it compared to the broadcast side. This in turn explains (although perhaps doesn't justify) some of your criticisms.

In your blog post CIS 471 The Olympics -- NBC's production and direction, you wrote

I don't mean to beat up on NBC -- covering 302 events in 32 sports is a huge task, and I am sure they learned a lot about how to produce live events during the Olympics.

which again shows your lack of knowledge about the situation. Not only that NBC did not have crews on hand to cover every Olympic event, but also the air of haughtiness that surrounds your statement. NBC (as well as each of the other American broadcasters) has been producing large scale events for a long time, now admittedly the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup Final aren't as big as the Olympics, but producing live events isn't anything new here.

Thanks, I've actually had a fair bit of fun reading some of the discussion here, which is kind of rare these days (I feel like the slashdot community's changed a lot since I first joined and HEY, GIVE OFF MY LAWN!)

Comment Re:Google has real crowdsourcing too (Score 1) 48

In concept you're right, but trying to get those changes approved is a joke. I've tried to get my parent's farming lane removed (2 miles, dirt, signed as private at both ends). The first response back was that they've verified that it's actually a road and wouldn't fix it, so I reported it again. It took longer than it should have (over a year, I believe)...the whole while routing people through it as if it were a road they'd actually want to use. In my town, they show the town hall as being in the middle of a road where the nearest building is nearly a block away. That took several tries to fix, it kept getting emailed back to me as "fixed" but it wasn't. The local Target department store has a phone number from a different area code and the address that shows is from another Target 15 miles away (no, the phone number doesn't match), I reported that probably 18 months ago and haven't heard back about it yet. In my experience, reporting errors to Google Maps is easy, but getting those reports approved is a joke -- it takes way too long and legitimate reports are discarded. Sorry to crash down on your hobby, but my experience has been dreadful; it's not even worth my effort to report errors anymore. Besides, as another AC child poster points out, OSM is CC and probably more worthy of my efforts anyway.

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