Archive for the ‘Webcams’ Category

Skype

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Skype.comHave you ever heard of Kazaa or the entrepreneurs who built it, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis?  It was the most popular internet software download in 2003.  Kazaa was a peer-to-peer file sharing service that was primarily used to share pirated music files online and it peaked in popularity sometime after Napster was shut down and when Walmart and then iTunes became the top music retailers in the USA.   Well if you ever heard of  Skype then you’re familiar with the next big project the Zennström & Friis took on.

Skype is a free download that enables you to make free voice and video calls through the internet.  It uses a combination of VoIP technology and peer-to-peer file sharing technology to deliver a virtually free video conferencing service to the world.  You just need a webcam and/or microphone and a computer with internet access.

First released in 2003, Skype was bought by eBay in 2005 for $2.6 billion then in 2011 it was bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion.  The future of any communication technology is always uncertain, but no matter what, the ability to see and speak with people around the globe for free is turning out to be very popular.  With 30+ million users every day accumulating over 300 billion minutes of online conversations in 2011 alone.  It is an amazing growth story that’s starting to make a profound change to the way we communicate.

So check out skype.com today, you might even want to consider downloading it yourself.

Skype Explained Visually

Texas Border Watch

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Bored?  Looking for something to do?  How about taking some time to patrol the Texas border?  The Texas Border Sherif’s Coalition would love to have your help as a “Virtual Texas Deputy”.  Using a $2 million dollar grant from the Governor of Texas they contracted a private company called Blue Servo to create a website where ordinary people can log on and watch the border using strategically placed webcams.  Once you set-up an account and log in you can choose the camera(s) you’d like to watch and begin your “patrol”.  Each camera comes with instructions on what to look for and how to report anything suspicious  annonymously.  Here are some examples of what they’ve seen.

Give it a try!  Live the dream of being a Virtual Texas Deputy:
TexasBorderWatch.com


The Virtual Choir

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Composed and Conducted by
ERIC WHITACRE
“Lux Aurumque”

 

This original composition went live on YouTube on March 21st, 2010.   You can read about previous projects and the development of this virtual choir at Eric Whitacre’s Offical Blog.

Alkemis.com

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

im04Local.Alkemis.com is a website that offers lots of local information, including access to traffic cameras in cities all around North America and even a few cities around the world.  Alkemis.com has several projects underway with this mapping system that combines Google Maps, live traffic cams as well as Yahoo Traffic, Weather, Local News, Fandango Movies, even local subway maps where possible.  An amazing experiment in combining multiple forms of data into an integrated and functional website.  Keep checking back as they develop more and more information for cities like:  New York, Washington, Las Vegas, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, London, and Dublin.  Here’s a link to all the cities they cover.

This site is one to watch for future developments!

Google Earth

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

im07Google Earth is a free download from Google that offers a unique, interactive, dynamic globe that’s created using satellite photos and electronic data from all kinds of resources.  Lets say you want to check out a friend’s new house in Washington D.C. By typing in the address you can zoom right in on a satellite photo of their house that you can then move around.  You can search their neighborhood for restaurants, schools, libraries, gas stations, whatever you want.  But that’s not all, next you could add layers to the satellite photo that would tell you things like voting district borders, real time traffic speeds, crime statistics, all kinds of stuff.  You can even find YouTube videos, streaming webcams and photos of neighborhoods.  Try checking out the 3-D renderings of whole cities and, if you go to places like the Grand Canyon you can view the terrain in 3-D.

It’s an amazing integration of information in an easy to use interactive format that has to be experienced.   If you need some help getting started try searching YouTube for “Google Earth Tutorials.”

For a little fun don’t forget to try the flight simulator that’s in the program.  Once you’re in Google Earth press:  CTRL+ALT+A to access it.

Local.Alkemis

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

im04Local.Alkemis.com is a website that offers lots of local information, including access to traffic cameras in cities all around North America and even a few cities around the world. Alkemis.com has several projects underway with this mapping system that combines Google Maps, live traffic cams as well as Yahoo Traffic, Weather radar, local news, Fandango movies, even local subway maps where possible. An amazing experiment in combining multiple forms of data into an integrated and functional website. Keep checking back as they develop more and more information for cities like: New York, Washington, Las Vegas, Toronto, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, London, and Dublin. Here’s a link to all the cities they cover: http://local.alkemis.com/local/index.htm#infoDiv

This site is one to watch for future developments!