Tired of using emoticons to express what only your face can truly convey? So are Google‘s Gmail software engineers, hence, Tuesday’s introduction of Gmail Voice and Video Chat. In order to enjoy the new video/voice experience you need to first download and install the voice and video plugin. Once you’ve installed the plugin, to start a video chat, just click on the “Video & more” menu at the bottom of your Gmail chat window, and choose “Start video chat.” You’ll have a few seconds to make sure you look presentable while it’s ringing, and then you’ll see and hear your friend live, right from within Gmail. You can click the “pop-out” icon to make the video larger, or click the fullscreen icon in the upper left-hand corner for a more lifelike experience. “But what if I don’t have a webcam?” Well, Google knows the right people and is offering a few discounted models through November 30th. Check out the video (up top) for a demonstration.
What’s next? Video chat on your iPhone? We can only hope…
Read More | Gmail Blog
Let’s hope this is a sign that the game is close to release (hey, they said November!). Above you’ll find the trailer for Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. While the music isn’t quite what we would think would get people pumped for the game, you can’t say that the graphics aren’t off the hook. This one will be available on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Store later this month. Who’s with me on picking this one up the day it becomes available?
There are those who love to hate the software giant, but the Seattle-area economy has nothing to offer but gratitude – in King County, which includes Seattle and Microsoft hometown, Redmond, there are some 70,000 households with a net-worth of at least $1 million. My dentist once told me that his two brothers, who went to Microsoft while he went to dental school, both retired at the age of 36; he is well past 36 and definitely not retired. Some people have all the luck…
In honor of Windows’ anniversary, we’ve posted a video (up top) of current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doing his best cheesy car salesman impersonation in this ridiculous Windows commercial from the 80’s; proving that dignity is not always a prerequisite for success.
A little nervous about voting? We won’t mention the term “hanging chad” (oops) but poll experts suggest that you not only bring your ID with you but take a picture of your ballot as well. Video the Vote goes one step further and suggests you record your experience to share with other citizen journalists, indy filmmakers, and media pros. You can upload them on the site and they will cross post to YouTube. We would love to see them, too! Now get your butt out there and do your American duty!
Read More | Video The Vote
Tired of changing effects pedals with his feet while performing with his band Vivian Darkbloom, MIT graduate student Rob Morris attached a Nintendo Wii remote to his guitar with a strip of Velcro. Mapping acceleration and button press values from the Wii, Morris set his Mac to translate the movement of his guitar into a variety of audio effects. The result: a new hybrid instrument that you’ll have to see to believe!
How does it work? The Wii controller sends data to a laptop, so the computer knows where the instrument is positioned, and it knows when he’s pressing buttons on the Wiimote. Morris takes this information and smooths it out a bit with some computer code (MIT grad student, hello…); the data is then sent out of the computer through a firewire cable. This firewire cable then sends the data to his stompboxes and other effects. So, essentially, he’s controlling guitar effects by pressing Wii buttons and gesturing with the instrument, rather than pressing a pedal on the floor.
Check out the above video for a demonstration.
The T-Mobile G1 phone hit store shelves barely a week ago, and in the race to unlock it, the guys at Unlock-TMobileG1.com receive the first place trophy. Seriously, did you think they’d give it to you for free? If that was your plan, you’d better wait for a more charitable group to figure things out – or keep your T-Mobile account in good standing for 90-days, after which they’ll be happy to unlock it for you. If patience isn’t your virtue in this particular instance, fork over the $23 and enjoy your liberated G1 right now.
Check out the above video for a demonstration of the unlocking process.
With the Minoru (which means “reality”) Webcam from Novo and a pair of glasses, you can see in 3D via Skype, Microsoft Live Messenger and other IMs. It apparently also makes 3D images and videos that can then be uploaded to social sites such as YouTube, although those wanting to see it will need glasses, too. Arriving in December at a price of $100.00, we figure that this is a bit overpriced and overcomplicated.
Read More | Novo
We already have seen evidence of advertising in video games. Still reaching out to techie voters, the Obama campaign now has a billboard in the Xbox 360 game Burnout Paradise. Any advertiser can buy space, including those with presidential ambition. On the other side of the fence, the McPalin group has sent a letter to YouTube complaining that the site doesn’t consider fair use in videos before taking some of them down. You can read the entire document at Techdirt.
Read More | The Raw Feed
Score one for the little guy. Hottrix has filed a $12.5 million lawsuit against Coors. The indie company says that the brewery copied its iPhone application iBeer. Both apps display a glass of beer that empties when the user tilts the handset about 90º. While iBeer cost $3.00 at launch, Coors’ iPint was free. Hottrix argues that it had a video on YouTube in July 2007, before the App Store was launched. In an act of kindness, Apple removed the freebie in the U.S., however it is still available in other countries.
Read More | Wired
What do we love about the Internet? That the incredibly gifted group Tally Hall can become such a hit on YouTube with their Internet Show that they made it all the way to the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. You go, guys!
What do we not love about the Internet? That commercial companies such as Procter & Gamble come up with a lame website and competition to get normally intelligent people to devise the next greatest catch phrase for Crest Whitening Expressions after Emeril Lagasse’s “Bam!”
Read More | Tally Hall