Musings on personal and enterprise technology (of potential interest to professional technoids and others)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

HighlightCam Cuts Long Security Camera Videos Down to the Action

Mashable has a nice writeup today regarding :
HOW TO: Quickly Cut Long Videos Down to the Juicy Parts:
"...finding the important parts of these [security camera] videos is painful. That’s because there are hours of footage to sift through. Really, do you want to fastforward through a 12 hour video just to find out what your dog was doing? Yet if you don’t, then you’ve lost the point of having the camera in the first place.

Now a new YCombinator-funded company, HighlightCam, has built the software to take hours of video and compress it into just the minutes with the important stuff – you know, when the dog starts barking, the baby falls out of the crib, or the crook turns on the lights.

So how does HighlightCam pick out the juciest bits of long videos? The web-based software, which has both a free version and an $8.99 per month version, is able to detect movement, light changes, and any variations from the norm. You can pick out how far down the video should be cut – one minute, five minutes, ten minutes, whatever you’d like. You can even get the best parts of YouTube (YouTube) videos with the software, as was demonstrated to us today....

One hour of video, cut down to under a minute, with only the important stuff shown. It’s already caught employees stealing from cash registers, something you’d probably miss if you sifted through the full video. It’s cheap, accessible, usable, and from what we’ve seen, really accurate at pinpointing key events. And with a free version, you can start using it without spending a dime."

Also worth noting as per , in fact not only motion but audio is also used as a cue to detect the highlights:

"HighlightCam records your footage all the time, whether there’s motion or not. We then find the highlights using a bunch of different cues, including motion and audio.

A tiny mouse running across the floor, or a loud conversation held off-camera—if that’s the most interesting thing that happened in an hour, that’s what we’ll show you!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

3 Reasons a CIO Should Care About Twitter —

Senior IT executives / CIO's can also benefit from Twitter, according to . The relevant observations excerpted below are a nice complement to my recent post Re: Should Project Managers Twitter? . So here are some of the potential business benefits of Twitter which (when balanced against the known Twitter security/privacy issues) can make sense for many organizations:

3 Reasons a CIO Should Care About Twitter — "...If all the buzz in the mass media isn’t enough to get you interested in Twitter, here are three solid business reasons why CIOs should devote some time to learning more:

1. Get Targeted Insights Faster - ... Some of the smartest people I meet haven’t devoted themselves to publishing or publicity that gets them a high Google ranking. But they are willing to share their experience and make themselves available for legitimate conversations.
Enter Twitter. Anyone can post their 140-character question, idea or comment on any topic. While the stream is uncensored and unfiltered, it is highly searchable. And because responses come in real time, it’s a channel that is particularly suited for time-sensitive information.

2. Participate in Social Media Innovation - ... the availability of Twitter’s API may present a direct opportunity for you and your company’s brand and products. Is there a way to utilize Twitter to support customer service (see @ComcastCares), promotions, order tracking, etc?

3. Expand Your Professional Network: ... as Twitter participation stabilizes will a valuable professional community emerge? There are some early signs that a viable CIO community exists on Twitter. At this point, I’ve identified over 70 CIOs across 20 industries. You can keep tabs on the growing community at . ..."

Monday, August 10, 2009

MS Exchange2007/WinServer2008 compatibility issues

Seems that waiting for Exchange Server 2010 - rather than upgrading now to Exchange Server 2007 - may make sense for many organizations currently running Exchange Server 2003 [or earlier]. Although this seems somewhat inconvenient, I expect many organizations can deal with this successfully in several ways, given sufficient planning. This sort of constraint reminds me of the situation approximately 4 years ago, when some Microsoft shops wanted to wait until MS SQL Server 2005 became available for purchase, rather than immediately purchasing a SQL Server 2000 license. In fact, the Software Assurance up-front purchase (to purchase SQL Server 2000 with SA that would include upgrade to SQL Server 2005) might have seemed logical at the time for many organizations.... But of course, evaluating the full TCO of a subsequent upgrade to SQL Server 2005 would have involved more than the initial hard cost of purchasing Software Assurance. So perhaps the best decision (then and now) as to whether to invest in Software Assurance depends on the particular upgrade and change management capabilities for the specific organization.

The recent Exchange2007/WinServer2008 issue was explained in the recent Microsoft Exchange Team blog posting explaining that Exchange Server 2007 won't run on upcoming Windows Server 2008 R2. Further insights available from Dilemma: Exchange Server 2007 won't run on next Windows Server:

"...Customers upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2, due later this year, will have to upgrade to Exchange Server 2010, which is also due this year. This news, disclosed in the fourth bullet point in a July 17 Microsoft Exchange Team Blog post, means Microsoft partners have to sell Exchange Server 2007 without the promise of support on future OSes and without Windows Server 2008 R2 interoperability with Exchange Server 2007... said Planet Technologies lead infrastructure engineer Mike Crowley: "If people stick with Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 because 'it works,' I wouldn't expect them to want to upgrade the underlying OS just because a new one is available."