Saturday, June 07, 2008

Web Cams: what I've learned



You may have seen the robodog webcam I posted a picture of when we got here. Over the week I've been looking here and there for software to get it going and trying to understand how web cams work. Here's what I've learned. Their main uses are for:
  1. IM Chat (though many laptops come with built in cameras now.)
  2. Nanny spying (thus the large number of teddy bear web cams available)
  3. old standby- porn
The software for web cams doesn't seem to have been improved upon much in the last few years. Correct me if I'm wrong. Tucows has become an impossible site to wander through.

There are silly Photoshop style filters you can throw on your webcam if you really want to look like you're broadcasting through a shower door or made out of etched metal.

You can draw on your own image but then you better stand awfully still or it is just annoying.

You can put rubber stamp lips and exclamation marks and emoticons all over your image.

The old jpeg out the window web cam seems pretty passe. It's all video now baby.

I have a friend who works as a nanny, and she's always telling me how bad working conditions are getting. Now they have spy bears in every room, and when the people come home from work, they actually watch these videos! Gee if you're going to spend that much time watching a video of your child being taken care of by somebody else, maybe you should consider just taking care of your child. She said the father at her last job complained that she spoke Spanish to the housekeeper, and he can't understand Spanish. He told her she had to speak English only.

I've pretty much ruled out using robodog out the window, or on Pixie's frog tank, but he is cute.

4 comments:

Linda said...

What a GREAT (and horrible) nanny story.

Mean Jean said...

Oooo, if I was the nanny, I'd slip the housekeeper a note in Spanish (explaining the con) and then yell at her in English (because, you know, yelling makes people understand you better) and wave my arms like made-up, really bad sign language.

But then I'd get fired. Sigh.

Namowal said...

"Gee if you're going to spend that much time watching a video of your child being taken care of by somebody else, maybe you should consider just taking care of your child."
People amaze me.
That'd make for an ironic story: a kid falls into a well (or wanders off) because his parents are too occupied with the videos to supervise him properly.
I liked how you compared the video filter to the shower door too.

stray g said...

I think it would be good to use a webcam to watch elderly parents, only we'd be nervous wrecks and calling the facility all the time.