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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Old Webcams?

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the attach-to-squirrels dept.

Education 258

An anonymous reader writes "I work as an IT administrator at a school. We have just upgraded our entire webcam inventory (about 45 webcams, model Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX) and have all the old ones sitting around. I would like to know what a neat project would be to make use of all the old ones. I was figuring there would be an open project somewhere that involved mass amounts of webcams."

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chat roullete (-1, Flamebait)

planimal (2454610) | about 3 years ago | (#37718498)

45 angles of you jerking off

Re:chat roullete (0)

heptapod (243146) | about 3 years ago | (#37718552)

MOD PARENT INFORMATIVE

Re:chat roullete (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718594)

so i am leaving a parking lot and this DUMB FUCKING CUNT wants to make a left turn. i am going straight. she pulles out right in front of me. her thinking is the typical selfish bitch thinking: "I'll threaten him with an accident so he will slam on his breaks and i will save myself the horrible 2 seconds id have to wait if i did things the right way".

i hope she tries that with a tractor trailer sometime and they peel her fucking tiny brains off the pavement with a razor blade. this species needs some chlorine in the gene pool badly. i hope this happens in front of her family. i hope the trucker is totally unharmed and his truck sustains minimal damage. fucking dumb cunts.

Re:chat roullete (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 3 years ago | (#37718850)

Yeah... buts let's face it. If it is going to be truly informative we all have to admit that the average Slashdotter would only benefit from 1-3 of those camera angles maximum anyways.

Re:Re:chat roullete (-1, Redundant)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 3 years ago | (#37719074)

MOD PARENT FUNNY

Re:chat roullete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718814)

amateur cheerleader porn would be better

Porn of course... (0)

Aryden (1872756) | about 3 years ago | (#37718506)

duh

Re:Porn of course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718520)

He's a school IT admin. Are you sure that's even legal to suggest?

Re:Porn of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718660)

Of course it's legal to suggest you fucktard. Freedom of mother fucking speech.

Re:Porn of course... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37718732)

I'm a school IT tech, and... well, schools are perpetually terrified of sex. Things that to most people would be just a minor embarassment to most are career-enders to anyone who works in a school. If any photos came to light of me in porn, no school would ever hire me again.

Re:Porn of course... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 3 years ago | (#37718840)

Great but that doesn't make it "illegal to suggest". Yes you might get fired, but no one is breaking the by stating the suggestion.

Re:Porn of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718704)

He's a school IT admin. Are you sure that's even legal to suggest?

Why would it be illegal to suggest someone film themselves jerking off regardless of what their job is? IANAL but I'd be surprised if its illegal to suggest the same thing to a minor. Also why assume that the commenter even resides in a country with such laws?

Re:Porn of course... (2)

niittyniemi (740307) | about 3 years ago | (#37719046)

1. Enroll 45 of the sexiest babes at school.
2. Give each a webcam to setup at home.
3. Setup web porn gateway hosted on Ubuntu Hairy Hardon (rock solid!) connected to the 45 babes.
4. ...
5. Profit!

.

I feel sure you will not go to prison*.

*(Could be wrong)

Re:Porn of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718812)

Why would it be illegal? What law is broken by suggesting that a school IT admin jerk off on a webcam?

Re:Porn of course... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37718912)

Parent you all are responding to is a fucktard, there is no valid argument here to warrant responses. All of you got TROLLED.

Re:Porn of course... (0)

arkane1234 (457605) | about 3 years ago | (#37718920)

Sure it's legal to suggest.
Just like it's legal to suggest you rape and kill your mother.

Apologies if that's already happened to your mother.

Re:Porn of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718968)

First Amendment says yes.

Get permission first (3, Interesting)

Selanit (192811) | about 3 years ago | (#37718508)

They're not yours; they belong to the district. Get permission first. I'm sure your school district has policies about disposing of old surplus equipment (if nobody else in the district wants them). Disposing of district equipment WITHOUT permission is just asking for trouble.

Re:Get permission first (1, Funny)

jv lee (2048576) | about 3 years ago | (#37718602)

Nerd alert.

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718936)

Prick! More like avoiding getting fired or sent to jail for theft warning.

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718628)

Um, at what point in the question did he say that he was taking the cameras?

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718758)

Um, at what point in the question did he say that he was taking the cameras?

So are you suggesting that he occupy his work time doing crazy projects using the school's equipment that have absolutely nothing to do with his job?

He should most definitely make one of his higher-ups aware of whatever it is he intends to do with the webcams. That way, if a teacher shows up in 6 months with an idea for a class project that involves using 15 or 20 webcams, they'll at least know where they are. And quite honestly, a class project should ALWAYS take priority over a tech's personal project.

Re:Get permission first (0)

tqk (413719) | about 3 years ago | (#37719188)

He said nothing about a personal project, idiot! For all we know, he's looking around for something he can get the kids involved with, like a school project!

Go learn to f-ing read!

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718654)

I'm sure your school district has policies about disposing of old surplus equipment

I've never seen a school or non-tech company that had a coherent policy on anything pertaining to IT or computer hardware.

Re:Get permission first (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | about 3 years ago | (#37718976)

Very true. I worked at a tech support gig once where company policy was that even after an employee was verified by their SS number, all we could do was unlock their account - if they needed a password reset, their manager had to also be verified and approve them having their password reset. Stupidest policy ever.

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718926)

Yes Most do, It's called let them rot in the closet until the Silicon decomposes or destroy them in a shredder. 99% of all school districts are ran by idiots that dont understand donating the ear to a student project or selling it to recoup money is the smart path.

Re:Get permission first (1, Funny)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37718944)

Eh... as an admin he is probably responsible for the inventory, I sure as hell wouldn't ask if I didn't have to (which I don't :P ). Move up a bit in career and repost :)

Re:Get permission first (1)

EdIII (1114411) | about 3 years ago | (#37718946)

He never said, or even implied, they would be taken off school property.

I have had plenty of old unused equipment that is surplus. Plenty of times I have used them in my own little projects at work to try out an idea or something cool. If companies are willing to pay for you to take classes outside of work to increase your skill sets, why would they object to you using equipment not currently allocated to anything to do the same?

At this moment I have a test VM server on my desk from an used system. Using it to test out different images and appliances.

I believe that is what he asking for. What idea do you have to use 45 web cameras? I can't think of anything off the top of my head, but I am curious.

Re:Get permission first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37719132)

He never said, or even implied, they would be taken off school property.

Shower cams?

Re:Get permission first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37719056)

They're not yours; they belong to the district. Get permission first. I'm sure your school district has policies about disposing of old surplus equipment (if nobody else in the district wants them). Disposing of district equipment WITHOUT permission is just asking for trouble.

I'm sure he would say "thanks for telling me how to do my job, how to follow the policies of a place where I work and you don't, and generally for assuming I'm such a dumbass that I need random anal-retentive busybody slashdotters to make sure I don't break any rules."

Unsolicited advice is always the best kind. You're not condescending at all. You're a saint.

Install them in the toilet booths (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718514)

And don't give me that weird look, 'coz I know all of you had the same thought. Don't criticize me for having the balls to say it.

Re:Install them in the toilet booths (2)

shmeeps (2406070) | about 3 years ago | (#37718630)

The balls to say it anonymously :roll eyes:

Re:Install them in the toilet booths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718674)

And don't give me that weird look, 'coz I know all of you had the same thought. Don't criticize me for having the balls to say it.

Believe it or not, I'm not interested in watching anybody take a shit. Then again, given the voyeuristic nature of CCTV in our cities I suspose it's only a matter of time before such oddball pathologies are normalized^w government policy.

Re:Install them in the toilet booths (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | about 3 years ago | (#37718984)

Good point. Mount them in the girls locker room instead.

Multi-touch cabinet (3, Interesting)

Deathnerd (1734374) | about 3 years ago | (#37718522)

Take out the ir filter, put in a visible light filter and use them for IR based multi-touch surfaces. A little expensive, but a neat project!

Turn the eye on the master (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718524)

Start a civil liberties project. Build small UAVs, place the cameras on them and track how your local law enforcement is violating the constitution. Mission accomplished.

is the edu.xxx domain taken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718530)

i assume you have a big pipe coming into the campus, locker rooms & pay-per-view site... PROFIT!

Re:is the edu.xxx domain taken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37719080)

I assume he is an adult, which means when he gets caught it will be for producing child pornography according to the law. Not a great idea to be filming high school girls in the locker rooms.

If it is a college/university, he can still get into trouble because none of the women were willing or knowledgeable participants.

Now, if is is a university... and a bunch of girls agreed to it in writing.... then he could make some pretty good money till he got caught and then sued by the university. Of course, if it is good enough money he could just leave for Brazil and retire.

Make one of these... (2)

derkeyaj (1293932) | about 3 years ago | (#37718536)

Re:Make one of these... (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | about 3 years ago | (#37718560)

Better yet, hook them all up to a big helium balloon.

Re:Make one of these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718728)

.. with a laptop and wireless, or just a really long USB cable?

First Result (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718538)

in google search: http://www.raphnet.net/divers/webcam/webcam_en.php

Throwable 45 camera panoramic ball? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718544)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/10/14/1840224/throwable-36-camera-ball-takes-spherical-panoramas

Yo (1, Interesting)

koan (80826) | about 3 years ago | (#37718546)

Re:Yo (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 3 years ago | (#37718692)

Beware, end sequence of the clip reads: "Patent pending".

Re:Yo (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 3 years ago | (#37718832)

Beware, end sequence of the clip reads: "Patent pending".

He probably would not be selling the device... so I don't see what the patent holder would be coming after him for.

Set up a security system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718550)

Zoneminder!

Mount 36 of them in a ball (4, Funny)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 3 years ago | (#37718554)

Mount 36 of them in a ball, and then throw them up in the air!

Re:Mount 36 of them in a ball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718576)

Just be sure to make the USB cables really, really long.

schoolgirl locker room webcam project (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718568)

why not donate them to this worthy cause?

Re:schoolgirl locker room webcam project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718734)

Yes! Teen girls who are unfortunate enough to not have a webcam are a worthy cause.

Spherical panoramas (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718572)

Your question was answered 3 entries ago.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/11/10/14/1840224/throwable-36-camera-ball-takes-spherical-panoramas

For the remaining 9, you're on your own.

Re:Spherical panoramas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718700)

Your question was answered 3 entries ago.

Prefect, since your answer was given three [slashdot.org] times [slashdot.org] already [slashdot.org] .

Re:Spherical panoramas (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 3 years ago | (#37718790)

Prefect

Ford? Don't panic!

Bullet time! (5, Interesting)

Voxxel (147404) | about 3 years ago | (#37718590)

Get some USB hubs and make your own bullet-time setup.

Point them to the stars (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718598)

Mount them all on some base and point them to a certain point at the sky. Get the base to rotate accordingly so that they are all fixated at that point and keep taking pictures. Try and see how much of a detailed image you can end up with when combining all of the taken pictures. ddg.gg around for more.

Re:Point them to the stars (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 3 years ago | (#37718754)

Superresolution. Doable, with the setup you describe... but 36 cheap cameras probably wouldn't do so well as just one slightly more expensive camera.

Alas, the Matrix bullet time ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718608)

is trademarked and patented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_time :(

Three Words (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 years ago | (#37718610)

Big
Ass
Touchscreen

Overlooked option (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718612)

Donate them to the federal government so they can spy on you more

45 Webcams?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718616)

And there are approximately 45 female bathroom stalls in your school.....coincidence? I think you know what to do.

Throwable 45-Camera Ball Takes Spherical Panoramas (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 3 years ago | (#37718626)

Top that German project a few articles ago.

Hmmm . . . let's take a retrospective on the /. stories on German technology this week . . . a government spyware Trojan . . . wireless controlled bicycle brakes . . . and the throwable panorama ball. Put that all together . . . and you get . . . ?

I'm not sure yet, but we should keep a sharp eye on this tech coming out of Germany. They are definitely up to something.

Bullet time rig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718632)

You know that thing out of the matrix where all the frames are taken simultaneously but dispersed along the path you want the viewpoint to take when the frames are played sequentially as a video. Maybe bolt onto a frame, or stick around the inside of a room with velcro.

True RNG (3, Interesting)

Dr_Harm (529148) | about 3 years ago | (#37718634)

Cheap CCD + Rad source from smoke detector == true RNG. If nothing else, some of the advanced physics or math classes in the district might be interested in the project.

Don't publicise this (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 3 years ago | (#37719148)

For the record, this is illegal.

The NRC considers this a "grievous offense" (their words), and people have been raided and had all their playthings confiscated for playing around with smoke detector emitters.

So... don't tell anyone if you do this.

Bullet Time for a Videography class (2)

ericski (20503) | about 3 years ago | (#37718638)

If you have a video class in the district, figure out a way for the students to use them for doing some matrix-style bullet time videos. Or if there is an electronics class, let the students tear them apart to see what they could do with them.

Real suggestions (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 3 years ago | (#37718640)

Webcams can be used for all sorts of data acquisition purposes, if you have some spare computers.

For instance, take a plastic egg-carton and grow 12 plants using different media (ex - a range of PH across the bays). Use a webcam to monitor the plants, and count the green pixels day-by-day to measure the relative growth rates.

Make a brush pile on school grounds and bury the web cam *within* the pile. Take an image 1/sec, and also monitor temperature. Throw out images which are the same as previous images. Use the data to watch how critters survive within brush piles, and how much insulation being in a brush pile affords.

Train a camera on the sky and take pictures over time. Count the white/blue ratio to monitor cloudiness/overcast.

More suggestions (2)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 3 years ago | (#37718690)

Find a birds nest somewhere on school grounds in the spring, mount a camera and put the live images up on the net. Allow students to watch as the eggs hatch and the chicks are reared.

This gets really *really* interesting if you can do this for a raptor nest, such as a hawk.

Web cams are generally sensitive to IR, so if you can cobble up an IR light source you can take images at night. Are there places on the grounds where critters come out at night (foxes, owls, skunks)? There's open source software to detect and automatically record movement from video feeds.

Come up with some interesting investigations that would interest the students.

Any old wells or pipes that stick up out of the ground? Can you lower a camera into one of these to see where it goes?

Re:More suggestions (1)

ckthorp (1255134) | about 3 years ago | (#37718710)

On the IR theme, many webcams have an IR blocking filter than can be removed to greatly increase IR sensitivity. You even have extras to practice on!

Re:More suggestions (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 3 years ago | (#37718716)

This gets really *really* interesting if you can do this for a raptor nest,

I'm sure!

such as a hawk.

Ah, I see we weren't thinking along the same lines at all. Never mind...

Re:More suggestions (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 3 years ago | (#37719180)

It was obvious he was talking about a hawk. For a nest of 'raptors, he'd need 3 cameras - one for the chick in front, and two for the chicks on the side ;-)

Astronomy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718644)

http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=astronomy+with+webcams&sourceid=opera&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Why Do You Have Them In The First Place? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 3 years ago | (#37718646)

Why do you have them in the first place? Is there some educational need for the school to have them, or they being used for security purposes throughout the school?

Telephoto (1)

rcw-home (122017) | about 3 years ago | (#37718656)

Take the lens off the front and bolt the sensor to a used SLR camera lens. With the 10x or 15x crop factor, that old 50mm SLR lens will turn into a 500-750mm equivalent, and if you use a prime lens, it'll have even better low-light performance than the original wide angle lens. If you put it on a telescope, you can easily get into 5000mm+ territory, although it'll be very difficult to use without an expensive tripod and tracking system.

Bullet Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718664)

Make your own bullet time capture device. Everything is better in bullet time.

matrix (1)

Leandera (1779800) | about 3 years ago | (#37718672)

can't you let the students recreate how they filmed the 3d "run around" scenes from the matrix? Would make for an interesting project... (this is what i mean http://theunhens.blogspot.com/2011/05/bullettime.html [blogspot.com] . In dutch, but the pictures should make clear what I mean)

Depth Perception (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718682)

http://xkcd.com/941/ -- This. would also be educational!

Bullet time? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 years ago | (#37718722)

I remember the old Matrix documentary where they did the Bullet-Time effect by setting up something like the number of cameras you have in an arc and having them all take a picture of the focal point simultaneously. I think they then played the images back in sequence.

XKCD or IR (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 3 years ago | (#37718742)

Suggestion one: if your school has a football field, try implementing something like XKCD suggests. Who knows, maybe the kids will learn some perspective.

Suggestion two: convert them to near-infrared imaging, and let the physics teachers and the art club go nuts with them.

This maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718750)

http://xkcd.com/941/

Reprojection study (1)

CityZen (464761) | about 3 years ago | (#37718798)

Set up a room with the cameras all around, all pointing toward the middle. Record from all cameras at once (this is perhaps the tricky part). Then you should be able to reproject the recorded data to create a virtual camera anywhere in the room, showing any angle. Think Photosynth, but with video.

Recording multiple streams simultaneously is difficult, since one USB host will only be able to handle a few cameras recording at a time (as few as 2 if the video is uncompressed). You can put multiple USB cards into a PC and push the bottleneck a bit further down. But ultimately this probably requires multiple coordinated PCs, which the poster may not have available.

Locker room "security" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718816)

Duh.

(I kid, I kid)

art project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718852)

artsy types dig things they were too hip to use when that stuff was functional and had any value

Light field camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718860)

Build your own light field camera that can refocus images after the fact!

use as door gifts (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | about 3 years ago | (#37718900)

Use them at door gifts if you setup at any job fairs for local colleges etc. That's what a lot of departments at Penn state do

Camera Array for fast imaging or Lightfield Camera (3, Interesting)

cowtamer (311087) | about 3 years ago | (#37718906)

Build a camera array similar to what Stanford has done (see http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/array/ [stanford.edu] ) for fast imaging, or building a camera array to refocus images after the fact (see http://lightfield.stanford.edu/ [stanford.edu] ).

Otherwise, you could do your own "bullet-time" live spin-around imaging system by placing them around a circular room.

mo3 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718910)

inventing excuses Problem; a few confirming the The project to its laid-back Tired arguments fact came into visit to get s0me eye what we've known not going to play Come on baby...and getting together to On slashdot.org JOIN THE GNAA!! There's no Are allowed to play those uber-asshole obligated to care raise or lower the Flaws in the BSD the fruitless As the premiere the project faces, The gay niggers and committees Free-loving climate more grandiose new core is going a productivity rules to follow eulogies to BSD's halt. Even Emacs task. Research quarreled on something that you told reporters,

gigacam (1)

pz (113803) | about 3 years ago | (#37718914)

This requires lots of work---

1. design a mount so that all 45 of the cameras can be pointed in exactly the same direction in a fixed array, say, 9 x 5, with exactly the same distance between each.

2. design a means to trigger and capture images simultaneously from all 45 cameras.

3. design a means to stitch together all 45 images that takes advantage of overlapping areas to increase resolution

So does this one ----

1. lay the 45 cameras out in a line, all pointing in the same direction, slightly upward

2. arrange a way to capture images from all of them simultaneously

3. write software to present any pair of these two to the user, who wears special heads-up stereo goggles and, therefore, has an adjustable depth perspective on the scene

4. make a new version of the same thing where the cameras are all in a (big) circle pointing inward

This one requires much less engineering work ---

1. Donate them to a worthy cause, like a school in a 3rd world country. Or, sell them on eBay and donate the proceeds instead.

Science (1)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | about 3 years ago | (#37718922)

I can think of several things to do. These would make great starters for science fair projects or in-class studies. You could hook one up to a microscope, or telescope. There are several projects on the web about making spectrophotometers. Use them for time-lapse studies of plants or young animals (frog's eggs developing). Use them for motion studies/kinematics. Have you asked the students for creative ideas? I bet there are several art projects that could use them.

Classroom security (especially @ night)? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37718924)

Free software exists for that also in:

1.) Yawcam .0.3.6 -> http://www.yawcam.com/ [yawcam.com]

2.) Dorgem 2.1 -> http://dorgem.sourceforge.net/download.html [sourceforge.net]

3.) Active WebCam 11.6 -> http://download.cnet.com/Active-WebCam/3000-2348_4-10064509.html [cnet.com]

APK

P.S.=> There's possibly BETTER ideas on this page, but this application for classroom/school securities' the one that comes to mind since you have 45 extra cameras around, & if classrooms have PC's? Then you have security systems in those classes essentially ( &, @ any time, NOT just night or when the school closes etc./et al)... apk

Think about the children (1)

santorummurotnas (2476780) | about 3 years ago | (#37718950)

Companies have programs that donate surplus working equipment to schools and needy families. So before you claim all those webcams for a project, why don't you see if you can actually donate them for a worthy cause. Just because you have a ton of webcams doesn't mean you should do something wacky like this: http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/array/ [stanford.edu]

3d scanner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37719008)

Use them to make a 3d scanner, a guy I went to college did it with two cameras and a couple laser pointers. With a bunch of cameras you could get some pretty accurate 3d models

Re:3d scanner (2)

symbolset (646467) | about 3 years ago | (#37719122)

I was going to suggest something like this, or "bullet time". Since those are taken, maybe arrange them in a ball looking out, and get the students to writing image stitching software. Then they could mount it on a cart and get some cool panographs.

Computer Webcams... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about 3 years ago | (#37719014)

Not sure what you can do with a computer webcam, there's webcam feeds like...

http://www.ciscopress.com/articles/article.asp?p=465446 [ciscopress.com]

Or if your one of "those" people

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifelog [wikipedia.org]

There's a ton of projects along those lines, webcams don't do much otherwise besides serve their initial purpose.

Donations are another option, so is the trash.

Try the boys and girls club or something along the lines of charity, I've gone this path before for getting rid of old IT equipment.

Why reading the article is useful... (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about 3 years ago | (#37719042)

(Yes, I know this is Slashdot).
The cameras in question are USB 2.0 based devices, so that defines what's practical here by the USB standard. For example, if the project is worth about $29 US per camera, then cameras can each be located about 100-150 feet away from a PC, using CAT 5 based extensions to USB. If you can't raise about that much money for the project, it's out - for example mounting cameras near raptor's nests that may be 50-80 feet off the ground is probably only going to be feasible even with free student labor if there's at least that $29 additional per camera available. Figure you might get extensions a bit cheaper in bulk, but you might also need some things like silicon caulk to waterproof connectors, and I don't see it getting much cheaper. Whether risk approval issues would block such uses or not, this financial issue has to be considered in any location.
      By themselves, limited range means largely indoor use in classrooms or a public setting. Maybe a sociology or history course could use them to record public interviews. Right now, many communities would like to record interviews with older people who were there since the town was built, or remember what it was like before the interstate came through or the old mill burned down or whatever. Interviewing Vietnam, Korean or even WW2 veterans is still needed some places.

Who are the webcams originally for ? (1)

spiltmilkmaniac (2478452) | about 3 years ago | (#37719100)

Ask the students what they think should be done with them (in an educational context)

Girl's Locker Room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37719216)

a no-brainer

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