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KT-Tech Challenges Nancy and MPEG-4 for Wireless Video

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the rise-of-the-pants-cams dept.

Technology 134

Robert Gallagher writes: "Last week, at http://www.kttech.com/comp.html, KT-Tech released a demo of their video codec running at 32 Kbps. According to the web page and discussion on comp.compression, this codec is 'symmetric,' meaning encoding is just as fast as decoding, and that both can be done in software and in real-time. While Nancy is getting good press for its light decoding cost, KT-Tech is apparently trying to get into the two-way wireless communication market. One question to ponder: Would we really want cameras on our cell-phones?"

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In A Word... (0)

TheDick (453572) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737137)

No.

Then Again, all those X-10 camera ads have given me some good ideas :)

In several words, yes. (3, Interesting)

FireballFreddy (472710) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737793)

Each iteration in technology takes us closer to the real goal: Direct sensory transmission from person to person. If for no other reason, improved technology for transferring *any* data is important as a stepping stone.

For example, I take a trip to Seattle. Back home my girlfriend "calls" me, and I let her share my senses. The advanced technology allows her an immersive experience... she sees the skyscrapers, hears cars below, smells the funnel cakes, feels the wind blowing while I'm looking out from the observation deck of the Space Needle. And she doesn't have to be there.

Obviously it's all vaporware today. But each step takes us closer to the goal. Even if it is a commercial failure, we still need to take these steps.

Or are my expecations of the future too great?

-FF

Re:In several words, yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2738357)

Shudder!
Think about that "shared sense" a bit more.
There are more than a few pitfalls in there just waiting to trip up your average male.
Your GF decides to "jack in" and share your view of the scenery when a bodacious babe wanders into your view. Suddenly the GF is a unwitting voyuer in your carnal fantasy percipitating a nasty ending to the relationship.

Dr. Mario... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737139)

is a DAMN tuffy to find for xmas!

funfunfun! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737141)

why can't we all just get along?

So much for..... (5, Funny)

Baalam (163817) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737143)

answering the cell phone while visiting the restroom...

Re:So much for..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737162)

answering the cell phone while sucking thick, fat welsh cock...

pr0n (5, Funny)

jargoone (166102) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737148)

Would we really want cameras on our cell-phones?

Kinda brings a new meaning to the term phone sex doesn't it?

Re:pr0n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737231)

o Timothy, why didn't you see this coming...

great! (0, Redundant)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737710)

Great! I already have a problem driving in front of a guy chatting away, now I have to deal with him having phone sex too!

Show people what your talking about. (5, Interesting)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737149)

Putting a camera on a cell phone would be another tool to aid in describing what a user is looking at. Having done my fair share of over the phone tech support it would be nice if the user could take a screen shot of what they are trying to describe and send it via cell phone. Yet another step closer to me not having to drive into work.

Re:Show people what your talking about. (0)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737184)

Good point. I am doing tech support, and the people I have to deal with are... not very good at describing anything that is on screen.

Just think how much easier it would be, if I could actually SEE the printer, meaning I wouldnt have to rely on the stupid fool to tell me if it is turned on or not.
Seriously - some people dont know the difference between something being 'Off' or 'On'.

Its like the person who rang us up saying she couldnt get on the Internet. We did the usual diags, and it seemed as if the modem was at fault, so we sent an engineer round. Turns out that she hadnt paid her phone bill, and so her phone had been cut off! AAARRRGGGHHH!

Re:Show people what your talking about. (2)

plover (150551) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737401)

And then you'd spend the next hour looking at torn video images, trying to get her to sync the camera frame rate to her monitor's frame rate.

Be careful of what you wish for. You may get it.

John

Re:Show people what your talking about. (2, Funny)

ruvreve (216004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737436)

Assuming they are just taking a snapshot and not filming you wouldn't have to sync the frame rates. However you would on occasion have to retake the picture if the monitor was refreshing at the instant she snapped the picture. If that happens you should explain to her the meaning of "User Error" and how technology is infallible.

Re:Show people what your talking about. (1)

Pat__ (26992) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737507)

I think you would droll over the new Nokia 7560 [nokia.com] won't ya?

who cares about cell phones... (2, Interesting)

llamalicious (448215) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737150)

does it scale well enough for corporate video conferencing?

Re:who cares about cell phones... (1)

kigrwik (462930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737203)

> does it scale well enough for corporate video conferencing?

At the moment, it looks hardly better than ASCII-art.
Ever tried aaxine ? Or aatv ? :-)

Woohoo! (-1, Offtopic)

Jarrod Pol (545289) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737152)

I'm taking my phone sex company public RIGHT after this tech is all hammered out.

1 900 Fone fuk

Wow! (-1, Offtopic)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737154)

This is the closest I have ever got to a fr1st ps0t! WAHOO!

Well personally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737157)

I don't want cameras on any phone of mine. I don't have to worry about answering the phone nude, or with my hair unbrushed. It's just not a worry.

As soon as you introduce a camera, everything changes. You are no longer judged by your voice, but by your appearance too.

Re:Well personally... (1)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737249)

or course with a camera in the phone all we would see is your ear(and your side burns).
It would not matter what you were (or not)wearing.

[Think b4 u post, i don't]

Re:Well personally... (4, Funny)

FasterThanLight (541259) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737331)

No, no, no... this will lead to an entirely new phenomenon! We already have the "hands-free" earbud style headset, so...

Instead of the usual "person talking to themselves"(i.e. talking into the headset but not holding the phone), there will be legions of people walking around having animated conversations with their cell phone held at arms' length. Can you imagine someone trying desperately to get a signal? Or having a heated argument? Something similar to the following... "IF I'VE TOLD YOU ONCE, I'VE TOLD YOU A THOUSAND TIMES, DON'T PISS ME OFF!!!"

Exactly (1)

tigre (178245) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738369)

"Video killed the radio star"

This will only add to the need to look good, style over substance. Phone operators or customer service people will be hired for looks.

On the other hand, this could actually reduce some of the problems of cell-phone use while driving. Cell-phones are disorienting because they are a disembodied voice, and if your mind tries to compensate by generating a mental picture, you become less aware of your surroundings. If you have a picture to tie to the voice, then your mind might not have to separate from where your body is as much.

breaking news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737158)

Let's have a close look at the costs involved when running a Linux system.

An important factor in Linux' cost is its maintenance. Linux requires a *lot* of maintenance, work doable only by the relatively few high-paid Linux administrators that put themselves - of course willingly - at a great place in the market. Linux seems to be needing maintenance continuously, to keep it from breaking down.

Add to this the cost of loss of data. Linux' native file system, EXT2FS, is known to lose data like a firehose spouts water when the file system isn't unmounted properly. Other unix file systems are much more tolerant towards unexpected crashes. An example is the FreeBSD file system, which with soft updates enabled, performance-wise blows EXT2FS out of the water, and doesn't have the negative drawback of extreme data loss in case of a system breakdown.

According to Linux advocates, an alternative to EXT2FS would be ReiserFS. Unfortunately, ReiserFS is still in beta stage. This means it is not intended for production use (although according to many Linux advocates this shouldn't be a problem, which makes me wonder how (little) valuable they find your data).

The other proposed 'solution', EXT3FS, is nothing more than an ugly hack to put journaling into the file system. All the drawbacks of the ancient EXT2FS file system remain in EXT3FS, for the sake of 'forward- and backward compatibility'. This is interesting, considering that the DOS heritage in the Windows 9x/ME series was considered a very bad thing by the Linux community, even though it provided what could be called one of the best examples of compatibility, ever. When it's about Linux, compatibility constraints don't seem to be that much of a problem for Linux advocates.

Back to Linux' cost. Factor in also the fact that crashes happen much more often on Linux than on other unices. On other unices, crashes usually are caused by external sources like power outages. Crashes in Linux are a regular thing, and nobody seems to know what causes them, internally. Linux advocates try to hide this fact by denying crashes ever happen. Instead, they have frequent "hardware problems".

The steep learning curve compared to about any other operating system out there is a major factor in Linux' cost. The system is a mix of features from all kinds of unices, but not one of them is implemented right. A Linux user has to live with badly coded tools which have low performance, mangle data seemingly at random and are not in line with their specification. On top of that a lot of them spit out the most childish and unprofessional messages, indicating that they were created by 14-year olds with too much time, no talent and a bad attitude.

I could go on and on and on, but the conclusion is clear. Linux is not an option for any one who seeks a professional OS with high performance, scalability, stability, adherence to standards, etc.

Symetric ? (4, Insightful)

kigrwik (462930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737161)

> "Symmetric" means that encoding the video is as fast as decoding.

Well, it *could* also mean that decoding is as slow as encoding :)

Besides, do we really need yet another proprietary video codec ?
If it's effective, it won't take long for it to migrate to webcasting, movie previews, etc...
See how often QuickTime is used, and how compatible it is w/ Linux, won't we risk the same thing again ? and again ? and again ??

Re:Symetric ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2738048)

Actually I happen to know that it works as well (or better) on Linux as it does on Windows...it's the Mac where it's not perfect yet. But since it's designed on a linux box...

Cameras on our cell phones ? Hell Yes ! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737165)

As a digital camera owner, I carry the thing just about everywhere. The phrase "A picture tells a thousand words" is so true ! Short of photography, as a hobby, having a digital imaging device that's portable is really handy. Can't remember your bios settings ? Don't have a pencil+paper handy to copy them down ? Simply take a photo of the screen, and continue to boot into your OS of choice.. Taking pictures of whiteboards after meetings, remembering settings/manuals, photos of hard to reach server backs, etc. -- all useful.

Since digital cameras allow you to take and re-take pictures, film isn't necessary. I often mail friends pictures of things I've taken while walking into work. Having a camera that connects (or is on) a cell phone would be great. That said, a word of caution, if it can't produce at least 1024x800 pictures, it won't be worth a damn.

Re:Cameras on our cell phones ? Hell Yes ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737821)

Can't remember your bios settings ? Don't have a pencil+paper handy to copy them down ? Simply take a photo of the screen...

This is absolutely true. Pictures are (or can be) a quick and easy way to communicate. I don't take issue with this at all.

I do worry, though, that if this mode of communication becomes ubiquitous, that something may be lost in the process. Literally, not figuratively.

As your picture repository grows and grows, how do you find stuff? Unless you make some effort to catalog stuff, you just end up with a big jumble. But by carefully cataloging, you may start to consume the same amount of time as you ostensibly saved by taking a picture.

Also, if you take the time to type of copy/paste a config file, I have glorious beautiful TEXT that I can index, or copy/paste myself.

I want one (3, Funny)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737167)

I want one, that way when some jerk rips off my phone, I can get a good image for the police without him realizing it.

Re:I want one (3, Insightful)

Proud Geek (260376) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737257)

I know I've always wanted a camera on my phone that the police could activate remotely to spy on me, just in case it gets stolen.

Wait a minute, no I haven't.

japan (5, Informative)

mliu (85608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737173)

Admittedly the Japanese are a very tech-gadgety type people, but here in Japan newer cellular phones have still cameras on them and people love them, they're pretty popular, so that kinda answer the poster's rhetorical question. I can only imagine that moving cameras will be even more popular. All modern cell phones here have beautiful color displays, and it's pretty sweet being able to take a picture of something with your cell phone and then send it to your friend's cell phone where it can be instantly viewed. Not necessarily super useful but pretty fun, especially among the younger set.

And NTT DoCoMo's quasi-3G service (FOMA) has full bidirectional motion video, so that addresses the original post more directly. Quality could be better, but they are those video phones you always see in sci-fi, and mobile to boot......main thing that's keeping adoption low is that at the moment their service is only available in the Tokyo region last time I checked. Maybe since then they've added a few more regions, but service is pretty limited still. But I recall reading an article about how DoCoMo was surprised by how large demand was still, with it surpassing their initial estimates, so I guess adoption on those is going just fine too. Right now it's mainly geared at businesses, with the hype surrounding applications like using the camera to show progress at the work site to be people back at the office and things like that, but as price comes down, obviously it will become more mainstream.

Re:japan (2)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737227)

it's pretty sweet being able to take a picture of something with your cell phone and then send it to your friend's cell phone
Hrm, I can just see the uses for some couples... Who needs polaroids? :)

Re:japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2738251)

I love Japan, where else will girls give you oral sex because they can't pay their cell phone bills!

Re:japan (2)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737263)

Of course one would need to be in a fairly quiet setting to be able to hear and be heard via a phone that is being held at arms length pointed at the user. Otherwise the caller would just see a picture of somebody's ear canal the whole time.

Re:japan (2)

Chuck Milam (1998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737399)

"...it's pretty sweet being able to take a picture of something with your cell phone and then send it to your friend's cell phone where it can be instantly viewed. Not necessarily super useful but pretty fun..."

This would be very useful, for example:
  • You're debugging something over the phone, help-desk-like-stuff. The user on the other end can't describe what he sees very well. "No problem, just send me a picture of the screen."
  • You come upon an accident and need to call for help. Why not shoot the dispatcher a picture to help determine what rescure resources might be needed?
  • Ah, good old blackmail/insurance. Take a picture of someone doing something unethical or illegal, and zap it off to a few friends for safekeeping. If anything happens to you, the pictures get published. (Maybe I watch too many movies)
  • Torture your friends back in Wisconsin instantly with "Wish you were here in this tropical paradise like I am right now..." photos.

And so on...

Re:japan (1)

mliu (85608) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737688)

Ah, good old blackmail/insurance. Take a picture of someone doing something unethical or illegal, and zap it off to a few friends for safekeeping. If anything happens to you, the pictures get published. (Maybe I watch too many movies)

I mentioned this in a previous story already, but since you bring it up, I'll mention it again. Hehe, the advertising campaign for these still picture phones here in Japan is actually centered around this application. The commercials all go something like:
Guy is supposed to be meeting Girl, but instead is sleeping at his desk. Girl's Friend sees this and whips out her trusty picture phone, snapping a picture and sending it off to Girl. When Guy shows up to meet Girl, he gives some lameassed excuse that he was very busy, and is so very sorry he is late. Girl whips out her phone, and shows him the picture of him snoozing at his desk, leaving him stammering and stuttering to try and cover his ass. Outside, we see Girl's Friend doing a victory dance as the theme music comes up for the commercial.

Pretty funny stuff really; I'm sure that my description makes it sound pretty lame, but they're actually some of my favorite commercials on TV. Not quite the blackmailing evil bad guys type blackmail that you had in mind haha, but blackmail none the less. Hehe, selling products by playing on people's desires to conive and scheme against each other.......

Re:japan (1)

PeeOnYou2 (539746) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738188)

Sorry but that's not blackmail at all. Now if she wanted something in return for not showing the picture to his girl it would be.

Re:japan (0)

God_Retired (44721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737964)

It would be nice to have so that when I was checking the surf, if it was firing I could take a shot of the surf, send it to my friends, suit up and hit the water. Quicker and more to the point.

Neat. (5, Funny)

glowingspleen (180814) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737176)

That's cool...we really needed another level of distraction for idiots that use cell phones in the car! Beep beep.

Re:Neat. (1)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738013)

Maybe they should make cell-phone cameras mandatory in cars, mounted so that the person at the other end can see out the front window and shut up when traffic situations arise.

I once saw a driver, engrossed in a phone conversation, making amazingly stupid turns and moves back and forth in the middle of a large street crossing. If the other person had seen his manoeuvers I'm sure he or she would either shut up or say "What the hell are you doing?" Healthy.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.

Video Cameras in Cell Phones (1)

vanadium4761 (203839) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737183)

This would be an awesome technology to have. I can imagine someone asking me where I am, and simply holding up my phone to aid them in giving me detailed directions. Or a being at an event I want to share with a friend, simply hold up my phone and let them in on the action. I like the idea of being able to show someone what I am describing, and conversely be able to see what someone is trying to describe. There was an article about satellite video phones on slashdot recently and how they are being used in Afghanistan. The same thing is possible with these cell phones. If you are in the right place at the right time, You can get live coverage from inside to the TV networks, live! Imagine being taken hostage at a bank robbery and dial into the local news station with your cell phone!

Re:Video Cameras in Cell Phones (0, Offtopic)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737209)

Yeah, and imagine you with a bullet through your head when the crook sees and hears you using your cell phone during a bank robbery!

Man, get a clue. Videophones have been available since the 60's, no one wanted them then, and no one wants them now.

Camera Cell Phones are Old news (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737193)

J-Phone in Japan already has camera phones. Right now you can only take still pictures though. Here [impress.co.jp] is the phone I got. I just wish I could use it in the US.

The telecom industry is always pushing videophones (1, Insightful)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737198)

Nobody wanted them in 1950 when they first came out.

Nobody wants them now.

Re:The telecom industry is always pushing videopho (2, Insightful)

kigrwik (462930) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737225)

Actually there are some cases, with *mobile* phones when a visual input would be helpful.

"Which flowers do I buy ? The red ones, or the yellow ones ?"
"I don't know, do they match the living-room ?"
"Hmm... not sure"
"OK show me...."

"Hello, it's me, I can't seem to find your house, can you give me directions ?"
"Where are you ?"
"err...can't say exactly..."
"OK show me....."

There are countless cases when getting visual info would be helpful.
But *please*, remember to leave the video off by default !

showing through the phone... (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737234)

I am not sure this will help people improve their communication skills...
It may help, of course, but not for such trivial things.

Re:The telecom industry is always pushing videopho (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738402)

I cant figure out which part I need, is it this model or this model? Oh, im on the wrong row!

Attending meetings remotely (and cheaply)

Sitting in a waiting area, watching some tv (with tivo!)

This is "Bob Johnson" from News 11, and we witnessing the Bank robbery LIVE!

Ok MOM, unplug that bundle of wires, ok, yes, the red stripe goes towards the power, ok, put back in the case and put the screws in. Ok, you now have a larger Harddrive.

My thoughts (2, Interesting)

c_g_hills (110430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737200)

The video quality is too low to be really usable. I find the VP4 [on2.com] codec much more usable. Besides, most mobiles these days still dont have a color display. Perhaps more compression could be achieved by converting the video to grayscale.

No color display (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737327)

As an engineer working on cell phones, I can assure you that a slew of phones with color displays is on the way.... Soon as the economy upticks.

Re:My thoughts (1)

Devesh42 (307512) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737645)

The VP4 codec is developed for an entirely different market. For it to be useful for videoconferencing, the cell phone has to be able to encode in real-time.

I'm sure they could achieve more compression by converting to grayscale, but if the bit rate is already low enough to send using cell phones, there is no need to reduce quality further.

yes (2, Interesting)

johnjones (14274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737207)

oh and for fscks sake its not the codec that matters

all and I mean all codecs cant do video at 9600baud.
(go on talk about asci if you must)

really you need high speed connections

then why dont you use a standard like MPEG ?
hard to compress boll*cks ARM 7 systems can do it (all future systems will be ARM11 or StrongARM2 aka Xscale based) and the hardware exists so that you pipe raw in one end of DSP and get MPEG out the other its done to death TI who are THE phone chipset people have it down to a T

this is nothing but marketing you HAVE to have a standard !
MPEG is it (select your version) handset people are not going to switch to useing a certain type unless its a standard and everyone has fair access

sorry but this is not the way its going

regards

john jones

Re:yes (2)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738438)

I can tell someone didnt read the site.

They have a short demo of thier product, comparing
KT-Tech 32 Kbps, 8 fps
MPEG-1 56 Kbps, 8 fps
H.261 32 Kbps, 8 fps

KT-Tech looks better than MPEG1 and at lower bandwidth. This is what they are selling.

If everyone had FAT 1meg pipes, we could use another codec, but the idea is the lowest codec with realtime encoding, with a good picture.

Standards are not always the best choice.

Do we really want cellphones? (3, Insightful)

JThaddeus (531998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737208)

Okay, I guess I am just out of sync with technology but, despite having been in this business for 20 years and online since MILNET/ARPANET in the mid-80s, and despite having written and managed a web product [mindwrap.com] for 5 years, I have absolutely no interest in being connected 24x7. The only use I have found for my cell phone is being able to run to the mall and still get a call if the church youth group needs to tell me that my son broke his leg. But I do not give that number to my coworkers or customers and have told more than one boss that I will under no circumstances wear a beeper.

What on earth do I need with portals that dump me stock reports faster than I can trade or palm pilots that link me to recipe web sites (or even SlashDot?). I go along with the Chicago economist and Nobel winner Milton Friedman that palm pilots are stupid technology--multi-hundred dollar items that take merely the place of a 49 pad of paper and a stubby pencil. This, I know, puts me out of step with almost all my coworkers but so be it.

So, what do I want in a cell phone? Not stock quotes; not web access; not images; not even (are you listening Nokia?) centipede! I just want to be able to be reach or be reached by my kids or wife from wherever I am and not have to worry about the g**d*** out of service area or all lines busy messages! Is that to much to ask?

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737253)

Why do you even read slashdot? Slashdot is all about technology and all the cool things you can do with it. Cell Phones provide instant access to information. Stock Quotes, Web Access, etc. all provide useful services if you are not at a computer and need information. And your analysis of Palm Pilots are way off. Handheld computers are so much more useful than you think, such as Hospitals using wireless handhelds to pull up charts, and sales people validating credit cards, real-time inventory tracking, etc. You show me a pen and pad organizer that can do that.

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (1)

JThaddeus (531998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737330)

Granted, there are useful things for handhelds. I took part in an early prototype of a handheld PC with hand writing recognition and bar coding for performing inventory of warehouses and cargo shipments. It worked great and saved a lot of money. That and what you describe are valid business uses. But outside of a business setting, what I see are people taking down grocery lists, reading novels that were too bad to be bought by a real publisher, or preforming the electronic equivalent of tying a string around their finger. That is stupid technology.

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737382)

Why is the electronic equivalent of tying a string around their finger stupid technology?

If it helps people get organized, what's the problem?

The only reason I don't have a handheld is because I want an iPaq to run NetBSD or Linux on, and they're too freaking expensive.

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (1)

JThaddeus (531998) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737783)

To spend several hundred dollars on something that can be done with less than a buck reminds me of what Richard Prior said about cocaine: "It's God's way of telling you that you have too much money." Like cell phone handsets, palm pilots just seem like a case of conspicuous consumption to me.

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (2)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737426)

Around here (Norway) I have never had a situation with all lines busy. You have to be at some rural place, like in the mountains to get out of service area (whether this is a Good Thing[tm] is an open question).

So, I want to go further. No, I don't picture my cellphone being a small desktop. What I want is e.g. to tell my cellphone what I want for dinner today. The cellphone connects to my home server, which launch an investigation. First it figures out what I have in my fridge. Then, it figures out what I need to buy. Then, it connects to the websites of all the food stores in the vicinity of my location at the time and parse their prize lists. Then it reports back to my cell phone where the closest store that has the stuff at a reasonable prize. Then, I go there. That is what I want the cell phone to do.

Yeah, and if he computer industry hadn't undermined the real ideas behind the web, this would have been reality years ago.

Re:Do we really want cellphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737681)

>I go along with the Chicago economist and Nobel winner Milton Friedman that palm pilots are stupid technology--multi-hundred dollar items that take merely the place of a 49 pad of paper and a stubby pencil.

I don't, and I have the time to explain why.

Tell me, can a pad of paper do this:

- Access any useful information you need?
(not unless you already wrote it down)
- Save you from re-writing everything you want?
(not unless you use scissors, glue, and a photocopier)
- Ask for information from others?
(not unless you write down the notes and mail them off)
- Get you a taxi?
(not unless you write down the notes and send them by rush courier)
- Search for everyone working at XYZ tech and search for specific names?
(not unless you have the names/companies written down in both search patterns)
- Do all the above and fit in your breifcase?
(I know I can't fit all the important info I'd like all the time in my breifcase)
- Make backup copies easy?
(I suppose if you have a spiral binding machine, a photocopier, and lots of notepad sized sheets you'd be OK -- BTW: Don't tell me you have never lost a notepad -- I won't believe you)

And, since most of what I suggested requires you to buy a photocopier (which costs more than a PDA) the notepad is dead.

Of course, if all you ever do at work is make grocery lists and write down friends' phone numbers, then you are A-OK with a notepad. Stick it to the man!

(Personally, I appreciate the extra functionality, and would be less than jazzed if I had to go back to a pad and paper).

these things are great! (4, Funny)

posmon (516207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737210)

fantastic! so depending where on the phone they put the camera, you can either look down my ear or my throat. enjoy!

Re:these things are great! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737250)

or you could just use a headset. Doh!

Re:these things are great! (2, Funny)

QuickFox (311231) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737909)

either look down my ear or my throat.

The relentless progress of technology is truly astonishing. Now they've achieved something that nobody, absolutely nobody would ever believe possible: A technology that may convince geeks to wash their teeth and their ears.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.

Player runs nice under WineX! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737214)

Just tried it - lots of times their demo clips are giving 30fps (although the clips don't have an Audio)..

You'll need the player from KT tech web site.

Breast Enhancement Cream 100% PROVEN !! (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737223)

**Breast Enhancement Cream**

100% PROVEN and GUARANTEED!!

Women increased their bust size by over 2"

Give yourself that extra look and self confidence you deserve!!

I like to snot on little GIRLS (-1)

The WIPO Troll (267426) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737247)

By The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] , $Revision: 1.1 $

What's black, blue and green and doesn't like sex?
The Girl Scout locked in my basement.
What's the worst part about having sex with a six-year-old?
Getting the blood out of your clown suit.
What's the best thing about getting a hand job from a five-year-old?
That little hand makes your thing look really huge.
Guy comes home from work to find his girlfriend sitting on the porch, crying.
"What's wrong, honey?"
"I'm leaving you!! I just found out you're a pedophile!!!"
"Pedophile?? Why, that's a pretty big word for a ten-year old..."
How can you tell when your sister's on her period?
When your dad's dick tastes like blood!
Two pedophiles are lying on a beach tanning, one turns to the other and says, "excuse me, you're in my son."
What's 18 inches long, blue, veiny, and makes a woman cry?
Crib death.
How could the man's 7-year-old son tell that his dad has farked his 8-year-old sister? His dad's weiner tasted like blood!
Watson returns home to find Holmes in bed with a child. He shouts, "Is this some sort of a schoolgirl?"
Holmes replies, "Elementary, my dear Watson."
So I was having sex with my girlfriend, and I decided I wanted to get kinky and try and do her in the ass. So I slipped around back, she looked over her shoulder at me and said... "My, how presumptious of you." And I said "presumptious? That's a big word for a 10-year-old."
Two guys are walking down the street when a beautiful woman passes. The first guy says, "Damn! I'd love to tear her clothes off, do her in the rear, smear my feces all over her, slice off her breasts, chop her into little pieces, put her in a garbage bag and toss her into the river!"
Second guy says, "Yuck! You're a sick bastard!"
First guy says, "What're you? A fag?"
The kidergarden teacher is asking the kids what their father does for a living. All the kids answer except for Little Johnny. The teacher asks Little Johnny what his Dad does and Johnny replies "My dad is dead."
The teacher say's "That is terribile, but what did he do before he died?"
Little Johnny replies, "He turned blue and shit all over himself!"
A guy calls in sick to work.
"What's wrong?" asks the boss.
"I'm sick," the guy replies.
"You sound all right."
"No, I'm really sick. Believe me."
"Listen, you were fine yesterday, and we have a lot of work today. I want you in here. You can't be that sick!"
"Dude, I just banged my sister. Don't tell me I'm not sick."
A little girl accompanied her father to the barbershop. While her dad received a haircut, the little girl stood next to the barber chair, enjoying a snack cake. The barber smiled at her and said, "Sweetheart, you're going to get hair on your Twinkie."
"I know," the little girl replied. "I'm gonna get tits, too."
An older man and a small boy walk hand in hand through the woods.
Boy: "These woods sure are spooky!"
Man: "You think you're scared, I've gotta walk out of here alone."
What's the difference between Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson?
One walked on the moon, and the other rapes little boys.
Has anyone read Michael Jackson's new book, "The Ins and Outs of Child Rearing"?
Q: What's the difference between a dead baby and a golden delicious apple?
A: I don't cum all over the golden delicious apple before I take a bite out of it.
Q: What's the difference between a dead baby and my girlfriend?
A: I don't kiss my girlfriend after sex.
Q: What is special about a dead baby over all other forms of life?
A: You can achieve deep throat from whichever way you enter.
Q: What do you have when you have 4 dead babies, take away two, and add 5 more?
A: An orgy!
Q: What's the difference between a dead baby and a table?
A: You can't fark a table.
Q: Whats white and bobs up and down in a baby's crib?
A: A pedophile's ass.
Q: Whats the safest way to play with a baby?
A: With a condom.
Q: Whats more fun than feeling up a dead baby?
A: Feeling up a dead baby with three nipples.
Q: What does a baby and a Pinto have in common?
A: They're fun to ride until they die.
Q: What do you get whan you dislocate a dead baby's jaw?
A: Deep Throat.
Q: Whats the difference between a baby and a grandmother?
A: Grandmothers dont die when you fark them in the ass
Q: What's the best sound in the world?
A: Hearing dead baby's hips crack under pressure!
Q: Whats worse than a having sex with a dead baby?
A: Having sex with a dead baby filled with razor blades.
Q: How do you stop a baby from choking?
A: Take your dick out of its mouth.
Q: What's worse than finding a dead baby on your pillow in the morning?
A: Realizing you were drunk and made love to it the night before.
Q: How do you make a baby cry twice?
A: Wipe your bloody cock on his teddy bear.
What's better than sex with a 12-year-old boy?
Absolutely nothing.

Thanks, Fark.com [fark.com] !

________________________________________
$Id: pedo-jokes.html,v 1.1 2001/12/20 05:24:25 wipo Exp $
Copyright © 2001
The WIPO Troll [slashdot.org] . Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium, provided this copyright notice is preserved, and next time you take a dump, you think of the WIPO Troll and all he's done to make Slashdot a better place.

This would be annoying (2, Funny)

joshv (13017) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737251)

So, you know those calls were your friend puts her phone in her pocket without locking the keypad, and accidentally calls you? Now you get to SEE the inside of her pocket, instead of just hearing it...

-josh

Honest Demo (3, Interesting)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737254)

Whether or not this technology takes off, at least they have honest demo clips. The "IndianHead" clip shows a wide variety of dynamic video and has frame rates that drop down as low as 0.4 fps when the stream has trouble. Even the "Butch" clip has an assymetric background which causes the left side of the speaker's face to be less detailed than the right side.

Re:Honest Demo (2, Funny)

danisdanisdan (545489) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738083)

I don't know...I know Butch and he's somewhat blocky on the left side. (Sorry, Butch)

No thanks, 1984 is already here. (1)

sullrich (78) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737260)

Sorry, I've had enough doses of the popular 1984 book. The new thing you know your teleprompter in your house will be watching all our moves. Oops, thats already here and its called a computer. ;(

-GG

Every Cell Phone a Surveillance Camera (4, Insightful)

stankulp (69949) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737275)

There is already a lot of anecdotal evidence that the proliferation of cell phones and the consequent ability of witnesses to contact police while a crime is in progress has been one of the primary reasons for the drop in crime in recent decades.

With a video camera/cell phone, they could also be recording evidence to be used at trial.

Violent public crime would become obsolete, and violent criminals would find it hard to remain free.

Re:Every Cell Phone a Surveillance Camera (0, Troll)

posmon (516207) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737856)

you fucking idiot. haven't you noticed how there is a tendency for criminals to steal and make off with them.

Re:Every Cell Phone a Surveillance Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737903)

you fucking idiot. haven't you noticed how there is a tendency for criminals to steal and make off with them.

No, but I have noticed how there is a tendency for complete morons to use the "F" word a lot.

Re:Every Cell Phone a Surveillance Camera (1)

Secret Coward (427931) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738349)

With a video camera/cell phone, they could also be recording evidence to be used at trial.

I have long wondered about this. Since the recording uses lossy compression (which alters the original image), will a court allow such images into evidence? I would guess the quality is sufficient to determine what happened, but I would be quite leary of using it to identify a suspect.

Enter Subject (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737283)

Enter message

No common sense at k-tech (5, Funny)

SanLouBlues (245548) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737289)

A look at k-tech's still image compression [kttech.com] shows them touting the advantages of their image format over jpegs. With jpegs of what both formats look like. They aren't the best marketers.

JPEG to JPEG comparison (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737435)

touting the advantages of their image format over jpegs. With jpegs of what both formats look like.

Not even a nominal-bitrate JPEG next to a high-bitrate JPEG of a nominal-bitrate image in their format?

Front Page?!?! (-1, Offtopic)

darrick (413403) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737297)

Does it disgust anyone else that their site looks like it was made with M$ Front Page?! Blech!

Re:Front Page?!?! (0, Offtopic)

fatarfy (319180) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737337)

from web site:
&#060meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 3.0">
&#060meta name="Microsoft Theme" content="nature 001, default">
&#060meta name="Microsoft Border" content="tlb, default">

Re:Front Page?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2738058)

You couldn't tell that by just looking at it?

Re:Front Page?!?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737373)

By Golly, you're right! It is disgusting.

&lthead>
&lttitle>Areas of Research&lt/title>
&ltmeta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 3.0">
&ltmeta name="Microsoft Theme" content="nature 001, default">
&ltmeta name="Microsoft Border" content="tlb, default">
&lt/head>

pictures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737305)

more pictures can be found here [zdnet.com] at ZDnet.

YES... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2737312)

As everyone can guess... that can be a very usefull tool for the "minimal" human rights... as if everybody has a camera and is sending a video feed elsewhere... you got my drift...

Cell Phone in my Camera (2, Interesting)

gjhart (90952) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737326)

What I want is a cell phone in my camera. Snap a photo, send it right to the server, no worries about running out of space.

Do we even need Cellphones ? (1)

bushboy (112290) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737364)

Do we even need cellphones ?

That's the question :)

Having resisted buying one until only 2 years ago, in a country where cell-phone mania is an intense occupation(africa), I find myself wondering exactly how much I really need one.

Don't get me wrong - I love gadgets, or rather, I often covert (as in thy neighbours ass) gadgets, but once I get them, it's usually a let-down.

What do I use my cellphone for ? - A limited 'email' tool(sms), or occasionally (if I have the bucks) to phone someone.

Do we really need them ?

Well, we didn't before, but now they've reached critical mass, your a sucker if you don't have one.

Christ sake, there's beggars here in Africa who have bloody cell phones !

So now we'll all be getting video soon - the next big thing - I can see it being big bucks in the Pron industry, but for everyone else ? - A novelty that'll chew your cell-phone battery life.

:D

I mean cmon, in this 'new age' of communication, surely we should all be 'p2p' without any corporate intervention, via radio-waves ?

Loverly thought... :D - Internet access as free as radio !

Re:Do we even need Cellphones ? (2)

Pope Slackman (13727) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737860)

I mean cmon, in this 'new age' of communication, surely we should all be 'p2p' without any corporate intervention, via radio-waves ?

I belive we already have this technology. It's called a "walkie-talkie".

C-X C-S

Re:Do we even need Cellphones ? (0)

Trinn (523103) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737889)

As far as the having the bucks to call someone, if it is in your city, I suggest you check out Cricket wireless. It's not necissarily cutting-edge technology but it's definately cutting-edge marketing. Flat rate per month, no minute-caps. At least for someone on a small budget, it's a great solution.

Cellular phones with video pickups in them. (1)

Proteus Child (535173) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737378)

These sound like the 'go-phones' from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

Danger Will Robinson!!! (2)

joshamania (32599) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737452)

Danger [danger.com] is making what they call a "Hiptop" which is phone/pda/blackberry all rolled into one. They are making a camera device for it...and even more beautifully, it comes with Java, so you can write your own applets for it.

Faked benchmarks (2)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737458)

Their still image compression comparison is *seriously* flawed.

I ran the hawk through GIMP and compressed it to roughly (slightly under) the size they had, and got an image at *noticably* better quality then their jpeg. Of course, they also didn't provide uncompressed (well, png) images for comparison, so I didn't have a real source image, but they're still cheats.

Of course! (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737471)

... I want cameras in cell phones. How else am I ever gonna get that Dick Tracy watch?

A light at the end of the tunnel (1)

slayer99 (15543) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737482)

Video conferencing under linux at the moment is somewhat patchy to say the least. Perhaps new CODECs will ease the situation.

OpenMCU mainly works but sill suffers from stability problems dittio gnomemeeting.

The ISABEL project ( http://isabel.dit.upm.es/ ) is probably the most functionally complete suite right now but is hampered by a seemingly slow release cycle and annoying compatibility issues.

Another good one to take a look at is OpenMASH ( http://www.openmash.org ) which is a rehack of the old (very old!) VIC application.

What I want... (1)

gordguide (307383) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737532)

Yeah, I want a cellphone in my camera.... umm
No, I meant a lawnmower in my watch...
Wait a minute, I really meant a Russian Corvette in my laptop. Yeah, that's it...

It ain't the users that want the camera... (2, Interesting)

neile (139369) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737594)

I'd argue it's the network operators that want the cameras on the phones, not the users. And it's not for any user benefit :)

European operators in particular paid obscene amounts of money for the rights to radio spectrum for 3G networks. Now they have to recoup their costs. Can you think of anything that would run on a cellphone and would use up huge amounts of data, thus leading to nice big phone bills for users to pay? Well, the only thing that operators can come up with is video.

So, the operators tell all the handset people they want cameras to do video teleconferencing and send still pics as MMS/email message attachments. The handset people badly want to sell phones to the operators, so they go do it.

Doesn't matter if it's useful :)

KY-Tech Challenges Nancy... (2, Funny)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737655)

What? What does Slashdot care about lubrication?

And who is Nancy?

Stupid question (2, Insightful)

nr (27070) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737672)

One question to ponder: Would we really want cameras on our cell-phones?

Do we realy need color screens on out PDAs? I remember the first cell-phones that had no displays at all. Today you can get a phone Nokia with high-res 4096 color screen like the Ipaq. One can ponder the usefullness of cameras in phone. But in the wonderful times of moores law then you can fit a digital high-res color camera on a brick of silicon with the size of your fingernail for a dollar that question seams silly.

do we really want cameras on our cell phones (1)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737747)

it's not a question whether we really want it. if there's enough momentum in the industry to launch a certain feature, it will eventually become mainstream, whether you want it to or not.

when cell phones became popular in the Netherlands (were I come from), a lot of people were complaining about the annoying ringtones and the public conversations people would be having (you can find out interesting things about the personal life of complete strangers when listening to telephone conversations in public places ;-) ).

you would hear a lot of talk about the uselessness of this new medium, but, after a while, people just ignore the annoyances. and now, everyone seems to have a cell-phone...

i think the same will happen with this kind of thing, especially since it doesn't affect you too much when someone is having a video conversation.

and eventually, we will have a 1984-world, just a little later then orwell thought it'd be

shit happens

meneer de koekepeer

(ps. no comments about my sig dutchies, i *do* happen to think it's funny!)

Did you notice? (1)

Nawak (170627) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737837)

Did you notice that they zipped their video files for dowloading?

I guess they can still improve their codec!!!

mugger's bane... (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 12 years ago | (#2737911)

Great for emergencies: dial 911 and point the phone camera at the robber/rapist/misc-sociopath. Might not help you right at the moment, but the cops would know who to look for.

News gathering implications (2, Interesting)

MediaBoy77 (469933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738024)

As a local TV news producer, I love the thought of having lots of people with FMV capabilities on their cell phone. It takes what CNN has done with videophone technology, and puts it in everyone's hands.

In a breaking news situation, ordinarily we have to send a camera crew and live truck to the scene, wait for them to raise their mast or dish, then set up a microwave or satellite signal to get on the air. That's 30 minutes on a good day, with good traffic, and good weather.

Imagine if any 13 year old geek with a camcorder and a cell phone could be the first on the scene, and we just dial into their cell phone. It turns everyone into a potential live reporter.

Of course, with judicious use of the seven second delay. :-)

The question to ponder? (2, Interesting)

foxtrot (14140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2738386)

One question to ponder: Would we really want cameras on our cell-phones?

Well, you and I, not at the moment. We geeks look at our phone, we look at our PDA, and we see two separate devices.

But our phones now have built-in contact management software. My brother's phone has "wireless web"-- not the real Internet, but a surprising amount of crap can be found. This leads me to believe that the general public wants their phone to be a PDA.

Now, look at us, supposively the bleeding edge. We're installing the intimate distribution of Linux on our iPaq's. We carry around a gig of mp3 in our pocket, or maybe even a half a season of Babylon 5. We're basically turning our PDAs into baby versions of our personal computers. People want their cellphone to be a PDA, we want our PDAs to be real computers, so why not cellphones as computers? [0] Our computers have webcams, we buy digital firewire camcorders, so why not have the one we carry on our belt support webcams? Sure, I think the real bandwidth will go the other direction, as bored business travelers waiting for their delayed flight to leave sit there watching last night's episode of ER on their cellphone, but why not also be able to send video outbound?

[0] I do see one problem with this: interface. Right now, we don't know how to make a usable general purpose interface for a computer small enough to put it on a cellphone, and the other feature trend in cellphones is "as small as you can still fit a day's worth of battery into."

-JDF
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