Wirecast at Work

21 08 2007

Wirecast at Work — originally uploaded to flickr by cogdogblog

How I managed to stream Second Life as a live video, but to other regions and out to the web as well (and recorded as an archive) — all done on my Apple MabBookPro!

For the NMC Symposium on Creativity in Second Life, I put Wirecast to the test.

As a streaming video solution, it allows me to broadcast a window of a desktop application, in this case Second Life, out to our streaming server (a hosted XServe), much like QuickTime Broadcaster can do as a free app, but with so much more….. Broadcaster cannot do an app window, and Wirecast allows you to dynamically compose layered effects (title screens) and switch between video sources with transitions.

Audio was a bit trickier. Larry was talking via our streaming audio serverm which was not captured as output anywhere in Wirecast– until I remembered Soundflower, the free app that creates virtual sound channels. In my Mac Sound panel, I set the default output to SoundFlower, which I could then pick up as an audio source in Wirecast.

So top left is my SL view, essentially a camera. The Wirecast controls are in the right, and the desktop presenter in bottom left (bottom right is a Skype chat opened that we used for team communication).

This setup was done primarily to overcome the audience limits of SL- 60-65 per sim; by broadcasting the view as video, we can attach to any other place in SL, record a video archive.

It worked flawlessly. The second time we did iut, rather than just stream the view of the ending video (Robbie Dingo’s Watch the World(s)), I had downloaded the source video, and then sued Wirecast to switch sources from SL to this video.

The recorded video is sweet!

I was surprised I could do this on a single machine– for future use, it looks like I am going a two machine set up- where I will use a high end PC to be my Sl display and route the video to my Mac.

Dry Heat

8 08 2007

Hot is Hot — originally uploaded to flickr by cogdogroo

it’s almost a reflex in Arizona when people talk about the summer temperature extreme, to smile, and utter, “But it’s a DRY heat”.

How does that help? It is a baking, searing, brain boiling, peel the paint off your car dry heat.

I kind of like it myself.

Okay, this is but one more blog test- am setting up a flickr account for my workshops and needed one for guests to use.

Looking For Aussie Blogs for My RSS Habit

8 08 2007

Australia is a big place (doh), and I am challenged to be able to get a sense of issues, challenges, dynamics, concerns, wishes, nightmares, strange habits (!) of educators I will meet there. I rely heavily on RSS for being informed, and I am more or less in love with scanning feeds in Google Reader.

A Few Aussie Blogs in my RSS ReaderIt struck my last night, after a serendipitous Skype chat with Alexander Hayes, that I ought to start more focused reading of some Australia educator blogs. The nice thing about Google Reader (well one nice thing among many) is that instead of creating folders for fixed bins to organize feeds, you simply tag them to mix and match into different groups. So I could rummage through my educational technology feeds, and just add a tag for a new group I called “aussie” for ones I was already following, like Angela Thomas, Gary’s rambles, jo kay, James Farmer, Sean Fitzgerald – okay, hardly the comprehensive guide to edubloggers at all. So I visited a few of these and grabbed a few more from their blog roll.

But I need more to help better inform me. Send me your suggested reads for Australia educators in the know who are regular bloggers.

But there’s more to do with Google Reader! With these feeds set as a “tag”, I can go into my Settings and in the tags tab, I can set this group of feeds to be “shared” or public:

Google Reader tags

This does three neat things- I get a link I can share to a page that always features the latest news stories form all these feeds; this in turn has an RSS feed I can use elsewhere, and the “add a clip” to your site provides some code I can use to embed the feed headlines on another web site. now since Google is connected to Blogger, they have a direct route to add a widget to one of those sites (see my Blogger lab area, CogDogHouse, a place I use just to demo features; the sidebar features the same headlines from this group of feeds).

WordPress.com sidebar with feedsBut I cannot use the Javascript code in a WordPress.com site, so hmmm….

Wait a minute, I can use an RSS widget in WordPress.com, so I can use that on this site, and voila, down the side of this blog are the latest posts form this feed set, the RSS feed, and the title links to the public page.

I am still 1000% convinced that having that sixth sense for using RSS is an absolute skill that can get you ahead. In many of my presetnations about technology, I admit to the myth that many technology people have this song and dance about “technology saving you time” and that we are really all liars about that– RSS is really the one thing I feel confident that mastering the basics can absolutely save you time in terms of staying up to date with the resources in the areas that matter to you.

But hey, I know I am missing about 1000 good Australia educator blogs– help me! Send ’em my way! My Google reader is Hunnnnnngry.

My New Friend Al in South Australia

6 08 2007

Through the serendipity of the web, I’ve made a great connection with Al Upton, a Year 3 & 4 teacher in South Australia. Al found my working draft of a workshop on using web-based media tool to create stories (shhhh it is still under wraps!) and was asking about the audience for it. Al’s interest is his own nifty project, Telling Our Stories — and he was kind enough to actually check all 50+ tools I am listing to see which ones are blocked at his school.

He seems surprised that a lot are not blocked!

This is my supreme delight in this networked world, making connections with someone I never would have likely had an opportunity to previously– and he has such a cool name!

License to Web2.0

6 08 2007

License to Web2.0 — originally uploaded to flickr by cogdogblog

Cue the music….

I am feeling a bit… dangerous!

Among my preparations for the October visit- (which seem to be advancing at an accelerating rate… I am excited of course but very challenged to get my materials prepared) I was asked to obtain “Professional Liability Insurance”. Apparently, there is some potential I could demonstrate a web site in a presentation or a conference which might, well adversely affect someone, enough to reach for a lawyer.

Interesting.. up ot now, my biggest concern is that I would bore an audience or that they might just loose their cookies over the ridiculous things I might say.

But now we can all sleep assured, since I am insured!

Now I can be dangerous!!!!!

Did Someone Call Me?

4 08 2007

Fresa — originally uploaded to flickr by cogdogblog

Nothing like a cute puppy picture to get some attention, eh?

This is a test, a cultural test, of the Puppy Cuteness Affinity for the Country of Australia. This is only a test…..

Just kidding- I am testing to make sure I can post a blog entry here from my flickr account. But meet the newest resident of our home in Arizona– “Fresa”, which is Spanish for “strawberry”…