Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can You Video Chat On a Plane?

From John Battelle's Searchblog: Video Chat on the Plane? Illegal? OK? Legal Gray Area?
... my kids can now gather around any one of our home computers, fire up iChat, and BAM! they can see me even as I zip across the Nebraska sky at some 400+ mph.

Except tonight, as I was chatting with my lovely wife and two lovely daughters (much to the amusement of my seat mates, using Bose headphones and my MacBook's built in microphone), the very nice steward - who I must note brought me extra nuts even though he didn't have to - told me I had to quit my video chat.

"Security. Cameras not allowed!" was the response. There was clearly no argument.

I protested, but not too loudly. I don't want to end up stripped searched in a cold basement cell below SFO, after all. I told my family I had to quit the video chat.

I've written about video chat on a plane before, but this is the first I've heard of someone being told to stop. Granted, you want to be a polite passenger and listen more than talk (see the FAA memo about blocking Skype conversations) but seems like if you're not bothering anyone it should be OK. Anyone have a similar experience?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Google Seattle Tech Talk Event - Video Chat and Chrome Video

I'll be giving a talk on Google video chat Wednesday at Google's Seattle office. Andrew Scherkus will also be talking about the implementation of the HTML5 video tag in Chrome. Short writeups:

Google Voice and Video Chat by Justin Uberti

How does video chat really work? The basic concepts are simple, but in the real world there are a number of things that make life much more complicated. Learn how all the pieces fit together in this deep dive into Google video chat.

Justin Uberti is currently Tech Lead for Real-Time Communications at Google, where he led the effort to create Google video chat. Prior to joining Google in 2006, Justin served as the chief architect for AOL Instant Messenger, including the development of AIM's voice and video chat.

Google Chrome HTML5 Video by Andrew Scherkus

How exactly do you get video playback working in a multi-process, cross-platform, sandboxed browser? Find out what worked, what didn't and what it's like to work on open source projects at Google in this retrospective on implementing HTML5 Video in Google Chrome.

Andrew Scherkus is currently a Software Engineer at Google Kirkland. Since joining Google in 2008 he's been busy leading development on Google Chrome's HTML5 audio/video implementation. Prior to that Andrew was finishing up his bachelor of Software Engineering from the University of Waterloo and working as an intern for ATI and Google.

For more info, see our Seattle Tech Talk Page.