Monday, November 3, 2008

60 Minutes

So, did you catch it? Not just the show, but my hands are CLEARLY visible in a couple frames! See...

But seriously, I thought it was a really good piece overall, and nicely balanced. I must have explained what I do to my grandma a hundred times, but she didn't understand it until this report. Also, I like checking out the comments people make on the various sites that post these stories*. You can buy the episode on DVD at Amazon, apparently.

A little "Behind the Scenes" bit for you. After Cathy played the media player (standard Windows Media Player, btw), the cameras stopped filming and the crew began discussing the setup for the next shot. I think the reporter (Scott Pelley) was the one that said to a crew member, "I'm having a hard time hearing you because of the music." A couple people began to walk over to the speakers to turn down the volume. Before they reached the speakers, not more than 10 feet away, Cathy had turned the music off. It was a somewhat surreal moment where the research and media attention fell into the background. Not only was it one of the first completely unstructured uses of the system I've seen, but there was a serene normalcy to the situation. Even when all intentions are to be respectful, under typical conditions there is an unacknowledged barrier between the user and the rest of the people in the room. For a moment, that barrier simply disappeared.

The entire clip is available below. Site here.

* There are inevitably a few total whack job posts about secret government projects or aliens, so the mass media coverage provides a good source of lulz. Even Free Republic (staunchly conservative site) is carrying the story. And to answer some of the posts there - our project will be infinitely better off if Obama is elected. If you really care about developing this type of technology, vote for Obama. :P

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