Video Technology Magazine February 2005               

Video Monitoring of Railway Intersections

"According to the Federal Highway Administration, a train strikes a vehicle or a pedestrian at a rail crossing approximately every 2 hours in the United States."

On Jan 26th a Metrolink commuter train collided with and SUV and then with a second train in Los Angeles. I was almost on that very train that morning!
There are simple inexpensive technology solutions that could have averted this catastrophe.
New York Times:California Train Strikes an S.U.V.; At Least 11 Dead

The most obvious is these Cheap 2.4 GHz wireless cameras.

X10 Camera

Place them at the intersections and give the engineer Driving the train some TV monitors of the upcoming intersections. If one wanted to get a bit fancier DVR functionality and AI or pattern recognition to see if an object is in the way. Retroreflective Materials could be used to make spotting obstacles trivial. Wireless Video Systems for Monitoring Railway Intersections

Locomotive Camera Chat about using camera in Planes and Trains.

Video Vigilante
The camcorder revolution is having a large impact on modern society. It challenges long held views about privacy, truth and reality.

People are using a video camera and video streaming to fight crime.

Video Vigilante

Flash Video Development
“Flash Video Development” is a new Authorized Macromedia training course which was developed by Macromedia’s leading Flash Video services partner: New Toronto Group. Speedera Networks is pleased to announce our sponsorship of the following exclusive New Toronto Group delivery of the “Flash Video Development” course:

  • When: March 22 - 23, 2005
  • Where: New York City, MicroTek, 90 Broad St., 11th Floor
  • Cost: $1,095/student

The Course is a two-day hands-on training class that will cover techniques for encoding, streaming, and presenting pre-recorded or live video content using the Flash Player, rich media player; high-quality encoding techniques; creating live video; and delivering video using progressive download, the Flash Communication Server, and the Flash Video Streaming Service. Advanced topics including messaging, buffering techniques, and synchronization with other Flash elements will also be covered.

For more information and to register, please call New Toronto Group Education ( at 905-306-2790 or email:

Serial burglar caught on webcam

burglar kindly provided a clear image of his face during the robbery.

A house burglar was caught after the theft of the computer running the webcam.

Story on BBC News

I had a similar incidence with the early livecam back in 1996 at the cyberjava internet cafe in Venice Beach, CA. A lap top was capturing images an ftping them onto a web site, the laptop vanished, and the last photo it took was the guy down the street leaning over unhooking it. We were luck because we never kept the old images, just kept overwritting the same image over and over.

4 ch 30 fps DVR system only 170 USD
Got this in the Mail today.

Dear Sirs,

We are DVR hardware and software design company.
Now we have very special DVR package for you.
16 CH 120FPS DVR card + Nvida 64MB VGA card + 120 GB HDD = 315 USD
4 CH 30FPS DVR card + Nvida 64MB VGA card + 80 GB HDD = 170 USD
Just plug in to the computer and turn the power it start to record.
The DVR system come with 1 year warranty.
Sample is available and refundable now.
Order more then 50 units of 16 ch DVR or 150 Units of 4 ch DVR we can put your company logo and phone number on DVR system.
We have come out best solution to make the DVR system maintains free and virus free.

For more info please visit

Best regards, Paul
DMDTC Taiwan R.O.C.

The Demise of the Video Store?
Analysing the Effect of Digital Technology on Channel Strategy, Power and Disintermediation in the Home Video Market: The Demise of the Video Store?

Mitsubishi LED Projector: Small, Cheap, Durable
For $699 USD, Mitsubishi new Mini DLP LED PocketProjector fits in your hand, uses AC, batteries, card adaptor and duration lamp life 20000 hours. It is lighted by three Lumileds ™ LEDs (red, green, blue) and a DPL to output a SVGA (800x600). There are tons of applications for a LED projector of this size, in cars, integrated into portable video players, information displays of all kinds ... and as resolution and brightness improve, even more will emerge.

More info here


Past Articles
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Can P2P save StarTrek Enterprise?

UPN has announced that they are canceling Enterprise. It only had 25 Million Viewers!!! By Internet standards, we should only be so lucky.

Several groups of fans are comming to gether to try to privately continue the series

New P2P , IPTV VOD technology can be used to distribute commercial based TV content at much lower cost. I believe there is enough demand and revenue to pay for production costs of new show even.

See a page I am starting for this, Save Star Trek Enterprise

RedBox DVD Vending

 I am getting mixed reports about the status of RedBox and Mc Donalds. If anyone out there had some info please drop me an E-mail or a line in the chat room.
Thanks, JLS

From Earlier
Late last year McDonald’s quietly pulled the plug on their tests of robotic self-serve convenience stores in the Washington and Baltimore areas. These giant vending machines, called a RedBox, were placed adjacent to McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s marketing plan was designed to capture business from their busy restaurant customers by saving them an extra stop on their way home. McDonald’s is looking to provide one-stop solutions for their customers. This explains recent tests of DVD vending machines and Wi-Fi access in their restaurants.

What McDonald’s has missed here is subtle yet obvious. For years they have saved millions of people time and effort by passing food orders through a window in the side of their restaurants. The ubiquitous drive-thru window has spread from banks to restaurants to pharmacies and even liquor stores. So much so that Americans now wish to do as much as possible from the driver’s seat of their vehicles. The RedBox failed because, while it offered 24/7 access, people had to get out of their vehicles to use them. Given this configuration people would decide that stopping, parking getting out making the purchase and then getting back in their vehicle was too much hassle.

See My RedBox Video Rental Image Collection RedBox Site

Discussion about RedBox

Similar machine offered by


Box Office Express, AED
American Entertainment Distributors was running infomericials and Sending Junk Faxes to market a DVD Rental Machine. They used to be a but the site is now down.
From what I can see, it looks like they were shut down by the Federal Trade Commission.

Stay away from AED. They are a ripoff
American Entertainment Distributors is a DVD vending machines distributors. They ask for money ahead of time. Once they recieve your money they stop responding to your phone calls or emails. When you get serious with them and try to take legal action against them, they buy time and ship an empty box to you.

More and More and More

This is really funny

American Entertainment Distributors, Inc.

There were selling Rental Machines from 2 italian companies V & L and Riello. I actulay visited the Riello - Technoware factory in Verona Italy late last year along with several other companies that make DVD Rental Machines there.
Riello had just built a new large factory, It was clear they were still ramping up to try to keep up with AED's demand and AED had an exclusive deal with them. With AED dead, they must really be hurting.
Photo of plastic still over front sign at there company
Photo of front there company

They make a decent system, although it's not the best one that I came across. The Riello was actualy musical when it's stepper motors moved.

If anyone need technical support, for maintaining these machine or aquiring new ones, please contact me.

Leave a message:
Please drop into our chat room and leave some feedback, questions and things you would like to see on this site. HERE

Alpha Spacecom - Digital Cinema in China
Alpha Spacecom, Inc., a China-based Company in process of converting movie theaters and multi-cinema complexes to digital projection.
Chairman Sien noted that "Alpha Spacecom is expanding rapidly. According to China Digital Film Company, China will overtake the United States in the number of digital theaters by the end of 2005 with more than 150 digital cinemas in China projected. Further, the number of digital cinemas in the country is expected to reach 1,000 within a few years. And as our Company is also involved in the satellite distribution of entertainment media, including film, theater, live music and sporting events, in China, we require a high level of experienced corporate executives to administer our growing business in Asia and soon, in the United States and Europe."

Alpha Spacecom, Inc. is a registered United States (Colorado) corporation traded on the OTC Bulletin Board (ASPC:OB). Alpha Spacecom is engaged in the research and development of technology and systems conversions related to the reconstruction and digital conversion of movie theaters and multi-cinema complexes and the satellite distribution of entertainment media (film, theater, live music and sporting events) in China. (

Other related stories:
New cinema sparks price war

Copyright © 2004, John L. Sokol
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