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New & Shiny: Google Introduces Chromebox For Meetings

Chromebox-For-Meetings-TVVideo conferencing is changing. It started about a year ago. That’s when I first heard about DIY room systems. Then I got wind of “Huddle” systems, which are basically smaller room systems. Today Google introduced their own play on this trend.

Chromebox for Meetings looks to be their spin on Vidyo’s DIY room system. It’s basically a very small PC, running the Chrome OS, with the requisite accessories (USB webcam & speakerphone) to make it a video conference end-point. Just add a decent monitor or HDTV.

All of the PR points to the use of a Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920and a Jabra SPEAK410 USB Speakerphone, both of which have graced my desk for a year or more. Both are leaders in their respective product categories.

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Reflecting Upon A Conference Call In Real Life

snom MeetingPoint conference phoneLast week a pair of comedians, Tripp and Tyler, released a video called A Conference Call In Real Life. The video lampoons some of the common issues of user experience with corporate conference calls. It’s part of a campaign designed to promote the Leadercast Live event that they have coming up in May.

The video set certain corners of the social media space reverberating with guffaws, likes, +1’s and commentary. Corporate types like Orange Business tweeted about it. While it was released over a week ago, the echo of its impact is only now decaying from the vast expanse of cyberspace.

Apparently it held a ring of truth for many people. Frankly, it caused me some agitation.

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Podcasters, Please! Put Down The Phone!!

Scott Harvey Old Vine Zinfandel (5)While it doesn’t often get mentioned here (more usually here) I’ve developed something of an interest in wine. This passion comes with a healthy learning curve. I’m still early in the process so trying to take onboard whatever information I can find.

For some time I’ve been listening to Randy Fuller’s excellent “Now and Zine Wine Report” podcast. At one minute, five times a week it’s an information-rich nugget of Johnny-Five style input. It’s especially notable because Randy Fuller is also a professional actor and voice talent. As you might well expect, his podcasts are usually a fine example of an audio professional at work.

Randy’s typical high standards make his recent series, taken from a conversation with winemaker Scott Harvey, all the more jarring and unexpected. Randy’s presence in the podcast is his usual, most-excellent self. It’s Scott’s presence that I find wanting.

According to Randy’s introduction, the series of three posts so far are, taken from a conversion that they had by telephone. It seems quite likely to me that Scott was on a mobile phone at the time. His audio quality is quite poor, but it’s really the contrast between the host’s voice and the guest that hits like a hammer to the skull.

This has me pondering the various alternative approaches that might be used in creating such a podcast. There are many possible ways to avoid leveraging a cell phone over the PSTN.

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