GlassLog Day 1
So I just bought the Google Glass. I will try to keep a log of my progress with it, as I’m trying to use it as a reporting tool. I will share my ideas and the ideas of my colleagues here. I’m a beginner, so feel free to send any tips, ideas, or help, my way.
I have the Glass XE11. And as I’m now a Glass “Explorer”, I’ll try to explore what the device can do for journalists.
First a quick run through my gear. This should help understand how Glass can be complementary, and not redundant.
My main work station is a fairly old MacBook Pro 15”, bought in 2010. Quite heavy, and slower than in its young age, but still capable.
To stay light and fast, I have an iPad 2 with a Logitech BT keyboard. Only Wi-Fi (easier and cheaper for me). This works pretty well to browse and share content, search, connect, write.
For important pictures, I have a Sony CyberShot DSC-RX100. The definition is ridiculously big, and it shots beautiful movies. It easily fits in the pocket, and most importantly, when it comes to documenting serial numbers or ammunition headstamps, it takes great pictures in macro mode.
I can also take pictures with the iPhone 5 or the Nexus 5. And the Gorilla tripod can accommodate the Sony or the smartphones with the adapter.
I have the iPhone 5, and I just purchased the Nexus 5 to migrate toward the Android platform and experiment a bit on that side.
And I pack extra juice in this Energizer XP18000 (the Glass battery depletes quite fast.)
The picture you see on top of this post was taken with the Glass. The device responds to voice command, or to a couple of taps on the side of it. You can also take a picture by pressing a button on top of it.
Same thing to record videos.
The default length is 10 seconds. But you can extend it. I haven’t been able to share anything directly on Facebook, despite having paired my account with the Glass. Google+ and Twitter work perfectly to publish content, however.
I can also send small email messages, dictated. Search the web, get directions, call (Google Hangout or regular cellular calls,) and take notes.
I receive New York Times highlights, can interact with my emails, and with my mentions on Twitter. I have access to my Google calendar, and to the weather.
This is Day 1. I first tried to experiment with (Android) automation, because I wanted to see what was possible for me to do without actually writing any line of code yet. On Tasker, I tried to set up the News app to launch when my alarm goes off in the morning. But it didn’t work so far. I still have to figure out why.
On the same note, I installed IFTTT, which is a “native” Glassware, and created a recipe that linked my Feedly World News RSS feed into the Glass. But the format is not agreeable, and I was overwhelmed with the feed. I try to keep the Glass timeline clean, brief, and efficient. The New York Times app works well, and I prefer checking the news on my phone. So far, I tend to think that Glass is better at creating content than at consuming content.
With Columbia Journalism School Professor Mark Hansen, we’ll try to hack the Glass a little bit, and see what it can bring to a reporter. So we’ll start writing some code (in Python.) But before that, I wanted to see whether I could improve the device a little bit with a minimum of code.
Doing some research last week while waiting for my appointment at the Google Glass office in New York, I stumbled across the Pete’s GlassLog and this post was particularly interesting to me. Inspired by what Vice’s Tim Pool has been doing with Glass, I wanted to see how I would be able to broadcast what I would see live on my UStream channel.
The Pete linked to another interesting website around Glass, which gave more instructions on how to install Android apps (like UStream,) and run them on Glass.
So, after entering the debug mode on Glass, I installed a standalone ADB platform and, with a couple of lines of code in the Mac Terminal, I was able to install an Android APK file — an app, directly on the Glass.
First and foremost, I installed something called Launchy. This would allow my to launch the other APK files that I would subsequently install in Glass.
I tried Launcher, too, but found Launchy easier to navigate with the Glass swipe. GlassBridge, an app that comes with a QR code reader, completely messed up my Glass camera, so I abandoned it and sticked to Launchy.
The real trouble came after I had installed UStream. Naturally, to start broadcasting, I needed to prompt my login and password. But there is no way to do that in Glass, other than by pairing a Bluetooth keyboard to the device.
Again, the Pete website was a useful reference. I installed another APK file that would allow me to manipulate the Bluetooth settings in Glass, something that the device doesn’t allow “naturally.”
Now I just needed to pair a keyboard. I first tried with the Logitech bluetooth keyboard I use with my iPad 2. Most of the time, Glass was telling me that it could not communicate with the keyboard, and when it did, I had an error message on the screen before I could prompt any pairing password. I also tried with an Apple BT keyboard. The pairing was successful, but it would not write anything once in the UStream app, and I saw that the keyboard actually unpaired after just a few seconds.
Following the advice on the Pete website, I tried to turn my Nexus 5 into a Bluetooth keyboard for Glass with an app called BlueputDroid, only to find out that the app needed my Nexus to be rooted, and required a different ROM.
So I ended up going through the rooting process, by following YouTube video tutorials, I installed a couple different ROMs, including the one advised by the app, to no avail. The app would not work. So I just decided to follow the instructions set by Dan McLaughlin, another Glass Explorer. I ordered a Favi BT keyboard on Amazon. If it works for him, it should work for me.
So, Day 1: I didn’t want to code at all, but I ended up with some UNIX lines in the Terminal, launching ATK files into the Glass, rooting an Android phone and changing its ROM. But I was not able to pair the Glass with a keyboard…
At the northeastern extremity of Syria, where the warring country’s border meets Iraq and Turkey, a bridge crosses the Tigris river and links the Syrian village of Khanik to the Iraqi Kurdish Faysh Khabur.
About a third of all the Syrian refugees currently in Iraq crossed that bridge in just a few weeks, before it was suddenly closed in September.
On Thursday August 15, 2013, thousands of Syrian refugees crossed the Tigris near Faysh Khabur and entered Iraq “where movement is normally tightly controlled by both countries,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reports. “For the moment, the UN refugee agency is not clear what caused this sudden movement.”
Every week for a month, we will work on a question related to Syria. The question will come from people like you and me. After a week, if the person who asked the question is satisfied with the answer, she or he will engage 5 of her/his friends to join the experiment and ask a new question.
Will it work? What effect will it have on our journalism? Want to observe? It’s here.
What we offer: 4 reporters will be working for you for a week. We propose one angle on a specific topic inside the broader Syrian topic, and we ask one person what they want to know. During one week, each of us will work on bringing answers to that first person. The answer will take many forms: text, video, pictures, sound, maps, data.
We will share targeted and customized contents related to the question. After a week, we propose one meaningful multimedia package.
What we ask: At the end of the week, the person has to share the package with five other persons in a personalized and engaging way, asking them to be part of a growing community. For the second week, we would then have a six-person audience. This audience would ask questions based on a second topic we would proposed, and we would have one new week to work on it.
(Ideal) size of the audience:
- Week 1: 1
- Week 2: 1*5 = 5 + 1 = 6
- Week 3: 6*5 = 30 + 6 = 36
- Week 4: 36*5 = 180 + 36 = 216
- Week 5: 216*5 = 1,080 + 216 = 1,296
- Week 6: 1,296*5 = 6,480 + 1,296 = 7,776
We aim at creating a community of people who are naturally curious and interested in having their questions answered by 4 reporters exclusively dedicated to them.
We will give those persons customized multimedia journalistic packages, a specific story on a specific topic, that would be interesting first only to one person, than to many more.
We will also work on the feedbacks and comments to give follow ups.
This is the way we want to engage our audience in a real, durable, and meaningful way.
Photo by UNHCR/G. Gubaeva
Studying at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
I just realized I didn’t post the news here yet, but for those of you who can read French and are interested in having a peek at what is being taught at the J-School, Apache is publishing my columns every two weeks.
The thrills, hurdles, and challenges of today’s journalism, seen by a foreigner, and as it is being taught: Let me know what you think either here in English, or there in French, or on Twitter (@damspleet).
Report: Journalists going missing at unprecedented scale in Syria
- 30 journalists have been missing for a year or longer, according to an Associated Press report based on information from the Committee to Protect Journalists. As the AP puts it: “The widespread seizure of journalists is unprecedented, and has been largely unreported by news organizations in the hope that keeping the kidnappings out of public view may help to negotiate the captives’ release.” source
FAL Rifles in Libya البنادق الأوتوماتيكية اخلفيفة يف ليبيا
After Kalashnikov-pattern rifles, Fusil Automatique Léger (FAL) rifles were among the most frequently sighted firearms during the 2011 armed conflict in Libya.
'FAL Rifles in Libya: A Guide to Data Gathering' is a new online Dispatch from the Security Assessment in North Africa. The eight-page report examines and discusses the factory markings, serial numbers, and technical characteristics of FAL rifles seen in Libya.
The Dispatch also offers guidance on data gathering with a view to advancing general knowledge of the use and circulation of Belgian FAL rifles and encouraging relevant authorities to improve tracing efforts.
"A female rebel fighter fixes the scope of her Belgium made FAL rifle at the Salaheddin district of the war-battered northern Syrian city of Aleppo on 2 October 2013. (Photo: AFP - Karam Al-Masri)." Source: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syria-internet-shutdown-wreaks-havoc-aleppo
Yes. Those are still there.