sitting on the Roundtable…

FeM is in need of a decent conferencing system for years now. And it seems that there’s something really cool showing up in the next days. As of now Microsoft is going to put it’s Roundtable on sale.

“Microsoft RoundTable is a very cool videoconferencing system featuring 360° panoramic views powered by its 5 built-in cameras.”

“The RoundTable actually installs two USB camera devices. The first is the Active Speaker which uses the RoundTable’s 6 microphones to locate where in the room the active speaker is and then focus one of the 5 cameras onto that person. I suspect it may actually use 2 cameras to focus on a person, since it always appears that the speaker is “centered” which probably would require at least 2 camera images and then the images are “spliced” together, processed, and then transmitted over the USB cable. The second USB camera device is the panoramic camera which combines the 5 camera images into a single panoramic image.”

Source: Roundtable Review

my talk: IP-TV at FeM-Net (german)

Today I had a talk about IP-TV in our local research network – a project I am involved in the past year. And since I did some of the legal and coding work (YAPS) I was the one who wanted to talk about it the most…

First here’s the slidedeck:

The talk was recorded and you can watch it as soon as the post-production team has finished working on it – I’ll keep you posted.

Source: Slidedeck as PDF

Student Technology Conference 2007

We spent the last two days in Duisburg attending the Student Technology Conference 2007.

“From Software Architecture, User Interface and Robotics to Games Development with the XNA framework: in use and brand new technologies of the IT – industry will be presented and demonstrated at technologically advanced level. Microsofts Student Technology Conference is the perfect opportunity to engage with potential employers and to get in touch with Microsofts .NET technology. Additionally the German Finals in Microsofts premiere technology competition, the Imagine Cup 2007, will have its final in the Software Design invitational right here!”


the keynote


view from our hotel room…nice, eh?

Source: http://www.studentconference.de

23c3 aftermath – CodingOnCongress

I wrote quite a lot of code for the 23rd Chaos Communication Congress. And because of that I want to make it publicy available for everyone to download and use. It’s all GPL (because of the libaries used) so use it according to the license.

You can learn how to:

  • deserialize the pentabarf schedule.en.xml file
  • create a valid congress filename
  • create and manipulate animations with text and bitmaps
  • store those animations in AVI container files

Download: CodeOnCongress.zip

about the 23c3 recording and streaming teamwork

The planning process started way earlier than last year but as usual some things remain until the very last minute before everything starts. But since this year the teamwork and enthusiasm was extraordinary we finally made it almost as planned. We surely did not reach our goal of releasing the recordings hours after the talk ended. Mainly because we underestimated the amount of knowledge and pain it took to actually get the recordings running on the iPod. It was one of the guidelines for this years official recordings: they had to run on current generation video iPods and they had to have all the metatags. So the team did it and we ended up releasing the first half (nearly) of the 23c3 recordings into the public only 2 weeks instead of the 4-6 months of last year. Even better: we managed to improve the video quality and even got smaller files. That wouldn’t been possible without the encoding-pipeline knowledge that Michael Feiri brought into the team. With that knowledge it also took several days to actually build the working pipeline.(yes the iPod is one special piece of hardware) The complete encoding-pipeline we used will be documented and released soon.

So after all that planning we finally packed our stuff and hit the road:

After some hours and the unpacking the video studio looked like this:

here’s a close up of the Windows Media Encoders, the h.264 encoding machine and the storage (all from behind):

So we surely brought enough processing power to berlin. And this is what did take the picture:


BTW: the black machine in the background just
died during the keynote speech…

Want to see what it’s like watching “out of the window” of the video studio? No problem:

or how about another view of the studio:

So. So you had some pictures of the video studio and the setup. But I bet you want to know some more details about the setup itself. I created an overview for you:

Since last years setup was completely digital (planned) and we ended up using the DV-tape backup since all the recordings were screwed up we thought it might be a good idea to go back one step and use analog video as in FBAS to transport and record the talks. We also had the DV-tape backup this year and to be honest in some cases we have to fall back to that. Less than 10 out of 130 recordings are screwed up so we have to use the DV backup. That means 120 of them worked out as planned. Great! We are currently cutting and encoding them and as you read this more than half of them should be up on the official servers and the mirrors.

Now in the aftermath of the congress we learned a new lesson: there’s maybe one or another speaker that would not allow us releasing their talk recording. In the future we think of having something like a “don’t record me”-list to avoid misunderstandings.

next dotnetcommunity event is coming up [german]

Heute um 18 Uhr findet das zweite .NET Usergroup Treffen in Ilmenau (Campus, Haus F, Rechnerlabor) statt.

Agenda:

  1. Begrüßung, Neuigkeiten bzgl. der Usergroup (Nico Orschel, Microsoft Student Partner)
  2. .NET Compact Framework (Daniel Kirstenpfad, Microsoft Senior Student Partner)
  3. Mobiles Web mit ASP.NET 2.0 (Nico Orschel, Microsoft Student Partner)
  4. Networking und gemütlicher Ausklang des Treffens

Die Teilnahme am Treffen ist kostenlos, unverbindlich und nicht anmeldepflichtig.

Das ganze kann man auch nochmal auf www.dotnetcommunity.de nachlesen. Dort und hier wird es dann auch nach der Veranstaltung die Slides geben.

23c3 recordings: the encoding…

Because of that major hardware fault on the first day of 23c3 I was not able to blog about the things that happened at the congress. I am going to catch up on everything soon.

In the meantime take this information: The recordings are made. The majority of the recordings is working as planned and is going to be encoded and released in the next hours/days. There are some lectures where something went wrong, but since we had a great backup strategy nothing is lost and will be put online later.

One question came up frequently: What format and codec will the final official recordings have?

Here is the answer:

Video: h.264, 640×480, x264-Parameter: –no-cabac –level=30 –subme=7 –me=umh –crf=23 –ref=2 –partitions=all –mixed-refs

Audio: AAC, (using neroaac)

The machines are currently encoding and muxing the recordings. So stay tuned to get your hands on the high-quality official recordings soon.

BTW: Thanks to Michael Feiri for his in depth knowledge about the whole encoding process and tools that are used and his help with all the hassle around it.

23c3 opening credit generator done

One more step forward: The 23c3 opening credit generator is done. It’s an application which reads the Fahrplan XML file and generates an opening credit movie file which we will use in the recording and encoding process.

And this is what it finally looks like:

After clicking the “generate” button it’ll create the animation on the fly with all the blending and font rendering and write it to a movie file in it’s own directory. I used the AForge which is GPL v2 which makes the whole thingy GNU v2. Damn, I hate this license crap B-)

Sourcecode: Vorspanngenerator_sourcecode.zip (2,17 MB)

*UPDATE* dotnetcommunity INETA usergroup successfully founded

Yesterday the first usergroup meeting took place in the computer pool of the faculty of mechanical engineering. Sven and Nico had their lectures for which you can get the slides as soon as possible on the website of the usergroup.

Update:

Windows Presentation Foundation (Sven Hubert)

AJAX with ASP.NET (Nico Orschel)

Source: http://www.dotnetcommunity.de

the 23c3 live streaming and recording plannings *ATTENTION: DRAFT!*

ATTENTION: The information in this article are not final and are subject to be changed during the plannings.

In less than 2 months the 23c3 takes place in Berlin/Germany (December 27.-30th 2006). And the plannings are in full progress. We had several brainstorm sessions and I think that we finally do have a plan. First of all: We learned a lot from the 22c3 live streaming and recording work. And to give you an overview of the things we want to achieve this time:

  1. permanent working live streams of all 4 lecture halls
  2. high quality recordings without using our DV-Tape fallback
  3. making low/mid/high quality recordings in different codecs available for download within 24 hours

To achieve these goals we’re going to need considerably more hardware than last year, which means:

  • 4 WMV Live Encoding machines
  • 1 MPEG-2 encoding machine with 4 MPEG-2 encoder cards
  • 4 video editing machines
  • 6 19″ TFTs + 1 4
  • at least 1 monitoring machine
  • more than 1 Tbyte of storage space
  • 5 cameras + 1 video mixer
  • a lot of helping hands (yes, we need help chaos angels!!)

So. The camera setup is almost identical to the last one. But this time we want to use a better FBAS signal instead of the in-house HF-cable-TV. The WMV encoding stays as it was last year. We plan to install an additional MPEG-2 hardware encoding machine which produces high-quality MPEG-2 data (which gets edited and compressed for download distribution as fast as possible).

Since we’re sill in planning stage we cannot speak about bitrates, live streams and such. Everything is subject to change, it’s just a draft. But stay tuned and read frequently. Oh… and comments are welcome.

Source 1: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Home
Source 2: https://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/Angel_FAQ

23C3: Who can you trust?

It starts fairly early this year: even FeM is already preparing and planning for this years live streaming and recording. The public wiki of 23c3 is online and even the Call for Participation screams: visit me!

So, remember: beside the official wiki pages, you can always come and check here for information about FeM activities on 23c3…(streaming, recording,…)

Source: http://events.ccc.de/congress/2006/cfp/

Source: FeM 23c3 recording and streaming project (no website, no link)

TechEd 2006 starts tomorrow…attend it virtually!

Tomorrow the US TechEd takes off. If you cannot attend personally you can attend it virtually.

Microsoft hosts a website called “Virtual TechEd” where you can watch talks and keynotes via streaming video.

Beside watching the talks you can listen to the TechEd radio livestream.

Source 1: http://virtualteched.com/
Source 2: TechEd radio livestream

Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006

As this is a germany-only-offer I’ll do it in german:




“Die Entscheidung ist gefallen! Die überwältigende Anzahl von 6477 Teilnehmern hat es der Jury sehr schwer gemacht. Dennoch stehen die deutschen Vertreter für das Weltfinale in Indien jetzt fest. Die vielen tollen Ideen und Euer super Engagement möchten wir mit Euch gebührend feiern – denn eine Party unter Palmen bei 25° Lufttemperatur und 31° Wassertemperatur geht auch in Deutschland. Wir laden Dich hiermit herzlich zur Imagine Cup Beach Party am 30. Mai 2006 in das Tropical Island Resort nach Brandenburg ein.



360 m lang, 210 m breit und 107 m hoch, eine Grundfläche von 6,6 Hektar mit 7000 Kubikmetern Wasser und über 20.000 tropischen Pflanzen, dies ist genau der richtige Ort für einen würdigen Abschluss des Imagine Cup 2006 in Deutschland.



Deck-Chair-Coding, karibischer Flair, Beachparty in der größten freitragenden Halle der Welt, und das alles kostenlos, … lass Dich überraschen!


Es sind noch ca. 50 Plätze für Studenten frei. Also los und anmelden! Die Vergabe findet nach dem First-Come-First-Serve Prinzip statt.




Hier geht es zur Anmeldung.

Hier auch ein kurzer Blick auf die Agenda:



Source 1: Imagine Cup Beachparty 2006
Source 2: Microsoft Imagine Cup 2006

German CISCO Expo 2006 review

German CISCO Expo 2006 is finally over and from our point of view it was truly a great success.
There were very interessting sometimes cool presentations and demos, a lot of food & snacks and
very colorful light at the party. Over all it was a much better event than all those cisco
CeBit exhibitions I’ve been to before… the new (cisco) economy seem to be back on stage ;)

Keynotes

CISCO’s new vision for next generation networking got a new name: “Intelligent Information Network”!
Now all the routers and switches should become more intelligent, be aware of the users actual location
and connection type (ethernet, wlan, UMTS, …) and voice, data, video are integrated services of
IIN. Doesn’t sound this familiar? Yes! In the days of web 2.0 I think German Telekom would call
this reinvention of the wheel just ISDN 2.0… let’s hope that it will work better this time ;)

BTW: During the T-Systems keynote they showed us a _real hacker_ *huu-hoo* and demonstrated
the unbelievable security risks of unencrypted VoIP by using ARP Spoofing *hu-hoho*. So don’t
ask T-Systems if you have a _real_ security problem.

eLearning

There were several talks about eLearning, eEducation, about the CISCO networking academy, and
the Scottish Schools Digital Network. If we belive in the given facts and figures people with
deep knowledge in networking will have a great time to earn a lot of money during the next years.
But from our point of view there is still no real funding of university research (URP is not that
great). The NetAcad program might be good for people willing to learn how to configure cisco
switches, but not when you are more interessted in building next generation routers, switches, and
networking concepts. So for us this program is more or less just marketing…

Technology power sessions

WLAN is still a lot of fun… Much more interessing was the talk about the modular IOS, EEM, and
Gold. CISCO is rewritting their os from ground and the new one will have some really nice features…
For example a real filesystem with virtual files like /sys (*hu-hoo* think about this twice ;),
embedded event management, processes for more or less every protocol in use and best: an TCL
scripting environment! If you send enough emails to the dev team embedded perl could also
become available. You can win a box of sparkling wine when you implement tetris within TCL *g*

RFID sponsored by German Telekom… great… :/

Burn venture capital, burn!

The party was really a great! Thanks to the orga team… but I still don’t like this “booooming”…

review and pictures by Ahzf

Source: http://www.ahzf.de

5. Ilmenauer Newcomer Festival “Vorsicht Band! 2006”

Today it’s once again time for the Ilmenau Newcomer Festival “Vorsicht Band! 2006”. And this time again there’s FeM involved. But first the facts:

16 Newcomer bands from all across germany are going to perform in the next two days. Since the 16 where chosen from 272 you can bet that there’s only the best the newcomer scene has to offer these days.

And now to the juicy facts from FeM: You can watch the whole Newcomer Festival “Vorsicht Band! 2006” over the internet for free. Just connect to one of the following Windows Media livestreams:

Broadband Internet (1 Mbit and above): mms://streaming.fem.tu-ilmenau.de/vorsichtband2006
Narrowband Internet (below DSL): mms://streaming.fem.tu-ilmenau.de/vorsichtband2006_modem

To be precise:

THE LIFESTREAMS ARE AVAILABLE NOW!!!

And some facts for the nerds: 3 stages, 9 cameras, 30 people, 10.000m cableing,…

Source 1: http://streaming.fem.tu-ilmenau.de

Source 2: http://www.ilmenau-festival.de

Promise VTrak training in Dortmund

Here are some impressions of the training in Dortmund. Quite many information and hopefully a brand new e-class test setup in the next months.

Impressingly enough: the 1.8l 4 cylinder engine of this Toyota made 100km with about 25l… the display even showed 90,9l/100km from time to time…quite frightening.

Oh and some words to the Toyota itself: bad gearbox, even worse the ride. The clutch: nightmare. To be fair: everything was brand new: the car only had 57km on the clock. Oh: It’s no SIXT rental car…I never got any japanese plastic-bombers from them… THANK GOD!

And small panoramic view of the training room: