YouTube captions help to make the service accessible to all types of users. With that in mind, if you want to add auto-captioning (based on speech) to every video you load, you can. Or if you want to disable all types of captioning, you can do that too. Follow these quick steps to find out how to get to these settings:
Step 1: Log in to YouTube so you can access your personal settings.
Step 2: Click your username in the top right to open a small menu, and then choose Settings.
Step 3: Choose "Playback Setup" from … Read more
Netflix has unveiled a new feature that lets mobile users change their video quality as a way to manage how much bandwidth they use under their mobile data plans.
The feature, called simply "Manage Video Quality," is specifically aimed at 3G and 4G users concerned about bumping into the caps on their data plans.
Since March, the feature has been available universally in Canada, where the data caps tend to be lower. Over the past week or so, Netflix has rolled out the feature in the United States, but only on a limited test basis, so many members … Read more
Google received 14,201 requests from 25 countries for private user information in the second half of 2010, according to data released today in the company's Transparency Report.
Among the countries listed in the report, the U.S. accounted for 4,601 requests, of which Google complied with 94 percent. The U.S. had the most requests of any single country.
The search giant's Transparency Report is designed to shed light on the … Read more
Set in 2054, "Minority Report" revealed a future in which natural user interfaces play a major role. A memorable scene features Tom Cruise controlling a large interactive screen with illuminated gloves, gesturing back and forth to navigate through an NUI.
Less than a decade after the movie hit theaters, we now have Microsoft's $150 Kinect accessory for Xbox 360, which provides a similar experience to the one seen in the movie--without requiring special gloves or a multimillion dollar computer setup.
People have primarily used a mouse and keyboard to interact with computers for decades; this seems silly considering that nearly every other computer component has evolved significantly in the same time frame. Now that the Kinect SDK is available for Windows 7, natural user interfaces have more opportunity than ever to change how we interact with computers.
Supportive technology such as speech recognition (which has already matured greatly, as this week's launch of Google Voice Search for desktop computers highlighted), Microsoft Surface, and 3D Immersive Touch are all stepping stones to something far greater in the evolution of computer interaction. It's inevitable that years from now, aspects of these technologies will work together to free us from pressing keys and clicking buttons.
So, what do you think the most exciting possibilities for natural user interfaces are? Vote in our weekly poll. And please be sure to elaborate in the comments section.… Read more
As Facebook approaches another subscriber milestone, its growth seems to be slowing.
The social-networking giant had 687 million users at the start of the month, according to data from Inside Facebook Gold. However, the data shows that Facebook's growth rate has declined for the second straight month.
Until two months ago, the typical growth rate for the previous year was at least 20 million new users, but Facebook logged 13.9 million new users in April and 11.8 million in May, according to Inside Facebook's data. While much of the company's growth comes from late-to-the-party countries, … Read more
The native HTML browser on Android phones often load mobile versions of websites automatically. Devices with large, beautiful screens, like the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, can easily take advantage of full versions. Sometimes Web sites give you the option to view the full version of the site, but not always. There's an easy way to force desktop versions to load, but first you'll need to access some hidden settings. Here's how:
Step 1: In the address bar of the Android browser, type, "about:debug" and hit the Enter key.
Step 2: Hit the Menu key … Read more
Over the past decade, we've heard a lot about the coming consumerization of information technology. Well, it's here. The Web, e-mail, mobile phones, automated teller machines, GPS navigators, supermarket self-checkouts, online banking, digital cameras, instant messaging, chat rooms, online shopping, airline e-tickets, iTunes, YouTube, Facebook--you name it. Every one of them puts large swaths of the population in direct, frequent contact with sophisticated IT systems and interfaces. And this is just the short list.
It's an overstatement to say "everyone's on Facebook" or "everyone has a smartphone"--but not by much. Something like 50 percent of the U.S. population is on Facebook … Read more
At a California Israel Chamber of Commerce demo event yesterday, I got a walk-through of an unusual and, as-pitched, probably hopeless idea for improving the interface of touch-screen devices: The Ringbow, a ring-mounted, wireless pointing stick.
The Ringbow does solve a problem in an elegant way. Touch-screen apps generally have only limited ways to control them, so access to menu commands or secondary functions requires trips to full menus, which slows down the user. The Ringbow is a finger-mounted five-way controller (four compass directions plus pushing down) that makes blasting through accessory menus faster than it would be in most apps.
Also at CICC: Fellowup, the Grandma-approved contact manager
In a demo (see video; note that the wire is for an extra battery pack the prototype device requires), selecting drawing submenu options (color picker, line weight chooser, pen type), and then making selections in those submenus, was much faster than it would otherwise be. Ringbow CEO Efrat Barit proposes that software vendors who make complex graphical apps (such as Adobe) could make their products easier and faster to use for professionals by adding Ringbow shortcuts.
There are also benefits in games, where a ring-mounted controller adds a lot of control options that one otherwise doesn't have in a touch-screen device.