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Turn Your PC into a 'Moblogger' 208

Posted by michael
from the mob-log dept.
ptorrone writes "Engadget's weekly how-to article this week shows how to turn a PC in to an 'automatic moblogging' machine. Their example they show a Windows PC, what do you use on your Mac or Linux machines to post images automatically?"
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Turn Your PC into a 'Moblogger'

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  • Yipes (Score:5, Funny)

    by darth_MALL (657218) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:07PM (#9020178)
    "as well as the house cat and dog, or as I refer to them, the meat pets."...remind me not to go to a BBQ at his place.
  • by The Unabageler (669502) <josh @ 3 io.com> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:07PM (#9020180) Homepage
    a freakin webcam? hello 1995?
    • by Rupert (28001) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:13PM (#9020259) Homepage Journal
      What's the URL for your cellphone? I hope you have caller pays.
      • Speaking of cell phones, I think a cool feature and perhaps the next step in "moblogging" would be to not only include a photo of what you're doing, but to also report where you've been and where you are.

        The addition of GPS devices in cell phones opens the door for a realtime locator on a particular person. So not only could you upload photos from your phone, but anyone that's interested can see where you are on the planet via the web, so long as you have your GPS-enabled phone in your pocket. Microsoft
        • Lovely. Not only can people with cells tell callers that they're on the bus, but the GPS says where the bus is, and they can send pictures!

          The rapid pace of "Hi, I'm on the bus" technology is just astounding! ;)

        • Just put a delay on it of a few days to a week depending on what you're doing, which will give you ample time to find someplace to log in from and take location information off anything whose position you might not like identified, like the big hash-smoking session you had right before going to work...
        • When I read the headlines, I thought how nice it would be to have a mob to help out with the loggin'. We could get all those trees loaded in just a few hours. (For those who don't know what that is, "loggin" is the term used for pulling the trees out of the woods after they have been cut for sale. This is a common term used by the logging industry.)
  • Moblogger (Score:5, Funny)

    by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:08PM (#9020198)
    Worst. Word. Ever.
  • by genericacct (692294) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:09PM (#9020204)
    Seriously, I think there is too much stuff put on the web just because people can. Blogs are mostly narcissistic rantings, with no regard to what purpose they serve. I'm getting tired of googling for something, only to turn up a useless blog or forum discussion.
    • by chame1e0n (566753) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:11PM (#9020236)
      and unlike your post, how?
    • seriously, kids. it's this simple:

      User-agent: *
      Disallow: /
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:16PM (#9020296)
      blogging is brilliant. it provides dudes who spout shit with the perfect soapbox with no risk of anyone paying any attention.
    • Blogs are mostly narcissistic rantings, with no regard to what purpose they serve.

      And what purpose would that be?

    • by Your_Mom (94238) <slashdot.innismir@net> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:17PM (#9020317) Homepage
      What we are seeing in just evoloution. People are still figuring it out. I mean, look at the web mid 1996. Everyone had a web page full of useless stuff, a boat load of javascript and way too many blink tags. What little content there was, was "arcissistic rantings, with no regard to what purpose they serve". Give it a bit, people will get bored and move onto the next 'big thing'.

      I try to post semi-useful thing in mine, like "I got this error at work today, here is what I did, It drove me nuts", in hope that google will index it so other people don't have to go through the wild goose chase that I had to go through. But mostly, mine is journal-type stuff.
    • Seriously, I think there is too much stuff put on the web just because people can. Blogs are mostly narcissistic rantings, with no regard to what purpose they serve. I'm getting tired of googling for something, only to turn up a useless blog or forum discussion.

      Actually, I had a funny experience with a blog recently. After the recent /. article about Google and a mention of "vanity Googling" I decided to google for my own name. I ended up seeing a friend comment about my dancing at a club recently (off

    • Considering the website you're posting on, and your opinion on the matter, i find your post highly ironic.
    • by Capt'n Hector (650760) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:28PM (#9020455)
      I always see these comments in discussion about weblogs, and they REALLY piss me off. These comments are ignorant at best. I won't speak for the unwashed masses of webloggers, but I've been doing it since 1999, from the original, editthispage manila software. Blogs can start out as "narcissistic rantings" but once you start writing well, everything changes. All my relatives and friends regularly read my blog, and they appreciate it for the window it gives into my mind. For example, this entry [weblogger.com] sparked a discussion between me and my uncle.

      So before you start a narcissistic rant about how blogs are mostly narcissistic rantings, remember that this useless forum discussion takes place on a blog. That's right, slashdot is a blog.

      • So before you start a narcissistic rant about how blogs are mostly narcissistic rantings, remember that this useless forum discussion takes place on a blog. That's right, slashdot is a blog.

        Since "blog" is short for "web log," what exactly does Slashdot log?

        The difference between news sites with discussion and blogs is one of the personal nature of the content published. Slashdot isn't a log of anyone's life, and it's far more discussion-oriened than the usual expositionist diaries that characterize blo
        • Slashdot has user web logs in the user pages, check out the Journal software. I'd generally classify Slashdot as a forum & news site. Calling Slashdot a weblog software is somewhat like calling Windows an image editing program because it includes the Paint and Imaging programs.

      • Hmmm. He said they're *mostly* narcissistic, and you get all "pissed off" and defensive. Who's got the problem here?

        I'd say the poster you responded to was somewhat right. A lot of it *is* just narcism. But it's more complex than that. There are the early adopters who just *have* to use it, the folks who think it makes them cool, the keep up with the Jones types, and others. For most people, a plain, old journal would do as well, if not better.

        OTOH, this sort of thing can be useful. In some cases th
      • blog = web log

        What is slashdot a log of?
      • That's right, slashdot is a blog.

        I could be wrong in my definition, but I have to disagree with you. Blogs are ... "logs" or journals writen by a single person about personal topics. Slashdot is more of a forum where anyone is allowed to come and discuss any topics.
        • by WuphonsReach (684551) on Friday April 30, 2004 @01:50PM (#9021336)
          Slashdot is more of a forum where anyone is allowed to come and discuss any topics.

          Ha ha ha ha! Seriously, you must be new here? (Hell yeah I'm burning karma on this... no offense)

          Slashdot and discussion do not fit into the same page. It's more of a soapbox-style comment system then a discussion forum. The user-interface has serious issues that interfere with having anything akin to a discussion. Discussion/forum software would allow a person to track threads that are interesting and easily check back to see if anything new has been added to those interesting threads. Slashdot doesn't allow you to do that (unless you manually bookmark stuff, or feel like constantly re-reading everything). In fact, any suggestions to that effect to the programmers gets either shot down, or "well, we don't want to it that way (some simple method), instead we're waiting to write some huge complex system (which will never get written)". (Case in point: adding another drop-down to the filter bar to only show posts within the last 1/2/4/8/12/24/48 hours.)

          While it may not be a blog, calling it a forum is even farther off-the-mark.
          • It's more of a soapbox-style comment system then a discussion forum.

            *snip*

            While it may not be a blog, calling it a forum is even farther off-the-mark.


            Hmmm, I would have to agree. At that point it becomes its own creature. Which apparently works in some means to provide quality service to a large population.
      • All my relatives and friends regularly read my blog, and they appreciate it for the window it gives into my mind.

        Exactly the parent poster's point! It's useful for your relatives and friends; the other 6 billion people on the planet don't give a fuck. The problem is that you and the rest of the bloggers don't languish in the obscurity you deserve because you all link to each other in a frenzy of self-congratulation, effectively Google-bombing yourselves over more useful, authoritative sources of knowledg

      • To paraphrase:

        I get mad when people tell me I'm not special. I did this WAY before everyone else, which makes me cool. Much more cool than the rest of you "unwashed" people who do the same thing as me. Everyone I know (which, by extension, is everyone *worth* knowing) thinks that I'm the bee's knees, because I'm so SMRT. Infinite beatitude of existence! It is; and there is nothing else beside It.

        "You see," said my Teacher, "how little your words have done. So far as [Capt'n Hector] understood them at a

      • That's the most intelligent piece of writing I have ever read off of a link from slashdot.

        Then again, taking any referral to another site from a slashdotter's post and not reaching an image with a guy stretching his anus is a moment of bliss worth writing about in itself. Such comes this post.
    • Personally I find a lot of useful content on blogs. Like recently I found this little Javascript recipe [alexking.org] -- I looked through lots of other unhelpful Javascript forum posts, mailing list archives, and other junk that came up before finding the answer. A blog certainly has better content than all of those. And the blog actually existed, where the more substantial Javascript reference sites didn't cover this technique, or worse were out of date and suggested the technique was impossible.

      Maybe you are just

    • to much stuff on the WEB?

      I don't hear Goggle crying.

      What does it f**** matter if there is "too Much Stuff"

      Search engines will sort it out - and competition will ensure they do a good job.

      There are problems in this world but you have certainly not identified one here

      AIK
    • Nearly every useless blog site has "blog" on the page somewhere. Next time that happens to your search, just add -blog to it to exclude anything with the word "blog" on it. Works well.
    • Then, your problem is with Google, not blogs. Even if the blog doesn't use the norobot tag/file, it would still be trivial for Google to assign less weight to blogs and/or it would be trivial for Google to place the blog search results out of the way.

      vivisimo.com [vivisimo.com] does this to some extent, it doesn't assign less weight, it simply sorts the results into categorized folders, and if it has blog entries -- it places them into a blog folder. Here is the example of a query [vivisimo.com] of a well known blogger.

      And even if y

  • No? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That's just horrible. People need to stop this behavior. You'll be laughed at in a few years like we laugh at people in the 1970's.
  • by Nuclear Elephant (700938) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:09PM (#9020206) Homepage
    Pay no attention to the laptop behind the curtain.
  • by Mateito (746185) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:11PM (#9020233) Homepage
    Isn't this exactly what the 40,000,000 odd porn sites on the web have been doing for the last, um, decade or so?
    • I think you'll find that the sex industry was at the head of every single communications technology breakthrough - lithography, daguerrotype, magic lantern, cinematography, telephony, internet, video-phone and more...
      They are the ultimate early adopter
  • by zymurgy_cat (627260) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:11PM (#9020237) Homepage
    Ah, yes, thanks to technology he doesn't have to wait to get home to watch the cat toss up a hairball while the dog licks itself.
  • by YankeeInExile (577704) * on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:12PM (#9020244) Homepage Journal

    And it is so secure!

    Basically, the way it works is as follows: you send any email with a picture attached to your TextAmerica account, the email address is the login/password so it looks like this login.password@tamw.com. When we set up TinCam, the WebCam application, we will enter this info in. If you want you can send a test message to your moblog now, simply send an email and attach a photo, then visit your site to make sure it all worked. This is also a quick and easy way to post pictures on the web as well.

    If I were doing something like this, I would probably use Perl.

    #!/usr/bin/perl5
    use Handwave::Camera;

    use constant MYUSER => 'notauser';
    use constant PASSWORD => 'notmypassword';

    while (1)
    {
    my $image = Handwave::Camera->new();
    #
    # maybe use some of Image::Magick to transform image
    #
    my $message = new MIME::Lite ( To => MYUSER.'.'.MYPASSWORD.'@tincam.com',
    From => 'notme@example.com',
    Subject => 'another photo',
    Type => 'multipart/mixed' );
    $message->attach( Type => 'image/jpeg',
    Encoding => 'quoted-printable',
    Data => $image ) ;
    $message->send;
    sleep 60;
    }
  • Inetcam (Score:3, Informative)

    by DeanFox (729620) * <spam,myname&gmail,com> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:12PM (#9020252)

    In the old days of webcamming I used Inetcam software. Does/did everything the article talks about ...um almost 10 years ago.

  • by FattMattP (86246) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:14PM (#9020272) Homepage
    Mob logging? Is that when your site gets slashdotted and apache is writing to the log files as fast as it can?
  • Windows Box Running "Hello" (www.hello.com) ->
    Mounted Samba Share on Linux ->
    Apache/PHP Directory ripper which auto-gens the thumbnails.

    Goofy but it works (when it's all up and running).
  • two words... (Score:3, Informative)

    by trick-knee (645386) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:15PM (#9020284) Homepage

    what do you use on your Mac or Linux machines to post images automatically?

    cron [dream-seed.com]

    scp [duke.edu]

    • In addtion to cron/crond, there is a program called "webcam" for unix machines, that captures a video device node to a jpeg, and uploads it via FTP. Simple, but powerful.

      There are several programs that do the same thing as well.
  • meat pets (Score:2, Funny)

    by aardwolf204 (630780)
    "I like to look in on what the many robots are doing as well as the house cat and dog, or as I refer to them, the meat pets."

    Dear god, this carbon based bi-ped has meat pets!
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:17PM (#9020307)

    Much like the words "Gen-X," "extreme," "controversial," the "i-" and "my-" prefixes and everything else that has been marketed, hyped, and "Next on Entertainment Tonight!"-ed to death, the "-blog" suffix has now joined the ranks of things that instantaneously bring out my "HULK SMASH!" reflex and, unfortunately for much of the world, I was exposed to a massive dose of radiation last night. I'll likely just wither away and die, but on the off-chance that I wake up tomorrow with a set of X-Men-esque abilities, the guy who coined "Right Guard Extreme!" just might want to start digging a hole to hide in.

    Cliches of the world, fear my wrath.

  • i love cron! (Score:5, Informative)

    by lambent (234167) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:22PM (#9020367)
    How about cron?

    I did something like this many many years ago.

    steps involved:
    1. steal a webcam (no, i'm not paying anything over 5$ for a crappy 320x240 (or whatever) CMOS sensor.
    2. get a v4l frame grabber
    3. here's where it gets interesting, and kinda tricky ... you have to somehow find some way of 'copying' (or so i've been told) the output files into some sort of 'directory'
    4. then you run your choice of automatic gallery-generating script, and WHAMO, you're on the bleeding edge of WWW acronymia and coolness.

    really, being an techno-elitist aside, you can automate the entire process using cron and something like scp, rsh, or rsync (preferably some combination of those)

    this is ollllllllllld news, incidentally. Seems to be the general tecnological ennui that's been affecting Askslashdot and other forums lately. Why go to all the trouble of using a search engine for locating information, when you can just fire off a post and wait a day or two for someone to write a recipe for you.

    Incidentally, to quote the article ...

    Basically, the way it works is as follows: you send any email with a picture attached to your TextAmerica account, the email address is the login/password so it looks like this login.password@tamw.com.

    DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!

    That has got to be the stupidest solution to this problem that I have ever heard.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    .If you have a Sony Aibo, you can use the built in application which sends a photo email to also send a photo to the Moblog, I have 2 of my Aibos doing that now

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that not only can he afford to throw away cash on something like an Aibo, but he can justify doing so more than 2 times?

    Imagine a cluster of Aibo (sorry)
  • It's a webcam (Score:3, Informative)

    by cybermace5 (446439) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:24PM (#9020391) Homepage Journal
    Isn't it?

    My webcam (currently pointed at robin from a few inches away) uses a neat little freeware app called Cam2Web [dubaron.com]. Very barebones, it simply accepts a connection and then returns image data. Nice thing is how it uses HTTP 1.1 push to send up the images, which lets me avoid FTP and all that. I use another program to download an image every five minutes and save it for the archive. It all runs on a laptop with Win98.

    I'd use a few simple shell scripts if my webcam actually worked in Linux. Oh well...it's an old cam, and Logitech never released any data.
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:24PM (#9020400)

    I sure hope moblogging becomes much more widespread than it is now! If there's one thing the world needs, it's millions of pictures that capture inane and random figments of some stranger's life. Whoa, look at this whimsical picture that she look of the sunlight glistening off the back fender of her Taurus.... instant art!

    In fact, I look forward to living vicariously through the lives of strangers and acquaintances. Why, it's almost as if I had a life of my own!

  • do NOT say you are part of a moblogosphere.

    the world thanks you in advance.

  • this whole moblog thing sounds like a reinvention of the wheel as far as webcams go.. nothing really new.. I used to have a webcam set up in my bedroom to keep an eye out for my siblings/parents. This was years ago..
    • I was afraid this was going to be a low budget porn site for a minute...
    • Well, this idea of moblogging (using a webcam hooked up to a PC) isn't new, using a picture phone to send pictures is new. And, to me, that's moblogging (MObile Blogging). What he's showing is RoboBlogging (Robotic blogging). But who am I to make up words?
    • People seem to be missing the point of moblogging. Its not so much to see your pics, or even show off your pics to the world, but to invite others to send their pics in (friends, strangers) to see what interesting things they may be doing and places they are going to. (OK, so most pics are crap, but its still sortof amusing) Then of course, the fun is commenting on them - sort of a visual slashdot.
  • Textamerica?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kaa (21510) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:30PM (#9020475) Homepage
    Textamerica is an interesting site. It claims ownership of everything posted to it, which is, umm... unusual for a blog-hosting place.

    I am guessing the great majority of people with accounts at Textamerica never read the Terms of Service and don't know that they don't own the images and text they posted to their own blogs there any more...

    Quotes from their ToS:

    "14. Textamerica.com may use, sell and/or share with its affiliates any information provided by you on this website, including your name, e-mail address, usage patterns, and uploaded images and text.

    ...

    17. Textamerica.com and any images and comments on this website are intended for personal use only and may not be used except by Textamerica.com for commercial purposes."



    • Re:Textamerica?? (Score:2, Informative)

      by antrix_angler (632514)
      You can go to moblogUK [moblg.net]. Their code is Creative Commons licensed. And this is from their site:
      "Unlike most other moblog services, we don't presume to claim ownership of any of your stuff, you're free to choose your own license for your photos, video and audio. In addition to this, we'll never sell or misuse your personal data (email address, personal details, site use patterns and so on) Relax, rights and privacy are as important to us as they are to you."
  • What is a 'moblogger'? Can anyone tell me? Please? Is is some sort of chant like 'mo' 'blogger, mo' 'blogger, mo' 'blogger . . .'?


    Or is is some police surveillance thing, a 'mob logger', that keeps track of groups of insurgents?


    Also, WTF is a 'zine'? Is it some type of italian dressing? Maybe a kind of pizza from the middle east?

  • by WwWonka (545303) on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:34PM (#9020502)
    Moblogging?

    Hmmmmmmm.....

    4.27.04 Tony Z, Little Pasta, and I went down to Bruno's for a slice at noon. Talked bout sum bizness that needed to be handled with the Skarpaze family. Bastards owe us points from the game.

    4.28.04 Little Pasta and Tony Z were arguing over "shotgun" in my caddy. Whacked em both cause I was getting irked. Buried em in Ma's rose garden. Got another slice at Bruno's.
  • Is Pud's (Of F*cked Company fame)Mobog [mobog.com]. Most of the pics people send in fall into the following categories:

    1. Pic of speedometer when traveling at high speed
    2. Pic of toilet
    3. Pic of topless and/or naked chick
    4. Pic of food
    5. Pic of a computer screen, displaying a message to someone (the ultimate in rube goldberg communication!)
    6. Pic of some current event that you can see in real time, e.g. opening day at a baseball game
    7. Clandestine pic of someones ass or cleavage.

    Ahh, technology.

  • Dorgem (Score:5, Informative)

    by HanClinto (621615) <`hanclinto' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday April 30, 2004 @12:59PM (#9020765)
    I realize that the comments here are mostly trolls and bad jokes, but here's a relatively serious comment.

    I set up a similar setup for my fiancee so that she could see me at work and get a smile by getting to see my picture. (she lives in another state and we don't get to see each other that often) The utility that I use is a fantastic open source tool called Dorgem [sourceforge.net].

    It has text overlays, transparent graphic overlays, motion detection, automatic capture, ftp upload, and most text fields can use replacements like %dd, %hh, %mm, etc etc etc to insert the date, the time, or various other things. You can even read from a file and have it overlay the title of the current song playing in Winamp.

    I didn't notice any features in their screen captures of TinCam that weren't filled in Dorgem.

    Cheers!
    --Clint

  • ...Their example they show a Windows PC, what do you use on your Mac or Linux machines to post images automatically?

    the TextAmerica site from the article works fine with my Mac once I set up an account. I just send an email with an attached file to the email address they provided and it appears on the website ready to go.

    however- after reading the TOS above about them "owning" all the content, I think I may not use the service.

  • Hi,

    I just can't stand the cruft sprint makes your friends sift through to get picture mail.

    For Sprint phones, I have maintained a screen scraper sort of tool, that intercepts "shared image" emails as you send them, cuts out the spint ads and junk HTML redirection, and sends it on its way as a plain old attachment.

    This can easily be interfaced to blogging sites like text america -- they know how to look inside e-mails for attachments, but that's about this.

    More details at: http://pcs.hoho.com

    (PS: its fr
  • Pretty easy to do (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bretth (195183)
    I set up my co-located web/mail server to support moblogging in a few hours. I was running procmail anyway, so it just involved adding a new recipe for email messages coming from my mobile phone. They get handed to a perl script that extracts any pictures and text using MIME::Parser. It then creates unique file names for any images, the HTML for the blog entry and inserts it into a postgresql table along with the date. My personal home page lists the table entries in reverse date order in order to generate

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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