One man holds the key to the room deep under Times Square, where the only sounds are a hissing pipe and a rumbling subway overhead. Behind the blue, padlocked door are the pieces of the New Year’s ball that will mark midnight as it slides 77 feet down a pole atop One Times Square.
The crystal sphere lands amid the gritty water tanks, rickety planks and iron grates that fill the rooftop of the building, one of the most recognizable in the world. The 25-story tower has hosted New Year’s celebrations since it opened in 1904, with the famous “ball drop” added in 1907.
One Times Square is a bit like an amusement-park funhouse: more glitz than guts. The building is covered with billboards, flashing lights and an electronic news zipper, but it is virtually empty.
Countdown Entertainment, which co-produces the annual Dec. 31 event, is the only tenant, on its 21st and 22nd floors. “This whole building is a promotional event,” Countdown President Jeff Strauss said.
Stay tuned for their Times Square 2004 New Year’s Eve Celebration. Beginning at 10:00 p.m., a live video feed of the celebration is sent to broadcasters worldwide via fiber and via satellite at 11:15 p.m. Here’s some Times Square Multimedia. Here are 250 links to broadcast events around the world, the most you’ll find on the web. MTV on cellphones isn’t live but it’s got ringtones and videos you can download. Sprint’s MobiTV service costs $9.99 per month plus connection charges for 2 frame a second broadcast reception.
Earthcam covers New Years with 6 webcams from Times Square and other live webcams from around the world including Moscow, London, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Seattle. Las Vegas.com has Las Vegas Cameras while Access Atlanta has local coverage as does CNN.
Gebbie, News Directory, TV/Radio World link to television and radio stations, world-wide. Newspapers of the World and the United States no longer have to wait for a news schedule. They can make their own. This year, of course, everyone seems worried about terrorism. Check out my Northwest OPS Center for hundreds of essential links. AlertsUSA delivers terrorism-related information via wireless audio streaming and SMS alerts to cell phone users for $2.99 per month.
Jook Leung is internationally recognized as an innovator in panoramic photography. http://www.vrphotography.com/VR Log, VR Photography and VR Mag have more information on 360 degree photography. Perhaps the most interesting are cameraphone blogs.
They include Textamerica, Dot Photo, Fotolog, Buzznet, AutoPic, Blogger Pro, TypePad, FoneBlog, Fotopages, Phlog, Audblog, CamBlog, 20six, Ploggle, albino gorilla, Photokyo, Rare Window, Uboot.com, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Mobile, Sprint PCS, Verizon Picture Messaging, T-Mobile Hiptop blogs, Hello (sharing), mlogs (audio & video).
Other netcams that might be adopted for wireless use include:
- D-Link’s MPEG-4 netcam ($300) transmits sound and video to any browser. Their DCS-1000w ($329), is wireless (using 802.11b).
- Stardot’s Netcams ($600) includes a 1.2 Megapixel netcam and wireless netcams.
- Toshiba’s IK-WB11a ($799, right), uses 802.11a and includes a 1.4 megapixel progressive scan CCD for high resolution video and stills.
- Logitech has a $200 Wi-Fi netcam
- Sony’s live, viewer-controlled Netcam features a 25-1 zoom and two Type II PCMCIA card slots (for Wi-Fi links).
- Both Panasonic and Aptek have similar looking 802.11b netcams with M-JPEG video.
- Axis 2401 camera server and their line of Netcams were the first practical one-piece Netcams on the market.
- A high-resolution IQeye3 Megapixel Wireless Netcam, equipped with an iPIX 180 Camera Viewer, provides unlimited simultaneous viewers to digitally zoom, eliminating the need for a mechanical pan/tilt motor.
- Nikon Wi-Fi camera and Ricoh’s i700 can send high rez stills to a Zoom Image Server where multiple viewers can simultaneously zoom into different sections of the image.
These cameras are stand-alone units. No computer required. Or wires.
Happy New Year!