Webcam

A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams its image in real time to or through a computer to a computer network.

The term "webcam" (a clipped compound) may also be used in its original sense of a video camera connected to the Web continuously for an indefinite time, rather than for a particular session, generally supplying a view for anyone who visits its web page over the Internet. Some of them, for example, those used as online traffic cameras, are expensive, rugged professional video cameras.

Webcam000c1
Typical low-cost webcam used with many personal computers

Technology

Sweex USB webcam PCB with without lens close up
Components of any webcam are: Image sensor, lens and supporting circuitry.
Animated set of X-ray images of a webcam. Images acquired using industrial CT scanning.

Webcams typically include a lens, an image sensor, support electronics, and may also include one or even two microphones for sound.

Image sensor

Image sensors can be CMOS or CCD, the former being dominant for low-cost cameras, but CCD cameras do not necessarily outperform CMOS-based cameras in the low-price range. Most consumer webcams are capable of providing VGA-resolution video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Many newer devices can produce video in multi-megapixel resolutions, and a few can run at high frame rates such as the PlayStation Eye, which can produce 320×240 video at 120 frames per second. The Wii Remote contains an image sensor with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels.

As the bayer filter is proprietary, any webcam contains some built-in image processing, separate from compression.

Optics

Various lenses are available, the most common in consumer-grade webcams being a plastic lens that can be manually moved in and out to focus the camera. Fixed-focus lenses, which have no provision for adjustment, are also available. As a camera system's depth of field is greater for small image formats and is greater for lenses with a large f-number (small aperture), the systems used in webcams have a sufficiently large depth of field that the use of a fixed-focus lens does not impact image sharpness to a great extent.

Most models use simple, focal-free optics (fixed focus, factory-set for the usual distance from the monitor to which it is fastened to the user) or manual focus.

Compression

Digital video streams are represented by huge amounts of data, burdening its transmission (from the image sensor, where the data is continuously created) and storage alike.

Most if not all cheap webcams come with built-it ASIC to do video compression in real-time.

Support electronics read the image from the sensor and transmit it to the host computer. The camera pictured to the right, for example, uses a Sonix SN9C101 to transmit its image over USB. Typically, each frame is transmitted uncompressed in RGB or YUV or compressed as JPEG. Some cameras, such as mobile-phone cameras, use a CMOS sensor with supporting electronics "on die", i.e. the sensor and the support electronics are built on a single silicon chip to save space and manufacturing costs. Most webcams feature built-in microphones to make video calling and videoconferencing more convenient.

Interface

Typical interfaces used by articles marketed as a "webcam" are USB, Ethernet and IEEE 802.11 (denominated as IP camera). Further interfaces such as e.g. Composite video or S-Video are also available.

The USB video device class (UVC) specification allows inter-connectivity of webcams to computers without the need for proprietary device drivers.

Software

Various proprietary as well as free and open-source software is available to handle the UVC stream. One could use Guvcview or GStreamer and GStreamer-based software to handle the UVC stream.

Characteristics

Webcams are known for their low manufacturing cost and their high flexibility,[1] making them the lowest-cost form of videotelephony. Despite the low cost, the resolution offered at present (2015) is rather impressive, with low-end webcams offering resolutions of 320×240, medium webcams offering 640×480 resolution, and high-end webcams offering 1280×720 (aka 720p) or even 1920×1080 (aka 1080p) resolution.[2][3][4]

They have also become a source of security and privacy issues, as some built-in webcams can be remotely activated by spyware.

Uses

The most popular use of webcams is the establishment of video links, permitting computers to act as videophones or videoconference stations. Other popular uses include security surveillance, computer vision, video broadcasting, and for recording social videos.

The video streams provided by webcams can be used for a number of purposes, each using appropriate software:

Health care

Most modern webcams are capable of capturing arterial pulse rate by the use of a simple algorithmic trick. Researchers claim that this method is accurate to ±5 bpm.

Video monitoring

Webcams may be installed at places such as childcare centres, offices, shops and private areas to monitor security and general activity.

Commerce

Webcams have been used for augmented reality experiences online. One such function has the webcam act as a "magic mirror" to allow an online shopper to view a virtual item on themselves. The Webcam Social Shopper is one example of software that utilizes the webcam in this manner.[5]

Videocalling and videoconferencing

Webcam can be added to instant messaging, text chat services such as AOL Instant Messenger, and VoIP services such as Skype, one-to-one live video communication over the Internet has now reached millions of mainstream PC users worldwide. Improved video quality has helped webcams encroach on traditional video conferencing systems. New features such as automatic lighting controls, real-time enhancements (retouching, wrinkle smoothing and vertical stretch), automatic face tracking and autofocus, assist users by providing substantial ease-of-use, further increasing the popularity of webcams.

Webcam features and performance can vary by program, computer operating system, and also by the computer's processor capabilities. Video calling support has also been added to several popular instant messaging programs.

Video security

Webcams can be used as security cameras. Software is available to allow PC-connected cameras to watch for movement and sound,[6] recording both when they are detected. These recordings can then be saved to the computer, e-mailed, or uploaded to the Internet. In one well-publicised case,[7] a computer e-mailed images of the burglar during the theft of the computer, enabling the owner to give police a clear picture of the burglar's face even after the computer had been stolen.

Unauthorized access of webcams can present significant privacy issues (see "Privacy" section below).

In December 2011, Russia announced that 290,000 Webcams would be installed in 90,000 polling stations to monitor the Russian presidential election, 2012.[8]

Video clips and stills

Webcams can be used to take video clips and still pictures. Various software tools in wide use can be employed for this, such as PicMaster (for use with Windows operating systems), Photo Booth (Mac), or Cheese (with Unix systems). For a more complete list see Comparison of webcam software.

Input control devices

Special software can use the video stream from a webcam to assist or enhance a user's control of applications and games. Video features, including faces, shapes, models and colors can be observed and tracked to produce a corresponding form of control. For example, the position of a single light source can be tracked and used to emulate a mouse pointer, a head-mounted light would enable hands-free computing and would greatly improve computer accessibility. This can be applied to games, providing additional control, improved interactivity and immersiveness.

FreeTrack is a free webcam motion-tracking application for Microsoft Windows that can track a special head-mounted model in up to six degrees of freedom and output data to mouse, keyboard, joystick and FreeTrack-supported games. By removing the IR filter of the webcam, IR LEDs can be used, which has the advantage of being invisible to the naked eye, removing a distraction from the user. TrackIR is a commercial version of this technology.

The EyeToy for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Eye for the PlayStation 3, and the Xbox Live Vision camera and Kinect motion sensor for the Xbox 360 and are color digital cameras that have been used as control input devices by some games.

Small webcam-based PC games are available as either standalone executables or inside web browser windows using Adobe Flash.

Astro photography

With very-low-light capability, a few specific models of webcams are very popular to photograph the night sky by astronomers and astro photographers. Mostly, these are manual-focus cameras and contain an old CCD array instead of comparatively newer CMOS array. The lenses of the cameras are removed and then these are attached to telescopes to record images, video, still, or both. In newer techniques, videos of very faint objects are taken for a couple of seconds and then all the frames of the video are "stacked" together to obtain a still image of respectable contrast.

Laser beam profiling

A webcam's CCD response is linear proportional to the incoming light. [9] Therefore, webcams are suitable to record laser beam profiles, after the lens is removed. The resolution of a laser beam profiler depends on the pixel size. Commercial webcams are usually designed to record color images. The size of a webcam's color pixel depends on the model and may lie in the range of 5 to 10µm. However, a color pixel consists of four black and white pixels each equipped with a color filter (for details see Bayer filter). Although these color filters work well in the visible, they may be rather transparent in the near infra-red. By switching a webcam into the Bayer-mode it is possible to access the information of the single pixels and a resolution below 3µm was possible. [10]

History

Early development

First developed in 1991, a webcam was pointed at the Trojan Room coffee pot in the Cambridge University Computer Science Department (initially operating over a local network instead of the web). The camera was finally switched off on August 22, 2001. The final image captured by the camera can still be viewed at its homepage.[11][12] In 2004, the oldest webcam still operating was FogCam at San Francisco State University, which had been running continuously since 1994.[13]

Connectix QuickCam

The first commercial webcam, the black-and-white QuickCam, entered the marketplace in 1994, created by the U.S. computer company Connectix (which sold its product line to Logitech in 1998). QuickCam was available in August 1994 for the Apple Macintosh, connecting via a serial port, at a cost of $100. Jon Garber, the designer of the device, had wanted to call it the "Mac-camera", but was overruled by Connectix's marketing department; a version with a PC-compatible parallel port and software for Microsoft Windows was launched in October 1995. The original QuickCam provided 320x240-pixel resolution with a grayscale depth of 16 shades at 60 frames per second, or 256 shades at 15 frames per second.[14] These cam were tested on several Delta II launch using a variety of communication protocols including CDMA, TDMA, GSM and HF.

In 2010, Time Magazine named the QuickCam as one of the top computer devices of all time.[15]

Videoconferencing via computers already existed, and at the time client-server based videoconferencing software such as CU-SeeMe had started to become popular.

Later developments

One of the most widely reported-on webcam sites was JenniCam, created in 1996, which allowed Internet users to observe the life of its namesake constantly, in the same vein as the reality TV series Big Brother, launched four years later.[16] Other cameras are mounted overlooking bridges, public squares, and other public places, their output made available on a public web page in accordance with the original concept of a "webcam". Aggregator websites have also been created, providing thousands of live video streams or up-to-date still pictures, allowing users to find live video streams based on location or other criteria.

Around the turn of the 21st century, computer hardware manufacturers began building webcams directly into laptop and desktop screens, thus eliminating the need to use an external USB or FireWire camera. Gradually webcams came to be used more for telecommunications, or videotelephony, between two people, or among several people, than for offering a view on a Web page to an unknown public.

For less than US$100 in 2012, a three-dimensional space webcam became available, producing videos and photos in 3D anaglyph image with a resolution up to 1280 × 480 pixels. Both sender and receiver of the images must use 3D glasses to see the effect of three dimensional image.[17]

Privacy

Many users do not wish the continuous exposure for which webcams were originally intended, but rather prefer privacy.[18] Such privacy is lost when malware allow malicious hackers to activate the webcam without the user's knowledge, providing the hackers with a live video and audio feed.[19] This is a particular concern on many laptop computers, as such cameras normally cannot be physically disabled if hijacked by such a Trojan Horse program or other similar spyware programs.

Cameras such as Apple's older external iSight cameras include lens covers to thwart this. Some webcams have built-in hardwired LED indicators that light up whenever the camera is active, sometimes only in video mode. However, it is possible for malware to circumvent the indicator and activate the camera surrepticiously, as researchers demonstrated in the case of a MacBook's built-in camera in 2013.[20]

Various companies sell sliding lens covers and stickers that allow users to retrofit a computer or smartphone to close access to the camera lens as needed.[20] One such company reported having sold more than 250,000 such items from 2013 to 2016.[20] However, any opaque material will work. Prominent users include former FBI director James Comey.[20]

The fraudulent process of attempting to hack into a person's webcam and activate it without the webcam owner's permission has been called camfecting. The remotely activated webcam can be used to watch anything within the webcam's field of vision, sometimes the webcam owner itself. Camfecting is most often carried out by infecting the victim's computer with a virus that can provide the hacker access to the victim's webcam. This attack is specifically targeted at the victim's webcam, and hence the name camfecting, a portmanteau of the words cam and infecting.

In January 2005, some search engine queries were published in an online forum[21] which allow anyone to find thousands of Panasonic- and Axis high-end web cameras, provided that they have a web-based interface for remote viewing. Many such cameras are running on default configuration, which does not require any password login or IP address verification, making them viewable by anyone.

In the 2010 Robbins v. Lower Merion School District "WebcamGate" case, plaintiffs charged that two suburban Philadelphia high schools secretly spied on students - by surreptitiously remotely activating iSight webcams embedded in school-issued MacBook laptops the students were using at home — and thereby infringed on their privacy rights. School authorities admitted to secretly snapping over 66,000 photographs, including shots of students in the privacy of their bedrooms, including some with teenagers in various state of undress.[22][23] The school board involved quickly disabled their laptop spyware program after parents filed lawsuits against the board and various individuals.[24][25]

Effects on modern society

Webcams allow for inexpensive, real-time video chat and webcasting, in both amateur and professional pursuits. They are frequently used in online dating and for online personal services offered mainly by women when camgirling. However, the ease of webcam use through the Internet for video chat has also caused issues. For example, moderation system of various video chat websites such as Omegle has been criticized as being ineffective, with sexual content still rampant.[26] In a 2013 case, the transmission of nude photos and videos via Omegle from a teenage girl to a schoolteacher resulted in a child pornography charge.[27]

YouTube is a popular website hosting many videos made using webcams. News websites such as the BBC also produce professional live news videos using webcams rather than traditional cameras.[28]

Webcams can also encourage telecommuting, enabling people to work from home via the Internet, rather than traveling to their office.

The popularity of webcams among teenagers with Internet access has raised concern about the use of webcams for cyber-bullying.[29] Webcam recordings of teenagers, including underage teenagers, are frequently posted on popular Web forums and imageboards such as 4chan.[30][31]

Descriptive names and terminology

Videophone calls (also: videocalls and video chat),[32] differ from videoconferencing in that they expect to serve individuals, not groups.[33] However that distinction has become increasingly blurred with technology improvements such as increased bandwidth and sophisticated software clients that can allow for multiple parties on a call. In general everyday usage the term videoconferencing is now frequently used instead of videocall for point-to-point calls between two units. Both videophone calls and videoconferencing are also now commonly referred to as a video link.

Webcams are popular, relatively low cost devices which can provide live video and audio streams via personal computers, and can be used with many software clients for both video calls and videoconferencing.[34]

A videoconference system is generally higher cost than a videophone and deploys greater capabilities. A videoconference (also known as a videoteleconference) allows two or more locations to communicate via live, simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. This is often accomplished by the use of a multipoint control unit (a centralized distribution and call management system) or by a similar non-centralized multipoint capability embedded in each videoconferencing unit. Again, technology improvements have circumvented traditional definitions by allowing multiple party videoconferencing via web-based applications.[35][36] A separate webpage article is devoted to videoconferencing.

A telepresence system is a high-end videoconferencing system and service usually employed by enterprise-level corporate offices. Telepresence conference rooms use state-of-the art room designs, video cameras, displays, sound-systems and processors, coupled with high-to-very-high capacity bandwidth transmissions.

Typical use of the various technologies described above include calling or conferencing on a one-on-one, one-to-many or many-to-many basis for personal, business, educational, deaf Video Relay Service and tele-medical, diagnostic and rehabilitative use or services. New services utilizing videocalling and videoconferencing, such as teachers and psychologists conducting online sessions,[37] personal videocalls to inmates incarcerated in penitentiaries, and videoconferencing to resolve airline engineering issues at maintenance facilities, are being created or evolving on an ongoing basis.

See also

References

  1. ^ Solomon Negash, Michael E. Whitman. Editors: Solomon Negash, Michael E. Whitman, Amy B. Woszczynski, Ken Hoganson, Herbert Mattord. Handbook of Distance Learning for Real-Time and Asynchronous Information Technology Education, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 2008, p. 17, ISBN 1-59904-964-3, ISBN 978-1-59904-964-9. Note costing: "students had the option to install a webcam on their end (a basic webcam costs about $40.00) to view the class in session."
  2. ^ "How Much Resolution is Enough? Picking a Webcam". eBay. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  3. ^ Jonathan Knoder (9 May 2013). "1080p, 2.0 Mega Pixels? Understanding Webcam Technical Terms". Top Ten Reviews. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  4. ^ Alan Henry. "Five Best Webcams". Lifehacker. Gawker Media. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Augmented Reality Lets You Try On Clothes from Online Shops" TIME, 5 August 2011, retrieved 4 July 2012.
  6. ^ USB Camera with integrated UVC+UAC and Autofocus CMOS OV3640 CMOS Image sensor
  7. ^ Serial burglar caught on webcam BBC News, February 16, 2005, retrieved January 3, 2006.
  8. ^ Russia Election Webcams The Wall Street Journal, January 16, 2012.
  9. ^ Cignoli F, De Iuliis S, Zizak GA. Webcam as a light probe beam profiler. Appl. Spectrosc. 58, (2004), 1372.
  10. ^ G. Langer et al., A webcam in Bayer-mode as a light beam profiler for the near infra-red, Optics and Lasers in Engineering 51 (2013) 571–575
  11. ^ CoffeeCam, University of Cambridge.
  12. ^ "Trojan Room Coffee Pot - SPIEGEL ONLINE". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Happy Birthday Fogcam" by Anjuli Elais in Golden Gate XPress, September 30, 2004
  14. ^ Edwards, Benj. History of Video Calls: From Fantasy to Flops to Facetime, PC World Magazine, June 17, 2010.
  15. ^ Ha, Peter. Computing: Connectix QuickCam, Time Magazine, October 25, 2010.
  16. ^ "Plug pulled on live website seen by millions" by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian, January 3, 2004
  17. ^ Lanxon, Nate (2009-07-16). "3D photos: Minoru 3D webcam hands-on | CNET UK". Crave.cnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-07.
  18. ^ "Jogador esquece webcam ligada e transmite sexo com namorada". Yahoo Notícias. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  19. ^ Gray, Leon (2009). Virtual crime! : solving cybercrime. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers. ISBN 0766033767.
  20. ^ a b c d Yadron, Danny (2016-06-06). "Why is everyone covering up their laptop cameras?". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  21. ^ "Google exposes web surveillance cams" by Kevin Poulsen, The Register, January 8, 2005, retrieved September 5, 2006
  22. ^ Doug Stanglin (February 18, 2010). "School district accused of spying on kids via laptop webcams". USA Today. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  23. ^ "Initial LANrev System Findings", LMSD Redacted Forensic Analysis, L-3 Services – prepared for Ballard Spahr (LMSD's counsel), May 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  24. ^ Holmes, Kristin E. (August 31, 2010). "Lower Merion School District ordered to pay plaintiff's lawyer $260,000". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  25. ^ . Main Line Media News. September 18, 2010 http://mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2010/08/31/main_line_times/news/doc4c7cfdad3e059461146296.txt |url= missing title (help). Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  26. ^ "The Problems with Omegle Girls and Free Chat Services". OmegleGirlsChat. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  27. ^ "Ex-band teacher pleads guilty to porn charge with girl, 16". jconline.com. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  28. ^ "BBC - London - In Pictures - BBC London Radio Studio 1". Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  29. ^ Poeter, Damon. "Webcam Peeper Convicted in Rutgers Cyberbullying Case," PC Magazine, March 16, 2012.
  30. ^ Tip From 4chan Leads To Arrest Of Site Visitor On Child Porn Charges," The Smoking Gun, February 27, 2012.
  31. ^ Goodin, Dan. Feds: bald man posing as 17-year-old secretly taped teens," The Register (UK), October 13, 2009.
  32. ^ PC Magazine. Definition: Video Calling, PC Magazine website. Retrieved 19 August 2010,
  33. ^ Mulbach, 1995. Pg. 291.
  34. ^ Solomon Negash, Michael E. Whitman. Editors: Solomon Negash, Michael E. Whitman, Amy B. Woszczynski, Ken Hoganson, Herbert Mattord. Handbook of Distance Learning for Real-Time and Asynchronous Information Technology Education, Idea Group Inc (IGI), 2008, pg. 17, ISBN 1-59904-964-3, ISBN 978-1-59904-964-9. Note costing: "....students had the option to install a webcam on their end (a basic webcam costs about $40.00) to view the class in session."
  35. ^ Lawson, Stephen. Vidyo Packages Conferencing For Campuses, IDG News Service, February 16, 2010. Retrieved via Computerworld.com's website, February 18, 2010
  36. ^ Jackman, Elizabeth. New Video Conferencing System Streamlines Firefighter Training, Peoria Times, Peoria, AZ, February 19, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2010;
  37. ^ USA Today. "Video Chat Growing by Light-Year Leaps", USA Today, March 31, 2010, p. L01d.
  38. ^ Spencer Ackerman. "Optic Nerve: millions of Yahoo webcam images intercepted by GCHQ". the Guardian. Retrieved 29 July 2015.

Bibliography

  • Mulbach, Lothar; Bocker, Martin; Prussog, Angela. "Telepresence in Videocommunications: A Study on Stereoscopy and Individual Eye Contact", Human Factors, June 1995, Vol.37, No.2, p.290, ISSN 0018-7208, Gale Document Number: GALE|A18253819. Accessed December 23, 2011 via General Science eCollection (subscription).

Further reading

AMSN

aMSN is a free Windows Live Messenger clone. aMSN attempts to emulate the look and feel of Windows Live Messenger, and supports many of its features. It has been downloaded approximately 40 million times as of January 2011, making it the 21st most downloaded project on SourceForge.aMSN is available for any system that supports Tcl/Tk 8.5 or higher, including Microsoft Windows, Macintosh and any UNIX/Linux variant, including Maemo (Nokia's internet tablets) and OpenSolaris. A portable version for Windows is available by PortableApps.

Chatroulette

Chatroulette is an online chat website that pairs random users for webcam-based conversations. Visitors to the website begin an online chat (text, audio, and video) with another visitor. At any point, either user may leave the current chat by initiating another random connection. According to New York Times, the site is intensely addictive. In February 2010, a few months after the website was created, about 35,000 people were on Chatroulette at any given time. Around the beginning of March, Ternovskiy estimated the site to have around 1.5 million users. According to a survey carried out by RJMetrics, about one in eight spins on Chatroulette yielded "R-rated" content. Parody shows such as The Daily Show and South Park have lampooned this aspect of the service, and nudity has become an established part of the site's notoriety.

Chaturbate

Chaturbate is an adult website providing live webcam performances by individual webcam models and couples, typically featuring nudity and sexual activity ranging from striptease and dirty talk to masturbation with sex toys that is often highly explicit. The site is divided into five categories: female cams, male cams, couple cams, transgender cams and spy shows.

"Chaturbate" is a portmanteau of "chat" and "masturbate". Viewers are allowed to watch for free (with the exception of Private Shows), but pay money in the form of "tips" in order to see certain sex acts performed. The site itself earns revenues by taking roughly 40% of what performers make. In addition Chaturbate generates revenue from the audience when they purchase tokens using their credit cards.As of December 2017, the site is ranked 114th in the Alexa global rank and is the largest adult camming site competing with European BongaCams and LiveJasmin. It is estimated that the site has about 4.1 million unique visitors each month. Cam users can earn money by being tipped with tokens and 20 tokens are worth $1. Each Chaturbate token is worth $0.05 and a model needs to earn at least $50.00 to receive the payment.

Cheese (software)

Cheese is a GNOME webcam application, i.e. an application to handle UVC streams. It was developed as a Google Summer of Code 2007 project by Daniel G. Siegel. It uses GStreamer to apply effects to photos and videos. It can export to Flickr and is integrated into GNOME.It was officially added to GNOME in version 2.22. Guvcview does not use GStreamer.

Child sex tourism

Child sex tourism (CST) is tourism for the purpose of engaging in the prostitution of children, which is commercially facilitated child sexual abuse. The definition of child in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is "every human being below the age of 18 years". Child sex tourism results in both mental and physical consequences for the exploited children, which may include sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS), "drug addiction, pregnancy, malnutrition, social ostracism, and possibly death", according to the State Department of the United States. Child sex tourism, part of the multibillion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism victimizes approximately 2 million children around the world. The children who perform as prostitutes in the child sex tourism trade often have been lured or abducted into sexual slavery.Users of children for commercial and sexual purposes can be categorized by motive. Although pedophiles are popularly associated with child sex tourism, they are not the majority of users. There are two types of offenders: preferential abusers who specifically prefer children, because they seek to build a relationship with a child or because they perceive the risk of sexually transmitted infections to be lower; and situational users, which are abusers who do not actively seek out children but for whom the actual act is opportunistic. For situational users, there may be a lack of concern to check the age of a prostitute before engaging in sexual activity.Travelling child sex offenders can use the Internet to plan their trips by seeking out and trading information about opportunities for child sex tourism and where the most vulnerable children can be found, generally in areas of low income. A few governments have enacted laws to allow prosecution of its citizens for child sexual abuse committed outside of their home country. However, while laws against child sex tourism may deter situational offenders who may act impulsively, pedophiles who travel specifically for the purpose of exploiting children are not easily deterred.

ISeeYou

iSeeYou is a security bug affecting iSight cameras in some Apple laptops.

Internet pornography

Internet pornography is any pornography that is accessible over the Internet, primarily via websites, peer-to-peer file sharing, or Usenet newsgroups. The availability of widespread public access to the World Wide Web in late 1990s led to the growth of Internet pornography.

A 2015 study finds "a big jump" in pornography viewing over the past few decades, with the largest increase occurring between people born in the 1970s and those born in the 1980s. While the study's authors note this increase is "smaller than conventional wisdom might predict," it's still quite significant. Children born in the 1980s onward are also the first to grow up in a world where they have access to the Internet beginning in their teenage years, and this early exposure and access to Internet pornography may be the primary driver of the increase.

The sex and tech conference series Arse Elektronika dedicated their 2007 conference to what they call pr0nnovation. The con presented a keynote by culture theorist Mark Dery and published a reader about the subject.

As of 2018, a single company, MindGeek, owns and operates many popular pornographic websites, including video sharing services Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn, as well as adult film producers Brazzers, Digital Playground, Men.com, Reality Kings, and Sean Cody, among others. It has been alleged to be a monopoly.

Interview

An interview is a conversation where questions are asked and answers are given. In common parlance, the word "interview" refers to a one-on-one conversation between an interviewer and an interviewee. The interviewer asks questions to which the interviewee responds, usually so information may be transferred from interviewee to interviewer (and any other audience of the interview). Sometimes, information can be transferred in both directions. It is a communication, unlike a speech, which produces a one-way flow of information.

Interviews usually take place face-to-face and in person, although modern communications technologies such as the Internet have enabled conversations to happen in which parties are separated geographically, such as with videoconferencing software, and telephone interviews can happen without visual contact. Interviews almost always involve spoken conversation between two or more parties, although in some instances a "conversation" can happen between two persons who type questions and answers back and forth.

Interviews can range from Unstructured interview or free-wheeling and open-ended conversations in which there is no predetermined plan with prearranged questions, to highly structured conversations in which specific questions occur in a specified order. They can follow diverse formats; for example, in a ladder interview, a respondent's answers typically guide subsequent interviews, with the object being to explore a respondent's subconscious motives. Typically the interviewer has some way of recording the information that is gleaned from the interviewee, often by writing with a pencil and paper, sometimes transcribing with a video or audio recorder, depending on the context and extent of information and the length of the interview. Interviews have a duration in time, in the sense that the interview has a beginning and an ending.

The traditional two-person interview format, sometimes called a one-on-one interview, permits direct questions and followups, which enables an interviewer to better gauge the accuracy of responses. It is a flexible arrangement in the sense that subsequent questions can be tailored to clarify earlier answers. Further, it eliminates any possible distortion by having third parties present.

Face to face interviewing makes it easier for people to interact and form a connection, and it helps both the potential employer and potential hire who they might be interacting with. Further, face to face interview sessions can be more enjoyable.

Mount Everest webcam

The Mount Everest webcam was a camera located on Kala Patthar, a mountain in the Nepalese Himalaya, at an altitude of 5,675 metres (18,619 ft). The webcam captured video footage of the summit of Mount Everest and was the highest webcam in the world. It was installed by Italian scientists as part of the Everest Share 2011 research project by the Nepalese Ev-K2-CNR team, which was intended to gather information regarding climate change by working together with the Everest weather station. As of 2019, the camera is no longer operating.

MyFreeCams.com

MyFreeCams.com (MFC) is an American website providing live webcam performances by models, typically featuring nudity and sexual activity often ranging from striptease and dirty talk to masturbation with sex toys.

Peripheral

A peripheral or peripheral device is "an ancillary device used to put information into and get information out of the computer".Three categories of peripheral devices exist based on their relationship with the computer:

an input device sends data or instructions to the computer, such as a mouse, keyboard, graphics tablet, image scanner, barcode reader, game controller, light pen, light gun, microphone, digital camera, webcam, dance pad, and read-only memory);

an output device provides output from the computer, such as a computer monitor, projector, printer, headphones and computer speaker); and

an input/output device performs both input and output functions, such as a computer data storage device (including a disk drive, USB flash drive, memory card and tape drive).Many modern electronic devices, such as internet capable digital watches, smartphones, and tablet computers, have interfaces that allow them to be used as computer peripheral devices.

Sex show

A sex show is a form of live performance that features one or more performers engaging in some form of sexual activity on stage for the entertainment or sexual gratification of spectators. Performers are paid either by the spectators or by the organisers of the show. A performance can include actual or simulated autoerotic acts or sexual activity with another performer. The performance can be in a theater style, or it can be in a peep show style. An increasingly popular form of sex show is a webcam performance in which the viewer is able to view and interact with webcam models in real time.

Sex shows are distinguished from entertainment such as striptease, pole dancing or lap dance, which do not involve sexual activity other than undressing and dancing nude or semi-nude. Sexual activity at sex shows is also distinguished from regular prostitution in that the performers usually engage in sex acts only with other performers and not with spectators or paying customers. Sex shows can overlap with other sectors of the sex industry. For example, a strip club may also offer live sex performances, and a prostitute may offer to perform sex acts with another prostitute for the gratification of a patron.

Sextortion

Sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim. Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion.As used to describe an abuse of power, sextortion is a form of corruption in which people entrusted with power – such as government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel, and employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their authority to grant or withhold. Examples of such abuses of power include: government officials who request sexual favors to obtain licenses or permits, teachers who trade good grades for sex with students, and employers who make providing sexual favors a condition of obtaining a job.Sextortion also refers to a form of blackmail in which sexual information or images are used to extort sexual favors from the victim. Social media and text messages are often the source of the sexual material and the threatened means of sharing it with others. An example of this type of sextortion is where people are extorted with a nude image of themselves they shared on the Internet through sexting. They are later coerced into performing sexual acts with the person doing the extorting or are coerced into posing or performing sexually on camera, thus producing hardcore pornography.A video highlighting the dangers of sextortion has been released by the National Crime Agency in the UK to educate people, especially given the fact that blackmail of a sexual nature may cause humiliation to a sufficient extent to cause the victim to take their own life, in addition to other efforts to educate the public on the risks of sextortion.

Softcam

A softcam is essentially a software-based camera.

Softcams are computer software (that technically do not replace webcams) that allows one to stream or broadcast image, video, and/or audio files through a virtual webcam device. This allows the video stream to be used in place of a normal webcam stream in video conferencing applications like MSN Messenger, NetMeeting, Skype etc. or any other programs that use webcam devices.

Some softcam software such as Magic Camera and ManyCam allows the user to apply graphics and effects to the video as well, making the software more analogous to a video switcher. In effect, softcam software allows the user to project media files as though it were live over a webcam. Video from normal webcams can also be passed through softcam software to allow the same graphics and effects to be overlaid onto normal webcam video.

Suicide of Tyler Clementi

Tyler Clementi (December 19, 1991 – September 22, 2010) was an American student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge at the age of 18, on September 22, 2010. On September 19, 2010, Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, used a webcam on his dorm-room computer and his hallmate Molly Wei's computer to view, without Clementi's knowledge, Clementi kissing another man. Clementi eventually found out, after Ravi posted about the webcam incident on Twitter. Two days later, Ravi urged friends and Twitter followers to watch via his webcam a second tryst between Clementi and his friend, though the viewing never occurred.

Ravi and Wei were federally indicted for their roles in the webcam incidents, though they were not charged with a role in the suicide itself. On May 6, 2011, Wei entered a plea agreement allowing her to avoid prosecution. Ravi went to trial in early 2012, and was convicted on May 21, 2012 on multiple charges related to the webcam viewing. After an appeals court overturned parts of the conviction, Ravi pleaded guilty to one count of attempted invasion of privacy on October 27, 2016.

Clementi's death brought national attention to the issue of cyberbullying and the struggles facing LGBT youth.

Webcam model

A webcam model (colloquial gender-neutral: camodel; female: camgirl; male: camboy) is a video performer who is streamed upon the Internet with a live webcam broadcast. A webcam model often performs erotic acts online, such as stripping, in exchange for money, goods, or attention. They may also sell videos of their performances.

Since many webcam models operate from their homes, they are free to choose the amount of sexual content for their broadcasts. While most display nudity and sexually provocative behavior, some choose to remain mostly clothed and merely talk about various topics while still soliciting payment as tips from their fans.Once viewed as a small niche in the world of adult entertainment, camming today has become "the engine of the porn industry", according to Alec Helmy, the publisher of XBIZ, a sex-trade industry journal.

Webcast

A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand. Essentially, webcasting is "broadcasting" over the Internet.

The largest "webcasters" include existing radio and TV stations, who "simulcast" their output through online TV or online radio streaming, as well as a multitude of Internet only "stations". Webcasting usually consists of providing non-interactive linear streams or events. Rights and licensing bodies offer specific "webcasting licenses" to those wishing to carry out Internet broadcasting using copyrighted material.

Windows Camera

Windows Camera is an image and video capture utility included with the most recent versions of Windows and its mobile counterpart. It has been around on Windows-based mobile devices since camera hardware was included on those devices and was introduced on Windows PCs with Windows 8, providing users for the first time a first-party built-in camera that could interact with webcam hardware. It is similar in structure and features to the eponymous iOS and Android apps.

Xbox Live Vision

Xbox Live Vision is a webcam accessory that was developed as an accessory for the Xbox 360 video game console. It was announced at E3 2006 and was released in North America on September 19, 2006, Europe and Asia on October 2, 2006, and Japan on November 2, 2006.In 2010, Xbox Live Vision was succeeded by Kinect, a new camera accessory that also incorporates a motion tracking system and adds voice recognition functionality to the console.

Asynchronous conferencing
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Publishing
Input devices
Output devices
Removable
data storage
Computer case
Ports
History
Pioneers
Transmission
media
Network topology
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