This is a crazy world with too many foolish leaders running big countries – I cannot believe that we have even “allowed” people like Trump, Xi, Putin, Johnson, and the folks in Italy, Spain, Brazil, etc to run amok like monkeys swinging from the trees and feeding the populations with the most stupid “banana-state” promises when we are faced with a clear and present threat from Climate Change and from viruses like the Coronavirus, that stupid Trump could not even spell correctly!
With this present bunch of despots and fools there is little chance that our children and grandchildren have much of a chance for a good life. The dangers that these men are guaranteeing us will result in a chaos for decades to come, if we have that much time…
… and that brings me to the title of this article, “Video Conferencing is Really Dangerous”!
Business people, schools, universities, ordinary people are using video conferencing because we cannot meet for fear of infection!
At the moment nobody knows how many have been infected. Nor do we know if those who have been infected are really immune to this virus in the future and for how long…
The number of deaths also appears to increase with the lack of quality of hospital care. That much is clear from Italy and Spain where death rates are highest, and from the UK and USA where death rates have increased rapidly per 100 000 of the population.
After many weeks of using video conferencing it is quite clear that we are faced with video conferencing jungle laws because of user-related problems and badly designed software.
There are a few big names who want to corner the market and they are all a rather poor at creating a good user experience.
I have not yet experienced a call without problems – and the larger the number of participants, the greater number of problems.
Skype, the original video conferencing software, leads the pack as being reasonably user friendly and free, but Microsoft its present owner, is a big ugly company, that has added some fancy extras to the software – it takes time and patience to work out how to use them.
Most of the time Skype works well but, God forbid, do not try to work with Zoom or Google Hangout. They are so bad because they assume that you are a software engineering genius. Their instructions and help commands are bad, really bad…
… and Apple’s FaceTime only works on Apple’s products – and that is the most foolish product development ever from a company that claims to be a market leader in ease of use! Just watch how they sell you a limited Microsoft Office package.
… and then Zoom is the greatest invention since sliced bread, according to Zoom, but if you have installed it on you laptop you will find that Hangout has hangouts! You have to uninstall Zoom to get the microphone working in Hangout… and of course if you want to use Zoom yourself you must pay, and it is really not much better than Skype which is free!
Most video conferencing sessions start late because at least one of the participants cannot call or turn on his or her microphone! We have to wait for 5 to 10minutes while they try to join a call. Typically someone tries to make a hugely expensive call across the ocean on their mobile to explain to the poor lost user how to turn on the microphone. Their embarrassment is profound.
When this is happening those of us online try to make small talk – and that is tricky on video conferencing because it is hard when you cannot see everyone – you try to work out who is talking… and others on the other side of the world appear to sit in his or her pyjamas, in an untidy bedroom, unshaven (men), or with the children screaming in the next room (mainly women)… It is hard for the curious to give your full attention to the matter at hand.
Then there is tension because it is often impossible to understand what the speaker is saying because his or her voice breaks up or because another user is breathing too heavily into the headphone’s microphone.
We also experience the typical broadband problem that the line goes down because there are too many users. Naturally your broadband supplier never admits to capacity problems – they always say that there is plenty more unused capacity. Your correspondent pays for the maximum capacity available but the line goes down a couple of times during most video conferencing sessions.
… and why should I pay when we are all going to starve and frizzle up because of Trump, Xi, Putin, Johnson, and the folks in Italy, Spain, Brazil?