Google Fiber Goes Live – Kansas City Gets Gigabit Internet

Kansas City just became the fastest gun in the west when Google flipped the switch to turn on their new “Google Fiber” internet service. Google Fiber can deliver screamingly fast internet speeds of up to one Gigabit. Reports on the ground say that connections are consistently between 600 and 750 Mbps, with Wi-Fi speeds of up to 200 Mbps. Sounds good right, what if I told you the new service was only going to cost residents around $70 per month!

A New Standard

Google FIber - A New Way For a Faster World
Image Courtesy of Google Fibers Website

So based on the reported speed and pricing, Google is poised to deliver internet that is exponentially faster than the competition at a significantly lower price. It looks like the U.S.A. might finally catch up to other nations that offer affordable super high-speed internet to their populations. ISP’s are scrambling to catch up but it looks like Google Fiber may take off before the other guys can say, “wow that’s bloody fast.”

Oh yea, did we mention that this network will eventually be providing television delivery service as well? That’s right one day the Google Fiber network will be you one stop shop for cable and internet services. Cool, and kinda scary…

Industry Impact

What does all this mean for a small media services company like ours? Well for starters having faster internet capabilities in the U.S. will probably help our transcription services. We work with audio and video files hosed over the internet on a daily basis. The bigger the file, the slower the transfer, the slower the transfer the less efficient our business operates. Fast connections will allow clients to upload larger files without worrying about data corruption or timing out. On the other hand, faster speeds will allow our typists to download and complete their assignments much faster, thus allowing them to make more money at their job.

Take a look at the Google Fiber Blog for the official scoop.

http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.se/2012/11/google-fiber-installations-kick-off.html

Whats The Catch? Scales and Souls

First of all this system is just beginning to be tested in the real world. So don’t go buying your gigabit modem just yet, because it is going to take a long time before you have Google Fiber in your town unless you live in Kansas City of course. Furthermore, there is a big leap between implementation on a small section of a city, and implementation on a national and multi-national scale. All you guys out there playing Halo 4 online will probably be playing Halo 5 by the time you have a connection this fast.

When customer service goes bad...

Lets consider the other possible drawback here. How much do you trust Google to be your ISP and television provider? I mean sure, their mission statement is, “Don’t be evil.” But when companies this large start making moves beyond their original operational capabilities, you have to wonder, how big is too big? Do you really trust Google, a company you can’t even call on the phone to get help with any of their services to be a good neighbor for your community. Have you ever tried to submit a help claim to Google if one of their shiny products isn’t quite working like they say it should?

Spoiler alert, Google’s customer service sucks, and probably always will. Old Chinese proverb say, “Sell your soul to Google and you will wait 3 to 6 months for a response.”

The Future is Fast

Despite the fact that we have yet to see if Google can go big with implementing a system like Google Fiber on a large scale, it is a huge technological accomplishment that they have achieved. The future looks fast, screamin’ fast. Check out this CNN article about The Launch of Google Fiber if you want some more details about whats going on in Kansas City, Kansas.

Check back with our blog regularly for updates on this new development. Leave us a comment if you have something to share, and don’t be afraid to sign up to our newsletter to receive articles like this one on a regular basis.




Call Today for 20% Off Graphic Design Services!

Hello, my name is Ilana Gordon and I am the President and Creative Director at Word Wizards, Inc. Our company has been producing professional quality print and digital-media design for over 30 years. We are located in Silver Spring, Maryland and serve many government and private-sector clients in the DC metro area and beyond. The following is a short list of some of our specialties that we feel may fit the needs of your organization.

Print Media

Magazines
Brochures
Corporate reports and internal documents
Logos and “brand specific” printed materials
Conference collateral

Digital Media

eBooks/ePubs
Website design
Online marketing materials
Newsletters/eZines
Internet advertisements

Word Wizards is currently offering a 20% discount off of our normal hourly rate of $70/hr on all design services. We invite you to take a look at our online portfolio to review some examples of our work.

Please contact me directly or give our team a call if you are interested in discussing your next graphic design project. Thank you for your time and have a great day.

Best Regards,
Ilana Gordon
President, Creative Director
Word Wizards, Inc.
8555 16th Street, Suite 711
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-986-0808
wordwizardsinc.com/design

* This offer expires November 15, 2012, so call today!

 




Transcription Tips – Transcriptionist Best Practices

Hello out there in cyber space! On this wonderful Friday at the end of September, I want to share some tips that will help you be a more professional and trusted transcriber, whether you’re working for a company, or you’re a freelancer. Business, government agencies, private institutions and everyday citizens rely on transcriptionists to get the job done with minimal hassles. By following a few simple guidelines, you can make yourself a more valuable asset to your transcription clients.

Be Realistic

My first word of advice is to never accept more work than you think you can handle comfortably and within the deadline specified by the client. People will usually understand if you can’t take a high volume of work, but they will be very upset if you DO take work, and then you fail to complete it up to snub or on time.

In addition to the needs of the clients, you have to consider the long term implications of how much work you take in over time. Pace yourself! Many transcribers burn about because they start by taking as much work as possible and get in way over their heads. For a while you might manage to get it all done but remember, you’re in it for the long haul.

Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy. Stick to the truth and the facts and people will begin to trust you. Never inflate your page count or labor metrics in any way. Sure, you might be tempted sneak a few dollars extra here and there, but people notice, and they do NOT like it. Like I said earlier, your in this game for the long haul. The best asset you have is your reputation, and honesty get you a long way to trust, once you can be trusted by a client they will be much more willing to send you their work.

Another point about honesty, if you happen to make a mistake, fess up to it right away! Be honest and genuine and fix the transcript errors without complaint or additional charge. Everyone makes mistakes, were only human after all, but if you make them, own them, and show your merit as an ethical person and learn from your mistakes.

Get the Details and Get It Right

Make sure to ask for every specific detail about the job BEFORE you receive the transcription work. Prepare yourself by reviewing the exact requirements of the project and you will spend more time typing and less time fixing problems at the end. You only get paid for the work performed, not for figuring out how everything should look once its all done. With that in consideration, make sure you and the client are on the same page (pun intended) on all the specifics before the typing starts so that you don’t ever have to go back and fix things that could have been avoided.

Here are a few things to hash out with the client before starting a new transcription project:

  • Transcript template
  • Formatting
  • Font and style of text
  • Margins
  • Time code requirements and formats
  • Headers and file names

There are many more things to consider, once you build a relationship with the client they will appreciate you knowing exactly what they want and how they want it.

Do Your Best Every Time

Always do your best work, its simple. I think were about done for this article, but if your interested in receiving more articles like this via e-mail, please sign up for our mailing list (below or on the right hand side bar.) We provide tips on transcription like this, industry updates, technology spotlights, and much more.

Keep your fingers nimble and you shoulders loose, oh yea and if possible, use an ergonomic keyboard (click to read an article about the benefits of ergonomic keyboards).




New Service Launch: CloudScript – Transcript Media Player

Early this month, Word Wizards began introducing our existing clients and friends to our new service, CloudScript. CloudScript is a simple tool that allows a user to sync a transcript with time code to a media player. In seconds you can have a transcript that allows you to click on any time code in the document and jump immediately to that point in time.

CloudScript - Transcript Media Player

Professional Applications:

Here is a scenario, your writing a final script before sending your raw footage to editing. You have found a quote in your transcript that says exactly what you need it to say. Under normal circumstances, you would have to pull up a media player, and use the scrub bar to manually locate the point in time that your transcript says will contain that video clip. Once you find that spot, you need to somehow figure out if that audio and video is consistent with the rest of your production. There is no easy way to do this for a few or  especial hundreds of independent clips, well there WAS no easy way, until CloudScript came along.

Instant Media Referencing

CloudScript enables you to instantly jump to any time stamp in your transcript. No more scrubbing through hours of footage looking and listening for that perfect shot and or sound byte, its all right there and its FAST! Furthermore, say you took a look and listen to that quote you wanted and the audio was no good, or there were clouds in the sky and it wont work with the rest of the clips from that shot. Well using the “find” function, you can simply search for any keyword or phrase your interested in and quickly identify every part of your raw footage that is related to what your looking for. With just one click, you can see and hear everything that may contain what you need, now that is what we call optimized workflow.

Create and Study Rough Edits

Continuing with our example, you have identified a sequence of ten clips that tell your story the way you want it to, but your no sure the audio and video will flow with continuity and consistency because your ten clips are shot over 10 hours of raw interviews. All you have to do is copy the  time stamps you think are the best into a text file, and run it through CloudScript again. You have just created a rough cut that lets you click on each time stamp in the sequence and easily get a feeling for what the edited sequence would look like. Because CloudScript is subscription based, you can use it as many times as you want as long as your membership is still valid.

Additional Features

CloudScript allows you to sync a transcript with video hosted on the internet. Say you put up footage of an important conference on your website for people to see. Using CloudScript you can create jump points to any time in the footage. This allows you to create “chapters” in online video that can be hosted on your website. Say there were 10 speakers over 8 hours. Simply run your transcript through CloudScript and you can generate clickable links to the beginning of each speaker’s presentation.

CloudScript does not require uploads or downloads of the actual media files to work, that’s how it does its job so fast. All you have to do is simply provide your local file path for the media and upload the time coded transcript saved as a simple text file. Within 5 seconds you receive a media synced transcript that opens in your browser, and with your subscription you can use it over and over again!

Sign Up Now For A Free Trial

Want to see for yourself? Head on over to The CloudScript Homepage and check out our Demo video. If your interested you can sign up for a free trial and test it out yourself. So what are you waiting for, join the 21st century already and optimize your workflow!




CloudScript: The Future of Transcription Workflow

Word Wizards is proud to present our newest service, CloudScript!

Over 30 years of working in the media transcription industry has provided our team with rare and valuable insight into how and why people need our transcription services. We have noticed an important trend in the past few years, the name of the game these days is speed, convenience, and price. Production teams must to be able to work faster, more efficiently, and at lower operating costs than ever before to survive. Well, we have designed CloudScript to answer the call for a new solution.

Stated simply, CloudScript lets you click on any time code in your transcript and jump to that point in the audio or video file. Using a simple online form you can instantly convert any transcript with time code into a “media-synced” transcript. CloudScript is intended to make your workflow easier while writing, editing, producing or otherwise working with transcripts.

Watch our short video below for a quick demonstration!

Visit the CloudScript Home Page and Sign Up for your free trial Today!

 




The ONLY I.T.A.R. Compliant Transcription Company

When it comes to a project of a sensitive nature, be it legal, militaristic, classified, or otherwise not intended for unauthorized eyes, who are you going to trust? Now, we are not trying to put down firms who have chosen to enter the transcription industry utilizing offshore labor, in fact we capitalists respect and encourage the process of international competition. However, just ask yourself, when push comes to shove, who are you going to trust with your sensitive media? Unknown, untested, and uncertified offshore options, or the only transcription company in the world (Word Wizards) that fits the qualifications for the U.S. State Department’s stamp of approval.

U.S. State Department - DDTC Logo

Compliance with I.T.A.R. (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) does not come easy. This certification, issued by the U.S. State Department, is generally intended for organizations involved with international arms and military applications. When filing for this certification, we laughed as we checked the “other” category to describe our services, other is located somewhere between nuclear warhead production and experimental particle beam weapon research.

Trust But Verify

What transcription compamny do you trust?

Why would a transcription company choose to get I.T.A.R. compliance? In a global economy, our organization now faces extreme pressure from international competition. One of the stipulations of I.T.A.R. compliance is a strict “on shore” policy for work performed due to the often sensitive military nature of the content of these projects. Well, it appears that our modest U.S.A based transcription company is one of the last of its kind. Yes,  our short term profits may have suffered slightly when the economy tanked and clients explored cheaper, lower quality, offshore transcription options. However, our commitment to providing premium quality transcription services and maintaining a workforce of well paying American jobs has paid off once again.

Why are there no other I.T.A.R. compliant transcription companies, simply because nobody else in the world qualifies.




Video Transcription – A Tool for Pros and Joes

Video transcription companies like Word Wizards have been assisting the professional video production industry for a long time, making the lives of editors, producers, and audio mixers much easier. As with any industry, time is money, and wasted time in post can be reduced significantly with the use of a standard or time coded transcript. On the other hand, we are noticing a recent trend of an increasing amount of amateur film producers and regular house hold consumers starting to utilize the power of transcription services to make their lives easier and make their media more accessible.

Save The Predators

A “predator” is someone who acts as producer and editor on the same project, and in some instances they are the writer as well. Typically, “predators” work for those companies who lack big corporate budgets and are operate out of small, typically unsung post hoses and production companies. A transcript with time code can help these individuals manage their media, organize their product, and make their cuts and refinements with a complete written account of their video reels and the gems they seek within. The predator may be unsung, but they are often responsible for seemingly impossible work loads, and are often known to produce broadcast quality media at astonishing prices. Keeping your predators healthy and happy is paramount, with long hours, insane expectations, and impossible deadlines always weighing heavily on their, and only their, shoulders. Transcripts help these heroes of small cap production stay on target, saving time, money, and stress from being otherwise wasted.

Save the Predators (use transcription services)

Media Management for the Consumer

More and more consumers are turning to transcripts with time code for a cost effective solution to manage personal media such as home movies, video clips, and family audio recordings. Let me play out a scene for you; you have all your old home movies sitting in a box (or boxes) somewhere. Slowly they loose quality over time and so you decide to digitize the footage and store it all on a hard drive. Someone wants to watch the part of your high school graduation ceremony when the speaker says her famous quote that inspired you to achieve greatness. You could spend hours looking for that one tape, and even more time searching for the spot where the graduation speaker says her legendary piece. With a time coded transcript you can use the “find” feature in your word processing software to find her quote and exactly where in the tape it was. Time coded transcripts allow you to search for anything in your media and identify exactly where it is and what it says. Home movies 2.0!

Got tapes? need transcription? Were here to digitize and clarify!

Pros, Joes, and Twinkle Toes

Whatever your reason for shooting video or recording audio, transcription services can make your life better and more efficient. Our mission here is to give you the told to make your media project as easy and efficient as possible while protecting your limited budget and resources. If your new to the concept of transcription, we invite you to try it out and see for yourself how powerful this tool really is.




Understanding Professional Transcription Services

When the Word Wizards go out into the world, we often get asked the question, “what does a transcription company do and why would someone need that?” As always, simple questions require not so simple answers. As defined by Wikipedia, “A transcription service is a business which converts speech (either live or recorded) into a written or electronic text document.” In truth, the function and value a transcription service provides depends on the clients’ specific needs.

For example, a video producer with 12 hours of raw documentary footage will look to us for a much needed time code transcript. Our expert transcriptionists provide a time stamp every 30 seconds that corresponds directly to the footage, as it would appear in the video editing software. This enables a producer or editor to quickly search through their footage and identify and isolate specific portions of their media.

Example of a transcript with Time Code for use by a video producer.
An example of a transcript in MS Word with Time Code for use by a video production company.

Another example, consider a legal expert that has recorded the audio from a 5 hour deposition. In this situation, our clients require transcription services for the production of an accurate text document containing a verbatim account of everything spoken in the session. Thus quality, accuracy, and timeliness is essential to ensure the legal integrity of the transcript.

A cartoon demonstrating the stress of not using a good transcription company.

The world of professional transcription services is always changing and evolving to meet the demands of the current marketplace. Some professionals no longer use a service to provide transcripts preferring instead to implement less than accurate speech to text software like Dragon Naturally Speaking. In the past medical transcription was a highly specialized and highly valued service, now with speech to text, the same service comes off the shelf in a shiny new box.

When Word Wizards began providing transcripts for professional use, we were literally the only game in town. Now we must fight to compete in the global economy, where budget concerns are causing our clients to look overseas for cheaper options, ignoring the lack of quality, accountability, and confidentiality.

A Graphic depicting the global economy in the form of a sphere with flags of each country in 3 D
Welcome to the global economy!

To our great delight, the old saying holds true; you get what you pay for. Furthermore, we wouldn’t be called Wizards if we didn’t have some innovative new ways of adding extra value to our transcription process such as captioning and I.V.L (Interactive Video Logging). Even now we are working on a secret new project that will change the game in the industry, just like we did when we first started adding time code to our transcripts in the early 90s.

A manilla folder with the words top secret in red inside a red box
Shhh!!!

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion with release of our new transcription service, but for now, “The Mogul Project” will remain top secret.




Word Wizards Launches Video Logging Interactive Service

Word Wizards Inc. was an original pioneer of the commercial transcription industry. We were one of the first firms in the world to offer transcription with time code, and have continued to innovate throughout our years in business. Our original service package of transcription and graphic design services has grown to include a laundry list of post production and design solutions.

Write up on the “new” transcription with time code service by Word Wizards Inc. in VIDEOGRAPHY Magazine, 1997

Word Wizards’ latest innovative service is called Video Logging Interactive (VLI). With VLI we seek to further simplify the post production process by combining our expertise in different areas like never before. This new project is years in development and enables our video production clients access to their transcriptions and logging meta data like never before. For more information on Video Logging Interactive, click here to see the VLI page on this website.




Audio Description: Legally Required Starting November

 

Word Wizards Inc., now offers a complete solution for creating broadcast, internet, or YouTube media with Audio Description for blind and low vision individuals. We are working non-stop to help prepare our clients for the beginning of The 21st Century Accessibility Act’s enforcement in October of 2011. In October, video content providers under the laws of the U.S.A. Federal Government will be required to provide a significant amount video that includes audio descriptive media. At least 50 hours of audio description content will be required by ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the top five non-broadcast networks. Click the following link for more information regarding our Audio Descriptive Content Solutions.

To see an example of Audio Description in action, click the following link

http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/jw-player/22/making-video-accessible#Accessibilty_Example

Follow this link for an overview of the legislation as it appears on the website of The National Association of the Deaf.

http://www.nad.org/issues/civil-rights/communications-act/21st-century-act