Tom McKay was not pleased when he found out that his $36-dollar camera, which he bought from Amazon, did not have the capability to balance the exposure level properly. As his desk faces the window, his face gets lit up like that of Edward Cullen’s (from Twilight). McKay then tried to fix this using the features present in Windows, but it still wasn’t enough. His face still looks rather unsettling.
That left me to find workarounds to manually adjust the camera feed. Most webcam software costs money, but I happened to have a free and open-source counterpart called Open Broadcaster Software Studio (OBS Studio) installed. I have to open up OBS Studio every time I want to use the webcam, but from there, it’s a few clicks to fix the exposure settings and come up with a significantly less creepy Zoom Meeting Tom than the above. OBS Studio takes the feed directly from the camera and outputs it to a virtual webcam, which can then be chosen as the video source in any videoconferencing software. Exasperating, but this is what I get for going cheap on a webcam.
But something strange started happening when he used the virtual webcam feature of OBS. His laptop would suddenly record him at random times.
… in early June I was very alarmed to discover 442 gigabytes of footage of me sitting at my computer, as well as other clips of my cats and partner wandering around, had piled up in F:/Recordings.
What was the reason behind this mystery? It turns out it was the default keyboard shortcuts in OBS.
More about this story over at Gizmodo.
(Image Credit: Tom McKay/ Gizmodo)