Vincent Cheung

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Weirdest phone call ever

The phone rings in the office. The guy on the other line asks to whom he's speaking. He's relieved to hear that it's me, this was my first tip-off that this was going to be weird b/c strangers don't generally call me in the office.

He then confirms that I've done some work in video recovery, which he saw on my webpage. I was a little surprised at this, someone was actually calling me about my research! This is where things go rather strange.

His problem however, has little to do with my research. He has accidently taped over some video on his camcorder (presumedly something important like home made porn) and is asking how to recover it! I'm thinking, ummm.... wtf? that's not what I do! Well, in a small scale to some extent, but not what he's asking for, where in the best situation a huge amount of video is missing and in the worse, the whole thing is missing. The whole basis of my work is that I have examples of what the missing data potentially looks like and then fill-in based on that, not just recovering arbitrary data from nothing. Who I thought was a legit researcher turned out to be a complete random off the street. The proper solution for him is not algorithmically derived. He should be looking into media recovery...

I tried to point him in this direction, but I have no idea of what's out there. Like, for hard drives, it's definitely possible, but I'm clueless about video media. It's also dependent on what kinda media - analog film, mini-dv tapes, or whatever.

I guess the weirdest thing was that this was actually a phone call. I would expect that the typical form of communication for this would be e-mail. I wonder who this guy is, what he taped over, and where he's from (guessing from Toronto if he called, would've been bizarre if it was long distance). Wonder if he's a big Hollywood guy that is shitting himself b/c he now has to reshoot a multi-million dollar scene. If he flys me down to Hollywood I'll do my best to help him out ;)

Update (later that day):  Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Hollywood was calling. I've determined through my spying techniques that the call has come from some random from the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies at York University, who got to my site by googling "video recovery toronto". My advisor, Brendan, had a good laugh at my new found fame.

Speaking of random encounters, here's one I got recently. This guy was sensible enough to send me an e-mail rather than call me up on my office phone.

Hi,
Do you know Leung Kam Cheung? I met him when I was in Lufkin, Texas.
Just wanted to know...
Konstanze

And no, I don't know that person. Just because we share the same last name, doesn't mean that we know each other. And what makes him think that I've even heard of Lufkin, Texas?

5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey you're from Canada right? Do you know Mike? He lives up in Canada. He says "eh" a lot... :P

Chris

Vince said...

Oh ya, I know Mike, he's the guy that wears a tuque, plays hockey, and has a pet beaver.

Rob said...

oh ya sure! mike with the tuque!.. he's dead

Vince said...

Oh no, that's horrible! Judy will be crushed to hear about this. You know Judy right? She has a maple leaf on her bag and goes curling...

John said...

LOL
omg

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