September 17, 2021

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I Accidentally Recorded At Least 682 Gigabytes of Video of Myself Without My Knowledge

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Whoops, I Unwittingly Taped Hundreds of Gigs of Video of Myself

This is probably among the less embarrassing or compromising things I am sure the webcam caught me doing, but I didn’t bother to check exactly what was captured before I burned all the footage off my hard drive.

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What was I frustrated about at 8:25 p.m. ET, May 14, 2021? The world may never know, I definitely don’t.
Screenshot: Tom McKay / Gizmodo

At the time, I wrote it off as a fluke—the footage seemed contiguous, so I must have just accidentally hit the record button or something and left it running, right? Nope. Between June 9 and right now, approximately 240 gigabytes more footage has appeared in that folder, not counting an additional 309 gigabytes of footage dating to May, which I’m not even sure I noticed the first time. Judging from the t-shirts I was wearing, the footage covers intermittent periods of time amounting to a week or so.

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I am a huge dumbass. Fortunately, none of this surprise footage ever came anywhere near to the internet or being seen by my colleagues, so I still consider myself vastly more intelligent than the Zoom Dick guy.

Under normal circumstances, I’d be far too dumb and lazy to figure out what’s going on here. I’d just delete the footage again and move on. But given Gizmodo’s acting editor-in-chief, Andrew Couts, demanded I write about this embarrassing series of events, I’ve been forced to step up. It took me just a few seconds to determine that what most likely happened is I hit the “H” key, which is the default OBS Studio hotkey to start a recording.

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The hotkey menu of OBS Studio.
Screenshot: Tom McKay / Gizmodo

In, fact, I’m now 100% certain that is the case, as OBS Studio began taping footage of me while I was typing that sentence. What’s up, jerks.

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Go away.
Screenshot: Tom McKay / Gizmodo

For nevermore was a story of more woe than that of Tom McKay and webcam video, or whatever. As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I have learned nothing from this experience and don’t plan to update that policy for future ones. Long live ignorance.

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Anyhow, if you happen to know how to correct the automatic exposure settings on my webcam without me having to go through multiple menus or pay someone money, I’m all ears.

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