Posted by gundampilotspaz on May 29, 2008
I first saw Goldentusks Back to the Future video about a year ago and I thought it was funny, but above all it stood out as being strangely high quality for just a youtube video. Well, now Goldentusk has seven of these videos the most recent he pays tribute to the Indiana Jones theme song. These videos shouldn’t be over looked and it’s unfortunate that this quality content gets mixed in with people eating cinnamon and cats playing the piano.
Below are three of the best of his videos but here is the link to his youtube channel:
Repost from Time Travel is Awesome
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Posted by gundampilotspaz on April 30, 2008
A new Article posted last week at MyMac Magizine. Click for the full article, below is a preview.
NBC Universal and News Corp. invested heavily in the new online video service Hulu in an attempt to take control of their digital media. NBC pulled their media from iTunes late last year fearing Apple’s continuing dominance in the content distribution space. But NBC is missing the point of digital media and Hulu will always fall short as a solution for digital distribution.
Looking at Hulu, it is a very impressive service. Although still in closed beta I was able to sign up early and get an invite. The selection is very impressive with NBC offering over 70 shows; that’s right 70, and 37 networks signed on the amount of content will keep anyone busy for a very long time. Brand new shows become available on Hulu about an hour after the show has finished airing in Hawaii. Already it has a massive amount of content, new shows are available much sooner then they are on iTunes, and it’s all free. Where could Hulu possibly fall short?
Hulu is representative of the studios hanging onto the old model. Granted it’s a step in the right direction but it’s really just a much improved version of youtube. Hulu falls short by missing the wants and needs of consumers. But they could fix the problems very easily. The model the studios should adopt is as follows;
Leave the steaming as it is
Hulu is a wonderful platform, and it’s a step in the right direction. It’s the perfect hub that studios can use to allow their customers to watch their media streaming from the Internet. Two factors of Hulu stand out as a step forward for online streaming content, the fact that shows and movies are not broken up into smaller streams so they can sneak more ads in. The benefit of creating a central hub for content is that I don’t have to go to four different websites to watch the content that I want. Hulu allows me to watch NBC, Fox, and all the studios that are using the service in the same easy to use sandbox. The biggest surprise about Hulu is the embed function, I can now embed full episodes of Family Guy or the Simpsons onto my blog or website, you don’t even need a Hulu account to watch embedded media. This is a shocking feature that I’d never think commercial television studios would adopt.
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Posted by gundampilotspaz on April 30, 2008
I have a review that was posted last week up at mymac.com. Here is a preview, click here for the full article.
The iPhone is a unique device compared to Apple’s other portable media players. The iPod is rarely handled by the user. The most of the interaction the user has with the iPod is to press play and then put it back in your pocket. The iPhone wants to be used.
The design of the iPhone is important to the entire experience, and using a bulky case robs you of a large piece of that experience. The invisibleSHIELD protects your iPhone without limiting its functionality. It won’t protect your phone from blunt trauma but the invisibleSHIELD will help keep your phone looking like new.
The InvisibleSHEILD for the iPhone comes in two different versions; a whole body set or just the front piece. The material is tough enough to make the front only version the best screen cover available for the iPhone, but the real value is having the full body of the iPhone protected. The full body shield comes with a complete front and back pieces for the phone, a rubber applicator, and a tube of the application solution.
When opening the product and being faced with the task of applying the shield, I grew very nervous during this step. The idea of using liquid to position the shield scared me. I was going to spray my $600 phone with a liquid? The front piece is the easiest to apply and set in place. The back gets a little tricky because it includes pieces that have to fold around the corners of the . The shield itself is extremely adaptable and after each end is down it’ll conform to the shape of the phone within about an hour. Don’t worry about the sides of the phone not being down exactly flat or moving out of place. As the shield dries it sets itself in place and morphs to the shape of the phone.
The small pieces of the Shield are frustrating to apply. There are two thin strips for the top and bottom silver borders, and four tear drop shaped pieces for the corners. I made the mistake of placing the small pieces over the larger portion of the shield, so it overlaps and creates a small bump on the side of the phone. The place where I managed to line the shield up correctly, on touch feels like it’s a single large piece of plastic.
The whole iPhone feels like a single piece of plastic is covering it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you handed me an iPhone with the invisibleSHIELD applied and told me that you had the iPhone dipped in plastic. I’m trying to avoid using the word plastic. The invisibleSHIELD is not made of plastic. It’s made from a material developed by the Defense Department to protect helicopter blades in flight.
Posted in apple, iPhone, mymac, reviews, technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gundampilotspaz on April 26, 2008
I experienced some strange problems while trying to encode some video from a DVD with handbrake. Both in Windows XP and OSX the program would crash while attempting to scan the disk, making me unable to even begin the encoding process. No other disk had ever given me this problem and I needed to get the content off to experiment with my video projects for Time Travel is Awesome. After doing a little digging, I found the answer on the handbrake forums. The user van did some serious work to fix the problem and if you are a bigger nerd than I am you can compile some new code from the fix he provides.
The diagnosis of the problem on the handbrake forums:
All these scan aborts are caused by a divide-by-zero in routine hb_fix_aspect(), line 141 of libhb/common.c. It’s being called at the very end of the scan (routine ScanFunc) after all titles have been scanned and the aspect ratio for each title is being updated based on what was discovered about title width, height & aspect ratio while constructing the preview images.
There are two separate problems leading to the aborts:
For program streams, if there’s a title where no previews can be constructed (for example title 3 in bdkennedy1′s crash), title->width, title->height & title->aspect will all be zero when hb_fix_aspect is eventually called on that title & all three of these are multiplicative terms in the denominator so we’ll get a divide by zero. I’m not sure what’s the right fix here but my inclination would be to remove a title from the job’s title list if HB can’t get any previews from it & that would solve the problem.
For transport streams, if the construction of preview 3 fails then title->aspect will be zero which will cause the divide by zero in hb_fix_aspect. I think the best fix here would be to make aspect closer to the way fps is chosen – take the aspect from every preview we get, not just the 3rd, then at the end use the most common AR as the title’s AR.
Finally, hb_fix_aspect should probably validate the terms in the denominator rather than dividing by zero. But I’m not sure what it should do if they’re invalid. (Just use the adjusted job width & height? Delete the title?)
I’ll code up the transport stream AR fix. I can do the other two things at the same time since they’re only a couple of lines each but would like some input from the other devs on what’s the “right” fix.
Link to the fix
Now for those who, like me, hear the word “compile” and start to get a headache there is a much simpler solution. Handbrake 9.1 does not have this problem. However, you are going to have to do a little searching if you are on anything but OSX as that is the only release that is still supported of 9.1. The sourcecode is also supplied so if you are of the more adventurous type give it a shot.
Posted in apple, internet, movies, technology | 1 Comment »
Posted by gundampilotspaz on April 26, 2008
This seems like it’s turning into more than an elaborate joke.
Posted in apple, computers, mac, technology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gundampilotspaz on April 8, 2008
From Time Travel is Awesome
RPG fan is reporting that the release date for the DS Fianl Fantasy IV remake will ship in the United States sometime in July. They are also reporting that the new Wii game, Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Dungeon will ship on July 8th. Square hasn’t confirmed this information and still hasn’t even announced that the game will have a north american release. So this news is to be taken with a grain of salt. Video thanks to Kotaku.
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Posted by gundampilotspaz on March 25, 2008
My AppleTV review is not up on MyMac, I have a few other articles up there and hopefully will have many more in the futre. It’s a great site with a dedicated and enthusiastic staff. I’m very glad to be a part of it!
AppleTV review from MyMac.com
Steve Jobs did something during Macworld Expo 2008 that Apple customers have rarely seen him do. He admitted that he might have, maybe, made a small mistake in the AppleTV. The result is the free to download software update dubbed AppleTV Take2. The update changes the AppleTV from a simple bridge between your iTunes library and your television and turns the device into a much more powerful tool.
The way I used to describe the AppleTV is that it was an iPod for your television. It worked just like an iPod, allowing you to sync movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts to the device though iTunes, to the device. Customers didn’t seem to be interested in that style of device, although I was very happy with the AppleTV before the update. Take2 takes the AppleTV to the next level allowing you to rent movies, buy music and TV shows, and download podcasts on the device itself. These are features that should have been included since day one. The update makes the AppleTV feel like a much more complete device.
The newest addition to the iTunes store is the ability to rent movies. Movie Rentals range from $3 for older titles to $5 for HD content. Rentals last for 30 days after purchase and 24 hours after you begin watching the movie. Movie rentals from the AppleTV work beautifully. The movies are displayed by showing the artwork in rows allowing you to quickly glance though nearly 800 titles at the time of this review. HD content is still lacking, however, with fewer than 100 titles.
Each of the four movies that I rented was available to watch in under a minute. The AppleTV is able to gauge the speed of your connection and estimate how long it will take for the movie to download, and then it tells you when you can start watching. If the AppleTV is correct you will never notice that the movie is still downloading as you watch it, and I haven’t yet run into the situation where I could not continue watching the movie because it had not cached enough of the film.
There is a downside to renting movies on the AppleTV. While you can send movies you have rented from your computer to the AppleTV, this does not work the other way around. If you happened to queue up a few movies you plan to watch on the AppleTV and want to instead watch them on your Mac or your iPod, you’re out of luck. Also, for some reason I cannot figure out, you are not able to buy movies on your AppleTV. This turns into a problem, for example, when I rented “Stardust.” I would have preferred to buy it for the full $15 but did not know the option existed. You can tell this is an agreement Apple was forced to make with the movie studios. Apple would not go out of their way to limit the functionality of their device.
For the full review jump on over to MyMac and enjoy!
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Posted by gundampilotspaz on March 10, 2008
As you can clearly see in the image above, one particular engineering soul figured a spare Macintosh SE case would look a whole lot better in his bathroom than in the trash, so he whipped out a screwdriver, removed some internal brackets and gave the unit a fresh coat of paint. $15 and a few hours later, out popped his new toilet paper dispenser.
Ah Mac fandom! Mac fanboys are not content just having Macs in thier living rooms, offices, and bedrooms. They have to put them into the bathroom as well. It seems a bit of an inconvenient place to put the toilet paper though, you’ll have to keep reaching down to get it.
A small price to pay in order to boost about your awesome toilet paper dispenser, I suppose.
Posted in apple, computers, humor, mac, technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gundampilotspaz on February 24, 2008
Cnet blogs is reporting on Youtube being down from over an hour today thanks to the actions of a Pakistan ISP.
The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic, PCCW, has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today. Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP’s must block access to YouTube because it was a source of blasphemous content.
I cannot let the irony pass with out commenting. A religious state, Pakistan, identifies a content provider, YouTube, as the source of blasphemous, seditious content and orders, King Canute style, that the Internet tides be stopped. A zealous ISP ignorantly decides the best way to comply with the decree is to re-route all of YouTube’s IP addresses to whatever site they thought was more appropriate. The first repercussion was that YouTube disappeared from the Internet for almost an hour. I suspect the second repercussion was that Pakistan’s Internet access crawled to a halt as all of a sudden they were handling IP requests for one of the busiest sites in the world. As of this writing YouTube has announced more granular routes so that at least in the US they supercede the routes announced by PieNet. The rest of the world is still struggling. So, while working on a fix that will filter out the spurious route announcements, PCCW has found it necessary to shut down Pakistan’s Internet access. The leadership of Pakistan just created a massive Denial of Service on their own country.
It’s scary how easy it is for an ISP on the other side of the world to take down an entire website. Of course, taking down youtube didn’t turn out so well for them. This shows how vulnerable the Internet really is.
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Posted by gundampilotspaz on February 21, 2008
People for the American Way have started a petition to stop congress from granting Immunity to Telecommunication companies that illegally wiretapped phones under order of the Bush Administration. Help bring justice to those who defy the constitution by signing the petition and letting congress know what you think.
Posted in bullshit, crazy, free speech, government, interesting, news, scary, science, Thought crime | Leave a Comment »