Recently boxee was asked to remove Hulu as a content source from itself. More specifically I believe Hulu's content provider[s] (NBC?), asked Hulu to stop making it available to boxee, who then asked boxee to remove it entirely.
For those who don't know, boxee is a media center application, originally forked from XBMC that runs on a myriad of devices, all of which give you a nice interface to your local, network, and internet media, right where it should be, on your media center and big screen TV. It basically puts you back on your sofa, with remote in hand, for better or for worse.
I think boxee is a fantastic business idea, but I decided to stop using it in favor of XBMC very quickly. Minor reasons were the polish of XMBC, speed of the interface, etc. These are things I expect boxee will work out. The major reason was I had no interest in socializing my media viewing habits. Not with my friends, and more importantly, not with boxee.
boxee is on to something awesome. They are doing what no one else that I know of has done well, if at all. Not only does boxee track every singly online piece of media you watch, they track every piece of media you watch locally. Let me restate that. boxee knows what and how you watch everything you run through boxee. If you watch an episode of "30 Rock," boxee not only knows that you watched S01 E05, it also knows if you watched it locally or via Hulu, or via, whatever. boxee is the Nielson box to end all Nielson boxes. Now it doesn't matter if you watch something online or offline, from you LAN, boxee can still know, and subsequently aggregate that information.
This is fantastic for boxee, and why they have support. This is awful for anyone else. Up until now, there was no way for people to collect viewing habits on things watched in the privacy of your own home. Suddenly though, you give people a slick interface, and some holy grail promise of social media, and that privacy is gone.
The content providers of Hulu, in my opinion, know damn well there's no content related reason to not allow boxee to view their content. As has been stated over and over and over again, boxee is behaving no different than a specialized web browser. Hulu's ads still run, and on the surface, everyone thinks all should be well. But Hulu also has much potential in viewer patterns. I highly doubt NBC has any interest in sharing that information with anyone else, specifically someone who can aggregate that information far more globally than Hulu itself.
I'm sure after putting this out there in the public, I'll be proven wrong when Hulu's content providers reverse course. But this is what I think is going on. If I was Hulu / NBC / whoever, I wouldn't want to play nicely with boxee either. I don't think they'd go so far, but if I were them, I'd be looking to build a competitor to boxee, and only share my content there. Then you get all the benefits of the data boxee aggregates for yourself, and you're the only one with your vast libraries of content.
Aperture -> batch edit: pad so all images are squares -> quicktime.
Aperture > Select All Images you want > Export.. I sized them all as < 1024x1024 jpgs. I also had it name them 2008 n+1.jpg. It's a feature I saw in aperture's export wizard, incremental extension.
Here, I think Aperture could have done this part for me, but I had already let it take the hours it took to convert every picture to jpg and export without. So I ran a quick command line script to batch pad every image. Essentially, make my portraits have black padding on the sides (to 1024 width) and my landscapes black padding on the top and bottom (to 1024 tall).
That put the pictures in a folder in order nicely and avoided some distortion if they weren't the same sizes.
Lastly Quicktime > File > Import Image Sequence. Picked 10 FPS. It basically spit out a movie (into quicktime). Now, here's where I wanted to use more a movie editor, but unbelievably, this movie when exported /from/ quicktime, in all sorts of formats, wouldn't import into iMovie. That's how I would have done it. Instead though, I found it very easy to add audio tracks to an existing movie right in Quicktime. Open audio file in quicktime, select all, copy, switch to movie, position where you want audio to start on the timeline, paste/Add to Movie. So I just had the audio files lined up, and inserted 1, played through, and stopped where I wanted the next audio to start, etc.
One trick is to save the video to an M-JPEG (not mpeg) file after you get the sequences in. It's really the only compression that looks good while you're still working. My "final" yet original quality movie is about 4gb. The one I uploaded to FB, was 400mb, because I had to keep the compression bitrates for mpeg4 very high. Timelapse, given the differences between frame, does not lend itself well to motion based compression.
Years ago on my old nokia cellphones, there was a great ringtone. It would start with a single beep, then a few more, then a few more, etc.
The benefit was, if you were close, you might hear it before anyone else did, and if not, it would be just annoying enough to get your attention, wherever.
Joe, amazingly remembered the name of it was Attraction. Some searching turned up a polyphonic version of it in midi format. A quick import into Garage Band, some track removals to return it to its simpler form, and a Share menu > Send Ringtone to iTunes, and I had my old ringtone back. Awesome.
I now share it with you.
So I like when I can setup security (of varying levels), but do it in a way that's so transparent, I get all the benefits of the security, without any repetitive tasks. Lately I've been wondering about keeping my general net activities private, at least within the scope of my local network connection, when away from home. In other words, if I'm sitting at a coffee shop, using their wireless connection, my laptop should know, at least, that I'm not home, and automatically turn on various levels of security between my laptop and the outside world. Most of my various network activities already handle a lot of encryption, but there are various holes in that here and there. It also doesn't do anything to obfuscate where in general my network traffic is being sent. I believe it should now.
After getting SSH Keychain setup, add a new tunnel to it, under preferences. Have it launch when keys are added, and after sleep / on startup. You should also probably have it use compression. No local or remote ports. Under Dynamic port forwards, setup something, like 9999 (used for the rest of these examples).
You will need at least 2 locations for a setup like this. One will be your home location with no proxy setup. The other will be a "secure," or roaming, location. This location should have a SOCKS5 proxy setup as 'localhost' port 9999.
The above takes care of a lot of OS X apps, but Firefox for example, has its own proxy settings. I just happened to find System Proxy which automatically syncs your OS X system proxy settings to Firefox, complete with location switching support. In other words, it just works, and keeps Firefox synced properly all the time. (Also works / with Thunderbird). It simply puts a check box (sync with system settings) in the Proxy settings pane Firefox already has. That's all it does, and all it needs to do.
Marco Polo is pretty awesome. Based on a lot of environment options (external monitors attached, bluetooth devices, wireless networks, ethernet networks, etc) it can subsequently pick a preconfigured Marco Polo "context." Finally, numerous actions can be performed on context switches. One of those actions is to change the active OS X network location.
So in summary, Marco Polo determines where you are and what OS X network location to use. The network location determines which proxy, if any, to use. System Proxy keeps the proxy data in sync with Firefox. I, pretty seamlessly from here on, have automated privacy when out and about.
I checked and all the Adium account settings have proxy support. The best option is "Systemwide SOCKS5 Settings." This once again, without any work, just does the right thing when I'm out and about.
So on Monday, my 2 month old car got broken into while parked at Parkway Parking Services' parking garage on 12th and Walnut in Philadelphia. This sucks on many levels, one of which being this was the first I'd driven to work in months. I had been sick all weekend and wanted to be comfortable on my commute.
The thief/vandal broke the passenger side front window. They reached in, ripped open the glove compartment, and stole the GPS device that was in there. Unfortunately this was also my birthday present which Michiko and her family were kind enough to get me last August. It was a disappointing evening on many levels.
The Parkway people at the facility, the grunts, were mostly reasonable. They took an incident report, snapped all sorts of Polaroids. The security lady advised me she had just (just before I came down to report the problem) "done her rounds." Fat lot of good that did me. She had "not seen anything."
One of the reasons I like parking at this garage is that you don't have to leave your keys, you park your own car, and yes, that they have security that monitors the building. Their security failed.
The car was a mess. There was glass everywhere. The passenger seat was full of it. It was in the back, on my son's car seat, on the driver seat, in the cup holders. I had to carefully remove just enough glass to make the car usable. I then drove my car back out to the dealer on the Main Line, with the passenger window simply not there, in 14degree weather. Did I mention I drove that day because I was sick? Yeah, this really didn't help.
So I drove straight to the dealer that night. I left the car there, and asked them to clean it and replace the window. I had the car back Wednesday night after $420 worth of work. About what I had expected.
What I hadn't expected was, before receiving any phone call from Parkway, to receive a typed, pretty much form, letter disavowing all responsibility.
My advice to anyone reading this is to find another parking garage service. Patriot Parking is spread throughout Philadelphia pretty much anywhere there is parking required, and at this time I guess my advice is to use them. I know personally they have taken monetary responsibility for damage that occurred to cars under their watch.
So we just bought a new car, and because of the fact that it was raining when I test drove it, I didn't realize the rear window was blurry to look through due to some aftermarket tinting. There was some tint on the other windows as well, which was in poor shape, so I asked the dealer to take it all off.
Long story short, they took off everything but the very rear window. Argh. Apparently they don't want the liability of scraping off the rear window defrost and radio antennae that is essentially painted onto the inside of the rear window, now underneath some crapy plastic tinting. When they do the other windows they use a razor to get the tint off, which obviously won't do here.
So I read up on the possibility of doing it here and there online, and essentially everyone advocated steaming it off. Unfortunately this sounded arduous and also mostly require a nice hot sunny day. Sort of out season here...
Finally I found "Removing tint; the not messy, easy, cheap way." It advocates using a cheap hand clothes steamer. I got mine at Rite Aid for $20.
About an hour later, of using the steam to get the glue to release from the glass, but remain on the plastic tint, I had one sheet of tint outside my car and off the window. It was REALLY easy and I didn't even stand a chance of harming the defroster and antennae. Not to mention, it was a pretty much flawless job, with the exception of a few square inches of glue I left on the window, which the steamer also helped get right off.
Another hour later, I cleaned up the job they did removing the tint, removing a few stray pieces, and using the steamer to remove the glue they left, where it didn't all tear off properly. Also vacuumed.
So almost a year ago I got this HP Photosmart C5180 printer, and while OS X could detect it via bonjour, for printing only, the HP software itself never saw it on the network.
After finally getting the printer hooked back up after the move, I decided to go hunt for new drivers as I have many times before. Do my surprise, there was a new release this month! And guess what; the new software sees the printer!. Yay!
I'm having some issues with the scanner software, but I believe I'll overcome them. At the very least, my apps can now use the various page feeders, for 4x6 prints, etc!
Someone said something sounding like "genip" today at work, which prompted me to ask if that was what they said. Two of my coworkers also lived in St Croix and we all laughed. This is one of the best things to eat I have ever had and I hadn't even thought of them in years. Some googling and respelling over and over turned up with the linked wikipedia article. I highly suggest buying as many as you can if you ever come across them.
Word has it someone in RTM has them!
...even if I'm not.
I got my electric guitar back from Dan about a year ago, and have yet to plug it in, so the other day I decided I should, only to find I have no guitar cable anymore. I don't believe I gave it to Dan with one though, so who knows. It's been quite a while.
Today I swung by Guitar Center (hate that place, but I don't know good music shops around here) and grabbed a cable, a tiny cable to use when I want to plugin my tuner, two sets of strings, and some picks.
I checked out their guitars while I was there. I really want an Ovation, and they had a few there, some for ~450. That's not bad, but I know nothing about those particular models, nor did I play them. Maybe that should be my reward to myself if I actually practiced and got better.
When I got home I was excited to plugin and play on my electric for a bit. Unfortunately that was not in the cards. I plugged everything in and nothing came out of the amp when I played. I futzed with all the dials and such for a bit and still nothing. Then I vaguely remembered having to fix something inside the connection on the guitar years ago. On a whim I popped off the end and took out the plug bit to find that one of the two connecting cables was not connected. Closer inspection revealed some solder, and I remembered how I did this last time.
Got out the soldering iron, tried to remove the old solder, but not having the right tool, I wasn't so successful, so I did my best to not add more solder, not burn the existing, and use it to refix the wire. Not trusting my soldering skills, I then reinforced both contact with electrical tape.
My fix worked well, and I rocked out. Not! Well, my fix worked.
So, for whatever reason, far beyond the capabilities of my mortal brain, it appears that Firefox for Windows, sends a Content-length header, and Firefox for the Mac (at least) sends a Content-Length header.
This is probably an unimportant distinction, as the http header field names, are after all case insensitive.
However if you happen to be writing a proxy, that explicitly rewrites a list of http headers, you might want to keep that in mind.
Why these two versions of Firefox differ, I have no idea, but that is the source of the zaniness.
So just a quick post to follow up on the last link post. We got bought!
Marchex has acquired us to assist in the phone side of their marketing.
It's been fun working at Voicestar, probably one of my favorite jobs thus far, and looking forward to more years at Voicestar, a subsidiary of Marchex. They've got some great people there that I'm keen to have better access to, and I know we will add some significant value to what they do.
They just opened the 1.0 Beta up to the public, and the improvements are nothing short of outstanding.
The first thing I like, is I can finally popup Firebug into its own window. It used to be basically a frame at the bottom of the Firefox window.
And lastly, (out of many many improvements that I won't mention) is the new "Net" feature. It's sort of like Tamper, in that I can see what net traffic is happenning, and how long it's taking, but the UI for it is just great. It's so easy to see network bottlenecks now, and how long pages are actually taking to load.
Way to go guys!
So, I recently bought a HP Photosmart C5180 printer, scanner, thinger. Its feature set is nice, and I am very pleased with the quality of the prints. It has ethernet, which is great for my home network.
The only problem is, my macbookpro doesn't see it. Well let me rephrase that. HP's software says it doesn't see it. Printer Setup Utility however sees it just fine via bonjour. When the HP software comes up, the first thing after the driver / software data is copied from the cd to your hard disk, it says, on the next screen, pick your device from the list of devices. The next screen comes up, with what should be a multiline select box, populated by the hp devices it found. It's headed, 'Printer Name' and 'Connection,' which I believe would be either ethernet or usb. However there are no devices listed.
I have tried everything under the sun to make the network as transparent as possible. There's nothing in between. Hell I've even tried on a private network that existed of nothing more than my laptop, the printer, and an ethernet cable. Everytime, I can ping the printer, nmap it and see a few ports open, and visit its webapplication on port 80. I can also add it as a printer via the built in utility. But the HP Setup Assistant still doesn't see it. Updating the HP software indicates I have the newest version.
The downside to all of this is, is using Printer Setup Utility, only gets me a printer. It doesn't get me scanner functionality, and it doesn't let me use the builtin 4x6 paper tray, no matter how I tell things to be printed, or how I configure the drivers.
So... getting back to the software updates, this is when I begin to head towards HP, the mfg, for help. I first visit the website.
I look manually for new drivers, or even the same I have, the latter mostly for "ah what the hell, maybe the cd is corrupt" reasons. When I go to download Mac drivers for this printer, I am given a page that says something like, "Download Drivers" and "Request Driver CD by Mail."
I realize the Download section is empty. The only way to obtain the drivers to this printer for the mac, short of the cd it comes with, is to ask them to mail it to you. I feel like I should have logged off right then and there for fear my dial-up will run up the long distance minutes calling the town over that has the internet. Hello 1992.
This is only the start of my mild frustration. After all, I can still "use" the printer, to well, print. But seeing as I paid for a lot more than that, I'd like to resolve the rest.
I decided today, a Saturday, at about 1745 EST, to call their support. I figured, what are the odds, but oh well. The manual's phone number support page says nothing of hours. A menu system comes up, and very quickly I'm being routed to support, with full information of what I'm calling about, already in tow. Then a prompt. "If you are using a Macintosh, please say Macintosh." I do. Then it starts to ring. Wow, that was fast. Then another system picks up. (Man, I hate when they do that.) "Technical Support is open 9am to midnight, Monday through Saturday."
"Cool," I think.
"The office is now closed, please call back between normal business hours."
Bastards. I think up till now I had never really expected them to be open. But when the message told me that, I felt obliged to speak with someone. So I called back, and didn't say "Macintosh." I got "Michael." A suspiciously biblical name, for suspiciously Indian sounding gentleman. But he pulled it off a lot better than most have.
He took all my info, etc, and then at the very end after he found out I was using a mac told me, in short, that he couldn't help me. Apparently Macintosh support is open 8am-5pm MST. So if I'm lucky, I might someday be able to reach them. My pleas about the message, and about how silly was to play that message when being transfered to Macinotsh support during those hours, made no difference. Nothing seemed to matter.
I think it's ridiculous that companies that sell consumer products only operate consumer support at the times when those consumers are at work earning money to conntinue consuming. Even if I felt comfortable calling HP from work about this, I'd be nowhere near the printer.
It's like stores that close at 5 or 5:30.
See Bob buy diapers at Target. See Bob leave diapers in the bottom shelf of shopping cart while loading car. See Bob find out 2 hours later they are missing. See Bob return to Target and successfully retrieve daipers.
So I left the diapers in the shopping cart. Apparently a kind "Guest" (as Target employees called them) found them and returned them to the Service Center, precisely where I went right after checking the cart return in the parking lot.
My faith in humanity was just that much more restored, and cheers to Target for knowing immediately what I was talking about when I started explaining and not hastling me about being a total idiot.
I setup a proper page numbering template tonight. I should probably make it a Template::Plugin. Maybe tomorrow.
It uses elipses when there are more than $x pages before or after the current page such as ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... where 8 would be the current page.
It's fugly TT though. It needs to not be there.
Well, I haven't started up Konfabulator in a few weeks now, partly because of disgust, partly because I haven't been following stocks as closely.
I decided I should start paying attention again, and lo', another YWE update!
I was ready to take bets, but I held off. Sure enough, Yahoo has woken up and found themselves in 2nd quarter 2006. I guess they've been too busy with other minor things like, new home page designs, new webmail, a video search, etc.
So, as of today, well much earlier today, about 2am EDT, 1 year ago Michiko and I were married in a little government building in Tokyo.
It was quite cool, and so is she, so I guess it all worked out well.
We went to the Apollo Grill for dinner. It was fine. The service was rushed. Our upstairs neighbors babysat, giving us about 2 hours+ of time to ourselves for a nice leisurely dinner. But we were practically done in an hour "thanks" to a waitress who had food on the table before we were done ordering, it seemed. Also, my steak was kinda bleh for the price. We had a nice time though, and had a long drawn out dessert and coffee to compliment.
Happy Wedding Day to us.