Archive for December 10th, 2007

Not only in Saudi Arabia

Nine people who pleaded guilty to raping a 10-year-old girl were given suspended sentences or probation, national media said Monday in reports that prompted outrage and a review of sexual assault cases in remote Aboriginal communities. Judges can suck everywhere. Some said that the 10 year old girl “agreed” to this, but that’s no excuse to molest a child.

The Canadian DMCA

The Canadian DMCA Bill was withdrawn today, but only after the whole thing exploded on the web and press first. This time the citizens of Canada just got lucky (although we don’t know how much better the next proposal will be). But I just can’t keep thinking about other countries, that the whole thing won’t get as much press, and the US and lobby groups will force similar laws to them too (the “forcing” is part of trading agreements). Remember, the Canadian DMCA proposal was even worse than the current US one: not even parody was allowed, there was no flexible “fair use” provision.

But as I’ve written on previous blog posts, I am pessimist. While the public might have seen a minor win today, elsewhere, another 50 restrictive laws were passed just today. The world is heading towards a policed, or totalitarian, future. It’s just sad, but I guess it’s a natural cycle, true democracy does not seem to have a life time of more than ~200 years each time.

The Kodak V1253

While trying to find more info about the camera I stumbled across this review at Amazon. The reviewer shoots down the camera by saying that the produced 720p file is unplayable on his Athlon 3000+ computer. Now, you would ask, who’s to blame here? The user or Kodak? The correct answer is: Apple.

Quicktime, might have a great usability, but it’s slow as molasses. There is absolutely no reason why a 720p mpeg4-SP or -ASP file should not playback on ANY 2.2+ Ghz PC (3+ year old PCs). Apple just didn’t take the time to optimize Quicktime, just like VLC didn’t either (VLC is as slow on .mov mpeg4 files). WMP is crazy fast on .avi mp4-ASP/WMV HD files, optimized to the bone, and using DirectX to its full potential. For the specific .mov files, the user should download an unstable version of MPC to get better speed.

Kodak could have decided to go with XViD in an .avi container instead of Mpeg4-SP on a .mov container that requires Quicktime. But XViD being an open source effort, it has no strong leadership and business face, and so no one cares to implement XViD in hardware. Which is why DivX, being a real company, already has, and Pentax currently sells cameras with DivX file recording. But that would probably be more expensive.

The other complaint I read on Amazon was about the 2 GB file limit, which results the HQ videos to never be more than 16 minutes long. Well, Kodak did not invent the FAT format, so they can’t do much about it. The complaints should go to Microsoft, for not retiring FAT earlier, and for not providing embedded versions of the NTFS file system royalty-free so manufacturers can use that instead of FAT.

Ubuntu’s new theme

Here’s a pic of an alpha version of the new Ubuntu theme. I pray to God that they change that fade gray color on the menu text which amounts to a terrible usability. Sure it looks modern, but the brain has to spend extra calories to make up what the hell it’s written there. It doesn’t stand out at all, and that’s a place in the UI that’s used a lot. If anything, it looks like disabled menu options.

Exporting with Avid Liquid in 720p

Thanks to Guy “Lasssman” Booth from the HV20 forum, for his contribution on the Vimeo exporting project. He sent us a nice guide on how to export in 720p using Avid Liquid.