Archive for December 18th, 2007

Sexybot

Who’s the man, huh? Who’s the man?

Optimus Prime is the man.

(we watched “Transformers” last weekend with JBQ on HD-DVD)

Apple and filmmaker lock-in

If you start using Final Cut Studio or Pro/Express with a Mac, forget about interoperability with the PC world. There is not a single intermediate format that works out of the box between Apple’s video software products and the PC products. Apple has not made the effort to support some common intermediate .avi formats.

I put an ad on a filmmaking forum to help indie filmmakers with color grading, and we haven’t found a single lossless codec that can be read on the PC right off the bat (and that includes the PC version of Quicktime which can’t read the Apple Intermediate Codec while the Mac version can). Even the .mov uncompressed version someone sent me didn’t work (seems that the format has somewhat changed in the latest version of FCP).

There are few ways to do it: you either export in DVCProHD on the Mac and then you buy the Raylight decoder/encoder for $200 on Windows, or you buy Cineform on both platforms that costs much more than that (my personal preference would be Cineform if cost was not an issue). Another trick is to load the lossless video on the Mac version of After Effects and export again from there, but that costs another $1600 and it takes lots of time.

This would be a great opportunity for Lagarith to step in and port the codec as a Quicktime component for the Mac and part of ffmpeg on Linux. This way, the open source Lagarith codec would be truly useful and help in an area that right now is simply a no-no area. Heck, the guy who maintains that could even charge some money for it. That’s how big the need is right now.

BeOS icons on “Journeyman”

A vectorized version of the BeOS/Haiku icons were shown last night half-way through on “Journeyman”, the scifi NBC series (series finale tomorrow, it only lasted half a season). It was nice to see the BeOS icons on a supposed next-generation holographic screen.

Also, on “Heroes” a few weeks ago, on Ando’s computer screen, there was a Japanese version of KDE. Konqueror was clearly visible in HD.

Greek education == SHIT

If I ever have a child (chances are that I won’t), I will never, ever, let it go to school in Greece. Why? I’ve written here why, 3 years ago. In most Greek school exams, the only thing that matters is how well you can remember a book’s words, not what you truly understand in that book. And don’t get me started how little world history Greeks get taught, and how much Greek history do in return (about 10 to 1).

So in a recent competition, Greece found to be the WORST country in Europe in terms of education. An official talked to the journalists about it and he spoke the truth: “it doesn’t matter how much information you have in your head, it only matters how you can use that information to solve problems” (loosely translated).

So obviously, the officials understand the problem. And yet, after 50 years, they haven’t done a fucking thing to fix the situation. We have supposed reforms of the Greek education every 3 years, but all change, and all stay the same.

This is one of the top 5 things that I hate about Greece. Moussaka remains the No1.