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JSext and Fedora 9

You need tinycdb which builds to tinycdb x86_64 rpm and tinycdb devel x86_64 rpm.

/tech | edited on 2008/11/26 -- permalink, click to comment

Apple, HDCP and DRM

There’s been quite a bit of international and nacional hoopla and hubhub about iTunes movies and HDCP, most of it concluding Apple is evil.
Well, Apple is evil, just not particularly on this case.

Most people commenting this issue don’t know HDCP is part of HDMI. In fact, HDMI is just DVI + audio + HDCP and HD playback devices are not supposed to output HD (specially digital HD - the juri is kind of out on analogue) on non “protected”, ie DRMed, ie HDCP, ie HDMI devices. So, MacBooks are doing what every other device that wants to playout licensed HD content must do.
Granted, Apple could play downscaled video to DVI. Either they don’t want to to preserve the HD experience or they just didn’t get around to it.

[26/11/2008 Update: Apple updated Quicktime to allow downscaled playblack on non-HDCP displays. See guys ? ]

/tech | edited on 2008/11/26 -- permalink, click to comment

The Week in Review 47W2008

/wir | edited on 2008/11/24 -- permalink, click to comment

Death by sarcasm

We’d even invent geek conspiracy theories to explain the evil decisions, which we thought were made against engineering purity and thus made little or no sense to us. Often, we’d focus blame on the marketing departments of these companies [Faisal Jawdat, a tech reviewer on this book, threatened me with death by sarcasm if I didn’t point out how ironic it is that I then went on to work for Microsoft.] — Making Things Happen, Scott Berkun

/tech | edited on 2008/11/24 -- permalink, click to comment

The Week in Review 46W2008

/wir | edited on 2008/11/17 -- permalink, click to comment

Rule 34

Did xkcd create the web interest in rule 34 or was it the other way around ?

xkcd comic 505 - A bunch of rocks

/tech | edited on 2008/11/17 -- permalink, click to comment

Information safety rip-cord

Here’s an idea for HD manufacturers, add a crypto chip that encrypts everything that goes into the platters. Then add a physical rip-cord (or tab, something) that destroys the crypto chip.

When you bin the disk and send it for mandatory recycling all you have to do to make sure your data is safe is pull the wipe rip-cord.

/tech | edited on 2008/11/15 -- permalink, click to comment

The Week in Review 45W2008

/wir | edited on 2008/11/09 -- permalink, click to comment

Three companies for Fail

The handheld market is a bitch. And to prove it, here are 3 companies heading for the tubes.


Palm sadly ate itself. I’ve discussed this before, at some point Palm believed they would rule the handheld world and that obviously, now, didn’t go so well.
Well ahead of the technology Palm come out with a wireless device before 2000 that was able to do very limited browsing on the pre dot-com Web (which was itself limited). The early PalmVII success, the dot-com times and some PalmOS licensing deals put some high hopes on Palm’s exec heads and it went ahead spinning off Palmsource as a separate company to develop and license the next generation of PalmOS while palmOne focused on the hardware side. A couple of years latter it was pretty obvious Palmsource couldn’t develop a cross-platform new-gen OS and palmOne couldn’t develop nice hardware cheap enough to compete with the new competition. Oddly enough it was during this period what I consider to be the best palm ever, T2 came out. Shortly after the split palmOne merged in Handspring, a splinter group from the original Palm. Handspring designed really interesting hardware and efectivelly invented the smartphone with the GSM springboard for the Visor (which then was integrated as the Treo180). On the other hand Handspring was utterly unable to extend PalmOS properly and support the developer community so the Treo line never picked up enough steam (hear that Apple ?).
So eventually Palmsource capsized, got bought out by Access and palmOne took a nasty hit acquiring back the exclusive rights to the Palm brand. Soon after, with the market fully focused on smartphones and faced with an old OS plagged by Handspring leftovers, Palm destroyed the hard earned brand by releasing Treos with Windows CE instead of PalmOS. Loyal fans were shocked, casual buyers were confused and nobody understood why buy a CE Treo when he could buy cheaper hardware from a competing vendor and get exactly the same crappy experience.
Eventually, Palm pulled a play from the old book and went ahead of the times inventing the netbook. Sadly, it was expensive and useless and the Folio never went on sale. To this day Palm is still pinning and longing for Access to develop PalmOS6 which is actually Linux based and called PalmOS2 now.
Palm, have you ever heard about Android ? It’s supposed to be hell-u-va cool and stuff.

Motorola Mobile

Do you have a motophone ? Yeah, me neither. That’s a bit of a problem for Motorola. The problem is Motorola can create 2 types of phones, cheap and expensive. Sadly both types are ugly and have ugliers user interfaces. The only decent motophone is the razor but then you open it up and try to use it.
But Moto turned to Android, so lets hope google tells them about designers. And UI specialists. And testers. Oh well.


You probably remember when Ericsson phones were butt ugly, had crappy UIs and were built like small GSM bricks. Then Sony came along and made them considerably less ugly, redid the UI and kept the very decent radios. Those were the days of K600 and P900. But the SE that kept UIQ alive reared its ugly head on the M600 and infected the whole line to generate depressing phones like K850i.
Lets see if SE turns it around with the X1 or if, most likely, becomes HTC.

/mobile | edited on 2008/11/09 -- permalink, click to comment

The year of the DIY game

This year seems to be about the do it yourself game. It started last Xmas with Drawn To Life for the Nintendo DS ,a pretty fun game for 5 year olds where you get to draw your own hero and number of elements of the 2d side scroller. It’s actually pretty decent and if your 5 year old (nod nod wink wink) likes SpongeBob you can get this Xmas edition, Drawn to Life: Spongebob Squarepants which is basically the same thing but you get to draw Mr SquarePants.

The big thing this Xmas is Little Big Planet which I never actually played but from the reviews seems like a pretty souped up Drawn To Life. For starters you move from a DS to a PS3 which means about a gazillion more eye candy. And then Little Big Planet seems to not be designed for 5 year olds.

And then, you have the grandaddy of all DIY games, Spore. You get 3 flavours, Spore which comes with a assload of crappy DRM for the PC that will make the game not run and screw your system for ever, or you can with the graphic card issues on the Mac version. Then you have something called Spore Creature Creator which I don’t understand and the DS version, Spore Creatures which is a diferent game aparently and gets boring afer about 5 minutes. So adding together the craptastic DRM, the lack of polishing and the overall pointlessness, Spore is the big failure of the DIY game year.

/games | edited on 2008/11/08 -- permalink, click to comment

Yes, they can!

Barack Obama will be the next president of the USA. People, let’s get optimistic again and get the economy going.

On a side note, life is imitating 24:! Quick, get Jack Bauer on speeddial!

/politik | edited on 2008/11/05 -- permalink, click to comment

The Week in Review 44W2008

/wir | edited on 2008/11/03 -- permalink, click to comment

Text Editors for OSX

For when you can’t buy TextMate.

/tech | edited on 2008/11/01 -- permalink, click to comment
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