Archive for November, 2004
Convert Real Player and WMV into AVI then join and encode into new WMV file using Real7ime Converter, Stoik, VirtualDub and Windows Media Encoder Nov 30 2004
I was working on a project and needed to combine a Real Player clip together with a Windows Media Player clip into a new WMV file. I was able to use the following software (all free to download and use) to tackle each part.
1) To convert Real Player video to AVI format:
Real7ime Converter (R7C) by Dessloch/[uCF]
Real7ime Converter (R7C) is a converter of any RealPlayer(tm) streaming
medias (video and sound) to AVI/WAV/MP3 format. It is a realtime
converter because it does not manage Real Time Streaming Protocol(tm)
(RTSP) directly so the needed time to convert a media will be greater
or equal to the time of the media.
2) To convert from WMV format to AVI format:
(VirtualDub no longer will import WMV format files, due to Microsoft’s patents on the format)
Convert WMV and AVI files, and change the frames-per-second rate, frame size, and compression codec of the video stream, sampling depth, frequency, and the number of channels of audio streams. Stoik Video Converter also detects scene changes and splits video into episodes. It exports scene clips or scene-separated projects for Stoik’s VideoMan.
3) To join two AVI files together:
What is VirtualDub?
VirtualDub is a video capture/processing utility for 32-bit Windows platforms (95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP), licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It lacks the editing power of a general-purpose editor such as Adobe Premiere, but is streamlined for fast linear operations over video. It has batch-processing capabilities for processing large numbers of files and can be extended with third-party video filters. VirtualDub is mainly geared toward processing AVI files, although it can read (not write) MPEG-1 and also handle sets of BMP images.
4) Encode the AVI file into .wmv format:
Windows Media Encoder 9 Series is a powerful tool for content producers who want to take advantage of the many innovations in Windows Media 9 Series including high-quality multichannel sound, high-definition video quality, new support for mixed-mode voice and music content, and more.
Theme Development – Codex Nov 29 2004
The next version of WordPress will have support for user-defined themes built in. Until now, WordPress used index.php and the comment files in conjunction with a CSS stylesheet to control the way it presented the content when published. All other pages, including the category and archive pages, were actually generated by passing parameters to the index.php page. The introduction of the theme system does not mean that the old method of styling pages will not work. The new theme system will provide a method for you to define different physical (.php) files for the different components of your weblog.
Gmail – Fwd: Fwd: What’s the difference? Nov 29 2004
This is very tricky. My brother showed it to me over Thanksgiving weekend. See if you can spot the differences in the two pictures.
What is Blog Torrent?
Blog Torrent is software that makes it much easier to share and download files using the bittorrent protocol. Blog Torrent is easy to install on your website: we don’t use MySQL so installation is as easy as uploading a folder to your web host, and all administration happens in the web interface. Blog Torrent is easy for users: even if they don’t know what bittorrent is, they get an installer that downloads the file they want. But most of all, Blog Torrent makes publishing with bittorrent painless. Just click “upload”, pick a file, and you’re done. This is our preview release and it has a lot of bugs and rough edges… but we’re smoothing them out for the next version, so stay tuned.
Why does Blog Torrent matter?
Making it easy to blog large video files means that people can share their home movies the same way they share their photos or writings. It lets people create vast networks of truly peer-to-peer video content– video that was made by individuals and shared with individuals, no bandwidth budget or distribution deal needed. Does this mean that we can do for television what blogs have done for news? Let’s find out…
Why use Blog Torrent on your blog or website?
1. It lets you post video or other large files as easily as you post text.
2. Installing Blog Torrent is as easy as uploading a photo to your website or blog.
3. Blog Torrent is the one bittorrent tracker that won’t confuse your users.
4. It publishes an RSS feed of all your torrents.
Anti-Spyware Test (Guide) Nov 23 2004
As the the threat of “spyware” and “adware” has escalated over the past few years, the number of “anti-spyware” scanners available on the Net has grown equally fast. At present there are over 100 anti-spyware scanners available for download — some for free, some for pay. Spyware and adware are themselves complex enough to prove bewildering to most average users, however. So confusing in fact is the threat of spyware and adware that users often have trouble distinguishing effective anti-spyware scanners from less effective ones. Although a number of “tests” of anti-spyware scanners have been reported on the Net, many if not most of those tests are of limited value because the design, methodology, and execution of the tests is not fully and publicly documented, leaving even experienced users and experts to wonder just how meaningful those tests really are. Still worse, some of those “tests” are touted by webmasters who are affiliates for the companies whose products were “tested.”
The tests documented on these pages are intended to partially remedy these several problems with our knowledge of anti-spyware scanners and how well they perform. At present, there are three groups of tests documented here.
Users looking for a short list of recommendations for anti-spyware products can find such a list HERE. For a more comprehensive list of anti-spyware products, see HERE. And if your PC is already overrun with spyware or adware, see my tips for what to do HERE.
Authorama – Public Domain Books Nov 20 2004
Public Domain Books
Welcome to Authorama.com, featuring completely free books from a variety of different authors, collected here for you to read online or offline. The books may have been published before, but not in this form, which I hope you find enjoyable to read and print.
This site will be regularly updated with new freeware stories. Feedback is welcome. Enjoy the reading.
Just finished reading Cory’s latest story here, because Salon seems to be hosed for me for some reason right now.
Quite nice. I didn’t want it to end when it did, but then maybe that is a sign of a good short story.
Read Anda’s Game.
Enough. I had to do something, so here it is. Let me know what you think.
Demand 100% accuracy in the next election.
Do you value the democratic concept of one person, one vote?
Democracy only works if every vote is cast fairly and counted fairly. VolunteerToCount.org is dedicated to solving the problem of innacurate results in American elections.
The voting machines currently in use do not provide voter verifiable paper trails. And even if they did, the current practice of not manually counting each vote unless something seems really wrong, is well, wrong. If votes are tallied incorrectly for any canidate, democracy is not happening.
Our proposed solution is simple, cheap, effective, and 100% accurate: hand-count every paper ballot cast using volunteers to supply the labor.
I personally volunteer to help count every paper ballot cast in my precint in the next election. Regardless of whether or not a Democrat or Republican receives the most votes, the most important thing is that they count.
Go to VolunteerToCount.org and think about what you’re willing to do personally to make sure that in the next election every vote is counted.
Please comment below if you have ideas.
This is truly, wonderfully amazing. Darn them rascally people all wanting to see the signed election poll tapes. After being supplied with non-signed fresh printouts of vote tallies in response to FOIA request, they went to collect the documents in person. And discovered that the original results were being THROWN AWAY.
Black Box Voting began to compare the special printouts given in the FOIA request with the signed polling tapes from election night. Lo and behold, some were missing. By this time, Black Box Voting investigator Andy Stephenson had joined the group at Volusia County. Some polling place tapes didn’t match. In fact, in one location, precinct 215, an African-American precinct, the votes were off by hundreds, in favor of George W. Bush and other Republicans.
Hmm. Which was right? The polling tape Volusia gave to Black Box Voting, specially printed on Nov. 15, without signatures, or the ones with signatures, printed on Nov. 2, with up to 8 signatures per tape?
Well, then it became even more interesting. A Volusia employee boxed up some items from an office containing Lana Hires’ desk, which appeared to contain — you guessed it — polling place tapes. The employee took them to the back of the building and disappeared.
Then, Ellen B., a voting integrity advocate from Broward County, Florida, and Susan, from Volusia, decided now would be a good time to go through the trash at the elections office. Lo and behold, they found all kinds of memos and some polling place tapes, fresh from Volusia elections office.
So, Black Box Voting compared these with the Nov. 2 signed ones and the “special’ ones from Nov. 15 given, unsigned, finding several of the MISSING poll tapes. There they were: In the garbage.
So, Wynne went to the car and got the polling place tapes she had pulled from the warehouse garbage. My my my. There were not only discrepancies, but a polling place tape that was signed by six officials.
This was a bit disturbing, since the employees there had said that bag was destined for the shredder.
Black Box Voting (Scroll down to read it all. )
Voting in Florida: “We can be 99.9% sure that these effects are not attributable to chance.” Nov 19 2004
So some UC Berkley researchers did a statistical analysis of voting patterns in Florida for the 2004 election. As they point out, how else are you supposed to check the results of a paperless election? The results, as they publish in
Working Paper: The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections (10 page PDF) are quite interesting.
I do believe that it is entirely possible that in a completely verified tally of every American’s vote in 2004, it would be totally possible that Bush would still come out ahead. But, well, we didn’t have a verified result, or even a verifiable or recountable result in many cases. This is a perfect setup for corruption, and the results are coming in.
And before you say, well the Democrats cheat too (probably true) look at the ownership of the companies making and supplying the technology used in electronic voting. Wealthy. Business owners. Republicans not afraid to publicly state their support and intention of delivering the election for Bush.
And then there were the results from November 2, 2004. Nuff said.
From Summary of findings:
The Effect of Electronic Voting Machines on Change in Support for Bush in the 2004 Florida Elections
– Irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 excess votes or more to President George W. Bush in Florida.
– Compared to counties with paper ballots, counties with electronic voting machines were significantly more likely to show increases in support for President Bush between 2000 and 2004. This effect cannot be explained by differences between counties in income, number of voters, change in voter turnout, or size of Hispanic/Latino population.
– In Broward County alone, President Bush appears to have received approximately 72,000 excess votes.
– We can be 99.9% sure that these effects are not attributable to chance.
Because many factors impact voting results, statistical tools are necessary to see the effect of touch-screen voting. Multiple- regression analysis is a statistical technique widely used in the social and physical sciences to distinguish the individual effects of many variables.
This multiple-regression analysis takes account of the following variables by county: – number of voters – median income – Hispanic population – change in voter turnout between 2000 and 2004 – support for President Bush in 2000 election – support for Dole in 1996 election
When one controls for these factors, the association between electronic voting and increased support for President Bush is impossible to overlook. The data show with 99.0% certainty that a countyâ€™s use of electronic voting is associated with a disproportionate increase in votes for President Bush.
The data used in this study come from CNN.com, the 2000 US Census, the Florida Department of State, and the Verified Voting Foundation â€“ all publicly available sources. This study was carried out by a group of doctoral students in the UC Berkeley sociology department in collaboration with Professor Michael Hout, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.
Download and read the paper at UC DATA Home Page. You can also view their raw stats.
Fan-fucking-tastic. Oh, and I guess it’s off to Iran for some more BOMBAGE and DESTRUCTION! FUCK YEAH!