Eugenia Loli Archive

The Next Brick to Decorate Your Wall: iOS 3.x Devices

Well, it might be safe to say that Apple's own engineers stopped testing their Apple apps with 3.x iOS devices, and have created bugs that make these apps unusable. This is to be somewhat expected, Apple has a track record of not-so-great backwards compatibility (on the Mac), but what we also expected was to not get these broken updates forced to us. It's one thing to stop updating the firmware of older iOS models, and another thing breaking them.

Twitter Appears to Censor Wikileaks-Related Trends

I'm (was?) a Twitter user. This past week I found it utterly weird that none of the words #wikileaks, #cablegate, #cables, #Assange were actually "trending". I even tweeted about this 5 days ago. Today, my fears of secret censorship seem to be coming true. It appears that Twitter is censoring all these words, so they don't appear in the (much-used) Twitter "trends" list. Update 1: A Twitter staffer replied to the blog post saying that their trending algorithm doesn't always result to the most popular terms. Update 2: More investigation about what might be going on.

How New Art Can End the Copyright Wars

Every so often we publish here at OSNews articles about copyright, about the war of the "old media" establishment against everyone else. Many, myself included, have argued that the way to get out of this mess -- short of changing the law -- is to have more artists release their work under a Creative Commons license. However, after a few years it became obvious to me that CC would never be able to change the industry all by itself. Offering a Free license, and having 30,000 albums released under it, was still not enough. Until the Summer of 2009, that is. Update: Added audio samples.

Rdio: Unlimited, On-Demand, Music Streaming

Earlier today I bought a $10 album from iTumes, which I wish I hadn't. The reviews were glorious, and the previews not indicative. Listening to the album all I could hear was hipster drivel. Obviously, I wanted my money back. Well, bad luck. iTunes won't give refunds. I tweeted about it, and a friend suggested Rdio. Rdio, a brand new streaming service, currently offers a 3-day free trial -- without the need for a credit card. For $5 let's you stream their huge library on your desktop via an Adobe AIR app or browser, and for $10 let's you also stream from Android/BBerry/iOS, plus be able to sync your music with you offline on these devices. Unlike Last.fm and Pandora, Rdio let's you stream on-demand.

Making the Case for Video-Chat

I've seen it so many times in the movies and TV: a person wakes up in this futuristic world, walks by his kitchen, and a computerized voice is telling him that someone is calling him. But instead of picking up a receiver, the call is actually a video-call, and his TV is used for the conversation. If you put 2 and 2 together, this is not really that futuristic. Having a camera attached on your TV, and a VoIP SIP or Skype connection with it, is not mad science. So why don't we already have this on our TVs?

The Next Big Tech Battleground: the TV

I'm a couch potato. There, I've said it. I love sitting down and watching sci-fi movies, like any good geek would. And this is an (almost religious) action that hasn't changed for many, many, years. But I feel that we're in for a surprise soon. The way we watch TV and access content is about to change. TV watching will at last arrive into the 21st Century, and the technology giants will be there to duke it out for the reins of this new industry.

Adobe Premiere Pro & After Effects CS5

With the explosion of (mostly Canon's) video HD dSLRs in the last few months, purchase decisions for video editors have shifted, depending on which editor can deal with h.264 the best way. Until recently, users had to either use "proxy" files, or transcode to an intermediate format. Then, Adobe's Premiere Pro CS5 came in to change this by being the first video editor to fully utilize nVidia's CUDA technology and achieve real-time playback for Quicktime dSLR, and AVCHD footage.

The Music Experience: MPD vs AppleTV

For over 9 months now we use our Apple TV as our music entertainment system in our home. And when I mean "music entertainment system", I mean just that. We don't use our Apple TV for anything else, not even video (our much more video-capable Sony PS3 bears that task). We used to use CDs, in a 250 CD-changer device, but the experience was not nearly as good as when dealing with files that have metadata. So we got ourselves an Apple TV. On the other side of the country, a friend of ours uses the open source MPD solution. In this article I'll try to figure out which one of the two is the best solution for my household's usage pattern.

Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA

We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing "delivery" codec in the market, which is h.264. "Let the best win", I kept thinking. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It's not just a matter of just "picking Theora" to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA's trick runs way deeper! The people at MPEG-LA have made sure that from the moment we use a camera or camcorder to shoot an mpeg2 (e.g. HDV cams) or h.264 video (e.g. digicams, HD dSLRs, AVCHD cams), we owe them royalties, even if the final video distributed was not encoded using their codecs! Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

UPDATE: Engadget just wrote a reply to this article. The article says that you don't need an extra license to shoot commercial video with h.264 cameras, but I wonder why the license says otherwise, and Engadget's "quotes" of user/filmmaker indemnification by MPEG-LA are anonymous...

UPDATE 2: Engadget's editor replied to me. So according to him, the quotes are not anonymous, but organization-wide on purpose. If that's the case, I guess this concludes that. And I can take them on their word from now on.

UPDATE 3: And regarding royalties (as opposed to just licensing), one more reply by Engadget's editor.

Songbird 1.4.x Released

Just before Christmas Songbird 1.4.0 was released, and a new fix versions was released today as 1.4.3. Songbird now supports MSC storage devices and CD ripping, bringing the app one step closer to replacing iTunes for some users. What's particularly interesting is that Songbird now specifically pushes their product against users of Android, Nokia and Palm smartphones -- which is something I also suggested a few months too. Hopefully Google, Nokia, and Palm will get behind the small team in San Francisco to help out the cause, since it's also on their best interest too.