eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
I have got a couple .avi files that don't play. Before I get rid of them, I wondered if any of y'all had encountered this problem before.

In VLC: no image, no sound, time shows 00:00 but time bar moves.

So I checked out afreecodecvt, which checks your codec sets against the required ones for the vid. It says "this isn't an avi" and no more.

So I checked it out in GSpot, which says that this is:
MPEG-4 / MPEG Elementary Video
NVOP (PB), PVOP, BVOP
Userdata: DivX999b000p, XviD0038
and then can't work out what kind of file it is. But it's clearly really a video file; GSpot can tell me that it's 23.980 fps and that it's 624x352 and whatever all -- it just can't figure out what codec is used and is utterly baffled by the format.

But I thought that this might be another case of that bug in one of the xvid encoders, which marks some things as packed bitstream even though they're not, and thus confuses many the file. So I tried to open the file in the mpeg modifier, which will let you change the packed bitstream marker to a normal bitstream marker, except it won't open this file -- mpeg modifier also spits this out, rejecting it as an avi container.

Thoughts?
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
As I have now posted this in response to asides in several comments, I thought I'd put in here in case any of y'all were having trouble.

If you're using Internet Explorer (or Safari) and Horizon, the new default site scheme, together, there's a bug that may give you trouble highlighting text with a click-and-drag. LJ says that they're working on a bugfix, but I haven't seen anything posted to [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases about the time scheme. (Their first try didn't work.)

If you want to highlight text, you've got several options:
1. Click on one side of the text you want to highlight, and shift-click on the other.
2. Try looking at the page with ?format=light appended to the end of the url.
3. Switch to one of the older site schemes at the viewing options page
4. Switch to a different browser. (This was the advice [livejournal.com profile] burr86 gave on one of the Horizon release posts after people started reporting the bug. It is to laugh. I can't convince dedicated IE users to switch to Firefox by pointing out that it does extensions! and greasemonkey! and you can turn off flash! and it will practically get your coffee for you! I really don't think "hey, we screwed up, and now you can't highlight on lj" is going to make people switch browsers.)

I think that this means that lj admin shouldn't have made Horizon the default yet, because that strikes me as a pretty big bug -- in fact, most of the last couple-three pages on the aforementioned [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases post up there are people saying "hey! I can't do this highlighting thing! What gives?"
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Probe Austin proto-Mulder)
1. Mozilla Thunderbird. Really, really simple and not a memory hog and works with Kerberos. Also, David Hewlett now says "wicked! this is all porn!" when I get new messages. Sweeeet.

2. Message tracking or notifications on lj. I was refreshing the post again, to read new comments (as one frequently does with lj-news posts, even when they are on [livejournal.com profile] paidmembers instead of news qua news) and then I realized -- hey! I can now just get message notifications instead! Sweeeet.

3. mp3s of music in foreign languages

4. This adventure game-style walkthrough of an Ikea store. (No, it's more hilarious than it sounds...)

5. This recipe for fruit crisp, which is more or less how we made two peach crisps in the last week. (Except we used amaretto on the sliced peaches, and some nutmeg in the crisp part, and more cinnamon than called for, and also some almonds. And we think bananas have no place in a crisp. But it's basically the recipe we used.) This will shortly make me happy, as I can have more peach crisp after dinner. Mmmmm.

WMF summary

Jan. 4th, 2006 12:03 am
eruthros: Yoda in Dagobah swamp, caption "slimy? mudhole? my fandom this is!" (SW - slimy mudhole fandom)
For those of you not following the current Windows security hole debacle, here's a brief capsule:

1. This is a huge problem; malicious code can execute if you just look at a wmf picture, or if one is indexed by Windows. (Note: WMF pictures don't always have .wmf filenames; they can be jpgs or bmps or whatever.)

2. The Internet Storm Center has reports that approximately 10% of respondents have already seen exploits intended for this vulnerability.

3. IE will automatically open and trigger the image, and therefore the exploit. Firefox will ask if you want to open the wmf image, but it still won't completely protect you -- wmf images can show up in IM, in email, &etc. Logging in as a user, not administrator, will help too, but if the image is left on your computer and you log in later as an administrator you're still in trouble. Safe browsing alone will not protect you; trusted websites have been compromised (Area 52, for one). Anti-virus updates, while good, are several exploits behind. Basically: safer behavior is better, but won't stave off all exploits.

4. Microsoft will not be releasing a patch until January 10th because ... well, they have some craptastic reason, but basically because they suck.

5. No shortage reputable folks (SANS, F-Secure, etc) are suggesting installation of an unofficial patch, available here -- this patch does not alter windows and is uninstallable. SANS and F-Secure both tested the patch and checked the code; it does what it says it does and is not spyware.

I've seen a couple folks on my flist today with unexpected spy-, ad-, or mal- ware problems, and it occurred to me that they might be having this exact problem, so I thought I'd post the briefest of summaries in hopes that it doesn't happen to anyone else. If you want something more detailed, there are FAQs on wikipedia, SANS Internet Storm Center, F-Secure's blog, and even US-CERT, the United States Computer Emergency Response Team.

Please note: anyone who replies to this post telling me running Linux will make it all better will be thoroughly thumped.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
As if I needed another reason to hate DRM:

Mark Russinovich notices that a Sony CD installs a rootkit and doesn't include an uninstall.

Lawsuits in both directions. Fun!

ETA: This is a much more user-friendly article (on cnet, natch) about the Sony problem and DRMs in general.

I refuse to spend money for a music product that is not universally playable -- if I buy a CD-like thing (the Sony music in question is not technically on a CD for reasons of not meeting Phillips redbook standards), I should be able to play it on my computer, my CD player, my (theoretical) mp3 player, my pda, my car stereo. Buying a CD and finding I couldn't put the songs on an iPod? Lame. Buying music from iTunes and finding I couldn't put it on a Rio Karma? Lame. Lame, lame, lame. Plus, of course, I might accidentally break my DRM. (Various DRM systems currently work so poorly that updating your system or adding new hardware may -- surprise! -- mean you can't play those thousands of dollars of music anymore. There's a solution in theory, but in practice... well, this is how that Microsoft Support page puts it: The license issuer, such as the online store where you bought the protected file, determines whether you are permitted to back up a specific license. Therefore, you may not be able to back up all your licenses. If you cannot back up the license for a particular file, you cannot restore that license after you change your hardware component. If you cannot restore a license, you cannot play the protected file.)

Of course, the current rate of DRM spread means that in five years, I'm going to be listening only to my old CDs, anything I ripped from vinyl, and anything I pirate. And I might have to go linux -- Windows is bending over backward for the MPAA and RIAA. And I will be a cranky young coot. Unless they come up with an open standard -- ha! But at least I'll be able to, you know, watch my movies and listen to my music.

Cranky, cranky, cranky.
eruthros: Yoda in Dagobah swamp, caption "slimy? mudhole? my fandom this is!" (SW - slimy mudhole fandom)
ScummVM, how do I love thee? Though thy documentation could be better, yea verily.

See, just a soundblaster emulator can't get the monster.sou speech files from SCUMM-based games to work properly, and you get all this screechiness and bleh. ScummVM, otoh, emulates just perfectly once you figure it out (though you have to do your own futzing with the .ini file) and now I am playing Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and ScummVM can make Kyrandia play too and... Kyrandia! It has been so long! (This comes up because many of my old early-90s SCUMM-based games were on 5 inch floppy, and so naturally they are unplayable now, but someone in Philly was getting rid of the CD-Rom versions of same, and now I have Maniac Mansion and Sam and Max and Monkey Island the first and Day of the Tentacle and Fate of Atlantis and other things yay.)

Tags

Jun. 15th, 2005 10:13 pm
eruthros: Li Ann from Once a Thief with two guns, text "Li Ann" (OaT - Li Ann  red)
Tags? Introduced an hour ago. Me? Back to February already.

I am possibly the most boring person to ever live, but... TAGS. I hated memories.

The only problems: I want to have a pull-down list of tags on the update page, because otherwise you risk introducing a singular/plural or spelling problem and having to waste valuable seconds fixing it. Also, I want to be able to go into archive view and select a bunch of entries and go "mark 'em ALL travel!" or whatever.

Still. TAGS.
eruthros: X-Files: Mulder in glasses, text "sexier in glasses" (XF - Mulder sexier in glasses)
There are a bunch of new extensions available for Firefox 1.0, and I thought I'd link to a couple particularly good ones:

Session Saver. The coolest extension EVER. Well, after Tabbrowser, anyway. This works, completely and totally and in every way. The Firefox default session saver only works sometimes (in my experience) and doesn't work if your computer crashes or something. I've had the Session Saver extension for a week now, and it rocks my world, because I'm using a w98 computer 'cause my laptop's broken, and thus crashing a lot. No matter how hard I crash -- I can crash hard enough that ctrl-alt-del doesn't work -- Session Saver restores my browser exactly the way it was before I crashed. Word. Right down to where I was on a page. I love it.

MapIt. This is for those times when you're reading about a shop and you don't know where it is and you have to go to all that trouble to copy the address and open Mapquest or Yahoo maps or whatever and paste it in. No more. Now I can select an address and right-click and there's an option right there on the context menu. It's the little things that make your browsing experience so much better...

And... GCache. I love this extension so, for now when I come to a webpage that didn't load properly, all I have to do is right-click to view it in the google cache. My context menu, if you couldn't tell, is now miles long.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS cheeseman nonsense)
I was talking about this with [livejournal.com profile] friede earlier, and we couldn't think of the word for this, if one exists.

See, there's this thing people do when typing where somewhere between brain and fingers you substitute a not-quite-homonym.

Like today, when I was trying to type "and soon: croissants!" and actually typed "and sound: croissants!" and had to go back and change it. And I typed "I half hard cider" instead of "I have hard cider." And most recently, instead of "what day is your exam?" I typed "what does your exam?" The interesting thing being that the words can be completely different in spelling and in finger position (that is, they're not typos in the pure sense) and they have a completely different meaning.

And it's most frequent with short (one-syllable) commonly-used words -- maybe because you're thinking carefully about spelling and things when using words like "floccinaucinihilipilificator," and besides, what sounds like floccinaucinihilipilificator? Now I want to do a bio-psych study to see what, exactly, is going on there, brain-wise.

If no word exists for this, I'm inventing one out of a Latinate base and getting in the OED.

Random!

Jan. 7th, 2005 01:48 am
eruthros: llamas! (llamas)
It is raining very, very, very hard. All thumpity-thumpity on the roof. And I am in bed. Very cosy.

Also, I just upgraded from firefox 1.0 PR to 1.0 and can finally actually install tabbrowser preferences. Yay! So this meant that I actually, um, stopped mostly using 0.8, which I was clinging to because I had customized it all so purty. I have now done much customizing, which is a goodness, even though I have not yet been able to find the alt-up extension or the click-to-view-flash extension for 1.0, which irritates me. The first let you hit alt-up to go up a level in a directory, which you do all the time because of dead links or people who don't bother to include links to home on every page. And the second lets you make flash animations click-to-view, which vastly improves my browsing experience, because I hate flash ads and flash intros when I don't want to see them. Also, I liked the firebird 0.5-0.8 options menus so much more, because there were tons more options, and I didn't have to futz around for ages trying to find everything I was looking for. (BTW: mozdev? Putting the easily-summed-up "prompt before accepting a cookie" that I was looking for under the option "keep cookies?" and phrasing it as the bland "ask every time" -- grrrr. I miss my old options menu.) I do approve of the option to import cookies from old browsers, but why in heaven they include only IE as an option -- what, because I'm already converted, so I should do it the hard way? Yeeesh.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] mlechan, what's your schedule like for the hanging out? And for the San Franciscoing? And is anyone else in the area free between now and Tuesday night?

Also, many things happened when we visited Seattle, most of which [livejournal.com profile] m_shell has talked about. I'm too lazy to do it myself.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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