I don't actually watch that many movies but occasionally I want to back them up or convert them to a more convenient format. To date, I've been using the excellent Handbrake utility on my PowerMac G5 for my video conversion needs. Since I waved goodbye, I now needed at least the same functionality on my Linux machine. Fortunately, Handbrake is open source and under GPL license so it also has a GTK-based Linux equivalent. To get it installed, you'll need to edit your apt sources and add the following:
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org sid main
You'll notice I specifically used the "sid" release. There is no "stable" prepackaged binary for Handbrake yet unless you're on Ubuntu, so you have to specify sid. It works regardless so not to worry. With that line added, save the file and install:
$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install handbrake-gtk
It should install the requisite binaries without a hitch and add Handbrake to your menu under "Multimedia" if you're using Gnome or XFCE (I don't use KDE so I couldn't tell ya). Here's a screenshot from my machine for the ever-curious (click on the image to enlarge it):
Check 'em out:
" The home network of 2012 is delivered and controlled by the service providers, says Motorola’s Jed Johnson." Sound funny to you too? Apparently, quite a bit of this is already in the works, according to this article. It's a vision of what home networks will be like according to three industry prognosticators. Considering that most people with less than 1 Mbit DSL are content to browse web sites and check email, I find it hard to believe that we'll have IP-enabled thermostats in 2012. Also, the DRM scheme in the article would never work because people are finally realizing that DRM is a nuisance, not a feature. Favorite quote: "While much of the population is enjoying services piped over 100 Mbps-plus broadband connections, slower 512K-1 Mbps broadband is available to everyone under nationwide subsidized programs." They obviously aren't talking about broadband in the U.S.
I guess they're not done yet:
Rootkits. Not just for CD's anymore...: "When will Sony-BMG learn? According to F-Secure, the German version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith has a tasty rootkit in it."
Found this on BoingBoing. Apparently the real reason MS charges a license fee for its DRM components is to lock out the "little guy" and Open Source software. Haven't they played this game before?
Looks like all the noise about the "booming" online digital music business is just that: noise. In this Wired article, the business is examined and the actual earnings are put into perspective. My favorite quote: "Even cat litter is selling better."
Check it out here.
A website launched by a pair of independent filmmakers pokes fun at efforts by the Motion Picture Association of America to prevent the illegal copying of Hollywood films. By Jason Silverman. Via Wired News.
madmancarman writes "Following California's lead, Ohio has also passed a law making recording in a movie theatre a crime. A first offense would be punishable ... Via Slashdot.
"When Steve Jobs, the founder and head of Apple Computer, takes the stage at the start of the annual Macworld Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday wearing his trademark uniform of black jeans and sweater, look for a tell-tale white wire reaching from his ears to his waist. While his task under the lights will be to evangelise rather than to listen to music, chances are he will be sporting an iPod," The Independent reports. Saw that here.
A humorous take on Universal's recent price reductions on compact discs. Read all about it.