Archive for March, 2008

The Safari/iTunes update belated controversy

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

There’s been a lot of gripe, grief and mayhem on the web in the last few days regarding Apple’s bundling of the new Safari 3.1 release with updates to their iTunes software (that is installed on millions of MS-Windows computers thanks to the iPod).

This would have come as more of a surprise for me if I wouldn’t have been using Safari 3 on MS-Windows (although not as my main browser) for the last 6 month approximately.

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So what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

I don’t remember the exact context that this came up (was probably something along the lines of “Google can answer any question”), but yesterday we had some friends over and the question arose, so a quick google got me to this page:

The Swallow Question.

Except for linking to a very interesting article that actually tries to tackle the problem scientifically, John DuBois (the author of the above page) tackled the question more empirically by adding the question as part of the registration process for a new account on the service that he is running. Some of the responses are very amusing.

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קישורים טיפשיים

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

אני בד”כ לא כותב פוסט של קישורים טיפשיים, אבל בזמן שעשיתי קצת סדר בסופ”ש בקורא הרסס שלי, ראיתי כמה דברים שכדאי לשתף:

(אזהרה – מדובר בדברים טיפשיים במיוחד, כך שאם אין לכם כמה דקות לבזבז, חבל על הזמן)

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Those silly Americans, or – The codec problem

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

I’ve been meaning to write about the Linux codec problem for a while now but didn’t have a good enough reason, but I recently listened to the (not-podcast) The Linux Link Tech Show, episode 233 where one of the guys (apparently Dann, but for the life of me I can’t distinguish between them on the broadcast) discusses his new Eee PC (the tiny Linux laptop that has taken over the world or at least the blogosphere), and how it handles video playing.

To sum the Linux codec issue for people who haven’t been listening – it is one of the major hurdles for “Linux on the desktop” (the effort to have Linux operating systems be a viable Desktop operating system for everyday users). One of the key parts for providing a good desktop experience is being able to play multimedia files that users get regularly through email and the web. To be able to play a video or audio file you need a good player (and that Linux has plenty) and the software codec (“enCOder/DECoder”) that understand the file format and can play it. Different file formats – such as MP3, AVI or WMV – require different codecs from different manufacturers, and for legal reasons these are not always available out of the box with your choice of Linux operating system.

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