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Homer's picture

Yahoo Censoring Open Source

Update: 25th Jan 2008: Welcome CNet and Inq. readers.

According to avid Yahoo'er, Amanda Kerik, Yahoo seems to have developed a policy of censoring answers in their "Yahoo! Answers" service, if that answer contains a suggestion to use Open Source alternatives to Microsoft software.

Homer's picture

The UMPC song

UMPCa lUMPCa struggling with Vista ... and Lawnmowers
Original image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Pronounced "Ump-k" - like a cross between "hump" and "sunk"
 - Acronym
           Ultra Mobile Personal Computer



UMPCa, LUMPCa, doom-pa-dee-do
I have a gruesome story for you
UMPCa, LUMPCa, doom-pa-dee-dee

Homer's picture

Stolen Xbox Live Accounts

It seems that Microsoft have finally admitted that Xbox Live accounts are in fact being hacked then stolen, but apparently they feel neither willing nor able to take any action to resolve the issue.

According to a post on the Full Disclosure mailing list, Microsoft are aware of the problem, but state that "there is nothing [they] can do about it".

This is shocking news, although hardly surprising, given Microsoft's lax attitude towards security, and the appalling security performance of their other software, including the Windows Operating Systems.

Homer's picture

Howto: Encode H.264 Video for the iPod using ffmpeg

Save this script somewhere, e.g. /usr/local/bin/podit, then chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/podit

Usage: podit /path/to/file

Update: Apparently ffmpeg's parameters have changed yet again [sigh]. Depending on what version of ffmpeg you are using, you may need to make the following changes:

Update 1:
-vcodec h264 is now "-vcodec libx264"
-acodec aac is now "-acodec libfaac"

Update 2:
-me is now "-me_method"
-loop is now "-flags +loop"
-slice is now "-flags +slice"
(To set both the above, use "-flags +loop+slice"
-part[xxx] is now "-partitions +parti4x4+partp8x8+partb8x8"
-brdo has gone. This is automatically set if "-subq" is 7 or higher
-chroma is now "-cmp +chroma"

Also ... nobody noticed that "aspect_ratio=xxx" was missing from the variables section (as it stood, this script would not have worked, but just produce an error "invalid aspect ratio")? Oh well, it's fixed now :)

Thanks to FakeOutdoorsman for update 1, and various sources for update 2.

# Name:    podit
# Summary: iPod H264 640x480 video transcoder script 
# Version: 1.1.4
# Date:    2009.10.12
# License: GPLv3+
# URL:
# © Homer, 2007 - 2009
# Requires: ffmpeg
# Requires: gpac
# Requires: perl-DateManip
Homer's picture

I Wouldn't Use Vista, Even For Free

"What it all comes down to is Microsoft is turning the screw on me too hard. I can't legitimately use its software without becoming a criminal or spending tens of thousands of dollars. If it gives me a truckload of free copies, I will still be spending the majority of my time on the phone with people in Bangalore typing in licence keys to stay legal."

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