December 4th, 2008

rabbit in the moon

The joy of good custard

Handbrake 0.9.3 is now out, with some significant changes - in particular, it's no longer aimed purely at DVD transcoding, but can accept a wide variety of source formats. On the downside, a change many won't notice - if you've got VLC kicking around, it'll use its libdvdcss, as it's dropped its own DVD decryption support. Its x264 support, previously very good, has apparently been boosted, for noticeably superior results for a given bitrate.

Oy vey.. some weeks really just leave one's fur frazzled, and it's not even Friday yet. *sigh* Nothing terminal, thankfully, just the accumulated chronic stress of the salt mine - it's severely frustrating when you know how to tackle a bug, and being compelled to remain stuck in an office doesn't form part of the way forward. Such discordancy between what one knows to be a good way ahead, and the necessary path, isn't what I'd recommend in any setting, corporate or otherwise. Unsurprisingly, that has its effects back home as well - I'm cooking much less than I'd prefer, for want of energy and enthusiasm, not to mention replying on LJ only erratically, and barely present on SL at all. Hey ho. One way or another, I can but aim myself forwards in time towards a more bouncy and shiny future. ^_^

A most sublime trailer: Bambi: The Dark Knight.

Do you play backgammon? Seems oddly uncommon.

Quite a gem over in lagomorphic: En kanins lefnadsöden - berättade af honom sjelf ("A rabbit's fortune - told by himself"), a Swedish children's book from 1875. Only the illustrations are posted, given the text is untranslated, though the poster did kindly offer a translation of Hans von Kanin's foreword to his autobiographical tale. ^_^

Now that's quite an amusing idea.. SonicLife, an OSC (sorta next-gen MIDI) controller driven by an implementation of the classic cellular automata demo, Life. "The application runs a simple cellular automaton on a grid of cells. The cells can be interacted with by touch and triggers of three different colors can be placed on the grid. The automaton can be set to five different rule-sets, from classic Game of Life to simple horizontal or vertical stepping. Triggers are fired by "alive" cells and send their state as OSC messages to a configurable host on the same Wi-Fi network. Cells and triggers can be randomized by shaking the device."

Just a conbadge, but I found this pose, by Paiseley over on FA, most restful upon mine eyes. =:9 (Even with misspelled name)

Fascinating: "2009 beta of a standalone Second Life grid - this, like the OpenSim platform, will allow users to run their own grid." Presumably this ties in with, or refers directly to, other recent mentions of mini-grids that can run inside a corporate firewall. I imagine the ideal of a web-like seamless linking between grids isn't in their plans, although the AWG still appears to be aiming to at least offer that option for grid operators that wish to make such interoperability possible.

Okay, okay.. it's about time for my annual memeage. ^_^

Your rainbow is strongly shaded red.


What is says about you: You are a passionate person. You appreciate energetic people. You get bored easily and want friends who will keep up with you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Watching a Baker-era tale, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, for possibly the first time, a few things strike me: it could be amongst the rare historical Doctor Who tales that engage me; the titular character's accent is almost as plausible as Dick Van Dyke's; and ye gods, weren't vidicon response times glacial in the 70s? Not just the visible lag when a bright spot hit, but the response overall - presumably the tubes were much less sensitive than later on, necessitating the probably extreme lighting visible here, on the constable's head, or here again, and on Tom's perky visage.

Speaking of the Doctor, I noticed speculation recently that with the new Doctor will come a redesign of the Tardis interior, and other key sets; it was claimed this had been a sticking point in transitioning the show to HD. Much as I'd like to hope DW will go HD soon, it seems more likely it'd be the considerably greater costs involved in SFX processing for high definition prodiction that have kept it away - still, with the global success of the revival, BBC Worldwide should be in a position to help cover that. Still, that's all just musing, unless anyone has pertinent information. (Who actually would make the decision to shift the show into HD, I wonder.. is it a matter of the producer(s) submitting the budget request and sending the Director General a really good Scotch?)

I'm not en electronics engineer, but still, my design sense tingled at seeing this example PCB from one of our vendors the other day. This is PC Card-sized, and has six layers. Now check out the thickness of the whole board. ^_^ (I had to get the calipers out - here measuring mm - to see just how thin it was. And the camera =:)

avon_deer came across an obscure (well, to him, and me too, certainly) bit of British administrivia - apparently, Leeds is both a town and a city, and consequently, sports both a Town Hall and a City Hall.

Ever wanted to play an Albanian tingalin?

Free Prodigy! Invaders Must Die (Radio Edit). Needless to say, if you don't want to receive "further communication", a disposable email address or a torrent would be advisable. Good track, though I'd like to play with the separate tracks - there's a fantastic piece in there, but it could use some tweaking, especially in the removal of the superfluous titular vocals. And until the rest of it makes its debut, I'll just continue with In Silico, I think. ^_^ (And here's the video)

Curious. The beta for OS X µTorrent finally came out, but tagged as Intel-only - but, apparently, it's a normal Universal Binary. I may give it a whirl, but as I've got Ocelot running as home server, Azureus' unceasing resource hunger isn't a concern. The debate now seems to be between the maturity of Transmission, the overwhelmingly fully-featured Azureus, and the resource-dainty µTorrent.

Garamond Powerline.

For once, a high capacity storage medium appears that isn't from a startup that only produces press releases: Pioneer shows off their 400GB disc at the IT Month Fair in Taipei. Based on Blu-Ray, it's essentially a 16-layer sandwich of 25GB per layer. Read-only for now, they're looking at rewritables in 2010-2012.

avon_deer might like this pic. ^_^ And then there's this for shep_shepherd..

This is the iPhone snowglobe to get. It starts off seasonally enough, with a yellow rubber duck and a bunny.. =:)

For something a little more on the action side, though, Low Grav Racer looks like being something most welcome.. I'm not much for racers, generally, but I've long adored the Wipeout series. =:9 (And Snail Mail is a very polished production, too)

Hmm.. Doctor Who finally comes to the UK iTunes Store, £20 for season "one". Not too bad, comparing against Play's £25, or Amazon's £24, but I'd have to wonder if the encoding takes full advantage of the vertical resolution of the source material - depends whether the files are anamorphically encoded, or with square pixel geometry.

One Thursday afternoon recently, I went wandering along the trail as usual, and took the camera along, despite the light rain, just in case. And there they were, taking advantage of the relatively quiet time to enjoy an undisturbed meal, along with plenty of cleaning. (I wouldn't have closed the clip at that point, but the Veho SD card I'm using seems to fall below spec - it claims to be class 6, but the camera thinks otherwise when recording video, stopping when it can't write to the card quickly enough. Time to pick up a decent Transcend or Kingston.. and get this one returned to whence it came) Watching a rabbit shake themselves dry, whizzing their hands around rapidly in the process, is undeniably adorable. ^_^

1280x720 MPEG-4 (38MB)
640x360 MPEG-4 iPod friendly (20MB)
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