(Just a quickie entry for now, as it's been a fairly exhausting time lately)
A new version of ffmpegX - 0.0.9t - is out, with various helpful updates within itself and the underlying binaries. Most significantly, mencoder's H.264 support has greatly matured.
And as a sample of what H.264 (aka AVC, or MPEG-4 Part 10) can do, have a peek at this clip from the excellent BBC series The Planets, looking at part of the USAF's Project Excelsior - Col. Kittinger's skydive (22MB) from 103,000 feet. (Yes, three times passenger flight cruising altitude)
Sen. Landrieu says: "But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment." ZDF reports similarly. Via a Dutch viewer, "ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time. The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves."
Meanwhile, Jefferson Parish President Broussard was on Meet the Press: "We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday — yesterday — FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines."
And, two brief, silly clips: a plush dance party (what's the soundtrack here?), and Bunnies Don't Cluck, which is meltingly adorable.