• Mac iPod Video Tutorial

    I recorded a tutorial, showing people how to extract YouTube (and other flash based sites videos’) and get them onto your iPod. It was recorded on my Mac, so unfortunately its Mac specific, but really only iSquint program is, so if anyone can suggest a replacement on Windows or Linux, I will add it to the details of the video. I use Garageband for audio, iMovieHD to edit the video and audio and Copernicus to record my screen. I started by getting everything I needed ready (all the Firefox tabs etc.) and hit record in Copernicus. I imported that .mov into iMovieHD, and then proceeded to open Garageband, watch the video and talk myself through my own recording. I saved the voice part in Garageband, exported it and then imported it into iMovie. I checked to make sure the audio and video lined up perefectly (what I done on screen matched what I was saying) and then exported it as a .mov from iMovieHD. Then I uploaded the result to Youtube, which I think for a first try ain’t bad!! Watch it here:

  • Tor helps Privacy

LogoTor, (or The Onion Router) is a service which connects people all over the world with one aim: privacy. Tor protects from traffic analysis, basically where you have been. Benn to you Banks website? Feel like buying something off Amazon or Ebay? Your behaviour online is by no means private, you hand over your numerical address, browser details, country, city, versions of which plugins you use, where you came from, just to name a few. You may have seen on sites something to the effect of “Welcome Google user!”, that website knows exactly what you typed to get to it. Tor routes your online activity through different computers, for example mine went through an educational institution in the US and an Internet Service Provider in the Netherlands.

    But if you want privacy you have something to hide! Not true. You don’t hand over records of everywhereTor
Logo you go in reality, nor documents, or details of medical conditions etc., their is a genuine use case for privacy in the modern world which is sadly being eroded. I just watched ABC news repeat on Sky News, and it reported of the FBI sending letters out asking for information from librarys, banks and every institution inbetween. It involved no court, no checks and balances, nothing. Tor is also used by the law itself, to conceal government surveillance of illegal activity (for example, child pornography). So not only is Tor needed, but it can extend to everything online, Instant Messaging. Tor limits abuse with a high degree of success and it is cross platform, on Linux, Windows and Mac. Get it here:

  • Open Sourcing your CV

    Just like software. it can be really useful to open source other things in life, collaboration is nearly always a good thing. John Buckman, CEO of Magnatune Records knows this principle all too well. He gave a speech at a Red Hat conference a while back, and he talked about the importance of music artists sharing the “source”, i.e. basically sharing the method of how the produced the music in the first place. This allows easier mixing, and a higher chamnce your work could be featured on TV or in a film, and you get paid

    • the open source model applied to music.

    I am trying this technique with Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Once it was launched for Google for your domain, I immeadiatley searched for files to put on it, unfortunately, I had no such luck, all my files were pdfs! I stumbled across my regular writely account (old Google Docs and Spreadsheets), and found some files I had forgotten all about. I shared my CV with some family members, and already I am getting real good feedback, I wonder what else the open source model ccan be applied to? See Red Hats intriguing “Truth Happens” advert:

  • UK Parliamentary debate "Copyright is not a pension fund"

    I found this doing a search for Domino Records DRM. I looked up some of my favourite artists to see if they were part of the “MAFIAA” that is the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), not surprisingly some were (70% of sold music worldwide is put out by this cartel). I got rather confused when a Franz Ferdinand album appeared on the list, when their debut album did not. Seems the record label did a deal with Sony for distribution. I found a piece of information quite old now (May 2006), but interesting anyway:

    “Opponents also challenge the idea that back catalogue revenues provide investment for new ventures and to support new artists. Peter Jameson of the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) argued in The Guardian on 24 April that such investment had contributed to a boom in new British music, citing artists such as Arctic Monkeys, James Blunt and Kaiser Chiefs. However, Arctic Monkeys are with Domino Records, which was founded in 1993 and rarely re-releases records that predate itself, and James Blunt was signed by the US label Custard Records, which was set up only in 2004 and so has little back catalogue material to release; the same is true of Kaiser Chiefs, who are signed to B-Unique, which was also founded in 2004. Those are hardly good examples of recording companies that rely on significant revenue from the back catalogue profits that would be under threat if we were to stick at the 50-year copyright term.” ( Via Digital Rights Network and associated other sources)

  • Updates and New look

LogoJust a note on the new look, hope you like it. I am very fortunate to be running Wordpress, the world’s best blogging tool (and it is open source). I looked up the fabulous theme site to go with it, and I came across this one and liked it very much. The last design was my own, but I had awful trouble implementing to look the same in all browsers (especially Internet Explorer, even the latest one, argh). I know the old one can be improved, so I am submitting to WP Themes directory, which I will update this post with the link. I love the new theme, it brings what I couldn’t to the old one: choosable colours and sameness across browsers. I’d like to thank Justin Winslow for that! Did I mention that the exact same colours are used in this theme? It brings a total different look though, the power of perception! So now you know these are the official DF’s colours!

    Further to this, I appreiciate the way posts (on their own page) now take up the whole page. I don’t know about all of you, but I hate intrusive sidebars. Sidebars in general are a necessary evil (for navigating the site!), but I am also happy this design is more “ergonomic”. I have also added one more adblock, so now the top and bottom of posts will feature ads by Google. While I don’t make a lot of money at all, every bit goes towards my costs and promotes two software packages I recommend personally anyway: Firefox and Google Pack. I see this as a win-win situation, so I hope readers won’t mind. The ads in the sidebar should no longer feature any Microsoft advertisements, as I have done my best to filter them through the competitive ad filter. Microsoft’s policy on just about (almost) everything is contrary to my opinion, so I don’t feel I should give them exposure. But credit where credits due, hopefully when I see good things I’ll write about it!

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