Archive for Internet & Network

It’s official, VP8 is free!

And it’s being released under the name of WebM (http://www.webmproject.org/). I wrote about it earlier when it was still just a rumor, but now it’s official.

WebM is an open, royalty-free, media file format designed for the web.

WebM defines the file container structure, video and audio formats. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska container.

For more information about WebM, see the FAQ.

What does this mean? Why is it good? Is it good? First of all, yes it’s great! It means no one has to worry about being charged for encoding or decoding video on the web in the future.

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Bad Apple

I, for the most part, am a happy Apple customer. I sell products through iTunes on my various websites as an affiliate for a commission. I also bought myself an iPod touch for my birthday – the next month I bought 2 more for family members. When I was in elementary school we used Mac’s. I am familiar with the great products they put out.

However, something has got to be done about that App Store. I am a traveler and as such I need to see what WiFi networks are open around me. I don’t want to open my computer every time I need to find a network just to see which signal is best. Luckily I downloaded eWIFI, which helps me see what networks are open around me.  Unfortunately, Apple decided to remove every WiFi access point locater because they use “hidden frameworks”. Once again, this is unacceptable. Thankfully I downloaded it on my iPod before they banned it. I mostly just feel bad for the developers. Fix this Apple.

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Free video and a new operating system

This has been a great week for computing news. These announcements and innovations will have an impact on the entire internet ecosystem.

  • iPhone OS 4
    On April 8, Apple unveiled plans for the biggest and most exciting iPhone software update yet. iPhone OS 4 will include over 100 new user features for iPhone and iPod touch owners to enjoy. And for developers, a new software development kit (SDK) offers over 1500 new APIs to create apps that are even more powerful, innovative, and amazing.
  • Google to open source VP8 for HTML5 video
    Let me see if I can break down why this is so big. Essentially all the videos we watch online right now have been created using a codec that is privately owned. A codec just encodes and decodes the video so we can watch it streaming beautifully online. Since it is privately owned, everyone was worried the company that owns it (even though they have provided a free license through 2016) might start charging to use it. So Google, having acquired another company with another nice video codec that could work on the web, decided to release it for free forever. This is big.
  • Oscar-winning video editor goes open source
    This is equally amazing. Look at this list of movies produced with this software. Academy® and Emmy® award-winning Lightworks was introduced in 1989 as the first and most advanced non-linear editing system on the market. Used by editors such as Chris Gill and multi Oscar-winning Thelma Schoonmaker, Lightworks offers intuitive controls, advanced real time effects, 2K native support with DPX or RED, and multi-camera editing features that remain unmatched. With wide support for codecs, including EditShare’s Universal Media Files, Lightworks achieves a level of unsurpassed interoperability by offering seamless media sharing with Avid and Final Cut Pro. This new workflow enables Lightworks artists to collaboratively edit projects with a much wider group of editors.

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Cloud computing… NOW

Cloud computing is supposedly the next best thing in desktop computing. There is much aversion, however, because of issues like security with personal data and the ability or lack thereof to own and manipulate the software on the user’s preferred computing device.

According to the wholly unreliable Wikipedia: The term cloud is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on how the Internet is depicted in computer network diagrams and is an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it conceals. Typical cloud computing providers deliver common business applications online which are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.

However with a little know-how you can setup your own cloud service at home. Like every other service on the internet, cloud services require a server and a client. The open source cloud desktop (the server in this cloud project) comes to us in the form of eyeos. From the website: eyeos is an open source web desktop following the cloud computing concept. It is mainly written in PHP, XML, and JavaScript. It acts as a platform for web applications written using the eyeos Toolkit. It includes a Desktop environment with 67 applications and system utilities. It is accessible by portable devices via its mobile front end. eyeos lets you upload your files and work with them no matter where you are. It contains applications like Word Processor, Address Book, PDF reader, and many more developed by the community.

Throwing eyeos on an Ubuntu server will allow every user in your network access to the eyeos cloud desktop. You can even demo eyeos at eyeos.info before you install it on your network server.

That’s the server part of your cloud network, but now we need a client to experience the cloud. Chrome OS would be nice, but it’s not quite ready to be used yet… enter Webconverger. “Webconverger is the easiest way to deploy Firefox on kiosks for public Internet access.” Webconverger is based on Linux and when using the Webconverger live CD, your operating system is essentially the Firefox web browser.

Point your browser to your server, setting eyeos as your start-up URL and you are now cloud computing with a completely open source system.

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Chrome OS

Google has just released the initial source code to its new operating system, Chrome OS. It is based off of their Chrome web browser, built on top of Linux. I needn’t bore you with the details as the news about Chrome OS is plastered everywhere across the internet. It’s a big step towards the hyped up reality of “cloud computing”. So here’s the good stuff:

  • Chromium OS
    The official Google website for Chrome OS
  • Getting and building the Chromium OS source code
  • Screenshots: Basic UI, Apps Menu, Panels
  • Chromium OS vmdk torrent
    It’s roughly 702 MB. Virtualbox can use it as a disk with Ubuntu to boot it. Test user information: “Jackolas” for the user name and nothing in the password field, just hit Enter. The sudo password is: “paranoiduser”

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Remove GoDaddy.com’s free hosting advertisements

Normally I wouldn’t condone removing advertising from a site, especially when using a free host, but the GoDaddy.com banners are a little ridiculous and options should be available so as to alter the style of advertising to fit in with customized website designs. Either of these three methods work to remove the GoDaddy.com advertising banner.

If you are linking to a css stylesheet within the <head></head> tags on your page then use this code in the stylesheet:

iframe {display:none;!important}

If you are using the <style> tag within the <body> tag then use this code:

<style>
iframe {display:none;!important}
</style>

If you are only using HTML, then put this at the very end of each page:

<noembed><xmp></object></layer></span></div></table></body></html>

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Use Gmail as default mail client using Opera on Ubuntu

Click here to view a tutorial detailing how to use Gmail as your default mail client. This could be adapted to work on other systems as well. I am using Ubuntu 8.04 and the latest version of Opera.

A quick alert: Adobe’s Flash Player 10 doesn’t seem to want to play nicely with the latest version of Opera on Ubuntu so I recommend downgrading by removing Flash Player 10 and installing Adobe Flash 9.x through Add/Remove. I hear Gnash (the open source version of Flash) supports YouTube now, but it still doesn’t support necessary sites like Google Analytics.

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