Archive for December, 2005

.mov encoding problem solved

December 22, 2005

Entered into Cronnix:

ffmpeg -i /input_file.mov -r 11.99 -s 240×180 /output_file.mov

Very sweet.  Works like a charm.

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Dark chocolate “good for the heart”

December 22, 2005

Surely it’s no accident the Swiss are behind this research? It’s like the “science” of wine being good for you coming from the French, or the health benefits of beer being touted by German scientists.

But listen, I don’t really care. I’m just happy to live in a day and age when consuming dark chocolate, wine, and beer are good for you.

“Only a small daily treat of dark chocolate may substantially increase the amount of antioxidant intake and beneficially affect vascular health,” the report’s authors said.

read more | digg story

Jobs to gut cult of Mac?

December 21, 2005

David Bailey, a research analyst with Goldman Sachs, maintained an “in-line” rating for Apple and raised its earnings estimates to 53 cents from 49 cents, reports Forbes. “2006 will undoubtedly mark another major year in Apple’s transformation, but its new markets bring together tougher competition,” wrote the analyst in a recent research note. “If early indications from suppliers prove correct, Apple is likely to move further from its Mac core in 2006, leveraging its brand and building on the consumer success of iPod.”

I hope this doesn’t come to fruition. I mean, I don’t fault Apple for putting lots of effort and resources into the iPod, but “Mac” means something.

“But a computer is just a tool to get a job done,” you say. No. Wrong. It’s not “just” a tool. Not anymore. This may have been the case back when a computer was only a big (huge) box sitting in a basement at some university somewhere. No longer. And the reason that isn’t true anymore is the iMac, in particular, and more generally the Macintosh line and Apple Computer.

It’s OK to admit that your PC is an extension of your personality, just as your car or your home or clothes are. Sure, a car is just a tool to get you from point A to point B, and a house is just a tool to keep your head dry, and your pants are just a tool to hide your naughty bits. But we know those things are much more than tools.

Apple was the first company to tell you it was OK to love your PC. That’s what the Mac has come to mean. And this milieu gave birth to the iPod, a portable music player that was more than just a tool to let you listen to MP3s. Without the Mac, without the concept or the feeling of the Mac, well, the world loses something. Call it verve. Essence. Whatever. Don’t do it, Steve. Think Different.

Teen’s blog confession forces him to plead guilty in fatal crash

December 21, 2005

Just goes to show you, you can take the kid out of the stupid, but you can’t take the stupid out of the kid. How does something like this not haunt you for the rest of your life?

Teen who caused fatal car wreck surprised that admitting to guilt on his blog may be bad for his defense

read more | digg story

Google Zeitgeist + iPod

December 20, 2005

According to this, lots and lots of people were looking at / for iPods this past year.  And why not?

It would be amazing to study the traffic patterns the folks at Google have access to.  Here I thought studying my Webalizer stats was fun.

All I want for Christmas

December 20, 2005

is a free means of downsampling a .mov file to a size and quality that’ll play easily over the WWW, preferably via a script I can run on my server.  I’m talking about going from a ~48MB file down to ~7MB file, ending up with a quality roughly equivalent to the “Web” sharing quality you get in iMovie HD (which unfortunately, is not an AppleScriptable application). I’m trying to figure out now whether ffmpeg will do this for me…

FREEDOM!

December 19, 2005

“A while ago, Microsoft stopped updating IE for Mac, freezing it at version 5. But according to this Microsoft webpage, all support will cease December 31, 2005, and any official distribution with cease January 31, 2006. Also, the webpage suggests ‘that Macintosh users migrate to more recent web browsing technologies such as Apple’s Safari.'”

Best news I’ve heard all day.

I am an MS Access idiot

December 16, 2005

So I have this database at work that we use as a job log. Whenever someone gets assigned a new job, that person uses the job log to…well, log that project. It works pretty well. The underlying main table is a bit of a monster, complexity-wise, owing to my rudimentary understanding on Access and my total ignorance of SQL and VBA.

I presently have a task I’d like to do that I just can’t figure out how to accomplish. I’ve posted about it a couple different places, but I’m wondering if I just don’t have a strong enough grasp of the Access vernacular to describe what I’m trying to do. So I thought I’d write it out here, partly as exercise, partly in the hope that some rogue Access DBA will stumble across this post and take pity on me. Anyway. Here goes.

I created a query that pulls the following fields from my main table using “staff name” as a criterion:

job #; staff member; requester; job title; date in; date out; time spent

One of the fields in my main table is “job type.” I’d like to include code in my query that references a checkbox on an input form to exclude a certain job type from my results. In plain language, it’d be something like, “show me a list of all the jobs done by staff member X, excluding jobs of type “list request.”

This seems like it should be a simple thing to accomplish, and no doubt there’s more than one way to get it done. I just don’t know what any of those ways are. Yet.

Students gone wild

December 16, 2005

First Coast News | Local News – Another Sex Encounter Has Sandalwood Students in Trouble

I can say with all honesty that it never crossed my mind once in high school to engage in oral sex during class. Talk about an unintended drawback to increasing class sizes… Yesh.

See? NBC President gets it.

December 15, 2005

“Over the next couple of weeks, in fact, we will have many more announcements about many more shows there. We see it as a brand-new business, and it will be run like any television network, with new material refreshed and replenished all the time. I don’t think there’s a limit as to how many shows we can have available.”

read more | digg story