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Comment: Re:No defrag! (Score 1) 366

by ewhac (#47883827) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux
Yes. Alas, this is a consequence of ZFS's COW (copy on write) design.

In a filesystem like EXT3, if you open a file, seek to some offset, and write new data, EXT3 will write the new data to the existing disk block in place. ZFS, however, will allocate a new block for that offset (copy on write), write the modified data to it, and update the block chain. The result is that it's apparently very easy to badly fragment a ZFS file (do a Google search for "ZFS fragmentation" to see various stories and tests people have written).

You can apparently mitigate the problem by occasionally copying the entire affected file -- Oracle's own whitepaper on the subject apparently reads, "Periodically copying data files reorganizes the file location on disk and gives better full scan response time."

Bottom line: ZFS is not a panacea, nor is it simple. There are myriad options, and trade-offs to all of them.

Comment: My Experiences (Score 4, Informative) 163

by ewhac (#47812045) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?
First, a gratuitous plug for my Let's Play/Drown Out video series, currently focusing on 3DO console titles:

Why is that link relevant? Because they were all made using Kdenlive.

When I first started mucking around with digital video, I tried a bunch of free/libre packages, and formed the following opinions of each:

Windows Movie Maker
Yes, $(GOD) help me, I gave it a serious try. To my utter surprise, it mostly worked and did what I wanted without crashing. However, the UI was rather inflexible, and I needed more than the handful of features it offered, so I kept looking.

Every Google search for free video editing software always turns this up, so I tried it. Then, ten minutes later, I had to stop trying it because it kept crashing and/or hanging at the slightest provocation. It has an impressive-looking array of features, and the editing timeline looks quite powerful. Evidently, you can do some fairly impressive things with Cinelerra, provided you can identify and avoid all its weak spots.

The last time I tried this, it was unreliable, under-featured, and incredibly slow. Just loading a one hour-long video clip into the timeline took several minutes as it tried to generate thumbnails and an audio waveform for the clip.

Assuming I'm remembering this package correctly, all it does is assemble edits -- that is, you can tack together a bunch of clips one after the other to create a larger work. If you want to do any effects or titling, you're SOL. Perhaps the Kickstarter-funded upgrade will yield some improvements.

I had to learn something the hard way with this package: This is a professional package. By that, I don't mean it has a ton of features (although it certainly does). I mean it expects a certain level of media asset before it will operate on it in the manner you expect. Us mere proles are satisfied to use MP4 or MKV or ($(GOD) help us) AVI files. However, in the pro space, you have files that contain not just compressed audio and video, but also timecode. And not just timecode measured relative to when you last pressed the RECORD button, but also a master timecode from an achingly accurate central timecode generator fed to all your cameras and microphones. This not only means all your cameras and mics are in precise sync ('cause otherwise their internal clocks will drift relative to each other), but you can trivially sync all your master footage and then intercut shots without even thinking about it. Also, near as I can tell, there's no such thing as inter-frame compression in professional video. Each frame is atomic, which means you can cleanly cut anywhere, but it doesn't compress anywhere near as small as, say, H.264.

The result is that, if you don't have equipment that generates all this metadata for you, then you need to convert it from the puny consumer format you're likely using. This means having truly monstrous amounts of disk available just to store the working set, and tons of RAM to make it all work. And hopefully your conversion script(s) didn't cough up bogus timecode.

So, yes, Lightworks is very very nice, if you have the proper resources to feed it. I don't, so I've set it aside for that glorious day when I get some proper equipment :-).

Kdenlive is built on top of the MLT framework, and is about the best and most reliable thing I've found out there that doesn't cost actual money (either directly or indirectly). It has a non-linear timeline editor, it supports a wide variety of media formats, and it has a modest collection of audio and video effects (almost none of which you will use).

One of the more amazing things Kdenlive does is transparently convert sample and frame rates. Without thinking about it, my first video involved using a 44KHz WAV file, a 48KHz WAV file, and a 44KHz MP3 file, with the output audio to be 48KHz AAC. I feared I was going to have to convert all the sources to the same format, but Kdenlive quietly resampled them all when compiling the output video file, and everything came out undistorted and in sync.

Kdenlive does occasionally crash, which is annoying, but it has never destroyed my work. It has a fairly robust crash recovery mechanism, and you may lose your most recent one or two tweaks to the timelines, but you won't lose hours of work.

Kdenlive is not perfect, of course. It has limitations and annoyances that occasionally make me search for another video editor. But if, as I was, you're new to video editing, it will take you a while to find those limitations. Kdenlive has certainly served me very well in the meantime, and I think it's the most reliable, most capable, and most easily accessible Open Source video editor out there.

Comment: Re:criminal defense attorney and programmer here (Score 2) 560

by Svartalf (#47328231) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Precisely. There's several copies of a prominent law professor's lecture on the subject and spells out PRECISELY why you don't do things like that.

Now, the burning question would be, "how did they get access to his encrypted system files?"- without a warrant, they're just as screwed in light of the recent Supreme Court rulings. You need a warrant for those things- and you need to state you're looking for a specific on them before they can legitimately reach the conclusion the Mass Supreme Court arrived at. Without that, it's just like the Fourth Amendment violation I experienced about 5 years ago. No *VALID* warrant? No case. No seizure allowed.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328165) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

If so, it's not hard to have them get a warrant that specifies this, not a court order to relinquish the password. They're distinctly differing notions- and the Judges there overstepped their authority. If it's legit, they could've issued a warrant for specific information and as a part thereof, compelled the unlock of the secured device for that specific information. Since they didn't...doesn't meet the sniff test in light of current precedent.

Comment: Re:WTF? How is this not self incrimination? (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328153) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Heh... Actually, that line of bullshit might be at risk with the recent unanimous decision that law enforcement needed a warrant for mucking about on a defendent's phone. Basically, this is the same thing and it's expected to be overturned by the SCOTUS if it gets before them.

Comment: Re:I lost the password (Score 1) 560

by Svartalf (#47328137) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

And, in recent times (as in within THIS month...) the Supreme Court of the US handed down a UNANIMOUS decision that they had to get a warrant to go digging about on a defendant's phone- this is the same thing.

You have to have a legitimate reason and a warrant to do this. It's expected that this will go to the Supreme Court and be overturned just like the mobile phone story went down.

Comment: I Suppose Next We'll Be Seeing Benghazi Stories... (Score -1, Flamebait) 465

by ewhac (#47260871) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation
I don't know who the miserable asshat is who keeps front-paging this blithering right-wing horseshit, but they need to be fired yesterday.

This is a non-story. It has always been a non-story. It has already been investigated, and what turned up was a gigantic pile of nothing. But then, that's all Daryl Issa's "investigations" have ever turned up.

Yes, the IRS investigated a bunch of applications for tax-exempt status for a number of "Tea Party" groups. They also performed the same investigations on so-called liberal groups. They're supposed to do that; otherwise any moron could claim tax-exempt status. Were there problems with the investigations? Yes, because the tax law that requires them is so vague that it's basically left entirely to the discretion of the investigator.

Were any applications denied? No, not really. Did the IRS investigate more "Tea Party" groups than liberal groups? It would appear so. It would also appear that there were a hell of a lot more "Tea Party" applications flooding in during the timeframe in question (which makes sense, given that the "Tea Party" is not grassroots, but entirely the construction of FreedomWorks).

As for how "terribly convenient" it is for multiple IRS personnel under investigation to have lost the data in question, well... Considering that the IRS is underfunded (sounds weird, but it's true); and considering that they have tens of thousands of personal computers, none of them brand new, and all of them in various states of disrepair and subjected to various forms of abuse; and considering that every one of those tens of thousands of computers are running FUCKING WINDOWS , then you are provably a drooling idiot if you think the probability for unrecoverable data loss is anything less than 1.0.

The only story here is that IRS regs concerning tax-exempt political advocacy organizations are hopelessly vague. Moreover, it's not a story that belongs on a tech-oriented site. If I wanted to read about fabricated right-wing ghost stories, I'd visit RedState. Get this shit off Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Who Cares? (Score 1) 354

by Svartalf (#47167001) Attached to: 3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

Your reading is flawed. Hint for you: Militia means group of able-bodied people, not what you think it means. If you're an adult US're that "Militia" they talk to in that part of the Amendment. Using it to exclude and preclude ownership and bearing is to misunderstand quite a bit of the writings of the times ON TOP of misunderstanding the Constitution.

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.