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Comment: Yes. (Score 1) 697

by MrFancyPants (#35901788) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Streaming-Only For Home Entertainment?

I do. I saved ~$100/month by axing Comcast and downloading torrents of all my favorite shows.

I built an HTPC for ~$600. I use MediaPortal to do playback. The plugins for it do an amazing job of automatically associating files with episodes, downloading art, keeping track of which episodes you've watched, etc. Similar stuff for Movies too. Throw in a Harmony remote and it's even wife-friendly enough that I don't have to do anything. I highly recommend it.

Comment: Re:MediaPortal (Score 1) 516

by MrFancyPants (#33461308) Attached to: Video Appliance For a Large Library On a Network?

It does? News to me. It's been 2 years since I tried xbmc, and when I last tried it, a fairly decent machine struggled with HD playback while Mediaportal (and MPC and others that used avivo and purevideo). I did a quick search before posting to make sure I wasn't mistaken and saw this:

> Note! Developers wanted! XBMC does not yet support any listed methods of hardware accelerated video decoding.

at
http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Hardware_Accelerated_Video_Decoding

So I didn't do more digging...but that page hasn't been updated so 2009, so my bad.

Comment: MediaPortal (Score 2, Informative) 516

by MrFancyPants (#33459870) Attached to: Video Appliance For a Large Library On a Network?

I highly recommend MediaPortal http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

The setup is significant, but once you have it going, it's great. You can use hardware accelerated h264 decoding (whereas Boxee, XBMC and many others are software only). The plugins for it have great, poweful support for automatically matching Movies and TV shows based on regexps and online lookups of the filenames.

Some screenshots can be found:
http://code.google.com/p/moving-pictures/
http://code.google.com/p/mptvseries/

Image

Aussie Gamers Dress As Zombies To Raise R18+ Awareness 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-we'll-get-to-common-ground-somehow dept.
swandives writes "Australian gamers will dress as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in the country. The protest will begin at Hyde Park Fountain on March 27 and lumber through Sydney, raising awareness of the need for a higher classification rating and hopefully causing a bit of havoc at the same time! Computerworld Australia has pictures of previous zombie protests in the lead-up to the event. Australia has a long history of lobbying for an R18+ games classification but, even after a decade, video games are banned from sale if they exceed the maximum M15+ classification. So far, the list of banned titles includes 7 Sins, Risen, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dark Sector. Others, like Alien vs. Predator, were initially banned but appealed the rating and are now MA15+."

The Definitive Evisceration of The Phantom Menace *NSFW* 629

Posted by samzenpus
from the meesa-completely-agree dept.
cowmix writes "When TPM came out ten years ago, its utter crappiness shocked me to the core and wounded a entire generation of geeks. My inner child had been abused and betrayed. I moped around, talking to no one, for almost two weeks. I couldn't bring myself to see #2 or #3, whatever they were called. Now, a decade later, comes Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Review, the ultimate, seven-part, seventy minute analysis of this mother of all train wrecks. Not only does it nail how the film blows, but tells us why. Time, apparently, does not heal all wounds." Or, if you prefer all 7 parts embedded in one page, you can check out slashfilm's aggregation.
Games

Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the blue-skies dept.
As the February release date for Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain nears, several publications have gotten a chance for some hands-on time with the game and seem to be intrigued by what they saw. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The game grabs you during the quiet moments where nothing 'happens.' When you look at a picture your child drew. When you're questioning someone about a crime. When you're trying to figure out how to react to a violent situation. The preview we were sent put me in different situations as I played a small handful of characters, and each one provided a few tiny moments that were surprising in terms of storytelling or subtlety." Eurogamer's previewer had a similar reaction: "To my great delight as well — Heavy Rain isn't a mature game because it has unhappy families and moody lighting, it's a mature game because it anticipates an adult response from the player and is prepared to receive it."
Media

Lack of Manpower May Kill VLC For Mac 398

Posted by timothy
from the vlc-generally-rocks dept.
plasmacutter writes "The Video Lan dev team has recently come forward with a notice that the number of active developers for the project's MacOS X releases has dropped to zero, prompting a halt in the release schedule. There is now a disturbing possibility that support for Mac will be dropped as of 1.1.0. As the most versatile and user-friendly solution for bridging the video compatibility gap between OS X and windows, this will be a terrible loss for the Mac community. There is still hope, however, if the right volunteers come forward."
Image

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the 9cm-edited dept.
sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"
Censorship

Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

Posted by timothy
from the your-ethics-may-vary dept.
bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.
Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

Posted by Soulskill
from the changing-horses dept.
dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
First Person Shooters (Games)

New Left 4 Dead DLC Coming Next Month 55

Posted by Soulskill
from the mo-zombies-mo-problems dept.
Valve said yesterday that they're working on a new campaign for Left 4 Dead, and they plan to release it in September. It's called Crash Course, and while it will be free for owners of the PC version, Xbox 360 users will need to purchase it. The new campaign "bridges the gap between the end of the 'No Mercy' campaign and the beginning of 'Death Toll' in the original game, expanding the game universe with new locations, new dialogue from the original cast, and an explosive finale." Crash Course isn't as long as the other campaigns, a deliberate decision by Valve to enable players to finish a Versus-mode game in about 30 minutes. A preview of the new content on Destructoid notes, "Since we've got a shorter campaign, much more has been packed into a smaller space. Lucky players who know where to look can upgrade to second-tier weaponry almost straight away. However, they'll have their work cut out for them, because there's a chance to get swamped by the horde right from the very beginning."
Image

Comic Artist Detained For Script Containing 9/11 Type Scenarios 441

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-from-free-speech dept.
Comics writer Mark Sable was detained by security at Los Angeles International Airport because he was carrying a script for a new issue of his comic miniseries, Unthinkable. Unthinkable follows members of a government think tank that was tasked with coming up with 9/11-type "unthinkable" terrorist scenarios that now are coming true. Sable wrote about his experience saying, "...I was flagged at the gate for 'extra screening.' I was subjected to not one, but two invasive searches of my person and belongings. TSA agents then 'discovered' the script for Unthinkable #3. They sat and read the script while I stood there, without any personal items, identification or ticket, which had all been confiscated. The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics. I cooperated politely and tried to explain to them the irony of the situation. While Unthinkable blurs the line between fiction and reality, the story is based on a real-life government think tank where a writer was tasked to design worst-case terror scenarios. The fictional story of Unthinkable unfolds when the writer's scenarios come true, and he becomes a suspect in the terrorist attacks." It's too bad that the TSA can't protect us from summer blockbuster movies and not just graphic novels.
Censorship

Man Attacked In Ohio For Providing Iran Proxies 467

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the never-underestimate-stupidity dept.
David Hume writes "electronicmaji is reporting on the Daily Kos that the individual known as ProtesterHelp (also to be found on twitter) was attacked in Ohio for providing network security for Twitterers in Iran, setting up private networks to provide secure proxies, calling for media networks to remove the Iranians Twitterers' information from their broadcast, and providing counter-intelligence services (including Basiji and Army Locations) within the Twitter community. ProtesterHelp was allegedly attacked by a group of men while walking to class in Ohio. The men, who appeared to ProtesterHelp to be either Iranian or Lebanese, drove up beside him and threw rocks at him while shouting, 'Mousavi Fraud.' ProtesterHelp further reported that his personal information has been leaked, and is currently being spread both online and inside of Iran amongst the government." Relatedly, Wired is also reporting that Google and Facebook have rushed out support for Persian. This move has allowed many pro-democracy groups to connect and translate their message to a broader audience.

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