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YouTube, HTML5, and Comparing H.264 With Theora 361

David Gerard writes "Google Chrome includes Ogg support for the <video> element. It also includes support for the hideously encumbered H.264 format. Nice as an extra, but ... they're also testing HTML5 YouTube only for H.264 — meaning the largest video provider on the Net will make H.264 the primary codec and relegate the equally good open format Ogg/Theora firmly to the sidelines. Mike Shaver from Mozilla has fairly unambiguously asked Chris DiBona from Google what the heck Google thinks it's doing." DiBona responded with concerns that switching to Theora while maintaining quality would take up an incredible amount of bandwidth for a site like YouTube, though he made clear his support for the continued improvement of the project. Greg Maxwell jumped into the debate by comparing the quality of Ogg/Theora+Vorbis with the current YouTube implementations using H.263+MP3 and H.264+AAC. At the lower bitrate, Theora seems to have the clear edge, while the higher bitrate may slightly favor H.264. He concludes that YouTube's adoption of "an open unencumbered format in addition to or instead of their current offerings would not cause problems on the basis of quality or bitrate."

Comment Re:Why America sucks (Score 5, Insightful) 198

I don't hate America, I love it. I wish only the best things for this country.

But I hate articles like this, and I hate the truly American values it reveals.

Why is it that when Americans think of powered exoskeletons, the first thing they think of is soldiers?

War and military industry just tend to do that: invent things to help you win the battles easier. It's always been like that.

War (even the one now in Iraq) is a quite good accelerator for military industry research and the industry creates a variety of products during a war. The bigger the war the bigger the influence on technology.

Even though it's bad that the things are developed for the military, the research eventually helps normal people: when the war ends, the military companies start selling licenses for the products or continue researching to create a product for consumer markets.

War so far has been a huge boost in techonology, if you think inventions like nuclear power, radar, V2 missiles, which later on lead to the Saturn V, medical breakthroughs (especially in first aid) etc.

Impact of the war on technology is just something you just can't deny.


Submission + - Qt 4.5 released (phoronix.com)

Nailor writes: "Nokia owned Qt Software, formerly known as Trolltech, has released Qt 4.5. According to article, this upgrade brings performance improvements among many other benefits. However, biggest change is in licensing model. Qt4.5 is now LGPL licensed so you can use it in proprietary applications without the paid license. Downloads for various platforms are available on Qt Software's downloads page."

Comment Re:Shit man, I bet... (Score 1) 190

I have far more sympathy for the continental European tendency to view sex as good and violence as bad

Either way, the double standard is not a good one. What comes to the banning sex from minors, there really is point in that.

The sex in games would probably not be anything like sweet sugar coated romances but mostly hard porn, which in no way is suitable for minors.

However, this should not affect banning the violence, it should be treated equally bad everywhere.

Comment Re:Nailor (Score 1) 347

I don't see how you can make that conclusion based on your premise. After all, didn't the prosecutor just spend an entire year getting ready for this case? How could he have such a fundamental misunderstanding if he was "really careful?"

Really careful as in leaving everything not certain outside the case and focusing on the parts where they have the best coverage. They don't want, as the linked (bad) translation of the blog post states, to risk losing even partially.

Yes, I agree that the year worth of investigation should bring up what the BitTorrent is and what it is not, but that's an issue with the personnel, ie. the prosecutor and the investigation concluded by Swedish police, not really an issue in this case.

It might even be that some of the alleged copying charges were originally pressed by the stakeholders, not the prosecutor

Comment Re:Nailor (Score 1) 347

Main points were covered in my post, as the Google translation is quite inaccurate.

Other points worth of mentioning:

- Writer compares the case with the Finnish Finnreactor case, where all evidence was collected by National Bureau of Investigation (referred as KRP in article), a Finnish police unit and where the evidence was not that clear and the whole case was about making illegal copies, even though the same BitTorrent was used. IIRC, the writer was defending attorney in that case.
- NBI in Finland didn't download a single torrent opposite to this case where all torrents used in the case were downloaded, IPs recorded and the data behind the torrent verified to be what it was said to be.
- Prosecutor avoids stating that the accused participated in the actual file sharing. Prosecution is only interested in the assisting in making available.
- All the stakeholders have agreed with the prosecutor that the case is not about making copies, only about assisting in making available.

Comment Nailor (Score 5, Informative) 347

The prosecutor dropped half of the charges because he had misunderstood the behaviour of the BitTorrent. The half of the charges were about making pirated copies.

This however still leaves, as the TFA states, the charges about 'assisting in making available'. This also does not affect the claims of the stakeholders, they are still "valid". Also the maximum possible sentence is still the same.

Swedish prosecutor has been really careful with this case and propably doesn't want to risk the case with false charges. All the tracker files provided by stakeholders as the files downloaded are carefully selected. They even have listed every IP met using those .torrent files and made sure that every one of those has a Swedish IP among them. The prosecutor is also careful in using any previous cases against torrent tracker (for example Finnreactor case in Finland).

A Finnish lawyer Mikko Välimäki has made a blog post about the case (Google translation, original is here)

The Courts

Submission + - Finnish court accepts e-voting result, 2% lost

Nailor writes: Helsinki Administrative court accepted the municipal voting result despite the fact that 2% of votes that were cast were not counted at all. Court noted that the e-voting machinery has a feature, that should be considered as an issue . However, it also noted that "a little over two percent failure rate can not be considered as such as a proof that the voting official would have acted erroneously". Does this mean 98% of votes is enough to figure out what the rest 2% vote? Electronic Frontier Finland has a press release about the court decision (in Finnish).

Comment How about a third party e-bill "provider"? (Score 1) 299

How about a turstworthy third party provider to work as a 'proxy' between the customer and the companies?

Here in Finland Post Office offers a service called NetPosti. It is free for all people in Finland aged 15 or over and has a free archiving for 6 years, which should be more than enough. The service it self is generally an electronic service to partly replace traditional snail mail (yeah, it's e-mail. Ha ha.).

Vast majority of the large companies, like electric companies, mobile operators etc. offer their billing through NetPosti, if the customer wants. All the customer needs to do is to allow the company to send their mails and bills through NetPosti. The company then automatically starts to send electronic bills instead of the traditional paper ones and the customer doesn't have to worry about what happens if the contract with that company ends.

In addition, a load of official forms (more than 1000 says the site) can be sent through NetPosti.

Saving the environment is an arguable issue. Sure, not producing paper, shipping it, printing and mailing creates carbon emissions, but so does the computer usage. A Finnish science magazine (Tiede) compared reading the paper online or ordering to home and the conclusion was that at least with the glossy magazine paper the saving is notable. However, if multiple persons in the same household read the paper, the paper actually is more ecologial than using a modern computer to read it online.

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