joeljkp writes: "Real has released its latest RealPlayer version 11 for Linux. From the announcement:
This update adds Windows Media Video 7 and 8 playback support.
It includes some high definition Windows Media 9 playback optimizations too. Audio playback now bypasses PulseAudio and interfaces with ALSA directly by default.
XVideo is now turned off by default but can be turned on from within the Preference dialog box, in the Hardware Tab. With this release, for the first time, we have provided a.DEB package of RealPlayer for Linux.
joeljkp writes: "An idea hit me the other day: has anyone tried using bug tracking software (such as Bugzilla) for municipal problems?
Typically town and city management is done in obscure meetings of the city council and the board of aldermen. If a municipal bug tracker was implemented, any citizen could file their ideas of what needs to happen, from immediate problems like a broken traffic signal to more long-term ideas such as implementing an ordinance. Any development and followup to those ideas would be done in an easily-accessible, public fashion.
joeljkp writes: "Fluendo today released an updated set of decoders for x86 Linux and Solaris. The new release adds support for WMV7, WMV8, WMA10, plus long-awaited support for H.264 and AAC, finally enabling playback of Quicktime videos. It also features many optimizations to existing decoders."
joeljkp writes: "In what probably won't be a shock to anyone, Sony is shuttering its old ATRAC-based CONNECT music store sometime early next year. The store was meant to compete with iTunes in the Sony realm, and was based on its proprietary ATRAC3 codec and the SonicStage music management application.
For those with purchased songs, Sony offers this advice:
What can I do with ATRAC content that has DRM (Digital Rights Management)?
For your purchased music from CONNECT, you can burn it to audio CD and re-rip it into MP3 format to continue enjoying it for personal use.
joeljkp writes: "Here's an idea I thought I'd run by the Slashdot community. For a commercial Windows game to get ported to Linux, there are a few options. The game could be open-sourced, the owner could hire icculus, or a deal could be struck with LGP. All of these options have produced good results, but they each have their drawbacks. Open-sourcing unfortunately isn't very common, icculus requires payment, and LGP needs a fanbase big enough to make up its expenses. Also, these last two options put the burden on a closed team of (highly skilled) developers.
It struck me that a hybrid approach might be possible: a community-based project wherein anyone with the interest and the time could help out with the development, but in which the source of the game would be kept secret behind an NDA. All potential contributors would have free access to the code, but would be required to agree to the NDA before they would be let in. Such an approach would share some benefits with the open-source model (a wide development base, free porting on the part of the owner) and with the closed methods (protecting the intellectual property rights of the owner). A single such site could serve as a middleman between coders and publishers for multiple projects.
joeljkp writes: "OpenMotif 2.3 has been released, marking the first major release to the venerable toolkit since 2000. Major features include anti-aliased fonts, UTF-8 support, and native support for PNG and JPEG images, among other things. OpenMotif is the open source counterpart to the Motif toolkit, which, according to the site, "is the leading user interface toolkit for the UNIX based operating system.""
joeljkp writes: "Nearly everyone has a news rotation — that list of sites you visit each day to catch up on the latest in whatever you're into, be it foreign affairs or knitting. I usually do the rounds at BBC News, The New York Times, a couple local papers, and then the mandatory Slashdot. What have you found that keeps you informed and entertained every day?"
joeljkp writes: "The promise of web annotation systems is great: the ability to comment on specific content of any website, to correct errors and misconceptions, and to provide background information for future readers. It seems that this promise has not been fulfilled, but not for lack of trying. Notwithstanding systems like Stet, which work for local content only, there have been attempts ranging from Annozilla, a Firefox extension that works with the W3C's Annotea spec, to "Web 2.0" offerings such as Diigo and Fleck.
Why haven't any of these systems caught on, and is there any hope in sight? If the community picks one, can we boost it to success?"
joeljkp writes: "Fluendo today released the first set of general-use GStreamer plugins for patented codecs such as Windows Media, MPEG-2, and MPEG-4. Previously available only in legally-questionable form from the FFMpeg or MPlayer projects, or bundled with the TurboLinux or Linspire products, these codecs now allow anyone using a GStreamer-based media player to view media produced with such codecs. The plugins are compatible with GStreamer 0.10.x, and are available from Fluendo's webshop."
joeljkp writes: "WeRelate.org, previously a wiki community for genealogical places and sources, has opened its doors for person and family entries, making it a full-blown wiki-based open genealogy site. This makes it the newest and most promising of the online genealogy sites, as it is free, editable by everyone, and like Wikipedia, is only limited by the resources of the interested public.
Full disclosure: I have been involved with several like-minded projects, and currently run the "competing" IGDB project."
joeljkp writes: "GNOME's Christian Schaller recently posted a long list of news and tidbits about GStreamer, Fluendo, and the Totem media player.
Speaking of Dirac, work is still continuing at full speed on Schroedinger our Dirac implementation. David Schleef is currently polishing up the code to make sure the produced bitstreams are 100% compatible with the ones created by the Dirac library. Once that work is finished we will cut a new release before moving on to a optimisation phase to make sure Schroedinger is a really high performance Dirac implementation.