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Comment Re:Mac mini or apple Tv (Score 4, Informative) 355

A mac mini is a perfectly valid (if expensive) media solution. I personally use 2 synology NASs feeding a Mac Mini which is a dedicated iTunes server feeding 4 apple TVs (When I win the lotto I might try out a promise pegasus but until then the synology NASs are growing the library nicely). It's a bit of a pain to remux mkvs to mp4s but it works and it's a really nice solution once you've gone through the headaches of setting it up (yes better than a boxee box -- tried it, now gathering dust, better than every DLNA solution I've tried). The Apple TVs are just really, really nice media end-points and iTunes is a perfectly good management system.

But yea iCloud has no place in any video solution (your purchased shows can be streamed -- movies can not, and this solution will introduce you to your ISP's bandwidth caps very quickly).

Comment You need a NAS. (Score 1) 355

Since you're not complaining about processing power or ram, you're in the market for a NAS. There are several good brands. I personally use Synology. It's a bit pricy but you get what you pay for. Personally I'd just add a few external USB drives until the prices fall (they're pretty outrageous now). When prices fall, get a nice 5 bay and stock it with 3TB drives that will give you ~12 TB in raid 5 and ~9 TB in raid 6 (recommended unless you like living on the edge).

You'll probably find the Synology can replace your existing media server (it has a pretty good support community) but since its all linux you can mount the nfs like another hard drive wherever you want the space in your existing drive structure. As your media server grows you can just get another NAS and keep expanding that way as long as you need.

Comment Re:Massachusetts laws are fucked up (Score 1) 662

I hope he wins. I really, really, really hope he wins. I hope he wins all the way up to the supreme court where we can finally get laws like this struck down forever across the entire nation. Most prosecutors don't press these cases because they KNOW if they press them the laws will get struck down and they can't be used to harass or intimidate people anymore. But as long as they drag the preliminaries out as long as possible before deciding not to prosecute they can leave the cameraman in jail for a few days or weeks while the police can conveniently "lose" the evidence in question.

Comment Re:Bad guys (Score 0, Flamebait) 370

Really, no it's not. Look at it from Apple's perspective (or anyone who creates something for that matter). They created a music manager (itunes), a store, and the portable device used to play them. Apple considered that line a single product. In their view Windows had pretty much the same setup (if more open) in that there were little used music stores for windows media player, and mp3 players that plugged into windows. In their view real was perfectly free to make their own store, their own manager, and their own portable devices (or license a portable device from someone else) and compete with them even on the mac os.

I guess the TL;DR: is that instead of building a burger king next to the mcdonalds, Real tried to set up a counter inside the mcdonalds instead of doing the real hard work and competing fair and square.

Comment The one simple fact the right is missing. (Score 5, Interesting) 945

There is one, simple, crucial fact that the right is missing in these debates. There is no free market in broadband access. If you are extremely lucky you can pick between your telephone company and your cable company and they tend to not compete on either price or service and quickly move to adopt the same draconian policies introduced by their "competitors" -- and again, this is if you're lucky, most people are stuck with their cable company. Not even the right will argue against regulating monopolies, we all realize that in the absence of competition monopolies will provide poor service for rates that border on extortion.

If you want to win the net neutrality debate with the right then offer a simple concession: IPSs which open up their network to third party providers can operate without regulation. Those providers that have no competition or only one competitor must put up with regulation.

You can also remind everyone that the government invented the internet (arpnet was a darpa project) so the Internet was never created to be run by businesses anymore than the national interstate system was, but that doesn't resonate nearly as well as shifting this back to a monopoly vs. consumer debate.


1928 Time Traveler Caught On Film? 685

Many of you have submitted a story about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who claims to have found a person using a cellphone in the "unused footage" section of the DVD The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin movie filmed in 1928. To me the bigger mystery is how someone who appears to be the offspring of Ram-Man and The Penguin got into a movie in the first place, especially if they were talking to a little metal box on set. Watch the video and decide for yourself.

Comment Re:G'huh? (Score 2, Interesting) 1066

Ripping a blu-ray is a hellacious experience. Once you rip the disk to the hard drive you may have totally unprotected data but figuring out how to package that data can be a real challenge. A dvd can barely hold a movie, a blu ray can hold a movie and features that are as long or more-so than the original movie, so you just can't pick the file with the longest play-time. Getting sub-titles and chapters involves using several ( let me stress several here ) user-un-friendly programs in a long-tedious and very error-prone workflow. And the studios haven't even begun to exploit java to further obscure how to piece together the myriad bits and pieces of 50gigs of data into a single movie file.

Now someone can build a little PCI card with an HDMI in jack, press play on your player software, press record on your computer and ~2 hours later you have a perfectly encoded movie file that can be a perfect copy of the original.

Unfortunately it will take an act of a luddite congress to make accessing your video collection as painless, effortless and legal as accessing your music collection.

Comment Re:Voice? (Score 1) 284

You're correct. Some t-mobile phones have UMA which allows calls to route over wi-fi and do not count against your minutes. I have no idea why there's a big push to femto-cells (sp) when this technology is available -- it guarantees perfect calls in the home regardless of your distance from the towers and it's a win/win for the customer and carrier since they're not burning limited air-time to handle the calls.

Comment Privateer and Ultima (Score 1) 1120

Someone already got Wing commander but Origin had some GREAT franchises before EA just let them all die on the vine. Privateer had a succesful reboot with microsoft's freelancer, but even that franchise is outdated now.

Ultima (before it went all mmorpg on us) was great and I'd like to see some off-line adventures return. It's STILL fun to boot up the old icon based 1-2-3-&4 occassionally.

And this was never a franchise but Archon and M.U.L.E. are two definate old school games that deserve to be introduced to a new generation!

Comment Windows Home Server Works For Me (Score 1) 611

I'm using a windows home server (HP but Asus started making them too). Basically it's a little box that's barely taller than the 4 hard drives it can hold. It's quiet and power efficient. It can centralize and store media files making them easy to share throughout the house but it also backs up the other computers in the house -- in fact it will even wake up a sleeping or hibernating laptop in the middle of the night to do the backup and then put it back to sleep when its done (something that just blew my mind when I first realized what was happening).

WHS doesn't have a concept of "raid" but you can flag folders to be duplicated and WHS will ensure that if it's possible they will be duplicated across hard drives. Adding hard drives is fairly simple. When you add a new one you can chose to add it to the storage pool or to use it to back up the WHS itself. The storage pool is pretty cool, there really aren't letter drives, WHS just maintains a giant pool of storage made up from all the connected hard drives so if you're running low on server space just add another hard drive.

Generally I'm happy letting the WHS backup my laptop and game machine. If anything happens to them the WHS can rebuild them. If anything happens to a drive on the WHS the folder redundancy will keep things healthy. I'd basically have to have a simultaneous, catastrophic loss of two or more hard drives on the WHS to start losing data and the odds on that are pretty long. One of these days I might build a small raid to backup all the media on the WHS but that's low priority right now.

For businesses Windows server 2008 has much the same capacity although it supposedly does image based backups (ie norton ghost, but WHS will do ghost backups as well with service pack 3). And of course apple's solution is time machine.

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