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Monthly Archives: October 2009

Trying to time shift (download and convert) video from the internet to watch later on you iPod/iPhone? Players that download a file to cache and play from there are easier to capture. Those that stream to a player in your browser window are more difficult to harvest. Here are some sites with services, tools and information that have helped me … Free conversions (just five each day) for,,,,,,,,, and, for premium/paid users also,,,,,,,,,,, and — yup I scraped that complete list from their website, not to advertise my porn preferences. No, really! File formats include 3g2, 3gp, asf, avi, flv, m4v, mkv, mov, mp3, mp4, mpeg, ogg, rm, wav, wma and wmv. Protocols are ftp, http, mms, mmsh and rtsp. Not included amonsgt them is Adobe’s rtmp protocol.

MPlayer is a free and open source media player. The program is available for all major operating systems, including Linux and other Unix-like systems, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. MPlayer supports a wide variety of media formats and can also save all streamed content to a file. The MPlayer OS X Extended version for Mac OS X can be downloaded from

From Mac OS Hints, instructions on how to Save Flash video files from local cache with additional information in comments for Leopard.

Chuck Lore #231

I watched a rerun of an episode of The Big Bang Theory tonight, called The Vartabedian Conundrum. It originally aired on CBS on 8th December, 2008. I paused on the vanity card, a benefit of having TiVo, to read the joke — they’re often funny — excepting, this time, I wasn’t laughing. I thought it was offensive.

Vanity card #231 reads “I believe that inherent within the God-given right to the pursuit of happiness, is the equally God-given right to the pursuit of unhappiness. That is why I support gay marriage.”

Several of Chuck’s cards have been censored by CBS (e.g. #217), so it’s not as though the broadcaster isn’t paying attention.

How do you read card #231? Gay people deserve to be unhappy for wanting to get married? Why should only straight people suffer the misery of marriage? Something different? I’m not sure, but it doesn’t resonate well with me. Help me out here and comment on what you think it means and answer the question: Is this offensive?

Suggested reading: Chuck Lore’s vanity cards, by number | The Big Bang Theory TV Show | Variety’s article Vanity cards let Lorre sound off


In spite of full 3G signal strength AT&T’s service in New York City doesn’t have the bandwidth to squeeze in another 160 characters. It’s bad and rapdily getting worse!

Suggested reading Apple and AT&T Have Reportedly Worked Closely on 3G Network Performance Issues and AT&T Addressing Network Performance in Manhattan and San Francisco, High-Bandwidth Users at

wordpress publicize twitter optionsEnabled from your blog’s Dashboard>My Blogs under the “Publicize” column check on Twitter. Complete the authorisation process after you click on the “Enable” button. A yellow box appears below your Twitter check-off in which you request a link to Twitter. I was already signed onto my Twitter account so Twitter simply asked for my consent to link then switched me back to WordPress.

Now, when posting a new story, amongst the “Publish” control’s you get the “Publicize: Twitter” option already enabled to tweet an update of your post. “Edit” if you want to uncheck Twitter updates but more especially to add a custom message to your Tweet. WordPress will append a short URL to your update in the form of

This post will, in fact, be the first post that I tweet automatically via this new functionality!

The audio levels on my iPhone movies are too low. My music is loud enough and can be increased beyond my comfort levels. Movie soundtracks are, however, too soft even when the volume control is maxed out. Why the disparity in sound levels? Not sure. I’m time-shifting movies from DVDs using Handbrake, perhaps this app is to blame?

Here’s how to work around it …

iTunes volume adjustment

In your iTunes Movies library, before you synch up your iPod or iPhone …

    Select all movies
    File>Get Info
    Select the Options tab
    Slide the Volume Adjustment up from None to 100%
    Click “Ok”

If asked, acknowledge that you’re changing multiple files through this action!

Of course you can and probably should change the settings on individuals movie files as you add them to iTunes.

Synch up! Your movies should be loud enough, although still not equal to the maximum volume you can crank your music up to!

transforming dots