Posts tagged `software`

A long time ago, I ran a comparison of various command-line compressors in Linux. Recently, intrigued by the rise of parallel computing and the emergence of multi-processor versions of old *nix favorites like gzip and bzip2, I thought I’d give the benchmark another go.

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§7042 · May 3, 2011 · 2 comments · Tags: , , ,

GNOME logo

In January 2007 I published the GNOME Audio Player Shootout, a simple comparison of the options available to GNOME users for handling their day-to-day playback needs. It proved to be so popular that in December of 2008 I did a followup, excluding some abandoned players and adding some new ones. Though it hasn’t been quite two years yet, I thought it was time for another look at the state of audio players in the GNOME ecosystem.

This time around, I’ve got a heavy focus on new players, as there have been a number of new arrivals since my last shootout that show a lot of promise. This article will cover (in no particular order):

  • Rhythmbox (0.12.8)
  • Exaile (3.2.0)
  • Banshee (1.7.4)
  • Quod Libet (2.2.1)
  • Guayadeque (0.2.6-svn1186)
  • DeaDBeeF (0.4.1)
  • aTunes (2.0.1)
  • xnoise (0.1.10)
  • GMusicBrowser (1.1.5-git)
  • Aqualung (0.9~beta11)

All testing was done using an up-to-date Ubuntu Lucid x64 with all necessary repositories added, including some PPAs for the last versions of these players. Considered but not reviewed were Decibel Audio Player (hasn’t changed appreciably since last time), Gejengel (so unstable as to be unusable), and Bluemindo (still too simple to be useful).

Please note that this article necessarily incorporates some of my own biases. I am an avowed foobar2000 fan and you will notice that I tend to favor the utility-minded players over the media centers and iTunes clones. This article should still be useful, even if your own inclinations are different from mine.

§5650 · August 29, 2010 · 7 comments · Tags: , , , ,

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Starting August 15th, Amazon’s web service API started requiring all requests to be signed—that is, they must include a cryptographically generated key.

This is important, because while the service as always required an ID to run, it was never a secret. In fact, the former developer’s access ID has been embedded in the Now Reading Reloaded script since the very beginning.

The change, however, requires the addition of another key, this one like a password, and it’s not supposed to be given out. Since Now Reading Reloaded is open source, that means anyone who wanted to could use my key.

As a result, I’ve modified the plugin to use two more fields in the options screen, one for the Access ID and one for the Secret Key: both of these are required to add books from Amazon, and you will have to get both yourself.

Actually, it’s easy to do: go to the AWS site and register. Then plug the two keys they give you into the appropriate spaces in the Now Reading options screen. Resume reading.

§3966 · August 19, 2009 · 27 comments · Tags: , , ,

I have providing some light maintenance development for Rob’s Now Reading plugin; since WordPress 2.7 wholly changed its interface, the plugin need some tweaking to make it work.

Up to this point, I’ve been hosting it locally, mostly picking at it whenever time allows.

I just updated it the other day to add a new feature (editable ASIN) and hopefully fix a recurring bug (CDATA error when searching).

In any case, I hope to make a push in the near future to clean it up and submit it the official WordPress plugin site so that its user can benefit from auto-update, etc. etc. My own much-atrophied skills as a PHP developer aside (I deal mostly with Java at work), I think that it will ultimately benefit everybody, assuming I can make it so that the updates don’t override custom templates (perhaps giving preference to Now Reading template files in the theme folder?).

Stay tuned. The plugin is now here.

Comments on this post are closed. For support, please use the forum feature of the official plugin repository.

§3904 · July 1, 2009 · 15 comments · Tags: , , ,

rev. 15 April 2009; get the PDF

The laws that protect the creation of content are manifold and complicated—even byzantine. America has copyright protection, which applies to concrete expressions of information, trademark protection, which protects distinctive symbols or verbiage associated with a legal entity, and patent protection, which protects “(1) processes, (2) machines, (3) manufactures or (4) compositions of matter” and is perhaps the least understood of all the various kinds of intellectual property protection (Guntersdorfer, 2003).

The explosion of the Internet in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has thrown into stark relief both the legal problems associated with protecting content in a digital age as well as the ethical issues inherent in the existing process for acquiring official intellectual property protection and the rights afforded involved parties in a redress of grievances. Copyright law specifically has come into public consciousness primarily due to the popularity of filesharing: for all intents and purposes, the advent of modern filesharing was the 1999 arrival of Napster, a program which allowed anyone to exchange digital copies of music online, for free. Legal problems eventually forced Napster to shut down (Ante, Brull, Herman , & France, 2000), but its legacy leaves not only alternative modes of filesharing, but a whole host of new web-based content creation engines that toe the lines of fair use.

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§3801 · April 21, 2009 · (No comments) · Tags: , , , ,