Adding PITA software to Fedora with easyLife


Projeto Fedora Brazil has built a Free Software tool that helps users have Freedom of Choice.

easyLife allows new and even experienced users to install and configure software on Fedora, just by clicking. It’s simple and clean. Among others, these are some of easyLife features:

* Sets “sudo” command up for your regular user;
* Configures RPMFusion repository for extra and non-free software;
* Installs Flash Player plugin;
* Installs all kinds of multimedia Codecs (h264,divx,xvid,mp3 etc);
* Installs additional fonts;
* Installs nvidia drivers;
* Installs Skype;
* Installs Sun Java and Sun Java Plugin for Firefox;
* Integrates Sun Java with system-switch-java;
* Installs Google apps (Picasa, Desktop);
* And many others…

As a firm believer in Free Software I must say this tool is an aid to violating software freedom, but as a human being I have to say this should make getting the things that Fedora can’t ship due to legal issues easy to get.

And thus it now has a place in my sidebar, I hope sourceforge doesn’t get made that I swiped their button 🙂

easyLife homepage

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People other than me are doing HTML5 video


I’m not sure who got to it first but Dailymotion, Youtube, and my site (http://NumberedHumanIndustries.com) are the only sites that are using the HTML5 video tag.

Dailymotion’s page is at http://openvideo.dailymotion.com and as far as I can tell is using the Vorbis/Theora Firefox 3.5 compatible spec.

Youtube’s HTML5 site is at http://www.youtube.com/html5 and is using H.264 and doesn’t seem to work in Firefox 3.5

My HTML5 page is http://NumberedHumanIndustries.com/video and it is Vorbis/Theora and works in Firefox 3.5

If you know of any other pages that are using are using the proposed HTML5 video tags please comment here, email me three [at] threethirty [dot] us, or @threethirty on identi.ca

HTML5 video tags have a power level over 9000


My brother showed me this post at hacks.mozilla.org on how to do the much bitched about html5 video tags. So I totally had to do it, and I did.

Here is my page http://numberedhumanindustries.com/video

The cool thing is that you can have it degrade codecs and and even all the way to flash. The first (intro) video is this way, but the rest are theora/vorbis file (yeay freedom!) So here is a little howto.

First You need a place to store the vids that you can link to. If you have dropbox you could put the vids in your public folder and link there.

To have a just theora/vorbis vid (because you love freedom) the code looks like this:

</video

To have a theora/vorbis vid that degrades to mpeg4 the code looks like this:

Now if you need it to degrade all the way to flash (puke) then it would look like this:

ok that is the long and short of it. Not bad at all but you need to have Firefox 3.5 and some versions of Opera/Chrome/and possibly Safari with some extra codecs that screws the whole idea.

**EDIT: ok so I’m not smart enough to get the code to show up so just check out the mozilla hack page I was just copying from them anyway 🙂

Trying for an all Free computer


Recently I decided that I should try a little harder to not have any non-free packages on my computers. So I installed Gobuntu which is as Canonical describes as:

Gobuntu is a GNU/Linux operating system, derived from Ubuntu, that endeavors to adhere to the Free Software Foundation’s four freedoms and intends to provide a base for other free software platforms to build upon with minimal modification required. It does this by only including open-source non-restricted software. This means there will be no firmware, drivers, applications, or content included in Gobuntu that does not include the full source or whose license does not provide the right to use, study, modify, and redistribute the body of work.

and on my laptop has worked out great. I have an all centrino setup so all of the drivers are free. The only non-free packages I have installed are FireFox and Flash. Before any one gets a going here is what the FSF has to say about the Mozilla Public License:

Mozilla Public License (MPL)

This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; unlike the X11 license, it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the MPL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the MPL for this reason.

However, MPL 1.1 has a provision (section 13) that allows a program (or parts of it) to offer a choice of another license as well. If part of a program allows the GNU GPL as an alternate choice, or any other GPL-compatible license as an alternate choice, that part of the program has a GPL-compatible license.

So if you don’t wanna count that then the only non-free software I have on there is Flash.

The same is true for my desktop excluding one giant pain in the ass… the nVidia GLX driver. I must say that this is a point of sadness for me. The only bloody thing (other than Flash) that keeps me from total software freedom is driver… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhH! With the nv driver I was stuck with the ultra high resolution of 800×600, which is not gonna work, I lived with it for a week and just can’t do it. ATi is releasing documentation in the next 6 months or so, and once a free-driver is out from that, i will be making the purchase of a new graphics card. Good job nVida fscked again!!!

So now when I am a pompous ass about software freedom you know that I am eating my own dog food (except flash)

Adobe Pushes DRM for Flash


I’m sooo upset by this right now that I can’t think, I’ll update this post as soon as I calm down…

**edit** because of the text posted below I have uninstalled flash, I have installed gnash insted. I know that gnash isn’t going to do me much good, but I am hoping that it will get to the point where I can get buttons and things like that work. I am still royally pissed, and am boycotting all adobe products.

also there is a great comment on my blog (threethirty.us/2008/02/adobe-pushes-drm-for-flash.html)**edit**

Posted to eff.org’s DeepLinks by Seth Schoen

The immense popularity of sites like YouTube has unexpectedly turned Flash Video (FLV) into one of the de facto standards for Internet video. The proliferation of sites using FLV has been a boon for remix culture, as creators made their own versions of posted videos. And thus far there has been no widespread DRM standard for Flash or Flash Video formats; indeed, most sites that use these formats simply serve standalone, unencrypted files via ordinary web servers.

Now Adobe, which controls Flash and Flash Video, is trying to change that with the introduction of DRM restrictions in version 9 of its Flash Player and version 3 of its Flash Media Server software. Instead of an ordinary web download, these programs can use a proprietary, secret Adobe protocol to talk to each other, encrypting the communication and locking out non-Adobe software players and video tools. We imagine that Adobe has no illusions that this will stop copyright infringement — any more than dozens of other DRM systems have done so — but the introduction of encryption does give Adobe and its customers a powerful new legal weapon against competitors and ordinary users through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Recall that the DMCA sets out a blanket ban on tools that help “circumvent” any DRM system (as well as the act of circumvention itself). When Flash Video files are simply hosted on a web site with no encryption, it’s unlikely that tools to download, edit, or remix them are illegal. But when encryption enters the picture, entertainment companies argue that fair use is no excuse; Adobe, or customers using Flash Media Server 3, can try to shut down users who break the encryption without having to prove that the users are doing anything copyright-infringing. Even if users aren’t targeted directly, technology developers may be threatened and the technologies the users need driven underground.

Users may also have to upgrade their Flash Player software (and open source alternatives like Gnash, which has been making rapid progress, may be unable to play the encrypted streams at all). Third-party software that can download Flash Video, like the most recent RealPlayer, will also break. But Adobe now has an incentive to push the use of DRM: it’s only available to sites that use Flash Media Server 3 software, which starts at over $4,000 (with extra fees depending on the number of simultaneous streams).

Furthermore, the prospect of widespread adoption of DRM restrictions on Flash threatens to squash a growing tradition of expressive fair use of online video — a practice effectively in its infancy that, left unfettered, would be a dynamic solution to our failing effort to teach media literacy. Before we understand how to read media messages, we must first learn how to speak their language — and we learn that language by playing with and remixing the efforts of others. DRM, by restricting the remixing of Flash videos, stands to bankrupt a rich store of educational value by foreclosing the ability of students and teachers to “echo others” by remixing videos posted online.

Take the example of “A Vision of Students Today” vs. “(Re)Visions of Students Today”. The first “Vision” YouTube video is an artful critique of higher education’s failure to come up with new models of instruction that engage the modern student; the second “(Re)Vision” YouTube video is an incisive observation of higher education’s crisis in diversity (summarily expressed by the lack of diversity in the original “Vision” video). The original and the remix support each other to instruct with an influence above and beyond the power of either video alone.

Outside the halls of academia, we can see that the ability to openly download and remix video is part of a new ecosystem of amateur entertainment — watch Drama Prairie Dog and its countless responses:

* “Dramatic Prairie Dog vs. Kung Fu Baby (Best Remix Ever)”
* “Hollywood Zombies Dramatic Prarire Dog”
* “Dramatic Look Bond Remix”
* Drama Prairie Dog – Zoolander
* “Drama Prairie Dog — Kill Bill”
* (an obligatory Star Wars-related remix) “Darthmatic Chipmunk”

As we noted above, remixers who find and use tools that break the Flash Video encryption could be sued, even if their transformative creations would otherwise have been fair use.

Finally, there’s a classic suite of arguments against DRM that will be as true for online video as they were for music. DRM doesn’t move additional product. DRM is grief for honest end-users. And there’s no reason to imagine that new DRM systems will stop copyright infringement any more effectively than previous systems.