Archive for May 17th, 2010

Encoding Mac Video on a PC – Help?

Dear loyal readers:

I have a problem.

Uncle Sam – or one of Uncle Sam’s noodly appendages, anyway – has provided me a very interesting video that is roughly ninety minutes in length.

I’d like to rip a copy and put it on the web for others to view.

The video was burned to a DVD-R with a Mac. (Uncle Sam has Macs? When did that happen?)

I do not own a Mac. I don’t really want to own one. (I already have… seven? eight? computers.)

My DVD player can play the DVD.

None of my Windows computers can read the DVD. (I haven’t tried a Linux machine yet, because none of my Linux boxes have DVD drives, and none of the Live CDs I have provide much in the way of multimedia support.)

So… anyone know of an easy way to read a Mac-formatted video DVD under Windows XP, and transcode that into a format that’s a bit more, you know, standards-based, and widely compatible?

(Or, failing that, anyone feeling philanthropic enough to donate a grand or so, so I can get a Macbook, rip the video, and upload it to Liveleaks or something?)

I probably know people with Macs I can bug to do it for me, but I try to be, like, self-sufficient, given the choice.

Thanks in advance…

Published in: Geekiness | on May 17th, 2010 | 5 Comments »

Cigarettes = Bad For Kids. Heroin and Cocaine? Not So Much.

In the United States, advertising of tobacco products – and to a slightly lesser extent, alcoholic beverages – are among the most-restricted forms of speech around. Tobacco advertising is banned outright on television and radio.

Why?

Ostensibly, because the government doesn’t want susceptible individuals – specifically children – exposed to cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in any way, shape, or form.

It’s the leading preventable cause of death, don’t you know.

So, you know, that’s why you never hear ads for cigarettes on the radio. (Remember radio?) Federal law, yo.

Overall, though, the moral guardians are kind of missing the big picture, I’m afraid.
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Published in: General | on May 17th, 2010 | No Comments »