McWrap Chevre

Normally, I like the overlap of cultures, the boundaries of exploration and what comes from that exploration. But this three-way Frankenstien’s combination of French cheese, wraps (not sure where to attribute those–I think the US version is mostly from burritos, but there’s also Arabic pita wraps) and American is somehow best posted on Halloween:

IMG 0460

Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-31

  • RT @alexhutton Seriously? DHS doesn't *do* threat modeling? My rage is like a 1000 TSA exposed to cancer causing back scatter devices. #
  • RT @ACLU FBI issued 143,074 National Security Letters '03-05 & reported 0 terrorism prosecutions as a result. Zilch. #
  • RT @EthanZ Background on @alaa's detention for refusal to accept legitimacy of military prosecutor, from @globalvoices #

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Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-30

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Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-28

  • RT @dgwbirch I'm sure talks will be fun, but am looking forward to playing the new version of "Privacy" the card game #
  • I accidentally clicked allow Firefox to share my location. Where the hell is the undo and why isn't it in privacy preferences? #
  • ("Location" doesn't bring up anything in help) #
  • Of course. You navigate back to the untrusted page, select tools, page info, go to the security tab, and unselect it. How discoverable. #
  • RT @bobblakley RT @jaysonstreet How Steve Jobs drove without license plates < wonderful! << thanks @Joncallas #
  • RT @rcalo The ACLU of Northern California is hiring a policy program assistant. #job #
  • Machinewerk #lessexcitingbandnames #

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Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-27

  • RT @PogoWasRight Congressman: Secret Report On #TSA Pat Downs, Body Scanner Failures Will “Knock Your Socks Off” #
  • RT @peterhoneyman i fly DTW where they are testing chat down. i opt out and clam up. they get all dour and nasty. #
  • RT @e3i5: Every picture ULed to Facebook is examined for possible matches with offenders, & referred to police <<wow #
  • RT @joshwolf More on Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran, who's skull was fractured last night after being shot by OPD. #
  • RT @youthprivacy PhotoDNA actually looks for reported pics of abuse (to stop their transmission), not for offenders themselves (I think) #
  • MT @Chris_Moody TSA worker who wrote "Get your freak on" & taped it to a traveler's vibrator is [still employed] #

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DLNA Servers for the Mac

Very short version: Finding a DLNA player that supported the Mac and my new Oppo player was time consuming. Twonky is ok, but I would like something prettier, more reliable, and reasonably secure. I wanted to blog my experience in case it helps other folks.

Also, as I posted this, I came across Ed Bott’s “In the battle for the living room, the ghost of Steve Jobs looms large.” I think Ed gets it mostly right, but undervalues the importance of protocols in the living room. With good and open protocols, the ability for any one player to “control your living room” is dramatically reduced. Your ability to choose between feature sets, experiences and user-interfaces will be higher. But creating good protocols in this space seems to be hard. It appears that a lot of devices aren’t effectively talking to each other. That allows for a comparative advantage for the big players.

Anyway, I recently picked up an OPPO Blue Ray player, because it allowed me to replace three boxes (CD, DVD and Ruku) with a single box. It also supports “DNLA” media streaming. Based on “DLNA on OSX, done right,” I downloaded MediaLink, which, contrary to that blogger’s experience, it didn’t ‘just work.’

I emailed OPPO, and filled out the bug form on Digital River’s site, and Oppo responded in less than 6 hours on a Saturday on Labor Day weekend. Perhaps not the spirit of labor day, but I’m impressed. They hadn’t had any experience with that player, and suggested I try another.

So I’ve downloaded four other free players, figuring that there’s a lot of great, modification-friendly software out there. I looked at:

  • Kinsky Desktop from Linn. Linn is a super-respected British manufacturer of high end audio gear. Their package is small, which I like, and came in a .pkg which worried me a little-what’s it installing? It seems (based on lsbom) to only install in /Applications, which is odd, but whatever. Didn’t work out of the box, and I didn’t feel like debugging.
  • TVMobili is also super-small. The terms of service are bizzare, and read like they’re using the same contract for the software and their web site. They also seem to demand your home address. I did not consent to their contract.
  • XBMC is an application which seems to be designed to turn your computer into the center of a home theater. It’s a full screen app that appears designed to be used with a remote control. I couldn’t find a way to make it not run in full screen mode. When the MacOS firewall dialog came up to allow network connections, I couldn’t get the mouse out of the XMBC screen onto the Mac dialog. A very impressive, polished looking system if you want a media center PC, but that’s not what I wanted.
  • Plex is a large package (109MB), but it seems reasonably well behaved, using system APIs to open a hole in the firewall. It has a decent install process, only slightly odd language in the EULA, and politely tells you things like iTunes music will be automatically covered, and allows you to opt out of their data collection system. It also politely tells you where it’s going to go to get file meta data. It also offers to stream things like TED, CNET and Al Jazeera for you, and that part of the install was slow. (On the order of many minutes with a net connection that was full of software bits. Plex also seems to want to be a home theater system. The mouse doesn’t work. I popped into their discussion web site, and was told that Plex only works with Plex clients.

I’ve also looked at several non-free packages:

  • PlayBack. Looks really nice. Has some options I’d prefer, like Aperture support. However, their FAQ currently says:

    Leopard and Snow Leopard users: If you are unable to see Playback on your PS3, make sure that the built-in firewall is turned off.

    That’s a show stopper for me. I’ve emailed and asked for more details (in other places their FAQ is very detailed), but not heard back yet.

  • Majestic Media Server seemed to work out of the box, but the video skipped in a big way. (This was version 1.2.8) It does pop a warning about an inability to bind to a port, but has an ignore option.
  • Twonkey Media Server does work, but the Mac UI is slow and renders as a web app. (Using 6.0.34)

A one page that was particularly helpful and didn’t come up early in my searching was: “Oppo BDP-83 DLNA/UPnP thread

Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-25

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Sleepless in Seattle?

Reportedly, Seattle police have begun issuing tickets to drivers who honk their horns after 10 PM in support of the Occupy protest there.

To the extent that the police are only doing this to those expressing a specific point of view, there seems to be a legitimate issue. I am certain that the police would say they’d enforce the law equally, but it’s just that all the honking is for Occupy support.

If I were a Seattle prankster, I’d have a “Honk if you support law enforcement” sign made, and test that claim in whatever passes for a conservative ‘hood out there.

CIA Reveals Identity of Bin Laden Hunter

In the Atlantic Wire, Uri Friedman writes “Did the CIA Do Enough to Protect Bin Laden’s Hunter?” The angle Friedman chose quickly turns to outrage that John Young of Cryptome, paying close attention, was able to figure out from public statements made by the CIA, what the fellow looks like.

After you’re done being outraged, send thanks to John for calling attention to the issue.

The New York Observer story, “How a White House Flickr Fail Outed Bin Laden Hunter ‘CIA John’” is also quite interesting.

Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-09

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Twitter Updates from Adam, 2011-10-08

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Twitter updates

I’ve decided to experiment with pushing my Twitter feed onto the blog. What do you think?

For non-Twitter users, the RT means “re-tweet,” amplifying things that others have said and MT means modified tweet, where the RT plus comment don’t quite fit.

If someone has php code to resolve URLs into real URLs, that would be nice, and the Twitter Tools plugin seems easy to hack on.