Archive for August, 2010
TSA lied with impunity, airport body scan images can and are stored after all…so smile you’re on candid camera, naked
The TSA had claimed that electronic body scan images “cannot be stored or recorded,” and yet apparently tens of thousands of them made their way magically onto federal police agencies systems. These full body scanners, some using millimeter wave technology others backscatter X-rays, are now found in airports all over. You may have gone through them without even knowing it and been photographed nude practically.
Recently, some doctors and medical scientists, even some involved in the pioneering work of this technology now say that there are health risks to these scanners not just privacy issues… (see previous posts here..)
Ironically, there’s no major apology about “sex, lies, and videotape”. The TSA and the government seem to assume that everyone understood when they said images cannot be stored or recorded, that it actually meant that OF COURSE they WILL be recorded and stored! So no need to apologize because it should have been obvious from the get-go! They laugh because apparently they can do whatever they want and no one can stop them…”let them eat cake”…(just bread and games/entertainment will be the end of all…)
Is your vote becoming worthless? Voter enacted Proposition 8, making marriage between man and woman is overturned by a judge, is Federal uber alles? How about the State, how about the people?
Regardless of where you stand on Proposition 8, you should be very much disappointed at the total disregard of the people when judges so easily rule against what the people have decided. Some might not care since this time the ruling is in their favor, but what about the legalization of marijuana? Wouldn’t these same people jump up and down and ‘demand’ the authority of the state to run things inside its own way? They don’t like it when the Feds come cracking down on the medicinal pot dispensaries, yet where are they to defend the state’s rights when it comes to upholding Proposition 8?
Supporting something you know is wrong, just because it benefits you at the time will eventually come back and bite you, what goes around comes around, the Biblical ‘you reap what you sow’ moral law/karma will always prevail in the end. Everyone should learn to stick together on the importance to protect STATE rights first of all or be ready to accept Federales Uberalles!
Long Live Vegas! I mean Sony Vegas, Las Vegas will likely burn in hell ;) How to fix Vegas by adding biggest missing feature, DirectShow support with AviSynth and video file wrapper
Sony’s Vegas Pro video editing and FX software is a nice little gem. It is a great stepping (up) stone for those who want to move to a very powerful yet very intuitively easy to learn video editing/compositing/effects system. Vegas Pro, for about $599, although some educational and other versions can be had for $300 and upgrades even cheaper, has some feature which some systems costing ten times as much don’t have. Due to its connection with “SoundForge”, a wonderful professional audio software, Vegas Pro also handles audio with ease. You can scrub live through even your Divx videoclips with ease, not just uncompressed clips, and you can hear the audio perfectly synced at varying rates, even backwards.
The most compelling feature though is its clear workspace layout and naturally intuitive workflow which allows one to just figure it out easily as you go, no reading manuals all day long. Also, because Sony had a big hand in the AVCHD HighDef codecs, it will probably handle your HD camcorder footage better than just about anything else. And although it supports a very very wide range of codecs both for import and export/rendering I did find a big flaw.
It seems like Sony Vegas does not support DirectShow, but uses VFW and uses its own codecs instead of the Windows “SYSTEM” codecs. Here’s the problem with this…
I did some screencaptures, I used the DIVX version 6.7 to encode the screencaptures and then opened them up with Sony to view a garbled mess. You see, with other players, they simply call on the DIVX system decoder and it works very nicely but apparently Sony Vegas Pro’s Divx decoder is a bit dated. There’s no solution to this even using Xvid Nic’s Four CC changer (which can help you get some Xvid files to “open” if vegas refuses to…)…..well actually there is a solution, here’s what I found that works for me.
Go Install AviSynth from here:AviSynth
Go Install Avs2Avi wrapper
(You can then right click on the .inf file and select “install” after which when you right click on an AviSynth file with .avs extension you can select “Wrap into Avi”)
After you did the above, all you need to do is open Notepad or some good ascii text editor and create a simple file with ending .avs extension with something like this in it:
DirectShowSource(“C:\MyVideos\DivxVideo.avi”, fps=24, audio = true)
Of course, change the path to correspond to your file path…. then do a right click on this .avs file you made and choose “Wrap into AVI” and then just drag and drop the resulting AVI file into Vegas Video.
That’s it! The video should then be working fine inside Vegas, using the DirectShow decoder. I should mention that the audio channel didn’t carry through, so I imported it separately.
OK if you want AUDIO to work also….I just got it to work using VFAPI…
Go download VFAPI here
Also download the READAVS from here
It’s important, because it wont work without the ReadAVS files.
To install VFAPI, after extracting the archive, VFAPIConv-1.05-EN.zip, run the batch file vifpset.bat , after that unzip the ReadAVS.zip archive and edit with NOTEPAD or other text editor the ReadAVS.reg registry file so that it reads something like this:
Please note that you’ll have to change the path to wherever you decide to put the “ReadAVS.dll” file….above, it means it expects to find it in the root of drive C which is probably not where you extracted it, so change that to reflect real location of readavs.dll file.
Afterward just run VFAPIConvEN.exe click Add, open the same .AVS text file from before , say ok, and then click “convert” button…it will take a bit and will create an .avi file for you which you can simply drag and drop into Sony Vegas Pro and this time it worked nicely for me, importing both the audio and video. The resulting .avi file created by VFAPI is almost 30megs compared to the very small 100Kilobytes .avi file when using the avs2avi method above. (The source/original divx6.7 video file is a little over 50megs)
(apparently there is yet another method using a program called MakeAvis which is included with ffdshow?)
On a related note? What’s your favorite high quality codec for small file size yet quality rendering?
It’s been quite some time since I played around with Adobe After Effects, perhaps several years. And yet even with version 4 and on and on….it was quite “complete” in its features. It had and still has the widest range of plugins available. The latest incarnations, the CS series, currently the Adobe After Effects CS5 mainly adds native 64-bit OS support over CS4 along with Roto Brush tool and the mocha plugin.
Now I was always curious why so many raved about Eyeon (eyeonline website) FUSION years ago when it had no sound/audio support, and apparently years later it still doesn’t. The same thing can be said for D2/thefoundry’s NUKE or NukeX, again absolutely no support for audio, not even playback, forget about keeping it in the final render. Some would have you think that’s not a big deal….which is ludicrous.
Sure it isn’t ‘bad’ to own Nuke, NukeX or Fusion but my recommendation is if $10k is a lot of money to you, stick to Adobe After Effects. Its an unbelievable bargain for the power within it, and you won’t have to go through headaches of manually synchronizing audio clips. (frame numbering never agrees between applications with certain encoders like Divx etc and when you base it on time its not as accurate and forget about effects that change the timeline since then resyncing your audio will have you pulling your hair out and then jumping off a cliff.)
So why don’t these so called “high-end” FILM video compositing systems support audio? Adobe After Effects does, and does it well, which allows for easy usage of such great fx such as Trapcode Sound Keys and others. The music, audio/sound effects in a movie or a commercial are just as important as the video and there is no doubt being able modify one without having to redo the other is a very huge time saver.
So no, not having audio support doesn’t make those programs “cool” and “high-end” and not “bloated”, it makes them incomplete, a work in progress, beta software, at least not something that can be used without crutches.
I say this out of disappointment, because I really do prefer the NODE based workflow. I really enjoyed Silicon Grail, Rayz and also NothingReal Shake (then bought by apple to be cannabilized).
I’m now very curious about Autodesk TOXIK (it seems to borrow a lot from the ultimate Autodesk/Discreet FFI, Flame, Fire, Inferno along with their great keyers which used to be SGI only back in the days), which has been renamed Autodesk Maya Compositor and is included with Maya 2010. It also has a nice nodal based workflow reminiscent of SHAKE and I bet it probably can handle AUDIO, because Autodesk is a ‘real’ company
Spyware everywhere? please nuke it from NukeX, it reflects badly on D2, the foundry, see PluginInstaller.exe
It has been discovered that the ever growing in popularity video compositing piece of software called Nuke or NukeX seems to have some spyware of sorts. Apparently, during installation, the PluginInstaller.exe which is automatically invoked tries to send information to the company’s servers, to the IP of The Foundry. Apparently the snippet of data sent may even be the user’s email address if they happened to be logged in to their account at that time, even if they did not provide any of that info during the installation. (Supposedly the firewall software caught the attempt to transmit snippets of data to their servers…)
Perhaps this should be double checked since it seems a bit unbelievable that legit companies would be doing this much. I would think likely maybe the PluginInstaller.exe was just trying to announce to their servers that someone had installed their software…and not to harvest any specific personal identification information. Also, apparently if the PluginInstaller.exe can not reach the network/internet, it stops/crashes and will not install.
Should windows’ built-in firewall warn users of programs attempting to send data out to the internet? It might get annoying seeing that each time you initiate a computer ’search’ there’s some packets sent to microsoft servers. Not to mention all the software ‘update’ programs you might have running.
Are there any really good firewalls out there that let you specify which programs can access what range of the network or internet? Let’s say you want to allow the program to access local network only, or perhaps to block it from communicating with a range of IPs or domain names but allow it access to the rest of the internet.