Thursday, February 11, 2010

Understanding HD & 3G-SDI Video In HD

I'm giving a talk at Broadcast Video Expo next week on HD infrastructure (10Gig Ethernet, OM3 fibre & 3G Video) and I was pleased to see several manufacturers are doing similair. The link is to Tektronix's 3G poster - all good stuff.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

All your paywalls are belong to us!

I subscribe to Broadcast (our industry's magazine) Tweet feed. Most of the tweets point to subscriber-only content which is annoying. I use a great site 'Be The Bot';

Have you ever been googleing something, and you see exactly what you need in the preview, but when you click the link it doesnt show you what you want to see? This is because the owners of the site are trying to trick you into buying something, or registering. It's a common tactic on the internet. When Google visits the site, it gives something called a "Header". This header tells the site who the visitor is. Google's header is "Googlebot". The programmers of the site check to see if the header says "Googlebot", and if it does, it opens up all of its content for only googles eyes.
Now, all we have to do is trick the site's headers, into thinking that we ARE google. That's what this site does. See the How to use box to the right for instructions on usage

It would appear that Broadcast don't even bother to do that - if you cut'n'paste the headline into Google and click the article you can read it all - it's the HREF tag they must be checking.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Cory Doctorow is a genius!

Aside from him being an insightful writer and having some very intelligent things to say on the whole DRM/copyright/copyleft debate he seems to be a nice chap - my eldest boy, Joe, had him sign his copy of Makers at a recent book signing and he had the time to talk and be interested in a nervous sixteen year-old.

Anyhow - do email disclaimers annoy you? They do me. A lawyer friend told me that most of them are unenforceable because they assume the disclaimer can carry more legal weight than the contents of the email (which of course they can't, according to Contract Law 101). Cory has a fantastic email sig;

READ CAREFULLY. By reading this email, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

1080/50 & 60P playback on a 2002-vintage PC? You betcha!

Brian and I had six of these Compaq W8000 workstation which our tech support department were disposing of. This is the machine that was the penultimate Avid Meridien machine and eight years ago was a real killer workstation-class computer. It has dual 2.2Ghz P4s (so a lot less pokey than the laptop I'm writing this on!) but by gutting the six old machines we made two computers that were pimped out. Add to that a £30 Radeon 3650 AGP (remember that!) card from eBay and you've got a machine that can playback 50P H.264 at 1080 without a slip. This is going to be my new PVR machine (replacing an elderly 2Ghz P4 which has been fine for SD but can't handle HD).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


It's been years since I saw this many broadcast engineering jobs.