MythTV Mailing List Archive with RSS Feeds

I was just looking for an RSS feed for the mythtv-users mailing list and I stumbled across David Jeske post regarding an “experimental archive browse/search software” that he co-developed with Brandon Long.

In addition to search and threaded views of posts, their tool also includes RSS feeds in many flavors … although the feeds only include summaries and there’s no Atom feed yet, but suffice it to say, I like this trend.

Posted in PVR

Death of the Password

CNET has an article that highlights some of Mr. Gates’ comments during a speech at the RSA Security conference held this week in SF.

In particular, the following comment, which we’ve heard before with the hype around Smart Cards, but hopefully the obvious end to passwords will come to fruition sooner this time than later (this time).

“Bill Gates predicted the demise of the traditional password because it cannot “meet the challenge” of keeping critical information secure.”

In addition, some information regarding MSFT’s own “tamper resistant” biometric ID-card software was revealed:

“Microsoft also demonstrated “tamper resistant” biometric ID-card software, developed by its own research arm, that can be used by both small and large companies to create ID cards using a digital camera, an inkjet printer and a business-card scanner.”

“To create an ID card, the software requires a photograph and some basic information about a person, such as name and date of birth. This information is processed by the software to create a digital signature in the form of a bar code, which is also printed onto the ID card. If any of the information on the ID card is altered, it will not correlate to the signature and the card is rejected, according to Microsoft.”

“Gavin Jancke, development manager at Microsoft Research, who demonstrated the software, said one of the key aspects of the system is that it does not require a database because all the information is already stored on the card.”

Hmm, I suppose they could be printed on “actual” Passports too…

Local News and RSS Feeds

Perhaps I’m late to mention this because I missed the local news feature the first time I looked at Topix, but thanks to Tim Bray’s recent comments, I took another look at Topix’s beta targeted news service and to my delight they also have a RSS “feed for every ZIP code in the US, a feed for every public company, a feed for every sports team, a feed for every movie star, band and musician…and more” (via Rich Skrenta Blog)

Subscribed! (Well, not to all of them ;-)

Posted in RSS

Microsoft tests InfoPath update

Via CNET I just read that today Microsoft released an update for InfoPath

“Microsoft released a trial version Monday of its first major update to InfoPath, the new electronic forms application released last year as part of the Office family.”

“The beta version of Service Pack 1 (SP1) includes several significant new features, said Microsoft product manager Bobby Moore, along with the typical performance enhancements and bug fixes included in a service pack…”

“Updates to InfoPath include new security features that allow extended use of digital signatures, Moore said, plus full support for handwriting recognition and other elements of Microsoft’s tablet PC format. The updated InfoPath also allows users to swap forms as e-mail attachments, rather than having to retrieve them from a central server.”

“The update includes significant changes for developers, Moore said, including new scripting support for Microsoft’s Visual Studio.Net and Visual Basic environments. The new version also enhances support for use of custom dialects, or schemas, of XML (Extensible Markup Language), the basic language behind InfoPath and other e-forms products.”

I’m updating it right now…
Correction: I’m trying to find the download link. Office Update doesn’t seem to supply it. Odd.
Update: I found the InfoPath 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP-1) Preview Download Link.
Note however:

“Before you install the preview software, you must first remove any versions of InfoPath 2003 that are installed on your computer.”

What Exit: Google’s Location Search

I’m starting to find the beta of Google’s Location Search to be very handy and much faster than using my old stand-by.

Doc has even noticed that you can find local hot-spots in your area via the tool.

If addition, I found a neat little trick to add a localized link to your favorites or “bookmarklet” for quick access.

Go to Google’s Location Search page, enter your address into the address field with nothing in the search terms area, then click search.

The resulting page will be a customize search page for your area. Simply add this link to your favorites or drag it to your links bar.

Now if Google’s Location Search could only find my keys, I’d be a happy camper.

On second thought, finding lost objects isn’t so far-fetched with the proliferation of RFID’s and localized search… hmm …

The New Yahoo in Town

So far I’ve found Yahoo’s new search to be for the most part comparable with Google in most respects. Even the interface is minimalist. Well, that is in relation to other more gregarious Yahoo interfaces.

I even like the XML/RSS restrictive search features. Albeit it would be cooler to be able to get the search results as an RSS feed.

However, I found that Yahoo’s image search is suspiciously similar to Google’s.
For example, compare these image search results on Google and Yahoo.

Although it wasn’t apparent from the site, perhaps they’re still using Google in some areas.

Longhorn is not Entrenched in WinFS

Tom’s Hardware Guide provides an in-depth review of Windows Future Storage (WinFS). Including some points I wasn’t quite sure of myselft…

“Microsoft will not be building an entirely new file system after all. Windows Future Storage (WinFS) is integrated into Longhorn as a modular extension to file management.”

“Technologically, Longhorn is in any case not entrenched in WinFS. The OS works just as well on FAT32 volumes. Conversely, WinFS can be used in other systems, too…”

Good stuff!

I want my RSSTV!

I learned via PVRBlog about Andrew Grumet’s proposal to the TiVo and DIY PVR communities regarding sharing your recordings among friends via RSS — in essence, Andrew’s idea is an application of social networking, but perhaps you’re best served by reading through Andrew’s proposal.

Here are a few choice quotes:

“Today my TiVo is networked and programmable. Do-it-yourself PVRs are on the rise, and we know that the open source ones like MythTV are programmable. Perhaps some of the commercial ones are too. So maybe it’s time for us to flex some programmer muscle and code up our PVRs to leverage the power of the Net. We ought to at least be able to add the ability to share our great taste with friends. But probably a lot more.”

Q Are copyrighted TV programs exchanged over the Net?”
A No. Only schedule information is exchanged. That information may be derived from any number of sources, including XMLTV or even hand-typing the information into an HTML form while glancing at a TV Guide. RSSTV feeds will typically contain selective information, e.g. “here are the three programs worth watching on February 3rd”, so manual-entry is a plausible option.”(Read the comments here)

Hmm, I think it would be fairly trivial to general an RSS feeds from my MythTV schedule or recorded programs list via MythWeb, but who would subscribe? (mental note: keep an eye on this)

Posted in PVR

Product Blogging

I recently started reading Chris Pratley blog. Chris is the Microsoft OneNote Group Program Manager and it appears he has been publicly blogging for only a weeks. Yet in just a few entries, Chris not only provides unique insight into MSFT’s product development practices and techniques, but I also feel that the blog broadens the user community’s perspective of the product.

Specifically, you can also see how this type of public communication about a product (and an excellent one I might add) can spawn user feedback that will undoubtedly influence the product’s direction.

Of course, user feedback in a public forum is noting new, mailing lists, newsgroups et al, have been the venue for this fodder for many years.

However, I think the blog format enables a contextual history and candidness that seem to get lost in any of the aforementioned formats. Perhaps it’s merely the signal-to-noise ratio or the initial monolog-ish nature that a blog entry carries, but whatever ‘it’ is, I think more people in Chris’ position should follow suit.

As an aside, product blogging from the inside is nothing particularly new, Macromedia has been doing it for over a year as well as many-many smaller shops, but I think seeing Microsoft do it so well seems to legitimize the format to the point where Product Blogging or Service Blogging for that matter should be a requirement of any successful management team.

Canon 300D Digital Rebel in Paris

Alain Briot, described as one of the most successful landscape photographers working in the U.S. today, takes his Canon 300D Digital Rebel to Paris and details his intriguing conclusions on Luminous Landscape, such as the following:

“In evaluating the final results from my two weeks photographing in Paris, and while actually looking at prints done from my 300D images, I find these prints to be comparable to 4×5″, in terms of sharpness and overall image quality, in size up to 11×14 and maybe even larger”

Thanks for the link Les! (When will we see your photoblog? ;)

Yet Another PVR Install Log

This time by IBM luminary Sam Ruby. The post details the start of his experience building a dedicated MythTV box based on Debian, but the wisdom will eventually…

“… be automated, published, and shared.”

“But, first I have to get it working repeatably…”

We expect nothing less from you Sam ;-)

Posted in PVR

More First Experiences with MythTV

It sounds like Tom Walsh over at Newsforge and I share many of the same first experiences and conclusions in regard to building and using a Home Theater PC (HTPC) based on MythTV.

Tom Walsh writes: “Would I say that anyone could put together their own PVR? No! It takes a level of competency and comfort with Linux to attempt such an undertaking. You need a good deal of patience with often time-confusing documentation. But if you persist, ask questions of those in IRC, and purchase high-end hardware, I am confident that you too will be satisfied with your results.”

I agree. Although, I’m still having some minor problems like “tinny” audio that appears randomly on recorded programs, but I’ve read that it’s fixable with a driver update. Plus I need to upgrade to the latest MythTV (.14) relase.

Overall however, we’re still very happy with our “STeVo” and our TV viewing habits have certainly changed in a good way — like for example we’re watching less (especially commercials!!)

Posted in PVR