A month in: WD TV Live Plus HD

So, about 6 weeks ago I bought a Roku.  Not one of the new ones, the previous one.  Yeah, like, 4 days before they announced.  Whatever.

I bought it mostly for streaming local media from my network, because of the roksbox channel.  Which is awesome, and works just like it’s supposed to.

But it only plays a tiny tiny few formats.  Namely, one.  MP4.  Most of my local media (legal dvd rips, that I own disks for, of course) is in MKV format, because it’s (IMO) technically superior.  Converting a variable framerate (VFR) MKV to an MP4 and not losing audio sync is a nightmare.  After sinking hours of research and prototyping into it, I gave up.  I sent to Roku back (Amazon’s return policy is *fantastic*).

I picked up a WD TV Live Plus HD.  Big name, little device.  Seriously, it’s tiny.  Think 400 page paperback, or 2/3rds of one of the WOT books, and you’re close.  It also plays every format I’ve tried.  Seriously.  MKV, MP4, AVI, WMV, everything.  It even does Netflix streaming, YouTube, and using a 3rd party something (I forget what) it’ll do Hulu too.

Yeah.

Best part?  Almost the same price.  Unless you want wireless with that, then you need an adapter.  My price?  All in, like, 140 bucks.  Pocket change.

HDMI output is beautiful, audio as well.  UI isn’t *real* pretty, but it doesn’t make my eyes bleed a bit.  The text could be bigger, but that’s my only UI complaint.

It’s not all unicorns and rainbows.  Sometimes it refuses to load my network share (SMB).  A semi-quick “don’t auto load this share”, “ok, now auto load it” has always fixed it.  Sometime it refuses to play the audio of a movie.  Simple solution is to play a different movie, which will play the sound, then the original one will work.  Again, semi-annoying, has always “fixed” it for me.  Sometimes it’ll load the network share, but cry about playing anything.  Same autoload toggle trick works here.

So a few minor nits.  In the big scheme of things?  Barely noticeable, and don’t impact the use of the device at all.

Take away?  If you want to stream local media, get one, it’s awesome.

Apple. Just figured out a way. To stop. Software piracy. Yup. That’s just happened.

via The Mac App Store, why it’s awesome. | Joel Esler

no, no they didn’t.  See the thriving jailbreak piracy “community.”  One I don’t endorse in the slightest, but it’s there, and they aren’t stopped by the DRM on app store apps in the slightest.

Two US journalists, Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, learned that the Russian merchant of death and his fleet played a particularly shameful role in Liberia, where Bout reportedly supplied the brutal warlord Charles Taylor with large numbers of weapons after Taylor had assumed power. Armed with these weapons, Taylor’s child soldiers, often high on drugs, became notorious for mowing down everything in their path.

via Trapping the Lord of War: The Rise and Fall of Viktor Bout [Der Spiegel]

I hate when journalists judge.  ”…particularly shameful…”?  How about you shut the hell up and stick to the facts?  Maybe it’s a fox news reporter, though.

.ssh/config’s uncle

Your ~/.ssh/config file (you’re using one, right?) has inheritance.  Oh yeah.

Say you have a bunch of servers at heroes.com, and you have to proxy to them.  Additionally, assume that you use the same user name on all of them but *one*.  Damn sysadmins.

You don’t have to remember to include the username on the odd one.  Well, remember the 2nd time because you’re first try doesn’t work.

Observe:

What ssh does (apparently), is collapse the options from the top down, for all matching entries. So when you ssh to superman.heroes.com, the connection is setup with the superman user, but using the proxy from the * entry.  

So, basically, any options on top override any on the bottom, but if the option is specified on the top, the one from the bottom is used.

I assume (and you know what happens) that this holds for multiple (more than 2) matching sections, but I have no idea.