Happy New Year everybody. May 2007 bring you all that you can expect
from a new year, including plenty of software that allows you to
exercise fair use and politicians that don't fall for the RIAA/MPAA/BSA
taglines and try to send half the world's population to the slammer
and snoop on their every step.
I'm back safe and sound from the longest vacation ever taken during
the existence of this site, and it seems things have been plenty
interesting while I was away. In the following, I'll try to summarize
some of the most important developments but I won't attempt to give
a full overview of everything that has happened during my holidays
- it would just be too much. Many thanks to all the people who posted
news in the news forum - I hope we can keep this going (it makes
my job easier, too :)
At some point I managed to get ahold of BBC News - just in time
to catch the RIAA's
latest attempt to get rid of that pesky online music site that dares
only pay the music creators, and not the labels (of course,
the newsguy completely missed to point out that allofmp3 does pay
royalties, they just don't license songs from the labels so all
the money goes directly to artists with none to the labels - and
it's quite understandable that you need your cut to buy the latest
Benz). And as usual, the engineer in me wonders how a lawsuit filed
in a country where a company doesn't even have a subsidiary makes
And sticking with the RIAA for a minute, here's your chance to
impact one of their lawsuits. The lawyers for one of the defendants
who decided to take matters to court are asking for opinions and
suggestions on how
to cross examine the RIAA's expert witness. The expert report
already raises some issues, e.g. the whole public IP address argument
(NAT anyone? in most protocols you never see so much as a private
IP address because everything is NAT'ed).
In a development that almost brought down the forum, another piece
of groundbreaking software has been posted just days ago. BackupHDDVD
is a tool which decrypts HD DVD files. It is not a crack for AACS
as widely reported, the software merely does what any HD DVD player
does.. decrypt the content with a legitimate key. The challenge
is getting that key. You may recall that the first DVD rip software
used a player key extracted from the Xing DVD player software -
a key that was later removed by the CSS licensing committee. Then
came rippers that brute-forced a valid key (VobDec being the first
one), and finally software like DVD Decrypter which can do pretty
much what any software DVD player does to get the proper key. Considering
AACS looks quite robust, brute-forcing keys is unlikely, but there
might be other ways in the future. For now, getting a valid key
will be the major challenge to enable access to HD DVD discs.
Speaking of the forum, there's a new
Firefox toolbar for it.
Decrypter 184.108.40.206 has an improved copy protection removal engine
and fixes the crashes that would occur if there's no main movie
Just before 2007 hits, Haali has released another version of his
It fixes issues with multiple screens, can show timestamps and there
are various fixes.
x264 got another nice speedup while I was away. New
multithreading code reduces the (already quite impercievable)
quality loss and increases performance on SMP systems by a respectable
Gordian Knot 2.40 uses a new XviD CSV build.
8.0 has reached RC1 status.
VobBlanker 220.127.116.11 has been released just in time for the new year.
It remembers the most recently used files for DVDs and other project
files, can split a cell into two, has buttons to go to cut points
in preview mode, can create smart gaps, splits files at 1 GB in
cell extraction, allows to configure default folders and there's
quite a few improvements and the usual assortment of bugfixes.
Cuttermaran 1.68a fixes a tff field issue that was introduced in
Player 5.0 final has been released. It contains bugfixes and
minor feature improvements.
3.6.0 has a recording service, allows channel switching during
recording by a simple click, shows the length of the recording session
in the context menu, allows the selection of the EPG source in the
channel editor and there are various other minor changes and bugfixes.
HDngn is an OpenGL
based video player that can interpolate between frames to create
a higher FPS video. Here's the forum
thread for feedback & discussion.
Last but not least, just in time for the new year a new
nightly ffdshow build has been made available on the official
sourceforge site of the ffdshow project.
And here's the really last one before I'm off to celebrate the
new year: Telco giant AT&T appears to be willing to make
concessions for network neutrality to get their merger with
BellSouth approved. I guess if it serves their own interest they're
suddenly rather flexible..