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Posts from the ‘Tech’ Category

The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 24

September 4th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech24.mp3]

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MicroSoft means Small and Weak

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months

Microsoft buys Nokia’s phone business for $7.1 billion

U.S. spy network’s successes, failures and objectives detailed in ‘black budget’ summary

Password-cracking software runs at 8 million guesses per second

Until Next Week...

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 23

August 21st, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech23.mp3]

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Android Curious

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

Ubuntu edge campaign fails

Webcam spying goes mainstream as Miss Teen USA describes hack

Google announces “Help-outs,” a help-for-cash video chat service

451 error

NSA files: why the Guardian in London destroyed hard drives of leaked files

David Miranda feels 'invaded' after password disclosure

 

Ubuntu Studio

Ubuntu Studio is a free and open operating system for creative people, and is geared toward multimedia production.

Ubuntu Studio is a free and open source operating system, and an official flavor of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Studio is the most widely used multimedia orientated GNU/Linux distribution in the world. It comes preinstalled with a selection of the most common free multimedia applications available, and is configured for best performance for the Ubuntu Studio defined workflows: AudioGraphics,VideoPhotography and Publishing.

Until Next Week...

 

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 22

August 15th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech22.mp3]

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Rippin' Discs

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

No, this isn’t a scene from Minority Report. This trash can is stalking you

Every Important Person In Bitcoin Just Got Subpoenaed By New York's Financial Regulator

Hannah Smith suicide: David Cameron writes letter to grieving dad promising action against trolls

Ripping Blu Rays and DVD's

The two pieces of software used to rip your media are:

MakeMKV - 30 days Free, $50 after that

MakeMKV is your one-click solution to convert video that you own into free and patents-unencumbered format that can be played everywhere. MakeMKV is a format converter, otherwise called "transcoder". It converts the video clips from proprietary (and usually encrypted) disc into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way. The MKV format can store multiple video/audio tracks with all meta-information and preserve chapters. There are many players that can play MKV files nearly on all platforms, and there are tools to convert MKV files to many formats, including DVD and Blu-ray discs.

Handbreak - Free, Open Source

Handbreak is a general-purpose, free, open-source, cross-platform, multithreaded video transcoder software application that can used to convert video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.

Both applications are available for Mac, Linux and Windows.

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 21

August 8th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech21.mp3]

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The X-Pi

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

California issues first cellphone Amber Alert

pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!

FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects

Researchers say Tor-targeted malware phoned home to NSA

 

XBMC on the Raspberry Pi

I tried Raspbmc and Xbian. I looked at the OpenELEC website but it looked like more hassle than I had time to deal with.

Raspbmc:

Installation uses a Python script in Linux. For Windows has a GUI exe. Takes a few minutes to image the SD card. After boot it takes about 30 mins with several reboots.

Once it’s finished it boots into XBMC. Although playback is very smooth, the interface is very laggy. Was able to play Xvid and x264 perfectly. Even 1080p files played perfectly (better than on a decent Linux desktop with VLC).

Strange problem with some flv files ripped from iPlayer using get_iplayer where it skips the first 30 seconds or so. Otherwise seems to play pretty well.

Trivial to find and play files from a USB drive.

Also fairly easy to point it to my local apache server. Slight buffering pause but otherwise played fine. Was able to stream 1080p despite the limited speed of the ethernet port (shared with USB on the Pi).

Only problem is that some video files have subtitles in them. With most media players (like VLC) you can turn the subs on and off. Although with XBMC there is an option, it doesn’t work and the subs are stuck on. Maybe there is a menu option to turn this off. I couldn’t find one.

Xbian:

Website was down (509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded) but I was able to find the Sourceforge page and download the image file. There are installers for Windows, OS X and Linux but I just got the image and used dd to image the SD card.

Booted straight into XBMC with no scrolling text. Nice splash screen with progress bar.

Interface considerably smoother than Raspbmc but still not perfect.

Otherwise very similar in terms of playback etc.

XBMC in general:

XBMC is a great media centre. Not only does it play video and audio files, it also allows you to download add-on programs from a list. (I really like the fact that they don’t call them apps). I didn’t spend that much time playing with them but I saw things like Facebook and Gmail. I installed Gmail but it froze and crashed the Pi. I don’t think the Pi is really capable of running these apps due to its limited cpu but on a more powerful machine this would be a really nice extra.

Some problems:

Apart from the subtitles problem and the slightly laggy interface there is the main problem of input. Unless you have a wireless keyboard and mouse combo that works in Debian you will have to use a mouse to navigate the text input which instead of being QWERTY layout is in alphabetical order which is very difficult. It is possible to use a remote control but this is more expense and potential compatibility trouble.

There is also the problem of network connection. If you aren’t using ethernet then you will need a USB adapter that is supported in Debian. Both of my adapters need non-free firmware which again is an extra hassle to set up. If you are only planning to play files from a USB drive then obviously this isn’t a problem.

Conclusion:

If you have a Raspberry Pi lying around gathering dust then running Xbian makes perfect sense. Would I recommend buying a Pi specifically to use as a media centre? Not really unless you want to use it for other things as well.

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 20

July 31st, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech20.mp3]

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Porn FilTor

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

WikiLeaks Party officially launches in Australia, Assange to run for senate

Sleepwalking into censorship

Google Chromecast

Donate to Replicant and support free software on mobile devices

TOR

From wikipedia: “Tor (originally short for The Onion Router) is free software for enabling online anonymity. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide volunteer network consisting of more than three thousand relays to conceal a user's location or usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.”

Easiest way to get it running is with the Tor Browser Bundle. In Windows, Mac, and Linux just download the zip file, extract the folder inside it and run the binary. It takes about 20 seconds to connect to the Tor network and then it opens a browser.

Currently uses Firefox 17 with some extensions (Https-everywhere and Noscript) Pretty slow (about 200 KB/s max).

Exit nodes can see your traffic. Https helps prevent this to some extent.

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The Mind Tech Podcast: Episode 19

July 24th, 2013

MindSet

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mindsetcentral.com/mp3/mindtech/mtech19.mp3]

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Bit My Message

Hosted by Gareth Davies and Joe Ressington

The Mind Tech Podcast is your weekly dose of tech, privacy, security and conspiracy.

Each week we'll talk about the very latest tech news and the continued threats to internet freedom.

Mind Tech News:

Online pornography to be blocked by default, PM announces

Raising money for the Ubuntu Edge

Ubuntu Forums Hacked, 1.8 Million Passwords, E-Mails & Usernames Stolen

The Drobo Website

Android gets an Update

Bitmessage

In Windows just download the exe and run it.

In Ubuntu (or Mint) you just need 3 commands:

sudo apt-get install python openssl git python-qt4

and

git clone https://github.com/Bitmessage/PyBitmessage $HOME/PyBitmessage

and

cd $HOME/PyBitmessage/src/ && python bitmessagemain.py

Mac

Bitmessage is awesome. However, the installation process isn't particularly intuitive on the Mac.
I just got it working on OSX, and thought I'd share my findings.
First, make sure you have git and Homebrew installed. Then, you need to make sure homebrew is working.

Open Terminal, and run
Code: brew doctor
and fix anything critical that it returns.

Now, install the dependencies. You will need to update Python to 2.7.3. You probably have 2.7.2 at the moment.

Run Code: brew install python

to update to the correct version. In order for Bitmessage to run, you also need OpenSSL and PyQt. Install these with

Code: brew install pyqt openssl

Now, you're ready to actually download the Bitmessage source code. First, cd to your desktop or wherever you want to install it.

Then, run Code: git clone git://github.com/Bitmessage/PyBitmessage.git

to download it from GitHub.
Now, cd into PyBitmessage src folder, and enter

Code: python bitmessagemain.py

The Bitmessage UI should open. At this point you can minimize the terminal window, which should be spewing a ton of info.

It works! However, it's inconvenient to run these two commands every time we want to run bitmessage.

It's extremely easy to create a script to run it for us.

To do this, open textedit and enter

Code: python ~/Desktop/PyBitmessage/src/bitmessagemain.py

You may need to adjust the path to wherever you installed it.

Now, save it as Bitmessage.command. To make it executable enter

Code: chmod +x
but do not press enter. Hit space and drag the Bitmessage.command file into the Terminal window. Now hit enter, and the file will be executable.

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