Fixing video and audio

Dear Reader,

We play a lot of vids on diablog. And thanks to the content mafia and proprietary software companies it is quite troublesome.

Apple users cannot watch Flash files. Real Time Player and Windows Media Player do not comply with standards, and not all browsers are yet capable of playing HTML5 videos. That leaves us between a rock and a hard place. Just ask Glynsky, he is struggling with the issue constantly.

Until everyone has a browser, that supports and plays HTML5 vids, we try .mp4 files. At least Casper, Iren and Smiles can watch those without problems.

Now, for Glynsky and all others struggling, there is a wonderful website to convert files:

There you can convert pretty much any file into other formats. Whether it is an audio file, a video, an image, a document, ebooks, pretty much anything. I converted a flash vid into an .mp4 and it worked perfectly. So, next time someone cannot open a file of yours, send them there and have them convert it to what ever they can open.

And if I am totally bored at one point in my life, I might convert the ~400+ flash files on diablog for those Apple fan boys and fan girls. But don’t hold your breath.

Stay tuned,

Engine Room


debugging misinformation about coffee

Dear Reader,

If you have been around for a while, you know that coffee is one of my addictions. Or rather real espresso. If you are new, you can read about it here, here, and here.

And while I am at it, let me recommend a great book about the history of coffee, “The Coffee Trader” by David Liss,

You will also learn quite a bit about the history of Sephardic Jews in Europe.

When Glynsky first observed my espresso habit, he told me about meeting Mr. Illy once. Yes, the guy from that company. Here is what the guy said:

Continue reading “debugging misinformation about coffee”

A Book about (Restaurants in) NYC

Dear Reader,

Since I cannot cook, an omelet is a challenge for me, I heavily depend on restaurants to feed me. And some friends, but at some point is gets annoying – for them as well as me – to go through their fridges.

Besides my favorite way – wandering around – there are numerous others to find good or even the best restaurants in NYC:

  • the obvious, sadly now part of Google
  • always current, Time Out NY, yes, I know, originally British, so what?
  • the New York Magazine, a bit grandma style
  • and of course “mama”, the NYT, no link needed, right?

The food critic of the NYT is quite a celebrity in NYC. A while ago I had the pleasure reading a book, written by one, which I recommend to you.

Continue reading “A Book about (Restaurants in) NYC”

Nothing to hide

Dear Reader,

The recent revelations regarding Verizon supplying all your telephone data to the NSA, and all major internet companies sending your data to the NSA could be used for the old fashioned “told you so“.

But I don’t like that, and more importantly, I need to apologize.
Diablog still uses Blogger and Gmail, both part of Google. I am sorry.

On to two other problems.

One: I am running out of conspiracy theories.

Seriously, the favorite ones of the last decades all came out to be true. The USA spies on everyone. Its allies play along and are enjoying the results from the spying. Microsoft including Hotmail and Skype spying on you and selling (!) your data to the NSA, dito for Google including Gmail, GoogleTalk, Youtube, etc. Apple, Facebook, AOL and others playing along.

Why did none of the companies say No to the NSA?
Read this interesting post about the one telco CEO, who did:

[liberationtech] Why didn’t tech company leaders blow the whistle?

And if you like satire, read this statement, written about the USA in the journalist language usually reserved for foreign countries:

By the way, when Secretary of State Kerry reminded the world, that peaceful protest is a human right, was I the only one thinking Occupy Wall Street? But he meant Turkey. Bugger.

The second problem bothering me is that idiotic sentence:

“I’ve got nothing to hide”
and its variant:
“If you have nothing to hide, you don’t need to be afraid”.
Frankly, I am sick and tired of this. A while ago, I gave Glynsky and all others yet another proper argument against that here. We need to solve that. Here is how:

information to knowledge

Dear Reader,

To many the internet mostly is an infinite source of data and information.
In order for turn information into knowledge it takes context and sorting. In the old days that meant teachers and/or librarians. or you did the reading and sorting yourself. But who has time for that?

Luckily, more and more libraries are publishing their already sorted information or knowledge online. Diablog pointed you towards online libraries like the Europeana, the European Film Gateway, the NYC Department of Records, and of course

Now another precious source has come online, the

What is it?


Dear diablog,

Thank goodness it’s vendredi – a new occasional series of posts to end a good week!
Oh ok, this is the first and I hope not the last and it seemed like a good idea to be uplifted on a Friday to be ready for the weekend.

In keeping with the ‘daily magazine’ feel of diablog this will be a smorgasbord of stuff designed to stimulate the emotions – and this week I am well in touch with the female for a lot of reasons!

Why not start with music and a No.1 from the ’74 Britsh charts by Gary Shearston – and easy to see why it got where it did! A fabulous Cole Porter song, romance in spades despite a dead pan delivery, bits of score so ‘country’ you expect the Gran’ Ol’ Oprey to kick off next door and then the sudden change to gypsy violin.

This is music to kiss by, enhanced by a great voice and, at almost the very end, one of pop’s greatest mysteries – who is/was Christiana Maria Dozievschi?

Turn up the volume

Love it, love it, love it –

So, now finding ourselves in the mood, time to shed a tear or two!!

I had promised our Nordic commentator Iren

iren-old a recommendation for a book to get her through the final dark days of winter and into the warmth of spring sun on the face.

I unashamedly, in the fervent hope that she has not yet read it, insist that she obtains a copy of…

Continue reading “tgiv…”