Archive for the 'Technology' Category

HDCP nonsense

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016

A day after Boxing Day I failed to fight the temptation of a new TV to upgrade my circa 2008 52″ Sharp.

The prospect of a 70″ 4K TV, an LG 70UF7300 was too much to resist.

No early adoption of consumer electronics goes unpunished, however.

The industry’s insistence on incompetentently rolling out anti-consumer tech ends up ruining the pleasure of such frivolous spending. 

History repeats itself. Early adopters of HDTVs predating HDMI got screwed by the lack of HDCP in their DVI ports.

Likewise, this TV and countless others like it will likely be unable to interoperate with soon to exist UHD Bluray players.

I’m having difficulty confirming definitively, but it doesn’t appear this particular 4K TV has support for the latest HDCP (High Definition Customer Penalization) standard.

Using my 4K TV as a 4K TV will require thumbing my nose at the conservative’s misguided copyright reform (Canadian DMCA equivalent) and circumventing HDCP (the “Digital Lock”) altogether. Fortunately such devices, HDCP strippers, do exist. I’ve ordered an HDfury Integral either proactively or prematurely, depending on the eventual outcome, to do exactly that.

The situation is rediculous. No intent of copyright infringement has ever been thwarted by such poorly conceived garbage. Legitimately paying customers (suckers like myself) will continue to be harmed. Many otherwise capable displays will end up on the e-waste pile prematurely. Why is this tolerated? Isn’t this what class action lawsuits are for? Aren’t there any consumer protection laws that could be invoked against the intentional crippling of very expensive gear?

Apple TV (4th generation)

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Picked up a new Apple TV (fourth generation) from the Southgate Apple Store on my way home on Friday. I actually pre-ordered fairly early Monday morning in hopes of having one dropped on my lap come Friday. My pre-order, however, is stuck in that awkward “too far along to cancel but it isn’t going to be here on launch day” limbo.

Who has the willpower to wait when you can just pick one up off a shelf? Had I known they’d be that easy to get my hands on I probably wouldn’t have bothered with the pre-order. I can return it when it arrives but I may keep it. The two I have are 2nd generations. They’re getting pretty long in the tooth, only 720p and unsupported software wise for some time. They don’t even work with YouTube anymore.

Alright, new toy! Let’s play…


A tale of two AirPorts

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The concept of a “guest” WiFi network, open to anyone but isolated from the rest of my home LAN has always been appealing… The feature has existed in the AirPort Extreme routers since the third generation (circa 2009).

Originally the feature would disappear the moment you turn off router functionality and place the AirPort in bridge mode. This combined with my insistence on letting my FreeBSD box serve as the Internet gateway for my household negated my ability to use the feature.

In a firmware update some time ago, this feature re-appeared, even while the router was in bridge mode… I tried it once, discovered I could get no traffic to flow through it, shrugged it off and disabled it…



Two Guys from Andromeda

Friday, June 8th, 2012

I’m not sure I would have found the same career I enjoy today had I not been accidentally bootstrapped by the Andromedans!

After 20 years, those crazy bastards are back!

They want to build a new game and inspire a whole new generation of would be technology and sci-fi geeks!

Their kickstarter project is well on its way, but they still need another $100,000 in the next three days to meet their funding goal!

Isn’t this worth the buckazoids?!



Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The goal was rather simple, take my infinitely useful FreeBSD box and scale it down to more practical metrics. Less space, less energy, no noise. The tool for the job: 10 years of technological progress.

Well, I’m not sure if that was the goal or the excuse, sometimes one simply gets an itch. An urge to integrate new hardware and drag old and reliable but bulky and power hungry hardware to the curb.

Maybe I’m being too specific in the details to label this as a recurring rite… but a good intro is a good intro, I’m sticking with it.