Tempted to buy a video player

Right now I’m considering purchasing either an iPod or a Zune. The iPod does, baseline, what I want, but I don’t like the idea of iTunes or in general Apple mitigating my device. I don’t like how picky it is about video format, not just the use of H.264(which encoding to seems more difficult than other formats), but that it has to be the exact resolution and bitrate or otherwise it won’t work; great for iTunes-purchased content but that’s about it. Also, it’s the same price as the Zune with the Zune having bells and whistles.

I have a number of problems with the Zune, though. The 3×3 feature of the Wi-Fi, in combination to the Wi-Fi not allowing video transfer and not doing anything other than Zune-to-Zune communication means it’s not a very useful feature. The use of the WMV video format, though not quite as good of quality, is more friendly to the kind of conversion I would need to do. Also, the DRM it puts on music kind of conflicts with what I may want to do, and unrightly applies it to items under the Creative Commons. With the Zune, the changes that would make me happy seem to be for a future release, but I don’t want to wait until the end of 2007 to get a player.

Very conflicted. Any ideas, such as alternatives to these that will do what I want, would be nice.

Snow

I “borrowed” the javascript file for the snow on the TeenSpot.com message boards.

But for some reason it only renders correctly in Internet Explorer.

Oh well.

Correction: even in IE(and Wii’s Opera client) it only renders off to the side of the main text section.

Wikipedia

Morons need to quit editing the wikipedia article on TeenSpot with forum vanity and insignificant content.

Things such as post count are not significant to be mentioned on Wikipedia unless it has caused some sort of significant occurrence, such as a site controversy if a policy change occurred or some sort of legal action.

A number is insignificant beyond the forum itself.

I will leave the dumbass doing this nameless as to preserve their pride.

I think the problem is that people do not understand Wikipedia’s concepts such as this one.

Political censorship

In lieu of recent events I feel the need to talk about censorship. Censorship is any intentionally act to inhibit speech that a person otherwise has a right to make. Speech that may be politically damaging is not something to be censored. It may be acceptable to censor in the sake of national security, but minimizing political backlash is not national security; a line is crossed when censorship is used not to protect national security, but to protect a political party in the name of national security.

BBC to release shows on Zudeo

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6194929.stm

BBC to release shows in high quality on Zudeo, Azureus’ video sharing site.

Unfortunately, they’re still going to be selling them, while still providing them for for viewing for free on their respective bbc web pages(but only for UK citizens).

This might make piracy easier; one person buys it then shares it. No encoding from TV, and no having to wait for DVD release for high quality. High quality for a simple purchase by one person online, then seeded over ThePirateBay or any other piracy torrent site.

The United Nations

People extremely critical of the institution of the United Nations do not understand its conceptual necessity. Usually concerns regarding the United Nations are about sovereignty/autonomy of their independent nation. This represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the institution, as it is not a governing power, or “super nation”, but rather an intermediary for autonomous and sovereign nations.

The rationale, at least as presented by prominent Western political philosophers, and completed by Immanuel Kant in his work Perpetual Peace, is that a there is a universal moral law, that all persons have certain rights. To ensure these rights we implement constitutions, implementing means to operate societies, and have representatives to enact government to ensure these rights. We require representatives, and thus a republican government, for this reason: nowhere in democracy is a principled moral basis, and rather just the arbitrary will of the majority; this gives us the common political and legal saying, that we have a government of “majority rule with minority rights”. We follow a government because of a social contract, an agreement to allow the rights of all to be protected by allowing ourselves to be subjected to a government to implement these protections. Contracts function as an agreement that respects the rights of all participants. Contracts, or treaties, between governments then are agreements to mutually respect the rights of the participants, often as the individual governments are operating to serve the rights of its constituents. Governments, laws, and thus courts function to mitigate any failures of respecting the mutual rights agreement established in the contract. The question then becomes: who, or what, is to mitigate any possible failures in international agreements? This gives us the need to have the United Nations as the international mitigation of any treaties, or contracts; also, as an institution of rights, its goal is to work to guarantee the rights of all; most important its member nations, in the form of their being protected in treaties as well their autonomy. So national sovereignty, or autonomy, is maintained, while at the same time rights are protected.

What people are doing, then, when wanting to act without the United Nations, is to undermine the principles of their government and their own human rights. It’s not that we shouldn’t be concerned about our nation’s sovereignty, but instead that we should not confuse an institution ensuring mutual respect to an institution taking away national autonomy and freedom.