Google Video Closing Down

Watching some random videos on Google Video I saw that they all had at the top:

This video will be removed on April 29, 2011. Learn more.

That says that “On April 29, 2011 videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback“, the people who uploaded them can download them (in FLV format only) to be uploaded elsewhere, but that’s all folks. Confirmation comes from this blog post which posts the (translated) text of an email from Google to Google Video uploaders:

Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. […] On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)

Sadly this means that Google have gone back on the promise from 2009 when they turned off uploads, saying:

Will all of the videos in my Google Video account be deleted?
No. The videos that are already in your account will remain hosted by Google Video. You will still have access to all the existing management tools for them.

So if you’ve got content there, go grab it before it goes away!

PPP Dialup’s for People in Egypt #Egypt #Jan25 – Updated x 6

I’ve noticed two PPP dialups being published for people in Egypt who are struggling to get online due to the cutting of many Internet links into the country.

They are this one seen on a blog on the Internet blackout:

by Anon on January 28th, 2011 10:30 pm
“free” PPP dial-up access on Madrid, Spain:
+34 912910230
We are Legion.

and this seen on Michael Moore’s twitter feed:

People of Egypt! Use this dial-up provided by friends in France 2 go online: +33172890150 (login 'toto' password 'toto') #egypt #jan25

Update #1 – a massive list of dialups listed here –

Update #2 – instructions on dialup and more numbers are here –

Update #3seen on the telecomix Twitter feed:

One more modem dialup account on Swedish number for #Egypt user/pass tcx/tcx +46850009990 #Jan25 #Jan26

Update #4 – Again via the telecomix Twitter feed:

Another modem dialup number (unconfirmed if works) +46187000800, user: flashback pass: flashback #Egypt #Jan25 #Jan26

Update #5 – Not dialup related, but SMS info from the telecomix Twitter feed:

Vodafone users in Egypt: change your Message Ctr to +20105996713 able to send SMS pls spread #Egypt #Jan25 #Jan26

Update #6 – another dialup number via telecomix feed:

Anonymous dialup service provided by #FDN on +33172890150 login/pasword toto/toto #JAN25 #Egypte |Please RT

If you know of others please leave a comment here with the details!

Why I’m Voting Green on Saturday 21st August

This coming Saturday, 21st August 2010 will be my first opportunity to participate in Australian democracy. My citizenship came through a few months after the last election, had I’d been able to vote then I’d have cast my vote for Labour and against John Howard.

However, with the Australian Labour Party (ALP) lurching to the right on a number of issues such as immigration, continuing the failed intervention in the Northern Territory, failing to legitimise same-gender marriage, and their crazy idea of mandatory Internet censorship combined with a new do-nothing strategy on climate change (“let’s hold a citizens assembly to tell us what to do, just like we did in 2008!”) means my conscience does not permit me to give them my first preference. They at least have some vision with the NBN, but that’s about it.

As for the Coalition, well they’re just laughable. A leader who doesn’t understand science or technology, policies that promise to deliver half the current speeds of ADSL2+, obscene exaggeration and fear-mongering about refugees coming in by boat (here’s some much needed facts on the matter), wanting to make bible classes compulsory in schools (I suspect aimed at the even more right wing Family First to whom they are directing preferences) and even worse policies on climate change and greenhouse gases. Even more FAIL than Labour. 🙁

So, I’m voting Green because:

  • They want to enshrine basic human rights in law (Australia is the only western democracy without legal protection of freedom of speech)
  • They’re against the mandatory Internet censorship scheme
  • They take the science of climate change seriously, and the challenges it poses
  • They believe that people who love each other should be able to get married, irrespective of orientation
  • They wish to treat refugees as people, not some mythical threat
  • They understand free, open source software and use it themselves

Most importantly I’m voting Green because THEY WANT YOU TO THINK! Not just about their policies, or other parties policies, but to think about how you direct your preferences. Sure they have preference deals, but what most impressed me was when they were announced Bob Brown said:

I don’t like back room preference negotiations with other parties. In fact I’m sick of it. And I think that we should be very well aware here that voters can get misled into believing that they should put their preferences where the Labor party or the Liberal party or the Nation party or the Greens or somebody else says. No that’s not true. People have a right to put, and I think an obligation to think about it, and put their preferences where they want to. That’s what’s important.

Watch the video on that ABC news article to hear that, it’s sadly not in the text of the report. They also have the best election advert that never was – The Gruen Transfer has been getting two advertising agencies a week to do an advert each for a political party and this one won the week they did The Greens.

Now I’m not under any illusions that they’ll form the next government, but voting for them will send a signal that I’m not happy with either of the major parties, and they should (hopefully) get the balance of power in the Senate.

Amazon Patents Social Networking in 2008 ?

Does this sound familiar to you ?

A networked computer system provides various services for assisting users in locating, and establishing contact relationships with, other users. For example, in one embodiment, users can identify other users based on their affiliations with particular schools or other organizations. The system also provides a mechanism for a user to selectively establish contact relationships or connections with other users, and to grant permissions for such other users to view personal information of the user. The system may also include features for enabling users to identify contacts of their respective contacts. In addition, the system may automatically notify users of personal information updates made by their respective contacts.

It’s the introduction to a patent by Amazon for their obviously unique idea of a “Social Networking System” which includes such strikingly novel ideas such as:

wherein the service maintains relationship data representing contact relationships between users, and the method further comprises using the relationship data to detect, and to cause the first user to be notified that, a third user is a contact of a contact of the first user via the second user.


wherein the personal data of the first user comprises an identification of a school attended by the first user and an associated date range of attendance, and the computer system is additionally programmed to use said personal data to identify, and to inform the first user of, other users of the service who attended said school in said date range.

None of which existed before the patent was filed in 2008, honest guv…

Hello USPTO ? Anyone in there ?

Protect Your Family with the Kogan Portector!

If you’re worried about spam and scams coming through the Internet Portal (thanks to Stephen Conroy for pointing that threat out) then get yourself a Kogan Portector! Here’s their advert for it on YouTube..

Of course you must be sure to read the disclaimer..

DISCLAIMER: The Kogan “Portector” Internet Filter is not a real product. This product is in no way affiliated with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, The Australian Labor Party, or the Australian Government. Incorrect use may result in uncensored Internet content, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, freedom of thought, and protection of your civil liberties.

Phew, thanks Kogan for saving us!

Filter Senator Conroy (.org)

There’s a website now up called to persuade people in Victoria to vote below the line at the next federal election to sack Senator Conroy if he does not abandon his wrong-headed plans for mandatory ISP level censorship and waste valuable taxpayers funds (which could go to the police to fight paedophiles if the government really wanted to achieve something). I strongly commend this site to my fellow Victorian voters.

Joining the Australian Internet Blackout

Along with folks like the Samba project I’ve joined the Great Australian Internet Blackout, so the first time (and only the first time) you visit the site you’ll get the notice about the protest. Here’s why the proposed mandatory filtering is a bad idea from the Great Australian Internet Blackout website:

  • It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).
  • We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!
  • A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?

If you’re using WordPress with a theme that supports widgets then participating is as easy as adding a text widget (or using one you already have) and add the single line of HTML to activate the blackout.

To paraphrase Kryten from Red Dwarf, it has just two minor flaws. One, it won’t work, and two, it won’t work. Now I realise that, technically speaking, that’s only one flaw but I thought it was such a big one it was worth mentioning twice.

Microsoft Silently Installs Firefox Plugins, Introduces Security Vulnerabilities

Oh joy, Microsoft have managed to introduce security problems into Firefox through a plugin for it that they silently install without your knowledge! 🙁

Along with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, Microsoft have been silently installing a Windows Presentation Foundation Plugin that allows the embedding of XAML applications (an XML-based UI technology) in web pages, called XBAP (XAML Web App). The exploit is drive-by, meaning that the victim only needs to be lured onto a web-page for the attack to be effective. The only safe thing to do until a patch is issued, is to open Firefox’s AddOn Manager and disable the WPF plugin.

Mozilla might already have reacted to this, my brother (who alerted me to the above story) said:

Firefox popped up saying it’s blocking 2 Microsoft add-ons so they must be cracking down on them

Dear Microsoft – please do not stuff about with peoples web browsers that don’t belong to you, you’re just not qualified..

Android on my FreeRunner

So it’s just over two weeks since I started with Android on my FreeRunner and it’s time for an update. First of all I’m no longer using the Koolu images, they lack echo suppression support and as soon as I found that Michael Trimarchi’s Panicking port of Android does do echo suppression I switched. The added benefit of changing was that Michaels port has fixed the go-slow feel of the Koolu version and feels responsive and usable in most situations (though the soft keyboard is still a little slow).

Good points:

  1. Calls work flawlessly.
  2. SMS works flawlessly (and has a nice interface)
  3. Contacts can be added as shortcuts on the desktop
  4. Wifi works (though WPA2 Enterprise networks need some text file magic)
  5. GPS works nicely (I used GPS-status to see how many satellites it can see)
  6. Bluetooth works – or at least finds devices when scanning – not gone any further with that
  7. Web browser works nicely, even supports Google Gears

Bad points:

  1. NO ACCESS TO THE ANDROID MARKET – the Android Market application is not open source (a decision by Google) so you can’t access any applications hosted there. Whilst there are alternative sources they only have a fraction of the applications so this does limit things.
  2. The phone seems to stop being able to suspend if you define a APN for GPRS/MMS access. Resetting the APN to the defaults (none) fixes it though.
  3. I don’t seem to be able to download MMS/PXT’s – I suspect this is related to the APN issues and I may just not have the right info
  4. Accelerometers don’t appear to work – or at least the marble game I had didn’t react to me tilting the phone.
  5. Battery life doesn’t seem to be quite as good as Qtopia/Qt-Extended/QtMoko – I have to charge every 24 hours at present. That said the later kernels don’t seem to give me quite as long a lifetime as the 2.6.24 based ones so that may not be Androids fault..

But all in all I’m really quite happy with Android on FreeRunner, it easily outshines my previous favourite of Qtopia/Qt-Extended/QtMoko in terms of overall polish and usefulness as a phone! Thanks to all involved in the porting effort, and especially Michael.