The Haus

Tuesday, September 3, 2002

Whither MP3?

Last week, a small firestorm started when it was noticed that the MP3 licensing terms on Thompson multimedia's site had changed. They removed a clause that specifically allowed "freely distributable software" to use the MP3 format without paying a license fee. Fear rapidly spread as to what this might mean for open-source projects like XMMS. The Register got comments from a Thompson exec indicating that the old policy remains in effect and they will not charge freely distributable software even if it is no longer explicitly stated. As a matter of fact, he even blamed the creators of Ogg Vorbis for creating the bruhaha.

One of the authors of Ogg has responded to The Register, saying they had no part in starting the controversy. I will agree with him on this, if it's not explicitly stated in the license, you'd better believe that they are at least keeping the option open of charging. I wish Thompson would make what they write agree with what they say.

The Master comments: I'm sure a pack of lawyers at Thompson made this change explicitly so they could charge enormous fees at some later date to all software players regardless of make, model, or payment schedule. Gotta love lawyers. Makes me want to load them all in a rocket and shoot them into the sun.

RealVideo 9 Codecs for Linux

Apparently I'm very late with this (these codecs came out in June), but this is the first I've heard of it. Real has released RealVideo 9 codecs (aka the RealOne codecs) for their versions of RealPlayer for Linux, Solaris, and HPUX. Check the readme for installation instructions. After you snag them, you can test them out on Real's RealVideo 9 demo page. I don't know how many sites uses RV9, but it's nice to have nonetheless.

Sunday, September 1, 2002

Morrowind Expansion?

A pretty reliable source reports seeing an ad for a Morrowind expansion pack in this Gone Gold forum thread. Cool new features are on the way!

I succumbed to fate today and bought Icewind Dale II at Best Buy. With coupon and gift card (from buying Morrowind) my outlay was about $25. Unfortunately guilt will probably drive me to try to finish the first Icewind Dale before installing this one. It's been a good year for RPG fans, and more are on the way: Gothic II and Arx Fatalis are at the top of my list. Unfortunately, given RPG production cycles, next year may be pretty dry. So I'm stocking up now. Yeah, that's it.

JKII ProMod Beta 2

Artifex has released beta 2 of his ProMod for Jedi Knight II today. ProMod seeks to add more skill to lightsaber combat. You really have to use it to get a feel for it. I like it, but it's going to take a bit to get used to it. If you're a fan of saber combat in JKII, make sure to check this one out.

Pondering the Imponderable

Six years ago today, my wife made the biggest mistake of her life when she married me. If that doesn't qualify her for canonization, I don't know what will. And contrary to popular opinion, she was not heavily medicated at the time, nor was she paid off by my parents. Let's just say she has bad taste.

We weren't able to do much today for our anniversary (that's what happens when you have three kids), so I put in a little Neverwinter Nights time. I got my Druid up to 12th level (actually, he's relatively close to 13th). The cool thing about 12th level is that I can now use wild shape to change into a dire animal. It makes that skill actually worthwhile.

J.t.Qbe comments: Happy anniversary, A.T. and Mrs. Hun! I remember that day as if it were 6 years ago. Mucho fun, especially the bachelor party at Lakefront Brewery. I wish you many green stamps in the future.

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