The Haus

Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Slow News Day?

Must be. Hmmm, what can I find for your enjoyment. . . RPGDot now has a scan of the ad for Morrowind Tribunal, the expansion pack I mentioned a few days ago. Should be cool stuff.

The local paper sent me a "thanks for paying your bill" gift in the form of a $10 gift card for a grocery store I never visit, so I went down and got a 4-pack of Guinness Draught, the kind with the nitrogen widget which is supposed to make the canned beer more like the draught version. I tried bottled Guinness 10 years ago and couldn't stand the stuff, but this is really pretty good. Not like a Salvator, but what is?

For you shooter fans, Return to Castle Wolfenstein GOTY edition will be on sale for $30 next week at Best Buy, along with the Half Life Platinum pack for $35. Freedom Force has been spotted for $20 at Wal-Mart, if you're interested in that one. I picked up Icewind Dale II this weekend at Best Buy--with sale, coupon and gift card, the total was around $25. Now I just need to finish the first one. Along with two dozen other games. It's a good time to be a computer gamer.

A.T. Hun comments: Guinness in a can is great, just like on tap. My only gripe is that you have to keep it too cold so the widget doesn't launch the beer into orbit. I've been toying with the idea of getting the Wolfie GOTY edition, especially since there is a Linux binary. We'll see what next week brings.

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.

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