Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category.
I've been using Viddler a fair bit to host videos of talks from local events such as Perth Barcamp and Podcamp. You can check out these and other offerings at my Viddler page.
For long videos Viddler offered several advantages over sites like Youtube.
- Viddler supports videos longer that 10 minutes, and up to 500mb in size.
- Viddler has timed comments, which allow you to annotate important moments in the video
- Viddler had streaming playback, which allowed you to jump to arbitrary times by clicking in the seek bar. Also, you could click on a comment and jump to that point in the playback. This is very useful for picking out highlights.
Since I originally compared Viddler and Youtube in September 2007, several things have happened. Firstly, Youtube added support for seekable playback. Download is still "progressive" but can be restarted at any point by clicking in the seek bar. Recently Viddler turned off streaming support in their player, saying that it was "expensive and unreliable". They plan to move to a progressive seek player similar to those now offered by Youtube and Google.
So while Viddler still supports timed comments, its no longer possible to jump to the comment time. This was a very useful feature and IMO a key differentiator between their offerings and the many other video sharing sites out there. Lets hope they get this fixed soon.
Update: Viddler have added progressive seek to their player, so you can now jump to any time in a video. It does seem to be more stable than the old streaming player.
Its the time of year I've been dreading. Daylight savings in Western Australia starts today. In its wisdom, the state government decided to trial daylight savings from three years. Previously, daylight savings had been resoundingly rejected by the people in a referendum. But obviously, we don't know whats good for us so a little daylight savings therapy will help us make the right decision next time.
Last year daylight savings created all manner of problems for us. In order to manage an increasingly complex schedule with work and family commitments my co-pilot and I have been using iPAQ rx1950 PDAs to maintain appointments for work and home. By syncing with the same PC, its possible to keep the devices more-or-less up to date with each other.
With the introduction of daylight savings we had to put the clock forward one hour at the end of October. You would think that you could just adjust the PC clock by 1 hour. Unfortunately this does not work - it keeps resetting to the "correct" (not) time. OK, well maybe we can just change the timezone to GMT+9. Bzzzt! Wrong again. If you do this all of the appointments in the diary are now wrong by 1 hour. I guess they are stored in some absolute time format, rather than being in local time. Eventually, Microsoft released an operating system update to fix the clock under Windows. But no fix was available for PocketPC, so the calendar on the mobile devices were still out of sync by one hour. Depending on where an appointment was entered it may or may not have the correct time in the Outlook database. Eventually, we had no confidence in the appointment time and resorted to writing the time in the appointment description.
Thankfully, this year Microsoft has released a fix for the problem. Unfortunately, it seems to only partially work. Read on for a tale of woe, or skip forward to discover what I learned.
Continue reading ‘Daylight Savings Fallout’ »