Jamie Thingelstad's personal website

Month: October 2009 (page 1 of 2)

New Video Stingers (v2)

A little over a year ago I created a handful of stingers to use on video content that I create. The stinger serves a bunch of purposes. On the practical side it gives the movie player and data stream to get going. I often notice that in the first couple of seconds of video there are some breaks and with a stinger that happens before the content starts. Also, you can name your site and show what license terms apply to it (the later is something I forgot to do in my first stingers).

I decided to redo them and improved a number of things:

  • Made the stingers 5 seconds long. The first ones were 7 seconds and just a little too long.
  • I added the Creative Commons license information that I apply to my videos so it is clear what terms apply to reuse of the video.
  • My first stingers weren’t as high-resolution and didn’t look as good in HD.
  • I made sure the aspect ratio defaulted to widescreen.

Several of my friends asked me how I create my stingers. It is really easy actually. I use Keynote to make the stinger itself, using transition effects that are on a timer. I then export the presentation to a Quicktime movie. I import the Quicktime movie of the transitions into iMovie and do trimming as well as adding audio. I then export them out of iMovie and re-import the completed stingers into iMovie to use in other videos. It sounds more complicated than it is. If you would like to use my Keynote file to start with go ahead and download Video Stingers v2.1.key.

For fun, here are the five new stingers.

Continue reading

Saving at the Dentist

Found out totally by accident yesterday that I save 5% if I pay the dentist on the same day I have the work done. Not happy they don’t make that clear anywhere. Could have been saving 5% for a long time.

Unix Lesson for Today

Learned after much difficulty today that find(1) doesn’t actually spawn a shell, and as a result trying to use backticks doesn’t work in a find exec parameter. However, you can tell find to invoke a shell to get around it. This works.

find . -name "*.DBF" -print -exec sh -c 'dbf2mysql -h localhost -d mydatabase -t $(basename "$1" ".DBF") -c -v -P password -U username $1' {} {} \;

Video: Open Internet

This is a really great video that explains in plain language why Net Neutrality is so vitally important.

[youtube width=500][/youtube]

Surly Darkness

Haven’t tasted Surly Darkness yet, but I was lucky enough to get a bottle into the house.

Surly Darkness

Unauthorized Transactions

This morning when I checked my email I found many more unread messages than typical. A bit concerned, I found many PayPal messages.


That isn’t a great way to start the day. You see, I have no idea who “NC Interactive, Inc.” is. Additionally, I can tell you that at that time I was fast asleep getting a good nights rest. Ugh!

It seems that someone got access to my account and decided to buy some credits for an online game. Each transaction was between $39 and $59. There were 16 transactions totaling nearly a $1,000 of fraudulent charges.

After seeing this I immediately changed my password as well as my secret question answers. I filed these transactions as fraudulent and I’m assuming that this will be easy to get PayPal to reverse. However, they say it will take about a week to get it resolved.

I wonder if the criminal just stopped using it after $1,000? The charges stopped a couple of hours before I noticed it and changed the password. They didn’t seem to do anything further in my account either.

In years of using PayPal, and generally just doing commerce on the web, this is the first time I’ve gotten hit with any fraudulent activity. I guess my luck ran out.

Unauthorized Transacations

Filing claims for 16 unauthorized transactions that hit my PayPal account overnight. All made to an MMORPG. Frustrating.

Welcome Windows 7

Happy Birthday to Windows 7!

Happy Birthday Windows 7

Forget about model rockets – let the anvils fly!

R.I.P. Thawte Web of Trust

Still saddened that the Thawte Web of Trust system is being shut down by the new owners, Verisign. Anyone surprised since Verisign offers a pay product that Thawte did for free? To make matters worse, I had become a Thawte notary a few months ago.

It’s crazy that while they have sent emails to everyone the Web of Trust website doesn’t indicate anything about it going away. They are still happily letting people sign up? Huh?

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