Some News on Galveston

Aerial taken east of Jamaica Beach

It is looking better than feared.  KHOU finally released video of the west end of the island, especially Jamaica Beach.  At 2:49 on the right I can see the storage sheds, and a whitish blob where Dad's house should be.  The roofs appear to be intact on the sheds and I'm assuming the house survived.

We are still waiting on news of my sister's house.  They are near 53rd and Menard, if you have any reports of how high the water got in that area, please let me know.

Woof Ball

For some reason this looked like a woot ball to me this morning.  Maybe I've been looking at too much.

Orbee-Tuff balls that speak your dog's language. These super tuff Orbees are sure to last for even the toughest chewers. They aren't textured like the original Orbee balls, but instead have a smooth exterior and raised lettering. Is it time to play yet?? What exactly is Orbee-Tuff?

Woof. Ball on Amazon.

Samsung Instinct, Video, and Ubuntu

I've figured out how to transcode videos for the Samsung Instinct using ffmpeg.  The initial problem I had is the standard Ubuntu version of ffmpeg does not include aac support.  Fortunately Medibuntu has an ffmpeg package with everything enabled.  You'll need to add the medibuntu repositories to your system first.  ffmpeg didn't want to upgrade, so I used apt-get to remove it and install it.   Be sure you have libfaac installed too.

To verify that you've got the right ffmpeg, run 'ffmpeg -version' and look for --enable-libfaac.  If you don't see it in the listed configuration then the following won't work.

Once you have the right ffmpeg you can transcode a video with something like this:

ffmpeg -i BeerBot.avi -acodec aac -ab 128k -vcodec mpeg4 -b 1200k -qscale 4 -async 100 -s 320x240   BeerBot.mp4

Throw BeerBot.mp4 into the MEDIA directory on the SD card, and it will appear in TV/Video, My Videos, Sideloaded.  You may need to change the scale (-s flag) if your video has a different aspect ratio.  You can go up to 432x240 for wide screen videos.

If you are curious which video I was converting, you can see a version of it here:

Twitter is like

Last summer I was introduced to Twitter at SXSW.  At the time I really didn't get it.  I've now been using Twitter a lot to keep in touch with the GeekDads.  Maybe, I have an analogy that will explain it some of the old school geeks like me.

"Twitter is like a huge IRC channel where everyone is /ignore by default."

Feel free to quote me on that.