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Mike Melanson
Attended University of Colorado at Boulder
Lived in Colorado Springs, CO
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Mike Melanson

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Khronos has published the multimedia data format to end all multimedia data formats. Blessedly, it's binary and not text-based. The first question in the format's FAQ asks why the format is not human-readable:

"While it is not expected that every new container will have a unique data descriptor or that analysis of the data format descriptor will be on a critical path in an application, it is still expected that comparison between formats may be time-sensitive. The data format descriptor is designed to allow relatively efficient queries for subsets of properties, to allow a large number of format descriptors to be stored, and to be amenable to hardware interpretation or processing in shaders. These goals preclude a text-based representation such as an XML schema."
The Khronos Group - a non-profit industry consortium to develop, publish and promote open standard, royalty-free media authoring and acceleration standards for desktop and handheld devices, combined with conformance qualification programs for platform and device interoperability.
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Mike Melanson

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Uninterruptible Power Supply, you say?

YOU HAD ONE JOB!!

Okay, just had to get that out. Momentary power flicker took down my computer in the middle of a game.
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Use FedEx instead?
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Mike Melanson

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Pursuant to a previous post, I captured a screenshot of what it looks like when Google challenges a text-based browser (e.g., Lynx) with a CAPTCHA.

I'm pretty sure what happened here is that I was trying to access Google using Lynx from one of my VPSs. Google probably sees enough traffic from IP ranges belonging to the major VPS providers that it easily trips the CAPTCHA.
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It's very clear, it wants you to type "Please enable images" on the line. :)
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Mike Melanson

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Madness is... Visiting Google using the Lynx text-based web browser and being challenged with a captcha.
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Nice! Another Prime Day deal-- a hard drive model with a legendary failure rate. I had one fail last year. Thought it was a one-off, but then Backblaze published their article about the abysmal quality of this model: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/3tb-hard-drive-failure/
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And my new drive is failing while rebuilding, unless there is a problem with the controller, which I doubt - 4 other drives are not complaining. Need to order 2 new drives before the currently healthy ST3000DM001 fails!
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First time I've watched "The Expert." Funny video... in principle. The problem I have when watching it is that I can feel a panic attack coming on. :-)

Reminds me of Office Space-- hilarious when I first watched it (and was new to the software industry), but then got just a little less funny with each passing year.
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Mike Melanson

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I've seen numerous Walnut Creek CD-ROMs in the Internet Archives stacks. But they just created a separate collection which neatly displays all the items on record. There are 162 Walnut Creek CD-ROM releases present right now.

A 6-disc Walnut Creek distribution that my roommate had in his possession was my first avenue for installing Linux onto my own computer, back in 1998. The distro was Slackware.

When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 and studied the BART map, I finally had an epiphany about how that CD-ROM distribution got its name. ("There's a BART station in a place called Walnut Creek? Why does that name sound familiar?")
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Rant about how allegedly "smart" technology always seems to do the opposite of what I need it to do.

I'm a bit lost but I'm in the right neighborhood. So I pull over, check a maps app on my phone and see, "okay, this street, that street, some other street and I'm there, got it." Then I put the phone to sleep and start driving, at which point, the phone springs to life with voice navigation: "Okay! First, go to this street..." No, phone, I've already memorized the route. You can shut up now. You're only going to confuse me with a more circuitous route that's technically 1 minute faster.

That's one half of the frustration. The other half is when I would really appreciate that voice navigation and I can't figure out how to make it happen! Such was the case yesterday when I was really lost and also late, and really just wanted voice navigation to call out directions for once. I can't make it happen when I actually need it. This was with both Google Maps and Apple Maps on an iPhone in a car where the phone has no trouble cooperating with the Bluetooth.

Then there are other "smart" tech topics like voice recognition, recommendation engines, and predictive typing that all merit separate rants.
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Interesting to read outsiders' perspective on the ffmpeg-libav split 4 years on. This article seems to do a good job of concentrating on the technical problems rather than the interpersonal drama that led to the fork.

I think an important takeaway from the article, and the overall story up to this point, is a simple fact that I have recognized since my earliest days of contributing to open source software-- OSS is primarily driven by the people who DO THE WORK. This means programming, and the people who have the time and motivation to program OSS will have a disproportionate impact.
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I have first hand experience with the open source video projects I have lead: linux1394, dvgrab, Kino, MLT, melted, Kdenlive, Shotcut. While using libav* APIs for over 10 years, I observed and experienced some of the drama of the fork while supporting and testing both projects. However, I did not have to deal directly with Michael and chose not to follow the drama deeply as it was not my business. And, I tried not to take sides. I was just commenting on original comments about work/credit by giving due credit to the contributors. Given these replies, I understand a little more now what personality problems may have helped cause the fork.
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I saw VRcade at my local Dave & Buster's. A player dons a VR helmet and toy gun and wanders around freely in a confined space. Pretty much fulfills the vision of VR from the late 1990s.
VRcade is the world's first full-motion virtual reality arcade. VRcade provides a platform for both entertainment and gaming uses as well as enterprise and industry uses. VRcade is an untethered, head/prop or full-body VR experience that is only limited by the imagination.
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Wouldn't be so bad if you dressed up a la Tron
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Browsing around Amazon Prime Day deals. Saw this when I added a "deal" to my shopping cart.
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That's literally a steal.
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I've been reading up on the JBIG image format recently. jpeg.org has a pretty site these days. It's just weird that the JBIG page has this beautiful color picture of a rose when JBIG is designed to encode monochrome images.
Overview of JBIG. JBIG is short for the 'Joint Bi-level Image experts Group'. This is a group of experts nominated by national standards bodies and major companies to work to produce standards for bi-level image coding. The 'joint' refers to its status as a committee working on both ISO/IEC and ...
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In his circles
95 people
Have him in circles
156 people
Rosey Bhuz's profile photo
Nikesh Anand's profile photo
Attila Kinali's profile photo
Mylvakanam Manokar's profile photo
Johnny Jones's profile photo
Jason Scott's profile photo
Supriya Rao's profile photo
Th Private's profile photo
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat's profile photo
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Education
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    Computer Science, 1995 - 1997
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Phear the phlat cap
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Multimedia / Linux Software Engineer
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Colorado Springs, CO - Boulder, CO - San Francisco, CA - Milpitas, CA - Adana, Turkey