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Adam Bratt
Works at Benzinga
Attended Calvin College
Lives in Grand Rapids, MI
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Looking good!
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I bought a digital video download today that required a video player from Leaping Brain. As usual, the proprietary player wasn't great and to transfer it to my iPhone I'd need another proprietary player. Ugh. But I browsed around and found that the video had been downloaded into a hidden directory as a bunch of .mov files. Great, except none of the files would play.

It turned out the actual player, launched from their compiled app, was a Python wrapper around some VLC libraries. Nothing funny going on, as far as I could tell, but when I tried to launch the player directly, nothing happened. The compiled app was modifying the .mov files right before they were loaded into the player, and then reverting the file on disk. According to http://leapingbrain.com/mod-machine/faq/:

 "We apply our BrainTrust™ proprietary video encryption to your movies before we upload them to our servers. If someone ever was able to gain access to your content, the files would be useless and unplayable, because they are stored in a scrambled, encrypted format. Once downloaded to the user’s hard drive, the files are still encrypted and only readable via the MOD Machine Player by a legitimate owner. We are not aware of a better DRM scheme than ours. Where Windows Media DRM is easily crackable, and doesn’t run on Macs, BrainTrust™ works great on Windows 8, Vista, Windows XP and Mac, and is virtually uncrackable."

Virtually uncrackable? Well, since they load the file from a Python script, it's easy to make a copy of the "decrypted" file before it's reverted. Having done so, I was curious to see the encryption scheme. By comparing the binary files, I discovered the "proprietary video encryption" algorithm: for the first 15kB, each 1kB block has its initial bytes xor'd with the string "RANDOM_STRING". That's the "scrambled, encrypted format" that leaves these files "useless and unplayable".
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Take that brits!
 
Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh."

It was around the time of the American Revolution that non-rhotic speech came into use among the upper class in southern England , in and around London. According to John Algeo in "The Cambridge History of the English Language" (Cambridge University Press, 2001), this shift occurred because people of low birth rank who had become wealthy during the Industrial Revolution were seeking ways to distinguish themselves from other commoners; they cultivated the prestigious non-rhotic pronunciation in order to demonstrate their new upper-class status .

"London pronunciation became the prerogative of a new breed of specialists — orthoepists and teachers of elocution. The orthoepists decided upon correct pronunciations, compiled pronouncing dictionaries and, in private and expensive tutoring sessions, drilled enterprising citizens in fashionable articulation," Algeo wrote.

The lofty manner of speech developed by these specialists gradually became standardized — it is officially called "Received Pronunciation" — and it spread across Britain. However, people in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland have largely maintained their traditional rhotic accents.

Most American accents have also remained rhotic, with some exceptions: New York and Boston accents have become non-rhotic. According to Algeo, after the Revolutionary War, these cities were "under the strongest influence by the British elite."

Via: http://goo.gl/WCwa7
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Why is this so intriguing!?!
 
Can't. Stop. Watching. Epic 3:20-minute journey of a slinky on a treadmill.
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The most worthwhile thing done on a treadmill.
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I really like Dribbble.
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+1'ing your own post, how meta
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Ubuntu Edge, one of the most ambitious crowdfundings to date http://igg.me/p/461046/twtr
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Who knew the beat was so perfectly on-time to this?

#Winning   #StarWars   #CantinaBand  

^_^
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Oooooh yeah!
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+Steve VanderLeest Have you seen this before? http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Machine-Introduction-Microprocessors-Architecture/dp/1593271042

I just finished it not too long ago and it's definitely in my top 10 favorite computer books. It starts out rather simple for anyone who has dove deep into ASM, but I imagine for newcomers it'd be a great pace. About 3 chapters in though it was talking about modern processors at an advanced level and yet I felt like I was reading a chapter book. Very accessible!
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Thanks for the tip. I'm always looking for good texts to use in class, and I haven't seen this one before.
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It's late. I'm coding. #typical
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Work
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Website Cartographer
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  • Benzinga
    Product Engineer, 2012 - present
  • DevPie
    Code Monkey, 2011 - 2012
  • Squarepeg Web
    Developer, 2008 - 2011
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Coder, Designer, Web Wrangler
Education
  • Calvin College
    Electrical Engineering, 2008 - 2012
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