News for the ‘site’ Category

Marduq IV: We are away …

“This is Fleet Command. Reporting Mothership pre-launch status.”
Command on-line
Resourcing online
Construction online
Cryogenic subsections A through J online
K through S online
Scaffold Control stand by for alignment
Alignment confirmed. Stand by Release Control.
The Mothership has cleared the Scaffold.
We are away.”

- Homeworld, 3b Mission: Kharak System (Sierra)

maxresdefault

"The Mothership has cleared the Scaffold. We are away"

Yes, we leak (part 2)

The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta,
held as a votive,  not in vain,
for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

- V in V for Vendetta

And so it came about that the internetz went to War with the rest of the world, and governments and corperation got a serious hadeache while teens and script-kiddies bombarded their servers and molested their homepages.

And then this may be a bit childish, but it is out there nonetheless.

YouTube Preview Image

What to do then? — well, you can go down to Sourceforge and download something called an “Low Orbit Ion Cannon” (when Nukes fail). Or go down on IRC and see the kids play; irc.annonops.net, #wikileaks and #operationpayback. Spread the word, read the cables, pubish.

Also, you might want to give my new tooly a spin; easy web based hammering of services, and monitoring if the current targets are still up. Wait? Wut?

Operation Avenge Assange Monitor

Operation Avenge Assange Monitor

Now this isn’t fully functional yet, and especially the web based version needs to use a terribly slow proxy of my own design; but when downloading the .exe, and using it stand alone works just fine. And no, I didn’t pack it with a nasty virus or a terrible trojan to f*ck your system. … yet.

So get out of here and try the Operation Payback Monitor

#UPDATE 12/14/2010 through overwhelming succes, and the fact that I actually DDoSsed myself by accident, the page has been taken offline. Operation Payback is over for now. Gentlemen, silence your weapons.

Then the world changed…

I didn’t do anything, as we were to busy smelling each others farts.
-You, probably me, talking to your kid in thirty years time. Explaining why it is such a mess then.

This is one of those posts, that should start with something about how long I haven’t posted  on this blog. Although that would be true, and it would make an okay opening I guess, I am starting with something else. Something you’ve all heard about by now, even those suckers who are trapped on this page by a Google on ‘ duct tape’ .  I mean you, accidental visitor who searched for duct tape. And who choose ‘images’ on Google to search. And couldn’t help yourself when you saw this picture on page 2. And thank you 14000 visitors a month.

Yes, now you are here on a completely different subject. It is not what you are looking for, but read on anyway; All of you who read this, just click ‘more’, and read on for a bit. It is needed and it is important.

(more…)

So it begins

“Dying is easy, surviving is the hard part!”

-Sgt. Rock – DC Comics

Well now,
I’ve managed so far. Did you know it is humanly possible to tape and edit 31 videos in 3 days? It’s true!
I did it for the Accenture Innovation Awards. Yep. I’ve edited 31 concept-pitches in 3 days. I rule

And because I did, you need to fill in your email address and vote for me
That’s how these things work! Just do it, ask questions later.

Fireball

Posted: September 24th, 2010
Categories: media, propaganda, site, technology, web, work
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Scripted Interfaces

“What is information to some, is static to others” – attributed to Cloude Shannon

A question that has been maddening web- and interface designers for years is how interfaces are described. An interface consists, in short, in three basic elements. 1) the design, 2) the interaction 3) the functions So, a button can be red (design) change color when hovered over (interaction) and lead to another page (function). These three elements need to be unified into one language that describes all elements, or at least connects to another language that describes parts of the three main elements. Since the dawn of web design these different elements have been encoded into HTML.

<style>
a { color: red }
a:hover { color: yellow }
</style>
<a href="somedomain.com">button</a>

A red button, changes color on roll-over, leads to some domain when clicked.
Style, the design, has been separated, quite early, from the actual function (ie. where the link leads) using CSS, or cascading style sheets. Which is a good thing. But where does interaction go? (in this case, into the CSS) and the function? The actual function; the code that tells your browser to go and fetch an internet address and parsed it as HTML, is not there, that’s why we call HTML a Markup Language and not a programming language. Strictly speaking, the actual function is burrowed somewhere in your browser. If HTML does anything of the three interaction elements it’s simply connecting design (CSS) with interaction (in this case also in CSS) and function (int he browser)

In Flash one would write something like:

var someButton:SimpleButton = new Simplebutton()
someButton.addChild(overstate.png)
someButton.addChild(normalstate.png)
someButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.RollOver, function(e) { // show overstate } )
someButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.RollOut, function(e) { // show normalstate } )
someButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.Click, function(e) { NavigateToURL( new URLRequest("someDomain.com") ) } )

Now this code wouldn’t parse, and strictly speaking “NavigateToURL” is also something of a shortcut, but as the Class of NavigateToURL is defined within the Flash virtual machine, we’ll accept that flash renders both design (overstate.png and normalstate.png are images), interaction (RollOver and RollOut) and the actual function (NavigateToURL).

The problem is that the first example can be understood, quite effortlessly by any graphic designer building a web page and the latter one cannot; it’s programming code and graphical designer get all icky when they get within ten feet of programming code.
To make things even worse, the actual programming of most websites is done on the server side of the web, giving the designer only generated HTML which has to be scripted in CSS. This works to a certain extend, but making CSS is tedious and rigorous work

Flash, even though it started out as an animation designer application, is mostly coding. To meet the current demands of frameworks and server side code Adobe has tried to bridge the coding and HTML gap with Flex, which looks a bit like:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

<mx:Application xmlns:mx="http://www.macromedia.com/2003/mxml">
 <mx:HTTPService id="httpRSS" url="http://www.petefreitag.com/rss/" resultFormat="object" />
 <mx:Panel id="reader" title="Pete Freitag's Blog Reader" width="500">
  <mx:DataGrid id="entries" width="{reader.width-15}" dataProvider="{httpRSS.result.rss.channel.item}" cellPress="{body.htmlText=httpRSS.result.rss.channel.item[entries.selectedIndex].description}">
    <mx:columns>
      <mx:Array>
        <mx:DataGridColumn columnName="title" headerText="Title" />
        <mx:DataGridColumn columnName="pubDate" headerText="Date" />
      </mx:Array>
    </mx:columns>
  </mx:DataGrid>
  <mx:TextArea id="body" editable="false" width="{reader.width-15}" height="300" />
  <mx:Button label="Load Blog Entries" click="{httpRSS.send()}" /
 </mx:Panel>
</mx:Application>

Which is interesting, but it still doesn’t combine all three functions. What I especially dislike about it that it is Code, even the ‘Markup part’ of it, still reads like code, not like design. It just wants to implement to many features.
Now adobe had build a product, called Catalyst, which tries to render a photoshop document into this Flex-code, allowing the programmer to work on it, after it is designed, but this is till bulky, sluggish code at best.

So I’m a big fan of designing script and markup languages for content platforms, allowing the designer to work as free as possible, within a set framework. With readable markup. Now I tried this twice, and I failed the first time, and I got a bit further the second time.

The first script language describes Nltracks objects and looks something like this:

<relatedContent>
 <win winX='0' winY='0'/>

 <!-- graphical elements -->
 <!-- background -->

 <backgroundImages>
 <image name='topPic' url='_styling/elements/gerelateerd/video/weblink_bg_top.png' />
 <image name='middlePic' url='_styling/elements/gerelateerd/video/video_bg_middle_stretchme_V.png'/>
 <image name='bottomPic' url='_styling/elements/gerelateerd/video/video_bg_bottom.png'/>
 </backgroundImages>

 <!-- content -->
 <contentPlace contentPlaceX='0' contentPlaceY='0' />
 <listPlace listPlaceX='20' listPlaceY='65' />

 <icon iconX='30' iconY='2'/>

 <contentImages>
 <image name='button1_out' url='_styling/elements/gerelateerd/weblinks/button_bezoek.png'  />
 <image name='button1_over' url='_styling/elements/gerelateerd/weblinks/button_bezoek_mo.png' />

 <textField name='title' setX='85' setY='3' setW='130' setH='40' sharpness='10'/>
 <textField name='subTitle' setX='85' setY='3' setW='130' setH='30' sharpness='10'/>    <!-- let op, subtitle is nu related aan textheight van de 'title' -->
 </textFields> 

 <topTextContent>Weblinks bij:</topTextContent>

 <id_object>tags</id_object>
 <relatedURL>weblinks/related</relatedURL>

 <refreshTime>10000</refreshTime> <!-- microseconds -->
 <reverse>false</reverse>
 <maxItems>2</maxItems>

</relatedContent>

This describes a “content window” on a certain point on a infinite Canvas website and its jabberish, sluggy, big and non-transperant. This is clearly a poor languate. It even needs an extra CSS file for styling, splitting text and image design. But, truth be told, CSS is so ubiquitous nowadays that I really don’t see a way around it.

Next, I tried to make a more universal language to describe Canvas objects. I build a system called “blokkendoos”, which allowed more freedom and features an editor to build with.

blokkendooseditor

The editor allowed for editing a background, and adding elements like text, mailforms, images, links etc. unto them. Now as an editor this worked pretty nifty, but of course at the end of the day it still shits XML;

<canvasObject>
 <win winX="294" winY="301"/>
  <deeplink>#/custom/winacties 2</deeplink>

   <object width="1108">
   <backgroundImages>
    <image name="topPic" url="blokkendoos/images/header/1180_large_header.png"/>
    <image name="middlePic" url="blokkendoos/images/body/1108_large_body.png"/>
    <image name="bottomPic" url="blokkendoos/images/footer/1108_large_footer.png"/>
    </backgroundImages>

    <component type="Image" place="static" id="0">
      <settings targetWidth="1108">
       <position x="7" y="0" w="266" h="273"/>
       <source>http://data.nltracks.nl/live/blokkendoos/win_alain.png</source>
       <link enabled="true" target="_self">#/nieuws/19220/Winnen! Het nieuwe album van Alain Clark</link>
      </settings>
    </component>

    <component type="Image" place="static" id="1">
       <settings targetWidth="1108">
         <position x="7" y="1" w="266" h="273"/>
         <source>http://data.nltracks.nl/live/blokkendoos/winfrom.png</source>
         <link enabled="true" target="_self">http://www.nltracks.nl/#/custom/frommermann</link>
       </settings>
   </component>
 </object>

 <object/>

 <tags usetags="false"/>
</canvasObject>

Now this actually gets usefull; it describes something called “objects” and “components” and then it combines HTML like terms and positioning information.
still, it is quite rigorous about background positioning and has strict descriptions of certain types.

So, for Marduq, I’m building a menu-script that allows you to spawn marduq-objects into place. These are build with any object flash can handle, video audio, html, css and whatnot. It needs to position a DVD like menu, with buttons and text; and I’m thinking about something like:

So I came up with something like this:

scriptable

Which is described like this:

<marduq>

 <box 0="#0" y="#-1" width="500" height="500" bgColor="0xbb3333" alpha="0.4" >
        <image url="nltracks_radio_thumb.jpg" x="#0" y="#-0.6" scale="1"/>
 </box>

 <image url="couvsdsc01es2.jpg" x="#1" y="#0" scale="1">
     <image url="viva espana.jpg" x="#-1" y="#0" scale="0.3"/>
     <image url="nltracks_radio_thumb.jpg" x="#-1" y="#-1" scale="1">
          <image url="nltracks_radio_thumb.jpg" x="#-1" y="#0" scale="1"/>
          <image url="nltracks_radio_thumb.jpg" x="#-1" y="#1" scale="1"/>
     </image>
 </image>

 <button type="toggle" action="play_pause" x="500" y="500" width="250" height="250" bgColor="0x4455dd" alpha="0.5">
      <image name="normalState" url="videoplayer_fout_.png" x="#-1" y="#-1" scale="0.4"/>
      <image name="overState" url="videoplayer_fout_.png" x="#-1" y="#-1" scale="0.4"/>
      <image name="doneState" url="videoplayer_fout_.png" x="#-1" y="#-1" scale="0.4"/>
 </button>

</marduq>

(actual script is longer) What this script does is spawning certain things on a Canvas (infinite or regulare browser window). It then positions it and scales it. All the argumets are optional. If a node is spawned within another node it regards that parent as the ’screen’, which means that the position [0, 0] renders as the top left corner of the parent thing. Extra stuff can be given with a certain thing; for example a button is extended with three images. These define the different states. Also an ‘action’ is defined as an argument, allowing interaction with the platform.

Now the kinky part is that it utilizes 3 (three) different positioning engines, so you never have to worry about resolution anymore. The first one is actual pixels measured from the top left corner. so [100, 100] will place it nicely at a 100 pixel right and 100 pixel down position as measured from the top left corner of the parent object of ’screen’

Now the second one is made up in percentage, and is triggered by adding an %-sign in the location parameter like [ 50%, 50% ], which puts the top right corner of your exactly in the center of your parent object. To position it exacly in the center you will have to subtract half of the objects width and height.

The third one I have called ‘grid spacing’ and is triggers with an #-sign. In this system [ #0, #0 ] defines the absolute center of the parent object, without the need of subtracting width or height. [#-1, #-1] will place your object in the top left of the parent object, and [#1, #1] positions it at the bottom right. The object stays within the parent always. So if you want to position a menu to the right of the Canvas, simply locate it at [#1, #0] which centeres it at the rigth and middle place of the parent object.

Well, for everybody still reading…

I think that is just dandy!

:)

Posted: July 29th, 2010
Categories: media, nerd, research, site, technology, web, work
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

Google is Hitting on Me

But What is it ?

google_is_hitting_on_me_smaller

Yup, that resolves to Google allright

Someone or something up at Google HQ up in Mountain View CA apparently thinks NLtracks.nl is a pretty cool site.

That is to say he, she or it has been visiting and navigating it for some time today, and it has been doing so with a device that has a 1024×1024 pixel resolution, and no known Browser or known Operating System.

So, what device has Flash capabilities, a 1024×1024 resolution and runs on some weird software, at Google ?

Posted: July 20th, 2010
Categories: nerd, research, site, technology, web, weird, work
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments: 3 Comments.

The Lama Spits on Joran van der Sloot

joran

So we had a lazy afternoon, and in stead of drinking beer, we decided to make a little game.

Jeeeha!

Posted: June 3rd, 2010
Categories: nerd, site, web, weird, work
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

I can haz Audiomixer?

audioChannels

Ok.

So we are tinkering with this interactive video platform, Marduq, and I wanted to make an Mp3 player, to go with your video. Or slideshow. Or whatever. Like so. But you may notice that if you start fiddling with the volume, the system breaks. Crashes. Burns. Death. Agony.Wailing.

This is because in Marduq, we only have 1 channel of audio mixing, ie. the video-soundtrack. But as research of Surfinnetje showed over a year ago: Watching snowboarders in a half-pipe and choosing different mp3-files is fun. So we needed a way to track different soundtracks in the system. Both mp3, system sounds, ambient sounds, youtube sounds and video sounds. And of course a master.

Well. Here is the prototype.

* applaus *

* applaus *

This thing mixes a youtube channel and flash net video together with a couple of mp3 files. The mp3 even have balance dials The youtube and the master have balance dials, but they do nothing. Also. The video and youtube can not be paused in this prototype. The PlayheadController will take care of that.

And when you start-up, everything is ON . TOGETHER. Making NOISE!

And some props. On a side note. I can now also build twoyoutubevideosandafuckingcrossfader. Now if only I could get those youtube players to pitch… hmm…

Posted: April 29th, 2010
Categories: nerd, research, site, technology, web, work
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Flash AS3 Bug of the Week

SecurityError: Error #2121:  Security sandbox violation: SoundMixer.computeSpectrum:
http://www.learningactionscript3.com/wp-content/uploads/mixer/Mixer.swf  
cannot access http://xangadix.marduq.tv/Smoov.swf.
This may be worked  around by calling Security.allowDomain.
at  flash.media::SoundMixer$/computeSpectrum()
at  app::Spectrum/onLoop()

So. I was tinkering with a ComputeSpectrum function in, Flash for Marduq, which basically gives you a music equalizer display. Little bars going up and down with music.. Nifty. So I build it in and started to get really weird security bugs. First I thought it my allowDomain(*) then my crossDomain.xml policy files. Then I asked Urias. Then Daniel. Then I started to scream and bitch and moan. Then I started drinking beer. Then, finally, I found this bug report: [#FP-147] which basically told me to write the fucking spectrum analyzer myself.

It’s these kind of bugs that makes me want to switch platform.

(sigh)

Posted: April 13th, 2010
Categories: nerd, research, site, technology, work
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Quotes on Cultural Industry in several languages

Ze noemen dit het ‘kapitalistische apparaat’. Vlaams auteur Gust de Meyer beschrijft de cultuurindustrie in zijn boek cultuur met een kleine c als volgt:

De visie van de Frankfurters is, schematisch , dat de massamaatschappij centraal en vanuit bovenuit wordt gedomineerd door een apparaat dat in de plaats komt van de onafhankelijke sociale groepen en instituties van weleer en dat de mensen passief, apathisch, amorf, ongeïnteresseerd en geatomiseerd maakt en daardoor rijp voor irrationele politieke bewegingen als het fascisme. De gecentraliseerde massamedia staan repressief ten dienste van het dominerende apparaat, oefenen macht en controle uit via de culturele superstructuur van de maatschappij, doen niets anders dan het bewustzijn van de mensen manipuleren via de ideologie van de cultuurindustrie, verstrekker van barbaarse onzin, van conformiteit bol staande boodschappen en van de mogelijkheden om uit de realiteit te ontsnappen.”’

Taken from “Creatie vs. Manipulatie”, in the process of Writing by Youp Kruijsdijk

Made me think of:

Aber bei synthetischen Computerbildern sieht man ganz klar, daß diese Bilder aus Kalkulationen entstehen, denn es werden Algorithmen in den Computer gefüttert, diese werden digital umcodiert, und diese umcodierten mathematischen Ausdrücke erscheinen dann als Bilder auf den Schirmen.

Infolgedessen bedeuten diese Bilder die Kalkulation und nicht mehr die Welt. Es sind keine Abbilder, sondern Projektionen aus Kalkulationen.

Das hat mich zu dem für mich sehr grundsätzlichen Satz geführt, daß wir dank dieser neuen Bilder nicht mehr Subjekte der Welt sind, sondern Projekte auf die Welt, daß wir nicht mehr subjektiv, sondern projektiv leben.<39>
- Friedrich Kittler in http://www.spinster.be/web-specific-art/index.html props to Spinster at V2


Posted: March 30th, 2010
Categories: Algemeen, media, philosophy, politics, propaganda, research, site, technology, work
Tags: , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Running Indeo 5 codecs on Windows 7

Yes. It can be done!

Here’s how through hubbywife.com. Respect and adoration to you; You just saved 5 hours of my life :)
And if for some reason this information expires, I’ve copied it here again :)

First and foremost, you will need the Ligos Indeo Legacy Package (IV31, IV32, IV41, IV50, YVU9), which I believe is freeware according to my source. It will install Indeo Video codecs for 3, 4, 5, and Indeo Raw (YVU9). The filesize should be about 2,068,266 bytes. You can get it at…

Indeo Codecs Legacy Package (IV31, IV32, IV41, IV50)

Once installed, incredibly enough (believe it or not) you may still run into problems opening your IV50 encoded video. Why? That’s because the Indeo installer FAILED (tch! tch!) to register the dll on Windows 7! Is it Indeo’s fault, or WINDOZE SEVEN’s fault, or BOTH? Who knows? Who cares? OK, I do, but that’s a debate for another time. Right now I am itching to share the solution for the good of all mankind.

So go ahead and click that round Microsoft thingy at the bottom leftmost part of your desktop. Then click on All Programs followed by Accessories. Look for Command Prompt and right-click on it. Then click on Run as administrator. Helloooo, are you paying attention there? There’s a reason why it’s ITALICIZED and BOLDED! I cannot stress enough how *VERY* important this Run as administrator priviledge is, which is a very common problem in Windows 7 with some programs. Ignore it for this instance, and you will be smacked with a pop-up window out of nowhere happily informing you that “… the codec was loaded but the call to DllRegisterServer failed with the error code 0×8000ffff”.

Assuming that you had followed the given instructions right down to the letter, you should be idling at the command prompt right now. Go ahead and type in the following:

 regsvr32 ir50_32.dll

Press your Enter key, and voila, *hopefully* your problem should be solved. I know it did mine.

Little addition, you may need to restart your computer.

Posted: March 29th, 2010
Categories: general, nerd, site, technology, web
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

Chapters

Step out of your cage and onto the stage / It’s time to start playing your part / Freedom awaits Open the gates/  Open your mind / Freedom’s a state
- Freestate, Depeche Mode

Come mothers and fathers / Throughout the land / And don’t criticize / What you can’t understand / Your sons and your daughters / Are beyond your command / Your old road is / Rapidly agin’. / Please get out of the new one / If you can’t lend your hand / For the times they are a-changin’.
- Times are a changing, Bob Dylan

J-Ti has left

It’s the best of times. It’s the worst of times. We are playing the high stakes but one of the founders is about to leave. I’m writing here and figuring that even putting this information online can mean problems with business. Knowing that nobody reads this blog anyway (apart from those entering through a google ‘duct tape’ image search) I’m fairly confident that only me will be able to read this. For now at least.

Can I then please mourn a bit and take a stand here for something that touches me deeply? One of my dear friends is about to leave and takes with him a large part of know how about business finance, reason and tranquility. I’m sad though I understand it all too well.

J-Ti has a little one at home and the ups and downs and the risks of pushing an internet company forward takes quite a toll on you. Especially after last year I understand that stability is the most important priority. Especially if a little girl is involved. And with that, gods of karma, all the best for you.

And so we’re are left with three…


XangadiX.net is Down

infected

XangadiX.net is heavily infected by some sort of data injection. It was my fault of course. Some dirty pdf virus has pulled my old XP install down and injected all my logged ftp adresses, including XangadiX.net. And it has been hit hard; the worm has infected all .html files, including the original weblog files (ranging from 2001 to 2008). I will have to clean those out; and maybe put them over into this blog; which I will have to move back to the XangadiX.net domain Etc. etc. In short I will have to delete, clean up and prolly rewrite most of the XX website.

It’s weird to lose something like a website. It’s of course never really lost; since I have a big bunch of backups and write ups. But a website is a living thing, having to pull it offline is no fun. And I’m prolly one of the only people who can safely say that it has been out there for 10 years.

Time to do something else there I guess. But res assured the unborn evil and dark lord of the internetz will be back up again. With something that will dazzle amaze flabbargast etc. etc.  I’m too fucking tired for superlatives. Actually I’m wondering if it should dazzle amaze and flabbergast.

Too fucking tired.

Posted: January 27th, 2010
Categories: general, philosophy, site
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.