BBC iPlayer

In a follow-up to my previous post regarding the incompatibility of the new BBC iPlayer I recently found an interview on in which the developers of the iPlayer and representatives from the Open Source Consotium and the Open Rights Group discuss this very topic. It would seem that the general consensus is that release of the iPlayer to be bound to one operating system was in many ways a demonstration of the problems with DRM (Digital Rights Management) and thankfully just a stepping stone to more open access, initially through streaming and then hopefully to more open access.

Interestingly enough the developers pointed out that it is only a very small piece of the whole delivery system that was written in a proprietary format, namely the bit that goes on your computer. Over 90% of the system is running on Solaris with many of the developers using Debian based systems.

Ok Tony, off you go....

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posted by SkinOfStars @ 10:19 pm, , links to this post

Some other neat GIMP tricks

Found a page with some neat GIMP tricks for photo manipulation.

Linux Focus, GIMP Manipulation.

Don't be worried by the Linux Focus part, it's just where the article was written and is just as relevant for Windows versions.

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posted by SkinOfStars @ 1:06 pm, , links to this post

Brush me down

I'm in the process of building an arty website for one of my modules. Truth be told, almost every other one of my modules includes building a website but this one is quite nice as I get to have some fun with it... infact the website ones are always more fun, certainly more fun than computer networks or social research theory. Anyway, I digress, the point here is the arty bits.

Now, I'm not so great at art, the best I can draw is a stick man and certainly not like Lowry did! I'm not even that fantastic at using art packages (my preference being the GIMP). Still, with design you always need to use a graphics package so I do my best to wing it. Luckily I have assistance in the form of resources from deviantArt, so I thought I'd share this little trick.

I always go for the GIMP brushes, but there are brushes for other package, like PhotoShop. Firstly you need to find them. You go to, then click categories in the top left-ish, then pick resources from the droplist, then application resources then, in my case, GIMP brushes. You can then just browse through them finding ones you like and downloading them.

To add them to GIMP go to the GIMP's programs folder (its a hidden folder in your home/user for linux so press ctrl+h to see it, you windows boys will have to look for yourself but I presume it's in Program Files) open it, then open brushes, then just paste them in from the zips.

Hey presto, you're an instant artist!

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posted by SkinOfStars @ 11:19 pm, , links to this post