You2beLOL

A small disclaimer: the practices that follow may break the terms of use agreements of various video sites. They don’t like you actually saving these files to your hard drive, so they can have the power to take away the videos so you can no longer view them. Just so you know.

I have done some research and figured out how to directly download YouTube videos in both high quality (mp4) and normal quality (flv) from the web site with only Internet Explorer, and without visiting any sites other than the YouTube page.

I looked about and eventually found a couple sites that had bookmarklets, which are basically javascript programs that you store in a bookmark. You just click on the bookmark to use the program on the page you currently have open.

The first site has a really big bookmarklet which is slightly outdated but provides a lot of insight into how the systems of various sites actually work (or did work at the time it was made). You might notice that the bookmarklet is incredibly long; this is because it encodes several images as extra base-64 data, and there’s also a lot of code in there.

The second site has another bookmarklet, which is pretty slick since it acts like a little add-on for the YouTube page, and adds a link below the video information section.

For formatting reasons I have moved the actual details of the method to this page. I’d love to post it here like before, but it was literally breaking WordPress. I guess there was just too much HTML in there and all the formatting got used up for the rest of the page.

Feel free to leave comments if you figure out how to do these any better, for other sites, or if you just want to tell me something.

review/

I think I’ll occasionally take up rating movies and shows that I come across which I find to be interesting enough to rate. Some titles I may consider from recent samplings include Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, Vexille, Gurren Lagann, and perhaps Appleseed Ex Machina.

Hereuntoforthward, I shall rate stuff on a scale from 0 to 7, like I do in my personal records. You probably won’t see a lot of things below 5, since I generally don’t get worked up about mediocre stuff and lame stuff enough to really rate it or even finish watching it.

Now, I don’t necessarily want to be bound to using numbers and such, condemning subjective material to one fixed value forever. I often change ratings I’ve made in the past to reflect… whatever reason it is I’m changing it, I don’t know. Just keep in mind, these are indications of how well it struck me personally, not a rigorously computed sum graven in stone.

And before we delve into numbers, why zero to seven? Isn’t that just downright weird? Well, no. Professional reviewers use 1-4 with half-stars; halves never made much sense to me. 1-5 without halves isn’t quite enough levels, and 10 is honestly too many to make a decision easily, plus it’s a strange number. So, I found that from 0 to 7 it’s quite easy to pick out a number without too much unnecessary deliberation of whether you should choose seven or seven and a half… or even eight? Maybe six and a half? Anyway.

Here’s a general rundown of overall scoring: 4 is mediocre—nothing really special—and I wouldn’t particularly care whether you watched it or not, but it wasn’t really a total waste of time. 5 is decent, worth watching and probably a recommendation to most people. 6 means good stuff, which I enjoyed indeed, and almost certainly a recommendation. The great 7 is reserved for those things which truly belong on my favorites list; if brought up or reminded of in a conversation with me, you could easily find yourself confronted with a long string of praises and somewhat fevered insistence that you go off immediately to watch said movie or show.

If given a 3, it’s definitely listing into the deep and ugly bay of ‘you really shouldn’t waste your time.’ A 2 indicates it was pretty definitely missing some very important features such as entertainment and redeeming qualities; once we get to 1 it barely qualifies as the type of media it is purported to be. 0 is actually reserved for things that don’t even attempt to be, and really weren’t intended to be, anything like you would watch or enjoy normally. Maybe like a video that tells you how to operate a vacuum cleaner; you get the picture.

For individual categories, it goes:

7 is awesome, almost flawless;
6 is solidly well done;
5 is just fine for pretty much everything;
4 is here and there;
3 is not really featured much or poorly done;
2 is unimportant or terribly done;
1 is almost irrelevant or abominable;
and 0 means intentionally not a part of anything you see here.

I’ve experimented a bit with the various categories of rating that I use and have generally settled on humor, awesomeness, drama, story, and then the overall score (which is not an average). Stuff that makes you smile or laugh often is humorous, and something that is just depressing and leaves you feeling empty is not. Giant robots fighting with exploding drills is very awesome; sword fights are usually quite awesome, and slice-of-life is rarely awesome. (Think what makes you say ‘hey, cool…’ or just ‘awesome.’) Something that pulls you to the edge of your seat and pulls you into the characters’ situations and emotional state is dramatic; something that is just casual entertainment. (Think the stuff that has really good romance or does a good job of pulling you in emotionally.) Something that has a really well written storyline and keeps things moving without frequent fillers and plot holes has great story; something more like Azumanga Daioh, Excel Saga or even Robot Chicken have little to no story and are in fact largely completely random.

Something that does an exceptionally good job on any one of these things can conceivably get away with a good rating without much attention to the other elements (with the possible exception of drama, classically depending on story to make it relevant).

entertainment count

I recently added up all the views that Dan Green has racked up for Yu-Gi-Oh, just on the site, and multiplied by the length of each episode. The resulting number was over 89 years. That’s JUST plays from the site; people could easily see them somewhere else, or download them and watch them, or watch them with multiple people. Seeing as he’s less than 40, probably less than 30 even, economically he’s a serial murderer for all the productivity that’s been wasted on his work. But really, is that true? Nowadays, entertainment CAN count as productivity. Plus, would they have done anything productive anyway? Or would they have gone off and entertained themselves some other way?

I suppose that a good number of those years can be counted as lost productivity, since his work is so hilarious that you just have to watch it all. But, that’s not a bad thing.

DJ AnounymOS’s new host is here, and all his music is available to download at high speed from there. If you like rave and techno music, check it out. If not, at least get and listen to Adagio for Cowbells.

An old flixxy video I never linked to… this nutball works entirely too hard. I mean, he’s cutting tiny dust particles into quarters and carving them into detailed shapes. What the heck. Pretty cool though.

More old news… the Chinese pulled off some stunning bait-and-switch magical maneuvers in San Francisco during the Olympic Torch relay. If Prometheus had been this good, he probably could have gotten away with the fire theft.

A newer edition of nuclear reactors is coming into the mainstream – the pebble bed reactor – which is markedly more efficient than traditional water models. In the development of this mechanism, an interesting phenomenon now called the Wigner effect was discovered wherein graphite is rendered super-flammable after extended exposure to radiation while under about 250 degrees Celsius. Atoms get displaced from their proper positions in the graphite, and when it’s not hot enough for them to get shaken back into position, these defects build up to alarming levels of potential energy.

Velociraptors.info is a funny site, intended for humor and based off of xkcd. Worth a look.

This blade-off test video is pretty interesting; I particularly love the noise it makes at about 1:55. And while you’re looking at videos of jet engines exploding, you should watch this. The engine was a great success, the stand not so much.

If you’re interested in giant prehistoric killing machines (and who isn’t?)… you’ll be sad to see what became of their kin.

There’s a lot of stuff that you can do with a program in only 4KB of code and data; there are DirectX library references and everything, but when you think about it, it’s still pretty neat when someone comes up with an almost insignificantly tiny program that looks and sounds this cool.

In a somewhat similar style to that, a Japanese artist made these really neat videos of how I’d like to think cities will be constructed hundreds of years from now. Of course, it’s not really going to be like that, but it’s cool to watch anyway.

If you’re into getting expelled from school, you could put on a turban, open up this countdown timer full-screen, and yell “ALALALALALALA”… of course, you’d be a terrible person, but it’s something to think about. Maybe.

Schlieren photography is a very interesting technique that uses optics to show pressure waves and differences in the density of air or other fluids; I came across a well-made presentation of some of the neat stuff you can do with it, and thought I’d share it here.

Closer to regular photography is pictures taken with scanning-CCD digital cameras, with giant sensors that actually move behind the lens to get as detailed an image as possible. The BetterLight site describes their capabilities (up to and over 400 megapixels, taking pictures almost 750MB in size), and they also have a gallery of images that you can zoom into the details of. Look at the money one, it’s pretty amazing.

Do you still have a tape deck somewhere? Maybe you could consider this awesome mp3-to-cassette converter, available at ThinkGeek. It’s a wonderful device; it really appeals to my sense of retro. I mean, I’m the one with a 5.25″ floppy drive in my high-end gaming computer, so of course I’d like that sort of thing.

Moot from 4chan, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, and Randall Munroe who is xkcd had a panel together at the recent ROFLcon internet craziness convention on the east coast. A brief summary is available on the site, and it really makes for some interesting reading.

Hey, wow, check it out! RFID post-it-notes that automatically get filed in your computer to search and find actual objects just by labeling them. How cool is that. Looks like MIT did it again, but they probably won’t be out for a while yet. And then the’ll probably cost like a buck each. Oh dear.

If anyone has a nuclear steam-powered emu they don’t need anymore, I’ll gladly take it off your hands. I need something awesome enough to pull my gauss chariot.

~~~

I’ve got a few more cool things, but I should save them because they’re really cool and you definitely need to make sure you see those, not just lose them in the piles of stuff I pile out here.

In case you were wondering, my criteria for putting links up on this site is, if it’s something that’s cool that I’ll want to be able to find again and link to someone in the future, I post it. Otherwise, it doesn’t go up.

The only reason I’m making this post and the ones after it is because I suddenly got 11 views in one day after two weeks with less than ten hits the entire time. And someone was nice enough to leave a comment. So I was just reminded.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is both extremely charming and super-epic, and the recent animated movie Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is a must-see.

Oh my heavens, I think I’m the first person on the googlable internet to ever use the phrase “gauss chariot”. I must be a hero. While I’m at it, I’ll also be the first to popularize the term “gatling alien,” because as everyone knows, gatling alien is real, and you can play it if you have enough upgrade points.

ray tracing is a good thing

Imagine if you will, a laptop computer for which plugging in is optional, which is powered by fuel. Or a laptop that charges in three minutes and lasts for days at full power. Or one of those sonicare vibrating toothbrushes, the size of a regular toothbrush, that still last a full week without recharging. Feasible electric cars, capable of going as fast or faster than the cars we have right now. A camera that you don’t have to keep recharging every time you use it. James Bond-like equipment, like his magnetic climbing grapple; robots such as you might see in Ghost in the Shell or some other science-fiction.

All these things can and, if I may, will happen, soon after we make some real breakthroughs in portable power sources. A good marking point would be when you can power an SUV for a mile over flat ground with a device the size of a nalgene bottle. When we get to that (actually modest) goal, then we can start doing some cool things.

Imagine, if you will. Imagine a screen that sees where you are and projects the screen differently into each of your eyes. Like a window into another world, such a screen could show you anything, in beautiful, nearly flawless 3d. Or perhaps even a similar screen for which each pixel could change its appearance from every angle, as a tiny projector. Too much screen data to display state-of-the-art moving graphics from every angle, such a screen would still be perfect for static or slowly-changing scenery, sublimely beautiful from every angle. Given good enough eye targeting and a high degree of resolution and accuracy, such a screen could also display different images to each eye of a large number of people simultaneously. (Think of that, no more screen-looking!)

Retinal laser-projection displays, on the other hand, have even more potential. While they’re probably not practical for viewing by multiple people, the resolution and fine detail achievable is simply staggering.
We’re talking about the possibility of a resolution comparable to the actual native resolution of your retina itself. Not only that, but get this: you could actually detect the focus of the eye and change the displayed image accordingly. So essentially, it’s possible to construct a display nearly indistinguishable from normal real-life vision.

So that’s the science I was talking about. With display technology in mind, ray tracing is the future of graphics. Since it’s actual light simulation, for all practical purposes there is no limit to the amount of processing power you can pour into it before it stops improving.

And… do my eyes decieve me, or does Wikipedia have RSS feeds for every single page now? Actually, it appears to be an RSS feed for all of Wikipedia. I wonder what uses that could have.

edit: They do indeed have individual feeds for every single article, and several other things. See Wikipedia:Syndication for details.

BEHOLD!

A vast new world of bloggage! What strange and wondrous things might we find in this brave new world?

Expect an epic dump of very excellent links when I return tomorrow.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

Help, I’m trapped in the past! And the Hundred Years War is starting!