Streamburst is brilliant

I just came across Streamburst via Techcrunch. Within minutes, I was happily downloading In Search of the Valley at a blistering 8-9 megabits per second, probably the closest I’ve ever gotten to topping out my 16-megabit ADSL connection. By the time I finish this blog post, a full DRM-free 1.1 gigabyte DVD-quality movie will be ready to watch, all for $7.99. That’s brilliant.

I went to ISOTV’s website, added the downloadable movie to my part, and paid using paypal. I was then presented with three download options:

I could choose to download any or all of the three formats, reminiscent of allofmp3.com. The encoding itself is DRM free, and I can choose to play the movie on whatever device I want.

What’s the catch? Streamburst prepends the movie with a 5 second clip showing who originally purchased the movie:

I’d much rather see my name on a movie than the completely pointless FBI warning on Hollywood releases. Streamburst also supposedly adds some sort of invisible, durable watermarking that is intended to be persistant through re-encodings.

I absolutely hate DRM. I hate it so much that I don’t even use some iTunes credit. I think audible.com would be an awesome service if it wasn’t for its DRM. I have 2 audible.com book credits that I’ll probably never use. It’s really that much of a pain in the ass, although admittedly it is probably worse for me being a desktop linux user. Like most people, however, I just want to be able to play my media on any device I want to use. I don’t want to be locked into a single piece of hardware or software to play back media that I’ve legally purchased.

Is this Streamburst going to stop piracy doing this? Absolutely not. I can easily clip the 5 seconds of my name and transcode the video into another format easily. However, I did just spend $8 on a movie I was interested in but not enough to purchase the DVD ...

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Self balancing pendubot

That’s my friend Tim with our final project as Clemson EE students back in 2004. We were given a computer running QNX and told to build a pendubot:

The Pendubot is a two-linked inverted pendulum actuated by a single motor. The links are connected to each other by a rotational joint, and the base of one link is connected to the motor. Control of the Pendubot is available only at the base of one of the links, thus the challenge of the project is to balance the top link by only the bottom link.

I recently found this video, and so I thought I’d share by making my first youtube.com upload.

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