Questions you want answered.

I would say maybe give it to a friend with an iTunes device. Apple's definition of DRM free is a lot like Henry Ford's concept of "choice."

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I got a $10 iTunes card but am not entirely sure what to do with it. I don't do the iOS thing. Their TV shows and movies would be a pain to get viewable on my TV, and I'd rather have stuff like that in my Amazon library, anyway. Is their music still DRM'd?

Not as far as I can tell--I download albums from iTunes and then transfer the MP3s to my Droid and play them just fine.

KingGorilla wrote:

I would say maybe give it to a friend with an iTunes device. Apple's definition of DRM free is a lot like Henry Ford's concept of "choice."

Huh? It's either DRM-free or it isn't. And iTunes music has been DRM-free for years now.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I got a $10 iTunes card but am not entirely sure what to do with it. I don't do the iOS thing. Their TV shows and movies would be a pain to get viewable on my TV, and I'd rather have stuff like that in my Amazon library, anyway. Is their music still DRM'd?

Trading thread. See if someone wants to exchange it for amazon or something.

Nope, iTunes music hasn't been DRM in ages.

Can anyone point me towards a free(ish, although I am not opposed to paying for a good program) program that will convert videos from formats like .mkv and .avi to mp4 so that I can watch them on my iPhone?

mudbunny, all you need is Hanbrake

Citizen86 wrote:

mudbunny, all you need is Handbrake

+1. It's the dead simple one-stop solution.

So what's the deal with adding media to your iTunes library? I've got a bunch of stuff downloaded (actually came on the computer when I bought it second-hand) and it would be handy if I could watch it via my AppleTV. I can add videos that I've made to my iTunes library; when I select one of the ripped movies - and I've tried a variety of formats - nothing happens. Any thoughts?

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

So what's the deal with adding media to your iTunes library? I've got a bunch of stuff downloaded (actually came on the computer when I bought it second-hand) and it would be handy if I could watch it via my AppleTV. I can add videos that I've made to my iTunes library; when I select one of the ripped movies - and I've tried a variety of formats - nothing happens. Any thoughts?

I've been making a massive effort to avoid making unhelpful snarky responses. I didn't have to delete anything before I wrote this one! I hope someone can offer you some useful advice soon

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

So what's the deal with adding media to your iTunes library? I've got a bunch of stuff downloaded (actually came on the computer when I bought it second-hand) and it would be handy if I could watch it via my AppleTV. I can add videos that I've made to my iTunes library; when I select one of the ripped movies - and I've tried a variety of formats - nothing happens. Any thoughts?

I am just doing that now. Grab Handbrake (www.handbrake.fr) and start the conversion. Then it should add with little or no problem.

mudbunny wrote:
Chumpy_McChump wrote:

So what's the deal with adding media to your iTunes library? I've got a bunch of stuff downloaded (actually came on the computer when I bought it second-hand) and it would be handy if I could watch it via my AppleTV. I can add videos that I've made to my iTunes library; when I select one of the ripped movies - and I've tried a variety of formats - nothing happens. Any thoughts?

I am just doing that now. Grab Handbrake (www.handbrake.fr) and start the conversion. Then it should add with little or no problem.

In Handbrake you are going to want to use the AppleTV (insert gen number here) preset as sort of your baseline. You can tweak stuff a bit to get higher quality or smaller file sizes. It slows the process down quite a bit but I like to use the Deinterlace Slow setting (I regularly get over 100fps with my i5-760). You can enable this in the Picture Settings window.

In your iTunes Media folder you should have a folder titles Automatically Add To iTunes. Drop stuff in there and it will be processed into iTunes based on its metadata. Not sure what to use for metadata editing on Windows though. You can do some of it manually in iTunes. In Mac OS X I use iFlicks.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

All things considered, I thought the ending to The Road was upbeat.

That's the main problem with that movie.

On hosting etiquette; as a vegetarian what's the polite way to handle omnivorous guest?

My thinking so far is that were I invited to their home I'd tell them about my dietary restrictions and offer to bring my own food to save them the trouble, so likewise perhaps telling potential guest 'heads up, I'm veg so BYOMeat if you want any' is appropriate? I'm not opposed to others eating meat but it's been many years and thus if I were to select and prepare some for them chances are it would be pretty terrible anyway.

krev82 wrote:

On hosting etiquette; as a vegetarian what's the polite way to handle omnivorous guest?

My thinking so far is that were I invited to their home I'd tell them about my dietary restrictions and offer to bring my own food to save them the trouble, so likewise perhaps telling potential guest 'heads up, I'm veg so BYOMeat if you want any' is appropriate? I'm not opposed to others eating meat but it's been many years and thus if I were to select and prepare some for them chances are it would be pretty terrible anyway.

Just make something tasty, no discussion necessary. Meat isn't a required part of every omni meal.

If you're really worried, grill some marinated portabellas or something similar.

clover wrote:

Meat isn't a required part of every omni meal.

On behalf of those of us with Y-chromosomes: yes, yes it is.

Coldstream wrote:
clover wrote:

Meat isn't a required part of every omni meal.

On behalf of those of us with Y-chromosomes: yes, yes it is. ;)

Does your wang shrivel up without it? You should see a doctor about that

I was taught by my mother that if I were invited as a guest to someone's house, that I was to eat what was offered (so long as it wasn't poisoned or against my own dietary restrictions), say nothing but good things about it, and thank my host for the meal. If I had anything bad to eat, the thing to do would be to stop eating it and keep my opinion strictly to myself unless a forthright one was asked for. While I have a Y chromosome, I am not all that fond of meat. Don't like the taste. I prefer well-prepared veggies, nuts, and good, fresh fish. Meat's what you settle for when you can't get the good stuff.

A good-tasting table with savory dishes is all anyone really has a right to expect.

clover wrote:
krev82 wrote:

On hosting etiquette; as a vegetarian what's the polite way to handle omnivorous guest?

My thinking so far is that were I invited to their home I'd tell them about my dietary restrictions and offer to bring my own food to save them the trouble, so likewise perhaps telling potential guest 'heads up, I'm veg so BYOMeat if you want any' is appropriate? I'm not opposed to others eating meat but it's been many years and thus if I were to select and prepare some for them chances are it would be pretty terrible anyway.

Just make something tasty, no discussion necessary. Meat isn't a required part of every omni meal.

If you're really worried, grill some marinated portabellas or something similar.

This! I have an awesome vegetarian mushroom stroganoff recipe (there's even a vegan alternate if I have someone around going all that way). My gang greets the idea that I've made it with joy, even though they are confirmed meat-a-sauruses.

It's also more than possible to make and serve both an omni and a veggie entre, and each guest can eat what they choose. That's how I usually handle it like for holidays and stuff. Make a turkey and it's trimmings, but also a vegetarian option, and they share the veggies and salads and whatnot.

Speaking as someone who grew up vegetarian, I preferred making one dish that everyone can eat if there were only one or two meativore guests. If you cook a meat dish for them, they'll quickly figure out that they're the only one eating it, and feel awkward that they put you out, or that their visit might have made you bend your principles for them.

Just make something vegetarian with lots of umami flavor, and they won't even notice there's no meat.

krev82 wrote:

On hosting etiquette; as a vegetarian what's the polite way to handle omnivorous guest?

Skip the crappy meat analogues altogether, and tell 'em Everybody Loves Raymond sucks while you're at it. Really, that's awfully considerate of you, but I think clover's dead-on - just make something good. There's always the possibility that someone might mistake your hosting (ahem!) a meatless meal as some backhanded form of proselytizing instead of just "it's what I made for dinner!", but if they're that far gone, they should probably be out wrestling Masons or something similarly conspiratorial instead. And anyone who does that just isn't worth your time!

It really depends on the size of the party, how much effort is expected. Is this people over for dinner? Cocktails? Luncheon? Breakfast or Brunch?

As a general rule, for me, I ask people when I send out invites if they have specific dietary needs-Kosher, Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal, Allergies? Normally it is the halal that gets the most responses near me; shell fish allergies come in a bit too. I just gave up creamed herring for Lent.

I have never met someone who was so die-hard for meat who also did not think there was a war when Christmas time came around, and might throw battery acid in your face should to deign to utter "Happy Holidays" to them.

Pot lucks can be handy too.

If you are having people over to brunch, you can do waffles, pancakes, or french toast, with a little bacon or sausage on the side for those who want it. For lunch, you can do salads, maybe with some grilled chicken or salmon for those who want it. Cocktail parties are pretty easy too. I have never met someone who was unhappy that I serve no meat at mine-normally exclusively fruits, cheeses, brushetta, etc. Dinner, vegetarian lasagna is nice (I make min vegetarian half the time), portabella burgers, fish, bean burgers are also nifty-eggplant parmigiana is always a crowd pleaser too.

But if all else fails, and someone complains or looks aghast, fall down sobbing and tell them that you did your best, but sometimes the brain tumor just gets int he way.

Thanks for the input everyone, I've not yet hosted any sort of event but glad to know I won't be committing any grievous social faux pas once I get around to doing so.

KingGorilla wrote:

fall down sobbing and tell them that you did your best, but sometimes the brain tumor just gets int he way.

I've been reserving that hand so it can hit home for maximal impact if ever needed or simply to play 'zarg' in scrabble, either way.

Is there anyplace that will give me the horizontal dimensions of monitors? I expect a sizable check to be coming my way soon, which will enable me to buy a brand new computer. My current desk is quite nice, except the space for the monitor is only 24 inches wide.

New Egg normally gives full dimensions.

If I register for a site and it sends me an activation email with my password in it (i.e. in plain text), is that a 100% for sure indicator they are not encrypting passwords?

edit: a password I chose when I registered, not one they randomly generated for me.

In scrabble, is it ok to let someone play a series of letters that you know isn't a real word if it's going to set you up for an epic number of points immediately following?

If it goes unchallenged, it stays.

But if memory serves, a person who loses a challenge loses their next turn as well. The challenge kind of has me unhappy with electronic Scrabble. Not to be abused, but it adds a more complex level.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

If I register for a site and it sends me an activation email with my password in it (i.e. in plain text), is that a 100% for sure indicator they are not encrypting passwords?

edit: a password I chose when I registered, not one they randomly generated for me.

It's not an absolute guarantee—they might keep a hash but send the password to you for "safe-keeping".

But, if they're stupid enough to think that sending a not-randomly-generated-just-now-for-reset password in the clear via email is even vaguely acceptable, I would not expect any kind of sound security practices.

Even if you don't use unique passwords for every site, use one for any site that does that. Or at the very least use a "this is my password for things I give absolutely zero sh*ts about" password for sites like that.

If the site ever touches money? Run.

Hypatian wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

If I register for a site and it sends me an activation email with my password in it (i.e. in plain text), is that a 100% for sure indicator they are not encrypting passwords?

edit: a password I chose when I registered, not one they randomly generated for me.

It's not an absolute guarantee—they might keep a hash but send the password to you for "safe-keeping".

But, if they're stupid enough to think that sending a not-randomly-generated-just-now-for-reset password in the clear via email is even vaguely acceptable, I would not expect any kind of sound security practices.

Even if you don't use unique passwords for every site, use one for any site that does that. Or at the very least use a "this is my password for things I give absolutely zero sh*ts about" password for sites like that.

If the site ever touches money? Run.

I see you've never worked for the government.