Smithsonian Channel Press Site (Archive)

Smithsonian Channel Press Site
Smithsonian Channel Press Site

We (under Glyph Media, Inc.) develop and maintain press and internal sites for the Smithsonian Networks which is a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s SHOWTIME Networks and the Smithsonian Institution.

Press sites are used by print and broadcast companies when making their features and are not usually public domain.

El Rey Network Press Site (Archive)

El Rey Network Press Site
El Rey Network Press Site

We (under Glyph Media, Inc.) develop and maintain the press site for new US TV network El Rey who have shows like the TV adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn, Matador and Lucha Underground.

Press sites are used by print and broadcast companies when making their features and are not usually public domain.

No to 1and1

No to 1and1. Choose a better host.
No to 1and1. Choose a better host. (Image grabbed from www.rehosted.net)

Just a quick rant about 1and1.com. This is the hosting provider used by the company I work for. And I have been vocal about my problems with their service. However, I don’t see them transferring to another provider anytime soon.

One word to describe 1and1 is “terrible.” Very slow and often useless tech support (that I am ashamed to admit is done here in my country); inconsistent and unreliable service; also often blacklisted for email spam. Not to mention the time that this domain got disabled because I turned off auto-renewal and they took their sweet time allowing the transfer to another domain registrar (Hostgator).

Recently, I have been working on a media site for a well-known US TV network, and our task was to automate posting of video clips to their websites and their media server (Brightcove). I got stuck with a terrible bug for two days because my script ran on the browser but it misbehaved when in the terminal. The script has to be called by CRON so it needed to run via command line.

It turns out they use different versions of PHP: 4.4.9 in bash and 5.x for web. I couldn’t believe it.

FL Studio 11 on the Mac

fl-studio-11-macI came across FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops) in the late 1990s as part of a sampler CD filled with Shareware music software. The step sequencer reminded me of Hammerhead that I had also used to program beats that I used on an album Phantoms for my music project names are for tombstones. I made FL my main DAW in the early 2000s (upon release of version 2, if memory serves) and have produced a lot of stuff with it ever since.

The one thing that was lacking, until (somewhat) recently, was a Mac version. FL Studio is still an exclusively Windows application since it is developed in Delphi (which is essentially Object Pascal for Windows) and had its backbone built on Windows-centered media technologies like DirectX. Fans who do not want to go through the hassle of setting up Bootcamp on their Macs had to use/port Wine (and similar/derived technologies like WineBottler) or even set up a Virtual Machine running a version of Windows to be enjoy FL.

But with ImageLine releasing an official Crossover package for the Mac, everything changed. The image on top is a screen shot of FL running in my OS X Lion right after I grabbed it to test. And of course an experiment is not complete without composing a track. Here’s one, titled Seven Year Itch for pseudo-band Shoe See Shoe, that I worked on using only the plugins (Sytrus, FL Soundfont Player and Boo Bass) and effects (Reverb 2) that came with version 11.

There are some bugs that come with it and it needs some setting up. I set my sample count to 512 to lessen the lag when I use my keyboard controller. Another limitation is that devices cannot be detected in real time. You have to restart the app like in older versions. Also during render, I get this looping audio. So I stop the process and click on the stop button repeatedly. It might be caused by the limiter/compressor plugin.

And another thing that consistently pops up is this:

fl-studio-11-mac-error

(which also happened, I believe, in my experiments with Wine and FL) when you close FL using its own exit command. Command Q will not function after some time so your only resort is to close the app Windows style.

Overall, if only during production, it seems to be working fine. I am not sure if it’s cut out for live performance. I don’t have a set up for that since I use a Mini and don’t have an Air or a Macbook.

Globe and SUPERSURF50

It was an interesting Twitter experience for me when an innocent tweet got picked up by a rep from Globe Telecom. I thought it was nice (cute, even) at the beginning until it started becoming ridiculous.

This was the tweet that started everything (click on the date links to see full threads):

And this was me right after the initial exchange:

It became stupid after that. Especially when they started giving their troubleshooting advice in private. (NOTE: I just noticed I gave them the wrong date. Harhar. Should be 9/8/2013.)

Screenshot_2013-09-11-11-16-18

Screenshot_2013-09-11-11-16-32

So I’ve been posting sarcastic tweets:

Unfortunately, they won’t stop:

This is really becoming stupid so I don’t think I will be fueling this exchange anymore.

Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act

Black Out
In protest of the Cybercrime Prevention Act

Philippine social networks are ablaze with activity nowadays. It was initially about the actions of a certain misguided senator related to the RH Bill. Now it’s the approval, insertion of the libel clause (by the same senator), and impending enactment of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Not going too much into detail about the law and the people involved. There’s enough of it floating around the Internet that a simple search would give one a lot of references from EFF, Forbes, Mashable, and the like. It is enough to say that it would certainly impact freedom of expression as certain provisions are vague and open to a differing interpretations. It is also a complete disregard of a UN resolution (while non-binding, is basis for international laws) concerning Internet freedom (which coincidentally was not signed by the Philippine delegation during the deliberation).

We’re voicing our opinion as part of the Philippine startup community, while IT professionals like us work very hard to put the country on the map to attract foreign investors, our government keeps blundering and makes ill-advised decisions that cancel out our efforts. While the US has gotten rid of SOPA, PIPA and similar laws the Philippines makes a mockery of it with the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

And we could become criminals under the law for expressing our opinions.