February 2009 Archives

I don't know if I ever linked to Prof. Steven Fedorowicz's Visual Anthropology of Japan Blog, but just in case I haven't:


Steven has a very nice section on the Ethics of Visual Anthropology in Japan -- especially intended for his students.

As Borat would say, "Verrrryy niiiice!"

I buy a lot of DVDs from Japan, but unfortunately they are often region 2 restricted. In order to play them back on American DVD players, I need to "rip" them and then burn them back as unrestricted (region 0) DVD-R.

The program I used to use on the Mac was MacTheRipper. Unfortunately, the program development on it seems to have stalled, and it isn't keeping pace with the latest encryption and anti-hacking technologies being used by some companies.

Fortunately a very good replacement for the Mac has come out called RipIt. It does cost $20, but well worth it if you have a lot of foreign DVDs that you want to play (or to backup DVDs that you watch often).

Under Windows XP or Windows 7, I use a program callled DVDFab. It's also commercial (i.e., costs money) but there isn't a DVD out there that it hasn't cracked. It works great under Fusion -- and it even writes the VIDEO_TS files out to a shared folder on my Mac OSX partition, so I can then write them out immediately using Toast, or use Handbrake to further compress them.

(You can compress to H.264 inside of both RipIt and DVD Fab but I think that Handbrake's algorithms are better and you have more control over the process).


Written: 2009-02-18
Updated: 2010-07-12

I'm setting up a media server in the anthropology department using Mac OSX 10.5 Server. With the demise of the C-Labs service, I wanted a secure way to make streaming video available for in-class use. The Mac OS X Leopard Server was an obvious choice.

Right now, I'm just using flat files and the Mac OSX Server built-in Apache server. In order to restrict the streams to just Yale students, I wanted to limit the contents of certain directories to just Yale IP addresses.

This should be easily done using .htaccess files. However, the default configuration doesn't have .htaccess services turned on (since it is server / file system intensive to do so). However, I couldn't for the life of me to get the Apache server to recognize my modifications in the /etc/httpd/httpd.conf file. ARGHH!!! It was almost as if it was ignoring it.

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