…such as those obtained from online video sites using a tool like this.

method #1: extract audio stream to AAC

Though according to this thread this may produce a corrupt file.

$ ffmpeg -i input.flv -vn -acodec copy output.aac

method #2: V0 MP3

Though of course this involves evil transcoding.

$ ffmpeg -i input.flv -vn output.wav
$ lame -V0 output.wav output.mp3


Posted Sun 02 Sep 2012 12:24:00 UTC Tags:

I’ve been a supporter of Richard Stallman’s side—as opposed to Linus Torvald’s—of the Free Software movement for some years now, but I don’t think that I appear to be as zealous about it as I once was. One reason for this is that I don’t spend very much time at all anymore either writing computer programs or running more obscure ones, and so I don’t come up against choices about whether to use non-Free Software or not. I’ve got my default Debian Squeeze XFCE install and I have my Emacs, Alpine and ZSH configuration files and that’s about it. I think now, though, it’s more a case of supporting UNIX as the environment that I am used to, as opposed to explicitly supporting the use of GNU/Linux. I am perfectly happy with my NetBSD shell provider, and if I had to use an Apple Macintosh for day-to-day computing, the only thing that would annoy me, I suspect, would be the lack of focus-follow-mouse.

continue reading this entry

Posted Wed 05 Sep 2012 11:36:00 UTC Tags:

Had a great evening reading through all ~70 posts on Joey Hess’ git-annex assistant development blog. Really looking forward to this tool, turning git-annex into a true replacement for dropbox without covering up the manual CLI control the likes of me are used to.

Posted Wed 05 Sep 2012 20:32:00 UTC Tags:

This is the easiest way I can find to make LaTeX render my Unicode Hangul characters on Debian.

,# apt-get install ko.tex ko.tex-extra


The \SetHangulFonts line chooses a sans-serif font which I prefer for Korean. There are packages dhucs-enumitem, dhucs-enumerate and dhucs-paralist if you want your lists numbered in Korean too. To get things like “Contents” in Korean, try the hangul and hanja options to the kotex and dhucs-setspace packages above.

For use with Org-mode:

#+LATEX_HEADER: \usepackage[nonfrench,finemath]{kotex} \usehangulfontspec{ut} \SetHangulFonts{utgt}{utgt}{uttz} \usepackage{dhucs-setspace} \usepackage{dhucs-gremph}

Making use of this to make myself a sheet of number vocabulary to learn.

Posted Thu 06 Sep 2012 08:33:00 UTC Tags:

I’ve really been enjoying the album Fancy Footwork by Chromeo recently, in among the K-pop. Here are my favourites:

Bonafied Lovin’


Posted Fri 14 Sep 2012 20:33:00 UTC Tags:

On Friday I ran three seminars as part of a philosophy conference for fourteen-year-olds run by the University of Sheffield’s Philosophy in the City outreach program. The day was based around Eric Olson’s views on personal identity. This became overbearing, because the day was planned, at Olson’s insistence, around his views alone: all three seminars were about animalism, a view almost no-one else agrees with, and the students felt they had nothing they could contrast it with. Because they didn’t.

It was a problem of competing interests. The university wanted to show that research produced by one of its academics was having a real ‘impact’ on the community. Post-graduate students from the university who actually organised the day told the students they were interested in their flourishing as human beings.

Posted Sun 16 Sep 2012 16:38:00 UTC Tags:

PSY - LONDON STYLE (Gangnam Style M/V Parody)

To be expected, but this is v. good.

Posted Mon 17 Sep 2012 18:01:00 UTC Tags:

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether. (source)

I would like to know what he means by ‘spirituality’.

Posted Mon 17 Sep 2012 18:11:00 UTC Tags:

PhDs Struggling in a Difficult Job Market: Don’t Apply to THIS Job! | Leiter Reports

Philosopher Daniel Weiskopf (George State) calls my attention to a quite startling ad for a job in English at Colorado State University, which requires that applicants have earned the PhD since 2010! As the linked post notes, given the state of the humanities job market, everyone knows there are lots of very good candidates with PhDs from 2009, 2008 and, horrors, even 2007 who still haven’t found suitable appontments. This ad promises to consign them to the discard pile without even looking at them. Hopefully we won’t see such ads in philosophy.

Another job ad says, “Victims of the recession not welcome” | Leiter Reports

Posted Mon 17 Sep 2012 18:15:00 UTC Tags:


“The NY Times Philosophy Blog, “The Stone”: Taking Stock After Six Months (with special attention to this week’s travesty) | Leiter Reports”

Posted Mon 17 Sep 2012 18:17:00 UTC Tags:

Fun group, just downloaded their first album, here is the song of theirs I like most so far:

Orange Caramel - Shanghai Romance | YouTube

Posted Tue 25 Sep 2012 18:22:00 UTC Tags:

This is nice, completely decentralised VPN software:

PeerVPN - the open source peer-to-peer VPN

Here is an article describing how to make tinc do a similar thing; advantageous because tinc runs on Windows.

Using tinc VPN | Operational Dynamics

And finally freelan claims it is superior to tinc in terms of security.

Posted Tue 25 Sep 2012 18:27:00 UTC Tags:

A proposed shift in drug policy: From prevention to harm reduction | Brain Study

However, the real strength of Professor Nutt’s argument is in his rationale for sensible drug policy based on scientific results rather than political scare-mongering and media sensationalism.

This comment isn’t fair. Drug policy ought to be based on scientific results concerning harm only after a decision has been taken to make drugs policy a matter of harm reduction, harm reduction in the terms that science can measure i.e. a matter of physiological health. Society might decide that it doesn’t want drugs to be part of people’s lives as a matter of principle, in which case, scientific results are completely irrelevant. I agree with Ms Smith and Prof Nutt, but don’t think the opposition should be disposed of so condescendingly.

Posted Tue 25 Sep 2012 19:32:00 UTC Tags:

Wolf has always been a creature of public fantasy, a reflection of our desire for attractive victimhood, for outspoken reductionism, for easy answers with a “relatable” narrative.


Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 19:43:00 UTC Tags:

To put it at its most basic, I would summarise the historicist tradition in two propositions: 1) that history can be a science, and 2) that everything in the human world changes and is the product of history. We are all historicists today because we broadly accept both propositions. 1) would have been denied before the 18th century and Chladenius; and 2) would have been denied by many thinkers in the Enlightenment, who believed in a constant human nature, and by even more thinkers in the Middle Ages, who thought in terms of the eternal teachings of Christianity.


I feel as though I ought to know something about this sort of stuff!

Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 19:53:00 UTC Tags:

Think Like (a) Git

Pleased to improve my understanding of git at last; it’s less scary now. Still got plenty more to learn.

Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 20:07:00 UTC Tags:

Peer pressure | Stephen Mumford, THE

The peer review system for humanities is deeply perplexing.

Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 20:09:00 UTC Tags:

The Problem With The Big Bang Theory… | Shouting Into The Void

I’ve never seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory, but I thought this piece had some interesting things to say—about the show, its audience, and about the class of people the piece is appealing to.

Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 20:26:00 UTC Tags:

Inside the Gaijin Dungeon at Narita Airport in Japan | Globalite Magazine

Came across some months back but the author had blanked the page, so I couldn’t link to it here. It’s not clear that he’s a credible source, but information in this article from the Economist suggests that it’s probably coming from the right direction. I find the issues chilling.

Posted Wed 26 Sep 2012 20:35:00 UTC Tags:

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship. —Dostoevsky

I don’t know the context for this so I might be misinterpreting it, and I would replace ‘someone’ with ‘something’, then it is spot on. I find my thoughts running, “well, at least there is truth here” when considering some institution, (often historical) individual or piece of writing, over and over and over again.

Posted Fri 28 Sep 2012 20:53:00 UTC Tags:

Last night I bought into the Prison Architect alpha and I spent some time playing around today. It’s not really playable, to be honest: I found my orders being ignored rather often which meant I couldn’t get stuff built so my prisoners started rioting. I also had a lot of escapes; I didn’t really build my entrance way securely enough. Looking forward to losing a lot of hours to this once it is finished…

Posted Fri 28 Sep 2012 21:01:00 UTC Tags: