July 7, 2021

Video editors

My computer seems to be running too hot lately, and I guess the summer temperatures are not helping. Conky is showing up to 97 degrees when handling certain processes. Prime among these is video rendering (no surprise there). But I have found that Openshot video editor is very resource-hungry even when it isn't rendering, and sometimes it becomes unresponsive for a while. As a consequence, I have installed KDenlive, which consumes fewer resources when running. I don't remember what sort of package Openshot is on my machine; I think the version I was running may have been a Flatpack, rather than the package found in MX package installer.

I still don't really understand video formats. All I know is that after my video editor has done its rendering, I can get the size down further in the terminal with ffmpeg, using ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx265 -crf 28 output.mp4. The Zoom video I converted today came out at 23% of the original size, after rendering it in h264 compression in Kdenlive. The quality remained adequate.

Tumblr links

I found a WP plugin that autoposts to Tumblr, working the same way as the Twitter or autopost plugin, so I will send links to my blog posts to Tumblr, as I do to Mastodon and Twitter. I could put the entire posts in Tumblr, but don't want to.


My boss, S complains that she is unable to download from our Piwigo albums to her iPhone. I tried with my Android phone and didn't really succeed either. It's simple enough on the Desktop, but hard to accomplish on phones. I asked why she needed to download to her phone, and she explained that she has better photo editing photos there than on her computers - something I hadn't considered. Afterwards I found that there are apps for iPhone and Android. The Android version is in FDroid, so I installed it. However, as a “guest user” there isn't a whole lot that one can do in this Android app. Actually the mobile site is more attractive. From the description, it looks like the iPhone version is more successful, though people were complaining in the reviews about not being able to download photos to their phones, though those reviews are from last year, and there was a promise to rectify the situation. (Our Piwigo albums ).


I had a terrible time attempting to download videos from Facebook, meanwhile. Various tools and methods did not work for me. One Chrome plugin did work (in Vivaldi), in a round about sort of way - but I hate installing questionable plugins in my browsers. For now I've left it there, but disabled it.

My mission today was to download some videos of the end of year parties of the school, that one of the teachers had placed in the School's facebook group. I successfully downloaded them eventually, and combined a few of them into a single video; which I will upload afterwards to YouTube.

Expensive car repair

I had to go to collect our daughter's Mazda 2 from the garage after being serviced. They found numerous things wrong with it - with all the repairs, the bill came to almost 6,000 shekels.

New Earbuds

From Ali-Express I ordered some Sony earbuds, for about $40, to replace the almost identical pair that I eventually managed to lose, after 5 or 6 years. The new pair arrived today: Sony MDR-XB55AP, offering "Extra Bass". They seem fine, though I wonder whether their quality justifies replacing the quite reasonable pair that came with one of our phones.


... Anyway, the new pair were in my ears quite a lot today. I went for a walk in the woods, listening to one of Cafe De Anatolia's 2-hour mixes. I think the reason I enjoy these so much is that unlike many mixes in the same genre, they rarely contain popular music - the smatterings of songs that are there are mostly "ethno" or "world" music. I wonder if such use deserves the term "cultural appropriation"? Probably: I am sure there are Hindus who would object to this use of bhajans as sound bytes. But I appreciate the bhajans just as much as all the rest. And there is something about the instrumentation that I feel reflects a real love of music, its various styles and its potential to affect consciousness. According to Wikipedia, I have read that some people compare House music to Muzak. But I don't think that comparison is justified - at least not with the stuff I'm listening to .


Berta Cáceres assassination: ex-head of dam company found guilty - The Guardian

A US-trained former Honduran army intelligence officer who was the president of an internationally-financed hydroelectric company has been found guilty over the assassination of the indigenous environmentalist Berta Cáceres.

Cáceres was best known for her leadership in the Agua Zarca struggle, but she was also a sharp political analyst, LGBTQ+ rights campaigner and human rights defender who had long frustrated the country’s economic and political elites with her ability to unite disparate sectors against the corrupt status quo.

Victor Fernández, one of the Cáceres family’s lawyers, said the verdict demonstrated the magnitude of the struggle by Cáceres and the Lenca community in the face of a corrupt state which sold off their territory without consent. “Their audacity, determination and dignity to resist, defend and triumph over this corrupt system sets a precedent. We have nothing to thank the justice system for. It was they who persecuted Berta; they criminalized her and displaced her. This victory is a result of our militancy.”

The low-desire life: why people in China are rejecting high-pressure jobs in favour of ‘lying flat’ - The Guardian

Fury in India over death of 84-year-old political prisoner Stan Swamy - The Guardian

India’s oldest political prisoner, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest who was denied bail as his health deteriorated, has died, prompting an outpouring of anger among lawyers, writers, politicians and activists.

Father Stan Swamy, a priest and human rights activist who spent five decades fighting for the rights of the tribal community in the state of Jharkhand, was arrested in October 2020, charged under draconian terrorism laws and held in judicial custody.

Despite Swamy’s weak condition from advanced Parkinson’s disease, which worsened after he contracted Covid-19 in prison last month, the courts repeatedly denied him pre-trial bail.

Google, Facebook and other tech companies threaten to quit Hong Kong over privacy law - The Guardian

No, open source Audacity audio editor is not “spyware” -| Ars Technica

The article seems to me a bit too understanding. I think her comment about any normal commercial program requiring telemetry for law enforcement is ridiculous:

This leaves the last row—"data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities' requests (if any)." While that's certainly a broad category and not particularly well-defined, it's also a fact of life in 2021. Whether a privacy policy says so or not, the odds are rather good that any given company will comply with legitimate law enforcement requests. If it doesn't, it won't likely be a company for long.

Maybe that's true for online services and social networks, but for offline programs, really?

Biden’s right-to-repair order could stop companies from blocking DIY fixes - Ars Technica