September started with news of a massive intrusion on a number of celebrities’ cloud storage accounts. It was claimed that lots and lots of pictures, of a private nature, were stolen. The pictures leaked online, making this one of the biggest leaks of celebrity nude, and sexual footage, measured by the number of people that were affected.

Even when such things happen on a smaller scale, incidents like this have a few different aspects to them. I wish to discuss them briefly:

First of all, who’s to blame for this happening? Well, the simple answer is; the person who broke into the accounts and downloaded the material and proceeded to make it public.

That’s it. No shared blame, there is no excuse, no forgiving reason, and nothing that can defend the action of breaking into someones personal storage accounts, download pictures and spread them. You can not claim ignorance to this, or think that what you did was within the law or the defensible moral thing to do.

Now, what made the break-in possible is rumored to be a flaw in the security of Apple’s cloud storage. Whether this is the case or not, that still does not make Apple to blame for what actually happened.

Even though a lock is easy to break doesn’t mean you should. And even if there was no lock at all, there was no indication that these pictures were anything but private. Could this have been prevented by Apple having better security in place? Maybe. But without someone actually breaking into the accounts, this wouldn’t happen either.

Some will claim that the pictures shouldn’t have been taken in the first place. I can to a certain degree agree with that, but not when it comes to the question of blame. The leaked content has, as far as I know, not depicted anything that people shouldn’t be able to do if they want to. There is no evidence of anyone being hurt, or doing anything against their will. And in my opinion, as long as no one is hurt, people should be allowed and feel free to do what pleases them. There is no shame in that. However, a general rule of thumb could be: don’t take pictures and video of something that, if it is made public, will take away from the quality of your life.

I want to clarify: there is no shame in naked pictures, sexual pictures, whatever, as long as what is depicted is done consent from everyone involved.

However, if you think that such pictures or video, if they come out, can have a devastating  effect on your life, your career or anything — it might be better not to make them. I don’t think people should think that, or feel that way. In a better world, the only focus after this incident should be that someone broke into other peoples accounts, and downloaded their personal stuff. The content of the documents should be a non-issue. There is nothing in any of the pictures that were leaked, that will make me think any less of any of the people involved. There is nothing in any of those pictures that affects the talent of any of those involved. And there is nothing in those pictures that anyone should be ashamed about. You might not like what you see, but the people in the pictures hopefully do. And so that is just a matter of taste.

There is nothing anyone can do at this point, to stop the pictures from spreading. All such attempts will just increase people’s interest in them, and you will just get the Streisand effect. People will keep on sharing them, and if something is on the Internet, it will stay on the Internet. And going after the people who are sharing them in a non-profitable way will probably just be an attack on people who are fans. I am not saying that such sharing is something anyone should do,  but trying to stop it will be a losing battle.

You can try to deny that the pictures are of you, but considering the CSI-ish tendencies of some people, that might be futile. And also, coming off as a liar is in my opinion a lot worse than admitting to have had some fun. As I’ve already stated, I’ve seen two tweets in the aftermath that I consider both funny and admirable.

First one was  Kirsten Dunst, expressing her frustration with the leak, without trying to excuse anything:

Second was  Becca Tobin, making a joke on the fact that a couple of the pics that leaked had a christmas theme:

As for the person who actually broke into the accounts and invading the privacy of all the victims, he or she is a criminal, and should be held accountable for the crimes committed.

In summary, what I wanted to say, is that even though the criminal act here was a terrible invasion of privacy, there seems to be a lot of silly focus on the victims. A sort of shaming of people just doing things they did for pleasure, without hurting anyone. Putting someone’s private life on display against their will is abuse. Expecting the victims in any way to be ashamed, comment on it, or explain themselves is adding to that abuse.

As I was browsing the web a few days ago, I started noticing that every time I scrolled down on the mouse wheel, Chrome would zoom the page to 90%.

At first I thought Ctrl was stuck, but after rebooting and testing a bit, I found out that it was not the problem. The culprit was a util I use called KatMouse

This I found after searching and finding this post

Michael Uttley writes at the Google product forums:

It looks like the zooming issue is related to mouse scrolling freeware. From seeing the comments below about “KatMouse”, I took a look at a tool I run called “WizMouse.” The purpose of these tools is to allow scrolling windows without focusing on them. Settings can be changed in these to fix the problem.

Resolutions:

KatMouse (per nsx82): Add class: Chrome_WidgetWin_1, and under the settings tick option: “Window  has scrolling wheel support?” (try checked first)

WizMouse (per JoPa Mi): Uncheck “Enable mouse wheel for applications without mouse wheel support”

Last night, I was exporting a video I’ve been working on. And since I’ve lately become very interested in color correction in video, I was not very pleased to see that the black level in the video was shifted to brighter, as I played it back in VLC.  It looked like the black was clipped at broadcast levels. In short, it looked like the black was set to (R,G,B) (16, 16, 16) instead of the (0, 0, 0) that I had be working towards.

Searching the web I found lots of people having problems with gamma in mp4/h264 files from Premiere exported with QuickTime, but I didn’t use QuickTime, and a gamma shift wouldn’t move the black level. I also tried a different codec, and so my thoughts started to shift towards VLC.

It turns out that VLC was partly the problem. In my search I found this blog entry by Ben Krasnow which pointed me in the right direction.

In the NVIDIA Control Panel you can go to “Adjust video color settings”, “How do you make color adjustments”, I chose “With NVIDIA settings”, clicked the “Advanced” tab, and set the dynamic range to Full.

Or, in VLC I could go into Tools | Preferences | Video  and disabled “Use hardware YUV->RGB conversion”

Seems like VLC is not capable to tell the NVIDIA drivers that it wants the full range, and so the driver clamps it to broadcast safe.

I made a small utility in Max4Live to display the frequency of the note played.
It also displays the frequency four octave above and below, in addition the note name, and the midi number.

Not a big deal, but can be useful in certain situations, to avoid having to do the math yourself.

I was trying to set up mingw/msys with freeglut and Glew, to be able to do some programming in OpenGL. None of the instructions I found seemed to be just right, so I’ve tried to document the steps I needed to get it to work.

Get the latest mingw-get-inst from SourceForge (tested with mingw-get-inst-20120426):
http://sourceforge.net/projects/mingw/files/Installer/mingw-get-inst/

Run it, and install all the packages.

Open up an msys shell window. Unpack freeglut, and configure, build and install with the following commands:

./configure --with-x=no --prefix=/mingw
make
make install

http://glew.sourceforge.net/

Unpack in the msys shell, and build and install with the following commands:

make
make GLEW_DEST=/mingw install

That should have you up and running.

Some tutorials and stuff will tell you to link against library names that’s not quite right in mingw.

I built the first example from here: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/OpenGL_Programming/Modern_OpenGL_Introduction

with the following command:

g++ triangle.c -lglut -lglew32 -lopengl32 -o triangle

Hope this is of any use.

I have used Processing with an external editor for years now, and I relied heavily on the “use external editor” option in the IDE. That option is now gone, and has been replaced by a command line option instead.

At first the removal of that option annoyed me, but it has grown on me after I managed to set it up properly.

To set it up in Notepad++ you have to install a plug-in called NppExec. That can be done with the plugin manager.

When that is done, open up the source file for a Processing sketch, and press F6.

As command enter:

C:\path\to\processing\processing-java.exe --run --force --sketch="$(CURRENT_DIRECTORY)" --output=c:\temp\p5 Just change it to point to the correct path, and for output have some temporary folder set up. Works like a charm As I was also tipped about Sublime Text on Twitter after posting this, I decided to try it out. I sat up a new build system with the following lines: { "cmd": ["C:\\path\\to\\processing\\processing-java", "--sketch=$file_path", "--run", "--output=c:\\temp\\p5", "--force"] }

Which also seems to work very well. As for how that editor is, I guess I will find out.

For The Gathering 2012 there is a music compo which requires you to only make music using the provided VSTi, called SaneStation.

Using it in Ableton Live, and conform to the rules in the compo might be a bit tricky, so I will try my best to describe how to set it up.

I presume you have been able to download and install the VSTi yourself, and that you see it in the VST-list in Ableton Live.

Start up a new project, and drag the sanestation vsti into a MIDI-track. Rename the track to SaneStation. It is not important, but I will persume you did, so it makes it easier to follow along here. This will be the main track for controlling the synth, and editing patches and stuff.  You can only have one instance of SaneStation, or it will probably crash, so keep one in there.

Set “MIDI To” to point to “SaneStation”

In the dropdown box underneath, chose “1-sanestation”.

Add a new MIDI-clip in the track, and set both “bank”, “sub-bank” and “program” to 1.

Then add some notes and hit play.

To tweak the sound, select the SaneStation track, and the VSTi interface should pop up.

Make a cool sound.

Set MIDI To to SaneStation and 2-sanestation

Add a MIDI-clip, and set “Bank” and “Sub-Bank” to 1, “Program” to 2. Add some notes, hit play.

To edit the sound for this channel, select the SaneStation track again, and in the Track View-pane select “Instrument 1″ in the sanestation contoller.

You can now tweak the sound in the VSTi GUI.

Do all your composing and arranging and stuff like that, as usual.

When you are done, and ready to export you have to do the following.

In arrangement view

Make sure that every track starts at the same time,fill in with blank clips if necessary.

For each track, select all the clips in the track.

Right click, and choose “consolidate”

Right click again, on each track, an choose to export midi clip.

Name them wisely.

Open the VSTi-GUI for SaneStation, and export the soundbank to the same directory as all the midi-clips.

You should now be able to put all the files together with the compile-utility that came with SaneStation. Refer to that manual/readme for how it is done.

There might be easier and/or better ways to do this in Live, but this was the thing I figured out could work, and it did in testing, so…

Let me know if something is hard to understand, or if there are any problems.

There is also some information about using VSTs with multiple channels in an article from SoundOnSound

I just installed the Processing JS WordPress plugin, and this is just a quick test to see if, and how, it works.

I constantly come up with new ways I think I will use to keep track of the charge status of my camera batteries, but I tend to forget between each time I am on a shoot, so it is kinda silly.   The other day I came up with this:

I used a marker, and added a plus sign to the battery covers, on one side. When the battery is fresh, the cover is put on so that the plus faces the contacts. When it is flat, the other way around. Now it is easy to see of I have just charged, or used up whatever battery I fish out of my bag.
I also added a piece of gaffers tape on the “negative” side, in case the plus gets rubbed off.

I am working on making a bass synth. It will be controlled by some old organ pedals, but currently it just works by adjusting pots.

In the schematics you can see the voltage regulator in the top left. I use 12volt DC in, from an old PC power supply. Which I regulate to 9 volts.

The 4093 contains four NAND gates with Schmidt triggers, and I use two of them. One controls the pitch of the sound, and the other controls the first one, by turning it on and off, so you get kind of an arpeggio. You can also turn that on and off with SW1.

The 4040 is a frequency divider, that is fed the output of the tone oscillator, and then each of the outputs of that is fed into two rotary switches. In that way you can mix together two octaves at the same time, getting a richer sound.

Most of this project was inspired by the book “Handmade electronic music”, by Nicolas Collins.

If you have any questions, or suggestions for improvements, please drop me a line.