A fond farewell to Red Hat, an exciting hello to Mozilla

Just a quick note, as people will doubtless ask about it...

I'm leaving Red Hat and joining Mozilla as of next week. This has been in the works for most of the summer.

This is not a reflection on Red Hat, but rather jumping at an opportunity offered by Mozilla. I'll be able to better coordinate and work more closely with the other Xiph Daala developers, most of whom are already at Mozilla, as Xiph and Mozilla continue to ramp up directed development of the codec. I'm choosing between an awesome job, and a potentially even more awesome job. Such problems we all wish to have.

To my Red Hat co-workers: It's been a pleasure and honor to work with you. I suppose I still work with you in the big picture, but starting Monday I'll be on someone else's req.

(also, not _physically_ moving anywhere, staying put in Somerville)


Introducing Daala, part 3: Time/Frequency Resolution Switching

I've just posted part 3 in my demo series introducing the Daala video codec. This one is kind of a long one, mainly because I think it's one of the only really detailed presentations of a technique Jean-Marc Valin of Xiph invented and first introduced in the Opus audio codec: 'TF' aka Time/Frequency resolution switching.

Even better... while I was documenting TF for posterity, I spotted a possible improvement. So, I've tossed in documentation of a brand new technique as well!

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Introducing Daala part 2: Frequency Domain Intra Prediction

Now up, part two of the introduction I'm writing for Xiph's upcoming video codec Daala. The fact that we're using lapped transforms means we've had to apply a little cleverness to intra prediction, and so we've opted to do it in the frequency domain...

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A new demo page for the Opus 1.1 beta release

I've made another demo page, this one in celebration of the Opus 1.1 beta release today...

"Opus marches onward toward its manifest destiny with today's beta of the upcoming 1.1 release. This will be the first major update to libopus since standardization as RFC 6716 in 2012, and includes improvements to performance, encoding quality, and the library APIs. Here's a few of the upgrades that Opus users and implementors will care about the most."


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Next-Next Generation Video: Introducing Daala

Xiph.Org has been working on Daala, a new video codec for some time now, though Opus work had overshadowed it until just recently. With Opus finalized and much of the mop-up work well in hand, Daala development has taken center stage.

I've started work on 'demo' pages for Daala, just like I've done demos of other Xiph development projects. Daala aims to be rather different from other video codecs (and it's the first from-scratch design attempt in a while), so the first few demo pages are going to be mostly concerned with what's new and different in Daala.

I've finished the first 'demo' page (about Daala's lapped transforms), so if you're interested in video coding technology, go have a look!

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Wait, dude, what?

Oh. Oh my. After a decade of the MPEG LA saying they were coming to destroy the FOSS codec movement, with none other than the late Steve Jobs himself chiming in, today the Licensing Authority announced what we already knew.

They got nothing. There will be no Theora patent pool. There will be no VP8 patent pool. There will be no VPnext patent pool.

We knew that of course, we always did. It's just that I never, in a million years, expected them to put it in writing and walk away. The wording suggests Google paid some money to grease this along, and the agreement wording is interesting [and instructive] but make no mistake: Google won. Full stop.

This is not an unconditional win for FOSS, of course, the LA narrowed the scope of the agreement as much as they could in return for agreeing to stop being a pissy, anti-competetive brat. But this is still huge. We can work with this.

For at least the immediate future, I shall have to think some uncharacteristically nice things about the MPEG LA.*

And now... Discuss!

*Apologies to Rep. Barney Frank


It's Out! It's Finally Out!

We did it. We finally finished Xiph's second big video: Episode 2: Digital Show & Tell

"The second video from Xiph.Org explores multiple facets of digital audio signals and how they really behave in the real world. Sampling, quantization, dither, band-limiting, and vintage bench equipment all in one video!" Go see it!

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The Opus Audio codec is now RFC 6716

...oh and we released 1.0 too :-)

Since Jean-Marc went throught the trouble of writing a nice release announcement, I'll quote him here:

Hi everyone,

We finally made it! Opus is now standardized by the IETF as RFC 6716 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6716). See the announcements at:



Feel free to spread those around :-)

We're also releasing both 1.0.0 (same code as the RFC) and 1.0.1, which is a minor update on that code (mainly with the build system). As usual, you can get those from http://opus-codec.org/

Thanks to everyone who contributed by fixing bugs, reporting issues, implementing Opus support, testing, advocating, ...




Baby dinosaurs!

The local mockingbirds have fired up the springtime brood-vats, and I was surprised to hear fledgelings begging for food yesterday.

I was pretty sure I could hear three of them, and finally managed to catch the whole brood in one place (otherwise, not a great picture).

This also afforded some opportunity to practice driving stick on the camera (handheld shooting a manual focus long telephoto)!

many more large pics under the cut!Collapse )


equipment wanking: photography

Now that we have an unnaturally early spring^H^H^H^H^H^Hsummer here in New England, I finally had a few patches of green grass against which to try white balancing the new-ish D7000 with an IR filter in place.

Persistence payed off... it will do it!

Sadly, the Sigma zoom shows a huge honking hotspot in most shots. I shall have to try the primes and ancient Tamron zoombeast next.

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