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Just peachy: free software, free movies

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OSS

freesoftware mag: Apparently I’ve been living under a rock, because I only recently found out about the Blender project’s free and open source short movie, Elephants Dream.

Open Source Science-Fiction Movie Aims to be a Fully Collaborative Effort

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Press Release: New open source movie project aims to create a full community of users who collaborate in the creation and execution of a short science-fiction film titled Jathia's Wager, from writing and editing the script to choosing the cast.

DreamWorks Animation "Shrek the Third": Linux Feeds an Ogre

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LinuxJournal: All the big film studios primarily use Linux for animation and visual effects. Perhaps no commercial Linux installation is larger than DreamWorks Animation, with more than 1,000 Linux desktops and more than 3,000 server CPUs.

Open Source: Ready for Its Closeup

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LinuxInsider: For many filmmakers, the economics alone make open source filmmaking an attractive option. When free or low-cost production tools like CinePaint and Blender are combined with free hosting services like Internet Archive, writers and filmmakers are free to focus on film production rather than financing.

Open Source Movies -- Wave of the Future?

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OSS

If you're like me, you loved the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books as a kid. It can be exciting to help shape something you'd otherwise be passively enjoying. That practice is slowly working its way into the film world. The future of filmmaking may give you, the audience, much more say in what kinds of movies get made.

Now playing: The world's first Open Source film

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A unique community website project that plans to bring thousands of talented minds on the same online platform for the purpose of creating a “complete mainstream film,” was launched today. The project has officially begun building its first film called "The Bomb Within," a story that unfolds in a post 9/11 era, surrounding the discovery of a new biochemical weapon.

79th Annual Academy Awards Winners

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I don't think 2006 produced as many great motion pictures as in some years passed, however there were a few. None of my favorites were nominated and in fact, I hadn't even seen too many of the movies that were. So, it was with less enthusiasm than usual that I watched this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

Bruce Willis thwarts cybergeddon

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Bruce Willis will face down cyberterrorists in upcoming blockbuster Live Free or Die Hard. Ex-model turned actress Suzie Q will play an uber-hacker out to bring down the US's transport and banking system with a few mouse clicks in the forthcoming haxploitation opus.

Ghost Rider a fun ride

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Reviews

You're gonna read a lot of bad reviews aimed at "Ghost Rider"; go check RottenTomatoes to get your fill. Every one of them miss the point. This is the kind of movie you go to see for the cheese. It's an adaptation of a comic book with lots of CGI. So sit back, munch the pop corn, and just go with the Rider. It was a great way to spend a few hours Saturday.

Fifteen geek movies to see before you die

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Geeks and movies go together quite nicely. I've been thinking about films that reflect tech and geek culture, and have pulled together a list of 15 movies that should probably be on any geek's must-see list.

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Scrivener Writing Software has a Linux Version

In some ways, Scrivener is the very embodiment of anti-Linux, philosophically. Scrivener is a writing program, used by authors. In Linux, one strings together well developed and intensely tested tools on data streams to produce a result. So, to author a complex project, create files and edit them in a simple text editor, using some markdown. Keep the files organized in the file system and use file names carefully chosen to keep them in order in their respective directories. when it comes time to make project-wide modifications, use grep and sed to process all of the files at once or selected files. Eventually, run the files through LaTeX to produce beautiful output. Then, put the final product in a directory where people can find it on Gopher.

Gopher? Anyway …

On the other hand, emacs is the ultimate linux program. Emacs is a text editor that is so powerful and has so many community-contributed “modes” (like add-ins) that it can be used as a word processor, an email client, a calendar, a PIM, a web browser, an operating system, to make coffee, or to stop that table with the short leg from rocking back and forth. So, in this sense, a piece of software that does everything is also linux, philosophically.

And so, Scrivener, despite what I said above, is in a way the very embodiment of Linux, philosophically.

I’ve been using Scrivener on a Mac for some time now, and a while back I tried it on Linux. Scrivener for the Mac is a commercial product you must pay money for, though it is not expensive, but the Linux version, being highly experimental and probably unsafe, is free. But then again, this is Linux. We eat unsafe experimental free software for breakfast. So much that we usually skip lunch. Because we’re still fixing breakfast. As it were.

Details with Screen Shots Here

Anyway, here’s what Scrivener does. It does everything. The full blown Mac version has more features than the Linux version, but both are feature rich. To me, the most important things are: A document is organised in “scenes” which can be willy nilly moved around in relation to each other in a linear or hierarchical system. The documents are recursive, so a document can hold other documents, and the default is to have only the text in the lower level document as part of the final product (though this is entirely optional). A document can be defined as a “folder” which is really just a document that has a file folder icon representing it to make you feel like it is a folder.

Associated with the project, and with each separate document, is a note taking area. So, you can jot notes project-wide as you work, like “Don’t forget to write the chapter where everyone dies at the end,” or you can write notes on a given document like “Is this where I should use the joke about the slushy in the bathroom at Target?” Each scene also has a number of attributes such as a “label” and a “status” and keywords. I think keywords may not be implemented in the Linux version yet.

Typically a project has one major folder that has all the actual writing distributed among scenes in it, and one or more additional folders in which you put stuff that is not in the product you are working on, but could be, or was but you pulled it out, or that includes research material.

You can work on one scene at a time. Scenes have meta-data and document notes.

The scenes, folders, and everything are all held together with a binder typically displayed on the left side of the Scrivener application window, showing the hierarchy. A number of templates come with the program to create pre-organized binder paradigms, or you can just create one from scratch. You can change the icons on the folders/scenes to remind you of what they are. When a scene is active in the central editing window, you can display an “inspector” on the right side, showing the card (I’ll get to that later) on top the meta data, and the document or project notes. In the Mac version you can create additional meta-data categories.

An individual scene can be displayed in the editing window. Or, scenes can be shown as a collection of scenes in what is known as “Scrivenings mode.” Scrivenings mode is more or less standard word processing mode where all the text is simply there to scroll through, though scene titles may or may not be shown (optional). A lot of people love the corkboard option. I remember when PZ Myers discovered Scrivener he raved about it. The corkboard is a corkboard (as you may have guessed) with 3 x 5 inch virtual index cards, one per scene, that you can move around and organize as though that was going to help you get your thoughts together. The corkboard has the scene title and some notes on what the scene is, which is yet another form of meta-data. I like the corkboard mode, but really, I don’t think it is the most useful features. Come for the corkboard, stay for the binder and the document and project notes!

Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts

Linux and *BSD have completely changed the storage market. They are the core of so many storage products, allowing startups and established vendors alike to bring new products to the market more rapidly than previously possible. Almost every vendor I talk to these days has built their system on top of these and then there are the number of vendors who are using Samba implementations for their NAS functionality. Sometimes they move on from Samba but almost all version 1 NAS boxen are built on top of it. Read more

Black Lab SDK 1.8 released

QT Creator - for QT 5 Gambas 3 - Visual Basic for Linux Ubuntu Quickly - Quick and dirty development tool for python emacs and Xemacs - Advanced Text Editor Anjuta and Glade - C++ RAD development tool for GTK Netbeans - Java development environment GNAT-GPS - IDE for the following programming languages. Ada, C, JavaScript, Pascal and Python Idle - IDE for Python Scite - Text Editor Read more

Did Red Hat’s CTO Walk – Or Was He Pushed?

He went on to say that some within Red Hat speculate that tensions between Stevens and Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, might be responsible, although there doesn’t appear to have been any current argument between the two. Cormier will take over Stevens’ duties until a replacement is found. Vaughan-Nichols also said that others at Red Hat had opined that Stevens might’ve left because he’d risen as high as he could within the company and with no new advancement opportunities open to him, he’d decided to move on. If this was the case, why did he leave so abruptly? Stevens had been at Red Hat for nearly ten years. If he was leaving merely because “I’ve done all I can here and it’s time to seek my fortune elsewhere,” we’d expect him to work out some kind of notice and stay on the job long enough for Red Hat to find a suitable replacement. Turning in a resignation that’s effective immediately is not the ideal way to walk out the door for the last time. It smells of burning bridges. Read more