Wednesday, February 28, 2007

International Travelling with Animal Companions

The best advice is DON'T DO IT!

Here's an example of why you don't want to:
Barbaric conditions in the airline industry, by a shelter mom.

If you are forced to, if it is inescapable that you must travel with you animal companion, one of the very important things to remember is don't assume any thing. Many airplanes these days will not accept animal companions. The ones that do, accept only certain types. Also, if you are able to have your companion ride with you in the passenger cabin, you must make sure that your carryons fit that plane. All airplanes are not the same. Check with your specific the airline for regulations on animal companions and dimensions of the carryons for transport especially cabin transport.

International travel is a whole other nightmare.
Very, VERY risky.
First off, most airlines do not allow animals in the passenger cabin. They get thrown in the hold with the baggage. On each and every airline site, you will find a statement like this:

"Pets As Checked Baggage"

Do you really want to take that chance seeing as how your luggage is treated??

Another major problem is that frequently the information and policies that you need about the receiving country (the country you're flying into), are not available or WORSE, not up to date in your home country. I ran into that problem with Japan. Not only could I not get the info I needed from the US side, their official Japanese site didn't have it either.
I played it safe and turned out to be right in not trying to transport them with me.

Yet another problem with international travel is the QUARANTINE procedures--there's papers you need from licensed vets and a quarantine stay that requires additional fees. It can be a quite a lengthy stay, too.

Sites Specializing in Traveling with Animal Companions:
Pets On The Go: lots of information. Basic but MINIMAL fee to join. Well worth the cost.
Animal Airlines: company specifically geared to transporting your loved ones safely.

Direct Links to the Most Common American Airlines:

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Online RADIO -listen & record


includes the following subcategories: Audio Books & Poetry | Computers & Technology | Grateful Dead | Live Music Archive | Music & Arts | News & Public Affairs | Non-English Audio | Open Source Audio | Podcasts | Radio Programs

LibriVox: over 1000 public domain books in audio book format available for download. Over 700 of the books are in English, the rest in other languages including German, Japanese, and French. (They have THE YELLOW SIGN!)

Intro: Classic radio stories from the 1930-1950's era. When actors could entertain with their voices alone, without the need for FX to distract you from poor-quality, shallow acting.
All sites have the ability that you can listen on the site or download to your computer.
-over 12,000 episodes from tons of series
-nice selection that includes also podcasts and commercials categories
-nice selection of free episodes from many series
-although it is mostly a purchasing site (purchase OTR eps on CD cheaply), there are a lot of free episodes to download too.
-collection of OTR links. Follow to listen and download episodes.

You can also both listen to AND save these episodes with the VideoLAN player that was recommended earlier for watching any video format.
First, startup the VideoLAN player.
You then have to OPEN a "network stream" and paste the address in the appropriate field. Then, if you want to save, click on Stream/Save. Make sure you click on the SETTINGS next to that option and set the appropriate settings, ie. if you're saving to your HD, you need to give the file a name. Also, there are many choices for "encapsulation method" (format to save as). I just leave it at MPEG TS for these radio streams.

The file will be saved in the default folder VLC in the directory you originally setup for VideoLAN. For example, in my case, these downloads are saved in the directory ProgramFiles\VideoLAN\VLC since I originally set up VideoLAN in the ProgramFiles\VideoLAN\ directory. I then just move them to where I want to store them and play away!


Light's Out
Haunting Hour

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
TheInnerSanctum 1941-1943
TheInnerSanctum 1944
TheInnerSanctum 1945
TheInnerSanctum 1946
TheInnerSanctum 1947
TheInnerSanctum 1948
TheInnerSanctum 1949: PartOne
TheInnerSanctum 1949: PartTwo

Hall Of Fantasy
Dark Fantasy: complete CD


RADIOCLUBBLOG: The website makes it really easy to search for music using their search engine. The site offers a way to listen to the music online or copy and paste code into your own website to make it available to your visitors. The code contains the direct link to the mp3 file. It is therefor very easy to extract the link to the mp3 file from the code and download it afterwards. This requires some manual work but is really easy.

SCREAMER RADIO: Screamer Radio supports Shoutcast and Icecast Mp3 Streaming as well as WMA and AAC streaming. A big list of supported radio stations is available at the official screamer radio website. The preset tab holds a large list of radio stations which are directly accessible through screamer radio. Just choose a station and Screamer will automatically start the playback. Just hit REC if you want to start recording streams which will then be saved in the default location.
A great feature of Screamer Radio is that you can hit REC even in the middle of a song and it will still be saved completely if it was not the first song of that radio station. Screamer Radio uses a buffering technique to make this possible. Screamer Radio also uses the meta data that is sent by some radio stations to add the real filename, title and artist, not generic info. Best of all it is free, does not use many system resources and can be run in system tray.

PHONOSTAR RECORDER: Phonostar is a free radio player and recorder that comes preconfigured with more than 4000 radio stations. Phonostar tries to automatically determine the audio source that can be used to record songs and loads the interface afterwards. Top stations are selected and a double-click starts the playback of that station. Please note that all top stations seem to be in German, conduct a search for English stations.
Phonostar has more than 2100 English stations in it database including such famous ones as digital imported radio. If your favorite stations are missing you can simply add them by clicking on On Air and selecting Add radio station or open stream url. Before you are ready to record songs you should enter the recording settings and change the default format from .wav to .mp3 to save space on your hard drive. Click on recording in the left pane and select mp3 as the file format. To record simply click the red button in the left pane and the recording process starts.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fixing your Movie Playback Quality

If you watch a lot of movies, you have probably had this happen to you too:

- Suddenly the image freezes but the sound kept playing.
- Disoriented or coloured blocks of pixels distorting the image for a time.

Then, Divx Repair is the program that you could use to fix the errors automatically. They even offer a forum for questions and help on their main site.

Divx Repair is very simple to use. Just unzip it to your hard drive and run it from the location that you have unzipped it to. Divx Repair does not need to be installed and does not alter your system files or registry. Double-click Divx Repair to start the program. You can simply add files with the button Add Files.

The button Repair files starts the automatic repair process which tries to fix bad frames automatically. Only the bad frames will be deleted not the key frames which means that you should be able to play the movie without errors from now on.

A error report at the end of the repair displays the amount of bad intervals that have been found. If a fix was necessary a new version of the movie will be saved in the same directory as the original movie file-a nice, smart program.

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