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Downloads: PlayOn Streams Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and More to Your Xbox 360 and PS3

2009 Feb 24, 9:32Of course Netflix is already available on the 360, but PlayOn lets you watch Hulu on the 360. So far so good with the trial software. "Windows only: Previously mentioned Windows utility PlayOn-which streams popular online video to your PS3, Xbox 360, and HP MediaSmart TV-has officially left its beta phase in the dust"PermalinkCommentshulu video xbox xbox360 mediacenter dvr windows tv

Investigation of a Few Application Protocols (Updated)

2008 Oct 25, 6:51

Windows allows for application protocols in which, through the registry, you specify a URL scheme and a command line to have that URL passed to your application. Its an easy way to hook a webbrowser up to your application. Anyone can read the doc above and then walk through the registry and pick out the application protocols but just from that info you can't tell what the application expects these URLs to look like. I did a bit of research on some of the application protocols I've seen which is listed below. Good places to look for information on URI schemes: Wikipedia URI scheme, and ESW Wiki UriSchemes.

Some Application Protocols and associated documentation.
Scheme Name Notes
search-ms Windows Search Protocol The search-ms application protocol is a convention for querying the Windows Search index. The protocol enables applications, like Microsoft Windows Explorer, to query the index with parameter-value arguments, including property arguments, previously saved searches, Advanced Query Syntax, Natural Query Syntax, and language code identifiers (LCIDs) for both the Indexer and the query itself. See the MSDN docs for search-ms for more info.
Example: search-ms:query=food
Explorer.AssocProtocol.search-ms
OneNote OneNote Protocol From the OneNote help: /hyperlink "pagetarget" - Starts OneNote and opens the page specified by the pagetarget parameter. To obtain the hyperlink for any page in a OneNote notebook, right-click its page tab and then click Copy Hyperlink to this Page.
Example: onenote:///\\GUMMO\Users\davris\Documents\OneNote%20Notebooks\OneNote%202007%20Guide\Getting%20Started%20with%20OneNote.one#section-id={692F45F5-A42A-415B-8C0D-39A10E88A30F}&end
callto Callto Protocol ESW Wiki Info on callto
Skype callto info
NetMeeting callto info
Example: callto://+12125551234
itpc iTunes Podcast Tells iTunes to subscribe to an indicated podcast. iTunes documentation.
C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe /url "%1"
Example: itpc:http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=35
iTunes.AssocProtocol.itpc
pcast
iTunes.AssocProtocol.pcast
Magnet Magnet URI Magnet URL scheme described by Wikipedia. Magnet URLs identify a resource by a hash of that resource so that when used in P2P scenarios no central authority is necessary to create URIs for a resource.
mailto Mail Protocol RFC 2368 - Mailto URL Scheme.
Mailto Syntax
Opens mail programs with new message with some parameters filled in, such as the to, from, subject, and body.
Example: mailto:?to=david.risney@gmail.com&subject=test&body=Test of mailto syntax
WindowsMail.Url.Mailto
MMS mms Protocol MSDN describes associated protocols.
Wikipedia describes MMS.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe" "%L"
Also appears to be related to MMS cellphone messages: MMS IETF Draft.
WMP11.AssocProtocol.MMS
secondlife [SecondLife] Opens SecondLife to the specified location, user, etc.
SecondLife Wiki description of the URL scheme.
"C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" -set SystemLanguage en-us -url "%1"
Example: secondlife://ahern/128/128/128
skype Skype Protocol Open Skype to call a user or phone number.
Skype's documentation
Wikipedia summary of skype URL scheme
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Phone\Skype.exe" "/uri:%l"
Example: skype:+14035551111?call
skype-plugin Skype Plugin Protocol Handler Something to do with adding plugins to skype? Maybe.
"C:\Program Files\Skype\Plugin Manager\skypePM.exe" "/uri:%1"
svn SVN Protocol Opens TortoiseSVN to browse the repository URL specified in the URL.
C:\Program Files\TortoiseSVN\bin\TortoiseProc.exe /command:repobrowser /path:"%1"
svn+ssh
tsvn
webcal Webcal Protocol Wikipedia describes webcal URL scheme.
Webcal URL scheme description.
A URL that starts with webcal:// points to an Internet location that contains a calendar in iCalendar format.
"C:\Program Files\Windows Calendar\wincal.exe" /webcal "%1"
Example: webcal://www.lightstalkers.org/LS.ics
WindowsCalendar.UrlWebcal.1
zune Zune Protocol Provides access to some Zune operations such as podcast subscription (via Zune Insider).
"c:\Program Files\Zune\Zune.exe" -link:"%1"
Example: zune://subscribe/?name=http://feeds.feedburner.com/wallstrip.
feed Outlook Add RSS Feed Identify a resource that is a feed such as Atom or RSS. Implemented by Outlook to add the indicated feed to Outlook.
Feed URI scheme pre-draft document
"C:\PROGRA~2\MICROS~1\Office12\OUTLOOK.EXE" /share "%1"
im IM Protocol RFC 3860 IM URI scheme description
Like mailto but for instant messaging clients.
Registered by Office Communicator but I was unable to get it to work as described in RFC 3860.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
tel Tel Protocol RFC 5341 - tel URI scheme IANA assignment
RFC 3966 - tel URI scheme description
Call phone numbers via the tel URI scheme. Implemented by Office Communicator.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office Communicator\Communicator.exe" "%1"
(Updated 2008-10-27: Added feed, im, and tel from Office Communicator)PermalinkCommentstechnical application protocol shell url windows

Mike's Digital Home : How To: Share Recorded TV with other Media Centers

2008 Aug 21, 10:40"I see a lot of questions in the Media Center newsgroups and forums asking how to access recorded TV from another Media Center in the house. This is fairly easy to accomplish. In this entry I'll walk you through it in Vista; XP is almost the same except for some of the steps for sharing and securing the folder."PermalinkCommentstv vista windows mce sharing mediacenter dvr howto

VRML Plugin and Browser Detector

2008 Feb 27, 3:14This page helps you determine if you have a VRML plugin and lists plugins available.PermalinkComments3d browser firefox ie plugin vrml tool

Download and Install the Cosmo Player VRML Plugin

2008 Feb 27, 3:13Cosmo VRML player plugin for IE and Firefox.PermalinkComments3d plugin visualization vrml firefox cosmo ie browser web

bsp2wrl - Tool to convert Quake BSP levels to VRML

2008 Feb 26, 11:47This is the readme for bsp2wrl which converts Quake BSP levels to VRML. Two out of date file types that taste great toghether. The zips for the tool are in the same folder.PermalinkCommentsquake game tool free download vrml bsp conversion

Crossing Four Way Stops Fast and Searching Closed Caption MCE Videos: More Stolen Thoughts

2008 Jan 22, 9:56

More ideas stolen from me in the same vein as my stolen OpenID thoughts.

Fast Pedestrian Crossing on Four Way Stops. In college I didn't have a car and every weekend I had weekly poker with friends who lived nearby so I would end up waiting to cross from one corner of a traffic lit four way stop to the opposite corner. Waiting there in the cold gave me plenty of time to consider the fastest method of getting to the opposite corner of a four-way stop. My plan was to hit the pedestrian crossing button for both directions and travel on the first one available. This only seems like a bad choice if the pedestrian crossing signal travels clockwise or counter clockwise around the four way stop. In those two cases its better to take the later of the two pedestrian signal crossings, but I have yet to see those two patterns on a real life traffic stop. I decided recently to see if my plan was actually sound and looked up info on traffic signals. But the info didn't say much other than "its complicated" and "it depends" (I'm paraphrasing). Then I found some guy's analysis of this problem. So I'm done with this and I'll continue pressing both buttons and crossing on the first pedestrian signal. Incidentally on one such night when I was waiting to cross this intersection I heard a loud multi-click sound and realized that the woman in the SUV waiting to cross the intersection next to me had just locked her doors. I guess my thinking-about-crossing-the-street face is intimidating.

Windows Searching Windows Media Center Recorded TV's Closed Captions. An Ars-Technica article on a fancy DVR described one of the DVRs features: full text search over the subtitles of the recorded TV shows. I thought implementing this for Windows Media Center recorded TV shows and Windows Search would be an interesting project to learn about video files, and extending Windows Search. As it turns out though some guy, Stephen Toub implemented Windows Search over MCE closed captions already. Stephen Toub's article is very long and describes some other very interesting related projects including 'summarizing video files' which you may want to read.

PermalinkCommentsstolen-thoughts windows search mce windows traffic closed captions four-way-stop windows-media-center

Stephen Toub : DVR-MS: Adventures in Closed Captioning

2008 Jan 14, 10:16Stephen Toub implements closed captioning searching of videos recorded with Windows Media Center through Windows Desktop Search as an IFilter. I wanted to do the same thing after reading the related Ars Technica article. Other interesting things in thePermalinkComments.net mce programming reference video caption dvr-ms howto ifilter development com software microsoft msdn blog article

Weekend Activities

2007 Dec 11, 12:31I wanted to give a brief update on what's been going on for me this weekend and the previous two.

Two weekends ago Sarah and I went down to Santa Cruz for a long weekend and a belated Thanksgiving. I have yet to sort through the photos but Sarah has already put up the photos from our California trip. There's some nice shots from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in there and the place where we stayed. It was a good trip and I'll write more about it at some point in the future.

This past weekend Sarah and I went bowling with Eric and Jane and other friends. And no bowling experience is complete without a DJ and black lights. Surprisingly my work shirt looked great in the blacklight.

This coming weekend Sarah and I will stay at the MGM in Las Vegas where I'll meet up with college friends I haven't seen in a while. Previously the only non-gambling thing I did in Vegas was buffets and the Star Trek Experience (I'm cool) but this time we'll see some more shows which should be fun.PermalinkCommentslasvegas personal bowling california weekend nontechnical

Which which - Batch File Hackiness

2007 Aug 9, 5:41To satisfy my hands which have already learned to type *nix commands I like to install Win32 versions of common GNU utilities. Unfortunately, the which command is a rather literal port and requires you to enter the entire name of the command for which you're looking. That is 'which which' won't find itself but 'which which.exe' will. This makes this almost useless for me so I thought to write my own as a batch file. I had learned about a few goodies available in cmd.exe that I thought would make this an easy task. It turned out to be more difficult than I thought.

for /F "usebackq tokens=*" %%a in ( `"echo %PATH:;=& echo %"` ) do (
    for /F "usebackq tokens=*" %%b in ( `"echo %PATHEXT:;=& echo %"` ) do (
        if exist "%%a"\%1%%b (
            for  %%c in ( "%%a"\%1%%b ) do (
                echo %%~fc
            )
        )
    )
)
The environment variables PATH and PATHEXT hold the list of paths to search through to find commands, and the extensions of files that should be run as commands respectively. The 'for /F "usebackq tokens=*" %%a in (...) do (...)' runs the 'do' portion with %%a sequentially taking on the value of every line in the 'in' portion. That's nice, but PATH and PATHEXT don't have their elements on different lines and I don't know of a way to escape a newline character to appear in a batch file. In order to get the PATH and PATHEXT's elements onto different lines I used the %ENV:a=b% syntax which replaces occurrences of a with b in the value of ENV. I replaced the ';' delimiter with the text '& echo ' which means %PATHEXT:;=& echo% evaluates to something like "echo .COM& echo .EXE& echo .BAT& ...". I have to put the whole expression in double quotes in order to escape the '&' for appearing in the batch file. The usebackq and the backwards quotes means that the backquoted string should be replaced with the output of the execution of its content. So in that fashion I'm able to get each element of the env. variable onto new lines. The rest is pretty straight forward.

Also, it supports wildcards:
C:\Users\davris>which.cmd *hi*
C:\Windows\System32\GRAPHICS.COM
C:\Windows\System32\SearchIndexer.exe
D:\bin\which.exe
D:\bin\which.cmd
PermalinkCommentswhich cmd technical batch for

Two-for Script File

2007 Aug 6, 5:40I was messing with the XSLT to XSL Converter source which is a javascript file that can be run with cscript.exe. I've changed it to be like a very basic version of xsltproc that simply runs an XML file through an XSLT. I also wanted to run this from the command prompt without writing "cscript ..." everytime. I decided to make like perl programmers I've seen and make a JS file that works as a batch file and a JS file at the same time.

Here's a basic version of what I ended doing applied to a 'hello world' script named helloworld.cmd:
/* 2> NUL
@echo off
cscript /e:javascript /nologo "%~f0" %*
@goto :eof

    Hello World
        Says 'Hello world.' when you run it.
*/

var outText = 'Hello world.';
WScript.Echo(outText);
Running this on a command prompt gives the following:
C:\Users\davris>helloworld

C:\Users\davris>/*  2>NUL
Hello world.

However, after a little more experimentation I found this was slightly overkill for my purposes since if I rename the file to helloworld.js and just type its name like a command it is run by cscript:
C:\Users\davris>helloworld
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.7
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Hello world.

So this time I didn't need all that but if ever in the future I need to run a batch file then a JS file I can do it with one file...PermalinkCommentscmd js technical cscript batch xslt xsl javascript

retrievr - search by sketch / search by image

2007 Feb 26, 12:13Search for pictures by drawing you own or entering the URL of an image. The tool will find images that look similar.PermalinkCommentsretrievr flickr search images tool neat-fp

Vroom

2004 Sep 10, 12:04I got my driver's license today. Imagine that. I lost all of the points that I could on the parallel parking portion of the test. You know in California they don't test you on parallel parking ability. With my new license my functional impairment level has moved from minor to non-existent. Hoo-raw. Incidentally if you search for the phrase "stealth geriatrics" on google, the first link is to a power point presentation entitled "stealth geriatrics." I just thought that was a funny phrase.PermalinkComments
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