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Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

I have been a happy Amazon Prime customer for the last couple of years. One of the biggest perks of using it the availability of large number of videos available for instantly watching. Infact, I watched almost all episodes of Star Trek (TOS to Voyager) using this method.

Sometime in the second or third week of January, this method broke down. Whenever, I tried to play the episodes of Voyager, I got an error in Flash player. Basically, it will open a dialog box saying ‘Updating Player’ which will soon error out saying "an error occurred and your player could not be updated”. If you retry, it will get stuck with ‘Updating Player’ .

I was using Ubuntu 11.10 on a 64 bit machine. I tried lot of things and nothing really worked. I installed and reinstalled Adobe Flash plugin and other codecs and basically made a mess of my system. Finally, I found a simple solution in Amazon Instant Video forum in an unrelated thread. The link is here . The solution is very simple . Install hal and libhal1 package for your distro. If you are using Ubuntu, the command is

sudo apt-get install libhal1 hal

 

Few of my friends also had this issue and installing these packages seems to fix the issue. Unfortunately, this useful tip seems buried under other  noise and hence I decided to put a separate blog post. If this did not fix the issue I recommend looking at Adobe’s Problems playing protected video content on 64-bit Ubuntu Linux page. This has some additional information on making flash work.

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Biweekly Links – 09-13-2010

1. Grilo: Integrating Multimedia Content in Your Application
Grilo is one the new projects in Linux I am pretty excited about (other being lightspark and systemd). Grilo tries to solve a problem that is going to become more dire. Hopefully, developing plugins will become more easier as it matures. I can think of lot of cool projects using it.

2. YouTube Instant. The last two days ….
YTInstant is all the rage for the last few days and this post talks about the various news articles on it. In case you did not know, YTInstant brings Google Instantish features to youtube. I tested it and it worked great ! I felt autoplaying videos – especially videos for partial searches was very jarring 🙂 I was curious about how he solved the API limit. He got around it by the clever use of script tag. Take a look at his page !

3. How Ubuntu is Made
This post talks the tools Ubuntu team uses to manage and communicate with the distributed development environment. The tools that I found interesting were  Gobby tool and Mumble. I was especially impressed with Mumble. Looks like a very nifty tool.

4. How to make password-guessing more difficult: The popularity oracle
One of the provocative ideas of recent time. I first read about it in Michael Mitzenmacher’s blog. The idea looks cool and it will be interesting if there is adoptation by some big service. Even the recent XKCD comic talks about it.

5. A story about updates and people
A thoughtful post about different Linux users, their expectations and how to have different Linux update policies to suit each of them. These thoughts especially resonated with me because I do not know why my non CS, non techie Ubuntu using friends has to be forced to be decided if they want to update or not. Atleast in Ubuntu, I think Software Center must be updated so that it offers an option to update relevant packages for particular "software" rather than showing all packages and ask user to decide. It was gratifying to see good discussion for this article – hopefully something will change and make Linux easier to use and update.

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