Mac Stuff: EasyWMV
Saturday March 31st 2007, 12:39 pm
Filed under: daily life,games/software/tech,tv and movies

French Mac software developer, Patrice Bensoussan, has released a new app that can be used to convert or resize wmv, asf, avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mov, m4v, flv, nsv and vob video files so that they can be used with QuickTime Player, Apple TV or an iPod.

It has a very simple user interface, supports drag and drop as well as batch processing. EasyWMV can export video to mpeg and mpeg4 formats and can optimize videos for playback on iPod.

Main features

  • Input formats: asf, avi, flv, m4v, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mov, nsv, vob, wmv
  • Output formats: mp4, mpg
  • Manual or automatic audio bit rate selection from source (32-320kbps)
  • Video encoding up to 2.5mbit/s
  • Support H.264 encoding for mpeg4 video
  • Creates video for QuickTime, Apple TV and iPod
  • Batch processing
  • Optimized for multi-core and multi-processor systems
  • Drag & drop of files and folders
  • iTunes integration

Download the demo (Full version $15)

More information

Who Will Kill the French Air Car?
Friday March 30th 2007, 1:56 pm
Filed under: cars/bikes/etc,daily life,environment,health

the air carIn 1991, Guy Négre, a French ex-Formula One engineer, founded a company (Moteur Developpment International or MDI) that would continue the development of his invention, the Air Car. He would ultimately aim to put it on the global market and manufacture it. To date, it is not available to purchase. Why isn’t it – 16 YEARS LATER? Will the same fate kill the Air Car as it did the Electric Car?

What is the Air car?
The Air Car is a car that uses compressed air technology and is powered by an air engine. It does not use any gasoline whatsover. Compressed air is stored in carbon or glass fiber tanks at a pressure of 4,351 pounds per square inch (psi). This air is fed through an air injector to the engine and flows into a small chamber, which expands the air. The air pushing down on the pistons moves the crankshaft, which gives the vehicle power. It is inexpensive to manufacture, and most importantly, does not pollute.1

Advantages Over the Hybrid
I may be one of the few to say this in public but I honestly don’t know why hybrids are getting all the buzz. Admittedly, they pollute the air less than standard cars, but they still do pollute AND they create a different pollution problem that is horrible. That itty-bitty detail seems to be getting overlooked. People should know that they have mongo sized batteries and no one can tell me exactly how long they last and where they will end up like other dead batteries. But we know where they’ll end up, don’t we? Yup, in a landfill. Batteries are one of the most hazardous elements to leach into soil from landfills, so while the beloved hybrid won’t pollute the air as much, they will cause harmful pollution in other ways. I personally find that biodiesels and Air Cars (with their zero pollution) are the true wave of the future but I can’t fight multinational lobbyists – so I think hybrids may be here to stay for a while.

In any case, I’m rooting for the Air Car even if isn’t the most attractive car (either is the hybrid!), and even if it will suffer a slow, torturous, unfair death. Or will it? One very big company in India, actually THE biggest automobile company in India (Tata Motors) has agreed to help further develop the air engine technology. Plus, the Air Car has been in news more and more lately so at least I know it is still alive and kicking. Go Air Car go!

The Air Car
Watch a video of The Air Car on YouTube
Zero Pollution and Low Cost
Tata Motors

1 From How Stuff Works

Friday France Photo: The Secret Language of France
Friday March 30th 2007, 4:23 am
Filed under: cultural differences,daily life,photos,travel and places,weird

phallic baguette love burger

Am I the only one that thinks this ISN’T a burger joint and bakery? Look CLOSELY at the baguette-y thing – and the strange Love Burger tagline: Tout Pret, Tout Bon. Btw, there appears to be a bakery on the street level, but there is no burger joint in sight…

Or should I be waiting for someone to tell me, “Sometimes a baguette is just a baguette”?

Boutique Hotels at
Friday March 30th 2007, 3:49 am
Filed under: reviews,travel and places,websites

boutique hotels

[This is a sponsored post]

If you haven’t already planned your spring or summer vacation, you still have time to do so and it would also be a great time to plan any trips after the summer. Once you book your accommodations, whether it’s in a small hotel, luxury spa, eco resort, chateau or any number of places to temporarily call, “home,” you can then relax a little and roughly plan what you’d like to do and what you’d like to see. The latter planning is the easy part. The former, that is, finding perfect accommodations, is the hard part.

With the Directory of Hotels, you won’t have to worry too much as you can easily search for the type of accommodations you love. If you’re the kind of person that prefers to stay away from the big chain hotels where your experience is impersonal and extremely drab, this directory can steer you toward an experience with more personality. Do you need to unwind during your next holiday at a secluded spa hotel? Would you rather be in a bed and breakfast so you can experience life with the locals? Or, would you like more of a romantic, cozy, chic hotel with a postcard perfect view of the Eiffel Tower? Whatever your preferences and needs, no matter how specific they may be, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for at the Directory of Hotels because they specialize in this kind of “Boutique Hotel” experience.

In addition to a unique, comprehensive list of international accommodations from which to search, the Directory of Hotels features articles, reviews, fun facts of places worldwide, travel, product and fashion tips, and travel videos. They even offer a newsletter and a travel blog. So, perhaps for your upcoming vacation you can consult the Directory of Hotels. That is, if you’d like to find the most fabulous hotel stay for your next trip.

Link: Boutique Hotels

I said NO tomatoes!
Thursday March 29th 2007, 1:30 am
Filed under: daily life,food and drinks,paris,weird

no tomatoes sandwich

A Parisian blogger at 7h48 posted a hilarious entry the other day. She’d ordered a sandwich at a bakery in Paris, and specifically requested NO tomatoes in it. When she got home, to her dismay and wrath, she found, none other than: tomatoes. I HATE when that happens.

She was not amused. So she removed the unwanted slices and did what any tomato-hater in their tomato-hating world would do: She put the tomatoes in an envelope and mailed them back to the bakery. For further catharsis, she attached a note, “J’avais demandé SANS tomates!!! …Bordel!” I asked for NO tomatoes!!! Damn!

[via Une araîgnée au plafond Merci, Martin!]