Watching an interlaced DVD with MPlayer

Resuming my tech-notes blogging…

I’ve recently bought three Studio Ghibli’s movies. I don’t have a TV-set (yes, lenina, I’m still not watching any TV), so I’m watching DVDs on my laptop. DVDs I got are interlaced, when watching them on a computer, you can see small horizontal stripes along the sides of moving objects.

On a TV-set, this is not a problem, actually, interlacing makes animation on TV-set smoother. But on a computer, all you get from interlacing is stripes.

MPlayer comes with few deinterlacing plugins, from which yadif and kerndeint seem to work best (but I’m open to other suggestions). However, my video output is GL:

maciej@clover ~ $ cat .mplayer/config
vo = gl
autosync = 20
monitorpixelaspect = 1
af = volnorm=2:0.6
ao = pulse

The problem with those deinterlace filters is that they don’t cooperate with the gl video output. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for that: append scale filter.

mplayer -vobsubid 1 -vf kerndeint,scale dvd://5

Replace 5 with your title number. The vobsubid option tells MPlayer to display subtitles. I like to watch Japanese movies with the original soundtrack and English subtitles. Usually, English dubbing reveals too much about the characters and lacks the original expression.


James Randi – On Geller’s Reversal

Hard to believe. Uri Geller has admitted he’s not a psychic. Wow.

Geller didn’t stick with his position, though. A month later he again claimed to be a telepath. Randi is right, Geller has got to stick to it. I can imagine it has to be quite painful to keep on lying the whole life. Or has he become psychically numb to the issue of truth versus falsity?

I wonder if journalists will keep on asking this question to Uri.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, see this:

Chinese Nigerian Scam

Do you remember your first Nigerian scam? Mine was circa 2000, if I remember correctly. How didn’t it die out yet, is a mystery to me. Anyway, I just saw something interesting: a Nigerian scam going Chinese! See this:

fromANGANG STEEL <i…>,

Dear Prospective Representative,

I am David Wan. Personnel Officer to ANGANG NEW STEEL COMPANY LIMITED,China. We are a company that deal on steel product and export worldwide Presently, we are faced with some problems most especially with our Payment methods as most clients we have prefer to pay us with cheque rather than cash. We find it very cumbersome in accepting such payments due to the new monetary policy in our banking systems here in China and this is crippling our business and that is why I am contacting you now.I am looking for a man/woman who is trustworthy to be in charge of receiving payments on my company’s behalf in his/her country.if you know you are not trustworthy please do not bother to reply at all because alot of money is involved here.all I am asking you is if you would like to earn for the first 60days Reps will receive 10% commission on every transaction processed.

If you are interested endeavour to furnish us with your following informations

1.Full names
2.Phone number/fax
3.Full address(NOT P.O BOX)
6.Marital Status,
7.Present occupation(Company And position)

Thanks In advance

Yours sincerely,
David Wan.
Personnel Officer to

If you wonder what it is all about, read about advance fee fraud. There are people who like to play with it, scambaiters. I never dared to do this, but I think it might be a form of hobby.

David Allen: Getting Things Done

David Allen gave this talk when I was in Google campus in Mountain View. It was one of the most popular tech talks, the room was really filled up.

Basic ideas of GTD are simple.  After you get them, they seem to be just common sense.  But it takes a while to figure out what we’re doing when we’re doing stuff.  And also, doing stuff becomes collecting, processing, organizing, reviewing and doing.  Myself, I’ve merely gotten to the stage of organizing.  But at least I started to collect and process.  If you’re curious what that means, sit back, relax and enjoy the talk.

I’m a big fan of boomerang throwing. Boomerangs are, at the end of the day, mere wooden sticks. No moving parts, no electronics, no remote control. And yet, if you have skills to throw them, they will fly, turn, go up, go down, and land on your hand after a short gentle hover.

My first boomerang was Aerobie Orbiter, which was lost, hanging on a pine ten meters above the ground. It seemed very unlikely that it would go that far, but… well, it did, and it’s probably still there, in a small park near Piaseczno, Poland.

I got my second one for Christmas 2006. It was a wooden boomerang, Delicate Arch from

I had a lot of fun throwing it. Then I’ve decided I want more of those toys. The one and pretty much only boomerang shop in the internet is, an internet store powered by Yahoo Stores. An alternative was to buy from British eBay, but it didn’t seem like there was a lot of choice, and I’d have to buy each one separately, paying for shipping of each package. From, I could have a whole bunch of boomerangs in one package.

So I made an order for three boomerangs, paid for it, waited, and waited, and never received it. I’ve sent them an e-mail, then a next one, and a next one. No reply. I sent an e-mail to Yahoo Stores, but they sent me back to the merchant… Finally, I called them, they said they’ve sent it, and it wasn’t insured, so they can’t do anything about it. Heck, I was an unlucky guy this time, I thought to myself. I still wanted boomerangs, but didn’t decide to risk it again

When I went to the US for training, I decided I’m going to order some boomerangs, shipping within the United States should be better than overseas. So I’ve made an order, paid for it, and about a week later I’ve received the package. Yay! New boomerangs!

Boomerangs on grass

Then I’ve ordered another set of boomerangs, paid, and got it. Wow, that was so cool! So, of course, I wanted more, a good customer, eh? Well, it seems that thought otherwise. I’ve made my fourth order and waited, and waited, but the package wouldn’t come. So I checked my order status, which read: ON HOLD. I rang them and they said more or less:

“You’re in the United States, you are from Poland and you live in Ireland. Your Paypal account isn’t verified. We don’t know if you’re legitimate or not. We need to protect ourselves a little bit, you know.”

Protect from what?

My Paypal account wasn’t verified at the time, fair enough. But they’ve already got money from me three damn times! If that doesn’t make me a good customer, what does?

My order got canceled and I returned to Ireland without it. Thing is, I still want to buy boomerangs. I used to like this store and I would like to try again, but this incident really put me off.