DVDs come with crappy use-restriction technology built in that is supposed to stop you from copying your discs to your hard drive and playing them from there. Luckily, there are some excellent -- and ever-improving -- tools for defeating Hollywood's paranoid technology-locks. Mark Pilgrim has published a fantastic HOWTO detailing the steps to rip a DVD to your Mac using Handbrake, a free, open source program.
I used to buy a lot of DVDs, but since I split my time between the US and Europe, I found that half my discs wouldn't play on my Powerbook. Apple only lets you switch regions five times (though the studios actually say you're allowed to do this 25 times -- Apple actually imposes more restrictions than it has to), so I quickly ran out of region-switches and just gave up on DVDs for a while.
But I recently scored a little 2.5" hard-drive enclosure that can play any video stored on it -- in practically any file-format -- on a TV or through your laptop. I put an 80 GB hard-disc in it and started ripping my DVDs, throwing on my downloaded Daily Show clips, etc. Mark's HOWTO will be a great boon to me, since the method it details for DVD ripping is much simpler than what I've been up to thus far. And of course, a ripped DVD is a region-free DVD, so I can once again enjoy my movie-collection. Thanks, Mark, for giving me back the access to my property that the MPAA and Apple took away.
Update: D'oh! Xeni blogged this yesterday as part of her awesome video iPod roundup.
Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “Maximum GPU length” field is right there […]
Enjoy Michael Mullany’s review of the Gartner Hype Cycle, with all the things tech predictors got right and all the things they got wrong: “we’re terrible at making predictions.” Lesson 6: Some technologies keep receding into the future There are some notable technologies that recur on the Hype Cycle and every time they appear they […]
Why we secretly love our cords. Tamara Warren: There’s a certain security in the cord. It’s the idea of connection, perhaps even dating back to our days in the womb. … A battery, no matter how sophisticated, is fleeting. When we have our cords with us, we are in constant pursuit of power, even when […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]