Digital Digest - LiveUpdate Newsletter

Digital Digest - LiveUpdate Newsletter DIGITAL DIGEST - LIVE UPDATE Issue 21

Your "whenever I have time to write one" newsletter
Saturday, 12th August, 2000


0. Section Zer0 - an introduction to this issue

1. Server problems ... concluded??

2. New York MPAA DeCSS trial wraps up.

3. The Hiteker/Apex connection.

4. New programs at Digital Digest

5. How to cancel/change your subscription email address/settings
- how to maintain the subscription to this newsletter even if your email address has changed

6. A simple thank-you
- a thank-you message for all those that joined this list

0. Section Zer0

Welcome to this, the 21st issue, of the Digital Digest LiveUpdate newsletter. As you may have noticed, this newsletter is no longer called the "DVD Digest LiveUpdate newsletter", but now changed to "Digital Digest LiveUpdate newsletter". This change is supposed to reflect how there is now more content dealing with DivX, and that while DVD is still a major part of this newsletter, is it not the only part. Hope you don't mind.

Also, this newsletter now comes in HTML format. The HTML version of this newsletter will be delivered along with the text version, although if a significant majority of you do not want the text or HTML version, then suitable changes can be made (see "vote for it" below). The HTML version will feature more graphics, hyperlinks and all the things HTML can offer over ASCII text.

Vote for it - we are giving you the chance to vote for the future format of this newsletter, whether it is delivered in Text format, HTML format or both (such as this issue). The poll can be found here :

You can only vote once. You can also view the result of this poll using a link on the page above. The poll will expire in 2 weeks time, so get your vote in as soon as possible.

Also, as you may know already, we have changed the delivery service system for this newsletter, which will gives us better control over the delivery and advertising content of this newsletter.

Thanks for your time, and we hope you enjoy this edition of Digital Digest LiveUpdate.

1. Server problems tries to get us to buy one of these ... they're nice, but also very expensive tries to get us to buy one of these ... they're nice, but also very expensive
Our troubles continue with our host, After the suspensions, they have finally decided to terminate our account altogether, and with only 2 days warning, we were forced to find another host - and find one FAST!! To be fair, did give us a chance to move on to a dedicated server, but that would have cost us an arm and a leg, and since do not get that much traffic anyway (around 20,000 pageviews per day), there was no point in getting a dedicated server. It almost seems that tried to force those on virtual server accounts to move on to dedicated servers, the other option was to have your site removed altogether. 

It seems that we weren't the only site closed down by - on the same day they terminated our account, they had also terminated over 200 other websites. Of course, this caused headaches for many webmasters and in fact caused so much trouble, that ran a story on it - you can read it here :

Luckily, we did find a suitable host in time, and the move was made as smooth as possible. However, not all former customers were as lucky.

In my opinion, the actions taken by is disgraceful. They have absolutely no respect for their customers, and they will surely pay for their insensitivity. The web-hosting industry's reputation has already been tarnished by companies such as CI Host (a class action has been taken against CI Host for excessive downtime - certain sites they hosted were down for days at a time), and with doing "its stuff", it is only going to add fuel to the fire. lives for another day ...

2. New York MPAA DeCSS trial wraps up.

DeCSS - the controversial program in action
DeCSS - the controversial program in action
The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) lawsuit against 2600, a hacker publication, should wrap up within the next few days/weeks. The MPAA has sued 2600 for posting links to DeCSS, and has used the controversial DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to force 2600 to remove the equally controversial DVD ripping software.

The whole case has angered Linux, open source and DVD users and even free speech activists are alarmed at the way the MPAA has handled this whole issue. In my opinion, it just highlights another way the traditional media is trying to control the internet - and if they understood anything about how the internet works, they should know that this is virtually impossible. The recent RIAA vs, RIAA vs Napster, RIAA/MPAA vs also highlights this fact.

Instead of working with these pioneers in the Internet revolution, the MPAA/RIAA have taken on a "seek and destroy" policy that will certainly lead to more conflicts that will benefit no one, except for the MPAA/RIAA lawyers.

3. The Hiteker/Apex connection

The APEX "loopholes" menu in all its glory 
Australian visitors might have heard of a little known brand called Hiteker and their range of standalone DVD players. Apparently, their player is based on the controversial Apex AD-600A, the player known for it's quite good MP3 playback capability, but perhaps best known for it's "loopholes" menu which allows you to disable region/macrovision control - a move that clearly angered the MPAA. Soon after the MPAA sent out its usual Cease and Desist letters, Apex quickly removed the now infamous loopholes menu. Supposedly, all machines made this year do not have the loopholes menu.

I've had reports saying that there was a batch of Apex machines, rebadged to Hiteker for the Australian market, but still contains the loopholes menu and did finally managed to find one in Melbourne. Unfortunately, it seems that these will be the very last batch to contain the loopholes menu under the Hiteker brand, and officially, they are not supposed to be there anyway. I guess what makes this machine so attractive is that it has both MP3 capabilities and also multi-zone and Macrovision free - they also cost way less than most other standalones, at least here in Australia.

Just in case if our Melbourne, Australia subscribers are interested in getting one, you can purchase them at this store :

167 Elgin Street
Carlton, Melbourne
PH : 93478967

4. New programs at Digital Digest

DVD/VCD/MPEG-4 Players
- BS Player 0.63
- DivX Player 0.08
- DzMovies Multimedia Player 1.0
- Global DivX Player 1.7
- PowerDVD 2.55 build 0620
- WinDVD 2000 v2.2

DVD/VCD/MPEG-4 Playback tools
- DVD Autoplayer

DVD/VCD/MPEG-4 Launchers
- Autoplayer+
- CD Menu Creator 1.0
- Compact Disc Launcher 3.0
- DivX Autorun for MicroDVD 1.58

Encoding utilities :
- AC3-Decode 0.8.19
- Breaking Frame Calculator
- Danni Din's MPEG2AVI/AC3DEC/VSTRIP GUI 0.19k
- DecodeVOB 1.5
- GDRG DivX Maker 0.3a
- MicroDVD SubAdjuster 1.21
- Normalize 0.1.2
- Re-MPEG 1.52
- Somnatic MPEG2AVI GUI
- SubSync 0.2.5
- Subtitle Convertor 0.0
- VOBDec GUI 2.5

Region-free utilities :
- DVD Toolkit 2.1
- more region-free firmware for the latest DVD-ROM drives

Ripping utilities :
- CladDVD 1.51
- EasyVDGUI 3.0

Other :
- DC Genie 1.00
- DzMovies ASCII Creator
- TVCC 2000 v1.0

5. How to cancel/change settings/email address for your subscription to this newsletter

Changing subscription status for this newsletter is pretty easy, here is how :

1. Go to this link :
2. Un-subscribe to our newsletter first.
3. If you wanted to change email addresses, you must re-subscribe using your new email address. Otherwise, your un-subscription should be complete.

6. A simple thank-you

Just a note to thank all the thousands of people (3000 at last count), including you, who joined the DVD Digest LiveUpdate program. We've spent quite a bit of time developing this site, and making it what it is today, and really do appreciate your continued support.

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We hoped you enjoyed another LiveUpdate newsletter. We'll try to make this newsletter a regular fortnightly one in the future.