Because the navigation system on the Netherlands government ePub website has some room for improvement, to understate slightly, I have liberated 2835 of their ePubs and made them available as a single .tar.gz download [NOTE: 433 MB].
The texts are, of course, in Dutch. Most are laws, amendments, memos, AMVBs, etc. These texts are also available online on wetten.overheid.nl, with a fairly decent search interface.
Here’s a screenshot of calibre with the ePubs loaded:
Finally, Microsoft has decided to allow switching countries on XBox Live accounts!
As long as you’re switching to Russia, Poland, Brasil, Hungary, Greece, Czech Republic, South Africa, Columbia or Chile.
Sigh. I guess I will have an extra €59,99 to spend on Playstation 3 games this year.
Recently, I wanted to take part of an AVI video file (probably XviD or DivX, but who can tell these days) and convert it into a GIF. The Internet turned out to be less than helpful on the subject.
As it turns out, you can open AVIs in Photoshop and then use “File -> Save for Web and Devices” to export to GIF. This, however, only works for certain codecs. Presumably these do not include DivX/XviD, because Photoshop will just pretend to load the file and then silently fail. Of course, information on what Photoshop can and cannot open is nowhere to be found online.
Anyway, after many attempts to transcode, remux, and other nonsense, I decided to take the ghetto route and use Capture Me and VideoLAN Client (VLC) to do the dirty work (both free). Yes, VLC can theoretically transcode and remux, but it had trouble finding the proper codecs. Yes, that could have been fixed, but effort.
Anyway, to continue on with the description of the ghetto solution:
- Open up the AVI (or other movie file) in VLC
- Position the file correctly to the time where you want to start recording
- Fire up Capture Me
- Move some windows around:
- Hit play on VLC
- Hit Cmd+R to get Capture Me to start recording
- Hit Cmd+R again when done
- Now save the file, open in Photoshop, and “Save for Web and Devices”
None of this is anywhere near rocket surgery, but trying to Google up a quick fix is a pain in the backside.
My Xbox Live account is in Spanish. Presumably because I purchased an Xbox Live Gold subscription in Spain along with my Xbox. I wanted to change this to English because I would like to have Xbox Live content delivered to me in English (e.g. game trailers, XBLA games, movies, etc), and also because I plan on leaving Spain and want to purchase future XBL timecards through Amazon.co.uk (an additional benefit is that those are about €10 cheaper than the ones in shops here).
Because it took me three days to get an answer from support and this information is absolutely nowhere to be found on the Xbox Live support pages, I figured I would post it here for the Googles to index (relevant parts highlighted, tl;dr: delete account, lose GamerTag, friends, purchases, achievements):
Thank you for contacting Microsoft online support for XBOX. I am Billy and I appreciate the opportunity to be of help.
I understand that you want to set or to change the default language on Xbox Live and you have some questions regarding regional differences on your Xbox Live subscription codes.
I appreciate you taking the time to write us with your concerns and I am glad to have you as a valued customer.
Cris, you cannot change the country or region of an Xbox LIVE account once you create an account. However, you can select a different language if more than one is available. If your preferred country has no other option aside from the default language, I regret to inform you that you will have no option to change the language on Xbox Live. However, if you are currently located in a country or region that is different from your account’s country information, it is advisable to cancel the account and create a new account using your preferred country of residence. This will ensure all information is correct and you will enjoy all the Xbox LIVE features for your preferred country. Please be reminded though to use a billing address for your account that is among the list of countries where the LIVE service is supported. If your preferred country of residence is not on the list, please check back with us soon-we expand our services frequently and may be coming to your country in the near future.
Note: To change your personal data on your Xbox LIVE membership, kindly go to the Xbox 360 Dashboard and select Account Management. You can also make changes online at https://account.live.com. Please make sure your Windows Live ID is correct before proceeding. You can also verify this information at www.passport.net.
With regards to your second question, a pre-paid code is the generic term for the 25-digit sequence of letters and numbers that a customer enters in the console dashboard to obtain a variety of Xbox LIVE offers. It may be obtained in a starter kit or in a stand-alone package, for subscriptions of various lengths and different MS Points denominations. There are also free codes that you do not have to pay for. Examples include game codes found in bundles, downloadable content codes found in certain games, and 48-hour trial codes, each of which unlock content or time on the service yet do not cost anything.
Please be informed that the Xbox Live subscription codes are region coded. We do not recommend that you try to use an Xbox Live subscription codes in a region for which it was not designed for use. In this regard, you will be unable to use the subscription code to a different region.
For updates, please visit our website at www.xbox.com.
Thank you for your time and understanding. It has been a pleasure to assist you.
Confirmed this on Twitter with @xboxsupport, who do seem to be native English-speakers:
@HerperDerper Unfortunately, yeah. Accounts are region specific (often times for legal reasons due to the regions laws regarding content)^MK
The region-coded licensing thing was obvious, but it seems such a silly excuse. Delivering Spain-licensed content to another country is apparently fine if you move (because you can’t change countries in XBL). And somehow Schengen, Europe, and region 2 don’t seem to apply to the Internet.
Click the picture to go the album.
In unrelated news, Grooveshark is awesome.
Because Google didn’t help much when searching for a review of this shop I figured I’d post my own (on here, because signing up for other sites is too much work). It’s not particularly interesting, but maybe it will help someone decide whether or not to shop with the people over at headphone-mania.co.uk / Audio Mania, Ltd.
I ordered a set of “Priced almost too good to be true” Sennheiser CX-400 II in-ear earbuds from them late March. On April 1st my order was dispatched, according to their system. After lots of waiting, I sent them an e-mail on April 17th asking if they knew where my order was, or if they could find out. I was redirected to some UK-only website where I could enter my (UK) address and get some “Lost in the mail” form to print and send in to Royal Mail. I immediately mailed back that this won’t work because I live in Spain and their form would only accept UK addresses. I also asked if they could send me a PDF copy.
On April 22nd I hadn’t heard back yet, so I sent another somewhat irritated e-mail asking them to either get on it or refund my order. A few hours later I received an e-mail from their credit-card merchant service saying that my order had been refunded. A few minutes later I got this gem of an e-mail from the shop’s sales-person:
Unfortunately we are no longer able to ship abroad due to a change in our terms and conditions.
We have cancelled your order and your card has been refunded.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
Apparently it took them a while to figure out where they do and do not ship to. Oh well. This was just my experience with them. Maybe they are great if you can get them to actually send you stuff. Personally, I’m not very impressed and wouldn’t order there again even if they let me.
I haven’t checked my bank statements yet to see if everything is in order, but I assume it will be. If not, I’ll update this; unless of course they rob me so hard I get kicked off the Internet for vagrancy.