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EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video - Updated 3Xs: text, video
Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 02:46 AM EST

There are some videos of the EFF Pioneer Awards for 2010 beginning to appear on, but I gather there were technical problems with the video we sent to the ceremony to say thank you, as you can't hear any sound. Cory Doctorow fills in with some humor, but I figured you would like to know what we said, because the award was for you here at Groklaw also.

Never fear. I happen to have a copy. And here it is, in the format they requested, .mov. It plays in Dragon Player and VLC in Linux. Best to download it and then run it. Enjoy.

Update: A commenter says they got the sound fixed later. I'm glad, because we literally stayed up late for days trying to get it done.

Update 2: Here's a local Ogg/Theora/Vorbis version (.ogv) for you. Turn the audio up high. I have a small voice. The version we sent ramped up the audio, but I don't have a copy of that one yet. When I do, I will swap it in.

Update 3: EFF has posted a link to video of the awards on, photos, the works. If you just want to see our video, it's here.

Update 3: Some Groklaw members who are deaf asked for a transcript so they can share in the fun. Here's the draft I drew up before recording it. It's not exact, but it's very close - A thoughtful member R.G. took time to edit it to match:

Hi everyone! I wish I knew how to express how happy I am that EFF chose to recognize our work on Groklaw with this award.

I also wish I could be there with all of you to enjoy it to the full, but circumstances crossed my path. But if the heart counts, though, I'm there. Hey, Cory! Hey, Jaime! Hey, EFF! Hey everybody.

The reason this award is so special to me is because it recognizes what some miss, that what we were trying to accomplish with Groklaw was something no one had ever tried before, a new kind of journalistic endeavor plus a kind of distributed knowledge-gathering, and that it's a group effort.

I absolutely could not do Groklaw by myself. We have thousands of volunteers all over the world who help out with constancy, year in and year out.

Here's how it started. I was very aware as a paralegal that lawyers are in the caboose, generally, when it comes to technology. Not all of them. And it's not their fault altogether, most of them being stuck in Windows, for one thing. My hope is that the Free and Open Source Software community will help liberate them over time by offering alternative specialty legal applications for them. Hint. Hint.

I also knew from reading Slashdot that most geeks had no clue how the US legal system works. And reading some court decisions convinced me that judges were not deeply understanding the technology they were being asked to rule on.

How wonderful would it be, I thought, if you could put the two communities together, and each explained to the other how their world works? Might that result in cooperation and better court decisions over time? What if I started with just explaining to the techies how the system works, so that they could explain the technology to me, and then I could translate what they said into language lawyers would understand? So I tried consciously to be that bridge. And then everybody showed up, rolled up their sleeves and contributed what they knew.

Open source in action but in a new field.

And you know what? Trying to do something no one has ever done before is a little bit scary and a little bit thrilling at the same time, and when it works, as it did with Groklaw, it's a once in a lifetime joy, without a doubt the most creatively satisfying work I've ever done.

We had so much fun.

So thank you for recognizing our goal and that it's a group effort. It has been quite a long slog for us at Groklaw, day in and day out, year in and year out, and it feels so great to know that others you respect actually understand and appreciate what you're doing.

So this award is very meaningful to us at Groklaw, and when I first heard about it, I got goosebumps. If you were trying to make me happy, you succeeded.

So thank you, EFF very much for this award.

Here's a try at putting it in using HTML5: Your browser does not support the video tag.


EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video - Updated 3Xs: text, video | 276 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Thread
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:01 AM EST
The canonical Corrections Thread. Please put summary in form of
error->correction or s/error/correction/ in the Title box

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic threads
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:07 AM EST
Please stay off topic here. Feel free to enhance the clickability of your links
by posting in HTML Formatted mode using HTML formatting.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:08 AM EST
I was at the awards tonight. It turned out to be a volume control problem on
the playback laptop, and they got it working later on. PJ's video literally
made me tear up a little. Thanks, PJ!

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Thread
Authored by: bugstomper on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:11 AM EST
Please include the title of the Pick you are Newsing in the Title bar and a
clickable HTML link to the article in your comment to make it easy for readers
when the article scrolls off the News Picks sidebar.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 04:41 AM EST
Looking forward to a viewing but something seems wrong.

It all but locked up my WinXP desktop. Then I tried it on an iMac with Snow
Leopard (Osx 10.6) & am looking at another locked up screen.

Good luck with this but it is either faulty or most likely overloaded with


[ Reply to This | # ]

Sound problem
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 04:45 AM EST
It is very quiet on playback. I had to turn the volume up to maximum. I have seen that problem elsewhere occasionally.

There are tools for normalising the audio volume. Annoyingly, I can't find one in the package manager right now, but I am sure I have seen them in several distros.

I am sure there will be experts here who know what to do....

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video
Authored by: eggplant37 on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 05:23 AM EST
I had no trouble whatsoever viewing the video with a simple click
of the .mov URL on Groklaw, using Chrome and Totem on Ubuntu
Maverick, but I agree with the rest that the audio is very
undermodulated. I had headphones on here when I listened to it at
5:00 a.m. local time so as to avoid disturbing the rest of the
folks sleeping here in the house, and even then it was terribly
hard to hear.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - The Movie
Authored by: AntiFUD on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 05:43 AM EST
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Great to hear PJ's dulcet tones again, truly the voice of an angel.

I couldn't get it to play in FF so I downloaded and it played fine with Totem
Movie Player (a little quiet, but fine when plugged into my external speakers)
even though I use KDE and kdm.

Now I am off to the corner store to get some of the Groklaw FUD bug spray - I
just know that it will (eventually) sink the SCO ship and eradicate the stench
of SCO's hubris.

IANAL - Free to Fight FUD - "to this very day"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 07:46 AM EST

Was a bit of an issue, I was sitting outside with my dogs while they were doing
their morning stuff, and the cars two streets over made it hard to hear.

But the cartoon of PJ in the red dress with the SCO ship sinking in the
background really fit. Got a good laugh out of it, and incidentally confused my
poor beagle.

It worked really well, loved the various pages showing the resources, and of
course the crowd all yelling 'I'm PJ' was just too precious for words.


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Volume - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 08:40 AM EST
  • Volume - Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, November 10 2010 @ 04:43 PM EST
SCO couldnt silence you
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 08:25 AM EST
But the EFF could it seems :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wow very professional, very touching.
Authored by: SilverWave on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 09:00 AM EST
Also its nice to have a voice to put to your postings.

Once again, congratulations PJ.

RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: HockeyPuck on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 10:06 AM EST
I had problems, related to Windows Firefox/I.E. (I have to use I.E. in rare
instances). No video or sound. Downloaded it to my Droid X, downloaded
RockPlayer and it worked like a champ. Thanks P.J. for sticking up for Open
Source and helping us with the legal world and thanks to the community that
helped deliver top notch platform(s) that just works.

I once had a conversation with a manager about Open Source and he said he had
problems trusting it and the fact developers don't get paid. I told him we use
it all the time with mission critical systems. He scoffed at that. I started
naming systems and he still doubted me. I told him about NFS and other similar
applications. He still just didn't get it. He said NFS was supported by big
companies. I asked "how's that different from Red Hat or Novell?" He
didn't really have an answer.

The moral to the story? Some people don't want to "get it". They have
lived and breathed "proprietary" for so long, they just can't
understand that brilliant people do program on their own time. People cannot
distinguish between a "volunteer" who volunteers for a hospital from a
"volunteer" who volunteers their time programming and contributing to
the good of the whole. One is a noble citizen and the other is a flip flop
wearing hippy.

Gee, I though we left the 60's behind and grew up. Some things never change.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Problems - Authored by: LouS on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 01:42 PM EST
Windows XP with SMPlayer works fine
Authored by: caecer on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 10:31 AM EST
It crashed twice initially (while scanning my fonts; maybe because this was the
first file tried after installing SMPlayer). Third time perfect (although with
the low volume noted elsewhere). Why would I try it 3 times? This is Windows,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Using QuickTime
Authored by: qrider70 on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 12:36 PM EST
FWIW, I thought the mov would work on QuickTime, but my QuickTime Player
couldn't recognize it. But it worked fine in VLC. :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Using QuickTime - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 10:18 PM EST
Eloquent, and this.
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:15 PM EST
Eloquent, and this. Even the voice is soothing! Ever so unimitable.

Congratulations to the award!





[ Reply to This | # ]

Worked fine using VLC on Windows
Authored by: swmech on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 03:38 PM EST
VLC on Windows (hey, I'm at work, that's my excuse...) works
fine. And PJ? The other posters are correct. You've a
wonderful voice. Now I've got a mental voice to use when
reading your articles.

Congrats again, it's well deserved.

"A little gentleness goes only a short way. Ladle it out generously, and often,
when you can." (Walter Slovotsky)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can somebody please post the vid to youtube so that it may find a wider audience - thanks (n/t)
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 04:11 PM EST
ok, ok, ok -- 'Pretty Please' -- thanks

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video - Updated: text
Authored by: iraskygazer on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 08:33 PM EST

Thank you for your dedication. You even organized things when you were down
and out, a.k.a physically ill.

Do you think you'll show up on 60 minutes one day?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Explanation of video issues
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 09 2010 @ 10:59 PM EST

I'd like to extend my congratulations as well to PJ and Groklaw for a well- deserved award. The video was well-done, but some technical problems make it harder for some people to see it for themselves.

Like some of the people here, I had some difficulty viewing the original video file in .mov format using either Firefox/IE on Windows or Firefox/Safari on Mac OS X. A little investigation into how the video was constructed revealed the cause of the problem in this particular case, and highlighted the problem with creating any kind of universally viewable video in general.

A little background in video formats may be helpful. While many people think of a video format as being defined by one parameter, such as the type of file extension used, in reality there are at least three variables (and often more). As the article "MOV, WMV, AVI, MPEG, MP3, OGG, WMA, ... Media Formats Explained" explains, there are different container formats, video codecs, and audio codecs that can be combined in various combinations.

For example, PJ's video was encoded using a Quicktime container format (mov), and it contained a video part encoded with a DivX 3 codec and an audio part encoded with a PCM codec (uncompressed audio). The problem for many people running systems with only stock media players installed is that they may not correctly recognize or handle this particular combination because it is not a standard variant.

On Macs, the standard media player is Quicktime. It sees the .mov format and expects a Quicktime video using one of the standard video codecs commonly associated with that format. DixV 3 is not one of those, and Quicktime complains it doesn't support the video codec it found.

On Windows, the problem is that Windows Media Player also doesn't come with DivX codecs, as well as the fact that some people have reported problems with DIvX 3 videos when running newer versions (4, 5, and 6) of DivX that are supposed to be backwards compatible but sometimes aren't perfect in that regard.

In both cases, people have to make an extra effort to either find and install another media player that contains the proper codecs, or acquire the right codecs that work with the default media player on their systems. VLC is an example of a good alternative media player, since there are binary versions available for Windows, Mac OS X, and many Linux distributions. VLC aims to be a kind of Swiss army knife among media players.

"It plays everything!"

The media player that fulfills all your needs. It handles DVDs, (S)VCDs, Audio CDs, web streams, TV cards and much more.

With VLC, there is no need to continually update many different codec packs. VLC comes with nearly every codec built in!

And whats more, VLC can play back your files, even if the media is damaged! Missing or broken pieces wont stop VLC. All the video and audio information that remains can be played.

Unfortunately, VLC usually doesn't come standard on any platform and people often only hear about it through word of mouth. Even most Linux distributions either don't install full-featured media players like VLC or Mplayer by default, or leave off installing many of the more popular codecs to avoid potential problems with patents.

This brings up the more general problem that this case highlights. If your aim is to produce a video and distribute it to the widest possible audience, there is no single video format that does this in a simple and straightforward manor and that doesn't involve possibly owing someone compensation. The market for video content is heavily fractured between many choices in container formats and codecs, free vs. proprietary, Windows vs. OS X vs. Linux vs. the Internet, supported hardware, etc. Until that changes for the better, the best course for someone wanting wide distribution of their video content is to provide in several different formats that are appropriate for the most common platforms being used by their intended audience.


[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video - Updated: text
Authored by: wood gnome on Wednesday, November 10 2010 @ 11:40 AM EST
congratulations, now for the lovely movie, also a group effort as I
understand it.
As said before, it's very nice to have a voice to this powerhouse
in blogland.
As to the tech, it played fine with Dragon, MPlayer and the VLC on
my AMD 64 Kubuntu 9.04 box.

[ Reply to This | # ]

View the video without requiring tweaks
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 11 2010 @ 01:21 PM EST
Here is another location to view the video on almost any hardware. Audio has also been corrected in this video.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EFF Pioneer Awards 2010 - Our thank you video - Updated: text
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 13 2010 @ 11:07 AM EST
Ah yes, the red dress. Hope it hasn't faded in the last seven years. Pretty
soon it will be older than most OS versions.

I thought you would have had a chance to wear it years ago. Foolish, Foolish
expectations. sigh.....

[ Reply to This | # ]

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