We haven’t really done an update blog in a while.
So now it’s time for the state of the blog 2020 edition. Here we tell you some of the things that have been happening here at s-config.com and where we intend to move into the future here.
The idle on this blog is real!
First off, allow us to state that we haven’t been totally active on our blog site until recently. This is because instead of posting blogs, art, and music like we should. We got hung up doing a lot of research on where we would like to go in the future. The future is a hella-hard thing to predict because sometimes, you have to do things that existed 10 years ago on the internet with new technology in the hopes that you will be 10 years into the future. At least that is our theory! We’re still working on it!
We’re super happy to state that with the implementation of Tor/Onion/DeepWeb networking readership has increased by about 10 percent which is good. Of course, we can’t tell if said readership is bots or actual users on the Tor Network. Just that the disk access count is ten percent in contrast to the disk access on the clear-net side. Our recommendation to anyone wanting to host a good Onion address site is to visit all of the major search engines and keep submitting your website to them. Most of them are just happy to get content that isn’t about scamming people out of money or posting CP (Child Porn). We’ve even talked to a few of the people that host search engines on the deep web. Super-nice dudes! So if you have a website with some content that may be a little….. off… And Google/bing buries your ass on the clear-net. Come to the deep dark.
Now some may ask:
Does the deep-dank-dark-web of onions really work?
Holy shit, our first blog review!
We just got our first blog review from a group called “SomeOrdinaryGamers” It is the YouTube (replaced link with a safer commercial free Invidious link) video to watch. Odysee link available here too. Considering this is episode #226 it’s safe to say that the show host “Mutahar” who usually goes by “Muta” has been hitting the deep side of the web rather hard. The format of his category of deep web edits is a cross between reaction and reading to the audience what is on the side of the internet that some are too afraid to look up themselves.
Now, how did we find out about this video? Was it through tracking or NSA-level intelligence? Evil corporate psi-ops market scripting? Nah! We were just sitting in Discord and then a lot of streamers slid into my DM’s like so:
Muta’s channel has close to 2 million subscribed users at the time of this posting and continues to grow at a good rate because the man just keeps hammering out video after video. It’s honestly kind of impressive how hard some of these video guys like Muta work for that platform. Considering time, after time, after time, YouTube exploits those hard-working artists. If there is one thing we want to say to Muta (or any creator of videos really!) is some friendly advice from your clear/dark-web semi-paranoid furry:
Purchase hosting. Store your videos there. Never know! – S
If you don’t know how to transcode your videos as YouTube does. Check this article out to see how we transcode like a boss.
Also, when/if you get a site we can put you in the cellar door links too. Now!
Back to the article – Upon seeing the initial title seriously worried us. When the video starts off with rotting meat and saying that this episode “Is Completely disgusting” is enough to make me go:
Oh shit. – S
This is after all the first time we’ve ever heard of this guy! At the time we were sitting in a rental car in Arkansas. SO! I transferred the link from my phone to the main screen of the car, kept the seatbelt on, and watched! In the review of my site, the man was super-nice about the content we put up here. So thank you very much for being the first man to conduct a blog review on our site.
Muta explains this much later in the video that the places he’s visiting have a clear net as well as a dark net. When you own your own VPS like we do you could do domain splitting and exist in two places at the same time. This is usually a bad move with clear-net as having two domains would conflict with one another on Google search canceling each other out. But when it comes to ToR/Onion we view it as another conduit of communication and a methodology for readers to reach out to us anonymously. For the most part, it worked!
We also host a Tor/Onion site because it has come to our attention that there are certain countries that are blocking the DNS going to this very site. Governmental censorship is no good and must be overridden any chance we get.
Also, the whole thing Muta said about people saying we aren’t tracking them. We even liked that. A little paranoia is good; Especially if you’re rocking through the ToR/Onion networks. You shouldn’t trust anything some rando blogger has to say and investigate yourself if they really ARE tracking you the end-user. Then you could call them out on it!
Now, if you wish to visit the Invidious video talking about my blog you can click right here. We took the liberty of time-indexing to the point he begins talking about us so you can skip the horrors of rotting meat.
Is it normal practice to do a reaction video when someone does a video about you? Is that YouTube Etiquette? Leave in the comments below. We always love to hear about any input people may have about us. Even if you aren’t a high-powered video creator it’s cool! You can just drop us a line in contact us or comment below.
Video blogging into the future!
While we’re talking about videos and streaming content to you the listener this would probably be a good time to make an announcement on how we’re handing videos both all videos in the past and all of the videos into the future.
We’re killing MP4 support.
That’s right, we are going to take steps to pull back and eventually eliminate the mp4 container and h264 streaming codec from this website. Why do you ask? Well, this whole website is focused around one concept which is to self-host content and maintain control. The MPEG-LA, the company out of Colorado that owns the rights to the container and codec. It’s MPEG-LA that threatens that state of control on our site to which we will address.
When you dive into MPEG-LA’s license on how they describe the codec, its uses, and limitations. They do go on to say that it’s free to use for “Non-commercial” usage. But what about a person who chooses to shoot a video and wants to make money on it? What if in order to get a video from someone you must pay for it similar to a Patreon system? Well, that’s where the copyrights get a little murky. This is of course also why Google decided to instead of giving MPEG-LA millions and millions of dollars to host an outdated codec system like mp4/h264 or upgrading YouTube to mp4/h265. Google was instead going to take measures into its own hands.
Oh hello, new sexy video streaming codecs!
Google turned to a group of programmers that was developing WebM, whose container is a sister branch from Matroska or MKV to make a royalty-free streaming codec that not only Google can use, but the entire world. Why didn’t google simply go with the Matroska main line instead of getting a bunch of developers to branch off? Well, the Matroska container is incredibly flexible! You can throw almost any codec at it. Unfortunately, just because you can throw anything at the codec and container it doesn’t really make you compatible with everyone. If anyone who’s downloaded movies from Pirate Bay knows. Someone could use a highly exotic codec that compresses incredibly well but only works on MAYBE one video player. That is not good for web streaming.
In this situation, the efforts and money Google put forward not only helped themselves but self-hosting sites like mine where we could deliver 1080p quality at a fraction of the download bandwidth. Which is all the side-benefits of the main reason. It’s royalty-free, we can do whatever we please with the codec without worry.
The other reason why we’re moving onward to WebM is simple every modern PC and most modern cell phones can use the format without too much concern. The major compatibility hit is Apple will not integrate VP9 yet because it’s not really a part of their WebRTC kit. This is okay because you could install Firefox/chrome on MAC and you’re completely fine! As much shit as we talk about Microsoft, at least they’ve adopted WebM into Microsoft Edge so cool on their part.
AV1 is the replacement of WebM VP9 and would have been called VP10 except that many other companies are now involved with the production of this new codec. We have transcoded some videos with the AV1 standard and while we like the quality at low bandwidth.
It’s unfortunately not ready for prime-time at the time of this posting since it’s missing almost all mobile devices. AV1 also isn’t something we could easily mainline into WordPress/Nginx like we could WebM because we could use MIME control and check with the client if they are willing to accept the WebM container. AV1 is a codec, not a container, and thus, it will be sent to the PC regardless if it’s ready or not which leads to a pitch-black screen upon play.
We know that chasing compatibility is a fool’s game. but we’ll wait until mobile support gets a little better before we make that jump.
Once it becomes more of a standard. This will help out the deep web immensely because 1080p quality videos can be transmitted through a high latency ad-hoc network like the Tor/Onion with relative ease. Allowing unrestricted videos (for better or worse!) to be circulated everywhere.
Technology changes are faster than opinion.
About 2 years back before we purchased FooBox/FooGallery plugins for this site we were working with the original WordPress video player. We were having difficulty with the video player in the sense that you cannot select WebM first and foremost. We had to make some rather extensive re-coding of our functions.php files in order for it work. I didn’t know this at the time so I left the comment that I was simply dropping MP4s off of our site.
Now, we’re going to hide the user’s name because perhaps his/her views have changed too. Thought with a little googling we’re sure you could find the support ticket if you’re that inclined to know. Anyone who decided to dive head-first into a new technology was ridiculed. At the time we complied but no longer. Safari/IOS and IE became irrelevant because they did not wish to adapt or evolve. Microsoft’s new version of “Edge” minus will be Google Chrome at this point!
There is a need for streaming video to contain better quality and to be more efficient than the standards held for almost 10 years. It’s time to let it die. And also let the OS’s that cling to these standards die with it. Luckily OSX Catalina users can download Google Chrome and Firefox just like the rest of the Linux community so all is good! As for Safari/IOS users. We’re not sorry.
Future of royalty-free codecs.
One of the major things that are holding back codecs is hardware support. Because transcoding WebM VP9 the way we do it is incredibly slow (1 minute of video == 4 hours) and AV1 is even slower (1 minute of video == 6 hours!). Also, hardware playback is necessary to video editing programs so that we can cycle through a video in almost real-time like how mp4 videos are edited through Premiere, vega, etc.
Chances are, this type of hardware acceleration will come considering major video platforms are now using these standards. But it will be a generational-based hardware system like Nvidia likes to do to sell customers more graphics cards when all they really had to do is release updated drivers for their existing cards. Which is kinda shitty. but whatever.
Probably the number 1 reason why these companies should turn towards hardware encoding is the concept of live-streaming with programs such as OBS. Where they bounce off of the GPU of the video card to transcode the video to a quality level in real-time to be shot across the net to an RTMP server like Twitch, Mixer, Picardo, Microsoft Teams, etc, and then unpacked and re-broadcasted. Currently, when we stream; Our settings are set for 8Mbs which is about half of our upload bandwidth for 1080p@60fps. If we wanted to go 4k then we would have to get much more expensive internet service in America.
What about OGV?
The Ogg Vorbis video stays on this site. It’s useful to raspberry Pi users as the codec does not eat that much CPU power. Also, the codec has a royalty-free mentality. Thus, despite its terrible optimization of file size, it stays because it complies with the rules of this very site.
Goodbye MP3 support as well.
Although not nearly as big news as our videos. All of the audio players will no longer use MP3 and instead will use the OGG/Vorbis format. We will still keep MP3s on the site for those who wish to download in that format as the license of MP3 has expired. OGG to us sounds a hell of a lot nicer. So we’re going with that from now on.
Updates. Updates. Updates.
There are of course other things we’re doing as well.
- Upgrading NGinx to mainline. We may compile our own Nginx later to get HTTP/3 support and TLS 1.3 support.
- Upgrading PHP to the latest version.
- Re-compressing videos based upon our new standards so users can easily seek through the video.
- More art, content, etc.
Overall, we’re feeling really good about the progress that has been made in 2020 despite the world and nature attempting to kill us all.
That being said, we do feel like we’re coming full circle after almost 20 years. Back in the early ’90s, we were huge fans of the OGG-Vorbis format but it was violently crushed by most of the cellphone and portable computing industry with them simply stating that it can’t handle it. It’s not compatible. etc. Our only regret in this is that we should’ve held onto our standards and beliefs as it would’ve probably saved us a lot of time converting audio and video back and forth endlessly. Now the compatibility war is almost pointless. Left behind on the principle that there are bigger things to worry about than “Does it work on X” and onward to “Will we get sued for X.” It’s not over and we’re most certainly not done.
That’s what server said.
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