Monthly Archives: April 2015

gPodder YouTube Access Has Stopped

In the mornings I like to watch my favourite video podcasts while I eat breakfast.  I use gPodder to aggregate my video podcast feeds and then I watch them using SageTV or XBMC/Kodi.  But this morning I had a surprise.  Instead of my weekly “The Ben Heck Show” episode, I was provided with a silent movie from Google, telling me my “device” was basically too old.



A quick gPodder update check showed I had the latest version.  Not a good sign of things to come!  A little research told me that April 20, 2015, was the last day of the old YouTube API.  They have a new YouTube API starting today.  I personally wasn’t aware of this, and apparently neither were the developers of gPodder.

I’ve only been using gPodder for a short time, several months perhaps, and I switched to gPodder for the YouTube support.  Not long ago, The Ben Heck Show had changed it’s media delivery system to YouTube only.  So the reason I started using gPodder, is also the reason it is now a problem for me.

I suppose I have 3 options; patiently wait to see if the gPodder team update the app, find a podcast aggregator that is keeping up YouTube support, or give up on The Ben Heck Show cause it’s been a real pain in the ass jumping through hoops to watch it, now that it’s only on YouTube.

EDIT: 2015-05-21

For anyone that might be interested in this topic, my gPodder bug ticket (and a duplicate from another user) was finally looked at and has been marked as resolved.  As I understand it, it’s basically the same as my workaround.  That being to use a newer updated YouTube URL as the link to the feed.  This was brought to my attention by a commenter, and those notes can be read in the comments of this post.

Here is the resolution:

Thomas Perl <> changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
         Resolution|---                         |FIXED
             Status|IN_PROGRESS                 |RESOLVED

--- Comment #3 from Thomas Perl <> ---
This has been fixed in Git here:

The user is required to enter their own V3 API key, then YouTube feeds can be
resolved. In the Gtk UI, there is also an "Extras" menu item that can be used
to migrate all existing subscriptions.

Quieter Nvidia/Zotac GTS-250

The Nvidia GTS-250 video card is by no means a cutting edge video card by today’s standards, they are a few years old.  But I have 2 of these cards, and they play HD video very well in my HTPC Windows computers.

One thing that the GTS-250 cards are well known for (at least the Zotac re-branded versions) is having rather loud fan noise.  So the other day I thought I might try to do something about this and started investigating the possibility of replacing the fan with a new DIY retrofitted quieter version.

Instead I discovered that there are 3 things I could do without spending any money, that made a huge difference:
1. Vacuum or air blast the heat sink fins.
2. Reseat the heat sink with better/new thermal compound.
3. Modify the plastic fan cowling.

Bare in mind that I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your equipment following these instructions.  Take normal precautions as when working with electronic components.  Ground yourself.  And don’t damage the merchandise.

Number one is pretty obvious and straight forward.  Dust and dirt inside your computer will always muck up heat sink fins and fans, and cause heat and air flow problems.

Number two may or may not cost your any money.  If you are a computer builder or hardware hacker, you likely have some heat sink compound.  If not, you can pick some up at a computer parts store. 

Simply remove the 4 screws that hold the fan cowling in place, and unplug the fan.


Remove the 4 screws on the back of the card and the heat sink will be loose.  You’ll likely find minimal dry low grade thermal compound under the heat sink.  Clean it off with a plastic scraper (often included with heat sink compound) and cloth or paper towel.  Apply new high grade heat sink compound and screw it back on.



Number three involves modifying the plastic fan housing.  It covers most of the card.  Personally I fail to see how this helps the air flow on this card, unless the fan is running at the highest speeds.  And the problem with this card is that the super cheap ass fan is rather noisy at any speed over 50%.  So if you feel comfortable, I would suggest cutting both ends off the plastic housing off up to the screw ports area.  Make sure you leave enough so as not to cause structural issues to the fan.  So maybe 1/2 inch from the screw holes.  You can use a Dremel, a chop saw with a sharp blade, or being very careful with a hack saw by hand.  I used a chop saw with a good sharp blade and cutting slowly.  Don’t damage your fan cable.


Reattach the fan to the heat sink, plug it back in, and reinstall the card. 

I use the Open Hardware Monitor Windows software to read motherboard temps and fan speeds.  It can read both on the GTS-250.  By making the above 3 changes, I was able to drop the temp by several degrees while the fan runs at 10% lower speeds.  For example, before doing this, normal near idle use was at best 72 degrees C at 52% fan speed.  After doing this, it was 67 degrees C at 42% fan speed.  And in decibels it was way quieter!  The decibel tool I used was my big ears.


Windows Update KB 3035583 – Update or Adware?

A new Microsoft Update appeared on my Windows 7 desktop today, and was marked as “Important”.  It is referenced as KB3035583

It seemed odd to me to see Microsoft push out an “Important” rated update out of normal update rotation, so I looked up the details on their site.  The description is very generic and useless.  Doing a quick Google search brought me a story on Infoworld. Here they describe that a German researcher has determined, that this is going to be a way for Microsoft to promote the upcoming “free” Windows 10 release on our computers.

Time will tell how “free” Windows 10 will be.  Nothing for “free” comes without strings attached.  Especially from a for-profit company.  But that will be another discussion for down the road.

What I find interesting is that Microsoft appears to have gone out of their way to not explain this in the details of this “Important” update.  Seemingly wanting us to assume it’s just another bug or security fix that we are accustomed to doing on a regular basis.  Only to have installed (what is described) as a new adware reminder popup to get the new “free” OS upgrade.

A thought goes through my head discovering this.  Is the new kinder and more open Microsoft back to being the evil and distrusted Microsoft or years gone by, by sneaking ads and offers into our operating system?  Virtually taking a page out of the Google playbook by forcing ads on us cause they give us something for “free”. 

I wouldn’t mind so much if they were upfront about it, but if you they have to hide it from us, and not allow us to “opt-in”, why would any intelligent person want to start down a road where the first step is disguised?