Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The end of Ultraviolet?

Ultraviolet was originally created as a way for the film industry to reduce it's reliance on Apple and iTunes - they basically saw what had happened to the music industry and decided that they didn't want to fall into the same "trap".

Ultraviolet always had a problem in that Apple didn't support it, and neither did Amazon or Google. That's the three biggest players in digital movies so it was always going to have trouble gaining traction in the marketplace. Unlike the HD-DVD (remember them??!!) vs Blu-Ray battle of a few years back movie studio's learnt the lesson that making titles "exclusive" to one particular format would alienate customers so they definitely took the view that the market should decide.

Should probably note here that I'm an Apple person. I'm not really. I'm a Google person. One of the first Gmail users. However, at the time only Apple was offering TV shows so I started buying with Apple and now have such a large library of TV Shows and Movies that I really can't go anywhere else. On and Android isn't as good as iOS, particularly once you have taken into account the level of Samsung crap-ware that comes embedded and impossible to remove!

So I received this from TalkTalk;

In the UK we have (or had) a choice of either TalkTalk or Flixster for redeeming Ultraviolet codes. TalkTalk's exit from the market will at least leave us with one - Flixster. The problem with that is that Flixster is busy exiting the Ultraviolet market in the US which is now busy consolidating around Disney's Movies Anywhere (renamed just to Movies Anywhere) - this "new" industry initiative includes not just Ultraviolet, but also Amazon, Google, and Apple. For the first time, you can literally get everything you've brought in one place.

But currently "Movies Anywhere" is US-only. There is no real clue about a UK launch date so we are left in limbo - the service is currently in its death throes but until an alternative launches, it's all we've got.

Slightly frustrating!

Not bad!

So Cambridge Water started sending a nice graph comparing your water usage with those of similar occupancy houses in the area (which seems to be Cambridge for us).

We came out quite well;

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Defrosting the fridge ...

.. lots of fans!

As you can see from the thickness of the ice at the top "it's been a while" is a slight understatement! Always best to get this out of the way before it starts to get too sunny and you can't put everything outside wrapped in a few towels.

The fans meant the whole process took about an hour :-)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Doctor Who on iTunes (Episode ordering issue)

So this is driving me mad. I've spoken with Apple, and they've been quite clear that it's not up to them - it's the fault of the BBC who have added the metadata for the Classic Doctor Who series in a very isolated (and not particularly helpful) way.

So here's what it looks like for me when I go to Doctor Who: The Classic Series on iTunes;

As you can probably make out the episode order is a little messed up. For some series like Time and Rani, I can at least work out the sequence - if the episode title is "Time and the Rani, Episode 1" I can work out where they fall in the series. No so with episodes just titled "Episode 1".

I have 141 episodes largely from purchasing the "Best of the Xth Doctor" sets of episodes - for example; The Best of the Second Doctor, and The Best of the Fourth Doctor (both with identifiable episode titles). Whereas The Web of Fear, The Two Doctors, and Power of the Daleks (all of which have "Episode x"-style titles). 

So what needs to happen?

The solution is actually quite simple but requires a high level of consistency. What we need to do is to bundle the episodes using their original series and episode numbers. For example (from The Two Doctors);

You can see we have Episode number 1 (called "Episode 1"). If you go to the epguides.com page for Doctor Who you'll see that the Two Doctors falls in Season 22 of the Classic series and that the three episodes in question are actually Episodes 7, 8 and 9 of that series.

And here's another example from The Green Death;

These episodes are from Season 10 and are numbers 21 to 26.

If you purchase both of these as they are you'll get two episode 1's, two episode 2's, etc. However, if the iTunes purchases had the correct number and season then you could merge purchases into your episode list (under "Doctor Who: The Classic Series"), and they wouldn't overlap.

Makes sense to me ... I contacted the BBC via their website (email address: WW.Comments@bbc.com), and my comments were passed on to the relevant department within BBC Worldwide who are responsible for the commercial exploitation of BBC properties (including Doctor Who).

Hopefully, they'll sort this issue out!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Bar Hill Playground

So it's finally opened! The new playground in Bar Hill is now open, looks really good the kids love it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Brexit Effect: When It Really Matters

So the "new" Peparami is on the top, the old one is on the bottom. Just for the purposes of clarity, the one on the top is from a 5-pack and the one at the bottom is singular.

The one at the top is 22.5g, the one on the bottom is 25g.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Elderflower, Orange, and Cinnamon Wine (Homebrew)

So this wine came out really well so I thought I'd share what I'd done as I had decided while making it that I'd take a few pictures.

So the starting place was the Elderflower;

As luck would have it I've got a huge bush growing the garden so I only had to walk about two meters from my front door. The first bit of good luck :-)

Sadly though it had a bit of a black-fly infestation;

Which meant that probably one-in-ten of the flowers weren't going to be usable (or would make the wine slightly more meaty than I was aiming for).

Anyway, I picked a few of the flowers aiming to keep as many of the flowers and as little of the stalks as possible;

This worked pretty well and after a few minutes I'd got a pretty good volume of flowers;

That's a two-gallon tub so you can see I've got a nice lot.

Now I'm adding in two kids cartons of Orange juice;

Next, it's time to add in a bit of lemon and some sugar. I tend to freeze lemon juice so I've got a nice stock in the freezer;

I added 1.5kg of sugar which has mad a nice medium wine. Sadly I never do the ABV calculations so I can't tell you the percentage I ended up with - but that would largely depend on the yeast anyway!

Final steps - top up with boiling water and added a stick of cinnamon;

Now it's time to spot the deliberate mistake; I wasn't careful enough adding the boiling water and managed to burn some of the elderflowers - hence the black bits in the picture. Opps!

And so here you go, add in the yeast, leave for a couple of days and then bottle.

Like I said it came out really well (glad I did two gallons!).

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Interesting car!

Noticed this parked in Tesco's car park ... fantastic :-)

"WWII DOG" was the number plate (just in case the owner is googling themselves!)