Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Podcast improvements in iPod touch 3.0 software

At last - AT LAST!

Not quite the virtual clickwheel I had asked for, but Apple's latest $oftware update for the iPoD touch now let you scroll through lengthy podcasts with much more detailed control.

Called "scrubbing" you can now adjust the speed the of your FF and REW based on how far up or down on the screen your finger lies.

At last you can scroll back 10 seconds on a 2hr podcast.

Not only that, but they have now added playback speed control for podcasts so you can listen to them at ½x 1x or 2x. Finally, they have added a "jump back 30 secs" button too - not sure if you can change the size of the jump, but 30secs seems like a good length for those horrendous moments when another human dares to speak to you whilst your ear-buds are in.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

BBC Weather website overhaul

Oh crap. The morons (management) at the BBC Weather Centre are at it again. Now they are trying to drive out symbols of clarity in a triumph of style over substance.

Yes the logos the Brits have been familiar with and have understood for decades are being swept out for some nonsense created by, no doubt, an expensive design consultancy firm.

Have a look at the two images below, and decide for yourself which conveys the coming 24hrs of weather for you in the clearest fashion.



[EDIT: 16-DEC-2009]
Well it only took the BBC Weather Centre a year to figure out what was obvious from the start. They haven't given us our symbols back, but at least the summary is back to a more familiar and easy-to-read layout.

What's galling is how they are trumpeting how clever they are with these changes, when all they are doing is going back to where they started - almost.

[EDIT: 08-NOV-2011]
Well here we are umpteen years on, and at last vindication. I LOVE to be an I told you so....

Full details on the lovely new site here:

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Word Shoot

I'm not a fan of guns, and especially not guns for children. However, if it helps them learn to spell, then I think that is worth sacrificing the principle for, just this once.

Word Shoot: Spell fast or DIE

It's a fun little game that will expand the minds of you and your little ones.

If the enemy combatants don't get you, the RSI will.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

When in Rome...

Avoid this contraption at all costs. The Archeobus looks great, and a glance at their pamphlet makes you think you will be given a luxury coach ride around all the interesting archaeological sites in and around Rome.

The reality is that you will be stuck on top of a green roller-coaster, where the ancient monuments will whizz past so quickly even setting your camera to 'sport' mode will not be enough to get a blur-free snap.

As for the informative 'guide', well if you are lucky enough to be able to hear her over the crackly PA system to which your ears will be wired with a pair of worse-than-useless disposable green ear-pods (and don't turn to look at anything, or they will be ripped form your ears, depositing the earwax onto the lap of the person sitting next to you), she will spend most of the journey chatting-up the driver. She will begrudgingly take 30 seconds form her social calendar to give you the most glib account of the archaeological wonders Italy has to offer. This usually amounts to the name of the object, which you have probably deduced yourself by reading the sign nailed to it.

As we travelled up the Apian Way - the most important ancient Roman road - you will pass many fascinating constructions along the way. To this day, I haven't a clue what they were; seems they didn't warrant a commentary.

Your treat for the day will be a stop at the famous aqueduct. Here you will be told you have 10mins to have a look around. Don't expect the guide to come with you and explain what you are looking at, nor should you expect any signs explaining the ingenious Roman aqueduct system - it seems the spot you get to look at is just the end of a dirt track where they don't have to pay the council for the privilege of using it, as it is little more than a place to turn the bus around. I did notice a tennis club next to where we stopped, and the 'guide' made use of that as a personal refreshment break.

Then as you get back on board (and in my case it was back on board a different bus - seems they wanted to combine 2 half-filled buses into one full one and give the driver and guide from the now empty bus some quality-time to 'catch-up'), you are treated to the names of all the places you almost saw the first time, but in reverse!

How exciting.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What happened..?

1984 San Fransisco

Blond, thin and a fashionable gap in my teeth...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We're all going to die....

...bird flu has arrived in Scotland. BBC