Jan. 15th, 2017

mtbc: maze K (white-green)
The BBC are wanting to greatly push the development of their iPlayer application with which one plays their online streaming content. I can't help but wonder if some of this effort is a poor use of resources. They have already pushed it far enough that, while I can watch Amazon and Netflix via our Wii, it is too old for iPlayer.

It is hard to get personalization and intelligent suggestions correct. Using my locality is not much use in my case: on Friday I was listening to local radio for a county several hours' drive away. One mistake that sites like Netflix make is to use my viewing history which unfortunately includes much that was actually on others' behalf. In practice, how I want to use the BBC's iPlayer site is far enough from what they try to guide me into that I largely navigate it by external search engines.

I watch via content downloaded through get_iplayer which largely allows me to avoid using the BBC's website directly: I may instead script things as I like. Without that option I would certainly be watching less BBC content.

I should add that I am happy to indulge the BBC's need for digital rights management: for example, I would be fine if they offered an API that required authentication via television license number and postcode then steganographically encoded the session key into streamed content so the BBC could track me down if I shared it online or were downloading implausibly much from myriad IPs.

If the BBC were to offer an API and simple no-nonsense apps for end users then this would allow the external community to provide a range of advanced configurable clients that meet users' actual needs in navigating and viewing the BBC's content. One thing I wonder is: given a sane and stable API am I wrong to expect that before long individual viewers would be able to find a cheap or opensource client at least as suitable for them as what the BBC would have provided had they continued trying to own that app market?

As a computer programmer myself such access, as is presently imperfectly obtained via Perl scripts scraping BBC webpages and suchlike, offers the best personalization: I can write code that navigates the BBC's content exactly as I want. As it is, I don't bother putting much effort into such because I have no faith that the content will remain usefully accessible at all.
mtbc: maze G (black-magenta)
One reason why I value the BBC's content is how comprehensively subtitled their television shows tend to be. Though my hearing is good I have always found it a little challenging to decode sounds into human speech; in noisy rooms I often watch interlocutors' lips. The subtitles have especial value for the many shows in which the BBC coherently edits together archive clips of interviews and performances on some musical theme: I finally find out what the lyrics are.

My father had the same difficulty with listening to speech but was also dyslexic so subtitles ran far too quickly for him.
mtbc: photograph of me (Default)
I was wondering about blue to ultraviolet light and living partially underground in sunny places. If one did have many subterrean chambers, for instance if living in a harshly hot or cold region, then I wonder how to get enough useful light for managing one's circadian rhythm, making vitamin D, growing plants, etc.

One may use skylights and sun pipes and whatnot though I don't know how easily one can obtain ones transparent to sufficiently high frequencies. Or perhaps electrical lighting can be useful, whether daylight spectrum or even ultraviolet: put it in one's farming rooms and turn it off when attending to the plants personally to avoid eye burns or other injury. I am ignorant of the types of ultraviolet light such as to what extent the useful frequencies are also the dangerous ones.

I guess that it is inefficient to use solar panels and electrical lighting to move sunshine underground. Maybe there is even some kind of plastic sheeting one may inflate with water to make a lens over a tunnel to act as a solar collector to direct much light and warmth to a deep sheltered trench; I wonder how well refractive index correlates with density. There could be a few ways to meet various requirements and some may even make sense.

Update: I hear on the radio that daylight-spectrum lighting can be used for growing potatoes.


mtbc: photograph of me (Default)
Mark T. B. Carroll

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