48 hours with an iPad
Like many people, I bought an iPad on Friday morning. Back when I first got an iPod touch, one of my first thoughts was “this would be fantastic on a 10” device”. Evidently, somebody influential at Apple thought the same thing. It’s easy enough to say “well, it’s a big iPod touch”, but it misses the point. The OS is the same, the hardware very similar,...
This is is not Canvas vs Google TV
Or at least, it shouldn’t be. There’s a tendency in emerging broadcast circles to think of Google TV (and the various things which will ubdoubtedly follow it into production) as a competitor to current and future TV platforms — Sky, Virgin Media, Project Canvas (which the FT is reporting could be called “YouView” — oh dear), and so on. In a technical sense, this is...
Monkchips on Google TV
James Governor of Monkchips has posted some thoughts in the wake of the Google TV announcement. He is of the opinion (and I’m inclined to agree) that sport will form a major part of the push to get Google TV into the living room. Where we disagree, though, is that he thinks there’ll be another almighty battle between the boys from Mountain View and Messrs Murdoch. In a follow-up, he...
Do yourself (another) git favour
Add to your .gitconfig: [alias] substatus = submodule foreach 'git status || true' And lo!, you shall be able to git substatus to in order to get the output of git status on each of your submodules in turn.
With reference to my previous posts on converging...
(Clearly, the postscript to my last post was a lie. c’est la vie). Here is a very rough-and-ready, off-the-top-of-my-head WebIDL schema for a window.tv object. (Comments welcome — there’s a handy commenty-bit at the bottom of the gist page)
Why Google doesn’t matter
Okay, that’s an incredibly misleading title. Really, it should be “Google TV: Why it doesn’t matter that it’s Google, and not — say — your favourite besandled hippy crew, who are doing it”. One of the sentiments that I’ve seen, and I’m sure it’ll be amplified and redirected by the Canvas PR team, is that “the Google TV is great, but I wish it wasn’t Google doing it”. Here’s the thing, though: it...
No, not the Daft Punk album. I’m talking about service discovery, in the context of hooking up Internet-delivered content to over-the-air broadcasts. Let’s start at the service provider’s side, because this is the easiest. Say you have a domain name. Like yoyodyne.com. In that domain, you add a SRV record, like so: _baird._tcp 3600 IN PTR services services 3600 IN SRV 0 0 80 www services...
How Canvas could exist in an open-ended world
Let’s pretend that BBC R&D (or Arqiva, or BT Labs, or whoever) had proposed more or less what Google TV is: a web browser, embedded into TVs and set-top boxes. Imagine that it went a little further than Google TV, along the lines of how I’d described. Essentially, a web-based system open to all comers, with control ultimately in the hands of the consumer. In this world, is there still a case...
Addendum to “Connecting the Dots”
It was pointed out to me that my proposed discovery mechanism isn’t a million miles away from RadioDNS. As it happens, I discovered RadioDNS a little while after I’d submitted my Canvas consultation response proposing this scheme, and I was quite heartened to see that a similar idea (albeit for radio, rather than TV) had been proposed and was being pushed quite hard. Even better, the BBC was...
Connecting the dots
Or, “how to support the convergence of the web and broadcast television”. Putting a web browser — or at least, the capabilities of a web browser — into TVs is a good first step, but it only gets you so far. While a Chrome/Safari/Opera-style grid of favourite and recently-visited sites is okay, there’s the whole issue of finding those sites in the first place, and everything feels a bit...
Since my first post on the subject, I’ve now had the chance to look in a little more detail at what Google TV is and does. It may change, but it looks like Google’s stance is “there’s a lot of entertainment stuff on the web which you might want to watch on a big screen, so let’s make it readily-accessible on the TV”, rather than integration per se. I suspect, in the first iteration, at least,...
Consider the Google TV announcement for a moment. What if they announced this: Google will specify the user interface for branded “Google TV” devices Google TV is open to all comers — content providers, ISPs, hardware manufacturers, although a financial commitment would be required Ultimately, the “Google TV” specifications will be controlled by a consortium made up of all of the above ...
[Addendum: See Ars Technica’s overview for the low-down on Google TV] This is a subject close to my heart. Back in 2001, I was working for a company developing a set-top box for… bringing Internet access to the TV. It sucked, though, and eventually we re-purposed the hardware and OS to be a thin client (RDP, VNC, X11) instead. It sucked for a few reasons: Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer 4 were...
Today, the Office of Fair Trading didn’t announce that it was granting approval for the venture to continue sans investigation. It didn’t announce it, because it ran a consultation process and read through all of the responses before deciding that it didn’t have the jurisdiction to investigate it and possibly refer it to the Competition Commission in the first place. Their justification...
Today, at IO, Google announced the WebM Project, with the crown jewels being the widely-anticipated open sourcing of the VP8 video codec it had purchased from VP8. WebM isn’t just VP8 — it’s VP8, plus Vorbis wrapped up in a subset of the Matroska container format. Together, this is WebM. As you might expect, it has already come under some scrutiny. (I should state here that my initial reaction...
In addition, MythTV is mentioned as a possible platform to receive iPlayer....– From a document disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request to the BBC from Paul Jakma Spot the deliberate mistake in the above paragraph.
In the event that these may be of interest to those of you who haven’t run across them already, here are my various Spotify playlists… First, the relatively varied ones: The List The List III The List IV The List V Not quite so eclectic: Music to Race Cars To And, my favourite — a collaborative playlist for adding music (new or old) that you’ve recently discovered for the first time: ...
rentzsch.tumblr.com: Public-But-Hackable Git... →
When offering a public project on GitHub, I need to publish read-only URLs. Otherwise GitHub will hang up on the submodule pull request since no one else has my private key. However, that’s a downer for me since I often want to be able to hack on submodules in-place, where they’re being used in… There’s a better way. Stick this in your global .gitconfig: [url...