* Posts by Shmako

8 posts • joined 22 Aug 2016

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Shmako

"Sky has never appealed to me since the price just isn't good value. I've got Prime and I'm considering NetFlix as well. Most people I know with Sky are paying more like £50 a month and they all talk of dropping it all the time (although few ever do)."

Dropped Sky TV a couple of years ago, saving nearly £50 a month. This was just basic TV inc HD, no sports or cinema. The difference has been spent on Netflix, Prime and an occasional 3 month NowTV card from the supermarket when the shows wife & I watch are on. Still get Sky Atlantic & Living content except for £5 a month rather than 10x that. Got fed up of the Sky TV bill going ever upwards, knowing that the money was being spaffed on a dick swinging contest over football rights with BT.

A Fire TV box and an Apple TV covers us for Prime, iTunes, Netflix, NowTV and BBC and we're spending way less per month.

Noticed that the NowTV Sports stuff is almost as expensive as it is via Sky TV themselves. Says it all really. Not condoning it but I can almost see why anyone with an interest in sports might not want to be spending £70 upwards a month on Sky & BT to watch the running, jumping and ball kicking.

Samsung sets fire to $9m by throwing it at Tizen devs

Shmako

Re: Samsung sets fire to $9m...

Will you be here all week? And should we try the veal?

Evernote dumps its own bit barn, boards Google's cloud

Shmako

Ex-Evernote premium user here. When I first started with Evernote, it was a clear leader over OneNote and the ilk due to it's clud based, your notes on every device offering. Since then they've re-arranged the UI furniture several times on their iOS, WIndows, Mac and web clients, had one major security problem and have removed more and more from their entry level tier.

Microsoft with Office 365 on the otherhand have offered WAY more functionality for not much more outlay, with OneNote having become a fantastically good note taking app on both desktop & iOS. All this without constantly revising and renewing their UI and without their historic ownership and exclusive API exploiting of the underlying OS. On iOS at least they're on a level playing field with all of their competitors and in my own experience, are comfortably out-competing them.

I don't wish Evernote any ill, but I can see them being absorbed as a company into Google rather than Google 'just' hosting their customer's content.

Forget Khan and Klingons, Star Trek's greatest trick was simply surviving

Shmako

Re: The Future is pretty close to what it used to be...

There is a somewhat apocryphal story about an episode director a (or similar) asking the writers how the warp nacelles work on Star Trek starships. 'Very well' was the answer that came back.

Happy to be corrected on the actual circumstances of the quote.

Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

Shmako

Re: Rubbish

B5 suffered throughout its run of being under constant threat of cancellation. With the threat looking very real at the end of season 4, JMS (J Michael Straczynski, series creator and main writer) collapsed the end of the story which would have taken place in season 5 down into season 4, ergo season 4 deals with the end of the Shadows storyline then immediately jumps to resolving the Earth/Clark storyline. The final episode was shot and the entire B5 story was wrapped up neatly if not a little hurriedly.

Then season 5 got greenlit.

Cue relatively minor plot threads being expanded hugely to fill the void (Teep war), stories for character A being awkwardly transplanted to character B, to the detriment of the story, due to cast changes (Claudia Christian leaving over contract renewal disputes) and obvious filler episodes to replace already resolved Arc episodes (Penn & Teller anyone?).

Seasons 4 & 5 would have been much more balanced in terms of carrying and resolving the overall story if the production would have gotten HBO style multi-year commitments. That the show was made and then completed to the standard it was against network indifference, production troubles & budgets and cast changes is a minor miracle. Serialised story telling with a beginning, middle and end and with characters that change over the course of the telling that B5 attempted hadn't really been done on US TV before outside of mini-series.

Shmako

Re: Evens good, odds bad only applies to the first six

@Ben47

"Although I don't disagree that there a faults with the pilot, it wasn't the first trip. Enterprise was the first Warp 5 vessel, but in-universe there had been plenty of Earth vessels already out there.

It's even mentioned in the pilot where Travis Mayweather (helmsman) grew up on a cargo ship that would take months and years to travel between local systems due to it's low warp capability.

So it does make sense that, to a point, it wasn't a big deal."

I stand corrected on the details. The fact remains that the entire plot was exercised in the most perfunctory, another day at the office manner. The series was pitched on the basis that the common technological conveniences of the earlier/later in the timeline series were not available to the new crew and so would give rise to new stories that later technological progression would rule out of TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY. Instead we got EXACTLY the same stories that had been told over and over again in the earlier series.

I'll defer to your superior understanding. I've never gone back and rewatched the pilot and never saw any subsequent episodes through series cancellation. I have happily gone back and rewatched TOS/TNG/DS9 episodes though, many of which still stand up beautifully.

Shmako

Re: Evens good, odds bad only applies to the first six

Bullpuckies. ST:TMP is an over extended episode but at least attempts to tell a science fiction story. Wrath of Kahn is fine, granted. Search for Spock isn't bad, even though it turns reintroducing a dead character into a 2 hour film.

Voyage Home hasn't stood the test of time at all. The plot is the worst kind of eco bollocks going, with the tilt towards humour strained and forced. "It's funny because they don't know how 1980s tech and culture work!". Final Frontier is just awful with little to nothing to redeem it. Undiscovered Country for my money is the best of the original cast films; acknowledges their age and has them questioning their relevancy, together with a plot that deals with concepts more than spectacle.

So, we've got one decent science fiction film that sorta works as a trek film, two bona fide good films (II & IV) and bobbins for the rest.

Generations just plain doesn't work. The plot around the Nexus is awful (see RedLetterMedia's considered, snarky takedown on YouTube) and exists solely as an exercise to have Kirk and Picard interact. The trash the Enterprise again is straight out of Search for Spock, leaving aside the nitpicking around shield rotation frequencies the characters had already solved in TV TNG.

First Contact appears fine but makes the mistake of taking a well defined hive mind, decentralised enemy and giving it a focal point/weakness: the Borg Queen. cf Davros in WHo for what happens next. The previous implacable enemy become a bunch of hapless stooges around a shrieking figurehead.

Insurrection was awful if for no other reasons than the observation planet of youth making female crew members boobs firmer. Seriously? The worst kind of pandering to the 7 of 9 fancying demographic. If TNG was the best embodiment of Rodenberry's vision then Insurrection was that vision subverted by morons.

Nemesis I saw at the cinema and aside from yet ANOTHER Enterprise destruction I couldn't tell you a damned thing about the film. It utterly failed to register.

Aside from DS9 which got better as it went along, everything that came afterwards was just terrible. Voyager had a great over-arching premise; far from home, few resources, no Starfleet/support infrastructure and intra-crew hostilities. All established in the opening episode, all ignored immediately thereafter. The so-far-away-from-home crew ran into more familiar faces than they would have back home, had no end of magic resource/shuttlecraft replacements and payed no attention to the dramatic potential of its overall premise. The episodes in the main were either warmed over TNG, or at worst were Brannon Braga spatial anomaly of the week where Yesterday's Enterprise was written to the tune of diminishing returns every time. Add in Daisy Duke/Heather Locklear/7 of 9 and I soon checked out. The BSG reboot took the premise of Voyager and then actually made something of it, albeit in a grimdark way that wouldn't have been Trek.

Enterprise was even worse. I never got past the pilot. Characters lubing each other up, THAT theme song and more ignoring your own premise - humanity's first trip outside of the solar system evokes absolutely no wonder or sense of occasion, instead becoming a FedEx run to deliver a Klingon back home - and all hope was lost for me.

Paramount/Abrams can do whatever they like with Trek as far as I'm concerned. Braga & Berman flushed the Trek premise around the U bend once DS9 went it's own way under separate stewardship, pandering to the worst aspects of its own fandom.

Apologies for the rant, but none of the TNG films are actually any good or are particularly consistent with the TV series that spawned them, either tonally or premise wise.

Microsoft's kinder, gentler collaboration war: Evernote, you're first

Shmako

Ex-Premium Evernote user here. Migrated to OneNote a couple of year back on account of Evernote constantly rearranging the UI furniture on their desktop and iOS clients, frequently changing the UI entirely for whatever graphical metaphor-du-jour took their fancy. I still miss the local caching of notes on the iOS client (useful for when you're in a low or no data coverage area), something the OneNote iOS client misses out on, but otherwise OneNote+OneDrive has come on leaps and bounds with OneNote 2013/16/iOS and Office Lens. At the same time Evernote has seemingly lost focus, with the constant, distracting UI revisions and the major password leak from a couple of years back.

Microsoft may appear to be reverting to their old ways, but to me they're competing on level playing fields (other people's OS's and platforms) and winning by producing a better product on balance (OneNote+OneDrive+Office 365). Nothing dirty or underhanded to see here and Evernote themselves have an 'Import from OneNote' function.

I'd love to see Evernote come back and compete again but the landscape has changed with so many note taking, cloud based eco-systems relative to 9/10 years ago. Best of luck to them.

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