Sunday, July 17, 2011

Caught in the middle

Recently a friend caused a bit of a storm following some of their comments. It got me thinking that some things in life are very tricky and there are no real answers. The truth can be hurtful sometimes, people don't always want to hear it and its not always appropriate. So how in the digital age should we go about managing our connections between people?

I find that a lot of people aren't very scientific. When faced with fact based evidence people often come up with the line "well in my experience". Essentially this boils down to their belief that in some way anecdotal evidence is better than fact based research. The problem with this way for thinking is that you might be the exception rather than the rule. Scientific proof attempts to eliminate chance and find the truth.

Even smart people sometimes suffer from the God complex blinkering them from being able to find an answer.

For myself I am going to try and be more careful both to examine myself and in comments to others, some people need treating with kid gloves. I actually enjoy the debate, often playing devils advocate, I can't really imagine being surrounded by people who agree with every word, however I know several people who prefer life this way. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex | Video on

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex | Video on

Crap streaming

Recently I bought yself a new TV, one of the features was that its Internet enabled, and like a modern smartphone has a series of apps.

It being a TV there are obvious video related apps, like Youtube and Vimeo and some less understandable applications like Twitter and Facebook.

One application was Love Film, I signed up to the steaming trial. They have 6000 films mostly older ones. The quality is nothing to write home about all standard definition they can look fairly ropey with a lot of pixelation. Still when there is nothing much on TV its fairly easy to find a decent film. Its a subscription service, so has a monthly fee though there is a free 16 day Trial.

Another app was Ace Trax. This is a pay per view service which lets up buy or rent content. They were offering one free rental, so I very slowly registered (using my tv remote), it was painful. Then I choose a film went to my movies and attempted to play. This first attempt froze the app. Second attempt stuck at buffering for 20 minutes before I gave up. I had one more go this time I saw one second of fotage before it froze. At this point I gave it up as a bad job.

I guess for the moment the only way to download films is to pay Virgin media pay per view. They are quite expensive (more than actually going to blockbuster), but at least their app works and the quality is reasonable.

I really think that there is a gap in the market for a good quality app that focuses on the user experience and has a decent range of films to capitalise on the non Apple user. Hopefully someone will take up the challenge because the state of streaming today is woeful.