Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Steven Ho
Steven's posts

Post has attachment

House of Cards, season two opening episode:

FU clearly upset by fist to table of The Wire's political operator preferring quick killing pigs.

I saw BBC's HoC a long time ago and still was blown away by the push to the tracks. BBC gave the victim had a little more time between push and floor hit to realize what happened though.

Frank and Claire must die. And a slow bloodletting, not a shovel to the head.

FU should be lagging behind Claire during a run.

In the subtitles/CC Internet is capitalized. A little meta there. And it's Internets, because W said so.

Alma from Deadwood! More casting from HBO alumni!

Some slight changes to the opening sequence orchestration. More strings. One of the greatest opening credits using city shots, ever.

Waiting till the end to break the fourth - well done.

Yes, NBC with the exception of the opening ceremonies did make all the events available online. Some suggestions.

Signing into the iOS app, can't paste password for those who use a password manager. Also, when you switch to another app from the password page and switch back, the password page and anything you typed is gone.

Watching the events using a computer attached to the living room flat panel - compared to the BBC and CBC, finding the schedule of live events page is not trivial. It should be bolded in red on the front page. It's like you don't want people to know you offer the live stream.

There's no pause button on the live stream. There are on events that already happened. Why not on the live stream?

All the pages in the site have too much to load. Split it out among more pages.

Post has attachment
I haven't subscribed to the online version of The New Yorker for awhile. I recently signed up again to see that it still renders all its archived articles as images, not text and even more mind bogglingly, current articles that it makes available to subscribers only, that is, a semi-paywall.

An aside, the online only subscription process is dodgy. It took me more than an hour to get it working with the help of online chat/phone. The registration e-mail contained no instructions on how to activate the online archive portion of my account. Even though I disabled all ad blocking extensions, the activate link on the login popup didn't show on Chrome and I overlooked the link in Safari and Firefox - how about bolding the activate link? Also, I couldn't disable the auto-renewal option myself. That was most definitely not my fault. And auto-renewal, though a common practice - that's a bit of a dick move.

Back to the text issue. By rendering archived articles as images instead of text, it makes the reading interface is so balky, so clumsy. Basics such as adjusting font size and just getting around is like walking in knee deep mud compared to smoothly paved concrete, on a browser or mobile app.

Compared to the experience of Readability, Instapaper, Pocket, etc... it's night and day. With those, I can change font type, font size, toggle night mode, adjust margins and line spacing. Even the Amazon Kindle app is a far cry better and it's what I'd consider one of the less fully featured reading apps. You can't search. 

I don't know if The New Yorker has already scanned all of its issues and converted them to text or not. If they haven't, look at what Google has done to scan countless numbers of books, some of which are delicate and OCR'd them all for public availability. All the New Yorker has is 12 issues a year going back to 1925. That's not a lot of scanning to do compared to what Google did and there are many clever scanning devices out there that aren't crazy expensive.

If The New Yorker has converted everything to text and just isn't making it available to the general public, then shame on you. At least render the current issue's paywalled articles as text. I realize it's a great deal to get access to the archives at no extra cost, but at $70/year, The New Yorker is not exactly cheap. I'd rather pay a lower subscription fee with no archive and pay per archived article and get it rendered it as text.

And now we come to the crux of the point I want to make. I'm guessing one by-product of rendering articles as images that The New Yorker is well aware of is you can't cut and paste. Sort of like text DRM. So this forces some people to subscribe. Why not design something that renders back issues as text so one can reap all the benefits of rendered text but disable the ability to cut and paste? And even though you can't cut & paste text from images, you still can do screen captures.

I love reading The New Yorker, there's so much great writing, but is the digital reading experience commensurate with writing quality? Not so much. You've basically steampunked it, New Yorker. Come to the present.


Twitter is down again...

New York Times comments and Twitter are broken right now.

Post has attachment
Great piece on the ins and out of Chromecast. Worth going through even though it's split into 5 pages.

How I get most of my news via video from Chromecast as a cordcutter through the YouTube channels below.  

What you can do with the YT mobile app is queue up clips from the channels below. One can easily accumulate hours and hours of news by using tapping the plus. You're doing your own curation - there are positives and negatives to this method, but ultimately, it's a more active process.

Since you have your smartphone nearby because you casted, you can lookup info relevant to what's on the big screen. And you can rewind and playback as many times as you want. 

For the most part, there are no long commercials on YT, I'm used to clicking on the five second skip, Hulu commercials are short compared to broadcast tv and cable and muting is relatively quick and easy.

Sitting back and having the news read to you seems so antiquated now, it's no wonder a poll indicated only a small percentage knew who Brian Williams was.

PBS Newshour YT channel
Associated Press YT
Reuters YT
Democracy Now YT
Charlie Rose Hulu
Licentiathe8th (Rachel Maddow clips) YT
The White House YT
Stewart / Colbert Hulu
The Young Turks YT
The Verge YT
This Week in Law, Google, Android YT

Post has attachment
For photos and videos - holster that fits any smartphone, even if in case. Clamp lets you position the phone almost any way you want. Rod is a lighter monopod. All for $33.

#xmount   #smartphonemount  

Post has attachment
Once you have the Chromecast installed and working consistently, it's a great device, especially if much of your content is from YouTube, Netflix, HBO and Hulu, but having tried to install it in different setups and reading about other setup experiences, getting it running can be an arduous and frustrating experience.

But that's how it is setting anything up that uses wireless networks nowadays. Comparatively speaking though and based on my own limited experience, Rokus require more steps to setup, but I ran into fewer roadblocks. Hope Google makes the setup process less headache prone in newer versions.
Wait while more posts are being loaded