Disney+ to introduce an ad-supported subscription later this year

John Gruber:

The thing that gets me, and will never stop getting me, is that when we first started using computers to watch TV, with TiVo and other DVRs in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we were able to use them to skip, or at least fast-forward, commercials. The computerization of TV, in that early era, worked for us, the viewers.

Today, with streaming, the computerization of viewing leaves us with un-skippable, un-fast-forwardable commercials. I find that endlessly depressing. I'd rather not subscribe to a streaming service at all than subscribe to a tier with un-skippable ads.

He hits the nail on the head here, without thinking to hard it feels like we just have to live with ads as we did before technology gave us some power in being able to skip them.

It's actually worse now, because if you leave during the ad playing process returning will just show you more ads, rather than picking up where you left off. I've even had situations where the streaming services (UKTV and ITV Hub) have shown 7-9 30 second ads. How is this any better than watching regular TV?

Then there's the fact that Disney (and other services) are hitting us twice with a service like this. Not only are they taking money from our wallets, they're also invading our privacy so that they can serve us 'relevant' ads. Disney are not the first with this approach and are unlikely to be the last.

Twitter Blue does not remove ads either (not available in the UK anyway) and YouTube are doing all they can to serve as many ads as possible. Even though they're skippable, they interrupt shows more than they should. Maybe that's a publisher's choice to maximise revenue, but it's an awful experience for the view as YouTube videos are rarely edited like a regular show where there are clear pauses for a break.

Posted 8th Mar 2022 @ 10:00

The cold hard truth about electric vehicles in winter

Interesting analysis of EVs and how they compare to their claimed range in both hot and cold temperatures. 6 out of 14 models features meet or exceed their claims in warmer temperatures but all fall short in the cold.

I don't think this is ground-breaking news, ICE cars have always been generous with their claimed range, but range anxiety just isn't a thing with them thanks to the existing and comprehensive architecture.

What's most interesting to me is that the worst three (and by some distance), are three American manufacturers and a 9 year German model.

  • In Norway — where half of all new cars are plug-ins — tests show that EVs lose about 20% of their driving range and take longer to charge in cold temperatures, according to the Norwegian Automobile Federation.
  • ...
  • Start the vehicle while it's plugged in to allow the battery to warm up. “The key is warming that battery up," Dickson said. "That pre-conditioning helps so much because it gets it to a temperature level that works efficiently.

I didn't know about the option to start the car when it was plugged in, it had occurred to me recently that that might not be desirable given you don't want to leave with the cord attached, but that's probably an easier conversation for the car to have with itself to make sure that's not an issue.

Posted 4th Mar 2022 @ 14:06

Singer Porsche 911 Turbo

Absolutely stunning from Singer.

Posted 10th Feb 2022 @ 16:27

MacOS Widgets Deserve Better

Nick Heer points out that there were once grand plans for macOS widgets:

At WWDC 2007, when Steve Jobs announced the “sweet solution” for iPhone apps, Dashcode was envisioned as a way to build those web apps. The idea was that developers could take their existing Mac OS X widget and convert it to work as an iPhone web app.

I do not remember this from the iPhone launch at all. I do remember Apple talking about new features for the web which gave you the ability to run a website as if it was an app. It really looked like PWAs were going to take off, but there was a real clamour for native apps and Apple opened the floodgates a year later.

Posted 3rd Feb 2022 @ 10:02

How GPS works

In-depth and beautifully illustrated description of how GPS actually works. The illustrations are interactive too. You can adjust the positioning of the character, move the sliders and rotate the surface to angles that work for you.

Posted 20th Jan 2022 @ 08:56

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