I recently did a video for the EBU about Adaptive Podcasting (use to be called Perceptive Podcast). I say I did but it was all done by our BBC R&D video powerhouse Vicky. I did plan to get to work in Kdenlive or openshot but it would have been pretty tricky to emulate the BBC R&D house style.
I recorded the video, once another colleague sent me a decent microphone (and G&B dark Chocolates), wrote a rough script and said the words. I also decided I wanted to change my lightening to something closer to how I have my living room lights to encourage a level of relaxation. Vicky took the different videos and audio, edited it all together and created this lovely package all before the deadline of what the EBU wanted. If you want more you might like to check out the Bristol Watershed talk I gave with Penny and James.
Wished I had shaved and was a little more aware of the wide view of my GoPro, lessoned learned. Hopefully the video will get an update in the near future but the video should serve as a good taster for my Mozilla Festival workshop in March.
However I mainly agree with Prof Zuboff about Facebook. As soon as it doesn’t suit there business model they will forcefully remove it from their platform. This is wakeup call for all not just the Australian government.
Following on from my previous post about films to watch during covid19 and again during mid 2020. Some of us have been consuming a lot of media. Its never been a better time to own a full home cinema.
Having just gone through my trakt year in review and its almost 2021, it might be worth another blog post for the locked in. Believe it or not there has been some good stuff to watch on the small screens in our living rooms.
This is a genre which always gets me, court room dramas. I didn’t think that much about the trial of the chicago 7 especially after watching Small Axe’s Mangrove and this film. Its powerful and emotional, it deserves a lot of respect and perfect timing with the on going anti-racism protests. Don’t miss this film!
As the name suggests its a film about parallel universes. This film comes across off as a lower budget movie but the concept is neat and it has legs. It surprises in different ways and within the serious plot points still has elements of comedy. It reminds me very much of the film Time lapse.
This took me by surprise. Not usually into horror but this is clearly more on the thriller side. I can’t even start to explain how messed up this film is on so many levels. As the film develops you get a real sense of the subtitle, you can’t escape a mothers love!
Nice easy going action film which isn’t too stressful but has its moments of action too. Liam Neeson is wooden than his usual roles in Taken, but still has edge. Nice plot and the actors do carry the film well. Good quality hollywood action.
This film is a bit of dark humour and comes across as serious. Its a simple film about staff in a hospital but the things which happen are, lets say intriguing and there reactions are hilariously dark. Been a while since I seen a dark comedy like it
I’m a bit of a sucker for these escape room type films and this one has all the right ingredients to keep you guessing. Part of you wants bad things to happen as this youtuber is just the wrong side of arrogant. If you don’t like follow me, try escape room.
A film about stand up comedy with stand up comedians. Light entertainment again but with the strength of everyday life as a comedian. Heckling, trying out jokes, fighting for spots, its all there in the film.
Psychological thrillers, some hate them and sometimes they are awful. This one is good, not great but challenging. Its great to see Mamoudou moving into the prime time. Its a good film but be prepared for a small mind screw.
A interesting story about a student and a teacher. The emotional side is treated well and respectful over the episodes. Usually these type of things are rushed and A teacher doesn’t do that. The topics are adult and dealt with in that way.
There is so much to say abut Small Axe, the director worked on these 5 almost feature length episodes showcasing different aspects of Black British culture in London. Each episode is unique with for example episode 2 having a completely different tempo and feel from episode 1. Each one is worth while watching alone, together they marked a excellent series.
Such a beautiful and short TV show. Most people have seen or heard of it but honestly watch it on a big screen at the highest resolution you can. You will notice every short is just beautiful. The story is great too.
This was recommended to me and its quite a interesting series, looking at new graduates aiming to permanently join a investment bank. What I like is its not too stereotypical. Yes theres drugs in the bathrooms, yes the women get a much rougher experience than the men. But each character has more depth than you first imagine.
A fun comedy drama with Kaley (known for the big bang theory) with a bit of a edge. The story unfolds slowly but the comedy elements keeps the flow. There is a message about alcoholism there but its not clear cut and well produced. Worth watching but don’t expect something deep and meaningful or even light entertainment. Look forward to second series?
Following the flight attendant, something actually light and fun comedy. If you are a sneakerhead or take your trainers a little more serious than most people… this short series is for you. Funny and entertaining, some light relief.
Another fun TV series but with a heart. I’m really not a football fan, so I was expecting this to be a bore. When I first came across it, I thought this is going to be a joke which will get old. But it surprised me as the characters backstory holds up well and keeps you interested. Like the flight attendant sure there will be a second series.
After looking at their premium section, which has a lot of media I started thinking there is maybe too much and they are adding more to it all the time. I started thinking if they have RSS, I could subscribe and get updated media without having to go to the site to check.
Looking at their RSS it was the generic one for the blog no matter which page I went to. There was a note at the end of the podcast section saying if you have troubles or would like it another way ask.
They were using some other system which was costing them a bit and there was extra step of uploading content to the other system from their dropbox drive, which they nicely shared with me.
Dropbox drive I thought… sure I saw a service which will take a directory of files and generate a RSS feed? I remembered it was called Justcast.com
I set up a account and tried out Justcast for myself and was impressed with how easy it was to get up and running. The one thing which seemed to be missing was authentication on RSS feeds. So I ping them a support request.
Josh from Justcast wrote back pretty quickly… They were on it!
Thanks so much for your suggestion and interest on JustCast, and you know what, we are actually going to work on implementing this Authentication to the feed feature in July. I will definitely keep you in the loop on our development progress.
Following that email we went back and forth and he showed me what it would look like. Then a day ago (29th June) a email
Adding authentication to the feed feature went live. You will able to find the config under the Settings > Advanced. Please give it a try.
I did and it worked exactly how I specified previously. https://user:firstname.lastname@example.org/mypodcast/blah/index.rss
Perfect… and the Justcast team have so many features, check out their blog. If I was creating podcasts not on archive.org. This would be my number one option now.
In the meanwhile I was equally impressed to see the dyslexic advantage team had taken my advice, converted their whole premium content to Justcast and were asking me to test the RSS feed.
It worked perfectly, no need to have access to the dropbox anymore. I was able to subscribe to the RSS feed (theres a button called subscribe which gives you the full RSS feed link). I was able to add it the feed to my complex setup.
It didn’t take long for the impact of Covid-19 to totally affect the way I see films and TVs. I can’t help but think every time a character touches another character or even comes within a couple of meters.
I have been working at home since last week Tuesday, a few days after most of my colleagues at BBC R&D. Like most of the country/world who could work from home, we work from home in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic.
For a lot of people working from home is very challenging, for a number of reasons including having kids, job which requires access to specialist equipment, trying to separate work and personal life for a long time. Theres also the mental, social and physical health sides of this all.
So I thought I’d share how I’m managing with staying at home most of the time. Of course take from it what you think is useful.
I now switched to my natural working time of 1030-11am till 7pm. I do get up and do all the things I usually do when going to work including getting dressed, having breakfast, playing podcasts, etc. Where usually I am in a rush for the door, I now relax playing a few podcasts in a row and across my flat.
Physically working I switch between using my standing desk in my bedroom and the sofa in the living room. I also have my dinner table but haven’t used that yet.
I take breaks when ever I want rather than a lunch break as such. It makes sense to me but I’m sure others will disagree
I’m using my Dell XPS 13 to the maximum memory wise (if I could add another 16gig to it I would, but it tops out at 16gig). Because of that I have to keep opening and closing the virtual windows 10 machine to check email. This is actually quite good because I’m answering emails then closing it while I do other things like writing gdocs, a lot of zoom calls.
Media beyond the news
Talking about media, I am currently playing podcasts as theres lots of podcasters recording from their homes, just like the mainstream media. At some point I will start listening to some of the audiobooks I have saved.
Been watching a lot of films and may start watching more TV shows but generally its audio in the morning and videos in the evening.
I’m also considering getting more into gaming as I’m not much of a gamer, but do have a Xbox 360 and Playstation one classic. I actually do have a steam account but never used it so theres something I might explore. I’m also looking for a good gaming site for casual gaming which can be played together with my partner or friends, but is respectful of my data? Any ideas do drop a comment…
Staying in shape
I’m lucky to have a communal garden so can sit outside with minimal risk to myself and others. Its also where I’m going to start doing the diabolo now its getting warmer (thankfully). I have been outside a few times, mainly to get food, post letters and go riding in the pennies on the scooter. I am planning to do some more serious walking for shopping and exercise.
Been wondering if now is a good time to order those Rollerblades to go with my skateboard?
I don’t live with my partner but we are talking everyday. Its good and we find new and good ways to do things together over the phone and videochat.
I have always been in regular contact with my parents but also connecting with my sister more. Been thinking about the massive family I have and I should reach out to them more too.
I’m also making a very conscious decision to everyday get in touch with people I haven’t spoken to in a long time. Think about it, everybody is at home and likely will be very happy to hear from an old friend. Its not like they are out or on holiday. So far its been great and I expect it brings delight to others too.
Keeping my mind in gear
I have a large task list of things to do, not only because of covid-19 but generally. So I can slowly work my way through that while at home. Some of it is computer based, some internet based, some hardware and some physical DIY type things. Been thinking I should physically take up the art of motorcycle maintenance with my scooter.
Taking a look at the list, there is always something I could be doing and I ordered that raspberry pi 4 before this became a pandemic.
I’m taking time out to practice self-care, relax and sleep longer than usual which is helping a lot with my mental health. I’m avoiding the news cycle as mentioned previously but also avoiding lots of the facebook nonsense as I don’t need to use it now volleyball is off for the foreseeable future.
Well this is quite a surprise I got when Pocket sent me a email saying I was in the top 5% of readers for last year.
Its not because I haven’t consumed lots of written word content but because I have mainly been listening to pocket while on the go (although I can’t quite do driving the bike and listening to pocket or podcasts). Pockets text to speech is pretty sweet as its cloud based not on the device like wallabag. This of course has good (better voice) and bad points (when out of wifi/4g, privacy considerations, etc).
Talking of wallabag, I tend to run pocket from wallabag with a nifty IFTTT recipe.