Hedders' Ramblings

Gaming, home tech, politics, music, whatever really

Category: Stoopid (page 1 of 2)

I can’t unsee this

And now, nor can you. Sorry.

It surprises me …

… just what a shit email client Outlook is.

I mean, think about it: it’s been around for 20+ years, it’s been through umpteen versions, it’s expensive, and nearly everybody uses it. So why is it still so crap?

Really need a better desktop email client. Suggestions?

TIBO Bond Mini

I have a stereo in the living room. A proper one, as in I-bought-it-from-Richer-Sounds proper. Yes, that does make me old-fashioned, but the kind of music I like wasn’t mixed to sound good on shitty little speakers, and I still like to buy music on CD. So there.

That said, I do have our whole CD library ripped to our Plex server for ease of access from our phones and cars while out and about, and for a while now I’ve had an Amazon Echo Input hooked up to the stereo and used Alexa’s Plex skill to stream music from Plex to the living room stereo.

It works well, but like many people I’ve started to worry about the privacy implications of Alexa technology. So, I started looking around for some alternative streaming solutions, and based on reviews and so on eventually settled on the TIBO Bond Mini as offering everything I needed except voice control, for a reasonable amount of money.

The first thing that struck me when I opened up the box is just how dinky the thing is – it’s little bigger than a ring box. Setup is, according to the quick start guide, a matter of hooking it up to the stereo, powering it on and following the steps in the companion app to hook it up to the wifi network. Simples.

Or so I thought. Here is where I hit my first snag. It seems that the Bond Mini doesn’t support 5Ghz wifi. My home wifi is dual band and uses the same SSID for both, because the mesh system allows 5Ghz devices to fall back to 2.4Ghz in some of the dodgier areas (old house, thick brick walls, therein hangs a tale ….).

Happily it offers an alternative means of setup. You can use your phone to join a temporary wifi network fired up by the Bond Mini and configure it from there.

Except that, of course, my phone is too bloody clever by half, realises that the temporary wifi network doesn’t have internet access, and falls back to 4G. The only way to get around this seems to be to put it into flight mode and then manually re-enable wifi. With that done, the app could at least see the device, but the device apparently couldn’t see my home wifi network and so the setup wizard couldn’t continue.

There is a third and final way offered to configure it, which is again to hook up to the temporary wifi network and then configure the device manually using its web-based interface. Finally, that worked and I was able to get the thing onto my home network.

It then resolutely refused to see my Plex server through DLNA. I even went so far as to give the Plex server a restart. No joy. So, I restarted the Bond Mini, whereupon the control app stopped seeing it and it apparently completely forgot the wifi config and went back to first setup mode.

It being a school night, I gave up at that point. I will have another go this weekend, but I have to say, first impressions are less than stellar.

UPDATE 29/09/19: I’ve managed to get it onto the network reliably. Still won’t see any bloody DLNA servers though. Gah. I’ve contacted support. We shall see.

Very good article on the hubris of “unicorns”

I come across a lot of startups in my work. This article is pretty much everything I could ever want to say on the subject, but expressed far more artfully and concisely than I ever could. Read, enjoy, and possibly get very cross:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/09/unicorn-delusion/598465/

8chan and all that

Robert Evans writes again on 8chan and the radicalisation of young white men:

This is worth reading for two reasons. Firstly, it’s an excellent article in and of itself. Secondly, the comments section is a stinking dumpster fire of racists, conspiracy theorists and dim Trump apologists, thus immediately proving him completely correct in his analysis.

On Boris Johnson

I was going to write a great long screed about how Godawful this man is and how dreadful it is that a handful of complacent parochial Boden-clad shitsacks from Tunbridge Wells, who can’t describe someone as “black” without whispering the word and who secretly think we should bring back hanging, are going to make him our Prime Minister and there is absolutely nothing that I or anyone else can do to stop it.

But really, it boils down to this: Boris Johnson is basically a slightly more rubbish version of Donald Trump. If that doesn’t make your blood run cold, then I don’t know what will.

Although, he does have slightly better hair.

UPDATE: Please don’t make this ludicrous mendacious vacuous tit Prime Minister. Please:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-48766451/boris-johnson-i-make-models-of-buses

You utter, utter fools

34% of the vote for a far right populist party with no policies beyond some half-arsed notion of sticking-it-to-Johnny-Foreigner-because-we’re-British-dammit, led by a sort of cartoon mashup of Roderick Spode and Alan B’stard. Seriously?

I am truly, truly disgusted by my countrymen.

When I say “my countrymen”, I am talking specifically about the English. I suspect there will now be an even stronger resurgence of the Scottish independence movement, and who can blame them? They’re handcuffed to a lunatic.

Meanwhile, those of us in England who have not entirely taken leave (and indeed Leave) of our senses can only look on in resigned horror as the swivel-eyed demagogues, talentless chancers and spivs of the far right revel in their victory before gleefully marching the country off into the cold, and the dark, and the unknown.

I love my country dearly, but right now I despair of it. Winter is coming, as they say.

You know you’re screwed when…

… a Daily Mash article reads like simple reality:

Oh dear God no

Ashens eats (some of) a 50 year old tinned ox tongue. This might be the worst thing I have ever seen.

Eurovision

Is it just me or has Eurovision got really dull in recent years? It always used to be a bastion of tongue-in-cheek camp, but over the last few years it’s become more and more po-faced and earnest.

Take last night, for instance: a cluster of tired four-on-the-floor Europud, wholesome kitsch, bloated balladry and sub-Gloria Gaynor me-against-the-world humourless bleh. Absolutely no fun anywhere, not a single drumming granny to be seen, and to top it all off we were subjected to the heartbreaking spectacle of Madonna grimly murdering Like A Prayer despite it being very obvious that a) her range has dropped over the years to the point where she actually can’t consistently hit those notes and b) she was painfully aware of that fact but felt duty bound to give it the good old college try anyway.

Losing the high notes happens to all singers, of course – it’s a fundamental unfairness of being a vocalist rather than an instrumentalist that you don’t get better with age, no matter how much you practice – and to be fair to Madonna she sounded fine on the new material that followed, presumably because she wrote it for her vocal range as it is now, rather than as it was 30 years ago. I think she should have stuck with the newer stuff to be honest; her voice may not be what it once was but she is a skilled and clever songwriter, and her newer songs are strong enough not to need bolstering with old hits that she can’t reliably perform any more.

Oh well. I don’t think I’ll bother with Eurovision next year. Another bright spot in the world reduced to dullness.

« Older posts