Excitement level: Roof just blown off
Excitement level: Roof just blown off
Frodo the dog enjoying ice cubes on this hot day. He’s a long haired black dog so the sun gets to him! :-D
Seeing this in Manchester always make me feel like Gordon Freeman in his car viewing the Citadel (from the HalfLife game series) - http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=half+life+citadel (Photo by jgjones)
BBC doesn’t usually discriminate. However with the iPlayer, they’ve done a wonderful thing - bought “catch-up” TV to the general public in UK that works very well, and is nearly 100% subtitled. It’s a fantastic service.
Fast forward to today, with the explosion of smartphones in UK with the iPhone and Android models grabbing a large and growing share of the mobile market in UK, with Android phones having the largest share (currently it have a 34% share worldwide, overtaking Nokia’s Symbian platform which is now at 27.4% and shrinking).
Tablets are set to grow very rapidly too, Apple’s iPad having a huge share, but now that Android tablets are coming out, it’s expected that they will eventually overtake iPad share-wise.
The important difference between iOS devices and Android devices is that on Android you are able to play Adobe Flash - which BBC’s iPlayer make heavy use of (and is where you get subtitles). You can get iPlayer on iOS devices, which doesn’t use Flash, but with no sutbtitles etc.
However iPlayer on Android doesn’t work for the deaf -despite using Flash, there are NO SUBTITLES. Numerous complains to iPlayer, via email and Twitter seems to fall on deaf ears. I was informed indirectly that it’s a technological limit. So let’s test this shall we?
Tested Phone: Nexus One (Rooted)
Android platform: 2.3.3
This phone is a rooted phone and allows me to change the User Agent in the browser. So here goes.
Keeping the User Agent to Android (default) as shown:
This is what BBC iPlayer (Mobile version) looks on Android Browser:
So let’s select Have I Got News For You
(you might see a ghost text “Remote Web Desktop has been granted Superuser permissions” above - this is just an app that I use to take screenshots on my phone straight to my laptop, but I didn’t wait for it to disappear before taking screenshot)
So let’s play Have I Got News For You - it’s using Adobe Flash in the browser.
Going a bit further into the programme, I show the seek bar below. You will see there is no “S” button to enable subtitles. There are no subtitles playing and there are no options anywhere to enable subtitles. The video plays fine. It’s smooth, doesn’t jerk etc and show in landscape just fine. Just no subtitles. It’s about as good as watching paint dry for me though.
BBC might claim that there’s no room to put in a S button, the seek bar is very narrow on Android (sigh…you could use pinch-zoom but that’s not ideal that’s true - but you can make it bigger on landscape, problem solved!)
Hmm bigger seek bar? Let’s look at the official BBC iPlayer app for Android, so here’s how it looks on Android playing Have I got News For You with the seekbar showing:
As you can see above, the iPlayer App make use of a larger seekbar. It is also using Flash here. There certainly is room to put in a S button there. Switch it to landscape mode, and there are ample room to put in half a dozen S button’s! So no subtitles.
So let’s test to see if this technical limitation is genuine shall we?
Switching my Android Browser’s User Agent to Linux Desktop:
BBC iPlayer in Browser - you can see it’s showing the full desktop version of the website below:
Selecting Have I Got News For You - it’s still the desktop version…
Starting Have I Got News For You…Hmm what’s that in the seek bar I see?
Yup…it’s a S button for subtitles. Surely that’s impossible? It probably doesn’t work? Right?
Holy Shit Sherlock! That’s subtitles. Must have backup evidence…
Yup. The video plays smoothly. It doesn’t jutter or jerk. It plays fine in landscape. And WITH SUBTITLES! It’s perfectly readable on my mobile for me, it’s not too small either. Just right.
So dear BBC - Android is more than capable of playing with subtitles. It works. The evidence is there. All of the above is the same on an Tablet (tested on ASUS Transformer with Android 3.1) too by the way - I have to switch the User Agent to Desktop to play subtitles on iPlayer too.
Android tablets with Android 3 typically have 1280x800 resolution, the same as many laptops with screen sizes up to 15”. It’s more than capable of playing with subtitles too but BBC chose to not show subtitles (Android tablets use the same Flash version as you get on Android mobiles).
Do I think BBC is discriminating against the deaf? Well, I’ve complained about this for a long time now and they’ve given no notice as to when they’ll sort it out. I’ve tweeted about this to the iPlayer team and no replies from them. My tweets have been retweeted qutie a few times now and still no replies.
It’s hard not to. However I do believe that iPlayer aren’t trying to discriminate against the deaf. I think they just need a “kick” to wake them up to the fact that subtitles does work and there is a real demand/need for it by not just the deaf. Plenty of people might want to watch iPlayer on the bus perhaps, where it’s too noisy to listen (assuming they’re able to get it working fine over 3G)
Craig Butcher wrote an open letter to the entertainment industry - which can equally apply to the BBC iPlayer too.
All of the above was for Android which use Flash. For iOS it’s a different story and there’s a genuine technical issue to getting subtitles (it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it can be done, but resources would have to be spent to enable it as iOS does not use Flash)
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2011 04:15:08 -0700
To: Joseph <email>
From: Facebook <email@example.com>
Reply-to: Facebook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Account scheduled for deletion
X-Mailer: ZuckMail [version 1.00]
X-Facebook-Notify: account_deletion; mailid=
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8”
Hi Joseph,<BR><BR>We have received a request to permanently delete your =
account. Your account has been deactivated from the site and will be =
permanently deleted within 14 days. <BR><BR>If you did not request to =
permanently delete your account, please login to Facebook to cancel this =
e Facebook Team
(PS, yes Facebook did attempt to put in <BR>’s into an text only email!)
I’m just writing to announce that I am planning to close down my Facebook account. I also believe you should be doing the same, or at least consider it.
I shall list some reasons for doing so. The major factor is really just how dangerously scary Facebook really think of your “privacy”.
Many times we’ve read the news about Facebook making changes to your privacy settings - perhaps adding a new “improvement” which actually just sell out more of your information.
The most recent example at time of writing this was how Facebook decided to give out your address and telephone number to 3rd party Facebook apps. 3rd party apps refer to stuff like Farmville, or even the more silly nonsense such as “This is what your friend think of you…” and so on.
In short, Facebook propose to give out some of your most important contact details to all 3rd party apps, many which aren’t exactly safe in the first place. This obviously help Facebook make money, but at what cost to our privacy?
I read somewhere that reminded me of a very good point. Does anyone remember Google Buzz? When they first launched it, there was an outcry over privacy (what Google did was to implement Buzz, then add friends to your list automatically based on who you mailed the most. There was a lawsuit even.
Yes a LAWSUIT. To sue Google for a privacy issue. Yet Facebook sells your contact information to advertisers and no-one blinks. My email address never got any spams. It was like this for over a year and half since it was created. Once it went into Facebook. I now get hundreds of spams.
I am not saying that Facebook sell to spammers. They sell to “trustworthy” companies but then what happen to your information after this? A vast increase in spam soon after it’s in Facebook suggest one thing.
Yet no-one’s making much of a noise about this let alone any sort of a lawsuit.
Recently Goldman Sachs is investing in Facebook. And getting people to invest. They are investing $1,500,000,000 (1.5 billion) into Facebook. Bear in mind that number - one point five billion dollars. It’s sure as hell not for Farmville. It’s for your private data.
So to keep my data private, my profile over time have been locked down to the point that all permissions have been set to “Me Only”. What happened? No-one noticed really. I also removed Facebook Chat from my instant messenger app. No-one noticed (when I’m online, I get chats, but when offline for a long period, no-one notice).
It’s nothing to do with being popular. There’s so much shouting and “me me me me” going on in Facebook with hundreds if not thousands of friends to check up on that it’s very easy for one person to slip under the radar.
Going back to the point that I made about not posting personal information to Facebook and you’ll be fine. OK. Let’s suppose I do this. I don’t get in touch with my contacts, I don’t post my new mobile number, I don’t post my email address or other private information that I would like to give my friends and family. I don’t post photos or video of myself and my kids.
But as I stated…I joined Facebook to keep in touch, but if I can’t post my personal information then what is the point of Facebook? Seriously? It’s not for getting more cows for Farmville that’s for sure.
600 millions users might disagree. That’s fine. Up to them.
However I find it ironic that Facebook give YOUR private information to corporations for money. Mark Zuckerberg is the Time’s Man of the Year but Wikileaks give free private info from corporations/govs. Julian Assange is branded a criminal for that. I ask you. What’s wrong with that picture?
Mark Zuckerberg have in the past called Facebook users “dumb fucks” in giving up all their information on Facebook. But that’s OK, he’s the Time’s Man of the Year remember? And people go on about sending the CIA to “take out” Julian Assange.
I asked myself - what do I *really* get out of Facebook? And I don’t have an answer. None whatsoever. It bring me no benefit at all and it cost me my privacy? The price is too high.
I also asked myself why am I just making this public? Why not just delete the account and be done with it. Simply because no-one will notice. I want people to read this and think. Are you really that interested in what everyone else is saying, or are you just using the social site as a gaming platform? Is the cost to your privacy really worth it?
I don’t care if you don’t delete your account like I am doing but I do hope you do think about the cost that you are unknowingly paying.
I don’t yet know when I will actually delete my account, I would like to know what my brother is doing in Thailand, but given that he only post on Facebook, I’ll need to get him to notice that he have an email account and that he can email me. But it will be soon regardless of that.
*Edit - a dear friend, Alison, pointed out to me that she noticed so I can’t say no-one noticed :D OK…at least those close friends (and Alison notice EVERYTHING, the woman doesn’t sleep! ;-))
It might seem like a ballsy move but I don’t think so.
According to Statcounter - in 1st December 2010 - the global market share for all browsers is as followed: (Jan 8th - IE is at 44% btw FYI)
IE - 46.94%
Firefox - 30.76%
Chrome - 14.85%
Safari - 4.79%
Opera - 2.07%
Others - 0.58%
Let’s split those up into h.264 camp and WebM camp:
Browsers that can run WebM videos right now - (Chrome and Opera) - 16.92%
(When Firefox 4 is released this will potentially go up to - 47.68%)
Browsers that can run h.264 videos right now - (Safari) - 2.07%
(When IE9 is released this will potentially go up to - 51.73%)
However the above numbers does not take in account browser upgrades - for example if a user is on Opera 9 then it doesn’t do <video> tags.
So let’s look at browser upgrades here:
As that show, Chrome is at top with 90.6% on the latest version, followed by Firefox with 80.5% and Opera at 77.2%.
The top 3 browsers that are the most likely to be upgraded to the latest version are all WebM-capable browsers (except for Firefox4 which isn’t released but with 80.5% upgrading, it would not take long for the bulk of Firefox installation to be on latest) and are the most likely to be on the latest version that support WebM video
Safari is at 71.1% and IE is at a low 60.2% so there won’t be as rapid uptake of IE9 when it come out. IE6 is STILL in use for one (I know I know…company policy and all that!)
The upgrade for IE9 would be much lower since it’s not supported for Windows XP (which does command quite a large market share still, bigger than Windows Vista and 7)
So it would suggest that in the near future, the majority of browers that support the <video> tag will be a WebM majority, not h.264 and the market share of ALL browsers that support H.264 will not even be anywhere near even 40%.
Remember this is about browsers. Embedded hardware etc doesn’t matter here - they don’t dictate the web video market - they don’t do a thing when browsers can’t play h.264.
Right now, the browsers that can play <video> in WebM format outnumber the browsers that can play <video> in h.264.
Furthermore - IE9 can support WebM in a <video> tag BUT the user must install the codec themselves before this happens (MS won’t ship this themselves) - so if IE9 users head to YouTube, Google can automatically provide them with the WebM codec as a installable codec and then IE9 will support WebM so it would actually push the use of WebM codec even more and Safari would actually be the one standing alone here with no WebM support.
I’m aware of Microsoft providing a h264 plugin for Firefox - but it’s more likely that people going to YouTube will get the WebM codec pushed onto them than the h264 plugin getting installed.
But as stated above - right now, browser support for WebM video vastly outnumber support for H.264. And this gap will just increase. WebM is already ahead of H.264.
And people claim that doing this will prevent innovation - I would like to remind you all of a small simple product that have done much to shake up the browsers and give us the Internet today - Firefox.
Firefox will not support h264 - it is a free product, with open source code available to all. They will not pay for h264 licences. Innovation cannot happen if you have to pay vast amount of money for it.
This is why WebM is a good thing. People can innovate new ideas, products and not worry about the cost.
Film makers can create movies and MAKE money from it and not worry about licensing costs from h264 - thus allowing any home-brew projects to experiment and hope for success without worries of cost.
(In case you’re not aware, if you purchase a digital camcorder or camera that does video, for example I own a Canon 500D which can do HD video. The licence for the camera state clearly that the h.264 codec is for personal use only, I cannot stream it etc. This applies even to the high end professional HD camera including RED, Sony, JVC, Panasonic etc. You MUST purchase a licence for H.264 if you wish to stream the movie (on a page with ads to make money for example) or sell it. - that stifle innovation, not encourage it.)
Hardware support for WebM? It’ll come. There are already hardware starting to appear (PowerVR for one) and graphics card (AMD and NVIDIA and Intel for example) will add support soon enough.
Hello. First of all I’ll like to apologise for being deaf. You see I live in this wonderful country, with thousands of years of history. This same country where it is supposed to have a reputation for a sense of fairness and equality for all.
The same country where people are treated decently and fairly and helped where possible.
But of course all of that goes out of the window if you happen to have a disability.
Being disabled means you’re a workshy lazybones that just sit at home watching daytime TV and claiming money off the Government.
True…at moment I’m unemployed after having been unfairly dismissed from my previous employment (the court case for this is due early in the new year (2011) where I am more than certain for a victory). So I must be workshy.
Never mind the fact that I’ve been in employment since 1999, with one of my first job working for McAfee in IT.
Never mind the fact that I work in a demanding skilled job that requires plenty of education to do. You must remember that I’m disabled and therefore just a lazybone workshy that just stay at home.
I’ve not had much luck in finding a job for a while so rather than carry on doing this. I guess you’re thinking…”AH SEE! Just like I’ve been saying for the past 12 years, despite all that employment you’re a workshy lazybones really!” Sorry about that. I know…it’s difficult isn’t it?
Actually no. I’m registered as self-employed now and attempting to start up a business. To make money. And hopefully be able to grow it to a point where I might employ other people, giving them an income. I might not succeed but at least I will try my best to succeed. If that fails, it’s back to job-hunting.
I’ve already done my work in figuring out how to keep cost down to a minimum. It’s hard starting up a business with an almost zero budget, but working in IT does have its advantages - there are ways that I can operate an office without needing to do any IT purchases and being legal (ie no pirated software).
Done my research there. All of that mean I must be working.
However I only need one thing. Starting a business mean I have a major barrier. It is called a telephone. When I attempt to sell my services, I leave a number for people to call.
You see…if I leave an email or a mobile for texting only - guess how many sales I get from that?
A big fat zero. I’ve tried my best but people simply aren’t interested if there’s no telephone for them to call. They won’t email. They won’t text (instead I get calls on my mobile. I can’t answer them. Because I can’t hear it. Try as I might, I simply cannot hear it).
So I must apply for Access to Work so I can provide a telephone service so that people can call in order to allow me to sell my services.
By the way, in my 12 years of employment guess how much I have claimed from Access to Work? I’ve done it twice. Both times for a new laptop with a webcam for video calls on the move. Each time, roughly £800-900. I’ve used an interpreter *very* infrequently and most of those times, not covered by my Access to Work.
But fortunately I live in a bloody fantastic country, aka the UK with its reputation for sense of fai…oh wait so that’s me screwed. My Government think I’m not worthy despite my best efforts.
The same Government that decided to cut Access to Work funding. And cut DLA etc to encourage us to go back to work. I’m trying, but seriously, you’re making it harder on me as it is. Meanwhile I read about you letting Vodafone off their 6 billion pound tax bill, and allowing people like Philip Green earn £1.2 billion in UK - let’s put that into numbers - £1,200,000,000. But at the same time he get it tax free. it’s earned in UK. He work in an office in UK but pay 0% tax? Tax from that would be £285 million.
It’s a fucking sham it is. Proud to be British my arse. Fucking ashamed of it really.
PS there are probably mistakes etc above, but I was just pissed off and ranting off. Do read up articles such as in The Guardian above and so on. Lot more accurate information.
Edit - more links: