Posts made in January, 2010

One year without TV – Part One

Posted by on 17 Jan, 2010 in Lifenotes | 1 comment

In just a couple of weeks time, it will have been a year since my wife and I last received any kind of TV broadcast into our home. We don’t even own a TV since we moved to Canada.

That’s not to say we don’t watch TV shows, news and movies, it’s just that we’ve been using different technologies to do it. In this first post I will explore why we did it,  how we made the transition away from broadcast TV, and what technologies we found to be useful. In part two I’ll look back at our experiences and assess the pros and cons of not having a TV, and discuss where this might lead, for us and for society as a whole. If you’d prefer a shorter version of this post, you can head on over here.

Watching TV at a time that you choose

So, why did we make the switch?

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One year without TV – Part One (Short Version)

Posted by on 17 Jan, 2010 in My Stream | 0 comments




It’s almost a year since we received any kind of TV broadcast into our home. That’s not to say we don’t watch TV shows, it’s just that we’ve been using different technologies to do it. Here’s a quick summary of the why, how and what. You can read a more detailed version of this post over here.

Why did we do it? Time and Cost.
We’re all busier today. You can’t watch shows when they’re on, not if you want to catch every episode.
At first we bought a PVR, which lets you watch TV in a much more on demand way. Once you’ve owned a PVR, you’ll never look back. 
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Travel Bite #2: Lake Champlain and a taste of New England

Posted by on 16 Jan, 2010 in Articles | 0 comments

Back in May last year we picked up a Communauto car and did a day trip down into New England. We went down the western side of the massive Lake Champlain through New York State and back up the eastern side through Vermont.

We headed south over the border on Interstate 97 and stopped at a tourist information centre soon after where were able to pick up some useful maps and leaflets. We drove further south and were treated to impressive views of the Adirondack mountains towering overhead, which we plan to visit someday as well as the nearby Lake Placid. We had planned to stop first in Plattsburgh (which incidentally is supposed to be a good location for cheap flights across the USA, as many of the budget airlines don’t fly to Canada).

Unfortunately not long after we got over the border the heavens opened, so rather than stop we continued south along the 9 and more minor roads by the edge of the lake (which is technically a very large river).

We saw some beautiful houses on the waterfront. As we have seen in most places in North America, waterfront access is often difficult as it tends to be private land – unlike the UK where rights of way and footpaths exist by most lakes and rivers. One house had a beautiful little summer house on stilts on the water with a hammock looking out onto the lake – it made you wish you lived there!

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China vs the West comes to a head – Google may withdraw from China

Posted by on 13 Jan, 2010 in My Stream | 0 comments

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

Cyberattacks, invasion of civil liberties and more. Scary stuff. Be sure to read the full article here.

Update: Good summary of Chinese responses to this here.

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Medieval Support Desk (via @sirsteveyoung)

Posted by on 12 Jan, 2010 in My Stream | 0 comments

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