In Chinatown tonight.
I didn’t intend to discuss these two episodes of Doctor Who together, but watching the first was delayed because I was in Scotland when the first one was on. And I didn’t realise they were a two-parter.
Except (spoilers) — oh, they’re not. They’re the first two of an n-parter, where n equals… who knows? At least three, and I’m sort of guessing from the titles and directors that it might be four.
Anyway, in them we have one really good episode, one not so good.
Episode 6, “Extremis,” was really very good indeed. Right up there with the best of this series so far. And good to get the mystery of the vault revealed early on, rather than letting it drag on to the end of the season and be an anticlimax.
Episode 7, “The Pyramid at the End of the World,” despite the great title, was weaker, largely because of scientific irrationality and foolish plotting. To say nothing of incredibly lax biosecurity.
That said, I did enjoy it while watching it. It’s one of those ones where a little bit more care, a few easily-insertable words, and it would all have held together much better. The problem with bad science or plotting based on foolish mistakes is that they can dump you out of the story. Critical faculties should be engaged after you’ve watched a show, not unceremoniously force-invoked by something happening onscreen.
Never mind, though: the next one looks very interesting.
Disturbing to see a Chinook hovering over the City as I approach Liverpool Street.
I like the Spark iOS email client, and the new drag & drop between it and the Documents app is great. But it can never be my full-time client until it lets me order the mail properly (oldest to newest, that is).
The front page of today’s Guardian has a picture of what it looks like when you let the terrorists win:
Armed police used to be almost unknown on British streets. Now they’re becoming alarmingly commonplace. I saw two outside Liverpool Street Station yesterday; armed, like the two above, not just with pistols, but with big, two handed things that most people would call “machine guns.” This increasing militarisation of the police was taken a step further this week when the Maybot ordered actual troops onto the streets. And I read that armoured vehicles were going to be deployed at the FA Cup final.
Armed police on a beach: why? Was there a reasonable expectation of some sort of attack on Scarborough beach? And if there was: would weapons have helped? Armed police would not have stopped the tragedy in Manchester.
The aim of the terrorist is to cause terror. All this escalation does is make ordinary people feel more worried, more scared. Worry and low-grade fear aren’t terror, but they’re on the same axis. Overreacting like this is playing into the terrorists’ hands. As well, of course, as being a cynical political move in the runup to an election whose calling was, itself, a cynical political move.
Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn gave speech making reasonable, uncontentious points about the links between foreign policy and terrorism. Predictably the right-wing press and Tory politicians went ape.
I’ve never installed Google Maps on my iPhone before. So how, on first launching it just now (after reading) can it be logged in as me?
At least, that’s what the headline says. The article actually says the decision comes “following poor sales and tough competition from streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video.”
Which is plausible enough, I suppose. Though I doubt that most people could explain the difference between a streaming service and one in which you have to download the file first. And in any case, Netflix and I think Amazon also allow you to download now.
In fact my guess would be more that people prefer subscriptions. Amazon and Netflix are compelling because once your monthly fee is paid you can always watch anything they have. With the Store you had to buy specific titles, and there’s always that hesitation about paying before you watch something.
I only ever used it to watch a couple of episodes of something I had left too late to see on iPlayer. specifically, one episode of Undercover. Apparently I spent £1.89, and I’ll be getting a £2.50 Amazon voucher to make up for it. Whee, an investment.
So I guess I was part of the poor sales.
On the other hand, there is the opinion of some — and it would be of many in Britain, I imagine — that BBC programmes should just be available. We shouldn’t have to pay for them again. “We’re not just listeners and viewers, it belongs to us,” as a great man once sang.
Maybe that’s the solution to the arguments over funding: treat the licence fee as a subscription charge. Increase it, make it optional, but include access to the BBC’s entire back catalogue.
But the Engadget article goes on to say:
If the rumours are true, BritBox — the BBC- and ITV-owned streaming service that launched in the US earlier this year — could be expanded to host more of the BBC’s back catalogue and eventually launch in the UK.
BBC and ITV? Together? Well I never.
At Glasgow Airport, heading home after an excellent weekend seeing family and friends.
You’re probably wondering what has happened to my daily posts. Good question. I’m in Glasgow this weekend, so that has slowed things down. And also I’m working on a big piece. So big that I may have to split it in two, just to make it digestible.
Both the BBC and Twitter updating their privacy policies within a couple of days? What can it all mean?