2013 — 29 March: Friday

I think it's safe to say the weekend starts here1 or, at least, with a nice, hot, cuppa... I suppose I should also plumb the depths of Mother Hubbard's little cupboard to see if I can find enough scraps therein to take me safely through to the other side of said weekend. I dislike foody-type shopping on a Friday unless I set out really early.

Not quite this early, of course — it's not all that many minutes past 06:20 right now.

I found this,...

... as they say, and thought of several of my chums who might well enjoy it. Particularly today:

Shelley Segal

It was on the Italian atheist's blog I discovered exactly a year ago. So, now I've got a female Tim Minchin to search out... [Pause] Just found, bought, and downloaded her album from Bandcamp, found via her home page here.

The cupboard of the Hubbard is a little better-stocked now. I shall turn my attention in the direction of some breakfast. It's now 09:39 and nice and sunny out there, though only a little above freezing.

Couldn't resist. (Link.) 187,853 and counting.

And these are quite astonishing Google Street View photos of a Japanese post-nuclear 'ghost town'... (Link.)

Having just...

... spotted my first ant in the kitchen sink, I assume that Spring is now officially on the way. Meanwhile, is there just time to visit "Ancient Aliens debunked"?

I wouldn't mind...

... in the slightest if my pension matched the level of the new proposed cap (£500/week) on benefit payments in the UK. I could certainly put the extra money to good use :-)

My eyes have seen the glory...

Or, to put it another way: Having now had my new, super-duper faster broadband for a little over a month I checked earlier today to see how much data has actually streamed, one way or another, into Technology Towers so far this month. Zen told me I'd clocked up 7.01GB from my monthly "cap" of 20GB. So tonight (secure in the knowledge that my data cap is only two days away from being reset back to 20GB), I've just watched my first-ever one-hour BBC TV iPlayer programme2 streamed to my tiny WD Live TV media player in what was described as high-definition (at least, I assume that's what "HD" means). I then waited 30 minutes or so before rechecking my monthly data usage figure.

One hour of maximum bitrate (9.8Mbps) standard definition DVD video should burn through about 1GB. If one can believe the marketing material, hi-def video should therefore burn through about 4x to 5x as much data. I assume the BBC sticks to a 1080i format rather than the 1080p used on most Blu-rays, halving the bandwidth needed. So the incremental data factor should be about 2x to 2.5x should it not? So much for theory.

Practice? Well, as of a few minutes ago, Zen shows my usage is now 8.33GB. So the one-hour iPlayer bitstream totted up to about 1.2GB. And indeed I would describe the picture quality as equivalent to a high-end DVD, but certainly not up to the best of my Blu-rays. (The worst of them are, of course, a different story.)



1  "Here" being a Bank Holiday thanks to the malingering influence of those splendid Christian types hereabouts.
2  For this particular experiment I chose the one-hour mild scrutiny of our current Mayor of London, aka Boris Johnson. I saw very little to shift my opinion of him, but I was quite surprised by the perfectly acceptable quality of the streamed video on the 60" Kuro plasma screen.