Photo of steam from the Watercress Line over the British countryside.
Hulu Plus has turned out to be a bit of a disaster.
The app (I use it on a TiVo) is ugly and clumsy. I checked last night and it took 15 clicks to watch the next episode of a series I'd watched the previous night. You'd think this would be about the most basic use case and it's something that everyone else gets right.
And then it plays a couple of ads flawlessly before complaining that there is a problem with the connection. You're then bombed out to the menu and sit through the pre-roll ads again before the show starts.
I'm not stoked about being forced to watch ads on a paid service at all. If you believe the CPM estimates on Quora Hulu could charge me another $6 per month for an ad-free service that doesn't suck. Hulu ads are particularly awful because they're not embedded in the stream. This means when it's ad time everything grinds to a halt while the app switches from program mode to ad mode and then back again. You could make a cup of tea in the time it takes Hulu to figure this out. Adding insult to injury only three companies appear to have bought ads so you're stuck watching the same ones repeatedly.
All this is if the program you added to your queue still exists. Different shows seem to have different windows of availability so when you sit down to watch something you've been saving up you might find that half the episodes have been yanked away.
There is an opportunity here for a brave entrepreneur (or at least one operating somewhere with no extradition treaty with the US). What we need is an app (or service) that is the TiVo equivalent for the brave streaming cord-cutting future. You feed in the credentials for all the services you subscribe to and the programs you want to watch. The app records everything and spits out video files you can watch (and fast forward through) at your leisure.
(You might also like: 15 minutes of terror, or how the UK has changed in four years; Vernal Equinox 2015; Recount)
I have an old Ambient Orb hooked up to our build server at work. It glows green when everything is working and red when a build fails. It's nice but not visible enough. My dream is to fit every developer box with a second generation blink (small USB LED indicator) or two so if things go pear shaped the whole office lights up red.
It's the start of Winter in the northern hemisphere, Summer south of the equator. Rendered in Catfood Earth.
Catfood Software products are now available from the I Thought He Came With you downloads page.
GetvCard.com is a contact exchange service I put together with a friend back before the Internet was popular. You could edit a business card online and then share it via a small link that would download a vCard file that would import your details magically. We even figured out how to hack the format to kind-of-sort-of work with Outlook of that era. I haven't had time to work on the site for ages and while it still has a few dedicated fans there aren't enough regular users to justify the maintenance. As of today it's no longer possible to create a new account. The plug will be pulled entirely at the end of the year.
If you're looking for a similar service you could try about.me, although they seem to be turning into a social network rather than just a way to share your contact information. You could also try Carddrop. I'm sure there are other options as well.
When the site goes all existing contact information will be deleted, so if you need to save any details or redirect contact links please do so by the end of the year. If you need help leave a comment below.