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Messages - Frenzie

1
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
The only real disadvantage is that it can be difficult to use satellite dishes in the city. I wouldn't be surprised if anti-dish stipulations in rental contracts and the like were thinly veiled anti-Turkish/Moroccan racism.

Personally I find the North African and Turkish channels... less interesting to put it mildly, like an even worse version of the regular dreck on your average commercial channel. In any event, there's this odd perception among city dwellers that dish equals foreigner.

Perhaps I'm a foreigner at heart,[1] but I find even one of the random German theme channels like the opera channel, the train trip channel or the nature channel more worthwhile than all of the commercial channels combined.

The cabled TV providers say they have an "extensive offering" of ~75 channels. Back before satellite that might've impressed me. You could only get three channels through antenna, and if the wind blew in the right direction or something you could catch some snowy German channels.[2] But on cable/telephone you only get a single Arte. Given that we're in Belgium probably the French one? They don't specify on the website, but point being that back when I had TV I was used to French and German. And get this, the one on cable isn't even in HD.

Anyway, on satellite you can watch hundreds of German channels for free, dozens of French, a dozen Dutch, a couple dozen Czech, a couple dozen Spanish, and hundreds of English ones, not to mention the various smaller languages like Welsh, Luxembourgish (possibly available on cable in the Benelux, but even then I suspect only one or two instead of the full three) and even Farsi. The Brits even have all kinds of weird commercial theme channels, like one that plays only Western movies. Your average viewer would get a subscription for the encrypted Dutch/Belgian channels along with it, which starts at about € 15/month. Cabled starts at twice that.

You have to figure a few hundred for equipment with satellite, but a simple calculation shows that it only takes one to two years to make up the difference with cable. Slightly more perhaps if you compare with one of those triple-play formulas the cable/phone company loves to push on people.[3]

To put it bluntly, around here I think it's pretty crazy to pick cable when satellite is a realistic option.

PS I haven't had a "TV" in any sense since '08, so I'm clearly not the target audience for regular TV. But what TV meant for me when I was growing up was a window on the world. I wouldn't speak German nearly as well without it, and your requisite ARD and ZDF that they used to broadcast on Dutch cable wouldn't have done that for me. The occasional Krimi was about the most interesting thing on those. And admittedly I like the ARD Tagesschau (daily news).
Technically I am a foreigner of course, but in the Netherlands you get most Belgian channels on cable and vice versa so not in a relevant sense.
I believe you can catch a few dozen via digital antenna nowadays, provided you pay. This might even be the second-best option, not much worse than cable but significantly cheaper. Here in Belgium it seems to cost about € 10/month and equipment is pretty cheap. However, it seems that you only get a proper selection of receivers if you import the equipment from Germany... odd, that.
But also you could just wait for when one of the satellite providers has an offer for free equipment of a "€ 200 value" (which is what they offer right now). Assuming the receiver they give away for "free" with the contract is one you like.
2
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
HDD as in harddrives inside the tv device? The problem with them is that the saving/recording stays within the particular tv device. It would be a giant leap forward if one could record stuff on a USB stick and play the recording anywhere, but likely not giant enough to change my low opinion on modern tv.
Whatever horrific energy slurping box a cable/telephony provider forces on people is often artificially limited so it won't do much of anything. Most satellite receivers, where there's a healthy competitive consumer market, can record on USB.[1] There are even low-cost options for under € 50 without built-in harddrives that require you to supply your own USB drive if you want to record anything.

In satellite receivers more expensive models can record something like 4 or 5 programs at once, while the cheap option might do only 1 like we used to in the early 2000s. The local cable provider here in Flanders (Telenet) allows you to record 2 programs at once if I'm not mistaken. I don't know if it's a physical limitation or an artificial limitation, but the superiority of free receiver choice with satellite TV speaks for itself. I wouldn't be surprised if sometime soon they rolled out a big marketing campaign to trumpet the introduction of recording 3 programs at once, even though that's been standard on satellite receivers for a decade. Heck, it might even just be a simple software switch.

Incidentally, besides rather significantly more things to watch[2] and free receiver choice, satellite TV also has better image quality.
Modern digital tv is very much a paid service that you must subscribe to in order to have it. Or isn't it in your country? Even the radiowave-broadcast tv was a paid service (by means of tv/radio tax) in countries like UK, Sweden, and Finland.
The Dutch public channels are encrypted on satellite for some incomprehensible reason,[3] but English, French and German TV are largely FTA, public and commercial alike. There hasn't really been any change in which channels are encrypted and which aren't with the switch from analog to digital over a decade ago, except for the usual minor changes.

It's true that public radio/TV is partially tax funded, but that was no different all the way back in the early 1920s, so I'm not entirely sure what you're driving at.
Without Tour de France, I would for example never have known that e.g. this castle exists
I imagine vistas and such are at the very least considered as part of the route they plan.
Actually I don't know how healthy the market is as such. The point is you've got a decent variety to choose from, starting at tens of Euros going up to hundreds of Euros, all of which are probably better than the forced nightmare box from the cable provider even when the hardware is inferior (i.e., in the cheapest models).
Assuming you're even the tiniest bit interested in TV from across Europe and North Africa.
I suspect the argument is that you can pick it up for free with an antenna. The regional channels are FTA though.
3
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
Are you still giving them a benefit of the doubt?
Benefit of the doubt? I'm not quite sure in what regard I'd be doing that. I use it because it's a sufficiently convenient way to track my subscriptions. Occasionally seeing the worthless suggestions is more of a combination between an accident, curiosity, and perhaps schadenfreude.

You mean where the TV signals when the show starts so the VCR can start recording at the correct moment? Did this feature ever work?
No, that was already available on VHS recorders (and yes, it worked back in the '90s). I was referring simply to the fact that HDDs aren't tapes or DVDs. Sure, you have to perform the occasional bit of management, i.e., deletion and programming, but that's about it.

Absolute piece of crap worthless junk service not worth paying for.
But... that's not a paid service. It's just part of the signal. :)

The missus likes funny animal vids and sometimes I watch clips from movies or TV, to see if I'm interested. I've learned clicking dislike, regardless of how I felt about it, helps the algorithm understand not to littler my suggested with such... sorta.
One thing the suggestions/autoplay do seem to get right is going from part 1 to part 2 of a series of videos.
4
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
In modern cable/streamed (as opposed to radiowave-broadcast) TV there is an updated feature of re-watching or re-playing. But yes, it is still too limited.
Since we've had HDD-based recorders (i.e., since before this rewatching feature) that's only relevant if you notice part x of something in the guide and you'd like to see part 1 through x-1 too. In theory that could be quite relevant indeed, but as you said in practice it's only a few weeks. Of course, chances are there'll be at least some reruns, so you can probably catch it at some point. Regardless, it still feels like TV in the '90s, when you had to choose to watch your older recordings or tape over it. (Or you could keep buying new tapes, I suppose.)

Case in point, I recently visited my parents and we watched a documentary recorded about a decade ago. Even if a rewatch feature went back that far, it'd require an elaborate bookmarking system that services like YouTube technically have but make exceedingly hard to use. It feels more like a vestigial feature that they haven't removed yet.

For me YouTube's descent into faux TV didn't become apparent until they removed the star-based rating system. They said just thumbs up & down was enough for them to distill the ratings. Which may well be true, but it's also completely irrelevant. If most videos I watched are thumbs up, I cannot search for the best videos I watched in 2017. I could track this separately if I really wanted to, and it would be smarter to do so because YouTube isn't the only place around, but it's pretty bizarre to me that they thought that little bit of vendor lock-in on my end was worth removing.

Yeah, sounds like a way for the algorithm to trash your feed with every idiotic thing remotely similar.
Some people claim their YouTube suggestions are relevant. I'm having a hard time believing that, or maybe they just mean something else than I do. If I watch a video about some old Atari console, all my suggestions are for Atari stuff. Which, sure, I might watch more about I guess, but you have literally years of my viewing habits at your disposal and yet you suggest stuff I literally watched last week and videos that are practically carbon copies of the one I just finished... I think YouTube should be able to do better.

There's three in my yard right now that needs shooting. Little fuckers developed a taste for the wires in my truck.  :irked:
Oy! :insane:
5
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
She has to say something, I guess. Presumably market research shows that being overdramatic has the best results with the audience.
or those who still have electricity this weekend, re-watch Tour de France for the occasional nice landscapes https://sport.francetvinfo.fr/tour-de-france/replay/
You can actually watch that? I'm geoblocked.

If I really wanted to I suppose I could make an account around here (or around here for Belgian Dutch). They didn't require any accounts up to a few months ago.

But over at Dutch TV it's surprisingly not geoblocked. Could be an oversight? The quality is abysmal to make up for it.

Personally I'd just watch something like this program about squirrels if I wanted landscapes and stuff. Actually for landscapes this documentary about Canadian national parks would probably do better, but it's geoblocked. Meanwhile, over on satellite you can receive Arte in all languages FTA, as well as all the geoblocked British, French, German, etc. TV.

About a decade ago I thought satellite might become obsolete thanks to the Internet, but the situation has become much worse since with all those geoblocks. It seems that satellite is still quite relevant for that reason. However, non-satellite TV is still as limited and obsolete as it has been since the '90s.

On the plus side, the most interesting TV, such as Arte, is typically the least geoblocked.
6
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
According to experts, judging by Trump's tweets, either the procedure of deciding over war with Iran went very irregularly or Trump totally dreamed up being part of such a procedure
Given that everyone seems to agree the Trump administration is dysfunctional (not just some "leaked" messages from the UK ambassador) it seems plausible enough to assume it went at least somewhat irregularly.
7
See most specifically the historical office of stadtholder, directly referenced by some of the American Founding Fathers as a blueprint for the US President. Note that for the Dutch Republic the stadtholder was initially mostly an ersatz king born from a then perceived necessity. With limited power compared to some kings, of course, but that was well-precedented in the Low Countries and abroad. The fact that the Spanish king didn't agree with said historical precedents was the root of the problem.
8
At the same time, there are also advantages to keeping things more or less in place. In that sense adding items to the middle of the list will result in a location shift as a necessary evil, but an addition to the top or bottom outside of view will only result in a growing scrollbar.

In mc, I suppose no one is terribly interested in auto-refresh:
https://midnight-commander.org/ticket/1756

Since I mainly use Thunar and Dolphin I didn't realize mc didn't auto-update.

It's also a very lucky finding, because nobody expects terminal-based apps to have any automaticity.
I don't know; MS-DOS apps were quite advanced by the early '90s so there isn't really much of anything I wouldn't expect them to do in an even more advanced Linux environment with tremendous processing power and memory readily available. They did all the things their Windows counterparts did (MDI, etc.) except that you couldn't switch between apps as easily. Although afaik neither "GUI" nor "console" apps auto-refreshed directories at the time. But perhaps they did on Unix.
9
An interesting finding. :)
10
Interesting slip of the tongue. I wonder if it's been attested before? Is it a distraction from something else?
11
It's not entirely clear to me what functionality you're referring to. If I click edit on a video I can change the basic info, advanced settings, etc.

But if they're not being stupid/nasty on purpose with user agent sniffing, but are actually testing available JavaScript functionality, then there may not be much you can reasonably do about it.
12
Just user agent may not be enough, depending on what it tests.
13
The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
20:21
14
Otter Browser Forum / Re: captcha probleme
Do you have an example page? To double check if our Otter has the same issue or if perhaps they've somehow blacklisted your IP (range).
15
I had no idea that existed. I just listened to an episode.

https://areena.yle.fi/1-50142295?autoplay=true
16
The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
20:18
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The Lounge / Re: Cats, cats, cats
Looks better than you might expect it to. :)
18
The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
14:53
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The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
9:20
20
This is a constitutional crisis waiting to happen. If once presidential candidate wins the most electors, but sufficient electors switch side so that another candidate wins, what happens next?
From what I understand to allow for exactly that scenario is basically the entire purpose of the electoral college.

It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.
21
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
If they don't want me to come, I don't need to go.
The US economy has definitely missed out on more of my tourism due to this simple fact. There are so many places where you can spend money that don't treat you like a suspicious criminal at the border.
22
The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
19:07
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The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
20:34
24
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
But yeah, it'd need to be 5+ hours for me to consider flying, since realistically that takes a minimum of about 4 hours anyway. Perhaps you could take it down to 3 if it's from a smaller airport (like Antwerp Airport to London or Manchester). You may not need to include a 60 minute safety margin for security checks, since there aren't 50 million flights leaving.

Then again, a 2 hour train ride from Brussels to St Pancras may still be much more comfortable and even faster in total, depending a bit on where in London you have to be. (The total would be about 4 since you need to get to Brussels South on time, but not nearly as on time as for a plane.)

PS I've never actually been to London unless you count a few layovers at Heathrow. Just brainstorming. ;)
25
The Lounge / Re: What Time Is It?
14:55