Sony, Playstations, user interfaces and ME

Given my love for all things Playstation through the Playstation, the Playstation 2 and the PSP eras, it was a little odd that I jumped ship to the Xbox in such a massive way that once I got my Xbox 360, I didn’t get a PS3 until they were £99 (on offer) in Sainsburys and then only as a Blu Ray player for the kids playroom.

I never understood the enormously slow and clunky blade UI that Sony had on the PS3, something that only really made sense when it was heavily updated and running on the PS4, a system that actually has the grunt to do it properly. But blow me, if the PS3/4 UI isn’t awesome compared to the baffling nature of the Playstation TV.

playstation tv

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The media set up I installed in my kids bedrooms

The age that kids are demanding a TV in their own room is probably getting lower. I remember myself getting a small portable black and white set with a dial somewhat similar to this in my final year of primary school:


And like the punch line in a bad joke, I did used to watch the snooker on BBC2 on it! Continue reading

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu Ray)

Stretching a kids book that’s shorter than any one of the three volumes of Lord of the Rings into 3 movies was always going to be a task and a half and there is plenty of padding and undue silliness in The Desolation of Smaug but the very fact the trilogy isn’t hellbent on taking itself too seriously makes everything all right. The best manifestation of this is Bilbo, played ably by Martin Freeman. There is such an understated level of humour in Freeman’s performance, something so obviously absent from Elijah Wood’s Frodo in Lord of the Rings, that anything that’s maybe a little too ridiculous is seen as such with Bilbo’s sense of the ridiculous. Continue reading

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Open letter to the chap in the blue Corsa

Dear Chap,

I’m sorry I can’t address you in a more personal manner, you’ll understand that your request for me to stop my car and get out so you could give me smack made me a little reticent to stop my car and get out, in case you actually did give me a smack.

By smack I assumed you meant a physical assault to partner the verbal assault you gave me as you tailgated me along Old London Road.

I must say I’m always confused by motorists who do stupid things on our roads and then think the best way to atone for their stupidity is to threaten their victim.

Perhaps there was a reason that you behaved how you did- perhaps you watched me drive down Watson’s Walk, clearly indicate well in advance my intention to turn right at the mini roundabout at London Road, and then turn right just as I said I would. Perhaps it confused you that I went around the roundabout (hint: the clue is in the name, it’s a roundabout, you go round it) rather than cutting in front of it.

Either way, I’m confused how you decided, despite my clear intentions, which I followed through on, to cut in front of the roundabout I was happily going around, causing yourself to have to do an emergency stop to avoid driving in to me.

But of course I’m most confused by how you think any of this is my fault. Getting cross with me because you drive like a wanker doesn’t make sense does it?

Grow up, learn some patience, take a good long hard look at yourself and take responsibility for your actions.





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In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, I keep on reading that I should respect other peoples opinions as a matter of course because it’s the polite thing to do. This is mostly coming from Leave voters who seem unprepared for the criticism that they’ve received for the choice that they have made. It’s unfair, they say, you should treat both the result and my opinion with respect.
I completely disagree at a fundamental level with that train of thought. All opinions are not equal because they have not been equally arrived at.
Before I voted I read a lot of material from professional publications, academics, institutions like the London School of Economics, etc etc.
Are you telling me I should treat the opinion of someone like that bloke on the news the other night who voted out because he was fed up with Syrian and Iraqi refugees or that girl who voted leave because she assumed if she ever tried to get a job some immigrant would get it over her as equal to mine?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to put myself on a pedestal and say that my opinion is worth more, or that I’m clever, so I’m right. To a degree, the destination you arrive at is irrelevant, it’s the journey you made to get there.
All opinions are not the same. All opinions are also not worth the same. An opinion formed in ignorance with a lack of thought is a poor opinion. There are people I know who voted opposite to me who’s opinions I value and there are those who voted opposite to me that I do not value, in the same way that there are people who voted to remain that I am ideologically polar opposites with.
Voting comes with a responsibility and many seem to have not taken that responsibility seriously enough.

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