RSS Is Still A Thing

As a RSS refugee from the olden times, I've used more aggregators than I can possibly remember. Most recently Reeder on top of feedbin and have been pretty happy with that setup for a few years.

But I got a bit bored with all that and wanted to give something else a try. Enter Tiny Tiny RSS.

Open source, self hosted web app with community themes. As long as you have a host and a DB, you point the installer at it, import your OPML file, add the cron job to crawl for updates and then it "just works".

Hey @kapgar, look what I'm reading.

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Recent Televisionary

There are more TV shows than you can possibly watch in your lifetime. Yet should you wish to try, here are some that I loved and you will too.

Hunters. It's 1970s New York, and we follow a band of Nazi hunters led by Al Pacino. Has a very Tarantino feel to it.

Fleabag. Recommended by friends, I had no idea what this was going to actually be about. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is just great in every way. After binge watching both seasons I could literally watch her give those looks to the camera all day long.

The Mandalorian. Want to see Dave Filoni make one of the best seasons, not only of Star Wars content, but sci-fi in general?

The Clone Wars. Want to see Dave do that again? Season 7, especially the ending four part arc, probably the best Star Wars content I've seen since The Empire Strikes Back.

The Expanse. Speaking of best sci-fi shows of all time, this is really up there with Battlestar Galactica. Even the disappointing big bad in season four can't sway my love of this. Beltalowda.

The Man In The High Castle. Alternate history timeline. What if the Germans won World War II and the US became the American Reich?

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Life And Times

So yeah, how are you holding up?

This toilet paper thing, well it's a thing isn't it? Most everything else is ok. We're home all the time just like you. Coffee here is good. We work on our laptops, we read, we stream our TV.

We stand at the end of our driveway and chat to neighbors at the end of theirs – 6ft distance yo. It's nice to live around good souls. We gave some eggs and received a bottle of wine in return. I'd say we got the better end of the bargain there.

We'll all get through this and look back on it. Stay away from people, wash hands all the time, and adjust your Twitter feed so eyeballs are not consumed by negativity.

Now, where's that cake?

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Time Of Year

Weather here in the desert is getting nice. It's that time of year when you remember why you like living here. Well, until the summer hits and you question everything about yourself.

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Things, How Do They Work?

Thing 1

I scrobble all the music I listen to via Spotify these days. In the olden times the last.fm scrobbler was hooked into iTunes but the streams are what the kids use now. Files? What are they?

Anyway, that scrobbling rube goldburg machine all broke 24 hours ago for 25% of last.fm Spotify users. One of four shards last.fm uses to handle the flood of tracks returned by the Spotify API shat the bed.

So they're churning through the backlog. And hugops to the last.fm OPS team for cranking through all that. I'm still dead in the water, my user is on the newly resurrected shard. The shard so backlogged it can't keep up with anything ever. I get it, I've been in the industry for over two decades. But as a last.fm user of 14 years, I has a bit of a sad.

Thing 2

Out of the blue yesterday Disney+ no longer showed a picture for any content when playing on my TV. I had sound. I could see the Disney+ UI, all the thumbnails, read the preview things etc. But try watching anything? Nope, just the Disney+ logo in the top right, the scrubber at the bottom, but no actual content.

Perplexing stuff. Curious if my Apple TV was to blame I watched some things from other services. All worked; Apple TV+ shows, YouTube etc. So then did the obvious things reboot, uninstall Disney+, reinstall, logout, login all to no avail.

Disney+ live chat support weren't great, but I wasn't expecting much. It was a frustrating go around and all they gave me was a link to some generic help. Everything I'd already tried.

On a whim I just started unplugging HDMI cables and solved the problem. My TV has 3 HDMI ports. Disney+ will not show content while the Apple TV is plugged into HDMI port 1 or 2. But it works in port 3. Because reasons? I mean, it's good that it works now. But, quite frankly, what the fuck?

I don't know man, it's possible my 5 month old TV lost HDMI ports 1 & 2 on the same day? But it's only Disney+ experiencing this behavior. Which makes no sense. I'm at a loss.

On Disney+

About a month ago my wife surprised me with a Disney+ subscription. Thoughts, I has them.

The Good

The UI is nice, responsive, and gets out of your way. Pleasant both on mobile and on a big screen TV. Categories make sense, and searching is easy. Well as much as "typing" on an Apple Remote is easy.

The nostalgia factor was strong. Watching movies from my childhood with the kiddo has been so much fun. In the last week we watched Tron, The Black Hole, Escape To Witch Mountain, and Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

The Mandalorian has single handedly restored my faith in the Star Wars universe. It's utterly fantastic and I think Disney should just hand over the keys to the kingdom to Jon Favreau. Liking the slow weekly release of episodes instead of the all at once Stranger Things approach.

The World According To Jeff Goldblum also very very good. It's Jeff Goldblum, doing an Anthony Bourdain style show. What's not to love?

The Not Quite As Good

In 2020 all streaming interfaces should have table stakes "remember what I've seen and my position". Disney+ doesn't always get this right. I was 20 episodes into the first season of Clone Wars when it reset and recommended I start watching. "You might like this show". You think?

Licensing is a bit wacky. Avengers Endgame is fine to watch, but Avengers Infiniti War is "coming soon". Maleficent also "coming in October 2020". These titles all happily appear in the UI mind you and are clickable which is frustrating when you can't actually watch them. The majority of Andi Mack season 1 is missing because reasons.

The lack of new TV show content is a bit worrying. After watching The Mandalorian and all the old Disney/Marvel movies there is an element of "now what?". I know they've got big plans for various Marvel TV shows and the Obi-Wan Kenobi show with Ewan McGregor. But that's not where we are today.

Summary

Good outweighs the bad. The kiddo has lots to watch. That plus The Mandalorian & promise of future shows set in the Star Wars universe probably makes this a keeper. We have a year subscription already paid for so it's not like we're gonna bail now. I'll let you know if we renew it in December.

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Twenty

The olden were reminiscing at work this morning how 20 years ago we worked over midnight for Y2K "just in case". How can that have been 20 years ago, what is even happening? Happy New Year everyone.

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