Alex's thoughts

Tech, Doctor Who, Sherlock and thoughts too long for Twitter

290 notes &

sherlockology:

December is here to bring 2013 to a close, and it’s time to solve our monthly anagrams for the last time this year! As usual Easy or Hard modes are available to unlock and download your desktop calendar.

Both answers relate to the pixelated image above in some way, but this time we’re looking forwards… You will of course have to use your skills of deduction to arrange the letters into the correct order to solve the Sherlock related anagram to gain access to the wallpaper download.
Head over to our website to begin.Good luck and we hope you have fun unlocking this month’s wallpapers.


I actually found the hard one easier… if you need a clue, think about Sherlock’s dialogue in the Original British Drama 2013 trailer.

sherlockology:

December is here to bring 2013 to a close, and it’s time to solve our monthly anagrams for the last time this year! As usual Easy or Hard modes are available to unlock and download your desktop calendar.

Both answers relate to the pixelated image above in some way, but this time we’re looking forwards… You will of course have to use your skills of deduction to arrange the letters into the correct order to solve the Sherlock related anagram to gain access to the wallpaper download.

Head over to our website to begin.

Good luck and we hope you have fun unlocking this month’s wallpapers.

I actually found the hard one easier… if you need a clue, think about Sherlock’s dialogue in the Original British Drama 2013 trailer.

1 note &

Life as a plant

We had to write a (very) short story in Biology today about life as a plant. Upon popular request, here’s mine:

Life goes on. Day by day, the bleak life of a plant continues. If I had ears, the sound would surely be awful. If I had eyes, the view would surely be repetitive. But I don’t, because I’m a plant. I haven’t quite worked out how to find a supermarket just yet, so gaining food is really quite different compared to the humans that will eventually destroy me. Every day I take in carbon dioxide and sunlight… when there is some. If I was smart enough to know where I was, I’d know it’s never sunny in England. Anyway, after absorbing what needs to be absorbed, I use the magic of photosynthesis to produce glucose, supplementing my otherwise rather stale water-only diet. I later get chopped up and eaten by some evil human as part of their dinner. Nice people. Does no-one think of the poor cauliflower that suffered for their needs?!

Filed under biology school story photosynthesis

1 note &

BBC Atlantis review

The BBC replaces Merlin with random legends, unexplored plot lines and poor humour in one of the worst dramas to grace our screens.

Merlin had a great run. From 2008 to 2012, the famous legend delighted millions and turned into one of my favourite shows. It was far from perfect - Morgana should’ve been killed off back in Series 4 - but it was a joy to watch and we’re all sad it eventually stopped. A gap was then left in the Autumn season, and the BBC decided to fill it with a new drama made by the same people - Atlantis.

I had high expectations of the new show, but after sitting through the first few episodes, I’ve given up. Here’s why.

The first issue is the setting up of plot lines that just aren’t continued. Jason drowns in the 21st century and ends up suddenly in Atlantis. After a brief ‘explanation’, which hardly counts, the mystery is forgotten. That’s all.

Most of the characters are very 2D, also. The queen is like Morgana, except she was never good to begin with - she seems intent upon being evil, full stop. On the subject of Morgana, the producers decided to introduce Medusa to fill her role… except, unlike with Morgana, she’ll obviously end up with snakes in her hair. Perhaps the producers thought it would be a shock for a series finale, but until the un-monumental moment occurs Medusa is a little seen character, existing only as a love interest for Hercules.

I think Hercules deserves a paragraph of his own, he’s that bad. The clearly-not-dashing-hero is clearly intended to add humour to the show, except he doesn’t. His mistakes are obvious, and I fail to grasp how an apparent love for food and his beetle make him funny. He’s completely useless - in fact, most of the characters except for Jason are. Atlantis synopsis: Jason gets in an unlikely situation and somehow, against the odds, fixes it, only held back by Pythagoras, Hercules and, um, a beetle. How thrilling.

"You’re the triangle guy" Jason exclaims upon his unlikely arrival at the mysterious city to Pythagoras. While the mathematician is one of the least offensive characters in the series, he again seems rather pointless and most of all unlikely. He was a scientist and mathematician, and neither is portrayed; it seems the producers threw together a few random, famous figures from all over time and put them in a TV show, hoping it would work. It didn’t.

To be fair, Atlantis could be great. If the episodes flowed from one to another, instead of random events, and introduced plot lines were actually developed, it could be a very successful show. But, in its current form, it really isn’t. After watching the first episode of the series, here’s what I wrote:

BBC Atlantis is good. Not as good as Merlin, but it has potential. I hope the series improves

It hasn’t improved.

The BBC has commissioned a second series, however, and I expect this is because it’s cheaper to renew an expensive show than spend even more money thinking up an even more expensive one based on another legend. Perhaps they should give up the fantasy theme, and think of something new.

What are your thoughts on the BBC’s latest show?

Filed under bbc one atlantis bbc tv review criticism

0 notes &

Microsoft and Apple - different directions, same result

As you may well have noticed, Microsoft released Windows 8.1 to the public recently, a free update for those running Windows 8 and over a hundred dollars for everyone else, should they wish to upgrade. I’ve been using Windows 8.1 for quite a few months now, and while Microsoft claims to put the focus on the desktop and the modern environment, it’s the opposite.

Yes, you can indeed boot to the desktop, and yes, your beloved start button is back from the dead, now showing the new Windows logo. But that’s it. The focus is on the modern environment - quite rightly so, as the Windows 8 implementation is really quite poor. The desktop itself has nothing else new, and is even hidden by default in Windows RT 8.1, showing that Microsoft really wants to leave it behind entirely.

Apple is the opposite, in a way. They’re juggling iOS and OS X somewhat evenly, adding features to both operating systems annually. While OS X is relatively minor compared to the vast iOS, it’s being updated as well. The two are being brought together, and I suspect within a few years it’ll be the same OS on my iPad as on my Mac, but it’s more subtle. OS X is still more like a desktop OS than a mobile one, and this has both advantages and disadvantages - it’s good because you don’t have to use sometimes poorly adapted mobile apps with a mouse, but bad because you lack full backup to iCloud, for example, which is a feature of iOS devices (I guess this is a feature which will come to OS X soon).

Eventually each company will have one OS for everything, adapting from 4 inch phones to 27 inch monitors. But which approach is better? The more subtle Apple approach, adding iOS features to OS X but not overwhelmingly so? Or Microsoft’s approach, where they throw the Start screen everywhere and limit the desktop, putting ‘mouse-adapted’ mobile apps on desktop machines?

It depends. I like some elements of Windows 8.1, and it’s certainly better than 8 was with a mouse. Some mobile features added are pretty awesome, such as full device backup to SkyDrive - no need for a physical hard drive. The Start screen can indeed be useful for glancing at notifications. But OS X does seem nicer with the mouse, and has some desktop features, such as Finder Tabs, that I’d love to see in Windows 8.1 but I know I won’t, because the desktop is dead. Right now I’m pretty much stuck on a Windows PC, but in 2016 before Uni I’ll be picking a device that may well be a Mac. I’ll have to judge which OS is stronger at the time with the best hardware, and right now I’m leaning towards Apple.

Which approach do you prefer? Are you a Mac or a Windows person?

Filed under mac windows microsoft apple tech opinion technology

5,474 notes &

sherlockology:

UPDATED: CONFIRMED new photography and art for Sherlock Series 3

Is this the first look at the key art for Sherlock Series 3?

The images emerged originally on a Chinese website, and so we’re working to confirm with the BBC, but if it is legitimate, this is likely to be the art we see appearing on posters promoting Sherlock S3 around broadcast, as well as the art for the DVD and Blu Ray release.

We’ve confirmed with the BBC that the above images are indeed officially created material from Sherlock S3, both originating from a brochure handed out at the media industry event MIPCOM 2013 a couple of weeks ago.

This follows a similar pattern of the appearance of art for Sherlock S2 following MIPCOM 2011, as we posted here two years ago.

We’ve been told the top image is not, however, the final iconic key art for Series 3, which will be revealed in due course in the future.

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