How to watch NOW TV in your university halls

So you’ve arrived at your uni halls and want to hook up your NOW TV box as it’s a cheap way to watch Sky TV and get the iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, Demand 5 and YouTube on your TV without an aerial.

However you’ve hit a problem, although your NOW TV box can see the hall wifi you get Error Code 014 and have nowhere to enter your username and password.

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The problem with appeal statistics

So a tweet today from the Refugee Council said:


My first thoughts were that doesn’t add up. A quarter of all decisions wrong first time?
This would mean that 90% of all decisions would have had to have gone to appeal. Surely we are a) granting more than 10% and b) appeals aren’t 100% of all refusals.

Continue reading The problem with appeal statistics

Join NowTV and get a £10 shopping voucher – plus your chance to win more

January 2016 update: although the £10 gift card offer has since ended, it is possible to get NOW TV entertainment or movies at half price for the first three months using the links.

So I’ve been with NowTV for over a year, and regularly used them since April. For just £6.99 a month I get access to 13 pay channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Sky Living, Sky Arts 1 and Fox (plus the less watched ITV Encore, Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central, Disney, Nickelodeon, NickJr and Gold) through the internet.

Not only do they provide a catchup service for most new shows, but also boxsets of some you might have missed in the past, including The Wire, The West Wing, 24 and Game of Thrones (shows come and go, and some might have every season right now).

Continue reading Join NowTV and get a £10 shopping voucher – plus your chance to win more

TalkTalk Super Router v3 (HG635) DDNS with Cloudflare

Hopefully you’ve reached this page through Google, otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll have reason to read the rest of this blog post.

I recently received a new TalkTalk Super Router v3, which is made by Huawei and has the model number HG635. I was interested in getting some kind of Dynamic DNS set up and was pleased to see that it had some settings under Internet->Internet Services.

The options available were DynDns.org, TZO and other. As DynDns had just gone down the paid router after many years of being free I was keen to see if I could do something myself with “Other”. From here were a collection of settings including Protocol set to GNUDip.http. After a while of Googling it looked possible to set up my own GNUDip running on Perl speaking to my own DNS server. Except I couldn’t be bother to install Perl and I no longer managed the DNS server but now used CloudFlare.

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Automatically deleting old emails in Gmail

As a follow up to my post Deleting old emails in Gmail 3 years ago, I’ve now found a way to automatically delete old emails from Gmail.
This trick uses the rather unknown Google Scripts, a Javascript engine which runs on Googles servers.

  • Pop to Gmail and test some searches, eg label:webserver older_than:1m this will find all emails labelled webserver and are older than 1 month (full list of search options here.
  • Once you are happy that your search result has found the emails you don’t want, go to script.google.com.
  • Select Create script for GMail
  • Delete all the example code
  • Enter this code
    function deleteOldEmails() {
    var threads = GmailApp.search('label:webserver older_than:1m');
    GmailApp.moveThreadsToTrash(threads);
    }

    ensuring you replace label:webserver older_than:1m with your search phrase
  • Save you project
  • Press run
  • Once the notification at the top has gone, check back in Gmail to confirm your emails have been deleted.
  • To automate, click on the Clock icon, Add a new trigger. Select your function, you want it Time-driven, and for me I’ve selected Month timer, 1, Midnight to 1:00am

The result will be on the first of every month Gmail deletes all emails older than 1 month from my webserver folder.

o2 and the over zealous family filter?

So if you’ve been on social media this weekend you will have seen a number of tweets like this with people astounded that their site is being blocked by o2.


Did they discover this because they couldn’t access the site on their mobile? No because they followed a link someone else tweeted, entered their URL and saw the word BLOCKED.
So what exactly is “Parental Control”, this page on the o2 website explains:

Parental Control is a service we offer to help parents to protect their children while they’re online. It enables us to restrict children’s web access via their mobile to a limited number of sites which are suitable for children.

It’s opt-in, and mainly aimed for children under the age of 12 who for some reason have their own mobile. As such it’s a whitelist of sites known to be ok. Search for lego and you get this:
Lego.com
Parent control isn’t part of the government “think of the children”, nor “urgh nasty pictures on the internet, that grown adults might get pleasure from”, it’s a service that o2 have been offering for years, but have had very little take up.

The setting which stops naughty websites from appearing on your phone is “Default Safety“. If it’s anything like Vodafone’s “Content Control” this is the default every phone number is set to. You need to opt out of this if you want to view sites such as the one below:
o2 Pornography.
Proof of age in a store, or payment taken on a credit card was what we used to have to deal with and again it’s been like that for years. Mobile networks have had a list of pervy customers before David Cameron started his latest crusade.

Of course your site may be child friendly and even educational, but until you tell o2 that you believe it’s suitable, you’re not going to magically appear on a whitelist.

Notes

  • I notice that o2 have added the line (opt in u12 service) to the results page to attempt to clear things up since yesterday.
  • Of course mobile data blocking won’t do much help when most phones have access to WiFi and most public WiFi only restrict adult sites.

NowTV Entertainment Pack

So earlier this week Sky announced that their NowTV service offers the ability to live stream several of their channels, plus get on demand with some back catalogues.
It’s an additional monthly cost on top of the Movies or Sport, but at £4.99 a month with no contract it seemed like a worthwhile trial.

The current channels available are

  • Sky 1
  • Sky Living
  • Sky Atlantic
  • Gold
  • Comedy Central
  • Fox
  • MTV
  • Sky Arts 1
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel

Continue reading NowTV Entertainment Pack

Tasker, Zooper and my TP-Link M5350

TP Link M5350I mentioned before that I have a MiFi device. It’s a TP-Link M5350. It’s light, portable and easy to use. However one thing I noticed was getting the battery level.
It has an OLED display, which shows the signal bars, number of connected devices, if WiFi is running, the network you are on, the up and down speeds, the current usage and a battery icon.
From quick tests it would always show empty to full animation when on charge and it only had around 4 icons for normal usage.
But what I wanted to know was a percentage level for the device.

Logging in to the web-gui for the router you get more icons along the top, however a title element on the battery shows the current level of charge. Although getting this number to appear on my phone was going to be tricky.
MiFi Homepage

So I wondered if I could get my devices to make a HTTP request to the device, get past the security, find the relevant code and output that in a clear way.
Continue reading Tasker, Zooper and my TP-Link M5350