Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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I've just started a new blog for my upcoming book releases: http://mark-adams-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

Also check out my 10 Quick Facts for more sites I run.

Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Thursday, 23 July 2009

PS3+PSP+PC=Loads Of Media

So, I was talking to my best mate Karl about my PSP and PS3's integration and showed him that remote play enabled me to play any of the media files on my PS3 to be played on my PSP. I showed him some video clips, and played some music, all of which were being streamed by my PS3 in another room.

Then came a clever part. Some PSN and all PS1 games on the PS3 hard drive can be played on the PSP while in remote play. Awesome! So, for those who do not understand remote play, you switch your PS3 into remote play mode and just leave it in it's usual position. Turn the PS3 off, then go out with your PSP and either find a free wi-fi spot or use someone elses wi-fi. Turn on your PSP, switch to "Remote Play" mode and the PSP will link up with a wi-fi connection and connect remotely to your PS3 allowing all this goodness of running things from your PS3 on your PSP.

Taking this idea a step further, we turned on the PS3, turned on my main PC and set up a media Server with the PS3 and PC. This allows you then to play any movies, music or pictures from your PC on your PS3. Secondly, we set the PS3 into remote play mode. Our task was to see if we could use the PSP to stream movies, music and photos from the PC onto our PSP.

So, after a few seconds, the PS3 and PC were linked, our media server was set up. We turned on the PSP and connected via the Internet connection to start our remote play session. OH YES! As the PSP acts like your PS3, we could access the PCs content, and soon I was streaming Quantum Of Solace perfectly onto the PSP.

Of course, the possibilities for this are enormous, you could take your PSP on holiday or on a trip with you, and as long as you have wi-fi in your room or in the lobby etc, you could access games, movies, music, photos etc on your PSP. Your PSP's memory card can now be used just for games, and everything else can be left at home.

The times we live in are great! Who'd have thought that pairing consoles and PCs would be so much fun and so easy?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The BBC & the licence fee

Introduction - The BBC licence fee.
Straight fact, the BBC makes over £3.1 Billion a year on the TV Licence fee in the UK. A huge chunk of this money is squandered and wasted needlessly on it's staff and expenses. So in this day and age, where we are all about to go digital, do we really need a BBC licence fee?

We are one of the few countries in the World that has this extra tax burden in our everyday lives, however, by most it is not wanted, and by many of us we feel it is not needed. As I said, the whole of the UK will soon become digital, which means there are no options that could be put into place that would allow us not to pay this unfair tax, should we wish not to. So, here are the three options that I would hope for in the coming years.

Option 1: Advertisements
This may not be a popular option, but that said it does not hurt the viewing figures of ITV or any of the BBC's other competitors. The BBC already shows advertisements for it's own channels within the BBC network, so there is no excuse why it could not be funded commercially by advertisements. During this current economic climate, every TV and Radio station is finding it hard, so why should the BBC be almost excluded from this? Putting Advertisements on the BBC would mean that they would have to use the money they obtain wisely, so therefore you could say they could revert to making better quality programming once again. It's an option, but there are two more I could suggest.

Option 2: Subscription
So, subscription to the BBC network of channels should you wish to view them, this could either be done as a network package, or simply paying a little extra on your Sky or Virgin bill. This is the way that I would really like the BBC to go should they wish us, the tax paying public, to fund them. I was counting up my viewing and listening time of BBC channels, it comes to 2.5 hours a week of BBC 1, 2 hours of BBC 2, 4 hours a week for BBC News, 2 hours of BBC Radio Wales and about an hour of BBC Radio 1. That's pretty low viewing and listening pleasure for the money I currently pay, so subscription would give me the option to subscribe certain months when there is perhaps sport on TV that I may want to watch.

Option 3: Pay As You View
A great option for almost everyone I know. In this world of multi-platform TV the BBC has a distinct unfair advantage on everybody else in that it gets an unfair and unjust tax paid to them for us to watch their inferior channels. If you want to watch documentaries, then there are now dedicated channels that do a far better job than the BBC, if you want to watch music television, again, there are dedicated channels. As for news channels, the BBC news channels comes a close second to Sky News and to be fair, news should be free to everyone regardless of what service carries it. So, Pay As You Go is a great option for those of use who rarely watch the antiquated BBC services.

Quality of BBC programming
For those people who say that the BBC is an institution and has quality programming then this is an incorrect statement that has more to do with snobbery than actually to do with the quality of the BBC's programming itself. As stated in the previous paragraph, if you want a certain genre of TV content then it can be found elsewhere in as good as quality, if not better. What does the BBC really offer the TV audience of the 21st Century? Antique selling programs, home relocation programs, cooking programs, ancient movies and the odd decent program in the mix. It's just not acceptable with the money they earn, and people have to stand up and say "NO" to this waste of tax payers money.

So, what are the options and where should we go from here?
It's now about time to stop the licence fee and I believe choose a better option for the viewer. There is no reason why daytime TV cannot be funded by advertisements, there are many companies who would give their left arm to show an advert on the BBC. For evening viewing this could be an option of Pay As You Go or subscription should you wish not to lose the TV programs you never watch. As for Radio, there is no reason why advertisements could not fund the radio sector.

If the BBC is to be a Public Channel with the peoples interest at heart, I would move across the nasty cheap property and antiques programs from BBC 1 to BBC 2 and concentrate on more high-brow items during the day. BBC2 could become a "living" type channel with all the cheap programming. BBC 3 and BBC 4 could be merged, at the moment they are both filled with endless repeats, so are just wasting tax payers money.

BBC News is the one place where they actually do a reasonable job, so I believe they should be allowed to bid to have their news bulletins placed on rival TV channels, just the same as Sky News supply Channel 5 TV.

Many of us forget that the BBC is indeed an enterprise. On top of their money they make from the licence tax, they also sell their programs to channels all over the World and they have a vast merchandise line. Where does all this money go?

British TV is not perfect, it's not even the best in the World anymore. That's nothing to be ashamed of, peoples attitudes have changed, and many people would rather just sit and watch the news or sport all day than the rubbish that the BBC and others offer. We do need a change though, and now, during this digital turn-on is the ideal time for this to happen.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Job Hunting

So, just over six weeks since I started claiming Job Seekers Allowance and last night I attended a meeting for newly redundant people. The aim was to get us all back to work as efficiently as possible. Of course they went over the fact that you have to look for a job in other places than the Internet, this includes in the actual places of work themselves and through friends and relatives.

All this I believe is what most of us serious Job Seekers are doing anyways! So, just after the hour long session the persons conducting the meeting decided to go through the new vacancies this week for the Swansea area. The whole thing kind of fell apart at that point, as they only had three jobs to mention, and none of them were in Swansea!!! One was in Margam, one was even further afield and one of the jobs mentioned may be starting in the future - so not technically a fresh job to start there and then.

Of course, her main emphasis was on that we should take Voluntary work, which I and a few others found quite offensive as we'd just freshly joined the Job Market and were basically told "you have no chance as there's no jobs, so go do something for free".

The Worlds sucks, but if it didn't, then I guess we'd all fall off.