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Archive for July, 2012

NBC does not like cable cutters

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I am a cable cutter. A cable cutter is someone who doesn’t pay for cable for their entertainment. My family gets more than enough entertainment by recording Over the Air TV shows on our Windows Media Center, or streaming shows from Netflix, Vudu or other websites. There’s no need to pay for cable. Earlier this week (before the London Olympics started) I saw that www.nbcolympics.com would stream every Olympic event live. This is wonderful! Traditionally watching the Olympics on TV means that there are lots of commercials, there isn’t time to view every event, and most of the time is taken up by human interest stories (ech!). I was worried that they were going to stream only live events, but when I went there today I saw that they had links to play back the full events whenever. Finally, I could watch the Olympics without the human interest stories, and see events that I rarely get to see.

When I tried to actually watch an event (mens archery US vs Mexico) I ran into a snag. To watch video on www.nbcolympics.com you have to sign in using your cable providers credentials. In other words, if you’re someone who doesn’t pay for cable, you don’t get to stream the Olympic events online. Cable cutting defeated!

Of course there’s bound to be some way to illegally view the events online, but I’m not one who does that. While I do wish the copyright/IP laws where changed, I’ll upload and respect the current laws.

We are recording all OTA instance of the London 2012 Olympics, so we’ll get to watch whatever we want to from that selection. It won’t be everything, but at least we’ll be able to skip the human interest stories. NBC would have probably gotten me to view more ads with legal online streaming, than they are by having me skip over commercials in Windows Media Center.

Show message subjects above people in Outlook 15 Consumer Preview

July 20, 2012 1 comment

I just got Outlook 15 Consumer Preview up and running (the internet is guessing it will be called Outlook 2013) and one of the first things I noticed was that in the Reading Pane the senders of the message were shown above the subject of the message. This is different than in previous versions of Outlook; it took me a while to figure why I was having difficulty finding the messages was looking for, and this was why.

I have Outlook configured to show messages in Conversation view. In Outlook 2013 this will also create an additional header in the reading pane for the currently selected message. This is handy, but it became frustrating to me because the default setting was showing a message sized header inline with the messages, and in that header the name of the starter of the conversation took up most of the space. Beneath that was the subject of the conversation. Beneath the header was each individual unread message, and those were delineated by name of the sender. The problem was that the senders where shown in the exact same font as the subject. So my brain is seeing one large font for senders, followed by a smaller font for subject, followed by the identical font for senders again. All of the visual clues for which text represented people and which text represented subjects where jumbled.

I found a way to correct this “people first” view. In the View tab under Conversation Settings there’s an option for “Show Senders Above Subject”, and by default it is checked. Uncheck it.

View -> Show Senders Above Subject