Lightbulb moment: ‘I pay just £14 a year – and you can too’ | The Guardian

It will shave nearly £2bn off the energy bills for Britain’s 25m homes. It requires just a small investment, that will be repaid within three to four months – and give you a payback lasting more than 20 years. It will stop as much as 8m tonnes of CO2 entering the atmosphere and the energy saved at peak time equates to the output of three power stations the size of Hinkley Point C.

And all you have to do is change a light bulb.

via Lightbulb moment: ‘I pay just £14 a year – and you can too’ | Money | The Guardian

I read a similar article to this and wondered if I should change a lamp in my Anglepoise as it is on the longest and to my surprise it was already an LED bulb – I forgot I changed it, it had been so long ago. Light-wise they are indistinguishable from old bulbs now.


Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as an Alexa or Google Assistant competitor – The Verge

Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant has fallen behind Google Assistant and Alexa over the past year, and now the software maker is taking a different approach to the competition. Speaking to journalists at a media event earlier this week, attended by The Verge, CEO Satya Nadella revealed that Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as a competitor to Alexa or Google Assistant.

via Microsoft no longer sees Cortana as an Alexa or Google Assistant competitor – The Verge

I have posted about Cortana before – even predicting this in, ‘Microsoft Dropped the Ball on Cortana’:

I think Microsoft can’t be all things and top this market. I think their best option is simply refocusing on something specific and carve a niche. They have Bing which should mean they can mix it with the others for trivia and search queries. They have all the services, Office etc mixed in, they could go the professional route.

It sounds like they are happy to let Cortana (change the name, please) be a skill on the other voice assistants which will give them the reach across platforms and focus on Microsoft Office voice assistance.

So ‘Clippy’ again.  Oh no.

Only renewables can fix the UK’s nuclear energy crisis | WIRED UK

Without investment in storage technology, the Hitachi announcement could prove a blow for efforts to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. But experts are hopeful that it could scare the distracted government into putting its foot on the gas, and backing research and investment in alternative sources of carbon-free electricity. “It could result in more fossil fuel emissions,” says Goodall. “Or, it could put pressure on the government to go back to wind, and combine that with energy storage.”

via Hitachi Anglesey: Only renewables can fix the UK’s nuclear energy crisis | WIRED UK

Wood burners and open fires face restrictions in new clean air plan – BBC News

The most important activity that contributes to particulate pollution is the burning of fuels such as wood and coal in open fires and domestic stoves.

Farming is also a major problem, as emissions of ammonia have increased in recent years. This gas reacts in the atmosphere with other chemicals to produce particulate matter that can be carried on the wind to major population centres.

To deal with domestic burning, the government will ban the sale of the most polluting fuels and ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.

They are also consulting on phasing out the sale of traditional house coal and on limiting the sale of wet wood, the type found on garage forecourts. The government’s plan for these fuels is expected within months.

via Wood burners and open fires face restrictions in new clean air plan – BBC News

Good. The smell of coal fires was a distant memory for me. Its shocking that in the 21st century, increasingly you can smell smoke hanging in the air from peoples fires.

Reader Mode: The Button to Beat | CSS-Tricks

For reading articles, the core problem is turning my ignorance about an issue into understanding (the funding model for this is a whole other complicated concern). The more obstructions you throw in my way to achieve this goal, the more I am inclined to leave and get my understanding elsewhere—all I’ll remember is how poor a time I had while trying to access your content. What is the value of an ad impression if it ultimately leads to that user never returning?

via Reader Mode: The Button to Beat | CSS-Tricks

Yep, this. A post of mine, ‘Read Only Web’ on my portfolio site, pondered if this would happen more frequently until it became the norm:

Make your content easy to consume the way you intended, otherwise your readers may find another way. So make sure it loads first, and fast, in the way you want it presented.

Lets not settle for a homogenous, text-only tier of the web. Web design is your sites individuality and your control of your brand, so make sure it puts your content first.

We’ve never had more tools available to detect, deliver and present the best experience to users. I hope we can keep them from hitting the reading view permanently.

Read ‘Read Only Web’ on – no need for reader mode!

Apple is putting iTunes on Samsung TVs – The Verge

The iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, which will be available in 100 countries on both Samsung’s 2019 TVs as well as its 2018 models (after a firmware update), marks the first time Apple has allowed third-party devices to access its video library outside of Windows PCs. It could also be a prelude to a video streaming service that Apple is currently rumored to be working on…

via Apple is putting iTunes on Samsung TVs – The Verge

I was pretty surprised seeing this news, but Apple have said in press releases they are moving towards services in future.

Their Apple TV content needs viewers and it needs to be in front of people where ever they are. I wonder if we could even see a Fire TV, Roku, even Android app in future?

Doesn’t feel very Apple-y partnering up with companies left and right – but that is the TV/media business – layer upon layers of deals.

Also, the iTunes name, is familiar but less relevant to this apps purpose.

Year Review 2018

2018 ‘Dark Mode’

2018 was truly the year ‘Dark Mode’ was enabled. MacOS, Android, Windows and services-galore, all enabled ‘dark mode’ colour schemes.

I had my own dark mode of a year and quietly got on with learning some more. The learning list never seems to shrink. I added and crossed off more skills than ever previously.

My 2018 Year Review – personal learning, projects and what was posted in 2018.

1px-wide font

Millitext font
Millitext 1px Width Font

Millitext is a “font” whose glyphs are just one pixel wide. But it’s really a clever exploitation of how subpixels — the individual red, green and blue lights of an LCD display — are triggered by pixels of certain colors. For example, a magenta pixel triggers the red and blue subpixels, leaving the green one dark between them.

via 1px-wide font / Boing Boing

Bloodhound supersonic car project saved – BBC News

Its future was in jeopardy amid a failure to secure investment which forced the firm financing it into administration.
But Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst has bought the project for an “undisclosed amount”.
Mr Warhurst, the managing director of Barnsley engineering firm Melett, said it would have been “criminal” not to continue with the record attempt.

via Bloodhound supersonic car project saved – BBC News

Excellent news. Criminal not to continue indeed!