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Thursday, 15 August 2019 Dereel Images for 15 August 2019
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More walking tracks
Topic: general, animals, gardening, opinion Link here

One of the issues we have round Stones Road is that there are few places to go walking without turning back half way. Yesterday we were thwarted in the Dereel Bushland Reserve, but what about to the North in Enfield State Park? At the beginning of last month I walked down Spearys Road as far as practical, but it occurred to me later that there are two places which almost meet:

 
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There's quite a dip visible from the south, and I'm not sure we'll get up the other side, so we'll try again from the north.

On the way back today I took another look at the plant that I had identified last month:


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I had thought that the beige spheres were buds—the buds of Paulownia kawakamii look similar—but it seems that they're something like berries:


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Also noticed Lorraine Carranza's pretty Leucadendron in flower. She gave us one that we now have by the entrance of the house, but it isn't flowering yet:


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Friday, 16 August 2019 Dereel
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More TV programme sources
Topic: multimedia, general, opinion Link here

Over the last two years or so we've been downloading TV programmes mainly from ARD and ZDF, the German free-to-air broadcasters. That's all perfectly legal, but there's only a certain amount of stuff available. There are other countries too, apart from Germany. In Australia we have, in particular, ABC, the national broadcaster, and SBS, the “Special Broadcasting Service”, which is intended "to provide multilingual and multicultural radio and television services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and, in doing so, reflect Australia's multicultural society". As I see it, they're only moderately successful, but they do have the occasional film that isn't too strange.

I get frequent newsletters from SBS advertising programmes that I can download, at 720p resolution but low quality. And the content is also strange; the concept reminds me of what people in the UK thought of “French films” 50 years ago. Still, there are occasionally things worth watching.

And ABC? They have this thing called iView, which never seems to work for me. How about downloading things? No, you can't do that; well, at least the ABC didn't plan for it. Spent some time today looking at how to do it, and came up with this description, but also the information that ABC has served legal papers to people providing downloaders, which suggests (though they haven't said so in as many words) that they consider it illegal.

Why is this so difficult? And it seems that the ABC is also still in the 20th century, with resolutions like 716x404. Is it worth the pain? They offered a newsletter, presumably like the one that SBS sends me, but pressing on the “Sign up” (sorry, “SIGN UP”) button didn't do anything obvious.

I should really look in other countries. In the UK they have some reasonable content, but it's geographically limited. What I've seen of French offerings doesn't excite me. And somehow I can't find anything worth watching in the USA; it's as if they're on a different planet, with all the shows either violent or fantasy or both.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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