Politics

We in the UK just had a general election. It’s a chance for politicians to give them a job.

It used to be that an election could be called at the whim of the Prime Minister, at least once per five years, but this was changed recently to be five fixed years.

Then David Cameron walked away from the job, Mrs May took it over. People asked her, at least nine times, any snap election coming? No she said, definitely not.

Then suddenly there was a snap election. Why? Because she had a big majority, people loved her (apparently) and she wanted a bigger majority. She wanted to stop on her opposition (of whatever political persuasion).

Because the major opposition party, Labour, was in disarray. Leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen as a weak leader, but an honourable man. He is actually my local MP, gets a huge majority and people like him, because he cares and sticks to his principles. But even his own party didn’t really back him. They were going to lose, bigly. The commentators said, the end of Labour.

But what happened? The Conservative manifesto proposed to introduce a dementia tax. If you needed home care, the government would take all your assets (above £100,000) including your house, to pay for it. You could be out on the streets. Besides, they said, who needs to inherit more than £100,000?

This was so not popular, so they changed it, but flat out lied it had been changed.

Then there was a tv debate. Everyone turned up except Mrs May who said she preferred to talk directly to people, but some say she was simply at home watching tv. Don’t know if that’s true.

In the end, the Conservatives won, but only just. There was a strong vote for Labour/Corbyn. UKIP were squashed, hugely.

It was a night of celebration for non-Conservative supporters, not because Labour had won, but because Mrs May’s arrogance had been stomped on from a great height. And it’s been downhill for her since then.

Cellphones

I bought my current mobile phone over three years ago. Are you shocked?

If you look at it, the case is very, um, loved but the phone is in immaculate condition.

I do make the odd call, I send sms messages, I get my e-mails, rarely use the camera, but it can be a life saver, play Words With Friends, keep a calendar, and so on. The screen is clear, the sound quality for calls fine, Skype works well, it’s 4G. What more do I want? OK, the battery is past its best…

Well, the latest replacement for it is out (there have been several in the mean time, of course). My phone is long paid for so my monthly bill is very reasonable. Now my provider wants me to upgrade. Actually, they want me to have an iPhone.

But I look at the new one and it has a super screen but is otherwise much the same, at £700. And I think of all the palaver transferring all the stuff from one to another, updating Android and so on.

I’d rather save my money and buy something else. What do other readers do?

TVs

About 18 months ago I needed a new tv. I’ve always been a Sony fan, or at least, faithful to Sony, and their Trinitron sets were beautifully designed with great pictures.

The set I picked up was a 43″ Android tv set. It was a new model, and you pay through the nose, of course. But I wanted something that would be future proofed.

So, the good. It works brilliantly with my Sony tablet, and my Synology network storage, and my Netgear router. Chromecast is all built in, so no need for a dongle, and watching things on the screen from the tablet is dead easy. This is not a review of the tv as such, but the picture quality is very good (I need more 4K content), and the sound is, well, what you would expect, but connectivity is decent enough and more than I need (I added a usb memory stick to extend the set’s internal memory).

The bad is with the Android tv. Setting it up was a nightmare, requiring numerous re-starts to get it to recognise external devices. Because it’s Android, you get updates. As you would expect, straight out of the box needed an update, and we are talking 40+ minutes here.

The Android interface is clunky. There are some apps available, CNET for example, but the emphasis is on games for children.

The tuner part is a problem. Switch it on sometimes, and you get ‘Can’t show live tv, you have no channels’, even though live tv is on in the background. Changing channels can be a nightmare, especially after switching on from standby. If it’s not on the channel you want, you may have to wait 5 minutes for it to react. Sometimes it sticks on a channel – type in a number (eg 101) and it makes as if it is changing, but you are still where you were.

The programme guide is sluggish and you can’t set reminders. Nor can you record.

Every time you switch it on you get ‘no internet connection’, which is not true.

Oh, and if you are watching via a cable box, it doesn’t recognise the input and switches off after a period of ‘inactivity’. Yes, you can switch this feature off, but it’s a pain, and switching off after a period of inactivity is a good thing.

The model is no longer available, but others must be. What are your experiences?

The start

So, yet another blogging person.

I wanted to write words that were happy and fun, optimistic and positive. I wanted to break the rules.

One rule for blogs is that you should blog regularly. Not necessarily every day or whatever, just regularly, so your readers know when something is coming. And it helps the advertisers too.

No advertisers here, just me.

So, I have decided to write just when I feel like it, when there is something to say.

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