Spotify is now available on Virgin Media’s Tivo for Spotify Premium subscribers. I was expecting to be able to search the Spotify library just like with the desktop application but all you can do is play from your playlists or the “What’s New” section. I was initially disappointed with this but I think I can get over it. Hopefully we’ll be able to search the library in a later release.
My free 30 day trial of Spotify Premium runs out on Friday and I’m seriously tempted to keep pay the subscription fees of £10/month. I would use the BlackBerry app a lot, especially when walking to and from work so I would certainly make use of the subscription.
Last week Virgin Media released version 15.2 of the Tivo firmware which had some major improvements, including the functionality needed to run the Spotify app. One of the fixes included was that pressing Stop button on the remote now stops the playback of a recording! Previously the recording would continue to play in the mini screen on the top right of the TV. I know, it’s hard to believe that a bug like that could get passed testing.
A big new feature is that Network Remote Control is now enabled. This means that desktop and mobile apps can now control the Tivo box from simulating remote control button presses to recording programmes and manipulating series links (season passes in US Tivo speak) without changing what is displayed on screen. Tivo Commander can be used on Android devices and Peanut on iOS devices (iPhones, iPod Touch and iPad). Unfortunately there isn’t one for BlackBerry, or at least I can’t find one
Virgin Media and Spotify have announced the details of their deal. New customers who sign up to a 12 month contract for a 30Mbps or faster cable broadband service will get 6 months of Spotify Premium for free. The same offer applies to existing customers who sign a new contract for the same services. Unfortunately I have the 10Mbps broadband service and I don’t want to or have a need to upgrade to 30Mbps. Virgin Mobile customers will get 3 months free and they will also get unlimited data while using Spotify in the UK.
There was no concrete news on the Spotify app for Virgin Media’s Tivo box which is what I’m waiting for. I got Tivo a couple of months ago and am looking forward to the day the Spotify app is released. I’ve tried numerous things to try to get Spotify playing on my computer with the sound coming out of my amp but I couldn’t get anything to work. The computer is too far away from the amp to use a cable.
I’m hoping Virgin Media will give a similar offer to Tivo customers but I am still very tempted to pay for Spotify Premium. This morning I installed the Spotify for Blackberry preview (which I have been waiting over 2 years for) and it looks very good. It upgraded my Spotify Free account to a 48hr trial of Spotify Premium and I got an email with an offer for a 30 day trial. I’m going to use the 30 day trial and renew the subscription if I use it enough. I hope the Spotify Tivo app will be released by then which will make the Spotify Premium subscription even better value for money.
-  Virgin Media – Spotify – now online, on your mobile and on TiVo ↩
Royal succession rules are being changed so that females have equal rights to the Commonweath realm thrones. This throws up some interesting situations if the rule had been in place during different parts of history. Stephen Glenn has an interesting article about what would have happened at the time of Henry VII but I wanted to take it further back in history.
I started at the Norman conquest with William I (Willian the Conqueror). The early years are a bit complicated because of Kings choosing which child will inherit the throne and battles between brothers. William I divided his successions between his sons and his third son became William II of England. William II died during a hunting accident in the New Forest and his younger brother Henry seized the throne and ruled England until his death in 1135.
The first time since then where the oldest child is a female with a younger brother is with the children of Edward I (b. 1237 – d. 1307). Edwards’s oldest child with issue was his daughter Eleanor but she died in 1298 so her son, also called Edward, would have been Edward II and not Edward I’s son Edward. Edward II died in 1336 passing the throne to his oldest child Henry. Henry II died in 1344 leaving two sons. His eldest son, Edward, died in 1352 with no children so the throne would have went to his brother Robert who died in 1411.
This is where it gets interesting…
Robert’s oldest child was Yolande who died in 1431 with one child who lived to adulthood and was also called Yolande (died 1442). Yolande’s oldest child Louis died before her and he didn’t have any children so the throne passed to her daughter Marie. In 1422 Marie married King Charles VII of France! This would have created a union of the English and French crowns, like what really happened with England and Scotland in 1603. Their son Louis became Louis XI of France when Charles died in 1461 and in this scenario he would have become Louis I of England when his mother died in 1463.
What would that have meant for history? There wouldn’t have been a Battle of Trafalgar and the Duke of Wellington would have been fighting alongside Napolean if there was still a Battle of Waterloo. Would there have been a French Empire or could there be a United Kingdom? Would the name of the kingdom be the United Kingdom of England and France or the United Kingdom of France and England? The union of the English and Scottish crowns wouldn’t have happened so would England and France invade Scotland to create the United Kingdom of France and Great Britain? The monarch of England was also the Lord of Ireland at the time of Edward I so adding Ireland to the Kingdom might still have happened.
The English monarchs between Edward I and the union of the English and French crowns would have been:
- Edward I (1272 – 1307)
- Edward II (1307 – 1336)
- Henry IV (1336 – 1344)
- Edward III (1344 – 1352)
- Robert I (1352 – 1411)
- Yolande I (1411 – 1431)
- Yolande II (1431 – 1442)
- Marie I (1442 – 1463)
- Louis I (1463 – 1483) (also Louis XI of France from 1461)
Note: All of this depends on the accuracy of Wikipedia.
Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest NI, has announced that a new loan scheme for small and medium-sized businesses which can’t get lending from banks will start three months after FSA approval.
He said that the £50million scheme will be half funded with EU money and the rest from government money or private investment by fund managers. Invest NI won’t operate the running of the scheme as it has to be run by someone who is FSA approved and interest rates will be slightly higher than banks.
This is great news to help boost the local economy but some questions need answered.
The steady stream of good news coming out of Derry continues with the announcement that Derry City Council has approved the building of Ireland’s first Judo centre of excellence in the city.
The centre will be part of a new sports campus which is to be located in St. Columb’s Park. The campus will also include a swimming pool, fitness centre and a multi-sports hall. Sport NI (Northern Ireland’s public body for developing sport) is not funding the project but closing Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre, which is located close to St. Columb’s Park, and selling the land will part fund the £10million project. The current leisure centre in St. Columb’s Park will also be closed.
The new sports campus will hold up to 2,000 people and it is hoped it will be ready to host events during the City of Culture year in 2013.
BT have announced that they have completed the roll-out of fibre broadband in all of it’s street cabinets in Derry. This means that Derry is the first city in the UK and Ireland to be completely upgraded to the fibre technology and has speeds and connectivity better than Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo.
The roll-out was part of the City of Culture partnership and the service is available to 40,000 homes and businesses. This is another good news story for the inaugural UK City of Culture.
Recent announcements seem to imply the buildup to the City of Culture year in 2013 is well underway and I hope this continues to be the case with a lot more good news in the future.
The BBC are reporting that Northern Ireland’s analogue TV transmitters will be shut down on 24th October 2012.  This date will also be the end of analogue TV in the UK as Northern Ireland will be the last region to switch to digital TV.
I hope Digital UK will now start the marketing and information campaign in Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone will be prepared for switch-over and that older and disabled people are made aware of the switchover help scheme. Information on how to receive digital TV is available on Digital UK’s website.
Walls of Derry
Derry is on the build up to being the UK’s first City of Culture in 2013 but for the second time in a year the City of Culture office was the target for a bomb attack. The bomb went off at about 23:00 last night. A warning was received at about 21:45 and police had just cleared the area and an army bomb squad where on their way when the bomb went off.
This is a sickening and cowardly act which will not deter the people of the city from getting ready for it’s City of Culture year and I hope this won’t deter tourists travelling to Derry in the future. There was, however, some good news for the Derry.
Last week the Northern Ireland Executive announced that it has approved £27million of funding to begin work on upgrading the Derry to Coleraine railway line next year. It was originally scheduled to start in 2014 which would have been disastrous for the City of Culture year as one third of the train journeys would have been replaced by a bus service while safety work was carried out. The line will now be closed for nine months while the first phase of the upgrade is carried out and it is hoped that eight services a day will be running by April 2013.
A second piece of good news was announced today by the Environment Minister Alex Attwood. Wardens will be appointed to protect the Derry Walls from vandalism or damage. The walls were built between 1613-1619 and thousands of people every year. This initiative should help to increase the reputation of Derry as a friendly and welcoming city for tourists – even if cowardly terrorists try to destroy it.
Some of the candidates in the Irish Presidential election have released their earnings. Martin McGuinness doesn’t get paid directly from the Northern Ireland Assembly for being an MLA and Deputy First Minister. Instead his salary gets paid to Sinn Féin and they pay him an “average industrial wage” which is currently £1,605 per month after tax.
Sinn Féin have released a bank statement for Martin McGuinness’s joint bank account with his wife in the Bank of Ireland. There are some payments to Asda, Tesco and B&Q but there does appear to be a glaring omission – there doesn’t seem to be any payments for rent or a mortgage!
It seems impossible for someone on an “average industrial wage” to have paid off a mortgage so how is he paying for his house? Is there another bank account or is Sinn Féin paying it for him?