Not your media (Corrected)

[See correction below]

Streaming is how things are done these days. Netflix would rather stream you a movie than send you a DVD. Apple lets you buy a movie or show and stream it without having to download. Wave of the future! Save yourself some drive space! Implement a Japanese-style just-in-time inventory for your media!

Maybe I’m old, maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t trust things. I don’t trust my WiFi to be consistent, I don’t trust my cable provider to always be up and always provide good bandwidth and I certainly don’t trust the content companies. And with good reason.

Case in point: The Legend of Korra.

This is Nickelodeon’s follow-up show to Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s pretty good and my son has watched almost all of it. And, well, so have I. Recently Nickelodeon decided to stop airing the show and to distribute the episodes online. I guess as part of this, they decided to pull all the episodes from selling on iTunes (although it is still available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video for some reason). If you bought it and wanted to stream it, too bad. It’s gone. [Note: you can still download the episodes (h/t to Brian Wiggins).]

I download everything so I have the show. But if you didn’t and you email Apple about it, they’ll tell you to contact Viacom, which owns Nickelodeon. Well, no, I bought the show from you. Make a fuss and they might refund your purchase, but that’s not the way this should work.

To quote Nick Fury from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “See, it’s stuff like this that gives me trust issues.”

ADDED: Speaking of The Winter Soldier, I purchased that from iTunes and it comes with Extras (a gag reel, deleted scenes and some behind-the-scenes videos). The movie gets downloaded, but the Extras do not. They’re streaming-only. So if Apple ever loses that contract, I’ll be out those and there’s nothing to be done about it.

CORRECTION: It turns out that while you can no longer stream the episodes, they are still available for download if you already purchased them from the Purchased link on the iTunes Store front page. Or, at least, they may be. One reader who says he purchased them says he does not see them available for download.

Idle thought

How’s that Mac malware explosion going? Was that gonna be this year, or…?

A tale of two restores

My wife’s iPhone 5 has been complaining about space for months. To date she’d just keep reducing the amount of music she was keeping on it in order to install new apps. Finally I took a look at it yesterday. She only had two and a half pages of apps no videos and just 2 GB of music. Even on a 16 GB phone that shouldn’t fill it up.

Plugging it into her MacBook, I could see the “Other” part of the usage bar was huge, at least 2/3 of the bar if not half. So I suggested restoring it. I restored the phone to a base iOS 7.1.2 install and then restored the most recent backup in iTunes (yes, I back up to iTunes because I’m old school). If you’re going to try this, remember to select  to encrypt the backup (and that you have a backup after doing that), that way you won’t have to enter all your passwords again.

I didn’t take notes of the sizes before restoring because I’m an idiot, but I can tell you she got back somewhere between 6 and 7 GB of space.

You read that right. That’s a lot of space on a 16 GB phone.

Most of it came from “Other” but some of it came from the rest of the bar, too.

It worked so well on hers, I thought I’d try the same thing on my iPhone 5s. Mine was not quite as problematic as hers, but I was still running out of room. The difference, however, is that the “Other” part of the bar on my phone wasn’t nearly as big as the one on hers. I knew where most of my space was going: more apps, particularly games.

Here were the major numbers prior to the restore of my phone:

Audio: 2.13 GB
Photos: 220.2 MB
Apps: 6.68 GB
Documents & Data: 437.2 MB
Other: 2.35 GB

What did I get back after the restore? About 3 GB of space. Not as great, but still pretty good. Here were the numbers post-restore:

Audio: 2.27 GB (why is this larger?)
Photos: 272.7 MB (ditto)
Apps: 4.29 GB (more than 2 GB less)
Documents & Data: 351.6 MB
Other: 1.54 GB (about 800 MB less)

I don’t know why it’s like this. It shouldn’t be like this. But it is. When something gets deleted, it should get deleted. That stuff shouldn’t take up almost half of your phone’s space.

If you’re running out of room, try a restore.

» Microsoft’s $200 PC savior

So, we had netbooks. And then those were too low-margin and Apple was owning the high end so they made Ultrabooks but they didn’t do very well. Now we have these supposed “Chromebook killers” that have 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.

It’s not really original but I guess we could call them Chrapbooks.

Dead tree edition

In thinking about the algorithms post of last week, I checked my Facebook feed last night as things were going wrong in Ferguson, Missouri, again. Sure enough, it was all cat videos and high school reunions. This morning I checked it again and there wasn’t a lot on Ferguson which probably reflects who I follow on Facebook, but there was at least some commentary and linking.

When the algorithm gets in the way of showing you what’s happening now, if you have to wait until the next day or go below the fold to see what happened last night, how is your medium any better than a newspaper?

» ‘Misunderstood’ ad wins Emmy

Chances that this will have any effect on the “Apple ads suck since Steve Jobs died!” meme: zero.

» ‘New Minecraft Mod Teaches You Code as You Play’

Wired‘s Klint Finley:

Strum is one of 150 students who are now tinkering with LearnToMod, an educational add-on teaches you the basics of programming while creating tricks and tools that you can use within the Minecraft. The mod will be available to the general public in October, and its creators hope it will help turn Minecraft into a kind of gateway drug for computer programming.

I believe I know an area 10-year-old who will be getting this mod come October. My son’s got his first exposure to coding within the game — a simple script that put a password on the door to his house — and because of the modding “industry” has an interest in learning more.

I’m telling ya, I think this Minecraft thing might actually take off.

» Sponsor: TimeFrame

My thanks again to TimeFrame for sponsoring the Very Nice Web Site RSS feed this week.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response TimeFrame has received since it was released. People new to mobile calendaring and experienced users alike are finding it a simple and compelling experience.

But what about those of us who already have a great mobile calendar? Many of us use our calendars several times a day. When I designed TimeFrame, I decided to take the most-used aspects of mobile calendars and simplify them. I wanted to give back, if I could, a few seconds of time and sanity to everyone’s day. Add it up, and that would really make a difference.

Think about how you use your calendar. If you’re like me, you first work out a mental picture of your schedule: often to find the best chunk of free time for a new event. Traditionally, this requires a lot of tapping, and remembering each day’s events until you have a week or more in your head at once. With TimeFrame, none of that is necessary: your schedule is accessible visually, without any extra work. You can compare two days’ or two months’ schedules just by looking at them side-by-side. And when you create an event, it starts by default in your free time that day. When you use your calendar frequently, the little things really do add up.

There’s a lot more to discover in TimeFrame. Find it on the App Store for $2.99, learn more about it on our website, and let us know how we can make it better: or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sponsored via Syndicate Ads

» I’m No Longer Fulfilled Taking Him to the Bathroom

Episode 28 of Turning This Car Around looks at talking to your kids about world events, anxiety, summer trips and… Brian.

» Still waiting for that surge

The Verge’s Tom Warren:

IDC reports that Windows Phone sales dropped by 9.4 percent in Q2 2014 compared to the same period last year.

They’re now at just 2.5 percent. I’m so old I remember when Windows Phone was going to surpass Android.

Oh, what the heck, let’s revisit that prediction from 2011.

Beginning this year, [Pyramid Research analyst Stela] Bokun sees Windows Phone popularity exploding even faster than Android adoption has since its introduction in 2008. The analyst attributes the coming Windows Phone boom to Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia; the Finnish cell phone giant is set to bring the end user cost of Windows Phones down, thus accelerating adoption dramatically. Bokun also notes that other manufacturers will continue to support Windows Phone, which will help make the devices widely accessible.

It’s like looking into a parallel universe, isn’t it?

Like I suggested last year when I linked to that piece, I don’t think these firms even believe their own predictions. They just make them to get their names out there.