How to delete lots of programs in MythTV, easily

I realised I had over 60 episodes of Get Smart recorded which I was never going to get around to watching, so I wanted to delete them quickly. I had a quick poke at MythWeb but that didn’t seem to have the functionality but a quick google revealed this forum post which says:

When in select recording to watch, mark the recording with a backslash “/”.
Mark all that you want to delete.
Press M to bring up the Recordings list menu.
Select playlist options
Select Delete

Works like a charm!

There’s also Craig’s set of command line tools that can assist with this:

News Corporation – the new face of piracy

According to Panorama from the BBC in the UK it appears Sky TV in the UK had a subsidiary involved with people cracking On Digital’s smartcards and also with people running a website to share the keys from those smartcards.

Of course News Corporation is a multinational, so it wouldn’t surprise you to know that there are now allegations that they were involved in similar antics here in Australia:

News Corporation is alleged to have used a security division known as Operational Security to encourage hackers to pirate the smart cards of rival pay TV operators including Austar and Optus, thereby draining them of revenue and devaluing the businesses.

Perhaps FACT, AFACT. MPAA, etc should adjust their “piracy funds terrorism” to warn that by supporting piracy you will be supporting Rupert Murdoch, News Corporation, Sky, Fox News, etc.. That would put a lot more people off..

Nick Crane’s Britannia and Floating Islands in Snowdonia, Wales

Watched the first episode of Nick Crane’s Britannia, about England and Wales, and was interested to see a section about Snowdonia which implied that William Camden, the Elizabethan author of the original Britannia, had said that there were was a lake there which had a floating island in it. It implied that Camden would have come across this story by talking to cattle farmers of the area on his travels through North Wales. But that doesn’t seem to be the case at all, in fact the English translation of Camden’s own text says:

Neverthelesse, so ranke are they with grasse that it is a very comon speech among the Welsh, that the mountaines Eriry will yeeld sufficient pasture for all the cattaile in Wales, if they were put upon them together. Concerning the two Meare [lakes] on the toppe of these, in the one of which floteth a wandering Island, and in the other is found great store of fishes, but having all of them but one eye apeece, I will say nothing lest I might seeme to foster fables, although some, confident upon the authority of Giraldus, have beleeved it for a verity.

In other words he was just quoting Giraldus Cambrensis who, in his “The Description of Wales” (1194 CE), wrote:

the latter of which are said to be of so great an extent, that if all the herds in Wales were collected together, they would supply them with pasture for a considerable time. Upon them are two lakes, one of which has a floating island; and the other contains fish having only one eye, as we have related in our Itinerary.

Even then Giraldus is just summarising what he wrote in his “The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales” (1188 CE), where he says:

On the highest parts of these mountains are two lakes worthy of admiration. The one has a floating island in it, which is often driven from one side to the other by the force of the winds; and the shepherds behold with astonishment their cattle, whilst feeding, carried to the distant parts of the lake. A part of the bank naturally bound together by the roots of willows and other shrubs may have been broken off, and increased by the alluvion of the earth from the shore; and being continually agitated by the winds, which in so elevated a situation blow with great violence, it cannot reunite itself firmly with the banks. The other lake is noted for a wonderful and singular miracle. It contains three sorts of fish – eels, trout, and perch, all of which have only one eye, the left being wanting; but if the curious reader should demand of me the explanation of so extraordinary a circumstance, I cannot presume to satisfy him.

So sadly it appears that William Camden was just referring back to a text that was almost 400 years old when the first edition of Britannia was published in 1586.

Time Team – Friars Wash – Post Excavation Report

Having just watched the first showing of the Time Team Friars Wash dig on the ABC I went searching for any post excavation reports and managed to find one on Scribd written by Wessex Archaeology (where W.A. seem to be putting up a number of reports) which has some interesting follow ups to what’s seen in the program, for instance:

  • It now appears there were likely three temples and an ancillary building, not the four temples talked about (and even then they’re not sure whether the circular building was a temple or a shrine).
  • The lead items thought to be “curses” (lead sheets with writing folded up and deposited at temples) turned out to be, sadly, more likely fishing weights as they were not comparable with previously found “curses”.
  • Whilst they found a lot of coins in Trench 4 (22 all up) calling them a hoard is apparently “tentative”.
  • There are apparently no “direct parallels” of the enamelled broach they found, and it could be 2nd century CE.
  • They found 7 (fragmented) pig jawbones in the sondage through the floor in Trench 1!
  • The closest parallel to the dual temple structure is at Mont de Sene in Burgundy

You can download the PDF of the report if you login to Scribd (they support OpenID, but not OpenID redirections like WP-Yaddis can do to, etc).

MythTV Electronic Program Guide HOWTO for Australia

Chris Smart has written an excellent little guide for getting a decent program guide into MythTV in Australia. It walks you through how to go from scratch through installing and configuring Shepherd to getting the data into the MythTV database. I’ve just used it on my Mythbuntu box and it’s looking good!

Next step – get it to record Time Team every time it appears.. 😉

The Sun is not causing Climate Change (Updated)

For those who may be puzzled by the issues raised by the ABC showing of “The Great Climate Change Swindle” you might like to read this BBC News Report detailing research published in one of the Royal Society’s journals (you can read a PDF copy of the paper free of charge).

A new scientific study concludes that changes in the Sun’s output cannot be causing modern-day climate change. It shows that for the last 20 years, the Sun’s output has declined, yet temperatures on Earth have risen. It also shows that modern temperatures are not determined by the Sun’s effect on cosmic rays, as has been claimed.

You may also like to read New Scientist’s “Climate change: A guide for the perplexed” and “The 7 biggest myths about climate change” to get an idea of the facts behind the issues.

Update: John Dalton has a nice writeup from his point of view called “Who’s Being Swindled ?