3 is a magic number, they say. And I’ve got 3 things for you today, starting with something about BBC iPlayer…
I know quite a lot of people use the BBC iPlayer website or their app, to watch TV. It’s a great facility – you can watch live TV but probably more usefully you can watch programmes that were on a while ago.
It’s great if you missed something or didn’t even know it was on. (Just the other day I was talking to Mum and Dad on Skype and they’d been watching something I hadn’t known was on – and now I can go and watch it, even though it was on last week.)
It’s worth knowing that you do need a TV licence, though. It used to be that you only needed one to watch live TV on it, but that changed and you need one even for watching programmes after they were on. (Catch-up TV as they call it.)
Incidentally the rules on watching TV on a mobile phone or a tablet or a laptop if you’re not at home are a bit peculiar. If you’re watching it on battery power, then as long as you’re in the UK, you’re covered by your home TV licence. But if you plug it into the mains it no longer counts as a mobile device and you need to be covered by a licence at that address. (Unless you’re in a vehicle – so you can plug it into your car charger or on the train.) Of course most hotels and B&Bs will have a TV licence, so they’re likely to be fine, but it might not be if you’re in a cafe, say…
The problem is the way they check whether you have a TV licence is to pop up a message saying “Do you have a TV licence?” – and if you click or tap yes, then it lets you watch it. But obviously that’s not very secure – people could say yes when they don’t. So there’ve been rumours for a while that they’d bring in a system where you have to log in to use iPlayer, so they can check you do have a licence.
And now they are bringing it in – but they say it’s not to do with the TV licence. It might not be to start with, but I’ll be surprised if they don’t link it later on.
When you go to watch something on iPlayer, it’ll ask you to log in or create an account. You can choose to create one, give it a few details about you (including your postcode but not your full address – yet), set up a password and that’s it – next time you log in with those details and that’s all there is to it.
It also means it can remember what you’ve watched – of course some people might not like the idea of it remembering things like that – it could cause worries about privacy. But on the other hand it means it can recommend other programmes you might like and let you pick up a programme from the right point after you got part way through it – even if you’re watching it on a different device.
At the moment you don’t have to have a login to use iPlayer, but within a few weeks you will need it, so next time you use iPlayer it might be worth setting one up to get it done.
Windows 10S – not an update
I’ve heard a few people get confused by a new system called Windows 10S. It’s quite different from Windows 10, even though there’s only one letter different in the name.
In particular, it’s not an update to Windows 10, so you won’t be getting it automatically. It’s a different system, working in a slightly different way, aimed mainly at more cut down laptops. It’s not something I’d recommend for most people (it’s more aimed at organisations like schools or colleges) – so I’m really telling you so you know you don’t need to worry about it.
There is another update coming, though, but not until Autumn. It’s called the Creators Fall update (fall as in American for Autumn, not fall as in trip over). It’s different from the creators update (without the word fall), which most people will already have. More on it nearer the time.
Microsoft do like their confusingly similar names, don’t they?
Tim stops wittering…
You’ve probably noticed I’ve mentioned our newest book (about sleep) a few times recently. I’m glad I did – so many people have been interested to hear about it and if it can help even a few of them sleep better, it was worth it. But I’m not planning to mention it again in this newsletter, so if you’ve been at all on the fence about whether it might help you, now’s the time to decide.
As I say, I won’t mention it again, so if you’ve been umming and ahhing about it, best decide one way or the other now. And if you do sleep badly, please do something – if you don’t want to buy this book, that’s fine but then maybe talk to a doctor or get some leaflets from your local GP surgery or something – poor sleep is such a big issue it’s worth doing something about.