Ask Rick Maybury 2014

  

 

Ask Rick 305 19/04/14

 

Portuguese Freeze On The BBC

Until very recently we could receive both BBC TV & Radio via satellite in Portugal. We are currently in the UK but return to Portugal within the next few weeks. If the loss of BBC is permanent we shall be very sad. It has been suggested that as an alternative BBC iPlayer would be available in Portugal on iPad, a tablet or an ordinary computer. Is this correct?

Ronald Hatley, by email

 

In February this year BBC TV and radio Freesat services, which had been temporarily broadcast from the Astra 1N satellite, were moved to a new home on Astra 2E. This has a more tightly focussed beam or footprint, resulting in the loss of the unintentional overspill signal to Portugal and parts of France and Spain. If you have access to a reasonably speedy broadband service in Portugal you can listen to BBC radio channels using BBC iPlayer, on your PC or tablet. You can also subscribe to iPlayer Global, and an app for iPad and iPhone lets you view a selection of popular, Best of British programming for £4.33 per month. However copyright and licensing restrictions prevent the BBC and other UK broadcasters from streaming live TV channels outside of the UK but there are workarounds and assuming that you are a TV Licence payer you could argue that you are not cheating the system. The simplest way to bypass the regional block on iPlayer is to connect to the Internet through a Virtual Private Network or VPN service. This changes or hides your location, but not all VPNs work. The free ones tend to be poor quality, peppered with ads and are routinely blocked. Paid for VPNs can also be a bit hit and miss and require a costly subscription but you will find recommendations for the more reliable ones on ex-pat online forums. As a last resort there is a device called Slingbox that streams TVs channels from a digital receiver or DVR in the UK to you anywhere in the world, over your home broadband connection, but you will have to leave your equipment switched on while you are away.

 

Jiggle Niggle

I have owned my iPad for about 12 months now but I am unable to delete any of the apps. I have followed the instructions to touch the icon until it jiggles and tap the ‘X’, but when I do, they all do it, and there are no Xs on any of the apps. What is going wrong?

Alan G Brooke

 

It is not a fault and your apps are simply being protected against accidental deletion. To restore the X icons go to Settings > General > Restrictions, enter your passcode then slide the switch next to Deleting Apps to the On position.

 

Permission Granted

My Windows 7 computer keeps telling me that I do not have its permission to access or delete files and folders stored on my computer. What a cheek! I have tried various methods for changing permissions but they are long winded, involve a lot of messing around, and do not always work. Is there a way I can get W7 to work like XP, where basically I am allowed to do as I please with my own files?

Chris Lewis, by email

 

Measures designed to stop critical systems files from being accidentally or deliberately altered, by viruses or malicious software or just sheer carelessness, were first introduced in Windows Vista and beefed up for W7 and 8. From that point of view it is a good thing, especially for novices and newcomers but for old hands, accustomed to having unfettered access, it can be very frustrating. Needless to say removing these safeguards is not recommended but if you know what you are doing and are prepared to accept the risks there is a simple Registry hack that will put you back in control. It creates a Context Menu option in Windows Explorer, so when you are denied access to a file or folder simply right click on it select Take Ownership and all restrictions are removed. You will find some easy to follow instructions and a link to the TakeOwnership.reg file, (and a second .reg file to restore restrictions), on the How-To Geek site at: http://goo.gl/fZEK.

 

High Stakes Poker

I recently flew with Virgin Atlantic and on the seat back display there was a poker game, which kept me amused for hours. It was great fun and I have tried to find such a game for my home computer, but the results I get are all for online gambling sites, which I do not want.

John Dorricott, by email

 

Hold’Em Poker is an Android game, produced by DTI, a company specialising in in-flight entertainment systems. Unfortunately the version of Android used by seat back consoles is significantly different to the OS on smartphones and tablets. Several DTI games are now available from Google Play but this one has yet to be converted though it hasn’t been ruled out. As for risk free alternatives, how about some suggestions?

 

Quality Query

Trying to transfer music from my computer to an MP3 player, I discovered that there is a multitude of different formats on my PC that have to be changed, but will this reduce the quality of the music?

Geoff Strong, by email

 

Every time a digital audio file is converted from one format to another it will be degraded to some extent but whether or not you notice depends on numerous factors. These include the bitrate, compression level and format of the original recording, the conversion method and quality settings used, the performance of the playback device, your headphones or speakers, your own perceptions and tolerances not to mention where you listen to your music and the level of background noise. If you are generally happy with the results but a particular track or album is below par, change the source recording and experiment with the settings on your conversion software.

 

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© R. Maybury 2014 3103

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