Everything, Everything - January 2015

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Thursday 29th January, 2015 18:31
Thanks Twitter. Your new (if we forget about this working during the World Cup) translate thing works perfectly! http://t.co/Da6BthigD8
Extant Temporarily Unavailable
Sunday 25th January, 2015 13:01
I gave up watching Extant using Amazon's Instant Video after a few weeks as I found the show disappointing. But I decided today that I'd give it another chance and resume watching from whatever episode I was on. Except I can't.

There's a customer discussion that gives this reason as to why the episodes are now unavailable:

"Due to licensing restrictions, videos can become temporarily unavailable for viewing or downloading. The video will automatically be made available again once that restriction ends"

It may be related to the episodes apparently being broadcast by Syfy.

I should be able to set the Sky+ HD box to record the episodes, but that means I can't watch it on demand, right now, when I want to. It also means I'll have to watch it in 1080i from the Sky box rather than 1080p via other devices (I've been watching Amazon Instant Video on the PS4, my laptop, and a computer in the lounge).

I can understand why this has happened, but it doesn't mean I like it. I can also understand why people might turn to piracy to download the remaining episodes if they had started watching the show recently only to discover they can't watch the end yet. But I abandoned the show before and I probably won't bother watching it again when it comes back. Hopefully I won't get caught out by Amazon in the future, but with Netflix and Sky (including BT Sport) I have plenty of alternatives. Unless they have any more exclusive content that's worth watching there's a reasonable chance I won't renew Amazon Prime.
Sunday 18th January, 2015 17:51
Excellent, nerve wracking game. Never expected @Arsenal to win, away, against City, without anyone getting injured. Defended corners well.
Saturday 10th January, 2015 20:48
Finally built Nmap with VS2013 (without nmap-update); now trying to update OpenSSL to 1.0.1k (just hit this issue: https://t.co/r82C3kR95p).
Wednesday 7th January, 2015 22:12
BBC News - Antibiotics: US discovery labelled 'game-changer' for medicine http://t.co/A260Ijb2IJ #teixobactin
Renewed SSL Certificate
Sunday 4th January, 2015 19:59
With around 6 weeks to go, I renewed my SSL certificate early. The process could have been a touch smoother, but then again I didn't have to renew my SSL certificate using GoDaddy. Yes, I still think they're a bit evil, but their certificates are basically supported by everyone. The automated process for domain validation takes a surprisingly long time before it fails (as I didn't buy my domains through them and I've protected my whois details) and sends the email containing the unique code to verify domain control. Plus there's an interim period of around 15 minutes between telling you about the HTML file and DNS options on the web page and the email/code actually being generated (which causes a bit of confusion on the web page). It's meant to retest every 15 minutes, but they also give you a button to click if you want to notify them - although this doesn't appear to speed things up.

Still, I got there in the end, and the zip file with everything I needed for IIS was well packaged. It only took a few minutes to install the new certificates, configure things on my server, and verify everything was okay using the Qualys SSL Labs site. I only get a rating of B because Windows Server 2008 support TLS 1.0 but doesn't support TLS 1.2, and because I still support RC4 ciphers which is weak (but if I didn't it might stop more people from connecting, although it sounds like this would only affect a very tiny fraction of Internet users nowadays).

I'll probably address all of these remaining issues over the summer, as I'm seriously considering moving this website (and possibly a couple of other things) into the cloud. I already have one VM in Microsoft's cloud (currently just a secondary DNS server, but with the ability to scale if I ever need it to do anything more demanding), which has worked flawlessly so far, so it's very tempting to create a new Windows Server 10 VM whenever it's released. Especially when the current server has been running for several years.
Friday 2nd January, 2015 20:41
18 minutes into a movie with Sean Bean. He just died. Totally saw that coming. #inevitable
Civilization: Beyond Earth
Thursday 1st January, 2015 12:16
I finally got around to installing the new Civilization game after receiving it as a present over Christmas. Instead of installing from the DVD, I entered the code straight into Steam and installed the latest version. Then I tried playing it. It was all looking good until it tried to display the world map. This resulted in an APPCRASH in civilizationbe_dx11.exe due to a fault in the d3d11.dll module. I was pretty sure that Microsoft weren't at fault, as DirectX is pretty robust nowadays. I searched the Internet and spotted a few other people had this problem. They all have similar graphics cards too. Specifically, cards that are DX10.1 that can run DX11 but obviously without all the features. My assumption is that the Fall Update uses something that requires DX11 capabilities without checking that it'll actually work on DX10.1 cards that run DX11 (it's possible it may be something specific to NVIDIA's driver v340.52, which appears to be the last version released for DX10.1 cards, but I've not tested the latest version with an older driver and there aren't any newer beta drivers to try).

This appears to be confirmed by a post on the 2K forum, stating:

there is a problem affecting even above-minimum systems where they have nVidia GPUs of 300-series and older (and the 405), so it's possible that when it's fixed for them, it will work for you again

Thankfully it finishes with a link that tells you how to run the pre-patched version using Steam's beta option. That seems to have done the trick, and I was able to play it for a few hours yesterday with no problem:
  1. Right-click on the game, select "Properties".
  2. Select the "Betas" tab.
  3. Type in the password "legacyplease" and click "Check Code".
  4. Select the "legacy" beta from the pull-down.
NOTE: This is only available for the PC version of Civilization: Beyond Earth, and playing the legacy version of the game will prevent you from seeing/playing with players using the current version.
Thursday 1st January, 2015 12:02
I really should RMA my broken GTX 780 though, which would solve two problems.
Thursday 1st January, 2015 12:00
Using "legacyplease" beta to play Civilization: Beyond Earth as my GTX 275 is DX10.1 and Fall Update requires DX11 http://t.co/ZHcVCm18Mx
Happy New Year
Thursday 1st January, 2015 01:06
Have a great 2015.

If you're an Arsenal fan, maybe we'll sign a defender and/or defensive midfielder in January. Fingers crossed.
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The views and opinions expressed on this site do not represent the views of my employer.