Posts Tagged ‘iplayer’

Life at the BBC

Sunday, October 14th, 2012 | Tech, Thoughts

Having heard another talk about the BBC’s technology side on Sunday, I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be a pretty awesome place to work.

While they don’t perhaps have the funds that private sector organisations do, I guess I assumed that being a public institution that would be large and lumbering, risk adverse and slow to react.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

For example, they use Scrum. Scrum is an agile methodology used for developing software in the real world (ie, a world where the client is always changing their mind). But they don’t just use it for software – they use it for managing projects right across the business.

Secondly, they’re really up on technology. The speaker on Sunday was telling me about how they had developed an open source project for parsing Gherkin – a lot of software developers might not even know what Gherkin is!

They’ve also previously developed their own JavaScript library, which was a contender alongside jQuery and Prototype (you know, before everyone accepted jQuery was the best, but then everyone realised you could actually just use selectors and not load any library at all).

Not to mention the pioneering work with iPlayer. They launched iPlayer in 2007 – that is five years ago! I can’t really remember a time before iPlayer now, but I don’t think there was many other people doing it at the time. Not to mention that they also have iOS and Android apps available for it too.

In reality, the BBC is no lumbering institution at all – it’s an fast moving, agile, technology-savvy organisation that must be amazing to work at.

You have to believe me, I am over 18

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 | Tech

No, this isn’t another ridiculous situation at Sainsbury’s, I’m talking about the “please confirm you are ana adult” boxes that are constantly popping up on my iPhone, 4OD and BBC iPlayer.

I understand that such apps probably need to confirm that I am over 18 for legal reasons. The problem is that they ask me every time. I’m sure that my date of birth is somewhere in my profile, and even if it wasn’t, the app could prompt me to enter it once and then have done with it.

But it doesn’t, my 4OD app continues to prompt me to confirm I am old enough every time I open it.

Now, even if you accept the idea that a child could steal my iPad and decide the first thing they want to do is watch some video that isn’t appropriate for them on 4OD and hence they need to confirm it every single time, why can they broadcast such shows on TV without requiring such a mechanism.

The answer is the Watershed. After 9pm at night you can broadcast much more filth on TV. But if you’re going to argue down that line, given my device knows what time it is, why can the app not stop prompting me between 9pm and 5:30am?