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4K’s Sharp look

- November 11th, 2013
Sharp's 4K UD1

Sharp’s 4K UD1. (Supplied)

When it comes to flat-panel TVs, Sharp thinks big. Through its high-end AQUOS line, it only offers TVs 60 inches and larger.

Alongside its 1080p LED TVs,  and its Quattron models (which add a yellow sub-pixel to the standard RGB colour setup), Sharp recently added a 4K ultra-high definition model to its lineup – the UD1. And I got a demonstration of the 70-inch television last week.

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Avoid ‘Breaking Bad’ spoilers with Netflix’s Spoiler Foiler

- September 25th, 2013
Spoiler Foiler

Spoiler Foiler. (WEBSITE SCREENSHOT)

Are you tired of having your favourite show ruined by those terrible people of Twitter who live tweet every moment of every episode live before you have a chance to see it yourself?

If so, you may be interested in Netflix’s new site Spoiler Foiler. Set up specifically for Breaking Bad, the site is designed to black out tweets about the show so your life won’t be destroyed by accidentally reading random details posted about the show. According to Onion’s A.V.  Club, it blacks out the text of any tweet with the words “breaking” or “bad” in it, with a warning placed on it. And according to my own tests, it censors tweets with the words “white” (as in “Walter White”) or “Pinkman” as well. It may censor other character names and information as well, but I only played around with it for a little bit. If you click the black bar, it will reveal the tweet.

It seems a little strange for Netflix to launch this feature around Breaking Bad, as the show ends this weekend but as the A.V. Club points, if it’s successful, then may launch it around other popular shows as well.

One of the obvious problems is that the site will black out the tweets with the “offending” words whether they are referring to the show or not. (In the screenshot above, Keith Olbermann was not actually tweeting about the AMC show, he just retweeted an insult he received that included the word “bad.”)

But the bigger issue is that Spoiler Foiler is a site and not an add-on for Twitter. You have to go to spoilerfoiler.com and then login to it through your Twitter account, which can be annoying to navigate on, say, a smartphone. The site will load but it’s cumbersome and it’s not useful for anyone who gets notifications through the Twitter app, or uses HootSuite or TweetDeck.

Also, the site itself has some functionality removed. You can tweet, retweet and favourite posts without issues.  You can even tweet through it about Breaking Bad without having them censored. But the hashtags in the tweets aren’t clickable, you can’t access your Twitter lists or even do searches. And the site doesn’t update in real time. The tweets appear in batches.

So, ultimately, I’m not really sure what the point of the site, other than a bad attempt at branding for Netflix and the series. But I guess if you’re really behind on the series but love using Twitter (especially at 9 p.m. this Sunday, this site might be of use to you.)

Of course, it you are up-to-date, you might prefer to watch this preview for the finale instead:

Review: Sharp Aquos LC-60LE857U 3D LED Smart TV

- July 27th, 2013

1-LC-60LE857U_55R

About two and a half years ago I had the opportunity to test-drive Sharp’s 46” Aquos Quattron and gave a review here at Canoe Tech blog. Remember the commercial featuring George Takei (Mr. Sulu from Star Trek) in his white lab coat?  At that time 46″ was still considered reasonably large and I really wanted to see whether that one little yellow pixel would really make a difference. Fast-forward to today and Sharp Aquos Quattron has taken a leap forward. Not only have screens increased up to 90”, they’ve also become a lot smarter in the 6, 7 & 8-series models.

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