Discover Greenwich Museum

July 9, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Posted in General, London, museum, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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The Discover Greenwich Museum is a new and exciting addition to the Greenwich landscape. Located near the Old Royal College and Cutty Sark, the museum looks out over the river and is full of interactive goodness.

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Oh and information.

That’s important too, not just the bright and shiny things.

When you enter you can either start wandering through the various exhibits or head to the centre of the room for a giant model of the area. The story of Greenwich is then periodically projected down onto the model. It’s very well done but I would suggest that they include a countdown on the screens that surround it, as it wasn’t clear when the next one would start.

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The rest of the museum covers the role of Greenwich from medieval times to today, looking at the construction of some of its landmarks and its place in naval history.

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The museum offers an excellent introduction to Greenwich before heading deeper into places like the Observatory, National Maritime Museum and Old Royal Naval College.

We took our time and it we were done in 30 minutes – oh and it’s free!

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My other criticism was the service. I realise that taking a coffee into a museum can sometimes be a no-no (and sometimes it’s a yes-yes), upon entering I looked for appropriate signage and not seeing any we went in. A staffer told us we couldn’t drink it, which is fine, apparently there is a sign but it’s from their inside café leading to the inside of the museum. Not exactly useful to the rest of us. After being told we could sit on a bench within the museum to finish our drinks yet another staffer came by to ask that we don‘t. So now I will too. Complain that is. End of rant.

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Again besides that little hiccup it was worth a visit.

More pictures over at Flickr.

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Sky Player Rant

August 24, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Posted in General, Random, rant, Television, TV | Leave a comment
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Sky is currently advertising the benefits of its Sky Player, a downloadable piece of software that allows you to watch Sky programming without having a connection at home (with a small payment).

I wanted to be a good net citizen so rather than using alternate arrangements to watch a particular show I chose to go through all the steps and hoops in order to access the player. They were advertising the show on the main page so everything should be fine, right?

Not really, Sky Player is almost a front for a phishing scam. To download the player you have to provide a date of birth and place of birth. Then to access the payment system you have to answer the mandatory question of stating your mother’s maiden name.

While concerned about the ultimate fate of my data I provided this information because I wanted to do the right thing. I completed the steps and put some money onto my account. I clicked onto my preferred show only to be told that this program is restricted to Sky subscribers and specifically those with a particular Sky bolt-on package.

I rang them up and was told licensing restrictions meant some shows can only be streamed to certain Sky subscribers. As an aside if you do successfully pay for a program it will be streamed once; you can pay more for additional rental periods. You have to wonder what happens if there is a problem during the streaming.

I can appreciate that there will always be licensing issues but Sky should not be offering a service – promoting that you don’t need to be a subscriber – let alone a specific package if you can’t follow through. At the very least don’t prominently display shows with specific subscription requirements.

I’ve now deleted the player and I tried to cancel the account but there is no delete account function in the profile settings section.

In the end my efforts fell flat and Sky has more details about me than they really should. It’s a good thing that they’re a benevolent corporation right? Then again data security at Sky and it’s parent company can’t be any worse than the British government.  

I wonder if Hulu in the US is as bad?

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