Sunday, 20 September 2015

Windows 10 App Update: Mail & Calendar App

Windows 10 App Update
Mail & Calendar App

Version 17.6216.42271.0 ~ 20th September 2015



You can't miss this, because on first load you'll think you've fired up the wrong app!

Yes, Themes come to the mail app and it's absolutely striking at first glance. I'm unsure how practical it is, but my initial impression was WTF, but some ten minutes later I'm currently thinking "Hmmm, Not sure if I'll keep it but it's pretty":

The default is the rather artistic countryside lake, and it's better than the previous default background window, but this time the theme also takes up the far left panel behind your accounts and folders, so it might make seeing some writing harder, but in a most unlike Microsoft move, they have already given us the ability to customise it all! Hard to believe huh?

Under options\personalization you now get all these settings:

There's the option to change the accent into lots of different colours, the introduction of a dark theme (I know people love that!) and you can change the background picture to some other more simplistic pictures or something of your own choice. You can also say NOT to put the background photo over that left panel, which is very welcome!

Here's my mailbox in the dark theme, with green accent and a different background:

Inbox Count

Would you believe it? You wait for a bus and two turn up at once!

Yes, you can now see the inbox count of your mailboxes at a glance! It's on the left panel near the top, as seen in previous screenshots:

Clicking on the accounts heading now opens up the accounts menu towards the far right of the screen. Don't think it used to do that? Ah, it may have. Who knows! Too excited by the changes to remember.

Composing an email

The "ribbon" or toolbar for each of the options when composing an email are now permanently on display rather than appearing only when you clicked on them:

Call Security!

Under Options and for each account, down the very bottom, each account now has the following extra settings:

Mail Icon gets the blues

Very minor but in the taskbar the Mail Icon now has some blue colour in it:

What's Not Changed

  • No combined mailbox view - I know some people want this. I'm not bothered though.
  • Syncing issues - I did my first manual sync and got an error. Somethings never change huh?
  • Conservation view is ON BY DEFAULT - Noooooooo, but don't worry, you just have to turn it off for each account again.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Falling Skies: S05E10: "Reborn"

Rating: 4

In A Nutshell

Finally, an episode to look forward to, not least because this is the LAST TIME we'll ever have to watch this rubbish. I don't know why, but I was hopefully it'll end with some drama and real tension, but of course, it didn't.

After a little opening speech from a future Matt Mason, I thought we were all going to go a little Star Trek: Enterprise finale on us for a moment or something, which would have been typical for this show, but they stayed in the present thankfully, although possibly listening to Matt for 40 minutes more might have been better than what followed.

The attack at the end of last week's episode was quickly thwarted by our 2nd Mass, thanks it seems to Marty (the crazy father who Weaver helped several episodes ago), who came storming out from somewhere with a machine gun. Well, he seemed to get all the credit for some reason, getting killed in the process. Makes a change that it wasn't a Mason who saved the day ...

We then have a biker crew arrive. Sadly, it's not Pope's gang, but some other people on their way to DC. Why do they let them through the gates before asking who they are in this show? Anyhow, the biker gang agree to help take down a massive wall around DC and provide a distraction for the 2nd Mass. Using the classic plot aide of service tunnels, Tom and the gang progress to DC Queen HQ by way of creeping past alien glowing eggs, like something out of an Aliens Film. No where near as creepy and dramatic though. Everyone is reminded not to touch the eggs, as they creep about, so it comes as no surprise when one of gang wants a closer look at an egg, and ends up getting killed by whatever was inside, sending everyone trigger happy, including someone who lets off a missile, which ends up killing the alien and him, but naturally not Tom, who evades the explosion. He's now cut off from the rest so that he can do his Tom saves the day thing I expect. Seizing the opportunity, Hal changes his mind once again on which girl he loves, and proposes to Maggie! Yup, this guy is not only indecisive but a real sleaze!

Tom comes out of the tunnels right next to that statue in DC and just around the corner from where the Queen is hanging out. With the distraction going on elsewhere in DC, it seems the Queen is amazingly unprotected. Yup, not even the one alien guard, which makes no sense quite frankly. But hey, it does help speed up the finale. Tom faces off with the queen who quickly gets him in some sort of web, with the weapon device Tom was carrying just conveniently out of arm's reach. You know that'll be no problem for Tom though. The Queen then gives us a rather dull speech about why it's all humanity's fault that they came back, telling us about the last time the aliens were here and how we killed her daughter or something. It was really a pathetic story that did nothing for her side of the tale. Naturally Tom defends humanity with a "you provoked us" speech which has little justification or fact to back it up. Very much a playground scrap this. "You started it", "No, he did!" blah blah.

Anyhow, as the Queen starts sucking out Tom's blood, he manages to reach the weapon with his hand, and uses it on himself, in order to get the weapon to go through his blood and into the queen who makes a noise and then blows up into a handful of dust. Very unthrilling. I thought they'd done stuff to that weapon to stop it attacking humans anyway?

So, that's basically it. Humanity has won the day. I assume all the other aliens around the planet also just left or died right then? We never see it happen.

What we do see though is Ann Mason, with the rest of the gang, collapsing injured from that missile blast earlier. She succumbs to her injuries in a heroic ending for her of sorts. Ben runs off, for some reason, and finds Tom, who tells him how he finished off the Queen, and Ben tells him about Ann. Tom rushes back, and remember how those ex-wife-vision-aliens saved him, marches absolute miles carrying Ann's dead body back to that river and demanding they fix Ann.

Then, for no really good reason, Pope shows up! Yes, he's still not dead, and gets more lives than Tom. He's very much injured but says he got looked after by someone. Was it the same family as Tom did a while back? Dunno, it's just a ridiculous tale he gives anyway. He offers Tom a gun to shoot him but Tom says the war is over. Pope makes a groan. Not sure if he died then or not. It's all just too daft and pointless really, no matter how much I loved Pope. He's been given a very pathetic ending, but this is the show full of pointless and flat storylines so we shouldn't have expected anything else.

In the final few minutes we skip to the not so distant future and see everyone all dressed up and happy, where Tom gives a final speech. Naturally everything is fantastic now the war is over. Anyone who has fired a gun is now in a military uniform looking smart. Matt is on a date with his girlfriend. Hal is with Maggie. It's all vomit inducing stuff as Tom waffles on about America and thousands of people nearby in DC all clap and cheer. Sigh.

What I liked

It's the finale. The last episode ever of this show. That's a big plus point.

The Queen looked big and mean but ultimately not really given much screen time sadly.

We saw Pope! But I wish they never bothered. It was a pointless scene.

Marty goes out in glory ... although I'm not sure how he got the credit for saving the day.

What I Didn't Like

Service tunnels ... convenient.

Tom is sent flying by Queen, but weapon lands within his reach ... convenient.

Tom uses weapon on himself, although I thought they'd manipulated the weapon to not attack humans? Or was that just not kill them?

Ann dies but is brought back to life.

No one else of any significance in the main cast faced any real life or death moment, except Tom (but that's par for the course) and Ann. Didn't feel like much was on the line.

I know there was a distraction in DC, but you telling me the Queen would have been left with zero guards?

Pope scene totally pointless and ruined everything that had been built up in the season between him and Tom.

Hal proposes to Maggie, despite not giving any hint of going back to her since he met his new girlfriend.


As soon as someone said not to touch the eggs, you knew someone would.

The Queen is big naturally, but not really anywhere near as interesting as one might think. And totally unguarded? Seriously?

The Weapon conveniently happened to lodge just within Tom's reach, who uses it on himself to kill the Queen. Didn't they reprogram the weapon to not affect humans?

If we thought last week's Pope finale was rubbish, then bringing him back for this scene was another step too far.

The only thing missing from these cheesy scenes were medals being handed out.
And Finally

What can one say? It was pretty much a given that this season, being it's last, would in some way expedite a route to a resolution, and indeed it did. There wasn't much really that went down in this episode as it was a fast tracked to success. Some episodes this season have almost crawled along, with no attempt made at winning the war, and they were all the much better for it, but when it came down to the 2nd Mass concentrating on the enemy, things never really seemed t0o insummentable. The finale lacked any real gravity of the dire situation they were in, the risks, and the absolutely number of aliens in DC. It seemed a walk in the park, which ironically that section of DC actually is.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Extant: S02E13: "The Greater Good"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

So, we reach the finale, and it couldn't have come quick enough. True to form, all tension has been drained from the show over the course of the season, and we face a finale that we are wanting to see, but all for the wrong reasons. Does anyone really care who lives and dies here?

JD is still down and half dead, but thankfully Molly turns up and gives him some of her blood ... as you do. I couldn't watch this. Not because it was ridiculous, but the whole blood thing does me in. Naturally, as she has super alien blood, it helps heal him, and after fearing she was Moll-bot briefly and waving a gun about, the introduction of Molly's fan club into the room seems to persuade him that all is ok. Phew, that was a close one. He could have done us all a favour!

Molly goes with Hera to see Ares, who says her name is mud amongst the hybrids and they want nothing to do with her. Molly says the end is coming for everyone. Ares reminds her that she created the alien killer virus. This scene ends there ... remember that, because later in episode Ares and his gang turn up to help Molly. Seems she swung them around to her way of thinking without saying anything!

Lucy gets further orders from Taalor, the supercomputer AI with the Windows 95 screensaver, and finds out that Moll-bot is now her boss. She's not too happy about that.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Ethan track down Julie's legs (yes, her artificial legs with the tracker in them. Can't go losing your legs) back to the ruddy lab. You'd think Charlie would look there in the first place! Anyhow, they discover Julie down in the basement, and rescue her just in time as that oxygen timer ticks from 1% to 0. She's in remarkably good condition as she can even walk, which almost is alien like after suffering from oxygen depletion. They even evade the security drones who were behind them one moment but gone the next. Jeez, security these days.

Having put a new plan into place to take down Taalor, Moll-bot and Lucy turn up at Julie's apartment now they've left 15 minutes ago! Quite why Moll-bot didn't kill JD the first time around or keep him captive, I don't know. This show isn't supposed to make much sense.

JD isn't happy with Molly over the alien blood but it's hard to tell how pee'd he is really as he seems mostly ok, despite some soul searching complaints and the odd joke. Taking down Taalor will take down Ethan too, discover the amazingly recovered Julie, with Charlie. Ethan overhears and gives the most unconvincing and rubbish speech about how he's happy to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Right.

At Taalor HQ, Molly, JD and Charlie take out the humanich guards with explosives, and then infiltrate the building, meeting some very weak resistance. They end up in a maze, created by Taalor to fool people. Ares and his hybrids turn up outside and combine to take down the power grid, but are outwitted by Taalor somehow. Who knows how but they are. Ares calls his now-buddy Molly as gunshots rang out in the background and Ares sounding on death's door, presumably as Moll-bot and Lucy arrived outside, whom we see a little later. JD, Charlie and Molly illogically all decide to go off in different directions in the maze. JD takes out some humanich guards along the way quite easily with his gun, but he's starting to feel ill as the alien blood wears off. Charlie discovers some of the walls are projections but this revelation doesn't help anyone, as he bumps into Moll-bot and Lucy. Moll-bot stands in front of him and shoots him point blank ... in the shoulder. Jeez, Moll-bot has a rubbish shot! She got JD in the gut and now Charlie in the shoulder. Why? It makes little sense why she doesn't just kill them as she doesn't use them for any extra value. Lucy however wants the kill, and so Moll-bot allows her to do the deed. However, for no reason at all, Lucy searches Charlie's pocket and finds the pendant. Taalor tells her to use it on herself, for the greater good. Lucy hesitates. Charlie tells her not to do it and that Taalor is using her but she then just takes it anyway. But, ha!, it's a fake. Lucy goes to kill Charlie who tries hard to convince her not too.

Scene cuts to Molly, who has discovered the way to the server room via some rubbish Calderon code. This is a classic server room. Seems ten or so servers are the main hub of Taalor. He tries to talk Molly out of it, before Moll-bot shows up from behind one of the servers. Moll-bot and Molly have a brief fight, involving at least one server getting trashed for good measure. JD shows up and has the predictably anticipated JD versus Molly and Moll-bot who is who dilemma. How will he know who to shoot? Will one of them say something that only the real Molly could know, like something from the last 24 hours? Could the real Molly just use her hybrid powers and have JD shoot Moll-bot? Or maybe they could just keep saying and acting the same, leaving JD to just shoot one of them randomly? Yes, it was the latter of course. He claims he could tell from Molly's eyes which one to shoot. Bull-shit. Anyhow, as he gets locked out of the server room whilst taking down more humanichs, it seems Moll-bot isn't dead afterall. Rather than just snapping Molly's neck, Moll-bot uses the classic bearhug of death move, for some stupid reason, to which Molly responds by using hybrid super strength to pull that useful critical component out of Moll-bots back, killing her.

On cue, Lucy now comes out from behind one of the servers. Jeez, why is everyone hiding behind them? And how did they get in the room? How did Moll-bot in the first place? The door was locked? Oh, who cares! Lucy is now pro-Molly too and tells her how to use the necklace/amulet/pendant. Taalor starts to shut down, as does Ethan outside, and Lucy also behaves as if she's having a seizure. All the humanichs on the various flights to take the human virus around the world, also start to die, by way of vomiting disgustingly in front of scared passengers. Charlie and JD now arrive in the server room, leading to Lucy dieing in Charlie's arms. Jeez. Hard to tell how those two felt about each other! Lucy is glad to be free. We're glad it's the finale.

Outside, Molly is super happy and the audience groans as Ethan survives a finale yet again, this time thanks to an extra firewall protecting him from the virus. Sigh. Also, more good news, as it seems all the hybrids outside haven't been killed after all! Yes, they are picking themselves up and dusting down those cobwebs. What?

Things conclude with Molly giving a speech to congress on how she lied before to them and that there are aliens on earth. Seems to go down extremely well. She didn't say why she lied before though. She also gives no proof that Ares has freaky powers.

In the final scenes, we see that Taalor has downloaded himself into a humanich body. He's gone for a coffee and taken to walking about looking like Dick Tracy.

What I liked

JD had the best line after being not very pleased with Molly giving him alien blood. "When were you going to tell me?" He asked. "When my eyes glowed up as I shaved?"

It's the finale. What's not to like? Well, news that there's no third season would be good.

What I Didn't Like

Ethan survives. again. sigh. Seems it's impossible to have any real drama or tension in this show when everyone keeps amazingly surviving peril!

Ethan death speech ... did ... not ... sound ... right.

Hybrids take down power core, something they'd barely shown they can do before, and are taken out in gunfire, but seem ok afterwards?

Humanichs get shot easily and die, although last week they needed something else to melt them all down?

Molly's speech. She didn't say why she lied or that Ares had alien powers. No wonder everyone seemed ok about aliens. They think they are regular people to have coffee with and play house.


Low on air, and obviously feeling quite warm, seems Julie took her shoes off in the container, but had a lovely mattress to lie upon.

There is something worse than Molly; two Mollys. Just shoot them both for goodness sake!

Aliens are here. People don't appear too concerned.
The hybrids all seem mostly ok, despite Ares saying they were down and gunshots were raining down on them when Moll-bot, Lucy and Co turned up.

Taalor goes all Dick Tracy on us and also seems to enjoy coffee. I assume his face is hidden because he's used John Wood's image? There seems little other reason to dress up otherwise.

And Finally

As expected, the finale was full of zero tension and no one of any significance truely placed in dire peril or suffered from any consequences. Much like season one, things had started off with promise, and then slowly descended into boring, farcical, run-of-the-mill stuff that you wish you never had to witness. JD and his ex-wife just about come out of the series with any honour, as perhaps does Fiona, who was quite stern and authoritative up until she also suffered from poor plot work last week. Lucy, as daft and obnoxious as she was, we did at least know what to expect from her. She turned out to be the only real tangible foe, as Taalor, the hybrids and other humanichs never really gained much traction after promising much but delivering little.

Ethan didn't save the world as I predicted, but he also somehow survived once again. Disappointed there was no final double twist, with John Wood, whom I'm still convinced we'll see again. I'm also sure Lucy will be back but will this show get a third season?

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Extant: S02E12: "Double Vision"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

After last week's rather doll episode that was quite busy, this week it's much more subdued and slightly better because of it.

Things start with the bizarre suicide of Charlie! Well, attempted. He should have been dead though. Seems he decides to committee suicide rather than get help or figure out how to rescue Julie. This guys come up with lots of clever stuff but he's all rather defeated easily here. Even his suicide was as rubbish as his zero rescue attempts as JD and Molly and co walk in whilst he's been hanging there but he's still alive. Amazing huh? 

Meanwhile, JD's wife is out shopping and bumps into Hera who has been shot by a humanich. She helps her evade capture before they get together with Molly and gang to patch her up. A plan is hatched to try and get Fiona's help ... For some reason ... Why they think she's likely to help I don't know. Ethan is the mole. He gets deliberately caught by the GSC and goes for nice walk with Fiona to the park. Ethan has her use VR to talk with Molly who tries to convince her to check the drone logs. John or Toby's drone logs then? Lucy tries but fails to trace the call thanks to that handy thirty seconds rule which is mentioned so many times that you knew all would be OK.

Madame secretary Fiona, fueled by other strange stuff going on at the GSC, not withstanding some stolen human deadly virus from their labs, finds the drone had no logs. That's not good. She's now pro-Molly and suspecting that damm dirty A.I supercomputer, Taalor. She's right to, because it was the A.I who got Lucy to get the virus capsules and she's now handing them out to humanichs who are about to go on some lovely tourist visits to well-known countries around the world, chalking up those air miles for the GSC.

Another plan is hatched to bring down Taalor before these humanichs can fasten their seatbelts and start watching the in-flight movie. But this plan goes wrong, leading to JD and his crime pal to have to bail out of Taalor's datacentre building and avoid getting shot by guards who seem as incompetent as stormtroopers. Not having a clue what when wrong, Molly hatches another great plan, she'll get the new evil hybrid leader and have him help them. Right ...

Meanwhile, Ethan does what hapless Charlie didn't even think of, and tracks Julie's artificial legs. Seems they have some sort of WI-Fi chip in them. Of course they do. You'd think Charlie would have thought of that???!? Anyhow, she was down 10% of air at the end of the last episode, which 90% left. In theory there shouldn't be any air left by now, surely? Guess, as she's not in a car and phoning Molly, she might well survive.

Finally, Lucy and humanich friends at the lab, create a Molly humanich. You'd think things couldn't get more ridiculous? How could one tell difference from real dull boring Molly and a humanich robot, which I'll call Moll-bot. Well, JD could be fooled. Somehow Moll-bot finds where JD is hanging out, has found the same clothes as Molly was wearing, tricks JD into revealing Molly has the pendant that'll take down Taalor. For good measure, and no real reason, Moll-bot shoots JD in the stomach, rather than the head or somewhere conclusive.

What I liked

To see all GSC staff murdered by humanichs was the kind of gritty scene we need much more off. It had more powerful weight than anything else in episode ... or most of the season.

Taalor isn't an easy A.I. to outwit ... At least not in a penultimate episode. Next week he'll probably be caught in an DLL hell hack.

What I Didn't Like

Charlie decides this week to not engage his brain and commit suicide as he believes Julie is dead. It's just bizarre he'd have no clue in to how to find her or ask for help.

Most people die within seconds by hanging, but Charlie is still alive by the time rescue comes.

Julie only had 90% of oxygen left at end of last episode when she'd only been in box for an hour or so. Realistically she should be dead by now but stupid things happen in this show.

Fiona comes to her senses rather suddenly after not believing anything before but believes Molly for some reason.


Every so often this show introduces some rather unexpected character turns. Charlie hanging himself takes the biscuit. The fact he survives is even harder to believe.

Let's see, open yard, two guards with guns, they couldn't surely miss JD and pal, could they?

GSC Staff take a nap
We all thought Molly was already rather like a robot, but this week we get a real Molly robot, or as I like to say, a Moll-bot.
And Finally

Better than last week, thanks to a slightly slower pace, which makes a change. Still, it all takes some believing to a large degree, especially with Charlie's attempted suicide.

Extant: S02E11: "Zugzwang"

Rating: 4

In A Nutshell

Extant is adrift at sea at this point. Clinging to what remains of a decent opening episode to the season, it's only just keeping itself above water, mostly thanks to singlehanded greatness by JD but even he can't save the show anymore now that he's been fully integrated into Molly Madness Mania and started to become just about as dull as she is.

Things start off all reasonably strongly thanks to the stiff upper lip authority of the new head of GSC (although she was more senior than Toby anyway) Fiona, as she waltzes through the building stiring up the staff and making sure they roll up their socks after more breaches in security than quite frankly any of them should still be employed for.

"What do we want?" She asks.
"Hybrids Dead" the staff reply.
"When do we want them dead?" she shouts.
"At least two episodes ago!" they reply.

Ok, none of that speech went on but it should have. She might look in control and serious but she's also stupid as she's entrusting Lucy to be her personal security and spends her time talking to supercomputer A.I. Taalor for advice who is so pro-humanichs that you'd think she'd suspect his advice by now. His final recommendation of the episode for her is to get humanichs on the street to protect humanity. Seems like an OTT idea. We know hybrids are all over the world, but you'd think from this show that there's only a handful of them lurking within this one part of the USA.

Julie and Molly are all loved up together still, as she hands over Ethan to her. This makes little sense, as it's not exactly Julie's decision is it, and there's no mention of if it's for weekend or not. Seems no one is checking what Julie does with Ethan anymore. Charlie and Julie, despite now having humanichs everywhere in their lab, and so obviously being very fake spies as they slyly and amusingly watch everything the two remaining humans do, Charlie and Julie decide to lure Lucy to a date in order to hack her to find out who is sending her instructions. The rather quick and simple date with Charlie goes to plan, and the fake chip implanted into her, but things quickly go south rather predictably, when their hack is discovered. Lucy then turns on her evil chip, and kidnaps Julie, leaving her in an airtight and oxygen depleting storage box for Charlie to try and find. I'd wish him good luck, but I get the feeling he'll not need it.

Meanwhile, the only interesting part of last week's episode concerning if Calderon was good, bad, or maybe somewhere in the middle, is rapidly extinguished. After Molly pulls out a box (from somewhere??) that contains the only leftovers from her previous house, Ethan finds himself playing chess with Calderon using the chessboard from the box. Quite how they jumped at it being Calderon I don't know. He sends them his coordinates, and off they go to the middle of nowhere, where thanks to some dead birds, Molly figures out there's an invisible security fence hiding his establishment. Sure enough, there is, and in they go and end up briefly being held up by Calderon and his robot partner, before things are turned on their head and JD, Molly and Ethan have control of the situation. It's never made clear for ages that Calderon's partner is a humanich, so I don't know why he didn't have her do some special combat moves instead of just simply stick her hands up. Anyhow, Calderon turns out to be mostly all talk and rather dull when it comes to being much use. He blames Taalor for John and Toby's deaths, claiming the A.I. has gone nuts and will do anything to protect humanity, including killing billions of people in the process. After watching Calderon perve on JD and Molly having sex overnight at his place, we then hear him attacking Ethan, who could easily have broken Calderon into two but didn't. JD and Molly dress in super quick time to rescue Ethan, with Calderon claiming he only wanted Ethan's speech chip for his partner who is mute. Ethan fixes the mute and Calderon is then predictably and rather boringly super nice and helpful. He breaks cover to retrieve the pendant from a security box in town, giving it to Molly before he's arrested.

What I liked

Charlie and Julie's plotting was at least a decent subplot, but you just knew that Lucy would be one step ahead of them. I bet Lucy is finally silenced (again) by something rather pointless, like a short circuit, because she's far too intelligent for any complicated hacks.

Lucy is an obnoxious bitch but at least we all know what she's about by now.

There was a nice mystery as to who or what Calderon was about but ...

What I Didn't Like

... Calderon turned up to be very boring and ordinary. A sophisticated elaborate security system, and hidden clues to finding him and we get someone who didn't know much more than about the pendant and couldn't even fix his humanich's speech chip.

Molly and all her "I'm worried I'll kill you JD" rubbish. She's really willing to suddenly forget all the hybrid and humanich crap, just to save JD?


Lucy loves secretes. We love intriguing storylines and mystery but there's fat chance of that in this show.

No one wanted to see this; except Calderon who pervs on Molly and JD.

Julie is trapped, but at least she's got a handy countdown to death.

Calderon, a name only spoken  a few episodes ago, gives himself up, and becomes just another underused rubbish cog in a rather lagging plot.

Puck up those lips, GSC Chief Fiona is not to be messed with as she gives a rousing team speech this week. Well, she tried.
And Finally

Barely keeping itself above dullness, the show continues to suffer from the same issues of last season, when there were at least 5 episodes more to the season than anyone really wanted or needed. This all feels very much like filler and stretching out ways to make something vaguely interesting more dull by having too many concepts outstay their welcome.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Falling Skies S05E09: "Reunion"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

Ending very much with a whimper thus far, but can the penultimate episode rack up the tension and quality ahead of the finale?

Hell No. The title of this episode is 'Reunion' and that's quite apt, considering it brought back some characters but it was the kind of school reunion you'd rather not have attended, because you never really liked them the first time around. More of that in a moment.

Ben is this week taking ice baths at regular intervals as he attempts to learn more from the alien communication device. You know, the thing that's like a coal fire? I assume the cold baths help him concentrate although that's barely explained how the process is exactly working. He scribbles out lots of random stuff on a blackboard which only comes to relevance a little later after they've learn't that a queen is in DC and this could be the end of the battle. If it's not, then, well, they've run out of airtime quite frankly.

Reunion 1 involves the person no one wanted to see again. Not us viewers or anyone in the show, as Alexis shows up whilst on a nearby patrol. Looking dishevelled, she says she's no idea where she's been but not to worry that she's a trap or trick. Right. Thankfully common sense prevails this week, and literally no one is willing to believe anything she says, except maybe Tom, who thinks it might be worth the chance. What is it with this guy? Anyhow, she finally shows her true colours, attempting to kill him but Ben saves the day with another alien weapon. Yes, earlier in the episode, Tom was summoned off base by his alien friend who likes to masquerade as his ex-wife still, although I'm not sure why. We know it's an alien really. Down by a massive river, she gives Tom a weapon to use on the queen that'll kill them all. Literally all. Seems like a good way to end everything with only one episode left right? Her massive spaceship comes out of the river to deliver the device, and it seems no one notices this ruddy great big thing in the sky!! Well, this is Falling Skies after all. Lots of daft stuff in this show.

And that leads us on to reunion 2; Pope. After having the best episode of the season earlier, Pope is sent on his way this week in the style of Boba Fett. He tricks his way into the compound like something out of Little Red Riding Hood. It really is quite ludicrous. Then there's a hell of a gun battle before Pope takes up his position next to a number of explosive barrels. He might as well have been wearing a red shirt. Sure enough, Tom and co destroy the barrels and thus literally blow Pope up. It's all over in 2 minutes and was very dissatisfying in every way possible. It was also rather pointless and stupid.

On top of that, the soldier who eloped with Pope in the first place, suddenly has a change of heart this week. After being responsible for abducting Doctor Mason, and joining in with everything Pope has done since, and never once complained, this week he decides to take a bullet for the doctor. Later in the episode he tells Weaver he has learn't the error of his ways. Weaver almost gives him a big hug and kiss when he tells him he forgives him and wants him to help them out. Jeez. Wtf?!!??! This makes no sense quite frankly.

Right at the end, with everyone now ready to go gun ho on Washington DC, after figuring out the most simplest of puzzles that Ben learnt from his baths, we see a mass of flying aliens arrive.

What I liked

I enjoyed Pope's going gun ho on everyone and his few quips, but it was all rather pointless a sub-plot. He didn't deserve that.

Ben's baths were not explained much but at least it looked like he'd been through hell getting the intel on the queen.

What I Didn't Like

Alexis returns. It wasn't really her but that didn't matter. She was boring before and even more so as an alien trap.

Pope was giving the most dissatisfying death scene imaginable. Totally ridiculous showdown and a rubbish ending for him.

The alien's weapon experiments done by Doctor Mason were at least showing some sort of concern over just using something they knew nothing about, but it all felt like filler and rather dull stuff.


Large ship comes out of river. Nobody seems to have noticed.

Ben goes through hell this week, much like we have for years watching this show.

Alexis returns in perhaps the most unwelcome comeback ever.

Pope takes cover ... besides lots of highly explosive barrels. Sigh.

Best get lots of fly swatters and pesticides ready because they'll be needed next week.

And Finally

The finale can't come soon enough. Hopefully the second mass will be wiped out along with the aliens if we're all lucky!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Windows 10 App: Mail & Calendar App: Top 5 Most Annoying Issues

Windows 10 App
Mail & Calendar App

Top 5 Most Annoying Issues - Grr

1. Attachments never download

If there was something about a Mail App that you'd not expect to have a problem with, it'll be downloading attachments. Sure, you may think they might be tricky to download due to some complicated way the app developers construed how to perform such an operation, but in this app, all you have to do is click on an attachment's frame in an email and it starts the downloading. Bingo! Easy. What could go wrong?

Well, if you're a fan of watching the clothes in the washing machine tumble around in circles, then there's no problem because what happens more often than not is this ...

Solution? Use another email client or the web version of the account's service, because if you see the progress ring for longer than 10 seconds, you can safely be sure that your attachment will never ... ever ... download.

When it comes to the Mail App's attachment download woes, size of the attachments really doesn't matter.

2. Email Syncing

Sure, you've set the mail app to automatically sync each account on a certain frequency, but we all love to do a manual check don''t we? 

Well, don't bother in the Mail App, because most of time it doesn't work. Much like the attachment issue, you'll find it spinning around saying it's syncing but never finishing. Unlike the attachment woes though, this does at least eventually error and tell you that something went wrong ...

See, every cloud has a silver lining, huh?

Solution? Don't manual sync. Just let the app do it automatically on whatever schedule you set. Manual sync isn't worth the pain.

3. Sending an email to oblivion

So, you've compiled an email and the Mail App hasn't randomly crashed? Result! What could go wrong after you pressed the send button and the email has disappeared off your screen?

Well, if you've used the Mail App as your daily email app, then you'll have certainly found out by now that you can't rely on the send button actually doing what it says on the tin. Any experienced Mail App user will know by now that after sending any email via the app that they should firstly check the outbox, press sync, check it again. Clear? Great. It's gone, right? Nooooooo. You Crazy Fool! Next, check the Sent Items folder, sync, check again? Oh look, your email never shows up in the sent items? Fancy that ...

It's not everytime, but it's happens far too often that emails don't get sent, or they end up in oblivion (i.e. not in Sent Items or Outbox, but Mail App Hell).

Solution? Make sure you save a draft before you press send for any email. Drafts tend to happen mostly by default in the mail app thankfully if you spend any length of time composing, but it's worth doing it one last time before pressing send, because, anything could happen after you send that email.

Another tip, if you did forget to save a draft or can't find the draft after the email has been sent and gone missing ... Head to C:\Users\<Your logon name>\AppData\Local\Packages\microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps_8wekyb3d8bbwe and check through all the folders for recent .eml or .html files as I've found my emails that have gone to oblivion usually hanging around in a folder there somewhere. You may not get all the text or pictures, but you might get something salvageable.

4. Inbox Count

You want to find out the total number of unread emails in all your accounts at a glance? Tough. 

Solution? Use another email client? It's not a big issue really, but annoying, as you'll have to go into each account and read the Inbox count number.

5. Mail Folders

Add a sub-folder to an email account at your peril because I wouldn't wait around expecting to then log into the same account's web client and find that folder anytime soon. Vice Versa is even worse! 

There's no manual folder list update button like you get in Outlook. The folders do get updated, but when it happens seems to be random. It's not on pressing sync, or opening the app, as you might think. A button is really needed here to force the folder list update.

Solution? Don't bother and/or chill out when creating sub-folders and wanting to see them in the Mail App or in another email client after creating them somewhere, because this app has a mind of it's own when it comes to updating the folder list.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Extant: S02E10: "Don't shoot the messenger"

Rating: 5

In A Nutshell

Replicating season one, Extant has taken a real nose dive in quality and even though it's Sci-Fi and thus takes a little bit of acceptance that it's not based on anything to do with current reality, lots of the plot developments take quite some believing at any level.

Things start off unfortunately back at that boring dragged out circus from last week that we all suffered. No wonder Molly died. Probably through boredom at the place. Anyhow, naturally she isn't dead. This show wouldn't exist without her involvement both as a character and actress, so she ain't going anywhere folks. Yes, she gasps for air once more, after having vision in the circus of having shot JD and carrying some sort of pendent. Quite why they had to turn the circus from past experiences to potential future experiences, I don't know, but as both of these "vision" elements revealed themselves later in the episode, it wasn't much of a vision really. 

So, Molly wakes up from the dead and shreds all her skin like the other hybrids have done. Still looks more like dodgy makeup than actual skin but hey ho ... JD and Toby as now having a bromance it seems as they get trapped in the elevator during all the crazy stuff kicking off with the hybrids in the GSC. The smoke alarm trick though gets them out, and they go their separate way, only to moments later be reunited, giving you the impression that there's about only two rooms in the GSC. Ethan has evaded Julie and all security, which you'd think would be very tight in a GSC, and finds Molly trapped in her hospital room. There's a password error on the keypad, but don't worry, Ethan is a human robot, so he can do some sort of Star Trek Data stuff and figure it out right? No, he just presses a button and everything is overridden. Oh ... ok ... 

In another bizarre continuity oddity, the lead scientist at the GSC is found also wondering the corridors whilst everyone else has long ago been evacuated. Absolutely makes no sense why he's there or what he adds to the plot, which seems to be only so he can be killed by ... Lucy! Yes, mad robot is back and so are all the humanichs as they are released into the GSC to kill the hybrids ... which ultimately, after much marching about, they fail to do anything as the hybrids are gone ... except for Hera of course, who is planting multiple bombs in this virus room and ready to press the trigger to detonate ... when Molly turns up outside and asks to be let in. You can get why Hera would let her in, but then it turns out that Toby is also inside the room! Huh? Why? What could he have done to convince her to let him in? Did he just override the lock? Why hadn't she just killed him? She then uses her hybrids powers to have Toby say he loves Molly, which I don't understand at all. Pointless waste of time. Molly naturally convinces her not to blow them all up, saying that peace is the way forward. Toby is also suddenly on her side 100%. What? Where did he suddenly see the light? Then JD turns up, having already noticed Molly was out and alive, they then decide to escape via the evacuation tunnels but Toby stays behind to pretend he had no part in their escape. They leave via the door and a second later the whole level explodes ... yet ... it quickly materialises that the explosion which evil hybrid left behind only killed 6 staff and not Molly and friends who would have been around that location at the time, or certainly the humanichs?? This all doesn't add up.

Even more bizarre follows as Molly and gang end up in another of JD's secret places that is shielded from all detection. Molly though gets a call from Toby who gave her his phone. Seems phonecalls can get through. He wants to meet her. JD gives her a cloak to protect her from facial recognition which given the dark dingy backstreets where she goes to meet him, I'm not sure what's going to be watching her there. Suddenly, the other humanich's creator, Mr Calderwood comes from character obscurity to be the main villain as Toby has looked up his file and suddenly found a 101 ways Calderwood has been manipulating them all and trying to get an army of humanichs to control the world. Quite how he read this and no one else picked up on what was in his file is beyond me. Anyhow, Toby is later arrested for treason after back from the dead Lucy (don't worry, they also wonder how she got fixed too) uses some camera trick to see a reflection in security footage showing Toby giving JD a gun. That's enough to see him charged, but he later evades being put in the prison cell by the one guard escorting him there by gently holding his handcuffed hands, by beating him up and then somehow just walking out of the GSC building despite it being shown that all his security access has been revoked!

Ethan starts going loopy,, after having an entertaining card game with JD in their hideout. Molly and JD take him to Julie to fix, because they all love each other now or something like that. Hera is left behind, having slept through JD making a racket with a cupboard, Molly leaving and returning, and JD having a card game with Ethan. That's a hell of a deep sleep she has. Anyhow, once they've all gone, evil hybrid leader turns up, naturally and we're led to believe she's now back with the hybrid gang. Meanwhile, Ethan goes R2-D2 on us and reads out a message from John! Yup, seems he hid a message in Ethan so that when a humanich kills a human (like Lucy did to that scientist earlier) Ethan will tell them that they have to see Calderwood and he'll save the world from humanichs. So, despite John and Calderwood having a big argument and not being on good terms, John left that safeguard message in Ethan. Odd? It's a nice twist though in this illogical show, to wonder if Calderwood is good or a bad guy.

Meanwhile, Toby, having got out of the GSC without any clearance, is driving his car when he sees a drone, phones Molly, but then gets blown up. Think the moral of the story here is not to phone Molly when in danger.

What I liked

JD and Ethan's card game was the most amusing and genuine scene in the entire episode.

Toby's dead. Ok we don''t know for sure but it was a missile that detonated! He was better than some characters, but sadly, failed to really shine overall.

Calderwood, good or bad? At least something interesting to ponder.

What I Didn't Like

That ruddy circus scene. Thankfully only a few minutes this week.

Hybrid attack on GSC was quite frankly rubbish and pointless. Why not just have them all kill each other, if they wanted revenge? Use the mind tricks on them all? Not set bombs that only kill 6 people anyway.

Humanichs didn't actually arrive and find any hybrids to kill. Sigh.

So, Ethan overrides a security keypad by press a button? Wow. That's tight security.

Toby suddenly pro aliens and also strangely in same room as Hera who hasn't killed him for some reason.

Hera sleeps through a lot of noise, making little sense.

Toby escapes the GSC with no security clearance.

GSC level explodes but no humanichs killed despite being nearby but six staff were killed despite the place being evacuated?

Similar to series one, a supposed villain is introduced at the last minute, Nicolas Calderon. How are we supposed to even care about someone we've not heard of?


Molly tries to end the show early by throttling herself ...
Ethan proves that humanichs aren't all that clever as he presses one button to override the security lock
The cloak that JD gave Molly to protect her from facial recognition thankfully doesn't need to be worn over the face
Check your mirror Toby, you're toast.
Hera sleeps unbelievably deeply

And Finally

This should have been tense and frantic, but the hybrid attack on the GSC was dull and devoid of any logical sense. How things developed was full of continuity issues just like last season.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Windows 10 App Update: Mail & Calendar App

Windows 10 App Update
Mail & Calendar App

Version 17.6131.42001.0 ~ 3rd September 2015
(Previous Version 17.6120.42011.0)


Conversation turn off

I can only find one change, but it's a BIG one for most Mail users; conversation view can now be TURNED OFF!

Press the settings button, go to Options and you'll now see the setting below which you can change for each account:


Although pleased with the amount of updates Microsoft release for this app, there are still some issues that bug me about it, but don't stop me using it as my main mail and calendar app thankfully:

Attachment Downloads

There is FAR TOO MUCH occurence of attachments just refusing to download in the app. On smaller attachments the "Please Wait" graphic below will have you hypnotized and dying of old age before anything actually downloads. It's quite frankly ridiculous. I often end up firing up Outlook or web pages to access email attachments instead of the Mail App.

Inbox Count

Still no count of all inboxes at a glance. You have to change through your accounts to see unread numbers.


Is not only prone to timing out, but also erroring. It's not great and it's showing no sign of improving.

Calendar Woes

Still can't tell the app not to bother with a calendar from a certain account. Yes, you can turn off what to display in the app, but you can't say, for example, don't bother with any calendars at all from x account. It's annoying to have calendars in the list that you just don't want.

Plus, although it's getting better, there's still something just a little rubbish about how the app displays calendars that still doesn't appeal to me as any quick way to see what's going on. The live tile is better than the app!

Sending email to nowhere

This might be better in new update, but the amount of times I've sent an email and the app swallows it into oblivion ... always check your outbox in the mail app to be sure it's actually sent it!

Mail Folders

Add a folder at your own peril. There's also no way to ask the Mail App to "Update Folders" like you can in Outlook.