2009-06-11

Where's the iCal/vCal links in TV Shows, Events, Concerts, etc?!

This is bugging me more and more and more and more and more (hope you get my point). What I'm talking about here is the ability to download event information in iCalendar or vCalendar format from Internet sites.
A long time ago I wrote some sort of a web based calendar application, and one of the things we included in it was the ability to download the events to your computer's electronic calendar. It's so long ago that I almost forgot about it.
Either way, lately I've been trying to free up my head from remembering things like dates and times and really started getting back into organising my computer's and phone's calendar. They're synchronised so I don't have to worry about that. My mail application helps me a bit with these smart tags (or whatever they're called) so that I get this little highlight and a drop down on words that resemble dates and times. It's really easy for me to create a calendar event from it.
But 99% (not scientific 99%) of all websites I visit that have some sort of events do not supply any way for me to easily enter that into my calendar. What's wrong with these people?! Don't they want me to attend their events?!
Let me give you a few examples;
I like watching The Gadget Show, if not simply for the content but also to see how much Jason Bradbury's eyewear frames have grown since the last episode. I went to Five.tv's website to look for a program schedule - there was none, and natually there wasn't an iCal/vCal download.
I want to go to Silverstone Classic, so naturally I'd like to mark it in my calendar. You guessed it, no event iCal/vCal.
I use RadioTimes.com website to check when stuff is on TV... That's correct, there's no easy way to enter that data into my calendar.
I wanted to track Apple's WWDC 2009 keynote. I checked several websites for info, none of them had a downloadable iCal/vCal calendar entry.
I've been to several high-profile concerts this year and last, and none of the vendors of the tickets, including Ticketmaster and Seetickets, offered iCal/vCal downloads.
And so forth, and so forth. Not a single one! None!
I seldom get very animated by stuff like this, but here goes;
WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?!?!?
Don't you want people to attend your events? Don't you want people to watch your shows?

Here's a tip for all of you web developers and web development sales guys/project managers out there; Have a look on your clients website and see if there's any information pertaining to dates and times on the site, and if there is, go sell them "your new downloadable calendar entry". Go do it!
Here's a tip for all of you content providers and event organisers; DEMAND THIS NOW. NOW!

Thank you. I feel better now (until next time I sit there copy-pasting dates incrorrectly from a web page to my calendar).

2009-06-04

Solar Charging my Car

My car stands, sometimes, for weeks on end, simply because I have nowhere to go in it. Its task is to chauffer big things around, not just me. So, there it stands. Batteries don't like that. They kind of like doing things. Kind of like me. Batteries get empty and soulless if left for a while. What I've done so far is to stick a small (Halfors [Halfrauds] call it "up to 1200cc" - as if you should measure battery capacity by the capacity of the engine) charger to the battery. This is sometimes annoying as I tend to forget it. I come out to the car and no charge. On top of this my 1200cc charger *cough* doesn't seem to charge the battery fully either.
The solution, I hope, is a solar panel. Maplin is flogging these panels that are designed to keep 12V batteries trickle charged. They've got different sizes, but when I walked into the shop I just opted for the cheap one. At £13 (well, £12.99) I wouldn't mind it if it didn't work. It's the Solar-Powered 12V / 2.4W Battery Trickle Charger that I bought.
I've already run into two little things that I would want to fix. First of all, the instructions say that I should disconnect the panel from the car before starting the engine. OK, fair enough. But the point of having a panel is to not having to disconnect it and reconnect it. See the "forget" point above. I need to locate a relay that is connected by default, and when power is added it disconnects. I can then take power from the cig lighter sockets to disconnect the panel. Another problem is that I have no 12V permanent point within the coupe. I'm not very keen on running a cable from the coupe straight to the battery as I think I should be able to connect it up in the coupe. I just need to find such a 12V point.
And then I obviously need to mount the panel (semi) permanently somewhere. On top of the dash would be the best spot as it's the only flat surface that can be hit by sunlight from above. All other windows are vertical. The panel comes with suction cups, but they won't work on the dash, so I might just hot-glue-gun the cups onto the dash. Heheheh... joking! Well, perhaps!
If I get all that done, then my car should be able to stay charged without me having to worry about giving it regular attention. In theory anyway.