Blood Pressure – Japanese Tea Advert

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Blood Pressure – Use your Head

The Japanese are well-known for their odd adverts, but this one for a tea that claims to reduce blood pressure takes the biscuit.

Bizarre Advert

Two men stop at the roadside and begin weeing together, a potential forest fire breaks out and in a totally inaccurate representation of the effects of high blood pressure one fellow shoots out more blood than a vampire film. It starts with… ah hell, just watch it and be ready to laugh more than you ever have at an ad with a health focus – but careful with your own blood pressure – you don’t want to blow a gasket.

Japanese Tea Advert – For Blood Pressure

More crazy Japanese adverts can be seen over on this site – not forgeting the curious penchant Japanese men have for young ladies.

Climate Change – Sustainable Wood Furniture

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A leading climate change organisation are promoting this year as the year to bring the issues of climate change to the forefront of international awareness.

Crucial negotiations will take place around the world throughout the year which will decide how the world tackles climate change and global warming in the future.

The call to action is “Get Involved” and for everyone to do what they can to reduce their personal contibution to climate change and reverse global warming.

We at The Shelf would like to show our support for the organisations leading the campaigns to reduce CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases.

Much has been written about air travel and cars contributing to global pollution and for fear of futher adding to the guff we won’t boil our cabbages twice – although we did see an interesting ad for eco car hire which claims that UK drivers could reduce their emissions sharing an economical car. Hire firms are already targeting the eco market so this could soon be

Here’s some less obvious suggestions to help lower your carbon foot print and show a commitment to supporting action on climate change.

Furniture from Sustainable Wood

Most Eco furniture tends to be made from the faster growing softwoods such as pine and spruce which is fine for many uses but there are sources of eco friendly hardwoods that are being managed so that tree replenishment and growth balances the use in fine wood furniture manufacture.  In addition to the renewable hardwood supply increasing another consideration is the durability and long life of oak. Consider an oak dining table and the hard wear it will get during its time in a family home.  Whereas a cheeper pine table might need replacing after a few years, with good treatment and oak table will last for a very long time.

Cool Foods

The Cool Foods Campaign raises awareness how food can affect global warming and empowers people with the resources to reduce this impact. Join the “Cool Foods” Campaign and take a bite out of climate change by changing the way you eat.

Cool Foods are part of Take a Bite a project of the small planet institute.

BBC iPlayer to Offer Higher Quality Content

Technology, The Interwebs, TV & Film 1 Comment »

The BBC iPlayer has been provided with a recent upgrade courtesy of an Adobe Flash upgrade. The upgrade has provided the iPlayer with a reason to encode its video content at a higher bit rate for its popular iPlayer VOD service.

At 800kbps and in H.264 format, the BBC promises better and sharper images which will be ideal for large size, HD ready screens and simultaneously, the BBC will start using AAC+ for audio.

This development also means that both the iTouch and the iPhone will be provided with better quality content via the iPlayer.

The move away from VP6 compression technology is due partly to the fact H.264 and AAC+ are fairly open platforms compared to the aforementioned one which was developed by On2.

Version of the iPlayer that are to be developed in the future will also detect which bit rate to stream automatically, enabling the new iPlayer to cater for a wide range of broadband speeds throughout the country.

“The advantage for the audience will be a noticeable improvement in audio and video quality. Furthermore, it should become easier for the media to simply work across a broader range of devices. While it’s not a magic bullet, it certainly is a significant step in the right direction.”
- BBC director of future media and technology Erik Huggers

The Shelf has previous highlighted how Internet Service Providers had suggested that they should not carry sole responsibly for paying for the extra costs that come as a result of the popularity of the iPlayer’s success. (Titled ISPs vs BBC iPlayer)

Well, after this ISPs could be even more miffed, since it means that in effect, the bandwidth consumed by the average iPlayer user could jump by nearly 60 percent overnight piling pressure on them.

BBC Launch Second Generation iPlayer

Technology, The Interwebs, TV & Film 2 Comments »

A favourite on The Shelf, the BBC iPlayer is due for a second generation overhaul, as the service gets a facelift a year after it was launched in beta.

As part of the plans the iPlayer will integrate both radio and video services into a single player, with increased functionality and user friendly interface.

“We’ve learned quite a bit over the last 12 months about what our audience likes… and we’ve continued to innovate quite substantially.” – BBC group controller Erik Huggers

As part of the increased functionality of the player users will be able to resume last played clips (dependent on cookies) allowing them to resume half way through a program they didn’t have time to watch in its entirety on their last visit.

Another feature that will be added to the service is a TV schedule, allowing users to plan which programs they wish to view in advance, ensuring the seven day play back restriction of favourite shows doesn’t expire without first having the chance to watch them.

As well as incorporating radio into the service, 250 new television programs a week will be added to enable access to the entire BBC schedule free of charge.

The service was first launched on Christmas day 2007, and has since changed the viewing habits of millions of people who are now able to catch up on a range of shows broadcast across the BBC digital channel catalogue. In the last six months alone the BBC state that there have been over 100m programme requests.

The service has proven to be the reason for the success of a range of shows, including Gavin and Stacy which receives 7% of its viewing figure through the service, and The Mighty Boosh which receives 40%.

Currently only available through Windows on the PC, there are also plans for a version of the download service for Mac and Linux.

The Shelf reported in April in ISPs vs BBC iPlayer of pressure from ISP put on the BBC to pay for extra bandwidth due to the iPlayer’s unprecedented success, but huggers commented on that recently stating:

“All that has literally gone silent. We are partnering and working very closely with the ISP community.”

The BBC is also part of a joint commercial venture with ITV and Channel 4 called Kangaroo which is due to launch later this year, and there are plans to integrate the iPlayer into that service. – Protest of Kangaroo

With plans to make its 80 year archive accessible to the public, as well as provide an overseas service, it could very well mean there will eventually be a commercial arm to the BBC’s on demand offerings.

BBFC to Monitor UK Internet Downloads

Gaming, The Interwebs, TV & Film No Comments »

News released today has told of plans to monitor internet downloads of video content and games in the UK by introducing certifications to websites that offer such services.

Overseen by the British Board of Film Classification certificates will appear on sites via set-top boxes and portable players.

The news comes a the same time as new data was released from a survey on internet consumer trends that states people with broadband connections spend more time online than they do watching television.

They voluntary scheme is called and is due to launch by the end of the month with leading Hollywood studios Disney, Warner and Fox having already signed up to the scheme. Other leading players are also tipped to join soon.

The scheme will provide help put “age verification or gate-keeping systems in place for parents to monitor and control underage viewing”. The announcement was made after independent research showed 74% of parents were concerned about the lack of ratings on downloads.

The technical side of enforcement has not been made entirely clear with Peter Johnson of the BBFC stating

“It’s up to individual systems to work out how to introduce these technologies, but we will police it through test purchases”

More than 1,000 videos will have rating on them by the end of May. There is also the potential for the scheme to be rolled out on the Xbox live console, PS3 and Nintendo Wii, as well as video on demand service such as the iPlayer.

The BBFC have stressed that the scheme does not signal any attempt to censor the internet or regulate online video gaming.

Mr Cooke director of the BBFC did however go on to say

“I’m hoping there won’t be any need for legislation to underpin this scheme,”

At The Shelf we remain pessimistic as the big brother eye looms a little bit closer.

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