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TV listings for UK Freesat - updated

I have updated this to be much more user friendly.

For starters, it will cache the channels info for up to 24 hours so it doesn't need to refetch it each time it is needed.

There's now the option -z which will disable the timezone fudging. If you live in Europe and are on European time (as I am) then the effect of this option will be to show the times in local time rather than the default UK time.
If you live in the UK with UK time, this should have no effect either way.

There's now the option -c to show times in the 12 hour am/pm clock rather than the default 24 hour clock.

There's now the ability to specify a day offset, by giving a number from +1 to +11 as a parameter.

Options are prefixed '-', the day offset is prefixed '+'. That which isn't prefixed is taken to be either the channel number or a channel name.

The official syntax is:

Syntax: fsg [-] [+] 
          Options   : c - show times in 12hr am/pm form
                      z - don't perform timezone correction
          Day offset: A number from 1 (tomorrow) to 11.
                      If not specified, listings will be for today.
          Channel ID: The internal channel number, from the list
                      below (these are NOT Freesat channel numbers).

However, the code is flexible - so *fsg -c film4 -z +7 will show you what's on Film4 next week, in local time, using am/pm times, as will *fsg -cz +7 film4.

 

*fsg -cz +7 film4
Programmes 7 days from today:

 5:00am Teleshopping (120 mins)
        Teleshopping.

 7:00am Teleshopping (300 mins)
        Teleshopping.

12:00am Shrek Forever After (115 mins)
        (2010) Animated adventure. In the ogre's fourth feature-length
        escapade, Shrek makes an unwise bargain with Rumpelstiltskin.
        With the voices of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy.
        [AD,S,W]

 1:55pm Transformers: Dark of the Moon (180 mins)
        (2011) The third movie in the sci-fi action franchise. The
        discovery of a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon sparks
        another battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
        [AD,S,W]

 4:55pm My Best Friend's Wedding (125 mins)
        (1997) Comedy. Can Julia Roberts stop her ex-lover Dermot
        Mulroney marrying the perfectly perky Cameron Diaz? With Rupert
        Everett. [AD,S,W]

 7:00pm Independence Day (180 mins)
        (1996) Blockbusting landmark sci-fi action-thriller starring Will
        Smith and Jeff Goldblum. A US Air Force pilot and a scientist
        battle aliens who are spectacularly destroying our planet.
        [AD,S,W]

10:00pm The Godfather Part II (245 mins)
        (1974) Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-laden crime family drama
        recounts the early life of Vito Corleone (Robert De Niro) and
        Michael's (Al Pacino) rise to power. [AD,S,W]

 2:05am Maze Runner: The Death Cure (170 mins)
        (2018) Finale to the dystopian sci-fi action saga. As the Flare
        virus ravages the planet, the WCKD organisation experiments on
        children to find a cure. Can the Gladers save them? [S,W]

 4:55am Teleshopping (125 mins)
        Teleshopping.

9 programmes listed.

 

Download fsg002.zip (6.63K)
For RISC OS 5 machines.

 

Infinite universes

One of the quirky side effects of the freakiness that is quantum physics is the observation that there may well be multiple universes.
Don't hold your breath, this is a mathematical possibility. We have not managed to observe the boundaries of our own universe and we've yet to explore in person any body in our own solar system that isn't the lump of rock orbiting our own planet. So barring something exceptional, this is liable to remain in the realms of fantastical theory for the rest of human existence.

There are three main theories. The first, and to my mind most plausible, is the idea of the "bubble universe". It's exactly what it suggests, bubbles side by side each containing a universe. The great thing about this proposal is that there doesn't need to be any sort of correlation between them. I may exist in this universe. I don't need to exist in any other.
(ps: don't ask what's in between these universes)

The idea that gets the biggest workout in science fiction is the idea of the multiverse, that there are many universes and versions of you exist in each of them. There is supposed to be some sort of correlation between this universes, like perhaps they are actually the same one but different dimensions. We're only used to three directional dimensions plus time, but if reality really has, say, a dozen dimensions (most of which we're unable to perceive) then maybe these universes are stacked a bit like 3D chess?

Going hardcore into the realms of sci-fi is the idea of the infinite universes. In this case, whenever something happens, it spawns off a new universe where one has the event happening, and the event not happening.
For example, I could be feeling tired and fed up but I'm quite aware that telling my boss to shove it wouldn't be good for my employment prospects. Well, that would create a universe where I tell him exactly what orifice he can shove the job into.

But it doesn't need to be confined to conscious choices. There are many external factors that can affect our lives without us having any choice to make. I didn't get hit by a truck on the way home of Friday evening. Which implies there's a universe where I'll be buried next Wednesday.

A giant space octopus has not just landed on the house, smashed its tentacles in through the window and sodomised me painfully. And, well, I guess now there's a universe where that just happened. Sorry other Rick. You're now destined to spend the rest of your life in a secure facility on heavy medication while you spend the remainder of your life terrified that the octopus will return, but nobody else believes you. Sucks to be you.

In the above sentence, I pressed the keys four hundred and thirty five times. That's four hundred and thirty five moments in time I didn't get raped by a space octopus, didn't have a heart attack, didn't wet myself, didn't open the Twix tantalisingly in front of me, didn't get my brains blown out by a hunter who missed the wild boar and shot me instead... I could go on, there are plenty of examples even if we leave out the ones that don't fit into our understanding of reality (sorry octopus, that means you, bye!).

So let's just say between those paragraphs there are a good six hundred moments where thirty-odd things didn't happen. Well, that's a potential eighteen thousand new universes where these things did happen.
Multiply by the population of earth as I'm not special. Which means 145,8000,000,000,000 new universes were created during the writing of those two paragraphs.
But what's so special about us humans? The bug flying by outside didn't get eaten by a bird this moment, or the last. So, new universes there. And I'm sure that by now you can understand how silly this is getting (let me help - there are roughly 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion) bugs on earth, and this isn't counting animals).

But this isn't just us spawning new universes. There's nothing special about us and our universe other than this is the one we happen to be in. So those eighteen thousand new Ricks? Well, they themselves will be spawning their own new universes independent on me. That's one busy octopus. Really sucks to be me elsewhere.

The entire theory is, I'm afraid, batshit crazy. Furthermore, where do these universes come from? Our universe is currently believed to have originated in a singularity followed by inflation. That's nerd-speak for a "bloody massive explosion" followed by "lots of space happened". It's taken billions of years (we're not exactly sure but most people think it's about 13.7) to go from the singularity to intelligent life on this planet... yet a new universe it supposed to just happen with not only this world being as it is here, but me with all of my lived experiences the same right up until the part where a big slobbery tentacle shoves itself up my rectum?
Keep sucking on the hookah, man, because that's the only way that crap is going to make sense.

Let's hand-wave the vast amounts of energy involved in the creation of a universe and just concentrate on the idea that it's supposed to appear with everything exactly as it was here right up until this deviation. It's not improbable, it's dumb.

 

 

Your comments:

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Gavin Wraith, 26th February 2024, 00:24
The novel, Star Maker, by Olaf Stapledon was first published in 1937. This was the first book to consider not just different worlds but different sorts of cosmos. Ones with many time dimensions and the direction of your worldline depended on your moral choices, for example. The novel describes a sort of revelation experienced by Odd John (the name of another of Stapledon's novels) in which he becomes aware of other minds, with which he eventually unifies becoming an ever-expanding group-mind incorporating (inappropriate word - empsyching perhaps) all conscious beings. This attempts union with the Star Maker, the mind responsible for the creation of the cosmos, and gets an insight into the simpler forms of cosmos that the Star Maker created in developing our own. There is an intriguing suggestion about spatial dimensions evolving out of musical concepts. It is a whale of a book. I think it is available on line.
David Pilling, 26th February 2024, 18:47
When you do the math of QM the multiworld idea is obvious. Then think Galileo having to say the earth going round the sun was not how things actually where, but a convenient way of doing the math. 
 
But there are a lot of particles in the Universe and do we imagine something is doing the math for every one of them and then doing the math for all the possible outcomes at each moment. 
 
Maybe QM really is just a convenient way of doing calculations. 
 
Siding doors was the movie and according to Prof Brian Cox anything that can happen will happen - poor Rick #123456789. Never mind, by now several squillion more Ricks. 
David Pilling, 26th February 2024, 18:53
I see they've struck hydrogen in France - like Jed Clampet, someone out hunting, bullets go into the ground, and flames shoot skywards. No more having a quick Gitanes in the garden.
jgh, 27th February 2024, 04:36
Does the program guide data come raw with those linebreaks in it, or is that you adding them? I've noticed that when the program title is too long for whatever length is used, there is a consistant overflow into the program description, that looks regular enough to programaticcaly stick it back together again. 
jgh, 27th February 2024, 04:39
Rick, you don't have a grandson called Morty do you? At least in this reality?
jgh, 27th February 2024, 04:44
I see the Guardian's take on hydrogen is "a wonder fuel that does not give off greenhouse gases when used". 
WTF do they think water vapour is?
Rick, 27th February 2024, 07:05
I am adding the line breaks. 
The title issue sounds like a bug, do you have an example?
jgh, 27th February 2024, 16:11
16:40 The Chronicles of Narnia: The... (135 mins) 
...Voyage of the Dawn Treader: (2010) Fantasy. Lucy, Edmund and 
their annoying cousin Eustace are transported back to Narnia, 
where they make a scary, perilous journey to save the land.  
[AD,S] 
 
Looks programattically reformattable to: 
 
16:40 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (135 mins) 
(2010) Fantasy. Lucy, Edmund and their annoying cousin Eustace are 
transported back to Narnia, where they make a scary, perilous 
journey to save the land. [AD,S] 
 
If the title line, before any (time), ends in ... and the description starts with ... then scan to (year), chop off remove the "..."s and insert into title line immediately before the (time). 
 
I've noticed on the Virgin Media program guide that this pattern is constantly used for long titles. 
jgh, 27th February 2024, 16:12
s/constantly/consistantly/ 
grrr
Rick, 27th February 2024, 16:18
Oh, okay, it's not a bug, it's something they're doing on propose. 
Phew.

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