Netflix started auto-playing TV shows on the iPad last year — if you have episodes left in the series, it would cut out about 30 seconds early from the end credits of your show, and jump to start playing the next episode (often also skipping the “previouslies” at the start of the next episode, which can be helpful). With the most recent update of the AppleTV firmware, this autoplay behavior came to the big screen as well.

Now, this completely drives me nuts. I’m the kind of person who watches the movie credits all the way to the end, because that’s how I respect the hard work of the people who created the film. Plus, I get to hear the theme music, and for a guy whose CD collection was once half comprised of movie scores and soundtracks, that’s an important part of the experience. Great TV shows, for me, really aren’t much different.

I realize it’s probably a matter of “this is what most people want”, but I like the credits. I like the music. I like the little kids shouting “bad robot!” I also like deciding whether I play the next episode, or whether I really ought to go to bed because I actually have work to do in the morning.

Yes, you can swipe down on the iPad to keep watching to the end, and you can use the AppleTV remote to cancel out of this, but remembering to leap into action in the five seconds it gives me every time I watch an episode isn’t my idea of fun.

Thankfully, as I discovered last night, Neflix finally did give us an opt-out back in late January. Judging by the response I got on Twitter this morning, a lot of other people had been waiting for the same solution. Here it is:

To disable Post-Play’s autoplay feature on a Netflix profile, navigate to Your Account, click Playback Settings, then uncheck the option to Play next episode automatically. Other Post-Play features will still be enabled — this setting simply turns off automatic playback of the next episode.

So, on the Netflix website, go to Your Account:


Click “Playback Settings”:


And uncheck the option to “Play next episode automatically”:


I did this last night, and once I had, both the AppleTV and the iPad immediately obeyed the settings. The iPad still shrinks the video and shows you the thumbnail for the next episode, but at least it plays all the way through and doesn’t auto-play the next one.

An independent American-Brazilian research project is attempting to measure English vocabulary sizes according to age and education, and whether or not you’re a native speaker.

I tested myself, and they estimate my vocabulary size at around 33,000 words which, according to them, is upper range of average for native English speakers.

Interestingly, even they say the results may be skewed at the moment, with people who have participated in the survey so far being quite a bit more literate than the wider population average, and with an average self-reported language SAT score of 700. (With the cheeky comment in the FAQ that “Basically, we need more YouTube commenters participating. :)”)

They’re still looking for more results, especially from children and teenagers, if you’re so inclined to contribute.

The missus and I saw Veruca Salt at Tractor last night, and it was a blast! I think I’ve finally seen all of my 90′s band obsessions live in person now, aside from Curve, which will be some crazy miracle if Toni and Dean reunite and decide to tour the west coast of the US.

If someone enterprising soul updates the setlist, you should see it below. Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying the concert to write it down myself. I will say, though, that it was pretty cool that the first song that they played was the one that had been stuck in my head all day.

These are the “show notes” from my How to App Video talk at Seattle Xcoders, on May 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

Slides, AV Script Format, and Videos


More Bits

I realize this is a very Southern Maryland-centric request, but does anyone out there possibly have an audio or video recording of the ads for the supermarket McKay’s Food Store with their crazy earworm of a jingle? Extra bonus points if you come up with the late-80s/early-90s TV ad with jingle that consists entirely of grocery employees nodding in slow motion at customers, and shaking their hands.

The song:

It always pays to shop at McKay’s,
Where quality is discount every day!
To you and your family,
We give you this guarantee,
It always pays to shop at McKay’s!
…McKay’s Food Store!

Posting this here because I keep needing to recreate it whenever I start using a new machine:

  • Open Automator.
  • Select the Service template.
  • Set options at the top to “Service receives selected files or folders in Finder.”
  • Drag over “Copy to Clipboard.”
  • Save the service with a name like “Copy Path.”

That’s it! Now you can right-click on any selection in the Finder (even multiple selections) and select Services > Copy Path and then paste the text anywhere you like.

You can also use the keyboard system preferences to assign a custom hot key such as Option-Command-C to the service, so you can invoke it directly.

To do this: System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services > Files and Folders > Copy Path > Add Shortcut. I usually use ⌥⌘C (but only because ⇧⌘C is default for Go > Computer).

Some details via this post on CNET.

I’m building a website, and needed a way to save a list of pages and page ranges from a book or magazine. I wanted to to be a little more strict than just saving it as a string without any cleanup or validation, so I wrote a custom Django model field (and accompanying form field).

It either just validates and cleans so that

becomes the tidy

…or, if you comment out the raising of the ValidationError in the form field’s validate() method, it will actually clean up any junk characters for you, so even this horrible mess:

gets cleaned to