Setting Up A Watch Party With TwoSeven

TwoSeven is a website and browser add-on that allows you to synchronise watching various streaming sites alongside video chat (and/or text chat).

At the moment, although it is supported in Chrome, it only seems to work reliably with services like Netflix in the Firefox browser, which you can install (for free) from http://www.mozilla.org if you don’t already have it.

Once installed, open Firefox, go to http://twoseven.xyz and click on Login in the top right corner:

Logging in to TwoSeven

Then on Sign Up:

Signing up with TwoSeven

And sign up either using an existing social media account, or email (they’ll send you a mail to verify the address):

Signing up to TwoSeven (2)

Once you are logged in, you should see a screen similar to the below. Before going any further, open a new tab (click on the + icon at the top) and log in to any streaming services you intend to use – e.g. Netflix, Amazon.  Then switch back to the TwoSeven tab and click Start Watching:

TwoSeven - Start Watching

Start with a room that is “Just Me”:

TwoSeven - Just Me

In order for synchronisation with other services like Netflix to work, you need to install the TwoSeven add-on for Firefox.  You can do this by clicking on one of the other services – e.g. Netflix:

TwoSeven - Main

You will then be prompted to install the extension, with a link to the install page:

TwoSeven - Add-on Install

Clicking the link should take you to the add-on page, where you can click + Add To Firefox:

TwoSeven - Add-on Install Page

Click Add when prompted:

TwoSeven - Adding add-on

Then OK on the notification:

TwoSeven - Adding add-on (2)

If you now go back to the TwoSeven tab it won’t look any different – you’ll need to hit refresh at the top of the screen:

TwoSeven - Adding add-on (3)

You should then see Netflix appear in the window, ready for use.  You might find you need to log in a second time but, if you are having problems e.g. returning to the login screen repeatedly, you may also need to make some changes to the add-on settings – see the bottom of this post for those details.

Once you are up and running, you can enable your webcam and microphone by clicking the icons on the right:

TwoSeven - Enable webcam

You’ll probably need to give the browser permission to use the webcam etc. so press OK on any prompts that come up.  You should then have something like the below.  Note that you can resize the various things on screen using the arrow at the bottom right edge, and that there is a message window you can expand on the bottom right:

TwoSeven - Layout / resizing

To add other people to your party, the easiest thing to do is to send them a link, which you can create by clicking on the menu at the top right and selecting COPY LINK:

TwoSeven - Copy link

You can then send this via whatever messaging app to whomever you would like to include:

TwoSeven - Sending link

That’s pretty much it – have fun!


How to get around cookie / login issues

If you are having issue with logging in to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, you may need to adjust the add-on settings. You can access these from the menu on the top right of Firefox, selecting the Add-ons option:

TwoSeven - Firefox add-ons menu

Click on the … icon next to the TwoSeven extension and select Options:

TwoSeven - Add-on options

In the General section, scroll down to the SameSite Cookies settings:

TwoSeven - Add-on options (2)

I found this set up works for me to get Netflix and Amazon working:

TwoSeven - Add-on options: SameSite Cookies

As it says, this feature is experimental and there are some security risks – I felt it was ok, but you’ll have to make your own call on whether you are happy with it.

Happy watch partying, peoples! 🙂

Coping With Anxiety Attacks

I wrote this a while back in response to a post in a mental health support group, but thought I’d share it here too. It’s a list of few things that I find it helpful to remember when I’m having a panic attack – hopefully they might help some of you… 🙂

1) They ALWAYS PASS.

It feels like they will never go away, but they always do eventually – you just need to find a way of letting some time pass.  Whatever you are doing, however you are feeling, time keeps ticking on and you get closer and closer to coming out the other side. Continue reading

Assumptions

It's all down to group XI am deeply unhappy about the result of the referendum, and I am honestly furious about those who voted as a protest, or without thinking about the possible consequences.

BUT we need to be careful of extrapolating from polls and using the information to socially profile the people around us. I’m a little ashamed to admit I have already found myself looking at the people around me and wondering how they voted and we have to be SO careful we don’t slip into “that person belongs to Group X, so they probably voted differently to me”.

Polls give us a useful indicator of how people voted, but they are only a small sample – the actual vote is a secret ballot and although it is probable it reflects the same as the polls, it may not.
Even assuming it does accurately represent the overall shape of things, it is still unfair to make assumptions about individuals, or making sweeping statements about large groups of people based on that.

The media are highlighting a number of areas like this – age, social class, education and more – and while this may help us understand what has happened, it can also be dangerous and divisive. At its worst, it’s no better than the racism shown by some during the campaign.

So please – don’t assume. If you don’t know, give people the benefit of the doubt.

Feminism & Equality: Game ~Not~ Over

[Trigger warning: sexual harassment / assault]

We think we live in an “enlightened” society. We look back on the inequalities of the past, at how far we’ve come and I think just maybe we sometimes feel a teensy bit smug.

Don’t get me wrong – many, many things are much, much better than they were 100, 50, 25, even 10 years ago. This is a brilliant thing, brought about by countless brave pioneers and legions of unsung heroes.

But the war has not been won. There are still deep inequalities in our society and one of the biggest threats is the idea that we can somehow sit back and coast – that our society is somehow “done” – it is “equal”. Continue reading