Landing for business in 2015, Apple Camping offers guests an overnight stay in a saucer-shaped pod in Redberth, Wales. This themed accommodation is held up on stilts complete with a smoke machine and a night-time laser display that would make E.T. jealous. Held up by stilts, the entrance door drops down from its hinges via remote control to reveal steps in the style of a classic spaceship.
The futuristic design also extends into the pod’s interior with a dome built on top for stargazing throughout the night and eight windows inside that offer 360 degree views.
For those with a love for retro games, this spaceship includes classic arcade favourites from the 80s such as Defender and Space Invaders.
Two singles and a double bed are available to choose equipped with a kitchen area, sink, kettle, a toaster and fridge.
On the Apple Camping Instagram account, one post says the campsite allows “friends and loved ones to escape from the lunacy of our silly silly planet”.
Coachmans Country Cottage, just outside Penrith, offers a range of interactive animal encounters, including trekking with the four-legged animals around Melmerby village. Guests will learn about the lives and habitats of the alpacas, and meet the resident badger and the local family of hedgehogs.
Having been open for two years, the six-star, one-bedroom cottage sleeps two guests and has its own private parking and hot tub in the garden.
Located in the Eden Valley countryside on the edge of the Lake District National Park, the cottage is surrounded by acres of greenspace.
A Coachmans Country Cottage spokesperson said: “Llama trekking is like nothing else you’ve ever done before.”
“Llamas are classed as the dolphins of the animal world and bond to people to provide a unique and amazing experience that you will never forget.”
“The local wildlife is so interesting that guests say they don’t even bother putting the TV on. Instead, they sit and watch the llamas interact outside their backdoor.”
READ MORE: Where to find this incredible Cold War secret nuclear bunker
Prices start from £750. Prices at Coachmans Country Cottage start from £750 to book your stay directly, book here.
Sky-owned streaming service NOW, formerly NOW TV, will remove popular Discovery channel from its Entertainment Membership. With no change in price, NOW subscribers will lose access to the channel. That includes both access to the live channel as well as on-demand content.
The first sign that something might be brewing was when NOW stripped out all mention of the Discovery channel from the FAQ section on its website earlier this month. If that sounds familiar, it’s likely because there was a threat that Sky Q customers could lose access to all Discovery-owned channels last year. However, the two companies reached a long-term agreement to keep the channels on its satellite service.
However, that clearly hasn’t helped those who watch Sky TV through its contract-free service, NOW.
Discovery recently launched its own streaming service, dubbed Discovery+, which includes its live channels and on-demand boxsets. There is a free subscription tier that includes access to live channels Really, Quest, Quest Red and a few more. There’s also catch-up shows from the last 30 days, but not access to the full on-demand catalogue. To get access to that, you’ll need to pay £4.99 a month.
As well as on-demand boxsets, Discovery+ adds access to all channels, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and more.
If you’re desperate to catch up with every episode of 90 Day Fiancé, Ghost Adventures, and more, you might want to consider taking out a standalone subscription to Discovery+. You can get a slight discount if you pay for an annual subscription, which costs £49.99, or £4.20 a month.
Speaking about the decision to drop Discovery from NOW, a spokesperson for the company told ISPreview: “We are constantly evaluating the needs of our customers and aim to deliver an ever-changing range of high-quality content that they love. From June 30, Discovery content will no longer be available on NOW, however our members can still enjoy fantastic shows from Sky Documentaries, Sky Crime and many more.”
The news comes a few weeks after NOW decided to add children’s live channels and boxsets to its Entertainment Membership at no extra cost. Priced at £9.99 a month, subscribers will get access to Sky One, Sky Atlantic, MTV, Sky Crime, Sky Documentaries, Sky Comedy, Challenge, National Geographic, and more.
The latest shake-up also saw Sky increase the price of its NOW Boost add-on service for all new customers. Currently, £3 a month, those joining the contract-free streaming service after July 15, 2021 will need to pay an extra £5 a month to unlock 1080p High Definition, the ability to stream on multiple screens in the same house with the same subscription, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, and 50 frames-per-second for sports.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the Austin community, along with the nation, is still digesting news of the mass shooting on 6th Street Saturday, several other shootings in the city have already followed the incident that sent 14 people to the hospital.
Three separate shootings sounded across the Austin area in the early morning hours of Sunday, Austin police say. Here’s what we know.
This east Austin shooting incident happened around 2:09 a.m. near Todd Lane, nearly the same location as a different shooting that happened just days earlier.
While there are few details on what led up to the incident, police report there was a large gathering before. Two female victims are said to be in critical, but stable condition in the hospital.
This incident happened around 2:39 a.m. Sunday, on Jollyville Road in north Austin.
According to police, one male suspect was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
This north Austin shooting incident was reported at 3:07 a.m. on Howard Lane. Police say a man was taken to a Round Rock hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
KXAN will update stories on these cases as details are released.
In the wake of the Saturday mass shooting, which captured national attention, many have zeroed in on how policing in the city of Austin could have factored in. On Saturday morning, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon commended the department for its speedy response, but underlined how difficult it’s become to fully staff the downtown area during peak hours.
Last August, City Council voted unanimously to adopt a 2020-21 budget moving about $ 150 million from APD’s funding into other areas of public safety and health. New cadet classes were effectively shut down while an audit of new officer curriculum was conducted.
But while that debate continues, Chacon assured Austinites and visitors that nights out in Texas’ Capitol city should continue, but that vigilance is key.
“Overall, we remain a safe city. And I think that people should keep that in mind. But also keep in mind when you come downtown, you need to be safety conscious. Travel in groups, if possible. Be vigilant of your environment and your surroundings. And importantly, if you plan to drink, have a plan to get home,” Chacon said.
Nationally, violent crime, particularly homicides, are on the rise as the pandemic winds down. A May study by the Council on Criminal Justice found a 30% increase in homicides out of 34 U.S. cities in 2020, in addition to an 8% increase in guns assault cases.
Author: Russell Falcon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
From midnight to 5.50 am UK time, Bitcoin fell in value from $ 37,349 to $ 35,063 – a 6.1 percent drop, with a slump in the price of Ethereum and Dogecoin also being experienced. Dogecoin saw a drop of 7.8 percent after the price of the memecoin fell from $ 0.303 at 9.30 pm to $ 0.300 at 5.50 am. Ethereum fell 3.7 percent between midnight and 2.30 am, before recovering slightly.
The price of Ethereum now sits at $ 2,298.
The price of cryptocurrencies soared in value this week after El Salvador deemed bitcoin legal tender.
However, the current u-turn in price valuation could be due to a recent statement by the central bank regulatory authority, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
Many banking groups are planning to gain exposure to cryptocurrency assets, such as bitcoin.
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision supervisory group has advised these banks to set aside enough capital to cover losses on any bitcoin holdings.
The regulator’s advice about crypto-asset exposures would make it very expensive for banks to hold digital currencies.
This in turn could hinder a wider market acceptance of crypto-assets such as bitcoin.
One proposal made by the regulatory body is to attach a 1,250 percent risk to a bank’s exposure to bitcoins and certain other cryptos such as Ethereum.
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Storms south of Houston will gradually fizzle out overnight, and then it should stay dry for the rest of the weekend.
The big rainfall winners were north of Houston. One viewer in Livingston reported nearly 6″ in the rain gauge! A decent soaking into our coastal counties, too. Houston largely missed out. Sometimes that’s just how the rain falls. https://t.co/kYz1z4P7gdpic.twitter.com/EFYWIxUPOp
How does the weekend look?
The rain should clear out before sunrise Saturday, leaving us with lower humidity and lots of sunshine for the rest of the weekend. Temperatures will still manage to climb into the mid 80s Saturday despite the north breeze behind the front. Sunday looks spectacular with lows in the 50s and highs in the 80s.
When is our next opportunity for rain?
The next storm system in view will impact us Wednesday into Thursday. It’s too soon to say if any of the storms will be severe, but because we are in severe weather season, it’s certainly possible. We’ll keep you posted.
OK, first of all – a little history. Virgin Media and O2 are currently awaiting regulatory approval to merge into a single new company. The deal was proposed by parent companies Liberty Global and Telefonica back in May 2020, but still hasn’t received an official thumbs up from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) yet. Should the deal be approved in the next few weeks – as Virgin Media and O2 believe is likely – it could see well-established broadband companies like BT, Plusnet, EE and others face an onslaught of new competition. And it could see Sky customers enjoy the 1,000Mbps speeds that, until now, have been reserved for Virgin Media customers.
That’s because the newly-merged Virgin Media-O2 looks set to establish itself as a competitor to Openreach and allow third-party companies to use its broadband infrastructure. For those who don’t know Openreach, a subsidiary of BT, manages a large swathe of the UK’s landline and broadband infrastructure, including internet packages from BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk, Plusnet, Shell Energy, Vodafone, Post Office, and more.
While there are some broadband start-ups that leverage their own full-fibre cables to offer breathtaking speeds, like HyperOptic, Community Fibre, GigaNet, and more, these remain quite localised. While some are rapidly expanding, they don’t offer anywhere near the same footprint as BT, Sky and TalkTalk.
But while broadband companies with the most coverage are able to compete on price, bundles, and freebies …since they are all reliant on the same cables from Openreach, they’re unable to beat one another on speed. And that’s where Virgin Media-O2 wants to offer something new.
Openreach currently has some 4.5 million premises connected with its next-generation gigabit-capable fibre broadband. In comparison, Virgin Media is on track to connect 15 million homes by the end of this year. Following the appointment of a CEO for the new joint Virgin Media-O2 firm, superfast broadband connection to an extra one million premises before Christmas 2021 was also promised, bringing the total to 16 million homes.
READ NEXT BT, Sky, and Virgin Media customers now get MORE compensation
And now we have our first clue that those 16 million homes might soon be able to buy their broadband packages from other companies, including established brands like Sky and TalkTalk as well as all-new ventures, instead of just Virgin Media. Spotted by the brilliant team at internet-obsessed blog ISPreview, a new request to regulatory body Ofcom for Code Powers from Liberty Property Co II Limited, a subsidiary of Liberty Global – the parent company of Virgin Media broadband and telly in the UK, indicates that it intends to “utilise Virgin Media’s wholesale products” to facilitate the “construction and operation of a broadband network” across the UK.
Ofcom intends to consult on this new request until May 10, 2021.
Should the proposal get the go-ahead, it does seem like the chess pieces are starting to come together for Virgin Media-O2 to truly challenge Openreach. More competition is likely to be a good thing for customers. If new broadband providers are able to piggyback on the full-fibre cabling already buried under streets across the UK, they have the ability to scale much quicker.
Some tipsters suggest one of the first partners to leverage Virgin Media’s super-fast network will be Sky. The company has previously announced ambitions to offer its Sky Q telly bundle over a broadband connection – so there’s no need to drill a satellite dish to the outside of your home to tune-in to its selection of paid-for channels, movies and sports fixtures. However, these plans have gone quiet since the initial announcement back in 2017.
With millions of home connected with gigabit-capable broadband (that’s around 15x faster than the average home broadband connection in the UK right now) Sky might soon be able to realise its four-year-old plan.
The UK Government had pledged to bring gigabit-capable broadband connections across the country by 2025 during the last general election. However, that promise was quietly watered-down by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year. Confirmed in the national infrastructure strategy, the Government back its commitment from 100 percent of homes to 85 percent of premises within the next five years.
Gigabit-capable connections provide speeds up to 1,000Mbps. Given that Netflix only recommends 5Mbps for High Definition streaming and 25Mbps for 4K quality video, these future-proofed broadband connections are more than enough to handle working from home, videoconferencing, boxset binges at the weekend, catch-up of live broadcasts, downloading updates to smartphones and games on next-generation video game consoles, and uploading back-ups.
Glacial home internet speeds continue to be a problem – something the requirements to work from home and stay inside during the national lockdowns has thrown into relief. According to research published in September 2020 by Cable.co.uk, shows the UK is now 47th when it comes to downloads with an average speed of 37.82Mbps. At that rate, it should take roughly 15 minutes to download a feature-length movie in High Definition (HD).
The UK manages to trump 174 other countries globally but falls way behind 46 other nations in the speed league, including 21 in Western Europe. This puts the UK among the slowest in Europe when it comes to average broadband speed. To make matters worse, Britain has lost ground since measurements were taken back in 2019.
Commenting on the UK specifically, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst atCable.co.uk, said: “While around 60% of the UK has access to the Virgin Media network and can get speeds of up to 516Mbps, and there is limited availability of smaller networks such as Hyperoptic offering gigabit speeds, the Openreach network remains the anchor that keeps average speeds in the UK comparatively low. Entry-level fibre packages and ‘fast’ fibre packages on Openreach have been set at around 30-35Mbps and 60-70Mbps respectively for more than five years now with no significant changes beyond how those speeds are advertised.
“As shown by the domination of smaller countries and regions at the top of the table – Liechtenstein, Jersey, Andorra, Gibraltar – it is obviously far easier to upgrade a country or territory to full-fibre the smaller it happens to be. However, the UK still finds itself a long way behind many nations of equal or greater size. Ultimately, the UK, specifically Openreach, is comparatively late in its rollout of pure fibre networks, which is causing the UK to stagnate, while other nations gain ground.”
Of course, the latest plans from the Virgin Media-O2 joint venture and rapid expansion of its full-fibre network could change that. To find outwhat the merger could mean for existing Virgin Media and O2 customers, read our in-depth analysis.
Are there anymore cool mornings in the forecast? Another front arriving around Wednesday of next week should bring in another batch of dry air that could bring more crisp mornings all the way into the following weekend.