Media: Things we like


Xfm has ripped up its daytime schedules - well, almost - and is now asking listeners to create their own playlists to fill an hour of programming ( It might not quite be as flexible as (you have to select most of the tracks from an Xfm database, but can add up to four of your own "free picks"), but at least it's getting listeners more involved in the station. We're not sure why our own playlist hasn't been selected yet - it might have something to do with Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey being one of our "free picks".


We're big fans of consumer magazines that put the effort in to produce special editions. And while Vanity Fair has been in the spotlight for its "Africa" special (guest edited by Bono), we have to take our hats off to Emap's Empire for its Star Wars 30th anniversary issue. The Empire team has worked tirelessly to produce 30 different covers for the newsstand, plus a special cover for subscribers. Heaven for Star Wars geeks, but the exclusive content inside is a good read for even those not obsessed with the film.


It has been a big success in the US, and now Slingbox, which allows you to watch your TV on a PC, Mac, laptop or mobile, has launched properly in the UK. The system is really easy to set up, costs less than £150 and redirects TV signals via a broadband connection to your computer, wherever you are in the world. It's great for watching sport or movies in foreign climes, especially in hotel rooms on those boring nights when there's nobody to hit the bars with.


We've long been fans of the US drama, currently airing on five but set to move to Sky One for its third series, and the finale of season two did not disappoint. The series matched 24 for unrelenting action, and also built up some interesting character development given it isn't confined to a one-day time frame. The final episode combined plenty of incident with a conclusion that sets up the show nicely for the next instalment. The only downside is for five schedulers, who now need to find another show to plug the gap.



Don't get us wrong, Disney's ESPN division buying the Cricinfo site makes perfect strategic sense, but it just doesn't seem right that a US company will own such a brilliant source of cricketing information and news. Whatever next? Cricketers in bright jumpers playing at night with a white ball? But while it's sad the site is no longer in the hands of The Wisden Group, ESPN has promised to run it as a separate operation and to develop its video content. But how long before they start putting baseball highlights on there?