Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Facebook 2.0 launches for iPhone

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBaseThe camera was a discussion topic at work today as one of my colleagues is looking to secure one soon as well. We got to comparing the frame rate and he put on a decent demonstration for his camera and made me wish I had done my homework. He brought up some video clips and what he showed me is exactly the functionality I am looking for as being able to shoot short movies was impressive.

He wasn't so convinced with Google's Android OS although he doesn't follow as avidly as I do so wasn't able to provide as convincing argument as he did with the camera. So honours even until our next dual. Anyone want to suggest a subject?

Facebook today not only launched a new login page which will no doubt create some negativity, get a room create a Group and tell the World. Also they launched the long awaited 2.0 application for the iPhone. The update provides the features that are available on the regular Internet version of the social network. Included are;
  • The home page now features a full News Feed, along with access to filtered views of the News Feed, like Status Updates, Posted Items, Live Feed, and Events.
  • Full photo tagging and posting is now supported.
  • Notifications are now accessible for the first time.
  • Profiles now have tabs, like the Facebook website redesign.
  • Feed comments are accessible both here and on the News Feed. [source]
Being a regular user of the Facebook application my initial impressions are that it's very good. It's noted that it's more stable and reliable and I really like the new interface and being able to comment on everything like the Internet site. Not really noticed any significant problems other than the application believing that today is October 1st. Not a real problem as being in the future has it's advantages I suppose!

So what next for the Facebook application as Venture Beat note location awareness is likely to become a factor at some point. If this is the direction MySpace and Facebook are going to take social networking it will be interesting to see how they will do so considering safety, privacy and vulnerability. Big brother is watching...

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Flat Note!

Another weekend has passed without me securing a camera, seriously after setting a precedent in 2007 it has gone off the boil this year. Maybe it has something to do with the price of the camera I desire and also because whenever I feel I have some flexibility to purchase the elaborates something always seems to go wrong. It makes it interesting but then again I would like to indulge in the arts of purchasing desirable equipment! This weekend I managed to secure a pair of glasses [see above] that I am going to use solely as an accessory! I was tempted by the giant crayola crayons but they will have to wait for the time being!

This month I figured would be a strong month for money, even with the Car MOT and Tax. How wrong was this presumption as add into the mix a car accident which was nothing more than a brush and tonight I returned to my car to find a flat tyre. Obviously I found the funny side, whilst laughing I changed the tyre in record time and I am sure the Ferrari team watching the replays will have marvelled at my speed and execution. Have to wait until tomorrow to pick up another tyre as it was too late to go tonight!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wacky Races

Diagram of Singapore Street Circuit.Image via WikipediaIn the red corner we have the economy, after several brutal rounds it's not looking like it can take much more. Holding on and waiting for Congress the corner to throw in the [$700b] towel and save it from defeat. The economy hasn't been out of the news lately and every where you turn you can see the effects of the credit crunch. Not to be out done by the madness the sporting world has just witnessed an unbelievable weekend of action.

In the Premier League Hull City achieved an incredible feat by beating Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. They outplayed them as well in stages during the game and Arsenal's game plan seemed to be exploiting Walcott's pace down the right channel. This was effective in the goal but predictable and City were able to hold strong and although Arsenal had some decent long range efforts the result was deserved I felt. At least one City are looking strong as the richest club in the World Manchester City have been shown to be very ordinary in their last two games. At least Chelsea are back at the top of the table but Liverpool are up there with us and look like genuine contenders this time around.

The Singapore Grand Prix is what I had been looking forward to and it didn't disappoint with the action that was played out over the best part of two hours. The first night race was to be very eventful and even though Massa had looked very competitive he had a nightmare. Kimi also should have had an early night and it seems now that the lights are out on him defending his F1 crown. It was all going well for Massa until the safety car came out for a Piquet incident where he lost control and put his car into the wall.

Once the pit lane re-opened all the drivers went in for their routine pit but Massa pulled away with the fuel nozzle still attached and into the path of Adrian Sutil's Force India car. What followed was incredible as it took the Ferrari team what seemed like an age to click into gear and then it was like astronauts running the 100m as they raced up to where Massa had stopped. Kimi just watched on unable to do anything. What made it even funnier is the McLaren team were spurring them all on. To top it all off Massa got a drive through penalty and then in the later stages Kimi must have nodded off and used the wall as a pillow putting himself out of the race and surely out of the championship.

It was a return to form for Alonso who must have thought that he was dreaming, winning the 20th Grand Prix of his career. He drove really well and deserved to finish at the front. In doing so reminding everyone that the two time world champion is still a decent driver. Rosberg finished second and Hamilton came in third place. Justice I feel as the point margin is how it should have been after the Belgian Grand Prix. Three races left and Hamilton is in touching distance now lets hope he can hold his nerve better than last time!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things that go bump in the night...

VrooomImage by fox2mike via FlickrJust as he did in Valencia, Felipe Massa has put his Ferrari on pole after a superb final lap. Early indications were that Alonso was going to be the man to beat but a problem with his car during the second qualifying session meant that he had to settle for 15th. Massa, who trails Hamilton by a point in the drivers' championship, beat Lewis by more than half a second although it's expected that he is running a lighter fuel strategy.

The drivers believe overtaking will be tough in the Singapore Grand Prix, which made qualifying all the more crucial. It's going to be a great race and if it rains that is going to be a decisive factor and also a cause for concern as with the race taking place at night it's going to make conditions very difficult. With the top two racers at the front of the grid and not much between them this is going to the wire.

01 F. Massa Ferrari 1:44.801
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:45.465
03 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:45.617
04 R. Kubica BMW 1:45.779
05 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:45.873
06 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:46.244
07 T. Glock Toyota 1:46.328
08 N. Rosberg Williams 1:46.611
09 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:45.964*
10 K. Nakajima Williams 1:47.547
11 J. Trulli Toyota 1:45.038
12 J. Button Honda 1:45.133
13 M. Webber Red Bull 1:45.212
14 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:45.298
15 F. Alonso Renault no time
16 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:46.037
17 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:46.389
18 R. Barrichello Honda 1:46.583
19 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:47.940
20 G. Fisichella Force India F1 no time

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Hi I'm Joe, Can I Take Your Name..

A panorama of 4 segments of an Amsterdam Canal...Image via WikipediaMy children stayed over last night as their mother has gone to Amsterdam for the weekend with her friends. Have to wake my son in the night as he has the weakest bladder, I lifted him when I went to bed but when I woke up this morning it was as though someone had thrown a bucket at him. He was soaked and it was not the most ideal wake up call as I had snoozed my alarm thinking that everything would be a breeze. After a shower down, order was resumed and I eventually left for work later than planned but still arrived on time. I never understand how that works out!

My work day passed with little incident, it was a laugh though! We have so many new faces at my work at the moment it's difficult to keep up with the constant changing of faces. I am a veteran and feel like part of the building as I have been there for nearly four years. There does appear to be barriers between departments which does annoy me as we're only a small company. I think my department is the most dysfunctional, some of what goes on is unbelievable. I suppose there are barriers in all company's but doesn't mean I have to accept it! Maybe people choose to have that distance in all fairness as we are like broken biscuits at times..
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Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yet another lolcatImage via Wikipedia The news is currently dominated with stories about the global economy crisis at the moment. I try to ignore what is taking place but the situation isn't getting any better so it is proving hard to distance from the growing concern. It's not been a good year what with the current financial meltdown we have everything on the increase, problems with the housing market, stock exchange, uncertainty over the price of oil and global warming all adding to the worry.

It's enough to make you feel depressed! The news doesn't reassure us as from what we are told everyone should be panic buying, hoarding essentials and keeping all our savings in a shoe ready for the end. The South China Morning Post reported on Thursday that regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis [source]. This appears to be temporary and with congress closing in on a deal for a $700 billion financial-sector bailout to hopefully add stability and help to assess where we stand. Will that figure be enough and how long will it last? I am sure we will find out over the weeks and months ahead!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Image representing Google Reader as depicted i...Image via CrunchBaseWith both the iPhone and the first of the Android phones now on the market I would love to build a blog devoted to the applications released for mobile handsets. No doubt there are many bloggers that see this concept as having a lot of potential as it is a growing market. Mobile communications are the way and this is the dawn of a new era, innovation, creativity and technology have enabled handsets to go beyond previous boundaries and limitations.

To meet modern everyday demands we now expect our phones to do everything. We have read for many years about the end of newspapers but I believe that with the current generation of handsets it's closer than ever to being reality. I make this prediction as my iPhone usage is definitely changing my habits!

I have always picked up a newspaper on my journey to work but lately it sits under my arm whilst I read through my feeds in Google Reader, update my status and chat to my friends. Why should I read yesterdays news when I can find out what is happening now digitally, share it with my friends and eventually when a decent blogging application is released (that I rate) I will be able to write to my blog on the train. The newspaper still gets some love as when on the Underground I can't access 3G but surely this won't be a hurdle for too much longer when the service is made available on the Tube. Maybe we are becoming too dependent on technology but change is inevitable and I embrace what it offers!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It just got interesting!

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBaseAs expected today Google and T-Mobile unveiled the first handset with the Android operating system the T-Mobile G1. The G1 doesn't have the sleek look of the iPhone but as the saying goes you can't judge a book by it's cover. Reports state that the attention to detail is very impressive and that Android is where Symbian should have been two years ago.

The Android-powered phones can run multiple applications simultaneously. Switch seamlessly between applications. Notifications in the status bar alert you when apps running in the background require your attention [Source].

The iPhone has a decent rival now and it appears that Google have done their homework. One example Copy/Paste which is missing from the iPhone. The application store is another area that like Apple, Google see as a strong market. The mobile industry is huge now with people like myself wanting the functionality of a PC/Laptop in our pocket. Applications released through the handset enable us to be connected all the time and take our online presence with us everywhere.

I remember when I had my XDA Exec a few years ago, how I wish that would have had the features available now. So who do I feel will emerge as the winner?!? I believe consumers as with Apple having it all their own way up until now, what with there being no competition really as no one could hold a match to the iPhone. The G1 is just the beginning as I am sure we will see many more handsets released with the Android operating system. Windows Mobile now it's your turn...

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Eat my shorts!

Bart SimpsonImage via WikipediaMy son has been difficult for his mother lately so I had to go around after work to connect with him and explain how he should behave. I collected him from his mothers and we went for a drive, he figured we were going to my parents but when I told him we weren't he questioned whether we were going to the 'naughty boys home'.

Immediately I responded with a serious tone saying that we were and he got really choked up so I reassured him and said that wouldn't happen. He perked up and started telling me about his day and what he had got up to. After parking up I talked to him about life at home, what bothers him and how he should and shouldn't react to things that bother him.

It's difficult not being there every day as he is a child that thrives on positivity and even though he has a short attention span it's all about keeping him occupied! I see a lot of myself in him and although I don't condone his attitude at times I do relate to his frustrations. He's my little guy and he is only five so I am sure that this will pass!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Here’s the 14th team in the Premier League...

Not much of a football fanatic I remember my partner saying a while ago, the first glimpse of the toned torso of Kalou as he warmed up she soon took an interest. For me the physique of the players is just an exxxtra as I only care about the results. Hosting Manchester United is always a great fixture but when we are protecting our impressive home record it adds something extra to the mix. Add into that our stadium announcer, welcoming the champions to the Bridge with a cheeky, “Here’s the 14th team in the Premier League’ and also the continued rehabilitation of Ronaldo and Drogba given more minutes, and lights, camera, action!

Deco injuring himself in the warm up and then shortly after kick off Carvalho also needing medical assistance and being substituted can't have done much for the strategy. Alex came on to replace him but our defence didn't look solid and we soon conceded a weak goal as Cech spilled a Berbatov shot after good build up from United and Park fired in the rebound! Edwin van der Sar also went off injured, Rio Ferdinand appears to be the last person you would want by your side should you hurt yourself as if looks could kill.. Chelsea responded by going on the offensive and it proved to be a frustrating afternoon, especially for Joe Cole who missed a couple of chances. The biggest culprit was Anelka who missed a glorious chance to score but it wasn't to be his afternoon. Chelsea looked good and the more likely to score but they just couldn't find the end product. If only we had aquired the signature of Robinho at the end of the transfer window as his City hit half a dozen against Portsmouth today.

Both Ronaldo for United and Drogba for the Blues were released onto the pitch but it was another substitute Kalou who made the decisive impact. He connected with an Obi Mikel free kick and found the back of the net with a glancing header. There were lots of talking points with plenty of bookings, Drogba and Ronaldo showing the Premiership what has been missing with the good and bad aspects of their game, Hargreaves getting a slap around the head from a fan and Ferguson jumping for his life after a balloon was burst by No.2 Phelan. Credit to Sir Alex with his comeback though “I wish he had burst it under Mike Riley because it might have woken him up,’’ overall a decent result and at least we kept our record going but still can't help but feel we should have got more from the game!

After the football we headed down to the park for a few hours, to wear the children out and in the process had a laugh albeit feeling the cold now that Autumn is upon us...

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hopelessly devoted...

After the fun yesterday with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, it was Rush Around Like a Headless Chicken Day today. I had left my house in good time to get to football but had to U-turn so as that I could get my sons shin pads otherwise they wouldn't have allowed him to play. My organisation has gone out the window a little lately but we arrived not too late. My son got into the action and was soon on the score sheet again even though today he wasn't as on the pace as previous weeks.

After football we headed over to my partners area where they were having a charity event. We took the children and whilst she had a sunbed the the rest of us took in the Bouncy Castle, Fire Engine, Unicycle Show and Boxing Ring. The Bouncy Castle was a free-for-all with children literally bouncing off of the walls like popcorn. Needless to say that mine weren't feeling the action here so we climbed aboard the Fire Engine. It must have felt like question time for the Fireman as he had a multitude of questions coming his way from all of us!

The Boxing Ring appeared to be in place so that a trainer could coach people, showing them how to put combinations together and block. My son was more interested in getting the eldest into the ring to go a few rounds with her but obviously she wasn't obliging. This disappointed him but he was soon to be distracted by the Unicycle Show which we watched until my partner arrived and from here we went on to Pony Club! The eldest is getting to know a few of the people there now so once we arrive she goes off behind the scenes to help with the chores. Occasionally we catch a glimpse of her beaming with a huge smile on her face as she walks around the Stables.

Heading out tonight we have a reserved area at Ivory Lounge, if you are in the area it would be good to see you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

That’s some treasure chest you’ve got there

International Talk Like a Pirate DayImage via WikipediaToday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, although if you have been active on FriendFeed this began yesterday afternoon. We all began editing our names to show appreciation to our 'ancestry' and it really brightened up what was a long day yesterday. The developers of Friendfeed have also got on the boat today as logging into the site today the logo has been changed to frrriendfeed with a Skull & Crossbones patch cast over the letters.

Also popular imports Liked today by several people are being displayed as '..other mateys' which is a novel extra. The beta site has today replaced the previous build as the default and behind the scenes the developers continue to make improvements as there is now duplicate detection in place to calm the seas and it appears as though they have limited the imports shown on our FriendFeed profile!

The updated FriendFeed site is popular and I haven't seen any backlash, which can't be said for Facebook as the recent site update there has received a mixed reception. Personally I think the improvements are excellent and as soon as the new.facebook became public knowledge I abandoned ship from the original and sailed into the new horizon! Not to be outdone by FriendFeed, Facebook has also got in on the act with International Talk Like a Pirate Day as if you head over here you can translate everything to English (Pirate).

I have added some related articles below which have details on other sites getting involved. Taking it a step further still earlier this morning my friend introduced me to The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [Details] I so need to get myself a copy of the Gospel!!!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zemanta gets social

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...Image by Zemanta via CrunchBaseI have been using Zemanta for a while now for related suggestions with my blog entries, basically the plugin does all of the legwork for me and allows me to concentrate on the writing.

This new release allows you specify the sources you want to see in the suggestions list that Zemanta provides. You can now incorporate your own social networks, RSS feeds, and photos from your Flickr account into your blog posts. This makes Zemanta a lot more appealing to established bloggers who are in less need of suggestions and more in need of automation [Source].

There are four new features available: My Friends, My Feeds, My Pictures and filtering. As well as the customisation options for blog posts you can now login and connect up to your Flickr account so that you can add your own images and your Amazon ID. There is also the ability to connect up to you Social services, available now are Twitter and MyBlogLog, ReadWriteWeb mention Facebook available but that isn't currently an option for me. You can also add an RSS feed for a blog that you want Zemanta to follow and upload your OPML file from Google Reader. All that is missing is a Pirate translation tool for tomorrow's Talk Like A Pirate Day!!!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Awaiting the Last.fm app update...

My experience with the iPhone has been great and I am already in the position where I would feel detached without it on my possession. The applications I have installed have been very beneficial although the Last.fm application has it's flaws.

Scrobbling from my iPhone seems very inconsistent as when I Sync with my PC it attempts to determine the music I have played but doesn't accurately acknowledge the songs to scrobble. Since upgrading my firmware to 2.1 I haven't been able to access any playlists from the iPhone application, instead I just get buffering followed by Station Name and no sound/artist played. I am disappointed although hopefully all is about to change...

Earlier I read on the Apple Blog that an updated version [2.0] has been submitted to Apple and is awaiting approval for it to be added to the store. Full details are yet to be made available as to what the update addresses but below are the details from the Apple Blog;

The new version includes an updated/polished UI, better tagging support, a new calendar view for events, and a cool feature that lets you see common artists when viewing other user’s profiles. Overall the updated UI really makes the experience smoother and more enjoyable.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Market Turmoil

NASDAQ in Times Square, New York City.Image via Wikipedia The forecast for the coming weeks sees more rain uncertainty...

It's widely known that last weeks experiment otherwise known as the Large Hadron Collider didn't bring the curtain down on mankind. I am sure that following on from the weekends collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, XL Leisure Group going into administration last week and the Stock Market it's worse since 1929 that there are a few people that wish it had.

A mass of uncertainty has dominated the news and I have been monitoring the AIG situation which isn't looking good either. Today we have the news that food inflation has hit record 14.5% in the year to August and that gas [27.7%] and electricity [18%] are higher.

It's difficult times and even with reassurance that the economy is strong it still is a worry. My children are getting older and I want to be able to provide for their future and aim for them to pursue higher education. Or whatever path they choose to follow as I want to be in a position to open the door for them.

There was a story in the Metro today that brought this to the forefront of my morning thoughts which is always a productive period. The train journeys are like that as even being surrounded by everyone else navigating London's Transport to get to work I find myself in my only World. It's here I act out the role of an architect with my blueprints and try and figure out what the words attached to the pictures mean in the newspapers I read hold!

Worked late today trying to complete the design of the internal blog I have been building although the masterpiece has come at a cost. The tools at my disposal aren't ground breaking so having to pay more to incorporate comments is weak. Disappointing but it's nearly there and for a sample I have imported yesterdays entry from here to test the formatting.

After arriving locally on the train I walked home and what caught my attention is the amount of rubbish bins and recycling boxes people have in their gardens these days. Look how observant I am as not much gets passed this detective!! It is really unsightly, they should release a compact system that does everything as the array of colour is like plastic pyramids outside their houses! I suppose recycling gives people something to concentrate on to feel as though they are giving back to society that is ripping them off so much!

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Rome was not built in a day!

Image representing Blogger (service) as depict...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown Trying to get my company blog off of the ground has proved to be more challenging than I first expected. I would have loved to build from Blogger, Wordpress or Tumblr to name a couple I am familiar with but the requirement is internal and to be backed up through the Intranet. Comments, Components, Modules, Mambots and plugins are proving to be difficult to integrate with our current build.

Joomla allows a lot of freedom but there is no free ride as everything seems to suggest more money and subscription models. You would think that a blog would come with comments included but it's not that simple. I have managed to create a section for a profile avatar but I can't insert images or link to a profile.

Give me Disqus any day of the week as that would be perfect, externally I could breeze this but I am still trying to get my head around the open source code! I have downloaded several .Zip files to install tomorrow but I figured I would allow for tonights backup as a lot of FAQ entries were uploaded this afternoon and didn't want to ruin all the hard work!! Anyone with Joomla background knowledge with jomcomments and Community Builder assistance would be very much appreciated!!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'll give you a clue...

Went to our friends babies Christening today, the iPhone proving to be invaluable as I had no idea where we were going but the iPhone map showed us the way. Great feature as it not only shows you the start and finish but also shows your position on the map. Also by switching to satellite you can see the roads as they are from above, Hybrid takes it a step further by adding in the road names. All that was missing was the annoying voice informing me where/when I should turn next!

The Christening went really well, we found ourselves starting off sitting with the wrong family but it was all good until I started singing. I was trying to feel the whole atmosphere and I felt that I was very angelic but the laughing was a real confidence blow! I had to occupy Baby up at the back of the Church in the children's area as she was getting restless and we read about David and the Lions. It wasn't long until imaginations were running wild and we were trying to figure out where the Lions were in the Church.

After the Christening we headed over to the party, a really nice spread was laid on and it was very enjoyable. I followed the Formula 1 on my phone and although it wasn't the same as watching the race it was great to see the events unfold and Lewis was unlucky in the end and it was a shame that the expected rain didn't hit as it had done so last week. We later played the game from Friend's where we throw a ball to each other without dropping. This worked until the children at the party got involved and then we ended up playing the weirdest game of charades ever. Believe me I am scarred!! After the party we headed home to relax and I have now come home to sort out my MOT as just found out I am a month late. There goes my record of being forward thinking and maintained...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Robinho and Nand'oh!

John Terry in action for Chelsea FCImage via Wikipedia My son kept up his scoring run today and looked very strong against the other children in his age group. I think scoring his first goal a few weeks ago made him a lot more confident and he seems to be using his head instead of running about in a dream world. Still we are yet to see him unveil his celebration, we have practised several but he is yet to let it out. My daughter went to Pony Club but was disappointed this week as the usual activities weren't that engaging and she found herself sitting and listening to the older riders speak about show jumping. She said she did enjoy just spending time with me as we drove about together

My afternoon consisted of watching the football after I had taken my daughter to home. Unfortunately every goal scored took place when I was out of the room, I was in the process of getting ready to go out but what are the chances? The game started with what I was dreading to see and that was Manchester City's new record breaking transfer finding the back of the net. The ball fired in from a deflected free kick taken by Robinho which spun into the goal after hitting Obi Mikel in the wall. Seeing him running around with his thumb in his mouth just made me angry.

Thankfully Carvalho, who must gear up for matches these days by ripping at his hair, found the back of the net within three minutes. Chelsea looked strong from here onwards but it took until the 53rd minute for Lampard to put is into the lead. This was followed by Anelka bringing the score to 3-1 and that was how the 'Middle' Eastlands clash finished. John Terry's sending off was a disappointment as he is set to miss out on our clash with the other half of Manchester who lost today against Liverpool. Should be an intriguing game as Ronaldo should be back, Drogba will have more minutes under his belt and our main defenders are out as Vidic for United also was sent off today.

All this excitement must have had an effect on my head tonight as it clearly wasn't screwed on properly. After going out I realised I had forgotten my wallet, I had also left my shoes in the car and finally we were too late to go to cinema. We eventually tried Nando's but fled the scene when nothing really appealed to our bellies. We finally ended up back home with sushi, tika chicken and chocolate eclairs FTW. Well she was happy and it ended up being a cheap night!
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Friday, September 12, 2008


Several updates to tell you about this evening, I will start with the iPhone and although I haven't experienced many problems I have seen posts on FriendFeed where people have complained. Mainly crashes requiring a reset and battery life, I have had occasional dropped calls but nothing that I would consider an issue.

Update includes:

  • Decrease in call set-up failures and dropped calls
  • Significantly better battery life for most users
  • Dramatically reduced time to backup to iTunes
  • Improved email reliability, notably fetching email from POP and Exchange accounts
  • Faster installation of 3rd party applications
  • Fixed bugs causing hangs and crashes for users with lots of third party applications
  • Improved performance in text messaging
  • Faster loading and searching of contacts
  • Improved accuracy of the 3G signal strength display
  • Repeat alert up to two additional times for incoming text messages
  • Option to wipe data after ten failed passcode attempts
  • Genius playlist creation
For further information on how to update see apple.com.


The FriendFeed beta also received an update this evening, I found out from scanning through my feeds on Google Reader via the iPhone. Since the beta was made public I have rarely ventured back to the original site as I prefer the improvements made available. The FriendFeed developers have listened to the community and this latest version is even better.

Update includes:
  • Improved posting interface
  • Navigation on the left
  • Improved Rooms navigation
  • Friend Lists easier to use
  • Simpler and cleaner
Furthe details are available on the FriendFeed blog.


Finally it's not a good day for fans of Ye Olde Facebook design as everyone has now been upgraded to the new version. No doubt there will be multiple Groups created angry at this becoming mandatory but I am sure they will warm to the changes if they give it a chance!!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Child of the new Century...

My daughter was born in the year 2000 enabling her to qualify to be a part of the Child of the new Century scheme. It follows the lives of children growing up in the UK in the 21st century and monitors their development. Usually it's just a routine visit which occurs occasionally and they just check up on how she is getting on .

Yesterday was my night to have the children and we played in the garden until the football started, it was then my daughter lifted up her shirt to reveal a device strapped around her waist. This is apparently to monitor her daily routine and movements, I queried the device with their mother and she said that recently they collected one of her teeth that had fallen out. I find it all on the extreme side and evasive as it's not really fair on her although she treats it as a novelty and doesn't seem to find it uncomfortable...

Here are some images I took from my iPhone >

Through collecting information on you and your children as they grow into adulthood, we can try and change things for the better. Britain is the world leader in this type of research – similar surveys have been carried out before, following children born in 1946, 1958 and 1970 into adulthood. From these studies we have found out, for example, that good health services for mothers and children, and good housing and proper food make a lasting difference to health and success as children grow up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Shirt badge/Association crestImage via Wikipedia I haven't watched too many England games recently but I felt that the games against Croatia will ultimately be the group deciders. If we had beaten them in both games during the Euro 2008 qualifiers we would have gone to the finals. Instead we lost both matches and missed out on the tournament which was a huge disappointment.

It was great watching as a neutral and there was some good football played but it wasn't the same! In the build up to this match a lot has been about the quality of the England team. Bilic has been ruthless in his assessment in the current setup and that we have made no progress in the last couple of years. Definitely fighting talk from a manager confident in his teams ability. Don Fabio hasn't entered into the prematch mind games opting to let the players do the talking on the pitch.

Didn't England send out a message; a hat-trick from Arsenal's Theo Walcott and a strike from Wayne Rooney ended Croatia's impressive home record. Mario Mandzukic scored a late goal for the Croatian's but they were well out of the game and were in no way going to start a late comeback. The key moment in the match I felt was early in the second half Robert Kovac jumped for a header leading with a stray elbow that caught Joe Cole in the top of the head knocking the Chelsea man to the floor with blood pouring from his head. Nothing to serious as he was able to return to the bench after being assessed to view the final stages of the game.

A great night for Theo Walcott and a great start from England as this will send out a statement and hopefully set us up well for the next internationals. Theo's first goal came on 26 minutes as some poor defending allowed Walcott to latch onto a loose ball and strike the ball home. The second goal on 59 was identical to the first with Rooney providing the assist. Rooney was next on the score sheet before Frank Lampard fired in after some great footwork only to have his goal disallowed. Then came the Croatian effort although the referee should have pulled up play as John Terry was almost kicked in the head but
Mandzukic's goal was allowed to stand before Walcott wrapped up the night. Great result and lets see this more often!!
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At World's End

The Large Hadron Collider is expected to go into action this morning at precisely 9:30am [CET], the biggest experiment in the history of physics at a cost of £5 billion. Cern has two live streams, one in Windows Media format, the other in Flash. Composed of millions of individual pieces, the collider uses more than 9,000 magnets to accelerate two beams of protons to almost the speed of light.

When the beams collide, they shatter into their constituent parts, allowing scientists to glimpse particles that don't exist in standard environments [
Source]. The aim of this experiment is to discover whether dark matter, extra dimensions and the Higgs boson known as 'God's particle' actually exist. This story is everywhere today, are we about to witness something incredible? Is this experiment going to trigger the end of the World? I am going to put the kettle on while I wait and see what happens...


If you are reading this message then we have all survived, I was ready to take refuge underneath my desk but the Large Hadron Collider hasn't destroyed the World...

The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most complex scientific instrument ever built and the highest energy particle accelerator in the world. The accelerator is located 100 m underground and runs through both French and Swiss territory. ( 27km circumference) Year 2008 marks the culmination of 20 years of work by over 8000 scientists thousands of engineers, technicians and support staff from over 80 different countries.

I followed the developments online through various sites and so far we are safe. Various sites were set up to monitor the historical events taking place. I followed twitter.com/cern and they provided updates to inform the followers of the activity as it happened. I have listed below in a timeline, all updates are [CET] ~

9:30. First beam injected and stopped at 1/8 of a circuit. Loud applause in the control room

10:00 The beam has now done half a lap. Still going well.

This is the big moment. Next injection should one full circuit.

10:25, 10 September 2008. Historic moment. The LHC first beam has just circulated. Amazing moment.

13:55, the LHC's second beam is now on its way.

15:02, that's it. Second beam all the way round and the LHC is up and running

Scientists have hailed the switching on of the Large Hadron Collider successful, although this is only the beginning of the experiment which will recreate the conditions a few moments after the Big Bang. They have now fired two beams of particles called protons around the 27km-long tunnel but are yet to go fully operational which will involve smashing the atoms together. You can follow the activity here via a live web stream direct from CERN.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Apple Announcements

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown Really into my iPhone at the moment, I haven't even had it a week yet but already I have found that I am totally dependant on the device. The always connected Apps allow me to check my Social sites and keep up to date with everything at 3G speed as well. Today Apple hosted an event in San Francisco where they announced three new products. No not a new iPhone already thankfully but instead an update to iTunes [iTunes 8], a new iPod Nano and also an updated iPod Touch. They also announced that they are to be releasing a patch for the iPhone addressing dropped calls, reception issues, and app-related crashes.

iTunes 8 was released shortly after the even and can be downloaded here. Firstly a new album art grid layout is available, when clicking on an artist with multiple albums it provides them in a list view like in previous versions. The most significant new feature are the new Genius Playlists, a feature that promises to create great playlists for you based on the music in your library [Source]. The updates to the iPod Nano and iPod Touch look very impressive and with the Nano coming in a range of colours you know that they are going to be a popular present this year.

Finishing with the iPhone, already there have been 100,000,000 downloads (in 60 days) from the App store which is amazing. Jobs said that the App Store was available in 62 countries now. And that there are about 700 games in the App Store. After showing off Need for Speed Undercover on the iPhone and the new on-screen d-pad from Gameloft he stated "Now you can make a pretty good argument that it is the best portable device for playing games on - and a whole new class of games". Over to you Nintendo and Sony as I am sure they will have something to say about that statement!!

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