link log

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Remember the name

Not deterred by his young age, brand Rooney have decided that Wayne's multitude of experiences require publication in the form of an autobiography. Perhaps they will bring one out after every four seasons; we could therefore expect a minimum of three more volumes. Anyway, this is not the point, we knew about the book deal ages ago. No, the current story is the book's serialisation in the Daily Mail (bile filled, obnoxious and intolerant - a match made in heaven!), yesterday saw the following comments from Rooney or rather by Hunter Davies his ghost writer and my reaction to them:

"I would have gone almost anywhere to get away from Moyes and considered a move to Newcastle".

You would have had about as much success if you had Wayne and if you thought Moyes was a disciplinarian, wait until you'd played under Souness!.

On Moyes - "To me he appeared overbearing, just wanting to control people."

Is that not what a manager is supposed to do?

According to the United striker, Moyes also criticised him for "taking the captain's armband and putting it on after Duncan Ferguson had been sent off."

Again, what's the problem there? Why would the then 17 year old Rooney believe that he was to assume the captaincy and that doing so would result in no criticism whether he was supposed to or not?

The major bone of contention for Rooney seems to be the issue of the newspaper stories regarding his visits to prostitutes, he claims to have first confided in Moyes about the visits and the next day finding the story all over the Liverpool ECHO. He goes on to tell how:

"I was absolutely furious as I'd been talking to Moyes in private. In front of all the players I had a real go at him. How did that story get out, except from you?" I raged.

"You're a f****ing joke. I don't want to play for you ever again."

Notice how he purposefully mentions that he did this "in front of all the players", why is that important, because he thinks it makes him look like a hardman, that's why. The truth of course, is that in fact, the revelations about Rooney's visits to sex parlours had first appeared in national newspapers.

Enough of the quotations. Rooney is a complete and utter idiot who believes his own hype. The facts are that he hasn't scored competitively for England since he was at Everton and he hasn't scored in the Champions League since his debut years ago - against a dreadful Fenerbache side. Everton finished 17th with him and 4th without him.

Something else that really annoys me though, is how upon the transfer, the media fawned over Alex Ferguson with empty platitudes of how "Alex will calm him down, he's so good at all this managing of players business and instilling calmness and respect."

Oh is that right? Is the same Ferguson who has had players playing for him who have: launched flying kung-fu kicks at people in the crowd, gotten off rape charges, missed random drug tests, spat at fans... and that's without even mentioning Roy Keane!

This post has very little in the way of structure, apologies for that - I got caught up in my own quiet rage.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006


That social media meme

I've been tagged by Jawbox for the 'social media meme', I have to name my favourite five social networking web services and a reason why I like them. Doctorvee has also been on the case. Here we go then, in alphabetical order only:

1. Bloglines

- I'm relatively new to Bloglines, having previously used only Feedreader (a desktop RSS reader) for my subscriptions. The problem with that though, was that my feeds were confined to the one computer, Bloglines solves this - being a web based reader. A bookmark toolbar button makes subscribing to new feeds or 'subbing' extremely quick and easy. As the name suggests, it's great at tracking your blogs, I'd previously only used RSS feeds for online newspapers (Guardian, Times, BBC) and the like. I'm yet to really delve in to the sharing and searching aspects but it seems there are a lot of options available there which can only add to functionality. The one issue I do have with Bloglines is that it is often slow to update and as such I find myself checking my blogs manually.


- My linklog, blogroll and category system (for what it's worth) are all powered by which would imply that I'm a fan. Rightly so. You can use the features of for all sorts of things and there are countless tools and add-ons you can combine it with. The fact that almost every linklog you'll come across is powered by it should tell you just how efficient an application it is.

3. Flickr

- Once again, I'm quite new to Flickr having signed up only recently. I don't take many photos and as such don't get as much out of Flickr as some but I can see the many benefits clearly.

4. Last.FM

- Like DoctorVee, this is the big one for me. It was always going to be a match made in heaven - I love music, I love statistics and I love to keep tabs on my changing tastes and fads. Plainly, Last.FM and I were meant to be together, merrily holding hands and skipping gaily through fields only stopping to admire newborn lambs. Or something. I just love it. The recent alterations have made things even better and I can now see how my listening trends have altered by year, month, week or almost any combination of variables I can concoct. The radio feature is perfect for the office (although co-workers subjected to endless shoegaze may perhaps feel inclined to disagree) and the recommendation system has led to me to numerous discoveries. I've been introduced to the joys of M83, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Creedence Clearwater Revival all through Last.FM and my CD collection is far the better for that.

Note: I had heard of the latter two before, I'd just never really listened to their material. So yes. Last.FM is utterly brilliant.

5. YouTube

- I don't submit videos to YouTube or comment on them, I use it purely in an observational way. If I've missed something on television, give it a day or so and there's a chance it might appear, it's also wonderful for finding music videos of bands you might not otherwise see. I tracked down some superb solo acoustic performances of old Ride songs by Mark Gardener - where else could I have found those? Answer - nowhere (no pun intended). I do wonder about the sites long-term future though, the bandwidth requirement must be truly astonishing and the whole venture is a copyright minefield. Still, best to make the most of it while it's still around.

I'm not going to tag anyone for this meme (it's hard finding bloggers yet to have done it already) but if you want to have a go then you have my backing.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


When domain names go bad

Apologies if you've already seen this but I came across it earlier and couldn't believe my eyes.

Everyone knows that if you are going to operate a business in today's world, you need a domain name. It is advisable to look at the domain name selected as others will see it and not just as you think it looks. Failure to do this may result in situations such as the following (legitimate) companies who deal in everyday humdrum products and services but clearly didn't give their domain names enough consideration:

1. A site called 'Who Represents' where you can find the name of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name... wait for it... is:

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at:

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at:

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at:

5. Then of course, there's the Italian Power Generator company:

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in New South Wales:

7. If you're looking for computer software, there's always:

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is:

9. Then, of course, there are these art designers, and their website:

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at:

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Comic justice for the smarmy salesman

A rather hilarious moment at work has just seen the awfully smarmy photocopier salesman who spent most of the morning leching over our 17 year old admin girl and trying to coerce her in to accompanying him to the pub, have to awkwardly walk back in to the office and ask to use the phone because he's "shut his keys in the car a little bit". Hahah. There is a God and he has a mean sense of humour.

It gets better! He's now gone to the pub (alone) and the AA guy is running out of options, perhaps I should tell him we have some bricks available...


Monday, July 10, 2006


World Cup coverage covered

After the World Cup must come the reviews of the coverage. ITV will surely be licking the wounds of their collective failure today, the ratings news being far from satisfying for them. The BBC report that during normal time, viewing figures for the match averaged 11.2 million on BBC1, contrasted with 2.4 million on ITV1. The penalty shoot-out saw the BBC's audience rise to a massive 17 million whilst only 3.5 million watched on ITV1. These figures show an 82% split in favour of the BBC during normal time, increasing to 83% during the shootout.

World Cup audience ratings chart

The surprising thing is that anyone should have chosen to watch ITV at all, with its adverts galore and truly awful punditry, not to mention the dreadful co-commentary from Gareth Southgate. This said, the BBC shouldn't feel too contented with the ratings which gloss over their own mediocre coverage. John Motson becomes more pointless with every game and the dry Lawrenson is no better with his often painfully unfunny quips. Notice how quickly Ian Wright disappeared once England had exited the competition, the former Arsenal man thought Saudi Arabia was in Africa and had a blatant inability to tell the difference between Roque Junior and Roque Santa Cruz despite them playing for completely different teams. The real star and saving grace was Leonardo, articulate, self-effacing and erudite, he was the perfect pundit and the BBC are quite right to try and sign him up for the fast approaching domestic season.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006


World Cup final prediction

Italy Vs France

Well, here we are, the World Cup will be over in three and a half hours at most. You'd have got fantastic odds (and some strange looks in the betting shop) if you had predicted this final. Yet everything seems to have fallen perfectly in to place, you have the Italians rocked by domestic scandal (as they were before in 1982 when they won the world cup) and sixteen of the twenty three strong squad are at clubs which face possible relegation after tomorrow's court trial ends. France were supposed to be too old, the coach was reviled by the nation and Zidane was a shadow of the man who won the cup for them back on home soil in 1998. These circumstances though have perhaps been the very things that drove both teams to Berlin tonight. Italy appear to have been galvanised by the troubles back home and the trial seems to have had the effect of uniting the players - of course, having a manager with a record as good as Lippi's doesn't hurt... France have been spurred on by the resurgent Zidane, wanting to sign out in style, the France captain retires from football after tonight's match.

Fortunately both teams are able to field the same teams that won the semi final match and no player misses out through suspension - quite remarkable considering the card happy refereeing of earlier games. Italy will rely on the dogged Gattuso to contain Zidane (not a big ask then!), whilst Viera and Makelele will have to keep close watch on Pirlo (many people's alternative player of the tournament) and Totti. The two lone front men - Henry and Toni may well find themselves starved of service in what should make for a cagey game of midfield keep ball. The danger area for France is the attacking threat posed by the industrious Italian full-backs - Zambrotta and semi final hero Grosso, the result could well hinge on how Ribery and Malouda assist Sagnol and Abidal in keeping the Italian duo pegged back. France will be relying on Zidane to take control of the game and play in the two wingers to support Henry. A big liability for France is surely the goalkeeper, not many people would take Barthez ahead of Buffon and the former Manchester United man will have to keep his concentration firmly on the game, any mistake could be crucial. Much depends on the performances of the enigmatic Henry and Totti, neither player has really turned it on in the tournament and it's getting very late in the day to be thinking about making your mark.

With 20 minutes until kick off then, I really ought to finally decide who I think will win this match. So, I see a very tight game with little to choose between the two sides; I think at the end of normal time, the game will still be tied - either goalless or one-a-piece. As with the semi final, Italy really wont want the match going to a shootout and will kick on, at the same time, the French legs must surely go - with an average age of over 30 and a calendar month of high intensity football behind them it's almost a certainty. My only hope is that Zidane can sign out in style, as possibly the greatest footballer of the last decade or so, it's nothing more than he deserves.

Verdict: Italy win (in extra time).

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Crazy as she goes

I suppose I'd better try and remember how to blog without mentioning the World Cup, not only because I hear there is more to life than football (really?) but to avoid alienating any of my readership of literally, 7 people.

So, in non-football related news, I stumbled across a fantastic mashup by renowned remixers - The Legion of Doom (Chad Blinman and Trever Keith) tonight. It combines Gnarls Barkley's ubiquitous hit Crazy with The Raconteurs' Steady As She Goes and sprinkles on top a little Grandmaster Flash for good measure. You should definitely download it from their PureVolume page, easily the best mashup of the year for me.

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World Cup semi final predictions, part 2

Portugal Vs France

Some people (myself included) expected an England against Brazil semi final rather than this one but you can't deny that the best two teams over the tournaments duration have progressed through. Portugal are strengthened by the return of Deco and Costinha from suspension but have slight injury concerns over both Luis Figo and Christiano Ronaldo. France have a full quota to choose from and are expected to stick with the same team that beat both Spain and Brazil.

One major worry for French fans must be Zidane's yellow card, one moment of recklessness or a lapse of concentration could see him booked and consequently unavailable for the final. He's not alone in that situation though - Maniche, Valente, Carvalho, Ricardo and Figo, Ribery, Saha, Sagnol and Thuram will all be suspended for the final in Berlin if booked tonight. Not only would Zidane's loss be a disaster for France, it would also be a great loss for football, ZZ has really turned it on in the knockout stages and he looked ten years younger than his receding hair suggested as he rolled back the years and tore the talented Spain and Brazil apart.

France's success has largely been down to the return to form of their aging midfield trio - Viera, Makelele and Zidane (the latter two of course, had previously announced their international retirement, whilst the former has had a mostly ineffectual season with Juventus). The match will be won in midfield (this is rapidly becoming a prolix catchphrase...) and much will depend on how Costinha marshals Zidane, you would expect Makelele and Viera to nullify the threat of Deco and Maniche. Portugal seem to have very good wingbacks and have made good use of them going forward (that Valente looks especially good...), France on the other hand aren't nearly as strong in terms of attacking fullbacks and I can see Portugal getting some joy down the flanks. If both Figo and Ronaldo were to miss the match though, this effect would be much diminished.

So, the result then... I see goals in this game and think Portugal with Deco back again should look a much better side than the one that couldn't beat a dire 10 man England side, however, it has to be the French with another Zidane inspired victory, that said, it's about time Henry put in a performance worthy of his stature.

Verdict: France win (in normal time).

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006


World Cup semi final predictions, part 1

Germany Vs Italy

Back in May, these two teams played a friendly; Italy played Germany off the park and eventually won 4-1. Since then, Italy have infamously become embroiled in all manner of domestic league scandals whilst Germany have united under the tutelage of Jurgen Klinsmann and spurred on by fantastic support - look a real force in this tournament. How times have changed.

Though it shouldn't be an issue, the statistic that Germany boast a record in the match stadium of 13 wins and a draw from 14 games and a positive goal difference of +52 is mightily impressive. Italy have Materazzi back after his suspension although Nesta is still unfit, Germany look able to field both Klose and Ballack who were slight injury worries but will be missing Frings who was retrospectively punished for his involvement in the mass brawl after the quarter final with Argentina. Frings will be a big loss to the hosts, it's his tenacious protection of the back four that allows Ballack to maraud forward and provide the key link between midfield and attack. It seems that Borowski will take his place and his performance may well be all important in determining Germany's success.

This will be a close, tight game and I can't see many goals in it - despite Germany's woeful defence. With their respective records in World Cup penalty shootouts (Italy never won, Germany never lost) the Italians will do all they can to win in normal time. I think they might just manage that.

Verdict: Italy win (in normal time).

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Saturday, July 01, 2006


World Cup quarter final predictions, part 2

I can only apologise for not completing my second set of predictions. For the record, I would have gone for an England win.

As the last quarter final still has a long way to go, I'll make a quick prediction:

Brazil Vs France

The last two World Cup winners come together in what should be an entertaining match. Brazil are looking far from the imperious side we expected and Ronaldinho has had an extremely quiet tournament thus far. France were lucky to get through their group after some very poor performances and questions were asked about the decision to include so many of the older players in the squad. They took Spain apart though with Viera and Zidane rolling back the years and Ribery living up to his billing as the most exciting young French player for years. As is the usual case, the battle will fought in midfield, how will the experienced old guard of France cope with the guile and invention of Brazil's midfield? Henry has also yet to shine in the tournament - arguably he is yet to shine in international football full stop and like his Champions League Final rival, Ronaldinho, he has a point to prove and a reputation to live up to. Roberto Carlos and Cafu, along with Zidane, Thuram and Barthez are quite possibly playing their last tournament, they will want to go out in style.

I see the game being a close fought battle but one eventually won by Brazil, avenging that defeat in the final eight years ago. They haven't really been tested at the back and Henry will certainly do that but Brazil should have too much quality to lose this.

Verdict: Brazil win.

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