Sunday, June 19, 2005

USA Grand Prix

Well, what can you say about today's race? Quite a travesty.

Personally, I'm not that upset for myself. I like a good race, but apart from the interest that the advertisers have in me, I haven't paid any money for it.
What gets to me is what is going to happen to the crowd in the stands. $85 for a ticket only for race day. And that doesn't come close to accounting for what some of them must have paid to get and stay there.
I'm pretty sure that on the legal side, the spectators will not be entitled to their money back as a race did/is (it's still going on as I write this) take place. It's going to have to take a leap of faith for the race organisers to hand back that $10m in gate receipts, but I think they might have to to save the face of the sport.

Unbelievable is the fact that no resolution was made to give us a race. This season was supposed to be the comeback of Formula 1. New rules making it an actual competition opposed to onlooking as Ferrari galevant off into the distance. Why the FIA didn't enforce a ruling to get a full race on is beyond me. A chicane was suggested and agreed upon by 9 teams but it was ruled out by the FIA who refused to reconfigure the track as addressed in this letter.
Though what hasn't been mentioned on the TV coverage is what comes out in the letter is that the teams could have changed their tyres in the pits on safety grounds. I'll imagine that would mean 7 stops for the Michelin teams, it would have at least meant they were competing for points and put on a race, which is more than what the spectators are getting.

I hope Michelin get a severe repremand for what they done. If they can't make safe tyres where Bridgestone can then I don't know what they are doing in the sport. Perhaps there is merit on the single tyre supplier idea...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The internet always gets back to...

OK, I spend a good portion of my spare time on the net. I'm have a passion for technology and the internet is a big part of the present and the future when it comes to it. But there's a few fundementals that we have to accept with it.
There's a lot of useless trash on it (I'm providing my fair share here, I know)
Security is incredibly difficult to maintain
Its loaded to the hilt with sex

Now, I'm not a wide reaching surfer. I stick mostly to the same dozen or so sites for 95% of my viewing but when I do branch out, it does have its moments.

It was all very innocent. I visited Coding4Fun to see a few sample projects and spotted How Bungie built Bungle.net. Fantastic, I love Halo. So I went and checked out the Bungie.net site to see if there was anything good on it. Turns out there's a cool set of video/audio files there, including an outtake of Jen Taylor voicing Cortana.
Naturally, after this I'm thinking: "she sounds sexy, wonder what she looks like". Now, my normal course of action would have taken me to my usual haunt of IMDB.com and would have led me here. But this time I thought I'd let google have a go. Top search on the list of: "Jen Taylor, Halo, Picture took me to a page of celebritymoviearchive.com. Result!

So not only did this search prove that my thoughts on the sexy voice were well founded and I didn't get caught out (you can ask my fellow AquaBadgers about what normally happens). It also proved that five clicks on a resonably innocent subject (there was a sexual motivation, but there was no way I was expected naked pics of her on the net) leads you to sex posted on the web.

Defending Women's football

I'm not even sorry, I just can't do it. I doubt that it's innate and probably more resource and demographically driven but it just doesn't come across as professional.
That's not to say it isn't entertaining. Ropey defending and short goalkeepers makes for a lot of goals, and lets be honest, they do have some skills and passages of play that are always good to see at any level.

I guess the problem is the fact that football is just one of those very easy plug'n'play sports that means anyone can have a go at it.

For comparison, I couldn't go and play the top English woman Tennis player and expect to win a game. I couldn't gather a group of lads at work and expect to mount any real sort of challenge to the England women team. However, I could be quite confident in gathering a group of lads from work and given the England women team a run for their money.

Still, I'm very glad it was shown on the BBC. I very much doubt the game has reached its pinnicle. There's a long road of improvement to go and I expect to see a big leap between this Euro championship and the next one.

Friday, June 17, 2005

EU does what?

Don't quite understand it myself. What do we pay into? 46% goes on subsidising EU farmers. Now whilst I'll agree that something has to be done to keep farming a viable industry in Europe, the CAP needs tweaking, if not an overhaul.

Picking up on this ancient BBC article the figures make interesting reading when it comes to this mass debate about the UK rebate. Essentially, the UK makes a larger net payment to the EU than any country other than Germany and, just about, The Netherlands. So why is France making all the fuss? Well, they pay about €1.6m of the €5.2m rebate.

I haven't managed to find a set of figures that supports France making more contributions by any format than Britain. That's per capita, GDP, anything going.
Therefore, France do not make the greatest representatives for an objective objection.

My personal opinion is that the UK shouldn't have the rebate. But then it shouldn't be necessary. If it deserves that money back then what the hell is it being paid into the European coffers for in the first place?

I'll have to look into this further before I can develop an opinion as to what should happen with the budget... Continue the research...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A question of power

I've just got back from the cinema where I went to see the Stars Wars: Revenge of the Sith. I'll give George Lucas his due, he writes some thought provoking material.
The foremost of which is the issue of power and corruption. The hard part I find about watching the Star Wars series is the shifting of allegience I have to make dependant on which film I'm watching. Republic, Empire, Seperatists, Rebels... and should they ever make, or I ever read episodes 7 - 9 I'm sure I'd have to shift them again.

From a people perspective, I couldn't tell the difference between being the Republic or the Empire. Sadly when the Republic becomes the Empire you don't get to see much in the way of ordinary lives under the tyrany, though Darth Vadors treatment of the "unfortunate" Admirals is supposed to give me the jist I guess.

It makes me wonder about a couple of things. Would a change from democracy to feudalism, fascism or what have you really get noticed in day to day life? Personally, I don't believe I'll notice a great difference if we in Britain had a Tory or Lib Dem government instead of a labour one. So how far will it go before I did notice a difference, the BNP maybe?

I don't know. One thing that did strike me about the subject and my technological interest is that it is the nuisance of domination in peoples minds is that as long as we have this insistant characteristic means that the benefits of certain technologies that are hard to secure cannot be realised. It's a massive shame that is going to put us years behind where we should be in terms of business tools, research and healthcare.