Saturday, July 31, 2010

Long season ahead: City 0-1 Deportivo

First match of the new season for us today, a friendly against Spanish la Liga team Deportivo la Coruna.

On the evidence of today, it's going to be a long hard winter for City and their fans.

Firstly, we still have major off-field problems. We have continuing difficulties in paying tax, threats of winding up orders and transfer embargos preventing us bringing any new players in.

We have a squad of 21 which includes three goalkeepers, two youngsters who have only just been offered professional contracts, and the centre midfield lynchpin is out injured.

Apart from that, things are OK. (That was a joke, but not a funny one).

So, to today. Deportivo didn't really look like they could be bothered - at least in the first half, although they did make more of an effort in the second period. City looked brighter in the first half, but given the visitors apathy, that wasn't too difficult.

0-0 at half time and with the inevitable rash of substitutions for both sides, things became quite fragmented after the break. Deportivo though did up the pace (from walking to jogging), and eventually through a series of close passes just about walked the ball into City's net. In truth, City offered very little in the second half, and that's the problem fr the season ahead.

We have no creativity in midfield. To be honest I'm not sure we've had any for a long time, but there's none there now for sure. New loan signing Danny Drinkwater (from Man U) looks capable, and (thankfully) positive, trying to get forward at available opportunities, but he's hardly pulling the strings.

And up front? Welll, Bothroyd felt his hamstring in warm up so didn't play. We've no other target man, but still persist in lobbing high balls up for the shortest front pairing in the Championship of Chopra and McCormack. They huffed and puffed, and both had decent chances, but if we can't score against a side who are hardly bothering, what are we going to do against battling Championship teams?

I'd like to think things will sort themselves out, and everything will be OK, but somehow I've got a feeling that this isn't what's going to happen.

Another tough season for City and their fans methinks.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Talent shows - boooooring......

I'm so fed up of these "talent" shows on the telly. whether celebrity or Joe Public, whenever you turn on the TV these days there's another re-hash of some form of show where people battle it out for the "ultimate" goal. I can't even remember where it started - perhaps as far back as Opportunity Knocks, which unless you're as old as me you won't remember. But in those days it was only Opp Knocks, and only once a week - now it's endless with every TV channel trying to outdo the other or think of a new format.

Let's see: Bearing in mind I try not to watch any of these - I only get glimpses when daughter/wife/son is watching, I'm bound to miss loads out...
  • Strictly Come Dancing
  • The Strictly rival one that started when whats her chops (Arlene I think) was kicked off Strictly
  • The X Factor
  • Big Brother
  • Britain's Got Talent
  • That Choir one
  • Andrew Lloyds Webber's Maria/Oliver/I forget the last one
  • Some street dancing one was on recently
  • All the public ones have a celebrity version and all the celebrity ones have a public version
  • Top Model ones (a daughter previous favourite - think she saw the light with that drivel)
  • And daughter's current fave....Don't stop believing
  • There's cooking ones, jungle ones, singing ones, dancing ones, choir ones. Blimey, we'll have celebrity hairdressing competition next. Mind you, there's probably already one of those on one of the more obscure TV channels
There's tons more, but it hurts my head just thinking about them. They all seem to have a few things in common.
  • There's a lot of distinctly untalented people on most of them, all of whom are under the delusion that they're the best thing since sliced bread.
  • They all have a nauseating (and often supremely talentless) host
  • The judges are getting increasingly less talented and increasingly less well known
  • There's always one "nasty" judge"
  • They all have that irritating pause when they announce "And the winner is......."
  • They nearly all have an "off" for the worst two - dance off, sing off etc.
  • The Joe Public contestants/groups nearly always have to find an increasingly subtle "twist" to make them stand out for the crowd
  • They all go on for far too long (both in show length and episode run)
  • Half of the winners disappear into fairly immediate obscurity
  • The person/group who comes second is nearly always better/more talented than the winner
Don't get me wrong. I don't hate these type of shows. Oh, hang on, yes I do.

I can't wait for the football season to start. At least there'll be something worth watching....can't beat a dull 0-0 draw any day.

Friday, July 23, 2010

iPhone round up

iPhone 4 owners can now order their "free" case from Apple using the iPhone 4 Case Program app. This is Apple's attempt to appease the wrath of iP4 owners suffering from the "Grip of Death" signal attenuation problem by giving every iP4 owner a free case.
It's a neat solution. Download the app, sign in using your iTunes login, and you're presented with a selection of cases to choose from. Choose the one you want, hit "Place order" and that's that. Your details come up for confirmation and you then sit back and wait 3-4 weeks for delivery.

Notwithstanding the view of many that this is a bit of a fob off by Apple, the delivery concept is great.

Also out today is the BBC News app. This brings BBC's news service it's own dedicated app, which also plays video - something not possible via Safari because of the Flash on the BBC site. The app looks good, seems quick and configurable to a degree. Early days, but worth having on your device.

Worst news of the week must be poor old Murray over at Palm-Mac who's brand new iPhone 4 has started coming apart at the seams - literally! His case has warped and is bulging out at one corner. Hasn't been dropped or knocked - really bizarre, and a problem I haven't seen reported anywhere else. Obviously it's going back to be exchanged, but very, very odd.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zagg Invisible Shield

I'm not normally one for cases and protectors, but I had heard from a few sources that the iPhone 4 back was prone to scratches - even though it's supposedly made of an especially toughened glass.

Sure enough, about 4 weeks in I found a tiny scratch on the back of the case. A few of my techie chums have espoused the use of a Zagg Invisible Shield protector, and so with the confidence that comes from having known these chaps for sometime (at least in the virtual sense) ordered a back protector direct from the Zagg website.

You can get the protector for front screen as well, but I think that's probably overkill - I never got a scratch on my virgin 3G screen in 18 months of use, and I think a protector of any type - even a supposed "invisible" one, must make some sort of difference.

The protector arrives in a box with a spray bottle of some sort of liquid and a rubber squeegee. Basically, you peel the protector off it's backing, spray it with the liquid, apply it and squeegee out the bubbles. Care is needed not to overspray and end up with a mess of liquid seeping out of the sides of the protector, but it went on easy enough. At first it looks a bit messy - even with all the main bubbles squeegee'd out you start thinking "oh, don't like the look of that", but miraculously after about 24 hours it's fine. You can tell there's a protector on there just y looking at it, but it's flattened out fine. It lends a slightly tacky, more grippy feel to the iPhone which is no bad thing for those of you that have held this wonderful, but thin and slippy device. I'm impressed and now have a layer of protection which I'm happy with - this stuff is apparently very tough.

Make sure you read the instructions. You need the surface of the device you're applying this too pristine, with no particles, and the instructions recommend you washing your hands thoroughly and wetting the finger tips with some of the spray solution if you don't want to end up with fingerprints stuck to your protector.

All in all, a worthwhile purchase.

I'm also getting a silicon case in a day or two courtesy of one of said techie chums who had a few going spare. I should then be well protected.

Friday, July 16, 2010

So, nothing to worry about

So his Stevieness has spoken. There is an antenna problem, but hey, all phones have it, and we'll demonstrate it for you too.

But because Apple loves all it's customers, they'll give everyone a free case and refund the cost of those who have already bought one.

I suppose you have to hand it to Apple. Despite a thrashing in the tech media this week (and a bit longer to be honest), they've come out and said there's a problem, but it affects only a tiny minority of people, bu we'll give everyone a free case because we're nice.

On top of that, reading between the lines, it sounds like they're pretty miffed by this antenna issue (which isn't surprising) and that they're already working on further antenna development. Be interesting to see how that pans out - no doubt future Apple devices are going to be subjected to more scrutiny than ever both by Apple's R&D people and by the public when they get their hands on kit.

So no recall. I'm still more than happy with my iPhone. It's a brilliant device, and I really pleased with it. Might get a free case if they're giving them away though!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Raoul Moat - the reaction

I'm all for law and order. And I'm all for things being done properly. But I can't understand why this case has generated so much negativity around the police handling of the case and subsequent "end game" (not a game I know - figure of speech) where this man took his own life but where the police are being set up as the baddies. They didn't do this, they didn't do that, they used the "wrong" tasers which are unauthorised by the Home Office, they fired them at the wrong time etc etc.

Let's face it, this man was not a nice bloke. Arrested 12 times, just out of prison, shot and killed a man. Let me repeat that. Shot and killed a man. And shot a policeman. Known to have been abusive and aggressive. Armed and extremely dangerous. Not the sort of bloke you want to meet. Cut the authorities some slack. They're doing their job.

iPhone 4 problems

Does your iPhone 4 suffer from the "grip of death" antenna issue? Just google iPhone 4 antenna and see the plethora of hits.

Basically there are loads of people saying their iPhone is afflicted by a problem where if you hold the phone in such a way as to touch both parts of the antenna (the steel band that folds around the edge of the phone) on the lower left side of the phone across the black band break, the signal will slowly (or quickly in some cases) degrade to the point where any signal is lost and if on a call, the call dropped.

I can't lose the signal completely, but certainly the bars do drop. Apple have been accused of not testing the phone properly - in the wild, pre release, testing was done with cases disguising the phone and ace would negate this effect. Apple's respons eis that it's a software issue - and has been universally derided.

Whatever the reality, Apple's kudo has been dented, and they need to do something about it and quickly. Some blogs and websites are implying a mass recall is imminent, whilst others say Apple supplying free "Bumper" cases (normally retailing at £25 in the UK) would assuage unhappy owners. Others again say there isn't an issue - or if there is, it's only with AT&T's network in the US.

So no definitive problem, or solution - yet. Watch this space.

To make matters worse, a lot of people are also reporting problems with the devices proximity sensor. This is a sensor that detects when you are holding the phone to your face on a call and blanks (or is supposed to) the screen. The reported problems are that the sensor isn't working properly, and touching the phone screen with your face can mute, or worse, end a call. I haven't experienced this problem, but I know people that have. Another one for Apple to dwell on.

Software fixes for both problems are mooted, but most people seem to think it's a hardware issue.

Apple need to sort this out - their shares are already falling based on the bad publicity they're getting, and I can't see Steve Jobs wanting to brazen this one out.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Here we go again....: Bath 0 - 2 City

So Cardiff City are underway again. In the blinking of an eye since the play-off final it's back to pre season, and City started off on the right foot with a comfortable 2-0 win over Bath City.

Granted the opposition standard wasn't great, but it's the run out that counts, and with Bothroyd and Burke getting on the scoresheet, Dave Jones will probably be happy with the first outing of the season.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


OMG no.......!

If news earlier this week wasn't bad enough, today's rumour for all the City doom-mongers is the touted return of Sam "The Man" Hammam.

For some people, Hammam was the best thing that ever happened to Cardiff City, and there are those who would welcome him back with open arms. I'm not one of them. I think he sold the club down the river for his own gains, and just knew how to play the audience (including me for a time I might add).

The club have been quick to refute the rumour that he is set to return, and I only hope that's the case.

In other City rumours, former City icon Robert "Earnie" Earnshaw has been linked with a move back to the Bluebirds on a three year contract. On his day he was one of the most accomplished strikers at this level and could score goals for fun. However, despite an inevitable move to the Premiership, he has subsequently failed to replicate his City goalscoring prowess at a number of clubs including West Brom., Norwich, Derby and his current club Nottingham Forest. To be fair he had a decent end to the season with Forest, but his days look numbered there. I'm not sure a return to City is the right thing for hi, or for the Bluebirds though.