Big Brother Tuppenceworth

From the most dull UK Big Brother ever this years celeb version has now picked up a massive amount of news coverage, is the most complained about TV show ever and is now causing international tensions between India and the UK. How bizarre. I’ve not watched it all but I’ve seen and read enough to form some opinions.

I do think there is a hint of racism in some of the comments that are being made in the house but I do not believe that the three housemates (Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd, Jo O’Meara) are racist. There is however a class divide between the three and their ‘victim’ Shilpa Shetty and that is now manifested in ongoing arguments between Shilpa and the three. The fact that the three seem to know each other outside the house hasn’t helped – there’s a bond there and due to their background and age they were always likely to stick together. Bullying…yes. Racism…no. The three also seem to be from very similar backgrounds – three hairies (great work John) was the best description I heard today. I couldn’t disagree.

Why the arguments – Gordon’s nailed it for me. Lack of education. As soon as Jade starts to talk back to Shilpa you know where it’s going. Two minutes later its rage, arguments, slagging and then her two mates chip in to form the gang. Game over.

Channel 4 could have easily nipped this in the bud, but no. Media hype followed by some good editing means ratings gold. Then a climb on to moral high ground with this statement – “it is unquestionably a good thing that the programme has raised these issues and provoked such a debate. These attitudes, however distasteful, do persist – we need to confront that truth.” Couple that with an eviction vote between Jade and Shipla so that the public can decide on who’s right. Makes me sick.

I hope this is the last Big Brother. Never thought I’d say that as I usually end up enjoying it for all the wrong reasons – trash TV at it’s best. It’s gone to far though and thats with a list of ‘celebs’ who are no more known than the ‘normal’ folk who entered last summer. Normal – who am I kidding!

At least there’s a bit of a backlash. Carphone Warehouse have withdrawn sponsership from this series but potentially not the next one. Shop’s have also withdrawn Jade’s perfume from shelves. Hopefully Channel 4 get hammered for this at some point too. As for me I’ll probably still catch tomorrows nights show. I want it to end but while it’s on…as I said…guilty pleasures.

Oh, one last thing. Jade Goody. Can you just fuck off now?

Weekend...stuff

Some bits and pieces from this weekend.

  • Microsoft support reckon it’s a paid for repair on the 360. While I argue my point (which will take a few days at least by the looks of it) my patience gave in after less than 24 hours and I picked up a new core 360. Gaming is getting more expensive! Roll on PS3.
  • Fence is now fixed.
  • The weather has been atrocious and anyone would be crazy to not think global warming is affecting us all and that new patterns are emerging. November and December last year were Glasgow’s wettest on record and January isn’t looking much better. Couple that with more frequent and stronger gales and a new winter is emerging that’s wetter and windier. Feb and March look more to be our traditional winter months now. I wonder if we’ll get late snow like last year.
  • Great article in today’s Herald highlighting Flickr and the amateur Scottish photographers that can be found there. Unfortunately the online version of the article doesn’t contain the photo’s or links to the Flickr site of those chosen for the piece. However you can find the photo’s at the Flickr Scotland group or the Flickr Scotland Blog where the best pictures from Flickr are published. Highly recommended.
  • Google Maps app for mobiles. This is a great java app for phones although it’s probably best to have a high speed net connection and also a good data plan before you start browsing around the maps.
  • The first four episodes of 24 are superb – looks like another cracking series. Usual caveat of switching off brain before watching does however still apply.

Hope everyone else had a good one.

Broke

That’s the 360 now dead. Bugger!

More annoyingly is that the warranty ran out just last month. I’ve never known a console to fail so often as the 360. Amongst my usual gaming friends it’s running around 25% failure rate, some replacing it twice. Mine was one of the first batch and it seems likely that if you use (at least the first batch 360’s) regularly then there’s a good chance of failure. Hopefully for you it will fail in the 12 month warranty period. Now it’s decision time – get it repaired (probably at my expense) and hope it lasts or buy a new Core pack and get another 12 month warranty.

I’m not having a good run at the moment…fence, car scratch, sky box and now this. I thought things came in three’s?

Macworld Thoughts

Despite all the rumours that an iPhone would be launched, despite knowing how good Apple industrial design is, despite loving how all my Apple products work…the iPhone launch tonight still surprised me. I expected a good looking device but not that good. I expected a small device but not that small. I didn’t expect so much in such a small device either.

Key factors are the screen resolution, the multi-touch interface, it runs OS X and it’s sync features. The rest (iPod, camera etc) are all just nice extra’s for me. I’m also pleased it won’t be here until the end of the year. Gives me time to save and also get my current mobile contract out the way. Should also get some firmware updates out of the way by the time I buy. Only snag – it will be covered in fingerprints within 5 minutes!

The other big announcement was Apple TV. Specs were as expected and included a 40 Gig hard disk. However it looks no more than an iTunes sharing device and I wanted a bit more. Also there are no video cables included and while an HDMI cable is only £17 it’s another little extra. I’ll be reserving judgement until it’s on the market and the first reviews come through. I’m really interested in how extendible, if at all, the Apple TV is.

Not announced at the keynote but of most immediate interest is the new Airport Extreme. Now supporting draft N standard it should give faster speeds over a wider range. It also allows a USB printer to be shared wirelessly or a USB drive to be plugged in and shared on your network. The site also states you can plug in a USB hub and share multiple drives or printers. Sounds a good buy for £119.

No leopard, no release dates, nothing else really but looking at the iPhone you be hard pushed to see a more exciting gadget from CES this year – it even made the top three stories on BBC news. Amazing.

Macworld Predictions

The first Macworld where I’m actually a Mac owner takes place on Tuesday. So like other geeks here are my predictions for the two hour keynote.

  • iPhone – maybe. But is it a phone with iPod type functionality or is the emphasis on the iPod which has additional phone capabilities.
  • iTV. With flash disk, support of external drives via USB2, HD playback, HD downloading from iTunes, playback of media from home pc’s Macs and NAS devices, a mini OSX – the community at large could then add so much functionality over time – some of the dashboard widgets would look great on the big screen, controlled from bluetooth keyboard or Macbook/Macbook pro. We’ll also get the proper name which if it has to include ‘Mac’ will make it the MacMedia or something corny like that.
  • Updated Airport to take advantage of the pre N hardware in Macbooks. Macbook Pro’s and iMacs. Maybe driver support won’t be available until leopard though.
  • Leopard – a new look. Maybe the reason why the Apple logo was black- a new dark look to Mac OSX? Will also get release date and some previews of new’ish functionality. Built in virtualisation or is Parallels to good to compete with?
  • iLife – updates but I don’t think there will be that much of a change
  • .Mac – never thought this was much value with so much web competition doing it better and for free. Maybe this is where some Google integration will come in.

A couple of days from now we’ll know how close the list is. if I was to pick one thing off the list it’s iTV – I really want something new that works with all my media to replace XBMC which is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Funny old game

On the way out?

Barry Ferguson and Kris Boyd. Only joking. Le Guen may have a certain frisson towards them, but he’s not a kamikaze pilot.

That was the Sunday Herald on the 31st Dec 2006. Just days later, Paul Le Geun has left Rangers by mutual consent. He left after stripping Ferguson of captaincy and dropping him. It looked liked Ferguson wouldn’t play again under Le Guen and it was certainly a ballsy move by the manager and showed who was boss. So I thought.

Does this mean that player power is really in control at Ibrox? Does Ferguson carry more weight than Le Guen (no pun intended)? Does Murray wield too much influence in that as long as players he wants to play are playing the manager is safe? Certainly the results weren’t of the quality to be expected at Rangers but it looks like the Ferguson incident has brought things to a head. Le Guen had an excellent track record and his appointment was lauded as a great coup by Murray. If he couldn’t turn things round at Ibrox then who can? Interesting days ahead.

Off to a flyer

So, returned from Peterborough yesterday and it looks like it was a bit stormier up here than I thought. Firstly I’ve got some fence damage. A year and a half ago we replaced 75% of our fencing. The last 25% was with a neighbour who claimed that it was their fence and it was fine. Well, one of the fine panels was smashed to bits on Hogmanay.

Fence Damage

Upshot is that they would like ME to get in touch with the fencing guy I used and arrange for him to replace OUR old fence. I’m not that bothered as it would be good to get it done but would have much preferred to do it a couple of years back. Hey ho.

Switched on the Sky box late last night – dead. No signal from the dish. Checked the recordings and it’s been buggered since Hogmanay. As Darth would say…..’Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo’. Thats the original Star Wars films in HD missed but more importantly last nights This Life. Boo. Newzbin to the rescue methinks. Phoned Sky who have reassured me that they’ll get someone to me as quick as they can – offered me a date in mid Feb. After rejecting that they will get a diary team member to phone me with something ‘a bit sooner’. No shit Sherlock.

Add to that the car getting scratched down South (the curse of Naim) makes for a good start to the year. Things can only get better?

and that was 2006

Happy 2007 folks. I was going to do a ‘best of 2006’ but to be honest I can’t be arsed and there’s not a lot of Wii time left. So, some things you should have watched, played heard in 2006 were…

Thom Yorke, Life on Mars, Planet Earth, Arctic Monkeys, Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, United 93, Low Winter Sun, 24, Bodies, Children of Men, Snow Patrol, Prime Suspect, Razorlight, Gears of War, Battlestar Galactica.

Time to look forward – no resolutions but some goals which I’ll keep private for the moment. Gives me a bit of leeway for failure 😉