Wednesday, January 20, 2010

iTrust you!

Photo courtesy of:

I've picked up on another article from The Guardian's Media Monkey which is about a new iPhone app that has been designed to catch out people who check their partners mobile phones!

The application, iTrust, has been written by a man named Bob Nerberg of Oslo who has designed the application with his girlfriend. He thinks it will make relationships stronger and was quoted as saying "It's something everybody thinks about in a relationship - is my partner reading my texts and emails? Now you can be sure."

The way it works is by producing a locked dummy screen to prevent access to texts, emails or social networking accounts, and stores a record of every button pressed on the display. The owner would then be able to see what buttons had been pressed etc.

This strikes me as pretty bizarre because realistically if you've got nothing to hide from your partner, then why would you be bothered about them reading emails and texts, most of which are probably from them anyway! And if your partner is reading your texts/emails or you're reading theirs, then surely something isn't right?

I love technology, it's fantastic and is always improving our way of life by making things simpler, faster and better but I don't think this is strictly necessary! But hey, for all you iPhone users out there that want to see if their partners trust you, then this is app is probably for you! Whilst you're there though I've found some more pointless apps here, but here are my favourite three:

1) Cold Beer - "There are two kinds of people in the world: normal people, and people who like to calculate how long it'll take to get their beer to a specific temperature in the fridge. Only the first group get invited to parties."

2) MyLighter - All the fun of a Zippo lighter without the actual lighter – great for concerts! Concerts for simpletons, that is.

3)UK Payphone - You're carrying a phone. So why on earth would you pay money to find out where the nearest payphone is? This is either a surrealist prank or The Worst iPhone App Ever.

Adrian in Trouble with the Fuzz....Face Fuzz that is!

Adrian Chiles
A Beardless Adrian Chiles courtesy of:

I sat and wondered during Match of the Day Two this week who the scruffy looking chap who had replaced Adrian Chiles was, then I realised it was just Adrian complete with a beard!

Now although I thought he looked a little scruffy and made a few jokes with my friends about him not making the effort for MOTD2 anymore I think I could cope if he continued to sport the face fuzz. Unfortunately though, it's not down to me, The BBC have told him to "lose" the beard as it is "inconsistent" with role on The One Show. According the Media Monkey on the Guardian website, "Adrian's bush has not gone down well" so it looks like we'll be seeing the normal Adrian Chiles back on MOTD2 from now on!

Will you be welcoming back Adrian without his beard? Or do you think it's unfair for the BBC to tell him to lose it?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Interesting Debate on Responsible Journalism...

Original Author TuborgLight.

Having just listened to Robbie Savage's reaction to a local journalist who had reported 'rumours that the players think the club's backroom staff aren't up to the job' it raised a couple of issues to do with responsible journalism.

Savage was unhappy with the journalist who reported these rumours and his fury at the lack of support from local journalists to Derby County FC was clear. First off Savage asks the local journalist to tell him who his source for the rumours was, which rightly the journalist refuses to tell him. Savage doesn't think that it was responsible journalism to repeat these rumours on the radio, but if the journalist has a reliable and trustworthy source then the rumours could actually be closer to fact than Savage knows, and therefore the journalist probably feels the Derby fans deserve to know.

Savage also expects the local journalists to get behind the team and support the team, which by all rights they should do when the team are playing well and producing good results but when they are struggling, which Derby clearly are following their 4-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United, responsible journalism would be to report the fact that they are struggling and not gloss over it and make out that Derby are the best team in the world. Savage says that a journalist reported "Boos echo around Pride Park" and says "people can hear that for themselves" which of course they can, well the ones at Pride Park can! A home crowd booing their team at the end of the match is pretty important to a sport story, it shows the reader and the fans who didn't attend that the majority of home fans aren't happy with the way the team performed. I for one, would be quite annoyed if my local paper didn't report the unhappiness of the home fans just as they would report the delight of the same fans if their team had won the cup!

It is not the role of a local journalist to continually talk up the team and praise them and it is not the role of the footballer or the teams to dictate what the reporters can report. The journalist reports what is important to their audience and in this case, Derby's struggle is important local sports news to BBC Radio Derby!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

African Cup of Nations 2010

Ghanaian supporters at the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

This week saw the start of this year's African Cup of Nations in Angola. The return of Drogba, Essien, Toure and co back to Africa, a very enjoyable tournament but the headlines evolve around the gunmen that fired on the Togolese team on Friday. I understand this and I think it's right for journalists to cover this story and raise awareness for what is a problem in many African countries, especially with the World Cup heading to South Africa this summer. But I think to vilify the whole of Africa and suggest it isn't capable of hosting this year's World Cup is going too far.

So far the Cup of Nations has seen some exciting matches, including incredible comebacks (Angola looked home and dry in the opening match when they were leading 4-0 with 11 minutes to go, only for Mali to peg them back to draw 4-4!) Then we saw Malawi unexpectedly beat Algeria 3-0 and then minnows Burkina Faso drew 0-0 with tournament favourites Ivory Coast. The results kept coming as Egypt came from 1-0 down to beat Nigeria 3-1! So far the matches have been exciting and I expect that to continue.

Another aspect is the incredible spectacle that Angola has put on to host the tournament. The opening ceremony at the 11 de Novembre National Stadium in Luanda was spectacular and the match 4-4 draw to follow provided a great start to the tournament which it really needed following the shootings which had tarnished its image before it had begun. The fans have been fantastic so far also, producing an atmosphere full of passion which many African fans are renowned for.

I think column inches will continue to be written about the safety of holding tournaments in this part of the world for the next few weeks and even more so in the run up to the tournament. It's a shame as I think this tournament could have many more fantastic moments to remember it for but unfortunately there's only one thing people will ever remember about Angola 2010.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Has The Cup Lost It's Magic?

This weekend saw the FA Cup's Third Round take place and many of the match reports mention the dwindling stadium attendances and the disappearance of the magic which the Cup used to possess.

The Third Round is normally a big day for a football fan as the famous competition finally introduces the big boys and is the stage where famous giant killings are staged. We saw one this weekend when League One's Leeds United beat Premier League Champions Manchester United at Old Trafford which produced the type of magic and excitement we have come to expect from the competition. But some of the attendances around the country suggest that for many fans, going to the FA Cup isn't that important any more.

The weekend saw ten Premier League teams at home and just two of those (Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur) saw their attendances go above their average season attendance. That means Chelsea, Everton, West Ham (who faced Arsenal), Aston Villa (who faced Blackburn), Sunderland, Fulham, Portsmouth and Wigan all saw their attendances for the FA Cup fall below their season average. Wigan who entertained Hull, in an all Premier League tie, had a gate of just 5,335 which was only beaten by Torquay's home match with Brighton which had a crowd of 4,028.

The falling attendances make it clear that the FA Cup perhaps doesn't mean what it used to, but I think its not just a case of fans falling out of love with the cup. The average season attendances are made up mainly of season ticket holders whom are expected to then pay extra for the cup matches on top of the few hundred quid they pay at the start of the season. And another key fact here is that for many clubs, cup tickets aren't cheap, for example West Ham were charging between £28 and £40.50 for season ticket holders for their home tie against Arsenal and then people wonder why they only attracted 25,549 fans for the tie of the round (5,200 of which were Arsenal fans!)

The ticket prices coupled with managers fielding weaker sides to save their their best eleven for league ties makes the FA Cup a lot less glamorous. Realistically, who is that happy about paying upwards of £30 for to see their sides reserves? Fans are clearly falling out of love with the most prestigious trophy in domestic football and it's time the FA worked with the clubs to make sure the fans come first and the trophy gets the attendances and treatment it deserves.