Sunday, 9 October 2011

Rest In Peace Steve

I have pre-ordered myself an iPhone 4S. After much decision making I’ve decided to do this because it is time to upgrade and rather than wait for next iPhone (which might come next year), I’ll get the newer model which is due on Friday. The new model sounds really good as well, which helps matters. It is an upgrade to the iPhone 4, rather than a complete rebuild. It is being released alongside iOS5 which enables the user to do so much more with the phone. It comes with Siri, a voice controlled program which you can send messages via, or just search for information. I am underselling it with that description but from what I’ve read, it sounds like a fascinating upgrade. The new camera looks immense as well and it has the ability to film in HD. It also comes with a brand new processor (used in the iPad 2) which means it will run faster. Basically, the new upgrade sounds awesome. It is just unfortunate that its release is at the same time as a really sad piece of news for Apple and Apple fans alike. Hell, you don’t even need to be an Apple fan to be sad about this news. Steve Jobs has passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Below is the tribute message found on

Steve Jobs – 1955-2011
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

As I am typing this blog, I am listening to music via iTunes. I presently own my 2nd iPhone and am shortly going to purchase my 3rd iPhone. I own an iPad 2 and have previously owned 2 iPods. The creativity of Steve Jobs has changed the way I live my life. I can’t imagine using another phone on a day to day basis. People ask me why I love my iPhone as much as I do and the simple truth is that it just works for me. It has increased my expectations of what a phone should and could do for me. I have previously flirted with other music playing software and always ended up back in the familiar territory of iTunes. iTunes and the iTunes store has revolutionised the way I listen to music. Listening to music on iPods makes you realise why they are the best MP3 player on the market. When they first came out, I didn’t get the point of an iPad. Now, having owned one for 5 or so months, not only do I get it, but I love it. It has changed the way I do things on a day to day basis, whether that is writing a blog or a letter on Pages, or simply playing games while on the train – it has made a massive difference in my life. Put simply, I accept that not everything I have listed here is directly down to Steve Jobs; however he created and saved the company responsible for them. His ideas I’m sure helped create these items which are changing people’s lives. He changed the world as we know it. So from an Apple user, I would just like to say thank you to Steve Jobs. My thoughts and condolences are with his family and his friends. Rest in Peace Steve.

It has been quarter final weekend in the Rugby World Cup and it has been an emotional one it has to be said. It started with Wales v Ireland and it was a superb display by the Welsh. Their defence was rock solid throughout the game and the Irish were sloppy at times. Wales put in a solid performance against Fiji and this one was better. They won the game 22-10 and fully deserved it. The next quarter final was the real emotional one as England played France. I could speak for a long time about this game however I am just doing a summary of the games. I will talk more about England after. In short, France arrived at the game fired up and looked a completely different side to the one that was humiliated by Tonga the weekend before. England, when they had possession and looked threatening, continued to shoot themselves in the foot. They gave away a lot of possession and penalties needlessly. England lost 19-12 to France, and they deserved to lose. Today the first QF was Australia v South Africa and I only caught the second half (damn you alcohol). The second half was a hard fought contest. I do feel South Africa were hard done by due to poor refereeing. They scored a try but the ref said there was a forward pass (which I didn’t see even after the replays) and Australia were tackling very high without punishment. The referee seemed to either be very lenient or not notice. How he could have missed some of them though is beyond me. Australia won 11-9, and as a result the South Africa coach has already resigned; a real shame. The second QF was New Zealand v Argentina. I naturally assumed that this would be a walk over for NZ and they would make it to the semis, no questions asked. However, Argentina were nobody’s mugs and asked NZ some serious questions at times, including scoring the only try of the first half. NZ were more dominate over the span of the game but the final score of 33-10 does not to Argentina any justice at all. The semi finals are now:

Wales v France
Australia v New Zealand

England’s exit from the tournament at this stage is very disappointing. The question is what can be done? I’m unsure about Martin Johnson’s position as head coach. He seems to be good tactically but I just wonder about discipline. I’m not talking about the off the field activities here, I mean purely on-field discipline. I mean that is what let us down majorly. We struggled against Scotland and Argentina and got lucky but our discipline in those matches was shocking. I and others said that as soon as we play a better team, we will be found out. That is exactly what happened against France. Should Martin Johnson stay? I honestly don’t know at this stage. I think we need to see the squad for the Six Nations and how we do at that. By which I don’t just mean results wise, I mean performance wise. If we play like we did for some of that World Cup, we will not retain the Six Nations. I also think a number of big names who are starting to get on a bit need to retire from the international fold. I think we have seen better days from Tindall and Wilkinson. They may have a use for test matches before 2015 but it might be helpful for them to bow out now and let England build a new team. There are a number of other faces who I can’t imagine seeing at the 2015 world cup. These are Sheridan, Mears, Thompson, Shaw, Palmer, Moody, Easter and Cueto. Some of them may have a role to play but I am thinking 4 years down the line and it might be time to feed new blood into the squad for that tournament. We shall see what happens but I am awfully disappointed to see England exit in the QFs when they could have made it to the final (as the Draw was very favourable to them).

Final Thought: In the song Missing by Everything But The Girl, the singer says she misses someone like the desert misses the rain. Does the desert miss the rain at this point? I am not sure why this came to mind other than hearing the song on the radio and thinking “well, the desert probably doesn’t miss the rain, making this entire song moot”.

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