I won 4p on Ladbrokes!

I got very bored at some point yesterday and decided to become a keen gambler by depositing £5 of my hard earned cash into Ladbrokes website.
I decided to place my first bet of a massive 10p on a football match between Liverpool and Sparta Prague and I won 14p in return meaning I’m actually up four whole pence. It’s incredible, I’m so chuffed that my first bet payed off successfully. Cheers Liverpool.
This isn’t actually a Joke. I love gambling and have for a long time. I’m a regular at Chepstow Race Course where I love blowing £100 odd and then coming back with nothing but a few tickets stating what I bet on. I don’t know what it is that makes me love gambling, especially seeing as I’m usually careful with what I spend my money on. Maybe it’s the fact it’s a cheap thrill. If I put £2 on a horse, the next 10 minutes of my life would be vaguely more exciting than it would be otherwise. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting something for nothing if I win.
If I add up all the money I’ve gambled in my life so far I’m probably down hundreds and hundreds of pounds but I’m not going to stop. It’s great fun and I’m down hundreds and hundreds of pounds from buying other things that weren’t any where near as exciting. Things like towels. I’ve spent quite a few pounds on towels in my life but I’ve never lay on a towel at the beach and been buzzing about it.I’m by no means addicted to gambling, I don’t try and spend every pound I have to get more money down the bookies, far from it in fact. I understand why people do gamble though, it’s exciting. If I put £1 on the Wales vs. Italy match this Saturday it’s going to make the match a tad more exciting and that’s worth a quid to me.

James Blunt in St. Davids Cardiff 2011

James Blunt Some Kind Of Trouble Tour

Last night, I went to see James Blunt and friends in Cardiff. He was incredible. Honestly one of the best live performers I have ever seen, the set was so well put together. Everything from the arrangement of his songs to the lighting. He’s actually a really good crowd goer as well, also making jokes about how miserable some of his songs are on stage. One of the things I’ve always liked about James Blunt is he’s a real person, not one of these crazy celebrities who have lost the plot, which then got encouraged by the record labels to continue being crazy because it sells (Hi Rihanna, Hi Lady Gaga).
There was also a really good starting act on called the Wakey Wakey who are apparently from Brooklyn, New York. The singer was a funny guy, seemed to be enjoying Wales although the staff at St. Davids deemed that even the artists weren’t allowed glasses in the theatre therefore leading him to be drinking red wine out of a bottle.
When James Blunt came on around an hour after the Wakey Wakey, he started with a song from his new album which then merged into another song really smoothly. I have to put emphasis on how well the live music was done because it sounded as good, if not better than the albums he has made. As an artist he has definitely got better as he’s got older and his music is incredible. Obviously that is subject to opinion but I’m pretty sure that everybody who would want to see a good show would enjoy James Blunts incredible ability to get the crowd going.
Now this wouldn’t really be a real post of my thoughts and opinions if I didn’t put something angry and miserable in it, so here goes. James Blunt has one rather amazing talent where he manages to make middle aged women go absolutely crazy and I mean this with the upmost offence to anyone who dancing at that concert last night. You can’t dance. I hope I’ve offended you because you annoyed me for at least 10 minutes last night and I would of rather spent that time enjoying the fantastic music that was being performed. In fact there was a women sat just in front of me, who couldn’t seem to contain herself, sat in her seat just rocking back and forth as her rather embarrassed daughter tried to stop her from actually moving.
Anyway that’s not the point, I’ve made the point but that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is to say that I had an incredible time last night, I will probably book a ticket to go see him again next year and if any of you were pondering whether to go see James Blunt and you are indeed a fan, I really do suggest you go.

The Desire of Wealth

£50 notes and the intention of becoming rich

I have always, for as long as I remember, longed to be rich. I don’t want to settle for a job where I work from 9-5 and come home knowing that I’ll be able to pay the bills and drive my average car to an average house that has average contents.
You may think it’s obvious, if you think anything like me, you would assume that everybody wants to be rich but some people just don’t share that view. People work in many different professions that leave them feeling great about themselves but with only just enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month. I have great respect for these people, but it’s not what I want to do, I want the best in life or what is perceived to be the best. What I want in life is to be able to wake up in the morning and know that whatever I want, I can have.
I don’t believe that money brings happiness. I don’t believe that if I become rich I will be happy. There are lots of things that need to go with money to create happiness such as friends, family and good health. I sort of agree with the theory that living comfortably is all you need but I want that little bit more, I want to be the person who can wake up in the morning and not be restricted financially by what I can do and the only way to do that is to become rich.
I’ve been reading up on what people who have become rich have done and it seems that being determined isn’t enough. The ability to admit defeat is something that is stressed by many of the articles I have read. Not only is it the ability to admit defeat, it is the requirement of being able to pick yourself back up and try to become rich again. I think this is something I’m going to have to work on. My work ethic is currently below that of the average rich person. I want to do what I want to do too much.
I think that If I am ever going to achieve my goal of being rich it’s going to require working at. I’m already employed and a full-time student, that’s not to say I couldn’t work harder at both. Education could definitely be improved and I’m really not utilising my current skill set to it’s maximum capacity as far as earning money is concerned. It’s just that drive that I’m currently lacking. The drive to get my tech support job up and running, the drive to get an extra shift down the pub. I think it’s a stepping stone that I realise where I currently stand. I know what’s missing and it’s working on getting that drive that I need to do.

You’ll get bored of driving, the novelty wears off quickly.

Tim Ford Toyota iQ

Around this time last year, I was beginning to learn how to drive a car. I couldn’t wait to pass my test and have the freedom of being able to go where ever I want and not have to rely on some hanging bus to pick me up at a certain time.
People always seemed to put driving down though. The most common responses I got, when telling people I was soon to be driving were along the lines of:

“You’ll soon get bored of it”
“The novelty of driving wears off quickly, then it’s just a pain”
“It’s going to cost you the earth”

The first two I completely disagree with. No matter where I’m driving, whether it be a drive I do regularly or going somewhere new I still enjoy it. I still enjoy having my own mode of transport and my own music playing. There are so many little things that makes driving so good as well as the big things. For example, on a bus, I can’t adjust my seat just the way I want it. That’s a little thing. The big things are, I can go wherever I want, whenever I want and in some cases, how fast I want. It may cost a lot of money, in fact I’ve just had my renewal quote and driving for the next year is going to cost me at least £1000 more than it did last year before I’ve even started the engine or put petrol in the tank (Insurance is a scam). The bus was a ridiculous price anyway. Something like £4 to go somewhere that costs me £2 in the car. Why the hell would anyone opt for public transport when it stinks, it’s a horrible ride and the driver is a miserable fiend. I’d pay twice as much as I did for the bus to get a ride in a car but luckily in my super-economical car it costs less than the bus fare did.
All the people who said things like I’ve quoted may have their reasons for disliking driving, or may not like spending their money on such a commodity but for me, I still really enjoy driving, I will continue to enjoy driving for a long time to come as well I believe.

K’nex is ugly.

I have had nothing to do for days now. I’ve literally just lay in bed looking at the ceiling. Today I got fed up with the ceiling and decided I was going to make a Lego stop motion movie. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the old box of Lego but stumbled across two tubs of K’nex.
I looked at the parts and decided that it was far too ugly to be featured in a video so instead I build a massive ferris wheel. Now I don’t mean to be big headed but it’s a pretty good ferris wheel. I’m no K’nexpert but from what I’ve done today, I know that it’s almost impossible to make it look good. I’ve been trying to take a good picture of my ferris wheel for a fair amount of time but I’ve given up and opted for a “camera phone” style photo instead. You know the ones, where the subject is dead in the middle and looks boring and dull. I’ve even looked at the leaflets and booklets that come with the tubs and all the photos on there look awful.
I blame the colours of the parts. With Lego you can get varied colours of each brick but with this K’nex stuff, everything part seems to be colour coded and therefore doesn’t vary. So you’ve got your long, ugly grey sticks and your shorter, ugly red sticks etc.
If I had found my Lego box, I could of made something good looking, something that featured Lego people that have some sort of resemblance to a person and got some decent snaps or even a video. I didn’t have Lego though, I had K’nex. I want that hour of my life back.

IBM Watson could help create the robots I want to see.

IBM's Watson Computing System Jeopardy playing computer

Watson is IBM’s incredible, jeopardy playing computer. What’s great about Watson is that it can interpret normal questions, spoken by a human in a non-specific way and then give an answer. Obviously at the moment it’s not perfect and some of the answers have been questionable however the majority of time Watson gets questions right. Now at the moment this is applied to game show use however, I believe that the implementation of a system like this in robots could help to create a robot you could have a conversation with or find answers from.
Many people believe that there will never be the need for a humanoid robot in the home. The belief is that instead of a sole device that can carry out multiple tasks, we’ll have things like super clever ovens that know how to cook things perfectly or beds that make themselves. This will basically mean that all houses being built in the “future” will have an incredibly advanced home automation system fitted.
Personally, I’d much rather have a robot with arms and hands that can do things and be upgraded and learn things. A humanoid robot would serve a much more universal purpose for people. The fact that a person can do so many things is relevant to it’s form factor. As a human we have the ability to move our bodys to carry out tasks that are deemed simple, for a robot, complicated algorithms and thousands of lines of code are required for simple movements and tasks. This may mean that a humanoid robot would seem farfetched but progress is being made and with the implementation of something like the Watson system a real life, useful humanoid robot seems more likely.
Working progress is exactly what something like robotics and computing has always been about and things like humanoid robots are becoming much more feasible with open-source projects and the use of the internet. Machines are being improved day after day and the next evolution in technology could well be with more commercialised robotics. The majority of robotic implementations at the moment is in the form manufacturing or military uses. There are the odd household robots here and there such as the iRobot Vaccum Cleaners but I still don’t own an NS5.

The Trance Phase

TimFord Trance

I remember the first time I ever watched Kevin and Perry and instantly wanted to buy the movies OST. I did. I’ve since lost the CD and all I had left of it was a memory of nearly every single song on it. I absolutely loved that film and watched it all the time when I was younger and about 3 weeks ago I booked a holiday with 10 friends to go to Ibiza, the day we booked that holiday I bought a copy of Godskitchen Trance Classics and Future Trance as well as copy of Kevin And Perry on iTunes. That same day I also constructed an epic floorfillers playlist on Spotify.
I’ve been listening to trance flat out ever since we booked Ibiza and I absolutely love it. The classic tunes are incredible and the current tunes are absolutely euphoric. I think theres something incredible about the massive build up to an absolutely epic drop that just gets me buzzing. I had it playing through my surround sound the other day and just sat doing nothing listening to it and thinking of being in Ibiza. I honestly love Trance music and cannot wait to go to Ibiza for 12 days in the summer. I don’t care that it’s going to cost a fortune I just want to be in Pacha, Privilege and Amnesia going nuts to some of the best music in the world, being played by the best DJ’s in the world.

Blogging, 3 Months and 100 posts in.

TimFord.co.uk has been through many stages since I’ve owned it. It was once just a testing ground for learning web design and programming, then soon after that I decided to create a web page for bigging myself up. It wasn’t long before I thought I had absolutely no use for my domain name and just left some contact details for my tech support and computer repair work.
It was in November 2010, I decided I would give blogging a go. I must have been pretty bored to of wanted to do something with my website. I didn’t do it to for views, I didn’t do it for money, I didn’t expect anything to come of it but I’ve kept at it and found it good fun especially with the use of my dedicated twitter account. So here I am, just over 3 months into blogging and I’ve written 100 articles.

Here’s some stats of how it’s been going:

Position on Google when searching for “Tim Ford”: 1st
Pages: 1 – The About me page
Posts: 100 (101 including this one)
Categories: 12
Views: 12,000
Tweets: 793
Followers: 672
RSS Feed Views: 500

I’ll say it again, I didn’t do this for the views, I’ve used virtually no promotion at all, the only thing that might of made a difference is the use of a search engine optimisation tools to gain higher ranks in the search engines. It’s been a great run so far, I don’t think I’ll be stopping any time soon.

Goals for 2011:

1. Maintain position on Google
2. Posts to be at least 250 by years end.
3. Views to be at 100,000

That’s about all I would like. Thanks to all who have visited this website and please continue to come check out what I have to say about things every now and then.

Android isn’t for me.

Android Rusty Droid Google mobile OS

Android is Googles mobile operating system that quickly gained a huge market share in the smartphone market and is competing with the likes of Apples iOS, RIM’s Blackberry OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.
It’s absolutely massive now and in light of Mobile World Congress this week, I thought I’d give my opinion on it.
I don’t like Android for lots of reasons but one of the main ones is consistency. I have toyed around and even repaired a few Android phones in the past and none of them have been the same. I remember trying to play a game of Angry Birds on a friends HTC Wildfire and it wouldn’t work due to the resolution of the screen not being compliant with the games requirements, a problem I would never face on an iOS device.
Then there is the other problem that not all Android devices are shipped with the latest version of the operating system restricting the software that can be installed on them and the features of older hardware and where as this is a problem with iOS, it tends to be because older iPhones are restricted by hardware where as with Android the reason phones don’t get updated to the latest OS tends to be because the handset manufacturers don’t release an update specific to that device which I imagine is something they use to sell more phones.
The other main problem for me is that the operating system is ugly. I know this may be a bit controversial but I honestly don’t care. I think it’s ugly, no matter what it’s been skinned with (HTC Sense and such) the operating system is still nowhere near as good looking as Windows Phone 7 or iOS. It looks old, it looks dated and the majority of icons don’t look right. If it’s to your taste then great, buy an Android mobile phone but for me it really is horrible to look at.
I don’t doubt that Android is a good operating system and his allowed many manufacturers to produce some great phones that are quite competitive in the smartphone market and the millions of Android users out there may love their phones. I’ve always wondered it’s a price thing. I wonder if given the chance, most people would swap out their Android mobile for an iPhone 4 or a top spec Blackberry or Windows Phone.
Mobile Phones are very personal devies and each to their own but for me, Android is a no-go and unless it’s de-uglified and offers something really impressive, I’ll never switch.

Stephen Elop is not a mole!

 

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who thought Stephen Elop had burrowed his way into Nokia to get Windows Phone onboard. Stephen Elop responded to a question asked at the Microsoft Mobile World Congress Conference saying he was not a mole!

Ok so that’s not the exact quote. The question asked was “Are you a Trojan Horse?” and the response:

“The obvious answer is no. We made sure that the entire management team was involved in the process, and of course the board of directors of Nokia are the only ones that can make this significant of a decision about Nokia. They made that final decision on Thursday night.”

So there we have it. The new Nokia CEO and ex-Microsoft exec claims he’s not a mole!