Since I haven't posted in a while, here's a few quick thoughts after seeing the Malaysian GP this morning (delayed enough this shouldn't spoil for anyone!).
Firstly, the Mercedes has been fooling people since testing began. Everyone has been watching them set seriously quick times and thought with all their new personnel they'd be a force to be reckoned with. I did too. Unfortunately, they'd just been exceptionally clever and made an extremely effective "super DRS" which stalls the front wing when the DRS is activated. In qualifying and free practice, there are no DRS restrictions so this aero-stalling is active for a good portion of the lap. It allows them to look very quick. Unfortunately once a race hits, they're barely able to use DRS, therefore the "super DRS" on the front wing is barely active. Without the speed boost from this, they have no base pace. They will undoubtedly be quick in qualifying for a good while yet, but they are almost sitting ducks in races.
Lotus have done a good job with their car. Unfortunately Grosjean seems cursed and doesn't seem to want to finish a race, and Raikkonen keeps coming under duress for one reason or another. Once they get their initial issues sorted out, they're going to be challenging. Remember how many tests they topped the time charts in; that was no fluke.
Sauber were another team who were purpling it up in Q1 in Melbourne, which was largely overlooked because Mercedes has so much (artificial) pace. They were racing well again today, as shown by how quickly Perez was catching Alonso. They're going to be a force too.
If you read my site last year you'd be familiar with the 18th man theory. I'm glad to report it's still going strong so far this season. Jean-Eric Vergne went from "18th" to 8th today, and Kimi went from 18th to 7th last week. Going out in Q1 is almost beneficial still ;)
Finally, Ferrari really are awful at the moment. Alonso's win today is papering over the cracks. It was a great drive from him to bring it home, but circumstances played into their hands. Massa just cannot handle the car. It looks horrible, and it drives horrible. Hopefully this win will save Domenicali's job, because he does seem a decent bloke, but they look like they're gonna be hoping for wet races for the rest of the season. Maybe they should ask for a few more races in England!
Anyway, that's it until next time. See you in China.
Something funny is definitely going on with Amazon and their recommendations system at the moment. They're blatantly lying about things you've "viewed" on their site, which they've either been fed from some other source, or fished out of your browsing history.
Here's a copy of the e-mail I've just fired off to them:
I've been noticing recently that Amazon has told me I've viewed products on Amazon which I know I haven't viewed, but I have been on other sites which contain that item. For example, many films I've Googled recently have suspiciously shown up on my viewed items list on the Amazon homepage.
My suspicious were really peaked when I was told I'd viewed a Mercedes Benz book, which I can *guarantee* I did NOT view, right after I'd visited the Mercedes website.
Can you please explain to me how you're getting this information? Are you in a data-sharing agreement with Google, or are you just sniffing at my locally-stored browsing history.
I love that Amazon provides me with good recommendations based on things I've bought/reviewed/rate/viewed within Amazon, but I'm not at all happy that you're apparently getting non-Amazon data involved in this recommendation system.
I look forward to your explanation.
Things like this don't usually bother me, but I'm looking forward to hearing when this came in and what exactly is going on...
It's a while since I've posted. I basically finished the site, was vaguely impressed with how well it all came together (especially the responsiveness at different resolutions), but decided it didn't look particularly good - my utter lack of Photoshop skill for logos/backgrounds/effects - and negelected it. Well, here's a rant I've had a few times recently...
I'm sat watching an NFL game on Sky at the moment. It's the best game on at this kickoff time so I'm pretty happy. If I didn't want to watch this game though, I could pay a very reasonable £90 to be able to watch the rest of this seasons games (including the playoffs) online. I'd be able to pick whichever game I wanted and switch between that and other games at will. I can also watch the NFL RedZone channel, which switches between the games for you and shows the "big" plays as they happen so you can keep abreast of action and scoring in all the games. This is great in multiple ways, because it also removes the common-complaint of the British fan that it's all advert breaks. It's all action on RedZone!
There's also a TV subscription service in the US called Sunday Ticket, for around $350/season. This allows you, on your TV, to watch any game you want. Each of the 32 teams play 16 games each, so you're not getting a bad deal there really.
Back when I was working in a bar every night of the week, and regularly staying up into the wee hours of the morning, even on weeknights, I got into watching baseball for a bit as well. (Yes, I basically watch American sports because they were on when I used to be awake, simple as really.) The MLB.tv service. On this, you watched games through their own desktop application. You could see what was going on, have it automatically switch to a list of your favourite players whenever they were on, watch a mosaic up to 6 games at once and keep up with all the stats you wanted. You could also see any games that had already happened in an archive. That's out of season at the moment so I can't check the price but it was less than £200 for a year. Bear in mind, each of the 32 teams plays 162 games in a season, so there was usually at least 10 games on a given day.
Now, if I want to watch football in the UK what options do I get? I can watch ESPN, which shows 1 game a week if you're lucky. I can watch Sky, which usually has an extra 3-4. You can't choose who you want to watch, and online you're restricted to watching the live TV feed also. For a Sky Sports + ESPN combined package it's around £50 a month. You get at most 20 games a month, if you're lucky, and you don't pick what games you watch. Yes, if you want to watch football, you will have to watch Blackburn and Bolton if the powers that be so choose.
Compare this to the Sunday Ticket service. In the UK, we're paying about the same price a month for 20 static games, as you do for that many in a week in America! You can't even watch Match of the Day on iPlayer because ESPN have exclusive online highlights rights. The only way to catch up on what's happened online on-demand is to download their Android/iPhone goals app, and watch it on a smartphone at a crappy resolution. On NFL.com you get instant access to all the highlights of every game completely free of charge.
Next Saturday, there are 7 Premier League games on Saturday, how many of those are being shown on TV? Err.....0. Back in the day, they didn't used to send full TV crews to every game, they'd have maybe 1 or 2 cameras to show highlights. These days though, if you look around the internet you can find full streams of every game, including English commentary. The British public have no easy and legal access to this; I'd love to be able to pay to watch all my teams games online but there's no option to do so.
Why is the FA and the Premier League so far behind American sports in terms of coverage of the games? It's not like there isn't a demand for it here. Surely they'd be able to cash in if they exploited their game rights a little better and more extensively than they currently do. I doubt ESPN pay all that much for their exclusive online highlight rights.
Get it sorted out Mr. Football Association. Your system at the moment is just making it harder and harder for your average fan to follow what happens. They're going to lose interest and stop giving any money to your teams. The bubble is going to burst soon, be pro-active and start making things better for fans again please.