Fans never go down, supporters do.

What a day it has been for us. Mighty Wolves, bottom of the league and down. In my opinion – the best league to be bottom of and going down from; I mean we are still Premier league for three more games despite our fall. But are we now championship automatically? Does that mean anything we get from Swansea, Everton or Wigan is a REAL RESULT! Holy cow! We have nothing to lose, let’s beat those assholes and go down anyway! It would be nice to take Wigan down on the last day just because we can! I hope we do (no hard feelings Wigan-ites) but fucking other people’s shit up just because you can is mighty satisfying.

Anyway… ignore my tripe talk. I want to talk about fans and supporters. Because there is a difference. Fans are the people who tell you they support a club, then when your team loses to them they laugh and scoff and make up for all kinds of shortfalls by enjoying what is just a football score.

Supporters put their hands in their pockets and they spend money, they buy season tickets, go to games, visit the club shop, input something into the club that enables it to exist. Proper supporters.

“Fans” are always more gutted than supporters when a team fails. “Fans” of Wolves will cry longer and harder than supporters of Wolves will. That is fact, because supporters see it coming and “fans” just expect points or wins or survival. Supporters are hard and accepting to reality. We know three up and three down is the ultimate score if you aint 17th or higher. Most of our “fans” won’t be “fans” next season. They will have moved on to the next club or fad or fancy. Supporters will be rolling their sleeves up, hoping for the best, buying a season ticket, a half season ticket, a ticket, a team shirt or a gold and black t-shirt. “Fans” will be ripping down the posters, binning the pencil sharpener and looking to see who’s coming up to the Premiership.

Supporters love their club, “fans” love Match of the Day.

Supporters travel all over the country, “fans” still clean their windows with West Ham shirts whilst wearing Wolves ones and next season will wear who knows what shirts.

“Fans” never go down, they migrate like gypsies to another location and another team.

Supporters dig their heels in, grit their teeth, wipe their brows and raise their scarves.

Their scarves say “WOLVES FC” and they chant in the rain, snow and sunshine and say “COME ON YOU WOLVES!”

Be a supporter of your club and not a “fan,” if you want your credibility and your opinion to matter, be a fucking supporter. “Fans” think they give a shit and supporters speak louder than them without words, they do it with support.

I Am Wolves, are you? Are you anything?

Peace.

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Wolves Vs Man City.

Tomorrow the mighty Wolves could get relegated, but maybe not. Maybe we can effect the outcome of the championship instead and let Man Utd step closer to winning it with a pretty shit team (yeah they beat us 5-0 but as far as championship winners go it aint no team of 1999 is it!)

We can beat Man City. There you go, I said it. I know, insanity to think it, but after Wigan’s double against Man Utd and Arsenal why should we fear winning one tough game when they just turned over two in two? They aren’t much better than us, I don’t care what the league table says, they did it, and we can do it. We’re at home, the greatest fans in the world cheering us on, giving it our best – we can do it! It’d be the result of the season and a tiny ray of light in our otherwise miserable, relegation season.

I mean it’s going to be tough to achieve. The thought of Richard Stearman marking Carlos Tevez out of the game is hilarious in itself but it’s possible. We’ve got one of the best goalkeepers in the league (nay Europe) between the sticks, Dorus de Vries, England international Matt “1 Cap” Jarvis will be back in the team I’m sure, and the amazing Michael Kightly will be running the other side of the wing ragged too no doubts about it. I reckon even Ebanks Blake will get ten minutes at least to get mud on the arse of his shorts.

On the back of our first clean sheet since August and the fact that 9 of the 11 men who played for and lost with Man City at Molineux last season will probably play again tomorrow, we can win. These surely are all good signs…?

Impossible is nothing and tomorrow we could shock everyone.

Now time to take my tongue out of my cheek and return Terry Connor his thoughts!

Peace. (and good luck Wolves!)

RIP Ceefax.

Ceefax isn’t a service that I have used at all in the last four or five years. But despite my lack of interest in it recently I can still remember some of the page numbers that were my favourite and today hearing that it has gone off air for good I feel a little sad. Sad that 4 years of not using it haven’t erased these numbers and sad that I am so sad as to remember them, I’m sad. 302 was the best one and 312 a good one too, the Football Index and the Footie Gossip page.  Many years ago when I was a young teenage football fan teletext was the internet of its time. It was superb. It offered football scores that updated as the goals went in on a Saturday afternoon, it offered results and fixtures and tables all at the push of a button (or three).

But it wasn’t just football it was good for. It comprehensively covered Cricket, Rugby, Tennis, Formula 1, Athletics, Darts, Snooker and pretty well everything in between. It truly was a great source of info for sports fans, and not just sports fans.

News junkies could also get to see breaking news appearing as it happened (or just about) live on the news page 101. Twenty years ago very few people had satellite TV and so few had no access to 24 hour news services and so it was up to Ceefax to keep us all up to date in between scheduled news reports.

It sent us the weather news using a pixelated map of the UK.

It gave us games like bamboozled.

It told us what time films where on at the local cinema.

It offered us 88 continuously changing pages of cheap holidays, if you missed a page you had to wait ages for it to roll around again.

It was top drawer, but a creature of it’s time.

So it’s kinda a sad day, but let’s be realistic. It can’t hold a candle to the internet, to the power of modern mobile devices and has now passed into history. To have survived Ceefax should have found a way to offer email or distribute porn via its BBC Electron graphics, it might have had a chance in the 21st century then.

Peace!

Web Tools For Wordpress Bloggers and Tweeters.

I am a big fan of blogging and have also got an interest in search engine optimisation, and blog/web stat analysis to help get more readers. This interest has lead to me finding and using many free web tools online that can analyse how I’m using my twitter accounts and my blog at wordpress to make sure I’m attracting as many (and hopefully keeping) readers as possible.

But as a WordPress blogger the most obvious analysis tool to begin with is the free blog stats that come with the account. I have my blog hosted at wordpress.com and I get some information that is useful in knowing what kind of traffic I am getting and from where. I can see referrers such as links or search engine results, I can see what the most popular tags and categories that I’m adding to each post are, I can see the number of hits I’m getting by days, weeks and months and analyse any trends or popular topics that way. I can see my top viewed posts/pages for today and yesterday and so see what kinds of things people are searching for in the here and now. All of that is offered for free by wordpress, it may seem unappealing but sitting down for five minutes now and then and trying to understand how you gain readers can be invaluable to increasing your readership and let’s face it if you’re writing a blog you want it read otherwise what’s the point right?

If you, like I do, use Twitter in tandem to WordPress to try and gain a greater readership you should also follow the right people and hope they follow back (writers and bloggers) and use relevant hash tags too. I have a blog only twitter feed where I talk about blogging, writing, NanoWriMo and tweet about various blog tools such as the ones that I’m going to show you here. They are all free to use and can help you to break down the myriad of Twitter and WordPress stats for you to try and better tailor your blog posts. I am not affiliated to any of them and I’m sure that there are plenty of other sites offering statistical breakdowns, but these are the ones I like and I use:

http://digg.com/ – What’s popular right now? What are people searching for online? Digg can tell you. If you know what’s popular you can make your blog posts popular too.

http://www.alexa.com/ – Site Info on Alexa offers info on web traffic data, ranking and who’s linking back to your site/blog.

http://www.twitwheel.com/ – A visual representation of the reach of your tweets and hashtags. A novel idea and an interesting one, what? It’s a bit of fun!

http://tweetbuzz.us/ – Spotlights the hottest stories from Twitter on a single page. Similar kinda site to Digg.

http://www.keywords-analysis.com/index.php – Do you have advertising? If your blog is pay per click then this site will help you get more clicks using keyword optimisation.

http://socialblade.com/ – Analyse Digg front page data (and get Youtube account analysis on your own account and others, should you want to).

http://foller.me/ More Twitter analysis.

Grader.com

This site is superb: http://grader.com , it includes:

http://marketing.grader.com/ – free web site marketing report

http://book.grader.com/ – This is a tool for book authors to help them to track and improve the marketing of their book online.

http://tweet.grader.com/ – A great tool for seeing how well you are linking, networking, retweeting and interacting on twitter. Have a play around with this site, invaluable to hardcore twitter users.

http://search.grader.com/ – See which keywords your website is ranking for and how you’re doing on SEO.

Well that is everything. I have written blog posts previously on marketing your Youtube account and marketing your WordPress blogs, they can be found here:

My Youtube Marketing tips.

My Blogging Marketing tips.

I hope this blog post has been interesting, if you’ve made it this far I’m guessing it was to you. Please feel free to reblog this post or share on Twitter.

And have fun getting your blog readership and blogs popularity to rise!

Peace!

Easter Eggs.

I left buying Easter eggs this year until the day before Easter and yes it was a mistake. When I got to Morrison’s in Willenhall I discovered lots of empty shelves with the occasional broken to bits Wispa egg or the occasional Crunchie Easter egg that had been raided for the free mug inside (WTF?) But it was my own fault and failure to buy the eggs a week before when I saw thousands of them stacked ten feet high in Asda in Darlaston. You have to live with these decisions… and I did. I ended up buying my niece and nephews the best of what was left without spending a fortune on fuck all! But to be honest they were still overpriced. What you gonna do?

But what left me pissed off was the large number of other clowns who’d done the same as me but rather than spend a bit more or maybe piss off to another supermarket to buy Easter eggs, they decided to howl and wail and scream like banshees at the fact that the £1 eggs and the buy 3 for £5 offers were all gone. They held their heads in absolute grief-like pain, they chased after Morrisons Saturday staff who are mostly teenagers and clearly don’t give a fuck to demand where the hell the eggs had all gone, they fell to their knees and wept, comforted in the bosom of other cunts who had promised little Kylie and Brad Milky Way easter eggs and were not able to follow through on that promise. They looked up and down the aisle ten, twenty, a hundred times searching for the hidden eggs that they needed, they wanted, they craved.

I paid over the odds for my niece and nephews Easter eggs, lets face it how expensive is a cardboard box and some hollow chocolate? But I somehow managed to avoid a nervous breakdown as all around me I watched utter morons having fits and screaming “MEDIC!!!” like a scene from ‘Saving Private Ryan’ because all of the Retro Lion Bar Eggs were gone… it was fucking tragic!

Above: "What? Only £10 Thornton's Eggs left! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

“Horizon: The Hunt For AI” was really thought provoking.

I’ve just finished watching the Horizon episode about artificial intelligence and it was very interesting indeed. AI isn’t something that I sit up at night worrying about and I don’t fear Hal like computers that may not only run things in the future but also go a little crazy but it certainly is a direction that robotic science seems to want to go these days. I mean we all think that our smart phones and the internet are great because we have all of these apps and programmes but that is all they are – code that a device interprets. Nothing about phones or laptops or PC’s is sentient nor actions or decisions considered or chosen, shit just happens, they are just powerful calculator doing lots and lots of maths.

I suppose things haven’t moved on very much from “The Bombe” that was built and used by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park before the Second World War and we see in this documentary. The machine was used to try to break the German enigma code which had One hundred and fifty million, million, million combinations to any given coded transmission. Now that is what you call encrypted. I wonder if modern day encryptions used online are as secure as that. You’ve gotta give it to the Germans, they know how to build stuff! It would take the average human being many lifetimes to crack such a code but Turing’s machine was able to decipher any given German transmissions settings to allow messages to be read within the hour. This showed Turing that machines can be used to work at a much faster pace and if they can be used to think on such a scale can they one day think for themselves?

Well the “Watson” machine that we see in the programme isn’t artificial intelligence at all it’s just an example of what kind of programme can be put into a machine to make it work efficiently and better than a human being. The fact that the machine was able to play ‘Jeopardy’ to an excellent standard means it was able to learn a lot and interpret that knowledge quickly. It certainly was an amazing experiment but when you consider the machine was being coached and was learning information for four years prior to playing ‘Jeopardy’ it’s less amazing, after all we have already understood thanks to Turing that machines can be used to work a lot more faster and more efficiently than a human brain. But nice to see that Jeopardy champion put in his place by what is essentially an IBM PC.

I liked the moment in the programme where the narrator and presenter, Marcus Du Sautoy goes into a ‘Thinking Room’ and interprets questions written in Chinese and answers them in Chinese with no prior understanding of the language but the fact that he was using an instruction manual of sorts to do this shows beautifully how computers work. They can be fed information that is meaningless and offer a relevant answer or solutions based on the programme that it uses to understand the original inputted data or question. A lovely way to show how computers work I felt and allowed someone of my modest intelligence to understand. And then of course we see this kind of thing in action as we are introduced to the “Bluejean” which is one of the most powerful computers in the world. It’s inventor Fred Mincer (great name!) explaining to us it’s awesome power, 5.6 teraflops per second (which is 1million, million floating point operations per second) which allows it to solve humongous and complex questions in hours rather than lifetimes. This shows us the power of thinking computers but again, it’s not AI at all, it’s just a big calculator following a programme.

We then got to see some terrible tightrope walking (which I knew would end up with a successful crossing eventually, it just had to). Anthropometric robots are expected to be the types of robot that will be able to learn (as it interprets its body and environment) in the future as it’s believed that mind and body are at one when it comes to the way we think and the way that process is shaped. This sounds very true to me as biology and evolution are likely to have lead us to the point where we are today as evolved, self aware beings of intelligence. So I would guess that something similar might have to happen in robots to help create a more realistic and human-like kind of artificial intelligence. If robots can be allowed to start from scratch, as we see with those two robots that interact and even start to make up their own language for movements, colours and shapes etc, then maybe they can have their own intelligence that is the result of exploring their robot bodies and the environment around them. This seems very logical and very likely to be the way that we arrive at having robots that can think for themselves.

I found the idea of computers being able to be creative very odd though. I feel that art, literature, music, architecture, sculpture etc to be an expression of what it is to be a human biological conscious entity and I think that even if robots can evolve to understand themselves, the world and interact with other robots or people they will still lack the ability to write a symphony or paint a Mona Lisa. I just doubt that that level of emotional evolution can be achieved in a computer or robot. Maybe in my lifetime I’ll be proved wrong (but I doubt it)!

This programme was superb; very thought provoking and maybe asked more questions than it answered (which isn’t a bad thing) it was extremely interesting. Great work BBC Horizon and Marcus Du Sautoy.

Nice to have something to sit and ponder on a cold and wet Tuesday evening.

Peace.