Archive for May, 2009

Last Chance Saloon for F1

May 28, 2009

With US F1, Campos Racing, Lola and Litespeed GP ready to enter next years Formula 1 championship who needs Ferrari, Renault, BMW, Mclaren etc etc….. Max and Bernie run the risk of devaluing a sport that prides itself on being the pinnacle of motorsport world wide.

The attempt to cap the teams to £40 has already got massive holes in it. In addition to driver pay and engines being excluded from the cap, it is also rumoured that there will be an additional employee waiver to allow a high paid designer for example to be employed.

The loopholes are already massive and I can imagine the playing field becoming more level, just appearing to be on paper for those who don’t look to deeply. This could allow a team to spend double or treble the cap and still remain within the spirit of the cap, whilst the second tier teams who are queueing up to have a go will struggle to make any impression at the back of the grid.

What will happen tomorrow? Will anyone else follow Williams into Bernies open arms?

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Mosley and Ecclestone Determined to bite the hand that feeds them

May 28, 2009

How can two men collectively set about destroying something as histroic as Formula 1? I can’t be the only one that is amazed that these two are emmersed in their own power struggle with the teams that take part in the sport. The problem seems to lie in the fact that Max and Bernie think that the F1 plaything that has fed them so well all these years is indestructable and that no matter how much they dick around with it it will always be the pinacle of motorsport.

I have to disagree with their hypothasis at this point as the value of F1 is in the competitors, first and foremost. We all tune in to see Ferrari, Mclaren, BMW, Renault, Toyota, etc do battle, we seem to be enjoying the current situation where a comparative minnow is winning and showing all the big budget teams how it should be done, but that comes down to design prowess and efficient team management.

Max and Bernie rolled out a list of half a dozen possible future teams, all of which will fail to arouse any passion, love or admiration in the same way that the current collective do. Formula 1 will take place whereever the big teams race, as to be the best you need to race against and beat the best. Filling F1 with teams spending £30 – 40m per year might give bigger grids, but not better racing. If I want to watch small budget teams racing I will watch F3 or GP2, all that will be achieved is the devaluation of the GP spectacle.

I can see a breakaway series launching within the next year and F1 losing it’s most prized assets. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen, if two men are allowed to decide the future of our sport then it should be two different men to the two currently making the decisions.

Williams have today been suspended for the GP Teams association for breaking ranks and entering for the 2010 F1 season. Frank is an honourable man and as he has already been paid to compete next year and is contracted to do so he has stuck by his commitment to do so. It is great to see honour demonstrated as it should be, but you can’t help but wonder if he was happy to do so?

Doing My Expenses

May 13, 2009

In recent weeks my moral compass has become somewhat stilted but the example I have been set. I look up to my elders and betters and so look to them to provide me with the moral backbone and a positive example for me to measure my own life by.

I am now sat at my desk completing my expenses for April and I am torn between my old way of thinking whereby I include all legitimate expenses incurred during the course of my working day and my new improved model whereby I look at everything I have spent and shoehorn it into my expense account anyway I possibly can.

By my reckoning, if I drink just to get through the working day then it now becomes an expense, as does that wrap of cocaine I bought last week…… if I need to get ripped to the tits in order to function then I should be recompensed… god damn it! Ok so the porn was technically on my tv at home, but it was research for an article….. maybe even this article so I can count that too! I want to get some decking for the garden…. any suggestions on how I categorise it would be gratefully accepted?

For some reason I don’t feel comfortable asking the tax payer to fund my sexual proclivities, narcotics habits and landscaping arrangements……. not because I am holyier than thou…. I most certainly am not, it is just an inner gut feeling that it just isn’t cricket!

It is sad that we have reached the time where we have to legislate in order to stop the supposed moral cream of the country from taking the piss out of us, the collective tax payer………

 

……you couldn’t make it up!

Ready for the next IT Revolution?

May 12, 2009

As if we really needed another revolution already……. have we all learn’t to use twitter yet?

So here it is, only news, papers, tv, video etc. Soon the free newspaper versions online are set to become paid. It makes sense in a way, although speaking personally I buy the Telegraph daily and the Times on a Sunday and enjoy reading them. If you try the same thing online it isn’t the same experience. Firstly it involves taking your laptop into the bathroom with you, and secondly you don’t get the same usability that you get with a real paper. It isn’y possible to flick through the pages you want in the order you want. It turns out the people in the real world don’t surf a newspaper in the same way as we do a website.

With a news paper we know where sections are and flip through them randomly. If you download your paper to an ireader then it is a book reading experience and that doesn’t work for the majority.

Monetization is the watch word here, while newspapers were making big bucks selling papers they could be generous in giving away their free online versions, but as less people now buy papers and more go online revenues are falling and something has to change. Whether they will succeed in raising sales is debatable, so much news is currently free online that rather than whip out your card and paying, users will just switch to another source  instead. Will Sky News or the BBC ever charge for online content? If they do then usage will move rapidly away from them to smaller free alternatives that are monetized through adverts whioch appears to be the only reliable method of revenue raising over time. Where Google leads others follow it seems.

Take the examples of Facebook and youtube, both highly successful at attracting people, but both thoroughly useless at making money. Facebook will lose about $150m this year and is considering reducing photo and video quality in some regions that it considers to be unviable economically. Youtube is in an even more parlous state, with ad revenues of £240m this year and costs of $710m. Even from it’s position of dominance with over 40% of the video market and Google as it’s owners it can’t make money.

The next big push is to get us all to buy a Kindle or e-reader or equivalent so we then need to buy the content to go on it. That is all well and good but currently as I have already said, they are not of a good enough quality and don’t offer the user experience. Not only that, but if I am on my iphone surfing the news I know that it’s realtime and contains the latest headlines, downloading old news onto a Kindle seems positively old school by comparison. Why would you do it?

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