Apple iOS7: Truly An OS For The Sheeple

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you are no doubt very aware that Apple released their latest major OS update recently; iOS7.

iOS-7

This has been much anticipated and as always, the Apple marketing machine has been pimping this thing out for a while. 

In the hours since its release Twitter went mad with peoples thoughts.  Ignoring the major updating issues and “bricked phones”, social media got swamped with happy iUsers who took no time in sharing their joy at this latest update.

“I’m like a kid in a candy shop with iOS7! The flashlight in the control center is money. #love #apple #fangirl”@munnykhera

“I really like the control center, that’s helpful.”@Captain_Ron

The control center mentioned by these tweets is just one of the new features found on iOS7. 

I have to laugh however.  These “new” features on iOS7 aren’t actually new to Smart Phones at all.  My Samsung Galaxy S3 has had a similar Control Center interface since it came out, for example.

In fact, let’s break down the major changes in iOS7 that people are really liking and do a quick Android comparison.

1) Control Center

Ok the control center is good.  Swipe “up” from the bottom and you now have a screen where you can enable/disable core features etc.  You still need to swipe “down” for your notifications on iOS7.  Android has all this in a single screen.  But no flashlight?  You’re right, that’s not in the Android panel, but hey, you can add that as a widget on ANY screen.

2) Automatic App Updates

This is new to Apple?  Really?  Android have had this as a core feature for a long time. 

3) AirDrop

This is a secure, quick transfer system that allows you to “drop” files from one iOS7 device to another.  What a genius idea, but wait, Samsung Galaxy have had this feature for quite a while.

4) Dynamic Wallpapers

This is another example of Apple behind the times.  Dynamic wallpapers aren’t a new thing at all, so why has it taken Apple so long to get them?

5) Multi-Tasking “App Change” screen

Instead of icons, you now have screenshots of your open apps.  And to close them, just swipe.  A very nice looking interface, but i swear it’s almost a direct copy of the system Samsung have been using for a long time already.

iOS7 may look shiny, and it may sound trendy, but it has very little in way of features that are not already available on other Smartphones.  So why all the hype?  Why are people losing their minds over this OS that is still behind the curve compared to systems like Samsung’s Galaxy devices? 

Lynn La (CNET) reviewed iOS7 and the Control Center as it compares to the Android Quick Settings. She writes:

“Don’t get me wrong, Control Center is a notable addition to the iPhone, and it’s easily iOS 7’s best feature. And unlike some critics, I actually like the new, flat look. But when it comes to letting users have more “control” and more freedom on their handsets, Android remains miles ahead of iOS.”

If nothing else, this all goes to show that Apple iOS7 really is the OS for the Sheeple!

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Sneak Preview: New PPM Tool Surpasses Expectations

Those who have been reading my content for some time may remember a review I did a long time back about a PPM tool that helped you determine your players true strengths via the EOR and EQ calculations.  Well, I am very pleased to announce that the creater of that tool, Wessel, has been working on a brand new, updated version of the tool, and let me tell you, it’s really good!

A little bit of history first though.  Wessel has been in the process of creating this tool and it’s previous versions for the last few years.  Originally the tool was developed as a WordPress plugin, which allowed you to import your players data and it would tell you the results.  Following that came a Greasemonkey script, which gave the tool direct access to many features on the PPM website itself.  This tool has been one of my favorites for a long long time.  The newest version breaks the chains of Greasemonkey, and delivers a knockout punch directly via the Firefox Addons system.

Functionality

Let’s get straight to the things you want to hear… what the heck does this tool do, and why should you be interested?

The primary feature of the tool (right now) is to display your team in a way that highlights which players are best for which positions.  As you know, having a successful player on PPM takes more than just offense, defense or goalkeeping, it requires a ratio of different attributes all working together to create the “perfect player”.  Over exagerated I know, but you get the point.  The basic player display screen of course doesn’t give you this magic number, it only lists each of your players attributes.  But the PPM Tool does.  Using a combination of mathematical calculations the tool will convert your players attributes and display them using their EOR (Effective Overall Rating) and EQ (Effective Quality) figures.  Not sure what EOR and EQ are?  I direct you to an older post of mine which can be found here.

Current featues in the preview version of the tool:

  • Display your players strenghts based on EOR/EQ
  • Select which multiplyers to use in EOR calculations (Energy, Chemistry, Experience, etc)
  • Set and adjust your training rations directly from your team settings page.
  • Turn the tool on and off which a click of a button (on your team page).
  • Export your team directly to a CSV file.
  • Currently the tool ONLY works in the soccer version of the game.  Others coming.

Other than the requirement that you use the Firefox browser, there are no issues with the tool.  As a regular Firefox user myself, this of course did not bother me at all.

The Design & Style

The best way to describe the style of the tool is to say it’s seamlessly built into your PPM team page, so it looks like it’s part of the page. 

Players page with the tool turned off.  Notice the button to switch it on.

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Players overview page with the tool turned on.

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With the tool turned on, the columns now have all new headings to display the EOR figures.

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The team settings page now contains your ratio settings.

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Release Details

Right now the tool is in development (hense the sneak preview) and is currently unavailable for download / install.  It is being worked on and hopefully a full release date is just around the corner!

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A Not So Blurred View Of Thicke’s Blurred Lines

“Has anyone heard Robin Thicke’s new rape song?”

When Lisa Huyne wrote this on her blog (Feminist in L.A.), I wonder, did she know just how much of an impact it would have? The song she’s referring to of course is “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.

blurredlines01In case you’ve been living under a rock, no doubt you are very aware of the criticism that Thicke has come under for this song. It has been labeled “Rapey”, “condoning rape’ and one of my favorites, “Supporting and condoning rape culture”. But is it? Is this #1 best selling song truly about something so horrible, so sickening, and so downright illegal?

What “Blurred Lines” In Particular?

It needs to be said that like any piece of art, this song can and does have many meanings. The most common one you’re going to hear about of course is that it’s a song about rape, and how it’s OK to do so. For a start I want to say, don’t be daft, we ALL know it’s not OK to rape someone, under ANY circumstances.

I ask you though, have you stopped and looked at this song from a different point of view? Are you actually open minded enough to put aside your per-conceived ideas and actually accept that there may be a very different meaning to this song?

What if this song wasn’t about rape, but was instead simply about going out and trying to read whether you’re going to get laid, or go home single? That sound you just heard was the prude prejudice club all gasping… yes, I just suggested people out out clubbing because they want to hook up and have sex. Shocking, I know. If you think this doesn’t happen, stop reading, because you’re clearly out of touch with reality!

So I did my research. I read articles, stories, comments, opinions and a TON of late, and I came by a really good article by a popdust poster by the name of Nate Jones.

Jones takes “Blurred Lines” and gives it a fresh new look through open minded, not so rose colored glasses. More importantly, he does it with an open mind, something seriously lacking regarding this particular issue. I encourage you to read his post. His outcome is simple. It’s not a song about rape, but about something that guys and girls experience on a daily basis at clubs around the world; this person I just met, looking so sexy, does he/she want to hook up tonight?

I’m not being sexist. This goes both ways, because as shocking as it might seem, girls like sex just as much as guys, and will actively look to hook up just as much as guys will when out drinking and dancing. How do you know if the person you’re dancing with is of the same mind as you? How do you read that person to find out? How do you read their style of dress, dancing etc correctly? How do you do all that without getting it entirely wrong?

We’re talking about people sending mixed signals here. And i’m not just referencing woman, but men as well. Is Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” simply a confused reference to Mixed Signals?

One Dimensional Controversy. Why This Song?

blurredlines03One of my biggest issue with the common attitude of this song is how it’s become the song to hate, almost as if it’s the trendy thing to do. Do you people out there even know there are many, far worse songs out there, that have received little, of not ANY criticism?

In 1992 Californian Rockers “Sublime” released their “40oz To Freedom” album which featured the song, “Date Rape” which delivered these punchy lyrics:

“Come on babe it’s your lucky date, Shut your mouth we’re gonna do it my way. Come on baby don’t be afraid, if it wasn’t for date rape i’d never get laid.”

To this date that song is one of the most popular Sublime songs. Did they get flames for their lyrics? Not really.

In 1979 DEVO gave us the song “Triumph of the will” in which they sing:

“I’m not a wanker or a banker. I’m not afraid to take a risk. It is the thing females as for when they convey the opposite.”

DEVO clearly did want to “whip it”, with or without permission.

“Closer” by Nine Inch Nails was a major commercial hit, and is considered by many to be (one of) the bands most successful songs. But this song starts with the line

“You let me violate you / You let me desecrate you” and later sings “I want to f— you like an animal”.

“The HIV Song” by Ween, “Rape Me” by Nirvana and “Smack my bitch up” by The Prodigy are just a few more examples of songs that are blatantly more inappropriate than Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” but never received the same level of controversy.

So why this song? Why now, when so many songs major are so incredibly sexual in nature, such as the hugely successful hit by Christina Aguilera, “Dirty”.

“Sweat dripping over my body, Dance and getting just a little naughty
Want to get dirty, It’s about time for my arrival”

and,

“Tight hip huggers (low for sure), Shake a little somethin’ (on the floor)
I need that, uh, to get me off, Sweat until my clothes come off”

From the sounds of it, this song is about a girl who’s gone to a club, spent the night dancing and is looking to hook up.

Or, is she? Is it possible I’m reading into this song the wrong way? Is it also possible that people are reading into “Blurred Lines” in a similar way?

“That Quote” … Allegedly

blurredlines02No doubt you’ve heard that Thicke himself claims that being degrading to women is fun.  Have you read the full quote?  He was talking to an interviewer for GQ Magazine, where he explained that all 3 guys involved in the clip are happily married.  Thicke himself has been with the same women since they were in school – yes, he married his high school sweet heart!  In a BBC Interview, Thicke was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to be sleazy, I’m a gentleman, I’ve been in love with the same woman since I’ve been a teenager,” he said of his wife (and high school sweetheart) Paula Patton. “I don’t want to do anything inappropriate.”.

But let’s talk about that GQ Magazine quote for a little bit.  This is a perfect example of a misread quote gone viral.  The actual quote in full reads as:

“We were like, ‘We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this,'” he told the magazine. “People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.”

Isn’t it quite amazing how that quote takes on a whole other meaning when you read it in full?

Censorship Approval

Most countries have some form of legislation that governs what we hear on the radio or see on TV. Every song on the radio must go through an approval process before it can be played to the public. Clearly, “Blurred Lines” got the tick of approval.

Summary

When I listen to this song I don’t hear a song about rape. I don’t hear a song that encourages rape. And I sure don’t hear a song that encourages the abuse of woman in any kind. I hear a catchy song about a guy who’s trying to figure out what his dance partners intentions are.

It’s a creepy song for sure, but that doesn’t make it worthy of the criticism it’s been getting. Music is all about interpretation, and if you listen to that song wanting to hear a song about rape, that’s exactly what you will hear. So please, before you label this song as one thing be sure that it’s not about another.

Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQgJ4TlJGNk

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