Monday, February 28, 2011

London Olympics 2012

I returned back from London last week after a small break away. It got me thinking about the Olympics in 2012 and tickets go on sale in March 2011, I've got to go!

I'll be trying some trading on the event too which I'm sure will be an interesting learning curve, but one I'll be keen on doing some research on before I get stuck in. I wouldn't know where to start too be honest, however money will be flying into the markets so I think I'll be keeping a bit of an eye on athletics over the coming year or so.

But seriously who the £u^# did the art work and whole design concept for the games? I don't mean the structures for the games themselves, they look mighty impressive....





I'm referring to the logo and the mascots.Yikes they are sooo bad they are actually hilarious!



I'm beginning to think they let a child take over this part of the procedure, or someone who's been in the woods picking too many magic mushrooms. To explain my point further watch this video:


Saturday, February 12, 2011

STJ - New Monthly Subscription

"This one I have to pay money for, but she worth it! Wa wa wee wa!"


New Computer


Wa wa wee wa! My new computer arrived a few days ago and wow it feels good to have a reliable machine again after my recent shenanigans! It works like a dream however I did go a little bit overkill on the specs:

  • • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
  • • ATI HD 5770 1GB Graphic Card
  • • 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  • • 1TB SATA-II Hard Drive
  • • 64 GB Corsair Nova Series P64 Gaming MLC Solid State Disk
  • • Asus M4N68T-M V2 AM3 MB
  • • Thermaltake V3 Black Case
  • • Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling


It will last me years so it's a good investment, and I've gotta say the company I bought it from were great! Very helpful customer service, safely wrapped and tidy cables inside the computer. Not to mention the cheap prices on a custom build gaming machine and an excellent build quality overall. So if anyone is looking to buy a new pc I'd recommend this site:

http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/



STJ


I've just added a new payment option to Sports Trading Journey. Available to any budding trader wishing to learn sports trading from the very basics, and also current traders wanting to reach new heights and improve their styles and techniques.

Now available on the site is a monthly subscription for the journey. 6 easy installments are made via Paypal on a monthly basis. It's that simple!

You will still receive all the great content available to you just like the pay up front option, the only difference being the payments are made easier.

The community at STJ is growing fast and there's already a few members saying some great things about the journey, even though they are only 9 weeks in. Read about some early testimonials here on the Geeks Toy forum:

Geeks Toy Forum
 
For more info visit STJ
 
Cheers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Human vs The Machine



Load this market up now for the latest odds!

http://www.betfair.com/humanvsmachine   -  Place your bets now!



The last two weeks I have:

1. Understood the workings of a computer more than I probably ever wanted to.
2. Nearly witnessed a computer flying out of my window.

SUMMARY:

Alright so I bought my bro's computer off him a few weeks ago at a bargain price (after assuring me it was a stable machine even though he didn't used it for 6 months) and I was more than happy with my purchase. That's until the dreaded freezing came into play, with strange error messages appearing left/right & centre. The battle begins....

ROUND 1:

A few posts back I mentioned memory/RAM testing, and I found a faulty stick in my machine so I thought bingo! just buy some new RAM and problem solved. Think again...although I solved the issue of the dodgy RAM, some other issues were still apparent. Ha it's not like I waited for a week to receive my new RAM from Germany to solve the problems. Ohhhh no. So.....after reinstalling windows and noticing the errors were still haunting me, I narrowed it down to being another hardware issue.

ROUND 2:

So I ripped the thing to pieces (yes this was satisfying) and cleaned the mofo head to toe. I rebooted the mofo up and did some more research online. I found out you could manually change all the settings in the BIOS to configure your hardware to run at the optimum rates required of your motherboard. So I tinkered around with getting the perfect volts/bus speed/ vram frequency and all that crazy technical stuff to see if the default settings were causing the mofo to crash.

NOTE: I smelt victory in the air and I felt confident I was going to have the last laugh.


ROUND 3:

After several reboots and tweaking I honestly thought I had won the battle! It worked with no crashes for several hours and I even had a sly giggle of satisfaction. Shame on me! A few hours later the mofo died on me again. Hmmmmm.


ROUND 4:

After finally getting the thing up and running again I got on the tinterweb and did some more research. I found a program that tests the temperature of your processor. I downloaded it and found it was running at around 65 degrees when it was idle, and it shouldn't even be going to 70 when its running at full speed on an intensive stress test. Wahoo that's it of course! The mofo is just struggling and needs to chill out a little. Literally. Then BOOM the mofo died on me again.

NOTE: By this point you might be wondering, why the F%^k are you torturing yourself Jack? and the answer is much like the game of trading.....this was a battle I wasn't willing to give in to.


ROUND 5:

My bro had given me this strange compound paste which you spread on the surface of your fan which sits on  your motherboard, this helps to reduce the overall heat that is getting trapped (apparently) OK jobs a good en, so I got started on the surgical procedure right away. A short time (ish) later I booted up again and did the temperature test. Unbelievably I had knocked around 15 degrees off my last test. Shocked and somewhat chuffed I was 100% confident I had finally solved the mystery...an overheating processor. I did a little dance, clicked my heels in joy and thought I was going to start a whole new career as a computer technician. OK maybe not but the battle had been won.......so I thought.

2 hours later it crashed again and that was where I nearly witnessed a flying computer from my window. But after a reality check I held up my white flag and bowed my head in shame to the victorious machine. I narrowed it down to a faulty processor, video card or hard drive but I really couldn't be assed with it anymore.

RESULT: Winner - The Machine by TKO

The taste in my mouth was bitter, as not only had I wasted hours on this mofo but I was forced to give in to the machine. The bastard won and I couldn't even smash the thing up to cheat in victory as my bro wanted it back to start his own battle with it. Don't ask me why ha. It was an interesting learning curve and I hope an enjoying post to read, but not one I will be looking to repeat anytime soon.

So the moral of the story - only buy a second hand computer if you can bet your life on it working perfectly. Let this be a lesson, it's not worth the battle I can assure you.

But today brings a new day and ooooooooh yeh a new computer! It should be arriving before 10am and it's the computer in the pic at the top. It's a beast which is custom built and touch wood 'should' last me years. So here's to a computer that actually works properly. Well I hope :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Betfair Shambles




Another Saturday arrives and another Saturday we have a Betfair crash!

When is this recurring event of pure incompetence going to stop I ask? Never is the answer...

Betfair's instability has been a formality for years too be honest and this is no breaking news. But does this mean we just say ohh OK no problem, a company worth over 1 Billion is allowed to be unstable and have terms written in to their conditions to cover their backs when the %£$ hits the fan?

I don't have a problem with the scheduled down times that Betfair announce, as you simply stay clear of the markets for a day or so afterwards while they pull their finger out. But an outage out of the blue when you least expect it is a shambles. It's all a bit of a joke and there should be better rules and regs lined up to cover the customer if and more appropriately 'when' Betfair crashes again. Not just rules in small print to just cover Betfair, the principle is all wrong. Betfair are forcing us to play the all money on red situation when 'they' as a business can't keep the hamsters in their wheels running quick enough.

Lets be honest things aren't going to change for the following reasons:

  1. Betfair can't take liability on all bets if a crash occurs.
  2. Betfair are doing what is in their best interests and not the customers.
  3. Anything can happen and systems can fail and become unstable.

But this is what I believe Betfair should implement: (in my dreams)

  1. Build a bomb proof backup, (or 2) and have a carbon copy of the entire system with servers ready to go jump into action after an outage. This backup has to be running constantly and needs as much maintenance as the primary system. When a crash occurs it might be down a few seconds until the backup kicks into gear...but no worries. Money well spent in my eyes
  2. Provide a better overall customer experience and listen to what people have to say.....at least send an apology email out to people for random outages and downtime. How hard is that?? Even go to the effort in offering people who are out of pocket a promotion... a free bet, a discounted voucher to the races, just anything to make the customer feel like their not been taken for a ride on a roller coaster with no harness.
  3. When the downtime happens, offer everyone a chance to use the exchange at a discounted commission rate. Instead of 5%, offer a 2% day deal a few days later to make people smile and not frown. Give a little back to the people who are filling your pockets. It's really not that difficult.

There is too much taking and not enough giving back as fair as I'm concerned and its such a shame. I have listed just a few ways to really improve on things and take the exchange forward, and these are only ideas off the top of my head. However the honest truth is probably much of the same I'm sure...

So I'm guessing Betfair's next genius idea to build a better exchange is to....increase the premium charge rates. Ohhh you clever people you tut tut tut.

Post some comments below guys of your thoughts on how Betfair could improve. Cheers and cheerio :)
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