Daily Archives:August 17th, 2008

The Apollo

I have very little interest in the Olympics – and strongly object to the hundreds of pounds of my taxes that will be wasted in 2012 – but I do get a regular report of recent events over the dinner table, and a thought occurred to me tonight….

I think there should be a unit of Olympic achievement for countries. We might call it the Apollo. Your Apollo score would be something like the number of medals won divided by the number of your athletes attending and by the population of your country and its GDP. You’d also want to subtract something for the proportion of your athletes who had tested positive on drugs tests in the past…

Rose says it’s more complicated than that, because so many athletes do not train in their own country; they get scholarships to US universities, so the GDP of their country is less relevant. And I think an athlete who gets medals in several different disciplines should score more than one who just gets the 100, 200 & 400m medals in the same thing.

So it’s far from trivial. The definition of the Apollo would need to be refined over time.

Still, it might make an interesting discussion in the pub. If you wanted a realistic measure of a country’s sporting achievement, how would you do it?

Remotely Possible

One of the neatest apps to be released for the new iPhone/iTouch software is Apple’s Remote, which connects to a copy of iTunes running on a machine on your network and allows you to control it from the iPod.

This is great, but I seldom feel the need to control my computer from across the room. It lives in a very small study and, from across the room, I can reach the keyboard! I did, however, have an old Airport Express hanging about, and an idea occurred to me today… I plugged it into the back of my stereo downstairs:

and configured my iTunes upstairs to play through the Airport Express, and suddenly I had wireless control of my entire music collection at my fingertips.

But wait, it gets better… I found the Settings panel on the Remote application and it had grown a new feature: the ability to select the speakers you want to use:

So now, sitting on the sofa, I can browse my music located in another room, and send it to the big speakers in this one.

Very cool. Mmm… Those Airport Expresses on eBay start to look much more attractive…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser