Discuss amongst yourselves

I know, I am sure we all know, that you are very busy, but I have been looking forward to your “discuss amongst yourselves” opportunity this week. Will you be able to post it soon?

Sorry, I should have posted it last night, but I was a little distracted….

Skypecast query

Is anyone interested in participating in a weekly Skypecast to discuss the Monday column? I found an add-on software that allows for recording it in MP3 format which would allow for a participatory podcast of sorts. It will probably take some experimentation to make it run smoothly, but that’s what test-runs are for.

Anyhow, if you’re interested, email me your Skype name.

UPDATE: I’ve already heard from a few interested folks, so we’ll give it a whirl. I’ve scheduled a cast for 2:30 PM Central under the name Voxic Shock. I’ll do a brief mono and then start taking questions. I have no idea if there will be five people or fifty on the cast, so please don’t get annoyed if it’s closer to the latter I don’t get to your question. If it works, perhaps I’ll post an MP3 of it here.

Dell quality

Dell provides real laptop excitement:

AN INQUIRER READER attending a conference in Japan was sat just feet away from a laptop computer that suddenly exploded into flames, in what could have been a deadly accident. Gaston, our astonished reader reports: “The damn thing was on fire and produced several explosions for more than five minutes”.

I haven’t had the best of luck with Dell laptops myself. I inherited two Latitudes which died a slow, pathetic death of motherboard failure. Anyhow, these pictures just made me laugh.

A fourth star

It wasn’t a bad game, even if it did end up at penalties, as far too many second-stage games are prone to do. The Italians were better in the first half, the French in the second, as Lippi had an unexpectedly bad game as a manager. Why the Italians didn’t keep Grosso and Camoranesi bombing down the sidelines to win corners once the French revealed their weakness on set pieces I’ll never know.

The French goal was given on a weak penalty, but it was fair punishment for a stupid move by the defender. Yes, it was a dive, but you have to know that if you clip a defender from behind like that, he’s going to go down and the ref is going to give a penalty. I also thought that Toni was onside on the disallowed goal… regardless, there should be no offsides calls on set pieces, it’s a senseless rule.

Zidane’s sending off was the hallmark of a rather weird final. Strangely enough, Domenech was right and the French captain should not have been sent off despite the obvious illegality of his action because it was the fourth official making the call off video review; while this will likely be the catalyst for a positive rule change, there’s no question that it was against the rules in force last night.

But for all its lamentable taint on the end of a great career, the sending off changed nothing. France was not going to score in the last eight minutes of extra time and Trezeguet was going to take a penalty whether Zidane was in or not. The Azzurri were the better team last night, they were one of the better teams throughout the tournament and they well deserve to return to the chaos that is now the world of Italian calcio as reigning world champions.