ChartBeat Day Two: Mock The Week’s Totally Non-Sexist Booking Policy

It’s good now that Mock The Week has vowed to give equal opportunities to female comedians, isn’t it? We’re sure that their protestations that they have plenty of female comics on the programme even before the BBC Trust dropped their diktat on them were absolutely based on fact.

Hey, here’s a pie chart.

 

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Surely though, things are much better now. Here, with data taken from the MoW Episode Guide on Wikipedia, is an episode by episode breakdown of just how many women are allowed to take part in, y’know, having a go at Eric Pickles for being portly and Jordan for being dim. All that kind of modern satire that probably made Peter Cook especially glad he’s long dead.

 

mockthesexists

 

So, in summary:

 

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Chart Beat Day One: World Cup Winning Nations and Population

NEW THING: Regular chart-based updates. Not that we’re trying to steal Ampp3d’s idea or anything. Heck, no.

Anyway.

You know when you’ve got an idea for a brilliant pub quiz question, only you’ve no idea what the answer actually is? Well, what with the World Cup being on at the moment, we got to thinking: what IS the smallest nation ever to win the World Cup (after Uruguay)?

Not a bad one, assuming your local pub quiz isn’t one of those where any reference to football will have half the teams rolling their eyes in irritation. It’s one that sets the mind racing to think just which teams have won the World Cup, and what would their respective populations have been at the time of winning the Coupe De Monde? Yes, populations at the time of winning each final. You’ve got to do these things properly.

Well, because we’re blessed with the kind of brain that will make us forget where our keys are because all runtime has become irreversibly devoted to some stat-related miscellany, we’ve worked it out. No need to thank us NOT THAT YOU EVER DO.

Historical census data has been taken from the splendid Geohive (with the caveat in place that Uruguay didn’t collect census data until 1963, so we’ve have to use the 1963 figure for 1930 and 1950), and – as Geohive only list historical census information for the UK as a whole, A Vision Of Britain for the English historical census data.

Anyway. Numbers!

 

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So: it’s Argentina 1978, with the piffling population figure of 23,978,532. And knowing is half the battle!

What does this mean for the last eight of this year’s tournament? Could any of those take the, erm, much sought-after crown if you discount Uruguay? Another chart.

 

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So, there it is. Three-fifths of the quarter finalists could become the brand new second-smallest-nation-to-win-a-World-Cup. And who is most likely to win the 2014 World Cup? Well, the average population of a World Cup winning nation is 58,557,534. The nation still in the competition with the closest population to that is FRANCE.

And there you go. France will definitely win the World Cup. That’s the lesson from today’s Chart Beat.

TOMORROW: HOW SEXIST IS MOCK THE WEEK?

World Cup 2014 Stat-o-thon 2: Top Scorers (Slight Return)

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Okay, last time in BrokenTV Looks At How To Game The Bookmakers Out Of All Their Hardearned Money, we looked at World Cup Golden Boot odds offset against international goalscoring records.  That gave us the following top five bets:

 

1) Neymar (Brazil) – 10/1, 0.64 goals per game

2) Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) – 80/1, 0.64 goals per game

3) David Villa (Spain) – 40/1, 0.60 goals per game

4) Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina) – 20/1, 0.58 goals per game

5) Klaas Jan Huntelaar (Holland) – 66/1, 0.57 goals per game

6) Edin Dzeko (Bosnia) – 80/1, 0.57 goals per game

 

All promising enough – putting a month’s salary on Drogba would mean you can definitely just take the rest of the year off. Clearly. Except! For that goals-per-game ratio to mean anything, each player’s respective team kind of needs to be around play as many world cup matches as possible. And trading on Betfair at around 149/1 to win the tournament, Ivory Coast aren’t especially likely to be knocking around at the latter stages in Brazil.

 

So, we need to add in another measure of likely success – number of games to be played. The later the matches are in the tournament, the less likely each player is to score a goal (after all, a cagey semi-final against Spain isn’t likely to generate as many goals as a group match against Honduras, at least in theory. So, we’ve added in some multipliers to come up with a ‘final score’ for each contender, based on the current team betting. So, the four tournament favourites are most likely to take part in the maximum number of matches (three group stage, round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final/3rd place play-off) – they get an accumulator score of 10. The next four teams are statistically likely to go out at the quarter final stage, meaning they get two fewer matches than the ‘big four’ – meaning we’re giving them an accumulator score of just eight.

 

This carries on through the rounds, leading to the following accumulator scores (based on Betfair odds):

BRAZIL – 10pts

ARGENTINA – 10pts

GERMANY – 10pts

SPAIN – 10pts

BELGIUM – 8pts

FRANCE – 8pts

ENGLAND – 8pts

ITALY – 8pts

PORTUGAL – 6pts

URUGUAY - 6pts

HOLLAND - 6pts

COLUMBIA - 6pts

CHILE - 6pts

IVORY COAST - 6pts

RUSSIA - 6pts

BOSNIA - 6pts

CROATIA – 4pts

GHANA – 4pts

CAMEROON – 4pts

 

This makes things feel a bit weightier. Note that we’ve only included nations who have a named player priced at 100/1 or lower for top goalscorer. After all, no-one is expecting an Australian striker to get anywhere near that list. This brings us the following top-table of likely bets.

 

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So, erm, it’s still Neymar who is the most likely bet. Away from that though, and avoiding the temptation to go for a surely-won’t-make-the-starting-XI-this-time Klose, the likes of Fred, Higuain and, er, Andre Schurrle could be a more tempting offer.

 

Maybe.

 

[Trots off to Honest Harry’s Betting Parlour and puts a £1.50 each-way bet on Messi.]

 

HEY! Our World Cup 2014 Prediction League is now free, FREE we tells ya. Go join in the fun NOW.

The BrokenTV 2014 World Cup Prediction League: Now at the low, low price of free

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That’s right, due to… let’s say ‘disappointing’ levels of uptake for our World Cup Prediction League at £2-to-charity a go, we’re going to make it free to enter. Though, of course, it would be utterly lovely if you choose to donate a couple of quid anyway.

 

Anyway, if you’d like to enter simply take a ‘form’ and fill in your predictions for match results along with our special bonus categories of ‘competition winner’, ‘top goalscorer’ and ‘First letter of the first word Adrian Chiles says at the start of the opening match coverage’ and send it off to us at brokentvworldcup@gmail.com. We’ll feed your predictions into our specially adapted punchcard mainframe, and update the league table regularly at our specially-fashioned Tumblr page http://brokentvpredictionleague.tumblr.com.

 

Your list of fixtures can be nabbed from here: http://pastebin.com/zDhpyC66 or alternatively here: http://textuploader.com/0hk3

 

Copy-paste them into an email or text file, fill in the results of your choosing, and fire them at brokentvworldcup@gmail.com. Easy as pretending to fall off a log because there was definitely contact there and you can’t expect to get away with that at this level, Clive.

World Cup 2014 Stat-o-thon: Top Scorers

Hey, let’s try updating the blog for two days in a row!

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When it comes to Big Football Tournament betting, the top scorer market is where the proper princely sums are sitting. Anyone who’d backed Milan Baros (shoddy form for Liverpool, the more prolific half of a goal-happy strike duo alongside Jan Koller for the Czech Republic) in Euro 2004 probably still remembers the warm glow of collecting that 45/1 windfall.

When it comes to the 2014 World Cup In Association With Several Soulless Megacorporations, the short odds belong to the usual suspects: Messi, Neymar, Ronaldo et al.

But, what about the value bets? The ones you could easily back on a sports exchange like Betfair, and then happily lay off following a productive group stage for a quick profit? Clinical form at club level is no real indicator of international quality – Lionel Messi’s strike rate for Argentina is barely in the same postcode as his goals-per-game figures at Barcelona.

What someone needs to do is take a list of all potential tournament goalscorers – say, ones priced at 100/1 or less – and knock up a table of goals-per-game ratios for the lot. That way, the value bets are a bit clearer. Surely. Oh, if only some clever, patient and probably quite sexy amateur statisticians had done just that?

Well, they haven’t. But we have:

 

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So, easy. Plonk a pony on Drogba, sit back and await your definite haul of eighty times whatever a pony is. We never paid attention during repeats of Minder. As we said, easy.

 

“OKAY! I NOW KNOW WHO WILL DEFINITELY BE TOP SCORER AT THE WORLD CUP. I’VE PUT MY NEXT MORTGAGE PAYMENT ON ASAMOAH GYAN, HOW CAN I WHILE THE TIME UNTIL I COLLECT MY WINNINGS?”

Erk. The BrokenTV Brazil 2014 World Cup Prediction League is a handy thing to while away that wait for the baliffs. Predict the outcomes of each match, along with a few important other categories (Who will win the tournament? Who will be top goalscorer? What will be the first letter of the first word Adrian Chiles says at the very beginning of the opening match coverage?). All against other people from around the country. Or the three people on Twitter who kind of take pity on the amount of time it took to put this all together.
The entry fee is just £2, with all collected moneys going to the Flintshire Deaf Childrens Society. At the end of the tournament, the winner will receive a super-secret football-related goody bag (the contents of which are yet to be disclosed, but the value of which will far exceed that £2 stipend). Simply pledge your £2 and either include your email address on the JustGiving comment page (or if you prefer, email me at brokentvworldcup@gmail.com), and I’ll send out a prediction form to be filled in. Once returned, points will start being totted up right from the first match, and information updated at http://brokentvpredictionleague.tumblr.com/ daily.
The rules: simple. Predict the score of each match. Five points for a correct score, two points for a correct outcome. Predict all of the group matches from the start, and lists of the knockout matches to be sent when the line-up is decided.
So: let’s go: http://www.justgiving.com/brokentv

It’s the BrokenTV World Cup Prediction League! (For charity!)

(Hello! Remember us? We’re back!)

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May football prediction accuracy be your goooooooooooooooooooooal!

The quadrennial festival of footballing fortitude known as the World Cup brings together all kinds of people. People doing a World Cup winner sweepstake at work. People putting a few quid at the bookmakers on top goalscorer. And people putting an incredibly ill-judged accumulator on England to win and Dirk Kuyt as top goalscorer. So, all kinds of people.

Best of all are football prediction leagues. These allow individuals to meticulously plan out the likely outcome of each match, and then to subsequently lord it over their friends and colleagues once they sit atop the prediction league table. Or in reality, grumble about how they were cheated and that fifth Costa Rican goal was definitely offside.

The BrokenTV Brazil 2014 World Cup Prediction League is one such league. Predict the outcomes of each match, along with a few important other categories (Who will win the tournament? Who will be top goalscorer? What will be the first letter of the first word Adrian Chiles says at the very beginning of the opening match coverage?). All against other people from around the country. Or the three people on Twitter who kind of take pity on the amount of time it took to put this all together.

The entry fee is just £2, with all collected moneys going to the Flintshire Deaf Childrens Society. At the end of the tournament, the winner will receive a super-secret football-related goody bag (the contents of which are yet to be disclosed, but the value of which will far exceed that £2 stipend). Simply pledge your £2 and either include your email address on the JustGiving comment page (or if you prefer, email me at brokentvworldcup@gmail.com), and I’ll send out a prediction form to be filled in. Once returned, points will start being totted up right from the first match, and information updated at http://brokentvpredictionleague.tumblr.com/ daily.

The rules: simple. Predict the score of each match. Five points for a correct score, two points for a correct outcome. Predict all of the group matches from the start, and lists of the knockout matches to be sent when the line-up is decided.

So: let’s go: http://www.justgiving.com/brokentv

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Happy Birthday Twitter: How UK Newspapers Stumbled Into The Digital Future

So, it’s the 7th birthday of the most important development in human communication since a young Alexander Graham Bell used a piece of string to connect two plastic cups  and pondered “this gives me an idea” [citation needed]. Twitter has come from nowhere, via everyone not on Twitter thinking that everyone on Twitter just uses it so say things like “might go upstairs later”, to its current position as Most Important Thing On The Planet. And that’s just our Twitter account we’re talking about.

As one might expect from what is now the print media’s most ubiquitous online reference point, the anniversary is being covered in just about every newspaper outside of the Anglesey Examiner, but the press wasn’t always so keen to cover Twitter. Join us now, as we delve through the websites of the UK’s national press (apart from the ones with uselessly hateful search functions) so see when each first covered Twitter, and in which context.

In ascending date order, then:

[UPDATE 22 March 2013: A few of the gaps filled in below, with thanks to a couple knowledgeable readers willing to engage in the dark arts of “knowing things” and “doing research”. An extravagantly angled tip of our titfer to both James and Mike Landers for the assistance.]

The Guardian: 27 November 2006

A Comment is free piece on the acceptability of letting the internet know you’re a real-life person, dammit.

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Twitter is: “the ultimate in solipsism”.

 

[UPDATE: Reader, gentleman and walking infohub known only to us as ‘James’ writes in to inform us that The Times belong next on the list. Having deftly avoided the Great Paywall of Murdoch by using proper research database Newsbank, James reports that The Times first covered Twitter just a few weeks after the Guardian. Here’s the skinny:

“The honour for the second reference and indeed the first direct article about it goes to The Times, a two line piece in their "The Click" column in Times2... dated Tuesday 12 December 2006:

The site twitter .com, started in March 2006 as a side project of Odeo, an audio website, is based on the concept of friends and strangers answering the question, "What are you doing?" Subscribers areinvited to tell everyone that they are getting ready for work, they have "just bit into a hot chilli"...or whatever.”

Visit our lavishly furnished comments deck for the full comment from James.]

 

Financial Times: 23 March 2007

Not too much to report, given that you need to subscribe in order to read articles, but the FT are pretty quick out of the blocks, with the Tech Hub section running an article on the fledgling service.

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Twitter is: “Microblogging for the lazy.”

 

[UPDATE: It’s possible The Telegraph could be amongst the early adopters, though we’re still not sure exactly when. Reader and gentleman Mike Landers informs us (via the comments of this article, we don’t have a network of spies or anything):

“The Telegraph jumped on the bandwagon early. When I spoke to Orlowski (yeah yeah I know) in Spring 2009 he said it was an open competition between a couple of hacks at the Guardian and their Telegraph counterparts to get as many pieces about it as possible.”

Which does makes sense, with the Telegraph being one of the first – if not the very first – UK newspapers to have a renowned online operation. Though the search function on their website is still wincingly awful.]

 

The Independent: 4 April 2007

An article about Twitter, funnily enough.

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Twitter is: According to Tom Wetheredge, a ‘net user asked about the microblogging site for the article, “a perfect example of how the internet can keep us too connected."

 

The Sun: 7 September 2007

In what you could describe as either a sober report on those affected by a tragedy, or an early example into snooping into the social network accounts of victims (which would be perhaps a little unfair, no matter how much we dislike The Sun), a reference to students present at the Virginia Tech shootings using the service to express their panic as the attack was taking place.

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Twitter is: a website which “which asks contributors to tell it what they are doing”.

 

Daily Mail: 30 April 2008

A piece about how Steve Jobs is evil.

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Twitter is: A “one-line blog website”.

Later, the first article about Twitter itself appeared on 24 July 2008 (“New SMS site Twitter grows 600% in a year”), and the first time it tried to crowbar it into a manufactured ‘scandal’ was on 19 December 2008 (when Jonathan Ross – on his post-Sachsgate hiatus – used it to ‘brag’ about daring to enjoy himself).

 

 

Daily Mirror: 19 December 2008

Another slice of faux-outrage about that evil, wicked Jonathan Ross boasting about enjoying himself.

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Twitter is: a “new messaging website”, despite actually being almost three years old by that point.

 

 

Daily Star: 9 January 2009

Jonathan Ross again. Note the helpful and newsworthy revelation that Ross posts “up to 23 updates a day”. How DID he get time to literally spit in the face of every innocent man, woman and child in the UK with all that going on, eh?

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Twitter is: “currently the hottest networking site on the web.”

 

Daily Express: 14 January 2009

The newspaper, who possibly needed to explain what the internet was to its readers as late as 2008, waited until tabloid bĂȘte noir SHAMED JONATHAN WOSSY WOSS does a thing on it before mentioning Twitter.

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Twitter is: An “online […] blog”. As opposed to all those offline blogs you get. On parchment.

 

Sadly, no results from the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard or Metro, due to aforesaid search rubbishness, though you’re all welcome to delve through their archives in search of early Twitter mentions. Google site searches by date don’t work for them, by the way, as that includes results for modern-day Twitter mentions embedded in each site’s CSS.

Meanwhile, for the four newspapers who provide useful search functions allowing for a breakdown by year, here are some charts. Everyone likes charts. Wholly non-scientific, what with each of the following including uses of the word ‘Twitter’ in the context of both the website and the noise birds makes, but interesting. Well, slightly interesting. Possibly only if you’re us.

 

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NEXT UPDATE: The last ever instances of ‘Google Plus’ in UK newspapers. Or not.

This Bird Has Flown (Alternatives To Tweetdeck Air for Windows)

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The history of mankind is peppered with stupidly short-sighted decisions. “What? Supply enough lifeboats for everyone on board? Oh, like that’ll be a good PR move for our unsinkable vessel. GET OUT”, for example. Or, if you’d like a more contemporary example, Twitter have decided to deactivate the version of Tweetdeck that runs via Adobe Air. And by ‘deactivate’, we don’t just mean “stop providing support for it” or “stop making it available for download from their website”, we mean “if you' have it installed on your desktop computer, it’ll magically cease to function at some point during April 2013.

Yep, when faced with the problem that many people are still using the old version of their desktop client rather than the web-based ‘standalone’ version because the new version is a fiddly, unfriendly, nasty chunk of web-based fudge, Twitter have decided to make people get with the times by, well, smashing their favourite toy and telling them to go out and get the new one. They’re SO good at internet!

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Yep, instead of updating the ’yellow icon' version of the app to cope with the forthcoming Twitter API update, it’s being left to rot. Which is slightly annoying for all the people who’ve tried other Twitter desktop apps, including the newer ‘blue icon’ version of Tweetdeck, and found them all sorely lacking. As for using Twitter’s actual website to use Twitter… well, some of us prefer to attempt doing a dozen things at once, cheekily ignoring the fact we’re not concentrating properly on any of them.

You see, following in the footsteps of Windows XP, Tweetdeck Yellow (as we’re going to call it from now on) was pretty much a victim of its own success. It was so damn good at what it did, there was no compelling reason to move on to supposed ‘upgrade’ Tweetdeck Vista. Sorry, ‘Tweetdeck Blue’ (we’re not sorry). Somehow, people don’t buy into the whole “Well, it’s worse, but it’s newer” ethos (see also: iTunes 11).

A Messy Kwelfnuve To You All

On the one day of the year when people have something better to do than visit an unpopular blog that was quite good for a month in 2007, a rare update! It’s a complete (in several parts) Christmas episode of defunct Aussie panel show Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation. Because hey, if you understood the reference in the title of this blogpost, you’re all about relatively obscure comedy miscellanea.

Piggywiggywiggywiggywoo, everyone!

The BrokenTV End Of Year Video Extravaganza Part One: The 20 Best Songs Of 2012

Inarguably so. Having spent every single minute of the last month listening to every single song recorded in 2012 (with no sleep, often listening to six or seven songs simultaneously in order to get through them all), we've whittled them down to the twenty greatest songs pumped out into the world since 1 January 2012. And here they are, presented to you in the form of a badly-edited video that hopefully won't be removed as soon as we upload it. Enjoy. And probably grumble about how there aren't enough guitars, but shush.

View in full YouTube-o-vision here. Hover over the oblongs on the bottom-right of the video window when each song is played to leap to full versions of each song.

And yes, we do know the intro to that video goes on for too long. We’ll try harder next year.