My Favourite Apps of 2010

Here’s a list I couldn’t have imagined doing two years ago. And to be honest, I’ve taken to “apps” so much more since getting an iPad, I probably wouldn’t have even thought about doing this list as recently as last Christmas. These are in no particular order, but if I were to have just 12 apps on my iPad, other than the standard Safari, Mail and iTunes, these would be the ones.


Woo hoo. Better passwords, and all instantly available when you’re away from your little notebook.

BBC iPlayer

Watching telly in bed is great, but having the telly in bed with you is a whole new world.


Great example of a commercial organisation making an App which is better than their website.


Makes transferring files from my desktop Mac über-easy.


Wonderful for quick editing of images on the road before sending them to someone.


The fact this works at all was one of the pleasantest surprises of the year. Brilliant.


I’m addicted to RSS. I probably read the equivalent of several magazines’ worth of articles a week this way. And now all on the iPad. This is just very comfortable.


Property porn. Love the fact it can show you houses for sale around wherever you are.


Oh no! I forgot to set the Sky+ box before I left home! Except it doesn’t matter now. I want to marry the instigator of this app.

TuneIn Radio

Makes your iPad into the world’s best radio/alarm clock. Simply perfect.

TV Catchup

Not perfect, and I think we’re a couple of years away from really watchable real-time video streaming, but just occasionally, it’s been wonderful.


I’ve tried several Twitter clients, but I tend to reach for this by default.

My Favourite Sporting Moments of 2010 (Part 2)

A list of favourite sporting moments of the year might be overwhelmed by football, so I thought I’d do a separate list of highlights from other sports. There were some spectacular ones, now I come to think of it!

Alistair Cook takes Australia apart

Europe win the Ryder Cup

Mo Farah at the European Athletics Championships

The longest tennis match ever

Amy on her Skeleton Bob at the Winter Olympics

England beat Australia 21-20

The T20 World Cup Final

Tony McCoy wins the Grand National

Mark Webber’s crash in Valencia

My Favourite Sporting Moments of 2010 (Part 1)

Right, 24 days of Advent, 24 lists of things I liked this year. Today: the first of two lists of satisfying sporting moments, this one focusing exclusively on football.

My Favourite Football Moments of 2010

1. The World Cup

The consensus is that it wasn’t a great World Cup, but watch this and remember how many memorable moments there were: Robert Green’s howler; Frank Lampard’s goal that wasn’t; Holland beating Brazil; Keisuke Honda; the chest-high karate kick in the final; Iker Casillas’ girlfriend; Diego Forlan; the Germans; Uruguay cheating Ghana out of a semi-final place; and loads more.

2. Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 0

Blimey. The performance of the year, surely.

3. Ipswich Town 3 Coventry City 2

In a year with hardly anything to remember at Portman Road, I guess I have to pick the injury time from the first home match of 2010.

4. The best goals not scored by my team

My Favourite Gadgets of 2010

For each day of Advent, I’m doing a different list of favourite things from the year. Today we look at gadgetry and tech. I bought my most recent camera at the end of last year, my TV is four years old and still state of the art (3D notwithstanding), and that led me to believe I might struggle to fill this list. But inevitably that wasn’t the case.

1. Apple iPad

Inevitably, product of the year, and it’ll probably be up there in my products of the decade in 2019. Hard to believe it was just a rumour this time last year.

2. Virgin Media 50Mb broadband

Well, the performance varies over the course of the day, and it ain’t cheap, but it’s nice to still be at the bleeding edge of technology.

Nice performance in the morning, on the day it was installed

Still nothing like as good in the evening though, ten months later

3. Apple iPhone 4

Growing on me. The new features, which are technically impressive, are not life-altering like the original iPhone was. But they might become so, as apps make them indispensable. For example, I don’t really have much use for a video camera. But FaceTime calls to relatives overseas? Now you’re talking. The iPhone 3G was nicer to hold in the hand though.

4. Panasonic SD-257 Breadmaker

Incremental upgrade on the best-selling SD-255, but a great example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Others should watch and learn.

5. Canon Ixus 210 digital camera

Bought one of these for Mrs R, who wanted a modern, easy-to-use digital camera which would fit in a handbag. Oh, and it had to be pink. It’s everything you’d expect from a Canon …lovely. And it even has a (huge) touchscreen, which is hardly essential, but fun.

My Favourite Online Videos of 2010

There’s been enough great stuff on YouTube this year for it to merit a list of its own. So here, as part of my list-a-day series during Advent, are my favourite bits o’YouTubery of 2010. Except that more than any other list, this is going to be one which I’m undoubtedly going to have forgotten some good ones.

1. Wonders of The Solar System Spoof

NSFW. This was one of the cleverest revoiced videos of the year, and the guy did a superb impression of Brian Cox. “What makes clouds? Volcanoes. They spill out ****ing loads of clouds. Every day they produce hundreds of thousands. Twice the size of a football pitch. That’s on Mars”.

2. Hate E-mails with Richard Dawkins

NSFW. This must be the year that Professors made the best videos. Richard Dawkins sits by the fire and reads out some of the hate mail he gets. Just priceless. “Haha you ****ing dumbass! I hope you get hit by a church van tonight!”

3. Newport State Of Mind

Bloody brilliant. Clueless songwriters with no sense of humour (not Jay-Z or Alicia Keys’ record company, as commonly thought) have been chasing down copies and getting them removed, but I hope the one above is still online. “Twinned with Guanxi Province in China, there’s no province finer…”

4. Northampton – The story behind the song

Uploaded in 2007, and actually a clip from Anglia TV from 1980, but I laughed about it for weeks in 2010. “Punk’s all the rage at the moment, then of course there are the old favourites like Cliff Richard. He’s suddenly popular again”.

5. I’m Just A Glamour Girl by Chenille Steele

NSFW yet again. “I’m from Saffron Walden, I’m mates with Jordan, I’ve done things you ain’t never seen done!”

My Favourite Websites of 2010

In this instalment of my “list a day” Advent Calendar, I thought I’d choose the websites and online services which have meant most to me this year, either for entertainment or for usefulness. Or perhaps they just merit a mention for being really good. There’s a bit of a blurring now, isn’t there, between online services and websites? May have to split them next year. After all, if I can have “Twitter”, why can’t I have “email” or even “the web”?

1. Twitter

I may have been Tweeting for a couple of years or more, but this was the year I spent glued to it. I can’t watch live events on TV now without following them on Twitter too.

2. GMail

My life is now on this. How can anybody live without years’ worth of email instantly searchable? I’d find it hard to use (and to juggle so many accounts) without Mailplane though.

3. b3ta

Every Friday afternoon, brightens up my life without fail.

4. LogMeIn

It’s got me out of some right old pickles, I can tell you. Works perfectly from hotel foyers on holiday. Don’t tell the wife.

5. Ocado

Yay, you order it and it comes. Doesn’t even cost anything for delivery if you pay £3.99 a month extra. Kudos too for the milkman’s commendable version, milkandmore.

6. National Rail Journey Planner

New version up this year solves any irritations with the old one. Good work, fellas.

7. Texaco Fantasy Football

It’s about the Championship! It’s free! It works! I’m pretty rubbish at it!


I don’t think I need any other website, seriously.

9. Dropbox

Just getting into this. It’ll need some training. But it couldn’t work more perfectly.