Betting on Football

Man, I love football. I don’t actually like the game itself, I mean I would rather watch a game of Rugby or Cricket but what I love is the gradual shifts of power which take place over a season.

Any football lover who does not appreciate a test match should consider that, that the real beauty is like that of an entire season, with all its trials and tribulations.

I have followed the premier league this season with much interest and have placed several bets which have done me well. I used the betfair website to bet on Arsenal to win the league ( I still think that is on ). I also wagered a substantial sum on Liverpool to win the champions league, ( still on course at time of posting). My best bet so far was on Man City to beat Man U – pleasing in many ways to win that one.

The online betting service at betfair allows me to place several bets at a time and offers good odds. What I like best about it is the simple layout. You can navigate easily and select from a good variety of combinations to either give yourself a good chance of winning a little or little chance of winning big. Like selecting total number of goals scored is a fun way to bet on football and it certainly makes for enjoying the game, gets you right off your seat.

To tell the truth I don’t win much from my online betting but the main thing is that it is fun and I don’t lose much at all. I really adds to the enjoyment of football. I fancy a large punt on Brighton to win the league this year.

First Time Buyer on a Slippery Slope

Now I have been in the market for a mortgage for a few years now. I have been working hard to get my foot upon that elusive first rung of the housing ladder. My income has increased greater than the rate of inflation, which should be a good thing, but still the bottom rung, and that is all I want to get to at the moment, is just out of reach.

House prices, of course, have been rising without a care in the world for other factors such as average incomes or inflation. Average property values are now several times average incomes, and when I say several times I mean a couple of times more than lenders are usually willing to lend.

With all the talk of late about the crash of the US subprime mortgage sector due to bad credit losses I was buouyed temporarily at the though of a house price crash – Could house prices in the UK suddenly plummet so I could go to the bank and borrow 3 times my salary and buy a nice three bedroom house? Sadly it appears not. Any drop in house prices may well lead to interest rate hikes which would make repayments on even these lesser figures as prohibitive as at present. At the same time mortgage lenders are unlikely to take such flamboyant punts in lending potentially unaffordable amounts to prospective borrowers.

So, what is the best way forward for me? I have considered trying for a buy to let mortgage, like buying a small, very small flat and renting it out – at least I would be on rung one? But, financial matters are conspiring against me, and the millions in my situation, what if house prices drop really? Then what a wonder that would be to actually, after years of striving to climb aboard the property gravy train I ended up with negative equity on a property I could not even live in.

Nokia Buys the Worlds Maps

In a mobile, connected world, maps are becoming a hugely strategic asset. All kinds of burgeoning digital revenue streams are being created on the backs of maps: local search, friend finders, family tracking, location-aware advertising and turn-by-turn navigation. If you control the map, you control the game.

In July, the industry woke up to just how valuable maps could be when TomTom, the Dutch manufacturer of personal global positioning system navigation devices, said it would buy Belgian mapmaker Tele Atlas for approximately $2.7 billion.

TomTom was quick on the draw; since the deal, Navteq stock has shot up 86%. But not doing the deal could have turned out to be even more expensive for Nokia given that it is a customer of Navteq: If the likes of Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT – news – people ), Google (nasdaq: GOOG – news – people ) or personal navigation device maker Garmin (nasdaq: GRMN – news – people ) snapped up Navteq, they could easily put Nokia out of the map business by refusing to renew its license in a few years, or hurt it badly by jacking up the price of maps.

Now Nokia can tell the others where to go. Navteq claims it has the most accurate maps in the world, in part because it sends out more than 700 workers in vans every day to take down detailed road information. Navteq also bought a year ago for $179 million, giving it real-time traffic information in more than 50 U.S. cities. Seven out of ten of the in-dash car navigation systems in Western Europe and the U.S. use Navteq. More than half the GPS-equipped mobile devices sold in Western Europe and North America have Navteq maps embedded in them.

Nokia uses Navteq data to power the maps in its new phones equipped with GPS chips, including the N95 and 6110 Navigator. Owners of these phones get free maps and can upgrade to Nokia’s turn-by-turn navigation service, called Smart2Go, for $13 a month or $112 a year. Nokia also debuted two in-car navigation devices this year and a GPS accessory that turns any Bluetooth phone into a personal navigator.

The Garmin and TomTom-type personal navigation device business is booming. Unit sales are up from 2.5 million in the U.S. last year to 7.5 million for this year. But Nokia is mostly eyeing the opportunity in GPS-equipped phones. Only 11% of the 1 billion cell phones sold last year had GPS chips in them. By 2011, more than a third of new cell phones will, creating a $3 billion a year business in cellular navigation in the U.S. and Europe, according to Sanford C. Bernstein research. That means 500 million GPS phones walking around in cities and towns, creating a powerful two-way sensor network that Nokia and others can tap for selling targeted advertising, friend-finder services and city guides.