About Taking Aim

Taking Aim was, a long time ago, the weblog of Andy Young. This site is no longer updated, but you are welcome to browse the archives.

Andy now writes for two main sites – Country Digest (a guide to the world) and History of Russia (a guide to Russian history).

Andy used to write the Siberian Light website, which is now archived.

You can also find some great websites in the blogroll, many of which still exist.

Watch England vs Ukraine online

In a brilliant new innovation, England’s forthcoming match against Ukraine will be made available only in the online format. This means that there is absolutely no way to watch England vs Ukraine live on TV. The only way you can watch the game live is to stump up some of your own cash up front.

Over at Siberian Light, my other blog, I’ve published a quick guide to how to watch england vs ukraine online, but this is the very basics.

If you’re quick, and book by Wednesday, the cost is just £4.99 to watch the game. However, on Thursday and Friday the price goes up to £9.99 to watch the game. And if you’re one of those latecomers who only decides to pay to watch the game on Saturday, you’ll have to pony up £11.99 for the privilege.

There is one way that I know of to watch the game online for free. But even so, this still requires you to stump up some cash. Simply sign up for online bookie Betfair, and make sure that your account is in credit. They’ll be letting their subscribers (the in credit ones at least) watch England vs Ukraine free on Saturday evening. It’s not clear if you can then withdraw your money straight away, but if not, at least you have the chance to do a bit of gambling.

I definitely recommend booking quickly for this match though – the company running the online broadcast have set an upper limit of 1 million viewers, so that they can make sure their servers don’t throw a hissy fit at having to stream video to so many people at the same time. If you’re too late, you’ll just have to wait and watch the highlights after the event!

Russian News Online

Russian News Online

Long time readers (I’ve been away a while – are there any left?) might remember that I have a great interest in Russia. So, to help me keep up with everything that’s happening in Moscow and its surrounds, I’ve built a new Russian News website.

Russian News Online is a simple site that aggregates Russian News headlines from major English language news sources like RIA Novosti, the Moscow Times, Interfax, etc. At the moment, it aggregates the content of over 30 news outlets, and plan to add more in the near future.

It also has a page dedicated to Russian Blogs. Currently there are over 75 Russia Blogs listed, and I’m adding more all the time, as I come across them.

The site is very straightforward to use – it provides the reader with a list of headlines, all of which link to the exact story over at the news site. It’s still in development, so please do head over, check it out, and let me know what you think.

iPhone 3.0 upgrade – 2096 error at iStore – fix

iPhone3GAs soon as the brand new iPhone 3.0 upgrade came out, I had to try it on my first generation EDGE iPhone. I connected to my Mac computer, ran the iTunes upgrade and waited impatiently for the process to run its course… only to find that my lovely shiny phone had turned into a lovely shiny brick.

Instead of a brand new 3.0 operating system, all I could do was make emergency calls, and look at the following iStore error message:

“iTunes could not connect to the iTunes Store. An unknown error occurred (-2096).
Make sure your network connection is active and try again.”

Happily, I finally managed to fix the problem, but I found it difficult to find advice via the internet. So, I’ve compiled this quick post to explain how I got the upgrade to work (note: this advice is for OS X Mac’s only):

1.) Visit System Preferences, and select Network.
2.) In the drop down Location box, changed the location from ‘Automatic’ to my home wireless network.
3.) Breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Why this worked, I have no idea. But if you’re having the same problem with your iPhone 3.0 upgrade and you’re running OSX, give this solution a try.

Canada catches Russian spy, then does something really stupid

The Canadians have caught a Russian spy.

Canadian intelligence services say a man arrested trying to leave the country last week is a Russian spy with forged identity papers. 

The man, who used the false name Paul William Hampel, will appear in court in Montreal on Wednesday with authorities calling for his deportation.

So, let me get this straight.  They’ve caught a spy trying to leave the country, arrested him, put him on trial, and are calling for the court to… throw him out of the country.

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Captain Picard sings!

Patrick Stewart as you’ve never seen – or heard – him before. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jean Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise, singing A is for alphabet:

Apparently, the song was filmed as a birthday tribute to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenbery.

While I’m on the theme (sorry) of Picard singing, I thought I’d also take the time to bring you the rather moving Picard’s Song:

(Can you tell that I’ve spent this evening procrastinating?)

Palestinian human shield policy to backfire?

In an effort to prevent further Israeli airstrikes, Palestinians have begun forming human shields around target buildings, taking advantage of the Israeli policy of sending telephone warnings that give occupants 10 minutes to evacuate.

The Christian Science Monitor calls the new tactic:

perhaps the most effective act of nonviolent protest in the six-year Palestinian uprising

But I wonder if it is actually one of the least effective. 

The Israeli policy of telephoning warning was one of the most positive developments in the otherwise pointless conflict in Lebanon.  It was one more step in the long road taken by democratic countries towards limiting civilian deaths through conflict.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was certainly better than bombing target buildings where civilians were sheltering.

But now Israel can’t send warnings to civilians about which buildings it will bomb.  Instead, if it feels it needs to destroy a building, it will need to attack it while civilians are still in residence.  The results will be awful, and the death toll among innocent bystanders will increase.

This is a victory for Palestinian civilians?

How to tell if Al Gore is running for President

Al GoreHow will be be able to tell if Al Gore’s going to run for President? Mick La Salle has the answers:

“An Inconvenient Truth will probably be nominated for an Oscar. It’s the third highest grossing documentary in history and the most successful documentary of 2006. It will probably win. If you see a chubby, happy Al Gore standing next to the producer and director, celebrating the win at the Oscars, forget it, he’s not running. Nothing to do with Hollywood plays well in the heartland… However, if Gore chooses not to be there — if he’s at the spa that day — then you can take it to the bank. Big Al’s running.”

He has a bunch of other reasons, some serious, some not.  For me, I think he should run.  Whether he’d win the race for President, or even the Democratic nomination, I don’t know. 

But Gore today is once again a political heavyweight.  And to see him standing against someone like Hiliary Clinton, or John McCain can only enhance the level of debate in US politics. 

Plus –  these days, with his grey hair and all, he just looks statesmanlike.  And that’s always a good thing.