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Showing posts from July, 2007

Litter and the younger generation

Here I go, sounding like an old grumpy guy again, but.... As my daughter and I strolled through the park, we passed a group of 30 or so late teenagers, idling away their time in the sun. OK, so apart from not doing anything productive, they've got as much right to relax as the next person. Fair enough. An hour later, we passed the same spot, to see a sea of litter. Sweet wrappers, drinks cans, bun bags, the lot. Just left on the grass with no thought whatsoever to how they were leaving the environment. Quite staggering. And there were 3 litter bins within 20 metres of the spot that could have been used. It's so tempting to just not worry about the Earth we're leaving to the next generation - heck, they don't seem to care about it - let them reap what they sow. **MAD**

Weather forecasting - what use is this?

Image
So it's my daughter's birthday party and we've been eyeing up the weather forecast for days. Finally, we get to the big day and this is the symbol we see. What use is this? Is it going to be sunny? Heavy showers, overcast? I get that the weather is going to be changeable, but given that this is the specific BBC web forecast for a ten mile wide spot for only six hours into the future, you'd have thought that the weather men would have been able to put up something more useful than this... It's actually 100 times more useful to simply go out into the garden, look upwards, watch the clouds, etc.

New data tariffs? I'm seriously impressed.

No, I really am. As you know, many of the European network operators slashed their prices for data on the 1st June, some in more ways than others, but I hadn't really had a chance to test them in real life. Now, I'm on Vodafone pay-as-you-talk, famed for its previously exorbitant data rates of £7.30/MB - yes, you read that right. So I basically only ever grabbed tiny email messages and restricted myself to the mobile Web.

But, come a few spare minutes, I thought I'd experiment and put the new tariff (£1 cap per day, £2/MB, up to 15MB) to the test. Hammering the Web and some downloads, I slammed 10MB through my Nokia N95 in about 20 minutes. Checking my credit afterwards, it had indeed gone down by only £1. I'm impressed.

Let's take stock for a moment. That's £1 for 15MB, effectively, on a single day, or around 7 pence per Megabyte, compared to £7.30/MB, a hundredfold decrease in charges. In fact, impressed is something of an understatement.

Finally, finally, the …

Blending an iPhone!

See here: Quite staggering a)how powerful their blenders are b)how wasteful the whole thing is c)how much fun it was to watch. I'm not letting this guy borrow any of MY phones though....

Vampire estate agents

Ok, so our house is now on the market with two estate agents. Pretty good coverage, given that they're both quite big and online. So what on earth did two other estate agents think they were going to get when they phoned up saying "I notice your house is on the market, can we help you sell it?" I said "No, thanks" but I thought "You greedy *******s, you're just after commission even though you know this will just overcomplicate the current arrangement and end up with me paying a high rate of commission!" And, as a result, I've decided never to use these last two estate agents ever again.... They just disqualified themselves as being trustworthy.

Love it, love it, floor mapping!

What a great idea! This blog post shows a dedicated hall in Switzerland, upon whose floor they've printed the entire country in satellite image form. Brilliant for kids and adults alike. Quite expensive way to use real estate, but still.......

Building houses on flood plains

Why, why, why? Much as I feel sorry for the people caught up in the last fortnight's heavy rain and flooding in the UK, why do builders keep building houses in areas prone to flooding? I've a personal contact in one of the worst hit areas and apparently their house has been flooded out 3 times in the last 5 years. Why was the house built there in the first place? Recently, when I was looking into buying a new house, there was one I liked but according to the Environment Agency's web site it was within the flood plain of the local river. I enquired about this with the estate agent, only to receive the reply "Oh, I wouldn't worry, it's not flooded that I know of in the last five years(!) and anyway, you can get insurance for it" Err.... I don't want insurance to cover the hassle and expense, I'd rather not get flooded and all my stuff damaged in the first place.....

If builders MUST build in a marginal area, at least build the houses up above ground …