Single? Poor? Some online grocers don’t want you…

I’ve been shopping for groceries online since there was just Tesco, when their virtual store came on a CD and was loaded into your PC. The software was subsequently updated every time you logged in – not an edifying experience, pre-broadband.

A lot of things have improved since then, as is to be expected, but some have taken a decided turn for the worse since the last time I looked at this a couple of years ago.

For openers, let’s be clear about one thing, no matter how popular it might be Continue reading

Is handwriting better than using a computer?

No, it’s the quality of what’s written that matters, not the tools…

The Guardian has published what must be the longest free advert for a book in its history. Which would be more forgivable if the basic premise of the book – pen and ink good, computers bad – wasn’t complete bollocks. Luddites, it seems, are alive and well at the Guardian (yep, the guy’s a contributor).

That’s not to say that if you love writing longhand letters, a diary, or whatever, you should stop and run out and buy a computer. Of course you shouldn’t – just don’t try and tell me you’re superior to me, because I use a computer. You’re not, nor I to you.

One of the main points of the article is that handwriting conveys Continue reading

Government Puritanism is just a front for state control and censorship…

Once more the government has decided that it’s everybody’s duty to attend to the welfare of everybody else’s children, by dragging out – again – its unfeasible plans to make ISPs filter porn (there’ll be an opt-in for perverts, or people who believe in freedom, not censorship, as they’re known outside of Cameron’s very strange and putrescent mind). The porn industry is just a part of the World Wide Web, just as it’s a part of, say, W H Smith’s and a million other newsagents’ businesses – so why is the Internet singled out?

I hold no brief, pro or con, regarding online porn (if Continue reading

On March 1, Google starts harvesting users’ data…

This isn’t a secret, even Google have advertised the fact – but a surprising number of people seem unaware of it. See

Based on what I’ve read, it’s next to impossible to prevent Google collecting data in this way.

First of all, if you have a Google account, as I do, and also use Google+ and G-mail, then it’s pretty damn hard to escape their clutches.

If you just have a Google account – and many people do without using G-mail or G+ having found, like me, that neither were what they wanted – simply Continue reading

Google’s Chromebook – a solution in search of a problem?

Someone said to me, on Twitter, about Google’s Chromebook, a Cloud-based laptop, in a tone of dismay “All my stuff in the Cloud?”

No, absolutely not, in my case – I wouldn’t dream of it. As far as I’m concerned, the Cloud is an unnecessary and overhyped crock, OK for email, for those who think webmail is a good idea (again, not me), but not for much else.

All my Continue reading

Broadband speed problems – abolishing contracts is the answer…

Radio 4, this morning, has been rather exercised over the matter of broadband speeds, ditto the Guardian and, no doubt, the rest of the news media. This is because Ofcom is getting equally worked up. And they’re all addressing the wrong problem.

What’s getting up Ofcom’s nose if the notorious “Up to…” when describing broadband speeds. They claim, and who am I to argue, that Continue reading

Does reading online make you dumber?

There is a theory, discussed at length in the Guardian, that those who read a lot online are reading books less and becoming stupider. I just don’t buy that (though, considering the way standards are falling at the Guardian there might be a grain of truth).

I read a lot online – I also write a lot. None of that has changed my offline reading habits one iota, and I deeply resent the suggestion that I’m getting dumber simply because I read a lot online.

It has, though, changed how I write, particularly in terms of Continue reading

Don’t send viruses in your email, OK?

I received an email from an online store today. Normally, such emails would have, at the bottom, something like “Certified virus free by whatever…”.

This one though, says “It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that this email and any attachment is free from viruses and can be opened without harm to your systems.”

Well, no, it’s bloody not. While all of my mail, in and out, is scanned as a matter of course, it is – absolutely Continue reading

The dumbing-down of the Guardian…

According to the Guardian,  “The taxpayer is sitting on a profit of close to £10bn on its stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group after a surprise surge in their share prices.”

Well, no, we’re bloody well not. The taxpayer will see bugger all of that money. The exchequer will reap the benefits, if any, not the taxpayer. As always.

In theory, taxes might Continue reading