Search This Blog

Monday, 14 January 2013

The bonus season fiasco

The BBC News website mentioned that Goldman-Sachs may be postponing their UK bonus pay-outs this year so that employees who qualify will only have to pay tax at 45% rather than 50%. I do not know if this is factually correct but I have strong views on this:
  • No company should be paying its employees average bonuses over £200k as I understand G-S did last year. Is this a correct figure? If correct, such payments look OBSCENE. Who needs this sort of money?
  • No company should be manipulating bonus payments for tax avoidance reasons.
See .

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Spareone mobile phone

Spareone emergency phone available from
Amazon and others are selling the Spareone emergency mobile phone. This interesting product uses a single AA battery (all types) and will hold its charge for 15 years (they claim) if the phone is not used. It is therefore ideal to have in the car or in a handbag in case of emergencies. It retails at just under £40. Neat idea that has won several awards.

Why is weather forecasting in the UK so bad?

The Met Office weather app screen
On my iPod Touch 4g I have the Met Office weather forecasting app. It is great with forecasts every 3 hours for the current day and for the following few days. There is a lot of detail there. The problem is it is frequently wrong, even at the current time!

I know all the excuses about butterfly wings flapping, but with huge mega-computers now in use is it really so impossible to get a decent weather forecast just a few hours in the future?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

RFID chip security risk to credit and debit cards

Did you realise that your credit card and debit card may have an RFID chip embedded inside it that can be used to hack into the card details? Neither did I. Watch this video and see. Clearly it needs someone with the right software and skills to do this, but as this demo shows it cannot be that difficult.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Consumption and economics

With the US heading for a "fiscal cliff" unless Obama, the Senate and House of Representatives can muster a last minute deal, it is timely to remind ourselves that western economics is based on driving consumption to stupid levels to encourage "growth". This is ultimately unsustainable.

See for an interesting article on this.

Friday, 21 December 2012

The end of the world? No, the beginning of the future

There has been a lot of publicity about the end of the world predictions which were supposed to have originated from some Mayan calendar that said the world would end at 11.11am on Dec 21st 2012. Well, the time came and passed and we are still here.  But, I am sure I can't have been the only person who asked the question, "what if this really WAS the last day?" and reflected, if only for a few moments, on our life and its finality.

In one way, we can think of today as a new day, with new hope and new ideas. Whatever the past has been has been, it cannot be undone or changed. The future though is an unwritten book. It can be what we want it to be, full of hope and promise. It is ours to forge.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Walking in Devon

Originally I come from the South Hams in Devon. It is a beautiful part of the world with some great clifftop and country lane walks. Last week, I went back  to visit my brother for a few days and do some walking.

Unlike in the high season when there are lots of visitors, this time of year before Christmas it is so quiet. I chanced on some lovely fine sunny weather, albeit cold, and did a couple of longish (for me) walks around 10 miles each.
Thurlestone, Devon
Although I cannot guarantee the weather, I can assure you that this most beautiful part of England is at its best when it is quiet. I shall go back next December too.