April 1st, 2011


An idea

I note from RISKS that
PALO ALTO, CA -- Facebook today announced availability of a new feature, the
enemies list. "This is the single most requested feature from our customer
base, and we always respond to our customers," said company spokesman Ronald
Many years ago, there was a wonderful April 1st ad from BMW, which promoted their latest feature: the automatic windscreen wiper that turned on when it started raining. This is a feature now available on cars, including mine - I just leave the level at intermittent, and it changes speed from 'off' all the way up to 'frantic' depending on how much rain is arriving. (It's pretty good at it, though it will every now and again do a dry wipe, if a lot of dust has accumulated.)

Perhaps the enemies list will also be added to social media.


The society with which I am associated has sold out its latest annual conference - 375 places, at up to £665 per place for the full 4 days.

Even if the average actual fee is half that (everyone coming is a student), that's still decently into 6 figures, blowing any VAT threshold. It's probably just as well that these monies do not flow through our accounts[1], since they dwarf our other amounts quite considerably.

[1] We have an arrangement with a professional conference organiser. We say "we want this and this speaker", they do the actual logistics, pay the speakers fees and expenses, hire the conference facilities, etc etc. We get a conference at much less per day than a standard conference would be, while having world-class speakers, and they get to make a nice little profit with a lot of credibility in the conference world.

On work

Dear $young_male_colleague

When $young_female_coworker is having a conversation with you at your desk, please be more careful where you rest your distracted gaze while listening to her.

Professionally speaking, her crotch is probably not the most appropriate location.

Yes, yes, I know, we've seen the pair of you together and it's all very sweet, but not during work, hey?

Best regards


(Edited to address pir's first comment)

Moore's Law

It's not so long ago that a portable computer with 1GB of RAM, a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 32 GB of SSD would have been a really impressive specification.

Nowadays, that's the coming generation of mobile phone.

(64GB for not that much more.)

Vanity plate

A colleague has herself a vanity plate.

Some years ago, she got herself a registration that was her three initials, a single digit and a single year letter. It cost a bit, but not all that much. It took her a while to notice that it might be a little more valuable than she'd initially noticed.

Her initials are ALP

She failed to get the much prized '1', and had to settle for '3'.

The year letter happened to be 'N'.

She's hoping that one of these days, Weetabix Limited notice and make her a nice offer for 'ALP3N'.
  • Current Music
    Goldfrapp: Twist