Monthly Archives: March 2012

Could Fax be ready for a comeback?

This is slightly tongue in cheek, but what if the proposed hike in postal rates here in the UK were to encourage a move back to Fax for some classes of traffic?

Sometimes, you really do want a paper copy of a document to be sent. Possibly it must have a signature, or you are returning a form.

Assuming you had a paper document, you’ll have to pay £0.60 for the stamp and £0.03 for the envelope. Let’s ignore labour.

If you faxed the document, you’d pay maybe £0.05 for the telephone call?

What do you think?

The general melee at St Neots Beer Festival



Gareth Howell
Sent from my mobile, so please excuse any errors

Varina at St Neots’ Beer Festival



Gareth Howell
Sent from my mobile, so please excuse any errors

Maybe it’s the hormones and not the beef itself

As an avid meat eater, I was very interested in today’s news about the increased risk of death from eating red meat. I’m not criticising the data but I wonder if they took into account other factors when reaching their conclusions. 

The study was conducted in the US; where all beef animals are regularly fed with growth hormones. I took a quick look at the study report and could see no account having been taken of the prevalence of growth hormones.

One only has to look at the backsides of many American women to see the effects feeding growth hormones to beef cattle has!

Is Posterous being purchased by Twitter a good thing for its subscribers?

As seen on the main page of Posterous and elesewhere, Posterous has just been aquired by Twitter. As a user of Posterous, I’m not sure this is such a good thing.

I can see it’s good the the developers and owners of Posterous and I congratulate them. Posterous is a great product.

Where I am concerned is in what will happen to Posterous now.

One of the main reasons I chose Posterous as my personal blogging platform was its integration with other social networking platforms: particularly Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. It can do all these things and yet stay independent of them. It can also treat them all equally.

Now that Posterous is a Twitter owned service, will it continue to be so even handed?

As an example, there is a small issue with its integration with Facebook. Sometimes, new Posterous posts to Facebook inherit Facebook comments from previous posts. Will this be fixed with the same vigour now that Facebook is a competitor?

I’ll continue to use Posterous for now, but I’ll keep a close eye on where its roadmap starts to take it.

“Science is organised scepticism”

I just this said by John Lawton on Jim Al-Khalili’s programme “The Life Scientific” on BBC Radio Four.

It’s a great quote.

And this is what Varina is driving


Actually she’s only a passenger.

This is what I’m driving today


Courtesy of the wonderful Christmas present from my beautiful wife.

Keep Calm and Carry On

This is a response to an item on my friend Bill Buchan’s blog on the above.

A lady appeared on “The Antiques Road Show” a few weeks ago with a stack of originals of the famous World War II poster entitled “Keep Calm and Carry On”. They’d been issued to a relative who was the postmistress in a small village but she never got the instruction to put them up. Apparently, it was only to be put up in the event of an invasion.

As the invasion never occurred, most got destroyed, but somehow hers just got left in a back room.

It raised an interesting debating point about supply and demand. A YouTube video linked to by Bill gave the story of how a bookshop found an original and started to sell copies. I don’t know how much they sold for, but it was probably fairly cheap.

An original however, given its (now) iconic status and scarcity, is worth far more. This lady had about 20 originals (as I recall), so: does she sell them one at a time over a period of many years to get a high individual price, or does she sell them all as a collection?