Pages tagged “rant”

09 Apr 2017

Safety is a shared responsibility

From the instructions for a new toddler pillow - which, by the way is scientifically proven to reduce cranial pressure by up to 50% and reduce flat head syndrome. dangerous to use this product on elevated surfaces e.g… bed… Definitely one to keep for further reference.

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30 Sep 2016

Toy fish and noisy x-rays

Iris is 123,456,789 seconds old next Tuesday - she’s getting on - and is starting to learn about reading. Parents are encouraged to get involved in the process, and so I’m finding my way around the “phonics” system (with the help of Anki of course). The sounds of letters, and of groups of letters, are associated with actions as a memory aid for the learner. I’m having a little trouble with some the associations from the “official” list (I’m not sure if it really is official, but it’s the one used at Iris’s nursery.

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23 Aug 2016

On the difficulty of deliberate ignorance

If you watch Match of the Day you’ve almost certainly done that thing where you avoid hearing the results so that you can watch the footy as if it were live. What with all the newfangled twitterbook, facewhat, interweb and apps, it’s got more and more difficult to achieve. Sarah and I were particularly challenged trying to keep up with this year’s action in the olympic velodrome. The world of tech fired an early warning shot at us for the men’s sprint final.

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22 Feb 2015

Time is postage

<rant>To use the Royal Mail website to print postage, you might naïvely think that starting at their home page would be a good idea. If you do try this, here is how to print postage. Click “Print your postage”, then Under “Online Postage (OLP)” click “Buy now”, then (you’re at a page called “Online Postage”), then click “Buy postage online”. You’re now at “Easy start” (navigation says “Home > Discounts & Payment > Home | Online Postage”), and finally Click “Get started”.

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02 Jan 2015

Et tu, eBay?

Basic arithmetic fail from eBay/PayPal. I’ve written about this sort of thing before. It doesn’t add to my confidence in the system when they conclude that 0 = 2.61.

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29 Dec 2014


From the instructions inside a Play-Doh packet: “Moulded results vary depending on child’s age and level of skill.” Who writes this stuff and what determines whether or not I need to be warned about such things? Buying a car for which mileage figures are widely reported, I understand why the small print has to say “your mileage may vary”. But Play-Doh? Perhaps next time I go to Anfield I need to be reminded “result may align imperfectly with expectations”.

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01 Oct 2014

A load of gas

Why are ovo so bad at estimating my meter readings? This zig-zagging blue line shows my gas meter readings, estimated and actual (the red line joins the actual readings). I submit precise, steady readings once a month, a few days before my monthly statement. On their side, ovo are consistently estimating my gas consumption rate at nearly 20 times the true rate. They apply this during the intervening handful of days and draw up the statement.

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14 Jul 2014

More inconsistent signage

I chose not to interpret this sign in line with the UK official Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 3, which says: “Prohibitory signs … are circular and have a red border. The red ring indicates the prohibition; diagonal bars are used only on signs which prohibit a specific manoeuvre” Just sayin'… (see earlier rant) Photo from Churchill College, Cambridge.

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06 Jun 2014

Unwanted extras

Domain registration companies are, like economy airlines, renowned for adding things to your “basket” as you go through the checkout process. Buying a flight? We’ll assume you’d like travel insurance, unless you can find the “No insurance” option between Latvia and Lithuania in the dropdown. Renewing a domain? Click here to buy, or scroll to the bottom for the option without our email domain expiration protection renewal certification service. You come to expect these things, but this one from register.

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04 Jun 2014

Cycling not prohibited

What does this sign mean? Look closely - and notice that it’s had a diagonal red/orange bar carefully and skillfully added to it. The intention is clear: no cycling, right? I admit to cycling past this sign regularly. I have my pedantic defence prepared (leaving aside the fact that a sign like this might have dubious legal status). “Yes, officer, I saw the sign. I interpreted it as ‘end of no cycling zone’.

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09 Jul 2013

Suggested train ticket pricing algorithm

The image illustrates what I feel would be a dramatic improvement on the status quo. That is all.

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