Showing posts from January, 2010

And quote of the day goes to…

Geeklawyer for his beautifully-put response to yet another personal injury ad request:I’d rather have my bol­locks chewed off by a bad tem­pered rot­tweiler with a taste for slow pain, than have a bunch of low-life ambu­lance chasers taint my site with their ads.Perfect!  :D

Mozilla CEO and bad analogies

From Right Side 25/01/10:
Baker said she worried about "the increase in laws that make it difficult to run an open network," especially rules about content."You suddenly become liable for anything that gets downloaded, whether it's legal or not," she said. "If you said to a municipality, if you build a road, you have to guarantee nothing illegal happens on it - that's what's happening on the Internet now. So that's the kind of regulatory disruption that's going to have some long-term consequences."Wacky hair-dos aside, I’ve nothing particularly against Mitchell Baker.  And yes, that’s despite her recent efforts in spearheading unreasonable demands in relation to the ‘ballot screen’ idea for Microsoft to include with further versions of Windows to better allow other browsers to compete on a level playing field.  Kind of.  As head of Mozilla, I guess that’s her prerogative.  What I don’t get is why she’s come out with this …

Broadband, Broadband

I had this gem drop into my inbox a few days ago (it was the Digital Economy Bill Newsletter):
Rural communities and hard to reach areas who do not have access to next generation broadband will benefit from a share of £1 billion of Government investment said Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson today. The investment will upgrade the UK’s digital infrastructure to bring super-fast broadband to 90% of the country, essential if the UK is to remain globally competitive as estimates suggest that private investment will only reach up to 70% of the population by 2017. The Next Generation Fund will provide the UK with a world class communications network to bolster innovation and services in digital content. The Government is now consulting on the most effective way to deploy the investment. Oh goody.

I've been bitching about this stuff for a while now, particularly since my house move in October last year which was to just outside one of the south-west's cities, only to find that …

SarkMark – The new symbol to express sarcasm

From the Guardian 15/01/10:TheSarcMark, as it has been named, is designed to be used in the same way as an exclamation or question mark.Anyone concerned that the irony of their email or text message might not be appreciated by its recipient can use the symbol to close their sentence, thereby avoiding awkward misunderstandings.The symbol – a dot inside a single spiral line – can be installed onto any PC running Windows 7, XP or Vista, as well as Macs and Blackberry mobile devices.It can then be used in Word documents, instant messenger conversations, Outlook email and other programmes, just by pressing Ctrl and the full stop button.The Michigan company behind the SarcMark have applied for a patent to protection their invention.I absolutely love this idea but whether it takes off it another matter altogether. I guess people use the ‘tongue’ smily in this context at the moment but the idea of having a new character is a great one.  In principle, anyway. Paul Sak of the firm said that th…

Personal Injury Lawyers Exploit Freezing Weather

From Solicitor’s Journal 11/01/10:A group of solicitors have set up a ‘snowline’ to cope with a surge in accident claims as a result of the freezing weather.Quality Solicitors dot com, a referral service operated by 200 firms, says the snow has led to a 42 per cent increase in claims, including a man hit by a skidding dog.Craig Holt, chief executive of the service, said the ‘snowline’ would be manned by legally trained staff who would connect them to personal injury solicitors if necessary.Holt said there had been a “remarkable increase” in the number of people needing advice.“The snow and ice has resulted in a huge increase in the number of people calling our case-handlers, ranging from more routine accidents such as people slipping or being involved in car accidents to more unusual cases such as one person who was hit by a large amount of snow that had settled on the roof of a building and another who was involved in a collision with a skidding dog. Fortunately, neither were seriou…

Motorist with X-ray vision defies need to clear windscreen

From BBC News 13/01/10:A motorist who ventured out in Devon with her windscreen virtually covered in thick snow has been spoken to by police about hazardous driving.The elderly woman, who has not been named, was given an ice scraper too by police after being spotted on Lea Road in Tiverton last week.Officers have also asked her neighbours to offer her help in the future.Police are continuing to urge drivers to be sensible and to clear vehicles of ice and snow before driving anywhere.Wow. I’m not quite sure what you say to this. Bizarrely, the clearest patch is actually on the passenger’s side of the windscreen.  So, at the risk of asking silly questions, what was the deal?  Could she simply not be bothered to clear it, was too batty to notice or really had x-ray vision? Either way, I would have probably done more than simply present the old dear with an ice scraper.  Rapping her over the head with it would have been a good place to start.Batty.

Law Actually Mailbag – SERIOUSLY funny!

I thought I’d do a mailbag a la Paul Thurrott who’s only just started up the idea himself after I got this fantastically funny email.  While I get a few bits of email relating to my blog, I don’t think this will be a weekly thing.Anyway, I received a very amusing email asking a legal question yesterday and the last line caught me so by surprise, it was an unrestrained laugh out loud moment – more of a scream  actually.  Luckily for me, I wasn’t drinking anything at the time, else my screen would have been plastered! So, ‘Jamie X’ asked the question:“Hey,I have just visited your website in search for some beneficial laws regarding student rights...
I have had trouble allocating [sic] them on your website, and would be very grateful if you could give me a link or some laws that would aid me.
Just simple laws that would protect me from being taken for a wanker at college by the teachers.

Thanks, Jamie”
Well, Jamie, I have to admit (and this doesn’t happen very often):  I’m …

When Spellcheck goes bad

I’m quite a sloppy typist at times and find myself increasingly reliant on right-click spell-check-and-correct functionality in both Word and whatever web browser I’m using.  It’s not so much that my spelling is dodgy, but rather that I’m prone to a fair few typos.Imagine my frustration then, having misspelt the word ‘better’ (I’d missed one of the t’s) that the options for correction were:BiterBeaterBeerBelterBeret How can typing the word ‘beter’ not trigger spell-check to recognise the most likely correct word was ‘better’?Perhaps spell-check has been tweaked in the beta of Office 2010? :-$I guess I could always just focus on making fewer typos. Hmmm.

Hit and Run Mobility Scooter Madness

From BBC News Magazine 04/01/10: A number of high-profile accidents involving mobility scooters have raised concern that drivers cannot be prosecuted and caused some to float the idea of testing users.With a top speed of 4mph for the mobility scooters designed to travel on pavements, you might think that it was hard for their users to drive dangerously.No official statistics exist for the number of accidents involving the scooters, but there are tales from around the country of old ladies steering into shop windows, mobility scooters trundling along motorways and even people driving off railway platforms.There have even been injuries to pedestrians. Last year two-year-old Madison McNair was knocked down by a 70-year-old woman driving a mobility scooter on a pedestrianised street in Doncaster.Caught in the wheels of the machine, the toddler was dragged down the road as the driver carried on apparently unaware of what had happened. Since mobility scooters are exempt from the Road Traff…

Winter Work Woes

From 06/01/10:Employers may be legally entitled to dock workers' pay if they stay at home because of snow and extreme weather, but such a course of action can be risky and cause resentment, according to guidance from Pinsent Masons.[E]mployees are under a legal obligation to get to work and companies could withhold pay from those that stay at home because of the weather or ask them to make up the time later. But this is not necessarily the wisest course of action, the guidance said."Employees have statutory protection against an unauthorised deduction being made from their wages without their consent and deducting pay could potentially be challenged as unlawful under these provisions," said advice to employers produced by employment law specialists at the firm."You should therefore assess whether not paying employees would be in the best interests of your business. It may be that the financial burden to the business of paying staff in these circumstances…

My New Year’s Resolution…

I know, I know.  I can hardly believe it either.The cat was let well and truly out of the bag after Pooni correctly guessed that the New Year’s resolution to which I not-so-mysteriously referred in a previous post was quite simply that I was joining Facebook.  What’s more, Andro found my account (which has actually been active for over a week) so I guess there’s no hiding now!  ;-)As most ‘regular’ blawgwatchers in the ‘sphere are only too well aware, I’m no fan of Facebook and have made it my personal mission to berate the plague of Facebook, the inherent security/privacy risks blah, blah blah – see, even I’m close to not-caring any longer. In my defence, though, I’ve been a lot better of late and have reduced my (at times petulant) whining considerably.My general attitude towards social networking services has mellowed markedly over the last 12 months or so and I’ve embraced Twitter – albeit rather fleetingly at times – if only for a means of highlighting new content on my blog. Eit…