Sunday 24 April 2011

The Lambretta Egg

Lambretta after Faberge?I spotted this in someone else's magazine: it's a Lambretta collectable egg. Appropriate for Easter, n'est-ce pas?

This gewgaw is styled after the Lambretta SX200, a motor scooter of the 1960s. And now The Bradford Exchange has apparently combined "the legendary artistry of Peter Carl Fabergé" with Lambretta's 200cc scooter.

"At the flick of a switch you can hear the authentic sound of SX200's iconic engine", says the advertising message. Surely that's the sound of Mr Faberge spinning in his grave?

Less of a Faberge egg, more of a curate's egg.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Spammy spammy spam spam spam

The latest piece of nonsense to hit my email in-box claims to be a response to the "collection of resources" on It's asking me to link to an article about PowerPoint on someone else's website. Now, I'm not going to argue that there's many a fine resource at The Fonecast, mainly because I wrote many of them myself, but I fear there's been a spot of cutting-and-pasting going on.

Google the phrase "I really appreciate your collection of resources on the..." and I found loads of very similar messages about a wide cross-section of sites. Along with "I know this article would be a great addition to your information".

What's particularly curious about today's message is that the sender went to the trouble of finding my personal email address and using my name (which isn't part of that email address).

It follows a message on Tuesday from someone who wrote "it's always a great pleasure to read your articles and I have subsequently become a loyal reader". I'm not the first person to receive this type of message... but, again, there was an element of targeting.

Which, all things considered, I find slightly depressing.

Monday 11 April 2011

According to our experts...

One of this morning's news headlines is a report from Billmonitor that claims the UK's mobile phone users are spending almost £5 million per year more than they need. Billmonitor is a mobile tariff price comparison site that's been approved by Ofcom, which helps them stand out from the crowd. However, what's also being mentioned in reports is that the company was "invented by mathematicians in Oxford". (For example, the BBC refers to "a group of Oxford mathematicians behind a start-up firm called Billmonitor"). Whilst the company is indeed based in Oxford - and I don't doubt the involvement of mathematicians - I can't help but notice how the public positioning of Billmonitor differs from that of other comparison websites. I doubt that similar figures would have been given as much credence if they'd been presented by Gio Gompario, Aleksandr Orlov or even Omid Djalili.