Third Party Cookies

Whilst ‘ordinary cookies‘ don’t pose any problem at all (except to the paranoid), third-party cookies might be of interest.

Good example is as follows.

You go on Ebay and search for something.

Later on you visit Facebook and see an advert for the same sort of thing you were looking for on Ebay.

This is because, to put it simply, Ebay has plonked a Facebook cookie on your PC with a product category. If you click through and purchase then Facebook gets a diddy commission.

If you’re bothered by this then you can find 3rd party cookie blocking built into your browser or with various browser add-ins.

Poynters – definition

Should you be wandering the Barbican you may come across a walkway called “Poynters Lane”.

The word, though unusual, appears to have a dual meaning.

Wikipedia suggests that it referred to somebody who made cord for fastening clothing, particularly doublets and hose – though it is not explained how these might be joined together.

Another meaning has been suggested.

In the 18th/19th centuries, touts frequented the streets of London. They would try, with varying degrees of politeness or persuasion, to direct customers to particular shops – in exchange, if successful, for a small commission from the shopkeeper.

They were dubbed Poynters simply because they’d point out the shop or market stall in question.


Worm’s eye view of God

Whenever I am confronted with somebody who believes that their religious or spiritual views are infallibly correct and everybody else is wrong, I think of my wormery.

Every few days I lift the lid and put in some vegetable scraps and peelings.

From the worms’ point of view, the sky opens up and giant hand appears bearing food.

They think I’m God.

I know they are wrong.

Yes, I will eat that banana

I picked up a banana today. It was just lying on the pavement.

Another pedestrian observed this with a scowl of disapproval and unspoken “you’re not going to eat that are you?”

Well, that banana spent several weeks on a ship among rats, bugs and the odd weevil catching up on its 5-a-day.

I figure a London pavement can’t do too much further damage!

Car overheating remedies

Let’s start with prevention is better than cure. Many motorists never check their coolant level but it’s worth doing at least once a month. If it needs a regular top up then this also suggests a fault which needs investigating.

If, however, after all this your needle does start to rise ominously in that holiday traffic jam then there are a few things you can do.

  1. Turn off the air conditioning. This will take some of the load from the engine so it will produce less heat.
  2. Switch the heater to Hot, point the air towards the windscreen and turn on the heater fan. You’ll get a little heated but it will cool the engine.
  3. With automatic gearbox, when stationary, put the car in Neutral instead of Drive. Less heat and better coolant circulation.
  4. On downhill sections, leave car in Neutral and let it roll (but at no more than 10 mph). Don’t turn the engine off as this will rob your ability to break and steer.
  5. Turning engine off for short periods may actually aggravate the problem. If the needle goes off the scale though, turn off and consider yourself broken down!
  6. Try and get out of the jam as soon as you can – either to park or take a side road where speeds of 20 mph plus will (hopefully) cool the engine.
  7. When you can do so, park for at least 30 minutes to let the engine cool then top up the water. If you are not familiar with how to do this then call the RAC or whoever, otherwise you might scald yourself or damage the engine.

Keep cool!

Twitter Hack

There is a popular method for hacking into Twitter accounts. I see this several times a year. The scenario:

  1. You receive an intriguing Twitter reply from somebody whom you follow.
  2. This contains a link.
  3. You click on the link.
  4. A Twitter login form appears.
  5. You innocently enter your details
  6. You get admitted to a spam site of some sort.
At stage 5 you were had! It’s not Twitter but an impersonator who now has your password! They will then send a fake message out to all of your followers and the process perpetuates.
So, treat with suspicion any message from somebody which does not seem quite right.
If you are presented with an unusual login screen (it might say you need to log in again for security) then be even more suspicious.
If you do get conned then change your password (if you still can!).

Olympic Venue Solved

Every 4 years we get the same tedious faff about where the Olympics is going to be.

Result is much wrangling followed by construction at great expense and disruption of a stadium which might never be used afterwards.

There is a simple solution.

The international community should get together and buy Cyprus.

Cyprus would be a perfect permanent venue.

It has a pleasant mediterranean climate, is a handy size and is located not far from the original site of the Olympics.

It would also sort out the problem of the Greek-Turkish divide.

As a bonus, and for increased efficiency, we could hold the World Cup there as well.

Twenty is Plenty

20 mph limits are appearing in several towns and cities. Critics claim that such a move would significantly slow down journey times.

Not so! I shall try to demonstrate.

The limit applies to residential roads, not A and B roads.

There are very few residential roads which are more than half a mile long.

One cannot enter or exit a residential road at speed, certainly not at 20 or 30 mile per hour. It is reasonable to assume that the car might stop or be slowed to a few miles per hour at the start and end of each road.

With that in mind, I’m going to construct a worst-case scenario for a 5 mile urban journey. This assumes:

Only residential roads are used.
Each such road is half a mile long – therefore 10 roads are used in total.
The car never stops, just drops to 5 mph to leave one road and enter the other.

At 20 mph, after allowing 17 feet needed for acceleration and braking between 5  and 20 mph, the car will travel at its maximum of 20 mph for 863 feet in approximately 29.5 seconds.
Over the whole journey, distance travelled at 20 mph is 29.5 x 10 = 295 seconds.

At 30 mph, after allowing 25 feet needed for acceleration and braking between 5  and 30 mph, the car will travel at its maximum of 30 mph for 855 feet in approximately 19.5 seconds.

Over the whole journey, distance travelled at 30 mph is 19.5 x 10 = 195 seconds.

The 20 mph journey will therefore take just an extra 1 minute and 40 seconds for 5 miles.

This, however, assumes absolutely ideal conditions. In practice, the car will come to a halt several times, the roads won’t be a nice half a mile long and maximum speed won’t be achievable because of other road users.

Because of this, the 20 mph limit probably costs the driver less than a minute over 5 miles in what, in urban terms, is quite a long journey.

And perhaps saves the live of a child.