Welcome to the Poorhouse - a pointless bloggy site with news, views and opinion on stuff.

Miracle Berries

Miracle berriesFlavour-tripping parties...they sound fun, if a little illicit, don't they? They're a recent fad as seen is such fashionista parts of the US as New York and San Fransisco. The deal is you turn up, eat some "miracle berries", and then go through your host's fridge eating even the most apalling sort of edibles relying on the afore-mentioned magic fruit to make them taste like sweet sweet nectar.

Sounds suitably implausible, the Poorhouse agrees. But it seems to be true...miracle berries do have a ridiculous name to be sure but they're nothing new. Documented a few hundred years ago and with a slightly more scientific name of Sideroxylon dulcificum or Synsepalum dulcificum they have been used for centuries by Africans native to the part of the world they traditionally grow in.

Fair tips campaign

Tipping, of the sort where you leave a few pounds extra to your nice restaurant waiter, is a kind of bizarre custom anyway in some ways. Most people doing other sorts of jobs don't tend to get tips, and you'd never really think to give your bank clerk an extra fiver if they paid your cheque in particular fast. Nonetheless, they are part of established UK culture. Also, to be fair, the kind of jobs you do expect to get them in are probably some of the most annoying, worst paid jobs around, so why not reward your server with some shiny shiny coins if they do a good job?

Well, one good reason why not is because in many cases your tip does not actually benefit the person you think you are paying. Rather, some restaurant owners actually pocket all the tips themselves and, at best, recycle it to make the sub-minimum wage they pay their staff up to the bare legal minimum come the end of the week. Outrage.

How to hide your emails from the police

Big stories here and there for a while about John Darwin, a guy who faked his own death, even to his kids, in the name of future insurance fraud. But the most useful thing that the Poorhouse learnt from this came from an article in the Independent.

The jury was told that Cleveland Police accessed John Darwin's Yahoo account and found a total of 1,012 emails, of which 923 were unread. Police rules meant officers could only look at the 89 opened messages.

Google's favicon - ugh

What on earth do they think they've done?! When doing the usual lazy 100-tabs-in-one-browser surfing session, the Poorhouse was befuddled to see that there seemed to be no Google-icon-clad tab open in the browser despite the fact that at least 10 different resource-sapping results pages should surely be open.

It turned out that no, it was not some magic anti-Google fairy closing things, but rather that Google have changed their "favicon" – that little image that sits in your Favourites and tab corners. Below, courtesy of Google Operating System, is what the old one looked like compared to the new one. Poorhouse verdict on the change? Lame.

Stop Virgin (twice, slightly NSFW)

Now we live in a world where high-speed Internet access is almost as essential to modern rich-guy life as say water, net neutrality is a potential hot topic. Net neutrality refers to the historic practice of your ISP granting (kind of) equal access to the internet, no matter what you do with that access – subject to legality au naturelle. From Google's – who of course have a vested interest in this – guide:

Network neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet…the broadband carriers should not be permitted to use their market power to discriminate against competing applications or content.

Afghanistan alchemists

So as the UK military forces continue their expensive, pointless, doomed and probably harmful mission to rid the world of a few arbitrary types of intoxicating plants, it seems the drug producers have come up with ever more cunning methods to turn a freely-grown weed into something with the black-market-boosted value of gold dust.

Check this out – the biggest haul of cannabis ever found has been blown up by 3 1000lb bombs. The Poorhouse is sure that was the only possible way to remove such merchandise as well…cue lots of g(l)ory pictures of fire, death and destruction and maybe a bit of nationalistic pride for our taxpayer-funded killers too. All this is rather insignifcant news though compared to what was being done with such raw material.

 

Let’s let the ever-reliable and unbiased Daily Mail tell us what was going on eh?

Obecalp

Hard to know how to approach this product…is it a massive scam, the likes of which you’d need big big balls to even attempt, or a fascinating and medically beneficial play on the weirdness that is human psychology (and perhaps even physiology)?

Enter the cunning wonder that is… Obecalp. Yep, Obecalp. D’ya geddit?

Fab free web services for you to use and abuse - getdropbox.com and xpenser.com

Having had no time or inspiration to come up with exciting new innovations himself, the Poorhouse resorts to jibbering about other people's fancy stuff.

Hangovers - an all too common part of the workplace

Just to continue the sadly unsurprised-face theme of today's updates, let it now be declared that, according to a study by Norwich Union Healthcare, a sizeable amount of people turn up to work (well done)...hungover (not well done).

Their survey of 1000 employees and 250 companies found that about a third (32%) of respondents did own up to turning up to work in a hurty hurty hungover state.

"Own up" is about right, because the Poorhouse is rather surprised it's not more. Well, unless people are just taking ever more sick days...which it could well be. In the eyes of the employers themselves, more than three quarters consider alcohol to be the number one threat to employee's turning up and being healthy.

Official(ish): most Facebook applications are nonsense

After eons of no news...here's more no-news. Flowing Data, a blog which just loves statistics, numbers and the like, have come out with radical new study of no less an institution than Facebook applications.

They took what must have been one of the most painful datasets known to humanity - 23160 different Facebook applications, and analysed by category. The shock revelation?

Most aren't very good.

We've always found in our business ventures that search engine optimisation is a much better investment (provided you find the right digital agency).

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