Serious stuff

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.

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?

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.

Hack your heart

Wireless networking is clearly a basic requisite for any electrical device these days, now we all live in the future. The Nintendo Wii, for instance, would almost be worth the extra £180 even if it was exactly the same as a NES, but had wireless controllers and the ability to upload your shamefully bad racing times to the world. However, inevitably, the more devices that are on networks, the more security issues crop up; and the more devices that are on wireless networks, well, you don't even have to touch them to destroy them.

It's bad enough that people's computer networks are relatively easy to illegally access, even when certain common forms of encryption are used to prevent it. Generally, this isn't a matter of life or death. When it's hacking into someone's pacemaker though, obviously it is.

New Labour wealth redistribution at its finest

Tax, never a dull moment where that's concerned right? Actually something has caught many UK tax-payers attention in recent time, and quite rightly so - the abolishment of the 10p tax rate.

It's far too complicated to go into, but the deal is that when you earn up to X amount in the UK, some of your pay will be taxed such that 10% goes to the Government rather than for your personal pleasure. Above that value to a point, any surplus money gets 22% taken by the exchequer. For no earthly reason Gordon Brown et al. have decided it's a good idea to reduce the 22% to 20%...and pay for it by eliminating the 10% rate. This might all sound like inane complicated numbers, but really this is a properly unfair move that even an idiot can see hurts the poorest in society.

Making the most of your expense account

These days with more mobile working, more business travellers and an ever greater need for those at the top to steal what could be their employees' wages to fund their restaurant / mistress / coke habit there are a serious number of expense accounts around. These, for the un-initiated, are what one charges business expenses to in cases where you aren't expected to pay for them yourself, which should be in every case that is vaguely to do with non-recreation.

For the more lowly peons, such as the Poorhouse, the whole company credit card idea is out. Rather one has to take on personal debt then claim it back. This is a bit annoying in some ways so it pays to try and make the most of the opportunities for personal profit.

Another cashback opportunity: giveortake.com

You all know how much the Poorhouse loves his Quidco, and a few other cashy-cashback sites. If he couldn't steal gain a profit of 1% of his other-wised expensed train tickets per transaction, the world would be a sad place. To be serious though, you can rake in serious money in the world of cashback.

Kathryn, from a site called giveortake.com was kind enough to drop the Poorhouse a line. She runs a site in many ways similar to quidco. You do the whole click-through-links-to-retailer business, and you get 100% of the commission, minus an annual £5 fee. Where it is slightly different though is a) Amazon is on it (2.5% cashback at time of writing) and b) the "give" bit of "giveortake" refers to the fact you can choose to donate your cashback directly to charity through it.

Shock: sharing your bank account details with the world is not a good idea

As you'll have heard, the UK Government in recent times has loved throwing around bits of extreme valuable and confidential data about us, its mere citizens, to the four winds / identity thieves ([1],[2],[3],[4] [5] amongst many, many others.

This bothered quite a few people, but not, it seemed that should-be-the-most-annoying-person-ever but sadly is sometimes really quite funny real man that is Jeremy Clarkson. Well, not at the time anyway.

Misleading headline

Shock! Horror! Evil! etc. as the Telegraph splashes the following headline in massive print over its front-page a couple of days ago.

Children of nine may get sex advice packs

Imagine the expressions of fear on the Tory-inclined readers' faces as they read that kids are getting nigh-on-pornographic books promoting going out and getting their fellow 9 year olds diseased and pregnant (well, maybe, read the sex advice pack for possibilities). No doubt it includes graphic illustrations of "dirty sanchez" et al. How on earth could a responsible Government allow this?

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