goods and services

Is milk really too harmful to be advertised?

Whilst in no way a fan of an over-riding nanny state (and in apparent contrast to much of the political blogosphere) the Poorhouse is far from averse to seeing a bit of regulation thrust upon greedy, harmful and otherwise unaccountable businesses from those that are supposed to represent our societal interests.

The recent ban on TV junk food adverts aimed at young children therefore seems to be plausibly sensible in principle. In fact a total advertising ban would be nice in many ways but the Poorhouse realises that's not going to happen. However with obesity et al. reaching record heights, why not stop marketers of foods that add to the health problem from trying to brainwash 5-year-olds? Nevertheless, it was with rather some surprise that the Poorhouse heard that these foods-of-evil would include milk.

Again, beware what you publish

Living in the cyberworld, as we all do these days, has its mega-pluses, but also creates new problems - for instance the trail of indelible stains on your character you might be exhibiting for the world at large to see. The Poorhouse has seen a few surveys now reporting that your prospective masters are researching your electronic records, even if you're not a wayward Tory-boy public figure.

Cups of magic

Amazing new coffee makes you thin...apparently. The appallingly named "CoffeeSLENDER" has recently hit UK shores. It's a simple diet plan whereby after each meal you eat you ensure you have a cup of this magical coffee, and sit back watch the weight drop off.

It sounds a bit unlikely for sure, but to be fair the makers do give a bit of hardcore science as evidence. Certainly "normal" coffee is associated with weightloss, especially in the anecdotal world - although there seems some disagreement between ye olde wives as to whether drinking it helps or hinders weightloss. One obvious potential explanation is that as it is a proven diuretic you do lose weight, but only because you need to go urinate that extra bit more than usual. Less internal water = less weight.

Work fitness

Office work is not only stultifyingly inefficient and mind-sapping, it's also bad for your body. For obvious reasons, if you're sitting around all day exercising only your mouse-finger you don't burn many calories. Couple that with plenty of sugary treats from the vending machines to ease the mundanity and keep you awake, and you get a risk of becoming overweight, bigstyle.

But of course, someone's invented a solution - the Office Treadmill. Designed for every average office situation, it even contains a flower vase grasper, a cup holder and pen and paper storage. How immensely practical.

Yahoo photos closing - any good alternatives?

It probably hasn't come as a surprise to many but the Poorhouse is a little sad - Yahoo Photos is closing down. Yahoo Photos of course was a place provided by Yahoo to store all your wonderful digital photos. Existing for quite some time in the past, it not-too-long-ago came out with a new version which was rather more Web 2.0 geeky-satisfying.

By that time Yahoo had also acquired that most famous of photo-sites Flickr and despite earlier claims of maintaining the two sites, which have rather different target audiences, now is apparently going to concentrate on Flickr.

Competitor friendliness and iTunes terrorism

Very desolate around here in recent days isn't it? Here's a bit of Friday entertainment courtesy of some b3ta link or other. Prank calling ASDA. Now the prank itself may not be the cleverest, funniest or most inspired action but how the flipping heck ASDA staff managed to fall for it is beyond even the care-nothing-about-work mind of the Poorhouse - assuming it wasn't an inside job.


Whilst we're laughing at things, let's get on to the subject of terrorism.

You've heard it all before

The Poorhouse always finds technical support far too hilarious in one way or another. The following video from VocaLabs, who do customer satisfaction surveys on such calls, caused near real LOL-ing throughout. Not that it's anything exceptional - as Consumerist.com put it it is just "oddly infuriating" and exactly like every customer service call you've ever had to make".

Says the CEO of the Vocalabs, a guy who is obviously as fulfilled at his job as any other corporate office worker, "...the call was so ordinary, yet pointless, that I was inspired to create some video commentary."

Get Nintedo Wii Internet channel free if you're quickish

Anyone lucky enough to own a Nintendo Wii probably knows that it has built-in wifi magic, not that any games seem to use it to much effect at present. However, Nintendo has just released the final "Internet Channel" into their Wii Shop Channel. This is basically the Opera web browser, meaning you can (slightly cumbersomely and at back-to-basics TV resolution) surf the web on your Wii should you choose to.

More free(ish) stuff - food and bags

A couple of righteous bargain-creating things to tell today, surfacing from the awesome MoneySavingExpert site. One will fill your belly, the other will give you both more room in your cupboards and a warm satisfaction at having tried to do something to save the planet a bit. Maybe.

Food first. There are 27 HA! HA! Bars around the country, which in the Poorhouse's limited experience do some rather tasty food. Find your local here, although if you don't live in a large-sized urban area you might be disappointed. Then print this voucher off and as long as you can persuade a friend to go eat with you before the end of April this year you can get a £5 discount, you cheap date you.

Moving on to planet-time now...

Free safe no-effort remote backups for all

"Backing up" is perhaps the most tedious activities in the world of computerness, and definitely one of the highest in the disaster-because-you-can't-be-bothered stakes. These days most everyone with a computer should probably be backing up their data somewhere. All those beautiful "artistic" photos, those genius secret writings you do, letters begging for mercy from the bank, mp3s you "forgot" to pay for and half-finished novels are all at the mercy of the great computer gods should you not back up.

The problem is it can be boring, expensive and time-consuming to copy everything you own to a disk and put it somewhere safe. So don't...use automagic free remote backups from Mozy.

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