Radio 2 is for OLD people

To be precise, the breakfast show (lately the Mighty Wogan and currently the Ginger Evans), plays such old music that I cannot bear to listen to it. I had thought, when I was younger, that one day I would "grow into" Radio 2. Despite now being in the "50-65" age bracket which is surely the target demographic, I still find Radio 2 is for older people. Even though it does play that annoying hippity-hoppity rubbish where ludicrously overpaid young men recite their abysmal poetry over other people's tunes, I listen to Radio 1 every day.

Having been told that Chris Evans' music was "quite racy this morning", I decided to check the facts. The BBC handily publish the tracklist, and Wikipedia is more than adequate as a Paul Gambaccini stand-in for music facts. Of the 25 songs played today, only 3 were current: Paulo Nutini, Amy Macdonald (who she?) and Leona Lewis (X-Factor). The average age of the tracks played was over 22 years. 60% of the tracks were over 10 years old. 10 were more than 30 years old! I rest my case.

All this and more in this handy-dandy Google spreadsheet.

Radcliffe & Maconie, on the other hand, are brilliant and play decent music. So it can be done, unfortunately when I am watching the telly or eating my tea.


The Car In Front..

.. is probably being driven by a moron. In a Guardian article about sticky Toyota accelerator pedals was this quote:
"I was driving in my Toyota Yaris at 60mph on a dual carriageway .. when my accelerator pedal failed to respond when I lifted my foot off the pedal. I applied the foot brake. It then took two and a half miles for it to be slow enough for me to drive half on to the verge, where the car stalled."
Two and a half miles! Clutch, man, clutch.


A Little Egg on Face

I spoke to Egg, and they do appear to have thought about it a little after all.

The primary account holder has to sign up to their blame-shifting scheme first, and apparently the secondary account holder can then set up another password. I say "apparently" because this has yet to be tested. In this case the secondary account holder signed up first. In order for the primary account holder (me) to sign up first, the secondary account holder (Wen) has to first de-register, and then re-register after the primary account holder has registered.

If this works, I might then try de-registering myself and see if I can continue to get away with not signing up to their evil one-sided conditions, leaving Wen to wallow alone in implied fraudulent complicity should anyone at the bank steal anything.

And to put a ribbon on it, my NatWest Maestro cashcard is now a Visa debit card, and is afflicted by Verified by Visa as well.


Verified by SecureCode My Arse

Despite prolific online shopping, I had so far managed to avoid using the stupid and useless phishing magnet which is known as Verified By Visa or Mastercard Securecode. I've done this by pretending to use it and then cancelling it at the last. This has always worked.

Wen has less patience than me, so last time she used it she caved and registered.

Today I tried to buy something from Tesco, and up popped the Mastercard Securecode (or was it? who can tell as it is a separate window from another website - the very thing that we are taught never to trust when online) with the username filled in as MSWLAW. Clearly this isn't me. I had just told Tesco that the name on the card was D Law.

This has happened because we have two cards on the same account, which have the same number. Egg clearly haven't thought this through at all.

The terms and conditions of Mastercard Securecode are very strict. You are not allowed to write it down even though it must be 7 characters long and include at least 2 numbers. (So what will people do? Choose something obvious and easy to remember, of course.) More pertinently, you are not allowed to tell anyone. So I can not now use my credit card, because Wen has registered, and is forbidden to tell me her password. I rang Tesco: they said it was "the law" made by Mastercard and Visa and I must call my card issuer. I rang Egg, but the normal helpline shuts at 3pm on Saturday. What a surprise that I should shop online outside working hours!

I have another credit card, which is now registered in my name and Wen won't be able to use that card online.

And yet, I have no idea why adding another password makes this in any sense "safer". I suspect that what it does do is make it much more likely that any fraudulent use of my card will be blamed on me, because I must have told someone my password.

Gits. More on Moday when I've spoken to them.


Fun With Maps

This year, as part of the ongoing SKI project (see Phase 1), we are off on our first trip south of the equator - Train to Machu Picchu. To start the excitement rolling, and to check out where we exactly we will be going, I mapped the itinerary in Google Earth.

If you have Google Earth you can see the KMZ and if you don't you can see it in Google Maps.



Maybe there's life in the Labour Party yet

John Prescott was on Today this morning.

He was talking about the Conservative Plan to increase the inheritance tax limits, a tax change which would benefit approximately 1% of people in the country - the richest, of course - almost all living in Chelsea and Kensington. Mr Prescott said,
"it will be the only tax cut ever proposed where the man making it will know by name everyone who will benefit."


Cheshire, Scotland

Yahoo Maps has a strange opinion about how to spell Macclesfield. It seems to be in Scotland, although the clan MacClesfield is new to me. It's not just a typo, as you can see from the nearby MacClesfield Forest. Obviously some over-zealous speel chequer, but it doesn't help Yahoo's image much.