Airlines and Virginity

There's been some chat this weekend about a sale of Virgin Atlantic. Very much like the sale of Cadbury, this is a point where my general views about the free market are coloured by views by the awful bastards who might end up owning things that I like to have [*]. Virgin Atlantic are the … Continue reading Airlines and Virginity

Friends don’t let friends buy gift cards

Australia's worst book retailing chain, RedGroup (parent of Borders and Angus & Robertson) went into administration yesterday. There are a few reasons for this: 1) RedGroup was a highly indebted private equity portfolio company; 2) Australian retail spending has been weak-ish in general for the last year or so; 3) Books have been particularly hard-hit … Continue reading Friends don’t let friends buy gift cards

Mac, and back, with knobs on

I believe it's a popular cliche among serious enthusiasts for Mr Jobs's products to say "once you go Mac, you'll never go back". Here's a datapoint to the contrary. I bought a MacBook Air at the end of 2008. At the time, the GBP was at an entertaining 2:1 exchange rate with the dollar. Naturally, … Continue reading Mac, and back, with knobs on

Two very different sorts of offence

The BBC has been in the news yet again for perceived offensiveness, with the Mexican ambassador slating Top Gear for calling his countrymen backward and lazy, and the Japanese ambassador slating QI for, erm, let's get back to that one. But although lazy commentators on both sides (especially the 'PC HAS GORN MAD' side) have … Continue reading Two very different sorts of offence

Poms, Paddies, Wogs & Asians All Let Us Rejoyce

Note: this post was written at 1AM on Australia Day, following an evening in which many traditional Australian beverages were consumed. While I stand by its emotional truth in the cold light of day, I'm not making any claims of accuracy for any of the 'facts' cited below... So, today it's Australia Day. We're celebrating … Continue reading Poms, Paddies, Wogs & Asians All Let Us Rejoyce

Alcohol-related stupidity

Alcohol is famous for its ability to cause stupidity. As with most other drugs, this property doesn't solely apply to chronic abusers - it also applies to policymakers and opinion writers, even the sober ones. Drugs and alcohol are second only to immigration as a leading cause of utterly stupid articles. Now, I've written plenty … Continue reading Alcohol-related stupidity

Not dead

Good news #1: I'm not dead; good news #2: the blog's not dead. Rather, I've taken a month or so off thanks to a combination of bad things, good things and neutral things. Bad things: major unpleasantness from commenters I respect around some of the things I'd written about Julian Assange; the realisation that some … Continue reading Not dead