Making an Easy Buck
Helena and I started watching the second series of Buck Rogers at the weekend. I saw the box set in HMV. We'd watched the first lot a long time ago, and both enjoyed it.
I have to say that the second series has not started well. They appear to have made it sillier than the first, with Wilfrid Hyde-White (The Colonel in My Fair Lady) playing a batty professor, replacing Doctor Huer, played by Tim O'Connor. Apparently O'Connor lives in Chicago these days, although that may be just a cover story to keep the paparazzi away, since Helena is convinced she's seen him doing his weekly shop in our local branch of Sainsbury's.
The other problem is that they cancelled the show after 13 episodes, but the people who package the DVDs have kept this box the same size as the other one (which had twice as many episodes), and I paid about the same for it. At least Helena enjoyed the first episode.
A Good Cause
I'm not one for getting too serious on this blog, or publicising campaigns, but you may have heard about one of the many ideas that our great world leaders are considering to shore up the ailing financial system. They're planning to make use of (currently unused) existing technology on the internet to tax web publishing. The original idea behind the functionality in the HTTP (web) protocol (see RFC 1866) was to allow charging of Mainframe resources - something that was build into a lot of computer systems in the 70s and 80s. The new plan is to charge web publishers by the character, a sort of "Pay as You Type", and for the money to go into a global IMF fund that would be used to help compensate unemployed executive insurers and bankers. Since their economic wellbeing is obviously connected to ours.
The news websites have kept fairly quiet about the idea. According to various technology blogs, this is because they're being "bribed" with the promise that news reports will be exempt, as long as no-one finds out beforehand and complains too loudly.
It's not clear whether they'll start charging bloggers, since it might be possible to claim that blogs are news. If they do, however, my plan will be to leave out all the vowels, since English is perfectly comprehensible without them, or to switch to using blog services in a tax haven (such things will almost certainly start appearing very quickly). Hopefully, though, if enough people petition they won't do this. Click Here to register your vote for a tax-free web.
I wonder what the inventor of this "remote control" originally envisaged? Something futuristic? The ultimate gadget to get couch potatoes to do some exercise?
Instead they ended up with a naff polythene thing that'll probably be trashed by the time this guy's finished his film: