Why I’ve been quiet

Once again, sorry for the lack of updates. I haven’t been able to blog for a bit because I’ve been:

* very, very, very, very, very busy
* going to see Eels live
* lying on the floor feeling sorry for myself and waiting for painkillers to kick in
* redecorating the flat
* trying to rearrange the back op
* buying a house
* losing pub quizzes

And so on. Normal service will resume eventually…

Frog rage

God bless the BBC. No, not because of its internet activities, or its tendency to give me cash for the odd radio appearance: because it’s ad-free, it’s currently the only UK broadcaster that isn’t bombarding everyone with Crazy Fucking Frog all the time (although that may change: if the Crazy Frog single charts, which it no doubt will, then they’ll play it on their music shows).

Seriously, this is getting silly: Jamster’s buying up ad time at an incredible rate, with the result that the ad’s on twice in the same commercial break. Channel-hopping on satellite is already pretty much impossible – in one channel hop the other night I had to skip the ad eleven times – and now the bloody thing’s on terrestrial channels too. Once the single comes out (Monday?) then you can add radio, shops and idiots’ cars to the mix.

Naturally there’s a huge online petition about it already, and while many of the posts are taking the mick – one person talks about ripping out their own pancreas and stuffing their ears with it – there’s genuine anger there too. All joking aside, how long before the first cases of “frog rage” pop up in the press?

How to price freelance work

Anil Dash has some sage advice for freelancers:

I talk to a lot of consultants, freelancers, and small businesses who do web work, and I used to be a freelancer myself, so sometimes I get asked for advice on how to price one’s goods and services.

I think I came up with my best suggestion today, and it involves only two simple steps:

1. Slap the client in face.
2. Tell the client your hourly rate.

If the person looked more shocked, horrified, offended, hurt, saddened, or wounded by the slap in the face, then you are still pricing yourself too low.

Your mileage my vary, this is not to be construed as legal advice, eye-poking may be substituted for slapping in some states.

Taboo for Safari

I’m in Safari, I’ve got loads of tabs open, and I press Command-W to close the current tab. Arse! I’ve hit Command-Q instead! The whole bloody thing’s shut down!

Taboo, I love you. You’re free and you stop me from shutting down the whole sodding browser by mistake.

[via unofficial apple weblog]

Live Aid? No! Sex aid!

Tragedies are, of course, tragic, but sometimes funny things happen too. According to the Sri Lanka Daily News (as reported in this week’s Private Eye), one package of aid contained, er, marital aids:

“We had a staff of eight on the ship travelling to Sri Lanka,” Elli Xenou told journalists in Colombo, “with six hundred tons of aid to help victims of the Boxing Day tsunami. And because it had been collected by the Greek Orthodox Church, we hadn’t thought it necessary to check what was inside the boxes. So when we arrived at the harbour and started opening the containers, we were shocked and angered by what we found. Because instead of the blankets, tents and practical clothing we’d expected and needed, many of the boxes contained carnival wigs, rubber thongs, false plastic breasts, vibrators, erotic lingerie and bondage gear.”

…Dimitris Fourlemadis (director of the Orthodox Church’s charity) tried to play down the affair. “It’s true that some boxes may have contained suspect clothing, but the figure was very small. Even if there were two, or ten, or maybe a couple of hundred boxes with thongs and wigs in them, that’s still a very small number. Hardly worth mentioning really.”

If you want something done, ask a lazy person

Sure, you could ask a hard-working person – but the lazy person will without fail come up with the simplest, easiest, laziest option. Most of the great inventions of our time were a boon for the lazy: the car was ideal for people too lazy to walk. The telephone is ideal for people too lazy to write letters. Google is perfect for people too lazy to bother remembering things, and so on.

Which brings us to entrepreneur Fred Gratzon, who points out:

It certainly does not make sense financially to work. If we were to graph the relationship between hard work and money we would see that the harder and more demanding the jobs, the less they pay. As effort decreases, success (as measured by money) increases. If people were remunerated based on the amount of hard work necessary to accomplish a job, physical laborers would be the richest people in society. Obviously they are not.

…we must use our brains to work less and ideally to avoid work altogether. Otherwise we condemn ourselves to working and the more we must work the less we get paid – a double whammy.

Gratzon’s book, The Lazy Way To Success, is full of this stuff. Or at least it appears to be: I can’t be bothered buying it, reading it and writing a review of it. You can get the gist from the sample chapter linked above.

[via LifeHacker – I couldn’t even be bothered finding the link on my own]

PETA: People Euthanising Thousands of Animals

There’s a fascinating discussion on MetaFilter about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and a critical site, PETA kills animals. The latter attempts to expose the fact that PETA kills thousands of stray animals each year, but the Mefites quickly uncovered the PETA critics’ rather shady origins.

It’s a great example of why I love the net: an interesting story pops up, then the internet community makes it more interesting. And then, of course, it becomes a big fight.