Your address will show here +12 34 56 78

About 9.30 a.m. on Bank Holiday Monday my home telephone rang, and I answered it cheerily, thinking it was an offspring anxious to share his latest travel adventures. But no, to my irritation it was a bloke with a Welsh accent representing a claims company. As you can imagine, I informed him – politely, but firmly – that it was a Bank Holiday and his call wasn’t welcome!

Would you believe it, Bank Holiday Monday!! But then I suppose it’s not a holiday everywhere. I guess the chaps with Indian accents and names like Roger and Keith can be grudgingly forgiven. After all I don’t suppose ‘Bank Holiday’ means very much in Mumbai! But Wales? Unless this was a particularly sophisticated double bluff, shouldn’t my caller have known better than to shatter the tranquillity of my Bank Holiday? But nothing is sacrosanct! And the future only holds the prospect of further erosion of our privacy and peace of mind.

Lord Nuffields Desk - Tight Frame

Recently, I wrote about the latest attempt to sweep away the remaining limits to Sunday trading hours on the spurious grounds that supermarkets shouldn’t be disadvantaged by internet shopping, and should be permitted – because of some flawed logic – to stay open continuously just to counter the threat.  But hey! We’re not predominantly a Christian country anymore and Sunday will soon be a regular shopping day.Until now it has remained mostly sacrosanct because of vestigial reverence for the Sabbath. But what next? How long will Sunday remain out-of-bounds? Or even the night-time hours! Will any hour of the day or night be out-of-bounds to cold callers when there is stuff to be hawked in the new consumer utopia? And how convenient to raise a captive audience from their beds; they’ll almost always be home, and they’ll agree to anything before they come to properly!

Nuffield Guest Bedroom 2 - Tight Frame

I’m not alone in feeling that a land-line is a liability. It already feels like the sole purpose of ours is the answering and rebuttal of unwanted calls. Dragging myself to the phone at inconvenient moments, I’ve grown pretty adept at feigning mental inadequacy or projecting out-right hostility. But nothing deters them, and for two pins I’d ditch my land-line.  Maybe, that’s what the providers want? Or maybe, when the UK’s internet service providers have dealt with piracy and illegal downloads, they will find time to deal with nuisance sales calls? After all it’s the ISPs, like BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media that rent the land-lines too!

Warning: strpos() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/content/07/10421707/html/wp-includes/shortcodes.php on line 193

Phone Dump 280512 - Graphiti1

Man’s capacity for finding ‘miracle’ solutions for problems of his own making never ceases to amaze me! The latest wheeze involves what the Daily Telegraph and Mail Online are calling ‘Big Brother’ style self-service check-outs that tell shops who is likely to steal from them. The details are sketchy right now, but reports have it that Symbol Technologies – who developed self-scan check-outs for many of the big supermarkets – has lodged a patent for a customer profiling program that monitors shoppers. Using statistical analysis and loyalty data the software is likely to predict the types of customers who may steal, and the most vulnerable grocery items.

I bet somebody is feeling really proud of themselves for coming up with that one! First you sell retailers self-service check-outs, then you sell them a tool to predict who’s going to nick stuff as a result of going self-service, then presumably you provide them with more surveillance technology to ward off the thieves. Once upon a time we had a handy little device that could cope with all three of those operations at once. They were called checkout operators! If you paid them next to nothing on zero hours contracts they were pretty cheap to run too, and they performed other tasks for you as well. Like chatting to customers, which has now been re-bottled as customer ‘engagement’ and employs social media drones to generate yards of sycophantic on-line drivel.

Amazingly enough the newspaper reports suggest that store card data will be able to predict who is likely to steal food. Whether that just means poor people with a bad postcode, as well as wealthy chancers, isn’t entirely clear. But even more amazingly it can predict that people are more likely to nick something small like a packet of batteries, than stagger away with a water melon under their coat. The British Retail Consortium said it was unaware of the technology but would monitor the situation closely. Presumably some-one has sold them a program for that too!

Warning: strpos() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/content/07/10421707/html/wp-includes/shortcodes.php on line 193