Category Archives: Modern Living

Can I Park On A Single Yellow Line?


I learnt this today, & thought it best to share it with all to help you avoid getting a parking ticket or your car towed as was experienced by my friend today:

“Single yellows indicate a restriction that applies for any period less than 24 hours. A time plate is needed to show the times of control unless the restriction is in a CPZ and the hours of operation coincide with the CPZ operating times.”

-Taken from Tower Hamlet’s Parking Policy.

For instance, the road near me has resident parking Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:30pm. Whilst this is very clearly marked on the side of the road with the restriction the other side has no signage at all, just a single yellow line.

Be aware of the above and hopefully we can stop this ridiculous psuedo tax on parking in London!

Share this with everyone you know please.

Xbox One An Honest Write Up

Day by day I see PS fan boys slam the Xbox One misquoting sources, or not quoting the full story, or printing satirical articles as fact. I just wanted to summarise the facts here and back that up with sources.
Note: I am an Xbox 360 owner. I also own a PSP and PSVita. I endeavor to write as factually and unbiased as I can.

Kinect2 Always On – Is Microsoft Watching Me??

If you think that Microsoft have got the resources to actively be watching you all the time then go and speak to your doctor about your paranoia.

Microsoft have stated that the Kinect2 has a number of different power level modes, the lowest of which is just listening for you to say Xbox On. A feature you can turn off if you are struck by paranoia.

If you have a Kinect 1 then when your Xbox is on the Kinect is on so no change there.


Aside: Those who are worrying about the people in the room being counted and watchers of a video being limited, I think this has several possibilities.
Firstly, it could be used to change on a more granular basis for media licensing, i.e. if just one person is watching then you get charged a cheaper rate. If another person enters, of course the rate would need to step up, and so could do so, up to a family license.
The other thing that would be interesting is if you could opt in to a tv viewer survey. Presently tv ratings are worked out based on a small number of people having a special set top box type device that users then have to tap in who’s watching every hour or so.
The figures would be much more demonstrative if they taken from real world counts of people watching. An opt in policy should apply of course.

Always Online – But what if I have no Internet??

There are two issues people have about this. Firstly that it’s calling back to home to check your right to play your games, and secondly people seem to be worrying about having a connection all the time.

The Xbox One checks once every 24 hours if you have the right to play your games. This does seem a bit off at first glance I agree. But the Xbox One is bringing with it a load of shifting paradigms, and they are going to take some getting used to.
For instance, I can insert a disc that I’ve bought, and ‘install’ it and then play it whenever I like, and even round friend’s houses without the disk. The online check has replaced the checking the ownership of the physical disc.

I can also lend my games to up to ten ‘family’ members who can be in different geographical locations and don’t need to be blood relatives, so think of family as a very very lose term here. I can also play simultaneously with one of my ‘family’ members even though they don’t own the game. That’s a very useful and cool function. A lot of gamers I know have a close group of gaming friends. Worked right they could save on buying games between them and could enjoy playing together on games that one or more of them might not usually buy.

If you are worried about what if you’re internet connection goes down, when was the last time your internet went down?

If you’re worried because you don’t want your Xbox to be online all the time. What do you think is happening with your current console? Are you disabling the internet when you don’t want it online? We live in a connected world, you’re reading this on the Internet.


DRM roll please – I want to trade in *MY* games

I’ve heard a number of approaches to explain this, but to me this is again another paradigm shift that is going to be hard for people to swallow initially.
Think about when Apple started releasing computers without floppy drives, and more recently, without cd/dvd drives.
Disc are going the way of the Dodo, and the floppy before them, and we’ll be fine with that in time. Microsoft haven’t taken the bolder and scarier decision of getting shot of disc entirely. But the disc has become less important. It’s a token of your purchase of the game. As mentioned above, once installed you no longer need the disc in your machine.

However this move forward to a discless system hasn’t been the focus due to the DRM discussions and rants going on online.
Let’s lay out the actual facts of the policy:

  • Publishers (not Microsoft) will chose whether to allow trade ins on their games
  • You can gift a game to a friend. (a game can only be gifted once)


At least one analyst has suggested that all published will enable trade ins to avoid complaints.

Let’s also consider the alternative. Sony had a laugh poking fun at Microsoft’s DRM policy. However their own DRM policy doesn’t seem all that different. Publisher’s have the ability to enable DRM and to what degree. The key difference seems to be that Microsoft game publisher’s can limit traded games.
If you find that they do… maybe you take that up with them by boycotting their games. They’ll soon change their tune.


Finally The Price – ooh the PS4 is cheaper

And? Yes, the PS4 is cheaper. The PS4 also doesn’t include a ground breaking new Kinect 2 which can detect your heart rate and facial expressions of users.
You’re not comparing like for like, so why compare the price?
If you want an Xbox One and the price is good enough for you, then buy one. Simple.

The trick loyalty cards are missing

Every day or two I come home with a pocket full of receipts.
I’m not spending a fortune, though I could be more frugal, but every little thing gets a receipt nowadays.
I got to thinking after having to pop to Tesco two days in a row that supermarkets are missing out on a trick here.
Why not make it a feature of having a loyalty card that you can opt out of paper receipts?
You could have them emailed to you instead or sent to your Tesco club card app. With the aid of smartphones nowadays you’d still be able to check your receipt before you left the store if you wanted and you’d be helping the environment.

Could UV Light Replace Or Enhance Cleaning Your Teeth?

This week I’m following week one of Mindfulness – A practical guide to peace in a frantic world and so I’m being more mindful during cleaning my teeth, keeping my mind in the present.

My mind wandered however and volunteered the idea of cleaning teeth using UV light, or at least augmenting the process with UV light. There are plenty of UV toothbrush sterilizers out there, but it doesn’t look like anything that is actually aimed at killing bacteria in the mouth.

So maybe UV light coming out of a toothbrush head, or could the amount of brushing be reduced and maybe users could just pop in a UV gum shield for 2 minutes and that do?

macdonalds chips

MacDonald’s Nutritional Information in a Spreadsheet

macdonalds chips

I always like reading the stats on the back of the place mat in MacDonald’s and I’m always amazed at how many calories there are in each and fat and so on. But I wanted to be able to sort these statistics as I liked to be able to compare and, hopefully, make better choices when I did wander into the fast food establishment.

So I’ve begun work on a spreadsheet. I figured I’d make it a globally editable Google Doc, so that I could enter the stats and let the world at large keep the document up to date too.
So here’s my spreadsheet, literally a work in progress as I’m adding rows now.
MacDonald’s UK Nutritional Information Spreadsheet

Please feel free to add data to the spreadsheet and update it accordingly. Note that these stats are for the UK portions of MacDonald’s.


Why The NHS And Postal Service Need An Update


I have moved flat a fair few times in my life. No more than is reasonable but plenty enough to be sick of it.

Two Things Yes!

Two things have occurred to me of late.
Whilst making a request for a referral at the doctors I was told my present address was outside of the catchment area of my doctors, whom I’d registered with whilst at my previous place.
I could still make it to that doctor’s surgery just fine and didn’t cause them to run late by getting there late every time due to some arduous journey. So it was a bit irksome.
Further more I knew I was due to move in less than three months and I didn’t know where to, so any attempt to register at a new doctor’s surgery would be equally as invalid.

I am not a location

That I might need to set up a postal redirect also occurred to me. I have very little post coming to my flat presently so I could probably get away with just changing some addresses. However there’s always the chance I’d miss one.
I don’t know how long I’ll be at my next place of residence as I now know I’m staying with a work colleague for a while. After that, I’ll be moving again, my hope is that the move will be to somewhere I own and then I’ll be there for a long long time.
But I got to thinking that the postal system is hideously outdated. Why do I hand out an address of a physical location, rather than handing out an address relating to me and then registering a postal address with one central body whom would join the dots. Similar to DNS.
Google don’t hand out the ip address to their servers, they give us a friendly name to reach it by and it’s registered what ip address(es) that name related to.

Modern Living = Modern Solution

So I’d like to propose the above decoupling of physical location from person and also propose that doctors surgeries allow for a wider catchment area and if I can make it to a surgery under my own steam within an hour or so I should be allowed to not have to keep chopping and changing doctors.