Nick Booth is a technology analyst and journalist, with a terrible past. (His mobile computer skills helped the Met Police to mobilise the first car clamping and wheel clamping trucks).
Now he tries to pay his debt to society by helping explain technology to the masses and running free training courses.
There was a time, not so long ago, when shop staff lived in fear of a complaint letter to the manager. These days it’s impossible to have such an impact. Technology hasn’t improved relations between customers and the bosses. In fact, it’s made it a lot harder to communicate your dissatisfaction. Deliberately so, in many cases, I would argue. And yes, I do have evidence to back this statement up.
Did you go to your local record shop on Record Store Day? It was a nationwide series of events aimed at saving the nation’s independent record shops. Come on, these are the keepers of the flame. If we don’t support them they’re gone and the world will belong to the likes of Simon Cowell. So did you go and buy something from your local record shop?
One of the myths about online retail technology was that it would only pass on benefits to the consumer. That’s not always the case. Everything is cheaper online, right? Wrong! That’s what they want you to believe.
One of the most enduring popular myths about the modern economy is that there’s an easy fortune to be made in online trading, if you can only be bothered to make the effort. The implication is that the unemployed really ought to jolly well pull their socks up and start a business.
Somewhere in the country yesterday, a girl walked into a McBurger joint and ordered a Quarter Pounder with cheese, large fries, ice cream, full fat coke and vanilla milkshake – the full cholesterol festival. And the boy at the counter gave it to her for free. It’s the least he can do for the girl he loves, on Valentines Day.
How do you save the British pub? Relaxing the smoking ban is an option. Maybe breweries could support their landlords, instead of treating them like the squatters who stand between them and a big property deal. A less punitive tax system, which encouraged social drinking and punished binge boozers, might work.