In bad news for the husbands of Essex, I read this week that the cold snap has prompted loads of women from God's own county to look for a bit of the other on the side. According to the bastions of rectitude at extra-marital hook-up site IllicitEncounters.com, 5,000 new members joined in the week since the snow began falling on the South-East.
Some 26 per cent of sign-ups - most them women - came from Essex, way ahead of Somerset on 13 per cent. According to the site's deeply unimpeachable data, the trend has followed the weather south, with membership splurges starting in the Highlands, before going through Geordieland, Yorkshire and on past the Midlands.
IllicitEncounters.com's Vanessa Phillips said the wealth of frustrated Essex females "could be due to them having the winter blues and feeling the comedown after Christmas".
Post-festive blues won't be a problem for my Mrs. She was made up with the box of factory-seconds routers I gave her for Crimbo.
As an age-old lover of technology and curmudgeonly old hater of teenage oiks
and petty crime, I was pleased to see Northamptonshire Police getting down wiv da kidz with a phone app allowing people to identify "people of interest".
"This new development forms part of a wider focus on ‘Justice'," said the po-po's marketing bumpf. Word on the street is the local NHS trust is soon to launch a new "Health" initiative, with the schools board unveiling an "Education" programme. But don't quote me on that.
Anyway, users of the free Facewatch app can input their postcode and be shown a rogues gallery of possible crims within a five-mile radius. They can then confidentially upload any information they have on these people. Early smartphone-based tip-offs have included: "Kev's mum is well up for it :-0 OMG!!!"; and "Dazza laid a brick in the middal of da roundabout! #nuttah #megalolz".
Imagine my complete lack of shock to learn that those laissez-faire Parisians are letting their employees get away with le data confidentiel. Zut alors! At least, that is, according to a survey from Imperva, "a pioneer and leader of a new category of business security solutions for critical applications and high-value data". (Happy to eat up a bit of word count, but let's just try ‘security vendor' in future, eh fellas?)
According to the pioneering leader of security something something, 78 per cent of Parisians admitted they would take company data, compared with 63 per cent of Londoners. Two thirds of workers in the French capital have accessed sensitive info unrelated to their job, as opposed to just two in five of their cockney counterparts.
According to Amichai Shulman, CTO of the highly critical applicator business: "Rogue employees should be a major concern across many enterprises." Well, you say "many enterprises", but you really mean "especially to those feckless Frenchies", right, Amichai?
Full steam ahead
As someone who's tracked IBM's computing innovations for 30 years, imagine my nonplussedness to discover the vendor is now using its top tech to chart the popularity of steampunk. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that meatspunk is a style trend popular with some of the young folks that encompasses a "retro-futuristic blend of Victoriana and sci-fi". Big Blue has been crunching the numbers and found that more than 20 top retailers have become "savvy" to the trend. The number of social media discussions about petesmonk have grown elevenfold since 2009.
"Technology can help businesses differentiate what is a fleeting fad versus an enduring trend," said Trevor Davis, consumer products expert at IBM and recently voted the man least likely to be quoted in a story about futuristic Victoriana avant-garde fashion trends.
I dunno, Trev. This meekpunts sounds interesting, but fads come and go. Don't tell me that a style as timeless as "sports casual" will ever go out of fashion.
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