* Posts by TJ McVickers esq.

6 posts • joined 19 Aug 2010

62,000 fewer shops: Welcome to the High Street of 2018

TJ McVickers esq.


I am frankly glad that shops (and I'm also talking about independant shops here) are given the challenge of a statement like this. Frequenting shops in small towns and cities is a frustratingly unsatisfying experience...

The reasons for this are mutiplefold:

- Poor customer service as a rule... but more importantly a vast chasm in terms of understanding what that means.

- Parochial, League of Gentlemen style, "local" customer service.. if they dont know your name, you are treated like a second class of shopper

- Ridiculously impractical opening hours (I particularly love the slavish adherence to opening shops during working hours...when the vast population are at work)

- The idignant shock that a shop selling paperweights with 10.30 -16.30 opening hours didnt make any money (personally I like to do my paperweight shopping in the evening)

- Cash only!!!!

- "do you have anything smaller" in terms of money... I make it a rule to never use that shop again... do you think I care that you cant provide appropriate cash to manage your day.. you deserve to go out of business.

- The vision for most shops is very much based on one person's views and they are lucky if that aligns to public demand. There is rarely flexibility or the understanding that the customers are the shops, it's not a little slice of ego that makes money for you.

- Sure there are exceptions, but they are exceptions

Shops in this country need a massive kick up the arse, but the art of shopkeeping needs it more.


Google's Glasses: The tech with specs appeal?

TJ McVickers esq.


What's your point?

You're getting old and you're enjoying telling everyone about it? You can feel the comfortable blanket of elderly neo-luddite..ism.. being gently rested on your shoulders....

School report = Could do better.


Sci Fi recomendations?

TJ McVickers esq.

Epic SciFi

Chazmon, I would have to say that the comparison aspect of your post would be tricky but I can share my own tastes and recommendations.

Anything by Ian. M. Banks is my first recommendation, be prepared for detailed and complicated SciFi that is mostly based around a civilisation called the "Culture" and has a more philosophical outlook with socio-political overtones.

Alastair Reynolds is good too, as is Peter F Hamilton.

Peter tends towards classic story telling with a SciFi skin over the top, so if you like a good mystery then Peter is a good read.

Alastair likes to try and keep it "believable" if you know what I mean, there is some scientific background to his tech and environment, he used to work for the European space agency (obviously that's not always the case but you'll see what I mean.. you'll find yourself looking up Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in detail before you know it)

These guys should keep you going for a few months/years depending on how much time you have to read of course.

My favourites out of those above are

The Algebraist (Ian M Banks) not one of his more popular ones and not a "culture" novel, but properly imaginative and quite bizarre in places

Void Trilogy (Peter F Hamilton) -good dual storyline writing with a fantasy meets SciFi edge

Revelation Space (Alastair Reynolds) the first of that (sort of) series that will hook you in.

Hope this helps (you may not like any of them!!)


London Underground Wi-Fi pusher to be announced in spring

TJ McVickers esq.

Sweet Jesus..

What a stupendous waste of time! personally, I move through the station as quickly as possible (sometimes forceably so by TFL goons) so what POSSIBLE use could this have? Foreign visitors will be sooo impressed with our complicated, charge/advertising based 56k modem speed pointless WiFi infrastructure in the fecking tube.. stations...

I'm so proud.


Assange: Facebook a ‘spying machine’

TJ McVickers esq.

Yeah but...

If Facebook "encouraged" you to jump off a cliff...


Group Test: smartphone satnav apps

TJ McVickers esq.

Slightly Sygic...

I recently purchased the Sygic maps for my HTC Touch Diamond 2 (which incidentally I bought after reading an El Reg review and is absolute pony..) for a cycling holiday in Brittany. I found that it drains the battery like hellfire and the cycle mode is almost pointless (admittedly it kept us of the motorway, but certainly did not take the cycle routes or back roads into consideration.

I did, however, have lots of fun changing the voice to the American lady... especially as the roundabout foibles are greatly exaggerated when it is referred to as a "traffic circle"...