It is here - the boy-bag

The floppy disk bag also scores lots of green brownie points

Boy-bags

One of our E-talers came across this garage project while trolling through the excellent HOWTO website. As well as being strong as Samson, the pictured tote-bag scores lots of green brownie points for being made out of floppy disks — a great alternative to binning them. E-tales also reckons the project is a sort of boy antidote to the uber-consumer, mortgage-everything-you’ve-got-to-buy-one designer handbags favoured by fashion divas/victims.

The bag’s ultra sturdiness (the maker wanted to make plate armour, which his next project) means it will not only take your laptop but protect your house when the latter catches fire. So many laptops seem to feature those dodgy Sony batteries that no one is completely safe from this danger nowadays, except those with ancient machines.

Check out the recycled, armoured boy-handbag at the makezine website, at http://www.instructables.com.

Snake oil

Here at E-tales we sometimes have occasion to wander into a pharmacy. A quick glance down the aisles reveals all manner of potions, poultices and whatnot, all medically proven to aid and abet your recovery.

These days, pharmacies enjoy a wonderful role as “the healthcare professional you see most often”, and can pseudo-prescribe medications to match any ailment. So why is it that so many pharmacies carry the ridiculous Shield Me “earthing” card, which is designed to “safeguard users from the electromagnetic field of their cell phones”? The maker’s website claims to have “independently tested” said card, using someone who describes himself as an “aura video imaging consultant”. And why is it that the company also feels it must defend the reputation of said astonishing “device” by threatening unspecified legal action against local blogger and honorary E-taler Stephen (at www.vital.org.nz)?

Answers on a postcard please.

Google and the new humanity

It’s a time-honoured tradition here at E-tales headquarters to periodically badger the good folk at Google about their lord and master: Google itself. Several times we’ve asked various spokesfolk about the possibility of Google having achieved sentience — something co-creators Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Dad? Mum?) are keen on. To date, none have rejected the idea. Not one.

So, at the recent Google hardware launch, in Auckland, we once again asked the nice folk from Google about this and, still, no-one was willing to go on the record saying anything one way or the other.

However, we found it suspicious that the two Google appliances on show were, in fact, empty shells, with no hardware inside them. None at all. Not even a fan.

Baby, you can drive my car

The Advertising Standards Authority has received complaints about the Hyundai TV ad depicting a baby boy getting out of his cot and into a brand-new Hyundai ... and then taking to the highway, picking up a baby girl, and going surfing.

One complainant says her three-year old tried to break into the family car after seeing the ad. However, the authority declined to uphold any of the complaints, saying the ad “depicted a world of fantasy”. The ad agency, Assignment Group, also chipped in that the ad was “so obviously hyperbole, almost cartoon-like” that it could only be taken as a deliberate exaggeration, according to a New Zealand Press Association report.

Well, three-year-olds may not actually be able to drive cars, but they’re quite capable of buying them via eBay. British three-year-old Jack Neal went onto his parents’ computer and bid for a pink Nissan Figaro, offering £9,000 (NZ$26,000). His parents only found out when they received a notification form from eBay confirming Jack’s successful bid. Apparently, logging on was no big deal — he’s been doing it since he was two — he just had to type in his Mum’s eBay password.

Where there’s a will …

A senior IT manager in Wellington recently expressed his disdain for certain qualifications. “If I get CVs with MBAs in them I put them to one side. I’ve never met an MBA yet who wasn’t a tosser.”

This leads us on to another employment tactic that seems to have surfaced recently. A while back, National MP Wayne Mapp proposed a three-month no-fault trial for new employees. This was roundly rejected by the populace, but, it seems, some companies are now employing people on short-term fixed contracts. Then, if they’re up to scratch, a new contract for a much longer period is offered.

Wikipedia for grown-ups

E-tales was intrigued to read about a new project called Citizendium, which can best be described as a sort of Wikipedia for grown-ups — its entries are checked by experts and the site will be less open to abuse, so entries amended by wags and toerags, although sometimes amusing, will not feature.

Along with regular-style character assasination, Wikipedia has, for example, given British PM Tony Blair a new middle name, Whoop-de-Doo, and accused him of having posters of Adolf Hitler on his bedroom wall when he was a teenager.

More worryingly, insulting entries about some American pollies have been found to have emanated from rivals on Capitol Hill. And don’t even go there with Wikipedia’s inadequate coverage of anything left-wing.

Even so, this E-taler is a fan of Wikipedia. It’s a big improvement on the dead-tree encyclopedias that salesmen used to blackmail poor parents into buying at the cost of remortgaging the house for fear junior wouldn’t have a “future” otherwise.

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