Again I pay tribute to that epic Two Ronnies moment
Many of us play a little game each year, and spot the first unseasonal reference to Christmas. Let me help you get ahead there, with a reminder that there are only around 300 shopping days left.
I mention this because, if you don't know what to get me, I want a Lernstift. It's a magic pen, being developed by a German techy, and designed to correct illegible writing as it hits the page.
You just write, and the pen recognises dodgy letters, poor grammar and the rest, smoothing things out for you along the way.
Say goodbye to standing in the supermarket aisle with a shopping list that says two kilos of tczvckwqz. No more scouring the Polish food section in case the mystery item is hidden there. Never again will you bring home fork handles instead of four candles (and thanks to the Two Ronnies for that gag, which remains the best I have ever heard). All the inventor needs to do now is attach a pair of reading glasses to the pen, and it will be a hit with the over-50s.
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The problem with Tesco is that it always whips out the job card to trump any other arguments about whether or not one wants its latest superstore in your high street.
It's doing it in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, with the promise of "up to 100 new jobs" that will arrive with its new shop there. And it's hard to argue against that. But the picture is usually more complex; "up to 100" means a number between zero and 100, for a start, such as two. And "new" really ought to mean new and not a replacement job for someone who's lost theirs in a local independent shop because of Tesco's arrival.
I've seen it where I live: the former owners of the corner shop, closing up and ending their careers tapping the tills in the superstore, passing profits back to some head office. They look a little hunched over, and slightly embarrassed, but it's the rest of us who should feel bad – for not spending more at their shop while it was there.
Meanwhile, it was good to hear from the same county that Lister Petter, the company that makes engines, is leaving Dursley but only going down the road to Hardwicke. Proof that at least some people still have proper jobs; making things you can see and hold. Most of the rest of us seem to simply move information about, or else work in shops where the information-mover-abouters go for recreation after work.
It was heartening to read reports of an old-fashioned "turf war" between the owners of this company's newspapers and its rivals in the Forest of Dean. I doubt it's as dramatic on the ground as some commentators have claimed, but it's good news.
The newspaper industry has its problems, and if you believe the high priest-nerds of digitalism then everyone's reading their "papers" on little screens these days.
But the story of the local and regional press in this country is far more interesting than that: it's a medium regarded by the public as twice as trustworthy as others, and it's read by 31million people each week.
That's a lot of readers, and we love you so much we'll even fight over you. Usually, the main winners in these battles are people like you, who get extra pages and news from their area while the feud lasts. Not many wars are so kind to bystanders.
People are getting sick of Facebook. The latest research from the other side of the Atlantic shows that more than half of the site's users are taking regular breaks from it, often for weeks at a time. They've realised that, while you are posting updates about your life, you aren't really living it. What America gets today we get tomorrow, and usually it's awful – obesity, trash telly and pointless wars – but for once they might be leading the way in common sense.
Daft headline of the week award goes to the BBC with a web story titled "Elephants 'Try To Avoid' Humans". I've always imagined they did.
And the most curious journalistic advice comes from the pages of the Daily Mail, which last week reported on government plans to snoop – via GCHQ in Cheltenham – on our emails. The report carried a little box listing ways of getting off-the-shelf 'military grade' encryptionto make your internet messages secret. My guess is that the best way to attract spooks to your inbox is to act as if you have something to hide. The only real hope of retaining one's privacy is by being so dull nobody will be interested.