Facebook isn’t free (and here’s why)

Despite popular belief and the fact that no one pays to sign up to it, Facebook isn’t free. Every single customer of the worlds biggest social network platform pays to be a member, not with their cash, but with their preferences, security and personal information.

You are paying Facebook with your personal information

Every time you like a photo on Facebook, it’s recorded within an algorithm. Each time you mention a brand or product it’s remembered, and every time you follow a new page that’s recorded also. This allows Facebook to build up a profile (picture) of you and target you with adverts.

Pay Per Click advertising is big money for Facebook with some single clicks costing over $25 per to the advertisers. That means that if Facebook can convince you to click on an advert for whiplash (a highly competitive keyword) they can make $25 regardless of whether you take up the service, or not. Imagine then that you click on 4 different adverts for the same service and you can see how easy it is for Facebook to become a multi-billion dollar corporation.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Now Facebook know what you like (and what you don’t) they can also provide their partners (advertisers) with even more details information so that they can target specific age group, specific towns and even those people with specific tastes in music.

You hand that information to Facebook every time you use the website; for free.

Facebook know where you’ve been (and where you’re likely to go)

Checking in to a venue with your mates is cool, right? Wrong! Every time you check in somewhere, Facebook records this. It knows where you are and where you have been. Using this information means it can also being to predict where you might go in the future, thus providing you with offers to specific retailers before you even realise you want them.

They’re only adverts. Why should I care?

Another reason that Facebook isn’t free is because they not only show you adverts, but they take the information and partner with other companies so that they can see what reaction you have to an advert. For example, if Facebook display you an advert for a new Ford car and then you buy one 2 weeks later, Ford and Facebook can link information to see that their advertising was successful. It’s then clear that you bought into the advert (the campaign) and target even more adverts at you.

The problem here is that by finely targeting you these organisations can make you purchase by impulse, ultimately costing you money you wouldn’t otherwise have spent. It’s been scientifically proven.



Free Postcode Lottery – A Genuine Scam-Free Website to Earn Money

They say there’s no such thing as a free meal but I know that the Free Postcode Lottery works because a good friend of mine recently won £500 on the website. You don’t get a better recommendation than that.

How the Free Postcode Lottery works

It’s really very simple. You just sign up to the website and once a day you’ll receive an email reminding you to check the draw. Once you’re on the website you’ll see the wining postcode for that day, with prizes usually ranging between £500 and £1000 a day. It’s as simple as that, but you need to make sure you check the website every day as you can’t claim the prize retrospectively.


How does Free Postcode Lottery make money?

Quite simple by displaying adverts on the website and also through their affiliate partners. They earn money from the traffic that hits the website every day; from the things they sell and the adverts people click on.


Do people actually win?

Yes, they do. Various online forums confirm this. I can also vouch for the website as my friend won. Whilst the prizes may not be life changing, it’s free to participate so you really don’t have anything to lose.

How to Make Money Online | Getting Started

How to Make Money Online is one of the largest searches that search engines see every day. Everyone wants a bite of that magical internet-earnings cherry and there are hundreds of thousands of articles just like this one already out there. So why would I bother writing another one when the web is already so saturated with them? Well, I want to share my experience with others so that they can avoid the mistakes I made and get started quickly.

There are no genuine ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Whatever you’ve been told, they just don’t exist. Any such scheme is destined to be a scam. Making money online takes times and dedication. It requires concentration, a plan and ideas.

Lets take a look at some of the things that you can do to start making money online:


Start a Blog

Got something unique or niche that you can discuss or share? Are you an expert in something which isn’t already covered in detail online? Blogging is an excellent way to get followers and increase traffic to your website, and increased traffic can result in excellent opportunities to convert customers into sales. It may seem very 2005 but good blogs see a lot of traffic.


Become a Google AdSense Partner

Google AdSense is by far the most used affiliate scheme on the Internet today. If you visit a website and see a banner advert, the chances are that the advert is being promoted by someone who an AdSense Partner; and it’s easier to get going than you think.

First of all, you’ll need to signup for an AdSense account. Once your account has been approved you can start creating adverts to add to your blog or website. It’s pretty easy to get going; just create your advert and then add the code to the page.

Just remember that you’ll have to declare any income you make and that you may have to pay tax on your Google Adsense earnings.


Become an Amazon Associates member

Amazon is the worlds largest online retailer and relies on people like you to promote their products. Every time someone clicked on a product link from your website to Amazon, you’ll receive a small commission on the sale. Get your blog posts just right and you can start to earn hundreds of pounds a month.

Just as with AdSense, you make be liable to pay tax on your Amazon earnings so make sure you’re all registered with the relevant government department for your country.


Don’t have your own Blog? Then take a look at Hubpages

If you haven’t got your own blog or don’t want to invest in hosting one, then have a look at Hubpages.

Hubpages allows article writers to earn a commission from sales and adverts (usually a 60/40 split in your favour). It doesn’t require and knowledge of setting up websites, but there can be strict rules on what you add to your articles and you have little control over the placement of product links and adverts. However, it’s quick to get started and you can start making money in a matter of hours.


Start a Youtube channel

I’ve seen my Youtube earnings rise from a few pennies a month to over $100 a month in just one year. How? Dedication of course.

First of all I started with some basic videos but they didn’t do much. Then I discovered that I could make “how to” videos which people actually found useful. Things like how to descale my new coffee machine, how to cook and prepare a live crab and all other kinds of things. Before I knew it I’d hit over 1000 subscribers (followers) and was making over $100 in extra incomes…all for doing something I love.


Open a message board or forum

Whilst most major topics have already been covered (and then over-covered), there is still scope out their for forum membership and with forums come advert saturation.

Bixford Watch Scam

If you’ve arrived here it’s probably because you’ve seen (or been a victim of) the Bixford Watch scam.

I first came across the scam in December 2017 after clicking on a Facebook advert. The advert claimed to provide one or two watches completely free of charge. All I needed to to was pay for the shipping at $10.99 per watch. I was immediately wary, after all, there’s no such thing as a free hot dinner. So I took to the internet to see if this was a genuine deal or a scam. As I suspected, it was the latter.

They say that if someone looks too good to be true it usually is, and there’s no finer example than the Bixford Watch scam.


Why are Bixford Watches free?

The reason that Bixford Watches are free of charge is because they’re cheap and nasty pieces of crap, probably produced in a scummy sweatshop in China. It’s as simple as that.

Actually, you’re paying for them in the over-the-top shipping costs. The timepieces probably cost around $1 to produce and perhaps $1.50 to ship, leaving Bixford Watches with a 339.6% increase on the initial cost and shipping once they’ve charged you $10.99 for shipping. It’s a huge money spinner.

What you’ll receive will be a cheap and nasty watch, with the only moving part being the clock mechanism and none of the push buttons actually working.


Where are Bixford Watch based?

According to Whois, boxford.com is registered to a company in Arizona called Domains by Proxy. In otherwords, the people behind bixford.com are hiding their details online.

In fact it’s impossible to find any address or phone number on the companies website. However, the email that they send to you if you don’t order confirms an address as: 15/F Cerulean Tower, 26-1 Sakuragaoka-cho Tokyo, Tokyo 150-8512. This appears to be the same office as a company offering the wonderful investment opportunity to purchase ‘¥Coins’ (which incidentally also looks like a scam).


Guitarist Kenneth Petrie sends Essex Covers Band global after Viral Video

Incase you missed it, 60 something rock guitarist Kenneth Petrie has sent his covers band Mr Spankey and the Hipthrusters into the land of viral video after a video of him shredding was posted on social media.

Nicknamed The Reverend, Kenny has been doing the rounds for many years in pub, clubs and various jam nights. An apparently unassuming man, the band quick shot to fame just before Christmas 2017 when a video of him playing a cover of ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The Reverend Kenny Petrie. Photo credit www.mrspankey.biz

Within a week the video had over 100,000 views and the band was quickly receiving messages from rock fans around the world.

The video was captured at The Cow & Telescope pub (formerly the Sutton Arms) in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom by Youtuber Lucy Row.

Sadly however, the band was forced to remove the nickname ‘Reverend’ from their website after it seems to cause some confusion. The band were quick to clarify that Kenny Petrie is not (and has never been) an actual church priest.

Meanwhile, some of the new fans are keen to see the band play in person as they receive comments such as “If i ever had a dying wish it would be to hear you play in person, i am in ohio”.

The video smash comes just weeks after another Essex guitarist Steve Forward’s video of Purple Rain went viral thanks to Classic Guitar magazine. It seems live music is still very much alive in Essex.

It’s every band’s dream to have that video that goes viral and it seems Kenny and Mr Spankey have achieved it. Well deserved.

Anyway, here’s the video. And remember people, he’s not a reverend: he’s a very naughty boy 😉

Robots vs Jobs

50 years ago a life where robots worked for humans was the thing of science fiction films. Yet we are now in an era of self driving cars and smart homes. People can now speak to each other using a small electronic device. They read from tablet computers. A coffee machine can make them a barista-quality coffee without the need to leave home. Whilst these technological advancements are hugely convenient, they will come at a cost: a reduced number jobs. Right now, technology is producing and increased number of jobs as humans scramble to produce the tiny components to control the electronic brains, motors and nerves that will eventually create robots. But as the production and design process becomes more automated, the need for human interaction will reduce by an astonishing level.

The concept of job losses on a large scale hit me first when I stayed at a hotel in 2015 near the Kent coastline. My wife decided to accompany me on a theatre show I was performing at (I’m a singer in a Commitments and Blues Brothers show). Having already booked our room we arrived and I presented my debit card to the one person on the reception desk. She checked the number, gave us our room key and off we went to our room. On arrival to the room we noticed that one of the pillows was missing, so rang down to reception and the same person answered. 20 minutes later she bought up the missing pillow. We very quickly realised that the hotel with over 100 rooms was being run by 1 manager, 1 chef, 1 member of barstaff (who doubled as a waitress) and 2 cleaners. I questioned the manager. “Oh yes” she declared in a slightly stressed and tired manner. “We don’t have many people here anymore. The computer does most of it. Except the cleaning; the computer can’t clean…yet”.


Robots have already started replacing certain jobs at pace

There was a perfect example of how technology has already begun to reduce the number of jobs in the hotel. They had got rid of the receptionist and porter; the manager now did their job as well as her own. 100 rooms serviced by a handful of people. If there expected a busy people the computer would flash up and they would draft in an extra person. In the future those cleaners will likely be robotic and the keys and spare pillows dished out by a vending machine. The Service Industry stands to be the most affected by robots as the technological era advances. Already, shops are full of automated tills. You scan your shopping, you pay by cash or card and the machine gives you your change and receipt. Suddenly; six till jobs have been replaced by machines.

Take a look at China – the World’s fastest growing economy – to see how they are dealing with robotics. Forget any vision you may have of rooms of hundreds of Chinese employees putting together toys on a production line; that’s old hat. Chinese companies purchased 66,000 robots in 2016 which were able to do the jobs of one million workers. More astonishing is that some of those robots cost less that the salary of one manager.

“But people will still want human interaction!” I hear you cry. Actually, I doubt it. There is already a new generation who live their lives with their face in a virtual world. They consume music and video on a 5 inch screen. They fake their social lives within social media accounts. The communicate with emojis and gifs. Many of this generation have no interest in speaking to other people. Then, with companies such a Amazon planning same-day drone deliveries, there will be no need to even leave their house. Their food and other shopping will arrive at their door and allow them even more time to spend dedicated to their phone screen.


Self aware robots aren’t far away

During the New Year holiday of 2014 I heard a technology ‘expert’ talking on the radio about how it would be at least 50 years before a computer could pass the Turing test, and that it would “require a Quantum computer”. 6 months later a Russian developed computer – Eugene – passed the test.


Increases in a ‘living wage’ may rapidly decrease towards the end of the 21st Century due to automation

In January 2018, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) released a report in which is predicted that the living wage may decrease as employers begin to favour automated systems over humans, forcing the living wage down by the end of the 21st Century.

“The fact there seemed to be a negligible employment impact of a minimum [wage] at £6.70 per hour – the 2015 rate – does not mean the same will be true of the rate of over £8.50 per hour that is set to apply in 2020,” a research economist at the IFS has said.

Percentage of employees aged 25+ in the most automatable jobs (top 10% of routine task intensity). Credit: https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/10287


Many driving jobs will be replaced by self-driving vehicles 2030

We are already seeing taxis and heavy goods vehicles being automated. In November 2017 Alphabet – Google’s parent company – began allowing their automated car ‘Waymo’ to drive the streets of California with no driver in the safety position. A few months before the British government announced that it would allow companies to begin testing self-driving trucks. If you drive for a living it may be time to reevaluate your future career prospects.

What’s more, it’s predicted that 800,000 millions jobs will be lost to robots in the next 20 years.

Army, Navy and air force jobs will be replaced by machines

In 1984 the James Cameron film ‘Terminator’ was released. For those who haven’t see it (you really should) a cyborg is sent back from 2029 to assassinate the mother of a boy who will eventually go on to lead an uprising against the machine which have taken over the planet. Now whilst this idea sounds fanciful (and time travel is unlikely to ever happen), automated robotic warfare is just around the corner. Arms producers and military organisations are already using drones and it won’t be long before automated tanks are on the battle scene. And these robots won’t be slow – they’ll be extremely fast, accurate and highly efficient.


Advanced algorithms could lead to the end of the Justice system as we know it

Algorithms. Everywhere, Algorithms. Whilst algorithms and just a basic process of answering a question and moving on to the next based on the answer, they are becoming extremely advanced. Google’s power has become so large because of expertly defined algorithm behind it. Now imagine a computer that can act as judge and jury; it’s very possible. An algorithm could quite easily process the crime, look at the evidence, consider any mitigating circumstances and give out the relevant punishment.

In fact, it could be argued that this method would be fairer with accurate punishments being given out across the board. Humans are emotionally and morally flawed – algorithms are not.

“Humans are emotionally and morally flawed – algorithms are not.”


Over 4 million UK jobs could go in just 10 years

According to a survey by the Royal Society of Arts, over 4 million jobs could go in technology over the next 10 years. Take a look at the latest scheme by multinational company McDonald’s which has gradually started to roll out computerised ordering in its restaurants. No longer do you ask a human for your food but instead you select and pay for it on a large computer screen and collected it from an self-order point when it’s ready. Another prime example of unskilled labour being replacement by computers and the people who program them.


How will people earn money?

In a time when robots and computers do all the work for us it’s quite possible that many people won’t work. The Bank of America recently predicted that automated systems will be doing nearly half of all manufacturing jobs within a generation – saving an astonishing $9tn in labour costs. Take a look at your High Street. What was once full of bank branches and building societies has now been replaced with cafes and bars. The days of the traditional bank teller are over as more computers and online payment systems replace their jobs. Governments will have to look at a method of giving people a fixed amount of money each month. Those who are more skilled or who can find extra work will be the wealthiest.
Whatever the future holds, it’s clear that robots and computer programs are going to replace traditional human jobs and it might happen much sooner than you think.

Uber: Lets Call it What it is

Uber Technologies Inc. – based in San Francisco – has long tried to argue that it’s a digital service. But a European Court of Justice ruling has confirmed what we already knew: Uber is a taxi hailing app.

Whilst some might hail Uber as a fresh approach to expensive taxis fares, it’s easy to understand why so many taxi drivers are furious about the way that the company has encroached into the market place avoiding all the fees and regulations that they have to pay. Whilst cabbies are paying for licensing, signage, taxi tests and high insurance, Uber drivers are taking their business without regulation.

In a display of pure ignorance, Uber said the verdict would make little difference to the way it operated in Europe. In other words, Uber don’t care about the economic affects that their business is having.

In its ruling, the European Court of Justice said that a service whose purpose was “to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys” must be classified as “a service in the field of transport” in EU law.

The news comes just days after concerns about Uber safety was reunited after a driver admitted killing Rebecca Dykes in Beirut. Then there was the news that Uber has been accused of illegal snooping on rivals.

It seems Uber may be lacking in the morals department.

Ode to Crisps | A poem about Crisps

I like crisps and crisps like me, which I why I’m 20 stone.
I eat so many of those little fried slices that my chair has started to grone.

I don’t have a favourite in particular;
but I am quite partial to salt and vinegar.

In America they call crisps ‘chips’, it’s printed on the package.
Americans are like me, they have a weight advantage.

Some people think that Wotsits are crisps, but that is quite untrue.
Wotsits are actually maize snacks (but lets not get hung up on the facts).

There used to be a crisp made by Branningans which was flavoured with roast beef and mustard.
And a company from Taiwan once made some flavoured of English custard!

Crisps get a unfair press at times as they’re quite high in fat. Which is exactly why they taste so good to the average human palette.

Some people are boring and eat tofu, kale and hake.
Not me though, no, I don’t do that. I eat crisps, chips and cake.

And as I come to the end of my poem, there’s one last thing to do.
Grab a packet of crisps, turn on the TV and chew, and chew, and chew.


2018 F1 Race Calendar – Official

The 2018 Official F1 Calendar has been announced.

This year will see the return of the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard, after a 10 year break from the country.

Google Calendar link here: https://calendar.google.com/calendar?cid=YWZnMGs0aDdsdGdicHU5bDZuMzgwaGdrajhAZ3JvdXAuY2FsZW5kYXIuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbQ


25th March 2018MelbourneAustraliaMelbourne Street Circuit
8th April 2018SakhirBahrainBahrain International Circuit
15th April 2018ShanghaiChinaShanghai International Circuit
29th April 2018BakuAzerbaijanBaku City Circuit
13th May 2018BarcelonaSpain
27th May 2018MonacoMonte Carlo
10th June 2018MontrealCanada
24th June 2018Le CastelletFranceCircuit Paul Ricard
1st July 2018SpielbergAustria
8th July 2018SilverstoneGreat Britain / EnglandSilverstone Grand Prix Circuit
22nd July 2018HockenheimGermany
29th July 2018BudapestHungary
26th August 2018Spa-FrancorchampsBelgium
2nd September 2018MonzaItaly
16th September 2018SingaporeSingapore
30th September 2018SochiRussia
7th October 2017SuzukaJapan
21st October 2018AustinTexas
28th October 2018Mexico CityMexico
11th November 2018Sao PauloBrazil
25th November 2018Yas MarinaAbu Dhabi