What are high street shops for?
For… Not allowing the customer to find what they want. Standing in queues. Making the customer feel a nuisance. Finding out that the staff know nothing about what they’re selling. Bamboozling the customer with small-print and dodgy offers. Being too hot in Winter and too hot in Summer. Tiring the customer out, thus boosting the profits of nasty little cafes nearby. Didn’t we used to pay people to do this for us? I predict we may again. In the future, maybe the ‘Personal Shopper’ won’t be the glam ‘lady’s companion’ who goes with you to choose things, but rather the drudge who’s sent to the shops (or onto the net) with a list.

Dark fibre:
I don’t want a piffling little watered-down BT or cable-co version of broadband. I don’t even want broadband. I want wide-band. So much bandwidth I can download a CD (or, going two-way, consult a specialist) in a few seconds. Several Councils are planning feasibility studies for such networks, but is it just posturing to the digerati (“relocate here, big net business, please please!”), or really feasible? Of course fibre &/or wi-fi is technically feasible, but there are many other stumbling blocks to do with the point at which top-floor personalities, politics and egos meet the paranoid IT Techies and Accountants who live in the Town Hall basement. I can’t help remembering the millions wasted in the Black Country in the mid-90s on something called Broadnet and the Black Country Community Network.