Cambridge Geek Night! Two!

Cambridge Geek Night 2 in the Cambridge Evening News on 4th August

The second of the Cambridge Geek Nights, organised by Vero (thatcanadiangirl.co.uk) after the successful Oxford geek nights, was last week. Again I was one of the few women at a techie event. It was a popular, lively evening, and I am definitely looking forward to the next one.

There were some interesting talks, including one by Michael Brunton-Spall of the guardian open platform. Of course, as an audience we were particularly warm to him as his employer kindly picked up the bar tab – particularly yummy cocktails at the Maypole! Richard Boulton gave a good introduction to open source search library that he is coding, Xapian. There were some lawyers who talked about IP too.

There was a write-up in the Cambridge Evening News on 4th August, disappointingly I could not find reference online. Vero, thankfully tweeted about it and posted a scan on flickr. Here it is!


Geekettes at the Cambridge Geek Nights

One Rule to a Flat Stomach: Obey

Here it is:

Eat less and be more active.

No good sitting around on the sofa watching telly and eating chips. The fat’s not moving until you do.

Those ads that you see everywhere, on Hotmail, MSN, Facebook…simple. That’s a scam scam scam.

That acai berry extract and stuff labeled ‘colon cleanse’ really won’t help, sorry. Unless you take them as part of a calorie-controlled diet and increase your physical activity, of course…but then you are really just getting into stone soup territory.

Oh, the free sample is just a hook. How do you think they get money to stick their offensive but highly effective ads all over the internets? Easy! They take your Credit card and whap a bunch o charges on it. Oh and another thing, Judy isn’t real. It’s not a blog. It’s a ploy to give the scammy advertiser the personal touch, to connect with you. Just like Mike Smithson and his money site.

Really you just wanted to look at more pictures of the fat chick that’s fatter than you, right?

Yep that’s why I’ve clicked on those ads. Maybe 20, 30 times…

It’s just shocking to me that so many mainstream and successful websites are OK with taking their dirty money, and so encourage their unsuspecting and eager users to play into the hands of con-artists. Yay commerce. Yay unregulated markets.

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Update: I followed the link to ‘Judy’s blog’, and noticed that the British version (unlike the US version – same text, different images) has trademark information, terms and conditions printed at the bottom:

All trademarks, logos, and service marks are registered and/or unregistered Trademarks of their respective owners.

Judysweightlossblog.com is an affiliated website, marketing the health supplement products “AcaiBerry Exclusive” and “Effective Cleanse”. …You will be charged the super low price of £79.00 at the end of your 15-day trial period…Unless you call to cancel, you’ll continue to get a fresh one-month supply of Life Cleanse every 30 days for the low price of £79.00 (+£3.95 shipping and handling).

That’s good that they give this information, not all of the ads do, albeit couched in some odd salesmany words. £79 for powdered acai doesn’t sound like a super low price to me. In the year 2088 perhaps that would be a bargain. But not today!

Poor saps that don’t scroll to the bottom and read what they are in for are suckered out of an astounding £82.95 every thirty days unless they call a telephone number to cancel. I’d imagine if the company was really shifty they might never answer the phone or put callers into a monstrous call queue. But…they wouldn’t do that, would they?

Buy More Stuff

Buy Less, Sing More anti-capitalist choir took to the streets and the shopping arcades of Cambridge on Saturday 1st August 2009, singing songs from Rev Billy and the Life after Shopping Choir songbook.

Image courtesy of Cameraboy, reprinted from Indymedia
Reprinted from Indymedia UK
Courtesy of Cameraboy, reprinted from Indymedia UK
Reprinted from Indymedia UK



I managed to convince a few friends to accompany me in a placard-waving counter-action, to encourage people instead to Buy More Stuff. Given the number of glum-faced people with chain-store bags and scurrying in and out of shops, I think we won!

Have your own campaign in your own hometown, or stick posters up in your window. Remind others to strive for validation as consumers and surrender unto Mammon!

Click on the images below to download the pdf for print-ready A4 size versions, or feel free to create some yourself!

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You can also download all of the above ‘buy more stuff’ posters as a zip

With many thanks to Michael Holden who organizes Buy More Stuff campaigns in and around Seattle, whose idea I ‘borrowed’

Reprinted from Michael Holden's website
Reprinted from Michael Holden's website

I found this lovely video on the youtubes. Enjoy!