Downtime: Be a winnter and bid for your dinner

Be a winnter and bid for your dinner

Be a winner and bid for your dinner

Downtime is nothing if not permanently hungry, and therefore heartened by the launch of a Glasgow website that lets members of the public bid from as little as a penny for meals in the city's restaurants.

But that opening bid price is still a worry. Just what kind of food is likely to land on your plate if your winning bid for a promising sounding three-courser doesn't break a pound? The mind boggles - and isn't helped by Scotland's less than glowing culinary reputation.

But if you are hungry for a bargain, could be worth the visit. Just don't say Downtime sent you.

Make sure your aim is true the high-tech way

Downtime was intrigued last week to hear how technology has come to the aid of teachers at a Leicestershire school.

The teachers at Ibstock Junior School and Special Unit had been despairing of boys who failed to aim properly in the toilet - until into the breach stepped a high-tech solution in the form of heat-sensitive stickers in the urinals, which transform into smiley faces when boys aim at them.

Armed with the stickers, the school has now launched its Bug Blasters campaign to encourage pupils to pay more attention to personal hygiene.

Teacher Helen Town, whom Downtime is guessing has never commented publicly on the issue previously, said the campaign was already improving school hygiene standards.

"You get young children in who aren't used to using the urinals and accidents do happen," she explained.

"But the stickers and the campaign are working and children are now washing their hands after going to the toilet a lot more often than before."

This is such a genius use of technology that Downtime is happy to stick its neck out and predict that heat-sensitive stickers will very soon feature in every boys' toilet in the country.

What's up? You never text, you never e-mail

What's your digital etiquette? Would you consider it rude if someone hadn't replied to your e-mail within a morning, an hour or even less?

Research by Telewest Business has found that even on an average day one in 20 office workers wants a response within five minutes.

And text messages are just as much of a minefield. A hefty 40% of office workers want a response to an SMS within the hour before considering it rude.

Downtime can't offer any definitive guidance about how to approach this thorny issue - that's presuming you actually have other work and aren't simply able to respond immediately to all e-correspondence. Just be careful out there - you don't want to annoy anyone, do you.

Zen and the art of the computer error message

With Vista delays once again in the headlines, Downtime is curious whether Microsoft's latest offering will have finally taken up the challenge of issuing less prosaic error messages when things go wrong.

Competitions asking for error messages in haiku form have thrown up some beauties that Bill Gates and co would do well not to ignore. Here's one Downtime would be happy to stumble across when things go pear-shaped:

"Three things are certain: Death, taxes, and lost data. Guess which has occurred."

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