Christine Lives: Stephen King to write a sequel to Christine


I should have known something was up when Stephen King announced that he was going to write a sequel to his 1983 hit, and one of my favourite books of all time, Christine. The catch? He made the announcement on 1st April…

Which is a shame, as this story shouldn’t be fake. The text sucks you in with the line that , following the success of Doctor Sleep, the long-awaited sequel to The Shining, King will write the follow up to the world’s most famous, evil car. Time for the great author to put his fingers back to the keyboard and write the sequel.

Meanwhile, I’m off to read the original. Again.

Christine Lives

Elgin Park … a town in photographs


Elgin ParkI came across this post on ViralNova this morning, thanks to a link on a friend’s Facebook page. Without a doubt, I find these photographs fascinating – miniature representations of the town that Michael Paul Smith grew up in, using real-world scenes as their background.

Fascinating stuff.

Have a look at the original article:

The town’s website:

Smith’s Flickr page:

Is Formula 1 2014 A Success…?


I got up early this morning, (5a.m. GMT) to watch the first race of Formula 1′s 2014 season. I did so with some trepidation, some excitement, like most F1 fans I wanted to know whether these new regulations would be a success or a disaster.

So I watched the race, thought the racing was excellent, that Valteri Bottas had to be Driver Of The Day, and that the cars sounded interesting, but far too quiet. I’ll have to head to Santa Pod this year in order to get that visceral need I have for a loud engine.

It also worries me that the fastest lap for today’s Australian Grand Prix was nine seconds slower than the lap record, set ten years ago by Michael Schumacher. Nine seconds. In F1 terms, that’s a life time. To all intents and purposes, that’s pretty much the difference between a Formula 1 car and a GP2 car (the junior series to F1) in 2013.

The point of F1 is for it to be the pinacle of motorsport. Yes, we were all worried about it becoming stale. Yes, we all thought it was becoming a bit of a procession. Yes, we were all getting bored of Vettel winning all the time. But then, ten years ago, we were all bored of Michael Schumacher winning all the time.

And guess what? Today’s race, nine seconds slower per lap that it might be, produced yet another run away success by a German driver.

But I digress: while a rule shake up might have been needed, if we start making the cars slower, backing them in to the junior series, then where is the Wow! factor that has always been Formula 1? Drivers have always come from other formulas to drive a Grand Prix car and, when speaking to a journalist, have said “Wow! The power in that car is amazing. Like nothing I’ve driven before. The acceleration, the grip in the corner, the braking!”

It won’t be quite as thrilling if they come along and say “yeah, well, it was quick ‘n all, a bit like my GP2 car but with a longer nose and more buttons on the steering wheel.”

And racing drivers shouldn’t have to spend the race trying to save fuel. I do that in my Ford Mondeo on the A1, trying to hypermile and get as much from the car as I can without going too slow, and eek as much profit as I can from my 45pence-per-mile expenses; but when I go out in a go-kart I don’t think about the fuel, I think about going as fast as I can.

And fuel brings me on to my next rant:

So I got up early this morning (5.a.m. GMT) to watch the first race of Formula 1′s 2014 season. Then I went out for the day, saw some friends, came home, and discovered that the result was completely different.

Daniel Ricciardo DisqualifiedDaniel Ricciardo, in his first race for the reigning constructor’s champions Red Bull, scored a brilliant second place. Which he has now been stripped of because the fuel was going in to his engine too quickly. Or something like that. I’m a bit boggled by it. And disappointed.

F1 constantly strives to improve its image with its fanbase, especially the lucrative American market, which often takes a lukewarm view of the sport. Unlike homegrown racing series, they see Formula 1 as a bit aloof, and dull.

By making the cars slower, quieter and then asking the drivers to ‘lift and coast’ to save fuel, all you’re going to achieve is the American audience scratching its head in bemusement. And then to disqualify a car because it was injecting fuel in to the engine too quickly will just have them changing the channel.

Admittedly, the racing looked exciting, the cars squirmed about, and some big names failed to finish as their engineers failed to find a way to make the cars reliable, but I’m yet to be persuaded that the new rules are for the better.

GP Predictor Results - Australia 2014


I also missed out on a £20 win because I’d bet Maldonado would score points, and my prediction accuracy in Castrol’s GP Predictor was just 30% for this race… don’t forget to join my league and see how you get on for the rest of the year. Just click by clicking on the image or the link below:

Nissan Leaf Depreciation Costs


Mark J Daniels:

Thinking of buying a brand new electric car? Read this first…

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood


Plug in electric cars have two fundamental drawbacks:-

1) High purchase price

2) Short battery range and long charging times.

The Nissan Leaf, for instance, costs between £25990 and £30490 on the road, depending on model, and before the government subsidy of £5000. In comparison, a comparable conventional car, the Ford Focus starts at £13995. (Ford also now do an electric version of the Focus, which is £14K more expensive than the same specced conventional model).

What has not been clear till now is how much depreciation costs are for electric cars such as the Leaf, as there has not been much of a second market. Now, though, some are beginning to come onto the market.

An outfit called Ecocars specialise in selling second hand models, and I found the advert above on their website.

On this example, a two year old car, with only…

View original 141 more words

Join the Inapub Formula 1 Team…


Wikipedia: “A fan is a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something … They may show their enthusiasm by … promoting the object of their interest and attention.”

Anybody who has ever spent more than thirty seconds in my company will be aware that I am something of a fan of Formula One. I can bore the earwax out of most people about why it’s not dull, pictures of legendary greats adorn my office wall and I’ve seen Rush almost as much as I’ve seen Star Wars. I’m also one of the millions fervently praying for Michael Schumacher to make a full recovery.

This year, anybody who’s had half an ear to the sporting news will be aware that 2014’s season should be anything but dreary. New regulations, new engines, and a slightly dubious new look to the cars, plus some rather exciting driver pairings, has lead to the most mixed-up looking grid in a very long time.

As a die-hard fan, one of my biggest worries is actually going to be the noise. Last year, along with our beloved editor Matt Eley, I attended the Silverstone Grand Prix and, as we took our seats at Copse Corner, I slipped some ear plugs in to my ears. “Why on earth are you doing that?” asked Matt, who had never been to a Grand Prix before.

Then twenty two F1 cars drove passed at full chat and his ears began to bleed.

The noise is part of the experience; it’s visceral and, this year, it’s gone. Reports from the pit lane already say that they don’t have to wear ear defenders when they start the cars and you don’t see images of people with their fingers in their ears as the cars return to the garages. It’s going to take some getting used to, and I might have to make a visit to Santa Pod this year to get my heart shaken from my ribcage.

The looks of the cars are, putting it politely, quite different too. With a blank sheet to work from, we get to see designers coming up with completely different interpretations of how the cars should look and they are, well, interesting. Some look like they’ve had marital aids attached to them in order to achieve the regulations, others look like they’re ready to accept those marital aids. And Lotus have a really unusual take…

And then there are the driver pairings. Several have moved around and I’d love to see Massa doing well with Williams following his departure from Ferrari. But at the Italian team, they’ve paired up Fernando Alonso (who notoriously likes to be the number one and had a massive public falling out with McLaren when his team mate, the unknown upstart Lewis Hamilton, took the fight to him in 2007) with Kimi Raikkonen, who infamously debunks all attempts at authority and does his own thing regardless.

Raikkonen won his only championship in 2007, benefiting right to the end from the infighting going on at McLaren and slipping through to steal the crown from beneath the warring noses of Alonso and Hamilton.

My tip for 2014, seven years on, is that similar scrapping will take place between these two top drivers. And wouldn’t it be nice to see Jenson Button slip through right at the end for a second world title… I can but hope, but you can’t discount Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. Their performances in testing have been paltry, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been beavering away back at their Milton Keynes base. They could still be a strong contender; let’s not forget, their run-away success last year didn’t start until half way through the season…

This weekend, though, pick the Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the top two positions. I’ll leave it to you to choose which one will be where.

Each year I play the Castrol GTX Grand Prix Predictor, a free online game where you select the top ten order you think the race will finish in, and who you think will be on Pole Position, who’ll be the winner and who’ll get the fastest lap. You’re pitted against other players of the game and you earn points.

I used to invite customers to play the game at my pub and this year I’ve created the Inapub F1 league on the game. Simply click here and sign up – it’s completely free, you can invite others to join too, customers of your pub can take part, or maybe you can make it a bar debate as to who should be put where on the grid. When you click on the link, sign-up using either your Facebook account or simply fill in your details, and you’ll be added to the league and prompted to make your predictions for the race.

So as I switch from my winter dressing gown to my Ferrari dressing gown in time for the start of the season, here’s hoping Formula One has finally returned to being a great pub sport…

Inapub: Making Sure Google Places Info Is Up To Date


Inapub: Making Sure Google Places Info Is Up To Date

Inapub: Making Sure Google Places Info Is Up To Date

This article was originally posted on Inapub’s Trade News website on Tuesday 11th February 2014.

Last month, I wrote about the value of using Google+ to improve your business’s presence online. Google’s approach is to prioritise results based on your data within their Google+ and Places products.

Setting up is easy, but if you’ve already done it you may find you’ve got to go through the process again very soon in order to keep your place.

According to several reports on the web, Google are making changes to their Places for Business pages and, in some cases, e-mailing businesses to get them to confirm their information. E-mails are being sent to businesses to warn them that if they don’t log in to their Places for Business page on Google and confirm or update their information, they could lose access to this data after 21st February, resulting in these businesses having to reapply for their Place pages from scratch.

Searching around the web I’ve noted two things: first, the e-mails from Google are genuine; second, it looks like this is predominately affecting Google pages in Australia only at the moment, but this could be the start of a wider roll out.

On Google’s Product Forum pages, Jade Wang, Google Business Community Manager, confirms that they “are making some changes to Google Places for Business and Google Maps so we can continue providing people with the best experience when they’re looking for local businesses. As part of this process, we’re asking business owners to review and confirm some of the information in their Google Places accounts so we can keep showing it to Google users. We know this will be a few extra steps for merchants, and we apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your time.”

Although, as I say, this appears to not be affecting UK businesses yet, it’s worth having a quick look at your Place page(s) and checking the data is correct. If you haven’t yet claimed the Place page, now is a good time to get your pub’s information on there and make sure the information is correct – again, it can only help with improving your business’s presence online and improve your search engine results.

To access Google’s Places for Business, go to and either login with your account details or click the Get Started For Free button.

If you have never gone through this process then you will need to claim the venue, which will result in Google wanting to verify you are the owner. They will do this through one of two options – either by calling your business immediately to verify you are the owner, or sending a postcard with a PIN number on it to your venue’s address. This is a lengthier process and can take up to two weeks to complete.

Once you’re logged in, your pub’s data will show up. If you are affected by the changes above, a warning will appear asking you to review your data; if not, you can still click on Edit to make any changes you want to make, or View Dashboard to see what information is already in place and view Google’s statistics as to how many times your venue has shown up in search results on Google Maps.

If you haven’t set your Google+ page for your business up yet, this is the perfect time to do so and the Places for Business dashboard will guide you through the process of setting this page up while you’re logged in.


Banning smoking while driving…


While I support, in principle, the idea of banning people from smoking in cars when children are also passengers, I can’t help think that this new legislation will be yet another tool to bludgeon Britain’s already-beleaguered motorist with.

First question: how will it be policed? I can suddenly see every car with a smoker behind the wheel being stopped so officers can safely inspect the vehicle for little people. “Oh, and while we’ve got you did you realise…”

Second question: what will the penalty be for this offence? Will this be a fine? Or an excuse to add more points to a driver’s license…?

Third question: how thin is the line between smoking with a kid in the car and the offence of driving without due care and attention? How often have we seen horror stories of a driver being prosecuted because he dared to take a bite of a Kit Kat while stationary at a red traffic light…?

The list of what ifs is endless.

For the record, I’m not pro-smoking. I’ve never even taken a drag on a cigarette. But I’m nearly forty two years old, reasonably healthy, and both my parents smoked while I was growing up.

And back then drivers didn’t even have the courtesy to open a window while smoking and driving with children in the back…

Inapub: Why Facebook Photos Are Now A Must


Inapub: Why Facebook Photos Are Now A Must

This article was originally posted on Inapub’s Trade News website on Thursday 24th January 2014:


There’s a general rule of thumb that says images in social media posts get more engagement from viewers of your content than just text updates.

Hence, Twitter cards were launched last year to help give a more visual engagement when sharing links from websites, and each and every social media sharing app for your phone now allows you to play with images to try and make you look more like a professional Instagrammer with every post.

This week, Facebook have upped the ante even further, announcing in their blog[MJD1] that they’ve changed the algorithm for business pages to put more emphasis on posts with pictures in them. In simple terms: post a status to your business page with just words in it and it’s less likely to get shown to your Likers than if you put an image in it.

According to Facebook, they saw that when standard users posted updates with just text in them it generated an average of 9 million more status updates written every day from their friends. This wasn’t reflected in engagement with business pages, however, and Facebook have learned that users reacted more to visual content from pages they Liked than just text based ones.

I am a little surprised that it’s taken Facebook this long to react to this – I always saw greater engagement from customers at my pub if I posted a picture of the glasswasher flooding the servery than I would have done if I’d just written “glasswasher has flooded the bar floor again”, and that was almost three years ago…

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, to paraphrase Frederick R Bernard, and it seems that now Facebook are going to ‘encourage’ you to post more pictures than words by altering their algorithm to ensure images get seen more by your page fans than wordy updates do.

The latest update to their ranking algorithm will now treat text updates from business pages differently to text updates from personal profiles. “Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates,” Facebook warns in this week’s blog post, “but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.”

In other words, when sharing a link use a proper link-share button rather than simply pasting the website address in to the post, and when sharing events and updates always try to ensure there is an image included with the post. It will stand more chance of being seen by your followers than without.


Clean Up Your Facebook News Feed


Your Facebook News Feed, it’s a busy old place isn’t it? Narcissistic status updates from friends, promotions from businesses, videos from pages you follow… it’s a clutter of noise that makes it difficult to trawl through to find what you’re actually looking for.

Of course, you could unlike pages you’ve been following or unfriend those distant acquaintances who post inane photographs of their previous night’s meal, and this may be a prudent move, but sometimes it’s not right, or politcally correct, to remove a person from your Friends list.

As a rule of thumb, I try to keep my Facebook contacts to family and friends only; there are a couple of work colleagues on there but I don’t accept friend requests from people who I don’t know or who I wouldn’t want to share certain information with. I then make sure that I don’t make certain statuses public (although, this is by no means a guarantee of privacy, remember).

By contrast, I have a much larger audience on Twitter, and LinkedIn is for people I don’t want to be friends with on Facebook… (or work, as it is more commonly known.)

So how do you stay friends with somebody on Facebook, or remain a fan of a business, but stop seeing their posts in your News Feed? It’s quite simple: “unfollow” them.

There are two ways to do this. First, you could visit that person’s/business’s page. At the top of the page, just at the bottom of their main cover photograph, you will see a set of buttons. If it’s a business page, it’ll say LikedFollowing, Message (for friends’ pages Liked is replaced with Friends):

Unfollow on Facebook

Click on the button ticked Following and it’ll switch to say Follow


This person or business’s posts will now not show up in your News Feed. However, you will remain as friends or fans of them, so you can still visit their page to see how they are getting on.

Another way to stop following somebody on Facebook is from within the News Feed itself. When a status pops up it’s often a reminder to you that you’ve forgotten to remove them already; to the top right of each status is a little drop down arrow that will produce a menu:


Simply select the line that says “unfollow <insert name>” and the same function will occur; you will continue to be a fan of the page or ‘friends’ with that individual, but their posts will stop appearing in your News Feed.

(Please note – I haven’t stopped following Autosport International Show, it’s just an example!)

Remember, just because you stop following them doesn’t mean your posts won’t continue to show up in their News Feed. As long as they are still following you, everything you post will continue to appear in their feed. (This doesn’t apply to business pages; they cannot see your personal posts.)