Months ago, probably last year, someone from the water company left a note to say they’d “exchanged” the water meter, like I was meant to know what that means. It turned out they’d installed a smart meter, which unlike a smart electricity meter doesn’t come with an “in-home display” (IHD) but does automagically transmit regular meter readings to the water company (which is especially helpful cos the meters here are all locked away in a mysterious central location we don’t have access to).
This week, for some reason, I became interested in (it would be wrong to say “obsessed by”) looking at the water company’s app, which is excessively theatrically secure (cos we wouldn’t want a criminal to steal my phone and sneer at how much water I use or pay my bill for me), and which, in the absence of an IHD can, after a fashion, show an hourly water usage graph (delayed by a day or two).
Alarmed by the allegation that I use “more water than other similar homes”, I’ve been consciously using less water. Like, turning off the shower during the soap-and-shampoo application phase – yes, it’s a bit hard to turn the poorly designed tap with a soapy hand, but we don’t do these things cos they’re easy. It won’t save much money, cos most of the bill is a standing charge, but it’s a fun game, and a reason to feel smug about having a slightly smaller environmental footprint. One day, get this, I used just 45 litres of water.
I had some arancini for, I think, the first time (!). Of course I’d seen Inspector Montalbano eating some before, and thought those orange balls look intriguing, and sure enough they are very tasty.
You know in TransXChange documents when you have a
StartDeadRun? I was embarrassed to learn I’ve been mishandling those journeys – treating the
DepartureTimeas the start of the dead run – for possibly years. Oh well, those structures are surprisingly rare – which helped the problem go unnoticed for so long – and I’ve fixed my understanding now. Cool story.
There’s a problem with fraud in the internet advertising industry – you know, robots clicking on adverts. The robots’ motives may vary from wasting advertisers’ money to making it look like website publishers are fraudulently clicking on their own adverts – there’s a supposed extortion scam involving the latter.
This week, I noticed hundreds of pounds of extra clicks per day, all apparently from Germany – and that Germanity made me suspicious, because very few folks outside of the UK use a website about buses mostly in the UK. I found a bit of suspicious German traffic in the logs, which I blocked, but it made no difference. Then, as an experiment, I removed all the ad code from the website, and only the German clicks continued, proving there was nothing I could do – if I were a robot, I’d put the ad code somewhere local, and edit my
localhost, and that (or something similar) seemed to be exactly what they were doing.
The thing is, I haven’t had any emails about extortion. I have now filled in Google’s “Invalid Clicks Contact Form”. Either I get to keep all the money, or I get banned from AdSense unjustly and have to explore alternative business models (get a proper job), or something in between, which is probably OK.