Have radar gun, will travel
If you’ve ever received a speeding ticket, you’ll know how unpleasant an experience it can be: those flashing lights in your rear mirror; those stern tones (do you know how fast you were going, SIR?); that sinking feeling you get when you realise your insurance rates are about to eat a bigger hole in your account.
Well, fret no more, my lead-footed brothers and sisters. All you have to do is invent your own radar and bring it to court with you. That’s precisely what a British scientist did and he claims it helped him beat his ticket. Phillip Tann of Autopoietic Systems was testing his system when he was pulled over for speeding. When the officer informed him he was going 42 mph in a 30, Tann said his homemade system reported a relatively sluggish 29.177196 mph.
Tann insisted his device is more accurate than the standard issue police radar and claims that’s what prompted the judge to let him off the hook. The police claim the charges were dismissed because the officer failed to show up to the trial. Hard to argue with that, I suppose.
I think it’s safe to say that British band Radiohead aren’t hurting for money. And maybe that’s the reason they chose a ‘pay what you want’ policy for the privilege of downloading their new album. Initial estimates are that the album, In Rainbows, has been downloaded more than a million times. Downloaders are paying anywhere from $1 to $20 for the songs, earning Radiohead a tidy sum somewhere between $1 million and $20 million in the first week alone. Given that some rabid fans are choosing to donate the maximum amount ($200), I’m guessing that the total earnings are closer to $20 million.
Given that Radiohead seem to have cracked the downloading conundrum, i.e. how do musicians (not Apple) make money online, I think I’m going to give it a go too. You are currently reading this Insider column for free. And good for you. Why not? One of our nice advertisers is paying for this page. But check this out: pay me directly and you’ll be able to cut out all those annoying ads and enjoy Insider in all his naked glory. As soon I’ve picked a provider, set up a payment engine, explained to my boss why I should get paid directly by the readers who currently pay nothing for content, and hired a small IT staff to handle the back end for me, I’ll be all set to go. Easy money.