Robert Peston: The morning tea deficit explained

YOUR DESK, Work, every day is like Monday (NNN) — It’s five minutes past nine and the workplace economy is in the doldrums. Everyone is present but no work is flowing. Economics is, after all, about the flows. How to stimulate industry?

Robert Peston glowing with brillianceWhile workers’ in-trays remain thin, the rate of decline across the office is slowing as people face up to the task of opening Outlook and getting their twitching right middle finger away from the delete key. Wordless grunt output rose 0.5% between 9:05 and 9:10, the fastest pace of growth since the start of business according to your boss who cycled in at 8am and looks like he’s about to run a marathon around the desks. You look up bleary-eyed and wonder if he has an amphetamine gland but conclude the fucker’s just like that.

The recovery formula is complex. Your arsehole co-worker wants his tea bag contacting water for thirty seconds, your nice co-worker wants Earl Grey which takes longer, your boss wants some herbal hippie rubbish and you want yours boiled orange in a boot with four sugars. All this takes five minutes away from your desk during which you don’t have to do complicated things like work a keyboard at this hour, merely pour boiling water all over the place with gay abandon.

But a successful quantitative teaing should see better flow of fingers on keys, increased word count in looking-productive emails, a break from reading the b3ta message boards and a risk of actual effort returning. Followed by a handy break to piss like a fountain and coincidentally play several rounds of Snake on your phone before walking quickly back to your desk as if you’re in a hurry to get there.

While there are tentative signs that quantitative teaing is working, there remains more to be done. Some work would probably be an idea. Additional tea can help the flow of work about the office, help you try to pretend your co-workers are in any way shaggable whatsoever and help you look forward to drinks after work with your nice co-worker where you can both hold forth with detailed discussion of your excess competence and productivity and chronic deficit of pay, despite the complete absence of any evidence whatsoever that either is the case.

Gordon Brown threatens Britain with fireside podcasts

GET ON UP, I Wanna Do My Thing, Sunday (NNN) — James Gordon Brown, the hardest-working Prime Minister in show business, has warned the economy to buck up its ideas and get on its feet or he will unleash his erudition in a weekly podcast.

His Master’s Voice dog, annoyedDowning Street compared the podcast to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” broadcast on radio in the 1930s. “Not that we are saying that present economic circumstances are comparable to the Great Depression. Ha! Ha! Did John Kennedy do radio broadcasts? Perhaps we should do something to compare Gordon to him. Peter suggested a visit to Dallas.”

FDR’s Fireside Chats were some of the most popular radio shows of the era. Echoing this success, downloads of Mr Brown’s first podcast by people other than journalists writing about it are soon to break double figures.

Iran has stated that it would treat any active deployment of Gordon Brown podcasts as an act of war and is building up its strategic reserve of recordings of the wit and wisdom of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Evening Standard to pay readers to take it

PAGE THREE, Daily Fail, Friday (Mediocre Grauniad) — From Monday week, the London Evening Standard will compete with freesheet London Lite by paying readers to take the wretched thing.

London Evening Standard board“We will widen the paper’s audience as a deterrence against corruption,” said proprietor Alexander Lebedev. “To this end, we will engage in widespread bribery to get readers.”

“Sustaining a paid-for afternoon newspaper had its challenges even when we were trying to bribe people with chocolate bars or umbrellas or just quietly give it away free unofficially,” said managing director Andrew Mullins. “Paying people to take a quality newspaper with large scale and reach should transform our commercial fortunes. What we lose on each copy, we’ll make up in volume. OI, GARÇON! MORE COKE AND HOOKERS OVER HERE, TOUTE SUITE S’IL VOUS PLAÎT, MATE! Did we mention our boss is a lunatic Russian billionaire trying to buy respectability?”

“The important thing is to speak to your audience,” said editor Georgie Grieg. “After a day at work, actual sentences just go straight over the head of the typical office worker. So we’ll print fifteen full-colour pages of celebrity cleavages, ten of completely bullshit science stories that are actually marketing press releases, twice as many Sudokus as the Lite and a daily cartoon of a dog turd speaking entirely in asterisked-out swearing. And maybe a bit of news for light relief. I can’t see how anyone wouldn’t accept money to be seen in public holding that!”

The move will raise fresh speculation about the future of afternoon free newspaper London Lite, much of whose editorial content is supplied by the Standard. The Lite managed to avoid the London Paper trap of good graphic design and a decent cartoon, having instead taken the care to look like something that would permanently stain your fingers grey even when printed on good quality paper. In a “truth in journalism” initiative, the new Standard will be printed on toilet paper using actual faeces.

Google Wave to transform the Internet

WELL I NEVER, What Will They Think Of Next, The Future (NNGadget) — The “tech world” is awash with excitement for today’s scheduled release of a hundred thousand invitations to preview Wave, Google’s innovative new website, communication protocol, interactive environment, multiplayer online role-playing game, bulletin board, wiki, dessert wax and floor topping. Experts, all heavily consulted by the media while Parliament is in recess, say it will revolutionise how we do business, organise parties, manage projects, make friends, waste our employer’s time at work, pick up girls we swear we didn’t realise were under sixteen and cheat on our homework.

Typewriter, typewritedI’ve been testing the Google Wave Developer Preview. The implications for journalists alone are stunning:

  • Collaborative reporting: Using the Google Wave interface, two reporters can take turns at the keyboard of an Internet terminal and “type” both their names at the top of an article. Then they can both write material for the article below the double byline! Incredible!
  • Record and archive interviews: We can write down the words actually spoken by an interviewee. The words can then be “saved” for use later. Amazing!
  • Timelines: The Google Wave Timeline™ can be used to show a timeline of events — just type a clock time and then note what happened around that time! Punctual!
  • Discuss what you read: People who read stories can write “comments” on them, by writing them in their Google Wave interface, then “e-mailing” then in to the editors for due consideration and possible publication on the next day’s edition of the “site”! Interactive!
  • Smarter story updates: Instead of adding “Updated” to the end of an updated story, we can use the Google Wave Cursor™ and the Google Wave Arrow Keys™ and edit the story text in the middle! Make those commenters look as silly in their supposed “corrections” as you know they should do!

In conclusion, Google Wave is clearly an absolute boon to the noble institution of the Fourth Estate in its mission to protect the public good, further the dynamism of social discourse and watch the watchmen. And this is why we at News International consider Google a threat and menace to the news media and the institution of journalism that must be reined in by government edict without delay. God bless you all, and please PayPal us 20p for having read this article, you parasitical pixel-stained technopeasant. And now, Tories and tits.