AXA car insurance just charged me an extra £30 because I became a dad

I was going to renew our car insurance with AXA. Quickly reviewing our details, I noticed I had to update them as we now have a child under the age of 16.
What I didn’t expect, is that AXA will increase my insurance premium by £30, just because I specified I’m a parent.
I called them and they said they do charge parents extra, because having kids means they’re more likely to be distracted and make an accident.
Is there true? Is there any research showing that parents are worse drivers than non-parents? What’s more probable is AXA figured out that parents have less time to compare quotes, so why not charge them an extra £30, just because.
Mumsnet and Facebook forums, maybe you can make them change their minds.
non parent
Without 1 child


With 1 child

20 reasons why you’ll hate switching to Mac (and a few reasons why you’ll love it)

In 2011, I switched from PC to Mac. I used a MacBook Air 15″ for about a year until it got stolen. I then rushed back to a PC. It was for a simple reason: I couldn’t get work done as easily on a Mac. It’s interesting how little marketing Microsoft has done to point out MacOS’s shortcomings. There are at least a dozen reasons why moving to a Mac would drive you nuts. Each of these could have been a great retaliatory “PC vs. Mac” TV advert. Here’s my top list of things you’ll hate about moving to a Mac, and a few things you’d absolutely love.

Disclaimer: I wrote this list before trying the abysmal OS that is Windows 8. Anything is better than Windows 8. Even Windows ME.  And please excuse the preponderance of ‘WTF’ below, I couldn’t find a more appropriate expletive.

What you’ll hate

  • Stupidest ever shortcuts with Control, Option (aka Alt), Fn, Shift, and Command. No consistency. Very hard to recall what to press and when. It’s maybe perfect if you’re a pianist, less so if you just want to get work done.
  • No home, end, page up or page down buttons in the keyboard.
  • No delete button. You have to Ctrl + Backspace. WTF.
  • Maximise doesn’t maximise (they did fix it in the last OS).
  • Close doesn’t close.
  • Enter doesn’t open files. It renames them. WTF.
  • Folders are sorted alongside files, instead of being displayed on top.
  • To install programs, you download a .dmg file (WTF?) and then drag it to drive (WTF?). Then you unmount the downloaded file. WTF.
  • Excel shortcuts.  E.g. F2 becomes Alt + U.  WTF.
  • Office sucks.
  • Office crashes.
  • You’ll have to zoom in, in every Word and Excel doc, which will just drive your PC colleagues nuts (they’ll zoom out, you’ll zoom in).
  • Apps do crash. Don’t believe the hype.
  • To switch to another window you use Cmd+Tab unless it’s another window of the app you’re in and then it’s Cmd+`.  WTF.
  • You have to empty the entire trash – you can’t permanently delete just specific files (something took the metaphor of a trash can a bit too far). WTF.
  • Apple fanboys who tell you can fix all of the above with some geeky hack or 3rd party software.
What you’ll love
  • Hardware is beautiful.
  • Hardware just works.
  • Hardware doesn’t come with ugly stickers by Intel, Microsoft and the OEM that you’ll have to remove.
  • Hardware doesn’t come pre-installed with crapware.
  • Standby just works.
  • Even a slow Macbook just works.  Not like a PC where you have to launch Task Manager every hour to kill apps.
  • Font rendering is just beautiful.
  • You’ll be the coolest kid in town and you’ll wake up to double rainbows every morning.

How to redirect your domain to, but keep a blog as a sub-folder?

Say you are launching a new website.  You create a launch webpage (aka sign-up, beta or pre-registation webpage) for your new domain, e.g. via  Now, how do you redirect traffic to that launch page, without redirecting all sub-folders, too? In our case we wanted people who visit or to get redirected to our page. But, we wanted to still point to our blog. Sounds simple, but it took me ages to find a relatively simple solution for our domain. Here’s how I finally did it.


Redirect from -> to:  -> -> -> [basically, to not redirect it]


How to do it

  • Create the sub-domains you need. In our case: for your launch page and for your blog.
  • Point the signup sub-domain to your launchpage domain using a CNAME DNS setting. We pointed it to
  • Then, to redirect also the traffic of people browsing to your website, create an empty Index.html file with the following contents, and upload it to your server.    Replace the text ‘’ with your signup domain.
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
 <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
 <title>Time For Equity</title>
  • Lastly, simply place your blog (e.g. WordPress) in a sub-folder of your choice, e.g.


How to unfollow ALL your Twitter followers at once, in bulk, in one click (almost)

Twitter makes it very hard to unfollow all your Twitter followers.  3rd party services had to withdraw this feature because they got letters from Twitter “asking” them to remove that option.  “Asking” in quotes, because otherwise Twitter would have likely removed their permissions which would shut their business.Image

So here is a workaround for unfollowing all your Twitter followers quickly, in the shortest number of clicks.  If you find an easier way, please tell me in the comments.

– If you don’t know your way around Twitter, installing programs, or using a PC, please follow these steps carefully, or not at all.
– These steps require registering to Tweepi‘s Silver plan, which costs $7.95 for one month.  It’s well worth it, in my opinion.
– These instructions are useful for PC users only.  If you have a Mac, you can probably afford paying someone to do this for you.  (I’m just kidding.  If you spent all your money on buying the Mac, you may not.)

Step by step instructions to un-following all your Twitter followers

  1. Sign up with Tweepi for their $7.45 Silver subscription.  Nope, I am not affiliated with them or getting any cuts.  You can pay with PayPal.
  2. Click on their Cleanup page.
  3. At the bottom of the page, choose the option to show 100 users (which is the maximum).
  4. This page is where you’re supposed to manually click ‘Unfollow’ on each of the users you want to un-follow.   They try to make it easy by letting you simply click your mouse button hundred time in succession.  But if you have thousands of people, you’ll get tired very, very quickly.  I gave up after 1,000.
  5. So now we need a way to easily click 100 times on the mouse, without really doing so.  In geek parlance we need a macro.
  6. Go to Autokey and download their free open-source macro tool.  Install it.  When installation is done, click on ‘Run AutoHotkey’.
  7. Notepad will open up, showing you the default macro script.  Don’t worry about it.   Simply delete it all.  Then copy and paste this text instead.  Note the first line starts with a # character and ends with a double colon – ::
    [and so one – copy and paste a total of 100 times the word ‘click’ in a new line]
  8. Click Save (in Notepad) to save the script.  Then in your taskbar (that’s the bottom status bar in your Windows machine), find the AutoHotKey icon (looks like a green H), right mouse click and choose ‘Reload This Script’.
  9. Navigate back to the Chrome (or whatever browser) window which is open still in Tweepi.
  10. Position your mouse cursor over the top ‘Unfollow’ button.
  11. Ready?  Click the Windows keyboard button (the one near the Alt and Ctrl) plus Space key (the long one…)
  12. Voila!  Depending on your internet connection, you no longer have to click hundred times on the mouse button.  If you internet connection is slow, you may need to tap Windows+Space again.  Careful: wait a few seconds till all 100 clicks are performed, otherwise you’ll find your mouse cursor misbehaving a bit.
  13. When you’re done, you can cancel your Tweepi subscription so you don’t get charged the following month.   You can uninstall AutoHotKey by running the AutoHotKey Setup and choosing the option ‘Uninstall’.

Guest post by Freud

Freud RanHi everyone

I just wanted to say hi. My name is Freud. I’m now 10 weeks old and live in London with my keepers, the Rans (one of them writes this blog, I think).

I like to fetch things, jump and hop, wee a bit outside the house and a bit inside the house. I’m told that I’m really cute, pretty and smart, but that I’m not the bravest of them all. That’s fine with me.

I’m a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever but if you hold me upside down I look a bit like a fox.

Here are a couple of videos of me jumping around. I hope you enjoy them.

Jumping around – take 1

Jumping around – take 2

These videos were taken using an app called Vine, now owned by Twitter.  The guy who writes this blog thinks Vine is awesome.  He says it’s the best way to document the early life of pets and kids.

That’s it for now.  I hope I’ll be invited to write another guest post soon.

Woof woof,


Why doesn’t Dropbox support dd-mm-yy non-US date format? [Update: now resolved.]

mm-dd-yyyyThere’s one thing about Dropbox that drives me nuts.  The date format.  If you use their website, all files are listed using the US format of mm-dd-yyyy (e.g. 06-16-2012).  According to this, only Americans and Belizans use the month-day-year format.  Most of the world, over 3 billion people, use day-month-year and over 1.5 billion (mainly in China, Japan and Korea) use year-month-day.   For anyone else, seeing a date like 10-01-2012 is hugely confusing (it’s October 1st rather than January 10th).

Quite a few blog posts, bug reports, and change requests call for Dropbox to let customers choose the right date format. Over 500 people even votes for it.  The strangest bit? only 32% of Dropbox users are American, so the majority of Dropbox customers would actually benefit from this change.  So how strange that this is still deprioritised.  It’s not like British users are asking Dropbox to change all Z back to S or something like that.

Anyone else finds this annoying?  If you’ve found a solution let me know in the comments.

Update:  Dropbox finally added the option to set the date format.   It’s here:

Algorithms work better than doctors

I came across this fantastic paper after reading about Meehl‘s 1954 book, “Clinical vs. Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence”.  It’s a meta-analysis (review of studies) of the evidence that mechanical prediction techniques like fixed questionnaires or algorithm generate superior predictions compared with those made by clinicians, regardless of their level of expertise.

In plain words, it suggests that simple questionnaires and algorithms arrive in more accurate predictions compared with clinicians, doctors or psychologists.  I can’t believe this is not mandatory reading in every university.

The abstract:

The process of making judgments and decisions requires a method for combining data. To compare the accuracy of clinical and mechanical (formal, statistical) data-combination techniques, we performed a meta-analysis on studies of human health and behavior. On average, mechanical-prediction techniques were about 10% more accurate than clinical predictions. Depending on the specific analysis, mechanical prediction substantially outperformed clinical prediction in 33%-47% of studies examined. Although clinical predictions were often as accurate as mechanical predictions, in only a few studies (6%-16%) were they substantially more accurate. Superiority for mechanical-prediction techniques was consistent, regardless of the judgment task, type of judges, judges’ amounts of experience, or the types of data being combined. Clinical predictions performed relatively less well when predictors included clinical interview data. These data indicate that mechanical predictions of human behaviors are equal or superior to clinical prediction methods for a wide range of circumstances.

The full article is available here:

Personal blog of Oded Ran