A year of going cashless - and where it hasn't worked

by @edent | # # # | 81 comments | Read ~1,022 times.
Four credit cards in a pile

I set myself a resolution last year - go 12 months without using physical cash. No coins, no notes, no gold bullion, no cheques. I attempted to do all my spending on credit card, Direct Debit, and bank transfer (BACS). It worked! Mostly... Here's where it didn't work, and what I learned from it. Foreign…

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OpenBenches is a recipient of a Microgrant!

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~172 times.
The Open Benches logo.

We're delighted to announce that our OpenBenches.org project has been awarded a $250 microgrant from Icculus! When I agreed to the award, I hadn’t heard about @eiais’s firing, or any of the others. It’s not much money, but I don’t think quantity is relevant. — Ryan C. Gordon (@icculus) December 25, 2019 (If I don’t…

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The value of videogames (or, why I think Untitled Goose Game was a rip-off)

by @edent | # # # | 10 comments | Read ~176 times.
A stupid cartoon goose honks into a wishing well.

I have a limited amount of time on this planet. I also have a limited amount of money to spend. Therefore, like any Homo Economicus, I have a rational desire to get the most value for money for my time-wasting distractions. So, after months of memes, I bought Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch…

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HOWTO: Add sponsorship to a GitHub project

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~391 times.
Sponsorship options for OpenBenches.

I've just seen that I can now add sponsorship to my GitHub projects. Here's a quick guide to how it works: Repo settings There's now a new option in your repository settings. Tick the box and click the button. Easy! WTF is YAML? This is a bit of a weird one. To set up sponsorship,…

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The unreasonable psychological effectiveness of the LISA

by @edent | # #

Pop quiz! Which is bigger - 25% or 20%? That's a pretty simple question, isn't it? If your boss asked if you wanted a 25% bonus, or a 20% bonus, you know which one you'd pick. The UK Government has a savings product called a LISA - Lifetime Individual Savings Account. The premise is pretty…

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Review: MoneyDashboard

by @edent | # # # | 3 comments | Read ~227 times.

Quick review of https://www.moneydashboard.com/ - sorry for the lack of screenshots, but I don't need you seeing the state of my bank balance! Open Banking is here! For the technical among you, it means I can use OAuth to give a read-only token to an authorised financial institution. Updates are streamed in real-time. They can…

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Ignore Percentage-Based Cost Savings

by @edent | # # | 1 comment | Read ~286 times.

I was reading an article in The Guardian about a new "no frills" transatlantic airline. The author talked about the various costs, and whether the cost savings were worth it. So, how much cheaper is it really? BA wanted a minimum of £709.31, while Virgin's cheapest was £689.31. Norwegian offered us a flight at £579.20…

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A QR Specification For Mobile Payments

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~395 times.

BitCoin and other crypto-currencies are gaining popularity at the moment - but I remain firmly convinced that they're too hard for the average person to use. I have, however, watched with interest as an ecosystem grows around them. In particular, I like the way The Pirate Bay (and others) have used QR codes to facilitate…

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How To Steal A Million Dollars?

by @edent | # # # | Read ~1,185 times.

... as our money becomes completely electronic, new crimes will undoubtedly be committed which take advantage of the technology itself. Perhaps if we could imagine what crimes might happen, we could start to think about how to prevent them. What financial crimes could be committed within a completely electronic marketplace? Future of Money Design Award…

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Criminal Punishments For Destabilising The Economy - A (Very) Short History

by @edent | # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~119 times.

In the year 1124, the King of England had a problem with the people who produced the kingdom's money. The quality of the coins in the early part of the reign was poor, as the moneyers made a large profit by producing underweight coins or coins of debased fineness. In 1124 Henry called all 150…

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