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It takes just 15 seconds for those walking through a front door to decide if a house is clean

One in five of your friends and neighbours make up their mind about whether your home is clean within 15 seconds of stepping in the door, new research reveals.

Spurred on by online cleaning icons such as Mrs Hinch, and TV’s Aggie MacKenzie, best known for How Clean Is Your House, the survey of more than 2,000 people found that we’re quick to judge the cleanliness of other people’s homes.

While the fastidious fifth take just a quarter of a minute to jump to their conclusion, the typical visitor takes around 293 seconds, almost five minutes, to cast their verdict on the state of a property. 

Meanwhile, an audacious third of visitors have even clandestinely swept a finger along a worktop or mantelpiece to check for dust in another person’s home, according to the study commissioned by INEOS Hygienics.

An interest in the cleanliness of our homes has been encourage by online cleaning icons such Sophie Hinch (pictured) - who is known as Mrs Hinch, and whose Instagram features popular cleaning tips

An interest in the cleanliness of our homes has been encourage by online cleaning icons such Sophie Hinch (pictured) – who is known as Mrs Hinch, and whose Instagram features popular cleaning tips

What do you check for? The poll asked people what things they looked at to judge a home's clean and tidy status

What do you check for? The poll asked people what things they looked at to judge a home’s clean and tidy status

The study went on to suggest that a typical visitor to your home is going to be keeping an eye out for out for things such as sticky door handles, dirty work tops, spillage stains on carpets and furniture, as well as stains in the lavatory.

Dusty surfaces, dishes in the sink, coats slung over banisters and fingerprints on doors and walls are also in their minds on arrival.

Towels on radiators, empty cups or glasses left on surfaces, and childrens’ toys on the floor will also count against you.

It suggested that the pandemic has also dramatically heightened awareness of the importance of hygiene with 30 per cent of adults admitting they’re more judgemental of others’ homes.

In addition, 28 per cent said they became even more concerned about hygiene once the new Covid Omicron variant began to spread.

The pandemic has also dramatically heightened awareness of the importance of hygiene in our homes

The pandemic has also dramatically heightened awareness of the importance of hygiene in our homes

The study found that 17 per cent believe that they have a friend or neighbour whose home ‘could do with a clean’, while 11 per cent went as far as admitting that they know someone whose house is ‘dirty’.

Catherine Merrett, of Richmond estate agents Antony Roberts, said: ‘We always advise clients who are putting their homes on the market to declutter, rent a storage unit if necessary and give the house a thorough spring clean. 

‘Covid or no Covid, it is important that the house is sparkling clean but potential buyers are perhaps even more sensitive to this now.

‘We may also advise whether a bit of maintenance is required, such as touching up scuffed paint or re-grouting. You don’t have to spend a fortune redoing the bathroom or kitchen; even the little things can make a huge difference.’

Cleaning queen: TV's Aggie MacKenzie (pictured) is best known for the TV series How Clean Is Your House

Cleaning queen: TV’s Aggie MacKenzie (pictured) is best known for the TV series How Clean Is Your House

George Ratcliffe, of INEOS Hygienics, said: ‘After the past 24 months we’ve become more tuned into cleanliness. Naturally, people want to feel safe and secure when visiting other people’s homes, especially now we’re in winter.

‘We live busy lives and can have a lot going on, so it can be easy for standards to slip sometimes.’

The study also found those who admit to judging others aren’t shy about passing on their displeasure to friends or colleagues, with 73 per cent admitting they have been unable to stop themselves making a comment as soon as they have left the property. 

A typical visitor takes around 293 seconds, just under five minutes to cast their verdict on the state of a property

A typical visitor takes around 293 seconds, just under five minutes to cast their verdict on the state of a property

1 Stains in the toilet 33.50%
2 Unclean work surfaces 30.94%
3 Dirty worktops 30.06%
4 Spillage stains on carpets/ furniture 24.66%
5 Dusty surfaces 24.26%
6 Dishes in the sink 23.18%
7 Food left out 23.18%
8 Cobwebs 21.61%
9 Sticky door handles 20.53%
10 Empty cups left on surfaces 20.24%
11 The state of the garden 18.27%
12 Fingerprints on doors and the walls 15.03%
13 Clothes on furniture 14.05%
14 Footprints on the floors 13.75%
15 State of the lawn 12.77%
16 Bikes left in the front garden 10.51%
17 Not having hand sanitisers around for people to use 10.12%
18 Kids toys on the floor 9.63%
19 Quality of soft furnishings 9.63%
20 Coats slung over banisters 9.53%
Source:  INEOS Hygienics    

But things may not be all they seem when it comes to household cleanliness, as overall, the average Brit rates the cleanliness and tidiness of their own home at just 6.5 out of ten.

And 27 per cent gave their home just a five out of ten or below.

Furthermore, 79 per cent said they felt the need to frantically clean up their house on hearing visitors were on their way.

It also emerged around two in three – at 59 per cent – have arrived at someone else’s home only to be greeted by a suspicious odour.

While the whiff of dog is the most likely unpleasant smell at 36 per cent, other pungent aromas we are frequently confronted by are lingering cooking at 22 per cent and bins at 20 per cent.

The smell of babies, air freshener, garlic and fish are also common.

Being invited to an unhygienic or untidy home can be an unsettling experience, according to the data, with 18 per cent admitting it made them feel uncomfortable.

Another 64 per cent said they always sanitise before visiting another house, while 60 per cent said they did so while they were there.

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Choco: Revolutionizing The FoodTech Industry With Innovation & Sustainability | EU20

By Clint Bailey

— In the rapidly evolving world of food technology, European startup Choco has emerged as a pioneering force. With its website,, this Berlin-based company is transforming the way food industry professionals operate by leveraging innovative digital solutions. By linking restaurants, distributors, suppliers, and producers on a single platform, Choco is streamlining the supply chain process while promoting sustainability.

Let’s explore the journey of and its impact on the overall foodtech industry.

  1. Company: Choco Technologies GmbH
  2. Website:
  3. Head Office: Berlin, Germany
  4. Year Established: 2018
  5. Founders: Choco was co-founded by Daniel Khachab, Julian Hammer, and Rogerio da Silva.
  6. Industry: Choco operates in the foodtech industry, specifically focusing on digitizing the supply chain for the food industry.
  7. Funding: Choco has secured significant funding rounds from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners & Coatue Management.
  8. Market Presence: Choco has a strong presence in several European cities, including Berlin, Paris, London & Barcelona.
  9. Mission: Choco aims to revolutionize the food industry by leveraging technology to simplify supply chain management, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.

Simplifying Supply Chain Management

One of the core focuses of Choco is to simplify supply chain management for food businesses. Traditionally, the procurement process in the food industry has been cumbersome and inefficient, with numerous intermediaries and manual processes. Choco’s digital platform replaces the traditional paper-based ordering system, allowing restaurants and suppliers to communicate and collaborate seamlessly.

Choco’s platform enables restaurants to place orders directly with suppliers, eliminating the need for phone calls, faxes, or emails. This not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors and miscommunications.

By digitizing the ordering process, Choco improves transparency, making it easier for restaurants to compare prices, track deliveries, and manage inventory efficiently.

Streamlining Operations For Suppliers & Producers

Choco’s impact extends beyond restaurants. The platform also provides suppliers and producers with valuable tools to streamline their operations. By digitizing their product catalogs and integrating them into the Choco platform, suppliers can showcase their offerings to a wide network of potential buyers.

Suppliers benefit from increased visibility, enabling them to reach new customers and expand their market presence. Moreover, Choco’s platform helps suppliers manage their inventory, track orders, and plan deliveries effectively. These features enhance operational efficiency, reduce waste, and ultimately contribute to a more sustainable food system.
YouTube Channel

Promoting Sustainability & Reducing Food Waste

Choco recognizes the critical importance of sustainability in the food industry. According to the United Nations, approximately one-third of the world’s food production goes to waste each year. By digitizing the supply chain and enabling more efficient ordering and inventory management, Choco actively works to combat this issue.

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Choco’s platform facilitates data-driven decision-making for restaurants, suppliers, and producers. By analyzing purchasing patterns & demand, Choco helps businesses optimize their inventory levels, reducing overstocking and minimizing food waste. Additionally, Choco supports local sourcing, enabling businesses to connect with nearby suppliers & promote sustainable, community-based practices.

Expanding Reach & Impact

Since its founding in 2018, Choco has experienced rapid growth and expansion. The startup has successfully secured significant funding rounds, allowing it to scale its operations and establish a strong presence across Europe and other global markets. Today, Choco’s platform is used by thousands of restaurants and suppliers, revolutionizing the way they operate.

Choco’s impact extends beyond operational efficiency or sustainability. By connecting restaurants, suppliers & producers on a single platform, Choco fosters collaboration & encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall foodtech ecosystem and creates a supportive community of like-minded aiming to drive positive change within the industry.

Future Of FoodTech

Choco’s rise to prominence in the foodtech industry exemplifies the reach of sustainability, innovation, and community. Through its user-friendly platform, Choco simplifies supply chain management, streamlines operations for restaurants & suppliers, and actively promotes sustainable practices. By harnessing the potential of digital, Choco is disrupting the future of the food industry, making it more efficient and transparent.

As Choco continues to expand its impact and reach, its transformative influence on the foodtech sector is set to inspiring, grow other startups, and established players to embrace technology for a better and more sustainable food system.

We Can’t Thank You Enough For Your Support!

— Compiled by Clint Bailey | Team ‘Voice of EU’
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Want to sell your home over Christmas? Here’s why you should put the decorations AWAY

Across the country, a warm glow is beginning to appear — but might it be from Yuletide decorations destroying the chances of selling your home?

For some people the festive season involves inflatable Santas clinging to windowsills like burglars. Others prefer illuminated reindeers in the front garden.

But if you’re among the 100,000 households trying to sell this Christmas, the advice from many experts is to leave the lights in the garage and the plastic snowman in the loft.

Keep them in the garage: Over-the top decorations

Keep them in the garage: Over-the top decorations

Vendors must avoid anything that handicaps a sale in today’s difficult market.

Rightmove says the average asking price of homes across the UK coming to the market in November is 1.7 per cent down on October, while posh estate agency Savills reports some London prices are now 19 per cent below their peak.

And as buyers struggle to afford mortgages, the number of house sales nationwide this year is expected to be one million, according to Zoopla — or 20 per cent lower than usual.

The Your Move chain of estate agents is clear that decorations should be off the agenda, adding: ‘The key to potential buyers falling in love with a property is them being able to imagine themselves living there.

‘Piles of clutter and decorations make it harder. So make it easier for them by keeping spaces as open as possible.’

The key to potential buyers falling in love with a property is them being able to imagine themselves living there. Piles of clutter and decorations make it harder

The public seems to agree. A survey by GetAgent, a comparison site on which the public can find favourably reviewed estate agents, shows 24 per cent of would-be buyers say they’re deterred from viewing a home with excessive outdoor Christmas lights.

Colby Short, chief executive of GetAgent, advises: ‘Selling at Christmas is no different to any time of year and you have to remember that not everyone will share your tastes, or sense of humour.

‘A blank canvas works best when it comes to attracting potential buyers and if your home is covered in Christmas decorations, it can be hard for them to get a true sense of the property.’

Tasteful: Forget inflatable Santas and pick refined, calming colours if you're hoping to sell a property this Christmas

Tasteful: Forget inflatable Santas and pick refined, calming colours if you’re hoping to sell a property this Christmas

Tips for selling a home over Christmas

GetAgent recommends sellers stick to white lights and not coloured, flashing ones visible on a ‘walk-by’ initial viewing, and no gaudy exterior decorations.

Instead it suggests a festive twist on the smell of freshly baked bread — vendors should use Christmas scents such as cinnamon and mulled wine.

Not every agent is against decorations. Some, like Alex Oliver of buying service Prime Purchase, says they are inevitable and most buyers grin and bear them.

Nonetheless he tells sellers that if they must have decorations, they should follow two golden rules.

Firstly, don’t get a home photographed by agents at this time of year because listings on Rightmove with decorations in the photographs will make a home feel stale in the New Year.

Secondly, take the decorations down soon after the festivities to avoid giving the wrong message.

‘If the decorations were still up I’d be concerned there may be other issues that the vendor has not kept on top of such as maintenance or permissions for any works they may have had done,’ Oliver adds.

But many experts say listing your house now and having it on sale over the festive season has unexpected advantages.

That’s because Christmas is when many families have time to make plans for major events such as house-moving and, sadly, many couples agree to split up.

Agents say anyone preferring to view homes now instead of relaxing is likely to be a serious buyer, while there will also be significantly fewer homes on the market too, so you will face less competition.

Twelve months ago there were a jaw-dropping 51 million visits to Rightmove between Boxing Day and the first working day of 2023.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s data director, says: ‘Traffic to our website more than doubles between Christmas and the New Year, those sellers who get a head start now and have their home ready to launch can benefit.’

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The Implications Of Controlling High-Level Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

By Clint Bailey | ‘Voice of EU’

The notion of artificial intelligence surpassing humanity has long been a topic of discussion, and recent advancements in programs have reignited concerns. But can we truly control super-intelligence? A closer examination by scientists reveals that the answer is highly unlikely.

Unraveling The Challenge:

Controlling a super-intelligence that surpasses human comprehension necessitates the ability to simulate and analyze its behavior. However, if we are unable to comprehend it, creating such a simulation becomes an impossible task. This lack of understanding hinders our ability to establish rules, such as “cause no harm to humans,” as we cannot anticipate the scenarios that an AI might generate.

The Complexity Of Super-Intelligence:

Super-intelligence presents a distinct challenge compared to conventional robot ethics. Its multifaceted nature allows it to mobilize diverse resources, potentially pursuing objectives that are incomprehensible and uncontrollable to humans. This fundamental disparity further complicates the task of governing and setting limits on super-intelligent systems.

Drawing Insights From The Halting Problem:

Alan Turing’s halting problem, introduced in 1936, provides insights into the limitations of predicting program outcomes. While we can determine halting behavior for specific programs, there is no universal method capable of evaluating every potential program ever written. In the realm of artificial super-intelligence, which could theoretically store all possible computer programs in its memory simultaneously, the challenge of containment intensifies.

The Uncontainable Dilemma:

When attempting to prevent super-intelligence from causing harm, the unpredictability of outcomes poses a significant challenge. Determining whether a program will reach a conclusion or continue indefinitely becomes mathematically impossible for all scenarios. This renders traditional containment algorithms unusable and raises concerns about the reliability of teaching AI ethics to prevent catastrophic consequences.

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The Limitation Conundrum:

An alternative approach suggested by some is to limit the capabilities of super-intelligence, such as restricting its access to certain parts of the internet or networks. However, this raises questions about the purpose of creating super-intelligence if its potential is artificially curtailed. The argument arises: if we do not intend to use it to tackle challenges beyond human capabilities, why create it in the first place?


Urgent Reflection – The Direction Of Artificial Intelligence:

As we push forward with artificial intelligence, we must confront the possibility of a super-intelligence beyond our control. Its incomprehensibility makes it difficult to discern its arrival, emphasizing the need for critical introspection regarding the path we are treading. Prominent figures in the tech industry, such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, have even called for a pause in AI experiments to evaluate safety and potential risks to society.

The potential consequences of controlling high-level artificial super-intelligence are far-reaching and demand meticulous consideration. As we strive for progress, we must strike a balance between pushing the boundaries of technology and ensuring responsible development. Only through thorough exploration and understanding can we ensure that AI systems benefit humanity while effectively managing their risks.

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By Clint Bailey, Team ‘THE VOICE OF EU

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