I’m back !!

Keep calm I'm back

I’ve finally gotten around to updating the website and hopefully, will find some time to post a bit more regular than I have been able to previously.Things have been a bit difficult over the past few years, but I am finally beginning to get things back under control. I won’t bore you with the details here, as I save those stories for another site of mine. (Which I must add, I’ve also updated too.  Things must be getting better if I’ve managed to find the time to update both sites !!). Continue reading

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The passing of a true genius and a gentleman

This morning I learnt the sad news that Len Sassaman sadly passed away having taken his own life in an apparent suicide at his home in Leuven, Belgium.

Len was a major advocate for privacy and a great influence on some of my earlier work.  He leaves a great legacy but an even greater void in so many lives.  My thoughts go out to his wife Meredith (L. Patterson), may she have strength and courage through these difficult times.

Depression is the silent killer.

I’m coming to understand that "battle with depression" is sometimes very close in meaning to "battle with cancer."

@maryadydd 04 July 2011

Len Sassaman (1980-2011)

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Yet more Pipex Woes

failure-successTwo moans about Pipex in as many days.  They really are going for it in a big way of late.

When I raised a support request the other day, I used my Pipex account email address, i.e the one that has been associated with my account since day one of me being a customer with them. (usually of the form ***@dsl.pipex.com) 
I noticed that I didn’t receive an auto-reply which was unusual, so out of interest, I sent a test message from another email account.
Funnily enough, it bounced. But not just any old bounce, but because of: Continue reading

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Warm As Toast

Warm as toast thanks to Mr Sweep... on TwitpicFinally had the chimney swept after the hammering it took last year. Couldn’t book the chimney sweep until Friday last week, by which time all the snow had gone. But saying that, the warmest it reached over the weekend was 2.5deg.

It was minus –8deg on the outside thermometer when I woke this morning, so I quickly got the fire going.  Crumpet, marshmellows and a few chestnuts tonight for supper methinks.

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Letter to Home Office – November 10th 2010

Dear Sirs,
I would very much like to show my concern over the current extradition laws, especially with respect to the current state of affairs with the US. Current legislation appears to give a very lopsided difference between the requirements of the UK versus the US in the conditions that are required in
order for extradition to take place. Whilst I realise that this is due to differences between UK and US laws, I would still expect UK citizens to be protected by UK laws at all times.

In abolishing the need for evidence when extraditing to most countries in the world, this has removed the safety net once afforded to UK citizens in that they will always obtain a ‘fair trial’. How is it that the US because of it’s Constitution has a provision that any country requesting the extradition of a persons or people must have evidence of the crime committed by the person being extradited?  All other European and Commonwealth countries signed up to a similar treaty did so on the understanding that we all played by the same rule book. 

For the UK to extradite someone from the US they only need establish ‘probable cause’ of which the US constitution’s fourth amendment has defined as “information sufficient to warrant a prudent person’s belief that the wanted individual had committed a crime”  

  • Whilst it may be impossible for us to create a law that is compliant with both UK law and the US Constitution, all I ask is that they UK Government should introduce the forum bar with respect to extradition.
  • The Home secretary should be given the powers to halt extradition to the US if they feel that their is a lack of evidence. Reasonable cause is not justification enough for people or persons to be extradited to the US.
  • The same should be applied to the European Arrest Warrant.  The UK Government should protect it’s citizens by ensuring that the trial they receive in any Foreign country is at least of equivalent standard to that of which they would expect within the UK.
  • UK citizens have a right to be protected by their UK Government at all times.
  • When a crime is mainly committed in the UK, that person should be tried here.  It is my personal belief that this provides a simple solution to the problem where the victims of
    the crime or the scenes of crime are spread around one or more countries.  If the crime was committed upon UK soil, it should be tried upon UK soil under UK laws. 
  • The US-UK treaty is most definitely unbalanced for the reasons I have previously mentioned above.
  • Requesting countries must provide sufficient evidence in order to prove an allegation. If such allegations are terrorism related for example, the UK already has systems in place to help protect UK citizens and those should be afforded to foreign countries by applying UK law.

Many thanks for allowing me the opportunity to express my views on this matter and I look forward to following the outcome of this review.

Lastly, I would like to add that Home Secretary needs to clearly state that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the USA until this “Review” has been completed any changes passed in to Law by the UK Government.

The family of Gary McKinnon are being subjected to pressures and events tantamount to torture in not knowing the fate that is to be bestowed upon Gary.

This must be addressed immediately!

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National Television Control / National TV Control – Scam

National Television Control Centre Scam I just received a weird telephone call from someone claiming to be from the National Television Control centre. The caller ID had been blocked so I couldn’t verify the number from which the call originated, but from his accent, I would guess they could be based in India.
He stated by saying “Good day, I’m calling from the National Television Control Centre and we have had reports of bad reception in your area. Can you confirm if your reception is working?”.
When I challenged him he became defensive and would not reveal any other details and eventually hung up.
(When I asked for details about the National Television Control Centre, i.e. who owned it, who run it, where it was based, he just became flustered and didn’t answer).

I have heard of a similar scam to do with Sky customers, but the caller never mentioned Sky, merely if my reception was fine.
Sky have put some information about a similar ‘scam’ on their own website (Sky Protect)

National TV Centre ScamIn my case, it appears that they are cold calling UK numbers rather than targeting Sky customers with the aim of finding any customers who are currently experiencing problems.
The scammers then apparently try to “help you resolve” the problem by offering to contact Sky support on your behalf. At no time however do they mention that you will be billed by them for this support.

Just be warned that there is no such organisation as the National Television Control Centre, at least not in the UK. If you receive such a call, do not reveal any personal information.
If they do claim to be from Sky, or working on behalf of Sky, ask them for your contact number, account number, or the type of receiver you have been supplied. I can assure you that they won’t be able to answer and will give you some waffle as to why they can’t supply that information. 

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Lotus F1 back in 2010

logo-lotus.gifLotus are to return to Formula 1 for the first time since 1994 after being granted the 13th slot on the grid from next season.

They will line up as one of four new teams for 2010 – alongside Campos Grand Prix, Manor and US F1.

Great news for us F1 fans, especially those who remember the good old days when Lotus were last involved. Admittedly, it’s been a fair few years since they could be classed as one of the successful teams, but I’m just glad to have the badge back amongst the starting grid. I was born in 67, so not quite old enough to remember their best years between the 60’s and 70’s. Not a lot of people realise that despite withdrawing from F1 back in 94, they are still the fourth most successful F1 team ever.

In its new incarnation the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs and is being led by team principal Tony Fernandes, the founder and CEO of the Malaysian-based Tune Group which owns Air Asia airline.

Mike Gascoyne – who has 20 years experience in the sport after working with Jordan, Renault, Toyota, and most recently Force India – returns to F1 as the team’s technical director.


For more information see the original BBC Sport Article: Lotus will return to F1 in 2010

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BLISS – for babies born too soon, too small, too sick

Just a quick post to highlight a worthwhile cause and to ask you to help in
anyway you can.
A friend of mine had reason to make use of BLISS some time ago, and I was recently
reminded of the charity by a tweet by Tess
Tess and her husband (Lee
) will both be running 10miles in the Great
South Run, and sponsoring them both is a great way to help the charity.
Even if you can’t afford a few pennies at the moment, please donate 5mins of
your time and forward this event on to your friends, family and work colleagues.

From the JustGiving page
set up by Tess

Our little girl Eden Summer was born at 29 wks, 11 wks, early by emergency
caesarean at Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital, miles away from our local
hospital which didn’t have the facillities to look after a baby so small
. Eden’s incubator was donated to the hospital by Bliss and the intensive
care unit was also referred to as Bliss. I eventually held Eden for the first
time after 4 days and quickly started kangaroo care which Bliss says helps
pre-term babies and parents,it did,after 3 wks Eden was transferred to our
local hospital where she stayed another 3 wks after which we were allowed
to bring her home. It was the scariest time of our lives but the staff at
both hospitals and Bliss were fantastic .The work Bliss does is amazing and
my husband and me are trying to raise as much money as possible for them
to continue their work. So thats why we will be running 10 miles in The Great
South Run so please help us help babies like Eden.


For more information on BLISS, you visit their website at http://www.bliss.org.uk

Bliss, the special care baby charity, provides vital support and care to
premature and sick babies across the UK. Founded 30 years ago this year,
we offer guidance and information at a critical time in families’ lives. We
also fund ground-breaking research and campaign for babies to receive the
best possible level of care regardless of when and where they are born

Remember, these babies are too small to be able to help themselves. Help BLISS
give them the best start in life. As I say above, even if you can’t afford
to give a few pennies, then forward this post to everyone you know, or send
them the link to the JustGiving page.

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