Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Man attacked by around 50 cows in a field

What next?

A man has been attacked by a hooligan group of cows running riot in a field. That said, they were perfectly fine before he invaded their space. Maybe they just didn't like the fact if him being a police officer, but do we blame them?

The lies, the corruption, the violence - it goes on. That said, they're not all like that, but it depends on where in the world you are.

I hope Inspector Chris Poole has learnt his lesson and refrains from invading the privacy of the usually calm and collected cows among us. When bizarre events like this occur, there is usually more to it - so what really happened?

Post ID: 791, posted by jase at 02:21 PM
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Fancy some fruit? - A 116 year old orange?

I was picking apples from the apple tree in my garden the other day, they were quite nice. I'm going to grab some more and make an apple pie. It made me think, yes these apples are as fresh as I am going to get any fruit. I'm in the process of growing some strawberry plants, which will fruit next year and deliver some lovely strawberries to have with various other things. It's a shame we dug the rhubarb up, but we had other plans.

I think in the future, I'll try growing some other stuff.

Whatever happens, I think I'll pass on this 116 year old orange as the stuff I produce will taste fasr better.

Post ID: 788, posted by jase at 02:03 PM
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tres Personajes by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo found dumped

Fancy that, a 1970 painting that has been found dumped on a New York street has been identified as work by Rufino Tamayo and is reported to be worth around $1 million (488,000). I wonder if the person who dumped it was aware of the valuation?

Probably not, but I bet they are gutted now.

For anyone that is interested in buying it, it's going up for sale at Sothebys Latin American Art aution on the 20th of November.

Post ID: 786, posted by jase at 10:29 AM
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Monday, August 27, 2007

First commercial Airbus A380 Flight

This is my first post in a while, time seems to pass so quickly, but I'm going to try and make an errort to blog more. There has been a lot happening around the world as always, but some news today that I just read:

Singapore Airlines are selling seats on their first commercial flight of the new Airbus A380 on, of all places - Ebay. These tickets will obviously be sold for well over the odds, but I'm sure there will be plenty of takers.

It will be nice flying on this beast, the question is - Which airline will provide the best entertainment and use the space in the best possible way? That all depends on what they think customers will want, but I bet none of the airlines bother to even ask any consumers though.

Just having plenty of space to move around and chill in would be nice, at the moment this is something that is hard to come by, without paying over the odds. Anything else would be a bonus.

Post ID: 785, posted by jase at 05:23 PM
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Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Two months have passed

Well, it has already been 2 months since my last post. Time really does fly, but not so much if you're clock watching. I was planning on posting in April, but had a lot of thingd going on and never did.

Anyway, the Snowbombing trip was excellent, I'll be going back next year. Next month it is Beachbombing, I'm in the process of sorting this out. It's only 69 for 3 nights so well worth it.

There is a lot going on in the technology world as usual but there are a few interesting things which have caught my eye. The firmware hack for the XBOX 360 DVD drive is one of them, it'll be interesting to see how that pans out and how MS plan to combat the up and coming piracy. Check out the video of a hacked unit playing a copy of PGR 3.

There is plenty of activity in the PSP world as well. Lots of interesting applications are being released, including alternative shells, emulators and a VNC type application. I've downloaded updated firmware versious a number of times, but it's always a choice between upgrading by choice and being forced to by the desire to play a new game which demands the upgrade. Forced upgrading is a smart move by Sony, partly to try and stop people running custom code and also to provide new functionality.

The days are getting longer warmer, so it'll be more of a reason to be outside with the portable gadgets and less reason to be inside on the computers. I'm wondering what my next gadget purchase will be. I've been meaning to get a portable GPS navigator for my car, probably the new TomTom GO 910. Although I think they are still a bit on the expensive side for what they are, but worth it when you're doing a lot of driving around and there is usually more of this going on in the summer.

Summer is coming, enjoy it!

Post ID: 777, posted by jase at 12:31 PM
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Friday, May 27, 2005

Digital cable TV

The cable has just bee installed, so now there are more channels to watch. It was more a case of just delivering the decoder and testing really as the cables were already in place. Telewest are providing us with a phone line and TV then will get ADSL from Bulldog which will also require another phone line. As soon as the postal issue is sorted out, I'll be able to get my DVD subscription from Screen Select sending through more movies to watch so there will be plenty of entertainment.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Gumball 3000 2005 is go!

There were some very nice cars on show yesterday and after leaving London after Jenson Button oficially started the rally, the drivers headed down to Dover to catch the ferry. If the party on Friday and the rest of the fun that has been going on is anything to go by then the rest of the rally will be a storm.

I got talking to a number of people and that is a lot of the fun, meeting people and such, which is what life in general is all about really!

I'm condisering taking part next year, if not it won't be long until I do as it'll be a great experience. I'm back home in Solihull now and had a nice lunch down at Yo Sushi earlier. When I eat out, I like to try everything which isn't usually possible in the one single visit, for a number of obvious reasons so I'll have to head back there soon. I was meant to go out last night, but could not be bothered in the end and I did want to head back to London to support a march that was taking place and listen to the speakers, but that never happened either because I was too lazy to get up early.

There is always next time of course, a good weekend regardless!

Post ID: 759, posted by jase at 02:53 PM
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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Special offers

We all know special offers are a good marketing trick, but for the consumer they can also help you to save a lot of money. A lot of the time most people shop online at shops they know and trust, the same goes for when doing the shopping at the local shops down the street. If only people would spend more time searching around for the best prices, a lot of money would be saved. It's convenient to not have to do this, but for the sake of a little effort it will save you money.

I've made lots of nice little savings by visiting a number of shops to check the prices on certain items and also the price differences are not that great, when you add the savings together they soon mount up. Even when there are no special offers taking place, you can still save money. From the business point of view the special offers to tempt people to buy and thus for the businesses are a great idea. Sometimes people would be tempted to buy a product or service because it looks good and is about to run out. You purchase and check back in a week or two only to find the same deal running, but has now been extended!

That is a nice trick, which is used all of the time. There is a nice offer taking place at the moment for the Internet access that I'll probably get in the new apartment. The offer actually ended earlier this month but has been extendede until the end of May now.

Certainly be sure to shop around and take advantage of the best prices and tools such as Froogle.

Post ID: 754, posted by jase at 03:00 PM
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Take a guess

I just thought, I wonder when Gmail will hit 2600 megabytes per account? Place your bets! Try guessing without calculating it by using the current rate at what it is increasing to help you.

I'm going to guess at the 25th of August. I might be way off, especially if the size starts to increase faster or more slowly than the current rate but that is what having a guess is all about. I did a quick rough calculation but that involved figures that were very rough, in my head. Have a guess and don't cheat. If you feel the desire, post your guess.

Post ID: 727, posted by jase at 11:45 PM
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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Only using 10% of our brain capacity?

I've not heard anybody ever say this, but it seems that it is quite a long running thing, proven to be a myth. Multiple forms of scientific evidence are available to show that we do indeed use different parts of our brains spread out of the entire geographic area covered inside our skulls.

Various people have claimed that we don't use most of our brain capacity because most of the physical area is not used. Not used all at once maybe, but generally speaking through an average day all of the different parts are used as we do and experience different things.

As discussed in an article I have just read, which explains why the "10% rule" is fundamentally flawed, you can see that because of how news speads, when people talk about things that they generally don't understand, they can't form a proper calculated opinion based on fact, even if those facts are present because their understanding of the subject is missing.

Due to this, when people discuss topics that they don't understand, they will be more inclined to believe something when they are told it, even if not proven to be fact. In the case of the "10% myth" because so many people are talking about the topic and don't understand it and have not looked at proven scientific evidence, the wrong information spreads. Even though incorrect, because more people are saying the same thing, more people believe it. Unless of course they have looked at the evidence and done their own research to find out the truth.

That's the problem with a lot of things these days. People have their opinions that are biased and not based on fact but rather what they believe to be fact or what they have been tolod by someone who they think knows what they are talking about. Really, it boils down to ignorance. What is the solution?

Education is the solution. People in the know, should correct people they hear misinforming other people about any subject for which they know about or know enough about the facts. Uninformed opinions are biased and unfounded. People should know the facts or keep quiet. There is no excuse for ignorance.

One day something that is a myth, really will be just that instead of turned from a myth to something that appears to be the truth because of too many people spreading false information around.

Post ID: 725, posted by jase at 08:25 PM
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Thursday, April 7, 2005

How to blog safely

I've just read an article which provides some information about how to blog and not get fired as well as how to write a blog and keep your identity anonymous. The number of people being fired for their blog content is rising so of course being sensible is a must. There are various actions you can take, such as excluding your blog from the search engine indexes for example, if you desire. The article only touches the surface of the issues but it's a nice guide for people that are interested.

Post ID: 720, posted by jase at 02:14 PM
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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Google acquires Urchin Software

Google has acquired Urchin Software for an fee which has not been disclosed. The idea itself is interesting, Google states it wants to be able to provide better statistical reporting for customers, amongst other things. Obviously for AdSense and AdWords publishers and customers respectively, they'll see some improvements.

Post ID: 709, posted by jase at 11:21 PM
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Friday, March 25, 2005

Happy Easter!

A lot of people will be having a long weekend this weekend, so whatever you are doing, enjoy it. If I had of sorted it out earlier, I'd have done to Miami for the Winter Music Conference this week and Ultra Music Festival this weekend, but being my usual last minute self, I didn't arrange it and flights were limited. I'll just have to listen to the BBC Radio 1 coverage and look forward to next year. I don't think the weather will be as nice over here in the UK though!

Post ID: 705, posted by jase at 09:45 PM
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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Everyone is getting ill

There seems to be a lot of bugs going around at the moment, a lot of people I know have come down with various things. I've not had any issues yet but these things spread around easily ans quickly so I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed. Some of it has to do with the weather so reducing the amount of time being spent out in the cold should help.

Post ID: 688, posted by jase at 09:57 PM
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Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Ebay giving away more free stuff!

Ebay are giving away loads more items starting on the 10th of March 2005 and running through until 21st March 2005. All you have to do to be in with a chance is buy or sell items in the specially selected categories and then enter via the Ebay site and complete a short brain teaser. If you answer the question correctly, your entry might be picked as a winner, winning entries are picked at random on a day to day basis.

Check out the promotion pages for all of the information about the competition and what prizes are available!

Post ID: 686, posted by jase at 02:44 PM
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Sunday, March 6, 2005

Cheque from Google

I've just received a cheque from Google, payment for being part of the Adsense program. With the way the exchange rate is at the moment, since it's paid in American dollars, it does not work out as nicely as it could have done when converted to pounds sterling.

The amount came to just over $100 which is from when I joined back in May 2004 until near the end of February 2005. As they say, every little helps. It's good that Google extended the program so that more people can take part.

Post ID: 684, posted by jase at 07:29 PM
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Thursday, March 3, 2005

Gmail is good but...

I've reported a number of issues that are really annoying, such at messages being filtered to the spam folder that already have rules. It happens quite a lot to some of my messages from certain mailing lists and although I have reported it a number of times nothing has yet been done to fix it. Come on Google, sort it out!

Post ID: 681, posted by jase at 03:06 PM
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Sunday, February 27, 2005

It's nearly March

This year is going really fast, although we are not that far through it, if it continues at the current rate that it seems to be progressing then it'll be the end of the year again in no time. I'm like most people in that I have a number of things to achieve this year that relate to various things. Thinking about it now, I should start planing some of them, such at holidays and such like. Some things are open at the moment so I've got to hurry up and decide upon the plan of action for them.

Like Jeremy was recently saying about calendars, I need to start using one so that I can enter dates and see what clashes and then make decisions. There is a lot I want to do this year and next and with a little bit of planning it should all be possible.

Even if time is going faster than normal.

Post ID: 677, posted by jase at 10:53 PM
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Monday, January 31, 2005

Who uses fax these days?

I'm having to send a few faxes off, but not having a fax machine makes it hard to do and although it is possible with some software, I'd still need to connect the modem, which is too much effort. Why is that some companies insist on using fax as a method of sending information when I could easily scan something in and email it?

It just makes things a lot more difficult.

Post ID: 649, posted by jase at 06:33 PM
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

X-Files sequel movie in the works

Good news for all X-Files fans, it looks like there is going to be a new film which will be released during 2006. The film probably will not carry on from the last ever episode for a number of reasons, one of the main things is that the film will need to be one that can be watched by everyone rather than people that were interested in the series. Check out the full details of the interview with David.

Post ID: 637, posted by jase at 11:38 PM
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Monday, January 10, 2005

Expectations

When you have an expectation, no matter what it is you would like it to be met. In business this is even more important. I've learned via previous experiences that setting the expectation of a customer is one of the most important things you can do in relation to the entire customer experience that a company can provide.

Of course, meeting the expectations of a customer is good, but beating them is even better. The problem is that most of the time no expectation is set by a company and even when it is, sometimes it is broken. In this situation, depending on the circumstances it may be more appropriate not to set any expectations rather than set some and then fail to meet them. Aiming to beat what a customer expects by over providing is the key. More often than not I find that my expectations, although usually clear, are not met.

One of the worst things a company can do is agree something with a customer and then fail to deliver. Something as simple as being told you will get a call back shortly & then not receiving one is something I find annoying and I also find that it happens to me quite a lot. I've had banks do it & various other companies. I have no problems in saying great things about companies who can deliver a good service but generally when people experience good things with a company then don't always talk about it.

When someone has a bad experience with a company they will talk. I know I usually do. It's just how the system works. Due to the technical customer facing roles I've worked in, I have learnt a lot about the whole customer relationship topic and because of this I probably notice issues more than a standard consumer might.

Due to the recent bad experiences I've had with a number of companies, some not even responding to comlpaint letters, I've come to a number of conclusions. The bottom line is a lot of companies need to get their acts together because the customer service provided is definately not what it should be & being able to provide a half decent service is not really a hard thing to achieve, even when the company is large and has a lot of customers, they are all as important as each other but with some companies they don't have this view towards their customer base.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Tsunami video footage

I've just watched a number of videos that were filmed by people in various locations that were affected by the Tsunami. After watching these videos, I now realise the power of the ocean. The destruction that was caused in a matter of minutes will take so long to be cleared up and the lives that have been lost can never be replaced.

When events like these occur it makes you really appreciate it when you live in places where these things do not happen. There are more videos and links relating to the Tsunami incident available here as well as many more sites that a quick Google search reveals.

Post ID: 626, posted by jase at 11:22 PM
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Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy new year!

Just a quick message to wish you all a happy new year. I'm off out now to party all through the night so I hope you have a good one and enjoy it. I got up late today so should be awake all night tonight and full of energy!

Happy new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

The snow has arrived

The bets were in, thinking about it now I wish I had of had a bet. The odds were recently reduced as word was spreading that we were going to have a white Christmas. After reading about snow on Jeremy Zawodny's blog and seeing a picture of how thick it has been falling in some parts of the world, I took and quick look out of the window and was shocked to see show on the ground and falling from the sky.

It's not very thick at the moment, but this is the first time we have had any snow on Christmas day in a long time. The climate is changing globally so we have not seen snow fall much for a long time, but a little is better than none!

That has put the icing on the cake for many children this Christmas. I'll probably get some pictures plus take some with my Nokia 6600 and post them on my moblog. I've been meaning to setup the handset and make sure it works with my setup so this is an ideal opportunity.

It was snowing here in January and March earlier this year, we'll probably see it fall from now through to around the same time next year so we might be lucky and see it fall quite a lot for the first time in ages. I should have some pictures to come later hopefully.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

London again

I'm going to London tomorrow during the day to do some more things but more about those things later. I've got a load of things to catch up on, maybe I'll spend some time over the next few days getting on top of them.

The London trip should be good, but more on that later.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Not at work

I've not been at work today, so I have spent the day doing nothing. It makes a change. I've not bothered with Ebay today either since the prizes are mini iPod units and I'm getting one of the 60GB units soon.

I'm off out clubbing now, so enjoy the hunt or whatever else you are doing!

Post ID: 599, posted by jase at 10:48 PM
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Monday, December 6, 2004

The urge & desire to buy things

I always end up spending a load of money on vinyl when I go searching for records. I'll only be looking for one thing and end up buying a load of records. It's not just with ordering vinyl though, it happens when I am shopping online for other things too. I know what is to blame though. Something we all know and love, the good old search feature. It allows us to find what we want, but along with features such as personal recommendations and information about what other customers purchased it can become and deadly tool. I've noticed this quite a lot, on various sites. It is great marketing and using my own experiences as an example they really make me end up spending more money.

I bet I am not the only one who has fallen down in the path of these marketing strategies. The problem is being able to resist the temptation. I sometimes find this hard because when I have desire for something, I get it. When it comes to buying things, cost usually does not form part of the equation to deciding on the purchase especially when the techniques above have been implemented.

Since it is so easy to point and click, is it any surprise that Internet based shopping is growing on a massive scale? Not really. I've read that online shopping may well overtake traditional methods this Christmas due to the fact people can find better deals online, search for exactly what they want instead of spending time going to stores & locating the goods and then waiting around in queues for hours. Online shopping is a lot more attractive in these respects and since more people now have broadband at home it means that the whole experience can be a good one.

As time goes on I can see more things being implemented to allow for quicker and more prodictive shopping to happen online and along with these features will come more purchases, simple because it's so easy which is not something you can hold off if you really like buying things. It's time to destroy and credit cards you might have!

I wonder if there have been any cases of people suing companies because they allowed someone to spend too much money and cause them problems?

As mad as it sounds, I bet there has been.

Post ID: 588, posted by jase at 10:06 PM
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Saturday, December 4, 2004

Catch a train or maybe not?

I've had it with trains. In this country, the service seems to be getting worse. If it is not one thing, it's another. When you have to rely on trains or any form of transport you would expect the service to be half decent. It is always the way that when you are in a rush, some issue appears that causes a delay. Maybe these delays are always or mostly evident but we don't notice them so much but they really stick out when you need to be somewhere at a speific time.

The most annoying thing is that I can be on time, waiting for the train but because something out of my hands happens which causes a delay, the rest of my trip plan becomes viod and I'm then running late which can be very frustrating when it continally happens. I'll consider making it part of my daily routine soon so that I change my journey plan to incorporate the fact something is going to happen.

The national rail services have to deal with more than the tube networks so more delays occur but even so, there are other countries that have a really good national rail service far better than the one found here in the UK.

Now, one would normally come up with a plan or change a current plan, as I have done. What would be a lot better is being able to not have to use public transport all the time. It would be nice, but I don't have a choice at the moment and it is not having the choice which is the most annoying part because if I did have a choice I'd obviously choose the other or one of the other options.

What fun it is going to be over the up and coming holiday period. I'm not going to name and shame a certain provider on this issue as it is a combined effort of a number of providers and industry regulators that are to blame. Not very good timing of track works and such all add to the problems.

Sort it out!

Post ID: 586, posted by jase at 11:34 PM
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Friday, December 3, 2004

Ultima GTR

The guys over at Ultima Sports have achieved a new world record, the Ultima GTR is now oficially the worlds fastest production road legal car, taking the title for the fastest time from 0-60, 0-100 & 0-100-0 MPH.

It clocks in at:

0-60: 2.7 secs
0-100: 5.5 secs
0-100-0: 10.3 secs

It beats the Maclaren F1, Ferrari Enzo, & Porsche Carrera GT to name a few. One of the main differences with the Ultima GTR is that it is a kit car but you can buy one in ready made if you desire. The price tag on the GTR is also more affordable for most people as with the other cars and indeed most things, you're usually paying mostly for the name but if you would rather go all the way on specifications and statistics with a car, you'd be better off going for an Ultima GTR.

Being made in Leicester it is a British Company and quite local to me. I'll probably get one myself when I have the money, I'm not sure if I would go for it before or after the other car on my list, a Techart GT Street S or maybe by the time I can get either, I'll have changed my mind again. Check out some videos to see what the GTR can do.

Post ID: 585, posted by jase at 09:03 PM
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Thursday, December 2, 2004

It's December already!

Another year nearly over and the summer here has long gone. With only Christmas left, it will soon be time for people to start thinking about their resolutions for the new year. I don't tend to bother, bt maybe I will think of something to start or stop doing soon.

Since it's the time to stsrt buying presents, lets of people will be out shopping a lot and thinking of things to buy. I tend to do things last minute. More people will be doing their gift shopping online and I don't blame them. For a start, you will save hours simply by using search features on sites and also being able to easily compare prices on sites such as Kelkoo will mean savings will be made. It is a lot more trouble comparing prices when you are actually out shopping but online it could not be easier. No wondering around, no time lost going from store to store & no waiting around in a queue.

There are times when going to a shop is better. Some things, although you can buy online are better being seen in the flesh. Some items are still worth buying online for cheaper prices, but initially check them out in a shop first. Examples might be clothes or electronic goods, for me personally anyway.

I'm going to try and restrict my spending on items for myself and try and save more money in 2005, since I'm going to be investing a lot in the markets and other areas as well as investing in my business operations. In the end, my plans shoud allow me to build up a nice portfolio and supply the financial backing for me to buy and do pretty much anything I want to.

Post ID: 584, posted by jase at 10:42 PM
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Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Lost in the post

I recently ordered a few games, including Halo 2. Out of the ones I ordered, Halo 2 was the one I wanted to get more quickly than the others as this was new and the only one I had not yet played since it has only just been released.

Over two weeks later and it has not yet arrived, either lost in the post or stolen by someone. I've requested that another copy be sent, but it'll not be here until next week. I've had other things go missing in the post before. No idea where, but it does not help when some companies put their name all over the package and then also don't send the package recorded delivery. It's just asking for trouble.

Post ID: 583, posted by jase at 10:29 PM
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Thursday, November 18, 2004

X-43A Scramjet sets record

NASA has recently announced that it's X-43A Scramjet has broken a speed record. The figures are pretty amazing. It was flying at nearly Mach 9.8 which works out to about 7,000 miles per hour as it was 110,000 over the Pacific ocean.

Imagine flying toa nother country at that speed? Maybe it will be the next generation Concorde? Of course that is a long way off. The flight of course was not manned and after departing from the carrying B-52 at 40,000ft is then increased speed and height for around 620 miles before falling to the depths of the sea.

It's a record breaking achievement and lets hope the data gathered can be used in many ways in the future to continue development of this craft and others.

Check out the Hyper-X project site.

Post ID: 570, posted by jase at 10:13 PM
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Monday, November 15, 2004

Complications

At the moment I'm in the process of moving some of the company related things that have been setup, to be part of the limited company status. It seems it would have been better getting the company incorporated first and then setting up the bank account and such. The way it has been done, it means more trouble moving everything over to being limited.

Everything is nearly sorted though, that is the main thing.

Post ID: 567, posted by jase at 12:56 PM
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Sunday, November 7, 2004

Screen Select

There are loads of places that you can rent a DVD from these days, some just online based. I've looked at a few in the UK and one of the best appears to be Screen Select. Of course there are that many free trials about you could probably go for about a year without actually paying just by creating accounts and enjoying free trials. I'll gather some together and post them up. I watch a lot of films and Screen Select appears to have the biggest selection to choose from with 25,000 titles as well as:

* No due dates
* No late fees
* First class postage
* Freepost returns
* Rent unlimited DVDs
* No commitments
* No cancellation fees

If you continue and become a paying member after the free trial, which currently lasts 14 days it costs 14.99 a month, which is pretty good. Other sites allow more rentals at once but even so, if you are limited to 3 at a time because of the quick service you'll easily be able to get 100 films per month if you watched and returned titles quickly but most people would probably not watch that many in that time.

I'm going to try out the free trial and then check out some other ones too, probably. But when it comes to paying, I'll probably go with Screen Select due to the large collection & no charges for late returns and such.

Renting online via the post can be a lot easier as you can search for what you want easily, amongst other things. With Screen Select you choose titles and then select a priority for them and then will be then sent to you when a copy is available so if you keep the number of selections on your account high, you'll constantly have new films being delivered!

Post ID: 559, posted by jase at 12:28 PM
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Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Sales & technical support

When opening tickets with some companies, I've found that if it is a sales related request, they keep asking for updates from you, asking if you are going to buy a product or upgrade a service and such.

If it is a technical ticket or support request, it takes a lot longer to get a reply from the company providing the service, not always but sometimes. Some companies are better some are worse. The only way to get around this is to ensure that you are covered by a decent SLA plan. Of course this usually costs a lot more but as they say you do get what you pay for and for the majority when you do pay, things do get delivered most of the time to within agreed service levels.

It is just funny that when you're not covered by an SLA the techincal things take longer to get sorted, but the sales people are always on your back for updates to any enquiries you have made. It does make business sense for the sales people to work like that, but still.

Post ID: 555, posted by jase at 11:06 AM
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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Posting letters

I keep forgetting to post the letter to Vodafone I have written. It's not that often I post anything these days, it would be so much easier to email but for a fomal complaint the letter is the tradtional and correct way of addressing a company or possibly by fax.

Are things going to change, where the more common method of using the postal system is replaced by email when relating to issues which would have usually required a letter. We'll see, but for now I guess we'll all have to stick to the more professional and accepted method of using the postal systems. We'll just have to remember to actually post the letters and such.

Post ID: 547, posted by jase at 11:39 PM
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Friday, October 22, 2004

Vodafone customer service quality is debatable

I've been having problems with using my mobile phone abroad, ever since I first got one back in 1999. Back then, there were various issues that prevented me from receiving calls but I could make calls. Ever since I moved over to a monthly contract in 2002, I've had problems making and receiving.

I've been through a number of handsets and they all have the same issue. I've changed SIM cards and had all of the barring lifted from my account. The issue so I am told now is barring on my handset. I've tried other SIM cards belonging to friends in my handset when abroad and theirs work fine so you would think that rules out any barring on the handset. Vodafone customer services seem to think it is a problem with my handset though and even after providing me with a number of codes to remove any barring, the barring still shows up on their system.

Each time I call I have to explain the situation to a new person and most of the time they don't know what they are talking about. Everything has been changed. I've tried different handsets & different SIM cards but the problem still remains. I ever tried to get my pin reset so I could check my voicemail from other phones when away but even this was not completed.

Whilst I was away in Germany recently I had to buy a handset with a German SIM card so that I could be contacted. It really is an inconvienience when I'm away that I can't easily make calls or be contacted and I have put up with it for long enough now. Firstly I just got a SIM card, a pay as you go one which did not work in my handset due to locking in place so I had to buy an all in one package.

I've written Vodafone a letter now as it seems that is the only way to get this registered properly as a complaint and get my problems sorted. No other person I know has any issues at all on Vodafone when abroad. I'm going to claim back the cost of buying a new handset and also the money I have spent on making calls from other phones since it has not only cost me more money doing this but it has also caused me inconvienience and lost business. I'm also paying for ICS - International Call Saver - which is a waste of money since I can't even make use of it & in the process of people changing things on my account they managed to remove my ability to send MMS messages, but that has been sorted out.

I will hopefully claim this back in the way of free line rental for a period of a few months. I'm going to have to wait to see what Vodafone say, but if the issue is not sorted and they don't reimburse my expenses then I shall have to investigate other means of getting a result.

I've had to make so many calls and speak to so many people, it really is a joke that it has still not been sorted out yet. On another side note, looking on the Vodafone UK site they are now offering new special deals which can probably only be purchased via the website as new contracts which cost the same amount as what I'm paying but include a lot more. I'm going to have to see if I can get moved over to one of these as it really is annoying when you see these packages advertised but are then told they are for new contracts only.

People are not informed that Vodafone contracts online and purchased from a shop are handled and billed by different companies. It really makes things more complicated for the end user. I'll await the reply from Vodafone and see how this is going to unfold.

Other than this issue I've not had any problems with Vodafone but really will have to consider other options if this is not sorted out. As I see it, the only thing that can be causing this is something on my account. If it is a lock on the handset then why does it work fine with other Vodafone SIM cards abroad?

I'm going to Google for some information on the Nokia 6600 and get it unlocked if it is a code only issue, else I'll have to get a cable for it. More to come as I receive something back from Vodafone.

Feel free to post any experiences you have had with Vodafone alnog the lines of getting issues resolved, both good and bad.

Post ID: 543, posted by jase at 10:28 PM
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Monday, October 18, 2004

Things are getting worse

The guy I share a lift with to work has just left as he has got another job. I'm also actively looking for another role as the main issues I have are time wasted on travel every day and also the hours. Now the guy I share a lift with has gone, although I have arranged a replacement, it is not good as the previous arrangement.

It is going to take me 2.5 hours to get home when working on the night shift now, then add on the time taken to get here as well. That is far too much. That combined with the fact the shifts have changed and I'll be working on the night shift every 3 weeks gives me even more reason to find another job that does not have these issues.

I could of course find some accomodation closer, but that will involve extra costs and since I would like to find another position for a number of reasons that option is not viable. It would be a lot easier if I was able to drive, but I've got to wait until January next year to be able to take my test.

I'm looking for roles based in London as a simple train journey from where I live or from another location nearer to London, would not be an issue. I certainly would not mind a train trip since it would give me a good reason to do some reading - I've got quite a number of books to complete in relation to various certifications and other things.

I think I've done well to stick with the travel situation for this amount of time, but now is the time to find something more reasonable.

Post ID: 539, posted by jase at 09:12 PM
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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Bed Bugs

Nevermind if they bite. I suppose most of us are not so bothered about things we cannot see. Bugs and insects that we can see generally affect us more. For instance, I spotted something running over me earlier when I was in front of the computer. I moved quickly and it fell off but I could not see where it went.

They must cover right distances and in short amounts of time for such small things, be it ants or other crawling bugs. It has just appeared in my bed while I was using the laptop! So, I managed to get it this time and put it outside. I think it liked extreme sports as this one had no idea what running off the ends of the paper was going to cause, luckily for it I kept the paper low to the ground.

It makes me wonder though how these things get in here in the first place. Obviously they always find a way, but if it has been inside for quite so time it is probably starving and in need of some food.

I've learnt from this that is it always best to keep on your guard, from even the smallest of intruders.

Post ID: 537, posted by jase at 12:53 AM
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Friday, October 1, 2004

El Gordo - Win quite a few million!

I've just purchased three tickets for the December draw of the Spanish El Gordo lottery. The prize fund for this draw is the biggest out of all of the El Gordo draws - a massive 2.1 billion US dollars. The first prize is $468 million USD, more than anyone would need. The tickets are limited and as they say you have to be in it to win it so fingers crossed. It'll be a great winter for anyone who does win & indeed a great life too. I'll have a long list of purchases to make if I do!

Post ID: 522, posted by jase at 11:48 PM
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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The world of books

I'm sure you would agree that we learn a lot from books. There is one thing however which you need when planning on reading and completing a number of books - time. I've got quite a few books that I have purchsed on a number of subjects that I'm interested in. I have found though that I start to read a new book I buy and then leave it for ages.

That is another project of mine, to complete all these books before buying any more, I know that will not happen though. It's not that I get bored of them. It is more like finding some time when I am in the right mood and also having the motivation at the same time.

I suppose I have time during every day to read books, I have enough time to read stuff online so that's not so much of the issue. I'm sure most people would prefer some quiet time to read and also be in the right location. What I need is to get working to a routine again, with regards to reading these books. Once I achieve that, I'll be back on track.

After all, learning is important and fun when you are actually interested in what you are trying to learn - sometimes we are forced to learn things we don't care for, such as a number of subjects at school for example. Most people don't learn when they are not interested in the subject matter so the sooner some people understand that fact, the better.

I'm not sure which book shall I continue reading first. The one I have got through the most or one that is important, in relation to certification for example. Spending some time on a number of books, well that can be negative as information overload can occur. One at a time is better I think.

Post ID: 520, posted by jase at 12:03 AM
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Monday, September 27, 2004

Comment spam? - What about comment rubbish?

I've noticed 42 comments posted to the post about the billing system troubles and looking through them they are all relating to the same thing. Looking at the stats, there have been 264 hits to that post as of now, which is quite high given the time since posting.

A quick grep on the access logs shows the first access and then POST request coming from an IBM address.

Here are all the hosts that have submitted POST requests to that entry so far:

bi-02pt1.bluebird.ibm.com
vc1-232-1.adsl.indra.com
212.42.181.32
help.anu.edu.au
d9-89.rb.lax.centurytel.net
198.213.56.82
63-231-138-195.mpls.qwest.net
1-1-3-9a.kt.gbg.bostream.se
adsl-63-197-36-42.dsl.lsan03.pacbell.net
h36n1fls27o1079.bredband.comhem.se
65.90.52.195
152.160.7.130
wcs1-cbus.nipr.mil
blk-222-64-197.eastlink.ca
66-7-225-40.cust.telepacific.net
pool-162-84-160-10.ny5030.east.verizon.net
255.1.252.64.snet.net
hosta.sixcontinentshotels.com
redgate.kcc.com
adsl-64-108-125-78.dsl.euclwi.ameritech.net
207-171-180-101.amazon.com
12-202-217-219.client.insightbb.com
63-253-43-58.ip.mcleodusa.net
gate1-sandiego.nmci.navy.mil
63.119.250.95
host81-156-234-232.range81-156.btcentralplus.com
dial-156-112-113-216.megacom.net
69-167-181-191.snbrca.adelphia.net
customer-hmo-131-129.megared.net.mx
64.114.213.97
yymkcxxxix.dsl.saunalahti.fi

As you may have noticed, there are some interesting hosts there. What makes it even more interesting is the fact all of the comments posted by all hosts are about the same thing and all around the same time. If you have not already guessed, I would think these hosts are compromised & possibly being used as relays to spam and other rubbish. Either way, I'm not bothered. It's all junk and all gone.

Another interesting thing is that hits from the IBM host have been coming in for ages - so either a regular visitor or web proxy. Some Google searches have resulted in visits from that host, quite a number of varied searches in fact.

I'm not interested in looking over this any more, however I may just contact the appropriate contacts for the hosts above just to alert them to the fact that something could well be up.

UPDATE: 28/09/04

It would seem the reason for all the Betty comments, would be due to Suso. He's posted a number of comments in the past on here and decided to post a comment on this Slashdot post asking people to post about Betty on here.

I think this guy has lost the plot. I did notice references to him but due to past comments I ignored it. Maybe I should have trusted my own judgement before passing it off as some rubbish. It was logical to think a link must have been posted somewhere asking for such a stupid thing, why - I do not know.

So, Suso - As they always ask - What is your motive? And yes, of course I have heard of a page referrer, it's late here, you know.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Wierd billing system events

I've noticed something strange happening with our billing system we are using for one of the upcoming projects. It has decided to stop billing a certain client and I cannot figure out why. It looks like I am going to have to create a service request to try and figure it out.

I suppose it is good that it is happening now, instead of later so we can get any or most problems fixed in advance of having to deal with a lot of billing. It is wierd in that other accounts are still being billed. I don't remember anything being changed so we will see.

Post ID: 516, posted by jase at 01:01 PM
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Friday, September 24, 2004

The year so far

I've started to see posters around, in restaurants and such talking about Christmas. It made me think how quickly this year has gone and indeed how quickly most years, in fact every year goes.

Maybe this is because I'm busy most of the time. I know it would slow down a lot if I were not doing much as when you have more free time you are able to think more about things and also clock watch.

It'll be my birthday again in a few months then the show will probably start falling and once again I know I will be wishing it was summer with some nice weather. I've already noticed how cold it is getting so it's time to get the coats out again.

Post ID: 515, posted by jase at 12:21 PM
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Friday, September 17, 2004

The weekend is here

Nearly here, but not quite. It has been a long week as it is the first full week of work I have done in a while due to being in Ibiza. This week I am working nights as well, which tends to usually go quite quick as I sleep more generally. The problem is that tomorrow will be virtually gone by the time I get up as I will not get home until 5.30am which means I won't get up until late.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Server reboot

The box that this blog runs on was rebooted this morning, after 272 days uptime and being very reliable. It had to be powered down due to some work in the DC. We should have known about it, but due to us not setting up the email notifications, we were not. The first thing I knew about it was when I was doing a few things and then:

Broadcast message from root (console) (Wed Sep 15 09:57:21 2004):

The system is going down for reboot NOW!

Of course, now we will know if any work needs doing that will need the box to be rebooted. The DC uses a special reboot on demand system to allow for systems to be rebooted at a customers request but I assume they just plugged into the console port to reboot our server, well that is what it looks like from our analysis and what they said when we raised it with them.

The system was only offline for 9 minutes so it wasn't much of an issue that we were not aware of it but good that I happened to be around at the time.

The good thing is we now will know if anything like that needs to to happen again. It also allowed us to ensure the box still comes up, after all the changes that have been made. Soon we're going to upgrade the RAM and probably install another disk too and I'm currently in the process of getting tape backup sorted using Veritas NetBackup which will allow for daily incremental backup as well as a full weekly backup.

Post ID: 505, posted by jase at 11:35 PM
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Wednesday, September 8, 2004

Solve the riddle

As I advised you recently, I have some Gmail invites to give out. I thought it would be interesting to use a riddle to make things a bit more interesting rather than just ask people to just request an invite.

What you'll need to do is solve the riddle & then email me your answer, comments are turned off until I'm out of invites to stop potential answers being posted. If I find your answer to be correct and in full, then I'll give you an invite. I'll advise you when I don't have any left, but hopefully I'll get some more and then I can issue something else for you to try your luck at.

---

A Pirate called Paul had been captured by a French general & sentenced to death by his firing squad, which currently consisted of 50 men. Paul was worried, as he knew their reputation for being the worst firing squad in the French military. They were so bad that they would quite often miss their targets, but eventually leaving them to bleed to death. The general only allows 1 shot per man to save on ammunition. The thought of a slow painful death made Paul beg for mercy.

"Very well, I have some compassion. You may choose where the men stand when they shoot you and I will add 60 extra men to the squad. Perhaps if they stand closer they will kill you quicker if you're lucky."

"Also they can't stand more than 25 ft away, they must be facing you and you must remain tied to the post in the middle of the yard & to show I'm not totally heartless if you aren't dead by sundown I'll release you so you can die peacefully outside the compound. I must go now but will return tomorrow and see to it that you are buried in a nice spot, though with 110 men I doubt there will be much left of you to bury."

After giving his instruction the general left. Upon his return the next day he
found that Paul had been set free alive and well.

"How could this be?" Demanded the general.

---

Answers via email and should be as detailed as possible.
Of course, I decide if your answer is correct & detailed enough but I hope you will have a bit of fun thinking about it. It may seem easy / obvious to you, it may not.

Post ID: 498, posted by jase at 11:44 PM
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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

NatWest bank customer service quality is debatable

I've been a personal customer of NatWest for a few years and since I don't realy use the account that much, I've had no problems with them. Now I also hold a business account at NatWest and have recently being trying to sort out various things, such as business cards on the account.

Not only was I told a number of times that I'd receive calls back regarding my queries and applications, I was also being given conflicting information each time I called. I had to keep calling back, because I never got a call from anyone even though I was promised someone would be in touch. Some of the customer services staff I encountered were very polite and professional.

I'd be inclined to think the same of the business managers who actually manage the accounts of business customers. In some cases I found them very understanding and dedication to helping me with my requests. Today I called NatWest and was connected to another business manager, who didn't really understand my concerns relating to the problems I had been having gaining the information I needed and processing of my requests. In fact, she was very rude. It's a good job I don't recall her name because I would name and shame her otherwise.

Amongst other things, she was debating what personal account I had with the bank because obviously their records were incorrect - like that is my fault? No and they could only go on what they had on record!

Now, since I was requesting business cards for the account they would need to see some kind of history, since there was not much on the business account because it had not been open long enough. That being no problem, but I stated I had already given the details of my personal account previously a few days earlier. They were not listed. I was also informed that my personal account was not valid because it had not been used in the last six months after providing the same details again.

I used the scenario: Say I have an account with 1,000 in credit. I have not made any payments or withdrawn any money in the last six months. As far as NatWest are concerned, this is not good enough for history purposes? I was informed this scenario as well as mine, would not fit the required criteria simply because the account has not been in use. They fail to take into consideration that my account has never been in any trouble, I have a switch card and cheque book (which they don't even think I have got) and regardless of balance, because the account has been idle it is not good enough.

What a load of rubbish. Pathetic in fact, combined with the fact I had to keep pointing out I don't have a Solo or Electron card on my personal account, since they are for chilren, yet as it stands this is all you are prepared to give me on a business account?

Does NatWest not consider customers with a personal account of a few years at least, with no problems ever, to be worthy enough of a card which is of any use to a business? It seems not. I have to make payments from the account online, Solo or Electron are not much use as most places do not accept them, I'm having to make payments from one of my personal accounts and then move money from the business account back over to my personal account because of this.

I would have to produce some history from another account first which is no problem, since I have a good credit rating and can get qiute a lot on accounts of mine held wth other banks with no problems at all.

It's fair enough taking precautions, but as an existing customer of 2-3 years, I am really not happy about the way this has been handled. I'm mostly annoyed at how the lady on the phone was talking to me, as if I had done something wrong. When I asked to speak to someone else about this she stated there was not anyone else I could speak to - that was it as far as she was concerned.

Now, most companies are prepared to compromise when the customer is not happy, she was not interested. I was quite direct about the fact I was not happy with her being of no use at all and that as a business account holder, I am also not happy that I cannot get the things I need to be able to use the account for business purposes - a Solo / Electron card on a business account is laughable.

I stated that if for any reason, when I send through account history from other accounts, there should be no problems at all but if there are, I will be forced to move the account to a bank that can actually provide me with a business class account with the services a business expects. I can understand this criteria has to be met with new customers of the bank, but since I have had an account which has been in no trouble, but could have been - that shows I know how to manage my accounts and I am not a new customer so the lower level of trust evident with new customers will not be there. Just because the account has not been in use is no excuse, like I said - the fact you would say the same regardless of the amount of credit in the account proves it.

All she had to say was if you want to move the account, that is your choice.

Very professional, not even understanding of my situation, which was fully explained. Not even prepared to get someone I could speak to. I think this is worthy of an official complaint, as I'm sure I am not the only one who has encountered being told their personal account is not worthy of being used, simple because it has not been in use, fair enough - but not when there is credit in the account and it has not had any problems.

I am aware of how the debit and credit card systems currently work in the UK and the reasons for not giving out cards but I have a Switch card already with Natwest, what is the problem? All my other personal accounts have visa debit & credit cards too. I've never come over issues like this before and if they give me any trouble when I send through history, I'll have no problems in swapping the account over to a real bank, such as Barclays or Cahoot as I've always been given what is required on my personal accounts, far more than I need & I'm sure they would be prepared to offer what is required for my business needs.

So, I'll have to sort out online banking and move money around that way. That is, if I can even get access to my account! Generally credit cards will only allow transactions to go through when you have credit, the debit system will allow transactions to go through regardless, since the debit guarantee states the company taking payment will always get their money, which is why there are the issues with obtaining cards when you are a new customer.

There are reasons for beig declined on a debit card when a transation is taking place but it is not due to your account being checked to see if funds are available - this does not happen - most people think it does. Usually it is because of busy periods, so trying again would work. The only other reason would be due to the card being stolen and blacklisted with all of the banks and merchant card service providers.

Since most credit cards will not allow more than your limit due to balance checks (usually), there would be no issue with giving us a card? Wrong, they won't do that either - so we can't even get a low limit covered by the in credit amount that is already in the business account! The balance check is what differs from debit cards which do not check before allowing a transaction, as I stated above.

The moral of this story is:

Some banks don't care that you are a business and have requirements to be able to do business. Natwest, doesn't care if you leave either - so I would suggest avoiding them for your business banking needs at all costs in the first place. I'll be sending history and if I have any further problems I will close the account and make an official complaint - and I'm not normally one for complaining but this is just a joke so maybe I will make a complaint anyway.

Post ID: 456, posted by jase at 10:00 PM
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Thursday, July 22, 2004

To contract in I.T or not?

I'm considering trying out some contract based work as there are various benefits over taking a permanent position. Of course there are down sides as well, but I think for me personally it might be something good to try. From a financial point of view you can take in all the rewards as the rates are generally a lot better, but of course you have to consider the insecurity of contracting.

There is also the fact of having to setup a limited company too, unless you go with an outfit that can take the work out of getting up and running in the world of contracting. I'm setting up a limited company soon, but I may choose to use a company to handle it all for me.

So, if anyone out there does I.T contracting already or has before, have you got any tips or would suggest approaching the arena in a specific way?

Post ID: 450, posted by jase at 07:51 PM
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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Unwanted commercial calls

With having the do not call list in the states you would think people are more protected, but in some cases they are not. For us people in the UK, we have even less to stop it. Recently, there have been a number calls from companies saying we are entitled to a discount on a product and various other types of calls.

These calls are really due to details being given out by certain companies and then of course they spread. I've just put ACR (Anonymous Caller Rejection) on the main phone line because on Monday alone there were two calls which I answered that were commercial and unwanted.

At least now we'll be protected but should we really have to pay for a service to stop calls that should not really be coming through anyway? There should be a law to prevent it!

Post ID: 449, posted by jase at 07:32 PM
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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Music tastes in the I.T world

The Register has an article on music tastes of people in the I.T industry and various different job roles. I personally just listen to electronic music most of the time - be it Trance, House, Techno, Drum & Bass or something else. I sometimes listen to other music but not that often.

Interesting findings, if you're interested in finding things like this out.

Post ID: 448, posted by jase at 11:43 PM
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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Air conditioning

With the two systems constantly running in my room combined with the warmer weather and small size of the room it is getting quite warm in there now. Having some air conditioning would be good but so would having a bigger room.

That is one reason why having your own place is better - you normally have as much room as you want, if not more than enough. I can't see myself moving out of home just yet though as I have other things which require my attention and money. Moving out will be costly and something which I can put on hold for a few more years I hope. I'd rather get a house in the first instance over anything else so I will probably wait until I can come up with a decent plan to aquire one.

Post ID: 442, posted by jase at 07:00 PM
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Friday, July 9, 2004

I just had a thought

A dangerous thing, is me thinking.

Anyway, I thought what if currency did not exist and everyone worked for free, but you could have whatever you want? Business and society would not work very well would they? Even so, it's a nice thought because you could have whatever you wanted - but then again so could everyone else.

We should all appreciate currency.

Post ID: 437, posted by jase at 10:15 PM
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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Waiting for postal mail

I find it annoying sometimes, like at the moment when I am waiting for a package or letter to come. Since couriers never tell you an exact time they will be delivering, I tend to find I miss them.

With the post, especially international it is even more hit and miss when mail is going to arrive. I'm currently awaiting a letter from the USA and I remember last time it took about five days, it seems to be taking a bit longer this time. Not that it is an issue, but when something doesn't turn up I start to worry - as I've had quite a few things lost in the post before.

Makes me wonder if we should always use recorded delivery or upgraded service to ensure our things arrive okay!

Post ID: 427, posted by jase at 11:32 PM
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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Jonathan Schwartz, turned blogger

That is right, Johnathan Schwartz has launched his blog. You might think that being COO & president of Sun Microsystems would be enough, but obviously not. It's a good move I think, as he states in his initial post he can publish his thoughts to the world without having it pass through other channels. It's a more direct approach and more personal.

It would be good for other people to follow suit. Maybe they will, just like the companies follow each other like sheep with regards to new services and such.

Having a more direct approach to anything is usually better - be it having your opinion via a meeting or publishing your comments on a blog, for example. I usually tend to be direct about things and writing your own blog allows you to have this freedom. Jonathan and various other people have started, some have been writing a blog for ages. Let us see more. Think about it, we are all the same - human - we all think - we all have opinions.

So let us break down the wall of the upper management within companies, especially ones in the technology sector and see more people having their say.
Obvoiusly when working for a company, you need to exercise control when discussing certain things for various reasons but that aside - you are free to share comments and information about anything.

It looks like comments are disabled though, all the feedback would be interesting I'm sure & you could moderate the comments on your own, Jonathan!

Now, I think I'll have to login and create my own blog as I have not got around to it yet - but, since I already have one here I'll probably just link to this and maybe make the odd post or two over there too, who knows.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Films

I've watched a number of films over the past few days. Matchstick Men, Shattered Glass, The Cooler, Eurotrip & Lost In Translation. All pretty good, although I must say Matchstick Men had quite a good story and ending!

Eurotrip was funny & Shattered Glass based on a true story. The Cooler was quite good too, even though I don't think anyone could be that unlucky, I'm glad I'm not. Lost In Translation was different, but just goes to show the kinds of things that probably do happen when people are away on trips.

That's another selection off the list to watch, even though I make the list up as I go along.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Changes

I've been meaning to make some changes relating to my blog, which I've just got round to making. There are still some things on the list to do, like sorting out blogging from my phone and such.

Suppose I should sort that out before I start jumping on flights again this year, as it'll make blogging easier when not having easy access to a computer and Internet access on the move.

Still, once I get that nice new laptop and PDA, it'll make it a lot easier.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

It works

What works? The gateway from our billing system to the payment processing system. Which is good, and required of course. More details to come, but for now things are all coming together. The projects we're working on are coming together, but are taking time as time available to work on them at the moment is limited.

It'll be great though when things are moving more!

Post ID: 408, posted by jase at 03:16 PM
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Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Night vision goggles

It seems like to help protect revenue and stop copies of the new Harry Potter film hitting the Internet early, some UK cinemas will be having staff using night vision goggles to try and see recording equipment.

Well, if they think that will stop copies getting out, they are mistaken. For a start, a lot of pirated copies of films are screener DVD rips - so perfect quality. The ones that are recorded in cinemas obviously are not as good, but so many people could record - all it takes is one person to do it and put it online, which will happen as it always does. Maybe it might cut it down a bit for this new film and maybe others that they try it for, but of course it will never stop it.

Just using watermarking on the screeners and making each screener copy unique is a lot better, the same goes for the films in the cinema too.

As with all of these attempts, it is fighting a loosing battle and is all about one thing, mainly - greed.

In this day and age, nobody likes to pay for anything and most people will not pay if they are not forced to, which is usually the available choice and in the world of pirating, will always be an available choice - regardless of if it is right or wrong.

Spend the time doing something more productive, instead of chasing 99% of people because you know what they say - you can't chase people if they don't run & most people are not running.

Post ID: 396, posted by jase at 12:36 PM
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Monday, May 24, 2004

The time has come.

It seems it's time for me to re-install my Windows box. For some reason, sometimes it is sitting there and taking ages to login, sometimes it does not even finish booting.

I've not figured out what is causing it, but I do it know it is annoying me. The only problem with wiping clean and starting again is the fact I loose a lot of software and configuration settings.

I think I'm going to have to make a Ghost image with Norton Ghost and use that for future installs. The other thing to consider is the fact it is a lot slower to boot, probably due to a lot of fragmentation on the boot disk.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have at least one reason to use Windows, but I do.
I'm going to have to attempt a re-install, maybe on Thursday or Friday.

Post ID: 387, posted by jase at 03:37 PM
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Sunday, May 23, 2004

In the run up to a launch

In the run up to launching a new service or product there are a lot of things to take into consideration. I'm going to be launching a few things in the near future, but more about them later. At the moment, things are still coming together. We;re looking at getting everything up and running. A marketing plan needs to be devised too, but most of this will be online based, via the usual methods.

We've also hit some delays, with a few things which we sourced out to other people to do. Those things are out of our control. Along with Ben, we've got a few projects that should be interesting, but they will take some time to implement.

We've been meaning to do do some of them for ages, but have finally got round to it. Now, if only we had of started on them ages ago, when we first thought it them - who knows how things would be now.

It's not just about making money, it's about personal achievement and sitting there thinking - I did that. Being proud of something in that respect, gives as much pleasure as the money you earn.

Post ID: 386, posted by jase at 01:05 PM
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Sunday, May 16, 2004

Do spammers work at weekends?

I was thinking about this earlier and I've come to the conclusion - I don't think that they do work at weekends. As such, working in this sense is spamming - I would not call this work really, but it will do for the purpose or my thoughts.

I've noticed that the levels of spam that I receive to certain addresses really does drop at the weekend. So it would seem that spammers maybe do have real lives. I was also thinking, do they just spam to annoy us, sell their or customer products or a bit of both? I'd think it is both.

I mean, they must know that people are not going to purchase stuff relating to half of what spam is reklating to or am I just assuming? Maybe there are some people that actually purchase this stuff?

I'd be inclined to think that people selling these products, go to the spammers and get them to help out for a fee. The spammers probably don't care what the spam is relating to or if it will convince anyone to buy the products, they just want their money. The spammers also probably know that most people will not care for these mails and probably enjoy the fact it annoys most people.

I've recently updated some of my spam filter rules, there are about 100 at the moment. The mail which tests as positive, is simply deleted from the server and not downloaded.

Saves on bandwidth too, it's all good.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Watchmoor Park is going to close

The Sun Educational Services training site, at Watchmoor Park in Camberley is going to close. It seems that in another cost cutting exercise, around four million pounds a year will be saved by moving the training operation to the main Sun UK site, just down the road over at Guillemont Park.

Word has it that the move is going to take place in about six weeks, so in the run up to this, gradually things will be moved over there. I think the training will move to one of the existing buildings over there so there will be a bit of a move around. Obviously it'll need to be kept seperate from Sun itself, since training buildings have a lot of non Sun people involved in training courses.

Guillemont Park is nice, in face I would not mind working there - all nice and new, onsite gym, and really nice site and building layout and design. The only thing with working there would be the location, there is not a lot to do around here - I'd probably live in London or on the outskirts.

You may remember that not so long ago the Sale site closed, as far as training was concerned and they moved everything to Watchmoor Park. Now, instead of wasting money on the lease of this building, the entire operation will move onto Sun owned buildings and thus saving the most cash.

It's not official yet, but one hundred percent going to happen. I will prefer going to Guillemont Park in future.

Post ID: 375, posted by jase at 01:05 PM
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Google Adsense

Whilst trying to access Adsense just now, I'm getting a 502 server error.
We have to expect these things now and again, but even so - they always seem to happen at the wrong time, which indeed is any time they appear and you see them.

I shall try later, as I only wanted to see what the stats are for my account at the moment.

Post ID: 373, posted by jase at 10:17 AM
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Monday, May 10, 2004

Nigritude Ultramarine

I just noticed this over on Slashdot, so thought I would put my little entry in. There are not that many results found on Google at the moment, but from my experience, I think I'll head in on the first page - but we'll see.

I'm sure there will be a load of other bloggers and such having a bash, so it should be an interesting test. What Nigritude Ultramarine is, I don't know. Sounds okay though.

Let the games begin! Also check out www.seochallenge.com

That reminds me, I still need to implement that function button fix for Netscape / Mozilla, so I can do hyperlinks without having to manually enter all of the html.

Post ID: 371, posted by jase at 11:40 AM
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Sunday, May 9, 2004

Camberley - here I come!

It's time again, time for me to head down to Camberley to do another course. This one is for the midrange / enterprise kit, spread over 4 days. There are only five of us going to be down there this time, which is a little less than normal so it probably won't be as crazy as past trips.

But it'll be good regardless!

Post ID: 370, posted by jase at 04:06 PM
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Saturday, May 8, 2004

The more you have, the more you need.

That goes for a lot of things, it seems.

In this instance though, I'm talking about disk space. After recently buying another drive for one of my boxes, I've nearly filled it but that is due to moving data over from another drive and wiping that clean.

So, I do have space at the moment. Although, at the rate I'm filling the disks, I'm going to have to burn some data to DVD, which I have been doing but just got a little lazy.

Now, a few 400GB SATA disks would be nice, or a nice StorEDGE array full of scsi drives.

Post ID: 369, posted by jase at 04:02 PM
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Thursday, May 6, 2004

Projects, finding the time.

I've got a few projects on the go at the moment, which will begin to take up more time as they evolve and expand. At the moment, I'm not getting much time to work on them, so I'm wondering how I will manage when they require more time than at present.

Well, we all know that a busy person will always find time to do stuff, so when someone says "I'm busy, I'll do it later" you usually know it will get done, but you might have to wait a while.

On the other hand, there are the other kind who will always put things off until tomorrow or the next day. I think I fall on both sides of the fence, it just depends on which - it's an unpredictable variable. With these points in mind and a distinct lack of time, I'll need to work on some more time management modifications.

At the moment, I spend around three hours per day going to and from work. I don't mind, but I do think how much better that time could be used if saved - I know I could cut it down to about 2 hours per day, which will come soon.

That would work out to be five extra hours per working week, to use more effectively. One thing I could wish for, is more hours in the day and or the complete eradication of the need for sleep.

Damn, I'm sure most of us would have more than enough time to do a lot of things then - Only I would bet that would cause a lot of us to become more lazy and switch to the "I'll do it later" method, simply because we would calculate we have enough time, but that time would just get wasted doing not a lot of anything productive, due to the fact we would think we have plenty to spare.

Post ID: 367, posted by jase at 11:17 PM
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Friday, April 30, 2004

Vending machines

I found out again earlier why I don't have coffee or tea out of vending machines - they taste nasty. There is nothing like making your own. I don't mind the chocolate drinks though, they taste fine normally, so that is what I stick to.

55 normal all the way!

Post ID: 361, posted by jase at 03:51 PM
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Monday, April 26, 2004

Computers, choose the same one.

I'm doing this, usually going after a certain computer in the office when there are plenty of others to use. We have a hot desking office, which makes it more fun in some respects because you can sit by different people all the time.

Since our sessions are on the Sun Ray servers, we can login from any office in any part of the world and have our desktop there right in front of us, brought to us over the SWAN (Sun Wide Area Network).

Even though there are plenty of machines available, I'm always looking to sit in the same place or the same few places. I put this down to having a good (or better) view of the rest of the office and also having some privacy. I hate people being able to see my display, not because I have anything to hind but simple because a little privacy is nice.

It's like people looking through your windows of your house, not something you would like. It seems that I am not the only one who likes to get the same machines, in fact a lot of people do it.

There are other reasons, but it's quite funny to think about.

An interesting thought - would productivity go down when the said person is not able to engage their favourite machines?

Post ID: 356, posted by jase at 03:12 PM
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Friday, April 23, 2004

Film time again

There is a long list of films that I have to watch - the question if which one first.
I have just watched Gothika which was okay, but nothing special.

I'm up for some comedy now, so I might go and watch an old film called "It's a mad, mad, mad world" as it is meant to be really funny - I might have seen it before, it rings a bell but I can't quite remember without putting it on.

After that, Starsky & Hutch maybe. It's just finding the time and inclination to work my way through them all!

Post ID: 353, posted by jase at 10:18 PM
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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Thde summer is coming

It's only April and the weather is already getting nice - which is good since it is only April and we'd normally expect this month to be full of April showers. Let us hope that this is a goiod sign and the rest of the coming months will be nice and hot. It's around 20 degrees today with not much wind - and I'm stuck in the office.

Post ID: 352, posted by jase at 12:14 PM
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Driving theory test

I just got round to taking it this morning. Comprising of 35 questions and also a hazard awareness test, it's quite logical.

I didn't even bother trying the tests out I have on cd from the DSA until this morning when I got up.

I passed first time, so I'm glad I didn't waste time revising for it.

I don't understand how it can take some people 3 or more attempts to pass.

The only regret I have is not sorting it out years ago, then I would have been driving for ages now. Anyway, I can now book the practical but there is about a 3 or 4 month waiting list.

Post ID: 343, posted by jase at 10:11 AM
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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter

Well for many of us this is a bank holiday weekend, in that we get last Friday and this coming Monday off. Plus a load of Easter eggs. I'm working both days, but I get them off another time when I want so it works out better. I also only got 1 egg but I'm not that bothered - as I was not expecting any!

It's a thing for the kids & I'm no longer a kid! Well, not usually anyway!

We could always go searching for the eggs in software though.

Post ID: 340, posted by jase at 08:58 AM
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Milk on the M1

On our way to work this morning, there were some delays, as of all things a milk carrying tanker overturned or lost its load which covered two out of three lanes, which caused some delays. We decided to come off the M1 and take an alternative route as soon as we saw the messages on the road signs. A few other tankers were called to pump the remaiming milk from the tanker, the rest of it of course was all over the road.

Enough people got caught in the delays.

Anyway, you know what they say - there is no point crying over spilt milk.

Post ID: 336, posted by jase at 12:27 PM
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Monday, April 5, 2004

Working overtime

Don't you just love it when there is paid overtime going at work?

Well, there is plenty of it going for us at the moment if we want it. I'm going to do some, so I think I'll get an early night and go in earlier tomorrow & probably the rest of the week.

I might be bored by next week, we'll have to wait and see.

Post ID: 334, posted by jase at 10:38 PM
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Saturday, April 3, 2004

MSN closes member directory

I noticed that the directory was closed on March 31st, when trying to look at some profiles. A bit strange I thought, maybe they were doing some work on it. But now, it's still not back up.

It seems that the directory has been closed due to fears that the information available may be used to find minors by paedophiles. It's good that the measures are being taken, but I don't think there is a need to totally close it whilst modifications are made.

So, get a move on MSN.

Post ID: 331, posted by jase at 10:52 PM
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Friday, April 2, 2004

Glastonbury 2004

I was thinking of going this year, as it would be something different and in addition to the other festivals that I normally attend. I know that the tickets were due to go online soon, last night in fact. The crazy rush to buy tickets caused the phone lines to be jammed and the Internet site to fall over.

Now it seems, all of the tickets are gone. The touts will probably make a load, although at the moment there are some crazy auctions taking place on Ebay, most of them having a laugh, with auction prices starting at ten million pounds!

Looks like I'll have to wait until next year.

Post ID: 330, posted by jase at 09:10 PM
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Monday, March 22, 2004

Don't I wish...

I wish for a lot of things, as do most of us. But right now, I wish I had of got more sleep earlier today, as after a lack of sleep last night due to going to bed at 4am and then getting up at 9 combined with working nights this week - right now I feel like going to sleep.

I tend to mess up my sleeping patterns a lot, but hey, I am used to it now. I'll not be getting to bed until about 6.30am tomorrow morning so no doubt will be in bed all day.

Then again, who knows...

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Ever get that feeling...

That some people are just stupid?

Like, seriously stupid. You see when trying to help people once would expect that the individual who is in need of some help, in any aspect of any subject that they would try and help you to help them. I have found that this is not the case, sometimes.

What should we do in these situations?

Post ID: 311, posted by jase at 12:50 PM
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Welcome Tim Bray to Sun

Tim Bray, of the XML fame has joined us at Sun Microsystems. With Sun gearing towards RSS also, we should see some interesting things to come. You can read Tim's Eweek interview here.

XML & RSS are interesting and lots can be done with them, things can only move forward.

Good luck Tim, enjoy your stay!

Post ID: 310, posted by jase at 11:47 PM
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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Draft posts

I seem to have a number of posts which I started but have not yet finished so they're sitting there in draft status still. I'll hopefully get round to finishing them. Sometimes I write things at work and plan to finish when I get home, but have not got round to doing these yet.

Mainly because by the time I get home, I'm tired and can't be bothered. Motivation is the key.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Office dress code

I'm in favour of dressing smart for work, as appropriate. When it is appropriate, I'll go in full suit. Usually I'll just go in everything but the jacket which is normal as you'd normally take the jacket off anyway.

We normally have a dress down day on fridays, but some people were turning up in anything. Now there is no dress down Friday as it was before, now it is the smarter side of casual on a Friday.

The annoying thing is, now we have to go smart of a night as well. The whole idea of doing that is stupid, since there will be no customers or visitors on site between 8pm - 4.30am which is the hours people work at night. The other thing to consider is that this is meant to be a secure building and our actual office even more restricted as this is the Sun policy.

Allowing visitors and other people in, is breaking this. So, is dress code more important to some people than security?

Even if it is, people need to realise that visitors will not be around of a night - so why the change to now require smart office clothing at night?

Some things never do make sense.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Bank charges

I find it really annoying that banks think they can charge the amounts they do for various things. For example, my bank thinks it is really acceptable that they charge me on three seperate dates in a month, the fee of twenty five pounds because I went over my limit.

Fair enough, one charge - but three? That is really taking it too far. I'm glad that banks are being told that they cannot continue doing things like this. Another thing which they have been doing is holding money in accounts which could be transferred, instead they hold money for longer to earn extra money from the interest.

Since we are customers of the bank, you would think that they would want to keep us. Making stupid charges as they do will cause us to take our custom to another bank.

The big banks in the UK are the worst for the charges, some of the smaller online only ones are not so bad and thus are getting popular. A little bit of advise for the big banks out there - sort it out!

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

Breakfast with Scott McNealy

This coming Friday Scott McNealy - CEO, president & chairman of Sun Microsystems will be in London speaking at a conference about Network Computing. I shall be attending, along with other Sun members of staff and various customers.

It'll be interesting being there, I shall probably get to speak to Scott as well which will be good. Afterwards there will be some break out sessions about RFID, from Sun's strategy through to the business benefits in all industry sectors. There will be some demonstrations of RFID & EPC.

I'll post my report afterwards.

Post ID: 293, posted by jase at 07:04 AM
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Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Exam vouchers

I just applied to get some exam vouchers through & I've received the details through promptly. What does this mean? Well, I'll be looking to take the Solaris 9 Sys Admin Part 1 exam soon and the second exam shortly after.

It's good when the certifications are for products that are produced by the company you work for and they pay for the exams and provide all of the training as well.

Once I get these ones out of the way I'll be looking to take some of the others. Along with all of this though I need to work on getting CCNA and various other certifications that I want.

Some people say they are not worth it, but when used in conjunction with experience they really can help with career progression.

Post ID: 292, posted by jase at 05:50 AM
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Sunday, February 29, 2004

Leap year, time to propose?

No, not yet, not ever maybe?

Well, it's a leap year, which means there are 29 days in February instead of the usual 28. It also means that the women can propose to the men!

Luckily for me, I won't be engaging in marriage any time soon yet, if at all!
Those unfortunate in being asked to get serious - shame!

Only joking, all the best - I hope you've had enough fun already, as the good times now end, well for some people they will!

Some common descriptions of marriage from a dictionary include:

* The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
* The state of being married; wedlock.
* A common-law marriage.
* A wedding.

In this day and age, young people like myself are more interested in having a good time, without the serious side. Maybe that is one of the reasons why a lot of marriages, mainly younger couples - don't last very long living the married life. It seems there is one simple solution - avoid getting married in the first place.

Post ID: 290, posted by jase at 11:44 PM
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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Air conditioning systems

It's cold here at work - the air con is blowing cold air out. As far as regulations go, I thinkwe can actually go home because the room temperature is not within allowed limits. People have been trying to figure out the control panel, but they have had no luck.

I've just managed to get the system to switch over to the correct mode and warm air seems to be coming out now. Let's just hope that nobody messes with it again tomorrow during the day else when we get back in, it'll be cold again.

This is a prime example of when an instruction manual would actually be of use - and we don't have one, I think we need to get in touch with the facilities staff. It's usually either too hot or too cold.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

You know what they say...

About messing / playing with things when they work perfectly fine. You always end up breaking something! So the moral is - if it works don't touch it.

Although, sometimes you have to as something might work, but not in full or how you would like. I've just upgraded my FreeBSD 5.2 box to FreeBSD 5.2.1 RC2, but I broke it. Anyway, since I'd only just installed 5.2 recently and there was nothing on the system, I just installed 5.2.1 over the top.

I need to sort out X, but apart from that everything is okay!

Post ID: 282, posted by jase at 11:44 PM
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Thursday, February 19, 2004

More mobile phone scams

There appears to be a number of mobile phone scams taking place at the moment. I've got a mail from a friend telling me about one, it appears that number beginning with 0709 are personal numbers which can be obtained and forwarded to other numbers. The scam involves getting a missed call from one of the numbers being used to scam and the victim calls the number back.

They are then re-routed to a premium rate number which is charged at very high rates. After getting a bill with the call on, they contact their mobile operator to find out what has happened. Currently it appears to be legal, but is being clamped down on.

So, if you get calls from numbers that you don't know that begin with 0709, be wary!

Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Fire alarm

The fire alarm in the office went off again today, which makes it the 2nd time this week. The first time it was caused by a projector, I'm not sure what caused it this time. The first one went off just as I was opening a door, but I tried to open the door without swiping my pass so I thought that might have had something to do with it - which would have been wierd, but it turns out it was just a coincidence.

With the weather the way it is right now we could do without false alarms. Two fire engines turned up on both false alarms, so they must be getting annoyed. If it keeps happening companies can loose the auto response when the fire alarm system is linked directly to the fire brigade. Of course if these alarms were drills then they would not have turned up.

If someone had to call them out manually each time, even though a required action it is still not needed twice in a week. Maybe the fire alarm system needs tuning? It is new, much like the entire building and everything inside.

Post ID: 260, posted by jase at 03:35 PM
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Friday, January 30, 2004

Back home again

I'm back home again, after a mad trip back, waiting for trains and things. I am having a break from going to Camberley for a short while now, which is good.

Post ID: 254, posted by jase at 12:11 PM
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Monday, January 26, 2004

So far...

I'm currently on the course I discussed previously. It's going well, but the stuff we are covering I've had experience with already - standard commands and UNIX subjects, although some being Solaris specific so that is where the learning takes place.

I'll be looking to taking the exams very soon, so then I can move onwards and start planning towards other certifications. I'm really going to make sure I get a good amount of sleep this week as I don't want to be feeling tired every day again!

Each exam will be paid for first time by the company, so even more reason to take as many as possible.

Post ID: 248, posted by jase at 01:42 PM
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Saturday, January 24, 2004

Damn, I forgot about the trains!

I've just got back from being down south, after a mighty 5.5 hour trip. The extended trip back home was due to the weekend work being done on the West Coast Main Line, which is the route that trains from London to places in the north use. When this is out of action, alternative routes and coaches are used which takes ages!

So what would usually take around 3 hours, took a lot longer. I'm tired now so will be going t bed shortly to catch up.

Anyway, the Paintball was fun, as expected. I got quite muddy and played various games. Our team won overall, by quite a lot. I see what people say about it hurting a bit initially when you get hit but the pain soon subsides. Although you are left with a red blotch for a while and maybe a bruise. It's expected as the balls are fired at a speed of over 200mph. I like the death match at the end, the five of us helped each other but I fell over and got hit quite a lot whilst trying to get back up and sort my gun out.

I would have stayed in that game longer, but I ran out of paint. Next time, I shall be ready. Overall, a good laugh and experience - but quite costly!

We went to a Delta Force Paintball location - check the website for more information: Delta Force Paintball

Post ID: 246, posted by jase at 11:37 PM
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Monday, January 19, 2004

A cinema ticket for less than 1

It seems that Stelios is at it again. Only this time, hitting the movie and coach businesses. I've just been browsing the Easy Cinema site. It's a new cinema concept and it looks like it will take off.

By removing staffing costs & an "earlier you book the cheaper it is" theme, Stelios hopes to fill more seats. You can't even buy overpriced popcorn - if you want to eat - you have to take your own. It seems that this is an entirely automated operation for the most part.

Looking on the site, I could currently book a ticket to see S.W.A.T for example. Current price 1.05. Which is a lot cheaper than the 5 that most places charge. Another point to note is that a lot of the showings appear to be filling up.

I must say I like the sound of this adea, lets hope that there are more of these cinemas rolled out. I usually only visit the cinema to see certain films, which you really need to see at the cinema. For example, The Matrix, Lord Of The Rings and many more. The rest of the time, I just either get the DVD or locate via other means. For older movies, I sometimes watch them on TV.

All I can say is, why didn't I think of this?
Or indeed, why didn't someone think of it earlier?

I know I'd be tempted to visit the cinema more often with prices like these available. Although at the moment there is only one Easy Cinema, which is located in Milton Keynes. We could do with more of them!

Easy Cinema

And whilst we are here, I should also note that London to Birmingham will only cost 1 soon as well!

Easy Bus

I wonder if I will get anything for this free PR?

Post ID: 241, posted by jase at 07:36 PM
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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

It's snowing!

And it is coming down quite heavily as well.

There is a picture on my moblog.
When I go outside, I'll take another one - as you can't see as well from up here in the office.

It's funny how most people get excited when it snows, usually because it is near to Christmas / holidays.

Post ID: 233, posted by jase at 01:35 PM
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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Food

I've come to the conclusion, a long time ago:

That if we believed everything everyone says about different foods, how good for you they are or how bad they are, we would not eat at all.

And of course, we don't want that.

So, I say eat what you will - just not too much junk.

Post ID: 231, posted by jase at 10:35 PM
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Saturday, January 3, 2004

Thought of something, but then...

Isn't it annoying when you are thinking about something and then you forget all about it? Then, when you least expect it the thought comes right back.

Happens at the best of times.

And also at the worst.

Post ID: 220, posted by jase at 11:09 PM
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Wednesday, December 31, 2003

The end of 2003

Well, with the new year almost upon us in the UK, it's time to go out.

So, with roughly 3.5 hours left of 2003, I wish you happy new year!
Have a good one tonight if you are doing anything and also good luck for the new year.

I'm off up town shortly and will probably get home some time in the morning.
Let the fun commence!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Wardriving

After reading JZ's posts about his wardriving experiences, it reminded me that I've been meaning to try it out. Some people I know have been going out and say they have found some interesting stuff. A lot of networks are not using WEP and so have easy access, some of them being home networks and some more interesting.

I would think that people would take more of a stance on security but obviously not. Some might think they are secure and would go crazy if they knew their networks were wide open.

I have wireless here, but I'm using WEP and it's only on when needed, instead of all the time which of course greatly reduces the chances of people gaining access. Maybe more people should use this method, kind of like with Bluetooth.

Switch off when not in use - or - get more of a clue before joining the wireless world.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all got what you wanted! I mainly got cash, something I could do with a lot of at the moment. I also got a cold a bit early, not something I wanted but nevermind.

I shall make it through!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Big raid

In this latest operation roughlt 10M of illegal copies of games, applications and other stuff has been seized at a market in Edinburgh recently.

Damn.

But still, they are and will always be fighting a loosing battle. I'd suggest spending their time and resources fighting something that can be won.

See the full story.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Snow predictions

Since it's that time again, at least it is here in the UK - I've been predicting when or if it will snow this year or better still on Christmas day. I've come to the conclusion that snow is due any time soon, but I'm currently unable to complete my analysis to determine when exactly.

However, I will ensure I find out if any bookies are taking bets on Christmas day snow this year and after further technical invesitgations I may opt to splash some cash on a bet, stating yes it will or no it will not.

The case reimains open at present as the dury is still out.

It's not set in stone, but I'd say up in the air - yes it will snow and hopefully on Christmas day.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Saddam in American hands

I'm sure you've heard already, but Saddam Hussein is now in American custody. See stories here, here & here. I found out the news earlier, online. It's interesting that I found out this way. As I hardly watch any TV these days, I saw the news online and then put the TV on afterwards and heard more about it.

For me at least it's more Internet and less TV but I wonder if this will be the common thing in the future? Probably among the younger people as TV is usually limited, but on the Internet you can get the content that you are interested in.

Post ID: 199, posted by jase at 12:37 AM
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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Pulling the wrong plug

I pulled the wrong plug out earlier, so instead of unplugging my TV to plug in my phone charger I pulled out the power to my OpenBSD box.

I should have been paying more attention!

Apart from loosing the nice uptime, I've not lost anything else. After a nice automatic fsck it's back up and running. Which also reminds me, I must get round to upgrading it to 3.4 soon.

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Linkblog

Using Ben's script and del.icio.us I've added a link blog. Well, it's more of a listing of links that I've recently visited that I thought were interesting, rather than a blog but still, that's the name this kind of thing is being given generally.

Hopefully you might find some links of interest!

Post ID: 188, posted by jase at 11:48 PM
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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Nearly Christmas

It's not long away now and just goes to show how quickly this year has gone. I doubt I'll be getting large amounts of cash / presents now, as after about 21 they start to decline to small gifts!

I'm sure I'll buy myself something nice though, but what?

Post ID: 181, posted by jase at 10:48 PM
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Monday, November 17, 2003

Training

I'm now down in Camberley at the Sun training site. After a mad trip down here this morning, I'm currently on lunch so I thought I'd let you know that I got here okay.

I don't like the layout of these Sun keyboards - the back space key is far too small for a start, but at least there is free Internet access on site.

There are 10 people on the course including me, with varied skills. Some people with no *NIX skills or experience at all through to people with more of a clue. Anyway, it will be fun and I should learn some things, as will everyone.

As long as I pass the exams, I'll be happy!

This week I'm doing Solaris 9 System Administration, Part 1.

Back to learning I go...

Post ID: 166, posted by jase at 01:23 PM
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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Helix Loaded

I came over The Helix Loaded the other day, although I can't remember where I saw the link. Watching the trailer on there at the moment, this could be quite a good spoof series. I've not yet seen anything for Reloaded or Revolutions like the The Martix Bastardization, or better quality second edition here.

I'm sure they will come, given time.

Monday, November 10, 2003

It's all about safety?

I don't think renaming speed cameras (to Safety Cameras) will make them more effective than they currently are or not, depending on how you view them. I don't think they work well, all they do is cause people to slow down and speed back up after they have been passed.

I know what they do cause - rage - especially within some people, they decide to blow up or otherwise destroy a camera either because it took a picture of the said driver in question speeding or in some cases, did not.

Spend time & resources on real issues, you Government muppets!

Post ID: 157, posted by jase at 11:28 PM
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Friday, November 7, 2003

The Matrix Revolutions

I've not seen it yet, but from some of the reports I've read - a lot of people are not impressed. Maybe it's because it leaves things open ended? Maybe the fact that this was meant to be the final film, was all part of the plot to get people excited about the prospect of a fourth film.

Who knows. I'll give you my verdict shortly when I go and see it, probably in the next few days.

UPDATE: 09/11/2003

I went to see the film last night. After reading some of the reports previously before going to watch it, I was wondering if the opinions that people have are justified. To be honest I think some of them are a bit harsh. It's usually the way with a trilogy, that by the time the third film is around, you may be bored or expecting too much, since the story line might already be dead.

Overall I thought the CGI was as good as usual but the cinema I went to, the sound wasn't too good there so that was a bit annoying. It was nice to see the sun above all the dark skies. What I was wondering though, was at the end when the Sun comes up, that is in the Matrix - so what about in the real world?

Some things like that have been left opened and unexplained.

What happens to Neo? There are more questions people are asking. I think I'll go read some more reports now I have seen it. There isn't going to be a 4th film, or is there?

I wasn't left confused through this film, but I did notice a few things. Like, why is Persephone back with the Merovingian? Overall I thought it was pretty good, although sometimes you are always going to expect more from the ending.

Maybe there will be another film, I would like to think so!

Post ID: 150, posted by jase at 06:34 PM
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Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Wardialling to Wardriving, now Bluejacking!

Just reading this story over on The Register, about Bluejacking. It seems that there is increasing numbers of people sending messages to other Bluetooth enabled devices that have been detected locally to the person looking for devices.

This could become annoying. In fact, since there are so many devices becoming Bluetooth enabled, it could be an open invitation for people wanting to send out spam. Picture a bit of software running on a PDA with Bluetooth, scanning the local area for other devices and sending messages to them automatically, promoting websites and other things.

It could also be fun, sending messages to randoms and watching their expressions. Check out Bluejackq.com. This reminds me of the popup spam you usually receive these days if you have the Message Service running on your Internet connected Windows boxes. You can easily stop that, disable the service (MS are to do this in future Windows releases / updates).

It might be worth turning off Bluetooth when not needed, if this craze takes off.

Check out the Slashdot discussion.

Post ID: 146, posted by jase at 06:02 PM
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Friday, October 31, 2003

Halloween

I'm sure you are aware that it is halloween today / tonight. I'm not really excited like I was when I was younger though. I'm more interested in fireworks and such. But still, I'm sure it will be good for the kids to go round begging for money tonight!

Mind you, the weather is rubbish here, it has been raining all night & is dull today - and still wet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Raining, again!

Well, it's raining. Which reminds me yet again that winter is coming (or here already). Oh well, time to wrap up more when going out as it is getting freezing!

Post ID: 130, posted by jase at 11:30 PM
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Monday, October 27, 2003

The answer to all questions

Where does the answer to all questions reside? Is there any one place? Is the answer to a question formed within the question itself?

It seems, that we are all a mass of questions. Maybe, because of our desire to learn. I suppose it is a funny thing, wondering about life, the universe and why we are here. I often think about it, but I don't think we will ever know, but we can always search for the answers.

It is a journey, an ever evolving one that has no end that we can see.

What does hold the answer?

Post ID: 115, posted by jase at 02:17 AM
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Friday, October 24, 2003

Concorde retired

Just looking over on Kev's blog he has posted about how he would have liked to have flown on a Concorde.
I am thinking exactly the same. Only a few days ago I was looking around at a few sites for concorde information and also a schedule of the last few flights. It really is a shame that they are being retired, when there is nothing wrong with them and okay, it might be financially viable to retire them, but what about selling them off to Richard Branson?

If there is something else in development that will allow such short flights to places like New York, then lets see it. For the moment, I think they should be kept in use - what about the people who fly the London-New York route a lot? Their journeys have now just got a lot longer when they are used to short flights. There are a lot of people that would have liked to experience the speed & height that Concorde can fly at, as well as the amazing view of the earth.

You would think other airlines such as Air France would not retire their planes as well. So it seems there will be no Concorde in flight at all. I should have flew on one whilst I had the chance, but I forgot all about the whole retirement thing until recently.

Post ID: 109, posted by jase at 07:01 PM
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Thursday, October 9, 2003

Buy cheap Viagra, Xanax & more online!

That's right, buy Viagra online, buy it cheap - and no messing about with going to get a prescription either. Not really. As this post is just a test. Go read all about this anti-spam test & here also more prescription drugs. Vicodin, Penis enlargement pills, Xanax and lots more!

So, go and buy cheap Viagra. Buy online with your credit card right now for quick delivery.

Spam test over. Anyway, if I were to sell drugs online or offline, I wouldn't bother selling crap, I'd sell mind altering substances instead - all the common recreational drugs, as well as research chemicals, as it's all about the Mind, Body & Spirit.


Come on, if you're going to do something - do it properly!

People must actually buy stuff that is promoted via spam. Maybe they are forced into it because they keep being spammed? The problem is, most of the stuff sold online isn't genuine anyway - cheap rip off stuff more like, due to there being patents in place on most medicines and drugs.

Will it ever end?

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

SMS Addiction

It appears some people are getting addicted to sending & receiving SMS (txt) messages! Okay, so like anything new there is an initial fun period and then the novelty usually wears off. Considering that most people in the UK at least, have mobile phones these days, it's pretty common now. I think these new warnings about Text Addiction are just funny.

Some people really don't have anything better to do!

Saturday, October 4, 2003

Gadgets

I've been looking around at some sites for new gadgets. Probably a bad idea as I'd usually end up spending money! Anyway, there appears to be a lot of wierd USB based devices out there, such as mug warmers powered by USB, laptop lights and a lot more! I'll let you know the funny stuff I find a little later on.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

"She's a flight risk"

"flight risk / noun 1. A likelihood of evasion of a course of events by voluntary withdraw, removal or secreting away from a jurisdiction in order to avoid detention, arrest or interrogation, or the institution or continuance of civil, criminal or other proceedings. Also comprehends continued concealment in furtherance of such evasion. 2. A person characterized by the likelihood of such evasion."

I've just spent the last few hours looking at a whole load of different sites, mainly following links from where I started (I can't actually remember). Anyway, most of the sites I've been reading are blogs / cam sites. A lot of them quite nicely designed and graphic. Then I came over Isabella V's site. She's an international fugitive and maintains a blog about her status and encounters. Since it's 6am, I've not had a full read yet, so I'm going to have to have a proper look later to catch on fully to what has happened, the story so far. So I'll post my thoughts after. Indeed, it's something different and seems like it will be interesting to read as things progress.

Even if everything is not as it seems...

The Bongo Project

Network link via Bongos? I would have never thought! Well check this out - The Bongo Project sent some very slow pings via a pair of Bongos! Stuff like this is always interesting to read and see, the more wacky the better! What next? Story & further discussions on Slashdot.

British men - beer & fast food

According to an article (on Millennium Debate) by The Independant in December 2000;

"Most British men survive on beer and fast-food diet"

So what do all the other males in the world survive on? In this article, women come out as the more healthy eaters as well. I wouldn't agree in a simple true or false way, it's a lot more complicated than that. The article made me smile, as I know we can all relate to it at some point! Go & read it!

Friday, September 26, 2003

Simple, but effective!

# unzip ; strip ; touch ; finger ; mount ; fsck ; more ; yes ; umount ; sleep

You must have seen those commands listed like this before... I have, but seeing them again in a signature on Usenet, I think it was (I went to bed at 5.40am this morning so not sure) ) I thought I'd post them... might make you laugh, might make you smile.. then again you might just say heh.

I thought it was funny, anyway!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Do they not want the work?

As I have previously discussed, we're currently getting the new server room ready. We are still trying to sort out people to install the air conditioning and the gas pipe to power the generator. Is it that companies don't want the work? We've been getting quotes from various places but some of them keep letting us down when they are meant to turn up and do the work...

They will be getting paid enough, so...

What's the problem?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Blog Design

Well I've been having a play around with the style sheet and have come up with what it looks like now. I've still got some more stuff to add / change, but I think it's looking a lot better than it was. Any comments? If so, you know where to leave them!

:-)

Monday, August 25, 2003

Weather

Why is it the weather always turns bad, when you've got a bank holiday weekend with plenty of events on to attend, outside?

Oh well...On the other hand, I'll get this design sorted out at some point. As well as more...Watch this space as they say.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Coder or Killer

I checked out Coder or Killer after seeing a post on Ben's Blog.

I got a nice score of 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Design

I could do with changing the design of the blog around a bit, make it more interesting intead of the default layout etc. I'll have a play, but I'll probably get someone else with better design skills to come up with something!

Await...