Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Checking UK Post Codes
1. Go to www.royalmail.com and they have an almost free postcode finder, that you can use to check addresses. I say almost-free as you can only do so many free checks a day.
2. Go to www.google.co.uk and type the post code in quotes into Google searching the UK only. Try it with "CB8 9LU" which is my postcode.
3. Go to www.multimap.co.uk and type the post code in to get a map.
In most cases this will give you enough evidence to find a crook.
I had a scam supposedly from The National Lottery, PO Box 1010, Liverpool L70 1NL. I typed the postcode into the Royal Mail and they didn't know it. The Royal Mail post code finder is very up to date.
Also try out CB8 8NP, which is the post code of my bank. You will find that it not only gives the address, but the name of the Bank. Thus, if you have a business address, it often checks directly. I also think that the Royal Mail doesn't give out a post code without checking the building or company physically.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Recycling A Computer
Mobile Phone Repairs
I found CBS in Cambridge.
Let's hope they sort it out, but the quote was a lot less than a new phone.
Anyway why should I change something that I am comfortable with? It works anywhere in the world, is ideal for texting and I can surf the Internet with it.
Who needs more?
Marketing a Film
This is the blog for my book, Making the Most of the Internet, and it shows how a blog can be fully integrated into a web site.
1. The blog is fully indexed, so you can find anything you want quickly.
2. A blog is updated by just logging in and adding the name of the article and the text.
3. You can also add pictures and video clips quickly and easily.
4. Readers can add comments to the blog, which can be unmoderated, moderated or added by approved users only. I prefer the unmoderated, as you can always remove the offensive.
5. Anybody with the right permissions can add topics to the blog. So you, the director and the tea boy can all be empowered.
6. The blog is easily linked to YouTube and external web pages.
But I think the great thing about using an integrated blog is that you will get feedback and you might like to use this to change either the film or the way it is promoted and marketed.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Another Dropped Laptop
Always back-up a laptop.
A Phisher Goes To The Slammer
He might get 101 years in jail. That is too much, but even five would be enough deterrent for citizens of responsible countries.
But I don't give much hope, that other countries will apply the same rules to their own Internet crooks.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Where Are The Prisoners?
Here's a few thoughts.
There are about 100,000 people in prison in the UK and they are stored in about 135 prisons. I deliberately chose stored as nothing positive in either punishment or retraining is done with many of them, so that they might think about behaving when they are released back into society.
Let's also assume that the average time anyone spends in prison is six months. That may be rather low, but for the purpose of this analysis it is better to err on the low than the high side.
So that means we have 200,000 movements into the prisons every year and 200,000 out. If you add in the fact that each of those prisoners will move once, that gives 600,000 movements or an average of about 4,500 per prison per year.
To get an idea of how big or small this number is, easyJet carried 2.3 million passengers in January 2006. I would suspect that an airline passenger is about as complicated to manage as a prisoner when it comes to a database.
So when governments say they have trouble with databases, they must be talking to the wrong people. When did any reputable airline have troubles with the larger numbers it handles?
So if we go back to our prisoner database, we are talking about 4,500 per prison per year or about 18 on the average working day. In other words even if an individual prison has a lot more movements than 18 per day, the data entry requirements are well within the capabilities of one operator working part time on one PC connected to the Internet. Or an Internet like network. (Government spends fortunes on secure networks, whereas airlines and banks who handle just as sensitive data rely on the Internet with extra security. I suspect they are right.)
So there is no excuse for not creating a central database with details of everyone in UK prisons. I have lots of experience in this area and one that was fit for purpose could be created by two or three experts in a few months. Costs would be a few thousand for the central database computer and perhaps a quarter of a million for creating and loading the system. i.e. It would be peanuts compared to a system designed by one of the Governments preferred suppliers who copper-bottom and gold-plate everything and still get it wrong.
As a better idea, why not get two individual groups to create the system independently? Then choose the best and give that company a bonus of say £100,000 and the contract to run it for some years. No-one ever puts competition into computer contracts, which is one reason why they fail. You also know that the longer it takes the more money you make.
I would create a web based reporting system for the database, which could be examined by anybody who can work a browser, who has access to the system. I've done this in the past and it works spectacularly as senior managers no longer ask their subordinates to do the work they should be doing themselves. Perhaps though it is not a good idea as civil servants are in the job creation, rather than the job reduction business.
But also why not desensitise some of the database and allow the public to access it through the Internet? So therefore if you wanted to know how many were in jail for not paying council tax or murder, it would then be obvious. You would have to make sure that an individual was not identified, but that is a simple matter if a computer system is properly designed.
Will it happen?
Friday, January 12, 2007
Voice over IP will be much better and with the exception of when you are in the countryside, you will use that much cheaper alternative. For areas like that, I'll probably keep a pay-as-you-go mobile for emergencies.
It will be a big cost saving.
We mustn't underestimate how much new technology will save us in the field of telecommunications. Many people pay £12 a month for a landline, they hardly ever use.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Web Site Design Costs
I always say that content is the most important thing in a web site and this is what gets you the search engine position, so you must start with content. I then say that we need a temporary navigation system, which we'll update and change in a couple of months, when the site is complete.
This approach shifts actually puts design behind content and often as content determines what pages need to be written, I find it a much better approach.
It may be easier for me in that most of the people I deal with are lawyers, journalists and writers, who are generally good at content.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Short of a Couple of Rolls of Wallpaper
So I just typed the name; Arbutus and the code; WR8466/3 into Google and found two people selling the paper. As we bought the paper a year or so ago, a quick e-mail will confirm if they have the correct batch number.
This just shows the power of Google.