Thursday 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Whatever your doing have a good one!

Tuesday 1 December 2009

heathrow terminal 4

heathrow terminal 4, originally uploaded by akira_kev.

7am this morning on route to Rome

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Impact Crater

Impact Crater, originally uploaded by harry harris.
Is it a bird is it a plane?  this is a shot taken by a friend while travelling on the Eurostar.Makes you wonder if the bird saw it coming?

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Best headline and Sub In the world

If Carlsberg made newspaper stories......

Facebook Fails

Social media is a wonderful thing but as ever there are some people who should maybe think before they post.

Take Me To Your Leader have posted a collection of the best or worst of Facebook. Incuding the classic way to lose your job.

For the full list of them and some comment click on the link below:

Monday 16 November 2009

3G Cable Shoot Out

Phil Crawley from root6 has published the results of the 3G Cable Shootout. This is of interest to anyone who is thinking of kitting their facility out with new 3G HD cable. For the full report see

Monday 9 November 2009

Joining the wave

I have to thank Jeff for for the invite to join the wave. First
thoughts are that it will be great for the corp enviroment were I
already use instant messager and email to colaborate on documents. Let
me have a play and I'll report back soon.

Wednesday 14 October 2009

Last Bigger Pan

another panorama of Prague

The orginal of this shot is 23086 pixels by 4296 and 482 MB in size.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

First of the panaroma shots i did in Prague.

Click on the photos to see it full size ok they are not "full size" as the real size is around 12,000 pixels wide :-)

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Leaving Prague today

Well its time to leave Prague, I have about 700+ photos to edit and pop up online on my Flickr account so it might be a bit of time before they are all up. I've had a great time and loved the place.

Saturday 26 September 2009

TV Tower Prague

TV Tower Prague, originally uploaded by akira_kev.

We went for lunch up on this tower today, it was quite amazing.

Thursday 24 September 2009


welll i haven't been blogging recently due to working at tradeshow and now I'm currently on holiday in Prague.

So far Prague has been beatuiful, lovely city and lovely people. The ability to smoke inside has been on one other persons highlight of the trip but I digress. Pictures will be popping up next week as I didn't bring a cable to get the shots off my CF cards. Till then I'll pop the odd shot on flickr and twitter so see ya soon.

Wednesday 2 September 2009

ContentAgent gets Cerify support

The first of many press releases hit the news stand today for ContentAgent the product I work on. For many years I've worked with Tektronix waveform monitors as a broadcast engineer so it with great joy that we've been working with Tom from Tek to get the Cerify API into ContentAgent.

Root6 Technology has updated the software on its ContentAgent repurposing and transcoding platform so that it works directly with Tektronix’s Cerify

Version 2.5 of the software will enable ContentAgent to be fully integrated with Cerify, an automated, file-based quality control system for verifying file-based content prior to transmission or digital delivery.

‘The integration of Cerify will deliver significant customer benefits,’ said Kevin King, ContentAgent product manager. ‘As the industry migrates to file-based working, the validation of content at every stage of the post and broadcast chain is a time-consuming and error-prone process. The ability to include Tektronix QC within a completely automated workflow improves cost effectiveness and efficiency.’

Other new ContentAgent features demonstrated at the show will include a fully automated DVD and Blu-ray disc authoring and publishing system developed in conjunction with Rimage Inc.

Root6 Technology will be on stand 7.C10 at IBC (September 10-15)

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Interesting week

I'm currently out of the office and Monday saw me in Manchester were I saw the new Hilton hotel in Manchester, very modernist and quite lovely.

Today I flew to Finland to do some ContentAgent training at a university in the country, when i checked in you normally see the usual, do not disturb signs and minibar but at the Sokos they have a special door hanger for extra special guest.

Friday 31 July 2009

Dark Side of the Moon

Today a song I listen to a song on the tube that i hadn't listen too for over 4 year probably for no other reason that it was missing from my Zune. After buying Gatecrashers Trance Anthems 1993-2009 I started smiling as this is one of those song you remember from a dark time around the time i left my old company and started my present job. Funny how I now come to being sat yards away for a framed signed copy of the Dark Side of the Moon Album cover as a print so it had seridipidy when I have a friend being made redundant today the step i took to be where I am today scary but worth every minute. Step to the dark side Emma.

"Ernesto Vs. Bastian The Dark Side Of The Moon lyrics"

Try a run, try a hide
Escape your only truth, for a while
Live the past, create a picture, it won't last
A million colours to a lie, it won't last

When the sun is cold and black
When you wanna scream and shout
And the record plays the dark side of the moon

Brighter days, on a distant shore
You realized it's steep, to the top
Never fight, a never win reality
A million colours to a lie, that will fade

Monday 27 July 2009


While on a plugging session I thought I'd better just mention Geo-Defense on the Iphone from This game is from the classic tower defense genre but I've got to say it has me hooked, the level progression isn't so mad and each level you build on your skills to get the levels down. The game is very strategic it has opening moves which are very precise but then as it speeds up no amount of towers and firepower will save you if you haven't got the pieces in the correct place. Currently I'm on medium and level 7 Bad Plumbing.

Download Lite free version
Full Version

Tip: remember to join your towers to the vortex to increase the vortex power and sap the strength of the creeps.

Autoclav1.1: Where Once Were Exit Wounds

You may know that I've played with Autoclav1.1 in the past so I thought I'd take a minute to plug the new album "Where Once Were Exit Wounds" available on possible one of the best labels in the world Tympanik Audio. The

In the press blurb it says "AUTOCLAV1.1 fearlessly interjects a powerful concoction of love, loss, and despair fueled by lathering electronic rhythms, akin to a thoughtful drive accelerating almost uncontrollably along a distant country road on a warm summer night."

Personally I think it was just too much tequila rose drunk at the Parish

also avalable in the UK and Europe via MusicNonStop

Thursday 23 July 2009

Malware redirecting Google searches

Yesterday I had on my machine a PDF which had a MALware payload inside it and my machine got infected. So a quick clean with Panda Security got rid of the nasties. But I had an unfortunate problem in that everytime I used a search engine like google, bing or yahoo something on my machine was redirecting the searches to other websites, so I downloaded Malwarebytes and Ad-ware both found thing and cleaned but on reboot the problem persisted. It wasn't until I looked on th web via another machine I found COMBOFIX. This low level program really seems to do the trick rebooting you machine into the recovery consol and automatically scanning and removing any malware on your machine, I'd recommend it to anyone with a malware problem.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

The IRack lives - Iphone Server

Last year when I was in Texas with a few collegues we were drunk in a bar. The County Line thanks for asking. We joked that someone would come up with a product to use Iphones in a docking station and use then as storage. Just like drives in a SAN Server. We applied this to the TV and Film industry and came up with a few products the IScan the 4k Film Scanner.....One of the product we mentioned during the evening was a docking station were you can plug and un plug iphones a bit like Panasonic P2 Card we gave it a name the IRAID, We thought the IRACK was a bit close to IRAQI and won't sell. We were that drunk we even considered the marketing too.

Well like everything said in a pub someone had to do it, after a tip off from @mmartoccia: I saw this the iPhone Server Farm

The prototype pictured here is intended to promote the ServersMan app, which gives iPhone users the ability to use their phone as network storage, file viewer or a mini web server.

Domestic Window Turbines

Scientists outline UK's best locations for domestic wind turbines

Scientists have produced the mostcomprehensive report of its kind to identify the UK’s best locations for households to install micro-wind turbines.

The study, funded by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), said some households could generate in excess of £2,800 worth of electricity a year. However, it also concluded that other locations would actually lose money if a small-scale turbine was installed.

The year-long study, which was conducted by the Sustainable Energy Research Group in the Southamton University’s School of Civil Engineering and the Environment, involved 57 locations, ranging from south-west England to the Orkney Islands, and tested a range of turbines that fell within two categories: building-mounted (typically 1 kWp) and free standing pole-mounted (2.5-6 kWp). The results show that the performance of domestic wind small-scale turbines is highly dependent upon location and proper installation of the technology.

The problem of Traveling Salesman

New look at an age old problem....that of problem of Traveling Salesman.

No not airports, lost luggage and RyanAir but the mathematical problem. The basis of Traveling Salesman Problem(TSP) is, given a list of cities and their distances, the task is to find a shortest possible tour that visits each city exactly once. The problem was first formulated in 1930 and some work has been done since but never a new approach.

Andrej Kazakov has come up with a new algorithm to solve TSP, which according to him "looks very promising". Could that be an underestimate?

Andrej looked at existing solutions to TSP, the most popular approaches being local search and divide and conquer but a new approach was an algorithm called 'Building Block Hillclimber' and applied a combination of approaches so that he substantially improved its quality, performance and range of applications.

The algorithm is still incomplete, but its current shortcomings have been thoroughly analysed and it has been substantially improved.

you can see Andrej Kazakov paper on the link below

Friday 10 July 2009

Dean Street Fire 10/07/2009

Dean Street Fire 10/07/2009, originally uploaded by akira_kev.

Click on the picture to link to my pictures of the fire at 76 Dean Street in Soho London

Below is a short video of the fire fighters in action

Monday 6 July 2009

They Work For You not to blame for Civil Servant Sacking

My Society service "They work For You" seem to have got some bad press today from not least the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail over a Civil servant sacked after criticising Blears for avoiding £13,000 tax in expenses scandal, Lisa Greenwood, an office administrator at the Department of Children, Schools and Families, posted an anonymous message on the internet at the height of the furore over abuse of the second home allowances.Read more on the link.

The articles say "The anonymous posting appeared on They Work For You, a political website, but was traced to Miss Greenwood's work email account.

The administrator, who had worked for the DCFS for seven months, was brought before a disciplinary panel and fired on May 22."

Well it seem "They Work For You" have nothing to do with it which is good as we know the privacy of anonymous posting will be respected.

Note: Post likely to update as we get further information

You may have seen coverage on various websites saying that a civil servant was sacked after posting a comment on TheyWorkForYou.

We’ve no idea what this story is about, but we’re pretty certain it has nothing whatsoever to do with TheyWorkForYou.

* There is no comment on TheyWorkForYou containing the text quoted in that article, nor anything like it, nor has there ever been. Nor in fact (as we’ve checked), on HearFromYourMP, WriteToThem, or WhatDoTheyKnow.
* Only one comment has been left on any contribution by Hazel Blears in 2009, and it’s definitely not related to this.
* 27 comments were left on 13th May, the date the comment was apparently posted; we’ve read them all and they’re all nothing to do with this.

So frankly, we’ve no idea what’s going on.

No journalist bothered to contact us before running the story, and what we do know is that the implication that mySociety would merrily hand over sensitive personal data that ends up in getting someone sacked, without fighting tooth and nail for their privacy every inch of the way, is a complete misinterpretation of the way we work and the things we hold most dear.

We think what might have happened is a simple mis-remembering of the website that contained the problematic comment. We’re hoping to get in touch with Lisa Greenwood so we can get full details before asking the various media companies that have run with this for a correction.

Reg link:

Sunday 28 June 2009

what were they thinking?

I know Newcastle United have been relagated to the Championship (old divison two) but their new Away kit. Takes the biscuit.

I'm no self appointed style guru but even I can see this one is a bit of a fashion mistake.

It bloody awful!!!!!

The strip, described on the club's own website as a "stylish new change kit", but Newcastle fans might be wishing the club had retained their unobtrusive plain blue second kit, from last season even if they didn't score in it.

I can't see the 'TOON AMRY' walking around Newscastle city centre or god for bid an away teams city. I wonder if the police have had anything to do with it so the Newcastle fans are easier to spot.

So Newcastle this season will be either deck chairs or banana. So I can see them chanting "Bananas in pyjamas are going down the league; bananas in pyjamas are trying to look like Leeds!!!"

The Mirror has written an article on other bad away kits with photos

Friday 26 June 2009

Steven Wells - RIP

On Tuesday we lost an import figure in my life, a visionary and poet like the world will not see again. Steven Wells aka SWELLS.

His words inspired a generation and brought music to the masses. When I first met Steven I knew him as writer, director and partner in GobTV the man who help make one of the music videos that changed my world forever, "Little Baby Nothing by the Manic Street Preachers.

James McMaon said probably my thoughts when I started to write this piece.

"I’ve been a fucking disgrace. I’m thoroughly ashamed of myself; the sheer weight of articulating what his words meant to me, let alone at least two generations of NME readers, has almost ruined me. I’ve made cups of tea, I’ve smoked cigarettes, I’ve been for an obscenely long lunch. I’ve done anything I could do to avoid writing something on page. Even in death, the unique talent, spirit and flair of Steven Wells has left me questioning everything I’ve ever believed."

Its 2.35am and I've been trying to write this for hours.
So here I go... "I FUCKIN HATE YOU SWELLS, you CAPS LOCK loving arrogant cunt of a man!" and why because I'm jealous! Fucking Jealous of a man who got cancer. Of what you saw what you could articulate and put down on paper. My dyslexic brain could only hope to do a tiny piece of what you've said to people. You've turn people into journalists, inspired kids to form bands and have careers in music. You've done something very few people do, I hope your proud of your yourself!

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2006, he died in the US on Tuesday 23rd June 2009. Steven was the one who said i could do what i wanted and inspired me to work in TV. Swells your going to missed. Rage in Peace.

From The Quietus "Swells Dies. Caps Lock Buttons Sigh In Relief "

GOBTV channel on Youtube

Friday 19 June 2009

Thursday 18 June 2009

Privacy Alert

A new telephone directory of peoples mobile numbers is being launched. This means that accesss to your number will not only be available to the people that you have given it to, but to anyone who knows your name. They do not give your number out directly but forward messages from the enquirer to your mobile. This means that you can be pestered as you won't be able to block people, and whilst te charges for individual enquiries might limit this, it is likely that bulk discounts will be given to companies who buy access to thousands of numbers, and will use it for advertising or "informercial" purposes.

If you do not want to be listed in the directory, you have to opt out NOW before it is published. Go to this link and enter your mobile number. you will get a text with a code which you then enter into the site immediately to confirm that you have the mobile and are not entering someone elses number.

Lyn Brown expenses

On the 22nd of May I blogged about my local MP, Lyn Brown (West Ham) and her expenses claim for a 2nd home in Westminister when the people who she represents are 8 miles away from the house of commons. Post is here

Now all the expenses have been put online you can see the claims in detail at

Update:Telegraph's entry for Lyn Brown

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Ryanair the Business of how not to do it.

On May 16th May I blogged about Ryanair insisted that all new bookings would require online check-ins. If you don't print your boarding pass from the company's website, you're charged an extra £40.Nice, Well Ryanair have done a IT classic and now announced that for ten hours next week, its website will be completely unreachable.

The Ryanair site will be closed from 7pm (Irish summer time)* Wednesday June 24 until 5am Thursday June 25 due to "an essential upgrade maintenance."

*Does Irish Summer Time even exist as a time standard?

They are haveing a laugh aren't they if your entire operation can only be accessed through a website, you'd better make dam' sure that website is 100% reliable. With online shopping, the risk is less - as you retain the stock if people can't buy it. Businesses like airlines and hotels deal in a very perishable commodity: one that ceases to exist, once it's day has passed. It was once joked to me by an IT Manager I asked how did he know his internet connected was up he said he wrote a little script to ping I asked why playboy he said the servers were always up 100% of the time as they didn't want ot lose a single cent of revenue so he could always tell it was his connection at fault and not them.

Therefore for an e-commerce site to be down is bad news for the retailer, but it's a total disaster for an airline that has put all it's eggs in one, online, basket. Especially if they think they can charge people £40 to get their tickets at the airport. You think like any good airline Ryanair would waive the fee for one day. but no in their statement.

"Ryanair will review the number of passengers who fail to check-in online and make a decision at that time."

Which I think we can all take as they will charge you!

Saturday 13 June 2009

What a wonderful day

limehouse basin, originally uploaded by akira_kev.

Well I had a wonderful birthday last week and had a great meal at The Narrow in Limehouse. I'd thoughly recommend it, great food and wine next to the river watch all the boat come up and down the thames while the odd one popped in and out of the basin. I took a few shots while there. The pub has very good pub priced beers too.

Monday 8 June 2009

Strange old world phising

For the last few days I've been recieving a variation on a old phising style were people try to get you to respond to a fake order and then as part of the data protection process they get you to give them your card number again which they say they have already but just need you to confirm. Its a simple confidence trick and done probably many times a day. Well the IP comes back to which traces back to:

inetnum:[whois][trace][reverse ip] -[whois][trace][reverse ip]
descr: FiberCity
descr: ISP
descr: Makati, Philippines

Here are the email messages from the scammer:

from Customer support Colon Pro
date 7 June 2009 15:09
subject Call regarding CP92246


Thank you for your call regarding:

Order ID

We have cancelled your subscription and you will NOT be billed for any future orders effective 6/06/2009

We have also noted your feedback:
you called and updated you refund... you received again another charged.. you requested for refudn.. you will return the bottle..

We have forwarded a copy to the appropriate department for review. You will have a response via email in the next 24-48 hrs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact customer support at the following email:

Thank you
Customer Support

fromCustomer support
date8 June 2009 18:10
subjectRe: Call regarding CP92246


Thank you for your email.

As part of our policy, a cancellation of the original purchase can only occur after you have received the order, and sampled the actual product itself. This is the entire purpose of the trial order.

As such, should you wish to cancel your order beyond the first sample, please email us when you have received your order, and do state the reason then that you are not satisfied with the product.

If you are satisfied with the product received, please do nothing, and we will only charge you for the bottle received in a few days thereafter.

If you have however changed your mind about your order, then the original package of 30 capsules must then be sent back in its unopened form (since we are assuming you are changing your mind about the entire order given that you are contacting us prior to receiving the shipment).

To do so, please simply advise us via return email that you wish to return the package, and we can provide you with a RMA# and address, and once you give us the tracking number for the return package, we can cancel your order accordingly.

Thank you for understanding our try first, pay later trial policy (which is not meant for abuse of the ‘trial’, which I am sure you can understand many unscrupulous customers attempt to do).

We trust that you will indeed be delighted with the product and will choose to keep it, in which case you will be billed only for the item received.

We will however cancel ALL future bills after that, so only the original package of 30 pills will be charged to your card.

If you should have any further questions, please also feel free to let me know.

Best regards,

Shane West

Customer support


fromCustomer support
date9 June 2009 03:44
subjectRe: Call regarding CP92246

Dear Customer

Thank you for your email and inquiry

Please let me know:

1. The amount that was deducted from your card

2. The charge descriptor that appears on your card's statement

I will be most happy to assist you on this matter thereafter

Thank you and best regards,

Victoria Carols

Customer Support

----- Original Message -----
From: iron man
Sent: Saturday, June 06, 2009 1:19 PM
Subject: Call regarding AP97972

Received: by with SMTP id e11cs119919mur;
Mon, 8 Jun 2009 03:38:54 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id d1mr5430530rvq.16.1244457532844;
Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:38:52 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [])
by with ESMTP id 36si4630554pzk.102.2009.;
Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:38:51 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( domain of designates as permitted sender); dkim=pass (test mode)
Received: by with SMTP id 35so1122770pxi.24
for ; Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=gamma;
DomainKey-Signature: a=rsa-sha1; c=nofws;; s=gamma;
Received: by with SMTP id t19mr2347662wfh.146.1244457530836;
Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from contactda4b18d ([])
by with ESMTPS id b39sm14843325rvf.9.2009.
(version=SSLv3 cipher=RC4-MD5);
Mon, 08 Jun 2009 03:38:50 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <13e801c9e8ac$52702530$cf03a8c0@contactda4b18d>
From: "Customer support"
References: <>
Subject: Re: Call regarding CP92246
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 19:44:29 -0700
Organization: Colonprocleanse
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.2180
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2900.2180

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain;

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


Thank you for your call regarding:

Order ID

We have cancelled your subscription and you will NOT be billed for any future orders effective 6/06/2009

We have also noted your feedback:
you called and updated you refund... you received again another charged.. you requested for refudn.. you will return the bottle..

We have forwarded a copy to the appropriate department for review. You will have a response via email in the next 24-48 hrs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact customer support at the following email:

Thank you
Customer Support

Thursday 4 June 2009

The Vendor Client relationship - in real world situations

Oh how many times have i seen people try to pull this one.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Fuck me I love London!

Taken from my iPhone @ the Serpentine, Hyde Park on the 02/06/2009... more iphone camera shots are on link

Sunday 31 May 2009


When to pick up Emma, in Stamford and have afternoon tea with her parents. What a lovely little town, pity we only had time for tea at the George hotel before departing back to London.

Thursday 28 May 2009

do you think i have a communication problem?

The company I work for has just switched over to using Apple Iphone's, i think i had to take a picture of my desk before the switch over....cables.

HDMI 1.4 announced

Ladies and Gentlemen, will you please welcome HDMI 1.4, the latest incarnation of the all-digital interconnect. I blogged some time ago about HDMI 1.3

So I thought it was time to mention HDMI 1.4 which is due for publication by the end of June, the HDMI 1.4 spec's key elements are integrated networking, support for bigger screen sizes, 3D support and a new, more compact connector oh dear not another connector.

The addition of networking is specifically the addition of a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet data channel through the HDMI cable. On Nice wonder what we can do with that....connect it to your PC or you home internet. There are lots of HDMI-equipped devices already have Ethernet ports, the addition of networking is arguably redundant, but it should make for reduced cable clutter - but you will have to buy a new cable with the extra, Ethernet-exclusive wires.

HDMI 1.4's support for resolutions greater than 1080p will stretch to 3840 x 2160 at 24Hz, 25Hz or 30Hz, and 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz . Apparently they say its got enough resolution to transmit two 1080p images, allowing the technology to support stereoscopic 3D.

The Micro HDMI Connector is a significantly smaller 19-pin connector that supports up to 1080p resolutions for portable devices. This new connector is approximately half the size of the existing HDMI Mini Connector, introduced in 2006 when HDMI 1.3.

HDMI 1.4 will support colour spaces sYCC601, Adobe RGB and AdobeYCC601, the better to ensure the telly shows the colours encoded correctly. Alsothe standard will have extra wiring for two-way audio, again with the intention of reducing cable clutter.

Friday 22 May 2009

Lyn Brown expenses

Constituency: West Ham
MP: Brown, Lyn
Party: LAB
Second Home: £15,889
London Supplement: £0
Office: £20,358
Staffing: £93,109
Stationery: £1,858
IT Provision: £924
Staff Cover: £0
Communication: £3,255
Travel: £253

Total Expenses: £140,537
Second Home!!! How can anyone claim for a second home when Westminster is only 8.1miles away. Her excuse is "do not have use of a ministerial car and enables me to manage late night and early morning working at the Commons."Even with the tube being a bit funny less than an hour away or taxi less. Guess what Lyn do what everyone else does and take public transport. I talked to a nurse at the Portland hospital last week who said she had to get a taxi in on Sundays as the train from Mottingham where she lived, didn't start early enough to get her in for a seven o clock shift start which cost her £25 pounds out of her wages. I think MP's like Lyn Brown should start living in the real world like everyone else and stop trying to milk the system and expect to claim it on expenses, the nurse couldn't claim it back why should you.

update: Lyn mentions she has her own car in the article here so why is she complaining that she doesn't get a ministerial one, she should think herself lucky she can afford to run a car, I know a lot of the people she represents can't afford it at the present time.

From: David Padua Date: Apr 22 10:56 UTC Short link

Dear Sir,

According to publicly available figures Lynn Brown MP claimed over 15,000 in "additional cost allowance" which usually means a second home. Lynn Brown MP, for West Ham, claims for a second home? A second home? Stephen Timms MP, who is almost in the cabinet, and represents East Ham, next to Lynn Brown doesn't claim additional cost allowance.

Why is Ms Brown claiming for a second home when her constituency is a stones throw from Parliament, only an hour at most by public transport? In the register of interests, it lists that she has a quarter share of a house in Cumbria. Does she list this as her main residence, and a home in London which she claims the allowance for? Or is it for something else? Its time Lynn Brown
explained what this is for.

Its also interesting to see that Stephen Timms and Jim Fitzpatrick, the other Newham MP who both have positions in the Government whereas Lynn Brown doesnt. Yet she claimed about 20,000 more in expenses than both the other two.

Thats more than a nurse would earn in a year, or would pay the rent on a council home for over 5 years.

There is no suggestion that anyone here claimed for something improperly and that all expense claims have been made I assume in accordance with the rules. In the current climate though I feel it is morally obscene that an MP who is paid a salary of 5000 a month, receives an additional 11,666 a month in expenses/allowances.

David Padua
Custom House E16

From: Mike Law Date: Apr 22 19:30 UTC

And Lyn Brown replied: " I share a rented flat in Central London. I have not bought a second home. I am renting it. It enables me to manage late night and early morning working at the Commons. I also do not have use of a ministerial car."

I've sent a FOI request to the Commons to find out how many early morning and late night meetings she attended and the start and end times for the meetings.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Life Inc The Movie

Life Inc. The Movie from Douglas Rushkoff on Vimeo.

I read Douglas' blog and find it very good read.

The blurb from the website:
In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from a convenient legal fiction to the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that theyre no longer even aware of it.


Ever wanted a easy and effective way of getting involved in local politics and hearing what’s going on? Well here’s you chance! How? Follow and tweet your local politicians and prospective candidates, and use the power of Twitter to track local politics, make your voice heard and conversations more open.

TweetyHall uses Twitter to connect you to your local politicians. Track local politics in real time, find and follow your local politicians and prospective candidates and get communicating with the elected representatives in your local area.

TweetyHall encourages participation and open conversations, promoting better and more transparent communication between voters and elected representatives.

A FutureGov project supported by the Local Government Association Group and powered by Tweetminster

Monday 18 May 2009

Manic Street Preachers; Journal For Plague Lovers

The Manics guide to to writing a good album,

  1. Great riffs and licks from guitar god James Dean Bradfield.
  2. Superb complex lyrics from the late Richey Edwards.
  3. Jenny Saville painting as a cover (it worked on The Holy Bible, it will work again)
This is the album we were never going to get to hear, the lyrics so long on the shelf the expert editing of Bradfield and Wire work to turn the most complex of lyrics into hummable sing a long tunes. From the opening with the classic quotes and pieces of movies playing the songs in echos of albums past ringing in your ears. Solid bass and drums set the stage of the guitar and then like a song bird Bradfield comes to life and the hairs on your neck stand up. This album doesn't feel new you haven't heard the songs before but it feels so comfortable and like an old friend welcome you to the fold. Richey Edwards complex and intelligent lyrics take you on an extreme journey in the mind of a trouble mind of rock star.

Every song is a highlight the spine tingling metaphors but Me and Stephen Hawking stands out for the comedy lyrics about their sexual prowess and a review can't be written with mentioning 'Williams Last Words" sung by Nick Wire, as my eyes filled up I can listen to this note again and again.

On Saturday Night James and Nick talked about the new album on Channel 4 click on the link below to watch the programme for the next 28 days.

The new album from Manic Street Preachers; Journal For Plague Lovers is out now on CD, 2CD deluxe edition and to download.

Roses in the Hospital

I've stopped and started this post many times over the last few days, i've come back to it edit it and tried to change it but it never seemed write to publish it yet. Just this second I've heard that my partner Emma is heading home to her parents so I feel its about time to finish the post and hit the button.

On Wednesday evening Emma went in for surgery at the Portland Hospital in London, nothing quiet prepares you for those agonising hours of waiting to hear any news. The constant checking of watches and hoping the phone will ring, but then hoping it does as no news is good news is good news. But in the end Surgery went well and I went to see Emma when she rang me on Thursday morning before work.

Nothing quite prepare you for the sight of someone you love all wired up and plugged into so many machines with oxygen coming in through pipes in their nose and groggy from the painkillers. It brings a tears to your eyes but you know you have not got to show it as it makes it worse for them. Your heart breaks because at that moment you can do nothing for them but be there, hold their hand. You know they have the best medical care in the world but you feel useless.

So after lots of wonderful medical care, Emma has gone home from hospital this morning thank you to all the friends and family who came to visit and the wonderful flowers that were sent.

I can't thank Ms Eben and nurses and staff of the Portland Hospital enough. Thank you all for making Emma's stay a pleasant one and making us all feel welcome and for making us laugh at a very hard time, especial thanks go to Comfort, Jennifer and Cynthia. Thank you

Sunday 17 May 2009

Twitter has it's own comedy club

Sent from my Mobile Device

Saturday 16 May 2009

Ryanair trying to fleece you some more

I wrote early last month about the costs of flying on a budget airline well it seems Ryanair have trumped me with a charge for printing out your ticket. There seems to be some completely wrong and criminal about charging some for a essential document of journey. I don't mind paying for food or them charging for fast boarding as all of these charges can be avoided but charging you to £10 pounds per return to print your ticket at home or £80 pounds at the airport seems criminal and a sign of a money grabbing and dishonest company.

"Ryanair passengers face a £5 charge per flight to print out their tickets at home as part of moves to abolish check-in desks and increase revenues. The policy replaces Ryanair's practice of offering free online ticketing and charging anyone who opted for face-to-face check-in £10. In future, anyone who arrives at the airport without a pre-printed check-in card will have to pay a £40 "boarding card re-issue fee". In-built restrictions to the online ticketing system mean many customers will be unable to print their tickets when they book, raising the chances for penalty charges from customers who think they have completed the process.

Wow to a penalty charge of £40 pounds if you don't have a printer or if like me someone else say like a promoter of a music gig in another country mormally books the tickets for you, now we didn't see that one coming. I love the Daily Mash take on it


In a statement released yesterday Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "Cock-a-doodle-do! Everyone pay attention. These are my new rules.

"You will print out your own boarding pass and pay me for the privilege of doing so. If you do not have a printer you will pay me £40 for not having one and you will then wear a paper hat that I will make for you. The hat will cost £40.

"You will complete a quest. Probably involving a rare gemstone. You will bring me the gemstone wrapped inside a cheque for £40.

"Luggage is a sin and you will be punished for it. Therefore your holiday will last no longer than 14 minutes. If it does I will kidnap your goldfish and charge you £40 a leg to get it back."

A spokesman for the British Psychiatric Institute said: "Ryanair is no longer something to be hated, it is something to be pitied. It's as if Mr O'Leary has suffered some kind of severe mental trauma. Perhaps he has finally flown on one of his own planes.

"He needs to be sedated, isolated and subjected to a twice-daily programme of powerful electric shocks. If that doesn't work we will have to carve out a hefty chunk of his frontal lobe.

"In the meantime we would urge other airlines to step in and start flying to Ryanair's destinations as soon as possible. For the love of God, please."

UPDATE: Damian Corrigan, of asked Ryanair some of the questions interesting replies

Thursday 14 May 2009

Mark Thomas takes legal action against MPs

PRESS RELEASE - Thursday 14th May, 2009

Today Mark Thomas, political activist, commentator, performer, writer and comedian has instructed his lawyers, Leigh Day & Co to write to the Speaker of the House of Commons threatening legal action unless a full transparent review is urgently ordered into the scandal of MPs expenses.

Mr Thomas has been advised that the approach peddled by MPs in the press that their unreasonable expenses are within the rules is not correct. In fact, the current scandal has been largely caused by attempts by many MPs to stretch the rules far beyond their ordinary meaning and an unwillingness by the House of Commons Department of Finance and Administration officials to rein them in.

The letter requires Speaker Martin, as Chair of the House of Commons Commission to take urgent steps to commence a review of the Department’s actions in dealing with MPs’ applications for expenses. The following steps are set down as the bare minimum requirements:

- To obtain and publish independent authoritative legal advice & guidance on the meaning of the MPs’ expenses rules, to be consistent with other guidance applicable to the public where similar words are used

- To appoint independent accountants to audit all claims by MPs in the current parliament against the legal advice and guidance obtained

- To consider auditing all claims by MPs back to May 1997, applying consistent principles which would be applied in cases of false/ excessive claims against other public authorities or the HMRC

- To explain publicly what sums have been wrongly paid out to members and to set out proposals for recoupment where overpayments have been made, such recoupment to be no more favourable to MPs than the system for recovery of benefits overpayments or income tax underpayments

- To report possibly fraudulent claims to the Metropolitan Police fraud squad for investigation.

The Speaker has been given 14 days to respond, failing which Judicial Review proceedings may follow.

Mark Thomas said:

“MPs are not above the law. If they have wrongly claimed expenses they should be made to repay. If they have acted fraudulently the police should be involved. This is what would happen to all of us as members of the public if we tried to fiddle public money.

Fraudulent benefit claimants are not allowed to form committees comprised of benefit claimants to investigate their misdemeanours. Nor can exposed tax cheats offer to pay back money because they are ‘concerned about how it looks to the outside world’ and then walk away with no repercussion.

If I need to go to court I will be making a public appeal to cover the legal costs of the case, which I’m sure will have overwhelming support! ”

Richard Stein, partner at Leigh Day & Co said:

“The main problem here is not the rules governing payment of MPs’ expenses, but how they have been applied. Many MPs have made claims which do not properly fall within the rules. The rules say that MPs have a responsibility to satisfy themselves that expenditure claimed has been ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ for the
purpose of performing their Parliamentary duties and that overspent or mischarged amounts may be recovered. The House of Commons authorities must now take steps to make sure this happens”

Wednesday 13 May 2009

The Pretend Office

Having worked in an office most of my life you come to except emails about fire alarm test and messages like this which arrived in my email box this morning:

From: Office Manager
Sent: 13 May 2009 10:08
To: all
Subject: fridge


The kitchen fridge is just about to grow legs and walk outta Petra has kindly volunteered to clean it out. We will of course keep anything that is within its ‘sell by date’ but anything that looks vaguely suspect, will be chucked. If you want to make sure your stuff is saved, please let her know in the next hour

Office manager
Some Company

Well Phil Gyford wrote on his blog about how he and his freelance friends do not have to deal with the normal office day to day emails. So they set up their own virtual office and started emailing everyone@ on the mailing list and with some surprising and funny results. Not only the general emails were sent out but the obligatory embarrassing emails were accidentally sent to everyone in the pretend company too.

You can see Phil's post here and the Office archive or RSS feed

The Pretend Office is very much like the Matt Beaumont book “e.”

Set in an ad agency, but the whole book is written in emails.

Friday 8 May 2009

Thursday 7 May 2009

You know it's bad when

You phone doesn't know if it has a battery

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Look daddy I fixed it

Well I had a little issue I dropped my laptop on the plane and for the
last two days it's been intermittant. The back light would turn off
after the screen was moved. But always came back after reboot. So back
in the hotel room with a leatherman, I decided to see what the issue
was as I know I have demos of ContentAgent over the next few days and
didn't want it turning off in front of customers. So dismantling the
laptop was not an issue and the problem could be seen a crushed single
cable for the backlight so a quick splice and the cable was as good as
new. The back panel was changed by an engineer when the panel was
broken at new year the cable must have been moved by the jolt. We'll
at least we have working laptop for tomorrow.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Photos of Flushing Meadows

Well here are the pictures from Flushing Meadows the site of the 1964 New York Worlds Fair



more at

I heart NYC

Well just got back from Las Vegas and got over the jet lag and it's time to hit New York. I travelled yesterday Saturday to make sure I included a saturday night in the trip and thanks to the United upgrade it was a pleasant trip to Washington DC and the a little hop on Mesa airlines to New York and got to the hotel around midnight. Seeing the people outside bar made me want to go and soak it up but I thought it would be better to get some good rest. Today Sunday is a day off so I'm going to head to Flushing Meadows park to see the site of the New York Trades Fair as featured in such games as Grand Theft Auto IV. I've seen the park before mainly during taxi journeies to and from JFK. So it will be good to finally go and see it and cross it off the list. Expect some photos later today.

Thursday 30 April 2009

New Panda Cloud Antivirus

I've always liked Panda Antivirus and have used it at work for a good few year with great results.

So it was nice to see Panda Launch a new product. I think its time to give it a go. The have a blog detailing how the scanning works:

With Panda Cloud Antivirus we introduce a new protection model based on a thin-client agent & server architecture which services malware protection as opposed to locally installed products. By combining local detection technologies with cloud-scanning capabilities and applying non-intrusive interception techniques on the client architecture, Panda Cloud Antivirus provides some of the best protection with a lightweight antivirus thin-client agent that barely consumes any PC resources.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is the first antivirus based on this innovative protection model which is based on two fundamental principles:

1. Automatic malware detection and remediation from the cloud in real-time.
2. The use of an ultra-lightweight thin-client agent.

you can try it out free by clicking below

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