Well…..

Been a busy couple of weeks , moving , packing , storing half of my crap etc

Spent ten mins on the phone with a lovely lady from Liverpool , never did get her name . .   : (

sorting out my BT Infinity broadband – very helpful and positively fluent – which always makes a nice change !

Then it all went “Nipples North” when I tried arguing with the billing dept

– Half an hour wasted repeating myself , then told to talk to the manager . . .

You guessed it – 20 mins of crappy music on hold then THEY HUNG UP !!

On a brighter note – got to play in Santa’s Grotto – otherwise known as my mum’s garden

– all it’s missing is either a tower or a few Elves

Britain is bracing itself for flooding as heavy rain is predicted to sweep across the country in the next few days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In some parts of south-west England and Wales, there has already been between 15mm and 20mm of rainfall overnight. The rain is expected to move further east today.

More heavy rain will hit tonight and rainfall could hit levels of 30mm by Saturday.

The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for south-west England, the West Midlands and Wales. It issued a yellow warning, which urges people to be prepared.

‘Periods of heavy rain are likely across the southern half of Wales, south-west England and the south-west Midlands from the beginning of Friday until Saturday morning,’ said the Met Office.

‘It is looking increasingly likely that one area of heavy rain will move through during the small hours of Friday followed by a drier interlude, before further heavy, persistent rain moves eastwards later on Friday into the early hours of Saturday.

‘However, there still remains considerable uncertainty in the details of the heavy rain by late Friday and the warning may be adjusted further as the event approaches.

‘The public should be aware of the possibility of disruption to travel due to localised flooding.’

Nick Prebble, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: ‘It’s going to be a wet one.

‘The spell of rain from overnight should clear away during the day, but another pulse will move in later bringing some heavy bursts.’

The Environment Agency has 18 flood alerts in place in the south-west, Midlands, Anglian and north-east regions. Three flood warnings are in place in the north-east.

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said heavy rain began to move in across Devon, Cornwall and southern Wales late last night with up to 20mm falling in places during this morning.

Temperatures will reach 15C in southern areas, 17C in London and 14C in the north.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/914181-flood-warnings-issued-as-britain-prepares-for-weekend-of-wet-weather#ixzz28QyzH39x

 

Electric cars might pollute much more than petrol or diesel-powered cars, according to new research.

 

Article fromhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19830232

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology study found greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal was used to produce the electricity.

Electric car factories also emitted more toxic waste than conventional car factories, their report in the Journal of Industrial Energy said.

However, in some cases electric cars still made sense, the researchers said.

Big impact

The team looked at the life-cycle impact of conventional and electric vehicles.

In essence, they considered how the production, the use and the end-of-life dismantling of a car affects the environment, explained co-author Prof Anders Hammer Stromman.

“The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive,” the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

“The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles.”

In addition, producing batteries and electric motors requires a lot of toxic minerals such as nickel, copper and aluminium.

Hence, the acidification impact is much greater than that of conventional car production.

“Across the other impacts considered in the analysis including potential for effects related to acid rain, airborne particulate matter, smog, human toxicity, ecosystem toxicity and depletion of fossil fuel and mineral resources, electric vehicles consistently perform worse or on par with modern internal combustion engine vehicles, despite virtually zero direct emissions during operation,” according to Prof Stromman.

With electric car production being so damaging to the environment, these cars have already polluted a great deal by the time they hit the road, the report says.

However, if the cars were then powered by electricity made from low-carbon electricity sources, they could nevertheless offer “the potential for substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to tailpipe emissions” over time.

However, in regions where fossil fuels are the main sources of power, electric cars offer no benefits and may even cause more harm, the report said.

“It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion.”

European benefits

In Europe, where electricity is produced in a number of different ways, electric cars do offer environmental benefits when compared with cars with internal combustion engines, according to the study.

“Electric vehicles powered by the present European electricity mix offer a 10% to 24% decrease in their global warming potential relative to conventional diesel or petrol vehicles.”

This is in line with calculations made by some carmakers.

“According to our results, a battery electric vehicle, with electricity produced by the power generation mix we currently have in Europe, compares favourably in the magnitude of 10% or so with diesel,” Daimler’s chief executive Dieter Zetsche told the BBC.

Longer lives

The report pointed out that the longer an electric car in Europe stays mobile, the greater its “lead” over petrol and diesel engines.

“Assuming a vehicle lifetime of 200,000km exaggerates the global warming benefits of electric vehicles to 27-29% relative to petrol and 17-20% relative to diesel,” it said.

“An assumption of 100,000km decreases the benefit of electric vehicles to 9-14% with respect to petrol vehicles and results in impacts indistinguishable from those of a diesel vehicle.”

An electric car’s longevity depends a great deal on how long its battery lasts, not least since it is very expensive to replace them.

Batteries are gradually getting better, which could result in electric cars being used for longer.

However, as petrol and diesel engines are also improving, the relationships between the different types of vehicles are not constant.

“A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel,” the report said.

“If you are considering purchasing an electric vehicle for its environmental benefits, first check your electricity source and second look closely at the warranty on the batteries,” said Professor Stromman.

Those in power, meanwhile, should recognise “the many potential advantages of electric vehicles [which] should serve as a motivation for cleaning up regional electricity mixes”.

GCHQ director Iain Lobban, has said there were “enduring lessons” to be drawn from the work of Alan Turing.

 

In a rare public speech the intelligence agency chief said there were “many parallels between the way we work now and the way we worked then”.

Based at Bletchley Park, the mathematician was part of the team that cracked the Nazi Enigma code – a vital part of the allied war effort.

He is now widely recognised as a computing pioneer.

However, at the time of the death – which an inquest recorded as suicide – he was virtually unknown to the public. His work at Bletchley was kept secret until 1974.

Mr Lobban said Turing had a played a key part in the “irrevocable change” that eventually led to the development of the “highly technological intelligence organisation that GCHQ is today”.

Describing Turing as one of the “great minds of the twentieth century” he said that staff at the organisation had demanded that he make “a big public deal” of Turing’s legacy as part of celebrations marking the centenary of the codebreaker’s birth.

However, Mr Lobban said he didn’t want anyone to think GCHQ was “trying to claim that Turing is ours and nobody else’s”.

The codebreaking work at Bletchley marked a shift – Mr Lobban argued – to a mindset that “started to see technology as something that could be pitted against technology”.

He said the consensus among his staff was that today Turing would be employed in “Cyber”.

“Then, the challenge was to secure allied codes and ciphers” he said. “Today, securing cyberspace… requires the collaboration of experts as diverse both personally and intellectually as any we saw at Bletchley Park.”

Mr Lobban also praised the technological achievements of Turing’s colleagues – including Tommy Flowers, a post office engineer who designed and constructed the Colossus codebreaking digital computer

Mr Lobban said technology “lies at the very heart of our mission”.

“Engineers and technologists are an essential part of our success.”

But, he added, that meant there was a need to develop key skills.

“We must inspire school children to study maths and science – we must find tomorrow’s Turings,” he said.

Open minds

Mr Lobban addressed another well known aspect of Turing’s life – his homosexuality.

“The fact that Turing was unashamedly gay was widely known to his immediate colleagues at Bletchley Park: it wasn’t an issue,” he said.

“I don’t want to pretend that GCHQ was an organisation with twenty-first century values in the twentieth century, but it was at the most tolerant end of the cultural spectrum.”

Later in his life Turing was convicted of gross indecency after an affair with another man. He was subsequently obliged to take injections of female hormones in an effort to dull his sex drive.

After his arrest he was no longer given an opportunity to carry out work for GCHQ.

Mr Lobban said “we should remember that the cost of intolerance towards Alan Turing was his loss to the nation”.

He added that today it remained vital that the agency recruited the best people and did “not allow preconceptions and stereotypes to stifle innovation and agility”.

“I want to apply and exploit their talent: in return, I think it’s fair that I don’t need to tell them how to live their lives,” he said.

Well this is a new and somewhat unsettling experience – my broadband has stopped so I’m using my mobile phone to connect up – can’t believe this, it’s like being back on dial up !

 

This time tomorrow all should be back to normal – I hope !!

Slight improvement – got my old mobile dongle working on a pay as you go sim from GiffGaff So I’ll post what i think after a few days….

Apple CEO Tim Cook has admitted the company could have done better with its Maps application and has even suggested customers use Google Maps instead, which the company dropped from its latest operating system.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/tech/913617-apple-ceo-apologises-for-new-maps-and-suggests-users-download-google#ixzz27mJCLEA6

In a letter released by Mr Cook, he apologised for the frustration the feature had caused and said Apple had ‘fallen short’.

‘At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,’ he wrote in a document posted on the company’s official website.

‘With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment.

‘We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.’

The Apple boss recommended users try alternatives such as ‘ Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.’

The US tech giant dropped Google Maps from iOS6 after having it pre-installed on previous versions of the operating system.

He added Apple was continuing to improve its map software and the more people used it, the better it would get.

Users complained the new maps feature was not as detailed or as accurate as Google’s.

Well I googled around about this story and the rumour is that the fall out began because Google were adding features to the Andriod version of maps , BUT NOT the iOS version – so Apple being the way they are said screw you guys – and developed it’s own maps app!