Poetic Justice


Now I love Top Gear and it’s presenter Jeremy Clarkson but his latest stunt made me smile.

Clarkson published his account details in a column in The Sun to back up his claims that the child benefit data loss furore, which resulted in the loss of unencrypted CDs containing bank details of 25m people, was a lot of fuss about nothing.

Clarkson published his account number and sort code, along with clues to his address, insisting that the worst that could happen was that someone could pay money into his account. Well a few days later and Clarkson has been forced to admit he was wrong after an unidentified prankster set up a £500 direct debit from the account to the charity Diabetes UK, the BBC reports.

“The bank cannot find out who did this because of the Data Protection Act and they cannot stop it from happening again,” Clarkson said in a column published in the Sunday Times. “I was wrong and I have been punished for my mistake.”

Clarkson now says of the case: “Contrary to what I said at the time, we must go after the idiots who lost the discs and stick cocktail sticks in their eyes until they beg for mercy.”

Oh and Clarkson recently had this to say about the Skoda Roomster which I got as a courtesy car a few weeks back and was pleasantly surprised by what a capable fun car it was.

57 Channels (and nothin’ on)


Bruce Springsteen sang that on his 1992 album Human Touch well in 2008 I can safely say with Sky TV that the number of channels has increased but the sentiment hasn’t.

For many years we had the full Sky TV premium package, movies, sport and every channel they supply. Then last year we decided that the nearly £50 a month was a bit excessive so decided to ditch the sports pack and can safely say we never missed it. Well this year we have gone the whole hog and ditched the whole thing, as £35 was still too much considering how little we actually watch on it nowadays and what we do watch is available for free.

Interestingly despite them pulling the plug at midnight last night there are still plenty of channels to watch, all the BBC offerings, the ITV offerings (no E4,More4 or Virgin but won’t notice them) Film4 and the Zone film channels and numerous others are still available as well as all the radio channels.

It must be said that the majority of TV I do watch nowadays are American premieres via Bit Torrent. Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, The Lost Room are ones that spring to mind.

Weather Station

A while ago I purchased a cheap and cheerless weather station from Maplins

Atech Weather Station

Maplins used to be a wonderful hobby electronics store, usually situated out of town, where after an exciting bus ride you could buy all manner of components, toys and kits to build yourself but has over recent years turned into a modern facsimile of the old Tandy stores. Maplin now seem to spend most of their efforts opening high street stores selling expensive computer components and consumer electronics of dubious quality for ridiculous prices. But I still cannot pass by one without popping in. They recently opened a store in Lincoln and what a dump it is, it’s dark, it smells (mostly of body odour) and you have to negotiate big piles of damaged cardboard boxes.

But I digress, it was on a visit to my parents that I passed one of the bigger, better stores in Walsall that I picked up this little weather station on a whim, I think it cost me about £15 in a sale. This little unit has in/out temperature monitoring, the outdoor being from a remote wireless sensor and a rudimentary barometer showing trend information. The humidity sensor is on the display unit so is next to useless in a centrally heated house!

It had proved quite reliable and informative when wanting to know the outside temperature. However recently the outdoor sensor has become unreliable, I suspect due to poor weather proofing.

My wife has always had a bit of a fixation on the weather, temperatures and forecasts. Some of this is due to her having to drive 90 miles a day into South Yorkshire for work. So this Christmas I was struggling for a present for her and decided to kill two birds with one stone and upgrade to a better weather station which she could have all the information she wanted and I could connect to a PC and monitor. There is a wide variety of systems out available and have opted for a budget LaCrosse WM-2350 station which I purchased from Aces Electronics.

LaCrosse WM-2350

The unit has a number of outdoor sensors, for temperature and humidty, wind speed and direction and rainfall.

Temp Sensor
Rain Sensor

I have yet to get to set up, delayed due to bad weather! But hopefully it will be up soon and I hope the supplied software will allow me to have a website up soon with live readings!

It’s alive!

Well I killed this blog sometime last year and I have lived to regret that rash decision. The reason for this drastic action was a fit of panic when a fellow work colleague had started spreading the url around and I was sure management had become aware of it.

I’d made most postings when I should of been working and the nature of some of the postings perhaps weren’t in keeping with my position. No they weren’t pornographic or anything like that but giving advice on how to crack wireless security and bypass network security was not quite what they pay me for!

It must be said at the time I wasn’t quite thinking straight as pressure, stress and mild depression had set in. It was a shame as some of the information and posts were quite interesting and may have been a useful resource.

I know find myself with a clearer head and have decided to resurrect the blog.

UK Licensed Radio Amateur