Monday, 31 March 2014

'Big six' energy firms face competition inquiry

Regulators will investigate whether the "big six" UK energy suppliers prevent effective competition in the UK energy market.

A report by regulator Ofgem has called for an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which could take 18 months.

Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw said it would cause delays to investment and "an increasing risk" of blackouts. - just like he said the last time.

Ofgem's report has criticised the effectiveness of competition.

The big six - SSE, Scottish Power, Centrica, RWE Npower, E.On and EDF Energy - account for about 95% of the UK's energy supply market.

The Ofgem report finds "possible tacit co-ordination" on the size and timing of price rises, but does not accuse the major energy firms of colluding over prices.

so we only have to wait 18 months

what a pity they didn't start 18 months ago...

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friday Fact

Wayne Rooney's voicemail password was Stella Artois.

footballers eh!!!!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

IEC welcomes MEPs’ support for its universal mobile charger standard

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, today welcomed last week’s near-unanimous vote by the European Parliament to embed the IEC’s universal phone charger standard for data-enabled mobile telephones into law in the EU by 2017.

Published in 2011, the globally relevant IEC International Standard IEC 62684, Interoperability specifications of common external power supply (EPS) for use with data-enabled mobile telephones covers all aspects of the charger, connector and plug. It also sets the standards for safety, interoperability and environmental considerations

(see: http://www.iec.ch/newslog/2011/nr0311.htm).

The International Standard was the product of a cooperative effort within a group lead by the IEC, which included the USB-IF (Implementers Forum), CEN-CENELEC and ITU-T.

IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk commented, “We are pleased that our voluntary, consensus-driven International Standard for mobile phone chargers was backed by the European Parliament. When industry comes up with a good solution to an environmental and consumer issue, as it has in the case of this Standard, it is pleasing to see it being rolled out broadly.

“The proposed regulation will cut complexity for consumers by making smartphone chargers interoperable with a majority of handsets. It will also be good news for the environment.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Testing is the key!!!

Test may have found electrical fault which killed mother, court told

An electrical fault which killed a 22-year-old mother of one would have been detected had the proper test been done, a court has heard.

Two electricians stand accused of breaching health and safety law after Emma Shaw was electrocuted at her home in West Bromwich on December 14, 2007.

Miss Shaw was found dead in the storage room of her Jefferson Place flat, on Grafton Road, by her partner after dealing with a leak from her boiler while her 23-month-old son was in the living room.

Christopher Tomkins, 52 and from Rowley Village, Rowley Regis, and 53-year-old Neil Hoult, from Dane Terrace, also Rowley Regis, have both denied one charge of breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

At the opening of their trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday, the jury was told that they were both employed by Anchor Building and Electrical Services Ltd, which had been contracted to carry out electrical work during the development of Jefferson Place in 2006.

Prosecuting barrister Mr Richard Matthews QC said that a form filled in by Tomkins on March 8, 2006, appeared to show he had carried out insulation testing on all electrical circuits in the flat that would later become home to Miss Shaw.

That form showed all of the circuits in the flat were problem free – including one that fed an immersion heater in the boiler, circuit three – and a typed copy was then signed off by Hoult, who was Tomkins’ qualified supervisor.

Mr Matthews said: “In fact the electrical installation, the prosecution says, was far from safe, and expert investigation since Emma Shaw’s death has revealed a cable in circuit three had been penetrated by a screw during the construction phase of the development.

“That caused a metal frame inside the wall to become live and charged to 230 volts, which occurred prior to the inspection and testing.

“If Christopher Tomkins had tested circuit three properly, or at all, as he had reported he had done and which Neil Hoult certified, then the fault that was present would have been detected immediately, and the problem investigated and remedied.

“Instead, the prosecution allege, through their negligence an extremely dangerous situation was allowed to persist over a period of at least 21 months until in 2007 the events unfolded.”

The jury were shown a video compiled by the Health and Safety Executive that showed how the fatal electrocution is believed to have occurred.

A wire was pierced by a screw when the wall of the flat’s storage room was being constructed with plasterboard.

Via that screw, an electrical current was then transferred to the metal ‘c-section’ frame within the partition wall. That metal frame would have remained charged from the time of the wall’s construction until Miss Shaw’s death nearly two years later.

When Miss Shaw’s boiler began to leak, a puddle was created on the floor which would then also have been charged by the metal frame. Miss Shaw knelt in that puddle, meaning she too became charged with 230 volts, and when she touched the earthed stopcock to turn off the water an electrical current was passed through her.

Mr Matthews said she would not have been able to release the stopcock, and would have quickly become unconscious.

He told the jury that when a working circuit is insulation tested it should show a meter reading of 200 mega-ohms, and anything under that reading should have alerted an electrician to a problem.
Of the faulty circuit, he said: “A resistance test would have produced a reading of 0.02 mega-ohms, some 10,000 times less than the 200 mega-ohms figure.”

Nevertheless, he said a reading of 200 was recorded by Tomkins. Mr Matthews also said that, on the same form, a reading of 200 was given by Tomkins for a circuit that did not exist in the flat.
This is something that Hoult should have picked up, Mr Matthews alleges.

Both Tomkins and Hoult have denied one charge of failure to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The trial continues.
from - http://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2014/03/20/test-may-have-found-electrical-fault-which-killed-mother-court-told/

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Solar blasts narrowly missed Earth in 2012

 Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012

The bursts would have wreaked havoc on the Earth’s magnetic field, matching the severity of the 1859 Carrington Event, the largest solar magnetic storm ever reported on the planet.

That blast knocked out the telegraph system across the US, said University of California, Berkeley, research physicist Janet Luhmann.


Had it hit, it probably would have been like the big one in 1859, but the effect today, with our modern technologies, would have been a lot more significant.

A 2013 study estimated that a solar storm like the Carrington Event could take a US$2.6 trillion out of the current global economy.

Massive bursts of solar wind and magnetic fields, shot into space on July 23, 2012, would have been aimed directly at Earth if they had happened nine days earlier

The bursts from the sun, called coronal mass ejections, carried southward magnetic fields and would have clashed with Earth’s northward field, causing a shift in electrical currents that could have caused electrical transformers to burst into flames. The fields also would have interfered with global positioning system satellites.

The event, detected by NASA’s STEREO A spacecraft, is the focus of a paper that was released in the journal Nature Communications last week

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pension Reforms

With us about to start auto enrolment pensions we were interested to hear about government plans to overhaul pensions announced in Wednesday's Budget.

The proposed reforms will allow people to spend their pension pots how they wish rather having to buy an annuity, which guarantees an annual income.

The new rules are due to come in from April 2015, subject to consultation, with some existing regulations to be relaxed from Thursday.

We all know the annuities and pension market currently does not work well for people who have saved all their lives.

Reform was well overdue and the changes that people have more flexibility about how to access their money should shake up the market.



Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sport Relief: Stars help to raise more than £51m

More than £51m was raised for charity on Friday's live Sport Relief show - breaking the previous on-the-night record.

Kylie Minogue, David Walliams and Sebastian Coe were among the sports stars and celebrities who took part in the six-hour BBC show.

Our highlights was the return of Only Fools and Horses after 11 years with a sketch starring David Beckham. Inspiring!!!!

The grand total of £51,242,186 was announced at the end of the broadcast.

Host Fearne Cotton described the achievement, which beat the record £50.4m raised during the last Sport Relief show two years ago, as "mind blowing".

we think we can do better... according to the ONS, the UK population currently runs at 67.3 million.

50 million is less than a pound a head.

Come on - dig deep, there is still time

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A new type of battery that it says could be four times as powerful

VW is testing new battery chemistry capable of providing between three and four times the power from a given capacity. This would mean up to 80kWh from a similar volume occupied by the current Golf Blue-e-motion's 26.5kWh battery pack.

announced a the Geneva motor show, he said that the company has tested lithium-ion batteries with its existing cell supplier (Sanyo) with between 24 and 28kWh and also up to 37kWh, but “an 80kWh unit is under development using our own technology. It would provide between three and four times the battery power in a given package.”

VW refuses to name the battery chemistry, but doesn’t deny it is a lithium-air unit, which are capable of delivering huge amounts of power, but are in the very early stages of development.

As to how far a plug-in hybrid or pure battery car could travel in electric mode with such a battery,  depends on what the customer wants.

would you settle for about 200km (124 miles) of electric range???

food for thought?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

We are looking for qualified experienced electricians NOW!!!

Need electricians NOW!!!

Due to expansion and a ever expanding work book we are actively looking for intelligent electricians with the possibility of moving up to team leader. 
 
We are looking for someone with a great attitude, prepared to got the extra mile, work hard and reap the rewards of their own success 
 
Can you analyse electrical related problems and determine appropriate solutions?  
Do you have Knowledge of electrical drawings? 
 
If you have the ability to explain work projects with a good level of English, the ability to write legibly in English, the ability to schedule and organize inspection of equipment, to logically maintain records and generate appropriate reports we need using our bespoke IT system - Call us NOW! This could be the job for you. 
 
The right person should be able to work with our customers from large corporates to domestic home owners with minimum requirement of supervision. 
 
As part of our continued growth we are always looking for talented people with integrity – particularly qualified Electricians looking for the flexibility of working within a growing Electrical Services provider.  
 
We work in both the domestic and commercial sectors in Bedfordshire as well as offering specialist underfloor heating services to the domestic market across the South of England. We also have extensive experience working with large stately homes and listed buildings. We have the resources, professionalism and infrastructure of a larger supplier, yet retain the flexibility and personal touch usually associated with a smaller organisation. 

Call us NOW

Are Electric cars no longer the exception?

The Porsche Panamera S is quite a car. Sleek, powerful and aerodynamic, it's capable of 167mph.
But that's not all. The version on display here in Geneva is also able to travel for about 20 miles on nothing but battery power.

It is, of course, a hybrid. It has an electric motor sitting alongside a 3-litre petrol engine. It is fast, powerful and remarkably economical. Porsche claims it can drive for 91 miles on a single gallon of petrol.

Yet if you can afford a Porsche, you can probably also afford a fairly steep fuel bill - so why has the company taken the time, trouble and expense to develop it?

This technology helps us to fulfil our responsibilities, and it will help us to meet future requirements from regulators, for at least the next 10 to 15 years.

What is happening at Porsche is very much a sign of the times. A decade ago, hybrids were still a fairly unusual sight at the big international motor shows.

Now, under pressure from regulators around the world, carmakers have been working hard to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. So hybrids have become decidedly mainstream.

Electric motors not only reduce emissions, they allow energy that would normally be lost - under braking, for example - to be recovered, boosting efficiency.

Now, some manufacturers are going a step further - and producing wholly electric cars aimed at the mass market. Last year, for example, BMW released the i3, a neat little city car that runs entirely on batteries.

The BBC's Theo Leggett has a look around the BMW i3
BMW invested billions of euros in the new model - a remarkable move from a company that has built its reputation producing upmarket sports cars and luxury bosses' barges. Arguably, it was also quite a risk.

But according to Ian Robertson, BMW's global marketing chief, the market for electric cars is approaching a tipping point, where battery power will become as normal as petrol or diesel.

"If you look back over the past three years, the electric car market has multiplied by a factor of 25," he says.

"There's no doubt in our mind that it's coming and it's coming quickly and there is legislation supporting this in many cities.

"You can drive into London and pay zero congestion charge, for example. There are taxation incentives in the UK, but also in the US and Asia as well.

It is a view echoed at the French carmaker Renault. It too has invested heavily in electric cars, along with its partner company Nissan.

Half of its large stand here at Geneva is dedicated to battery-powered models, including the Zoe supermini, unveiled a year ago, as well as its quirky little two-seater buggy, the Twizy, and a Kangoo delivery van.

Renault Twizy The Twizy is part of Renault's zero emissions programme
Renault and Nissan had hoped to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles between them by 2016. That target has now been set back to 2020. But Vincent Carre, the commercial director of Renault's electric car programme, is undaunted.

"We know our customers now," he says, "and we remain totally convinced that electric cars have a strong, strong place in the market."

Yet electric cars have been around for more than a century, without ever selling in large quantities. So why are mainstream manufacturers apparently deciding to invest in the technology now?
Further improvement

"It's battery technology," explains Jay Nagley, head of the automotive consultancy RedSpy. "People have been playing around with electric cars pretty much forever. Certainly since the oil crisis of 1973 people have been saying that electric vehicles are the future.

"But there was no way of powering them until lithium ion batteries were developed for cars over the past few years.

"Since that technology has been around, you've had the energy density available. Before that it simply wasn't possible. And they will continue to improve every year now."

Tesla Model S Tesla has been increasing production of its Model S
The effects of that change have certainly been dramatic. The development of potent cars such as the Tesla Model S has gone a long way towards destroying the stereotype of electric cars as slow and impractical.

Yet although sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly, they remain a tiny fraction of the global total. For the moment, the internal combustion engine remains king.

Some manufacturers, too, remain unconvinced that battery-powered cars will ever make up a major segment of the market. Toyota, for example, believes that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have more ultimate potential.

But it is no longer ridiculous to suggest that one day, at motor shows like this one, petrol or diesel cars could be the exception rather than the rule.

from the BBC

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Multiferroics are the way forward

With today's device microprocessors, electric current passes through transistors, which are essentially very small electronic switches. Because current involves the movement of electrons, this process produces heat -- which makes devices warm to the touch. These switches can also "leak" electrons, making it difficult to completely turn them off. And as chips continue to get smaller, with more circuits packed into smaller spaces, the amount of wasted heat grows.

The UCLA Engineering team used multiferroic magnetic materials to reduce the amount of power consumed by "logic devices," a type of circuit on a computer chip dedicated to performing functions such as calculations. A multiferroic can be switched on or off by applying alternating voltage -- the difference in electrical potential. It then carries power through the material in a cascading wave through the spins of electrons, a process referred to as a spin wave bus.

A spin wave can be thought of as similar to an ocean wave, which keeps water molecules in essentially the same place while the energy is carried through the water, as opposed to an electric current, which can be envisioned as water flowing through a pipe, said principal investigator Kang L. Wang, UCLA's Raytheon Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN).

Spin waves open an opportunity to realize fundamentally new ways of computing while solving some of the key challenges faced by scaling of conventional semiconductor technology, potentially creating a new paradigm of spin-based electronics...

The UCLA researchers were able to demonstrate that using this multiferroic material to generate spin waves could reduce wasted heat and therefore increase power efficiency for processing by up to 1,000 times.

Their research is published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Orbik Electronics Ltd

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Engineering apprenticeships are twice as popular as degrees

More than double the number of young people are choosing engineering apprenticeships as degree courses, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has revealed.

Figures from the Skills Funding Agency show that in 2012/13, 66,410 young people started an apprenticeship in engineering and manufacturing technologies, more than double the 27,155 young people accepted onto engineering higher education courses in 2013, according to UCAS figures.  Overall, in 2012/13, there were 510,200 apprenticeship starts compared to 495,595 accepted places for degree courses in 2013.

Michelle Richmond, IET Membership Director, and a former apprentice, said: “With a university degree costing £27,000 in fees alone and with no guarantee of a job at the end of the course, apprenticeships are more popular than ever with young people.

“Engineering, which is fundamental to a healthy economy, is one of few professions where there is a range of entry routes for young people to start their journey to becoming a well-respected professional engineer. And with the recent Government Trailblazer initiative, led by the IET and other industry leaders to introduce new standards to make sure apprenticeships meet employer needs, we can only expect apprenticeships to go from strength to strength.”

Nigel Whitehead, BAE Systems Group Managing Director, Programmes & Support, said: “Apprenticeship programmes create a pipeline of exceptionally talented young engineers. In tough economic times it is even more important that businesses plan for the long term and continue to invest in skills and developing talent in the workplace.”

Lydia Feasey, the IET Apprentice of the Year 2013, has just completed her apprenticeship at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. She took the apprenticeship route after completing her A Levels. Lydia said: “The best thing about an apprenticeship is that you can gain experience that you can use in your future career, as well as continue your education at college or university and earn money whilst you're doing it.”

Apprenticeships are doing well, its just a pity it Govt so long to recognise this...

Monday, 10 March 2014

Bath nightclub fire started by an electrical fault

An electrical fault has been blamed for a fire at a nightclub in Bath.

A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue said the blaze at Moles in George Street on Saturday morning was accidental.

The fire in the four-story building caused heavy smoke damage and the club is still closed.

There were initial reports that members of a band were sleeping in an upper floor.

However, a subsequent search found the building was empty.

Royal Mail to raise stamp prices

The last price increase was two years ago, when first-class stamps jumped to 60p from 46p

The price of a first-class stamp is to increase by 2p to 62p while a second-class stamp will go up 3p to 53p, Royal Mail has announced.

Also from 31 March, a large letter first-class stamp up to 100g will rise by 3p to 93p and a large letter second-class stamp will increase by 4p to 73p.

Two years ago the cost of a first-class stamp jumped from 46p to 60p.

Royal Mail said that under the current regulatory framework, it could have increased second-class stamps by 7p, instead of the 3p it chose to.




Sunday, 9 March 2014

Now Thats interesting!!!

 
36% of views of our Blog have been on Firefox.
 
MS's IE is only 25%

Saturday, 8 March 2014

MP's want to Toughen up on 'incompetent' sparkies

Tougher rules are needed to ensure electricians have enough training to work on people's homes without putting them in danger, MPs have warned.

Rules in England state that "competent" people must sign up with councils to ensure their work is safe and legal.

But the Communities and Local Government Committee said some had only a few weeks' training and called enforcement of rules "at best patchy".

The government said it would consider the findings "carefully".

In 2005, the Labour government brought most electrical work in the home under the system of building regulations, designed to ensure safety standards.

It was decided that only those deemed "competent persons" by local authorities should be able to do the work and then hand customers certificates to show it was of good quality and legal.

The committee said safety overall had risen since 2005, but it raised concerns about the standards in place, saying some council officers were signing off more than 3,400 competency notifications a year to electricians.

Somebody whose only electrical qualification is that they have attended a five-week training course simply should not be re-wiring houses” - Clive Betts MP

This led to questions over how much scrutiny was going on.

In some cases, the MPs were told, people stood "as much chance of getting a competent person as asking a bloke down the pub to do the job".

The committee received evidence that some workers had done no more than take a "two-hour open book exam" before carrying out domestic electrical work, while others had taken internet-advertised "five-week wonder" courses.

Added to this, only 14% of the population were even aware of the system, fewer than a third of the number who knew about the Corby scheme for gas-fitters.

The committee recommended that, within five years, no-one should be allowed to carry out the electrical work covered by building regulations without an NVQ Level III or equivalent qualification and "a significant period of supervised on-the-job training".

A limit should be set on the number of cases each "competent person" could be responsible for approving, it added.
Resources call

Committee chairman Labour MP Clive Betts said: "Somebody whose only electrical qualification is that they have attended a five-week training course simply should not be re-wiring houses. Yet this is what we were told is happening.

"The person in the home wants to know that the person arriving on the doorstep is a qualified electrician.

"The current system does not guarantee this. Rather, it can brand the incompetent as competent."
Mr Betts called for councils to be given the resources to enforce the regulations.

Communities minister Stephen Williams said: "I'm pleased that the committee recognises the improvements since the building regulations covering electrical safety were introduced but there is always more work to be done to strike the right balance and we will consider the report's recommendations carefully, especially as part of our review of the impact of changes we've made to reduce unnecessary red tape in this area."

from the BBC

Friday, 7 March 2014

Friday Fact

A hummingbird's brain accounts for 4.2% of its bodyweight, the highest of any bird.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Totally OFF TOPIC, but we love this concept car - re launch of the Monza




National Apprentice Competition

Our very own Peter Hall has been in the National Apprentice Competition.


Regional finalist Peter Hall with his support team Bedford College CEO Ian Pryce CBE, Vice Principal Dave Pridmore, Tony Joyce Executive Director of Construction and Building Services and the winning electrical training team

Bedford College hosted the regional heats of the ‘Megger National Apprentice Electrician of the Year 2014’ on Friday February 28th.

Among the 12 trainee electricians taking part will be a competitor who studies at Bedford College.

Well done Pete

The National Apprentice of the Year competitions were launched by SNG Publishing Ltd (publishers of the apprentice magazines, HIP! and SPARKS) in 2009, giving students the opportunity to be recognised for their hard work and skills. The national event is split into two competitions, one for electrical and one for plumbing. Each college is allowed to put forward one student per discipline. They can be either working in the industry or college-based. To be eligible they must be currently studying for their Level 2 or 3 qualification and be no older than 24 years of age.

All competitors attend regional heats, where an overall regional winner is chosen.

Each student that enters the competition is awarded a Certificate of Achievement for successfully competing. All regional winners are given an all expenses paid trip to the Live Final which usually takes place two months after the regional heats have finished.

The overall winner of the competition will be awarded the title ‘National Apprentice of the Year’ and will be presented with his or her prize by the President of the CIPHE (for plumbing) or Tony Cable of NICEIC and ELECSA (for electrical).

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The NHS has 1 million PC's still running Windows XP

Whitehall is doing a deal with Microsoft to prevent thousands of NHS computers from falling victim to hackers targeting Windows XP from April.

The government and Microsoft are in talks to offer extended security support to NHS PCs still running Windows XP that miss an 8 April deadline.

we presume bespoke extended support wont come cheap.

The NHS in England alone has 1.086 million PCs and laptops running Windows XP at trusts, GPs and other health groups.

The National Health Service in Scotland will be contending with 3,603.

That means there will be no more software updates and patches from Microsoft for new security vulnerabilities or holes discovered in Windows XP after that date.

Got XP??? well it time to upgrade...

PCs at hospitals, GPs and trusts across Great Britain will miss the early April deadline and therefore be wide open to attack.

That means sensitive patient data and the secure login credentials of millions of NHS staff will be sitting ducks for those writing malware designed to steal data.

The PCs themselves as well as NHS computer networks will also be vulnerable to virus writes and those intent on simply infecting and disabling Windows XP PCs.

Factors holding back the NHS include the fact that many critical apps had not been updated to work with Windows XP’s successor, Windows 7, until last year. Such apps included the Patient Administration System and Choose and Book, a browser-based app that could only work with the Windows XP browser.

Another factor is the existence of custom apps in HR and patient record systems built for Windows XP that must also be updated for Windows 7. It is likely that many of these have not been updated.
Also adding delay is the fact that NHS IT teams are not just looking after operating systems but large numbers of apps: one NHS trust with 6,000 PCs told us it has whittled 1,300 apps down to 100 as part of its Windows XP migration work to Windows 7.

from - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/12/nhs_microsoft_win_xp_extended_support/

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

All landlords called to install smoke alarms

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service wants it to be a legal requirement for all landlords to install smoke alarms in their properties.

It has highlighted how residents are up to four times more likely to die in a house fire if a working alarm has not been fitted. Statistics show such a device is less likely to feature in rented accommodation and therefore such residents are at a higher risk.

The fire authority said, while 12 per cent of properties are without a smoke alarm, 38 per cent of fire-related deaths are in homes that don't have a working device. Between 2006/7 and 2011/12, there were 658 fatalities caused by blazes, with the cost to the economy coming in at £2.67 billion.

It envisages it will cost between £11 million and £13.7 million to fit ten-year smoke alarms in private rented properties that currently do not have one.

The government has recently started a review of private rented housing and will consider whether or not to introduce the law that all such accommodation must be equipped with a working device.

There will be a consultation to determine if the proposal has sufficient widespread support. There is a six-week window of opportunity in which the fire authority is preparing to make a compelling case for change.

While the force conceded fire deaths were "relatively low", it reinforced its firm belief that landlords had a "moral duty" to ensure the safety of their tenants. It praised the best landlords for already meeting such high standards and taking the risks of fire seriously and said many of those were currently working with the authority to press for change.

It highlighted how it cost less than £2 a year to install a smoke alarm.

from - http://www.fia.uk.com/en/Information/Details/index.cfm/All-landlords-called-to-install-smoke-alarms

Monday, 3 March 2014

Seriously Electrical condoms to put a buzz into making love!!!!

Not happy at wearing condoms? Preservatives pissing you off...

here come the next gen of electrical condom that 'should' make it a bit more fun!!!

Two researchers from Georgia Tech's Digital Media Program have invented a device that sends short electric impulses along the underside of the condom.

This increases the sensations felt during sex and opens up the technology to be used with other wearable devices and sensors, from Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.

Called Electric Eel, the digital prototype was made using a soft 'stimulating sleeve' fitted with conductive arrays of electrodes.

The device is powered by a programmable Lilypad microcontroller, which can send electrical impulses to small electrodes lining the inside of the sleeve.

This type of device could be hooked up to numerous controllers, directed in person or using existing Internet software,” said the designers. (Freaky!)

In terms of safety, the amount of electricity applied is very small but they haven't told us where they hide the batteries...

Maybe you could have a self charging one from having fun and upload spare 'energy' back to the grid.

The energy crisis solved...

Make Love not war

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Could your WiFi router get a cold????

Researchers at the Liverpool Uni have shown for the first time that WiFi networks can be infected with a virus that can move through densely populated areas as efficiently as the common cold spreads between humans.

The team designed and simulated an attack by a virus, called "Chameleon," and found that not only could it spread quickly between homes and businesses, but it was able to avoid detection and identify the points at which WiFi access is least protected by encryption and passwords.

Researchers from the University's School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and Electronics, simulated an attack on Belfast and London in a laboratory setting, and found that "Chameleon" behaved like an airborne virus, travelling across the WiFi network via Access Points (APs) that connect households and businesses to WiFi networks.

Areas that are more densely populated have more APs in closer proximity to each other, which meant that the virus propagated more quickly, particularly across networks connectable within a 10-50 metre radius.


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Security failings in home routers

Serious security failings in home routers are getting more attention from both attackers and researchers.

In recent weeks, attacks have been mounted on Linksys and Asus routers via loopholes that thieves could exploit.

In Poland, reports suggest one gang has successfully adjusted router settings in a bid to steal cash.
A separate study found many of the routers sold online have bugs that attackers could easily exploit.
This week the Internet Storm Center (ISC) warned about a continuing attempt to exploit a vulnerability in 23 separate models of Linksys routers.

The virus, a self-replicating program or worm called The Moon, takes control of the router and then uses it to scan for other vulnerable systems.

So far, wrote ISC researcher Johannes Ullrich, it is not clear why the routers are being compromised and what might be done with them. There are hints in the exploit code that the routers will at some point be gathered together into a network of compromised machines, he said in a blogpost. Currently, he added, all the worm was doing was spreading to other Linksys routers.

Linksys has also published technical advice about how to update the core software for vulnerable routers and how to turn off the remote management feature.

Online bank login screen Polish cyberthieves targeted home routers to aid bank thefts
Earlier this month, many users of Asus routers who remotely connect via the gadget to hard drives in their homes, perhaps to watch DVDs they have ripped, found that someone had used the same feature to upload a text file urging them to do more to make the device safe.


Employee of the Month - February

We had two winners in February. It was a dead heat and we couldn't decide on a casting vote so we agreed to have two


Well done to both of them..