Categories
Opinion Reviews

Recommended: iammoving.com

iammoving.com was recommended to me by the estate agent who advertised the house we’re moving to in August.

After registering, for free (though I would pay for the service), you select the organisations you need to notify from a large, categorised list, and provide your account number (or whatever detail is appropriate).

You can then send each message individually, or send them all at once.

Unfortunately, some companies still require that age-old ink on paper malarkey. In these cases, a preformatted letter is made available to print.

iammoving.com is ‘in association with Royal Mail’, which makes sense because it could save them from thousands of undeliverable/redirected letters.

Categories
Opinion Reviews

RAC

The RAC have impressed me.

Whilst driving to my fiancée’s parents’ at the end of last week, the car conked out (while on the M6 Toll).
Fortunately, the power simply seemed to dissipate rather than instantly disappear, so I was easily able to slow to stop by an SOS box.
I have a mobile phone of course, but the SOS box allowed me to give a very precise location.

Calling the RAC was straightforward, just a matter of answering questions and confirming my own and the vehicle’s details.

The RAC man (an ex F1 engineer, apparently) arrived within 20 minutes (better than the estimate given on the phone), having called my mobile to let me know that he was a couple of minutes away.

He identified the problem simply by listening to the engine for a couple of seconds, and confirmed it by replacing the dead coil (a transformer that supplies the power to the spark-plugs).

I’d be very happy to recommend the RAC to anyone considering them (or their competitors).

Categories
Code Musings Opinion Personal Tech Web

BBC Homepage Beta Using jQuery

The BBC Beta Homepage is using jQuery, but unfortunately it’s ugly.

I should qualify that – I think it’s a good move to make the homepage more personalisable, but does it have to look so Web2.0?
Big text was a fad a year ago, but it’s too informal for an internationally recognised and respected news source, and it makes it look so childish – I dread to think what the new CBBC sites would look like!

I realise this is only a beta, and may well change considerably, but without a bit of a shrink I won’t be likely to use it as a homepage tab.

Categories
Musings Opinion Personal Religion Society

Rename Terrorism

If only [tag]terrorism[/tag] were renamed to ‘mild trepidation-ism‘ it wouldn’t be so effective.

Fortunately, I live in the [tag]UK[/tag], [tag]England[/tag] specifically, where our stiff-upper-lip-ed-ness prevents us from being too affected by [tag]terrorist[/tag] attacks.
It’s only when services are damaged that the country is really slowed.

Clearly there are some who unfortunately bear the brunt, often physically, in these attacks. Life for them, and their family and friends, may well be permanently changed.
But we have to put things in perspective: many many more people are killed by smoking than by terrorists in the UK; many more people are injured in simple DIY accidents than by terrorists. So why be so scared of it?

Being terrified by such a slim statistic is no way to live a life.

Calling it ‘Terrorism’ only serves to make it more powerful.

Categories
Rant

Why I might leave my bank: The NatWest Card Reader

Update, over 10 years later… I didn’t switch.

nwcardreader.jpgI have received in the post a Card Reader from NatWest.

They have designed this device to beef up the security around the (excellent btw) online banking.

The flaw? The fact that we will eventually have to take the damn thing everywhere you go. And the card of course.

The whole point of online banking is, afaiac, the fact that you can use it anywhere. Now we will only be able to use it IF we have the card reader with us, IF we have the card with us, and IF it actually works. And IF the battery isn’t dead.

I regularly use NWOLB at home and at work, so what do they suggest? “You could use someone else’s.” Well that’s just stupid.

Further issues:

  • I have two accounts with NatWest, both of which are accessible with the same login credentials. However, only one of those accounts has a card new enough to use this card reader. When will I therefore be forced to start using the card reader? I don’t know, but I expect that they will send me a new card (meaning my saved card details at various sites will have to be updated) and probably another card reader.
  • nwcardreaderpackaging.jpgThe amount of plastic, cardboard and paper used to send the card reader is shameful. From the outside in: Plastic postage bag, cardboard box, plastic tray, cardboard box (again), bubble-wrap, plastic bag.
  • It is my joint account which is ready for the card reader, but the other holder (the gf) wasn’t informed, and certainly wasn’t provided with a reader. She has also used NWOLB from work, so that’s four places we already use the service, i.e. three places we now won’t be able unless we carry this thing with us. Which we obviously can’t both do.

I am happy to pay the few extra pennies it would take to cover the fraud that this device might prevent.
I am happy to take the risk that it is my account that is compromised if they just abandon this daft device.

I am genuinely considering moving to another bank if this reader turns out to be compulsory.