So, in the news today was the fact that the e-Borders “RING OF STEEL” cost £1.2bn to set-up and has resulted in:

  • 2,000 arrests
  • 48,682 alerts
  • 1,000 refused entry
  • 14,000 intelligence reports

So, lets put this in context. this security mechanism designed to protect us has cost us £600,000 per arrest to date. Now, I appreciate that the initial start up costs don’t reflect the future of the system, but lets assume it takes 5 years to achieve Return on Investment (most IT systems are budgeted this way) well we have now achieved a cost of £120,000 per arrest. Bargain!

So, what will £1.2bn buy you?

I will leave you to decide what value the e-Borders scheme has to you, does it make you feel more safe to know this?

Well, after the disaster that was the HTC Touch Diamond I had a while ago, I decided I needed to call Orange and sort out my phones. I had been fancying an iPhone but I was loathed to move to O2 for it. I had been tracking the news around Orange because they were rumored to be selling the iPhone this year. But it being the end of November and there not being a press release in sight I decided just to call them and see what I could blackmail them in to providing.

I had seen the HTC Touch HD and thought, being the most expensive phone in the residential section I thought I should try it. I spoke to the nice lady at upgrades, she said she wasn’t authorised give me that for free and I should speak to “retentions”. I was duely transfered and speaking to the crack team; I mentioned that I wanted a good upgrade or an extreme downgrad. I asked about the HTC Touch HD and said I was looking for something like an iPhone. They said I had to pay £50 for it, I don’t normally pay for phone upgrades, however they offered me a halving of my line rental. So, I am now paying £22 per month for 1200 minutes, 900 texts, unlimited internet and I got a top of the line phone.Win!

The HTC Touch HD is much better than the Diamond, it is faster (although the processor is the same), it has a better display (a large 480×800 touch display) and all in all despite it’s relative weight it feels good to the touch. I was at a PR event last night for our company where our PR agency invited a group of journalists and we were discussing such devices. I bought out my phone and the considered opinion was that it was quite nice.

I think it won’t be going back and I can be quite happy with what I have.

 

I am just reading an article by Bill Thompson of the BBC:

"Unfortunately, however, like many other communities that seem to be happy and relaxed but are in turmoil just beneath the surface, eBay is more like the fictional murder-prone village of Midsomer than the perfect market." 

I loved that line. Apparently sellers will no longer be able to leave negative feedback for buyers, I am not sure if this is a good idea.

 

In response to a blog entry by Euan Semple :

Since I have moved jobs my relative profile has increased, through press releases and now because I have stuck my oar in on DigitalSpy to correct some speculation about my companies future products.

I have always been a prolific tart when it comes to socialising (especially on-line), but recently I was ‘found’ on Facebook by someone who is an avid user of our products. I decided that, although this person is known to me, I would deny this ‘friend’ request just because by many measures I don`t actually know them.

Euan and I have met only very rarely in person and in our previous lives interacted on-line as part of his now famous community at the BBC. This makes me comfortable considering hm one of the loose social network of on-line friends that I have, but without some personal connection or professional relationship, if the association is too loose I don’t feel I can ‘friend’ someone.

I invite comment… 

I encountered a rather annoying error message in this CMS when I wanted to add a Sitemap component called joomap to Mambo (to improve Google indexing ).

XML Parsing Error: junk after document element
Location: http://www.orbit.me.uk /index.php? option=com_joomap&view=google
Line Number 2, Column 1:<b>Warning</b>:  Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in <b>[snip] /administrator /components /com_joomap /plugins /content.plugin.php</b> on line <b>88</b><br />

This was a problem because it was stopping Google indexing the sitemap. So I decided to dust off my PHP and tackle the problem head on…

Continue reading “Joomap error at line 88 foreach()”

New broadband provider… a new year. Excellent:

Uptime:0 days, 4:11:09
Modulation:G.992.5 Annex A
Bandwidth (Up/Down) [kbps/kbps]:1,291 / 7,264
  
Output Power (Up/Down) [dBm]:12.0 / 18.0
Line Attenuation (Up/Down) [dB]:21.5 / 39.5
SN Margin (Up/Down) [dB]:7.0 / 6.5

 Ah, heck, it might not be 24Mb but its enough for me.