Sunday, 23 April 2017

Happy Saint George's Day!

Saint George; AD 275–281 to 23 April 303), according to legend, was a Roman soldier of Greek origin and officer in the Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith. As a Christian martyr, he later became one of the most venerated saints in Christianity and in particular the Crusades.

And on a lighter note: Rik Mayall's Noble England

Pink Floyd - Echoes [Live at Pompei (Directors Cut)] HD

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
No one speaks
And no one tries
No one flies around the sun

Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Come streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.

Written by Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason, Rick Wright

Saturday, 22 April 2017

My 1st SkyDive - from 15000 ft!!! Thanks GoSkyDive!

Having had a "big birthday" last year (21 if you must know), Kim bought me a SkyDive package from the great guys at GoSkydive. They are based in Salisbury, and offer tandem jumps from 7000, 10000 & 15000 ft.

We decided to do the maximum height: 15,000 ft with the "Totally Epic" video package - which includes two video recordings: one by the instructor (the guy that I'm buckled to), and another by a freefall jumper. They used GoPro cameras which gave great results. The video is crystal sharp & I'm so happy with the results! We also got loads of still pictures as well.

Their organisation is amazing: slick, running like a well oiled machine! From booking, to the run-up to the day, even after the day, we had regular communications from them by text & email. The jump date was set for 21st April 2017. We were booked in for an arrival time of 11am, but arrived 30 minutes early with our great mates Brian & Tracy. I was immediately fast tracked through: induction, sign-in, suiting up / buckled into a harness, dangled from the ceiling(!) / given training, off to the departure area, and then to the aeroplane.

Now, bearing in mind that I love excitement & thrills, not scared of heights, love speed, I knew this was going to be great: I had no idea just how incredible this was going to be. My instructor was Henk who was great fun & gave superb advice, keeping me focused on exactly what to do & when. The freefall cameraman (Roman) was excellent too, with lots good banter from both guys.

Here are the videos, I hope you enjoy, I certianly did!
BTW, the intro's are the same, (slightly different angle) then the action starts!
See if you can spot Stonehenge!

If this is potentially your sort of thing, just do it! - highly recommended!

Earth Day, is today: 22nd April

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy

Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defence of environmental protection.

Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.

This Earth Day, gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education. We are launching Earth Day and Teach-In toolkits that will lay out the steps for holding a successful event. Register your event with us and we will support you with promotion and advice.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Mastercard Unveils Next Generation Biometric Card

Mastercard today unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to conveniently and safely verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

South Africa is the first market to test the evolved technology, with two separate trials recently concluded with Pick n Pay, a leading supermarket retailer, and Absa Bank, a subsidiary of Barclays Africa.

The new card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments today and can be used at EMV terminals worldwide.

“Consumers are increasingly experiencing the convenience and security of biometrics,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, enterprise risk and security, Mastercard. “Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security. It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected.”

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A prayer for election time

And remember this:

TalkTalk and BT rated worst for broadband in Which? survey

TalkTalk and BT have received the worst customer satisfaction scores in a survey of 12 broadband providers.

They scored 38% and 45% respectively with their customers, while Sky (48%) and EE (49%) came close behind them in the Which? survey of 1,800 people.

Frequent price rises, connections that drop, unreliable speeds and "woeful" customer service all contributed to the scores, the consumer group said.

The four account for almost three-quarters of the UK broadband market.

BT alone accounts for almost a third of the country's broadband connections.

Five stars?
Zen Internet had the highest customer rating at 86% in the survey, followed by Utility Warehouse (81%), John Lewis Broadband (68%), SSE (66%) and Plusnet (65%)
Virgin Media (52%), Vodafone (50%) and the Post Office (48%) were also included.