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Showing posts from July, 2005
Thanet Skies

With no air traffic control over Thanet today and an open-day at Maypole, we, the local farm-strip pilots that is, have been trying to work what happens next at Manston.

St Mildred's Bay Sunset

As far as I can work out from reported conversations with pilots and ATC controllers, everything stops from tonight, as the Manston people have only been paid up until today. With no emergency coverage and I assume no insurance as a consequence, this should mean, I'm told, that Manston is now unlicensed, in principle at least and nothing can move. So what happens to all the commercial aircraft on the ground, 747 cargo aircraft and even the Coastguard flight unless they moved out in the last 24 hours?

Answers on a postcard please!

Next weekend, Sunday, is the Woodchurch Wings Airshow over towards Ashford and it's a great family day out if you like airshows. It includes the B17 Flying Fortress Bomber, Sally B, Mustangs, Spitfires and Hurricanes, so don't miss it if you are…
A Touch of Nostalgia

The Lotus Development football team pictured before a match against the Lotus factory outside Dublin, sometime in the eighties. The losing goalkeeper, me, is taking the photo. It seemed inconceivable at the time that another company, tiny Microsoft, would tear the empire away from Lotus Development, now relegated to being a division of IBM.

Another piece of industry history in the photos below. The launch of The Java Forum at the NEC in the mid-90's. I'm bottom right. You may recognise some of the faces. Is that Bill Gates or a cunningly disguised clone half way up the stairs next to Sun's Andy Bush and behind IBM's Simon Phipps?

EUjet in Photos

Lee Salway -3
Just to remind ourselves that while thousands of angry passengers try and make their home home from destinations across Europe and others worry about compensation, five hundred people, many of them living locally, have lost their jobs with the collapse of EUJet yesterday through no fault of their own. Here's a small photo memory of the people who worked hard to try and make the struggling airline a local success story over the last ten months.

EUjet Photos
Easy Rescue for EUjet Passengers?

Received this morning.

Following the announcement that EUJet has suspended all of its operations, easyJet, Europe's leading low-cost airline, will offer those passengers stranded at their European destinations, a special rescue fee of £25 to return home to the UK.

easyJet has made this offer available to any EUJet passenger due to travel inbound to the UK during the next seven days (offer available until 23:59 Tuesday 2 August).

To claim the exclusive £25 rescue package, passengers should call easyJet customer services on 0871 244 2366 (other telephone numbers: in Spain 90 229 9992; in Switzerland 0848 888 222; in the Netherlands 023 568 4880; in France 08 25 08 25 08; in Greece 210 353 0300; in Germany 01803 654 321; in Italy 848 887766; in Denmark 7012 4321; in Portugal 808 204 204; in Republic of Ireland 1890 923 922; If you are telephoning from a country not listed above, you can call us on 0044 870 6 000 000) where a maximum of £25 will be charge…
Dress Sense

She’s Gone – Wave Farewell to EUjet

It’s a tragedy for Kent and a greater loss to Thanet. The demise of EUjet dashes the hope of developing an area of the country that badly needed the business the airline could have generated to help build a relatively poor local economy. The loss of EUjet means that other budget airlines are unlikely to take the same risk in future and this also raises tsome ough questions over the future of Lydd Airport and its own expansion plans, represented by the millions being poured into re-developing the airfield by its Saudi owners.

EUjet has now suspended all flights to and from Kent International Airport, a day after shares in its parent company were suspended. Even worse, passengers have been left waiting at the airport, with no flights into or out of Manston running. Five thousand passengers are reportedly affected and five hundred jobs will be lost, with some airport staff openly shedding tears as they had to deal with angry passengers marooned at the ai…
Your Message Here

I rather think that EUjet may not now be in the best position to take-up the offer of sponsoring the new AIRADS Cessna 172, an addition to the "fleet" which will be seen towing banners over UK events, both large and small, from Glastonbury and the Open Golf Championships to "Will you Marry Me Wendy" in future.

This all rather leaves me in a bit of a quandry. One TV music programme wants to repaint and sponsor, Zulu Victor as a flying advertisment but I'd never live down the pink paint scheme they want. So is any business out there interested in having their company message seen by hundreds of thousands of people, at low-level over the UK in the next year or more? It's really not that expensive to have a complete aircraft paint scheme done. Send me an email if your'e interested.
EUjet in Crisis

The BBC reports that the future of budget airline EUjet could be in doubt after shares in its parent company were suspended.

The PlaneStation Group's shares were suspended after the Bank of Scotland said it could not support any additional finance for EUjet, based at Kent's Manston Airport.

Battling to make the airline a local success story, EUjet lost £6.5m in the second half of 2004 and last month, parent group, PlaneStation had to sell off its 75% interest in the Kent International Business Park in Manston, blaming EUjet's poor passenger numbers. Let's hope, for the sake of local employment and the future of the local economy, that it manages to pull through this crisis.

Last December's re-funding was largely underwritten by stockbroker Evolution at 10p a share. The shares were today suspended at 5.35p after they fell more than 8% in early trading. The company's debts are thought to total more than £22 million.

In a statement today, The group said…
Punishment Inconsistent for Convicted HackersConvicted computer criminals are getting drastically different sentences, depending upon the jurisdiction in which they are tried, with one notorious hacker netting a very light suspended sentence, experts tell TechNewsWorld. A judge in Germany today handed down a 21-month suspended sentence to Sven Jaschan, the creator of the malicious Sasser virus that wreaked havoc on global Internet service in 2004. [via TechNewsWorld]
UK Police Chiefs Seek Powers to Attack Terror Web SitesThe Association of Chief Police Officers has asked for new legislation giving the security services "powers to attack identified websites". The proposal, along with one for a new offence covering "use of the internet to prepare, encourage, facilitate acts of terrorism" was part of the terror law 'shopping list' presented by ACPO at the Prime Minister's meeting with law enforcement agencies last Thursday. [via The Register]
Spelling it Out

"Your'e not going up in this?", said another pilot this afternoon, as the rain lashed down on the aircraft next to us. "Got to", came the answer, "Bit like the Pony Express, EUjet want their banner over the War & Peace Show at exactly 16:30 and Airads have to be there."

At least we had the skies to ourselves on the way down to position for the banner and broke out of the rain and dense swirling clouds in time to find the grass runway exactly where it should be.

Fortunately, the skies were beginning to clear from the west as the forecast had predicted. EUjet had its banner on time and I managed to throw a cup of coffee over myself as we hit turbulence descending through the clouds. All in an afternoon's work I guess.
How To Beat Rising Petrol Costs

Just when I thought I'd seen it all. The pictures speak for themselves but Huskies are cheaper to run than a car and will get to work in the city faster on any weekday morning.

So beat the rush, buy a Husky or better still two and cut your commuting costs down to the cost of steak and dog biscuits.

In fact the chap in the photo also has a microlight aircraft and a rocket-propelled shopping trolley but has become more ecologically friendly in the last year since his investment in canine thrust technology.
No Taxation Without Representation

Tax credits. The desk at my local MPs office was strewn with constituency correspondence from families suffering real hardship as a consequence of the government’s tax credit fiasco.

Last year, the Inland Revenue spent £15 million attempting to resolve the problems caused by the generation of incorrect payments under Gordon Brown’s flagship tax-credit scheme, which in many thousands of cases has instead of lifting needy families out of poverty, has delivered them into the arms of rapacious money-lenders.

Furthermore, the real cost of administering the scheme has been revealed as costing £403 million a year, nearly £71 per award, in stark contrast with the £22 cost of administering each self-assessment tax forms.

But if you think that this is “eGovernment @ its Best” then you might not have come across the problem with business filing of year-end accounts. I have and for a few hours at least, it sent me into a panic.

Government has been encouraging busines…
Deja Vu Perhaps

I've been trying to recover a website where I stored my modest efforts at traditional Japanese haiku-style poetry, one of which was lucky enough to win runner-up place in a Guardian competition, For some reason, I can't recover the home-page but I was suddenly and uncomfortably reminded of one short poem I wrote:

"Just another bus
God is great- letters rimmed in gold
Frozen in the flames."

The poem published by the Guardian, for anyone who might be interested was:

"Two children, two dogs
Cold subway tunnel for a home
Under Charing Cross."
Out of Sight - Out of Mind

No, I haven't dropped out of sight this week, it's just that my laptop is still over at Microsoft being fixed.. The dreaded ISASS.EXE error all over again and I'm using my old faithful reserve HP, vintage 2001. That said, HP just announced they are to shed 14,000 jobs over the next six quarters, so not a great time to be in the company or perhaps in other companies competing for the same apparently shrinking services business!

I've noticed that email traffic has been declining over the last week since the London bombing. This is less likely to do with the threat of terrorism than the imminence of vacation time and clients are more likely to be occupied with tidying their desks in preparation for a two week escape to the sunshine, than taking on new projects.

Living in front of the sea, I've got no holiday plans and just wait for the good weather. I've just taken delivery of a much sleeker sea-going kayak, which should offer more range an…
Phlood Warning

Phlooding attack could leave enterprises high and dry

You've got to hand it to the IT security industry for its ability to coin new and impressive sounding terms for security threats. Hot on the hells of WiPhishing and Evil Twins comes the latest buzz word for wireless Lan security: phlooding.

Phlooding involves a "group of simultaneous but geographically distributed attacks that targets a business's authentication or network log-in structure, with the goal of overloading its central authentication server," according to wireless security firm AirMagnet, which coined the term. - The Register
The Beria Principle

Home Secretary, Charles Clarke was arguing this morning, that mobile telephone records be kept for three years as a means of assisting police in future investigations which may or my not include terrorist offences.

In the wake of last week’s events in London, it seems inevitable that government, confronted by a total failure of the intelligence gathering apparatus of the state, will explore every possible opportunity for information and evidence gathering in the future and this may include the resurrection of arguments that once surrounded the original drafting of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) that you may recall gave “snooping rights” - at least in principle - to any “official”, down to the rank of Traffic Warden, as presenter Jeremy Paxman pointed out to a Home Office Minister on a BBC Newsnight programme in 2001.

It was Stalin’s Chief of Police, Lavrenty Beria, who first made the collection of detailed information on citizens into a science but …
Majority of MoD Hack Attempts Come from Within

The UK government's IT infrastructure continues to be a target for hackers, new figures have revealed.

In response to a series of parliamentary questions by Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow, government departments have revealed the level of hacking attempts against them in recent years.

The Ministry of Defence has provided the most detailed answer, revealing that there have been 30 "hacking incidents" this year, compared to 36 last year and 12 in 2003. - Silicon.Com
Crisis What Crisis

My Windows installation has fallen over "Again", same problem as before, the notorious Isass.Exe error, which involves the administrator password being corrupted.

To cut a long story short, I'm locked-out of my main PC and using my old reserve laptop until I can get the problem resolved, either by M-Wise in Westbrook, with a system re-build or by throwing myself at Microsoft's mercy, as they have a tool which can fix the problem but isn't in the public domain.

Until then , I may be a little quiet.
Virus Writer Exploits London Bomb blastA virus has been spotted in the wild which attempts to exploit concerns surrounding the bomb blasts which rocked London last Thursday and left at least 50 people dead. Warning levels are currently low but that makes the attempt to infect no less tasteless. An email purporting to offer a link to amateur video footage of the events on the London Underground in the aftermath of the bomb blast will install a Trojan on users' machines if they click on the attachment. [via]
Another Domain Hijacked
A Danger now faced by businesses and the scenario tha was dropped for this year's eCrimeCongress., a LA-based wholesale wireless hotspot provider for establishments like Denny’s and Radisson Hotel chain ran afoul of domain hijackers yesterday. According to an email sent to its subscribers, at approximately 2am Sunday morning, the domain name was hijacked by an offshore hacking operation. “This has caused the website to be redirected to another server ( and has caused erratic login/logout behaviour in our wireless hotspot locations,” the company wrote in its email. No idea if the problem has been fixed or now. [via Om Malik's Broadband Blog]
1-3 Rejects Technology

A London School of Economics atudy suggests that parents’ lack of internet skills is potentially harming their children’s education. Will the BBC’s new service leave them even further behind? Even Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s gung-ho director of new media and technology, admits that some people will become losers, refusing to be dragged, screaming and kicking, into the 21st century. “The last 10% are going to be difficult to get online. There are lots of reasons: a number of people can’t afford it, are frightened by it or are just not interested.”

Times Online

Home Internet Users 'Biggest Threat to Business'

As if they have only just noticed?

Unsecured home PCs are accused of providing hackers with a platform for attacking companies and governments.

Poorly protected home PCs now pose the biggest threat to computer networks belonging to businesses and governments, according to cyber crime experts, who say that the increasingly organised nature of hackers and internet fraudsters requires a more organised response.

Times Online
It Makes Me Wonder

My poor daughter's Sports Day was just about rained-off this morning, to be continued on Monday. The light was so bad that my camera simply couldn't catch any pictures of the sack race but one good thing came out of it, the father's race was abandoned and so I can look forward to being able to walk rather than hobble on Saturday morning!

You may have noticed that I was "On a mission" again in Le Touquet this week and I popped into the home, a lovely house in La Foret, of an Engishmen who works here but lives there. In contrast with our community charge, the rates, he tells me are outrageous at almost £5,000 a year but he said, the town is beautifully cared for, the Christmas lights are a major event and there's virtually none of the drunken, violent crime we have here, with low-key but zero-tolerance policing from the local Gendamerie. In his opinion, it's worth the money in return for the securityy and quality of life it offers his famil…
Spyware Fears Prompt Changing Net HabitsThe threat of spyware and other unwanted software programs is changing the way people use the internet, according to a survey of US net users from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Nine out of ten internet users quizzed said they'd "adjusted their online behavior" out of fear of falling victim to malware attacks. Pew notes that user fears are often grounded in personal experience. A quarter (25 per cent) of net users have spotted new programs or desktop icons on their PCs that they hadn't installed. One in five internet users (18 per cent) have had their homepage inexplicably changed. Both are common signs of malware infection. [via The Register]
Oil Change

Jonathan Gordon Lydd Air - Trislander 4
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.

You don't often see the aircraft Captain up on the wing checking the oil before the first flight of the day!

I've been over at Lydd Air and Le Touquet today, taking a right seat on the passenger flights to and from Le Touquet on one of the Trislanders that operates out of Lydd airport.

Nineteen minutes is how long it takes from the runway at Lydd to the runway at Le Touquet and for around £59 per person, it's a pretty good way of having a day in Le Touquet, browsing the shops - the sales are now on - and enjoying lunch.

Pictured above is Lydd Air Chief Pilot and training Captain, Jonathan Gordon.The photos set from today, as promised to the passengers on the flight, can be found by following this link. Other photos of Le Touquet can also be found HERE.

What started as a fine day in France, went downhill just in time for the rain to arrive as we shut the aircraft doors for the flight home. You can …
Pay Per View

Forget ID cards for a moment; you might have more to worry about in future from the creeping advance of copyright and patent legislation which may give you sleepless nights, just in case your teenage son or daughter downloads the latest jingle or music track from their PC without a license.

It’s not just file-sharing you have to think about if you happen to run a business these days. I’ve just had a bizarre conversation with the so-called “Copyright Protection Office” (CPO) which if would make a fine Ben Elton, “Blackadder” sketch.

A local "Mom and Dad" business handed me a letter they received last week, a “Notice of Proposed Case Registration” from the CPO, warning them of the risk of civil or criminal action if they didn’t purchase a Music License within fourteen days.

From what I can gather, the CPO has sent thousands of these letters to registered businesses, just in case they might have music or radio playing in the workplace. I should tell you , that the CPO …
100 Million Online in ChinaChina is second only to the US when it comes to the number of people online. Only the US now has more web surfers as young and old Chinese take to the internet in record numbers. The figure is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. China's economic boom is behind the dramatic rise as increasing personal wealth means more people are able to buy computers and go online. [via BBC News ]