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Showing posts from April, 2006

Day at the Football

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One man's view of White Hart Lane stadium at 4:15 this afternoon. Whether, “Steve” who was proposed to by his partner, “Manda”, said “Yes”, I don’t know but it must have come as a bit of a surprise to be sitting among thousands of fellow Spurs fans and have a banner float by; a message from your partner asking you to marry her. Definitely a first in my experience!

Ready to collapse in front of the television, I've made six flights today, at least six yesterday and I've a backlog of email to catch-up on. Tomorrow is, with a little luck, a day of rest for the wicked and time to catch-up with this weblog among other things..

Desparate Housewives

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An interesting afternoon partly spent over the top of Beatle, Paul McCartney’s house. I never realised he had one in this part of the world but it’s modestly tucked away in Farmland out towards Winchelsea.

Sunday should be another unusual day. A desperate housewife of sorts wants her football crazy partner to marry her and has asked us to tow a “Will You Marry Me” banner right over the top of the Sunday game at White Hart Lane just after kick off. An ardent spurs fan, she’s hoping that the aircraft will attract his attention long enough for him to be embarrassed into saying “Yes”, as I happen to have helped her push a press release out to the papers and the TV for a little moral support.

So what do you think? Will he marry her or will it all depends on whether Spurs beats Bolton on Sunday. It’s a game of two halves you know.

Get Safe Online

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It’s that annual InfoSec time again and walking the aisles of Europe’s most successful Information Security show, I find myself plagued with a nagging sense of doubt. Why? Scantily clad girls dressed as angels and the sash-climbing acrobats in yellow lycra bodysuits on the Symantec stand were entertaining and colourful enough and even the message on the EP Secure stand warning visitors of the dangers from viruses and “Wormes” instead of “Worms”, should have bought a smile to my face but all I could see in a packed Olympia, was an industry united in a profitable celebration of the failure of our society to properly protect itself from the dangers of living an increasingly online existence.

InfoSec was once again the venue for the release of the latest Government-sponsored survey of information security breaches in the UK, conducted by a consortium led by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and while you can find encouragement in the news that large businesses have become more security-conscious,…

A Changing Threat

Blogging from the InfoSec Show at Olympia this morning. My apologies if you had problems on the site yesterday, so did I. Blogger, owned by Google, appears to be having database difficulties and there's been a certain amount of frustrating interruption over the last week.

Here at Infosec the packed show is testament to the sheer size of the security problem facing us all from the internet. The headline from the PWC /DTI survey released a few minutes ago is that small businesses are now suffering with security breaches up by 50% in the last year and the overall cost to UK PLC being in the order of £10 billion.

Please, please be very careful when you share your personal and financial information over the Web. I don't wish to alarm readers but the the criminals are becoming ever smarter, their tools more sophisticated and identity theft and fraud are soaring. Make sure then that your PC is as protected against risk as it possibly can be and monitor kids and teenagers on the system …

Naked Conversations

I once had the privilege of standing in for friend and columnist John Naughton in the Observer and John, another early “Blogger”, has written an interesting essay on the importance of the Weblog to business. However the same argument might be true of any other organised activity, up to an including politics:

Blogging is 'the most powerful two-way internet communications tool yet developed' and is growing at an astonishing rate (one new blog every second). Increasingly, new bloggers are not teenagers talking about acne and angst, but workers talking about business. 'Chances are,' Scoble and Israel write - in their book “Naked Conversations”- , 'that if people aren't talking about your company in blogs today, they will be soon. You would be wise to join these conversations, if only to thank those who sing your praises or to correct factual errors. If you ignore the "blogosphere" you won't know what people are saying about you. You can't learn fro…

Just in Times

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I see our little Airads flypast banner over the top of St Mary's stadium in Southampton made the morning edition of The Times. Pity there were not any credits though!

Coming and Going

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St Mary' Stadium 3-170406
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.
Sorry, been busy today and home late.A successful flyby over St Mary's Stadium this afternoon I'm told it's on the tele but haven't seen it yet. Any lower and we would have been in the stadium. Much of the western and southern side of Southampton was covered but the north-east was barred because of incoming airport traffic. Click on the stadium photo to see the others, which can be downloaded in high resolution if you wish to have copies. A bit tricky for us to fly, as the stadium is right on the final approach to the airport and so our thanks to air traffic control for making it possible and slotting-in the display between landing flights..

Go North

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Ramsgate may be the new millionaires playground but the north of the non-island of Thanet, where I live, has it's own unique cultural and epicurian attractions such as Godden's Gap, the Margate Caves and the Hanging Gardens of Cliftonville.

To prove my point, I invited the former Prime Minister of Australia to join me this morning for a full English breakfast at Anton Mossiman's "Beano's cafe" in Westgate where we disussed the pros and cons of building the Turner Contemporary in the style of the Sydney Opera House, turning Thanet into a republic and the problem of feckless teenage Kangaroos in the village of Birchington.

A Sad Goodbye

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A poignantly sad banner flown over a funeral at Cardiff this week. A double tragedy from the message but an impressive send off, with a fleet of white Rolls Royces and hundreds of people at the cemetery service.

A diversion for waiting passengers at the airport was provided with several attempts to pick the banner up in the crosswind, which was strong enough to lift it as you can see.

Strange Tastes

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Ramsgate may indeed be the new millionaire's playground but from the look of it, the new arrivals have some unusual tastes in pets!

The Long Goodbye

I wondered why there was an exclusion zone around Sandhurst today, I had to route around it on the way to Cardiff and it transpires that the Queen was there this morning to see Prince Harry graduate. I wonder if he will be posted to Afghanistan or somewhere closer to home? Knightsbridge barracks perhaps.

The reason for going to Cardiff was to tow a farewell message over a funeral. Very sad it was too as there were two women's names on the message and when we were over the top of the cemetery, I could see two freshly dug graves surrounded by hundreds of mourners. It was a big send-off without doubt. White horses and white Rolls Royces too.

Weblog posts may be limited for a brief period. My main PC “died” again this morning, announcing it had lost its configuration file and the system backup CD won’t restore Microsoft’s Windows to life. A terminally ill Operating System strikes me as a regular fact of life these days and I’ll have to rush it to “hospital” again in Westbrook tomorrow. …

An eCrime Story

At last month’s eCrime congress in London, a hi-tech, digital keypad solution was in place to test the five hundred delegates’ views on a number of different issues touching on the subject of NetCrime. Other than the opening presentations on both days, the event was barred to the media but the results of the survey from an audience of leading international business, law-enforcement and financial services figures raised a number of surprises The greatest of these occurred on the second day, when 41% of the responding audience indicated that their business has lost more than £1 million to eCrime in the past twelve months.

The size of this figure (which excluded the law enforcement officers in the sample) was far higher than anyone had anticipated. The congress had heard, ‘in camera’, reports that suggested a dramatic escalation in business and personal losses since the previous year’s eCrime Congress in April 2005 and 21% of the audience admitted to have had personal experience of identi…

Ahoy There

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Spinnaker Centre Portsmouth - 5- 060406
Originally uploaded by DrMoores.
I've been over at Portsmouth with my Airads business today for the 250,000 visitor celebrations for the Spinnaker Tower. In glorious weather this makes a nice change from the "day job" in the IT industry!

Anyway, I've taken lots of photos of the tower, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and more, so follow the link to see more.

When the Saints Go Marching

Reading some of the comments on the "Saints" fans websites today, I had best wear a false beard and dark glasses on any future visit to Southampton.

They're a little peeved that we couldn't catch their protest banner on Saturday afternoon, to fly over the "Big Match." If you look at the video shot below, in good conditions, imagine what it's like trying to catch the same target with a 40mph cross-wind and when your head is bouncing off the aircraft ceiling in the turbulence! Well that's our excuse and there's no point making a large hole in the ground trying to prove it.

Hopefully, the "Fatwa" will be removed if we make a successful run over the Millwall game on April 17th. Either that or I will have to flee the country or worse, move to Ramsgate, the Millionaires playground!

Nuclear Proposal

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Another day and another spring romantic “pops” the question.

I didn’t think that today would be possible with a proposal to fly just outside Aldermaston. The weather conditions were very challenging with heavy cloudbursts and 40mph winds. However, the young man in question was desperate for us to try, having set-up a surprise party and bought the engagement ring and so with the wind howling along the runway at Basing Farm, Cupid or fortune were on his side, with the banner up at the first attempt; more luck than judgement.

Having done the quick flight and wrestled the aircraft back on to the ground in the rain, a coffee and two Vallium was followed by an excited call from the client. “She said ‘Yes’, he said, “As it was the only way she was going to get back inside out of the rain!”

If I had realised the boat race was on on the way home, I would have stopped off for a look. To give you an idea of the wind-speed out there, Farnborough to Herne Bay in forty minutes on the way home!

Empty Skies

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Apologies to tens of thousands of Southampton fans this afternoon. We had three attempts to pick-up your banner, "Time to go, Rupert Lowe" this afternoon at Bembridge but the rising gale-force wind simply made the exercise impossible and increasingly dangerous.

With luck, we'll be trying again in two weeks but we understand your disappointment and that of the media, BBC, Sky and others.