General

Cyber threats are not to be taken lightly, but sadly small business owners live under the erroneous impression that no self respected hacker targets small companies. This is absolutely wrong and if you don’t believe it, Google “ransomware stories”. You will find lots of people who lost access to their computer because of a ransomware virus.

In such cases, you have to deposit a certain amount of money in an account if you want to regain access to your computer network. The sums can be huge and can render your business incapacitated if a big part of its activity is based on computers. For example, a computer that has an offline database of clients will be very vulnerable. 

Cyber security solutions

Let’s talk about a couple of pieces of software that can keep your computer safe from all sorts of malware including Trojan horses, bitcoin miners and ransomware viruses.

Comodo is one of the low cost solutions that offers affordable solutions to users from all over the world. Comodo won a lot of awards but the free version is not as potent as the paid one. You could try ESET that lets you make custom packages to protect all devices including phones, USB drives, and servers. They offer several types of products based on company size and industry.

Physical business securityLocksmith trying new key

You might think that if you’re not selling anything valuable there’s no reason why someone would try to break in. Well here are a few situations that business owners with no security measures have to deal with at some point:

  • Former or current employees who want to steel money/merchandise or access files they are not supposed to see
  • Regular thieves who want to steal your products for resale
  • People who want to vandalize your building/offices as retribution or just for fun
  • Thieves who steal expensive equipment like computers, company cars and electric tools

There are a few things you could do to make sure these scenarios don’t come true. For once, you should upgrade your locks. Something as simple as a hard to break lock will keep many people out including low level thieves who use force to break in.

It’s a bad idea to change locks on your own if you know nothing about them. You risk ending up with a broken lock or a poorly installed one. It’s easier and possibly cheaper to call a professional locksmith to take care of that.

Look for locksmiths in advance so that you know who to call when you have an emergency. Here’s the website of a company that’s been in the industry for years and knows how to please clients: https://www.247losangeleslocksmiths.com/your-mobile-locksmith. It’s obviously just for people who live in LA but even those who don’t should visit the website to see how much a locksmith is supposed to charge for quality services.

Apart from upgrading locks, your business will be safer if you install security cameras and an alarm system. You could have a loud alarm or a silent one if you want to prevent the thieves from escaping the scene before the police arrives.

Read more

Cyber threats are not to be taken lightly, but sadly small business owners live under the erroneous impression that no self respected hacker targets small companies. This is absolutely wrong and if you don’t believe it, Google “ransomware stories”. You will find lots of people who lost access to their computer because of a ransomware virus.

In such cases, you have to deposit a certain amount of money in an account if you want to regain access to your computer network. The sums can be huge and can render your business incapacitated if a big part of its activity is based on computers. For example, a computer that has an offline database of clients will be very vulnerable. 

Cyber security solutions

Let’s talk about a couple of pieces of software that can keep your computer safe from all sorts of malware including Trojan horses, bitcoin miners and ransomware viruses.

Comodo is one of the low cost solutions that offers affordable solutions to users from all over the world. Comodo won a lot of awards but the free version is not as potent as the paid one. You could try ESET that lets you make custom packages to protect all devices including phones, USB drives, and servers. They offer several types of products based on company size and industry.

Physical business securityLocksmith trying new key

You might think that if you’re not selling anything valuable there’s no reason why someone would try to break in. Well here are a few situations that business owners with no security measures have to deal with at some point:

  • Former or current employees who want to steel money/merchandise or access files they are not supposed to see
  • Regular thieves who want to steal your products for resale
  • People who want to vandalize your building/offices as retribution or just for fun
  • Thieves who steal expensive equipment like computers, company cars and electric tools

There are a few things you could do to make sure these scenarios don’t come true. For once, you should upgrade your locks. Something as simple as a hard to break lock will keep many people out including low level thieves who use force to break in.

It’s a bad idea to change locks on your own if you know nothing about them. You risk ending up with a broken lock or a poorly installed one. It’s easier and possibly cheaper to call a professional locksmith to take care of that.

Look for locksmiths in advance so that you know who to call when you have an emergency. Here’s the website of a company that’s been in the industry for years and knows how to please clients: https://www.247losangeleslocksmiths.com/your-mobile-locksmith. It’s obviously just for people who live in LA but even those who don’t should visit the website to see how much a locksmith is supposed to charge for quality services.

Apart from upgrading locks, your business will be safer if you install security cameras and an alarm system. You could have a loud alarm or a silent one if you want to prevent the thieves from escaping the scene before the police arrives.

Read more

Hello, and welcome to Floian Jensen's personal blog! I hope you like the different articles I like putting on my site; today, I will focus primarily on the ever curious face of design. In this short article, we will use some good examples of web design – and also how some such principles are used by casinos to help them empty your pockets!

The Web Design Tips

Website is the face of our online business and we put hours andWeb design requires quite an effort and an eye for detail hours of hard work to design and develop it. But for our visitors its just a matter of few seconds, to be precise less than 5 seconds to decide if your website is worth their time or not. A website gets just 2-3 seconds to impress visitors and grow interest in them.

Attracting a potential customer is hard enough. Grabbing their interest and retaining them is even more difficult. It’s important to design your site so that user frustration is kept to a minimum, thereby maximizing customer retention. White space – the empty space in between elements – is an often ignored principle of web design. We have so much to fit into our pages that elements get cramped and confused. Since links are the currency of the internet, it stands to reason that you should make them look important. Your links need to be readable, prominent, and in keeping with the style.

How Do Casinos Do It?

If you've ever been to a casino, you know there's a lot going on. Between the sounds, the lights, and the drinks, it's practically an after-hours theme park. An expensive after-hours theme park. They hide the progression of time – making gamblers lose track of time, such as by not having clocks on the walls, or windows to the outside world of sunsets and sunrises.

A casino is a cacophony of wonderful and alluring stimulation: bells ringing, siren-like lights flashing, change clanging, slot wheels whirring, digital sounds beeping – it’s all captivating. Why is it captivating? Because it’s non-verbal communication saying, “Win! Win! Win!” It gives the impression that everyone is indeed winning when, in reality, most are losing.  It’s such a happy place, how can I lose?!

Many of us realize that at a casino, they stack the deck against you. That's why you avoid gambling. If you're staying at a hotel or event near a casino, you might just "dabble." Even if you don't usually gamble, the bells and whistles of a slot machine might draw you in—but that's where casinos make their money.

The biggest proponent of casino design that we think of as being "classic" comes from former gambling addict Bill Friedman, who became a professor teaching about casino management at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a casino executive, and a casino consultant. In order to revamp the hotels that he had taken over, he studied over eighty Nevada casinos.

The design of a casino floor is a vital tool in getting people to stay inside a casino. Walking into a casino for the first time can be daunting and overwhelming with tables and machines covering almost every inch of the floor. This is not an accident. This crowded layout is used intentionally so that players will find it more difficult to leave the casino. 

As you can see, casinos are out to get you. The good news? They can't influence you if you're not in casono itself. That is why we recommend that, if you want to gamble but want to be immune to the cheap tricks of casino layout, you go to an online casino games for real money, in the safety of your own home. That is definitely the best way Save and send to approvalto go.

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Lured by the enticing aromas, colors, and bustle of a busy Indian kitchen, as a child, Nalini would often be found perched at the kitchen counter by her mother, enjoying the cook's delightful treats. A vegetarian herself, complemented by her belief in Ayurveda and Ayurvedic cooking, Nalini views food and the cooking process as a means to nurturing the soul. Me, Florian Jansen, am about to embark on a journey of taste. In this short article, we will see some of the India’s most iconic dishes – as well as see how you can use locks to your advantage whenever you’re visiting abroad!

The Indian Dishes You Simply Must Add to Your Bucket List!

Rogan Josh. The literal translation for the name of this dish from KIndian cuisine is very spicy, and for a good reason!ashmir is 'red lamb'. The color comes from the Kashmiri dry red chilies used in it. The name may sound fiery but the dish's heat is toned down by the cream that is added at the end.

Butter Chicken – chicken marinated overnight in yoghurt and spices mixture, cooked with a special Makhani sauce made of Butter, tomato puree and various spices that gives the dish its unique and delicious flavor. It is one of the most popular dishes among non-vegetarians throughout the world. It is the pride of Punjabi cuisine.

Tea is a staple beverage throughout India, since the country is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. The most popular varieties of tea grown in India include Assam tea, Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea. It is prepared by boiling the tea leaves in a mix of water, milk, and spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.

Locks to the Rescue During Travel

A luggage lock is a lock used to prevent luggage from opening by accident, usually with little or no security in mind, although they may serve as a deterrent to potential thieves. They may be built into luggage, or may be external locks such as padlocks or lockable straps. They are typically relatively simple low security locks.

Screening officers are not allowed to break locks: they can, however, use special tools to open and re-secure recognized and accepted travel locks. These locks are widely used in the U.S. and other countries and can be purchased at travel stores, airports and retailers in Canada and abroad.

Locking luggage protects your belongings, keeps bThis is luggage safety 101ags closed securely and gives travelers peace of mind. Since the onset of baggage screening at airports, many travelers believe that they are not permitted to lock checked bags. Although you can lock your bags, passengers need to be aware of the regulations enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The bottom line is that TSA luggage locks keep both your belongings save from theft and your bag from damage caused by security inspection when flying, though airline baggage handlers can of course damage your bags, which is another matt

If your luggage needs to be physically inspected, a non-TSA-approved lock will be ripped off your bag at security — it's that simple. Purchase one that's been okayed by the TSA (which means that security officers can open it with a master key); the lock should be advertised as such on the label.

Remember that your lock can be damaged during its stay at the airport. Baggage handling systems (conveyor belts and other automated systems) and manual handling all take a toll on your baggage and your lock. The airlines are responsible for damage that exceeds the definition of "normal wear and tear". File a claim with your airline without delay.

Zip ties (also called cable locks) are something that can be used at the airport. They are long plastic ties that lock. They can't be opened unless cut with a scissor or nail clipper, which are allowed to be packed in a carry-on bag. The ends of the plastic ties fit through the zipper pull tabs. They come in all sorts of sizes.

Remember, always, that in the case of a lock emergency, you’re probably better off at getting a locksmith then trying to fix the issue by yourself. So if the emergency strikes, https://www.247locksmithservice.org/mobile-locksmith is a good place to go for some lock-related first aid.

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I never thought I would write this post. I am truly amazed.

A few weeks ago, we decided to port our main phone line after 35 years from Belgacom to OVH VoIP service.

Now, the tricky thing was, the Internet line we have with EDPnet in the house is run via the same phone line. This worried me, thinking that I’d end up with my parents losing internet and phone and with me far away. But hey… let’s try it.

Just to make sure though, I called up Belgacom to ask them how these things normally go. After being on hold for 38 minutes in a seemingly endless queue, I decided to call OVH. A few seconds later, I was talking to someone explaining me the process, however with the disclaimer that the information is based on french operators. So I decided to give my internet provider, EDPnet, a call. There I was told that it will ‘just work’, Belgacom would terminate the line automatically, and they’ll step in with a ‘raw copper’ service. Sounds great!

So I scheduled the number port for the 21st of January. Letters arrived from OVH and Belgacom, verifying that I wanted to go ahead with this, and the 21st of January came closer.

Emails from OVH confirming the Number Port

Emails from OVH confirming the Number Port

On the day, I got 3 emails from OVH confirming every step of the number port. The phone service just switched over. Even internet didn’t disconnect. Everything went smoothly. Unbelievable right?

Next, I got a nice email from EDPnet confirming that they heard about the number port, and that they’ll provide the raw copper service on the same line without interruption.

Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 22.24.57Great! To be honest, I did NOT expect this to go smoothly at all. Given my past experiences with major telephony operators and complex setups like this (with 3 operators involved), I expected to loose my number, loose internet connectivity for at least a few months etc. But no. It all works. So I’d like to thank OVH, EDPnet and even Belgacom for making this a very smooth transition. Awesome work guys!

 

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When was the last time you stayed at a hotel? How would you rate your experience, from a safety point of view? Do you feel the hotel staff could have done something different to make you and your belonging feel better protected? Do you think there is something you could have done differently, from the second you made that call to book the room till the end of your stay there? Here are a few ideas that should help you change your hotel safety mentality and increase your odds of enjoying a secure and comfortable stay next time you need to find hotel accommodation.nationwidelocksmith.org

What To Do Before Booking A Room

  • call front desk or email the hotel and find out if they have 24/7 security personnel at sight;

  • if possible, book a room located between the second and seventh floors, as they are considered to be within the easy reach of firemen ladders – as well as harder to access by thieves climbing the escape ladders on the exterior of the building.

  • Try to get a room that is located far from elevators and stairwells and make sure the room/lobby have sprinklers.

  • Inquire about the type of locks on the hotel room door; do they have deadbolts or privacy latches installed? Are there any surveillance cameras installed in the hallways and elevators?

Add A Few Safety Items In Your Luggage

  • even if you learn there are latches and safety chains or deadbolts installed on the door of the room you will be booking, it never hurts to be cautious;

  • pack along a portable rubber door-stopper or a portable lock that you should have no problem finding with your regular locksmith or local hardware store.

  • Talk to a licensed and experienced locksmith that handles both commercial and residential locksmith services and have them recommend any extra safety devices you could pack along. Talk to the guys at https://www.nationwidelocksmith.org/about-us and see if they are willing to offer any security advice for hotels and other similar accommodation options. The best services that cater to the needs of nationwide customers usually have great customer services. You should be able to talk all the details over the phone and have a trained locksmith come over and introduce their offers in terms of portable locks, personal alarms, and so on.

What To Do Upon Arriving At The Hotel

  • do not wander in the parking lot or the space around the hotel;

  • ask relevant questions concerning the safety of the neighborhood and any peculiar local customs you should know about. Inquire about the local 911-type emergency number and learn how to use their local telephone system.

  • Prop the door open with your luggage upon arriving to the room. Turn on the lights and inspect the door lock, as well as the locks on all the sliding glass doors and windows,or any lock you might see on the interconnecting doors.

  • Maintain the doors and windows locked throughout your stay and always engage the deadbolt and privacy chain. Remember to use the doorstop you have packed.

  • No safe in the room? Keep your passport, cash, and jewelry locked in your suitcase.

  • Before going to bed at night, store your wallet, watch, jewelry, and other valuables in a drawer in the nightstand.

Read more

Cyber threats are not to be taken lightly, but sadly small business owners live under the erroneous impression that no self respected hacker targets small companies. This is absolutely wrong and if you don’t believe it, Google “ransomware stories”. You will find lots of people who lost access to their computer because of a ransomware virus.

In such cases, you have to deposit a certain amount of money in an account if you want to regain access to your computer network. The sums can be huge and can render your business incapacitated if a big part of its activity is based on computers. For example, a computer that has an offline database of clients will be very vulnerable. 

Cyber security solutions

Let’s talk about a couple of pieces of software that can keep your computer safe from all sorts of malware including Trojan horses, bitcoin miners and ransomware viruses.

Comodo is one of the low cost solutions that offers affordable solutions to users from all over the world. Comodo won a lot of awards but the free version is not as potent as the paid one. You could try ESET that lets you make custom packages to protect all devices including phones, USB drives, and servers. They offer several types of products based on company size and industry.

Physical business securityLocksmith trying new key

You might think that if you’re not selling anything valuable there’s no reason why someone would try to break in. Well here are a few situations that business owners with no security measures have to deal with at some point:

  • Former or current employees who want to steel money/merchandise or access files they are not supposed to see
  • Regular thieves who want to steal your products for resale
  • People who want to vandalize your building/offices as retribution or just for fun
  • Thieves who steal expensive equipment like computers, company cars and electric tools

There are a few things you could do to make sure these scenarios don’t come true. For once, you should upgrade your locks. Something as simple as a hard to break lock will keep many people out including low level thieves who use force to break in.

It’s a bad idea to change locks on your own if you know nothing about them. You risk ending up with a broken lock or a poorly installed one. It’s easier and possibly cheaper to call a professional locksmith to take care of that.

Look for locksmiths in advance so that you know who to call when you have an emergency. Here’s the website of a company that’s been in the industry for years and knows how to please clients: https://www.247losangeleslocksmiths.com/your-mobile-locksmith. It’s obviously just for people who live in LA but even those who don’t should visit the website to see how much a locksmith is supposed to charge for quality services.

Apart from upgrading locks, your business will be safer if you install security cameras and an alarm system. You could have a loud alarm or a silent one if you want to prevent the thieves from escaping the scene before the police arrives.

Read more

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post here … I blame Twitter … but this story won’t fit the 140 character limit.

The plan

I was in Stuttgart for a week of consulting, so I wanted to return on Saturday to London to pack my stuff and head off to Brussels on Monday for the holidays.

However, it seems like I’ve chosen a bad weekend to travel.

The first part of my trip was from Stuttgart to London Heathrow.

Saturday, 18th of December 2010

I was booked onto the 13:20 – 14:05 flight from Stuttgart to London Heathrow. Just before leaving Esslingen to head to the airport, I checked the Lufthansa website to make sure my flight was on.

Great! Flight is scheduled, whereas British Airways decided to cancel all flights pre-emptively. Feeling smug, I was off to the Airport.

Everything was going as planned, check-in, security check, lunch and then off to the gate. Boarding time was planned for 12:50, but it took a while for Lufthansa staff to show up at the gate. At 12:55 they finally did show up and shared the bad news. They were unable to get a landing clearing at Heathrow due to the adverse weather conditions. My smugness quickly disappeared off my face and it was off to the Lufthansa Ticket desk.

Turns out, you can go backwards through the entire process at an airport to leave it. Arrived at the ticket desk, I quickly got booked onto the flight at 16:40. Ouch. That meant trying not to get bored for another 3 hours. Thank god for my iPad with Spotify and Angry Birds.

3 hours later, again at the gate, the same announcement: Flight cancelled due to weather at Heathrow. Yet another trip to the Ticket Desk, where Lufthansa was kind enough to pay for a great 4* Hotel near the Airport and 20€ for food and drinks. Compared to British Airway’s budget of 200€ for all stranded passengers, Lufthansa was great. I was afraid it would be a small, cheap hostel but it wasn’t. The Pullman Fontana was an amazing Hotel. Nice rooms, fast WiFi and a well stocked bar (gotta love Campari!). The only thing that was disappointing was the breakfast. Just a few mini-Croissants and some toast. It’s the only thing that didn’t fit the entire 4* Business Hotel setting.

And so we get to

Sunday, 19th of December 2010

Wake up call at 4:30, quick shower, mini-breakfast and then off to the Airport again. I was supposed to get the early morning flight, yet I already saw online on the Lufthansa site that it was cancelled. However, the receptionist was convinced that the flight wasn’t, so it was off to the airport again.

What a coincidence, the 6:50 flight was cancelled. So I got onto the standby list of the 13:20 flight, a ticket for the 16:40 flight and a 7€ voucher for breakfast. During breakfast, I was browsing the internets, I checked the Heathrow Airport website and saw that they closed the airport completely for all incoming flights. So it was off to the Ticket Desk again, to tell them that there won’t be any flights going out to Heathrow today.

So, what were the options? I asked about train tickets: Possible, but only to the German border, and it didn’t look like it would be easy to get a hold of Eurostar tickets. So that was a no go.
The next option was going back to the Pullman: After a lengthy talk, they offered us a second night at the Pullman, but clearly said that it would be the last one they would pay for, as this was a case of force majeure, so they can’t be held liable. Realizing that the situation at Heathrow wouldn’t change over night, and that the backlog of passengers at Stuttgart for London Heathrow was growing, this didn’t seem like a smart move. On top of that, I had a flight booked from Heathrow to Brussels on Monday at 10:50, so I would possibly miss that flight.

This is when I overheard some people mentioning a Germanwings flight to Stansted in the evening. So I asked Lufthansa to get me a seat on that flight which they did. However, seeing as this was a low cost carrier, I had to get my luggage and wait for check-in to open 2 hours before the flight was scheduled to leave. This meant killing a day worth of time.

Having met a fellow traveler at the Pullman the night before and both being booked onto the Germanwings flight, we decided to head into Stuttgart and do something there. Little did I know, Stuttgart is the dullest city in the world (no offense). Add the fact that it’s Sunday to that, and you’ve got a place where you don’t want to spend another minute in. After 2 hours of going from one Café to another and keeping the caffeine levels high, we found a “Casino”. It was a very strange place. It was an underground cellar, with 2 pool tables and 6 slot machines and a few very odd human beings. Didn’t matter, it was something to do. So we played pool. The final score isn’t relevant.

Having wasted time there, it was off to the station to get hold of some WiFi and then off to the Airport to check-in. You could immediately see that Germanwings is a low-cost carrier, as the queue to check-in was stretched around several corners. Nevertheless it was a flight to the UK.

Luckily that flight wasn’t cancelled and the plane finally left Stuttgart. A quick sidenote, the Germanwings flight was quite good. A nice amount of legroom (more than Brussels Airlines! wtf?!) and very professional and friendly on board staff.

Landing in Stansted, it was off onto the Stansted Express, then Underground (which for once wasn’t on strike) and finally South West Trains to Egham. HOME.

The experience

Overall, it wasn’t a “bad” experience. Of course, I would’ve preferred not to have been stuck at the airport for 2 days, but Lufthansa was very friendly and having a Hotel for the night and not having to sleep on the benches at the airport like BA passengers was great.

The thing they could’ve done better is communication. They could’ve told the receptionist that the flight is cancelled, so that we could’ve gotten another few hours of sleep. Also, how come we, as passengers, know that a flight will be cancelled before staff at the airport ticketing desk know? Not good. So in short, Lufthansa, get your communication sorted.

And so we’re getting to Monday.

Monday, 20th of December 2010

Getting up at 8am is horrible for any student. So being in the age of Twitter, I wanted to make sure I don’t get to the airport for nothing, so I asked Brussels Airlines on Twitter if my flight was operating.

Yay! Looks like I might get home on time. So I was on my way to Heathrow.

I am used to just finding an empty departure hall, with loads of space and hardly anyone in sight. Today was completely the opposite. Staff was checking if you’re flight was scheduled at the entrance before they let anyone inside and inside the hall people were queuing everywhere and some families lying on the floor on these aluminum blankets.

As I know where the Brussels Airlines check-in is, I didn’t bother checking the boards, and just headed over to the desk. This is where I saw a mass of people pushing and shoving each other to get to 2 check-in desks, and a woman with a bullhorn screaming at them to get back. Turns out, Cyprus Airways had a check-in desks next to Brussels Airlines. Amazed by how uncivilized that queue was, I queued up at the Brussels Airlines desks where I only saw 2092 (which was supposed to have left at 8:30 … it was 9:50). Odd. This is when I saw another tweet by Brussels Airlines.

Ouch. Oh well, I was in the queue already, so let’s see if I could get on any other flight to Brussels. Turns out, I could. An amazingly professional, calm and friendly Brussels Airlines staffer got me onto the standby list of a very delayed SN2092 which was leaving more or less now … and assured me that I would get a seat. Great!

Fast-track through Terminal 1 security and then off to the BMI Great British Lounge to get some breakfast. Turns out that a few weeks ago, BMI decided to change the access rules to it. Even though the BMI website states that BMI Diamond Club Silver card holders get access to the lounge (even with a guest), they now deny access to people not flying on BMI metal. Having booked a BMI flight (BD flight number – even though operated by another LH group member), and thus paying BMI, Silver members aren’t allowed in.

Very disappointing decision by BMI, which results in me not booking through BMI anymore. No point in paying more for LHR-BRU on FlyBMI.com compared to BrusselsAirlines.com.

So it was time to head off to the gate. I quickly got a seat on the plane and boarded.

This is when the fun began: We spent 3 hours sitting on the plane before actual take-off.

The first two hours were spent with the flight attendants counting the people on the plane and comparing those numbers to the manifesto. Seems like those numbers didn’t add up. But how come this takes 2 hours?! After they finally figured that out, it took 30 minutes to get a starting clearance, so we were off towards the runway. Heathrow decided to close the runway for 30 minutes to clear it (even though it was clear).

40 minutes later, touchdown in Brussels. Looks like we just about made it before they realized they were running out of de-icing fluid.

So I thought that was it. Quickly picking up my luggage and then home. Wrong. Turns out my luggage decided it wanted to stay in Heathrow for a bit longer. Normally not a bad thing, however Brussels Baggage hall was a mess.

BRU luggage chaos - picture by Regi Penxten

BRU luggage chaos - picture by Regi Penxten

Bags everywhere but mine wasn’t anywhere. That meant queuing. And not just queuing, but a queue of at least 200 people for the baggage claim. Add to that the fact that there were only 2 desks open to handle the lost baggage claims, this meant a long time to queue.

It took 6!! hours!! 6 hours to tell someone they lost my bag. Incredible. Why weren’t there more people working the lost and found desks?

To sum up, great ground staff from Brussels Airlines at Heathrow, 3 hours of sitting around on the plane before take-off (and seat pitches that are less than on Germanwings, a low-cost carrier!!) and then 6!! hours of queuing at the lost & found. All in all, a lot of room to improve.

Just a few last words: I just wanted to say, a great thank you to the people behind the @FlyingBrussels, @FlyBMI and @HeathrowAirport twitter accounts. You guys rock!

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Finally! I’ve got my own N900.

To be honest, it was just a matter of time, until I would get one. After having had one for 4 days, and then having it taken away from me after the XMPP Summit, I had my mind set on getting my own.

Now, the problem was the price as 649€ are not something I was willing to spend on a phone. Thankfully Vodafone UK has a great Webrelations Team, who were willing to give me the N900 for 15£ / month! Thanks guys!

So… Why Maemo Rocks and Android Sucks:

It was obvious that I wouldn’t go for another Symbian device, as S60v5 is just a hack, and S60v3 outdated, these were out of the race. That left the iPhone (which has just gotten video recording and doesn’t do multi-tasking?! .. even my old 6260 from 2004 was able to do that), an Android device (I still can’t find a reason to get an Android phone – No USP! There is no point in Android. It does everything, but nothing very well.) or the shiny toy packed with the power of full Linux and Maemo, the N900.

The beauty of Maemo is, that it’s a full Linux OS. It uses apt-get, I’ve got root access without hacking it, and allows me to run more or less anything from Asterisk over Nmap to Wolfenstein 3D. Oh, and it does Flash! During the XMPP Summit, we even went so far as to run rm -rf /* on it, which it executed without complaining.

The N900 is by far not ready for end consumer, but it’s the perfect device for people who want a Linux machine in their pocket, with a shiny UI. Maemo is like OSX. It has a very shiny and nice UI, but if you want, you can open a terminal, and do whatever you want, without anyone or anything stopping you.

As with every developer centered phone, there are some things that need to be improved:

  • Ovi Contacts Sync support
  • Better Ovi Maps with free Navigation
  • Video Calling (not only for Mobiles, but also for XMPP / Ovi, MSN, Skype…)
  • Better Battery life! It’s kinda poor at the moment. Having 3G connected, it’s about 1/2 a day
  • An official Spotify client (Yaspot works but isn’t great)

However, there’s some really cool apps on the N900 already.

The apps I’d highly recommend for anyone with an N900:

  • rootsh – Because being root is so much better
  • Hermes – A nifty little tool to sync info from Facebook and Twitter to your address book contacts
  • Angry Birds – I just love Rovio Games, but Angry Birds is by far the best game around for the N900 (In the Ovi Store for free)
  • Adblock Plus – No one likes ads.

So, I guess that’s it. My first impression of the N900: It’s a must have for every tech and gadget fanatic. It just doesn’t get better than this. Symbian^3 won’t be able to measure up to Maemo!

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It’s that time of the year again, the SU has gone mad. People all across campus are trying to get elected for different society positions, which in a way is just a big joke, as most of the positions are uncontested. As far as I remember, only 2 of them are contested, one of them being Student Radio Station Manager.

Now, these people have to run campaigns (why? – Most of them are uncontested? – Just goes to show how beloved the SU is…). But, the SU has imposed restrictions on what they can, and can’t do. The funniest I heard is, that allegedly, third party students may not promote a specific candidate.

This means, if I would like Nick Stylianou (random pick of the two options below…) to win the election, I am not allowed to tell people to vote for Nick, as I’m not on his campaign team. Why?! In politics, the candidates get to run THEIR OWN campaign the way they want!

So, because I believe in freedom of speech (and am not restricted by UK law in terms of libel), and as I did not sign anything, prohibiting me from telling everyone who to vote for, I will do this here, and now.

Please note: The candidates are in random order. No preference intended.

My picks are: Nick Stylianou or Helen Carr for Student Radio Station Manager, and Sarah for Assistant Station Manager (not that that’s a hard choice.)

Please, if you know of more restrictions imposed by the Student Union, please get in touch. I will treat all submissions confidential, of course.

Keep following this website, as I will add more election news here, as it develops.

UPDATE: Right, here are the official guidelines. This is ridiculous! Who does the SU think they are?!?!

4.2 Facebook will be the only online resource permitted for the purposes of this election with the following restrictions.  Twitter, personal websites and all other forms of online media and social networking pages will not be permitted.

6.3.  No candidate may have more than ten in their campaign team.  if a candidate is found to be receiving additional help or support from anyone, they will face disciplinary action.

Right, starting some FB Ad Campaigns, which will (according to these guidelines) disqualify everyone.

PS: Vote RON on all uncontested positions!

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