Jun 20 2009

Tasered Twice!

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 1:16 am

Feel free to source a better quality clip from YouTube, I’ve lost the bookmark for it, sorry. Anyway, police in Nottinghamshire were caught on a mobile phone camera using a taser gun twice on, as well as punching, a person they were attempting to arrest after requests for help from night club security. See the BBC article for the video (I’m fairly certain YouTube had a higher quality version?) and some background information on this.

I love Assistant Chief Constable (Nottinghamshire Police) Peter Davies comments on this…

“We understand that some members of the public may be concerned about this.

“The public’s trust and confidence is very important for us, which is why we have referred this matter for an objective investigation to the IPCC.”

Or perhaps “Oh crap. I wish the public didn’t all have mobile phones with cameras these days” would be more honest?

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Dec 19 2007

Internet Reports

Category: In The Media,Internet Connections,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 4:25 am

The ISP we now have our internet connection with is called Megaline. Unfortunately, since swapping to their service, everyday sees some downtime for connectivity. Even when all is apparently working, packets are often lost, and I can no longer as open as many simultaneous pages, without time outs occurring. That said, it is a lot cheaper, and although only 1/2 the speed, I do get an allowance of 10Gb/month before they throttle me down to 32Kbit/sec, from 128Kbit/sec.
Anyway, we first have a report on the UK’s lagginess (puns will stop now, sorry), when it comes to very fast internet connection availability. This is no great surprise really, given our history with BT’s (formerly part of the GPO) previous monopoly at nearly all stages of communications. Great investment will be needed to push beyond the current 24Mbps ceiling, and even that sort of connection is only really possibly if you live on top of your local exchange. Until we drop twisted pair copper lines as acceptable, the days of fibre optics into every home are a long way off, unless someone like Richard Branson decides that it is economically viable in areas when other Cable TV operators have avoided.
Globally Maximum Advertised Speeds For The Internet

On a more positive note, here we have an article detailing how broadband internet connectivity (even if it isn’t globally breath-takingly fast) has rapidly become the preferred speed, compared to just four years ago, when most people considered dial up speeds acceptable. No pretty table to illustrate the point this time, sorry.

Finally, on a semi-related matter, the BBC News site had details on how some European nation’s citizens are rejecting land lines altogether, in favour of mobile phones. Although this may sound surprising at first, if you take into account that some of the nations, that were unable to develop as quickly under USSR rule, never had high rates for phone lines into every house, and how competitive some mobile phone network companies are in these markets, to try and get, then keep loyal customers, you can begin to see why having no land line number is becoming more common in some areas. Whether these figures include those that only use phone lines for internet usage, and use mobiles for cheaper evening calls etc, I couldn’t ascertain.

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Aug 23 2007

Mobiles Banned In Israeli Cabinet Meetings

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 9:23 am

Just read a BBC article detailing how Ehud Olmert has told all ministers they must hand in mobile phones and other communication devices before attending cabinet meetings. They will of course have them returned after the meeting. Interesting that the problems with leaks to the press have become so bad that this step was necessary. I’ll be interested to read what other measures he will be taking to curb leaks of sensitive information.
The last place I worked at in Britain (EDS at RAF Innsworth) had sensitive areas, where phones had to be turned off, but this was rarely enforced TBH. They also seemed to employ signal blocking equipment in some areas, though that could have just been the cellular networks poor coverage 😉

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Aug 10 2007

BG Charity Event – Part #4

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 7:36 pm

Right, I think I now have all the text deciphered 🙂 This is the last of the posts on the charity event organized by BG (British Gas) Kazakhstan to raise funds for the Kazakh Paralympic team and their trip to the Paralympics next year at Beijing, China.
Throughout the evening, there were draws for the raffle, with prizes donated by local businesses. The worst was a 20% discount card from a jeweller. If I ever discover the name of the company that ‘donated’ some guaranteed business for themselves, I will gladly post it here, possibly with the anchor text ‘Tight Fisted Profit Obsessed Dratsab’ 🙁 Any way, the rest of the prizes were very good, and from the ones I remembered to tap into my phone as we went along, we have a couple of mobile phones, quite a few massages (I am assuming they were of the reputable variety 😉 ), dance lessons, a couple of weekends at a hotel, a few restaurant cards (pre-paid with about $150 on them I think), body spa vouchers, quite a few pre-paid SIM cards with credit pre-applied to them, some month passes for a local gym, a return ticket to Almaty (for one person). In between the raffle sessions, we had a belly dancer. We did not win anything, but unlike the lottery or fruit machines, it was good to know our cash was going to a very worth cause.
Then came the main event (in terms of fund raising) – the auction. This was basically the realm of either foreigners on foreign wages, or Kazakhs who were lucky enough to have a job that paid Western wages. The bidders were very generous, paying more than the item was worth in each case. There was another weekend stay in a luxury hotel here in Astana, and also another return flight to Almaty. The hotel stay was won for 75,000 Tenge (around $575), and then immediately returned to be bid on again (basically a large charitable donation from the first winner), where it then raised a further 55,000 Tenge (around $420). We then had the deputy chairman of the Kazakh Paralympic Committee give a small speech, during which an outrageously rude American group at a table behind us talked loudly all through. If it hadn’t been a corporate event that involved people Irina knew from work, I’d have gladly quietly told the ignorant rude idiots to shut the hell up or take their inconsequential conversation outside. Anyway, the return flight to Almaty sold for 100,500 Tenge (around $775), I think this was also put back in the pot to be re-sold and raise more money for the charity, though I appear to have forgotten to record the second amount. Apologies. Nope, scratch that, I entered the details at the end of my notes. The second time round the ticket sold for 60,000 Tenge (~$460). The ticket was then put back into the auction AGAIN, and resold for a 3rd time, for 51,000 Tenge ($390). So the two auctions items managed to raise around $2600 just by themselves! Altogether, with entrance tickets, donations & raffle tickets also included, the evening raised around 800,000 Tenge ($6200). I will certainly be keeping an eye out on TV for any coverage the Kazakh Paralympic team get next year in Shanghai 🙂

Oh, and just for any hard core cynics out there, this is not a sponsored post, I just see this as being a worthy cause to promote.

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