Archive for August, 2005

For the older amongst us

I am referring to cellphones.

This may be of particular interest to those, in London, who travel by public transport or who often find themselves in noisy places.

My wife and I have had trouble with cellphones. She won’t admit to it but often when I ring her, it rings and rings in her handbag, and I end up talking to her voicemail service!

With me, if I am (overground) in the underground trains, there is so much noice, I find it difficult to hear the other person speak.

So I took a trip to Brent Cross to our friendly Carphone Warehouse chappie, and told him of our problems. He thought for a minute and then suggested the Nokia 6100


Nokia 6100 cellphone

Ours are in English, of course!

Anyway on the strength of what we were told, and the fact that we could change them within two weeks if we didn’t like them, we bought two.

Although we could buy tops and keypads of different colours to differentiate them, we chose to identify them with dynotape on the back.

And yes, we can both hear the phone ringing. Pam’s within the dark and murky depths of her handbag, and mine in a little Vega holster on my belt. In addition to this, I can hear people speaking to me over it in the noisiest of places.

Apart from that it is a small, thin, light and stylish phone (75 grams) but the battery really does last quite a few days.

One nice little thing that I like it, if you tap the on/off button quickly, it opens up the “Profiles” page where you can set it to normal, noise conditions, meetings, or silent mode. This saves a lot of time and if you are inside and change it from noisy to normal you end up annoying far fewer people.

And the phone is fairly intuitive to a 66 year old geezer…

Link to Carphone Warehouse after my sign-out below.

Andrew

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Internet Poker

I am learning how to play poker at the present.

In the mid to late nineties there were 65,000,000 players int he USA but probably a lot more since Texas Hold’em has appeared regularly on US television and now, even on British “mainstream” television.

I started playing on partypoker.com and then moved to 888.com but was never really happy with them so have moved to Ladbroke’s version which is ideal as it gives full stats of your percentage wins, flops, winning flops, and a whole lot of other stats as well. These are visible as you play and you can see how your game improves as you play. (Link below.)

All the websites I mentioned above have real money games and also “play” or “fun” money games where you are given $1,000 starting money which is replaced if you continue to lose.

I was winning an average of 5% of my games on “ten player” tables.

I then read on the ‘net about a book by Ken Warren called “Winner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em Poker”. Ken left the US Airforce in 1987 and has been earning his living playing poker ever since.

Since reading only 116 pages of the 222 page book, my winning percentages have risen from 5% to 13% so the book really is helping me.

I intend to read it fully, and then a second time and if I can get my winning percentage up to 20$ I may well consider playing for real money stakes. There is no hurry and it pays to be cautious.

Once a month I go to a pub in London’s Waterloo area and play with about fifty other players in the private room. The cost is £10 for the evening to play and £1.50 towards the room and our own waitress to bring us drinks to the table. However it is best not to drink alcohol before or during a game – but I do encourages others to!

The person who comes third in our team of eight wins £15. The person who holds out to second place wins £25 and the lucky bastard who wins the whole game on a table gets a stonking four times his initial stake; £40.

This is really fun and it is more than a matter of luck as the above percentages tell you. It is a complex and highly involved game. Luck doesn’t come into it half as much as bluff and knowing the odds and the rules of play.

For example, if the dealer is to the right of you, you would throw in a Ace and Jack, which you would certainly play if the dealer was to the left of you. Each hand and each position to the dealer on the table have a different method of play.

Poker winning hands go, from lowest to highest: Pair; two pairs; three of a kind; a run (mixed suit); a Flush (cards in the same suit but not a run); a full house (a pair and a three of a kind); four of a kind, and lastly, a running flush (run of the same suit).

Follow the link after my sign-out for Ladbroke’s Internet Site.

Andrew

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The anti-EU factions are agreeing to work together.

On the 28th July 2005 there was a meeting between various organisations intent on “getting the UK out of the EU”. These included Veritas, UK Independence, The Democracy Movement and others.

The meeting kicked off at 7:07pm with Tim Parker in the chair. He said that it is not a political party evening but is all about working on a strategy on leaving the EU. He then intoduced Tony Schofield.

Tony showed us papers on the breakdown of voters by age and sex which showed the growing importance of female voters and the older voter. The “over 65s” increased their turnout.

He went on to say that the “No” camps are all unfocussed and directionless.

Tony then explained that there was less hostility to the BBC as flaws of the EU are now being talked about by the establishment and went on to explain that, because of the “no” votes by France and the Netherlands, the French and German axis is under great strain.

Where as the europhiles have all the trappings and levers of power our side have no immediate goal to work to as the referendum in the UK has been cancelled.

He then switched to our problems in getting MPs elected in Westminster and how we need about 34% of the vote in most constituencies to elect our own MPs. The highest UKIP received at the last election was 8%.

Our weakness is that we have a lack of possitive alternatives.

2009 may well be an interesting time as both a General Election and the EU elections are scheduled in that year. Tony seemed to think that the Government could well avoid this by having the General Election earlier.

The chairman, Tim Parker thanked him and introduced Gerard Batten MEP (UKIP).

Gerard told us not to count our blessings as the French and Dutch referendum results will be sidetracked, And that the EU are contemplating how to bring back their ideas more subtly.

Even now they are bringing in some of the ideas from the unratified constitution into the existing constitution.

The only alternative is, if you don’t like what is on offer, you must leave the EU. There are no other options available.

He also stressed that the only thing that matters to us all is votes at the ballot box at Westminster.

Gerard acknowledged that the only reason UKIP got into the EU Parliament is that the EU foistered PR on to the UK for these elections and that the only way that we can succeed with MPs in our own Parliament is if PR was introduced in Britain.

Gerard went on to explain how such a small band of UKIP MEPs have influence well above their tiny numbers.

He said that, out of all the PR systems, he prefers the PR favoured by the Electorial Reform Society.

He then switched to our last election and that the reason why so many people don’t vote is because they feel their vote will not make a difference. We need, not only PR, but must persuade people that it is not a wasted vote. [How to do this will be mentioned later.]

Gerard also warned us that Parliament has already been destroyed by the EU.

He likened it to a building riddled with termites. It looks OK from the outside but one hefty kick and it will crumble and fall down. He is calling for a national campaign for PR with LibDems at the head. With a national petition for PR to be ongoing with signatures taken to Tony Blair every month.

Tim Parker thanked Gerard Batten and introduced Damian Hockney LA. [London Assembly Member]

Damian likened our meeting to a whole group of people coming to gether under the cover of darkness, to talk about a wide range of matters with different viewpoints with very little chance of agreement.

He then explained that PR is only part of the answer, the rest is everything that has been covered here this evening.

He argued that the Libdems are only notionally in favour of PR now that they have so many seats in Parliament. They fear they will lose some of them to the Greens and also to UKIP and Veritas.

Where is our vision? Damian thought the main difficulty is that all of us have different view apart from the leaving of the EU

People are coming up with ideas, will-nilly but are not costing them out. He cited the example of compulsory Gym membership for everyone!.

Damian then said that we are against the EU because it affects all of our lives, or jobs and our future. And that this message has to be got across more succinctly.

He then mentioned that, as a member of the London Assembly Police Committee he meets Sir Ian Blair and many senior judges. On explaining that Interpol have total immunity from proscecution whilst they are working, and for the rest of their lives afterwards, for any crime they commit whilst in the employ of Interpol, the Judges, and the Commissioner were totally dumfounded and horrified. They had no idea.

It is inevitable that people in the NO camp will disagree with each other but we must stop sniping at each other and must support each other ideas and praise other groups successes.We must do things together as a team more.

Tim announced a 5 min break and that there would be a question and answer session on our return.

A lively question time covering, amongst many other subjects; the Conservative party is a lost cause viz a viz leaving the EU; we cannont control our immigration whilst we are in the EU; all EU citizens have full access to the UK and our welfare handouts.

After questions, each speaker talked for a minute to wrap up the evening.

Gerard was hammering the party whip system and how, because of it, MPs cannot follow their own beliefs..

Damian pushed the point that the key is “we must have a vision which is outside of ourselves” and that Veritas and UKIP mustn’t be seen as a fringe parties.

Tony says Europe have a vision. Our implied vision is back to 1972. This is no good, we must show the public that we have a new vision.

Meeting finished at 9:00 pm.

Thankfully everyone agreed to have another meeting further on in the year, with more groups invited to attend.

Andrew

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Phishing

Some of these e-mails, phishing for our security information are getting very realistic and are not so easy to dismiss out of hand.

So, if you are hesitant, here is what you can do when they ask for a user name and password.

Put in something silly as the user name, like caluugar, or zaqqaz or something, anything but your own user name. Then put in a ficticious password, once again, nothing like your own.

If the site pretending to be your bank accepts these, then you will know it is crooked, and an attempt to phish your information. A real bank will only accept genuine user names with the corresponding genuine password.

And you may borrow a simple motto I have used in all spheres of my life, it is…

When in doubt, don’t!

Andrew

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Thank you dear reader

Thank you.

Thanks for all the replies I have received since I announced the end of my blog. OK, I will keep it going, but not, if you don’t mind, every day.

I was very pleased to have received so many e-mails of encouragement and will start off with a little tip on the Internet…

Andrew.

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