the lighter side

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Considering another path to the skies — microlights. Yet again, this should probably have been written in 2010 (much like my first article) but this blog didn’t exist at the time, that’s my excuse anyway. I’ve wanted to learn to fly for many years and in 2007 had my first ever light aircraft flight back then in a De Havilland Chimpunk. The thing that put me off was cost, there was simply no way I could continue to afford to train towards my license at that time or that flying club, so it got put on the back burner for many years. In the three years that followed I changed job, moved house, got…

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Here we go again... ?

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I last maintained a regular blog (well, collection of rants and other miscellaneous nonsense) from 2004-2009, it was actually reasonably well received and a few people stole content from it (I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery?) Anyway, a lot has changed, and mostly moved over to Twitter and Facebook. However occasionally 140 characters isn't enough, or a wider audience than Facebook is desirable. Anything here is my opinion, and just that. It doesn't reflect that of my employer, anyone I've worked with in the past, friends family or anyone else - just me. If it's factually inacc…

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Social Engineering Amazon

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Most people will know I like Amazon (the collection of boxes it's affectionately nicknamed Amazon mountain) so I was shocked to discover how lax their security was, as a result of them trying to be helpful! It seems someone has found that Amazon can easily be tricked into letting others use your account I decided to try it myself, and discovered this works all too well... On the assumption (or off-chance) that Amazon Customer Services are presented with a list of addresses for identity verification purposes, I’ve added this one; If you use Amazon, keep an eye on your account…

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Self-Help Exits on KLM

This article was originally posted elsewhere in Late 2015 I recently had cause to complain to KLM about something which, to me, was a safety concern. My concerns were completely ignored by KLM, despite parroting the usual line about safety being their top priority, it clearly wasn't. Four flights with them in two days, and there was some disparity in policy around emergency exits due to KLM's policy, which I appreciate is in line with all other airlines these days, of charging for exit row seats; First Flight The exit rows were unoccupied at boarding. The cabin crew helpfully selected a few in…

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a journey skywards…

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Originally posted on Medium, so although it says "I no longer maintain a blog", I clearly do... As many friends, family and acquaintances will know I recently embarked on a journey to get a PPL (Private Pilots License). Yes, not content with causing chaos on the roads I had to add a third axis... I actually had my first ‘trial flight’ in 2007, and since then had longed for a time I could afford to continue training. That opportunity presented itself in early 2014 when I started flying more regularly. I’ve seen a few good aviation blog posts dotted about and although I no longer maint…

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Nominet DRS

I recently had a case decided by Nominet DRS (thankfully in my favour, but that wasn't unexpected). Now that's finally over I can publish this ;) ... complete with my own inimitable, occasionally sarcastic, insightful(!) comments ;) The case was against the owner of the domain stagelampsuk.co.uk, where my company name was StageLamps Limited and trading with the domain stagelamps.co.uk. This is the response (in full) that we got from the owner of stagelampsuk.co.uk with respect to an accusation of passing off as us and the ensuing Nominet Dispute Resolution process, my own comments are intersp…

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DMX Hue

This is a demonstration of the Philips Hue lamp (meethue.com) controlled by DMX from a Strand GSX lighting desk. The box doing the actual conversion is a Raspberry Pi which sits between the DMX from the Strand and the Philips Hue base station converting the DMX values into calls to the API used by Hue. At present there are two personalities; 3 Channel Mode (Hue, Saturation, Dimmer) for full colour control and 2 Channel Mode (Colour Temperature, Dimmer) for just the various shades of white (adjustable CT) The quality of output from these little lamps is fantastic - they don't use the standard p…

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Jet 2, a rant...

This was originally posted on Facebook, and sent to Jet2, who did respond with a generic "Sorry, we look forward to welcoming you on board again" type message. I had tried to be mildly humourous too :( EDI to OLB... via LBA Firstly the operator billed the service as a direct flight from Edinburgh Turnhouse to Olbia so I was somewhat surprised to discover the stop in Leeds when checking the flight information before departing to the airport, this is the fault of the tour operator though as it's clear on Jet2.com that the flight is via Leeds. I've been on flights which have stopped en…

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Marika Klambatsea 2005

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This one is a bit of a 'blast from the past' but it caused so much amusement last time around... Twelve years later I still remember this, and my first ever mention in the press ;) I’ve been looking through some of the reviews and found this on the Scotsman’s website… "Our reviewer Claire Smith has been telling everyone she meets about her bizarre experience at C on Monday evening, when Marika Klambatsea, star of the bizarre Calamity Jane: Letters To Her Daughter refused point blank to leave the stage. Eventually the technical staff said, ‘Would everybody please leave, there’s another sh…

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