Thursday, August 16

Havant Borough Council election registration incompetence

Just received a letter today from Havant Borough Council from the electoral registration officer in an unsealed envelope.

The letter asks me to confirm the household details (as usual) for election purposes by filling in the form telephoning the council or by logging into a web page using two SECRET security codes printed on the letter! The same codes can be used to send a text confirmation on a mobile phone.

Yes you heard it, the envelope was unsealed and contained the security codes for me to enter personal details who lives at my address, their nationality, age etc.

I do not know if anyone looked inside the envelope and copied the codes. No one does. If the letter was sealed then there may have been some indication that it had been tampered with. Better still, hide the codes under a scratchable area.

On top of this apparent incompetence, they threaten a £1000 fine for supplying incorrect information. So someone could mess up your data for you and you get a fine as a result.

Any Russians out there that feel like abusing our council elections, feel free, it looks like we deserve it. Or at least the services cutting Tory council deserves it.

Saturday, July 28

High tide at Southsea today

The Wellington - Revived?

A while ago I posted that The Wellington pub was to be demolished.

Well it looks like I was wrong, although at the time of the post I think the info was correct.
The pub is being refurbished and being made into flats. I think previous news across the inter-web suggested that it would be demolished to make way for flats.

Here is a photo showing the current work:

Photo when it was boarded up.
You can see that in the more recent photo the roof has had a lot of work done to it.

Friday, July 27

Hydrogen vs Batteries to power EVs

Excellent video comparing Hydrogen and Batteries as the energy storage method for electric vehicles:

Wednesday, July 18

Electric Vehicle charging comes to the Borough

It's taken a long time, but soon Havant Borough Council owned car parks will have 48kW EV rapid chargers installed. The chargers will be a part of the Genie Point network:

I believe these will charge a car to about 80% in 30 minutes, which is probably reasonable for a car park scenario. Ah it makes a change to post some local news and something positive!

Saturday, July 14

An American Tesla Model 3 experience

An American Tesla Model 3 owner describes his experience trying to explain his car to his business clients!

Monday, July 2

Tesla on an Autobahn

Nowegian takes a Tesla onto an Autobahn, tops 155mph whilst taking on an Audi:

Sunday, June 24

Jeremy Hunt today threatens businesses

It's always interesting how often the Tories fail completely to listen to business and even accuse companies of undermining Tory policy. So much for a party that allegedly supports business (take a look at Waterlooville to see what a lie that is).

The attack on democracy continues with Jeremy Hunt today accusing the likes of Airbus and BMW of threatening Theresa May and the future of the failing Tory government. Airbus and BMW have a right to say what is appropriate for their own business.

These companies have done the correct thing and they will not be the only businesses that are threatened by Brexit.

Why would we want to support the Tories??
His POV is not typical and is tainted by a desire to protect his own political position.

Saturday, June 23

Be careful when buying on Amazon, the UK has failing standards.

'Which?' are reporting that Carbon Monoxide alarms sold on Amazon and Ebay failed to detect the gas they were designed to detect. Apparently the same alarms were flagged as faulty in 2016. Yet the same alarms are being sold. The BBC reports that 3 were made in China.

I recently bought some 'imperial' sized nuts for a project on Amazon, only to find that they were 'metric'. They had come via air transport (goodness knows what the carbon footprint of that was!!!) from an Asian country.

I complained but there was no way I was sending them back only to increase the carbon footprint further!

Generally speaking though UK based companies that sell on Amazon are better and sort out problems quickly.

This ties in with Brexit. Oh yes!
The fact is I don't trust a lot of crap imported from Asia unless it was designed and has been tested in an EU country, including of course the UK. But if you cut red tape to ease trade between us and some Asian nations, then inevitably many will pay, in some cases with their lives - when a poorly designed electronic device goes up in flames, bought by a low paid zero hours contractor desperately trying to keep up with the Jones.

Tories threaten war in a quagmire of lies

Are some Tory Brexiteers actually British?

Is Liam Fox British?

These Brexit appeasers of war want to ruin us all. That isn't in the best interests of these islands. There are more important things to worry about than who writes the current laws. Climate Change is a far bigger issue, as well as schools, health care and our ageing population.

I assume they want to win elections after Brexit. I don't see how increasing inflation and a wide spread loss of jobs is going to help them do that. They will however be sitting pretty with their foreign investments and us ordinary folk have to pay double or triple prices whilst collecting Universal Credit.

We will only survive a dangerous future with China, Russia, the US and others sabre rattling, if we stick together with the EU. If we want to change it, then stick with it. The only thing Brexit will achieve (apart from loss of jobs etc) is that we will blame Westminster for all the rubbish laws instead of Brussels. Nothing will ever change, that is the nature of democracy, it is slow and plodding. That is why it is good and is acceptable. It doesn't matter where it is, the results (if it is working) will be the same in Westminster or Brussels.

Brexit won't solve this problem or many like it:

Yet while we destroy our planet, all we can do is squable over which power hungry MPs determine our laws and where they place their big fat butts. 

Friday, June 15

Saturday, May 26

The Expanse is saved!

Jeff Bezos announced in the last few hours that Amazon had picked up The Expanse for Season 4 and for further seasons. Bezos is a big fan of the show and made the announcement at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, with the cast of the show in the audience.

Thursday, May 24

Are car sales staff fit for purpose?

A recent survey found that staff at car dealerships do not make customers aware of Electric Vehicles as a purchase option.

A lack of sales staff knowledge about the changing face of vehicle technology is one factor. The survey showed that customers wanting to buy a car would remain ignorant of the EV option after speaking to car sales staff.

Myths perpetuated by car sales staff included:

  1. Their brands EV had a range of only 80km (ranges currently vary between 180 to 540km).
  2. They claimed that EVs were expensive to run (the opposite is in fact true).
  3. A model was only available for petrol or diesel.
  4. Told lies about EVs economy.

Friday, May 11

SyFy cancels The Expanse

What a bunch of dicks.

The best Science Fiction on the small screen and has gotten better every season. Then they go and cancel it after this years Season 3!

Yeah I pointed out previously that this was a cool show, with real physics and a great story. Something for everyone.

The streaming series is based on the books by James S.A. Corey, the last of which is due to be published next year.

If you haven't seen it yet on Netflix, then you should (along with the new series of Star Trek and Lost in Space!). Season 3 should be on Netflix this October.

Friday, April 20

Fully Charged Live at Silverstone

Roberts Fully Charged project is having a Live event at Silverstone racing circuit on the 9th and 10th June this year. You can register for tickets now. Apparently they have a lot of companies showing their electric cars, bikes, low carbon energy systems like solar energy, batteries and other stuff and there will be talks and other great things.

Sunday, April 15

Don't let his death be in vain

David Buckel a prominent US lawyer took his own life this weekend to highlight the damage we are doing to the planet. We can never do to much to preserve the planet for future generations.

Mr Buckel used fossil fuels to set himself on fire and he left a note explaining why he took his own life.

Friday, April 13

Poppy Sculpture at Fort Nelson

The Poppy Sculpture originally displayed at The Tower of London is now on display at Fort Nelson:

The sculpture will be at the fort until 24th June 2018. 

Saturday, April 7

Litter at the entrance to B&Q

I visited B&Q recently to buy some paint and other DIY stuff. Whilst walking to the DIY store I looked down the embankment between the road entrance and the motorway bridge I spotted anormous amounts of Fast Food takeway litter.

The fact is a lot of it is in a location that would imply that it was thrown there by people in cars visiting the store and not cars passing the store heading for Leigh Park or Walmart.

The packaging is from a variety of sources including Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds.

It is sickening, especially as I believe the store provides bins in the car park.

I think authorities need to put in temporary cameras that will capture licence plate numbers and catch the culprits responsible.

As well as that I think the Fast Food businesses identified by the packaging along with B&Q need to get the mess cleared up.

Sunday, April 1

Robert and Jonny talk electric vehicles and rapid charging

Robert Llewellyn and Jonny discuss the Geneva car show and rapid charging EVs.
Have to say that Fully Charged has grown from a small niche video channel into a mainstream automobile video channel, with Rob and Jonny getting invites to discuss and review Electric Vehicles and low carbon tech all over the world. It is amazing how electric vehicle technology has developed in the 11 years this blog has run. Technically it was inevitable, but politcally it is surprising how much has changed. The main problem is Trump and his nationalist policies to desperately prop up the outdated American car industry. But I think (and pray!) that it will be a minor moronic glitch.

Anyway, here is the video:

New Litter Lout Fines and Local Council Powers

Photo I took in 2008
It's taken 10 years since my first post about litter around Waterlooville:

Today new powers are given to local councils to fine litter louts more aggresively:

Fines have been increased from £80 to £150.
Car owners can now be fined for anyone chucking litter out of their vehicles windows.

Friday, March 16

RAF100 tour will not come to the South

To quote the RAF:

The RAF100 Aircraft Tour will be coming to a city near you this year. You will be able to get up close to a selection of aircraft in Cardiff, Horse Guards Parade in London, Newcastle in Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
I don't see Southampton or any South of England city on that list.
Southampton the birth place of the Spitfire will not see this exhibition!
Apparently the South coast didn't take part in the Battle of Britain.

I am truely shocked!
And just a bit short of being disgusted

Sunday, March 11

My take on Russia and Putin

I have been aware of Russian aggression for many, many years, since Putins rise to power . What puzzles me is why the British government and the public in general have been so ignorant of the way the Russian government (activists and secret service) have been operating.

It has (IMO) ranged from activists and paid Russian contractors taking part in online discussions (including comments on Portsmouth News web site) to election manipulation and cyber attacks.
The online trolling of discussions is a way of unsettling an enemy, similar techniques were used by the alllies in WWII to cause a level of chaos in the Nazi ranks.

I personally had some web site details stolen (from another site, fortunately only a username and   password) and placed on a Russian server for everyone to view a number of years ago. The information probably wasn't stolen by Russians, but the attackers certainly felt that a Russian server was a safe place to publicly display the information.

I had a discussion with someone a few years ago in Waterlooville and for some reason the discussion took a detour to Russia Today (RT). I said that the channel was a propaganda outlet for the Russian government, but the guy was convinced it was all true, primarily because it gave an alternative view to US media. Even back then I had deleted the channel from my Freeview list. The channel was clearly deliberately trying to undermine factual information as well as any bias in the US media.

Today we see that John McDonnell is advising Labour colleagues not to be interviewed by RT.
Why did they think it was sensible to appear on the channel so late in the day?
The channel should have been boycotted by all MPs years ago.

I have to bring Brexit into this post (even if it seems irrelevant). I do think Russia is active in Europe and the UK. I strongly believe that Brexit will greatly weaken our place in the world and Putin wants that to happen. The EU, like it or not is a protective unifying entity that does a lot to keep the likes of Russia, China and even the US in check. With Trump edging further and further into the Nationalist corner of politics and using nationalistic trade barriers to protect old and failing US industries, the UK will only come out it the worse, either by having to do what ever Trump says or by suffering economically with trade protectionism.

Putin is winning the political battle, cyber battle and possible a future physical battle that is aimed at tearing Europe apart. Unfortunately some of our MPs are helping and have appeased Putin by feverishly making out that the EU is the enemy and bringing the public with them. In some respects our media is no better than Russia Today, in fact they are just as ideological and obsessive about the EU as RT is in promoting Putinism.

Bannon condones racism, how can racism ever be a badge of honour?:

Thursday, March 1

No one should be surprised

Government supports energy consumption by cutting funding on energy efficient homes:

A massive cut by 58% in support for energy improvements in homes. Such improvements help to cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

'Green' David Cameron launched the cuts and it ain't going to get any better with a more extreme (and ignorant) right wing government.

Monday, February 26

New retail around Waterlooville

A Warrens Bakery and a Giorgios Pizza open in Waterlooville. I tried a Warrens Cornish pasty and it was good. Apparently the company have been going for 150 years. Big question mark though regarding the Cornish pasty, Warrens can currently protect their product under EU law, but after Brexit there will be no protection for Cornish pasties and or Melton Mowbray pork pies. Any company anywhere will be able to make anything that roughly looks like a pasty and call it Cornish.
Not sure if Giorgios is a chain or an independent.

New Premier shop being kitted out at Hambledon Parade.

Tuesday, February 20

Bin less bus stop

There is no waste bin next to the central Waterlooville bus stop on the Asda side of the street.

So fast food trash just gets dumped around the seats.

At least on this occasion most of it was biodegradeable.

My contribution to the EU budget

My contribution to the EU budget this year was £34.

Oh what shall I do with £34?

Probably spend it on EU goods and services after Breaks-it.

Friday, February 16

Some positive activity around Waterlooville?

Waterlooville is struggling to survive as a retail and business area, but it is good to see three shops openning, two in Waterlooville centre and one opposite Hambledon Parade.

The two in Waterlooville are food/cafe units. One is a bakery/cafe selling Cornish pasties, cakes and drinks, the other is still being kitted out, but it looks like it will be a Pizza cafe of some sort.

Meanwhile, at Hambledon Parade the empty shops under the new Wellington Park flats appears to be acquiring a Premier convenience store. However given there are two existing convenience stores (Mace and McColls) in Hambledon Parade itself, it looks like something has got to 'give' and someone is going to lose out.

The other issue of course is that we have plenty of cafes and food stores already!

Oh and charity shops.

I'll have pictures and other details later.

Monday, February 5

Falcon Heavy

I'm a great fan of SpaceX and I'm a great fan of electric vehicles.
Hopefully tomorow SpaceX will successfully launch a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the Sun using the new Falcon Heavy rocket, on top of that they hope to land all three Falcon 9 first stages that make up the Heavy. It will be the first flight of the heavy and the Tesla car is the test cargo for the mission.

Monday, January 1

The political plastic waste time bomb

The plastic waste time bomb has been ticking for many years or decades. This blog was started as a result of observations of plastic litter around Waterlooville.  Today we hear that China will no longer take UK plastic waste for recycling, some 25% of UK plastic waste in total, and why should they?

European and American companies happily exported industry to China because labour was and still is cheap, in turn British European consumers happily bought Chinese produced goods with British brand names (once produced in the UK, some in Havant), names such as Bush, Clarks, Morphy Richards and Kenwood. We exported our carbon emissions to China and then imported the products to use in our homes which inevitably became waste (partly because the products were not designed to be repaired).

A lack of action at Westminster and at our local Councils has resulted in a lack of recycling facilities and as pointed out previously Hampshire County Council has opted to reduce facilities (a political ideological decision, not one based on technological know how, science or the pseudo science of economics). Hampshire County Council have a record of banning wind turbines and approving the burning of hosuehold waste for energy.

What is wrong with plastic?

You have to distinguish between the material and the product designed to use the material.
You can view plastic as a wonder material that lasts many hundreds of years and this was how it was sold and marketed in the last 60 to 70 years, a cheap and cheerful material that can be used to make dishes, bowls, pipes, clothes, packaging and food wrap etc.

This is fine, these products would last forever wouldn't they?

Unfortunately nature and physics was ignored and of course the products did not last forever, joints break, fractures appear, threads unravel or break, babies out grow the baby products etc. So then the plastic products were buried in the ground (hidden) or burnt (causing polution and carbon emissions).

Manufacturers and governments failed to have a long term plan for the material (a typical fault of industrial economics), they didn't plan how to recycle the materials or even attempted to design recyclable products. Selling, marketing and jobs were more important and maintained a stable society for government to manage. They didn't want to take responsibility or knew they had to.

Today we know that we have to take responsibility. Plastics don't just crack and fracture, plastic threads don't just break, plastics also erode into tiny fibres and microscopic particles, they form dust that will still be in our air, water and earth for hundreds of year and we are adding to this dust as we produce more products. It isn't just waste plastic that you put in a bin that creates microscopic plastic waste, the daily use of plastic products also creates microscopic plastic particles and fibres.

Can we burn all the plastic waste?

When we burn plastic we are in reality using it as a fossil fuel like coal, diesel or petrol. We create particulate pollutants in the atmosphere and toxic residues in the furnace, we also produce carbon emissions in the same way that fossil fuels do when burnt. Climate change is already having an impact on people around the world including us in the UK, this includes migration of species to these isles following changing weather and climate patterns.

The only solutions are as follows:

1. Use no plastics or reserve plastics for very specific and essential uses (medical, military etc).
2. Use biodegradeable plastics that meld into nature after they have been used by us. This is similar to natural materials like wood, cotton, wool etc. They last just long enough to be useful and then return to nature to be used again.
3.Recycle all plastics and invest in extensive recycling facilities. Frankly if a council or Westminster is unwilling to do this then they should be legally enforcing 1 and 2.

Westminster and councils should be legally accountable for any lack of action on their part.