UK Project – 3D Maps of whats under our roads to reduce congestion from roadworks

The first 3D maps of what’s under our roads are to be created in a multi-million pound project to cut traffic jams caused by roadworks. The four-year survey will plot every pipe, cable, drain and sewer in the UK, and make the information available for contractors on hand held computers. Four million holes are dug in the roads every year, but many are unnecessary as there are no reliable plans showing utilities buried since Victorian days. The annual digging bill of £1billion rises to £5bn when the cost of congestion is included. Now, researchers from Nottingham and Leeds Universities are to use computer programs to combine data from thousands of separate plans into maps with pinpoint accuracy.

“Reducing roadworks would bring enormous economic and environmental benefits,” said Professor Tony Cohn of Leeds. The project includes a scheme to tag pipes as they’re laid so they can be found with a radio scanner.

Cigarettes in the car to go up in a puff of smoke

Smoking behind the wheel could soon be stubbed out, if changes to the Highway Code go ahead. A revised drivers’ bible, due out next spring, will warn motorists that sparking up on the road is a serious distraction. It could pave the way for an all-out ban in cars; Scottish van and lorry drivers are already preparing for new laws outlawing lighting up from May. The fresh code is part of a raft of Government changes concerning motoring habits. The Driver Standards Agency has now banned electronic parking brakes from learner test centres and says it’s looking to outlaw other driver-assistance gadgets.

Courtesy of BBC & AutoExpress

DAB Radio – Dead And Buried?

It won’t be long. That’s the view of a leading stereo manufacturer, which has axed its range of vehicle digital radios in favour of analogue. Experts believe the move by Kenwood sounds the death knell for digital stereo technology, unless reliability improves quickly. Users have reported interference and lost signals, problems which obviously deter potential buyers. Kenwood’s Mike Edwards said the brand has no plans to reintroduce digital products. Fellow in-car entertainment (ICE) specialists Clarion and Blaupunkt admit that in-car DAB has been ‘slow to catch on’. Article courtesy of Auto Express

Water Shortage? South-East England Ban

Water shortage? You can spray that again!

Well, actually, you can’t, according to Britain’s water companies. The firms are bringing in hosepipe bans across the country, signalling a potential end to the traditional car wash.

Drivers in the South-East of England will be the first to be affected by the ban – introduced because of a lack of rainfall over the winter months – but it could spread nationwide. Now, leading car care produce manufacturer Comma has tapped into the problem and issued a new list of recommendations for saving valuable water while still giving your motor a clean.

An estimated 6 million drivers wash their vehicle every weekend and 57 percent of those have admitted that they do it by hosing down first, according to Comma’s research. Ignoring a hosepipe ban introduced by your local water authority could mean a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record, so the firm’s advice should be taken by the bucket load. “With so many people in this country grabbing a hosepipe, a change of habit is required,” explained company spokesman Mike Brewsey. “You only need one pail of water to clean the car, and another to wash it down.”

Comma claims a staggering 84 million gallons of water could be saved each weekend if more drivers converted to buckets instead of hoses.

Figures released by supplier Three Valleys Water show that a hose pipes use 20 gallons per wash – which compares with only 3 gallons for each bucket.

Top Water Saving Tips When Washing Your Car

1. Clean your car from the roof down to the wheels
2. Always wash in the shade to avoid drying marks and repeat cleaning
3. Wring your sponge or chamois out over your bucket
4. Use a sponge to wash down with one hand, and a chamois in the other to dry off immediately
5. Wash your car after a rain shower – it will already be wet, so you won’t need a hose to rinse it first

Replacement, Upgrade for my Nokia 6100 – What are VK2010 | VK2000 – Mobile Phones like?

I’m looking to find more information on the VK range of mobile phones.

I used to have a Nokia 6100 and it was a really thin and small phone that was reliable and had a good battery life. The only problem is that this phone is quite out of date and I find the responsiveness of it a little slow compared to todays standards.

Nokia 6100 | A great slim small phone

I’m currently looking for an upgrade or replacement – ideally a Nokia 6100 shell but with 6230i insides. I know that this isn’t possible but even different brands interest me hence me mentioning the VK Mobile range. If anyone has any suggestions I’d be interested to hear.

vk 2010


vk 2020


My wishlist:-

Battery life over 5 days
Max Height – 110mm
Max Width – 60mm
Max Thickness – 10mm
Weight – not bothered
Screen – Need to view images
Ringtones – MP3
USB Chargeable – USB lead to charge

Like I said, the VK2000 looked good but there are others on the horizon and I’d be prepared to hang-on for a couple of months to see their latest offerings.

Bpweb – Review | Opinion of their services – I’ve not had good experiences with them!

Having tried out some ISP’s recently for webhosting I was attracted to due to their good reviews and the fact that they did a 30 day money-back-guarantee.

I setup some accounts OK and wanted to add POP3 accounts which I added. I then decided to change the POP3 accounts and did that however they didn’t work. It transpired that they only update your requests such as changes to web forwarding, pop3 accounts, etc. etc. on a daily basis at 11pm. So if you were to request changes at 11.30pm, or you made a mistake you would have to wait until the following evening at 11pm for your changes to be executed. This is not good in todays age!

I then contacted support for a couple of questions via their support console – no response, sent another – no response and then telephoned Nick/Andy in support and he helped. I asked why my requests hadn’t been answered – he said that they hadn’t seen them. Anyhow, after this and the 11pm updates I said that I would like to cancel my account (this is 2/3 days after opening it – which I must add, took them 1 hour!) … No reply. I tried this 10 times and send forms from their “secure support area” … No reply. I then called and was told I would have to e-mail them. Which I did.

I then left it and thought. Oh well they’ve got £30 out of me.

3 weeks later I got a second bill from their service on my card. I had to eventually go to the payment collected and manually cancel the service. Not through BPweb but the service provider.

BPwebseem to use an antiquated, slow system for updating changes. They didn’t reply to my support requests and failed to assist me in cancelling their service.

Since this experience I have used Clook and they are great. The cPanel system is instant, their prices seem to be cheaper (bonus) and the support response is as I would expect, if not better. Usually an e-mail response within 5mins to 30 mins. Not that I’ve had to use it much, apart from a flurry of panic e-mails at the start ;-P

Moral of story. Check out that they have a cancellation procedure or find your exit before comitting.

The FINAL day of landscaping

Here is a photo taken this morning. All stops have been pulled out today – it’s payday, so what else would you expect? 😉

It’s 10.44am and they’ve promised to be out by 3pm. I’ll have to do a snagging list to see if this is going to be the case!

Landscaping, last day

CSS Templates

Came across an interesting post at Digital Point last week regarding good sources for CSS Templates.

I listed this place as it shows you what is happening “live” when you modify the code on the settings page.

 As I’m learning CSS at the moment it was a good find. CSS is NOT easy, but with practice….

 If anyone else has any good CSS template links I’d be interested to see them!

Oh, and here’s an interim shot of how Martin & Martin are getting on with their landscaping in my garden!

Middle stage of landscaping