Archive for Internet

Jihad Is Coming To Britain

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, European Union, Immigrants, Islamic Revolution, Islamic State, News, Terrorism, United Nations with tags , , , , on 16/08/2015 by floroy1942
Refugees - How Many Belong To Islamic State?

Refugees – How Many Belong To Islamic State?

A short while ago I highlighted the fact that many Islamic State (I.S.) fighters are coming to Europe hiding among the thousands of refugees swarming across the Mediterranean Sea, but now I.S. have taken it a step further. News last week revealed that I.S. are now telling potential recruits not to make their way to Syria or Iraq to fight with them, but to stay in their home country and carry out attacks there.

Two Sky reporters posed as ‘would be’ jihadists on the internet wanting to go to Syria, and received instructions to begin attacks in Britain. They were told there are already potential bombers in the U.K. and they should join them.

Junaid Hussain

Junaid Hussain

The reporters posed as jihadists on Twitter and other chat rooms and were contacted by Junaid Hussain, a 21-year-old hacker-turned-jihadist from Birmingham, who runs the IS information and recruitment arm from Syria.

Sally Jones - Helping Train Jihadists To Attack Her Own Country

Sally Jones – Helping Train Jihadists To Attack Her Own Country

His wife, Sally Jones, a former punk from Chatham, Kent, is also in Syria working alongside Hussain in Raqqa but dealing with female IS-supporting jihadists. The pair have offered guidance in making bombs, the materials needed and how to get them.

From the information the reporters received it would appear that there are already several people residing the in the U.K. who are prepared to carry out an attack. One such attack was supposed to be against the Queen during the Remembrance Day celebrations this last weekend. Thank goodness that never materialised and everything passed off peacefully.

The Aftermath Of A Suicide Bomber

The Aftermath Of A Suicide Bomber

According to information gleaned it would appear that there is at least one potential bomber in Scotland, with another two from whom the jihadists are awaiting results. Five more have completed training and have already returned to the U.K.

We have heard of many people who have returned home after being trained by I.S., and its only a matter of time before one of them carries out an attack.  On top of this there are the hard-core jihadists who are crossing the Med hidden among the genuine refugees. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that they have already set up a jihadist training camp in Bosnia and who knows how many more are in existence, or planned.

I.S. Training The Next Generation Of Fighters

I.S. Training The Next Generation Of Fighters

While the politicians in Europe brush off the danger from I.S., these people are getting organized for an all-out assault on us. Where they will strike is anyone’s guess, but I think we are close to the time when we could start seeing attacks on European soil. If the time ever comes when these fanatics are successful in Europe you can bet your last dollar that the USA will be next.

Time For The UN To Act For All Mankind

Time For The UN To Act For All Mankind

It makes me wonder if I.S. attacks on the European mainland will be enough to wake the sleeping giant we all know as the United Nations. After all the atrocities that I.S. have committed, and not forgetting those of Boko Haram in Africa, the U.N. is still silent, and has not taken any action to solve this problem. Maybe if I.S. carried out an assault on the U.N. Headquarters itself, it might be enough to get these useless individuals off their fat backsides and actually do something to restore world peace.

Roy.

The Best Of Humour

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, News, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 26/05/2014 by floroy1942

Jokes flash back and forth on the internet and occasionally a real gem surfaces. I received this the other day and thought people might like it. It is interesting too because the instigator has used an old Dean Martin song to good effect as a background to the clip.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

My thanks to the anonymous poster.

Roy

Website Causes Another Tragic Teen Death

Posted in America, Britain, Child Discipline, Children, England, Mobile Phone, Parenting, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 06/08/2013 by floroy1942
Bullied To Death At 14

Bullied To Death At 14

I was appalled today to read of yet another teenager who committed suicide because of abusive messages received over a teen chat website. What is it about today’s teenagers that makes them send cruel, heartless hate messages to others over the internet? It seems that bullying has reached new depths of depravity and hate that it is now driving young people to such depths of despair that it forces them to  take their own lives.

I refer to the case of 14 year-old Hannah Smith who was hounded to death through the website Ask.fm until in sheer desperation she hung herself in her parents home. According to reports, she was hounded for weeks prior to her death with messages urging her to kill herself. As you would expect, all the messages were anonymous and consisted of things like:  “u ugly **** go die evry1 wuld (sic) be happy.” –  “do us all a favour n kill ur self”. – “drink bleach” – “go get cancer” and “go die”.

Bullied To Death

Bullied To Death

There is no doubt that the internet can be a minefield for young children and teenagers who have not been properly schooled in  its use, and that goes for mobile phones too. Hannah is not the only one to have taken such drastic action to escape the anonymous hate of others on this particular website. A year ago  Irish teenagers Ciara Pugsley, 15, from Leitrim and Erin Gallagher, 13, from Donegal both took their own lives after being subjected to on-line bullying, and in April this year 15-year-old Josh Unsworth from Lancashire was found hanged in his parents’ garden. He had endured months of cyber-bullying on the website.

The website carrying these messages, Ask.fm which is Latvian-based, said in their Press release, “We are committed to ensuring that Ask.fm remains a safe, fun environment, and we have policies in place that empower our users to protect themselves and to invite our intervention when required. For example, all users can switch off anonymous questions in their privacy settings; and if they do receive a question that they don’t like or find offensive, they can block the user and decide to report the incident. All reports are read by our team of moderators to ensure that genuine concerns are heard and acted upon immediately. Ask.fm is fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.” I must admit that if I were running the company, I would make it impossible to send anonymous messages.

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

Cyber-Bullying Statistics

It does seem that the website has the standard safeguards in place but it is clearly not enough, for the question remains, why didn’t Hannah turn off anonymous comments or block offensive users? I guess it could  be morbid curiosity as to what the writer would say next, but it is more likely to be that teenagers today are just not mentally equipped to handle situations like this. In this I feel that parents bear a lot of responsibility for not preparing their child on how to handle such things. Mind you, to be fair, in many cases the children do not tell their parents of such things. I must say though, that if my two children were teens today I would warn them of such things before they even started with the internet.

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

A Typical Example OF Cyber-Bullying

It is estimated that more than 50% of children today are subjected to bullying of one form or another, and with the proliferation of teen chat websites like Ask.fm there is much more opportunity to those who feel the need the bully others.

Experts say that parents should look for certain signs in their children’s behaviour like suddenly becoming withdrawn, not wanting to go to school, or when a child or teenager who normally gets good grades in exams suddenly starts failing them. Even simple things like a lack of appetite or having trouble sleeping can be warning signs for parents that their child is having mental problems. The thing to do then is sit them down and talk about it. Sometimes it is necessary to press them a little to get the answers you want, for it is natural for many teens not to want to talk about such things as bullying, be it at school or via the computer or phone.

In this short film it is amazing how many people move away because they do not want to be involved. A terrible symptom of our modern society.

Physical Bullying In School

Physical Bullying In School

With the number of suicides constantly on the rise, I feel that it is time for legislative action by governments who must pass laws applicable to all social internet sites that make the ability to send anonymous messages against the law, and that every message is traceable back to its source. But it does not end there, for parents must also carry their share of the load by properly supervising a child’s internet usage and ensure they know what the password is so they can check intermittently what is being passed back and forth. By doing so they may discover early enough if their child is being bullied, or in fact if the child is him/herself a bully.

To be bullied, either at school or over the internet can be a traumatic experience for those in our society who are least equipped to deal with it, and that is why parents should remain aware at all times.

Roy.

The ‘Outlook’ Disaster

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 30/06/2013 by floroy1942

Am I the only one having problems with the ‘new’ Outlook? Ever since Microsoft shut down Hotmail their e-mail replacement programme Outlook has driven me up the wall and to a great deal of stress with the time it takes to open, change menus and send e-mails. There have been times when I have been close to tearing my hair out in sheer frustration.

Hotmail to Outlook - A Disaster

Hotmail to Outlook – A Disaster

I have written to Microsoft on numerous occasions to complain, only to be met with the standard Microsoft ‘Wall of Silence’. Not that there is any easy way to contact Microsoft Support as you have to go through ‘twenty’ different screens and still end up with nothing. As you can imagine, this post is the result of sheer frustration! Today I lost a very important e-mail that was in my Drafts Box, and it will be no simple thing to write it again as it was complicated, and provided answers to someone with a problem in our community. It was all I could do to stop myself throwing the computer off the terrace! I am sure we have all had times like that and the computer was lucky to escape unscathed.

Please Bill, Come Back And Sort Out The Idiots You Left In Charge!

Please Bill, Come Back And Sort Out The Idiots You Left In Charge!

I wrote a post some time ago about the demise of Apple after Steve Jobs died, and it seems to me that Microsoft has gone the same way ever since Bill Gates left the company. We had a very stable e-mail programme with Hotmail, but for some unexplained reason Microsoft decided to retire it and replace it with the unmitigated disaster called Outlook. Why???? I think they must know that there are many bugs in the new programme so why are they sitting on their hands and doing nothing about it.

I am sure many other people are suffering with this e-mail programme because my wife has exactly the same problems on her computer. Therefore, I can well imagine there must be many other sufferers out there in the wild blue yonder. So I leave this message for Microsoft: GET A GRIP AND SORT OUT THIS TRAVESTY OF AN E-MAIL PROGRAMME, OR BETTER STILL, BRING BACK HOTMAIL!

End of rant!

Roy.

Illiteracy And The Internet

Posted in Benefits, Britain, Children, England, English Schools, Government, Immigration, Insanity, MP's, Primary Education, Primary Schools, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 14/07/2011 by floroy1942

For many years companies have complained about the poor levels of reading, writing, and numeracy among our young people seeking work. Most are nowadays considered totally unemployable for all but the most mundane of tasks.

Charles Duncombe

Now a major ‘online’ entrepreneur has added his ten cents worth, and I believe it hammers home the message. Mr. Charles Duncombe, who is director of Just Say Please Group, has come forward to say that the low levels of literacy in the UK are now hitting the web-based sales market to the tune of millions of pounds a year.

He said:”I know that industry bemoaning the education system is nothing new, but it is becoming more and more of a problem with more companies going online. This is because when you sell or communicate on the internet 99% of the time it is done by the written word.”

At Least Dorothy Perkins Hires Semi-Literates

According to him, the problem is bad spelling on websites that put off potential customers who may think the site is bogus or untrustworthy. When recruiting staff for his company he was “shocked at the poor quality of written english“.

Giving an example of the impact on internet sales, he had measured sales per visitor on his ‘tightsplease.co.uk’ site and found sales jumped significantly after a spelling mistake had been corrected. He said: “If you project this across the whole of internet retail then millions of pounds worth of business is probably being lost each week due to simple spelling mistakes,”

If You Don’t Know, There’s No Point In Telling You. Duh!

Mr. Duncombe was astounded at the poor levels of spelling and grammar from both school and university graduates. When writing a curriculum some even used ‘text speak’ (i.e. replacing the word ‘for’ with 4 for example). He went on to say that given a simple spelling test, most were hopelessly inadequate without access to a computer spellchecker.

Even our last Prime Minister was afflicted. Gordon Brown was a notoriously poor writer, due supposedly to his bad eyesight. In a letter to the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan he made several mistakes which led to arguments over who should check his correspondence before it was sent.

The CBI’s head of education and skills, James Fothergill,  echoed Charles Duncombe’s statement by saying, ‘he was shocked at the number of companies who feel it necessary to give extra literacy classes to potential recruits just to get them up to the required level of competence. He said:  “Our recent research shows that 42% of employers are not satisfied with the basic reading and writing skills of school and college leavers and almost half have had to invest in remedial training to get their staff’s skills up-to-scratch”.

It looks very much like this will be the pattern in the future for UK companies, and it will not end until the education system is sorted out. It is not necessarily the fault of the youth themselves, for they have been let down badly by the education system as a whole, which has steadily declined in excellence since the 1950’s. Now, even the teachers could not pass an old-style exam for literacy and numeracy. It’s the blind leading the blind!

Says It All Really!

When you consider that over a hundred years ago this country began the Industrial Revolution, and fifty years ago we had the best scientists in the world, today’s picture is more than grim. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have much to answer for, for there is little doubt they have destroyed the very foundations of our country (i.e our education system) by turning the majority of people into semi-literates with no prospect of decent employment.

The Dole Queue-The Future For Britain’s Dumb Youth

This is already starting to impact our Benefits System with an ever-increasing number of young people on the dole, and it will get worse until it becomes unsustainable.

From now on it looks like the United Kingdom will have to rely on immigrants for brains!

Roy.

The ‘News of the World’ Suicide.

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Government, Mobile Phone, Modern World, MP's, Parliament, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/07/2011 by floroy1942

When a newspaper decides to commit ‘hara-kiri’ you know there is something desperately wrong with the industry. So much has been written over the tabloid News of the World (NOTW) phone hacking scandal that there is no point in my repeating it, so let’s take a look more at why such a thing happened in the first place.

Fleet Street - Back When Reporters Were Honest

Up to the middle of the last century, newspapers were all about reporting the news as accurately and quickly as possible, and to get a ‘scoop’ was every editors dream. They reported the facts as they occurred, and usually without too much embellishment.

Then the inevitable happened, competition suddenly became fiercely contested when the ‘big money’ moved into Fleet Street and took over.

Since that time newspaper owners have become sharks in the aquarium, and the biggest on the block is Rupert Murdoch, owner of NOTW. He owns by far the largest share of all media reporting in the world. 

Richard Murdoch - Owner Of News International

His company, News International, owns 137 newspapers in Australia alone, 5 major ones in the USA, another 5 major papers in the UK plus 18 internationals. He owns 34 magazines, 23 TV channels spread between the USA and Britain, and 19 cable companies. Now he even wants to buy the UK TV channel BSkyB.

Murdoch has a stranglehold on news reporting across the english speaking world so we must all ask: Should one man be allowed to hold so much news reporting power? There is little doubt he has a great influence on the British political scene, especially during elections. It has been proven that biased reporting can sway the public to vote a certain way.

Over the years, with the arrival of king sharks like Murdoch, news reporting has steadily become worse as the business became more cut-throat. The idea of just reporting the news, along with journalistic integrity and honesty, went out the window when the drive to make money took over. The focus changed from pure reporting to the sordid task of generating profits at any cost, even to the extent of trashing people’s reputations. 

'Gotta Have A Scoop" Or My Ass Is Grass

Every newspaper reporter and editor is now hounded to get the ‘scoop of the century’ every day because that sells newspapers. To these people it no longer matters if the facts are correct, or even if the whole story is made up, as long as the front page story attracts people to buy their newspaper. This is true of all British newspapers, be it the trashy rags at the lower end, or those at the top.

We have been hit by a succession of scandals in Fleet Street over the years as one newspaper after another is caught out in a lie, or publishing incorrect information. If they end up in hot water over some report that was prefabricated or incorrect, they just print a small half column retraction a week later and its business as usual.

Breaking News - The Profumo Scandal

The story that gets editors salivating the most is a dark secret or scandal about some politician or other, for it allows their imagination ‘full rein’. We have only to look back at the Profumo case of 1963 where the newspapers went to town on the Conservative politician John Profumo for his ties to the prostitute Christine Keeler. During the 80’s and 90’s various Conservative MP’s evoked the ‘righteous’ wrath of Fleet Street, as did many Labour MP’s during their following period in power.

I will not deny that sometimes the attacks are justified and truly ‘in the public interest’. In the case of last years Westminster expenses scandal for example I, along with many others, feel that what the newspapers did was justified. That M.P’s fiddled their expenses to the tune of tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds is worthy of a hundred front pages, and Fleet Street certainly got the full milage out of that story.

These days you hardly ever read a ‘good news’ story in the newspapers because they cannot drag themselves away from the darker side of life. Good news does not capture the minds of ‘Joe Public’ and therefore affects sales.

When you look at the whole journalistic world today you should ask yourself: Whatever happened to integrity, morality and truth?

The simple answer is, these core values that used to be held so high by our forefathers, have died. They are lost in the cesspool of corruption, lies and the desperate need to sell papers.

Where The NOTW Is Headed

If you are one of those who believes everything you read in today’s newspapers ‘because it must be true’, then you are a fool, and perpetuate the downward spiral of a once mighty and respected profession into the black hole of oblivion.

There can be little doubt in today’s world that most tabloids are fighting for survival, for with the rise of computers and internet technology over the past two decades, their role has been severely diminished. This may explain their thirst for explosive scandal for they see this as the only way to survive. The more outrageous the story, so much the better.

For most people, the advantage of a newspaper is that you can take it with you and read it at the local coffee shop or during a break at work, which you cannot do with a computer. Until today that is!

The Future Of News Reading?

Now we see the market being flooded with tablets and smart phones that you can carry with you, so the role of the newspaper is likely to diminish even further. At some time in the future, the entire industry will have to change its focus as people come to rely more and more on their electronic gadgets and internet news channels.

Given the current state of the journalistic profession, that may not be such a bad thing, but it makes you wonder, will the evils of printed news be carried over to the internet? We shall see! 

Roy.

How Safe Will ‘The Cloud’ Be?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Hacker, Hackers, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 09/06/2011 by floroy1942

It seems nothing can stop the march of technology, with Steve Jobs of Apple this week proclaiming the PC is on the way out because ‘the cloud’ is coming. Personally, I have my doubts!

Soon To Be A Relic Of The Past?

The advent of smart phones and tablets have no doubt changed computing from what we are all used to, now we can do it all on the move. No need to sit behind a desk and punch the keyboard, just flick your fingertips over the screen and its ‘job done’. A nice innovation, and no doubt a boon to busy business people who find it hard to sit still for more than a few minutes. As for the rest of us, I don’t see it having a major impact for some time to come, although it will eventually.

What is more worrying to me as a normal user, is the arrival of ‘the cloud’ and all it promises, and doesn’t promise.

Everythings In The Cloud

It does promise the possibility to transfer data, music or what have you from one piece of equipment to another without having to connect them together with a USB cable. This is because all information will be stored on ‘the cloud’ instead of your Pc’s hard-drive, i.e. there will one huge ‘hard-drive’ in the sky as it were, and everyone will store their data there. You will be able to connect to it with your Ipod, tablet or phone any time you want, providing you have an internet connection that is, and download or upload data as you choose.

Cloud Computing Explained:

What is doesn’t promise you in my mind, is total security of your information should you wish to use ‘the cloud’. Recent events, such as the hacking of Sony and many governments, have left me extremely wary of placing all my data, not to mention private stuff like bank details etc, on some ‘cloud’ over which I have no control whatsoever.

What If He Gets In The Cloud?

To me it seems like a hackers paradise, and you can bet your life that right now some foul despicable low-life is trying to get into the cloud to steal personal data. With the introduction of massive hard-drives in cyberspace, accessible to anyone, hackers must think they have died and gone to heaven.

Past experience has shown quite clearly that no matter how sophisticated the security on a computer system is, it can, and will be hacked. You can hardly imagine a system more secure than the U.S. Defence Department, but its been hacked on more than one occasion.

Everyone’s There

I know that I will not be storing all my data on one of these clouds once they are up and running, but part of the problem is, some of my data is in the hands of, for example,  companies I have dealt with in the past, my bank, government departments and the like. It has already been stated that many companies and institutions are intending to use ‘the cloud’ for their data storage, and coincidentally, along with it my information.

‘Cloud’ Providers:

The sad thing is, I have no control over this, in fact, I will not even know it is being done.

There is little doubt that unless a catastrophe occurs, like the whole cloud suddenly blowing away and everyone’s data being lost, we will not have much choice in the matter. Such an event would no doubt put the brakes on the whole thing, and possibly cause a rethink.

Future Winners In The Cloud Market?

There are new ‘clouds’ coming on line every day as people like Google and Microsoft etc get in on the act, and for sure there will be a ‘battle of the clouds’ in the future as each one tries to get your business. Naturally enough, (you knew there would be a downside) it will cost you. No-one is going to give you your own little ‘hard-drive on the net’ without you having to pay for it. What its going to cost I have no idea, but there will be a subscription fee, probably determined by how much you use the facility. Ouch!

Internet Speed Comparison – You Will No Doubt Notice That Spain Is Not Even Listed!

The one thing that will be essential, not only for businesses but also the private user, is fast, dependable internet. While many countries like Britain are moving to get fast internet connections to every household, Spain where I live, is still in the middle ages. The best speeds in my area are a lowly 3mb and with my current provider I am getting only 0.8mb. Not only that, but the internet went down five times in the last week. Truely laughable when you consider what other countries are getting. When cloud computing takes off people are going to be demanding a much better internet service from their provider, and that is going to be a major problem.

New Mac Tablet PC?

But time waits for no man as the saying goes, and you can bet your last dollar that in a few years PC’s with a hard-drive will be a relic. As progress marches on, we, the ordinary consumer have little to say in the matter, and will eventually be forced to accept the new data storage system because that will be all there is.

Intel’s Vision Of ‘The Clouds’ Future:

From my perspective, it would seem we are once again diving into uncharted waters, but there again, it won’t be the first time. I for one will test the waters thoroughly with my toe before diving in.

Roy.

Teens And ‘Teen Speak’

Posted in Britain, Child Discipline, Children, England, Europe, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Parenting, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , on 08/04/2011 by floroy1942

Most teens have no idea what an acronym is, but strangely, their language is full of them. So-called ‘teen speak’ has gained prominence over the last decade or so with initials such as LOL now used by many adults too. Things like B4, instead of ‘before’, or BRB meaning ‘be right back’ crop up in most texts, especially among teenagers who have developed their own language for chatting on the internet or when texting.

‘Teen Speak’ Translation

Many parents these days are feeling totally cut-off from their children, not being able to understand this new ‘lingo’. Some are worried because they not only have no idea who their child is talking to in a chatroom, but also what is being said. Acronyms like GNOC means nothing to them, but can have disastrous results for any child.  It means ‘Get Naked On Cam”! Another is (L)MIRL or (Lets) Meet In Real Life!

(L)MIRL?

For those who need to unravel this language the translation table should help. There are of course many more such acronyms, but a quick internet search could help the desperate.

Now the Oxford English Dictionary has incorporated its first ‘teen speak’ word, i.e. LOL into its pages. I wonder if this is a good thing or not. It will certainly encourage those in favour of this current idiom, and some will say it is a badge of approval but I think not. The young seem to be of the opinion that this sort of language is also satisfactory for everyday correspondence, when really nothing is further from the truth. You only have to scan newspaper comments columns to see that!

I can agree that this form of communication is quite useful when composing a text message, but outside of that I consider it dangerous.

Save Your Text Language For Texting And Chatting

Think of yourself as a businessman wanting to hire someone for the position of, shall we say, a bank manager. What would you think if the man’s curriculum was filled in using such acronyms as B4, W/E, M or F? No matter what his qualifications in accounting etc, would you consider him a potential candidate or an idiot? He would obviously not be someone with whom you would wish to correspond, and would have to consider the reaction of customers receiving letters from such a person.

No! There is a case for computer/text language, but that is where it should stay. The problem is that it has become so widespread, and now unfortunately acceptable, that it is creeping into our written language as well, and that is a bad thing.

As someone not into the trend you may well receive in the future a letter from a company that to you is completely unintelligible! – BH  (Bah! Humbug!)

Roy.

Whatever Happened to Customer Satisfaction?

Posted in Human Rights, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Spain with tags , , , , , , on 20/08/2010 by floroy1942

Am I just getting old or have things really changed on the high street? My wife and I had a very bad experience with a phone company (- – d -f- – -) recently that highlighted, for me, how the attitude of public service companies has changed over the last few decades.

We now live in Spain, and have learned to our cost that you cannot expect the level of service here that you could hope to receive in other countries.

We wanted a faster internet connection than the one we have and went to the aforementioned(?) company for ADSL and fixed phone lines, which on the face of it, seemed like a good deal.

On the Saturday we went to the  shop and were forced to wait 45 minutes in the queue before being helped by an attentive salesman. He explained everything well and we ended up in signing a contract for 18 months and walked out with ‘The Box’.

Upon arriving home we got everything connected up and it seemed to work fine, and was without doubt faster than our current provider, although we only got about half the speed promised by the salesman.

It would be about eight days before the company engineer came and checked everything, in which case we were hoping the speed may improve. The saleman assured us that until the engineer arrived both the Internet and phone service would be free.

The ADSL worked fine for about two hours and then we lost the signal altogether. The software and box both showed we were connected but try as we may, we could not open a single Internet page.

As my wife speaks good Spanish she called the technical help department and all he could come up with was; “we had too many Internet pages open”, because everything seemed to be in order from his end. Even after we explained that we could not open any pages he stuck to his story.

For us it was a warning of what could be to come so we decided to cancel the contract, which we are entitled to do under European Law. My wife phoned the company and told them we wanted to cancel and was told to call another number for this service. This she did but was immediately referred back to the one she had just contacted. We were bounced back and forth for some time and the operators were very rude, to put it mildly.

My wife was by this time extremely stressed from the whole episode and it was some time before she was able to calm herself down.

In desperation we went back to the shop in Marbella on the Monday to hand back the box and get the contract annulled only to be told, after waiting over an hour in the queue, we could not do it at the shop but had to ring the number we had already been in contact with.

Once again we were bounced back and forth between the two numbers until someone obviously took pity on us and decided to give us the help we needed.

Several days later we got a phone call from the company to say we must send the box to an address in Madrid and they would cancel the contract at no extra charge. Finally! I had asked why we could not just take it back to the shop, but the woman was insistent that this was the only way.

So off I went to the Post Office and sent the darned thing off to Madrid at a cost of some 12-14 Euros. They did say the cost of postage should be 6 Euros which would be deducted from our next mobile phone bill. I am holding my breath on that one!

So what is the purpose of this long diatribe you may ask? Well, I guess it is to highlight the way modern companies treat their clients, which manifests itself in the outright rudeness of company operators, the attitude of companies when you complain, and the huge difficulties you face when you want to cancel something.

Naturally, they can’t wait to get their hands on your money and will fall over backwards to get you to sign the contract, but when things go wrong, and a customer dares to complain they suddenly become rude, uncooperative, and in some cases downright nasty.

Of course, this does not apply to all companies, but they are on the increase, and it would seem phone companies are leading the way. A couple of years ago my wife had problems with another phone company M – – -st – – that had threatened to take her to court over a bill she had already paid.

In Holland I had problems with the national phone company just before we moved here because I wanted to cancel the service and have my phone line disconnected. Here in Spain, the national phone company is well known for its complete disregard for its clients, where people can wait up to two years before an engineer arrives to connect your phones.

It all adds up to a very sorry state of affairs when you can no longer have any faith in the service provided by these huge companies. It seems to me that most have just become too big, and with their monopoly on service provision they couldn’t care less what the customer thinks or feels.

Aggravation has become such a part of our daily lives that many don’t even notice it.

As an example, go into your local phone shop for something simple like a ‘Pay-as you-go’ top-up, and see how long you have to stand in line. The shops are always full but there is never enough assistants on hand to help customers.

As we waited on the Monday morning trying to hand in the ADSL box, one woman was there with a salesman for more than 40 minutes, and there were only three assistants in total. In general, when someone is buying a mobile phone it is by necessity a long process, so I have to ask, why are there not more assistants in these shops?

It just adds more fuel to the fire of indifference by modern companies, and I for one, would like to see us go back to the times when, as the saying goes; “The customer is king!”.

Roy.


Social Networking – A Parents Dilemma

Posted in Child Abuse, Children, England, Justice, Modern World, Relationships, Teens, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 10/03/2010 by floroy1942

Social network sites like e.g. Facebook, have been around now for quite some time and attract a huge following, especially among the young. In light of events over the past couple of years, many parents with young children, in particular girls, are in a quandary as to what to do about it. With ever increasing use of these sites by pedophiles it is extremely hard to protect youngsters from these preying perverts.

An Innocent Victim

Just recently in Co. Durham, England, a young 17 year-old girl called Ashleigh Hall was raped and brutally murdered by a pedophile called Peter Chapman after he persuaded the girl to meet him using a social network site. Like most of his kind he was trolling the social networking sites looking for innocent young girls he could pull into his evil web. Men of his ilk pretend to be young attractive males and are well into the sort of language used on the internet by the young.

For example, you or I would have no idea what A, S, L means, but in teen-speak it means Age; Sex; Location. Most pedophiles are adept at using the right language and tactics to get any girl to meet them. In cases where police officers have pretended to be a young girl, many of these perverts make no bones about what they are after and are quite blatant. Some will make it clear they are after sex or a webcam show, and others just want an audience while they masturbate on webcam.

Most people now know the shocking details of the Ashleigh Hall case so I won’t go into it here, but suffice to say that Chapman is just one of thousands of evil men who use the social networking sites to find victims. They have become adept at searching out those young girls who are vulnerable through their own curiosity, or feelings of inadequacy. It has become the ‘Holy Grail’ for predatory perverts.

As a parent it is extremely difficult to police the use of such sites as Facebook with young offspring. If you ban them from using it they will most likely go to a friends house and use it behind your back, but if you allow them unrestricted use they may fall prey to sick individuals like Chapman. The sticking point is to find a happy medium between the two extremes. Unfortunately, if you look in on your darling while she is chatting there is no way of telling if the young man she is in contact with is the real thing, or a pedophile. Even she would not know unless it was a friend she already knew.

Peter Chapman

Many pedophiles pretend to be a boy about the same age, or slightly older than the girl they are trying to entrap. Part of the scam is to use photos of some good looking young man with plenty of muscles, and in many cases its hard for girls to resist the charms of the ‘young Adonis’. They often set up another false identity as a young girl with whom the victim can converse, and they will of course confirm that the ‘young man’ in question is ‘a dream come true’.

They rely a great deal on the natural human instinct of curiosity in a young teenage girl regarding sex. Girls, and for that matter boys too, hear all about it from friends, see it at the movies and on TV and then the natural curiosity factor takes over. They want to try it just to see if its as good as everyone says it is. Like learning to walk, it is natural. You can warn them all you like, but the ‘Curiosity Factor’ must be satisfied.

When I was a young man these problems were non-existent, not only because we didn’t have computers, but there was a sense of

Pregnant Teen

Morality that has since been swept away. Children today are bombarded with sex from all sides, Videos, TV, movies, and not forgetting the computer. The liberalisation of our modern day society has its price, as we see with the number of unmarried teenage mothers and a terrible increase in sex crime. The one goes with the other, and to put it another way ‘You cannot have your cake and eat it too!!!’ (As a saying I always found that one a bit weird. Why would you have cake if not to eat it? Never mind, the meaning is however clear.)

Personally, I find that more responsibility should be taken by the sites themselves. They are after all the ones who provide the service for youngsters and should carry some of the responsibility for policing its use. I often wonder why the I.P address of every person you are in contact with is not automatically logged and saved on your computer along with dates and times? Why for example cannot the, e.g., last five chats you have not be stored in the computer memory for a period of perhaps a week or a month automatically?  It should not be too difficult to amend social network programmes to do this when people join. A statement to the effect that these measures are taken when people sign in to the site may prove enough to deter these animals.

Who Are You Chatting To?

Such measures may not stop the children from making silly and sometimes deadly mistakes, but it will give the predators some food for thought, knowing their IP address and last chat is stored on the victims computer. It will also make it easier for the police to track down any individual with a dubious character if a crime does take place. It’s just a silly idea I have that may be possible, but only a computer expert (of which I am not one) will be able to give a definitive answer on its feasibility. If you are a computer expert, perhaps you would like to comment on the possibilities of such an action!

There is one other thing that can be done to put a stop to this evil; the castration of all convicted pedophiles without the right of appeal. If it doesn’t put the fear of God into them it will at least make sure they don’t do it again.

Without a doubt, in these troubled times definitive action is necessary to stop these evil men from destroying the lives of our young girls.

What say you?

Roy.

P.S. A newspaper report by the Daily Mail, which first broke this story, is in trouble with Facebook who are threatening to sue The Mail over the piece that formed the basis for this blog. In order to ensure I do not get sued I have made a few changes. It would seem the Mail news item was not intended by the author to target Facebook as such, but this decision was taken by Mail editorial staff. Face book have said they feel their image has been damaged by the report and thus feel entitled to take legal action. The Daily Mail did change the title of the piece after objections were voiced, and have since printed a public apology.

No Hable Espanol!

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Free Speech, Germany, Human Rights, Immigration, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , on 21/02/2009 by floroy1942

Now that I live in Spain, one of my top priorities is to learn the Spanish language. I had intended to start at a state run academy this month, but as I have to go back to my old stamping ground for an operation, it has been put on hold.

This makes it all the more annoying when I get redirected to the Spanish version of a web site while surfing the net. I try where possible to put my location as the UK, because then at least I get the pages in English. But sometimes that doesn’t work and I still get directed to the .es site automatically. This is very frustrating!

Admittedly, some web pages think of people like me, and put a language selection menu on the page which is handy. What a pity all do not have this foresight.

One of the worst problems is buying stuff on-line. I have for example, I-Tunes on my computer, but when I go to the Shop, I must go to the German page because I have a German credit card. I even had to give my old employers address in Germany just so I could buy music or whatever from Apple. You can’t live in one country and have a credit card or bank account from another? Isn’t it ridiculous?

We have now a global economy, with people moving from one country to another to find work, or some other reason, but this doesn’t seem to get through to the web. How many Poles are living in Western Europe? How many Turks live in Europe? How many Middle East people have moved into Europe? The list is endless, and yet the Internet does not support this migration to the extent it should. It is time company’s ensure their websites reflect the needs of people who no longer live in their countries of origin.

I am sure a Polish person living and working in France would love to view pages of interest to him in his own language, no matter how good he speaks french. To do this he must go to a Polish site, only to find himself redirected to the french site because that is where his computer is!!!

The only web company that has done something useful in this area is Google with its translation tool featured on their pages. A very handy tool that I have made use of frequently.

Web Page designers must be made aware of this shortfall in their product, and the best way to do that is for everybody to send e-mails to the Help Section of the page being viewed. Maybe then they will listen. Miracles do happen!

May tomorrow be better for you than today

Roy.

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