Trouble Choosing A Kettle

Posted in Tech on October 16th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Who knew that it could be so difficult to choose the right kettle? I had no idea how many different options and functions there were – far too many to make an easy decision. The problem is that I tend to have trouble trying to work out which is the best type of appliance for me. I get confused when there are a lot of options and end up not choosing any at all! Not a good state to be in, but it’s something I can’t really control.

One that I really like the look of is the Russell Hobbs 15082 kettle. It has an amazing style to it – a blue light comes on inside when the kettle starts to boil – but it’s expensive. Do you guys think that it’s worth the extra money? It’s about £10 more than other models – not too much and it’ll look great in my kitchen.

Anyway, I need to get a new one as soon as possible. I live off tea and coffee during the week (I try to “detox” at the weekend) and haven’t been able to have a proper cup of tea in ages since the kettle broke. I could just go into town and get a new one, but I don’t want to end up spending a lot more money than I need to without finding out about the proper reviews.

I think that Russell Hobbs probably make the best appliances – I have other kitchen appliances made by them that have always worked well – but I’m still doing research into which is the right one. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cold Calling on Debt Advice

Posted in Rants on March 10th, 2011 by admin – Be the first to comment

Well, its a sorry state of affairs when I only come to update this blog to whine, but after writing a post a little while back about cold callers I have had yet more trouble. This time from loan sharks and bogus debt companies.

I have no idea how they got my number but I have been receiving several calls per day on some days, mostly automated calling machines. Phone spam!

When I have spoken to them they got quite pushy with me, and after that, when I just say Im not interested they become quite rude. These people are clearly con merchants, or at the very least are unethical.

One company kept calling me calling themselves “Debt Advice UK”. I checked what I thought was their website only to find they already had a notice up saying that they do not cold call, and that it is a case of mistaken identity!

Clearly it is not only the recipients of the calls that are feeling the pain of this, though, with websites these days its sometimes hard to figure out who is who.

As it happens, on the same website I just noticed they actually have a post on how the CAB are launching some kind of bid to reign in debt advisers and loan companies who cold call in this way.

That article suggests that the CAB are specifically targetting companies that cold call regarding financial products, so, hopefully this particular gripe will go away.

Unfortunately, I think that other companies will step into the void.

In fact, a friend of mine had a call from what looked like a UK number only last week, those guys told her they were from Microsoft and that her PC was infected, they got her to install some kind of remote viewing software so they could control her PC, took her to a payment page and tried to get her to put in her credit card details! Supposedly that is another quite common cold calling trick, and the numbers are not really UK numbers but people in India using Skype numbers (which are 10 a penny apparently)!

In fact, a quick google found me this article from the Guardian on the very same scam, that is around 8 months old, so I guess they still have not been able to stop the problem.

Anyway, Ill try to make my next post less rant and something a little more interesting!

Cold Callers – More Of Them?

Posted in Rants on November 24th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I seem to be getting more and more cold callers ringing at strange times. Getting a cold call from someone in India in the middle of a work day is annoying enough, but it’s difficult to be polite to someone when they ring at 9am on a Sunday morning! This was a one off (hopefully), but it really isn’t acceptable to ring at that time – I’m sure it can’t be too productive for them either. Who’s going to buy something over the phone at that time of day? I also hate it when I get repeated calls from the same people – I know they  do it enmasse and don’t really care if they ring the same person multiple times but it’s still frustrating.

I always find it difficult to believe that anyone actually buys something from a cold caller, but obviously they do otherwise they wouldn’t do it. With the wages paid to the people doing the calling being relatively low, I suppose the company only needs to make a small number of sales to turn a profit.

There also seems to be a larger number of scam calls. One I’ve heard of recently involved someone ringing your house and telling you they’re calling about your Windows computer. Obviously, the vast majority of people will have a Windows machine in the house, but it still builds up a little trust between the person and the caller. The cold caller will then try to sell the person antivirus software which is actually a malicious program. Definitely one to watch out for!

What makes these scams more worrying is that some criminals have set up large call centres in third world countries with the sole purpose of ringing the UK. It shows how profitable this kind of business can be – and probably means that we’ll be getting a lot more cold calls in the future.

The “Desk Warriors”

Posted in Health on November 24th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

The “Desk Warrior” condition is becoming more and more widespread these days, mainly because most of us spend all our time at a desk. I spend a lot of time at the computer, and I think it’s a major reason why I tend to pick up a lot of nagging injuries which don’t go away. If you think about it, spending all day at a computer will tighten up a lot of muscles which then find it more difficult to adapt to exercise.

So what can we do about “desk warrior” syndrome? I’ve started to get up from the computer every 25-30 minutes and have a stretch, although I don’t think this will be enough on its own. Yoga isn’t something I’ve considered doing in the past but apparently its good for staying fit – although personally I’d much rather be playing sport.

I think the answer is to have regular breaks and exercise on a consistent basis. The main problems occur when someone sits down for days on end for months at a time, and then decides to go and play squash or football. This is only ever going to end badly because the body simply isn’t setup for this kind of activity.

People who sit at computers all day also tend to get problems with their wrists, arms and shoulders. I’ve solved most of my problems by getting up and stretching regularly, but for people with more severe issues this might not be enough. It’s definitely a good start though.

Which New PC?

Posted in Tech on November 24th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

I’m thinking of buying a new PC at the start of next year, so I thought I’d put up a list of my requirements to see whether anyone could give me some advice regarding which one to get. I built my last PC, but that was about 4 years ago and I haven’t really kept up to date on the latest technology, so it’s going to take a lot of research before I find one! I don’t think I’ll build it this time though.

1. I need all the basics of course. Inbuilt WiFi card would be nice, a large amount of USB ports is essential and a good graphics card for playing games is also important. I used to be up to date on the latest GFX cards but I’ve got no clue what the latest models are.

2. I need a three monitor setup. At the moment I have dual monitors and that’s great, but I still occasionally need the third monitor. The screens won’t match each other unfortunately (I’ll use my existing two and add one more) but that’s not a major problem. I’ve read a few things about certain video cards being incompatible with each other so I’ll have to bear that in mind when buying.

3. I’ll probably end up buying a quad core processor – I don’t want to have to upgrade for a while so I may as well spend a bit extra and get a high quality model.

So those are the basics, any suggestions? I want to avoid Dell if I can, their PCs are too expensive for me. Oh, and I’ll definitely avoid getting a Mac. I don’t have anything against them, but the lack of good games is a major problem and not something I can get around.