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View Article  Track a Boat (anywhere)
Thought I would sort out a map for you Millionaire Types to help you out when you are messing around in your Luxury Yachts during the weekends


View Article  Beware; Dodgy Txt Message

Example;

Free Msg; Our records show indicate you may be entitled to £3,750 for the accident you had. To apply free, reply "Claim" to this message. To opt out reply "Stop"

Foxnwolf comments;

Accident, what accident? replying to this Txt message could cost you anything from 10p to £100 even if you reply "Stop". So, best thing is just delete it. 
View Article  LIBYA NEWS UPDATES

LIBYA NEWS UPDATES

Reuters

Sky News

FCO (Libya Specific)


View Article  555
This year July has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.  This apparently happens once every 823 years.  This is called money bags.  So send this on and money will arrive in 5 days.  Based on Chinese Feng Shui the one who does not pass this on will have money troubles for the rest of the year...

Foxnwolf comments;

Yeah, I know. Call me a "Sad Act" for publishing this but "Baz" Rocker Holroyde said
"
Based on Chinese Feng Shui the one who does not pass this on will have money troubles for the rest of the year..."

Job Done my end....... (who am i to slingshot Baz)
 
View Article  We deserve a say......in your face political ad
I don't want this to be a rant but........

Isn't it time we all had a say on the EU? now before you go yawn and think about turning away......please just give me 2 mins

Whether you are Eurosceptic or Europhile.....or whatever 'camps' and labels they have been given........shouldn't we open up the debate on this huge issue. I don't mean a huge political debate in the Westminster Village but by ordinary citizens. The whole EU project has gone beyond ordinary folk understanding. Most people know it is out there but think of it in some sort of parrallel universe. The debate then gets hi-jacked by either the political elite who speak spin-bollocks-complicated languages or by people from both sides  with such strong views on either side of the argument, it becomes too much to take on.

But seeing as we are entering an age of massive austerity cuts, price hikes, and 'every one tighten your belts' era, surely we should rethink how we go about our business. Our relationship with the EU affects everyone in the UK. The news coming out of the Eurozone isn't great. Things aren't going to get any better in 2011. We know that the relationship with the EU costs billions of £'s. Now whether this is good value for money or not, the sheer scale of the relationship means we need to re-evaluate the situation (just as everything else - so we are being told by the politicians). I think the debate needs to come out into the open - information (that everyone understands) needs to be shared and then the people of the UK should be given a vote to decide, once and for all, what we want.

Personally, I think we would be better off out of the political EU and free to form our own relationships with countries around the world. I would prefer to see us forming closer relationships with the commonwealth. I think it is time to leave the EU and move forward into something new......something better. If we left the EU, I wouldn't want to go 'back' to anything ie back to where we we were before we signed up to the original deal back in the ealry 70's.....yes, have the free-trade agreement but have that with the rest of the world. If we left the EU, the Germans won't stop buying British goods. We won't stop buying French cheese - shit, I want the French to be French and the Germans to be Germans.....and the Spanish to be Spanish...yadda yadda.

Anyway, that is why I run the EU Referendum Campaign. We want the man on the street to understand. That is why we haven't targeted our campaign at the Westminster Village - we keep all our literature free from party politics, left-wing or right-wing bullshit, or rabid rants. We already have the largest active database amongst all eurosceptic campaigns in the UK. The campaign HQ is staffed by professional campaigners, our spokesperson is an ex-LBC radio DJ who speaks to the British public in the language they all understand. We have unrivalled resources, completely independent and won't back down from political pressure from any of the Westminster Village.

But the most important campaign we are running is The Pledge. It is a completely neutral campaign calling for a Referendum. We welcome people from all sides (pro-EU and anti-EU) to join to call for a national referendum so the issue can be brought out in the open, discussed and voted on. We want to organise meetings in universities, town halls, pubs, work places etc where the whole EU project can be debated and arguments put across.
We have written to every MP to see where they stand on the issue. We are now receiving all the answers from them. The MP's that don't agree with our call fro a referendum will be targeted by our campaign. We will go to their constituency office (when they are there) and make our voice heard. We will ask everyone on our database in the constituency to write to the local media, attend protests outside the offices, take part in town hall debates in the constituency, hand out leaflets in the area, etc etc. We will work with the local media to get the exposure. We will work with all the local pubs and local groups to organise events to raise the campaign. Once the sitting MP sees with his/her own eyes how the people really feel, then they will take note. You can have 10,000 people outside the Houses of Parliament and the politicians won't take a blind bit of notice.....but if they see a few hundred people in their own constituancy kicking up a fuss, they will surely take note.

The politcians are hoping this issue will go away.....but it won't.

I know that I havent covered all the areas on this page.....but like I said, it is too complicated a subject to go on and on.

The only way we can win, is for the people to get involved. I hope the attached advert can appear on this posting (thanks Ed :-)) but it is ad from the New Statesman this week and also on the back cover (outside facing) of he House magazine which goes out to all MP's and Peers tomorrow.

Please join up to our campaign on www.eureferendumcampaign.com and don't forget to sign The Pledge - thanks
1 Attachments
View Article  Major Technological Breakthrough
Major Technological Breakthrough

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade named:
"BOOK"

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric
circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy
to  use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an
armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as
a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable),
each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are
locked  together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the
sheets in  their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the
 sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are
divided  on the prospects for further increases in information density; for
now, BOOKs  with more information simply use more pages.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your
 brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be
taken up  at any time and used merely by opening it.

Unlike other display devices, BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, and
 it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage. However,
it  can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of
time. The  "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move
forward or  backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which
pinpoints the  exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place
 you left it in a previous session -- even if the BOOK has been closed.
BOOKmarks  fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used
in BOOKs by  various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOKmarkers can be
used in a single  BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once.
The number is  limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional
 programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication
Language  Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a
 new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK's appeal seems so certain that
thousands of  content creators have committed to the platform and investors are
reportedly  flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.
View Article  Temperature Convertor
Temperature Convertor


View Article  Your "Bayvue" Monitor
Monitor your Ebay items


View Article  UK Tax Credit Economic Stimulus Payments
UK Tax Credit Economic Stimulus Payments

Sometime next year,  we taxpayers will again receive another 'Economic 
Stimulus' payment.  This is indeed a very exciting program,  and I'll explain it by using 
a simple Question & Answer format:
 
Q.  What is an 'Economic Stimulus' payment ? 
A.  It is money that the government will send to taxpayers. 
  
Q. Where will the government get this money ?
A.  From taxpayers. 
  
Q.  So the government is giving me back my own money ? 
A.  Only a smidgen of it. 
  
Q.  What is the purpose of this payment ? 
A.  The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition 
TV set,  thus stimulating the economy. 
  
Q.  But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ? 
A.  Shut up. 

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the U.K. economy by 
spending your stimulus cheque wisely:                
1. If you spend the stimulus money at Asda or Tesco,  the money will 
go to China, Taiwan or Sri Lanka . 
2. If you spend it on petrol,  your money will go to the Arabs. 
3.If you purchase a computer, it will go to India, Taiwan or  China 
4.If you purchase fruit and vegetables,  it will go to Mexico, Honduras
Guatemala, Egypt and Kenya.
5.If you buy an efficient  car,  it will go to Japan or Korea . 
6.If  you purchase useless stuff,  it will go to Taiwan . 
7.If you pay your credit cards off, or buy shares,  it will go to 
management bonuses and they will hide it offshore. 
  
Instead,  keep the money in the UK by:  
1)  Spending it at car boot sales,  or      
2)  Going to night clubs,  or      
3)  Spending it on prostitutes or      
4)  Beer or whisky or      
5)  Tattoos.  
  
(These are the only UK businesses still operating in the U.K. )  
Conclusion: 
Be patriotic - go to a night club with a tattooed prostitute that you 
met at a car boot sale and drink beer day and night ! 
 
No need to thank me,  I'm just glad I could
 be of help.  (GD)
View Article  IT- Download free computer eBooks in .pdf format



IT- Download free computer eBooks in .pdf format


View Article  Sign up to "SkyNet"

Sign up to "SkyNet"



Check out the 4 links below
View Article  The year you were born, this is what happened

The year you were born, this is what happened

THIS IS A MUST TRY...........YOU WILL ENJOY THE RESULTS
 
The screen is going to fade to black, (have your glasses on), and follow the instructions below.

You'll be pleasantly surprised with this one... Type the year only!! Then click the question (?) mark!
Sit back and enjoy!!
 
View Article  How Old are You

Poodwaddle.com

View Article  Found this on the Internet for 2008
Found this on the Internet for 2008

This list holds details on members as well as contact information for other individuals, the latter being held for unknown and in some cases dubious reasons in the database of the BNP



View Article  UK Telephone Code Locator

UK Telephone Code Locator



View Article  Researchers attack my iPhone via SMS

Researchers attack my iPhone via SMS

Researchers have discovered a way to take complete control over an iPhone merely by sending special SMS messages and demonstrated it on my iPhone at the Black Hat security conference on Wednesday.

Although an attacker could exploit the hole to make calls, steal data, send text messages, and do basically anything that I can do with my iPhone, the researchers were kind and merely rendered it temporarily inoperable.

Here's what happened: While I was talking on the phone to Charlie Miller, his partner, Collin Mulliner, sent me a text message from his phone. One minute I'm talking to Miller and the next minute my phone is dead, and this time it's not AT&T's fault. After a few seconds it came back to life, but I was not able to make or receive calls until I rebooted.

My iPhone is not jailbroken and it is running iPhone OS 3.0.

The attack is enabled by a serious memory corruption bug in the way the iPhone handles SMS messages, said Miller, a senior security researcher at Independent Security Evaluators.

There is no patch, despite the fact that Apple was notified of the problem about six weeks ago, he said. All current versions of the iPhone operating system are affected.

The attack is similar to an SMS attack demonstration CNET News wrote about in April in which mobile security firm Trust Digital was able to send an SMS to a phone that opened up a Web browser and directed the phone to a malicious Web site where malware could be downloaded.

In the more recent research, Android-based phones were found to be similarly susceptible to an SMS attack, only an attacker could temporarily knock the phone off the cell network but not take control, according to Mulliner, who's getting his PhD at the Technical University of Berlin. Google patched the hole last week within a day or two of being notified of the problem, he said.

Meanwhile, a bug in the code written by HTC that controls the user interface on Windows Mobile devices could also be exploited via the SMS messages to make it so there are no buttons to push so the phone can't be used, said Miller.

For the attack to work, an attacker must send hundreds of SMS control messages, which are different from regular SMS messages, according to Miller. Only the initial SMS may be seen, he said.

The researchers will demonstrate the attack on an Android phone and an iPhone during their presentation on Thursday.

Previous iPhone attacks required an attacker to lure the iPhone user to visit a malicious Web site or open a malicious file, but this attack requires no effort on the part of the user and requires only that an attacker have the victim's phone number, Miller said.

Once inside a victim's phone, the attacker could then send an SMS to anyone in the victim's address book and spread the attack from phone to phone, he said.

Previously, Miller discovered a hole in the mobile version of Safari shortly after the iPhone was launched in 2007 and earlier this year he won a contest at CanSecWest by exploiting a hole in Safari.

Asked what an iPhone user can do when attacked, Miller replied: "Rebooting wouldn't be a bad idea. It would stop all but the most sophisticated attacker. However, it doesn't take but a second to grab all your personal info from the device, and as soon as you turn it back on, the bad guy could attack you again. That's why I think this is so serious."


View Article  Researchers use browser to elude Vista memory protections

Researchers use browser to elude Vista memory protections

LAS VEGAS -- Two security researchers have developed new techniques that bypass the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system through the use of browser exploits.

In a presentation at the Black Hat briefings, Mark Dowd and Alexander Sotirov demonstrated the new methods they've found to get around Vista protections such as Address Space Layout Randomization(ASLR), Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and others by using Java, ActiveX controls and .NET objects to load arbitrary content into Web browsers.

By taking advantage of the way that browsers, specifically Internet Explorer, handle active scripting and .NET objects, the pair have been able to load essentially whatever content they want into a location of their choice on a user's machine. The attacks themselves are not based on any new vulnerabilities in IE or Vista, but instead take advantage of Vista's fundamental architecture and the ways in which Microsoft chose to protect it.

In their presentation at Black Hat., Dowd and Sotirov stressed that despite their advances in getting around the Vista memory protections, there are still a number of security mechanisms in place in the operating system to mitigate attacks. Internet Explorer running in Protected Mode, for example, can protect against attacks that overwrite some files. Also, some of the pair's attacks will be addressed in future versions of third-party software, including Flash, which will opt into ASLR in its next release.

The message that emerged from Dowd and Sotirov's presentation is that although Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., went to great lengths to upgrade the security of Vista over that of Windows XP, there are still ways in. "The protection mechanisms in Windows Vista are not very effective at preventing browser exploits," Sotirov said in the presentation. "The game has changed and browsers are now the major threat. Even on Vista where ASLR is enabled, we're able to put our data where we want."

"The genius of this is that it's completely reusable," said Dino Dai Zovi, a well-known security researcher and author. "They have attacks that let them load chosen content to a chosen location with chosen permissions. That's completely game over. What this means is that almost any vulnerability in the browser is trivially exploitable."

Many of the defenses that Microsoft added to Vista and Windows Server 2008 are designed to stop host-based attacks. ASLR, for example, is meant to prevent attackers from predicting target memory addresses by randomly moving things such as a process's stack, heap and libraries. That technique is useful against memory-corruption attacks, but Dai Zovi said that against Dowd's and Sotirov's methods, it would be of no use.

"This stuff just takes a knife to a large part of the security mesh Microsoft built into Vista," Dai Zovi said. "If you think about the fact that .NET loads DLLs into the browser itself and then Microsoft assumes they're safe because they're .NET objects, you see that Microsoft didn't think about the idea that these could be used as stepping stones for other attacks. This is a real tour de force."

In the paper on which their presentation was based, Dowd and Sotirov say that while their attacks may give attackers the upper hand right now, they expect Microsoft and other vendors to respond quickly.

"In this paper we demonstrated that the memory protection mechanisms available in the latest versions of Windows are not always effective when it comes to preventing the exploitation of memory corruption vulnerabilities in browsers. They raise the bar, but the attacker still has a good chance of being able to bypass them. Two factors contribute to this problem: the degree to which the browser state is controlled by the attacker; and the extensible plugin architecture of modern browsers. The authors expect these problems to be addressed in future releases of Windows and browser plugins shipped by third parties," they say in their conclusion.

"This is not insanely technical. These two guys are capable of the really low-level technical attacks, but this is simple and reusable," Dai Zovi said. "I definitely think this will get reused soon, sort of like heap spraying was."


View Article  Forces Pension Society eNewsletter 5 of 2010

FORCES PENSION SOCIETY

Fighting for the Forces and Their Families

E-NEWSLETTER No 5 of 2010

 

Dear Members 

AGM

Your AGM took place on 2 June in the Victory Services Club. Well attended by over 90 members and guests, it was a stimulating occasion. The Chairman's report to the Society, together with the full accounts for FY 09, is in our website members' area.

FPS Open Day

The first ever FPS Open Day took place in the National Liberal Club (near MOD Main Building) on Monday 7 June. We were accompanied by several of our affinity partners too. About 100 potential new members from MOD came to see us and several signed up on the spot. All in all it was a successful experiment and we will do it again next year, taking account of the useful lessons learnt.

House of Lords Defence Group

Another first. We briefed the HoL DG on Tuesday 15 June, accompanied by COBSEO and Veterans' Aid. About a dozen members of the group were present and we left a pack of information for them and for their colleagues who could not be there. It was an important occasion which helped us all raise our profiles with a very influential group.

Armed Forces Day

Recently the Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, said: "As a nation, we should be flying the flag for our Armed Forces and recognising all the sacrifices they make to keep our country safe. These men and women deserve our support and I would urge people up and down the country to get involved with all the many Armed Forces Day events that are taking place this week. They stand up for us; we must stand up for them." Your Society had a stand at the splendid national event in Cardiff on Sat 26 June. This was a tremendous (and blisteringly hot) occasion and Cardiff did the Armed Forces proud. The Prince of Wales was amongst the many visitors to our stand and we explained to him what we did.

RPI / CPI

As you know, Armed Forces pensions used to increase in April by the headline RPI of the previous September, but it was announced in the budget that they will now rise by the CPI of the previous September. Currently the CPI is 1.4% lower than the RPI, and this difference is likely to increase as/when interest rates rise. Hence our future pension increases are likely to be lower than was once the case, although if they had risen by CPI and not RPI this year we would have done better. Yer win some, yer lose some.  

Norton Fitzwarren Remembers

A member tells us that Norton Manor Camp is the home of 40 Commando RM, currently deployed in Sangin. At the time of writing they had taken 5 fatalities since April (since increased). In All Saints' Church a peace candle is lit at every service, as well as in other churches around Taunton. With every Marine's repatriation, the tower flag is half masted and a candle-lit vigil is held attended by representatives of every military and civilian organisation in town plus families, relatives and friends of 40 Commando. A eulogy is read whilst "Thou whose almighty word" is sung by candlelight. The service is recorded by local ITV and BBC TV.

Lancashire Remembers

A member tells us that the village of Myerscough & Bilsborrow in North West Lancashire flies the appropriate Service ensign/flag at half-mast for 24 hours to observe any Service death. Sadly the pole is rarely bare. It is sited at the war memorial alongside the A6 so passers-by are aware of the sad news.

Drivers Remember

A member tells us that he saw a cortege from Wootton Bassett making its way towards Oxford. He pulled off the very busy road to pay his respects and wondered what the traffic going the other way would do. When they saw the approaching out-riders everyone stopped and all drivers got out of their vehicles. This was reciprocated by the cortege which slowed to a crawl whilst it passed those stopped.

309 Remembered

As I write, we have suffered the 309th tragic loss of life in Afghan'. To this sad figure must be added the many wounded and the even larger number of bereaved and affected next of kin and families throughout out land. We must always remember all of them.   

 Unique Nature of Military Service

We have distributed many 1000s of DL leaflets describing the unique nature of military service. The leaflet will soon be given to (inter alia) all parliamentarians in both Houses, and they are available for members who may like to distribute them too. The text is also on our website (click the link on our home page).

Independent Public Sector Pensions Commission

John Hutton has been appointed Chairman of the IPSPC which will produce an interim report in September 2010 and full report in time for the 2011 budget. He will include the Armed Forces Pension Scheme in his review. Existing accrued pension rights will be protected.

Falkland Islands 14/6/82 - Thanksgiving and Remembrance

The annual service took place at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel on Sunday 13th June. It was a truly impressive, moving and uplifting occasion, held in a beautiful setting, and attended by over 600 veterans, relatives and friends.18 Elizabeth Crosses were presented including one to Sara Jones, one of our Vice Presidents. I very strongly commend a visit to the chapel at Pangbourne College to anybody with (or even without) connections to the Falkland War. It is always open. 

COBSEO on the March

COBSEO is seeking to recruit an office manager. Initially part time but potential to increase. Central London. £22K - £24K pro rata. This will be an exciting role as COBSEO is developing fast. Visit www.cobseo.org.uk or call Lt Col Mike Bray the Secretary on sec@cobseo.btconnect.com . Closing date Fri 30 July. Interviews late August.

KartForce - Karting for Injured Troops

KartForce has been set up by disabled ex-Servicemen, Dave Player (Royal Engineers) and Phil Armes (Royal Navy) to facilitate karting events with hand controls that have been designed by KartForce. These unique controls can be fitted to any kart and operated by one hand (left or right) or both hands, so team events can be organised for different units where injured troops compete on equal terms with serving and ex-serving personnel. The inaugural event to launch KartForce is 12th & 13th Aug at Whilton Mill Kart track near Daventry, and many other events are planned all over the country, including a possible international against injured troops from USA, Canada, France, Russia and Israel. See www.KartForce.org . Show support by joining the KartForce Facebook page.

Malta

A member advises that to renew your British passport in Malta you must forward the application, with relevant documents, to the British Consulate General in Paris (oui - dans La France), but if you get it right first time it only takes about 10 days.

Cyprus - Little Red Book

Further to my last, I am informed that the correct name for the Little Red Book is the Electoral Booklet and it is also required when voting in EU elections which expatriate residents are entitled to do.

Far East POW Remembrance Service

Sunday 15 Aug at 1300, at Christ the King Church. 78 Queens Drive, Childwall, Liverpool, L15 6YQ. Led by Rev'd John Williams (ex RN), followed by parade at 1400 and buffet at 1430 in Christ the King Parish Centre, Score Lane, Liverpool, L16 6AW. Tickets £10. Please purchase by July 25th by visiting www.nesa.org.uk.

Flying Boats

In 1942 or '43, French aviators from West Africa were trained on the Sunderland Flying Boat at RAF Pembroke Dock by No. 308 Flying Boat Training Unit commanded by Wg Cdr Derek Martin OBE (President No.210 (Flying Boat) Sqn Assoc). They were then given new aircraft to form a squadron which returned to French West Africa to escort convoys between South Africa and UK. If anyone knows what happened to them after they left UK, Derek would very much like to hear from you at 01753 682 706 or b.martin123@btinternet.com

Tax

Too many members to list have told us about the shambolic, inefficient and dysfunctional manner in which HMRC has mismanaged their tax affairs. You have been warned !! 

The Final Escape

Raise your glass for bomber pilot Jack Harrison, who has died aged 97, the last survivor of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft 3.  As a camp gardener, Jack helped dispose of dirt excavated from the escape tunnels. He was 98th of 200 inmates designated to escape on 24 Mar 1944, but only 76 got away before the breakout was detected, which was celebrated in the 1963 film 'The Great Escape' starring Steve McQueen. Only 3 reached safety. Hitler had 50 escapers murdered, and 23 others were returned to custody. God bless them all.

Raising Funds

Great work goes on by all COBSEO member charities all over UK; meanwhile a Society member has asked us to remind you that The Royal British Legion spends some £6M per month on welfare support and that there are some 9.5M people who are eligible to call on that support. These are big numbers but the need is great. Let us remember too that great band of regimental charities and Service associations, both general welfare and for specific need, all of which continue their own work so diligently all over the country too.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, Fourth

The Fourth Afghan War is now in its 9th year. When the initial estimate was drawn up did the allied military and political strategists pause to reflect on our previous 3 Afghan Wars (1839-42, 1878-80 & 1919); none of which ended in glorious clear-cut victory. The Defence Secretary informs us that "most Afghans live in the 13th Century", but were the Americans truly mindful of our imperial history before the start line was crossed. Had the then Defence Secretary read of our history (and the more recent Russian experience) when he made his fatuous comment that he hoped we could get out without a shot being fired? And now President Obama sacks his General. Santayana had a view on all this with his law of repetitive consequences.

 (Royal) Tournament

ABF The Soldiers' Charity is reviving the (Royal) Tournament at Earl's Court on Dec 4 and 5. It will largely be an Army event but a junior version of the RN Field Gun race will be there too. See www.britishmilitarytournament.com .

Vuvuzela

O praise thy footie team upon the loud vuvuzela: praise it upon the high sounding vuvuzela. It didn't do us any good but the World Cup has introduced a new word to the Anglo-Saxon lexicon and a new sound into our musical experience. Don't you just love it? You can cheer on your Morris Dance side right merrily this autumn to the dulcet baaarp of the plastic vamping horn.

Social Advance

Somalia leads the way again in social development. Islamic militants banned people watching the World Cup because ".you will not get any experience watching mad men jumping up and down". Was he talking about the England team? 

H4H - BZ

Many congratulations to Bryn and Emma Parry for being appointed OBE in the Birthday Honours list for creating and leading Help for Heroes. How many other husband and wife pairs have both received the same award at the same time for the same reason?

Caveat Emptor

Be careful what you buy in Italian markets. Someone was fined ?1,000 for unknowingly buying a fake handbag (buying it not selling it !!) in a street market in Jesolo.

SPVA

Members continue to recount unhappy exchanges with SPVA. We most certainly do not engage in SPVA-bashing but it is only fair to point out that not all the information you receive from SPVA may be wholly correct and you should always check with us too. For example a member says... I have just received a reply from SPVA in which they quote that the service they used in the forecast was incorrect..... You are quite welcome to highlight this in the next newsletter that they are not to be trusted at face value and individuals should check and challenge if necessary.. Many thanks for your help in this matter and please keep up the good work on the behalf of all members of the Society.

Sailors' Families Society

A new member of COBSEO. The Sailors Families Society, formed in 1821, provides assistance to children of seafarers throughout UK. They provide financial, practical and emotional support to families who are on means tested benefit from RN, MN and Fishing Fleet backgrounds. They support one parent families and those where one is too ill or disabled to work and the other acts as full time carer.  They also support grandparents bringing up grandchildren. Call 01482 342331 or email info@sailors-families.org.uk

National Botanic Garden of Wales

The NBGoW is 10 years old this year and is holding an Armed Services Day on Sunday 18 July to say 'thank you' to the Armed Forces and offering free entry to all Service personnel and families that day. See www.gardenofwales.org.uk.

Beating Retreat

Apologies for not reminding you of the Household Division Beating Retreat on 9/10 June. It was a wonderful occasion as you would expect and Ye Drumme Major did advertise by beate of drum those required for watch. If you despair of telling which guardsman is which by his buttons, try this (ye foote soldiers know this well so may stoppe here). Consider the map of UK. Start in England and count anticlockwise. Ones (Grenadier): twos (Coldstream): threes (Scots): fours (Irish): fives (Welsh); which is also their order of precedence so what could be simpler? You only need one hand and remember to go anticlockwise.

Another Female First

No military connection here but a truly heroic effort. On 3 June, 22 year old Eilidh Macdonald, a vet's daughter from Tadcaster, swam the Little Minch in 9 hours 33 minutes. The Little Minch is 15 miles of icy water with stronger currents than the English Channel, and no one had ever done it before. A world record. What a star.  

FPS Benefits

Are you maximising the benefits of your membership of the FPS? Check out our exclusive health insurance scheme, our overseas money transfer scheme, our travel insurance scheme, and all the other attractive benefits of your membership - all on our website. Let your mouse do the walking.  

On Yer Bike

Our members get about: one recently emailed thus: Thanks for the e-mail - just picked it up here in Almaty, Kazakhstan, having spent four years cycling across Europe (done), Asia (half way), Australia, the Americas, and Africa. Perhaps members might be interested in how I've put my pension to good use? - see www.acrosscontinents.org .

Brampton Area Meeting

Numbers still looking a bit thin for this meeting on Wed 28 July - please sign in with Beverley on 0207 5820469 if you are able to come along.

                                                                                                                                                                                              

Malcolm Farrow OBE FCMI

Captain Royal Navy

Assistant General Secretary

Forces Pension Society

www.forpen.co.uk
T: 020 7820 8225
F: 020 7820 7583



View Article  Email Spyware
Email Spyware

Is a tracker that tells someone when an email is open by a designated recipient. Basically, it drops a small amount of html code into an email that reports back when you’ve opened the email (this is usually referred to as a web bug).

Email spyware?  Yes, and remember that if you subscribe to newsletters and the like, chances are that email’s delivery is already being tracked through web bugs.  And spammers have certainly used this trick to track what email addresses are live. But Readnotify is a little scarier — it’s not some nameless tracking of broad open rates on emails — it’s someone who is personally tracking the emails they’ve sent you. 

A company by the name of "ReadNotify.com" is just one of the examples.

Their rates are from $4 to $24 a month depending on the amount of info (a third party) needs to gleam from you whilst you innocently open and check your email(s).

Unless you know the sender "From" details, mark as "Junk" and delete the email address/message straight away. 

I personally have in the past used MSGTAG from "Msgtag.com" this is entirely a different sort of software. What it does is notify you when your email has been received and lets you see the day, date and time that it was delivered in to the "inbox" of the recipient. This way you know you message has landed and when they come back to you and say "Never received it" you can give them the exact details.

MSTAG is totally different to software like ReadNotify.......check the links above and you will see the difference with something really handy to another which is really suspect in every manner.

MSTAG (a message notifier only)

ReadNotify (pc information collector)

more on this later.......

View Article  IDF Naval Commandos Are Correct in Boarding the "Peaceful' Free Gaza Flotilla"


Does this look like Mahathir & the Malaysian Govt have got into the "TRAP" to part sponsor the Gaza Flotilla... You be the Judge...

YOU WON'T SEE THIS ON -  BBC, CNN, OR SKY  !!!!  
HEAVY WEAPONS FOUND IN THE CARGO OF THE M/S. MAVI  MARMARA FLOTILLA VESSEL

A tip of the hat to Fred Leder for this Israeli Flix video. This video shows that during the unloading of the M/S. Mavi Marmara Turkish vessel in the Israeli port of Ashdod , behind the bags of flour were boxes of heavy weapons and ammunition: mortars, artillery shells, bazookas, without counting  a trunk  where more than one million  euros was found intended for Hamas. 

This video  should be widely distributed as evidence of why the IDF Naval commandos were dispatched to intercept the six vessels including the M/S Mavi Marmara.

One wonders what is aboard the Irish vessel, the M/S. Rachel Corrie, that Israel will intercept sometime today when it approaches the Naval blockade line off the coast of Gaza.

Clearly the Turkish AKP Islamist government is complicit in permitting this military cargo to be loaded on the "Peaceful' Free Gaza Flotilla". Please distribute this video widely. If you had any doubt about what was on the flotilla, here is the video. The French explains that the arms on display were hidden behind sacks of grain. Why these criminals were released is beyond me.
View Article  Miami Half & Full Marathon Route (2011)


View Article  Back - Pay Time for our Boys

This is a war of necessity, David Cameron tells troops in Afghanistan

He announces doubling of soldiers' operational allowance and promises to ensure armed forces enjoy full support back home

DAVID Cameron won the hearts and cheers of Our Boys with a promise to DOUBLE their money.

Yells erupted as he said soldiers' daily operational allowances will rise
from £14.51 to £29.02

The increase, to £5,280 for a half-year tour, will be paid next month and back-dated to May 6, General Election day.

It will cost £58million and be funded by making savings at the Ministry of Defence.

Mr Cameron made his vow after becoming the first British PM to stay overnight at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand.

He slept in a pre-fab block and got up at 6am for a jog in a dust storm before joining squaddies for breakfast.

Training ... PM uses bomb 
detector
Training ... PM uses bomb detector

Then he addressed 400 soldiers in the searing heat and told them he aimed to rewrite the "covenant" between the military and the public.
View Article  The Budget: Key Measures At A Glance

The Chancellor George Osborne promised in his Budget not to hide hard choices from the British people or "bury them in the small print"

Money
A public sector pay freeze is among measures set to affect many British workers

Here is a list of measures announced in his emergency Budget:

VAT & Duty

:: VAT rise to 20% from Jan 4th 2011
:: No new increases in duties on alcohol, tobacco or fuel on Labour's March Budget
:: Plan to increase the duty on cider by 10% above inflation to be scrapped from the end of June
:: Labour's landline tax to be abolished

Business

:: National Insurance threshold rate to rise by £21 a week from April 2011
:: Corporation Tax to be cut by 1% for four consecutive years to take it to 24%
:: Small companies' tax rate will be cut to 20%.
:: Bank levy to apply from January 2011 on balance sheets of all UK banks, except smaller ones

Income Tax

:: Personal income tax allowance to be increased by £1,000 in April to £7,475.
:: Higher rate income tax threshold to remain frozen to 2013/14, with a long-term objective to increase the personal allowance to £10,000

Capital Gains Tax

:: Low and middle-income savers to pay Capital Gains Tax at 18%, but from midnight taxpayers on higher rates will pay 28%
:: The 10% Capital Gains Tax rate for entrepreneurs is to be extended from first £2m to first £5m of lifetime gains

Public Sector

:: Workers in public sector to face two-year pay freeze
:: Flat £250 pay rise for those earning under £21,000

Welfare

:: Child benefit to be frozen for the next three years
:: Child element of the Child Tax Credit to rise by £150 next year
:: Housing Benefit to have maximum limit of £400 a week
:: Health in pregnancy grant to be scrapped from April 2011
:: Sure Start maternity grant to be restricted to first child only
:: Benefits, tax credits and public service pensions to rise in line with CPI inflation rate rather than RPI
:: Tax credits to be reduced to families earning over £40,000 next year, taper rate at which awards are reduced to be increased, the baby element will be removed for new children from April 2011 as will the one-off payment to new workers over 50 from April 2012

View Article  How Much Oil has Leaked Into the Gulf of Mexico


View Article  The Touch Table


View Article  WORLD CUP CALENDAR 2010

View Article  World Cup Security Brief for British Diplomats
Briefing for our diplomats in South Africa

Keep an eye on your children!

Do not send them off to the toilets alone.

Do not let them go to the toy section while you do the rest of your shopping.

 Please pass this on to your families.

 The Key message is that crime is likely to increase and the response by the Police will be slow. Stay alert and street wise and you should be fine.

The World Cup security brief was held at the Consular section and presented by Mr Aubrey Pieters. Those of you who have attended the security courses at the BHC when you first arrived will be aware of his pedigree and his background as an independent security advisor. It was an interesting brief which was well received by both the black and the white faces in the audience.

Due to the large number of Police (SAPS) that will be required to actually police the event, the criminals and the security advisors are aware that the World Cup period is going to be like another holiday period for the criminal fraternity. The SAPS will be concentrating on the areas most frequented by visitors/tourists. These will be at the Football stadiums, the Fan parks, ORT airport, hotels in the cities and the routes to the stadiums. This leaves the criminals to have a free run at the suburbs! The criminals are fully aware of this too. They understand that the reaction time for SAPS to get to an incident will be long - if they come at all.

The crimes that will increase are home invasions, driveway robberies and carjacking at your home.

 

Home invasions:  These are likely to take place when the criminals see a number of cars in driveways of homes. This would indicate that there are a group of friends watching a match who will be distracted. Normally alcohol is involved and there is usually a door open where the guys have been at the BBQ. They will attempt to jump the fence or get into the property and rob everyone of their personnel effects.

 

Car-jacking: No change to the normal brief from Aubrey. Gangs will target women (normally) in a supermarket and inform other gang members who are in the car park waiting to follow you home. The advice is to pay attention to who else turns the same way as you do at junctions. The car tailing you is likely to be 3 or 4 cars back. If you think you are being tailed head to a petrol station or large shopping centre and get out the car and phone for help. Do not try to get home and get in the front gate. Either phone ADT and get them to meet you somewhere or better still phone the Dip Police. They will not be involved in football match security.

 

Driveway robberies:  Be very aware of who or what is in your street or outside your house when you approach it. If somebody is loitering or if you pass a car with one or two occupants apparently sat idly, do not enter your drive.. Always pull up parallel to your drive and open the

gate. Never pull up in front of the gate and then open it. That will be the time when you get boxed in by the car full of trouble and you won’t have much time to react. They are then likely to steal what you have on you (wallets, purses, rings, mobile phones, laptops etc) and then shoot off or worst still get you to open the house and go in with you.

 

Pickpockets: For those of you who are going to the games, the trouble you are likely to come across will be either a few drunken yobs looking for a fight or pickpockets. The security agencies are aware that major public gatherings like the World Cup will attract international pickpockets from around the world. These guys are experts and you will not know that it has happened until many hours later.  Gents wallets are normally kept in the back right pocket of trousers. Move it. Split your money and cards. Be careful.

 

Smash and grabs: Smash and grabs will increase too. Tourists will leave cameras, phones and bags on car seats. Rich pickings for the smash and grab gangs. If you don't already have the smash and grab film on your car windows go and get it done now. If you can't afford it, the advice is to drive with your windows down about half an inch. This makes it 4 times harder to smash the window.

 

Child abductions: For those with children the World Cup is going to be a particularly bad time for child abductions. In South Africa there are 15 abductions/kidnappings every day and they see this as a crime which will get out of hand over the World Cup period. Human trafficking gangs know that the schools are all on holiday over the tournament. They will target shopping malls, cafes, cinemas, public toilets and toy departments in shops. The SA authorities estimate that approx 300,000 Africans will come over the borders for the tournament. The borders will not be able to cope with the surge and checks will be cursory in most cases. Babies will be abducted for scrupulous adoption agencies in Nigeria and the like. Children aged 4-8 will be targeted for the porn industry. Those children around 9 -13 for prostitution.

REMEMBER

 Keep an eye on your children!

Do not send them off to the toilets alone.

Do not let them go to the toy section while you do the rest of your shopping.

 Please pass this on to your families.

 The Key message is that crime is likely to increase and the response by the Police will be slow. Stay alert and street wise and you should be fine.

Foxnwolf comment.......What about the Fans & Tourists?


View Article  Report Road Rage etc


Report Road Rage and Others etc.......


View Article  How to obtain a vehicles owners details (uk only)
How to obtain a vehicles owners details (uk only)

If another vehicle damages your property/car/garden etc (and police not required) whether you manage to get their details at the time/scene or not. They may give you false name, address or change some personal details.

If any letters, calls remain unanswered then all you need is their vehicle registration #. Armed with this you can obtain, online a form V888 from DVLA.

Fill it out (and send any/all copies of photographs, details of the accident and your insurance companies details if you have them) send a couple of quid and you will receive the registered owner/keepers details for you to pursue, privately.

Why dont I just get my insurance company to do this, you say?

Reason is; You may want to settle privately (for whatever reason, some people do) or at least give the other side a chance to before you send all the papwerwork thru to your insurance company. This prevents any loss of agreed penalty on your or the other persons policy(s).

You must use this system legitimatley, if you abuse it and/or slegehammer their car, burn their house down etc you will be imprisoned for a very long time. As records will show that you obtained their details. So, unless you want to become somebodies Bitch or Scissor Sister and share showers for the next 3 years, BEHAVE.......

You can download form V888 in pdf format from here
 
View Article  The surprising truth about what motivates us

View Article  Why Buy Property in Florida

Why Buy Property in Florida?

The US is the most popular country after Spain for British people buying second homes abroad, and the majority of them buy in Florida. Attractions include the climate, favourable exchange rates and the availability of flights (and bargain fares) from all major UK airports. Few purchasers appear to be put off by travel time – a minimum of eight hours from London, depending on whereabouts in the state you are flying to.

As the US economy recently slid into recession and the long-standing property boom came to an end, many developers in Florida have faced tough market conditions in which to promote their projects. One consequence of this has been that intrepid British buyers have been able to get some great discounts on new properties. Another is that the exchange rate between the US Dollar and Sterling means Brits are getting far more property for their Pounds.


Some watchers are predicting that the fall in Florida property is almost at an end, and prices have nearly ‘bottomed out’, so for people buying now it could be the perfect time for an investment.


Popular locations in Florida

This guide gives a flavour of the areas of Florida most popular with British second home purchasers – the central region around Orlando, the east (Atlantic) coast and the resorts on the southwest (Gulf) coast.

Although there are no restrictions on Britons buying a property in Florida or anywhere else in the US, there are limits to how long they can spend in the country each year (see Passports, visas and residency section). Many areas of Florida also impose restrictions on the number of days per year that homeowners are allowed to let their property. Some ban letting altogether, so if you are counting on your property in Florida to pay for itself through rentals in any way, it is vital that you know what the letting situation is as early as possible.


Central Florida

The central part of the state, particularly around Tampa and Orlando, has long been a favourite with British holidaymakers, especially families, as it is there that most of the big attractions are located, including Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Sea World. Unlike some other parts of Florida, it is warm all year round, and there is less rain than in coastal areas.

Its popularity, and the resulting healthy rental market, which offers owners the best returns in Florida, makes the area a magnet for both second home purchasers and buy-to-let investors. Prices reflect this, but generally still represent good value as the volume of new construction helps keep them competitive. Most purchasers here are looking for detached villas with pools. 

 

The Gulf Coast

Unlike the inland areas around Orlando, the Gulf Coast tends to be wet, particularly in July and August, so the potential for letting properties, certainly to families, is not as good. However, it makes up for these disadvantages with magnificent white beaches, azure seas, plentiful moorings and fine restaurants – attributes that have made it popular with the super-rich. Around 60 per cent of the US’s wealthiest citizens winter at Naples, an exclusive resort on the Gulf Coast, or at Palm Beach, on the Atlantic Coast.

Consequently, the Gulf Coast is a hugely expensive area. Houses on the waterfront, in particular, command prices easily in excess of twice those of similar-sized ones in the Orlando area. Properties further inland or up the coast are slightly less expensive.


The Atlantic Coast

Florida’s Atlantic Coast stretches from St Augustine through Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, right down through the Florida Keys to Key West. It includes some of North America’s most desirable (and expensive) locations, such as Palm Beach, where prices routinely run to millions of dollars.

However, not everywhere on the Atlantic Coast is this pricey, and if you choose your location carefully, you can find a three-bedroom house with a pool for around $250,000 (approximately £125,000).

An apartment in a good area of Miami will start from around $300,000 (about £150,000) – not bad considering how much the city offers: beautiful beaches, blue seas, non-stop nightlife, a varied arts and culture scene, fascinating Art Deco architecture and a consistently warm climate. Many current buyers are taking advantage of the stressful situation of developers involved in Miami condo projects to get some of the best discounts available in international real estate.


Buying a property in Florida: Costs & Process

The Floridian system of property purchase is quite different from the UK’s and has several pitfalls for those unfamiliar with it, so appropriate professional guidance is essential.

In Florida, nearly every property for sale is listed on a central database available to all estate agents (known as realtors in the US), so there is no need to visit individual agents. Agents tend to work as seller’s agents or buyer’s agents. It is wise to consult a buyer’s agent experienced in working with British purchasers.

Costs

To cover legal, title insurer and notary fees, title insurance premiums, transfer taxes, property taxes and mortgage fees (if applicable), you should allow around five per cent of the purchase price.

The purchase process

Once a price is agreed, the purchaser pays a small goodwill deposit before making a formal offer in the form of a purchase contract. When signed, this is binding, though contingency clauses allow either side to withdraw in defined circumstances.

A 10 per cent deposit is then paid into an escrow account. A title insurance company scrutinises the public records and insures the property against any third party claims. Completion, including the transfer of the balance of the purchase price into the escrow account, can then take place.

Time is a crucial element of the US home-buying system. If you fail to observe dates stipulated in the contract, you risk losing your deposit.


Florida Property: Mortgages

When working out how to finance your property purchase, consider all the options. Paying cash, if you can afford to, is often recommended, but you may not want to tie up a relatively large sum in this way. If this is an option for you, be sure to consult one of the specialist currency exchange companies in the market, as you can get far better exchange rates and potentially save thousands in the process.

The other options are remortgaging your UK home or arranging a mortgage on your Florida property through a UK or US lender. Remortgaging offers the easiest solution. Releasing equity in a UK home means that the second home can be purchased for cash, without the need for another mortgage. However, this may only be feasible for those who own their first home outright.

Several UK mortgage providers will lend funds of up to 80 per cent of the purchase price for second home purchase over, typically, a 15-year term.

Getting a mortgage in Florida

If you decide to obtain finance in the US, bear in mind that most mortgages available to foreign nationals require a minimum 20 per cent down payment. Some even stipulate 30 or 35 per cent.

At the beginning of the process, make sure you obtain what is known as a Good Faith Estimate. This is a standardised document used to detail all the costs of obtaining your mortgage, including both monthly and one-off payments.

If possible, try to secure a self-certified mortgage. Unlike in the UK, this kind of mortgage does not necessarily carry a higher interest rate than a fully documented mortgage, and it could save you a lot of time and trouble spent assembling documents.

 

Taxation

The US taxation system is a complex one, and may involve payments to at least four different levels of government: local, regional, state and federal. A Double Taxation Treaty between the US and the UK prevents double payment of taxes.

Income tax, a progressive tax ranging from zero to 35 per cent of taxable income, forms the bulk of taxes collected by the US government.

Florida ranks lower than many other US states in terms of the tax burden it imposes. It is one of only nine states that do not levy a personal income tax. More than half of its non-federal revenue is collected at local level, mostly through property taxes, which, for homeowners, amount to approximately 1.5 per cent of their property’s value per annum.

All rental income in Florida is subject to tax, which is charged on a sliding scale (currently 15 to 34 per cent), depending on the amount. ‘Intangible personal property’ (that is, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and so on) is also taxed.

Florida’s sales and use taxes provide over half of state revenue. Sales tax applies to most retail items (excluding groceries, medicines and certain other items), as well as to car and hotel room rentals and theatre tickets. The rate is currently 6 per cent. Local governments may levy an additional local sales tax of up to 1.5 per cent.

The use tax is levied on wholesale items brought into Florida for sale.


Passports, visas and residency

Passports and visas

British citizens may visit the US for business or pleasure without a visa for up to 90 days per year. A passport is required. The traditional Visa Waiver programme in operation for most European nationals allowing them to stay in the US for up to 90 days is set to change in January 2009. From this point, all travelers wishing to use the Visa Waiver will be required to register themselves online before departure for the US.

This should preferably be done at least 72 hours in advance, and is intended to afford an extra layer of security for the US authorities. The online registration will be valid for up to two years; will be named the Electronic System for Travel Authorization; and will be similar to Australia’s Electronic Travel Authority in operation. The ESTA is also valid for multiple entries into the US, so for property owners it is possible to fill out the online registration once and then travel for two years under the normal Visa Waiver Programme.

Those wishing to stay between 90 days and six months must hold a B2 visa. To be successful, applicants must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay.

Residency

Florida’s immigration laws are strictly enforced. Those seeking a Florida Green Card, which entitles them to live and work in the state, face close scrutiny by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, particularly if they wish to start a business.

Those not planning to work, including retirees, must be able to demonstrate substantial means. This can be an obstacle to many people’s dream of retiring to Florida.


Healthcare

Hospitals in the US provide some of the most advanced healthcare in the world. Most are private.

The US spends around 13 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, much of it through insurance schemes provided by employers and the two federal schemes, Medicare and Medicaid. There is no national health service as such. Approximately 14 per cent of the population is estimated to be without any form of health insurance.

For visitors, private medical insurance or travel insurance is essential. If you are seriously injured, the emergency services will treat you and charge you later. If the injury is not serious and you need to consult a doctor, a basic consultation will cost approximately $100 (around £50). There are a variety of policies available for overseas travelers and those intending to live overseas, and they do not have to cost huge sums.


Florida Property: Investment potential

The recent economic slowdown in the US has caused many people to be nervous about investing in property in America, but for long-term investors there are still great opportunities and potential to be found. Developers are having trouble selling projects right across the country, so they are keen to offer deals on projects that are nearing completion so that they can release more funds and begin to move on to new projects.

In some cases there have been stories of developers offering discounts of up to 40 per cent and anecdotally, it is said that new apartments in Miami can be found for as little as $200,000 (£100,000). This means that there are developments available where you can buy with as little as £10,000 down and developers are offering extensive guaranteed rentals and generous terms. The trick here is to remain detached enough not to get overawed by the prices on offer, and plan carefully for your needs and wants. Spending less on a property is ideal if you are able to, and it is worth shopping around for the best deal on the type of property you are looking for, but there is little value in buying somewhere just because it is cheap.

The issue for US buyers, and for anyone from the UK seeking finance in the UK, has been the sub-prime lending fiasco. This is making it very hard for buyers to get finance in the US as lenders are nervous about granting approvals, so cash buyers or those with finance already arranged are being welcomed with open arms.

Should you prefer to try to raise finance locally in the US, there is the advantage of the current low interest rates that the US Federal Reserve has introduced to stimulate the markets.

 

And finally...

Despite the fact that the US in enduring an economic slowdown, buyers who want to get their own property in Florida should not be discouraged. The reasons for buying in the Sunshine State remain the same, whether it is for the weather, the theme parks or the rental potential. The US economy is having a tough time, but this will not stop people going there for holidays – in fact, the favourable exchange rates at the moment may encourage more visitors to the region.

Buying property abroad is a major decision and one that should not be taken lightly. It is vital to ensure you have researched all aspects thoroughly and are in possession of all the relevant facts.

Individual circumstances will vary widely, so it is essential to obtain professional advice and guidance tailored to your particular situation, especially in areas such as property purchase, potential rental returns, taxation and mortgages.

View Article  Maintain Battery Life

A wet car battery is ‘alive’. Whether it is in service or in storage it has a finite life span. If stored in a wet (filled) condition all batteries will slowly self-discharge. The higher the ambient (storage) temperature the greater the rate of self-discharge. A battery should not be allowed to discharge to the point where they are either damaged (sulphated) or so that they are incapable of starting the car or operating equipment. A battery on an irregularly used car or removed from a car should be connected to a Battery Saver. To ensure plates do not get sulphated a pulsed battery saver can prolong battery life. It sends a pulsed charge, which cleans the plates and then gives the battery a rest period

What can effect the charge of the battery ?
It is important to remember that under normal operating conditions, a car battery cannot become discharged on its own.
The reason for this discharge is normally attributable to
- Malfunctioning alternator, regulator, or starter motor
- Slipping fan belt
- Electrical fault
- Excessive use of electrical consumers - car phones, air conditioning etc
- Long standing time without recharge
- Boot light/glove box malfunction
- Vehicle lights being left on

Condition  can be checked with the Battery and Regulator Tester

What is a car Battery ?

 

The car battery is a storage device, which stores energy. This supplies a current at a particular voltage (DC) to the conductive parts of the circuit. The standard car batteries in today’s vehicles are rated at 12 volts. Each battery has six cells which are 2.1 volts each. A car battery is considered fully charged at 12.6 volts. When a battery drops voltage, even by a small amount, it makes a big difference.
For instance, when a battery drops from 12.6 to 12.0 volts, its power drops from 100% to 25%! At 12.4 volts, a car battery is only 75% charged. At 12.2 volts, it's 50% charged. A car battery is considered charged at 12.4 volts or higher. It is considered discharged when it's at 12.39 volts or less. The current is heavily dependent on the type of battery and the resistance of the 'load'. A discharged battery should be charged up as soon as possible with a
Battery Charger

How does it work ?
The electricity is produced by a chemical reaction. Inside the battery there are positive and negative lead plates (cells) that sit in a liquid called electrolyte solution. Electrolyte solution is a mixture of water and sulphuric acid. (This is why a battery mat should be used to prevent any acid rotting the battery tray).
When the electrolyte interacts with the lead plates, there's a chemical reaction.
The electrons in the atoms jump from one atom to another. In fact they fall off one plate and get attracted to the next one. During this electron flow, electrons move from negative to positive in a circuit. The quantity of electrons can be thought as current (amps) and the pressure as voltage. The voltage pushes the current out of the battery's negative terminal through the 'load', which is the equipment drawing the power. The current returns through the positive terminal. Use a Battery terminal brush to keep them free from corrosion. The strength of the electrolyte varies with the state of charge; this can be seen with the battery hydrometer.

Starting up
As the temperature drops, the cranking power required by the car increases. However, as more cranking power is used, the amount of battery power available decreases. Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is critical for good cranking ability. It refers to the number of amps a battery can support for 30 seconds at 0°F until the battery voltage drops to unusable levels. For example, a 12 volt battery with 600 CCAs means the battery will provide 600 amps for 30 seconds at 0°F before the voltage falls. The higher the CCA, the more powerful the cranking ability.
If you live in a cold climate, you should consider the CCA rating when choosing a battery. If you live in a very hot climate, you don't need as much CCA. An indication of starting ability is given by testing with the Power Tester.

Jump Starting
Usually when a car is jump started from a battery booster or another car with jump leads, it is driven long enough to fully recharge the battery. The length of time to fully recharge the battery depends on the amount of discharge, the amount of surplus current that is diverted to the battery, how long the engine is run, engine speed, and ambient temperature.

Ageing
As a battery gets older a deposit of sulphates starts to cover the plates and reduce its efficiency. The battery pulsemaster mentioned above and the battery activator both use latest pulse technology to generate “shock waves” to break down the sulphate build up.