30 March 2009

Television retuning

Not a good outcome. On 25th March, households that use the Rowridge transmitter on the Isle of Wight had to retune their digital TV receivers. Before the retuning, we received 119 channels. Now we have at best 79, though on the main TV the total is only 40. BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4 have disappeared completely, ITV1 is now available with considerable pixelation on one box and not at all on the other.

Apparently we may have to wait until 2012 for the signal to be turned up to full strength.

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11 March 2009

Barclaycard on the ball... and then not

Barclaycard contacted me on Saturday morning (7th) to ask if I'd just done a transaction for £1,000 with a mortgage provider on my business credit card. No! Then did you do £2,000 with an energy utility on Friday? No! What about all the other transactions? One other was fraudulent, a Pay As You Go phone top-up - I don't have a PAYG phone. Top marks for picking up the untypical transactions, two of which weren't what I would consider as suitable items for a business account.

The disclaimer form arrived today - and included a number to which it could be faxed after completion. And guess what - no answer (multiple times), number busy, no answer. Less than top marks for that.

05 March 2009

Hampshire Rugby Clubs

The headline of this article links to a Google map with all of the Hampshire RFU member Rugby Clubs plus associate members and associate schools. It includes Channel Island clubs, and so far as I can make it, it's comprehensive; some details are elusive.

04 March 2009

How far to a Shell station?

Shell now has a service station locator on its UK website that allows you to plan a journey and produce a map and list all of the Shell stations adjacent to the route. This is a good improvement - they used to allow you only to search by road or town/postcode. I wrote in 2005 to say
It's great to give customers a route for their journey - it would be even better to show the Shell stations on the way.
and further...
I couldn't find any sensible way through the search facilities on your site to work out where on a trip from Hindhead to Durham and back I could fill up with Shell fuel. I know that there are some Shell service areas but I wanted to know where they are. As a driver I don't know which towns/cities/postcodes I'm passing near, so searching by these is useless.

My suggestion: a simple table on your site would have been a big help. It only needs to show
- number of motorway/Ax(M) road,
- name of service area and operator
- which junctions it lies between
- Optimax (now V Power), etc.

I used another website - 5 minutes away (from the motorway) - and eventually tracked down a few.
But now the application produces a map. Hooray! But a stroke of un-genius - the list of service stations is in something that looks related to alphabetical order rather than in the order you'd encounter them on the journey. And the map print-out doesn't scale to show all the labels, so you're back to guesswork again. You can see a pdf (123 KB) of a journey plan from Hindhead to Newcastle here.

Some progress, some still needed. Suggestion: let's have the service stations in the right order for the journey!