5 tips to safer online buying

Five tips to safer online buying

1] Check the name of the website
Always carefully check the spelling of the website address or URL – if anything is misspelt, it’s likely to be an unofficial site.

2] Check the address
It’s not just the web address you should worry about. It’s well worth checking out the postal address too.

3] Look for the padlock
When you go to pay for your purchases, check the website has a secure way of paying. Make sure you look for the padlock symbol ‘https://’ as opposed to ‘http’ – the ‘s’ signifies it’s secure.

4] Pay carefully
If your order is over £100, one of the best ways to pay is by credit card.
That’s because you’ll be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act (1974), which will give you valuable consumer protection if there’s a problem with your purchases.

If your order is under £100, look to use a Visa debit card so you can make a claim under the Visa Chargeback scheme.

5] Keep your receipt
Once you’ve made your payment, always keep hold of the order confirmation in case of any dispute.  That way you’ve got proof of your order and payment.

Winter Checks for your car, a DIY guide

In this quick guide I will demonstrate how you check your car is ready for winter.

Under the Bonnet

Under the bonnet you will notice things are colour coded.

Checking the Engine Oil

  • Remove dip stick
  • At the end of dipstick you have a marker to check the oil level
  • Unscrew oil cap and put the oil in, one pint at a time, let it settle for a few minutes.
  • Check with the dipstick again until oil is visible.

Break fluid check.

  • Look for the minimum and maximum level
  • This is a visual check only.
  • If you notice the level low, do not drive. Call your mechanic or your breakdown service.

Engine coolant check

  • This is a visible minimum and maximum check.

Windscreen washer fluid

  • A visual check
  • It has a minimum and maximum level
  • Use a third of the solution with water.


After checking under the bonnet the next thing to do is a visual check on the tyres.

You want to check the right side edge for tears and bulges.

Look at tread. The reason you have tread is to remove water from the tyre and it helps the tyre grip to the road and to break safely.

 If tread runs flush with markers then it is time to change your tyres.

 If you have a spare tyre in the boot, be sure to check that too.


Checking your lights is a visible check.

  • Check that they are clean, and not damaged.
  • Put the side lights on and inspect them.
  • Check your dipped lights.
  • Check your fog lights.
  • Check the left and right indicator.

 Do the same at the rear of the vehicle

Do a visual inspection to check they are clean and free from damage.

Get a friend to press the break pedal.

Next you want to check the Windscreen wipers and washer is working.

As you can see I have already topped-up with Windscreen washer fluid.

Make sure your wipers are actually clearing your screen, if not you may need new wipers.

Common Sense

There are a few common sense things you can do before you embark on your journey.

If the weather is particularly bad like heavy snow or dense fog, ask yourself do I really need to drive?

If you are going to drive, then you will need to remember the following:

  1. Check the weather forecast, take a little food and water with you.
  1. Have plenty of fuel at least a quarter level depending on your journey.
  1. Always have an alternative route planned.
  1. Be sure to charge your mobile phone in case you need to make an emergency call and finally subscribe to a breakdown service as be sure to have  your membership card or details with you before you set off.

Justice for Damini movement

For all those who were unable to be a the vigil today, you will be able see 14 minutes of highlights that I have just finished editing. I am in the process of uploading this footage to YouTube. I will post a link on this page when it is complete.

Thank you Reena for getting us all together, and to all the speakers who were marvellous and for the sweet people who came to listen in the cold because they feel so passionate in this Justice for Damini movement.

May God Bless Damini, may God restore justice in humanity, may God bless womankind.

Afraid to fall-in-love

Those that are afraid do not fall in-love – Pyar Karne Wale Kabhi Darte Nahi

This song is about two people in-love that defy the world.

This world is a terrible place; love is the only thing that gives meaning to our lives.

It is true “those that are (afraid) do not fall in-love” – because falling in-love is a huge undertaking.

All the worlds’ religions are to one aim ~ to unite and promote love. In God’s house there is no Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, atheist etc. We are all God’s children.

 1 John 3:1  “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

When you are in-love you will willingly and knowingly sacrifice your existence in order to protect your loved one.

I love this quote from the Bible:

Romans 13:8  “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

When you are true to your heart the universe bends to your unite you to your love. You need nerves of steel and a heart that will not falter, for God is on your side.

This is my favorite bit of the song (Because it is based on Hindu scriptures of Radha & Khrishna, notice the flute and Minakshi being drawn to Jackie when he plays the flute – I Love it):

Pyar Karne Wale Kabhi Darte Nahi – Lata Mangeshkar & Manh
Movie: Hero (1983)
Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Manhar Udhas
Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Video on mobiles

Universal Video Encoding Recommendation for Mobile Phones: iPhone, Blackberry & Android

After many hours of research, trial and error and testing on different mobile devices I have concluded the following universal video encoding for mobile devices to reach the widest of audiences with respect to video.

Video codec: MPEG-4 Simple Profile

Video resolution: 320 x 240

Video frame rate: 24 fps

Video bitrate:  300 kbs

Audio codec:  AAC-LC

Audio channels: 2 (Stereo)

Audio bitrate: 128 Kbs

File type:  .mp4

Total: 428 Kbs (Mobile internet download speeds average just 1.5Mbps)[i]

[i] http://www.computerweekly.com/news/1280097362/Mobile-internet-download-speeds-average-just-15Mbps

MPEG-4 video: up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

MPEG-4 Part 2 (Simple Profile and bvop, including DivX 4) File formats – .avi, .3gp, .mp4, .mov

Video – Up to 320 x 240, up to 800 kbps, up to 30 frames per second

MPEG-4 Simple Profile

  SD (Low quality) SD (High quality) HD (Not available on all devices)
Video codec H.264 Baseline Profile H.264 Baseline Profile H.264 Baseline Profile
Video resolution 176 x 144 px 480 x 360 px 1280 x 720 px
Video frame rate 12 fps 30 fps 30 fps
Video bitrate 56 Kbps 500 Kbps 2 Mbps
Audio codec AAC-LC AAC-LC AAC-LC
Audio channels 1 (mono) 2 (stereo) 2 (stereo)
Audio bitrate 24 Kbps 128 Kbps 192 Kbps


Pass Plus

Pass Plus Scheme for Newly Qualified Drivers

Introduction to the Pass Plus Scheme

First I must say well done you, because if you’re reading this, it most likely means that your have passed your test.

So you may have been presented with the option to take the Pass Plus. I will explain the following:

  • Why you should take the PASS PLUS
  • What you should expect on the PASS PLUS, and the
  • Pass Plus benefit to you

Why you should take the Pass Plus Scheme?

You may be thinking to yourself, “I passed my driving test and I can drive”?

Well that is true you have centrally demonstrated that you meet the level of competence to pass the driving test but what you lack is driving experience.

The Pass Plus is more than just a few extra driving lessons. You are adding to your driving experience under expert supervision and guidance and you will be shown how to deal with driving situations that you may not have confronted whilst learning to drive.

This may include driving in fog, rain, snow and ice, driving in the dark and motorway driving.

After the introduction of the Pass Plus, 17-20 years olds went for being 69.3% to have blame in collision in 1998 to 41.8% in 2002.

That is a 27.5% reduction in total collision for `7-20 year olds and a sure sign that more experience reduces blameworthy crashes.

What to expect on the Pass Plus?

Yu can expect a minimum of 6 hours of tuition of which 5 and half hours will be of in-car driving.

The thing to remember is that some modules may take loner to complete than others and depending on how you are progressing, you may require more sessions.

The Pass Plus Syllabus consists of the following modules:

Module 1 – Town Driving
Module 2 – All Weather Driving
Module 3 – Out of Town Driving & Rural Areas
Module 4 – Night Driving
Module 5 – Dual Carriageways
Module 6 – Motorway

Pass Plus benefits to you?

  • More driving experience under expert supervision
  • Helping you become a more skilful driver
  • Teaching you a develop a positive driving style enjoyable and safe
  • Reducing the risk of you being involved in a road crash
  • Saving you money on your insurance premiums – subject to status, you should check with your insurance company if they offer discounts for pupils who have taken the Pass Plus.

And remember there is no test at the end of the course!

What is the fat trap?

A Fat trap also known as a Grease trap, are suitable to collect any cooled kitchen fat you produce in the home.

 This is “me”, Rob Abdul in the picture below modeling a fat trap to illustrate the importance of using a fat trap. I must add I don’t know how to cook; it is a case of can’t cook wont cook. Anything you can microwave, that me!

What is a Fat Trap

If you are a Severn Trent Water customer order their free fat tap online:

SMS text and chat shorthand and their meanings explained

For all those new to sms text shorthand and online chat; here is a handy little list of phrases and emotes, that is used as shorthand. Hope these are useful 😉

lol – laugh(ing) out loud/laugh on line/lots of laughs

brb – be right back/bathroom break

gtg/g2g – got to go

l8r or cul8r – (see you) later

lmao – laugh(ing) my ass/arse off.

rofl – rolling on floor laughing

sry – sorry

cya or cu – see you

ty – thank you

gg/gj – good game/good job

ttyl – talk to you later

bbl – be back later

thx – thanks

ihm – i hate myself

wombat – Waste of Money, Brains, and Time

n00b – A inexperienced and/or ignorant or unskilled person. Especially
used in computer games.

Emotes 🙂 or 🙂 = smile or laugh out loud

😀 or 😀 = Roll on floor laughing or LMAO

😛 = Stick tongue out or cheeky comment

🙁 or 🙁 = Sad or unhappy

^ ^ or ^__^ or ^^ an emoticon signifying happiness, especially used by
anime fans. “Chuckle marks”

>_< or >< an emoticon signifying frustration or embarrassment

>_> an emoticon used to indicate sarcasm or suspicion, sometimes used
with <_< to indicate shifty eyes

:O Used to express surprise or a sarcastic display of surprise.

:/ Used to express indifference.

:o) Used to express forum users who are ignorant and vain.

>:( Used to express strong anger or discontent.

>:D Used to express malicious joy.

>:) Used to express malicious contentment.

-__- disgusted, annoyed, etc.

^o^ laughing, cheerful, joyous, similar to ^^

^^__^^ Angel

(^_^) Happy face

[*_*] Scared, in awe

List of PR Agencies in Birmingham

On a project I was working on I had to compile a list of PR agencies in the Birmingham area. This list is by no means a comprehensive list:

HRO’C Public Relations
Tel: 0121 454 9707
Fax: 0121 454 9146
Email: steve.sherran@hroc.co.uk
16 Highfield Road
B15 3DU

Liquid Public Relations Limited
Tel: 01527 832 205
Fax: 01527 832 372
Email: lis@liquidpr.co.uk
Number 1 – Greenbox
Stoke Prior
Westonhall Road
B60 4AL

Haswell Holden Ltd
Tel: 01527 873937
Fax: 01527 837005
Email: steve.h@haswellholden.com
138 Hanbury Rd
Stoke Prior
B60 4JZ

Harrison Cowley Ltd
Tel: 0121 236 7532
Fax: 0121 236 7220
Email: bettina.grant@harrisoncowley.com
1st floor Griffin House
19 Ludgate Hill
B3 1DW

Wyatt International Ltd
Tel: 0121 454 8181
Fax: 0121 455 9785
Email: sbramall@wyattinternational.com
Wyatt House 72 Francis Road
B16 8SP

Clarke Associates UK Ltd
Tel: 0121 702 2525
Fax: 0121 702 2085
Email: david-c@clarke-associates.co.uk
1301 Stratford Road
Hall Green
B28 9AP

Tel: 0121 456 3199
Fax: 0121 456 3192
Email: christine.arthur@iassmarts.com
2nd Floor
9 The Apex
6 Embassy Drive
B15 1TP

M Consulting Ltd
Tel: 0121 753 0222
Fax: 0121 753 1911
Email: katie@mconsulting.co.uk
The Ice House
180-182 Fazeley Street
B5 5SE

Headline Communications
Tel: 0121 212 0559
Fax: 0121 212 0560
Email: phil@hline.co.uk
63 Church Street
B3 2DP

Seal Communications Ltd
Tel: 0121 200 0780
Fax: 0121 200 0781
Email: katiemorris@sealcommunications.co.uk
Islington Gate
8 Fleet Street
B3 1JH
Haslimann Taylor Ltd Tel: 0121 355 3446
Fax: 0121 355 3393
Email: bron@haslimanntaylor.com

1 Wrens Court
Lower Queens Street
B72 1RT
Willoughby Public Relations Ltd Tel: 0121 456 3004
Fax: 0121 456 9300
Email: juliaw@willoughby-pr.co.uk

43 Calthorpe Road
B15 1TS
The JCM Consultancy Tel: 0121 457 4771
Fax: 0121 453 8831
Email: joy.jcm@btinternet.com

First Floor 160 New Road
B45 9JA

Rave Communications Ltd
Tel: 01675 467462
Fax: 01675 467465
Email: smorris@rave-communications.com
37 Parkfield Road
B46 3LD

Vitis PR
68 Caroline Street
West Midlands
B3 1UG
Tel: 0121 242 8048
Email: info@vitispr.com


Four top tips for link building strategy

My two cents worth on a link building strategy:

  1. Write well researched academically underpinned overwhelming good articles.  Write articles as opposed to blogging which are usual too short.
  2. If you comment or participate in someone’s blog, forum or website; to and be creative and articulate; leave a comment that adds value.
  3. I try and locate and call webmasters and establish a human connection before discussing links.
  4. Write articles and post them to article submission websites – that works a treat and links from your article are more relevant to your site.