Sunday, 29 April 2018

Costs - What costs?

I have asked this question many times – What price be put on history? Something to the tune of – We’ve always had the government, MPs in the Houses of Parliament. But now it needs a costly uplift. Something to the tune of £50billion. It is an interesting argument because London itself would not like to lose the Houses of Parliament, frankly they should as it is not fit for purpose. It cannot house all the MPs, easily seen at PM’s Questions. It is like a chicken coup! Looking at the so-called debating chamber (the one with the green leather benches) one can easily come to the conclusion it is made for two opposing parties. Moreover allowing these parties to continually shout and gesture at each other. That surely is NOT proper politics? To see Diane Abbott mouthing platitudes at the Home Secretary does not really help I think. To continually hear 5 or 6 questions fired from the Opposition Leader to the Prime Minister about some accident that has befallen an unlucky resident of some flea-bitten constituency surely is interesting to the victim but hardly will solve the Syrian crisis or why the good Kim has come to the South to partake of the food they haven’t got in the north of the Korean peninsula? I believe that he wants to trade the nukes for some good old-fashioned noodles. So, why not be a bit more modern and fashionable? Move the MPs and the government apparatus out of London altogether, say to Derby or York and into a circular type building? Costs would be minimal compared to what they now intend spending on Westminster. Make it a museum! And to fit in with the feelings of nostalgia, still celebrate the opening of Parliament in Westminster with all the pomp and then hightail it to Derby fast!

Saturday, 21 April 2018


Voor lezers in Nederland, tenminste als die er zijn, wonende in Wales zou ik elke reiziger oftewel vakantie houder aanwijzen om eens naar Wales te komen. Er is zoveel geschiedenis, kastelen, de taal dat allemaal erg interessant is! Tegenwoordig is er keus genoeg, hotels, kampeer plaatsen, zogenaamde 'bed and breakfast' (bed en ontbijt). Dus als er iets leuks moet gebeuren met familie, kinderen, ooms, tantes, nichten en neven, Wales heeft een antwoord!

Adeiladau'r Gwerin

Wi'n dysgu Cymraeg, wel oherwydd wi'n byw yng Nghymru wrth gwrs! Dim poeni am y gamgymeriadau. Ond yn ystod yr wythnos diwetha, gwers Cymraeg yn Coleg y Cymoedd, roedden ni yn siariad am yr Amgueddfa Gwerin Cymru a symud yr hen adeiladau i'r lle ger Caerdydd. Un o'r fath symudiad oedd hen sied clogiwr o Sir Penfro. Hyfryd iawn! Wi'n gobeithio ymweld yr amgueddfa ac edrych รข'r arddangosfa!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Man in the Middle? Probably a Russian...

Ah, the good and interesting Russians are now infiltrating every single home computer in the good 'ol UK. An interesting concept. But all the same I do think we should take computers and the Net a bit more serious. If you are, like myself, have a website at least ensure it has a SSL certificate. That means all outgoing stuff is encrypted (HTTPS). Google also seems to have added an extension to that named HSTS. I am not exactly sure what that does or how but it adds extra security. So, it all gets down to the wire. But at least your computer will not be used in Man of the Middle attacks (MITM). The Russians or indeed the naughty Americans or even the very naughty script kiddies can't get at you so easy! Also do not answer those wonderful offers of free money from these interesting Africans who obviously have defrauded their own country to the tune of billions. It is pretty laughable as these countries have no money whatsoever. In any case it is a badly worded, easy detectable scam. Be aware though these emails can also hide invisible links! So, don't click on anything, don't even read them! Just delete. I have to say that we ourselves are to blame for these continuing scams. Too many of us are falling for them! Also too many of us do not do a thing about personal security. Leaving our computers, phones, tablets etc as open as a cowshed in summer. You only have to look at Facebook and you could take your pick if you wanted to steal someone's personal data. Today I am John Smith, tomorrow I can be Suzie Jones, or a ten year old from London town (I dislike London immensely). No slight intended to the names mentioned but I hope you get the point? So, let's with it, do something about security, have a look at your Facebook profile just delete it. Or even better still, just use the phone and delete Facebook! Finally, use https websites only - if you can. At least it is a beginning.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A Facebook groupie? Think again!

The furore around Facebook and also Twitter about the collecting of data by nefarious third parties. Including it is said foreign states (i.e they mean Russia of course). It seems from a TV appearance by Mr Zuckerberg on the news channels that there is a cyber war going on. No, really? Where did he get that idea? Any computer user by now knows that computers are not safe and that whatever is put on, text, pictures or whatever else can be seen by every Tom, Di*k and Harry around the world, if they would wish to do so.
It worries me that the CEO of a massive company appears to be as dull and silly as that. And he is not on his own either. Money talks and money talks even louder with companies engaged in the cyber industry. The black truth is a very simple one. You start-up your computer and basically you say – Yoo-hoo here I am, come and get me...’ . Fortunately most of us are just not interesting enough to bother with but tell that to the average 16 year old who is trying his or her luck? What can us hicks do about it? Well, keep as safe as possible. You can get away from Windows for a start. If you are too lazy or not bothered then use the best anti-virus you can find and pay for a VPN service. Better, use any Linux flavour you like – Mint seems the easiest for those who are used to Windows. Stay away from Facebook altogether, if you want to speak to friends use the phone! Don’t put your opinions on Twitter, set up your own blog, like this one using good sound software.
The facts are that computers operate with a standard set of rules. They use gateways, ports, that are well known. There are software programs such as Wireshark that can monitor any computer system to look for open ports. Cracker software easily available to anyone will find 75% of passwords within a minute. Use a good password – not your cat’s name. Better use a sentence of at least 12 words with every word separated by a hyphen or similar character. Change that particular character once a month or so. This will thwart the dictionary attacks. If you bank via the Internet ensure you or the bank use two-factor identification. That means a password and another such as three numbers from a sequence only you and the bank know. These numbers will change every time you contact the website.
So, do I care about some Russian looking at my opinions? No, Vlad the Impaler is welcome. As long as he stays in Siberia he can do whatever he likes.
Lastly, remember this -  don’t think you will be 100% safe on the Internet, it is not possible. As even the darknet users have found out. You can be found in the end. Although with a secretive country such as Russia when the state is possibly involved as well it will be difficult to exact justice.
It is time to rethink our approach to use of the Web. Great tool though it is.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Changing also over to

To all my readers - you can now read my blog on my own network.
It will still be readable etc on Blogger but now also on
Happy reading!

Latest update - It's all working now as intended. The SSL certificate is installed so the linlk between you and me via the website is encrypted. If you read the blog via the url then that is also encrypted by Google/Blogger.
Have fun.

If you were looking at the site prior to me making some corrections you should 'refresh' the cache. You do that in Chrome as follows: Click on the three dots in the top bar. Click on 'more tools' and select 'Clear browsing data'.

Still some problems with the Contact page - I'm trying to make it as safe as can be. But that takes a lot more coding than I have really time for but still..

Update as in July 2018 - is now discontinued. The main website - has no longer a Contact page. It is not that I don't want to be contacted - you can still do that via  the Blogger blog. But I virtually deleted all spam mails. Hurrah! I now only get about one a week. Well, I sleep better.

The Flea on a Dog...

The year is flowing by faster and faster or so it seems. It is getting a bit hard to keep up with blogs.
Especially as I am again going to college to extend my Welsh language. Wel, pam ddim? Wi’n wedi ceisio’n ddigon hir. Beth bynnag (Anyway) I was reading a book in which I found some interesting idea about the Universe. Usually kid’s books don’t have deep insights but this one ‘The Wizards of Once’ by Cressida Cowell (of ‘How to to train your Dragon’ fame) has a few. Interesting.
Question: Was there a limit to the expanding universe, or would it go on expanding forever? If space was infinite and stars were infinite didn’t that mean that there must also be infinite numbers of Crushers out there?
By the way Crushers were some individual giant, for that you could easily put yourself in its place.
Even so it is an interesting question, one of those I have been pondering over. First of all I believe that space, ie a nothingness, quiet, empty, is infinite. Within that space exist a multitude of universes. Ours is just one of untold numbers. The laws of probability (there are plenty of examples on the Internet) then would mean that there are an infinite number of me and you as well.
It is quite interesting to consider that if as I am here pop the proverbial clogs, I will still be hopping around somewhere else. But will it be an exact copy ( a type of clone?) or a totally different being?
All this from a children’s book! Nevertheless, as a Christian as well, I take it that it means God is not of our time and not just our universe either. I remember a saying, an Hindu one I think, that stated ‘We are no more than the flea on a dog’. The universe equated to a flea? Wow, but who is the dog? A nice thought for a discussion at this Easter time!