Saturday, 25 February 2012


So there's a shortage of jobs out there and or those looking for work don't have the skills employers are looking for. The government can't magic jobs out of thin air in the private sector, like Labour did in the public sector, so what can they do?

It seems they are asking private companies to take people on for a few weeks at a time, giving those people valuable experience. People they wouldn't otherwise employ as they don't have the skills to justify the wages that role would normally command. The employee still gets an income in terms of their benefits, they also get free training and experience. The company doesn't have to pay a wage for a role that doesn't exist to somebody they wouldn't have employed anyway. The government still pays benefits, which it would have done anyway, but there's now a good chance that they may get somebody off the books as they will have more to offer. All in all it looks like win, win, win.

So now we have the other side, which seems to be mostly those with a leaning towards the left demanding these people should be paid a wage while gaining the work experience. This is fine, but that assumes there is an actual job there, rather than a work placement. If that was the case, they wouldn't get the job, because they don't have the skills and because there is a minimum wage and their value is currently below that. So in essence they are demanding the private sector create jobs to employ people that don't have the skills to do the job in the first place. This is all sounding very much like the public sector again.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Plusnet, multiple IP address block and Tomato

I have been with Plusnet for many years, mostly because they provide services than many other providers don't. Most of those services aren't of interest to most people, however, if you're hosting multiple web servers etc then having IP address blocks and the ability to configure DNS via a web page is very useful. Please be aware, I don't think you can still get IP blocks for non-business accounts with Plusnet.

I requested an IP Block some time ago but never managed to get it working correctly. My hardware it turns out was fine; a netgear modem connected to a Linksys WRT54g router, the problem was the config on the router and despite much scouting about I couldn't get it working.

Well today, I managed to piece together about 3 or 4 different tutorials and forum posts and managed to get it all working. Follows the steps to make it happen!

If you're given a block of IP addresses, something like XXX.XXX.XXX.1 to XXX.XXX.XXX.4. The first address you cannot use, the second is for the router, the third is the free address and will be used to replace below and the final one is the broadcast address and used to replace below.

The is the internal LAN IP address used by the device you want to expose on the spare public IP

Go to - Administration > Scripts > Firewall and add the following:

#Add additional WAN IP to Router
ifconfig vlan1:2 netmask broadcast

Next go to the Port Forwarding Page and add a new port forwarding rule
Proto = both (or whatever you want to make available)
Src Address =
Ext Ports = 25-5000 (or whatever you want to make available)
Int Ports = leave blank to pass to the same internal ports
Int Address = 

Save and then test whether you can access your device on the external IP that you've just configured.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Restriction of service based on lifestyle choices

No IVF on the NHS if your husband smokes - Telegraph

So it's started then. Removal of access to services on the NHS if you're a smoker.

I'm not going to touch on whether IVF should even be available on the NHS nor the nhs as a whole. But this is a worrying first step.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

We've got too many laws

I suspect I may have covered this before, but Ken Clarke getting himself all in tangle today over sexual assault versus rape kind of makes my point.  If the ones making the laws don't know what they are, what hope have the rest of us got?

My suggestion, for what it's worth, get each MP to state, in full, every law they can remember.  The laws that they can all remember, we take forward, everything else gets dropped.  If there are any left at this point, it shouldn't take too long to review them and re-write them in terms that real people can understand.  After that if you want a new law, then fine, but you kill an existing one off first.  On this basis we shouldn't have situations where somebody is ignorant of the law, because by now it's sufficiently simple for 600 odd MPs to understand after all.  Until that point, ignorance of the law should be a justifiable defence, I for one have no idea what most of the laws in this country are.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

BMA rejects NHS reforms | Society |

Doctors also accused Lansley of using "inaccurate and misleading information to denigrate the NHS", by comparing UK cancer and heart disease rates with those in Europe.

So because European figures make the NHS look bad, they shouldn't be used?

BMA rejects NHS reforms | Society |

Friday, 11 March 2011

On reporting statistics

I've read a number of articles this morning that all take the form of "doing X increases / decreases your change of getting Y by Z%".  Not one of them state what the baseline chance of getting or avoiding the condition actually is.  If your 25% more likely to get liver disease by drinking more than 1 glass of wine a day, but the chances of getting it when drinking nothing are 0.001% then that increase is insignificant.  If it's 10% then it makes quite a difference.  My basic suspicion is that most of the baselines are closer to the former than the latter which is why they go unreported, they'd fail to have the "scare" impact if people looked at the figures and realised that 90% of fuck all is still fuck all.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A bit of self whoring

Well the company I work for was purchased by a much larger outfit earlier in the year.  We suspected there would be some "re-organisation", "consolidation" and "efficiency drives".  Up until last week, my department had been left alone, however, the sword has now fallen and we are in consultation.  So if any body is looking for an experienced Software Product / Project Manager let me know!