Lima – is this new cloud solution really as good as it sounds?

Lima Cloud

Lima cloud has been touted as the next best thing for those looking at a cloud solution on a budget. So is this new cloud solution really as good as it sounds?

The manufacturers of Lima, Lima Technology Inc., claim that Lima will “will protect your files and make them available to you on all your devices remotely”. The device was produced using a kickstarter campaign

However, after hundreds of reviews on Amazon, it appears Lima isn’t as straight forward to use as the manufacturers would have you believe. In fact, on the day of writing this post, 39% of reviews gave Lima just one star. Common complaints including the device failing to recognise drives, poor customer service from Lima and connection failures.

Advantages of Lima

  • one-off cost with no monthly subscription
  • your data is kept by you, so no chance of data mining
  • easy to upgrade storage capacity
  • Apple Air Play and Google Chromecast compatible
  • it’s small

Disadvantages of Lima

  • there is only one backup of your files (unlike more expensive cloud solutions which offer two hard-disks working as a RAID solution)
  • if the hard drive connected to your Lima is damaged, the files are unlikely to be irretrievable
  • No support for Linux

Suspicious advertising?

When I first looked into Lima cloud, the official website claimed that the waiting list was already 97% full and I needed to enter my email address quickly or risk losing the chance to sign up “due to high demand”. Meretriciously, the next day I received an email telling me I was one of the lucky people that had been selected to buy Lima. Two weeks on, the website still says the same. Mmmm……

I’m also concerned about some of the claims made by the manufacturers on the Amazon page. One selling point of the device claims “both your computer & smartphone can hold up several terabytes!”. Actually, that not true. Whilst your phone may have access to terabytes of data (subject to the size of the hard drive you attach) your phone doesn’t actually store the data; it just retrieves it.

Summary

At $99 Lima seems expensive, especially for the problems that many users have reported. The concept is good, but Lima doesn’t seem ready for prime time just yet.

To truly improve, the company will need to up its game in terms of customer service. An additional USB port to allow RAID would also be an improvement as would wifi capability.

My recommendation

Whilst more expensive, Synology offer some of the best NAS devices with cloud storage available. The hardware is quality, especially when combined with Western Digital Red hard drives. The apps are all very stable and the software provided is top quality.

Expensive, yes. But then when you consider the price of your data, how much is too much?

On a budget? Then check out the WD 3TB personal cloud solution.

Is your child a Gadget Gremlin?

Gadget Gremlin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first experienced my child turning into a Gadget Gremlin when he was around 7 years old. His grandparents had bought him a gift of a Nintendo DS for Christmas. My wife wasn’t too keen on the idea what with him being so young, but I thought it was important that he had some kind of experience with the technology which would surround him as he grew into a young adult. However, we quickly began to notice a pattern of bad behaviour when he was separated from it.

What is a Gadget Gremlin?

A Gadget Gremlin is a child or young person who usually displays good, placid behaviour, but who turns angry, violent or rude when removed from technology. Such as technology includes (but is not limited to) tablets, games consoles, cell or mobile phone or PC’s.

What causes a child to turn into a Gadget Gremlin?

The exact cause of bad behaviour as a result of technology withdrawal isn’t fully understood, but there are lots of studies which have show that the brain can experience similar withdrawal that to drugs.

One study found that students could experience “symptoms similar to those seen in drug addicts trying to go cold turkey” when turning off mobile phones, avoiding the internet and tuning out of the television. The doctor in charge of the study, Dr Gerodimos of Bournemouth University, believes that technology is changes the way our brains work and rely on it.

Technology may be damaging your child’s development

There’s no doubt that advancements in technology can be extremely useful, but can also have a detrimental effect on your child. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, you may already have a Gadget Gremlin in your home:

  • does your child cry, scream or hit out after being removed from technology?
  • is it difficult to get your child to participate in exercise?
  • does your child often wake up during the night to play electronic games or watch online videos?
  • has your child ever wet/soiled themself before making it to the toilet whilst playing on a games consol or compute?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, you have already have a child addicted to technology

How you can avoid raising a Gadget Gremlin

There are a number of steps that you can take to prevent your child becoming a Gadget Gremlin. These include:

  • limiting your child’s use of technology, perhaps to 1 hour a day (there are many applications with can help with this including Microsoft Family and Norton Family)
  • banning your child from technology for at least 3 days if they display bad behaviour when withdrawn from it (following through with a punishment is vital)
  • ensuring that your child is only using content relevant to their age group (allowing a 10 year old to play 18 rated games is asking for trouble – they are rated for a reason)
  • ensuring that you know what your child is doing online at all times

Controlling your child’s use of technology will undoubtedly result in improvements in their behaviour. This is something that me and many friend have experienced with our own children.

Do you have any advice or tips to prevent Gadget Gremlins? They new sure to leave them in the comments below…and good luck!

Grain Brewery Slate review | Possibly the best porter ever produced

Grain Brewery Slate review

Last night my wife and I visited a new real ale pub for us, the Old New Inn in Colchester. It was a first time at that pub and our first time trying Grain Brewery beers. Introduce Grain Brewery Slate – which might just be the best porter ever produced.

I realise that’s quite a claim, especially given the competition from beers such as Old Growler, so beer with me here (yes, a deliberate typo).

Grain Brewery Slate has some serious things going on.

What the brewery say about Slate

I’m always a bit nervous about discussing brewery tasting notes. It kind of makes me feel like the brewery is telling you want you should taste, and lets be honest, taste is very subjective. There are a lot of people who will tell you they’re experts in real ale tasting, but fact is half of them are waffling.

Grain describe Slate as “A deep, dark and rich smoked porter, brewed with a complex blend of malts”.

What I say about Slate

Actually, the first thing I could taste was a subtle undertone of chocolate. If anything, the smokiness took a back seat. But the thing that struck me the most about Grain Brewery Slate was how smooth it was. I didn’t remember to get a photo of the pint (too busy raving about it!), but it had a very slight head to it which seemed to have appeared naturally, rather than because of how it was poured. Almost like the crema on a decent cup of coffee. Yes it had the malty flavours (what porter doesn’t) but this one was so complex with so many different flavours coming through; like no porter I’ve ever drunk before.

At 6% it might be a little be stronger than some might like, but with decent ABV comes great flavour. The pint was at the perfect temperature, too. Not too cold.

Grain Brewery Slate might just be the best porter ever produced

To me, this porter was perfection in a glass. It has everything I look for in a porter and more. I’m not a fan of smokey drinks, and this one was nthing to be scared of. I just can’t explained strongly enough how smooth this beer is. If you like the black stuff, you need to try this.

 

DVLA Clamps Untaxed Vehicles in crackdown on law breakers

DVLA Clamps Untaxed Vehicles

DVLA Clamps Untaxed VehiclesDrivers are being warned as the DVLA Clamps Untaxed Vehicles at the roadside of the road if they fail to pay for Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax).

The DVLA and Local Authorities are carrying our sweeps of major towns and cities across the UK as they look for vehicles where drivers have failed to pay road tax. These photos were capture on Mersea Road, Colchester, Essex, on 17th February 2017.

Vehicles fitted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology are being utilised by the DVLA quickly identify vehicles which are untaxed. The vehicles are then clamped with bright yellow wheel clamps; both serving as embarrassment to the owner and a warning to other drivers.

The move comes as a result of millions of drivers failing to tax their vehicles since the tax disc was abolished for an online only system in October 2014. As a result, the number of untaxed vehicle rose to over 560,00 in the summer of 2015.

The DVLA Clamps Untaxed Vehicles where drivers have tried to dodge VED

Seemingly, some vehicle owners believe that the lack of a tax disc displayed in the vehicle means that they can get away without insuring it. However, the modern ANPR system can tell officials if a vehicle has tax or insurance within a matter of seconds by querying the DVLA and Motor Insurers databases.

The real cost of driving without road tax

The DVLA clamps untaxed vehicles and then charges to have the impounded vehicle released. There is a £100 release fee plus the price of the road tax. A vehicle not taxed within 24 hours may be removed and destroyed after 7 days.

The clamps can be fitted by the DVLA, the police, local councils and VOSA.

The message is clear: if you can’t afford to tax your vehicle, it shouldn’t be used on the road. Sooner or later you’ll be caught.

Another vehicle which was clamped by Colchester Borough Council or the DVLA on Mersea Road, Colchester

YouTube is a Trolls Paradise

YouTube is a Trolls Paradise

YouTube is a Trolls Paradise and something needs to be done. At a time when cyber bullying and Internet Trolls are in the headlines, it seems odd that YouTube still make it to easy for Trolls to sign up for new accounts to spread their hate, seemingly anonymously.

YouTube, which has been owned by Google since 2005, allows new users to sign up for an account by opening a Google Account. Opening a Google Account is a very straight forward process with almost no security checks made whatsoever. Once created, a Troll can easily open a YouTube account and start posting comments.

Anyone who uses YouTube regularly will have probably found themselves subject to abuse at some point or another. Last week, I made a simply comment on a video, only to be abused by numerous Trolls who didn’t agree with me. As well as various vulgarities, I was attacked personally about my appearance and even my family. For me it’s water off a ducks back, but for many it becomes very personal.

YouTube is a Trolls Paradise – but why?

If you’ve ever tried to report Trolling on YouTube, you’ll know it’s extremely difficult. First of all, the process of reporting it unnecessarily long and clunky. Half the time you’ll get a response from YouTube saying “We’re unable to identify a violation of our Community Guidelines within your recent report to our Safety and Abuse Tool”.

There are a number of methods that YouTube could adopt to prevent Trolling. Google use some of these already, so should alreadybe experts at implementing them on YouTube:

  • telephone verification – make a new user link their mobile or home phone to their account (people are much less likely to troll if they know they can be traced)
  • link the account to something personal – such as a bank account

Whatever the answer, more needs to be done to prevent trolling on Youtube. YouTube is a Trolls Paradise and in 2017, that’s just not acceptable.

Dealing with YouTube trolls effectively

According to tubularinsights.com, there are 4 main things to do when dealing with YouTube trolls:

  1. Never, ever say something hateful back
  2. Find a way to be funny without (obviously) cutting the other person down
  3. Agree with them in a humorous way
  4. Let your fans handle it

The main thing is not to allow yourself to get dragged into their hateful rhetoric. Remember that some of these people have real psychological problems.

FSCS dragging their heals over Gable Insurance

Gable Insurance

It’s now been well over two months since Gable Insurance AG went bust, but the FSCS are dragging their heals over dealing with the problem.

I called the Financial Services Compensation Scheme FSCS today and explained that we are a small business which has been left with the debt of paying for an insurance policy which was could not use, and also an unpaid claim which is detrimental to our cash flow. I asked what the update was, bearing in mind that the information on the FSCS website was now almost 2 months out of date.

I was told that they have “no update at the moment” and can’t help further. The advice is to send an email to gable@bwb.li “with your query” and you “should” get a response. That email address is for Batliner Wanger Batliner Attorneys at Law Limited, Liechtenstein, who are the Liquidators.

It seems that the FSCS are being less than helpful, bearing in mind the thousands of small businesses and individuals left severely out of pocket due to no fault of their own. To simply say “contact the liquidators” is offering virtually no support to those affected by this issue. It’s a disappointing response considering that compulsory insurance is supposed to be protected in full by the scheme with a 90% upper claim limit.

Surely the FSCS should be doing more to advice people on the process and what’s involved, considering that many people won’t understand the complex process of liquidation.

Email response from the liquidator

I did receive a response from Batliner Wanger Batliner Attorneys at Law Limited. It read:

Policyholder or other creditor
Please register for our newsletter (http://gableinsurance.li/register-for-newsletter/). This will enable us to keep you updated about the next steps in the bankruptcy proceedings.
Brokers
Please see our memorandums (http://gableinsurance.li/category/news/) as well as the FAQ under (http://gableinsurance.li/faq/). All important information is set out here.

I was then sent another email which read:

Dear Sir

Thank you for your email request concerning claimshandling.

Please be informed that we have appointed Enstar (EU) Limited („Enstar“) as Gable AG’s overall run-off manager. You will get assistance in all matters in connection with claimshandling by addressing your issue to Gable.Claims@enstargroup.com

Many thanks in advance for your most appreciated cooperation.

Kind  regards

Rechtsanwälte AG   ·   Attorneys at law LTD.

Am Schrägen Weg 2
FL-9490 Vaduz
T  +423 239.78.78
F  +423 239.78.79

office@bwb.li
www.bwb.li

Why couldn’t the FSCS tell me to email Enstar in the first place?

It seems ludicrous that I had to email the liquidation to get an email address to the EU claims handlers when the FSCS could have given it to me. I’ve sent Enstar an email and await a response.

Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve gets 10 out of 10 from Len

Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

I’m very lucky to live in such a beautiful area, and so close to Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve. Colchester gets a tough rap in the press at times, but step outside of the town and you’ll quickly be immersed into some of the most beautiful marshland the UK has to offer.

It had been a year or so since we’d last visited, and decided it was time we got out of the house a bit more. So, we signed up for a family membership with Essex Wildlife Trust and made out way down to Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve.

A lot has changed since we last visited. First of all, the main building now has a lovely cafe area where fresh coffee and cakes can be purchased. There was a warm log burner heating the room and plenty of tables and chairs.

Going outdoors, we noticed some new areas to visit, in particular the beautiful Margaret Hide on a new area of the Wick.

It seems that a lot has been done to improve the facilities at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve and I’m glad to see it. There are some beautiful parts of it and the kids love exploring around the Wick.

Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

Margaret Hide, Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

My daughter and I were out for a wintry walk this weekend, and decided to follow the path to the intertidal area of Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve. We would eventually discover the Margaret Hide

This was an area that we hadn’t previously realised existed and we were pleasantly surprised when we discovered the new Margaret Hide, which I can only assume was funded by the late Margaret Ross, for which a chair dedicates her as being the 3rd generation of a family which has farmed in the surrounding area. A fitting tribute for someone who has worked the land for so long.

The Margaret hide is beautifully placed in a tidal area of the reserve, at the end of a small pier. It provides almost 360 degree views of the area, in a place we had never previously been able to access. I would happily move in and live there (it would need a log burner though as it was pretty cold).

We were told by some locals that the best time to visit is low tide, where there will be more birds feeding. This is particularly useful for seeing avocets.

Here are some photos:

Inside margaret hide fingringhoe
The hide offers unrivalled views of the intertidal areas of Fingringhoe Wick
margaret hide
The Margaret hide can be seen on the left of this photo
Margaret Hide
One of the views from the Margaret Hide at Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve

Laura Perrins: private inappropriate sexual advances are NOT OK

Laura Perrins

Laura Perrins (no, we didn’t know who she was either until this morning) has supported David Davis MP over an alledged incident where he is understood to have attempted to kiss a female MP.

The alleged incident is supposed to have involved David Davis MP attempted to kiss Diane Abbott in the MPs’ bar at Westminster but was told to “fuck off” by the shadow Home Secretary. Mr Davis is said to have been seen walking away laughing and later to have said he was whipering in Diane Abbott’s ear.

It is also understood that David Davis sent a number of sexist texts about Ms Abbott to a friend, one in which he said that if he was to hug her, it would make a “good Specsavers-style advert” (suggesting that he would need to have poor eyesight to want to hug Ms Abbott).

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on 12th February 2017, guest reviewer Rachel Shabi pointed out that the attempt to kiss Diane Abbott was “totally inappropriate” and that Mr Davis had a responsibility to “set a tone” which he had “completely failed to do”.

However, Laura Perrins who was also a guest on the show, said that the alleged incident was “private” and therefore David Davis should “not be hung out to dry” because of it.

Apparently, Laura Perrins believes that inappropriate or uninvited sexual advances are OK as long as they are carried out behind closed doors. Of course she couldn’t be more wrong: it is never OK to make sexual advances to anyone regardless of who you are or where you are.

In the same program, Perrins went on to offer her support for President Trump visiting the UK. Presumably, Perrins feels that pussy-grabbing is also another acceptable behavior for men to project on women?

So much for female empowerment, independence, and self-sureness.

Conservative mouth piece Laura Perrins is known for her outspoken behavior and has wrtten for the Daily Mail in the past (say no more). She has previously accused the British Medical Association (BMA) as “barmy” and accused those people who believe the West still has racist tendancies as being “myth-making and leftist bullying of the worst kind” (apparently happy to ignore official United Nations statistics which say that if you are a black person in the West you are less empowered than white people).

In another vitriolic article, the Katie Hopkins wannabe accused Ewan McGregor of wanting to “devour” people’s souls for having strong morals; and standing by them.

It’s a sad situation when having morals and caring about other humans can leave you attacked by spiteful, hate-filled person. It’s even more sad when a woman thinks it’s OK for men to touch women without permission.

 

A12 closed after lorry falls off BRIDGE

Motorists faced another evening of misery as the A12 was CLOSED in BOTH DIRECTIONS due to a lorry falling from a bridge and landing on the southbound carriageway at Coleman’s Bridge, Witham. The northbound carriageway reopened at 17:40hrs.

Police closed the road from Marks Tey to Boreham, and witnesses described hearing a large explosion and seeing smoke. Police advised drivers to avoid the area completely and the Air Ambulance attended.

Witnesses described the scene as ‘unbelievable’ and ‘chaotic’. Delays were reported in the area and Witham is described as ‘gridlocked’.

The lorry on fire – Picture: Joanne Taylor