New Project


FM Transmitter for Car MP3 Player

Another PayPal Scam

Received an email this morning supposedly from PayPal. You can usually tell scams and phishing emails by the bad grammar and poor spelling but this one was almost perfect (click image to enlarge):


I could almost have fallen for this one – until I saw the Subject header! 🙂


9/10 better luck next time ! 🙂

Scams, phishing and hacking…

With the recent hacking of the Talk Talk customer servers, the news media is busy wheeling out the usual so-called internet security experts offering the usual post apocalypse advice.

One sentence from Talk Talk is particularly enlightening: ” At this stage, we’re not sure how many of our current and previous customers have been affected.”

One piece of advice that makes sense on the face of it is to close any account as soon as you finish doing business with any company. In truth this is easier said than done:

“Some time ago,” I closed a certain mobile account because I found their coverage too be poor where I then lived. A few months later, I was surprised to find I could still login to the account and see that the small remaining balance had been, er, “siphoned up” by the company’s “timeout policy”. After looking for a “Delete Account” button and not finding one, I phoned customer services and was promised the account would be deleted properly- not just closed.

Some, 12 years later, having moved home and switched back to the same company, I decided to set up another account but was refused because the same username and password were already in use. So, although my old account was no longer accessible via the customer’s user-interface, it turns out all my financial and personal ID data had been held by the company “just in case”.

Now, I can see how they can justify holding onto your details for a month or two as a convenience so you don’t have to enter all your personal details again, should you have a change of mind, but 12 YEARS??!

I can’t help wondering how many other “closed” accounts I have gathering cobwebs with companies I no longer deal with and may have long since forgotten about but which are rich pickings for the hackers and scammers.

It makes a mockery of the advice to “close accounts of companies you no longer deal with” and, in any event, it’s virtually impossible to know if an account has in fact been deleted if even the company’s own support staff can’t do it.

Maybe the law should be changed forcing companies to actually delete closed accounts and not jut squirrel them away “just in case.”

PayPal Phishing Scam

Just had this email supposedly from PayPal. The URL of the webpage you’re invited to visit looks quite like the genuine PayPal URL and the page looks pretty much identical… One to watch out for.

(Click for larger image)


After some torrential rain last week, we woke up to find the Arrowe Brook had burst its banks again – almost exactly 7 years to the day since last time.

This time was worse, though, and – as usual – the authorities are blaming the unusually high rainfall. The Environment Agency rate this area as Zone 2 which means the possibility of flooding somewhere between once in a 100 years and once in a 1000 years.







According to our local Councillor’s website, he found a spot on the Arrowe Brook which had been dammed to allow a contractor’s vehicles to cross. The “experts” claim that substituting the usual 6 feet x 6 feet channel with a couple of 12″ land drain pipes wouldn’t have affected the water flow! Yeah right and pigs might fly.

Wirral Globe

Councillor’s Website

Virus Warning

Look out for an email like this one: The attachment looks like it’s for an invoice but it’s a virus.




I’ve had a “classic” Casio watch for longer than I can remember – the F-91W. It’s had a couple of new straps and, over the years, the face has become scratched so that it’s sometimes hard to tell 6’s from 8’s. So, I decided to treat myself to a new one.

The F-91W is less than a tenner in Argos but I thought it worth the risk and ordered one for less than a fiver off eBay…

I wasn’t expecting much and I wasn’t disappointed! It was worth the few quid I spent though because I don’t think I’ve ever had a genuine fake before! 🙂

The resin case is less precisely molded in the fake but, otherwise, it looks like a usable watch.. I say ‘looks’ because, apparently, some of these fakes lose up to several minutes a day.

Carr Lane Old Brickworks Site

The old brickworks site adjacent to Carr Lane has been the subject of several planning permission delays and appeals for many years now.

carr lane

Way back in 2001, Wirral’s Planning Department had stipulated a condition on the owners that they had permission to extract clay for a maximum of 11 years. However, in November 2011, the owners applied to have that condition removed

At the time the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority was looking at prospective new sites for landfill and there were strong concerns that the owners of the Carr Lane site were possibly looking at selling the land as a new landfill site – despite its total unsuitability due to the proximity of houses and the prevailing winds. As Councillor Blakeley wrote at the time, “There is absolutely no value in the clay, however there is millions of pounds value in a huge hole that could be used for Landfill.”

Following a successful appeal, it seems the owners were given until 31st March 2015 to submit plans for the “restoration and aftercare” of the site (Condition number 28).

Well, that date has just passed and it would seem that the owners have put in a new appeal / planning application – dated 30th March 2015 – to extend “Condition 28” yet again. APP/15/00473

It’s normally a courtesy (or is it a duty) that the Planning Department notify local Councillors about planning applications but, on this occasion, it seems they’ve been having somewhat secretive talks with the site owners instead.

Be interesting to see how this one pans out!

Third Time Lucky?

Wirral has tried twice previously to get our patient information into private sector databases. And twice, the residents of Wirral have knocked them back following consultations (of sorts).

One major concern was that American confidentiality safeguards are less stringent than in the UK.

It looks like they’re having another try:

Wirral Globe: Private sector plays major role in ‘new model’ health care for Wirral

Given that one of the companies mentioned is a USA company and given that the whole purpose of this ‘project’ is that information will be disseminated between the three companies, it seems to me to be nothing more than a backdoor route into what Wirral NHS has been itching to do for years in order to sell our health information to all and sundry.

New Arduino Project

Arduino-Based General Election Party Picker

I’m finding it really hard to choose my favourite Party for the forthcoming General Election so I thought why not let the power of the Arduino’s 16MHz processor do the hard work for me.

So, here’s my latest Arduino project: