eBooks In, Champagne Out

UK Inflation Basket: eBooks In, Champagne Out
The growing popularity of eBooks on devices such as Kindles has pushed them into the so-called ‘baskets of goods and services’ used to measure official inflation rates.

In its annual review of what should be included to calculate the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and Retail Prices Index (RPI), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that eBooks “represent a significant and growing market, with recent increases in the number of people reading books digitally.”

The ONS also added digital television recorder/receivers, including personal video recorders, which are replacing standard Freeview receiver boxes.

Some of the more bizarre additions include continental sliced deli type meats and packaged vegetables for a stir-fry.

It said white rum, bought from either off-licences or shops, was being included to cover spirits that are drunk by younger people.

Champagne sold in restaurants and bars was among the goods taken out of the basket, as the amount drunk continues to fall amid the squeeze on consumer spending.

The round lettuce was also removed but is still covered by iceberg lettuce and pre-packed salad, the ONS assured.

CPI and RPI are calculated using 180,000 price quotations every month, covering around 700 goods and services from 150 areas across the UK.


North East Business Levels

Activity Slumps for North East Companies
Business activity in the North East private sector decreased for the third successive month in February. New orders also fell, and at the quickest rate since last July. Employment levels were unchanged while backlogs of work were broadly stable.

The headline Lloyds TSB North East Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – posted 48.7 in February, up from 48.1 in January. This showed a modest reduction in activity. Conversely, output across the UK as a whole increased modestly.

Craig McNaughton, area director for Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking in the North East and Cumbria, said: “The private sector across the North East saw a further reduction in business activity in February as new business levels also fell at a steady rate. This was in contrast to the UK economy as a whole, which saw a modest increase in both activity and new order levels.

Despite challenging business conditions in the region, employment levels were stable, as the service sector reported an expansion of workforce numbers to offset further job reductions in the manufacturing sector. Despite the rising price of goods and services, firms only passed on part of their higher operating costs to clients, adding to concerns over operating margins.”

New orders also fell in the North East in February. The rate of reduction was marked, and the quickest in seven months. Lloyds said anecdotal evidence suggested that reduced client confidence lowered demand. At the UK level, meanwhile, new business increased at a modest pace.

Staffing levels in the North East private sector were unchanged in February. Employment has now been broadly stable in the region for two successive months. But the UK private sector economy average saw a marginal expansion. Backlogs of work were relatively unchanged in February, following a modest increase in January.

Air Pressure Testing

Sound Insulation Testing Services in London
With so many new build and refurbishment projects starting throughout the capital, it is extremely important all developers account for robust acoustic design detailing at the design stage of their construction.

Part E of Building Regulations require that developers demonstrate the sound insulation performance of separating walls and/or floors in new-build dwellings or rooms for residential purposes (as well as those newly formed by a material change of use)

This applies to when separate buildings are attached via a common partition not exclusively used by the same occupants. The only way to the relevant compliance with building regulations is to undertake sound insulation testing on your London property.

The regulations set minimum performance requirements for sound insulation between spaces, as to provide reasonable conditions for living. Performance can be demonstrated either by sound testing a sample of as-built constructions/properties.

Sound insulation testing may also be required in non-residential buildings such as schools, hospitals, workplaces, whereas-built performance needs to be demonstrated to ensure noise sensitive areas (e.g. classrooms, wards, meeting rooms) are suitably insulated from noisier areas or to comply with BB93 & BREEAM. There are two main types of sound testing that are undertaken to comply with Building Regulations Part E, they are airborne sound testing and impact sound testing. This is a brief description of each:

Airborne Sound Testing
Separating walls and floors are tested for airborne sound. This should be undertaken by an accredited member of an organisation – APT Sound Testing is UKAS accredited for Sound Testing. When testing airborne sound performance two adjoining rooms are used. A sound source (loudspeaker) is set up in one room on one side of the separating wall or floor being sound tested. The sound levels in each are room are then measured using a sound level meter.

The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the airborne sound insulation (DnT,w + Ctr) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E. For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This type of sound test is used to imitate and test for impact noise or ‘footfall’ noise such as high heel shoes on the floor above.

Impact Sound Testing
For vertically separated rooms, an Impact sound test may also be required. This type of sound test is used to imitate and test for impact noise or ‘footfall’ noise such as high heel shoes on the floor above. This sound test is undertaken using a “tapping machine”, (as shown on the right) which drops a series of weights onto the floor of the upper room. The noise level in the lower (receiver) room is measured for a prescribed number of source and microphone locations.

The background levels in the receiver room are measured and the reverberation time in the receiver room is also measured. From the results, the impact sound insulation (L’nT,w) is calculated and compared to the requirements of Approved Document E.

Company:           Air Pressure Testing Services

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net


Big Day Bliss

Wedding Business Advertising
Do you work for a business or own a business in the Wedding industry? When advertising a product the primary goal of any marketing or P.R campaign is to get a return on investment. If that is through direct sales for an online ecommerce store or through new enquiries.

Not all beneficial advertising or marketing has to be expensive… You just need to work out, what & how will I get a return on this?

There are wedding websites that offer value for money on advertising & even some free websites / wedding networks that you will get some new business through.

The first place Brides & Grooms go to plan their Wedding is online using various devices from Mobile to Tablet and Web. So placing your business information on popular or unique wedding industry sites / mobile applications would be a great place to start. When you have chosen your prospective site or application to advertise on, consider the quality and market share they have.

Don’t simply rely on what the advertisers tell you! Take a look at their Facebook & Twitter pages… media platforms that boast large amounts of traffic and unique hits should have a following on social media pages.

You should link and tie campaigns together when advertising across multiple platforms. This will help customers to understand and be clear on the product, offer or information you are selling. Keeping your message precise and clear is always best, if you struggle with your graphics on web or print.. try and network with photographers or stationary designers and offer them something in return.

Be careful when advertising on print media as this can be expensive and not hold any residual value after the advert has been made! Once your link is established on a popular website it has Search engine benefits to increase your website rankings.

Wedding business advertising doesn’t have to be over complicated, if you are really passionate about your product & love what you do then Brides and Grooms will see this in your work.  Remember when selecting advertising platforms or options don’t put all your eggs in one basket & don’t sign up to monthly contracts. When you get a new sales or referral ask ‘where did you hear about us’. Then it’s simple, if something works keep going! Provide Wedding Inspiration with BigDayBliss.

Company:  Big Day Bliss
URL:  www.bigdaybliss.com


Barclays Millionaires’ Club

More Than 400 In Barclays Millionaires’ Club
More than 400 staff at Barclays earned pay deals worth more than £1m last year, a reduction on 2011 but a substantial number for a year in which the bank’s reputation was dragged through the mire. According to Barclays’ annual report, which was published on Friday morning, the number of employees paid more than £1m fell from 473 in 2011, with proportionately larger falls in the number paid more than £2.5m and in excess of £5m.

The disclosures are the most detailed given yet by Barclays and are designed to demonstrate a new commitment to transparency in the way it pays its top staff.

The 356-page annual report confirmed that Barclays had imposed around £450m of financial penalties on staff because of the Libor-rigging scandal through a combination of clawback and bonus reductions.

Barclays said it had decided to comply ahead of schedule with new Government requirements for companies to publish a single figure for the total remuneration of executive directors. By one measure, this showed that Antony Jenkins, the new chief executive, earned a total of £1.129m in 2012, although this excludes a long-term share award valued at £1.467m.

The bank did not identify the pay package awarded to Rich Ricci, the chief executive of its investment bank, who was one of four executives to forego their annual bonus because of the Libor scandal, although he is thought to have received less than £3.5m in total. Five employees were paid more than £5m in 2012, although the bank declined to identify them or specify what their total remuneration had been.

CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards

The CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards
Businesses which attract talent and nurture that talent are being urged to get their entries into the region’s most prestigious HR&D Awards by next week. The CIPD North East of England Talent Attraction and Management Award shows how companies attract and maintain talent to ensure results are delivered.

The judges want to hear from organisations which recognise that key talent needs to be identified and nurtured to enable the future growth and maintenance of the company’s culture and results. Entrants need to demonstrate how they ensure their talent pool is managed to give a major impact on the organisation.

The CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards are delivered in association with The Journal and associate sponsor Nigel Wright. There are eight categories overall in the awards, which were set up to recognise and celebrate outstanding HR&D achievements and their impact on business success.

The Award Categories:

Excellence in Developing People Award

Innovation in Social Media or Technology Award

Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace Award

HR&D Team of the Year Award

Engagement and Wellbeing Award

Change Management Project of the Year Award

Talent Attraction and Management Award

SME Excellence in HR&D Award

To Enter CIPD North East of England HR&D Awards
The awards are open to all types of organisations, regardless of size or sector and the winners will be announced on April 18 at a glamorous awards dinner at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.  To enter, log on to www.journallive.co.uk/cipdawards Alternatively contact Lesley Hampson, events manager on 0191 201 6435 or email lesley. hampson@trinitymirror.com

PM to ‘Stick To Plan’ On Economy

Prime Minister to ‘Stick To Plan’ On Economy
David Cameron will later reject calls for a U-turn on spending cuts and vow he is “sticking to the plan” on the economy.

In a major economic speech in West Yorkshire, the Prime Minister will say it is the right policy for jobs, good public services, and looking after people in their old age. But his defiant message risks being undermined by Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable, who has opened up a Cabinet rift by calling for more borrowing to fund capital spending.

Labour seized on Mr Cable’s intervention, in an article for the New Statesman, as proof that he “may at last be seeing sense” but said his failure to influence the Tories meant he was in office but not in power.

In his speech, Mr Cameron will argue that those who “falter” would plunge the UK “back into the abyss” just at a time when there were signs the Government’s plan was starting to work. The PM will say: “I know some people think it is being stubborn to stick to a plan. That somehow this is just about making the numbers add up with no care whatsoever for what it means for people affected by the changes we make. But nothing could be further from the truth. My motives for sticking to the plan are exactly about doing the right thing to help families and business up and down the country.”

Mr Cameron’s visit to West Yorkshire will coincide with an announcement by BT that it is creating more than 1,000 engineering jobs in its Openreach business.

Webcoding Flaw Allows Data Dump on PC’s

Webcoding Flaw Allows Data Dump on Computers
Gigabytes of junk data could be dumped onto PCs via a loophole in web code, a developer has found. The loophole exploits a feature of HTML 5 which defines how websites are made and what they can do. Developer Feross Aboukhadijeh found the bug and set up a demo page that fills visitors’ hard drives with pictures of cartoon cats. In one demo, Mr Aboukhadijeh managed to dump one gigabyte of data every 16 seconds onto a vulnerable Macbook.

Most major browsers, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari, were found to be vulnerable to the bug, said Mr Aboukhadijeh.

While most websites are currently built using version 4 of the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), that code is gradually being superseded by the newer version 5.

One big change brought in with HTML 5 lets websites store more data locally on visitors’ PCs. Safeguards built into the “local storage” specification should limit how much data can be stored. Different browsers allow different limits but all allow at least 2.5 megabytes to be stored.

However, Mr Aboukhadijeh found a way round this cap by creating lots of temporary websites linked to the one a person actually visited. He found that each one of these associated sites was allowed to store up to the limit of data because browser makers had not written code to stop this happening. By endlessly creating new, linked websites the bug can be used to siphon huge amounts of data onto target PCs. Only Mozilla’s Firefox capped storage at 5MB and was not vulnerable, he found.

“Cleverly coded websites have effectively unlimited storage space on visitor’s computers,” wrote Mr Aboukhadijeh in a blogpost about the bug.

Code to exploit the bug has been released by Mr Aboukhadijeh and he set up a website, called Filldisk that, on vulnerable PCs, dumps lots of images of cats on to the hard drive. So far, no malicious use of the exploits has been observed. In a bid to solve the problem, bug reports about the exploit have been filed with major browser makers.