Stay Safe on the Road with Tams Tyres

Drive Safer and Stay Safe on the Road with Tams Tyres
Last year the Institute of Advanced Motorist magazine included an article on safer driving, particularly in the winter months when driving can be that bit more demanding. The article the following guidance was included to help UK drivers drive more safely in all conditions, particularly the winter weather.

Slow down on the straight. Accelerate on the straight. Steer round bends. Plan to only ever do one at a time.

Speed of reaction is vital. Not just how quickly you twist the wheel – how quickly you begin is really important. You do need to be prepared for what might happen next.

Given the experience from the IAM survey they state they would always choose a four wheel drive car in winter conditions. Although the ideal, not always possible as many people quite reasonably don’t have a four wheel drive car.

In a manual car put the clutch out if you get into a skid. But it will take lots of space to stop.

Quite obviously it is also absolutely essential you have good tyres on your car and at Tams Tyres we would always suggest you frequently check the tread depth and general condition of your tyre. Tams Tyres are a leading provider of all types of tyres in Newcastle and the North East. We offer you a FREE tyre check, including tyre wear and pressures and can help ensure your tyres are legal, safe and if required, can supply new tyres for all types of vehicles – cars, vans and 4X4’s, all fully fitted, balanced and inflated correctly for a great price.

We stock a massive range of car tyres, van tyres, 4×4 tyres and high performance tyres and maintain high levels of stock including all major brands such as Pirelli, Michelin, Dunlop, Continental, Firestone and Goodyear tyres, plus a range of quality new economy tyres.

Not only can we help you enjoy better fuel consumption but we can also help with better road holding and safety. Call us now on (0191) 4604809 or visit the Tams Tyres website for further information.

Business:             Tams Tyres

URL:                       http://www.tamtyres.co.uk/

China’s Lenovo Becomes Victim of Cyber Attack

China’s Lenovo Becomes Victim of Cyber Attack
Chinese computer maker Lenovo has become the victim of a cyber-attack following a warning by the US government about software called Superfish. The Superfish adware program – which offered shopping tips – was shipped on some of the company’s notebook devices.

A hacking group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the Wednesday attack via Twitter. The group has taken credit for several other attacks, including one on Sony.

“One effect of this attack was to redirect traffic from the Lenovo website,” Lenovo said in a statement. “We are also actively investigating other aspects. “We are responding and have already restored certain functionality to our public-facing website.”

The firm also said it was “actively reviewing” its network security and would take steps “to protect the integrity of our users’ information and experience”.

Last week, the computer-making giant said it was offering customers a tool to help them remove the pre-installed software after experts warned that it was a security risk. The firm then said it had disabled the software because of customer complaints.

In a later statement, however, the company said it was aware of security risks about the software and was focused on fixing it.

Superfish was designed to help users find products by visually analysing images on the web to find the cheapest ones.

Integrity Testing Server Rooms

Integrity Testing Server Rooms
Initially the enclosure integrity testing was introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to discharge testing following the phase out of halon extinguishant under the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion. It is applicable to all sizes of enclosure and all extinguishing gases, including Argonite, Inergen, Proinert, IG55, FM200, FE25, HFC 227ea, FE25, Novec 1230 and CO2. Air Pressure Testing provides the necessary Room Integrity Testing to the required NFPA 2001 or ISO 15004 methodologies.

We have undertaken enclosure testing on all types and sizes of enclosure, from server rooms in offices to hospital intensive care units. In each case we carry out the necessary volumetric calculations prior to the test and use calibrated test fan systems along with laptops running complaint integrity testing software to determine results immediately upon completion of the server room enclosure test.

We ensure that our enclosure integrity testing is clean and non-disruptive, using a door mounted fan(s) to measure leakage flow. Work may continue as normal in the room during the test. An immediate result is obtained for the total room leakage and consequent extinguishant retention time. If this is below that required by the Standard, a detailed inspection is carried out to identify all major leakages for remedial sealing. A formal report is issued detailing the results and any recommendations. The failure report should be retained for regulatory authority/ insurer’s reference. If you fail the test – Air Pressure Testing can undertake the remedial works for you; and due to the importance of these areas; specialise in out of hour’s remedial works as we understand the impact/cost of closing down areas such as turbine rooms etc. to minimise disruption.

In the event of a failed enclosure integrity test we can quickly locate and record the air leakage paths. We can quickly provide enclosure air leakage reports highlighting the worst air leakage paths so remedial works can be quickly targeted.

The server room integrity tests passes we can issue the test reports incorporating all necessary data test information and certification within a few days of the enclosure integrity test.

What Rooms Usually Require Enclosure Integrity Testing
All rooms protected by fire extinguishment require Enclosure Integrity Testing – rooms such as Computer Server Rooms, Plant Rooms, and Laboratory’s. Given the potential consequences of fire damage and down time for such critical areas/equipment, it is essential that an integrity test is undertake before handover of the enclosure and annually thereafter, or if the protected rooms enclosure has received new works resulting in new penetrations through the rooms envelope.

For a fire suppression system to work, the room must have sufficient integrity to retain an extinguishing concentration for a specified period after discharge. Failure to do so may cause the fire to reignite causing further damage. As this is the predominant cause of failure, the British and International Standard (BS: ISO14520) requires an enclosure integrity test be conducted on system installation and thereafter at annual intervals.

Air Pressure Testing have undertaken hundreds of enclosure integrity tests on varying room types from comm’s room/s to massive power station turbines enclosures; and have the experience to help you achieve a test pass at the first attempt. We are one of a very few companies that fully understand the theory behind extended discharge tests and are able to undertake testing to enclosures where extended discharge tests are required.

Annual integrity testing is required by the BFPSA and its now carried out by all major commercial institutions such as banks and data companies. It is also worth noting that your buildings insurance may be negated if you don’t undertake the annual data room integrity test.

Server Room Testing – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why do I need a fire enclosure test on my server room?

A – The test is a requirement of the British Standard for gaseous fire extinguishing systems – BS EN:ISO 14520. Most fire insurers will require evidence that the test has been conducted and the result is satisfactory.

  1. How quickly can an server room integrity test be arranged?

A – Usually within a few days.

  1. How long does the enclosure test take?

A – Usually between 1 and 2 hours.

  1. Will the server room integrity test set off alarms?

A – No. The enclosure test is completely independent of the detection system.

  1. Is the server room integrity test disruptive?

A – No. It is only necessary to stop access to the room for 10-15 minutes. Personnel can continue to work in the room. The enclosure test can be paused if immediate access becomes required.

  1. Does equipment such as servers need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – No the equipment can keep running.

  1. Does air conditioning need to be switched off during the enclosure integrity test?

A – Recirculation (chiller) units may continue to run. Air supply/extract ducts passing into the enclosure will need to be either dampered closed or will be temporarily sealed.

  1. Will I get a certificate if I pass the server room integrity test?

A – It will be issued within a few days. This should be retained for possible inspection by the authorities/insurers. A summary certificate can be issued at the time of enclosure test if required.

  1. What happens if the room fails the server room enclosure test?

A – We can carry out an inspection to identify leakage paths for remedial sealing. These will be pointed out at the time of the enclosure test and a plan included in the report. It is recommended that a retest be conducted after remedial action to confirm the adequacy of the retention time.

  1. Can remedial sealing be done at the time of the server room enclosure test? – Yes, provided the leakage can be swiftly remedially, or temporarily, sealed.
  2. Can APT undertake remedial sealing?

A- Yes we can do this if requested or the client can arrange remedial sealing themselves.

  1. Do you supply any literature to help us prepare for the enclosure test?

A – Yes, we supply all our clients with an easy to follow checklist to help you prepare for the test.

  1. How often should the enclosure integrity test be done?

A – The relevant British Standard (BS EN:ISO 14520) specifies that the test should be conducted annually as part of routine maintenance.

If you have a protected enclosure that requires an integrity test or you think you have a problem in terms of your enclosure construction – please contact us at: info@airpressuretesting.net as we can send across our air sealing checklist to help you prepare for the server room enclosure test. We can also offer a sealing service should it be required.

If you would like more information in regards to a server room integrity test, please contact us now on 07775623464 or visit the Air Pressure Testing website today.

Business:             Air Pressure Testing

URL:                       http://www.airpressuretesting.net/

Spring 2015 – Planning for the Gardening Year to Come

Spring 2015 – Planning for the Gardening Year to Come
March is almost here, and spring is just around the corner. In the London area, temperatures are already reaching a very comfortable temperature during the day and only cooling a few degrees overnight.

For avid gardeners, this is the perfect time to begin planting the spring and summer garden. If you have space for a traditional garden and are thinking ahead to even warmer weather, geraniums and petunias make excellent container plants as well as companion plants to the vegetables and herbs in your home garden and can be planted either at the edge of your vegetable garden or among rows of vegetable plants for ground cover.

Gardening means different things to different people, but even for flat dwellers with a balcony or front doorstep, opportunities abound for brightening up the home with containers of live flowers and leafy green plants.

In areas plagued by poor soil, flowers such as periwinkle fill unsightly spaces beautifully and require little to no care.

For those who prefer (or are limited to) container gardens, a variety of flowers, such as begonias, dahlias, impatiens, daffodils and hyacinths, add nice splashes of colour wherever you place your containers as long as they receive at least partial sunlight.

For more guidance on spring and summer gardening, visit the Royal Agricultural Society website at www.rhs.org.uk

If you love to spend time in your garden in the spring and summer months, then you’ll want to prepare now for the high season with some of the beautiful and practical gardening supplies available from The Home and Gift Shop.

The Home and Gift Shop carries a variety of gardening tools and supplies which are equally attractive and useful for backyard gardening. Whether you’re in need of a new garden kneeler to use while digging spaces for new plants, a new pair of leather gardening gloves to wear while you’re trimming your rose bushes or a few suet cakes and cages to attract more birds to your garden, the Home and Gift Shop has everything you need to make the most of your gardening experience.

For more information about our line of gardening supplies or to make a purchase, visit the Home and Gift Shop website and make a start planning your 2015 garden.

Business:        Home and Gift Shop

URL:               www.thehomeandgiftshop.com

UK Firms use 1.8m Zero Hours Contracts, says ONS

UK Firms use 1.8m Zero Hours Contracts, says ONS
Firms in the UK used 1.8 million zero-hours contracts at the height of last summer, official statistics show. The total, in the first two weeks of August, was higher than the 1.4 million contracts revealed when figures were first collected in January last year. This is likely to be the result of a number of seasonal industries using more of these contracts, making a direct comparison difficult.

Zero-hours contracts do not guarantee a minimum number of hours of employment. Some workers and unions are unhappy that staff can simply be sent home if there is no work to be done. But supporters of the contracts like the flexibility that they can offer.

Additional data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that 697,000 workers said they were on a “zero-hours contract” in their main job between October to December last year. This represents 2.3% of all people in employment. This figure, collected in a survey, is reliant on these workers being fully aware that they are on a zero-hours contract.

The ONS said that a rise on the 586,000 workers who said they were on zero-hours contracts during the same period in 2013 could be the result of greater awareness and publicity for these kind of contracts.

David Freeman, of the ONS, said that some of the greater awareness of zero-hours contracts was among people who had been in these types of jobs for more than a year. On average, someone on a zero-hours contract usually worked 25 hours a week, the ONS said. The majority were women and students, often aged under 25 or 65 and over.

About a third of them wanted more hours, primarily in their current job, compared with 10% of other people in employment.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Zero-hours contracts sum up what has gone wrong in the modern workplace. They shift almost all power from the worker and give it to their boss.”

But Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Zero-hours contracts are valued by many employers and individuals who want flexibility in the hours they work, such as students, people with caring responsibilities and those who want to partially retire. “However, historically there has also been some abuse in these types of contracts.”

The government is ensuring rules mean that employers cannot tie workers down exclusively to their zero-hours contract. They should allow these workers to take up employment elsewhere too.

US Offers $3m Reward for Arrest of Russian Hacker Evgeniy Bogachev

US Offers $3m Reward for Arrest of Russian Hacker Evgeniy Bogachev
The US has offered a $3m (£1.94m) reward for information on a Russian hacker, the highest the US authorities have ever offered in a cybercrime case. Evgeniy Bogachev was charged last year in the US with being behind a major cybercrime operation that allegedly stole more than $100m (£64.7m).

He was last seen in Russia, where he is believed to remain at large. Arresting him may be difficult, as the US does not have an extradition treaty with Russia.

Mr Bogachev, also known as “lucky12345” and “slavik”, is accused of running the GameOver Zeus attack network, thought to have infected more than one million computers. Victims were tricked into downloading malware, malicious software, which then searched specifically for financial information.

Evgeniy Bogachev was charged last year on counts including conspiracy, wire, bank and computer fraud, and money laundering, after the FBI said it broke up the network. He is one of the FBI’s most wanted cyber-criminals.

“This reward offer reaffirms the commitment of the US government to bring those who participate in organized crime to justice, whether they hide online or overseas,” the US State Department said.

The reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Mr Bogachev.

The head of the FBI’s cyber crime division, Joseph Demarest, said Russia’s internal security agency had expressed an interest in working with the US on cybercrimes, according to Reuters, but did not link it to the Bogachev case. He also said the agency was aware of 60 different cyber-threat groups linked to nation-states, but gave no further details.

Morrisons New Chief Executive Announced – David Potts

Morrisons New Chief Executive Announced – David Potts
Morrisons has named former Tesco director David Potts as its new chief executive. Mr Potts, who started his Tesco career at age 16 and rose to become retail director in the UK and chief executive of its Irish businesses, will take the helm on 16 March.

He takes over from Dalton Philips, who said in January he would leave the troubled supermarket after five years in charge.

The chain is battling falling sales. It has been criticised for being slow in moving into the convenience store sector and setting up an online operation.

Current Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson was previously the finance director at Tesco and worked with Mr Potts there for 15 years. He said was “delighted” by the appointment. “David is the best retailer I have worked with in 25 years in the industry. Having worked alongside him for 15 years, I know he will bring to Morrisons a focus on the customer, a track record of delivery, flair, talent, and immense energy to his new role,” he added.

Morrisons is being squeezed between the higher end of the market and the discount supermarkets chains.

The Bradford-based company reported a 3.1% drop in like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 4 January, and said it would close 10 loss-making stores this year.

Mr Potts will be tasked with returning the company to growth. He said it “was an honour to have been selected”.

Made-to-Measure Blinds – Freshen Up the Home Décor

Made-to-Measure Blinds – Freshen Up the Home Décor
Spring is the ideal time of year for removing clutter and embracing an “out with the old, in with the new” philosophy: with the weather being neither too warm nor too cold, the time has come to open up the doors and windows and let in fresh air while cleaning off the dust and getting rid of items that are past their useful life.

For many homeowners, this also means rethinking the home décor. If you feel that your home or conservatory is ready for a facelift, keep in mind that high-quality, made-to-measure blinds will do just as much as new furniture or decorations to improve the look of your home and conservatory.

You might begin by emboldening the look of the conservatory with a set of brightly coloured conservatory blinds that will look spectacular against the white trim. Pastel colours in particular provide a soft look in all seasons and allow for light to pass through without causing the room to feel too warm in the summer months. When considering your options, be sure that your final decision is a good fit for your conservatory’s existing décor.

If your conservatory has not yet been completed and you haven’t already decided on the colour or style of furnishings, then consider all of these at once so that your new conservatory blinds and furnishings will both contribute to the desired look and feel of the conservatory.

Traditionally used externally as a window covering in hot climates, plantation shutters have come into fashion as an interior window covering because of their appealing combination of looks and practicality. Plantation shutters add texture and depth to any room and set off the windows even better than standard window treatments.

They are also highly functional and improve energy efficiency by blocking drafts in winter and heat in the summer, both physically and by providing shade. In any season, they also provide privacy without blocking the view from within the home. Stained wood shutters look equally well against white or stained trim, and any natural colour for the walls will complete a traditional colour scheme. For more modern tastes, consider white plantation shutters, or shutters with a light stain, as a complement to light-coloured walls and a few well-chosen accent pieces.

Shutters may be full-length, café-style (which leave the top half of the window uncovered, allowing light to come in while the shutters are closed for privacy) or tier-on-tier, covering the upper and lower halves of the window so that they can be opened and closed individually for the desired amount of light and privacy. Shutters are also just as easy to clean as traditional blinds: one quick wipe with a cloth or brush with a feather duster and you’re done!

Wood shutters can also be measured to fit doors opening up onto the front lawn or garden, offering many of the same benefits as plantation shutters for windows. Likewise, conservatory blinds should always be made-to-measure to ensure the perfect fit for each section of the conservatory.  For a fresh, new look to the home or conservatory that will delight the family and visitors alike, custom shutters and conservatory blinds may be exactly what you need.

Consider looking for a company like The Beautiful Blind Company who specialise in conservatory roof blinds, conservatory blinds, plantation shutters and all other types of made to measure blinds.  They can supply and fit all types of blinds for your home and office, with each blind made to your exact requirements. They be contacted on 01642 688049 or visit their website; http://www.thebeautifulblindcompany.com – for further information.

Business:             The Beautiful Blind Company

URL:                       http://www.thebeautifulblindcompany.com/

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA: Payday Lenders Must Allow Price Comparison

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA: Payday Lenders Must Allow Price Comparison
Payday lenders must make their product details available on at least one price comparison website to encourage greater competition, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said. It found most borrowers did not shop around for loans.

Payday lenders must also give current borrowers a loan summary, explaining the total cost of their loan.

The decision follows a 20-month investigation aimed at reforming the controversial payday lending market.

“Our actions are aimed at making the market more competitive and further driving down costs for borrowers,” said Simon Polito, chair of the CMA’s Payday Lending investigation group. “We think costs can be driven lower and want to ensure that customers are able to take advantage of price competition to further reduce the cost of their loans.”

The CMA also recommends:

greater transparency on late fees and charges
measures to help borrowers shop around without damaging their credit records
expanding real-time data sharing services to help new lenders assess credit risks more accurately
that websites selling potential borrowers’ details to lenders should explain their role much more clearly.
Currently details of payday loans are not available on price comparison websites.

However, the CMA said it had already had discussions with existing price comparison websites about the new rules and believed “one or more commercial” websites will emerge. If not, it said payday lenders would be forced to set up a price comparison website, authorised by City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), themselves.

The CMA’s recommendations follow the introduction of a cap on the cost of payday loans enforced by the FCA, which came into effect in January.

Payday loan rates are now capped at 0.8% per day of the amount borrowed, and no-one will have to pay back more than twice the amount they borrowed.

Mr Politio said the FCA’s price cap would reduce the overall level of prices, but said these further changes would ensure that the cap “does not simply become the benchmark price set by lenders for payday loans”.

Wonga to Cut 325 Jobs in Restructuring Move

Wonga to Cut 325 Jobs in Restructuring Move
Payday lender Wonga says it expects to cut more than 300 jobs, halving the workforce supporting its UK business.

Wonga says 325 posts are set to go in teams that support the UK business, affecting offices in London, Dublin, Cape Town and Tel Aviv that currently employ a total of 650 people. The Dublin and Tel Aviv offices will close.

Wonga’s chairman Andy Haste said the business could no longer sustain its high-cost base.