Monday, 28 June 2010

Skype Problem with your Payment Scam

Interesting article from TMCnet Bloggers about a scam involving payment to skype.

TMC has been getting inundated with emails lately about problems with Skype accounts we don't own. We checked into the malicious script embedded in the emails and they appear to send you to servers in Estonia where your computer is likely to be infected with malware. Not that I need to tell you but - stay away - and be sure others who may fall for this scam know not to click.

Visit TMC for details.

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Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ofcom update: Cheaper charges for UK consumers to end phone contracts

Charges that consumers face for leaving their landline phone contracts early will be cut by as much as 85 per cent, Ofcom announced today.

Over the past 18 months, Ofcom has been working with the three biggest UK landline providers, BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, to ensure that the charges they levy when customers end their contracts early (“early termination charges”), reflect the costs that the providers save by no longer providing the service. Cheaper early termination charges will also apply to landline customers who receive broadband in the same package.

The full news release can be found here: Ofcom

Monday, 21 June 2010

Them and Us

Read an article today about the Them and Us mindset. When I first read the title I thought that it was another article about the Employer / Employee relationship, and in a way it was. However reading the first paragraph I soon realised that it was not. Here is the article taken from Keeping HR Simple Blog posted by Katherine Connolly:

Employers are toughening up on tardiness it seems. This is according to a survey by CareerBuilder UK. The reason given for the extra attention to arrival times at work is the current difficult economic climate. I never thought I’d say this but hurrah for the recession! Anything that causes employers to sit up and pay attention to employees who consistently flout the rules can only be a good thing.

Note that I said consistently. I’m not talking about the one off occasion where you drive a single track country road to work and get stuck behind a tractor, or the time when your alarm clock decides not to go off at the appointed hour, or the time when your cat gets stuck in the cat flap (you might think I’m making that one up but it’s a real-life excuse for arriving late at work. Apparently).

Perhaps paying attention to their employees’ arrival times will make employers realise that there are always two kinds of employee – “us” and “them”. “Us”, well, we are conscientious. We care about our jobs, about the company and we toe the line. We feel bad on the odd occasion when we arrive late or we have a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day. We make up the time by working through lunch. We are the ones who are likely to come in when we’re sick because we know the team is short staffed and our customers and colleagues will suffer because of our absence. We know who we are and we recognise our kindred spirits in the workplace.

“Them”. They are a different breed. They don’t care so much about their jobs, about the company and about toeing the line. It’s just a job to them and it really doesn’t matter if they arrive late or take a long lunch break. They will happily take advantage of the boss being out to make a personal call. Or two. Lasting over 30 minutes each. But hey, at least the plumber’s visit has been arranged and they now know exactly what the plans are for Saturday night. As do the rest of the office. The other “thems” don’t really care – they’re too busy on the phone to their mates. Or getting in a quick supermarket shop online. For “us”, it’s a different story. We quietly seethe while trying to get on with our work. Or we get together with our kindred spirits and moan about “them”.

What really winds “us” up is the fact that our employers do nothing to stop it. “They” get away with it. No one takes them aside and has a word. No one tells them that they need to abide by the company rules, start turning up on time and stop taking the proverbial. What’s worse, “we” get no recognition for being the ones who do abide by the rules. It’s enough to turn “us” into “them”. If only we didn’t have a conscience.

Employers need to know this. They need to know that ignoring those who break the rules does not endear them to those who don’t. All employees need to feel that they are being treated fairly and consistently. A situation of “one rule for them and one rule for us” does not make for a happy workforce. So, if the recession is making employers realise who “they” are, those consistent unapologetic late arrivers, that’s great. Now all employers need to do is act on it.

Keeping HR Simple
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Why 2010 is the year of the virtual data center

In 2009, many government agencies were focused on realizing the benefits of using virtualized servers. Perhaps chief among those benefits was the opportunity to make better use of existing budgets by consolidating physical infrastructure and commoditizing server hardware. Software and hardware vendors, meanwhile, have been equally focused on selling the benefits of server virtualization. That’s reflected by the success of VMware and the moves by major operating system vendors (Microsoft Hyper-V), database vendors (Oracle VM), server vendors (Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell) and even network vendors such as Cisco with network convergence. Follow the link for the rest of the article....... Virtualizing servers is only half the game -- agencies should look to storage, too

Friday, 4 June 2010

Hosted/Managed Unified Communications to Outstrip Traditional Solutions by 2014: Wainhouse Research

Hosted and managed services in Information and Communications Technology or “ICT” sector have grown significantly over the past few years. Unified communications is one the fastest growing managed services area. Market analysts predict that hosted and managed unified communications services will outstrip the traditional conferencing services market in revenue within the next few years. Read on.......


By Rajani Baburajan 


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Thursday, 3 June 2010

14 ways you could use a virtual switchboard without paying a fortune

14 ways you could use a virtual switchboard
  • Make your business appear larger than it is. When a caller calls say you have a sales, finance and customer service department using IVR (interactive voice response) 
  • Use intelligent routing to direct calls to the relevant departments, saving on the costs of a receptionist 
  • Measure and test against advertising campaigns. Use different numbers non geographic and geographic in different adverting campaignsyour number is re-rerouted at the click of a mouse
  • Prevent future hassles if moving office, your number is re-pointed at the click of a mouse 
  • Make use of remote workers but let your customer think you are all in the same place 
  • Had a bright idea – leave yourself a voice-mail from your mobile when on the road 
  • Have a consistent voice message which is on brand for all your customers 
  • If you have a restaurant, save staff time by recording your the menus to the switchboard 
  • Stop customer ‘on hold’ frustration while the receptionist speaks to someone else. Play them a meaage that keeps them engaged. 
  • Automate appointment bookings, for example doctor surgeries or trade quotation requests 
  • Dictate a voicemail to your secretary and have it ready and typed when you arrive in the office 
  • Provide a ’secret option’ for priority customers to reach you 
  • Never miss an order or booking
  • Keep it simple 
Visit White Rose Network solutions

Or

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Ofcom Update: Ofcom sets out proposals to tackle repeat silent calls

Ofcom has today set out proposals to help prevent consumers being harassed by repeated silent calls.

Seventy per cent of the complaints Ofcom receives about silent calls are from consumers receiving two or more silent calls a day from the same company, often over a period of days or weeks.

The vast majority of these calls are caused by automated calling systems used by call centres to contact large numbers of people in one go. These systems can be beneficial to both companies and consumers, for example when a bank needs to quickly alert thousands of customers about a potential fraud. But sometimes technology used by call centres to detect answer machines will mistake a live consumer for an answering machine and cut off the call without the person hearing anything, resulting in a silent call.

Ofcom is proposing a new rule to prevent a company calling an answer phone more than once in any 24 hour period, unless a call centre agent is on hand to answer the call. This would mean that consumers currently worst affected would no longer receive repeat silent calls over the course of a day.

The consultation can be found here

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

How to make the best crackling ever!

This recipe has been handed down through the mists of time - well at least since Christmas of 2008.

To make the best crackling ever follow these simple steps.

  • Cut the skin off the joint or belly pork trying to keep it in one piece.
  • Lay the skin on a tray, cover and ideally leave overnight so that it dries out a bit.
  • When you are ready to cook the crackling put the skin onto a wire oven tray and place in the oven at a temperature of 200 - 220 C. Season to taste.
  • Ensure that you have a tray underneath to catch the excess fat as it drips off and so avoid an unholy mess.
  • Check the crackling as it cooks and remove it from the oven when it is to your liking.
  • Cut it up and put on a plate and hopefully there will be some left by the time it reaches the table.
Works every time for us. 

Draft code of practice to reduce online copyright infringement

A proposed code of practice which implements legislative measures aimed at reducing online copyright infringement has been published by Ofcom, as part of its new duties under the Digital Economy Act 2010.

The Act requires that the code of practice is implemented no later than eight months from Royal Assent, including approval from the European Commission.

Subject to consultation and approval, Ofcom expects the code to come into force in early 2011.

Read more about it here.