Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Official Google Blog: Surf's up Wednesday: Google Wave update

Official Google Blog: Surf's up Wednesday: Google Wave update

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through
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Sunday, 27 September 2009

[ Credit ] Open Question : Did anyone get offered a personal loan from Ridel financial group?

[ Credit ] Open Question : Did anyone get offered a personal loan from Ridel financial group?: "Hopefully not the scammed me. they offfered me a personal loan but said I had to pay 700 hundred dollars upfront. and then after sending money the said they needed more money cause my credit was so bad. sent that and the still have not sent a me the loan!!!"

The Roving Giraffe says - that l will check out this so called lender and anyone got any other information about them please let me know? One thing l will not tolerate is lenders that rip people off as the words fee scamming, is what it was called when l started in business. The words echo in my head and taking money upfront before providing a loan is nothing new but it should be held in escrow or a letter of under-taking should be issued prior to receipt of any funds and then confirmation that only administration costs will be deducted of a maximum of say £50.00 to cover their costs, but not until they have provided a way forward however painful for the consumer.

I left the consumer finance industry back in 1996 as l saw too much of the dishonesty and did nothing about it at the time, but l am back and will now put any institution, lender or financier out of business if they rip off people. G {Ian]

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

[ Other - Business & Finance ] Open Question : How do I get into Commercial Lending and how do I find that Business?

[ Other - Business & Finance ] Open Question : How do I get into Commercial Lending and how do I find that Business?: "'I would like to get into Commercial lending as a Career, been a Residential Loan Officer for 7 years and want to branch out on the commercial side of things. How do I do that, where is there training available and how do I obtain that kind of business? Thanks for your Time, lhart@mordicorp.com'"

The Roving Giraffe says- that when l first started back in the early 80`s in commercial funding l put together business plans for banks and lenders, but the one thing l really wanted to do was to provide my own funding. Now all these years later l can provide people that need help and guidance exactly what they need. When anyone goes into business they need good honest advice as so many do not understand that being able to make money is not as easy as people say, l have had it all lost it all and got it all again. But what makes me happy now is seeing successful people providing good honest products and services and getting repeat business year after year.

So if you are one of these people and want to showcase your business idea, service or spread the word of what you can do to help and guide people, let me know leave a comment,email me or leave a link to your site. I promise if it is a good idea or the products will enhance our products file then let me know. G {Ian]

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Shoppers' anger as M&S ditches famous 90-day returns policy

Shoppers' anger as M&S ditches famous 90-day returns policy: "
Internet forums reveal that a number of shoppers are unhappy about the change, which appears to have been prompted by cost-cutting at the store."

The Roving Giraffe says that the bigger these stores become the more when their profits get hit do they hit the poor old shopper.As everyone else suffers and has to have less as incomes and jobs get hit, our major retailers who say they care,when the going gets difficult for them it is then they prove whether they care or not.

What do you think out their in web-land ? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Cash-strapped Britons 'selling kidneys to pay mortgages and clear debts'

Cash-strapped Britons 'selling kidneys to pay mortgages and clear debts': "
The would-be 'donors', who include a nurse and a taxi driver, are charging up to £60,000 plus expenses, an investigation found."

The Roving Giraffe says that this is the beginning of the end and to sell your body parts is bad enough but it is the people that are purchasing them are worse, what does anyone believe ? Let us discuss with people that really care ?

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

slashdot: Cyber Gangs Raise Profile of Commerical Online Bank Security http://bit.ly/18U5DQ

slashdot: Cyber Gangs Raise Profile of Commerical Online Bank Security http://bit.ly/18U5DQ: "slashdot: Cyber Gangs Raise Profile of Commerical Online Bank Security http://bit.ly/18U5DQ"

The Giraffe says we need to protect our credit and debit cards on-line with the best security protection we can use Verisign or vidoop.com to protect yourself and keep out the nasties. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Official Google Blog: Jump to the information you want right from the search snippets

Official Google Blog: Jump to the information you want right from the search snippets

The Giraffe says l have used this facility in news snippets for a while now and find it extremely useful as a way to share. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Kurt Cobain Quotes

Kurt Cobain Quotes

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" The Roving Giraffe quote of the day says that a friend is only a friend when you need them most.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Woman declares "debtor's revolt" on Bank of America; they respond by reducing her credit rate

Woman declares "debtor's revolt" on Bank of America; they respond by reducing her credit rate: "Ann Minch, a Bank of America customer in California, wasn't happy when BOA upped her interest rate from 13 to 30 percent. So of course, she went to YouTube and declared a debtor's revolt. After over 250,000 views, the bank changed her rate back (no word on whether the video influenced their decision).

Learn more from CBS News, and check out her passionate video here:

"

The Roving Giraffe says well done to Ann Minch and it shows that when people stand up for what they believe then big corporate banks and finance houses can not run rough shod over people by just ignoring their views. So the Giraffe and Ian Draper Editor of this blog and network support you ANN and well done. Also a great big thank you to citizen tube for their blogger blog and keep them videos coming. G {Ian}

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Energy bills set to rise further, companies warn

Energy bills set to rise further, companies warn: "

Consumer Focus, the homeowner energy watchdog, says households are being overcharged by £100 a year

New figures out today from energy regulator, Ofgem, have given more ammunition to those accusing British Gas and others of failing to pass on wholesale price cuts to consumers. But companies have responded with a 'chilling' warning that future prices are likely to go up even more rather than down.

Ofgem estimates power firms will make gross margins of £170 for a dual fuel customer over the next 12 months - compared with an average of £110 over the last three years - unless they reduce bills.

'Our analysis shows that based on an 18-month hedging strategy and assuming that retail prices remain unchanged, projected gross margin is set to increase by around £80 for dual fuel customers over the next six months.'

Consumer Focus, the homeowners energy watchdog, said last month that households were currently being overcharged by £100 a year and the comments from Ofgem reinforced this view. 'We believe there is scope for price cuts,' said a spokeswoman for Consumer Focus.

The major suppliers, however, have made clear in responses to the regulator published today that they have little intention of doing this, arguing that wholesale prices are set to rise next year.

British Gas, the biggest supplier, said: 'Prices (are) likely to remain at historically high levels, and in fact likely to increase as non-commodity costs rise ever upwards.'

Scottish and Southern Energy said: 'With forward annual wholesale prices significantly higher, and with upward pressures in terms of distribution, environmental and social costs, seeking to avoid an increase between now and the end of 2010 is an important goal.'

EDF, the French-owned utility, was slightly more conciliatory saying: 'We would of course be willing to reduce tariffs if market conditions allow' but Consumer Focus described the overall tenor of the comments as chilling.

Ofgem was less critical, pointing out that supplier margins are not wholly taken as profit as they also include operating costs, such as staffing, sales, and marketing.

And the regulator accepts that suppliers have been faced with higher bad debt charges as customers have fallen behind with bills amid the recession. A spokesman said Ofgem did not believe profiteering was going on, nor was there evidence of any cartel in operation. 'It is up to the companies themselves to decide whether to cut their bills.

Consumer Focus data suggests that Scottish Power has increased dual fuel prices by the most since 2003 - up 148% - while decreasing prices by 0.6% so far this year. RWE's npower has increased tariffs by 132% since 2003, but has reduced bills by 2.7% in 2009.'


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"

The Roving Giraffe comments as follows that words fail me when we have a paper tiger that acts for and on our behalf in telling us that energy companies have overheads and additional costs, have they ever run a business l ask? The article is well written and points out that energy bills are set to rise over the next 6 months by up to £80.00 for dual fuel customers but the energy watchdog, said last month that households were currently being overcharged by £100.00 per year and comments from Ofgem reinforced this view.

Now correct me if l am wrong but Ofgem stated earlier in that energy companies have overheads and additional costs l would reckon that is taken care of quite easily by the increases being agreed by the regulator and the fact that the over charging of £100.00 per year for households. So the energy companies can be assured under this system that they will always be able to pay their additional overheads and bills courtesy of the good old consumer,paying their bills for them ?

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Tenants move away from right-to-buy in favour of renting

Tenants move away from right-to-buy in favour of renting: "

The right to buy, the totemic policy of the Thatcher years, has lost its allure for social housing tenants who now overwhelmingly want to continue renting their homes, according to an official survey to be released today.

Fewer than one in eight tenants of council or housing association properties say they would like to own their house or flat. A decade ago, the proportion was almost one in three.

In a further sign of the falling appeal of home ownership, the survey has found that only 8% of people who bought a stake in their homes through shared ownership arrangements have gone on to raise their initial investment.

The findings, for the government's Tenant Services Authority (TSA), point to a change in attitudes towards home ownership. Under Margaret Thatcher's administration, introduction of the right for tenants to buy their council properties was credited with transforming the social and political outlook of millions.

Between 1980 and 1996, more than 2m council houses and flats were sold to their tenants at hefty discounts and the proportion of people living in social housing fell from more than 40% to less than 20%. When he was environment secretary responsible for the policy, Michael Heseltine described it as 'one of the most important social revolutions of the century'.

The TSA survey suggests that the revolution may be over. Of a large sample, of 21,000 tenants of council and housing association properties, only 12% said they wanted to go on to own their home. In a previous survey in 1999, the proportion was 32%.

Attitudes towards renting have correspondingly improved over the past decade, with 81% of social tenants now expressing satisfaction with their landlords and 72% saying they intend to stay in the sector for the next 10 years.

Peter Marsh, the TSA's chief executive, said there was a clear 'pull factor' of landlords delivering a better service. But people had also been deterred from wanting to buy their homes by trends in house prices: growth far outstripping any rise in income for most of the past decade, followed by recent volatility. 'I think that's probably also been a key driver explaining why 92% of shared owners have not bought more than their initial stake,' Marsh said.

Shared ownership was seen in part as a staging post towards full owner-occupier status for people unable to make the move in one go. The TSA intends to set up an advisory group to investigate whether new forms of tenancy or part-ownership may be needed to promote movement between sectors.

'In the past, shared ownership has been seen as a stepping stone into full owner occupation, but our findings show there's a lack of appetite for shared owners to increase the share of their home,' Marsh said.

There are about four million houses and flats remaining in the social housing sector, equally divided between housing associations and councils or arms-length council housing providers. Some 1.7m households are on housing waiting lists.

After years of almost no building of new properties, funds have been released to build 14,000 homes a year over the next decade.

The slump in interest in right-to-buy will be mixed news for councils, however. At a time of acute pressure on their finances, receipts from selling social housing would be welcome development funds.

A report on social housing by the Audit Commission spending watchdog earlier this month referred to one council, which it did not identify, that had sold just one property under right-to-buy in 2008-09. Previously, it had been selling 10 a month.


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"

The Roving Giraffe comments on this article and relates back to my days when l provided mortgages for people to enable them to purchase their right-to-buy property. It seems a long time ago since l was a broker and provided that type of help and guidance but now we are as this article states returning to the idea of renting, rather than buying.

So what does this provide that we lack in today`s modern day Britain to answer this we need to return to what we had back before the Thatcher years and that was housing stock. When a young couple had no place to go after leaving mum and dad they could get a house from the council and rent it at a fair price and make it their own with decoration and improve its look not value. Then one day it is all gone, yes l was responsible and take my part of the blame but if the government had not allowed right-to-buy then we still have somewhere for a young couple to call their own home even though it may not be worth the hundreds and thousands they cost today. Now our young people cannot afford their first home and there is no housing stock to provide their first rung of the ladder.

So maybe this is a way back, what do you all think or do you prefer things as they are ? Comment/Disqus Ian

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Building firms braced for £200m fines after OFT cartel inquiry

Building firms braced for £200m fines after OFT cartel inquiry: "

• 112 companies accused of years of price fixing
• Balfour Beatty and Kier Group listed as offenders

More than 100 British construction firms, including Balfour Beatty and Kier Group, face fines totalling more than £200m tomorrowwhen the Office of Fair Trading concludes its investigation into bid rigging.

The OFT will announce to the stock exchange the results of its five-year investigation into the cartel behaviour which it claims has artificially inflated the cost of £3bn of public and private sector contracts.

The watchdog has accused 112 firms of colluding to artificially drive up the price of contracts put out to tender between 2000 and 2006. The contracts investigated include several public sector projects to build social housing, schools, hospitals and universities.

The OFT has the power to fine the companies up to 10% of their turnover. One lawyer who has been involved in the investigation said: 'The headline fines will be high.' He added that the OFT, which has devoted dozens of investigators and lawyers to the inquiry, will also be under pressure to justify going to such lengths and levy suitably high penalties.

The OFT may allow construction firms hit by the property downturn to pay the fines in instalments.

About half of those accused, thought mostly to be smaller firms, have admitted their guilt to reduce their fines to 1% or 2% of turnover. The Local Government Association (LGA) is demanding that the authorities that have fallen victim to the scam receive the proceeds of the fines, which could total as much as £1bn.

An LGA spokesman said: 'There can be no excuse for any form of cover price or bid rigging which leaves councils and taxpayers picking up the bill.'

The construction industry has warned that fines could be disproportionately high because the industry typically has high turnover and small profit margins. The National Federation of Builders (NFB) – which represents about 1,500 small and medium sized companies – also warned that many of the smaller offending firms could go out of business, especially if blacklisted by local authorities.

Julia Evans, chief executive of the NFB, said: 'There are a lot of people out there waiting with bated breath to find out the extent of the fines levied by the OFT. As well as the size of the fines themselves, the other area of concern for us is that local authorities could end up unfairly blacklisting these firms. If this happens, many of the smaller contractors affected could go out of business.'

The Office of Government Commerce, which gives advice on public spending, will also set out guidance to local authorities on how to respond to the OFT's findings and whether to tender contracts to guilty firms.

Privately, the industry has admitted that the practice of bid rigging and cover price fixing was widespread for some time before the OFT intervened. The most serious practice of bid rigging involved companies that had no intention of winning a contract colluding to place deliberately high bids to make a rival's lower bid appears more competitive.

The more common practice of cover pricing involved companies tabling artificially high bids for contracts they had no intention of winning. They would do this if they did not have the resources to carry out the work, but wanted to remain on the client company's list of preferred bidders for future tenders.

Both practices had the effect of inflating the final price of the contract. The industry claims that firms no longer engage in such practices, which were more effective when the lowest priced bids – rather than 'best value' benchmark used now – typically won the business.

The OFT said last year that in the course of its investigation, which began in 2004, it found evidence of cover pricing in thousands of tender processes in the construction industry involving many more companies than the 112 named. But it focused the investigation, the largest of its kind, on 240 alleged infringements in England and raided the offices of 57 named firms.

The list of 112 companies investigated include large firms such as Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Kier Group, Henry Boot and Interserve. Many others are small family-run businesses.

John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, said last year: 'Cartel activity of the type alleged today harms the economy by distorting competition and keeping prices artificially high.'This investigation, together with the OFT's previous decisions in the roofing sector, will hopefully send out a strong message to the construction industry about the seriousness with which we view suspected anti-competitive behaviour. Businesses have no excuses for not knowing and abiding by the law.'


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The Roving Giraffe says that listening to this on BBC Radio 4 this morning l was alarmed to hear that companies contracted by the government of this country were found to have defrauded or is that too stronger word ? So shall we call it obtained by inflating their prices and maybe fined up to £200 million. This sounds bad already but the best was yet to come as stated by an official that it would be looked into but it would not stop any of these companies tendering for more contracts. It kind of smacks at jobs for the boys and even how to make money in the construction industry without even trying?

Well what is your opinion or is this how business should be conducted in this world discuss? Ian

" The Roving Giraffe News Report provided through Ace News Service

Pay off your credit card debts in the right order

Pay off your credit card debts in the right order: "

It means avoiding overpaying £500m a year, as Sam Dunn reports

Credit card users are routinely hit with hundreds of pounds in extra interest because banks force them to pay off their cheapest debts first. We now overpay an estimated £500m every year thanks to an "adverse order of payments", says Nationwide building society.

'Adverse order' means that by paying off your cheapest debt first, credit card companies let the more expensive ones last longer thus earning extra interest.

Typically, when you transfer a balance to a new credit card it is at 0% interest. If you then spend on the same card (charging, say, 15.9% APR for purchases) you may assume there'll be no interest if you pay this off the following month.

However, the monthly repayment is first used to pay down the original balance transfer: leaving the new purchase accruing interest.

Nearly every UK credit card provider penalises users this way. But Nationwide, along with Saga, pays off the more expensive debt first and is seeking to highlight the practice ahead of the government's consultation period for its 'Better Deal for Consumers' white paper.

"'Adverse payment order' particularly affects the most vulnerable - those who are facing difficulty and have to transfer debt between credit cards, or need to use their card for emergency cash withdrawals," says a Nationwide spokesman. Its calculations suggest an average customer can save £224 in interest by transferring a £2,020 debt to its Gold credit card compared to a regular card with "adverse order of payments".

Next year, US legislation ushers in rules requiring all card issuers to switch from adverse, or 'negative' OP, to 'positive', where pricey debt is always paid down first. Credit card companies here are under intense pressure to retain such charges after suffering hits to their income from lower penalty charges, high defaults, and lower payment protection insurance sales.

Since October 2008, credit card statements must tell customers about the payment order and which charges are paid off first. However, says David Black of financial analyst Defaqto, 'these are unclear ... and many customers won't understand precisely how it works'.

The complexity of some balance transfer deals are getting worse and appear designed to catch customers out, consumer group Which? argues.

LloydsTSB Platinum card offers a 12-month balance transfer at 0%, but only if you spend £100 in the first three months on the same card. "It shouldn't be the case that any card company has offers that require people to run up more debt," says Martyn Saville of Which?

The best way to protect yourself against such charges is to take out a 0% balance transfer card and use it only for repaying the original debt.

Keep on top of interest payments by:

• Using separate cards for balance transfers and purchases: monitor exactly how much you're repaying and spending and avoid running up unnecessary debt.

• Not all banks follow the same order of payments, so double-check the rules: they are in the summary box on your monthly statement and may appear under 'allocation of payments'.

• If you're after a separate balance transfer card but don't have a spotless credit record and worry about further damage through fruitless applications, try comparison site MoneySupermarket.com's 'smartsearch' option. This lets you assess your credit worthiness and then attempts to match you up with the best most suitable card.


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"

The Roving Giraffe Reports that this is the right way to pay off your credit cards and balance transfers as all interest will increase your indebtedness and repayment ability ,by repaying the cheapest interest ones first. We are able at Adam Christian Enterprises {UK} to offer through our business services " A FREE NO OBLIGATION ADVICE SERVICE" with the launch of our brand new Adam Christian Debt Management Service. So for more information contact us by leaving a comment and your email details of email your details in strictest confidence to myself Ian Draper at idadamchristian96@googlemail.com or for more information checkout our profiles at http://www.google.com/profiles/idadamchristian96 and thank you. Ian

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Google Wins Partial Victory in Legal Battle Over Trademarks

Google Wins Partial Victory in Legal Battle Over Trademarks

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Sophisticated Botnet Causing a Surge in Click Fraud

Sophisticated Botnet Causing a Surge in Click Fraud

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Monday, 21 September 2009

All those gadgets we

All those gadgets we’re using? Yeah, we’re draining a whole lot of power these days.

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Broad Street vs. Birmingham’s Cultural Heritage

Broad Street vs. Birmingham’s Cultural Heritage: "


The lovely Ben Whitehouse made an excellent point on Twitter this evening - we spend time celebrating the various celebrities of Birmingham, but there are some terrible glaring omissions too.


On the top of Ben’s list (by default, she’s the easiest to make a case for..) is Dame Barbara Cartland - BORN IN EDGBASTON!  Other missing talent includes: David Lodge, John Wyndham, Barbara Cartland, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Sir Barry Jackson, Arthur Conan Doyle.  Admittedly, Dexy’s strikes me as the odd one out in that list - but even so, it’d make for an eclectic alternative ‘walk of fame‘ instead of the obvious Ozzy Osbourne and Frank Skinner.


If you were to add anyone to the walk, who would it be and why?


And if you were to create a more ‘cultural’ walk, where would you put it and why?




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The Roving Giraffe says can you name someone of note in Birmingham that would be added to the list and help support the walk.G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Artists’s Taking the Lead - thoughts?

Artists’s Taking the Lead - thoughts?: "


The Arts Council recently asked for regional submissions to win a significant pot of money under the title ‘Artists Taking the Lead’ - linking into themes of the Cultural Olympiad, and leading up to the 2012 Olympics.


The first selection process has happened, and details of the potential regional winners have been announced and can be found here. Unsurprisingly, all of the West Midlands shortlisted are designed to happen in Birmingham (with perhaps the exception of Imagineer Productions - which doesn’t specify, but has obvious Coventry connections?) and so it seemed relevant to point it out to the CiB readers and point you to the site where comments are invited on which idea excites you the most.


I have rather strong feelings on the selected few and would be curious to find out what you all think. If any particularly strike you (either positively or negatively!) then feel free to leave a quick comment below explaining why.




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The Roving Giraffe says that the more we support small arts and theater companies the better are range of tastes are being catered for in this world of big is better. The Giraffe supports free enterprise and wants your comments? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

slashdot: Iranian Government Cuts Off Internet Access Again http://bit.ly/3Kx8A

slashdot: Iranian Government Cuts Off Internet Access Again http://bit.ly/3Kx8A: "slashdot: Iranian Government Cuts Off Internet Access Again http://bit.ly/3Kx8A"

The Roving Giraffe says that each time the people of Iran stand up for what they believe they are stopped from broadcasting a bit like Nazi Germany during the second world war. If they could not use it for propaganda themselves then no one else could and anyone found with a radio was arrested. Are we going backward or forward in this new world of free speech and human rights. G

"The Roving Giraffe News Report" provided through Ace News Service

Only 5% of web users would pay for online news, reports survey | paidContent:UK | Media | ...

Only 5% of web users would pay for online news, reports survey | paidContent:UK | Media | ...: "

'Only 5% would pay for online news': If Rupert Murdoch thinks readers will pay to read his websites, maybe he sh.. http://bit.ly/4jAVUR

0 comments Source: www.guardian.co.uk

"

The Roving Giraffe says why read news provided by Rupert Murdoch when Google provide such an excellent service, try their customised alerts when you download desk-top apis, they are great. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

New Trojan virus poses online banking threat - Times Online

New Trojan virus poses online banking threat - Times Online

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Homeowners avoid selling up amid dwindling supplies of houses available to buy - Times Online

Homeowners avoid selling up amid dwindling supplies of houses available to buy - Times Online

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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Energy bills set to rise further, companies warn

Energy bills set to rise further, companies warn: "

Consumer Focus, the homeowner energy watchdog, says households are being overcharged by £100 a year

New figures out today from energy regulator, Ofgem, have given more ammunition to those accusing British Gas and others of failing to pass on wholesale price cuts to consumers. But companies have responded with a 'chilling' warning that future prices are likely to go up even more rather than down.

Ofgem estimates power firms will make gross margins of £170 for a dual fuel customer over the next 12 months - compared with an average of £110 over the last three years - unless they reduce bills.

'Our analysis shows that based on an 18-month hedging strategy and assuming that retail prices remain unchanged, projected gross margin is set to increase by around £80 for dual fuel customers over the next six months.'

Consumer Focus, the homeowners energy watchdog, said last month that households were currently being overcharged by £100 a year and the comments from Ofgem reinforced this view. 'We believe there is scope for price cuts,' said a spokeswoman for Consumer Focus.

The major suppliers, however, have made clear in responses to the regulator published today that they have little intention of doing this, arguing that wholesale prices are set to rise next year.

British Gas, the biggest supplier, said: 'Prices (are) likely to remain at historically high levels, and in fact likely to increase as non-commodity costs rise ever upwards.'

Scottish and Southern Energy said: 'With forward annual wholesale prices significantly higher, and with upward pressures in terms of distribution, environmental and social costs, seeking to avoid an increase between now and the end of 2010 is an important goal.'

EDF, the French-owned utility, was slightly more conciliatory saying: 'We would of course be willing to reduce tariffs if market conditions allow' but Consumer Focus described the overall tenor of the comments as chilling.

Ofgem was less critical, pointing out that supplier margins are not wholly taken as profit as they also include operating costs, such as staffing, sales, and marketing.

And the regulator accepts that suppliers have been faced with higher bad debt charges as customers have fallen behind with bills amid the recession. A spokesman said Ofgem did not believe profiteering was going on, nor was there evidence of any cartel in operation. 'It is up to the companies themselves to decide whether to cut their bills.

Consumer Focus data suggests that Scottish Power has increased dual fuel prices by the most since 2003 - up 148% - while decreasing prices by 0.6% so far this year. RWE's npower has increased tariffs by 132% since 2003, but has reduced bills by 2.7% in 2009.'


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"

The Roving Giraffe says that having had experience in trying to help and guide people in the way to sort out their financial affairs this will only provide me with more clients to help and guide, but it will cause the elderly and house bound a lot more stress in the years to come. Come on Mr Brown here is something to redeem your reputation sort out the power companies.

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Charity Mentors are Here for YOU!

Charity Mentors are Here for YOU!: "

Hello lensmasters and savvy non-profits!


Not only does Squidoo offer a selection of Citizen Squid Mentors to help you with everything from images and video to lens promotion, we also have a great group of volunteers ready and waiting to assist with all your charity partnership needs.


They are our Charity Mentors, to your rescue, and today we have a short interview with j_barnhart4 and SusannaDuffy to help you create better charity lenses.


***


Question 1: What is one important thing charities need to do on Squidoo in order to be successful?


j_barnhart4: I think the most important thing a charity can do is get their name out there. Join groups, add your two cents in the forums, be proactive but not overbearing. Present yourself as a caring group and not just somebody looking to make money.


SusannaDuffy: You need to show people why they should donate to you. So first make an interesting and useful lens, explain who you are and what you do. Why do you do it? How do you do it? Have your lens critiqued to ensure it’s the best that it can be.


***


Question 2: When you go to a charity lens, what details are you looking for?


SusannaDuffy: Details of your organisation. Are you genuine? Show me some photos of your organisation and photos of what you do. If I’ve come across you on the web, how do I know you’re sincere? Convince me.


j_barnhart4: I look for the soul of the charity. Who’s running it? What have they done with the donations they have collected? How is that charity really contributing? I love to pictures of the charity in action.


***


Question 3: If a charity were considering joining, but wasn’t sure, what encouragement would you give?


j_barnhart4: Give it a shot! Making lenses is easy and there is a ton of support. Someone is always willing to answer questions and the charity mentors are always available. Don’t be afraid to go that extra mile in the name of your charity.


SusannaDuffy: Jump in. There’s plenty of people to help if you need advice. Squidoo has a warm and encouraging community of lensmasters all happy to assist each other.


***


Bonus: Which is your favorite charity on Squidoo?


SusannaDuffy: Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary with clear and open information readily available about what they do.


j_barnhart4: I like to donate money from my lenses to the Diabetes Research Foundation. Diabetes run in my family and I hope that a cure is found soon. I also have to give a shout out to one of the more proactive charities on Squidoo, A Day of Hope. Christopher Scott is very outgoing and active on Squidoo. He is a genuine, caring person and I applaud the efforts that he is making for his charity.


***


Thanks ladies - these are all simple, helpful tips to turn any charity into a Squidoo superstar partner charity.


For more information on how the Charity Mentors can help you, or to apply to be a mentor, visit the Charity Mentors headquarters.


Make it a fulfilling day!

~Kimberly Dawn Wells

YOUR Community and Charity Organizer




"

The Roving Giraffe says that we have two small lenses on squidoo with one under construction but it is a great way in a few minutes to tell the world what you believe in and how to give to a charity of your choice. Anyone adding their name to squidoo can have their lens featured on our network. Just send or leave a comment with your lens details and we will have a lens week? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through
Ace News Service

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Announcing Yola’s Kiva Lending Team

Announcing Yola’s Kiva Lending Team: "

kiva_logo_hirez1


As we approach the kickoff of SOCAP09, we’d like to invite our users to join Yola’s Kiva Lending Yeam. With Kiva, the Yola community can make loans directly to entrepreneurs around the globe. It’s fun. It’s easy. And it’s a powerful way to help real people achieve economic independence, improving life for themselves, their family, and their community.


Join us today!

"

The Roving Giraffe says l support micro finance and Kiva Loans a little goes a long way with a little help from our friends. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Google Online Security Blog: Ask the Google Anti-Malware Team

Google Online Security Blog: Ask the Google Anti-Malware Team

The Roving Giraffe says thank you to google for their help and guidance when l had a malware attack, we kept them out with google chrome and their help. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Food Justice in the Land of Abundance

Food Justice in the Land of Abundance: "


Although he is known as the father of the agricultural 'Green Revolution' in places like Mexico, India, Africa and Southeast Asia, the message that Dr. Norman Borlaug spread throughout his life--which unfortunately ended on September 12, 2009--is one that Americans must also take heed of.


While accepting his Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, Borlaug referred to an adequate supply of food as the 'first essential component of social justice.' Or in other words, as the one thing every country must ensure its citizens in order to truly be a civilized society.


In the U.S., there is a need to frame food (in)security as more of a social justice issue, rather than making the struggle to feed oneself simply about who has the money to purchase quality food and who does not.


We live in a country where the rate of obesity in our population is rapidly catching up to the number of citizens living in constant fear of going hungry. While these two conditions may appear to be distinct, the common thread weaving these groups together is lack of financial resources.


As the authors of the ground-breaking report The Paradox Between Hunger and Obesity in America (pdf) conclude, 'with fewer resources to buy food, or to obtain health care or other preventive or remedial interventions, the poor are particularly susceptible to damage from hunger/food insecurity, obesity, or both.'


It is not enough to ensure that everyone has enough to eat. What will truly be a turning point in the progression of American society is when each and every person has the ability to feed themselves with food that not only meets their caloric intake requirements, but doesn't make them sick either.


And unless we start to view access to healthy food as every bit as important of a human right as freedom of religion and freedom from racial or gender persecution, nothing is going to change.


In the words of the late Dr. Borlaug, 'without [access to healthy food], all other components of social justice are meaningless.'


(Photo credit: IRRI Images on Flickr)

"

The Roving Giraffe says that if we use food as a control over the poor and the the masses of this world then we will incite violence and disorder, as hungry people watching the 20% and growing of the world gorge themselves whilst the poor starve, will not be controlled for long ? Then the term human rights will take on a new meaning of " what is the human rights of an individual really mean" when food is available to those that are not able to grow their own. When do we help and guide these people and not control their lives to look good in the eyes of the World as charitable organisations raising money not awareness of their plight, we need advocates not dollars ? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Vivisectors vs. Vivisectors in a New Lawsuit

Vivisectors vs. Vivisectors in a New Lawsuit

Posted using ShareThis

Members Of Human Rights Expert Committee At UN Question Patents On Food

Members Of Human Rights Expert Committee At UN Question Patents On Food: "A group of experts working as a think-tank for the United Nations Human Rights Council raised the issue of patents and food at a meeting this week. Meanwhile, a new report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food expected to be available at the end of August will focus on the intersection between intellectual property and the human right to food.


"

The Roving Giraffe says that business should not affect the human rights of any individual to be fed in this world and a report by the UN on the right to food raises questions over control of people by other means ? If the group of so called experts in the think tank for the United Nations Human Rights do not grow teeth and say no then the hand that will eventually feed you will be determined by big business? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Open Source Textbook Service Sees Interest Jump

Open Source Textbook Service Sees Interest Jump: "A United States publisher of open source college textbooks - licensed under Creative Commons and fully remixable - has seen interest in its service increase more than 30-fold in the past several months, according to a press release [pdf] by the company. Flat World Knowledge aims to reduce the cost of textbooks for university students [...]


"

The Roving Giraffe says it is good to see open source at work in many areas of the Internet, but we all need to support these site for them to survive. The giraffe believes in open source do you ? G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Third Revision Of Patent Law In China

Third Revision Of Patent Law In China: "wenting-chengThe third amendment of China's patent law will enter into force from 1 October, 2009. In this article, Wenting Cheng explores the major changes in substantive requirements for patent grant, post grant enforcement and adaptation of Chinese patent law to international norms on the protection of intellectual property.


"

The Roving Giraffe says that as patent law is becoming more relevant in this world the Chinese are catching up with Britain and America and will soon be overtaking us in corporate law. G

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Technology Transfer Will Be Part Of Copenhagen Climate Deal

Technology Transfer Will Be Part Of Copenhagen Climate Deal: "COPENHAGEN - Technology transfer is bound to be part of a possible new international climate deal at the high-level meeting in Copenhagen in December, according to officials. Meanwhile, international economists have concluded that such transfers constitute a win-win situation for developed and developing countries when it comes to combating climate change.


"


" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through
Ace News Service

Friday, 11 September 2009

Make History with the National September 11th Memorial & Museum

Make History with the National September 11th Memorial & Museum: "The anniversary of September 11th evokes difficult memories here in New York and all over the world. The events of the day left an indelible mark on many New Yorkers, including me. The offices of my startup were at 30 West Broadway, right next door to 7 World Trade Center, so I was downtown that morning. I saw the planes hit and then watched, shocked, from the West Side Highway as the towers fell. It was a terrible day for all who were there, an impossible day for those who lost friends and loved ones and a shared experience of loss and grief for New York and the world.

Today I'm proud that Google is part of the launch of Make History, a website created by the National September 11th Memorial & Museum in partnership with design firm Local Projects. Make History is a participatory archive that invites people to share their experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath in an effort to preserve the memories of that time. The Museum has created a collaborative storytelling tool that makes innovative use of Street View through the Google Maps API. The Make History site allows people to place and then share their photos and videos in geographical context, collectively piecing together the history that was witnessed, one photo and video at a time.

To participate, simply go to the site and click 'Add Your Story.' You'll be asked to write about your experience of 9/11 and share your photos and videos, and then to place them at the spot where they were captured.





To power the Make History website, the Museum is using App Engine and leveraging the power of cloud computing. By taking advantage of the scalability of Google's infrastructure, the Museum can focus on building great applications and telling important stories — not on how many servers they will need.

The developer community that uses our tools and APIs is a source of inspiration for all of us at Google who work on platforms, partnerships and developer outreach — and Make History is a powerful example of why we all do what we do. This September 11th, as we sit with our memories of the day, we're honored to have been able to help enable the creation of such a significant and deeply moving archive.

Posted by Jill Szuchmacher, New Business Development


"

" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tornado now Open, thanks to Facebook

Tornado now Open, thanks to Facebook: "

image thumb21 Tornado now Open, thanks to Facebook


Facebook acquired FriendFeed and we all knew all that came with it. The brains and the technology plus the possibility on leveraging a very useful service online. Today Facebook announced something I wasn’t expecting it to for quite some time to come; Open sourcing a part of it. The Social Network released Tornado, a real time framework for Python. The framework will be able to handle traffic simultaneously with its support for the many tough tasks associated to Web  Development. These include localization, user authentication like Facebook Connect, etc. This would improve the quality of service at a high performance rate. I will be running through the details and you can download and read it here.



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" The Roving Giraffe News Report " provided through Ace News Service