Category Archives: United Kingdom

Current Airline Situation: Where is the Volcanic Ash Cloud now?

The biggest news in April 2010 that the air-space over UK and several other European countries was closed due to the fears that volcanic ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland can damage the airplanes, I got this news one fine Monday morning while going towards tube escalators that due to volcanic ash the airports are closed and passengers are advised to contact their airlines before leaving home. I never thought what could be the consequences of it, apparently the airspace remained closed for several days, caused airline industry millions of dollar damage and misery to the passengers who were caught oversees with no funds in their wallets.

Eyjafjallajokull Volcanic Ash Cloud

Well that is nature, I being a big supporter of nature and most of the time in-peace with whatever nature do with us, it always has a reason. Several of my friends marked it as the end of earth as there were couple of earth quacks in the world around the eruption as well but sadly what they forgot was when millions of years ago when earth was in it’s early stages,  the seismic activity was far frequent and was at a much larger scale. In fact today we make movies about the Ice Age is coming due to global warming etc. while we had an Ice Age before when likes of were not even on earth!  The only difference now is, we see every bit of this live on our television screens and our airspace get closed because of this and then in our comfortable routine lives, we think, oh that’s bizarre, no for me it’s not!

Well this disruption which this ash cloud is causing and will continue to cause for several days, holiday industry will be the one who will suffer most  this summer. I know this because I planned to go out traveling on next bank holiday weekend which is from 29th May to 31st May. Due to this cloud, I looked at euro-star website, even before good 3 weeks the prices were already near £86 one way for Paris. I had been to Paris last summer, that’s a wonderful city but can’t give that much money to just to be there again. After considering several options, I am now booked with Ryan Air for Stockholm. The ticket was cheap but now I am not sure whether I will be able to fly or should I have a plan B ready in case of disruption.
As I am now tracking this ash cloud from several days (since I booked my ticket), I now know that it all depends on the winds, the big ocean currents which rule the weather of earth. This ash cloud will be there for several months but it will keep on swaying itself. As UK is nearest to Iceland, the most disruptions will be caused here but again depends on the direction of wind. Stockholm again is not very far away.
As the ash cloud today again caused some airports to shut down for couple of days in south-east England which has the most busiest airports in UK, the MET office UK which is also acting as the main outlet to hand-out ash cloud predictions have decided to list next 5-days predictions of cloud direction on their website instead of only 18 hours.
So here are the charts for next 5 day prediction of volcanic ash cloud on MET Office UK Website. If you are like me, going out soon, booked your ticket and now praying that this cloud do not come on your way, you need to keep an eye on the cloud, we have the science to predict but do not have the science to control it. It’s nature at work!

UPDATE:  There is no ash cloud from several years in a row but British Govt. or European Union has done little in recent years to stop this happening again. London Heathrow is a major travel hub with hundreds of flights going from UK to Anywhere, if they stop, a major financial hub of the world get stuck in the middle. London to New York is major travel route for busy city executives, it’s important more than ever to devise protocols to keep planes operating in all sorts of environments!

Connection with Virgin Media ADSL National Service

Virgin media national ADSL service

Virgin media national ADSL service

After 7 weeks I got my ADSL from Virgin Media activated. It was a long pain since I moved my house and they told me that I am now in a national service area and can’t have a cable service. It was really great with them while I was on cable, never faced any problem but now from past 7 weeks (which was supposed to be a 2 weeks waiting time), it was a pain because all I could hear back from them was that they apologize for any inconvenience caused and because they are not charging me for the service, it was supposed to be their right to keep me pending from a service which is just like water and electricity for me.

Any way, today after coming back from the work I figured out that the ADSL LED on router was not blinking and Internet icon was also lit-up and then it took me more than 1 hour just to connect to the Internet. It wasn’t I am a novice or something, it was just because the customer service of Virgin National forgot to tell me my new account number or to mention the email address and password I need to use. Their lines were also closed as they close at 9p.m on weekdays. After much of Internet search I finally found the email address which ADSL service requires while connecting you. No, its not your virgin email address, its ADSL email address and its in this format your.name@adsl.virgin.net and then the password is your normal password which is of your account and which they ask every time you call them.

I just ran my speed test as well from speedtest.com and the download speed I am getting 1.98Mbps from Manchester while upload is 0.38Mbps. This is nearly 20% of Virgin average speeds but I am still happy at least I have got something.

Wondering why virgin took 5 extra weeks to activate the service? because they were out of capacity in the area (and a friend in Sheffield told me that they are always out of capacity) so, if you are going to order new connection, please ask them first if they have capacity in the new area, otherwise they will first get hold of your line then they will send you ADSL router, then they will give you activation dates twice and then when you will be really annoyed they will tell you that they are out of capacity. Be careful!

Virgin Media logo is official trademark of Virgin Media.

British mobile phone directory 118800 crashes on launch day

The first British mobile phone directory crashes after too many calls from the users who wanted to remove their mobile numbers from the directory.

118800 Mobile telephone directory service crashes after too many calls from users

118800 Mobile telephone directory service crashes after too many calls from users

This directory has been launched by a company who eventually paid millions to get that directory data from mobile operators. The service is not free and it charges £1 per search but eventually it operates like old-style telephone directories where you just give name or address and you are presented with the matching numbers. However, this is a controversial service as telemarketing is already a problem for UK population. Most of the telemarketers use mind control techniques and tell lies to sell their products and that is just because of their commission in sales. Now with the launch of this new mobile search directory, it has been clear the mobile phone companies do sell their customer data to outsiders which then use that data to trick customers. Please remember the data shared with third parties can only not be just your phone number and your name, that can be your address and even your email address.

My advise will be to visit 118800.co.uk now and see if it is available do request to remove your phone number immediately. Otherwise you will be bombarded by the telemarketers as soon as tomorrow.

Get Adobe Flash player