Tag 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!

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.

Unlock application for iPhone 3GS has been released

A 20 year old hacker has found the mechanism to unlock new iPhone 3GS. George Hotz who was the first to unlock iPhone 3G claimed on his block that an app to unlock new phone is ready to use.  The application name is “purplera1n” and you have to have latest iTunes to install it.

Hacker says on his blog that jailbrake for Mac based computers is also on the way. Hotz claimed that he do not generally make the software for public use and users should back-up their data before trying to unlock. iPhone Dev team is yet to find unlock code.

I have figured out following 3 points:

  • Even the unlock application “purplera1n” is not free
  • It is still in beta version so can cause instability to your phone
  • It do not free you from current carrier

The last point is very important if you see it in broader sense, most of the people unlock their mobiles so they can use them when abroad with other carriers. What is the point to get your iPhone unlocked when I will not be able to choose any other carrier plus I will loose all the services given to my by my carrier here in UK, the O2. The best service I like is free Youtube. The unlocking will only return my iPhone to default factory settings leaving me out of all benefits given by my carrier.

P.S The Author is an avid iPhone user. You can reach him by leaving comments under this post.

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