Saturday, 29 October 2011

TOP 20 BLOOD CURDLING FORD SAT NAV DESTINATIONS

With the country’s rich yet dark history of bloodthirsty monarchs, medieval folklore and witchcraft, Ford sat navs store a host of ghostly and sinister destinations – from the haunted castles of Scotland and England to Hanging Hill Lane, in Essex, and Cornwall’s ghostly Jamaica Inn.

Those who like a fun night of fright at Hallowe’en may not have to venture far. Ford has plundered data from its sat nav systems to come up with the UK's 20 scariest road names.  From Bats Lane in Dorset to Witches Walk in Bridgwater, these roads would spook any driver at Hallowe’en. Ford drivers looking for the scariest signs should head off to Dead Lane in Essex or Suffolk’s Blood Hill.

"These road names may appear frightening at first glance but there's rather more to it than that," said Dr James Willoughby, Oxford University historian. "Place-names derive usually from Old English words that were descriptive of the landscape the settlement sits in. They may look like modern words, but that's because they have changed their shape over the centuries.  Slaughters Rough is a good example. 'Slaughter' is generally agreed to come from an Old English word 'slohtre', meaning 'muddy place'."

Although the majority of these sinister sounding roads have an innocent origin, Dr Willoughby points out that some do carry a frightening reference to a dark chapter in Britain's past, such as Gallows Hill in Lancaster.

"Gallows Hill is a name referring to a former place of execution," he said. "In this particular case it refers to the place of execution of the so-called Pendle Witches, a group of a dozen witches who were tried in 1612 for the murders of 10 people by witchcraft."

Ford's top 20 scary road names:

1.    Ghost House Lane, Beeston, Nottinghamshire
2.    Devil's Dyke Road, Brighton
3.    Blood Hill, Somersham, Suffolk
4.    Warlock Road, Paddington
5.    Black Cat Drive, Northampton
6.    Gallow’s Hill, Warwick
7.    Hallow Road, Worcester
8.    Witches Walk, Bridgwater
9.    Ducking Stool Court, Romford
10.    Headless Cross Drive, Redditch
11.    Crucifix Lane, Camberwell
12.    Bats Lane, Winterbourne St Martin, Dorset
13.    Cemetery Road, Sheffield
14.    Dead Lane, Colchester, Essex
15.    Hanging Hill Lane, Brentwood, Essex
16.    Hell Lane, Wakefield
17.    Broomstick Lane, Botley
18.    Stake Lane, Farnborough
19.    Elm Street, Manchester
20.    Dark Lane, Bedworth 



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Friday, 28 October 2011

Ford of Britain 100: Image of the Week – 43/52

To celebrate the centenary of Ford of Britain in 2011 the company is exploring its photo archive to reveal rarely seen images. Ford's unique relationship with Britain and its society will be illustrated each week by specially selected pictures.

This week’s image shows the Ford Popular living up to its name at the 1954 Earls Court Motor Show.

In an era before online shopping and TV advertising, the motor show was an ideal opportunity for the British public to get close to a new vehicle. And for Ford customers that meant testing the interior comforts and, at a time when many drivers carried out their own servicing, having a good look at the engine.

At just £275 the Ford Popular allowed many people to own their first new car. 



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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Kentec orchestrates fire protection at the Harpa

Kentec Syncro fire alarm control panels have been chosen for a fire safety system designed to protect the new Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik, Iceland, that will become the new home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera.

This stunning new building, designed in co-operation with the artist Olafur Eliasson, is considered to be one of the most ambitious cultural projects the country has undertaken. It features a glittering facade that has been inspired by the magnificent natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights and changes constantly as the sun catches its acutely angled edges.

Such a prestigious project demands the highest standards of reliability and integrity in fire detection and fire safety, which is why specifiers, Iceland's Ark Security, selected a system based around Kentec's Syncro fire alarm control panels.

The system, comprising four Kentec Syncro Analogue Addressable fire control panels, each capable of producing 16 loops of addressable fire detection, is supported by Hochiki's open protocol fire data communications with nearly 1500 Hochiki sensing and detecting devices.




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Friday, 21 October 2011

Ford of Britain 100: Image of the Week – 42/52

To celebrate the centenary of Ford of Britain in 2011 the company is exploring its photo archive to reveal rarely seen images. Ford's unique relationship with Britain and its society will be illustrated each week by specially selected pictures.

This week’s image, from 1968, shows that it’s not just Harry Potter who can make the Ford Anglia fly. At the British Saloon Car Championship at Thruxton the little Ford goes up on two wheels as it takes a sharp left hander. The combination of size and speed made the Ford Anglia 105E a formidable competitor in the world of motorsport.

The performance tuning industry adored the ease at which the Ford Anglia 105E could be modified and its high-revving engine was almost unbreakable. It wasn’t long before Ford’s smallest car was punching well above its weight.

Memorable rally drives saw top female driver, Anne Hall, complete the gruelling East African Safari in 1961 and one-time Ford Competitions manager, Henry Taylor, take a respectable eighth position in the 1962 RAC Rally. On the track the Ford Anglia was a regular class winner in saloon car racing and in 1966 helped John Fitzpatrick become BTCC champion.

Production of the Ford Anglia ceased in 1967 but its place in history was assured and today privateers still race the little classic with the big heart. 



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Making an Entrance

13 Mansfield St
 We have all walked past them – beautiful old Victorian and Georgian terraces, ruined with replacement windows and doors, their appeal ripped out, not only in the sense of history, but also in their visual character and interest.

The rich variety of colour, texture and form, the individuality of natural wood and hand-made furniture, the abundance of intricate details from panelled timber and mouldings, flanked by ornate railings and street furniture, set against the softness of mature landscaping, are something special to be preserved.

I know I am waxing lyrical, but a property displaying its original features and charm is a joy to behold, you must admit.

Indeed, a dear friend of mine, rather than get her fine old Victorian front door repaired, replaced it with a version featuring vacuum moulded panels, black rubber seals, modern fan-lights within the door itself, and the icing on the cake - stuck-on strips in imitation of leaded lights.

The result?  The building now looks cheap and phoney, and has more than likely gone down in value, as well as losing a lot of its kerb appeal. Being that first thought from a potential buyer is going to be wondering what other period features have been removed from within.  Don’t get me wrong, though, because moulded and composite doors do have their place in modern buildings.

So, rather than replace a period door, or any door, whatever its age, that has been designed in harmony with a building’s overall appearance, it is better to call Plastic Surgeon, to repair it.  For preservation is their first instinct, which is why the company has a growing list of contracts involving conservation situations and building components so badly damaged that trades like carpenters and French polishers had declared the patient “beyond help”.

In most instances the damage they deal with is due to knocks and scrapes from shopping trolleys, pushchairs and moving furniture, or the modern curse for properties with no rear access – the wheelie bin.

While a carpenter will struggle to ‘let in’ a new section of timber and the average painter - armed with a tube of decorator’s caulk - has to admit defeat, our highly trained finishers have a van full of solutions at their disposal. A variety of tools and fillers, plus a wide choice of smoothing products mean defeat is not an option.

While a build up of two or three pack fillers, and careful sanding enable the original profile to be restored, it is in colour matching that their finishers excel. All of them being trained in blending pigments to replicate the original finish in hue and reflectance, while lacquers are applied to protect the repair in the future.

As well as undertaking repairs to timber doors they also tackle those manufactured from timber, steel, PVC-U and composites; while they can save trims and even door furniture.  Plus they can polish out scratches on glazing in doors, by skillfully using a graduation of abrasives on our very controllable powered tools. 

Find out more on the Plastic Surgeon website.






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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Industrial Sectional Doors – Expanding the Possibilities

Industrial Sectional Doors have made some great technological leaps in the last few years, with the most popular size still being 3metres x 3metres which are used for docking stations in distribution warehouses. 

However, the demand for larger sized doors is constantly increasing from customers such as shipyards, power plants, small airports and the agricultural sector.

There are three main challenges for larger sized doors:

Wind load resistance; their weight; and the counterbalance system to make the doors work. In many instances larger sized doors are installed in exposed locations such as on the coast or in other open spaces where the winds blow with greater force.

Increasing the size of the door increases the combined weight of the panels. For example a 15m X 6 m door can weigh up to 1000kgs and as a result, a powerful counterbalance system and motor is necessary to handle such a huge machine.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2012

The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2012 is now available in bookshops, priced at £14.99 (€17.99 in Ireland) or less at Amazon

This year’s guide sees the first British pub to be awarded two Michelin stars. The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, was opened by Tom and Beth Kerridge in 2005 and received its first Michelin star the following year.

Editor Rebecca Burr said “This is a good news story for the British pub industry and confirms our view that pubs serving good food are the ones that continue to thrive. In the 2012 guide we are delighted to have 13 pubs with Michelin stars”.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Fireco scoops two prestigious awards

Fireco, the UK's leading specialist in simple, effective services and solutions for fire safety management, is celebrating a double success at this year's British Engineering Excellence Awards.

Freedor, the world's first wireless, electrically powered free-swing door closer, has won the prestigious Mechanical Product of the Year category of this year's British Engineering Excellence Awards along with Fireco Design Engineer Darren Jones, who was crowned Young Design Engineer of the Year at the same Awards held at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.


These awards follow Freedor's winning of the best passive protection product award at the 2011 Fire Excellence Awards in May.

Freedor allows the fire door to swing freely and be left in any position, but will close the door when the fire alarm sounds. Freedor is a simple, neat and unobtrusive hold open device that improves access in buildings and allows flexibility in the use of more fluid layouts, and is easy to install in new buildings and retrofit.

For more product information contact Fireco on (local rate) 0845 241 7474, e-mail sales@firecoltd.com or visit www.firecoltd.com

Photo: Design Engineer Darren Jones, winner of BEEA Young Design Engineer of the Year with Fireco’s two awards. 



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Monday, 17 October 2011

New Contract Door Furniture from Carlisle Brass

Four new door handles in different designs have been added to Eurospec’s Contract Stainless Collection.  Manufactured in Grade 304 stainless steel, the handles are durable but aesthetic and are keenly priced making them ideal for both commercial and residential applications.  When fitted on FD30/60 fire doors they comply with BSEN1906 part 1:2000.

The handles comprise a 50mm diameter x 8mm thick Sprung Rose and, as with all handles in the Collection, have a fully featured 10-year mechanical guarantee.  Manufactured and tested to BS EN1906, they are coded CSL1121, CSL1127, CSL1134 and CSL1160.

The new handles complement the other products in the CSL range which include mortice knobs, escutcheons, D-pull handles through to square mitred pull handles and DDA compliant door furniture.

The Carlisle Design Group, one of the leading distributors of architectural ironmongery, supplies Carlisle Brass, EuroSpec, Eurolite and Carlisle Design Pre-pack.  Products include door and window furniture, locks, bathroom fittings, cabinet and cupboard hardware, high specification switch plates and sockets plus other ancillary products.


Further information is available from Carlisle Brass on 01228 511770 or visit  www.carlisledesigngroup.com
 






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Friday, 14 October 2011

Ford of Britain 100: Image of the Week – 41/52

1968 Colt - Capri Testing Finland
To celebrate the centenary of Ford of Britain in 2011 the company is exploring its photo archive to reveal rarely seen images. Ford's unique relationship with Britain and its society will be illustrated each week by specially selected pictures.

The end of summer is a good reminder for all drivers to carry out winter maintenance. A change of tyres and topping-up vehicle fluids can make all the difference between a smooth journey and a fraught one. Over the years Ford engineers have worked diligently to ensure that all Ford vehicles can operate efficiently whatever the weather.


This week’s image is from 1968 when the soon-to-be launched Ford Capri was still Project Colt, a programme for a European Mustang. In an age before sub-zero environmental laboratories, Ford specialists took to the wilds of Finland to ensure “the car you always promised yourself” could operate in the harshest climate.



2011 Dunton Environmental Laboratory
Today, Ford’s technicians can recreate the worst driving conditions imaginable within the safety and convenience of a laboratory. 

Ford test chambers reproduce temperatures from -40 to +55 degrees Centigrade and replicate an altitude of 4,000 metres above sea level, ensuring that Ford drivers can cope with anything the British winter has to offer. 






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My Blackberry is Not Working! - The One Ronnie, Preview - BBC One

 With all the news about Blackberry problems this week we thought as it's Friday afternoon we would share this comical take from Ronnie Corbett on the subject with you.

It needs sound enabled - enjoy!

NEW Insulated Access Door from Birmingham Garage and Industrial Doors Ltd

Birmingham Garage and Industrial Doors (BGID) has announced the introduction of a NEW Insulated Access Door which has been designed to match in appearance their Industrial Insulated Sectional Overhead Door.

Fitted within BGID’s established rebated section steel frame, this door offers strength and stability with a variety of locking systems, window styles and sizes.

Following BGID’s well known policy “flexibility is our strength” all doors are made to measure to suit individual opening dimensions.

For more information and to enquire about prices and availability call 0121 559 8666 or email mark@bgid.co.uk.




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Thursday, 13 October 2011

Do you Offer Training, Coaching or Private Lessons?

Make sure your earnings are declared because a campaign to target private tutors and coaches who have undeclared tax liabilities has just been launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The Tax Catch up Plan (TCP) is for people providing private lessons, regardless of whether they have a teaching qualification. It is aimed at those who profit from tuition and coaching, as a main or secondary income, on which the correct tax has not been paid because they have not told HMRC about it.

The opportunity is available to those providing tuition, instruction or coaching. This includes, for example, tuition of traditional academic subjects, fitness and dance instruction, musical instrument tuition, art, services provided by life coaches and others.

Under the plan, tutors and coaches have until 31 March 2012 to come forward and tell HMRC about their outstanding tax for the years up to 5 April 2010, and pay what they owe. The plan makes it easy for customers to put their tax affairs right and keep them on the right track in the future.

Those who come forward by the deadline are likely to receive the best possible terms for paying the tax owed. If they have to pay a penalty, it is unlikely to be more than 20 per cent of the unpaid tax. Those who wait for HMRC to come to them will find that they have to pay much higher penalties, or even face criminal prosecution. After 31 March, using information pulled together from different sources, HMRC will investigate those who have chosen not to come forward.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Small businesses could pay the price of online fraud as criminals hit back

Firms advised to take steps to minimise card fraud risks despite falling figures

With criminals hitting back against falling credit card fraud the Forum of Private Business is warning that small businesses are more vulnerable when taking online payments.

Recent figures from the UK Cards Association show that, while debit and credit card fraud has fallen to its lowest level for 11 years as a result of chip and pin technology, attempts to infiltrate consumer accounts, steal identities and forge payments are increasing.

Banks have tightened their security systems – including introducing physical devices for taking online payments – but despite lower levels of online fraud many small businesses are bearing the brunt of breaches of supposedly secure payment systems.

For example, in instances where credit card information gained illegally is used to place an order for which the original cardholder will not pay out, the e-Commerce merchant is expected refund all the expenses and cover the hassle by paying a chargeback fee.

Even when no fraud has occurred entrepreneurs are being hit. Recently, PayPal has been accused of withholding traders’ Ebay payments for up to six months when accounts are automatically limited following suspicions of fraud. Even those who establish that there has been no crime often struggle to unfreeze their accounts.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Size really does matter: UK Garages are too small for modern cars


According to leading garage door installers and distributors in the UK, more homeowners are being forced to leave their cars in the street because they are now too big to fit in their garages. 

The size of the average garage is still being designed according to measurements from the 1930s when cars were significantly narrower.

The "industry standard" garage door comes in at seven feet (2135mm) wide with architects designing, and developers building garages only a little wider internally. This leaves drivers with very little room to open the car door, let alone park their cars. This video we found on YouTube comically illustrates the point well!

Width is not the only problem, it's length too! Some garages are also too short on length for some larger models, presumably leading to people having to point their car at the garage then push it in and leave the door up!

Seriously though, with many people also using garage space for storage, even fitting in a small car can be a tight squeeze. But with four-wheel drives, MPVs and SUVs becoming increasingly popular, many have no choice but to leave them on the street.

This puts them at greater risk of vandalism and theft and car owners consequently will see a rise in their car insurance premiums.

Laponie Ice Driving is launching their 2012 season with a new circuit playground: Silverstone

Laponie Ice Driving, a program offering high level car experiences in Arjeplog (Swedish Lapland) is announcing the launch of its 2012 season which will take place from January through to March. An exclusive offer this year: a replica of the world famous British Formula One circuit, Silverstone.

For the most passionate and demanding individuals in search of exhilarating thrills and new experiences, Laponie Ice Driving offers a chance to drive exceptional vehicles on ice tracks which are exact replicas of famous Formula 1 circuits (Le Castellet and Silverstone) in the middle of the Far Swedish North.

Find out more about this unique experience by viewing the video below:


Laponie Ice Driving was founded in 1999 by Eric GALLARDO, vehicle behavior expert and professional instructor, offering high level vehicle experiences in Swedish Lapland since 2006. This program allows amateurs of extreme sports and exhilarating thrills to drive on ice in the heart of the Far Swedish North. 


The fleet is made up of sports cars that have up to 400 HP (Porsche, Corvette, Mitsubishi, etc.,) and is available to individuals and companies who want to try out the joy of sports driving on famous professional circuits such as Le Castellet (1.1 miles) and Silverstone (3.2 miles). 

Find out more on the Laponie Ice Driving website.




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Monday, 10 October 2011

Gilgen Door Systems gains Achilles approval


Leading door manufacturer and supplier Gilgen Door Systems are delighted to announce their recent approval by Achilles; a professional procurement service.



Achilles is one of the world’s leading supplier information managers. It is a web based service that identifies, evaluates and monitors suppliers on behalf of buyers  worldwide.  Gilgen Door Systems is now fully registered as a supplier on the Utilities Vendor Database for security equipment, enclosures and kiosks, fixtures and fittings and buildings/office maintenance and refurbishment services.


Buyers using Achillies can now find Gilgen Door Systems as a supplier for automated industrial roller shutters and grilles including master control systems, sectional overhead, high speed and steel doors, automatic doors, security rated products  and door maintenance and repair services.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

DHF Roller shutter safety guide is top download choice of specifiers and contractors

A best practice guide which is helping raise roller shutter safety standards is the most popular download from the Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) website, www.dhfonline.org.uk .

A total of 4,000 copies of the DHF Best Practice Guide for the Methods of Restraining Roller Shutter Door Barrels were downloaded in the last three month period.
It has consistently taken first place in the “top ten downloads” from the DHF site.

The Health & Safety Executive-endorsed document is a comprehensive guide to improving the methods of restraining roller shutter door barrels. It details the design characteristics which must be considered when specifying or supplying roller shutter door barrels.

An HSE inquiry into accidents involving industrial doors and shutters produced by non DHF members led to the production of the best practice guide, said DHF general manager and secretary Michael Skelding.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ford of Britain 100: Image of the Week – 40/52

To celebrate the centenary of Ford of Britain in 2011 the company is exploring its photo archive to reveal rarely seen images. Ford's unique relationship with Britain and its society will be illustrated each week by specially selected pictures.

Since its launch in 1965 the Ford Transit has proved exceptionally versatile. The extensive combination of wheelbase and body styles has helped the Ford Transit remain at the top of the sales charts for 45 years. 

A key benefit of any Ford Transit is its excellent load carrying capability, as seen in this week’s image as handlers at Regents Park Zoo transport two baby elephants in 1965. Over the decades Ford Transits have been used as giant drink cans, space-age vehicles and monster trucks.

Being Prepared for Winter

Changeable winter weather conditions in the UK leave millions of motorists stranded every year. Many people fail to prepare for severe weather and this causes major problems. 

To ensure you have a safe journey whatever the weather, take a trip to Halfords and try out our following extreme weather motoring solutions:

Follow these top ten tips from Halfords to make sure you are ready and to avoid being left out in the cold:

1. Be safe - Consider if your journey is necessary. Check the local and national weather forecasts before you set off. Where possible do not travel. If you feel you need to travel, set off as early as possible. Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.  

2. Plan ahead - Plan your route with the TomTom Via LIVE 125 Sat Nav. This great 5” touch screen sat nav features UK, ROI and full Europe mapping. It also provides accurate traffic information with TomTom HD Traffic and comes with enhanced driving features, including full Voice Control, hands-free call answering as standard & spoken street names. It also has advanced lane guidance, letting you know exactly which lane you are supposed to be in, combined with IQ routes the Via function will accurately calculate your journey length based on real speed data collected from other TomTom users. Save £100 as it’s now £199.99. 

3. Pump it up! - Check your tyres tread regularly along with your tyre pressure. Both can make all the difference when travelling in difficult conditions. Pick up a tyre pressure gauge from Halfords for as little a £5.99. 

4. Emergency kit - carry an extra winter pack in addition to your usual emergency equipment. Try the AA Winter Kit priced at £19.99 as it contains a wind up torch, foldable shovel, blanket and high visibility vest. 

5. Be prepared - Make sure you have extra clothing, a blanket, drinks, food, snow shovel, and Halfords Snow and Ice Grips for your shoes priced at £19.99, to make life easier should you get caught out in the cold. 

6. Keep it clean - Make sure your screen wash is topped up to maintain visibility and prevent spray from freezing on the windscreen. Try Halfords Premium Ready Mix Screenwash, priced £5.99 for 5 litres*. 

7. Keep your cool – Check you coolant levels regularly to ensure you don’t suffer any problems. Use the anti-freeze tester from Halfords, priced £1.99 to check your levels. Top up with Halfords Anti-Freeze and summer Coolant, priced from just £5.99 for 1 litre. 

8. Charge your batteries – Make sure you have no problems starting off. Keep your battery fully charged with the Halfords Fully Auto Battery Charger priced at £39.99. Alternatively if a new battery is required, Halfords has a wide range starting from as little as £54.99. Halfords also offer a fitting service on batteries from £4.99. 

9. De-frost - Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before you set off. For minimum effort in the cold, try Halfords Night Before De-icer. Priced just £2.99 for 500ml, it works while you sleep to keep your screen clear of ice for the morning. 

10. Easy does it - Drive conservatively, and watch out for compacted snow. Avoid any sudden moves or sharp braking. Also watch out for Gritters. They are a good indication that ice is forecast for the following day in a particular area. Your tyres will also appear quieter when travelling on ice so listen carefully.

For further tips on winter, visit the Halfords advice centre at www.halfords.com. For the latest information on the roads, visit www.highways.gov.uk

Photograph by Steve Maw.


 
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Thursday, 6 October 2011

DHF member SWS UK has appointed a new Managing Director

From 1st January 2012, Colin Reoch will be appointed as Managing Director of Door and Hardware Federation (DHF) member, SWS UK.

Colin will succeed Andrew Dootson, SWS’s founder and Managing Director for the last 26 years. During his 17 years with SWS, Colin has made a major contribution to SWS development which has earned him the respect of colleagues, customers and suppliers.  Colin’s appointment follows a successful integration of SWS within CRH Shutters

Andrew Dootson will continue with a reduced role in the UK focusing on product development and supply chain but he will also join the CRH Shutters team to assist with the planned growth of the CRH Shutter division and the integration and support of new acquisitions throughout Europe.  

We wish Colin and Andrew every success in their new roles.
 


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Steve Jobs former CEO and Co-Founder of Apple Passes Away

Steve Jobs, former CEO and Co-Founder of Apple, passed away yesterday after a seven year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was a visionary who created a new era of digital innovation.

He played a huge part in building one of the most successful companies ever, through his ability to think outside the box, Steve Jobs will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Reproduced below is the internal memo issued to Apple's Staff by Tim Cook, Apple's new CEO.

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Tim






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Survey reveals: Stress is number one cause of long-term absence

Stress is number one cause of long-term absence for the first time as job insecurity weighs heavy on the workplace, finds CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence survey.

Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees, according to this year's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)/Simplyhealth Absence Management survey. 

   
Download a copy of the survey from the CIPD website.

A link between job security and mental health problems is also revealed in the survey. Employers planning to make redundancies in the next six months are significantly more likely to report an increase in mental health problems among their staff (51% compared with 32% who are not planning redundancies).

For manual workers, stress is now level with acute medical conditions and has overtaken musculoskeletal problems to become the top cause of long-term absence. While among non-manual staff, stress has moved ahead of acute medical conditions.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Payatrader makes Card Acceptance Affordable for Small Businesses

Northampton based, Acceptacard Limited, has launched an innovative new service called “Payatrader” that makes credit & debit card acceptance affordable for small businesses. 

Specially designed for tradesmen, the service fills a gap in the market for low cost card processing with a fully “Pay As You Go” solution that can save traders up to £500 per year. 

With Payatrader there is no need for a terminal and therefore no terminal rental to pay (typically £20-£30 per month) and no minimum usage charges. This means if the service is not used there is nothing to pay!

For a small one –off joining fee of £79 for sole traders or partnerships and £99 for Limited Companies, traders can offer customers more payment choice and the option to spread costs using their own card facilities. 

Customers can pay 24/7 by telephone, mobile or online at www.payatrader.com. Trader’s can also take payments directly by downloading a payment button to their web site or via an online virtual terminal. 

And here's a special offer for Door Industry Journal readers - use code DIJ25 to get a £25 discount off the Payatrader joining fee. 

For more information download a brochure or go to www.payatrader.com or contact Linda Cook on 01296 660177. 






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Tax breaks for lenders and equity investors would ease credit conditions, says FPB

Tax breaks for private lenders as well as equity investors would ease credit conditions for small firms now, says Forum of Private Business.

The Forum of Private Business is urging the Government to cut taxes for private lenders as well as equity investors in order to boost credit conditions for small businesses.

During Monday’s speech at the Conservative Party conference the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced a ‘credit easing’ scheme – likely to involve creating bond markets from mixed SME debt packages, reminiscent of the debt trading that sparked the credit crunch and a medium-term strategy at best.

The Forum is calling for further measures to allow alternative lenders to compete with mainstream banks, in addition to a plan to boost equity investment via tax breaks for venture capitalists.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Osborne Must Hold Back Business Rates As Well As Council Tax - BRC

The Council Tax freeze announced today (Monday) by Chancellor George Osborne is welcome news for retailers because it will keep money in customers' pockets. But if this really is to be "The most pro-growth Government in history" it must also limit next year's business rates bills.

Under current rules, this September's RPI inflation figure will determine next April's Business Rates rise in England. That could easily top five per cent even though the BRC's most recent figures show the volume of sales and retail employment actually falling.

Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said: "The Council Tax freeze will make a useful contribution to easing the pressure on household budgets, leaving customers' with more money to spend on the things they need and want.

"But if the Government really believes in generating growth, it will limit the burden for businesses too. Under the current rules, businesses are likely to be hit be a destructive five per cent increase in business rates next April on top of a similar increase imposed this year.

"These extra costs can only undermine retailers' ability to invest and create jobs. The Government should abandon the rates-roulette of basing each year's Rates increase on the previous September's RPI. We need a system that produces Business Rates changes that are more certain and, above all, more affordable." 


Image by Fin Fahey



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