Use Encryption

There are many ways I recommend to use and deploy, where you have opportunity, encryption, to keep your privacy, and encourage others.
This blog is not available via SSL/HTTPS but I am considering it [Update: now available via SSL: ]. The extra cost including of certification of certificates are an issue though.
Although CAcert is a poor man’s alternative but gives most users poor experience but better than nothing and considering using for at least own blog login.
While the recommendation use of HTTPS/SSL (padlock next to browser address bar) is established where using forms to supply personal information , there is now more to encourage us to adopt SSL/HTTPS everywhere: not just from the EFF but also Google encouraging use of SSL/HTTP everywhere (video).

It looks like it may get easier to setup websites to have encrypted access with Lets Encrypt project.

You can check how good SSL of a website is via:

and if you do run a web server check out:

Email Server to Server encryption:

Email End to End encryption:
OpenPGP best practices
My old PGP page

Before passing personal details via a website:

You may wish check site domain ownership using whois:

To check status UK companies:
which is website I use but there are others that nay have better interface and search to same data and if you need copies if annual accounts etc get them for free from Companies House or direct from company in question.

Details of US companies:

as well as general websearch.

Posted in Technology | Comments Off on Use Encryption

Future Energy

I recommend detailed but readable reports from Carbon Connect.
Look out for Future Heat series coming on tails of Future Electricity Series.
They are preparing them now.

Government releasing interesting Energy stats and reports including household energy usage breakdown from the National Energy Efficiency Data-Framework (NEED)

Pity licensing issues mean that Address-level data from the National Heat Map to load into your own GIS software is only available to local Authorities. But you can use web interface on DECC website to draw polygon around around areas and then generate reports of Heat usage, with breakdown by property type.

David Mackay still makes an interesting contribution.

I am wondering if there is good carbon saving to be made by City Centres using district CHP systems distributing low grade waste heat as steam for use in summer for cooling using Absorption Chillers like in New York. The switch to Gas (methane) powered CHP is a greenhouse gas emission saving over Electricity presently used for cooling, and even better if bio gas is used, with utilization of Gas Distribution and CHP assets throughout year. But would need to get critical mass and retrofitting would be barrier.

Further Links:
Absorption Cooling Technical Investigation
Olympic Park Energy Centre
Johnson Controls: Absorption Single Stage Application Guide
Robur Heat Pumps: What-Is Gas Absorption?
Robur Heat Pumps: Gas Absorption Chillers for Cooling
Flue Gas Fired Absorption Chillers
Gas Air Conditioning

Posted in Energy | Comments Off on Future Energy

GB Addresses

I have followed the saga of opening up Address datasets in UK.
If we can not open PAF or NLPG then let build an open set.
See some developments:

This would hopefully be opportunity to get away from distortions of the PAF’s POSTTOWN based on delivering mail.
e.g.Penistone is not in SHEFFIELD, even if PAF has it as POSTTOWN for addresses in Penistone, Yorkshire.

Let get to know our Traditional Counties again.

Posted in Maps & GIS | Comments Off on GB Addresses


Video talks by Hans Rosling are well worth watching including on TED, Vimeo and YouTube. He lays out statistics on population growth and child mortality.

Posted in General | Comments Off on Population

look at ‘An open national address gazetteer’

Recent Government report looking at An open national address gazetteer. This report is quite detailed. It covers situation at moment and how might move forward. It highlights limits of use of postcodes as already openly released in CodePoint and suggests to wider use of either Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) and/or a fuller set of open addresses.
I myself am keen organisations move away from reducing addresses to just what is required by the Royal Mail to deliver the post; as the use of Postcodes and ‘Post town’, that are setup to reflect routing and delivering of mail, over actual localities (villages, towns, hamlets or suburbs) together with counties, has distorted much understanding of place.

Posted in Maps & GIS | Comments Off on look at ‘An open national address gazetteer’

Old Ordnance Survey Map

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Mish Mash of Musings

I often have odd musings that are worth blogging about but find limited time to blog. So here is just mish mash of pointers.

Baby Lead Weaning (BLW) has worked really well over more traditional spoon feeding of purees for us with our son. It was difficult at the start when you wanted to take a short cut with a spoon rather than give him time to explore and learn developing his own autonomy. But is has worked out very well and he eats a wide range of foods. We are very proud of him when other compliment him on what a good eater he is now. It all fits in with latest research and advice on introducing foods to babies. Listen to edition of Naked Scientist podcast covering food. And BBC news online reporting research that Spoon feeding ‘makes babies fatter’. BLW has helped my diet too, when we used the steamer more, and cut out the salt.

Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt was a good read and useful; feeding into books and articles reading on child development.

And on a totally different note I have enjoying reading blog articles by Adam Curtis after previously appreciating several of his films.

The daffodil bulbs that we planted last autumn are starting to come up in our garden. The one’s Ulla planted in October in the front are coming on much better than those I planted last December in the back. The green inf front of us could do with some blubs too. I always enjoyed see in the early spring bulbs on Muirhouse Medway when I had a view over it from my previous flat. There are some similar in Pilton Park borders towards the Council housing office. I notice these on way back from North Edinburgh Arts where we attended Family fun day on Saturday. We usually go to CREATE there.

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