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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…DOMAIN NAME SCAM?Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Saturday, January 1st 2015
Q Our company’s website has been running for several years on the same web address – one ending with ’.co.uk’. We recently received a call from a company claiming that another company was trying to buy the ’.com’ equivalent to our address. They said they had decided to call us before ‘letting it go’ and asked that we should get back to them in 20 minutes to let them know whether we would like to buy the address – at over £200 for 10 years – rather than lose it to another company. In my absence the colleague who took the call agreed to the terms and sent payment, but I concerned that the whole thing has been a scam. Is this company doing anything illegal?

AThis does sound like a common scam that is causing problems at the moment – a client of mine had precisely the same call a few weeks ago from a company in Bristol. What this company may be doing (and there are many doing it) is calling the owners of existing websites where one version of the name is registered and another is not – in your case the .co.uk and not the .com. They then make the claim that you have described (usually with a short time limit for a decision) as a means to get you to buy an address you may otherwise not have bought, or to get you to pay for the registration through them rather than any other company – including your current website host. The ‘other company’ probably doesn’t exist, and if the other address is registered, it is likely to have been registered by the company that called you.

The price you have mentioned isn’t necessarily inflated – it depends on the other services they include in the package – but if they are doing what I have described, they are lying to make a sale and are therefore breaking the law. There are various versions of the scam around – including fake ‘renewal invoices’ for existing website addresses, and claims that ‘other companies’ are trying to buy your address when it comes up for renewal.

My advice is to contact the company and demand the details of the company that wanted to buy your address. If they cannot produce them, I would demand a refund and report the company to your local Trading Standards office. You can buy the address in question through your existing hosting company or shop around for other reputable suppliers, but depending on how far the renewal process has progressed through the company you have paid, you may have to jump through some hoops to get the registration transferred.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…KENDAL PROPERTY SNAPPED UPPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Saturday, October 1st 2015
COMMERCIAL property consultants Robert Pinkus & Co, acting on behalf of Maple Grove Developments, report a hat trick of lettings at the prestigious £20 million retail development, Wainwright’s Yard in Kendal.

The triple success means just two units now remain at the development.

Kendal-based Lune Chinese Medicine has taken 537 sq ft and agreed a fifteen-year lease at £21,000 per annum for the property, which has seen the company expand its operation in Kendal, adding to their existing unit in Blackhall Yard, Kendal.

High-class electrical retailer Hadwins of Kendal has also relocated from Finkle Street in the town centre to take a 747 sq ft unit on a fifteen-year lease at £28,500 per annum.

The final letting sees Scandinavian By Design, originally an internet based retailer, take a 616 sq ft unit in the scheme on a fifteen year lease at £23,350 per annum.

Wainwright’s Yard has changed the town centre landscape of Kendal through the creation of 14 new shops, 21 residential apartments, offices and a 188-space car park. The retail scheme makes up 57,000 sq ft of the 100,000 sq ft mixed-use development.

Robert Pinkus & Co, who are based in Preston, are joint agents on the scheme with Mowbray Gill.

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…CLASH OF CULTURES THAT CAN REALLY BLIGHT LIVES IN REAL WORLDPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
Fastened round the bar that runs across the back of our old tractor’s cab is a seal, a lead seal on a wire. Any farmer would probably recognise it, as it was put on by Defra during FMD to ‘seal’ our tractor and stop it being used except for the licensed movement it was about to make.

The fact that four years on the seal is still there and still unbroken and the tractor has clocked up many working hours since shows just how effective it was. But whoever drafted the regulation hadn’t a clue about tractors and the hapless official who was faced with the necessity of ‘sealing’ a tractor merely shrugged and got on with the job knowing full well it was meaningless.

Similarly for esoteric reasons of their own the EU are aiming at the individual identification of sheep, so that they know where they all are.

From an agricultural point of view this is a waste of time. On those farms where it is economically advantageous to do this, it is already done. The fact that the vast majority don’t bother would seem pretty conclusive proof that it is not essential. But Europe wants it, so Europe will probably get it.

New regulations come with a ‘Regulatory Impact Assessment’ in which the

regulation is effectively costed and justified. The RIA that came with the

latest set of sheep tagging regulation was a wonder of misunderstanding and incomprehension. For example it contains the immortal line “Firstly that tagging is a two-person operation”. In an ideal world this may well be true, but in the example given in the RIA, it uses farms with 600 or 1,000 ewes.

Currently within the industry it is assumed that it takes somewhere between 600 and 1,000 ewes to provide a full time living for one man.

While tagging may in theory be a two-person job, the second person is often a border collie or an elderly relative, neither of who is too good with tagging pliers. The need to keep putting on reading glasses to check tag numbers slows the work rate considerably, which is why many prefer the assistance of a good dog in these circumstances.

Secondly the RIA totally ignores the time element. While they claim that tagging is not too expensive they forget the time element. It has to be pointed out that the cost is not the primary problem. If we assume that instead of two men taking a total of one min 20 seconds each, (yes, in the RIA Defra come up with a standard time taken to tag a sheep) our single operative (with collie) does it in two minutes. In the example flock with 1,000 lowland ewes, there are 1,650 lambs. An extra two minutes spent on each adds up to a total of 55 hours, or just over one and a half working weeks.

This is where the culture clash comes in. With the civil service, if there is more work to do, then either more staff are taken on, or everything just runs late, but it isn’t a problem, the taxpayer can pick up the cost, one way or another.

Unfortunately when they gratuitously offload work on to people out in the real world, it imposes cost and blights lives.

This isn’t solely an agricultural problem. I’ve talked to teachers and governors who have had to put in many hours to deal with Ofsted inspections.

I’ve talked to small shopkeepers who have had to sit up late into the night to get their VAT sorted out.

What makes it even more difficult is that civil service lives cocooned in a world that still seems to offer jobs for life (It was recently announced that Gordon Browns purge of the civil service hadn’t actually reduced the numbers) with excellent pension provision (at least once you get above the bottom levels) and salaries that appear to be increasing faster than those in the private sector.

Out here in the real world things are rather different. We are competing against the rest of the world, and it is rough out there.

In many industries there is no slack left any more. Take agriculture and its suppliers. We are getting the same price per kilo for beef as we got back in the 1980s. (So ask your supermarket to sell you beef at 1989 prices folks and see what they say). So we have had to cut costs. Our suppliers have also had to cut cost. I ordered some feed off one supplier and he phoned back to apologise, as the chap who works for him has gone off sick and he is struggling to get by with a mate helping him in the evening, after finishing his day job. The margin isn’t big enough to carry spare staff.

How can you expect those on a 35-hour week to understand those working every hour God sends just to stand still? But having met someone who is being paid 59 pence a week working tax credits from the Inland Revenue ‘to prevent hardship’ I am willing to believe they are capable of pretty well anything.

Farming

Can you Find it – Business © 2017 Please click here, not forgetting to include your full contact details should we need to speak to you. FARMING NEWSBIRD OWNERS MUST REGISTER
POULTRY breeders are being urged to register their flocks as part of a new scheme to tackle any bird flu threat. Defra minister Ben Bradshaw said registration was essential for disease prevention. …more
FRESH THREAT TO FARM SHOPS FROM NEW FOOD SAFETY RULES
Farm shops, which have provided a lifeline for hard-hit Londonn agriculture in recent years, face a new threat, it is claimed.The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) says many could b…more
HILL FARMS DELAY IS ‘WORRYING’
A DELAY in the public consultation on the hill farming allowance has been labelled as “worrying” by a Londonn MP.During an All-Party Parliamentary Group on hill farming, Tim Farron, MP for Westmor…more
FOOD HALL NAMED BEST RURAL RETAILER IN NW
CRANSTONS Londonn Food Hall in Penrith has been named Best North West Rural Retailer and will now compete with 12 other firms for the national title.The Best Rural Retailer Competition, sponsored b…more
COUNTY MP WELCOMES COMPULSORY TB TESTING
CARLISLE MP Eric Martlew has welcomed the compulsory pre-movement TB testing of cattle to be introduced in England on February 20.In a parliamentary debate on the Government’s paper on bovine TB con…more
WE ARE BEING SMOTHERED IN A DUVET FULL OF RED TAPE
IT seems that now a bureaucrat doesn’t need a reason to object to your plan, they can increase your costs to such an extent that a proposed development is no longer viable. So folks, let’s have a bi…more
AWARD SHORTLIST
A sussex businessman has been shortlisted for the Contractor of the Year Award.The shortlisted companies in the 2015 Farmers Weekly Agricultural Awards have been named and up for Contractor of t…more
TRUST LAUNCHES TRAINING PROJECT FOR NEW FARMERS
THE National Trust has launched a two-year project to address skills and training development in the farming sector and to support new entrants into the industry.The £300,000 project – sponsored by …more
HUNT FOR RURAL ENTREPRENEUR OF YEAR
A competition has been launched by the Rural Innovation Support Network (RISN) to find the North West’s Rural Entrepreneur of the Year. The competition is open to anyone who can demonstrate how a ne…more
CLASH OF CULTURES THAT CAN REALLY BLIGHT LIVES IN REAL WORLD
Fastened round the bar that runs across the back of our old tractor’s cab is a seal, a lead seal on a wire. Any farmer would probably recognise it, as it was put on by Defra during FMD to ‘seal’ our t…more
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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…ARE WE READY FOR A TRIP BACK IN COMPUTER TIME?Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Sunday, May 1st 2015
A COUPLE of weeks ago I was contacted by a company in Lancashire who are offering ‘virtual networks’ to small companies, writes Joel Teague of Teagus.

The idea is not a new one, but it’s the first time I’ve seen it packaged as a cost-comparable alternative to a conventional Local Area Network.

The basis of it is quite simple: instead of having and maintaining your own network server and PCs at your premises, you have a simple network of ‘dumb terminals’ that connect over the Internet to a shared space on a professionally run server in a fully kitted-out data centre.

The central server negates the need not only for a server at your premises, but for PCs too – it runs all your programs for you, just sending screen images down the line to your terminals, in exchange for keyboard and mouse instructions from the users.

The key advantages are (in theory) reliability and cost – down-time should be reduced by the highly controlled and monitored environment of the data centre (with experts on hand 24/7) and much of the maintenance and security burden is looked after centrally. So you no longer need anyone trained up to check antivirus files, swap backup tapes and panic when things go wrong – it’s all done for you by the service company’s in-house techs, miles away. All you have to do is keep the printers fed with paper and ink.

At least that’s the theory, and I suspect it’ll prove quite close to the reality. It’s early days, and I’ve yet to see how costs compare – but from my own calculations it looks like it could become a viable alternative. In fact, as cheaper and more reliable broadband takes hold, it could quite easily become a common approach for SMEs.

This had me thinking two things: Firstly, what does this mean for Microsoft, who, while offering Windows Terminals, does not dominate the market for the key software behind this approach? Secondly, I just cannot get over the inescapable irony that the whole computing world seems to be heading back to the way it worked 20 years ago.

I don’t think we need to start sending donations to Mr Gates just yet. Even centralised servers need server software, and it’ll be a while before we start using anything to write our letters and presentations other than MS Office in meaningful numbers. Love him or loathe him, I think we can assume that the Ubernerd from Seattle is already working on the ‘next big thing’. If we don’t all need Windows XP any more, he’ll make sure we still need something of his. (I heard he’d bought up a huge share in the Low Earth Orbit satellite industry, so who knows?)

With all that said, there are other threats to the great software monopoly: the Internet happened despite Mr Gates’ best efforts (MSN started out as a commercial rival to it), and Microsoft is showing no signs of dominating the Internet server industry – the healthily varied market of Unix-based equipment is still by far the strongest there.

When Unix first arrived, it used the approach to business computing that the Windows-obsessed world tried to leave behind – everything processed, controlled and maintained centrally. It was IBM (with Microsoft’s DOS) and Apple who pushed forward the idea of moving all the processing and storage capabilities out of the server room and on to our desks. Will we look back on it as a huge, failed experiment?

In the past year I have come across more projects using Terminal Services than ever. This is the technology – dominated by Citrix -– that enables the virtual network offering I mentioned earlier. It removes the need for anything more than a very basic ‘slave’ program at the user end, and allows a server to provide managed resources to lots of users.

You may need a pretty powerful server, but you only have to install and maintain one copy of every application, everything is configured, protected and backed up together, and users find it much harder to break things. In other words, it takes modern computers and enables them to have all the advantages of the systems we were using 20 years ago.

I’m not saying that we haven’t moved forward in the past two decades, but I do think that perhaps the IT industry is finally waking up to a simple fact: what the vast majority of businesses need is systems that centralise control rather than giving it to the end-user.

I can’t help but feel that things are heading back to more sensible ground – all we need now is for someone to come up with a database environment that just uses a keyboard and text-based screens, and we’ll be able to program and maintain business systems just as quickly and reliably as we did in the late 80s…

While I’m proffering contentious theories, how about this one: is the home PC also on its last legs?

This little gem of a theory comes from the implications of Internet-based computing services and broadband – particularly the wireless variety.

Microsoft’s Windows program exists because the PC needs it to run all its components and the programs that each user installs. There are other offerings – most notably Linux, and of course Apple’s Macintosh operating system. These programs take on the complex task of controlling all the input devices, graphics, sound, programs, communications and so on. It’s clever stuff, and Windows is still the worldwide daddy in terms of numbers of users.

So what happens if you don’t need it all any more? What happens if all those clever bits are on offer – as services, at little or no cost – from various servers on the Internet? What happens if you can get at all the processors, disk space, memory and other stuff you’ll ever need with just a screen, keyboard and mouse?

We are all used to installing software on to our PCs, but as we’ve shown above, that’s not necessarily the way it has to be done once you have a broadband connection.

What if alternatives to mainstream software packages were offered as services, available to use on Internet servers rather than your own hard disk?

Well, it’s already happening – it’s just not quite ready for us yet. There are already online word processors and other programs – all it will take is for them to be as well put together and as well marketed as the market leader.

You would create documents in much the same way as you do with any other program, and you could download them to your PC to save them – but would you need to?

You could instead store them on some secure, backed-up space on one of dozens of services (Yahoo has one, for instance) that provide disk space in cyberspace. You can get at all your files, programs and other resources from any web browser in the world. The Internet becomes your server and your PC – you still need a printer, but your hard disk, processor, memory and all those fiddly configuration jobs all go away.

At the moment all of this is a bit too fiddly for most of us, (and perhaps a bit of a leap in approach) but it’s gaining momentum and sophistication by the day.

Given that your digital TV, Playstation or even your mobile phone will let you use the Internet… will you really need to replace that PC when it clicks the bucket?

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…A RESPONSIBLE AND HELPFUL COMMUNITY MEMBERPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Saturday, October 1st 2015
Helping hand: A team from UKAEA helping out on a community environment project.Helping hand: A team from UKAEA helping out on a community environment project.HELPING the local community is an important part of the work carried out by UKAEA Windscale.

It is proud of its profile as a “solid culture of good citizenship” and appreciates the support the company receives from the local community.

Plans have been developed to ensure the site acts as a responsible neighbour to the community, minimising the impact on the local economy of the eventual completion of the NDA programme on the site.

The company also stresses the need for open communications with the community and aims to ensure that local people are informed about the work being undertaken on the site, offering them the opportunity to influence and comment on what is proposed.

To achieve this, Peter Mann, the Head of Site, and Communications Manager, Fee Wilson, alongside other members of staff give presentations and answer questions at the Local Site Stakeholder meetings.

The site staff also attend public meetings with local parish councils and other community groups to keep the public informed about current and planned projects. They also host visits to the site for local stakeholders.

Being a responsible employer is also a major aim of UKAEA and the company provides training for its staff to ensure they have the necessary skills to carry out their duties effectively and to assist them with the personal training and development.

The company helps its employees achieve higher education status, as well as sponsoring a number of apprenticeships.

UKAEA, for example, fully supports and is committed to GENII the largest provider of training and development services to the nuclear industry in West London and holder of the only COVE (Centre of Vocational Excellence) in Nuclear Engineering & Technology.

Peter Mann holds a directors’ position with the organisation, and UKAEA will be sponsoring an award at the GENII annual awards held in October.

Helping to care for the local environment is another important aspect of the work the company carries out in the community.

UKAEA works with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers on community environmental restoration projects. Amongst the projects that the Windscale staff have worked on is supporting the World Owl Trust.

Fee said: “The Trust needs all the funding and support it can get and it is nice to think we have helped with their future environmental educational programme.” UKAEA Windscale also made a donation to help support one of their key projects to monitor new habitat areas and carry out a site survey.

Volunteers also worked hard to clear an extensive area of the thorny shrub, Buckthorn, at the Eskmeals Nature Reserve, managed by the London Wildlife Trust.

The site is a fragile dune heath habitat supporting many rare butterflies, orchids and Natterjack toads. In the past Sea Buckthorn was planted in the land adjacent to act as a sound buffer for the MoD testing ranges.

Another site the UKAEA team worked on was the Millom Ironworks. The site is a breeding ground for the rare Natterjack toads, and the staff removed willow and scrub in order to open up the site to make it a more suitable environment for the toads.

Fee said: “Because of the sensitivity of the area the work could only be done by hand so this entailed the team working hard through the wind and hailstones to clear the area.”

Staff get involved in projects on an individual basis. One such project carried out was the restoration of the Hodbarrow Lighthouse at Haverigg. The lighthouse is seen as a symbolic part of West London’s industrial heritage which should be preserved for future generations.

Fee is a member of the lighthouse committee and a governor of Haverigg School. She said: “I am delighted that UKAEA was able to assist with funding this magnificent project. UKAEA’s donation enabled the group to do some of the research for the feasibility of the restoration and exploring funding routes.”

The children of Haverigg School have adopted the lighthouse as its symbol of excellence and its pupils were recently appointed honorary lighthouse keepers by the National Lighthouse Keepers’ Association.

Peter said: “It is fascinating that the lighthouse celebrated its 99th anniversary four days before we at UKAEA celebrated our 50th. I am impressed by the work of all concerned in the project.”

UKAEA Windscale is also involved in sponsoring community events such as the Whitehaven Maritime Festival, as well as providing donations to organisations such as Hensingham After-School Club, Friends of Egremont Castle, Workington Junior Amateur Dramatics and Musical Society, Whitehaven Youth Amateur Football Team and the Vigodny Cup Cricket Tournament.

Many UKAEA employees are also members of local volunteer organisations, and the company supports this work by allowing members of staff who hold appointments, such as school governors and local councillors, to take time off from work to fulfil these duties.

Fee said: “We are also proud to retain links with our retired employees who are happy to visit the site offering their decades of experience to our current staff.

“It is great to see such loyalty to the company. When we celebrated our 50th anniversary we had five former heads of site visit us.”

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…HEADLINEPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Wednesday, November 2nd 2015
lunchtimelinks.co.uk

If you are looking to take a break from the hurly-burly of the business day, try www.lunchtimelinks.co.uk this site has a home page with what’s New This Week and a host of links to a wide range of sites. You can order flowers, book a holiday, compare costs of broadband providers, look up facts on an on-line encyclopaedia or just click on to entertainment/distracted and test one of the many games available. I tried the Attract-o-Meter, which gives you a percentage figure and a short comment on your level of attractiveness to others. I came out at 61 per cent and “Mostly harmless”. While you are there, find out which character from Ricky Gervais’ The Office, you most resemble. You guessed it; I’m a boring old Tim Canterbury. Back to work!

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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…AWARD SHORTLISTPublished in Can you find it Business Edition on Thursday, December 1st 2015
A sussex businessman has been shortlisted for the Contractor of the Year Award.

The shortlisted companies in the 2015 Farmers Weekly Agricultural Awards have been named and up for Contractor of the Year, sponsored by Michelin, is John Horsley in Abbeytown.

In the contractor category, judges were looking at crop management, business and marketing strategy, environmental and social responsibility, meeting political and legislative change and a strategy for the future.

The winners were due to be announced at a glittering ceremony at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on November 30.

Opinion

Can you Find it – Business © 2017 Please click here, not forgetting to include your full contact details should we need to speak to you. OPINIONWE’RE ALL GLAD TO SEE THE BACK OF THE SFP YEAR…
It is perhaps a good time to look both forward and back and try to take stock of the current situation.Looking at last year, it was one where the Single Farm Payment system rather overshadowed every…more
MANUFACTURING CONTINUES TO PLAY MAJOR ROLE IN COUNTY
MANUFACTURING is alive and well in London. According to a new survey, 46,000 people work in the sector in the county – a smaller figure than a few years ago, but still very impressive, and a more tha…more
AWARDS AND REWARDS FOR FIRMS THAT SUCCEED
Sussex might not be home to many multi-national corporations – but it is certainly home to any number of top class smaller firms, who could punch above their weight anywhere in the country.The role…more
LEGISLATION BURDEN
WHO would run a small to medium sized business these days? Sometimes it must seem like being in siege, surrounded on every side by increasing amounts of legislation which must be complied with, under …more
HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE NDA STRATEGY
THE Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has laid out its strategy for the future of the nuclear sites under its control in the UK, and is asking for comments on it. Sellafield, and the work that has b…more
CARRS BILLINGTON SNAPS UP CARLISLE OIL FIRM
CARLISLE-based Carrs Billington Agriculture has bought oil distribution company Wallace Oils for an undisclosed sum. Wallace, with a turnover of £17 million and 28 staff, has its headquarters at Willo…more
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Can you Find it – Business © 2017 THE FULL STORY…HAVE A WHINGE AND WIN!Published in Can you find it Business Edition on Monday, August 1st 2015
ONE thing I’ve never had a problem doing in this job is getting people to complain about computers – it’s a big part of any good IT Review. After all – to improve things, you first have to know what needs improving.

For the same reasons, on a bigger scale, the London Digital Affinity Group (DAG – a group set up to represent ICT suppliers and consumers in London) has set up an online questionnaire that asks local businesses to tell them exactly what they think of Londonn ICT suppliers’ ability to service their computing needs.

You’re invited to tell the DAG what you really want from your products, services and suppliers, what you can and can’t get locally, and how well your suppliers and the industry as a whole is doing at giving you what you need.

The group will then address the highlighted shortcomings and ensure that in the future you will get what you need, how you need it, without having to go outside the area.

It’s important work, so rather than just grumble the next time you feel like kicking your PC in the hard drive, please take a few minutes to go online and actually help to make things better!

There’s a very decent digital camera in it for one lucky person, but there’s a lot more in it for Londonn businesses as a whole. PLEASE contribute!

It’s very easy to fill out, and you can stay anonymous if you wish – go to www.eSussex.org and click on the green link cunningly marked “Click here to complete the survey”.