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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting British Business Online Free Domain problem. How to get your new web site to work without the www.

If you are not already aware of it there is a great new initiative called  Getting British Business Online. If you have a business or are just starting one all you have to do is register and for free you get a domain name (website address) of your choice that ends in The initiative uses nominet as the domain name registrar and Google Sites to host the website. Because the scheme is associated with Google Sites you also get a free web site and using Google Apps you can also have email that uses your new domain name which looks really professional. It is a great opportunity to get your business on the Internet quickly and easily and for free.

It has come to the attention that in an otherwise very easy set up process there is one small flaw that is liable to trip some people up. When first set up, and after around the six days it can take for your new address to filter through the Internet, only will take you to your site, will not. People rarely type www. these days so it is important to get both www. and without www. to work. The good news is that this is easy to remedy.

First of all you are going to need the email that GBBO (Getting British Business Online) sent you when you first registered with the subject "Thank you for your registration". On that email you will find a user name and password that you will need to access your domain name registration account at GBBO using this link

Log in using your details from the registration email.

Once you have logged in and you are on the home page of your account you will see an invitation to "click here" to request changes to your domain name settings. Leave the drop down menu at "I want to Change the name servers".

Type in the large information box bellow that you want your domain name to work with and without the www. and click submit. Within 12hrs or so (Christmas permitting) you will get a reply like this one.

"A GBBO website with a standard install will not show without www. this can be resolved by making the following changes.
* Login to edit the website (via google sites using your google login)
* Navigate to “More Actions” “Manage Site”
* In the left navigation select “Web Address” under the “Site Settings” heading
* Add your domain name as an additional domain name but without the www.

You should now see something like the following;
Web addresses for this site:

* (Default)
* – Remove
* – Remove

Once you have done this please let me know so I can update your host records"
Once they have updated the host records your domain name will work with or without www.
Polybore would suggest that they set up the host records and google sites as well if possible as the standard install as everyone who registers will want their domain name to work with or without the www.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How much does EMTALA cost the US citizen? The price of the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act.

The EMTALA legislation means that by law a US ER department cannot refuse treatment. This means that the uninsured or those with insufficient assets to pay the bill are being treated. So who ends up paying the bill and how much is it?

Surprisingly considering the amount of attention that the US health reforms currently receive it is very difficult to find a US Government statistic to this question. However what we can do is make an assumption that the cost of EMTALA is, if not equal to then certainly proportional to, the total amount of unpaid US health care bills. It is a fair assumption because if EMTALA did not exist then ER departments could refuse to treat those who could not prove they could pay for treatment. The estimated figure for unpaid health bills in 2008 stands at $43 billion and was published by a report by Families USA.

Although this report was commissioned by Families USA the research was carried out by the actuaries Milliman and the process is well document in the report and sound.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Who sent a bomb threat to web host Rackhost?

The San Antonio Business Journal reported that Rackhost which provides web hosting services was sent a bomb threat that caused the evacuation of the companies head quarters in San Antonio on Thursday the 2nd of December 2010.

Although the bomb threat turned out to be a hoax it does make one think who would want to send a bomb threat to a web hosting company and why Rackhost in particular.

Rackhost became part of the international news agenda back in September because they happened to be the hosts of the web site, the Dove World Outreach Center, which was associated with Pastor Terry Jones who had proposed to burn the Koran. Rackhost decided to stop hosting the Dove World Outreach Centre website.

It is not reported who sent the bomb threat and unless the police manage to track down who did perhaps we will never know. Any suggestion that the bomb threat is connected to Rackspace's decision is speculation however, in the light of wikileaks, it seems that web hosting companies are increasingly bearing the brunt of controversies generated by web sites they happen to host. Either the brunt of external pressures to dump a web site or anger from the supporters of a web site they decide to ditch.

When a web hosting company hits the international news agenda in this type of circumstance their decision to host, or not to host, could leave them with long lasting financial and security implications. In turn web site owners beware if your web site becomes a hot controversial topic it may only be hours before the rug is pulled out from under it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Does “David Cameron” Spell the End of the Conservative Party?


Creative Commons License
This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License

Copyright by World Economic Forum, by Remy Steinegger.

Many Conservatives have been, lets say surprised, at the direction that their party, in coalition government, seems to be heading.

But perhaps they should not be surprised. David Cameron has never been very popular with Conservative stalwarts such as Margaret Thatcher or Norman Tebbit and the reason for this is that David Cameron is a centrist.

Now you could say that David Cameron needed to move the Conservative Party to the centre of British politics in order to take the party into Government. However Conservatives are now waking up to the fact that David Cameron has done a great job of anchoring the Conservatives firmly in the centre, possibly forever.

With the 1922 Committee emasculated, over a 100 starry eyed, star struck new Tory MP’s and 50 odd Liberal Democrats at his disposal David Cameron holds the whip hand over the right of his Parliamentary party.

How will Conservative activists in the Conservative heartlands react should very few, if any, of the policies that they hold most dear actually come to fruition?

The thing is David Cameron does not care about the Conservative core vote and he is taking the Conservative Party away from them. It remains to be seen if the Conservative Party can survive this process.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Third Way Out of the LibDem Coalition Dilemma. None of the above. Get the Power off the Sofas and into Parliament Where it Belongs.


All the talk is of the Liberal Democrats becoming part of a coalition government. The advantages and otherwise of all the possible coalition permutations have been discussed in their minutiae.

The LibDem quandary is that forming any sort of coalition in the current circumstances is effective electoral suicide. The LibDems are ideologically incompatible with the Conservatives at the grass roots level. As for Labour, Rainbow Alliance or no, the numbers just don’t stack up.

Yet despite this coalition mine field the LibDems are in danger of developing tunnel vision, becoming so obsessed on the idea of coalition government that they fail to see the bigger picture and the Third Way.

The reality is that the LibDems do not have the electoral mandate to be this important in deciding the hue of the next government. If the electorate had wanted the LibDems to have this power they would have increased the number of LibDem MP’s not decreased them.

With no electoral mandate and no obvious coalition partner the LibDems should take a deep breath, take a step back and decline to form a coalition with either of the two main parties. Perhaps this will mean that they will not, in the short term, get Electoral Reform but in the short term Electoral Reform is unlikely anyway because the Conservative Party and enough Labour MPs just don’t want it. Instead what the LibDems can achieve by eschewing coalition government is the knocking of Presidential politics into touch and the dragging back of power to it’s rightful and constitutional home, Parliament.

Let the Conservatives form a minority Government and allow Parliament to debate and scrutinise their policies. Get the power off the sofas and back into Parliament where it belongs.

If Parliamentary debates actually have to persuade and each and every vote is crucial then people will pay attention. Increasing public engagement with politics, in particular the workings of Parliament, is more important than going for broke on electoral reform. Besides electoral reform has built up a momentum of it’s own and what better way to demonstrate how it could work than genuine Parliamentary Politics where persuasion, not a massive majority, is the order of the day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

WTF! Gordon Brown Kicks Arse!

A little late in the day but if Brown had been making speeches like this from day one of the campaign….
Difficult to imagine the other airbrushed inflatable plastic party leaders managing to make a speech from the heart in the way Brown has here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It’s the Sun Wot’s Lost It


Not the election who knows what will happen there, no, The Sun has just lost it, period, the “it” being it’s political nous.

When The Sun jumped the New Labour ship for the David Cameron band wagon back in October 2009, a Conservative landslide victory seemed certain, The Sun must have felt confident that they would once again have the satisfaction of backing the winning team in the same way as when when they switched from Conservative to New Labour in 1997. Perhaps the Sun Political hacks were dusting off the their infamous headline from 1992 when they last supported the Conservatives during a General Election.


Wot they forgot in October 2009 is the old adage

“A week is a long time in politics”. (Harold Wilson.)

An adage from 1964 which, although still fundamentally true, is now showing it’s age. Today with TV debates and the internet perhaps we should now say that,

“An hour and a half is a long time in politics”

Bearing that in mind there is still time for the Conservatives to get their act together to scrape some sort of victory but if they can’t, and increasingly it looks ever more difficult, it’s not just the Tories who are going to look stupid. It’s going to be worse for The Sun, a fair weather friend and a friend of ever diminishing political significance. Who needs a friend like that?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why David Cameron can’t beat Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown has undoubtedly been an unpopular Prime Minister and it is accepted that a big part of this is due to the fact he can’t get his personality across via the media and/ or because his personality, well, just isn’t very nice. By contrast David Cameron hasn’t really had a chance to become unpopular with anyone other than the Conservative Parliamentary Party (over his handling of the expenses saga) and local Conservative activists (due to his parachuting in of candidates).

What is going on? Despite the Conservatives focusing on the personality of Gordon Brown and comparing it unfavourably with that of David Cameron the polls continue to narrow. Surely they are shooting at an open goal, how can they miss?

The problem for the Conservatives is that David Cameron’s being installed as leader was clearly a delayed reaction to the Tony Blair phenomenon. Delayed mainly because media friendly candidates who wouldn’t split the party down the middle just didn’t exist in the party. So after a succession of leaders who weren’t perceived as performing in front of the media ie Major, Hague, Smith and Howard the Conservatives finally plumped for a media savvy leader. Someone like that thorn in the Conservative side, that Tony Blair. They elected David Cameron.

Unfortunately the recent appearance of Tony Blair at the Chilcot Inquiry has reminded the British Electorate that easy going charm, an ability to be at ease and communicate effectively in front of the camera does not necessarily a good Prime Minister make. In particular the British electorate really does not want another Presidential Prime Minister in the Blair mould. The Blair model for Prime Minister has been kicked into touch and the crowd won’t be throwing the ball back for a long, long time.

So, if there is a politician despised more by the electorate than Gordon Brown then that politician must surely be Tony Blair and some of that “Blair Magic” may just have rubbed off on David Cameron. In contrast “Blair Magic” just can’t stick to Gordon Brown. Brown, if nothing else, is utterly immune and Teflon to “Blair Magic”.

Concentrating on David Cameron’s personality vs. that of Gordon Brown has clearly not worked as well for the Conservatives as they hoped, in fact the signs are that this tack is rebounding on them. David Cameron has the air of a Presidential Prime Minister, although he would deny this it is evident. Evident from his treatment of parliamentary colleagues and local activists, his use of personal attacks and his calls for a Presidential Style TV debate. And that is without mentioning the notorious air brushed poster.

So personality politics and media skills aside how do the respective CV’s of the candidates stack up?

Unlike most job applications the candidates for the job of Prime Minister don’t have to provide CV’s per se however Wikipedia comes to the rescue as something of a CV approximation. (we can rest assured that a multitude of apparatchiks keep these Wikipedia entries accurate).

Academically they are both highly qualified but in terms of experience…




Images used under creative commons licence. Thanks to World Economic Forum. by Remy Steinegger

Monday, March 1, 2010

Donald Trump’s International Golf Links’, the white elephant in the room.

Aberdeenshire Council and The Scottish Government are desperate for Donald Trump’s investment as demonstrated by the overturning of the original planning committee's decision to reject the plans for the golfing resort and the current “last resort” threat of compulsory purchases on those residents who do not want to sell.

It is not enough just to build it.

However for Donald Trump’s International Golf Links to benefit Aberdeenshire and Scotland it is not enough just to build it. It needs to be a viable business in the long term otherwise it faces going the same way as the Aviemore Centre or becoming Scotland’s very own Millennium Dome.

The white/ blue elephant. It’s the weather stupid!

The (white/ blue) elephant in the room in the debate surrounding this golfing resort’s future is the weather. Peterhead, just along the coast from Balmedie, is known locally as “The Blue Toon”. The name comes from the colour of socks once worn by the Peterhead fisher folk, but the common misconception is that it is actually called the “Blue Toon” because it is frequently very, very cold there. It is an understandable misconception because it is frequently very, very cold there. Billy Connolly has spoken about Aberdeen being Gaelic for “hyporthermia” when he talks of his Holidays in Aberdeen. (from 04:45)(strong language)


But Scotland’s existing links courses succeed despite the weather!

Scotland is of course famous for it’s historic links courses for example St Andrews, Troon and Carnoustie. You could argue that these courses have been successful despite Scotland’s famously inclement weather and you would be right but when these courses were established hundreds of years ago they did not face global competition from courses with weather with a cast 5 iron guaranteed to be excellent.

Leaving aside the obvious climate benefits of playing your golf in the likes of Florida, Spain or Bermuda lets look a bit more locally. Carnoustie is a Scottish championship course that appears geographically similar to the location of Trump International Golf Links. It’s on the east coast and not much more than around 60 miles away as the crow flies.

View Balmedie/ Carnoustie in a larger map


From the map it does not look like it would be significantly colder than Balmedie but when you check the met office average weather data (from as close as possible) from between 1971 and 2000 Balmedie is on average a full degree colder than Carnoustie. It is not coincidence that the established Championship links golf courses in Scotland are not as far North as Balmedie.

So why is the weather so important?

Trump International Golf Links is a massive development aimed at the luxury international golf market. Apart from the housing developments it has a huge 450 bed luxury hotel. The occupancy rate for this massive hotel is going to be critical to the resorts success as, at best, the golf is going to be highly seasonal because, you guessed it, of the weather. But even in the summer months you may well get a sunny day in Balmedie but it will still feel cold, more often than not very cold.

Will luxury golfers put up with the weather?

The target market for this resort can play their golf anywhere in the world. If, as promised, it is a great course they may well visit but will they return after spending a week being frozen and sand blasted by the wind tearing in off the North Sea?

You could go further that and say that the idea that people who can afford to to play golf anywhere in the world are going to choose to regularly do so in the teeth of a bitter North wind as it howls in off the North Sea with an accompaniment of sand, horizontal sleet, rain, hail and snow is frankly insane.

Trump’s team couldn’t miss the significance of the weather. Could they?

Now surely Trump’s team cannot have missed the significance of the weather.

Just have a look at the sketch of the proposed hotel.



It is covered with balconies as noted by Neil Baxter, secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland when he said,

"The continuous ribbon of balconies all the way round means that on occasion when the sun comes out in Aberdeenshire the hardier breed of golfer we are producing will be able to sit out in sub-zero conditions with a gin and tonic."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

National Bullying Helpline is as good as fake.


The National Bullying Helpline came to polybore’s attention when the head of the organisation,  Christine Pratt, claimed that she had been contacted by several members of Gordon Brown’s staff.

This comes on the back of  anonymous allegations made in a book by Andrew Rawnsley which is currently being serialised in the Observer Newspaper.

Ok lets have a closer look at the impressively named “National Bullying Helpline “ Charity Number 1117852 and see what information the Charity Commission have them.

Click here to see Charity Comission information via (

There are a couple of  stand out pieces of information provided by the Charity Commission..

Documents Overdue. National Bullying Helpline accounts are (as of writing) 206 days overdue for annual return 2008.

In the year that the charity was founded (2007) it’s income was a mere £1818 and it’s spending £852.

This is not a busy national charity. Not by a long stretch which probably explains why polybore has never heard of it.

Christine Pratt said in an interview with the BBC that

“over the last three or four years" the helpline had "probably received three or four calls".

Judging by the financial activity of The National Bullying Helpline that is probably true. They have probably had three or four calls, period. It is highly unlikely that the three calls or four that  they may have had in the four years of the “charity’s” existence were all from members of the Prime Ministers staff.

Let’s have a look at the website for the organisation.

For an organisation that claims to be “non-political” it is surprising to find a by David Cameron prominently displayed at the top of its home page.

DAVID CAMERON MP: "Stamping out bullying in the workplace and elsewhere is a vital objective. Not only can bullying make people's lives a misery, but it harms business and wider society too. So I congratulate the National Bullying Helpline for its efforts to give practical support to those being bullied, and to make bullying a thing of the past".

The website also states.

We never share your details with anyone else. All correspondence is confidential.

Which is almost funny.

In conclusion.

If polybore were cynical they might think that Christine Pratt of the National Bullying Helpline has seen an opportunity to significantly raise the profile of an otherwise insignificant Charity. A Charity which, interestingly, closely mirrors the business activity of her husband, David Pratt.

Because of the fact that political figures associated with this charity seem to be all Conservatives, then perhaps, one might think that this organisation is not as “non-political” as Christine Pratt claims. Not to mention the prominence David Cameron gets on the web site home page.

Lastly. If you are a particularly Machiavellian in your thinking one might wonder if there was any significance in the “coincidence” of this “national” charity being founded in 2007. 2007 being the year that Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. and when claims of his alleged "bullying” and “Stalinist” behaviour first surfaced.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Catherine Tate Sex Robot. Modelled on or coincidental look alike?

Catherine Tate Sex Robot Catherine Tate                                  Sex Robot
Noticed a news item today about an inventor called Douglas Hines who has created a $7000 sex robot which he proudly unveiled at Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada last month.
Polybore was immediately struck by how much the sex robot looks like British actor and comedian Catherine Tate. So much so they started to wonder if Douglas Hines is a fan of British TV, Dr Who in particular.
The sex robot’s bottom lip is very reminiscent of Catherine Tate’s most famous character Lauren Cooper. Wonder if she is "bovvered".
Can you find an image of Catherine Tate that looks even more like the sex robot?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Google Chrome Tool Bar has disappeared, gone missing. Wrench, refresh, back button icons. Fix.

A curious thing happened a couple of days ago. Opened Chrome and was surprised to see that a number of the buttons were missing from the toolbar. Just a big white blank were they used to be.

On further investigation, clicking around roughly where they used to be it turned out that the buttons were still there and functioning but invisible.

If you have the same problem then the way polybore fixed it should work for you.

You need to click  on where the wrench icon used to be ie at the same level as the address bar at the far right. Might take a couple of goes but you will hit it eventually.

Then from the drop down menu click options and finally under themes click set default theme and chrome should be back to normal. You can then reinstall your preferred theme if you were using one other than the default.

Not entirely sure what caused this. Polybore was running the theme “Late Night” which had not exhibited any problems before.

One possibility is that the theme was broken when Google Chrome updated to the latest version (around 25th of January). This happened around the time that the theme broke although polybore cannot be certain as Chrome seems to have silently updated itself.

Lending weight to polybore’s idea that the update broke the theme is the fact that one new feature added during the update was the addition of extensions, which can be bolted onto Chrome, and crucially have an icon next to the address bar.

Previously on Google Chrome:

Warning! Google Chrome incognito mode NOT incognito at all

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Life Children's Refuge Haiti

New Life Children's Refuge are based in Idaho and are associated with the Central Valley Baptist Church. Currently the Cenral Valley Babtist Church is displaying this message on it's web site.
"A ten member church team traveled to Haiti to help rescue children from one or more orphanages that had been devastated in the earthquake on January 12. The children were being taken to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic where they could be cared for and have their medical and emotional needs attended to. Our team was falsely arrested today and we are doing everything we can from this end to clear up the misunderstanding that has occurred in Port au Prince."

Whatever New Life Children's Refuge may think, and regardless of the circumstances, moving children from one state to another without consulting the local authorities is at best naive in the extreme. Not sure how New Life Children's Refuge can claim that their team was falsely arrested when it is clear that they had not gained permission for their activities.

Perhaps it could be said that these people were acting out of the best of intentions however Central Valley Baptist Church have some curious views regarding their fellow Idaho citizens so you might wonder exactly what their view may be of these orphans existing religious beliefs.

According to Clint Henry, the senior pastor at Central Valley Baptist Church, one of the main challenges of his ministry in Idaho is that he is in an 

"area that is heavily influenced by a non-Christian religion"
Quite what this non Christian religion is he does not specify but is seems an odd thing to say when clearly the majority of those in Idaho are Christians of one denomination or another.
Protestant – 29.3%

LDS (Mormon) – 22.8%

Catholic – 14.3%

Non-Denominational Christian – 13.6%
Source 15th annual Idaho Public Policy Study.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How to spot a lie. Michael Rosen vs Richard Sheridan, managing director of Teceris Validation Services, part of the Capita Group


The BBC Radio 4 program “Word of Mouth” broadcast 12th January 2010 and presented by Michael Rosen investigated lying. It’s strap line was “Does our voice change when we are trying to deceive?”.

Part of the program included an interview between Michael Rosen and Richard Sheridan, managing director of Teceris Validation Services, part of the Capita Group.

Teceris Validation Services provide software which Teceris claims analyses real-time telephone conversations and alerts the operator when a callers voice is, according to it’s analysis, exhibiting signs that there is a risk that the caller is lying. When this happens the operator, but not the caller, hears a tone on their headset.

This voice analysis software is already in use by some councils in the UK and according to Capita it’s use looks set to expand.

Lie detector tests are famously controversial because to date none of them, including the polygraph test used in the USA, have been able to be backed up by independent research.

In this audio clip from the BBC’s Radio 4 “Word of Mouth” the first voice that you hear is that of Michael Rosen the second is that of Richard Sheridan, managing director of Teceris Validation Services.

BBC Word of Mouth Clip Mp3

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Freeloading hypocrite Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan loves BBC iPlayer but won’t pay for it

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, while answering a question on this weekends edition of BBC Radio 4’s “Any Questions”, said

“…I’ve now stopped paying my licence fee because I have discarded my television and I watch television on the internet instead…”

To be exempt from having a TV Licence while still accessing television over the internet you can only use on demand services such as the BBC iPlayer. If you are accessing live TV broadcasts you must have a licence.

So unless Hannan only watches television provided on demand by ITV and C4 then it is most likely most of the TV he watches is produced by the BBC and delivered by the BBC iPlayer.

Hannan’s constant winging about the BBC while he happily avails himself  of the BBC’s content without paying for it smacks of hypocrisy.