Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Health and Safey Regulations 2013

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The Health and Safey

 (miscellaneous repeals, revocations and amendments) Regulations 2013 came into force on 6th April 2013.

These regulations repeal one act and revoke twelve Instruments plus a related provision in the Factories Act 1961.

These changes do not compromise essential health and safety protections but aim to make the legislative framework simpler and clearer.

This work is part of wider reforms to help employers understand quickly and easily what they need to do to manage workplace risks.

These measures are being removed because they have either been overtaken by more up to date regualtions, are redundant or do not deliver the intended benefits.

The construction related measures being removed are:

Gasholders (record of examinations) Order 1938

Gasholders and steam boilers (metrication) Regualtions 1981

Notification of installations handling hazardous substances Regulations 1962

Construction (head protection) Regulations 1989

Notification of installations handling hazardous substances (amendment) Regulations 2002

Notification of conventional tower cranes Regualtions 2010

Notification of conventional tower cranes (amendment) Regualtions 2010

HSE is taking action to raise awareness of the changes. This includes working with the construction industry to ensure that it understands the continuing need for employers to provide hard hats and ensure they are worn on construction sites. Hard hats remain vital in protecting construction workers from head injuries. Employers will still need to comply with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 which have been amended so that they cover the provision and use of head protection on construction sites thus maintaining the level of protection when the Construction (head protection) Regulations 1989 are revoked.

WIFI – Hotspots

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Ease of Use is a Feature
Hotspots use the custom paper writing service 802.11 open authentication method, meaning no authentication process at Layer 2 – at all. The customer’s client device (laptop, iPad, smartphone, etc.) joins the hotspot’s SSID, and is forwarded to the DHCP service, and the client device receives an IP address, default gateway and DNS. This, in its purest form, is hotspot connectivity.

At this point the client is now ready to access the Internet. One option is to just allow direct access. This is the easiest of all systems. It causes no difficulty with devices, because there is no user interaction.

However, most hotspot providers opt for a captive portal solution – whereby any attempt by the client device to either load a browser-based Internet session, check e-mail, etc., will all be redirected to an HTTP web page. By capturing all possible outbound ports, the customer’s experience is changed from what they would get at home.

On this captive portal page, the customer can choose to accept the terms of service, and/or pay for Internet usage. The use of a captive portal makes accessing the Internet via a hotspot quite difficult for devices that do not have native web browsing capabilities. The more “hoops” a customer has to go through, the lower their valuation of the hotspot service.

The next feature that is on the top of customer’s mind is the actual throughput of the connection. If Internet access is slow or inconsistent, customer complaints rise.  Gone are the days when a 100-bed hotel could utilize a single T-1 line (1.5MBs) being shared between all the guests.

With the advent of streaming audio and video services – like Spotify, Pandora, Hulu and Netflix – users expectations of throughput have increased faster than most hotspot providers have increased bandwidth. A business can have the best Wi-Fi system available, with fantastic data-rates going over the RF medium, but without an adequately sized backhaul, end users will still complain.

Lighting and HVAC in one controller = One system integrator!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The convergence of IP and building automation networks is undeniable and enables the integration of diverse applications and systems. Just to name a few, IP can connect energy metering & management, building automation, video surveillance, access control, and even fire & alarm systems. Managing several, or all of the above, from a single interface can offer unprecedented levels of reactivity and cohesion between systems.  It can also reduce overlapping software, labour and training costs. This is why IP enabled controllers and building management systems will win.

For system integrators, to manage HVAC and lighting simultaneously with a single controller means reduced hardware, installation and logistics costs. For end-users, it means better return on investments and shorter payback periods.

So, if someone is proposing to use a specialist BMS control contractor and a lighting control system integrator contractor on the same project – STOP and ask why?

The same specialist system integrator could undertake both roles!

FTP Response Codes

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Following are links to the detailed articles for the FTP response codes.

FTP Software – Using XCRC to Verify Data Integrity

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

So FTP software support XCRC error checking, a feature that has been added to many FTP Servers, such as Serv-U. The XCRC command uses a CRC (cyclic redundancy check) to verify the data was transferred correctly. The algorithm used is CRC-32, a very well known standard algorithm that ensures the data sent is the same as the data received.When FTP softwware is connected to a server that supports XCRC, it automatically checks the XCRC value with the server to ensure the content of the data is correct. If the XCRC check fails, FTP  automatically retries the file transfer.

Latency versus Bandwidth – What is it?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Spending Review: List of major projects given the green light

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

List of projects across the country given the go-ahead in the Spending Review document

North West

  • Mersey Gateway Bridge – new suspension bridge over the River Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn
  • West Cumberland hospital redevelopment
  • Royal Oldham hospital redevelopment and Typhoon fast jet construction

West Midlands

  • HS2 – new high speed rail link from London to Birmingham, and then to both Manchester and Leeds
  • Midland Metro – route extension and capacity increase
  • Birmingham New Street – station upgrade

South West

  • Weymouth 2012 package – an integrated transport package to be delivered in time for the Olympics
  • Poole Bridge – new bridge providing link to key development sites

South East

  • A23 – improvements to the A23 Trunk Road between Handcross and Warninglid
  • Diamond Synchrotron – Phase 3 development of the national science research facility
  • Surrey – St Helier hospital redevelopment


  • Crossrail
  • Transport for London – continued funding for the London Underground upgrade programme which will increase capacity by 30%
  • UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation
  • M25 – widening from junctions 16 to 25, and 27 to 30

North East

  • East Coast – improvements to the East Coast Main Line
  • Nexus – £500m refurbish and upgrade the Tyne & Wear metro

Yorkshire & the Humber

  • Leeds Station – new southern entrance to improve access
  • Yorkshire – northern urban centres rail capacity improvements

East Midlands

  • A46 – improvements between Newark and Widmerpool
  • M1/M6 viaduct – replacment of failing Catthorpe
  • viaduct carrying the M6 over the M1 at Junction 19

East of England

  • A11 – upgrading the remaining section to provide a continuous dual carriageway link between Norwich & the M11

Smart building – Future house

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Structural design Eurocodes now adopted take over from withdrawn BS standards

Monday, April 5th, 2010


Introduction of a suite of new British Standards (BSs) for structural design, based on European Standards often called the Eurocodes, and the associated withdrawal by British Standards Institution in March 2010 of conflicting BS design standards, some of which are referenced in the Building Regulations Approved Documents, particularly Approved Document A (Structure).
The structural Eurocodes are a set of standardised European design standards which provide a common approach to structural design across the EU. They are intended to remove potential barriers to trade that exist when countries have different design standards

There are ten Eurocodes made up of 58 Parts that are being adopted in all EU Member States in 2010. Each Part is implemented nationally with a National Annex. These Annexes contain information on Nationally Determined Parameters to be used for the design of building and civil engineering works to be constructed in the country concerned, addressing for example particular national safety parameters, geographical and climatic conditions, and procedures.
Under an agreement between the European standardisation bodies, the national standards bodies including BSI for the UK will withdraw any conflicting national structural design standards by 31 March 2010.
In the UK BSI has published the Eurocode (EN) standards as British Standards (BS ENs). BSI has also published the National Annexes. The ten, with the number of Parts in each, are:

BS EN 1990 Basis of Structural Design 1 Part

BS EN 1991 Actions on Structures 10 Parts

BS EN 1992 Design of Concrete Structures 4 Parts

BS EN 1993 Design of Steel Structures 20 Parts

BS EN 1994 Design of Composite Structures 3 Parts

BS EN 1995 Design of Timber Structures 3 Parts

BS EN 1996 Design of Masonry Structures 4 Parts

BS EN 1997 Geotechnical Design 2 Parts

BS EN 1998 Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance 6 Parts

BS EN 1999 Design of Aluminium Structures 5 Parts
ANNEX A provides a list of the new BS EN structural design standards, and the corresponding British Standards which will be withdrawn by BSI on 31 March 2010.


The structural Eurocodes are divided into 10 areas:

Base Eurocode – Basis of structural design
Needed for use with all other Eurocodes

Eurocode 1 Series – Action on structures
Eurocodes and related information on loading

Eurocode 2 Series – Design of concrete structures
Eurocodes and related information on concrete

Eurocode 3 Series – Design of steel structures
Eurocodes and related information on steel structures

Eurocode 4 Series – Design on composite steel and concrete structures
Eurocodes and related information on composites

Eurocode 5 Series – Design of timber structures
Eurocodes and related information on timber

Eurocodes 6 Series – Design of masonry structures
Eurocodes and related information on masonry

Eurocode 7 Series – Geotechnical design
Eurocodes and related information on geotechnics

Eurocode 8 Series – Design of structures for earthquake resistance
Eurocodes and related information on seismic regions

Eurocode 9 Series – Design of aluminium structures
Eurocodes and related information on aluminium

When assessing compliance with the Building Regulations, BCBs should continue to consider the appropriate use of relevant standards on a case by case basis. This may include the use of the new BS ENs, which formally become the new national standards in April 2010 reflecting the changes made by the standards organisations. There is no need to wait until April 2010.
The British Standards to be withdrawn on 31 March are and will remain available from BSI. But BSI committees have already stopped updating those British Standards, and so they may not necessarily be suitable for aspects of structural design in the medium and long term.
BCBs will need to be aware of the risk of designs inappropriately mixing new design standards based on the BS ENs and withdrawn BS design standards.

Building regulations are made for specific purposes, including the health and safety, welfare and convenience of people in and around buildings, and energy conservation. The majority of the functional requirements of these regulations are set out in Parts A to P in Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2000. The Approved Documents which provide guidance on compliance with those requirements are named to correspond to the appropriate Part, e.g. Approved Document A provides guidance on compliance with Part A. Standards and technical approvals may be appropriate guidance as to compliance with the functional requirements to the extent that the content is related to those requirements. However standards and technical approvals may also address aspects of performance such as serviceability, and other matters which are not covered by the Building Regulations.
When an Approved Document makes reference to a named standard, the relevant version of the standard is the one listed at the end of the publication. However, if this version has been revised or updated by the issuing standards body, the new version may be used as a source of guidance provided it continues to address the relevant requirements of the Regulations.

Philips announces 9704 range of “LED Pro” televisions

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Need another televisual tech phrase to add to the mix?

Sure you do, and today’s word comes from Philips with its new 9704 TV range that offers “LED Pro” technology.

Clearly better than just TVs marketed as LED sets, the “Pro” 9704 range offers “sensational black levels, brilliant whites and an incredible contrast level of 5,000,000:1 – while consuming up to 50% less power than conventional.

The LED Pro bits come in with the 224 LED segments, each of which can be independently dimmed or brightened – or even turned off completely – greatly improving contrast.

A few more proprietary phrases to throw at you now, and there’s also “Perfect Pixel HD engine”, “200Hz Clear technology”, “Perfect Natural Motion system”, “Perfect Colour” and “Colour Booster technology”, all of which are said to add up to a fab viewing experience.

The TV also offers “Ambilight Spectra 3”, another Philips tech, that projects lights from both sides and the top edge of the TV on to the rear wall for what’s claimed to be a more immersive viewing experience.

Other features include a 1ms response time, 2x15W output into four speakers and DNLA-certified Wi-Fi for Philips’ “NetTV” that means you can access the internet through telly and five HDMI 1.3a EasyLink sockets.

All of the above will cost you £1799 for the 40-inch 40PFL9704 and £2499 for the 46-inch 46PFL9704, both due on sale in December.

Fire Safety Order – offence caused by ignoring request for information

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

A property management firm has been fined £1500 and ordered to pay costs of £2000 for two offences under fire safety legislation.

Solitaire Property Management Limited pleaded guilty to the offences at a hearing in Southampton Magistrates Court on 2 November. The company failed to respond to a number of requests for information under Article 27 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 about a block of flats in Southampton.

The prosecution was brought by Hampshire County Council solicitors and Solitaire Property Management received a fine of £750 per offence and were ordered to pay £1,000 to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority and £1,000 to Hampshire County Council.

Assistant chief officer Steve Hamm, head of community safety at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We require information about premises to enable us to carry out our enforcement action and improve the safety of the people of Hampshire. Failure to answer our letters constitutes an offence under the Fire Safety Order and Solitaire Property Management has today been found guilty of this offence


Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Category 3 is the performance level for voice and data transmission up to 16 MHz or 10 Mbps, such as 4-Mbps Token Ring and 10BASE-T.

Both Category 3 and 4 are unsuitable for today’s high speed networking standards and will need to be replaced with Cat5 cable as a minimum if you intend to run 100baseT Ethernet.

Lighting: Flat Glass Panels

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009


The glass is the light.

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Don’t let the gorgeous design distract you – the light emitting glass known as Planilum created by French design firm Saazs and Saint-Gobain Innovations differs from any lighting you’ve seen before.

For one, the light seems to be both drawn on the glass and living within it.

For another, it’s expected to last for about 20 years since the electric cathode is not in contact with the light’s gasses as with a normal bulb.

Instead, electricity applied to the base of the glass runs through transparent conductive layers which excite the plasma gas trapped in layers of glass. Then phosphorus painted on the glass reacts to the plasma and creates a glowing and diffuse light.

While warm, the light is not hot to the touch.

That means a coffee table, shelf or wall can be a room’s light source, according to Saazs designer Tomas Erel, making Planilum a “new generation of lighting.”

“The little points of light we all know will vanish,” Erel said. “Surface light will take over.”

The Planilum lights turn on and off instantly and are currently a bit more efficient than neon – without using mercury or losing brightness over time, according to Erel.

Saazs’ One — the four-foot tall panel featuring rows of donut-like radiating light circles pictured above — costs €2,500 Euro, or about $3,600 U.S.

MOTO Labs Shows Large Screen Multi-touch Prototype

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

San Francisco based MOTO Development Group has helped design some interesting gadgets including the LiveScribe Smart Pen and Flip camera.  Now the company’s labs are showing a demo of a large multi-touch screen that can potentially scale up to 50-inches.The prototype display from MOTO Labs has the thickness of an LCD display. It does not use cameras or bulky projection technology,  explain the Labs in this video.

“When this technology is available at the right price it will shift the paradigm for computer use away from individual interaction towards multiple users working on multi-touch surfaces together,” says Daniell Hebert, MOTO Development Group CEO in statement. “It will be all over the workplace.”

Though MOTO Labs claims its touchscreen tech is such that “no other system currently delivers” that may be a bit of a stretch. Israeli company N-Trig says it can make multi-touch displays in almost any size that users want. N-Trig has also launched a touchscreen digitizer kit to make it easy for software developers to create multi-touch based applications.

Near Field Communication: Ready For Take Off

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

In 2002, NXP Semiconductors and Sony co-invented Near Field Communication (NFC), a short-range wireless connectivity technology that provides consumers with simple and secure, intuitive and convenient interaction between a variety of electronic devices, such as mobile phones, computers and digital cameras. Examples of NFC use cases include mobile phones that enable payment and ticketing as well as digital cameras that send their photos to a TV set with a simple tap. NFC evolved from a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technology, operating in 13.56MHz frequency range and over a distance of a few centimeters and was standardized by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) in 2004.

Since its early days, NFC has garnered major interest from various industries. In an effort to advance the use of the technology NXP, Nokia and Sony joined forces and established the NFC Forum in 2004, focused on developing specifications, ensuring interoperability between devices and services and educating the market about NFC. More than 150 member companies make up the Forum today, including semiconductor, handset, PC and consumer electronics manufacturers, applications developers, financial services institutions, among others.

The struggle for standardization
Early days of NFC adoption lacked technical standards and cooperation among numerous ecosystem players, and were faced with market misconceptions. That said, business model discussions and the struggle to finalize standardization of the technology have yielded great progress addressing the needs and ambitions of the various players within the NFC mobile ecosystem. More than 200 NFC projects have been conducted worldwide to date, including trials and commercial deployments with varying use cases of the technology, all of which have resulted in strong adoption and positive feedback from users about NFC’s ease-of-use.

Recently, NFC players successfully standardized the NFC SIM interface at European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). This Single Wire Protocol (SWP) provides the interface between the SIM card and the NFC chipset on the hardware layer, and enables the hosting of contactless applications securely in SIM cards of mobile phones, a key request from mobile networks operators.

NXP has actively supported and contributed to the development of a definition of a common SWP standard that is fully compliant with the existing contactless infrastructure. Additionally, the software layer for NFC applications, the Host Controller interface (HCI), has been standardized. The first products using these standards, such as the Nokia 6216, have recently been announced (, and will be commercially available in the second half of 2009.

The leap forward with NXP’s PN544
Leveraging its leadership and expertise in NFC, NXP has presented the world’s first industry standard NFC controller with the company’s launch of the PN544. The PN544 delivers a fully compliant standards-based for handset manufacturers and operators developing next generation NFC devices and services, and is based on the latest NFC specifications by ETSI.

The PN544 is fully compliant with all released NFC specifications on the SWP connection with the SIM and the Host Controller Interface. In addition, NXP worked closely with leading SIM card manufacturers, including Gemalto, Oberthur Technologies and Giesecke & Devrient, to ensure SWP interface interoperability including support of the MIFARE technology. The new NFC controller is fully backwards compatible and interoperable with existing contactless infrastructure for payments and ticketing (e.g. MIFARE), already in place across the world.

To meet the needs of differing handset manufacturers, the PN544 has been designed to support the three main architectures used to secure NFC transactions, including the Secure Element within the Universal Integrated Card (UICC), within the SD card and within the mobile handset (embedded Secure Element: PN544 plus Smart MX security in a pin to pin compliant solution).

The PN544 also features optimized antenna designs for best-in-class performance and a small footprint for size optimization in various electronic device architectures. The controller is specifically designed for low power consumption and works with energy from the field if the handset battery power is low or off. NXP offers the PN544 together with an optional modular, generic and platform independent software stack. To shorten the integration time, NXP also offers qualified design-in support.

The way forward for NFC
With standardization issues resolved, mobile handset makers can take advantage of the compliant chipsets, and can begin producing NFC handsets in larger volumes. Major handset manufacturers are currently NXP’s PN544 to ramp up their production, and new standard compliant NFC devices should be available in the second half of 2009.

This development will bring NFC-enabled phones to consumers in large volumes, so they can take advantage of the ease, speed and convenience offered by the technology. Leading handset manufacturers have indicated plans to incorporate NFC as a standard feature into their cell phone platforms, comparable with today.

With large contactless infrastructure already in place, it is expected that commercial deployments will initially focus on contactless payment in Northern America and on ticketing in Asia and Europe. The arrival of NFC handsets and other NFC-enabled devices will advance the adoption of NFC and boost the launch of new contactless applications and services in the markets around the globe.