Congrats to Jack Monroe on winning the “Observer Food Monthly” Blogger of the Year Award !
Congrats to Jack Monroe on winning the “Observer Food Monthly” Blogger of the Year Award !
If you are down by the Thames , and are curious about a cargo ship going past, you can find out about it by going to http://www.marinetraffic.com/ Type in “Thames Estuary” and you will get a map of the Thames with little markers showing the ships. You can click on the markers to get more info. Or you can search for the ship by name. It covers most of the world….
Congrats to Jonathan Calder – his “Liberal England” has won the Lib Dem Blog of the Year award.
Another worthy blog belongs to Mark Pack. He shows a remarkable bit of wartime “town planning” here.
Sorry for our brief absence . We’ve had nasty online criminals attacking our website, but things are OK now and we are back…
OnlineFOCUS readers may be interested in a newish website called “Essex Eye”. It has local crime news and crime prevention advice. It’s not altogether clear who’s writing it. The site conveniently collects together information that’s been published elsewhere.
There is almost too much crime data to look at , including links to monthly crime figures for each council ward!
Thanks to the Mighty Oz for pointing this item from the government website
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles today published a new guide for local people explaining how they can attend and report their local council meetings. New guidance explicitly states that councils should allow the public to film council meetings.
The new how-to guide gives practical information for the public to attend meetings of a council’s executive and how to obtain council documents. The government has changed the law to allow citizens to report, blog, tweet and film council meetings in England. It also outlines the assorted rights that taxpayers’ have to access council papers and documents….
You can find quite a few council chamber videos on Youtube. Here’s one from a small City council in the USA, which gets a bit tetchy, nothing spectcular, though there is some hat throwing after about 2 minutes 15 secs:
From the district council website :
There will be severe disruption to our online services today (17th July 2014) from 6pm – midnight for essential maintenance.
This will affect the following systems:
Services for viewing council tax, business rates or benefit account, registering or obtaining a PIN and council tax banding
Online parking services
Committee Management Information System (CMIS)
Online planning, building control and licensing searches
If you would like to comment on an application, please email:
building control: email@example.com
Any emails to the Council will not be received until the Council opens on Friday morning.
We apologise for any inconvenience.
“Datashine” is an impressive new online tool for looking at census data. It’s been developed by James Cheshire and Oliver O’Brien at University College London. If you are curious about our district it’s definitely worth a look (especially if you are a councillor!)
If you click here you go to a map centred on Rochford.
Then you can play around with the “Data Chooser” and select from a deluge of census data. For example, if you adjust the data chooser for 1 ) “Health” 2) “General Health” and 3 “Very Good Health” you get the following display, where the green roads have the highest number of healthiest people. As you move your cursor around , the key tells you what council ward you are in. So with the cursor at the top of the image you can see that only 22% of people on one of the caravan sites in Hullbridge said they were in very good health. (Click on the image to enlarge):
Here’s some more examples (in each case with the cursor pointing to Brixham Close in Rayleigh).
Percentage of families with dependent children:
Percentage of adults with a university degree:
Percentage of adults aged 17-74 who commute by train:
Percentage of people who are Christians:
Hat-tip: The Guardian
For anyone who wonders if anyone reads onlineFOCUS , here’s our daily figures for June – you can click on the image to enlarge it:
This month we had between 114 and 255 visitors each day. The software we use defines a ‘visitor’ as someone who hasn’t look at the site in the previous 24 hours – in other words someone having a look 20 times a day counts as one visitor, not 20.
Here’s the monthly figures for the past year:
The stats show that we get between 5000 and 7000 visitors in most months. That figure is a bit lower in December (probably due to Christmas)! The figure for June this year is about 1000 higher than for June 2013…
From the National Crime Agency website:
The National Crime Agency is warning people they have two weeks to save their computers from a powerful malicious software attack. The malware called GOZeuS is hiding within attachments in emails and, once downloaded, enables hackers to access computers and scan them for valuable information.
If no data is found, a second malware, known as CryptoLocker, locks the computer, displays a window with a countdown, and demands a ransom to grant access again.
According to the NCA, people are asked to pay 1 Bitcoin (£200 – £300) to regain access to their files.
The NCA is advising people to make sure security software is installed and updated, by running scans and checking that computer operating systems and applications are up to date….
Get information here on how to keep your computer safe and follow the advice as soon as possible. Here is part of it:
This page has been created to help you protect your computer, your finances, your identity and your family against a new global online threat. The threat is targeted at random private individuals and small businesses, so it is critical that you read this page and apply our advice immediately if you have a computer running any version of the Windows operating system – including Windows running as a virtual machine on an Apple Mac, any server running Windows and Windows embedded. This is not a case of isolated attacks, as over 15,000 computers in the UK alone are thought to have been already affected.
What you need to do NOW…
Go to one of the links to internet security software companies at the bottom of this page to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer. We advise you do this even if you haven’t had a communication from your ISP.
Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic. Click for more info.
Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times. Click for more info.
Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure all of your files including documents, photos music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer. Click for more info.
Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program. Click for more info.
This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately. This is because the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has taken temporary control of the communications used to connect with infected computers, but expects only a very limited window of opportunity to ensure you are protected.
We are Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners in Rochford District.
We want to improve local decision-making and we see onlineFOCUS as a good way of keep residents informed and involved.
Please click here to email us .
We welcome your comments, they are very important to us. However please note:
* We may not necessarily agree with the comments made by our readers
* We ask everyone to treat people with respect when making a comment. No personal abuse please.
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If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.
If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.
If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.
If you read onlineFOCUS for a while you can see the kind of things we are trying to achieve locally. Maybe you would like to help us?
If you fancy helping us deliver leaflets, or actively campaigning for us at election time, or simply just helping behind the scenes with paperwork, please contact the onlineFOCUS team here.