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12th-Jun-2013 08:27 pm - Calling Good Samaritans
Szilibalt
A plea from one of my daughters, who is trying to raise money for charity. She’s hit a snag: she’s raised the money, but is having issues getting that money paid into her MyDonate page:

“Calling all good samaritans!
This year I’m going to be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but to do that I need to raise £2450. I’ve already raised £800, but the problem is that as a child in care I asked for social services to hold the money for me until I needed it, but now they’re being far too slow at giving my money back to me. The deadline for the first amount, £580, is on the 14th in two days. I’ve tried everything I can to get my social worker to talk to me about it but after countless unanswered phone calls and emails, trips in to try and see her in person, it’s come to no avail. The charity director has told me that they can only extend the deadline by three days. So here’s the thing; I would be ETERNALLY grateful if someone out there could find it in their hearts to donate the £580 to my mydonate page https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/catrionamalbaski1 with the understanding that I can and will pay them back within the month, and would be willing to pay them back £650 in total for the trouble.
Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I know the page looks empty but please remember I have ALREADY raised £800; it just needs to be given back to me! Many, MANY thanks! - Catriona Malbaski”

Even if you can’t afford to help, please reblog this and/or consider donating. Every little will help. Let's see if we can get her MyDonate page to £580 in 5 days.

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1302143.html"; you may comment either there or here.
15th-Mar-2011 03:09 pm - Breaking news: another earthquake
Szilibalt
Tokyo has just been rocked by another earthquake. A few minutes ago a magnitude 6+ struck north Shizuoka; reports are coming in of some damage and injuries. The exact magnitude is not yet known; USGS hasn't yet released any data on the quake. The Japanese Meteorological Office has stated that this is a fresh earthquake, unconnected to the recent quakes and to the Tokai fault which Japan fears could cause "the big one"; a Tokai mega-quake could wipe out the centre of Japan and the majority of the population, but the Met Office spokesman is stressing that it is not that fault line that is involved here. There are reports of a fire at a hotel and some collapsed ceilings, but the Shizuoka nuclear power plant is unaffected.

Edit: Magnitude was 6.4, epicentre was Toruga Bay in Shizuoka.

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1266020.html"; you may comment either there or here.
26th-Oct-2010 11:01 pm - An interesting problem
Szilibalt
A query perhaps for the authors on my f-list, but indeed for any of the creative types involved in publishing.

The problem concerns a work which is just barely available commercially and is likely to be dropped unless it starts to shift units and generate sales. It's still in print - barely - but unless it starts shifting in significant numbers, the publisher is likely to give up on it and let copyright devolve back to the creator. It's at a stage where obscurity, not piracy, is the problem.

Making a nice bundle for torrenting it is easy, as is putting it up on the trackers. The question is, just what methods of publicity are effective? I'm aware of Underground and 4chan, but what other publicity methods would work?

Here's the really tricky bit: the publishing would not be onside with such "bootlegging", but jumping ship isn't an option (unless there's another publisher sniffing around and interested in picking it up pretty much immediately). So openly networking as hard as possible in the obvious manner is not likely work - and it's safe to assume the publisher is not going to spend one red cent on publicising a work that thus far is trickling its way down into obscurity and out of print.

So. Suggestions?

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1252370.html"; you may comment either there or here.
11th-Sep-2010 09:33 pm - And yet more on CrossPostGate.
Szilibalt
More and more unpleasantness has been creeping out over the whole CrossPostGate furore.

LJ has announced it is actually going to be the code that enables cross-posting to Twitter and FB so that it will no longer be possible to cross-post comments from a locked post, only a public one; it will not be possible to cross-post screened comments, even from a public post. However despite announcing this as a major change, they won't be implementing it for another 2 weeks.

And whilst some staff members are not happy with the whole idea of cross-posting in the first place, it seems one particular staffer - brenden has created his own sockpuppet account, getyourownbitch to actively troll LJ users on the News post. Nice, huh? [ETA] brenden has since gone through and deleted all the comments he made using his sockpuppet account; however [personal profile] jessicaarnold has kindly archived them here.

It's not the first time an LJ staffer has acted against LJ official policy, either; there's the case of an LJ staffer, dnewhall, using his staff admin powers to leave a creepy comment on a locked post (difficult, but possible as he had database access at the time) back in May. He tried to claim that the post was public at the time (it wasn't), it was then looked at by further LJ staffers, who changed the privacy of that post to Public and changed tag settings so tags could be added and then claimed the post had been public all along.

Just think about that for a few minutes.

And dnewhall still has admin powers. Unlike a similar incident a few years back where a female staffer leaked information from locked posts and was promptly suspended.

I still have 8 invite codes for those who want them; codes are also available at [dreamwidth.org profile] dw_codesharing, or see DW's latest news post - due to the shut-down of Vox, DW is offering free acounts to Vox users - you can create an account using the code VOX, which will work until the end of the month.

Please disseminate this information widely, and feel free to link to this entry which is being cross-posted on DW (public), my personal LJ (friends-only), integralthought (public), [profile] arkadiandreams and my IJ (public).

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1249492.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Szilibalt
LJ has implemented a new crossposting feature. Not only does it allow you to cross-post entries to Twitter and/or Facebook, but comments too. Even if the post you are commenting on is locked to friends-only.

Even if you, personally, opt out of cross-posting and don't link your LJ and FB accounts to your LJ account, you can't stop anyone on your F-list who has linked their accounts from cross-posting a comment on a locked post of yours publically to Facebook and/or Twitter. And if you do link acounts, cross-posting is on by default unless you specifically opt out.

I have no idea what crack LJ were on when they came up with this particular little gem of privacy invasion, but this is a particularly unpleasant little option that I want nothing to do with. So consider this a warning: I will ban anyone who cross-posts a comment from my personal LJ. My LJ, FB and Twitter accounts are seperate, and I want to keep them that way.

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1248729.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Szilibalt
Yesterday a runaway engineer's train caused massive disruption to London Underground's Northern Line. There is a BBC report on it here, but there's so much more to the story than what you can read there.

In order to explain more fully what happened, first I have to give some background and explain a few things about how certain systems work on the Underground.

To begin with, for the record, I used to be a line controller on the District Line, and did half of my training at Baker Street where the north half of the Circle Line, the upper part of the Hammersmith & City and the whole of the Metropolitan Line are controlled from; the Bakerloo Line is run from the control room down the hall from the Met. Both the District & Piccadilly Lines are run from the same room at Earl's Court. The Central Line control room is at White City, and the Northern & Jubilee Lines are run from Cranbourne Street. The East London Line and the Waterloo & City are run by, effectively, glorified signallers - they're not very complex and don't require the special touch of an LC or SDM (Service Duty Manager).

So this whole incident was being monitored from Cranbourne Street by the Northern Line SDMs and signallers - principally the signal operator on the Camden Town desk. Remember this person - they become incredibly important during the story.

Now, the next bit of info concerns the braking systems - and specifically the train protection systems as used on all London Underground trains, with very few exceptions.

Next to each signal, there's a device down on the track called a trainstop; when the signal is red, the trainstop is raised. It's a pneumatic device designed to fail to the up position, just as any failure of a signal results in it turning red.

There is a trainstop and associated signal at each end of a station platform, to govern movement both forward and reverse from that platform.

On the underside of each tube train there is a trip cock; it is connected to the brakes so that if the trip cock hits the trainstop, the brakes are automatically applied and the train stops. There's one at each end of the train as trains can be driven from either end. Like the trainstops, a train's main brakes are operated pneumatically and are designed to fail with the brakes fully on.

Engineer's trains are slightly different; many of them don't run on electricity for a start, being diesel-driven, and not all of them have trip cocks.

Yesterday's incident involved an engineering train that became defective and had to be towed by an out-of-service passenger train. Unfortunately as it was travelling northbound towards Archway, the couplings broke and began to run back down the track towards Camden, out of control and without brakes - they had been isolated so it could be towed, so it ouldn't have stopped even if it had had a trip cock. Thankfully it was just before the start of peak time so the service was spaced out and there were no northbound trains in its path at that point.

One of the handy things about the platforms at Camden is that trains can be reversed from any platform to pretty much any other. So the Camden signaller set up the points so the runaway train would cross from the northbound High Barnet branch platform to the southbound track on the Charing Cross branch (which at that time of the morning would have had fewer trains than the southbound Bank branch).

The SDMs at the same time ordered all southbound trains on the Charing Cross branch to nonstop stations as far as possible until ordered to stop, to increase the distance between them and the runaway train. The driver of the rearmost train also requested all his passengers to move up to the front car, so if the engineer's train caught up to them it would minimise injuries; however due to the prompt actions of the service control staff and the excellent response fro the drivers, the runaway train never came any closer than half a mile to the nearest passenger train.

The track at Warren Street goes up a slight incline on the approach to the southbound platform; this is to slow the forward speed and aid the braking of a train coming into the platform, and it was that incline which halted the engineer's train.

The service was disrupted for quite some time afterwards as the service had to be rerouted through to run only down the Bank branch and up to Edgware, with services on the Charing Cross branch and up to High Barnet suspended until the engineer's train could be safely moved again.

I do hope the signaller, SDMs and drivers concerned all get the commendations they so justly deserve for their quick thinking, professionalism and outstanding teamwork during this incident.

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1247857.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Szilibalt
TITLE: A Somnambulistic Conundrum
FANDOM / PAIRING: Sherlock Holmes; Holmes/Watson
RATING: PG-13
DISCLAIMER: Characters not, alas, mine.
PROMPT: Originally inspired by this prompt
SUMMARY: Holmes wakes up to find himself snuggled up to Watson with no recollection of how he came to be there. And then it happens again. Can he find out why this is happening & control it before it affects his friendship with Watson forever? And what is the significance of the Cessarine Majeste?

Holmes strode along the wharfside, head down in thought. Irene sat on a mooring bollard and watched him thoughtfully as Watson peered in through a porthole on the barge.Collapse )

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1245052.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Szilibalt
TITLE: A Somnambulistic Conundrum
FANDOM / PAIRING: Sherlock Holmes; Holmes/Watson
RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: Characters not, alas, mine.
PROMPT: Originally inspired by this prompt but took a decidedly non-fluffy turn.
SUMMARY: Holmes wakes up to find himself cuddled up to Watson with no memory of how he got there.

The next morning, Holmes emerged from his room very late for breakfast.Collapse )

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1239022.html"; you may comment either there or here.
Szilibalt
TITLE: A Somnambulistic Conundrum
FANDOM / PAIRING: Sherlock Holmes; Holmes/Watson
RATING: PG
DISCLAIMER: Characters not, alas, mine.
PROMPT: Originally inspired by this prompt but took a decidedly non-fluffy turn.
SUMMARY: Holmes wakes up to find himself cuddled up to Watson with no memory of how he got there.

He stared at the cold metal cuff locked fast to his slender wrist; he couldn’t help but shudder slightly at the harsh feel of the metal against his flesh.Collapse )

Originally posted at "http://arkady.dreamwidth.org/1238715.html"; you may comment either there or here.
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