Archive for August, 2009

Upcoming Hack and Geek events

August 28th, 2009

Oddly I have been asked a few times what events are worth attending. I have also been asked to help pimp a few events recently as well, so this post will hopefully help everybody. If you are interested in learning, building, or socialising then have a look at the evens and consider coming along.


Sat 29th : Geek Steam BBQ


Sat 5th – Sun 6th : BarCampBrighton
Fri 4th – Sun 6th : Geeks in the Peaks

Fri 11th – 12th : EcoMo09
Sun 13th : Big Geek Day Out

Sat 19th – Sun 20th : Charity Hack Day

Fri 25th – Sat 26th : Over the Air
Sat 26th – Sun 27th : BathCamp


3rd – 4th : Hack North

Sat 17th : BarCampBlackpool

24th – 25th : BarCampLondon7

Sat 31st : VampDevCamp


Sat 7th – Sun 8th : BarCampManchester2

Sat 14th : BarCampBradford

The only filtering criteria I have used on this list is if it is an event that I would like to attend (if I had the time). In truth I will be attending quite a few of them, probably more than I should.

Update: BarCampLondon7 added.

Goodbye to my 0870 numbers

August 1st, 2009

As of today my 0870 telephone numbers will no longer work. I have been prepared for this and have changed these numbers on the various web sites and registrations where I use them. This is because Ofcom have changed the regulation on these numbers reducing the termination fee (the fee a the company operating the numbers gets when the number is called) from 6p/minute to 0.5p/minute.

Although I am loosing the use of my 0870 (unless I pay for then) I am very much in favour of this move. People have been told that 0870 is the same as a national call, and this was technically true, it was the same price as a full price call from a BT line, but we almost never pay the full price of that call because of the calling package we are forced to take with a telephone line. All these free and 5p an hour call offers do not apply to 0870 numbers.

So when you called an 0870 number you were paying way over the odds, and the company you were calling was often very happy with this as they normally made a little bit of money whenever you called them. Because of this I refer to 0870 numbers as premium rate numbers.

For reference I have not made any money by using 0870 numbers, but they do have other advantages. They can be mapped to any other number so if I move or go on holiday I can get the calls to follow me, they cost a little bit more so I do not get marketing calls on them, and they cost next to nothing to set up (if you use the correct company) so can be used as disposable numbers for when you don’t want your details to be in the public domain.

Hopefully more telecommunication companies will now include 0870 and 0845 in there calling packages so they are free (BT have already started doing this) and more normal companies will use 03 numbers (that are the same as 01 and 02 numbers but non geographic).

Finally if you need to call an 0870, and 0845, or an 0800 (normally free, but often costs more on a mobile) then check out Say no to 0870 first. You enter the number or company that you want to call and more often than not it will give you a normal (01, 02 or now 03 number) to call instead.