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Zyra Newsletter 116

- another lengthy message worth taking some time to read -

This is typical of Zyra circular newsletters. See what you think...

----- Original Message -----
To: Everyone on the Circular List
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 7:39 PM
Subject: Zyra Issue116 - another lengthy message worth taking some time to read

Data!2008/05/07 23:36 Publication of Issue 116 of www.zyra.org.uk (7)

Hi to ALL!

I hope you are going to read this message, as there are some curious things in it. In this Circular there is a story with a happy ending about data recovery, an exposé on UK council money-wastage, a plea to affiliate companies to be fair to all affiliates rather than being elitist, and a philosophical review about the valuation of things which are non-material. Also, an explanation of the workings of fridges, linking up nicely to the return of Iceland Appliance Shop. There's a reshuffle of some holiday companies, a reconciliation with the DVLA, and some interesting revelations about where spam-senders live. Plus, as expected, there are a great many online businesses with dedicated pages added on Issue116, some of which you might like to visit, according to your own personal choices.

Let's start off the good news with HOMEBASE! Not so much of an advertisement, more of a reconciliation! For years, Homebase have missed out on being on the page of DIY and Home Improvements www.zyra.org.uk/diy.htm and there was a message on the end of the page which pointed this out, in the embarrassing spirit of www.zyra.org.uk/affilyes.htm . However, now there's a change of policy at Homebase, they're now included. So, there's a dedicated page www.zyra.org.uk/homebase.htm and the paragraph at the end of www.zyra.org.uk/diy.htm is adjusted appropriately. Well done to Homebase and welcome to being good for business!

Who knows? At this rate there's even hope for www.zyra.org.uk/morethan.htm ?! ;-)

Clearly not so good in business management terms, is the way UK public works are funded. It's a funny thing, but around March each year, just before April Fools Day, there is a kind of Municipal March Madness where public money is squandered on projects which everyone knows make no sense. There's a page about this at www.zyra.org.uk/wastefool.htm

Don't get me wrong about the UK; it's got many good points as well as a few bad. Some of these are summarised at www.zyra.org.uk/uk-good-and-bad.htm . It's a particularly attractive place for immigrants, and they are welcomed. This helps to replace the number of people who are escaping, I mean emigrating.

Further good news on this Circular: The long-awaited return of Iceland Frozen Food Supermarket! www.zyra.org.uk/iceland3.htm . Now although it has to be said it's a good place to buy food to put in your freezer, it's also a place where you can actually buy a freezer in which to put your food. Fridges, freezers, and other domestic appliances of the type with a 13 amp plug on the end, are available for you to order online and then wait in eager anticipation for delivery. The page for this is: www.zyra.org.uk/icelandappliances.htm , and , as mentioned over a year ago, this heralds the creation of a new page explaining How a Fridge Works! www.zyra.org.uk/fridgeworks.htm . This goes a lot further than "did you know, heaters make heat but fridges don't make coldness?!", and goes on to explain how you can get more heat/cold than you are paying for.

There is a credit crisis on, or even a credit crunch. Either way, it means that there is an ambient atmosphere of "Cash? That will do nicely!", but with online buying of stuff, isn't that going to be a problem? Cash is all very well, but it just won't go down the phone line nomatter how hard you try to stuff it. How about a FAX machine, then? Dial up the number and fax some banknotes! There is general disquiet about this idea, and it's NOT accepted as payment, even in places where they are amused by the idea. However there IS a solution to online payments with a card which does not have the association with going into debt and living on tick. Pre-Pay cards! They are like credit cards, but without debt, or even any risk of debt. Also, no snootiness by banks about credit-unworthiness and bad risk! Pre-paid cards are the thing. There's a new Category for this at www.zyra.org.uk/prepaid.htm

This also brings back financial reality akin to the finite extent of a pocket, and sets aside the deceptive mirage of Credit Limit, a problem which has been carefully discredited at www.zyra.org.uk/creditlimit.htm

Now a few special mentions, mainly requests: A special mention to NEAT IDEAS, which is an office equipment shop. www.zyra.org.uk/neatideas.htm . Higher up the What's New Index www.zyra.org.uk/nindex.htm and on various relevant categories such as Office Equipment www.zyra.org.uk/officeeq.htm

A special mention to Righteous & Co www.zyra.co.uk/righteousandco.htm , who are manufacturers of beds. Not just basic comfy beds, but waterbeds, beds with inbuilt gadgets, and beds made of special foam that has some curious property about it.

Another special mention goes to Marks & Spencer www.zyra.org.uk/marks.htm , because even though their television commercials are quite cringeable, it's a fact that ALL the eggs on sale are free range! (chicken matters! www.zyra.info/chickenmatters.htm ).

PhotographicCommiserations to The Digital Camera Company, who despite having a nice page at www.zyra.org.uk/digicam.htm , are no longer there for your custom. It's a shame. Of course the page will remain, as per what happened with Allders www.zyra.org.uk/allders.htm

There are quite a few other pages for businesses whose affiliate programs have ended, but often they don't have such a good excuse as having gone broke. Therefore, there is hope they could come back, and to that effect, enterprising affiliate marketing companies may be able to tempt them into having a new affiliate program. This is where the resource that is The Page of Bunged Up Dedicated Pages www.zyra.co.uk/bungedup.htm comes as a helpful reference to affiliate marketing companies hoping to expand their portfolios.

Talking of the affiliate business, there's been a Guide to Good Practice in Affiliate Marketing at www.zyra.org.uk/goodaffl.htm for a long time now, and this has recently had an extra item added: Being Fair to ALL Affiliates www.zyra.org.uk/everyaff.htm . The affiliate business is not just for "Top Performing Affiliates" and everyone has to have a chance. Highfalutin' merchants thinking of "streamlining" their affiliate program (or to put it another way, kicking off all the small affiliates) can think again, because it's not fair, and I will have a grumble about it. This comes as a surprise and they say "but you are one of our best affiliates and it won't affect you". Well, that's not the point. They've got to be fair to everyone!

This idea about being fair to everyone isn't new, and Amnesty International have been on with it for a long while. The dedicated page www.zyra.org.uk/amnestyinternational.htm has an additional link from the story about the embarrassing China Olympics at www.zyra.tv/chinaface.htm . The latest bit of sad news is that the Chinese authorities are trying to make the city of Beijing look tidier for the Olympics by killing off half a million cats. That will be good news to RATS. But then, it is the Year of the Rat, and that's supposed to be lucky. We will see.

Going upmarket a bit, The Savile Row Company is a snazzy place for sure, tailors of distinction www.zyra.org.uk/savilerowcompany.htm , and if you're wondering whether the spelling is "Savile Row" or "Saville Row", there's a paragraph about that on the page. Who's right, the tailors, or the makers of Monopoly boards?

Savile Row is in London, but it isn't Urban Fashion. For that, there's The Urban Shop www.zyra.co.uk/theurbanshop.htm , and now there are several other Urban contacts there will be a new category on the next issue of this site. Here's another link that will be on that page: Urban Social www.zyra.org.uk/urbansocial.htm - a dating agency, but not at all rustic.

Continuing on the rather swish theme, there's Clermont Direct www.zyra.org.uk/clermontdirect.htm , and Cuffs & Co www.zyra.co.uk/cuffsandco.htm , as well as the places already featured at www.zyra.org.uk/formalwear.htm . Not my style, but inclusiveness is a feature of diversity.

Now here's a curious thing: There was a place called Haven Holidays, and they had a nice page here: www.zyra.org.uk/haven.htm complete with a customer testimonial www.zyra.info/haventst.htm . Not long after that, Haven Holidays expanded into being Haven Europe, and there was a dedicated page for that at www.zyra.me.uk/haveneur.htm but this switched to being SIBLU, leaving the identity of Haven Europe stranded. Siblu had to have a new page really,Travel at www.zyra.eu/siblu.htm , and that was ok, but the anomaly was the page for Haven Europe which was now neither fish nor fowl, and just had to be connected up in the best way to refer to the other pages. The finesse of this is usually completely missed by the merchants, and they can't understand why pages aren't deleted.

What's next? NEXT fashion? It could be, but it is more of a diversification of Next, into "Next Flowers and Wine". Not just Next Flowers, or Next Wine, but  Next Flowers AND Wine. They are taking no chances, those people at Next, for to include both the flowers and the wine in their expansion they are surely onto a good thing. You can see this at www.zyra.org.uk/nextflowersandwine.htm . It's also in the Flowers category, and the Wine category. Aha! See, the categories here are not pigeon-holes, but overlapping categories www.zyra.org.uk/category.htm

There are some interesting places selling health products online, places such as Health Monthly www.zyra.me.uk/healthmonthly.htm , Healthy&Essential www.zyra.org.uk/healandess.htm , and Health Express www.zyra.org.uk/healthexpress.htm . These are reputable outlets and entirely distinct from the silly places advertising in spam, the main difference being that you actually get products that are some good. In contrast, with spam, there's no comeback if the stuff is dodgy, which it can easily be, and then you are stuffed.

Talking of which, a lot of people would like to know where the spam senders live. Well, we've not got their actual street addresses, but there are some quite good clues on the general region of the world. The page "Where are the spam senders?" www.zyra.net/wherespam.htm points out that as spam senders have days off on days such as 4th July and other US public holidays, there is a good likelihood that the spam senders in question reside in the United States. This could mean they could get into trouble, as that's one of the countries where spam sending is punishable by jail.Halifax?

There are other forms of justice, as some scamsters found out when they sent out a phishing attack message pretending to be from The Halifax with a banner remote-served from the page www.zyra.org.uk/bankhoax.htm . However, thanks to the vigilance of people at Anti-fraud International, I got to hear about the scam, whereupon I swapped the remote-served bannernot Halifax? for one that said "This is a scam", so all of the recipients of the spam message got a message which was not very convincing as "from the Halifax" as, instead of having a sign saying "Halifax : Always giving you extra" it had a sign on it saying "Warning: This is a SCAM!".

Further good news, as Computer Planet www.zyra.org.uk/computerplanet.htm have said they'll be having Linux as an option built-in on custom-made PCs next week.

We're back in good books with Machine Mart www.zyra.org.uk/machmart.htm which is especially nice as they get a mention on the page of Travel Checklist Items www.zyra.info/travelchecklist.htm . That page now also features Essentials 4 Travel www.zyra.org.uk/essentials4travel.htm who are experts in travel stuff.

If you're rash enough to pack a mobile phone when travelling out of the UK, you can now avoid the extortionate Roaming fees, by joining 0044 www.zyra.org.uk/0044.htm

I've been asked by Premier Holidays www.zyra.eu/premierholidays.htm why there are fewer people booking holidays, but it may just be that people are being more cautious because of the credit issues. I think it will soon start to pick up, if good sense is seen.

Already some of the money lending companies are back on again. Nemo are back www.zyra.org.uk/nemoloans.htm , Yes Loans are back www.zyra.org.uk/yesloans.htm , and Frontier Finance have never been away: www.zyra.org.uk/frontier.htm

And now an apology to the DVLA, the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency: Sorry DVLA! I was mistaken when I suggested on a previous issue that my driving licence had been revoked because of my writings online criticising the DVLA. It now turns out that my driving licence had been revoked because of a problem with a previous doctor that I had at the time. Therefore, I have now rewritten the page and re-titled it "Devilment by Doctors?!" www.zyra.org.uk/dvlment2.htm . The story has a happy ending, as my driving licence has been reinstated by the DVLA now they have found a doctor from outside of the local area, not in cahoots with the local conspiracy, willing to do an impartial set of tests. We will now see if the General Medical Council (written about at www.zyra.org.uk/gmc2.htm ) will investigate the goings-on which led to the mistake in the first place, or if it will be a whitewash cover-up worthy of an online exposé!

Talking of medical matters, there's a medical charity Action Medical Research www.zyra.org.uk/actionmedicalresearch.htm which is "the UK’s most forward thinking charity" in which exciting events are arranged for fund raising for medical research.

Fresh Weekends is a place that's exciting, though not charitable, at www.zyra.org.uk/freshweekends.htm

Items "for the weekend" can be found at The Gentleman's Shop www.zyra.org.uk/thegentlemansshop.htm which is a place with a variety of requisites. Yes, that is the word. It is an online barber shop. Amazing what's possible online these days.

Concepts take on a physical form. For example, do you love someone enough to give them your last Rolo? This idea has got such a following that you can now get Rolo in gold, or even platinum, as a special token of love. I say "token" as this is an enduring item of great symbolism and not to be eaten! See www.zyra.org.uk/mylastrolo.htm

If you'd prefer something you can get your teeth into, there's The Fudge Kitchen www.zyra.org.uk/fudgekitchen.htm , although it's a product that's likely to be scoffed, and therefore not so long-lasting. Talking of which, there is some chuckling about the irony of www.zyra.org.uk/nunionshortterm.htm

It's now time for another of these warnings. This time it's something which at first sight seems harmless and merely inexplicable. What happens is that you receive an e-mail from someone you don't know, inviting you to join something, possibly an online forum or some SMS arrangement. The tone of the message is such that you might feel you should know them, because they know you, and besides the thing they're suggesting is an invitation. Now hang on a bit, because it's actually a bit suspicious! The level of suspiciousness is often even higher if you've already taken my advice about choices of e-mail address www.zyra.info/emailaddress.htm as the message is incoming to the wrong e-mail-box. If you receive such an invitation, here's what to do about it: Reply! This will quickly sort out the genuine from the inappropriate. More about this at www.zyra.net/suspicinvite.htm

I could write about "levels of suspiciousness" at some time, but it might have to be a logarithmic scale, considering the levels of paranoia involved, and the fact that there is a background level of suspiciousness which everything in general has.

How would you like to be famous? A good place to start would be to Be On Screen... www.zyra.org.uk/beonscreen.htm . Fame comes as a function of star quality later.

The Retail Factory is a place where shops go shopping. It's possible to get various items which are used as part of the running of a business. They even have those humanoid figures which you see in fashion shop windows! www.zyra.org.uk/theretailfactory.htm

Finally on this Circular, the glorious story of data recovery in which Xytron Data Recovery www.zyra.org.uk/xytron.htm resurrected sixty gigabytes of data on numerous partitions from a hard disc drive which suffered a misfortune. Four years ago in 2004 there was a data recovery testimonial for Kroll Ontrack at www.zyra.org.uk/databack.htm and now in 2008 there's the sequel "How I Got My Data Back 2" which you can read at www.zyra.co.uk/databack2.htm . Well Done to Xytron! If you've lost some data, this contact is worth knowing.

This raises the interesting philosophical question of How Much Is Your Data Worth, which is explored at www.zyra.net/dataworth.htm , complete with slightly over-the-top ending!

That's about it for this Circular. I have not mentioned everything that's new even then. If you'd like to see a complete list, see the What's New Index www.zyra.org.uk/nindex.htm

I hope you have fun exploring around all this.

Have Fun!

Kind Regards to ALL!Take a look Around it



The contents of this message are not confidential but recipients may consider themselves privileged, as not everyone gets a copy. If you are not the intended recipient you should count yourself lucky as it's a lot better than a lot of the stuff that arrives in e-mail. You are welcome to forward the message on to other people whom you like well enough that you feel they deserve to receive it, and there is a sign-me-up form at www.zyra.org.uk/form.htm . This message does not resemble any brand of pork luncheon meat. If you print this message out on paper made from trees, please consider the environment by keeping it and not throwing it away. This message was found to contain hardly any viruses at all when checked by cursorily giving it a glance over. Disc Claimer: When retrieving a Frisbee from a neighbour's garden, it's best to ask nicely first.

... If you'd like to receive such newsletters as this, you are welcome to sign up. If you do, you'll be getting another crazy message of this style about every four weeks or thereabouts, sent "low priority". You can subscribe/unsubscribe any time you like, but there is something else which makes these messages quite distinct from stupid spam messages, and that is the fact that you can REPLY!

Now is your chance to be on the list to receive Zyra's Circular Newsletter. Have fun!

Update 2012: These messages are sent out less regularly than previously stated, but there has been a lot happening here!