Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Embrace life

Embrace life - wear a seat belt.

An amazing video of the Sussex Safer Roads Website:

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Book returned 45 years late

It’s not uncommon to return a library book late, but by half a century? Staff at Dinnington Library, close to Sheffield in the UK, couldn't believe their eyes when they received a book through their mailbox that was 45 years overdue. Alison Lawrie, the principal assistant at Dinnington Library, says the Penguin first edition copy of Quartermass and the Pit, written by Nigel Kneale, was due back on 15 October 1965. 

The identity of the borrower remains a mystery because the library records do not go back that far, and there was no a letter or note attached to the book. Lawrie has made it clear the sender should not worry about a fine. She said in the Yorkshire Post: “If the person who returned the book wants to come forward, we would love to know the story behind it.” Anyone returned any books lately?

Friday, 19 March 2010

Launch of first virtual debit card in Japan

Credit card company Visa and the Japan Net Bank (JNB) have commenced a virtual debit card programme for online merchant payments, the country’s first.

The programme gives JNB customers the possibility to make purchases up to $1,000 at online merchants around the world that accept Visa. Upon customers’ request, JNB issues a unique 16-digit account number, which can withdraw money from a listed JNB account. The digital cards are only valid up to ten days after being issued - customers can then request a new virtual Visa Debit card number. No plastic cards will be issued. JNB, founded in October 2000, is Japan’s first internet bank, with over two million customers but no local branches. 

“Whether it is to search online or to spend online, Japanese consumers have named the internet as the number one item they could not live without”, said Brian McGrory, Head of Debit Products for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa at Visa. “Teaming their passion for the internet with this ‘buy now, pay now’  program taps into an existing demand for Japanese consumers.”

Published earlier in E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy magazine, London,

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Giant blaze in the City of London

This morning, while on my way to work, I noticed a huge fire was taking place and smoke could be seen all over the City. A number of streets were closed down (including City Road coming from Old Street station), causing massive traffic jams. Black smoke reached as far as the Bank of England and the Gherkin building after a fire broke out at a nightclub on the Shoreditch and City borders in the early hours. Fire fighters were called to the scene on Tabernacle Street (Shoreditch, just north of the City) at around 4.30am. The fire started at a building housing the Sosho nightclub and East Room, a private members club.