AS Geography Revision Notes

AQA AS-level Geography Revision Notes that I’ve written – hopefully they may be of some use to you.

Creative Commons Licence
AS Geography Revision Notes by Milo Noblet is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Derby High School ARISS contact – Panel

I was fortunate to attend The Derby High School, Bury’s ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) contact with ESA astronaut Tim Peake last week, representing the Radio Society of Great Britain’s Youth Committee.

Following the successful ten-minute contact, I said a few words about the hobby of amateur radio:

You can view the recording of the whole event on ARISS UK’s YouTube channel.

Update Article in the Bury Times:

Tim-Peake-in-BuryTimes

Write-up of Derby High School’s ARISS contact 2016-04-25

This article was originally published in Radcom, vol.92 No.7 July 2016 p.72-73.

The staff and students of Derby High School, Bury, and its partner primary schools, had been preparing for their amateur radio contact with Tim Peake for months – researching the work of astronauts and learning about the science behind space exploration. (more…)

Receiving ARISS contact 18 Apr 16 (video)

Finding your way around GPG

GPG is pretty fiddly to work with in the command line (you’re generally better off using something like Enigmail in Thunderbird), so here’s an overview of the various functions.

(more…)

‘Fair’ Travel

I’ve just come across this petition calling for regulations restricting UK travel companies charging adult prices for under 18s.

It makes a very valid point. National Minimum Wage applies at a reduced rate for under 18s, and apprentices receive even less – around £3/hr- but both groups are expected to pay adult prices. In addition, under 18s are now obliged to be in education or training, so they aren’t even working full-time.

Almost every law considers 18 to be the age of adulthood, but naturally for transport companies it makes no sense to limit their revenue. It’s why I’m pleased to see the 16-25 Railcard still being offered (though I feel £30 is a little steep… and surely if anyone can go and buy a railcard, they could just give these reduced rates without it?), and especially happy to see my local operator Merseyrail’s new 16-18 ticket, which is half the price of an adult fare.

However, both the railcard and Merseyrail’s 16-18 ticket are only available for off-peak fares, which doesn’t help young people who are trying to get to work at standard hours – especially apprentices.

I would be interested to see the government’s response to the petition, from “Fare Travel UK” – https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/121326.

Renew your domains now – Nominet Price Hike

This evening I renewed two of my .uk domains for 8 years (bringing them up to a maximum of 10 years each), in advance of Nominet’s imminent price hike.

From 1 March 2016 the cost of domains in the UK namespace (.uk and its subsidiaries) will increase by 50%. This is the first price increase since 2000, so we cannot complain too much about the fact that prices are going up. However, Nominet have said that they will now review pricing annually, meaning that this is not necessarily a one-off price increase after a 16-year freeze, but that we could begin to see price increases year-on-year. This sort of uncertainty is plain ridiculous, especially from a not-for-profit company which already turns a profit.

One should also note the recent change to Nominet’s Terms and Conditions which removes the reference to cost-recovery from the fee-setting clause – it would appear that this not-for-profit is quite keen to make as much money as it can with what is ultimately the British public’s .UK namespace (see also: auction of two- and one-letter .co.uk and .me.uk domains, granting of access to special systems such as changing the registrant to larger registrars, somewhat pointless introduction of .UK at a previously proposed price of £20/yr – though thankfully dropped to match .co.uk).

“Nominet are supposed to be a not-for-profit, membership owned, public purpose organisation…they claim that the reason for the price increases is that their costs have risen considerably, yet they donated £3m to the Nominet trust in their 2013-2014 financial year and have reserves of more than £34m. I cannot see how they can possibly justify a price increase of any kind, let alone 50 per cent!”
– Edward Dore, director of Freethought Internet

Whilst Nominet is a member-owned company, it controls one of the UK’s most important assets, and needs to be kept in check. A subset of Nominet’s membership are calling for an EGM to vote on the proposals, but it seems very unlikely to be granted – in fact, Nominet have done all that they can to avoid calling a vote, holding a “briefing session” in London later this month (a perfect opportunity for a vote!). There is a petition running over at http://egm.uk/ which I would urge you to sign.

I agree that perhaps after a 16-year freeze it is time to increase the fee charged for .UK domains, but I believe there should be a clear policy put in place – if they were to rise in line with inflation similar to rail fares, this would be a much fairer system.

@MomentumWirral seem to be confused by percentages

Hmm, I don’t think that’s a good sign for a “party of the people”. As below:

Or maybe, we should stop making statements based on Twitter polls and carry out proper, representative surveys.

Watson W8681 weather station feeding data to WUnderground via a Raspberry Pi

Install Raspbian on your Pi. In the setup process go to Advanced and enable SSH. Also, set it to boot to the command line rather than the desktop – you should be able to run this headless.

Do some basic maintenance

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo rpi-update
sudo reboot

Install Python

sudo apt-get install python-configobj

Install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install python-cheetah
sudo apt-get install python-imaging
sudo apt-get install python-usb

Now install WeeWX
Visit http://weewx.com/downloads to find the link to the latest .deb file. In this case it is weewx_3.3.1-1_all.deb.
Download it:

wget http://weewx.com/downloads/weewx_3.3.1-1_all.deb

Install it:

sudo dpkg -i weewx_3.3.1-1_all.deb

The installer will ask you for a location, lat/long (decimal degrees) of your location, altitude, station type and hardware model.
For the W8681 it is a “FineOffsetUSB” type, and the model # is “W-8681”

sudo tail -f /var/log/syslog

will give you an idea of if it is working or not.
If dpkg complains of missing dependencies then simply perform sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get -f install.

You might notice in the syslog that you get a USB error – this occurs if you have not yet plugged in the weather station receiver.

sudo /etc/init.d/weewx stop

Plug in the receiver if you haven’t already.
Then, edit /etc/weewx/weewx.conf. I used nano. You will need to be root.
Adjust settings such as piping it to wunderground, or to aprs.fi/CWOP if you would like.
Save the file, and then start weewx again:

sudo /etc/init.d/weewx start

Done.

GPG – set smartcard public key URL

gpg --card-edit

gpg> admin
Admin commands are allowed

gpg> url

Note: you can also edit name, PIN, lang, sex etc.

Handy resource: http://aeriagloris.net/2013/09/23/setting-up-gpg/