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Am I Stupid, Was I Born Yesterday? Scam Telephone Calls

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Am I stupid? Was I born yesterday?
I have written in the past of unwanted telephone calls, silent calls, and calls that say, “Congratulations, you have ……..“, all disrupting my day, evenings and work, and some from outside the UK.
Today the telephone rang and the phone displayed 03606339006, not a number known to me, and not looking like a UK number, so I am ready for them.
They start, “Hello can I speak to Mr Holt?, My name is Mike”. 
So this person calls himself Mike, but has an Indian accent, there is a long delay on the line, from when I speak and there is a reply, and I can hear my voice echoed back, so obviously not originating from the UK.
I ask, “What is your real name? What part of India do you come from?
His reply, “No I am British.
The line went dead.
Two minutes later the phone rang again, this time 04524069010.
Still the same person, still same strong Indian accent, so let’s play him along, I know your game “Mike”.
He tells me he is from a virus checking company, and that my computer has a virus.
Oh Poo Poo (short for sh-t) I say, what can I do?
He asked me to switch my machine on. 
What so you can access my machine.
Do you think I am stupid so called Mike with a hard Indian accent?
You are a scammer, you are the dirt of the world attacking venerable people.
WARNING If you get a call from 04524069010 or 03606339006 put the phone down.
The idea is that they target unsuspecting people, people with little or no knowledge of computers or the internet, and tell them that there is a virus on the computer. 
How do they know? 
They say they have had a report from Microsoft or some other company, and that they can remove the offending file. They get the person to believe that they work for say Microsoft, which sounds very plausible, but Microsoft has disowned them, has nothing to do with them, and any licenses held by the calling company have been withdrawn.
Once they have access to your machine, they will have free run on it, being able to see all of your data, emails, email addresses, address books, confidential information.
As you watch, you will see your screen changing, and they will access a file, open it up, and show you error messages, and all sorts of other information.
Or they will ask you to open a program called Windows Event Viewer, to the unknowing the file that is opened is worrying, as it contains error warnings, critical messages, but all PC’s have this file, it is normal.
They will tell you that your computer is infected, and that they can fix it, just download a program from a web site they will give you, and once done they are in to your machine.
They will charge you a some of money to subscribe to their service, say £200, before they will start any work, but there is nothing wrong with your computer. 
Not only have they access to your computer and data, you will have given them your credit card details, your PayPal or AlertPay account details.
The calls have been running for many years, and the main company responsible for the call centres is based in Calcutta or as it is known Kolkata, in India, the Guardian Newspaper also names the town of Kota in Rajasthan.
Unfortunately, the British authorities are unable or unwilling to tackle this scam, as the telephone numbers are not allocated by telephone service providers like BT or Virgin Media, but are sold by VoIP (Voice over the Internet Protocol, Voice over the Internet Provider) providers, and costs the scammers virtually nothing as the calls are over the internet.
Again, it is such a pity the Indian Government does not stop these scammers, thieves, because it is surely not good publicity for their country, and as people receive a telephone call and hear an Indian voice on the telephone, they know there is a good chance that it is a cold call, unwanted call, and just put the receiver down.
Perhaps that is why many responsible British companies who placed their call centres in India are now returning to their home shores.
If you have been a victim in the UK, you can report the incident to Action Fraud.
Oh, so called Mike, just to let you know, I use an Apple computer.
Read next blog on the subject.

A Ferrari in disguise

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My travels takes me to many, what people would say, exotic places. This week I find myself in the Spanish coastal town of Puerto Banus.

The town is a typical white painted house place, created in the boom years of the Spanish growth, creating the Spanish equivalent of Monte Carlo, the playboy’s paradise, the place to been seen, the place to show off wealth, the place to buy the expensive handbags, shoes and clothes, only to be worn once, the place to drive the most expensive cars, and moor the most luxurious boats.



The man made, boxed shaped harbor opens out to the Mediterranean through a narrow entrance, with the boats of various sizes continually coming and going, carrying their pleasure seeking passengers, as this is not a fishing harbour. 

Puerto Banus habour is packed with boats, there is not one spare mooring, and is laid out in a very orderly fashion, and the boats moored it seems strictly by size and value.

The first moorings have some of the biggest yachts I have seen, many decks high, furnished within like palaces. The tender boats, placed in their allotted on the large decks, are bigger than the boats moored at the other end of the harbour, and I could not even afford to think about buying one of those.






Around the the inner harbour is a road, entrance to which is controlled, thus only the most wanted are allowed in, and fronting this one-way road are restaurants and shops, mostly catering for those who must have won the lottery.

Designer names like Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Pravda, line the harbour, and open fronted restaurants where the waiters wear smart white dinner jackets, waiting to serve cuisine seen in the top Milano, Paris and London restaurants.

Cruising around this controlled one way street that divides the moorings from the shops and restaurants will be the sightseers, the holiday makers and those who want to be seen.

Those that want to be seen are in their best outfits, as if ready to attend the annual ball, expensive and certainly only worn for the parade around the harbour as there is not a crease in the fabric, not a hair out of place, whereas my clothes, fresh on looks as if I have slept in them for a week.

The most expensive cars, the Zonda’s, the Lamborghini’s, the Rolls Royce’s, the Bugatti’s, the Ferrari’s, cruise the one way street, or find a convenient parking place. Please note I have not mentioned Mercedes or Porsche as they are cheap common vehicles here.

I love to walk down the short distance from where I am staying to this parade street early in the evening at about 8 pm, wearing my best clean shirt and trousers, hair combed and shoulders back. For those to be seen, 8 pm is too early for diner, so the restaurants are empty, and the white jacketed waiters are eager to attract custom.

Being reasonably attired, with an air of confidence I will be often shown to a front table edging the parade street, as the restaurant wants to attract other diners. I also reason, that as the restaurant want to attract other diners, the food that is served will be good quality and attractive.

I then have over an hour to relax and enjoy the expensive meal with a good wine, watching the luxury boats return from their little half day cruise to unload their special passengers, to watch the cruising cars rare and expensive cars slowly pass by, and to watch the people walking by, watching me watching them watching me.

Expensive? This is 2011 and one pizza and a glass of beer cost €25, and the beer was good.


But some people do not need to show off their wealth, and will hide their opulence, but I can tell and wonder why someone would want to disguise their Ferrari?



Echinopsis Oxygona finished

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The full moon on 12th August 2011 influencing nature

Yesterday I wrote about the flowering cactus, (which I have been informed is a ECHINOPSIS OXYGONA), on how for the last two months on the night of the full moon, the cactus produced a wonderful large bloom, and that in the same short time, the bloom would close and die away.

Today this is the bloom.
Echinopsis Oxygona
It was such a wonderful and beautiful flower.      
Echinopsis Oxygona

This experience reminds me of relationships, some are like a rose that lasts for a long time, some are like the cactus flower, short. Some relationships have something special, like some flowers have a wonderful fragrance, a rose, lily or jasmine bloom, yet some have a pungent odor, whilst others have nothing.
Whether a flower or relationship lasts a short time or long time, whether it gives that something extra  special, it will have had some influence upon us and stay with us for the rest of our lives. 
Like the moon influences the cactus, at this time I personally have no idea how, let our own experiences have a positive influence upon us, leaving behind wonderful memories, perhaps never happen to us again. 

The 3rd radio interview in the series

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As an on-going project, I have giving today my third radio interview on Ashford Radio.

In this interview by Rob Michael, I talk about what I call OUTCOME THINKING.
Here I talk about how the brain, we humans can use future thoughts, our imagination to achieve whatever we desire.
For some computer systems the radio button will not appear on this page, so click here to listen.


Listen to internet radio with AshfordPublishing on Blog Talk Radio

Please leave any comments you may have below.
I am available to give courses to corporate and the public, in many subjects around the world, plus talks and presentations, and will work with individuals on personal issues.
Contact me for more information. 
Find other radio interviews by clicking here.
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Dragon Boat Race of 2011

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The Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames again organised the annual Dragon Boat Race in Canbury Gardens next to the River Thames on the 17th July 2011.

A record of over fifty teams competed on a day with a few showers of rain, but this did not dampen the spirits of the crowds, as there was lots of fun and laughter and great competition.
Winners again were the Canbury Arms Boys team, with the Canbury Arms Girls winners of the female teams. A little bit of coaching and practise goes a long way. Full results can be found on the web site of Kingston Rotary Clubs’ web site.
Loads of money was raise for charities, making this event one of the best in the area of Kingston upon Thames.
It was fun filming and photographing the event, even if I got wet during a shower whilst out on the River Thames on a rib provided by John of the Albany Park Canoe and Sailing Centre.
For photographs of the day, some 300, where possible one for every team in a dragon boat, please click here, or visit Photographs of the 2011 Dragon Boat Race in Kingston.


I don’t believe it

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I find great joy and happiness in having a shower, it is relaxing, it is refreshing, especially with the heat and humidity here in Malaysia.

I also find that being relaxed, allowing the shower water wash away the unwanted feelings and thoughts I may have built-up during the day, I have time to reflect and allow my mind to wonder, a time for new ideas.
This morning, after waking in a hot and humid bedroom, I eagerly sought my first shower of the day, and standing there, the lukewarm water washing down from the top of my head to the tips of my toes, for some reason my mind went into thoughts about the rubbish we throw away. How my brother-in-law saves tin and aluminium cans to be recycled, and how as I have purchased breakfast cereal, lightbulbs, glue, screws, etc, how all these purchases had been wrapped in cardboard packaging, and how I had carefully folded down the boxes into flat pieces, and placed them into a plastic bag, just incase the garbage collectors recycle.
I then realised how much rubbish we accumulate just in packaging, and I had an internal voice shouting at me, “I don’t believe it“. We waste so much.
On finishing my shower, and drying myself off in a nice fluffy bath towel, my eyes caught the now empty toothpaste tube and the new boxed tube waiting to be unpacked. My thoughts went on to imagine the box packaging flat adding to the pile of other unwanted cardboard. I thought, “why do they use packaging?”, obviously for looks, presentation and also stacking on the shelves and distribution from the factory and the shops.
I opened the box and that internal voice again went off, “I don’t believe it“, the tube of toothpaste was very much smaller than the box indicated, I had not been given the amount of toothpaste in the tube as I thought I had purchased.
Looking at the tube, it was far shorter than the box. Not only was the tube much shorter than the box, but if you take into consideration the flip cap and the closer at the base of the tube, then the actual toothpaste only takes-up 2/3 of the outer box packaging.
Then if you look at the shape of the tube which tapers off at the base, there is a lot of space empty in the outer box.
Sensodyne toothpaste tube much smaller than the packaging
In a previous career, a position where I helped set-up and run a computer ordering system for a cosmetic company, Fashions by Opus, I got that inner “I don’t believe it” voice when I saw in the warehouse the packaging for the cleansing cream, the eye and lip makeup tubs and jars, realising just how little product the consumer was actually getting compared to the packaging indicated. Within the outer plastic/glass tub or jar was placed an inner sleeve which tapered inwards towards the base.
Looking on the dressing table there were many jars which were large, but on examination, the inner contained much smaller quantities product than the packaging indicated.
Olay jars too big containing only a small amount of product
I don’t believe it” how we humans are being taken in by oversized packaging, packaging which is just waste.
See other examples of not enough product to the packaging, click.

Too hot to handle

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It was after a long day that my hosts, Aisha and Mohamed Solimon, decided that we should go to a sauna to relax and refresh our tired bodies.

Since last November, staying In the Rixos Premium Belek Hotel, Turkey for nearly six weeks and the Rixos Al Nasr in Tripoli, Libya for two weeks, I was able to partake their saunas, and nearly died as overheated once, well I felt as if I was dying.
For me, I have never felt the benefit of cooking myself, of sweating so much that I had to drink gallons of water to replace that which I had lost. For others, I respect their joy and excitement.
So we visited the Stonebath Sauna (Yi Sheng Tangin Shanghai, which is advertised as a new concept of natural mineral therapy spa, and China’s first medical stone spa.

I felt that I was attending a pyjama party, as we had to remove our normal clothes to wear robes given to us.


Phillip Holt and Mohamed Solimon

Under orders from Aisha, I had to drink loads of water before entering the sauna, and when we did, I understood why it was called Stone Bath. There were more pebbles (stones) in the room than on the beach in the UK’s holiday town of Brighton (click to see views), and they were hot.

We had to lay down on these stones, and sacks of equally hot stones were placed on our ankles, stomach and shoulders, meaning we were pinned down, unable to move. Ten minutes like this and it was time to get out for more water to be poured down the throats, only to return for more heat treatment.

For me, I did not feel any benefit, apart from sweating a lot and having a shower after. The companionship was great, and the others enjoyed the benefits, but then it is all about the Cat on the Mat.


Image from Stonebath Sauna (Yi Sheng Tang) Shanghai

But, I must say, I enjoyed the night out.

I Love You Phillip Group

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I love my job.

Travelling to many countries after being invited to deliver courses, presentations and shows, meeting so many people as we travel a journey together.
Travelling back to towns and cities to deliver more courses, I often find the same faces sitting in the venue, and this is especially so in the southern city of Gaziantep .
Arriving at Gaziantep airport from Istanbul to be met by Mahpare Kileci of GAP Danismanlik  (Gap Consultancy), the course promoter and organiser, I was met by a “Hello Phillip” by a person who had been on the same aircraft and with whom I had worked with years before. 
From the airport we travelled to a town center hotel for meal being held for visiting Italian artists, and was greeted by more people who I knew, such friendly people.
But my being in Gaziantep is not social, but to give a talk to an association of Human Resource (HR) workers and to give training courses, and sure enough, previous participants were there, ready and able to relearn and to assist me.
But the best for me was to be invited to a special club with special people and a loverly meal.
The club was founded by previous participants for social evenings and to meet to practise what we had learned together, the I LOVE YOU PHILLIP club.

I Love You Phillip Club Gaziantep

I love my job.

Up to £100 Trade In at PCWorld on your old computer

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Up to £100 trade in off the cost of a new computer from your old computer at PCWorld. Now there is an offer.


PCWorld offer of £100 trade in on an old computer

For a number of years I have visited my local PCWorld, Dixon’s, Dixon’s Digital, (all part of the same organisation), in my local town of Kingston upon Thames , being attracted by the electronics, the gadgets, and I have spent good money with them.

People who know me, know that if there is a gadget, Phillip has to have it, I am compulsed to buy the gadget. I get it to work, understand it, use the facilities it offers, and soon after, it gets regulated to the back of a cupboard, being replaced by the latest gadget.

I travel a lot around the world, giving trainings, seminars, presentations, speeches, and shows, and I need a light, good notebook or laptop to do my work on stage. I use the internet to keep in touch with the world, Skype for telephone communication, Slingbox to watch British TV in my hotel.

PCWorld had in the past their own fantastic laptop badged as the Philip’s Freevent, a really good fast computer, small with a good battery life for use on an aircraft, train or in remote areas. So far I have had two in the last four years, but PCWorld stopped selling them, so the latest laptop I purchased was a HP TouchSmart tx2, not a machine I am especially happy with.

The first Philip’s Freevent served me well, but the keyboard started playing up, which was easy to overcome, I used a USB detachable keyboard, but it was not a good solution for traveling, so I purchased another Philip’s Freevent, again a great computer, cheap but good.

OK, you buy cheap, you get cheap. The keyboard on the first Freevent started failing, the case on the second cracked, but it still functioned, until the keyboard started to fail. No problem, both had served me well, and with effort are still operational, not good enough for my travels. So I brought a HP TouchSmart tx2 from PCWorld about one year ago, I am not 100% happy with it, but I made my bed and I must sleep in it.

Yesterday the second Philip’s Freevent battery detached itself from the computer, the plastic retaining clips had failed, deteriorated,, fell off, meaning the battery would not stay in place, but I can still use the mains supply. No problem as I do not always take it on my travels.

Then I remembered PCWorld’s offer, £100 Trade In, why not upgrade.

I visited the local store and the salesperson said the offer is for “UP TO £100“, I would have to take the machine to the in-house technician who would value my old computer.

I was told my old computer was worth nothing, zero.

The computer did not work I was told (although he did not test it). Well yes it does if I used the mains supply or hold the battery in place, and it would not stay in place as the plastic clips had deteriorated, not by my misuse.

The case was split, well yes it is the poor quality of the plastic Philip’s used for the casing, not by my misuse or dropping thr machine.
 
The keys showed signs of wear, well yes, I have used the keyboard to work, isn’t that what a person does with a computer. I did not use poor quality paint or stencils.
 
The outer casing was marked, well yes I had used it and traveled with it all over the world, that is what we buy a computer for, to work on, it was normal wear and tear.

It seems that PCWorld will give £100 trade in, only as long as the old computer is in pristine condition, or straight out of the box. For every mark, for every fault like missing keys, the price goes down.

PCWorld, why would someone want to change a computer which was pristine, working 100%?

PCWorld you are using a marketing strategy to get people into your store with the offer of a trade in, but then nothing is offered.

I have been a loyal customer of yours for a number of years, and in business it costs a lot of money to gain a new customer, someone who will return and spend more money with you.

PCWorld you have lost my custom, and I wonder how many more customers by your trade in offer that is misleading.

I will now shop it DABSMaplins or Amazon  in future.

No wonder your stores are empty of customers.

Good news for NLP Course in Istanbul

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                                                                                                                                                                   Türkçe versiyonu

After six days of flights being suspended and grounded in major parts of Europe, air transport is to start again as a result of the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption .

Hundred of thousands of people are still in the wrong place, not at home, not on holiday, not at work, and it is said that it could take up to ten more days from today 21st April 2010 to get the whole air transport system back to normal.

I have been able to obtain a seat on one of the early flights from London to Istanbul, and the planned Society of NLP Practitioner course  will start as soon as I arrive.

Please contact NLPGrup  +902123617777 for more information.