A place for everything and everything in it's place
Our aim is to provide a tool to help you to be organized, to help you get things done.
We intend InfoCDB to be the place for you to store your data.
There may be some types of data that do need to be 'synced' to another device - telephone numbers to a Smart phone for example, however generally our concept is to keep it simple, and keep the data in InfoCDB.
The data should be accessible from any device that has a browser. We can enable several 'sessions' for each user, so that you can stay logged in from several devices at once.
If you are a customer, you can contact us via email and we aim to respond within 2 hours.
If you have a support contract you can phone us on the number that was provided to you.
Please Note: We don't take BitCoin, or similar.
UK Electricity suppliers
Date: 2 April 2018
On a personal note, I switched our electricity supplier away from one of the 'Big Six' some years ago.
The first thing that became obvious is that to achieve the saving in the cost of electricity, I had to have enough spare cash to pay the last quartlery bill from 'Big Supplier' while also paying a month in advance for 'New Supplier'.
I was able to do that, so we reduced the cost for a while.
'New Supplier's' website gave me the option to reduce the monthly Direct Debit, and several times suggested I should make a reduction.
So I did. Then I get an email saying they need to increase the Direct Debit by 40%!
I checked our electricity usage, and the payments we had made, and by following their suggested reductions in Direct Debits, we now had exhausted the first months payment that they use to keep your account in credit.
Part of the problem was the day they took the Direct Debit was after the day they calculated the bill, so it looked like we were in arrears.
I calculated what I thought the DD should be and it wasn't even close to a 40% increase. So a phone call was made and they were told I disagreed with their new DD amount and I would only pay the amount I had calculated. They reluctantly agreed.
Lesson two: Cancel your Direct Debit if you are in credit, at the time you agree to switch suppliers.
It took a month to get the credit repaid.
The 'New Supplier2' had fixed the Direct Debit for the new account too high, but would not agree to a reduction until after we had been with them for 6 months.
After 6 months we were in credit by over 2 months worth. They would not agree to reduce the payment by the amount I requested, nor would they refund any of the credit. 'Not until the end of the contract' I was told.
I escalated the issue to a Dispute.
They ignored me and closed the ticket themselves, saying it had been resolved.
A couple of months later, even though the Direct Debit was taken, they couldn't create a Bill. They had technical problems.
Then we got a Bill that was 'incorrect' - the items on the Bill didn't add up to the total being charged!.
I couldn't get through on the phone so I emailed my incredulity.
I decided we would 'switch' again. With a little more that 1 month to the end of the contract we were nearly 3 months in credit, so I cancelled the Direct Debit, and a few days later agreed to 'switch' to another supplier.
The 'switch' happened OK, with the new supplier taking their first payment on the first day of the new contract, with the previous supplier still having over 2 months credit.
At the end of that month, I had a request for a meter reading for both the new supplier AND the previous supplier. My account for the previous supplier was also charged for that months electricity, as correctly, was my account with the new supplier. As the Direct Debit had been cancelled, this just seemed to be a way of consuming my credit.
I'm not a Facebook user, but I did check the Facebook page for the previous supplier - who was Iresa , and was horrified by what I read.
When my emails were ignored about their charging my account for electricity they had not provided, and the credit on the account was being 'consumed' I decided to visit Money Claim Online and raise a claim against them.
The claim costs £25 to process, but as I was out of pocket by £173, I thought it worth a try.
Because they had not responded to my emails, they were in breach of their published Complaints procedure, and therefore in breach of the Ofgem policies they should have been following.
The good news is the outstanding credit was transferred to my bank 5 days after they were hit with the MCOL Claim, and they repaid the £25 MCOL fee as well.
This was a lot quicker than attempting the Ofgem complaints process.
I am also pleased that my new supplier, Bristol Energy, answered the phone within 30 seconds when I spoke to them recently, so my first impressions are good.
Date: 24 March 2018
Tesla on autopilot hits Fire Truck. Stupid or what?
Simple software algorithm:
Object detected ahead.
It's static - ignore.
Object detected ahead getting closer.
It's static - ignore.
Object directly in our path, now at distance 50 ft. Please confirm action to take.
It's static, not my problem. I'll alert the driver.
BONG BONG Please take the wheel.
Bit dozy just now, can't you sort it?... OH SHIT!
Date:22 March 2018
It seems to me that even though Uber have always thought of themselves as a 'disruptor' in the transport market, they have excelled themselves this time.
There are so many questions that need answering following the tragic death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona 18 March 2018.
Does AI have a bearing on this?
Imagining the worst, one could conjecture that an AI could consider a 'pedestrian pushing a bicycle' as less important than a 'Uber'.
So the Uber becomes Judge, Jury and Executioner!
How did the Uber react to the collision, did it automatically stop?
Who is legally responsible for the vehicle?
I pity the poor 'safety driver'. I think she should sue Uber for the trauma and distress involved in their systems failure.
Other in-depth reports have shown that Uber cannot compete on price with other taxi services, as they take more money from the fare than a taxi service does. They are using their massive cash pile to undercut competitors.
The only time they will be able to make money is when they don't have to pay a driver.
Therefore the 'driverless' car is critical to them.
The pressure to achieve this seems to me to have been a major cause of the death of an innocent pedestrian.
We have updated the inline editor, tinyMCE, that now allows creation and editing of notes and comments with an Android tablet. This should also work with Apple tablets.
The high 'dpi' (dots per inch) screens now available are causing some problem, as the page can be shown very small. The user can zoom in, but we are looking at ways to automatically size our pages better.
We have made some changes to allow International Characters to be used in more places. In particular Customer and Contact names. However this does not extend to displaying data right to left.
The hack in November 2014 of Sony Pictures and the damage to their IT infrastructure is scary.
It should lead to some significant changes in how you secure your systems and data.
It has been said for sometime that a user id and password pair are insufficiently secure to use as the sole means of controlling access to your important data.
Two factor authentication is now offered by Google and others, but not mandated.
Ease of use seems to equate to 'ease of hacking'
We will shortly be adding a feature that requires a PIN, User ID and password to access InfoCDB.
The requirement to use a PIN will be an option that you can select on your own login, or can be mandated for all users on your account.
This has now been implemented.
Desktop Diary updated
At the suggestion of a user we now show 7 days worth of diary entries on the Desktop's small calendar.
The suggestion was submitted at coffee time this morning, and it was implemented by tea time this afternoon.
Over the last couple of months there have been a number of small changes to help improve usability:
- Allow a user with the 'manager' role to limit write access to a specific note - could be used for company announcements, policies etc.
- Improvements for Tablet users. The absence of the 'hover' capability that is available with a mouse has been taken into account on some screens. Some more work still required - especially the 'Shared Files' feature.
Using InfoCDB with a Tablet
We've been making some changes to ensure InfoCDB works well with a Tablet.
You can select the 'Style Sheet/CSS' file to suit the display your are using. For a Tablet or Smart Phone select the 'mini.css' file from 'My Preferences'. The system may auto detect your devices screen size and set the Style Sheet accordingly. You can override it via 'My Preferences'.
For a laptop there is a Style Sheet with a height of 768px.
The desktop.css file works with a screen of height 840px.
Happy New Year
With the fireworks exploding outside, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.
May 2013 be as good for you as I expect it to be for us!
InfoCDB is under constant development, with new modules being worked on, and existing features improved all the time. All the development work is carried out on our servers in the office and changes uploaded to the production server once all the tests have been completed, and the changes signed off.
The Diary will shortly have Reminders, and Repeating events are in the pipeline.
One other idea currently being kicked around is an Invoicing module. Send a decent looking PDF invoice to a customer, with a report to produce a single line entry for your accounting package for sales invoiced this month through InfoCDB. Would be an improvement over some of the spreadsheet invoices we receive, which are still open for editing!
If you are keen to see a particular feature, please let us know.