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October, 2009:

This made me firmly in favour of the postal strikes

I'd recently been doing my usual fencesitting with regards to the postal strike, particularly as my workplace is directly affected by the deliverability of Royal Mail items but not wholly convinced, as it's been fairly obvious for a good long while now that the management of Royal Mail are almost completely inept at running a business in a profitable manner. (Aside - curiously, although we're affected by them, my boss supports the strikes.)

I then came across an article from September this year written by postie of seven years 'Roy Mayall' (geddit?), where he quite matter-of-factly describes the scenarios faced by RM staff on a daily basis: edicts are implemented from upon high with no real workforce consultation; posties essentially forced to lie about their work volumes in the logbooks and regularly do unpaid overtime just to keep up with the sheer volume of work; union representatives railroaded out of any serious decision-making... Plus something which surprised me the most: Royal Mail's official average of mail per bag, which they use to calculate yearly volume through their network, was not even close to the actual amount when a manual count was undertaken a little while back.

So, setting aside some of the very worrying (and arguably endemic) problems 'Roy' describes one of the Royal Mail's core claims - that volume has been down year on year necessitating all the cost-cutting measures - is most likely little more than a spurious, disingenuous statement, completely contradicted when the hard facts are examined.

If you're undecided about the postal strikes, I strongly suggest you read the article. It's a real eye-opener, and might just convince you to change your view to supporting the RM staff in their strikes if you're not 100% sure just yet. The full article can be found on the London Review of Books web site - click here to read it.

Where to find 'My Streams' on the Reciva Logik IR100

In our office we have a Logik IR100 - it's a handy little Internet Radio, but it's a little... fiddly... to navigate, particularly when you just want to skip to a favourite station. The device has a My Streams menu, but it wasn't appearing on ours.

I spent ages looking for the My Stuff menu, but just couldn't find it (in case you're wondering where it is, this Logik IR100 info site has detailed info, with a photo of the screen). I'd already registered the receiver on (following the blessedly simple instructions), and added a test stream to the My Streams facility on the web site, but it wasn't showing on the unit.

Having added (and saved) the custom stream on the Reciva portal, it turns out that if you've already downloaded a station list and not powered the unit off for a reasonable amount of time, it still caches the old data. To force the unit to redownload complete listings - including the new 'My Streams' entry/entries, the simplest way to do it is to turn the unit off on the front panel then power off the unit at the wall socket. Wait a few seconds, power it back up, then turn it back on. The next time it downloads the station listings, bam! there's 'My Stuff' in the root of the unit's main menu. Navigate into there, navigate into 'My Streams' and listen away. 🙂

Such an obvious thing once you realise how to do it (you'd think Logik would've put an option in the menu to force a manual download of the full station listings for scenarios such as this).