Monday, 30 March 2015

Freedom of Information Request (2)

I don't know about you - but the Canal and River Trust Guidance for boaters without a home mooring is confounding and confusing many people. So I decided that first of all I would need to clarify a few things for myself first of all.  This is the second requests that I have submitted as things develop the confusion grows even more.
 
The problem with emailing directly to the trust is that you can't guarantee to get a reply after the email is passed on internally. At the NABO annual general meeting.  Dean Davis remarked that he was finding it difficult to get people internally within CaRT to realise that customer service and customer expectations also applied to everyone within the trust. So I have decided to submit a second freedom of information request.

I will report back on any developments.



Dear Canal and River Trust.

This freedom of information request is being submitted as a boat licence holder and mooring holder. I have read the Canal and River Trust Guidance for boaters without a home mooring. However I understand that the guidance is equally applicable to boats with a home mooring.


From my reading of the Canal and River Trust Guidance for boaters without a home mooring. The Canal and River Trust has not not published, what the trust considers to be a system or methodology by which a boat owner can keep an acceptable record their movements. Such that the records would be unambiguous and in a form that would be perfectly acceptable to the trust.

 

Notwithstanding the preamble above. To enable me to satisfy myself and yourself that I am fully compliant with the Canal and River Trust Guidance for boaters without a home mooring.
1) Can you describe a system or methodology whereby a boat owner can record their boat movements that conforms with the requirements that the Canal and River Trust Guidance for boaters without a home mooring. So that the records would be unambiguous and in a form that would be perfectly acceptable to the trust.


2) Can you describe a system or methodology whereby a boat owner can check their individual boat movements against the records held by the Canal and River Trust. So that the records would continue to be unambiguous and in a form that would be perfectly acceptable to the trust.


3) Can you describe a system or methodology whereby a boat owner can correct any errors highlighted in the records of their individual boat movements. When checked against the records held by the Canal and River Trust. So that the records would continue to be unambiguous and in a form that would be perfectly acceptable to the trust.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Smartphone Apps for Boaters (34)

No matter which genre of smartphone you own or are thinking to buy. The apps that are available will have an influence on how happy you are with the phone. There are plenty of top quality apps that you can download. However for me There's always a remarkable sub-selection of apps that are totally free. 

The wonderfully named 'Android' phone seems to have cornered the market in the same way that VHS did with tape systems. Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success. Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator apps available.
It has been quite a while since I last did a Smartphone Apps for Boaters.


I have come across an amazing little gadget – its called 'Tile'. We all lose or misplace items such as a wallet or keys which are almost impossible to replace without great expense. More than everything else its the not knowing. Do you need to report all your credit cards as lost – and just where are the keys for the car.

Tile is like a car key fob and the tile is water resistant. A spilled drink or a rainy day won't pose a problem. Tile works by using Bluetooth. The Tile fob casts a Bluetooth signal up to 100 feet. You attach Tile to an item such as your keys, you're really tethering the keys to your phone. There is a smartphone Android application that you can use on your smartphone. Which uses Android 4.4 or higher. The app supports up to 8 Tiles, so you don't need to make any hard choices about what you'll Tile and what you won't. The best bit is – the Tile app installed on any phone helps find your Tile, so your search range is potentially limitless.

The Tile doesn't have GPS built in, however the app does automatically record the last place your phone saw your Tile. Because if you have to retrace your steps, it's good to know where to start from. As you begin searching for a lost item, your phone tracks the Bluetooth signal strength of your Tile. As you get closer, the app's tracking system provides a clear indication of your progress. As the Bluetooth signal draws you closer, Tile will even play a tune to help you locate your keys.



If your keys are lost and the tile is out of range. Just open up the app and then tap the 'Mark as Lost' button to automatically report your lost Tile. Other applications will report instances of detecting the lost tile. Once your Tile has been found by either by you or another Tile community member, you will be notified of the item's location.

Every Tile is built to be lost in the most unforgiving of places. So while they're small, they're also made from durable materials and designed to withstand the environment. The quality components in your Tile will run for a year with zero upkeep. No batteries, no charging, no anything. After a year, you can recycle your old Tiles and replace them with the latest model.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

CaRT Council Elections.

I am of the mind that its never to early to plan for the next round of CaRT elections. It's also time to learn from the past and find people who are actually truly electable. The previous CaRT Council Elections are now history. A great deal of time and effort went into trying to find and get elected four 'independent' individual boaters.  

However, one of the issues that was not immediately evident at the time of the previous election. Was the hijacking by the IWA of the vacancies. The issue only became something of a concern in the discussion after the election was concluded. The problem that was forefront in the mind of the electorate was that the 'Canal World Forum' were pitching two of their own 'unofficial' candidates. I am now more than ever convinced that because of the poor reputation that precedes the Canal World Forum. It would be best to find suitable fresh faces that come without the baggage created by such alliances.

The individuals deserving of our support in the CaRT council elections will need to be of good standing within the wider boating community. They will need to have previous experience in a similar role or bring a broad ranging  knowledge of the Inland Waterways. One of the concerns expressed from the previous election is that those elected have been almost invisible to the majority of the electorate. 

The continuing allegiance to the Inland Waterways Association has been almost palpable. To elect anyone with a similar allegiance no matter how 'fleeting' would be to commit the same mistake again. For who would these individuals actually represent. All boaters or a minority.

The 'independent' representative will need to be truly independent of all affiliations or be seen as trying to do the same as the IWA with their membership three line whip. Candidates for various offices traditionally only get one chance of standing for election. If they are rejected once by the electorate they are already seen as rejects in the mind of the electorate and will be rejected again in the future. 

New blood is needed.