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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.101)
    #creditreportsintheuk

    I've never actually checked my credit rating. I imagine this might be a good thing to do. (Pretty sure it was on the Adulting blog a little while ago, which is a good enough yardstick for me.) How do you go about doing that? Does it cost?
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.102)
    #Photo(ab)use

    If you just don't want to deal with these people again and the photos aren't particularly special to you, I'd walk away and save your money. Unless a contract was involved saying that they could not use your photos without permission you may be stuck anyways.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.103)
    #creditreportsintheuk

    Each of the three main UK agencies will send you what they have on you for £2. They're only obliged to do that once a year under the data protection act, more frequently and you'll have to pay more.

    I'm trying (and mostly failing) to sign up to subscriptions that alert me when things go onto it because I want to keep a closer eye than normal at the moment.

    The three companies in the UK are:

    Experian, Equifax and CallCredit.
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      CommentAuthorevelet
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.104)
    #creditreportsintheuk

    For anything to do with money I check here first - money saving expert

    can be a faff at times, but there is usually a way of getting a good deal / money off / cash-back or something
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.105)
    #arabicandtime

    This is a wild hair and I'm chasing it where I can. Does anyone have any familiarity with the Arabic language and or culture? I'm investigating the possibility that there's a chance that time is conceived differently from how it is in the West. It's hard to explain, it's something that's alluded to in the play I'm working on - Jean Genet's THE SCREENS - in scenes where many of the characters have died and are assembled in some kind of afterlife/limbo.

    I've heard something like cultures where the writing goes from right to left have different relationships to concepts like symbol and meaning as well as time. Can anyone elucidate? I can spew my thoughts more if anyone needs any more clarity on what I'm driving at but since I'm looking for hard infos my speculation may just muddy things even more.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012 edited
     (10439.106)
    #arabicandtime -

    I ran this by my wife, who lived in Cairo extensively and was married to an Egyptian guy for a while, and she had to stifle a snort. "Arab time" is a bit of a trope...among Arabs. It isn't something you'll want to just casually toss out there as a Westerner, but...the Arab conception of time is somewhat flexible in practice. One could say that human relationships are valued above a strict conception of time, duration and appointments.

    The wife said that Bill Clinton makes a good Western example. His meeting were notorious for running long, because he was just so into the people he was meeting with, and building those relationships...much more so than the abstract rules about meetings and appointments. "Arab time" is ...something like that. I hate to say more lest I run into blatant stereotyping, but there's something there for sure.

    The wife just popped back in to add a concrete example: In Cairo culture at least, "half an hour" can mean effectively any amount of time. If you're at a party and have to leave to go see someone, you'll say "I'll be back in half an hour," which means...I'll be back sometime.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.107)
    #GriftersReference

    After watching hours and hours of /Leverage/ and greatly enjoying /The Grifters/ and assorted other works of fiction about confidence men, I'd like to read a serious reference work about con men, grifters, scams and the like. Preferably something encyclopedic that categorizes the various sorts of cons, profiles classic examples such as the original Ponzi scheme in depth, and the like.
  1.  (10439.108)
    #GriftersReference -- You mean Leverage doesn't do that? They say all the names and everything...
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.109)
    #arabicandtime

    @Finagle - I'm thinking you might be thinking I have a different idea in my head than what I was driving at. I don't mean "Arabic time" like I've heard of "Mexican time" where getting told I should be somewhere at 2pm means I'll be there somewhere between 230 and 315... I mean, the concept of how time flows, the actual nature of time and specifically how it may change upon death/entering the afterlife. Though I guess it's good to know keeping to the clock comes second to engendering and supporting relationships.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.110)
    #GriftersReference

    Look up How to Cheat at Everything: A Con Man Reveals the Secrets of the Esoteric Trade of Cheating, Scams, and Hustles
    • CommentAuthorSteerpike
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.111)
    #GriftersReference

    It's more for pre-WWII cons, but David Maurer's The Big Con is always worth checking out.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2012 edited
     (10439.112)
    #arabicandtime

    It's a work of speculative fiction (and an excellent one) but you might want to pick up Kim Stanley Robinson's Years of Rice and Salt.

    The two main characters are repeatedly incarnated and their souls meet in a sort of timeless overworld after each incarnation. (There is a specific Arab connection to this since the novel occurs in an alternate world where the entire population of Europe died in the Black Death and was repopulated by muslims. Several of the incarnations of the characters are arabs/Muslims.)

    Then again much of what we think of as the modern western view of time derives from Arab mathematicians and historians. (Medieval Christians mostly saw the world as statix with no real change or progress until the eventual return of Christ. The idea of societies changing and evolving was an Arab creation.)
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2012
     (10439.113)
    #creditreportsintheUK

    5 years ago I used to work in consumer finance (for shame, for shame) underwriting personal loans for asset purchases (similar to hire purchase). What you see in those reports that you can get from the agencies mentioned above is merely the raw data they hold, e.g what loan/credit accounts you have had in the past 6 yrs, payment histories (if you've missed any monthly repayments), addresses that are linked to you (previous/addresses etc) and the names and addresses of people that you have made shared applications or hold joint acccounts with.

    What you do not get is the really important stufff, their score-card info (as it's commercially sensitive). This is an algorithm based on factors like length in employment, whether you are a homeowner, time at current address and the payment history. To be honest, lenders don't really care if you are occasionally one month behind, but anything over 3 months is a big no no. Also (and this is probably most important bit) you won't see if there are any fraud warnings on your house/name or other names at your house (typically fraud warnings are for things like multiple applications in different names, that kind of thing). This is how they get around not being able to 'blacklist' specific homes, essentially whole post-code areas may throw up fraud warnings due to the high(er than average) instances of fraudulent activity from that area.

    Having a good score-card result, and zero fraud indicators means that you'd basically be automagically approved for pretty much anything you applied for -at least prior to the banking crisis.

    The best thing about doing that job though was being that it is the ultimate form of people watching. It's amazing the types of thing you can pick up through inference from people's financial dealings - anything from secret mistresses to gender re-assignment. It's not pretty but it's the world of connected data we live in. What I will say though is that due to Data Protection Law, anything you did six years ago is totally excluded and hidden from lenders/other oprganisation using the credit reporting system.
    • CommentAuthorOda
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2012
     (10439.114)
    #MAKINGWEBSITES

    Hi! I've got a cousin who has made a website where she offers to help people with their spanish. But there's one problem. Her current webpage looks like this: http://www.speak-easy-spanish.com/! I can help her with the "what goes where" part, but does anyone know of a good webpage generator where a person with good taste (that would be me, not her) can make a simple, professional-looking webpage?

    Also I would love an url to a site where you can make some better banners than that one, and maybe one to some sort of bank of "public photographs" that can be used in a main banner/background.

    Help?
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      CommentAuthorglukkake
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2012
     (10439.115)
    #makingwebsites
    Is she using a CMS like wordpress or have any interest in it? Templates for that tend to be well designed & relatively inexpensive (compared to hiring a designer). I'm using a WP template as I revamp my current site & nabbed it for $50. It was worth the investment to not have to worry about the small things & to just focus on making new images to personalize it.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeJan 26th 2012 edited
     (10439.116)
    #LosingtheTalent

    Well, I asked a few friends to look at my stuff as per Kosmopolit's suggestion. I received a couple of replies from old friends who're established professional artists, and they both said the same thing; that I just need to be patient and do the spadework to iron the kinks out of my style as it develops. Apparently it's not uncommon to turn out some crappy work while trying to do things in new ways.

    Heading back to the canvas to put in some hard yards :-/

    [edit - I AM FUCKING KICKING THE ARSE OF THIS PAINTING NOW!]
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012
     (10439.117)
    @Greasemonkey

    You mean my advice may actually have been of use?

    I don't think that's ever happened before.
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      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeJan 27th 2012 edited
     (10439.118)
    It worked out this time! Cheers.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2012 edited
     (10439.119)
    #creditreportsintheuk
    It's amazing the types of thing you can pick up through inference from people's financial dealings - anything from secret mistresses to gender re-assignment. It's not pretty but it's the world of connected data we live in.
    @ Sneak - you are Colin Laney, and I claim my five pounds.
  2.  (10439.120)
    Poor Laney. I was sad about him.