Tag Archive | Journalism

Tech Talk: Tournament organisers scam clients with unauthorised money-making software

 This feature can also be found at the South West Londoner, here.

A hidden function in globally used anti-cheating software generated almost $4,000 for an e-sports company, statements revealed this week.

The E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) distributed the program for users who would be competing in tournaments, but within the code was a function that uses computer processing power to earn a digital currency called Bitcoins.

Users noticed that their computers were running slower and electricity bills had increased, complaining on the ESEA website about the issue.

One of the website staff members, known as ‘lpkane’, issued an initial statement to the queries.

He mentioned that it was an idea between him and another staff member, ‘jaguar’, to implement the function as an April Fool’s joke.

He said: “Jaguar and I were talking about how cool it would be.”

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Full speed ahead for Northern Line extension from Kennington to Battersea Power Station

This news item can also be found at the South West Londoner, here.

Plans to extend the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea Power Station have moved a step closer after TFL finalised their budget for the work.

The ‘NLE’ project, which will also include an intermediary stop at Nine Elms, has been in planning since 2009, and aims to be completed by 2015.

When the project started, an allotted budget of £1bn was set and present cost projections are around £998m.
A public survey found that around three quarters of the responses to this were positive or neutral, many approving of the increased public transport accessibility.

A report from TfL states that key issues to come out of the survey relate to possible noise and vibrations for buildings above the route. Around 1000 property owners and occupiers may be directly affected.

The London Borough of Southwark is calling for Kennington to be re-designated as a Zone 1 station once the extension is complete.

Since carrying out the survey, TfL have consulted with community groups and heritage experts in Kennington on how to proceed with any above-ground construction.
Alongside the preparations for the rail extension, Battersea Power Station has had £400m invested to turn it into a leisure hub for the area.

SP Setia, the largest property group in Malaysia, purchased the land alongside other company partners.
The structure has had various renovation plans in the past (including becoming a football stadium and a hotel), but they all succumbed to funding problems.

The completed complex is aiming to include a block of luxury flats, shops, eateries, a gym, and a revitalised public park.

Work on the Power Station is scheduled to start this autumn, concluding in 2016, although preliminary preparations have already started.

The success of the Power Station’s reopening is likely to depend heavily on the increased accessibility from the rail extension.

High Street Blues: Balham residents voice concern over rise of betting shops

This feature can also be found on the South West Londoner, here.

“Balham is my ‘village’ and I use it daily for shopping, dining and community engagement,” said Kevin Fitzpatrick of Fieldhouse Road, Balham.

“The addition of yet another betting shop will add nothing positive.”

He’s talking about a planning application submitted by Coral Bookmakers on May 2. The proposed location is on Balham Station Road, replacing a dry cleaners and directly next to The Moon Under Water pub.

What’s more, a gambling arcade, Cashino, is just down the road. The close proximity of these businesses is giving both shop owners and residents a cause for concern.

Have you recently noticed an increase in certain types of stores on your high road? Odds are, you’ve seen new charity shops, betting shops and chicken take-aways sprouting everywhere. It’s no coincidence, it’s happening all across Britain.

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Fulham pub closes after feeling unfairly targeted by police

The full page for this story is available here. (Quark will only export as a .pdf, apologies.)

A pub on Goldhawk Road has closed after being met with heavy licensing restrictions, despite members of staff feeling they have been unfairly targeted.
The Raving Buddha, specialising in live DJ and open mic nights, held their last event, a ragga and dancehall night, on Saturday 25 May.
The pub, had a ruling on from the Hammersmith & Fulham Council Licensing Sub-Committee. They said that it was ‘associated with serious crime and disorder’; due to police picking up on three separate instances in one month.
The recent incidents included an arrest of a customer wanted for assault who was carrying seven rocks of crack cocaine; two men arrested on a separate incident with Class A drugs; and three arrests in one evening for GBH.
However, one of the bar staff the Raving Buddha feels that the business was unfairly targeted by the police, when there are other pubs on the road which may also suffer from crime.
Natalia Eagle, 21, said “The police bullied us!”
Taking issue with the first incident – the man wanted for assault – she said that the police were at the Raving Buddha by chance, and happened to see their target inside; as opposed to police chasing the man to the pub (which, she claims, the council statement and local news coverage implied).
The man was on a list of people the staff know to throw out on sight, but he was let in by the bar security. The pub has since switched security companies.
Ms Eagle felt that since the Raving Buddha is has fewer resources to defend itself; the police are making an example of them, when there are instances of pub-related problems in other areas.
“They think that this pub is the reason that people do drugs,” said Ms. Eagle. “It’s really stupid and deluded.”
In light of having their License suspended, the Raving Buddha was given strict guidelines to follow in regards to CCTV usage and customer entrance numbers.
While the council do uphold that venues in the borough should follow key licensing objectives, the scrutiny that Raving Buddha was put under is a unique instance.
Nearby pub, the Walkabout Inn on Shepherds Bush Road, is also known by the police to have violent customers and now does not open on Sundays, following a policy change in February imposed by the police.
Other pubs on Goldhawk Road have been closed down over the last year. The Goldhawk Tavern was closed last November, and was reportedly sold to a developer to become offices; though no change has yet been made.
The Grand Union pub at the end of Goldhawk Road has been closed for the last year after relocating to a new venue in Wandsworth. The land has since been bought, and there are plans to turn the venue into a European gastropub, to open in late May. There is little visible sign of refurbishment on the site.

A Jazz Interlude: Interview with George Simmonds of The Squintet

This article can also be found at the South West Londoner, here.

It’s difficult being 22. For most of us, it’s the point where we struggle to balance adulthood with the aftermath of university. But for George Simmonds there’s a jazz quintet to lead and a music agency to run. And astoundingly, both things are rapidly gaining momentum.

A Londoner through and through and presently based in Tottenham, George has taken his love of jazz music from a young age and formed his band, The Squintet, with childhood friends and other budding artists.

George himself leads on trombone and vocals, his old high school friend Jamie Hone on saxophone, Mike Cuthbert on keyboard, and Jack Polley on bass guitar.

Rob Hervais is the newest member of the band, on the drums, replacing Bryan Taylor who left.
With them, he’s shared his jazz passion all over London (including Soho, Islington and the famous The Rivoli Ballroom in Lewisham) and also abroad in Istanbul and Norway.

Over time their sound has changed – starting out with a strong swing feeling, before moving to a more funk-focused, New Orleans-style sound in recent months. The change was sparked by the drummer Rob, and George says that the band has definitely become more comfortable since.

At the start of performances with The Squintet, George likes to open with ‘Honeysuckle Rose’ by Fats Wallop, a piece played to him by his grandfather as a child. The version he was familiar with was performed by Acker Bilk, and the memory has always stuck with him. 

His musical influences include J.J. Johnson, Jimmy Knepper (both trombonists), and Charlie Parker. More recently he’s been taking on the funk-based influences of James Brown and Fred Wesley.
During a period of taking an interest in composing, Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus’ jazz orchestras were a major factor.

For the last two months, George has also plunged into the world of business with the Maxwell Barrett Music Agency. Christened after his middle names, he uses it to both set up his own gigs and those of his steadily increasing client list.

After playing music professionally for three years, he felt that to go into conventional employment and have less time for his music was not an option.

Running a business in your early 20s is a fairly daunting task, so he co-runs it with his father.
New gigs are being planned all the time, and George is definitely looking to perform more in the South West London area.

You can find out about future gigs at www.maxwellbarrett.com or on his Facebook page.