Foreign Raspberries

The exciting Raspberry Pi project is nearing fruition but it seems their attempts to boost the UK economy by getting the boards made over here has been thwarted by lead times and an insane tax law.

It seems UK manufacturers end up paying tax on components, but if they get the boards made overseas and then shipped over then that’s ok because they’re completed products rather than raw materials. Bottom line is that this insanity means that foreign outsourcing of manufacturing gets even more attractive.

So in these times of austerity it would seem the sensible thing to do to support UK manufacturing by lobbying for a change in those tax laws. We have a lot of manufacturing talent in the UK and we should be supporting it.

If you want to support a lobby on this issue there’s an e-Petition been set up to register your support at

How to be one step ahead of UK Roadworks

There is an assumption that UK government websites aren’t up to much. Elgin is a hidden gem of a website which lists roadworks from authorities which have joined their service. It’s either written or managed by Jacobs.

What’s fantastic about this website it gives you the ability to hand-draw an area on a map and be notified via Email or RSS feed of any roadworks currently underway and, more importantly, any planned for the near-future!

The Traffic Management Act 2004 meant that local councils have to publish their street-works register. The fantastic result of this is that you can map out an area which represents your community or commute and get notified before stuff happens.

When you’re on the Elgin Search page, you can expand the ‘Area’ section and select ‘Filter by drawing an area’. Then you can draw a polygon to represent the area you’re interested in.

When you click ‘Search’ you’ll see the results for that area. At the top of the results there’s the option to ‘Set up an e-mail alert or RSS feed for this search’. [Doesn’t appear to work in Google Chrome]

Brilliantly simple and allows you to stay one step ahead of your commute!