AML Online Training, Affiliate Program Up And Running, Become An Affiliate

The exciting thing about setting up new systems is you get to set up new ideas, too. And on this occasion, it’s the Anti-Money Laundering program in the Philippines, which we’ve been working on since April 2019.

It’s going well – we have become the first accredited online provider for AML training online, and we work closely with the Anti-Money Laundering Commission to get the content of the training to match perfectly with their face to face training.

Now we have also set up an affiliate program and we are inviting people to participate. However, there is a catch – you need to be actively working with the kind of businesses that need to be certified in AML within the Philippines! You don’t have to be employed by such a business (although it won’t hurt if you are), but i order to maximise your chances as an affiliate for anti-money laundering training you really ought to be able to refer people who will need to be certified. The online training is comprehensive and anyone successfully completing the course is awarded a certificate, fully accredited by AMLC themselves!

Affiliates earn a generous commission if they can refer people to the AML online training in reasonable numbers, and that’s why we only want people who have the networks into the target businesses to take part in this. For more information on taking part, please complete the application form online, and we will review your details.


Magical Mangosteens

 Today, after a pretty rough night spent mostly awake and mostly inconvenienced, I am not eating very much at all. I’ve decided to go on a bit of a detox for a day. Yes, those far more informed than I can wax lyrical about how bad that is for your body, but to be brutally honest, I no longer care. Anything I consume at the moment stays approximately 15 seconds before making a reappearance… so it is time to do two things:

1 – change my water filter cartridge
2 -eat things that only give you a really healthy benefit.

A third thing is to drink something to rehydrate myself… my poor and ageing body needs to recover!

So it is that I happened to have some Mangosteens in my refrigerator. I bought them not knowing what they were, and vowing to try them. Tropical fruits can be a bit hit and miss for me, so I was a little anxious and had thought to leave them a while. But then last night happened.

In reading about Mangosteens, most of the scientific evidence is completely inconclusive “not enough work has been done to verify the claims made about this food”… you know the sort of thing – totally non-committal, basically consigning it as a fad and whilst experiments in lab animals (seriously? They still do that?) have shown remarkable results it has to be pointed out that it wasn’t a simple fresh piece of fruit they used, but a highly concentrated version of it.

The anecdotal evidence, however, is compelling to say the least. Mangosteens, the leaves, the bark from the tree they grow on, the roots… all have considerable local folklore attached to them about what they can and cannot do. From helping with dysentery and diarrhoea to actively fighting bowel cancers, fast healing of wounds and so on… naturally, once you read these claims you are slightly cynical. But, given my state this morning, it’s a case of ‘any port in a storm’!

The edible part of the mangosteen is inside the rather fibrous outer shell. When you cut around the middle, you can pull the shell off easily, and reveal a small set of segments – like an orange has got… only these are white. The larger segments will have ‘stones’ in them, about the size of a stone inside a plum or perhaps a bit larger. These are the seeds for the plant. All you do is simply take a teaspoon and spoon out the segments and pop them into your mouth. And I have to say, they are simply delicious!

They have a citrus like tang, but a unique flavour – not unlike an orange, but certainly not the same. The ‘stones’ are easily dealt with – take the flesh off them with your teeth, and spit out the ‘pip’… It’s rather bitter in flavour so I wouldn’t recommend crunching it. The flesh, however, is simply wonderful! These native fruits of SE Asia (where I am as I write this) are so good! You could probably add them to a smoothie, blend with strawberries or even oranges, plus a banana and you’ll get a brilliant flavour. I cannot overstate this – they are delicious, and should be on your dinner tables as part of a fruit desert.

Now for the left over parts, the husky shell- you can simply cut them into smaller pieces and boil in a pan with water enough to cover them. the water will go a deep reddish-purple colour, and within a few minutes you’ve got a delicious drink. Add a spoon of honey (the shells can be a bit bitter) and use that for your morning brew.

Apparently, locals here in the Philippines cut into very small pieces and dry the shells first – naturally hot sunny days help with that – and then use that as ‘tea leaves’. They store for ages, and make a refreshing and healthy alternative to tea, coffee or other hot drinks. I’m game to try it!

Having eaten one, the taste is so good, I’ve eaten two more. Within the hour my gastric issues have settled down. This is not a scientific test, but all I can say is, given the choice of a difficult time with some tablets to help me, or a few mangosteens, I prefer to have the mangosteens. Try them!

You’ll be glad you did.

Live currency exchange rates in Apple Numbers

For a while now I’ve been looking for a simple way to have a spreadsheet look up a lie currency exchange rate. The various solutions offered included writing scripts to go and get the live values… but try as I might I couldn’t get Apple Numbers to work with this. As a result, I’ve been manually looking up the current rate and typing it manually into a cell that all other cells reference. It works, but it’s a bit manual and clunky.

It turns out I had the solution all along – it’s built in to Numbers, but isn’t obvious (at least not to me!)

All you do is click into a cell and enter a formula, so just choose your cell and type the ‘=’ sign to bring up the formula entry. Now type CURRENCY

(yes, it’s really that obvious)

There are three components to enter – the currency you want to convert from, the currency you wnat to convert to, and the price of that currency. The last part is what you will get dynamically.

Firstly, you need to know the currency codes for your conversion. For example, if you want to know how many US dollars there are to one GB Pound, you’d need to know the currency code for Sterling is GBP and for the dollar is USD. These are the first two things to type, and you have to add quote marks around both:


The third thing is the zero at the end. This forces Apple Numbers to look up the current price. In the formula editor you can see a drop down list of possible values to use instead of zero, such as the name, or the current change in rate.. or the highs, lows and so on.

What you should get back, after a very slight pause when you enter the formula, is the cell showing you the current exchange rate (At the time of writing, this returned $1.31)

This is a really useful feature if you are trading in different currencies and need to do some basic calculations. Keep in mind that whilst this looks up the live rate, it is not the rate a bank will offer you! Use it as a guide… if you want to check it, go to and see what they say there. It’ll be pretty close!


Disable Gatekeeper on OSX

You know that annoying moment when you have downloaded an application – perfectly legally – from an ‘unidentified developer’ and your Mac decides you are not allowed to run it? Well that is pants! I realise Apple are only trying to protect you from the evils of the universe, but it really ticks me off that I don’t get an option to ‘open anyway’ right there and then. No… instead I need to go to system preferences and enable it, or right click the app icon to start with. This is just too tedious. It’s a feature called ‘Gatekeeper’, and it really is there to prevent malicious code being run on your machine.

In previous versions of OSX it was possible in System preferences to allow apps from ‘Anywhere’ to open, but in more recent versions that has ben taken away. Apparently we are not allowed to play with ‘Anything’ – only those from the App store or ‘identified’ developers (i.e. anyone who distributes through the App store).

OK – once again I get the need to protect us from our own stupidity, but it is taking it a little far, IMO.

So for all you geeks who want to return the option in system prefs to allow apps from ‘Anywhere’ just follow these steps:

  1. Quit system prefs if it is running
  2. Launch a terminal window
  3. type this:
    sudo spctl --master-disable
  4. Then enter your password.

that’s it – job done. Now you can open system preferences and see the welcome return of ‘Anywhere’ in your Gatekeeper panel.



Save £100 on premium car tyres

OK – so the headline is a little dramatic, but that’s exactly what I did.

My lovely Audi A5 had a service (and there’s nothing I like more than parting with £400 for that) and when they checked the car they found the tyres were worn low – nothing too remarkable in that, except I had already spotted it and resolved to fix them anyway. After I dropped the car off, I spoke to my colleague Matthew who pointed out that tyres from main dealers were over priced. I know that, you know that… we all know that, but what are the alternatives?

Sitting in the waiting area for any of the main car fitters is at best a roundly depressing experience. It takes forever, there are many cars to deal with and yours is never front of the queue. Even if you book a time slot. It takes two hours minimum, and often quite a lot more. Plus the waiting areas themselves – so depressing, filled with car magazines and tool adverts, with a broken TV and occasionally a spluttering coffee machine. Hardly a dynamic place to while away a few hours! Not even some decent wifi to get online with… you get the idea.

Matt then said – “tyres on your drive”

Not too sure if that was a cryptic message, referring to my car as ‘my drive’… he then said “google it”. Ever talkative, is Matt!

Aha – so that’s what he meant!

Finding the right tyre size was easy, and the price to fit them was a steep (that’s what you get when you drive premium cars and stuff) £149 each. I needed two. Sigh.

Around an hour later, the garage phoned and said the car was ready, and that it needed two new tyres (no surprise there). I asked how much it would cost them to fit them, to which I was told “we can do it all in for 199 per wheel”.

I went to pick up the car – all spick and span, freshly serviced and valeted, and they tried again:

Him: “Y’know – we can do those tyres for you right now”
Me: “no, it’s OK – I know they are low – I’ll get them done myself… much as I enjoy giving you guys my money, your price is too high”
Him: “We do price match y’know..”
Me, after getting the website on my phone, and getting the tyre deal in plain view: “Can you match this?”
Him, looking very concerned: “Err… no, we… er… can’t match that. I thought you meant like one of the high street fitters…”
Me: “no, I meant these guys, a hundred pounds cheaper than you!”
Him: silemce…

So a quick call to the firm and a booking later, and before you know it Daniel was ringing me saying he was in the car park at my office, ready to start fitting tyres. What a decent young man he was too – great to talk with about what needed doing, no mystery, jargon or techie babble… and he said he’d call me when it was done.

30 minutes later – I kid you not, I had not had enough time to go in to the office, make a coffee and finish it before he was back on the phone – 30 minutes later it was done.

The price? £100 saving on premium car tyres, compared to Audi. All done at work, no fuss, no drama, no waiting around. Would I use them again? You bet!