* Posts by Philippa Sutton

5 posts • joined 2 Nov 2007

Zen and the Art of Laptop Battery Maintenance

Philippa Sutton
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Now all that's needed is putting it into practice

Fascinating. My first laptop was invariably kept with the battery left in and the notebook used on mains charge. Then I took it away and tried to use it on the battery - it lasted about 5 minutes. And THEN I discovered how much Sony charged for replacement batteries.

Since then I have (i) avoided Sony notebooks (and after other experiences, nearly all Sony products) and (ii) tried to preserve the life of the battery by leaving it out of the laptop except for the occasional need to take it off the mains.

Sounds like that's as bad as leaving it in all the time :(

However, I can't help wondering whether the procedures described in the article don't come under the heading of "more trouble than they're worth." Though, I suppose we should all be doing everything we can to maximise resources, and I do hate the thought of shelling out for a new battery to keep an old laptop running.

There's also the question of how welcome a spare battery would be in the fridge ...

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Running queries on the HMRC database fiasco

Philippa Sutton
Gates Horns

Baby Boomer technology

re Baby Boomers

Mr A Coward says:

"At least in the US, when the Baby Boomer generation is all dead, we will finally have politicians who have SOME grasp of technology."

And we will also have in power a generation where there is widespread belief that Earth is 6,000 years old, that the US never sent spaceships to the moon and that science is a godless conspiracy to lure ordinary folks into Satan's lure.

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Datapocalypse Now

Philippa Sutton

Well, it would have been secure if ..

Read the selection of emails between HMRC and NAO on the beeb site. We really didn't need to worry about that data, it was password protected. And doubtless the password would have been impossible to crack (unless it was the name of the "junior official's child, of course). The password would have been sent (as presumably it was on earlier data transfers) separately:

".. Please ring xxxx when you have safely received the two CDs ... so that he can pass on the passwords in an email"

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/Informationrelatingtochildbenefitdata.pdf)

Though I did find one small outburst of charity for the NAO when I discovered that they were busy moving house at the time.

Still you can just imagine it.

"Hello Alastair, this is Jackie speaking, I'm Gordon's deputy whilst he's busy with the move. Could you send the passwords for those files to me on my personal email - the office ones are all out of action whilst we moving. It's j.smith@notquitehotmail.com Thanks.

Anyone like to bet it wouldn't work?

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Philippa Sutton

Telling you ..

MGJ says:

"What this data loss has to do with ID cards?"

It's the notion that the ID card will be administered by a central database, linked to the [highly secure, natch] police national database. With all our data, including details of when we are abroad and the house is empty, which the government wants us to hand over, whilst reassuring us that all this data will be carefully protected by strictly observed and monitored government data protection procedures.

The government wants to put LOTS of personal data, including names, addresses, all security, medical and legal details onto this database.

How long before someone manages to get a job as a junior officer in the Civil Service department handling this data, and gets another junior official from elsewhere to send them the password in an email? The data is then burned to a CD, or sent over a nearby open wireless network to the criminals who got the man infiltrated into the data centre by the process of him being prepared to do the job. (Check how easy it is to get a job in a bank's call centre.)

The data is then auctioned off - though probably not via ebay.

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Sun: MoD has Bond/Potter/Klingon cloaking device

Philippa Sutton

Not the Klingons?

Surely cloaking is a Romulan technology - our boffins might have more luck with development if they were looking for advice on the right planet.

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