* Posts by JimboSmith

190 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

JimboSmith
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Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

Explaining health and safety was I always thought an HR thing to do especially with interns or work experience. So one Monday we had a young chap presented to my department to be told that he would be with us for the week. He had a change of clothes in his bag because his mum thought he might not be sitting at a desk the whole time (smart woman). Anyway I asked what he had been told about evacuation procedures and fire alarms etc. His response was 'nothing' which shocked me, he said when prompted that he would just have asked someone what to do.

After pointing out that there might not always be someone around I explained what to do and where the assembly point was etc. After a strong email to HR regarding their inability to do basic health and safety we went into the basement. There we looked at the patch bays we'd be tidying up as today's exercise.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Government staff: need I say more?

Whilst working for an illustious firm one day I received a phonecall that the printer was down and to fix it right away please. We had taken a copier/printer/scanner in the building offline because it was in need of a replacement part and there were instructions on the wall above the printer about how to use a different printer. I asked politely if they had followed these instructions and was told yes they most certainly had thank you very much. I then went upstairs to find the source of the problem and found the caller waiting at her desk looking annoyed. She showed me the full colour 50 page document on screen that she had now sent 10 times to print and still nothing had printed. The print queue was empty and so I checked that she'd actually connected to the correct printer. She had, it was one the other side of the building and when I got round there had a bit of a shock.

She'd certainly sent the thing to print as there were copies of her document neatly stacked by the side of the printer. The intern who was there as the last page of the last copy of her document came out said that he'd refilled the A4 paper tray twice whilst waiting for his document. Carrying the 500 pages back round I met the caller standing by the defective printer saying that it still wasn't working. She had assumed that despite the fact that the machine was unplugged both from the network and the mains the "different connection instructions" would still allow her to print to that machine. She'd sent it to print three more times since I'd left her desk but fortunately she was stuck in the queue and I was able to cancel them. I explained where the new printer was and said the extra walk would do her good. I also pointed out the print both sides option when we looked at the print options menu.

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Funnily enough, charging ££££s for trashy bling-phones wasn't a great idea

JimboSmith
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Actually the large sapphire screen on their smartphones was brilliant, probably the best bit. I saw a video on line of someone attempting to scratch a vertu screen. Really gave it a good go and something that would have done in gorilla glass (at the time) didn't leave a mark. Was always very impressed with that and hoped it would make it into more mainstream phones. The fact that Apple tried and failed suggests we won't see it anytime soon. The Concierge was also supposed to be quite good, the same firm also do the Coutts concierge i believe.

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

JimboSmith
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Re: Wait for it...

They just need to hire Bergholt Stuttley Johnson (aka Bloody Stupid Johnson) and it's job done.

http://discworld.wikia.com/wiki/Bloody_Stupid_Johnson

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

JimboSmith
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Re: You can bet...

What about Mr Corbyn releasing a video of the incident himself.Doesn't that have some bearing on this? The ICO seem to think it does.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Carriage looks pretty full to me...

Midland Mainline deserve a special mention for their daft policy with advance tickets and reserved seats. I was travelling pre StPancras redevelopment on a train to Sheffield on a Saturday morning to watch my football team play Leicester. On the platform I met a friend who I hadn't seen in a long while had lost touch and was therefore going to have a few hours to catch up with them. Sadly she was on an advance ticket and therefore had a reserved seat and I had a walk up ticket. This was the start of many problems as they'd put all the advance ticket holders in one carriage and there were therefore few (namely 2) unreserved seats. I couldn't see the problem with her swapping with someone else so that we could sit either side of the aisle and have a chat.

The Train Manager or whatever MM called them appeared just as we pulled out of StPancras and asked to see tickets. My friend explained that she had a ticket in the window seat and was it possible to swap with the gentleman in the aisle (who was happy to do so) so we were able to chat. "No you are on an advance ticket and must sit in your reserved seat" Gentleman who was in the aisle seat indicated to the Train Manager that he'd be happy to swap. At this point she said "If anyone on an advance ticket isn't sitting in their correct reserved seat, Move Now before I get to you or your ticket will be invalid". I offered to pay the difference but that didn't work either. There were only two unreserved seats in the carriage and the one I'd snagged was directly across the aisle from my friend but facing the same direction. This wasn't allowing us to see each face to face to chat and we decided that this wasn't going to work. She said to go and sit somewhere else with more space (i.e. less reserves seats) and she'd call me on Sunday. We then lost the football match so rounded off a lousy day.

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Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

JimboSmith
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Mushroom

Re: Interesting solution to "illegal" flying...

I think I'd rather use a Punt gun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTQQfKxkZpk

http://thefunnybeaver.com/punt-gun-worlds-largest-shotgun/

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Two-factor FAIL: Chap gets pwned after 'AT&T falls for hacker tricks'

JimboSmith
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No idea as I was only there for a day but it struck me as a good idea at the time. You would at least know that you weren't speaking to the regular person and then make further checks as to the veracity of the caller. Just seemed a better plan than accepting blindly the new address the person on the other end of the phone line was giving you. Could result in an expensive mistake otherwise.

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JimboSmith
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Back in the day I went with a mate to his dad's business for the day as one of those bring your kids to work day jollys. They were a delivery firm and had been the target of an attack where someone had tried to change the delivery address of a regular order (of electronics if my memory serves me). The lady who ran the dispatch office had a novel solution to this problem and had her own version of two factor authentication. When you called there was amongst other things a codeword you had to use to change an address if they didn't supply that or got it wrong then nothing changed. She also had in the same book a series of letters next to the client. She'd got everyone listed with letters like SNB, FA, RA, DV (those are the ones I remember) which also related to the client. So if you called up as a customer and even if you gave the correct code word if you didn't sound like your acronym(s) Snobby (SNB), have a Foreign (FA) or Regional (RA) accent or Deep Voice (DV) then she'd be very wary.

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TfL, WTH is my bus? London looks up from its mobile

JimboSmith
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Re: There, there children. Sorry your pacifier is b0rken.

There was an OAP at the bus stop this morning who was concerned about the lack of info on the countdown screen (the live arrivals screen attached to the ceiling of the bus stop). She was already very hot from the heat and wanted to know if she should go to the doctors by taxi instead as her appointment was approaching. I said I'd check on line and then discovered that the mobile web version of countdown wasn't working either. She said she'd just get a taxi in that case as "get any hotter and I'll pass out".

I always thought the elderly had a built in radar signal as they always seemed to turn up at the bus stop just before the bus would turn up.

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Microsoft boasted it had rebuilt Skype 'from the ground up'. Instead, it should have buried it

JimboSmith
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Re: Surprisingly Unlike Microsoft

Don't give them ideas please. I still haven't forgotten nor forgiven them for killing off Skype on Three.

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10976/has-skype-on-3-been-discontinued

"To offer you the best mobile experience possible, we discontinued Skype on 3 from 30 September 2014 and replaced it with our standard versions of Skype....".

That was the end of truly free Skype on a mobile. No data, contract or top ups needed.

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Britain's warhead-watcher to simulate Trident nukes with Atos supercomputer

JimboSmith
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Re: ATOS

Will they be installing this at the Corsham Computer Centre? That's where allegedly we do such testing, in a large hole in the ground out West of things designed to make a large hole in the East.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsham_Computer_Centre

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Happy 4th of July: Norks tests another missile

JimboSmith
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We're sure this wasn't a rogue county in the UK?

https://radiofail.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/north-yorkshire-nuclear-fail/

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JimboSmith
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Girl in my office when the DPRK* first tested the bomb was all in favour of it as they were "Only trying to defend themselves". I suggested that she was wrong and that on those lines she would obviously be happy with me bringing a [hypothetical] gun to work. She wasn't despite my repeated assurances that I'd only use it for "self defence". I pointed out she was sitting in the same place in the office as Japan would be to my North Korea (with a gun), so was she still comfortable with them having the bomb? She now strangely said no.

*Sir Humphrey Appleby: North Korea, isn't that a democracy?

Sir Richard Wharton: Its full name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Ah I see, so it's a communist dictatorship.

(with apologies to Sir Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn)

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Four Brits cuffed in multimillion-quid Windows tech support call scam probe

JimboSmith
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Re: Why do people fall for this?

how did "Microsoft" get my phone number?

Because your ISP gave it to them, or at least in the calls I've had from these idiots that's been their answer. It does confuse them a bit when you say which ISP do you mean I use three.

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WannaCrypt blamed for speed camera reboot frenzy in Australia

JimboSmith
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A good mate of mine who was racing to the birth of his new son was snapped by a speed camera doing 77mph along the local dual carriageway. He received a fixed penalty notice in the post and was horrified that he didn't get a copy of the photo. He wrote back saying he was happy to pay and admitted he'd done it with the reason.

He also asked for a copy of the picture:

i) As a memory of the day his first child was born,

ii) To prove that his ancient Mini Cooper was actually still capable of doing 77mph.

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ICO fines 'Wolf of Wall Street' electrical survey biz for nuisance calls

JimboSmith
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Relish in London (www.relish.net) mean you can ditch the landline and still get broadband.

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JimboSmith
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And that's the reason I don't have a landline anymore. The only calls I ever got were spam like this and I got sick of paying to have the number.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

JimboSmith
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Re: Not a PC but...

One of my ex colleagues has a hearing aid and could hear when the phone was going to beep before it did through his aid. He would predict receiving text messages as a party trick and it occasionally freaked people out.

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Expansys shutters online mobile gadget souk to consumers

JimboSmith
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I agree that the customer service was very good. They sold me a phone but the wrong colour (red when I wanted black) and took the phone back which they had to do twice because the phone boxes were mislabeled by the manufacturer. They covered the postage of the returns and eventually said that they didn't have any black ones just red thanks to the colour on the box cock up. I went to buy a phone from them at the weekend and the website was unavailable at the time. Will have to look at Amazon or someone else as this isn't one that the carriers or CarphoneWarehouse are carrying.

I see it's still listed on his website http://www.peterjones.com/peter-jones-portfolio/expansys/

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Ta-ta, security: Bungling Tata devs leaked banks' code on public GitHub repo, says IT bloke

JimboSmith
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I don't online bank for this very reason, I don't trust the banks not to screw it up.

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Please do not scare the pigeons – they'll crash the network

JimboSmith
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Re: We had a laser link between two nearby buildings

Sending someone off to a former colony in my broadcasting days we gave one lovely reporter a suitcase satellite kit that would allow her to 'phone' home. Showing her the correct way to use it in the office before she left - with the power off - she remarked on the triangular symbol on the front when the 'doors' were open to transmit/receive. "That's the non ionizing radiation symbol" says a fellow engineer and we then explained that it wasn't too clever to be standing in front of the unit when switched on. "So what's it doing then" the explanation was pumping out microwaves to a satellite and then half jokingly if you get stuck somewhere remote you can use it to cook your food. Always wondered if they understood that it was meant as a joke.

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Microsoft officially hangs up on old Skype phones, users fuming

JimboSmith
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Had a Three phone with Skype on Three

It worked brilliantly you could make Skype to Skype calls and freephone number in the US for nothing over the mobile voice network, no data connection needed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Skypephone_Series

It had messenger and was very useful till Microsoft bought Skype and then they announced they were discontinuing the service for it.

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA10976/has-skype-on-3-been-discontinued

"To offer you the best mobile experience possible, we discontinued Skype on 3 from 30 September 2014 and replaced it with our standard versions of Skype...."

The best mobile experience my arse, on any other version it uses data to make calls and therefore not free! The phone was only £20 (and saved me a small fortune) so didn't lose out financially but the pain of not having it working was immense.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

JimboSmith
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Re: Power

He's only CEO of BA not the parent company IAG which is the group that has all the airlines in it. How he got to be running BA though is a mystery, might see if a bookie will give me odds on how long he stays CEO.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Ho hum

I know a company (coz I used to slave for them) that went with a software/hardware supplier who promised the earth and then didn't deliver. The funny thing is they weren't cheap but they were cheerful when you called them to hear them say:

"No our systems don't offer that functionality".

"The old system did and that was a damn sight less expensive than yours"

"We could develop it for you but that's going to cost dev time"

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Auntie sh!tcans BBC Store after 18 months

JimboSmith
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Re: why do I need to login to prove I have a TV license?

"Now if they released a radio-only iPlayer app that would be different."

The Radioplayer App does that, however BBC isn't there for catch up as far as I'm aware.

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JimboSmith
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Re: What I buy and do not own

That's why I buy my phones outright and not from a carrier. I buy DVDs/CDs and make MP4s of them I've still got a video player though so probably unusual.

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Telecoms fail in UK takes down passport scanners in Australia

JimboSmith
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Re: Timezones?

SITA has an office in Sidney, hope it follows the local timezone.

Ah but do they have one in Sydney?

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White House sicko sent down for 20 years after sexting underage girls

JimboSmith
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Re: What's the betting...

Up until 2013 in the Vatican City the Age Of Consent was 12. I'm not making that up http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/vatican-city-raises-age-consent-12-18-following-scandals120713/

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MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

JimboSmith
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I tried that but I kept losing the Token and they're quite expensive you know.

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Blighty bloke: PC World lost my Mac Mini – and trolled my blog!

JimboSmith
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Re: Why oh why

I went to Maplin (pre DSO) for some CTF100 to make a cable for an aging relative (like the anonymous poster who was in Dixons) because the Chelsea Flower Show would be on the red button and the cable they had was produced I think pre-war (Vietnam but might have been earlier) and the tv that had just been replaced was circa 1980s. The signal at the house was marginal for digital signals and I selected a nice long length of cable that I could make up into several smaller cables of the correct length. The girl at the till took the nicely coiled length of cable and despite my explaining it was a 4m length insisted she had to measure it. I said she could ask her colleague how much he'd cut but no it was stretched out to check. It was then not coiled again but she bent it at various points way past 90° to get it into the plastic carrier bag.

I explained that I no longer wanted the now bagged cable because it was no longer as effective as a cable. She remonstrated with me that the cable was perfectly fine and I had to buy it now it was cut. I said I wasn't having that cable and she could call a manager if needed to resolve this. The manager (who was apparently on a smoke break came to the till and I explained why I was unhappy. He listened patiently and offered to straighten the cable out again which I said wouldn't work and explained why. He said I knew more about this than him and whilst he was happy to exchange it he would need to explain it to head office. We visited the web and I found a site backing up my claims which he noted down and added to the computer. He then personally cut 4.5m as a gesture of goodwill, told her it was 4m. I ordered a reel off CPC for future use after that. So roll on the Flower Show and we do indeed get a digital signal, red button (or whatever it was called back then) and all. Sadly they had Allan Titchmarsh presenting who is not popular with my aunt and spoke to celebrities about their gardening ability rather than looking at the gardens in the show which just made her angry. Don't know why I bothered really.

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PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC

JimboSmith
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I refer you to the post I made several months ago:

"I rarely get cold calls"

Last one of those I had was at work and when asked by the lovely chap from the Indian Subcontinent if I had been injured in the accident that wasn't my fault, I said:

Me: "Yes it was awful I've never been in a fatal accident before at least not one where I died"

Sounding very interested: "So you were injured in the accident?"

Me: "Yes mortally wounded as it turned out, the funeral was lovely though"

Sounding very interested: "Can you describe your injuries?"

Me: "Yup Death by Decapitation and not the good kind*, not going to walk away from that"

Sounding extremely interested: "Have you spoken to a lawyer yet?"

Me: "No very few people talk to you when you're dead, I'm grateful for your call."

Sounding disinterested: "Are you saying you didn't survive the accident?"

At this point there is the sound of someone else joining the call.

Me: "Yes, and I wouldn't recommend cremation if I were you!"

Line goes dead

If he'd asked the what the good kind of decapitation was my reply to him was going to be...

"The painless kind".

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JimboSmith
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Re: the supervisor

I'm so trying that - Brilliant! Have a beer.

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

JimboSmith
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Being the only techie person in one day between Christmas and New Year at my ex-firm I took a call from some female youngster who had dropped their phone into some liquid and was now very concerned about it. My first question was is this a company mobile phone or a personal one? It was a personal one so no obligation to help but I decided to be nice (it was Christmas). Second question, was the liquid sugary or not? There is a stunning silence to this question and I had to ask what the problem was.

"Do you not know whether the liquid had sugar in it?"

"I'm just trying to remember if I've had anything sugar laden today or not to eat and drink. How long does sugar take to go through you?"

[fear setting in] "Where did you drop the phone?"

"In the ladies toilet, and I hadn't flushed it."

"I do not want to see this phone if it's been in the toilet, have you taken the battery out?"

"Nope"

"Well do that and take the sim & the memory card out as well. Drain as much of the liquid out as you can, then flush (pun not intended) with or submerge in 99% isopropyl alcohol and then stick it in a sealed bag of rice"

"Then what?"

"Pray"

"For how long?"

"Give it a few days"

"Oh my god I can't be off facebook for that long people will think I've died. I can bring it to you to look at"

"They won't need to think you've died If you bring me that phone, get the message? Just buy a cheap second hand one."

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Apple's zippy silicon leaves Android rivals choking on dust

JimboSmith
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Re: It's just a shame

I don't have a Pixel, Galaxy S7 or 8 or other sealed battery phone but I do have a Samsung XCover 3. That does have a swappable battery (no soldering required) and takes a memory card and is IP67 rated.

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JimboSmith
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Re: It's just a shame

https://www.sandisk.co.uk/home/mobile-device-storage/ixpand

Yeah I've seen them and have used an OTG version of external storage on an android phone but you can't claim it's the same as having a micro SDcard in the phone.

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JimboSmith
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Re: It's just a shame

I won't buy a phone that doesn't have removable memory and battery so that rules out Apple products. I also have got very attached to having weather/countdown/world time/calendar widgets on my home screen. I've made a couple of ZooperPro widgets that I have customised to suit me and you can't do that on IOS. Someone at a party a couple of Christmases ago asked if I'd make them the same widget for their phone and I had to let them down gently when I explained that such things don't work on an iPhone.

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

JimboSmith
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Re: Fools and their money

Reminds me of this:

http://www.alexcartoon.com/cartoons/6264_15012014.gif

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

JimboSmith
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They had an advert campaign where they pointed out that their call centre staff were all in the UK, except Julie who was on holiday abroad.

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Official: America auto-scanned visitors' social media profiles. Also: It didn't work properly

JimboSmith
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Re: the DHS: it's only a state of mind

Wasn't Marshall law what Jim Dale brought to Stodge City in Carry on Cowboy?

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Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

JimboSmith
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E-mail is abused by scammers and phishers. They have therefore blocked E-mail on their network.

At least, that might explain why their mail service fails for days at a time.

Like when they stopped supporting Homechoice emails and told no one about it? Then when questioned about what they'd done the nice people in India said that they didn't have anything to do with Homechoice and we should contact the ISP direct. When I proved that Tiscali bought Homechoice and then Talk Talk bought Tiscali there was normally either silence or "We don't have any information on that service, sorry".

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Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

JimboSmith
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Re: I Wonder...

Seems to me that products where the battery can't be removed should be avoided if you're concerned about this. Most people won't care.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

JimboSmith
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Did you mean: Will call for you on his Horse Binky.

"I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, he said, BUT I COULD MURDER A CURRY" (c)

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JimboSmith
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Re: 5 cents off wax paper

Could I please have some of whatever it is you're taking or smoking because that must be some good stuff. I'm normally opposed to taking mind altering substances but (to quote Will Smith) Damn Man.

As this info is supposedly a few years old how the hell does it directly prove that Mr Trump (as he was back then) was having his phones tapped? Please explain preferably with the page reference or number where it says that the CIA were specifically targeting Mr Trump.

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Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

JimboSmith
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Re: secure?

GCHQ got involved after they spotted major flaws in the systems used abroad - yep high amongst them was the use of the same key for everyone. They mandated that different unique keys were used and other measures to protect our infrastructure.

https://www.ft.com/content/ca2d7684-ed15-11e5-bb79-2303682345c8

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JimboSmith
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Yeah I agree with that, they'll then be hit with spot pricing and wonder why their bills have gone up.

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JimboSmith
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I explained to a colleague why smart meters weren't the best thing to happen to electricity since Faraday and he was amazed. He said that he thought these meters were supposed to be able to save him money automatically. I pointed out that he would have to make changes for these things to save him any money. He said there was no chance he'd be saving anything as they turn off lights they're not using, only boil enough water for the cups they're using, use a timer in the shower to save water/gas, turn the tv/router/dvd/Gru Ray fully off as opposed to standby etc.

He's told his supplier to sod off after that when they've told him they'd like to come round and install a Smart Meter. I think there will be a very small percentage of people this will actually help but not enough to make a difference.

There are those (a small number of people) like him who do the utmost to use a little power as possible who will save nothing.

There are those (a slightly larger number) who will use this to lower their power consumption.

There are those who will get a meter installed and after playing around seeing what uses what will go back to their previous habits.

There are those who will have it installed and do sod all with it and never change their habits.

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Uber: Please don't give our London drivers English tests. You can work out the reason why

JimboSmith
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Facepalm

Re: The Knowledge

Used to get sent a car to pick me up when working unsociable hours in the early morning, I won't name the London car firm concerned but I had some shockers:

One bloke left the address of my flat in the satnav instead of work and was very surprised when we kept going back to my road. I had to point out the mistake after the second attempt or we could have done that for a while.

Another headed off and went the wrong way down a one way street and had to slam on the brakes (and quickly reverse) when an HGV appeared (going in the right direction) coming towards us. He said that the sat nav had failed to inform him that it was one way.

I was once taken a very peculiar route which when I queried he said "it's quicker". I said there wasn't a hope in hell this way was quicker and he then confessed that his sat nav had broken and he only knew this route to get across town.

One of them had Steve Allen on the radio at full blast and refused to turn it down. I eventually threatened not to sign for the journey at the end and he backed down.

etc.

I used to yearn for a black cab to pick me up instead!

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Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

JimboSmith
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Might as well also point them in the direction of the TSA and their luggage lock master keys.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transportation_Security_Administration#Luggage_locks

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2015/09/tsa_master_keys.html

https://imgur.com/a/JQD7l

I mean it's not like there are CAD plans for those keys that can be 3D printed now is it!

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