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601 posts • joined 9 Jul 2014
Many years ago, between 'A' levels and starting university I had a summer job working in the office of one of the largest supermarkets in the UK. My social skills were notable by their absence. Some bright spark decided to put me on the telephone switchboard. A job I hated but I did the best I could. However, one day a call came in from some senior bod at the UK head office. He asked to speak to the store manager. I buzzed through to the manager and told him there was a call for him from XYZ. His response was "I'm not in". I flicked the switch back to the incoming caller and said "He says he's not in." After a long silence on the other end of the line there was a verbal explosion with the caller shouting that somebody or other will hear about this! Thankfully, my summer job ended a few days later. It is quite possible the store manager's job ended too. Oops.
I'm only on there to participate in a couple of specialist hobby groups. My name is real but everything else such as date of birth and profile photo is fake or left blank. I've never ever clicked on any ads and the vast majority of those they did show were completely irrelevant to me or obvious click-bait. I do have AdBlock but Facebook seem to have given up on their anti-anti-ad blocking, for me at least for the moment. I would never buy anything via Facebook anyway, too many dodgy advertisers and dodgy looking products / services. I have zero trust in Facebook or their advertisers.
My smart phone recently died and I've upgraded to the latest in 2G technology - a Doro clam phone for £45. Does everything I need and only needs charging once a week. I don't miss any of the bloatware or the poor battery life of the Android. As for accessing the internet etc, that's what my Linux PC with a big monitor is for.
"when its managed to run out of space during an automated update"
I had a similar problem with Linux Mint doing kernel updates if you have whole disk encryption enabled. With that enabled, a limited (unencrypted) space is reserved for the kernel and as it keeps previous versions you can run out of space after a few kernel updates. The solution I found is to manually purge old kernels after applying new ones. It's a pity the kernel update process isn't smart enough to figure out there isn't enough space before applying an update and just bombing out on hitting zero bytes left free.
The problem didn't occur when I wasn't whole disk encryption as it just takes as much disk space as it needs to keep all the old kernels.
While working as a software developer for a large well know credit reference company I had a phone call one day from the central security team on another site asking me what I was doing. Apparently a particular part of their website was under a massive DOS attack and they'd tracked it back to my computer. All I was doing was accessing the site as an ordinary user, nothing fancy. Not even actively, it was just open in my browser. They asked me to stop whatever it was I was doing, which just entailed me closing the browser window and everything apparently went back to normal. I have no idea what caused the DOS but I can only surmise that there must have been a bug either with the website or with the network setup which triggered when a particular part of the site was accessed from an IP address within the company causing something to get stuck in a high priority loop. Explanations on a postcard to...
I quite like Classic FM while driving; very soothing except at this time of the year with all the Christmas carols and the like. Christmas eve is plenty early enough to play all that stuff. (Bah Humbug). However, I do find that horribly nauseating advert for laxatives annoying and instantly turn off the radio or change channel the moment it comes on. Rather like that obnoxious TV advert years ago where a double glazing company made a shouty advert. I purposely didn't ask them for a quote when I needed new windows. Some ads just turn me off completely.
but they made a real pigs ear of it. The article tells porkies; rashly it doesn't vend real bacon. Sorry to squeal on your article, but gammon, get real; and no you aren't casting pearls before swine. You need a good grilling.
I'll get my coat... mine's the one with the pork scratchings in the pocket.
a cynic writes said "keep everything sterile there's no real problem."
That's it in a nutshell. I used to brew my own beer twenty odd years ago and never had a bad batch. Went on to trying lots of different wines too. My most quaffable invention was grapefruit and sultana wine, AKA falling down water.
I've recently had to take up wine making again as the house we've moved to has a 30' greenhouse with a mature grape vine. I've made 15 gallons of red wine, approx 14% alcohol. Not a bad drink; just don't drive afterwards or do anything that requires use of your legs.
One of my relatives runs his own company and has a significant amount of very sensitive information on his many private clients, but trying to get him to take security seriously is virtually impossible. He is one of those guys who always knows better and more about everything than anyone else. He accuses me of being paranoid when I try to talk to him about his naive attitude towards security. He did admit that a few months ago his co-director fell for one of those "Hello this is Microsoft calling" phone calls and even installed malware on their network as a result before someone finally twigged it was a scammer and hastily tried to close stable doors; how much / if any data was lost he didn't say. His company is probably too small to end up being featured on El Reg in the event of a major data loss, but he is a GDPR data breach waiting to happen.
I'm responsible for a colleague getting whiplash. Having thoroughly enjoyed playing all the levels I started writing my own, which was a very slow and meticulous process to get right. You had to make sure there were no catch-22 situations in the design where the player could remain alive but not be able to finish the level.
My favourite level caught a co-worker out. He was exploring corridors and didn't notice a tiny gap in the wall. One of those big rocket launching monsters stuffed a rocket into his face at point blank range. The image of the rocket grew incredibly fast and filled the screen then everything went red. He was so startled he shot backwards on his swivel chair straight into a filing cabinet, twisted his head backwards and fell out of his chair onto the floor effing and blinding at me. I doubt he'll ever forget that game! I nearly wet myself laughing.
Had an unwanted SMS from Wickes this morning with a black Friday code for 15% discount today. Promptly deleted it, annoyed at their spam. An hour later I discovered my garden fence was a little wobbly and in need of some concrete repair spurs. Damn I'd deleted the code! A quick google search and I found the code again... just bought myself a heap of work to do but at least saved £17 off the items usual price. As for Black Friday in general... Meh, not interested.
The house we recently moved in to has old style gas and electric meters in the corner of the kitchen at the back of an L shaped cupboard. I need to get on my hands and knees and climb part way into the cupboard with a torch and twist my neck uncomfortably upwards to get the meter readings. Our supplier requires me to do this every month. I'm too old for such contortions. Only thing is, I can see a smart meter fitter taking one look at where the existing meters are and saying "no chance pal". Plus we will likely change supplier at some point, and if the meter no longer works after that it is just a complete waste of time and money anyway.
As for smart meters saving us any money, it is extremely unlikely as we are already very careful with energy consumption and take the view that in Winter we expect to wear suitably warm clothing indoors and not crank up the heating while wearing summer attire.
So can't make up my mind whether to have a smart meter fitted or not.
We've got a DAB radio in the kitchen and while I can't tell any difference in the audio quality to FM I do like the way the radio scrolls the name of the composer and title of the music currently playing. I assume FM doesn't carry that information?
We eventually got a "smart" TV by Sony and it is crap. By default it installs something called YouView and you need it to be able to use the ITV hub etc. However, it blocks recording (to USB device) of all programs on Freeview. As we tend to record everything and cut out the ads, we've had to disable YouView but the TV can no longer view any TV programs via the internet. So we've had to buy a NowTV box to make the so called smart TV actually smart; because without it, it was as smart as a pile of rocks. It is also as buggy as hell and needs the occasional full power off reboot to get it working again properly.
I gave up on Windows long ago due to the crappy UI, spyware and bloat and use Linux Mint exclusively. Don't miss windows at all. I've still got an Android tablet but haven't turned it on for a couple of years.
My Android smartphone just died and I've replaced it with the very latest in 2G technology... a Doro feature flip phone. So far I don't miss any of the bloat on the android, the poor battery life and I almost never used the android phone to browse the internet anyway, the screen size wasn't conducive to comfortable browsing.
As for the IoT, not a hope in hell I will ever want an internet connected fridge, kettle, door looks or anything else IoT for that matter. IoT is a solution looking for a none existent problem to solve.
If anything, I'm generally finding newer technology and the latest greatest gadgets over hyped and not as useful as some lead you to believe. Now get off my lawn.
That's the only reason there is a Windows 10 laptop in this household, to update my TomTom every six months. Plus the occasional other stuff where I'm forced to use Windows e.g. when an important official form has to be submitted online using Adobe forms via Internet Exploder (which is a bizarre way for anyone to insist on receiving forms) - why not just use a web form which is browser / operating system and hardware independent. On the rare occasions this Windows laptop is used I curse having to wait so long for it to boot up, install updates, reboot do more updates, reboot, etc before I get to use the damn thing. Every time it is turned on it downloads more unwanted bloat.
I continued using Paintshop Pro on an old XP computer, long after its sell by date. One of the few reasons I'd boot that old computer instead of using Gimp on Linux Mint. I'm gradually getting into Gimp now but the learning curve is so steep I need grappling hooks. I still struggle to do basic things I did with ease in Paintshop Pro like draw a straight line of a certain thickness and colour - it tends to just stick in a line of its own choice of colour or thickness and won't let me undo it if it turns out wrong. Granted Gimp seems to have a zillion features (that I never use), but I just find it slow and irritating to use. I also find it pedantic that you can't save to JPG / PNG and have to export to it. I know they are lossy, but that is often the format I need to save to for subsequent applications to use.
"But I love the free shipping. I use the hell out of that. Well worth the $100 membership fee."
I refuse to pay the so called membership fee; despite the endless coaxing by Amazon for me to sign up to prime. I just wait until I've got £20 worth of things to order and get free delivery anyway.
I always carry £100 cash in a separate compartment for circumstances just like this. Don't want to fill up with fuel and find the card payment system is down; or get stuck at a checkout with a load of groceries etc. I've only had to raid the "backup" a few of times over the years, but it has been worth keeping for those unexpected "cash only" circumstances.
I'll take one. It must be better than the post-it note on my computer with my TSB online banking username of Imawally and password of qwerty-123456. You might as well take the money out of my account by direct bank transfer, I haven't got time to do it myself, too busy giving a security seminar this afternoon.
You log into a local application using gestures, fingerprints or whatever and the local application talks to a server and says "This really is John Smith here, I'd like to transfer some funds...". And the server says "OK, your ID has already been verified, so your funds are being transferred..."
So does this mean that if someone mimics the behaviour of the local API and protocol used to communicate with the server, they could fraudulently send bogus authentication messages to the server?
Sounds well dodgy to me if authentication isn't done at the server end.
I could live with the junk mail (it goes unread straight into the recycling bin anyway) but it would be nice if they delivered letters to the correct address. At least once every week we get someone else's mail or a random neighbour up the road gets our mail. I suppose on the plus side we get to meet the neighbours if only to exchange the wrongly delivered mail amongst us. Why are Royal Mail so incompetent nowadays?
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