635 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012
Re: I spent two years in tech support
It's not just the users..........After the company I worked for merged with (was taken over by) another company the head of IT changed. New bloke who is more of a manager than a real IT type wants to make staff store everything on a network drive to allow for hot desking. He therefore instructs all the machines locked down. Users will not be able to store anything on a local drive at all. There was a rule that no personal data/files were to be stored on the network. This meant users were now seriously restricted compared to what had gone on before. However if you used a particular software package if you didn't have local storage it didn't work. He was perplexed as to why we were getting so many support calls regarding this as he'd personally certified that all the software was suitable. He'd used most things elsewhere and done the same trick but had evidently got lucky. A joke email that went round suggested buying a copy of windows for dummies. As this was really something a lot of people used the machines were required to have local access. That buggered up his hotdesking plans.
Re: Blanket Ban on Searches
They've had that for some time it isn't a recent thing. Somebody posted at the time they did it that they'd better not forget that it was porn that had made tumblr what it is.
Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate
Re: Hey ...
Couple on the table next to me at lunch didn't have any service on their phones. Not to be outdone by Sky Mobile not working they switched to their O2 backup sims. Sadly that wasn't working for them either and therefore "Every network must be down at the moment not just Sky!" They were most amazed when I received a call.........
GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms
Re: Give 'em an inch....
The blokes will call it six and the women will just laugh.
I know a tiny bit about satellite navigation and don't claim to be an expert on this. However I seem to recall that when GPS was degraded there was a system that compared the known location of something such as a lighthouse with the GPS signal. This then gave the ability to work out what the introduced error was and broadcast it allowing automatic correction for it in suitably equipped receivers. Could the same not be used for Galileo?
Re: Automation does have its place
We had an auto delete option on some software in the config. It was supposed to be used for the deletion of older files from the data file system and to just leave two days worth of daily logs etc. It was also supposed to be set to local drives only. Someone at a satellite office set theirs to delete files from all the drives it could see. We were first alerted when a user found their database missing and investigated. About 15mins later we had retrieved the missing files (anything more than 48hrs old) worked out what had been done and administered a quiet word. The next day the same thing happened again from a different satellite office. Same bloke had been on a road trip and had applied the same fix...........
I had a PC at my office years ago that was running okay but the the network card had died and the sound card was also a little dodgy after an office move. At the time I wasn't in support at the time and had to hand over my machine to a support person. I said that it was very important that they left the harddrive alone as there was a set of large files that were too big for a CDR. So the machine was taken away and returned that afternoon and the drives had been wiped. I had words with the head of IT support and the staffer who was mere days into his job with the company was given a talking to. He had apparently thought that the machine was running a little slowly and decided wiping was the best fix. We told him that at the very least he should have contacted the user and asked if any files needed to be saved. He apologised and said he'd pay for a forensic data recovery service on the disk if needed. That was good of him. Unfortunately he then told me off for not storing my work on the server which let him down slightly. The look on his face as he had the words "broken network card" and "do not wipe" read out to him from the ticket.
earn under 12k a year so this will just eat into that
Just to clarify I earn that from the flat I earn more than that from my day job. Thanks to my pedantic friend for pointing that out.
How in hell is filling out 7 boxes once a quarter so complicated it needs automating?
I had to laugh when told that this would be a benefit to me as it would mean that my tax returns were more accurate. I said my returns had never been inaccurate before and I couldn't see any benefit to me of having to submit three extra returns a year. I don't even have to do VAT and earn under 12k a year so this will just eat into that.
Re: How they do it in NL
I don't even have to fill in a VAT return and they're saying I'll still need to do this. I could cope with putting numbers into boxes on a webpage every quarter. I'm not going to be buying an app/software to do it although that's got me thinking. If the accountants do it they'll charge me and it's not reclaimable against tax. If I buy the software then that may be tax deductable and I can do it myself. The problem with that is I am then liable if I get it wrong which is less appealing. I'll just end up paying the accountants more thanks to this. I'll wait till HMRC tell me I have to do this before doing anything.
I was contacted by my accountants a few years ago to tell me that MTD was coming. They said they couldn't tell me much more because there wasn't any more information from the HMRC at that time. So I ignored it as I only rent out a flat and have some investments which could theoretically come under this. Then I heard more, that there were dates for introducing this to the wider populace so I made enquiries with the HMRC. The lady on the enquiries line basically said that if I wasn't party of the exercise that was being conducted then they couldn't talk to me about MTD. I asked if they could at least tell me what records I would have to keep? No not if you're not part of the trial then we can't tell you anything. I said it sounded like I was going to be paying my accountants for four pieces of work a year as opposed to just one. HMRC lady said that I could just do it myself and that it would be easy to do online. I said great what details will I need to enter? I can't tell you that unless you're part of the trial sir. She said I would be able to submit my digital records online to which I said you mean the PDF account statement that the managing agents send me each month? I think you're trying to get information out of me that I'm not supposed to give to anyone outside the trial participants. I asked if I only received an annual statement for my flat accounts could I just submit things annually like now? That information is only available for participants in the yada yada yada same response etc.
I asked if she could tell me what the fine would be for missing an information submission would be. I find it hard enough to get everything together once a year let alone every three months. Nope she couldn't do that either so I said it sounded like a shambles I would put money on the introduction deadlines slipping and wished her a pleasant afternoon. As it turned out the deadlines did get moved and I'm still waiting for more information. The HMRC website doesn't tell you anything about what you'll need to keep.
I found a security hole in Steam that gave me every game's license keys and all I got was this... oh nice: $20,000
Re: Tsk tsk tsk
Allo Nighthawk Allo Nighthawk I have a massage to piss to you from Michelle.
Re: The Enterprise runs Windows ME?
Re: Few comments
I also have some spare floppy drives and AT power supplies in the same cabinet.
We were moving to a windows version of some ancient DOS software that the provider had finally got round to updating. At the same time we were taking the opportunity to upgrade the computers of the users of this software by replacing their machines. The new computers have no floppy drives as these are (at the time) going out of fashion being replaced by USB memory sticks etc. The switch is going well one weekend when I discovered that the software was effectively just a lazy arse port of the DOS version.
So the same backup provisions exist i.e. you can use the A: drive and nothing else. The fact that we now had CDR, USB, a fricking load of networked servers that could be used (as they're backed up to tape drive and taken off site every day) was irrelevant. We did a quick check that it wasn't April 1st and then started putting floppy drives into the new machines. Our Head of Technology and myself had a few words with the provider on Monday morning.
Re: Experience go bye bye
My financial advisor who Lloyds provide me with was banging on about digital at our last meeting. He was saying that we could do this meeting over the internet. I said no thanks I'd rather come into see you at the Private Banking offices. They've got enough of my money that I expect a personal touch rather than doing things digitally.
I hope everyone affected by this is given the chances they want and as few as possible lose out.
There was something mentioned in the past (on this issue) about Amazon not being able use full android thanks to the restrictions from Google. If their bloatware filled tablets are supposed to be better then that's worrying. Looking at the access log on my firewall app the bloatware is constantly calling home to Amazon. Much more so than the google bloatware on the android phone I'm writing this on. I've disabled all the Samsung apps.
Re: Its all Bull S Advetising
This is about fibre to the door/premises. They dug up the street to place the fibre outside every house.
Exactly what they did at my parents house, wired up the entire village. Sadly as I explained in another post this was pointless in their case.
Re: Will Soon Have It...
At my parents house out in the rural Cotswolds getting a mobile signal indoors (even 2G) on any network is very unlikely. I'm sure they'll improve things when they get all this lovely spectrum though. However their village has been fibred up with FTTP available for everyone. I won't name the company but they must have spent a bit doing that. There may of course have been some subsidy or other to soften the blow. A sales rep came to the door and spoke to my mum before Easter about the service. I was there but as it's not my house I decided I wasn't going to speak to her. The rep checked to see if they'd noticed the (vast) amount of work that had been going on to make this possible. They certainly had as it had been going on for a while and required digging up the road in one or two places as well as just the verge.
The next questions were about whether they noticed many problems with their existing broadband. The rep wanted to know:
Sales rep: Do you have problems with the speeds on your current copper based broadband?
Mum: I don't think so everything loads quite quickly
Sales rep: Do you suffer much from buffering?
Mum: is that the same as buffeting because if so only when it's windy
Sales rep: Er no it isn't
Mum: Oh then I don't think so as I don't know what it means.
Sales rep: Do you get pauses when watching tv online or videos on demand
Mum: No we watch TV on the Television that's what it's for and not the computer. We can pause the videos of our grandchildren on Whatsapp though.
Sales rep: Do you do much on-line gaming?
(this is to someone who is north of 70 so whilst not impossible, fairly unlikely she's up with a headset on gamepad/mouse in hand till all hours)
Mum: Well I play Sudoku and Solitaire on my phone
Sales rep: Well You might be interested in our fibre broadband packages which start from as little as £40 and can give you speeds of 50Mbps
Mum: Is that good?
Sales rep: It's very competitive at that price and we can go up to 1Gbps for a bit more
Mum: Do I need that to online shop?
Sales rep: You can also get your phoneline and number ported over to our VOIP partner
Mum: What's VOIP is that anything to do with a mobile signal because we don't get a very good signal here.
Sales rep: No it's through your broadband connection and is only around £8 a month.
Mum: Will the burglar alarm work on that too especially when the power has gone out.
Sales rep: Erm I don't think so
Mum: Oh well then we'd need to keep the BT line too.
Sales rep: Maybe I can just leave you with some literature and my card and if you'd like to go ahead let me know.
Mum: That's fine,
Sales rep: Bye... (almost running up the drive to escape the luddite OAP)
Afterwards we looked at the costs of this service which came in as follows:
All the installation and one off fees came to £420. Higher cost because the house is more than 10m from the connection point and it will require a lot of internal cabling etc.
The cost of the service would be £615 over the life of the contract with another £100 if they took the VOIP.
So that's £1135 plus the cost of the burglar alarm land line. They both looked at it carefully for a few seconds before deciding they'd rather spend the money on something else.
One place I have worked at they had an older phone system. You could change the person's name of the extension from the handset if you knew what you were doing. I did know how to do this and scared a (not very blameless) colleague sh!tless by changing mine to display the name of the Chief Executive. I called his number and the poor bloke visibly jumped when he saw who was calling. After realising he was being set up he wanted to know how to do it. When I got in the next day my phone was telling people that I was Mr Tickle. Apparently I was going to be something much worse until he realised my retaliation would have been much worse. He didn't want to escalate the situation further as he'd started it by signing me up to the Britney Spears fan club email news. This was before verifying your email became a popular thing.
Re: Similar scenario with a line printer
I visited a house years ago where an OAP family friend lived. She was told that I had just done my Electrics basics exam and passed. I was then quizzed about the lovely three pin sockets that littered the walls of the house. Does the electricity leak all over the place when the switch is set to on? Is it dangerous to have it all over the floor and can it get through the floorboards? Should she keep something plugged in to the socket to keep it from leaking?
My mum whispered to me that whatever I said I must not frighten her with my answers. So I explained everything in a way she'd understand and not be worried by. The only thing I said that wasn't true was that the electricity that came out of the three pin sockets was better quality than the stuff that came out of the old two pin sockets. Apparently she had expressed a desire on more than one occasion to go back to the old ones.
Re: There is a little bit of me
At the time of that particular virus spreading I was working for a firm doing some tech related planning. We were using outlook and hit quite hard when one just person was sent it. Whilst IT were cleaning everything the rest of the place descended on the local public houses. We had an afternoon spent doing not much except trying different beers etc. Then returned to the office to collect our things at 5:30 whereupon some people went back to the pub. IT support told us that they had cleaned all our mailboxes/computers and beefed up the mail filter.
Everything was fine after that except a few months later when we all started to get these emails again. IT were a bit annoyed that it had made it through the mail filter The culprit was the Intern mailbox which was only used when we had an intern. There wasn't an intern at the time so the mailbox never got cleaned. One of the staff left immediately for the pub when the first email appeared. He was called back before he could order anything to drink.
Well there was obviously something fishy going on. Mine's the one with the scampi Nik Naks in.
Re: Can someone tell me why?
My credit score from one of these numpty companies is 100% (999/999) from another it's not even 60%. When I enquired with my financial adviser as to why this might be he said they have different factors that they use. It might be because I don't have a mobile phone contract, a landline, regular broadband etc. This despite the fact that I've never missed a payment on anything in my life. Companies make their own minds up as to whether to lend you money based on the info they can see on your report. Your score means bugger all to them apparently but can be useful in massaging your ego.
I had a free time limited version of a casino games suite back in the windows 95 days. I had altered the date by a fair few years when installing it so that the thing would run indefinitely. I ballsed this up however and it required me to keep the date in the 70s. However someone borrowed the computer to apply for something and had to use a DOS program to do so. The person in question had filled in their date of birth and discovered it then worked out she was 3 years old. So she changed the date to the correct one and carried on. She didn't realise that this would bugger things up but I returned from college to discover that the game didn't work anymore. Bloody annoying but she had no idea it would cause problems for anything else.
Re: No Roaming with AppleWatch 3/4
An eSIM could give you additional freedom in selecting a provider. Here you cannot even use the AppleWatch in other countries. Particularly in Europe it is easy to cross borders. No roaming is a massive limitation.
That was exactly my point in the last story about eSIMs. Whilst the theory is great about them it's obvious that they're open to abuse with network lock ins.
Working for a retail chain doing shop fit out and maintenance. I visited stores in various places and had some interesting experiences with "stock". Any unsold items that had not appeared on two stocktakes were considered not to exist. This meant that the items could be taken by staff and the company couldn't do much about it. The problem was that the stock system was not designed to allow for items that were not on the system to be added by individual shops. Further to this items could not be returned to Head Office if they didn't exist because there was nothing to generate a return in the system. If the system says that widgets in stock=0 you have no widgets these therefore can't be returned. So as the stock was discovered at the stores they quietly put it to one side and then 'distributed' at a later date.
The company was apparently aware that their system was useless but valued the cost of fixing it at more than the odd old item going missing. Stores could send an email to the retail coordinator with details of the extra items that were found and they could be added that way. No one did though as it was seen as a perk.
Re: 3 did it in desperation
Vodafone tried to tempt me away from Three a while ago. The sales bloke was telling me about their almost 50 countries I could roam in for no extra charge. I looked at the list and was instantly drawn to the fact that most of the nations listed were European or related to one. Also since when did the Vatican City get their own mobile network? I explained that I wasn't going to switch because the free roaming didn't cover the USA and the cost of roaming there was £6 a day. Their PAYG rates were also expensive in comparison. He lost interest when he found out that I was a PAYG customer which spoke volumes.
going to the continent was a nightmare.
In what way was it a nightmare?
My university back in the 90s which was a small college had issues with students handing in work. Specifically there was no way of knowing when things were submitted and if it was before the deadline. A technological solution was proposed where each student would use their magstripe card to identify themselves. They'd swipe in before handing over projects and that would give a date and timestamp. They asked someone to write a program to do this and then with the beta version ran a test. The test proved that a lot more work was needed because because lecturers had to upload the assignments with deadlines onto the system. There was no means of checking what had been handed in though so it was open to abuse. If you had two assignments due with different dates for submission you could hand in something late. You just handed in the earlier assignment and said it was for the one due later.
So they had books of forms printed that were filled in at reception with your submission. Half of the form was then handed in with your work and the other half you kept as a receipt. I may have borrowed a book of forms at some point to help make submitting my work easier. I certainly never gave them out to people.
Re: Upsetting non-techies can be hard
A lawyer I know was working on a case years ago involving technology. They hired an expert to help explain the complex nature of the case in court. The case was to do with the security of WiFi and how something might have been intercepted. The expert they were using was a new one because the previous bloke had "blotted his copybook". Apparently he was asked in a meeting how far away we were from 100% accurate voice recognition and he replied "By the year 2000 people won't be using a physical keyboard anymore you'll talk to your devices.
Well the millennium arrived and this was still not even on the distant horizon so they gave him the elbow. That and the expert on the other side in the case had proved to be a more expert expert and had virtually won the case for the other side.
Re: Great timing...
That's the secret of good comedy........timing.
Except there's nothing funny about this.
Re: Great timing...
That's the secret of good comedy........timing.
First large scale test of GDPR legislation perhaps?
I was thinking the very same thing and yes more than likely it will be. Could be a very big fine for BA or IAG. Someone just messaged me to say that they hope it was a script kiddie who hasn't been able to do anything with the data. I replied that I found that prospect more worrying i.e. the largest airline in the UK being able to be successfully attacked by a script kiddie.
Re: I never quite understood why one would get a bundle
I worked with someone who told me that his family was always short of cash even after payday. Part of the reason for this was that he was useless at working things out and spent money like it was going out of fashion. So lunch was always at the local sushi restaurant and food for the home bought at Wholefoods. However it was the mobile contract that made me concerned because he was on £45/month so £540 a year. He didn't see £540 he saw £45 which given the state of his finances even that should have been worrying him. This was to get the latest handset which he admitted he probably didn't need. All he did was WhatsApp, play Angry Birds and make the odd phone call. He had a work phone which he used for data and work calls. It was a two year contract and so he was paying over a grand for something he did not need. We worked out he could have been on PAYG as opposed to a contract and bought a sim free cheaper phone. Would have saved a small fortune but he wouldn't be told, there's no helping some people.
Re: Ahhh, memories...
This was back in the day when the company I worked for suddenly found itself giving free support to a competitor- they'd sell kit, usually by undercutting us, and then hand out our phone number when their customers came looking for technical support- so costing us money. In the end, if I found out that the kit was bought from the competition, I'd just tell the customer that it was faulty and to take it back to where they bought it and get a replacement. This forced the competitor into having to do technical support themselves.Worked at a retailer a while ago who sold a range of 3rd party products which were mostly "to order". There were other retailers who sold these products in other areas of the UK often at a discounted price which they weren't supposed to do. So a lady called up and asked the bemused sales assistant for information on her order. The poor sales assistant was unable to find the order on the computer and asked me for help (I knew I should have gone to the pub earlier). I asked the customer if she'd placed the order through this branch or another one with that chain. She hadn't it was with another distributor but she didn't think that was a problem. I said that we couldn't see her order as wouldn't be on our system. She told me I was being difficult and very painful "not what I expected". When I mentioned the data protection act she hissed down the phone that I was just like the last showroom she'd called. We weren't the first victims apparently and after phoning around found out she'd called a few places. The distributor she had ordered from shut at 5pm not 6pm and she couldn't get anything from them. Served her right for going to the cheaper distributor.
The fault was not his. The fault was having a password policy which could be fully complied with in a way which left his password easily guessable
Well the password guidelines stated that you weren't supposed to pick something easy to guess. He judt didn't think that his password was easy to guess. This was also a fair few years ago when an 11 digit password was supposedly harder to crack.After 5 attempts it would have locked the account anyway.
Had a new C level manager who complained that he didn't like having to reset his password every 90 days. My suggestion was that if he didn't do it (j.e. asked to be an exception) he was in breach of IT policy and leaving the business more open to attack. He then said he preferred to just use the one password. He elaborated on his theme for his passwords. The theme he confided was sports based so I logged in as him using his password. You should have seen the look on his face at that point. He'd used his football team plus a number as a password. I had guessed that he'd used the year his football club was founded at the end. He said "in this one instance" I could treat him like a child and explain how I'd done that. I pointed out his love for Arsenal was well known and I had guessed the year might be the suffix. A talk then followed on social engineering given he mentioned he supported Arsenal in interviews he gave to people. Nice guy and grasped the concepts I was talking about very quickly. He agreed that he did need to change his password more often.
Re: Obligatory Dilbert user ID
I moved and got a new GP as a result of this. I spotted on my first prescription from the new one that GP ID codes are last name then their first initial. I had a GP who suffered from their code when read outloud sounding like slang for a particular genital. It was a bit unfortunate that.
Yes on the Gemini that may or may not be the case but there are no guarantees that this will be the case on other manufacturers products. Look at the latest version of the Apple Watch for an example of a non removable one.
Re: Why does Apple want eSIMs?
No you've got the wrong end of the stick - no sim card makes a lock in easier. With a physical sim card I can just pop it out and swap networks very easily. On my devices I can buy a local sim when I arrive at the destination. As is mentioned I'd need a data connection to be able to get the details and terms and conditions of each carriers deals. Otherwise how would I know which one to go for with an esim. If the sim in my phone can be swapped out in seconds my mobile carrier can do bugger all about it. If I had an esim I wouldn't be able to just swap the thing out and the carrier I want to use has to work with the esim.
Re: religious co workers
Oh the "I love you" virus had that at a previous employer. We had IT support all over our computers cleaning them when we had an infection.. The cleaning took a long while and no one was allowed to touch their pc so we went to the pub en masse. They also beefed up our incoming mail filter to prevent it getting in again. However one day it reappeared because despite cleaning all the physical computers they didn't clean all the mailboxes. The intern one which was only used in the summer months had not been cleaned. So on the first day on the job for the new intern we suddenly had an influx of I love you emails. Sadly IT were a lot quicker at clearing up the infection and no pub time was permissable. One bloke did make it to the pub having left as soon as he saw the first email. He was called back before he could enjoy a pint.
Re: Couldn't close filing cabinet.
That's the way they're supposed to work but it's possible to defeat the mechanism quite easily. You could open one drawer a centimetre and then open another one. Also possible to do it permanently which is what we did for a couple that were secured to the floor with heavy duty bolts. The reason for doing this was because the cabinets were older and didn't shut properly meaning one drawer would stay open and the other two were stuck shut.
Re: Cash on the barrel head
when was the last time you got a receipt with your fish and chips?
A couple of weeks ago in the UK from the excellent Kerbisher and Malt (http://www.kerbisher.co.uk) since you asked.
Re: do you really want a complete list?
This amusing anecdote sounds alarmingly like harassment.
Well in that case so does having free samples of Tenna for Men sent to me at work. We got on very well together and the practical jokes were part and parcel of our working relationship. By the way she did that first
Re: do you really want a complete list?
I had fun with putting the address of your intended victim (from my company) into the from field in outlook. I knew that the email wouldn't send and I'd get a message saying that in my inbox. However the email now sitting in the sent box looked like it was from the victim. Move that into the inbox and it really looked like it had come from them. So I wrote an email that purported to show my desk mate, a not unattractive woman asking me out for a drink. I then sent it to myself supposedly from her and replied saying that I was flattered that she was interested in me. She looked up and said she had no idea who had sent that but it wasn't her. "Must have left my computer unlocked, sorry" I then sent a reply from "her" which said 'scrub the drink how about going straight to dinner instead?' By this point she was smelling a rat and had worked out it was me sending them. She said "That's fecking evil - but bloody brilliant. You have to show me how you did that, I want to have some fun!"
It wouldn't stand up to any scrutiny (serious or otherwise) but made for a good practical joke.
Re: Reminds me of a time...
One showroom I was at trying to run cable to a new location for the PDQ (card machine). I had used two four socket extension leads to create seven sockets coming off one 13A wall socket. I needed the PDQ to have a wall socket to itself and had labelled the extension sockets as for lighting only. The manager was worried that the wall socket might get overloaded with seven ornamental table lights plugged in. The bulbs on these things were a maximum of 40W and in a few of them they were low energy ones. The total came to under an amp of current from memory. I explained this and showed my working out because she wasn't 100%. I said it would be a different story if you had the microwave the kettle, a heater etc. on the same extension cord. She went white and showed me into the staff area where there was just that sort of thing going on despite ample power sockets being available. Some education followed with the staff about what not to do and new single socket extension cords were bought.
Re: "NEVER assume the architect knows best!"
Our main problem was actually the planners.
I live in a listed building and I feel your pain. I also had to provide support to a relative who was trying to replace a conservatory on their listed home in the country. The house on all sides is surrounded by a large number of trees. There is no line of site from the house to any of the neighbouring properties. I did a plan of the entire property marking in blue the immediate area around the house. However the planners rejected this saying they wanted a plan of the entire property.marked in red. The scale was also apparently wrong, mine was too large which I didn't have a clue about. When I said neither of these requirements were listed anywhere they sent through the guidance sheet (that they should have sent before) which listed them..
There was the architect I heard of who moved a satellite dish on the plans because it didn't "look right" there. They were ignorant of he fact that the new location had no line of sight to the satellite in question. Another was an interior designer who neglected to put more than two power sockets in a room designed to be a home office. The two sockets were located by the door and fairly useless as a result.