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* Posts by JimboSmith

590 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012

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Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

JimboSmith
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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.

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Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

JimboSmith
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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.

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JimboSmith
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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..

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JimboSmith
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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.

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Crims hacked accounts, got phones, resold them – and the Feds reckon they've nabbed 'em

JimboSmith
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Re: Question about Impersonation/Spoofing

Is it possible to intercept calls to a particular number?

If you're a three letter agency then yes no problem I believe. Bit harder if you're a criminal I think. You've got to spoof both the IMEI and the IMSI and take the target phone off the network.

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WhatsApp security snafu allows sneaky 'message manipulation'

JimboSmith
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Re: WhatsApp or Signal protocol?

I don't know of anyone who uses it via a web browser. That's a new one for me, everyone just uses the app.

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Oi, clickbait cop bot, jam this in your neural net: Hot new AI threatens to DESTROY web journos

JimboSmith
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Re: Click

I like the

You won't believe this banking/shopping/smartphone etc.trick actually works!

because if I won't believe it why should I waste data looking at it? Besides I've blocked the most frequent purveyors of these things in noscript, so I'm not very likely to click on them anyway.

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Sur-Pies! Google shocks world with sudden Android 9 Pixel push

JimboSmith
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Re: Survey...

Well I could use the bus to get to work which takes about forty minutes to complete the journey. That's the journey time by bus and doesn't include the wait for the damn thing to turn up. Or I can take the underground (metro/subway/tube etc.) and be there in twenty. Not much of a choice and I don't think Google are going to find a faster route.

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Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?

JimboSmith
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Re: Just give me one single number

Why can’t we have one number per person

The problem with just one number is that if it suffers from being fat fingered put of existence. If you don't have anything else, you're screwed! My employer has two ID numbers for staff:

One is for identifying the staff member who processed a transaction, it's printed on the receipt.

The second is used for payroll etc. and would not be public information.

It's a security precaution to prevent someone impersonating a staff member on the phone or by email with head office. There have been attempts to do this I believe they've been thwarted. Also they used 2FA it's not just the private id number that's used, a secondary piece of information is also required.

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JimboSmith
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Re: No Excuses!

Only the people who are dodging paying tax, or on the run or should not be in the UK in the first place do not want ID cards......in other words the undersirables and the crooks.

Bring in ID cards NOW!

I'm a person who doesn't want ID cards, I'm not dodging paying tax or on the run. I've just had to send the HMRC a couple of grand for the second payment on account for this year. I'm not on the run and have been helping the Metropolitan Police with a case of card fraud that happened in one of our branches.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

JimboSmith
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Re: Timing is everything

I had homework set one night for Chemistry where we were supposed to read two chapters of our textbook. There was to be a quiz the next day and we would be tested on our newly acquired knowledge. You handed your answers when completed to your neighbour and to mark them he would ask people what was written on the sheet in front of them. One of the first questions was regarding testing the PH in soil and asked for easiest way to do this. He asks my neighbour what my answer was and she tells him. I had written down to use an electric PH meter which whilst correct, wasn't using the chemical that we were supposed to have learned about in the text. I was told to stand up and explain the other method which I did. This involved adding chemical plus soil plus universal indicator and water. After the lesson I was taken to task for suggesting using a PH meter when I had clearly read the material concerned. I just said that adding a load of things to the soil wasn't as easy as pushing a meter into the soil which was what the question had asked.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Not in IT...

I used to do a regulatory function as part of a job I had. I had to report items (and I'm being deliberately vague because I might identify myself) to a certain external body every month. One day I was told that I was about to become surplus to requirements and at risk of redundancy. And low it came to pass that I was made redundant. Suddenly they realised that I did a specialised job as part of my work and was asked to help. Could I train a senior manager and a cocky kid who had just graduated from university (in Classics) ? Not wanting to make waves I agreed to do two sessions of training for them. This was far less than they needed but I explained how to map and merge two sets of data from two different pieces of software/databases and generate the report. All you had to do then was chase the missing data which the report highlighted as not being there.

A month after I left I had a call from the university grad now panicking and much less cocky. She couldn't understand anything she'd written in notes taken in the training. I said she should talk to the manager but he couldn't remember anything apparently. I said I would charge to do more training or to come in and fix it at which point they were less interested. I believe they were fined far more than the cost of hiring me back for a day. They then hired a firm to produce an automated software method of doing this. That took a long time to iron out all the bugs and I understand more fines were issued. Turns out the manager had only been there to check that I was actually doing the training.

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Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

JimboSmith
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We do call £ "pound" and this weekend I had to tell someone about the pound/shilling/pence system, as he was wondering about the "weird 3 part prices" in his vintage catalog.

There was a clothing shop in a Devon town that had a load of old stock in it. It was one of those shops that was filled with walls of glass fronted drawers from years ago. I had a retiring colleague tell me during the handover week about it and that he knew the owner of it. He said I should visit whilst I was on holiday in the South West. Apparently if you could find any stock in pounds, schillings and pence you could buy it at that price.

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Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

JimboSmith
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Re: Dandy Highwaymen

Upvote for the Sir Pterry reference.

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JimboSmith
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She said manufacturers were interested in licensing Amazon's FireOS Android.

Replace a Google-controlled ecosystem with one controlled by Amazon? Colour me unconvinced…

Speaking as someone typing this on a Fire HD8 I cannot but agree with you. Amazon is as bad if not worse than Google with the bloatware and other crap. I have disabled Alexa by turning on the parental controls but the Alexa app still attempts to contact Amazon. I've disabled the microphone and covered the cameras so it won't work anyway even if it gets through the NoRoot Firewall. On my phone I realised when this fine was announced I'd never seen an advert and never used Chrome or most of the Google bloatware. Google may be bad but Amazon are a very close second. The GUI on the FireOS is dreadful and I couldn't wait to install Launcher Hijack and Nova.

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Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1

JimboSmith
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Re: Skype used to be widely used by families around the world to stay in touch......

Skype on Three was killed using the same excuse "done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience". For those of you who don't know that version dialed Skype using the PSTN and connected that way. That meant it didn't use your data allowance and the call to Skype was free. You didn't need to have a 3G signal or even credit on the phone and it worked very well. I used it extensively when calling abroad as calling freephone numbers were free. The phone cost me £20 and paid for itself in a few weeks. I was annoyed when they killed that.

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Scam alert: No, hackers don't have webcam vids of you enjoying p0rno. Don't give them any $$s

JimboSmith
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Re: Webcam?

I'm the same, I also use the computer wearing a balaclava in case they reverse the polarity of the monitor. You can't be too careful.

I've had a couple of these emails and whilst I know some people won't and will be scared of them I found them hilarious. As I have black electrical tape over the cameras on my tablets and phones it's highly unlikely that someone has any video from them. The tablets have physically disabled microphones so no sound from them either. I've alerted friends and family about this and asked them to spread the word that it's bollocks. If in the highly unlikely event someone had hacked my tablet they would have been confronted by a black screen and silence.

When I mentioned the subject at work to colleagues so they were forewarned, people found it funny too. One of the ladies said that most people did it and would be surprised if someone wasn't rubbing one in/out at some point. She also said that she'd read in the paper that it was healthy for blokes to do it as it may help reduce testicular cancer.

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Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

JimboSmith
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Re: Cashless society

I work in retail and at the store I was at last night somebody asked me if there was an issue with our card payments system. I said "don't thknk so" because I'd just watched a relatively high value Visa transaction go through without a hitch. That was with the card present in the showroom and proved my cabling work hadn't killed the PDQ machine connectivity. However it wasn't working for the staff member trying to take a customer payment over the phone. I'll check today whether that was a MasterCard or not. Customer was unfazed and said they'd pay by bank transfer after their card was declined.

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FCC caught red-handed – again – over its $225 complaint billing plan

JimboSmith
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Re: Swamp

Never believed Trump's promises to 'drain the swamp'

When the Orange One said he was going to drain the swamp they didn't realise he meant into his cabinet and other key posts.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

JimboSmith
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At a previous employers a good few years ago they used an industry standard DOS program. It was still a DOS version despite XP now being the latest windows version. Each brand had a mission critical database on the system that you needed to be authorised for before you could read or edit the data. The security was such that giving a user a level of access for each database were possible. The program needed at least one administrator to be set to assign other users their access level. There was read only/read and write only/administrator (with ability to dump data out). They also required you to license each database each month by manually inputting a code they gave you every 30 days.

However I spotted a flaw with this because after entering the code it just left a licensed database on the server. If you had a copy of the program you could simply copy the database file/files to your computer and use that to access the data. You just used your own login on your version of the program and bingo you had access until the code needed to be reentered. So you could have a month of access doing that to a competitors data. Once you did though it was easy as admin on your version to dump the data out. Of course you had to get access first but a disgruntled employee or a hacker could do that. I pointed this out to both my employers and the firm concerned. The employers were quite concerned and took measures to restrict access to where the databases were stored on the system. The software company didn't think it was a major problem and it would doubtless be fixed in the Windows version when it arrived shortly. The problem with that was the windows version had been "arriving shortly" for some time.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Only cracking I have done is

When I was younger I did the same with padlocks. The cheaper ones I remember could be opened by just turning one way almost 360 degrees then the other way the same before going back to a final stopping position. Before TSA locks came in I opened the padlock on a friends case when they forgot the code. Betting me £100 I couldn't do it in under a minute was a mistake. You just had to put tension on the lock and turn the dials.

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RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

JimboSmith
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Re: Bagpuss, Clangers, Ivor the engine and Basil Brush

It's not often that I get very upset at someone's passing (outside of the family) but I did when I heard this. My childhood was built on watching the entire Smallfilms productions. I raised a glass on Sunday night in your honour. RIP there need to be more people like you in the world.

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Giffgaff admits to billing faff, actually tells folk to turn it off and on again

JimboSmith
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Re: What's the point of Giffgaff today?

With o2 PAYG 3-2-1 tariff, 3p calls, 2p text, 1p per MB Data - o2 itself is cheaper than giffgaff today for credit based accounts.

Same with Three who started 321 pricing first. I don't use masses of data and minutes because normally I am within WiFi range at most locations. Bundles/bolt ons/add ons etc. are normally time restricted and run out after 30 days. I had an issue years ago with applying an bundle to a PAYG Sim on Orange. It took about a week to get the credit back as the customers service folks in India kept telling me it had been applied. I still couldn't make calls though and had to visit an Orange store to call them using their phone.

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The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

JimboSmith
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Re: The elegant and slimmer fix

You're typing on it wrong.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Pledge to Protect

I was in an Apple store earlier in the year and someone was complaining about their keyboard. Staff were sympathetic and offered an expensive replacement which the customer declined. Said they would rather use a separate keyboard instead. Staff offered external keyboard for sale and this too was declined because the customer already had one.

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Software engineer fired, shut out of office for three weeks by machine

JimboSmith
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I had something similar to this but on a much smaller scale. In a retail business I worked at employees were given privileges based on their job rank. So a bog standard sales assistant could do sales but not refunds or store credits. To do those and some other functions on the till you needed to be at least the rank of manager. Your employee card was given these privileges and HR had to give the rank for the card to be encoded. The problem was that a manager was hired for a store in the arse end of beyond and his card was only given sales assistant rank. He only realised on the second day on the job when attempting to process a refund. A call was made to head office to rectify the problem but the IT bloke who was in charge of provisioning tills/cards was away for two weeks.

Suggestion for a quick fix was to use the card from the previous manager which they still had at the store. No luck there because the IT bloke had obviously had obviously automated his processes to allow for people to leave whilst he was away. So the manager was left high and dry for two weeks and a note had to be put in the window and by the till explaining the problem.

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

JimboSmith
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What really annoys me is people who don't understand the potential of the format. For example years ago I was supporting a small business who used PDF. The company received forms via email and were then printing them out to fill them in. They were being sent them from companies they were customers of through to a trade organisation they were a member of. Most if not all of these were locked down preventing filling them in electronically. These were just forms there wasn't anything about them that had intellectual property or anything like that. I pointed out to some of the companies concerned that they could put form fields in but don't think any of them had a clue what I was going on about. Some of them wanted the physical printed filled in copy sent by post and wouldn't accept a emailed version let alone a fax.

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UK footie fans furious as Sky Broadband goes TITSUP: Total inability to stream unfair penalties

JimboSmith
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Re: Seems to have affected Zen Internet too

Hopefully they have brought the correct mix of spices. Curry usually provides a very fast throughput.

Very funny, have an upvote. That despite the fact I almost lost a keyboard to that comment.

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User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

JimboSmith
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Re: Keyboard ecosystems

When still teaching medical students, one of the standard microbiology work shops was to teach them to do (agar) bacterial cultures, a thing that becomes handy when they ever have to do patient cultures (e.g. bronchitis, urinary infections). For the work shop that always translated to a "wipe test", basically the students going round, wiping surfaces, and putting those wipes on culture. And every year the winner was... keyboards. Always holding more bacteria (especially E. coli, for the non-medical people among us, the one that lives north of uranus) than toilet seats, or surprisingly, the inside door handle of the loo. So, I'm afraid a good shake is not going to cover it... Alcohol any one?

At my school one biology lesson was on bacteria and mould. To demonstrate the fact that we are surrounded by both a practical was held. Pairs of students were given an agar coated petri dish and some scissors. One of the pair cut a small section of hair from the other which was then placed on the agar and the dish sealed. After a week of incubation (including a control dish) they were returned to us so we could see what had grown. It was obvious who had not washed their hair for quite some time as their entire agar was covered in horrible looking growths. Someone asked if we could open them and the teacher said "No absolutely not that's very dangerous given we don't know what has grown inside."

Didn't stop one guy trying though......

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Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

JimboSmith
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Re: Me feeling happy ...

I've had this several times, the most recent was at a Jurys Inn where they said I had to give an email. I asked them why, and she said they needed it incase they had to contact me while I stayed in the hotel. So I told her I'm in my room all night to sleep, so if you need me knock on the door. You know what room I'm in.

I own my own domain too and give out unique email addresses to individual companies that ask for one and that I deem worthy. I made a stay at a hotel in the UAE who did need my email because there was an issue that remained unresolved as we were checking out. I made damn certain that I indicated that I did not want to be contacted by third parties or have my details sold. I received an email from some business in the same country to that address and I was unimpressed. Called the hotel and spoke to the switchboard and had a nice girl there explain that whilst I might think that I'd received it because it was from the same country it probably wasn't anything to do with the hotel.

Her: "Loads of people have your email address right?"

Me: "No only you have that particular address"

Her: "We wouldn't pass on your details if you told us not to. Are you sure?"

Me: "Yes because the email address is yourhotelchain@mydomainname.com, it is unique to you and I haven't given it to anyone else because I've never stayed at your chain before!" (and won't again after this).

Her: "Oh, I'm not sure who to transfer your call to."

Me: "Well as I made sure I told you I don't want any contact from you and I've been sent something maybe your head of (IT) data security?"

Her: "I'm not sure I know who that is, why them?"

Me: "Because if you really haven't sold/passed on my details then I would suspect you've got a problem somewhere with your computers/data."

Her: "I think all the IT people have gone home can you call back tomorrow?"

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Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

JimboSmith
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Re: ATM????

Hole in the Wall is a trademark of Barclays I believe and Cashpoint belongs to the Lloyds Banking Group.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Ah FUBAR

I had an incident at an ATM one Sunday that caused me to invent an acronym. I had £200 cash that I needed to be in my account urgently. I was going on holiday the next day and wouldn't be able to get to the bank before the flight. So I was using the deposit point to put the money in and after using my card I received an envelope for the money. I put the money in the envelope and put that in the ATM, so far so good. Then the machine asks if I need more time to make the deposit and I realised that it hasn't registered the cash going in. So I called the phone bank and told the bloke what had happened. He said not to worry about it he could see that the money was in the account. I said that this was only because the transaction hadn't finished. Once I said No to the more time question the system would reconcile the lack of an envelope and remove the money. "It doesn't work like that sir" is the reply so I asked to speak to a supervisor. This bloke said the same thing as the initial advisor and I gave him the same reply. He told me I was clearly not aware of how things work. I said I was fairly confident I understood but if he knew better I could let the transaction finish. As soon as I did he became very excited because the £200 had just vanished from his screen. He was most apologetic and said he'd put my complaint in immediately. Fortunately I had an old number for the branch and was able to call them from Heathrow before my flight. I knew the lady that answered the phone and she told me she'd have a look for the missing cash. It was credited to my account that day.

I christened the phone banking staff as a Feckingly Annoying Technologically Challenged Support-staff.

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Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

JimboSmith
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Re: Testing?

There's a sadly now departed friend of mine who was ripped off by a local bureau de change. The holiday money he'd changed back into pounds had been done at well above the advertised rates. So instead of getting 75p per unit of foreign currency he got 50p. The "printer has run out of ink/paper" excuse was used so as not to give him a receipt. He was still jet lagged and didn't spot the mistake until a day or so later when he was very annoyed. He went back and complained but with no record of the transaction it was a losing game.

So he went armed with a learning remote control and copied the infra red signals used to change the LED currency display board in the window. Over the next few days he would alter the prices of all the currencies whenever he could. They were offering $3 to the £ one morning and a queue had formed of people wanting to take advantage of this.

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Nominet throws out US corp's attempt to seize Brit domain names

JimboSmith
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Re: Torn...

I bought a domain to use for my email many years ago and it's named vaguely after my football team. I bought the .com version as the name was quite long and I preferred the .com version. Someone subsequently set up a business in the USA with the same name. It's a bricks and mortar store and they went with the .net version which I don't have a problem with. Sadly they didn't contact me with a large sum for my .com one but that's hardly surprising as it's a very small mom and pop business in the Midwest. I was alerted to their presence when several emails arrived addressed to people I didn't know.

The people who registered BAA.COM and ran a sheep related website there were somewhat legendary. I don't know what the legal position was but British Airports Authority (now Heathrow Airports limited) eventually ended up with it.

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You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

JimboSmith
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Re: Total overreaction going on here!

Seriously, how often is this happening? Probably more chance of winning the lottery.

I'd far rather win the lottery.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Smart TVs?

But unless they manage to conceal the mic so thoroughly yet still keep it functional, a bit of foam tape should dort that out (foam because by then the mics will still be able to hear through masking tape, and thicker tape will be in order).

I find that if you have a hard to reach microphone then a good squirt from a hot glue gun down the hole works quite well.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Registered Business Address is now private?

Love it, you have to turn on "Parental Control" to get privacy!

That thought had crossed my mind too. It did feel odd turning on the parental controls when I don't have kids.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Smart TVs?

Personally I use one called "NoRoot Firewall" available via the play store. I got a recommendation for that from an ex-colleague but as someone else said there are plenty available. As ever do read the reviews before installing etc.

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JimboSmith
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Re: 'I physically disabled the built in microphone'

Not on my tablets you can't cos there's black electrical tape over the cameras. Paranoid......Moi.......Never......

Have an upvote for the Kubrick reference though.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Smart TVs?

I wouldn't be too sure we won't end up with devices with WhisperSync like technology or mesh networking that doesn't rely on your own network.

I use a no root firewall to prevent the tablet/phone from connecting to certain sites/addresses. Hopefully that should help with the issue if it becomes a problem.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Come on, who wasn't expecting this to happen?

I do find it interesting that the Amazon Fire doesn't have a power on light that is continuous when it's 'on'. Trust No One

I physically disabled the microphone on my Fire HD8 and taped over the cameras as the first thing I did when I got it. I had a premonition something like this was going to happen. Actually anything with WiFi or a mobile connection that doesn't have a removable battery has that done to it. I won't buy a phone that doesn't have a removable battery. It means I don't have a top of the range phone but I don't really need one.

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JimboSmith
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If you've got a Fire tablet then watch out because Alexa got a recent update and seems to be enabled by default. It is possible to turn it on to hands free enabled very easily and not easy to disable it altogether I only discovered this week that my Fire HD8 now had Alexa switched on.

The way I found out was when I held down the home for too long when distracted by something else. As it was in a dark room, quite late at night and on my own I almost leapt out of my skin. However I was reassured by the voice message that the bloody thing couldn't connect to amazon (I have a no root firewall taking care of that). Even if it could connect I physically disabled the built in microphone when I got the tablet, so good luck understanding what I'm saying. There is a way to turn the bloody thing off if you don't want to muck about with the hardware. All you need to do is turn on parental controls to disable Alexa from coming back. Well for the moment anyway..............

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Police block roads to stop tech support chap 'robbing a bank'

JimboSmith
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Spent one Saturday in a pub in London celebrating a mates birthday. When I left at lunchtime to go to the cashpoint I almost walked into two officers wearing what looked like body armour and holding riot helmets. They were on the opposite side of the road from another pub. Being polite I said “Hello“ and then when they didn't move their gaze "What's going on over the road?“ One of them said that this was the designated Away Supporters pub and QPR were hosting Millwall that weekend at Loftus Road. I said “Ah but there's only two of you and quite a lot of them" "Only two of us that you can see sir." he said with a wink. I went round the corner, walked on a bit and found two van loads of coppers sitting in a side street waiting.

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JimboSmith
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Re: Must have been a quite impressive experience

I worked somewhere temporarily that had just installed a VOIP system and people were very impressed and excited with the new handsets. It was about a day after the system had been fully working that happened to be a Saturday. I was working in the head office on something urgent but feeling peckish decided to go out and get a bite to eat. As I was walking to the lift I heard a few police sirens quite close by. When I made it to reception there were four burly coppers standing there talking to the security guards. They were responding to a panic button activation that they had received. I was one of three people working in the building and none of us had pressed anything apparently. I wasn't even aware there were panic buttons.

The Old Bill weren't having this because they could identify the panic button call as having come from this address. I thought for a second and said that we'd just had a new phone system installed. I wasn't involved in that but it was possible that the offices around the country were having their calls routed through the head office. The caller ID would still give the local number but the they'd join the PSTN in that building, hence why they were directed to that address. I suggested calling the regional offices to check if any of them had had an activation. After finishing my lunch I got back to find out that a builder in a regional office had accidentally triggered it whilst working. I never found out why they had panic alarms linked to the police but someone said that the firm occasionally did work for the Government which might have explained it.

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Church of England will commune with God for you via Amazon's Echo

JimboSmith
Silver badge

Re: Somewhat baffling

I only discovered this week that my Fire HD8 now had Alexa switched on in a recent update. The way I found out was when I held down the home for too long when distracted by something else. As it was in a dark room and quite late at night I almost leapt out of my skin. However I was reassured by the voice message that the bloody thing couldn't connect to amazon (I have a no root firewall taking care of that). Even if it could connect I physically disabled the built in microphone when I got the tablet, so good luck understanding what I'm saying. I turned on parental controls after that to disable Alexa from coming back.

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Oz sports’ pee-samplers outed buying Cellebrite phone-crack kit

JimboSmith
Silver badge

I'm sure there's no truth to the shaggy dog story about the athlete and his odd location. The story I heard was that the doping authorities arrived where he was supposed to be. He wasn't there and when they did catch up with him he a perfectly good explanation. He was having had an affair and explained he didn't want his wife to find out hence the duff info on his whereabouts.

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The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

JimboSmith
Silver badge

Re: Wait

My radio does the same sort of thing and it's bloody annoying when it happens. I normally have rock solid reception on the Surrey & North Sussex mux which is fine. However every so often and far too often in my opinion it dies completely. The station I listen to is Eagle Radio and the display just says "Station unavailable" which is of no use. I thought it might be atmospherics but it happens in all weathers and is a pain. My expensive radio doesn't scan that block (10C} automatically and it's a real song and dance to get the station back up and running. I have to do the following:

Unscrew the aerial,

Turn the radio on and scan

It finds nothing.

You then have to go into the settings,

change the tuning range to include 10C

rescan and add the station to the same preset as I used before.

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