* Posts by JimboSmith

1188 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012


Mike Lynch extradition: Uncle Sam offered Autonomy founder $10m bail if he stood trial in the US

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: They didn't mention his autism

A Police officer I met years ago told me they had a repeat young offender who conveniently had an epileptic fit every time he got to court. He'd usually manage to get off lightly mostly without seeing the inside of a courtroom. The magistrate usually took pity on him because of his condition That was until the police had a doctor standing by ready for his 'fit'. Apparently the doctor saw through it and he was then well enough to face the magistrate in court. He couldn't be very specific because the offender was well under 18 at the time and couldn't be identified.

Gung-ho tank gamer spills classified docs in effort to win online argument

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: In the public domain

I was waiting for a bus recently when two British Transport Police officers joined me. i watched as they stopped a couple of cyclists for cycling on the pavement. One was a Uber Eats/Deliveroo/Just Eat person, He said he had no idea that he wasn't allowed to do this it was different in his home country. Whilst they're talking to him a commuter tries to cycle by again on the pavement.

The second officer stopped him and he claimed it was a "shared space" for bikes and pedestrians. Officer pointed out the the clearly indicated cycle lane and the barrier that segregated the traffic and cyclists. Cyclists don't like it because it goes round the outside of a large roundabout adding extra time. Officer says the cyclisti is only using the pavement because it was a more direct route.

Both of the offenders were then introduced to the Highways Act/Highway Code. They both said they'd never heard of this only to be told that ignorance of the law is no defence. Bus appeared and they were given a verbal warning. Not exactly OSA stuff but given I've been clipped by a cyclist there, very welcome.

Biden order calls for net neutrality, antitrust action, ISP competition – and right to repair your own damn phone

JimboSmith Silver badge

Somebody I know is a died in the wool Republican who believes that what happened to President Trump on Twatter and Facebork was censorship. They don't think politicians should be able to be banned from posting on these and similar sites. However they'r are also the first to complain about government interference in businesses. When I suggested banning politics and politicians from these sites it went down badly. Similarly when I asked if they agreed with President Trump using his personal Twitter not the official Whitehouse/POTUS one whilst President.

He suggested that Google, Twitter, Facebook, AWS, etc. are monopolies. I said you're not forced to use them and if enough people didn't the firms would suffer financially. I suggested that the London Underground was a monopoly. I said they're the sole provider of underground railways in London. However it's different if you're Big Tech apparently, at least according to him. It's impossible to put up whatever you want the world to see, you certainly can't set up your own website/webserver........I'm told by him anyway.

I wholeheartedly agree with right to repair and find it ridiculous it's taken this long to tackle the problem. Personally I'd add removing bloatware too.

Openreach to UK businesses: Switch is about to hit the fan. Prepare for withdrawal of the copper-based phone network now or risk disruption

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: The future is coming

A showroom manager I once worked with had a brush with the law thanks to the alarm system at her previous employers. She was in the pub on a Friday night with everyone else from the shop just before closing. The pub lost power for 5 minutes and the emergency lights came on. Then her phone rang and it was the alarm company calling to tell her they were monitoring an activation at the showroom. She went back with somebody else and they checked everything was still locked up. So they went in and checked the back door was too. Satisfied she sent the other staff member home silenced the alarm and called the company.

She explained it was a false alarm caused by a brief power cut in the area. She gave them the everything's fine codeword, asked to reset at their end and then put the kettle on. Three minutes later a police card screeches to a halt outside the showroom and two coppers leapt out. They knock on the door, she lets them in identifying herself as the manager and offered a coffee. The alarm company had called them because the manager had given the "under duress" codeword. She called the company on speakerphone and explained she hadn't, then repeated the codeword and asked them to reset things at her end. Woman said she couldn't stop the alarm until she heard the manager's "safe word"

She asked her to repeat that holding back a giggle. Again the woman says she must hear the "Safe Word" before she'll stop the activation. Now the two police officers are laughing as hard as she was. Alarm woman starts getting angry

Jeff Bezos names the fourth person for the first New Shepard flight: Wally Funk

JimboSmith Silver badge

That was jolly nice of him.

She should never have been denied in the first place though.

I was fired for telling ICO of Serco track and trace data breach, claims sacked worker

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Avoidance of responsibility

The consultation period was of course just the bare minimum and everybody knew it ultimately meant goodbye. The company had also altered the redundancy payment terms down to the statutory minimum about a year earlier. The thing was just as the 30 days was paid employment so would the 90 days. It's not like the company was that short of cash or sales. The CEO was in danger of losing his bonus through as not enough profit was being made.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Avoidance of responsibility

I worked for a firm I can't name for legal reasons who had their business made up of a miriad of small companies. These were how the business had grown, by acquiring and absorbing smaller firms. Nobody really paid much attention to the fact that there were around 100 companies registered at the head office address. That is until until we had proposed mass redundancies. Then it was announced in your redundancy meeting that as per your contract you were employed by one of these firms. That way despite the company getting rid of 150 staff in one go didn't have to give the longer 90 days consultation period just the 30 days.

Angry didn't cover the feelings of the staff when they found out.

Court kills FTC, US states' antitrust complaints against trillion-dollar Facebook

JimboSmith Silver badge

Think you mean FTC not FCC, though I agree given leave to appeal I hope they'll have another revised go.

Sadly I can't avoid WhatsApp as my family and friends were using it long before Facebook got their hands on it. They continue to use it meaning I have to too.

Microsoft approved a Windows driver booby-trapped with rootkit malware

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Err, yeees?

I suppose we should be grateful that it wasn't something more serious that the malware was designed to do. Could have been a lot more serious if it targeted financial login's and passwords.

Good news: Google no longer requires publishers to use the AMP format. Bad news: What replaces it might be worse

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: AMP is not a problem, nor is its replacement

When I click on a link, ClearURLs ensures that I get to the page that was intended : the one on the website I wanted to visit, not Google's cached version of it.

The Internet remains the Internet. If you do a little bit of research, you can have the experience you want, not the experience other entities want for you.

By posting on this site I assume you're technically and technologically literate. Therefore I would expect you to know how to defeat AMP. Think about those for a moment that don't have the same technology smarts as you. I've got older relatives who would find installing a browser addon a problem. I've got one who can do most things but is only just getting to grips with cut and paste. Expecting them to have an AMP blocker installed is like expecting my numbers to come up on the lottery - possible but very very unlikely. Your argument is along the lines of "it doesn't affect me so there isn't a problem?"

I've got an AMP blocker and other addons installed but that doesn't mean the problem has gone away for everyone else. I've actively told friends, family and colleagues about AMP and how to get rid of it from their browsing*. How about you?

*not all of them followed the advice though.

Russia spoofed AIS data to fake British warship's course days before Crimea guns showdown

JimboSmith Silver badge

I believe in South Korea all boats regardless of size must have AIS onboard. AIS-A is required as usual for larger vessel, AIS-B for everything else. Tampering/fiddling etc. with it is a serious offencei think but I can't remember what the penalties are.

Post-lunch snooze plans dashed as the UK tests its Emergency Alerts... again

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Or just opt out completely.

I've had a few hurricane/severe storm/waterspout/twister warnings on my TV and radio in the US. The first scared the stuffing out of me as it hadn't been ovious there was anything coming. Then when the very strong winds and the horizontal but torrential rain started it was horrific.

Missed this afternoons test my feature phone didn't get it at all. My smartphone was on Wifi only because there's no signal on the network that it's on where I'm working. I'm clearly doomed.

EU court rules in Telenet copyright case: ISPs can be forced to hand over some customer data use details

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Leases

I worked during the dialup years for a firm with an internet forum on one of their websites. A member of this forum was giving away the endings and major rug pulls to films. Think along the lines of who Kevin Spacey actually was in the Usual Suspects or Bruce Willis in 6th sense etc. However the day of or day after release not 6 months later when most people who wanted to would have seen the film. One studio complained and asked for this users IP address. Some forum members also complained.

The company checked with the ISP and they assigned IP addresses dynamically against a customer number. If the customer logged out a new Address was assigned even if they'd been gone a minute or so. This meant in theory they could identify the user but the bloke I spoke to said they would want a court order before doing the work to find out who it was and release it. We relayed this back to the UK arm of the studio concerned. To keep them happy we banned or blocked the user concerned and deleted their posts.

Studio lawyer said he was quite relieved as he had no idea what arguments he could take to court to convince a judge to issue an order. Not the crime of the century.

A hotline to His Billness? Or a guard having a bit of a giggle?

JimboSmith Silver badge

At Xerox, all top management had to spend 3 hours on the help line. The theory was that if they couldn't fix it something was seriously wrong. Also, this gave top management an idea of what customers thought of Xerox. Some of these top mangers said it was a real eye opener.

Had the same at another company where somebody used the suggestion box. They thought it would be interesting for the executive board directors to spend a day doing a job in their division. Brilliant idea because it gave them all a chance to see what their staff were complaining about. When for example someone said the software they had to use was sh!t or a procedure was full of pointless steps, the directors now had experience of it and listened. One of them was treated as a full team member for that day. He was invited out for lunch with the team and Friday night drinks that evening

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: El Bobbo

It was a whole exclusive CD for Starbucks not just one song.

HMV stores in Canada have removed Bob Dylan CDs from their shelves in protest at the singer's deal to only sell his new album in Starbucks, reports say.

The rock legend signed an exclusive contract with the coffee giant allowing it to sell Live at the Gaslight 1962.


A friend is a fan and thinks he sold out by doing that.

JimboSmith Silver badge

What a brilliant takedown of Mr Zuckerberg. If only more musicians thought the same way. I know for some it's their pension. Noddy Holder said their Yuletide hit pays his mortgage. Rolling Stones and Microsoft however, Bob Dylan and Starbucks etc.

Tim Cook: Sideloading is a disaster and proposed App Store reforms would harm user privacy and security

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: The Walled Garden

I'm no fan of Google or Apple but at least there's a firewall app or two on the Play store. No such luck with the App Store. The one I use (No Root Firewall) blocks almost everything on my phone from accessing the net. I can stop Google and anyone else from tracking me.

The one app it doesn't stop is a work app called Poppulo. It's really odd because despite having blocked it I was still seeing broadcast messages/push notifications. I don't know how it was doing it either which was more annoying than anything else.

Space Force turtle expert uncovers $1.2m Cape Canaveral cocaine haul

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Re: Turtle Expert

Have an upvote for the Sir Pterry reference.

Brit IT firms wound up by court order after fooling folk into paying for 'support' over fake computer errors

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Just this afternoon

Jacob, from BT Openreach, called from an unavailable number.

Apparently my router is generating errors.

I asked him to hang on a sec. and went off to watch the news.

He hung up.


I kept them hanging on for as long as possible by having to answer the door, turn the cooker off, deal with the decorator choosing paint colours, make a cup of tea etc. Then start the computer which took time as I had to remember my password "much easier once it's logged in as I keep all my passwords in a text file." That kept them very interested before finally I got into Windows. Then when I was asked to download teamviewer or whatever I'd say I obviously have to hang up to connect to the internet. Yes I'd say I had dialup but only used it to connect the computer to my bank for online banking. I'd hang up at this point to 'connect' and 'download' whatever it was then do something else.

Occasionally they'd call back and I'd pretend to be a business, foreign, or both. So calling back to speak to me might get you through to:

Freddy's Massage Parlor "Every customer has a Happy Ending",

Tony's Garage "A fender bender does not mean crash damaged,

RAF Strike Command, High Wycombe,

or even

Detective Inspector Hammond, if I was in a bad mood.

Do you come from a land Down Under? Where diesel's low and techies blunder

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: looking at the DNS log

Worked.for a company where at the dawn of the internet PR0N there were no written rules about net surfing. However the company had signs up saying that it was being logged but didn't mention it being checked at all. HR did do some checking and saw some naughty sites being visited by a fair few people.

HR decided to have a quiet word with everybody concerned. One staff member was looking at a BDSM site quite a lot after hours. She was invited to a pesonal meeting where this was brought up. She said the PR0N was lifestyle related as she was in a committed BDSM relationship with her Master. She was looking for inspiration about painful things he could do to her. HR lady said in the meeting that she didn't have to suffer like that, it wasn't normal and the company could get her help.

She explained she didn't need help they'd been together for 15yrs and she was perfectly happy. So happy she'd married him a few years previous. If she'd been watching lesbian PR0N and announced she was gay in the meeting would their reaction have still been it wasn't normal and they'd get her help? "Nope thought not' was what she told me she'd hissed back at them.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: looking at the DNS log

Back in the dialup days I was asked help a friend of a member of my family. She had switched on the monitor and on one of the IE windows was a smutty site. Convinced this had to be her son she wanted proof of all the Desmondesque sites he'd visited. After a virus scan proved negative I looked at the logs rather than the totally deleted history. There were quite a few of them and she was hopping mad. I asked when her son went to bed and it was early say 8pm, the daughter half an hour later. All but one of the sites were accessed after 10pm so that ruled the kids out. The daughter confessed she'd gone to a previously normal domain (that had lapsed and been bought by a smut peddler) and saw some smut.

That accounted for the earlier one and I got the feeling her husband would be getting a right telling off that night. The son was obviously playing Wolfenstein obsessively given the game was installed and the maps stored under the keyboard etc.

It is with a heavy heart that we must tell you America's richest continue to pay not quite as much tax as you do

JimboSmith Silver badge

The house prices in London are so high because there are so many empty properties. They're empty because the houses and apartments have been bought by corporations registered in tax havens as investments. https://alexcartoon.s3.amazonaws.com/6220_31102013.gif

JimboSmith Silver badge

Do you mind £10m is likely to be the cost of a small house in London in a few years.

UK Special Forces soldiers' personal data was floating around WhatsApp in a leaked Army spreadsheet

JimboSmith Silver badge

Even worse than leaving an unencrypted USB stick on a train :-(

Far worse and a really dumb thing to do. Even if they'd password protected the spreadsheet everyone (so potentially 80k people) would have to use the same password. So the chances of that one password leaking to somebody unauthorized are far higher.

My current company requires you to use an encrypted memory stick for moving anything around even if there are no personal details. If there are, then you need to encrypt the spreadsheet etc. as well.

Royal Yacht Britannia's successor to cost about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework

JimboSmith Silver badge

If you're interested in post nuclear planning then I would also recommend reading a book by Garret Graff called Raven Rock. Fascinating look at how they did things across the pond. They studied the dispersal concept the UK was using as opposed to hunkering and bunkering. The US military also had two floating bunkers the NECPA which stands for National Emergency Command Post Afloat. Well they did until the thought of it being torpedoed with the Commander in Chief on board became an overriding concern.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Britannia was only retired when her pre and post nuclear strike role was deemed unnecessary and costs became very high. Cold war planners in the UK realised very important facts relatively early on. Namely that:

One large bunker like the bunker under Box in Wiltshire was not H bomb proof,

The missiles were getting more accurate,

One strike could take out a lot of people in one go.

And the Soviets almost certainly knew where the bunkers were.

So a new Top Secret plan was hatched to send groups consisting of civil servants, senior trade reprentatives/negotiators (UK Supply Agency), ministers etc. to dispersed locations in the period of tension before a likely conflict. This was codenamed PYTHON and a very select few people knew of the existence of it. Officially the plan was still go underground in Wiltshire. Britannia was to host a Python group which wouldn't have included the royals.

These groups would have met up after the bombing had stopped and tried to resupply the country from other nations. If you look up a bloke called Mike Kenner @wellbright on Twitter Gov document uncovered by Mike you can read more at https://www.subbrit.org.uk/features/where-did-the-government-go/ by Dr Steve Fox

Big Tech has a big problem with Florida passing a law that protects politicians from web moderation

JimboSmith Silver badge

Oh really.... you might not have done directly but indirectly you have paid them many times over. You are their source of income.

How am I their source of income?

I don't visit their sites,

I block their scripts/3rd party cookies on other websites,

I disable or delete their apps on my phones etc.

If anything I cost them money because they have to pay to have their apps installed on my phone.

I've certainly never and will never let them have my card details.

JimboSmith Silver badge

If your phone company could disconnect your phone line because you LIED over the phone, according to their definition of "lie", it would be illegal for them to do so as they are a "common carrier". Similar for other public utilities.

How are Twitter or Facebook public utilities? If I have a phone line then I have to pay for that. I've never paid a penny to Facebook or Twitter. The same with water, electricity and gas (that's actual gas and not petrol) those I consider to be an actual utility and pay for. If I did't have access to those things those then I would say my life my life would be considerably worse off. Conversely my life would not be measurably worse off if Facebook didn't exist nor Twitter either.

There are also CAMPAIGN FINANCE laws, which would attribute a "de-platforming" or "censorship" or "flagging as incorrect" as CONTRIBUTIONS IN KIND, as if these actions in and of themselves constituted a form of ELECTIONEERING or "indirect campaign ads".

It's a shame they can't just ban politics altogether on those things, would make me slightly more likely to use Twitter.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Not quite.

The simplest solution would be for all of the services affected, to stop servicing Florida.

Given the effect of GDPR on some US website owners, that might not be too far wide of the mark. What happens when they do block Floridians? Another law forcing Twitter, Facebork etc. to serve Florida IP addresses?

Apple sued in nightmare case involving teen wrongly accused of shoplifting, driver's permit used by impostor, and unreliable facial-rec tech

JimboSmith Silver badge

So I could get your details and have a document made up such as an Air France elite frequent flier card http://www.magnoliprops.com/air-france-club-card-credit-cards-p-524.html. I then break the law and and when I'm searched they find the card with your details on. They identity you as the thief based on this 'ID' and you'd be happy with this?

Amazon hit with antitrust lawsuit after DC AG says TTFN to price fixing

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Retail Price Maintenance

I believe Amazon have some 'curious' tax arrangements and I should avoid them as a result. However it's so convenient when you can order something and in Central London have it next day or even same day on some items. I hate myself for using it though.

Beyond video to interactive, personalised content: BBC is experimenting with rebuilding its iPlayer in WebAssembly

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Fuck the BBC - fuck iPlayer

Somebody I knew years ago started at the BBC about 1995 or 96. His died in the wool Labour supporting grandfather asked him why he'd joined the Propaganda Wing of the government? He explained that he hadn't and there were rules on impartiality producers had to follow. Then there was a regime change a year or two later and Mr Blair got in. He asked his grandad if he was still working for the propaganda wing and was told no it's the Information Unit.

UK's competition watchdog gives £31bn Virgin Media and O2 merger the seal of approval

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Yeah Virgin customer service!

Yeah Virgin customer service!

Ring Ring (repeat for 20 minutes).

Hello my name is David (it clearly isn't), how may I help you.

I can't get a signal on my phone. I can't make or receive calls or texts. Its OK on WiFi, so I can get Internet. I've rebooted it and took the sum in and out.

No problem can you restart the phone.

I've done that several times

I need you to reboot the phone please.

Still nothing.

OK I noticed you said your WiFi isn't working.........

Same sort of thing when I used to be a customer of the predecessor NTL: The cable channel I wanted to watch a film on was showing an advert that had stopped midway through and there was an on screen display (OSD). I called the customer service number and was put on to a nice lady. I explained that the channel had frozen and she asked me to do things with the remote. I explained that I worked for a broadcaster and had engineer in my title. I said their headend for that channel has fallen over and needed rebooting. She insisted it could still be my box and could we try the remote please.

I offered to identify the headend manufacturer based on the OSD. She then said she agreed with me, but she had to follow procedures so I acquiesced and followed her instructions. At the end of these she confirmed it wasn't my box. I wanted to know when it would be rebooted and she said nine o'clock great says I just before the film starts. Ah no it'll be 9am not 9pm before anyone gets there to do any work. I said if I ran my services like that the company would be fined. I wasn't a customers for much longer after that.

The Microsoft Authenticator extension in the Chrome store wasn't actually made by Microsoft. Oops, Google

JimboSmith Silver badge

Oh for goodness sake you'd have thought that somebody would have taken a minute to check MSFT was the author.

Accidentally wiped an app's directory? Hey, just play the 'unscheduled maintenance' card. Now you're a hero

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Word Perfect is still the best

You do your writing on an XP emulator in order to use a 24 year old word processor?

If it was a choice between that and Word for Web I'll take the 24 year old word processor. No grid lines? WTF

JimboSmith Silver badge


Yes that was very handy thing to have at your disposal. I can't count the number of times I was seen as a "genius" for recovering somebody's accidentally deleted files.

Pentagon confirms footage of three strange craft taken by the Navy are UFOs (no, that doesn't mean they're aliens)

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: They cross the vastness of interstellar space in technology far beyond our own

Not just to buzz us, you've missed the anal probing that people frequently report. Oh Matron!

JimboSmith Silver badge

I suspect a lot of "UFOs" are the military testing stuff they can't admit to, like, a lot of em were stealth airplanes in development when that was a thing.

I think that was actually a confidential policy in the USA. They hid development and test flights of things like U2, SR71 to Stealth aircraft in this way. If somebody had seen something flying that was in development/top secret they encouraged and occaisionally promoted the idea it was actually a UFO.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: if it works...

My folks bought Linksys velop mesh wifi earlier in the year because it was recommended by "Which?"*. I was obviously tasked with setting it up and discovered that Linksys are very keen on you using their app. Sadly to use this you need to sign up and get a Linksys cloud account. Now I balked at this because Linksys don't have a very good reputation in this area. linksys_wifi_password_reset_malware_app

So I hunted around on the net and then spoke to their tech support live chat. I asked what you were supposed to do if you didn't have a smartphone or the wifi was going to be closed circuit. The first live chat person told me the app was easy to use so please just use that. I said okay but that it keeps trying to connect to the internet. Bloke asks why that's an issue so I said there's no internet where the routers are. He said the cloud account used by the app allows you to access your router away from home, change settings etc. I said I couldn't see the point of that and I'd rather manage things locally. The livechat then died when my mobile signal did.

The second bloke i connected with was much more helpful and explained how to set it up if you don't have a smartphone or object to a cloud account. It isn't obvious though and is akin to finding a shortcut on a video game. I said they should do an app that doesn't require a cloud account or access to the internet. Specifically for closed circuit installations or those who don't want to use their cloud.

Then just recently somebody I know was installing Velop mesh routers in their house. I said personally I don't/wouldn't use the app unless you're willing to give Linksys your wifi password etc. He said he didn't like that idea at all. He has an app.connected electric toothbrush though which I really couldn't understand.

* To be fair to "Which?" they recommended the system before that hack but after you needed a cloud account.

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: And the point is?

I remember back in my days in the media reading about the situation in the USA. There was and presumably still is huge objection to satellite delivery. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) were horrified by the licensing of satellite radio companies XM and Sirius. They're also not keen on Dish and Echostar the satellite TV companies. The NAB represent terrestrial radio & TV companies and these upstarts were very unwelcome. They'd take away listeners/viewers from their members so they had to be brought down to earth (pun intended).

The radio services for example needed terrestrial repeaters to cover areas of no reception such as big cities with skyscrapers etc. These (after a lot of lobbying) had restrictions placed on them regarding local content* etc. Therefore I'm not surprised there's a group not keen on satellite broadband.

*Traffic, weather and so on.

Lenovo's latest gaming monster: Eight cores, 3.2GHz, giant heat sink, two fans. Oh, and it has a phone bolted on

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: But can it....

But can it....

make telephone calls ?

Who cares? A colleague of mine at the time of the first iPhone bought one as soon as he could. He proudly showed it off in the office and explained what it could do etc. Anyway day two and he's also seen sporting a Nokia, taking calls on that etc. The reason he explains is that his iPhone isn't really a phone.......It's a touchscreen pocket computer and modem with phone functionality tacked on seemingly as an after thought. He was therefore paying for two contracts but he was a flash git and said he didn't care. Obviously things have massively improved since then on the fruity mobiles.

For blinkenlights sake.... RTFM! Yes. Read The Front of the Machine

JimboSmith Silver badge

Family member called a while ago and said their TV isn't working. It's a digital telly and showing "weak or no signal" on screen. First thing I ask is whether the aerial is still plugged into the back and yes it is is the reply. So navigate through various menus over the phone to no avail. Said it might be the roof aerial or the cable from it. Thankfully we were in Lockdown so I said I can't do anything else as I'm 150 miles away unable to visit. So next day it's obvious from the message I get that the aerial cable wasn't plugged in and the cat is the guilty party. Very pleased I couldn't get dragged over to fix that.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Broke my little toe...

You've not met my Sister playing any board or card game. Either she wins or there are accusations of cheating, death threats etc. We have to play Trivial Pursuits in teams now so that she has a broader knowledge base. During a particular game of Trivial Pursuits she said I was cheating. This was because I had answered four questions correctly one after the other. Not only that I'd answered two of them without needing to hear the full question. Playing Monopoly is worse.....much much worse.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Failure? Intended?

Ah you just reminded me of Marvin Roffman who made predictions about (then) Mr Trumps Taj Mahal Atlantic City Casino. He would prove to be correct but even back then Mr Trump didn't like the truth apparently.


JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Works Both Ways

Yeah the T&C's are very important and it's vital that you get them spot on and watertight. A firm I contracted for for a short while ran a competition via social media/the company website. Without giving too much away (for fear of lawyers) they sold heavy bulky items that required assembly before use. The competition launched whilst I was away and when I returned I had an email from the marketing department. It was asking me to promote the comp please on social media. I looked through the T&C's and spotted a few glowing howlers.

I flagged these with my boss who had no legal training but listened carefully as I explained.

Firstly there was a delivery limit of "Great Britain" for the prize. He said we didn't want to be shipping to Northern Ireland did we. After I pointed out that legally GB included Orkney, the Shetlands, the Isles of Scilly etc he became more interested. Then it failed to mention which nation's law this game was covered by. Worse it didn't say only open to residents of Great Britain. Nowhere was it said that entrants agreed to be bound by these terms. Finally it didn't say the MD had final decision and that it was binding.

Boss oddly looks very happy and is quickly on the phone. Minutes later the marketing head (AKA HoM) and the legal bloke have joined us. After my explanation the legal bloke asks why he wasn't consulted before this was posted anywhere. Marketing bloke says didn't seem necessary and legal bloke asks how much this could cost us. I got a quote from our usual shippers to the furthest north postcode I could find (Shetland). This was well over £2K which made Mr Marketing nearly faint. It was broken down as three days driving there and three back not to mention the ferry journey. Then there was the costs of tying up two people with installation knowledge and one truck for days including a weekend, overtime, accommodation en route etc. I then twisted the knife by asking if the HoM had ever heard of Hoover?

I pointed out this was a worst case scenario and the winner could live next door but the legal eagle wasn't happy. An email went round half an hour later informing the company of new rules regarding competitions even internal ones. Luckily for the marketing team there were no entrants outside the home counties but could have been a very costly mistake.

Turns out my boss didn't like the HoM (arrogant over promoted prick apparently) and this was very welcome news.

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Works Both Ways

Somebody I know who worked in the City at the time of Knight Capital said it was good to see a High Frequency Trading firm get shafted. Even better that they did it to themselves. He said that there are very few firms that make a profit every single day trading on the markets. Those that do should be regarded with suspicion.

Then again I read a quote about casinos years ago in an article about money laundering. It said something along the lines of: If you don't make money running a casino then you're either utterly inept, criminal or both but should be investigated either way.

Belgian police seize 28 tons of cocaine after 'cracking' Sky ECC's chat app encryption

JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Cut out middle men

There's a shaggy dog story I was told about that. One of the South American countries had found a stash of marching powder in a rural area. They were worried about a cartel trying to get it back. So they decided to incinerate it quickly at a disused, local but out of the way industrial facility. Something went wrong and loads of it went unburned, up the chimney to be carried by the winds elsewhere.

Also this happened to the BBC journalist Quentin Sommerville at a drugs incineration.


JimboSmith Silver badge

Re: Encyrption back door?

Or somebody was arrested and on the receiving end of a lot of charges. They decided to open their device so their messages could be read and replied to by the plod in return for less charges. The encryption could have been shit or for Police Specialists you can read another unnamed agency.



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