Re: Preaching to the chior
You mean Dido “sophisticated and co-ordinated cyber attack” Harding?
1453 posts • joined 16 Aug 2012
I had a call at my US house from a political party. They ignored my pleas that I can’t vote in any election over there. Then when I hung up they rather infuriatingly called back. So I asked if as a local taxpayer (property etc.) they were going to allow me to vote if they got in? That had the desired effect.
In the UK if somebody comes to the door canvassing for a political party I ask difficult questions they won’t know the answer to.. The last one I asked was what is your candidate’s position on tartrazine in foodstuffs? The look on their face was an amazing picture of bemusement and terror.
I’d never give my email address to a political party of any description. I use my own domain name for email. I give companies a unique address and if I get an unsolicited email to that address I know who it’s come from .
A mate was installing a Mesh network in his house earlier in the year. He asked for my help in placing the various bits of kit around the place to get the best results. He’d bought Linksys Velop and whilst we were having a chat before doing anything I asked why he’d chosen the Linksys. He said he’d found an not vey old copy of Which who said they were good.
I said that’s great but don’t use their app for setup, there’s a way of doing it locally instead. He protested that he’d used it at a holiday home during their staycation without any issues and it was easy to use.
I pointed out that he was giving Linksys his wifi password, which was stored in the cloud and this was dangerous. He couldn’t see any problems so I showed him this https://www.theregister.com/2020/04/15/linksys_wifi_password_reset_malware_app/
He was not happy about that and had a fit when he realised what the app did and where his data was stored. I said it was perfect for miscreants or a TLA to harvest lots of wifi passwords.
In Czechoslovakia you don’t need to hack the EAS to cause panic. This was I believe broadcast on the breakfast show where they show Earthcam type footage as part of the programme.
It was an art group that hacked into the camera used for the panoramas. They recorded the footage added the “special effect” and then added it back to the camera so that played out rather than the live feed.
Those machines have an interesting CVE history https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-12741/product_id-25425/version_id-507295/Monroe-Electronics-R189-One-net-Eas-2.0-0.html
I did overhear on a train two people discussing outsourcing at their firm not long ago. The company had apparently looked at outsourcing customer service to an overseas call centre. That was until Risk Management at the firm were passed the idea for their comments and (hopefully) approval. They balked at the idea and said no, fat chance. They were concerned that they’d be giving a foreign firm access to their customer data which was an unacceptable risk. Never mentioned which firm it was but were speculating about how long the head of risk management would be in the job.
I liked the Lloyds Bank advert that they put out when they closed their Indian call centres in 2007.
All of our call centre staff are in the UK….except Julie who’s on holiday in Spain.
Wasn’t there an incident where there were gambling terminals that allowed you to bet on a foreign country’s weekend soccer games. The local community included many expats/migrant workers from this country hence why that country was chosen. These machines were uploaded with the games each week and then hopeful punters could bet on the outcome of these games for fixed odds. These games were normally played on a Sunday and these machines were popular with their target market.
However one week and it may well have been the final weekend of the season, the games were all played on the Saturday instead. The gambling company stupidly hadn’t updated the closing time and day for the bets to be placed. Therefore people found they could place bets after the games on Saturday had finished and the result known. You couldn’t lose unless you were particularly thick or fat fingered. The punters didn’t receive their winnings though because surprise surprise the betting firm refused to pay up. Their argument was something like; you can’t bet on an event that’s already happened.
Can’t remember the full details of the thing and whether they eventually got paid out. My Google Fu is also failing me.
A very small company I temped at used an invoicing software for (surprise) creating invoices for clients. I enquired as to how this software worked and was shown the intricacies of creating an invoice. The system just produced individual invoices There was no linking of these together or anything sophisticated like that. Don’t get too into it comes the next response we’re doing away with it. The software company had just thought that monthly licensing was a jolly wheeze. Previously you bought a license and it covered that version with updates/fixes being available for a small fee.
They were moving to Excel instead where they had a built a template that did everything the existing software did and more. They told the software firm they were ditching the product and they said quite pointedly it was the switch to a monthly licence that did it.
I watched the original Star Trek in the 80’s and always thought she was a good actress. I never realised then that she’d been such a trailblazer back when originally broadcast. I only found out later how pivotal she had been in advancing the role of both women and black women. The world of Star Trek was as it should be everywhere and I didn’t notice she was black. She was just doing her job as a lieutenant and doing it damn well. RIP a great icon, I will miss you greatly.
A mate’s parents bought an MFI kitchen and had it installed. It was so badly made and installed that the counter top wasn’t flat. It was sitting at an angle that caused certain kitchen implements to roll off. Shelves were also not completely flat and cupboard doors didn’t close properly. The local branch manager was invited round to their house and given a demonstration of the faults. They managed to get their money back and the kitchen removed.
This tale has jogged my memory. A company I slaved for had what was at the time quite large hard drives in their desktop computers. Somebody came back from holiday and found their computer booted up into Windows but was missing any of the expected software and data. Hard drive was the wrong size too (much smaller) which set alarm bells ringing. Then another was found a few days later, same thing had happened to that one too but it wouldn’t boot into Windows. The two “new” hard drives were found to be missing from the IT stores. A targeted theft was suspected, the drives being pinched for their data not the drives themselves.
However after a day or so of the second theft a local second hand shop had reported to the company they’d been offered two hard drives. They had the drives for testing and hadn’t paid the bloke trying to sell them. Upon examining them the shop realised that they were likely stolen. Once the company was called IT went down identified the drives and cloned them. The police had also been called, who collared the thief when he came back to get his cash.
It was the cleaner’s soon to be ex-boyfriend who had come in to “help her out” on a few nights. He’d got lucky in that the first one belonged to someone who was on holiday. That theft would have been detected much faster if they hadn’t been. The police found notes on how to replace a hard drive at his flat when it was searched. However he had no idea they would be traceable back to where he’d nicked them by the data on them.
I once tried explaining to a corporate tour that the clock in the studio we were in was accurate. This is a slave clock running off a master clock in the server room and we know that the second pulse is highly accurate. The group are C-suite types with no technical understanding so this is confusing. One of them tells me that his bedside clock has a radio in it, that makes it super accurate. His clock isn’t just accurate with the seconds but the hours and minutes too.
I asked if he’d ever needed to change the time on his clock and he said “No” Well we might need to if for example we are recording something for future broadcast. It’s no good if the presenter looks up at the clock and reads out the current time as 2pm when the show will be going out at 9pm. Another one asked about how we play out a show so accurately that the time on the clock during recording matches the time at broadcast. So I then explained about playout systems which a few of them found utterly incomprehensible.
Trying to explain the same thing to my mum involved the “it’s all done by science” line when she said it was baffling her.
I often get canvassed on my doorstep by representatives of local politicians before elections. Usually they have no idea what I’m like and are in for a bit of a shock. I ask what the politician’s position on a random and unlikely subject. You should see the look of terror on their faces when they realise they have no idea what the position could possibly be. The last one to bother me was asked about what their candidate’s position was on tartrazine in foods.
" It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program."
Yeah I actually had one of those once. It was a DAB radio which the reception on was so bad, moving about the room would kill the sound. As would the wrong type of weather, lorries going past the house etc.
And wait for the support calls complaining that lots of menu items have appeared/disappeared for no apparent reason.
When an ex colleague last spoke to me they’d just switched to Office 345 on the web. This was dressed up as a “making working anywhere easier” move, whereas it was actually just a cost saving exercise. Suddenly IT were deluged with irate staff wanting to know what had happened to features they used in Office. Custom dictionaries or rather the lack of, being one of the biggest bugbears.
Had that one too whilst trying to fix a discrepancy on a stock system. Talking to the support bloke who tells me to use the reconciliation function from one of the the drop down menus.
Me: Which one is it under?
I don’t remember, and I’m not at my desk so just try them all.
Me: Okay I’ve done that and it’s not there.
Did you go into the sub menus?
Me: Yes I tried everything I could find.
Okay I’ll call you when I get back to my desk.
Some minutes pass…..
I’m at my desk and it’s the Third one along third one down.
Me: Nope not there.
What version are you using and what privilege level are you?
Me: Twelve and I’m level two
Ah you need level Three……you should be Three if you’re support, is there someone who has that there?
At this point dear reader the store manager logs in and reconcile is there third menu along third option down.
Me: Why isn’t it visible at lower privilege levels even if disabled?
Well, people might be tempted to try and use it.
Me: So put a message box to come up saying you need to be Three or above
I’m in customer service not development, thank you!
One simple explanation for DAB - to sell off the radio spectrum that the discontinuation of the "traditional radio" allowed to be "freed up" in a bidding war.
That’s not what’s currently planned, where the major stations are supposed to go digital only. Community and smaller stations would remain on FM. This will allow for those areas where the former local stations are now broadcast from London just with local adverts and news. Who are they going to sell the FM spectrum to exactly and what is this bidder going to do with it that isn’t radio broadcasting?
The problem is that take up of DAB has been slower than anticipated. The original switch date was set for 2015 and Ofcom believed by then 50% of listening would be digital. They were the only ones in the industry who believed that as most people I knew were sceptical. This was going to be switched during the term of the national Independent radio analogue licenses. Therefore the licence term would be shorter and as a result the national licenses were rolled over and not put up for auction. This was because it was believed by Ofcom that no one would bid for a short term license. That despite there being media reports containing interviews with interested bidders. Global radio also did a massive amount of lobbying against these licenses going up for auction to protect their station Classic FM.
The current date for switchover is mooted for 2030 https://radiotoday.co.uk/2021/10/no-fm-switch-off-in-the-uk-until-at-least-2030-says-dcms/ and makes a mockery of the original date. It’s also cost the treasury the money that would have been bid to have those licences and the associated spectrum. For comparison Norway switched in 2017.
The only way they got DAB sales to the level they have is by not selling decent analogue radios in this country. Try buying an analogue radio with digital tuning and you’ll have a hard time outside of specialist retailers. No point in taking a DAB radio to the USA because it won’t work there. No point in explaining that to the bloke at Currys or indeed John Lewis as they at first told me it would work. When I proved they used a different system called IBOC (in band on channel) aka HD radio they were fazed. Then they both pointed to FM on the radios. I pointed out that this didn’t help with AM reception for sports broadcasts which were often not available elsewhere. The replies were jointly sorry can’t help in that case.
I asked the question years ago about what could DAB do apart from more stations (at the expense of quality) that FM radio can't? Somebody recently mentioned an EPG and yes on a limited number of DAB radios you can get an EPG. They then mentioned apart from BBC Radio how useful would it actually be? Everything else you can do can be done with an device with an FM receiver. Recording is possible on various devices from my phone to some iPods. Radiotext can be done using RDS as can traffic alerts etc. I had a clock radio in the 90s that had RDS and traffic alert on it. I think I've still got it somewhere.
Full disclosure, I used to work in the media and digital radio.
My travel radio of choice is the Sony SW-100 https://swling.com/blog/2016/09/the-sony-icf-sw100-a-miniture-dx-marvel-never-likely-to-be-repeated/ which is gobsmackingly good for something so tiny. At home my DAB is gathering dust because the station I used to listen to on it, Guildford’s Eagle Radio, is now defunct. It used to come in perfectly in Central London on DAB. When that was replaced with some generic rubbish I went back to the BBC on an analogue “world band” radio.
I tried to buy a camera for viewing my front door a few years ago. It was just for letting me see who was at the door making a delivery, when I was at home, in the garden out the back. Would be going on a closed circuit wifi or wired network.
I had suffered from deliveries not being dropped off, not ringing the doorbell and just dumping a sorry we missed you card
Went into my local electrical retailer named after a pop Indian culinary delight as I happened to be passing.
Gave the sales bloke my requirements, told him there obviously couldn't be any cloud element and I didn't really need recording. If he'd got nothing that fit the bill please would he tell me now and save me some valuable time.
He then proceeded to show me a Ring doorbell which when queried if they'd released an update to allow offline working admitted they hadn't. I then saw Nest, Hive and I think something else, all of which needed an internet/cloud connection.
When I said no to all of them he informed me that I was obviously going to need the internet or how could I view the camera when away from home? I asked if he'd listened to my requirements when I first spoke to him and he rather bizarrely said yes.
I asked what use the camera would be if the cloud service went down or bust? He didn't have an answer to that. I said what if it’s going somewhere without an internet connection? He just told me everywhere had the internet now. I asked what happened if the internet connection went down or the company went bust which earned me a shrug of the shoulders.
I said I’d try elsewhere and got a Foscam on Amazon.
Yeah sorry I meant before the verdict.
My dad had to be switched from one jury to another before the trial started. This is because when they asked if any juror knew of any reason they were unsuitable he said “Yes” to much surprise.
When asked why he thought he was unsuitable, he looked over at the judge, waved and said “Hi Bob*” he was switched shortly afterwards.
A former non tech colleague of mine told me a few days ago that they’d invested in “crypto”. They’d done so because the price had dropped dramatically and they were getting in “cheaply”. I tried explaining that this was a very risky thing to do and that there was a good chance they’d not see that cash back. When I said that they said this was different and they’d be okay and tried to change the subject. I said it was a gamble and he said my “investments” were also a gamble, the difference being mine are in diversified portfolios and lots of different companies and assets. This is a sensible individual who thinks that by buying whatever it was they did that they’ll be rich asap. The fact that it’s decentralised came up along with all the usual stuff.
I guess any regulation however light can’t hurt. I’m hoping he hasn’t “Invested’ more than he can afford to lose.
Yep In all the black cabs I caught since 'lockdown one' and the end of all restrictions there had been a seal on the cash payment hole. All the cabbies were wearing masks and quite a few had hand sanitser in the back for customers to use. One told me that she cleaned all the touch points and the seats in between jobs. I also had a window open to reduce chances further and was always wearing a mask. One of my colleagues stopped using Uber during the pandemic because she felt she was just sharing a car with a stranger. Albeit a car driven by a masked stranger which also didn't help with her fears.
A friend ordered an Uber from a drinks evening we'd been at in South Kensington despite there being a plethora of Licensed London Black Cabs. Up pulled a car a few minutes later we both got in and noticed that this wasn't going to be the most luxurious ride we'd ever had. The car made a Black cab look like a Rolls Royce. Then we headed off and the driver was totally relying on sat nav for his directions which always worries me. My friend says she needs to give instructions on getting to her place as it's surrounded by a relatively new one way system and difficult to reach.
The driver didn't speak amazing English but just pointed at the sat nav when she asked him to turn left or right. After he missed the crucial turning for the second time she said "Just drop us here please" and we got out. She also said there are quicker routes of getting to her place than the route he took and he clearly either didn't know them, or his sat nav didn't.
I won't use Uber because I don't like the fact that they wanted to track the movement of every user even if they weren't using the app. Greyball (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyball) etc. Also anyone who can pass The Knowledge is better than me at remembering stuff and has earned some respect for that. They also know the best routes and problems on the roads. My Black Cab driver this evening for example took a round about route to get me to my destination. When I enquired about the route he said it was because of roadworks on one road, another closed and a third blocked by a lorry. Walking back I checked this and he was spot on.
Personally I don't mind competition but the companies should be on a level playing field and not trying to hoodwink the regulators. I do care about companies obeying the laws and regulations of the land, and that’s not something I associate Uber with.
This is a little old but interesting nonetheless:
I was once informed that I was an employee subject to the now superseded Model Code in the uk. https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/7-107-6854?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)
I was unusual in that I’d bought shares in the company (a plc) and wasn’t an executive. Company top legal exec (lawyer) along with an HR person tell me that I can’t buy more or sell my existing shares at certain points. Hand me a copy of the code and says that if I do I’m insider trading which isn’t a victimless crime. Then the lawyer says that he has to inform me of this because it’s a company rule, despite the fact that he knows I’m highly unlikely to do this.
My manager who has no idea why I have been called to see the “lawyer” was nervous when I got back. He had been sweating it for the time I was away and almost collapsed when I told him it was nothing to worry about. He was thinking of leaving, was concerned that senior people had found out and thought I was being grilled about this.
If he was informed by the company that it was a crime then his legal defence will surely be a little shaky. Now what was his job again………?
I visited a firm years ago in the US where the colour of the paper was very important. For stock control Clients were sent white copies of orders, pink was for office retention and blue was for stock moves. The latter meant it wasn’t an external sale just a transfer between sites, departments etc. This was apparently a hangover from the days of 3 ply order forms and no one had wanted to change it. So there were three large printers each filled with a particular colour paper. It worked for them then but I hope they’ve moved on a bit since. Seeing the large number of A4 ring binders stuffed with pink and blue paper was quite a sight.
Their IT systems were built in house and impressive given they were able to tell me where my order was and when it would arrive at their location for me to pick up.
So the Russian GRU officers visiting the UK and Salisbury at exactly the same time was a complete coincidence?
Not a straw man argument. Just highlighting some hypocrisy. There's no shortage of that.
Somebody reminded me recently that Russia attacked a target in the UK with WMD and parts of Salisbury, Wiltshire had to be decontaminated from the G series nerve agent Novichok. It was only quick and effective work by authorities and others that more people weren’t affected and there were no fatalities. This attack also lead directly to the tragic death of a UK citizen in Amesbury, Wiltshire.
I wrote a set of instructions for an important procedure which would only need to be done once in a blue moon. However it would need to be done flawlessly and quickly when that time came. Not a huge company and it might happen at any time, so everyone was going to be sent a copy of these instructions just in case they were the only person there. So as you might expect, clear precise instructions were vital. I documented every step very thoroughly to make it foolproof. This included telling the user to go to security, requesting and getting the correct pass to let you into the server room if your pass didn’t normally allow you access.
So they were written in draft form and I selected a few non tech people to follow them through. I had a duplicate system set up that they could use for the training and off we went. One of them ignored the pass section and then wondered why he couldn’t get in to the server room. Another didn’t check the status of one service before shutting it down and rebooting it. The first woman I tested followed everything precisely and every step was done correctly.
She was a secretary/PA and always followed instructions carefully. She suggested that I write on the top in big red letters
“Failure to follow these instructions to the letter may have an impact on your employment status.”
That did the trick for future tests and everyone followed every step correctly.
Not one of my workplaces but someone entered a cheque deposit amount for a client into the accounting software. They missed off the first digit of the amount. Therefore £100k became £00k plus some pence and no one immediately spotted it. When they did the Sh!t hit the fan and an investigation was launched. On further inspection the “1” key was found to have an intermittent fault on that keyboard. Employee was partially* cleared but keyboard taken out back and shot. *partially because they should have double checked the amount.
My small safe requires a key to open it and that key is in a keysafe elsewhere. That has a combination on it which both my brother and sister will know and only they will know. Location of these safes isn’t obvious as they’re hidden. As I explained to them the sealed copies of my will, contain the location of the safes.
I have no idea what the actual issue was I heard this from my mum. However I do know she is sent very long documents that have specific formatting requirements. If you can’t add bits and save so it’s exactly the same for the next person to open it she can’t use the program.
My mother uses Libre Office on her Fruity Airtop quite happily. However my sister when she visited her for the weekend had a problem. She uses Word at work and opened one of her documents on mum's Airtop. She said she couldn't use Libre Office as the formatting wasn't exactly the same and needed to be so for her work. Also issues once formatting corrected on Airtop but saved and reopened at work on Word.
She has resorted to taking her own laptop down there when she goes to see our parents.
When a mate of mine who is a lawyer visited me we had the same problem. She asked to borrow my laptop as she had to do something urgently. She asked what weird version of Windows I had when Mint booted up. Then asked where my copy of Office was and was unhappy with the reply.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022