* Posts by Andy Non

1001 posts • joined 9 Jul 2014

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Fearing she had stumbled across a body, dogwalker reports pota-toe to police

Andy Non Silver badge
Coat

Maybe it was Mrs Potato head

and she thought it was her husband's body?

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off

Andy Non Silver badge
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Re: Two wrongs do not make a right: three lefts do

You'd better leave a sticky note on the monitor reminding you to order more sticky notes.

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Telegram

I've now switched to Signal and deleted WhatsApp. Seems to work fine for video calls.

UK's NHS Digital hands £8m contract to lab data biz after trouble matching COVID-19 tests to health records

Andy Non Silver badge

£8m contract without competition

I wonder which MP or government official is related to the CEO of X-Lab?

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works

Andy Non Silver badge
Unhappy

Bearded Giant Games

We're going into maintenance

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Our website is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.

Cyberpunk 2077: There's a great game within screaming to get out, but sadly it was released 57 years too early

Andy Non Silver badge

Great, I'll have a copy

for Christmas 2021.

A pub denied: One man's tale of festive frolics postponed by the curse of the On Call phone

Andy Non Silver badge
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Re: Boxing Day

That's all well and good, but why do Americans have punch at parties. ;-)

Dodgy procedures doomed Arianespace's Vega before it even left the launchpad

Andy Non Silver badge
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Re: "not picked up in testing"

Yes, its not rocket science is it.

Facebook rolls out full-page ads, website complaining Apple is forcing it to get consent before tracking you

Andy Non Silver badge
Facepalm

"campaign for the claimed benefits of personalized advertising"

Nearly fell off my chair laughing. Facebook - personalized advertising? What a joke. While Facebook knows very little about me, it does know my approximate age (70) and my gender (male). So why do I get adverts (occasionally sneaking past my adblocker) for Botox treatment for my lips? Is there something about my 70 year old peers I don't know about?

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Nothing wrong with ads ...

I block ads on Facebook (and everywhere else), but in the ongoing war of adblocker vs adblocker-blocker, there are days when the ads get through. The vast majority of them are extremely poorly targeted. I wonder how many seventy year old men are likely to click on a big ad promoting Botox treatment for their lips or for the performance report for a school at the other end of the country? The ads are so irrelevant I just scroll past them all. Besides I've never bought anything from an ad on the internet and never will - I simply don't trust products and services hawked in this way. If I want to buy something I do my own research.

Google Chrome's crackdown on ad blockers and browser extensions, Manifest v3, is now available in beta

Andy Non Silver badge

If a browser forces me to watch ads (by hobbling adblockers) then I won't use that browser.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: 1) the people are fools, 2) the help desks are idiots

"Shell Energy"

Speaking from experience Shell Energy are total tw*ts regarding customer service. I suspect they only employ one person in that capacity and she's part time one day a month. I changed my email address and there is no facility on their site to update it. Their help system is useless. Their AI chat bot is useless. Their human chat facility is useless - I waited in a queue for over an hour before I got dropped. Had to use Google to find a contact email address for them. Eventually got a reply from them saying I can update my email address on their site, but you can't. Contacted them again and finally after three months, they updated my email address. I'll be changing supplier at the end of the contract. Bunch of wankers they are.

Andy Non Silver badge

Multipls email addresses

I operate multiple email addresses on my own domain. If I'm dealing with someone I don't know or a one-off purchase etc I use a throwaway email address on my domain. If spam starts to build up I delete it and create a new throwaway email address. I get very few mistaken name emails as I'm using my own domain so someone would have to mess up big - one advantage of not using a common domain like gmail for your email. I recently started receiving invoices and statements to one of my less used email addresses, so rather than trying to contact the sender I just binned the email address, so anything will just bounce back to sender - their problem, they can sort it out.

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Instagram is the worst

I don't use a catchall on my domain any more. There was so much shite coming in that I changed the settings so anything not sent to one of my valid email addresses just bounces back to sender.

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Doesn't just happen with email

I had something similar at a previous address. A Capital One credit card turned up to my address to someone I'd never heard of. A couple of days later the pin number and a couple of days after that a bank statement used as evidence of ID by the person who wanted the card. I noticed Capital One had corrupted the address on the person's bank statement and changed their postcode to mine. I tried to phone Capital One but they refused to talk to me as I wasn't the card holder. I sent the whole lot back to them 'return to sender, not known at this address' and a few days later got another letter asking me to confirm my address. FFS.

Microsoft pokes Cortana's corpse to give her telepathic abilities on Windows 10

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: 10 lb lump hammer on standby

Just think of the day when you step into your kitchen and find your toaster, dishwasher and food blender are having a deep conversation about the meaning of life.

Behold the drive-thru of the California Highway Patrol: Fry me a river, has 'CHIPS' stopped working again?

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Chewing Hard Indigestible Potato Skins, perhaps?

One the one occasion I went into a McD and ordered a cheese burger they told me I couldn't have one. They were still serving the breakfast menu apparently. So I bought a rather nice cheese burger from a van in the market outside their shop. Not been in a McD since.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Oh yes...

A similar thing happened to me a long time ago. One of my clients asked me to develop an off-shoot of one of his packages and it was to work in a particular way. I did my damnedest to explain why it wouldn't work very well in practice but he was adamant he wanted it done his way. So I did it his way and he was surprised that it didn't work as he'd hoped. He then blamed me for not pushing him hard enough not to do it that way in the first place. Sometime you just can't win.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is a monastery-burning romp that would be way better if it was not an Assassin's Creed game

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Never played one

It depends whether or not you like vast open world games. Much of the time is spent exploring in these types of game. There is lots of fighting of course but for me the enjoyment is just wandering around in these landscapes and deciding what trouble to get myself involved with. I guess such games are very much a type of digital marmite.

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: I found the previous two games

Excellent, thank you. I know what I want for my birthday now... towards the end of next year. ;-)

Andy Non Silver badge
Happy

I found the previous two games

Origins and Odyssey very good and kept me amused for a very, very long time. The wife complained of becoming a console widow. But based upon experience with a number of bugs in those two games, one serious and required a complete restart of the game, I'm going to wait for others to stumble on the faults and they will hopefully be fixed before I buy the game. It is like the ancient days of DOS and Windows releases, never install a point 0 release, wait at least until the point 1 version comes out.

I just hope there isn't too much sea fighting in Valhalla. I didn't enjoy those parts very much in the previous two games. My fingers are getting a bit arthritic now too, so I'll probably have to play it on the 'story' difficulty level. I couldn't kill any of the bosses in Odyssey, my fingers seized up before I could drop them.

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Andy Non Silver badge
FAIL

Inappropriate content

In a former life I was asked to place an IT related advert in a well known weekly computer trade newspaper. I sent an email to them with a query about placing the advert but it kept bouncing back as undeliverable with a message that the email had been rejected because it contained inappropriate content. I sent an email to their advertising team querying them about the problem but that too bounced back with the same message. As far as I could tell there wasn't anything remotely offensive or inappropriate in either email, so we placed the advert elsewhere. It must have been some sort of over vigilant email filter kicking in.

Currys PC World website crumples into unscheduled maintenance as shoppers chase latest gaming machines

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Pffft

I'm not a fan of Curry's far from it. But they did score a point over Amazon for me earlier this year. My PS4 controller had gone on the blink, so I ordered a new one from Amazon. It was faulty straight out of the box with the right joystick control frequently sticking or activating itself. It was supplied directly by Amazon, not one of their marketplace vendors. I got the strong impression the controller was counterfeit. I ordered one from Curry's and that one is working fine and appears to be robust and definitely not a counterfeit. Maybe it was the luck of the draw, but I'm a bit wary now of Amazon products, even ones they stock themselves.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Andy Non Silver badge

Exactly this. I still try to persevere with GIMP occasionally, like when I wanted to set a transparent background on some images, but I spent far more time on Google trying to figure it out than doing the job. It seems that anything I want to do is buried deep in the menu systems under incomprehensible names and requires arcane image manipulation techniques along the way.

I've often given up and used a basic drawing editor instead out of frustration just trying to do the most basic things. Back in the days of XP I used Paintshop and that simple program was intuitive and quick to use. GIMP on the other hand...

Andy Non Silver badge

I found the learning curve

so steep as to be nearly vertical. The problem is I rarely need to manipulate images other than doing the odd bit of cropping or image type conversion. I find pretty much anything else a real struggle to figure out how to do and GIMP not at all intuitive. I think part of the problem is that it is so sophisticated and offers so many features that I can't see the wood for the trees.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: So glad

I switched to Brother printers too; they also work under Linux Mint.

Andy Non Silver badge

So glad

I ditched HP printers years ago due to their shenanigans.

"Hey, that's a nice printer you've got there, it would be a shame if it suddenly stopped printing."

Swiss spies knew about Crypto AG compromise – and kept it from govt overseers for nearly 30 years

Andy Non Silver badge
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Re: Cheese

Swiss rolls, Swiss cheese plants and the Swiss army knife? ;-)

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: Cheese

And nobody could forget your cuckoo clocks. ;-)

Microsoft warns against SMS, voice calls for multi-factor authentication: Try something that can't be SIM swapped

Andy Non Silver badge

My wife (in her 80's) has a dumb Dorro phone. It has an emergency button on the back you push and hold to call a number of your choice. It has earned its keep a couple of times now when she's had a fall.

Google to end free unlimited online photo, vid storage, will eventually delete files if accounts go over their cap

Andy Non Silver badge
Meh

Unless you have a pressing need

to share your photos with other people or other devices, I don't see the point of such cloud storage. USB sticks with the same capacity are dirt cheap and you aren't beholding to a third party to look after your files. 1Tb drives are now commonplace and cheap giving you a vast amount of storage. If you are worried about data loss, buy two and keep one (encrypted) in the garden shed or car to mitigate the risk if your house burns down.

Halt don't catch fire: Amazon recalls hundreds of thousands of Ring doorbells over exploding battery fears

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: not surprised

Someone near us had their ring doorbell stolen. Further irony, there was no footage of the theft.

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: I was dead set against these Ring things

007, we've got a new doorbell we'd like you to try.

Former Microsoft tester sent down for 9 years after $10m gift card fraud

Andy Non Silver badge
Coat

And 100% of their testing budget, hence end users doing all the testing nowadays.

Biden projected to be the next US President, Microsoft joins rest of world in telling Trump: It looks like... you're fired

Andy Non Silver badge
Happy

Yay! Party time!

I've never been so happy about the result of an election... even one in another country. Not sure how Biden will pan out but it will be such a relief not to hear all the lies and crap and hate that Trump comes out with on a daily basis.

Shopping online for Xmas? AI chatbots know whether you want to be naughty or nice

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: My mother

From the guy's heavy Indian accent I'd say he wasn't American.

Andy Non Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: My mother

"I've recently had issues with actual human non-intelligence online."

I recently had the misfortune to contact PayPal's customer service regarding problems with PayPal accepting my postal address. He asked me if I was in the UK and I told him that I was in England. He said "So you aren't in the UK then." Duh.

Andy Non Silver badge
Thumb Down

Shell Energy

has one of those crappy so called AI helper bots. All I want to do is update my email address on their site, but there is no feature to do that, alongside my old email address it says to contact them to change it. Clicking contact takes you to their bot. After asking it how to change email address it gives you a link to the previous screen where you can change your phone number but not your email address. So you go around in circles.

Asking the bot if I can speak to a person results in it saying nobody is available. On one "lucky" occasion three months after my email address had changed it actually put me in a queue at position 99 to chat to real human being. Over an hour later I'd got to position 12 in the queue, then got a message saying "reconnecting" and I was dropped from the queue.

I did a google search on how to contact Shell Energy and found an email address for their customer services. Sent them an email and a week later still no reply. I will be changing energy supplier at the end of my contract. Replacing the majority of their customer services staff with a so called AI bot is as useful as a chocolate penis.

Andy Non Silver badge

Either way, they leave you feeling somewhat violated.

UK's 'minimum viable product' for Brexit transit software will not be ready until December, leaving no time for testing

Andy Non Silver badge
Joke

Cut them some slack

It's not like anyone knew Brexit was coming until last week.

Tech support scammer dialed random number and Australian Police’s cybercrime squad answered

Andy Non Silver badge
Trollface

I like to wind them up

"ask why their remote access software for Windows isn't doing so well under Linux, but we suspect the question won’t be appreciated."

In my experience the moment you mention Linux they hang up, so best not to mention it if you plan on winding them up for a long time.

My record is keeping a scammer on the line for half an hour with two follow up calls seeking payment (sorry, the wife was still out shopping and she'd got the card with her).

Data protection scofflaws failed to pay £2m in fines from UK watchdog – and 68% of penalties are still outstanding

Andy Non Silver badge
Stop

Good luck getting the scumbags to pay

Every week or so I get a call to my mobile with "I understand you were involved in an accident that wasn't your fault. Is that right?". Previously I've either played along to wind them up or just told them to go f**k themselves. I note that if you continue there is a delay of a few seconds then you find yourself talking to someone in an Indian call centre. No chance of stopping or fining them. Different number every time. As I do get some legitimate calls from unknown numbers, I can't really block all unknown numbers.

Interestingly, after the last such call, the penny dropped that the pleasant sounding woman making the initial call with an English accent is really a bot. Her question is loaded to get a yes or no reply. Until now I've just told them to go f**k themselves and hung up, but it is clearly wasted on a bot. So the correct response is to say "Yes, that's right" and when she says "Can you tell me a little bit more about the accident" the bot is probably looking for keywords related to an accident. So I plan to test this theory on the next call by saying "I was driving to work last Saturday and stopped at a junction when the traffic lights turned red and I was hit from behind by a speeding elephant". If the call then gets transferred to an Indian call centre it will confirm the initial conversation is with a bot. Then I can proceed as normal and question the man in the call centre about his sexual deviant habits.

What's for Christmas, Google? Oh, you're taking away free phone calls from our Nest speakers

Andy Non Silver badge

Sounds like another reason

not to buy a nest speaker.

Linux Mint pushes out its own Chromium build to help users avoid Canonical's Snap Store

Andy Non Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: They missed the obvious.

The latest version of Linux Mint 20 comes with Firefox pre-loaded and with the Canadian English language pack installed by default. Setting the spell checking to English UK doesn't work despite it having that language installed too. Tried uninstalling Firefox to do a clean re-install but it made Cinnamon unstable and it kept crashing.

I ended up reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling Linux Mint 20 again yesterday and I'm back to square one with Firefox ignoring the spell checking language and using Canadian again.

I don't claim to understand the ins and outs of snap vs other strategies, but something is definitely screwed up in Linux Mint 20 regarding Firefox.

Google reCAPTCHA service under the microscope: Questions raised over privacy promises, cookie use

Andy Non Silver badge

Re: reCAPTCHA only issues

"Ebay.co.uk is using it as well as login"

I gave up on ebay, it won't even let me enter my postal address (or any address at all!) Whatever I type it just says "Enter a valid address". So I abandoned the sign-up process.

It must be objecting to Firefox blocking third party cookies or some other privacy setting, but I wasn't going to wade through all the settings to find if one of them was responsible.

Andy Non Silver badge
Mushroom

On one occasion I filled my shopping basket with specialist items from an engineering site and went to the checkout only to be presented with one of those Captchas to do, except it wouldn't actually show me any pictures to tick! I ended up abandoning my shopping cart and buying the items from their competitor.

Devs strung up about .NET 5.0 string changes that may break working code are told: It's not a bug, it's a feature

Andy Non Silver badge
Joke

IndexOf

To find any potential issues, write a program that searches the source code for instances of "IndexOf", using erm... IndexOf.

Did Arthur C. Clarke call it right? Water spotted in Moon's sunlit Clavius crater by NASA telescope

Andy Non Silver badge
Alien

Clavius crater

I wonder if there is a strong magnetic field there... maybe worth a dig. ;-)

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