|Friday, October 21st, 2011|
|Phone scam from windows
I believe I have just had a call from a cybercriminal. Some people calling themselves windows operating tech support centre wanted me to check my system logs for errors and when I found a few errors they claimed that this was evidence for massive infection of my system. The then wanted me to type a url in to the run box. at his point I googled the url and came up with the PC Pro website below.http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/security/359233/the-unstoppable-tech-support-scam
The chap was still insistent that he was genuine and gave me his address (genuine microsoft) and phone number (not in agreement with the microsoft website). I phoned the microsoft help number on my mobile while keeping him on my landline. They said they do not make this kind of call and that iof I had such a call it was almost certainly spam. I thanked them and told the spammer what had happened. He continued to insist he was genuine and that the help line had been mistaken. Eventually he understood that I would not be signing on with him and giving him any access to my system. At his point he said that I should get my machine tested by someone I could trust because it was about to fail drastically and hung up. I 1471ed the call and was surprised to find that instead of number withheld he apparently phoned from 0000 0000
twenty minutes of entertainment and a warning for all. Unexpected calls are often not what they purport to be.
Microsoft have this page about phone scams http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
|Saturday, August 6th, 2011|
On Tuesday I set off for the worldcon in Reno. I expect to have full internet access while over there. In addition I have obtained a sim from a company called holiday phone. For a fixed price I have an american number with unlimited US calls and a fair amount of data download but it also gives me call forwarding from my UK number to the phone while in the states and calls back to the UK included in the price. so I'll be able to call Frances without spending a fortune. If you need me (and you know my number) you can call my UK number. Texts to that number won't work .
I thought the deal looked good when I found it in a search but it gets better if you tell people about it. Hence this post and the link belowwww.holidayphone.co.uk/
|Wednesday, July 20th, 2011|
|On the Allotment
After our burglary two weeks ago my replacement camera came on Monday. It is exactly the same make and model so no new learning to do but I have realised that leaving hundreds of photos on the camera memory leaves me open to irreplaceable loss. It is my intention to scatter pictures in various places as soon as possible, the computer at home, flickr and a selection on googleplus. The big loss for me was the sequence I had been taking at the allotment.
I have put up here
some of the oldest allotment photos and some I took yesterday. They show some of the progress made over the past six months.
When we were offered an allotment about a year ago we went to the site and had a look. We had some difficulty finding it. When we did it was heavily overgrown with weeds and brambles. There is a picture of me wading through it. It did not seem suitable but the one next door was equally overgrown but with evidence of greater possibilities. We had some time to wait as the allotment office went through the process of finding the current tenant, sending him a notice to improve, failure to improve, warning of notice to quit and then final notice. The whole process took about five months. We final got on in November.
January to March involved slashing away the undergrowth on the top half of the site and having frequent fires. I have developed a new respect for slash and burn agriculture. It sounds easy until you try it yourself. I have a contact who can supply me with pallets. With these I repaired the roof of the building and walled off one end to make a shed.
March started planting. Many crops started as seeds in trays on windowsills. Others directly sown or planted in the ground. Now crops are starting to come in. New potatos, radishes. broad beans, peas, courgettes, shallotts and rhubarb have already cropped although not yet in large quantities. Beet, onions, tomatos, grapes, turnips and assorted brassicas are on the way.
I have attempted a three sisters planting. Sweetcorn, runner beans and squash. The idea is that the corn grows vertically and supplies a framework. The squash forms a ground cover and suppresses weed and the beans grow through the lot and fix nitrogen for the others.
All are growing well but the corn is not fast enough. If it were a race the beans are winning hands down.
The bottom half of the allotment is a blackthorn jungle (sloes). I am slowly hacking this back but black thorn fights back. I'll probably write more about the jungle later.
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|Wednesday, December 5th, 2007|
|Is this sharp practice?
At the end of August I was made redundant from High Storrs school after 33 years. I was given my minimum legal redundancy payment and led to believe that the cost of living increase, due from April, would be paid in due course. I have been doing supply teaching and last week I was in a school as the pay slips were being given out. There was some joy as the backpay to April was in the November pay. I expected my money to be sent to me directly as I thought the HR person had said would happen. I checked my account for payment and the post for a payslip. Nothing. Yesterday I phoned Liberata who process payments for sheffield. A helpful young lady informed me that as people might change their bank accounts on leaving employment the back pay was only sent after the person who was owed it applied by letter for it including their bank details. If they did not apply no attempt was made to get the pay to them. She also said that today was the last day for payment in December and that if I sent it in by post I would probably be paid at the end of January.
I went in person to the offices and spoke to a very helpful person who informed me that the policy was as described and had been since Sheffield had been forced to pay this backpay, the former policy being to not pay pay rises if the consolidation date (this year November) fell after the employee had left employment. Once forced to pay it they implemented a system whereby the ex employee has to apply for it but is not told this. Anyone leaving after April and before November would miss out on the back pay unless they make an enquiry and apply. There could be hundreds of people in this position each losing a few hundred pounds for the lack of a reminder.
I spoke to a person at South Yorkshire pensions as this would also affect my LGPS pension and they were well aware of this behaviour by the authority.
My payments are now sorted but if anyone out there reading this has recently left employment in Sheffield or knows some one who has please make sure you get what is owed to you. Current Mood: annoyed
|Thursday, April 26th, 2007|
I quite like3 where this starts Ocelot
|Friday, February 9th, 2007|
|Natwest another way
The advertising for Natwest says that they do things differently. I've just experienced it. I am Treasurer of the local branch of my union. I inherited a Natwest account. Eighteen months ago we attempted to change the signatories on the account. Despite filling in the forms correctly and having the new signatory provide his details and methods of identification several times the change was not made. Eventually they said they had mislaid the documentation and we would have to start again.
I got a new set of papers and the new signatory took them in with his identification to make the change. It took several visits to the branch. We believed we had done it we had changed the signatories.
Last week I phoned the branch to check up on something. I got forwarded to a call centre. One of the security questions related to signatories. The new signatory was not an acceptable answer. I was able to answer other questions and get the information that I wanted plus the information that we had failed to change the signatories again.
I phoned today. I got through to someone at the branch rather than at a call centre. They told me that David had been on the account since the end of last September. It turns out that they have two systems that hold signatory information independently. One is used for, among other things, providing security checks for phone queries and is in our case at least 5 months out of date, and the other they say is the one used for checking the validity of signature on cheques and is correct. I asked for a letter confirming that cheques with David's signature on would be honoured. They don't want to send me one they just want to reassure me over the phone.
Natwest another way of irritating customers Current Mood: irritated
|Thursday, November 30th, 2006|
|Monday, November 27th, 2006|
|Tuesday, October 17th, 2006|
|service over the phone
Today I have been mainly waiting for people to answer the phone. Number one for total lack of service is BT.
We have a small problem with the line that supplies our fax machine.
enter number of phone
receive warning number may need to be entered again for security purposes
I did the above for 9 iterations once, 7 interations a second time and only 2 a third.
using the website I got this wonderful message
" Sorry , we are unable to accept faults on this line type at present. Please contact us on 154. "
Dialling support for our MIS this puts us in a queue on an 0870 number distorted music interrupted by a message telling me how valuable my phone call is every 45 seconds for up to 40 minutes before the call is answered. A colleague said he has fallen asleep waiting. Current Mood: frustrated
|Friday, August 18th, 2006|
|Exam results update
I have just been told that our new whizbang MIS has just managed to import our geology results (about a dozen candidates). Well that's only two days late and most of the results short.
|Wednesday, August 16th, 2006|
A day spent manipulating the A level and AS results in preparation for results day tomorrow.
4:30 am download data files
6:00 am wake up. Oh the joys of schedule software.
I have sorted all the results despite a clash of codes between music and english. The results are better again this year, 96% so the head's happy but we don't have much scope for further improvement. Tomorrow the panic, all those students coming to see if they have performed well.
Today was supposed to be the first test of our new MIS. I did the results the way I have for several years. The shiny new system with two staff working on it was to do the data in parallel and if it got significantly in front of me I would stop and let it take over. More likely we were to run the two systems in parallel as a check on each other. Its half past three now. I am going home soon. The new system has not managed to import a significant amount of data. So a win for John. I am beginning to worry about this shiny new system. Current Mood: relaxed
|Thursday, December 15th, 2005|
|I always thought so
You are 90% knowledgable and 96% intellectual.
|Amazing! You have an incredible brain (intellect) and a powerhouse of information (knowledge)! Keep up the impressive work-- we all bow to you. |
And I wasn't trying too hard as I had other things to do at the same time.
|My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
||You scored higher than 87% on knowledge|
||You scored higher than 75% on intellect|
|Wednesday, October 19th, 2005|
|So that's me then
|Your Inner Child Is Sad|
You're a very sensitive soul.
You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone.
You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.
|Wednesday, July 6th, 2005|
|Time Wasting couriers
I got home yesterday to be told that a card had been left saying a parcel had been delivered. It said "the parcel has been left in a safe place
no parcel number, no contact details, no parcel in our old outside loo, the only place it could mean.
I look up DHL phone number for Sheffield. BT will give me only an 0870 number. I call it and after navigating an extremely unhelpful auto-attendant system twice I manage to speak to a human. It appears I am through to the wrong department but he can transfer me. He does, more explanation, then number two decides I do not want the Manchester depot so he gives me the Sheffield number. There was no answer at quarter to six.
This morning I get straight through to person number three. "Oh it's a white card, then you have the wrong department. They are in this building but I cannot transfer you. This is their number."
Person number four answers quickly. Yes he can deal with it. He will ring back in 15 minutes with an explanation as to where the package is.
Two hours pass.
I ring the last number again and get person number five. I say " I want to know about my missing packet that I was told I would have a phone call about nearly two hours ago" I can hear a conversation between four and five. Four tells five who tells me that the courier (number six) had been given my number to call me and should have done so with the explanation.
There should be another card saying the parcel was not after all in my
outhouse because it had been taken back as it wasn't my parcel
|Friday, June 24th, 2005|
|Friday, June 17th, 2005|
|One more step towards becoming a Dalek
I've taken the plunge. I've ordered a scooter. Short range I am still quite agile but the after effects of charcot, DVT and peripheral neuropathy mean that extended walking is not sensible. This was made evident by our trip in London to Tate Modern etc.
Now however seems a good time to buy. There seems to be a price war being waged on the model that interested me. List prices of £2-3000 are clearly fiction. The local mobility centre has a close relative of the model I want for £1400. Second hand they are going for £4-600 on ebay. I have a new one for £625 complete with 12 month warranty. £20 extra gets me it delivered tomorrow morning.
|Tuesday, June 14th, 2005|
So a first post in an LJ account.
Feeling relieved after doing a simple recurring update on the main school database which for the first time ever seemed to go wrong. 20 minutes mild panicky fiddling and it is working OK.
Go collect my loved one soon, possibly go swim then home.
This is an odd sensation rather like talking to myself out loud. I'll send this now and watch it disappear into the aether. Current Mood: relieved