COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 01 Jan 2018, 06:41

My attention was caught yesterday by the emergence of a new app for mobile phones. I forget the name, but basically if you upload your CV to them they will tell you what wage you should be commanding..... It struck me that this is nothing less than a naked attempt to gather personal data which will inevitably be used as currency by the users of Big Data. Could anyone be so thick that they don't realise this? Answers on the back of a postage stamp....
What a world we live in........
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 01 Jan 2018, 10:48

Stanley wrote:
01 Jan 2018, 06:41
Could anyone be so thick that they don't realise this? Answers on the back of a postage stamp....
I don't have a postage stamp to hand but here's my answer. `Yes'. But it's not only to do with intelligence - a lot of folk now don't seem to care about the security of their data and they'll give it to anyone at the drop of a hat.
----------------------------------------------------

I've managed to get Plusnet to respond after they'd said the half-speed of my broadband was my fault and therefore I had to pay the £65 engineer charge. They sent a copy of the BT correspondence and drew the following conclusions:
`A fault engineer has attended your premises, where they have carried out multiple tests and checks on your services. The engineer that attended has provided us with notes from this visit, they have informed us that the fault you were experiencing was being caused by your router. As you are outside of the minimum term contract under which the router was provided and because the router is also outside of it's warranty period then the router is now your equipment. Therefore, an engineer call-out charge is applicable as this fault has occurred within your curtilage to equipment that you are responsible for, this charge has been added onto your account where it will appear on your next bill.'

I'm drawing this to a close and will regard the £65 as the price I've had to pay for the new router. Once my contract with Plusnet runs out I'll have a look to see if there are any small ISPs with better customer service. Sadly, the ones I knew of in the past have all been bought up by the big companies. Like supermarkets, ISPs are an oligopoly.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Jan 2018, 11:49

From experience, they are all the same, don't expect any better anywhere else. They are fair weather friends. Quite happy if they are taking your money, they don't care if there is actually a service there or not. With me, calling the ISP is the last thing on the list. I keep spares of all the bits and know the hoops to jump through beforehand.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 01 Jan 2018, 12:29

Pluggy wrote:
01 Jan 2018, 11:49
With me calling the ISP the the last thing on the list. I keep spares of all the bits and know the hoops to junp through beforehand.
Ditto.. :extrawink:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Pluggy » 01 Jan 2018, 12:34

Years of bitter experience, eh, Ian ? :biggrin2:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 01 Jan 2018, 13:17

My experience with Plusnet was quite different earlier this year. I rang to ask advice on fitting a 'range extender' and for a recommendation. The advisor said that it was possible my current router was not up to spec, and since I had had it a long time and was under contract with them for most of the next year - I could have a replacement - free of charge. This arrived the next day, but 'range wise' it was exactly the same as the existing one.

I put the old one back in place, and established the new one at the other end of the house. I can now use either, but not at the same time. Almost needless to say - after the initial excitement, I haven't actually used it since. :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Big Kev » 01 Jan 2018, 13:46

Sky provided a range extender FOC, it has proved useful and my desktop in the loft room makes use of the RJ45 socket that's in it.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 02 Jan 2018, 04:11

Hard luck Tiz but I know the feeling and understand why you have written it off. You get to the stage where the return isn't paying for the investment. "Fair weather friends"..... Quite! That's why I never poke my finger into the hornet's nest unless there is an unavoidable reason. If something is working I leave it alone, makes for a quieter life!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 04 Jan 2018, 06:38

See THIS for the latest security scare. It appears that certain chips are vulnerable.... Ubuntu users got a large update this morning that seemed to be connected to the OS but it was hard to tell. Should we be worried about it?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 04 Jan 2018, 10:35

I doubt that any of us are going to be affected directly with our PCs and gadgets but it should worry businesses that keep large databases of our information. They're a more likely target for troublemakers. The chip companies and security firms admit to having known about it for some time. Intel is coming in for a lot of flak. Linus Torvalds (Mr Linux) has said "I think somebody inside of Intel needs to really take a long hard look at their CPUs, and actually admit that they have issues instead of writing PR blurbs that say that everything works as designed." Here's The Register's take on it:
`We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare' LINK

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 05 Jan 2018, 04:42

Thanks for that Tiz. I shall keep taking the updates!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 05 Jan 2018, 11:26

The one aspect that puzzles me about this security problem is whether it will be corrected in our usual operating system updates. The reports seem to be saying it's a fault in the chip, i.e. the hardware not the software. Does that mean hardware will have to be changed? I saw a news story saying that companies are being told to replace their hardware to avoid the security problem. Perhaps our computer savvy members can advice us? :smile:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 05 Jan 2018, 13:44

It has been reported recently that Intel and now Apple IOS hardware have inherent problems that could lead to a security vulnerability. For a home or normal user I assume it will depend on how paranoid you are. Problem is a lot of the "high end stuff" shall we say that is used by large data users is using the same technology to some degree so there is the potential of lots of back doors. There will always be a weak link which is what the scammers and hackers prey on.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 06 Jan 2018, 04:38

All we can do is trust our updates and keep downloading them as soon as they are available. What I have read is that the most vulnerable systems are the ones using older software that isn't updated as often as it should be so old government systems using out of date Windows that would be too expensive to change! People like us who update and take an interest are probably as safe as anyone..... (Just downloaded 46mb of Firefox......)
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by PanBiker » 06 Jan 2018, 09:54

Stanley wrote:
06 Jan 2018, 04:38
People like us who update and take an interest are probably as safe as anyone..... (Just downloaded 46mb of Firefox......)
Mine updated itself yesterday.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 07 Jan 2018, 04:21

I got an insight into the murky world of stolen data yesterday didn't I! How the hell anyone got hold of my card number beats me but when they did they set up a daily request for £61.81 from my credit card. I know that at least six got through the system..... As I have said so often, it's a dangerous world out there!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 07 Jan 2018, 10:50

Was it the boss of GCHQ who recently said that everyone of us will by now have our personal details widely distributed on the Web? The fact is, it's easy for our credit card details to get stolen, even for those of us who take care where we use them - every time you make a card transaction you are relying on other people to keep your details secure in their systems and for their employees to be honest. The banks don't want us to realise this and so they never admit that's how it is. Just as they prefer people to think they keep our money in a big safe vault when the truth is `our money' doesn't exist, it's just a promise that we'll be given x amount of money if we turn up with the right IOU. A lot of fraud and ID theft must go on in the banks themselves but we never hear about that either. Any such incidents will be dealt with in confidence either by the banks alone or with the police if that's absolutely necessary. The banks seem to prefer to keep on refunding people's losses due to card fraud rather than taking more action to prevent it. I guess it's a cost benefit decision, it's cheaper for them to make refunds than to develop and implement greater security. That's analogous to the card companies abandoning second level verification because it tends to deter people from making payments and therefore from buying stuff.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 08 Jan 2018, 04:27

I suspect you are spot on Tiz. We all know this but make our own decisions about security levels.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 08 Jan 2018, 09:53

One of those calls this morning from a lady that sounded as though she was in the middle of an Indian market place surrounded by people who were placing their racing bets. She claimed to be from BT alerting to us a problem of numerous attacks on our router. All I had to do was open up this connection on my computer and follow the instructions and life will be a bowl of cherries again. Unfortunately for her Mr Bad Guy took over the phone but did finish with a 'Goodbye'.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 09 Jan 2018, 03:43

Think of the number who will fall for it P.....
I had a first this morning, my Ubuntu update asked me a question about how I wanted to use one of the elements in the upgrade. I didn't understand the question so used their option.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 09 Jan 2018, 10:40

Sometimes they ask because it's an update to a proprietary application of a company such as Adobe They need your permission to go ahead. They don't want Adobe chasing them with litigation.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 10 Jan 2018, 04:11

Thanks for that Tiz.....
I heard an interesting discussion on R4 yesterday about the effect of automatic trading on market levels. They are regarded as a factor in the rise and rise we are seeing. What happens when the indices that drive the algorithms move in a different direction?
Apple are warning their customers in China that on February 28th terms and conditions of use will change, particularly in terms of the I-Cloud as local administrations get access and more control of data.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 10 Jan 2018, 12:24

The government and brexiteers point to the stock market rises but of course those are really just a reflection of how well the traders are doing with their algorithms and all the trades pushed through in microseconds. The rest of us might ultimately benefit a bit through our pensions but the rises don't necessarily mean our companies are any more efficient or competitive. The stock market has always been a gambling den for traders but it's grown into a big casino.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 11 Jan 2018, 04:34

Big upgrades for Linux two days on the trot from Canonical.
I've hit a problem in Libre Office Writer, I have lost automatic spell check and none of the built in configuration routes works. Can anyone remember what the solution was last time it happened?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Big Kev » 11 Jan 2018, 08:32

Stanley wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 04:34
Big upgrades for Linux two days on the trot from Canonical.
I've hit a problem in Libre Office Writer, I have lost automatic spell check and none of the built in configuration routes works. Can anyone remember what the solution was last time it happened?
Open the 'Word' equivalent application in Libre Office and there should be an Automatic Spell Checking option in the 'Tools' drop down menu.
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