COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 10 Oct 2018, 03:06

As if they would gather data..... (If they have membership details and logs of activity they have it anyway don't they?)
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 11 Oct 2018, 15:35

Since buying the Samsung tablet it has tried a number of times to trick me into handing over my credit card details. For example, trying to install what I believe to be a free app it sometimes flags up a small window asking me to add the details. I found that tapping somewhere else on the screen gets rid of it. But I bet lots of people simply do as they're told. So far it hasn't got my card details! :cool4:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Big Kev » 11 Oct 2018, 21:16

Tizer wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 15:35
Since buying the Samsung tablet it has tried a number of times to trick me into handing over my credit card details. For example, trying to install what I believe to be a free app it sometimes flags up a small window asking me to add the details. I found that tapping somewhere else on the screen gets rid of it. But I bet lots of people simply do as they're told. So far it hasn't got my card details! :cool4:
It'll probably be the Google Play Store, it's always after a 'payment method' :biggrin2:

I have the Google Rewards app on my phone which used to give me credits to buy apps from the Play Store. I have a few 'bought apps which I do use but since I turned off the location services it doesn't send me any more surveys so no more credits.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 12 Oct 2018, 02:03

..... it's always after a 'payment method'
Isn't everybody? And no matter how careful you are (and I am very careful) you can still get caught out. Remember when I started to get the gambling charges and had to change the card?
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by plaques » 13 Oct 2018, 12:23

A combination of Agony and Ecstasy. Attracted by TalkTalk's offer of broadband between set values at a reasonable cost I thought I'd give it a try. Our house does not have fibre to the door and the fibre box is some distance away. The end result was a rather feeble 9Mb supply to the new router, which I may add has very good WiFi coverage. After several contacts with TalkTalk, the agony, an engineers visit was organized. A first class man who evidently knew what he was doing. Identified the problem as the single port NTE5 master box which was reducing the signal speed because of interference from the telephone extensions. After re-setting a couple of wires, fitting an additional front cover with two ports and a bit of black magic on his laptop and voilà 21MB. Ecstasy. Incidentally removing all telephone filters which were now redundant. Only one doubt remained 'who paid for the visit?' At this point TalkTalk came good and said it was at no cost to me. All's well that ends well but if you have a single port box you could struggle for a while.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 14 Oct 2018, 02:39

That was the problem I had P when I went onto fibre. Mine turned out to be a duff master socket that had deteriorated over the years. I finished up with 45mps, I must be nearer the end of the fibre and the exchange than you are. I'm on 38 down and 9 up at the moment.
PS. I went one further and disconnected all the telephone jack points except one in the kitchen. Never noticed any disadvantage.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 14 Oct 2018, 10:00

We have about 100 classical music CDs and still play them on an old-fashioned stereo system with two big black box speakers. I decided it would be sensible to copy the CDs to MP3 file format before they deteriorate and also so that we could play the files from our tablet through Bluetooth speakers and do away with the big stuff. After searching the Web for advice on CD rippers for Ubuntu I downloaded RipperX (free) from the Ubuntu Software Centre. Also Lame which is an encoding tool to convert the WAV files from RipperX to MP3 files. I'm very pleased with the results, the software is dead simple and easy to use after viewing this video: How to use RipperX On my CD drive it took less than 10 minutes to automatically download each 60-minute CD, encode it in MP3 and place the individual tracks in a named folder. You can also click a button for Compact Disc Database (CDDB), a database for software applications to look up audio CD information over the Internet. This will automatically add in the track titles for you.

The only glitch I encountered with my exercise was one that probably won't affect most people who will be handling pop rather than classical music. In some cases I have a CD with tracks having the same title - the software wrote the first instance but then skipped the next instance (it thought it had already done it), so I didn't get all the tracks. When I realised this was happening I ran that CD again but without using the CDDB function. The tracks were then simply named track 1, track 2 etc. Problem solved. But RipperX is very good and I'd recommend it to anyone using Ubuntu.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 16 Oct 2018, 03:54

As everything else seems to be going to pot, Canonical sends out upgrades regular as clockwork and they work. Thank you lads!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 16 Oct 2018, 08:30

While I was in the middle of ripping those CDs to MP3 files on my hard disk I made a mistake. I reached down to the PC (under the desk) and pressed the button to eject the CD - but I hit the PC restart button instead. Oh no, I'll have to start up and make all the settings again! But wait, that's what would have happened in the past but things have moved on and software writers are more helpful these days. Instead of the PC shutting down a window popped up and offered me options. All I had to do was press the escape button and all was back to normal. :cool4:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 17 Oct 2018, 02:25

I've had occasions like that as well Tiz. Ubuntu asks politely if I really want to do that! Nice.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 18 Oct 2018, 07:12

Updates are all very well but I have just had a nasty moment. I was sending some emails out which required attachments and the menu for doing this was missing from the header. Eventually after trying several options I shut down and reloaded everything. No different! So I started studying..... I got a new version of Thunderbird a couple of days ago and suddenly realised that the attach menu was there but they'd shifted it to the right hand side of the header so I was looking in the wrong place. I am sure there is a good reason for this and I will be OK next time but just for a moment it looked like a major problem!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 18 Oct 2018, 09:24

That fooled me for a moment too. They've also added a Spelling button to the message top bar which is helpful instead of having to go to the top of the main window and use the dropdown menu there.

Recently I posted on OG one of those malicious scam email messages from someone who warns me if I don't pay money into his bitcoin account he'll release a lot of bad things he knows about my `screen activity'. Fortunately I've got nothing to be worried about and I ignored it. Today I got a similar one which I was about to delete when I saw something that gave me a start - the writer told me one of my passwords. Now that did worry me because I immediately thought someone had got access to our computers and might get at our bank details etc. After the initial shock I calmed down and analysed the situation. The password is one that I used in the days before we needed very strong passwords. I'd used it for OGFB but then changed to a much stronger one, probably about a year ago. I'd also used it briefly on a couple of hobby forums many years ago. I suspect one of those old sites, now no longer active, has been hacked and the passwords stolen. The hackers then send out messages containing the passwords in a phishing scam. They'll make money by scaring people who have something to hide.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Wendyf » 18 Oct 2018, 10:59

Exactly the same happened to me a week or two ago, it made me update my password for two or three sites very quickly!

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 18 Oct 2018, 15:14

Yes, it taught me a lesson. I've always been very cautious on the Internet because in the early 1990s in a publishing company I worked in the next office to computer security journalists. I learned from them the dangers and took care but that was a long time ago and the dangers change. I would never normally use the same password on multiple sites but I broke my own rule when it got to the stage where we are forced to register for all sorts of minor things on web sites, perhaps only to use the sites once. So I used a couple of passwords a few times each on such sites. I doubt there was any security risk in that, I wasn't doing it on bank sites or putting in personal information on the sites. But I suspect some of these old minor sites have been breached, the email addresses and passwords harvested and then used in these malicious messages to try and blackmail people into paying money. Even though you've got nothing to hide it's a shock to see a password you recognise in a nasty message; and there must be plenty of people out there who have got something to hide and will pay up even if the sender doesn't really have anything on them.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 19 Oct 2018, 02:47

That would get my attention also..... Fingers crossed!!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 19 Oct 2018, 09:16

Two rather worrying instances -

I had a Skype conversation about a road traffic collision on my computer, but also duplicated on my phone. The next day I received a phone call to my mobile, from a (robotic sounding) female voice saying 'she wished to speak about the accident in which I was innocent'. Very few people know my mobile number - I think there must be a connection. The calling number was 020 0344 9434. It does not exist.

Today I got an email supposedly from a close relative . I was a bit suspicious - because she died last year. There is a natural curiosity to look further into it, but I resisted, and just deleted it.

I have been fairly free from this sort of thing, and find that to have to be constantly on your guard against such attacks is becoming tiresome.
Last edited by Tripps on 19 Oct 2018, 16:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 19 Oct 2018, 10:32

Unfortunately they seem to be getting more common and more sophisticated, but I suppose that's bound to happen, there's a lot of money to be made. The one I got yesterday claimed that he'd got my details off the Dark Net and it was written in good English, no typos or wrong spellings. I guess the mention of the Dark Net was to frighten the recipient because most of us will have heard of it. It was sent to our email domain but the name before the @ symbol was not what I use now, but the job title I used back when we had a business running. That email address was on our web site and widely available so it's not surprising it gets more scam and spam than our present email names. People might wonder why I still retain it but I'm stuck with keeping it active due to Nominet. I used it when I set up our domain many years ago and they insist on still using it for correspondence with me if necessary (e.g. if someone else tries to claim the domain). I tried changing it once but it stopped email coming through and I had a lot of trouble getting things back to normal so I now leave well enough alone. Otherwise I don't use the email name, only the domain with other names. You didn't really need to know all that, but once I get started.... :smile:

I suspect the problems Tripps mentions are down to coincidence. The scammers can send out many thousands of emails or phone messages with all sorts of combinations of names and topics. They only need to strike lucky a few times a week to make a lot of money. Probability and our gullibility are on their side. They don't need to know Tripps' phone number, they will have computers churning out phone numbers and you can be sure your own number will eventually be among them! :smile:

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 19 Oct 2018, 13:05

Tripps wrote:
19 Oct 2018, 09:16
To rather worrying instances -

I had a Skype conversation about a road traffic collision on my computer, but also duplicated on my phone. The next day I received a phone call to my mobile, from a (robotic sounding) female voice saying 'she wished to speak about the accident in which I was innocent'. Very few people know my mobile number - I think there must be a connection. The calling number was 020 0344 9434. It does not exist.
No way was that random! These smartphones are collecting data which is sold and used to send targetted follow ups. It's scary isn't it?

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 19 Oct 2018, 16:06

Why can't it be random and simply a coincidence that Tripps had had a conversation about an accident? My sister-in-law was on holiday and I got a text message from her saying she had a problem and needed help. I was on my way to collect Mrs Tiz who'd been away on a course and I was having problems with traffic. It worried me at first and I was imagining all sorts of problems and I was about to reply to the message. Then I calmed down, thought about it more carefully and checked the phone number - it wasn't hers and I'd been tricked simply because it had her name at the end of the message and fitted with the fact she was on holiday. No doubt if I'd replied then the next message would be asking me to send some money urgently....

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tripps » 19 Oct 2018, 17:10

Tizer wrote:
19 Oct 2018, 16:06
Why can't it be random and simply a coincidence
Of course it could be - however I have had many mobile phones over about twenty years and never ever had such a call or text message from someone unknown to me. If the called numbers were 'randomly generated' I surely would have. The range of issued numbers is easy to find.

I note too that Skype now 'helpfully' suggest a reply to anything that anyone writes to you. This seems to be a be a new feature of their predictive speech facility, which until now, I've found useful. They must be reading the words to suggest a suitable reply.

The jury is out, and as usual I will remain deeply suspicious.. . . :smile:
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 20 Oct 2018, 02:42

"to have to be constantly on your guard against such attacks is becoming tiresome."
I agree with you David, the modern equivalent of the door to door salesman or perhaps midges in the Scottish Summer. And of course it could be random!
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 20 Oct 2018, 09:26

If you've never had a call or text message from someone unknown to you, Tripps, then you're fortunate. One of the common scams that's been around for years is the text message seeking help (and then money) from someone whose first name is coincidentally that of someone you know. The senders rely on people being too distracted to notice it's not genuine. There are `mills' in foreign countries churning out such messages in vast numbers. Enough are successful to make it more than worthwhile for the senders.

I got a repeat of that scam email message today, exactly the same as before but the sender gives a different name. It's disturbing when they claim to have put a trojan virus on your computer and collected all your data, passwords, files, browsing history etc, especially when they quote a password that you've used in the past.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by chinatyke » 20 Oct 2018, 14:28

Tizer wrote:
19 Oct 2018, 16:06
Why can't it be random and simply a coincidence that Tripps had had a conversation about an accident?
Yes, it could be a coincidence. Sorry, I'm just paranoid about these Smart phones. One day maybe I'll trust them, but not yet. Mine even comes up with a description of the caller and these are not from numbers I've used before. Descriptions like Delivery Service, Scam (marked), Spam (marked), Estate Agent.

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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Stanley » 21 Oct 2018, 02:53

You do right to be suspicious China and I think the scammers are perhaps starting to concentrate more on them than land lines.
Grandson Harry has been working for an IT firm in his final year at uni. He hasn't done his exams yet but they have made him permanent full time. I reckon they are smart! H says they are a Ubuntu based firm and are busy at the moment getting all their systems on to V18.....
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Re: COMPUTERS, THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY

Post by Tizer » 21 Oct 2018, 09:27

Tripps wrote:
19 Oct 2018, 17:10
I note too that Skype now 'helpfully' suggest a reply to anything that anyone writes to you. This seems to be a be a new feature of their predictive speech facility, which until now, I've found useful. They must be reading the words to suggest a suitable reply.
A report on the radio said that the tech firms are rapidly developing automatic reply so that you can simply click or touch the one you deem most appropriate. The longer term objective of course is to have the gadget respond without your intervention because it will, after training, `know' how you would want to reply. Hmmm...

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