Pompey in the UEFA Cup

So Pompey have drawn Vitoria SC from Portugal in the UEFA Cup.
I could do with an away trip to sunny Portugal, just not so sure I could get away with it right now.
Oh well, I’m just glad that Pompey are in Europe for the first time in my life time that I can remember.
I shall just have to find out which non-terrestrial station will be broadcasting it and bemoan the fact that I don’t have a subscription for it.

The rest of the draw looks pretty good for British clubs too:

Portsmouth v Vitoria SC (Portugal)
Manchester City v AC Omonia (Cyprus)
Nancy (France) v Motherwell
Everton v Standard Liege (Belgium)
Litex Lovech (Bulgaria) v Aston Villa
Tottenham v Wisla Krakow (Poland)

Jogue acima o pompey, pompey jogam acima as they say in Portugal.

Lancaster Bomber over Bramley

I forgot to post these a few weeks back, but despite the delay and the fact the event is no longer relevant, I think a few of the images are still worthy of a post all on their own.

Trust me, the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck as this marvel of British Engineering flew over the house, and I mean right over the house.  

I can’t even remember which of the two nearby air shows it was, but it must have done 3 laps of the air field during a display and each time it’s turning point on it’s approach back was directly over my back yard.  The first time it came over I watched and listened in awe to the unmistakable sound of those engines, and then ran indoors to grab the first camera I could find in case it came back (for which I was rewarded).

Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber
Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber
Lancaster Bomber Lancaster Bomber

The last image is a final shot of the plane as it headed away from the air show back North, North-West.

I know it’s taken at long range on maximum zoom (both mechanical and digital), but what struck me about this picture was the exact angle away from me that the plane flew.  It was almost perfectly in a line with me. Every propeller and all of the tail is perfectly aligned.  Boy did I wish I had a high definition camera with me that day.

Anyway, like a said, just a short post because it was worth it. It doesn’t need many words to support it, the pictures are the post.

Pipex trashed by Tiscali : Avoid Pipex at all costs, it’ll save you in the long run

Graphic representation of a minute fraction of...

Image via Wikipedia

A few months back PIPEX changed my fixed IP address without warning. Ok, so I lost a few days in fault finding a few network issues when a few things stopped working because of the IP change. The fact that PIPEX changed my IP wasn’t so much an issue, it was the fact that they never told me about beforehand. For operational reasons, I understand that sometimes an IP has to change, it just can’t be helped. So I really wouldn’t have minded. But to be not told beforehand is just bad business practice and causes a lot of unnecessary work. But PIPEX’s ineptitude doesn’t end there.

Continue reading “Pipex trashed by Tiscali : Avoid Pipex at all costs, it’ll save you in the long run”

Where was everybody ? Abroad or in front of the Xbox?

{{fr|Schéma annoté d'un mors simple à anneaux.

Image via Wikipedia

It must have been the third week of the summer school holidays in most places around the UK.  My wife was still working and wasn’t due her vacation for a few more days, so I had to keep the kids entertained until we could all do something together.
As is always the case this time of the year, the subject of "what to do and where to go" was all over the national and local news.

But I am confused?

Two adults, two children, 9-10 hours of watching top class motor racing at one of Europe’s best racing courses (and I really do mean one of the top circuits in Europe!). Total cost? £24 (£20 if you had booked your tickets online). 

But the most confusing part, was that the place was virtually empty, and I mean really empty.  There were more family members of the drivers than actual visitors. I would even go as far as saying there were probably more circuit marshals than their were spectators.

Admittedly, the weather forecast for the day wasn’t too good, but it wasn’t that bad either. Yet again, perhaps people know just how crap the weather forecasts are in the UK because actually, the weather was horrendous. It was cold, windy and the rain came down like stair rods which played havoc with my back, but made for better racing rather than having just the one or two cars speeding off into the distance (as happens in F1).
We got to see drivers driving which sounds quite daft until you think about it.
There was also the small matter of the Olympics starting today, but I can’t believe for one minute that people would have preferred to have watch that on television in preference to a day out.

So where was this all happening?

Continue reading “Where was everybody ? Abroad or in front of the Xbox?”

Congratulations to China

Just a quick post because I’m away from home right now, but I couldn’t NOT say something about today’s opening ceremony for the Olympics. So while I’m laying here waiting for my meds to kick in so I can slip into my drug induced ‘haze’ which I call sleep, I decided to give my congratulations to China on an amazing opening 2008 Olympic Ceremony.

Just how the heck the UK is going to compete with something like that I don’t know. We’ll be “knackered” for starters if we try and base it on our ‘past’ history.  We’re probably responsible for 99.99% of all world cock-ups (colonisation, religious wars, slavery, corruption, etc etc)…  It should be fun seeing how we match up to what the Chinese did today.

It was fascinating to watch and even had all 3 of my kids glued to the TV for the whole even (which did surprise me).

Apparently China has “human rights” issues, and China has “a bucket load of other issues” according to a bunch of so called “perfect people” in some “perfect country”.  Well hello…  Who are we to preach to anyone with our track record? (And that stands for both the US and the UK).  Who are we to impose our beliefs, our social and moral judgements on a country that basically 99.99% of us know absolutely nothing about. We (both the US and the UK) are not perfect, we don’t live in a perfect world and hello, at least some people are at least open to change.

I hope that these games allow us to see China in a different light, a much better light than the media/governments would have us see.  The Chinese people are themselves are amazing and I wish them the best of luck with the Olympic games and hope it brings them the success that they deserve.  (To be honest, I have absolutely no knowledge what-so-ever of the Chinese Government on a personal level, only from some business dealings, so I base all my assumptions on the various Chinese people I have worked with or have come to know socially over the past few years).

$20 Billion is a lot of money I guess, and even I wonder if that money would have been better spent elsewhere, but then it is about more than just the money.  It’s about the hope and belief that it brings to a country (and to all those taking part). It’s about bringing the whole country together, which after the earthquake disaster has got to be a good thing. (Which won’t be of any comfort to the families of the 20,000 people still missing). But who knows, it might give them something to focus on, to help them move on.  It might also educate the ROTW that the Chinese are not so different to the rest of us and it might actually bring us all that little bit closer.

“One World, One Dream”

We can only hope so.

Paypal Phishing Spam with a twist…

This post was inspired by some work on one of my other sites but made me laugh so much it was worthy of being discussed here to.

We all get them, Paypal phishing emails that look like a mail from Paypal. When you click on them, they then take you to a site that looks like Paypal and when you enter your Paypal information, it gives you an error and redirects you back to the real Paypal site with you hopefully none the wiser… Except that you’ve now given the Phisher’s your Paypal details…

So before I go any further, never ever click on a link in an email that subsequently is going to ask you to log in.

1. You get en email from "Company ABC".
2. Open your browser of choice.
3. Navigate to "Company ABC’s" website.
4. Log in.
And you’re done.

If you get into the habit of doing this, you can never ever fall prey to a phishing email.   
 
I’ll say it once more just for effect, Never ever log in to a site that you have arrived from after clicking a link in an email.

Ok, warning out of the way, back to the main point for this post.
Earlier on today, I got a new format of Paypal phishing email.
The contents of which are quoted below:

Due to our recent database update we require that you confirm your PayPal account. The confirmation process takes 3-5 days.

So far, nothing new I thought…Here we go again and I look down for the usual phishing link, except I couldn’t see one, so I read on.

We have taken this measure to reduce the number of the unused PayPal accounts in our database.

To confirm your PayPal account you must make a deposit in the bank account of our PayPal agent in charge with account management. The deposit amount of  $ 50.00 USD will be uploaded into your PayPal account.

So hold up…They want me to deposit $50.00 USD into their account and then they will pay it back to me.
hmmm, I’m starting to see a slight flaw in their plan already…

The details needed for the deposit are:

Amount to deposit: $50.00 USD
PayPal agent name: <details deleted>
Bank name: <details deleted>
Bank address: <details deleted>
IBAN: <details deleted>
SWIFT/BIO: <details deleted>

For security reasons, I’ve deleted various details from above, but in this case, they were all valid and did point to an existing foreign bank account with a valid name.

So just how exactly do the phishers collect their money?
Either someone else has been scammed and the bank account details belong to someone who has had them stolen or, the details actually belong to the phisher.

Now I know these people can be stupid, but I can’t believe they would openly send out their own bank account details. Or are they that stupid? I’d like to think so, because that means by the time you read this, they are already hopefully locked up in some Gulag camp (now there is a clue as to where the bank account details were based which shouldn’t surprise most of you).

But even if they weren’t that stupid and the bank account belonged to some other poor soul who was totally unaware, surely there aren’t enough people in the world dumb enough to fall for this for them to get enough money before the account was shut down.
The account is also in a country where I don’t know what sort of relations the authorities in the west has.

Unfortunately, a great number of people do fall for these types of scams.It just beggars belief at the number of different methods that spammers and phishers will try in order to extort money from people.  What is more disheartening is that real people will fall for tricks like this.
So never ever click on a link from an email that subsequently wants you to log in.

For the techies out there: The email was sent using a compromised computer based in the US and the phishing website was being hosted on a Spanish server in Madrid. (They were probably distracted watching Spain at Euro 2008 or Nedal at Wimbledon).

MyBlogLog

I’m only just getting round to sorting out my old MyBlogLog account that I used to have on this blog.  I’ve been consolidating all my "Shinerweb" Social Networks and I’m afraid to say I nearly forgot about MyBlogLog .

One of the things you really need to check out on MyBlogLog is Connector.  I give up sometimes trying to work out where all my contacts on the various other social networks are.  I have multiple accounts on nearly all of the social networks, (which is why I’m currently setting up the "Shinerweb" Social Network for all the regulars I talk to).  I still need to keep my business contacts and business Social Networks, but I’ve built up quite a good number of new friends via my other accounts.  MyBlogLog’s Connector should be a good tool to keep track of them in one place.

One thing I hadn’t forgotten about was the take over of MyBlogLog by Yahoo a while back.  I needed to email support and I was dreading having to wait for some Yahoo tech with no knowledge of MyBlogLog, but nope, MyBlogLog support are still there working away.  It’s not often you get great response times with replies from real people with a working knowledge of the problem, (as opposed to those canned replies from automated scripts that annoy the heck out me). So hats off to support and especially Tilly. 

Keep up the great work, and keep rolling out those new features.

Happy St. Georges Day

The Flag of St GeorgeIt’s a sad fact that more people in England celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and even Bonfire Night than they do St Georges Day. 

I would also bet, most people don’t even know who St. George was and when speaking to someone the other day, they didn’t even know what a St. George Flag looked like.

So head on over to the St. Georges Day website and take part in their campaign!

So have a happy St. Georges Day…

God knows what we do to celebrate it though…
So I’m off for a cup of tea, some toasted crumpet and to watch a bit of Morris dancing.
Then I guess it’ll be Guinness and a curry tonight (or should it be a kebab).

Chris Miller: His story, his words…

A few weeks back now, I made a rather large error in a post I made concerning a guy called Chris Miller and the problems he had with the airline Emirates .

Having emailed Chris a few times, I asked his permission to re-post his account to which he kindly agreed.

"Please think about this before you comment on any story published on a newspaper/tv media site:
Firstly can I start by saying that yes I am the person at the centre of the story. We had a perfect right to ask the airline for compensation based on the whole experience which you can see below. You should realise that going to the media will of course have ended any outside chance we had to get any compensation from the airline so we only went to the media because the attitude of Emirates was so appalling that we wanted to publicise how truly bad they were as a warning to other families.

Continue reading “Chris Miller: His story, his words…”

Sad Money Grabbing Airline Company

An airline has apologised for wrongly telling a father a member of his family had died during a long-distance trip.

From: BBC News

Updated: 15th April 2008
This is a heavily edited version of the original post I made on the 6th April.
Usually, I don’t completely edit a post, but then usually I don’t write a post which completely slams someone when I’ve based the facts on something I read from one single source (in this case the BBC).

To be fair to the BBC, it was probably my interpretation of the article that was skewed in addition to the BBC not giving the ‘complete’ story.

Normally, this is just a personal blog full of "nothing" that no-one actually reads, it’s just somewhere I can "let go", where I don’t have to concentrate on as much as my commercial/business blogs.
Somehow I let my guard slip too far. I created this post in a few minutes and published it without due regard for the persons concerned.  The person mentioned below has since contacted me and given me the full story.  Now I know some of your will say, it’s still only his side of the story, but the fact is, I made a rash post without the full facts, and that was entirely wrong for that reason alone.
I will publish his full story (with his approval) and I’ll think you’ll agree that (1) I was entirely wrong in judging him the way I did and (2) the story as presented by the British media did not give the full picture.

So first and foremost, before I make the edits, I offer my sincere apologies to Chris Miller and for any further problems this may have caused.

Continue reading “Sad Money Grabbing Airline Company”