An “open letter” to an unspecified party

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Yesterday, I felt the need to send the email below to a VirtualAcorn-list subscriber. I said (as quoted in the message) that I may publish this as an “open letter” to an unspecified party, and without any further comment but, in retrospect, I feel that some commentary would be appropriate – see after the quoted message. Continue reading

You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks

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But what about new dogs and old tricks?

A few days ago I saw a request for help on a usenet discussion group. The person was asking a question on behalf of someone else, who was using a free webmail service and wanted to be able to download emails from the webmail service to a directory on their computer. Continue reading

I think you want him, not me

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I received an email this afternoon that read (in summary) “Hi Geoff, can you play ‘Are You Sure’ by So? It doesn’t get played on the radio often enough.”

Out of curiosity, I looked the song up on YouTube and, ignoring the fact that my name isn’t Geoff, I played it. Continue reading

Ryanair: a website and telephone support FAIL

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This morning, I booked some flights with Ryanair on behalf of my parents, who don’t feel confident enough with computers and the internet to do this sort of thing themselves.

This is something I’ve done many, many times for them (and I’ve occasionally booked flights for myself with Ryanair, as well) so I’ve been using their website for donkey’s years. I’ve seen it change from time to time, and I’ve often cursed at it (and the company themselves) for making it so damned annoying, insisting that I say at the booking stage that I don’t want to add this, that, or the other – then having to do so again when dealing with the online check-in, and so on. Continue reading

Excellent parking!

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By parking this car where they have, the driver of this vehicle, who appeared to be visiting someone a couple of doors up, has cunningly avoided colliding with the car on the other side of the driveway they’re partially blocking – the car that is fully equipped with a cloaking device that makes it completely invisible to the human eye. Continue reading

Replies from the ICO about Sage and FindMyPast

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While talking about the junk email I’d received from Virgin Media, I mentioned my previous junk emails from Sage and from FindMyPast. These are instances where I’d decided to report the emails to the Information Commissioner’s Office – and while writing about Virgin Media, it occurred to me that I should probably write about the responses I had from the ICO. So, in the order in which they happened: Continue reading

Virgin Media joins the ranks of spammers

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As I’ve said before in a number of posts (such as this one about Sage and this one about FindMyPast), as a general rule if I have to give an email address to any kind of organisation or submit one on a website, it tends to be one unique to that company. If I’m submitting that address via a form (web or paper based), if there is a tick box that says (in effect) “I don’t want junk email” I almost always tick it. In those cases where I don’t tick such an option for whatever reason (or where there isn’t such an option to start with), I should always have the option of “unsubscribing” by clicking a link in the emails – an option which, sometimes, I have exercised. Continue reading

Apple still trying to be clever in response to their UK court order

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Everyone and their dog, as well as their dog’s fleas, must by now know of the many suits Apple has brought around the world against Samsung, in which there are accusations of patent infringement and similar.

One such case took place recently here in the UK, and it didn’t go Apple’s way. Without going into any great detail, a very brief summary of events is as follows:

On 9th July, 2012, the High Court of Justice ruled against Apple, finding that Galaxy Tab range didn’t infringe on Apple’s registered design, and this was upheld in the Court of Appeal on 18th October, 2012. Continue reading

Sage joins the ranks of spammers

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I have worked for pretty much my entire adult life in the field of accounts, and throughout that period I have almost always used, to varying degrees, a package from Sage.

This started in my first job, working for a firm of chartered accountants. Around 1990-ish, they had purchased a copy of Sage’s software. The intention was to use it to maintain the records for a client, and they asked me (as the resident computer geek) to learn to use the software so that I could train the person who would actually be using it, and provide oversight and support where necessary. Since then, I’ve used it at various clients and, in recent years, even for my own accounts. Continue reading

Sky One shows contempt for their viewers. Again.

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Back in May I had a little rant about Sky One ruining Stargate Universe with an annoying banner, advertising a bit of celebrity gossip that was anything but important enough to justify what they did. A banner that was irritatingly large and stupidly bright – especially considering it was set against the dark backdrop of the show, making it that much harder to mentally block out. (Not that this means if the banner itself was darker, that would be okay – it wouldn’t: it would be less annoying, but it would definitely still be annoying.)

Well, they’ve successfully done it again.

Continue reading