scribbles tagged ‘security’

the great wall of china

Monday, February 4th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Maybe they should reverse the polarity of the great wall of china.

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McAfee is a desktop BULLY!

Saturday, January 7th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

McAfee bullies its way onto my desktopMcAfee thinks that I need a shortcut on my desktop for quick access to it’s internet security software.

I disagree because I:

  1. can easily find McAfee with one-click from the desktop  from a system tray icon- the desktop shortcut is redundant
  2. NEVER need one-click quick access to McAfee – when it isn’t already open
  3. keep a clean desktop – it has no shortcuts or documents on it. I find this aesthetically pleasing and it doesn’t interfere with what I’m actually doing

But McAfee is not content to simply disagree with me, it proactively bullies me! – everytime I delete the desktop shortcut – it REPLACES it!!!!!   This is worse than merely ignoring my request – this is reversing my request, ignoring me with knobs on!

Luckily, I’m prepared to spend time playing around in software settings, so I set off to find the “Don’t automatically place a shortcut cut on the desktop” setting in the main program.  Guess what? There isn’t one!!!!!! It take a lot longer to find out that something doesn’t exist, then to find that it does, because it requires a complete, exhaustive, search. That makes me 700 exclaimation marks ANGRY!!!!!!!

Maybe I can suggest to McAfee that they change this poor user experience, or maybe they can tell me how to remove the pesky, unnecessary, irritating, shortcut. A trip to the McAfee website might help. What do you think?

I had to install “Citrix Gotoassist” before I could chat to my “representative”. If this software is an integral part of the McAfee service then it should be pre-installed with the application and available from within the application. This would reduce the number of technical hoops that the wendy has to jump through when she needs support. It would also reduce the time taken to get first-time support.

My representative told me that the design team are working on an improvement that will be included in the next automatic update. Excellent.

If McAfee had employed user experience experts to review their software they would never have made such a basic software design error in the first place.

My security software should be inobtrusive, it should be there and accessible. It should not be bullying me and requiring me to install extra components before answering my support questions. Generally a very poor show by McAfee


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8 bits of fabulous banter »

the control key

Thursday, May 26th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Time-off work to have a cold involves:

  • drink gallons of tea
  • sleeping
  • sneezing
  • working from home
  • making phone calls to co-ordinate town planners reviewing my pre-planning application for PV roof tiles
  • answering 3 urgent phone calls from “24/7 PC Care” about my infected PC -sounded like fraud
  • reporting potentially fraudulent phone calls to the local police

The potentially fraudulent phone calls were fascinating, I was trying to keep them on the line to find out about them  without revealing much about myself or my computer. It was tough. They quickly became irritated by my questions and in all 3 calls they got angry and hung up on me.

The calls went something like this:

Potential Fraudster: Hello, I’m from 24/7 PC care and I’m calling you because we’ve noticed that your computer has an infection

wendy: how did you find that out?

Potential Fraudster: Because you are a windows registered user

wendy: Oh, you have my registration details, so you know which version of Windows I’m using?

Potential Fraudster: No, we don’t have your registration details, but your computer shows as infected

wendy: how do you know my computer is infected

Potential Fraudster: if you turn your computer on and go to…

wendy: can you give me your company registration number and a call back phone number?

Fraudster: Yes, after we’ve finished mending your computer, see the key on the bottom left hand side of the keyboard marked c t r l That’s the control key


Be careful out there

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7 bits of fabulous banter »

internet like toothpaste – IT pro said so

Friday, October 30th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

IT Professional:   can you get the internet into your computer?

Wendy:   Into your computer?!!   please, can I blog that ?

IT Professional:   yeah sure,   it can be like getting toothpaste back into the tube

The IT professionals here have a wonderfully colourful way of describing the technology in non-technical terms.   Especially colourful if they have scottish accents which, strangely, most of them seem to have.

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emotionally vicious software

Saturday, October 17th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

Data execution preventionprograms are aborted

processes hang, are hung, then killed

and data is executed

I wonder whether anything is  slaughtered, murdered, guillotined, or assassinated by abbatoir processes. Maybe things are slowly drawn, quartered and impaled.

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9 bits of fabulous banter »


Saturday, May 9th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

BiometricsToday I have been using a very shiny laptop that hosts a fingerprint reader thingy for a secure logon.   This will be very secure


the US government doesn’t use one of their many, many copies of my fingerprints  to break into the laptop,


no-one lifts one of my fingerprints from the shiny laptop lid

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no expectation of privacy

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Expectation of privacyYou can use this US government website computer system for FREE!

To submit a request to travel to the US , an ESTA. Lovely. Then you’ll be photographed and fingerprinted on arrival and they might let you in. Lovely.

HahahahHAhaHAHAHahahahaha (the sound of manic laughing fading into the distance)

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Matching passwords logins and cards

Monday, March 3rd, 2008 | tags: ,  |

In order to get the benefit of online services I have to maintain, over 30 different usernames including cash cards, and regularly renew the associated 30 passwords or PINs. This amazing feat would challenge the most well-practiced mnemonics experts.

When I relocated to the UK I took-on 3 new cash-cards. The good news is that I managed to memorize the 3 seemingly random card PIN numbers. The bad news is that I forgot to memorize which number went with which card. Luckily this enabled me to cycle through 2 mistakes before getting the right PIN, gradually I’ve learned the card-PIN relationship.

Phew, pint of beer to celebrate methinks.

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stab city

Saturday, September 29th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

the bar staff,   2nd yr University of Limerick student, sold me Smithwicks beer  and told stories about how Limerick is known amongst the Irish as ‘Stab city’  illustrated with details of deaths amongst the people he’d met at a local the Boxing gym.

The stone buildings are grey suggesting a  gloominess to match the mood of the weather

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Tuesday, January 24th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |
I’m an Alien.
The Department of Homeland Security in Tukwilla wants to take my   fingerprints in  February for  the 3rd time.    
Do they think I change my fingerprints?  
Do they loose my fingerprints?   Should I get a receipt?  
From my Jan 2005 visit:Mrs.   House what was your name before you got married?”

ME:   “I’ve never married,   House has always been my name”

DHS: “oh,   I’m sorry”

ME:   “that’s ok,   I’m not”


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Suspicious Penguins

Thursday, April 28th, 2005 | tags:  |

The Denver Channel reports that even livestock are suspected of carrying potential terrorist equipment.

The Linux symbol gets a full scan at airport security!

Bemused Wendy

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