Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm never going to win the lottery...

Don't get me wrong. I never really expected to win because I only buy one ticket for each of the Saturday and Wednesday draws so my odds of winning are not very high. In fact I look on it as more of a charitable donation. It does allow me one thing though - hope.

Hope that against all odds, my numbers come up and I'll suddenly be rich!

I buy my tickets online since I hate standing in queues and there isn't a shop selling the tickets within three miles. Usually I pay in £10 and that covers me for the next five weeks. (As you can see, I'm not exactly addicted to gambling) The trouble is that every now and then I forget to buy my tickets (despite the reminder the lottery sends me).

Eleven weeks ago I forgot and missed a Saturday draw. Three numbers came up and I missed out on £10. Oh well that's unfortunate but I wouldn't miss it. Five weeks later I forgot again and last Saturday, didn't have a ticket. Four of my numbers came up.

Ahgggh! That not won £87 would have paid for almost a years worth of new tickets! I've had three number £10 wins before (not very often) but never a four number win.

I bought a fresh 5 week supply and yesterday - as usual not a single number. I guess fate is telling me I'm never going to get those six numbers.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If I were 'Jaydax Almighty' I would... laptop manufacturers who continue to design laptops that can't easily be used on your lap! Your personal laptop would redesign itself so that everything, keyboard, sockets and screen was all on the front edge of the laptop.
Let me give you a hint guys - buttons, optical drives and headphone sockets should NEVER be placed on the front edge of a laptop because they cause problems when it is used on your lap or - heaven forbid - in bed.
My Dell Inspiron 1720 is an example. If it's used on raised knees (in bed) then the front edge presses into you and several buttons are pressed which plays havoc with the sound system and for some reason stops some of the keyboard from working. The buttons Dell tells me are positioned there so I can play sound files with the laptop lid closed. Hey guys, if I want to listen to music I use an mp3 player or my mobile phone. I don't lug a laptop around!
HP Pavillion laptops have headphone sockets on the front edge which mean a jack plug sticks into you and which can give you a mild stinging shock if they touch bare skin.
Front opening optical drives? You have to move the laptop before you can change a disk. While I'm on the subject of computer design i WOULD CONSIGN TO AN ASSYLUM THE IDIOT WHO FIRST PUT 'cAPS lOCK' NEXT TO 'sHIFT'

...Spray paint silver those who design paint on laptop palmrests. Don't worry about the paint on you guys - it will wear off just as it does when you use a laptop enough. It wears away even faster if you use a mouse on the palmrest. On my Dell the plastic under the paint is grey so it just looks scruffy when the silver paint covering it wears away but my HP has black plastic under it's silver paint scheme and looks awful after just a year's heavy use.

...give a permanent thirst and only £1.00 to soft drink manufacturers who think its OK to charge £1.65 ($2.67) for a bottle of Coca-Cola! You must be kidding. I stop buying the stuff at my local supermarket when its price goes above £1.00 per 2 litre bottle and that price I consider too high considering I can buy 'Cola' for less than 40p. How about a 1 litre bottle of water for 90p ($1.46)? I have a tap at home and water from it which has stood in the fridge overnight tastes just as good.

...fill the cars of people who litter roads with 100 times the amount of rubbish they dump. I live in the country on a main road which passes through a beautiful area of Northumberland. Each day I clean up rubbish thrown out of cars. Plastic bottles, fast food wrappers, beer cans, newspapers, plastic bags, used nappies (diapers) and cigarette packets all get dumped outside my house. Oh how 'Jaydax Almighty' would enjoy watching them try to dump their rubbish a second time.

...consign those who shrink wrap their products to an environment where everything was shrink wrapped and there wasn't a sharp object or fingernail in sight. I'm sick of plastic wrapping around DVDs. The stuff you spend ten minutes trying to get into. There already is a better alternative to preventing people removing the disks, those red tabs which are removed at the checkout.

... at night I would enter the houses of supermarket managers and move everything in the house to a different location while they slept in revenge for them moving everything in the stores to a new location. I know why they do it - it's so that you have to look for it and hopefully you will see something else to buy as you do so ...but it's SO annoying! Lets see how they would like hunting for their car keys relocated to the bottom of the freezer, a shoe in the oven, the alarm clock in the garage and all their clothes in the front porch.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Advice to spammers and scammers

No - I'm not going to tell you to see if you can head butt a 5 ton truck travelling at 70mph; (well you can if you want); this blog is about spams and scams which won't work on me!

  1. - I turn on the 'To' field in my e-mail program so that I can see who the e-mail is being sent to. I won't read or even bother looking at the subject of any e-mail which:

    • does not have a completed 'to' field
    • is apparently sent from my e-mail address to me
    • is sent to an e-mail address I do not recognise
    • is sent to any of my 'spam trap' e-mail addresses (for information dummy they are all anagrams of 'you are a fool' e.g. louafeaoroy@...)
    • is sent to 'undisclosed recipients'

  2. I examine the 'From' field and don't bother with:
    • any e-mail with a blank 'from' field
    • from anyone with an e-mail address with a random combination of letters e.g. I will accept as possibly genuine david4387@... but not jwp5tzphw@...
    • anyone with pharmacy, casino or a drug name or company in the e-mail address

  3. After all of the above are automatically permanently deleted by my e-mail filters they then examine the subject field:
    • No subject - deleted unless the sender is on my contact list
    • If the subject is 'Hi', 'Hello', 'Urgent', 'ATTENTION!' or any other meaningless phrase - deleted unless the sender is in my contact list.
    • I get offended by swearwords and vulgarity so my filters will permanently delete any e-mails which contain either. I will never see them
    • there are keywords my filters look for. If these are found in a subject then the e-mail is permanently deleted unless the sender is in my contact list. I will never see e-mails about fake watches, drugs, dieting, banks I don't belong to, parcel services I don't use, lotteries, corporate offers or anything mentioning 'girlfriend', 'sweetheart', 'her', 'super' etc.
    • If your spam refers to any body part in any way I won't ever see it unless you are on my contact list.

  4. I will look at the subjects of what is left:

    • if it's not in my language - I delete it
    • if the subject contains words which contain spaces - V I A G R A or numbers/symbols replacing letters - Cia1;s then you know I don't want to receive it so why bother sending it?
    • I will NEVER follow a link in an e-mail from a bank
    • While the tax authorities may owe me money I know they never contact people by e-mail to tell them about it. Neither do they e-mail messages to say you owe money, and they certainly don't have a domain such as
    • Only a fool would buy a watch from a spammer without being able to see it - it's merely a good way to receive nothing and lose your credit card details - so I won't read it.
    • The same is true for drugs or anything taken by mouth
    • No matter how embarrassed a person is they would have to be a complete moron to trust any part of their anatomy to a surgeon promoted by spam. Good candidates for Darwin awards.
    • Someone I don't know sends me details of a stock which is going to make my fortune? Yeah. Right - of course I believe it and will invest heavily
    • Someone offers me a job working for 'just a few hours each day' - bin it
    • Is there really anyone left on Internet who will fall for the Nigerian style money transfer scam? No I'm not going to give any stranger, no matter what he/she promises, my bank details and then wire funds which haven't cleared anywhere.
    • Begging letters? No - I'm too mean to respond to genuine ones and too wise to fall for the sob stories
    • Online casino promoted by spam? Of course I believe they will pay out and not steal my credit card details if I'm daft enough to bet any of my own money - deleted!

  5. Now what about the rest?
    • If a subject seems genuine my e-mail filters will still scan the content and delete any which contain content which had it appeared in the subject line, would have been deleted
    • If something seems too good to be true I naturally suspect it isn't and delete it
    • If the content is a graphic attachment only - deleted
    • If the content contains a 'nasty' - My anti-malware program will get rid of it
    • If the content contains lots of downloadable graphics, my e-mail program won't download them - and neither will I

  6. I will open the rest of my e-mail BUT if I find a content unrelated to the subject I will:
    • add the sender to spam blacklists
    • complain to the ISP of the sender about spam and I will use the IP address of the sender, not the forged e-mail address. If that means complaining about someone who has unwittingly become part of a botnet - tough. Tearn to protect your computer with anti-malware software and stop inflicting pain on the rest of us.
    • add the domain of any web host who fails to respond to my complaint about spam to blacklists
    • complain to the web host of any URL promoted about the site being promoted by spam

    • If you use a spambot to search my website for e-mail addresses it will find LOADS of totally useless e-mail addresses, links to spam blacklists and a very useful link to a site called WPOISON which will provide more useless dummy e-mail addresses to fill up your spam lists.

As you can see I have a thing about spam so my final bit of advise is:

Don't send it to me!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Maybe NPower does listen - eventually!

If you've followed this blog you might have seen my post 'NPower doesn't listen' in which I related the tale of how Npower had been sending me bills for someone else since April 2008. I had returned bills marked 'Not known at this address' only to have them come straight back to me. I phoned them many times but still the bills kept coming.

Things came to a head when I got 'Disconnection Notices' which threatened to break in, disconnect me for a bill I didn't own and then lock me out of my own house by replacing the locks making me travel 60 miles and pay £150 to collect keys.

More phone calls, letters and complaints to NPower's Retail CEO had no effect. The bills kept coming and when I accidentally opened one in June 2009 I found they had risen to £1,476.86.

When NPower reduced my monthly direct debit payments, despite my objections, causing me to go £400 in debit on my real electricity account that was enough for me and I switched electricity suppliers to EDF and wrote a note to NPower explaining my reasons for doing so.

Finally, too late for them, Npower got their act in gear and wrote to me apologising and telling me they had finally corrected the address of the unfortunate individual with the £1,476.86 bill and I would no longer be sent his letters. As compensation for my trouble, today a £100.00 cheque arrived! They also knocked £100 off the final bill I got (Now £600).

Now I wonder how they plan to treat the other NPower customer - the one who's had free electricity for 18 months and now finds himself with a huge bill?