Time for an update I think

One thing I have been looking into a lot lately is all the scams going around these days. 

One thing that baffles me is that people actually fall for them, I get a lot of those email scams of various types every day since I have an email address used for signups to newsletters, etc..

The one that amuses me the most is the “Winnie Mandela”/“Nigerian prince” scam.

It goes something like this: “Winnie Mandela” or some “Nigerian prince” want to get millions of dollars out of Africa, and need needs your help to do so by sending the money to your account so you can send it to an account in Switzerland/Caymans/other tax haven asking few questions. 

Of course, to do this, they needs you to pay the fees for the transaction, this can be anything from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, something that of course have to be paid to them in advance, usually through western union or other payment service that is difficult to trace. 

There are many red flags with these scams, the biggest are that Winnie Mandela has been dead since 2018 and the closest Nigeria has been to having a royal family in the last 400+ years was when it was under British colonial rule.

another red flag is that nobody with that kind of money would trust some random person enough to expect getting the money back.
I see many of those scams every day, none are very believable, so how do people fall for this? 

It’s very simple, these people are preying on people that they believe are gullible enough to believe it either by greed, or the hope that it could possibly be true. 

It’s the same with all the dating scams, someone claim to be looking for a partner, usually targeting elderly women, and using their victims emotions to get her to send them money after they “got attacked”, “house burned down”, “visa cost” so he can come visit her… it’s all lies and part of the con to get as much money as possible out of their victims of course.

Another thing I have come across a lot lately are the random phone calls (like the amazon voicemail scam). 

It works like this: you get a phone call with some robot voice telling you that there is a refund waiting for you and to get the money you need to call the provided number. (Or press some number on a menu), this will connect you to a scammer that wants to connect to your computer before they ask you to access your internet banking before they black out your screen so you can’t see them stealing all your money.)

These scammers are often based in India, but will claim to either be in the states or Europe and have common english or American names. Some even claim to never having been to India when you ask if they are actually where they claim to be, or if they are in India. 

As anyone that knows Indian people or are from India knows, people from India tend to have a distinct accent. 

and it’s very rare to find an Indian person called “Joe black”, “John Thomas” or “Michelle Rochester” or other common English names. 

It baffles me how easy these scammers are able to con people in to giving them money. 

Below I have added some youtube channels I follow in regards to this problem.

Scammer Payback

Jim Browning

about time for an update.

It’s been a while since there was an update here.. (time, other things to do, etc…)
Decided to move back to Dublin a few years ago, got myself a new job, London just wasn’t for me.
I prefer Dublin any day. less crowds and nicer people.

This last year ++ have been a bit irritating with all the lockdown and all that stuff, but now the country is starting to open up again. pubs are doing outdoor serving and soon indoor will open up too.
Markets are finally back open too so it’s possible to get good quality produce and the really good market food.

Also opening up a new podcast, Røde have a competition where you can wind a lot of cool equipment, so signed up for that one. got a few short episodes ready to go there. who knows, I might win myself some new microphones, etc…

Plants in the linvingroom

I’ve been trying to grow some herbs lately, but have run into some environmental issues I think. plants
planting the seeds was no problem.
(The pink pot and the small to the right are Coriander, the blue is basil, the film is to create the “green house effect” to encourage sprouting).
after they started sprouting (2-3 days for the basil and 4-5 days for the coriander) I removed the cling film.
now, that’s when the odd stuff started happening.
The basil plants grew to about 3cm in 3-4 days, then they stopped growing completely. After a week, they are still the same height.
the coriander is even more strange, it started growing straight up like there was no tomorrow.
Instead of growing more leaves as it gets slowly bigger after sprouting like it’s supposed to it kept the 2 leaves and grew to about 10-15cm in about 3 days before slowing down. 
The stem is very thin, so it’s a bit wobbly, but since the seeds are dug deep and the roots probably goes down a bit, I doubt they will tip over any time soon.
The coriander in the pink pot have just started sprouting, so the cover stays on a little longer.

IP Expo Europe 2016

And it’s started.
This morning at 9.30.am, IP Expo Europe 2016 opened at the ExCeL in London.

when I arrived the halls were already filling up with knowledge hungry people from all sections of the technology world, looking to see what’s new in the world of Cyber Security.

I have to say, the amount of exhibitors was crazy, there were stands everywhere, some bigger than others, and some extremely big. (some of the big ones didn’t seem to have spent too much time planning what to do with all the space though), it was often not used at all, or filled with things that had nothing to do with promoting their company or products (or getting attention)..
The small stands were in general very good at using their space (and the floor around them).
One for a small company had a free bar on most of the stand itself, and was using the floor around to talk to people and promote their company and products.
They succeeded where so many big companies failed. their stand was small, but it got a lot more attention than the huge stand for a large company 5 meters away.

Another thing about these expos is of cause the goodie bags:)
some are very good, and some are bad. and some stands don’t have any at all.  (you can only get so many pens before you have a life long supply).
got a hold of some nice looking USB sticks I’m keeping. (might see if I can get some more of those tomorrow. 16GB USB sticks are always good to have around.)

The expo is for 2 days, so tomorrow it’s back for a few hours to catch some keynotes.


what do you do in London when you are unemployed?

I’m sitting in Little Venice in London, enjoying the nice warm weather, (cloudy, but nice and warm). watching the house boats pass by on the canal while searching for something to do.
I was hoping it would be easier to get a job in London, but apparently not.
many companies have unrealistic requirements or offer salaries that are so low the position will never be filled. (what graduates have CCNP, MCITP and other high certifications + 5-10 years experience and would accept a salary of £25k? )
one thing is for sure, some companies are extremely optimistic.
another thing that I see is funny is that they want degrees, any degree, no matter what it’s in..
makes me laugh when I see an ad asking for unrealistic requirements in addition to a degree of any sort, paying a salary that is so low that nobody with those requirements would even think about it.

after having lived in London for a few weeks, I have come to like the place, its a nice city.
we live at the collective, old oak now. a nice place, very social and always something happening, (worth checking if you are a young entrepreneur or young professional looking for a place to live that is social and interesting. https://www.thecollective.co.uk/coliving/old-oak
it’s not in the city centre, but still close, the bakerloo line stops 2 minutes walk away, the central line is 10 minutes walk away, there is a village there with loads of stores of various sizes from the little shop on the corner to tesco.

Summer in London.

I’m sitting at the British museum enjoying some cool AC.
outside it’s 29 degrees today. and as London tend to be very humid, it’s quite hot being outside all day.

I’m currently trying to find something to do, but so far not much luck.
my downtime is used studying now, trying to get skilled up on web development, (full stack), I see a lot of companies looking for web developers, and offering descent salaries.
web development is also something that’s challenging  and interesting.

I did a few of those “jack the ripper walks” last week,  one was with author Russell Edwards.  His book is about how they managed to match the DNA found on a shawl found with one of the victims with her descendants and with the descendants of one of the suspects. (Aron Kosminski).
The tour was very good, he is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, and his tour is highly recommended.  the website for his tour is http://www.thejacktheripperexperience.co.uk/


Bank account.

so, getting a UK bank account isnt as easy as you might think..

step 1: get an appointment for an interview.
step 2: make sure you have all the papers they want. (they have some weird requirements..)
step 3: go to the interview and hope they one interviewing you likes you.

so. I went to the bank today with my papers to open my bank account.  I had the papers that made sense: valid ID, proof of my address. (brought my lease and a letter from my landlord proving where I live.)
when they asked what I brought, they gave me the weirdest answer ever.. aparently a housing contract and a letter from the landlord isnt enough to prove where you live..
they want one of the following:
council tax bill
utility bill from the last3 months, and a BANK STATEMENT proving your address..
doesnt take much to see that it’s a bit hard to get a bank statement when you are trying to open a bloody bank account… (a bit of a poorly thought-through catch-22 there…)

think the banks here need to review their requirements to open a bank account..

The British Museum.

We have recently moved to London, and as any other history buff, I have now signed up as a member at The British Museum.
This gives me free access to all exhibits,  access to the members only area and other perks. (like discounts).
At the members area there is also fast Wi-Fi, a nice cafeteria that has good coffee:)
I got a feeling I’ll be spending some time here:)

Dell goes for Norwegian fingerprint technology! 

Dell have agreed to purchase fingerprint technology from the Norwegian company NEXT Biometrics Group .
this means huge business for this company and getting a partner as big as Dell is great for the company’s publicity and shows that their technology is the best out there. Dell are not known for making compromises when it gets to quality. So time will tell how many Dell products will come with this type of fingerprint sensor.
here’s the press release from Next and here is the release to the stock exchange

DRAC 5 certificate expired..

I was going to power on the server remotely to do some work today and noticed that the web gui wouldn’t work. (Chrome said “server error” and claimed the certificate had expired about 4 years ago  (this explains why the browser has been refusing to load the web gui every now and then for the last year or so)).
There are several ways to solve this.

One solution is to power off the server, pull the power for a few seconds to reset to drac, another is to ssh to it and type racadm reset (which reboots the drac), to reload the certificate.
it took some digging, but eventually I found an article dealing with this problem on a more permanent basis. (rebooting the DRAC or powering off the server is not always very practical.)
1. SSH to the DRAC.
2. run the following command: “racadm sslresetcfg” to create a new SSL certificate.
And voila! my certificate is valid till 2030:)
problem solved for the next 26 years.

Gaming, IT, Tech and whatever else interesting.