Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Why you have to keep an eye on web links

I received the following text recently: “We have identified an unusual login attempt on your online banking. Log in via the secure link to avoid account suspension – www.iamaspammer.com”
Oh no – someone’s got into my account.
Yeah, right. But had I followed the (secure?) link to the website given, I would undoubtedly have found someone HAD accessed my online banking.
This sort of text makes me equally sad and mad.
Mad because there are increasing numbers of low-lifers out there trying to tempt the unwary to give away, unwittingly, their personal details.
And sad because there is no doubt that a few of the squillions of people sent this text would have followed the link.
Not because they are plain stupid but because the link started with the name of my bank. The rest of the url was clearly not genuine.
So, another timely reminder to my reader to take care with texts or emails. If in any doubt, ignore the message and call your bank on a number that you trust and that you know is right.

It will cost £110 to kit yourself out in the new England football strip in readiness for the World Cup in Russia, which starts in June. That works at a fraction over £35 a match. Bargain.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Corrie and Madeleine - time to stop searching?

Suffolk police are closing their missing persons search for airman Corrie Mcleague.
Mr Mckeague, who was 23 and serving at RAF Honington, disappeared after a night out in Bury St Edmunds on September 24, 2016.
Yesterday police said it had "no realistic lines of inquiry left" and that it was handing over the investigation to the cold case team.
The force said an assessment of the evidence "still points to Corrie being transported from the 'horseshoe' area in a bin lorry and ultimately taken to the Milton landfill site".
But his mother, Nicola Urquhart, has claimed that evidence in the inquiry “was manipulated”.
She says she believes there was "inconsistency" over raw data on the weight of a bin load taken to landfill in the hours after he disappeared.
The search has cost police £2.4 million.
Meanwhile police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been granted more money to continue the search – almost 11 years after the then three-year old went missing in the Algarve.
More than £11 million has been spent on the Metropolitan Police inquiry, known as Operation Grange, but funding was due to run out at the end of the month.
Detectives investigating the disappearance said last year that a "critical line of inquiry" was still being pursued.
On the 10th anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance in May last year, police said some 40,000 documents had been reviewed and more than 600 individuals had been investigated.
I know the cases are completely different but part of me admires Nicola Urquhart’s tenacity and Gerry and Kate McCann’s unrelenting faith.
Who among us wouldn’t hold onto hope were we in a similar position.
But the other part of me says – let it go. Sure, the police, in both the UK and Portugal, are not perfect but I have faith that they would have tried all within their power to come up with answers.

Now for a tale of two security people.
A police officer who swapped places with a female hostage during an attack by an ISIS supporter on a supermarket in southern France died of his wounds after being shot.
Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 45, was shot in the neck after offering to take the place of a woman during a gunman's assault on the Super U supermarket in Trèbes.
Compare this with what happened in Florida last month.
Deputy Scot Peterson, who was the school resource officer, was on campus at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school when a gunman massacred 17 people.
He stood outside the building as it occurred and did not go in to engage the shooter. He resigned from the department after being told he would be suspended.
Good on you, Arnaud,. Shame on you, Scot.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Equal pay conundrum solution “dead easy”

My thoughts on the equal pay for equal work row embroiling the BBC (how DO you compare chalk with cheese?) last month elicited an interesting and comprehensive response.
My reader said the solution was “dead easy. You have job evaluation.”
He continued: “What is of higher value; requires more education, knowledge or experience; financial impact; and people management skills required. Are their skills extremely rare?”
He added that each evaluation system has to be 'folded' to any specifics of the industry e.g. it may not work for footballers nor Rap stars.
And he knows what he’s talking about having done this for more than 100,000 people in the multinational company he was an HR high-flyer with for 35 years.
“And it works” he says, “be they engineers, lawyers, finance, doctors, pilots, HR, marketers, ship captains, teachers, plant operators, Chief Executives etc.”
But how would he rank the BBC Person for China, USA and the Middle East?
“All three are important areas. China is big but just one country. The US is important AND has global influence.
“The Middle East is many countries almost impossible to understand and always a likely trouble spot if you lob in Israel and Iran. So ME grade 1, US grade 2, China grade 3.”
Simples, really. So what on earth are the top wallahs at the BBC doing?