Showing posts with label security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label security. Show all posts

Monday, 2 July 2007

Virgin Media's Medium Mollification

In April, during the height of the, as yet unresolved, spat between Sky and Virgin Media, Virgin Media's Customer Service team offered me a discount on their M Broadband package. The Medium package offers a leased modem, internet security, and up to 2Mb with no download limits within reason.

I noticed that the subsequent invoices did not reflect the promotion price and telephoned Virgin Media on Friday! Customer Services informed me that the offer had been withdrawn as I did not qualify for the discount - this was offered to customers registering online!

Virgin Media had not advised me, in writing, of the change and, therefore, this was possibly unlawful! To which I aver. The Customer Service representative was most helpful and gave me a free phone number, to call, to discuss the matter, further, if I so wished. Cancellation was really the last resort and canceling Sky (Music and Movies Mixes), in May, had freed-up income.

After several abortive attempts, one in which I was unceremoniously 'cut-off', I finally spoke to someone in their customer complaints department and was offered a significant reduction for the next 12 months. This was backdated to April. Well done Virgin Media, lets hope things go from strength to strength following the proposed buyout from private equity group Carlyle.

Friday, 23 June 2006

Too Low For Zero

With the FIFA World Cup coverage now at saturation point! I'm inspired to impart the following football anecdote, which first appeared here.

In the summer of 1989 Dad, Uncle Allan, Mike and me watched Torquay United play Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium. We'd secured VIP tickets and therefore were able to park in the VIP car park.

The guest of honor, Sir Elton John (obese, bold, pallid and dressed in what can only be described as Parson's attire), arrived in his signature black Bentley! His driver was promptly told not to park in the private members area! His royal highness, Sir Elton John, stepped out of the car. But, security were nonplussed and reiterated, to the driver (whose protestations had incensed security), to move the car or it would be towed away!!!

Whilst this was going on, I took the opportunity to ask Sir Elton for an autograph? His driver informed me that Mr Elton wasn't signing today, before returning to argue with security! Nice. I couldn't resist telling Sir Elton that I was a Michael Jackson fan! And the car was driven away!

So, there you have it, unequivocal proof that Sir Elton John is an incorrigible diva! Can't wait to meet Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey one day!

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Power of 3

Sitting down at my Apple Computer (not just any computer per se) I was delighted to receive the following juice from SCEE Press Office:

PLAYSTATION®3 Launches Worldwide in Early November 2006

Tokyo, March 15, 2006 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that it would launch PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3) in early November 2006 in Japan, North America and Europe simultaneously. With a monthly production capacity of one million units, SCEI will push forward a powerful product launch to spread the platform rapidly throughout the world, together with a strong and attractive lineup of PS3 game titles.

PS3 incorporates the final specifications of BD (Blu-ray Disc), and with the overwhelming computing power of PS3, it enables to playback BD software at a high bit rate. With a maximum storage capacity of 50 GB (dual layer) and robust security, BD is a highly anticipated storage medium that delivers digital entertainment content such as games and movies at an unparalleled level of image quality.

PS3 is compatible with a vast lineup of television sets currently out in the market, from standard-definition TV to full high-definition TV.

Users can also connect PS3 to high-speed broadband network through Gigabit Ethernet and comfortably enjoy a wide-range of rich and exciting content and services over the network.

SCEI, together with the support and cooperation of game content creators around the world, will strongly promote the creation of a new world of computer entertainment available on PS3.

PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) Continues to Evolve Expanding the World of Portable Entertainment With New Peripherals, Features and Services

Base Model to Become Available in North America and Europe
Tokyo, March 15, 2006 – Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) announced today that it will continue to further expand the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) platform with new attractive accessories, features and services responding to active demand throughout the world.

Since its launch in Japan in December 2004, North America in March 2005, and in Europe in September, 2005, PSP® has already shipped more than 15 million units worldwide establishing its position as a new handheld entertainment platform around the world. With its overwhelming power, unparalleled in handheld systems, PSP® has gained huge support from a broad range of users.

To accelerate further penetration throughout the world, a new Base Model in black color will become available in Europe from March 22, 2006, and 199 Euro/199US$ respectively in North America end of March 2006. SCEI will also introduce Ceramic White for the base model of PSP® (PSP-1000 CW) at a recommended retail price of 19,800 yen excluding tax (20,790 yen including tax) for the Japanese market.

On the software side, a series of new PSP®Game are expected to be released from third party developers, publishers and SCE Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS) * around the world. Highly anticipated titles are such as DragonBall Z: Shin, Budokai (BANDAI CO.,LTD), LocoRoco (SCE WWS) and MIN-NA NO CHIZU (ZENRIN CO., LTD) in Japan, Field Commander (Sony Online Entertainment), Godfather (Electronic Arts) and Syphon Filter (SCEA) in North America, and Football Manager Handheld (Sega Europe) and Lemmings(SCEE) in Europe.

Since its launch, PSP® platform has evolved continuously with system software updates* adding new and attractive features such as internet browsing, playback and storing of high quality video. SCEI will further continue to update the system software and expand the world of entertainment with PSP®. As a next step, SCEI will newly add Macromedia® Flash® player and extend RSS Channel function which enable users to playback and save internet radio content and entertainment movies.

As part of SCEI’s passion to spread the entertainment world of PSP®. it has been introducing “PlayStation® Spot” * in Japan since February 2006. SCEI has now more than 150 locations at train stations, complex café and games shops where PSP® users can easily enjoy various content such as trial game software for free of charge. SCEI will further extend its location base so that more PSP® users could have easier access to the “PlayStation® Spot”.

For expanding the potential capability of PSP® hardware, new camera (PSP-300) and GPS receiver (PSP-290) will be introduced from this autumn. By adding these new attractive peripherals, new features such as motion tracking technology of Eye Toy™, developing the new game titles by utilizing the video chat function, portable navigating system with GPS function are highly expected.

SCEI will also start a new download service offering selected popular PlayStation® format tittles from the past. By reviving software assets, users will be able to enjoy exiting PlayStation® titles anytime, anywhere on PSP®.

SCEI aims to expand the world of entertainment with game, music and movies in the mobile entertainment arena by offering new peripherals and the continuous system software upgrades for the additional features on PSP®. With PlayStation, PlayStation®2 and PSP®, SCEI will create and develop a new world of computer entertainment through the fusion of game, music, movies and broadcasting.

*) Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios *) For details regarding the system software update of PSP, please refer to our official website ( *) Area (spot) in which multiple PSP users can enjoy trial version data such as game demo at the same time, using wireless LAN.

Product Information Japan Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 CW Color Ceramic White Recommended Retail Price 19,800 Yen Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

US Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 Color Black Recommended Retail Price 199 US Dollars Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

Europe Models: Product Name PSP®(PlayStation®Portable) Product Code PSP-1000 Color Black Recommended Retail Price 199 Euros Included PSP™ hardware AC adaptor (for PSP™) Battery pack (for PSP™)

Thursday, 23 February 2006

Scare Tactics

The Mac OS X security scare season is upon us again! However, there are some basic built-in measures, which every Mac User should have enabled, that should make life difficult for those Cylon computer viruses.

Built-in Firewall
The Firewall (accessed from the Sharing Pane in System Preferences) is disabled (by default). Switch it on and, whilst you're there, click on Advanced and select these boxes:

•Block UDP Traffic
•Enable Firewall Login
•Enable Stealth Mode

Go to the Security Pane and select these boxes:

•Disable automatic login
•Require password to unlock each secure system preference
•Use secure virtual memory

Go to Prefences, General and deselect this box:

•Open "safe" files after downloading

There, that was easy wasn't it? Now, spend sometime reading Corsaire White Papers.

Please note that the above configuration (using Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger) is only a suggestion. I take every care in the preparation of this web site. However, it is for information purposes only. I accept no liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of acting on or refraining to act on information or other material within this site. You should always seek professional advice on the facts of your particular matter.

Tuesday, 20 September 2005

Back to the future without an Atari Paddle

Crumbs Chris Cringle! Autumn is in the air and holiday consumables are creeping into stores near you! Here's a fine product that may not see release until November 2006. Nintendo's Revolution console.

The Revolution's remote controller - Nunchuk - may ordain a seismic change in the gaming interface experience tantamount to the advent of Macintosh and mouse (1984). I sincerely hope that Apple's industrial design team is earning royalties from both Nintendo and Microsoft for all this gorgeous imitation 'ice' kit.

Opera 8.x is now free and its file transfer and security capabilities are worth your while! With Safari, Firefox and Opera available at no cost to consumers, I can't see any justification for buying and/or using OmniWeb!

Odeo and FeedBurner are now offering widgets du jour. Grab 'em while they're still hot and delicious.

The promised Lost S1 DVD review is behind schedule - I've only reached disc 3 (and watched all the extras). The show deserved the Emmy for best drama. Evangeline Lilly and Maggie Grace are too cute for words. But, real world problems take precedence. In the meantime here's a music CD recommendation. You could do worse than buy a copy of Pussycat Dolls - PCD. Don't expect an album that surpasses Destiny Child's The Writing's On The Wall (1999).

Back to the new .mac goodies.

Thursday, 4 November 2004

Fort Knox

The NSA has released a public paper concerning security settings for Mac OS X 10.3.x. Although the majority of Mac Users have little need to run a fortress as it were, it is at least worth a casual perusal and you may learn something too. At the end of the day no computer, irrespective of the defense level (virus scanner, firewall and on the fly encryption), is 100% impregnable on a network. And we need to keep some perspective as moral panics* need to be put into context.

As Apple continues to seed developer builds for 10.3.6, I've bitten the bullet and performed a clean install. Most of my applications are now reinstalled and Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 is fantastic.

[*‘An episode, condition, person or group of persons’ that have in recent times, been ‘defined as a threat to societal values and interests’ generally fueled by the dominant mass media - what Stanley Cohen has termed ‘The Moral Panic’ (Cohen 1972).]

Friday, 14 May 2004

You're going to need a bigger boat

With the premiere of Troy at Cannes, the season of the blockbuster is underway! There appears to be considerable hubbub surrounding the press junket Lollapalooza for DreamWorks Pictures' Shark Tale! Apparently the press are excluded from previews of the unfinished movie!

It will take more than a Finding Nemo clone and Shrek 2 to dislodge PIXAR's crown IMHO! Watch the new trailer from Disney/PIXAR The Incredibles in iTunes 4.5 (available for Mac and PC).

To set the mood, I watched Spielberg's seminal Jaws and Bay/Bruckheimer bombast Bad Boys. Bad Boys is a great demonstration disc and a timely reminder of Bay's skill before the bloated efforts of Armageddon and Pearl Harbour!

Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow promises an antidote to the flag waving of ID4, and clones The Poseidon Adventure albeit on a global scale! You can read Empire magazine's online review at your leisure/peril!

Of all the big budget summer movies, Spider-Man 2 is the one to watch! The first sequel to Spider-Man (2002) promises further character development, improved CGI and Doctor Octopus.

Whether or not James Cameron's Spider-Man treatment (ultimately mired in litigation) would have surpassed Sam Raimi's is now a moot point. Raimi can tell a compelling story (A Simple Plan and The Gift) even if the action scenes, like in the first Spider-Man, are serviceable!

I'm currently debating which new edition of the Spider-Man DVD to purchase? Do I go for the 'triple disc' pack or the Superbit release? I'm more interested in the quality of the movie, and therefore most likely will buy the latter as it includes DTS audio, which I consider superior to Dolby Digital! Panic Room (David Fincher) also receives the three disc treatment from Columbia TriStar later this summer.

If you're a regular reader of IMDb. Read my comments page for film reviews and showbiz ramblings!

In the wake of the MP3Concept Trojan and Mac OS X security fears/moral panic/hype. Mac Users may want to download this new freeware utility from The Iconfactory! Prevention is better than cure! According to various Mac rumour sites, it appears that the release of Mac OS X 10.3.4 is imminent.

Sony Style, one of my favourite sites, is sporting a new look.