Archive for January, 2009

The Moriarty of Bexleyheath

[Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, or anything, mind. I’m not even working shifts in the Law Library till after April. I speak colloquially, because I dunno what the legal definition of a tosspot is, though the colloquial one is totally this guy.]

Today on ElectricQuaker:

The Napoleon of Crime Vs. (Wellington) in: The Wobbly-Headed Doll Caper!!

Yes, indeed, ladies & gentlemen! Today you can thrill! at the tale of a criminal!

A criminal whose dastardly plots know no restraint, whose cruel machinations know no mercy, whose fiendish mind knows no thought!

…Or, to put it another way, who’s a right pain in the arse, because I’ve had to lock down my credit card because of him. Git.

On my way home from work on Friday (I got sent home ill, which is always annoying) I checked my email & found “Paypal” had sent me an email telling me I’d added a new address. There was a second email telling me I’d authorised a payment.

‘Huh.’ I thought ‘that’s some convincing-looking phishing, there. I guess I’ll report it.’ So I did.

A bit later Paypal replied to say, basically ‘Yep, that was phishing. Good on yer for reporting it,’ and I crashed out for the rest of the day.

Being as I was ill, my sleep patterns were all to pot, so I was awake again at midnight, and took a bath (and a hot toddy made, disgracefully, with Bowmore single malt, for we had no blend in the house), and idly fired up the computer to see how the Internet had managed to cope without me for the past six hours.

Naturally, I checked my email accounts, and I was surprised to find another email from Paypal, this time saying ‘O, hai. Your payment, we haz it.’

…This one was even more convincing than the other two; no ‘Dear customer,’ here: there was my name, all correct & shipshape, and… the last four digits of my credit card number…?

So I forwarded that to Paypal as well, along with a message that said ‘This really is just some clever phishing device, right?’ and pointed a new browser window at Paypal and went and logged in.

(This is where our criminal mastermind comes in, this is)

Somehow, somebody broke into my Paypal account, added a new address (which is presumably serving as a drop; if it transpires it’s actually their home address I will actuallyLOL), and made off with a valuable consignment of, er, Boots aren’t allowed to tell me what it is because of the Data Protection Act.

Since Paypal automatically notifies me when somebody does, for example, randomly tell them that I live in London now in case it isn’t me doing it I’m not really sure why they thought this would work, but they evidently did, because otherwise I’d have an inbox slightly-less-full of emails claiming I was editing my own account. The only equivilant I can think of is trying to theive a wallet that somebody’s got chained to their own trousers; they’re likely to notice once it starts to pull, you know…

Gormless though the theft may be, I’ve still had to scramble all my passwords, boosting them up from mixed-case alphanumerics of 6-10 characters to mixed case 12 character-plus jobs, have got myself a GPG key with which I’m slowly starting to encrypt things and I’m having to do without cards because, of course, they all have to be changed now because some poxy git couldn’t be bothered to pay for his own sodding vaseline and spot cream.

And I really don’t know how they got in. Grumble. Although as far as I know, the Met., Boots, Paypal, Dyfed-Powys police & the Bank are all looking into it (which would give me more comfort if it didn’t sound just a bit like the plot synopsis for an Ealing Comedy…) Spoke to a chap from the police down in London the other day, actually, he was nice & friendly & seemed to think I was likely to get the money back, at least.

Still a pain in the arse, though.

Those of you with GPG keys, point me in the right direction & I’ll see if I can work the buggers.

and speaking of work: back to it, I suppose…

Falsehood of the Day

I’m 25! Woo, etc!

Quite possibly the oddest email I’ve recieved for years:

Happy 25th Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Normally, this is where we send you on some birthday fling. But according to our records, you’re in a happy relationship. So we’ll respect that and just send you…a giant birthday cake: Click here to find your birthday matches!

Birthday Cake!

Happy day!

Exclamation marks!

This, of course, is from a website that (presumably) forced me to sign up at some point, which would explain why I fed them a pile of false information (I suspect I also told them my pre-Newport address and it’s pre-millenial postcode); I worked that out after only a couple of seconds of confusion.

What really puzzles me is why I set my fake Birthday to be the 8th of January, a full month ahead of time…

Fact Of The Day

Here at work people sometimes come in to read the books.

Personally, I don’t agree with that sort of thing; having started out working at the Bod I take the Copyright Library perspective that the purpose of a library is to keep a pristine copy of every book in case somebody needs it in the future. It is therefore imperative that if anybody needs a book we do not let them have it, because then it would no longer be pristine, which is has to be in case someone needs it in the future.

Ruth, I know, somehow fails to understand this basic principle, but I don’t see why; it’s simple enough – someone might need the book one-day, so we have to keep it in mint condition to ensure it lasts forever. Obviously you can’t collapse the wave, but collapsing waves seems to be what keeps the funding coming in, these days, and without funding I don’t get paid (and without getting paid, I can’t very well attempt to get out of my overdraft and start saving money at you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-percent, now, can I?)

So we not only allow people to read the books, but to borrow them, too.

And, periodically, they don’t bring them back, and they run up fines.

Eventually, we send them letters. (We can do that, because their addresses are on file. Usually.)

Letters go out addressed by the mailmerge system, and look like this:

221b Baker Street
London, W1.

Today we had a letter sent back to us by the Post Office. DPA and suchlike prevents me from using the actual name off the envelope, but mailmerge had printed it up all lovely, yet what I saw was this:

Return to sender – [Postie’s squiggles]


Well if you don’t know then we don’t!!

…Made me laugh, anyway.

Film quotations meme

Here are some rules
1. Pick 20 of your favourite films.
2. Go to IMDB and find a quote from each film.
3. Post them for passing internet traffic to guess.
4. When somebody someone guesses correctly, I’ll cross out the quote and cite the name of the guesser, and of the film.
5. No Googling, Yahooing, or (God help you) Windows Live! Searching, or otherwise using search functions for the source of the quotes; that’s cheating and it ruins what little fun can be had.

Good luck!

I reckon this is very hard, but I’ve tried to go with a range of films and a variety of quotes from the obvious to the, uh, not anyway. We’ll see how you do, shall we?

Here are some quotes from films
1. Sorry, guys. It takes more than going down to your local video store and renting ‘Easy Rider’ to be a rebel. — Flashback / Ruth

2. You’re not seriously gonna believe this man, are you? Are you? He isn’t even from round here! — Hot fuzz / Heather

3. You didn’t just call to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ did you?! Hah. You have no-one else to call! — Catch me if you can / Matt in the Hat

4. Come on you miserable fat-head, get that fat-ass truck outta my way! [I’ve made that as easy as I possibly can, btw, but it’s still a hard nut to crack…] — Duel / Ruth

5. Goddammit, I’d piss on a spark plug if I thought it’d do any good! — Wargames / Pacifist

6. It leads everywhere. Get out your notebook. There’s more.

7. Character #1: I’ll kill him! I’ll kill him!
Character #2: (Calmly) You don’t really mean you’ll kill me, do you.
— Twelve angry men / MitH

8. His bath was tepid? Poor [Female Lead]! I’m afraid her married life will be the same! — Mark of Zorro (1940) / Anne

9. You swine! My regimental tie!

10. Character #1: I was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year.
Character #2: So was Hitler.
Character #1: Ah, not twice.
— My fellow Americans / Ruth.

11. Character #1: Just because you’re English doesn’t mean you have to hide your emotions.
Character #2: I’m Irish, we let people know how we feel. Now fuck off.
— After the sunset / Pacifist

12. You call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids? — It’s a wonderful life / Claire

13. Character #1: I know I gave him four THREES. He had to make a SWITCH. We can’t let him get away with that.
Character #2: What was I supposed to do – call him for cheating better than me, in front of the others?
— The sting / MitH

14. The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me! — Animal house / BenL

15. Since you’re new here, I’m gonna cut you a break… today. So, why don’t you make like a tree and get outta here? — Back to the future / MitH

16. Well, I’ve been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that’s the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones! You sure you got today’s codes? — Dr. Strangelove / Statto

17. Here’s to the pencil pushers. May they all get lead poisoning.

18. (Having caused the drowning of two people): I was sorry about the girl, but found some relief in the reflection that she had presumably during the weekend already undergone a fate worse than death. — Kind hearts and coronets / Ruth

19. Character #1: I didn’t know you could fly a plane.
Character #2: Fly, yes. Land, no.
— Indiana Jones and the last crusade / Anne

20. I’m afraid Communism was just a red herring — Clue / MitH

Happy Super Bonus Question!
These are the assignment desks, one for each of the lines. This is the BMT, the IRT. Here’s the IND. There’s our artist in residence. And right through here’s our operations lieutenant, Enrico Patrone, who on weekends works for the mafia. — Taking of Pelham one two three / Pacifist