Category Archives: Featured

SCAM – 0800 098 8470

I’ve just had a phone call from Mike Cooper at “Microsoft” claiming that they will provide me with free IT support.
He advised me that I was being called because when Internet Explorer crashed and I pressed Report this to Microsoft the problem was so important they phoned me and that the problem on my computer had actually infected Microsoft’s own servers!
Not only would he help fix my computer but he would provide free software to keep it protected in the future as no one anti virus software would protect me “100 person”.
All I had to do was visit and download “System Protector”, “Email and Data Backup” and “Anti-mallware Protection” and if I had any future problems to call them back on 0800 0988470.

As soon as the call started I knew it was a scam, for starters Mike didn’t sound very English, he was badly reading from a script, he wanted me to visit Microsoft’s website at a URL which wasn’t, and he thought I was still using IE!
I ended the call at the stage where he wanted me to enter their website, this allowed me to get most of the information they were providing to write this blog post without infecting my machine. I was then phoned back twice, however I just ignored the calls.

Microsoft will never call you, if you have visited this website uninstall anything you have downloaded. If you have handed over cash ask for your money back and contact your credit card company.
Get a real anti virus software and check to see if anything has been left on your machine, and if you are still worried take it to a local expect.

Microsoft Australia have a blog post about this scam, looks like it’s just started to come over here.

8th June 2010 edit: for a laugh I went to their website on a sandboxed device. They list their “UK address” as Marble Arch Tower, 55 Bryanston Street, London, W1H 7AA which when googled comes back with a variety of iffy companies and this one for a Virtual Office where you can have your mail redirected.
And looking further the same goes for their New Zealand, US and Australian offices.

World Cup 2010 Google Calendar

It has become impossible for me to update the original calendar, Google keeps timing out when I try to save loosing any changes I have made.
Instead I have created an ICAL file which you can import in to Google yourself, copy this link and paste it in to the “Add a friend’s calendar” box on the bottom left of Google Calendar.
I will be saving this calendar twice a day after each of the matches. Hopefully you should get the changes quickly on your new Google Calendar.
I also suggest you remove the old calendar as it seems to have some impact on the speed in which the other calendars load and sync.

(You can now ignore above, everything seems to be fine. Looks like Google crashed out when iOS4 came out and everyone re-synced their phones at the same time).

As there isn’t one is the preset list from Google for next years World Cup in South Africa, I’ve created this myself. If you wish to add it to your own Google Calendar click on the + icon at the bottom right.
I will be updating the knockout stages as soon as we know which teams will be in each fixture.


Feedback in the comments suggest that if your Google Calendar is set to your timezone the fixtures will appear with the correct time for you. eg BST, PST, EST, CET, JST…

Alternate formats: XML | ICAL | HTML

To get the football icons (or others) next to your events on your own calendar, you need to enable Labs in Google Calendar, and there is an option to add “Event Flair”. When you next add or edit an event you should see a choice of icons on the right hand side.

If you wish to get the calendar on your mobile, you might consider using Goosync, you’ll need a premium account to sync calendars other than your primary one. They are available from £19.99.


Like what I do? Why not donate

Thank you

Yesterday afternoon I had to make a big decision. Whether it was finally time to stop working on LibDemBlogs. Attempting to read over 200 blogs every 30 minutes, every day was causing a massive strain on my shared server. I had already received some polite but threatening emails from my hosting company and knew without moving packages to at least a VPS it would continue. The problem being my bank account currently has no cash and the £300 upgrade fee it’s exactly small change. As my server also hosts a couple of local party sites, my blog, LibDig and some other random stuff, I decided that to keep those up and running I could no longer run the cron tab which updated LibDemBlogs in the background.
So I posted a message on LibDemBlogs informing people of what was happening, and asked for donations to get the site running again. In the last 12 hours I have already received 29 donation and three requests for my details to send a cheque (payable to Ryan Cullen, posted to 27 Gibbeson Street, Lincoln, LN5 8JP).
I have now received enough money to pay the upfront costs to host LibDemBlogs for a year and am waiting for the new server to be configured. Once this is done I can start the process of transferring all the files from the old machine to the new one. I hope to get most of this done over the bank holiday weekend.
The last step will be waiting for the DNS servers to update across the internet pointing everyone to the new site.
For the time being I will be making manual updates to LibDemBlogs through out the day.


Phone Mast applications

When I was a councillor on Lincoln City a total of three applications for phone masts came in front of the Planning Committee.
Due to a prejudicial interest I never took part in the discussion however I was pleased to see that the councillors understood the laws around the applications. Two of the applications were accepted without much fuss.
The third was from O2 at the Birchwood shopping centre. It was a retrospective for a 13 metre poll with 3g aerials on top. They had already got consent (via appeal) for a 13 metre poll with 2g on top, but put up a 3g mast instead (only real difference was an extra 10cm in diameter of the bit at the top). It was felt by the committee that the overall shape of the structure was detrimental to the visual amenity of the area, however the planning inspectorate appeal again overturned the committee.
Continue reading Phone Mast applications

Sidebars to the left of me…

…content to the right, here I am, stuck waiting for the page to load as you’ve got some Javascript widget which takes forever to load and I give up reading your site.
It’s also really bad when trying to read your blog on a mobile* as you have to scroll past lines of links to blogs that I don’t care about just to read the punchline.
So if you are a blogger and are looking for a new template, make sure the sidebar is on the right and if you do insist on it being on the left, use CSS to ensure that the blog post appears in the HTML first.

*slight lie, with my new fancy phone webpages look the same as if they were on a PC but my wife still has the problem.

So what do those under-age drinkers drink?

The Echo last week ran with a story about the Police confiscating alcohol from under-age drinkers. They published a table of what was taken and had a picture of the haul.

Under-age Drinking Now was it like what the Tories were saying? That the problem is with alcopops and super-strength booze?

Nope, here are the figures:
Beer – 157.69 litres (78%)
Cider – 25.52 litres (13%)
Wine – 7.5 litres (4%)
Spirits – 4.2 litres (2%)
Alcopops – 5.72 litres (3%)

and whilst the beer and cider figures don’t separate normal from strong, the picture clearly shows a large number of cans, bottles and boxes of Carling, Fosters, Stella and Carlsberg.

Debrand your W960 / P1 for FREE (or your P990, M600, W950)

After my successful debrand your phone for about a £5 (33,618 hits, 104 comments) and then unbrand your mobile for free (11,680 hits, 161 comments) posts. I now bring you the easiest way to de-brand your phone for free.
No more looking for files in folders which are about 41 bytes, no more trying to get the to download the files, no more running SEUS fifteen times, just 8 simple steps.

But before I begin, here are the usual disclaimers:

WARNING doing this could brick your phone!

Whilst I have successfully converted several Vodafone W960i into unbranded ones, I can’t guarantee that the same will happen to you. If you’re not 100% confident then DON’T do it. All actions are taken at your own risk! Yada yada ya…
There seem to be some issues with the M600, please read the comments first and then judge for yourself if you want to go ahead!

The things you will need to successfully remove the network customisations from your phone are:

  1. Perform a back-up of your phone via the PC Suite (or however you prefer), as you are going to wipe all of the phones C drive.
  2. Run the Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS), click on the icons matching your phone, when prompted pull the battery out and put it back in, when prompted plug the cable into your phone whilst holding down C (this is either the letter C on the keyboard, the Cancel button or even the @ internet button). Once it’s found your phone it’ll will either prompt you to update the firmware or inform you that you have the latest. Either way, quit SEUS without doing anything else. (This will force your PC to find the drivers required for your phone)
  3. Run XS++, click on the SMARTPHONE CONNECT box, and press Connect. The box on the left will tell you what to do, but it’ll be similar to step 2.
    Click for Full Screen
  4. Once connected you now need to select the new CDA for your phone:
    W960 – CDA 162032/1
    P1 – CDA 162022/1
    P990 – CDA 162007/1
    M600 – CDA 162011/1
    W950 – CDA 162014/1
    and hit Run Script. (They all have GW1 in the script name, however you can choose any of the others, but I recommend the Generic World 1 scripts)
    Click for Full Screen
  5. You can now close XS++, I recommend that you don’t touch anything else in XS++!
  6. Now run SEUS again, this time do the update on your phone.
  7. Boot up your phone to the Sony Ericsson or Walkman startup screens. Goodbye Vodafone, Orange or o2 🙂
  8. Restore the backup of your phone

See wasn’t that easy.

As before, feel free to put questions in the comment box.

And if you feel like it you can always send a donation via PayPal 😉