Thursday 9 March 2006

Nice people at the Argonaut

Our elder son discovered he had been photographed by the Argonaut at the Mardi Gras in Venice but, as that is an ocean and a continent away from us, it is a tad too far away to pick up a copy of the paper. Margaret emailed them and they send a pdf of the page. What nice people.

Wednesday 8 March 2006

More Amex Woes

On my holiday in Italy a couple of weeks ago, we took cash out of a hole-in-the-wall machine with the Amex credit card. Last week, in order to avoid the interest on interest merry-go-round, I attempted to pay off more than the current balance on the Amex wesbite.

"The payment is larger than the total outstanding balance on your Card. Please try again with a lesser amount."

Duh!! Ok, at least I'll pay off the total outstanding.

"Sorry, you cannot pay the Total Outstanding within the first 30 days of using the Pay Now service."

Duh!! What does this gobbledgook mean? Probably fallout from having been issued with a new card?

Looking at my account today, I saw that the statement was issued a few days ago and that interest was added. Now there will be interest on interest. I again tried to pay but the most I could pay was the "last statement total."

As it will apparently take 48 hours (sic) to go through, I thought, ahha, I will make another payment because they still think I owe the "Total Outstanding."

"Sorry, you can only make one online payment each 3 days."

Damn, foiled again.

Thursday 2 March 2006

Insecure security

I've just come back from holiday in Italy where the hotel had an internet connected PC in the bar. To use it, you had to write your name and passport number in a paper logbook. Presumably the intention was that if anyone did anything naughty, they would know who it was.

The reality was that no one checked that you put in your real name and passport number. And putting in your name and passport number meant that they were available to subsequent users as the logbook was accessible to the public. And I noticed in the log book that a Disney character had used the PC but, sadly, I wasn't in the bar at the time.

Oh yes, it was a linux pc so I could get a command prompt and ssh to my pc at home. It was a root login of course.