Posts Tagged Consumers

Photocopiers – A not so obvious security risk!

We all have used photocopiers at some stage to copy personal documents when applying for loans, rental accommodation, passports, etc.  What a lot of people don’t realise is that most photocopiers use a hard drive to build the image of the document that they are replicating for you, and then don’t necessarily delete that image once you have completed your photocopying.  This also applies for to the multi-function photocopiers that people use in offices to send faxes.

The following CBS investigation (from back in June 2012) details just how easy it is for ANYONE to purchase a second hand machine and gain access to this stored sensitive data.

Whilst there is no a lot that you can do to force the various institutions that we deal with to improve their security policies on these things, you can try and reduce your own risk.

My recommendation would be that if you are planning on copying private documents (eg photocopying your driver’s license or credit cards for any sort of application) either use a scanner (yours or one that belongs to a trusted friend) to scan the documents in, and then print them.  Take note that if you do this you may also have to check that the scanned image is deleted from the computer that you have used to perform the scanning (unless you use one of the simpler home multi-function printers).

I know that all of this may sound a little paranoid to some of you but at the end of the day, you are responsible for how secure your personal details are, so try to do what you can to protect yourself.

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LucasArts sold to Disney for $4 Billion

So, as some of you will have already read, George Lucas has recently sold all of the rights to  LucasArts and all of it’s subsidiaries to the Walt Disney Company.  For more details on this, please check out the LucasArts, Everything Star Wars Sold to Disney article (at GameTrailers.com) and/or watch the interview with George Lucas & Kathleen Kennedy as they talk Star Wars and Disney.

A lot of people of talking about how this is either a massive sell out for the Star Wars franchise, that Disney will destroy Star Wars.  I, however, think that it is the best news in a long time for Star Wars fans.  Having George hang up his Writer/Director/Producer/Creative Despot boots one and for all means that there is new hope that for a franchise that has struggled with fans in light of the most recent three movies (Episodes I, II & III).  I know that George had a story that he wanted to tell, but because he had too much control with the most recent trilogy, he had no one truly grounding him with a lot of his “creative decisions”… in my honest opinion.

Episodes IV, V & VI had George coordinating with directors that would challenge his vision, and therefore helped him create a better movies (yes, we will avoid discussing Ewoks, thank you very much!).  Now that he is “retiring” from the franchise, and that Disney has stated that there WILL BE and Episode VII, there is an opportunity for new directors, writers, and producers to come together and produce a truly balanced third trilogy.  Of course, there are no guarantees, but at least there is a possibility of this occurring where there was no chance previously.

It also means that Disney will want to make their money back and therefore should be releasing a significant amount of product under their newly acquired franchise.  That means more Star Wars, which can’t help but make the fans happy.

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Problems with your new iPhone 5? Then take it to an Apple Store.

If it is an iPhone, and you have a problem with it,
then the people to talk to are at an Apple Store near you.

Tuesday, last week, I dropped by my local Apple Store to check if they had any in stock.  I received the expected response of “No, but we will be getting new stock in any time now.” and was referred to going to the Apple site to check for updates on availability. When I got home, later that day, I checked the site but could find nothing about the availability of the new models for a particular store but did stumble across the Apple – Reserve and Pick Up page. I shrugged my shoulders about this, forgot about it for a few days, and then, on a whim, reserved a new 32GB Black iPhone via the page at about 4pm on the Friday.

Saturday morning I noticed an email from Apple saying that I had an iPhone ready for me to pickup at 11:30am that day. Yippee!

So, after some juggling of other commitments and winning a game of Paper, Scissors, Rock as to who was going to look after the kids, I wandered down to the Apple Store, filled out the paper work, lit a candle in memory of Steve Jobs, chanted mindlessly with the other other drones about the greatness of Apple, and walked out with my not so shiny (because it was the black model, duh!) iPhone 5.

(Can any Android fan (who may be reading this) pick out the two little tid-bits that I included in the last sentence, to provide you with some sense of smugness over your choice of mobile handset ? Yes? :P)

All was good in the collective until I later that night I found that when I was connected to WiFi, I couldn’t access any webpages.  I tried turning WiFi off, then on, and I would get connectivity long enough to do a Google search, but couldn’t access any pages from there.  Not good, especially since my old iPhone 4 (still on iOS 5) was connecting and loading web pages with no issues at all.

So I searched the web and discovered that there were a number of people having problems with their iPhone 5, and also with any iOS device (iPad 2 & 3, 3GS, 4, 4S) that they had upgraded to iOS 6. A number of solutions had been put forward which can be read about further on the iDownloadBlog.  I tried all of these, including performing a factory reset on my iPhone in case it was an issue with my restored iPhone 4 backup, but my wireless issue would not disappear.

So, the next day, I’m back at the Apple Store, with my new iPhone in hand…

Apple Guy: “Hi sir! How can I help you today?”

Me: “My new iPhone 5 is faulty. I can connect to WiFi but cannot access web pages.

Apple Guy: “Let’s have a look, shall we.  Hmmm, yes, I have seen this issue before.  Please wait a minute and we will get you a new iPhone 5.”

And THAT was it!

Apparently, out of all the iPhone 5 stock that has been sold to date, that particular store had had 4 returned with this issue.  This is understandable since you will always have faults in any manufactured electronics product. What I loved about this was the fact that, with an iPhone, if something is wrong with it, the people at the Apple Store will either fix it or replace it.

Do people with Android handsets get that level of support if they have a problem? Not in my experience… and by experience I mean me tech supporting my wife as she suffered numerous issues with a HTC Desire, HTC Legend, and a Samsung Galaxy S.  Needless to say, she has an iPhone 4S now and loves it.

Now, mind you, if it is out of warranty, or the issue appears to be due to damage beyond normal wear and tear (do not hand over your iPhone if it is still dripping water), you aren’t going to get much more than an offer to purchase a subsidised refurbished iPhone. However, if there is a problem with your iPhone take it to an Apple Store.

This also goes for those of you who have purchased/contracted an iPhone from a Telstra/Optus/Vodaphone retailer/agent.  The Apple Store is your “Go To” place for your Apple products, no matter where you have purchased them from.

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