All 9 entries tagged Work

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December 16, 2008


Internet Explorer security alert: Microsoft says all users at risk

Users of Internet Explorer, the world's most popular web browser, are at risk of having their computers hijacked because of a security flaw.

The flaw allows criminal gangs to take control of people's computers and steal their personal information when they visit websites that have been corrupted by malicious hackers.

It is believed that as many 10,000 sites have been compromised since last week.

Microsoft said that it had detected attacks on machines using Internet Explorer 7, the most widely-used version of the browser, but that other versions are "potentially vulnerable".

"We are actively investigating the vulnerability that these attacks attempt to exploit," the firm, which also makes the Windows operating system, said in a security statement.

"We will continue to monitor the threat environment and update this advisory if this situation changes."

By last Saturday about 0.2 per cent of Internet Explorer users had already visited one of the websites designed to exploit the flaw, according a statement on the technology giant's Malware Protection blog. The flaw was first exploited last week but there has been a sharp increase in attacks in the last few days.

Given that three-quarters of people on the web use Internet Explorer, millions of people could already have been targeted.

Microsoft has published a list of technical changes that it say should protect against the threat until it can release a software update to close the loophole, although the instructions would be incomprehensible to most casual surfers.

It has also advised users to enable their firewalls and install anti-virus and anti-spyware software, but web security experts say the best guarantee of safety is to use an alternative browser such as Firefox, Safari or Opera, which can all be downloaded for free.

The websites corrupted by the hackers are mostly Chinese, and have been programmed to steal passwords for computer games which can be sold for money on the black market.

But the Internet Explorer security flaw could also be exploited by criminals seeking to steal people's bank details, private data and identities. "That's a big fear right now," said Paul Ferguson of Trend Micro security researcher, warning of "mayhem" if fraudsters succeed.

Graham Cluley, a virus expert at internet security firm Sophos, said that the “staggering” number of people could be affected by the attacks. While many of the compromised sites are pornographic, many are legitimate, mainstream web pages.

“Problems like this are found all the time but Microsoft always has a fix. What’s new about this situation is that there is no fix.

“This is a really critical and serious problem. People should make sure their anti-virus software up to date, and remember to install Microsoft’s security patch when it is released.”

But he added that switching browsers may be an over-reaction. “It’s certainly a fix and gets around this problem, but Firefox, Google Chrome and other browsers all have their own security issues.”

For me, only slightly annoying in the sense that at work I use Web based outlook and its performance in Firefox is rubbish - the screen is completely useless. With IE it's set up brilliantly, but I've no idea how to make it look like that in Firefox! Other than that I tend to use firefox for most things, but I guess whatever you use you're probably not 100% safe. Be careful kids!!

June 12, 2008

Nearly there…

I've just had a couple of weeks of exams - my last ones in fact, which signal the end of the 2 year LPC course I so ambitiously started out on back in September '06. It seems (and was) an absolute age ago. So many thoughts and hopes, so little knowledge of what was really in store for me!

I've not had an easy time of it, it's not been my most successful thing, and I'm by no means through it yet - got to wait until July 29th for results to find out if I've actually passed the last lot of exams. 5 more results and I'll know.

The last term has been really hard to be motivated in, which I guess reflected itself in how I felt I did in the exams. I really hope I did enough to pass but I just have this sinking gut feeling that perhaps I'll be unlucky this time round. I'm writing my last assignment at the moment, a licence for a venue...sounds easy enough but these things are right little buggers to do! I'd much rather write a letter of advice or do some research!! I'm annoyed with College because they won't let me email or fax it in, it either has to be posted or handed in personaly, which given that they're not open at weekends and I don't work in Birmingham is a bit of a pain in the arse really. Do I risk the post, get it done by recorded delivery and then try and call them on Monday to see if they've received it or do I have to take yet another half day off work to make sure it's handed in on time? I suppose if it's recorded they HAVE to deliver it by a certain time so I can probably rely on that.

I've got a lot out of college, they teach the course very well, although it's difficult to fit in the level of study expected when you've got a full time job as well as a house to look after! I've met some great people and gained confidence in myself, although I've had a fair few knocks and disappointments with some results on the way. I was ready to give it all up at the end of the first year but luckily did well in the resits and decided to carry on. I'm not normally a quitter! Also it was way too expensive to drop out!

So what next? No idea. My head tells me to start applying for training contracts but my heart isn't following my head at the moment. For a start I don't honestly think anyone will want to take me on, and I don't know if I want the disappointment of rejection letters at the moment! And yet I should do something legal... but I like my job at the moment! Perhaps I'll see what comes up. No harm in looking around, keeping the options open.

It will be nice to have my weekends back. I've already started planning my next big projects to fill them! I can't just sit still and relax... going to do the Grade VIII exam for definite - playing is coming on well at the moment (it's all the scales, they are finally paying off) and would quite like to learn one or more of the following: Double Bass, Saxaphone, Piano Accordian. Want to finish off my uber crossstich that I've not picked up in a year and I have a list of books as long as my arm to get through. I also want to make the most of the summer and visit lots of interesting places in Warwickshire and the general surrounding areas. That will definitely keep me going!

Back to the drafting...

April 26, 2008

Nasty things and nice things

Yesterday I had an oral assessment at college (in Room 101 – eek!) which was pretty hideous (really not a good speaker especially when I’m being videoed and assessed!) but luckily over fairly quickly. As I was in Birmingham Stu had booked a table later that evening at San Carlo Italian Restaurant on Temple Street so I decided to go shopping until he arrived on the train, which gave me a couple of hours to wander about a bit.

Unlike the previous weekends attempts, I was in a much better frame of mind for shopping and so got myself some bargains before Dinner. I braved the horrors of Primark and managed to get myself some flip-flops, new ballet pumps, a polka dot skirt and some tights/pants/socks for a bargainous £22 quid and then I wandered towards the Bull Ring, where I went into Zavvi and took advantage of the 3 for £20 on DVD offer, got myself the BBC Pride and Prejudice version (which I have on video but a certain “wet shirt” scene has become rather worn out on the tape so I decided it needed to be replaced!) as well as Happy Feet (on Laura’s recommendation) and Shrek the Third (to complete my set). Cheesy, but bargainous all the same.

I then decided to be brave and go back into Selfridges (which had been wholly unsuccessful the previous weekend) to spend my birthday voucher from Lu given to me back in October! I wanted to get some D&G Light Blue to replace my now sadly empty bottle but when I went in before I couldn’t see it, there were lots of pushy sales people in there and I generally panicked and didn’t ask them if it was there. This time I calmly walked into the perfume section, had a look on all the shelves and soon spotted what I wanted. I decided to go for the 100ml bottle in the end as it was £45 and I had £20 off so got a lot of perfume for not a lot of money! Hurrah.

Then I met Stu at New Street and we went for a quick drink in Bacchus which I love as it’s underground and a real mismatch of styles but with really nice chairs and good wine! At 7pm we headed to the restaurant which is totally brilliant! I had an avocado and crab starter served in a scallop shell and then Lobster Thermador with sautéed spinach and garlicky potatoes which was divine! We finished off with coffee and limoncello (way too stuffed for pudding although they looked delicious). The wine was also gorgeous and the best part was that the bill was on Stu’s work! They told him he could treat us both to a nice meal as he had been working really hard for someone so as a belated birthday meal (seeing as I was revising on Thursday his actual birthday) we went there and it was FANTASTIC. Stu had the scallops and they were wonderfully tender and he’d had a italian sausage and polenta starter which also looked very tasty.

The rest of this weekend is completely free and so I’m looking forward to chilling out and sorting a few things out, doing some piano practice and going for a nice meal with Stu’s family at the Punchbowl in Lapworth. If it’s as good as the other two Lapworth pubs we’re in for a treat tomorrow.

So this weekend started off with a bit of a nightmare, but the rest of it has been lovely so far and I feel really happy!

August 26, 2007


I need help here…

Do I spend my Bank Holiday Monday

a) Doing prep work for college this weekend
b) Taking leftover BBQ food to somewhere National Trust esq for a picnic with Stu
c) Sod it all and drive to Weston-Super-Mare for the day?

The sensible person in me says make a compromise and do some work in the morning, then stop and go for a picnic in the afternoon, then come back happy and ready to do some more.

The child in me say “sandcastles and penny slot machines and donkeys and icecream and chips and the sea yay!”

Something to ponder…

July 20, 2007

Final Words of Advice

My last ever day at the council, it’s pouring down with rain, mass flooding etc and what do I get in my pigeonhole?

“Heatstroke – staying safe this summer”.

I laughed out loud.

I’m going to miss that place.

June 25, 2007


I’ve just been offered a new job. I am very very very very very very very very very very very very very very VERY VERY excited!!!!!

That is all.

June 11, 2007

The fun starts now!

At 12pm on Saturday I finished my last exam and celebrated with bacardi…and Sambucca…and pernod. I was in Aniseed heaven. Thus began the weekend of loveliness in London, going out for Nic’s birthday and discovering one of her friends actually knew vaguely where my home village was – a rare occurrance- and then spending Sunday wandering around the Imperial War Museam and walking miles around the city in the most glorious sunshine, sitting in Hyde Park and having a picnic…fabness!

Back at work today, but it’s been good, busy but nice to see everyone after my week off doing the exams. I may be going to see Pirates of the Caribbean this week, I have Saturday’s Dr Who to watch so there will be droolidge occuring, and then I have a masquerade ball to go to on Friday, a dinner party on Saturday and a picnic while watching “Brass on the Grass” on Sunday.

Congrats to everyone who has now finished their exams – especially the finalists! I had some very funny texts from certain people (Naomi) during the celebrations which kept me amused and reminded me of how much fun I’d had on my end of exam day!

Summer is here – wooooooo!

Things to look forward to:

Legitimate reasons to wear white skirts.
Vague notions of suntans.
Alton Towers.
The Feeling.
James Morrison.
Sitting in the garden and reading a book.
Visiting parks and posh houses.
Summer concerts in the sunshine.

I’m in such a good mood I’m not putting anything that I’m not looking forward to on here – it does not deserve a place on this sunny entry!

June 04, 2007


Today I have been mainly revising and listening to Mozart symphonies. I have so far listened to no less than 461.77 minutes worth. I bought all 46 symphonies in Fopp ages ago and it was a bargain buy at £7. I have thoughrally enjoyed them, even if the work I’ve been doing has been less of a joy to me (ah well, this time tomorrow it will be over)

Exam tomorrow…then one Thurs and another Friday – then freedom! Hurrah. Wish me luck!

January 16, 2007

Today I shall be mostly…

Purging my office of unwanted paperwork and boxing all the rest into nice boxes.

We have decided that you may need a PhD to assemble said boxes, especially as the instructions are printed on the bottom bit which is the first piece you assemble, thus hiding them and making them of no further use. I am clearly a genius, however, and have mastered the boxes. Go me! They are now sitting under my desk looking all orderly and acting as a very nice footrest.

Gotta love archiving. Apparently we keep certain records for up to 100 years! That may explain why all our storage centres are heaving.

Now what to do with 12 empty ringbinders??

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