Tag Archives: security

Technologically challenged

So someone pretty close to me – I shall not say who because it’s frankly idiotic and embarrassing – upgraded their phone.

I complained the day I synced my fingerprint to my work phone, I clearly had really rough skin or a big cut or something on the day. But it does not recognise the whorls about 90% of the time. Fortunately, the technology allows for five fingers to be imprinted. And my other finger mostly works.

So this other person says but they don’t think five fingers is enough… We all looked confused. Most people have a preferred finger or two per hand so four is usually more than fine with a spare for a loved one to get into your phone.

The phone this person used to use was just touch activated. Apparently (and we had a demonstration of how this worked) they sometimes use the one hand or the other. And almost all digits, including the RING finger. ‘HOW,’ demanded their other half incredulously, ‘are you using your ring figure on your non-dominant hand to activate the phone? Why wouldn’t you use your index finger, or maybe your middle finger which is longer? And why use the hand you don’t use for anything else?’

‘Oh, you know,’ said the person, ‘sometimes you are sitting there working and then the phone rings and you choose the closest finger.’

‘And it is your ring finger?’

‘Yes and then you know, sometimes the phone is on one side of the table and then maybe it’s on the other so you want to use your other hand and then when it’s IN your hand you want to use another finger… the phone needs to be able to accept more fingerprints because this is confusing to me.’

Perhaps, my dear. But only confusing to YOU. The only person I know who tries to apparently hit all sorts of random digits at random locations to activate their phone.


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Filed under anecdote, technology

One of those Africa moments

Flew back through OR Tambo a few days ago. I left going through the departure gates with what I thought was ample time but it turned out everyone and their dog was trying to leave the country. (Or so it seemed.) Chaos in the queue as people rushed to get through before their planes departed.

I did wonder why some people left it til the last minute before trying to get through the gates. Some had genuine issues because SA does have the fun issue that you can’t book luggage and yourself directly through when you transit but have to check in and check out again for connecting flights if you touch on international space.

But there were people who just being plain crazy. And ironically, a lot of the crazies were British. Usually in Britain they are proud to queue. This is ACTUALLY a thing. They frown on people who jump the line and make tut tut noises and will often verbally abuse you if you try shove your way in. In Africa however, away from their homeland was another matter. There were a number of them getting really jumpy, shoving forward even though they had loads of time (I suppose we all need time to shop for giraffe curios) and getting really irate with the customs officials and the passengers around them. As if it was somehow our fault for getting in the line in front of them.

This one bolshy woman literally elbowed out in front of me. Then stood there berating the customs official about the queue and quizzing him how long it would take to get to the departure gate. I’m not too sure what she thought he was going to do if the answer turned out ‘it takes half an hour to walk there’. As it is he told her there was loads of time and she should get moving. But she stood there yelling at him for awhile anyways.

Which meant I couldn’t go get my passport cleared as she was now blocking MY way and making herself even later in spending this completely futile time screaming at someone.

She should have looked on the bright side. Security compared to England may have full body scans etc but is relatively fast moving as they don’t really like swabbing every fifth bag for explosives and drugs.

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Third world paranoia

So we moved house (again) and just before moving there was a last van load I refused to be party to as plus one and I under the tremendous strain of moving had had an epic falling out.

I had offered to move his belongings and he had refused and thereby ended the conversation and also any desire on my side to assist in his madness by playing removals person a day after I had already completed all my moving tasks.

So he trundled off to our cute but tiny studio in the centre of the city. A studio on the ground floor, overlooking the gardens where squirrels frolic with burglar bars that span the big picture window in the bedroom.

The landlord left strict instructions to keep the bars locked (they can be concertina’d back on demand) when out. After assessing the house, I declared we should keep the key around the corner where it wasn’t visible from the window. The side windows should also remain locked and only the tiny one on the top could be left open. Barring that, no valuables were to be in grabbing distance of the side windows.

Plus one ignored me and left lots of valuables next to closed but unlocked windows through our time there.

I also complained the small top window should be open in the bathroom but shut when we leave and DEFINITELY to keep the larger side opening one not just shut but locked at all times. It is possible for a small child to clamber through the small top window or for a long arm to reach to the bigger window latch but it would become slightly more futile for them if they couldn’t open the bigger window or the security gate once inside.

Plus one ignored me and left all the windows open in the bathroom, despite the convenient planter right outside the window.

Anyways. Turns out he laid his coat down on the last trip into the flat for his belongings. He then shut the door behind him and realised his phone, the van keys and his house keys to both places were in the coat.

He was debating how to ask a stranger for the loan of their phone and force me down there to open up.

Then he realised he could reach through the small window in the bathroom which he had left open and open the bigger window and climb through.

He is not the most petite of people bless him. He also fortunately does not look much like a burglar and despite facing a park and a road, apparently noone was about due to the cold.

So he climbed through and retrieved his coat. (And left the window unlocked when he left – AGAIN, although admittedly there was nothing really to steal at this point.)

It took all my energy to not say ‘I told you so.’


Filed under anecdote, Housing