Monday, June 20, 2005

Banks, cards and security

In times that the transactions with cards are in danger of fraud, banks don't really seem to care and choose partners that have very poor security!
I lately received a letter from a company completely unknown to me, claiming that they are authorised by my bank to deliver my cards on their behalf. The letter was generic and generated, with my name and address stuck on it with a white sticker. I believed it was fraud. It was not signed, and the name of the person was quite common. This rang another bell for fraud. Their address was a PO BOX somewhere in east London. I was now completely sure that it is fraud and thought of throwing away the letter, being angry at the same time that some company that I used to do shopping online has sold my details to these people.
On a second thought, I didn't throw away the letter and decided to go and ask the bank, whether it is fraud or not, and, if it is, to let them go after this "company".

The next day I went to the bank, being completely sure that I will pass them a case of fraud. Well things were not really like that. They said that this letter is original and legit and that I should go online to the site written on the letter to register for my card to be delivered. I accepted it and left. Later I went online to the site.

I was hoping to find more details about this "Security services" company on their site. I believed that a company employed by my bank should be transparent and that I could find more details about them, if I wished so. Well, things were not like that. The website was minimalistic. I only had 4 options. To "Arrange delivery" of my card, to read the terms of use of the site, and a privacy statement. The fourth option was taking me to the company that designed the site. I must say I didn't like that at all. No info about this company, a company that seemed that it was only delivering things... I pressed "Arrange Delivery" to find out that I was asked personal details on a page with no security!

I wonder whether the people of my bank that employed this company, ever thought that a site like that could easily be made by fraudsters! A site created with Dreamweaver, using free scripts to do fancy stuff with HTML. A site that gives no information about the company. A site that uses no security and asks my personal details! How can I trust such a website?

I haven't used the website yet. And I don't think I will! Back to the traditional way of paying using cash, and queueing to withdraw money!

(Or maybe time to change bank!)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Η Ελλάδα πάντα με πληγώνει...

Η Ελλάδα για άλλη μια φορά με πλήγωσε. Για άλλη μια φορά αποδείχτηκε πως η Ελλάδα τρώει τα παιδιά της, ανεβάζοντας άτομα με μοναδικό κριτήριο τη διαφθορά. Η διαφθορά στην Ελλάδα με πληγώνει καθημερινά. Ανησυχώ πως με το ρυθμό αυτό η Ελλάδα θα πηγαίνει από το κακό στο χειρότερο και πως δε θα ορθοποδίσει ποτέ.
Δεν είναι τυχαίο που τα μεγαλύτερα Ελληνικά μυαλά υπάρχουν στο εξωτερικό. Στην Ελλάδα κανένας δεν ενδιαφέρεται για την πρόοδο της χώρας. Και αυτοί που ενδιαφέρονται, σε μικρή ή μεγάλη κλίμακα, αποκλείονται από τους υπόλοιπους που μόνο την τσέπη τους σκέφτονται. Με αυτό τον υλιστικό τρόπο συμπεριφοράς δυστυχώς μόνο πίσω θα πάμε. Δε φαίνεται όμως να ενδιαφέρεται κανένας. Και είναι κρίμα.
Όταν άνθρωποι, που με έργα έχουν αποδείξει πως μπορούν να βελτιώσουν το κλίμα, αποκλείονται από τα πόστα των αποφάσεων, δείχνει πως η πλειοψηφία αδιαφορεί για το μέλλον του τόπου, όσο και αν όλοι διατείνονται για το αντίθετο.
Έλληνες βάλτε μυαλό. Βάλτε ένα τέλος σε αυτή την λογική που κάθε άλλο παρά ελληνική είναι. Μάλλον τουρκική συμπεριφορά θυμίζει, συμπεριφορά κατσικοκλέφτη, μιζέριας.
Ελπίζω σε αλλαγή του κλίματος, και σύντομα, αλλιώς φοβάμαι πως η Ελλάδα που γνωρίζουμε δε θα υπάρχει για πολύ καιρό ακόμα. Ελπίζω πως η νέα γενιά θα δει πως το μέλλον δεν είναι αυτό που της αξίζει και θα επαναστατήσει για αλλαγή.

Γιώργο, για μας είσαι πάντα νικητής!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Greasemonkey (and Opera user JavaScript)

I found out a great extension to Firefox, which is called GreaseMonkey. It allows users to add their own Javascript code to add, remove or amend features of webpages, playing with their DOM. A great feature, that exists in Opera too, called user Javascript (check this too), although still a bit hidden.
Great news I guess! Quite a lot of scripts already exist on the web, but it would be wise that you install scripts that you know what they do! You don't want to install scripts that spy on your browsing, do you?