You may have noticed that the dawn of the internet age has revolutionised the world of gambling. In the good old days, if you wanted to have a flutter, you needed to brave the clouds of cigarette smoke and quiet desperation that hung heavy over yer average bookmakers.
But now – if the adverts are to be believed – you can sit on your unfeasibly expensive sofa with your suspiciously overdressed friends, watching your ridiculously oversized TV and gamble merrily with just a swipe of your smartphone. Sadly for one Australian punter, modern technology also seemingly makes it far easier for said pals to pilfer your winnings.
Chantelle recently attended the Melbourne Cup horse race and won about ￡400 after betting on the winner. As is the custom these days, her initial response was to take a selfie – in which she posed with the winning ticket – and upload it to Facebook. Unfortunately, the photo also contained a clear image of a barcode that could be used to claim her loot from an automated machine. Which is exactly what one of her “friends” did, much to her incredulity. To be fair, the ads do tell you to gamble responsibly.
In yet another entry for the file marked This Country is Going to Hell in a Handcart – Examples Thereof, I read recently that police in Peterborough are looking to talk to more victims of crime via Skype, rather than face to face.
Anyone in the city calling the non-emergency 101 number to report a criminal offence will now be offered the chance to make their own way to the station to talk to an officer, or otherwise make an appointment to do so over the phone or via the aforementioned video-calling service.
The aim is to free up police resources by reducing the number of home visits – which will be made only “where necessary”. Rumours that the fuzz are looking to further cut costs by demanding all crimes are now reported via the medium of emoji remained completely made up as we went to press.
Into the breach
I was thoroughly indifferent to learn this week that some people are sort of a bit worried about maybe losing their bank details or something. This is according to what (VESTED INTEREST ALERT!) security vendor Vormetric has ambitiously referred to as “research”. The company quizzed a bunch of UK citizens about the kinds of personal information they might be worried about losing – get ready with the topical klaxon! – in a data breach of some kind.
The survey covers a wide range of more than two types of data and finds that people are most concerned about their bank details being compromised, with 66 per cent of respondents worried about this eventuality. (And, what, one third is completely relaxed about the prospect?) This is ahead of the theft of credit card details (of concern to 63 per cent) and National Insurance number (40 per cent).
“It’s hardly surprising that financial information is top of mind for British consumers in the aftermath of a data breach,” hollered Vormetric EMEA veep Louise Bulman.
Sing it, sister.
If only there were a way to solve this problem – a data-encryption solution, if you will. But perhaps I’m just a dreamer… Maxed out In a blow for pointless it-were-better-in-my-day nostalgia, Sony announced last week that it will stop selling Betamax tapes in March next year.
In related news, Sony announced last week that it is still selling Betamax tapes. The vendor launched the video format in 1975, sparking a hotly contested battle with the VHS offering from rival JVC. The latter won the day to become the de facto standard for home recording devices, although Sony’s tech retained something of a following among the sort of deliberately contrarian enthusiasts who hold Polaroid nights in rooms above Dalston pubs.
The BBC, for one, still has some Betamax tapes in its archives, and the broadcaster’s video editor Pete Doherty (presumably not that one) reminisced meaninglessly about the format. “I remember watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller on Betamax,” he sobbed.
I remember watching it too, mate. On YouTube, five minutes ago. What of it?
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