Much annoyance in RL, from a spate of phone calls of late. This is that scam where someone (usually with a very thick Indian accent) phones up claiming to be from"technical support department of Windows", tells you that your computer is generating error messages all across the Internet, and offers you assistance in fixing the problem. Actually accepting such an offer - not that I have ever done so, myself - is pretty much guaranteed to sign you up for new exciting experiences in the area of identity theft and malware installation. You too can be part of the thrilling new botnet everyone is talking about!
After a lengthy argument with our telecoms provider, we got a four digit code to punch into the phone, to flag these up as fraudulent calls - probably useless, since the scammers behind these things just buy time at a new call centre every so often; the hapless drones in Kolkata are reading off the scripts that are given them.
Needless to say, it is a scam, absolutely and completely - Microsoft do not make, or authorize anybody to make, unsolicited phone calls of this nature, and in any case the idea of my lone laptop ringing alarm bells across the globe is patently ridiculous. If I'm in a bad mood, my response to these people is along the lines of quoting the Computer Misuse Act at them and advising them to get an honest job. And, I have to admit, increasingly I am in a bad mood with these people. I've had four of these calls in the past three days, now, and I am quite a cross Glorf about it.
Exercise for the alert student: given that I'm on a dynamically allocated IP address, how much work would you have to go to, in order to establish that a series of error messages all originated on my PC? Answers on a postcard please.