Ransomware a very real problem…

Hello All,

Just a little a short guide to ransomware which is a very real threat, that is on the rise and have a read and make sure you are aware.

Ransomware 101

 

Essentially ransomware is a malicious method of encrypting your important data such as pictures, documents, videos etc and locking them so you cannot access them. In some cases ransomeware can limit the function of your devices or render it unusable.

  •  Never open emails from unknown contacts or strange attachments
  •  Banks will hardly ever send you emails directly so unless you’ve specifically signed up to that service
  •  Don’t be fooled by pop ups when browsing the internet that say you computer is infected or has a virus, don’t click on these if in doubt close your browser or force quit.
  •  Make sure you have anti-virus/Internet security on your laptop/pc/mac/mobile device and that it’s up to date.
  • Refrain from downloading software from vendors/sites/companies you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Make sure you backup your data regularly either to the cloud or and external drive or both if possible
  • if you do become a victim of ransomware the key thing is to speak to an IT specialist or has decent IT knowledge ASAP as there are methods of recovering your data for some different types of ransomware.
  • if your machine is infected you’ll see a message explaining your data has been encrypted and that you must pay a fee to unlock it, there is no guarantee that they will decrypt and unlock your data if you pay the fee that is stated.

This is not an exhaustive list of do’s and don’t but it’s a good start.

Be safe and take care.

Gurgs

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Japanese Indies FTW !!

Hey All,

Hope you’re well. I came across this today and it struck a chord with the video gaming part of my being. I’ve always know that a lot of cool and strange games made in Japan never make it to the shores of the west. Not sure the exact reasons though the people have batted the idea around that issues such as:

Localisation, differing cultural norms, demand or even cost have something to do with it. Whatever the reasons its a shame to no have more access to these. I feel in this day and age, digital should serve as a path for people to explore something new. It’s already the case with many other forms of entertainment and goods so why not more with gaming?

Looking forward to seeing the whole documentary Jan 2016. The idea of more Japanese Indie titles making the way West is a lovely thought. With resurgence of retro themed gaming and more challenging titles, I feel that Japan probably has a wealth of talent that needs to be introduced to the rest of the world. Obviously sharing from East to West is the idea here but that’s not to say that it shouldn’t be a ever flowing stream that spans multiple places and channels around the world. Speaking as a gamer this means it’s an exciting thought but for those of you aren’t just imagine if more independent literature, movies, clothing, technology were to be shared more freely and willingly between nations. Idealistically thinking it would lead to something good I hope, enhance our everyday lives, help people grow their dreams etc. Please share if this picks your interest!!

http://branchingpaths.jp/

Gurgs

Gurgs turns 27

Hey All,

How’s it going, it’s been a long while. Apologies for the absence! So for those of you who don’t know it’s my birthday today (High Five That) It’s a strange one as I don’t quite feel the age I am on paper, which is 27…. I do however I’m not not quite at that point to be worrying about the numbers, though could change at the drop of a hat :s

With every birthday comes reflection and a pause to evaluate, at least that’s my routine. What better time to do this then on the train to Oxford! It’s been a good year for me in terms of my work, family and friends. I don’t think I can really complain. It’s funny though I can remember vividly this time last year.

I was tanned from my holiday to the Algarve, it was my last week in my current role at the time and my brother’s musical pop up performance was waiting for me at home. The end of one, chapter, new beginnings and biding friends farewell. Most memorable at the time was the positive energy and sense of appreciation I felt for everyone. The same holds true today a year later.

I have an amazing set of friends and a family to match. At 27 I feel I know where my place is amongst all that a bit better now. With age comes clarity and wisdom in my case according to a few Individuals.

Birthday’s should be the birth of something new not just an anniversary of what is. With that thought in mind I am looking for something new, though I can’t pinpoint what exactly. Either way I’ve got a great team behind me (You Know who you are).

Presently I’m looking forward to today, boozing it up with my bro’s in Oxford and hopefully in the near future with the rest of the family.

Have a great weekend and thanks to all those who have wished me a Happy Birthday. I’ll be sure to have a drink to you 😉

Gurgs

Grade G in China and Hong Kong

Hey How’s it going?

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, my apologies :/. This post has been a long time in the making, since my returning from the two-week holiday, though I’ve spent much of my time whilst back thinking how best to go about summing up the experiences in both China (Beijing) and Hong Kong? It’s a difficult thing to do but from the get go I can say that Beijing and Hong Kong are like night and day, the feeling of being in both is so very different but that’s not to say that neither have their plus points.

Beijing is definitely a place that is full of hustle and bustle as well as life. If you’re not constantly watching to see where the next 2 or 4 wheeled vehicle is heading towards, behind or to side of you, you might just have enough to time to appreciate just how much is really going on around you night or day. Initially the feeling of being in Beijing felt quite alien at first, getting my bearings and figuring out what was around the area near the hotel, it’s worth mentioning that I was with two of my good friends, however that only served to amplify the feeling of confusion sometimes :s. In all fairness we managed to get by thanks to our trusty Rough Guide to China as well as the simple train system, which was written in English as well. Lack of mobile internet on the go and barred Google Apps was a bit of a show stopper at times ( The things we take for granted eh.)

Beijing certainly has a lot of tradition and culture that attracts tourists such as ourselves but it was interesting to see that people from within China or locals taking in the sites as well, whether is was the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven or even the Great Wall Of China. There is that appreciation for the old despite it being a modern city and the capital of China. Whilst we were there I felt I tried to get as much of the tourist stuff done and see as many of the sites as possible, unfortunately it didn’t always pan out the way I envisioned it would, but actually that’s were I went wrong during my time to Beijing.

I was too focused on doing the tourist thing that I forget to take the time to soak it all in, to go out and get drunk with my mates and just relax etc. It’s always a challenge when yourself and your friend’s each have different idea’s of what a holiday should entail and coming to a decision on things to do, but in essence as long as you have fun it tends to just work itself out!! People in Beijing were quite hospitable towards us and we even had the odd person/persons wanting to take pictures with us, apparently very common behaviour towards tourists (so the Rough Guide tells me..)

The language barrier proved to catch us sometimes especially in scenario’s involving food though eventually we would reach the end point after much broken english and pointing to pictures. Despite how awkward we felt sometimes trying to communicate in vain I admired how our hosts wouldn’t give up when trying to get “blood out of a stone” and get our orders, though funnily enough when it came to business transactions in market type situations, the universal language of money seemed to take over and both parties were very much fluent.

Hong Kong

Where to begin with Hong Kong? As soon as we arrived at the airport after a three to four delay due to adverse weather conditions, we felt a sense of familiarity. It was almost as if we were back in Heathrow Airport in London, that feeling grew as we got in the taxi towards our hotel and drove from the airport Island to into HK and it was as if we were back in London on the motorway! We were definitely in a different place but the atmosphere was so very western, so very much like home. We were only there for the best part of four days but I was glad that we chose to go to HK in the second leg of the holiday. I guess we all felt a weight off our shoulders being in HK, the sense of familiarity and lack of any real language barriers and no sign of government security which we had grown accustomed to in Beijing.

Two very different places Beijing and Hong Kong, I would definitely go back to both however I could see myself working in HK in the near future. Me and my mates could easily have spent more time in HK, however we didn’t have that luxury, though we certainly made the time to enjoy ourselves. Without going into it too much, one thing that really spoke in volumes was the opinion of a native Hong Konger who was cutting my hair at i PRIVATE i SALON  at festival walk said that he hasn’t been China and that he had no reason to want to go. He said that here in HK he can speak but in China he wouldn’t be able to … I can appreciate where he was coming from but at the same time as a western tourist with a British passport I couldn’t fully realise it either. Hong Kong is calling out for me to go back and see more it, I just need to plan the next holiday and maybe try to see if I can go to Japan as well which would be a long time dream come true!! Oh I forget to mention another interesting piece of info about the gentleman who cut my hair, he’s been to London which he is very fond of but more astounding is that he has been cutting for hair for 26 years, that’s as old as myself and he also started a month before I was born. That in itself was somewhat bizarre and reassuring knowing I was in experienced hands (Y)

I hope the pictures and vids in the link above help give you sense of experience I had in both Beijing and Hong Kong, if you’re even presented with a chance to go to please do. Till the next time, take care and speak with you soon.

Gurgs.

China Awaits

A perfect sound to compliment that many thoughts in my head about the experiences me and my friends will have in the next two weeks in China. A different world awaits us and that kind of is an exciting thought enshrouded in a cloud of mystery…..

Gurgs

Penguin Flies to Bologna Italy ?!

Hey How’s it going?

Currently this post is being written was being written whilst awaiting take off. Where was I going? I was actually on the way to Italy more specifically Bologna. I’m fortunate enough to have been given the chance to provide tech support for my colleagues in Penguin, Random House and DK at the annual Children’s book fair. Have to admit though it’s the first time I’ve ever flown for business so naturally I was pretty excited but I knew it’s going to be a highly charged few days, but I hoped to compensate for our hard work and enjoy what Italy had to offer.

Where to find Bologna

So the plane was currently taxing down the run away and we were told that the flight would take roughly about two hours, potentially it take me longer than that to get from work from one side of London to another on the odd occasion, definitely food for thought there.. Have you been abroad for business before, is it something you’ve grown to enjoy or even look forward to? I can definitely answer those questions now that I am back in Blighty but more on that later.. We finally had lift off ✈✈ and I managed to get a cheeky nap in on the plane 😴. I didn’t think I would have much time to explore on my own though, though I did manage to get a snap a few pics of the town.

BookFair finished and on the flight back home

Week is over and I am happy to say that my job was successfully completed with loads of positive feedback from my customers. At times I was at a bit of a loss as to how to occupy my time as the IT systems which I set up pretty much worked without a hitch. Bad for me but great for my customers.. Probably the highlight of the whole book fair was being being invited into the DC comics stand by one of the directors (All thanks to my colleague in DK Books) on the last day and be given the chance to take some free comics. It was a strange moment being ushered in past the crowd of people waiting to get their chance to get some freebies, I could sense some of the negative vibes being sent our way as we casually browsed through the shelves of comics… I got some interesting comics which have a bit more of an asian theme.

DC Comics Freebies
DC Comics Freebies

Things to take away from Bologna

  • Good place for foodies
  • Brilliant Wine
  • University Town so you’ll find very familiar brands and shops
  • Teeming with life even late at night, families especially
  • Dogs are very much loved
  • Probably not a first choice for Tourists but nice to stop by

All in all it was a great experience as I was made more aware of the importance of the various book fairs and how integral they can be to helping our respective brands grow in different markets around the globe. On a personal level I was curious as to how I would respond to the responsibility such as settings up, maintaining and helping with general IT issues and queries as the only representative from my team at the Stand. I soon realised though thanks to my prep before hand the systems just ticked along nicely and me just being there on made people a little bit more at ease. In turn though I have to say that my colleagues looked after me very well especially when it came to dinner in the evenings 😉

Here are a few snaps from the Fair itself (Should have taken more..) otherwise till the next time!

Gurgs

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JoJo’s last Train home

Hey,

Just a little something I came across whilst watching some anime.

I find it amazing that an anime such as JoJo’s Bizarre adventure an anime that’s still ongoing in 2015, pays homage to music from the ‘Pat Metheny Group‘ which was founded in the 1970’s.

It fits so well with the current theme of the Anime and the idea of the last train home, I think listening to it you’ll understand it’s more than just what it states in the song title. There is an experience, a memory or a feeling that will probably ensnare you once you start listing.

Enjoy

Gurgs