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Tuesday, February 20
And you thought Killa Kela was good?

This guy, Beardyman, is ridiculously good. I was open-mouthed at some of the stuff he can do, and this video - featuring him cooking up a beat in the kitchen - is clearly done, wittily delivered and absolutely amazing to watch.

Check it - Beardyman - Beatbox Fame Game video.

Also, check Beardyman's web site, and listen to the clip of him from the Tim Shaw show on Kerrang Radio... Absolutely ridiculous!

Can't forget to mention too, this video of 100 Japanese guys pranking unsuspecting members of the public is absolutely HILARIOUS: http://www.filecabi.net/video/ambush100.html... Yeah, can you tell I've been browsing those video sites on a Monday again :D

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
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Friday, February 16
A Pestilence On Sneak Premium Rate Numbers!

Or, what to do if you get stung by one of them...

Earlier today, I had a call from a telephone number which, on first glance, looks like a mobile phone number - 07099 868 803. I missed the call as I was on the phone at the time, but I rang it back afterwards as I thought it might be one of my work clients. Instead, I got a recorded message informing me that the person I was trying to call was not available, and asked me to leave a message - which I did (very quickly, as I don't like talking to answermachines if I don't know who it is).

Then, as I became suspicious, I went googling. I found a variety of information about these scam numbers, and when I rang T-Mobile the bloke I spoke to told me that it was in the 1.50/min price bracket.


So, I asked that should a call charge appear (which it did), would they reverse it as I was duped into calling this number under false pretences, which he duly did as soon as the charge appeared - something which I'm very happy about. I also rang Ofcom to report this (because this range of 07099 numbers has only just fallen under their scope of control when it comes to misuse of premium rate numbers). I reported it, thanked the lady, then checked out their web site; Ofcom already has an ongoing, own-initiative investigation into the provider of these 07099 8 telephone numbers, "Switch Services Ltd", as well as several closed cases. Read more here:

Ofcom: Own-initiative investigation into Switch Services Limited about potential misuse of 070 numbers (focusing on Switch Services Ltd)
Ofcom: Switch Call Ltd - alleged misuse of personal numbers

Other people have also written specifically about Switch Services' continued abuse of the 070 'personal number' services, including Lawrence Chard on his blog.

So, if you ever see an incoming call or a missed call from an 07099 number, go straight to the ICSTIS site, fill in the number in the "look up a number" box (at the top of every page on their site), and see what comes up. Alternatively, use their "check a premium rate number on your phone bill" service, which does the same thing. Then, if nothing is known about the number, ring them up and report it - see their "How to make a complaint" pages. Note that at the time of writing, the 07099 numbers are so new, you have to ring Ofcom up to report a complaint, for regular premium-rate number abuse (0900, 0901, 0910 numbers etc) you can submit a complaint via their online form, but it's always nice to speak to someone. You can also report complaints about DQ (118 directory enquiries numbers), but 0870, 0845 and regular 01, 02 numbers are outside of their remit, so reader beware.

So, what have we learnt from this little adventure? Several things:

Switch Services Limited offer opportunities to scammers and unscrupulous individuals, have done so many times in the past according to Ofcom reports, and refuse to adhere to the law by continuing to do so, even after promising to clean up their act,

T-Mobile are a REALLY NICE NETWORK to be on! I was only charged 35p for the 25-odd seconds I was on the line, but they still refunded me (even though, apparently, they weren't supposed to do that - result!) and they did it with no fuss and no angry words required on my part. It's such a lovely change to move from a network as utterly useless and poor quality as O2 to a provider which really seems to care about its customers more than its churn rate! (And no, I'm not a shill, you should try a year on O2 before you call me a shameless plugger... That's another story for another post. Or maybe an entire site!)

And, it's very encouraging to see Ofcom are finally taking proactive measures to ensure that organisations such as Switch Services Limited to curb their unscrupulous business activities.

Here's hoping that this helps someone avoid unwanted charges on their bill :) If so, my work is done. $deity bless the Interwebs.

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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 2/16/2007 07:32:00 PM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 2088965669419482375
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Saturday, February 3
The Ultimate MS Paint

All I can say is... Wow.


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Dragged out of Christopher's memory and pasted
into his blog at 2/03/2007 01:32:00 AM. Roughly.
Blog ID: 1690456904465718849
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