As part of the whole bankruptcy process (now well and truly complete, of course) I’ve been using a couple of free services to keep track of my credit score. It’s been useful to know what’s going on, and where things stand.
Part of the reports from both of those (and from Experian, whose ‘free’ service is an absolute dumpster fire, and absolutely refuses to allow me to view my own data) involves past addresses, and people with whom one has had a credit connection – things like a shared mortgage, or whatever.
Looking through the CreditKarma stuff in particular, I noticed that they still have a record of my old addresses going right back to Bracknell – bearing in mind, I moved there back in early 2005… It also still had me linked to Herself for the mortgage we had back on the Norfolk place (which must’ve been 2007/8, if not earlier)
So, I asked them about why this stuff was still on there – bearing in mind, credit stuff is supposed to stay on one’s record for six years and then go – and got a response back that was… less than encouraging. (Note, I’m going to edit some of this so it’s comprehensible without being comprehensive)
There are several reasons why TransUnion UK hold historic address information [including] something called asset reunification, which is when TransUnion UK helps clients trace the holders of lost or forgotten financial accounts, such as pensions or bank accounts. So, if you have an account associated with an old address that you don’t know about, financial institutions will be able to find you.
Another reason [we hold] old historic address information is to help organisations trace individuals who have moved without telling their creditors where their new home is (this is known as debt tracing).
For now, let me confirm that TransUnion UK holds address information indefinitely. However, they are reviewing their policy to see if a fixed upper limit can be set on how long they will keep address data for.
The “Indefinite holding” of that data is definitely a no-no. So far as I know, it’s still the case that if a company doesn’t get in touch with a debtor at all for six years, that debt is no longer viable, and is effectively written off. So historic data could be stored for (I’ll be charitable) seven years, and then get erased. I’d be OK (ish) with that, at least.
But this is information going back more than twice that time. I’ve now filed requests to lose all of that data – I’ve now been at this one address for longer than the six years usually required – and also to take away the connection to Herself. (I can’t imagine she’d be overly happy to still have that connection either) We’ll see what happens on those things.
I’m also going to refer this to the Information Commissioner, because I’m pretty sure they’ll be interested in anyone who claims to be storing personal data indefinitely…
The last couple of weeks have been quiet on D4D™ because life got in the way – and life was just stupidly busy.
Over the last two weeks, I have
- Attended the 2019 Lead Developer conference at the Barbican in London (involving driving to London late on Monday, two days of conference and hotel, coming home mid-evening on Wednesday)
- Late-night ferrying of friends after their wedding anniversary meal (and padded out that time by going to the cinema)
- Done a day on a sponsored walk thing with friends at a fitness group I attend – my own contribution was 32 laps of the 600m track set out for the event, adding up to 19.2km (just under 12 miles) which pleased me
- Seeing the parents
- Attending the “Chefs Reunited” one-off meal at Monica Galetti’s “Mere” restaurant – all courses cooked/created by either Monica Galetti or Rachel Humphrey, who worked together at La Gavroche
- Attending “Conversations with Nick Cave” at the Barbican
- Been on-site on two separate days in Chesham
- Done all the usual work schedule stuff as well
- Before the end of this week, I’ll have also attended two food events this weekend.
I must be utterly, utterly barmy.
Way, way back in the day – Nov 2006, to be precise – I bought a backup drive for all my music, photos and work. It wasn’t anything hugely special – a now laughable 320Gb drive – but it did what I wanted, and made sure I’d got everything preserved. (Amusingly, I just took a look, and the roughly-similar drives now done by WD start at 3Tb!)
And then I moved a few times, and the drive got separated from its power brick, and I sort of gave up on it a bit. Over the last few years I’ve mainly been using online backups instead (which mean that as soon as I save a file, it’s backed up, and synchronises to my other machines) and the drive became even less of an issue.
I always knew where the drive itself was, even though I was fairly sure I’d lost (or thrown away) the power lead/brick. The drive has been on one of my bookcases, doing nothing except attracting dust.
Last weekend, though, I found a random power cable that looked like it might fit the drive. So I took them both into my office this week, and gave it a go.
At the end of the day, I’d pretty much given up on it – it’s been sat there doing sod-all for a number of years, and has been carelessly moved, shoved in boxes and so on. So I expected nothing.
And yet, when I plugged the cables in and connected it to the laptop, it all worked. Straight away, with no issues, clanks, grinds, or other Warning Noises Of Doom. Needless to say, I’m actually pretty impressed.
Of course, I’ll also now be working to ensure that a lot of it is backed up somewhere else as well, as that drive is distinctly venerable, but all the same, it’s a bit of a win for it all to have come back in the way it has.
Following on from the other post about people (or at least politicians) not thinking things through, the other one is/was about the EU’s new plan for all new cars to be fitted with speed limiters from 2022.
Speed limiters are – in some circumstances – a really good idea. If the limiting was in place for areas with lower speed limits – the areas with speed limits of 20,30, 40, and perhaps even 50mph – then that would be good. I see so many people speeding in those areas. I still think it’d have its problems, but this would at least help. (I’ve said before that I have my reservations on this in the 50mph average speed limit areas currently in place on a lot of motorway work areas)
If, however, it’s something that is brought in universally, for all roads at all limits, then it’s idiotic – and again, shows a lack of understanding when it comes to people, business, cars, driving, and umpteen other things.
The first thing that occurred to me when I heard this was that a goodly portion of police (or council) funding is generated or paid for via speeding fines and the like. If speeding is hugely reduced by automation and limiters, where will that money and funding be coming from?
For another thing, if everything is limited to the national speed limit, it’ll reduce people’s desire/drive to pay more for larger/faster vehicles. If you can get a basic [car model] that’ll do everything and can go up to the speed limit where it’s limited, why would you pay two or three times the price for a performance version of the same [car model] that can’t do anything extra, that can’t go faster or perform better? (Personally I don’t see much point in these super-performance models anyway, but that’s not the point here)
Again, I like the idea of auto-limiting speeds/cars in slower and busier areas. But making it a universal solution seems to have missed a fair number of knock-on issues, with no clues or hints about how to actually fix them.
There’ve been a couple of times in the last week where I’ve been surprised by how little some people understand things – which is kind of surprising, considering what low expectations I have of people in general.
The first of these surprises was with Tom Watson (MP) blithering on about how McDonalds should cancel their Monopoly promotion this year. In and of itself, it’s not a bad idea – I’m no fan of McDonalds, and their Monopoly thing definitely encourages people to buy/eat more than they usually would.
However, Watson’s announcement was made the day before the promotion launched. By that time all the necessary materials have been prepared, printed, distributed, all the ads have been made and booked, and it would be almost impossible to cancel the promotion. And there seemed to be no real understanding of that.
If the press release had been a couple of weeks later, and was aimed at getting McDonalds to stop using it after the current promotion then that would’ve made more sense. (Not a lot more sense admittedly, since even a rudimentary Wikipedia search will tell you it’s been an annual promotion since 1987, but there’s always a chance that they might do something else, if a new idea could come up that would work equally well as a promotional tool)
All told, it just showed (in my opinion) that it was all just a “This is bad, OK?” press-release, with no real thought or understanding of the business (and marketing) processes underneath it.
Usually by now I’m totally done with it, had enough, and generally pretty fucked off with the entire thing.
This year, though, I’m just ambivalent about it. And I don’t actually know why.
We’re still being faced with the same inanity and vapid bullshit on TV adverts and the like. We’ve had Christmas Shit™ (cards, confectionary, blah blah) in the shops since September. Now we’re in December they’re playing sodding christmas carols and tunes in the shops and on the radio, and various fuckwits are already blithering about “It’s christmas”. (No it’s fucking not, it’s just December)
And on the face of that paragraph, you’d think I am hating it. But I’m not. I still feel the same, that it is all crap and bollocks, but it’s not enraging me this year the same way it has in the past.
It annoys me that I don’t know why it’s not annoying me as much as usual. But I’m also not going to complain – in some ways it’s quite nice to be a wee bit more tolerant of the whole farce than usual.
I don’t like (let alone love) the season and what it does to people – and I honestly doubt I ever will. But at least this year I also don’t hate it the same way I usually do.
I regularly drive through Woburn, and at least a couple of times a week I’m amazed at how lazy people are, even when it comes to their own safety.
In the case of Woburn, there are two zebra crossings within a very short stretch of road. There are good reasons for this – the road is usually busy, and fairly fast. But people still cross away from the crossings, where it’s apparently “more convenient” rather than walking a tiny way to the crossing where cars *have* to stop for pedestrians…
The first one looks like this…
This is where most people cross – and you can see the markings for the zebra crossing at the top of the photo (the zig-zags, for non-UK readers) Note also that this is just after a busy crossroads, so has any number of vehicles coming round corners and paying far more attention to other vehicles than to pedestrians. I measured it on Google Maps – it’s 30 metres from here to the crossing. Not even a minute’s walk. (I’ll also note that all the people avoiding the crossing are able-bodied, so it’s not like they can’t walk that distance.)
The second one (slightly further up the road from here, after a tight choke-point and just round the corner so out of view from this one) looks like this
This one is a bit harder to see – it’s a bit further, at 45m from where people actually cross – but it’s still there, with markings visible across the road. Here, people cross from the pub to the hotel and back – and again, with parked cars on the right, an extremely tight road with drivers focusing on squeezing through rather than on pedestrians, people trying to park (or turn into the various lanes and archways along this bit) rather than walking that 45m to be able to do so safely.
I know people in general are lazy bastards and so on, but really, it utterly amazes me just how many (and even more so at school times, as there’s a school just back from where this shot is taken) are prepared to ‘save’ time waiting for a space in traffic and then risk their all to cross the road, rather than walking that tiny distance to do so safely (and actually usually more quickly than waiting for that gap!)
I don’t know if they don’t see the crossing, that they’re blinkered to just going straight across the road instead, or if they’re all just fuckwit examples of Darwinism waiting to happen. Either way, it is (to me) a gobsmacking way to live.