An avalanche (but we’re not in it)

By | May 21, 2018
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First of all, thanks to everyone who emailed in to recommend a weather app for my phone! It sounds like the Met Office one is very popular – and it does seem very good, so if anyone else is wondering about what weather app to use, that one has lots of fans!

On the other hand, I also found the BBC one I mentioned last time to be pretty good for day to day use, though it doesn’t go into quite as much detail.

Next, have you seen the avalanche?

I don’t mean an avalanche of snow and ice (it’s actually been pretty warm here this weekend – we had a great time on Saturday over at Hodbarrow nature reserve having a picnic with some friends).

I mean an avalanche of emails. Specifically emails saying something along the lines of “On the 25th May, new laws are coming into effect and we won’t be able to email you any more unless you click this link to say we can.”

These are the new “GDPR” rules, or “General Data Protection Regulations”.  Some of the new rules are sensible, some aren’t and some appear to have been written by a bunch of tipsy baboons who didn’t want to commit themselves to actually saying anything.

Anyway, you might have noticed you haven’t had one of these emails from me… and you might have even worried “Does this mean I won’t be able to get Tim’s emails after the 25th?” (I’d like to imagine everyone will be worrying about that.)

Well, I can set your mind at rest. This particular part of GDPR I think is pretty sensible and basically says companies can’t send you emails unless you’ve asked them to. There are some exceptions, like if you’ve ordered something and it’s out of stock, they’re allowed to email you to tell you it’ll be late being delivered because it’s out of stock – that sort of thing. But that’s the gist of it.

The thing is, this is really what companies should have been doing anyway, I think. But many companies have been sending all their emails to people who didn’t ask to get them – who just ordered something from them.

In those cases they need to check you still want their emails (or to put it another way, that you want them at all, since you didn’t sign up for them in the first place).

And some companies don’t actually know whether you asked for the emails or just got added to the list without your permission, because they didn’t keep any records.

Luckily, this is something I’ve always tried to do properly, and I only send these emails to people who asked to get them, either by signing up on the website, by emailing to ask for them, asking over the phone or by filling in a bit on the order form asking for them. So we don’t need to send one of these “Click to say you still want these emails from us” emails.

(Of course if you ever change your mind, you can unsubscribe at any time with no hard feelings.  Use the link at the bottom of each email.)

There is a lot more to GDPR, including things that it’s worth everyone knowing about… but that’s all on it for now.

A big update for PCs
If you’re using a Windows 10 PC you might have noticed a big update recently – or you might find it happening over the next week or so. It might make your PC slow while it’s downloading (especially if you have a slowish internet connection) and it might take a while for your PC to turn off one day and to turn on the next time, while it applies the update.

The main thing I wanted to say was don’t worry if your computer does seem slow for a day or two while it’s downloading it. If it bothers you, you could try leaving the computer on but unused for an hour or two, to let it get it out of the way (make sure it doesn’t go to “sleep” by wiggling the mouse every so often).

The update (cunningly named the April 2018 update because we’re getting it in May 2018) doesn’t change how Windows works very much – chances are you’d never notice the difference. But it does change the look of one of the screens you can use to switch between different apps (especially if you use Edge, which now shows individual webpages you’ve visited in this screen)

Oh, and if you use the Edge web browser you can now mute tabs with webpages on that are making a racket – if for example a webpage has an advert video that starts playing with sound. Just click the speaker icon at the top, on the tab.  (Chrome and Firefox could already do this.)

It does a few other things in the background (including knocking out our database at work for half an hour or so the other day when it hit our computers) but most of them you probably won’t notice.

That’s all for now.

One thought on “An avalanche (but we’re not in it)

  1. Leonard Wodward

    Thank you very much for your mail but as an 85 years pensioner I tend just to hear
    not from friends but the family – thankyou!


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