short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography
I must be the luckiest man on the planet. Over the last few months not one day has gone by without my laptop telling me I’ve won yet another iPod 2. Better make that an iPod 2. So many have I won I could start my own store. Amazing isn’t it?
Each time I surf the net a little display pops up, sooner or later. I can hardly wait for the next one. Bearing all the hallmarks of an official Microsoft Windows message, it seems extremely pleased with itself for informing me of my good fortune. So pleased, it wriggles and jiggles as excitedly as a toddler in desperate need of a pee. Telling me all I have to do to claim my iPod 2 is click on the button saying ‘yes’, it’s made so very easy. Only a real dunderhead would turn down such an offer by clicking on ‘no’. Now, who would be so stupid as to turn down an iPod 2? I mean an iPod 2.
Then again, if I’ve already claimed enough iPod 2s to start a chain of Apple stores I can move my pointer to the white ‘x’ in the tiny red square in the right hand corner to make its disappear. Except it won’t. I tried. It will just behave as though I said ‘yes’ whatever I do.
Recently, it’s taken to buzzing like an enraged mosquito to get my attention. How I wish it was possible to swat it with a rolled-up newspaper and watch a little splatter of blood form where it used to be. Be well worth the trouble of having to clean the screen. In fact, I’d probably leave it there as a trophy.
Not so many years ago I used to discover I’d won a major share of the lottery jackpot through an email at least once a week. Lucky? I’d say. What are the odds of that happening when you don’t even buy a ticket? To collect my winnings there were a few minor details to be taken care of.
Naturally, in order to transfer the dosh as swiftly and efficiently as possible my full bank details were required. And then there would be the small matter of transferring a few thousand pounds to a bank account in Nigeria. To cover legal fees and other costs, of course. They can’t just send millions of pounds to anyone without verifying who they are, can they? No worry, oodles of lovely money would be transferred back in less time than it takes for a beetle to bat a wing. Not often you see a beetle bat a wing. It’s probably too quick to catch.
And then there was that spate of air crashes in Ghana. Remember all those? Coincidentally, and very sadly, distant relatives of mine (I’d somehow carelessly forgotten I ever had) perished in each and every one. On the bright side, though I might not have remembered them, they had remembered me. Not one, but all, had thought to leave me their entire fortunes, according to papers found in their briefcases discovered at the site of the tragedy. All I had to do was…
Isn’t it about time Google, Yahoo and the rest of the bunch started doing something serious about this problem? Shouldn’t governments and international police forces work together to make our homes secure from these cyber burglars breaking into our computers to steal all our money? Can’t be that hard. After all’s said and done, if they can locate a lost ant in the Gobi desert from outer space with their technology, what’s the big problem finding a gang of fat techno thieves holed up in a dacha in Russia?
Surely, using all their cookies, spiders, tracking thinga’me wotsits, and whatever other means they have at their disposal to spy on people quietly relaxing in their own front rooms, shouldn’t we expect them to protect us from international criminal organisations plundering our savings?
Yeah, dream on. At least we know those blokes are criminals. Most of us never thought our governments, prosecution services and police forces would let the world’s banks get away with the biggest fraud ever committed in history. But they have, so what chance do we stand?
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