Category Archives: General

Stuff that doesn’t fit into existing categories

There is no way to block, reject or prevent payments being made to your phone number via Paypal

How can I block PayPal payments to my mobile phone number?

None of these

How do I confirm my mobile phone number with PayPal?

I found some articles in our Help Center that might help you. Check them out! If you need more help, please rephrase your question or type “need more help”.

How do I confirm my mobile phone number with PayPal?

How do I add, edit or remove a phone number on my PayPal account?

How do I edit my customer service email, phone number or website URL on my PayPal account?

– PayPal Assistant

need more help


Hi Josh. I am not sure what you mean by block payments? Are you referring to notifications?

– Beth

No, I don’t want PayPal payments available to my mobile phone number. If someone tries to make Payal payment to my mobile phone number, I’d like it to fail immediately.

I see that right now your phone number is not confirmed and would not be able to receive payments at this time.

– Beth

But I get a text telling me I’ve got a payment, as far as the payer is concerned they’ve successfully made a payment. I don’t want this. I want payments to my mobile to fail, immediately.

In the sender’s account it would say that the payment is pending since the phone number is not confirmed. Unfortunately there is not a way to auto deny payments sent to your phone number. I apologize that this is not something that PayPal is able to do.

– Matthew

There’s also no way to reject payments sent to a phone number, other than contact the payer and ask them to cancel it from their end. Unless I want to refund payments to my mobile, which I do not.

The payments sent to your phone number will be reversed automatically after 30 days have passed, with no action required of you.

– Lindsay

uBank management and developers are a bunch of dummies

uBank, who I have chewed out before, has drawn my ire yet again. After several blissful years of not using any of their software, I found it necessary to do so again because they’ve done something to themselves, like a merger/rebrand/reverse takeover thing. As such, I get an un-requested NFC debit card. They then proceed to migrate all the customers off their existing IT systems – including me, who has no desire to migrate from, or even use said systems.

This causes me to need to log into their system. It won’t let me in, because I have a password that complied with their old requirements — that wouldn’t let you have a special character (*#@% etc) — but that password doesn’t comply with their new requirements — must have a special character (*#@% etc). Presumably, every damn customer has this problem.

No worries says the computer, let’s reset your password. Please confirm your identity by answering your secret question – “What are the last four digits of your private health insurance?” I dutifully type this in, but surprise surprise, this value has changed in the last ten years. At this point the computer suggests maybe I tell it the last four digits, and I scream.

A seventy-plus minute wait on hold (scratchy line, annoying announcements, bad hold music), I speak to the guy. The guy says, “so, what’s the last four digits of your private health insurance?” and I explain that number has changed in the last decade, and perhaps we could use some other technique to identify me. We do all the usual things like name, birthday, address and then my password is reset to a six digit number and SMSed to me. Couldn’t let me into the system with my old, 620-bit strong password that I knew. Now we have an almost 20-bit password that I had to wait 82 minutes for. Couldn’t just SMS me a reset six digits when I say, “dunno, forgot”. No, I had to wait over an hour to sort out this mess of a process. And great, now I have to generate and save a new password.

So I suggest perhaps we should change the secret question now, and get told that “oh, that’s not a thing anymore” and I just facepalm. New system uses 2FA, old system uses it for password resets, old system wouldn’t use for password resets. Morons, the lot of them.

And then I find out that their fabulous new system allows you to see transactions all the way back in the past… all the way back to 364 days ago. Because disk is expensive.

They don’t have a million customers, and they don’t each do a thousand transactions a year. That billion transactions a year they don’t process would require hundreds of gigabytes to store, and last I checked you could pick up a 240Gb SSD for less than $50.

And pagination! Show more than 10 things on a page! This isn’t 1992!

I believe the new system is meant to be an improvement on the old one. Money well spent.

Sanden Heat Pump water tank outlet size

The outlet size on a Sanden Heat Pump’s water tank is 3/4 inch (DIN20) with a BSP thread, so be aware you’ll have to use a reducer to get down to the normal 1/2 inch (DIN15) copper pipes. At least, that’s what I was told on the phone. The Sanden specification sheet, which has legible diagrams and writing compared to the installation instructions for an Australian Sanden, says the thread is NPT – but admittedly the model numbers are different (GAU-315EQTE on the clearly Australian installation instructions, GAUS-315EQTD on the American spec sheet). It also gives the dimensions, which when turned into SI units are 756mm H x 883mm W x 362mm D for the compressor and 1490mm H x 678mm W diameter for the 315L tank. For further fun, the installation manual includes a photo of an installed system on the first page – the system is installed too close together, according to the instructions.

However, 3/4″ pipes are able to transport a greater volume of water per unit time. If you’re running warm water down them for bathing, rather than hot for subsequent mixing, greater carrying capacity means better water pressure when running multiple showers, for example. If one was replumbing a whole house, and doing so with pre-mixed warm water, replumbing with 3/4″ copper would be a reasonable thing to do.

Be aware that the cold water inlet has a maximum pressure of 650 kpa.

How to light the pilot on a Brivis Wombat 92 central heating unit

I’m lucky enough to have central heating in my house, and as the weather is cold in SE Australia at this time of year, we’ve been using it a bit.

Every few years a strong storm will blow out the pilot light. To fix it I climb up into the roof (fortunately I have an attic ladder fitted) and re-light it. Generally the effort involved to re-learn how to light it is more than the effort to actually do it.

So I’m doing like any good geek would: documenting it.

The unit is a Brivis Wombat 92 (I assume that means it’s a 1992 model). The instructions are written in tiny writing on a label attached to the inside of cover — so tiny it’s quite difficult to read while in the cramped roof space.

The steps are actually pretty quick and easy, as follows:

1. Make sure the heater control (eg in the house) is set to Off, and grab yourself a torch if you have to climb into the roof.

2. Take off the cover. On mine you pull it upwards, but I think my unit is actually mounted upside-down, judging from the logo on the side.

3. Find the dial. Turn it clockwise to the Off position.

4. Find the power point for the unit. The power cord on my unit leads to a power point about a metre away, mounted on a joist. Switch it off.

5. Wait a few seconds and switch it on again. You will hear a regular clicking sound – this is the heater trying to re-light. You’ve got about 20 seconds for the next step.

6. Turn the dial back to the Light position and press down on it. A couple of clicks later you should hear the pilot light.

7. If all looks well, now turn the dial to On. That’s it! Put the cover back on. Enjoy the heat.

So basically, you’re turning it off then on again.

If it doesn’t work? I guess try it again. I know in 2013 mine wouldn’t re-light, and needed a service, but that’s perhaps not surprising for a 20 year old unit.

Good luck!

(Edit: Added to turn the dial to On when the pilot has been lit. Thanks for the feedback!)

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Go looking for any help on LinkenIn, and you get lies and incompetent software construction:

Linkedin needs JavaScript to enable JavaScript

Javascript must be enabled to use the Help Center

We’re sorry, but your current browser settings won’t allow you to use the Help Center. You can learn how to enable your JavaScript settings.

Notice the little UTF-square? If JavaScript’s turned on, that becomes a graphic image. Because, without Javascript HTML can’t include images, right? Not only that, once JavaScript is enabled the message with the graphic isn’t visible!

It then explains how to enable JavaScript, in the help centre that won’t help you without JavaScript – which is clearly a crock of shit. If the help centre can help me to enable JavaScript, surely it can help me with other problems also without needing JavaScript? Why lie like this? Why not say “our business model doesn’t work without you using JavaScript”?

To rub further salt into the wound, at the bottom is a “Was this answer helpful?” question, which you can’t answer because the buttons don’t do anything without JavaScript. Egads!

Airliner shootdowns ought to be technically impossible

Using missile to shoot down an airliner ought to be made impossible.  It may be a lack of imagination on my part, but I can’t think of a circumstance where a military force needs the ability to shoot down civilian aircraft.  There aren’t a lot of manufacturers of surface-to-air missile systems, regardless of their level of sophistication and range – shoulder launched or vehicle-mounted – so changing those designs to prevent civilian shootdowns ought not be a big deal. Admittedly there are many more means of bringing down aircraft beyond SAMs, but not a lot of them have the reach to bring down cruising airliners.

Civilian airliners have carried IFF transponders since World War II, so there’s the infrastructure in place already for the identification of non-military aircraft.  Furthermore, it’s a violation of Article 37 1.c of the Geneva Conventions to pretend you’re a civilian – that is, it’s a war crime with all the international condemnation that goes with that, so it’s reasonable to make weapons that refuse to down aircraft that identify themselves as civilian.

So, why is this still happening?


Unless it’s a transient, unrepeatable hardware fault, it’s not a glitch – it’s a bug. Glitch makes it sound like it’s nobody’s fault. And glitches don’t stop all banking transactions for a number of days, that’s a top-to-bottom fuck up – or bug, take your pick.

And for that matter, if legal restrictions prevent parties from being identified, it’s “mustn’t be named”, not can’t.

“Microsoft account”. One product, 6 names.

Hahaha, what a classic:

Microsoft account (previously Microsoft Wallet,[1] Microsoft Passport,[2] .NET Passport, Microsoft Passport Network, and most recently Windows Live ID) is a single sign-on web service developed and provided by Microsoft that allows users to log into many websites using one account.


So over the years it’s had 6 names!

Nice work, Microsoft.