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back to article Brits on benefits: 'Dole office site only works on PCs over 10 YEARS OLD'

Benefits claimants signing up for disability living allowance online are told they cannot use modern browsers, smartphones or even Macs. The Department for Work and Pensions' microsite - available at www.dwp.gov.uk/eservice - states that folks should use it for claiming attendance allowance, disability living allowance and …

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Question

Although it's an old site, are you quite sure it doesn't work with a current version of Firefox?

Of course, they should have designed it to work on Mosaic - then it would work on any browser, not using any special browser features.

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Re: Question

Well at least it does work with some browsers over 10 years old. It's not difficult to design a web site which will work with any browser, though maybe Mosaic that doesn't even support tables would make things a bit difficult. For that matter does it do forms?

Anyway I'd rather have a straightforward web site that works with any browser and platform (and isn't specially tailored to IE6 on Win95) than one stuffed with vast amounts of javascript, css and other unnecessary bloat.

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Re: Question

ParcelForce also blocks certain browsers and OSs for no real reason I can fathom.

Spoof your agent and it works fine.

Idiots.

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Re: Question

Suddenly the reason for el Reg's recent article on Mosaic becomes clear...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Question

I fully support making it as hard as possible for these scroungers to claim their benefits.

Ideally all web applications should be required to be followed up with forms signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters

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Anonymous Coward

AC 17:20

So I visit my Dr, who then tells me that I need to take 10 tablets a day fro the rest of my life if I want to stay 'healthy'. Or risk complications if I don't. I am signed off work. That makes me a scrounger? and I am to be denied any money of which I've been paying into the system for decades?

I hope you suffer a stroke, then you can join the roundabout that is the new benefit system. After 3 months with no cash maybe the state will pay for your funeral.

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Re: Question

It's just the list that's out of date. The site works fine under Chrome.

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C-N
Trollface

Re: Question

Yeah, yeah, isn't this the way it should be? What are they doing with new computers?

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Unhappy

Re: Question

Dear Anon, 17.20 GMT,

I think that your little bit of humour in this discussion is failing, as there appears to be a lot of humourless miserable twits hanging about here.

I am too old for the Dole -what a Bugger.

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M7S
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And none of this new-fangled broadband to overload the webforms neither

28.8k is your limit mate

(A policy helpfully supported by BT around where I live)

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Re: And none of this new-fangled broadband to overload the webforms neither

No, you have to use a connection that is RFC 1149 compliant.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm confused

For one thing, it's not April 1st. For another, the government really aren't that stupid, are they?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm confused

The government might not be, but some of the plebs in public services certainly are.

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Re: I'm confused

Sack them and insist that they can only apply for the dole via the web .... what do you mean you don't have an old browser ... ?

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This doesn't surprise me. I remember doing web development a number of years ago. One of our government customers we were developing for were stuck on Netscape 4 and were steadfastly refusing to upgrade. This was at a time when Firefox was already available.

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Perhaps they spent too long ensuring they had all their Dublin Core meat tags in place and ran out of time to optimise the site. Actually, it looks like reasonably compliant, non-table-based HTML so I'd have thought it would work with modern browsers. On the downside, it appears to be ASP, and they do some silly things like include a link to a JavaScript window popup function inside a noscript tag

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meat tags? I meant meta tags

Anyway, I take it all back. Click on the link to launch the online application and it pops up in a new window entitled, "Sieble eService"

That's the problem, right there. In my very best plumber voice, "Cor blimey mate, who put this in?"

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Re: meat tags? I meant meta tags

Gets worse - you need to register with the Government Gateway. Oh dear, this really isn't very good

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Something else: doesn't the government have certain legal obligations that they have to adhere to where the disability discrimination act - or whatever it's called these days - is concerned? Has something changed in recent years?

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Yes they do

As far as I know yes. Under the DDA as I understand it this website is - if as inaccessible as described - illegal.

Companies have been successfully prosecuted for way less than this.

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Joke

Re: Yes they do

Companies have been successfully prosecuted for way less...

Send a tumbrill for IDS.

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Re: Yes they do

We have a nice French Madam to attend to him.

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RE: Disability discrimination act

And if the department is prosecuted for breaking the DDA you know the money that was earmarked for upgrading the site would be used to pay the fine....

I'll go back to reading my copy of the Daily Mail now

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Boffin

Re: Yes they do

You sure, genuine question, who? Last time I looked into this no one had been prosecuted although many had been threatened.

Not sure how the law is now but the DDA never really mentioned websites, rather services, it was the rather open ended and websites were only talked about by the DRC and even then it was all about an undifined best practice.

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Amd there was me trying renew my claim for disability living allowance on my brand new 15" retina MAcBook Pro with 16 GB RAM. I need all that extra memory so I can run IE6 on a Win XP virtual machine. And that reminds me. I have to renew insurance for the Mercedes SL Class Coupe I bought last year to attend occasional job interviews and impress metrosexual partners. You don't seriously expect me to catch a bus or cycle to the benefits office, do you?

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Do you know anyone on benefits? No, didn't think so

I am sure there are a few bad'uns who have a lovely lifestyle by gaming the system, but most do not. Look at what an average claimant gets and see how far you'd get. Benefit is NOT generous. It is bloody tough. If you have a disability, it's doubly tough. That myth of the dole hog with a merc is just that -- a myth.

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JDX
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Re: Do you know anyone on benefits? No, didn't think so

But the stereotype of the doleite who can afford Sky, fags, booze and a PS3 is very much true.

If you're on benefits, how do you even afford a smartphone?!

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Re: Do you know anyone on benefits? No, didn't think so

Because you might have bought your smartphone or iMac a while back but found yourself disabled, with a chronic illness or unemployed. I know it's hard to believe in the current Wirtschaftswunder, but people lose their jobs and are entitled to benefits.

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Anonymous Coward

@Neil Gardner

I am on DLA and I don't own a car (never have, and don't believe I'll ever have enough money to get one and afford running costs), or a smartphone, or a computer with a retina display let alone a PC with 16GB ram. Benefits money does not make me rich or give me a life of luxury, it gives me just enough to live by, well 'exist'.

So shut the hell up you ignorant stereotypical Daily Fail 'reader' who is unable to determine their own conclusions from actually interacting with many people who genuinely claim DLA instead of regurgitating complete bollocks thrown around by people who feel hard done by that others who are incapable of working get a state benefit.

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Anonymous Coward

Problem?

What's the problem? Surely no unemployed benefit claimant will have a new or modern computer anyway? They certainly can't afford the latest smartphones either. Don't they have to "make do and mend" and purchase from second hand shops?

I'm a self employed company director and all three computers in fornt of me at the moment are over 8 years old, as is the laser printer, and my phone is about 4 or 5 years old. I can't afford or need to replace any of those devices as they are all still perfectly functional.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Problem?

I believe modern installations of Linux cost the same as old ones. Surely even a benefit claimant (is that how you spell scrounger?) can afford that....

I'm a highly paid government official working in the DWP.

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Re: Problem?

[quote]I'm a self employed company director...[/quote]

or your full title... Powerfully built tax dodger.

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JDX
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Re: Problem?

Yeah, loads of benefits claimants know about Linux.

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Unhappy

Re: Problem?

Read the article. This is not about unemployed benefit claimants, doleites scroungers or whatever derogatory label you might like to employ but is about Disability Living allowance, which can only be claimed if you have severe mobility problems or care requirements. I have not seen the website but the paper form was about 50 pages long. My wife received DLA for several months before her death last year. Dying many years before qualifying for a pension, in common with many DLA recipients, means that she saved HMG thousands of pounds so i find any implication of 'scrounging' etc pretty offensive

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Mushroom

Re: Problem?

"I believe modern installations of Linux cost the same as old ones"

Ye, they cost lots of time. I guess at least dole claimant might have some of that available....

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Coat

Re: Problem? (@ AC, Posted Tuesday 30th April 2013 13:16 GMT)

"I believe modern installations of Linux cost the same as old ones"

You're wrong there. The price of Linux installation as been raised a 70% to compensate for inflation.

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Re: Problem?

The claimants may not own computers of any kind but the ones in the public library are likely to be no more than a couple of years old.

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Stop

@JDX Yeah, loads of benefits claimants know about Linux.

Why shouldn't people on benefits know about Linux? Are you being a pompous dick?

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Unhelpful language

I find your language unhelpful here. "Dole Office" in particular. The benefits in question are disability and pension related, nothing to do with unemployment and dole, which makes up only 3% of the welfare budget anyway. At a time when government ministers and tabloid papers are going all out to spread propaganda against benefits you need to watch how you present them.

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CYA?

Maybe they did not have time to test the modern browsers and cover themselves againts complaints?

Like putting the warning "contains nuts" on a bag of peanuts...

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Re:That Warning about peanuts in peanuts in peanut packets

Several hundred packets of monkey nuts, alias peanuts had to be withdrawn in case customers were too stupid to realise that peanut packets might indeed contain peanuts - but presumably no horse meat?

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Re: Re:That Warning about peanuts in peanuts in peanut packets

In all fairness, peanuts aren't nuts.

So they don't contain nuts.

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Boffin

Re: Re:That Warning about peanuts in peanuts in peanut packets

Furthermore, it is quite possible to have a nut allergy, but not an allergy to peanuts, which are actually legumes (like peas and beans, hence the name). If they are produced in a factory that also handles actual nuts, such as walnuts, then it is perfectly sensible for there to be a warning on the packet of peanuts stating it may contain nuts, so that nut allergy sufferers don't eat them and die.

So, the warning about nuts in peanut packets isn't about peanuts in peanut packets, which would be stupid, but only seems stupid because you are ignorant, and is actually there to save people's lives.

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Headmaster

Re: CYA?

Strictly speaking, peanuts are not nuts, but a form of legume.

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Obsolete text on obsolescent website not updated!

The site's from 2009...at least that's what the pop-up says when you hit the "Crown Copyright" link.

If you were to try and "Launch services and benefits online" with a modern browser (Chrome 26.0.1410.64 say) then a pop up would appear allowing you to claim services and benefits online.

I realise that's not the disaster we'd been banking on. Ah well.

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Re: I realise that's not the disaster we'd been banking on.

Disaster, Banking. On a story about benefits! Ha ha, like it, very droll.

Of course, a form appearing is all it needs to do....

Bloody lefty propaganda, eh? Even the logos red! It's like the fucking bbc round here!!!!!!!

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Re: a pop up would appear allowing you to claim services and benefits online

Did you go through the whole process? Because the warning is not that it will not work at all with some software, but that it will not work in a complete and correct way.

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Stop

Re: a pop up would appear allowing you to claim services and benefits online

No, I'm afraid I didn't.

I had the funny idea that "...I didn't mean to make a fraudulant claim but they said it didn't work on the reg and thought I'd test it" would be much of a defence.

But hey don't let me stop you, feel free.

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Re: don't let me stop you, feel free.

You're the one claiming that it's fine on a modern browser. Do you now concede that you have no idea whether the site works in Chrome?

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Anonymous Coward

Haven't you heard about the IT skills shortage?

It's no wonder they can't find an unemployed Web Developer to update it.

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