* Posts by Zap

112 posts • joined 3 Mar 2008


Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July



"Without those fixes, you'll be better off unplugging your machine for good."

That is Nonsense

All you need to do is make sure you run a protected environment

This kind of scaremongering is just what Microsoft wants

Even without all the advertising, affiliate products and bloatware issues as an operating system Win10 has no compelling reason to upgrade.

It is slower, slower to boot and to operate. You could not get me to upgrade even if they were giving it away, oh shit they are giving it away!!

I do not know when the next version is out but I am quite happy to stay with Win7, I installed a dual boot so I can be technically competent in Win10 but if Microsoft does not want to move people to Linux they better speed up their product and give an option to remove all this crapware.

They say the enterprise version does not have this but would you honestly believe there is not some kind of service collecting data that they use for their advertisers.

"Crucially, Microsoft will continue to push out security fixes for Windows Vista until April 11, 2017; Windows 7 until January 14, 2020; and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8 – unless you cut a special deal with Redmond for longer support. Without those fixes, you'll be better off unplugging your machine for good."


'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'


The Real Scandal of Windows 10

The Real Scandal of Windows 10 is that it has been morphed into nothing more than an affiliate and advertising platform.

You have to opt out of your data being shared in over 120 locations and guess what, Microsoft sets them back to shared when you do a routine windows update.

What did you think that Amazon, eBay and all that bloatware was put there because they were trying to be helpful.

All those new apps like the music and Video apps that gets Microsoft a commission.

One thing that also bugged me was that Microsoft no longer allows you to opt out of sharing your usage pattern data.

There is NO OPT OUT all you get to choose is minimal.

I am forming a complaint to the EU Data Commissioner

The combination of this data to their advertising means you can effectively be identified and you cannot opt out.

So much for privacy.


The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole


Class Action

Can someone tell me when there will be a class action?

I mean to be fit for purpose an OS has to be secure, to write an insecure version of Windows once, or even twice with different version might be acceptable, but Microsoft does it with every version.

How much is it costing users and businesses in lost productivity


Re: As they say...

I so agree

Windows 10 is an advertising and affiliate platform, a bit like Chrome is for Google.

Users have to make over 120 privacy settings changes to stop their data being shared and when you allow Windows Update to work it changes some of those back to share the data.

I am in the process of documenting this behaviour (it seems to be time based) before making a complaint to the EU data commissioner.

Maybe they thought I would not notice but I set EVERYTHING explicitly to do not share as well as using the setting for each section to do not share.


everything hinges on trust

I will NEVER trust Microsoft again either personally or professionally, in fact I am advising clients to dump them at every opportunity, but WHY?

So last year I signed up for OneDrive, I got 15gb of free storage

Recently I got an Email from Microsoft saying that they were reducing my free storage from 15gb to 5gb and I had to get my shit off their servers by August.

They did say I could avoid this with a one year trial of Office 365, no thank you.

Now my data was growing and at some point I would have started paying for data but it is the principle of the thing.

Nobody wants to have a gun put to their head, I do NOT want or need Office365, I am happy with Office 2010.

I will get all my files off and move them to Mega.nz where I get 50gb free but I will NEVER TRUST MICROSOFT again.

Ironically I had a client asking me about moving 485 to Office365, my advice was to move all users to OpenOffice and we are now working on a migration plan.

I do not know what idiot at Microsoft thought this would work for them but they should be fired, as a brand Microsoft is polluted for me now.


US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing


I will NEVER upgrade to Win10

What those figures do NOT tell you is how many were new PC's and how many were upgrades, if you deduct the new machines you are left with a disturbing number of people that have upgraded.

I installed a dual boot of Win10 on my Laptop

What I found was an OS that gave me no tangible benefit to upgrade and a lot of reasons not to.

It is slower to boot, slower to run, shit got moved around for no good reason and no benefit to anyone but Microsoft.

The ONLY benefit was a slightly smaller footprint in disk space which is probably due to the wasted space of WINSXS in older version.

Win10 is nothing more than an advertising and affiliate platform, pretty much the same as Chrome is for Google.

Now the biz version may be less so but still there is no compelling benefit and for a corporation there are all the costs of training, support and management.

I am happy with Win7, anyone can see by installing a fresh install of Win7 that it runs inside 2gb but add all the Windows updates, it then runs like a dog and needs 4gb. This is clearly Microsoft trying to force people to upgrade by messing with registry, (they were caught doing this before), but it is not going to make me shift to Win10

Even if Microsoft stopped providing updates I would stick with Win7, I would just make sure security around it is safer.

If Microsoft forces a move I am at the stage where I would rather shift to Linux (much as I hate it)

If Microsoft want people to upgrade they need to provide compelling benefits, there are none.

Win10 is a polluted brand for me, a bit like Windows Millenium was.

So they need to get the next version to be lean and mean, I suggest they give developers really slow PC's so they are forced to write efficient code.


Google and HMRC face Parliamentary grilling over £130m tax deal


That works out at just 3% tax

Can we all have such a deal, I am sure every worker, self employed person, Manager, Company Director and shareholder would LOVE to pay just 3% tax.

Google has 83 subsidiaries, the main purpose of them is to avoid tax (according to EU Minister).

Google is starting to damage its brand now with all this Tax Avoidance

I think this is also a competition issue, Google has a dominant market position and its competitors have to pay tax at much higher rates.

My Message to Google is


Meanwhile I am advertising on Facebook, Yahoo/Microsoft and doing SEO so you get didly squat!


Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all


How it really is

So just before the ConDem Govt got in there was a project due to go live that finally got Job Centres off the mainframes, the project was scrapped without reason, same reason as the school improvement projects and all the others. Govt wanted to say "we did this"

So in a job centre when someone signs on they still key the data into the mainframe and another system, any cock up on data entry on either and you do not get paid.

I was speaking to some people in the DWP who were telling me of the nightmare this new system is. First things first, you want to MIGRATE a number of systems into one, first thing you need is a data dictionary from all the disparate system #fail , so historical data from claimants would be lost if they transferred to Universal Credit.

Mostly it just does not work, staff report entering staff data on the initial 0800 claim line and not being able to save data due to an "application error", when this happens they are supposed to email IT but they can't carry on, one said was near the end of the day and had to log out, data lost.

This was just the initial data collection required to get a form, it took 2 months to get a form sent manually.

I did an calculation for a few friends who are on ESA and PIP, one was in a supported living accomodation, calculator made no allowance for the fact that they were disabled and supported living is one step from a care home. So it wanted to cut their money because it went over the benefits cap.

For the other it said they would be £20 better off a month on Universal Credit??


I thought this was an IT system that brought together different systems from DWP and Local Authorities, so how come you get more money if you go on this, is it a bribe to get people on and then to screw them later?

I know people who are on ESA and PIP and BOTH, as it is we are paying two different 3rd parties (ATOS and MAXIMUS) to medically assess them, WHY? Especially when GP is ignored.

I just do not see any "benefit" to the state in this system.

Just another doomed Government IT project where the most basic things have not been done


Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!


Re: Commodore 64

Michael Palin: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.

Graham Chapman: Nothing like a good glass of Chateau de Chassilier wine, ay Gessiah?

Terry Gilliam: You're right there Obediah.

Eric Idle: Who'd a thought thirty years ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Chateau de Chassilier wine?

MP: Aye. In them days, we'd a' been glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

GC: A cup ' COLD tea.

EI: Without milk or sugar.

TG: OR tea!

MP: In a filthy, cracked cup.

EI: We never used to have a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper.

GC: The best WE could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

TG: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

MP: Aye. BECAUSE we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness."

EI: 'E was right. I was happier then and I had NOTHIN'. We used to live in this tiiiny old house, with greaaaaat big holes in the roof.

GC: House? You were lucky to have a HOUSE! We used to live in one room, all hundred and twenty-six of us, no furniture. Half the floor was missing; we were all huddled together in one corner for fear of FALLING!

TG: You were lucky to have a ROOM! *We* used to have to live in a corridor!

MP: Ohhhh we used to DREAM of livin' in a corridor! Woulda' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woken up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House!? Hmph.

EI: Well when I say "house" it was only a hole in the ground covered by a piece of tarpolin, but it was a house to US.

GC: We were evicted from *our* hole in the ground; we had to go and live in a lake!

TG: You were lucky to have a LAKE! There were a hundred and sixty of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road.

MP: Cardboard box?

TG: Aye.

MP: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o'clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for fourteen hours a day week in-week out. When we got home, out Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!

GC: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at three o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of hot gravel, go to work at the mill every day for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would beat us around the head and neck with a broken bottle, if we were LUCKY!

TG: Well we had it tough. We used to have to get up out of the shoebox at twelve o'clock at night, and LICK the road clean with our tongues. We had half a handful of freezing cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at the mill for fourpence every six years, and when we got home, our Dad would slice us in two with a bread knife.

EI: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, (pause for laughter), eat a lump of cold poison, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing "Hallelujah."

MP: But you try and tell the young people today that... and they won't believe ya'.

ALL: Nope, nope..

PS. My CPM box has been running 28 hours a day since 1972 and we are keeping it running till 3072


Re: Disk Magic

I used Ghost (on Hiren Boot Disk) up to last year but for GPT I have now had to find alternatives.

My laptop does not use GPT so used Ghost to clone Win7 to a second primary partition, then hid one, upgaded 2nd to Win10 then unhid and made dual boot Win7 or Win10.

Can't stand Win10 so in Win7 most of time, it will see me out till I am personally decommissioned.

Win10 is just an affilate and advertising platform for Microsoft, same way as Chrome is for Google but worse.


Re: old kit?

I have a few of those old floppies some of them bootable.


Not Surprising

There are loads of systems like that in medical sector, running software that can't be replaced, I have seen them in USA and UK.

Key thing was to keep it in its era, not upgrade the OS so it could do it's thing.

I have migrated a few such systems to VM's of their former environment


Dell: How to kill that web security hole we put in your laptops, PCs


Dell vs The Register

Hey Dell, how about you bloody ASK before grabbing my System ID without my permission.

Hey The Register, How about you get rid of those 16, yes 16 tracking Beacons installed on THIS PAGE that Ghostery is kindly blocking for me!


At least with Dell it is not deliberate, it is just incompetence.


Universal Credit white elephant needs 'urgent breakthrough' says MP


Too big to fail so we will not call it failed

The problem with the NPFIT (Renamed Connecting for Health) was that staff would not cooperate, why should they, it would make them redundant.

They brought in LSP's who were promised multi billion pound contracts, they had no clue how medical data is structures, they figured that HL7 would define all the data but the IT staff refused to give them the access control data, sometimes because they did not know it and sometimes because they wanted to mess them around. It is not as simple as saying "this guy is a consultant he must have access" clinicians can only see data that they need to see and things like HIV results have very special access control.

Still most of the figures you see banded about about £20bn were projected 20 year costs. Less than 3bn was actually spent and a lot of it is still in use every day in the NHS.

Now the Univeral Credit system is going through the same thing, the aging system still runs on mainframes and they are dragging their feet over exporting data. Of course the new system has not been designed to accomodate that data and nobody wants to lose it.

Then you have the various "interested parties" who want to delay delay delay.

It does not help that the DWP staff are spread across so many sites, do they have been developing around various workflows of different areas (JSA, ESA, Income Support etc) but completely failed to create the integration.

It is too big to fail because IDS will not resign.

Yet in the last month he has LIED TO PARLIAMENT when he denied that data existed for death figures but the DWP had already told ICO they existed but it did not want to publish them because WE MIGHT GET THE WRONG IDEA!


Imagine if all data was not published on this basis!

There have been many petitions to get Iain Smith to resign go sign the petition and it might actually happen although his bald head and slippery nature has led to him being called Teflon with civil servants.





Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch


WTF has it got to do with Apple, surely it is up to the USERS (you know the one's paying for the bloody thing) to decide what they do and do not like.

This is why I am NOT a fan of Apple, all the success of the iPhone etc is because of the App developers that Apple exploit.

If you really want to understand Apple mentality get the low down from this interview with one of their senior engineers

Apple Engineer Talks about the New 2015 Macbook



EU: Competition Commissioner met Google chief Schmidt


Google has done a lot more than this article shows or the EU realises to create a dominant position.

The changes it made to Google Analytics mean that website owners only have a fractional subset of data UNLESS they advertise with Google. You used to get 250,000 keywords and history to the beginning of time, now you get a few thousand (not even the best) and over a few months.

That in itself is anti competitive because a website owner can't use that information (gained from a dominant browser) to advertise on Bing (Yahoo).

In addition to that they cut off access to mobile search which has now overtaken desktop search, they used to provide this but no more.

Google bots amass data with their search engine, spy with their browser and toolbar tools on other browser, it is no wonder that nobody else has a chance to compete.

ON top of that they avoid their taxes via Luxembourg, the solution that is to slap a new rate of VAT at 60% on the business they do with British companies, that could be avoided if they paid corporation tax on their UK business.

The Google Mantra is Don't be Evil but the full version is

Don't be evil, only we are allowed to be evil.


The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY


Silly Tony Hall

Tony Hall is being silly and it is just wishful thinking that will probably bring the end of the license fee sooner rather than later, a day I hope never comes.

I listen to BBC Radio a lot, well Radio4 but I watch very very little BBC and what I do watch I download.

I do not watch ITV or SKY either, can't stand the ads, so I got myself a NowTV (rebadged Roku) box and installed something called Plex which gives me a Netflix like interface on my content. Sorry Auntie, I do not need a license for this as it is not live TV and even if the law was changed, I would not pay, on principal. The BBC has priced themselves out of the market, they need a whole different approach, make it free if you agree to receiving marketing info by post, email and online.

You would not need to enforce it (getting rid of the Capita Goons you see on YouTube) and could offer value added programming for a subscription, still with no ads in programmes.

Now that I have tested Plex I will buy a box like the Amazon Fire TV or a better Roku. I can download content with Amazon Prime but also add all my other content on a PC share, it is all done wirelessly.

What the BBC needs to do is commission its channels for use outside the UK on a paid service, it can do this via the services out there or get its own Roku type box.

The issue here is the technology and the BBC needs to get with it, it needs to get rid of Flash Player online, use all the other ways of streaming.

They have no right to impose and they can Foxtrot Oscar if they think they can force people to pay.


EasyGroup continues bizarre, time-travelling domain crusade


Really all this bullying does is damage the EASYjet and other EASYgroup brands, I do not like being bullied and I do not like bullies.

I own hundreds of domains (used to own thousands and traded them) and people have to pay if they want a brand, BUT Easygroup should just go rebrand something unique, e.g. EeezyJet, i.e. a word that does not exist.

Really has damaged their reputation for me for even trying this nonsense.



Wi-Fi beam-steering tech could KILL OFF fixed home networks


On the one hand I do not know how we would cope without WiFi, but sometimes I wonder if we are all being Microwaved albeit on a low setting.

With dramatic increases in diagnosis of everything from Cancer to Autism and ADHD, then the increase in Paedos and gender variances, one has to wonder if there are links or is it just what we are dumping into the sea and landfill (water table).

Either way, I like as much as possible on a cable where I can protect it from hackers and get a decent speed without nuking my environment


Super-cookie crumbles: Verizon vows to kill off hated zombie stalkers


Interesting that there is such a means to monitor people, so 1984 can be switched on in due course.

Many people do not realise that there are LSO cookies which cross browsers and track you. Some retargetting cookies use them when other cookies have been deleted. In Firefox you can get plugin to see them. The sites I see using them a lot include Yahoo, YouTube, & eBay but many others do too, they just edit the default file.

If you use Chrome or any Toolbar or even the Browser toobat search you can expect to be tracked, let's face it, Google is an advertising company, so what do you expect!

Google's attitude is collect the information into the notorious "logs" and figure out later how to make money from it.


Uber reveals fresh passenger data spaff – and city officials are OK with this


What i think is unfair about UBER is that they do not have to go through the same regulation as other Taxi drivers, e.g. in London. That makes it unfair.

Further more we have seen poor security which potentially means a rapist or murderer could be yyour driver.

I am all for competition but not for unfair competition.

Time and time again data like this can be added to other information in the public domain to remove the anonimity.

I for one will NOT be using Uber on the data issue alone.


Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook


How dumb is it to be worried about محمد

I do not really care what Saudis do their own citizens in their own country.

There was a time when I would respect others right to practice their own religion in our country but that respect is not reciprocated. They think that respect means that I believe, NO, it means I respect that they believe, even if Mohammed (which they can't even agree on an english spelling for so to clarify I will say محمد ) is just a fictional character in a book, like Spiderman.

Now I just see it as a primitive religion practiced by dumb people and exploited by power hungry fanatics.

Also because of their slaughter last week, an act of cowardice against unarmed civilians, not only am I going to share hundreds of offensive images of محمد (my fav is the one with the sheep and satan) but I am going to blog them and use software to spread millions of them.

They may be offended but I say get over it كسها.


How dumb is it to be worried about محمد

I do not really care what Saudis do their own citizens in their own country.

There was a time when I would respect others right to practice their own religion in our country but that respect is not reciprocated. They think that respect means that I believe, NO, it means I respect that they believe, even if Mohammed (which they can't even agree on an english spelling for so to clarify I will say محمد ) is just a fictional character in a book, like Spiderman.

Now I just see it as a primitive religion practiced by dumb people and exploited by power hungry fanatics.

Also because of their slaughter last week, an act of cowardice against unarmed civilians, not only am I going to share hundreds of offensive images of محمد (my fav is the one with the sheep and satan) but I am going to blog them and use software to spread millions of them.

They may be offended but I say get over it كسها.


Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube


Better Parody

I get the IT link ot EMC but I think there are better parodies.

Kim Jong Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cG7ZVBXQII

Lego Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2CZBBM7zBw

Obama Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwh8kWuire8

Eton Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FtZkVRkusQ Featuring Cameron Crew

Eastern Europe Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY1MVQeeStY


'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching


So easy to overcome

Whenever they come out with these ideas it always shows they know sweet FA about technolofy.

So what happens is that the whole population is monitored and has their privacy invaded while the actual villains use a VPN like this https://bitly.com/vpn01 which has 44,000 IP addresses to choose from and allows you to state your locations.

Even if they did not spring $60 for that they might just grab one of the less secure 20,000+ proxies advertised every day.

Maybe that is the idea, get people to use these VPN services and then have MI5 hack the VPN provider.

I have used these to watch BBC TV while abroad and in my work or just when I do not like the idea of being snooped on.


iPhone sales set to PLUMMET: Bleak times ahead for Apple


Nice problem to have

49m phones, when will analysts realise that their biggest problem is analysts who hype up the expectation then put in the warnings. It is all a game to get people to buy and sell Apple shares so the companies they work for can make a killing.

If phones were lower than expectations it might be because they bend or was that really a scare story started by Samsung as some have reported.

I like the Iphone6 being bigger, it means old gits like me can actually see it.

I still hate the OS, so many things missing from my crappy old phone.


UK.gov mulls three-point turn on three-point turn thanks to satnav. Weeeeeeee. THUD


Stupid Government.

New drivers are bad enough, if we remove these filters then there will be more accidents

What they could do is have a second test for motorway driving which seems essential as nobody seems to understand the keep left rule.

If the Government want to tinker with the roads then make all motorways 4 lanes, with only cars allowed in the right two lanes, the left two lanes being reserved for Lorries, Vans, old people and idiots.

Retaking of test is just a way to rake in more money from citizens.


Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows


Classic email mistake from The Register

After all these years have the owners of The Register lost the plot?

Do you not know anything about email marketing?

Your emails are often opened because of the Subject line, but then you fail to follow through because the thing you promise in the subject line (this page) is buried down below. At the very least it needs to be "above the fold" meaning either the first item or at least visible without scrolling.

Your whole job is to distract busy people and make them visit your site, so this failure to follow through is huge. It make you look as if you are promising something that is either not delivered because it is hidden.

Hopefully you will do better in future.




It is complete and utter rubbish to suggest that 86% of Wordpress sites include this plugin.


Apple surges in on the BYOD wave


Will Never buy Apple for Biz

Several years ago Apple brought out a bunch of Server products for the business market under the brand Xserve

We had a lot of Apple fanboys saying we should buy some, we had Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu and a few others.

The Apple kit was quite reasonable in price but knowing what Apple is like once you use or depend on their kit there were reservations, but it is always the management and support that matters, so we waited.

Then a Apple pulled out of that market


There were lots of comments about it being an experiment but you can't have your company IT depending on an Experiment.

Now they want to get in bed with IBM, well the same thing applies; Support and Management, I can't see any value in Apple, oh I am sure that there will be the usual fanboys that don't mind bending over and taking it hard, but no thanks.


Data protection laws come to the rescue of poor, underpaid UK MPs


The real MP Crime

This is terrible but it is a lot worse than you think.

We had MP's abusing their expenses, flipping properties 3 times (Hazel) each with a new expensive flat screen TV at our expense, yet the total fiddled was estimated at £6,000,000

So we spent £10,000,000 to create IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) they are not fit for purpose, they are not independent and it is these clowns who say MP's should get a £11,000 rise (more money than a Health Care Assistant at your local hospital gets.

It was Blair who increased their Salaries and put this expenses system in place.

We still can't sack these bar stewards and below the MP's we have the completely rotten Civil Servant infrastructure, these are the people that tell new MP's who come with good ideas "that is not how we do things around here".

Then the whips step in, vote with the party or we will leak you playing with small boys or hiring a nanny from outside the EU with no visa. They are so anti-democratic, telling MP’s to vote against the wishes of their constituents.

MP's that are a professional politicians should be banned, you should have to have worked for at least 10 years doing something in the real world, does not matter what job.

MP's insult our intelligence, they forget it is the voter who elects them not the party. Consider the EU vote, Labour insults our intelligence by not even giving us the option to vote while Cameron will renege on whatever promises he makes as he did with the Scottish the day after their referendum by putting in this English nonsense that kicks it into the long grass.


That is why I will vote UKIP, not because I agree with their policies but because I know they will expose the shams wherever they find them, just like Farage does in this video


Of course if I had a choice, to quote Richard Burton in this film

"I would bring the whole edifice down on their unworthy heads"


I would make every MP have to get a sponsor, we all know they are on the fiddle with private companies giving them non exec directorships, so why not be open about it, but the other change I would make is to take away their ability to vote, the HOC would become a debating chamber, any MP could propose new law but WE would vote on it. Very easy to do, then we really would get the laws we want and deserve. No expenses, no costs from the public purse. no £250,000 on portraits of themselves. Zero, Nada, Nichts, rien de tout!

But for now UKIP is the only way to send these clowns a message that we have had enough of them.

Yes it will mess up politics, imagine if Labour got most votes but had to work with UKIP, you would get exposure of every little trick they tried to pull.

I can't wait!


GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’


My long message has not been published? Can the mod please contact me to explain why, I can always go post it on a blog if preferred?


NOT JUST GP - Your Health Data is not Safe and not Anonymous, this data will be updated

I worked for many years on various projects in the NHS with numerous different NHS organisations managing huge amounts of data in systems, in integrating data and in providing research data.

Putting aside the complete amateurs who are often left in charge of NHS data and who will dump a whole SQL database rather than figure out what data the requester is entitled to, there are bigger issues.

The NHS already has exemptions from the Data Protection Act, I attended an annual meeting of doctors who were users of a clinical management system. The presenter was asking for patient data and questions were raised about confidentiality, these were dismissed by the presenter who said

"part of our exemption is where there is a benefit to the patient, well we can argue that all research is beneficial."

This cavalier attitude is rife within the NHS, there are constant power struggles in the NHS between Doctors who think they are Gods (they save lives don't you know), managers and the executives. It is so political that you can lose your job if you go up against the wrong person or fail to immediately comply.

I saw so called "studies" carried out, these were funded by drug companies trying to make data say that their drugs should be used for a larger cohort of patients. In these "studies" they would pick a group of 50 patients that met their criteria, each patient was asked to participate in the study and even paid £60 for filling out a questionnaire 3 times during the study, of course the patient was told that it would all "benefit" the future treatment of patients (bollocks). The doctors were paid £600 per patient for overseeing the "study" and putting their name to it. A nice little earner!

So let's look at the data, it is going to be updated, that means that there is a key field that links the so called anonymous data to the live patient record, the simple fact that this key exists in both datasets means that data can be "reconnected"

However, the biggest threat is this data being combined with other data in the public domain, this includes voter records, director records, credit reference agency records, census records, Land Registry records to mention just a few and added to these all the voluntary information that we "give up" for free on social media, websites or in local papers.

Add to the all the companies that breach data protection and the hackers who steal information and then publish it on forums.

We already have credit reference agencies covertly getting access to the NHS spine, I have seen reports of this and what is more troubling is that they seem to be getting "event" data, that means they are getting say an update every time the patient attends any NHS facility and the coding can even tell them why, be being found drunk in A&E or for a cancer treatment.

They are not supposed to have this data and nobody knows how they are getting it, but they are getting it and the NHS is just too big to figure out how. The NHSnet has over 100,000 nodes, there are trusted organisations working inside and outside the NHSnet who have access to it. Some are multi billion pound organisations and others are small little companies.

I know of Doctors who have run reports of all Doctors and exported that data to their own business that they run on the side. This is a prime example of he can so he will.

So let’s start with some innocent information provided anonymously in the NHS data, a partial postcode

PR8 2

They also have the patient date of birth, but let’s just say they just have the year of birth 1961

Innocent enough but if you are into "profiling" you combine this with other data that tells you the subject of this data (the patient) is living with a lady who does not use his name, she is originally from Liverpool but now living in Southport who supports Everton, likes "Strictly" , listens to Barry Manilow, enjoys Italian food and holidays in Seville in Spain.

That they bought their house on 9th Mar 1998 for £233k and are actually selling it right now for £685k (it is sold STC) and they had been trying to sell it since July 2014. The pictures in the property listing tells you a measure of their wealth, that they like to play music (Piano and Guitar) and she likes to decorate rooms in red!

Whilst the original subject of this enquiry tries to keep off social networks his efforts are only as good as those around him and their security is lax.

The information "brokers" will use this information is a number of ways; some will combine it with other so called anonymous data used for "retargeting" you in marketing campaigns, but others might use it to deny you or your kin to services such as insurance. If that data includes HIV information you may be prohibited from travelling to certain countries. There are many opportunities that you may never hear about because of your data; employment agencies may exclude you or you could end up on a do not employ list or troublemakers list.

I was able to reconcile this data in just a few minutes and I am not even trying very hard. I got the full home address and loads of information I did not include because you never know what kind of nuts read this, but the information is out there. Each piece of information allows someone to "connect" with you and that connection might make you trust them.

It amazes me how gullible the people who have commented here are.


The potential uses are infinite because as as they CAN access the data, they will find new opportunities to sell access to this data.

When people discovered that cookies got deleted and people used different browsers they started using dom storage and flash settings to "track" users and profile you by where you go on the web. Some just display ads, others a lot more. The more information they have the more they can do with it.

At the VERY LEAST The NHS data should be OPT-IN ONLY, once it is out there it is too late, data is never deleted, just excluded from certain queries.


No confirm of Opt out

BTW I opted out of this data sharing, I checked with my GP and I was still opted in, unlike other organisations there is not even a letter or email generated to confirm that you have opted out.


Ten years on, TEN PER CENT of retailers aren't obeying CAN-SPAM


Sounds like they are way more well behaved than everyone else.


Register journo battles Sydney iPHONE queue, FONDLES BIG 'UN


Boring Article

What a boring article, nobody give a shiiite about queues and chinese nonsense, write about the iPhone6 not all the rest.

I am guessing that the time zone meant the Editor of The Register was asleep and this awful article slipped through.


Get ready for another HYPEGASM: New iPADs 'in October'


Tail wagging the Dog

F'ing stupid, 5gb required for an update at the expense of personal data.

MS is no better,

When will these stupid software companies learn to give their developers the crapiest kit so that they write lean code.

What we know is that a new OS will mean older devices run slower and force people who already got shafted by Apple prices get shafted again.

Sadly Google is not much better at writing software.


Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies


The last update of Firefox announced itself as a "security update" but was a major change in UI that pissed me off, but this does not worry me.

I never use tiles, I hate them, it is just clutter.

If Mozilla mess up there will be a fork and that will be that, or there will be a plugin to fix it.

I do wish Mozilla would stop copying Chrome, I hate Chrome, it is another example of Goggle's inability to design any decent UI for their software.

The last update would have killed Firefox for me except for a Plugin Called Colorful Tabs which put back the tabs as I like them. I has to piss about putting my icons on the menu bar but they are tiny.

I have no problem with Mozilla trying to earn a few pennies, most of us will disable the feature but idiots will leave it on and that is just who advertisers want.

I already have Better Privacy, adbock, FlashBlock and Ghostery, I expect there to be an option to disable this crap OR ELSE!


DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are


You just don't get it.


I used to think the way you do until the day I got it.

Really what you are saying is you do not know how to use these new facilities.

I will not be friending you or wasting my time telling you how you can exploit social media as I am busy and I always make sure I have a receptive audience.

If you want to email me I will give you an old fashioned thing called a telephone number and I can help you "get it".

The other part of your article deals mostly with the abuse and it is your settings that enable this.


NHS patient data storm: Govt lords SLAP DOWN privacy protections


The Real Truth about NHS data

I have worked in the NHS for over 10 years and specifically in managing data from numerous Trusts.

Currently the so called beneficiaries of this data is the drug companies so they can improve health, that is total bullshit. They already have access to data but under the supervision of a Doctor via study groups and sponsored research. They pay quite a high price for this, for example one study pays £60 per patient to the patient and £600 per patient to the Doctor. They want unlimited access to this data so they can export it to 3rd world countries for analysis. Some of the research carried out helps Doctors in the NHS, but this moves the value of that to a commercial company and takes it away from the Doctor. Remember the Doctor wants to make patients better, the drug companies want to sell you a pill you have to take every week, for life.

What amazes me from working in the NHS is the complete and utter lack of a consistent access control system for data. Some Trusts have "school leavers" looking after their data and will quite happily dump a complete SQL database because they do not know how to selectively extract data.

Others are incompetent with the HL7 interfaces, they say "well give you everything and you sort out what you need".

Meanwhile GP's are already not respecting your wishes if you want to opt out of the spine (your data being shared across the NHS).

The spine itself has already been infiltrated by Data companies who are selling selective parts of this data such as the address of patients to debt collection companies.

The data is not anonymous, because when you combine this data with data from other databases including Companies House directors, the electoral register and all the other databases.

For this reason I do not put my name on the Electoral Register.

The most sinister aspect of this is that you CAN'T OPT OUT, I already opted out of the spine with my GP but my data is being provided to the spine and being sold off to 3rd parties NOW. How do I know this?

I split from my Ex and took on some credit card debt which was sold off to a debt collection company. It took a while for me to get a new flat so I was staying with friends. I was temporarily at two different addresses, but I did not give those addresses to any organisation except two parts of the NHS, one was the transplant register, within a week I received a threatening letter from the debt collection agency, so that address had got onto Equifax.

Then a month later whilst at a completely different address that I provided to my local hospital who asked me to confirm my address. I gave them the address but I modified it by adding "first floor" even though it was a detached house. Sure enough the debt collection company wrote to me at the new address and included the "first floor" in their address.

Whilst I was at these two addresses I was completely "off radar" even my bank did not have my address. So the idea of GP's managing your preferences is a joke, they can't even manage it now.

Quite how the data is getting out of the NHS at the moment is unknown to me but I suspect it is a company that is plugged into both by providing some sort of outsourced IT service. Of course they will never admit it and right now they are probably only using the address updates but have you noticed how every time you use the NHS they are manic about getting you to confirm your address is correct?

Once you let this data out of the NHS access control will go out the window, the big data management companies will abuse your data (just look at what their American parent companies already do).

Some of these data companies already manage "public" databases things like the tenant deposit register to name just one, there are too many to mention.

Various different companies have access to public data, some buy the electoral register for under £5 per thousand records, they then bolt on information they gather and scrape from other sources including Google. This is why you are so stupid to provide your data either to companies or even sites like linkedin and Facebook. All that data can and is scraped daily.

The data protection act has a key element called PURPOSE, you provide your data to an organisation for a purpose and they are not allowed to use it for a different purpose without your express permission. The public sector organisations are exempt from this and the private data companies want access to this this exemption via the back door and you are not even being given consent.

Many companies are putting your data on credit registers without even telling you, they do not just look you up but they share your payment history. This includes energy companies, broadband suppliers and mobile phone companies.

So how can this data be abused, well putting aside the fact that some faceless organisation has access to your data without your permission? Simple, by profiling. When you know a patient has been putting on weight you can put relevant ads up to them, this already happens, it is called re-targeting, you can do it across most internet platforms (it is how ads chase you).

Consider Google, they collect your web search history and the only way to opt out is to register with them and specify that, they will still collect that data, they will just not use it to affect your search results. They have a spy on your desktop, first with Google Chrome, but also with the various toolbars in other browsers and also in the search box of the browser itself. Now this all sounds like innocent marketing right, sure, except that when Google sent their streetview cars around they used a pernicious bot to identify your router, grab all the information about it and even break through it to trawl your PC data. We recently found out that Google management were warned about this by their engineers and still proceeded. When asked to delete the data they said "we can't delete all of it but we have done what we can" what this means is that they deleted the data but not the index of it. Once they index data it is part of the index and that cannot be deleted ever. Just read the book "in the plex" to understand why. Hell they even index your emails.

So now Google knows your habits, it can identify you by the unique footprint of your router, SSID, your mobile, your PC name and when these change it can update your "profile", this is not a profile you have access to, but the Government does, there is a publicly admitted part of this


and the not so public admitted


Plus off course what we were told by Edward Snowden


Google is not the only one, Facebook will use your likes, the groups you belong to, your connections with friends, fair enough you might say, but they use your private messaging that is stepping over the line. Worse still 3rd party companies use software to trawl Facebook data and build their own profiles.

What it shows is that if you do not restrict and regulate big companies they will go as far as you let them.

Another example is insurance companies, with this NHS data they will be able to start to build a profile, it will start with increased policy costs and lead to refusal to even offer a policy. That is just one abuse of data, the whole idea of insurance is that you spread the risk across the masses.

What we have here is the beginnings of the creation of a "sub-class" for some it will be your financial status for other your health status and it is the combining of data that is the biggest risk. That will allow them to create new "sub-classes" or "prospects". Your medical data may be used to determine your lifestyle choices, how much alcohol you consume, have you ever taken drugs, are you depressed, are you a single parent, are your promiscuous, have you had an abortion, etc etc; your whole reputation is being sold, not just to one party but to all takers. They will combine that data with other databases, identify you, probably try to get you to confirm that identity with a questionaire or survey, or just use it as a "potential match". The continual updates from the NHS means they can chase you and you can't get away.

The only way to avoid this invasion of privacy is to take out services in false names and using false previous addresses, they know this and that is why they want access to data you can't change, your health data.

Information is power so collecting it by any means possible gives a lot of power and we know that power corrupts.

At the most basic the caredata system should be opt-in not opt-out so people have to choose to share their data, but I think the whole thing should be scrapped.


CSC boss post-NHS IT flop, Ford CEO 'pitched' as the next Steve Ballmer


Any TECH company CEO needs two things

Look it is quite simple

Any TECH company CEO needs two things; VISION and an understanding of the customer.

Bill Gates clearly had both but Steve Ballmer, not so much.

But some jitblat from Ford will not have a clue, they wull ruin it and share price would fall through the floor.


Big Beardie is watching you: Lord Sugar gets into facial recognition


Enough is Enough

So there may be a sign warning of CCTV usage but what CHOICE do I have to avoid it when I HAVE to pay for petrol or visit hospital?

I think it is time for a letter to get the Information Commissioner involved in this, please tweet the following

@ICOnews Christopher Graham please investigate and shut down massive breach of privacy by Lord Sugar owned Amscreen http://bit.ly/AMSCREEN please RT

and encourage your friends to retweet, also encourage your friends on Facebook to view this page.

Please call the ICO and ask them to quickly mount an investigation their number is Tel: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

We can only prevent this by acting together, thank to the Register for bring this to my attention.

Please email the complaint below to casework@ico.org.uk

Christopher Graham

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to complain about the excessive use of my personal data, by the AMSCREEN platform that has already been installed in over 6000 UK locations including at Doctors Surgeries. You can find out more here http://bitly.com/AMSCREEN please watch the video.

This data is taken without my permission and I can't avoid its use without breaking the law (e.g. refusing to pay for petrol) or avoiding going to my GP. Where these systems are installed in shopping Malls I cannot wear a hood as these are banned and I should not have to.

The data collected includes physical locations and is provided to third parties in real time thus preventing any meaningful objection by myself regarding the use of my data.

The storage of this data means that it can at a later date be used to completely obliterate any modicum of privacy, for example it could track my route, identify my doctor and so on.

I do not see a way that this system could be made to comply with EU & UK Privacy rights and so I am asking you to rapidly investigate and shut this company down as its whole modus operandi is a breach of data protection.

Yours faithfully


Why hacking and platforms are the future of NHS IT

Thumb Down

I worked in the NHS when the NPFIT (Connecting for Health) was implemented.

The implementation failed for a number of reasons, but mostly because they did not get "buy-in" from any staff, in fact I think it was NHS IT staff at a Trust level that made the biggest impact on its failure; partly by refusing to co-operate and partly by incompetence. They either refused to provide critical access control information or would play dumb. Many IT staff told me that they would do all they could to wreck it.

The whole system was badly conceived, never mind what software exists and can be interfaced with HL7, let's spend billions rewriting everything from scratch. Never mind 20 years of research data held in those legacy systems, many of which worked perfectly well.

Consider how Wales did their National Programme for IT, they did a needs analysis, left what was working in place and replaced what was necessary.

Then you had systems being implemented without critical functions like clinics, so hospitals could not run clinics to see new patients, a complete joke, the leads time for clinics was quoted as a future update (3 years away).

As for the LSP's well I was encouraged to bribe one very senior manager and when I declined, we were cut out of that whole area.

Now there is evidence that credit check companies have got access to the spine data, is that a form of hacking, I think so.


Windows Phone 8 hasn't slowed Microsoft's mobile freefall


A message for Microsoft

Microsoft was starting from SO far behind that it had to do something mega to win market share.

We all know that Apple shafts you good and proper where the sun don't shine, Samsung is charging way over the odds, i.e. I would rather pay less for Apple's last model than pay for a Galaxy III.

So rather than wasting 3bn on Dell what Microsoft needs to do is subsidise the Win8 phones so that they can be sold for a song, people will realise that they are actually quite a decent phone and start raving about them, then the price can slowly increase.

Of course there are laws about this sort of thing so it comes down to offering a better contract, e.g. a Nokia 820 for FREE with umlimited text, 1gb Data and 500 mins talk time for £10 a month for 36 months. But also to include 0845, free texts to shortcodes and free calls to voicemail. So yes the contract is longer which means they keep the customer for longer and they differentiate themselves by including those annoying extras.

Another example would be the same as above but £15 a month for unlimited talk time or £20 a month to include EU and cheap countries by routing over Voip.

Like any competitve situation, they have to offer something compelling, it would really shake up the market which has become a bit too complacent.


My top tip for Microsoft: Stop charging for Windows Phone 8


Utter Kwap

As soon as I saw

"the writing is on the wall for desktop computing. "

I knew that the rest of the article would not be worth reading and I was right.

Mobile devices are additional devices and very very rarely replacement devices.

Just try it, remove power cables from your desktops and see how long you can manage.

Such comments are easy to make but they come from people who are just stupid


Microsoft to pump cash into Dell buyout deal?



This is clever, right now Dell shares are hot on the anticipation of a deal, shares can be sold while the price is up and bought back later at a discount when it falls through. Meanwhile the company has capitalization.

In my experience when a company wants to take itself private it is for one of two reasons; some bad news that would erode their share price or an anticipated sale of some or all of the company.

Only MD and his investors know the true story, meanwhile it is in play and there is money to be made or lost.

What Dell has shown is that it is one of the best at just in time manufacturing, which has helped it protect margins.

One thing is for sure, Microsoft has no interest in buying Dell, that would kill it's relationship with other OEM's, a shareholding on the other hand gives it influence.

Apple is NOT going to buy it, Apple works in Niches, yes selling overpriced kit to technophobic idiots is still a niche even if it leads to some killer products.


US court ungags Yelp reviewer who dissed builder


In this case it looks like Jane Perez is the one in the wrong to me, she did not provide a constructive review, but a nasty unfounded attack.

The legal case has only been overturned because of a technicality "as said order does not prescribe the time during which such injunction shall be effective"

but also because "the respondents have an adequate remedy at law" which means that he can sue her properly rather than just have the review removed


In my opinion Jane Perez is the Troll here, she did not pay a penny, held onto his tools, was offered to pay what she thought was fair and still paid nothing.

Since then there have been a plethora of trolls who have tried to leave negative reviews even though they have never had any dealings with Dietz Development.

I think this brings a more important issue to the news, the fact that Yelp encourages this kind of trolling and is slow to respond. For example under the review they offer buttons saying "useful", "funny", "cool" well what about an UNFAIR button.

The guy did the work for an old school friend, she traded on that friendship, hence no deposit was taken. Whatever the state of the job, he spent money on materials and not all of his work has been replaced by other contractors.

I think this will run and run.

"As for the VA DPOR they did investigate Dietz Development, after a complaint was filed by Ms. Perez, and found no basis to Ms. Perez's complaint and dismissed the investigation and complaint. A complaint and/or an investigation can be requested by anyone against anyone for any reason."

"This client is a high school classmate of mine(1994), she asked me to do some cosmetic repairs to her newly purchased home in VA. I let her know that what she was asking to have done did not require a license in VA. I am a licensed contractor in MD and DC. I did the entire job for her without one payment, based on our high school relationship/friendship. I was never paid one penny from her, although she kept telling me, "I just moved, I don't have any checks" etc, etc. I took her to court, only after asking her for months to pay me the balance or what she felt was a fair dollar amount for the work I did. She said no, and said she would win, as she knows contract law and would use it to make me lose. I took her to court representing myself, but didn't file the paperwork on time due to my oversight and trying to avoid loosing more money to this client by hiring an attorney. The case was dismissed. She did not win any case. It was dismissed for my lack of turning in the paperwork. I never was allowed by her to remove my materials nor tools/equipment, a value of over $2,000.00. The police investigated her claim of theft but found no grounds for her claim nor did they believe her statements. No charges were filed, no police action, no court action. If theft was made, it was her stealing services and money from me. A very sad way to treat a former classmate who did $13k worth of work for free and was never paid a penny for his time nor material.

Please note she (Jane Perez), around the same time as she used my company and our services and then didn't pay, also seemed to be involved with similar such cases with a dry cleaner and a moving company. See her reviews. Now, this must be showing her true colors and intentions, or really really amazing coincidence and bad luck on her part. "


Eric Schmidt's Norks outing poorly timed, tuts US govt


Google had a terrible time in China and eventually had to pull out, perhaps they are just trying to learn from previous mistakes, Since when does a democratic government have a right to dictate the movement or business interests of its citizens?

Oh yes Cuba, well that worked didn't it!!

Actually it empowered Castro because he was able to blame the embargo for his own inept management of his country, a deliberate strategy on his part.


USB 3.0 speed to DOUBLE in 2013


Suggested Name

If the spec requires no new hardware for existing users then something around USB3 such as USB3Plus but if as before it needs new kit then USB10g or USB10gb immediately suggests a speed demon, riding on the back of 3g and 4g and it sets a naming convention for the future, e.g. USB500gb and USB2tb (ever the optimist)!


Microsoft buys Yammer in $1.2bn cash deal


Has Microsoft wasted $1.2bn and paid for hot air

Call me old fashioned but the first consideration in any acquisition is ROI, it would take the annual gross revenue of 6,666,666 users (assuming ZERO costs) to get an ROI, but nobody has ever heard of Yammer because its market penetration is nominal.

When I see a PUBLIC website that has a PRIVATE pagerank and Alexa rank, I always think they are hiding something, if nothing else these guide a true view of the popularity of the site. Compete.com shows their uniques at 63,669 down from a high of 102k per month last November. This makes it look like a site on the way OUT.

Yes they have a few corporate names like DHL and Cap Gemini listed as clients but how much are they paying per month and can this be replicated?

So that would suggest that Microsoft feels it could sell corporate microblogging to its own customers, fair enough but that raises another question, why not license the open source status.net and create their own platform, perhaps head hunt some people from Yammer to get a head start.

When you think that Microsoft’s core business is SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT and it can’t manage to write something as simple as this, then you have to question the management decision making.

$1.2bn, really!

If I were a Microsoft shareholder I would be pressuring Microsoft on the real ROI and reducing my position on their shares.