* Posts by Vimes

1205 posts • joined 3 Dec 2012

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NHS slaps private firm Health IQ for moving Brits' data offshore

Vimes
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Why are they allowed to continue to provide services to the NHS at all?

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WhatsApp is to hand your phone number to Facebook

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Re: The only surprise

Maybe your old colleague had your phone number in his phone too and did use Facebook themself?

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Re: Facebook Phone number @mage

they make bullying and spreading lies too easy.

Isn't that a large part of what the 'old' media do anyway, with or without social media?

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I've already sent an email to the ICO asking about this.

If anybody here needs to write to them for whatever reason they can be contacted using this email address:

casework [at] ico.org.uk

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Re: To FB or not FB, that is the question.

You do realise don't you that Facebook puts a lot of effort these days into tracking non-users as well as users?

You don't have to have an account for Facebook to have information on you.

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That won't stop the sharing of data, just limit how it's used?

From the article:

Users are not able to opt out of this data sharing, although you can choose not to allow to be shared for the purpose of improving their experience with advertisements and product experiences on Facebook.

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And the 2nd data protection principle? How does this comply with that?

Facebook is not needed in any way to run the service offered by WhatsApp (the spam argument IMO is a red herring) so presumably informed and *FREELY GIVEN* consent would be required for this data sharing.

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Privacy advocates rail against US Homeland Security's Twitter, Facebook snooping

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I'd say $300M for all the visitors coming to the US is high, but not so bad.

For what benefit though?

Terrorists are just as likely to give out the accounts with all the nasty stuff as spies were likely to say 'yes actually, I *am* working for my government!' when presented with the old style green visa waiver forms. Or for that matter communists ticking the wrong box on said form.

This will have zero benefit whilst at the same time costing huge amounts of money.

It took me something of the region of one and a half to two hours to get through immigration at San Francisco last time. Add on the extra minutes for each person in front of me to deal with this and I'd probably have had to wait at least another hour.

And that doesn't even begin to cover old people who barely speak English and have trouble understanding what Twitter is, much less whether they have any account details to hand over.

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Re: I did Nazi that coming

Personally the only problem I've ever had with immigration when entering the US was the way in which they didn't filter out the non-ESTA travellers from the ESTA flights and travellers. If they're going to make things even worse then they really ought to look into changing that first

(there was a separate queue for ESTA visitors, but there was one rather big limitation: it was only for those that had their passports stamped within the last year - most hadn't been it seemed).

This meant when I got off the flight last year I was stuck behind a plane full of what I'm guessing were Chinese nationals (and the language issues many of the older people passing through seemed to have didn't help either). It seemed to take forever to get through, made even more annoying by how quickly me and those like me passed through when we finally got to the front of the queue.

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Vimes
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Potential solution:

1.) create dummy social media accounts

2.) leave the accounts empty

3.) hand these over to DHS

...with an option of leaving a single post in each account telling the DHS in no uncertain terms to go f*ck itself (and/or goatse related images if you want to make them seriously regret going anywhere near your profile)

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Beardy Ed Vaizey: 'I can't let go. I like the tech sector'

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Re: "I like the tech sector"

Mediocrity breeds more mediocrity. When it comes to that sort of thing the situation tends to move in an ever downward spiral.

In that respect Cameron wasn't the first and - god help us - he won't be the last.

How else could you explain the likes of Boris Johnson getting as far as being appointed Foreign Secretary?

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Vaizey may or may not be right with regards to the need for a new digital ministry, but if one ever does come into being then he's certainly not the man to lead it.

He voted *for* the Digital Economy Act, and then subsequently feigned confusion when the ISPs dared to object to it.

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BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey

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Re: Sadly he may be talking sense

How about a £5 ukp a month levy on ALL domestic broad band connections (including mobile data) and pro rata on business data connections to directly fund fibre to the wilderness? Spread the pain for national gain?

If you could guarantee the money would be all spent on infrastructure, of course.

You could do that by re-nationalising it?

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Re: Has-been talks bollocks.

Has-been looking for directorship at BT talks bollocks.

FTFW

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I wonder if he's after a non-executive directorship, much like Patricia Hewitt before him? Or maybe his view has been shaped by Trade Ministers like Ian Livingston (who themselves used to head BT)?

On a note entirely related note, it's funny how there seems to be revolving doors between big business and government.

Even within government itself there are moves that seem a bit doogy. Take IoCCO and the more secretive Intelligence Services Commissoner for example: Jo Cavan used to head IoCCO, now she's moving to NTAC at the same time that both IoCCO and the Intelligence Services Commissoner are merging. NTAC is run by GCHQ. GCHQ is supposedly overseen in part by the Intelligence Services Commissoner.

So at the same time that IoCCO is merging with the government regulator overseeing GCHQ, the head of IoCCO effectively moves to GCHQ.

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How Brussels works: if you can’t beat them, join rewrite an EU directive

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regulations based on preventing ex ante anti competitive behavior should become LESS relevant not more.

This has absolutely nothing to do with competition, unless you see privacy as something that should only be enforced when particular types of services are being used.

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described earlier this year as “the Daily Mail of the Europhile elite”

By whom?

In any case what exactly is wrong in extending rules that cover telcos to other organisations?

Those other organisations provide much the same service as the telcos, and the only real difference is the manner in which the service is provided.

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Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Vimes
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Is this even legal?

https://twitter.com/alexanderhanff/status/725670443185790976

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Blighty's EU science funding will remain unchanged until new PM triggers Article 50

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Given the timing involved things could get even more interesting

https://twitter.com/faisalislam/status/748870241996996608

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Resorting to the use of article 50 has already dropped from 'immediately' to 'before September' and now both main tory candidates are saying it won't be before the end of the year. All within a week.

Is anybody else seeing a pattern here?

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Michael Gove says Britain needs to create its own DARPA

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He wanted all schools to be 'above average'. That ought to tell you everything you need to know about him.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmeduc/uc1786-i/uc178601.htm

(see Q98 onwards)

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We already had an equivalent of DARPA. It was called DERA. It should hardly come as a surprise though that the government of the time thought it best to flog it to the highest bidder (a large chunk of DERA is now QinetiQ).

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

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Re: The IP address is not a great way to decide validity

If I recall correctly I was connected to a VPN server in France when I signed, despite being physically located in the restaurant at my local health club in Bracknell at the time. No doubt my signature would be on this list as a result.

Should that make my signature any less valid?

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Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

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We're still fully paid up members of the EU until article 50 is invoked. Nothing has changed until that happens, nor does it seem likely now that it will ever happen, at least in the short term. For one thing it looks like the tories need to sort out a new PM first.

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Time to re-file your patents and trademarks, Britain

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We're still full members of the EU until article 50 of the Lisbon treaty is used, so strictly speaking there is nothing currently stopping the new system from going ahead since it hasn't been invoked nor does it seem likely to be invoked in the near future?

In any case the referendum itself was purely advisory and has no laws behind it that compel us to follow the result. IANAL but where the laws are concerned there would appear to be nothing to stop the government from simply ignoring the result entirely. Of course that would probably never happen & would also have other ramifications but that's a different matter: the only impact it has on how we proceed is whatever the government decides it should be.

http://jackofkent.com/2016/06/five-legal-points-about-the-leave-victory/

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This is an important announcement

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Re: Does this really belong here?

Probably not, and maybe I shouldn't have been feeding the troll, but there is something morally repugnant about how the RMT have reacted to this, especially when it seems to include unofficial strike action.

(I don't go anywhere near Southern trains either incidentally, at least not in over ten years now).

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Re: This is an important announcement

Re: the second link:

- The first lie is an argument over semantics and arguments over who will be called what and the responsibilities they will have, rather than whether they'll be on the train or not.

- The second appears to be over training that would be of little use anyway ('if the driver is incapacitated'? Seriously? Given that they are nowhere near the driver most if not all of the time they wouldn't have a hope in hell in 'avoiding a collision'). I've only heard of one accident in recent years where the train crew made any difference, and it wasn't the guard that stood out - it was the driver.

- The third seems to assume we'll accept the RMT at their word. I see no reason to do this given the previous games they have played.

- The fourth one regarding doors: just why exactly is it about the driver doing this that makes it less safe? Getting disabled people on and off? Then how can they seem to do that on the metro services on the rare occasions I've seen it?

- The fifth one ('GTR are the ones refusing to talk') could easily be rewritten as 'RMT refuse to accept any changes'.

As for that letter: when it comes to people who can't be bothered to pay before they get on then they get what they deserve IMO. Being busy or stuck in a queue is no excuse.

Incidentally, going back to the original point, why should anybody believe RMT rather than Southern Rail when it comes to illness levels?

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Vimes
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Incidentally regarding your second link: a couple of cockups doesn't make for a conspiracy.

Other train companies have problems giving out the correct information when things go wrong. Whilst it may be undesirable and a problem that needs to be dealt with it's still SOP for most train companies to go through this phase when there are issues with their service. Expecting things to be any different with Southern is frankly more than just a little bit ridiculous.

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Re: This is an important announcement

GTR said in the two weeks prior to the first strike, there was an average of 23 conductors off sick each day.

Since the strike, that number had nearly doubled to 40 conductors a day, with the figure increasing to 45 in the last 10 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36382898

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Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

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This is the same Switzerland that still has it's own Safe Harbour agreement in force. It was originally meant to reflect the situation at the EU level, but nothing has changed since the Schrems court ruling and it's still on the books.

And the ICO refuse to do anything about UK data exported to the US without any legal basis with regards to UK/EU law if it's first exported to Switzerland first.

https://twitter.com/patrickseurre/status/743111972703592448

Just look at the games Deep Mind have already played with access to NHS patient data (without consent of the patients)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/may/04/googles-deepmind-shouldnt-be-sucking-up-our-nhs-records-in-secret

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

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@Steve the Cynic

Incorrect.

The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for general elections to be held on the first Thursday in May every five years.

http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/general/

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@I ain't Spartacus

Interesting you should mention Switzerland: you recall that referendum they had a while back on limiting immigration? The EU refused to so much as discuss it after those wanting more stringent limits won, and made it clear to the Swiss that any such curb would result in loss of access to the single market.

That's essentially where we would end up: passing meaningless votes that have zero impact on the end result. Our parliament would be 'sovereign' of course but in reality it would mean next to nothing.

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Re: You should have put

I'm surprised somebody who appears to have had so many problems with UK bureaucracy would actually want to give them more influence not less.

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Not to mention that the UK itself with or without the EU hasn't been the best place to come up with new ideas over recent years.

http://paulwallbank.com/2014/01/11/dangerous-liaisons-the-risks-in-government-support/

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Who's moderating Andrew Orlowski's latest

Vimes
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Re: Who's moderating Andrew Orlowski's latest @gazthejourno

Personally I fail to understand why some of us can't be sufficiently trusted to always be moderated retroactively.

Doing that would cut down the queue of comments people like you have to deal with and if users see a difference might also give them more of an incentive to behave themselves.

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Not just the proles getting the heave-ho as British Airways races to save millions

Vimes
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Personally, I prefer it to creating a damn login for every airline you fly with. Just keep your booking reference to yourself, and there's no issue :)

You're assuming your email is safe to start with... *cough*Yahoo*cough*...

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Vimes
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Have you seen their booking system?

A sample link, suitably amended to avoid any issues:

http://ba.com/mmb/1?echannel=direct&bookingRef=[removed]&lastname=[removed]&emailType=&elanguage=en&elink=MB&type=click

All you need is the booking reference and last name and you have complete access to the booking. There is no need to log in or verify your identity to view the booking (despite them already having the infrastructure to deal with user accounts thanks to the like of the executive club).

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Vimes
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I have fond memories of that: having fun being shuttled around the airport on those electric buggies with the handful of other kids also travelling.

And when we still had to travel from Gatwick in the days before most of the flights were moved to Heathrow they even had a small lounge for the kids to wait in together. It was behind the last departures desk at the end of the departures hall if memory serves. They had a number of videos with some of them being Star Trek, so I was always quite happy to wait there.

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Vimes
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Re: Dumbsourcing @a_yank_lurker

The solution is simple: replace all the PHBs with computers...

http://dilbert.com/strip/2010-06-20

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Vimes
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They seem to be cutting back in the aircraft too, as anybody who has flown in Club Europe recently will be able to tell you. Not only have they cut back on the space between the customer and the seat in front, the seat itself is narrower now too.

So basically people are paying a premium for an economy seat with a slightly nicer meal. Hardly worth it really, especially if they're making more of a profit now than a year ago yet have chosen to fleece both their own customers and employees.

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Man-in-the-middle biz Blue Coat bought by Symantec: Infosec bods are worried

Vimes
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Will the likes of Firefox continue including Symantec's certificates despite this?

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EU referendum frenzy bazookas online voter registration. It's another #GovtDigiShambles

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@Michael B.

That only works in cases where the total number of MPs in one party match the numbers in the other. Otherwise it can skew the results.

Pairing isn't an excuse IMO: it's just a way of abdicating responsibility whilst maintaining a veneer of acceptability at the same time.

Pairing should be banned. And Corbyn should be ashamed of himself if this is why he didn't turn up.

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A pity that whilst Corbyn can pontificate about registering to vote he can't seem to be bothered to vote himself on something as important as the IP Bill.

Why is that?

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-06-07/division/16060743001404/InvestigatoryPowersBill?outputType=Names

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Cyber burglars love to pillage Euro businesses they've pwned before

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Because hackers ALWAYS wear balaclavas. And use tablets wearing gloves...

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Letters prove GCHQ bends laws to spy at will. So what's the point of privacy safeguards?

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@Adam 52

There are a few notable exceptions to that rule. Robin Cook for example resigned rather than support the invasion of Iraq.

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Re: Lack of knowledge over ... signing

Except that this isn't a problem in any specific request. I'd agree that reading every single detail would be potentially excessive.

This is about general knowledge of the law and the power that the warrants have. I would expect them to know that even if they fail to understand details of any specific case.

If you saw him being questioned at select committee hearings then you would have seen him bumble along making mistakes (or in his words 'inadvertently misleading' the committee when those mistakes were highlighted by MPs that actually had some idea of what the law was at the time).

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Historically it would seem that even secretaries of state don't view the law as being particularly important. Just look at Philip Hammond as foreign secretary and his lack of knowledge over what he was actually signing when it came to warrants.

As always I would recommend getting in touch with your MP to tell them what you think of this, particularly since MPs themselves are routinely being stripped of their own privacy when it comes to emails.

WriteToThem.com has always been useful for this in the past.

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UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records

Vimes
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Use writetothem.com to write to your MP and let them know how you feel about this. They might not even know about it...

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