* Posts by Len Goddard

232 posts • joined 4 Sep 2007

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Innocent Spaniards roasted by experimental napalm mead

Len Goddard

Re: I think I will stick to mere Madame Jeanette peppers

I regularly make chilli con carne with Scotch Bonnet peppers. It is quite hot and the Scotch Bonnets actually add to the flavour. I tried with an equal number of Carolina Reapers. The result had less flavour and didn't seem significantly hotter. The downside was a nasty case of indigestion (a malady I do not usually suffer) which caused me to wake up in the night feeling as though I had swallowed a canon-ball.

Overall I found the reaper a charmless vegetable. The Scotch Bonnet (or the ghost naga if you want something hotter) has a better flavour for cooking. I've not tried the Madame Jeanette - I'll have to see if I can locate some.

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

Len Goddard

Re: Panopticon Festival!!!

Essential equipment for this festival

Well stocked piknik basket.

Camera to take pictures of things you like the look of so you can buy them elsewhere later (and probably cheaper),

V for Vengeance style Guy Fawkes mask.

Then have a good time.

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Facebook tosses creepy Place Tips beacons at stateside retailers

Len Goddard

What is facebook?

I have an annoyingly undeletable app of that name on my phone which keeps asking to be updated - you would think after two years it would have given up.

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Google: Our self-driving cars would be tip-top if you meatheads didn’t crash into them

Len Goddard

Assumptions

If all the cars on the road were automated in the same way and could thus make reasonable assumptions about the behaviour of other vehicles, then automated cars might well be safer. Unfortunately that is not the case and is unlikely to be so for some time (if ever) so for the forseeable future the only safe assumption is that every other road user is a homicidal lunatic (can you tell I used to ride a motorcycle?) and so any half-way reasonable AI would decide the safest thing to do would be to stay at home.

Seriously, a good driver relies not just on his eyes and ears but on a whole host of subliminal clues, some of which are probably below the level of concious thought. I once avoided a very nasty accident because I could smell the diesel fuel spill on the junction in front of me even though I could not see it. I doubt the googlemobiles have asomatic sensors. (For those who have never encountered it, diesel fuel on tarmac is at least as slippery as wet ice).

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ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

Len Goddard

Why do we tell them this?

"Based on this latest case, ISIS is doing a pretty good job of making it easy for Uncle Sam to spot them. "

Right, so now we let them know how we found out where they were. That is just as stupid as the original selfie. Keep quiet and let them figure out how we are taking out their C&C.

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Microsoft: Here's what you'll cough up for Windows 10 next year

Len Goddard

Re: Free Legal Torrent for all

If I install it, I will first make a duplicate of my system disk and a backup of everything else vital. If things go badly I'll just put the duplicate in the system and purge the upgraded disk.

Mind, the way my version of Win 7 spreads across three hard drives I'm willing to bet the upgrade in place will fail horribly.

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Windows 10 upgrade ADWARE forces its way on to Windows 7 and 8.1

Len Goddard

Re: Thanks for spamming me Microsoft

Well, I have that update but I don't see anything telling me how to upgrade. Possibly my version of Classic Shell conceals the "notification area", whatever that is.

Not that it makes a lot of difference. I would never take a new MS OS before SP1 (or several months if it is progressive) and there is, as far as I can see, nothing I want/need in this beast.

Cortina - no thanks. Don't use a mike except when gaming and I don't like machinery which talks back.

Word/Excel/Powerpoint free - nope. I'm happy with LibreOffice

Start Menu - I'm happier with the one I've got than the thing Win10 presents

Universal Apps - my desktop & laptop are the only devices in the house running windows (and the desktop will be linux only soon).

Stream games from XBox - don't have an XBox. When I play games I do it on the desktop PC.

Virtual Desktops - wow, welcome to the 20th century. I've been using third party software to provide this missing functionality for some time and it does far more, so I will probably stay with it.

Look & feel - Win 7 + Classic Windows Shell using classic mode and a bit of tweeking brings my system pretty close to Win2000/WinNT ... which is how I like it. I've been using that interface so long that I can do most things from muscle memory and I don't anticipate living long enough for the time savings from a new, more efficient, interface to outweigh the learning curve.

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So what would the economic effect of leaving the EU be?

Len Goddard

information free

two pages to say

"we don't really know" and "it all depends".

Helpful? Not really, unless you actually believe what politicians say in which case it might make you reconsider your sanity.

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Sorry, Windows 10 early adopters: Microsoft Edge WON'T block ads at launch

Len Goddard

Irrelevant

This makes the strange assumption that anyone is going to use an MS browser.

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Kill all geoblocks says Internet Society of Australia

Len Goddard

Region coding

And while you are at it, outlaw region encoding on DVDs and blu-rays as well.

The logic is identical.

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Welcome, stranger: Inside Microsoft's command line shell

Len Goddard

Discovery

I was completely unaware of Powershell until I found it on the Win 10 Tech Preview. It is a definite step in the right direction, I suppose, but for me it won't replace the cygwin linux command line / utilities package I always install on a new system before I do anything else.

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Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Len Goddard

Not for me.

I finally managed to get the tech preview to run under VirtualBox a few days ago. Mind, that wasn't the fault of Win10 - for some reason more recent VB versions will not run on some Win 7 machines. Eventually I installed VB under linux and Win10 came up fine. Or at least as fine as it can be. God, it is ugly. Nasty blocks of solid colour. Active tiles on the start menu doing things I don't want. I don't need constant news feeds, sports reports, share prices. So I deleted them all and was left with a large blank start menu. It doesn't shrink when there are no active tiles. OK. thinks I, so far my objections are basically cosmetic lets see if we can tame this with Classic Shell. Won't install. Compatibility issue, it says. But if you rename the Classic Shell installer (I called mine fred) it installs and works fine. Deliberately blocked with a misleading error message. That's just plain nasty. Ahh, well, it has encouraged me back to linux. I made the system dual boot to try VBox so now I'm slowly migrating data and apps across. So far there is nothing except games I cannot run under linux or replace with something equally capable.

And as for the Win10 upgrade prep that was recently installed, my firewall warned me something new was calling home but that it was allowed. Which means that it was something which could manipulate the firewall rules. So I've set it to block and we'll see where it goes from there (it is identified as "GWX Config Manager").

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Would YOU touch-type on this chunk-tastic keyboard?

Len Goddard

Alternative

Good voice recognition and a throat mike. Then all you need to do is learn to subvocalize.

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Len Goddard

Re: Eternal problem

Yeah, microwriter. Surprisingly easy to achieve a reasonable degree of competence. Issued to clerks in magistrates courts at one time. I knew guys who could type on them at phenominal speed ... until the RSI caught up with them.

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We have no self-control: America's most powerful men explain why they're scared of email

Len Goddard

Re: snail mail

Compose on paper? Nah

Wordprocessor/text editor - hit print.

The only difference between that and email is you have to post the thing. No doubt this pair of idiots have minions to do that for them.

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Len Goddard

snail mail

Presumably they don't send old-fashioned mail either? And it is just as easy (if not easier) to be an ass in a tweet as it is in email.

Pair of idiots.

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First peek at the next Ubuntu 15.04 nester line-up

Len Goddard

Re: Nope

My way is shorter.

TBH, I loathe Unity and I hate KDE. Of the 'Buntus I could use Xubuntu or Lubuntu but the other side of my growing disenchantment with Ubuntu is the tendency to produce things like Mir and hoist them on their users. So I'll go with Mint and, btw, I use Mate because I prefer bling free UIs.

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Len Goddard

Nope

Nothing here to bring me back from Mint.

As for KDE ... I tried a magazine disk of 14.10 a couple of days ago. The current 4.x version reminded me of why I dislike that distro. The (experimental) v5 looked cleaner but seemed to be otherwise more or less identically unpleasant. I'm sure both are quite functional, I just don't like using them.

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Scrolling problem

Len Goddard

Scrolling problem

I use the /Week page as my main entry to TheRegister but in the last few days some odd behaviour has manifested itself. It may have been there longer but I think I would have noticed. Basically, scrolling using cursor keys is screwed up. For example, the up and down arrow move me to top and bottom. At the top, the pgdn key moves me a page down but hitting it again takes me back to the top. Pgup has similar issues at the bottom of the page. The main homepage works ok, as does the weekend edition and the individual articles. This problem occurs with firefox and palemoon but not chrome or IE.

Mouse scrolling works ok,

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What gets the internet REALLY excited? Kittens? No. EXPLODING Kittens

Len Goddard

A long way to go

Not a kickstarter, but Star Citizen has crowdfunded itself to the tune of more than $70M and 736k+ backers. I could give more accurate figures but they would be out of date by the time you read them so why bother?

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SURPRISE! Microsoft pops open Windows 10 Preview build early

Len Goddard

Be fair

... changing the windows store icon from green to grey is awesome!

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The Shock of the New: The Register redesign update 4

Len Goddard

Three steps back, two steps forward.

Well, it is an improvement. Having the read links red is a sensible move. They grey sidebars are less obnoxious but I would still prefer they were used for something useful. If I maximise the web browser when displaying the register I end up with a 2x3 application window inside of a 16x10 screen. Not a sensible use of real estate.

Keep going, another couple of weeks and you may be back to something almost as good as what you started with. Meanwhile I'll stay with www.thregister.co.uk/Week because I still can't stand the homepage layout.

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Palemoon problem

Len Goddard

Palemoon problem

I use the firefox variant palemoon as my primary browser (because I don't like the look of the latest firefox and palemoon seems to be faster and more stable). However, recently the up/downvote buttons no longer show in the forums - all I get is the count of up/down votes cast. Firefox and chrome work ok. This problem started about the time the redesign went live but I cannot say hand-on-heart that it definitely happened exactly when the change occurred.

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Len Goddard

Re: The only thing I'd really like to see is.....

That is SO much better than the home page. Thank you (and others who have posted it).

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Len Goddard

Re: Oh for goodness sake

One of the most irritating posts which comes up far too frequently is the idiot who says "get over it" when people voice legitimate complaints about a change. How about I change your A/C so that it sprays cat excrement all over you at regular intervals - are you going to get over that? It is perfectly reasonable to complain about change if you think it is for the worse. If you think these changes are an improvement then by all means say so, but don't try to make others stop complaining if they don't. If you don't like reading their complains, stop reading the comments because it is clear most people don't appreciate this makeover.

Oh, yes, it is whiter than most of the other sites I read. And it is uncomfortable but turning the monitor down is not a sensible suggestion as too many other things would become unreadable.

Can't downvote your post until I figure out why it doesn't work any more on my system.

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Len Goddard

Unconvincing

"We don’t think we are any brighter than, say, Amazon or the BBC".

someone else said this, but for some reason I can no longer upvote (yes, I am logged in):

Amazon is full width. BBC is not, and its news page is unpleasantly bright on the edges but makes better use of the central column than you do now. Other pages have different coloured backgrounds and are less obnoxious for that reason.

My favourite option would be to roll back to before you went fixed- width, which was a daft idea from day one, but that is not going to happen so I would vote to dump this attempt and start again bearing in mind the feedback (flames?) this generated.

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Len Goddard

On reflection

OK, I gave it a couple of days and, to be honest, I now like it even less than when I first encountered it. Or rather, I hate it even more. It really doesn't work on a decent sized monitor - vast quantities of glaring white and completely blank sidebars flanking a sparsely populated fixed width central column scattered with irrelevant and space-consuming graphics. It is now almost impossible to run your eyes over the site and find the things which interest you.

How about an alternative main page just consisting of a list of the item headings. No text, fancy layouts or anything. Run them both for a while and see which gets the most hits.

There was a post which said we've been listening to your comments and we've ... fixed a couple of minor bugs. I can't be asked to page through all the comments but I have yet to see one which is positive. If you were genuinely listening you would have rolled back the changes and sacked the responsible designers with extreme prejudice.

I was not enthusiastic about the last redesign but this is definitely several steps too far. Looks like a bad Daily Mail rip-off. I'll drop in occasionally to see if you have had a change of heart but I doubt I will remain a regular reader.

Hmmm. I just tried it with image loading turned off. Definitely an improvement. Now I need to find a way to turn off images on a per-site basis.

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Microsoft says to expect AWESOME things of Windows 10 in January

Len Goddard

Ironic

that the Windows Insider Programme, required to download an official preview build, is returning "service unavailable".

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UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

Len Goddard

Re: fair use

This is a ludicrous figure. There is no loss because everyone has been doing it for years anyway.

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Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really

Len Goddard

Classic start menu

So long as this is one of the supported apps I'll be able to get back to my Win2K lookalike screen via XP classic mode/theme. I'll take familiarity over innovation almost any day.

Hopefully the latest incarnation of Windows explorer will be a bit more reliable than the Win 7 offering.

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You like jumping out of planes? Try the new GoPro 4. Short walks? There's a Hero instead

Len Goddard

Re: I wish they gave an option for other lenses.

I came across the gopro (hero3+) on a recent dive holiday. It is not for the professional or even the serious amateur underwater photographer but it is ideal for anyone who simply wants to take some pics to remember the dive and show friends. It scores on convenience and ease of use. You won't get Attenborough quality footage but with a little practice you will get stuff you will be happy to show others.

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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

Len Goddard

Re: Interesting times

This was the subejct of a recent Scientific American (cover) article.

But then where did the 4 dimensional star come from? The collapse of a 5 dimensional star with a 4 dimensional event horizon?

Its turtles all the way down.

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The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?

Len Goddard

Re: No thanks

A major advantage of steam is that it bypasses the extreme pain of upgrading windoze or migrating to a new machine.

MS have never really caught on to the concept of an upgrade - generally it is a case of reinstalling all your software and attempting to recreate your old configuration after they've moved all the settings around for no good reason. With your games in a steam library you just download steam and reinstall as/when you play them - no more searching around for old CDs/DVDs etc.

Of course, this is not an issue under linux where upgrade-in-place is generally well supported.

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Len Goddard

Windows fans?

Is there such a thing? All the people I know who run windows do so because they have to in order to support essential apps (like games), not because they are fans of windows.

Apple has worshippers

Linux has fans

Windows has users

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Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors

Len Goddard

No long passwords

Since I never access important/secure sites away from home I use a locally based password generator/manager. I set it up to generate a 20 printable character passwords. At least 60% of the sites I try this on will not allow it - too long, objectionable characters etc. Not that any of these tell you beforehand what the restrictions are. 16 character alphanumeric works on most sites but even that is rejected by some as too long.

Much as I dislike it, I think 2 factor authentication has to be the way to go for sites requiring genuine security and everyone else should accept at least 32 printable characters.

Once or twice I have actually sent emails to webmasters at particularly bad sites (max 8 chars etc) saying that I have refrained from registering because the password policy was inherently insecure. I've never had a reply, though.

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Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY

Len Goddard

Too much change

I gave up on firefox with the major UI changes in version 30(?). Moved to Palemoon.

When will UI designers catch on to the idea that just because a new look/approach is theoretically more efficient it is still a total PITA for someone who has been using the existing UI for longer than they have been coding interfaces. By all means offer a new interface as an option but don't close off the old one or you risk alienating long-term users.

I abandoned Ubuntu for the same reason (Unity) and I won't be upgrading from Win 7 any time soon. Actually, the interface to Win7 on my PC looks more like Win2K but that's another story.

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Listen: WORST EVER customer service call – Comcast is 'very embarrassed'

Len Goddard

Amazing patience

I really cannot understand why the cancelling customer put up with the guy for so long.

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True fact: Your CAT wees ... like a racehorse

Len Goddard

Igs

Definitely a candidate for this year's ignoble award!

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TIME TRAVEL TEST finds black holes needed to make photons flit

Len Goddard

Singularity (information style)

With a CTC capable of transmitting photons, you could use the result of a computer operation as its own input. Any recursive algorithm could then be executed in essentially zero time.

Charles Stross used this as the basis of his weakly godlike AI (the Eschaton) in Singularity Sky/Iron Sun. Unfortunately without access to the technology he backed himself into a logical corner from whence he cannot continue the story without introducing inconsistencies. Pity, because those books cry out for a sequel.

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Samsung will ... sigh ... appeal $119m Apple patent verdict

Len Goddard

Not much to choose between them

Sumsung - serial patent violator

Apple - serial patenter of ridiculous non-inventions

A pox on both their houses.

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NASA spots 'new' star just 7.2 light years away

Len Goddard

Pedantry

Mine, that is.

"At 7.2 light years distant, it's nearly twice as far away as our nearest neighbour Alpha Centauri,"

No it isn't. This mistake is commonly repeated (I've seen it on the Reg before). Alpha Centauri isn't even a star, it is a binary system. The closest star is Proxima Centauri which may or may not be gravitationally bound to the Alpha Centauri binary.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...

Len Goddard

I loathed the original unity release - top of screen menus are a disaster if you use to focus-follows-mouse and generally the whole thing had the look and feel of an OS designed for a 5-year old using a laptop or tablet.

The new Unity is a major improvement. focus-follows-mouse (sloppy) and click-to-raise are well supported (even if it can be a bit difficult to find them first time through) and work well with the menu-in-title bar. Personally I'd prefer the option for a fixed title bar but I can get used to this. Dual monitor support works out of the box and it is easy to disable the task bar on the second monitor. Also you can now shrink the task bar icons to a sensible size. However, I still cannot get the close button to the right-hand corner of the window. My understanding is that the window decorations were moved to the left to avoid interfering with the top bar notification area, but since I am not using global menu this is irrelevant. I've been using windowed OSs since before windows 3 and 20 plus years of muscle memory take a lot of retraining. More importantly, I still have to use windoze for some things and I really would like consistency.

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

Len Goddard

Not surprised, just disgusted

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Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Len Goddard

Not just enterprise customers

A friend of mine silly enough to be using 8.1 has had a similar failure with Home Premium. Google suggests he is not alone.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 in El Reg's claws: This time the 'S' is for 'sensible'

Len Goddard

But it's waterproof

"A small quibble: my neatly-trimmed fingernails struggled to open the protective cover, especially after the sandy sojourn when some grains occupied the prising-open niche."

So, go dunk it in the ocean to wash the sand off!

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

Len Goddard

Re: Get a life...

Rubbish. The pole is a quarter of a chain, which is perfectly logical.

As for the perfect acre being 4 poles by 40 poles, it is much easier to remember as a chain by a furlong. Since a furlong is 10 chains, an acre is thus 10 square chains. What is a chain? 100 links, of course.

As for money, the old system had many advantages - restaurant bills could be easily divided between parties of 3, 6, 8, 12 or whatever. Plus it gave innumerable opportunities to cheat foreigners.

I still miss the old red exercise books with all the measures on the back:

rod, pole, perch, bushel, peck, Troy ounce, furlong, and so on.

Metric units are so ... pedestrian ... by comparison. Just because we have 10 fingers doesn't make 10 a good base for a number system.

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Microsoft DirectX 12 pushes gaming code closer to GPU bare metal

Len Goddard

Re: Gamers on the whole will move anywhere and pay anything if...

This is true of a small core of hardcore (mainly FPS) gamers who tend to make noise out of all proportion to their numbers. Devs like to get them on board for that reason but it is not where the bulk of the money comes from. You still need to cater to the majority who have neither the time nor the money nor the obsession to work this way. If DX12 does stay WIn 8 only then most games will offer DX11 (or even DX10) support until Win8.x numbers justify exclusive games. MS may not do much to tweak gaming performance but I notice I still get nVidia updates which boost various games on Win7.

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Len Goddard

But many, if not most, of those games also support DX10 so you don't need DX11 support.

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Len Goddard

Re: Windows 7 or it will not be used

I agree. Several things came out as Vista only ... and were then backported to Win XP simply because the Vista customer base constrained the audience so severely. Win 8/Win 7 is much the same case.

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Whitehall and Microsoft thrashing out 1-year NHS WinXP lifeline

Len Goddard

Sorry, this is just a case of buck-passing. The fact that the systems still require IE6/7 (both moribund and renouned for bad security) is itself a disgrace. The end of XP has been known for years and those responsible for the back-end systems should have had them upgraded in good time. The NHS has enough financial and political clout to beat up on the PAS suppliers if the new versions are as bad as you say, but this should have been done some time ago not at or after the XP withdrawal deadline.

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