back to article Beam me up, UK.gov: 'Extra-terrestrial markup language' booted off G-Cloud

UK.gov bods have been stripped of access to services for the emerging non-terrestrial standard XTML, beamed in by little grey vendors A51 Technologies, following an El Reg probe. The "extra-terrestrial markup language" implementation and support service was listed on the Digital Marketplace by A51 Technologies, as part of the …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "A51 Technologies stopped offering this service on Tuesday 31 July 2018,"

    When did they start offering it? The first Sunday in April?

    1. User McUser
      Boffin

      When did they start offering it?

      I reckon it was shortly after July 8, 1947.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "When did they start offering it? The first Sunday in April?"

      <imagine bunch of giggling techs so excited over their new wheeze they just can't hold back for next April 1st>

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well done to A51 for getting their obvious joke published on a government website.

  2. Mephistro Silver badge
    Devil

    "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

    Hugs, winks and pats in the back? I'd expect much more from professionals charging 1200 USD per a day's work. At the very least, a happy ending should be guaranteed!

    And for this price, they should have a good backup plan in place for "those days of the lunar month"!

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

      Where did you get the reference to USD from? The daily rates quoted in the article are listed in £ (sterling)

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

        I humbly apologize for my error and thank you for pointing it out.

    2. UncleNick

      Re: "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

      Aren't they more thinking of G, A, F, F (8vb), C ?

      1. Benchops

        Re: "who provide a wide range of non-verbal support"

        Upvote -- took me half a minute to realise what you meant though. The hand signals would have helped, or perhaps trombones if you like the Goodies version ;)

        1. DJV Silver badge

          @Benchops

          Upvote for the Goodies reference - my favourite episode!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It takes several hundred man hours to put together a G Cloud submission. Just goes to show how thoroughly they're actually reviewed.

  4. WolfFan Silver badge

    Unfair, I call it

    Vlad Putin still has access to Little Ponies and their magic. Why can't Whitehall allow access to ETs and their saucy saucer tech? Write your MP and complain!

    (Hmm. Perhaps being shirtless is a requirement for the service. Does anyone actually want to see a shirtless MayNot? Didn't think so.)

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Unfair, I call it

      That made me Novichokle

    2. Mephistro Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Unfair, I call it (@WolfFan)

      "Perhaps being shirtless is a requirement for the service."

      In the case of ETs, they don't mind shirts at all. They are more interested in people without pants, because, you know, the "probes".

      OMG! The calendar is wrong again! It should be Friday! ;^)

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Immaculate Victim is a Peerless Foe with More than just a Few Great Friends

    Asked about the possible SETI-back given that the service has been de-listed,

    Easily the result of a panic knee jerk reaction to a Stellar Government Breach and Almighty Success Story, methinks. What say Yous/US?

    And surely, if Governments don't Driver AIdDevelopments with Alienating Codes for Almighty Powerful Command of Universal Energy Controlling Vectors, the Private and Pirate Sectors Will on their Own. And when Governments' Input to Future Extra-Terrestrial Virtual Output is Nil, are they Forever Left Trailing Behind to Be Always Treading Water in IntelAIgent Wakes.

    Not an Extra-Terrestrial Leading Position that, is it? Care to reconsider, UK.Gov/HMG? You know, El Reg will be requesting comment on a decision.

    And that was a very attractive upper day rate being offered. Appreciatively generous given the crazy circumstances, and well worth ensuring performance in the field remains to continue outstanding and even mind-blowing when Too Exercised to XSSXXXX. Very soon then one be dealing with very big figures. :-) ..... and that for Many is a Simple Attraction which has a Complex Addiction all of its own.

    :-) One Sure Way to Try and Temper that Temptation, is to Deliver Instant Colossal Wealth to a Prime Target which Acknowledges Non-Refundable Receipt to Deliver Expected Future Cargo Streams in an Arrangement that Provides a Monopoly Lead Position to Invested Governments and Private and Pirate Venturing Capitalists ..... COSMIC Business Angels.

    There's a Helluva Lotta Absolutely Fabulous Stuff Going On and Getting Right On Down to IT out there in these Brave New More Orderly World Orders, El Reg, although of that do you surely know more than most, given the posting and hosting of regular invites/insights here for elsewhere, which this Medium can Deliver to Anywhere.

    1. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: An Immaculate Victim is a Peerless Foe with More than just a Few Great Friends

      Yumpin' yimminy! Why didn't I think of that‽

      Beer, because.

  6. Flywheel Silver badge
    WTF?

    Wait .. tell me I'm not misunderstanding this?

    So the Government, notoriously short of cash* and the apparent inability to figure out to set up a border in Ireland has been dealing with a company experienced in "interfacing with applications in the Clouds and beyond especially with highly mobile disc-based platforms flying bl00dy saucers", well at least until today?

    Seriously? Is time to take my meds yet?

    *except for projects like this

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: the Government, notoriously short of cash

      They found some down the back of the SETI.

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: the Government, notoriously short of cash

        South Ealing Technology International?

        Hi Ken.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: the Government, notoriously short of cash

          Seriously Entertaining Tentacled Individuals.

        2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: WET

          Hi Paul

          I'm in the poor part of Ealing now, and can't claim to be international :-(

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Wait .. tell me I'm not misunderstanding this?

      Hey, if you want the gov't to be able to spot a scam, you've gotta allow them time and resources to do it.

      The more you insist on taking up their time with trivialities like the Irish border question, the less time they have to look at the proposals and contracts that get dumped on their desks by the handful on an hourly basis. That's one reason why cutting taxes is self-defeating - it makes a government more wasteful, not less.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Wait .. tell me I'm not misunderstanding this?

        That's one reason why cutting taxes is self-defeating - it makes a government more wasteful, not less.

        I fail to see how the current governments could be more wasteful (expect some wag will suggest a labour government, and actually miss the point on what's a waste and what isn't - but I doubt they have got it together either).

        You'd think with less tax money to waste on doomed to fail IT projects....

        But no. 'Essential Public facing Services' would probably go first, if they haven't already (quite close to Northampton).

  7. Frederic Bloggs

    Overlords

    Personally, I think it might be that time again to welcome our new Alien Overlords from their Disc Based Platforms. They may run the government rather better than the shambolic way the fleshy humans are currently managing doing.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Overlords

      Yep. Lord Vetinari would make a far better City Boss than May...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Overlords

        Lord Vetinari would make a far better City Boss than May...

        What persuades you that the City is "bossed" by central government, or politicians? Hardly coincidental that Ankh Morpork bears more than a passing resemblance to a well known capital city with plenty of guilds, including a Guild of Thieves.

        The Lord Mayor of the City is largely ceremonial, and from that you can surmise that the real power sits somewhere else. I doubt that there's a solitary white-cat-stroker, it is almost certainly a collection of people with vested interests, meeting in the sort of rooms that used to be smoke filled.

      2. Vinyl-Junkie
        Holmes

        Re: Overlords

        Lord Vetinari would make a far better City Boss than May...

        I don't think that's much of a recommendation; my dog would make a far better City Boss than May...

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Overlords

      Disc Basic Platform? Well, there's their problem ...

  8. israel_hands
    Black Helicopters

    "All work is Blue Book compliant"

    Majestic sirs, simply Majestic.

    1. Alister Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "All work is Blue Book compliant"

      Well played, I give that a Twelve...

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    ESPecial Forces Play Grounds ..... Holywood Palace Barracks Barack Style

    Are Registered Safe Haven Spaces an Area 51 Clone/AIDrone, or more a Bletchley Park Type Confection of IntelAIgently Designed Construction?

    Be They a Relatively Cheaply Home Grown or Expensively Imported Export to Price Mark and Market to Markets?

    Does Military Intelligence Guard and/or Provide Future Market Spaces in which there is an Awesome Lead? And that's a direct question to MI5 - The Security Service

    Is the current Boss, Director General Andrew Parker, a Right Chancer .... and Perfect Pathfinder?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: ESPecial Forces Play Grounds ..... Holywood Palace Barracks Barack Style

      And the answers to those last two questions are a resounding Yes, a Right Chancer and No Perfect Pathfinder ..... and that makes the notion of MI5 being able to provide National Security more than simply risible.

      Makes you wonder what service operatives are doing and who they be protecting when the Director General is so Lost in the Virtual Field and Missing in Future Actions and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Programming.

      No wonder Flighty Blighty is in such a Right Royal Eton Mess of AIdDisaster. No Guts, No Glory = a Vulnerable State for Virtualised ZeroDay Opportunity Exploitation.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You cannot be SIRIUS

    Flying saucers?

    Old technology. These folks are mere amateurs, like any self respecting aliens would still use clunky ships powered by a technology which didn't even work well enough to avoid a simple weather balloon.

    As anyone who is familiar with the state of the art knows, we simply appear when needed and aren't around long enough for anyone to even get their smartphone out. We don't usually need to appear just send an Email or Tweet containing helpful pointers so you hue-mans don't get lazy.

    Yours, the blue skinned hemocyanin based "Star Folk"

  11. BearishTendencies

    Quality assurance...

    Whilst the humour in this is all good fun, the fact this was listed tells you exactly how quality assured G-Cloud is. It's not.

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    A51 Technologies

    So, just outside Chester?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A51 Technologies

      Wrong end. Rugeley. In the convenient abandoned power station, of course. Why do you think they built the bypass?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: A51 Technologies

        Wrong end. Rugeley.

        Any relation to Wrong Way' Norris?

  13. SVV Silver badge

    Nice Hack Opportunity

    Ha, they have accidentally leaked the fact that the Maybot is controlled using this ETML stuff.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Nice Hack Opportunity to Prove Politics Completely Cracked.

      Ha, they have accidentally leaked the fact that the Maybot is controlled using this ETML stuff. ..... SVV

      And more probably terrorised by and terrified of it too, SVV.

      And with heads buried in deep sand with arses cocked up into the air do they invites all sorts of weird and wonderful shenanigans to visit their poorly fortified bunkers and COBRA meetings to out their incompetent future programming/incestuous dealings.

      And the problem with having dirty little secrets in one's bare boned cupboards is that one dare not share them freely because the knowledge can easily be deadly and weaponised for use against misusers and abusers alike. One then is at the Mercy of a Greater Intelligence which one can only hope isn't too mad and deranged and enraged at one.

  14. Andy 97

    Try setting up your HMRC account...

    I do wonder how "safe" my online data is now that HMRC demands that I login via Equifax or some bank.

    Perhaps I'll leave this all to my accountant and his Windows 8.0 desktop for future excitement.

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    This would explain a thing or two.

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