* Posts by localzuk

976 posts • joined 25 Jul 2011


Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee


So there is zero infrastructure for running the smart meters then? They're not connected to some form of network sending data back to some form of server infrastructure? Or, are you saying all that stuff was free to the suppliers, and runs for free without any ongoing costs too?

Or, you can realise that most meters aren't due for replacement already, and are being replaced before the end of their working lives at an extra cost on top of what would ordinarily have been paid.

NHS England digital boss in hot water over 'puff piece' written about her future employer


Funny thing is, I'm happy with my, what, £100 a month (about 20% of my tax amount) that goes to healthcare. Happy to pay it every month for the rest of my life in fact. That covers me for yearly checkups, 4 blood tests a year, will have me on dialysis if my kidneys do eventually pack in, cover the cost of a kidney replacement if I need one, and cover any injuries I do to myself when I'm at work.

Best bit? I can carry on working, and being a functioning member of society, helping educate the next generation of doctors, teachers, crazy anti-socialists, and whoever else society ends up with. I don't have to worry about being hit by a big bill of my health gets worse - all I have to do is live my life. If I get ill my focus would just be on getting better, and not on worrying about bills.

Seems like a great deal to me - and the vast majority of people in the UK agree.

Cops told: No, you can't have a warrant to force a big bunch of people to unlock their phones by fingerprint, face scans


Re: So does this also invalidate all facial recognition installed everywhere?

It very much is RIPA. The police can compel you to hand over passwords and encryption keys. Refusal to do so is a max 5 year sentence. Look at Section 49, RIPA 2000.

It WASN'T the update, says Microsoft: Windows 7 suffers identity crisis as users hit by activation errors


@BigSLitleP - that is simply not true. Bypassing copy protection is codified into UK and EU law as being a criminal offence.

Whilst there may be allowances for using copyrighted material in certain ways, outside the scope of an EULA, there is also a specific part of law which prevents the bypassing of technical protection measures (TPMs).

The UK has a mechanism for legally complaining about a TPM that prevents you doing something you're legally supposed to be able to do, but you do not have a legal right to bypass such measures yourself - doing so is most certainly copyright infringement.

Whilst you say "UK courts > EULA", and that is true, no-one in this thread has shown me any proof that this is legal.

So, I'll go back to my original question - I'd love to know the legal basis for saying you can bypass MS activation, because I simply cannot find one.


I'd love to know how that is legal in the UK? EULA's still apply over here, and bypassing copy protections is most certainly illegal here.

Good news: Microsoft's Azure Data Box Disk is here. Bad news: UK South Storage is having a liedown


Not sure why people are getting upset here

People saying Azure availability sucks, or whatever, seem to be missing a rather large point.

Azure is a huge collection of services, spread across a large number of locations. A subset of users of a single service at a single location had an issue for a few hours.

The rest of the Azure platform carried on as normal.

Just like any IT system, Azure is just a platform, you as the end user need to make the right choices when deploying to it. Like deploying your services across multiple locations. This downtime should realistically not have affected anyone if they'd designed their systems properly!

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown



I don't see how any country can operate where one man can basically shut the place down based on his own whim.

But I suppose it isn't really just one man doing it is it? It's the GOP blocking it as well, by not passing a veto-proof budget overriding Trump.

Ministry of Justice abandons key plank of £280m IT project


Re: The US CLOUD Act 2018 changes everything - but not a lot of people know that

The US Cloud Act may indeed be a thing, but it certainly has zero power over EU based subsidiaries, who have to comply with the local laws - which include GDPR.

It puts those companies in a rock/hard place problem but the US doesn't have the power to demand stuff from overseas companies simply because their owners are American. The EU have already made a fair amount of noise about this - if a company complies with such a US order, against EU law, then that company will face serious consequences in the EU instead.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Its politicians are OUR politicians, elected by us...

IBM: Co-Op Insurance talking direct to coding subcontractor helped collapse of £55m IT revamp project


What single developer would be developing something that encompassed "every little piece of tax law"?

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech


Re: The False Positive Rate is NOT 98%

If a system returns false positives 100% of the time, then that's a 100% false positive rate.

It is 100% positively useless.


Re: Don't they informed consent

The US is not the UK, and it doesn't have the GDPR stuff to comply with.

However, I'd hazard they'd try and claim the lawful basis as "public task", so wouldn't need consent.

Silent night, social fight: Is Instagram the new Facebook for pro-Trump Russian propagandists?


Re: freedom and choice

It isn't about the choice to be manipulated. Its about those doing the manipulating. US election law is quite clear about foreign influence - it isn't allowed.

So, whilst people are entirely fine to believe whatever they want, it is not OK for Russia to be providing material aid to a presidential campaign through advertising etc...

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'


Re: First step - ID cards...

Last I checked, the UK had not implemented a central database - they had specifically been told they couldn't under our existing laws, and every time they've tried to implement new laws they have failed to get them through parliament.

Also, my comment regarding CCTV was less about the requirement to register for data protection purposes, but more "give remote access to government". My mistake.

There is nothing in the UK that tracks all vehicles. Doesn't exist. They might be discussing such ideas, but they are not "already done".


First step - ID cards...

Second step - centralised database linking all government data

Third step - mandatory registration of CCTV systems with government

Fourth step - mandatory facial recognition and linking to the central database

Fifth step - mandatory tracking of all vehicles, to replace outdated fuel duty and VED.

Paranoid? Me? Nahhhh...

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently


Re: Does it phone home?

Conflating security with privacy is not exactly accurate.

Former headteacher fined £700 after dumping old pupil data on server at new school


That's the thing though, words are what people use them for. I'd suggest more people would use "download" in the loose method used here than use it just in the more limited way technical people would use it.

Example - literally.



verb: download; 3rd person present: downloads; past tense: downloaded; past participle: downloaded; gerund or present participle: downloading



copy (data) from one computer system to another, typically over the Internet."

He copied data from one system to another, using the medium of a USB stick. Technically, it fits in the definition of "download".


Re: The wrong question

*ALL* schools rely on random spreadsheets for something or other, for one simple reason - there isn't a single data tool for schools that can do everything they need in one package. So, schools end up with various products that regularly don't fully integrate with each other. So you end up with exports of data.

Also, take into account the fast moving target that is the DFE. They bring in new schemes and programmes constantly, so developers often don't have much time to get things in place - and schools less so. So, more spreadsheets.

Finally, throw into the mix a shrinking budget, lack of data expertise and urgency in generating a lot of information at times, and spreadsheets rule in schools. Especially in Primary Schools.


Those asking "why?"

Going by all the teachers I know and have worked with for the last 13 years? Its probably just a case of him having copied his personal drive and the shared drive when he left each school, then dumped the lot on the new school's server.

A lot of teachers have a poor grasp of the idea of data security of copyright. The idea that the work they've done at a school doesn't belong to them and they have no entitlement to it is an alien concept. The idea that they need to be careful with data is similarly often an alien concept. They simply don't think about that.

Teachers suffer from a sort of tunnel vision - they only care about what specific thing they're doing at that time, and ignore everything else. So, he likely didn't even consider what he was doing when he did it.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe


Re: Sergeant at Arms

Think of the Serjeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons as someone akin a bailiff of a court. They are not an "armed goon". They enforce orders made by the main democratic house of government of the UK.

I'm fairly sure they aren't armed either, unless you count a ceremonial mace which opens Parliament.

Funnily enough, the USA has them as well. The House of Representatives has currently elected Paul D Irving, and the Senate has Michael C Stenger.

Microsoft menaced with GDPR mega-fines in Europe for 'large scale and covert' gathering of people's info via Office


Not at all surprising

Looking at data usage on our firewall/filtering device, Microsoft's servers now top the chart for data usage every day - more so than Youtube even (we're a group of schools).

Windows 10, Office 365, etc... are incredibly noisy with their data usage. You just have to look at the massive number of IP address ranges and domains they recommend unblocking when you use Office 365 to realise how much data usage there will be.

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip


Ceres you say?

Just wait until Ceres comes speeding towards us due to some strange alien gloop.

30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim


Britain knows this one well... *looks at the 50 year old "temporary classroom" at his school*

BT, beware: Cityfibre reveals plan to shovel £2.5bn under Britain's rural streets


Re: Roll on some competion

OpenReach will only end up connecting the masses by being heavily subsidised by the taxpayer.

Without that subsidy, they most definitely are just as pick and choosey as the rest.


Does that not depend on the type and quality of fibre? You'd be hard pressed to get 1Pbps down an OS1 cable, for example. And I doubt they'll be installing fibre capable of 1Pbps to Aunt Jane's cottage.


Re: Rural streets?


I'd place money on their being a BT or OpenReach director living in that area...

Softcat warns of Brexit cloud forming over UK tech, vows: If prices rise, we'll pass them on...


Re: There's always an excuse to increase prices, but...

"Just over 40% of our exports and 35% of imports are governed by non-EU deals. About 12% are with non-EU countries but controlled by EU rules."

The UK is unable to negotiate trade deals independent of the EU whilst part of the EU. So, the answer is "none". Its one of the main reasons brexiters have given for leaving!

Hurry up and make a deal on post-Brexit data flows, would you? Think of UK business – MPs


Re: @ Loyal Commenter

So, you start your post with an immediate attack on Loyal Commenter. There is a big difference between attacking the concept of Brexit, and attacking the people and organisations that don't like Brexit. One is normal behaviour, the latter is the behaviour of people with no real arguments.

"Why should I provide solid information for the improvements from brexit when I am instead pointing out the lack of foundations supporting the remain argument?"

Lack of foundations? Odd idea, as the remain argument is backed by decades of excellent growth, the ability for Brits to move freely across Europe, and to move there (something a couple of million of Brits have done), security co-operation in the form of the European Arrest Warrant, passporting of finance services. The list goes on. We have all those things simply by being in the EU. When we leave, if we want anything like them, we have to negotiate to regain them - and when we do, we have to accept conditions for them, and then not have any say in the regulations regarding them.

You also fundamentally misunderstand sovereignty. Sovereignty is the power to pull the UK out of the EU. It is the power to change the UK's laws. Both of which the UK government has always had the power to do. Opting to be a part of the EU diminishes sovereignty just as much as signing a trade deal does. You lose whatever abilities you agree to in the treaty, and only get them back to the fullest possible extent if you end that treaty. Same with the EU.

With trade. I think you misunderstand. We don't have the border capability to handle our *current* amount of EU trade going through all the same procedures as international trade. Just look at the port of Dover. Operation Stack will become a permanent thing. It will massively damage the JIT nature of UK trade flows. There's zero evidence that leaving the EU will increase our trade, and plenty to show it will reduce it - simply by making a percentage of our trade with the EU not cost-effective. Even if they do magically get the technological and procedural aspects of border controls in place in time, you still have the added bureaucracy of now treating the EU like the rest of the world - a lot of small businesses will simply shut down those parts of the business.

So, another post and absolutely no solid way the UK will benefit from Brexit, but lots more obfuscation and attacks.

OK, give us an economic or trade benefit.


Re: @ Loyal Commenter


Its interesting, I've read your responses in this thread and come to the conclusion that Lord Commenter said way up near the beginning.

Instead of providing solid information as to how Brexit will improve our country, you have instead spent your time attacking everyone from Corbyn to the CBI to the EU. You give vague notions about sovereignty, ignoring the reality that sovereignty is always there - until we sign a trade agreement, at which point we have given away that bit of sovereignty for the duration of that deal. You hand wave about trade, ignoring the fact that our borders aren't currently capable of handling the volume of import/export declarations/inspections required under WTO rules.

The list goes on, but in reality, your arguments are just vague. Come on, give us a single hard and fast way Brexit will improve our country. Something measurable, something that people will actually be affected by.

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives


Re: Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

There's plenty of journalists out there who present an unbiased piece - hell, this site has a number of them doing a great job. Orlowski, however, puts out article after article that belittles anyone who disagrees with the over the top copyright restrictions sought by big media companies, and presents his clear contempt for some companies whilst giving others a pass.

This article could've been unbiased - without pejorative language, and framing the article in such a way as to present the law as sensible and opponents as near enough hysterical.


Does Orlowski ever do an unbiased piece?

This article is dripping with bias. Just look how he frames argument against the vote as "rhetoric" and not the arguments for, which are presented as being so very sensible.

This law is almost as bad as the USA's DCMA law, which has been massively abused since the day it was signed into law. There was an example just this last few days - a streamer on Twitch, Lirik, was suspended due to a DCMA takedown from UEFA. The takedown was based on nothing more than his having used the word "Streming" in his title, which UEFA claimed was a word often used by people broadcasting pirated UEFA content. They didn't actually watch his stream, or see any infringement, but they got his account shut down over a single mis-spelled word. Sure, he's in a rather unique position as he's very successful and is going to pursue UEFA via whatever legal avenues are open to him, but most small content creators aren't.

That's the sort of nonsense we can expect as a consequence of this poorly thought out law.

A third of London boroughs 'fess to running unsupported server software



I know for a fact they run more modern OS's than 2003, at least in the Education part. So, not sure that part is accurate.

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary


Not so sure this will work

A lot of the bigwig companies have the ability to simply fork the software and move on, ignoring the original developers. Or maybe they are aiming for a different future - being bought out by one of the cloud providers? All the big ones could probably afford to buy them with their daily staff canteen take...

You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows


Re: I think you just put yours in the shredder

@bob - there's video footage of IDF soldiers beating children, and shooting a nurse and disabled man in a wheelchair. That isn't propaganda. That's reality.

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.


Re: EU Standard plug

13A plug on a telly? Think mine has a 5A. Not all plugs have the same fuse in them you know @heyrick. Got some with 3A in too, for those really low power devices. 13A is mostly for kettles, heaters and the like.

Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach


Re: Three words

That's the thing though with SIMS - it is by no means cheap. In fact its about the second most expensive on the market.

The reason schools keep using it is that moving is a massive job and "everyone is used to SIMS". It takes a *lot* to convince management that changing how things are done would be a good thing.


@JohnMurray - that's not really true. SIMS was developed by a teacher (Phil Neal), and then further developed by Bedfordshire County Council thing IIRC, which became SIMS Ltd, which was later bought by Capita.


Gonna be one less school soon

This is the final nail in the coffin for me - adding this to my push to move away from SIMS in our 6 schools. Capita just really don't seem competent in anything they do!

Startup bank Monzo: We warned Ticketmaster months ago of site fraud


No other bank had reported anything

I wonder why? Is it because most other banks aren't bothered about their customer's money? Monzo is growing, so their customers and their money is the most important thing to them - if they don't behave like this, the effect of bad publicity could kill them quickly.

Whereas bad publicity for the big names? Just more to add to the pile.

The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand


Normal for Apple to be honest

There have been loads of things like this over the years.

Just look at the 360 scroll ball on the mouse they made around 2007. Constantly gunked up, and their advice was to vigorously rub on a moist micro-fibre cloth. Couldn't get the ball out to actually clean the mechanism, so it didn't really fix it at all. I had to get mine replaced twice.

Then you've got the trackpad in my MacBook Pro 2015 - the 2 buttons that you can press down to click on it get clogged by dust etc... With the "fix" being running a piece of paper through the gap to try and dislodge - doesn't really work.

Or more obvious design flaws - the under-mouse charging port on their current mouse.

There are plenty more examples. They just seem to not think things through! But, and this is an important but, they aren't alone in this.

Stern Vint Cerf blasts techies for lackluster worldwide IPv6 adoption


Internal fun...

"Hey, yeah, can you tell me your IP address"

"Errr... Have you got 20 minutes?"

That's my only concern with IPv6 stuff. The risk of errors goes up as well. But its a minor issue.

US government weighs in on GDPR-Whois debacle, orders ICANN to go probe GoDaddy


Re: Some "private" data _should_ be public domain!

I think the result of that would be EU companies not using US registrars at all. So, all EU and UK businesses would use TLD's from their own countries etc...

So, no more .com for the UK, everyone uses .uk.

You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!


Easily defended?

Surely they can just point at the fact that every search engine would have the files indexed too? No "hacking" here. Do they list on the site that you can only access files manually by clicking on each link by hand? What if he had done exactly that? Gone through and manually downloaded each document by clicking a link?

The entire case is absurd.

UK.gov expected to quit controversial harvesting of schoolchildren's nationality data


Schools are there to educate. Hospitals to heal.

It is not their jobs to police immigration status, and to the school it shouldn't matter their immigration status or nationality - they just need to educate.

If there are immigration issues, other parts of government can deal with it, and the resolution applied fairly. If it means being deported, then take the child out of school as close to the deportation date. They deserve an education regardless.

We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap



OK. So the product is supposed to be a machine which can run the old 2600 games via emulation, and run Linux for some other games.

Where's the hard part in making that? I mean, you can do the whole thing with a Raspberry Pi in a day. The only different bit would be the controllers - and there's companies that specialise in those so could knock something out for them in no time.

Then stick the R Pi in a nostalgia fulfilling case and you're done. The software is something a uni graduate could sort in a couple of weeks!


Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners


Re: fine with it.

@stopthebollocks - sorry, but the police, as an institution, has been shown time and time again to be racist. A quick Google for "police institutional racism uk" gives you ample evidence of this.

The problem is not that all police are racists, but decisions made are made on the back of information that is itself biased and racist. Its why stop and search invariably targets young black men. Its why black men in the USA are more likely to be killed when coming into contact with police than white men are.

If you have a requirement for due process when fingerprinting, then you eliminate a type of misuse. If its as quick as forcing someone on the street to scan their fingers on the whim of a police officer, then you create a much larger chance for misuse and abuse.

And, depending on the reason I'd need to call the police, sure, I'd call them its kinda one of the things my taxes pay for. I don't hold the overall bias of the force against individuals. Or the actions of individuals against all of them.


Re: fine with it.

The problem isn't with the technology - it never is. The problem is with overreach. Police will find more excuses to fingerprint people - usually following their biases (which time and time again come out to show the police are institutionally racist).

It also allows the police to use this same tech for further uses in the future - registering finger prints, etc...

Being taken to a police station affords you the right to legal representation - something you don't have on the street.

Military techie mangled minicomputer under nose of scary sergeant


Re: Shome mishtake surely?

You can get a Quadra/Centris 650 on ebay for less than $100.

Loved the Quadra line. Was a great computer when I was growing up.

Biker nerfed by robo Chevy in San Francisco now lobs sueball at GM


"Regardless of who's legally in the right or wrong, a self driving car hitting another vehicle is a problem."

Problem is, in this case, the self driving car ended up with 2 choices - 1. drive into the minivan that slowed in the other lane, completing the lane change maneuver, or 2. return to its original spot, which someone had illegally ridden into.

From any point of view I can tell, this seems clear cut - the software did the right thing... You can't always prevent an accident, but you can choose which accident to have.


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