Re: What are your thoughts on...
The problem with GOV.UK Verify
...is that it's GOV.UK Verify.
195 posts • joined 17 Feb 2012
The problem with GOV.UK Verify
...is that it's GOV.UK Verify.
My mother's maiden name is $q002Z&x3409
That probably was a legitimate email, if they're anything like as useless as our HR department.
For that matter, so is "digital". A distinction that seems to be getting blurred with every piece of tech-related news burbled out of the public sector these days.
If cyber is a tier-one threat, what's tier-two? Tall? Fast? Supercilious?
I bought it second hand seven or eight years ago. Since then it's had two new SSDs (first a speed upgrade, second for capacity), more RAM, and three new power supplies when the cables give up. Surprisingly still the same battery though - I don't use it on batteries a lot.
Running Ubuntu MATE. Fan sounds a bit like a chainsaw these days but other than that the darn thing just won't die. And much as I'd like to I can't really justify buying a new one until it does.
Side note: I particularly like the T5xx-series as a compromise between full-size machines and portables. Nice big screens and keyboards. My work-supplied T440 is nowhere near as nice, though that may also be because the T440 is the worst ThinkPad ever made.
I vaguely remember from my PRINCE2 certification (shows you how much I use it) that one of the supposed strengths of the framework was that it was portable across all types of different projects. Whether that was canning soup or building an online service.
So it wouldn't surprise me if people brought up in the public sector management tradition do think they can manage stuff they don't understand. Or apply the same rules to two totally different projects.
And you know what, they're right in some ways. On a large enough project, management isn't going to know everything. One key to success is realising what you don't know, listening to and empowering (sorry) the people who do know, to do the right thing. Another key to success is building mutual respect with the technical experts so they give you good advice and information.
Based on what's in the media, Amber Rudd appears to be pretty bad at both these things.
That careered a bit off topic, but wow. Have an upvote for Rant Of The Day.
It should be dreadful for politicians, used to think about themselves as "know-it-all, know-it-better" types, to find themselves naked to the truth they don't know enough, and the little they believed to know is wrong, in a world that became and is quickly becoming complex in ways all their knowledge is useless to understand, especially since very few politicians have scientific backgrounds.
"I am not suggesting you give us the code," the home secretary shot back, telling him: " I understand the principle of end-to-end encryption - it can't be unwrapped. That's what has been developed.
"What I am saying is the companies who are developing that should work with us."
It's not very clear what she means here. Work with them how? By decrypting messages? In which case, isn't that just giving the Home Office "the code"? (spoiler: yes it is, assuming she doesn't mean source code; and she probably doesn't mean source code, being Amber Rudd and all).
The whole thing smells like a ranty soundbite. Designed, presumably, to appeal to the Tory faithful at the annual conference. And to get Rudd a few column inches about being tough on terrorism while conveniently skipping over all the detail of how that might work. Perhaps it will also take the spotlight off her recent contempt of court travails.
Amber Rudd and the liberal-arts-educated political and Civil Service elite would do well to pay more attention and respect to technical experts generally. Rather than treading on toes every time she opens her mouth.
And here was me thinking Groove was that thing they bought from Ray Ozzie back in the day and tried to shoehorn into all their collaboration products (actually Wikipedia suggests it's still in use on the backend of OneDrive). I'd never even heard of this music service.
If it'd been ten years earlier, they probably would've called it Music.NET.
The Finns have a terrible track record for technological achievement*. So they'll no doubt roll out the red carpet for some highly qualified Westminster policy wonks who can tell them all about how to deliver stuff on time and under budget.
* For avoidance of doubt: may not be true. See icon for example.
Quite. Mine was 2005-ish. I've no interest in evangelising or converting anyone else. It (mostly) works pretty well for what I do. Others' mileage may vary and that's fine. Life's too short to argue about operating systems.
I worked with Notes/Domino many years ago. I thought it was a nice idea overall, badly implemented on the client side with some good features on the server side (notably replication, in the days before pervasive connectivity). That was just my experience of it though.
IMO one of the main problems, apart from the incredibly crappy client software, was that world+dog seemed to buy it as an email system. At best, for email, it was no better than the competition. If you deployed and used it as "groupware" (eugh) or an intranet/extranet though, it wasn't half bad for its time.
Interestingly, CouchDB was apparently originally inspired by the Domino database technology.
As I understand it (could be wrong) it's mostly "Linux" userland utilities running on top of the Windows kernel.
So if we're being FSF-ish, surely it should be a GNU system for Windows. Something like GNU/Windows perhaps...
Mine's the flameproof one, thanks.
Have been for a few years, mostly Just Works, probably won't change. The project has a good ethos too, which is a bonus.
It's never going to be the Year of Linux on the Desktop, but actually desktop Linux is pretty good these days whichever flavour you pick.
Those T440 trackpads suck so badly. They went back to the old design for the 450, I believe.
> learning this SUDO malarkey on the fly
I think I see where you went wrong. Case sensitivity, innit.
Okay, okay, I'll find my own way out...
The Spinal Tap Goose would have 11 engines. It would only manage to fly at about 50 inches for a very short run.
So a "designer" comes up with something that looks like it should be a plane, but doesn't actually perform any of the useful functions of a plane. And, subjectively, doesn't even look all that nice. I don't hate on Apple, but I can see how this is a great analogy.
(How does one become one of these designers? Seems like nice work if you can get it.)
I remember reading an article once about how Concorde looks so amazing, futuristic etc. Particularly compared to the cars of its era. Someone else with more sense pointed out that Concorde's design was a stark and direct result of its functional requirements, rather than following some fashion whimsy. All the more appealing because of it.
What fascinates me is that he thought he could get away with it
He would've too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids.
because someone else has decided it needs to change for their benefit rather than yours
One of my bugbears with $CURRENT_EMPLOYER's corporate IT department. Many (not all) of the changes and processes they put in place seem designed to make their own jobs easier. Sometimes at the expense of making service users' jobs easier.
And here it is:
Well they got BT to check, who subbed the job out to Huawei, who asked their bosses if they needed to spy on her
"Who knows Foreign Office secrets, apart from the Foreign Office?"
"That's easy. Only the Kremlin."
I would be expecting to see .yorkshire popping up sometime soon
Flippin' 'eck, when I were a nipper we had it tough! We had to use gopher for t' Internet shopping!
In them days, we'd a' been glad to have T'LD of our own!
> Triplicated Infrastructure terminated so unexpectedly prematurely
Have an upvote.
Complaining that you hadn't adopted HTTPS on every article in which you tell people to adopt HTTPS was one of the few pleasures I had left in this world!
It's OK, you're a proud member of the commentariat. Don't let facts get in the way of a good rant if you still feel like one.
> 'digital' is an adjective
Not in UK.Gov it's not...
Wow. That sounds a lot like UK.gov's approach to "digital". I always assumed the German public sector had it together, relatively speaking. Disappointed if that's not the case.
> holy cow that's expensive
...and proprietary, IIRC.
Yeah but no but... rebuilding backend systems using Agile/Cloud/OSS/LatestBuzzword (which I agree is happening, and is good) is one thing. Linux-on-the-NHS-desktop is quite another.
Possibly there are some overlaps; make things web-based, use open standards, similar underlying tech etc. But many of the challenges to overcome are quite different, and IMO the open source crowd do ourselves no favours by conflating the ideas.
I wonder what a "Head of Ecosystems Development" actually does. Sounds like one of those non-specific job titles so common in the senior public sector - "Director of Improvement" etc.
Also I call bovine excrement on "[T]he whole procurement process is geared to buying something off the shelf: something proprietary." Source: I procure NHS technology all the time, it's mostly open source (admittedly not clinical systems), and I've never seen any problems other than the usual ones when you try to procure anything in the NHS.
> Verify needs some urgently intervention
I accidentally all of Verify... is this dangerous?
Yes, but this is El Reg. So a Playmobil mockup, obviously.
It also doesn't help that their website's a pile of festering bovine excrement.
We "have" to buy HPE kit because that's who our organisation's support contract is with. Recently I needed to spec a few servers. It was actually easier to go to the Dell site, build up the equivalent spec there, then send it to our procurement/account management folks for a quote - "Like this, but from HP".
I'm not surprised HPE are floundering. What does surprise me is that they've lasted as long as they have.
I raised my eyebrows at that too. It could be argued that if your taxpayer-funded department no longer has a role, it should be disbanded.
Sadly, organisation-centric (as opposed to, say, user- or public-service-centric) thinking like this seems to be pretty common in the public sector.
Maybe she meant to say that MI5 was aware of new threats and knew they still had a role to play, but needed to make that clear to their political paymasters. Which is reasonable, and a lot more palatable than the words she actually used.
making them willing to follow any senile, hate-filled old coot that promises them paradise
I say, that's going a bit far.
Just being the Prime Minister means she's probably not senile. Not totally anyway.
We had an SGI Origin 2000 in our server room back in the early 2000s.
One of the systems guys claimed he used to go in there just to look at it, it was so pretty.
> Like really what have I done to not get that? Who do I have to kiss?
Take out service with TalkTalk. That should do it.
However in 5 years we could have triage AI in many different aspects of professional work. For example in healthcare, this could keep GP load and A&E load lower, which will help the NHS greatly.
NHS tries deploying futuristic not-quite-here-yet technology. What could possibly go wrong?
> This may have changed since
Guess it depends what your aggravating sticking points are. I run Ubuntu MATE all day at work and find it to be excellent. It also tracks "main" Ubuntu very closely - I heard somewhere that there are only 30-odd packages different between the two (no, I haven't checked).
Might be worth another look.
This, 1000x this.
I work in public sector "digital" and it's a constant source of dismay how many projects try to disguise a lack of getting the fundamentals right (be that understanding requirements, senior-level buy-in, having a PM who understands what they're doing, whatever) behind the veneer of "Agile".
The reason these projects fail often has little to do with the methodology they employ, and a lot more to do with the people involved.
It's nothing new - ten years ago everyone in the public sector blindly applied PRINCE2 and hoped for good outcomes as well.
Or at the very least, not stick the story+image as the main feature on your front page.
Not being prudish about the photo, but some of us read El Reg at work and could do without that sort of thing unexpectedly showing up.
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