* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

On the NHS tech team? Weep at ugly WannaCry post-mortem, smile as Health dept outlines plan

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Re: Suits having meetings and producing reports is not going to help...

" Ergo, you invest in the computer first and then spend whatever you have left on the best quality peripherals you can afford."

No. You invest in a system, or maybe an appliance. Choose either term or any other that emphasises the fact that it's the whole that matters. But remember that it's the specialised kit that's the sharp end of the specification. Putting the computer element first is arse about face because these days it's a commodity item, the cheap bit, probably built down to a price and hence the most likely to fail and be replaced, maybe several times during the life of the system.

Capita contract probed after thousands of clinical letters stuffed in a drawer somewhere

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"Capita told us that, with hindsight, it believes it could have reported the backlog sooner,"

Hindsight: the poor substitute for foresight.

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

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I hope they spoke loudly and clearly enough to make sure nobody in the queue missed any of the details.

And finally: "If there's anything else with which madam requires assistance perhaps she'd take her place in the queue just like all the other equally important customers and keep a civil tongue in her head."

No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft

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Re: What's a

"Bombasic Bob?"

One where all the random upper 20 CASE words are preceded by numbers.

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“As the pace of change accelerates, it has become imperative to move our software to a more modern cadence.”

Translation: "In order to keep the money flowing we have to shorten the built-in obsolescence."

What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster

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"Our registration was renewed recently but this has not been reflected on the ICO registry yet," a spokesperson said.

Didn't you follow that up with a query to the ICO? Indeed, didn't you ask the ICO about any of the other interesting aspects of the app? Go on, you know you want to.

Maybe there's also scope for some questions next time it's his turn in the barrel in the HoC. A nice general question about privacy of apps in general followed up by asking how that applies to his own. Are there any MPs with sufficient technical knowledge to make a decent job of it?

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"It would never crash though, because it would be strong and stable."

But it would have a back door.

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Re: "May" bad for privacy.

"May" also being a name they probably feel strongly about as well.

May also being a month they feel rather chuffed about.

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Re: Like the privacy policy on my new LG TV

"Question is, is there anyone to complain to (that may care?)"

Trading Standards? ICO? But best wait until after May 18th.

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Re: I guess he gets points for trying?

Don;t you mean for being trying?

UK data watchdog whacks £300k fine on biz that made 9 million nuisance calls

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Re: Public Records

"Its a shame you had to breach whois EULA"

What EULA? whois is a standard Unix command. The nearest thing to a EULA here is the GPL.

Oh dear, Capita: MPs put future UK.gov outsourcing in the spotlight

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Re: paying dividends when the pension fund is in deficit.

"Should be a law"

For those feeding at the govt trough a better measure would be to make maintaining the pension fund fully funded a term of the contract. It wouldn't need any Parliamentary time. The problem is that HMRC has been known to enforce contribution holidays and then financial policy hits the valuation of the fund with low interest rates and a hole appears faster than it can be patched.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Immediately after the announcement, Barnet Council ... (it has more than half a billion pounds worth of contracts with Capita) – put contingency plans in place to examine how it would handle the fallout should Capita fail."

If they're that committed I'd have thought contingency plans should have been in place anyway.

Perhaps that would be a good discipline for anyone outsourcing part of their operation: think about contingency plans. It might lead to second thoughts on the whole idea of outsourcing.

Info Commish offers privacy addicts a 12-step GDPR programme

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Re: Online Law Needs Reforming

"The issue was that my credit card(s) were visible, but expired"

Whoa there! Isn't that contrary to all manner of regulations, merchant T&Cs etc? You could use that to demand answers or else but if you did I'm sure the evidence would disappear PDQ.

And incorrect data under your account? Someone suggested the other day that if the company refuses to answer questions on account the the DPA, ask them for the section of the Act they're depending on. Although in this case I'd make them a counter offer - thery can answer the ICO's questions instead because unless I could get satisfaction that would be my next port of call. Failing to maintain proper business records is probably an offence under company law.

Data-by-audio whizzes Chirp palmed £100k to keep working with EDF

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Re: How?

"From context I think they mean intentionally-transmitted electromagnetic signals -- radio waves, in other words."

I'm sure you're right. But there are other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum: I'm looking at one now.

Fujifilm, Xerox throw each other a US$6.1 billion lifeline

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"Last week, activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deacon demanded changes at the top of Xerox and the dissolution of the 50-year-old Fuji Xerox joint venture as a response to an accounting scandal in 2017. This may not be quite the change they wanted!"

I can't tell you how disappointed I am for them. Because I'm not.

Who can save us? It's 2018 and some email is still sent as cleartext

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Re: Yeah,

"Freudian reading?"

Should have gone to Specsavers.

ServiceNow plans non-devs writing non-code for real enterprise apps

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"And this no-code development capability enables that.”

This really must be The Last One, mustn't it?

"[Apologies to any developers whose spines just twitched uncomfortably - Ed]"

You mean the newbies who haven't heard it all before?

Govt 'comprehensively ignored' advice over NHS data-sharing deal

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"If there isn't an exemption written into the new data protection laws"

It's being argued about. The ICO wasn't happy with the first draft. We shall see.

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NHS Digital confirmed it had received the letter and would “consider it carefully and will respond fully in due course”.

When you're told "immediately" "in due course" means "Now; right now".

In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

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" Partly because the prisons are full, it's a kind of suspended sentence."

I do wonder if the prisons are full because extended use of ASBOs, conditional discharges, tagging etc. has given them so many don't-get-into-jail-free cards that by the time their offending has reached a count where jail starts to be used they're already recidivists and from then on the jail gate is effectively fitted with a revolving door.

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Re: Too mild in both cases

"switched to ITV thinking the news was on at 1pm (like the BBC)"

There's a pathetic excuse if ever I heard one.

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Re: RE: Hanging has a very low rate of reoffending.


Fully agree. There's also the point that these days you'd very probably find at least one jury member dissenting on principle. Would it be acceptable to take someone's life on the basis of a majority verdict? If not what does it say about other offences where a majority verdict is accepted?

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Re: Too mild in both cases

"I think the third offense was generally a hangman's noose"

If you couldn't afford to pay a fine nobody was counting. From Wakefield Court Rolls, 1315:

"John de Blakhoumore, taken at the suit of Roger Walgar of Almanbury, for breaking into his house at Almanbury, and stealing goods and chattels, value 10s., which goods were found in his possession and are brought into court, is asked what defence he can make for the said burglary and theft; he pleads not guilty. An inquisition...finds him guilty. He is ordered to be hanged. He has no goods."

To hack Australia and learn its secrets, buy second-hand furniture

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Re: Dangerous data

"I wiped the SCSI drive and stuck it in a 386DX box, quite a powerful beast in it's day."

I'd have been inclined to cd to the directory concerned and

rm -rf *

echo junk > junk

cat <junk >> junk

#wait for crash

rm junk

and then kept it as a Xenix box - provided it was far enough back in the day.

Just can't catch a break, can ya, Capita? Shares tumble 40% amid yet another profit warning

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Re: Panic stations!


Not necessarily. If you jump from the bigger ships those to which you jump will be the lesser.

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In a damning prognosis of the public sector outsourcing giant's woes, new chief exec Jon Lewis said "significant change is required" at the outsourcing biz, describing it as "too complex" and "driven by a short-term focus" as well as lacking "operational discipline and financial flexibility".

And who's responsible for that?

Ahh! I see now. He's new. Dump all the blame on the last guy.

Is it possible that the race to the bottom might be put into reverse to try to catch out the opposition? Or is it just dead cat bounce?

Should ISPs pay to block pirate websites? Supreme Court to decide

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"Riiight, so Joe Punter sees a nice knock of Cartier watch online,.... buys it, and it's delivered to him via a postal service."

And take it a step further: say the knock-off vendor advertises by letterbox litter. Does Cartier hold the Royal Mail responsible for checking through all the mail and pulling out the infringing letters?

FYI: That Hawaii missile alert was no UI blunder. Someone really thought the islands were toast

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Lessons will be learned...

How come the person who sent the alert could get away with refusing to be interviewed?

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

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Re: Fair to say a real "Citizen Scientist"

"If all the probes you controlled with this stuff are accounted for and in either known orbits or en route for the next star system (very slowly) why bother? "

Doesn't everyone, now and again, remember "I have a bit of code that more or less does that more or less"? Assuming they don't lose that code.

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"NASA, no concept of archiving."

It's not as if source code control systems were a new thing.

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"a case of luckly to be looking in the right place at the right time."

In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind. Pasteur.

Borked bog forces flight carrying 83 plumbers to bug out back to base

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What's the collective noun for 83 plumbers? A blockage?

UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

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Re: An endless charade

"for they are not independent, whatever they might claim"

You're saying that, despite what the article says, the judgement didn't put the skids under DRIPA.

The HO knows full well that what it's trying to do can't possibly be legal unless they explicitly repeal what's left of Magna Carta. They know that it'll be stricken down whenever it gets to court. So they just keep dragging a new variation out of the filing cabinet and putting it before Parliament. In due course it'll be sent to the bin and yet another one's dragged out.

Why do you think one of BigBrother Watch's points of contention is that the body set up to authorise snooping isn't judicial? Why do think the govt. tried not to go to the Supreme Court over the process of triggering Article 50?

Tsk-tsk, fat cat Softcat: Milk-slurping reseller taken to court

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From the report it sounds as if they also ignored the judgement. Would they have noticed the winding up order if el Reg hadn't alerted them? Shame on el Reg for spoiling the fun.

Ubuntu reverting to Xorg in Bionic Beaver

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Re: It is the video hardware driver's fault

"Hardware does not have a license, hardware has patents."

1. Drivers are S/W, not H/W

2. These days H/W is apt to include microcode (just ask Intel if you're in doubt) and that's S/W.

Fella faked Cisco, Microsoft gear death – then sold replacement kit for millions, say Feds

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Could we swap him for our own May? He seems to have some technical knowledge.

You can't ignore Spectre. Look, it's pressing its nose against your screen

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"forcing people to use their brains might even prevent the next Carillion."

It depends on the quality of the brains as to whether it prevents the next Carillion.

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"The likelihood has risen, that's all - the impact is the same as it always was."

Risk is a function of both.

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Re: No shared CPUs

"You know, the actual reason we have cloud computing."

So what about all the other situations where it's being used?

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Re: Arm A53

"Then you merely need to rewrite your software to be efficiently multi-threadable."

You might need to do that anyway if the existing architectures need to be re-done with less out of order processing.

Trump White House mulls nationalizing 5G... an idea going down like 'a balloon made out of a Ford Pinto'

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It even falls back on the US government's long-held desire to export American ideals to the rest of the globe. "Eventually, this effort could help inoculate developing countries against Chinese neo-colonial behavior,"

In other words, everyone else gets a US govt backdoor instead.

Intel alerted Chinese cloud giants 'before US govt' about CPU bugs

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Seems reasonable. If the NSA hadn't discovered it already it would have kept them from doing harm with it.

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe

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"rm -rf /"

You can wreak havoc with mv * issued from root level. Just saying. Of course it's never quite as obvious as that. It's usually something like stuff * where you'd intended a / instead of a space.

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"the computer centre (Botanic)"

Botanic? In my day it was in the Mews.

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"Unless you're unlucky enough to find someone with an APL keyboard."

Unless you find someone unlucky enough to have an APL keyboard. FTFY.

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Re: Hmmm ...

"You don't need to mop up the zeroes, only the ones"

You can only mop up individual bits if the packets get torn open.

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Re: Hmmm ...

"You could just about moor a boat with Token Ring cable."

You could just about moor it to thick Ethernet.

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

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" Hardly like to blow up London."

It doesn't need to blow it up. It just starts a wave running up the estuary. As it gets further up the estuary the banks get closer together and the wave gets higher. I don't think closing the Thames barrier would be too much help there.

PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

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Re: Usable business PCs

"Except in 2003, the 4:3 screens were 1200 lines high. Serious money to get more than 1080 lines now on a laptop or monitor"

Yes, this is the real complaint, shrinking pixel density.

"you need about 17" diagonal for 16:9"

That's what I use on this laptop. Why should I settle for less to please the aspect ratio fetishists?

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