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I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

Peter2 Silver badge

using El Reg for that purpose>>

Very tenuous.

You know, once upon a time quite a few years ago I was working in the NHS. We had been having a heck of a problem all day, and I ended up working through my offical lunch time trying to figure out what the hell was going on with the VPN's going up and down like yo-yo's. Nobody knew, from local to national level IT support and everybody was frantically trying to figure out what the cause of the issue was.

Eventually, I took a fairly short lunch break just before a high level meeting with the directors of several trusts, who one imagines had some reasonable intention of having guts for garters as a result of not being able to fix problems seriously affecting quite literally hundreds of NHS sites we were supporting. For my short lunch break, I dashed down to the canteen, grabbed a sandwich and had it at my desk while reading El Reg. One of the lead news articles was about some scrote having nicked half the contents of a BT Exchange in London which was compromising VPN's nationally, to customers including the NHS.

After recovering from choking on my sandwich, a copy went to my manager, which resulted in the entire problem and change management teams, the entire department management and the high level management of several NHS trusts turning up to my desk to have a look. Copies then started going everywhere via email, fax and being printed and faxed. The NHS central teams did an update that went out nationally based entirely on that information.

Word travelled rapidly upwards under great pressure from below. I'm given to understand that multiple ministers ended up reading that article, and having done so they then started putting immense and intolerable pressure upon the highest levels of Openreach to get the problem sorted, which bore quick results.

The main question then getting asked was, "WHY DID WE NOT KNOW THIS SOONER?" The honest answer of "well, one of our staff just reads that site during his lunch break, and he had a late lunch because he was working on figuring out the problem" did not go down too well. Suffice to say that reading El Reg became not just an officially endorsed work related activity but part of multiple job descriptions at that workplace. Hell, El Reg ended up being on the list of sites read by the PR departments media monitoring operation with a directive to report any relevant issues to IT & their upper management.

Arguing that it's "Very tenuous" to use El Reg to keep up to date with what's going on in IT either on a day to day basis or to keep abreast of general industry trends is in itself "very tenuous". The tone of the reporting might be that of a tabloid, but the reporting is top notch. As presumably you know, since your here reading and commenting on the articles.

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