* Posts by Jim Whitaker

64 posts • joined 19 Jun 2013


FYI: There's a human-less, AI robot Mayflower ship sailing from the UK to US right now

Jim Whitaker


"4,535 kilograms, or five tons". Well I suppose you do have some among your audience who still use historic units but given your likely audience, is it really a priority?

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

Jim Whitaker

Not again

This is the second time a whole bunch of highly skilled, well-meaning people have behaved as if they were idiots. The last time it happened I was professionally involved as an IG manager for a large NHS body. The whole process was so half-baked I personally opted out of sharing. In due course the process was "fixed". Now we are in it again.

To be plain, I'm quite content (even keen) for my data to be shared for the good purposes which can follow for medicine, even the NHS and others involved in the private sector. (I'm a capitalist.)

What I'm not happy with is the thought that if the Government is so incompetent in announcing/selling this, how incompetent are they going to be in delivering secure data use?

UK data watchdog fines 'pandemic partner' biz £8k: It sent 84,000 marketing emails to people who'd given info for track and trace

Jim Whitaker

Re: At oiseau, re: draconian measures.

Remember, a gentleman is someone who knows how to play the bagpipes but doesn't. ;-)

Vivaldi update unleashes the 'Cookie Crumbler' to simply block any services asking for consent (sites may break)

Jim Whitaker

The Register is at fault here.

At least this would block those annoying (and unnecessary) regular attempts by The Register to annoy us with their repeated cookie permission requests.

Brit MPs and campaigners come together to oppose COVID status certificates as 'divisive and discriminatory'

Jim Whitaker

Re: WTF ?

Paper? Sorry but which century has this comment come from.

Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout

Jim Whitaker

Video music

Really ought to be duelling banjos in the background.

Mullet over: Aussie boys' school tells kids 'business in the front, party in the back' hairstyle is 'not acceptable'

Jim Whitaker

All right, give me a chance. I'll get a haircut just as soon as the hairdressers are allowed to open. At the moment I have exactly what this outfit does not like. Shortish sides and longish at the back (with curls!) I can trim the sides for comfort but messing around with scissors at the back is just too risky. :-)

Jim Whitaker

Re: It's the 1950s again (or is it?)


Thousands of taxpayers' personal details potentially exposed online through councils' debt-chasing texts

Jim Whitaker

Public Sector reporting

True in bits but you try being the Information Governance Manager who has to tell Senior Members of the Board that a potentially adverse report has to be made to the ICO. Their concern for the damage to reputation is real and substantial. (Ask me how I know. :-) )

Jim Whitaker

Re: I had a dialogue with my water company...

Maybe but they are not good at fixing them, are they. See Thames Water for one.

Planespotters’ weekends turn traumatic as engine pieces fall from the sky in the Netherlands and the US

Jim Whitaker

Are you sure it was an "uncontained" failure?

Healthy 32-year-old offered COVID-19 vaccine because doctors had him down as 6.2cm tall with BMI of 28,000

Jim Whitaker

Gout prevention

Have you/your GP considered Allopurinol?

Jim Whitaker


Yet another example of poor software design (for or by the NHS, I don't know). Have they not heard of data entry validation?

Atheists warn followers of unholy data leak, hint dark deeds may have tried to make it go away

Jim Whitaker

Poor headline

Atheists don't have "followers", they have beliefs which others may share.

Australia facepalms as Facebook blocks bookstores, sport, health services instead of just news

Jim Whitaker


I'm sorry but are you suggesting that there are people who use FB without an adblocker? Sheesh!

Dangerous flying car drone zoomed into UK's Gatwick Airport airspace after killswitch failed

Jim Whitaker

Re: If that had been...

CAA registrations do not use "Q". I would not have been surprised to see "I" and "O" excluded either (but they are not).

Jim Whitaker

Re: Possible lack of awareness of their limitations

> Methinks their website design is more competent than their aircraft design.

And their web design might be competent if you have decent broadband. All of the site appears to be chucked into one page which has all to be loaded. It then betrays some of the most irritating "clever" tricks which web designers with little or no user experience skills adopt.

This might be their design; certainly there does not seem to be any attribution.

Jim Whitaker

Re: A breadboard

Personally I share that view. Difficult to see how those conditions could be found in the UK.

Jim Whitaker

Re: WTF?

It's an age thing. :-)

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

Jim Whitaker

Re: confidentiality clause

Or you may be dead?

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

Jim Whitaker

And the sensible ones still use the UK, square pin ones.

Dropbox basically decimates workforce, COO logs off: Cloud biz promises to be 'more efficient and nimble'

Jim Whitaker

Re: Literally decimates?

And the horror of that punishment for mutiny is one of the reasons why really dislike it when people misuse the term. (I'll allow 11% as close enough for government work or journalism. ;-) )

What can the 1944 OSS manual teach us before we all return to sabotage the office?

Jim Whitaker
Black Helicopters

Alternative location

Try here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26184/page-images/26184-images.pdf

Exonerated: First subpostmasters cleared of criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon scandal

Jim Whitaker
Thumb Up

All credit to Computer Weekly, Private Eye and all the journalists who kept on at this. High quality investigative journalism.

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?

Jim Whitaker

Re: Battery EVs


Jim Whitaker

Poor planning or arrogance?

Someone buys an all-electric car without having off-road parking. Needs his head examining and that cable could so easily be damaged.

On the 11th day of Christmas TalkTalk took from me... the email address of my company

Jim Whitaker

Re: Car Mechanics are not IT people

I hope that was reflected in your service bills. :-)

Jim Whitaker

Why on earth does any organisation calling itself a "business" rely on a service such as this? Getting your own domain, getting it hosted with someone who provides an email service is so cheap and easy to do. If this one month notice is all that TalkTalk has given, then that is bad practice. I would reward that with a migration away from TalkTalk. If they did give decent notice before, then the fault is entirely on those who ignored that notice.

It may date back to 1994 but there's no end in sight for the UK's Chief customs system as Brexit rules beckon

Jim Whitaker

Don't forget, "Legacy" means: 1. It exists 2. It works 3. It may well be capable of expansion in real time by real people.

NCSC's London HQ was chosen because GCHQ spies panicked at the prospect of grubby Shoreditch offices

Jim Whitaker

Why does this body have any significant office presence in London at all?

NHS looks to the market for advice on one system to replace two separate, giant Oracle ERP and HR systems

Jim Whitaker

Oh dear.

What a Hancock-up: Excel spreadsheet blunder blamed after England under-reports 16,000 COVID-19 cases

Jim Whitaker

Re: CSV?

And also it will load them into default Excel data types and modify/trim data to fit. Ask geneticists what happens to the gene called SEP1 when loaded into Excel.

Safety driver at the wheel of self-driving Uber car that killed a pedestrian is charged with negligent homicide

Jim Whitaker

Easy issue to resolve

This was not a "self-driving" car. It was a human driven vehicle with many driver assistance features. A true self-driving car will have no controls for the occupants and no "driver". Why does this seem so difficult for some people to grasp?

Physical locks are less hackable than digital locks, right? Maybe not: Boffins break in with a microphone

Jim Whitaker


Have a look a the LockPickingLawyer YouTube videos. He laughs at Abloy!

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

Jim Whitaker


Remember, on the Internet no on can tell you're a dog.

There's no accounting for TITSUP*: Beancounters bemoan Sage cloudy sync software outage

Jim Whitaker


I have never understood why firms would put their core functions at risk by moving them online. Two extra points of failure (at least). Two organisations (at least) who are concerned with their profit/survival, not yours.

Someone got so fed up with GE fridge DRM – yes, fridge DRM – they made a whole website on how to bypass it

Jim Whitaker


Right to repair? - I'd establish a duty for devices to be easily repairable. For example, replacing the battery in my mobile phone should require no tools (other than an "ordinary" screwdriver perhaps). No need for prising, heating to melt glue or "proprietary" restrictions, e.g. trademarked connectors.

Better late than never... Google Chrome to kill off 'tiny' number of mobile web ads that gobble battery, CPU power

Jim Whitaker

That's not the real point.

I block ads to the maximum extent possible because I hate ads. The background waste of resource - shrug.

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

Jim Whitaker

Re: In other news....

Once had access to a HUGE (for those days) IBM mainframe in a university. Got bored with changing a password every 30 days but it had a really nice macro language which made changing the password ten times back in a ring a matter of routine.

Sweet TCAS! We can make airliners go up-diddly-up whenever we want, say infosec researchers

Jim Whitaker

Interesting. I am told that more accidents are caused by pilots than by equipment failure. Could Chesley Sullenberger have been replaced by AI? If you are the sort of person who believes that a vehicle could safely navigate on our roads without a driver, then I guess that you would say Yes, the Hudson River is an easy choice. Another viewpoint is that the airliner of the future will have a pilot and a dog in the cockpit. The pilot to make a couple of announcements to the self-loading cargo and the dog to bite the pilot if they touch any of the controls.

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle

Jim Whitaker

Re: Aerotime Hub

I did not notice any? (That would be because I have ad blocking, tracer hiding, pop-up killing extensions loaded.) Killing these things is really satisfying except that you have to turn them off to appreciate them. Odd that.

Jim Whitaker

Canopy removal

There are plenty of aircraft ejection systems where the seat is intended to break the canopy and some where it is the fall-back option if canopy ejection or canopy fragmentation (by small explosive charges in those wavy lines you see) fail. For a blurry bureaucratic report see https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP75B00285R000400170001-9.pdf. Or the Martin-Baker website.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

Jim Whitaker

Date check

Own up, who else checked the date of this piece?

Scottish biz raided, fined £500k for making 193 million automated calls

Jim Whitaker


I'll bet the company is dissolved before the ink is dry on any appeal.

Incidentally has anyone else wondered why two of the people associated with the company as directors are Stephen Foot and Stephen Alexander Foot, both with the same birth month?

Windows 7: Still looking after business (except when it isn't)

Jim Whitaker

Supermarket also

Recently using a self-serve till in Sainsburys and about a dozen items in - blue screen - Options to reboot in safe mode and, since I had no keyboard to fiddle with, a reboot in normal mode. Windows 7 EPOS splash screen displayed. Cashier said that it would take seven minutes to reboot so use another till!

Wave goodbye: DigitalOcean decimates workforce as co-founder reveals lack of profitability, leadership turmoil

Jim Whitaker

Well done

Tip of the hat to the author (or the sub-head writer?) for using decimate correctly.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways

Jim Whitaker

Black Box analysis

"International custom is for the manufacturer to analyse these boxes;" I don't think so. The analysis is by international agreement the responsibility of the aviation investigation authorities in the country of the incident (different rules if outside a country - https://www.emsa.europa.eu/retro/Docs/marine_casualties/annex_13.pdf. (Ignore the marine in the link, it is aviation)). Black box analysis, particularly in technically difficult cases, is most highly developed in a few countries and those countries are often invited to assist the responsible state. The assistance of manufacturers (or anybody else) may be sought but that is at the discretion of the responsible country.

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts

Jim Whitaker

Proper statute law required?

I'm sure I recall many years ago a court decision that an "automatically added "signature" did not have the effect of a signature" but if the originator typed their name as a signature with or without any automatic addition, then that was binding.

Has that changed or was it from a court which did not generate a binding precedent in this case?

EU court rules Right To Be Forgotten doesn't apply outside member states

Jim Whitaker


Reaches for VPN.

Queen Elizabeth has a soggy bottom: No, the £3.1bn aircraft carrier, what the hell did you think we meant?

Jim Whitaker

Re: Daily Mail

The Daily Mail problem is easily solved. Don't read it. Simples.



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