* Posts by R M Crorie

7 posts • joined 28 Aug 2006

Quantum porn engine foiled by strawberries and muffins

R M Crorie

Cuil can be cool...

If anyone is interested, and I suspect that the answer might well be "No", in Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) the word cùil (note that the "u" has a grave accent, not an acute accent) is indeed pronounced "cool", but it still doesn't mean "knowledge".

In Gàidhlig, it means a nook, cranny, corner, or recess.

eBayer slaps $714 price tag on $630 in cash

R M Crorie
Linux

@Graham Bartlett

> 2) Don't buy from anyone whose address is a PO Box - no way to track them down if they do rip you off.

Yes, there is - PO Boxes are not accommodation addresses, you only need to telephone the Royal Mail sorting office for the post town at which the PO Box is held (you don't need to give your details), and ask for the delivery address (they won't tell you the name of the customer, just the delivery address). With that, you have a starter for 10 in tracking down whoever lives there or has their business there.

If anyone tells you that these details cannot be given out (or can't unless you state who you are/why you want these details), politely ask to be put through to the Operations Manager for that sorting district so that he/she can tell the numpty responsible not to be so stupid and get out the details you've asked for.

Microsoft lines up with the good guys on identity tech

R M Crorie
Flame

Too late for the Microsoft Government Gateway... #2

I posted recently on another thread about Microsoft's cavalier approach to open standards with its implementation of the (Microsoft) Government Gateway, but I will post it again here, just as a reminder of the sort of attitude Microsoft will have to non-MS product users (effectively, the Open Source world) if we hand identity management to it on a plate... I suppose if Microsoft deems your e-mail address to be "illegal" according to its own "standards" in this way, then you won't HAVE an identity...

--- Original post ---

(as a comment on http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/03/conservative_open_source/ )

"Too late for the Microsoft Government Gateway... "

... in respect of which I've now received an explanation as to why it (and the Self Assessment web site) will NOT accept my RFC2822-compliant e-mail address, which gets rejected with a terse "illegal e-mail address" message.

Basically, the site complies with the GovTalk "standard", and that's it - too bad about *international* open standards. The letter states: "The difference between the GovTalk e-government standard and RFC822 includes variations around allowable characters... you are able to use our online services, but you will need an email address that is compliant with the GovTalk e-government standard..."

So, basically, that means the official HMRC position is:

- Microsoft built our system, so tough if it doesn't work properly;

- Microsoft standards are better than everyone else's international standards, to which we see no good reason to adhere;

- you can use our services, but even if you observe international open standards you will get second-class service and be unable to use all of our services, unless you comply with Microsoft's "standards";

- Microsoft is going to own the Internet anyway, so just get used to it and stop arguing.

Remember, the Government handed over its intellectual property rights to the Government Gateway to Microsoft *for free* so that the latter could market it elsewhere, an astonishing decision over a publicly-funded programme, even if it doesn't comply with open standards.

So, nothing new there then. The worrying thing about this is that this demonstrates official Government endorsement of Microsoft's continuing abuse of its monopoly position, despite the hundreds of millions of Euros Microsoft has recently been fined for doing exactly that. And no-one at HMRC sees any problem with it... I still have an "illegal" email address, even though the whole issue has been debated between us using exactly that address!

Dave Cameron pledges to Open Source UK.gov

R M Crorie
Flame

Too late for the Microsoft Government Gateway...

... in respect of which I've now received an explanation as to why it (and the Self Assessment web site) will NOT accept my RFC2822-compliant e-mail address, which gets rejected with a terse "illegal e-mail address" message.

Basically, the site complies with the GovTalk "standard", and that's it - too bad about *international* open standards. The letter states: "The difference between the GovTalk e-government standard and RFC822 includes variations around allowable characters... you are able to use our online services, but you will need an email address that is compliant with the GovTalk e-government standard..."

So, basically, that means the official HMRC position is:

- Microsoft built our system, so tough if it doesn't work properly;

- Microsoft standards are better than everyone else's international standards, to which we see no good reason to adhere;

- you can use our services, but even if you observe international open standards you will get second-class service and be unable to use all of our services, unless you comply with Microsoft's "standards";

- Microsoft is going to own the Internet anyway, so just get used to it and stop arguing.

Remember, the Government handed over its intellectual property rights to the Government Gateway to Microsoft *for free* so that the latter could market it elsewhere, an astonishing decision over a publicly-funded programme, even if it doesn't comply with open standards.

So, nothing new there then. The worrying thing about this is that this demonstrates official Government endorsement of Microsoft's continuing abuse of its monopoly position, despite the hundreds of millions of Euros Microsoft has recently been fined for doing exactly that. And no-one at HMRC sees any problem with it... I still have an "illegal" email address, even though the whole issue has been debated between us using exactly that address!

Did MoD chopper buzz sunbathing au pair?

R M Crorie
Happy

Re: Why should taxpayers pay?

The Crown self-insures... they don't have any liability insurance at the MoD for this sort of thing...

The "non-departmental public bodies" and "arm's-length" agencies do, of course, have to have insurance because they aren't Crown bodies. But even some (most?) of the organisations and bodies that used to enjoy Crown immunity don't any more. Not that I'm arguing that they should, actually my thoughts are that they shouldn't, for the obvious reason that - in general - it doesn't encourage a responsible approach to risk management.

And of course now that we live in a society that is so litigious, and which is also overwhelmed by the "compensation culture", it is unfortunately not a surprise to read about cases like this - not that I'm prejudging it, of course... :-)

Survey: young Brits ready to embrace evoting

R M Crorie

Expert's verdict? Absolutely no way...

See Rebecca Mercuri's expert opinion at:

http://www.notablesoftware.com/evote.html

"I am adamantly opposed to the use of fully electronic or Internet-based systems for use in anonymous balloting and vote tabulation applications. The reasons for my opposition are manyfold, and are expressed in my writings as well as those of other well-respected computer security experts... At the present time, it is my strong recommendation that all election officials REFRAIN from procuring ANY system that does not provide an indisputable, voter verified paper ballot..."

What conditions disqualify you from donating blood?

R M Crorie

It's not even a pint in the UK...

... Contrary to the popular myth, if you donate blood in the UK, the National Blood Service does NOT take a pint.

Barring anything going wrong, it's always five-sixths of a pint, or in new money (!), around 470 millilitres.

Why the widespread misconception of "a pint"? I've no idea whatsoever: but you could earn the price of a few drinks from this little factoid in pub bets, or if you are wealthy enough already, demonstrate your new knowledge for free when composing a pub quiz or trivia session.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021