* Posts by Belvedere Mulholland

26 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Mar 2009

UK.gov needs fresh law to protect taxpayers' ID

Belvedere Mulholland

D Moss has the goods

Basically, there is no such thing as AN id for dealing with the government. There are many roles, some overlapping, some not. Individual departments and agencies have long since sorted out how they identify people for their various taxes, benefits, registers, licenses, etc.

The Cabinet Office, at one time, had a role with the ludicrously overwrought "gateway". Why? Who needs this central id? How will it map to all the separately gathered and verified ids across government? It can't. Let alone supersede them.

Of course, it is tempting to believe the centre of government can identify a citizen role with a single identity. But it can't. To my knowledge the Cabinet Office have been advised on this for at least 15 years without getting a clue. I don't expect that to change any time soon.

But is that even the point? As long as the seat-warmers have their budgets who cares?

Fukushima fearmongers are stealing our Jetsons future

Belvedere Mulholland

You only need to read the post below...

...to see why Lewis Page's sober tripagulous reiteration is necessary.

Belvedere Mulholland

"often" not "always", you see?

Do I need to speak slower?

Belvedere Mulholland

Good in what way?

Annoying people by being utterly irrational? Is that good? Perhaps you favour smug ignorance?

Apple accused of iPhone ban on 'all single-station radio apps'

Belvedere Mulholland

iPlayer is a single station

Are you saying "why would anyone want iPlayer"?

App Store II: Steve Jobs sucks Mac's soul

Belvedere Mulholland

Blimey... do calm down dear!

Don't forget Sturgeon's Law... 95% of everything is crap. Have you looked at the App Store recently? There's no shortage there... and one can surmise that a very high proportion of apps bought are not, um, very good.

Then again... the App Store does have some excellent apps. If your thesis was correct these wouldn't exist.

But they do. You see?

There is room for a market full of shite AND some nice stuff that clever people like me want. *appropriate emoticon*

Energy-saving LEDs 'will not save energy', say boffins

Belvedere Mulholland

I re-echo the calls of "arsewash"

If there is pent up lighting lust, how do these boffins explain the existing limit they imply?

If we all want loads more light... it is already dirt cheap. Why haven't we gorged at the teat of photon goddess already?

Or perhaps as the other guys here suggest... this story is cock.

Time to kill the zombie health records

Belvedere Mulholland

I still don't see how they can be sure

I can see the benefit of knowing about some existing conditions, medication, etc. but how likely is a match for most names? If they find your credit cards will they try to dig deeper and will banks etc. cooperate? And how can they be sure they are your details? Even your car doesn't identify you. For sure, the guys who pick you up can do a great deal of exploration to find who you might be but most of the time they can't possibly match you to a Health Record unless it contains loads of information about you and your stuff.

In these days of ID theft it would be pretty hard to ID me or anything in my car with certainty. I just don't routinely carry anything specific that I don't need. And if they are going to treat you on this info, and if it is critical, they need to be pretty certain. How often will they know? Almost every time when you are accompanied, and almost every time if you have conditions for which you already carry medical warnings. Otherwise... I'd be very surprised... unless the SCR data is very intrusive.

Belvedere Mulholland

The SCR scheme is very vague

I have had the mailshot, and subsequently tried to find out what data is involved. For example, how are we idenitified? If I'm in a car crash 300 miles from home, unconscious and alone how will they get at my medical records? How will they know they are looking at the right one?

But all we get is the ultra-vague platitudes of the PR material.

Then there's the "later" linked Detailed Records. What is this system? What is the impact of opting out of SCR? Who will have access? Again, super-vagueness and platitudes.

We have decided we will just opt out regardless. I can't get proper details about what is going on (despite millions being spent on glossy mailshots) and I have no confidence in CfH.

Police IT quango chief to quit

Belvedere Mulholland

Can your employer pay your tax?

Off the top of my head - if the taxpayer really pays his income tax bill - I would expect it to be taxable as more income. I can't see why not.

Gov slams critical database report as opaque, flawed, inaccurate

Belvedere Mulholland

Methinks Guv doth protest too much

Although I must say find their response flawed and inaccurate

ID fraud prevention week fights UK's fastest growing crime

Belvedere Mulholland

Retail Footwear Piss Crime

I suppose you bleeding heart liberals are against the new government urine database too? Pah!

It is rather odd that this big hooha crime which is such a dreadful thing would not interest a policeman at all. The fuzz are simply not interested. The banks deal with it. And if you ask them about patterns of use (I have had my card details nicked to some unknown extent on one occasion) in order to avoid useless retailers, types of use, etc. they can't help.

Nobody deals with card crime... they just replace the cards. And increasingly block you every now and then (even with Verified For Visa.... what's that about then?) and phone you.

When the police take an interest I'll believe it is a problem.

North Wales Police says the law is what they say it is

Belvedere Mulholland

@ Original Ash

>>>"Under what powers..." "Don't take a picture of me, you're compromising my safety." "Under what powers..." "Don't take a picture of me, you're compromising my safety." "Under what powers..." "Don't take a picture of me, you're compromising my safety." *Takes picture*

That isn't the story.

The police were happy to be snapped w/o licence plate (which is nonsense because you don't need a photo of a licence plate to know what the number is).

A dialogue with a policeman (as a public servant) is not simply a question of him coming up with a convincing argument (which he didn't). He also needs to act under the law, which he didn't.

You can't make the law up afterwards.

I'm sure MCN are evil etc. but it makes no difference to the facts.

'Exomoonologist': NASA can detect forest moon of Endor

Belvedere Mulholland

It all adds up...

From the media last week:

"The Dutch national museum said Thursday that one of its prized possessions, a rock supposedly brought back from the moon by U.S. astronauts, is just a piece of petrified wood."

YouTube UK welcomes back the music

Belvedere Mulholland

PRS only have themselves to blame

People don't seem to understand what they do.

What they largely do - with Google - is give up without a fight.

None of the PRS money goes to record labels unless they own publishing.

How will PRS distribute this lump? Based on radio One airplay? The Internet is known to have a different profile. Why doesn't PRS insist on getting paid by Google the same as the BBC? Why does Google get a special deal? When will the BBC say... Google doesn't pay, why should we? When will iTunes say Google doesn't pay, why should we? (iTunes also pays PRS for the writers as well as paying the labels for sales.)

And why doesn't PRS insist on proper accounts from Google? There are many tools which would allow electronic tracking of copyrights so that the writers could be paid properly.

(For the benefit of the people who don't know their labels from their publishers, it is the PPL royalty that goes to labels in the UK. American labels work in a different way but this isn't America.)

Apple iTablet snaps emerge

Belvedere Mulholland

If they are genuine...

...I will eat my own arse.


Apple talks down (another) iPhone App Store critic

Belvedere Mulholland

If Web 2.0 (sic) gave us what we want...

...we wouldn't buy apps.

But we do buy apps.

It is faintly ridiculous for Apple to warn me I should be over 17 to access an update to my Japanese dictionary app... but nothing to get excited about.

Though bloggers may froth I suspect most users won't lose any sleep over the banned apps.

Home Office mum over mad March at the CRB

Belvedere Mulholland


If you read what I wrote you'll find I didn't say anything like:

"To use a "every man is a potential rapist" type argument is frankly absurd, your reasoning appears to be "if they fail the crb then they are a risk, and if they pass the crb they they are prolly a risk anyway - they have just not been caught yet"."

That argument and your rebuttal have nothing whatever to do with what I wrote.

You have made an argument I wasn't making and refuted it. That is your prerogative but you can't blame me. I'm not involved in your fantasy world.

Belvedere Mulholland

Break out the long shoes...

Their concept of false positives and false negatives is hopelessly procedural. Surely their whole purpose is the protection of vulnerable individuals (improbable though that outcome may be)? A false positive means they did the paperwork wrong, and likewise a false negative means they let someone through who records showed was a risk. This is all about forms... Do we know that a false positive was really no risk? Of course, we don't.

The sooner this management-based bureaucracy is thrown out the better. Is there any evidence these partly-competent bureaucrats are having a positive effect in the world beyond their filing cabinets and flakey processes?

The fact they have no coherent overall management grasp of what they are doing, or how it is working, doesn't surprise me at all.

Blears sackee nothing to do with TheyWorkForYou

Belvedere Mulholland

Civil Service Contract?

I don't believe there is such a thing as the CS contract mentioned by Anonymous Coward.

I certainly never had an employee contract and I was there for over 30 years (my own fault entirely, I know).

Your (my) working conditions as a Civil Servant were specified by The Official Secrets Act and the Civil Service Code.


These were supplemented by a very fat Departmental Book of Staff Instructions (later Guidance, of course).

It was never specified that email couldn't be used for political purposes. I was barred from doing almost anything for political purposes without management approval. And I was also barred from using the Internet for anything other work.

Normally, for a particular Department, it would be clear what merits instant dismissal, although fiddling expenses would normally be a dismissal offence in any Department. Or is that a different case?

MySociety denies role in Blears sacking

Belvedere Mulholland

Gov email scrutiny

When I worked in HMRC they had a dedicated central team of e-communication scrutinzers. I would guess this lot has a similar system which scans the inward and outward email of employees for potential naughtiness.

One of my team was even pulled up for sending 'offending' comments (nothing I could get excited about) in an email to his home address! Presumably he was casting the Department in a bad light to himself.

Apple wilts under iPhone upgrade strain

Belvedere Mulholland
Thumb Up

How was it for you?

I upgraded last night OK (about 19:30). There were a couple of timeouts and a few error messages but I just did it again and it went through.

It's a good upgrade. The new features you know... but it's also brought a smoother feel to the touch interface (flipping home pages is faster), and things like browser text entry are subtly slicker.

PAC slams government's 'cosy' relationship with IT suppliers

Belvedere Mulholland

The real story is that this isn't news

Where have the PAC been for 20 years?

This is routine. Departments are praised for getting in the private sector and forming "partnerships" (tres LOL). They are criticised for playing hardball because the external account managers schmooze gullible Number 10 sound-bite mongers.

If this is the extent of their understanding (a cross-government SIG? another one? who measured the effects of the last one?) nothing will change.

Remember when the NHS was praised for letting billions in contracts? And then castigated for exactly the same reason? If it wasn't my money I'd be laughing like a drain.

No charges for terror arrest Tory

Belvedere Mulholland

Wasting police time, again?

These top Civil Service wonks who over-egged their wafer-thin case to set the Filth on this Government's political opponents should be nicked for wasting police time.

Or are we so inured to Rampant Dossier Sexing these days that our public servants can get away with living in their fantasy land at our expense and recklessly rack-up the bill on top?

(Bill, geddit?)

I am quite literally frothing. Quite literally.

Lies, damned lies and inflation statistics

Belvedere Mulholland

Good inflation and bad inflation

Don't forget inflation isn't all born equal.

House price inflation is always good. Stock price inflation is always good.

Wage inflation on the other hand is evil and must be stamped out.

Tax inflation... for some reason, goes unremarked.

Police ad urges: 'Trust no one'

Belvedere Mulholland

Wasting Police time?

One wonders if it is possible to waste police time these days.

It used to be a big deal but I guess if I shop everyone who looks a bit funny it will be OK?

Or is there a fine line between clever and stupid?