* Posts by oldcodger

21 posts • joined 20 Jan 2010

Hunt's 'paperless', data-pimping NHS plan gets another £240m


Does nobody care about accuracy?


Once again, every one who has commented assumes that the data that will be shared from their GP will be their own correct data.

I will state again : there are NO checks to ensure that the data is correct, or even that it your data!

My wife and I went through a saga with our data records, where we found that the data entry person in the practice had appended other patients details onto our records, and left out very pertinent allergy information from my wife's record.

If you have a day to spare, ask your GP surgery to let you check your records, you will be surprised!


Hunt on NHS data sharing: Obviously we HAVE TO let people opt out


Re: Yeah, yeah....

I am always amazed by the arrogance of the NHS IT professionals, who dare to criticise the people who have refused to allowed their records to be shared.

My wife and I have refused to allow our GP records to be shared with anyone, not because we are privacy nuts, but because the records are absolutely bloody inaccurate, DANGEROUSLY so (in my wife's case). We sat for an afternoon with the practice manager and corrected our records item by item, (wrong illness's, wrong treatments, missing illnesses, missing allergies). This was some years ago. I am sure that the records are now again in a complete mess. There is NO checking that the records are correct. In our health centre, they are entered by any spare body who has been lumbered with the task. There is NO data entry checking! The only diagnostic run on the records verifies that the codes entered on the records are viable, not that they have been correctly applied.

YMMV (but I doubt it)


Peeved bumpkins demand legally binding broadband promise from UK.gov


Re: Move House

I live 8 miles from Reading "in the country", but in reality in the suburbs. My broadband speed is not bad. We are on a sub-exchange of Reading, there is NO 3rd party local loop unbundling at all. There are only 1500 subscribers in our village, so there is no incentive for anyone, including BT to provide anything apart from minimum connectivity.

I chose to live here, and thus have to live with the broad band rate provided. before ADSL, I used ISDN2, and asynchronous satellite internet. We now have just got ADSL+ and on a good day, and after extensive overhaul of my home wiring, I can get 10Mbs. I am not holding my breath for some magic fibre to arrive at our cabinet, ( There isn't one anyway).


New body to supervise as your NHS file includes more and more stuff




The arrogance of these people never fails to amaze and frighten me

There is still NO check of the accuracy of the data in your SCR. These people assume that what is entered is correct, I can assure you that it is not!

Some time ago my wife paid a visit to a consultant for a gynecological procedure, the consultant read my wife's SCR, and asked, "Why are you here for this procedure, you have already had a hysterectomy?" My wife never had one, so we asked and were eventually allowed to check our SC'R's.

We each found 10 - 12 major errors in the data, due to bad data entry and data entered on our records for the completely wrong person. Important results of tests and treatments at hospitals were never added to the SCR's

Some of the entries and omissions could have been extremely dangerous for us if medical action was taken only on the basis of the records, i.e. if we were not in a state to make a verbal presentation. My wife has an extreme allergy to penicillin, it is known at our GP's, it is written in her notes, but it was missing from her SCR.

When I checked the process and specifications of the SCR. I found that there are NO requirements for checks of data accuracy. There are a suite of diagnostics, however they only check that the codes used in the SCR are valid codes for use on an SCR.

I attempted to get our practice manager to run a sample test, to try to establish the size of the problem, i.e. to invite a group of patients to check their SCR's with the help of their doctor, but she was not willing to do this.

I also communicated my concerns to our NH trust IT manager, but she was also unhelpful, I do not think she understands what a data base is and how to ensure that it is accurate.

Needless to say my wife and I opted out of the SCR scheme, as one is allowed to do!



Don't be alarmed - but 545,000 NHS patient files are going online


Wot about the data accuracy?


A couple of years ago, my wife and I found out that the SCR for us from our local health centre were wrong, and I don't mean odd details but REALLY corrupt. I wont go through the complete list of cockups, but here is a taster. My wifes records had another persons details entered on her record. She also had one or two of my details. The most worrying missing item is that my wife has a serious allergy to penicillin, that information had vanished from her scr.

I had numerous entries missing and / or corrupt, for example my glaucoma was entered as "cured" . We got a meeting with the practice manager. I asked about data entry verification Answer "Whats that". We were told that data entry was done by a really good person, A retired district nurse! , NO CHECKING AT ALL. The other problem is that ongoing data entry is ad hoc. Any new paper or pictures are given to a "free" doctor to enter on the summary, as well as being scanned and attached to the database. Unfortunately again there is no check that the scanned information is attached to the correct persons record.

I was told there are diagnostics to check data entry. When I pulled the specs, I found the diagnostics check that the illness, treatment and status codes are "good" codes, not that they apply to the correct person.

As a result of this my wife and I have opted out of the system!



Ten... Freesat TV receivers


FoxSat can have ADDED functionality!


One advantage you neglected to mention is the firmware is Linux and has been used to implement a vast range of extremely useful addons:-


""A fully functioning web interface for the Foxsat HDR.

A package management system with web based repository for the downloading and updating of applications.

This can be accessed both from the web interface and from the command line.

A service management system to display status of custom applications, start or stop them, and disable/enable boot-time autostart.

Again, this is accessible from the web interface and the command line. ""

Applications allow use of various streaming media servers to allow playing recordings on other media devices, uploading recordings from the Foxsat to your PC, downloading media files to play on your Foxsat, editing and setting recording times from anywhere in the world on a PC and more!!

These added abilities makes the Foxsat stand out head and shoulders above all other FreeSat devices!



CERN: 'Climate models will need to be substantially revised'


Nature is not innocent either

@ Jolyon

quote "Well done the Register for filtering out those parts of Nature which do not support the correct way of thinking."

IF you READ the Nature article you will find they suppressed i.e. Omitted an very interesting graph from the Cern report which clearly shows the effects of cosmic rays.

Who is playing with the facts then?


Captain Cyborg: Computers are alive, like bats or cows


An old joke, maybe its time has come around again

@Daniel 1 Indeed # Posted Friday 17th June 2011 16:13 GMT

Quote >>>> Most people who insist on inserting solid objects into their bodies end up in A&E with implausibly embarrassing explanations as to how they got there.

When I read your comment, it reminded me of the old chestnut:-






MIRACULOUS new AIRSHIP set to fly by 2013


Hindenburg and aircraft dope


The Hindenburg fire started from a static discharge that ignited the extremely inflammable paint job that had been used on the fabric skin. This was silver coloured aircraft dope, consisting of a mixture of aluminium powder and cellulose acetate.

The hydrogen only caught fire as the fabric skin burnt away and the flames reached the H2 gas cells. If you watch the film of the fire you can see that the hydrogen just burn off, there was never any explosion.

Another useless fact about hydrogen, some years ago I read that when you got "air" in your house central heating radiators, it was probably hydrogen evolved from the reaction of acidic water and the copper pipes and steel radiators. At the time I had "air" in my home rads, so in the spirit of scientific investigation I found the bleed key, opened the valve on one of the "air" locked rads and applied a lit match to the gas rushing out, I was amazed to see a foot long blue flame roar out of the bleed valve for a minute or so. Looking back on it I was perhaps lucky that the rad was full of H2 and not a explosive mixture of H2 and air, so I did not blow the rad apart, and possibly the wall as well!




DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead


Here's a song about PDP10's and TECO part 1

You see, it all started about two incompatible monitor versions ago,

about two months ago on a Tuesday, when my friend and I SUPDUP'd over

to MIT-OZ to pick up some hackers to go out for a Chinese dinner. But

AI hackers don't live on MIT-OZ, they live on various assorted lispms

and such, and seeing as and how they never log in except via the file

server, they hadn't gotten around to doing filesystem garbage

collection for a long time.

We got over there, saw 600 pages free, 10000 pages in use on a 5 pack

PS:, and decided it would be a friendly gesture to run CHECKD for them

and try to reclaim some of that lost space. So we reloaded the system

with the floppies and the switch registers and other implements of

destruction, and answered "Y" to RUN CHECKD?

But when we got the system up and tried to release all the lost pages

there was a loud beeping and a big message flashed up on our screen



Well, we'd never heard of a version of ACJ that would let you go into

MDDT from ANONYMOUS but not run CHECKD, and so, with tears in our

eyes, we headed off over the Chaosnet looking for a filesystem with

enough free pages to write out the LOST-PAGES.BIN file. Didn't find


Until we got to XX-11, and at the other end of XX-11 was another MIT

Twenex, and in PS:<OPERATOR> on that MIT Twenex was another

LOST-PAGES.BIN file. And we decided that one big LOST-PAGES.BIN file

was better than two little LOST-PAGES.BIN file, and rather than page

that one in we thought we'd write ours out. So that's what we did.

Went back to OZ, found some hackers and went out for a Chinese dinner

that couldn't be beat, and didn't get up until the next morning when

we got a SEND from Ann Marie Finn. She said, "Kid, we found you

initials in SIXBIT in the right half of a POPJ at the end of a two

megaword core dump full of garbage, just wanted to know if you had any

information about it". And I said, "Yes ma'am Ann Marie, I cannot tell

a lie, I put that XUNAME into that halfword".

After talking back and forth with Ann for about 45 messages we arrived

at the truth of the matter and Ann said that we had to go rebuild the

bittable and we also had to come down and talk to her in room

NE43-501. Now friends, there was only one of two things that Ann

could of done with us down at room 501, and the first one was that she

could have hired us on the spot for actually knowing enough about

Twenex to screw it up that badly, which wasn't very likely and we

didn't expect it, and the other was that she could have bawled us out

and told us never to be seen hacking filesystems again, which was what

we expected. But when we got to room 501 we discovered that there was

a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was both

immediately de-wheeled. CD%DIR'ed. And I said "Ann, I don't think I

can rebuild the bittable with this here FILES-ONLY bit set." And she

said "XOFF, kid, get into this UDP packet" and that's what we did and

rode up to the square bracket asciz slash scene of the crime slash

close square bracket.

Now friends, I want to tell you about the ninth floor of building NE43

where this happened. They got three KL10s, 24 LISPMs, and about 32

VAXen running 4.2 unix. But when we got to the square bracket asciz

slash scene of the crime slash close square bracket there was five

twenex hackers past and present, this being the biggest lossage yet by

an RMS clone and everybody wanted to get in their suggestion for a new

system daemon that would have kept it from ever having happened in the

first place. And they was using up all kinds of debugging equipment

that they had lying around on V3A SWSKIT tapes. They were doing DSs,

MONRDs, and RSTRSHs, and they made 27000 pages of core dumps and photo

files on an RP06 with comments and -READ-.-THIS- files to be used as

evidence against us.

After the ordeal, Ann took us back downstairs and left us with the CLU

hackers. She said "Kid, I'm gonna leave you with the CLU hackers. I

want your jsys manual and your ROLM DTI". I said "Ann, I can

understand your wanting my jsys manual so I won't remind the CLU

hackers of grody things like operating systems, but what do you want

my DTI for?" and she said "Kid, we don't want any VTS errors". I said

"Ann, did you think I was going to try to crash the system for

littering?" Ann said that she was making sure, and friends, Ann was,

'cause she cleared all my left-hand privs bits so I couldn't logout.

And she disabled the TREPLACE command so I couldn't crock in an

XCT [0] instruction, cause an illegal instruction interrupt to MEXEC,

and sneak into MDDT. Yeah, Ann was making sure, and it was about four

or five hours later that Chiappa (remember Chiappa? This song's never

even mentioned Chiappa) Chiappa came by and with a few gratuitous

insults to the CLU hackers bailed us out of there, and we went out and

had another Chinese dinner that couldn't be beat, and didn't get up

until the next morning when we all had to go to LCS Computational

Resources staff meeting.

We walked in, sat down. Ann came in with the RP06 disk pack with the

27000 pages with the comments and the -READ-.-THIS- files and a two

liter coffee mug, sat down. Esther Felix comes in says "All rise", we

stood up, Ann stood up with the 27000 page RP06 pack, and Dave Clark

comes in with an IBM PC. He sits down, we sit down, Ann looks at the

IBM PC. Then at the 27000 page RP06 pack, then at the IBM PC, then at

the 27000 page RP06 pack, and began to cry, because Ann had come to

the realization that it was a typical case of 36%8==4 and that there

was no way to display those last four bits, and that Dave wasn't gonna

look at the 27000 pages of core dumps and photo files on the RP06 pack

with the comments and -READ-.-THIS- files explaining what each one was

to be used as evidence against us.

And we were permanently assigned to the batch dregs queue and had to

rebuild the bittable (in the batch dregs queue). But that's not what

I came here to talk about. I came here to talk about DEC.


They got a building up there in Marlboro where you walk in and get

averted, diverted, inverted, reverted, and perverted. I went up there

one day to pick up a new copy of the tools tape. Drove down to Philly

for a Greatful Dead concert the night before, so I looked and felt my

best when I went in that morning. 'Cause I wanted to look like a real

live twenex hacker from MIT. I wanted to feel like, I wanted to be a

real live twenex hacker from MIT. I walked in and I was hung down,

brung down, hung up, and spaced out. The receptionist hands be a

piece of paper saying "Kid, the EDIT-20 maintainers are polling user

opinions today and would like you to stop by room 604 while you're



Here is Alices song (PDP 10's part 2

I walked in there and I said "Droids, I want to lose. I mean, I want

to lose. I want to see line editors on CRTs and nulls in my files.

Write 36 bit ascii that can't be read except with the monitor

filtering it. I mean LOSE, LOSE, LOSE!" And I started jumping up and

down yelling "LOSE, LOSE", and Kevin Paetzold came in wearing his

moose ear hat and started jumping up and down with me yelling "LOSE,

LOSE", and a DEC sales rep came over, put an arm around my shoulder,

and said "How'd you like me to show you a *real* editor that has

macros and things like that? We have one, it's called TV...."

Didn't feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall getting more diversions and perversions.

Man, I was in there for two hours, three hours, four hours, I was in

there for a long time, and they was doing all kinds of mean nasty ugly

things, and I was just having a tough time there. They was diverting

and inverting every single part of me and they was leaving no bit


Finally I got to the very last office (I'd been in all the rest), the

very last desk, after that whole big thing there, and I walk over and

say "what do you want?" and the man says "Kid, we only got one

question: have you ever been dewheeled?"

So I proceeded to tell him the story of the 10600 page five pack PS:

with full orchestration and five part harmony and other phenomena and

he stopped me right there and said "Kid, did you ever get hauled on

the carpet for it?"

So I proceeded to tell him about the 27000 page RP06 pack with the

comments and the -READ-.-THIS- files and he stopped me right there and

said "Kid, I want you to go sit over there on that bench marked Large

Systems SIG. NOW, KID!"

I, I walked over to the bench there... See, the LCG group is where

they put you if they think you may not be compatible with the rest of

DEC's product line.

There was all kinds of mean nasty ugly people there on the bench...

Chaosnet designers... Lisp hackers... TECO hackers. TECO hackers

right there on the bench with me! And the meanest one of them, the

hairiest TECO hacker of them all was coming over to me. And he was

mean and nasty and horrible and undocumented and all kinds of stuff.

And he sat down next to me and said:




And I said "I didn't get nothing, I had to rebuild the bittable in

queue six" and he said:




And I said "Littering". And they all moved away from me on the bench

there, with the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty ugly stuff

until I said "and making undocumented gratuitous changes to the

default EMACS key bindings". And they all came back, shook my hand,

and we had a great time on the bench talking about Chaosnet hacking

and Lisp interpreters written in TECO, and everything was fine. And

we were eating Peking ravs and smoking all kinds of things until the

guy from DDC came over, had some paper in his hand, said:






and he talked for forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word

that he said or why we were doing this but we had fun filling out the

forms in triplicate and speculating on why we were filling out SPRs on

unsupported products.

I filled out the special form with the four-level macro defining

macros. Typed it in there just like it was and everything was fine.

And I put down my keyboard, and I switched buffers, and there ... in

the other buffer... centered in the other buffer... away from

everything else in the buffer... in parentheses, capital letters, in

reverse video, read the following words:

"Kid, have you taken the ``VMS for TOPS-20 managers'' course yet?"

I walked over to the man and I said "Mister, you got a lot of damned

gall asking me if I've taken the ``VMS for TOPS-20 managers'' course

yet. I mean... I mean... I mean, I'm sitting here on the bench, I'm

sitting here on the LCG SIG bench, 'cause you want to know if I'm

braindamaged enough trade my PDP-10 for partial credit on a system

that doesn't even handle filename completion after being a litterbug."

He looked at me and said "Kid, the front office don't like your kind,

so we're going to put you on our VAX/VMS mailing list." And friends,

somewhere down in the NE43 receiving room is a large trash barrel with

a big sign on it that says "VAX/VMS documents".

And the only reason I'm singing you the song now is that someday

you may know somebody in a similar situation... or you may be in a

similar situation. And if you're in a situation like that there's

only one thing you can do, and that's call up the Digital Educational

Services office nearest you and sing "You can hack anything you want

with TECO and DDT" and hang up.

You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's

really dangerous and they won't take his machine.

And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both ITS

hackers and they won't touch either of them.

And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people calling up,

singin' a bar of "Alice's PDP-10" and hanging up? They may think it's

an re-implementation of the Chaosnet protocol.

And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day,

calling up, singin' a bar of "Alice's PDP-10" and hanging up?

Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT, and that's what it is: THE

36-BIT ANTI-LOSSAGE MOVEMENT! And all you gotta do to join is to sing

it the next time it comes up to the head of the GOLST.

With feelin'.

You can hack anything you want, with TECO and DDT.

You can hack anything you want, with just TECO and DDT.

$U in and begin to hack.

Twiddle bits in a core dump and write it back.

You can hack anything you want, with TECO and DDT.

(But be careful typing <RET>)

Just with TECO and DDT!

Toyota Auris hybrid e-car


Milk float is about right!


The other day, in the centre of Reading, we joined a long train of traffic crawling along at 15 mph. Eventually the car causing the delay at the front of the train turned into a side road, which unfortunately for us was the side road we also needed. We were then positioned directly behind this funny shaped milk float, still crawling along, albeit silently at 15 mph , the badge on the back said Prius!

God help us if there were a lot of these things on the road!



First data fines on the way, says ICO


Fining who ?


When will the regulatory bodies realise that NO public bodies, whether they are government, local authorities , councils, NGO's etc, have any money of their own.

It used to belong to the long suffering "general public" you and me, before it was taken as taxes and tribute.

Fining public bodies is indirectly fining the general public, 'cause next year the offenders are going to put up their taxes, fees or whatever to recover the fines.

The only way to hurt these offenders is to SACK them without compensation!

Bring on the tea party!



General Motors bitchslaps Tesla with Range Anxiety™


How many power stations to fast charge 20 eleccies at once

@ Simon

Thank god for an engineer, who understands POWER

You wouldn't like to extend that concept would you? How much power would a recharge station take if it had to deal with 20 cars at once? I make it 1.6 Gigawatt !!

Back in the day I used to work at the big wind tunnel at Bristol Aircraft Filton. The fan was driven by a thumping great 2000 hp electric motor that took a miserly 2Mwatt from the Grid. Before the tunnel engineers could start it to do a run, they had to ring the CEGB grid switch control and tell them to expect the surge current! Sometimes they were told they could not use the tunnel if there was already a heavy load on the area sub.

And if eventually there are as many electric cars as there are IC cars today, how many more power stations will there need to be to provide several tens of thousands country wide fast charge stations? Double our present generating capacity, triple?

And lastly 50KwH batteries are tiny, think in future to get a reasonable range there will be 250 KwH batteries. Think how much power you are going to have to stuff down the wire to charge 20 of those up!



Serpent imprisons rattled Yorkshire family

IT Angle


I still cannot see a connection to IT, other than an old mate of mine when we worked for DEC service, always used to say:-

To fix a DEC system, first you swap the plates, then the snakes and lastly the cupboard.

(Module swap, cable swap and chassis (box) swap)

Apart from that, wtf is up with people nowadays, can't they ever do anything themselves without bleating for help. Tell the loser to bash it with a big lump of wood if he is too scared to pick it up and put it in someone else's garden!



The 3G coverage picture that can't be published


3G Pah! 2G or any service would be good!


I live about 10 miles south of Reading, this is not the middle of the Sahara, but as far as mobile coverage it is a desert,

I can just get a signal if I stand out in the drive, between the gate posts, and do not wave the phone about.

This is because a few years ago, the Nimbys in the village managed to get a local cell site abandoned. The operators wanted to stick the antenna on the local water tower. Since then our village is "The Village of the Damned"!


Yours with 2 tins and a piece of string.

Council lost unencrypted children's health info


No excuses!

SACK them! with NO golden handshake.

They have been told enough times already.

Another limp wristed whitewash does NOT send the correct message to the thousands of public service employees who are still failing to safe guard other peoples data.


Computer boffin on NHS Spine: Get out while you can


@ chris130 Temper temper

I am glad I have never had to present to you when I have been unwell.

I have yet to read a sensible, rational comment from you, if you diagnose as poorly as you write then God help your patients.

I am still waiting for you to explain to me how you can treat patients using the garbage that the local surgeries enter on their databases...

What I have written is TRUE, not an urban myth or any other rubbishing phrase that you can think up to denigrate my wife or myself.

BTW my wife does have an alert bracelet, always has had an alert bracelet ! But we are talking about databases not bracelets in this thread.




Whats the point if the data is rubbish?


IF you could guarantee that the data recorded at the local surgery was accurate then I would agree with you.

From our personal knowledge the data held on us was DANGEROUSLY WRONG. Passing that info to a remote trust would be like firing a gun into one's head

I did some checking or the NHS "Paper thin" project specifications when all these problems arose.

The specification for the project was absolute crap. For instance the spec for accuracy was "the data shall be accurate". No mention of testing, double entry or any verification.

I found that there was a "diagnostic" to check the accuracy od data. When I looked at it in more detail all the diagnostic did was to check that the short form codes for the various illnesses and complaints matched a master list of codes. So the codes entered are logically correct, whether they apply to you or not is a moot point.

There is NO check that what is on your database entry is either complete or correct

The public are not even given the opportunity to routinely view the data or summary sheet for correctness.

You can ask to see your record but you have to pay for the priviledge.

I think it is 100% safer for an A&E to take a history on arrival, than to act on the garbage they will get from the online database.

AND remember this is not a static database.... It may be correct today, but next week when the next batch of letters and reports from consultants arrive, is the data going to be added to the correct patients records, and will the data that is entered be correct?





If only the data was correct!


By a fluke, a couple of years ago, it became apparent to my wife and I that our local health centre's, (surgery), on-line records contained errors.

After a great deal of obfuscation, we were allowed to sit down with the practice manager and review ALL the entries in our records. There were 12 major errors in my wife's records and 15 in mine. I am talking MAJOR errors. The worst errors were that some other patients' conditions and treatments had been entered against my wife name. There were also hospital diagnosis sent as paper reports, that had never been entered. (Data missing, e.g. I was short of one cataract correction operation, a arithyscopy (sp), and an internal ultrasound). On the magic summary sheet, my acute glaucoma had been entered as "CURED" , a medical miracle. My wife was credited with a knee operation I had undergone! and so on and on and on!

When I asked how the data entry was checked, I got a blank look from the practice manager, "Look" she said, pointing out the code of the data entry person, "this was entered by out best data entry person, a retired midwife", "Great" I said, "what is her % accuracy in keying tests?, how is the entry checked? "

Guess what ! The data entry is never checked! The practice manager then proceeded to tell me her practice data records were very good, and that many patients moving to her practice had records from other heath centres that were really bad.

Needless to say, my wife and I both opted out of the scheme the next day. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have been successful, as periodically we get queries to take part in surveys, the information for which can only have come from our online medical records

Oh, and BTW, my wife's potentially fatal allergy to penicillin was not on her record, despite her telling every doctor she ever saw at the surgery, never to prescribe penicillin as an antibiotic.

IT in the NHS sucks big time!



Euro astro biz: It's time for solar panels in Spaaace


Lots of losses?


But where is the benefit of space PV panels?

PV panels on earth = inefficient. but only one stage of energy conversion

PV panels in space = more efficient, but then have to convert to some other form of radiant energy, squirt to ground, extra losses from inverse square law, passage through atmosphere etc, more losses from converting back to electricity (again) = very, very inefficient



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