* Posts by sad_loser

137 posts • joined 25 May 2010


Future of the three NHS bodies managing health tech in doubt after £2.1bn cash injection


Having worked in this area for 10 years.....

NHSD got pruned back in 2018 and is now boring but competent, more often than not their apparent deficiencies are as a result of being hamstrung by policy they did not create.

NHSX was created to be an internal consultancy, not bound to any other part of the organisation, but has turned out to be a cesspit of weapons-grade incompetence, staffed by ignorant strutting wastrels, many of whom were refugees from the original CfH train wreck. It makes the Covid PPE procurement look like a paragon of public-spirited transparency,

NHSE thinks it knows what it wants, but doesn't. There are a lot of people in charge who want shiny stuff to show ministers and don't care about whether it is actually true or not. So we have glossy Tableaus coming out of our ears, fed by random rancid data that is months old. And people are wondering why the whole thing has fallen over in a chaotic heap.

The root cause of this is that when the NHS created its payscale, IT folk were put on the administration/ clerical paypoints, rather than the professional / technical ones, and as a result anyone remotely competent has left for a proper salary, bar a few true believers.

Awkward. At Chrome summit, developer asks: Why should anyone trust Google?


Re: Technologies

Adnauseum is your friend

Poisons their well!

NSA: We 'don't know when or even if' a quantum computer will ever be able to break today's public-key encryption

Black Helicopters

Re: So...

As Christine Keeler so memorably commented

"they would say that, wouldn't they?"

Gov.UK vows to chop red tape in the digital sector. What could possibly go wrong?


Highly regulated sectors are essential for export

They are not thinking this through.

The low value tech e.g. IoT is going to be owned by the far East who can do cheaper and faster.

The only areas that is going to be of interest is the highly regulated sectors - military / aerospace / medical / automotive / civil engineering. This is where the value driver is quality and safety.

I hear ARM is doing a load of work on this e.g. medical to try to get IoT linked up from sensor e.g. SpO2 monitoring for Covid - all the way to the medical record - because this is what people want and need. This sounds like the sort of thing Apple / Microsoft and Google are also pursuing.

For UK companies to be able to sell products and services overseas we need aligned regulations,

System76 releases Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS 21.04 with auto-tiling COSMIC desktop


Re: Hmmmmmm

I bought laptop and desktop together and have not looked back.

It just works and made setting up ML with GPU tensor flow a 3 line job.

Good stable kit with proper support - what’s not to like?

What knocked out Brit cloud slinger Memset for the night? A busted fibre cable upstream of its data centre, apparently


NHS standards

To host NHS data real-time applications one has to have resilience with two data centres on different physical networks, but as a previous post points out as the nature of networks does not rule out a single point of failure even then.

When software depends on a project thanklessly maintained by a random guy in Nebraska, is open source sustainable?


Re: The dominos fall

This is why there is very little OS in highly regulated organisations like the NHSD - that and the FUD from existing players.

What do I do? I have annual subscription to POP-OS but that is only $12. I would quite happily sign up to donate £500 / year to a foundation focused on good quality OS products.

Meanwhile I show my support by buying System76 products.

The Wight stuff: Marconi and the island, when working remotely on wireless comms meant something very different


Inspiring review

'Its dignity is arguably undermined by the proximity of a tea cup ride, a dinosaur-themed crazy golf course and the Dino Jeep Safari'

Makes me proud to be British.

We may have cocked up our Covid preparations and facing a mega-recession, but when the chips are down, we have a language that lends itself to magnificent understatement when this is what is called for.


Here's what Russia's SVR spy agency does when it breaks into your network, says US CISA infosec agency


Re: That domain name may actually be a Swiss joke …

Should have used


China’s highest-ranked university creates school dedicated to integrated circuits


Where are the losers?

Incremental improvement requires dedication and thoroughness, which strict hierarchical systems can select for.

Radical, visionary and transformational change requires “knight’s move” thinking and non-conformity.

Who in a rigid hierarchy would have given a dropout loser like Steve Jobs a second glance?

There's no place like GNOME: System 76 introduces COSMIC desktop GUI for its Pop!_OS Linux


Re: Why the fuck

I bought a desktop and laptop because I got pissed off with apple and I am now in a corporate environment where I can choose my own kit as long as I can maintain it, and with POP- OS it is easy. It is so much nicer not having to constantly upgrade apps with built in obsolescence and irrelevant feature creep. Stuff just works.

Will definitely buy again. Good quality hardware and software with imaginative design and good values- thanks y’all.

Turns out humans are leading AI systems astray because we can't agree on labeling


Re: Does anyone know...

GPS means it is location-aware, so just switches to using the horn instead of indicating. Problem solved.

Everything you need to know about the HPE v Mike Lynch High Court case


Re: Not the end

Doesn't this just come down to Caveat Emptor.

If I was going to drop 10bn of someone else's money on some magic beans, then I would want to know they were very magic.

I don't think the trades descriptions act exist in publicly traded companies, even ones trading in magic beans.

As most of the value of this purchase was as in the hope of future earnings and growth, they obviously thought this would prop up HP's balance sheet and save their skins.

For HP to then write down the investment so fast is pretty potent evidence that the original assessment must have been less than accurate.

Delayed UK digital border system was only stable enough to be used by 4% of intended users, MPs say


the bill is for incompetence, not brexit

Mis-specification and poor project management are usually skulking not too far below the surface.

The root cause for this is the government insistence that IT jobs are clerical and therefore on a low payscale, rather than a professional level like accounting / legal / medical.

[reg needs a peanuts icon?]

Ex-asylum seeker with infosec degree loses discrimination claim against UK cyber range provider after storming out

Big Brother

winding up

Because it is so difficult / expensive to sack a dysfunctional employee in the UK, winding them up so that they leave (as might be construed in this case) is entirely rational behaviour.

With Brexit, the only way we are going to become more competitive internationally is if we row back on some of the employee protection and have a rather more dynamic workforce.

Think it's about time for the next challenge? Check out these software vacancies on both sides of the pond


Re: mmm, how about..

the first one is for the NHS which has always put computer operatives on the clerical rather than the managerial scale.

This is why the NHS wastes such a lot of money on computers - the people at ground level are often people who could not get good jobs elsewhere.

If we paid a bit more we wouldn't have the train wrecks that are common now.

HPE urges judge to pick through Deloitte-bashing report it claims demolishes Autonomy founder's defence

Thumb Up


Caveat Emptor.

This is HP trying to divert attention from their own incompetence.

The were sold magic beans that didn’t turn into a beanstalk.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works

Thumb Up

Helpful review

have bought the games mentioned on here and also Black Mesa

Least I can do and will ensure my nvidia 2080 gets a bit of a workout.

Please review linux games regularly as I would like to support by buying more good ones.

Why did Johnny and Jenny's exam grades yo-yo over the summer? Here's some of the code behind UK results chaos


well done for publishing

I work in public services and I applaud the fact they have published this.

If they had published this in the summer they might not have endured the needless backlash of a poorly informed public who have now fuelled gradepoint inflation on an industrial scale.

I always used to take pride in the fact that the UK had been quite immune to grade point inflation. No longer.

All must have prizes.

[I can understand this approach in primary school but by secondary school, they should have pulled on their big boy pants and be ready for the fact that the world is difficult and based on assessment of merit that may not always be fair or just.

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

Thumb Up

Re: I agree

you mean

I sincerely hope they nail the lying honoured pensioned bastards.

Fixed that for you!

Good work by Private Eye on this as well - doesn't make up for their AntiVax work, and I would like more of an apology for the damage they have done - same for the Daily Mail.

Salesforce to buy Slack for $28bn in cash, shares – and vows to make it the new face of Customer 360


Re: Slack Enterprise Connected Synergy Cloud Platform Edition

that should be 'impactful analytics'

IBM warns staff across the business of fresh 45-day redundancy consultations



it wasn't such a great idea to build an entire economy / company around opening doors for each other, which is what consultancy is.

In a downturn, maybe we don't need quite so many people in shiny suits telling us how to do our job?

All at sea: SAP was barely out of the port when it sank its 'social responsibility' voyage

Thumb Up

Re: Congratulations, Bellman!

For some kids, yachting is the only way out of the ghetto.

It's the year of Linux on the... ThinkPad as Lenovo extends out-of-the-box Ubuntu support to nearly 30 machines


before thinkpads

It was always the Toshiba Portege that was my go-to for laptops ans they always played nicely with linux.

Damn fine machines as well - had two 7200 series with decent screens, keyboards and formidable magnesium alloy chassis.

Nvidia to acquire Arm for $40bn, promises to keep its licensing business alive


Re: Stock?

Why the fuck are you hijacking the thread to promote your ill-thought out criticism of Trump? The guy's a tool but comments like yours just play into his TINY hands.

Toshiba formally and finally exits laptop business


portege 7200

what a machine. had 2 - one W2k one linux for developing, this was in the days before good VM software and the power to run them.

they were beautifully built with magnesium cases and good screens, and they played nicely with linux

We're suing Google for harvesting our personal info even though we opted out of Chrome sync – netizens


Re: That whole "don't be evil" thing became vestigial in 2018 ...

Is there an evidence-based privacy recipe book?

I regard myself as concerned but not paranoid, and use

- Linux (POP-OS)

- Firefox as default with Adnauseum, Noscript, and Privacy badger, and throw cookies at end of session

- Chromium if I need a compatible browser, with Adnauseaum and SuperHistoryCleaner

I view it as my civic duty to use adnauseum to poison the well as much as possible.

The fact that Google have banned it from their store is the most powerful reason to install it - they know it works.

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law


however on the good side

The magnificent work of Adnauseam is not illegal because we are still seeing the ads (as far as the ad broker is concerned) but the really good news is that we are poisoning the well by clicking on all of their links (as far as the ad broker is concerned)

It is the only way of fighting fire with fire - ad blockers and cookie removers on their own are fine - the easiest thing to use Firefox's inbuilt settings to throw the cookies when you shut the browser.

Ex-boss of ICANN shifts from 'advisor' to co-CEO of private equity biz that tried to buy .org for $1bn+

Thumb Up

Re: It stinks...

Why is my moral compass spinning like that?

The good news is that

a) it didn't happen

b) the close shave will wake people up to this threat.

We'll pay £400k for a depth charge-proof robot submarine, says UK's Ministry of Defence


Re: An off-the-shelf buy for this autonomous submarine capability requirement?

This is very similar to NHS procurement esp of IT.

There is a game where the customer specifies a kitchen sink product, which we then underbid.

We then build the product specified, and get to testing where they proceed to build more kitchen sinks of different colours and sizes to the original one. Every time this is done then we charge eye-watering amounts of money because a) it's expensive to retrofit b) that is the only time you make any margin.

Most of the time the procurement team did not bother engaging end users, and so the product is roundly hated, gets ignored / workarounded, and the procurement cycle starts again.....

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches


system 76 - coreboot

system 76, producers of the wonderful POP-OS have written their own firmware called coreboot.

first Linux on desktop I have tried that passes the usability test - esp now they have moved to flatpak for their in-house store - like apple or google store, but free!

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets



Black squirrels are just a variant of grey squirrels

We occasionally see them in the UK.

I serve our squirrels as sushi ( squshi), soup (squoup) or curry (squrry), the consumption of which is a keenly awaited rite of passage for suitors of my teenage children.


If someone could stop hackers pwning medical systems right now, that would be cool, say Red Cross and friends


Haven't they heard of the Streisand effect?

I work in medical informatics and the sad fact is that most of the kit is abysmally bad, and is held together with the IT equivalent of duct tape, and completely deserves to be hacked.

The root cause for this is that there is still a mindset in healthcare that good data / information is a 'nice to have' rather than being part of the core.

To its credit, this is something that HMG have been actively trying to remedy and this increased post Wannacry.

There are good standards in healthcare IT e.g. 27001 / 13485 / OWASP but they are not properly enforced, and we have got a load of cowboy wannabe healthcare IT clowns who have been allowed to deliver kit that is not up to scratch.

Started from the bottom, now we're near: 16 years on, open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape draws close to v1.0

Thumb Up

Re: 275 GTB vs Midget

I had always liked Corel Draw - had some of the best vector clipart as part of the package - stuff that was genuinely useful - not just cheesy graphics to torture people forced to listen to my PowerPoint sermons (although that is clearly a worthy use).

Only recently came across inkscape and it is very good indeed - now have migrated from OSX and Illustrator, to POP-OS (tech/ analyst focused Ubuntu) having a product that doesn't try to fleece and / or update me every 5 minutes is a welcome change.

[are there any good vector graphics libraries any more?]

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?


Re: Er ...

And in related news, catapult sales have taken off (pun intended)

The tidy beards and man-buns who dream up this shit need to understand their customer and test things in areas stuffed with scallies and flat-roofed pubs. Then they'll know if the technology works or not.

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy


Nobel Peace Prize

is clearly what he is after.

Should go to Berners-Lee if anyone.

I would give it Trump ahead of Gates.

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks


obligatory link to Dilbert 'token ring'


Two startups enter, one leaves: Intel kills off much-delayed Nervana AI training chip, pushes on with Habana


think like a business

When [big corp] buys a company for small change, it is not buying the company, it is buying an option to develop that technology buy pumping some more money in, binding the core people in and ring-fencing the IP. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Tabletop battle-toys purveyor Games Workshop again warns of risks in Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP project


I'm in the wrong job

£55m pre-tax profit fleecing the undead. That's better than any unicorn!

How many vintage black Iron Maiden T-shirts does a man (and I use that term advisedly) need?

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


Poison the well

use Ad Nauseum

a special version of ublock origin which blocks ads but clicks on all the ads in the background


this then makes your tracking data meaningless as it cannot tell the difference between a fake click and a real one.

Internet of crap (encryption): IoT gear generates easy-to-crack keys

Black Helicopters

this matters more than people think

if the IoT is a medical device.

compromised pacemakers etc are already in the wild.

you would think with all that interaction with nature the opportunities to seed would be endless.

US and China wave white flags, hit pause button on trade war


I think you mean

The Democrats have completely played into Trump's little orange hands

Apple's latest keyboard travels back in time to when they weren't crap


Re: Bad keyboards...

I have found the solution to my 2016 MBP keyboard problem on the System76 website.

Linux done properly with decent quality components and a proper operating system that integrates with the hardware.

I am enjoying life outside the walled garden

I looked at google and MS and was truly shocked at their rights over my data.

Boffins don bad 1980s fashion to avoid being detected by object-recognizing AI cameras


razzle dazzle

you wonder whether they thought of this


'Is this Microsoft trying to be cool? Want to go to the Apple Store?' We checked out London's new retail extravaganza


Re: Pavement Plodder

I think OP is trolling.

MS are so late to the direct retail game and sounds like they have missed the point so embarrassingly that it is not funny.

They had a PR event to build up the buzz about this outside Kings Cross the other day and it was lamentable and even the PR people looked embarrassed.

Apple realised that they needed the stores to target the rich and stupid aka upper middle class professionals with too much money who wanted a good computer (but weren't prepared to invest any time learning) and get them suckling on the apple ecosystem teat, and this has been remarkably successful. Apple stores were never for the people who read El Reg.

I bet this store will be closed quietly after Christmas.

Oh good. This'll go well. Amazon's Alexa will offer NHS advice


mixed feelings


At one level I am worried about patients telling Alexa confidential information "hey alexa, my friend has a drippy dick, what should he do?"

[Can play some good jokes on friends by asking their Alexa some interesting health questions.]

On the other hand, people are going to be using Alexa for health anyway, and with so much disinformation / misinformation e.g. vaxxers then there is a public health justification in ensuring if accurate and well-curated information is available, and the cost is zero (because this information is already developed) why would you NOT do this?

The difference between October and May? About 16GB, says Microsoft: Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB of space


I was looking forward to Paint again

I had been with Mac the last 15 years but had grown bored of the complete lack of innovation since October 2011.

I bought a sexy laptop with a nice NVIDIA graphics card to do tense ML things and I was looking forward to seeing some of my favourite apps from the past like Paint, TextEdit+, Winamp, Duke Nukem etc. I always liked CorelDraw more than Adobe.

I got W10 Pro and was horrified by experience, from the gag-inducing false bonhomie of the sign-up process to the relentless and devious acquisition of all possible personal data. The final straw was not finding Candy Crush installed, but was rather that whenever I deleted it, it came back. Really? on a 'Pro' system? Do people still treat their customers like that? That reminded me of the Belkin router that spammed its owner:


Ubuntu had always driven me away by being the Tony Blair of operating systems - trying to be all things to all people, and not really believing in anything.

I was pretty despondent and thought I had bought a big shiny paperweight, but then found POP OS by accident. The security of Mac but allows you freedom when you want it. None of the vacuous and abusive cruft and bloatware of Windows.

Libre Office finally works. An app store that allows me to find stuff I want and just puts it on for free without trying to sell me a load of stuff I don't want. Evolution even works with Office365 which I have to have for work.

I had tried linux for the desktop first with RedHat 6.2 and it was horrible and clunky, but I have now binned my W10 partition and sold off my 2016 MacBook Pro, and POP OS 'just works' in the way I remember finding with my first mac.

POP OS is so good I feel guilty and want to send them some money! Maybe then they can port Paint to POP OS?

Be wary, traveller: There is no going back if you step over the Windows 10 20H1 threshold



>> Running Windows 10 is a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

My latest laptop came with W10 pro and I was keen to try Windows again as I had been on macs for the last 12 years, but am now in a MS corporate environment, and was encouraged by a friend who has used the preview builds.

What really shocked me was the bloatware (Candy Crush etc) and cruft that came with the product that I (someone who had been using Windows for 30 years) could not get rid of. That and the 'I want to be your friend' vomit-inducing sign-up process where Microsoft repeatedly try to data-ream my pristine data-butt. I very rapidly came to the conclusion that this was not a company I trusted to treat me as an adult or would respect my privacy. These are things that Apple have got right, but the thing that has driven me away from Apple is the failure to innovate since October 2011, and my organisations have gone for Office365, which has turned out to be a good response to Google's challenge (and the sort of thing that Apple could very easily have done if they had the vision).

While always using server versions of linux, I had tried many versions of linux on the desktop since RedHat 6.2 and all were crap or clunky, but have finally come across POP OS, a stripped back version of ubuntu set up with packages for analytics and machine learning, and everything Just Works. Even looks good.

So with Evolution to deal with my Office365, Libre Office and native packages for sci-kitlearn and tensorflow with GPU and Steam running smoothly - POP OS does everything I need both for day to day use and exploratory learning.

Would be nice to have a Reg review of POP OS please.

What has an 'open-door policy' with industry and puts the X into NHS? Brits, let app-happy Matt Hancock tell you


Will this work?

This does not deal with the cultural problem which is that digital is not embedded in NHS thinking, and taking it and putting it in a separate box really doesn't help that. It will be the same people in a different box.

NHS Digital is rudderless and has not got its head around the fact that its sole purpose in life is to help clinical staff do a better job. There is zero customer awareness.

If I were doing this I would leave the existing structure and find a bunch of digital headkickers - people who have made things work and give them the resources to do more.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently


Re: Google are cunts


The best thing about Firefox is AdNauseum.

Not serving their ads is not enough, pissing in Google's swimming pool by clicking on all the ads in the background.

Download and enjoy!

FF + Adnauseum + NoScript +/- privacy badger + delete cookies on exit = happiness



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021