* Posts by Sam Haine

95 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Jul 2011


Brit healthcare body rapped for WhatsApp chat sharing patient data

Sam Haine

Dock their pay

Docking a percentage of the pay of all the individuals responsible (all the way up the corporate hierarchy) would help to concentrate the minds of those who need to learn and save the NHS body money. Win/win!

NHS England spends £8M to extend Microsoft deals by a month

Sam Haine

Re: Maybe not Linux but Office maybe ditchable

You could build an Electronic Health Record on PostgresSQL.

Apple brings DIY fix-it store to Europe, UK – with gritted teeth

Sam Haine

Re: Is UK not part of Europe?

The UK co-founded the Council of Europe and the European Free Trade Association. It co-wrote the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK was and is very much part of Europe.

Red Cross seeks digital equivalent of its emblems to mark some tech as off-limits in war

Sam Haine

Even wars have rules

Wars do indeed have rules.

ICRC: Even wars have rules

Is it any surprise that 'permacrisis' is the word of the year?

Sam Haine

What does the word crisis actually mean?

From the OED:

crisis, n.

Categories »

1. Pathology. The point in the progress of a disease when an important development or change takes place which is decisive of recovery or death; the turning-point of a disease for better or worse; also applied to any marked or sudden variation occurring in the progress of a disease and to the phenomena accompanying it.

2. Astrology. Said of a conjunction of the planets which determines the issue of a disease or critical point in the course of events. (Cf. critical adj. 4.)

3. transferred and figurative. A vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything; a turning-point; also, a state of affairs in which a decisive change for better or worse is imminent; now applied esp. to times of difficulty, insecurity, and suspense in politics or commerce.

In all definitions a crisis is a decisive point, not just a bad situation.

Oracle's Larry Ellison shares fears of bankrupting Western civilization with healthcare

Sam Haine

Re: Bronzed but wanting to live forever

Mole mapping with digital photography.

Doctor gave patients the wrong test results due to 'printer problems'

Sam Haine

Another no news day at El Reg?

Here's some news for you:

BBC News 30/07/2022: Guy's and St Thomas' systems hit by 'ludicrous' heatwave

The inside track is that:

The air conditioning in the server room failed.

The servers then died.

The backup servers were in the same room.

A reminder: IT people are supposed to be quite smart.

Diagnosis confirmed: Oracle has a case of healthcare cravings, bought Cerner for $28.3bn as the cure

Sam Haine


University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust owns its own EHR system.


UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

Sam Haine

Re: DHSS. 1988

"There was no naughty reason."


Google employee helped UK government switch from disastrous COVID-19 strategy, according to Dominic Cummings

Sam Haine

Re: Seems consistent with my timeline

There were several arguments against closing the borders to non-UK residents. All were wrong.

The first was the economic cost. Compared to what the last 14 months have cost us closing the borders would have been cheap at twice the price.

The second was that people coming from countries with a lower prevalence of Covid would not worsen the problem. This ignored the fact that plenty of other countries' surveillance systems were less effective than the UK's and we had no idea what the true prevalence of Covid in those countries was.

The third was that Track & Trace would work. I think that speaks for itself.

Mike Lynch-backed Darktrace to file for London IPO in aftermath of Deliveroo flop

Sam Haine

More on the Autonomy connection from Forbes


LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts

Sam Haine

Re: MacOS rendering problem

I think I might have discovered a new rendering problem: Writer intermittently renders parts of its window at the wrong resolution, making documents unreadable.

Sam Haine

MacOS rendering problem

Have they fixed the rendering problem in macOS yet?

What will you do with your Raspberry Pi 4 this week? RISC it for a biscuit perhaps?

Sam Haine

RISC OS 4 and RISC OS Six?

Whatever happened to RISC OS 4 and RISC OS Six? Was their source ever released into the wild?

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

Sam Haine

Re: Ouch

PHE's predecessor, the Health Protection Agency, was fairly useless during the swine flu epidemic as well.

Latest NHS IT revolution is failing to learn lessons from the last £10bn car crash

Sam Haine

Real Time bed booking system hell.


This comment from 2018 sums NHS IT up perfectly.

"Some time ago, my company was supplying an expensive team of software engineers to a firm of management consultants ( who shall remain nameless) to install a real-time bed booking system in a London hospital. A real-time system was costing far, far more than an online service seemingly for no benefit to anyone and it's purpose was a constant cause of speculation amongst the team and was a complete mystery to all involved. As time went by, more and more engineers were thrown at the project to the point additional office space had to be found.

Eventually, our company became seriously concerned at the sheer size of the monthly cost of running the contract and our financial director was having to seek larger and larger amounts of working capital just to keep the show on the road.

Just why it had to be real-time and not online was never explained officially but it became increasingly obvious that some senior manager didn't actually appreciate the difference between real-time and online. Vast amounts of money were thrown at an increasingly vain attempt to implement the system, and at no time was any money spent on disaster recovery or even a robust backup system.. Towards the end, it had become obvious to everyone involved that what was required of them was impossible to achieve, and several representations were made to the management that the plug should be pulled, however these were ignored, possibly because everyone involved was making more and more money from the doomed project.

Eventually, the whole thing collapsed leaving absolutely nothing in usable code and a small mountain of unusable hardware. The strange thing was the seemingly inexhaustible budget."

Your scientific judgement can't be made.

Sam Haine

Re: Code Review of Ferguson’s Model

Another review here.


Sam Haine

Code Review of Ferguson’s Model

The UK's lockdown followed publication of a report by Imperial College London based on an epidemiological model of Covid-19 that predicted critical care capacity in the health service would be overwhelmed. A derivative of the code of that model has been released on GitHub and is available for review. The code has some significantly non-deterministic outputs which put its utility into question.


Ever dream of being an astronaut? Now’s your chance. NASA wants new people for the Moon and Mars

Sam Haine

Re: Not applying

Recruiting older volunteers for a one-way trip to Mars would make sense, but the Americans probably wouldn't do it because of the bad publicity. The Chinese might go for it though.

Sam Haine

Re: Remember when ESA did this?

How far did you get? Were there tests?

Reaction Engines' precooler tech demo chills 1,000°C air in less than 1/20th of a second

Sam Haine

Re: Here We Go...

Like James Bond, I don't drink tea. I hate it. It’s mud. Moreover it’s one of the main reasons for the downfall of the British Empire.

Hinkley Point nuclear power station will be late and £2bn over budget

Sam Haine

The Integral Fast Reactor

Plentiful Energy (pdf)

Ive just finished reading this interesting book about the Integral Fast Reactor civil nuclear power research programme. The IFR programme solved, in principle, the problems of the production of radioactive nuclear waste with extremely long half-lives and the production of materials that could be used in nuclear weapons. It also made significant advances in passive safety features in a nuclear reactor. It was cancelled in 1994, three years before completion, by President Bill Clinton at a time when renewable energy research was thought to be more important.

You know what the NHS really needs? Influencers, right guys? #blessed

Sam Haine

Re: Based on experience with my GP's surgery

SystmOne - keeping the Windows 3.1 user experience alive in 2019.

It's so hot, UK needs to start naming heatwaves like we do when it's a bit windy – climate boffins

Sam Haine

Bedwetting Basil?

I think that the powers that be want to give storms and heatwaves names in order to make them seem more severe and so draw our attention away from how crap our infrastructure is when it can't cope with them.

Blundering London council emails unredacted version of notorious Gangs Matrix to 44 people. Data ends up on Snapchat

Sam Haine

Dock their pay.

Docking a percentage of the pay of all the individuals responsible (all the way up the corporate heirarchy) would help to concentrate the minds of those who need to learn and save the Local Authority money. Win/win!

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Sam Haine

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

Sam Haine

Re: Airport radar should be able to show this.

They are ground vehicles with ADS-B transponders.


Sam Haine

Re: Airport radar should be able to show this.


They said yes, grins Dell Technologies: Expects to go public this month

Sam Haine
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Thank you Mike D

Good write up here:

Financial Times Dell: the tricky maths of a reverse merger

I shall be shorting the hell out of this.

Baroness Trumpington, former Bletchley Park clerk, dies aged 96

Sam Haine

Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

"Nothing wrong with having educated people around."

And there's nothing wrong with having a few Tories around either!

Sam Haine

Re: I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

We seem to have a few Tories on The Register today.

Sam Haine

I knew her when she was a councillor in Cambridge.

She was a bigot and a snob. She viewed people who 'worked on the land' (as she put it) with condescension at best and she preferred by far the land-owning Pembertons.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

Sam Haine

"With that said, all the IT kit aboard, regardless of age, is there because it works reliably when required"

But how can it work reliably without a load of IT people tinkering with it all the time?

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

Sam Haine

Re: @ "it might succeed..."

"Despite popular myth, the Management are often clever people too"

NPfIT didn't fail because of doctors, Anonymous NHS manager.

Sam Haine

Re: Patient records for “health and care setting” will use UK residents' NHS numbers

It would make more sense to deprecate the use of NHS numbers as unique patient identifiers and replace them with National Insurance numbers as unique patient identifiers.

There may be a very small number of permanent migrants to the UK who do not have NI numbers (such as dependents of another person who do not pay tax or claim benefits) and it may be that new immigrants to the UK should be advised to apply for an NI number as soon as possible.

Children would be treated in the same manner as adults. Children have NI numbers which are created when their birth is registered but at present the Department of Work and Pensions does not routinely issue them until 15 years and 9 months of age. However there is no reason why their NI numbers cannot be issued earlier if there is a use for them.

Sam Haine

Re: I'm all for grassroots...

In healthcare so-called systems experts often dislike doctors because if the systems analysis is BS then doctors are often articulate enough to point this out. Don't worry though Professor Fox, the systems experts always get paid.

UK Home Office sheds 70 staff on delayed 4G upgrade to Emergency Services Network

Sam Haine

Re: Will that include...

It's got a new nickname now!

No more slurping of kids' nationalities, Brit schools told

Sam Haine

Conflating refugees and economic migrants

You're conflating refugees and economic migrants. Refugees are here for humanitarian reasons, economic migrants are here for financial reasons and there are far more of the latter than the former in British schools.

Sam Haine
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Re: Fair enough, but as a matter of balance

We should charge non-British citizens for use of state education, with an exception for asylum seekers. At present entitlement to state education for economic migrants is based solely on residency and not on whether they are net contributors to the Exchequer.

I await cries of racism from those in the public sector who use ever increasing demands on public services as justification for their jobs.

Korean cryptocoin exchange $30m lighter after hacking attack

Sam Haine

Shorting Bitcoin

Shorting Bitcoin is easy. I do it on IG Index.

Apple and The Notched One: It can't hide the X-sized iPhone let-down

Sam Haine

Re: Grew revenue...

The Fake Steve Jobs blog used often to portray Jobs making fun of people less financially successful than him telling him how to run Apple.

Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

Sam Haine

Brexit is the end of UK science as we know it

There's some well-informed discussion here.

US authorities call on cryptocoin 'exchanges' to sign up for regulation

Sam Haine

Blockchain news

"The Reg hears near-constant news of its adoption for serious work by reputable companies."

Now that would be interesting.

Hacker Noon: Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain

Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges

Sam Haine

Re: Can I buy Tulips with Bitcoin?

The impressive thing about Bitcoin is that it's both a Ponzi and a pyramid scheme.

Apple sprays down bug-ridden iOS 11 with more fixes

Sam Haine

Does Tim need to spend a bit less on share buybacks and a bit more on software testing?

Loose-change payment network Microraiden launches on Ethereum

Sam Haine

Why not Visa or Mastercard?

Is there anything about Microraiden that could not be done orders of magnitude better by Visa or Mastercard if either of them were to choose to process payments in cryptocurrencies?

Inmarsat aircraft Wi-Fi lift off set to fill coffers

Sam Haine

Dividend cover 0.98

INMARSAT pays out slightly more in dividends per share than it makes in earnings after tax etc per share. Slowly but surely management are hollowing the company out to pay the dividend, which is why the share price fell after these interim results were released.

NHS: Remember those patient records we didn't deliver? Well, we found another 162,000

Sam Haine


I noticed she ommited to wipe the injection area with alcohol beforehand, presumably slightly increasing my chances of an infection, but I didn't say anything.

It used to be thought that was the case, but now it turns out that as long as the skin is visibly clean, disinfecting it doesn't make any difference for blood taking.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

Sam Haine

NHSbuntu and users with disabilities?

How usable will NHSbuntu be for users who are visually impaired, hearing impaired or have limited use of their hands?

Cabinet Office losing grip on UK government departments – report

Sam Haine
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Good news!

A genuinely interesting bit of news on El Reg that wasn't widely reportedly elsewhere. Keep it up!