* Posts by Colin Bain

128 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jun 2007


Dutch government in panic mode over keeping ASML in the country

Colin Bain

Hey Hey UK!

I note that UK was not mentioned as an option for relocation.

Immigration into UK is now over 600,000 a bit more than than the target in Camerons reign of 20,000.

All since 2016.

How ironic that Brexit was sold by having control over immigration and ended up by not having any control whatsoever.

Given that EU citizens have a high standard of education, even replacing them with developing country citizens is going to deskill the UK workforce.

Consequence - smart companies will avoid UK!

Hold up world, HP's all-in-one print subscription's about to land, and don't forget AI PCs

Colin Bain

Corporate snooze button

As a personal consumer ho is the last printer I would buy based on my corporate experience. While corporates are essentially pushing the snooze button on complaints and prices, at some point they will wake up and ditch hp. HP is thinking like Kodak and Swiss watch makers.

Far better to copy the pharma model when generics become available. Either cut your prices to a smaller premium or set up their own cheaper alternative and keep the market with a better product. We all have had experience of cheap ink.

Holding people to ransom is not a long term strategy for success.

Shame about those wildfires. We'll just let the fossil fuel giants off the hook, then?

Colin Bain


Court calculations are by nature not exact, indeed far from it.

Also, the early 20th century US had many more fires than current figures even. Modern fire detection and expanded populations ensure that more fires are counted. Insurance losses are greater per fire..

More transparency is required.

Additionally, what proportion of the notional blame needs to be apportioned to government policy, or even individuals who heated homes with fossil fuels.

For me the bottom line is forget the blame game, we have decided for various reasons to change. Lets put the energy and creativity to that task!

Tenfold electric vehicles on 2030 roads could be a shock to the system

Colin Bain


So incentivising off peak electric charging makes me wonder what off peak will actually end up being.

If we all go electric, peak demand will be overnight presumably which will make it the new peak.

Indeed, I suspect that going all electric for everything will mean no peak or off peak at all

Techies at Europe's biggest council have 8 weeks to pull finance reports from Oracle system

Colin Bain

Not onerous by the Council

Switch to hit the fan as BT begins prep ahead of analog phone sunset

Colin Bain

Real boonies

Just moved to Northern Ireland which although technically part of the UK is not mentioned here. That is not unusual I understand. I live in a square patch in the coverage which is an island of lower connectivity for reasons which seem to belong to the x files. Often I am restricted to 3G or less (according to my phone apparently).

Given that current talk is that NI is twenty years behind the rest of the UK, that might be a blessing. I'm figuring I won't last that long anyway for age reasons.

Alao.wondering what is going to happen to all that lovely copper wiring literally lying around in the the future. Will the price drop and its not worth digging up, or will.it be worth it?

UK government's newest department to lead mega ERP procurement

Colin Bain

Simple equation

Government + tech + system update = Cost over-run + disaster+ time wasted+lives irredeemably damaged and suicides

Fujitsu admits it fluffed the fix for Japan’s flaky ID card scheme

Colin Bain

Re: Spanish motorhome park example

Not in North America, but I realise that is not most countries

Open the pod bay doors, GPT, and see if you're smart enough for the real world

Colin Bain

Real smarts are helpful

Can just get chat gp whatevers to design a help manual bot that actually can help or continuously produce updated actual FAQs, not just the AQ's made up by someone in sales and only wants yousers to know what they want them to know, not real life questions!!!!

Yeah, Rishi, it's AI that'll make Britain great again

Colin Bain

How about making ...

How about making the tech that the gov has already made a mess of work. Horizon - Royal Mail (screw the sub postmasters so they lose lives and homes and no acceptance or apology or consequences) and Universal Credit (wait 6 weeks for the tech to know your are unemployed), not to mention the completely time consuming "HR" (alias finance inspired) programs that cause more work and headaches than pencil and paper ever did. If these relatively simple systems don't work at scale and have caused untold and un-compensated misery for the least powerful, then we are truly up the electronic creek without a paddle, or a creek!

Botched migration resulted in a great deal: One for the price of two

Colin Bain

Bell end

In my admin role I seem to stumble across odds and ends. My attention was attracted to a Bell bill for a location that did not exist and had been closed for 4 years. Despite having no telephone connection we were still paying for the privilege of several email accounts, long abandoned.

I ensured that Bell no longer serviced that location and ensured that new locations had voip installed with an independent company and transferred as many others as possible. One memorable conversation included the tag line that they were number one in customer service. Without an ounce of self.awareness.

(Not in UK obviously)

I have other stories!

Workers don't want these humanoid robots telling them to be happy

Colin Bain

Good reason for this

....and that is most of those participants were Dr Who fans. QT is exactly like the killer robots on the colony world Series 10 episode two entitled Smile!

If Tesla Investor Day was about exciting investors then boy did it fail

Colin Bain

Re: Ooh, yet another Very Bad Idea.

Tesla driver I have observed are very similar to BMW drivers. Road hogging, road weaving and selfish. I can hardly see these folks allowing their status symbols being used by anyone else, including their won family members!

In terms of profitabilty, share price is not directly related to actual profitability. Share are a rich mans lottery and subject to other influences than strictly business and accounting. Operating profits may be somewhat favourable, however that does not take into account previous investment. If Tesla was to close tomorrow, paying off debts, would likely leave a massive loss, although we don't exactly know since as has been pointed out, Tesla is a private company.

Indeed most of the larger tech companies are in a similar position. Wind up Amazon and there would be little left. Its a rich mans world since all these business activities are engines to provide a flow of cash which they owners cream off the top, leaving little behind and contributing even less to the quality of life of their workers.

Why ChatGPT should be considered a malevolent AI – and be destroyed

Colin Bain

Response variable

I tried to do the same for my own name and got this response.

I'm sorry, as an AI language model, I do not have access to personal information or knowledge about specific individuals unless they are public figures or celebrities. Can you provide more context or details about [my name]

Perhaps it is learning about privacy?

China unveils massive blockchain cluster running homebrew tech

Colin Bain

Un assuming

The widespread assumption that blockchain is some kind of decentralised wizz tech was always a lie. If the transactions are recorded and linked, then anyone with the authority (i.e. the makers) will have total central control. No matter how many nodes, it is designed to be trackable.

We must un assume the puffery.

i.e. perfect for central control like wot China wants in every area of life. Becuase it is scary running things when people don't fall in to blockchain, I mean, line

At least that is my understanding

Truck-size asteroid makes one of the tightest fly-bys of Earth ever recorded

Colin Bain

Close, but no cigar

"In fact, this is one of the closest approaches by a known near-Earth object ever recorded."

qualified by "that we know of"

Colin Bain

Re: Fortunately,

I'm reminded of Dan Quayle who was ridiculed for even tinking about this ...

Lockheed Martin demos 50kW anti-aircraft frickin' laser beam

Colin Bain


" to affordably meet" seems out of place in a discussion on arms, although the bean counters will be laser focussed on the accounts, I am sure

The CES tat bazaar: Bike desks, AI-powered bird feeders, and the smelloverse

Colin Bain

Falling profits?

So the problem with comparing profits from the previious year is a bit misleading. Number one, they are not losing money. Number two, during Covid I am assuming tech sales were higher than normal. So while it usual to compare year on year, unusual times need to focus on a more meaningful time frame. My cynicism, born of years of hearing this kind of stuff that it is simply an excuse to not properly compensate employees and to have a staff cut to enable the C suite to get extra bonuses.


CES Worst in Show slams gummi gouging, money-wasting mugs, and other dubious kit

Colin Bain

Pass the urine

It would be handy to know if the urinalysis could detect opiods etc. It would save medical staff having to dipsticks at the methdone clinic. If so, then not such a bad idea after all.

Colin Bain

Re: JBL clarification

Not to mention that the website is slow and is not easy to get specs on.

'Multiple security breaches' shut down trucker protest

Colin Bain

Only one error here

The only error in this article is the arrest date of Feb 2020. This would have been minority report action which obviously did not work, since the protest was Jan/Feb 2022.

License to launch: UK space regulator gives Virgin Orbit satellites the go-ahead

Colin Bain


Galactic Gateway in Cornwall. Is this also the county where the kids entered Narnia?

Brit MPs pour cold water on hydrogen as mass replacement for fossil fuels

Colin Bain


According to Knives Out - Glass Onion hydrogen can't be used because it would leak out of the pipes in home and create a national verson of the Hindenberg

Elon Musk starts poll with one question: Should I step down as head of Twitter?

Colin Bain


I suspect this was a dead cat situation, taking the focus off other shenanigans. Time will tell

California wildfires hit CTRL+Z on 18 years of CO2e removal

Colin Bain

Previous times

According to the data, Early 20th c had more and more extensive fires in US than currently occur. Also our cities an towns have expanded extensively in that timeframe so more prone to fires.

Just wondering if this has been factored in somewhere

CERN draws up shutdown plans to save energy

Colin Bain

Re: "the world's largest publicly known particle collider"

Enquiring minds want to know, and I am surprised that there is no clarification. Conspiracy theories threading their insidious way into my consciousness.

AI detects 20,000 hidden taxable swimming pools in France, netting €10m

Colin Bain


So as some have pointed out the negative ROI. There is also a limit on the future use of this. I am also pretty sure that the Pandora papers etc, if followed up would net a whole lot more. especially since the legowrk has been pre paid.

But then large companies woul d have less to funnel back into certain hands....

Germany orders Sept 1 shutdown of digital ad displays to save gas

Colin Bain

Another simple mistake

"simple mistake of substituting 06:00 and 16:00 – meaning digital signage could only run from 4PM to 10PM."

Unless I am mistaken and/or Germany has a different interpretation of the 24 hour clock, surely the run time would be 4pm to 5.59am?

UK govt promises to sink billions into electronic health records for England

Colin Bain

A form of

"At the moment, 86 percent of NHS trusts have a form of electronic patient record in place. The government wants that figure to reach 90 per cent by the end of next year, he said."

I'm more than 86% certain that those forms are not compatibile, or exportable, or useful. The problem with healthcare is that data is not what cares for people. Data also needs to be integrated into an agreed system of care. NHS (nor any other "system" for that matter) does not have this. Even more so as these are changing times with little leadership and much profit to be made sucking out resources from the financing.

The dream which is modelled on "what will" has no basis, no input from the people actually doing the work.

Pretty much anyone actually providing care will be rolling their eyes wondering just how long this thing will take until the next thing comes along and wastes valuable financial resources that could make a diffrence by actually paying and employing more people.

California Right-to-Repair bill quietly killed in committee

Colin Bain

Democracy ......

......For people by people who don't really want people to decide anything

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

Colin Bain

Weekend not weekend wven

There is the definition of Sunday as the first day of the week. So actually the common understanding of weekend really week end week stsrt.

Given that every French translation is much longer than the English version, to save the planet from destroying as many forests. Also n the heat generated from thus suggestion could power the world for csnturies!

Now leaving , closing door softly.

Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests

Colin Bain

And then there Canada...

With a simple lane assist with my Toyota Corolla, come the snow comes the warning that the camera is not active. It doesn't have to be heavy snow either. Also, with construction (essentially on every trip, local and otherwise, lanes are not often identified.

In fact as an added technology that I thought was promising, it has remained virtually unused. (Two or three times in five years)

My dad used to say that added electrics (by which he meant windows at that point) meant more to go wrong and expensive to repair.

The only really useful "tech" foe me has been seat warmers.

Vital UK customs system outage contributes to travel chaos at its borders

Colin Bain


Being that Fujitsu is on the Horizon to do IT for UK public service, I would suppose that they need the contract to pay.off the messes they have made with previous projects

Northwest England councils in £31m SaaS HR system tender

Colin Bain

Good Luck

Good luck with that massive change, especially if the onboarding is ignored. Personal experience (and Maslow) suggests that any savings and apparent neatness from the exec level is more than wiped out with loss of productivity and extra work that the systems require.

London university on hunt for £17m SAP ERP replacement

Colin Bain

Good Luck

All will be well until they get to "improved usability and control will support our staff, students and partners"

As ever this is listed last and is only given passing attention. After all what would users know?

Users know that they are going to lose learning time and support and productivity. Oh and if there is an onboarding package that would avoid the user hurt, that will be cut because it is thought to be too expensive, you know, people are smart, they will just get on board.

And the payroll utility (a misnomer if ever I heard one!) will take more time and cause more headaches and lost time that you can ever calculate. Not that the system could actually do that either.

How do I know all this? You may well ask! I had the un/mis fortunate situation to be not only a user, but a sub implementor. Which means I had to explain to people why their pay wasn't right, why we could never get it right, why the password change was so arcane it seemed like the system was designed just to frustrate our most valuable resource.....people!

I am so waiting for the follow up, so I can write those immortal four words.....I told you so.

Tick Tock

How to polish the bottom line? Microsoft makes it really hard to claim expenses, say staffers

Colin Bain

Its not just expenses

Its also payroll. "recently" (5 years) installed system still takes more time to process payroll than the old system and often gets it wrong anyway. And no they did not pay for the onboarding module preferring to save a.minimal amount in the purchase and lose thousands of hours of muddling through and more importantly trust and motivation in the long term.

You wood not believe what a Japanese logging company and university want to use to build a small satellite

Colin Bain

I fir cedar problems here

140,000-plus drivers sent $60m in compensation checks after Amazon 'stole their tips'

Colin Bain

Oh Dear!

So THAT is why all those ads show Amazon employees wanting to become managers - less swindling of wages!

In terms of socialism being so abhorrent in US, perhaps in the talk. However tax dodges, lobbying, subsidies to business, especially big business is socialism in effect. Just don't let the hoi polloi in on the act, that would reduce the profits. And so back to Amazon swindling their 'partners' = another word for slavery.

And the capitalist drive to "gig" economy simply is the new grinding the faces of the poor.

Anonymous: We've leaked disk images stolen from far-right-friendly web host Epik

Colin Bain

In the old.days we.got.news from papers. They were.entities.that often had a view, often censored themselves or were censored by govt. We had laws to protect us and so could sue.to.determine what was appropriate. They were private companies. Now we need and opinion from every one on a "we are not a publisher platform. But by censoring, they are essentially performing a publishing function. However the censoring is not challengable. It is also somewhat arbitrary. I agree personally that antivaxxers are harmful and distribute misinformation. However a light perusal of every political promise is a direct deceipt. Should we stop that? There are many more dangerous deceipts currently up and running without being taken down. Who in the social media world is capable and qualified to make those decisions? Have private companies for so large and government like in the sense that everyone buys into them, that they can now censor without impunity, but hide behind the "private company" to avoid responsibility? Dystopia, you are already here

If it's going to rain within the next 90 mins, this very British AI system can warn you

Colin Bain

The question of good does not seem to include concept that it actually predicts the rain if I read this right. Merely that compared to current models it is better than them. I haven't met a model that really works junked they set in front of a camera, so a total waste of time really.

Alan Turing Institute to spend UK.gov grants on AI for air traffic control and banking

Colin Bain

Big tech

Ah yes. A wonderfully hopeful aim, laudable even. Unfortunately big Gov plus public money plus software plus people ensures the continuation of the usual outcome. Big waste of time and effort followed by a report from the NAO saying the same.

I promise to say I told you so, assuming I lived through the experiment

UK government resists pressure to hold statutory inquiry into Post Office Horizon scandal

Colin Bain

Credit where credit due please

All of the scandal was documented early on, almost as soon as it started, by Private Eye who have been banging on about this injustice for years. Long before anyone/business/journalist/ cottoned on to it.

The least you could do is give credit to worthy journalism. Possibly the only real investigative journalism going on in the UK.

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge

Colin Bain

Certainly uncertain

The judge denied saying that the clause was certainty.

Except that the certainty is uncertain from the sales persons point of view. And proven by this case. The calculation was correct, the payment proved to be uncertain. Worth an appeal if available on the basis of logic.

Watch it go: World's smallest self-folding origami bird that reminds us we were promised nanobots at some point

Colin Bain

Re: The Terminator is in your blood!

That was.my second thought. Innocuous ingestion and at the touch of a button it folds into a neurotransmitter or poison. Torture and death and perhaps inadvertent death by static electricity.

What does that say about us!

Move aside, Technoking: All hail the Sweat Master and his many inspirational job titles

Colin Bain

Glass half full

I keep reading the Elon Musk appellate as Tech - No king! A negative take on his monarchial position.

Also Nosmo King was a band in the 70's (and possibly later) that I saw up in Aberdeen while pretending to study at Uni.

So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'

Colin Bain

Too late

There are all kinds of trite cliches to describe why it is never going to work. Main Stream media always gives the impression of a coherent professional approach. However MSM has degenerated into a ghastly barely reporting biased mess following whoever is giving them cash (El Reg and possibly Private Eye excluded)

The cat is out of the bag, it is closing the stable door the horse has bolted, it is VHS versus beta, PC vs Mac.

Nice to discuss, but pointless unless it has a topical hook like BLM, or Metoo, or even Arab spring (although not generally the best example given the long term outcome!)

Microsoft's Gooseberry is a dish best served really, really cold: Progress made on silicon quantum computing

Colin Bain

Kelvin not so Absolute after all?

I thought by definition Kelvin 0 degrees was well, where everything stopped, Absolutely (pun intended for those old enough!) -2K? What is that, and how do you get there? Even the backgorund heat of the universe is around 3K, is it not?

Smartphones are becoming like white goods, says analyst, with users only upgrading when their handsets break

Colin Bain

Why I don't upgrade

The mobile company I use stopped giving me an upgrade every couple of years. They keep offering "bargains" if I upgrade my plan. Understandably since I pay $45 CAN per month for unlimited texts, free long distance in Canada, and a cheap rate to the UK. Data? 400mb! I mainly use wifi, so use it when when I'm nowhere near a coffee shop and need to find my way because I'm lost.

I could go with buying a phone from them, but they don't seem interested. I have a Moto G8 currently (twin SIM) so my employer supplies up to 3G without questioning it, and I rarely use that anyway.

So the mobile industry is facing a crossroads. They basically have an everlasting income stream until something really disrupts access to the internet or whatever it will become. Up until now they had total control of how wide that revenue stream was. It was a smoke and mirrors deal with a manipulation of numbers and social engineering to make us believe something (normal sales behaviour)

Now customers have a certain amount of control of the width of that stream. At the same time they have caught themselves out. I can buy an reasonably good phone at a price less than they will charge. It will be mine from the start. As opposed to a monthly payment scheme which generally make me pay more for a limited range of phones and then try to make me buy some extra insurance.

Unless they really offer more value for what we are paying, then the big companies will stagnate. The may try to buy out upstarts and then raise prices again, but this is not a long term future.

They have to offer more or diversify for success imho.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

Colin Bain

I've heard that name before...somewhere

Fujitsu, the name behind Horizon. They made pretty good 35mm film, but computer systems, not so much