* Posts by Colin Bain

73 posts • joined 16 Jun 2007


UK.gov to propose new rules for online political campaigns after last election marred by an avalanche of fake news

Colin Bain

Er Truth>

So the proposal is to put some kind of "kitemark" of authenticity on the obviously truthful and transparent claims of legitimate politicians.

Or in other words, a rubber stamp on "political" statements in a campaign.

Or in other other words, only official lies are to be allowed!

This is 2020, not 1984, right?

Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?

Colin Bain

Close call


Lists an almost on-call using rm *

I blush because I am a super user fixing things at the user end at my work which is non computer related and I had to look rm * up

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Colin Bain

Classic IT "Service"

Ah yes, IT always thinks that users are idiots, but fail to program with this in mind. And when it goes wrong, close down the system so that only IT can do it.

Jeff Bezos: I will depose King Trump

Colin Bain

Long game

Trump played the long game. Democrats in disarray and harmless. The most dangerous was Biden. Called Zelensky, knowing it wasn't private, knew it would be public. He's an expert confuser that knows confusion works and has the Senate won. End result? Pleases base and ensures they will vote. Biden fights for 3rd place having been the front runner. Trump sure knows how to play the political game better than the politicians!

Please note, applause for playing the game is not an endorsement of the player!

Colin Bain

Re: To be honest ...

You mentioned Pink Floyd.....guaranteed up vote...oh and a cogent comment, ...but mostly PF. Another brick in the wall of sanity!

Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft

Colin Bain

My Company

My company is transitioning us all to 365. Most of us have not yet been transitioned and unusually in the grand tradition of IT not telling users useful info as to what is happening until it actually has happened, they informed us of this change to Bing and even more unusually informed us of how to get Google back! My respect for our IT has soared. However, I haven't actually been told when my transition is going to happen, but I am thinking that Sod's law will ensure that I will be on vacation at the time!

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that

Colin Bain
IT Angle


Ironically this will not actually be used by Trump, but my sense of political history makes me think it would be Democratic President that will end up doing this. After all it was a Democratic President who took out an enemy of the state, Osama bin Ladin. Despite all the hoo hah about Bush et al removing democratic systems post 911.

You heard it first here folks!

The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards

Colin Bain

Finally I'm an old fuddy duddy

Having been THE tech person since dial up for family and work, I am afraid that the IOT is the line in the sand for me. I had thought is would be a fad and a nice thing to have if you had a couple of brains cells.

Having seen the massive data breaches and the utter failure of anyone to do big IT systems and make peoples lives insecure and in many cases miserable for years (Horizon in UK, Phoenix in Canada, any hospital, any medical system aiming at integration, etc) my fear level is now exceeding my excitement for idealistic possibilities.

Revealed: NHS England bosses meet with tech and pharmaceutical giants to discuss price list of millions of Brits' medical data

Colin Bain

Data+ computer systems+ government = Perfect Storm

Problem 1 - Very very few health professionals have good records

Problem 2 - most people don't care about data, they just stuff it in what they think is an appropriate place without thought for retrieval. Hence my wife was told by a receptionist that btw her prostate results were ok.

Problem 3 - not an IT project on earth with government involvement works.

Problem 4 - Most doctors just care about their patients rather than the fiddly job of records, or indeed any of what we used to call paperwork and delegate it without proper thought to underqualified, untrained personnel. That's in practice and in hospitals

Problem 5 - There is no-one going to properly negotiate with the jackals of capitalism.

I could go on.

The one thought that lets me sleep is that the level of incompetency will overcome the greed. However it is a fitful sleep because the innocents will pay both in finance and fitness

Not so easy to make a quick getaway when it takes 3 hours to juice up your motor, eh Brits?

Colin Bain

Not to mention the folks who have their minds compromised by nature, drugs, or alcohol, wandering along unplugging and vandalising the equipment

Colin Bain

Re: A load of ignorance about charging etc in the article and comments

.. and just where is this capacity coming from just to charge the vehicles? Research works both ways

Colin Bain

Numbers of apples and oranges

"More chargers than petrol stations"

So is that measuring chargers in singles? Most petrol stations have at least 4 petrol pumps. As with most things renewable, misinformation rules

WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?

Colin Bain

Trial.by fire

I want to see them go and sell this in the dragons den . Which is what I thought the authorities were, but then I'm impossibly naive for the times

It's official. You can get FUCT, US Supremes tell scandalized bureaucrats in rude trademark spat

Colin Bain

Not buying

I am sure they won't miss my business. Personally, I just can't give that message out. For similar reasons I dont patronize the F-t B--t--d food outlet. It's a free country and there folks will be free of me. I guess I'm not in their demographic. I prefer my humour to be a bit more clever than that. And yes, I know I sound patronizing.... that's my right too!

Tesla big cheese Elon Musk warns staffers to tighten their belts in bid to cut expenses (again)

Colin Bain


Judging by the number of Teslas I see on my relatively commute through relatively affluent Toronto, I am surprised at the relatively large quarterly sales. The number of the loss on those sales is not that high really and the price needs a bit of tweaking. Perhaps the subsidies from various governments is drying up, as it ought to, as the product in theory should stand (or run) on its own four tires (tyres).

The range of the electric vehicles is not large, which may account for the lower maintenance, and they are luxury/status items which I might suggest are used less and more for showing off.

I am less convinced that electric vehicles are going to be really viable in colder climes, like Canada, so we have a ways to go. My impression is that historically, the leader will start the pack off, make all the mistakes, and eventually fail economically, but succeed reputationally. Coming second is nearly always more profitable!

Freed whistleblower Chelsea Manning back in jail for refusing to testify before secret grand jury

Colin Bain

Whistleblowers always suffer

In terms of trusting the system/Grand Jury, given that Manning has, from her pov suffered greatly, there is little trust in the system. To her either way, she will be punished somehow. Even if theoretically she won't, in practice she will and has.

If the stuff she revealed was in the public domain and so worthless, this just highlights the inequity of her treatment.

As Private Eye often reveals, whistle bowers suffer, because people in power who do wrong things themselves, are embarrassed and can't stand it. So they use their power to crush the whistleblower. Even Doctors, who arguably are some of the most powerful in society.

Bullies win, those who stand up lose. No matter how many cutesy stories we get form well meaning, but wrong, teachers etc

It's May 2. Know what that means? Yep, it's the PR orgy that is World Password Day... again

Colin Bain

Spreadsheeting the passwords around

I use a passworded Excel spreadsheet to keep my passwords. The advantage is that it is NOT online. I tried to hack a spreadsheet once for something else and couldn't. Seemed like a no brainer, but I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise

What bugs me the most? World+dog just accepts crap software resilience

Colin Bain

Walk away

We had a Doctor who did not take blood pressure at the visit, even though we had high blood pressure and one of us had kidney disease. On the exit interview the enticement to stay was that they were adding extra services. Our responses was that if you can't get the basics right then why would we stay. They then asked if we wanted to see the doc. They looked at the calendar and suggested one 3 weeks hence. At that point we said point made and never darkened their doorstep. Why this matters is that software is the same. If it doesn't work, repeat business is lost and so are the future recommendations and reputations.

UK defence secretary ponders £50m hit to terminate Capita recruiting contract

Colin Bain

Missing stat

How do we know that a 7.5% success rate is poor? What do we compare this to? Perhaps 92.5% of current applicants are just not good enough in this particular generation. Not sure why though.

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

Colin Bain

The proof is NEVER in the pudding

The proof of the pudding is in the eating! The proof in the pudding is meaningless.

The test of English is in the speaking.

Rant over, as you were....

NASA finds more stuff suggesting Mars could have hosted life, maybe

Colin Bain

Coffee break

Sounds like the remnants of a cigarette lighter. Alien lands, has a cigarette while looking around at an empty lifeless planet, drops lighter, flies off to find life elsewhere. Explains why it was so easy to find. Timing is everything because it was so long age there was no life on earth either. Just spaceships passing in the night!

Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

Colin Bain

Re: I call bollocks

Not to mention fentanyl and its cousins

President Trump broke US Constitution with Twitter bans – judge

Colin Bain

Wedge .... thin and coming your way folks....

If this ruling stands then the folks suing Trump on this will find themselves in the same boat. If they are performing a public service, they will not be able to control who posts on their accounts either. A different kind of me too!

So the suits swanned off to GDPR events leaving you at the coalface? It's really more IT's problem

Colin Bain

Its about communication

Having "communicated" with IT over the years, I have noticed that we all speak a different language. And given the number of published examples of IT helpdesk idiot customers, there is a communication problem. Do you really think after having miscommunicated all these years the suits really want to tangle with IT? My experience that consulting IT help desk is saturated with them not appreciated just what is being communicated to them and not caring to understand. So when IT starts to approach with expertise, I'm less inclined to listen, never mind even hear what is being said. BOFH is not so far from the truth, even though I like to laugh at it. So when IT can really help, it is a perfect storm of imperfect understanding. And nobody is listening to anyone. And of course there is the next stream of joky idiot customer examples.

EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

Colin Bain

Renting space

If the box was being put on a pole in a city centre, I'll bet they would be paying rental space for the box. It's a bit of a cheek charging the customer to put their equipment on your property and then charging you to use it as well.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Colin Bain

Archiving etc

Lots of comments about how NASA doesn't keep records blah blah etc. Let's take this one closer to home. Just how many of those complaining are running businesses that have good records about procedures, accounting, machinery, processes from 10 years ago? And just how many of us could actually access a particular digital photo, even real photo from a family event? Yup, I have about a mile of slack that needs cutting here

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Colin Bain

30% slower...

I upgraded and it slowed down. Does Chrome have some kind of trick that slows down other browsers?

First iPhone X fondlers struggle to admit that Face ID sort of sucks

Colin Bain

Guess what DOESN'T work add on

...and don't even get me started on that time we went through customs self service facial recognition....

Colin Bain

You know what DOESN'T work?

There are some people for whom technology doesn't work well at all. I know one person not a million miles away from where I am sitting, who has a problem at least once a day. And it is always weird. We even bought Oyster cards once at the same time with the same value. We went on the same journeys exactly. That person said, it won't work for me. Of course it will was the response, with hope and a prayer sent off. Yup. On the third journey, after lulling me into a false sense of security, bing. I got through the gate and she didn't. (Didn't I mention it was my wife?). Once again her electricity field had mysteriously caused a personal mini emp. And once again I resigned myself to a life of tech support to the anti-techno mage. After all, a good cook is hard to find. (Yes, I know it's sexist, but it happens to be true!)

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Colin Bain

Just looking....

15 years for looking? I suppose we are a long way beyond 1984, but still...

...and does this cover GCHQ staff...

Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

Colin Bain

Sounds like a deal...

So a cheap computer with a cheap upgrade to W10 Pro? Having "upgraded" from W7 Pro to W10 Home, that seems like a deal to me,,,,or am I missing something here?

Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

Colin Bain

Now for yet another press of the reset button

I am no geek, although family and work colleagues think I am, but W10 is the only OS I have had to reset back to original settings on several computers at work and home.

If they could get me to not fear another update that makes my network printer settings go completely haywire; or make it so that updates will update; or....etc. THEN I could maybe anticipate some of the more exotic pleasures of Creator or whatever stuff tey want me to dream about. I've spent tens of hours beyond my paygrade and capability fixing and bodging things up. W95 come back all is forgiven.

GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

Colin Bain

Who knows really

I would like to believe GCHQ but for a couple of things. Surely silence as a policy is the best option, as previously followed. And wasnt GCHQ part of the second up the WMD Saddam thing. Not to mention that US under a previous non aTrump administration actually bugged Angela Merkel. What's a poor boy to believe

Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

Colin Bain

Picture this...

Given that the planets are so far away, how come we have some fancy coloured pictures of them? I am supposing that we don't know enough, but NASA has generated some computerised coloured representations, but just how deceptive is that? And does it really matter since we aren't going there t check any time soon.......back to the crossword for me!


Colin Bain

Not so obvious..perhaps

If this is a nature reserve, it surely attracts all kinds of researchers. Wonder if they have come up with anything?

Colin Bain

Re: That's it...

There is some debate about which of the current Coventry Cathedrals is a bit bashed up and which is in good repair. Having seen the "new" one from the sixties, it does have bits coming off it, while the very much older one looks to be in much better shape, although it does lack a roof and bit of a wall, but the tower is still there and can be climbed safely on the inside for a small fee. And its not radioactive.

Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Colin Bain

Inventory management and sales

Every time my wife and I go into a store (that's what we call them now we are in Canada!), we can rarely find footwear in our size. While we are in the upper range, 12 for me and 10 (or thereabouts) for the missus, there is a dearth of styles, and, more usually, inventory. Please note, we are not clowns, by profession either. Now, when I worked in retail, then I saw that certain items zipped out of the store and received multiple requests, the policy was to double the order quantity, to avoid lost sales. I believe it had something to do with profitability and service. However the pesky modern way is to sell until all that is left is size 6, which are then reduced to below cost. Despite such advances in technology where everyone and their goat can send cameras into space AND retrieve them, or fly drones into their neighbours air space with impunity, shoe retailers seem to be stuck in some weird tuck in time where logic and economic theory is based on some principle beyond human comprehension.

Having questioned policy on many occasions at different levels, the answer is always, "It's just what they send us"

I ahve never been able to find out who "They" are. Perhaps it is some vast experiment, or a cabal of cobblers awaiting the moment we wake up and turn back to hand made models of pedal kinetic platforms?

Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

Colin Bain

Health and safety

So the bot is so human it goes out the back door fora smoke break and immediately faces a slip trip and fall hazard but successfully overcomes it. Yay, with bot, no more health and safety!

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

Colin Bain

Higher paying service jobs?

Surely the highest paying jobs were in manufacturing in the good old days of secure employment and when a pension plan didn't mean it would be stolen from you in retirement. And the financial services plan for the UK concentrated the highest paying jobs into the SE and beggared the rest of the UK. Oh, and the higher amounts of renumeration went offshore and untaxed leading to the ludicrous situation of the govt begging for jobs and giving away the tax they do get from the lowest paid zero hour contract slaves of the "service" industry. And they can't apparently afford to get the tax the large companies actually show they owe. Pfff!

Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

Colin Bain

No surprise

So when did I stop trying to search MS sites for help?.....after three failures and my wife finding the answers on Google. Embarrassing! Yep I am a slow learner, but I have learned. So at least I am slightly better than MS. MS besides being shorthand for Microsoft is also the acronym for Multiple Sclerosis, the terminal disease affecting the nerves controlling muscles which do the work of life. Coincidence?

'Whitehall must address creaking IT', says ex CIO big wig

Colin Bain

They should really look to systems that have been successfully integrated and are actually working now. In North America, Pharmacy billing systems have been doing lots of database stuff for years. One or two government regions have successfully made an ehealth system work, but I note that the majority of jurisdictons have failed miserably at this and wasted billions, just like Blighty!

HMRC ditches Microsoft for Google, sends data offshore

Colin Bain

Re: i bet....

Hopefully for him/her, it will have gained them the promotion they so obviously need, before it all falls apart!

NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Colin Bain

How Odd!

Republicans pose as freedom fighters for small government and get out of my face style. And yet want to have a large government department getting into way more than your face.

Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad

Colin Bain

Best lines

I think the finest feature is the Pharmacist who has the best lines. Such a positive role model. The rest of the ad is just proof the world has gone to........(yup, I'm a Pharmacist and an old one too!)

Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

Colin Bain

Great for Bill re polio, but it was a project orgnised by Rotary, before he joined in, and had completed over 85% of the task.

Forget Snowden: What have we learned about the NSA?

Colin Bain

What's REALLY scary

I went to a local tourist attraction and was asked my postcode & last name. I was stunned when the assistant then identified my first name!

Obama says US won't scramble jets or twist arms for Snowden

Colin Bain

Re: Obama won't twist arms for Snowden.....suuuuure he won't!

Of course, Spain and Portugal simply refused the official airplane of the head of state of a South American country on their own whim!

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Colin Bain

Re: @thegrouch

..and it's still a small car.

Colin Bain

Re: @thegrouch

"OK, for the EV battery the charging is not 100% efficient, but on the other hand if you charge overnight then there tends to be a higher proportion of low-CO2 sources which should compensate somewhat."

The apparent low CO2 sources are solar and wind. At night, the sun doesn't shine and the wind drops. There is no compensation, so coal and gas sources are even more necessary.

BOFH: Can't you just ... NO, I JUST CAN'T

Colin Bain

Out of the box

Of course designing a corporate system that works for the users is out of the question....ore merely elementary



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