* Posts by goodjudge

72 posts • joined 16 Nov 2011


UK.gov announces review – not proper inquiry – into Fujitsu and Post Office's Horizon IT scandal


Re: Struggling to understand....

"I haven't seen reported what the actual problem was"

If you have time I strongly suggest you read https://www.private-eye.co.uk/special-reports/justice-lost-in-the-post (and then start buying Private Eye on a regular basis ;o> ). Basically it was a tissue of lies from the start: large and unexplainable 'accounting errors' in post offices all over the country that couldn't be possible without either massive, wholesale fraud or a serious software bug or bugs. The Post Office and Fujitsu maintained all along, including in multiple postmaster prosecutions, that Horizon was utterly infallible and especially that it couldn't be accessed remotely so all discrepancies must be fraud by the postmaster / mistress from within their office.

According to the PE report, internally the PO and Fujitsu knew their defence was a lie and some of each's witnesses knowingly perjured themselves, including at the big trial last year. The sainted Vennells did her best to keep at arms-length and maintain plausible deniability. Thus far she's effectively got away with it. Whether karma catches up with her remains to be seen.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


60-ish posts and...

No-one has yet been able to come up with a reason for having one except the "reminder to buy more milk 'cos the kids have drunk it" near the top. So what *is* the market justification for this nonsense? I don't constantly by the same brand or size of anything, including milk; it depends what's on offer or whether I'm at the supermarket or the local shop when I remember about replacement. Or am I an exception to the rule?

As Twitter blocks white supremacists posing as anti-fascists, FBI appeal is flooded with images of cop violence


Re: What bothers me most is this one

"I don't even blame all journalists for the 90% of them that are scum."

What, even the journalists working for El Reg, Model Railway Collector, WWE Monthly, Homes & Gardens etc.? Which is, in my guess, a majority of most journalists out there. Or maybe you actually just mean the few who knowingly write gross distortions and clickbait headlines (with a final line in paragraph 18 that overturns the rest of the article which no-one will ever read but stops them from getting sued). I'm thinking of, for example, a former EU correspondent for The Spectator who admitted regularly making stuff up for shits'n'giggles and was eventually fired for it, or a columnist for The Telegraph who wrote two opinion pieces on a major event, wholeheartedly supporting both outcomes, because he didn't know how the event would turn out. I'm with you on that sort of journalist.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Re: Paris...

"It can't be that bad... can it?"

Yes. Yes it is. I went through CDG several times from LHR to my wife's home country. You'd think 2 hours would easily be enough for a connection. We only just made it Every. Single. Time. Thankfully now there are direct flights. Well, not right now, obv.

Bloke forks out £12m, hands over keys to tropical island to shoo away claims that his web marketing biz was a scam


Re: One born every minute

According to t'Internet they're still going on, though not as frequently as they used to be. I went to one in the early 90s, picked up a 5-pack of blank cassettes for a penny that had something very close to, but not quite, the TDK logo, then watched the various plants in the audience 'win' their unboxed luxuries followed by real bids for allegedly the same items in sealed boxes. Thankfully I was a poor student so couldn't have bought anything even if I'd been taken in.

It’s not true no one wants .uk domains – just look at all these Bulgarians who signed up to nab expired addresses


Do I have this right?

Nominet's rule is basically "please be nice, because if you're not nice then that's not very nice to everyone else. But if you decide to be not nice, please let us know so we can tut and sigh whilst still taking your money."

Post Office coughs £57.75m to settle wonky Horizon IT system case


And the former Chief Exec, Paula Vennells, who was named and shamed during the first trial, gets away with it - and has long-since moved onto another well-renumerated position. One rule for them etc.

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'


Re: Couldn't have one even if I wanted it

I got a letter from my provider about installing them for my 2nd floor flat. After being assured I wouldn't get the rubbish 1st generation version that they're still trying to shift piles of, I booked a visit.

The gas meter is in the ground immediately below the flat. "Too far away" said the assessor. The electric meter is in the communal hall by my front door. "They don't really work through walls" he said. "Sorry for your wasted visit" I said. Two weeks later I get another letter: "we'd like to come on [date] to install your smart meters"...

Consumer campaign to keep receiving printed till receipts looks like a good move – on paper


"There is also a perception, not just among older citizens either, that having all shop receipts entered and sent digitally opens the consumer up to receiving unsolicited marketing messages based on their transaction histories."

You mean the people trying to force us into these things actually have another justifcation for them? And yes of course I'm going to repeat my full name and email address countless times in front of shops full of strangers every single week... Yes, I know I could use fake ones but why have to?

City-obliterating asteroid screamed past Earth the other night – and boffins only clocked it just 26 hours beforehand


Re: "Probably"?

"brownie points if you can find the one in Germany"

The Nördlinger Ries, of course.

(Mine's the one with a copy of Julian May's The Many Colored Land in the pocket...)

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


The first office I worked in (early 90s)...

... had 3/4 of a tie pinned to the wall above the shredder in lieu of a printed warning.

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


More like, good luck trying to get medical insurance after whichever company you contact demands that, before it can even consider you for a quote, Amazon must hand over its complete history of everything you've ever asked Alexa about.


Solution looking for a problem?


"The press release promised: "The technology will help patients, especially the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means, to get professional, NHS-verified health information in seconds, through simple voice commands."


"The service provided by Amazon will not provide any form of diagnosis or advice. It will help people become better informed about conditions and mange their healthcare more effectively"

What the rubber duck does it actually do then? If I'm feeling ill, I want a diagnosis, not a list of 20 things that I might have followed by "this is not authorised medical advice, please contact your GP"? About the best I can think of is it can issue regular reminders that it's time to take your tablets. Though I can think of quite a few cheaper and less intrusive ways of people managing to do that...

Finally in the UK: Apollo 11 lands... in a cinema near you


Re: Spoiler Alert?????

I think "the filmmakers still manage to insert drama into key parts of the tale (no spoilers)" is about the bit where they nearly let slip that it was being filmed on a sound stage in Utah. Possibly when that boom mic got into the frame. Good job no-one ever found out...

We are shocked to learn oppressive authoritarian surveillance state China injects spyware into foreigners' smartphones


US border

Presumably you're of Caucasian descent, unlike, say, my bearded, darkish-skinned, Spanish, brother-in-law who was regularly pulled for "random" additional security checks when flying on declared academic business. Thankfully he got a promotion before searching phones / social media accounts became the in-thing, and has delegated the US trips to some other poor sod.

Remember the Nominet £100m dot-uk windfall it claims doesn't exist? Well, it's already begun


If Company X has foo.co.uk and organisation Y has foo.org.uk, who gets foo.uk? The one with the most money?

A quick cup of coffee leaves production manager in fits and a cleaner in tears


Important: do not unplug the UPS

Nigh-on 20 years ago I worked for a small hosting company. Our servers were hosted abroad and one day we lost contact and immediately started getting customer calls. For some unfathomable reason a new member of staff in the data centre had unplugged the uninterruptable power supply. We never did find out what happened to him...

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


Surely at least some of these offshore content providers will avoid potential litigation simply by blocking all UK IPs, in the same way as we still can't read the online versions of various US newspapers and magazines because the publishers can't be arsed to change their systems to comply with the Nth detail of GDPR.

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning


Re: I'm shocked I tell you ...

Indeed. Rapacious capitalists in "lying through their teeth and generally not being very nice" shocker! Next up, our special report on bear activities in forested areas...

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how


Re: "Credible Threat"

"The last thing any sane shooter would want is to hurt somebody."

Problem is, as we know from regular news stories, that there are plenty of legal gun owners in the US who are anything but sane, either in the pejorative or medical senses. And a few more in other parts of the world.

Whois? Whowas. So what's next for ICANN and its vast database of domain-name owners?


Re: Great article


WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction


Re: He may regret waiting

"years ago" = pre-Trump. Common sense is not just out of the window, it's running down the street as fast as it can and those in charge are denying it was ever there in the first place.

Also, there is no statute of limitations on "causing embarrassment to a powerful government". Caused by non-government actors, of course, not what they do to themselves. (Trump, Bojo etc.)

Beer hall putz: Regulator slaps northern pub over Nazi-themed ad


stable door / horse

"The Buck Inn was ordered to not show the adverts again "

So the ASA is ruling in January 2018 on a Facebook ad placed in September 2017 for an event that presumably took place in either September or October 2017... I'm sure the pub will find it easy to abide by that one.

Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit


Re: They have a case?

"why buy one of these when a quality, keyed deadbolt is cheap and fairly easy to install?"

Get with the programme grandad! It's 2018, no one cares about boring old bits of metal that can't be controlled from your phone. Don't ask why, just revere the new shiny thing.

Nest's slick IoT burglar alarm catches crooks... while it eyes your wallet


Re: Next development - for crooks

Re: "It looks like you’re close to home – turn off alarm?", where is the security when you can steal a phone and get the house included?

Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login


Re: Nadine Dorries : Why do people vote for her?

A few years ago there was a lot of research done on her by a certain blogger, which it seems you may have have read - I recall a fair bit about her 'main residence' for the purpose of parliamentary expenses. But I won't mention his name as for some totally unconnected reason he became the target of a long-running smear campaign.

Anyway, why do people vote for her? Because she represents part of Bedfordshire and they'll vote for anything with a blue rosette stuck to it.


Didn't care, won't care

Remember that this is the same politician who "cares" so much about her constituents that she disappeared from Parliament a few years back to go on I'm A Celebrity... She's pretty much un-embarressable and she represents an unswervingly true-blue part of the country. She knows there'll be no consequences for her.

Sci-Hub domains inactive following court order


Scientific publishing

On the general issue of the world of scientific publishing, if you have a little while (it is Friday afternoon) then I'd recommend this long article from the Guardian from last June:


Budget 2017: How to make a downbeat forecast sound better. Say 'tech' a lot?


Re: Number of teachers is not the issue

"Make sure you have a long term strategy in place and keep to it."

Two problems with that:

1) Any new policy takes at least a year to set up, then the kids are in secondary school for 5-7 years, then it will take at least a couple of years to see the results in the workplace. By then there'll have been one or two elections and "the other lot" might be in power, in which case they'll take any credit. And that would never do.

2) name me one minister, of any party, who's ever said "actually, my predecessor did quite a good job so I'll leave things as they are".

The actual kids and schools involved are well down the priority list.

Police camera inaction? Civil liberties group questions forces' £23m body-cam spend


Re: Two sides to every argument

"...the rash of speed cameras carefully hidden among shrubs, behind walls, behind signs and so on placed to catch as many people as possible as a money raising activity..."

Guess what. If you don't speed, it doesn't matter where the camera is, it won't go off. Also, AFAIK it's still a requirement to have the little white lines painted down the middle of the road to show the 50m or so being measured. I presume you look at the road in front of you?

Do you use .home and .mail on your network? ICANN mulls .corp, .mail, .home dot-word domains


Re: "Ad nauseum (sic)"

Mr Shepherd, I presume you're not a Private Eye reader. They frequently use "passim, ad nauseum" as a humorous way of pointing out that they've written about a particular scandal / dodgy practice / act of crime in multiple previous issues. I.e. "we're sick of writing about this". Generally it's because no action has been taken (or is likely to be) to change the process / close the loophole / investigate the crime. ICANN's incompetent handling of the "new domain extension" process has been covered many times before in El Reg...

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list


"It's worse, because as soon as they have your password they can fabricate any "evidence" against you - and then refuse you the visa"

I cannot upvote this enough. And of course if they refuse you the visa and you've applied as a refugee due to being not-entirely-praising of your *current* leader, what's to stop them passing the info back to your former countrymen's border security, who'll be waiting to give you a warm welcome from the return flight.

IETF 'reviewing' US event plans in the face of Trump's travel ban


Re: @ Ginger ... "City University New York has more than 100 affected. That's just one university."

"The truth is that one country on the banned list (90 day ban) is known for state sponsored terrorism. (Iran)"

Israel is known for state-sponsored terrorism - invading all its neighbours, occupying bits of at least 2 of them for decades, carrying out various, documented, security service kidnappings and assassinations in foreign countries. Saudi money has built hundreds if not thousands of wahahbist-based schools and colleges in many developing (and developed) countries. Both of those are a far bigger threat to regional and global stability than Iran could ever be.

Trump lieutenants 'use private email' for govt work... but who'd make a big deal out of that?


Re: The return of the high horse

"You know what Tories and Republicans don't do?

Smash shit up when they don't get their own way! "

Have you looked at any pictures of Iraq recently? Like, in the last 14 years?

US Supreme Court to hear case that may ruin Lone Star patent trolls


Bonus points for the Michelle Shocked sub-head reference...

That is all

Need to tailor Swift for servers? Software upstart claims to have 'perfect' assistant


Congratulations on...

...another classic El Reg sub-heading. Keep up the good work.

No super-kinky web smut please, we're British


Re: First they came....

Shirley you can't be serious? I'm sure you meant click the Troll icon... The UK hasn't had a Socialist anywhere near the corridors of power since 1979. Mr Broon came close but was pretty much a lame duck from the start. It's the nanny (Patrician) state you should be concerned about, which is mostly posh kids that think the 'lower orders' aren't entitled to anything except bread and the occasional circus, lest the moral fabric of the nation be corrupted.

Add it to the tab: ICO fines another spammer as unpaid bills mount


Re: The law is there for a reason, it’s to stop companies inundating people with unwanted messages

>Something else needs to be done

I'm thinking a baseball bat. With nails in it.

So. What's North Korea really like?


No contradiction between "The next thing you notice is that nobody ever wears jeans." and "For men, it is compulsory to wear closed shoes, trousers (not jeans)". If you'd read it properly, the first statement was about the country in general, the second was specifically about visiting the Kims' memorial. I.e. tourists have to dress up, not wear jeans.

As for "Conjecture based on handlers not allowing conversation or contact", surely you can grasp that the handlers and tourists talked to each other and/or that such things can be inferred from others' actions?

The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer


Re: >Silly us: we blew a Christmas On-Call story months before the day.

My wife works for a Very Famous Store in central London. Their Xmas department opens in August to catch the tourist market...

TRUMP: ICANN'T EVEN! America won't hand over internet control to Russia on my watch


"The US is completely unrecognizable from when I was young, and not in a good way"

I believe the Navajo, Sioux, Cree etc. where saying the same thing 150 years ago...

Conviction by computer: Ministry of Justice wants defendants to plead guilty online


"Victim surcharge" (it has a proper government name that I don't recall) has to be applied by the court to all convictions. However, I do believe it's getting abolished soon.

You also missed the most important third lesson:

NEVER speed.

Pope meets Zuckerberg


Remind me...

which one of them is infallible?

UK.gov flings £30m at driverless car R'n'D, wants plebs to speek their branes


Re: We're not robots! Highways Agency & Avon and Somerset Police beg to differ.

... must ... resist ... the .... troll ... sorry, I just can't.

"No limit showing, no cameras seen, many would argue that it felt safer sticking to 80mph on an empty motorway,"

I wouldn't. The motorway speed limit is 70mph unless a variable limit is posted. I learned that a long time before I passed my driving test, and that was 25+ years ago. I don't recall if they had the overhead limit signs back then but they certainly had the metal ones around roadworks. It really is very simple. Most of the rest of the post is just the usual "why is the fascist state stopping me from driving fast?" whine.

Also I just googled "M4 71mph speeding fines", expecting a torrent of articles about the torrent of fines. Unsurprisingly there were none. I did find a 2015 discussion board entry where someone asked "not sure if this is a myth but...", and all the responses said "it almost certainly is".

I also found http://www.ukmotorists.com/speeding%20fines2.asp where people appear to be able to post their own conviction details. The lowest I found in a 70mph zone was 78mph - on an dual carriageway, not a motorway - but the majority were well over 85.

And before you ask, no I don't speed. I have done, but when I bought my current car 7 years ago, it had an MPG display and I quickly adjusted my driving to "get the high score". I rarely do more than 60 on motorways now, even on long journeys. Getting 450-500 miles per tank from a 1.4l hatchback is much more satisfying.

Cue the downvotes from the petrolheads...

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!


Re: This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

Colleagues asked the same question in our organisation. The corporate response was that if people could buy from wherever they liked, there is no oversight as to whether it really is the cheapest, is actually necessary, is correct for the job etc. They also told us it would mean Finance managing multiple small supplier accounts rather than a few large accounts, with increased admin costs, duplication etc. So the extra spend on Product X is allegedly more than balanced by reduced (hidden) organisational costs elsewhere. Up to you whether you believe that.

Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs


Twatter and US border staff

Two organisations to which the words "rational thought" and "common sense" are utterly unknown. In combination, what could possibly go wrong?

F-35s failed 'scramble test' because of buggy software


Where's Lester...

... to tell us that Buy American is always best?

Utah declares 'war on smut'


Re: I thought they tried that before

I've visited Utah. There's sweet FA to do there apart from look at scenery - which, whilst it is stunningly beautiful, doesn't help the long winter evenings fly by. And alcohol is banned in at least half the state too (or was when I was there). So, hardly surprising they turn en masse to, erm, online scenery.

Dodgy software will bork America's F-35 fighters until at least 2019


Re: Bring Back Lewis

Agreed. I used to find some of his articles a little, shall we say, tedious, but I recently found his book on defence mis-procurement (from 10 years ago) in a local charity shop and it was a very enjoyable read (*) - the style that is, not the subject matter. Back then he was cautiously optimistic about the carriers but they, and the planes to go on them, have fallen into the same cycle of greed and incompetence.

* No, I am not Lewis.

Telling your wife why you were fired is the only punishment


Curiosity controlled

Doesn't matter if it's home or work, the stars may just hit an unlucky alignment. A few years back a friend's flatmate was heading home (abroad) and offered to sell my friend his laptop. Friend asked me to have a look over it. It was running quite slowly so I checked the % hard drive use - nearly full. So I did a search on all files over (I think) 50Mb. Up came a long list of movies, many with filenames that were definitely borderline. I immediately shut it down and my friend politely declined the offer...



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