* Posts by Ucalegon

47 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Jun 2016

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


No open tender, Tory donor

Who'd have thought Computacenter secured this rancid deal without going through tender after making a £100,000 donation to the Tory party in November 2019 through Non-exec and founder Philip Hulme's spouse? Not me. Just no longer surprised by this.


The Tory Chumocracy is shaping up to be one of the greatest liquid shit stains splattering the door of No.10 in our time.

Lars Ulrich threatens to make another Metallica album during web chat with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff


Re: Deluded article from a cretin

I would describe El Reg as The Master of Muppets.

Australian digital-radio-for-railways Huawei project derailed by US trade sanctions against Chinese tech giant


The UK approves of this trading block.

While US fires criminal charges at Huawei, UK tells legislators not to worry, everything's fine


Re: Unparalelled

Doesn't it this mean no one else is doing the same thing as us? Which is, of course, the very story itself. Western world chucks Huawei out whilst we, in unparalleled fashion, clutch them slightly tighter.

The glorious Brexit uncertainty: The only dead cert on data rules for tech biz in 2019


Re: Not so worried by Brexit..

Subtle but important for private citizens like..... all of us?


Re: Not so worried by Brexit..

Did you just hold up China and America as paradigms of data decency?

Crystal ball gazers declare that Windows 10 has finally overtaken Windows 7


Re: "Windows became glacial on both systems" @AC

I would disagree strongly.

We run just under 300 PCs in my educational establishment. Since upgrading this summer from 7 to 10 it's been steady but persistent slow down across the board. After a flashy September go live on Windows 10 the entire suite of computers have landed at the end of 2018 as things of ridicule among the students. They are now slow to boot, slow to respond, random freezing and of course the dreaded blue screen of Nope.

My complaint also drags with it the incomprehensible desktop design of 10 and the shear randomness of where you will find controls you might want to use. It's fast becoming a PR nightmare among the students. It's fast becoming an excuse not to complete tasks which is even more irritating.

Whilst I fully appreciate our organisation has an abomination of a company doing our tremendously cheap outsourced "support" it's been like traveling back to the 1990s for usability/reliability. Well it would be but in 2019 it's actually worse. We'll have to upgrade windows 10 again at some point just to stand still. Given it took 2 months to sort out the big problems from the upgrade to Windows 10 there's delay and irritation to look forward to every couple of years at the least.

All this is, of course, my prejudiced experience of Windows 10 to date. I have to use, I would never choose to use it. But in contrast after many years of making do with Windows 7 I found that OS to be reasonably transparent. With the glories of 10 and it's increasing size and poor condition I am seriously exploring alternatives to see if we can migrate to a more modern operating system.

Former headteacher fined £700 after dumping old pupil data on server at new school


"Hell, someone nicks something from intel and they go to prison, you put hundreds of children at risk and you get fined £700.... Joke, absolute joke."

Not wishing to get too side tracked but in fairness to the courts and indeed most public bodies at least it went to court.

Personally, I'm still waiting for the first, UK, senior banker to be charged with anything over the 2008 banking crisis...Society has some quirks still.

GCSE computer science should be exam only, says Ofqual


Teaching is neither tutoring nor coaching

I believe quite a posts on here show a lack of experience in trying to get 30 fairly disaffected teenagers to learn anything on just two hours a week for 60 weeks.

It's not all about adding something *special* to the lesson, whilst that's a lovely idea and not to be dismissed, it is far more about managing those students. After all most cannot remember their password, where they saved their work, what an IDE is, how to read a problem, what a sequence is, how do you actually come up with an algorithm and best of all was there homework set for today?

Teaching Computer Science (much like any science subject) is incredibly challenging before you even sit down to determine what the "basics" should even look like in your lesson.

When it's your passion it's so, so easy to forget how an average student could start your climb.


Define "basics".

One of my offspring has this year started GCSE Computer Science and is currently plodding through a module using Python. He appears not to have been taught the "basics" of what variables are and their scopes, how different kinds of loops work, what a "function" is nor why it's useful to put code into functions.

Before you get that far it might be useful to point out that a Computer Science GCSE will typically get half the timetabled lessons as Mathematics or English (~5 hours per week). For this reason alone I tell my students it's a difficult subject.. a bit like mathematics but with half the time available in lessons.

Btw I'm still not sure I can teach it to students who can't solve the simplest of problems on paper never mind coding a solution despite having 20 years software development behind me.

D.O.Eh: Here's the new privacy law Canada can't really enforce


umountie: /privacy device is busy?

Budget 2018: UK goes it alone on digital sales tax for tech giants


Re: There will be £10m for a scheme to identify ways to keep physics and maths teachers in schools

"That's true, but as an initial investment, I think it's a great starting point...."

Except perhaps I can see that bit of cash simply going straight into a few teacher's pockets as schools do the rounds poaching from each other. Actually retaining a member of staff for education purposes would take far more thought and effort than just money. The whole profession is ... well lacking professional oversight shall we say.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November


Re: Upgrade

"the software required Windows 95 or better, so I installed Linux"

Still unsure how Windows 10 > Windows 95 (coat etc)


Re: Windows Search

The students in my secondary school are shown how to search on Windows 10 like this:

"Windows key, start typing the application you wish to launch..."

"Nothing coming up on the screen? Ok, click on the desktop"

"Windows key, start typing the application name you wish to launch..."

"Didn't find the application known to be installed?"

"Okay, click on the applications icon, then on settings, then back on applications again"

"There ya go. Easy."

In fairness, it has meant not needing to prepare a starter activity for any of my lessons this year. Thank you Microsoft.

Break out the jelly and ice cream! Microsoft's Small Basic turns 10


Re: What took them so long?

"I wrote a forerunner to BASIC called DOPE (Dartmouth Oversimplified Programming Experiment) in 1962 on the LGP-30 and many of the limiting features of the original BASIC can be traced to this program."

- GOTO the top of the CLASS

Surprising no one, Google to appeal against European Commission's €4.34bn Android fine


Re: New search engine ???

"... ah well, I can dream. Until then, I'll use DuckDuckGo..."

The school, where I work, has just blocked DuckDuckGo as it's been branded "malicious". I now have to use Google or Bing. This decision has struck me as slightly obtuse and now perhaps from an educational perspective even more so.

Microsoft flings features at Teams to close the Slack gap


Re: Impressive growth?

Our school has just taken receipt of Teams for Education and plopped it onto just under 1200 user accounts.

No one is using it yet.

No one knows what it does.

It's free.

Cookie clutter: Chrome saves Google cookies from cookie jar purges


When I consume a Chocolate chip cookie I don't expect to poop undigested chocolate chips.

Never mind Brexit. UK must fling more £billions at nuke subs, say MPs


"If you are talking about the EU, have a look at their defence budgets and then come back and say if you think they would be useful and reliable partners. The reality is, the rest of the EU relies on the UK and France (and the US, of course) to defend it. Even after Brexit, their expectation is that the UK taxpayer will dig into his increasingly empty pockets and pay for EU defence."

I think a useful framing of that would be to look at China's spending on defense versus the EU. Roughly the same figure in 2016. Looking at the direct conventional threats the Chinese face, assuming the toddler over the pond is held in check, the EU face around 10 times less capability than the Chinese.

So, I'd surmise the EU probably don't need to look to the UK's billions to keep them safe regardless of our contribution. Clearly I have no idea who's about to declare war on the EU but that's my potted analysis of global, conventional threats.

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year


"Well, the other option would be to drop corporation taxes as far as possible, and out-compete Ireland as a tax haven. Raising taxes unilaterally would just give companies another reason to pull out of the UK after brexit."

A plan that would result in many Japanese corporations withdrawing their HQs from the UK due to the Japanese government actively deterring use of tax havens. No idea how this affects other nationalities, perhaps Japan are unique in this respect. But, for me, the benefits of undertaking dramatic cuts in corporation tax cut are not entirely clear in the current global rush to deter corporations making good use of havens.

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU


Re: Fgs

"since it makes them seem like thugs, and not many people want to be governed by thugs"

I see your point but in fairness they will merely apply their own rules to the letter. We may feel that to be unfair but merely sticking to your own rules, that we helped write, written before we even had a referendum is not really all that thuggish.

Compsci grads get the fattest pay cheques six months after uni – report


"Already there. Planning on doing it for 11 more months then quitting development altogether and going in to primary school teaching. Probably out of the frying pan in to the fire but at least I can see far more reward teaching than I can in development."

Good luck with that and be prepared to be exhausted in new and interesting ways.

I'm 5 years ahead of you in secondary ed. and loving every (nearly) minute of it. Huge amounts of bullshine in the institutions, natch, but working with students is far more rewarding than working with a team of developers. On top of that there's every chance students actually grow up and mature :)

Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year


Re: Elephant

"Less than 50 percent getting B or higher is what the distribution SHOULD be. Seemingly the other subjects have an -everyone gets an A-culture."

One up vote seems too small a reward.


Re: Students plateauing

"What do young people in UK do, when they are intelligent and want to learn computing?"

Take the AQA GCSE in Computer Science?


As a current main stream (requires improvement, natch) Comp Science Teacher (5 years) following 20 years in Software Development I would say AQA courses (GCSE & A-Level) are the gold standard in the UK if you're looking to develop a broad understanding of computational thinking.

Sofa-jockeys given crack at virtual Formula 1 world championship



It won't become an Olympic event without a drug programme.

Read IBM CEO Ginni Rometty's letter to staff: Why I walked from Trump's strategy forum



Well, that's a breath of fresh air and cuts through a lot of us v them bull flying around.

Now, can you solve the problem of NURTH CAREER today too please, thank you?

UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots


Re: It's fine....

".the EU have strong data protection laws to prevent this sort of thing.

Oh wait.

Well done folks."

Curse those faceless Eurocrats!

The future of Python: Concurrency devoured, Node.js next on menu


Re: I'll wait...

No pun intended?

Batteries that don't burn at the drop of a Galaxy Note 7? We're listening



Nophobia is close but it's Nomophobia.

And, yes, I have to remove cellular devices from 11 to 19 year olds on a regular basis. It's easier to get an honest answer as to why they've no homework to submit. Sad times.

WannaCry vanquisher Marcus Hutchins pleads not guilty to flogging banking trojan Kronos


Re: Interesting

Perhaps they've been momentarily stunned by the not guilty plea entered or the co-accused has changed their story?



Have had a quick look but can't see online the average number of charges brought in these cases. Just wondered if the system had some sort of benchmark for prosecution intimidation based on the number of charges brought against the accused? No idea where on the federal judiciary's system 6 gets you.

Ancient IETF 'teapot' gag preserved for posterity as a standard


Instant of Tetleys?

At least 2000 perforations in that set up?

Kremlin's hackers 'wield stolen NSA exploit to spy on hotel guests in Europe, Mid East'


Re: This is getting really tiresome @Lars

Good point. Now, can we stop having referendums please?

WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON



So sad for him. Makes me WannaCry.

Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law


Re: Not Very Bright...

"approximately 300 times more likely to die on the roads than in a terror attack." - yes, yes all very sensible but you seem to be advocating terrorists start targeting traffic lights and blocking roundabouts with crashed Uber cabs to avoid adding to the terrorist casualties statistic.

Poor old Amber will be furious when she gets hold of your account.

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey


Re: "He's not a professional politician. "

I'd change US system to any first past the post democracy. FPTP blocks most rational choice for voters beyond the 2 main parties. If only there were another way....


Tape Worm

Tapes or no "tapes" he certainly gets my backup.

Elon to dump Trump over climate bump


Re: Whack-a do lobby

"Careful now, el reg seems to have turned into the tech wing of the Guardian"

- opinion, we all have them

"Mass extinctions aren't going to happen due to temperature rises"

- poorly informed opinion, we all have them but some of us don't shout out our ignorance so much.

"all the world's creatures have been through worse and date back millions of years considerably longer than humans, when the world was a lot hotter"

- irrelevant to topic but you might want to see how adaptation might work in a very short period of time.

"Worse case they drink a bit more water.... but they aren't all going to keel over because its a bit hot,"

- More mass oversimplification than extinction this one.

"we have 20+ deg swings already it's called the four seasons"

- you do understand it's about the climate not just the heat? My son, according to his school, can now name and describe the four seasons. I thought to myself, "Wow! I can't tell where they start and end anymore. Son, you're a genius".

Ofsted downplays site security concerns


Re: Cool.

"Given that the teachers know when they're going to be inspected it occurs to me that getting a good Ofsted score is pretty arbitrary since the teachers can put together amazing lessons for the day they're inspected then return to shitty lessons when the inspection is done."

In fairness, not Reg style I know but hey it's a brave new world chock full of facts, OFSTED no longer care muchly about the detail of lessons observed on the day. They no longer grade a lesson like they used to and will be looking for long term indicators to assess "Teaching" at the school. Inspectors spend more time speaking to students, LSAs, senior leaders and looking closely at the typicality of assessments and feedback being given to students over a period of time to help grade across the subject/dept what they've just witnessed in the classroom. Was the behaviour good? Was the behaviour good for learning? Is there evidence of planning a coherent series of lessons? Are students getting consistency? Are students disengaged or enthusiastic? and so on.

As for security at schools themselves (never mind OFSTED) don't get me started....

Screw EU! Apple to fight back over €13bn tax bill


Taking advantage of tax breaks is possibly not the same as falling foul of state aid, or is it?

No, I've changed my mind. Lowering business taxation is the acceptable face of state aid.

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger


Re: "No, No, No. Let me resign..."

Just seeing, "Sir Nigel", one wondered if he will make the Queen's list this Christmas....

Lightning strikes: Britain's first F-35B supersonic fighter lands


Typical, now Lighting striking twice?

EU Investment Bank will honour pre-Brexit deals – but don't gamble on new ones happening


Re: Brexit bonus

"The 34 billion is less than 3 years net contribution by the UK, and about 20 months gross."

Do you have a citation for that? Only asking because our net contribution appears to be at most £9.4 billion (2014) but as low as £4.3bn (2009) in recent history and more like 6.6 as an average. Estimates for total, direct net, contribution to the EU between 1973 and 2010 appears to be £77 billion. If that figure can be trusted (source UKIP) that EIB money is half our net contribution a mere 5 years ago?

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd


Re: Good arguments, but.......

"The big problem I see is the lack of viable alternatives in UK politics. Cameron, Boris, Farage?"

Hence the referendum I thought cynically. It's almost as if Cameron manufactured a "crisis" to win something tangible, distract the voters, whilst at the same time finishing off any remaining political credibility left in his opposition.


Snoopers' Charter 'goes too far' says retired Met assistant commish


Re: So then

I'm going to guess they were caught by Gove painting, "Tories eunt domus", on the inside of No.10 and that was the end of them?

England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss


Re: Silly Article

Or, if you'd prefer, influencing money to follow the government's policy. This lot are hardly hiding in plain sight:


Energy (Both renewable and nuclear)



Re: Knuckling under

"France 90% nuclear", maybe when I was last in school. The World Nuclear Assoc. have it as 75% in March 2016.

As a percentage it's fallen year on year since 2004, from nearly 88%. That may not seem much but that's just under 80+TWh coming from somewhere else. Given France export "cheap" energy across Europe they must be making their model work (low carbon) even if nuclear is a diminishing percentage of total production. Nuclear,is predicted to dip to 50% of total production by 2025.