Tag Archives: government

UK online benifits wants you to welcome (back) Windows XP and IE6

Photo by: luc legay

Anyone in the UK wishing to claim benefits through the Government’s online services had better not have bought a new computer any time during the last, say, decade or so.

A pointed out in a rather sweet piece in The Inquirer, people wanting to claim either Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Overseas State Pension can do so online by visiting the website Gov.UK. From here they’ll be directed to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) where they’ll be asked to fill out an online form.

“This service doesn’t work with some modern browsers and operating systems,” the website warns.

What DWP is actually saying is that the site struggles can’t really interact with anything that’s either a) not a PC using Microsoft products and/or b) any Microsoft newer than
Microsoft Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.

Just to clarify, Windows XP was released in 2001 and Microsoft has recently announced that it’s no longer going to release updates for it. Internet Explorer 6, on the other hand, is…no, Internet Explorer 6 is also from 2001…

But don’t worry, DWP say they are working on something.

“We are considering how best to provide this service in future. You may want to claim in another way,” they say of their website.

I’m sure they’d be very happy if you send your forms in by mail-coach….


Wikileaks leaker found? Manning pleads guilty

The man long suspected to be the insider who leaked confidential US documents to the whistle-blower organisation Wikileaks has pleaded guilty to some of the charges levelled against him by the US Government.

Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges of illegally getting hold of and sharing confidential and classified US documents with Wikileaks. He will, in what reeks to the high heavens of a plea bargain deal, serve 20 years of jail time for his transgressions.

It remains a wide open question whether Manning still had some sort of information that the US Government didn’t want him to share. Perhaps this has been what finally brought the long case against Manning to a close.

And I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who will still be doubtful about a) whether Manning truly was the source and b) if he was, was he acting on his own?

This is what 50 equal American states look like

The electoral college system of voting has…well, let’s jsut say that some people like it, while other people know it doesn’t really work.

As artist Neil Freeman states on his website:

“The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence. The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This allows for Electoral College results that don’t match the popular vote.”

So what can you do?

Well, Neil Freeman made an algorithm that changed the layout of USA so that it was made up of 50 states with equal populations. He might not get Texas to downsize, become several states – or change its name to ‘Big Thicket’, but his map does look interesting.

See for yourself: