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UK Benefits Claimants Must Use Windows XP, IE6

timothy posted about a year ago | from the hot-commodity-on-craiglist-london dept.

United Kingdom 230

First time accepted submitter carlypage3 writes "Benefits claimants in the UK are being forced to use Microsoft's now obsolete Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6 software. The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) states that its online forms are not compatible with Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox. As if that wasn't unnerving enough, the Gov.UK website says that users cannot submit claims using Mac OS X or Linux operating systems, either." (Note: as we noted not long ago, it's not just the DWP that's stuck using IE6.)

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230 comments

Google Glasses Problem (-1, Flamebait)

df Dad (2914657) | about a year ago | (#43628109)

Warning to anyone thinking of wearing Google Glasses

As you might know, Google is developing glasses that record your and other peoples moves and actions via secret video camera embedded to glasses.

This won't be tolerated. You will get beaten and your glasses destroyed. Don't even think about buying and wearing them as this will drastically increase your changes of seriously "injuring" yourself.

Violence and education is the only solution to Google Glasses problem.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (1, Offtopic)

MindPrison (864299) | about a year ago | (#43628117)

Yeah, say that to a huge beefy ex. marine that just loves his Google Glasses, and then we'll talk.

...oh wait...

Re:Google Glasses Problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628419)

Don't bother arguing. This is what Dice uses to pay for Slashdot now.

Every Microsoft article first post will have a troll either extolling MS products or Scroogling its competitors. It's a bought and paid for slot.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (1, Troll)

radiumsoup (741987) | about a year ago | (#43628127)

You're new here, so let me give you a bit of advice:

1. Prepare for ridicule. You're not providing much of any substance at all, and this little hissy fit has nothing to do with the article anyway. That's not well tolerated here.
2. Very few people will actually see your post, as it's pretty much going to instantly be moderated down as a "troll" post due to its... well, trolliness, really.
3. See #1.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (0, Offtopic)

JavaBear (9872) | about a year ago | (#43628187)

4. He threatened with violence, which is actually illegal, and he didn't use an Anonymous account either.
5. Nothing secret about the camera.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628645)

Recording a person without their permission is also illegal in a lot of places. In the UK to legally wear these you'd need a sign above your head saying you are recording video.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628345)

Violence and education is the only solution to Google Glasses problem.

I'm pretty sure that you taking your medication would be another solution you haven't properly considered.

Re:Google Glasses Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628441)

This right here is the first and only reason I have for purchasing Google Glasses.

I want to know exactly who you are by seeing you attempt to attack me, so I can kill you.

Have fun trying to assault and mug people with two bullets in your kneecaps and three in your groin, bitch.

Better solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628515)

Let him hit you, then sue for everything he has.

Then add "pain and suffering" on top.

Actually this is a good thing (5, Funny)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year ago | (#43628119)

This actually makes perfect sense. On a modern PC it will involve the user learning about virtualisation (to run XP) and then also learning how to configure windows (to not run updates). This is great way of preparing dole claimants for an IT job so by the time you have gained enough skills to claim any dole money you have enough skills to go straight into a job as and IT support worker for the dole office and their crappy old IT systems.

Re:Actually this is a good thing (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43628665)

This actually makes perfect sense. On a modern PC it will involve the user learning about virtualisation (to run XP) and then also learning how to configure windows (to not run updates). This is great way of preparing dole claimants for an IT job so by the time you have gained enough skills to claim any dole money you have enough skills to go straight into a job as and IT support worker for the dole office and their crappy old IT systems.

Or, if they just need XP and IE6 they could just like, you know, go to their grandma's house. And grandma's already hooked up with bennies so she's probably got some beer in the fridge.

Re:Actually this is a good thing (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43628797)

I don't know how their system works but years ago when sites demanded xp and ie for use I would tell my browser to lie to them. I set my user agent string to XP and IE although I was actually running linux with konqueror and 8 times out of 10 the site worked fine. Some I had to do from work since they actually used something specific to the systems they demanded.

Re:Actually this is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628881)

Not to mention Piracy, since you can't normally buy user licenses of XP anymore

2002 called. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628123)

It wants its software bundle back.
Seriously, I suspect this is probably a conservative scheme to make it very difficult to apply for benefits. Someone should bring legal action post haste - but, of course, poor people cannot afford to do this.

Re:2002 called. (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43628161)

Hanlon's Razor begs to differ.

or the other way (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628523)

The corollary to Hanlon's razor is that stupidity and malice are indistinguishable -that's real life.

Re:2002 called. (1, Funny)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43628545)

Perhaps they just want to make sure that you are actually poor before you can receive any dole payments. In other words, somebody with a more modern system is more likely to be able to afford to cover their own living expenses.

Crude, but what if it works?

Re:2002 called. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628637)

That is an entirely imbecilic suggestion and completely independent of fact.

No they aren't (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628125)

This is just something they have put online, the old method of claiming by post or going to the office like always is still there.

Re:No they aren't (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43628493)

I was already wondering... because it sure sounded like a catch 22, where you need a computer with internet access to apply for money 'cause you can't afford your living expenses, let alone a computer with internet access...

Re:No they aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628629)

Mod parent up. Just because the average /.er would never physically go to an office to apply for unemployment doesn't mean that millions of other people don't. They probably were proud of this 10 years ago. Now its obsolete and theydon't have a budget to upgrade it. Somebody with a Mac tried to apply, got upset, and posted this worthless article.

Re:No they aren't (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43628735)

...or someone who has modern machines in their local public library.

A system that requries IE6 in 2013 is a disgrace. It doesn't matter who is supposed to use it, or where, or how few people are actually expected to use it.

Your snark ignores the fact that this isn't just about Mac users. It's about ANY ONE that has a modern Windows configuration.

I honestly don't understand why.... (5, Insightful)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about a year ago | (#43628129)

...we even still have this problem. Seriously, stop being short sighted fuckwits. Stop using vendor specific code. Start using shit that passes the W3C validator. Problem fucking solved. Imagine that! There is absolutely no excuse for any webpage out there to require a specific browser or browser version, short of being able to meet current web standards.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628353)

This happened because the Brits believed everything Bill Gates told them.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628449)

No, this happened because the Brit bureaucrats are doing everything Bill Gates paid them for.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (4, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year ago | (#43628467)

It's because they all use 32-bit ActiveX controls and even if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows 7 (hardly anybody is) the permission system doesn't let you install them without a huge amount of esoteric messing around.

Remember back in the 1990's when we told Microsoft that ActiveX was a bad idea...? Yeah, about that.

PS: We have the exact same problem here in Spain. All the accountants, etc., pretty much have to use Windows XP if they want to get any work done.

goes back to before IE even existed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628549)

When Mosaic first came out with audio plugins... They explained quite clearly that you didn't want to define a "shell" program as a plugin --- as I recall "... you don't want to execute a script from just anybody..."

And Active X is just that.

Re:goes back to before IE even existed. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628657)

No. ActiveX is much worse than that. It's not a simple script or a plugin.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43628359)

Actually according to TFA it works with a few other browsers from the 2004 era, but only on Windows. The real summary here is "We haven't done anything to upgrade this system in the last 10 years" and the world moved on, which will happen from time to time. If it was 1990 it would be totally reasonable to ask for documents to be submitted in WordPerfect format, in 2013 it's not. If your maintenance budget is $0, this is eventually going to happen regardless.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (2, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#43628379)

If your maintenance budget is $0, this is eventually going to happen regardless.

They do have a maintenance budget, but any penny spent doing actual maintenance is a penny your cronies can't pocket.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (1, Informative)

anne on E. mouse cow (867445) | about a year ago | (#43628819)

If it was 1990 it would be totally reasonable to ask for documents to be submitted in WordPerfect format

Eh? No, it wouldn't.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43628363)

It's because standard code won't do all the bells and whistles that customers expect. Do you really not know this, in 2013? Seriously?

Oh, and stop starting your comments in the Subject line, that's freaking stupid. The Subject line is for the subject of your post, the body is where you start writing.

Customers didn't expect it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628381)

Customers didn't expect it, never wanted it. The upper management did. Bling. Makes them look like "their team" does great work because of their great leadership.

And Tony Blair not only had his nose up GWB's anus, but also was busy chowing down on the arse of Bill Gates. The dude was seriously star-struck.

Re:Customers didn't expect it. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43628605)

Huh? What does politics have to do with web standards? WTF

Re:Customers didn't expect it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628685)

Everything. In particular the usage of them (or the lack of it) in large government bureaucracies. It's all down to bribery, contacts, idiocy, etc. I think the last time I heard that politicians beneficially did something FOR the people on a large scale was Australia's successful ban on guns.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628489)

It's because standard code won't do all the bells and whistles that customers expect. Do you really not know this, in 2013? Seriously?

What I expect and what I desire are widely diverging paths. I want low-bandwidth, browser-agnostic, search-engine-friendly web sites. I expect Web 2.0 OMG Ponies.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43628561)

Simple. It's because of how things run in public services.

They decided they need that kind of software. So someone, most likely someone with limited IT knowledge but a lot of knowledge of the process involved, sat down and wrote the specs. You may rest assured that it included everything this bureaucratic process needed, but lacked everything from the IT point of view, like compatibility with different browsers or the ability to upgrade and update to keep current with technical development.

The whole mess got into a public bidding and unless something important stood in the way (like, say, the nephew of someone important needing a job), the cheapest offer got called.

Now, these specs come with a catch: You can't simply amend them when you realize "Oh, gee, we should have...", no such luck. You open yourself to lawsuits from those that didn't get the contract, and since changes later invariably will increase the bill, their claim would be that they could have delivered for that price (especially if their offer was lower/better in some way). So even if you notice that something is missing, you DO NOT change those specs. EVER.

It's also near certain that they neither have the source code nor an agreement that the company doing the job agrees to hand over the details if someone else should get to update the system.

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (5, Interesting)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about a year ago | (#43628775)

> Simple. It's because of how things run in public services.

Yes and no. Some of it is just that old Demon Money(tm) and the fact that we were in a protracted recession.

We were using a certain company for ad insertion on our Web streams. (Three radio stations total.) We were having trouble getting the software to work, so we contacted their help/support team. They used VNC to look at our system and said, "we only support Windows XP."

I sent them a rather nastily-worded letter. They claimed to be cutting edge, with the ability to sort and insert commercial content intelligently, and all other sorts of bells and whistles. And yet, I said, "you will only support a 10-year old operating system?"

They replied and allowed (as someone granting a great concession) that they would work with us, but could make no guarantees. We canceled the contract and went with another company.

In this case, it's simple: they hired someone to write the package several years ago, and wanted to re-sell the same package again and again. They didn't want to pay to update the software. So, they lost a lot of business. Assuming they're not bankrupt now, I hope they learned an important lesson. :)

Re:I honestly don't understand why.... (2)

silviuc (676999) | about a year ago | (#43628673)

Governments are subordinate agencies are and have always been fuckwits. Not because they are dumb but because bribe money goes a long way. They also don't employ IT techs, everything is out-sorced and every time they want some done they pay up more than it actually costs because it's a good way to make some money for themselves. Works in my shitty EU member country why wouldn't it work for the brits too.

Denmark used to have that issue as well (4, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | about a year ago | (#43628135)

Not many years ago in Denmark, they had that issue as well.

Even with the banks you had to use IE(some version), otherwise you just couldn't pay your bills.
I'd say they did us a favor, because it taught a lot of people to get "off the system" instead of being dependent on it.

The narrower your choice as a citizen becomes, the more need for freedom you'll have (Geez, I might want to hold back on the booze, starting to sound like Yoda here)...;)

Re:Denmark used to have that issue as well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628305)

good for you is beer

Re: Denmark used to have that issue as well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628601)

Good for you beer is

Makes sense. (2, Funny)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43628145)

Clearly if you can afford a new computer or have the skills to run Linux, you should be able to fend for yourself.

Hardly anyone affected by this (4, Informative)

lga (172042) | about a year ago | (#43628155)

Yes, it's crap that applying for these benefits requires ancient browser tech, but note that this is for three specific benefits which will affect hardly anyone. The most common of these benefits, Disability Living Allowance, is closed to new applicants because it has been replaced by Personal Independence Payments. And Attendance Allowance was long ago replaced by DLA, now replaced by PIP except for those over 65.

Re:Hardly anyone affected by this (4, Informative)

cardpuncher (713057) | about a year ago | (#43628401)

Attendance Allowance has not been replaced by DLA. AA is available to over 65's who need support in their daily living owing to illness or disability. It's a key benefit for elderly care. That said, the application process is lengthy and often requires supporting medical evidence so people tend to rely on charities such as Age UK to do it for them - I can't really believe that anyone would *want* to do this online.

Re: Hardly anyone affected by this (2)

prefect42 (141309) | about a year ago | (#43628695)

Also note that if you're blind, you may be applying for DLA via a website that, yes you guessed it, isn't accessible...

The contractor should be fired and billed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628165)

The contractor should be fired and billed for an HTML5 replacement.

Re:The contractor should be fired and billed (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#43628375)

Yes, because everyone who's poor and doesn't have a job needs to be dinged for a new PC that has an up to date browser that is as html5 compatible as possible.

From frying pan and into the fire.

Re:The contractor should be fired and billed (-1, Troll)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43628429)

Or, you know, they could boot off a linux live-CD which has a fair chance of actually making thier computer run faster since it bypasses the decade or two of crapware that's accumulated on their WinXP or Win9X box.

Re:The contractor should be fired and billed (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#43628473)

Yes, because you know, the people who are in need of benefits are known to be geeks, and love to learn new IT systems.

Re:The contractor should be fired and billed (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43628571)

I'm quite certain that the one that should be fried is the person writing the specs. It's almost certain the contractor wrote to spec, and if they don't include something akin to "must run on all browsers", why should he bother doing it?

Remember: When you're working for the government, deliver what is specified and NOTHING ELSE!

Re:The contractor should be fired and billed (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43628913)

I'm quite certain that the one that should be fried is the person writing the specs.

I know the system is crap, but that's a bit draconian... :-)

Anyway, in all seriousness, this story is (intentionally) trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, as it relates to a small (and obsolescent) number of benefits and the fact that an old system hasn't been properly updated for the better part of a decade.

Yes, it's utterly shite that the systems were written to be so specific to IE6 (and earlier versions') foibles that they don't even work with the half-decent later versions of IE, let alone any other browsers. Obviously if they hadn't been so short-sighted, they'd still be running (if somewhat dated looking) on modern browsers.

And yes, it sucks if you're one of the people still wanting to claim those benefits.

But it's a story about ancient software designed when IE-specific sites were still (unfortunately) the norm and a system that hasn't been updated for the few people still requiring it. I have to admit I thought at first that this was something about the JobCentre's system to track users' jobseeking using cookies only working on XP/IE6 or older, but it's nothing like that.

It's a fair story, but not the geek outrage article it's presented as.

Why is that a problem ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628167)

Department of
Work -> most businesses still stick with XP; unemployed people can't afford anything newer
and
Pensions -> old people use old PC's or none at all ;)

On purpose (0)

cerberusss (660701) | about a year ago | (#43628171)

I bet it's on purpose. Currently the applicants are pulling benefits. But the only way to deal with their godforsaken malware-ridden childporn-routing spam-sending virus-infected backdoored Windows machines, is to install Linux. It's a nefarious plot, but it's a bulletproof way to train their lazy-ass benefits claimants into true Linux Sysadmins.

Re:On purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628287)

These systems are obsolete, the benefits in question have been replaced by others. This is just a feeble attempt to drum up dweeb outrage.

Re:On purpose (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43628447)

These systems are obsolete, the benefits in question have been replaced by others. This is just a feeble attempt to drum up ad views.

Fixed that for you.

Phew dodged a bullet there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628175)

Luckily I still use Windows ME.

Re:Phew dodged a bullet there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628235)

If you wouldn't have done that upgrade from Windows 95 you would've been toast!

Compatibility mode?` (1)

Selur (2745445) | about a year ago | (#43628191)

Doesn't the magic compatibility mode work? If not better use XP in a VM (VMs don't need Linux installed; still got a Win2k Image I sometimes start up to play some old games)

Re:Compatibility mode?` (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#43628201)

Compatibility Mode only swaps out the user agent string and the rendering engine. It doesn't change anything else, such as browser security settings. For example, if the site is using SSL 2.0 only, then no modern browser will allow a connection to it (2.0 being rather broken). However, an old enough browser might still allow 2.0, which is a setting independent of the rendering engine.

Claim it! (2)

xushi (740195) | about a year ago | (#43628241)

Can I claim the license for MS OS for me to be able to submit my claims ? I sure as hell wouldn't be able to afford to buy a new OS if I were visiting the benefits claim site ...!

Use Firefox 1.0.3 (1, Informative)

Quick Reply (688867) | about a year ago | (#43628251)

From the article, these are the following supported browsers:
Microsoft Windows XP: Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 7.2, Firefox 1.0.3, Mozilla 1.7.7."
Firefox is still available (Windows link [oldversion.com]) and is fairly independent from the underlying OS, so it would probably work on Vista+/Mac/Linux too (If you can find Mac/Linux links).

Still a pain to have to pick and choose browsers. It is easier for the average person to use the offline version.

Even easier for the hacker to compromise such an outdated website and input their benefits claim directly into the database tables
(and already approved for their 10 fake identities of course).

A Plot (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about a year ago | (#43628257)

A plot to show people that libertarians are on to something.

Re:A Plot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628369)

They're tories (and lib dems, who will never come close to winning an election again). Their goal is to trash the country and loot what they can for themselves and their friends. They're still pissed-off that people generally like the NHS and approve of the job it's doing.

So Opera is okay toi use then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628263)

along with every other unmentioned browser...

And to think... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628279)

I have no job because of being chronically ill, only really capable of casual or freelance work.

I could replace all these stupid systems easily, and would do it for cheap (minimum wage cheap). Would I get the job? Fuck no.

I don't know what to call this, but it is probably related to irony or something, I just woke up pretty much.
The fact that a job company set up to help those with job management is unwilling to give people jobs to replace their ancient pyramid systems to the new hotness.

It boggles the mind. I also had a friend who worked in HRMC, got let go, then got a chance to come back, they actually seriously asked if he had any experience in such work. It is so stupid that a government is so broken. How the hell does Britain even wor- oh wait it doesn't work!

I agree, totally wrong (-1, Troll)

udachny (2454394) | about a year ago | (#43628285)

This is totally wrong, I completely agree with the header of this /. story. People don't even have to stand in line and face anybody to get money stolen by government from hard working people and from future generations via debt and inflation to get their 'benefits'?

Of-course there shouldn't be such a concept as government 'benefits' in the first place, but allowing the recipients just to claim this on line without having to come to any specific location, then using various high tech solutions to streamline using of the said benefits, so in USA the food stamps are now known as 'snap' and they are just a credit card, not actual stamps that one would have to take out of their pocket and have everybody in line know that they are being subsidized via government theft........ well, all I can say is that the sooner all of this socialism ends, the better. Why the fuck are the children and the unborn are forced to bear the weight of the economic destruction that their ridiculous ancestors place upon them? Why the fuck does any working individual, who is getting robbed by the mob this way, why is even one of them is still left in these socialist nightmares of countries? It's changing of-course.

Re:I agree, totally wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628315)

Mitt, is that you?

Re:I agree, totally wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628507)

That's the only comment in this entire story that actually is on topic, everything else is garbage, discussing the irrelevant part of it.

Re:I agree, totally wrong (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43628595)

The short sighted conservative has spoken.

Allow me to ask you a question: What do you think would happen if we do what you suggest? You then have a lot of people who don't have a job, have no chance to get one, have no money and need it for food and shelter, or they die.

You have money.

Take a wild guess what happens next.

Re:I agree, totally wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628651)

You are going to find out fairly soon, something similar to Greece will happen as it should and it will. Of-course nothing changes the reality that no stable society can be built on immoral and anti-economical discrimination, on the other hand you, as a short sighted socialist believe that you will do much good by stealing and redistributing, you think that's what the economy is and should be. Nothing is further from the truth, the economy only grows as people participate by producing as efficiently as the market itself allows and requires, your central planning agenda will not allow the market to work and you will distribute something among everybody of-course, poverty and misery and theft and murder.

Re:I agree, totally wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628667)

Daily reminder that udachny pines for a dictatorship of industrialists, by his own admission.

As usual, total nonsense. (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43628295)

I went to the website using the Safari browser on MacOS X, and without any problems opened the PDF form (which supposedly cannot be opened), started filling it in, and printed it (to a PDF file to avoid wasting paper, but that's the same thing). So this works absolutely fine if you have a modern Mac running MacOS X 10.8 (I didn't try older versions), and you either have a printer, or you have the e-mail address of a friend who has a printer (on a Mac, the "Print" function lets you print to your own printer, to a PDF file, to a PDF file stored in "Web receipts" which is quite handy, or to a PDF file that is mailed somewhere). You put the paper into an envelope and mail it in. That's it. So if you want to get these benefits, there is absolutely no need to use Windows, Windows XP, or Internet Explorer 6.

Antique website (3, Interesting)

Sesostris III (730910) | about a year ago | (#43628337)

Being in the UK and working in IT, I actually for once RTFA and visited the site. To start with I must admit I was flabbergasted. However, looking at it more closely, it is clear that what we are looking at here is a web-site that was created when the latest OSes and web browsers just didn't exist. Clearly someone has thought to insert the statement that you may have problems with these later OSes and web-browsers, so the site content can be tweaked, but the actual site itself (and the underlying architecture) was probably written years ago and left unchanged.

One give-away is that the site uses ASP (rather than ASP.NET). I doubt any new site has been written using ASP for over ten years! (ASP.NET came out in 2002).

So there we have it, an antique, a living fossil. Enjoy it while it is still up.

Re:Antique website (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628513)

If they'd written HTML instead of IE6, they wouldn't be in this predicament.

But no, managers used Windows and IE6, they wanted the "bling" that ActiveX controls "gave" them, they bought into the bullshit sales tactics of Microsoft.

And now they have to pay someone to fix that shit.

Re:Antique website (2)

Phrogman (80473) | about a year ago | (#43628565)

If they do replace it all, I bet they opt for the top end HTML5 driven solution - resulting in a problem for those who don't have computers modern enough to run an HTML5 browser :P

Just make your fucking websites using bog standard HTML forms, zero javascript and everyone can be happy except the designers who were hoping to charge extra for all the unnecessary bling enabled by javascript.

Re:Antique website (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628543)

Sounds right. Back in the day putting in such disclaimers, especially for business and government sites, was pretty much SOP. Now wiring the site to actually bounce unknown OSs and browsers, that's something else.

.

Tory reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628393)

If your computer is not ancient enough to have IE6/XP, you've obviously got too much money and must be a scrounger.

Re:Tory reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628439)

Up to 2010 Labour were in charge so they have more to do with the situation than the LibDems and Torys. Vote UKIP.

Re: Tory reasoning (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628669)

Yeah that's *exactly* what we need. A bunch of bigots, neo nazis and former investment bankers running the country. Smart suggestion.

Re:Tory reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628683)

No no, he's right: up until 2010, literally no one was in charge. Labour didn't even exist then, no sir. The economy collapsed all on it's own, which is why the Labour Party then sprung into existence on the 6th of May 2010.

The Labour Party also didn't exist prior to 3rd of May 1979, just so we're clear.

Another case of "Lets put it on the web! Duuuh" (1)

linebackn (131821) | about a year ago | (#43628413)

forced to use Microsoft's now obsolete Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 is only just now obsolete? No, it has been obsolete since sometime around 2003 when Microsoft let it stagnate.

This is what happens when you put something "on the web" that doesn't need to be on it. It sounds like the user base for this is now small enough the people who need this should just contact them in person, or by telephone, or perhaps just good old pencil and paper.

But no, it has got to be "on the web", in a database, on a computer, with XML, and object oriented. And then they won't spend any money to update it to the constantly evolving/devolving changing rearranging web "standards", and then it just sits out there and rots.

Its okay ... (0)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43628437)

If you can afford a Mac, or a computer newer than XP, you don't need to be sucking off the public teat.

And if you're running Linux, you're probably living with your parents, anyway.

(*ducks*)

Re:Its okay ... (4, Informative)

gnasher719 (869701) | about a year ago | (#43628805)

If you can afford a Mac, or a computer newer than XP, you don't need to be sucking off the public teat.

That, my friend, is total nonsense. This site is for people getting benefits for disabilities etc. For example, I have a well-paying job. With some bad luck, I might get some illness that makes it impossible for me to drive a car. If I can't drive to work, I can't drive to work and lose my job. The UK benefits system would (possibly) pay to have me driven to work. Which is a lot, lot cheaper because of the taxes that I would continue paying than paying me unemployment benefits. In other words, people with disabilities might be in good jobs and have plenty of money while still receiving benefits.

Exaggerated BS. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628485)

The website might say that Windows XP- and IE6- is required, but I successfully filled out a claim for my partner yesterday on Linux Mint 14 and the latest Chrome developer channel build.

The thing that amazes me is that the DWP has spent many millions on its IT system, yet:

- the benefit dispatch system is based on an ancient text-based terminal system dating as far back as at least 2000, if not earlier. I spoke to another engineer who worked on it some time ago, who said that the system is based on a combination of DOS and Netware.
- the LMS front end is a completely seperate Delphi based system that has not been updated in at least a decade
- all their IT systems are completely seperate - updating the mainframe does not update LMS and vice versa
- last time I worked with the DWP, they sent updates between branches *by snail mail*, although I think this is no longer true
- it was one of the few parts of the GOV.UK overhaul left untouched, and
- they own a whole /8 - that they barely use a fraction of - at a time IPv4 addresses are scarce.

That said I'm not at all surprised by this, seeing as much of the DWP is stuck in the Stone Age as far as computing is concerned. Many of the staff have no idea LibreOffice and Linux even exist. I'm not even going to go into the major clusterf**k that the Universal Credit system is inevitably going to end up being.

it works (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628541)

has anyone tried to use it? i just did im on Linux using firefox its just warns you it might not work but it does.

Run by old hats (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628577)

I've worked in local government IT in the UK, it is a world of pain. My machine is a 1gb Pentium 4, it takes me 15 minutes to get to my e-mail from a cold boot. I mentioned why we are still using XP since it is EOL next year, I got the feeling it hadn't crossed anyone's mind. There are lot of old hats in UK government who are still working the same way they did 15 years ago.

In my current place I was shocked they don't use source control, and roll their own logging routines when there are better free libraries already out there. Everyone seems to do "daily checks" as if monitoring software hasn't been invented yet. The software that is bought in is even worse, it's tragic.

Bring back Virtual PC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628631)

... and give people a vpc with ie6. Done.

iPad Mini Louis Vuitton Case Amazon (-1, Offtopic)

uassoyo (2764021) | about a year ago | (#43628663)

If you are willing to spend more moeny, get the crystallized Louis Vuitton iPad Mini Case [asinecases.com]. If you need a case made by top and bling crystals that can handle your needs in different occasions. The hundred-dollar case has a very shining pattern and unassuming look—gets the job done at a comparative price. You can see that these great products from the iPhone 5 Designer Cases [asinecases.com] online store. The product is not good and it would be good idea to get these products.

Works just fine... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628729)

With the Opera web browser. Funny how many government websites tell me my browser is not support (Canada for exemple) and yet everything works perfectly fine. If your staff is too damn lazy to test their shits correctly instead of putting a useless message, you may need a new IT staff.

Windows XP Mode (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#43628759)

Windows XP Mode for Windows 7 purposefully comes with IE6 so you can use it for situations just like this if you need to. You can of course upgrade it to IE7/8 if you want to.

Also, All IEs after 6 can switch to 6's rendering engine using the IIE Dev Tools (IE7 requires them to be installed, IE8 and up bundles them) which may be sufficient to use the site.

who in there right mind would do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43628763)

Microsoft isn't even going to be supporting ie6 and winxp after this year.

There's no underemployed solicitors in the UK? (1)

onebeaumond (1230624) | about a year ago | (#43628879)

IE 6 was designed to be unmigratable. No one disputes it, not even Microsoft. So the resulting years of monopolistic profit taking should be used to help develop software tools to migrate old html. If Microsoft did it on their own, everyone would praise them and say "it's the right thing to do".
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