Tag: england

05
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

The Latest: England blames computer glitch for 16,000 ‘lost’ virus cases

LONDON — An epic fail of a simple computer program “lost” nearly 16,000 coronavirus cases in England for more than a week, British public health officials said.

Everyone who tested positive was informed. But the cases were left out of the daily totals between Sept. 25 and Friday and ignored by contact tracers during that time. Given the average number of in-person contacts, that means as many as 50,000 people may have been exposed without being called about it.

By Monday morning, only half of the 16,000 who tested positive had gotten a contact tracing call. The other half “should be contacted as soon as possible,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was excoriated in the House of Commons by lawmakers.

Virus_Outbreak_Britain_25928

Commuters at London’s Waterloo Station on Sept. 24 after Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of new restrictions to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. After a recent gaff, only half of the 16,000 who tested positive had gotten a contact tracing call as of Monday. The other half “should be contacted as soon as possible,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Victoria Jones/PA via AP

The accounting error – blamed on operators entering data in an Excel spreadsheet program – was another serious stumble for the British government, at a crucial moment, when it is daily trying to decide where to tighten regional restrictions to slow a second wave of the virus.

After the error was spotted and the lost cases accounted for, the government’s report of new daily infections nearly doubled – from 12,872 on Saturday to 22,961 on Sunday – sparking renewed angst among officials in London and England’s north, where most of the new cases were centered.

Michael Brodie, the interim head of Public Health England, said the issue was identified late

05
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

England lost 16,000 new coronavirus cases, blames computer glitch

The glitch was no mere rounding error in the government’s accounting, but another serious stumble at a crucial moment, when the British government is daily trying to decide where to tighten regional lockdowns to slow a second wave of the virus.

After the error was spotted and the lost cases accounted for, the government’s report of new daily infections nearly doubled — from 12,872 on Saturday to 22,961 on Sunday — sparking renewed angst among officials in London and England’s north, where most of the new cases were centered.

Michael Brodie, the interim head of Public Health England, said the issue was identified late Friday in the computer process that communicates positive results from labs to the country’s reporting dashboards. Some data files containing positive results had exceeded the maximum file size, he said, according to the BBC.

“We fully understand the concern this may cause,” Brodie added, “and further robust measures have been put in place as a result.”

While health authorities said the glitch had not affected the pandemic response at the local level, 10 Downing Street announced an investigation and politicians in the opposition Labour Party described the episode as “shambolic.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson told the Guardian newspaper the missing data was the latest in a “pandemic of incompetence from the government.”

Anderson said, “There are mistakes and there are really serious mistakes. This is a highly significant mistake that tells me the system is not fit for purpose.”

Paul Hunter, a professor of health protection at the University of East Anglia, told BBC Radio, “I think the thing that surprised me was the size of it — almost 16,000 results — going missing over the course of a week is quite alarming, I think.”

Hunter said for contact tracing to effective, people who were in

05
Oct
2020
Posted in computer

Accuracy of England and Wales convictions on police computer questioned after ‘slip’

The accuracy of convictions stored on the Police National Computer (PNC) has been questioned after the courts service apologised when two offences were wrongly recorded against a defendant.



Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The error led to a woman who had not at that stage been tried gaining a criminal record for offences relating to a violent crime she denied, and took three months for her lawyers to correct. It was dismissed by HM Courts and Tribunal Service as a “slip”.



a clock tower in the background: The mistakes are understood to have been due to human error when information that updated the PNC was wrongly entered by court staff.


© Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA
The mistakes are understood to have been due to human error when information that updated the PNC was wrongly entered by court staff.

The case, which recently came to trial, highlights the fact that mistakes can occur in the system that is supposed to be the ultimate authority on criminal records in England and Wales.

A lawyer involved in the case reported hearing of other mistakes on the same day. Checks are supposed to be in place to ensure criminal convictions are correctly recorded.

Three months after the convictions were entered on to the PNC, the courts service, HMCTS, sent the woman a letter apologising for the error.The Guardian is not identifying the individual affected.

It stated: “Very occasionally, there can be a slip in the digital system. Our records suggest that this must unfortunately have applied on … in your case.”

The letter said a detective inspector “has been notified to take corrective action of the Police National Computer Records”.

On the day on which her guilty pleas were entered on to the PNC, the defendant had not even been to court. The letter added: “I apologise on behalf of HMCTS for the error made and any anxiety caused.”

When the case eventually came to trial the defendant contested the allegations.

29
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Inside Tottenham Hotspur And England Star Eric Dier’s Side Hustle

Tottenham Hotspur and England center back Eric Dier wants to be clear, the startup might be his side-project, but he is still a key player.

“I am involved in every aspect,” he tells me, more than once.

Dier is sat across a big wooden table at his home in North London with the startup’s other two founders; his brother Patrick and long-time friend Zoe Connick.

Their creation is the app Spotlas, which is something between Instagram and Trip Advisor; a recommendation sharing social network where users can follow friends, family and influencers to see their favourite ‘spots’.

The trio is the app’s executive team and its engine-room, their weekly meetings are where the big decisions are made.

Although Connick and Patrick work on Spotlas full time and it is Dier’s side hustle, the job he does when he’s not manning the heart of the Tottenham Hotspur or England defense, his influence on its direction is equal.

“A key thing for [Eric] is people’s perception often with these things is that; ‘it’s a [soccer player] they’re just like throwing money at it’ or ‘they’re not actually involved.’ Whereas with him [there is] a lot of brain time put into it,” explains Patrick.

“All the ideas, all the designs, are fully discussed between the three of us. Even like management problems, the three of us we deal with it together.”

The pitch to Dier 

The trio embarked on the business venture two years ago, inspired by an experience Connick had in her final year at university in Birmingham.     

Just before she left the city a close friend took her to a restaurant she