Sunday, April 22, 2007


If you click on the WebCHeck link at the Companies House website today, you'll see a message like this:

Access to the service is closed

Companies House is available from Monday to Saturday 07:00 - 12 Midnight UK Time
The website doesn't quite keep office hours, but public sector electrons clearly need their beauty sleep, and a little downtime at weekends. Private sector electrons have to buzz around 24/7 - as plain an indictment of capitalist exploitation as you'll ever find.

But today, there is an extra message on this webpage:
Please be aware that there will be 24 hour National Industrial Action by the Civil Servants Trade Union (PCS) on Tuesday 1st of May.
Companies House on-line services will be available on the day but they will not be supported, it is also likely that both the Edinburgh and London Offices will be affected. Companies House would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.
So the website won't be going on strike? Scab! Hopefully, the next time there is Union action the site can be made to see the errors of its ways.

This drift towards human behaviour on the part of public sector servers has been reported surprisingly little. The DTI's electronic circuitry is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from its human colleagues - and seems close to that elusive goal of all Artificial Intelligence (A.I) researchers - passing the Turing Test.

Perhaps this is because it's not entirely clear that A.I. is the right name for this syndrome. Artificial Stupidity (A.S.) might be closer to the mark.

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