• Quite (unregistered)

    "... our new highly paid consultant.”

    And from that moment you know you're in for a delight.

    I particularly liked the bit where he locked the machine down and never told anyone his password, and of course the obligatory fact that said password was predictably easy to crack.

    Now, is anyone going down the shop this lunchtime? You are? Can you pop into Lidl and get me a 2kg bag of jack rocks, please? I think they're £2 a kilo.

  • Notsonormal (unregistered)

    Real WTF is... the fact that she didn't make him do a handover of all his stuff before he left.

  • (nodebb)

    I'd love to think this was made up ... but my bank did precisely the "at least it didn't ..." scenario to me a few years ago.

    For my tax return, I needed to know how much interest I'd received on my bank account that year. Easy enough query, right? Most banks just send that out automatically each year, but not mine.

    "No problem, we'll post it to you in a few weeks"

    A few weeks later, a very large envelope arrived from my bank. A solid quarter-inch thick wad of wide-format tractor-feed paper ... the sort a bank mainframe might print to when spewing lots of account details for archival, I suppose. Not something you'd ever send out to a customer, of course...

    The real WTF? Of all the customer details they'd just mailed ... the one bit of information I actually needed wasn't in there.

  • Dave (unregistered)

    "the kind of person who entered a handshake with a dominant, overhand approach, and then applied too much pressure while he smiled at you"

    If anyone tries that on you, go in for the handshake like normal, but at the last minute push your hand a bit further forwards as if to grab their wrist - but don't actually grab it. The dominant-shaker will find themselves gripping your wrist tightly and giving it a shake, which really isn't the look they were going for, particularly if you turn slightly to the side as they do so.


  • Oliver Jones (google)

    "half the doctors’ offices they worked with didn’t exactly trust email."

    Yeh. In the US it happens to be illegal to send health information by email. Really. No joke. For some reason unrelated to Ed Snowden, fax and phone calls are considered to preserve patient confidentiality. Email, though, isn't considered secure enough for protected health information.

  • TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    Adding end-to-end tests as part of a comprehensive suite is a good thing....and is seems like (minus a few glitches) that part went well (no complaints posted about the overall structure of the tests, the rig, etc)..... Now the rest of it, a steaming pile of WTF indeed...but 90% the fault of the client company.

  • Jester (unregistered) in reply to TheCPUWizard

    Quite. Setting up IVR is easy. Setting up IVR that actually works well (especially with medical terminology), that's the hard part. I was expecting howlers of word misidentification, not what we got.

  • Andrew (unregistered)

    Why is there a 5088px × 3392px image in this article?

  • Throknor (unregistered) in reply to Oliver Jones

    @Oliver: It's easy to accidentally forward an email incorrectly. Not as much for voice calls, snail mail or even faxes. (Yes, a fax can go out to the wrong number, but not quite as easily.)

  • (nodebb) in reply to Throknor

    Yes a fax can go out to the wrong number just as easily as an email can go out to the wrong address. It is simply the wrong string in a field. As far as forwarding, email is far easier to accidentally forward to someone who should not have it so I will give you that one. People do not tend to forward faxes unless they have them received as emails.

  • lordofduct (unregistered) in reply to Notsonormal


    Who da fack wouldn't do that?

  • (nodebb) in reply to Oliver Jones

    I'm guessing it is because email is stored on a server, and somebody who could access the server could read the data?

  • Dave (unregistered)

    XTG and OJ:

    Email is not private, unless encrypted. It's like sending your personal data on a postcard: anyone who sees it can read it.

  • Lurch (unregistered)

    I like the idea of the fax end to end security idea but some companies push this idea when there is no need so you end up with a fax to email service being used at one end with the other end assuming everything is secure when it's not which is worse than intentionally using an insecure path, or using an insecure path with some sort of encryption applied.

  • _that_guy_ (unregistered)

    Is there any chance of Remy getting better at writing story conclusions? I tend to get to the end of tales left feeling unresolved.

  • Carl Witthoft (google)

    "They hadn’t spammed an outsider’s fax machine with thousands of pages of someone’s private health information." ..... this time, at least.

  • Herby (unregistered) in reply to Oliver Jones

    Yes, medical people don't trust email. They will send you a message that says: "go to our web site, login, and fetch something important", but not the actual information. They think that a "secured" web site does the trick.

    All I can say is "good luck with that!"

  • (nodebb)

    I'm surprised that in this day and age fax machines don't come with an automatic Spam filter...

  • (nodebb) in reply to _that_guy_

    In particular, I wonder why Jack put the test in an endless loop.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Herby

    There is an email address that I gave to a relative's surgeon and to no one else. I now get spam on that email address. Make of that what you will.

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to tharpa


    If you were to look at the test code, you find that it isn't technically looping. The final method of the test creates and runs a new test script which tests the test script which was previously run.

  • Lawrence (unregistered)

    Only two mistakes? I'm disappointed.

    Oh and why does commenting or articles apparently need a different login/password than the forums?

  • Leonard (unregistered)

    Actually, most 555 numbers are real phones these days. Only the range 555-0100 thru 555-0199 are reserved for use in fictional works.


  • David (unregistered) in reply to Oliver Jones

    Phone, fax and regular mail are accepted ways of sending medical data, because there is legislation that allows it. E-mail is not, because legislation hasn't caught up with the nineties yet…

  • David (unregistered) in reply to Herby

    Patient portals can actually work reasonably well and better protect the confidentiality of the patient data, as long as authentication and server security are well managed.

  • Friedrice the Great (unregistered) in reply to Oliver Jones

    Email isn't confidential. It passes through multiple servers to reach its destination and can be ready by anyone in between, unless you're sending encrypted email. And how many popular mail clients can do that?

  • Scott Christian Simmons (unregistered)

    No, U.S. health care privacy legislation is not stuck in the nineties, and it's entirely legal to send private health care information via e-mail as long as all of the safeguards required under HIPAA are met. In practice, those are so much harder to meet for e-mail than for other delivery methods that most service and benefit providers don't want to mess with it. Source: am an IT professional working in health care industry for ~15 years.

  • Norman Diamond (unregistered)

    For a few years, whenever anyone with a postal mailing address in one particular village reserved a flight on Cebu Pacific, Cebu Pacific e-mailed me details of the passenger's reservation, name, postal mailing address, and phone number. They didn't send me postal mail, fax, or a phone call.

  • Norman Diamond (unregistered)

    Some years ago I created an e-mail address to experiment to see if I would want to use it for normal e-mail. Immediately after creating the address, there were already two spams in its inbox. I decided not to use it for normal e-mail.

  • Joe T. (unregistered) in reply to tharpa

    "There is an email address that I gave to a relative's surgeon and to no one else. I now get spam on that email address." A lot of malware scrapes the victim's address book and sends the contents off to home base, and/or sends itself to those addresses.

  • Rocky (unregistered)

    The real real WTF is why in the world would you run tests on live production data where you can spew confidential data all over the place (and faxes). It's so stupid it makes my head hurt.

  • foxyshadis (unregistered) in reply to Andrew

    @Andrew, Remy loves stress testing mobile devices and LTE connections, of course. This happens every few articles, always gets reported and fixed, but they just don't care about fixing it permanently. (Much like this abortion of a comment system.) TDWTF is TRWTF, as always.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Oliver Jones

    Yeh. In the US it happens to be illegal to send health information by email. Really. No joke. For some reason unrelated to Ed Snowden, fax and phone calls are considered to preserve patient confidentiality. Email, though, isn't considered secure enough for protected health information.

    It's quite reasonable when you think about it. Email is usually transferred as unencrypted plain text. Literally anyone on the network can intercept and read it. Even the attachments, unless you've gone to the extra trouble of putting them inside a password-protected zip or rar container.

  • John Wolf (unregistered) in reply to Friedrice the Great

    Repeatedly people stated "email is not private unless encrypted".

    How encrypted and private are faxes? Unscrupulous individuals will snoop anyway and disregard the laws whether you use email or not.

    I would trust some email providers more than various telcos anyway.

Leave a comment on “A Testy Voice”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article