* Posts by Adam Foxton

828 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Nov 2007


EU's renewable hydrogen plan needs a 'reality check'

Adam Foxton

Re: you can't cheat with physics

The Mirai has a range record of 845 miles on a single 6kg fill-up. The range record is at a low speed, but it's just as valid as the tests that give Teslas their best range figures. In normal use they're more than competitive with ICE and BEV vehicles.

That needs a filling time roughly about the same as an ICE car. And there are a few filling stations close to my house- though admittedly we're in an area that's more accepting of the technology than most.

Hydrogen powers some local cars, local busses, and local refuse trucks. The busses and trucks didn't need special weight-limit increases as their BEV equivalents did.

Anyone who thinks it can't be done, and can't be done practically, you're years behind the times. They're here, in the real world, in multiple classes of vehicle, commercially available.

Adam Foxton

Re: you can't cheat with physics

The 13% of energy that's thrown away doesn't matter to its use as a fuel for vehicles. What matters is how much usable energy can be extracted from it by that vehicle for a given weight and/or volume of fuel, storage, and energy-extraction equipment.

The liquid hydrogen you referred to is around an order of magnitude more energy dense than the best lithium batteries. And can be burned or put through a fuel cell to extract power. That makes it a VERY good fuel.

65 years of NASA's meatball: Original logo lives on despite detractors

Adam Foxton

Re: Meatball

Surely the appropriate names for the logos would be the 'Meatball' and 'His Noodly Appendage'?

Parliamentarians urge next UK govt to consider ban on smartphones for under-16s

Adam Foxton

Re: Does not go far enough!

A hole kept warm by burning meteorite debris? Luxury.

NYC Comptroller and hedge funds urge Tesla shareholders to deny Musk $50B windfall

Adam Foxton

He was told if he did something, he'd get a bonus.

He did the thing.

If there's any way he didn't do the thing, or did the thing in a way that was illegal, deny him it. Really go digging for things.

If there was a conflict, like he set the task and it was trivial (e.g. Musk himself set the terms as $50Bn if the stock price rises $0.000001 while no-one else was present), then investigate that.

But if he legitimately met the terms of the agreement, pay the man.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre entry code cracks up critics

Adam Foxton

How dare they?

Broadcasting my credit card PIN all over the place?! This is a security nightmare.

UK inertia on LLMs and copyright is 'de facto endorsement'

Adam Foxton

Value of Data

"If you go too far down a path where it's very hard to obtain data to train models, then all of a sudden, the ability to do so will only be the preserve of very large companies."

What they're saying here is that this data has value, they can see the value of it. So there's something there worth protecting.

Australia’s spies and cops want ‘accountable encryption’ - aka access to backdoors

Adam Foxton

I don't even need a proof, they can leave the implementation to someone else. I just want them to provide a concept of how they think it could possibly work that encryption is end-to-end secure unless a judge decides it isn't.

As far as I can tell, if we had some sort of magic gate that only allowed the good guys through, we'd have no worries about this sort of thing anyway.

Europe's deepest mine to become Europe's deepest battery

Adam Foxton

MW of storage?!


If this is 2MW for 30 seconds it's not much use. If it's 2MWh then it's barely worth doing compared to battery storage.

Give us a value in MWh or Joules. Barrels of Oil Equivalent. Or reword it to it reducing a maximum of 2MW of power.

Come on, Register, you used to call out other publications for this sort of crap. Be better.

Adam Foxton

A big pile of Uranium is less polluting and about 10,000,000x more dense a store of energy.

ICANN proposes creating .INTERNAL domain to do the same job as 192.168.x.x

Adam Foxton

Re: Call it molehilling.

I misread that initially as Mohel-ing.

Though that's more removing external than adding .INTERNAL

You might have been phished by the gang that stole North Korea’s lousy rocket tech

Adam Foxton

Re: Peak macro?

Just because you can't see the need doesn't mean there isn't one.

In MS Office post-2003, Macros already need their own format that explicitly does contain a macro. So any normal DOCX is, by definition, not macro-enabled. Anything else should be treated with suspicion and can be easily automatically recognised and flagged as a potential attack vector.

This seems like the best solution, covering not just your use-case but also the rest of the world.

Software company wins $154k for US Navy's licensing breach

Adam Foxton

Re: "Bitmanagement [..] disabled the copy protection software on BS Contact Geo"

It doesn't need to phone home. Just verify itself against a key, or a dongle, or a number scribbled on the installation media. Some unique method of identifying individual installations.

If they'd deliberately and knowingly re-used license keys that would have been a completely different scenario to them copying software that had consensually been de-protected by the owner.

Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot

Adam Foxton


A poster child for why we need very tough Corporate Manslaughter laws with the punishments at the top levels of the corporation.

Tesla Full Self-Driving 'fails' to notice child-sized objects in testing

Adam Foxton

Re: Comparison

You're claiming that calling a product "Full Self Driving" doesn't amount to a claim that the thing is fully self driving?

Full-time internet surveillance comes to Cambodia this week

Adam Foxton

Re: Okay, hypothetical question

That will quickly be detected and removed. It's like the people saying SSH and VPNs are a solution. Last time I went to China for work both of those were unavailable.

This was a proper commercial VPN between a business-y hotel, from a room occupied by someone with a business visa, and a corporate network. It couldn't have been mistaken for someone wanting to watch porn, or some snotty youth wanting to get get banned Netflix.

If you think you've got a simple solution to this, you're wrong. When the Firewall team's necks are on the line for missing leaks, they get very good very quickly.

Rocket Lab goes large with Neutron – a big rocket for big constellations. Oh, and it confirms a merger proposal

Adam Foxton

Re: Way to go!

As this is El Reg, maybe we should wish them "Ad Astra Tabernamque"!

I'll finish my icon and get my coat.

President Biden to issue executive order on chip shortages as under-pressure silicon world begs for help

Adam Foxton

Re: Trickle down my arse.

Oh, absolutely. The Free Market lot are absolutely the ones calling for Government intervention.

They might CLAIM to be fans of the free market, but have a look at all the Government market manipulation that they already enjoy and you can see that they're really not all that into it. This is Corporatism, not Capitalism.

Arm at 30: From Cambridge to the world, one plucky British startup changed everything

Adam Foxton

Re: British?

You've also won the Gold Medal of RTFA.

You can't spell 'electronics' without 'elect': The time for online democracy has come

Adam Foxton

You missed important points.

Yes, it is technically possible to vote securely. Obviously.

But now figure out how to vote securely, knowing that the voter is an actual voter, and giving that voter the ability to audit both their vote being recorded correctly and counted. And it has to be simple enough that old Mrs Miggins down the road can grasp it.

Now make that system absolutely anonymous, so there's no way someone can make a list of which votes were cast by which voters. And, if the vote is incorrectly recorded, allow it to be updated- again secretly.

Anything short of an auditable secret ballot is going to be screwed with.

Relying on plain-text email is a 'barrier to entry' for kernel development, says Linux Foundation board member

Adam Foxton


This is just the sort of change Linux needs. Good forward-thinking changes. Maybe HTML formatting could be brought into the Terminal too, and format-sensitivity so programs know bold arguments are to be taken extra seriously.

I can't wait for them to release a Kernel written in something more advanced, like Java. Come on Linus, get all that hardware-specific rubbish out of the kernel!

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

Adam Foxton

The problem is definitions

If the 'smarts' are held in the Cloud, the device on it's own shouldnt be considered 'smart'.

Interfaces should be documented, 'intelligence' should be built into smart devices.

They may connect to Cloud services (securely, privately) to provide a richer experience. But the core functionality that makes them 'smart' should be accessible with no internet.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

Adam Foxton

Re: No login details or authentication of any sort was needed to view and search the live system

Blaming and jailing the bosses means people in those positions take these problems seriously.

Fining doesnt work as they dont pay the fine. Firing doesnt work as they can quickly get a new job. Jail time for gross negligence, with a condition that it's not considered 'spent' for 10 years after the event, is something that's indelibly on their record.

Give protection to whistleblowers and try to protect people from false allegations or set-ups. Maybe have punishments increase as a function of time the system has been open and time between them being informed and acting on it.

But they need to get this right every single time. These systems should be installed only where they are so critically necessary, so well regulated and so well tested that teams of people will properly put their necks on the line to create and install them.

Adam Foxton

Re: No login details or authentication of any sort was needed to view and search the live system

SEVERAL people should go to prison over this.

A couple of Heads of local government, a local chief of police, whoever's in charge of the ANPR system, and whoever approved this contract without taking proper care towards privacy. And also whoever in 3M/Neology who didnt require top-end security as a default for this sort of installation.

Make ANPR politically and commercially impossible to install or maintain unless it is safe and secure.

After all, if the other implementers of this technology have done everything right they have nothing to fear. That's the line they like, isnt it?

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

Adam Foxton

Re: Wrong tool for the job.

Why not?

Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

Adam Foxton

Re: Good

GPS does a lot more than navigate idiots through fields and off cliffs.

It's also used to synchronise timing devices, a key part of things like mobile phones, ST2110 video devices, and even some sensors for underwater use.

Rely on GPS for all that and if the Americans wanted to they could throw those systems out of whack, degrading until they failed.

Other Commentards: What other uses can you think of for GPS?

Steve Jobs, executives shot down top Apple engineers' plea to design their own server CPU – latest twist in legal battle over chip upstart Nuvia

Adam Foxton

Re: Nothing but typical Apple

"Think different.

Or else we send in the IP lawyers."

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

Adam Foxton

Wasnt this a spoof?

Way back in the mists of time...


You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

Adam Foxton

An easy solution

They're already seeing how much this is costing them.

So the FAA now has to keep turning the financial screws. Increase liability if/when things fail in the real world. Mandatory, in-depth FAA testing on every single aircraft.

Make screw-ups cost a fortune. Make the accountants hand control back to Engineering, and make it clear that's the aim.

And then, when Boeing get the MAX in the air, announce that the rest of the industry is going to face the same scrutiny in, say, 12 months with massive fines for undeclared problems.

Regarding the Software industry, are there any actually respected certifications for safety-critical software engineering?

Apple will wring out $18bn by upselling NAND to fanbois – analyst

Adam Foxton

Re: think sports stadiums, train stations

The cab view camera would have the 35 minute delay? Or the train?

We already have the first one...

Though I can't imagine that would stop Apple patenting the idea of trains turning up late!

Can you download it to me – in an envelope with a stamp?

Adam Foxton

Re: Not so many years ago...

Pigeons? No way is that a good idea, there's be far too many connection droppings!

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament

Adam Foxton

Re: So, to sum up. . .


So the number on the side of the bus wasn't really a Brexit pledge.

And the 'easiest trade deal ever' was something concocted by Remain or otherwise not truely what was meant.

All that stuff May and her predecessors did to try and keep some sort of trade deal was undemocratic, and the support she got for this from the Brexit side was imagined.

And yet you say this was all discussed multiple times during the referendum. What exactly was it you discussed? And how long do we have until that fails and you recast it as a Remainer plot?

(Update: >580k for Do Not prorogue, about 370 for Do. Not 370k, just 370)

Take two cornerstones of British life, booze and queues, then squirt them with face scans: AI Bar

Adam Foxton

Re: Not the trickiest problem in pubs these days...

For pints of bear, the flavour is detailed on ursine next to the taps!

Idiot admits destroying scores of college PCs using USB Killer gizmo, filming himself doing it

Adam Foxton

No imagination

If he'd have been properly invested in this but of prickishness he'd have handed the FBI the USB Killer and told them "yes, there's a video of me doing it on this stick..."


"Ah, no, it's on my phone."

All this punishment could almost be worth it if you had persuaded the FBI to zap their own machines...

Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good

Adam Foxton

Re: Yet Another Bad Idea?

Absolutely this. If you do this, make it the responsibility of the Manufacturer to make it secure at release.

Zero configuration sounds bad though as it leads to hard coded passwords!

Musk's popstar girlfriend Grimes croons about next-gen AI, plus more machine-learning news

Adam Foxton

Why not instead

Create a legal system that makes sense, one that can be flowcharted and is based on a few founding principles.

You know, rather than having a legal system so complex it needs an artificially intelligent supercomputer to figure out if your actions were or were not criminal.

You're solving the wrong problem, people!

Capita, Serco, Sopra Steria to write cheat-sheets for UK.gov in case they collapse

Adam Foxton

Isn't this just having proper documentation?

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Adam Foxton

Fuck yeah!

Don't mean to alarm you – but NASA is about to pummel the planet with huge frikkin' space laser

Adam Foxton

Re: I'm not worried...

Are they ill-tempered?

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Adam Foxton

Re: What's the battery life like?

"And any colour you like, so long as it's black"

Only when it's turned off.

When working fully the screen can be pretty much any colour you like!

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Adam Foxton

Re: DEC Engineer


Absolutely disagree. Breakers should be labelled with which machine(s) they power, and ideally machines labelled with appropriate breakers too.

At the very least have a map.

Having to know "okay, so it's the second breaker down for the first machine's primary PSU (excluding the red one for the UPS) and fifteenth up on that other switchboard for the secondary PSU, ah, no, wait, fifteenth /single phase/ one" is a recipe for disaster.

UK military may recruit wheezy, alcoholic keyboard warriors

Adam Foxton

Re: "At last! A valid use of a 'hacker in a hoodie' stereotype stock image"

It means you're better able to build a GUI in Visual Basic to track an enemy's IPs.

MPs slam UK.gov's 'unacceptable' hoarding of custody images

Adam Foxton

Too expensive?

I spend a fortune paying for food- maybe I should run away without paying the bill? If I shot down a few aircraft the buggers would soon learn to not fly so low over my house at unsociable hours.

Driving through pedestrians and cyclists would greatly shorten my morning commute.

But these things are illegal. So if I did them I'd be prosecuted. Why is no-one being prosecuted for not only breaking the law but then saying "okay, we'll keep breaking the law until we can be bothered to not break it"? That's the attitude expected not even of a one-off offender but of a career criminal, and is absolutely not appropriate for the Justice system.

Developers dread Visual Basic 6, IBM Db2, SharePoint - survey

Adam Foxton

Because you want the best person for the job, not someone substandard 'but at least they help our diversity figures'.

Majority or not, when a job is to be done the main focus should be 'is this person the best choice?'.

Billionaire bros Bezos, Buffett become bonkers bio brokers: Swap W in AWS for H for healthcare

Adam Foxton

If only they had influence with a number of Big Pharmacy companies to get them discounts for nationwide-grade bulk-buying, an efficient distribution network, and the tech to make this function properly.

Oh, wait!

Come on Bezos, show them how it's done!

Oi, force Microsoft to cough up emails on Irish servers to the Feds, US states urge Supremes

Adam Foxton

Surely the ability to access the files is irrelevant, it should be about the ability to access the files /legally/. Just because I'm an employee of a company doesn't mean I can look at any file (e.g. network admins being capable of accessing HR files but not being permitted to do so).

Microsoft US (one company) accessing Microsoft Ireland (another company)'s computer network specifically for the purposes of bringing customer data out of the EU- and then specifically so as to avoid having to follow established (and not that onerous for legitimate needs) EU procedures- would surely be illegal.

Indeed, should the very existence of this case not mean that Microsoft Ireland has to restrict access to their US counterparts? This is a blatant attempt to gain unauthorised entry to a computer system, and allowing this would make MS-Ireland criminals in their local jurisdictions as they would be exposing /all/ of their customer's data to the US. It should be treated as any other outside entity attempting to gain access.

Even if some theoretical weakness remained in the system, "You should exploit this weakness, and also you're not allowed to fix this weakness" is a seriously different argument to "the file is there and easily accessible, go get it"

Night before Xmas and all through American Airlines, not a pilot was flying, thanks to this bug

Adam Foxton

Re: Yo get the fly boys back on the job

"American Airlines- Up with the Aircraft, Down with the cool kids"

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Adam Foxton

Re: Fake news

No, what's broken is the idea of using a single communications channel that you have absolutely no control over to handle your PR. This is why PR is more normally handled by services like a news agency or press conference where a multitude of outlets get to know what you tell them.

Twitter's absolutely within their rights- and indeed responsibilities in many localities- to remove accounts without their registered user's permission.

It's not YOUR account. It's /their/ network and /their/ account, which you use with /their/ permission. People seem to forget that.

EU watchdog: Govt bods are seeking 'legal knockouts' to dodge transparency

Adam Foxton

It certainly would!

Excel has a built-in interface for querying external databases. If the data was exposed sensibly- like the STL mentioned above- it would allow people to filter the data they need out of the whole dataset and work on it from there. Not everyone will need or want every field or all 11 million records!

When you only have a small hammer, filter out any inappropriately large nails.

'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Adam Foxton

Re: Shower upgrade

You've got to be taking the piss