* Posts by Adam Foxton

808 posts • joined 16 Nov 2007

Page:

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...

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/01/11/is_your_son_a_computer/

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. . .

@Rupert

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..."

*bang*

"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

@iamanidiot

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
Coat

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
Pint

Re: Shower upgrade

You've got to be taking the piss

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

Adam Foxton
Joke

Re: I say!

This is clearly statist, "enforcing our beliefs on you" commie-talk.

So you could also call it Red whine!

Hell freezes over: We wrote an El Reg chatbot using Microsoft's AI

Adam Foxton
Coat

Re: First question

Surely to score highly on the Innuendo scale of 1-10 you'd give it one?

Ex-NSA contractor Harold Martin indicted: He spent 'up to 20 years stealing top-secret files'

Adam Foxton

Booz Allen

Should probably just re-open as penetrative testers. They've already had the very best in the business working for them :P

NASA's Curiosity puts cat among the climate pigeons: Lack of CO2 sinks water theory

Adam Foxton

So it's an environment with different temperatures and pressures. 3.5Bn years ago. What's to say that the greenhouse effect would work in the same way as on Earth as it is?

Also, how can we find out what materials they DID discover? That seems like it could be much more interesting...

US tech giants take brave immigration stand that has nothing to do with profit whatsoever

Adam Foxton

I thought these were tech companies?

Why does software development have to happen in any specific place? I've coded in hotel rooms, on boats and beaches, and had meetings with people on the other side of the world.

It's almost like these companise dont get the idea of the Internet...

UK prison reform report wants hard-coded no-fly zones in drones to keep them out of jail

Adam Foxton

Why?

Just install a bunch of cameras with motion trackers to see what's happening from the top the of the walls up. Any motion across the wall is either illicit or a bird.

The drone isn't even the issue, it's the items being delivered that are the problem. So you don't even need to stop the drone, or prevent a throw-over- you just need to have a system look to see if anything breaks the perimeter and if the intruder falls to the ground or leaves anything. If it just overflies the prison without doing anything then it's not an immediate issue (and could be halted with a directional jammer / net gun / interceptor drone). You can then identify where the payload landed and identify / collect / isolate it.

This way there's no reliance on criminals not circumventing geofencing attempts, and it covers throw-overs too. Occasionally you'll get a false positive from a seagull dropping a pizza.

Uber's robo-truck makes first delivery of ... Budweiser in Colorado

Adam Foxton

If it can't cope with things like pedestrians and roadkill

What the hell is it doing on public roads?

I understand, highway driving is- for the most part- simple. Especially for trucks. Maintain a constant speed in the left-hand lane (or right-hand lane for some odd bits of the world). Don't leave your lane, slow down if you're going to hit anything.

But in those circumstances a human's pretty safe too. It's only (mainly) when they've been lulled into a false sense of security and then things change that there are problems. So designing in this false sense of security seems to me to be a mistake. It HAS to be able to cope with a deer crossing the road, or an unexpected icy / oily patch or a tyre blowing out. If it can't cope with any eventuality you could reasonably throw at it, it shouldn't be allowed on any roads without the course being closed to public traffic.

Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds

Adam Foxton

There is an upside!

We can expect 4G coverage in the UK to increase to 100% at the behest of GCHQ within a few months :P

I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

Adam Foxton

Re: I have a solution!

AC, when Run-Flats came out the manufacturers just beefed up their Stingers. Stuff like Magnum Spike at least claims to be effective against run-flats, too.

http://www.magnumspike.co.uk/product-comparisons.html

So... yeah, they can already disable any car they can get in front of, and relatively quickly and safely at that.

Adam Foxton

I have a solution!

Nice simple solution. Cars need tyres to drive on, right? So why don't we get something like a board with nails in it to burst the miscreant's tyres? They'd lose control of the car and have to pull over or crash- or at least slow down.

Wait, what do you mean they have those already? Good news, everyone. The Met already have the possibility of disabling/hobbling almost any tyre-using vehicle. Problem solved, cash saved.

Oh, ALL RIGHT, says Facebook, we'll let Windows admins run osquery

Adam Foxton

Re: So like WMIC then?

Yes, but we're not allowed to say 'Windows had it first", "Windows does it better" or "It's easier on Windows, you just don't know enough to make an informed judgement". That goes against the current IT Orthodoxy that the One Great Penguin is the way to truth.

Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

Adam Foxton

No, what he meant was that he's not aware of a way to pull up the Product ID or Vendor ID for USB or PCI devices in Linux. He may have been referring to devices without drivers that enumerate but then can't be worked with.

In Windows this is easily accomplished in Device Manager, and means that you can use the likes of PCIDatabase.com to look up which manufacturer and chipset you're working with, then get a driver that's close enough that it'll get your device working.

This is something that's been in Windows for decades and has saved my ass on a good few occasions.

Does such a thing exist in Linux?

It's time for humanity to embrace SEX ROBOTS. For, uh, science, of course

Adam Foxton
Thumb Up

Re: Futurama

You should write a book, chivo243. People need to know about the CAN EAT MORE.

Replacing humans with robots in your factories? Hold on just a sec

Adam Foxton

If I might make an observation

Surely the first thing to do should be to flowchart the law, to make the rules as they stand properly bounded and clear. Weightings can be given to different crimes to determine punishment, threshhold of evidence, etc

Which also has the advantage that we can start to get rid of Lawyers too!

Our pacemakers are totally secure, says short-sold St Jude

Adam Foxton

7 Foot range for an immobile target

It's a good thing people with Pacemakers are in the peak of physical health and don't need to lay still in, say, a Hospital bed. Or at home. Or sit in a car. Or anywhere else that could be fitted with a pinging 'bug'.

And that's before all the comments above about different aerials etc kick in.

Adam Foxton

That's not Capitalism.

That's crime.

Apple is making life terrible in its factories – labor rights warriors

Adam Foxton
WTF?

You're absolutely right. In the whole history of socialist and communist endeavour there has never been a very wealthy ruling class sucking up all the wealth, nor have there been famines, shortages and brutal suppression of groups- entire ethnicities- who don't stick closely enough to what the State says.

No, wait, I got that backwards. They ALL ended up with an oppressive bunch of rich 'elites' at the top, with massive nepotism and old-boys-networking. And with the state owning rather more than 99% of the are they're in power over.

Automation wouldn't be bothered with as manpower becomes cheap and expendable. This is why the Soviets beat the Nazis back in WW2- they just threw millions and millions of their soldiers at the enemy, many without training or equipment, and stood another line of troops behind /them/ to stop the first lot retreating.

Or outside wartime, lets use the Great Leap Forwards which killed 45 million people and lead to a few people getting very very rich.

So yeah, lets all be commie bastards and hand the world over to our masters who will treat us like shit and run the country into the ground. Let's do that, because it sounds like such a fucking great idea.

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Adam Foxton

Whatever happened to

just hitting the drive repeatedly with a hammer until the casing is buckled and PCB smashed? It's quick, effective, and great stress relief!

Manchester cops to strap on 3K bodycams

Adam Foxton

That's not too bad

Anything visible from the street is publicly visible anyway.

It can easily be thwarted by curtains, blinds, clothes horses, some sort of legal indoor foliage, or anything else not optically transparent.

As other have said, the worry is when they turn it off. Why even give officers that ability? Storage is cheap and something like a mobile-phone-grade camera reading onto an SD card would take sod all power to run.

First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Adam Foxton

Re: Concorde

No, Concorde was the British version.

We dispensed with the American's vulgar evacuated tube concept and simply added wings and engines to get it to a height where there was naturally sod all air.

This also allowed it to travel rather a lot faster than a Hyperloop, take off and land all over the world without needing to lay new track, operate alongside existing infrastructure, and for a bill of £1.2Bn rather than $6Bn.

Its passengers also didn't suffer the G-force issues Hyperloop passengers will, and had access to what was described as a 'surprisingly large' selection of drinks. If it was still in operation it'd also no doubt have wifi, which will be in short supply inside a big steel tube in a bigger steel tube.

So Concorde looked better, was faster, more flexible, more practical and pleasant... and we built it about 50 years ago. A more elegant solution from a more civilised age.

'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

Adam Foxton

Re: Shhh!

Nah, it's not the classic injunction- it's just the SQL

MH-370 search loses sharpest-eyed robot deep beneath the waves

Adam Foxton

Re: At least they know where THAT is

Quite possibly. If they're towing it subsea it'll have a USBL beacon on it, hopefully rated to the full depth of the water column they'll be in.

For some reason no-one fits this sort of thing to aircraft flying over huge water masses, though. It's a shame as we'd have been able to find at least part of the plane in no time at all.

The question with the tow fish is 'would it be worth recovering?' though. SAS kit is expensive, but then so's hiring in a 6000m rated ROV, vessel, etc before the battery runs out!

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