Comments

Clive Robinson September 11, 2020 5:01 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

The most important paragraph in the magazine article is,

Squid should either be cooked fast over high heat or low and slow. Anything in between will produce overly tough results (which, unfortunately, is all too common).

Just before they get into dish descriptions…

Speaking of which…

In a heavy cast iron pot fry off chorizo and onions and a little smoked cayenne peper and garlic. Stir in a good helping of diamond cut squid mantel and cross cut tenticals. Then add a good quantity of choped tomatoes and red “bell” pepers and a handfull of finly chopped seasonal green herbs. Then put in the oven on a low heat.

After a couple of hours make bread dough up let it rise and knock it back and set it to prove and take the stew out to rest. When the dough has proved make a flat with it and put a couple of sheets of garic buttered filo pastry layers on it. Add a generous measure of the cooled stew and then fold the bread dough around it. Add rock salt and your choice of bread topping then bake as you would a large loaf.

The result can be served hot or cold, either way enjoy.

Ismar September 11, 2020 5:56 PM

Firstly, there is a bug on the new blog when filling in the blank ‘Security’ field , an empty space is appended and then the input validation complains about incorrect input.
Secondly, wanted to share in the results on the feedback of publishing my memoir.
Simply put, there seems to be no interest in commenting on any of the information in there.
I would, therefore, compare current societies to a range of farming practices where those governed are likened to domestic animals that are happy to trade their freedom for some sort of protection and comfort provided by their governors.
Democracies can be in this context seen as organic farms where domesticated animals enjoy better life but are nonetheless harnessed as a resource, while the dictatorships can be seen as more intensive farming practices where little attention is paid to the animal welfare.
Lastly, there a very few wild animals left around which prefer their freedom despite all of the perils it comes with.

tfb September 11, 2020 5:57 PM

I’m not sure if this is entirely a security story, but Trump’s Twitter credentials were worked out by some Dutch people in 2016, based on the leaked hashes from Linkedin in 2012. His password was trivial, and clearly he both had not changed it in at least four years, and shared the same password across multiple accounts. I think it is very safe to assume that any security agency with any level of competence had access to his twitter (including DMs etc), and probably other, accounts between 2012 and 2016.

Without wanting to make a political point, I find this fairly terrifying. Similar things are probably true of many politicians.

JonKnowsNothing September 11, 2020 6:58 PM

@All

re: MSM article on small no-human interaction stores in rural Sweden

Currently 19 stores have opened in rural Sweden that are 100% digital except for stocking. Similar to other fully digital stores, these use only a digital bank card and a smartphone app to tap, scan and take items.

In 1985, there were 8,500 supermarkets in Sweden. By 2010 there were fewer than 3,500.

As in other rural communities that in the past had “general stores”, some of these were replaced by “convenience stores and gasoline station” combos. In lower income areas or areas considered “undesirable by corporations” there may be no external food sources nearby and going to the market may be a long trip by car, since public transport generally isn’t reliably available in such areas. Food Poverty and Food Access is both an urban and rural concern.

There are a couple of interesting aspects to note:

The community described used to have a regular small market. The market folded up.
The all digital market showed up and people are happy to use their digital trackers to get a bottle of water.
The small markets used to employ several people and now only 1 is needed to stock the display cases in multiple stores in different towns or villages.
There didn’t seem to be any interest by the local population in re-establishing something locally run and employing local persons.
The abdication of local support for a human run system, opened an opportunity for a fully digital system.
The digital market targets rural areas where competition remains weak.
The stores are pre-built container buildings that can be picked up, removed, dropped into to new locations. If the store doesn’t make enough money in one village, they can pick it up and move it to another village.

Another by-product of such enterprises:

The de-population of Sweden from Herd Immunity Die-Offs and the resulting economic shifts in their economy (outside of Stockholm), maybe an indicator of one variable in their economic modeling. By replacing old fashioned stores with fully digital stores, they can continue to pump the economy using fewer people and maintaining existing pricing schedules.

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/06/unstaffed-digital-supermarkets-transform-rural-sweden
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm September 12, 2020 1:07 AM

@ tfb

It was clear to me years ago that various tweets were written by others.

Based upon Writing Style differences.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2020 1:59 AM

@ WmG,

Marvelous recipe. What are it’s origins?

Believe it or not experiments in the kitchen to recreate food history.

Historically we made bread by building a fire in a brick oven and waiting for it to die back to embers that were then swept still burning into the sides of the oven and the bread dough just dropped onto the hot base stones. The result of this was nicely baked bread that unfortunatly had cinders embeded in the bottom. Thus the bottom of the bread was cut off and used as a “trencher” that is effectively a plate to serve a meal on. It was possible to eat the trencher soaked in the food juices and grease but it could be unpleasent due to the cinders. Thus a person who was hungry enough to do so was a “trencherman” a term we still occasionaly hear today.

The chances are the Pizza developed from this idea and the Italians worked out how to stop the cinders getting in the bottom.

But going back even further in history clay cooking pots were a bit of a hit and miss affair when it came to the lids making a good seal to keep moisture in which is essential when slow cooking. So an unleavened dough was used to stretch across the top of the pot. This technique is still used in Indian cooking for making the likes of biryani. Because it’s unlevened bread that drys out during cooking whilst it is edible it is little different to “hard tack” in consistency on the top side and kind of heavy dumpling consistancy underneath.

Some think that dumplings as in “stew and dumplings” may have started this way with the dumplings acting as a starter to fill hungry people up to make the valuable meat in the stew go much further. You can in fact recook stew almost indefinitely by adding water and vegtable and meat scraps even if they are cooked as long as you bring it up to a simmer for an hour or so a day, which can be done in a “dutch pot” that if put on a fires embers also acts as a kind of storage heater (infact stew realy only gets a good flavour on the third day…).

In Jamaica and other West Indian islands there is a variation recipe that does not use a “dutchy” pot for stewing but as an oven. They make a goat or mutton stew by putting the ingredients in the middle of unleaven bread balls and just cooking them slowely in what we would call a “dutch oven”. This progressed to using pre cooked stew and leavened bread on a metal plate and you end up with “lamb bread”.

In a way the Italian calzone is the same idea except the bread is rolled thin after being knocked back and not alowed to rise that much.

In a calzone tomato sauce is not used inside as it stops the thin bread cooking in the base. Thus nearly all calzone incrediants are low in moisture but high in fat. That is the bread base becomes like a thin pastry on it’s top where the fat cooks in the bread and this stops any moisture getting down into the base.

Well if you’ve ever made “Beef Wellington” you will know that the same process applies but often fails because you don’t get the beef cold enough before baking. Thus the “cheats trick” is to wrap the beef and duxelle in a sheet of filo pastry.

And that is the logic behind the recipe that gives us “squid bread”.

Which like calzone can be eaten with a good herb and tomato sauce as a condiment.

Oh pies started out the same way as biryani but somebody used pastry not unleavend bread thus the lid was edible after cooking[1]. Likewise the cornish pasty is like a calzone but made with pastry. So you could call it a “search for the missing link” recipe rather than an original recipe.

Oh and for those who want to experiment further, don’t try using hot water (pork pie) pastry with fish the lard has a habit of getting into the stew and it also needs a different oven regime that would I suspect make the squid a little tough.

[1] Pies started out being “top crust” only and a flaky pastry is often the best to use. However the bottom crust in the likes of fruot pies is better made with a sweet pastry and you need to have both apples, acid and sugar in the pie mix, because this makes a form of jam when cooking that holds the flavours in and alows the pie to be eaten cold or just “warmed through” with cream or icecream (made from an egg custard and full fat milk mix).

JonKnowsNothing September 12, 2020 8:22 AM

Best calamari ever:

In Monterey California (preCOVID) they held many local festivals celebrating the diverse groups living in the region. During summer nearly every weekend a different group had their celebration. There was entertainment, music, dancing, singing and lots and lots of food stalls. The venue was open air held in a large plaza and free to attend. Free music and great food and a good dose of cultural education.

At the Italian festival I selected a calamari booth to try out. It was run by the family of a local fisherman. The grandmother was manning the front and the rest of the family was doing the cooking. The son was the fisherman and had caught the calamari that morning at 4am and they had spent hours and hours prepping for the festival day. Unfortunately one of their two deep fryers had broken and they were limited to slow production. Which was fine with me as I got to talk more with the grandmother while waiting for my calamari.

I have never been overly fond of calamari and I asked her what and how to eat it. She immediately picked up and told me her preference: calamari breaded with a bit of salt and freshly deep fried. She gave me a bunch of condiments to try out but suggested I wouldn’t really need them.

She was right. The bread and seasoning already on the piping hot calamari tentacles were superb! I ate more than a few baskets that day.

When I see flat calamari steaks offered up I think about the much better version from that day. Grandmother’s recipe is always the best one.

Boris September 12, 2020 11:01 AM

The UK government has quietly introduced legislation whereby all DNA samples gathered during public Covid 19 testing will be kept indefinitely for “National Security” reasons.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2020 2:10 PM

@ Boris,

all DNA samples gathered during public Covid 19 testing will be kept indefinitely for “National Security” reasons.

You could have included a link. So, to save others the effort,

It’s a typical UK Ministerial dodge around Parliment known as a statutory Instrument,

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/973/made?view=plain

The first paragraph gives you the bad news up front.

So for those living in the UK,

“Welcome to the neo-con new world Stasi…”

Clive Robinson September 12, 2020 2:57 PM

@ Boris,

You might find this intetesting,

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-21-coronavirus-exposes-who-britains-national-security-industry-is-designed-to-protect-not-the-public/

Oh one thing there is a picture of an empty school playground with a fairly well known tiled mural you can see.

The caption says,

“Edmund Waller school in south London”

Which is actually wrong. It should be,

“Edmund Waller Primary School, Lewisham in South East London (SE14)”

This is not the only news site to make this mistake, “The Guardian” newspaper in London made the same mistake which is quite surprising as one of the people who works at the Grauniad has children that were there as far as I’m aware. Also a member of the board of Governers at the school mentioned to me in the past at a Lewisham School Governors workshop that the “south London” irked them and their fellow governors.

vas pup September 12, 2020 4:08 PM

@Clive Robinson • September 12, 2020 2:10 PM
““Welcome to the neo-con new world Stasi…”

Clive, Stasi with all its sinister methods was very effective. I wish our ‘Stasi’ and Yours were so effective having all those technical tools, but they rather stop thinking and rely on technology at hand and devalue good police (Stasi type) thinking concentrating more on politically induced threats (some of them are pure product of imagination)rather than REAL threats. I have no idea who set their priorities, but my humble understanding they do not have real paradigm of their role in government structure and society as a whole, i.e. not to be ‘Thought Police’, but rather Violence Preventing Brain Center regardless from what side (left, right, in between) violence is coming from. But that is just my humble opinion based on observation of current events. And, thank you for your post regarding electronic pregnancy test – smart and logical as always.

vas pup September 12, 2020 4:16 PM

Ex-Google boss Eric Schmidt: US ‘dropped the ball’ on innovation
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-54100001

“In the battle for tech supremacy between the US and China, America has “dropped the ball” in funding for basic research, according to former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt.

And that’s one of the key reasons why China has been able to catch up.

Dr Schmidt, who is currently the Chair of the US Department of Defense’s innovation board, said he thinks the US is still ahead of China in tech innovation, for now.

But that the gap is narrowing fast.

“There’s a real focus in China around invention and new AI techniques,” he told the BBC’s Talking Business Asia programme. “In the race for publishing papers China has now caught up.”

For example, Chinese telecoms infrastructure giant Huawei spends as much as $20bn (£15.6bn) on research and development – one of the highest budgets in the world.

This R&D is helping Chinese tech firms get ahead in key areas like artificial intelligence and 5G.

This high skills immigration is crucial to American competitiveness, global competitiveness, building these new companies and so forth,” he said. “America does not have enough people with those skills.”

===>Dr Schmidt says the right strategy for a US-China relationship is what is called a ‘rivalry partnership’ where the US needs to be able to “collaborate with China, while also competing with them”.

“When we’re rivals, we are rough, we are pursuing things. We’re competing hard, we’re trying to get advantage – real competition – which the US can do well, and which China can do well. But there’s also plenty of areas where we need to be partners.”

My nickel: we should finally advance STEM as the first step and generate own high skills workers here – at home.
STEM is the same for left and right because it is based on natural, not political science. Enjoy!

vas pup September 12, 2020 4:27 PM

Germany gets tough in the fight against mafia clans
https://www.dw.com/en/germany-mafia-clans-bushido-organized-crime/a-54898798

That part caught my attention in particular:

“Parallel justice

The city of Essen, with its almost 600,000 inhabitants, is considered a special focus of mafia crime in NRW. The mafia have no direct impact on the lives of most people in Essen, Mayor Thomas Kufen told DW, “because it’s about drug offenses, protection racketing, prostitution, money-laundering – things that ordinary people in Essen actually have nothing to do with.”

What upsets citizens, however, is the subculture that has developed. Kufen explains:
==>Disrespectful behavior that gives the impression that the clans own the street; that only the law of the family applies and that in case of conflicts pressure is exerted not to go to the police or consult a lawyer. “This is a parallel structure, parallel justice, which we cannot tolerate in this way,” he said.

The Ruhr Security Conference was founded in Essen to fight such criminal parallel structures. “Cities from the Ruhr area come together there and bundle their capacitiesand experiences from local regulatory authorities, foreigners’ registration offices, customs, tax investigation, and police,” explains the LKA’s Jungbluth, “and thus find new starting points for the targeted recognition and prosecution of … violations of the law by clan members.”

But repression alone is not enough for Kufen. He also wants to offer opportunities. “Along with the raids and the very targeted action against clan crime, we are also making very concrete offers for young people who were born here but who have done nothing wrong,” he said.

My nickel: good source for news with many links provided and good short videos inside as well.

David Leppik September 12, 2020 4:59 PM

@Clive:

As another example, sushi has its origins in salted fish preserved in fermented rice. Ironic that today it requires the freshest raw fish.

WmG September 12, 2020 5:48 PM

@Clive Robinson
Believe it or not experiments in the kitchen
I do believe it. Everything old is new again. When one learns to cook, at first one follows recipes. Then a logic of learning and exploring becomes more important, if one is of such a mind.

Thanks for the thoughtful and descriptive reply.

Cyber Hodza September 12, 2020 6:02 PM

@Clive
I always liked calamari but had problems making it at home until, by accident, ended up with frying it in olive oil with some garlic and chilli flakes (works better than fresh chilli).
After frying add a touch of lemon juice and some parsley and serve with some Italian white bread – delicious.

JonKnowsNothing September 12, 2020 6:43 PM

@vas pup

re: US “dropped the ball” on innovation and Eric Schmidt

Mr Schmidt is full of it…

What dropped innovation is Extreme Capitalism such as practiced by Mr Schmidt and others. This is the “leave no money on the table” and squeeze everything you can out of the market and products that are the hallmarks of US Tech.

Way way back in the smokey haze of pre-burnt California, companies did invest a great deal in R&D. Some put back 25% or more into R&D. They also invested in education and training of their workers and provided income sufficient to live nearby. They did not engage in an US vs THEM, where them = “anyone not in the company” and they didn’t engage in junk perks like private Google Buses for Googlers Only.

Before even that, companies invested heavily on equipment and development facilities and their most important ASSET: workers.

But that all changed and its no surprise what happened, although the TechBros will attempt to deflect the blame of the slide downward, the same way the PoliBros attempt to deflect COVID-19.

  ”No Es Mi Job” – Freddie Prinz

What is disingenuous about such pronouncements is that the very people that “Took The Money and Ran” are now pointing out that it wasn’t a great idea to begin with. Without investing in training, development, and keeping ideas in narrowed constraints even with a bucket of moola you won’t get too far until you hit the end of the elastic band.

USA firms haven’t been competitive in decades, they’ve been skating on the assets created before that. They cannot do better because they cannot think better, they only know how to eviscerate companies.

Mr Schmidt isn’t offering to return his lootings. There is that perfect picture of him at his private Burning Man Estate surrounded by tasty morsels all beaming their best smiles for his approval. Pretty much indicates what you need to know to evaluate his pronouncements and his views.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Prinze
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

StephenMelba September 12, 2020 7:23 PM

Calamari and Squid look different. Squid has triangular fins on the tail end of the tube. Calamari is more tender and more expensive. Chefs feign not to know the difference and pass squid off as calamari. If you buy calamari in a pub it’s really frozen squid.

See “Australian Seafood Handbook” 1999, by the CSIRO, ISBN 0 643 06194 0, p 349 to 352.

Jung September 12, 2020 8:53 PM

“What will become of our civilization, and of man himself, if the hydro-
gen bombs begin to go off, or if the spiritual and moral dark-
ness of State absolutism should spread over Europe?
We have no reason to take this threat lightly. Everywhere in
the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our
humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary
torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas ex-
cept the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally
stable stratum of the population. One should not overestimate
the thickness of this stratum. It varies from country to country
in accordance with national temperament. Also, it is regionally
dependent on public education and is subject to the influence
of acutely disturbing factors of a political and economic nature.
Taking plebiscites as a criterion, one could on an optimistic esti-
mate put its upper limit at about forty per cent of the electorate.
A rather more pessimistic view would not be unjustified either,
since the gift of reason and critical reflection is not one of man’s
outstanding peculiarities, and even where it exists it proves to
be wavering and inconstant, the more so, as a rule, the bigger
the political groups are. The mass crushes out the insight and
reflection that are still possible with the individual, and this
necessarily leads to doctrinaire and authoritarian tyranny if
ever the constitutional State should succumb to a fit of weak-
ness.”

John September 12, 2020 9:07 PM

To all squid followers. Perhaps one of the most valuable teachings of the octopus people on this blog is that of the side channel realm. How one can passively observe, sense intrinsic dynamics that flourish onto some sort of phase enlightenment. I keep finding hacking as staring at the deliquesce of observing the finesse details of so complicated dynamics. Unfortunately in our time such finesse is not even necessary to draw some conclusions, when you see deliberately attacks on whistle blowers, journalists by the systems we have installed on our collective operating system.
Most revealing is the different standpoints on such matters on the hacking community itself. A community that forgot it’s punk nature, that forgot defiance, that forgot it’s youth. One thing didn’t change and that’s the 2600 style stickers: FREE KEVIN, FREE Bernie S. FREE Phiber Optik, FREE JEREMY HAMMOND, FREE MANNING, FREE JULIAN ASSANGE, and one day FREE YOU

jcb September 12, 2020 9:13 PM

@JonKnowsNothing

Way way back in the smokey haze of pre-burnt California, companies did invest a great deal in R&D. Some put back 25% or more into R&D

It’s not the R&D money that’s the problem. It’s the “intellectual property” and copyright cártel cops who show up with a SWAT team and bust in the door and toss flash-bang grenades to collect the vigorish and generate “return on investment” by extracting economic rents through
copyright extortion, patent protection rackets, and other means.

WmG September 12, 2020 11:32 PM

@vas pup @JonKnowsNothing
The loss of the U. S. ability to lead is a case of death by a thousand cuts, going back decades. Chronic underfunding of education has continued since forever. And now, even if you get that nice new PhD, you can’t even drive a cab.

One significant datapoint was the decision to let the Superconducting Supercollider project fail.That was 1993.

This sort of thing can happen because the political system of the U. S. is designed to give a practical veto power over any publicly funded project to any sufficiently wealthy individual who opposes it. Those rich guys were scared as hell of the Red Menace, so the Cold War, and the Vietnam War were sound uses of taxpayer money. But after the USSR collapsed, there was no more need to waste “their hard-earned money” on boring, useless science that just costs money.

Another significant issue has been the fundamental failure of the taxation and legal systems to cope with the excessive growth of self-interested money power which has hogged so many trillions of US$ into private hands.

As has been observed, we have evolved to stupid[1], and it’s hard to see a way back.

Gen. Russel Honoré, US Army Corps of Engineers.

Clive Robinson September 13, 2020 6:22 AM

@ vas pup,

You appear to have started a dog pile with Eric the Google menace 0:)

But, this is wrong,

“And that’s one of the key reasons why China has been able to catch up.”

There is a joke about the F35 and outsourcing, in that ‘China got theirs not just to “fly but land with the pilot on board”‘.

In the past much of America’s inovation was off of the back of “needs must” government spending a big chunk of which was “military” in origin that gave basic technology changes such as “acorn tubes”, “germanium transistors” and “Small Scale Intecrated Transistor Transistor Logic” (SSI TTL).

Realisticaly time line wise all that inovation came to an end when Neil Armstrong’s Foot lifted from the moon after the “first step for man…”.

After that military spending became not “base research focused” that benifits a wide range of industries but more “weapons system focused” that benifited less and less industries with time.

Others above have amply described the short term effects such as “out sourcing” I’ve been warning about since the last century.

And guess what of those who told me very bluntly I did not know what I was talking about they are now very conspicuous by their absence… And at least one who was not just a friend but somebody I mentored whilst wearing the green dares not even face me in social situations…

If I was to say that America has lost the race due to it’s own failings and is now resoeting to dirty / cheating tactics I will no doubt get a fresh crop of attackers telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about. And I suspect they to will be nowhere to be seen when they are shown to be incorect.

So I will give a warning that perhaps people should think deeply on,

America is as dependent on China as a drug addict is on their pusher. That gives America two choices wean themselves of the supply and stand tall or continue down the rabbit hole. Trying to kill the drug pusher is a bad move as the withdrawal symptoms will be very very bad.

If you want to go out and “kill something” start with the short term thinking that neo-con economists teach to MBA’s and the like, much like the Chinese Communist Party did with the “little red book” and “uniform dress code”. It took China something like seven decades to get over that nonsense, the US still has the same path to tread, only it may not have that long.

Let’s hope that the US Government does not make the same mistake they have made many times over in the past five decades of going and starting a war in some far distant corner of the world on the notion they can buy themselves out of the economic doldrums they are in and get respect through fear from all other nations.

It may not have sunk in with US politicos many of whom are past a sensible retirment age thus live on memories of childhood glories that were anything but, younger citizens see more clearly. Is that by and large the world has had enough of the US politicos creating trouble around the globe, but more importantly the US has burnt through it’s resources in less than a hundred years and has not invested them in the US but “pi55ed them up the wall”. For all the political rhetoric the US is actually now very weak and increasingly vulnerable as it’s dependencies on other nations grows.

Is America beyond the tipping point, well if it expects to carry on without change then yes it’s beyond the tipping point. But if certain painfull changes are made and made quickly then it can draw back from the tipping point, but the journy back will be hard. But the more pain now the shorter the time and a lot less pain over all.

Unfortunately the likes of Eric and Co who should be taking the majority of the pain are infact just deflecting it onto those who can least defend themselves. Thus the average US citizen is taking way more than their fair share of the pain now, and almost certainly will do for many more generations to come. Unless thay make those who should be fealing the pain pay not just their dues but the dues they have been avoiding for more than five decades.

Oh to understand what I mean, in the UK our health system is paid for out of taxation. The UK Government does so at a cost of about 2000GBP/person/year irrespective of age, infirmity, employment status or wealth.

Now compare that to the current cost of US insurance that kills off myriads of American citizens who become patients by withdrawing or witholding funds etc.

Winter September 13, 2020 6:49 AM

“If I was to say that America has lost the race due to it’s own failings and is now resoeting to dirty / cheating tactics I will no doubt get a fresh crop of attackers telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Yes and yes, totally agree. But the end result was inevitable. China is a Well Organized country with 1.5B people that invested heavily in education. It followed the examples of Japan, Singapore, and the little tigers. The end result hs been known for decades.

And that is good. As a result, a billion people rose out of poverty and the world is awash with products for the masses. Products the US and other Western countries find too cheap to produce. India shows us the alternative, with massive poverty and violence.

Contrast the rise in income of the masses in Asia with the stalling of median income since 1985 in the US and the rest of the West.

The US simply shows us again that all economic growth derives from basic research and science. If you do not invest in basic research there comes a time that there is no new science to apply anymore.

Petre Peter September 13, 2020 6:49 AM

In communist Romania, two families were expected to share a phone line. One family could easily pick up the receiver and listen to the other family’s phone conversation. This was done because equipment was expensive and also to instil fear: you couldn’t tell if someone in the family you shared a line with was working for the secret police.

Winter September 13, 2020 7:19 AM

“America does not have enough people with those skills.”

Yes, and the reasons are
1) Americans do not want to pay for the education of other people’s children. So children of poor parents get a poor education. And most parents are poor so most children receive a poor education.
2) Big salaries are in law, medicine, an economics/BA. Nothing that helps R&D. So the best and brightest do the math: with a STEM PhD, you will not be able to start a family and repay your Student Loans.

Pfischer Könichdrak September 13, 2020 10:23 AM

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/09/ai-ruined-chess-now-its-making-the-game-beautiful-again/

Interesting article. But what I want to know is what are these “humans” it keeps taking about ?

The new pawns-can-move-two-squares should be changed to 1.5 squares on average, with 1 square diagonal allowed at any time after moving off home rank.

They should also allow constrained replenishment of the board as the game wears on.

It would be interesting to see if the ideas of modern dynamics, basins of attraction, xhaotic boundaries, etc. apply in some way.

Singular Nodals September 13, 2020 12:01 PM

Re: is there a difference between calamari and squid

Maybe, maybe not. But what is true is that each and every one of them is a precious, unique individual.

Anders September 13, 2020 2:24 PM

“Belarussian hackers have hacked the state website for tax collection, essentially leaving the whole system dysfunctional right now.”

mobile.twitter.com/BFreeTheatre/status/1305217449550393345

Clive Robinson September 13, 2020 3:32 PM

@ Singular Nodals,

Re: is there a difference between calamari and squid

It rather depends on how you look at it…

The word “calamari” is Italian for “squid” not “cooked squid” or any other mollusc such as cuttlefish fish or octopus, shell fish, or even semi aquatic snails and false worms.

But you then need to remember a second important fact, Italy is in a nearly closed sea called the Mediterranean that due to it’s aquaculture can not support large squid species. Further intense fishing in the Mediterranean over millennium has had an effect on the evolution of squid there.

Thus yes there is a difference between the squid species used in the Med region and other squid species else where.

The species concerned are firstly smaller, their “wings” go the full length of the mantel and because of the speed they are fished out they are basically eaten almost before they are old enough to breed.

When you buy them as “wet fish” it’s fairly easy to see the difference. Also in price as well, they are upto 20GBP / kg more expensive than other species of squid. Because other countries especially Mediterranean and South and East Asian countries value the particular squid spieces more highly than others.

Look on it as being like the difference between “wagyu beef” from Kobe Japan and best 42day or more “dry aged Grade A Prime Black Angus Beef” (from the Scottish low lands breed) and other beef. Few can tell you why the two different species of cow attract vastly different prices from others but they do and believe it or not one report blaims American women with smaller teeth and weaker jaws who chose to work[1]…

https://www.straightdope.com/21343359/what-s-the-big-deal-about-aged-beef-and-angus-beef

I kind of hope that puts the calamari debate to bed. That is the real answer it’s squid, but young squid from a Mediterranean species that some people want to pay more for than other species…

[1] No I don’t subscribe to the idea women can not chew… but yes considerably fewer families have only one parent working these days that’s a fact that can be found on census data. It’s something that should be noted but for other reasons such as, choice, different life styles, devaluation of wages, or the increase in the cost of living etc or that people have smaller families and live in flats smaller than ranch kitchens of pre WWII. But I suspect it might have something to do with the fact that for some strange reason people realy don’t want to wrestle with half a cow upto eleven hours before they have sunday lunch when there are many many more enjoyable things they could be doing with their time.

Clive Robinson September 13, 2020 4:26 PM

@ Anders,

From the Bloomberg article,

““We are open to a debate internally on how to improve,” said [Alexander] Haväng, the chief technology officer [at Sandvine]. “Nobody really feels good about the situation in Belarus.””

Hmm, “Alexander Haväng” “Alexander Lukashenko” same attitudes same platitudes what’s in a name?

vas pup September 13, 2020 4:38 PM

@Clive – thank you for thoughtful input.
I love in particular this statement:
“America is as dependent on China as a drug addict is on their pusher. That gives America two choices wean themselves of the supply and stand tall or continue down the rabbit hole. Trying to kill the drug pusher is a bad move as the withdrawal symptoms will be very very bad.”

I am thinking as with fighting any addiction is necessary to go through long and hard path of detox, but when decision on cure is made by those who personally very profitable out of that business, then the only choice is rabbit hole.

jcb September 13, 2020 7:04 PM

@vas pup

@Clive – thank you for thoughtful input. I love in particular this statement: “America is as dependent on China as a drug addict is on their pusher. That gives America two choices wean themselves of the supply and stand tall or continue down the rabbit hole.

China “specializes” in producing lots and lots of low-level hardware especially in the computer and high tech industry.

America specializes more in “building” on that hardware for higher level functionality.

I don’t like the regional overspecialization either. The Chinese are definitely getting more and more into their own branding and marketing with the stuff they produce, and integrating vertically with it.

https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/051315/what-difference-between-horizontal-integration-and-vertical-integration.asp

We in America already have that “vertical” part of the integration. We simply need to be become more competitive with the underlying base architecture and low-level code on which it depends.

It’s not drugs we’re talking about here. It’s basic nutrition to keep our starving industries alive. China will have to remain a viable alternative as we continue to develop our domestic supply chain sources.

Freezing_in_Brazil September 13, 2020 10:18 PM

@Clive Robinson

Re: Recipe

I’m really impressed with your knowledge of yet another human art. Kudos!

*I love food but confess being too lazy to cook. I wish I could change my ways.

JonKnowsNothing September 14, 2020 3:28 AM

@jcb @Clive @vas pup

re: “We in America already have that “vertical” part of the integration. We simply need to be become more competitive with the underlying base architecture and low-level code on which it depends.”

How would you recommend we do that?

What is your definition of “becoming more competitive”? What does that mean?

There are problems of definition when it comes to “being competitive”. Some are defined on money, finance, political power, market share, volume of sales, trade balance, accounting reports, stock market valuations, outstanding stock shares, dividend payments. Lots of possible indicators.

Starving industries like: Amazon? 13 billion in one day is pretty decent ROI.

Lots of failing industries, so which areas would you propose to focus on?

How low-level in the code are you thinking of going? Assembler isn’t very popular and peek n poke hardly counts as competitive mechanisms. There is the ancient set of on-off toggles that programmed US missiles back in the dark ages. One wrong toggle and you programmed in the wrong quadrant of the planet.

JonKnowsNothing September 14, 2020 3:33 AM

@jcb @Clive @vas pup

re: “We in America already have that “vertical” part of the integration. We simply need to be become more competitive with the underlying base architecture and low-level code on which it depends.”

How would you recommend we do that?

What is your definition of “becoming more competitive”? What does that mean?

There are problems of definition when it comes to “being competitive”. Some are defined on money, finance, political power, market share, volume of sales, trade balance, accounting reports, stock market valuations, outstanding stock shares, dividend payments. Lots of possible indicators.

Starving industries like: Amazon? 13 billion in one day is pretty decent ROI.

Lots of failing industries, so which areas would you propose to focus on?

How low-level in the code are you thinking of going? Assembler isn’t very popular and peek n poke hardly counts as competitive mechanisms. There is the ancient set of on-off toggles that programmed US missiles back in the dark ages. One wrong toggle and you programmed for the wrong quadrant of the planet.

Anders September 14, 2020 3:45 AM

More about cyberattack against Belarus Tax system.

mobile.twitter.com/VoicesBelarus/status/1305213815739609090

Clive Robinson September 14, 2020 7:14 AM

@ jcb,

We simply need to be become more competitive with the underlying base architecture

I see no real evidence that US industry is in any way deficient in technical knowledge when it comes to anything below the CPU level in the computing stack. The fact that managment and those above them see it as “unproductive” thus leaving money on the table etc etc is the reason that it’s use is scarce in the US.

Thus what is clear is that there is a great deficiency in anything other than very short term thinking, investment or political will power, to use the technical knowledge. Perhaps worse is that more recently there is a strong desire by the executive to steal technology from others and when it can not gain it that way[1] to threaten others when they use Chinese or other nations technology.

Might is not right, it’s thugish, boorish and very child like behaviour you see in playgrounds where bullies are not dealt with promptly and determinedly.

The neo-con economics of “slash and burn” and “rigged market places”, has this century brought the US down in many respects to worse than second world living standards for increasing numbers of US citizens. The health and education systems that are the bed rock of societal continuance has been gutted and turned into what are little different from “Hedge Funds”. The primary aim being to turn the US into a haven for “rent seekers” as a secondary taxation via legalised tithe, not for society but those who have purchased the law through capture of legislators. But unlike times past where 1/10th was the tithe that was considered sufficient, the rent seekers want all income such that nobody but they can have assets and thus the US citizens become little more than surfs who must kow tow to those who believe they have entitlement above all others.

The entitled do not want disruptive abilities in the populus, they want “the bend of the knee” as they pass by so that they can look down on others. That is above all they demand status for no reason other than they are in effect criminals.

Thus they do not want any more “disruptive technology” to arise outside of their control as this diminishes their status, thus their entitlement.

The same nonsense that is happening in the US has happened in the past in India, and you only have to look at what is currently going on their to realise what is heading towards the majority of US citizens. Do you realy want a legaly enforced “cast system” in the US? Because that is the way it is heading bit by bit. Do you realy want the modern equivalent of “The Kshatriya in his Castle / Palace” and “The Brahmin in his Temple / Palace” with the Vaishya being petty Bohemians grubing around for the crumbs of patriarchal favours from Kshatriya and Brahmin alike? In turn the Vaishya treating the majority of citizens as Shudras to be abused worse than donkeys and ground into the dirt, working each day not knowing if the Vaishya will pay them at the end of it so they can feed a pittance of food to the their family[2]…

This is the sort of society that the self entitled want, to have their status above all others implicitly be obvious. You can read more about how this can be made to work in the writings of George Orwell. Who realised not only was Briton one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but the one where the distribution of wealth was amongst the lowest and documented it. What is seldom taught in schools is that the British Government ended up in effect fighting two wars. The first the obvious fight with the Axis Powers the second which it capitulated in was the fight with the working class and lower middle class who had had enough of being treated the way they were.

There was an interesting development the other day a group who see themselves as standing up against the likes of crony-capitalism have been accused of writing the word “racist” on Whinston Churchill’s statue. The fact that even by the standards of the time Churchill was at best xenophobic is more than self evident. But the UK leadership has turned around and called these protestors “Terrorists” for “stating the obvious” but more importantly “myth-busting” the cherished but false notions the self entitled have…

I doubt it would be difficult to find the equivalent or worse in the US governmental systems.

Remember making clear that the cherished beliefs of the self entitled is in their eyes a form of heresy and will be treated worse than any blasphemy imagined in a zelots narrow mind. Such is the “cult of personality” those who believe they are entitled engender in their authoritarian followers.

[1] Have a real look at what is going on with 5G and now Tik Tok, in both cases the technology is well in advance of that in the US, so the policy is claim it’s stolen, well that was disproved, claim it’s dangerous, well that’s been disproved, claim it’s for spting well that is no more true than it is for US techbology, now as the other attempts have failed try and force the technology to be given up at “fire sale prices” by the misuse of “eminent domain” which is obvious naked theft. Which has so far backfired and one of the worst preditors Microsoft has been told no, and the Chinese Government has anounced reluctantly that they will have to take action against the US Executive etc.

[2] This behaviour towards those that actually do the work that keeps India functional at a foundation level are often of smaller or slighter stature than the casts above. This is as a direct result of this policy to keep them in near starvation such that their lowly position is self evident.

JonKnowsNothing September 14, 2020 12:46 PM

@Clive @MarkH @All

re: MSM report on change-of-view point regarding Australian Aged Pension System.

note: I have previously posted on the Bank of Mom and Dad with numbers and data analysis (rudimentary) on the impacts from COVID-19 based on neoliberal economic policy and Herd Immunity Die Off Wealth Harvesting. Sources included statistical data from various organizations, associations or interest groups or government sites. These maybe in the archives or possibly found on the way back machine.

The report details a reversal of opinion from a former Australian PM Paul Keating on how to subsidize their failing Old Care Pension System. The proposal is to strip the value of assets accumulated by older people to pump the system.

The USA has a similar plan called Reverse Mortgages. It has a checkered implementation and has failed several iterations. The concept is that older people have valuable assets; such assets would normally be passed along as inheritance to surviving family members. The system would provide methods to strip these assets so that people would “pay for their own elder care”; primarily as the Old Age Pension Systems have been ripped apart until they are no longer sustainable and no longer provide ample funds to support those drawing on them (disabled, sick, elders etc).

Some basics about these schemes in the USA

Initially the home owner pledged their house+equity for a full life time of support. Regardless of the number of years they lived past their life-table, they would continue to receive their agreed stipend bump.

This was changed quickly, to define “life time” as “duration of occupation” and if a person was not physically in the house for 30 days the foreclosure clause was implemented. This caused people who traveled on long trips or cruises or had 90 days of rehab to lose their homes. This aspect is still implemented in many agreements much to the surprise of those returning from 6 month round the world trips (pre-COVID) and finding someone else living in their homes and having no recourse legally.

It was also changed to limit the amount of stipend to be based solely the amount of equity in the house. Few in the USA own their homes outright, most have mortgages (aka long term fixed leases) and varying amounts of equity. As the housing markets fluctuated, especially during the housing melt down due to sub-prime mortgages (most of which are still sitting on the Greek Government Debt Loads), it was easily possible to expend all the equity which again triggered the foreclosure clauses.

In the USA, the majority of the population are renters and therefore outside the targeted population of home owners.

During COVID-19, stripping wealth is part of the Economic Models for Herd Immunity Policy Countries and targeting inheritance from the dead is already part of their recovery calculations (there is a post detailing expected economic benefits).

There are a number of countries where the Old Age Pension Systems are failing and their payouts have not been maintained to either a living amount or even keeping static with inflationary indicators. In the USA the system is at least 10 years behind in proper adjustments. The neoliberal views of the system is that such stipends reduce the wealth of the .05% and continues to be a target for further reductions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls along and Winter is Coming, the economic security of entire countries is wobbling badly. In the effort to accelerate infection rates, conflicting and contradictory rules are applied and the insistence on “return to face to face no mask needed” interactions. Withdrawals of COVID-19 support payments and the failure to enact new support systems puts greater pressure on the overall population.

It isn’t a surprise that neoliberals are desperate to force the global economy back into their limited parameters, and it isn’t a surprise that they are accelerating the rates of infection because these are known aspects of their policy.

That they are attempting to use an already outdated and failed system to asset-strip what little is left, is more an indicator of their desperation.

I have been researching the expected valuations and windfalls from Real Estate turn overs from COVID-19 (rent and sales)(death transfers/harvesting) and the collective value expected is incentive enough for governments to help push the process along faster. There is a lot of data about and it is challenging to sort it into a digestible format. To date, the information remains scattered and difficult to correlate but it exists in many formats.

The security of such transfers and the extreme amounts of money to be exchanged will be subject to the same pressures as the Sub-Prime Mortgage failures of the past. A giant ponzi scheme in the making. All you have to do is sign or they will robo-sign for you.

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/14/paul-keating-federal-loans-supplement-superannuation-fund-aged-care
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Who? September 14, 2020 1:04 PM

@ Anders

Give me your address and I will send you an “Amazon Echo;” seriously, allowing Gen. Alexander joining the Amazon board of directors is very sad. Something is seriously broken with our business model.

Winter September 14, 2020 1:10 PM

“It isn’t a surprise that neoliberals are desperate to force the global economy back into their limited parameters, and it isn’t a surprise that they are accelerating the rates of infection because these are known aspects of their policy.”

There are many reason neoliberals are shunned nowadays in most countries.

The basic failure of neoliberalism is that it increased economic growth in the short term, as promised, but then deprived the majority of the population of the spoils of the growth.

The result being that the infrastructure and workforce needed to generate the growth was run into the ground. Without good schools, health care, housing, and transportation, you cannot transform your economy into the next industrial revolution.

Th USA is going the way of the USSR, which could keep up with the USA until ~1960, and then started to ossify and decline.

vas pup September 14, 2020 2:49 PM

Microsoft’s underwater data centre resurfaces after two years
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54146718

Some extracts directly related to the nature of the blog below, but enjoy reading the whole article

“Two years ago, Microsoft sank a data center off the coast of Orkney in a wild experiment.

That data center has now been retrieved from the ocean floor, and Microsoft researchers are assessing how it has performed, and what they can learn from it about energy efficiency.

==>No humans, few failures

Their first conclusion is that the cylinder packed with servers had a lower failure rate than a conventional data center.

====
“Our failure rate in the water is one-eighth of what we see on land,” says Ben Cutler, who has led what Microsoft calls Project Natick.
The team is speculating that the greater reliability may be connected to the fact that there were no humans on board, and that nitrogen rather than oxygen was pumped into the capsule.

===

All of Orkney’s electricity comes from wind and solar power, but there were no issues in keeping the underwater data center supplied with power.

==>”We have been able to run really well on what most land-based data centers consider an unreliable grid,” says Spencer Fowers, one of the technical team on Project Natick.

“We are hopeful that we can look at our findings and say maybe we don’t need to have quite as much infrastructure focused on power and reliability.”

==
…project has great potential.

!!!!! He believes organizations facing a natural disaster or a terrorist attack might find it attractive: “You could effectively move something to a more secure location without having all the huge infrastructure costs of constructing a building. It’s flexible and cost effective.”

vas pup September 14, 2020 3:09 PM

Experiments reveal why human-like robots elicit uncanny feelings
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200910110857.htm

“Androids, or robots with humanlike features, are often more appealing to people than those that resemble machines — but only up to a certain point. Many people experience an uneasy feeling in response to robots that are nearly lifelike, and yet somehow not quite “right.” The feeling of affinity can plunge into one of repulsion as a robot’s human likeness increases, a zone known as “the uncanny valley.

Since the uncanny valley was first described, a common hypothesis developed to explain it. Known as the mind-perception theory, it proposes that when people see a robot with human-like features, ==>they automatically add a mind to it. A growing sense that a machine appears to have a mind leads to the creepy feeling, according to this theory.

“We found that the opposite is true,” says Wang Shensheng, first author of the new study, who did the work as a graduate student at Emory and recently received his PhD in psychology.
==>”It’s not the first step of attributing a mind to an android but the next step of ‘dehumanizing’ it by subtracting the idea of it having a mind that leads to the uncanny valley. Instead of just a one-shot process, it’s a dynamic one.”

“At the core of this research is the question of what we perceive when we look at a face,” adds Philippe Rochat, Emory professor of psychology and senior author of the study. “It’s probably one of the most important questions in psychology.
==> The ability to perceive the minds of others is the foundation of human relationships. ”

The research may help in unraveling the mechanisms involved in mind-blindness — the inability to distinguish between humans and machines — such as in cases of extreme autism or some psychotic disorders, Rochat says.

“The whole process is complicated but it happens within the blink of an eye,” Wang says. “Our results suggest that at first sight we anthropomorphize an android, but within milliseconds we detect deviations and dehumanize it. And that drop in perceived animacy likely contributes to the uncanny feeling.”

My nickel: Interesting findings because robots soon will be in security widely, e.g. Emirates (as best of my memory) already have robots-police officers and robots police stations. That is just first step I guess.

vas pup September 14, 2020 3:12 PM

Phone calls create stronger bonds than text-based communications
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200911141713.htm

“After months of social distancing mandates, people are leaning heavily on technology for a sense of social connection. But new research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests people too often opt to send email or text messages when a phone call is more likely to produce the feelings of connectedness they crave.”

Yeah, but I wish we will finally have reliable caller id service to avoid scams.

vas pup September 14, 2020 3:21 PM

Touch-and-know: Brain activity during tactile stimuli reveals hand preferences in people

Scientists distinguish between the brain activities of right-handers and left-handers by noninvasively monitoring asymmetric brain responses to passive touch stimulations

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200914095845.htm

“Scientists show that it is possible to distinguish between left-handed and right-handed people by noninvasively monitoring just their brain activity during passive tactile stimulation.

====>These results are key in haptic research (the study of sensory systems) and have various important implications for
!!!brain-computer interfaces, augmented reality, and even artificial intelligence.”

Read the whole article!

Anders September 14, 2020 4:27 PM

@Who?

Although it would be fun to hack and play around
with Amazon Echo (never had one and can’t afford
currently), i’d better take a remote job as i’m
currently unemployed so offer me one instead 🙂

JonKnowsNothing September 14, 2020 5:31 PM

@vas pup

re: robot faces and potential use for social interaction due to COVID-19 restrictions.

A few days or weeks ago (time warps oddly when you are shut in and locked down), a proposal was made to provide Care Homes a “robot” for interaction.

The robot would roam around the care center and “talk” to the residents.

It was not clear if the robot was self-contained like a robo-sweeper, traveling around and bumping into objects to map the environment or if it was remotely controlled from an outside location.

It was also not clear if the interactions (dialog) was real-time from a remote operator or some pre-canned ELIZA dialog.

It wasn’t clear whether the robot itself was a possible viral vector as it wasn’t clear how a care home would get one or how many they would need. In a large care home or rehab center with dozens or hundreds of residents, one might conclude you would need a fair few to provide enough “warm and fuzzies” to everyone on a timely basis.

Palliative care facilities have struggled with this aspect pre-COVID-19 too. As by definition all their residents are terminal and short term, staff is stretched pretty thin physically and emotionally. They often rely on a resident cat or small dog to notice when someone is having a hard go.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

lurker September 14, 2020 8:36 PM

Oracle confirms deal with TikTok-owner ByteDance to become ‘trusted technology provider’

Exact headline on CNBC webpage, make of it what you will.

Wesley Parish September 14, 2020 9:20 PM

Had a read to see if anyone else had mentioned this before me:

New Windows exploit lets you instantly become admin. Have you patched?
https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/09/new-windows-exploit-lets-you-instantly-become-admin-have-you-patched/

Zerologon works by sending a string of zeros in a series of messages that use the Netlogon protocol, which Windows servers rely on for a variety of tasks, including allowing end users to log in to a network. People with no authentication can use the exploit to gain domain administrative credentials, as long as the attackers have the ability to establish TCP connections with a vulnerable domain controller.

But wait!!! There’s more!!!

For AES-CFB8 to work properly, so-called initialization vectors must be unique and randomly generated with each message. Windows failed to observe this requirement. Zerologon exploits this omission by sending Netlogon messages that include zeros in various carefully chosen fields. The Secura writeup gives a deep dive on the cause of the vulnerability and the five-step approach to exploiting it.

And some sensible advice:

Administrators are understandably cautious about installing updates that affect network components as sensitive as domain controllers. In the case here, there may be more risk in not installing than installing sooner than one might like. Organizations with vulnerable servers should muster whatever resources they need to make sure this patch is installed sooner rather than later.

I’m wondering, who is going to be hit the hardest?

jcb September 14, 2020 9:28 PM

@lurker

Oracle confirms deal with TikTok-owner ByteDance to become ‘trusted technology provider’

There’s like an old lady with too many clocks in the house — maybe a broomstick or a 🕷️ spider web up in the corner somewhere. And a wizard with a pointed hat casting spells …

Those kinds of people tend to date on picnics and there’s a “byte” to eat or something like that after the dance.

I would avoid this particular social network if I could.

Clive Robinson September 15, 2020 12:35 AM

@ lurker, jcb,

Oracle confirms deal with TikTok-owner ByteDance to become “trusted technology provider”

It would appear to be a “nothing burger” deal on the National Security issue, and less than that for US Tic Tok users personal security (yes the two are significantly different). It now reeks of “grift” as,Donald Trump getts his mancrush fan Larry Ellison a “cloud deal” he could not otherwise have got, and the future of which is very uncertain (ie as far as we can tell so far Oracle are a third party supplier in reality nothing more and could thus be dropped at any conveniant time),

https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/14/21436035/tiktok-oracle-deal-bytedance-president-trump-safety

The reality in the executive is Trump walks away the losser and looking weak and there will be down stream waves washing up and causing problems.

But then the deal was going to go bad the moment China anounced the algorithms and other tech –that Microsoft so badly wanted and the USG were trying to get for them via some perverted form of eminent domain theft– would not be part of the deal ever.

The upshot is it was a trap of Trump’s own making in effect it was a “dodgy deal” or at best a “punt” in the first place and mostly a bluf. So when the going got a little tough and Trump got a little adverse publicity he folded and effectively walked away.

Thus he’s as good as told China he’s not even a “paper tiger”.

But more importantly it gave China the excuse to put in place legislation that stops any US company buying Chinese technology companies and getting the technology. Thus a stratigic door that the US tech industry needed badly to remain open has been closed by Trump’s stupidity. No doubt other nations will see this and put similar legislation in place and things will actually get worse for the US tech industry.

One knock on effect is likely going to be that the WTO is going to loose credability as well, which as many see them rightly or wrongly as a US lacky is going to cause other downstream issues. Likewise the World Bank is going to get to feel a draught from the East as well, I suspect China will now up it’s various forms of “assistance with strings” in competition, not at all something the neo-cons would want.

It will be interesting to see what the next US Executive step is but hopefully they will take advice about betting on an empty hand when trying to steal others technology.

@ ALL,

But you have to work out who the bigest loosers in this whole mess are, and it’s the US Tic Tok users.

Why, consider this, would Microsoft have been a safe pair of hands any way? I would say on past performance they would do as they did with Skype and put the equivalent of a back door in it for the US SigInt, IC, and LEO’s to feast upon.

The latest security issue with MS Domain Controlers is to trite and gives way to much power, thus people will nodoubt think about it and some will no doubt decide this is one error too many and is thus a deliberate backdoor.

So the personal security of US Tic Tok users would definitely have suffered greatly in MS’s hands. Something that will probably now happen through Oracle instead as they will have the US users traffic etc on their servers as “third party records”. So as with the NSA getting into Googles servers they will be getting into Oracle’s servers to keep building their collect it all time machine. Unless of course Tic Tok’s owners decide to encrypt everything that goes on Oracle’s servers, something that could be done quite legaly depending on how they go about it.

Wesley Parish September 15, 2020 1:17 AM

@usual suspects

This is what happens when a company thinks it’s God’s gift to humanity:
Infosec big names rally against US voting app maker’s bid to outlaw unsanctioned bug hunting via T&Cs
https://www.theregister.com/2020/09/15/voatz_bug_hunting_letter/

The software outfit, stung by a probe in February that found multiple security weaknesses in the app it supplied for West Virginia’s 2018 midterm election, asked the supremes to uphold a lower court decision that interprets the CFAA very broadly.

So instead of fixing their software problems, they’ll blithely sell software (now) known to be faulty … caveat emptor.

“Voatz’s insinuation that the [M.I.T.] researchers broke the law despite having taken all precautions to act in good faith and respect legal boundaries shows why authorization for this research should not hinge on companies themselves acting in good faith,” the letter stated. “To companies like Voatz, coordinated vulnerability disclosure is a mechanism that shields the company from public scrutiny by allowing it to control the process of security research.”

I remember reading during the late nineties of certain big US software corporations making NDAs and suchlike a big feature of releasing RC software to magazine reviewers. I had thought over a decade of black hats running riot over Microsoft’s OS vulnerabilities had made reason prevail. Evidently I am wrong – reviewers are to be unpaid company serfs.

I suppose I should remember to only speak well of the dead, because it seems obvious to me that the US software industry is moribund and will soon be on its deathbed.

Winter September 15, 2020 3:21 AM

@Clive
The source of the new outbreak seems to be unknown.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/coronavirus-how-did-covid19-resurface-in-new-zealand/news-story/59051e417fca97395000bfb723858cae?nk=68d2936e66f66bd29525ed58e81eb8d4-1600157643

However, here in the Netherlands there are worries about an animal reservoir in mink (fur breeders). There is convincing evidence the virus has jumped back from mink to humans. Cats and dogs are also known to be able to contract the virus.

I would guess some ferret like animals or cats were the reservoir of the virus.

lawrence September 15, 2020 5:09 AM

Source of NZ’s covid reappearance
@clive

No clear source of the reinfection has been identified. It was posited it may have arrived via refrigerated food imports from Australia but tests could show no connection (to my mind that possibility still lies somewhere between not-proven and not guilty). No other sources of substance has been raised. We don’t farm ferrets or mink for fur so no possibility of commercial animal to human transmission – or at least from known animals.

It is now considered to be probably too late to establish the origin and the present priority is to identify, isolate, and treat those who are covid positive. So far the powers that be are doing very well in that regard, despite hindrance from various quarters, not least the media.

Clive Robinson September 15, 2020 7:03 AM

@ Winter, lawrence,

Thanks guys it confirms what I suspected which is “A big fat question mark” still.

I had hoped that they could with genetic testing work out where the strain had come from and then “join the dots”.

The last time I posted about it of the four likely sources the most likely two of Inbound Passenger and Ember Flare up had been eliminated. Thus Zoonotic Reservoir and Trade Imports were the most likely. With fingers crossed it was not a zoonotic reservoir in vermin such as rats/mice or other wildlife, or domestic pets / livestock.

I must admit my money all be it a very small bet would be on Trade Imports such as chilled or frozen foods. Due in the main to the limited source outbreak and only one apparent source. That is if it was zoonotic infection from a reservoir you would have expected more sources and for them to have appeared earlier.

@ ALL,

There is good news via Germany in that the death rate in Europe is dropping in all age ranges even though it looks like we are in a second wave.

Why the death rate is dropping is not known but various guesses could be made the most likely being mask wearing significantly cuts the viral load thus likelyhood of immune system overload followed by clinical shock. That said the rising infection cases are mainly in the 18-35 year age range that has a very low mortality rate any way. This appears to be due to not social distancing and to try and put it delicately “swapping body fluids” in casual ways. I think the message is “Avoid young adult extroverts as they are likeky to be sick puppies”.

Now the schools are going back and in the UK school children are exempt from social distancing on busses, other public/private transport and it would appear in classes as well. I think it highly likely that as they are as easily infected as anyone else over five the infection rate will rise fairly quickly (apparently most of the 150 odd US Uni Campuses now have comunity outbreaks with something like 80,000 sofar testing positive).

I guess the real question is will school children become “granny kilkers?” Which if what happened in Italy and Spain in the first wave happens again is quite likely. Thus it might account for why the UK Bubble Rules about dependent households have been brought in.

In other news Dr Fauci the face of reasonable reporting in the US has indicated that he is taking both Vitamin D and Vitamin C. In the 1-2g range for the latter, and that whilst he advises everybody who are not babes in arms to have a flu vaccine, he said he would get his in October. Which probably means he thinks it has a quite limited immunity time.

But as he indicated whilst you can not improve your immune system above it’s optimum for your age range etc, most people have quite sub optimal immune systems anyway. Other sources suggest that this is mainly due to lifestyle issues… So time to sort yourselves out in the North before Winter gets here.

As for the south, “get out in the sun” apparently being out in the Sun when it’s around 45degrees with your shirt off for about half the time it takes you to get sun burn is wirth around 20,000IU of vitimin D. This natural dose is many times the 400IU or less most countries recommend… Which is odd as it would appear to be 1/50th of what nature gives you. I take rather more than that, but I spoke to my doctor first which is what everybody should do. That said trying to find actual data on what might be a too higher level is actually not that easy to do as it appears signs of toxicity are fairly silent, and it’s not been well researched.

About the best information in one web page is,

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-vitamin-d-is-too-much.

Sherman Jay September 15, 2020 10:36 AM

Tangential security topic:
Irresponsible Greedy Grid Elect. Utils. and the insecurity of losing your home.

In Calif and Oregon the big ‘long-distance’ greedy grid power companies shut off all power to hundreds of thousands of people in fire areas.

This cuts power to fire stations and hospitals, etc. (how many have backup generators and fuel for a month?). This cuts the power to homes where some people have medications that require refrigeration. Or if you lose power in freezing weather, will your pipes freeze without the electric power to keep the house warm? This cuts power to people’s homes that have electric grid-powered fire protection equipment. (our well pump and fire protection roof watering system in Oregon had an extended run generator for when the grid was down). It also cuts power to gas stations people need to fill their vehicles for evacuation purposes and to power most home generators

This should not, and need not, be the case.

I don’t consider myself some deranged prepper/survivalist. But, prudent thought says people should invest in systems to bypass the Greedy Grid Electric utilities. Propane powered generators, photovoltaic, wind power and significant battery backup will all help prevent disaster. Yes, they cost significant money. But compare that to the cost of losing your home if you don’t have a fire protection water system that is powered by an on-site power source.

Propane powered generators have many advantages. Propane can be stored for over a year and doesn’t degrade in a few months like gasoline does. Propane generators last longer and require less repair/maintenance. Propane won’t clog up fuel lines and carburetors if left in the generator.

And that same system can power essentials in your home if there is a power outage during a winter storm.

Clive Robinson September 15, 2020 12:00 PM

@ Sherman Jay,

In Calif and Oregon the big ‘long-distance’ greedy grid power companies shut off all power to hundreds of thousands of people in fire areas.

I’ve mentioned this last year with PG&E’s behaviour in California[1], and yes it’s a very real security issue as people that went out and purchased generators had them stolen by others, some violently so and the emergancy services could not respond…

Apparently the reason it’s all gone horribly wrong for house holders is that they don’t have enough legal clout… Because the companies are too busy making profit by not spending money on basic maintainence of the poorly designed over head transmission system and the “cut throughs” / “fire breaks” that have to have vegitation “cut back” for each seasons growth is not happening.

Thus “arcs and sparks” from the aging and ill maintained power system caused “fires” due to their deliberate lack of maintenance to increase profit and corporate bonuses etc.

They then in the case of PE&G got taken to court and found wanton and had to pay damages etc that they then claimed would bankrupt them and put them out of business and that they would have to stop supplying everyone…

So they avoided bankruptcy but used it as an excuse to turn the power off in large areas of California every time the weather forcast said their might be a little wind…

So they have got into a habit of anything that looks like they might get sued they turn the power of big style rather than do the maintainence they should do…

With regards propane generators they also run on natural gas, or even “wood gas” if you know how to generate it cleanly enough.

Gas in the UK is considerably cheaper in per kWH than electricity (about 1/6th). Somebody I know has in effect “gone off grid” using solar and wind generation. But rather than store it for their own use other than to charge their EV, they sell it back to the grid via various feed in tarrifs. Thus when they need electricity for things like the washing machine or other electrical power hungry devices or the days are dull and windless they use gas generation with the exhaust heat also being stored in a very large thermal mass under the house.

The net result is that they run their home for about 1/12th of a similar sized home and get EV charging thrown in for free or if you prefere the EV gets charged for very little and the house gets thrown in for free…

They do have one advantage though, they purchased a plot of land on the top and side of a fairly steep south facing hill, and built the house on the top. The otherwise considered near useless at the time hill side is where the more efficient solar arrays are. So the view from the house out onto the country side is unobstructed.

Apparently though his wife want’s to move as she want’s a bigger garden, what for she apparently has not made clear 😉

[1] You can see PG&E’s excuses last year rolled out in this article,

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/10/09/California-utility-cuts-power-to-millions-in-multi-phase-fire-prevention-effort/6851570600999/

Oh note the quote from Govornor Gruesome Newsom,

“The reality is that we want to protect people, We want to make sure people are safe. This is what PG&E thinks is in the best interest of their customers and ultimately for this region and the state.”

A direct line from PG&E’s marketing department and a steaming heap of bovine deposits.

The actual reality is that PG&E’s “on the cheap” electrical grid is not fit for purpose as it was done on the cheap tgus has high maintainability costs. That is, it was not put underground as they do in many parts of the world or on properly designed high elevation pylons. Therefore it is the worst it can be and a very real danger to humanity by design, unless it’s properly and thus expensively maintained…

Something that Gov Gruesome Newsom “the exploiter” would know if he was in any way honest and competent. But the gerrymandering etc has made efficient government neigh on impossible so taxes have to climb and climb while services get worse and worse. So draw your own conclusions.

Curious September 15, 2020 12:05 PM

It just occurred to me that just like with Whitfield Diffe’s and Susan Landau’s book ‘Privacy on the line’, in having made this point of how espionage might be used to undermind a trade deal with what one would call a trade partner by forcefully exploiting this breach of privacy by committing espionage against a trade partner to learn about their lowest acceptable price offer (iirc); in the ongoing extradition case of Julian Assange in UK, with the apparently espionage done against JA’s legal team by a Spanish firm inside the Equadorian embassy in London, although I don’t know the details, USA has apparently performed espionage against the JA defence team for exploiting information that might perhaps end up framing JA by means of espionage and tailored legal processes that JA perhaps can’t realistically defend against. So ofc there is no fair trial. And an extradition hearing is ofc a trial, when being an instrument to try make an extradition from UK to USA to happen.

That the harassment and persecution of JA is ongoing, is ofc not news. Iirc, I think it was norwegian national news (Nrk) online years ago apparently being involved in a character assasination of JA by means of exaggerating claims that JA was mentally ill. I remember complaining about this to the press complaint agency PFU, but I couldn’t get JA’s signature to successfully get the complaint processed, so they didn’t do anything with the complaint. Then the Swedish police on their own went out of their way to re-prosecute Assange, which if with the wrong intentions would surely amount to being the same as false accusations if accusing somebody because of mere persecution. I also vaguely remember complaining online about how two British high court cases about extraditing JA from Sweden to UK seemd to be intellectually fraudulent, because of how there were imo elements in the court documents that were not rational/logical, thus fraudulent.

Clive Robinson September 15, 2020 12:12 PM

@ Winter,

There might not be a real flu season this year. There wasn’t one in Australia.

Well there was and there was not depending on where you were. From what I’ve been told New South Wales did have a flu season of sorts along with having most of the COVID upsurge.

Which has caused some to suggest that where “Hands Face Space” is working for COVID it’s also working for other viruses and pathogens.

That is Australia did not get the usuall “flu pandemic” because anti-pandemic measures were effective and thus the pathogen could not spread.

It will be interesting to see the figures for other seasonal infections like “the common colds” some of which are corona viruses.

Maybe the upside of COVID is that we will see it cut down on seasonal infection illnesses especialy the hospitalisations and deaths and as in South and East Asia we will see a change in societal habits to healthier behaviours.

That is people will realise that we do not have to have the seasonal cull of loved ones due to societies indifference.

Curious September 15, 2020 12:37 PM

To add to what I wrote:

I thought of this here the other day, remembering something I read on twitter some years ago: Given that UK high courts earlier opined that being investigated is equal to being charged, then I will argue that every nation spying on their citizens, is imo a police state, in basically having treated everybody as suspected criminals, when they implement surveillance that spy on people that has done nothing wrong.

In norway some years ago, there was this national debacle when it was proposed that a directive (stemming from an EU law) was to be passed for storing certain types of metadata for all people. I remember a high ranking military officer making the point online in a news article, that they were really only after the bad guys, or something to that effect, which to me sounded unconvincing and being something offensive, as if wanting to be pragmatic was somehow to make such surveillance acceptable in the eyes of the puclic. I have honestly since lost track of this development, but somehow my impression is that, even though the public persecption of this seemed overwhelmingly like a bad idea at the time, and one lawyer on twitter iirc pointed out that this would be like treating all people like suspects in storing this meta data, I suspect this type of surveillance of storing metadata is still going forwards and it wouldn’t surprise me if this was also enacted earlier this year, with no delay and with no debate. I remember a news article pointing out how there was to no extended discussion in parliament to be scheduled, on the day this re-written surveillance law was enacted.

JonKnowsNothing September 15, 2020 12:51 PM

@ Winter, lawrence, Clive

re: New Zealand COVID-19 unpublished source of one outbreak

I also have not seen any confirmation about the source of the NZ outbreak. It was labeled as unknown a few days ago.

It is possible the source is known due to the genome tracing but for reasons yet to be determined that genome is not being advertised.

From Nextstrain analysis August 2020

In Oceania, New Zealand’s cases are contained in a narrow temporal band, corresponding to their elimination of the virus (until this week).

The [outbreak] cluster has now spread to around 30 known cases (at time of publication), primarily based in the largest city, Auckland.

The source is not yet known, however scientists have sequenced the isolates and reported that they fall into lineage B1.1.1; so while the genomes are yet to be released they are known…

This lineage originated in Europe, but has since been observed in multiple regions around the world.

Cats and Dogs have not been found to be reservoirs so far, as COVID-19 does not jump to humans from those species.

Minks and Ferrets are the likely reservoir candidates along with their entire family of mustelidae although I have not seen much science exploring all the members of the family. It can be considered that the closer relatives of ferrets are potential reservoirs.

This includes weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, minks, wolverines,
polecats (including the endangered black-footed ferret), and stoats (aka ermine). Otters are a particular concern.

ex: In California sea otters have acquired canine distemper. Sea otters rarely haul out of the water. The transfer point was from dog feces. When people walk their dogs on the beach, if the poop is not picked up, it later washes into the surf during tide changes.

People think they can bury excrement, human or otherwise, in a sand hole …

ht tps://nextstrain.org/
  SARS-CoV-2 genomes and others.
  75,000 sequences publicly shared COVID-19 genomes

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustelidae
ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mustelids
ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-footed_ferret

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canine_distemper
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

lurker September 15, 2020 1:15 PM

@Clive: re NZ 2nd wave
As @Jon** says the genomic analysis is done, but the dots are still too far apart to join. Re mink, etc, the authorities here do not appear to attach any significance to our population of domestic and feral cats.

With tightening of testing at borders more cases are being caught in border workers, but not soon enough to catch one who had two strenuous sessions at a gym while infective. In spite of people still being caught not “self-isolating” it is unlikely we will use the Chinese solution: all suspects under armed guard. Right from the beginning I could see the flaw in self-isolation, and I still wonder if the number of people who can’t be trusted is factored into the epidemiological calculations.

@All:
Panodyne, yes; official, yes; accurate, highly likely:
https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases

jcb September 15, 2020 1:43 PM

@Clive Robinson

The fact that managment and those above them see it as “unproductive” thus leaving money on the table etc etc is the reason that it’s use is scarce in the US.

These slave-drivers are the ones beholden to Chinese-only supply chain cartels such as Huawei, and Indian-national-only software programming of them by inviting foreign workers into the U.S. on H-1B visas.

The entitled do not want disruptive abilities in the populus, they want “the bend of the knee” as they pass by so that they can look down on others.

That’s right. They demand slavery and involuntary servitude. That’s why we’re having a Second Civil War in the United States.

JonKnowsNothing September 15, 2020 2:05 PM

@Clive @All

re: Co-Generation, Power Sell Backs and Discounts

This is a mine field of counter moves and under explained hype that is now mandatory in new California homes and the solar power industry has been harvesting great gobs of money by touting sell-back-discounts.

This applies to California, ymmv

Solar Energy works, it works well. It is not as cheap as advertised and the vast majority of California housing was never built with solar energy as a component. That means: the housing is not designed to use it effectively.

The common pitch is to sell a solar roof system or land grid if you have space and sell the generated power back to the local electric company (there are 2 in California). The owner then receiving an equivalent discount on the power bill.

Such roof systems are installed for $20,000-$30,000 USD on average. The ROI takes a long on these systems. It takes longer than the effective lifespan of multiple replacement solar panels and the roof system. Also, replacing the roof is not included in the calculations.

The pitch is that the solar power company will finance the costs on your mortgage and it will be paid off in 30 years. The costs of maintenance and solar panel replacements are somewhere in the fine print as is the regular requirement to clean the solar panels because dust reduces their efficiency by a lot.

The next part of the pitch omits that as the USA is a hyper-capitalist country, and such co-generation buy backs are subsidies granted by state law to promote competition in the electrical industry. States of Washington and Oregon also has similar laws. Both those states eventually removed the subsidy because solar options became “main stream” and no longer qualified for competitive assistance.

Once the subsidies were removed, the entire ponzi scheme collapsed. The electrical grid stalwarts no longer had to buy the co-gen power and they no longer had to give any discounts. They harvested the power for free anyway since the panels were tied to the grid.

To add to the heap, such subsidies were found to be illegal and the power companies back-billed all the customers for all the discounts they had received over the years. It was a large amount to be sure.

The housing owners where still stuck paying the $30,000+ for the roof system on their mortgage.

So, caveat emptor…

What does work, is a fully off the grid system. It will power about one room of the common California house and uses battery storage. Batteries still have to be changed and are not cheap. You can build an array of them depending on your needs.

Such systems cost $10,000-15,000 USD depending on what your local housing ordinances will allow.

For less than $1,000 USD you can invest in an RV-Trailer portable setup that uses both wind and solar power and with 4-6 batteries will charge your electronic devices and power LEDs TVs and the like.

If you have running water you can throw in a water turbine which will recharge phones and small gear.

For not much in the way of material costs, you can install a water-pipe-turbine where the turbines are embedded in a schedule 40 water line and install one or more in-line to waterlines as they enter the house. Every time you turn on the tap or flush the loo, you make electricity.

Off the Grid solutions are the only long term solutions that remain reliable and affordable. However, California building codes which were updated this year, still do not require better construction methods, or more than a token’s worth of energy efficiency.

Why?

Builder Marketing says everyone wants a 2,500-3,500 square foot house that has minimal or no passive energy considerations or construction (see Passive House).

With our devastating fires, Builders will just rebuild the same-old-same-old because its all done with the same floor plans over and over. The crews know where to put the nails because every house has the same nailing pattern.

If you want something different, you either have to be very wealthy or able to build it yourself.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_house
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter September 15, 2020 2:36 PM

“Such roof systems are installed for $20,000-$30,000 USD”

I have solar panels on my roof that cover my yearly power use (not heating) for under $6000. This is with back delivery (I only pay for excess power I consume).

Why the high prices? What power consumption is this built for?

jcb September 15, 2020 3:44 PM

@winter

solar panels on my roof that cover my yearly power use (not heating) for under $6000. This is with back delivery (I only pay for excess power I consume).

You’re still connected to the grid and respond appropriately at all costs to service of process from City Hall, and your home is professionally wired (no, not by you,) up to National Electrical Code specifications with localizations as approved by the local assembly or board of commissioners for your community, at a cost >$20,000, not including permitting and paperwork and mandatory inspections for fire code and earthquake structure retrofitting.

JonKnowsNothing September 15, 2020 4:22 PM

@Winter @jcb

As @jcb has indicated there are a lot more costs involved.

You said your investment is $6,000 but in California that would barely cover the costs of the solar panels themselves in a basic roof array.

If you are a licensed electrician in the state of California and are certified to connect things directly to the power grid, you might be able to do the work yourself but the solar power industry isn’t designed for DIY. You also have to have the links to the power provider (PG&E or SoCalEd) to get the right billing tariffs and metering.

There are a number of sales/leasing options proposed by the solar roof folks so I don’t know which ones you opted for.

The standard house targeted in California is 2,500+ square feet of floor space. It is a stick frame construction with some fiberglass insulation between the studs and a moderate amount installed between the roof joints. These homes are priced at $300,000 to $500,000 USD and have 2-3 car garages except in areas with zero-lot-lines or higher density zoning.

The zero-lot lines and higher density zoning is intended to provide more housing but sacrifices fire safety and practicality where most urban dwellers need 1 car per person to travel to/from work and school. (pre-COVID)

The power consumption is higher than a small house and less than a very old house (1950s) that has not had extensive remodeling. Such houses will now have LED lighting and a few cosmetic changes but you are not going to find much in the way of sustainable energy or zero energy design other than some legally provided “says so on the label.. ”

Off grid means it’s yours and you are responsible for connecting it up and installing all the required safety features and all the maintenance. Solar panels and batteries may need to be changed @5yr or if damaged. There are a good number of off-grid installers and manufacturers of small systems. Small systems are used in rural areas all over the globe.

jcb September 15, 2020 4:56 PM

@JonKnowsNothing

You said your investment is $6,000 but in California that would barely cover the costs of the solar panels themselves in a basic roof array.

I have a gasoline-powered 3500 watt generator I paid some $300 for — it was essentially new, but not running well, had had some service and repair issues.

I also found a bargain on an air compressor, which a customer had returned because it was only wired for 120V rather than 240, and it had been blowing the circuit breaker. When I plugged it into the generator, the engine stalled, sputtered, and blew a huge cloud of black smoke. Then the throttle opened all the way automatically, with a deafening roar, and a bright blue discharge was visible in broad daylight. It crackled like lightning, and finally the seized compressor piston broke free.

Electric motors, when they start, generate a quantum effect which has a tendency to lock a circuit breaker on and prevent it from tripping until the motor has reached its full speed. The flyback voltage from the coils of a large electric motor is strong enough to force or even weld the contacts of a circuit breaker together and suppress the quantum states where the circuit breaker would otherwise begin to trip.

SpaceLifeForm September 15, 2020 5:50 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Keywords: Correlation, MAC, SSID, VPN, Encrochat

Upstream has MAC. Wardriver gets SSID and correlates SSID with GPS. See google.

MAC now tied to location.

Note that even a possibly dynamic ip address is not needed. No ip address is needed at all.

VPN or TOR is not going to hide criminals.

hXXps://www.vice.com/en_us/article/k7qjkn/encrochat-hack-gps-messages-passwords-data

“As well as the geolocation, chat messages, and passwords, the law enforcement malware also told infected Encrochat devices to provide a list of WiFi access points near the device, the document reads.”

Sherman Jay September 15, 2020 11:44 PM

As a final note on the grid vs. off-grid security issue, some partially self-contained houses use propane for heating, cooking and to power a back-up generator. In oregon we had a 5KW propane generator in an outbuilding and a bank of 12V deep cycle lead-acid batteries and inverters. An electrician put in a grid isolation switch so we wouldn’t back-feed the grid when our system was running. It powered the well pump, Gas Forced Air house heater, refrigerator and lights. An old RV stove was hooked to the 100 gal. propane tank, too. It would power all those items for as long as the propane lasted or without the generator, about 30 hours. A contributor to the Electric Vehicle mailing list uses both photovoltaic and wind turbines with his Nissan Leaf E/V as a battery pack and is completely off-grid.

Some other interesting designs

hXXps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthship

hXXps://www.earthshipglobal.com/

hxxps://offgridworld.com/a-beautiful-earthship-home-built-for-less-than-10k/

hXXps://offgridworld.com/category/earthships/

A Raspberry Pi would be great in these because of the extremely low 5VDC 2.5 amp current consumption (plus the monitor) or about 12V 2.5 amps for a small laptop like an EEEPC or pinebook.

Winter September 16, 2020 2:27 AM

@johnknows
“The standard house targeted in California is 2,500+ square feet of floor space. It is a stick frame construction with some fiberglass insulation between the studs and a moderate amount installed between the roof joints. ”

I live in a city. My house is a concrete frame, flat, concrete roof, with bricks on the outside. The price of solar included installation and all other costs. The electrical wiring is standard. I live close to a bus stop and train station and do not even have a car.

This is the Netherlands, so we do not have earthquakes.

So, if I understand this well, the costs are so high because the standard house and wiring cannot cope with solar panels and have to be retrofitted?

JonKnowsNothing September 16, 2020 4:34 AM

@Winter

re: retrofitting = yes and cost of land = high

There are a number of differences between EU and USA in house design and structures. Normally newer housing in the EU is much more advanced in design layouts and has better energy efficiency than a similar house in the USA.

In California the cost of the house includes the cost of the land. We have “free hold” (I think is what you call it). For a single residence we own both the house and the land it sits on. The cost of land in California is much greater than other locations.

A 1 bedroom apartment in San Francisco rents for $3,000 USD per month. Houses in Silicon Valley for a family of 4-6 cost way over $1,000,000 USD. Which is one reason many workers cannot live nearer their work: the cost of housing is beyond even the basic 6 digit salaries offered.

The land cost adds a great deal to the price but builders here use Market Rate Pricing = current selling prices of equivalent homes. As they compare the price of a small house in the bay area for $1,000,000-3,000,000 USD and offer up a “larger style” house out in my hinterlands for $300,000-500,000 this is very attractive to folks that can now telecommute without their bosses being overly worried they are out at the coffee shops/malls instead of working.

Our building codes determine what sort of construction is allowed. They are different for apartments or tower blocks. For single family homes in California the only stone, brick ones you would see are pre WW2 or maybe pre-1950. You cannot build a house with masonry walls unless you use special techniques and that runs the price up a lot.

Advanced designs are only open to wealthy buyers who can afford to build a custom built home. These can have rammed-earth walls and solar mass heating and 4 pane glazed windows and high R-Ratings for insulation. Designed to cope for places with extreme heat and/or snow pack and very little energy usage.

The major housing industry here has zero interest in building such homes, primarily they claim No One Wants One.

To add a solar system to existing house stocks requires them to be retrofitted. The electrical systems can be designed to use solar but until this year (2020) all solar roof systems were retro-fitted and might require full re-wiring of the house. We have had many changes in what was allowed like aluminum wiring was popular in the 1970-80s and now is no longer acceptable.

In urban California you might be lucky to live within 10 miles of a transit hub and more likely 30 miles or more. My personal worst long distance record to a Silicon Valley company was 60 miles each way (120 miles per day) and 2 hours by car each way (4 hours per day), 6 days a week (or 7). I have known some that travel hundreds of miles and 4+ hours each way to their jobs: they drive to a park and ride drop point, pick up a bus to the train station and then sleep on the train until it arrives at the destination, then take public transit or have a stashed-overnight-junker car in the parking lot to take them the last miles to work.

So you are most fortunate to have a great place and good transportation.

Clive Robinson September 16, 2020 5:10 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

MAC now tied to location.

Only for those that are not sufficiently cautious.

The MAC number/address or “Media Access Control” number is a 48bit number that goes back to the early days of Ethernet. Originally known as MAC48 that term is now depreciated and EUI-48 prefered and is to be phased out on or befor 2080.

Unfortunately nearly all subsequent IEEE standards for networks including WiFi are built out on Ethernet and EUI-48.

The MAC number is supposed to be unique, so the first half/24bits was a manufacturers code or “Organizationaly Unique Identifier” (OUI) followed by a unique number for the Network Interface Controlers (NICs) they make.

However as with IPv4 it’s easy to see that the OUI-NIC arangment was grossly insufficient for the number of NIC’s manufactures make. Thus some manufacturers started alowing people to put a MAC in themselves. One of the older and easier NICs to do this with was the Novel NE1000 and NE2000 from around 1987. Part of the reason Novel did this was to get around a address translation issue from Ethernet 48bit MAC to IP 32bit. The IEEE originally repeated this mistake with EUI-48 to EUI-64 translation and have since depreciated it.

The upshot is that many chip sets allow the MAC to be changed. The IEEE subsequently admitted that the OUI-NIC model was “limiting” so now bits 0 and 1 of the first octet of the MAC are reserved to signify “Unicast/Multicast” and “OUI/local admin” respectively thus further reducing the EUI-48 space. Whilst respecting bit 0 is wise bit 1 is realy only a “local administrative” issue and a sensible administrator should design their systems to ignore it for a whole multitude of reasons.

Interestingly some chip sets even alow “on the fly” changing of the MAC. Obviously this includes some WiFi chip sets as well. Some of which also if you have them alowed you to use “out of band” channels, which caused a bit of an upset with the FCC a few years back. The FCC issued one of their usual brain dead dictats that had not been thought through, that caused several repercussions that flowed over into the DIY WiFi router Open Source Software community, Ham Radio, and several others.

The upshot is you can if you know what you are doing make a WiFi router that has more than one SSID which you can use like a “knock code” such that it comes up with a new unbroadcast SSID and MAC and on a different channel.

Thus a wardriver gets to see little or nothing if you get things right. When you are not actively communicating you can have the AP in a passive mode where it does not broadcast it’s SSID or MAC and only responds if you know them. But if you are actively using it the wardriver only gets a random MAC in use at the time on a different channel.

This still leaves the issue of changing the handset MAC etc but there are phones and apps out there that can do it with the minimum of pain.

BUT… Whilst this might deal with MAC-GPSLocation databases it does not solve other issues that Traffic Analysis can be used to reveal. One of which is network traffic time logs and the IP address of the AP gateway to the Internet.

That is if I as a “mobile user” want to communicate with you as a “mobile user” we need some kind of rendezvous protocol or fixed mid point so that we can find our ever changing network gateway addresses. If there are any fixed IP addresses used at any point then that will provide a refrence point on which an attacker can build a database to apply a little mathmatics to to “nail you down”.

I’ve been looking at solving the “problem” which Wikipedia glosses over with,

“Because of firewall network address translation (NAT) issues, rendezvous protocols generally require that there be at least one unblocked and un-NATed server that lets the peers locate each other and initiate concurrent packets at each other.”

There are ways around it using hidden servers and overlaying a “broadcast network” on top of a fully padded “Circuit switched network” that sits on top of the “Packet Switched network” that the Internet is. But as that mouthfull alone should tell you it’s not an easy thing to do let alone get right.

@ ALL,

As I keep mentioning on this blog if you want secure communications in a “collect it all world” you need to understand the limitations of what you have available -v- the attacker. So the first fundemental step is to assume that “the attacker has control of any end points they can reach”. So as a minimum to get only message content security you first need to “get your security end point beyond the communications end point” which means using “off communications device encryption”, anything less will be a compleate security fail.

Thus the first step is very far from “ease of use” and further steps can take you even further from “ease of use”. If anyone tells you otherwise they had better be able to explain it in considerable depth otherwise it’s likely to be “snake-oil” much as all the popular “Secure Message Apps” are currently.

So if you are a whistleblower ditch any idea of electronic comms those “secure drops” are anything but. So go for old school fieldcraft if you need security that way you and your journalist of choice might stay out of jail. Oh and remember “electronic communications” also covers the likes of modern bus/train passes, car number plates and all those groovy fitness trackers, implanted medical electronics etc etc.

Clive Robinson September 16, 2020 6:09 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Winter,

… or have a stashed-overnight-junker car in the parking lot …

As I understand it more and more people are “car/van surfing”.

That is they find it less expensive and less stressful to sleep covertly in cars or small vans in parking lots or even side streets. In the morning they go to the gym in sweats with gym bag etc looking like they have jogged then use the showers[1] and coffee bar to get ready for the day.

A small van and folding pushbike gives you about the most flexability for this sort of lifestyle and gives further excuse for sweats and gym bag.

You can get 220W solar pannels that can be put more or less unnoticeably on a van roof. This will charge a battery during the day enough to run a microwave for a few minutes or run a camping “electric blanket” you can put inside a sleeping bag in winter etc.

You can also run a smart device via mobile phone or if you know what you are doing with a high gain antenna use the WiFi in a coffee shop or store like in Wallmart’s car park.

This way they can buy a house in a rural area with land to get on the property ladder or eventually “work from home” as a contractor/consultant.

Unfortunately “city councils” are wising up to this and stopping overnight street parking and the like, but with care you can park up in other places without hassle.

[1] A few years ago I experimented to find just how little water you need to take a shower with. Call it a “lean Navy Shower” but it’s a little less than a quart/ltr including washing long hair… You can do a “lean sink wash” of the “face and pits etc” with less than 1/5th of that (just don’t use deoderant as it takes a lot of washing to get off unlike natural secretions and perfume). In either case you use a pump spray bottle used in greenhouses or for indoor plants (though those cheap Walmart etc 1$ 10once spray bottles work). You first lightly spray on to put just enough soap on then spray into your rub off hand/cloth[2] to remove. If you start at the head and work down gravity helps you use less water overall as used water from above can be used to moisten lower parts.

[2] Unlike “face cloths / flannels” “baby wipes” don’t need very much water to wash with and don’t need to be dried or laundered. Laundry is a bit of a problem to do in a car or small van even if you use an electric camping washing machine. The water used to do a small load such as five t’s[3] boxers and socks is about five gallons from start to finish. However the thing to remember about water efficiency is “rinse and spin water can be reused as pre wash / wash water for the next load”.

[3] Wearing tee shirts and boxers help keep sweat and odor down considerably which is why people in hotter climates wear them. Thus it also alows you to wear office wear shirts and suits etc for more days before you need to wash or dry clean them. Oh and remember in some gyms the showers are in cubicals with doors that close, so you can take your underware and a plastic bag in and as they used to teach soldiers to do wash your underware whilst you are showering. Wring it out put in the plastic bag dry off and put clean underware on and just pretend your shy if anyone asks.

Winter September 16, 2020 7:20 AM

“So you are most fortunate to have a great place and good transportation.”

I am aware of that. I have no plans of moving.

Clive Robinson September 16, 2020 7:34 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders

Only works properly if not powered.

Then wrapped in rebar and set in the middle of a cubic foot of fire escape grade concrete and dropped of the back of a boat that is lost at sea somewhere about 125miles South West of Guam[1].

Once upon a time that was considered secure, but not only have we now been there it appears there is all sorts of life down there that need to get told about the security risks from above…

So maybe the Lord of The Rings Option would be better.

But ‘then I want my code name to be “Glorfindel”‘[2].

[1] Challenger Deep can be seen marked on,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marianatrenchmap.png

[2] Mars has bigger volcanos and deeper trenches than Earth though no oceans these days. The back drop scenery in “The Martian” nerdy as it is, does not realy get that across. Though it has added the much approved “I’m left with only one option, I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this” phrase to the English language.

Clive Robinson September 16, 2020 8:06 AM

@ Lurker,

does CNBC not believe Oracle is trusted? is Oracle providing something other than technology?

It’s not that I believe Oracle is untrustworthy, I know with out doubt they are untrustworthy as do many others including the US Government.

But on a more fun point they are a compleate load of the worst that is corporate America.

Somebody else has pointed out that a certain voting software company that got caught out by researchers are currently trying to turn a poor piece of US legislation into a nightmare in the US Supreme Court, and put it in conflict with other legislation such as the DMCA.

Well a certain lady at Oracle made the same claims some time ago on her blog and created a degree of noise on the Internet.

There is little doubt she was parroting the Oracle internal viewpoint, but to have it stated publically well that’s bad publicity and effects the profit line. So surprise surprise she pulled her blog post, and kept her job for a little longer (if somebody less senior had said it they would have very probably been out on their ear with a cardboard box following after them).

But just in case people missed it,

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2969772/oracle-pulls-blog-post-critical-of-security-vendors-customers.html

Sherman Jay September 16, 2020 11:04 AM

@Winter,
“So, if I understand this well, the costs are so high because the standard house and wiring cannot cope with solar panels and have to be retrofitted?”

Not necessary for most. In my SW u.s. neighborhood of 20+ year old frame homes (1200-2500sqft) there are many dozens of roofs covered in 4-7KW photovoltaic panels. They feed into a new breaker/meter box which ties them to the main service panel and grid. There is no need for any re-wiring or retrofitting. The panels are mounted directly through the cement tiles.

@johnknowsnothing,
“Advanced designs are only open to wealthy buyers who can afford to build a custom built home.”

This is not always the case: Please see my post above where the original ‘earthships’ are in the inhospitable climate of New Mexico and one family built their earthship home for $10K.

But, you are right, most builders don’t care about anything but putting up cheap stick homes whose ‘style’ appeals to the superficial taste of most people and they work for as much profit as they can squeeze out.

vas pup September 16, 2020 6:06 PM

What is the Hera, DART planetary defense mission?

https://www.dw.com/en/what-is-the-hera-dart-planetary-defense-mission/a-54948045

“Europe’s space agency, ESA, and America’s NASA are collaborating =>to protect Earth from an asteroid collision. The target: A double asteroid called Didymos.”

What will DART do?

The first spacecraft, DART, is due to launch in July 2021. Its name stands for Double Asteroid Redirect Test.

DART should arrive at the double asteroid by September or October 2022. It will perform what’s called a “kinetic impact” on the smaller of the two bodies, Didymoon. Basically, it will crash or slam into the asteroid moon, with a speed of 6.6 km per second, and the aim of leaving a 20 m crater.

It sounds easier than it’s likely to be in reality.

But it’s hoped that that impact will alter Didymoon’s orbital velocity of 17 centimeters per second by half a millimeter per second. Scientists say that tiny nudge will be enough to change the smaller asteroid’s rotation around the larger one by about 200 seconds, and that’s just enough to make it possible for them to measure the change with Earth-based telescopes.
Scientists says this is an important test to assess whether it would be possible to alter the orbit of a hazardous asteroid around the sun — to deflect it and stop it hitting Earth — and how much would be enough, but not too much.

What will Hera do?

Hera is due to launch in October 2024. It should arrive at the double system in late 2026 and survey the moonlet, close-up, for at least six months. About the size of a desk, Hera will carry two smaller satellites, known as CubeSats.

It will deploy those CubeSats to conduct, among other things, the first ever radar probe of an asteroid’s interior. Hera will scan the shape of DART’s crater for information that may help design asteroid deflection missions in the future. It will also demonstrate inter-satellite link technology in deep space and provide experience of ultra-low gravity operations.

One of the main objectives of the joint mission is to estimate Didymoon’s mass. Hera should do that with “uncertainuncertainty of less than 10%” — or an accuracy of 90% — and that is “only possible by flying to it,” says ESA.”

JonKnowsNothing September 16, 2020 7:44 PM

@Clive @Winter @Sherman Jay

re: car/van surfing

In many parts of California this is illegal. You will be arrested, your vehicle towed and impounded, you will receive fines and have to pay expensive impound costs or lose the vehicle as forfeit.

You may be offered a one-way ticket to another place by the courts if you agree to self-banishment for at least 6 months (sometimes longer) on penalty of jail if you return.

While it is difficult to determine the difference between napping in your car while parked on the street, napping in your car parked on the street under a tree for shade, parked in a designated camping zone, many wealthy and not so wealthy cities have enacted a “no sleeping in your car” law.

Such laws also include (in San Francisco) activities such as eating food in public area, giving food to another person, sitting lying or leaning on the curb, sidewalk, doorway, walls or alcoves.

You might trigger a deluge of water that pours from over head sprinklers or encounter “no loitering” spikes or bumps or benches designed to prevent someone from lying down on them.

In Silicon Valley you might encounter a TechBro, such as the one who was so incensed that an entrepreneurial person was standing on the corner selling fruit near the TechBro’s mansion abode enclave, that he stopped his mega dollar vehicle, approached the budding capitalist selling fruit, and trashed the guy’s inventory with many an expletive not-deleted. Not in the slightest bit embarrassed by his outburst, he wrote to the City advocating a ban on entrepreneurs selling fruit.

Or you might be attempted to enjoy a take away lunch in Golden Gate Park, a beautiful public park where eating is permitted, to have not one but two TechBros report you to the SFPD, who arrive johnny-on-the-spot and shoot you dead in 30 seconds or less. It is fatal to wear a San Francisco 49er Football Team Official NFL Jacket. Both TechBros moved because of the unwanted attention, one moved to Marin County to be nearer other TechBros of similar views.

I used to bring my lunch to work as many Silicon Valley companies are in Industrial Parks which have a severe shortage of food facilities, and eat it in my car parked under a lovely tree with a view of the San Francisco Bay and lightly doze off for the balance of my lunch time allotment. Doing so now could get you killed from a TechBro SWATTING call.

However, one good turn is that while COVID-19 is rampaging about California and people have had to self-isolate and still go to work, where they can infect their colleagues, and due to the devastating fires around the state, a small reprieve in Car/Van Surfing has been allowed – temporarily.

You can now park an RV or Travel Trailer in front of your own home or in the driveway and sleep in it to stay isolated. Previously you would get a MoveIt-or-TowIt notice (24-48hr in winter and 72hrs in summer) but if it’s parked in the right spot and you can provide documentation on demand that you need to stay isolated, you can hang out there during the pandemic.

Singapore Noodles September 16, 2020 9:07 PM

@ Sherman Jay @Winter @johnknowsnothing,

Re: Advanced designs are only open to wealthy buyers who can afford to build a custom built home

20 years or so ago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin school would design a house for 10% of the built out finished cost of the house. I saw one if these, a 1600 square foot house built from steel pipe secured concrete masonry units and meeting California earthquake code. The finishings were very simple and house was selling for a very reasonable price a normal person could afford. It was an absolute dream of aesthetic utility and order and felt like 3000 square feet. In true Wright fashion it was situated to beautifully complement its land site.

jcb September 16, 2020 11:24 PM

@SingaporeNoodles

20 years or so ago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin school would design a house for 10% of the built out finished cost of the house

And that’s a set of professionally engineered custom plans, with the rubber stamps from city hall and the implied guarantees of fitness of purpose of human habitation or abode. There’s a significant degree of responsibility involved in the planning and direction of construction.

I’m sure you can find other schools of architecture or artsy people willing to work on an independent contract basis who know what they’re doing structural-engineering-wise.

jcb September 16, 2020 11:24 PM

@SingaporeNoodles

20 years or so ago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin school would design a house for 10% of the built out finished cost of the house

And that’s a set of professionally engineered custom plans, with the rubber stamps from city hall and the implied guarantees of fitness of purpose of human habitation or abode. There’s a significant degree of responsibility involved in the planning and direction of construction.

I’m sure you can find other schools of architecture or artsy people willing to work on an independent contract basis who know what they’re doing structural-engineering-wise.

JonKnowsNothing September 17, 2020 3:50 AM

@jcb SingaporeNoodles SingaporeNoodles Sherman Jay Winter @All

re: professionally engineered custom plans / structural-engineering

Nearly every area in California has a different set of rules about what is allowed for housing or other buildings. There are state rules, county rules and city rules and one should not be overly surprised that the rules rarely mesh together.

City rules are within city limits. County rules are outside of city limits. Things allowed in cities may not be allowed in a county.

example: Tiny House On Wheels. An up scaled trailer. There are two variations that get crossed but the difference is a big one for zoning. One version is a Tiny House on Wheels (THOW) and the other is a Park Model RV (PMRV). While they look the same, function the same but they are totally different when it comes to zoning.

PMRV are considered to be like cars and travel trailers and have a vehicle license tag. California State considers them to be like any other travel trailer.

THOW are not considered to be in the above category. They are classified similar to mobile homes.

In my area, the CITY will allow a THOW to be setup on your lot if you have the required space. The COUNTY does not allow either a THOW or PMRV (except where parked in a Mobile Home Park or RV Park).

The COUNTY does not consider travel trailers (PMRV) or trailer-chassis systems (THOW) to be Suitable Permanent Housing and so … one cannot live in one here legally even if you own the land.

THOW and PMRV are also built to 2 different construction standards. Of course, like all standards they are miles apart from each other.

It may look OK on TV where they gloss over the rules or film in areas where there are no zoning rules.

People here get into all sorts of difficulties because they do not get or purchase or have structural engineering plans for their buildings. If you don’t have these plans the County will not approve your building and if you cannot afford to re-create them or cannot obtain a copy of them, you will have to tear down the structure. For old time barns, hay barns and old housing, it’s a bit hard to find a structural drawing for something that’s older than dirt.

Structural Engineering Costs for a simple hay pole barn (1) 24ft square x 16ft tall, is $1,000 USD. That’s just one plan, “wet stamped” by a licensed structural engineer. You may need a set of 10 copies to submit to various departments for approval.

Then you need the rest of the design plans, site plot map, survey points, grading permits and electrical load if you want to turn on a light. You don’t want to be bucking hay in the mornings before sun rise or on those long winter nights in the dark – too many rattlers about.

(1) A pole barn is a roof set on top of 4 or more pillars. There are no sides. Just the roof.

NAME (REQUIRED) September 17, 2020 8:05 AM

Squid is raw, calamari is cooked. Not the same.

Just like potato and french fry, not the same.

Curious September 18, 2020 5:56 AM

Free Tesla advertisement? Re. so called autonomous cars.

(“Speeding Tesla driver caught napping behind the wheel on Alberta highway”)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/tesla-driver-napping-alberta-speeding-1.5727828

“The car appeared to be driving on autopilot at more than 140 km/h, RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News on Thursday. The speed limit on that stretch of highway is 110 km/h.”

I wonder how they stopped the car, if they ever did. Article text doesn’t say from what I could tell. Apparently the driver must have still had his hands on the steering wheel, if sleeping, else the car is supposed to slow down and stop at the side of the road according to the article.

JonKnowsNothing September 18, 2020 10:03 AM

@All

re: More hazards of self driving cars…

MSM report dated 09 16 2020
  on 2018 fatal Uber test car crash that killed a pedestrian.

… safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber test car that struck and killed a woman in 2018 [charged] with negligent homicide…

[The safety driver] is the only person facing criminal consequences in the first death of a pedestrian involving a self-driving vehicle, after prosecutors last year said Uber was not criminally liable in the crash.

Test a car – Go to jail

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/16/uber-self-driving-car-death-safety-driver-charged

JonKnowsNothing September 18, 2020 10:29 AM

@All

re: Unexpected Costs of Solar Panel Installation in California

Personal anecdotes

A rural neighbor wanted to install a solar field array. They had the solar installation company come out and do all the work and permits and electrical grid connections. Then the COUNTY came out for their inspection. The county flagged a nearby garage-barn for tear down. He didn’t know why he was required to tear down the building but there wasn’t any option (1). So he tore down the building. Next he had a new construction company design a replacement garage. This time he took the plans to the COUNTY before construction and found out: the expert garage designers had again placed the building too close to a perimeter.

Another rural farmer installed their solar field array wanting to save some dollars because the home was old and did not have much in the way of energy design and doing even “small” changes like replacing single glazed with double, triple of quad glazing and rebuilding the old farm house walls for insulation was a bigger bill than installing a solar grid array. The array went in OK but then the COUNTY came out for their inspection and (yep) found a whole lot of buildings that had no permits, no structural wet stamped plans, no longer in-code location placements. Once you apply for a new permit, everything becomes “fair game” in the permit process. The rancher found an old 60s fly over aerial photo of the vicinity showing the placement of some barns and hoped that he could get those grandfathered into the zoning requirements. If not, he was going to be paying a lot of money to re-permit or tear down barns.

It’s not always about the cost of wiring… caveat emptor

(1) violations such as too close to another structure or property line or the solar array, red tagged as derelict are possible reasons.

jcb September 18, 2020 11:22 AM

https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/1306540297241923585

Marco Rubio
@marcorubio
I have had informative talks twith @USTreasury & @Oracle about the proposed deal with @tiktok_us The only thing that matters is whether we are protecting the personal & consumer data of Americans from being collected by &/or diverted to #China.

Are these people kidding us? Walmart + Oracle + TikTok + DOJ + US Treasury respect our private property and personal information? Since when?

vas pup September 18, 2020 12:13 PM

‘Revenge porn new normal’ after cases surge in lockdown
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54149682

“There has been a surge in reports of so-called revenge porn this year, with campaigners saying the problem has been exacerbated by lockdown.
Around 2,050 reports were made to a government-funded helpline, a 22% rise from last year.
As cases have remained high despite coronavirus restrictions easing, those that run the service fear this is “the new normal”.
Sharing pornography without consent is illegal in England, Scotland and Wales.

Recent research by domestic violence charity Refuge found that one in seven young women has received threats that intimate photos will be shared without their consent.

Research by domestic violence charity Women’s Aid found that more than 60% of survivors living with their abuser reported that the abuse they experienced got worse during the pandemic.

Campaign and policy manager Lucy Hadley said: “Disclosing private sexual images – or threatening to do so – is a common form of abuse, and is particularly harming young women.”

“Image based forms of abuse – such as so-called revenge porn – must be taken just as seriously as abuse in ‘real life’,” she added.”

Please listen to the audio inside. I still can’t get the idea of sharing intimate photos with anybody regardless of level of ‘love’.

In our era ALL electronic footprints are forever even many years after you passed away. That should be clearly explains for young females in particular, i.e. ounce of prevention work better than pound of cure.

Clive Robinson September 18, 2020 12:35 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

the only person facing criminal consequences in the first death of a pedestrian involving a self-driving vehicle

This does not actually surprise me in the least, I actually was expecting it to happen.

As far as the law goes they look for “the directing mind” even when it’s not actually in charge. Think aircraft captains and ships captains, because they are at the top of the hierarchy of command and control on the vehicle they are “responsible” unless more than negligence can be shown by others either under their command or associated with their command (such as maintenance of parts that can not be readily inspected).

You see this problem with corporate manslaughter in the construction industry, those giving the orders arange tgings such that they are not the directing minds following in effect “Managment rule No 1” of “Never be in the same room as a decision” ans No2 “Ensure the paperwork shows ‘corporate delegation’ not ‘individual delegation'”. Thus at the top the decisions are all made by committees or by a committee aproved rule book. So no one individual at executive or senior managment level will be in any way the “directing mind” thus only those lower down the ladder will face jail. At most the company gets a fine, which is very offten “tax deductible” in it’s entirety…

Another trick is the “subcobtractor trick” the compaby gets eighty percent of the profits and sub contractors split the other 20% but… The contracts mean the company takes none of the risk and each subcontractor takes 100% of the risk.

Oh and from 9/11 one of the buildings for various reasons was double insured. When the insurance companies said they would only pay one payout split between it went to court and the court said that both insurance companies had to pay the full amount…

So it would not surprise me if multiple sub-contractors got hit with 100% and the company walked away with multiple profits…

Then there are people who can not get life insurance cover for their family, because some companies take life cover on all their employees and keep any payout…

These are your MBA types at work…

vas pup September 18, 2020 12:51 PM

A pain reliever that alters perceptions of risk
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200908091517.htm

“While acetaminophen is helping you deal with your headache, it may also be making you more willing to take risks, a new study suggests. People who took acetaminophen rated activities like ‘bungee jumping off a tall bridge and ”speaking your mind about an unpopular issue in a meeting at work’ as less risky than people who took a placebo, researchers found.

Use of the drug also led people to take more risks in an experiment where they could earn rewards by inflating a virtual balloon on a computer: Sometimes they went too far and the balloon popped.

==>”Acetaminophen seems to make people feel less negative emotion when they consider risky activities — they just don’t feel as scared,” said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at The Ohio State University.

==>”With nearly 25 percent of the population in the U.S. taking acetaminophen each week, reduced risk perceptions and increased risk-taking could have important effects on society.”

!!!Previous research by Way and his colleagues has shown that acetaminophen reduces
=>positive and negative emotions, including hurt feelings, distress over another’s suffering and even your own joy.

Results showed that those under the influence of acetaminophen rated activities like bungee jumping, walking home alone at night in an unsafe area of town, starting a new career in your mid-30s, and taking a skydiving class as less risky than those who took the placebo.

The effects of acetaminophen on risk-taking were also tested in three separate experimental studies.

!!!For example, acetaminophen is the recommended treatment by the CDC for initial COVID-19 symptoms.

==>”Perhaps someone with mild COVID-19 symptoms may not think it is as risky to leave their house and meet with people if they’re taking acetaminophen,” Way said.

Even everyday activities like driving presents people with constant decisions involving risk perception and assessment that could be altered by use of the painkiller.”

Interesting research because risk taking evaluation is important in any type of security activity where humans are the weakest link.

Aria Diego September 18, 2020 12:55 PM

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- September 18, 2020 4:18 PM

@ Moderator,

The above from “Aria Diego ” is not just unsolicited advertising, it also looks like a ‘Scam Artist’ at work.

JonKnowsNothing September 18, 2020 7:45 PM

@vas pup

re: influences on behavior

Some recent research in Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease caused by Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), has found that this parasite maybe able to influence the behavior of the host, including humans.

 ==> Up to half of the world’s population is infected by toxoplasmosis, but have no symptoms

 ==>Some evidence suggests latent infection may subtly influence a range of human behaviors and tendencies, and infection may alter the susceptibility to or intensity of a number of psychiatric or neurological disorders

There is a long laundry list of possible, probable and improbable connections to conditions, behaviors and disorders.

The parasite infects nearly every mammal on the planet and humans are right in the mix.

Changing a cat litter box during COVID-19 is an act of bravery. That’s not the only way you can get it; the parasite is very creative; it wants to be in you.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis
ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis#Transmission
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

jcb September 18, 2020 8:37 PM

@JonKnowsNothing

 ==> Up to half of the world’s population is infected by toxoplasmosis, but have no symptoms

Very strong evidence that any “symptoms” of illness reported are due to other causes.

The same can be said of Trichomonas vaginalis, sometimes diagnosed as Trichomoniasis, which may or may not be considered an STD, but in any case the organism is known to survive in chlorinated swimming pool water. Most people who are “infected” experience no symptoms whatsoever.

There’s always a doc with a long Latin-sounding word or phrase out to make a buck or two.

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