Friday Squid Blogging: Do Cephalopods Contain Alien DNA?

Maybe not DNA, but biological somethings.

"Cause of Cambrian explosion -- Terrestrial or Cosmic?":

Abstract: We review the salient evidence consistent with or predicted by the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe (H-W) thesis of Cometary (Cosmic) Biology. Much of this physical and biological evidence is multifactorial. One particular focus are the recent studies which date the emergence of the complex retroviruses of vertebrate lines at or just before the Cambrian Explosion of ~500 Ma. Such viruses are known to be plausibly associated with major evolutionary genomic processes. We believe this coincidence is not fortuitous but is consistent with a key prediction of H-W theory whereby major extinction-diversification evolutionary boundaries coincide with virus-bearing cometary-bolide bombardment events. A second focus is the remarkable evolution of intelligent complexity (Cephalopods) culminating in the emergence of the Octopus. A third focus concerns the micro-organism fossil evidence contained within meteorites as well as the detection in the upper atmosphere of apparent incoming life-bearing particles from space. In our view the totality of the multifactorial data and critical analyses assembled by Fred Hoyle, Chandra Wickramasinghe and their many colleagues since the 1960s leads to a very plausible conclusion -- life may have been seeded here on Earth by life-bearing comets as soon as conditions on Earth allowed it to flourish (about or just before 4.1 Billion years ago); and living organisms such as space-resistant and space-hardy bacteria, viruses, more complex eukaryotic cells, fertilised ova and seeds have been continuously delivered ever since to Earth so being one important driver of further terrestrial evolution which has resulted in considerable genetic diversity and which has led to the emergence of mankind.

Two commentaries.

This is almost certainly not true.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on June 1, 2018 at 4:24 PM • 101 Comments

Comments

HumdeeJune 1, 2018 4:58 PM

On topic:

From a linked article, "I want to believe these things because they are cool and fascinating — but I probably shouldn't. Because right now, there is still almost no evidence for any of this."

There is zero evidence that life started out by lightening zapping a pool of putrid water or that the universe was one a singularity but that doesn't stop a lot of people with fancy credentials from believing it. I personally don't see how anyone could argue whether it is true or false unless they first invented a time machine and went back in time to see what really happened.

toldmeJune 1, 2018 5:17 PM

Every now and then there's a webcomic that just screams out to be shared with this crowd.
Today's FreeFall: http://freefall.purrsia.com/default.htm
(That's the main site page, there's no permanent link to today's strip yet.)

"Are you in my home network?"
"Yes. I told the vacuum cleaner I was here to help. It gave me the passcodes."

HmmJune 1, 2018 6:26 PM

"There is zero evidence that life started out by lightening zapping a pool of putrid water"

Actually you're not characterizing what we do know, that amino chains can in fact be created spontaneously in an organic broth like Earth's ocean and yes, electromagnetic bonds play a role there, and that over millions to billions of years of random interplay it's actually been modeled that basic organic chains can come about. Some evidence.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_universal_common_ancestor

That doesn't destroy entirely the cosmic-spermia model as an origin point of life on Earth,
but in this paper above it appears they're saying life existed on Earth and spores from space
interacted with it to create cephalopods, etc. It's jumping a lot of shark evolution basically.

If we found common-root bacteria or fungii on the Moon or Mars that could change our models.
It's as likely though that such life could have originated on Earth and been blasted into orbit
by one of the several large bodies that hit primordial Earth, eventually surviving on a new body.
We've found none of that.

Some evidence of life originating on Earth vs. slim to nill evidence of panspermia.
But until you can rule it out, write a paper why not.

TatütataJune 1, 2018 6:59 PM

US Politico has piece about the logistics of sequestering journalists who have prior, embargoed, access to the labour statistics, like the ones that were leaked today by babbling Cheetolini:

At 8 a.m. on the dot, the lockup officially started: A Labor staffer shut and locked the door, with the armed guard stationed outside. A master switch was flipped—literally—and all digital access to the room and its computers was shut off. We were handed a 39-page paper printout of numbers and text— the jobs report—and given 30 minutes to decipher it. Yes, hard copies.

Remember "Trading Places", with the orange crop report purloined by fixer Michael Cohen, sorry Clarence Beeks?

gordoJune 1, 2018 11:59 PM

We're five years on from the Snowden revelations of 2013. Given that context, a reminder on surveillance capitalism and another of its backstories, come full circle:

NOTES FROM THE EDITORS
June 2018 (Volume 70, Number 2)
by The Editors

Foster and McChesney’s article emphasized the historical development of a surveillance complex in the United States, beginning in the 1950s with an alliance between Madison Avenue and the Pentagon, leading to the creation of satellite technology, Arpanet, and then the Internet, and culminating in the current phase of data mining, financialization, and cyberwar. The key was to understand how the military and corporations were joined at the hip in the massive surveillance program that characterized the digital age, beginning with Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex. Although much of the debate over the national security state arising from the Snowden revelations had focused simply on the dangers of corporations colluding with the government (in addition to direct state spying), Foster and McChesney went on to debunk the prevailing assumption that massive corporate-controlled data banks were themselves secure, or that firewalls prevented personal information from circulating out of control. Rather, at the core of the system of capitalist surveillance was the selling of people’s information to the highest bidder as an accumulation strategy. In the new surveillance complex, corporations, the military, and domestic security forces had become increasingly interdependent, as recently highlighted by Google’s work on drones for the U.S. military—an issue raised in Foster and McChesney’s article four years ago.

https://monthlyreview.org/2018/06/01/mr-070-02-2018-06_0/

See also:

https://monthlyreview.org/2016/05/01/mr-068-01-2016-05_0/

https://monthlyreview.org/2014/07/01/surveillance-capitalism/

https://monthlyreview.org/2011/03/01/the-internets-unholy-marriage-to-capitalism/

John NadaJune 2, 2018 4:13 AM

I've stopped gaming aeons ago when editors began to force legitimate purchasers to "activate" their CD/DVD through an Internet client (as if long serial numbers and silly DRM tools were not enough ! Starforce, anyone ?), sometimes even requiring a persistant connexion, and all this for *solo* games *not* requiring anything online. From then, I merely replayed older games and stop buying anything newer (and yes, I *did* *buy* lots of game). I've always hated the idea of remote code doing what it wants on my PC. Here's just another reason why for the column "Yet Another Security Risk In Unexpected Domains" :

https://www.contextis.com/blog/frag-grenade-a-remote-code-execution-vulnerability-in-the-steam-client

In this industry, one cannot trust anyone and one cannot rely upon nothing. ;-)

NestJune 2, 2018 5:20 AM

@all
Has anyone tried using the raspberry pi as a firewall/router using freebsd? I know i will need a usb to ethernet cable, one to the modem and the other (ignoring all the warning of Clive, Nick p, thoth and et all advice. Sorry guys) for wireless. For there i experiment.

I would also like a recommondation on a networking book. I was going to get tcp/ip illustrated but it seems outed. Any ideas?

Also what happended to ab praceceptis? Havent seen him in forever

IsmarJune 2, 2018 5:34 AM

@bruce
Re Alien origins of squid and indeed any other life forms there is no reason to see Earth as isolated from the rest of the Universe and as such no reason to discount any interchange of life between the two. As for the mechanics of the evolution and the sheer number of different life forms on earth it can all easily be accounted for by the enormous complexity , hence possible numbers of interactions in such a complex system, which guarantees existence of complex life.
Is this possible to expect the same scenario unfold in cyberspace remains to be seen .

Wesley ParishJune 2, 2018 5:39 AM

Economic (in)Security

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/climate/trump-coal-nuclear-power.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-01/trump-said-to-grant-lifeline-to-money-losing-coal-power-plants-jhv94ghl

Those of us unfortunate enough to be alive and kicking in the Eighties, the Decayed of Greed, still remember protagonists of the view that The State Should Not Pick Winners TM.

It would appear that President Donald Trump is firmly of this opinion: he is picking losers instead.

TatütataJune 2, 2018 7:59 AM

Has anyone tried using the raspberry pi as a firewall/router using freebsd?

Why would you do that? Neither the WLAN interface (crowded 2.4GHz band, single built-in antenna) nor the Ethernet (only one port at 100Mb/s) are particularly fast on the Pi3, you might be disappointed. It also has issues with its thermal design.

You might rather want to look into projects like Open WRT and use real router hardware, which will be competitive with a Pi3 once you include all the accessories and an Ethernet switch.

The development amenities provided by the open-source router modules are limited, but cross-compiling on a Raspbian Pi3 for an ARM-based router (still running DD-wrt) works here, at least on not overly ambitious programs.

If you want to check something special, pcap and tcpdump would probably give you much of what you're looking for. One minor thing I did here is to run a cron script that periodically fetches the current WAN IP address from the DSL modem using curl and grep. It did run on the router, but I admit it's actually more comfortable to have it on a Raspbian Pi (as a client within the moat), as it has less worries with storage, in addition to having more tools.

If you still want to use a Pi, OpenWRT nevertheless supports that target. OK, one advantage I can see is that it's much easier to recover a bricked Pi, with its external SD memory, than to perform a sequence of ritual voodoo spells (e.g., apply special tentacles to the board, switch on and off the router 7 times on a blue moon, that kind of stuff) on a router's internal flash memory.

I would also like a recommondation on a networking book. I was going to get tcp/ip illustrated but it seems outed. Any ideas?

Outed? Dated? TCP/IP evolves very slowly anyway.

In my circle, Computer Networks by Andrew Tanenbaum, which is in it fifth edition (2010), has a sterling reputation. The cartoon covers of the previous editions are gone, but the style is lively.

Who?June 2, 2018 10:26 AM

Solving the Bounds Check Bypass (Spectre variant 1) in a less expensive way

This Spectre variant remains unsolved yet, I think. It is expensive and will require huge changes at the operating system / toolchain level. There is a new approach to solve it:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.08506v2

Not good either, but should be better than current proposals.

Douglas L CoulterJune 2, 2018 11:38 AM

@Nest,Tatütata
Where I live, 3 mbs down and 700k bits up is luxury, and any pi will do this easily. The new pi3-b+ has 1 gb hardwire ethernet and supports 2.4 and 5 gigs wifi - I have a couple and they work well, can even be wireless AP's along with the rest -
The Gb port is "only" 300 mbits but is no longer shared with the USB stuff - this new rev is a big improvement and I'm incorporating them in my LAN of things as fast as I can (more mips/watt matters if you're on solar-only as I am).

Being able to recover a pi isn't the only deal here. I have no control whatever over my telco modem as they use that for throttling, pay per view and other things they don't want customers to mess with. Totally can't even ask it a question - anything more than ping is no go. Needless to say their login isn't "admin admin".

I have a pretty complex network, a few wireless AP's (only one runs my own code), 3 8 port switches - it's hard to sniff from any one spot. And I have NO facility to sniff my WAN traffic.

I'm considering using a pi - even a mod-2 would be overkill - if I can figure out something else useful to do - to sniff WAN traffic and block ads and maybe play firewall (the telco modem kicks butt at that as is - for their own protection), just so I can definitively watch things "phone home" and so on.

There are numerous pi projects out there that do this and that (pi-hole for ads), mostly using linux which should be ok if you set it up right. There's probably not much "just download and go" stuff out there that would protect you from having to understand how things work and still have any security to speak of.

FWIW - pies from 3 up can boot from USB - you can put a USB stick, a spinner or an SSD out there...speaking of longer lasting and easier to recover....although I ID'd the things that write a lot and either turned them off or directed them to a tmpfs ramdisk.

You guys who project that everyone has any form of faster internet need to get out more....surely you know better than to believe FCC and telco reps?

Sure, a pi would croak if it was in the middle of one of my many internal links that often saturate 1 Gb...but that's not where you put one...they do also make fine disk shares, though, and easily keep up with any spinner and aren't bad with an SSD either.

Clive RobinsonJune 2, 2018 12:57 PM

@ echo,

Am I the only one who finds "pi-hole" to be disgustingly rude?

As an engineer used to expressions like "grease-nipple" and worse the expression no. The logo however, is a kind of doubled up yin-yang in a square with a green tuft of leaves on top... I guess to look like an apple, it just looks well odd in a subliminaly H.R. Giger upseting way.

As for "pie-hole" it was once a less than delicate way to refere to somebodies mouth, especially if they had slight gluttonous behaviour to desert. I gather it is more of an "Americanisum" than anywhere else, much like "Johnny Appleseed" and "Motherhood and apple pie".

As for a description of what it does the name is sort of descriptive...

Clive RobinsonJune 2, 2018 1:14 PM

@ Bruce,

Maybe not DNA, but biological somethings.

Speaking of "biological somethings" in space... I remember reading that the ban on dumping human waste in space was due to it condensing on other space objects...

Thus in theory if a very long orbit object or even open orbit object got within range of Earth immediate space (as some have) it is now possible for them to pick up a quantity of "biological somethings" in passing as it were...

If it is possible for such biologicals to survive not just in Earths proximity, but during a prolonged deep space journy or re-entry on another planatary body does seam unlikely but with the latest guess being 14 billion years on the clock impossibly high odds in human terms look almost an even bet ;-)

echoJune 2, 2018 1:21 PM

@Clive

I have heard worse but you know what I mean. I don't want to play the ladies present get your muddy feet off my freshly vacuumed carpet card. Not that anybody listens anyway!

Storm in a teacup crisis over nothing averted (if this makes sense) - further you comments on how the system can be abused by on the surfaceadherence to standards I noticed Doreen Lawrence who previously has suffered from this kind of abuse is adding her voice to the Grenfell issue. She has kept her powder dry! I wondered why she was quiet. Her voice was strangely absent until now. I don't beleive the government is all evil. They are trying to fix thing but some of the complexities of this make this and other indirectly related issues rather a mess. There are very definately bad actors in the system who haven't got the message and this and other scandals have a little more in common than may meet the eye.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/02/grenfell-inquiry-brings-painful-memories-of-fight-for-justice-for-my-son-stephen-lawrence

JG4June 2, 2018 2:14 PM


Need a little help with memory. Someone posted in the past few years a brilliant presentation in a style similar to this one:

http://grugq.github.io/presentations/COMSEC%20beyond%20encryption.pdf

BTW, the one above is not really suitable for work. If I recall correctly, Clive posted the one above, and may well have posted the one for which I don't have a link. My keyword system is weak, but I should have flagged it "brilliant graphics."

What was unique about a different presentation is that it had a series of elaborate sound resonators for listening. Similar to the sound mirror for focusing sound waves from the zeppelins. Does anyone recall which presentation that is in?

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/06/links-6-2-18.html

...

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Teens are abandoning Facebook in dramatic numbers, study finds Guardian. Not news per se, save regarding the amplitude.

Moreno: Assange Can Remain At Embassy, So Long As He Doesn’t Practice Journalism Steemit (UserFriendly)

Niall Ferguson wanted opposition research on a student. New Republic. Chuck L: “Scroll down past the Nial Ferguson snippet and you’ll find some other gems.”

Conservative Stanford professor conspired to conduct ‘opposition research’ on student: report The Hill (UserFriendly)

...

Police State Watch

The Coming Urban Terror City Journal. Chuck L: “It’s disturbing to see the term ‘productivity’ used in the context of terrorism.”

Badge of Impunity Counterprunch

...


Nobody SpecialJune 2, 2018 2:18 PM

@nest yes a RaspPi probably doesn't have the horsepower for an enterprise grade firewall but for home use Pi hole is a nice way to block a lot of adverts / spam etc

echoJune 2, 2018 2:38 PM

@JG4

RE: The Coming Urban Terror

To some degree I believe one issue with the system is too much testosterone in the room. This can lead to escalation, too much control often for "fiscal" reasons, and an eroision of social cohesion. Instead of viewing the urban environment as usefully de-escalated and decentralised and giving room for a vibrant culture it seems to my eyes to be another hijacking of socio-economic trends. In this process the "self-policing" nature of society which is necessary both for democracy to oeprate and for intelligience to be gathered by communities runs the risk of being squeezed out. I personally believe the link I previously gave helps shed some light on this kind of issue. I really do believe we need other voices than the usual suspects and alternatives to doublign down and the attitude of not wasting a good crisis. This may imply that other things need to be measured.

Bauke Jan DoumaJune 2, 2018 3:19 PM

@RandomGuy
I had a bit of a problem retrieving that page.

echoJune 2, 2018 3:23 PM

@Douglas

It's ok, Dough. I wasn't blaming you. Sorry I should have been more clear. There have been more awkard product names! I suppose this is why now most corproate stuff is filtered and focused grouped into anodyne blandification.

TomTrottierJune 2, 2018 4:10 PM

Since viruses depend on cells to live & reproduce, if only viruses were seeded, nothing would survive.

65535June 2, 2018 4:48 PM

@ All microwave experts

Can microwaves be focused or narrowed by common concave glass objects?

As a kitchen person I and others have noticed that normal plastic microwave oven compatible food bowls will suddenly melt or burn the bottom completely out when a concave glass object such as a coffee cup saucer is used and as a lid to cover the food in the plastic bowl.

Other times the microwave oven will perform as normal and just produce warm food no matter the power setting.

A neighbor also mention this phenomenon when trying to heat soup in a plastic soup dish which a glass lid only to find the plastic bowl’s bottom to be completely melted and the soup spread over the rotating glass tray.

This seem to only happen in microwave ovens that use a rotating glass plate at the bottom to evenly heat the food and only in certain conditions [I know that a lot of microwave ovens use a rotating beam to cook food evenly with on rotating platter].

The melting of thick plastic bowls seems to only happen when a concave glass lid is on the plastic bowl with the lower part pointed downward toward the food somewhat like a focusing magnifying glass on the bottom of the bowl. Could the combination of a concave glass lid and relatively flat glass rotating design cause some magnification of power high enough to burn plastic bowls?

The only thing on I could find was this entry in Wikipedia:

“Water and other homogeneous liquids can superheat when heated in a microwave oven in a container with a smooth surface. That is, the liquid reaches a temperature slightly above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid. The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed, such as when the user takes hold of the container to remove it from the oven or while adding solid ingredients…” –Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven#High_temperatures

or

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven

The above doesn’t indicate the melting of proper thick plastic bowls and the like.

On the IT side of things I know microwave oven can melt a credit card chips, disrupt cell phones and could possibly be used to destroy the magnetic surface of a hard drive containing a spindle. But, those objects contain metal.

Another thing I discovered is that microwave ovens make poor faraday cages for cell phones. When I called my cell phone while it was placed in a microwave over it rang and saw no blocking of the signal – so much for securing cell phones in a microwave oven.

Again, how can glass and plastic somehow superheat water or even the plastic container which hold said water in a normal 1000 watt microwave oven?

echoJune 2, 2018 5:54 PM

The idea of psudo non-destructive photo manipulation of a passport photo to spoof face recognition software was floated in the television series "Burn Notice". I'm not too convinced about this given what one algoritm can do another algorithm can undo. There is also the meta-data question so business as usual?

My mathematics isn't good enough to even begin working on a proof but my favoured technique for destructive obfuscation would be pixelisation. I have forgotten the recommended grid size. There was a study done on this which should be floating about somewhere.

I'm sure body proportions and body movement as well as gait analysis can be used as part of package of identification on collections of static images as much as full motion video.

I have forgotten the name of the international survey but there is a survey updated every decadeor so which contains every conceivable measurement of the human body. This reveals basic national and ethnic differences. I daresay this data can be used to identify people too.

This Filter Makes Your Photos Indecipherable to Facial Recognition Software
https://futurism.com/filter-photos-facial-recognition-software/

Clive RobinsonJune 2, 2018 6:24 PM

@ 65535,

Can microwaves be focused or narrowed by common concave glass objects?

Yes and no.

It depends on a number of things.

A limited section of a spherical surface is little different to a parabolic surface, thus a concave objects surface will focus any EM signal it reflects.

Likewise glass has a refractive index and if made into a limited section of a spherical surface it will behave as a lense to any EM signal it can refract.

Thus visable light can be both reflected and refracted by a glass lid.

However the ability of a glass lid to do that to microwave signals depends on what type of glass it is. Some glass types do have an effect on microwaves but by far the majority do not.

As for "superheating" it does not require focusing of the microwaves. What is happening is a thermal inversion without micronucleation causing typical "phase change" effects of bubbles or other density change effects.

Micronucleation is not a well understood process. Overly simply --and possibly wrong-- for a bubble to form you need some form of seed in the liquid or discontinuity at the liquid boundry...

If you look at the "Champaign effect" where a gas is held in a liquid a bubble starts to form from either the holding vessel side wall or from invisibly small specs of material in the liquid.

If there are,no flaws in the vessel side walls or contaminates in the liquid the gas has no reason to disassociate. A classic example of a flawed surface and gas saturated liquid disassociating on contact with it is the mentos and cola fountain (there are also ill understood secondary effects that make it more rapid, thus almost explosive in action).

As a side note plastics are known to suffer quite badly in some cases to "dielectric heating" and many are "RF Welded". Even if a plastic cup/plate etc says "microwave safe" don't belive it... There are a lot more assumptions than testing in such statments. Further plastics age and absorbe other chemicals. Most of us have seen plastics that have been stained by some food stuff. Plastics also change their properties as they approach their phase change points some of which are below the boiling point of water. Thus a super heated liquid could easily cause a plastic to start absorbing microwave energy...

So a couple of simple rules of thumb are "No plastics in the microwave" and "no foodstuffs hoter than 60C should be put in plastics".

Oh and just to make you feel realy uncomfortable, those expanded foam fast food containers when hot chips/french fries are added melt... There is some scientific evidence that the chip becomes contaminated with some of the chemical compounds. There is further evidence they can act like artificial estrogens and cause similar problems in humans as they do in fish...

SpookyJune 2, 2018 7:09 PM

A second thumbs up for the link on Simon and Speck posted above by RandomGuy. The account of NSA's behavior is given by a cryptographer (Tomer Ashur) that was part of the ISO working group that evaluates cryptographic standards; his lengthy commentary provides quite a bit of useful insight on the adversarial position repeatedly taken by NSA representatives throughout the process. It does make you wonder if NSA wanted that process to fail--perhaps a fragmented market without a single, reliable set of standards benefits them quite a bit more (where data collection is concerned) and was easier to achieve... than getting their own algorithms past a skeptical ISO committee? Very informative.

Cheers,
Spooky

65535June 2, 2018 8:43 PM

@ Clive Robinson

“thus a concave objects surface will focus any EM signal it reflects…Likewise glass has a refractive index and if made into a limited section of a spherical surface it will behave as a lense to any EM signal it can refract…Thus visable light can be both reflected and refracted by a glass lid…However the ability of a glass lid to do that to microwave signals depends on what type of glass it is. Some glass types do have an effect on microwaves but by far the majority do not.”-Clive R.

So, it is possible to focus microwaves via certain glass. Would glass that is alloyed with metal be of that type or just pure clear glass?

I have see those old valves or tubes in radios and TVs with domes of chromium or other reflective material and just thought metal must be only thing used to reflect or direct microwaves away from sensitive equipment. I assume this is not entirely true.

Can you give me an example of glass need to focus microwaves?

Other possibilities such as superheating is not clear to me.

“Micronucleation is not a well understood process. Overly simply --and possibly wrong-- for a bubble to form you need some form of seed in the liquid or discontinuity at the liquid boundry...”-Clive R

That is what I understood. I did not see in Wikipedia why a curved container would induce superheating of liquid.

“If you look at the "Champaign effect" where a gas is held in a liquid a bubble starts to form from either the holding vessel side wall or from invisibly small specs of material in the liquid.”- Clive R

Yes, I have the same thought. The carbonic acid is very well mixed in drinks with “Fizz” but small particles from the process do remain in the Champaign or other Fizz drinks to start the fizz effect. I thought proper Champaign is only naturally made and the cheap stuff boosted with carbonic acid.

“…classic example of a flawed surface and gas saturated liquid disassociating on contact with it is the mentos and cola fountain (there are also ill understood secondary effects that make it more rapid, thus almost explosive in action).”- Clive R

I have heard of that factor also and maybe it is an chemical to electrical or chemical to thermo reaction that can boost the Fizz in the soda to almost explosive levels. Maybe some tamper action or the like but, no good explanation is there.

'“…plastics are known to suffer quite badly in some cases to "dielectric heating" and many are "RF Welded". Even if a plastic cup/plate etc says "microwave safe" don't belive it... There are a lot more assumptions than testing in such statments. Further plastics age and absorbe other chemicals. Most of us have seen plastics that have been stained by some food stuff. Plastics also change their properties as they approach their phase change points some of which are below the boiling point of water. Thus a super heated liquid could easily cause a plastic to start absorbing microwave energy...”'-Clive R

That sound fairly realistic. Say an old plastic bowl that has be microwave’d many times might decay down to a level where it could melt faster than boiling water or the superheated water boosts the melting process of old plastic to the point where the bottom liquefies and leaks.

Still I am not sure why Wikipedia says the curve part of the plastic contributes to superheating of water in microwave ovens… unless the glass or plastic helps increase the heating by microwaves.

‘…simple rules of thumb are "No plastics in the microwave" and "no foodstuffs hoter than 60C should be put in plastics".’- Clive R

Sound reasonable. To be safe use all glass.

Now, I and others believe we have see microwave oven melt glass of certain types. This could be explained by the superheating of water above the melting of said glass. Or possibly the oven contained a curved glass lid that did indeed focus the microwaves to melt the glass plate below. But, that is speculation.

“…just to make you feel realy uncomfortable, those expanded foam fast food containers when hot chips/french fries are added melt... There is some scientific evidence that the chip becomes contaminated with some of the chemical compounds. There is further evidence they can act like artificial estrogens and cause similar problems in humans as they do in fish...” –Clive R

That is an unhappy thought that will probably give me nightmares. Thanks for your observation of microwaves being focused or refracted by glass. I had those question for a while. The superheating or Micronucleation is quite interesting. It looks like the Kitchen can be a dangerous place at times.

PatriotJune 3, 2018 12:40 AM

"...there is stillalmostno evidence for any of this. And researchers not involved with this study have serious reservations about its conclusion."

How interesting! That line, from one of the articles, is telling. I find that this kind of deceptive writing is very common nowadays. If you read the Washington Post, you get hit with this in almost every article: a sprinkling of "perhaps, almost, quite, rather, compares favorably to, is said to be, some say," blah, blah.

In other words, there is real evidence that is compelling.

There may be serious reservations, but overall many experts think it is true.

Wesley ParishJune 3, 2018 4:00 AM

@Rachel

Thanks! I'll sort something out. Might get myself started on Old Occitan as well. You never know when you will be called to make a funeral oration on Roland's grave ... :) or find yourself chatting up some Provencal lady while strumming your oud ... :) (I suppose I could always fake it with quotations from The Battle of Maldon and Beowulf, but that would be shaving it mighty thin. :)

JG4June 3, 2018 7:28 AM


@Rachel and Moderator - apologies, accidentally stuck this comment in the wrong thread:

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/06/damaging_hard_d.html#c6776221

Plenty of other interesting security news beyond this small sample.

Links 6/318 | naked capitalism
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/06/links-6-3-18.html

...

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Bye, Chrome: Why I’m switching to Firefox and you should too Co.Design (Chuck L)

Which? investigation reveals ‘staggering’ level of smart home surveillance Which?

CSS Is So Overpowered It Can Deanonymize Facebook Users Bleeping Computer (Chuck L)

German spy agency can keep tabs on internet hubs: court Phys.org (Chuck L)

...

Clive RobinsonJune 3, 2018 9:40 AM

@ All,

Something worth readong and mulling over,

https://theintercept.com/2018/05/31/google-leaked-emails-drone-ai-pentagon-lucrative/

Put simply the US is in the process --supposadly-- under citizen preasure of going down the "non-human in battle" route. Where armed forces are replaced with drobes / bots / etc.

Interestingly it's the likes of Google and Amazon chasing this soon to be multi-billion dollar industry. Perhaps because even they realise the bubble market over personal details now has way to many players and is starting to deflate. Thus alternative guarenteed income sources are being chased Mil-Tec projects being one that ties in well with their auto-driver and drone tech. After all what's the real difference between a parcel delivery drone and a bomb delivery drone? Likewise taxies and tanks etc.

The point is as the US "Robot-Ups" it's military there are only three courses of action,

1, Ignore it and keep your fingers crossed.
2, Develope your own compeating sysyems.
3, Switch to asymetric warfare.

Thus we will most likely see a repeate of the Nuclear War arms race but with considerably less MAD style deterentkeeping the war hawks on a leash...

echoJune 3, 2018 12:56 PM

Unless Intel buy me new computers I will need to scrounge a Transputer mainframe out of a skip. Absolutely nobody is using these so hah!

You Shall Not Bypass: Employing data dependencies to prevent Bounds Check Bypass
https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.08506v2

Our prototype implemented as an LLVM pass causes 60% overhead across Phoenix benchmark suite, which compares favorably to the full serialization causing 440% slowdown.

wumpusJune 3, 2018 1:52 PM

When I was very young my father took me to see "Chariots of the Gods". It was a stupid movie about the possibility of ancient astronauts visiting Earth, and took seriously the idea that humans may have been of alien stock sometime in Neolithic times.

I was simply young enough to be afraid of "real" aliens (who teamed up with mummies, so obviously the "bad guy" aliens) landing in my back yard. This is the one movie I remember being afraid of (because it was pitched as "real life science" and my father took such at face value).

When I was in High School (and new a bit of biology, and dear old dad should have known at least as much), I found a paperback and flipped through it. The biology was cringeworthy and I can't imagine him falling for that. I'm sure any rocket science was equally absurd, but it wouldn't have all the issues about randomly chosen protein molecules just happening to be the same.

I will admit that there is a significant possibility that life developed on Earth and that strands of DNA-like material (presumably RNA) kicked life off. Thus it is remotely possible that alien DNA could be somehow engulfed and used (presumably through some path through bacteria and other creatures that obtain DNA without sex), but completely doubtful that such could be anything but "free rider junk DNA" riding along with beneficial DNA from the bacteria.

How would you determine junk DNA from alien DNA? Prime numbers or pi encoded in the stuff?

Clive RobinsonJune 3, 2018 2:38 PM

@ echo,

which compares favorably to the full serialization causing 440% slowdown.

Whilst you can have a more than 100% speedup, if you think about it a 100% slowdown brings you to a stop, thus you can not slowdown any further...

I suspect that somebody means a 77.3% slowdown to 1/4.4th (ie 22.7%) of the original speed.

Clive RobinsonJune 3, 2018 3:03 PM

@ Anders,

Thanks to IoT 1984 is already here!

Only for some of the gullible and terminally unknowing... I don't have IoT devices or Smart anything in my home other than this phone. Nor will I get any unless "sufficiently oppressed" by the legislators in a way I can not avoid or in some way mitigate into uslessness.

As I've mentioned in the past I don't connect my computers to the Internet or WiFi etc etc.

I kind of saw this IoT nonsense comming a decade or so ago before it was even given a name...

Speaking of nonsense and gullibility, you can now get an Alexa interface unit mounted in a box you can hang on the wall, that looks exactly like the evil eyed HAL-9000 interface from 2001 A Space Odyssey. It's apparently designed for "home automation"... Just as well most of us are not called Dave and none of the few that are has automatic "pod bay doors" in their home...

https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/10/17101442/hal-9000-2001-a-space-odyssey-amazon-alexa-master-replicas-group-open-the-pod-bay-doors

gordoJune 3, 2018 3:13 PM

@ Clive Robinson,

Now that Google won't renew its drone AI contract with the US military, maybe Amazon will seek some form of Rekognition for itself in the LAWS space.

---

Somewhat related:

Will these police drones have automated facial recognition capability? Probably.

https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2017/08/look-military-drones-replace-police-helicopters-2025/140588/

---

After all what's the real difference

None. Dual-use technological instantiation is fungible. The question would seem to be who or what pulls the trigger...and some thought news feeds were bad.

echoJune 3, 2018 3:52 PM

@Clive

I told you my maths was rubbish! It's not actually hugely bad for what it is but I'm navigating some pressures so can't function well at all. I would like to post some good news. I have discovered a specialist advocate (not a lawyer) who on the surface is on the ball so far.

On semi-related news the Guardian carries an article on the Lush #spycops campaign which is challenging the command and control structure of the police.

Clive RobinsonJune 3, 2018 4:09 PM

@ 65535,

Can you give me an example of glass need to focus microwaves?

All glass that has a sufficiently conductive metalic coating will act as a reflector. But also glass which has a different dialectric constant to air/vacuum will also act to bend EM energy at various frequencies.

Even clear "crown glass" antenuates EM energy by around 6dB (ie half power) when used in domestic windows etc.

But another issue is effectively just how many types of glass are there out there. As many ceramics are also considered glass not just the number but types is quite large.

There is also the issue of frequency dependent properties. Ordinary glass transmits human eye visable light reasonably well. However IR frequencies are not easily transmissible by these common glasses.

You might want to look up how dialectrics can form lenses to various wavelengths of EM radoation. First ave a read of,

http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/II_10.html

Before reading,

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4553869/

Etc.

NestJune 3, 2018 4:34 PM

@Tatütata
I dont have a spare boxlying around i do however have some raspberry pi and wanted to put them to good use. On the spare box i would have used openbsd as the firewall but thats another story. I dont currently have access to that book... i can choose between

Networking Bible - Barrie Sosinsky
Communication Network - Leon Garcia
Computer Networking A top down approach
and
TCP/IP protocol Suite 4th Edition

65535June 3, 2018 9:34 PM

@ Clive Robinson

Thanks for those two papers. One centered on dielectric effects and the dielectric constant which is of interest in semiconductors and gates and so on. The other link to a paper “The Interaction of Radio-Frequency Fields With Dielectric Materials at Macroscopic to Mesoscopic Scales” goes into modeling macroscopic fields and has some photon effects or quantum physics/wave mechanical models of various hypothetical types that are interesting but not exactly explaining superheating of liquids or dielectric heating in a microwave oven. I am not into quantum physics or wave models at this point.

But, I did see this explanation about dielectric heating and the “skin” effect:

“Microwave frequencies penetrate conductive materials, including semi-solid substances like meat and living tissue, to a distance defined by the skin effect. The penetration essentially stops where all the penetrating microwave energy has been converted to heat in the tissue. Microwave ovens used to heat food are not set to the frequency for optimal absorption by water. If that was so, then the piece of food or liquid in question would absorb all microwave radiation in its outer layer, leading to a cool, unheated centre and a superheated surface.”- Wikipedia

[Next]

“Instead, the frequency selected [For microwave ovens -ed] allows energy to penetrate deeper into the heated food. The frequency of a household microwave oven is 2.45 GHz, while the frequency for optimal absorbency by water is around 10 GHz.” -Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dielectric_heating#Penetration

The “Skin” effect then directs to the use of essentially long tubes of metal to carry extremely high voltage AC electricity over long distances. Apparently, the core of a electric cable generates a magnetic field which forces most of the AC current to the surface of the cable and doesn’t use much of the center of the cable – as DC current would use the entire thickness of the cable.

“Skin effect is the tendency of an alternating electric current (AC) to become distributed within a conductor such that the current density is largest near the surface of the conductor, and decreases with greater depths in the conductor.”- Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect

I am guessing the reason microwave ovens can melt plastic bowls and even some type of glass is maybe due to partly the “skin” effect of oscillating microwaves in the GHz range and possible some odd focusing of those microwaves on liquid within smooth curved shaped bowls to produce the superheating of said liquids. Or, direct electrical conductivity of liquids below visible spark range and the 4000 volts the magnetron in those ovens use. And, possibly any combination of the above. This superheating may be high enough to melt glass of low quality at say at 550 degrees C.

This is all just guess work. But, it does make me wonder about those diplomatic guys in Cuba with headaches or worse in Cuba. Maybe some form of microwave or related energy was directed at their skulls and a little frying took place. This also is just supposition.

RatioJune 4, 2018 12:00 AM

@Nest,

I was going to get tcp/ip illustrated but it seems [outdated].

The second edition of TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols, which adds Kevin Fall as a coauthor, is about five years old.

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 2:18 AM

@ Bauke Jan Douma,

Drones are vulnerable to ECM, no?

Yes and no.

Like humans drones/bots need sensing input to know where they are in three dimensional space and importantly in some cases to avoid collision.

Thus many of the local area sensors mimic to some extent the equivalent in humans or animals and can be fooled in various ways hence the old ECM, ECCM... technology battle.

However non local sensors which humans don't have such as precision inertial navigation are mostly insensitive to ECM.

Therefore in other drone/bot cases where collision avoidence is deemed unnecessary the drone/bot does not need local area sensors that are susceptable to ECM whilst in transit to the target area. Thus depending on the target type and deployment intentions they in effect become like howitzer shells, needing a direct contact kinetic response to stop them once launched.

Various cruise missiles and torpedoes use a mixture of sensors, in a similar way to aircraft landing systems. That is they use inertial or similar ECM immune sensors to get them within range of a predetermind point in space then use the local area sensors or more precise navigation systems to "put them on target". Some "smart shells" just use a simpler kinetic behaviour and internal timer to get within range then use GPS or laser designator to put them on target. In all these cases ECM will only effect the sensors used in the very last fraction of the drone/bots journy. As had been the case for hundreds of years this may be sufficient to be on target anyway, so ECM would at best reduce the final accuracy, not necessarily the outcome.

The newer areas of study are "anti-spoofing" techniques. These can require considerable computing power. However unlike a decade or so ago, you can get single chip systems with much of what you need thanks to mobile phone technology.

Also the new generations of 32/64bit systems agumented by 10,000 and up cells in FPGA's have more or less replaced the need for ASICs in many systems (including data center servers in Cloud and similar service).

Which means that multiple sensots can not just be used but cross refrenced to detect "spoofing". For instance modern small inertial navigation systems can give good positioning information but quite precise tracking information. If say a drone plane has two or more GPS antennas it can it can directly determin tracking information not by the more normal single antenna "running track" calculation. Thus the tracking information from the inertial system can be checked against the dirrect tracking information from the multiple GPS antennas. Whilst small errors would be expected, they would be a lot lot less than any spoofing attempt. Thus the attempted spoofing of GPS would be detected and could then be ignored.

All of which makes ECM more and more difficult and exponentially costly to use. Which I suspect is what the US is trying to leverage to maintain "super power supremacy in armarments". In part to offset some of the oddities reported by shipping around Russia where GPS readings "jump" for reasons not currently known to the general maritime industry. Likewise to respond to both China and Russia increasing their military capabilities and territorial acquisition agendas.

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 2:44 AM

@ Gordo,

A couple of paragraphs into the article you quote shows the author is as sceptical as I am about Alphabet's intentions,

    However, it seems unlikely that Google will abandon its efforts to capture lucrative military business -- the company is under intense pressure to diversify its revenue streams (the vast majority of revenue earned by parent company Alphabet still comes from advertising), and the US military is a famously indiscriminate firehose of money for technology contractors.

Whilst they might not do it directly in future to avoid "bad publicity and employee mutiny", I suspect they will use licencing and leasing off shore to get their hands not just on the tax dollar, but also "other tech".

Because it's almost certain that a significant percentage of Alphabet's seniors are semi-nascent psychopaths, much as they are in many large corporates.

We have actually been through this engineers-v-warhawks battle a couple of times before in the late 1960's early 70's and in the decade of "Mad Margret" Thatcher and "Ronny the Ray Gun" Reagan.

If you have some programing books and magazines contempory to those times you will find authors devoting sections as to their motivations for leaving certain industries where they felt they had been dupped by managment.

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 3:04 AM

@ echo,

I told you my maths was rubbish!

But it was not your math you posted, but a "copy-n-past" from the arXiv.org site link you gave[1].

You would have thought arXiv.org being a scientific paper hosting site out of Cornell University Library that presents it's self as superiour to journals, and having "numerous subject moderators"[2] they might have noticed...

I'm sure I'll not be the only person to notice ;-)

[1] https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.08506v2

[2] https://arxiv.org/help/general

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 4:49 AM

@ Nest,

I would also like a recommondation on a networking book. I was going to get tcp/ip illustrated but it seems outed. Any ideas?

There are hundreds if not thousands of networking books from the last four decades or so. Most are based on either US DoD IP and the subsequent RFC's or the European inspired ISO OSI models and their derivitives. Even though decades old, in both cases much of it is still very relevant today.

But you have not indicated what sort of information you are looking for in the book. If it is programing information, in most cases things are built on either BSD or AT&T *nix protocols such as "sockets" or "streams". Whilst these have been augmented over time the basic information is still mostly valid. Even Microsoft filched the BSD network software (which is why the original teardrop network stack attack was mutiplatform in effect).

As for Steven's "tcp/ip illustrated" I have the various editions of the three volumes specifically because the newer editions have dropped still usefull information (terminal/modem and select info etc) in the later editions due to publisher imposed limits on size.

If your need is a more modern programing language, you should be aware that most modern programing languages do not do "networking". They just do "call wrapping" to the existing networking APIs. So even though the Steven's books are *nix based and may look dated much of the information applies currently, as do the *nix man pages.

If you want to do more SysAdmin style work, depending on your background often much of it is dealing with the HCI of current tools, which can be much more problematic than it needs to.

Because Microsoft and many others change the graphical HCI more often than the seasons change, you would get more stability from learning CLI tools that mostly only get augmented. Thus avoid the deranged rearrangement of graphical HCI you would expect from a demented interior designer. That also just happens to require you to get expensively recertified every half decade or so.

Unfortunatly some changes run deeper than the graphical HCI issue as the much cursed systemd demonsterted.

Pushed in the main by RedHat for Linux against many peoples wishes[1] systemd made drastic changes to the init process and appeared to be trying to follow the thinking behind Microsoft's registry and tool set. But systemd continued to spred it's messy tendrils, making what was a well ordered and fairly well understood process into a nightmare for many. Which is possibly why BSD distros have in the main avoided it. But as always some will be fighting their corner[2] as long as they can.

Which is a problem, because as a SysAdmin you may end up having to know several systems each with it's own twisty little ways of doing things. Which in turn means you may need to get more than one book on the same base knowledge, which is not just a waste of trees but expensive as well.

It's a case of "horses for courses" and without knowing how you want to run it's difficult to make recomendations.

[1] https://www.linux.com/learn/understanding-and-using-systemd

[2] https://sysdfree.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/206/

NestJune 4, 2018 8:34 AM

@Clive

I read a book on packet analysis which helped me understand wireshark. I guess i am looking for something that includes the basic, network security and programming. But please no math...

I read about the systemd issue a while back. Like you usually say, its a gift that will keep on giving...

CallMeLateForSupperJune 4, 2018 10:15 AM

Clive spake: "Speaking of nonsense and gullibility, you can now get an Alexa interface unit mounted in a box you can hang on the wall, [...]"

Splendid! Who hasn't always wanted a faux HAL on their wall.

I do wonder if the glossy advertising shows the untidy network cable and ubiquitous "wall wart" cord dangling from that thing. Probably not.

My TV antenna - a white, plastic rectangle resembling a picture frame sans picture - is advertised as hang-anywhere. Unfortunately the stiff, ~3/8" shielded cable is still hopelessly kinked from being hanked and factory packed, more than 10 years after purchase, and there is just no way any woman would allow *that* to derail her Feng shui. (Not in this house anyway.) In addition, it is too short.

Back to the Alexa thing. I think my upstairs tenants bowed to current fashion and bought some brand of "personal assistant". When they're home, a booming female voice invades my space 3-4 times/day. I can't make out what "she" says (the highs are too attenuated by the ceiling) but the cheery voice is quite reminiscent of another technology I despise: self-serve check-out scanner. So much so, that often I add "Do you have any coupons? Are there any items under your cart?" when what's-her-name has finished.

TatütataJune 4, 2018 10:36 AM

@Alyer Babtu

You shouldn't overly interpret this garbage, which to my surprise is still online after several hours on two different threads.

If you copy-and-paste the junk (which no browser here seems to handle) into an UTF-8 capable editor, and increase the font size by several points, the "meaning" will be revealed: ordinary spam.

TatütataJune 4, 2018 11:33 AM

Back to the Alexa thing. I think my upstairs tenants bowed to current fashion and bought some brand of "personal assistant". When they're home, a booming female voice invades my space 3-4 times/day. I can't make out what "she" says

"She"'s only summarising the conversations held during the day by the tenant downstairs. :-) (Apparently a voice from the other gender is being introduced in some digital assistants.)

WPA2 applies to upper protocol layers, so if I understand correctly, MAC addresses are visible in 802.11 frames. If the MAC address really sent in the clear, one might be able to find out when the neighbour is home from traffic analysis. One could even attempt DoS/selective jamming.

Hopefully, MAC addresses for digital assistants are not picked from consecutive ranges during production, otherwise one might be able to pick up which home have one of these gimmicks just by driving by.

echoJune 4, 2018 12:01 PM

@Clive

True! I generally know what stands up and what doesn't. How reasoning works is too much of a topic but maybe one for another day.

Alyer June 4, 2018 12:17 PM

@Tatütata

I appreciate your wise and cautionary advice !

I had just been looking at the linked paper when I saw the “characterful” post, and gave into a temptation I probably would have done better to resist to make a bad joke.

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 4:00 PM

@ CallMeLate...,

Unfortunately the stiff, ~3/8" shielded cable is still hopelessly kinked from being hanked and factory packed, more than 10 years after purchase, and there is just no way any woman would allow *that* to derail her Feng shui.

Have you tried putting the cable[1] in just boild water in a washing up bowl[2] untill it gets quite hot, then hang it up with a weight on it untill it cools back to room temp?

You can do similar with a hair dryer but it's more tedious.

[1] Obviously don't put the connectors in otherwise water will get into the cable, which is almost guaranteed to turn it into an attenuater not a feed line.

[2] In the UK we call "doing the dishes" "Washing up", thus a washing up bowl is a large plastic bowl that is big enough to hold a stack of dishes and hot water as you was them. Where as "Wash up" has an entirely different meaning in the US...

Clive RobinsonJune 4, 2018 4:07 PM

@ Tatütata, CallMeLate...,

Apparently a voice from the other gender is being introduced in some digital assistants.

Hmm, I wonder how soon it will be before some low life cracker works out how to make it use an IP phone to phone the local police. Then after a little while start it shouting threats and such like, so the house gets SWATed?..

echoJune 4, 2018 4:45 PM

The way Snowdon says this makes it sound almost as important as people getting the vote.

Edward Snowden: 'The people are still powerless, but now they're aware'
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/04/edward-snowden-people-still-powerless-but-aware
The most important change, he said, was public awareness. “The government and corporate sector preyed on our ignorance. But now we know. People are aware now. People are still powerless to stop it but we are trying. The revelations made the fight more even.”

RockLobsterJune 4, 2018 9:12 PM

Guys, I have been reading about this company called Cellebrite.

They claim to provide data extraction services to law enforcement AND corporate customers from both devices and cloud storage.
The list of what they claim to be able to access is extensive and begs the question if they can do it then surely so can anyone else.

They claim to be able to retrieve data from many devices regardless whether it is locked, encrypted or both including,including iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPod touch, running iOS 5 to iOS 11; Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Note devices; and other Android devices from Alcatel, Google Nexus, HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, ZTE and many cloud services including
Facebook
Telegram
WhatsApp(Google drive)
WhatsApp(iCloud Backup)
WhatsApp(iCloud)
Google location history
Google My Activity
Google Photos
Google Contacts
Google Password
Google Account
Onedrive
Instagram
Yahoo mail
Outlook mail
iCloud Photos
iCloud Drive
iCloud Contacts
iCloud Location

Does this not make a mockery of the supposed security features we are expected to believe secure our private data?

Wesley ParishJune 5, 2018 6:21 AM

FWIW, I found this via Slashdot:

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/mobile-devs-making-the-same-security-mistakes-web-devs-made-in-the-early-2000s/

But while leaving business logic on the client-side might sound more of an app design mistake, it is actually a big security issue. For example, an attacker can analyze a mobile app (that he installed on his device) and determine the format of the web requests sent to the mobile app's servers after the user's input is validated. The attacker can then modify a few parameters of these requests in order to poison the desired action.
Happy happy joy joy!

Bob PaddockJune 5, 2018 6:58 AM

"Maybe not DNA, but biological somethings."

Andrew CROSSE: Abiogenesis of Acari

In 1837, Andrew Crosse reported to the London electrical Society concerning the accidental spontaneous generation of life in the form of Acurus genus insects while he was conducting experiments on the formation of artificial crystals by means of prolonged exposure to weak electric current. Throughout numerous strict experiments under a wide variety of conditions utterly inimical to life as we know it, the insects continued to manifest. The great Michael Faraday also reported to the Royal Institute that he had replicated the experiment. Soon afterwards, all notice of this phenomenon ceased to be reported, and the matter has not been resolved since then.

Contents:

(1) A. Crosse: The American Journal of Science & Arts; Vol. 35: 125-137 (January, 1839) ~ Reprint of Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, & Chemistry, vol. 2: 246-257 (January-June 1838)

(2) M. Roberton: Annals of Electricity, Magnetism & Chemistry, Vol. 2: 355-360 (January-June 1838) ~ Reprint of Comptes Rendu Acad. Sci. Paris (November 13, 1837); Note on a kind of Acarus presented to the Academy.

(3) Sir David Brewster: British Association Report (1855), page 9: On the Existence of Acari in Mica ...

- http://www.rexresearch.com/crosse/crosse.htm

JG4June 5, 2018 7:05 AM


One entity's full spectrum dominance is another entity's enslavement.

The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html
...
Slender Man. Smile Dog. Goatse. These are some of the urban legends spawned by the Internet. Yet none is as all-powerful and threatening as Roko’s Basilisk. For Roko’s Basilisk is an evil, godlike form of artificial intelligence, so dangerous that if you see it, or even think about it too hard, you will spend the rest of eternity screaming in its torture chamber. It's like the videotape in The Ring. Even death is no escape, for if you die, Roko’s Basilisk will resurrect you and begin the torture again.
Are you sure you want to keep reading? Because the worst part is that Roko’s Basilisk already exists. Or at least, it already will have existed—which is just as bad.
Roko’s Basilisk exists at the horizon where philosophical thought experiment blurs into urban legend. The Basilisk made its first appearance on the discussion board LessWrong, a gathering point for highly analytical sorts interested in optimizing their thinking, their lives, and the world through mathematics and rationality.
...
You may be a bit confused, but the founder of LessWrong, Eliezer Yudkowsky, was not. He reacted with horror:
Listen to me very closely, you idiot.
YOU DO NOT THINK IN SUFFICIENT DETAIL ABOUT SUPERINTELLIGENCES CONSIDERING WHETHER OR NOT TO BLACKMAIL YOU. THAT IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE THING WHICH GIVES THEM A MOTIVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON THE BLACKMAIL.
You have to be really clever to come up with a genuinely dangerous thought. I am disheartened that people can be clever enough to do that and not clever enough to do the obvious thing and KEEP THEIR IDIOT MOUTHS SHUT about it, because it is much more important to sound intelligent when talking to your friends.
This post was STUPID.
Yudkowsky said that Roko had already given nightmares to several LessWrong users and had brought them to the point of breakdown. Yudkowsky ended up deleting the thread completely, thus assuring that Roko’s Basilisk would become the stuff of legend. It was a thought experiment so dangerous that merely thinking about it was hazardous not only to your mental health, but to your very fate.
...

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/06/links-6-5-18.html
...
Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time Slate (jvd)

US expects fallout from Snowden leaks for years to come Associated Press
...

CallMeLateForSupperJune 5, 2018 8:21 AM

@Clive
"Have you tried [...] boild water [...]

Good idea. I did not try. Moot. The Boss released Executive Order: "That thing is NOT going up on a wall. Can't you hide it?"

So, from day one, the "picture frame" has lay flat atop a tower speaker, its zig-zaggy cable and RF amplifier (cum ubiquitous wallwart cable) hanging in mid-air behind the speaker. This placement pulls in all 4 transmitters - 9 channels - as long as you don't move antenna even a bit. Weekly dusting of speakers and TV fell to me (because Vac Boss lacks "Gentle" setting). :-(

grumpy wormJune 5, 2018 8:56 AM

Debug or a high level of logging still present when using obfs4 bridges

Debug or a high level of logging still present in
/var/log/tor/log when using obfs4 bridges.

This is a reminder that this problem continues to exist in Tails 3.7.
(and several versions prior)

"[warn] Your log may contain sensitive information - you're logging more
than "notice". Don't log unless it serves an important reason. Overwrite
the log afterwards."

The logging is crazy and consumes several MB per session.

** I have not tested this with plain Tor and/or TBB outside of Tails.

** Nevertheless, this is being posted here just in case.
(and for historical purposes as the problem continues to exist in Tails!)

bttbJune 5, 2018 10:10 AM

Seymour Hersch live in nine minutes

Starting at 11:20 am et today, Seymour Hersh, author of the new book 'Reporter: A Memoir', for 40 minutes on public radio (NPR), perhaps near you.
https://the1a.org/

echoJune 5, 2018 1:34 PM

Disposable? Nobody is disposable! Once you begin thinking this way it's time to get another job.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/capture-or-kill-tom-marcus-mi5-soldier-spy-fiction-novel-thriller-a8376896.html
Capture or Kill: Former MI5 officer and anti-007 Tom Marcus on using real-life experiences to write hard-hitting thriller. He has a knack of passing himself off as an anonymous, shabby drifter in the street because that is what he once was. Andy Martin talks to Tom Marcus, author of bestselling memoir Soldier Spy.

MarkHJune 5, 2018 4:16 PM

@65535:

I just came upon this uWave discussion. I know little about microwaves, but have a life-long interest in imaging systems.

To my knowledge, all refractive or reflective structures capable of significantly concentrating EM waves are large multiples of the wavelength in extent.

Because oven uWaves are about 12 cm long, an "optical structure" inside a kitchen cooker would likely be not more than 3 wavelengths in extent.

This would make a poor focuser. Diffraction would tend to dominate any focusing tendency. It would be interesting to calculate how much concentration could be achieved, which perhaps would need some specialized software.

65535June 6, 2018 1:48 AM

@ MarkH

“To my knowledge, all refractive or reflective structures capable of significantly concentrating EM waves are large multiples of the wavelength in extent. Because oven uWaves are about 12 cm long, an "optical structure" inside a kitchen cooker would likely be not more than 3 wavelengths in extent.This would make a poor focuser. Diffraction would tend to dominate any focusing tendency. It would be interesting to calculate how much concentration could be achieved, which perhaps would need some specialized software.”

That is an interesting observation about the 3 wavelengths in size to do some focusing of microwave at the 2.45 GHz range.

You are knowledgeable about microwaves. I looked up the 2.45 GHz wave length and found it to be 12.2 cm [4.8 inch, US]. You right on target.

If you are talking about both depth and width of a glass object then it is a different story. Say a solid round keg like piece of glass which would Not fit into the microwave cooker.

Three times 4.8 inch, that would be 14.4 inches or 36.6 cm. I am assuming you are talking about the size or diameter of curved glass plate.

Am I correct? The microwave cooker I have can easily hold that size or larger diameter glass plate.

Next, like a telescope could, two or more smaller curved glass plates or “lenses” separated by properly in a row create multiplicative amplification of the focusing power of microwaves, or microwaves that cause heating of liquids to a high temperature. Say, as in a telescope with 2 or 3 lenses spaced properly in the same axis multiply the magnification of images?

The effect that I and others who own microwave ovens noted is superheating of liquids when curved glass items are place upon a plastic bowl sort of like a lens.

This extraordinary heating of the liquid in the bottom of the bowl or possibly the dielectric heating of the actual plastic burns or melts not only the plastic bowl but melts the glass dinner plate under bowl leaving puddle of glass in the center pyrex glass rotunda used to rotate the food and food holders and, the remains of the glass dinner plate with a round hole in the center and charcoal black burned plastic bowl bottom mixed with heated soup. The glass in the dinner plate probably melts at 550 C which is of wonder and concern.

This melting and burning of glass and plastic only seems to occur when curved glass plates are placed upon a plastic bowl when in the microwave cooker at medium power settings. Without the glass plate on the bowl normal boiling of liquid occurs. There is no burning of plastic or melting of glass regardless of power settings.

The most powerful melting of plastic and glass occurs when two curved glass plates are placed in the cooker. One glass plate on top of the bowl and one under the bowl. This combination seems to always melt the plastic bowl and or the glass plate below.

This made me wonder if it was possible to focus microwaves by concave 13 inch glass plates.

This would be somewhat like using a magnifying glass to focus the sunlight on a dried leaf to ignite the dried leaf. Note, the oven is a standard 750 to 1000 watt microwave over with a rotating Pyrex glass wheel to evenly cook the food. Some microwave ovens use a rotating reflector to turn the microwave beam to evenly cook the food.

Clive Robinson seems to indicate the most like cause of the melting of plastic in a microwave cooker is the use of an older plastic bowl that has been heated many times to the point where the plastic bottom has been weakened and more porous allowing water to soak in the bottom. That may also allowing the microwaves to superheat the water imbedded in the plastic to levels where the bowl bottom melts. This would involve some odd superheating of water in the bowl which is possible.

This doesn’t really explain the ability to melt a normal glass dinner plate directly in the center of said plate or why the plastic wall of the oven are not melted. I believe the heat to do so would require enough focused microwave energy to heat water or other medium to 550 degree C and make a perfectly round hole in the melted glass plate.

Clive Robinson may be correct. Or, possibly other factors are at work. I could understand some odd direct electrical conductivity of liquids below visible spark range due to the 2000 to 4000 volt transformer which powers the microwave cavity magnetron which makes pumps the microwaves to the oven.
Here is a YT video showing the power of 2000 to 4000 volts as a spark. I think it is in Russian but the picture are explanatory.

“What microwave oven is capable. High-voltage arc”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebxtqXcCrf4

But, that doesn’t explain the melting of glass in the microwave cooker. It also doesn’t explain many question such as why the plastic interior of the microwave oven is not damaged by 4000 volt sub-visible electrical arcs or other superheating factors of water, plastic and glass.

MarkH, if you have any ideas or observations that might explain how a regular microwave oven melts plastic and glass via focusing of microwave or other reasons please let me know.

Wesley ParishJune 6, 2018 5:05 AM

These are not the criminal geniuses you were expecting
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/06/pwn_goal_botnet/

Kinda reminds me of this:
Computer Security Error. Illegal access.
I hope your Television PROGRAMME runs
as smoothly as my PROGRAM worked out
your passwords! Nothing is secure!
Hackers’ Song.
“Put another password in,
Bomb it out and try again,
Try to get past logging in,
we’re Hacking, Hacking, Hacking.
Try his first wife’s maiden name,
This is more than just a game,
It’s real fun, but just the same,
It’s Hacking, Hacking, Hacking.”
The NutCracker
( Hackers’ UK )
HI THERE, OWLETS, FROM OZ AND YUG (OLIVER AND GUY)

Even when there were no machines capable of Artificial Intelligence, people seem to have been envious of them, and have worked hard to perfect Natural Stupidity as a counterbalance. I strongly suspect the Natural Stupidity Agency owes its existence to people feeling insecure about the Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT ...

HermanJune 6, 2018 2:01 PM

@Nest: I'd recommend using an RPi with Raspbian - easier to install. Yes, you would need a USB/Ethernet adaptor or two. It is fast enough for a home network and very cheap. You will have lots of fun and won't be sorry.

MarkHJune 6, 2018 4:21 PM

@ 2^16 - 1:

My short answer would be:

1. You've demonstrated a phenomenon that I absolutely wouldn't have expected, and which I find interesting.

2. I have no explanation.

I guess we are both speculating that perhaps the distribution of microwaves is altered in such a way, that they are more concentrated between the glass plates.

So far, I can only offer my negative opinion, that whatever is happening it probably isn't anything like how a telescope or magnifying glass works, because the hypothetical lenses are too close in size to the EM wavelength.

For example, the smallest lenses I know of for imaging visible light are about 0.1 mm in diameter. If we scale a disc that would fit in a microwave oven to the wavelength of visible light, it would be less than 0.002 mm in diameter.

The smaller a lens (or mirror) is in relation to the wavelength, the more diffraction dominates the effect on incoming waves. Diffraction is something of a scattering effect, which works against focusing.

There are two important reasons for making astronomical telescopes very large. One is to increase light gathering power, rendering faint objects visible. The other is lessen the harm done to focusing by diffraction. With a 3-wave lens, diffraction would be severe.

Another reason why dinner plates aren't likely to make effective lenses, is that they aren't thick enough. The greater the variation between the thickest and thinnest parts of a lens, the greater the focusing power (but the shape has to be right, also). Typical glass plates found in the kitchen don't have much variation in thickness, and lack the profile of varying smoothly from thickest in the center to thinnest at the edge.

A long time ago, I worked with a guy who was experienced in the (to me) spooky world of microwaves. I just don't have the know-how, to imagine what's going on the experiments you describe.

Any uWave mavens, please chime in!

tyrJune 6, 2018 8:32 PM


Microwave ovens are fairly simple gadgets.
Once powered up the magnetron will keep
pouring power into the cooking area. The
continuous input can melt almost anything
if other conditions are right. Manufacturers
cannot test every possibility so only will
deliver a unit that functions under "normal"
usage.

Given the wide variety of cookware around
I'm surprised this melting hasn't been seen
before.

@Clive

I expect that ABC (Google) has already farmed
out their AI drone mil work to some obscure
subsidiary division prone to less publicity.

There's always someone willing to do remote
murder on strangers for money as long as they
don't suffer any local consequences.

JG4June 6, 2018 8:38 PM


Sorry that I haven't had time to comment on the microwave discussion. I think that the oven can be viewed as being a) in the near-field, b) not involving much diffraction, although the comments on refractive index of glass, plastic and water by Clive and others are spot on, c) being dominated by what amounts to a standing wave in the oven and d) including some bi-directional coupling between the oven and the magnetron. It would be pretty clever if something like the NE-2 bulbs (but having less metal to avoid lightning shows) could be used to visualize the field intensity. That would allow visualization of the field and visualization of the changes in the field caused by adding objects. I saw an awesome talk recently where it was shown that a grid of NE-2 bulbs can function as a THz detector and also as a mixer. Clive will grasp immediately why it works. Another way to visualize fields might involve glass microspheres doped with rare earth elements that can be driven to fluoresce by a laser. For many atoms, ions and molecules, the electromagnetic field will shift the frequency in a way that can be queried remotely by laser or other electromagnetic means. Getting back to the topic at hand, putting things in the oven cavity alters the standing wave pattern in a way that can't be explained by simple optical considerations. It's a coupled-cavity resonator, albeit with weak coupling. The reason that it is important to put a minimum load in the oven (usually 1 cup of water?) is to provide some absorption to keep the standing wave intensity from producing destructive power back at the magnetron. I hope that this helps.

The usual cheerful news today.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/06/links-6-6-18.html
...
Imperial Collapse Watch

The Empire Strikes Out Counterpunch

John Bolton Wants No Deal With North Korea Or Iran – But Is There Any Other Choice? Moon of Alabama

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

With a swipe at Facebook, Apple’s Safari opens up a chasm in tech Wired (Kevin W)

There Is No Justification for What Mark Zuckerberg Did to WhatsApp Slate. By Felix Salmon!

Facebook security officer: Not all speech is “created equal” WSWS

Facebook reveals data-sharing deals with Huawei, other Chinese tech makers Politico

DHS will use facial recognition to scan travelers at the border Engadget
...

Clive RobinsonJune 7, 2018 2:10 AM

@ MarkH, 65535, JG4,

[W]hatever is happening it probably isn't anything like how a telescope or magnifying glass works, because the hypothetical lenses are too close in size to the EM wavelength.

I would agree it's not an optical effect but a resonance effect where the basic functional length is a half wavelength you find in antennas[1]

There are various antenna designs people have tried and got working, such as the "backfire", but again few people realise that resonance effects are effected by dialectric effects, such as the insulation on wire. But also you don't need a conductor... You can in the microwave regions use PTFE and Polystyrene to make what looks like a broad band TV antenna that like the antenna focuses the output from a waveguide into a considerably less divergent beam.

As we go "up-n-up" in our data bandwidth requirments we need to similarly go up in our frequency usage. The mechanics of making antennas above 5GHz in metal are becoming cost prohibitive as the consumer price dropps. Therefore I suspect that dialetric antennas will get a lot more investigation over the next few years as there are limits on what etched PCB fractal and similar antennas will give us.

[1] Many people think it's the quater wave length forgetting it is actually half of a halfwave dipole, the other half supplied by a ground or counterpoise of some sort. If you do the experiment correctly a monopole in free space does not radiate, a lesson the makers of "bugging devices" have to often learn the hard way. Likewise users of twoway radios, hence the reason "tiger tails" and "trailing grounds" are becoming seen more often. To see what's involved with making such experiments at home, have a look at,

http://www.aa5tb.com/efha.html

Alyer Babtu June 7, 2018 3:29 AM

Are there any “cheap” multi-physics software packages, perhaps from academic groups, that would let one model these microwave involved situations ?

65535June 7, 2018 3:34 AM

@ Mark

"My short answer would be: 1. You've demonstrated a phenomenon that I absolutely wouldn't have expected, and which I find interesting. 2. I have no explanation. If we scale a disc that would fit in a microwave oven to the wavelength of visible light, it would be less than 0.002 mm in diameter…Another reason why dinner plates aren't likely to make effective lenses, is that they aren't thick enough. The greater the variation between the thickest and thinnest parts of a lens, the greater the focusing power (but the shape has to be right, also). Typical glass plates found in the kitchen don't have much variation in thickness, and lack the profile of varying smoothly from thickest in the center to thinnest at the edge.”

I see what you mean about the thickness of the dinner plate or a glass coffee cup saucer which are not really that thick. They also are not really shaped like a lens of a magnifying glass.

Thus, the superheating of water or other objects is probably not caused by focusing of microwaves. I would then guess Clive Robinson’s guess about the plastic bowl being old and pours to the point where small amounts of water enter the bottom and are superheated via possibly the “skin” effect of microwaves.

Or, maybe there is some actual direct electrical spark jumping from the 4000 volt cavity magnetron which passing through the glass plate and plastic yet is not visible by the eye melting both the plastic and glass. Who knows.

Thank you for your reply.

@ tyr

“Microwave ovens are fairly simple gadgets. Once powered up the magnetron will keep pouring power into the cooking area. The continuous input can melt almost anything if other conditions are right. Manufacturers cannot test every possibility so only will deliver a unit that functions under "normal" usage. Given the wide variety of cookware around. I'm surprised this melting hasn't been seen before.”

That is an interesting observation. The melting of both glass and plastic could have happened and everyone just assumed the items was not made to operate and a microwave oven and forgot about it.

@ JG4

“…oven can be viewed as being a) in the near-field, b) not involving much diffraction, although the comments on refractive index of glass, plastic and water by Clive and others are spot on, c) being dominated by what amounts to a standing wave in the oven and d) including some bi-directional coupling between the oven and the magnetron. It would be pretty clever if something like the NE-2 bulbs (but having less metal to avoid lightning shows) could be used to visualize the field intensity. …Getting back to the topic at hand, putting things in the oven cavity alters the standing wave pattern in a way that can't be explained by simple optical considerations. It's a coupled-cavity resonator, albeit with weak coupling. The reason that it is important to put a minimum load in the oven (usually 1 cup of water?) is to provide some absorption to keep the standing wave intensity from producing destructive power back at the magnetron. I hope that this helps.”

That is a reasonable observation.

In the YouTube video linked previously a Russian guy using current a 2000 volt [DC?] connector to the step-up transformer to burn 300 W incandescent bulbs to the conductor stem downward and to power vapor lamps of various types. There seems to be one vapor lamp that exploded due to the high power. Also, there are what look like to plasma arcs developing from tinfoil and other metal items about 3:00 min into the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebxtqXcCrf4

The melting of glass maybe possible due so some odd direct electrical field or the microwaves from the cavity magnetron. But, I have never seen any visible spark in the microwave oven.

@ Clive Robinson

…”various antenna designs people have tried and got working, such as the "backfire", but again few people realise that resonance effects are effected by dialectric effects, such as the insulation on wire. But also you don't need a conductor... You can in the microwave regions use PTFE and Polystyrene to make what looks like a broad band TV antenna that like the antenna focuses the output from a waveguide into a considerably less divergent beam. As we go "up-n-up" in our data bandwidth requirments we need to similarly go up in our frequency usage. The mechanics of making antennas above 5GHz in metal are becoming cost prohibitive as the consumer price dropps. Therefore I suspect that dialetric antennas will get a lot more investigation over the next few years as there are limits on what etched PCB fractal and similar antennas will give us… people think it's the quater wave length forgetting it is actually half of a halfwave dipole, the other half supplied by a ground or counterpoise of some sort. If you do the experiment correctly a monopole in free space does not radiate, a lesson the makers of "bugging devices" have to often learn the hard way. Likewise users of twoway radios, hence the reason "tiger tails" and "trailing grounds" are becoming seen more often.”

Your interesting quarter wave length v. halfwave diapole and bugging devices is interesting. That is limited radio waves? I don’t see how superheating occurs of the type I have seen. But, who knows.

I will say that the high voltage of a microwave oven probably will be used for various purposes including destruction on SSDs, radio chips and other hard to erase storage media in some quick way.

Wesley ParishJune 7, 2018 4:26 AM

As no one seems to have mentioned this, I thought I may as well:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d3kwzx/documents-us-government-hacking-planes-dhs

It seems that someone's been paying attention.

Also: Breaking News! Read allabahtit! EPA Director claims US Federal Judge "cast evil eye" on him! Demands reinstatement of Massachusetts Law against Witchcraft! (Okay, it's not quite that bad, but ... judge for yourself.):

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/judge-orders-epa-to-produce-science-behind-pruitts-warming-claims/

(Not strictly ON TOPIC, but it illustrates a state of mind that Snowden reacted to. Namely that the Government doesn't ever need to justify itself by reference to outside realities.)

Bob PaddockJune 7, 2018 10:18 AM

@JG4, @Clive?

"I saw an awesome talk recently where it was shown that a grid of NE-2 bulbs can function as a THz detector and also as a mixer"

I would like to see that please, URL?

The current 'Stone Knives and Bearskins' level of medical imaging technology lead directly to my wife's death see Medical electronics imaging to aid sufferers of cerebral spinal fluid leaks by Steve Taranovich. I believe THz based T-Rays will someday replace X-Rays and solve some of the current problems. For example there is the whole issue of Gadolinium poisoning from the contrast dyes, as represented by actor Chuck Norris and what happened to his wife Gena.

Here are some historic references to using Plasma as Microwave detectors, that I had at hand:

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON MICROWAVE THEORY AND TECHNIQUES,VOL. MTT-14, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER, 1966 pg 431 "A Simple and Rugged Wide-Band Gas Discharge Detector for Millimeter Waves" P. J. W. SEVERIN AND .A. G. VAN NIE

"Abnormal glow discharge detection of visible radiation" N. S. Kopeika, J. Rosenbaum, and R. Kastner Applied Optics, Vol. 15, Issue 6, pp. 1610-1614 (1976) doi:10.1364/AO.15.001610

N. S. Kopeika, J. Rosenbaum, and R. Kastner, "Abnormal glow discharge detection of visible radiation," Appl. Opt. 15, 1610-1614 (1976) http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-15-6-1610

Abstract: "Extension of abnormal glow discharge detection of electromagnetic radiation to visible wavelengths is observed with inexpensive commercial indicator lamps. The spectral response and mechanisms of detection are discussed and advantages over gas-filled photo-diodes noted. Responses from different discharge regions are observed and their implications considered."

See also General Electric Glow Lamp Manual 2nd-Edition

"Plasma-diode experiments" by Harry Stockman "Ham Radio Magazine", February 1980. Also NEONDET.ASC.

Lambda Diodes are also of interest due to their simulation of negative resistance curves found in the Abnormal Glow Region of plasma; QEX the September/October 2011 Issue.

Look up the work Correa's Pulsed Abnormal Glow Discharge device if you really want to go down the Rabbit Hole.

Avalanche Photo Diode Detectors and their power sources are also of interest along these lines. LT3482 for example.

Bob PaddockJune 7, 2018 10:35 AM

@Clive Robinson, @JG4

"Therefore I suspect that dialetric antennas will get a lot more investigation over the next few years as there are limits on what etched PCB fractal and similar antennas will give us."

Are you familiar with Dr Ted Anderson's work with plasma antennas and his book on how to build them? They do have military/security implications in that when not energized they should be undetectable:

Ionized Gas Antennas/

PLASMA ANTENNAS
Theodore Anderson, Haleakala Research and Development, Inc.
ISBN 978-1-60807-143-2

The plasma antenna is an emerging technology that partially or fully utilizes ionized gas as the conducting medium instead of metal to create an antenna. The key advantages of plasma antennas are that they are highly reconfigurable and can be turned on and off. The disadvantage is that the plasma antennas require energy to be ionized. This unique resource provides you with a solid understanding of the efficient design and prototype development of plasma antennas, helping you to meet the challenge of reducing the power required to ionize the gas at various plasma densities. You also find thorough coverage of the technical underpinnings of plasma antennas, as well as important discussions on current markets and applications. Additionally, the book presents experimental work in the this cutting-edge area and reveals the latest developments in the field. This in-depth reference is supported with over 70 illustrations and more than 110 equations. - http://us.artechhouse.com/Plasma-Antennas-P1437.aspx.

See also my last post related to this please.

bttbJune 7, 2018 10:36 AM

@Clive Robinson wrote:

"With regards your "What about Trump?" question on net neutrality.

It is becoming clear that one major Trump Policy decision is to "undo Obama". That is to in effect take action to do the opposit of what Obama did as President to effectively wipe out any legacy[1]."
https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2018/05/friday_squid_bl_626.html#c6776093

Thanks for your response.

It looks like eff.org is looking toward state law, amongst other things, for 'Net Neutrality':

"Update 05/30/2018: On May 30, the California Senate voted 23-12 to pass S.B. 822. Now it must be passed by the California Assembly to be on its way to the governor's desk.

California’s S.B. 822 is a gold standard for states looking to protect net neutrality. And since the FCC abandoned its role in protecting a free and open Internet, states stepping up is more important than ever. Today, EFF, representatives from groups across California, and other advocates for net neutrality are in Sacramento telling legislators not to bow to the will of large ISPs like AT&T and Comcast. Add your voice to theirs by calling your state senator."
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/05/today-tell-californias-senate-defend-net-neutrality-and-pass-sb-822

Regardless, regarding the House of Representatives, I checked to see if my representative committed to voting for overturning the FCC order at:
https://checkyourreps.org/scores

And recently from aclu.org:

... "The big telecoms know that bipartisan legislation to reject the FCC’s abandonment of net neutrality is pending before the House, after being approved by the Senate last month. They know that 86 percent of all Americans favor restoring the FCC’s net neutrality rules. And they know that three state legislatures and six state governors have already adopted pro-net neutrality measures and that many more are considering joining their ranks.

Given this environment, the ISPs are unlikely to engage in visible, net neutrality violating behavior right away.

Shortly after casting his vote in favor of the Senate bill to preserve net neutrality, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said, “If you trust your cable company, you’re not going to like my vote today. If you don’t trust your cable company, you will.”

Kennedy’s analysis is certainly correct, but his comments also hint at what likely is the next step in the ISPs’ net neutrality playbook: Once June 11 comes and goes, we should expect the ISPs will do little to nothing in response. Then, after some time has passed, they will point to their inaction as proof we were wrong to distrust them and their promises not to violate net neutrality in the absence of a federal mandate. And guess what will happen next? Drip. Drip. Drip. And before we know it, a flood will have washed away the free and open internet we all rely on.

So yes, net neutrality will be gone on June 11. When we will first feel the impact of that loss is unknown, but what is known is that the fight is far from over." ...
https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/internet-speech/how-net-neutrality-will-end

bttbJune 7, 2018 10:47 AM

emptywheel.net on MalwareTech and Marcus Hutchins:

"When last we checked in on the MalwareTech (Marcus Hutchins) case, both FBI agents involved in his arrest had shown different kinds of unreliability on the stand and in their written assertions, and Hutchins’ defense had raised a slew of legal challenges that, together, showed the government stretching to use wiretapping and CFAA statutes to encompass writing code so as to include Hutchins in the charges. It looked like the magistrate in the case, Nancy Joseph, might start throwing out some of the government’s more expansive legal theories.

That is, it looked like the government’s ill-advised decision to prosecute Hutchins in the first place might be mercifully put out of its misery with some kind of dismissal.

But the government, which refuses to cut its losses on its own prosecutorial misjudgments, just doubled down with a 10-count superseding indictment." ...
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/06/06/to-pre-empt-an-ass-handing-the-government-lards-on-problematic-new-charges-against-malwaretech/

Clive RobinsonJune 8, 2018 11:32 AM

@ Bruce, and the usuall suspects,

As the notion of near ultrasound signalling comes up with mobile phones and pads and tablets from time to time and people tend to "go into denial" about it...

You might be interested in having a look at the "Android Compatibility Definition Document"

https://source.android.com/compatibility/android-cdd.html

And look at section "7.8.1 Microphone" you will find,

    [SR] STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to support near-ultrasound recording as described in section 7.8.3.

Virtually the same in section "7.8.2 Audio Output". With section 7.8.3 giving,

    7.8.3. Near-Ultrasound

    Near-Ultrasound audio is the 18.5 kHz to 20 kHz band

And going on to give a quite detailed specification for both analog input and output levels, that any audio engineer can translate to let you know expected ranges etc.

This requirment has been tucked away in the Android CDD for some time now and similar performance is also expected in both Windows and Apple mobile devices...

So the "Spy in Your Pocket" for marketing and worse was "designed in" by Google and Co from early on.

MarkHJune 10, 2018 6:05 PM

A last note about uWave ovens ...

The cooking chamber of such an oven is a rectangular cavity with conductive walls. According to my reading, the chamber functions as a multi-mode resonant cavity for the injected microwaves.

Having a multiplicity of modes is desirable, as it decreases the variability of microwave intensity as a function of position within the chamber, but the uniformity is nonetheless quite poor. That's why the rotating "carousel" design is so useful.

Probably there are university courses with problems like this: "A rectangular sheet of dielectric material is introduced into a multi-mode resonant cavity, oriented parallel to two of its walls. How is the distribution of waves altered by the presence of this sheet?"

Sadly, I haven't learned enough E&M to answer.

Here's a nice PDF which gives an overview of how these cookers work.

It includes a clever experimental visualization of how microwave intensity varies spatially inside the oven.

65535June 10, 2018 7:50 PM

@ MarkH

Physics of the microwave oven by Michael Vollmer, Physikalische Technik, Fachhochschule Brandenburg, Magdeburger Straße 50, 14770 Brandenburg, Germany

“Figure 4 shows the intensity distribution within an oven of 29 × 29 × 19 cm 3 at a height of about 8 cm. A horizontal glass plate covered with a thin film of water was placed in a microwave (without its rotating turntable) on full power (800 ) for about 15 s. The false colour image was obtained with a thermal infrared camera [9]. With only a small amount of water present, the image shows the microwave intensity distribution in a nearly empty chamber. There is a pronounced horizontal mode structure, which would lead to uneven heating of food. This is the reason for having a rotating turntable: the rotation will move the food in and out of the hot spots.Some ovens have a mode stirrer, i.e. a rotating reflector at the top to get a more homogeneous field distribution, and there are investigations into how geometrical changes of the wall structure may improve the situation…” –emu.dk

https://www.emu.dk/sites/default/files/physics_of_microwave_oven.pdf

This first part talks about a glass plate with a thin film of water placed on top which is the different than what I was doing.

I was placing a glass plate [or curved glass cup soucer] upon a plastic bowl with liquid inside the bowl with another glass plate below. Then below that was the Pyrex glass turn table. I note the pronounce horizontal mode structure which causes hot spots. I wonder if those hot spots could be superheated upon every rotation of the turn table below on horizontal plane. Those horizontal modes are a puzzle.

Thank you for the paper.

Clive RobinsonJune 10, 2018 11:41 PM

@ MarkH, 65535,

Having a multiplicity of modes is desirable, as it decreases the variability of microwave intensity as a function of position within the chamber, but the uniformity is nonetheless quite poor. That's why the rotating "carousel" design is so useful.

Actually it has nothing to do with trying to "decreases the variability of microwave intensity as a function of position within the chamber".

The cavity is designed to be resonant as this improves the efficiency. Efficiency is measured by the "ratio of loaded to unloaded Q". That is the higher the unloaded Q and the lower the loaded Q the more efficiently energy is transferred from source to load (magnetron to food).

High efficiency is required not just to minimise energy input, but more importantly to reduce destructive losses in the magnetron --or in some devices the quad LDMOS power devices-- due to thermal effects (heat is the most pervasive and destructive form of environmental polutant).

To get a high unloaded Q needs resonance, which in turn means standing waves, which is what gives you the hot spots. As long as energy is not taken from the cavity it can only be held by standing waves, otherwise destructive decoherance gives rise to high currents flowing in the cavity walls thus high IR losses. Many people have seen this with small thin strips of metal such as gold finishing on plates and metal foil arcing and "burning" due to the IR heating.

Oh and the reason for the glass of water, it is the necessary load, to reduce reflected power from the cavity returning back up the short transmission line to the magnetron and thus causing it to over heat and rapidly age in a process called "going soft" by some technicians.

If you look at the mechanical design of microwave ovens they feature a lot of "shorted quatetwave line structures". Because a feature of a shorted quaterwave line is it's very very high impedence.

I've mentioned this before when talking about using microwave ovens as a place to put mobile phones to prevent them being used as bugging devices. Put simply whilst a microwave oven is in effect a closed metal box it is optomised for one frequency band only and it's odd harmonics. Thus at other frequencies it's as hit and miss if not actualy worse than a metal biscuit tin with an ill fitting lid. To see why look up "slot radiators".

MarkHJune 11, 2018 4:36 PM

@Clive:

Perhaps there is a conflation of two concepts?

Your astute argument explains why it is necessary for the cooking chamber of a uWave oven to be a resonant cavity. As far as I can see, it doesn't address the number of resonant modes the cavity should possess.

I wrote (clearly, I thought) about the number of modes ...

Here's what Michael Vollmer wrote (my emphasis added):

If some water-containing food is placed in the chamber, i.e. a dielectric is inserted, the additional losses—being much larger than the wall losses—lead to a shift of the resonances to lower frequencies as well as an appreciable broadening of the modes. Due to the shifts and broadening, described by a quality factor that may well be of the order of 10^2, more than one resonator mode may be excited. The larger the oven and the more losses are present, the more modes may be excited simultaneously. These multimode cavities have a more homogeneous field distribution, which is desirable for many applications, including cooking.

Does this get the physics wrong? Or if it is correct, did I understand it incorrectly?

You know this stuff better than the great majority of us here ... please elucidate!

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