Friday Squid Blogging: 13-foot Giant Squid Caught off New Zealand Coast

It’s probably a juvenile:

Researchers aboard the New Zealand-based National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) research vessel Tangaroa were on an expedition to survey hoki, New Zealand’s most valuable commercial fish, in the Chatham Rise ­ an area of ocean floor to the east of New Zealand that makes up part of the “lost continent” of Zealandia.

At 7.30am on the morning of January 21, scientists were hauling up their trawler net from a depth of 442 meters (1,450 feet) when they were surprised to spot tentacles in amongst their catch. Large tentacles.

According to voyage leader and NIWA fisheries scientist Darren Stevens, who was on watch, it took six members of staff to lift the giant squid out of the net. Despite the squid being 4 meters long and weighing about 110 kilograms (240 pounds), Stevens said he thought the squid was “on the smallish side,” compared to other behemoths caught.

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 February 21, 2020 at 4:19 PM181 Comments


RAD February 21, 2020 4:56 PM

Is it wrong to talk about squid rather than security? I clicked through to read the full story since any mention of the god Tangaroa makes me giggle (The local carvings show him as ummmmm… three legged). The story reminded me of whale watching in Kaikoura which reminded me of a second hand giant squid story I heard from a professional diver in Curacao who collects fish specimens for researchers at the local aquarium. He relayed the story of a Curacao Coast Guard ship being inked by a live giant squid at the surface. I was told the story twenty years ago and I assumed the story was false because I had heard many times that no one had seen a live giant squid before.

Has anyone heard this story or anything similar about giant squid and ink?

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2020 8:18 PM

Adversarial Interoperability

Even if you have been around half-century or more, this will ring bells, and otherwise may provide some lift for projects.


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 21, 2020 9:49 PM

If the information about the 2019-nCov virus outbreak in Iran is true, what culpability does the United States have in extenuating the effects, transmission, and deaths that are a result of unilateral “war crime” level sanctions?

Just sayin…

Hi February 21, 2020 10:04 PM

For the next ~two weeks, one can get the “Cybersecurity 2020” humble bundle including – once more – our host’s “Applied Cryptography”.

MarkH February 22, 2020 4:02 AM

What if the Firm You Pay for Your Security Has Lousy Security?

From Krebs on Security:

About a year ago, the news broke that Citrix corporate computer systems had been invaded by hackers.

More information has now emerged:

  1. The attackers used a very simple technique of trying often-used passwords.
  2. The attackers had “intermittent access” to the corporate network for about five months.
  3. Citrix was alerted to the attack by the FBI.

In a way, this is a pretty typical story of intrusion … but here’s where it gets interesting:

  1. Citrix is a major vendor of corporate networking softare, particularly VPN.
  2. The method of entry would have been infeasible if the Citrix network enforced strong passwords.

  3. Citrix could have detected the intrusion promptly, if it had vigilant security monitoring.

  4. Security firm Resecurity warned Citrix of the hacking about 10 weeks before Citrix finally put a stop to it and went public.

  5. Resecurity claims that the attack came from Iran, and that the attackers exfiltrated terabytes of data.

The part which most got my attention, is that reportedly Iranian hackers have been focusing attention on VPN companies with the intention of installing backdoors.

It makes sense; VPN software is potentially an extremely rewarding target. It’s also consistent with the possibility that Iran might seek a potent cyberwar capability: if you can break into the VPNs of a few dozen critical companies, you could do a lot of damage in the target country.

Sed Contra February 22, 2020 6:16 AM


Re: Adversarial Interoperability

Ah for the civil society of old, where there was a reality of free public streets and spaces beside the legitimate private, rather than the mosaic of gated neighborhoods we seem to have now, rather like the Puritan towns of old.

Gadfly February 22, 2020 11:57 AM

Firefox Send

Does anyone have any comments on’s recently announced “firefox send” file transfer utility which promotes its end-to-end encryption? In particular, does their technique guarantee that Mozilla can’t decrypt a file during the period it is available for download? [ht tps://]

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 1:07 PM

@ namr.withheld…, SpaceLifeForm, Anders, ALL,

If the information about the 2019-nCov virus outbreak in Iran is true…

There is certainly an outbreak of something there, but it’s behaviour appears different. That is it appears to now have the ability to directly damage the heart and kill people that way. Also it appears to have a much higher transmisability rate.

South Korea also has problems which is frightening some of my friends, the infection rate doubled over night and the transmissability appears to be opaque that is not just from the thousand people at a religious meeting (airborne?).

The WHO are in effect saying as diplomatically as possible “pandemic start” but Airlines etc are still following “commercial interest” which is a side effect of the “Power Politics” excercised by vested corporate interests over the needs of society.

It also appears SARS-2 is now running free in Africa and WHO are shipping RT-PCR test kits but, there are way to few labs to process them, something that “Commercial Efficiency” has taken all the slack out of the system elsewhere in the world.

But we have to remember why this all started, call it “conseratism” but this coronavirus “crossed over” from the animal kingdom. For years there have been very serious warnings about dangerous disease and “Bush Meat” and faux “Aphrodisiacs” but people do not listen. Likewise serious warnings about the destruction of truly wild habitats for commercial exploitation forcing disease bearing creatures into society often where there is little or no modern health care. As bad is the cohabitation with farm creatures such as swine and fowl. These “vested interests” dangerous as they are well known to be are allowed for various “political reasons” to carry on, and we get dangerous disease after dangerous disease arising from these practices… So SARS-2 is happily causing COVID-19 as a result and apparently now running rampant not just in Asia but Africa and the Middle East, where healthcare is not what it could be for various reasons.

Whilst there are very many coronaviruses out there, not just in wild life, farm stock and pets, only a handfull effect humans currently. Four give rise to 10-30% of what we calk the common cold with a medium transmissability but very low CFR, Middle Eastern Respitiory Syndrome (MERS from camels) has a very low transmissability but CFR30-40% SARS-1 and SARS-2. SARS-1 one is assumed to be now extinct but had an unknown low transmissability but 10% CFR. The reason the transmissability rate is unknown is because you were not infective untill quite symptomatic, so it was easy to spot and contain but initial spread sugested medium transmissability. SARS-2 is what is causing COVID-19, unfortunatly it has some quite undesirable properties, firstly it can remain viable on surfaces upto nine days, you are infective after 2-3days and it appears asymptomatic for 6 to more than 15 days with an average of 12.5days. Thus we can say straight off if it is airborn as China now indicates and the Diamond Princess indicates then 14days quarantine is way to short atleast 28days should be considered… However self issolation would be however long for reported cases to stop or stay below the level that healthcare services can handle then another 28days so four months may not be unexpected. As for SARS CFR with good quality and available health care about 1% of confirmed cases, which coukd be anyehere from 1 in 5 to 1 in 20 of the population, which would be only about ten times worse than seasonal flu. But if we assume that any case where oxygen therepy has to be given would be a fatality in Africa or if hospital resources are unavailable then 15-25% of confirmed cases would die and only 65-80% of the population would survive.

However reports from Iran about the spread and effects there are sufficiently different that the possability for mutation might have happened. I would seriously suggest you look at this video,

And see what “Policy Consensus” has done for “vested interests” and as a disservice to the rest of society this year… The lack of any real action has now probably condemed us to SARS-2 becoming “endemic” thus going around the world again and again untill we are dead, immune, or vaccinated. The 1918 pandemic took over three years to finally die out killing 50million or so. Eventually sufficiently large numbers of people became immune by surviving the infection that the base infection rate R0 fell to less than one and fairly quickly thereafter to 0. We know that aslong as SARS-2 does not mutate even without a vacine it will not be an “existential threat” by it’s self to humanity. However if it keeps mutating or develops several strains (see what happens with the flu and Dengue-Fever) then the chance of reinfection every few years arises if it has a CFR in the double digit percentages then economics comes into play and we could end up at pre 1800 population levels unless society changes majorly in the way it behaves.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 1:19 PM

MGM Resorts breach.

I KNEW I did not have to research, but I did anyway. (yes, I’ve said that before)

Sure enough, yet again, I was correct.

Do I even have to tell you the cloud provider?

I’ve seriously lost count. Well into double digits. And that is the known cases.

Over 10M PII exposed in this case.

MGM Resorts says they notified those customers.

A Secret Service Agent that was found in the data, that was contacted, said he was never told about the breach.

vas pup February 22, 2020 1:44 PM

Crop-dusting drones — making work safer and easier for farmers:

“Heng Sopheak is not a farmer himself. The 38-year-old used to work as an IT expert in a textiles factory in Phnom Penh.

But now, he’s found a new lease on life — one that gives him more of a sense of purpose. In the past, Sopheak often came into contact with farmers working in their fields. “I know how hard it is to farm,” Sopheak told DW. “It’s already difficult to plant, but to take care of the crops is even harder.”

When he realized they had difficulties spraying pesticides on large fields, he had an idea: Why not build an unmanned agricultural crop-dusting drone that would help prevent the exposure of farmers to the chemicals and also make the work much easier for them?

I’ve seen some people hesitate to take up the job of spraying pesticides because they feared they might be poisoned,” Sopheak told DW. “With the Sprayer Drone, farming is made easier, faster and more efficient. It won’t damage the crop and harm the health of the farmers,” he said. Sopheak is promoting his invention on Facebook.

The drone can apply the liquid more economically than traditional methods do. “By using the drone, we can save 20% of the pesticide. It uses only 16 liters (4.2 gallons) for one hectare. And it only needs seven minutes to spray a hectare.”

Sopheak says that this is because the drone works with much more precision than a human. The robot is simply less prone to mistakes.

“Sometimes, humans can be careless in doing their work. Drones cannot make the same errors. They work according to the map we draw and the height we set. When the drone runs out of liquid, it will automatically mark the last point and fly back. After the refill, it will start again exactly at the last stop,” Sopheak said.

And his drone is able not only to apply pesticides but also fertilizers. Here, again, the drone uses less overall, which saves the farmers money and also helps protect the environment.

Most farmers don’t need to have their own drone, though. Instead, people are able to contact him to obtain his drone-spraying services.

That’s why Sopheak and his team travel around Cambodia’s provinces to work for farmers. They charge between 40,000 to 100,000 riel (€9 to €22 or $10 to $19) per hectare depending on the type of crops and the geography.”

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 2:08 PM

@ Gadfly,

Does anyone have any comments on’s recently announced “firefox send” file transfer utility which promotes its end-to-end encryption?

I can only give you general indicators. But,

1, Mozilla’s code base is now way to large and complex to be considered secure.

2, The least likely compromise of the system is the crypto algorithm, these tend to be standard and well tested/reviewed.

3, However crypto modes that make the algorithms usable in practice can be easily done incorrectly or have subtal issues. These tend to be standardised, but in the past they have been found to be defective for various reasons

4, The most likely compromise of the actual crypto is through “Keying Material” (KeyMat) issues such as mishandling via poor Key Managment (KeyMan) or poor/predictable/backdoored entropy used for “Key Generation” (KeyGen). Outside of a very few select hardware designs I’ve yet to see a software implementation that addresses both issues in a secure manner.

5, The next most likely compromise of crypto is via “side channel leakage” and other implementation issues. Testing for this can be difficult and complex. AES for instance came “gift wrapped” via NIST probably on the advice of the NSA with side channel leakage of KeyMat. It’s why I always advise that crypto both encrypt and decrypt be done not only “Off-line” but on a fully issolated or “energy gapped” system. Because not doing so leaves you vulnerable to implementation issues you have not found, don’t know about, or have been turned on by an adversary since you tested.

6, But it’s not just crypto compromise you have to consider, there is plaintext compromise as well. The application code will almost certainly be written to use libraries, an OS, and run on FMCE hardware. All of which are known to have hundreds of vulnerabilities each. So why as an attacker compromise the crypto and it’s implementation if you can simply “end run” attack the application and get at the plaintext interface between the application and the actuall user interface of keyboard and screen via IO shims etc. Again even though you can test, you won’t find all the possibilities because you don’t know about them all or they can be turned on or installed via update etc after you have tested. Thus the only way is again through the mitigation of segregation by “energy gapping”.

Thus the simple advice is,

    Trust not, thus mitigate.

Which leaves you and fourth party attackers with all the fun of KeyMat especialy KeyGen and KeyMan issues.

But keep a carefull eye on the third party to your communications Mozilla, they could easily have used crypto modes incorrectly that could weaken the communication, or included a rather dumb “negotiation” protocol that a MITM attack could exploit etc etc. That is why “encrypting to file” to get “data at rest” first then sending it by a standard insecure P2P comms system is better than direct on-line communications. Oh and never use anyone elses KeyMat, you and the second party should have an entirely seperate secure side channel to transfer KeyMat. In diplomatic and similar government entities KeyMat is often “hand carried by trusted courier” in a diolomatic pouch etc.

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 2:17 PM

@ Anders,

As I mentioned the fecal-oral route has already been effectively confirmed via a block of flats in Hong Kong.

But I also mentioned taking care with that particular web site. I’ve looked at some of the articles and it’s “Jounalists trying to appear as scientists” and thus missing important information or getting things not quite right to the point of misleading people.

And no it does not take an “expert in the domain” to know this just reading up undergrad level texts and the base scientific reports gives you clues about that sites MO, which is “phone/email for quotes and extrapolate”.

MarkH February 22, 2020 2:55 PM

@Clive et al re COVID-19:

The WHO chief publicly expressed anxiety yesterday about a new worry: until a few days ago, the irruptions in countries other than China all seemed to be traceable to the region around Wuhan (persons traveling from the region, or others exposed to such persons, etc.)

But now, there are at least a couple of situations (including that in Iran) in which public health officials have so far failed to trace such a connection. Because containment efforts outside of China rely heavily on such linkage, for the disease to move outside of this means of tracking has dire implications.

As Clive observed, some of these new emergences seem (at first impression) to show different behavior. Has the COVID-19 virus mutated? Is there some separate strain? Is it acting differently based on some systematic environmental difference between regions?

Clive and I both have commented on how zoonotic diseases come into being. This is ultra-important, because preventing these hideous epidemics is far easier, than suffering and working to contain them.

Just a few days ago, a NY Times op-ed took up the question of why these awful illnesses keep arising in China, and how the risk of zoonosis is anchored in cultural traditions.

Leaving to one side the question of outbreaks in new countries perhaps behaving differently — our picture of what started in December is murky enough, the data on new outbreaks is extremely fragmentary — it looks as though the “main branch” of the epidemic is spreading roughly as efficiently as flu does, but is perhaps far more fatal.

Typically, flu kills something like 100 to 200 per 100K cases; the estimates for COVID-19 have been closer to 2000 per 100K cases. However, because many mild or asymptomatic cases may have been missed, the true CFR might actually be nearer to that of flu.

But if it spreads like flu, and is 10 (or more) times as deadly, then worldwide deaths are likely to cross into the millions before the end of 2020 🙁

For what it’s worth, “pandemic” has an official definition, namely an epidemic simultaneously occurring on more than one continent. At present, almost all cases are in Asia, and perhaps 20 people (as of this morning) have died outside of China.

Given WHO’s responsibilities, it would be improper for them to use terminology in manner that is loose, improvised, or based on “emotional freight.” Probably when data justify the identification of an epidemic on another continent — sadly, likely to happen very soon — medical authorities will properly label it a pandemic.

WHO already designated this virus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, which is their official terminology. Whether anybody calls it a pandemic or not is more a question of “branding” than of public health agency responses.

Probably they should have made the PHEIC designation sooner, but they got to it 23 days ago. If they delayed some weeks because their ability to function depends on Chinese money … well, that could be alleviated (see below).

I know it’s easy, and very satisfying, to bash the WHO. After all, we graybeard engineers have a much better track record in fighting infectious epidemics than does WHO :\

It’s worth remembering the WHO has very little power in its own right; that it functions primarily as a resource for the public health agencies of the world’s states; and that it depends for its very functioning on a rather shabby system of contributions from those states.

In my understanding, WHO has made useful contributions in the response to terrifying Ebola outbreaks, and has striven to incorporate “lessons learned” from what worked well and what didn’t.

Is it better for humanity to take potshots at the only such organization we have … or to petition our own governments to increase WHO funding, so they won’t depend for such a large part of their budget on despotic China?

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 3:08 PM


Partial lockdown in Northern Italy.

But, for now, only one week. Which is useless.

Watch for all of Italy.

Keep eye on UAE, Lebanon, Turkey.

Especially Turkey.

MarkH February 22, 2020 3:11 PM

Another fun story from Krebs.

The U.S. Secret Service has discovered a new theft technique “in the wild.” In essence, the thieves create what appear to be reloadable cash “rewards” cards imprinted with a store or “buyers’ club” brand.

The cards have bar codes, expiration dates and CVVs from stolen credit card databases, and instructions to the cashier for how to use them.

The point-of-sale terminal sees a credit card, even though the cashier sees something else; the payment system processes the transaction as a card-not-present purchase.

Of course, using stolen credit card data is nothing new. What’s important about this new technique, is that if the criminal is arrested or searched, law enforcement is likely to recognize a stack of reprogrammed credit cards as evidence of criminal intent.

In contrast, such a “money card” — perhaps with a little bunch of bar-code labels to re-use it — don’t ring the same alarm bells.

It’s apparently meant as a stealthier way of pulling the same robbery.

Who? February 22, 2020 3:18 PM

@ Anders (re: DISA data breach)

Sad news. DISA is my first reference when hardening a computer, or an entire network. DISA STIGs are a superb reference when setting up a secure system, together with NSA’s CSI and CSAs. STIGs are not as well-written as NSA cybersecurity advisories, but the detail level makes them more useful for specific tasks.

To me the strongest point of NSA advisories is an unusual common sense, and a clear description of the specific problems they are targeting; the strongest point of DISA STIGs is the detail level even if rewriting them in a more consistent way will make searches easier.

Well, cybersecurity is exactly what happened to DISA… a process in which we learn from our own mistakes and they are playing against the highest players on the field, adversary intelligence agencies. I wish the best to them.

Who? February 22, 2020 3:23 PM

A STIG viewer that runs on OpenBSD would be great too… the current ones have lot of dependencies in Java libraries that turns running them on OpenBSD a nightmare (if possible at all).

MarkH February 22, 2020 3:56 PM


I hadn’t known about STIGs, and I’m grateful to you for introducing me to the category!

If anyone would be so kind, please write some pointers as to how I can find the STIGs most relevant to connecting an individual PC or small LAN to the public internet.

Thanks in advance,


SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 3:59 PM


Test kits worthless.

Incubation up to 28 days.

Dogs and Cats dying.

More reports of sudden death heart attacks.

Samsung shuts down plant.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Non-China numbers bad.

Starting to line up with the leaked numbers.

Scary Movie 42 will tell you that what your government is saying, is not reality.

MarkH February 22, 2020 4:13 PM


I just got to reading Cory Doctorow’s piece on the history of Gopher you linked at the top (adversarial interoperability).

In my early days of learning about internetz, I had read mentions of some of these systems, but never dealt with them myself. Fascinating to see how it all evolved …

My favorite quote:

Having used Adversarial Interoperability as a ladder to attain their rarefied heights, they now use laws to kick the ladder away

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 4:32 PM

@ Clive

Recall my question, ‘logical decision?’


Health officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not want 14 people who had tested positive for the new coronavirus to be flown back to the US, among hundreds of other uninfected people—but the CDC experts were overruled by officials at the US State Department, according to a report by The Washington Post.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 5:04 PM

@ Clive, all

Recall I noted a case of a couple in Toronto.

This comment at the Ars site made my floppy ears peak.

‘We have case in Vancouver BC Canada where the patient never was in China or was in contact with someone from there but was rather visiting Iran.’

[Yes, I did the research. It is confirmed]

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 5:25 PM

Stop the plane flights! Just STOP!

Didn’t I say this a month ago?

It is a contained environment, worse than Cruise Ship, worse than Hospital!

This is not rocket science!

I’m beating head on wall.

Hubris. Money.

Israel’s ambassador to China has been quarantined because he was on the same flight as South Korean tourists who tested positive for coronavirus – Jerusalem Post

Who? February 22, 2020 6:04 PM

@ MarkH

My advice would be downloading a DISA viewer and the most up to date STIG collection from hxxps:// (https replaced by hxxps, as I see it is an usual practice on this forum.)

  1. hxxps:// — download a STIG viewer for your platform (Linux, OS X, Windows) from this link.
  2. hxxps:// — here you will find the most up to date compilation of [unclassified] STIGs.

The viewer will allow you “navigate” the STIGs; first thing you should do is installing the STIG viewer on a directory of your computer, then uncompress the STIGs compilation in another directory and use the STIG viewer to import the sets you want (e.g. Layer 3 switching, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, DNS security requirements guide, or Juniper SRX VPN).

I would suggest updating the STIGs compilation from time to time.

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 6:09 PM

@ Anders, ALL,

SARS-2 is not just in feces, it’s also in urine.

This is actually a very important thing to note, due to the way men take a leak in urinals, aerosolisation is guarenteed. So public toilets especially mens in or around transport hubs, shopping malls, places of entertainment will quickly become major disease vectors in their own right.

Oh and the Chinese are trying some on the surface strange drugs. Anti-malarials like chlorquinine and some HIV drugs.

The NSAIDs are out, whilst they do have an antiflamitory propety in essence they work on the hypathalmus and make you feel better but actually inhibit the immune system. Still no mention on anti-histamines yet…

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Incubation up to 28 days.

For the majority it’s allegedly 12.5 days but the range is 2-unknown. That is whilst there have been a couple of cases over 21days with one at 28days it’s actually possible for some one to have the disease and remain asymptomatic for a considerable time, untill the virus has killed enough cells that it destroys part of the bodies basic functioning.

It’s believed that Type I diabetes may result from this type of asymptomatic viral infection.

In many diseases SARS-1 infections in particular, you did not “shed virus” untill syptomatic which is why it was successfully contained and eradicated. SARS-2 which is what gives you COVID-19 is totaly different, it’s believed you become maximally infectious jus a couple of days after infection, and remain infectious as you become symptomatic and right into what you might call the recovery phase. This means that it actually puts a significant strain on the body and thus sequelei are more likely.

That said at around an R0 ~= 2.6 it’s not as infectious as chickenpox or measles.

But the math does not look good…

60% of the population is expected to come into contact with the disease within a year, of which 20% are going to end up in hospital, of which 17% are going to need oxygen support and 5% critical care support.

So lets assume a 50million population of the medium to large EU nations. Thats a million people needing oxygen treatment over the year. Worse 300,000 critical care patients. So 2732 patients presenting each day over the year with an average 21day stay so 57,000 hospital beds needed or 114 beds per 100,000 in the population.

The UK only has 100,000 beds in General hospitals reduced from 144,000 a decade ago. So whilst we could just about manage the cases over the year, there is not a snowball in hells chance of us managing a peak of 4-7 times those numbers. So if the projections from epidemiological modeling is even close to being accurate –and it has been so far– then people will die needlessly because of political “efficiency drives” aimed at trying to make hospitals more attractive for privatization to forign investors.

Who? February 22, 2020 6:16 PM

@ MarkH

I do not think there is an obvious way to find a subset of STIGs to connect an individual PC, or network, to the —now hostile— Internet. It depends on the services you want to run, the operating system your PC is running (there are STIGs for Windows, OS X, Ubuntu 16.04, Red Hat, Oracle Linux, Android, Blackberry OS…), the router/firewall you are running… you get the idea.

If you give us a brief description of your set up we will be able to provide some feedback about the STIGs you are looking for. But I think a good starting point would be downloading the full set of STIGs and use the official viewer yourself.

The next step would be hxxps://, I guess.

Who? February 22, 2020 6:20 PM

@ Clive Robinson

Some time ago I learned that, surprisingly, in the United Kingdom is usual putting a carpet on the bathroom. Not the best set up to avoid the Covid-19.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2020 7:29 PM

Just experienced a non dead-tree ad.

Ad says

Meant to be for hxxps://

Interesting results if you do not use full URL and try via g(

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 7:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Recall my question, ‘logical decision?’

The question is in what context, to see that you have to ask two questions.

1, If they were not brought home what would have happened to them and others?

2, If as they were brought home what will happen to them and others?

If we study what has happened to other passangers “put on the dock” and left to fend for themselves, the answer is effectively going to be,

Go into a Japanese hospital that does not bode well for either them or the Japanese people (they don’t have the resources for their own citizens, a statment made by the Japanese Health Minister before talk of repatriation appeared).

Find their own way home by bus / taxi / plane all the time mixing with other people who have no idea that these people are disease vectors (call it the Cambodian solution from the other cruise ship).

Compared to keep all of the people together get them securely back to the US and put them all in quarantine with healthcare that is not overloaded.

Which brings up the “what of the tested clear” passengers.

Well remember what I said about the RT-PCR test kits and false negatives at low viral concentrations in the swabs?

Also the delays in getting test results, the 14 had already mixed in with the negatives and were on the bus when the results came…

In reality probably another 7-20 passengers were already infected before they got down the ship bording ramp, based on the way the numbers were going up (no doubt we will get reports at some point).

The point being all the passengers were treated as a group as though they were “a danger to society” thus reasonable issolation proceadures on the then available information were carried out for the group.

We will never be able to say for the group of passengers if it was the right thing or the wrong thing to do treating them as a group during transit. However now they are back in the US they can be separately issolated. The question is will the authorities do so? Back when it was “by droplet” individual issolation would have been fairly easy. Now there is good reason to believe the virus can be aerosolised “from both ends” and thus be airborne that’s a whole different level of game. However after the “Anthrax scare” such individualized issolation was built up for quite a number of expected casualties so we know it can be done.

But there is the “use another plane” issue. It’s simple to say but logistically? Totaly different matter, also the plane it’s self had already got an issolated section on board. Why this was has not been indicated, but sounds like contingency planning by someone. Contrary to what some think, passenger aircraft do have seperate air supply/extraction in different “classes” on a plane. Thus first gets lots of fresh air and little or no reserculation, business some, as for economy, you can tell the passengers from there when the get off they look tired irritated and muzzy headed for a reason called “fuel economy”. The point is the pilot has control over the air in these sections. So yes they should have been able to give seperate air, if they had known it was required, but at the time of leaving the ship “officialy” it was still “droplet not airborne”.

So the question as to if a second plane was required did not arise. If it had though, what would have happened to those 14 passengers for the next hours or days? Obviously they were not going to be alowed back on the ship, they could not stay in a hotel etc etc and there was no way you could keep them on the bus. In short they would have been a danger to “others” for quite some period of time.

So I’ve no idea what the CDC was thinking, they should have known it was not practicle or safe to leave the 14 behind in Japan…

So I’m guessing they were “Wallpapering their 455ES”…

But you also need to think about the non clinical asspects such as the diplomatic issues. We know Japan right royally f@@ked up the quarantine on the ship. Trying to leave the 14 behind would have been a golden opportunity for the Japanese to cover up that asspect in the news etc.

But also there is the faux millitary ethos of “leave no man behind” as wel as the “body bag syndrome” that is highly prevelant in the US. If the current administration had left those tested positive passengers behind and even just one died, or even became symptomatic on Japanese soil then that would have had a marked material effect in November you can be absolutly sure of that.

However if they do get seriously sick or die in the US on the army base under good quality care then it will be sad in the same way a cancer death would be. The sentiment would be “everybody did their best”…

On balance I think for all the passengers and US society it was the right thing to do. Likewise for the population of Japan.

I’m sure there will people who will disagree, and I can understand the emotion behind it, but will it have logic as well?

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 8:20 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

But, for now, only one week. Which is useless.

Yes and no.

Yes it’s usless if you lift it after a week.

No, if you use it as an emergancy stop gap to buy time to sort out something more permanent or more effective.

Sometimes the only way to know where you’ve preasure points are is to keep pressing in different places till you find them.

In the same way finding out where critical paths are for food supply critical workers to travel etc so that any quarantine does not “blow up in your face” is a necessary series of ever more restrictive steps.

They are not China they can not at the moment take overly draconian steps. Abouncing a week of partial but effective restrictions, will get grumbles but not marches in the street. A week will also alow the increasingly bad news from the rest of the world sink in and make further restrictions next week look a lot less draconian and more necessary than they do today.

Let me put it this way, I think in less than two weeks people will start demanding more sever restrictions for what they will then see as “their own safety”. To protect them from “dirty foreigners”, “those idiots in the next town” etc etc. Remember the way some Chinse turned “vigilante” on those seen as having come from Wuhan? I fully expect to see vigilante behaviourvto spring up all over the place. History shows such behaviours all over the world any time one of the four horsemen turn up, it’s “tribal instinct” in our “monkey brains” gaining control with all the usual “pitchforks, burning torches, guns” etc etc.

As with many things in life it’s a question of timing…

Clive Robinson February 22, 2020 8:41 PM

@ Anders,

Coronavirus patient re-hospitalized in China’s Chengdu after testing positive again

I’ve kind of been expecting that.

The virus is a single strand of RNA which means minor mutations are possible.

One of the problems that arise with “viruses mutations” is what they do to the human immune system.

If you have had the original disease then you will have antibodies in your system that will attach to it that will cause the white blood cells to destroy the pathogen.

However a mutated virus can triger the antibodies poorly, that is they don’t quite fit. So rather than be destroyed by the white blood cell, they get into the cell and rapidly reproduce, killing the white blood cell.

Thus you will be infective with the new virus and when you become ill it will hit you a lot lot harder than the first infection with the original virus.

It’s what some think is killing the young doctors. That is they caught the original virus before they knew what it was, and being young showed little or minor symptoms like just a mild cold. However the virus has now mutated and when they get the second infection it causes a very server or fatal reaction.

It’s why I mentioned Dengue Feaver earlier, because it’s a “textbook example” of this mutated effect and it’s concequences.

David Australia February 22, 2020 9:57 PM

For some reason there has been a virtually overnight change in MSM reporting on Julian Assange. Not only are there articles appearing when they wouldn’t have before, the actual angle in new articles are not prejudiced toward him but indeed
refer to miscarriage of justice, to put it mildly. I am wondering why it is suddenly of interest

Readers will appreciate this. Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is some approximation of the BBC in the UK and just published the following.

They almost never do news pieces this length. The article includes the comment

‘The ABC has obtained hundreds of internal UC Global documents, videos, audio files and photos tendered in the Spanish case’

FA February 23, 2020 4:39 AM

Re. “Journalists trying to appear as scientists”

It’s actually worse here, on this blog. The number of self-proclaimed experts on 2019-nCoV seems to be out of control.

FA February 23, 2020 5:02 AM

Re. the ‘microphone jammer’ mentioned on the previous squid thread.

I’ve read the paper. It demonstrates an embarrasing level of incompetence.

The authors measure the SPL of their emitters using the IEC A-weighting filter. That’s about as valid as trying to measure the temperature of a furnace by sticking your finger in it. The A-filter isn’t even defined above 20 kHz.
And they do this using a cheap ($20) Chinese toy that is specified up to only 8 kHz. It probably uses the same type of microphone they are trying to overload.

The actual SPL could easily be some tens of dB higher than what they ‘measured’,
putting it in the dangerous zone.

Apparently they didn’t even bother to analyse the recorded mic signals, or even listen to them.

No surprise if you consider that this is coming from a ‘social sciences’ department that also produces papers on ‘gender bias’ and similar subjects.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2020 6:08 AM

@ FA,

No surprise if you consider that this is coming from a ‘social sciences’ department that also produces papers on ‘gender bias’ and similar subjects.

How curious, what has CS at Chicago done to upset you into such a vexed state?

FA February 23, 2020 8:16 AM

@ Clive,

How curious, what has CS at Chicago done to upset you into such a vexed state?

What makes you think I am in such a state ?

The errors I referred to wouldn’t be tolerated even from a first year student in acoustics or any related field. If someone doesn’t know how to do a basic measurement of a quantity that is at the core of the subject reported on, I’d call them incompetent.

Yet at least two supervising professors and the conference paper reviewers ignored this completely (assuming there was any peer review at all).

Honestly, given the engineering experience you seem to have, I was surprised you didn’t spot the problem (IIRC it was you who provided the original link).

Curious February 23, 2020 8:19 AM


I just finished listening to an unedited video segement where Roger Waters (member of Pink Floyd band) was interviewed by Sky News (UK). Found on Craig Murray’s website. I found it interesting how this interviewer at Sky News insisted on wanting to be telling the other side of the story re. Assange (the media narrative), but her idea of ‘law’ is obviously very different than Roger Waters’ (and presumably people in general’s) idea of “law”, and so she comes across as disingenuous when apparently thinking that a court’s decision IS law, as if things were as simple as that. Total bs. I have some education in law where I live, and we had a laywer teaching us at business school. We learned that law is a range of matters that aren’t stricly law as such, which also involves what is deemed to be people’s general idea of what is just or not in society, and so, this idea of say a king for example dispensing law by decree, would be an example of how ‘law’ can be misunderstood, as being this corrupt thing that is merely authority, but not really justice. And so, it should be obvious that a court and matters of law can be corrupted, even if a court would claim to have a power to decide things. Ofc, in this case, Waters argued that UK aren’t even following their own law (extradition treaty prohibiting political extraditions as I understand it), and that the extradition case shouldn’t have been considered in the first place by the authorities because of the all too obvious situation in which US is likely to want to seek to persecute Assange and also set a prescedent of threatening the type of journalism that so to speak rubs a governments own crap into its face. In other words, other people would be wise to think of ‘law’ as a process, as opposed to thinking of ‘law’ as simply being a ‘goal’ in itself, and if the process is corrupted, then law is no good.

Curious February 23, 2020 8:41 AM


I can’t help but being cynical in thinking that, even though I don’t know what ABC News Australia have said in the past about Assange, I can’t help but wonder, that any apparent skepticism or anything that makes you think somebody is skeptical, might be something that is just too late in the greater scheme of things, and so might as well be thought of as a news channel patting themselves on the back by seemingly behaving in a way one would consider to be pleasantly normal, as if appeasing the public but maybe too late and with too little value for it to impact public opinion in a way that favors Assange as a person when also him being at the receving end of political power (governments and people in their institutions which in turn presumably are biased in ways).

Thomas_H February 23, 2020 12:49 PM

So two weeks ago or so I mentioned that the anti-corona-virus precautions taken by the Dutch government were quite bad…

Amazingly, despite Dutch passengers returning from the stricken ships, there still are no cases in the Netherlands (officially). However, the authorities also haven’t upped their game regarding prevention yet – still the same stuff as three weeks ago. Worse, it turns out that the information they provide is partially at odds with the WHO information, and the bits of it that aren’t at odds are out of date by at least a week.

…and just this week there was an article in a major newspaper that various government departments had very big problems due to a lack of employee competency. Wonder if that’s related?

The “It’s no worse than a bad flu”-theory is also very popular with people over here, which coupled with their tendency to just go to work when they’re sick (and infect everyone else) is quite scaring. IMHO it’s not a matter of “if”, but of “when” there will be a major outbreak…

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 2:29 PM


The super spreaders are likely airplanes that are used on disparate routes.

Next would be trains.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2020 2:37 PM

@ David Australia,

For some reason there has been a virtually overnight change in MSM reporting on Julian Assange.

In theory his court case starts tommorow morning.

I suspect that what the US Gov is doing and what the AUS Gov have not done is finally sinking in with some people.

As for what the UK Gov is doing well I guess more people will understand what the “Special Relationship” is all about under a US born PM who appears to want to turn the UK into another US state.

The simple fact is that which ever way you look at the Assange case, it’s not justice in the accepted sense of the word in democratic nations.

Win or loose the world is now a worse place for certain Governments actions todate and it does not bode well for the future of democracy.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2020 2:51 PM

@ FA,

What makes you think I am in such a state ?

Your very own paper unrelated words of,

No surprise if you consider that this is coming from a ‘social sciences’ department that also produces papers on ‘gender bias’ and similar subjects.

Afterall you did say them for some reason in the last paragraph of,

But also why post on this squid page, afterall as you also say,

Re. the ‘microphone jammer’ mentioned on the previous squid thread.

If you had posted on that page then logically people would find it simply by “reading down”. But now no. So for readers in the future your appraisal of the authors, the paper and for some reason not entirely apparent other work by the Universities “social sciences” department will go unread.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 3:02 PM


By definition, it is already a Pandemic.

Because of the ‘multiple continents’ angle.

Unless, you want to delude yourself about the situation in Italy.

This is worth a read.


SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 3:29 PM

@ David Australia

The change in news reporting may be related to this:


The family of Harry Dunn has called for Julian Assange not to be extradited as long as the United States refuses to send the suspect in the teenager’s death back to Britain.

The family has have accused the US government of “demonstrating an extraordinary amount of hypocrisy” in seeking the Wikileaks founder’s extradition but rejecting a request for Anne Sacoolas to return to Britain.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 3:58 PM

@ Sed Contra

I read the article, but it really has no bearing on the current problem.

Antibiotics have no effect on viral infections, except maybe to help bacterial infections that ones immune system is also dealing with.

People that take antibiotics when they actually have a viral infection, are making a big mistake.

The antibiotic will kill the good bacteria in your intestines. But that good bacteria actually helps keep your immune system in better health.

Never, ever take an antibiotic when you have a viral infection.

It’s not going to solve the problem, and actually can exacerbate immune response.

AtAStore February 23, 2020 4:09 PM

Paranoid/Fearful about eyewear glasses

Is there an easy way to in a non-destructive way help protect oneself from some eyewear “enhancements”.

For example, using a microwave or conventional oven or other? How long, what setting, or what temperature might be advised. Metal or Plastic frames? Should screws, metal parts, or other parts or lenses be removed before treatment so one can still see after the treatment? Anything else?

Thank you

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 4:11 PM

@ Clive

Ignore troll.

I’m guessing you did not see one of his posts.

Using a specific keyword. That you know.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 4:33 PM

@ Clive

Thanks for saving me reading time.

As you pointed out:

Hint: it’s not really about “protecting the children.”

Sed Contra February 23, 2020 5:00 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm

I guess I was struck by the way it was possible to use a neural net approach to rapidly scan the high dimensional space of the problem and find at least partly effective anti- agents, and which even had a novel mechanism of action. Could work also with viruses ?

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 6:38 PM

@ Sed Contra

For a vaccine, you need a broken virus.

Something that the immune system sees, but does not overreact to with a cytokine storm.

Maybe in a week or so, there will be a broken virus.

Rumour has it that are a few now, but they need to be ‘tested’.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2020 7:03 PM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

From The Guardian Live Blog,

    France should produce more vital goods, such as drugs and electric batteries, as the coronavirus outbreak highlights the danger of relying on imports from China, the country’s finance minister said.

It would appear France’s Finance Minister has broken ranks with the 1%er “Vested Interest” ranks.

What he is saying about “should produce more vital goods” is actually a “National Security” issue arising from “Outsourcing” and drive for profit by “efficiency”.

For several years I’ve mentioned on the blog and other places “Outsourcing” is a “National Security Issue” of not just strategic but economic importance. That is outsourcing “de-skills” then stops “technical education” and you enter a dangerous downwards slope of dumbing down the citizens… That History shows with the Spanish and “Conquistador Gold” and more recently “South American Oil Nations” never ever ends well. The money goes or becomes worthless and then the “idle rich” and those who served them as administrators, functionaries, and servants etc do not have any skills to make the essentials that keep them from descending into penury and poverty and all that follows.

I’ve also indicated as well, that “chasing efficiency” is beyond a certain point a “fool’s errand”. Thousands of millennia of evoloution has shown “efficiency beyond a certain point” reducess resiliency, makes living processess fragile and brittle and they almost always fail…

The underlying reason when you think about it is when you make a system more and more efficient you constrain it’s ability to react to change. In essence “slack in the system” sustains you over the “change period”, take out the slack and when change happens you fail.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus that has given us the COVID-19 disease is in eveloutionary terms a “hyperabrupt change” for humans. Even in human terms of near eighty year life times two to three months is sudden change on a societal level.

The flu pandemic of 1917 was devistating but tempered by two basic things,

1, Most economies were domestic.
2, Travel even though global was by todays standards slow.

There was also a third thing, whilst scant, electronic communications in the early 20th century by human standards were the same, thus news traveled as fast.

The result was that the time difference between news and disease arival was much larger, and nations even though at war had slack in their domestic economy that could help them prepare in time.

Some did but most did not, the result was that Medical advice was ignnored by Governments, who instead went on advice from industrialists that found war to profitable to want to change anything… There are various estimates for the total numbers of deaths and as a percentage of various nations and the worlds population. Percentages that perhaps we should think on.

As I’ve pointed out before wealth does not buy you protection from disease when society around you is sick. Because virii and bacteria do not pay deference to wealth, power and status, in fact it tends to kill more of those people because they are older.

Thus lets call it “enlightened self interest” should tell the vested interests and politicians what they should be doing. Which is,

    Society before individuality or self.

After all if you have no society to speak of, then what use is wealth or political power? those left will probably blaim you thus if you are around are likely to kill you for the little you have left or as revenge (Which might account for those bunkers some have built, but with travel restrictions they might never reach).

Many industrialised first world nations can not feed even a fraction of their population, similar is true with US States. They depend increasingly on others, who ship food to them. The EU in particular have had several real world warnings about long supply chains the movment of food and infectious disease, and they have basically been ignored. I’m assuming the US has had a few warnings of it’s own over and above exploding high intensity swine farms.

Thus we have a problem that they did not back in 1917 with lower population counts and domestic economies…

To contain the disease spread we have to stop movment of both people and goods. This means we would also stop the movment of food… Which gives an interesting choice between, death by disease, and death by starvation.

But we know right now what governments are going to do. It’s based on the 1906 words of Alfred Henry Lewis[1]

    There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.

Due to drives in “efficiency” we now have not only a “LEAN”[2] healtcare system we also have a “LEAN” food supply chain. Where LEAN is an ethos based on Kan-Ban and JIT.

A little while ago in the UK Kentucky Fried Chicken changed it’s “logistics” suppliers. They could not get things right food rotted in warehouses and on vehicals, and in outlets that got the wrong orders. Basically any place where it was not was being consumed by customers…

Thus “nine” meals from “anarchy” is more like two or maybe three at best these days. Not because there is not the food but because it won’t get to the mouths of the voters if world transport is stopped.

Politicians do not like even the tinyist hint of anarchy, because history showes politicians being hung up by their toes or being shoved up against a wall for high speed lead poisoning…

Which reminds me March is the start of the “Spring planting season” in many places in the Northern hemisphere, and in China in particular, where agriculture is still very much “human powered”. What do you think China will do? Because not planting will cause the food for multiple hundreds of millions not to be grown…

One way or another “LEAN” is going to give us “lean times ahead”. Evoloution has taught this process over and over but certain people have chosen not to listen what we most need is not just far away, but there is no slack in the system to alow time to make changes…

Thus the Chinese curse of,

    May you live in interesting times

Appears to have come home to roost.

[1] For those who have studied “Civics” will know it’a a terse rephrasing given in Cosmopolitan Magazine of the earlier,

“Those of us who are well fed, well garmented and well ordered, ought not to forget that necessity makes frequently the root of crime. It is well for us to recollect that even in our own law-abiding, not to say virtuous cases, the only barrier between us and anarchy is the last nine meals we’ve had. It may be taken as axiomatic that a starving man is never a good citizen.”

From The Denver Post, 17 October 1896 in an investagative journalism piece titled “Further Facts in the Case of Mark Hanna.”

[2] LEAN is based on an idea from Toyota in the 1950’s which embodies Kan-Ban and JIT. The essence is to “Enhance what the customer wants and depreciate what the customer does not want” and thus to renove the “7 Wastes” from what many would call the “process chain”, “Value added chain”, or “Supply Chain”. The big problem is “waste” is subjective even within an organisation and much essential work the customer would never “want” let alone pay for is not waste, as it provides non obvious things such as resiliance, flexability and rapid response to the unexpexted events. LEAN is thus neither a recipe for success or a magic touchstone, and if used correctly could end up costing you more not less. Which means it gets “fudged” by managment consultants and others who do not understand the less obvious but critical or essential parts of a process. This leads to it’s incorrect use to drive down cost or increase profit, and thereby is the problem because almost the first target is “slack” which is incorrectky seen as “waste” but is actually essential for resilience, flexability and rapid response to events.

You can get an overview from,

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2020 7:59 PM

@ Clive, Anders, All

What this person is saying matches the earlier leaked numbers.

Which, I said, were horrible.

If you want to be stupid, and listen to the lying, paid-by-government disinformation folk, that have come out of the woodwork, go ahead.

I know what I see. It is Pandemic.

Store shelves in Milan now empty.

Stock market. WTF is that?

Crash. It all seems intentional.


Alejandro February 24, 2020 2:56 AM


I briefly looked at “Fire Fox Send” which allows users to send and receive end to end encrypted files.

Operationally, the app is simple, quick, and foolproof to the point of elegance.
Files can be uploaded with or without a password which generates a unique link which can be sent to anyone, anywhere via a browser.

The receiver then can download the file on most current browsers. IE doesn’t work, however.

The starting point is here:

Firefox Send

Mozilla does track the IP address of downloaders and uploaders which is retained 90 days. The IP address can be used to correlate to an email address of someone with a Firefox account. An account is not required to send files of 1 GB or less, however.

The link to “Privacy” doesn’t work. This information was obtained from the “Legal” link.

I would think this is a good way to transmit sensitive or private data which is lawful.

Nonetheless, this app works so well I would have to guess there would be a temptation for the criminal element to use it, which in turn suggests potential .gov access at some level, somewhere. Principle involved: If it’s too good to be true, it is.

The encrypt/decrypt point at the browser level would be the most logical attack vector.

I would like to see Mozilla address the issue of government access to data, a .gov or corporate backdoor and potential attack vectors explicitly.

myliit February 24, 2020 6:31 AM

Part of the court filings regarding the attempted extradition of Assange

“ Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he would say Russia was not involved in leaking Democratic party emails, a court in London has been told.

The extraordinary claim was made at Westminster magistrates court before the opening next week of Assange’s legal battle to block attempts to extradite him to the US, where he faces charges for publishing hacked documents. The allegation was denied by the former Republican congressman named by the Assange legal team as a key witness.

Assange’s lawyers alleged that during a visit to London in August 2017, congressman Dana Rohrabacher told the WikiLeaks founder that “on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr Assange … said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC [Democratic National Committee] leaks.”

tl;dr it appears Rohrabacher was asking Assange to lie or fabricate phony evidence. Perhaps like: Ukraine leaked democratic emails …, not Russia

Regardless, it’s not Russia’s fault that the emails reflected attempts to sideline Bernie Sanders …

myliit February 24, 2020 6:43 AM

Oops, the second to last paragraph above could read

tl;dr it appears Rohrabacher was asking Assange to lie or fabricate phony evidence. Perhaps like: baseless or meritless claims that Ukraine leaked Democratic party emails …, not Russia …

myliit February 24, 2020 7:04 AM

“ Paranoid/Fearful about eyewear glasses”

Don’t overlook the fact that things could probably be hidden in glasses’ cases.

myliit February 24, 2020 8:00 AM

I don’t know if it matters, but a lot of links about Dell resets … above are http, not https.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2020 8:01 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

If you want to be stupid, and listen to the lying, paid-by-government disinformation folk, that have come out of the woodwork, go ahead.

Lying and disinformation from the Government and even NGO’s is to be expected.

For some strange reason way too many people think that paying their taxes entitles them to something, when things go abnormally…

The simple fact is politicians are more venal and greedy than most others and thus they see the tax take as theirs to do with what they wish. In the main that is to buy votes and feather their nests. However they also have to appear to have morals and look after society… Which is obviously a contradiction…

The way this contradiction is resolved is to “hollow things out” that society needs to pay off those who look after them.

The result is that most things society needs to remain cohesive are not just brittle but actually cracking up at normal times.

Thus the last thing the politicians want is what they would call “panic”. But if you look at it “behaving logically” would be a better way of looking at it.

For instance you have probably realised by now that “self issolation” is a probable reality in our near future.

This means having sufficient “independent” supples of “Food, water, energy” and even sewarage disposal.

I’ve already given estimates of the minimum you need in terms of ready to consume Food and Water, which is 1kg of food and 2kg of water per person per day for tgirty to ninty days.

By ready to consume I do not mean beans, rice, noodles and other effectively dehydrated foods because that will add another 1-2kgs of water. So what you gain one way you loose the other.

Also those dehydrated foods generally need to be cooked as well so that impacts your energy requirments[1].

Which if you’ve not been stocking up since I first mentioned “Pantry Living” means you have to go out and do a very large shop… Which people will notice in several ways, possibly to your detriment.

Due to “shareholder value” and other reasons just about everything these days has the “Just In Time” (JIT) mantra applied to it. Which can as we see be bad news around public holiday time, when it looks like Easter is going to be sunny anything “barbeque” vanishes from store shelves etc.

Now consider I go into your local store and buy up all the tins of corned beef, ham, chicken, sausages and other protein foods. That is I buy what would normally be a years supply for a couple of families in one go. The store due to JIT probably has next to no reserve stock, nor does the chains warehouse or for that matter the suppliers warehouse or factory.

Whilst you might get away with it others will notice and the smarter ones put two and two together and they likewise buy-up. It takes about 1-3% of people to do this before the store is empty or they start to whack the prices up or in otherways “ration-back” or atleast try to because thanks to JIT there is nothing in the “chain of supply”.

Empty shop shelves start “panic buying” this creates panic in other areas, soon crime starts to happen and “Hell has arived in a cart”.

But as the situation gets worse Government will start “eminent domain” activities, they will go to the head of the supply chain and take what they require. We’ve already seen this happening with medications. I went to get a standard repeate prescription one of which is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Guess what “shortages” and maybe, just maybe the pharmacist might get them in by the end of this week…

Thus the government and NGO’s will lie their venal hearts out telling you everything’s OK when your hospitals are stacking body bags in the corridors. By which time self-issolation will not be getting you anywhere.

But people notice things in otherways which is why you don’t want to be cooking even instant noddles let alone beans and rice. The smell of cooking is supprisingly noticable to a hungry person, hungery people become desperate people and desperate people don’t care what they do. This has been well known for longer than any of us have been alive.

Some will remember you unloading the ton and a half of food and water that is ninety days supply for a family, it’s kind of difficult not to be noticed… Guess where they are going to “borrow a cup of sugar” from. They will also tell others…

What do you do? Remember the Police will not be a “thin blue line” they will be tiny dots in a few places trying to shoot those looting stores and warehouses, whilst they still have amunition… Oh and don’t think they won’t be doing any looting, they will, only they will call it “collecting evidence”… So any disturbance around your door will get your food supplies taken in evidence that you are a looter or some such… History shows just how nasty an occupying force with empty bellies behave, and in times of panic the “guard labour” be they wearing blue or green will be an occupying force.

It is after all when you get down to it the nasty brutish behaviour of survival, but these days with the tools of force multiplication…

Hopefully it won’t get that bad, but I’m not a betting man. But don’t worry your smarter Politicians and 1%ers will have set up new power bases else where[2] with the spoils of “eminent domain” so that they can reestablish society, but only when it’s safe to come out, and that might be for a lot longer than ninety days. Till then you, I and the rest of us are very much at the mercy of those who see us as targets of opportunity.

Thus the reason they will lie, lie and lie again, because the longer they keep the cork in the bottle the longer they have to stock up and the less time the majority have to prepare or take independent action. Remember in their view you are “just a vote” or “just a product” thus “disposable”.

[1] Though you can limit the energy required by “hay box cooking” and using “vacuum flasks” for storing black coffee, tea and low sodium bouillon.

[2] In the 1960’s in the UK there were quite a number of “secret bunkers” known officially as “Regional Command Centers” a group of people broke into a number of them and found “top secret” documents in filing cabinets. These documents had only one reason to be secret, they detailed quite extensively how the “privileged” would survive at the expense of everyone else at times of “National Emergancy”. Amongst the documents were discussions on controling the population with what the military call “chemical weapons” and I don’t mean “irritants” like CS gas and Pepper Spray, we are talking about debilitants that we now call “incapacitating agents” like “choking agents” and worse as long as they were “non-persistant”. Though even “persistant agents” were considered for certain functions[3] in towns and cities.

[3] Chemical weapons are often derived from chemicals investigated for commercial use for “pest control” and “cleaning products”. Thus stocking up on these chemicals is not immediately suspicious, nor is spraying them around streets for “bio-security” and “pest control”. However it’s increadibly easy to mix different “cleaning products” to get the release of “choking agents”, even XKCD has a cartoon about the dangers of mixing cleaning products. Some even work as “oxygen generators” which might be usefull to know. Likewise “pest control” chemicals give you many interesting “phosphate” compounds that can easily be used for longer term “irritants” through “choking agents” and others to what many would call “nerve agents”. Many of these would produce pneumonia like symptoms and respitory distress, which untrained people might consider to be COVID19…

Anders February 24, 2020 10:59 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

That Italy coronavirus situation
is very troublesome for me…

Real chance that from there it could
spread over all the Europa 🙁

Anders February 24, 2020 2:05 PM


FA February 24, 2020 2:51 PM


Your very own paper unrelated words of,

No surprise if you consider that this is coming from a ‘social sciences’
department that also produces papers on ‘gender bias’ and similar subjects.

They are not at all unrelated. I’d agree that Sandlabs is not a pure ‘social sciences’ department, but the ‘jammer’ paper is showing all the signs of what has been happening in the social sciences for the last 30 years or so: a complete decline and even outright rejection of academic/scientific rigor. If you are not aware of that, start by googling “fashionable nonsense”. Now Sokal’s practical joke is more than 20 years in the past, but things have only got worse since then. Today most of ‘social sciences’ is about identity politics, and you can get any gibberish you can dream up published as a paper, as long as it is ‘politically correct’.

The ‘jammer’ paper is pure snake oil. Just read it.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2020 3:38 PM

@ Anders, SpaxeLifeForm,

Real chance that from there it could
spread over all the Europa 🙁

I rather think it’s here already, and it won’t be possible to contain it because the European Council of Ministers won’t act in time.

Some say Europe has been overrun by refugees and terrorists from the Middle East, whilst I don’t thibk we have exactly been “overrun” the fact many have made it across or around the Mediterranean and all the way to Germany, Norway, France and the UK without papers etc tells you just how porous the European boarders are. Part of this is the Europen “Free Travel Zone” which the Council of Ministers see as a fundemental piller of the European ideal extended from the original “Free trade agreement”.

Thus because it was “not needed” boarder controls and all that go with it were got rid of.

Now we suddenly need it back, there is nothing there and nothing else to fall back on.

People will either “run to home” as the woman who lied about her travelling to get back into the USA or they will “run to healthcare” or what else they see as advantageous.

One of the things learned about the French camps at Sangate was that when people have an idea in their head of where they want to go, then only death will stop them trying and trying again and again.

The logical consequence of this is not what you realy want to think about. But in essence it will be the old East/West German boarder with it’s guard towers and snipers, kill zones and anti-personnel devices designed like a cross of an old style cannon and shrapnel grenade. I’m unfortunately not just old enough to remember “The Wall” –I actually have a chunk of it at home– I wore the green at the hight of the cold war and was taught in some detail about “the boarder” as the regiment I was in had both a “drop in” and “stay behind” roles. It’s one of those things you wish you had never come to know, because it’s to hard to forget.

I think it safe to now say what we’ve been hinting at for the past month, we have a pandemic, it’s out of control and Governments are in denial even to themselves (Dutch, Iranian). The only way to contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus and stop COVID-19 disease spreading is to contain it, and we should have stopped cross boarder travel a month ago.

But as I’ve pointed out stopping travel means stopping shipment not just of immediate needs like food and energy but longer term needs like goods that keep what is now not a local or country economy but a world economy…

What ever happens it will not be existential but it will very probably feel like for many next year. But worse case is the possiblity it will be like that for a generation or two to come.

Mad as I might sound, it’s things like this that make me wish we had got off this rock three or more decades ago… Whilst I can see good science as to why pandemics are happening and will happen more frequently, at the end of the day way to many will take a religious view. We’ve seen this already in Iran, and to be honest thinking that way will not solve the problem, science on the other hand might, but sooner rather than later there is going to be a pandemic even science will not be able to stop and there will be either no or few places to hide as everyone will try and go where they think they are safest or surounded by there loved ones and the disease will go with them where ever they go.

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2020 4:15 PM

@ Clive, Anders

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

There is more. There are no highlights.

From @BNODesk

BREAKING: Kuwait bans all flights to and from South Korea, Thailand, and Italy due to coronavirus – KUNA

Some more tidbits.

No Kuwait – Iraq
No Oman – Iran
No Tajikistan – Iran
No UAE – Iran
No UAE – Thailand
No Mongolia – South Korea
No China – US

Other tidbits

At least 7 dead in Italy.

Chima NHC says over 3K med workers infected.

Red Cross now allowed to help North Korea.

Qom, officially 12 dead, others in governmemt say over 50.

Patients now in Iraq, Bahrain, Afghanistan.

Anders February 24, 2020 4:48 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

And the real problem with Italy is that
the Patient Zero is still unknown.

I go now to sleep, when i woke up i suspect the situation
in Italy is much worse…

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2020 5:35 PM

@ Anders, Clive

Patient Zero in any area matters no more.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Patient Zero in Italy was likely an infected plane.

passing_by February 24, 2020 5:51 PM

Why was my question deleted?

passing_by • February 24, 2020 2:50 PM

Can any kind person here suggest some trusted IMAP/POP3 email notifier to monitor multiple email accounts and get a notification when a new email arrives? OS is win7. No need any fancy bells end whistles like seeing the actual email or possibility to write reply or anything like that. ONLY simple notification and that’s all.

Why I ask here – there’s plenty of email notifier software, but I don’t want that my password leaks so I need known trusted one. Thanks!

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2020 6:04 PM

@ Clive, Anders

A source blocked. Twitter should be ashamed.


But, scroll down and watch the video.

Got an alleged fever?

myllit February 24, 2020 7:21 PM

Or try to put in a loop, if you haven’t already

As the saying goes, you aren’t in Kansas anymore

Clive Robinson February 24, 2020 7:27 PM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm,

And the real problem with Italy is that the Patient Zero is still unknown.

They thought they had the patient zero, but they have “tested negative”…

There are certain logical conclusions you can make from this,

1, They have the wrong person.
2, They have the right person but the tests are deficient.
3, There is no patient zero in Italy now / or ever has been.

As @SpaceLifeForm notes P0 might not be “human” it could have been a purchase from a piece of something from China. The original argument was that SARS-2 virus was only good for a few hours on a surface thus hand packaged parcels from China even by airfreight were OK.

Well we now know believe it’s good for upto 9days… Various document shippers can get documents door-door from China to European capitals in less than 48hours…

So P0 could be “home grown”.

But the so called “Real Time Polymerase chain reaction” (RT-PCR) test kits have issues. It’s best to look it up but in simplistic terms the RNA strands get “chopped up” and then the parts multiplied several million fold prior to the fairly standard “DNA test” we’ve all got used to seeing on TV programs and the like.

The thing is the process is known to have issues. Just one of which is if you make it too specific then it may rasily miss a mutation which happens fairly frequently with RNA viruses. There are other issues to do with “signal to noise” when you amplify a signal any noise at the amplification processes input gets amplified just as much so the signal to noise ratio remains the same. Because both the signal and the noise have both been amplified by the same amount. To improve the S/N ratio you need to filter on the signal not the noise the problem is the closer the noise looks like the signal the harder this is…

All tests suffer from some form of S/N issue because that’s the way nature is thus there are aleays input conditions for which the test will prove insufficient.

There is of course another issue, which is that of the “sample”. Take a large glass tank of water and carefully put a single drop of ink in and watch… The drop starts to disperse and then becomes invisable to the naked eye. Three things arise from this.

Firstly it takes time for the ink to disperse, so there is a time window between the drop of ink being in the tank and it appearing in a sample taken from the other side of the tank. Thus you can see by simple thought that you can be infected by the virus but it not to show up in any samples taken for some time.

Secondly the further away from the drop you take the sample the less ink there will be for any given volume of sample. But it’s a bit more subtle than a simple reduction of concentration. We are dealing with molecules which are discreet, this has implications in sampling when the desired signal molecule (ink) to carrier molecule (water) ratio is very small. At the macro level the random paths of Brownian motion or other mixing process look continuous, but at the molecule level they are most definately both discreet and random. Which means that the number of ink molecules in any sample become more random the the smaller the sample size. This means some samples might have no ink in them, some a few and orhers in theory could be all ink. The lower the ratio the more probable a sample is to have zero or too few ink molecules to measure. Thus with three tests there are eight possible test outcomes for detecting ink. One of which is all negative and another three where only one of the three samples is positive another three with two positive and the final outcome where all three tests are positive. The relative weights each of these outcomes have, is dependent on the probability of the number of ink molecules in the sample being sufficient to trigger a positive result. This in turn is based not just on the sensitivity of the detector used for the test but also the signal to noise ratio in the detector (and a few others like it’s lack of linearity). Thus sampling via testing has non obvious issues and the results can be quite fuzzy and like “images in clouds” you can end up seeing things that are not realy there.

Thirdly the concentration will oscillate before finally settling, it’s called an “undamped response” to see why this happens assume the ink is dropped in at two inches from one side two and a half inches from the adjacent side that forms a corner and spreads out like a smoke ring. If you sample one inch away from the drop site, your initial samples will be zero but build up as the ink passes by and start to drop again. However at some point the ink ring will effectively bounce off of one side raising the concentration and then dropping it again likewise with the second side. Over time things will reflect off of the other two sides in a complicated fashion. The result is the concentration in the samples if taken fast enough goes up and down. However if the samples are taken below a certain rate you could end up only sampling minima or maxima. Or worse getting a false sense of change as the oscilation could be a function of the natural oscillation frequency of the tank and that of the sample rate.

Thus there are many “gotchers” in test sampling that can render result data to complex to analyse effectively. It can also hide the fact that you are sampling at the wrong rate and total test period.

MarkH February 25, 2020 4:28 AM


Are you a programmer?

I don’t know of such a utility, but the process of logging into a server and querying how many messages is pretty simple. If you have the know-how, you could create it yourself in any convenient scripting language.

Thoth February 25, 2020 6:05 AM

@Clive Robinson

I have launched my new creation. Uses a Castle model.

If @Nick P is alive and interested, should know how to contact me directly.

The firmware is closed source but the API is open to general public.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2020 6:42 AM

@ Thoth,

I have launched my new creation. Uses a Castle model.

Congratulations, from the little you’ve been able to say you’ve been working quite hard at it.

As for @Nick P he still makes the occasional post on of papers he finds for various techniques. I hope he is well and moving forward with things.

Thoth February 25, 2020 7:05 AM

@Clive Robinson

You can access it from the link (in the name) above 🙂 .

Most of the technical details are in the Github link.

Currently still pushing out more Github documentations.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2020 8:59 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Live map

It’s the one I commented on from the Jonhs Hopkins site what feels like an eternity ago.

I mentioned that the graph needed a bit of work on it and I guess great minds think alike, because they have added a logrithmic display.

If you look at the logrithmic display it becomes clear that whist China still has new cases the line is heading back down.

However for the otherparts of the world it’s a near straight line going upwards… This means the rest of the world cases are increasing exponentially. Just by eye you can see how quickly that is going to cross the decending Chinese line…

Which should tell people why I’ve been quite annoyed with the lack of movment by WHO and many Governments.

On the upside the UK Gov has done one thing I’ve said is necessary, that is they have issolated the repatriated Diamond Princess passangers in what sounds like individual quarantine, such that they don’t infect each other.

Hopefully they have covered all the potential infection routes. However they are still talking 14 days quarantine… I’ve said from basic maths that I think that is insufficient and it should be twice as long. Sadly the evidence my view point has validity still continues to build.

I know it might sound cruel to keep people individually issolated for four weeks, but thinking about both the individual and society it makes sense. Most can work out why it might be so for society but have a harder time when it comes to individuals. Look at it this way we now know that there is a 5-7% risk they will become positive on a RT-PCR test after 14days, we also know their chance of survival depends a lot on prompt medical attention (the same as it does for sepsis), for various reasons they have some of the best medical practicians in the required disciplines looking after their cases. Thus their chance of successful recovery with minimum sequela or risk of reoccurance.

MarkH February 25, 2020 12:58 PM

Some Actual Good News

Readers may recall that a drug trafficking suspect in Indiana was charged with theft for removing the GPS tracker police stuck on his vehicle (for realz — not making this up).

Last week, the Indiana Supreme Court rejected the nonsensical charge.

Because the alleged “theft” was used the basis for a search warrant which disclosed a large quantity of illegal drugs in the suspect’s house, application of the exclusionary rule means that the drug conviction is also void.

It’s good luck for one junk dealer … but most importantly, a tidbit of good news for privacy amidst the tsunami of privacy bad news.

SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2020 2:22 PM

@ passing_by, myliit, MarkH

What passing_by asked for is nonsensical.

“there’s plenty of email notifier software, but I don’t want that my password leaks so I need known trusted one”

By definition, it can not exist.

A notifier must have the username and password combinations in order to do the checking.

So, if the notifier is running on your client (win7 as you noted), the client must have the creds to perform the checks.

So, now you are looking at end-point security issues. Can you trust the client not to leak the creds?

No, you can not.

For the sake of argument, that if it was even possible to perform the checking sans password (it’s not), but lets assume there was a way to perform the check with just the email username.

Firstly, it would require some kind of protocol support by the email server (which does not exist).

Secondly, even if such a protocol did exist, that allows a client app to check using email username without password, then you have introduced, at minimum, a privacy issue, and almost certainly security issues.

If I know your email username, then I could configure the client app on MY client to check for new emails on YOUR email account.

Even I can not read YOUR emails, I can monitor. I can tell when your email inbox changed. It is a type of metadata.

I can guess from that time-of-day info when others send you emails. Or when you forward to yourself potentially.

At minimum, I could detect accounts no longer being used.

Worse, one could programmatically search for email usernames, and have the email spam problem get worse.

It’s not clear what you ultimately are trying to accomplish.

Your best bet is to setup an IMAP account, and have the others forward to that.

Next would be getting your own domain, and setting up your own email server. That is a huge headache. There be Dragons.

You may want to review why you are even using email.

SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2020 3:29 PM


@ Clive, Anders

The denial in Iran matches China denial.

The Iran Deputy Health Minister Harirchi said he would resign if the official numbers are false.

Well, he won’t have to worry about resigning. It is obvious that he is infected (from video), and now confirmed.

Video shows extreme fever.

If he survives a week, I will be surprised.

Iran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi said he did think he would survive. Then forced to make a video saying, I’m good, it’s all good.

Worker ants. When the nest is infected.


SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2020 3:36 PM

@ Clive, Anders


Iran MP Mahmoud Sadeghi said he did NOT think he would survive.

Anders February 25, 2020 4:41 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

Achievement unlocked! Virus spreads from Italy to

Switzerland, Austria and Croatia.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2020 4:50 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, passing_by, myliit, MarkH,

A notifier must have the username and password combinations in order to do the checking.

In most –well nearly all– cases yes you would need the username and password.

However there is a way to get around the issue depending on if it’s a *nix box or not. But it’s nearly a couple of decades since I last had reason to do it.

You can set up a *nix box login user account so that it’s “shell” is a text based program or runs a shell script. Some “Mail Delivery Agents provide a text interface and some can authenticate by UID not username and password (which is a known security risk if NFS etc is in use).

Back when I did this last PAM was all the rage and you could use a “ticket based access”. In essense you did a Single Sign On (SSO) and connect to the *nix box account via the SSO ticket based Plugable Authentication Module (PAM).

So you do an SSO somewhere and it passes ticket based authority to log you into a *nix account that then runs a script or program on the *nix box that gets the mail from the MDA via the account User ID (UID).

You can thus make several diferent accounts have the same UID or directory and thus have shared Email access on a rotor etc for a “help desk Email account”.

Yes it’s a cludge and it depends on you being able to get a user account on the MDA machine, which is most unlikely these days.

SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2020 6:09 PM

@ Clive, passing_by, myliit, MarkH

Oh, it is possible, maybe using ssh, using multiple accounts, that check a self-hosted email server that has multiple accounts, that the external email accounts forward too.

As I said:

Next would be getting your own domain, and setting up your own email server. That is a huge headache. There be Dragons.

They are nasty Dragons. That will consume all of your energy.

Even if you go thru all of that effort,
somewhere, there may be a leak.

You can not use password based ssh.

lurker February 25, 2020 10:06 PM

@Schneier Fan, All,

the wheels of justice turn exceeding slow, but they grind exceeding small…

probably misquoted, but reading Craig Murray was like reading Dickens. Bleak House was a warning against this misuse of the law, but of course the American legal system sprang from the same roots. It’s also exceeding sad that the fourth estate appear to no longer pursue truth and justice.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 26, 2020 12:20 AM

As the extradition hearing in England are held, it is amazing that any comment on the true nature of these charges and the knock-on affects are not well understood. For example; the charges against Assange are not about a publisher, a journalist, or even a citizen…it is about a person.

Simply put, if ANYONE, exposes the truth about power, irrespective of the interest or purpose, expect to be persecuted. Today, the USA is about to become on par with Saudi Arabia and North Korea when it comes to civil and human rights; AND, the criminalization of the truth is effective WORLD WIDE.

Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 2:24 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm,

Some are wondering why the heck WHO are sitting on their hands over anouncments… Especially as that impacts the supply of test kits.

But some US states have had enough they are now pertitioning the FDA so they can make test kits,

The whole COVID-19 is now not just out of hand, but apparently out of control with China’s draconian lockdowns being the only thing slowing the spread (something South Korea appears to have realised).

So as we wait our turn “in the pandemic line” a little musical accompaniment,

Oh in the video you see footage of London’s Westway a little up from Shepherds Bush, the tower block that they “look in the windows” of is one we used to put out an FM Pirate Radio station from, back in happier more carefree times…

Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 2:25 AM

@ A Trip Down Memory Lane,

It would help make your post both more interesting and noticable if you mentioned a bit more about PCIleech.

Which is it’s a DMA attack device that can read the bottom 4Gbyte of memory from RAM of just about any Windows, Linux or Mac box, and I suspect some other computers as well that have USB3 ports or other accessable busses.

For instance mentioning that it’s developer “Ulf Frisk” found a jaw droping security fail in Microsoft’s Jan 2018 Windows 7 security patch might attract peoples attention,

The PCIleech hardware devices by the way are fairly easily and innocently available as Development boards originally for the USB3380 chipset but more recently for FPGA’s,

Whilst it can be a quite useful security tool for both Black and White hats proving yet again the “agnostic to use” issue, it can also be used by hardware developers and embedded system developers in one of the ways the old “ICE” devices of years gone by did (mid 1980’s onward for the IaX86 chips).

justwondering February 26, 2020 4:27 AM

Just wondering why this site no longer has posters revealing any really novel/advanced hacking methods. About 10 years back I would come to this site just for the comment discussions. I didn’t understand even half of what was discussed, but knowing that I did not understand what others clearly did is in itself valuable information, especially when with the passage of time, many of the methods discussed were proven to be technically possible.
Did governments silence their voices?
Did industry reward them for their silence?
Were they all just advertising their skills, and waiting for a buyer?
just wondering

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 26, 2020 4:49 AM

Given the animus and raw hatred of Julian Assange, if England allows for his extradition there is one scenario that I can see play out. I regret to be the bearer of a bleak observation, but, with what has been the nature and behaviors of the U.S. it is impossible to ignore.

One, if Julian Assange is handed to the U.S., which must certainly seems the case, there will be not be an unfair trail. How’s that you ask, he will not be remanded to a court or federal institution to face charges. Does anyone question the existence of a place called Gitmo? He will be renditioned with the justification that there is a need to interrogate Assange. If you don’t think the CIA won’t light him up in a dark place than I suggest your naivety be examined. Two, the U.S. has failed to live up to nearly all its principals and I don’t see this improving any time soon. And three; Assange has no friends in power, he is the messenger that MUST be silenced (and all his ilk).

The complete lack of journalistic integrity, sense of ethical and moral duty, and the cult of hate will not produce a result in which history treats kindly. The fact that we are here, the circumstances, the situations, and the excessive fecklessness of those in positions of responsibility cannot be ignored or be excused by wishful thinking. It is the lack of thinking, the certainty of a hubris that is out of control, and the apathy of an uninformed public which allows for a predictable result.

Anders February 26, 2020 6:01 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

Greece and Brazil confirmed infection.

This virus is spreading like a wildfire.

myliit February 26, 2020 11:48 AM

Perhaps, don’t worry, since President Trump is working on it

Searching: coronavirus funding, etc., yields:

In order to combat the disease, the president will have to trust the kind of government experts he has disdained and dismissed. [4]

The president’s new budget would cut more than $3 billion in global health programs. [3]

Trump Takes Funding For The Poor To Fight Coronavirus [1]

Behind our sluggish response to coronavirus, an unnecessary battle over funding [2]

and so on





Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 1:21 PM

@ Lurker, Schneier Fan, All,

[R]eading Craig Murray was like reading Dickens. Bleak House was a warning against this misuse of the law, but of course the American legal system sprang from the same roots. It’s also exceeding sad that the fourth estate appear to no longer pursue truth and justice.

If you read Craig Murray’s report from the second day it is even more sickening.

The defence team has shown that all the US charges are in effect felonious and that they know them to be so.

It also explains why Chelsea Manning is being brutalized again.

As for the person who is supposadly in charge of the court there can now be no doubt that she is biased beyond belief, to the point of making false statments hersef. Then even the prosecuting council weighing in pointing out that the defense council was correct… That almost beggers belief that she has behaved that way.

As for her boss Lady Arbothnott a more mean spirited twisted up old waste of human flesh you would be very hard pushed to find.

But the sad thing is how stupidly the pair of them are alowing themselfes to be used like this.

Surely they must realise that their cards are marked and no sane person would ever trust either one again.

When you sell your soul to the devil and it’s psycopath minions nothing good is going to come of it, they have no concience and positively delight in putting anyone in purgatory just for idle ammusment. If you are close to hand or in their grip then woe betide, as they do on that pair for they have them not just in their grip but with hand firmly around their necks, to squeeze like those of scrawny geese.

MarkH February 26, 2020 3:01 PM

Your Government’s Deceit Can Kill You

The Chinese government has been widely faulted for delays in response to the present epidemic, which were seemingly motivated by fears of “bad news.”

China is hardly alone in such dangerous shenanigans. From the chief U.S. investment strategist for AGF investments:

A disturbing pattern is recurring: Donald Trump appears to be muzzling the experts, sticking to happy talk that has no basis in fact. This has occurred repeatedly — Trump against the Weather Bureau, against climate experts, against his own generals, against the Federal Reserve, etc. And now there’s a disturbing battle between Trump and the Centers for Disease Control.

The U.S. president is reportedly “furious” that coronavirus worries are depressing financial markets. The S&P 500 has lost about USD 2,100,000,000,000 of market valuation in the past week.

So, he is insisting (and has ordered his underlings to insist) that everything’s under control, nothing to worry about.

In the meantime, the administration has wasted precious weeks during which the U.S. could have done far more to build up medical testing infrastructure for COVID-19. Epidemiologists are worried that many milder cases may be passing undiagnosed, for the lack of test capacity … just like China, but without China’s understandable reasons.

King Canute ordered the tide to go out not because he was stupid enough to expect that it would, but rather to remind people that the king’s power has limits.

King Kong actually is that stupid.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2020 4:01 PM

@ Clive, Anders

Pakistan, Georgia, Algeria, Egypt, Romania, Norway, North Macedonia

There is only one continent left that has no reports.

Rumour has it that the Emperor Penguins are asking for all plane flights to stop.

vas pup February 26, 2020 5:15 PM

Met Police chief defends facial recognition from ‘ill-informed’ critics

“London’s police chief has defended the use of facial recognition technology, labeling critics “ill-informed”.

Dame Cressida Dick said eight criminals had been caught using the controversial live facial recognition cameras.

She said “inaccurate” critics should “justify to the victims of those crimes why police should not be allowed to use tech… to catch criminals”.

Privacy campaigners say the systems flag up innocent people as wanted suspects.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner was responding to a report calling for tighter rules on police use of technology.

The report, from the Royal United Services Institute, looked at the use of data and algorithms by police in England and Wales. Among its recommendations were that police should issue new national guidelines in this area.”

ClearIdiots AI February 26, 2020 6:06 PM

ClearBS…sorry Clearview AI lost its entire client list to hackers.

Apparently they did not have a backup of such an important asset?

Not even in their accounting department?

But they had their attorney come up with a statement (interestingly because were they expecting some kind of subpoena?)

“unfortunately, data breaches are part of life”

That seems to sum up their philosophy about protecting peoples data.

Which should tell you that probably more was stolen than they care to inform anyone about.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2020 6:11 PM


Pence to lead. Yeah, right, sure.

No problems per the US Emperor that has no clothes.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2020 6:21 PM

@ ClearIdiots AI

Again, I did not have to research this, but I did anyway.

It is AWS. Over, and over, again, and again.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2020 6:55 PM

@ Clive, Anders, MarkH, myliit

There are new cases in US that media is trying to hide. Actually, they are burying the news, so far, pretty effectively.

I know of two home isolation cases (both recent China visits), and a death (recent China visit – but not yet confirmed due to 2019-nCoV) in an area you have not heard of yet. The unconfirmed death probably means 4 or more in home isolation (family).

Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 7:33 PM

@ Anders,

At least Lithuania is smart.

Unless the article has got the figures wrong €150,000 is not going to get you much in the way of PPE/IPE let alone anything else. Realistically a single full face resperator with replacment Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear level canisters is going to cost you €150-€1000 depending on manufacturer quantity and quality of filtering etc.

I care not what many public health advisors are spouting about disposable face masks, they are not going to stop aerosolised virus particles that are just a few nanometers across those masks are rated in the micrometer range. A thousand to one difference in scale as I’ve mentioned before.

What the masks might stop you doing is touching your mouth and nose and getting “contact transfer”. But you have mucous membrains in the eyes, so you also need full wrap around goggle type glasses, but the eyes need to breath as well over time and to prevent misting etc so need ventilation which means they are no good for aerorsolised or even some droplets.

I suspect a lot of Governments have done the figures and realise that with only 15-20% of the population getting the infection sufficiently seriously to need oxygen therepy, and only 3-5% needing “critical care” with insufficient health care available that the infection will become endemic. But worse those that are most likely to get seriously or critically ill are the old with comorbidities, long term if they are dead, the savings to a countries finances will be large. Thus significant savings can be made in pensions, social services, and certain types of healthcare.

And if you think I’m mad to even consider this, let me assure you the politicians have. Their calculation will be that they and the 1%ers will be able to avoid the virus “this year” at modest cost thus get the vaccine next year so they will be OK…

It’s the sort of self interested calculation they are good at as are their self interested advisors.

Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 8:08 PM

@ vas pup,

Met Police chief defends facial recognition from ‘ill-informed’ critics.

I would not trust Cressida Dick with the key to the cupboard we keep the wild bird food in. She is without doubt incompetant at anything other than political schmoozing and brown-nosing.

The rank and file police officers do not trust her or her selected appointees and many would be quite happy not to say ecstatic to see here go, preferably with ignominy.

Thus as she is pulling a “Think of the Children” rhetoric to discredit people who are actually more informed than she is, and she is doinging it so piss-poorly is realy not surprising. For her to call people who have actually looked into the social harms such technology brings “ill-informed” shows just where her brains or lack there of are… Thus I shall say that,

    I consider Cressida Dick’s juvenile name calling a badge of Honour and will wear it with pride.

Clive Robinson February 26, 2020 8:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There are new cases in US that media is trying to hide

Remember they want to keep on the side of “Mr Happy Smiles” better known to the 1%ers who are into Coal, Power, toxic waste dumping and other environmental crimes as a “Useful Idiot” for gutting regulatory bodies.

After all Happy Smiles is known to become “Mr grouchy” when his colon or prostate motivates him to be venal at “oh my god it’s 4AM” or other time most honest people are asleep (if they are not doing their second or third job of the day just to put food on the table).

After all what good is a MSM outlet if they can not have a bird brain in the Rose Garden or other cattle pen in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to hang off of every word Happy Smiles utters…

All the bird brains have to remember is to be suitably sycophantic and not ask daft questions less some overly pumped up ego centric Happy Smiles acolyte will rush down and attack them. Then of course the overly pumped up acolyte will shout her mouth off that she was the one assulted…

Yup all is “Joy Joy happy happy clap trap” in the land of Happy Smiles, Stalin would have been oh so happy to have it that easy…

myliit February 26, 2020 10:35 PM

@Clive Robinson, SpaceLifeForm

“…But privately, they [current Trump allies] say he [Trump] has been reluctant to give in to what he has called an “alarmist” view of the virus’s potential to cause damage as he warily watches the effect of the outbreak on the stock market. He has been rattled by the Wall Street reaction to the spread of the virus in places like Italy, lashing out at the news media in tweets and accusing journalists of intentionally trying to harm the stock market.

And polls show that Mr. Trump’s credibility with much of the United States is low
after an impeachment inquiry in which a majority of voters said they did not believe that he was telling the truth about his actions involving Ukraine. …”

“… Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned Americans that there would be more infections.

“Our aggressive containment strategy here in the United States has been working and is responsible for the low levels of cases that we have so far. However, we do expect more cases,” she said as the president stood behind her. “The trajectory of what we’re looking at over the weeks and months ahead is very uncertain.”

About a half-hour later, Mr. Trump contradicted Ms. Schuchat’s assessment, telling reporters that “I don’t think it’s inevitable.” He left the door open to travel restrictions beyond China, to other hard-hit countries such as South Korea and Italy and said his early decision to stop flights from China had held the virus at bay.

But the C.D.C. confirmed minutes later that a new infection in California was contracted by a person who did not appear to have traveled to countries hard hit by the virus or been exposed to a known coronavirus patient. That raised the prospect that the virus was spreading through unknown means. …”

lurker February 26, 2020 10:46 PM


I suspect a lot of Governments have done the figures …

I suspect a lot of Governments have not done the figures, are just sitting back and let it rip. The less involvement, the less direct cost to the exchequer. The susceptible will die (savings on pensions), the rest will have or build resistance. All you need is a spin doctor to make that look good on the Nine o’clock News.

myliit February 27, 2020 12:07 AM

I find it interesting that the American Library Association is recommending Tails and Tor. Perhaps they are getting a lot of NSLs or other government or corporate interest. Http, updated 26 Jan. 2020

“priority 3 Actions
Install plugins on public computers to limit third party tracking, enable private browsing modes, and force HTTPS connections.
HTTPS Everywhere:
Privacy Badger:
See guides about Firefox security options, e.g.
Install the Tor browser on public computers as a privacy option for users.
Offer the privacy-oriented Tails OS on bootable USB or CDROM for use on public computers or user devices.
Install malware-blocking, ad blocking, and anti-spam features on firewalls.
Segment the network to isolate staff computers, public computers, and wireless users into their own subnets.
Ensure that any applications and operating systems on public computers are disabled from automatically sharing activity data with software publishers (e.g. error reporting)”

Also http

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 4:49 AM

@ Lurker,

All you need is a spin doctor to make that look good on the Nine o’clock News.

Yes, I can see some saying it would free up oportunities for the young that the “baby boomers” are blocking… And there would be all those death duties to collect…

But at the end of the day it would still be the same level of political nonsense. After all who but a politician would take a “warning to the future” and turn it into a “working strategy”, poor old George Orwell must be spinning in his grave…

Any way as the old joke has it,

“Tea’s over back on your heads”…

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 4:56 AM

@ Myliit,

I find it interesting that the American Library Association is recommending Tails and Tor.

Whilst it might be for the reasons you think, it has one positive…

Next time a prosecutor trys the “nothing to hide” trick on a jury to make the use of Tor sound like criminal intent or conspiracy, the defence can quote the ALA recomendation as being a valid reason.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 5:43 AM

@ myliit,

With regards the NYT,

    But privately, they [current Trump allies] say he [Trump] has been reluctant to give in to what he has called an “alarmist” view of the virus’s potential to cause damage as he warily watches the effect of the outbreak on the stock market.

To quote someone libertarian / economist somewhere “The Stock-market knows best”. Or atleast in this case they do.

Trump in his policies has made the stock-market not just jittery but also increasingly fragile.

Most analysts know that for all Trump’s bluster the US economy is to tightly dependent on China for Trump to be able to unwind that Gordian Knot in anything less than a couple of decades.

What is thus scaring the stock-market is “spring”. For all China’s apparent technical sophistication it is still an agrarian nation that feeds not just it’s own citizens but other nations citizens.

Much of China’s food is grown not by machines and chemical conglomerates but by individuals. China already had a serious issue with Swine Fever killing something like half the animal protien source in the nation, and the ever present avian flu doing damage there as well.

If China misses “spring planting” the effects will be felt world wide and those that live in the houses of straw economies like the US will probably be some of the first to feel “The huff and the puff at the door” of the “Wolf of Wallstreet types”.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Europe… The agrarian south feels betrayed by the industrial north and COVID-19 is more likely to spread in the north than the south (disease loves close quaters living). The north can not “feed it’s self” thus is reliant on higher tech trade to buy food from the south. If that higher tech trade falters or tanks then those in the south are likely to see “pay back time” it could all get very nasty quite quickly.

Thus yes I can see why the Stock-market should start running to safe havens etc, and no doubt the precious metals markets are going to see brisk business…

As Trumps entire Empire is at the “house of straw” end of the Stock-Market, I’m not surprised he’s acting in a highly self interested way…

As for Mike “TIM” Pence, well it would help if people could see him honestly… But the little track record he has got does not exactly inspire any kind of hope for the average American. From the world view he wraps himself in the bible and then beats it hard, such behaviour is parochial at best. I’m guessing he is going to do likewise for the flag and be too busy running around glad handing to do anything of any real use. I suspect that as Pence has obvious aspirations, Trump has given him the job as a quite deliberate “poisoned chalice”, any way we shall see what he does, or more correctly is “alowed to do”.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 12:36 PM

@ justwondering, Clive

The old hacking methods are, well, old.

Phishing is still in vogue.

Emotet is still alive and well, but the really interesting hacks are buried in silicon. And they have been discussed here.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 1:09 PM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

It only took a day.

No it took more like a week… That’s the problem with COVID-19 disease, the original[1] virus SARS-2 that causes it has a 3-28day incubation period from infection where you are infectious –virus shedding– with either no or very few symptoms. This is very unlike SARS-1 back in 2002-4 where you developed an obvious fever before becoming infectious, which is one of the reasons why it was relatively easy to contain.

Various figures for the average before being obviously symptomatic with SARS-2 have gone from 7days upwards to 12.5 days (or potentially not at all in children). In the early stages of the Wuhan infections the R0 has been put as high as 7 and only after vigorous and draconian measures were put in place by the Chinese did this drop to 2.2-2.6 and now appears to be below 1.0. Though could quickly rise again if the draconian measures are lifted too quickly, hence atleast 35days after last reported new infection (virus can remain viable for upto 8days on surfaces and the longest known period before becoming symptomatic was 27days).

To give you an idea of the spread rate with an infected to infectious period of say 4days with R0= 7 you have 1,7,49 then 343 people in 12 days average befor symptomatic. With R0=
you have 1,2,4 then 8 in the same period of 12days, thus you have 43times the problem, thus resources required, when R0= 7 than when it is 2

Obviously the sensible thing is to clamp down on all social activities as hard and as fast as possible to get R0 doen to not just less than 1 but 0 as quickly as possible.

China for various reasons once they got going could take the draconian measures required. The Western world however especially some countries such as Holand are at best doing nothing proactive. Some such as the US political leadership appear to be more worried about their personal fortunes on the stock-market than they are about the ordinary citizen and the society the make…

Thus there are times when for the good of society, individual desires or beliefs have to be subsumed. To ask this of the people requires strong leadership that acts in a non self-interested way, irrespective of what the leader might actually hold as their strongest belief or god.

[1] SARS-2 may have mutated if what is being unoficially reported out of Iran is true[2][3] the death rate is apparently much higher. Or perhaps worse the R0 is way way higher for “societal” reasons and the healthcare system is not recognising COVID-19 for whatever reason[2]

[2] Iran is a theocracy where religion is preeminent ‘above all else’ it appears the religious leader has decided that what is happening in Iran is all lies dreamed up by non believers and political enemies to disrupt the elections… Thus the official line is that it is not happening even though various ministers are now infected… Part of the problem is the religion involves certain activities that are almost guarenteed to cause the spread of the disease like wildfire. This is not just the five times a day rituals of prayer and greating afterwards but the death rituals as well. I’ve mentioned befor that death rituals in particular have been a significant problem in previous epidemics such as ebola and other haemorrhagic infections. Worse because “religion is king” all the holy sites in Iran have so far remained open and this causes even further vectors of non-local spread. Realistically Iran not China may be the cause of the “global spread” of COVID-19 or a more virulent strain[3].

[3] If SARS-2 has mutated in Iran, which is entirely possible with RNA virusses, lets call them strains A and B then we have an extra quite serious problem. If you get either A or B as a “novel” to you disease then you have a good chance of building immunity and getting away with just a mild set of symptoms (~80% of population). If you meet the same strain again you are immune, which is why viruses die out as they run out of suceptable hosts when they get to around 60% of the population and R0 drops below 1. However if you have the antibodies for one strain in your system say A then you become exposed to the other strain B then it can be worse than having no antibodies at all. What happens is that the antibodies to A do not work properly against strain B and the white blood cells instead of killing the new strain B instead become infected by them multiplying them rapidly without constraint in the process ibhibiting the immune response… This can also significantly increase the probability of a disease becoming endemic in the population. This is a known effect with the likes of Dengue Fever being well documented (look it up on wikipedia).

Anders February 27, 2020 1:17 PM


I thing at least from one perspective our politicians are very happy with
this virus.

Our pensioners are amongst the poorest. Since most virus victims
are elder people, not preparing to the outbreak and not taking any measures
has some benefits – elder people dies, no need to pay them pension any more.


SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 1:36 PM

@ Clive, Anders, MarkH, myliit

Demark, Estonia, Northern Ireland

It is clearly airborne, and almost certainly inside airplanes.


Italy doing same as China now, arresting people with fever.

I told a UK person recently that was not in UK, but was going to go there for a week, to make sure he got some masks for plane trip, and to wear while there.

I’m sure that advice was not heeded.

Japan to close schools.

It must be complete insanity in NK.

MarkH February 27, 2020 3:17 PM

Re Covid-19

TL;DR We don’t have to sit around like store mannequins waiting for the next one to strike.

An interesting NYT piece by a disease ecologist, about preventing future tragedies.

Not only is it too late to stop Covid-19, it will (with existing approaches) always be too late: when a group to which the author belongs predicted an epidemic of this form (which they called Disease X), they foretold that it would be a zoonosis which would

probably be confused with other diseases early in the outbreak and would spread quickly and silently; exploiting networks of human travel and trade, it would reach multiple countries and thwart containment.

Their prediction also forecast that

Disease X would have a mortality rate higher than a seasonal flu but would spread as easily as the flu. It would shake financial markets even before it achieved pandemic status.

Reactive measures are very unlikely to suffice.

So the author proposes proaction, in ways that are possible only in light of recently developed techniques.

It is now possible to create broad-action vaccines and antiviral medicines, if the range of viruses is sufficiently known. A U.S. national institute is already working on a flu vaccine which would cover every known strain.

Breathtakingly, the proposals (actually in baby steps already) include collecting and sequencing of every one of the nearly two million unknown viruses estimated to exist in nature, which are likely to make the transition from animals to humans. Ever heard of the Global Virome Project? It was news to me!

He also proposes a less costly measure: focusing surveillance at the source, where people make contact with wildlife and domesticated livestock. If containment can ever work, the nearer to the origin, the better.

Some of us seem to have visualized a sort of Superman Comics transparent spherical dome by which the spread of Covid-19 might be checked.

Based on existing data (which are surely subject to revision as the case and survery records accumulate), the consensus among epidemiologists seems to be that Covid-19 is spreading much like flu does.

To my knowledge, no influenza virus has ever been prevented from blanketing every region of Earth in which flu can flourish.

Even if the most totalitarian measures had been imposed from the moment of discovery, it seems likely that global spread of Covid-19 would have been delayed by a matter of weeks.

In the 21st century, these viruses are sure to have reached numerous countries by the time they are recognized as new human diseases. As their geographic distribution broadens, the technique of contact tracing becomes more and more futile. How is one supposed to screen: “have you been anywhere at all, or had contact with anyone else who has been anywhere?”

Preparing tests and treatments seems far more achievable, than prevention via containment.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 3:22 PM

@ Anders, Clive

As I mentioned before, keep eye on Turkey.
And now, Latvia, and Russia

Carefully parsing the article…

It looks like the Iranian that is infected took the following path:

Travel to Turkey, maybe via ground transportation (not clear, but border has been closed for 4-5 days now). Probably already exposed, but asymptomatic.

Maybe spends a week or so in Turkey, then takes plane to Riga. Maybe there for a week.

Then, starts feeling bad, but takes bus to Tallinn.

Maybe he was planning on continuing trip to St. Petersburg, but was too ill by then.

So, it’s not just planes, trains, and automobiles, but buses also.

Anders February 27, 2020 4:13 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

Strange…Africa is still mostly untouched…
Any idea why? Lack of travel?

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 4:28 PM


Insanity. Has to be intentional.

@ Clive, Anders, ALL

“Federal health employees interacted with Americans quarantined for possible exposure to the coronavirus without proper medical training or protective gear, then scattered into the general population, according to a government whistle-blower.”

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 4:41 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

As I mentioned before, keep eye on Turkey.

Yes they have an unknown number of refugees (3-4million) just waiting to be turned into “bio-weapons” and sent either at Europe or back into Syria or maybe up into the old Russian republics…

Oh and speaking of Turkish-Syrian relationships, it appears that Turkeys leader “Recep Tayyip Erdogan” has decided there is going to be a war with Syria and is backing the Syrian rebels.

Russia is backing Syria in it’s efforts to drive another million or so refugees into Turkey. Turkey have said that Syria/Russia is to stop before the weekend –which was about eight hours ago– or they will take action (presumed military).

The UK’s BBC has a live reporting page,

What Russia may do is anybodies guess… But the timeline appears to be,

1, Syria attacked Turkish troops killing/injuring some.
2, Turkey responded by shelling Syrian forces killing/injuring some.
3, Russia claims Turky are “assisting rebels with artillary fire”.
4, Russia is claiming Turkey should withdraw from Syrian territory (that technically was ceeded to Turkey as part of an earlier agreement).

But refugees as Bio-Weapons will be something the Russian’s have thought about quite carefully in the past and presumably have kept their planning upto-date. Much as the US has considered refugees as a weapon against Europe.

Before people dismiss this, remember Turkey is a full signitory to NATO, if it is confirmed that Syria did indead attack Turkish troops, then Turkey might be able to activate NATO not just against Syria but Russia as well, thus becoming a full scale proxie war at a time when a full on epidemic has startrd in Iran and Afghanistan…

If NATO equivocate, then Turkey can just let loose the refugees it’s sick to death of hosting into Europe via Greece or up into Bulgaria or Georgia…

Therefore I suspect that before long we will get into “machine gun diplomacy” over Middle East refugees now that Iran is effectively “Ground zero” for infecting the rest of the world.

If people think this is compleatly mad and incomprehensible and nobody in their right mind would think like this… Think again and remember this is how certain neo-politicos think and they are supported in this by certain war hawks. If still in doubt ask yourself what would be happening if Mr Bolton was still in office.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 4:48 PM

@ Anders,

Strange…Africa is still mostly untouched…
Any idea why?

It is there, people have the symptoms, but they don’t have the test kits to make definate diagnosis.

Thus politics kick in for all the usual reason, and “Blind eyes get put to telescopes as trouble comes over the horizon”.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 4:57 PM

@ Anders, Clive

Africa, like South America, both have low reports probably due to lack of travel, but also temperatures (hopefully both).

Let’s hope it’s not due to lack of reports.

I’d worry more about Africa than South America.

Anders February 27, 2020 5:10 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

South Africa is at the same meridian level than Australia
and while Australia is infeced, SA is still untouched,
although it’s big business area and lots of travelers…

That puzzles me.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 5:33 PM

@ Clive, Anders, MarkH, myliit

Who is Who?

Worthless Health Organisation.

That is WHO is.

They are being strong-armed.

To not mention Pandemic.

It’s all about the money.

Worker ants in the infected nest.

MarkH February 27, 2020 5:58 PM

@Anders, SpaceLifeForm:

In the 21st century, China has been pursuing an ambitious grand development plan to increase national influence, wealth, and strategic position.

Probably most of us have heard of the famous Belt and Road Initiative (initially branded One Belt One Road).

I’ve seen surprisingly little mention of the Chinese focus on the African continent. I suppose it’s a reflection of the “blind spot” which so often obscures Africa in the vision of European peoples.

And that very blind spot, is part of what makes Africa so interesting for the People’s Republic of China. Neglect by the wealthiest countries has left vast territories ripe for Chinese investment. The African continent has strategic natural resources of great value, a growing population potentially available for low-wage labor, and as economic levels gradually rise, the prospect of an enormous new market for Chinese exports.

Chinese trade with Africa is already estimated at about USD 300 billion per year. But there’s more to it than trade. China is making huge investments in infrastructure, and offering tempting capabilities and services to national governments.

In Africa, China has constructed or is in progress on sea ports, airports, railway lines, factories, communication systems and large-scale building complexes. Plans include dams, nuclear power stations, and solar energy farms.

All this is to say, there’s a hell of a lot of Chinese citizens traveling to and from various African states.

And as a reminder, when the HIV epidemic was sweeping southern Africa, many clinics were so poor that the not only couldn’t afford to discard hypodermic needles, but couldn’t even autoclave them: they’d put them in a tray of alcohol and reuse them on other patients.

I hope and pray that medical capacities have improved … but by how much?

As Clive wrote, Covid-19 is already there. Perhaps hundreds or even thousands will already have died before we see any clear reporting of African epidemics.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 6:10 PM


@ Clive, Anders

Facebook cancels F8 conference in San Jose originally scheduled for May 5-6.

Over two months away.

Artificial Intelligence?

A heads-up from CDC?

Or, did they just buy a vowel?

JustWondering February 27, 2020 6:17 PM

It is these hardware / silicon hacks that I’m interested in
Today I don’t see anything being discussed here that’s not available in the broader security press. But a decade back this site was the go to place for information on really advanced methods.
Just wondering what happened

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 6:19 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Insanity. Has to be intentional.

Did you think I was joking the other day when I said Governments had been doing calculations?

Trust me there are quite a few lunatics in power that see this world pandemic as an “opportunity” to be exploited not prevented.

If you’ve not stocked up yet as I’ve been saying for the past month, then I would get out there and do so… Mind you ninety days of food and water might not be enough…

From what I’m hearing supply chains are already being diverted to unlabled warehouses on industrial estates in the UK that were unoccupied just a week or so ago. So somebody is “stocking up”… Even though the official message is “every things fine, we’ve got it under control”…

Oh one piece of advice only buy what you realy like to eat in the way of cans of food, you never know what “crap” will be brought to your door if a full on quarantine –like those in China and now starting in South Korea– are put in place. Oh and stock up on chocolate and sweets and chilli and other spices, bullion, coffee, tea, importantly lemon juice you will need these extras for a lift in the depressing times of which there may be many. Oh and don’t forget “powdered milk” not “Non dairy creamer” when mixed with water powdered milk can be used on your breakfast flakes etc where as Non dairy creamer is just “yuck” with anything other than coffee and hot chocolate. Powdered milk can also be used in sauces to make dull food more edible[1] and tomato juice into a much nicer soup etc etc non dairy creamer not a chance.

From a health point of view vitimin D and C tablets will help combat “being indoors” and help your immune system keep up to the best it can be. Oh and get lots of pedal bin liners and boxes of tissues, every room should have an office style trash bin into which the used tissues can be put in. Don’t bother with “alcohol hand sanitizers” they are not that usefull even when 75%. Hard soap and hot water, or cold water with a small quantity of bleach in it. As liquid house hold bleach does not keep go get yourself a tub or two of Calcium Hypochlorite “pool shock” and a couple of house plant sprayers/misters. You make up about a litre of liquid bleach at a time the just add a few drops to the water you use (the CDC has a guidence note up on it’s website). Seperate toiletries and towles for each person, do laundry on the hotest wash the clothes will alow, towles and cotten/linen bedding should be 90C wash (don’t use beding with synthetic fibers). Understand how to isolate family members who become sick or have any kind of symptoms, like mild temprature or slightly raised heart rate, if you can get a “Peripheral Pulse Oxitometer” blood presure meter and IR thermometer then do so and esure you have spare batteries, take stats morning, before meals, and before bed daily and keep a record, these might be the only sign that younger members of the household are infected. If you have children only hard/wipe down toys and in their bedrooms only. Computers etc should be wiped down between user. Nobody shares cups or utensils, no tasting of food during cooking all pots pans and dishes should be covered and wiped down with mild bleach solution before each use. Bathroom/toilet, both solid and liquid human ways carries the virus and will aerosolise. So spray with mister and mild bleach solition before and wipe down with tissues and dispose of into bin, spray again after use, and let air dry. Any misses should be wiped up and the area sprayed with a stronger solution, toilet should be flushed before spray down and a couple of “high sprays” into the air so mist falls down would not go amiss.

[1] A secret from the catering industry, boil/simmer meat to cook it and keep the juices. You can them make five or six different dishes easily by puting a sauce on the meat. This is what Indian restaurants do as standard, they cook the meat seperatly and make up a large pot of “masala sauce” you put a third of the spices in oil in a pan on high heat, when it just starts to smoke turn heat down put in a portion of cooked meat stir to brown add rest of spices and a ladle or two of the masala and let simmer whilst stiring, add in coconut cream or ground almonds or both if it’s a korma other things if not, tip into serving dish. So you also need to know how to make a basic sauce for other dishes. Put oil and flour, into a sauce pan heat to make a rue –either white or brown–, whisk in any spices and whisk in about a pint of fluid. Milk to make a white sauce, meat juices and a stock cube if other sauces, let simmer whilst stiring to thicken add cooked onion or other herbs/spices. Your taste buds will thank you for learning this basic trick, it also helps make meat go further which on “rations” could be a blessing. Also look up how to make “soda bread” you can make it with minimal touching unlike ordinary bread that needs kneeding. You don’t need butter to eat it, adding sugar and dried fruit and nuts makes a passable substitute for cake as eggs are unlikely to be available.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2020 6:25 PM

@ MarkH, Clive, Anders, myliit

MarkH hits the bell

“All this is to say, there’s a hell of a lot of Chinese citizens traveling to and from various African states”

For certain. The question is timing, and how many traveled between Africa and China.

Did many travel to Wuhan and back at a bad time?

Did they stop travel early enough?

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 7:37 PM

@ MarkH, ALL,

I was warning about Africa an the Chinese take over[1] years ago on this blog, but it appeard that zero people were interested or cared.

Put simply there are three areas of raw resources that are of interest. China it’s self, Russia is the wealthiest nation in the world in terms of raw resources and Africa (south America is the US back garden in which their dogs run free).

Only Africa was available to “influance”, which is exactly what China has done amongst other things[2]. Now the question is what sort of future have these African leaders signed themselves and their people up for…

Some would say “A deal with the devil” others have different ideas. All I know is that I am unlikely to be alive in thirty years or so to find out.

[1] What is noticable is that China is “exporting” in a “dependent way” for instance all equipment needs Chinese only spares. All Infrastructure and plant is run, maintained and managed by Chinese personnel, with mabuals etc in Chinese. Medical improvments are via Chinese Drs etc. Even higher level education is in effect there for the Chinese not the local inhabitants.

In effect China is exporting their middle classes to Africa displacing or prevebting any African nations they are “helping” developing their own middle classes… We know from the way the British ran their Empire in thr mid Victorian to post WW I that you can control a nation almost entirely with just a thousand well placed individuals. Back then it was “administrators” these days you have to include engineers, Doctors and Educators, but that’s still not a lot of people if you do it right. So as little as five thousand Chinese people could end up controling an African nation, thus where it’s natural resources go… But I’ve kind of poinyed this out in the past but nobbody appeared to consider it the major security threat it is.

[2] Oh and it’s China that is pushing Africa into it’s last surviving wildernesses where these other zooinotic “spillovers” occur…

Clive Robinson February 27, 2020 8:45 PM

@ JustWondering,

It is these hardware / silicon hacks that I’m interested in

Several people are, but unless you want to start “Getting down and dirty with microcontrolers” there is very very little you can do.

All the Personal Computer level CPU’s have suffered from the “Marketing ‘Go faster Stripes’ issue” for a couple of decades. If you search back you will find conversations between @Nick P and myself about the decade from 1995-2005. My view was that the hardware after 95 was untrustworthy thus needed mitigation in a particular way to prevent low level bottom up attacks. @Nick P thought 05 was the cut off point and that security should be top down.

Hence the “Castle -v- Prison” viewpoint which attracked others such as @Wael –who might still read along– and @Thoth who has just announced one of his hardware solutions to some security issues.

The simple fact is that thos ‘Go Faster Stripes’ (GFS) Marketing insisted upon are actually “pure poison” for security. I used to design Bit Slice based High Performance systems and I have maintained an interest since. The big issue with the GFS add ons is that they mostly add very little and are overly complex and run at full CPU internal speed. Which means not only do they take up a disproportionate amout of silicon real estate they generate a lot of heat, unlike earlier cache memory etc.

Also there is an issue with making things fast, and that is the things you “don’t do” to get speed. Most C programers have been aware from around fourty years ago that malloc/free had “data reminiscence” issues. That is to go faster free did not clear heap memory after use, and alloc did not clear it on assigning memory for use as a buffer etc. Thus secrets could leak from one part of a program to another very easily. Thus as a programmer knowing this all you had to do was find a way to exploit it.

This data reminiscence is not just a software issue, it’s been known about in CPU internal memory such as the register file before microprocessors were invented and obviously in system core memory as well, where an interupt could cause a preemptive OS to task switch. Again the need for speed ment that neither registers or Core menory got cleared thus the data reminiscence was available at the register level and at the core memory level if the MMU was bot used correctly. There was also the same issue with VM systems and “dirty pages” where a page of real memory used by one process could end up with contents mostly unaltered in another process heap space.

Well not unexpectedly the same happens with “pipeline registers” designed to speed CPUs up by significant multiples and also all levels of cache memory as well…

But nobody ever bothered to do anything about it a quater of a century or so ago. So more GFS got added and it became impossible to fix these earlier data reminiscence issues. Then a couple of people decided to go looking and low and behold Meltdown and Spector poped up with Intel trying to keep things quiet untill after the Xmas shopping period.

I was not at all surprised by the actual faults the cause was obvious hence I called it “The Xmas gift that would keep on giving” which it has, and not inexpectedly there is little or nothing the CPU designers can do other than slow the CPU right down to do the things they should have done back in the distant past. Or they could not even do that…

Thus there is nothing we the ordinary mortal without access to FAB Labs can do to actually fix the problem.

What we could do is dump the IaX86/64 CPUs and go with more open designs but the speed, and through put penalties would be great…

So you know that every PC using those CPU chips are vulnerable if you connect them to the Internet…

So the only solution is to mitigate this by “energy gapping” the computer you do “private” work on and using another computer entirely for connecting to the Internet or other communication system.

I’ve discussed in some considerable depth here before how to not just “energy gap” the computer but stop other types of attack that can see your finger and hand movments at the keyboard through the walls of a room.

We can rediscuss these things but it’s easier just to search and read them.

Thus the problem you perceive, we’ve said it all before here, even though other blogs, magazine’s and academic papers have yet to catch up. So in essence we have no more to say than they have other than “Been there, done that, worn the teeshirt out years ago”.

Which is a bit disapointing I know, but that’s the way life pans out sometimes.

I guess I could make life a bit more lively by describing new attack methods I’ve thought up. But lets be honest I don’t want to find people using it, and then have the likes of the FBI blaiming me in the only way they know how which is by providing false evidence to a Court.

Which is another reason why people don’t say much any more, such behaviour has “chilled free speech” in the ICTsec fields of endevor.

In fact it’s got to the point where telling people how to mitigate security vulnerabilities is apparently the equivalent of “Conspiracy to …” these days very few people have the resources that Apple have or the desire to take on the FBI/DoJ in court. Just remember the FBI/DoJ tactic is not to win in court but to either scare you or bankrupt you into a plee deal. From their point of view they have nothing to loose –the FBI committ perjury with impunity– and everything to gain, and judges foolishly let them get away with it.

JustWondering February 28, 2020 3:53 AM

thanks for the reply but the real issue for me is not finding this information but rather understanding what happened to those skilled individuals who were willing to share this information?
Why did the information well suddenly go dry?
I seem to remember a post or two that suggested they had been told to stfu.
I guess I just can’t imagine what it would be like to get tapped on the shoulder and told that you should stop writing/sharing what you know.
I tend to believe that the poster were being paid, which raises the question, what was their agenda?
If time had proven them false, then one would simply conclude that they were well organized disinformation channels, but time proved them correct, so what should I conclude?
My problem is that I want the information, I want to understand it and I want it from a source that I believe I can trust. I’ve got the time now to really dig into what was being said and I believe I have the skills to contribute and profit from their insights but there’s no new source of information.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 28, 2020 4:06 AM

Given the chain of events over the last one and a half dozen years; the following observation is offered:

It is becoming more apparent that individuals in positions of authority and power suffer a form of psychopathy. One in which the individual frames moral and ethical questions not from a contextual relationship, but from an internal, isolated, frame. A self referential and self rationalizing libertarian “truth” space.

Justification for ones actions becomes rationalized through this internal lens and allows subjective isolation of externalities. Kind of a pre-auth to bad or poor decisions and behavior, and as outcomes are externalities, the need to measure them is irrelevant. Think of the current pandemic and the scores being made by political operatives. Even better yet, look at pandemic insurance payouts…see any correlations?

Anders February 28, 2020 5:35 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

OK, it was only a matter of time.

Nigeria is now on the list.

“So coronavirus has finally arrived in sub-saharan Africa, with an Italian man who arrived in Nigeria three days ago becoming the country’s first case of the disease.

The case is in Lagos, a massive overcrowded city, which will raise fears that the virus might already have spread in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and possibly further afield.”

MarkH February 28, 2020 9:14 AM


Thanks for the link! The article confused me in places, it looks like it’s a poor translation from a language other than English.

But the gist is clear enough … on WiFi disconnect (which the article suggests can be triggered by an attacker), the interface chip automatically resets its session key to zero.

Unfortunately, if there is still buffered data awaiting transmission, that will be sent out with the zero key.


Clive Robinson February 28, 2020 9:51 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

It appears their are no 60 cases in the US of COVID-19, a number of whom have no epidemiological trace to China, Iran, South Korea, Italy etc.

If this is true then COVID-19 is “community spreading” in the US.

Thus I would advise people to look what happened in South Korea, that started with a non syptomatic person at a religious gathering[1] and the numbers rapidly increased.

Having a knowledge of both South Korean and US medical systems, I’d rather be in South Korea,than in the US. Also remember the South Korean government are taking things extreamly seriously unlike nearly every other country outside of China and Italy. They have in effect baned social gatherings and to stop “institutional infection” at hospitals and Drs they have implemented “Drive through testing” where you “vital statistics” are taken and if you show any signs you are tested and told to self issolate at home immediatly and your tests results are sent to you within two days.

There have been videos from China appearing of people being taken away forcably almost as though by “dog catchers”. Apparently these are people who have been found to have possible signs and been put in “home issolation” but have broken the issolation more than once… Draconian yes, but it boils down to personal liberty of an infectious person against the rights of others in society to not be infected by that person. I’ll let others make their own choice of which right should have presidence…

But if it is community spreading in the US and you are in the US ask yourself a question as to which you think is of a better benifit to US society, trying to laugh it off to keep the stock market high, or taking active mrasures to protect all the citizens living not just in the US but the whole of North America and a big chunk of the northern part of South America?

Oh and if you live in California, you have my sympathies, with State Policy making it a haven for people living on the streets and in parks etc. If COVID-19 gets in amongst that part of the population then California will become another “North Brother Island”[2].

[1] The Korean’s are not realy as religious as the number of churches they attend would appear to suggest. Put simply they use church meetings as a part of their social life, not to disimilar to small villages etc. Thus it’s not uncommon to find a Korean attending three or four churches of different faith subgroupings. The Korean minister at the church just up from the road to me has a “timetable” of other church services in the area for his “parishoners” benifit.

[2] North Brother Island was the site of the infamous Riverside Hospital for quarantinable diseases where the cook Mary Mallon finally died in Nov 1938 having spent the better part of three decades in enforced quarantine. She was an asymptomatic carrier of disease and she is known to have infected atleast 51 people of which three died, though others belive she could have killed over 50 people and may have single handedly been responsible for many of the disease outbreaks in the New York area. Better known as Typhoid Mary she was a kind of celebrity and the island with the Hospital had become the early 20th Century equivalent of a leper colony…

Although Mary Mallon was the first identified asymptomatic carrier of typhoid a number of others were subsequently found.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2020 1:55 PM

@ Anders,

First British coronavirus death confirmed

As I understand it the gentleman concerned whilst holding British Nationality was not living in the UK. He contracted COVID-19 whilst onboard the Dimond Princess, was tested positive and moved to a Japanese hospital where he became extreamly poorly and has sadly died.

However what is rather more concerning especially as Surrey is where I live currently is the fact a General Practitioner (GP a community doctor) has been tested positive, his wife is also a GP may well be positive as well. A GP can have contact with well over a hundred patients a week,

Fingers crossed on that because if the average infection rate R0 is nearer 5 than 2.2 then it could run wild in one of the more populous and affluent parts of the UK. As many who live in Surrey also work “up in town” –London– along with 13million others, and take public transport trains / underground / busses in very cramped “rush hour” conditions where you could end up easily with your face in someones armpit or worse depending on how tall you are, if you are sitting, or “strap hanging”, your chance of not getting someones exhaled droplets on you is really quite small…

So not good at all. Atleast with the UK switching to “plastic notes” sterilizing money will not be too difficult…

With regards,

Tomorrow is Rare Disease Day

Is that “Rare” as in “uncommon” or “uncooked”?

Anders February 28, 2020 2:39 PM


“Is that “Rare” as in “uncommon” or “uncooked”?”

I think “uncooked” fits here the best because
that’s the COVID-19 source.

Let’s light tomorrow some candles to remember the
already passed away persons and let’s hope this
monster could be contained (but i doubt it).

ps. Bitcoin already has a serious drop in value.
Crisis is coming, like 2008 was.

SpaceLifeForm February 28, 2020 3:13 PM

@ Sed Contra, Clive

Which is why I’ve always said:

‘attribution is hard’

I’m sure Bruce will have things to say soon enough, as he is at the RSA Conference.

SpaceLifeForm February 28, 2020 3:52 PM

@ Clive, Anders, ALL

Recall that I noted a week or so ago, that Cats and Dogs were dying in China.

WHO confirms a Dog infected in Hong Kong.

Will there be any Mammals besides Bats that will not be impacted?

Latest leaked number from Iran: over 210 dead.

It’s not clear yet if the Iran Deputy Health Minister is still alive.

SpaceLifeForm February 28, 2020 5:24 PM

@ Clive, Anders, ALL

If you were skiing in Northern Italy this year, you were probably exposed.

Iran shuts down parliament until further notice (probably all infected at this point).

Of course, Iran denies the 210 number.

Worker ants in the infected nest.

Parse this:

Kim Jong Un: “In case the infectious disease spreading beyond control finds its way into our country, it will entail serious consequences”

I parse that as leadership denial, as seen by China and Iran.

It’s already in NK.

But, I’m sure he will kill his border guards because they did not stop that airborne virus flying over their heads.

Anders February 28, 2020 6:00 PM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive @ALL

Italy numbers are already impressive : 888 infected, 21 dead.

Let’s move to new Squid.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2020 7:30 PM

@ Anders,

Let’s light tomorrow some candles to remember the already passed away persons and let’s hope this monster could be contained (but i doubt it).

They are mainly the innocent victims of “Mankinds folly”, for this monster, is a monster of our own creating.

It’s not as though we do not know about the dangers of “zooinotic spillover”, such diseases have increased steadily over the past thirty years or so, from virtually unknown outside of a tiny or small region to repeated serious threats against mankind in general.

It’s hard to reason against the self interested and unscientific “rabble rousers” with their faux claims of “Hand of God against wicked men” argument some preachers have already come up with. Likewise the “Gaia argument” it’s “Nature fighting back to survive whilst it still can”, or the “conspiracy theory” that says “It must be a man made bio-weapon that’s escaped / been released”…

We have to accept that peobability plays a part, and sometimes simple stupidity does unleash a course of events that look like they do have design behind them. Even though they fall easily within the expected range of mutations of a given coronavirus, of which there are very many in the animal kingdom[1] but thankfull very few that effect humans.

The simple fact is we know that “bush meat” like cannibalism carries risks from pathogens like bacteria, virii and prion proteins (CJD etc).

@ SpaceLifeForm,

WHO confirms a Dog infected in Hong Kong.

What little I’ve seen about it does not realy make sense. The quotes say the dog is the pet of someone who has COVID-19 and it was tested and found to be “weakly infected” what ever that is supposed to mean. But Hong Kong’s senior veterinary officer indicates that the dog is not in danger or a danger to humans.

Whilst many animals have their own coronavirus diseases they tend to have different symptoms[1] and whilst highly infectious in the particular species in general they do not spillover to other species (which is what SARS-CoV-2 appears to have done by random mutarion).

The reasons for cats and dogs apparently dying might well be related to the activities of the authorities such as street spraying, or people attacking them out of fear[2]. It could also be that they have just became more noticable because the streets were not getting the usual refuse collections due to lock down issues.

What we are not seeing is any scientific evidence “yet”. So whilst balance of probability suggests not, it has not been ruled out either. Cats and dogs do have their own versions of coronavirus but it’s pathology is quite different[1] to what we are seeing with SARS-CoV-2. So it is possible that depending on the specificity of the particular testing method Cainine Coronavirus Disease (CCD) could be causing a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 to responed.

But this should not realy be news to anyone who as ever had a pet. Cats for instance have their own version of the flu –feline calicivirus / herpesvirus–, and when you first take your pet cat to a vet one of the first questions that comes up is “vaccination”. Because in cats the outcome of feline influenza is much more serious than influenza viruses tend to be in humans.

All pathogens that cause disease have two things in common,

1, They mutate.
2, They are opportunistic.

Thus although rare they can cross species for hosts and they can have significantly different effects from species to species (RNA being single strand mutates much more readily than double stranded DNA).

In this respect pathogens are like some natural poisons such as alkakoids, designed by mutation and natural selection to be more effective against certain living creatures than others. The alkaloid poison that most often causes heartache in pet owners is found in chocolate (Theobromine). Due to differences in mamal metabolisms whilst humans would need to eat more than twenty pounds of chocolate for there to be a reasonable chance for it to kill them, for a small dog however just an ounce of some chocolates can be fatal. Vets see the family dog get brought in with what is often called “Chocolate poisoning” because a youngster in the house “has been nice to fido” at Christmass or Easter, it can be very dificult to treat, thus fatalities are common and vet bills high. However Theobromine poisoning can occur with other food stuffs it’s present in tea, coffee and certain soda drinks that have vascular plant extracts for flavoring etc[3].

[1] In many animals coronaviruses effect not the respiratory system but the digestive tract, causing the likes of diarrhea that are generaly not as fatal. They do however tend to be highly infectious such as Canine Coronavirus Disease (CCD), passed via animal waste products,

[2] Cats and dogs to a lesser extent have been “demonized” down the centuries as being evil for various reasons across many cultures. In Spain for instance cats used to be put in baskets that were set on fire and hoisted aloft over crowds of people so the cats cries of pain and fear could be used as an example of driving out devils…

[3] Theobromine is just one of thousands of alkaloids, many of which have “toxilogical disadvantages” to common plant predators such as insects, other plants (phytotoxic) as well as anti-fungal properties. But some can cross the blood-brain barrier and can have effects on mammals, in humans both theobromine and caffeine have some stimulant effects, but are still toxic. As alkaloids accumulate at different rates due to differing species metabolisms the “Lethal Dose at which 50% die” (LD50 varies significantly. Which is why a number of governments with “wild dog” “pest issues” have researched into using a variation of chocolate as a way to decrease the canid population, because most creatures that are particularly susceptable –cat family– do not have taste receptors for sweetness so don’t eat such a poison.

Clive Robinson February 29, 2020 7:52 PM

@ Wael,

I hope I find you in good health if not good chear, and with a little luck well rested?

I don’t know if you saw @Thoths new product or not but he’s got it to market which is no mean feat for a security related hardware product these days.

Are you still in contact with @Nick P, if so tell him I hope he is well and prospering.

Wael February 29, 2020 8:20 PM

@Clive Robinson,

I hope I find you in good health

Can’t complain.

I don’t know if you saw @Thoths new product

I did but was too busy to look closely.

Are you still in contact with @Nick P

Been like four years. I think he still reads stuff here.

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