Friday Squid Blogging: Introducing the Seattle Kraken

The Kraken is the name of Seattle’s new NFL franchise.

I have always really liked collective nouns as sports team names (like the Utah Jazz or the Minnesota Wild), mostly because it’s hard to describe individual players.

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 July 24, 2020 at 4:07 PM161 Comments


Tatütata July 24, 2020 7:25 PM

There was an update about one month ago on the Crypto-AG Affair, with an overall duration of about 22 minutes, of which the last 8 are an interview with a federal opposition MP :

As the Swiss secret service figured out in the late 1970s that the Crypto AG was a CIA+BND operation, they didn’t shut it down, but made a deal with the other parties: access to the product in exchange for their silence.

This would explain why the whistleblower complaints of the 1990s went nowhere, and why the Federal authorities reacted so softly to the Bühler case.

Switzerland has represented US interests in Iran since the 1979 revolution. They were also intermediaries in the 1980 hostage crisis negotiations. Their direct access to Crypto AG intercepts is alleged to have played a role in the negotiations in the 1980 hostage crisis. Swiss neutrality is an illusion.

security July 24, 2020 8:56 PM

Lots of snake eating its own tail links today vaguely ordered from reasonable and useful to wingnuttery and puffery. I can safely say some people have more patience than I do.

I’ve been talking to conspiracy theorists for 20 years – here are my six rules of engagement

Coronavirus: new social rules are leading to new types of stigma

Coronavirus: Harmful lies spread easily due to lack of UK law

UK trade department to tackle ‘fake news’ with new rebuttal role

‘Person, woman, man, camera, TV’: Trump insists cognitive test was difficult

U.S. hatches plan to build a quantum Internet that might be unhackable

Seppi July 24, 2020 9:03 PM

Tatütata “Swiss neutrality is an illusion.” Thank you for your kind words. Crypto Int’AG BTW is being wound up. Now, we all go to Securstar.????

echo July 24, 2020 9:20 PM

This is one of those contrast and compare things. I think it’s helpful to understand the balance between “authority” and “society”. It’s also useful to understand that where people lack knowledge or training or established guidelines or law or everyday practice things can swing between wild extremes. I do agree there is a very very real problem with social media and corporate conduct and egotistical behaviours. I do agree that some countries can be behind the curve but they also have their own internal dynamics which America, with its monopoly on social media platforms, does tend to run roughshod over. I’m just a touch concerned about this when it involves an aspirant EU member state and an existing EU member state causing problems on Europes doorstep. I also note the reactive way that both Turkey and Hungary’s “strongman” leaders have a whiff of Soviet style provincial governor about them as well as being a touch on the greedy side. How much this is due to ingrained habits and reactivity meeting change I don’t know. Pretty much all of this is a “known known”.

Turkey threatens to block social media sites in ‘draconian’ new law

Hungarian journalists resign en masse after claims of political interference

WmG July 24, 2020 11:15 PM

I had missed this and believe it wasn’t mentioned here. An analysis of the closing of the Russian consulate in San Francisco. By Zach Dorfman who seems to have gotten quite a number of people to talk with him.

Nice photo with a view of the old fashioned wire antennas on the roof.

One factual error passed of to sources saying that short-wave requires line-of-sight.


echo July 25, 2020 12:34 AM

I expect this monograph is old hat to some people but it’s interesting reading. A few things have changed and technology has advanced but the fingerprints ofthis kind of thing remain across the British system today. It’s good in some ways and extremely annoying in others depending on which side of the fence you are on at any particular time. There’s still a few establishment “cling-ons” in GCHQ and the Foreign Office and other state organisations who think they’re God if you pay attention to whatis euphimistically called “open source intelligence” (lol). The system is changing but slowly and grudgingly and probably needs a few more to fall off their perch.

Brigadier John Tiltman: A Giant Among Cryptanalysts
Center for Cryptologic History
National Security Agency

Jim K July 25, 2020 1:05 AM

A team has found the seed for the world used on the Minecraft title screen.

The thing I found interesting was all the ways they used to reduce the search space before launching a brute force attack. It’s not really cryptography, but I suspect there’s always a trail of breadcrumbs for sufficiently motivated people to follow no matter how math correct your methods.

Clive Robinson July 25, 2020 4:03 AM


“Swiss neutrality is an illusion.”

History shows that nearly all ‘neutrality’ is in reality an ‘illusion’ have a look at Swiss neutrality during WWII, it was a case of “pander to German financial needs”. Both Sweden and Southern Ireland pandered to alied needs during that period, even the Spanish were playing both sides off against each other as well.

There reasons were different but at the end of the day the countries and their politicians stayed out of the conflict and traded to survive.

Reprehensable as it may appear to many, there civilian populations and their infrastructures remained intact thus many lives and unknown quantities of historic items were saved and they did not have to bleed their treasuries white to buy arms to defend themselves or rebuild after hostilities ended.

The trick has always been to avoid appeasement which is a form of slavery not neutrality. Russia found to it’s cost that it could not buy of the National Socialist political ideals and eventually were draged into the European War that had gone global. They learned a lesson and put various measures in place, which although the “Cold War” is in name over, still continue to today and I suspect will continue to do so for decades to come.

Whilst trade can be equitable and sometimes profitable, war is a dead distructive loss from which none of the participents ever win.

So neutrality and trade, would appear on balance to be the only sensible course when two or more beligerants kick off. It’s a leason that a few more could learn the benift of. Especially as it’s extreamly unlikely we will stop either war or crime in humanity, they appear to be an artifact of greed, that appears endemic in the population, or atleast in those who think they are a societies leaders.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 4:15 AM

At this time, check the posted timestamp, I’ve witnessed filtered responses to posts on large platforms on the Tubes. From disabled posting in total or truncated or “processed” posts. Too early to tell what is going on, will instrument interactions and return with a proper report. For now, realtime interception and filtering appears to be an operational feature on the site, it will be over a series of days to test this assertion. Just wanted to give a quick WTF announcement. As this cannot, that I can verify, is not an MTM scenario, looks like server side as the sessions encapsulation would require certificate usurpation.

myliit July 25, 2020 5:37 AM

There are two more segments of Chomsky from 24 July and he will be on Democracy Now again next week

“… NOAM CHOMSKY: President Trump is desperate. His entire attention is—there’s one issue on his mind; that’s the election. He has to cover up for the fact that he is personally responsible for killing tens of thousands of Americans. It is impossible to conceal that much longer. Just compare the United States with Europe or even Canada; it’s becoming a pariah state to the point where Americans aren’t even permitted to travel to Europe. Europe won’t accept them.

His chances of victory depend on his doing something dramatic. He was trying very hard to set up military confrontations that you mentioned, martial law. It’s moving toward martial law. He might even be able to try to cancel the elections. There is no telling what he would do. He is completely desperate. This is like the actions of some tin-pot dictator in a neo-colony somewhere, small country that has a military coup every couple of years. There is no historical precedent for anything like this in a functioning democratic society. If he could send Blackshirts out in the streets, he would be happy to do that.

Exactly how this will eventuate is very hard to say. The courts are unlikely to do anything. We may even get to a point where the military command has to decide which side they are on. The man is desperate. He is psychotic. He is in extreme danger of losing his position in the White House and will do anything he can to prevent it.


NERMEEN SHAIKH: Could you comment on that and what your concerns are in the event—I mean, you’ve just said that in fact the elections somehow could be canceled. Could you talk about under what conditions Trump might be able to do that? And in the event they are not canceled, what are your concerns, depending on the outcome of the vote, what Trump might do?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, there are various maneuvers that theoretically they might undertake. One might be to try to throw the election to the—to refuse to accept the vote, to make sure that the Republican governors don’t authorize their own electors. This is routine and automatic, but technically, they could refuse. Could throw it into the House where there is enough Republicans in the House to essentially turn the election into the kind of farce that you find, as I said, in some tin-pot dictatorship. That is one possibility. Another possibility is he might just try to call out the military to impose martial law.

The point is, he cannot lose. First of all, he is psychologically incapable of losing. Secondly, if he loses, if he leaves the White House, he may be facing serious legal problems. Now he has immunity, but there is a whole swamp around him. He has tried to keep it from being investigated. He fired all the inspectors general when they were beginning to investigate it. The federal attorney for the Southern District of New York, that’s Wall Street and so on, the most important, started looking into it. Fired him, replaced him with a flack from the private equity industry. There is nothing he would not do to try to maintain office. Virtually nothing you can think of.

This is a major crisis. There is been one or other form of parliamentary democracy for 350 years in England, and 250 years here, and nothing like this has happened before. We are dealing with a figure who is out of the political spectrum for functioning democracies. And he has a political party behind him which by now has just turned into cowardly sycophants. They are terrified to cross His Imperial Majesty. He has got a popular base of heavily armed, angry white supremacist militias. There is no telling what he would do. I think the country, by November, may be a different country. And A different world, given U.S. power.

But that is kind of the immediate issue. The reason why this is the most important election in history has nothing to do with this. Four more years of Trump’s climate policies and nuclear policies might simply doom the human species, literally. We don’t have a lot of time to deal with the environmental crisis. It is very serious. Every prediction that has been made by scientists has been too conservative. Each time it comes out worse.

I won’t run through the details but it is a major catastrophe looming. We have some time to deal with it. Four more years of Trump might well take us to irreversible tipping points. At the very least, it will make it much harder to confront this growing crisis. There is no stopping the polar ice caps, the ice sheets from melting, the Amazon forest from being destroyed. Large parts of the world might become simply unlivable. We are talking about potential sea rises of maybe one or two feet by the end of the century. Much more, later. This is all totally catastrophic. You can’t conceive of how human society can survive in an organized way.

At the same time, Trump is dedicated to destroying the arms control regime. Last August he terminated the Reagan-Gorbachev INF treaty, which helped control the potential for nuclear war growing from a European conflict. Now he has dismantled the Open Skies Treaty that goes back to Eisenhower. That is gone. He has imposed frivolous demands to try to delay negotiations on the new START treaty, which the Russians have been pleading for for a long time. This is due for renewal in a few months. It may already be too late to renegotiate it, the last of the arms control treaties. He is now threatening to carry out nuclear weapons tests, tests that would undermine the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, almost 30 years. The United States never ratified it, but it has lived up to it.

All of this opens the door wider for other countries to react the same way. The arms industry is of course euphoric. They’re getting huge new contracts to develop major weapons to destroy all of us. This encourages others to do the same. So there are new contracts down the road for hopeless means to try to defend ourselves against the monstrosities that we’re helping to construct. This is Trump, racing toward this, apparently enjoying it. You can’t describe it in normal—the term you used, sociopath, is perfectly accurate. Whether this can be contained within the constitutional structures of the United States, we don’t know.

Something similar to this happened in the United Kingdom a couple of months ago. Boris Johnson, the prime minister, prorogated the Parliament, closed the Parliament, so that he could ram through his version of Brexit. This was regarded by British legal experts as the worst crisis in 350 years. Well, in Britain, the Supreme Court nullified it. It is unlikely to happen here.

I might say that there is another country that is trying to mimic the United States, Brazil, with another ridiculous dictator, Jair Bolsonaro, who’s trying to be a clone of Trump. He was being investigated by—he and his family involved in all kind of sordid criminal activities, came under investigation. He fired the investigators. But that was blocked by the courts in Brazil. Not here. When Trump fired them all, purged the executive, nothing from the courts. Nothing from the Republicans in Congress. Brazil at least has a thin barrier to another military dictatorship. The United States is in worse shape. This is pretty serious. There’s been nothing like it. There are no precedents that have any real relevance.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Professor Chomsky, you’ve mentioned again now the lack of safeguards there are in the U.S. to the possible imposition of martial law. But even in other countries around the world where martial law has been declared, it requires minimally the compliance of those who are in charge of the military. Do you see those in the U.S. going along with Trump in the event that he chooses to attempt to declare martial law?

NOAM CHOMSKY: As I say, there is no precedent for this in any minimally functioning democracy. There are countries, many of them, where the military has taken over, often with U.S. support or even initiative, because we wanted to overthrow the civilian government. And nothing like this has happened since—aside from the fascist regimes and war regimes, totally different conditions. There’s just no precedent.

There was, as you may recall, a couple of weeks ago press reports with headlines about how Trump is expanding his purge of the executive, which has almost been cleansed of any controls or dissident voices. He’s extending this to trying to purge the military. Well, there were speculations at the time that the purge of the military might be preparation for a plan to try to bring the military in to carry out something which would amount to a military coup.

The military so far has been refusing. Pulled out the 82nd Airborne from Washington after Trump wanted it in there. They have been rejecting the proposals from the White House for more force and violence. That is why he is resorting to forces outside the official military in his current campaign to set up violent confrontations in Democratic-run cities, the plan right now. What the military would do, we don’t know.

If you look for precedents in Third World dictatorships, it would depend on how those at the colonel level react, people close in contact with troops. But we have no precedent for anything like this. There’s nothing like it. This is a unique situation in modern history, in the modern history of the democratic, more or less democratic societies.”

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 7:16 AM

Panelists Needed, Expertise in Death Preferred
Texas, Star County, has started sending COVID patients home the if initial prognosis is less than hopeful–go home and die. This datum supports my next ad-hoc assertion/observation.

The largest number of successes in addressing the SARS-nCoV-2 virus are in countries that are headed up by women. Mapping failures of responses maps out exclusively to men. The most successful, mapping success aligns with countries headed by women. Don’t get me wrong, this is a data set correlation, not a causal link.

Who’d of guessed…quite possibly me. The Iroquois nation, lessons of a thousand years of peace. Male fragility and toxicity does not require a diagnosis. When do we stop doing the same thing over and over again, why not try something new? Certainly changes to our institutions don’t represent any overt threat? Unless of course women threaten you or your ego! Time to defund men?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 7:35 AM

Presser — Washington DC — 24 Jul 2020
Most quotable comment from Kayleigh McEnany:
“Meat packers were meat packing because they were essential workers.”

Silly me, I just thought it was a hobby or pastime to be a meat packer.

Ergo Sum July 25, 2020 7:43 AM


NOAM CHOMSKY:…. It’s moving toward martial law. He might even be able to try to cancel the elections. There is no telling what he would do….

The president does not have authority to delay/cancel the election, the Congress does.



Technically, says Halper, Congress could delay the election for a bit in the case of an emergency, but when the president and vice-president’s terms run out on January 20, 2021, they are out of office, period. And in that case, it seems, the next-in-the-line-of-succession official who is still in office would be empowered to occupy the Oval Office.

If, of course, there’s no general election in November, Trump and Pence aren’t the only elected officials out of a job, so crazy things could happen. While the Speaker of the House is third in the line of presidential succession, Nancy Pelosi is also up for reelection this year and so would face the same scenario as Trump and Pence if the election were to be canceled. The next in the line of succession who does not face voters in November is Chuck Grassley, the Senate’s president pro tempore. But then again, 23 Republican senators are up for reelection this year and would be on the sidelines as well, so we could have a Democratic Senate and perhaps a president pro tempore Pat Leahy (that position traditionally goes to the oldest senator of the majority party).

Pelosi and Trump will be working together to ensure, that there’s an election on or around November 3rd this year. It’s easier to rig the election, no need for foreign interference, than delaying and/or postponing.

Lawrence July 25, 2020 8:05 AM

@name.witheld etc. and others who have mentioned this.

Hmmm – can’t travel too far along your line of thought regarding women heads of state. For no other reason than I’m not convinced it has too much statistical validity. The correlation could well be (and potentially is for now) the result of chance. Of course every one’s mileage may and probably will vary.

Your observation is correct at this point of time and, as a New Zealander, I am pleased, grateful, and proud of the leadership we have had from our Prime Minister (Aunty Cindy). In Australia NSW has Gladys Berejiklian to lead it through their crisis. There is, however, a but …

But what about Margaret Thatcher (uncompromising and destructive in her social policies), Indira Ghandhi (very uncompromising, and I wouldn’t accept a transistor radio from her, even as a gift), Golda Meir (umcompromising some might say), and the recently fallen star Aung San Suu Kyi (totally compromised). Go back some years and New Zealand had Helen Clark (not a good experience) and we may have Judith “Crusher” Collins after the September elections (which would be the death of much of the little social progress we have achieved in recent years).

So, for 2 cents worth, I would suggest there is insufficient data yet to suggest a correlation.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 8:19 AM

I Have a Wand, I’m not afraid to us it
Have come to understand what the President of the United States means when saying “It will just go away…” when it comes to the SARS-nCoV-2 pandemic. Washing the data and information from hospitals and counties while rerouting the reporting centers such as the CDC. There may soon be a subjugation of medical services that receive medicare payments would be linked to reporting out data–data that it likes/approves.

Call me cynical.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 8:32 AM

@ Lawrence
Caveated my statement as a simple correlation, not causation–empiricism not theory–and I did form a bound argument to my observations:
The largest number of successes in addressing the SARS-nCoV-2 virus are in countries that are headed up by women.

Don’t want to make a more general observation, but even in the context of your argument, let’s take a count as a simple tuple.



xxx,xxx,xxx. xxx

I don’t believe we could say that we have a six sigma qualitative metric for governance in any form or context. To put it bluntly and in a technical framework. And to be observational fair, we also don’t have a metric for the citizenry’s commensurate performance.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 8:34 AM

Oops, tuple table mangled…

MALE: xxx,xxx,xxx

echo July 25, 2020 8:44 AM

I personally wouldn’t attach any significance to the gender of who is leading whose country either. While women present a unified face there are plenty of disagreeable and godawful women out there you wouldn’t let run a tea trolley. Two things confuse men. The first taking a woman as representative of all women or all women’s views when they are not. The second mistake is assuming conforming with an established structure is good management because it’s not. It’s the same for men too when you stop and think about it. The main differences are the emphsis on power via authoritative command or power via relationships.

If you go back to the early 1900s and the foundation of (American) feminism there is pretty much an acknowledgement that with equality comes a price. Some of the newer academic papers and educational initiatives promote individuation. I’m not sure men completely appreciate what comfort zone resistance is in play here. Forensics is also playing catch up. The newer academic papers are beginning to articulate how crime is gendered. The short version is men are twigging. The longer version is men tend to go for the big heist whereas women will worm their way around with less noticeable things working closer and closer as they feel they are not being detected. On the flipside it probably does help that men be able to ask for help and not go around bottling it all up and newer forms of justice with less emphasis on custodial sentences and more on rehabilitation may be better for men.

Now there is absolutely nothing I am saying which is critical of any of the leaders although the Norwegian leader Erna Solberg has been in hot water for trying to make excuses for Norways mistakes during the pandemic. Jacinda Ardern of New ealand has done thumpingly well as we know and I’m glad she’s holding firm.All of these women stand or fall on their own record whether it is supreme skill or blind luck. I’m not judging but so far the result taken at face value is women are doing better compared to the mens performance. As for the UK you can be pretty sure whether a woman or a man the last two Prime Ministers have utterly buggered things up. I’m guessing the US dodged a bullet only to get smacked by tank shell. Happens.

There is a huge amount of science in this field but it’s very poorly understood outside of a relatively small number of academics. It takes time for this understanding and ways of working to develop. From what I gather the more progressive states tend to have more women in senior and leadership roles and they don’t have a huge problem with this. Inequality is also lower and social provisions are much higher too. I personally think this is the better deal than Darwinian psychopathy so just leaving this out there for people to chew on.

Steve July 25, 2020 9:24 AM

I just want the Washington football team to name themselves the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathies.

myliit July 25, 2020 11:25 AM

@Ergo Sum

Our President, of course, will claim that the election was rigged if he loses, with or without merit. [0]

From Chomsky above: “… Secondly, if he loses, if he leaves the White House, he may be facing serious legal problems. Now he has immunity, but there is a whole swamp around him. He has tried to keep it from being investigated. …”

Masha Gessen has a new article, that may interest you. [1]:

“ In a press conference on Tuesday, Chad Wolf, the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security, responded to media reports that unidentified federal agents using unmarked vehicles have been arresting protesters in Portland, Oregon. Since early July, men in military-style uniforms have waged battle against protesters there, using tear gas and nonlethal munitions; video and photographs coming out of Portland have shown scenes of urban warfare, with what looks like a regular army moving on unarmed protesters night after night. On behalf of the D.H.S. and its uniformed services, Wolf claimed responsibility for the armed presence in Portland. He asserted that his agency was doing exactly what it was created to do. He was right.


As we learn more about what is happening in Portland—as footage of federal troops waging war on protesters floods social media, and as the President threatens to send his foot soldiers to other large cities—we are watching the perfect and perhaps inevitable combination of a domestic-security superagency and a President who rejects all mechanisms of accountability, including the Senate confirmation process. What we are also seeing is a perfect storm of fear: the legacy of fear cultivated in the wake of 9/11, and the fear that Trump campaigned on in 2016 and continues to campaign on now.“


[1] Last week I mentioned a book Gessen discussed called “Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020.”

JonKnowsNothing July 25, 2020 12:33 PM



Panelists Needed, Expertise in Death Preferred
Texas, Star County, has started sending COVID patients home the if initial prognosis is less than hopeful–go home and die.

What you are reading about are TRIAGE RULES that are in place in many locations when hospitals are overrun.

In the post referenced below, I detailed the rules for Arizona. The rules and applications will be similar in most parts of the USA and other countries depending on the amount of treatment options they have available.

Some places have No Ability to treat COVID19 and some countries Chose to Not Treat COVID19. The results are similar but the ethics of death are not.

In countries that subscribe to Herd Immunity Policy their main economic objective can only be achieved if:

    You Die. You Die Now.

There is a pantomime about “care” and a selected few will be “saved” because it’s makes for good TV. We are killing the MDs, RNs, and all the support staff that might keep people going; so they have to die too.

In California TRIAGE RULES have been in place since the beginning of July.

Due to changes ordered by President Trump in how and where data gets reported and our USA HIPPA patient privacy act, we only get a smattering of what’s really happening. Our data only includes, at best, people with a confirmed COVID19 test. People who are sent home or not given a test or admitted to hospital are not on the radar.

A summary of the rules:

  • Patients are given a survival score.
  • The survival score is based on
    SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) is a scoring method for 6 major organ systems:
       lungs, circulatory, heart, kidney, liver and neurological.
  • Additional scores are added for co-morbidity, and normal life expectancy (life table for diseases like cancer, kidney failure).
  • Additional valuations may include blood work analysis or other tests.
  • Scores range from 0-4 or 0-4 with subset scores 1-6 (4.2)
  • Low Score gets the treatment
  • There are Tiebreakers on several levels but the ulitmate one is a dice throw
  • Scoring is at least once a day and maybe hourly.
  • If after re-scoring you are the high score, treatment will be withdrawn.
  • High Scores are passed to the Palliative Care Department and survivors are referred to End of Life Support Groups

If you want to know how you will score if you get COVID-19 during a surge I put up a sample score card and you can score yourself. You won’t have the full list of scores for labs and the cut off value will vary some.

Low Score Gets The Bed, The Ventilator, The Drugs

As an addendum:
This is likely why, 4 COVID19 Positive patients were sent to a care home in the UK, infecting the majority of the home and killing about 30% of the residences. The 4 were likely SOFA Score High and removed from care. The care home also provided palliative care treatment. Of course, the hospital didn’t inform the care home about their confirmed or suspected status. The care home was told they were Not COVID19 Positive.

UK will never know true Covid-19 death toll
Sir David Spiegelhalter

And neither will the USA, Brazil, Sweden or other Herd Immunity Policy Countries.

Scan for: SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment)

vas pup July 25, 2020 1:15 PM

Have we seen our AI future?

“Now it has released GPT-3, a product which has had social media, or that part of it which obsesses over new technology, buzzing with excitement in recent days.

It is an AI, or to be more precise, machine-learning – tool that seems to have amazing capabilities. In essence, it is a text generator but users are finding it can do everything from writing an essay about Twitter in the style of Jerome K Jerome, to answering medical questions or even coding software programs.

====>Michael decided to see how well it would perform in taking complex legal documents and translating them into something comprehensible

“I gave it two or three paragraphs that came from a legal document.

“And I also gave it two or three examples of how a simplified version of those paragraphs would look.”

Having been trained, GPT-3 was then able to provide simplified versions of other documents.”

Wow! Could we finally applied this tool for weird and confusing web usage privacy policy, other legalize infested documents which targeting general population (bank account agreement, utility account agreement, insurance policy, etc.)? I wish to outlive to this moment.

There are other interesting details in the article plus see this 11 minutes video related:

Happy Weekend!

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 2:57 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

Thank you for the pick-me-up, was feeling a bit under.

Prepare for sarcasm…less the pantomime:
I broke out in a pantomime from my days in theatre, Charles Dickens, “A copper in every hamlet”. It’s fanciful sarcasm, and I didn’t say it would be good. But seriously, you caught the title on the way in so kudos to you.

Now that the hospitalizations and care services are stressed, this was so predictable, the sad realities of managed care become more stark. I hope there was a piece of sarcasm in your last thread, as having MD, RNs, and other care professionals succumb to this pandemic is tragic. It was also a big piece of the mention from Wuhan in the early days, back in December and January. Their first wave was the experiential, not influenza but what, and it took a few deaths to get to the virological chain. In January it was obvious a situation that resembles something from Andromeda Strain was brewing.

In the U.S., it will take a lot of deaths until we can get to the problem chain. Neither you nor I need revisit all the PPE, supply chain, disclosure, insider trading, dismissal, denial, stupidity, nihilism, nepotism, stupidism (my word), and utter criminal psychosis played out on all–even the children. How fitting.

And how will this end?

Wonder if there is a book deal…How to Screw it All up for Dummies

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 25, 2020 3:04 PM

@ echo
That was the book title I suggested to Bruce, it was to be Data and Goliath:

All your base are belong to U.S.


All your data are belong to U.S.

Sherman Jay July 25, 2020 3:28 PM

@ Lawrence @name.witheld et. al.

regarding women leading nations —
I agree with the citations regarding male vs female ‘leaders’, both good and very bad. There have (and are) some very positive, capable women who have been political leaders. Based on experiential research, (notice all the caveat words I use) women seem emotionally less prone to being rabid ideologues and capitalist owned whores and more open to working for the success of an entire populace. HOWEVER, there are men with the same positive qualities. The best example I know is Congressman Ron Wyden and there are others.

I conclude that evidence suggests the primary driver is more about how ‘power corrupts’ rather than whether you are a man or woman.

and —

@Steve • July 25, 2020 9:24 AM
‘I just want the Washington football team to name themselves the Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathies.’

appropriate idea.

However, if the belligerent corporate heads that own the team bungle it, maybe they should just rename the team the ‘Washington Rednecks’!

StephenMelba July 26, 2020 12:51 AM

@ Lawrence

“In Australia NSW has …”

State – Premier – active cases:

  • Vic – Male – 4,154
  • NSW – Female – 140(?)
  • Qld – Female – 5
  • WA – Male – 5
  • SA – Male – 2
  • Tas – Male – 1
  • NT – Male – 0

Not long back the female Premiers had a stoush over the closure of the NSW-Qld border by the Qld Premier [1]. Now (along with all other States) NSW has closed its border with Vic [2], but not soon or tightly enough to avoid infections [3].

Conclusion about gender: none.

The best leadership in Australia has come from the communities. Qld, Tas, WA, SA and the NT have acheived elimination despite the political supression strategy [4]. In Vic the government’s strategy and quarantine measures [5] have rescued the virus from the community response.






Sperm Whale July 26, 2020 1:05 AM

The Android version of DJI Go 4—an app that lets users control drones—has until recently been covertly collecting sensitive user data and can download and execute code of the developers’ choice, researchers said in two reports that question the security and trustworthiness of a program with more than 1 million Google Play downloads.

echo July 26, 2020 3:39 AM

Confidence and lack of confidence can have a lot fo knock on effects. Private schools can “guarantee”? Who says? How dare they not only talk other peoples aspirations down before they get started but kick the ladder away. Also this Zoom thing… What is it with people leaping on some bandwagon just because they heard of it on the internet? Yes “going private” is almost always better in the UK for pretty much everything and whose fault is that? God, these people need a smack with a brick.

Reay warned that the social class gap between private and state school pupils will widen as a result of the pandemic, and a compounding parallel gap in achievement will also open up.


Andrew McCleave, headteacher of Ballard School, an independent day school in the New Forest, said parents had been impressed by the school’s decision to provide a full timetable of lessons during lockdown, with the majority delivered by teachers online. As soon as the school closed, “we knew that we would be able to deliver our education that way. Our pupils have greater access to technology [than state school pupils]: if we want to do a Zoom lesson, we can pretty much guarantee that every one of our pupils will be able to access it, while state schools won’t be able to.”

Clive Robinson July 26, 2020 6:57 AM

@ echo,

With regards,

    “Our pupils have greater access to technology [than state school pupils]: if we want to do a Zoom lesson, we can pretty much guarantee that every one of our pupils will be able to access it, while state schools won’t be able to.”

Oh dear, the headmaster in the “New Forest” realy should know better than that, they realy should…

Because as some upper middle class parents have discovered as have a number of HOA home owners in the US, that money can not always by you everything or sometimes what might be considered essentials technology or otherwise.

I know of people who live not far from the New Forest who have poor or non existant mobile phone service, and the local telco provision outside of real old fashioned POTS stops within a mile of the larger villages, so no cable or broadband connectivity.

As some know neither Zoom or Microsofts crummy Team offering work at the old modem data rates or on quite a few cellular networks.

So some of those pupils might well have a connectivity problem that money just can not buy them out of.

As for US HOA’s some have blocked all cellular masts in their area and likewise getting even telephone or cable service means going through someone who has effectively go a monopoly on the number of connections. As for putting up a TV antenna on your roof the hissing damons of the “structural committee” will tear of your head and spit down the stump rather than allow any form of antenna. Their view being one of fervent almost quasi religious one that anything is “unsightly in the eyes of their god” which in reality is the word of some dum hick realtor pandering to their own tinpot dictatorship founded on what they believe is the value of their property investment.

Imagine if you can a horror movie that is a cross of “Stepford wives” and “Freddie Kruger” then that will give you a feeling of how some HOA personnel are… ie not nice people/droids.

echo July 26, 2020 7:49 AM

On the equality issue. Mark Felton, historian, broadcaster, and published author has a couple of youtube lectures I watched last night. I think the scores come out about even for both of these extraordinary stories. I like Feltons lectures. They’re dryly presented, information loaded and racy, and not at all jingoistic.

The Brits Who Stormed Omaha Beach, D-Day 1944
The unknown story of the British unit that joined the Americans in storming Omaha Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944

The Women Who Saved Stalingrad
The unknown story of the 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, whose female gunners made an extraordinary land stand on the first day of the Battle of Stalingrad, 1942.


Same spirit, different day?


If only they knew how the rest of the world saw through them.

JonKnowsNothing July 26, 2020 10:44 AM

@Clive @echo


… who have poor or non existent mobile phone service, and the local telco provision outside of real old fashioned POTS stops within a mile of the larger villages, so no cable or broadband connectivity.

This is also true of the USA. Enormous swaths of the USA have no connectivity even under the older standards (POTS).

Our regulations are set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and it’s been a political football for a long time.

The regulators are supposed to make sure that companies who provide service, provide it to everyone (over N-Time rollout) but allow the companies to manipulate data to falsely show areas have “coverage”.

It’s an open secret that the maps and zip code blocks do not represent reality.

Additionally, they allow the companies to rig contracts, coverage, durations, rate and permit feature slamming (adding or removing items without direct authorization).

There are numerous laws and ordinances and covenants that limit competition too. The FCC grants virtual monopolies and even then you may not be in a serviced area.

re: HOA in USA

HOA (home owner associations) have strict rules and if you plan to live in an area under HOA control, you better read the rules first.

Anecdote of A Maybe True

A family purchased a larger home (USA 5 bedroom 2 story) in an HOA.

They did not read the rules.

  1. Rules state you cannot change the exterior of the house, color, fence, or encroach on neighbor boundaries or major alterations to landscaping.
  2. All changes must be pre-approved by the HOA Architectural Committee.
  • They immediately set about remodeling the interior and exterior.
  • They repainted the house.
  • They repainted the doors.
  • They used non-approved colors (not the ones the house came with).
  • They moved the fence into the utility easement. (an area controlled by the utility companies)
  • They moved the “good neighbor” fence into the neighbor’s yard.
  • They added new wrought iron gates.
  • They added a second wrought iron gate.
  • They replaced the cedar wood fence with a taller masonry brick wall.
  • They added stone facing to the masonry wall.
  • They removed and replaced the “common area” plantings.
  • They added a pool.

They got to keep the pool.

Everything else, they had to restore to the original version.

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Singular Nodals July 26, 2020 1:01 PM

@Clive Robinson @ JonKnowsNothing @echo, et al.

HOAs are bad, as the outgrowth and intensification of the disease of American pseudo-civic utopian suburbia (a bad commercial idea in its origin) but even the traditional village or town can get carried away

Clive Robinson July 26, 2020 1:19 PM

@ Anders,

From The Register article, the final paragraph is,

The attack once again underscores the importance of properly securing network-connected databases, and carefully checking access policies to limit writes and reads as necessary.

However as usual the fundemental inportant question that overides all of the above in effect placebos has been ignored in it’s entirety…

The question you should first ask as it will save you a lot of pain later is,

    Why on Earth should this be connected in any way to a public network?

The real answer usually is “none what so ever” but some idiot will give the “Well maybe we could do this…” argument. Some of the more embittered veterans of cyber-attacks have argued only half humorously that such people should as the old saying goes “Should get them the Indian mutiny treatment” also known as a “firing off at the mouth”[1]…

The number one rule is “No back end business system, be it sales, marketing, managment or engineering should ever be visable from the Internet”. This is true for nearly every business system, whilst their are exceptions they are rare. Also there are correct ways to go about it none of which involve connecting any primary business or engineering system to the Internet.

This is because the number one rule is based on a very valid assumption,

    Any publicaly connected system will be attacked.

The only reason we do not see so many systems getting “blown out of the water” is it’s “A target rich environment and comparatively the number of attackers is low”. Thus “when not if” your system gets attacked has a degree of probability involved (please note “when” not if).

So connecting a back end business or engineering system to the Internet assumes that firstly you’ve not made a target of your self in some way, and secondly you never throw “snake eyes”. Both of which are highly improbable…

The reality is if you want to avoid the real possibly existential pain and embarrassment of a system being attacked don’t put it where it can be attacked. It’s simple to say and almost as simple to do. But also remember if you do make the mistake of connecting to a public network, even if you think you’ve done it securely as The Register artical final paragraph –incorrectly– assumes is possible, new attacks are thought up several times every day… So what might have been secure will inevitably become insecure, it’s just a matter of time and a degree of probability as to which low hanging fruit goes bad and the next fruit chosen to be consumed.

[1] The Indian Mutiny was one of the less savoury items of British Empire history and it resulted in various of the alleged mutineers leaders being strapped across the open mouth of a field piece with their commrads lined up in front of them, and the field piece fired. Because it was assumed by the half mad[2] Senior British Officers (SBOs) that those who survived would have been taught a lesson[3]. However the practice was rather more common than many are led to believe,

[2] Many of the SBO’s of the British East India Company were half mad before even leaving England as they were suffering from “Various Diseases” specificaly syphilis (tertiary stage attacks the brain). However even those who were not “clap ridden” became half mad for other reasons two of which are firstly some Indian cooks were poisoning them slowly with very unhealthy food. Secondly Rawlings who invented Indian Tonic Water was inadvertantly filling them with a neuro toxin every day. The purpose of Indian Tonic Water was to stop malaria by getting the foul tasting quinine into the officers and their wives etc. Rawlings observed the drinking habits of British Officers and found they drank between three and four large gins on average in their mess of an evening. Thus the recipe they came up with was to put a dose of a quater of the required upper limit of quinine in a measure of soda or sparkilg water and add sugar to make it more palatable and the result bottles of Indian Tonic Water. Unfortunatly what they did not know was that in India the officers were drinking morning noon and night and were getting through between ten and twenty large gins a day often more… The result neurotoxic poisoning… Modern Indian Tonic water still contains quinine but only just enough to give flavour, so if you must drink the stuff it’s fairly safe (and no there is no verifiable information that it staves off COVID-19 even with zinc).

[3] It’s actually the British authorities who should have learned lessons. Part of the problem was “greased paper” in ammunition for the new Enfield Rifle. Because animal fat was cheap and easily available as tallow it was used in the Woolich Arsenal in what was known as “The London Method”. Now tallow is actually a mixture of animal fats depending on the qualities you want thus it could be from Cows, Sheep, Pigs and even Whales. Some faiths have issues with Cows others with Pigs, you can thus see how this could easily become a problem[4].

[4] As has been said in several ways on several occasions by several people “Those who do not learn from history are condemed to relive it”… and guess what? Yup the British Authorities did not learn. As @echo and others will confirm fairly recently UK currancy has been changed from paper to plastic, “so what” most people would say, only parts of the process need lubrication and animal fats were being used and the story got into the news…

Clive Robinson July 26, 2020 2:01 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Singular Nodals,

The HOA can also “change the rules after you buy”…

A Canadian friend who spent some time doing “a little engineering” in California tells a story of an epic battle only slightly tounge in cheek…

As some are aware for some strange reason even Canadians do not understand many people in the US think Canadians are not just polite bus submissively passive. Which is realy not the case.

Well an HOA passed a change that vehicles had to be parked in an approved “structure” not on the road or on the drive or heaven forbid on a hard standing at the front of the property.

Well the HOA harpies descended and ordered that the existing hard standings were “not alowed” even letters from lawyers pointing out they had no legal right to make their demands would not deter their process of harassment and even an advers to them court result did not stop “Their Mission of Self Righteousness” they felt their property investment home values were being degraded…

Thus rather than dig out the existing hard standings he put doen an inch of top soil and turf.

Now as some of you will know that is generally not a good idea as it needs regular watering and considerable fertilizer if it’s to remain growing…

So a large lorry of “organic fertilizer” direct from a farm turned up and liberal ammounts of the maloderous stuff was shoveled into place. Now such fertilizer will generally form a crust in the warmth and light from the sun and after a few days the smell will abate.

However if you play an automatic springler on it mid afternoon the smell actually gets quite strong when people come home from work…

War had been declared and the HOA did not realise where it was going to go, which was for a very very smelly summer and quite a few news stories.

What the HOA did not realise was that having lost a court case, a second case restraining the HOA members away from him and his property was fairly easily obtained and one of the harpies who was too “self righteous” to obay found being taken away for a court appearence was not at all conducive to her well being.

All the while the smell was not getting any better, what the HOA did not know, now having being ordered that all communications had to go through his lawyer, was that he had actually gone back to Canada for six weeks, thus did not get the benift of the smell.

Come the HOA anual meeting certain members got sacked by general consensus and replaced by more normal people. A friendly chat with the new board saw a change not just in the HOA rules but also a new landscaping back to the way things were, which might have had something to do with my friend being elected to the top position in the HOA. As for the harpies apparently some have moved on from a neighbourhood that now laughed at them, others have become better neighbours.

As my friend laughingly says “The moral, never underestimate the power of a ton of bullshit” 😉

vas pup July 26, 2020 2:49 PM

@Clive Robinson • July 23, 2020
Thank you for your posts last week Squid – just have time to read them attentively – related to Russia space test and Covid fighting.

Clive Robinson July 26, 2020 3:04 PM

@ Singular Nodals,

It’s funny you should mention the film “Hot Fuzz”, I’ve actually recommend that people on this blog should watch it a while ago.

Precisely because it warns of the dangers of “For the common good” thinking, plus the battle to take the supermarket is one of the funniest bits of film for years.

Apparently one or two here did find it mildly amusing.

Anders July 26, 2020 5:12 PM


How far is your Gopher project?

Maybe we should switch to Gemini?

Maybe some day this blog will be also accessible
via Gopher/Gemini…

echo July 26, 2020 10:19 PM

@Clive @Anders

Yes, Valve were spectacularly p0wned by having business systems connected to the internet. But the fact remains for a lot of people this separation is expensive and impractical so effectively unusable. There are ways of maintaining hardware and software seperation but as we know various CPU protections and VMs are like Swiss cheese so not useful in practice.

I’m currently smarting over some material being moderated away and had a response including full reasoning with examples but pretty much felt this was a fruitless exercise. I collected the links before they were moderated away and they’re being stored along with the rest of my research.

I still think security is an NIH boys club.

SocraticGadfly July 26, 2020 10:37 PM

@Security: Per your link on six rules of talking to conspiracy theorists, nothing at all new on Point 2 and emotions:

“We speak not strictly and philosophically when we talk of the combat of passion and of reason. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” — David Hume.

Point 3? There’s virtue signaling in professions of conspiracy theory belief, too.


I’d read the Dorfman piece long ago. It’s interesting, starting with the premise that Trump didn’t know that closing the SF consulate would do that much damage.

echo July 26, 2020 10:43 PM

U.S. Navy submarines have spent years shadowing Russian warships, hoping to snap photographs of missile tests through the periscope. It is the stuff of Cold War legends, taking intelligence, skill, courage and patience. Now by pure chance, a commercial satellite flying 488 miles above the Earth has captured exactly that. The unusual event took place in the Barents Sea, in Russia’s arctic north. You can clearly see the yellow fireball as the missile erupts from its launch silo.

“Open source intelligence” is buzzword of the week and is used as a term by intelligence agencies (paid) and amateurs (unpaid) and professionals (job title) and citizen journalists (enthusiastic amateurs). Whether paid or unpaid and official or unofficial and inside the tent or outside the tent and good or bad is a matter of discussion.

Weather July 27, 2020 1:23 AM

Now days they use planes and satellite, it still has a deterrent, but they are upscaling, still they are on friendly terms

echo July 27, 2020 1:57 AM


There is a difference between reading something and comprehending the information and having the skills not just to do this but read behind the lines and extract hidden information. There’s planty of cases covering this including negligence and inadequacy and failure of professional standards and policy through to gaslighting and misinformation and distraction and destruction of evidence. There’s been a few high profile cases recently from the Russia Report to the Grenfell fire which touch on this.

While not directly mentioned under “security” headlines which almost always have a hardware focus or from “security” people with political or administrative agendas the issues are very relevant to security as per everything which directly mention security such as the EU treaties and ministry of defence position papers or cases involving fraud and subversion or malpractice in a security context.

I do know how to fire a gun and one end of a piece of technology from another. In another life I’d probably be lifting the gold out of the London vaults China bought off a merchant bank for the giggles. I’m just not motivated that way. I also find men heavy handed and difficult to work with.

“Modes of reasoning” effect all entities whether big or small, organisational or individual. This is one reason why UK special forces reconfigured and one reason why diversity policies are pursued. It not only open up other approaches but different ways of working which open other previously closed possibilities. It’s why even the SAS now allow women to apply and this has been openly admitted. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, as they say.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 27, 2020 2:20 AM

Responding to several threads in one;
@ Sherman Jay
Have a lot of respect for Wyden, too bad he does not have an equal in the chamber. And, I did notice all the caveating you did–nice work.

@ echo

I personally think this is the better deal than Darwinian psychopathy so just leaving this out there for people to chew on.

Good on you, it is something I attempt to do here as well. Sometimes not very effectively.

@ JonKnowsNothing
Keep up the good work, your contributions are more than noteworthy….

As is my pleasure, the contributions to the ongoing struggles must continue–security and its surrounding peripherals need you. I mean this both philosophically and literally, least we be diminished.

MarkH July 27, 2020 5:05 AM

@Bruce, re collective nouns for sports teams:

I read in a history book that the Japanese city of Hiroshima named its pro baseball team for carp, a category of fish species including goldfish.

In tribute to the American origins of baseball, the team was named in Latin letters using the English word … but owing to limited familiarity with English, for some part of the team’s history they were called “the Carps”.

They’re still competing, in what I believe is their 72nd season.

So, here’s to the Hiroshima Carps!

Anders July 27, 2020 10:03 AM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive @ALL

Must read.

Clive Robinson July 27, 2020 10:45 AM

@ Anders,


As the saying has it “Colour me unsuprised”.

The reason being is “tax payer dollars being thrown at Police State formation”

The Silicon Valley Mega Corps are all at it one way or another, they have in effect joined the MIC we were warned about before most of us were born.

All these Corps are doing is “picking money up of the table” that is it’s virtualy free cash for the repurposing of existing technology development.

The advantage for those handing out the free tax dollars is that they get buy in not just in terms of directing the direction of the technology but also “blackmail compliance”. That is as you can tell from the way Alphabet, Microsoft et al try to keep it under wraps theu know that there is a major major downside to this free cash, call it “Bad Publicity” but in effect it is in reality “A pact with the Devil” as there realy is no such thing as a “Free Lunch”.

Even Bill Gates predicted the end of Microsft some years ago, and he knows why, which is why he apparently publically “stepped down” and went away to do his Wife’s Foundation stuff.

However his prediliction for building under ground bunkers where ever he is likely to spend some time fairly well tells you what is going on.

Because Bill like several other of the extreamly wealthy who own significant debt (via the stockmarket etc) get to talk to the real movers and shakers that most politicians never ever meet or in some cases realy get to know about. You can see who some of those who do know who they are at places like Davos running interferance with political leaders.

The thing to remember is where the money for the philanthropy comes from, at least Bill and Melinda are doing something with it, unlike several others “in the club”.

V July 27, 2020 11:12 AM

From the ‘correlation is not causation’ department:

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JonKnowsNothing July 27, 2020 11:24 AM

@Anders @Clive

Birds get AI/ML Face Recognition

first artificial intelligence tool capable of identifying individual small birds. Computers have been trained to learn to recognize dozens of individual birds

[Getting the large number of pictures by] building feeders with camera traps and sensors. Most birds in the study populations already carried a tag similar to microchips which are implanted in cats and dogs.

Antennae on the bird feeders read the identity of the bird from these tags and triggered the cameras.

RFID chips are regularly used in pets and livestock.

Which is how one scandal of tainted “ground beef” in the UK was discovered. A large imported quantity of “ground beef” wasn’t completely beef. It had other meat included, some of which was horse meat.

In one report at the time, during the investigation, several RFID chips were found in batches of “ground beef” and traced back to the horse’s owners. They were astonished that their horses ended up in “ground beef”.

fwiw: In California it is against the law to eat or have horsemeat. It can be used to feed lions and other big cats. The only big cat indigenous to California is the mountain lion and the smaller bob cat. The Big 5 Cats are not native to the USA.

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Clark July 27, 2020 1:07 PM

@Bruce – what’s your take on hacking for COVID-19 solutions?

There have been many reports recently about China and Russia hacking American Healthcare and Biomed firms for COVID-19 research.

American attorneys are ripping China, often referencing a bilateral anti-hacking agreement. The agreement states that “neither government will knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property for commercial gain.”

I find it despicable that American attorneys view this type of hacking activity as commercially motivated, rather than motivated by trying to save lives. It speaks to American motives to price gouge trade partners. Clearly, the first to develop a vaccine will reap significant riches, selling to the highest bidders, while 3rd world nations will be left for ashes. I view this type of hacking by China as NOT commercially motivated, and almost a form of Robin Hood hacking.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the international medical community could set aside profits in order to work together to help stamp out this pandemic. I imagine it would need to be controlled and funded by governments. The execution is where it gets tricky.

SpaceLifeForm July 27, 2020 6:00 PM

Road Trip!

Just keep flying. Just do it.

The planes are infected.

VietNam domestic. US baseball. UK Spain.

Notre Dame debate. Robert O’Brien.

But, just keep flying.

JonKnowsNothing July 27, 2020 6:13 PM

@Clive @All

You cannot test If you don’t have kit
You cannot get a test because you aren’t in The Test Group

In my section of California, the July 4th Surge is pounding away. While this area did pretty well comparatively for a good long while, once the USA Opened the Economy (our Memorial Day in May and 4th of July 2020) things have gone right down the drain pipe.

To this can be added Trump Federal Edicts on revamping COVID19 data systems and data is either not available or delayed.

  • We ran out of test kits.
  • We are under TRIAGE rules in start of July.
  • We have less ICU capacity every data.
    Data is sparse ~8% or 36 beds left.
    There is an overflow nightingale styled care set up but not active afaik.

  • We have more dead.
  • We don’t have enough medical staff.
  • We are getting “Strike force” fill-ins.

    teams of state workers will assist local public health, community and medical organizations to improve testing, contact tracing, public education and hospital surge planning.

This report from the UK isn’t very encouraging, in that it appears the same myopic views that created huge stockpiles of dead at the start of the pandemic are still running the show over there.

An outbreak in a small town in the UK. An elder care business could NOT get testing because…

a domiciliary care business looking after 40 elderly people … said she had tried to get her staff tested because of the outbreak but had been told they were not eligible unless they or someone they lived with had symptoms.

At least, we have the excuse we ran out of gear.

on a side note:
California Triage Stockpile Requirements are very specific. For each category of gear, medicine etc. they have to stockpile from 96 hours for water, and 30 days to 6 months worth of medications and gear.

The 6 months worth of gear didn’t lasted 20 days.

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Clive Robinson July 27, 2020 6:59 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The planes are infected. VietNam domestic.

You might want to read about Patient 91 who became a celebrity in Vietnam for reasons he would rather not have had,

He was very very lucky and it was probably only that the Vietnamese had so very few COVID-19 cases that he got the best of specialists available, and they had the ICU capacity and equipment as well. As you know in some countries people are being “sent home to die” by triage rules in hospitals, but as they go, they just infect others even after they are dead.

Clive Robinson July 27, 2020 7:38 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

With regards “Travlers” in England, they are without doubt a thorny issue.

So much so back in the 1980’s the then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher tried to legislate them out of existence. She went as far as making it illegal for them to aquire land for living on and thus forcing them into very unsuitable places, where friction resulted.

A lot of people get confused between “gypsies” originally from Eastern Europe where they were persecuted under communism and befor that the German National Socialist party and “travlers” who are in theory of Irish ancestry (though some have Scottish blood mixed in).

Both communities tend to live in caravans and legaly are of “no fixed abode” which means over the years they have been subject to legal persecution. There are a whole load of issues to do with their children in terms of the fact that some do not have their births registered so they are technically “stateless” but more importantly their education is to put it politely “spoty”, which has a significant effect on their future prospects.

As is fairly well known there is a correlation between lack of education and poor socionomic and health indicators. Also a higher likelyhood of being involved with crime of one form or another.

Having been a school Governor of a school near an official site for gypsies and travelers I can say that I’ve seen some bad and quite a few good kids. However things were realy not helped by the site they lived on effectively being on the edge of an industrial estate and almost beneath a railway station, the site regularly got used for “fly tipping” often of hazardous materials simply because it was known to be a gypsy / traveler sight. Which also encoraged others to commit vandalism and arson often late at night.

Therefore the children often got prejudicial labeling from other childrens parents and bullying from other children, which we could try and deal with on school premises but not unfortunately off premises.

As with a lot of things gypsies and travelers are frequently seen by those in authority as “somebody elses problem” thus they tend to not recieve help that other minority groups do get, such as language and learning support for those who’s first language is not English, even basic community healthcare can be denied them because “they’re not in the system” and few in authority appear to want to help change that…

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 27, 2020 8:43 PM

@ Bruce Schneier, et al
Recognition, it’s more than Facial — 27 Jul 2020
I understand, though I may not appreciate, the effort and work that makes what happens here useful. But, I cannot fathom how what appears to be a specific bias towards individual contributors. I also know I lean hard towards the political but it is deliberate. Bruce, your latest endeavor bares that out, and I have railed against technologists for their dismissive attitudes towards outcomes respecting technological progress. When people say technology is agnostic, I say BS.

Underlying biases and subconscious projections from within the minds of technologists do project–and that is before we talk of broader implementation consequences. Look at facial recognition in public spaces–highly controversial and surrounded by dubious claims and expectations. Racial biases exposed, delineating the very internal view technologists have of applications but not of their implications–or else these high false positive and failed outcomes would not happen. The proof is in the pudding.

I also understand that the social and political weaponization of technology is a huge factor in what gets foisted on the larger society and when it becomes obvious there is this “Wow, I didn’t know they would do that!” reaction. We see it everywhere now, and not to long ago most touted the democratization of technology when today it is clear that it is anything but…

Of the submissions to the site, the writings were non-controversial but are critical of systems and/or institutions that affect us all. I don’t exercise ad hominem attacks, no personal or political bias is expressed (at least 98% of the time), and have strived to respect the space that we all share. I hope I have made myself abundantly clear my appreciation for what and who makes what happens at Bruce’s house, happen.

Lawrence July 27, 2020 9:34 PM

Newspaper headline:

‘A needle in a haystack’: Otago ‘spy’ tech buries messages

“A clever piece of Kiwi-made tech could soon become a handy asset for spy agencies, with the power to bury secret messages where eavesdroppers can’t find them.

Dr Amita Deb’s tech, about to be issued a US patent, is a world-first optical antenna that can convert data from radio to optical fibre communications – and without the need for any electronic devices.”

Way outside my headspace but makes sense to others?


echo July 27, 2020 9:39 PM

MI6 are not alone in cutting corners and trying to rig the game. Unlawful behaviour and deleting evidence and behind the scene interference are well worn tricks of certain parts of the UK state sector. It’s quite widespread including in healthcare systems and local councils. Needless to say regulators and police are quite ineffective with investigating this kind of issue.

MI6 has been accused of “inappropriate interference” after two of its officers allegedly asked a chief clerk at the investigatory powers tribunal to conceal secret material relating to the agency from its presiding judges. The spy agency was forced to apologise after the incident, which took place in relation to a court case about whether fellow agency MI5 can authorise informants to participate in murder, torture or other serious crimes.


They then allegedly tried to ask the official if she would in effect conceal them from the tribunal’s president, Lord Justice Singh, or its other presiding members, who are all senior judges and lawyers. The unimpressed tribunal secretary, Susan Cobb, wrote back to MI6 two days later. She complained: “It was inappropriate for your staff to seek to intervene in ongoing legal proceedings in the way they sought to do.” The tribunal, Cobb added, had received the documents legally from another regulator, the investigatory powers commissioner, and it was of the utmost importance their assistance was not subject to “inappropriate interference” from MI6.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 27, 2020 9:40 PM

@ Lawrence

There is much in the way of beam forming that is done in the electro-optical space. Most of the technical applications use optical sources (coherent) to shape or even channel EM based signaling or emission. There is a lot of research into UWB in this area. The article suggests an inverse relationship to this type of technological application but seems highly plausible. Sounds like a materials sciences experiment–possibly germanium.

echo July 27, 2020 10:11 PM

Not a single voice among them questing exactly what they mean by “democratic mandate”. The so-called “democratic mandate” has been proven in a court of law to be based on fraud and follows none of the norms and standards nor did the then prime minister of the time, Theresa May, have the authority in law to trigger article 50 without the express permission of parliament.

I don’t personally go along with their gaslighty idea of the biggest gang being right. I really don’t have the time for politicians. Most of them seem a bit thick.

Early bird July 27, 2020 11:39 PM


“It’s able to intercept messages at specific frequencies across a huge range, meaning you have to know what frequency out of billions to be tuning into to access the information.”

So it is “just” as some kind of quantum-based super-TRANSEC?

Lawrence July 28, 2020 7:38 AM

@Early bird.

Sorry, no idea. The concept described in the article is well over my head.

Clive Robinson July 28, 2020 8:16 AM

@ name.withheld…,

When people say technology is agnostic, I say BS.

As I’ve stated before,

<>”technology is agnostic to it’s use“<>

Think about a piece of well known technology like a hammer. By inspection it can be seen it has no control over what it is used for, that is it’s down to the hand that holds it, which in turn is under the control of a “Directing mind”. Because the hammer “Has no agency” or “Free will” nor can it “sense” or “be aware” to all intents and purposes it’s as inert as a rock.

So unless the technology has a defect that can be shown, or the operator can show inability to show foresight and respond any harm caused by the hammer is clearly the responsability of the operator, which is also the legal position[1].

Thus all the fuss back in the 1980’s when self driving or autonomous vehicles became a reality due to “fuzzy logic”[2]. The fuss arose because as the vehicle had no “directing mind”, the responsible directing mind would “in theory” be down to the system installer, the system manufacturer, or who they obtained the software from, unless they could show they had acted responsibly. That is at the top of that chain is the “technologist” or who would be responsible.

Which is where your BS argument holds. That is technologists and those that renumerate them are the “Directing Minds”, in more than one way.

As I’ve seen way to often technologists can easily get “hung up on an idea” their focus narrows to solving the idea and they fail to see what effect the idea will have on the broader system or ultimately society. This started to become a problem back in the 1970’s when engineers with rather more foresight than their coleagues started to refuse to work on military projects[3]. By the late 1980’s it had become a significant issue and managment started lying to not just researchers but developers and engineers. It was the engineers that started “voting with their feet” and moving to less well paid jobs rather than work even unknowingly on weapons of mass destruction[4].

Which had a spin off effect because they enabled the rapid development of consumer products and actually changed the entire technology industry. That is electronics and software had been driven by the needs of the military, and a limited amount “trickled down” into the consumer industry. However this changed and within a decade had reversed, the electronics and software industries were led by consumer product development and the military took first a back seat and later became “the begger at the banquet”. Which is why amongst others the CIA started funding start ups and the like to try and regain some way to get their technology needs met.

Fourty years ago it was “weapons of mass destruction” these days it’s “surveillance” but the game is still the same, the likes of the Intel Community due to their own failings have fallen well behind the “expectation curve” of politicians and those who hold the purse strings that keep the IC Empires going. The end of the cold war frightened them because not only did they not predict it due to believing their own lies, they had failed to realise where the real future of national security issues had moved to with the the fall of the CCCP[5]. What the IC ended up doing was what a number of people predicted, they found/created a new enemy based on FUD to scare people with and “turned upon the hand that fed them” ie the hardworking tax paying citizens, by recasting the “Red Scares” to “Terrorist Scares” of “An enemy within”. All with very predictable results.

The difference now however is not military wants driving technology needs, but commercial technology being repurposed for Police State needs.

Thus technologists can distence themselves more than they could fourty years ago. They can design technology for “consumer good” and turn a blind eye to others repurposing it dor “societal harm”.

Take the Amazon Ring and similar home security products or the various “electronic personal assistants” like Siri/Alexa/etc. To keep costs down the sensors are made “dumb” with high capacity communications enabaling the “smarts” to be run centrally in a much more cost effective way.

The problem is that whilst it makes the technology affordable and easy to update rapidly with new features, it also at the same time makes a very effective foundation for a Police State. That the likes of Palantair, Amazon and Microsoft are now supplying to not just the various IC agencies around the world but to as many Law Enforcment Agencies who can meet the price. What most people do not realise is that the Palantair business model is at best questionable if not illegal, and it’s very similar to that of drug dealers. What they are doing is puting in systems below cost and waiting for LEO’s to become dependent on their “leased products” then when that has been achieved raising the prices such that the LEO’s can not get themselves “off of the hook” of dependency.

But worse Palantair is deliberatly using information across silos without acknoledgment or payment. Those LEO’s typing in crime reports and other statistics for their own use are having that data misappropriated by Palantair who “sanitize and repackage” it to sell on to other entities who have no right to see it or any products derived from it. From a legal stand point the data has become “fruit of the poisoned vine” and those using it know it and thus take steps to keep it hidden hence we have terms like “Parallel Construction” etc arising.

This has come about primarily because some technologist has had “a neat idea” they have run with without considering what all the potential uses would be. Worse if you challenge them they show a degree of naivety that beggers belief from those who are a little more worldly wise.

Thus it is the naive technologists, not the actual technology, that is very far from agnostic. However such naive technologists will not listen because you are in effect saying they are at best callow, which they will reject vehemently. Because it implies their cherished idea is as much if not more of a danger to society than that of weapons of mass destruction, and their cognative biases will not except that at any price. Hence they will drive on harder just to prove you wrong, whilst not looking up to see that you are infact right…

[1] In the case of say a sledge hammer, a “defect” such as, the hammer shaft breaks causing the head to fly off in an orbital elipse and hit someone. Or “inability” to respond that is somebody moves into the work area where the hammer is being used such as behind the operator where the operator can not see them, or thr hammer glances off in an unexpected direction and hits a co-worker.

[2] Fuzzy logic can be difficult to describe but it kind of arose from investications into how some nuerological feedback systems work that was a side issue of AI research back then. The upshot was that existing mathematically based control systems that needed a half million dollar computer to run in real time, could be replaced with an 8bit microcontroler and a couple of kilobytes of ROM and ROM. So things such as “soft/smoth start and braking” on unmand railway systems became practical.

[3] With the rapid rise of the microprocessor and what it could do, the making of the likes of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems involved a lot of new people than those of the traditional MIC. This brought both soul searching and conflict into what had previously been seen by many as their “play ground” and various organisations were created. By the late 1980’s the issue for the MIC had started to get sufficiently critical that the remuneration they were forced to offer made such work difficult to avoid. As with what we are seeing with Alphabet/Google, Microsoft, Amazon and other Silicon Valley mega corps, managment picked the money up off the table and lied to their employees about who the actual customers were. This came to an unexpected head in the Dec 86 Dr. Dobb’s Journal, which was a highly respected software journal for developers. They published a viewpoint by one of their team the again highly respected Allen Holub. The readers replies were fairly polarized and some were quite threatening. However they were effectively either supportive or extream FUD, indicating that many had unfortunatly had their cognative bias and self denial chalenged and thus over compensated in a very Dunning-Kruger way, essentialy showing the old “bigger weapon” / “challenged masculinity” mentality that arises from an inability to understand the specter of their own unreasoned fears which also drove the Cold War Arms Race much to the profitability of the MIC.

[4] This effective “brain drain” caused near panic in the MIC, Pentegon and even Whitehouse. The reason was the US Inteligence Agencies had fallen for a simple Russian ruse. They made the US Intel Community believe they had considerably more weapons production than they actually did. Primarily by changing the numbers on the sides of ship, planes and other military hardware. This in turn was not helped by the US IC counting every conscripted Russian soldier / sailor as “front line” whilst also saying that US troops were mainly non combat support such as cooks and motor mechanics etc thus making Russian numerical superiority –from conscription– look very much worse than it was in reality, where in fact Russian soldiers were not getting even basic equipment such as a second pair of boots. So this started to get the MIC / Pentagon / Whitehouse not just worried but making actual plans to try to force people such as researchers and engineers to work “Russian Style”, in effect conscripting them onto military programs and putting them in work camps etc.

[5] One prime example of this was the nonsense comming from Condoleezza “Condi” Rice when she was the 20th United States National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005 and subsequently as the 66th United States Secretary of State untill 2009. She did not get the message over 9/11 and appeared stuck in an old way of thinking ill suited to the changes we have seen since then.

Clive Robinson July 28, 2020 10:01 AM

@ Lawrence, Name.Withheld…, Early bird,

You might want to look at Dr ‘s “glass cell” that appears to be the heart of the device from what little information I can find.

At a guess the device uses nonlinear behaviour of a gas of quantum particles that are optically excited by a light source that then transposes or cross modulates the RF spectrum onto the light beam.

As it has no metal parts it Stands a reasonable chance of being both EMP and CME Solar storm Flux[1][2] proof.

Now if it is nonlinear you can do an old Low Probability of Intercept (LPI) Spread Spectrum trick where you send two Direct Sequence (DSSS) or Frequency Hopping (FHSS) signals that have a constant frequency difference. The result is after a nonlinear circuit is a carrier at the frequency difference. If one carrier is modulated with data -KeyStream and the other +keystream the result is that the output carrier is modulated only by the data not it’s encrypted form.

Now such a system is quite insecure, however it is possible to only transmit the SS signal modulated by data -keystream which is in effect sending a One Time Pad. At the receiver you modulate the excitation light with the keystream the result would be an unencrypted data stream on the SS output from the cell into the fiberoptic cable. As a DSSS signal is derived in almost exactly the same way as an OTP you could modulate the light source with that as well thus sending just the data down the fiberoptic cable.

I’ve done similar tricks when using fluorescent tubes to make “plasma antennas” into Direct Conversion receivers.

More importantly such a glass cell can be mounted in a light proof plastic or similar RF transparent container, and unlike other RF receivers could not be detected by either TEMPEST or Active EmSec techniques (unless the cell reradiates RF like the “Great Seal Bug”).

[1] See what a “Carrington Event” is and what effect it has on metalic conductors,

[2] A number of high energy events can cause an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) however the results are somewhat different from a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event. EMP has a very rapid pulse rise time and induces very high voltage broadband RF signals which will damage most receivers by blowing out the junctions of front end transistors, likewise communications systems usingvincorrectly shielded conductive cables with a high voltage travelling wave. A CME event however is mainly quite low frequency, with a slow rise and long duration. It induces very high currents in conductors causing significant IR heating and melting thus traditional power grids above ground are highly susceptible.

JonKnowsNothing July 28, 2020 10:33 AM


re: Travelers and Other Migratory Persons

We have similar issues with the many migratory groups in the USA. Our collective attitude toward them could be defined in the basest of concepts. We barely acknowledge them and when confronted we ignore them or cross the street or just pretend they are not there at all.

Of course, that does not help their situation or ameliorate their issues and difficulties. We maintain a hierarchy of “awareness” and/or “assignment of worthiness” in our exchanges with these groups.

Viewing some as more worthy than others, and therefore more tolerated.

Some Migratory Groups in USA

  • Travelers, Roma and similar groups (USA)
  • Cultural based migrations
  • Temp workers. (contracted or limited duration positions)
  • Imported Workers. (Hi tech, Low tech, Farm Tech limited visa)
  • Undocumented Workers (day labor, shape-up, construction, manufacturing, food industry)
  • Snow Birds (people who transit from cold winter zones to warmer zones and back again several times a year)
  • Job Hunters (transit to new locations hoping for paid work placements.)
  • RV-Camper-Trailer group (move from park to park or RV-camp to RV-camp every 30 days)
  • Roving Homeless (still have working private transportation but cannot travel long distance and street camp)
  • Grounded Homeless (sidewalk camp)

In the USA, if you deliberately break a window in a business you can go to jail. A business window can cost several thousand dollars depending on size, and if it’s bullet proof.

In the USA, the Police can deliberately slice up a tent, tear up belongings, and damage beyond repair clothes, shoes and personal property. Replacement costs are significant. In addition, the Police can arrest the person for being homeless and send them to jail, they are fined fees beyond possibility of payment. They are coerced into signing agreements where they are put on buses to other jurisdictions with Banishment Terms of varying duration.

In places like San Francisco, CA you cannot eat, sit or take a nap in the park unless you are “a worthy one”. If you are deemed to be “not a worthy one” you may have piss thrown on you, church sprinklers pouring water on those sheltering in church doorways, set on fire and in many cases murdered-by-tech-bro-cop(1).

  1. Numerous articles about the local “tech bros” calling cops because someone “not like them” was sitting in a park. In one case 2 tech bros called the cops on a person eating lunch on a bench. The person was born in SF, raised in SF, lived in SF all their lives. The 2 tech bros were New Richies. The cops shot the man dead while he was eating his lunch in under 3 minutes. One of the tech bros moved to Marin County after the publicity.

Clive Robinson July 28, 2020 11:41 AM



Yet another reason you should “disarm the police”…

An incident I witnessed some years ago in South East London in a public park just by the school I was a Governor off.

It was a warm sunny day and many parents with their children were in the park, with the kids playing on the playground equipment such as swings, climbing frames etc at the top of the park.

Down the bottom of the park sitting on a railing infront of some bushes was someone who had “fallen through the cracks” of social care. Whilst a bit odd due to being handicaped they had been in the park for quit some months off and on minding his own business and if approached smilling or nodding but not otherwise getting involved.

Well up the road was another school and had a quite bad reputation as being a haven for “WMC ladies who lunch” and their “free range” children who were frequently swearing at and bullying other children.

One WMC Mother apparrntly went to the headmaster of that school and made complaint about the man. The headmaster called the police and I do not know what was said but police officers turned up to the park “mob handed”. They then in their words “questioned” the man that resulted in him being thrown to the ground and curled up in fear. One police officer then kicked the man with a full leg swing kick. The man obviously in fear tried to get up and was pushed and fell against another police officer who later claimed the man tried to bite him in the crotch. Others of the police officers then started hitting him with their batons. Other police officers then turned up with dogs and about twelve of them surounded the man and continued to attack him finally draging him away in what looked like an unconcious state.

I made comment to one of the dog handlers that what had occured was both barbaric and entirely unnecessary, and I got “warned off” I wrote a formal letter of complaint that “magically disapeared in transit” even though it was signed for…

On taking it up with an inspector in an adjacent division, it was suggested to me that even though there had been many adult witnesses who had likewise been horified by what had been done in front of their children the Independent Police Complaints Commision would either not investigate or find for the officers involved as that was “standard practice” back then (see “Steven Laurence” murder inquiry report and subsequent reports of illegal police activities as to why ).

But what shocked me most was some of the parents “getting off on it” positively aglow with vigilantism. One of whom said if it was upto him the man would not have made into the van as he’d have “kicked the cts bls off”… Unsuprisingly I guess the parent was later questioned and cautioned by the police about attempted assult against another parent (which apparently spoiled his cosy relationship with Millwall Football Club).

As for the man in the park, it all went quiet for a while then a paragraph in the local paper said that he had been charged with possession of drugs. Which as he’d never been seen even smoking was shall we say a bit odd if not unlikely.

vas pup July 28, 2020 12:42 PM

@eco, @Clive and other interested bloggers
Training your brain to relax on a virtual island

“I’m off to try out a new technology that promises to train my brain to relax. Sitting far apart from other passengers in the carriage while wearing a hot surgical mask, I’m hoping it works.

I’m meeting Dr Jamil El-Imad who enjoyed a successful career in the computer industry before, in his words, “getting sucked into neuroscience”. The Lebanese-born IT expert knew all about computer languages and was intrigued by the similarities between data and the way the brain processes information.

Recognizing the potential of virtual reality devices he worked on how to use cloud computing techniques to capture and analyze brain signals and create a machine to replicate the meditation experience.

Neuroplasticity, the adaptability of the brain, is the science here. Neurons, the circuits of the brain, become stronger the more they are exercised. They are changeable. And they are individual.

Neurons gripped Dr El-Imad. He sees our neurons as “a forest where every tree is different”. This means that each person needs their own approach to gaining mental resilience.

His innovation was to integrate the technology of the electroencephalogram (EEG), which monitors electrical activity in the brain, with a virtual reality headset.

The combination means that the response of the subject’s brain to images can be measured.

The biofeedback can be analyzed instantly using the affordable computer power offered by cloud computing, industrial levels of data processing rented over the internet.

Murali Doraiswamy, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine in North Carolina in the US and a former adviser to Dr El-Imad’s company NeuroPro, says
that meditation and the whole realm of mindfulness are proven treatments for some conditions.

Dream Machine, is when the EEG headset is slipped over my forehead. It’s a semi-circular band containing sensors that transmit wireless signals revealing just what is going on in my brain.

The EEG headset takes feeds from my level of attention and will register when my mind veers off course. Over multiple sessions this should help subjects to master their own mind and gain more control over their thoughts, which is a definition of mindfulness.

The VR headset is not a bulky helmet. In fact there’s no sense of the weight due to a springy coil that holds it and takes the weight off your head. Without that weight there’s no sense of enclosure either.

==>Focusing on the moment takes some effort. I’m hindered by a journalist’s instinct to note events. Dr El-Imad tells me that our minds wander for 50% of our waking hours so excluding other thoughts is a challenge we all face.

Beside this set-up a laptop screen reflects the signals the EEG captured leaking out of my brain. It shows areas of my consciousness lighting up. This data is saved for analytic purposes. Anonymized and encrypted it can be sent on to neuroscience researchers.

!!!!=>Rolling out the Dream Machine to the public should not be expensive. NeuroPro uses off-the-shelf technology, with VR and EEG hardware costing no more than £1,000 in total.

Possible sites for this service include gyms and fitness centers. Alternatively, it could be installed in chill-out rooms in corporate offices, relieving employees of anxiety and allowing the company to retain good talent.”

Security vector application (my nickel) for the last paragraph: chill-out rooms for folks monitoring any security applications in real time, military and civil radars, police officers after engagement with mob, health professionals after long shift with COVID patients, emergency room personal – you name it.

vas pup July 28, 2020 1:04 PM

Iter: World’s largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly

“The world’s biggest nuclear fusion project has entered its five-year assembly phase.

After this is finished, the facility will be able to start generating the super-hot “plasma” required for fusion power.

The £18.2bn (€20bn; $23.5bn) facility has been under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, southern France.

Advocates say fusion could be a source of clean, unlimited power that would help tackle the climate crisis.

===>Iter is a collaboration between China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US. All members share in the cost of construction.

Current nuclear energy relies on fission, where a heavy chemical element is split to produce lighter ones.
Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, works by combining two light elements to make a heavier one.

This releases vast amounts of energy with very little radioactivity.

Iter will confine hot plasma within a structure called a tokamak in order to control fusion reactions.

The project will aim to help demonstrate whether fusion can be commercially viable. France’s President Emmanuel Macron said the effort would unite countries around a common good.”

Agree with Macron 100 %. Same applied for fighting COVID I wish.

Anders July 28, 2020 2:02 PM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive

New Doom level

Now we know from where that virus came.

echo July 28, 2020 2:48 PM

@vas pup

I can switch off quite well on trains and most other transport. I usually enjoy watching the scenery pass by or falling asleep. If I’m carrying anythign electronic like a smartphone it usually stays off. I can’t understand this need to fiddle all the time.

Yes, good news on the reactor. It’s intelligent politics of Macron to change the mood.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 29, 2020 1:31 AM

Had to get back to you with a quick–WTF!

Have you been profiling me, that response to the BS comment respecting technologists seems to have imprints that strike too close to home…oops now I’ve given something away. Is that your drone I see? All tongue and beak from here.

// Sarcasm On
And I hold, that even the inventor of the hammer, could that person be interviewed, we could get to their original motivation.
// Sarcasm Off

I am being somewhat argumentative, but given the scope and scale of disfunction in engineering and development labs (research gets to escape the general issue as in basic research) I will default to this position, a method born of skepticism.

Two questions on the opto-electric chamber scenario, do you suspect that it is by method of quanta or isospin that is fundamental to the gas interaction (interference)? In essence, particle or position? Or both?

One infers decay over time, i.e exhausting potential states of the gas as a result of interaction, or a warming/cooling in containment. I do like a substrate solution if applicable, but hey, gas is good.

SpaceLifeForm July 29, 2020 1:40 AM

@ Anders

Thank you for the Spacecraft links.

No video games for me. Sudoku is it for me these days.

Most of them are lame. I used to generate my own puzzles.

How about a nice game of Chess?

Clive Robinson July 29, 2020 3:10 AM

@ echo,

Japan wants in on Five Eyes.

You have to dig way down in the linked article to find it, but yes I’m not at all surprised.

Put simply it’s China’s behaviour over atleast the past two decades.

In essence China has decided it want’s to control amongst other things,

1, The South China Seas.
2, Strategic minerals and other resources.

I’ve mentioned both several times in the past on this blog for several years. But nobody would believe me back then…

Oh and it’s not just Japan that are making moves away from China and towards the West. Many nations around and in the South China seas are making noises about what China is upto and it’s not been helped by China throwing it’s weight around over fishing rights (it claims them all) and the attacking sinking and otherwise disapearing of unarmed fishing vessels from other nations.

Whilst the US has been in the south China seas the only news we realy get to here about it is when they play “laser tag” with China using multi megawatt systems.

China are fighting on various fronts not least of which is sending into Europe what might be politely called “Economic Agents of a Foreign Power” to try to get control of either the companies or their assets of small to medium sized companies trading in critical infrastructure technology to the world that many are not considering.

For example FM Broadcast transmitters are actually quite sophisticated technology these days those sold to Africa, South America and other “developing regions with resources” are not large in size or output power but they build these developing nations critical infrastructure effectively. Thus gaining control of not just the manufacture and sales of these critical communications infrastructure but their operating enables what is in effect a stealth take over of nations on China’s list of resource nations to take over.

It’s an area of stratigic communications you do not here about these days but they are essebtial in any “Hearts and Minds” operation and for “White Propaganda” through to “Black Propaganda”.

You can also see this occuring in the ramping up of high power HF stations as the West cuts back on it’s “Overseas Radio Services”.

echo July 29, 2020 6:39 AM


Yes the Japanese still remember Chinas attempts to invade here they were saved by “kamikazi” or divine winds/spirit winds. It’s bound up in Japans Shinto religion and mythology so not something Japan will forget overnight. Japan must be rather keen on joining Five Eyes or, more accurately, the inner circle because Japan is not normally so blatant when it comes to international affairs. Japan has always had a sense of or wanting to be on the “top table” which to some degree influenced Japans then fashionable imperial ambitions around Asia. This in part led to Japan issuing subtle displeasure with the US before attacking Pearl Harbour to prevent the threat of the US from cutting off Japans oil supplies.

The 11th president of the US, James Knox Polk, used “disputed territories” and largesse and outright invading land up to the point where the federal territories didn’t include many dark skinned people to create the US border known today. So China isn’t playing a new game just a little more indirect and not so in your face.

Nation states as we know them are a fairly recent invention but then the world has become more crowded since then. The UN and its treaties and subdividisions is really the only mechanism we have to manage this equitably.

echo July 29, 2020 6:49 AM

Here’s an expansion on the Japanese move to join Five Eyes. Note the cynical conflating of security with trade. Surprise, not.

The idea of a Five Eyes free trade bloc has won the backing of Andrew Hastie, chair of the Australian parliament’s joint committee on intelligence and a longterm critic of China.

He told a Henry Jackson Society seminar on decoupling with China that: “once we review our supply chains and establish vulnerabilities – and I trust the other Five Eyes countries will do the same – that will give the basis for an understanding where we can mitigate one another’s weakness and yes there is a potential to build a free trading bloc. We should do everything possible to build out that network.”

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 29, 2020 10:13 AM

5i+1, Supporting Lemma
If one considers the Bank of Japan, ABE-nomics, and the relationship of the five eyes members and their commitment to the U.S. dollar some falls out. It is what appears to be a suicide pact;

“We will all swallow as many pieces of paper the central banks produce. Give me a printer or give me death. We, Fin-Elites, pledge YOUR future, property, and to posterity anything else you might have.”

From a pseudo code perspective, a code snippet for the latest member postulate of the intel comms is:

5i+1 = Public Class Symbolic_Banker_Occupaton(Country,Interest_Rate,Target_Negative_Yield, isPartner) { return void == 0 };

Open question(s):
The square root, or better, the cube root. Post your lemma.

Lots of sarcasm, with a comic tone, and some underlying truths.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 29, 2020 10:31 AM

@ Clive
Awesome, a mention of Dr. Dobbs Journal…thought I was the only one with a subscription. Outside of the ACM, IEEE, and USENIX proceedings, a most appreciated source of computational technological coverage. I miss the pub, going to my library now to look at some articles.

vas pup July 29, 2020 11:42 AM

Artificial intelligence could speed up and improve Alzheimer’s diagnosis

“Artificial intelligence (AI) could help to diagnose Alzheimer’s faster and improve patient prognosis, a new study from the University of Sheffield has revealed.

Lead author of the study, Dr Laura Ferraiuolo from the University of Sheffield, said: “Most neurodegenerative diseases still do not have a cure and in many cases are diagnosed late due to their molecular complexity.

“Widespread implementation of AI technologies can help, for example, predict which patients showing mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, or how severely their motor skills will decline over time.

“AI-powered technologies can also be used to help patients communicate their symptoms remotely and in the privacy of their own homes, which will be an enormous benefit to patients with mobility issues.”

=>Machine learning algorithms can be trained to recognize changes caused by diseases in medical images, patient movement information, speech recordings or footage showing patient behavior, making the AI a valuable diagnostic aid.

For example, it can be used by trained professionals in radiology departments to analyze images more quickly and highlight critical results for an immediate follow-up.

[!]Algorithms can also listen to patients’ speech and analyze their vocabulary and other semantic features to assess their cognitive function.

Machine learning can also use information contained within electronic health records or genetic profiles to suggest the best treatments for individual patients.”

[!]And I guess attitude, e.g. become defector or being on brink of emotional break down/suicide. Hopefully, used for good, not for evil since all technology is neutral, but application is not.

vas pup July 29, 2020 11:50 AM

Hydrogel mimics human brain with memorizing and forgetting ability

“Hokkaido University researchers have found a soft and wet material that can memorize, retrieve, and forget information, much like the human brain. They report their findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The human brain learns things, but tends to forget them when the information is no longer important. Recreating this dynamic memory process in humanmade materials has been a challenge. Hokkaido University researchers now report a hydrogel that mimics the dynamic memory function of the brain: encoding information that fades with time depending on the memory intensity.

Hydrogels are flexible materials comprised of a large percentage of water — in this case about 45% — along with other chemicals that provide a scaffold-like structure to contain the water. Professor Jian Ping Gong, Assistant Professor Kunpeng Cui, and their students and colleagues in Hokkaido University’s Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery (WPI-ICReDD) are seeking to develop hydrogels that can serve biological functions.

“Hydrogels are excellent candidates to mimic biological functions because they are soft and wet like human tissues,” says Gong. “We are excited to demonstrate how hydrogels can mimic some of the memory functions of brain tissue.”

Continue reading for amazing experiment done.

ATTENTION: “The hydrogel’s brain-like memory system could be explored for some applications,
=>such as disappearing messages for security,” Cui added.”

echo July 29, 2020 12:34 PM

Any game engine based on a decent quality VM with all the supporting gubbins should be able to do this kind of thing… (I trimmed some TMI.)

This kind of thing makes me wonder if it’s worth anyone putting security ideas into a tangible form by coding up a “what if”. Is it possible without stupid amounts of effort to simulate a secure system including secure networks and see how it works in practice as an educational and promotional tool? Hardware and softwarelayers could be simulated too if anyone wants to go the whole hog but I imagine a “fastpath” would be to run the top layer natively so it wouldn’t crawl.

This is Mac OS 8, running in an Electron app pretending to be a 1991 Macintosh Quadra. Yes, it’s the full thing. I’m sorry.

Anders July 29, 2020 4:20 PM


Since our e-residency is tied to our digital ID system,
this is relevant.

Anders July 29, 2020 5:16 PM

This is fun.

echo July 29, 2020 6:36 PM

As a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot closes in on a target, she fires four GPS-guided bombs. As the weapons swarm toward their destination, sharing information about their surroundings, one of the munitions sights a higher-priority target nearby. Instantly, the game plan changes — the bombs’ programming now directs two of the weapons toward the high-priority target, while the rest carry out the original strike.

Lots of testosterone fuelled rah rah in this article. Meanwhile, Oswald the bomb, and his chums talking in thick Brummie accents to each other…

Conducted through Futures Command’s cross functional team in charge of Assured Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT), the service was able to link space sensors with shooters in live-fire demonstrations in Grafenwoehr, Germany, on three separate occasions with the latest on March 23, the spokesperson wrote.

This is one good reason why the Russians might trial systems to knock out satellites.Otherwise I’m guessing this will just be used as a cheap system to plaster second or third tier military into the ground. I’m also guessing it may be tied into the same network as assets like the F-35. Hopefully, the software engineers have taken precautions not to knock out their own stealth aircraft by accident.

Information about the U.S. Navy’s RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) shot down by Iran on June 20, 2019, continues to surface a year on. The carcass of the aircraft has been largely pieced together by Iran, in the manner of an air accident investigation. The way it was done, and the reasons, are likely to be very different, however.

Al-Acme Couriers was unavailable for comment…

Clive Robinson July 30, 2020 12:29 AM

@ Anders,

To quote a saying in the UK,

    You have to take the rough with the smooth.

It’s something you can not avoid with such schemes.

One of the main problems with all such schemes is, as the article indicates,

    “In administrative proceedings, the PPA is unable to identify persons convicted in a foreign country if the information has not been entered in international databases.”

It’s been a long internationally recognised issue of “refugees” having “criminal records” not because they have committed a crime but they have been convicted of a crime for “political” reasons. Further other countries will “do favours” for other countries by making people criminals just so “awkward people can be removed from circulation”.

Thus an evaluation has to be made on each case, especially as the “politicaly convicted” are not likely to know they have been accused let alone bern found guilty in their absence.

But there is another issue “business control prohibitian” again countries for political reasons can ban people from holding control positions, whilst many are legitimate some agencies (OfCom UK for instance) to try and stop things for political reasons start legal proceedings to “begger or bankrupt” those who are carrying out legitimate business activities quite legaly.

But I note from the article one of the biggest failings of the scheme is quoted to be Estonian Banks not just not alowing people to open accounts, but are also closing existing accounts.

Unless people have access to basic banking not only can they not run a business in the country they can not live in the country either…

In the UK the banks got to the point of not alowing people to open accounts such that many many citizens could not work. Thus something like 10% of those capable of working were caught in a poverty trap. Thus form as this had become “a political embarrassment” the UK Government passed legislation such that people could get “basic banking” access.

But it is just as bad with small businesses in the UK. Say you are a market stall seller, almost by definition you are a “cash trader” the Halifax Bank as was for several years closed such accounts down without notice for no better reason than than the Bank wanted to “reorganize”. Likewise “trades” such as builders, electricians, plumbers, etc etc got their accounts closed, the official reason being given as EU “Money Laundering” legislation, the real reason the banks were under pressure from the UK tax authorities to crack down on the “black economy” where VAT and TAX were not being paid for various reasons (onerous Government paper work and regulations requiring non core business staff that were expensive and cost tens of thousands of GBP sometimes hundreds of thousands being just one of many). All the while the UK tax authorities were chasing little people any way they could large businesses were costing the UK Treasury hundreds of billions of GBP, companies like the well known “coffee shop” brands, Google, Amazon most of the mobile phone operators. Then there was all the money laundering the UK banks and Lawyers were doing as well. In essence the UK had become the worst of the worst for “white collar” financial crime… Oh and then there was the fun one, trade across the EU borders to commit VAT fraud known as “Carousel Fraud” which is estimated costs upwards of €200billion or about twice the entire EU budget,

Have a look down the Wikipedia page untill you come to the “‘Bond House’ decision” in essence the UK Tax authorities decided to “criminalize innocent parties” as well as witholding vast sums of monies these innocent parties were entitled to forcing an unknown number into bankruptcy or other distress, including prosecuting some. “Bond House Systems” decided to fight and as so frequently happens with the UK Government, when it got to the EU courts they got their wrists slapped and have had to pay the innocent parties back. But rather than give up the UK Government put barrier after barrier in the way…

The UK Government is not the only EU Country to “blaim the innocent” because it is both convenient and profitable. Many actively encorage such behaviours with “profit share” style “bonus schemes” the problem being is that having handed over the bonus they can not ask for it back, as that bonus can be about 1/5th of money “saved/recovered” when the EU court decides against the Government they loose big style as those who win can also claim lost interest at a much higher rate than any bank will give you. It’s this fear of loosing in the EU court that makes the UK tax authorities unjustly chase small companies whilst the large ones mentioned previously great the authorities with room after room of tax lawyers to rip them to shreds, hence the “closed door deals” that have cost untold billions.

The problem of the EU Court consistantly finding against the UK Government behaviors is one unspoken reason why Brexit got “ram rodded” through on lies and fraudulant claims.

Clive Robinson July 30, 2020 1:15 AM

@ Anders,

With regards the “jackpoting ATMs” the bit to read is where it describes vandalizing the ATM to connect a cable,

    “In the recent incidents, attackers are focusing on outdoor systems and are destroying parts of the fascia in order to gain physical access to the head compartment. Next, the USB cable between the CMD-V4 dispenser and the special electronics, or the cable between special electronics and the ATM PC, was unplugged. This cable is connected to the black box of the attacker in order to send illegitimate dispense commands.”

That is the “cash dispensing vault” in Diebold ATM’s is “a simple USB device”…

Thus they can just plug in a Raspberry Pi or similar very cheap SBC computer and press a button…

Which sugests that even if the data sent to the cash vault is “encrypted” or in some other way protected by a security protocol it is not upto the task.

As for the suggestion that the criminals got hold of an unencrypted hard drive, that’s probably misdirection. As most here know either partial or “Full Disk Encryption” (FDE) is of no real use when the drive is in use. Thus I suspect that the criminals may have accessed a powered up and full setup Diebold ATM and pluged in another USB device and simply accessed the drive that way or got the Encryption key from a low level menory dump that is possible with not just USB but a number of other Serial Protocol high speed interfaces. Heck they might just have clipped on a prob clip on one of several known points on embedded PC boards to do it.

Lets be honest, once you know what commercial parts Diebold “buy in” it’s generally very easy to get all the information you need simply by buying one and talking to the OEM “field support” staff.

Whilst reverse engineering a memory dump is a skill that takes time to aquire, there are as we know from all those computer games that have had “protection” bypassed plenty of people who might do the same for a nice bundle of cash or a split on the proceeds of such technology.

Heck some might view it as their own “personal money printer” a bit like the ones the Fed has to print stimulus cheques…

Mind you remember Diebold also make dodgy eVoting machines… So I suspect there security development is not exactly what you might think for a company with such a high turnover. It’s obvious from the described attack method they do not pay attention to “physical security” of the control system embedded computer, so what else do they not pay attention to?

echo July 30, 2020 3:07 AM

@Anders @Clive

Lets be honest, once you know what commercial parts Diebold “buy in” it’s generally very easy to get all the information you need simply by buying one and talking to the OEM “field support” staff.


Heck some might view it as their own “personal money printer” a bit like the ones the Fed has to print stimulus cheques…

Mind you remember Diebold also make dodgy eVoting machines… So I suspect there security development is not exactly what you might think for a company with such a high turnover. It’s obvious from the described attack method they do not pay attention to “physical security” of the control system embedded computer, so what else do they not pay attention to?

Similar happened with fruit machines. A repair man managed to discover away of cheating the machines by speaking with company staff and then later buying a surplus machine and reverse engineering it. He later franchised it out by selling the bypass devices.

echo July 30, 2020 3:49 AM


Thanks. That SCIFF specification document was pretty cool. Following on from Clives comments about Brexit being rammed through because the UK as getting slapped by the ECJ even a causual reading of the document threw up some very interesting policy points.

There’s sections on evaluating the site and evaluating suppliers and maintaining quality control and a degree of secrecy to protect against bad actors. If only the UK state sector behaved with a “proportionate and legitimate” approach as they routinely claim in their boilerplate I suspect 50-90% of everday contentions with the UK state sector would evaporate overnight. Stuff would do what it is meant to do not be inadequate or negligent.

One beef I have both with the state sector and lawyers is they speak gobbledegook. When you see something written out cleanly and logically and how it should be you can penetrate this gaslighting and see things how they should be. I suspect this is one reason why the right wing especially were so aggressively against any form of European friendly media or media showing how things worked in the rest of Europe because once people knew better and saw better with their own eyes they would wake up and question why they were being force fed junk.

There’s quite a bit in this document worth lifting and a few more points in particular which I forget.

Ater Bill Gates left Microsoft and Balmer took over they basically dumped their old school HCI documentation and made it all fluffy. (Don’t get me started on flat design…) I’m not being funny but I’ve seen this kind of thing happen in organisations before. The woman managing this was, I’m guessing, blowing smoke up Balmers ass. Microsoft later sacked their entire documentation team which up until then had produced over their lifetime a lot of very very high quality documentation and books. The help files system also fell off a cliff and it was almost always better to do a Google search for what you wanted. Since then Microsoft dumped their quality assurance team. Apart from saving a few peanuts here and there what was the point of all this? To deliberately dumb the company and its end users down? Then we had all the cloud and baked in telemetry nonsense.

myliit July 30, 2020 12:02 PM

“Schrems II Offers an Opportunity—If the U.S. Wants to Take It

[…] The judgment has provoked a hostile reaction from U.S. national security and privacy experts, who describe the judgment as European overreach. Peter Swire comments that “[f]or national security experts, it is puzzling in the extreme to think that citizens of one country have a right to review their intelligence files from other countries.” Writing in Lawfare, Stewart Baker describes the judgment as a “gobsmacking … mix of judicial imperialism and Eurocentric hypocrisy” and proposes that the U.S. use trade penalties to force the European Union to back down and make Europeans realize that the U.S. is serious about keeping “the right to write U.S. laws without getting permission from European governments.”

The two of us have spent more than two decades studying and writing about EU-U.S. fights over privacy and security (we discussed our book on the topic, “Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle Over Freedom and Security,” on the Lawfare Podcast). Our work leads us to a very different conclusion.


If the U.S. wants to reshape interdependence to better protect democratic economies and communications systems against authoritarian countries, it is going to have to confront the fact that there is no way to address the security challenges of interdependence among democracies without making some rights interdependent too. This might be the beginning of a new, more sustainable kind of transatlantic cooperation on security and civil liberties, in which technology and intelligence sharing goes together with real cross-national protections for civil liberties. Many European judges and officials would be willing to work with this approach. Kenneth Propp and Peter Swire quote a key EU privacy official as saying that the U.S. is much closer to European values than Chinese, and elaborating that “I have never hidden that we have a preference for data being processed by entities sharing European values.”

In other words, the U.S. is likely to find new allies in its efforts to secure itself against authoritarian countries if it is willing to revisit its understanding of national security and provide reciprocal privacy rights to the citizens of other democracies. Such a rights-based approach is almost certainly a necessary precondition for the deeper kinds of cooperation with allies that are likely essential to U.S. national security in a world where technologies and supply chains have become new threat vectors. While this may be a painful mental adjustment for U.S. policymakers, the CJEU’s judgment—properly understood—provides a valuable opportunity to start to elaborate the principles and practices that could make this approach work.“

Clive Robinson July 30, 2020 4:38 PM

@ myliit,

With regards,

    “Schrems II Offers an Opportunity—If the U.S. Wants to Take It”

The authors of that paper have made a fundemental mistake, which in turn blights much of what they say. Untill they recognise this they are going to keep making incorrect assumptions.

The problem is whilst they probably do not realise it they actually “buy in” to the idea of the US as the “master of all they survey” which is a very wrong position to take under international law.

They should not be talking about “US National Security” giving the US the right to impose it’s views and double standards on the rest of the world. There are clear jurisdictional limits that the US claims other nations should be constrained by but the US is “exceptional” thus they can impose their unwanted views and beliefs on other countries. Thus the authors implicitly “buy in” to the notion that the US can steal out of bank accounts in other nations, can impose fines on companies that have nothing what so ever to do with the US and a whole raft of other such Imperialistic Behaviours including taking away the human rights of entire nations of peoples.

With regards the Internet as I said back at the time there was a watershed moment in the UN ITU conference in Doha in 2014. Various nations made it clear that US Government and US Corporate behave being more or less the same were nolonger acceptable.

The result has been the increasing Balkanisation of the Internet. Countries are now laying subsea cables etc away from the Five-Eye “choke points” and putting in place national firewalls. I fully expect this to continue and more importantly certain nations “ring-fenced in” to keep them out of other nations communications.

Atleast the authors recognise that what the US accuses other nations of the US has been guilty of for a considerable time befor hand.

The simple fact is that the US finding it’s self at the center of the web on an “All Roads Lead to Rome” basis abused it’s position as much as it possibly could. Whilst some had been waving large flags over this abuse from before the begining of this century the majority of people did not believe it. Even after Ed Snowden made it abundently clear as did a number of others, still people did not believe it and many even now refuse to countenance it and in effect go “la la la la” whilst putting their fingers in their ears every time the subject of the illegal behaviour of the US Government and US Corporations.

At the moment other nations still trade with the US but it’s clear that many many more people than there are Americans are now fed up with US behaviour.

Thus I fully expect more court cases to go the way of Max Schrems court cases, and for other nations to slowly have less and less to do with the US. The EU certainly has started taking a different view, anoyance over Iran is still fresh in many political and diplomatic minds, along with much else. Which is why many in the EU are secretly glad to see the back of Britain, that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair made clear was the American lap dog, which is why he was given the title “Bush’s poodle”. Many can see PM Blair’s behaviour as giving the US the excuse to create mayhem in the Middle East and the EU is picking the tab up over.

Is US influence in the world on the wane, well yes, the problem is though that even a toothless tiger is still a danger to all around. The current US leadership are in effect the worst of the worst, they will quite happily destroy the world if it gives them a little more status and they have certainly not learned the lessons of 9/11…

V July 30, 2020 4:47 PM

I see tomorrow’s squid post:

ht tps://

SpaceLifeForm July 30, 2020 6:06 PM

@ Clive

Measurement Methods.

Redshift Illusion.


Bertrand Russell July 30, 2020 9:01 PM

@Who ? @echo

Re: SCIF paper

Although I am more familiar with skiffs – actually, perhaps that is not quite correct – in my day skiffs were often used as scifs, I recall many a pleasant afternoon’s quiet discussion on the Cam with my Bloomsbury acquaintances – nevertheless I am compelled to note that the paper is rife with logical falsehoods. I refer, of course, to the luminously white pages inscribed with the curious epigraph “This page intentionally left blank.” Clearly the page is has not been left blank, and in fact, has been intentionally not left blank. Logically the assertion must be assigned a truth value of “false”, if, indeed it is not simply meaningless. I have had to correct people on this sort of issue before, such as the village barber on the wording of his terms of service, or a certain elderly lady on her care of turtles.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 30, 2020 11:42 PM

22 Jul 2020 — NIST ANNOUNCES 3rd Round Candidates for PQC Standardization

The PKI/KEMs are:
Classic McEliece

Digital Signatures are:

The alternate algotithm candidates are:
NTRU Prime

Digital Signatures:

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 30, 2020 11:47 PM

15 July 2020 — NIST DRAFT SP 800-181 Revision 1 RFC

Workforce Framework fo Cybersecurity (NICE Framework)

Public comment period is open until 28 Aug 2020.


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 30, 2020 11:52 PM

17 Jul 2020 — NIST Certificate Management Practice Guide

The final draft of the TLS practice management guide (SP 1800-16) is available at:


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 12:14 AM

@ Clive
Well said, my sentiments to a tea (or is it tee). Anyway…to add to the litany of abuses and usurpations…

There has been a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy for the last thirty years that is near east/Middle East centric. Now, with the re-assertion of the “Chinese Threat”, whatever that means, the U.S. is pushing harder on the Asian Pacific and our allies (I tend to think our ALLIES don’t know that we consider them as such since SA and Israel are linked at the hip). The EU, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and much of the global south, except maybe NZ and AU, are not having it with respect to the U.S. fascistic imperialism.

For over 20 years there has been this real “It’s my way or the highway.” approach to international relations. Of course it was like that in the past but there have been new mechanisms to control “international order”. The United States has taken the ICC off the table and have eviscerated multiple armament and nuclear treaties (P5+1, INF, Safe Skys, etc) making the world less safe. In addition sanctions mechanisms have been applied to something like 58/68 countries–and from my perspective that is akin to an act of war.

Taken with all that, add the renewal of nuclear stockpiles and the development of tactical nukes, I would think that the U.S. is a terrorist organization. But hey, that’s just me.

SpaceLifeForm July 31, 2020 12:55 AM

@ Bertrand Russell, Clive, name....

This post intentionally NOT left blank.

“At the moment other nations still trade with the US but it’s clear that many many more people than there are Americans are now fed up with US behaviour.”

“But hey, that’s just me.”

No. It’s not. You are not alone.

SpaceLifeForm July 31, 2020 1:47 AM

@ name....

I recognized very few of the above.

At this point, I would not waste my time chasing quantum ghosts.

SpaceLifeForm July 31, 2020 2:21 AM

@ Clive, Anders

It kinda sucks to learn hometown news by peeking over the pond.

Michael Brown: Ferguson officer won’t be charged for 2014 killing


SpaceLifeForm July 31, 2020 2:37 AM

If Rupert Murdoch is involved, watch out down under.

Be careful what you wish for.


MarkH July 31, 2020 2:39 AM

My Prediction Was Wrong

I wrote in comments (a couple of times, I think) that Sweden’s Covid-19 death rate per unit of population would, sometime in this month, surpass that of Italy (where suffering was ghastly).

This has not happened, and conceivably the threshold will never be crossed.

In recent weeks, new case rates and death rates in Sweden have fallen to very low levels.

Deaths per million in Sweden now stand at 97% of the figure for Italy. Meanwhile, poor suffering Peru has just barely surpassed Sweden on this grisly ranking.

[Of course, given all the difficulties of measurement, the relative ranking of these 3 countries must be considered practically meaningless; they’re all among the hardest-hit countries on Earth.]

What’s distinctive about Sweden’s case was overt government policy to mandate no epidemic safeguards in public behavior.

echo July 31, 2020 3:11 AM


You need to look beyond raw numbers and compare health systems and social models. You also need to look at testing regimes and what numbers are published. The reason I mention this is memes like the Swedish models are used by liassez faire “herd immunity” nutters.

Italy was hit very hard in part because it was used as a base for a lot of Chinese business connections.

Deaths per capita is pretty atrocious and the more cavalier countries have a worrying ongoing death rate.


“At the moment other nations still trade with the US but it’s clear that many many more people than there are Americans are now fed up with US behaviour.”

“But hey, that’s just me.”

No. It’s not. You are not alone.

Join the club. As for right wing Brexiters with second homes in France and economic allegiance to America… I’m not a huge fan of the Russians nonsense either. It’s sad to say that given UK politics at the moment the EU is probably better off without the UK.

echo July 31, 2020 3:19 AM


All you have to do is read the US negotiating position on TTIP to have an idea the US wanted to unilaterally export its economic and social and environmental model for the benefit of its own corporations and stuff everybody else. Then there is “corporate made law” in the finance sector where people including in the UK who don’t toe the US line find their business is unfairly discriminated against. It’s not just over the Iran affair either which was giving the EU commission headaches but some of the more moralising nonsense. Throw in the UK right wing wanting to evade EU law and there were some very heavy thumbs on the scales.

JonKnowsNothing July 31, 2020 3:43 AM


Down on the farm lands of California where The Surge is pounding the dead into their coffins faster than costal erosion is eating the shore lines, a small glimmer of “AH HA!” is happening.

A few people here are beginning to figure out exactly what “Herd Immunity Policy Is”…

They see it reported regularly in the press:
   Another Old Age Residence-Care Home gets smacked and 50-70% of the residents die.

They are starting to go “hmmmm” at the “loudspeakers” on media telling them to “send their kids to school”.

The USA does not have universal health care and the “hmmmers” are beginning to question “how are they going to pay for the hospital costs and the funeral costs and the emotional loss of their nearest and dearest and if they survive how are they going to pay for the rehab and medications and constant medical support”?

They are starting to get the picture that in a few months a huge section of people in California are going to be tossed out on the streets because they cannot repay the deferred rents and mortgages. If you think neoliberals won’t do that, talk to the Greeks about what happened to them.

We maybe a lot of dirt clod farmers but eventually Covid19 == Death starts to seep in.


  • 40,129,160 Population
  • 485,502 Cases
  • 8,909 deaths
  • 1,564 deaths last 14 days
  • ICU beds Available 28% (depending on location some places it is zero)
  • data 07 30 2020

The COVID19 Big Fish this week is Herman Cain. A good chum of President Trump and a no-mask-for-me kinda guy. His TRIAGE SOFA score would have been: Not Good.

Only another 23,500,000 infections to go for the “Herd Immunity” part of “The Policy” to work.

ht tps://

ht tps://
ht tps://
ht tps://

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 4:46 AM

@ name.withheld…,

With regards “NICE Framework”…

I should have known better, that’s half an hour of my life I’ll never get back…

Before others read it, in essence it’s a “nothingburger H&R / Management tool” that is in effect too abstract to be of immediate real world use.

Though I can see the K&S getting put on some peoples C.V.’s much like we used to see Prince II level/task numbers some years ago.

MarkH July 31, 2020 5:16 AM


As JonKnowsNothing related shortly before your comment, Herman just died.

His hat-wearing days are over.

Disregard of scientific fact may cause injury or death.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 5:17 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

If Rupert Murdoch is involved, watch out down under.

Yes indeed, Rupert ‘the bear faced lier’ Murdoch as normall is the architect of his own disaster.

Those alledged 3000 jobs were going long before Google and Co.

Basically the bear faced lier had bought up local newspapers that were quite valued for their “local reporting” and stripped out what those buying them wanted and replaced it with a “Marxist Model” of “central control” and “Sanitized Information” produced by less and less experienced writers (not even journalists). To keep the ratings up he went down the “Dirty old man” route with “Tits and Bums” on every page and invented media gossip that pushed the liable laws beyond the line.

People wised up and not to be nasty the older generation of buy a daily paper types came to a natural end.

The fact that Google & Co came in towards the end of this self immolation by the bear faced lier was just the new generation doing a new thing.

The problem the bear faced lier has is his children are not far short of being moronic law breakers themselves. They thought they could build a new media empire on line but forgot the fundemental rule of the internet,

    No story is single source for more than a few minutes

Something the bear faced lier is guilty of doing which is “copy and change to avoid copyright”… Then try to charge people by putting firewalls every where the bear faced lier and the little liers could think of…

Unsuprisingly people went else where like the UK “Daily Mail on Line” and “The Guardian on line”.

After all why pay the scumbags when you can see the same story for free at multiple locations.

Anyone who is daft enough to have shares in News International should remember that much of the bear faced liers empire is now effectively worthless and only “creative accounting” is keeping that dead ‘old’ man walking. I suspect the current pandemic caused economic crisis will hit NI harder than the banks have been hit (one UK Bank has just anounced more than 2billion in losses, and I doubt there’s any way things are going to improve for them for many quaters yet to come).

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 5:46 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

The USA does not have universal health care and the “hmmmers” are beginning to question “how are they going to pay for the hospital costs and the funeral costs and the emotional loss of their nearest and dearest and if they survive how are they going to pay for the rehab and medications and constant medical support”?

I suspect you remember me warning that the US Healthcare system was a disaster waiting to happen several years ago on this blog, and that healthcare had to be treated as a National Security issue as disease is no respector of wealth and the poor becoming diseased and being originators of what we now call “community spread” for the whole population to get sick and die prematurely.

Well before COVID-19 or as the infected Republican politicians call it “Wuhan disease”, the US unlike other First World Nations had a falling average age of death and death by perscription pain killers in the US was at one point a thousand times that of the rest of the world. This was almost entirely down to US Healthcare Policies, that are failing everyone except Big Phama and the Insurance industry…

Early this year as I’m sure you remember I indicated that I thought California for various reasons would become “disease central” which is why I “was pleased” to see that it did not.

Sadly as you have just indicated it looks like California is now on course to become significantly effected.

I was initially pleased to be wrong in my prediction, but now as you can imagine I’m not. The waste of human life is not just individual tragadies, but a sad reflection of a now much reviled political mantra that was a falsehood from the earliest espousings of what was to become neo-liberalism or as some one once joked about it “The Sue, Grabit and Runaway Partnership” policy.

I suppose I will get rebuked for wishing neo-liberals choke on their own words through the agency of what they call the Wuhan Virus.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 5:53 AM

@ Clive
Before others read it, in essence it’s a “nothingburger H&R / Management tool” that is in effect too abstract to be of immediate real world use.
Ironically that is how the Cybersecurity Framework for Critical Industries started…my comment back in the day was it looked like someone barfed on a napkin. As was then, a critical comment to NIST is warranted. It seemed to have worked in the previous case. It would be fantastic if an ad-hoc group from Schneier’s Security Bloggers (or the usual suspects) outline a proper response. It could be elevated and correctly with the proper attention.

And my apologizes Clive, don’t know how to credit you with a half hour–might I suggest a hat instead?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 6:01 AM

@ Clive, SpaceLifeForm
Wasn’t the Murdoch family indicted in a spying case in the UK that eventually brought the Sun down?

The irony of the sentence just hit me…don’t know how to write one were it is “Sun up”.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 6:05 AM

@ MarkH,

My Prediction Was Wrong

Err perhaps you should say “not yet right”.

As I’ve noted above I made predictions for California that thakfully for a while turned out to be wrong.

Now unfortunately the direction on the graph has changed and the number of infections is rising.

My hope as best it can be is that the infection to death rate figures are improving as we learn more about the virus.

I’m not a religious man, but my thoughts, hopes, and wishes are for things to get better and as quickly as possible.

Though it would appear that it is unlikely to happen as greed has set in and it’s slowing things down a lot. As has been noted vaccine researchers are getting their computers attacked by those from foregin countries. This would suggest the researchers are being deliberately secrative over and above any humaniterian ideals. As I’ve said before now is the time to seriously think about “Individual Rights -v- Societal Responsability” and now is not the time to be anything but socialy responsable. It’s said that “no man is an island” and “we all share the same canoe” so we are after all, all in this boat together and who lives or not should not be an “Auction of Death”.

echo July 31, 2020 6:25 AM

I can safely say that just at the point I begin to consider whether I should step out of my bunker groups of hoorays larging it up in very unsafe circumstances explode the R value again.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 6:25 AM

@ name.withheld…

Wasn’t the Murdoch family indicted in a spying case in the UK that eventually brought the Sun down?

It was for procuring illegal services (phone tapping and hacking) and it sun set “The News of the World” which was Murdoch’s flagship “tits, bums, gossip and slander” Sunday Newspaper (known affectionaly as “The news of the screws”).

It also nearly brought the Sun down as well but somehow the flame haired spouse beating editor managed to leave evidence up against a dustbin or something like that in a garage.

The Murdoch’s “lawyered up” and the little morons all went and hid in the US to keep away from subpoenas and warrants and other nasty bits of paper inviting them to come and tell the truth…

As usual it was the little guys that got hooked and dropped into the can. It will be interesting to see how well the bear faced liars “shut up and we will look after you” promises actual pan out, after all he did kind of pleed senility in his “requested” apperance.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 7:43 AM

@ nane.withheld…, JonKnowsNothing,

As I was looking through my overly large collection of vinyl to find something to listen to, my fingers walked over and stoped on a 45rpm from another time…

Fifty years before Covid-19 and what is happening with ununiformed federal thugs was 1969. A year that many remember because it was possibly the last time the US felt happy with it’s self and for a few short weeks the world felt united with something almost pure in science and mind. Man went to the moon and for a few brief hours few who had access to a television were away from it.

Well that year was also perhaps by chance prescient in it’s records. But perhaps not, those with clarity of sight were seeing where things were going…

So my fingers paused, something in my gut reminded me of the words. So I give you,

Thunderclap Newman and Someting in the air,

Do the words sound bang upto date a half century later?

Any way next up is a group some may od heard of “Slade” led by Noddy Holder and “Quiet Riot”…

Singapore Noodles July 31, 2020 9:46 AM

“ IBM completes successful field trials on Fully Homomorphic Encryption”

So the next hacker target will presumably be the computations themselves. How are these secured ?

Weather July 31, 2020 10:02 AM

Ntru sent me a jar file years ago, idea debugger detected it was calling to a web address… I’ll dodge them if I was you.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 3:18 PM

@ Singapore Noodles,

So the next hacker target will presumably be the computations themselves. How are these secured ?

They are secured by the lattice encryption.

There are three things you can do with knowledge/information,

1, Store it.
2, Communicate it.
3, Peocess it

The first two are solved problems as far as being secured by cryptographic processes, and have been one way or another since the 1950’s or earlier (see Dorothy Denning’s book from the 80’s about encrypting databases etc[1]).

The third has been a pain, for some time and is what you need homomorphic-encryption for.

We’ve known how to do bits of it for years, but whilst you can do seperate functions such Addition under one cryptographic type (stream) you had to use a different type for Multiplication etc to be secure. Any system so far has required thousands to hundreds of thousands of CPU cycles to carry out each basic function thus was not exactly efficient.

Also various functions present a problem, take a simple comparison used as a test before a change in the flow of execution. One basic way is to XOR the bytes together and check they are all zero. Obviously you can not do this on an insecure or hostile machine because you would leak information that would enable the crypto protection to be obviated.

Which brings us to your future view question of,

So the next hacker target will presumably be the computations themselves.

There is rather more to securing computarions on an insecure or hostile computer than just the basic functional steps homomorphic-encryption gives you.

If you think about the structure of a program and how it’s algorithms/methods respond to data you can tell a great deal from the resulting “execution signiture”. Look on it as “Traffic Analysis for Processing”.

As a subject there is not much available, so far it’s been mainly about deducing where data resides in “Encrypted System Core Memory (RAM)” in microcontrolers such that you can carry out “bit flipping” or similar attacks. The earliest uses of which were to get “Free access to ‘Pay to View’ content” on the likes of settop boxes and the likes of algorithms used to protect artistic content when used “off line”.

[1] Denning, Dorothy E, : “Cryptography and Data Security” (1982). Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-10150-5.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 3:19 PM

Bruce is trying to scare the crap out of me/us. A graphic, of the photo variety, on a topical subject? Cut it out, my command line existence is being challenged enough already.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 3:31 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

Any way next up is a group some may od heard of “Slade” led by Noddy Holder and “Quiet Riot”…

Okay Clive, when it appears the well is running dry of surprises–you pull another rabbit out of your hat. How many rabbits do you have by the way, must be in the forlongsperfortnight range.

I will say there is a relevance that is uncanny, Haight to acknowledge the similarity. I can say that the man is keepin’ us down, time to turn it around.

Liked the simulated LEM, I was lucky as my father was a senior executive at an aerospace company of record for the command module and much of the rocket assembly (Southern California’s hayday). I had access to more technology as a pre-teen than many people have in a lifetime. Turned me into a complete…something…given the pocket protectors and all.
Had a pocket protector fail this year, one of two over a lifetime. I pressed it into service for too long, did see it on the lifecycle management reports, but premature materials failure took it down, not a good sign.

The movie wherein Michael Douglas’ character is both the protaganist and antaganist, titled “Falling Down”, was an accurate depiction of the malaise set upon the professional engineering cadre. Though for many reasons, and you have discussed this before, the abuse of technologists to advance a pro-military agenda (not because force is necessary, but doable) ran true at that time–and earlier. Steve “The Woz” Wozniak is a perfect example, too bad he’d not had the impact the other Steven; his friend, Jobs, was such a tool.

You can take the [wo]man out of the pocket protector but you cannot take the pocket protector out of the [wo]man.

That’s my contribution to quotable wisdom for the day.

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 4:24 PM

@ name.withheld…,

How many rabbits do you have by the way

The thing about rabbits, surly ungratful critters that they are is like busses are supposed to –but don’t– be “one along every minute”.

There is an old joke,

The life was idilic for the rabbits of Holm Farm the old farmer did not hunt or trap them and the bank at the edge of the wood was nearly perfect to build warrens in.

However one morning there was a shock there was a baying of hounds and blasts of shot guns, young Peter and little Miss Cottontail were lucky to be on the top of the bank, and ran as fast as they could into the wood, where by luck they saw a man with a net before he could pounce. Young Peter ran into a hollow log quickly followed by little Miss Cottontail.

As they lay there they could hear the dogs scratching and scraping at the log. Little Miss Cottontail obviously frightened asked Peter what they were going to do.

Peter thought for a moment then said,

“I guess if we just lay here we’ll pretty soon outnumber them.”

Clive Robinson July 31, 2020 6:43 PM

@ name.withheld…,

I know other “multiplication” jokes about rabbits, but most are not exactly “fit for work” 😉

Hopefully the boss will let this one live for a day or two as it’s not too shocking 0:)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons July 31, 2020 11:28 PM

@ Clive
There are some many things that I am unfit for, cross pollinating is one of them. I need to work from a smaller list, transpiration as a hobby and vocation or some such. In the meantime.

Punchline solicitation form:

What tastes like victory and smells like defeat…

_____________________________, Thank you.

This could be humorous at some point.

echo August 1, 2020 1:44 AM


“I guess if we just lay here we’ll pretty soon outnumber them.”

Somebody is assuming too much. The 1970s called and wants its discrimination in the workplace case back.

MarkH August 1, 2020 5:16 AM

@echo, JonKnowsNothing, Clive re. predictions:

Attempting to extrapolate apparent trends in measurements of phenomena which are (a) extremely nonlinear, (b) episodic, and (c) functions of numerous variables … in other words, what I did … was a poorly founded undertaking.

I’ve gleaned from the news that Swedish public opinion has recently been reacting to the high death toll, and compliance to anti-transmission measures has grown accordingly.

I offer as speculation another possible cause of reduced mortality: perhaps matters in Sweden are sufficiently rational and orderly, that best practices have been applied to congregate residences for the elderly (nursing homes and the like), where deaths have been so disproportionately concentrated in affluent countries.

Meanwhile, as some of us expected, many millions in poor countries have descended into severe malnutrition as a knock-on effect of global economic contraction.

Clive Robinson August 1, 2020 11:21 AM

@ name.withheld…,

I need to work from a smaller list, transpiration as a hobby and vocation or some such.

Agh the old women glow men sweat reaction to the turning up the heat.

Which brings us to the punch line question, I can not help but feal that the expected “Teen Spirit” should be “Teen transpire” or just plain “sweaty teen”, which will probably bring much approbation upon my bald spot… :-S

As was once noted, “Whilst decorum might be my middle name, it should by all rights be my first name”.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 1, 2020 12:13 PM

@ Clive,

Are you trying to make me spit my coffee on my keyboard–new rule, check for drone before reading emails.

And why are you so pedantic? You overly abhorrent wordsmith of many words and many moods but of little cranial hair. Sounds like you’ve invented a new color, Teen Transpiration Teal–now scented.

The next post/article is an indictment…seriously.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 1, 2020 12:22 PM

— 17 Sept 2015 — Constitutional Questions relevant to 2020 —

Observation Notes — Georgetown Center on National Security & the Law

After seeing the Constitution Project event held at the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law — Too Many Secrets — a follow up seemed appropriate. This post is responsive to the event at Georgetown of 17 September.

One thing I understand the panel to have incorrectly assessed is centered on technological acumen and legal procedure(s) when it comes to evaluating or overseeing intelligence agencies. Approximately two-thirds through the panel discussion the issue of how the IG or others had difficulty translating technological processes and determining the intersection of statue, directives, or policy; were the uses and authorities taken by an agency lawful or compliant?

A substantial fracture exists between the intel community, the “secret” courts, and any form of oversight performed. As commented on by Aftergood, “the loss of any element in the chain of the oversight processes”, this is probably the largest element–it has a two-fold component as this problem feeds back into committees of responsibility and thus unwittingly becomes sanctioned. I assert the manner and construction of the FAA act of 2008, as written, is a deliberate piece of legalize to achieve a completely ancillary objective within “government” under a mechanism devised by the Intel community, reported/voted out of committee, voted into law, and few are aware of the implications. Government institutions, the public, and any semblance of a representative republic is threatened under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

Intel agencies have violated boundaries of authority, budgets, codes of conduct, statutory mission, and are a complete odds with the public good in a number of cases. This is not my opinion, this comes from a complete reading of an opinion written by the FISA Court, both the April and August 2011 Memorandums.

The jurist(s) of record, Bates, reported that significant ethical, departmental, and legal or code of conduct issues were uncovered during the course of several different agency programs at NSA and the FBI. In the opinion. the egregious treatment of both the FISA statutory framework and the FISA court itself is given witness. The FISA court and the intel community interactions under the cloak of secrecy in just one case before the FISC, strains ANY fictional accounting. Deliberately misleading the court, use of surveillance powers prior to statutory authorization–which is anything but STRICT, not for exigence or purpose, but for scope and reach, and only receiving reprimands to violations of court orders and demands–more than a few were promptly IGNORED by the intel community.

To analogize by case example (hypothetical);

Imagine as a individual, a private citizen, will call her Jane, uses public land to build an interstate highway; without proper government authorization (don’t own the land, no right of way, not a single permit is issued, no public notice, no planning commission hearings, etc), no regulatory compliance, safety, and procedural actions were adhered to during construction.

Nearly three years after the completion of this interstate highway, Jane is charged with with misappropriating public resources and goods along with a criminal count of willful violation of the public trust. Jane is called before the court, the judge upon hearing the facts provided, orders Jane to re-mediate any effects caused by the actions and requires Jane to rectify and/or resolve the violations and report back to the court in 90 days.

RESPONDENT (Should be stated as DEFENDANT) Jane
Ignore the court–stating difficulty in complying with the court’s order(s), and request delay(s). Not just one delay, but a series of delays amounting approximately 21 months. Once before the judge, Jane instructs the judge “he is wrong”, that he has no right to order Jane to rectify misdeeds, Jane files an another court delay.

A segment of the government not only violates court orders, lies and manipulates the facts before the court, but abuses court procedures and the court itself, and is in such contempt that essentially directs the court as to what is necessary.

Clive Robinson August 1, 2020 1:40 PM

@ name.withheld…,

May I suggest that a pediatrist is in order?

Just remember a pediatrist spends their working lives working with “defeet” 😉

That rustling sound you hear is me exiting stage left at high velocity 0:)

echo August 3, 2020 4:13 AM

This is fair comment. It should also be the bread and butter job of statisticians and data verification and collation. There is no rocket science here so why the government has got itself into a mess I don’t know.

I also know in the past Whitehall statisticians have “massaged” data to cover up errors and in some cases odd numbers caused by fraud and to polishthings slightly to keep ministers happy soyouhave to keep your eye on them. Having seen the data myself and being aware of the prosecutions and cover-up which went on and which only really became headline news when money laundering in the City became a hot potato I would like the methodologies and datasets to be freely available. I would also like the full reasoning framework for decisions just in case a minister is asleep at the wheel or wants to look good on a television show.

“It is essential to adjust for the number of tests being done. Leicester and Oldham have seen significant increases in testing in a short time. Leicester, for example, in the first two weeks of July, did more tests than anywhere else in England: 15,122 tests completed in the two weeks up to July 13.

The potential for false-positives (those people without the disease who test positive) to drive the increase in community (pillar two) cases is substantial, particularly because the accuracy of the test and the detection of viable viruses within a community setting is unclear.

Standardising cases per tests done, and aligning the counts in different datasets to provide the same numbers, will allow a better understanding of whether cases are going up or down.

Inaccuracies in the data and poor interpretation will often lead to errors in decisions about imposing restrictions, particularly if these decisions are done in haste and the interpretation does not account for fluctuations in the rates of testing.”

Clive Robinson August 3, 2020 5:35 AM

@ echo,

It should also be the bread and butter job of statisticians and data verification and collation. There is no rocket science here so why the government has got itself into a mess I don’t know.

It is the National Audit Office that allegedly provides the honest statistics in the UK Government. However as I’ve noted in the past with COVID figures I’ve significantly doubted them especially as to how the attributed excess deaths over the previous five year average.

That is their figures failed to take into acount “lockdown” changes. That is for instance other sources had shown road and industrial accidents which represent a measurable percentage normally had dropped away to near zero but likewise they had not shown the rise in medically preventable deaths because people with heart conditions and the like had avoided going to seek medical treatment.

So if the NAO supposed bastion of all that can be measured were getting basic things wrong, then what hope that any other UK Government Dept?

Especially with the “PMs Brain” cumming and going to independent scientific advisory meetings basically telling them what they should say…

The simple fact is that the UK was “The Dirty Man of the World” for quite some time even using Government manipulated figures. The death rate per head of population was appaling yet the story coming out was we had things under control… Which I guess realy ment that the propaganda arm was earning their overtime pay.

Eventually other nations caught up and even the Swedish population realised they had been conned by a “cult of personality” into behaviour even lemmings avoid.

As I’ve mentioned before some people actually see profit in as many elderly deaths as possible whilst others see savings. Yet their mantra addled brains have not worked out that they to will one day be old and have no voice and history has a habit of repeating on those who do not learn… Oh and the basic fact that “Disease especially an airborne one is no respector of wealth, privilege or power”[1].

However there is a new attack by those who do not like basic science and they’ve managed to get some scientists to go along with them.

It’s the argument that huge sums of money and other resources are being wasted on “Surface Cleaning” where people can touch and potentialy come into contact with SARS-CoV-2 virus. It’s being “dressed up” in various ways but the underlying message is it’s taking money out of the pockets who think the money should be theirs…

The point they are not telling and it’s a very very important one and that is,

    The Fallacy of Defence Spending.

The simple fact is you never know when you are overspending on defence, all you can know is when you have not spent enough thus you get attacked and maybe die.

The second problem is war is rarely expenential because it is tied to “linear” production processes. Disease transmission is however as we all should know by now “exponential”.

Thus by the time you realise you are not spending enough on defence the exponential rise is going up to fast to easily get on top of, and requires in comparison to the defence costs many many times more.

Something those in Leicestershire and other parts of the UK are finding out the hard way…

And this is not helped by certain politically motivated agendas some of whom are academics claiming the new shutdowns are in fact “racial and religious discrimination” against people from West and South Asia (basically those from Pakistan or of the Muslim faith).

The simple fact is the figures show that the problem of community spread has been growing alarmingly in those areas and despite several weeks of warning the UK Government failed to be responsive and instead sat on it’s hands and as usuall waited way to long before they were forced into acting…

[1] Something senior US politicos with a contempt for basic science are finding out or more correctly their families are back in April Forbes had a tally on then,

I dread to think what it is now but “proudly being mask free” is a somewhat stupid thing to die from.

echo August 3, 2020 8:30 AM


Having seen some of the statistics fudging as well as documents proving ministers lied to parliament during a previous administration, and later documents highlighting widespread unlawful behaviour and cover-up of human rights abuses under the last administration,and topped by the current adminstration with the recent conclusions of people being “thrown to the wolves”, as per one report, and government only beginning to get half honest when analysis began to creep out of the real death toll, first on twitter actually and only a week or two later by the Financial Times the UK derves the title “Dirty Man of Europe” along with Broken Britain, Rip-Off Britain, Perfidiuous Albion and so forth.

I can’t disagree with anything you said. I only don’t write it myself because, quite frankly, I’m burned out with it and said it a million times.

One of the country’s most senior scientists has criticised government for the “shroud of secrecy” drawn over major decisions in the coronavirus crisis and urged ministers to be more open about the reasons behind their policies.

Sir Paul Nurse, the nobel laureate and director of the Francis Crick Institute in London, said important decisions throughout the pandemic had been made in what appeared to be a “black box” of scientists, civil servants and politicians, and called for more transparency and scrutiny.

The failure to be more open about pivotal decisions, and the basis on which they were reached, meant it had been impossible to challenge emerging policy, he said, a situation that fuelled poor decisions and put public trust at risk.

Not a surprise. Personally I’m fed up with this chummy “urging”. Why can’t we just get to the point and slap them in jail for murder and fraud and God knows what else?

Clive Robinson August 3, 2020 12:01 PM

@ myliit,

The Atlantic article, realy does not contain anything not already said on this blog, with perhaps the exception of one or two subjective inacuracies caused by the author not checking that what they believe was actually fully factually supported.

But hopefully it will cause people to wake up and question… Which realy is the first step for change or revolution.

myliit August 3, 2020 1:53 PM

@Clive Robinson

Apparently Jared Kushner, our President’s son-in-law, had a covid-19 testing plan that was trashed for perceived political advantage.

“How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”

This spring, a team working under the president’s son-in-law produced a plan for an aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response that could have brought the pandemic under control. So why did the White House spike it in favor of a shambolic 50-state response?


Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said. …”

echo August 4, 2020 12:50 PM


I suspected things were a bit selective so it was an “Ahah gotcha” moment when I read the numbers had been deliberately fiddled. Yes, the BBC shift from “factual” to “balance” has been noticed and shredded along with all the political appointments to senior management and faux professional decisions by editors but, as you say, the Tories are remarkably persistent with their deceit.

I’m not a big fan of platforming certain people because it gives them false legitimacy and they benefit from an unworthy amount of free publicity. I’m not aware of any specific legal requirement for the BBC to provide “balance” but I know they changed their editorial policy, and news and current affairs especially have been pulling tricks. But the days of letting a certain boss-eyed far right party leader make a fool of himself have gone and they have permanent seats for toad face and his goons.

On an orthogonal note I watch military youtubes from a distance and have a very scepical eye of some of the comments. Most people are reasonable but there’s a few too many louts with far right influenced ideas who float around this area. One presumes it gets flagged and goes on the pile of meta-data.

Some of the Alt-Right stuff can be difficult to action because they chose their words carefully but I know filth and the odd threat when I read it.

All I can sayis I’m jolly glad I’m not like them.

Clive Robinson August 5, 2020 1:42 AM

@ echo,

I’m not aware of any specific legal requirement for the BBC to provide “balance”

The BBC Charter is a legal document and in some respects it is like a “letter of Marque”[1] given by a soverign to a merchant ventura, that confers on the holder the ability to do something that others are legaly not, but it also applies constraints.

Thus every few years the Government of the day “re-assess” the BBC charter and there is little the BBC or anyone else can do to change what they decide[2].

All I can sayis I’m jolly glad I’m not like them.

After years of thinking about things and thus changing in the process,

    All I can say, is I hope I’m not like them in action or deed. But at the end of the day like most people I’m a product of how I am treated.

We are all of “common clay” in our making, as Shakespeare had Shylock note in the Merchant of Venice,

    “If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.”

We thus have to hope we can rise above the clay at all times despite the provocation of others who have sunk below it, for greed or other sins that are said to be deadly.


Note that what was issued to a “privateer” was actually a “Letter of Marque and repriasal”.

[2] For instance the “Free Licence” was a “gift from the Government to certain people”. That is the BBC still recieved the money from the Government for those licences (which was in 2017-18 £655.3 million or 17.1%). Well now they have changed it so it still appears as a “gift from the Government” but in reality the entire expense of that “gift” comes out of the BBC’s finances, but… It’s actually worse than that as they are also required to “outsource” the operation of collecting licence fees to one of the Government’s “Cronie Corps” like Serco / G4S / Capita, all of whom have had significant fiducuary irregularities to their benift which most would call fraud. But these people in turn gain prosecutial powers that they use against mainly the disadvantaged in society. Due to a bonus scheme that pays licence agents to essebtialy commit what many would consider supplying false evidence to courts. The result of this includes sending armed police officers to peoples homes, which they have done a number of times all of which is paid for by other licence payers…

echo August 5, 2020 12:30 PM


The BBC Charter is a legal document and in some respects it is like a “letter of Marque”[1] given by a soverign to a merchant ventura, that confers on the holder the ability to do something that others are legaly not, but it also applies constraints.

I felt one of the major mistakes of Labour when they were in power and seeking re-election was not to push for a written and modernised constitution. Another glaring and quite malicious and petty error in my mind was not updating welfare policies to provide for uprated “minimum standard of living” and/or provide funding for free licences via social programmes. The advantage of this is it kept people within the system but also when people go jobs paying enough they would be more likely to pay themselves. Instead of doing this they simply got worse in their dying days and put the boot in with Work Capability tests and the ATOS regime which was, quite frankly, state sanctioned fraud and opened the door to Tory austerity measures and weaponised psychology and economic murder. Brexit and a pandemic is icing on the cake…

After years of thinking about things and thus changing in the process

Ooh. That cuts a bit. lol

We thus have to hope we can rise above the clay at all times despite the provocation of others who have sunk below it, for greed or other sins that are said to be deadly.

Yeah and it’s bloody tough going at times.

Clive Robinson August 5, 2020 7:27 PM

@ echo,

Yeah and it’s bloody tough going at times.

Nature decided that life would never be easy, and it does not help that some believe in making it worse a lot worse for their own gain.

Perhaps the biggest mark of a society is how it looks after all of it’s own, especially those who through no fault of their own have become disadvantaged.

And perhaps a mark of equall importance on a society is how it deals with those that harm others and take that which they have no right to. Whilst being selfish or greedy are not crimes, acting on those impulses so that others come to harm used to be legislated against or dealt with by common consent of peers (Tort). Thus we had valid reasons to exclude people from society (imprisonment etc) or take back from them by equal or greater measure what they had taken from others (fines etc).

However our current crop of legislators have fairly clearly been either corrupted or perverted by those who’s sole interest in life is to have “self entitlement at the expense of all others” and to create lies and induce false fear or faux envy to try to make what they are doing apparently less evil or less morally or socially wrong…

Thus the question arises as to how to clear out this mess that makes removing the piles of festering corruption in the Aegean Stables appear trivial.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 5, 2020 9:13 PM

(This is a particularly insightful statement from the court) == 0
U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review
RE: Certification of Questions of Law to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review
Docket No. FISCR 18-01
Page 12 Excerpt:

(“[T]o establish standing, it is not necessary for litigants to demonstrate that they will prevail on the merits of their claim. Therefore, in determining whether the Newspapers have standing, we need not determine that the Newspapers will ultimately obtain access to the sought after Settlement Agreement.

We need only find that the Order of Confidentiality being challenged presents an obstacle to the Newspapers’ attempt to obtain access.” <b<(citation omitted)). Thus, the question for purposes of standing is whether the claim raised by the plaintiff is judicially cognizable, regardless of whether the claim will ultimately be found to be meritorious.

See Flynt v. Rumsfeld, 355 F.3d 697, 702-03 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (plaintiffs had standing to assert First Amendment right to accompany military units into combat, even though court rejected claim on the merits)

// END
The decision returned by the court in late 2018 is a definite work of mental yanking and spanking. The conclusion was most notable and unbelievable–to paraphrase–‘It’s been fixed.’ The court pointing to legislation passed in 2015. But this appears to be a redirection and not an answer.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 5, 2020 10:42 PM

@ Clive, @ echo

A formal colleague has written much concerning charters. The very idea of charters can be thought of, for practical purposes, secret law. Having the original work, Moore passed in late 2010, and as an associate received much from the estate concerning Ms. Moore’s legal research. Copies of Ms. Moore’s work from various sites seem to be “disappearing” from sites, might be found on

My understanding is that charters, many brought about in the 15th century, were foundational monopolies. Education, transportation, accommodations, professional services, and a number of other less likely bedfellows form the basis for corporate law in the UK.

From a Colleague; Moore, Suzon and published in the public interest. Non-profit distribution not limited with proper attribution.

Royal Charters-granted to commercial interests, professions, institutes, universities and 66 UK cities-are currently individually negotiated by the Privy Council Office with the relevant minister, indicating that they are not documents produced as a matter of mere formality or custom but are contracts which have been carefully deliberated. Although charters are individualised, almost all create a hierarchical structure with powers and privileges concentrated at the top…

Royal Charters explicitly command JUDGES, MINISTERS and CIVIL SERVANTS to give favourable treatment to the chartered body, wrongdoing (including ‘non-recital’ or concealment and ‘mis-recital’ or deception) notwithstanding. That this command is not only made to be obeyed can be seen in the ‘Lloyds of London’ fraud and in numerous acts of parliament. If deception and concealment (the elements of fraud) have be contractually excused in advance at the highest level for over 900 years, then how well do standard assumptions hold up now?

Some commonly held beliefs are that:
1. the British Empire lost most of its power and influence
2. our government is a constitutional monarchy/parliamentary democracy
3. the royal prerogative is limited to a few formalities
4. the Privy Council is primarily concerned with Commonwealth matters
5. UK Judges are independent, impartial and uphold the ‘the rule of law’
6. cabinet ministers decide policy
7. the monarch defers to the will of Parliament
8. incorporations is a defensible basis for doing business
9. market forces are natural and efficient
10. privatisation and deregulation have been driven by economic theories
11. the “special relationship” with the US has been a good thing

12 poverty, crime and war are inevitable

…evidentiary support…38 pages

Last sentence of the thesis work:

‘Greater security for everyone, based upon a clearer understanding of the feudal past which has continued in a more subtle guise, should be our common goal.’

There is much more to work of Ms. Moore, just thought I’d throw some academic work in this area of law. Ha, law!

echo August 7, 2020 2:23 PM


Thanks. As you suggest the British constitution “as is” is a mockery. Things aren’t what they appear to be when you take a second look.

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