Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Proteins for a Better Face Mask

Researchers are synthesizing squid proteins to create a face mask that better survives cleaning. (And you thought there was no connection between squid and COVID-19.) The military thinks this might have applications for self-healing robots.

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 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM • 148 Comments

Comments

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasonsJuly 31, 2020 4:38 PM

Okay Bruce,

Next book title suggestion:

Too fast, too delirious.

SpaceLifeFormJuly 31, 2020 6:17 PM

Garmin was not the only company to pay the ransom.

Good security advice given by the hackers, *after* the ransom was paid.

Of course, this is windows.

Instinctively, I would not agree with the hackers about changing passwords every month.

Normally, that would be considered security theatre.

But, maybe, that is a hint. Why a month? Why not 6 weeks?

What could be leaking in a one month timeframe?

hXXps://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1289199296328298497.html


DroneJuly 31, 2020 7:09 PM

"(And you thought there was no connection between squid and COVID-19.)"

COVID rhymes with Squid. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, you'll see...

Clive RobinsonJuly 31, 2020 7:10 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Instinctively, I would not agree with the hackers about changing passwords every month.

For more years than I can remember now there have been to apparentky opposing views on passwords,

1, Never change them.
2, Change them as fast as possible.

I'm actually of the view that both are valid because there is more to passwords than at first meets the eye.

But first I'm now of the view that the human mind is not upto remembering passwords so...

1, Pass phrases for humans.
2, Pass words for tokens etc.

In either case as long as you can reasonably make them.

For instance with PAM on Linux you could have very long pass phrases. Being a commuter in London who was begining to feel as though I was in that pythons sketch where they claimed to get up before they went to bed... I once used,

    BritishSnailAndTheLondonSlumberground

As a temporary pass phrase that I could easily remember.

Oh and one departing work colleague who had found a better job left a password of,

    13a5t4rd

Which if you write it down right makes an illegitimate word.

The point about never changing a password is "because you never use it", that is there are some reasons you might never need to log in, thus a long complicated password written on a piece of paper inside a sealed envelope in a locked safe is actually still an option for a supprising number of situations.

However having a TAM list or Rapid change Token is valid in other situations, where you have to log in fairly frequently across "public" equipment and communications.

At the end of the day the problem with passwords is that sixty years ago we knew that passwords were a "temporary compromise" untill the technology got better...

Proving once again "There is no thing as permanent as temporary"...

MrCJuly 31, 2020 9:42 PM

@Clive

My understanding of the password expiry issue is

1. There have been some actual studies and they found, unsurprisingly, that people find forced password changes really annoying and tend to respond by either choosing a spaceballs-grade password[1] on the spot or making a minor permutation to the old password. The former is terrible across the board, and the latter is terrible against the very scenario that password expiry is supposed to protect against.

2. Historically, password lifetimes bore a reasoned relationship to how long it would take an attacker to crack their hash, but those recommended password lifetimes have been brainlessly perpetuated into the modern context while the reasoning behind them has been forgotten and no longer holds true. The recommended lifetimes are derived from the 1970s-era multi-user DoD mainframe context, where it was possible to precisely compute the average time it would take a malicious user to crack a hash, and then set the password lifetime a safe margin shorter than that. The analogous modern-day threat is offline hash cracking against a stolen password database. In his scenario, we usually have no idea which algorithm/parameters the breached serviced used for hashing, and we have no idea what kind of hardware the attacker can afford. Consequently, we have no idea what a reasonable password lifetime would be.

[1] https COLON SLASH SLASH www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=a6iW-8xPw3k

Gunter KönigsmannJuly 31, 2020 11:20 PM

If passwords are never changed and if you provide a fake login screen once or used a key logger in the right internet shop that account is yours, forever.
If the next password is easy to guess, that is still true and if your IT detects if your password changed in an obvious way they are storing passwords as plain text.

David8August 1, 2020 1:14 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efs3QRr8LWw

This is an interview with Snowden around the time his book was published. It's the Joe Rogan podcast.

Snowden talks almost constantly for almost three hours.
He gets into law quite heavily, including details I'm not sure are so well known even to those familiar with the matter.
The illegality of everything the US is doing in this regard, and the motivations that led to it, are really spelled out so clearly.
There is really some seriously interesting detail.

One of the closing points is a reference to the subject of Russia interfering with elections. Snowden quotes a Blue York Times, or New York Grimes, or NY Slime or whatever it's called study from a few years ago.
The study found that, in the last century, Russia had demonstrably interfered with foreign elections a total of something like 36 times.
They study also found, in the same century, the US had interfered with elections something like 87 times

It may not be on youtube for much longer as Rogan has given Spotify an exclusive license to all his stuff

echoAugust 1, 2020 1:26 AM

While I do understand thereareawide variety of circumstances and situations government advice doesn'tseem to codify this. Nor does it codify who has a legitimate exception from mask wearing nor does it tackle the both in science and law provably bad beliefs of some people.

Some things concern me. "Leadership" is extremely bad at documenting the issues and codifying them. There is no clear message on what is best to wear or why. It's all too often tainted with hidden agendas either from the medical profession who scoff or want to keep supplies to themselves or politicians who think mask wearing makes them appear weak. There is no scheme which codifies who has an exception. Really, precisely who is excepted and on what grounds? Can these lazy doctors write it up please? Can we also have a scheme where those who are "exempt" get a visor instead? And please no excuses. I'm really not in the mood for either weaponised psychology from the state or people weaponising their disabilities. Then there are law enforcement issues such as people with a "belief" not grounded in any science or law themselves causing a "breach of the peace" and potentially an assault by knowingly causing a risk of spreading life shortening bugs.

Last but not least can UK "security services" recommend closing down all access to US based social media platforms. They are clearly full of misinformation and bad influences and quite frankly dangerous. Before anyone says we can't do that we can. It was done for Huawei who were absolutely not a security issue but a trade issue and the head of MI6 who sold his soul to curry favour for a Knighthood and post Mi6 company directorships knows this. Why one and not the other? Why also only kick up a stink over Hong Kong and not kick up a stink over black clad thugs in Portland closing down democtratic protests?

During this pandemic I have had to put up witha lot of personal inconvenience and a steep loss of income and have worn a mask at all times when outside on top of all other precautions. I know other people have cut and continue to cut corners. I know because I have seen them do it with my own eyes. So my life is on complete hold while others continue to cheat for advantage?

But for (a nice legal term) stupidity and greed and laziness this would be over a lot quicker.


https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jul/31/no-one-stops-you-coronavirus-shoppers-attitudes-to-masks-differ-across-uk

The 32-year-old from Compstall added: “We need to avoid another spike and wearing a mask keeps people safe. Equally, if someone isn’t wearing a mask, there is usually a good reason, like a hidden disability, and this is not the time for public shaming.”

“Mask judgmentalism” is one of the side effects of the new rules, according to some who spoke to the Guardian. Those wearing masks sometimes look critically at those whose faces are uncovered.

Karen Bennett, 49, shopping in Princes street, Edinburgh, said she felt compelled to wear a visor even though she is exempt for health reasons, because the social stigma of shopping uncovered was too great. “You get all the looks and stares,” she said as she left clothing store Zara.

One young maskless woman in Camden said she believed it was her human right not to wear a mask.

“I’ve seen a lot of animosity for people like me who aren’t wearing masks,” she said. “But as long as we respect each other’s space I think it is OK not to wear a mask. I have a strong belief in God and I believe that the virus won’t touch me or if it does I won’t be badly affected.”

echoAugust 1, 2020 5:46 AM

@Clive

As everyone else has been opening up and returning to normality I have continued with my own schemes and plans. I'm effectively still operating lockdown mode and it is highlighting quite a contrast whether shopping or deliveries or anything else. The local post office continue to knock and step back to maintain a healthy distance. As happened before I had finished writing the first sentence other delivery companies just knock then stand their breathing all over the place so I have to tell them to leave it outside and wait for the air to clear before bringing the parcel in. Yes, even though I am wearing masks and things have eased I am still crossing the road to avoid pedestrians and cyclists and avoiding crowding places or anywhere which may be contaminated or have poor air replacement. At home I continue to operate a "soft airlock" along the lines of clean room/NBC/food industry standards. I'm lucky my immune system and physiology is quite robust, whether through winning the genetic lottery or fortuitous upbringing, but I have some risk factors and I'm not keen to see have these tested either medically or administratively or otherwise. There's a few things I want to continue uprating and modifying as we go along and I have the money to spare. The time for being helpful has passed so I'm not going to advertise what those are to prevent a run on supplies.

There was a Guardian opinion column the other week which tackled the subject of style and fashion post-pandemic with a few editorial thumbs on the wheel. It wasn't disimilar in its throwing of science out the window and citing peer pressure and comfort zones as modifiers instead of, you know, responsibility and self-actualisation. While not picking on religion in particular I will blame it, or perhaps more accurately, irresponsible amateurs in their field on a power trip for psychological abuse and peddling misinformation.

Myself I prefer people bring their "A" game to the table but sadly the "British disease" is back in circulation and likely killing more people than Coronavirus alone could. Sadly we have a Lord Halifax in Downing Street and a Lord Haw Haw running riot in the media every chance they get to shove their toad face on.

Speaking of rodents I just watched a documentary on "The White Mouse". Having read the book "The Colidtz Story" by Pat Reid years ago I'm slowly working my way through "Colidtz" filmed in glorious square-o-vision and 1970s television lighting department dogma. There's also a review available of the original Welrod developed by Station 9 of SOE. The design is even more clever than I thought it was which can be seen in the cutaway model.

Nancy Wake: Gestapo's Most Wanted (French Resistance Documentary) | Timeline
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNXKovYM15A

Silent But Deadly: Welrod Mk IIA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d12AjvEsaHg

rrdAugust 1, 2020 9:30 AM

@ Clive

>> If I were God, I sure as heck would be getting fed up with this sort of nonsense,

Here in the US, we've had two preachers (one black and one white) declare "You can come here and worship in this closed space and God will protect us!", only to die of COVID-19 within weeks. The moral arc of the universe is usually long but sometimes quick and painful, especially to those caught up in their ego when claiming to speak for God.

As to getting "fed up", God gave us our greatest gift -- our free will -- to do with as we please, full stop. We can choose to emulate the ignorant or the wise, the evil or the good, the selfish or the selfless. It's our choice, individually and, then, resultingly, in our groups.

Being the only Earthlings capable of abstract thought and ideation, our free will thus permits us to create out of whole cloth any belief system we choose and then give our lives to it, all the while ignoring the objective truths those delusions obscure.

We are also, however, imbued with the ability to selflessly hone our God-given morality by seeking out our highest purpose and then self-evolving ourselves and our societies towards that moral perfection. If one honestly and humbly pursues this path, one will find that we cannot accomplish this alone.

Belief is simply (but crucially) a part of our nature. That's why *EVERYONE* has a religion, when used as a simple term for "belief system". Usually it's of their own creation, an amalgamation of ideas they've picked up over the course of their lifetime, starting in their childhood. Which ideas we choose to adopt are the most crucial decisions we ever make, because they affect how we treat others, the subsequent actions determining the inner peace we have with respect to both our conscience and the world-at-large.

>> not being sufficiently pious

Piety is judged solely by our love for *ALL* others. A person who does not wear a mask has no love for others, so their worshiping the vice of ignorance (instead of the virtue of selfless love) has harmed both themselves and those around them. The resulting unhappiness their ignorance caused to others will then manifest back within themselves in equal karmic measure. Remember: the karmic system is the universe's feedback system to get us to stop being selfish aholes.

God does indeed work in mysterious ways, but most people haven't developed their discernment to grasp such larger, subtler truths, the simple reason being that they have chosen to forgo seeking those truths for themselves. Choosing to believe that there is no spiritual component to our human planes of existence -- which gives us a more direct, more accurate, more sensible survey of existence both in the small and in the large -- results in that being the exact truth they live. A person who doesn't believe they can learn algebra will never be able to do so until they try.

Put another way, the mask-refuseniks have chosen to ignore their potential to harm others, which is precisely because they don't care about either others or the truths of this scientifically-structured reality, both of which are precisely because they have not given a crap to self-evolve their morality.

Furthermore, this applies to us all, at some level, with respect to our relations with our fellow human beings; that is, until we do the hard graft necessary to root out our vices and transmute them into their corresponding virtues, thereby upgrading our attitudes and behaviors.

>> There is not much you can do legally about small children as any parent of a "terrible two" can tell you.

When my toddler daughter tried to use tantrums to get her way, I would give her "upside-down treatment". I'd just gently pick her up and hang her legs over one of my shoulders and let her look at the world from a different perspective. Gravity, increased blood in the brain, fun, immediate change of visual perspective -- they all did wonders for her attitude within a few seconds. Every single time.

No one taught me this. It was inspired in me from the same place William Gibson goes to receive his stories, a place with no possible explanation to people who believe that this physical world is all there is to human life in this mysterious and fascinating universe.

Right now, we Earthlings are receiving "upside-down treatment" worldwide, because of the worldwide immoralities that are destroying the environment and subjugating its peoples.

For example, gambling and alcohol are being demonstrated for the selfish, wasteful evils they have always been, for the selfishness they ingrain in society. Ditto for our politicians.

This new, rather intense stress on our systems is certainly illuminating its cracks, but few have the clarity to see beyond the symptoms to the diseases.

echoAugust 1, 2020 11:20 AM

Here are some animated infographic by morn1415. The first places the current pandemic in perspective to other disasters. The second is a simple butastonishing comparison of space versus defence expenditure. The third is really just an appreciation of scales from the universal to planck scale now integrated circuits in the next round of technology change promise to break the 3nm barrier. The forth is because its cool and black holes give me the creeps.

Pandemic Comparison
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QferbTc3Sjw

How much do countries spend on Space vs Military?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iinKrECtmRE

Star Size Comparison 3 ( Vortex V1 )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEHCCsFFIuY

Black Hole Comparison
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgNDao7m41M

Clive RobinsonAugust 1, 2020 12:19 PM

@ echo,

Having read the book "The Colidtz Story" by Pat Reid years ago I'm slowly working my way through "Colidtz" filmed in glorious square-o-vision

In the book you will read about an escapee cycling across Germany and into Norway wearing "cricket whites" his name Dominic Bruce

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Bruce

He and I first met at the first floor lift door, when I went to see my father at Kingston College where he worked. Brucie or the "medium sized man" had expanded in girth some what, both of us though had an excess of energy as he bounded out of the lift as I bounded in. It was kind of a David and Goliath moment in reverse or if you prefer I was the mountain. I mumbled some apology and did not think anything more about it till a day or so later my father who had heard from Kieth Hill who had witnessed the incident had dropped the hint to my father that I had made a great impression on Brucie, and Brucie and Brucie's over geberous backside had reciprocated to the lift floor. My father reminded me I was not supposed to go around bouncing College Principles around the place as it was not dignified (but he did not say for who).

The actual incident was not so much a meeting of minds more his nose with my solar plexis because "medium sized" Brucie was not. Any way we kept sort of bumping into each other without actually making contact when he finally realised --the school uniform might have been a clue-- that I was not actually a student, thus demanded to know who I was so I told him and he said "Ahhh you're Tom Robinsons son" to which I just nodded to which further said "It's your sister who's the student in the Union" which puzzled me some what. It turned out that my sister had been interviewed by the BBC at a Students Union demonstration in London and her words had ruffeled a few feathers... Any way Brucie said as he walked away "I've got my eye on you lad"...

Well a little while later I became a student at the college and it turned out Brucie was keeping his eye on me. When I was orphaned he did a lot to see that my education continued and that I was offered a job at the college so I could carry on my studies.

I later found out from Keith that although my father and Brucie rarely saw eye to eye, my fathers forthright nature and memory of conversations dates and places ment that they both had quite a bit of respect for each other.

What is not well known is that Brucie was sentenced to death several times when in Colditz and he kept the signed death warrants and he hung them on the wall of his office at Kingston College, when he had problematical visitors he would give them a cup of tea or coffee and aimiably chat about how he had got so many of them. He would if the person had not softened up then gently remind them that if solitary confinement and sentences of death had not detered him in the past, he would ask the person what they had that they thought would deter him.

He was all round an interesting charecter and was in some ways quite religious in a practical way, he caused a bit of a ruckus over school places, the powers that be wanted to reduce them Dominic however knew from his charty etc work that there was actually a big boom of babies working their way up. He had in part a hand in this with nine children. Any way for this and other reasons he came to the attention of the Vatican that ended up with him being made a knight.

Any way Dominic retired in 1980 and probably worked harder behind the scenes for the next twenty years than he had done for the fourty years before.

There are times when I wish there were more people like him and my father and Keith still around because they got things done not in any expectation of reward --more likely punishment-- but because they saw things needed to be done as it was the right thing to do.

Clive RobinsonAugust 1, 2020 1:31 PM

@ rrd,

Belief is simply (but crucially) a part of our nature. That's why *EVERYONE* has a religion, when used as a simple term for "belief system".

Yes most people do have belief systems but they need not be a religion (depends on how you define religion which is a very long discussion in of it's self).

I'm what some call a humanist, that is I believe in what humans can do for themselves without idolising a deity or prophet.

We think that in the past humans imbued the planets with mystical powers. Well the powers the Sun and Moon have on us were certainly mysterious but mystical no. Science eventually evolved and those mysteries became not just understandable but explainable usually with very very simple ideas and models that mathmatics make all the more precise. And with that increasing precision more mysteries to be solved became uncovered and so it goes on.

But fundementaly early man was right, all the energy that gives this planet life originates one way or another from the Sun, the Moon and the tilt of the earth. Simple things build into complexity which gives us the rich tapestry of our world and it is this that drives us forward.

The history of religion shows that man creates deities in our own lickness but importantly always that little bit out of reach. Thus it harneses our inbuilt curiosity and turns it into striving.

I have no need to chase after such things, the pursuit of information to put to use not just creatively but for benifit is what makes me an engineer first and formost in almost everything I do.

I find I have little need to live anywhere except inside my own head. When I was younger I did not understand why others have a desperate almost pathological need to live in other peoples heads. I however quickly learnt it is neither healthy for them or those they fix their attentions on. So perhaps it is just as well there are dieties just out of reach for such people to chase.

Does this make me a better or worse person than them, actually neither it just makes me different. What makes me a better or worse person is how I treat others, how I give back what I've learned, and how I can make other peoples lives better with the knowledge I have by applying it to the world around me, not just for the sake of creating, but creating with responsability.

As I've frequently said "technology is agnostic to use, it's the directing mind that decides good or bad". But the technologist who creates without responsability is in part to blaim for when a directing mind takes their works and use them for bad.

As I've been saying more recently we have an issue of "Personal Rights -v- Social Responsability" way to many people go for the former not the latter and forget that it is society that makes it possible for them to have rights. This leads unfortunatly to a culture of "self entitlement" which is not good because almost invariably the entitlement they desire can only be gained by causing harm to others, and importantly to society mostly by way of what would be crimes if politicians and legislators were not "bought off" in some way.

Unfortunately for some self entitled it is not about wealth or ownership but "status". Such people would happily destroy society and thus significantlt harm them selves if they thought it gained them just a tiny bit more status... Almost by definition such people are not just destructive but evily so.

At the end of the day we are all destined to die currently. I would like to go knowing I've given more to mankind than I've taken, thus in some small way I've improved the lot of mankind, even if they never find out it was by what I've done. It's doing things because they are right, not for any gain I might get from doing them.

AndersAugust 1, 2020 4:44 PM

Mario!!!

www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kp7bx/a-massive-leak-of-nintendo-source-code-is-causing-chaos-in-video-games

AndersAugust 1, 2020 4:53 PM

androidrookies.com/german-police-can-access-any-whatsapp-message-without-any-malware/

AndresAugust 1, 2020 5:06 PM

www.zdnet.com/article/tech-unicorn-dave-admits-to-security-breach-impacting-7-5-million-users/

Ismar August 1, 2020 5:29 PM

@Clive
“ At the end of the day we are all destined to die currently. I would like to go knowing I've given more to mankind than I've taken, thus in some small way I've improved the lot of mankind, even if they never find out it was by what I've done. It's doing things because they are right, not for any gain I might get from doing them”

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this very important topic.
I also share your beliefs (pun intended) here and
would just like to add that doing things because they are right is necessary for the survival of our species as can be easily seen with respect to current global threats such as COVID-19 and climate change.

From memory, Bruce touched on a similar topic in his book Liars and Outliers, where he addresses the issues of a delicate balance between law abiding and law breaking citizens for the existence of any society.

AndersAugust 1, 2020 6:59 PM

@Clive,

BTW, is there in UK PSTN still available?
Can you use ordinary modem today?

rrdAugust 1, 2020 8:29 PM

@ Clive

Is it not magical that doing nice things for people over the internet creates good feelings within ourselves?

A wise man explained that being good to others is actually *very* selfish because those ripples of good vibrations come back to us eventually (as do the bad ones). As such, those of us who taste that joy want nothing else for the rest of our lives. That is precisely why you give so generously of your vast engineering knowledge. That is why I try to take advantage of my every opportunity to make someone's life better, either by sharing the wisdom I have found or by helping them physically or monetarily.

Our nature as moral beings is directly interrelated with the laws of karma that determine our happinesses and unhappinesses, for we most certainly reap what we sow. Such human-only laws are more sublime than anything the quantum world has on offer.


Why do people, in this mathematically scientific universe of many mysteries, utterly reject that there is a science of spiritual self-evolution?


Why do people judge religion solely upon the hypocritical, lying oppressors who denigrate religion and their own humanity with their evil ways when religion itself teaches how to recognize such wolves in sheep's clothing? Why do they not instead look to the shining lights of religion such as MLK or Muhammad Ali?


Why is there is a force within ourselves that pushes us to reject spiritual teachings?


Why do so many praise the prescience of Huxley's "Brave New World" yet completely dismiss his book "The Perennial Philosophy"?


Learning, acting upon, and then teaching the answers to these questions produces a most sublime happiness because they go to the root of *ALL* the Earth's problems, both personally and societally.

Remember that as great a scientist as Lord Kelvin once was, he, too, in his pride and closed-mindedness, rejected Boltzman. Any non-ossified scientist would have at least inquired about his work. But, no, he chose the prejudices of his peer group's culture, and missed out on experiencing the bliss of riding a new wave of scientific advancement.


Why do people deny that such questions are even answerable?


Why is there so much hubris and so little humility and humanity?


Why would people think we can establish a secure society without understanding human nature?


A man's worth is less determined by the questions he can answer than by the questions he refuses to ask. That value is then multiplied by how important the questions are.

Please remember that I'm here to help and actually have the answers. Ask away! I love you all, not because it's easy, but because it's important. And I'm very selfish in my giving because I never ask for anything in return. Grok that ;-)

Singular Nodals August 1, 2020 8:53 PM

@Anders

Re: source code leak

Just as polIticians should hope for and relish caricatures of themselves in the press, so software developers should do everything in their power to ensure their source code is widely distributed and understood. That way we get to the essence of things much sooner.

CalcanharAugust 1, 2020 9:37 PM

hXXps://tinyurl.com/y27l9k3z :

"What led you to send up big tech and the internet, or “the grid”, as it’s called in the book?"
"I’d love to write a book about butterflies or something, but I [got] so incensed about what’s happening. About five years ago it became clear that for many reasons the notion of us all having a voice [online] was going to take a different route than we had expected, because of brain chemistry and mob culture and what suited the profit motive... I’m not in any way a technophobe: this is about the extremely alarming agenda behind [online] technologies. We’re running around saying we suddenly have a voice [but] the internet infantilises you – you’re automatically a teenager when you use any of these [social media] tools. They are geared that way: we’re creatures who love an idea much more than a fact, and so we can ignore a whole lot of facts.(...)"

WeatherAugust 2, 2020 2:10 AM

Its not the recent version, hope it doesn't get deleted.

#include
#include
#include

#include "c:\openssl-fips-2.0.16\crypto\sha\sha256.c"
#include "c:\openssl-fips-2.0.16\include\openssl\sha.h"


int main() {
unsigned int i,p,l,t,s,r,r1,s1,c,z,z1,z2,k=0,max,found=0,topc=0;
unsigned int countq[4],storeq[4],xq[4],wq[4],yq[4],zq[4],baseq[4];

unsigned int *diffchar = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);
unsigned int *diffchar1 = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);
unsigned int *diffchar2 = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);


unsigned int *diffcharr = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);
unsigned int *diffchars = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);
unsigned int *diffcharr1 = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);
unsigned int *diffchars1 = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1ffffff);

unsigned char *chardiff = (unsigned char*)malloc(0x3ffffff);
unsigned int *collision = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1BE1C0);
unsigned int *brute = (unsigned int*)malloc(0x1BE1C0);

unsigned int upper=85, lower=70,jumpy=0x10000;
SHA256_CTX cd;

FILE *out;

unsigned int incq[12],len=1;
unsigned char md[34];
//unsigned char checking[32] = {"ADl9"};
//unsigned char checking[32] = {"Cpg74"};
//unsigned char checking[32] = {"ATtwCp9"};
unsigned char checking[32] = {"TgTAbE"};

//Weather!
unsigned char weather[12] = {"Weather!"};
unsigned char testy[34] = {0xc1,0xc1,0xcb,0x51,0x43,0x00,0x22,0x1d,0x3e,0x79,0x8a,0xc5,0x67,0xd8,0x74,0x06,0xc3,0x2d,0xea,0x0c,0xc8,0x64,0x69,0x6f,0x3c,0x50,0x2b,0x3b,0xa1,0xa3,0xdf,0x6a};
//unsigned char testy[34] = {0xb9,0x9e,0xce,0xf2,0x83,0x48,0xc4,0x19,0x15,0xf8,0x8e,0x8f,0x13,0xc3,0x08,0x70,0xa8,0x44,0x31,0xc5,0x68,0x80,0xbe,0x10,0xe5,0xa7,0xe9,0xdd,0x85,0xf5,0xca,0xde};
unsigned char checkinghash[32],combcheck[256];
unsigned int testorcheck = 1,checklen=0; //one of checking zero for testing
unsigned int maxp=0;

unsigned int t0,t1,t2,t3,t4,maxcount=0;
//BE1C0,0x17C380,23A540
unsigned int range=0x23A540,rangesave=0x23a540;
unsigned char comb[98] = {"0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwyxzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWYXZ!@#$%^&*()_+|}{\":?> unsigned int checkarray[100];
unsigned char bytey[0x200],check[300],buf[34];
unsigned char were[34];

for(i=0;i bytey[i] = (unsigned char)i;
}

if(testorcheck != 1) out = fopen("range.txt","w");
memset(checkarray,0x00,sizeof(checkarray));
memset(diffchar,0x00,sizeof(diffchar));
memset(diffchar1,0x00,sizeof(diffchar1));
memset(diffchar2,0x00,sizeof(diffchar2));

memset(diffcharr,0x00,sizeof(diffcharr));
memset(diffcharr1,0x00,sizeof(diffcharr1));
memset(diffchars1,0x00,sizeof(diffchars1));
memset(diffchars,0x00,sizeof(diffchars));

memset(collision,0x00,sizeof(collision));
memset(md,0x00,sizeof(32));
memset(combcheck,0x0,sizeof(combcheck));
memset(checkinghash,0x0,sizeof(checkinghash));
memset(incq,0x00,sizeof(incq));
//memset(md_ctx,0x00,sizeof(*md_ctx));
checklen = strlen(checking);
memset(chardiff,0x00,sizeof(chardiff));

memset(were,0x00,sizeof(were));
memset(buf,0x00,sizeof(buf));


for(i=0;i // buf[i] = weather[i];
buf[i] = checking[i];
}


SHA256(buf,8,md);

for(t=0,i=0;i md[i] = testy[i];
checkinghash[i] = md[i];
// if(testy[i] == md[i]) t++;
// printf("%2X",md[i]);
}
//if(t >= 32) {
// printf("Found\n");
// exit(1);
//}


for(max=0,t0=0,t1=0,t2=0,t3=0,t4=0,c=0;max if(t4 >= 92) {
t4=0;
t3++;
}
if(t3 >= 92) {
t3 = 0;
t2++;
}
if(t2 >= 92) {
t2 = 0;
t1++;
}
if(t1 >= 92) {
t1 = 0;
t0++;
}

memset(were,0x00,sizeof(were));
were[3] = comb[t4];
were[2] = comb[t3];
were[1] = comb[t2];
were[0] = comb[t1];
//SHA256_Init(&cd);
//SHA256_Update(&cd,were,32);
//SHA256_Final(md,&cd);
SHA256(were,4,md);

countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
baseq[0] = 0;
baseq[1] = 0;
baseq[2] = 0;
baseq[3] = 0;

storeq[0]=0;
storeq[1]=0;
storeq[2]=0;
storeq[3]=0;
for(p=0;p countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
for(i=0;i xq[0] = md[i]^p;
xq[1] = md[i]^p+0x40;
xq[2] = md[i]^p+0x80;
xq[3] = md[i]^p+0xc0;
wq[0] = ~xq[0];
wq[1] = ~xq[1];
wq[2] = ~xq[2];
wq[3] = ~xq[3];
yq[0] = xq[0] | p;
yq[1] = xq[1] | p+0x40;
yq[2] = xq[2] | p+0x80;
yq[3] = xq[3] | p+0xc0;
zq[0] = yq[0] & wq[0];
zq[1] = yq[1] & wq[1];
zq[2] = yq[2] & wq[2];
zq[3] = yq[3] & wq[3];
wq[0] = zq[0];
wq[1] = zq[1];
wq[2] = zq[2];
wq[3] = zq[3];
countq[0] = countq[0] + wq[0];
countq[1] = countq[1] + wq[1];
countq[2] = countq[2] + wq[2];
countq[3] = countq[3] + wq[3];
}
storeq[0] = countq[0];
storeq[1] = countq[1];
storeq[2] = countq[2];
storeq[3] = countq[3];
baseq[0] = baseq[0] + storeq[0];
baseq[1] = baseq[1] + storeq[1];
baseq[2] = baseq[2] + storeq[2];
baseq[3] = baseq[3] + storeq[3];

}


z = baseq[0]+baseq[2];
z1 = baseq[1]+baseq[3];
z2 = z+z1;
r= baseq[0];
r1= baseq[1];
s= baseq[2];
s1=baseq[3];


diffchar2[max] = z2;
diffchar1[max] = s1+r1;
diffchar[max] = s+r;
diffcharr[max] = r;
diffchars[max] = s;
diffcharr1[max] = r1;
diffchars1[max] = s1;

//chardiff[max*4] = (unsigned char)were[0];
//chardiff[(max*3)] = (unsigned char)were[0];
//t = (t1+t2+t3)/3;
chardiff[(max*3)] = (unsigned char)were[1];
chardiff[(max*3)+1] = (unsigned char)were[2];
chardiff[(max*3)+2] = (unsigned char)were[3];

if(c >= 0x1000) {
printf("%8X %8X %8X %8X %8X %8X %8X %c%c%c %8X\n",diffchar2[max],diffchar1[max],diffchar[max],r,s,r1,s1,chardiff[(max*3)],chardiff[(max*3)+1],chardiff[(max*3)+2],max);
c=0;
}
c++;

}

///////////Bruteforce stage
////////////////////


if(testorcheck == 0) {
found=0;
mid:
topc++;
range=rangesave;
top2:

//SHA256_Init(&cd);
//SHA256_Update(&cd,buf,32);
//SHA256_Final(md,&cd);
SHA256(buf,6,md);

countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
baseq[0] = 0;
baseq[1] = 0;
baseq[2] = 0;
baseq[3] = 0;

storeq[0]=0;
storeq[1]=0;
storeq[2]=0;
storeq[3]=0;
for(p=0;p countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
for(i=0;i xq[0] = md[i]^p;
xq[1] = md[i]^p+0x40;
xq[2] = md[i]^p+0x80;
xq[3] = md[i]^p+0xc0;
wq[0] = ~xq[0];
wq[1] = ~xq[1];
wq[2] = ~xq[2];
wq[3] = ~xq[3];
yq[0] = xq[0] | p;
yq[1] = xq[1] | p+0x40;
yq[2] = xq[2] | p+0x80;
yq[3] = xq[3] | p+0xc0;
zq[0] = yq[0] & wq[0];
zq[1] = yq[1] & wq[1];
zq[2] = yq[2] & wq[2];
zq[3] = yq[3] & wq[3];
wq[0] = zq[0];
wq[1] = zq[1];
wq[2] = zq[2];
wq[3] = zq[3];
countq[0] = countq[0] + wq[0];
countq[1] = countq[1] + wq[1];
countq[2] = countq[2] + wq[2];
countq[3] = countq[3] + wq[3];
}
storeq[0] = countq[0];
storeq[1] = countq[1];
storeq[2] = countq[2];
storeq[3] = countq[3];
baseq[0] = baseq[0] + storeq[0];
baseq[1] = baseq[1] + storeq[1];
baseq[2] = baseq[2] + storeq[2];
baseq[3] = baseq[3] + storeq[3];

}


z = baseq[0]+baseq[2];
z1 = baseq[1]+baseq[3];
z2 = z+z1;
r= baseq[0];
r1= baseq[1];
s= baseq[2];
s1=baseq[3];


memset(brute,0x00,sizeof(brute));
memset(check,0x00,sizeof(check));

for(t=0x00,p=0;t if(diffchar2[t] == z2) {
if(diffchar1[t] == z1 && diffchar[t] == z) {
if(diffcharr[t] == r && diffchars[t] == s && diffcharr1[t] == r1 && diffchars1[t] == s1) {
brute[p] = chardiff[t];
p=p+1;
}
}
}
}


for(s=0,c=0;s for(t=s+1;t if(brute[s] == brute[t]) goto asd;
}
check[c] = brute[s];
c++;
asd:
r=0;
}
if(k >= 0x1) {
k=0;
for(t=0;t printf("%c",check[t]);
}
printf("\n %d %d %d %d \n",incq[3],incq[2],incq[1],incq[0]);
printf("%c%c%c%c%c%c\n",buf[0],buf[1],buf[2],buf[3],buf[4],buf[5]);
}

if(c range=range+jumpy;
if(range >=0x7ff000) goto tr1;
goto top2;
}
if(c > upper) {
range=range-jumpy;
goto top2;
}
tr1:
if(maxp if(p != 1) collision[p]=collision[p]+1;
k++;
if(maxcount checkarray[c]++;
for(t=0,p=0;t if(check[t] == buf[0]) p++;
if(check[t] == buf[1]) p++;
if(check[t] == buf[2]) p++;
if(check[t] == buf[3]) p++;
if(check[t] == buf[4]) p++;
if(check[t] == buf[5]) p++;
// if(check[t] == buf[6]) p++;

}
if(p >= 6) {
// printf("Found\n");
found++;
//exit(1);
}

//printf("\n%d\n",c);

//if(skippy == 1) {
// inc=0x25;

buf[0] = comb[incq[0]];
buf[1] = comb[incq[1]];
buf[2] = comb[incq[2]];
buf[3] = 'A';
buf[4] = 'c';
buf[5] = 'p';

if(incq[0] >= 92) {
incq[0]=0;
incq[1]++;
}
if(incq[1] >= 92) {
incq[1]=0;
incq[2]++;
}
if(incq[2] >= 92) {
printf("we found %d d,%8X from %d d,%8x\n",found,found,topc,topc);
printf("the biggest bruteforce combantions is %d\n",maxcount);
printf("The range of lengths are\n");
for(i=0;i // printf("%d = %d\n",i,checkarray[i]);
printf("%d collisions %d times\n",i,collision[i]);
}
fprintf(out,"we found %d d,%8X from %d d,%8x\n",found,found,topc,topc);
fprintf(out,"the biggest bruteforce combantions is %d\n",maxcount);
fprintf(out,"The range of lengths are\n");
for(i=0;i

fprintf(out,"%d collisions %d times\n",i,collision[i]);
}
fclose(out);
exit(1);
}

incq[0]++;

goto mid;


}

if(testorcheck == 1) {

for(i=0;i buf[i] = checking[i];
}

//SHA256_Init(&cd);
//SHA256_Update(&cd,buf,32);
//SHA256_Final(md,&cd);
SHA256(buf,8,md);

for(i=0;i md[i] = testy[i];
checkinghash[i] = md[i];
}

top:


countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
baseq[0] = 0;
baseq[1] = 0;
baseq[2] = 0;
baseq[3] = 0;

storeq[0]=0;
storeq[1]=0;
storeq[2]=0;
storeq[3]=0;
for(p=0;p countq[0]=0;
countq[1]=0;
countq[2]=0;
countq[3]=0;
for(i=0;i xq[0] = md[i]^p;
xq[1] = md[i]^p+0x40;
xq[2] = md[i]^p+0x80;
xq[3] = md[i]^p+0xc0;
wq[0] = ~xq[0];
wq[1] = ~xq[1];
wq[2] = ~xq[2];
wq[3] = ~xq[3];
yq[0] = xq[0] | p;
yq[1] = xq[1] | p+0x40;
yq[2] = xq[2] | p+0x80;
yq[3] = xq[3] | p+0xc0;
zq[0] = yq[0] & wq[0];
zq[1] = yq[1] & wq[1];
zq[2] = yq[2] & wq[2];
zq[3] = yq[3] & wq[3];
wq[0] = zq[0];
wq[1] = zq[1];
wq[2] = zq[2];
wq[3] = zq[3];
countq[0] = countq[0] + wq[0];
countq[1] = countq[1] + wq[1];
countq[2] = countq[2] + wq[2];
countq[3] = countq[3] + wq[3];
}
storeq[0] = countq[0];
storeq[1] = countq[1];
storeq[2] = countq[2];
storeq[3] = countq[3];
baseq[0] = baseq[0] + storeq[0];
baseq[1] = baseq[1] + storeq[1];
baseq[2] = baseq[2] + storeq[2];
baseq[3] = baseq[3] + storeq[3];

}


z = baseq[0]+baseq[2];
z1 = baseq[1]+baseq[3];
z2 = z+z1;
r= baseq[0];
r1= baseq[1];
s= baseq[2];
s1=baseq[3];


for(t=0x00,p=0;t if(diffchar2[t] == z2) {
if(diffchar1[t] == z1 && diffchar[t] == z) {
if(diffcharr[t] == r && diffchars[t] == s && diffcharr1[t] == r1 && diffchars1[t] == s1) {
brute[p] = chardiff[t*3];
brute[p+1] = chardiff[(t*3)+1];
brute[p+2] = chardiff[(t*3)+2];

p=p+3;
}
}
}
}

for(s=0,c=0;s for(t=s+1;t if(brute[s] == brute[t]) goto asd1;
}
check[c] = brute[s];
c++;
asd1:
l=0;
}
for(i=0,r=0;i combcheck[i+1] = check[i];
for(l=0;l if(checking[l] == check[i]) r++;
}
}

for(i=0,r=0;i printf("%c",check[i]);
if(check[i] == weather[i]) r++;
}
printf("\n %d\n",c);
if(r >= 8) {
printf("will find\n");
exit(1);
}
if(c range=range+jumpy;
if(range >=0x7ff000) goto tr;
goto top;
}
if(c > upper) {
range=range-jumpy;
goto top;
}
tr:
/*
if(r printf("wont find it\n");
exit(1);
}
*/
for(l=0;l incq[l]=0;
}
for(l=5;l incq[l]=c;
}

len=1;
for(k=0;;incq[0]++,incq[8]--,k++) {
for(i=0;i if(incq[i+0] > c) {
incq[i+0]=0;
incq[i+1]++;
//if(incq[i+2] == 0x00 && len == i+1) len++;
}
}
for(i=8;i>=5;i--) {
if(incq[i+0] == 0) {
incq[i+0]=c;
incq[i-1]--;
//if(incq[i+2] == 0x00 && len == i+1) len++;
}
}

if(incq[10] >= c) {
printf("no match\n");
exit(1);
}
for(i=0;i buf[i]=0;
}
for(l=0;l buf[l] = combcheck[incq[l]];
}
incq[9] = '\n';
//SHA256_Init(&cd);
//SHA256_Update(&cd,buf,32);
//SHA256_Final(md,&cd);
SHA256(buf,8,md);

if(k >= 0x10c040) {
for(i=0;i printf("%2X",md[i]);
}
printf("\n%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c\n",buf[0],buf[1],buf[2],buf[3],buf[4],buf[5],buf[6],buf[7],buf[8],buf[9],buf[10]);
printf("%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d,%d\n",incq[0],incq[1],incq[2],incq[3],incq[4],incq[5],incq[6],incq[7],incq[8],incq[9],incq[10]);

k=0;
}

for(i=0,p=0;i if(checkinghash[i] == md[i]) p++;
}
if(p >= 32) {
printf("found match\n");
for(i=0;i printf("%2X",md[i]);
}
printf("\n");
for(i=0;i printf("%2X",checkinghash[i]);
}
printf("\n");
for(i=0;i printf("%c",check[i]);
}
printf("\n");
printf("\n%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c,%c\n",check[incq[0]],check[incq[1]],check[incq[2]],check[incq[3]],check[incq[4]],check[incq[5]],check[incq[6]],check[incq[7]],check[incq[8]],check[incq[9]],check[incq[10]]);
exit(1);
}


}


}

return 0;
}


echoAugust 2, 2020 3:46 AM

Pretty much everyone missed my hinting of location fingerprinting during the 5G discussion. Yes, the data from telecoms masts can pinpoint you more accurately than just a bubble but narrow down your exact location when combined with map data. 5G will be doing this with more granularity. Google as we know has access to similar types of data and wifi location and maps and visual information. This system uses similar principles to locate a drone.

Reading through it's pretty obvious GCHQ blocked mandatory tower sharing to improve QoS and eradicate blind spots because they were being lazy and politicians either weren't briefed on the technical reasons why or didn't have the brains to figure it out. And this is on top of data loss and breaches, snoopers charter, and white elephant projects and constant empire building and demands for more money to keep feeding the cash guzzling monster already failing multiple statutory obligations. Let us also not forget that "but for" the EU things like lower prices for mobile and roaming may never have happened and "but for" the ECHR and ECJ multiple breaches of privacy would be ongoing and nobody would be the wiser while the security services failed to protect democracy and failed to act on the far right threat and social media misinformation platforms.

https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/robotics/artificial-intelligence/attention-rogue-drone-pilots-ai-can-see-you

After testing neural nets including dense networks and convolutional neural networks, the researchers found that a kind of recurrent neural net called a “gated-recurrent unit” (GRU) network worked best for drone tracking. “Recurrent networks are good at this,” Weiss said. “They consider the sequenced reality of the data—not just in space but in time.”

[...]

Depending on the specific terrain at any given airport, a pilot operating a drone near a camouflaging patch of forest, for instance, might have an unobstructed view of the runway. But that location might also be a long distance away, possibly making the operator more prone to errors in precise tracking of the drone. Whereas a pilot operating nearer to the runway may not make those same tracking errors but may also have to contend with big blind spots because of their proximity to, say, a parking garage or control tower.

And in every case, he said, simple geometry could begin to reveal important clues about a pilot’s location, too. When a drone is far enough away, motion along a pilot’s line of sight can be harder for the pilot to detect than motion perpendicular to their line of sight. This also could become a significant factor in an AI algorithm working to discover pilot location from a particular drone flight pattern.

The sum total of these various terrain-specific and terrain-agnostic effects, then, could be a giant finger pointing to the operator. This AI application would also be unaffected by any relay towers or other signal spoofing mechanisms the pilot may have put in place.

VAugust 2, 2020 3:52 AM

BBC documentary - Bletchley Park - Gordon Welchman - traffic analysis

ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnr4pM-ntdc

echoAugust 2, 2020 4:04 AM


I've been looking into buying in a drone for a project I have. Unfortunately it's the more expensive drones which have the software features I need and some are limited because of arbitrary safety issues. It's one of those "nice to have" things but not a priority. I no longer code but also have no idea what API is exposed and have no wish to be sidetracked into a project requiring me to write my own custom software.

While I'm concerned at the so-called service economy sucessive UK governments have driven us down it doesn't bother me especially that I cannot source a European or British drone (and no I couldn't care less about US drones) only a Chinese manufactured drone which leads into not just one but two scare stories of the week.

The Atlantic article takes a lot of unpacking. The Guardian article on the extremely toxic Bannon very definately requires a hazmat suit and a shower. I think both articles are problematic.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/09/china-ai-surveillance/614197/

Despite China’s considerable strides, industry analysts expect America to retain its current AI lead for another decade at least. But this is cold comfort: China is already developing powerful new surveillance tools, and exporting them to dozens of the world’s actual and would-be autocracies. Over the next few years, those technologies will be refined and integrated into all-encompassing surveillance systems that dictators can plug and play.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/aug/01/steve-bannon-hails-dominic-cummings-and-predicts-lurch-to-right-for-no-10

Bannon urges Johnson to focus more on manufacturing rather than ensuring that Britain resembles a “Singapore on the Thames”, shorthand for a low-tax, lightly regulated economy.

David8August 2, 2020 4:13 AM

Of Naked Capitalism a couple days back :

*
So they screwed up bigtime on the redactions for the Ghislaine Maxwell release today.
You can literally copy and paste the redacted pages into notepad and read them.

Check out document #143 for a great example.
#Epstein #Maxwell

https://t.co/NMejzsE2SO

— trappedpatriot (@trappedpatriot) July 31, 2020
*

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 4:28 AM

@ echo,

Yup GCHQ like many of their ilk do not get paid by results but by the illusions they create of results. As their results are "Oh so secret" then those auditing them have the disadvantage of not being able to audit them properly so any old nonsense can be passed off...

With regards the drone tracking article it looks like there is something the authors have not considered when they say,

    "This AI application would also be unaffected by any relay towers or other signal spoofing mechanisms the pilot may have put in place."

Their method apparently relies on where the pilots "effective" eye is located. Otherwise this would not be true,

    "But that location might also be a long distance away, possibly making the operator more prone to errors in precise tracking of the drone. Whereas a pilot operating nearer to the runway may not make those same tracking errors "

Or this,

    "When a drone is far enough away, motion along a pilot’s line of sight can be harder for the pilot to detect than motion perpendicular to their line of sight."

That is the assumption is the pilot is neither "autopiloting" via inertia and GPS sensors,or using an "onboard camera" that relays back to pilot from the drone making the pilot eye to drone location zero thus keeping the sight lines with distance error zero for the entire flight as well.

echoAugust 2, 2020 4:46 AM

@rrd

To keep things simple the short version is ego and reality are not the same thing and it is very very easy to keep tripping up on this.

"Before enlightenment chop water carry wood.
After enlightenment chop water carry wood."

And so on.

In the formal sense at least I have forgotten more about religions and philosophies than, statistically speaking, most people will ever know. They are interesting subjects and I spent years reading and discussing them as a hobby but in all honesty unless your business is building religious palaces or writing books to sell to the gullible there is very little point.

"Words can convey meaning but words cannot convey understanding".

You completely missed the infographics I posted. They had reasons plus a lot of other reasons. If you missed this what else are you missing? Go outside and stare at a bush and feel the wind if you want a religious fix.

"Wherever you go there you are".

echoAugust 2, 2020 5:22 AM

@Clive

Yup GCHQ like many of their ilk do not get paid by results but by the illusions they create of results. As their results are "Oh so secret" then those auditing them have the disadvantage of not being able to audit them properly so any old nonsense can be passed off...

There's a lot of that about across the whole system and I don't see Cummings as the answer.

That is the assumption is the pilot is neither "autopiloting" via inertia and GPS sensors,or using an "onboard camera" that relays back to pilot from the drone making the pilot eye to drone location zero thus keeping the sight lines with distance error zero for the entire flight as well.

They asked a question and did the deskwork. It's valid and I give them marks for initiative but also smacks of bureaucratic reasoning as you note.

While they do focus on line of sight I think it's valid. I imagine not all scenarious will necessarily have GPS and cameras working (nor even the wifi signal). I expect they're less concerned about military grade stuff but more concerned with things like urban guerrillas then dropping a mortar on them. GPS can be blocked. Vision is a lot of signal to hide. Controls are pretty light on data.

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 5:24 AM

@ David8,

Colour me unsuprised...

I don't know how long you've been reading this blog but from time to time I mention I advise people,

    Paper Paper NEVER Data

For transfering information to a hostile entity (and they are all faily well hostile in this great competative world of sue or be sued, kill or be killed etc).

This just proves the case yet again, and hopefully people will not just remember but learn from this example.

The way to avoid this if you have to submit "electronic documents" is basically,

1, Get a nice new clean computer.
2, Print out the required documents from the private side or "dirty computers" at lowish resolution.
3, By hand scribble on an identifier, and if required "redact" with black marker. Any you do redact photocopy the redacted page and destroy the original so only the photocopy remains.
4, Scan them in as whole page images into the clean computer at moderate or low resolution "to save hard drive space etc".
5, Rebuild compleate documents in PDF form.
6, store the papers once scaned in a secure place.
7, Submit PDFs to the people who want "electronic submission".
8, if they complain offer them photocopies at their expense of the pages you've stored away.

Oh and remember the law only requires that the documents be readable to the human eye. That is there is no requirment for them to be of sufficient quality to be OCR'd.

I have also mentioned about "digital watermarking" of images back in the 1990's and how it turned into a bit of a war. Which kind of ended when the UK Cambridge Computer Labs came up with a bit of software that twisted the image in two dimensions and slightly compressed and stretched it in two dimensions as well. It did not effect how human eyes percieved it but digital watermarking failed, as did OCRing.

But all organisations should have a regular (say three monthly) "Archive and Data Purge" cycle as a standard business process. If you do it the right way requests for "electronic discovery" have to fall back on what ever "Archive" format you have chosen to use. As we should all know by now electronic archives are the targets of hackers and other criminals and are thus "highly toxic". Thus for the sake of security that all companies are bound to legaly with their shareholders and others, and noting the law whilst requiring archives be kept does not require them to be electronic. Suggests paper and microfiche might be a better option all round.

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 6:07 AM

@ Anders,

BTW, is there in UK PSTN still available? Can you use ordinary modem today?

Yes you can still get "Plain Old Telepone System" (POTS) lines today, in fact in terms of "geographical area" much of the UK is still POTS based.

The reason is history and the law. The law passed years ago requires "universal coverage at a uniform price" much like the postal service. Obviously it's not profitable to run miles of cable to a single user so back then the telephone service supplier was required by first regulation then law. But nothing over a basic voice service was put under that requirment.

Thus whilst you may have a telephone pair to your "demarc" there is no requirment for say data services of any kind to be offered. Back in the mists of the past they even argued that a line suitable for modems was not included, however that did change when it was pointed out it worked within the basic service specification.

So yes modems do work in some places, however I do not know about all. Most modern POTS lines are only good to the local "cabinet" or "exchange" these days before it all becomes digital and runs across a TCP/IP national network.

Interestingly a little known feature of GSM mobile phones is that there is a built in "modem" that will work phone to phone and use the equivalent of an "audio circuit". I use this from time to time as it can be a way around Internet "outages" in more rural areas but at 9600 equivalent it's "slower than a two legged dog".

P.S. With regards the German break of Whatsapp on Android without malware, lets just say "Colour me unsprised" as I could see that coming from several years back 0:)

rrdAugust 2, 2020 6:09 AM

@ echo

>> "Words can convey meaning but words cannot convey understanding"

Clive is so valuable here precisely because his words convey his understanding.

>> They are interesting subjects and I spent years reading and discussing them as a hobby but in all honesty unless your business is building religious palaces or writing books to sell to the gullible there is very little point.

dilettante: a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge

The only religious palaces I want to build are comfortable homes housing loving people conscious of how their attitudes and behaviors affect the rest of our world society.

>> Go outside and stare at a bush and feel the wind if you want a religious fix.

Thanks for Dunning & Kruger data point number eleventy trillion.

Confidence without understanding is a negative attribute. It is destroying America as we speak. Such people explain themselves perfectly without ever saying anything of merit.

echoAugust 2, 2020 7:11 AM

@rrd

Thank you for knowing more about my life and activities than I do, and trying to flatter and rope in external "authorities", and "virtue signalling".

I'm not writing up essays on stuff you need to experience yourself.

I am also not American. Honestly, PAY ATTENTION.

AndersAugust 2, 2020 7:28 AM

@Clive

Here POTS is dead. RIP. Impossible to get line any more
and therefore modem, as we know it, is unusable :(

"Interestingly a little known feature of GSM mobile phones is that there is a built in "modem" that will work phone to phone and use the equivalent of an "audio circuit". I use this from time to time as it can be a way around Internet "outages" in more rural areas but at 9600 equivalent it's "slower than a two legged dog"."

In old days i've used GSM data connection for internet access, 9600,
but this required support from GSM network and dialup to provider special number. I'm not aware making GSM data connection between two handset. How do you do that?

echoAugust 2, 2020 7:50 AM

@Anders @Clive

In old days i've used GSM data connection for internet access, 9600, but this required support from GSM network and dialup to provider special number. I'm not aware making GSM data connection between two handset. How do you do that?

I used a Nokia 3510i to browse and post on web forums over a POTs link via Google in the past. It was more of a "look what I can do" thing than any real need. After a jolly good clear out I threw my old 56K modem out the other week. It's been crossing my mind to buy some modem cards for my laptops now they are stupidly cheap but this is another "look what I can do" thing.

There's stuff I can do which I'm shy of talking about because it falls into one of those "not a secret but if everyone else knows they will bandwagon and the phone companies will find out and the price will go up" kind of things.

echoAugust 2, 2020 8:31 AM

https://nypost.com/2020/07/27/tesla-engineer-retools-sad-old-chocolate-chip-for-max-taste-melt/

Silicon Valley, long obsessed with computer chips, is now disrupting chocolate ones.

I doubt that very much.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/companies/a-tesla-designer-reengineers-the-chocolate-chip/ar-BB178wQc

“The chip isn’t a designed shape,” says Labesque. “It’s a product of an industrial manufacturing process.”

Yes, we know.

Optimisation, and processes, and least cost have done appalling things to a lot of things. One example is the Neopolitan pizza versus the so-called New York pizza. These two pizzas are about as far apart from each other as you can get. Both are designed and both have processes and cost is a factor but what goes in and how it mixes up and what comes out are wildly different because the mindsets and starting points and traditions behind them are very different. Lather, rinse,and repeat for everything from chocolate to CPUs. I don't see why security is any different.

I'm going off the news aggragator Slashdot quite a bit as it has an American bias and is part of the cycle of search engine and media backscratching to sell stuff.

https://www.osnews.com/story/132146/nvidia-is-reportedly-in-advanced-talks-to-buy-arm-for-more-than-32-billion/

Nvidia is reportedly in ‘advanced talks’ to buy ARM for more than $32 billion.

I am NOT a happy bunny.

AndersAugust 2, 2020 11:32 AM

@echo @Clive

PSTN modems are currently dirt cheap, you can even
get once top models with very fancy features just for free.
Another question is how to use them today (without the line).

GSM modem could be useful if you can connect two of them together.
But i'm not aware that this can be done, as far as i know, GSM modem
can talk in data mode only to cell tower.

Yes, i can call to another cell phone and then have open audio channel. Then i can use some modulation technique on top of that. For interfacing i could use acoustic coupler like very early modems did or build an interface for audio. But i want to avoid that. So let's Clive tell us what he had in mind.

PhotographAugust 2, 2020 1:02 PM

There actually exist quite sophistcated microfiche or microfilm systems that can be used for "digital transformation". Only, people "forgot" about them. Also, the initial outlay for microfilm equipment is much higher than for even a high-end scanner.

Yet, why the complicated PDF procedure? Just redact what you want to redact & then save it as an image file which you can send via e-mail.

BTW: OCR is a meme. Try to OCR a bill from Singapore and then one from France... The easier solution is to number the documents. Saves the OCRing.

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 1:35 PM

@ Anders, echo,

In old days i've used GSM data connection for internet access, 9600, but this required support from GSM network and dialup to provider special number. I'm not aware making GSM data connection between two handset. How do you do that?

The answer is you ask the radio unit in the phone to do it using stabdard extentions of the older modem AT commands. Yes it realy is that simple, the problem is that most handset designers and OS builders try very hard to stop you.

Back before GSM existed I was involved with BT engineers up at "Old St London" and RACAL engineers working in an old manner house just off of a bridge over the A3 going from Kingston to Raynes Park.

The problem was that the original cellular service used "inband signalling" and this caused short drop outs in the audio path. These droppouts caused all sorts of issues with traditional POTS modems especially those that had the ability to "tune themselves" to the audio path to get that extra bandwidth (9600baud is not as nice as the theoretical maximum of ~19.5kbits per second, the much later higher "bis" speeds were actually obtained by data compression that adding microcontrolers to modems made possible).

Any way I proposed and built a working modem using standard modem parts and a little analogue and digital trickery in a Z80 processor, and demonstrated it working... It got the cold shoulder as it suffered from NIH both at BT and RACAL[1]... The official excuse was that it was not delivering full specification data rates... Which as I'd pointed out before even starting was never going to be possible without comming up with a compleate set of brand new signaling systems in custom chips that was going to be way way to expensive... I guess dumb managment had that stupid $$$ shine in their vision and that "kerching" noise in their ears and common sense was never going to happen for them (or the British Government that wanted a big pie to slice up their way, and as I'm sure others can confirm the three specialities of the UK Government are, imbecilic, venal and vidictive behaviours, that would shame a six year old playground bully oh and a side order of grandious dillusions and narcissistic personality disorder at higher levels).

Anyway the large loss of money BT and RACAL had by not delivering became a bit of a joke in the industry and those on standards boards for "Digital Telephony" ensured that when analogue celluler got replaced with digita standards compliant modes were built into the system.

So whilst you might need your mobile service provider to allow you to do cellular modem to POTS modem comms, mobile to mobile modem comms should work OK.

My suspicious mind is that the service providers needed only a little push from the SigInt agencies to stop POTS to mobile, and they in turn would have put preasure on mobile phone manufacturers and OS makers to not support what was actually a requirment in the specifications that went into GSM.

Oh if you want to play with it, Motorola make mobile phone radio units for people to build into products like traffic light control systems. If you download one of their G24 manuals you will have a big chunk (over 500pages) of information on how they do Modem and FAX as well as the data modes used in mobile broadband,

https://www.manualslib.com/products/Motorola-G24-Guide-2812150.html

Whilst the units are not expensive and you can program them to do all sorts of clever things in Java the connector they use is not easy to get hold of so have a chat about getting "developer systems" other than Motorolas.

Alternatively there are a number of "top hats" for both Raspberry Pi's and Arduinos that have GSM RF heads on them, have a look at the manufacturers data sheets before you buy them though.

Anyway I hope that helps and if you want gives you hours of fun. One project might be to hook one onto the TFC system that Markus designed and pops up hear occasionaly to talk about.

[1] Whilst this was the first time I had come up against "Not Invented Hear"(NIH) syndrom in commercial entities, I ran up against it twice again with BT and once again with RACAL. They both had a fixation on using multiple high end 68000 CPU's with lots of RAM and custom DSP chips for their projects that usually failed to work on time because their software people were away with the Ivory Tower loonies. I on the other hand used single Z80 CPUs a few kbytes of RAM 32kbytes or less of ROM and one or two diet cheap analog to digital IC's etc you could get out of any electronics catalogue from basic hobbyist through to the largest. Oh and the software was usually early very early...

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 1:52 PM

@ Philipp,

It is, indeed.

Actuall no it's not her human right to recklessly endanger the lives of others.

It's why we have laws about killing people directly and indirectly through foolish or reckless behaviour such as in driving cars, operating machinery, or being negligent in sporting and other activities.

As people are slowly learning what some regard as their "human rights" are nothing of the sort not even under "freedom of expression" the law requires and has done for around a thousand years or so that all behaviours that impinge on innocent others be subservient to "Social Responsability".

So if you or anyone else wish to behave recklessly go and do it where you are not putting others in society at risk, and as they've been saying for decades,

    Go Jump off a cliff.

Or something else equally as stupidly reckless, just first make sure there is no body underneath who you might injure or harm be it psychologically or physically.

AndersAugust 2, 2020 2:17 PM

@Clive

Can you give me appropriate AT command sequences
you have used to set up both side connection?

echoAugust 2, 2020 2:20 PM

@Clive @Anders

I'm sure others can confirm the three specialities of the UK Government are, imbecilic, venal and vidictive behaviours, that would shame a six year old playground bully oh and a side order of grandious dillusions and narcissistic personality disorder at higher levels

Yup. Soe of the stories in the media this week including today which reveal the mindsets and working of the state make my stomach churn. It's very old and familiar stuff.

Also... among all this earlier Zoom nonsense nobody noticed Jitsi temporarily caches video call data for group calls.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/smartphones-from-11-oems-vulnerable-to-attacks-via-hidden-at-commands/

AT (ATtention) commands, or the Hayes command set, is a collection of short-string commands developed in the early 1980s that were designed to be transmitted via phone lines and control modems. Different AT command strings can be merged together to tell a modem to dial, hang up, or change connection parameters.

Unknown to the common user is that modern smartphones include a basic modem component inside them, which allows the smartphone to connect to the Internet via its telephony function, and more.

Oh, whoopsie.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/08/android-baseband-flaws/

The research, shared exclusively with TechCrunch, affects at least 10 popular Android devices, including Google’s Pixel 2, Huawei’s Nexus 6P and Samsung’s Galaxy S8+.

The same news over one year later...

rrdAugust 2, 2020 2:33 PM

@ Philipp

>> One young maskless woman in Camden said she believed it was her human right not to wear a mask.

When I was in Whole Foods a week or so ago, I ventured from my wife on my own down a random aisle only to see a maskless woman and her maybe 10yo daughter walking towards me fully maskless.

I exercised my human right to follow them to the checkout lane loudly explaining:

"NOW YOU KNOW WHY YOU'RE NOT HAPPY; IT'S BECAUSE YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE BUT YOURSELF."

She said, "Leave me alone."

I said, "I'm in line."

She moved lanes.

A young African-American man (cashier) came to me and quietly explained, "It's not worth it." To which I calmly explained that such aholes piss me off, but I honored his wishes and resumed going about my business.

In honor of the Great American James Baldwin's 96th birthday, I give you an applicable quote:

“...a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people. It is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.”

The following twitter post+comments from today are people's favorite James Baldwin quotes.

hXXps://twitter.com/jelani9/status/1289901969880969221

They are so very deeply educational, beautiful and poignant.

I don't use twitter but I do check William Gibson's feed regularly and he has enlightened me about Jelani Cobb's feed. He is a staff writer at the New Yorker and Professor of Journalism at Columbia University.

[Side note: I just realized twitter's web page application gets rid of paged out content, even though the scroll bar remains properly placed. It completely prevents searching an entire post+comments page. %$#@#$!]

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."

"What societies really want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society. If a society succeeds in this, [it] is about to perish. The obligation of anyone who thinks of himself as responsible is to examine society & try to change & fight it – no matter what risk."

"God, after all, is not anybody's toy. To be with God is to be involved with some enormous, overwhelming desire, and joy, and power you cannot control, which controls you."

"If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him." - The Fire Next Time

"Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace - not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth."

Just WOW.

AndersAugust 2, 2020 2:58 PM

@echo @Clive

Yes, but CSD is slowly and steadily phased out.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_Switched_Data

I can only guess but i'm sure if i call now to
PSTN modem i just get "NO CARRIER" due to dropped
CSD support.

MarkHAugust 2, 2020 3:41 PM

@Philipp:

From a news report dated 31 July:

Lowndes County in south Alabama has now seen twice as many deaths due to coronavirus than it saw in the last 10 years combined from the flu.
It’s the strongest example in the state of a trend that has now been clear for some time - COVID-19 is not “just a bad flu.”

Lowndes County is presently suffering worse than the rest of the state. However, Alabama as a whole has already recorded more deaths from Covid-19, than have died there from flu in any of the past 20 years. Because the virus is still spreading rapidly in Alabama, total deaths will likely exceed the current tally by a large margin.

Remind me, please, when was the last flu epidemic in which some U.S. cities used refrigerated trucks to store corpses because their morgues were at capacity?

In what system of measuring loss of human lives, is being greater by a factor of twenty classified as equality?

What's your term for a person who still says that this virus is no worse than ordinary seasonal flu?

SpaceLifeFormAugust 2, 2020 4:14 PM

@ Weather

I am having bad C+P issues with controlc. When I put it into a file via vim, all kinds of double slash comment lines appear that are obviously not in the code.

Can you try hastebin?

I want to get this built on linux. Obviously, I will have to tweak the includes.

Thanks!

WeatherAugust 2, 2020 5:02 PM

@anders
Thanks I tried pastebin first, but it didn't work.
This is the most up to date controlc.com/025c1adf

AndersAugust 2, 2020 5:40 PM

@Weather @SpaceLifeForm

Unfortunately controlc doesn't work without javascript.
We need to take the web back! Pure ascii as it was in the beginning.
Gopher. Gemini. Dial-up BBS, you name it :)

Clive RobinsonAugust 2, 2020 7:30 PM

@ Anders,

I only ever used it from mobile to mobile not to PSTN POTS modems. Also it's been about a decade now but from memory I used the normal AT commands for GSM/3G which are more or less the same as you would use with any serial modem (+++ ATZ ATDT ATO ATH etc).

The versions of the Motorola G24 I used had the choice between using a standard --inverted 5V-- RS232 serial interface or a USB1 interface.

For a terminal device I chose to use a 386 or 486 PC with the 16550AF UART[1] with a meg of memory running Dos 3 or DOS 5 and the Mirror software from a single 720k floppy (the advantage of Mirror was that not only would it do the likes of Zmodem it also had a built in editor that used the same "wordstar" key combos used in the Turbo IDE's for C and Pascal. It also enabled you to "shell out" and run a DOS command or command line .COM or .EXE file and yes I still use it but with MSDOS 5 [2]. I also ran a modified version of PC-Kermit on a 486 to do remote network and printing and even FAXing via a trick with the FAX software loaded into high mem and looking like a modem it's self.

I've still got some of the stuff in a box somewhere left over from the "Taxi Job", as far as I'm aware the older units are still working but the newer ones use GPRS and later broadband data connectivity which is effectively free if you change the *#99 to your own network service provision (don't go there it's a world of paperwork hurt you realy do not want to get into).

But it would not surprise me if connectivity to POTS modems has gone, because the "modem" in the mobile phone is not a real analogue channel modem, but data channel to the provider MSC where a hardware backhaul card would have the appropriate analogue interface.

As I've mentioned before over the "Jack-Pair" system the GSM CODECS are based on a varient of Code-excited linear prediction (CELP) pushed out by the NSA. The thing about CELP codecs is whilst they work very well with human voices because they are so "predictable" modem signals at anything above around 2100baud are not at all predictable so just don't work with GSM analogue voice channels. Hence the reason you can not encrypt human speach and send the encrypted data as a modem signal. It's something the JackPair development team should have known about before they even thought up the outline specification of what they wanted to do.

[1] The original INS8250 and 16450 UART's did not have RX buffering and thus would not work at 9600. Unfortunately the early 16550 chips had the buffer but you could not use it and some 16550A chips had other problems.

[2] In my view and I'm probably biased ;-) MSDOS 5 was the only version of MSDOS that was any good with 486's as for MSDOS 6 it got hit by quite justifiable legal challenge from Stac Electronics over "DoubleSpace" which was a rippoff of Stac's disk drive compression code Stacker. Microsoft got their asses handed to them on a plate and was ordered by a federal court to pay roughly $120 million in compensation. By which time hard drive prices had started to drop and their speeds had gone up removing the advantages of software compression for hard drives. Whilst MSDOS carried on MSDOS 7 along with Windows 4 became Win95, though you could strip out Win4 MSDOS 7 had lost most of the usefull commandline programs that came with MSDOS 5 and earlier.


Stac Electronics, which accused Microsoft of stealing its data compression code and using it in MS-DOS 6.0.[84] Microsoft eventually lost the subsequent Stac v. Microsoft lawsuit and

SpaceLifeFormAugust 2, 2020 8:42 PM

@ Weather, Anders

Got it fine with hastebin because it has the option to output textmode only.

Thanks.

Looks like @Clive had a modem problem ;-)

SpaceLifeFormAugust 2, 2020 10:47 PM

@ Weather, Anders

Ok, built fine. Did not take that long to get to the yes point.

Alas, I am confused as to what it is doing overall. Besides using a whole core and a gig of ram.

Can you give me an overview of what it is doing?

The comments are confusing ;-)


WeatherAugust 2, 2020 11:06 PM

It uses four bytes and Hash's them with sha, it then breaks the sha output into four blocks, making seven hashs to a different algo, that has minimal collision, when you get a hash to check you add 32 chars to testy[] and set checkortest to one, after the above table is generated you hit enter for the program to select chars that match testy and the table, which starts bruteforce them.
You have 96^4 table that uses that to select 96^10+ sha hash input.
You can change select to lower values for quickly bruteforce.
It selects the chars to use based on the ones used for sha input and the corspond algo hash.

WeatherAugust 2, 2020 11:28 PM

The algo is differential attack the finds the inverse of byte range and the sha output.
The seven dwords in diffchar are the algo hash that gets tested on testy. The chardiff is the chars of sha input that match the output feed to the algo output.
You can change 92 to 0xff if you want to check 256^10 ,but I'll would keep select at 50-80 and six gig of ram for malloc and max var value.

echoAugust 3, 2020 2:50 AM

This is an example of controlling the narrative and a reverse interrigation. It's an example of a basic technique used in the UK by state sector authoritarians and jobsworths. You hit a wall of rote learned secrecy and lack of communication with a severely restricted bandwidth. Anything you say is pre-filtered, modified, then written down without the opportunity to verify the "historical record".

The resultant court case often becomes an out of court settlement due to making the challenge as drawn out and horrible as possible and rarely gets to court. Even when it does and sets a precedent the pressure often continues as the state response is modified and the excuses and narrative adjusted just enough to find new loopholes. None of this is necessarily policy or necessarily "bad law" or guidance or "best practice" or professional standards but deeply against change dyed in the wool incompetent ass-coverers with a severe case of NIH and fiercely guarded comfort zones.

https://www.propublica.org/article/the-disinfomercial-how-larry-king-got-duped-into-starring-in-chinese-propaganda

Dolgova’s answers were not in the script. They were plugged in separately. King was expected to tape his questions without speaking to her. His skill at the give-and-take of interviewing, of sensing the moment and asking the right question that draws a revealing response, would not be of any use.

Rovou sensed trouble. The idea of lending the set — and his boss’s reputation — to a potentially controversial video that Ora couldn’t control disturbed him, according to three people familiar with the incident. Rovou worried that King could be helping a foreign government spread false information, reminiscent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election — a topic King routinely discussed with guests on “PoliticKING.”

Here is a collection of links from the other day which show how attitudes to the law, organisational flummery, and basic disinterest and cruelty happen on an all too routine basis.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/14/no-dss-ruled-unlawful-after-mother-rejected-by-lettings-agency

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/02/mod-asked-why-it-withheld-evidence-on-33-suspected-afghan-civilian-executions-sas-soldiers

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/02/hassan-akkad-for-someone-from-syria-the-creeping-authoritarianism-is-vivid-in-britain

echoAugust 3, 2020 5:30 AM

An insight into the world of professional deception. I don't doubt security services and political spin doctors have similar bags of tricks.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/a33336282/magic-tricks-explained-steinmeyer/

But even given Steinmeyer’s relative anonymity compared with the Cooperfields and Blaines of the world, magic as a whole exists now in the age of YouTube. Type any trick into a search bar and you can view explainers and deconstructions of its mysteries in seconds—endless variations on invisible wires, trap doors, and rigged boxes. You can find books that lay out the mechanics of most illusions in sonorous detail, down to diagrams with measurements. Some of these tell-alls have existed for generations. Some of the more recent ones Steinmeyer wrote himself.

[...]

“Jim is an expert in virtually every area of magic—in fact, he’s singular in that,” says Richard Kaufman, publisher of the industry magazine Magiiand the author of scores of books about magic. “Nobody else is working at this level. People like Jim come along once every two or three generations.”

[...]

“My secret,” he says, “is that I keep a messy notebook. It has to be all three things: That you keep it, that it’s messy, and that it’s a notebook.”

[...]

Part of the challenge is that a trick has to tell a story, because magic above all is about storytelling. And the stories involve multiple layers of deception. “There are three scripts in a magic show,” he explains. “There’s the script where you ostensibly say what’s happening, which is often a lie. Then simultaneous with that, there’s the script of what you’re actually doing, so there’s a divergent thing where you’re saying one thing and you’re doing something else. And then there’s the script of how you’re maneuvering the audience through the act.”

The story should be both familiar and impossible. Audiences should recognize the magic about to be performed. “You want that thing where people go, ‘Ohhh, they’re about to divide a person into three pieces,” Steinmeyer says. “You want that thing to be very clear.”

Once magicians manipulate audience members toward certain expectations, those expectations can be subverted, and the audience can be dazzled, and fooled.

AndersAugust 3, 2020 11:11 AM

@Clive

Thanks. My opinion was based on this:

electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/165574/file-transfer-between-two-gsm-modem

But if you say it's possible, i'll give a try.

Clive RobinsonAugust 3, 2020 1:16 PM

@ Anders,

But if you say it's possible, i'll give a try.

First off it worked with the Motorola G24 units I used (and I assume it still does). However YMMV dependent on the hardware and the network service provider.

Secondly when you read the comments on the Stackexchange page they appear to be talking at cross purposes.

That is if you read his reply mr "tcrossly" does not appear to understand what the questioner has asked.

He appears to think that the questioner wants to use the GSM modems without the cellular network. That is he thinks the questioner is trying to use the mobiles to talk to each other directly as some kind of mesh network.

Obviously mobile phones are not designed that way, so that will not work that way. Which is why he suggests Bluetooth that can work that way.

So to use the GSM modems you have to go through the mobile network.

It's why you would actually send to the serial port / USB connection something like,

+++
ATV
ATH0
ATH1
ATDT 044,0800,1234~

That is you give it the number to dial through the cellular network (the commas are supposed to pause during dialing and the tilde to wait after dialling). This is quite different from the *99# used to get a broadband connection.

Sherman JayAugust 3, 2020 2:09 PM

@all,
People in 1980's Yugoslavia got their act together for each other. This story is what 'personal' computing was all about:

hXXps://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/64361-the-lost-history-of-socialisms-diy-computer

Also, you should check out HAIKU os. I'm going to try it. It is supposed to be quite usable now. And, it should be more secure than 'buntu's.

hXXps://www.haiku-os.org

Enjoy AND STAY SAFE.

myliitAugust 3, 2020 2:30 PM

@Clive Robinson

re: Schrems II you wrote: “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.

[...]

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...“

This topic is not in my lane, but I am glad that your side of the pond appears to be having some legal success here. Without President Trump et al. there may be more hope for the future, too.

It appears that on both sides of the pond, after 9/11 intelligence agencies may have screwed up focusing on foreign terrorists and discounting the white collar criminal, Russian, domestic terrorists, and so on, threats.

One problem with deeply flawed politicians is that they can be bought so cheaply, imo, given the resources of a foreign nation state. For example, please help throw an election my way (what for tens of millions, or less, of USD?).


[1] https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2020/07/friday_squid_bl_738.html#c6814848

Sherman JayAugust 3, 2020 2:39 PM

@rrd • August 2, 2020 2:33 PM

@ Philipp

Thank you for the James Baldwin quote. I just finished watching the 1965 British University debate between Baldwin and Wm. F. Buckley. Baldwin ran rings around him intellectually and got the only standing ovation!

I have studied the drooling, maskless types at our grocery store. They are indeed incredibly selfish and either truly or willfully ignorant of the fact that they are threatening the lives of others.

"Every Right you execise comes with an equally important Responsibility" a quote of mine.

I have a computer client whose uncle just died of covid-19. I can't be casual about this as if it were 'just another flu'.

rrdAugust 3, 2020 4:15 PM

@ Sherman Jay

>> I just finished watching the 1965 British University debate between Baldwin and Wm. F. Buckley. Baldwin ran rings around him intellectually and got the only standing ovation!

He was so very impressive that I'm sure that that debate changed many lives in England, and, likely, England itself, as affluent as that crowd was and as few TV stations existed in 1965.

The deep concepts he so eloquently conveyed still speak to those of us with ears to hear today -- and always will -- until we remake America (and this world) into what it *CAN* be: truly free, equal, just, generous, kind and compassionate. For every single human being on Earth, starting with the most destitute and least privileged.

A Frenchman I worked with overseas explained why they gladly pay so much for their social programs: Hitler capitalized upon the hopelessness of the uncared-for poor as his jealously hateful base. My coworker said Europe was committed to not letting anyone ever have such motivation again, as described in another Baldwin quote:

"The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose."

Ignorant to the meaning of this wise advice, the wealthy in America are really putting forth a lot of effort to have one heckuva going away party for themselves. Their choosing money over love has utterly blinded them to their predicament.

[ETA: The recent documentary "I Am Not Your Negro" just materialized, via our local library's internet search and order system's synergy with my wife's delivery service.]


@ echo, Sherman Jay, et ALL

>> Thank you for knowing more about my life and activities than I do

Here's another of Mr. Baldwin's quotes I just stumbled upon:

“Whatever you describe to another person is also a revelation of who you are and who you think you are. You can not describe anything without betraying your point of view, your aspirations, your fears, your hopes.”

Seeing through a person's words to the essence of their being does, however, require having been first broken open from the inside by love itself. Until we seek that heart-rending cataclysm of our selfishness, Love waits patiently, pleadingly, hopefully, knowing that that journey of self-evolution is our responsibility in return for this magnificent human life and robust playground, Earth.

Only when we love someone as our own self can we see them for who they truly are, for only then are the blinders of our prejudices ripped out of our beings, allowing us to finally behold the world and our fellows in their essential truth.

AndersAugust 3, 2020 5:39 PM

@Clive

Thanks!

Standard Hayes AT command set is familiar to me since
the end of the '80/beginning of the '90, then it was
possible to get more freely access to computers and
also modems behind the iron curtain.

Found nice cell phone modem command set description,
starting to learn :)

www.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Cellular%20Modules/AT_Commands_Reference_Guide_r0.pdf

And especially for you, Clive, Russian 2400 bps modem!
You don't see such a beast every day :)

www.sannata.org/konkurs/2017/kt1714.shtml
www.bunkerkom.lv/img/2400kn_1_l.jpg
www.bunkerkom.lv/img/2400kn_2.jpg
www.bunkerkom.lv/img/2400kn_3.jpg

Notice the State quality mark of the USSR!

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_quality_mark_of_the_USSR

AndersAugust 3, 2020 6:03 PM

@Clive

1200 bps version too.

www.pvsm.ru/staroe-zhelezo/48766

Schematics there is especially interesting.

www.pvsm.ru/images/modem-1200kn-01-sdelano-v-sssr-2.jpg

I think you recognize there the word RSX-11M.
CM-4 was Soviet PDP-11 clone.

And second cell from left "паспортный стол" - in soviet time
passports were there issued.

MarkHAugust 3, 2020 6:40 PM

Sometimes, serious security risks arise from unanticipated public behavior.

The headline from Jalopnik puts it well:

Lots Of Idiots In Private Boats Swarmed Where The SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashed Down From The ISS

The boats didn't come close until after splashdown, but their presence was still risky. For example, the recovery team stood off for a while because they detected toxic propellant in the air near the spacecraft.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 4, 2020 1:05 AM

@ Clive, Anders, Weather

History. Bootstraping. Hardware. Radio. Cassette. 4K Ram.

hXXps://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1289932294023610370

In 1948, Yugoslavia was expelled from Cominform, the Soviet information agency, in retaliation for its "non-aligned" status; deprived of information-processing capacity, the country created its own IT industry from scratch.

Yugoslavia's high tariffs and uneasy status on the world stage meant that by the 1970s, members of the New Wave" - science and tech enthusiasts who clustered around the sf/electronic mag Galaksija - could only play with PCs by pooling their money to import western machines.

,,,

The normal 30,000 copy run of the mag sold out quickly and that issue was reprinted FOUR TIMES before national demand was satisfied: 120,000 copies sold, and 8,000 subsequent letters from hobbyists who'd built their own computers following the diagrams it contained.

...

These programs spread widely thanks in part to a radio show that broadcast the computer code as audio, intended to be recorded to cassette (the main storage mechanism for the system). Zoran Modli's Ventilator 202 program broadcast hundreds of listener-supplied programs.

echoAugust 4, 2020 4:41 AM

@MarkH

Sometimes, serious security risks arise from unanticipated public behavior.

The headline from Jalopnik puts it well:

Lots Of Idiots In Private Boats Swarmed Where The SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashed Down From The ISS

The boats didn't come close until after splashdown, but their presence was still risky. For example, the recovery team stood off for a while because they detected toxic propellant in the air near the spacecraft

Yes there's this and its opposite "by stander syndrome". I suspect Youtube indrectly has some responsibility in this. There's a lot of talk and analysis and "citizen journalism" surrounding SpaceX which SpaceX marketing encourages. This makes everything appear open and easy and I suppose lots of usually armchair viewers want to have a look but as you say safety protocols and crowds...

It struck me that the obsession with buying loo rolls during the pandemic may have been caused or encouraged in part by pre-pandemic "prepper" videos on youtube. Some of them had a fair few people commenting on them during the pandemic and some of the more amateur preppers who were second or third hand "experts" banged on about loo rolls. I think this content trended for a time and hapy have played in to the panic buying and made it worse. There's other youtube content which worries me too whether it's "confirmation bias" with some of the alleged KFC knock-off recipes orsome of the more calculated rules skirting Alt-Right material which infects movie and television and game reviews.

This is somewhat tangenital but having read "Colditz" by Pat Reid years ago thi week I began watching the television drama "Colditz". Yes it's hokum and with a modern and more informed eye can be nitpicked but I have never watched it before. Well packaged material like this with less sugar crazed and edgy and fast edited content has a lot of pluses going for it.

@rrd

Here's another of Mr. Baldwin's quotes I just stumbled upon:

Please do not assume:

A.) The person you are talking to is an ignorant idiot.
B.) Is remotely interested in anything you have to say on the topic.

Find another target because you are irritating and boring me.

echoAugust 4, 2020 4:55 AM

Hands up who has noticed Boris Johnson hasn't made the semi-ritual back slapping trip to the Whitehouse?

I've been reading up on "presumed loss of citizenship". As we know Johnson was American born and held both US and UK citizenship. Reading through the law on this it seems Johnson may technically have lost US citzenship depending on whatthe judge thought of the case due to holding public office and swearing allegiances to the crown but this has increasingly not been applied. The real gotcha is that in giving up US citizenship for the purpose of avoiding paying US tax this not only results in loss of citizenship but also a ban on entering the US.

I have no idea what judges or legal experts on this may say. It's just something which caught my eye.

echoAugust 4, 2020 5:18 AM

While the issue of deepfakes whether video, audio, or text are a problem and bandwagonning are problems I'm not at all sure the dystopian future of being swamped in a fake reality and crushed by waves of opinion is the huge threat it is being made out to be. There is a value in "trusted brands" who are simply going to have to implement quality control and time to market restrictions. The more expertise is valued the less marketing has a grip. See rating versus ranking.

We surivived in the world before any of this "deepfake" stuff or social media monopoly platforms existed. Rules evolved to double check and make sure you knew who you were dealing with and professional standards were adhered to. Anyone taking the mickey didn't last long.

No I'm not bothered by it.

https://www.wired.com/story/ai-generated-text-is-the-scariest-deepfake-of-all/

In the future, deepfake videos and audiofakes may well be used to create distinct, sensational moments that commandeer a press cycle, or to distract from some other, more organic scandal. But undetectable textfakes—masked as regular chatter on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and the like—have the potential to be far more subtle, far more prevalent, and far more sinister. The ability to manufacture a majority opinion, or create a fake-commenter arms race—with minimal potential for detection—would enable sophisticated, extensive influence campaigns. Pervasive generated text has the potential to warp our social communication ecosystem: algorithmically generated content receives algorithmically generated responses, which feeds into algorithmically mediated curation systems that surface information based on engagement.

And

Our trust in each other is fragmenting, and polarization is increasingly prevalent. As synthetic media of all types—text, video, photo, and audio—increases in prevalence, and as detection becomes more of a challenge, we will find it increasingly difficult to trust the content that we see. It may not be so simple to adapt, as we did to Photoshop, by using social pressure to moderate the extent of these tools’ use and accepting that the media surrounding us is not quite as it seems. This time around, we’ll also have to learn to be much more critical consumers of online content, evaluating the substance on its merits rather than its prevalence.

MarkHAugust 4, 2020 5:31 AM

@Anders:

I used to travel often in the former Soviet Union, and I've been familiar with ГОСТ (a Soviet standards set roughly comparable to Germany's DIN) for quite a while, but have never seen the Soviet "quality mark."

Perhaps by the time I started visiting in 2004, that generation of manufactured products had already been mostly supplanted by more modern goods, often imported.

An experience which gave me great amusement, was a visit to an institution in which most things were "left over" from Soviet days. The rooms had old (but not ancient) dial phones emblazoned with the name VEF TRANZISTORS, a product (I believe) of your neighbors in Latvia ...
_______________________

In Sankt Peterburg, most storm drain manhole covers say either "Peterburg Drains", or "Leningrad Drains". But I found one labeled "Petrograd Drains", presumably dating to the years between the revolutions.

AndersAugust 4, 2020 8:18 AM

@MarkH

We called that Soviet "quality sign" jokingly as a "Russian without a head".
There's two legs down there, then two hands stretched out left and right, but where the head should be there's CCCP written. So Russian without a head :)

Ok, and despite the quality sign the quality and ergonomics was non-existent :)

echoAugust 4, 2020 8:28 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6X_NS_Vkv8

Japanese and Australian farmers are competing for the U.S. wagyu market that will be worth $1.1 billion by 2023. WSJ visits one rancher using traditional methods to produce $200 steaks, and another who has invested in new technology to slash prices.

Yet another "data driven" deep fake. As far as human beings go in the medical sphere things like BMI and even the endocrinological mechanism for body fat are either driven by an insurance sector dogma or simply not fully understood. Yes, things can be done with cows and breeding methods and raising methods but ersazt wagu is still not wagu and no amount of foot stamping or marketing has changed this.

You see similar things happen in the fashion industry or beauty industry. Machine stitching is no substitute for couture stitching. Likewise, there can be some excellent "dupes" around but top end makeup is very much the better product. I routinely wear a particular brand of foundation what is a "drug store" or "high street" makeup which is very close to a premium brand which costs three times as much, and most people would neither know nor care, but there is a quality difference in tone and coverage of the premium brand not replicated in even the best "knock-off". It's the same with volumising mascara and pretty much everything else too.

-August 4, 2020 9:18 AM

@Moderator:

You might want to compare,

#c6815084

And

#c6815085

I suspect sock puppet behaviour is occuring.

WeatherAugust 4, 2020 11:55 AM

@Spacelifeform,all
I think the medium for data transfer is going more to wireless instead of wired, it has a lot of security impactions, you can send one packet to anyone in range, with more things have rf receives around the house, it doesn't have to be the standard wlan Bluetooth.
Induction of copper traces, all though not enough to reach 3.3-5 volt might be enough to switch from 1-0,0-1 .
With the audio , a radio or TV could effect a cellphone or computer microphone.

WeatherAugust 4, 2020 12:20 PM

Something I would like to try if I had the electronic skills, would be a copper wire cut to 100mm, one end a square wave generator that is 50% duty cycle from 0-1-0 ,the other end a connection to a comparator ,which it connected to the generator.
And blast it with interference and see if I could make a binary counter by adjusting the interference.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 4, 2020 2:22 PM

Not just a grain explosion in Beirut.

The first explosion and fire created lightning.

The lightning induced the second big blast, felt over a hundred miles away.

Why were explosives stored under parking lot at basically sea-level?

Video here from a good angle.

Note how the parking lot blows up not near the original trigger.

You will have to watch multiple times to catch everything, because it happens fast.

hXXps://mobile.twitter.com/Doranimated/status/1290678095268241410

lurkerAugust 4, 2020 3:26 PM

1947, Texas City, look it up. I remember reading about it with warlike photos in Life magazine at the time. Ammonium nitrate is not something to just leave lying around for years...

Clive RobinsonAugust 4, 2020 3:33 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I've looked at several videos taken from different angles.

There is a fire with flashes in it that is close to the dock edge, it's dificult to tell if it was on land (warehouse)or on water (ship).

The flashes in the fire due to their hight appear to be more likely to be fireworks thrown up than small arms and other light weight infantry ordinance.

The second true explosion as seen by the air water vapour condensing as the blastwave travels through (this is what some incorrectly call a mushroom cloud). Importantly this blastwave is seen to elevate at the edges with distance way more than you would expect suggesting it was at or below real ground and see level (this is best seen by video footage from out to see where you actually look up under the blast wave and can see the vertical coloumn of smoke from the fire still rising).

What I'm still not sure about is the actual magnitude of the blast wave compared to the debris pick up. The fact that nearly all the debris is thrown up in a column not outwards in all directions would suggest that it might have even been a fuel/air explosion which can easily reach an appreciable fraction of a tactical nuke in terms of energy. If however it was exploding munitions you would expect a different explosion patter and different coloured smoke.

The rust brown would suggest Nitrous Oxides have been formed thus acid rain drop out of nitric acid is to be expected over night as the air temprature drops and condensation / dew point is reached. Thus there are likely to be a considerable number of secondary casualties with damage to eyes, nose, mouth, lungs and the mucous membranes in the respiratory system which will leave them highly vulnerable to viral and bacterial infection.

For the apparent amount of nitrogen oxides this would suggest some kind of chemical storage had been involved during the explosion.

It's known that most docks have secure storage / bond areas that have reasonable levels of security. When other parts of the city are becoming less secure, it's quite likly "bond storage" might be used for storing other items you might wish to keep secure.

It's been suggested by some news outlets that confiscated explosives and similar have been stored there.

Normally when you longterm store explosives you do it in certain ways, just stacking them up in one large pile would be quite unusual. Normally you would build circular berms and have wooden huts or pits in the ground with wooden roofs over them and you would only store small amounts in each place such that if an explosion happens the the blastwave goes upwards taking the light weight wooden roof etc with it.

Oh one thing about a lot of high explosives is that burning them does not make them go "high order" you can actually use small lumps of some plastic explosives like hexamethane tablets to cook with. Also it's unlikely that high explosives would go off even if a firework did explode next to it.

Even ammonium nitrate popular for making ANFO explosives, more usually melts from granular form into a solid lump in a fire rather than explode.

Nothing appears clear case in this major disaster especially with the whole population suffering as badly as they currently are.

I guess we will get further information in their morning. They are on Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) currently which is UTC+3 so it's heading towards midnight there and it will be just past full moon. First light is going to be about an hour before sunrise which is just before 6AM local time.

So I'd assume we should start getting further info around 9AM local or 0600UTC.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 4, 2020 4:06 PM

@ Clive, lurker

Yes, you do want Ammonium Nitrate in high humidity conditions, such as can be expected at sea-level. Easy to create explosive gas.

But, here are two things that point to it *not* being *just* 50 tons of Ammonium Nitrate, stored illegally and/or improperly.

First, based upon physical damage from the shockwave, the estimated force would be around 240 tons of TNT.

The chemistry-math then would require way more tons of Ammonium Nitrate to reach 240 tons of TNT.

The area of the explosion just east of the grain silo is/was designated for Non-hazmat.

echoAugust 4, 2020 4:24 PM

@Clive

Oh one thing about a lot of high explosives is that burning them does not make them go "high order" you can actually use small lumps of some plastic explosives like hexamethane tablets to cook with. Also it's unlikely that high explosives would go off even if a firework did explode next to it.

I've looked into hexa stoves and equivalents for making hot tea and a dinner while mooching about. It's just one of those crazy types of things I like the idea of doing when it's piddling down and I havethe world to myself.

For general use I'm sticking with my Trangier. In fact I bought some new O-rings a few months ago as the old O-ring had perished and I got into a panic about civilisation collapsing plus emergencies happen. I looked into lots of different portable cooking equipment from ultra-light to more flashy stuff and felt my boring old Trangier did everything I wanted to while packing enough pots and pans to be civilised.

To continue something you discussed some months ago: on the subject of rocket stoves and long burning stoves. I looked into this and it seems with the right arrangement you can get a secondary burn. There's a commercial domestic wood burning fire which is good for 12 hours. They use a ceramic sleeve to retain heat and secondary burn to achieve 12 hours. I don't think there are any camping wood burners with secondary burn nor any which are pellet fed but I did disover some DIY attempts. There are also variants of, if I remember correctly, a "Finnish campfire". This being a large slit log with tunnel bored down the centre and joined together again which forms another long burning fire. There are variants with a long steel pipe used to conduct heat into a tent which I'd want to check a dozen ways before thinking of using. For larger tents such as teepees there are fireplace designs vented through the ground to the outside. But what interested me is whether it was possible to get an 8-12 hour burn from a portable stove. Possibly with pellets but with logs I haven't discovered anything which makes me think even six hours is achiveable.

There's also the "Mors Kochanski Super Shelter". The idea behind this is to capture the heat from an open fire with a clear plastic sheet to retain heat and a shiny mylar sheet at the rear to reflect heat back. The top is insulated then covered with the rest of the clear plastic sheet and the sleeping area is raised off the ground. The shelter isn't sealed to allow air to circulate and moisture to escape. Tests suggest it can become quite toasty inside even in sub-zero temperatures. Depending on arrangements the supershelter design can accomodate anywhere between one and a dozen people. I think Mors himself said it wasn't meant to be a long term solution although he said it was livable if there was no other choice.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 4, 2020 4:25 PM

@ Clive, lurker

Correction. Horrible brainfart.

You do *NOT* want to store Ammonium Nitrate in high humidity conditions.

Unless, it is a cover story.

echoAugust 4, 2020 4:40 PM

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/aug/04/beirut-explosion-huge-blast-port-lebanon-capital?page=with:block-5f29c1b58f089d9b758a6bb4#block-5f29c1b58f089d9b758a6bb4

On Twitter Tobias Schneider, a researcher at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, says that Lebanon relies on imports for 90% of its wheat consumption (wheat is used to make the country’s staple flatbreads), most of which enters through a single terminal:

It looks like things are "all hands on deck" in Beirut.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 4, 2020 5:17 PM

Maybe enduring many different colds over years is a good thing?

hXXps://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-08-exposure-common-cold-coronaviruses-immune.html


The new work builds on a recent Cell paper from the Sette Lab and the lab of LJI Professor Shane Crotty, Ph.D., which showed that 40 to 60 percent of people never exposed to SARS-CoV-2 had T cells that reacted to the virus. Their immune systems recognized fragments of the virus it had never seen before. This finding turned out to be a global phenomenon and was reported in people from the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

MarkHAugust 4, 2020 5:24 PM

Some possible insight into the Beirut explosion:

1. The explosion seems to have centered on the seaport, which has been described as largely flattened.

2. The head of Lebanon's security agency said the explosion might have been fueled by cargo confiscated from a ship, which had been stored at the port.

3. Beirut television reports that the material was sodium nitrate.

4. The president of Beirut has described the material as 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate.

If such a quantity of ammonium nitrate were to detonate, the TNT equivalent would perhaps approach a thousand tons.

A miserable lot of casualties, perhaps preventable by ordinary precautions.

AndersAugust 4, 2020 7:08 PM

reaperfeed.com/how-did-the-casio-f91w-become-a-terrorist-icon/

Interestly, wikimedia is very helpful here.

commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:IED_timers_that_use_Casio_F-91W

MarkHAugust 5, 2020 1:37 AM

I didn't see video from Beirut until a couple of hours ago.

Ye gods!

Poor Beirut.

CNN has an "ex CIA" guy saying it couldn't have been ammonium nitrate, because of the orange color of the fireball. Color me skeptical, of this self-anointed "expert".

SpaceLifeFormAugust 5, 2020 1:43 AM

Another sad angle of the blast.

And the massive shockwave that blows away buildings.

The building on the right is supposed to be an office building
for the power company. Was.

Reports are that the person taking the video did not survive.

Probably died instantly from the shockwave. Not debris.

2020 just flat out sucks.

hXXps://twitter.com/majdkhalaf1993/status/1290756807909089280

SpaceLifeFormAugust 5, 2020 2:04 AM

Old (8 hours ago) report says the person doing the video
is still alive, but in critical condition.

WeatherAugust 5, 2020 2:20 AM

@all
AN is normally stored with 1-2% boric acid to stabilize it, sodium nitrate can't detonate but AN because of excess fuel in the chemical.
NOx makes a orange cloud, NH4NO2 can make that.
Grain soilos can explode, but its more the fine Grain size that makes FAE.
Not sure whether it water or chlorine that can make AN spotanise detonate.
Can we change the subject..

SpaceLifeFormAugust 5, 2020 3:03 AM

The grain silo was basically empty.

But whomever was responsible for the construction, wow.

Pretty much the only thing still upright at port.

hXXps://twitter.com/Natsecjeff/status/1290896133141729280

echoAugust 5, 2020 3:06 AM

@SpaceLifeForm

I just saw a photo of someone being blown up by a landmine. Yay for algorthmic suggestions. Fascinating though it was it wasn't the first thing I had in mind when I woke up this morning.

Clive RobinsonAugust 5, 2020 3:43 AM

@ echo,

You can make a "penny stove burner" out of a couple of fizzy drinks (soda/pop) cans, in about half an hour with little more than the two cans, a sharp knife and a large "darning needle" to make the burner holes.

You can also take a large food tin (like the ones boild tats get sold in) and using a pocket bottle/can opener put v shaped ventilation slits in the bottom you can then put a "tea light" or other candle in it and put an ordinary ceramic tile --you'ld grout to a wall-- on top and cook food on it (I've made bacon and eggs on it as well as frying the bread[1]).

The trick is to not heat / cool the tile to quickly. as a demonstration I have a brown china 2pt tea pot and a fairly thick multi layer cotton "cosy" which is on a stand above an "oil lamp" that can light a large kitchen table sufficient to read a book or do work on. If you fill the tea pot with cold water it slowley heats to boiling point and you can drop a tea bag in. After you've brewed you can take a 1/2 pint out and top the pot with a half pint of cold water poured in carefully. You can get about 3-4pints of tea out of one PG bag which lasts me a long winters evening.

But the one that makes most people supprised is a "leather cauldron". Untanned Leather is pourous and "won't hold water" that is it seeps out slowly. Now if you have a large piece of leather and you soak it it eventually gets saturated. If you hang this above a small fire and fill it with water after a while the water will be hot enough to cook with. Importabtly you can put clay pots in to heat so you can render down fat and gelatin from pig hide, bones and similar giving you tallow that has many uses and gelatin for making things like jellies but more importantly for preserving food in earthenware pots.


But getting back to larger tin cans you can by putting more triangle holes in the top / open end of the can turn it into a "hobbo stove" such that you can burn twigs etc reasonably efficiently. You can make it more efficient by using two large catering cans or drums. The outer one is used to turn it into a "down draft" burner that like a rocket stove with a long chimney is not just more efficient it produces little or no smoke once hot because it burns the volitile tars that contain over 50% of the available calorific fuel. A variation on this is "gassification" by which you can do two things, firstly heat water, secondly push the "gas" into an engine like that of a motor bike, car or more importantly a generator[2] and also collect the exhaust heat in mass storage.

To have slow release heat you realy need "dry rocks and towels" you heat the rocks up by the fire and then wrap them in towels and use them like a hot water bottle in your bed / sleeping bag. The Hawaiian fire pit that a Luau pig is cooked in for five to twelve hours or so works this way. The recipe is dig a deep hole chuck in dry wood and rocks till about half full light wood and let it burn. When it's burned right down cover the hot rocks witk palm leaves or similar even tall green grass will work, ontop of this add wet sacking add earthenware pots and the unskined but gutted pig add more wet sacking and fill up with earth. Go and do something for the next few hours whilst it all slow cooks. Then uncover chop up etc and serve to 20-50 hopefully hungry people.

But with regards radient heat you can build a harth on the end of a tent without using a plastic window... If you have a traditional ridgepole tent with openings at either end what you do is dig a shallow fire pit and surround it with rocks to stop the fire spreading. You put the tent up with one end towards the fire pit. Behind the fire pit you build a wall of split logs that act not just as a fire reflector but wind break/chimney. What you do is you alow a small flow of air to come through the bottom of the tent into the harth which causes the smoke and poison gases to rise outside the tent. But the radient heat to shine in and heat the inside of the tent. A friend showed me how to do this but using "fire cloth" which is made from fiberglass or similar but not as it still is in some places asbestos.

But the "fire pit" is not the only way to slow cook without an active fire. You can try this one at home quite safely all you need is a large box and an old duvet or smaller scale a wide necked thermous flask. Put a pot on the stove into which you have added finly choped vegtables and meat add about twice the wight of water. Brink it to the boil and pour into your thermos or put the covered pot into the middle of the duvet in the box so it is well surounded. Leave for four to eight hours either whizz it up in a food processor to make chunky soup or if the meat you used had lots of gelatin in it serve as stew.

It's known in the UK as "Hay box cooking" and I do quite a bit of it as you can cook a large amount of food in one go without it sticking or burning in the pot. When it's cooled sufficiently devide into meal sized portions you can put in the fridge or freezer to microwave quickly when you get in from work and it's cold wet and miserable outside. My gran used to go shoping saturday and prep it all then bring it to the boil slowley whilst getting ready to go out. She would then put it in the hay box and hop of to work down at the local pub. Thus there would be a hot meal on getting back and "food for the week" that just needed bringing back to the boil once a day to stop it going off. She also used to cook large joints of meat this way for sunday lunch just poping the cooked joint in a very hot oven to brown off and crust whilst also doing the "roasties". She certainly viewed it as a good way to cook because you did not have to stand over the stove cooking for hours.

[1] the trick is to cook the bacon first and as the fat comes out lift the bacon and drop on a slice of bread to soak it up then remove it and drop the bacon back on the tile till you get more fat repeat as necessary turning the bread over so both sides get fat. Then take the bacon off and using a small tin as either a cookie cutter to take out a circle from the bread or like a muffin ring on top of the tile drop the egg in to cook.

[2] A piece of "madness" for you, have a look at the back of your "energy bills" and see what you are paying per kWh for gas and electricity... In some places the price difference is way more than "generator losses" thus using a generator run off of gas is less costly than getting it off the grid... And that's before you think about capturing the heat from the exhast gas for heating water / mass storage. Another friend that has a large solar and wind generator system actually pushes out nearly all they generate from that to the national grid because the pay pack they get more than covers the gas for generation at peak times and to provide hot water to top up their "ten ton slab" under the house that acts as a "storage heater" good for a week or so of home heating even in winter[3].

[3] For my friend the biggest running expense is actually the "fridge / freezer"... If people actually measured it they would be shocked at just how expensive they are to run. Worse they are usually in the hottest room of the house so are facing an uphill battle... And due to the way the "energy efficiency" ratings are measured it's now hard to find freezers in the UK that will work in environmental tempratures of below 10C / 50F which is ridiculous but true (they had to go there "chest freezers shipped in from Sweden...). They don't use a fridge very much but an "evaporator cool box" which also acts as a form of "air conditioning" in essence you blow air across a wet surface and thr evaporating water cools not just the air it humidifies it, it also cools a secondary water system that takes heat out of the cool box. You can get upto 10C differential that way. In an emergency you can do the same trick with a wet towel and a large shalow dish. Just wrap up what you want to keep cool in the towel put it in the dish and get the towel wet but not dripping as the water evaporates it lowers the temprature inside the towel. You see people doing this in the mediterainian a bottle or flask is filled with a drink, this is wrapped in a wet cloth and put in a shady but breezy place after an hour or so you have a cool drink.

Clive RobinsonAugust 5, 2020 4:18 AM

@ MarkH,

CNN has an "ex CIA" guy saying it couldn't have been ammonium nitrate, because of the orange color of the fireball. Color me skeptical, of this self-anointed "expert".

The colour of burning gives spectral information on the atoms involved. Much like flicking table salt into a gas flame (try doining it with normal sodium only table salt and the potassium mix used as "low salt"[1])

In a similar manner smoke an vapours also reveals information about the chemicals involved.

Think back to school chemistry where you poured con nitric acid on copper turnings.

[1] Yes it's the same potassium compound as is used to make the "leathal injection"...

David8August 5, 2020 5:28 AM

echo

good observation on BoJo not making a trip to the US to be replaced with a replicant like Blair was, at that critical juncture in war developments

I had the understanding one is required to complete outstanding tax obligations in the US before renouncing citizenship. so it's not as simple as attempting to dodge the tax that way otherwise it may be a very popular option for the wealthy.
One note on the travel ban to the EU, for the US passport holder.
This won't mean anything to those, for example the billionaire class, who surely have at least one more passport and residency, to spare. ?


Also, one serious hazard of those types of 'wildernes survival' shows is the total disrespect for the environment they can promote. Wildcrafting one well known example. Every idiot goes out and starts foraging, decimating species.
I recall one recent iteration of the SAS survival manual, by a more recent author. There was a chapter with photos of the author eating raw zebra in Africa, to show it can be done, before returning to the safety of the UK and his local McDonalds.
Oh, bravo, big man. What a waste of precious life just for ego and show.

MarkH

Latvia was renowned for inventing a certain cast bronze mini-camera designed for covert photograph, used by many agencies of that era.
heavy in the pocket! the name escapes me. The country remains proud of it.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasonsAugust 5, 2020 5:35 AM

More from NIST
General Access Control Guidance for Cloud Systems SP 800-210

RFC - hxxps://csrs.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-210/final

Control Baselines for Information Systems and Organizations DRAFT SP 800-53B

RFC - hxxps://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-53b/draft

I would suggest that both publications are of interest to InfoSEC practitioners. The first document is for final release, the second is in draft form and still a work in progress. I cannot speak to the qualitative value at this point until a thorough read is done--or some else bets me to the punch.

David8August 5, 2020 5:45 AM

just to comment on the 'women in charge of Co Vid do a better job'

Two of the female premiers in Australia are responsible for the biggest and 3rd biggest States in the country. (NSW and Queensland respectively)
Their policies, world view, emotional quotient, and general status on the sociopathic spectrum, all put them fairly shoulder to shoulder with someone like Thatcher.
The Queensland premier is wholly supportive of the Adani coal mine operation in Queensland, including funding Adani via hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite them being proven to be acting illegally, and Adani stealing local water supplies while the state both suffered outrageous drought and bushfires, and stealing Indigenous land.
so, in context of broad brush comparisons - let's not be so unkind to women

Clive Robinson

Thankyou for your great response about document submission.
Now, I am aware you have discussed this subject here before in detail. I'm aware that most of us grok the technical components of that particular offering.
I am wishing to present that post to friends and colleagues who are 0-3 on the technical scale. Their OpSec comprehension is roughly equivalent or lower.

So, it's easy enough to explain to such folks about OCR and why to defeat it. Forcing the adversary to deal with paper submissions or an electronic submission they can't convert into a searchable database.

Someone else here asked why an IMG file doesn't suffice. Putting aside the concept of certain software able to extract text from IMG - are you able to
break down the reasoning behind your strategy?

What is the problem with the probable fingerprinting/bread crumbs occurring with the source 'dirty ' computer ?

Why the need to manually identify each page by hand - is this just as not to do it electronically? It means your unique identifier can't be scrubbed yet can't be included in the catalogue?

There are probably some other questions but that covers the basic gist of it.
Just for the purposes of explaining the process to the non-literate

Oh, there is software that applies a transparent GIF over a file. It's invisible and non detectable via ordinary means. However any attempt to print the file will result in a very black page of A4. I've seen this work with
email. It's not indomitable, some advanced software can defeat it but for general use in situations like legal submissions it's kind of helpful.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasonsAugust 5, 2020 9:02 AM

California Dreamin'
On Sunday, 2 August 2020, ran across an electronic California vehicle license display, not a plate.

Has an e-Ink type display, quite legible, with a state issued license number (not a plate) and a registration date displayed. Did not go into the technical issues with the owner but it was obvious that the data on the plate is mutable. The driver said that there would be customizations available to the owner, kind of like a running vanity plate. Also some form of amber alert and/or stolen vehicle capability.

If I guess right, there is either a zigbee or 802.15 network interface for remote access/programming (could be 802.11 but that would seem heavy). I would hate to think it is blue tooth enabled. Have to look into it further, just throwing it out as there would seem to be; "Oh, we forgot to encrypt any channels that communicate with the plate so session hacking or duplication might be a thing." I would assume some sort IMEI/serial number interlocking mechanism, and if they wen't heavy then maybe an IPv6 addr.

MarkHAugust 5, 2020 9:05 AM

@Clive:

No chemist I ...

What I do remember from my pyromaniac school friend, was that adding a small amount of material (essentially, a contaminant) could visibly alter the color of a high-temperature flame.

The human eye is a very poor spectrometer, inferring color from the relative responses of 3 types of cone cells ... as you well know, all sorts of techniques related to lighting, decoration, film and electronic displays rely on people perceiving some particular color while looking at sources with extremely disparate spectra.

I don't know what color AN flames are supposed to be ... I looked up photos of AN explosions and fires, and they looked pretty orange to me.

The CNN source inferred the presence of ordnance. Maybe there was a vast weapons dump at the port, but it seems a slender thread from which to hang the conclusion.

@David8:

That tiny camera was the Minox. Its first few years of production were by VEF, maker of the phone I saw ...

AndersAugust 5, 2020 10:04 AM

As always, today everything has it's own wiki page.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Beirut_port_explosions

"A security source stated that the initial fire was caused during welding work on a hole in a warehouse."

So welding was the initial "spark".

JG4August 5, 2020 10:55 AM

Hope that all's well, other than the inconveniences. Things are excellent here, which continues to be a pleasant surprise. The gravity of the unfolding humanitarian crises isn't lost on me.

It will be omniviolence if the 96% of people who aren't psychopaths or sociopaths get dragged into a conflict. I'd guess this ends with every drone carrying an IFF transponder that somehow demonstrates that the code hasn't been hacked. The equivalent for human cells is displaying snippets of DNA for the police to inspect. Any cells showing signs of a bad attitude get a hardwood shampoo.

I've been superbusy, which isn't as much fun as writing long and tedious screeds. I don't recall seeing this posted, but we've definitely touched on this topic and many others. The Swiss have made some progress in drone regulation. That is the tip of the iceberg of projected intent.

I'm pleased to see the occasional mention of NakedCapitalism here. They do a good job of cutting through the disinformation screen put up by the anarchocapitalists.

Omniviolence Is Coming and the World Isn't Ready - Nautilus
http://nautil.us/blog/omniviolence-is-coming-and-the-world-isnt-ready
Oct 21, 2019 - Emerging bio-, nano-, and cyber-technologies are enabling criminals to target anyone anywhere and, due to democratization, increasingly…

echoAugust 5, 2020 11:31 AM

@Clive

You can make a "penny stove burner" out of a couple of fizzy drinks (soda/pop) cans, in about half an hour with little more than the two cans, a sharp knife and a large "darning needle" to make the burner holes.

Yes I looked into those "can stoves". One advantage of the Trangier is it has a felt wick on the inside. Another point to note when building a pan stand either out of flat pieces of metal or coat hangers (the equivalent of a Trangier mini stand) or whatever is at hand is the height above the stove. I think the Trangier is one inch... The height can make a significant difference to temperature and time to boil and fuel use.

Burning in cold weather can be problematic which is why Trangier sell a winter kit. This is a plate plus a small stand with an absorbant pad. You prime the pad and light it with the burner attached on top. This warms the fuel so it can ignite and also burn more efficiently. A less expensive method is to take a strip of loo roll (sigh) and make a wick. Place this in the burner and light one end. The burning of the wick warms the fuel and then ignites it.

I used to use meths but decided to move to bioethanol. It produces less smoke and is less toxic and has a higher energy content.

Here's a page with a list of tests done with a Trangier. For thiskind of contraption it seems windshields make quite a difference to efficiency.

http://www.diamondspirit.net/adunk/trangia.html

But the one that makes most people supprised is a "leather cauldron". Untanned Leather is pourous and "won't hold water" that is it seeps out slowly. Now if you have a large piece of leather and you soak it it eventually gets saturated. If you hang this above a small fire and fill it with water after a while the water will be hot enough to cook with. Importabtly you can put clay pots in to heat so you can render down fat and gelatin from pig hide, bones and similar giving you tallow that has many uses and gelatin for making things like jellies but more importantly for preserving food in earthenware pots.

But getting back to larger tin cans you can by putting more triangle holes in the top / open end of the can turn it into a "hobbo stove" such that you can burn twigs etc reasonably efficiently.

Yes I've heard of the leather cauldron. Easily forgotten but as you note waste not want not.

Mors Kochinski designed a survival kit around a "billy can". Everything you need fit inside the can. He also explains at length why he thinks the billy can solution is so good. One reason he doesn't directly explain is his focus is Canada which has large areas containing not a lot and tends to get cold and has a lot of snow. Like a lot of things I suppose Mors solution is no better or worse than anything else just tuned to the environment he is expecting it to be used in.

Another form of the horribly inefficient "rocket stove" is the "Dakota stove". You carve out a large circle and a smaller circle of ground and lift it out and set it aside. You then dig down to make one large hole and the chimney hole and join the two with a small tunnel at the bottom. It creates little visible light from the fire and can be filled in and the discs of soil can be replaced leaving no sign anyone has been there.

You can make it more efficient by using two large catering cans or drums. The outer one is used to turn it into a "down draft" burner that like a rocket stove with a long chimney is not just more efficient it produces little or no smoke once hot because it burns the volitile tars that contain over 50% of the available calorific fuel. A variation on this is "gassification" by which you can do two things, firstly heat water, secondly push the "gas" into an engine like that of a motor bike, car or more importantly a generator[2] and also collect the exhaust heat in mass storage.

This is a secondary burn? I think I've seen garden firepit designs and commercial products with secondary burn both set in the ground and freestanding.

It's known in the UK as "Hay box cooking" and I do quite a bit of it as you can cook a large amount of food in one go without it sticking or burning in the pot.

A hay box is useful for storing potatoes over the winter in a pinch. You can use other materials too. Apparently, slaked lime is the best.

She certainly viewed it as a good way to cook because you did not have to stand over the stove cooking for hours.

Making stock by bringing a pan of chicken bones to the near boil or boil depending on the stock you want to make and popping it in a preheated oven is easier than standing over it too.

They don't use a fridge very much but an "evaporator cool box" which also acts as a form of "air conditioning" in essence you blow air across a wet surface and thr evaporating water cools not just the air it humidifies it, it also cools a secondary water system that takes heat out of the cool box. You can get upto 10C differential that way. In an emergency you can do the same trick with a wet towel and a large shalow dish. Just wrap up what you want to keep cool in the towel put it in the dish and get the towel wet but not dripping as the water evaporates it lowers the temprature inside the towel. You see people doing this in the mediterainian a bottle or flask is filled with a drink, this is wrapped in a wet cloth and put in a shady but breezy place after an hour or so you have a cool drink.

My mum did this when the fridge broke and we were waiting on the repair man. She had grown up in the pre war days when not everyone had a fridge.

A large clay pot inside another clay pot lined with sand and filled with water forms an evaporative cooler too. Apparently this is a thing in the Middle-East.

echoAugust 5, 2020 11:52 AM

@David8

I had the understanding one is required to complete outstanding tax obligations in the US before renouncing citizenship. so it's not as simple as attempting to dodge the tax that way otherwise it may be a very popular option for the wealthy. One note on the travel ban to the EU, for the US passport holder. This won't mean anything to those, for example the billionaire class, who surely have at least one more passport and residency, to spare. ?

The US isn't a signatory to any of the UN stateless or preventing stateless perons treaties. A fair few people were caught out by FACTA which is another example of the US exporting its law abroad. Since the IRS went after people owing taxes a few people discovered they were "accidental" US citizens without knowing it. Due to FACTA increasing numbers of US citizens who have settled permanently abroad have renounced their citizenship.

Also, one serious hazard of those types of 'wildernes survival' shows is the total disrespect for the environment they can promote. Wildcrafting one well known example. Every idiot goes out and starts foraging, decimating species. I recall one recent iteration of the SAS survival manual, by a more recent author. There was a chapter with photos of the author eating raw zebra in Africa, to show it can be done, before returning to the safety of the UK and his local McDonalds. Oh, bravo, big man. What a waste of precious life just for ego and show.

From what I can tell arguments and differences of opinion exist among SAS and ex SAS, as well as Royal Marines and I daresay other ex military. One issue is you have a gang of (almost exclusively men) with a lot of energy and sometimes idle hands and the excess energy has to go somewhere. It doesn't always go into officially approved directions nor directions their colleagues or ex colleagues would necessarily approve of.

They appear to be able to tell the difference between reality and something for televisionad don't always approve of what is in books or on television but appreciate people may have "issues" and need to make a living.

I'm not a fan of this kind of behaviour myself but people are human and have their worldviews and mental health issues. Book publishers and television producers have some responsibility for this too. "What is interesting to the public is not necessarily in the public interest". UK officialdom in policy and practixe has a nasty nasty habit of writing people off and devaluing them, as we have seen during this pandemic if nothing else, and has little to no clue about chronic health problems. Ultimately this does not reflect well on the fantasists and cardboard warriors and sneaky nasty disgustly selfish and greedy people in Downing Street.

echoAugust 5, 2020 12:41 PM

@Clive

A hay box is useful for storing potatoes over the winter in a pinch. You can use other materials too. Apparently, slaked lime is the best.

Whoops. I got my potatoes and eggs mixed up.

vas pupAugust 5, 2020 3:41 PM

@MarkH,Clive other interested bloggers
Beirut blast: What makes ammonium nitrate so dangerous?
https://www.dw.com/en/what-makes-ammonium-nitrate-so-dangerous/a-54452221

"Ammonium nitrate is a white crystalline salt that can be fairly cheaply produced from ammonia and nitric acid. It is soluble and often used as fertilizer, as nitrogen is needed for healthy plant development.

Ammonium nitrate in its pure form is not dangerous. It is, however, heat sensitive. At 32.2 degrees Celsius (89.96 degrees Fahrenheit), ammonium nitrate changes its atomic structure, which in turn changes its chemical properties.

When large quantities of ammonium nitrate are stored in one place, heat is generated. If the amount is sufficiently vast, it can cause the chemical to ignite. Once a temperature of 170 C is reached, ammonium nitrate starts breaking down, emitting nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. Any sudden ignition causes ammonium nitrate to decompose directly into water, nitrogen and oxygen, which explains the enormous explosive power of the salt.

As ammonium nitrate is a highly explosive chemical, many countries strictly regulate its use. Over the past 100 years, there have been several disasters involving the chemical."

Read the whole article if interested in more details.

AndersAugust 5, 2020 4:47 PM

@Clive

Whoa, i didn't know yet about "The Great Explosion" in UK.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_nitrate_disasters

Clive RobinsonAugust 5, 2020 8:50 PM

@ Anders,

i didn't know yet about "The Great Explosion" in UK

There is not much to know about it as much of the information was hidden away as the UK was at war.

Even the press did not report on what was a major catastrophe that killed many men and boys (it happened on a Sunday a day that even women doing war work did not work). They were buried in a mass grave quietly.

I had expected more information to become available under the "100 year rule" at the National Archives Office in Kew SE London, but no. It looks like any information if there was any kept has "been mislaid" at some point. Which probably means that no real investigation was carried out, as War Production would have been given significant priority. Apparently whilst only about 200 tons of TNT exploded some by "sympathetic detonation" there was another 3000 tons of various explosives that could also have gone up in the immediate area.

It happened close to Faversham in Kent claim by those that live there to be the oldest "Powder mills" in England, it's compleate twaddle. As I've mentioned before during the late 1960's and early 1970's my mother helped out by myself worked out where the Ewell Gun Powder Mills were and it was my ability to squirm through dense decades old undergrowth that found the remains of the foundations.

There is a rather famous painting William Holman Hunt's "Light of the World" of Jeasus knocking at a very overgrown door of what many think is a gardeners hut or some such. It was actually one of the Ewell Gun Powder mills near the River Hogsmill close to Henry the VIII's hunting park around Nonsuch palace (of which only the foundations survive). Just to make life dificult the whole hunting park area was once known as "Worcester Park", which has shrunk over the years before and after WWII. Worcester Park is now just a small area in what would have been the North East of the Park. A less famous but way more controvercial painting of Hunt's was "The Hireling Shepherd" painted a little further down stream on the Hogsmill at the same time.

Another very famous painting is "Ophelia" by Hunt's good friend and painting partner John Everett Millais which was painted just a short distance from where I was born (and later with a friend rearanged the landscape with fertilizer from a local farm that has the oldest barn in Surrey on it's land ;-)

A less well known friend of both Millais and Hunt was Charles Dodgson mathmatician, logician and failed priest and keen photographer better known for his two books adout Alice Lidell and even Queen Victoria was a fan of "Lewis Carroll" and apparently read all his books even those on logic.

Oh I'd advise people planing on a career in programing or security to read "Alice through the looking glass" as it will teach you as a minimum things about objects names and references that you had probably never even considered let alone thought about seriously.

last postAugust 5, 2020 10:10 PM

Contact Tracing - doomed to failure?

The current lock down in Melbourne is due to the inability to trace the sources of COV19 infection using "Contract Tracing" (CT).

It was obvious from the outset that if seriously challenged CT would fail, and it did.

So why was such a scheme used in the first place.

Lets start by comparing CT with its Government and business cousin "Big Data" (BD).

BD is a massive global machine for harvesting information (data) and processing it for "its required use (or abuse)".

Here we define BD to be one or all of the following:
- Mobile phone cell tower data.
- Mobile phone "location services" (wifi hot spots, bluetooth etc)
- Social media data (mobile and otherwise)
- Clicks on a smart tv
- IOT dvices
- Any data using tablet/phone/etc
- Mapping services
- Any sort of computer with an external connection
- Credit, loyalty, cash, gift cards, etc
- etc etc etc etc


A look inside CT.
CT follows very traditional methods with detailed interviews/surveys collecting as much data as possible.
But how many "data points" can actually be collected in an interview?
Even the best interviews contain inconsistencies, gaps and redundancies, how are such resolved.
Unsurprisingly it is also plagued with traditional difficulties such as "people not answering the phone", a "partial" solution to this involved the army.

How well does this compare to BD?
BD is not short of data, its quality or quantity and is not hampered by "human aspects" such as "disclosure may be embarrassing/unfavorable".
So why not use BD for contact tracing?

Big tech companies are in business, so cash will make their data available.
Alternatively if they are presented with a problem (CT), they could easily provide the "answers" without revealing their methods or data.

The above costs real money but there is an alternative, our own government.
We have any number of state and federal entities that both own and can access BD without restriction.
Their function is to collect, analyze and use the data for "government activities".
They can and do perform CT (or variations) every day.

These entities exist purely to support us, the people, but are they?

Is the problem that by assisting the people at this time might reveal their capabilities; something that they might regret later?

But equally, is the inability to CT, leading to failing businesses, rising unemployment and a treacherous economy in our interest?

An ensuing debate about this will include the words/phrases including: difficulty, reliability, confidentiality, etc. in the hope of “muddying the waters”.

To this we simply repeat our basic point:
- phones and surveys
vs
- BD and all the related engineering and sciences that create, maintain and further develop it.
Is it take make good use of the BD Monster and Government entities we have created?

echoAugust 5, 2020 10:14 PM

Simon has a few videos on reconstructing Old English and other intereting things about language. This video contains a spread of things about language. I wondered how much bearing the topic had on decrypting stone tablets from forgotten languages and cryptanalysis.

Southern US Accents & Shakespeare's Accent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rb0HPDnc8Y

MarkHAugust 6, 2020 2:40 AM

Now that the causes of the Beirut disaster seem to be clarifying, there may be little reason to comment on it in this forum moving forward.

So, a few closing thoughts:

1. I heard tonight that 300,000 residents are displaced. I suppose this would include those whose homes are:

• destroyed
• too damaged to occupy until repairs are made
• closed off pending structural inspection
• inaccessible by dint of debris
• unlivable because utilities are not functioning
• blocked off by emergency operations

If this figure is accurate, I suppose it to be comparable to the numbers of "dehoused" persons in massive WW II bombing raids.

2. If most of the ammonium nitrate exploded, and a conversion factor I found is correct, the explosive energy was nearly 1000 tons TNT equivalent.

This is similar to the largest mass bomber raids ever undertaken, and falls within the range of U.S. "battlefield" nuclear warheads (e.g. W54 and W45).

3. Although its "spine" remained stubbornly vertical (and perhaps shielded some people from shock waves), the grain elevator (called silos by some) next to the hypocenter was, of course, comprehensively wrecked. It held about 85% of Lebanon's grain inventory :(

4. Lebanon was already in severe economic distress, with a large fraction of families unable to pay for basic necessities.

5. The pain of this situation -- and the appearance of government incompetence or corruption as a key cause -- might trigger popular overthrow of the ruling regime.

6. The leader of a powerful country, on both Tuesday and Wednesday, described the disaster as an "attack." Because this person's statements are known to be fanciful, this bizarre claim has had no evident effect.

7. The chaotic manner in which Russian businesses often operate -- startling to those used to Western practices -- forms one link in the chain of causation.

The ship, crew, and payload were abandoned in Beirut by a Russian-owned shipping firm. The captain says that crew payroll was so far in arrears, and the ship so short of provisions, that he sold the ship's fuel load to raise some cash.

echoAugust 6, 2020 4:33 AM

Given two deletions in another topic I'm not sure Bruce totally gets security when it isn't about hardware or software.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/06/sanctions-china-politics-us-showdown

Are sanctions the way to go? A foreign ministry spokesperson in Beijing recently remarked words to the effect that the US and China are so economically interlocked that they would amount to self-sanctions. The US, moreover, would be no match for China in its ability to endure suffering. And there he was correct: in dictatorships, sacrifices are not borne by the rulers. In the 1960s Mao said: “Cut us off? Go ahead – eight years, 10 years, China has everything.” A few years later Mao had nuclear weapons and was not afraid of anyone.

The west needs to reconsider its systems, its political and cultural prospects, and rediscover its humanitarianism. These challenges are not only political, they are intellectual. It is time to abandon the old thinking and the vocabulary that controls it. Without new vocabulary, new thinking cannot be born. In the current struggle in Hong Kong, for example, the theory is simple and the faith is pure. The new political generation in Hong Kong deserves careful respect from the west, and new vocabulary to talk about it.

“Sanctions” is a cold war term that names an old policy. If the US can’t think beyond them, the primacy of its position in this changing world will disappear.

David8August 6, 2020 5:30 AM

Echo
Clive Robinson

Used a ghillie kettle?

i won't link directly to a company site
But this wiki link has some fascinating info about the history of the kettle including as standard issue kit for infantry

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

perusing pictures for some reason my memory has them with a single vertical spout with no cap!
and single long chimney, and a smaller, shorter chimney alongside again with no caps, branching off at an angle a bit like a teapot

no cooking but boiling water takes one a long way


David8August 6, 2020 5:33 AM

Echo

thankyou for the highly thoughtful response about citizenship, tax, military and authors

echoAugust 6, 2020 6:39 AM

@David8

Used a ghillie kettle?

I'm very unlikely to use anything more than simple pots or heat sources. I have no need to boil large quantities of water rapidly or with anything too specialist in purpose but I imagine the cost/benefit will work for others.

The issue with water is it weighs a lot and water purification takes time. The other thing is the volume and weight of equipment and carrying or sourcing fuel. Anything which increases energy expenditure and/or time takes away from something else. Personally I'm undecided whether I want to buy a camping kettle or not. It's nice but more weight when you can use a pot or simply a metal mug.

Clive RobinsonAugust 6, 2020 6:45 AM

@ Last Post,

Your comparison has two underlying assumptions,

1, Contact tracing does not work.
2, Big Data tracking does work.

From this you argue that we should use Big Data Tracking instead of Contact Tracing.

Whilst you give some evidence for your former assumption you give no evidence for the latter.

Personally I would suspect that Big Data Tracking is no more effective than Contact tracing in a large "aware" population.

That is there is an "awareness" issue you have to address in your argument you've not mentioned.

For instance, an "aware" person will rather than turn their phone off leaving a clear action record, they could leve the phone at work which is less suspicious or even less still let the battery run down to the point that watching a long Utube or similar music video etc will cause the battery to go flat whilst on their journy home. Thus their phone turns it's self off, with a record it's gone flat which is even less suspicious and stops it's tracking ability.

Your actions depend on how thoughtfull you are and how much you are "aware" of.

As we now know from the CarrierIQ debacle several years ago the Service Provider you got your phone through will log the difference between "turning off" and "running down" as a matter of course as a "third party business record". If you think it unlikely we have also seen battery usage information used with Tesler cars when a journalist made apparently misleading statments about battery life, Tessler pulled out the charging and use records to rebut, showing the journalists driving pattern was anything but normal.

Thus an "aware" person will take this into account but a thoughtful person will take it further and will limit their exposure like not wearing "Fit-bits" and the like to minimise thus can control of what signals they emitt. Then build in "wriggle room" or "plausable deniability" with those that remain.

So they could put their phone on charge at work and simply leave it in their desk draw whilst going out to lunch etc. The trick is to distinguish between behaviour and actions. You could for instance establish a "behaviour" of putting your phone into silent and on charge at work, but have the actions of doing different things every lunch time going to different outlets sometimes paying by credit card others by cash. And have the habit of keeping paper till recipts and writting them up in a paper diary for "recording expenses" and the like. What used to be called prudent financial behaviour.

If you think this is a little outlandish, as the Korean use of Big Data tracking showed, quite a few cheating spouses were taking even more extream measures but failed because they were not sufficiently "aware".

We've had a couple of recent cases of insuficiently "aware" with criminals with both EncroChat and Blackberry phones respectively. Thus you can be sure that those criminals that are a little more thoughtful will invest a little time in coming up with other communications techniques.

For instance it is known that in South America those involved with the drugs trade have used older US military satelites that were "frequency transponders" not "coded repeaters" likewise it's known that other transponder satelites have had "unknown" spread spectrum signals putvthrough them much against the owner/operators wishes since the 1980's.

To do such satelite comms you need to know three things,

1, Satellite uplink band.
2, Satellite downlink offset.
3, Satellite orbital parameters.

From the first two and a little freely available knowledge you can build your "earth stations" and the third will enable you to track the Satellite over time. Tracking satellites without orbital parameters is actually a hobby for some people and they regularly find new satellites by simple radio observation (because satellite up and down link frequencies are in "known bands" that avoid interference from terrestrial system "spill over").

Thus "awareness in targets" is not something "watchers" want known because it enables them to defeat the "watchers" all to easily with a little forethought. Thus multi billion dollar Big Data Tracking systems can be rendered usless by the application of a little low cost low tech "field craft" or at moderate cost alternative untracked communications systems can be deployed. Thus Big Data Tracking is actually quite fragile and their success reliant on people being "unaware". In the case of South Korea, I suspect cheating spouses will now be a little more thoughtfull about ensuring their tracks are covered, divorce is after all an expense most of them would wish to avoid otherwise they would not be cheating. Likewise I suspect that by a simple evolutionary process criminals will also get a little smarter at what they say and how and when they say it, as it's not just the "genetic pool" a long prison sentance takes you out of.

But the other thing you need to remember is by and large those eye wateringly expensive Big Data Tracking systems actually do not earn their keep. In the case of commercial systems only very few make real money and that is more by illusion or myth which is why those that run them are diversifying their activities rather rapidly. As for the covert IC systems they are limited to mainstream central control not ad hock peer to peer communications systems. Thus they are primarily "Empire Builders" and realy only of use against the average citizen or unknowing or incautious person and then only after some event has triggered their records to be looked at. As has been seen in various parts of the Middle East and West Asia "terrorist" organisations with few real resources have been able to run rings around sophisticated Big Data Tracking systems.

A point those holding the purse strings should remember is one that has been made since the US went all high tech ElInt and SigInt in the post WWII early phase of the Cold War. Which is, such remote systems do at the end of the day only tell you "what your enemy wants you to hear", thus you need "Boots on the Ground" to "sanity check" what SigInt and ElInt are giving you.

Thus the IC and LEO agencies will find that as with CCTV Big Data Tracking only works against those who are unaware of it... It is just one reason why "Parallel Construction" is put to use, but even that fails because LEO members especially are just a subset of society and thus they "flap their gums" and in some cases "betray for money or favours", thus knowledge of "methods and sources" gets out, with expensive methods being countermeasured by simple field craft and sources eliminated and in some cases recycled at a pig farm etc...

AndersAugust 6, 2020 8:25 AM

Nice visual, before and after.

g1.nh.ee/images/pix/900x720/USkV5xVZ0oQ/d19bc5f2be98379003-90663399.jpg

JonKnowsNothingAugust 6, 2020 8:29 AM

@Clive @All

re: Future and Near Famine / Beirut Explosion

The grain silos destroyed at the port held the National Strategic Supply of wheat. Reports indicated that not that much was in the silos at the time of the explosion because much had been given out due to on-going economic and COVID19 situations.

The "golden" stuff on the ground near the silos is the wheat. It is contaminated and not edible by humans. Rats, mice and other grain eating vermin won't be as picky.

    Possible Outcomes
  1. The grain is so contaminated it kills the rats, mice outright.
  2. The contaminated grain only partially poisons the rats and they return to their various nests and die there.
  3. The grain provides an enormous population explosion of rats etc.
  4. Other grain pests and bugs proliferate causing additional problems.
  5. Large quantities of dead-anything have public health repercussions.

Australia had a many year explosion of rats, mice when it had repeated bumper crops with large grain supplies and food sources available. Once the supply runs out there is a famine in the rat population and they begin aggressive food seeking.

In New York during the major COVID19 lockdown 2020, the rats began to starve as their food sources dried up. Supermarkets, restaurants, bars, garbage systems no longer supported the rat population. They began to cannibalize other rats.

Once the "economy opened" and people began to eat out, there were reports of aggressive rats challenging humans over food. (In coastal cities, sea gulls are noted for food theft.)

The Lebanon grain silos had the capacity for 120,000 metric tons of grain.

Lebanon imports the majority of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia and uses 35,000-40,000 metric tons every month.

There is a one month supply of wheat in country.

Official report more is on the way and could be presumed to part of their normal import cycle of 1.2 million metric tons of wheat.

echoAugust 6, 2020 10:16 AM

https://blog.documentfoundation.org/blog/2020/08/05/announcement-of-libreoffice-7-0/

The most important new features are digital signatures for documents and OpenPGP-based encryption of XML documents, with improvements in areas such as change tracking,

[...]

Better compatibility with DOCX, XLSX and PPTX files. DOCX now saves in native 2013/2016/2019 mode, instead of 2007 compatibility mode, to improve interoperability with multiple versions of MS Office, based on the same Microsoft approach.

[...]

In fact, LibreOffice – thanks to its mature codebase, rich feature set, strong support for open standards, excellent compatibility and long-term support options from certified partners – represents the ideal solution for businesses that want to regain control of their data and free themselves from vendor lock-in.

I like LibreOffice because it's a step away from a monopolies treadmill. Give my document creation needs are simple I don't need an application which chases lock-in feature creep. One thing I would like across the industry are full compliance with genuine open standards for a lot of reasons from security to being able to direct the money saved into investment not keeping someone else in bonuses or passive income. Last but not least I cannot for the life of me think of one good reason why so-called "cloud" applications for things like office suits or anything else are so popular. Or are they?

MarkHAugust 6, 2020 12:56 PM

Re Contact Tracing:

I don't know what happened in Australia ... but epidemiologists say that contact tracing is one of their best tools, based on real-world experience.

It is extremely labor intensive, and the tracers must be properly trained. It's also necessarily imperfect.

It may be that tracing by "app" hasn't worked as hoped. In urban environments, the proliferation of contacts (especially when people aren't trying to be careful) is a hard challenge with respect to pathogens spread through the air ...

echoAugust 6, 2020 3:28 PM

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/06/social-distancing-in-the-skies-becomes-a-perk-in-post-covid-travel

But despite there being row upon row of completely empty seats, we found ourselves sat right next to complete strangers. This was the closest, physically, I had been to someone outside of my household in months.

Without any hope of maintaining social distance, a few bemused passengers, including myself, queried our seating arrangements with the sympathetic flight attendants. The response? That unless we had paid for a reservation then we had been placed in seats at random.

One can only assume, therefore, that to absolutely ensure a socially distanced flight, Ryanair passengers must pay extra (between £3 and £7 each way for my flights).

[...]

Without firm instructions from the government, policies differ significantly from one carrier to the next, and blocking seats to encourage social distancing is not yet a blanket policy.

In a recent webcast American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker said that the carrier would be “blocking 50% of standard middle class seats onboard”. Emirates has introduced a pre-allocated seat system so that vacant seats are placed between individual passengers or family groups in observance of social distancing protocols.

Back to Ryanair and its chief executive, Michael O’Leary, says there are no plans to socially distance in the skies. In fact O’Leary said the airline would not be looking at keeping the middle seat free, describing the idea as “mad”, “hopelessly ineffective” and unaffordable. Instead, he shifted the responsibility for passenger safety on to the government calling for temperature checks at the airport.

So recent headlines that Italy’s aviation regulator has threatened to ban Ryanair, alleging that the airline has not complied with rules brought in to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, are not at all surprising.

This looks like a case of "corporate made law" by Ryanair as well as a few sloppy tricks so they can blame the passengers and push for outsourcing the loss.

Personally I think Ryanair and any other airline trying it on should be immediately grounded until the health and safety, and human rights issues are firmly established.

SpaceLifeFormAugust 6, 2020 7:26 PM

@ echo

AWS is the gift that keeps on giving.

hXXps://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/08/intel-is-investigating-the-leak-of-20gb-of-its-source-code-and-private-data/

JonKnowsNothingAugust 6, 2020 9:50 PM

@MarkH @Clive

re: Contract Tracing vs Superspreader Targeting

An interview with German parliamentarian and health expert Karl Lauterbach indicates a shift in their approach to "contact tracing". There have been several reports of similar views.

Instead of individual tracing, a focus on "large gathering" or "superspreader" events with mass tracing.

[The current] approach is totally inefficient; we're on the wrong track. Instead of contacting each individual contact by phone, the authorities should focus their efforts on so-called super-spreaders, those few highly contagious cases that often infect dozens of people in group situations. They alone are the driving force behind the pandemic. We now know that individual transmitters have almost no effect on the exponential growth. If we don't change course on this issue, the second wave will be intense.

His major point is that COVID19 is infectious many days before the first symptoms and it takes many more days to get a test result. By the time the result comes in, that person is no longer part of the dynamic.

By concentrating on areas where a super spreader event is likely to happen and treating all participants as if they are already infected will have better efficiency.

He references it as the Japan Strategy.

There will be some issue in "less disciplined" societies where spontaneous or clandestine groups form. There won't be any advanced notice for officials.

AirBnB rave parties were pre-COVID19 common, rent-a-mansion invite 3,000 friends from FB, depart leaving the trash and trashed site behind, contracts signed with forged names and IDs.

The current COVID19 incarnation is Large House Parties.

“These large house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the hills,” ... arguing the events can become “superspreaders” of coronavirus as bars and nightlife in the city remain shut.

Also for those who are interested:

  • My area is still Under Surge
  • The area clocked the First Child Death in California on 07 31 2020.
  • Our local death count is soaring with 1/3 of our total deaths occurring within the last 10-14 days.
  • California State Data Systems are overloaded and updates erratic.
  • We are one SuperSpreader Area of 1,000,000 people.
  • We are one SuperSpreader State of 40,000,000 people.


ht tps://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-health-expert-karl-lauterbach-the-authorities-should-focus-their-efforts-on-super-spreaders-a-1ed7f195-c2e7-446d-903d-51766d544a65

ht tps://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/06/los-angeles-parties-covid-19-water-power-shutoff
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeFormAugust 7, 2020 2:16 AM

If there is a comm channel, it's probably backdoored.

This is why the crypto must be separate from the comms.

hXXps://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/nearly-50-percent-of-all-smartphones-affected-by-qualcomm-snapdragon-bugs/

According to Check Point, these vulnerabilities make it possible for:

• Attackers to turn the phone into a perfect spying tool, without any user interaction required. The information that can be exfiltrated from the phone includes photos, videos, call-recording, real-time microphone data, GPS and location data, etc.
• May be able to render the mobile phone constantly unresponsive. Making all the information stored on this phone permanently unavailable -including photos, videos, contact details, etc–in other words, a targeted denial-of-service attack.
• Can use malware and other malicious code can completely hide their activities and become un-removable.

Clive RobinsonAugust 7, 2020 3:26 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Bleeping computer is behind the arsehat Cloudflares "must have cookies enabled so we can data rape you" great firewall...

So I'm not going to be looking at it any time stat.

But with regards,

If there is a comm channel, it's probably backdoored.

As you know I take that as a given, and also there is no "On Consumer Device" way to fix it.

Yet there are simple "Off Consumer Device" methods to get message security in a comms channel, but people will not use them...

The hard part is avoiding "traffic analysis" which is something I was working on but again I doubt anyone will use it so I "back burnered" the whole thing.

How do I put it tactfully, the only people who appreciate "security" are not the sort of people you want any contact with... because whilst it can be profitable you can be in a whole world of hurt as Encrochat as just one tiny example demonstrates.

MarkHAugust 7, 2020 3:29 AM

@JonKnowsNothing:

In the past 24 hours, I read that Los Angeles has announced a new deterrent: buildings (including private houses) hosting big parties will be disconnected from electric power and water utilities.

I'll be interested to see how this fares against the inevitable court challenges ... but it's likely to encourage some folks to stop and think for a while.

Clive RobinsonAugust 7, 2020 5:07 AM

@ MarkH, JonKnowsNothing,

a new deterrent: buildings (including private houses) hosting big parties will be disconnected from electric power and water utilities.

Well remember that in North California people are now used to the idea that for "profit protection" reasons the Power utilities have been creating power cuts when ever they can...

Which has knock on effects to other utilities.

Also cutting of water would actually be a very very bad idea, because that could kill people very quickly that is three to fourteen days due to dehydration or disease from insufficient sanitation...

One dose of cholera appearing when water has been cut off could be the start of some very serious litigation and if somebody dies like a child the bad press alone will kill many political and corporate careers dead...

Some poor sanitation related disease information,

https://borgenproject.org/five-diseases-that-thrive-in-poor-sanitation/

Most will cause you a premature death one way or another[1] even with medical aid to get over the initial infection.

[1] The old saying of,

    What does not kill you makes you stronger

Is provable nonsense, as is the stupid notion of "powering through" infections, that is part of the bodies defence system is to make you feel weak and tired and fighting that is realy realy stupid.

Worse science is showing that life expectancy is related to viral and bacterial infections long term. It's been known that some viruses increase your probability of getting less well known cancers from near zero to quite significantly statisticaly probable compared to those that do not get the viral infection. It's even assumed these days that Type I diabetes is triggered by a disease and research is closing in on it.

The simple fact is we now know each time your immune system gets significantly challenged or activated then there is a risk of some form of autoimmune disease or damage to organs like the heart lungs and even brain will be involved. I suspect that this research will eventually show that immunisation as we currently do it via vaccines that significantly challenge the immune system will have to be carefully administered, that is single vaccines in a specific order over a specific time frame to minimise autoimmune system risk. Some scientists are actually researching replacing current vaccination with other methods. For instance a large amount of child hood immunity comes from "first breast milk" consumption. That is via colustrum, this would appear to be a lot safer way than current vaccination methods as it's via a process that is built in for dealing with disease, which just injecting into the bornaky sterial body is not. Another way which is a bit of a hot topic due to COVID is "serum transplants". Other apparent diseases appear to be better handled via such unpleasent sounding methods such as phages and fecal transplants. All however closely mimic processes that have been natural to human living for many tens of millennia if not hundreds or thousands. Thus the thinking in science is turning to what is in effect "Work with, not against the way the body works" and it's fairly clear to many that vaccines are "work against" techniques with high risks (thus high rewards for big Pharma).

MarkHAugust 7, 2020 8:31 AM

@Clive:

Good Heavens!

I suppose that "lockdown fever" must be affecting your perspective ... we're talking Los Angeles, not Somalia.

The median house price is three quarters of a million dollars, a tiny crappy house with a "garden" consisting of a few inches of dust on each side is about $200K, and virtually everyone has a car because life is almost impossible there without one.

Most likely, people would relocate somewhere else for a while, drive to the shop for some bottled water, drive to another shop with a public toilet ... but cholera?

People almost never contract cholera in the U.S., even in the most wretched places (like the Bantustan "reservations" for native Americans).

Anyway, as JonKnowsNothing observed, the typical offenders are rental properties (via AirBnB, for example), so the most likely effect of such shut-offs (if indeed any occur) is that some wealthy landlords will lose revenue. I'll try to squeeze out some crocodile tears, for their bitter misfortune.

Clive RobinsonAugust 7, 2020 11:04 AM

@ MarkH,

Disease is no respector of wealth or property values, and most sanitation related diseases are part and parcle of everyday life at low levels.

Thus probably right now you have over several million sanitation disease related pathogens on you skin just looking for a way to get repkicating. Nearly everyone in the first world that gets an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal upset it's down to sanitation related diseases.

In fact the current SARS-CoV-2 is like all corona viruses directly related to gastrointestinal diseases in other creatures. For some reason we are not realy sure about yet the very very few corona viruses that humans can be infected with exhibit as respitory not gastrointestinal disease.

Usually for a sanitation disease to get going it needs a disease nexus or reservoir for an outbreak to occure, California due to political reasons is "street people central" with "tent cities" and even cardboard box towns in many places and their sanitation disease are fairly rife.

Whilst diarrhea deaths are falling in most parts of the world due to Oral Rehydration Therepy and vacination of babies, the death rat in the US is apparently on the rise and was due to cross the 5 in 100,000 people this year or an estimated 17,000 deaths. It would be higher if not for healthcare. The fact that healthcare is now saturated in many parts of the US suggests the number of diarrhea deaths will go up unless the message about Oral Rehydration Therapy gets through to people.

ORT has to be about the least expensive treatment in the world. In essence it's just clean water with a little sugar and basic salts. However you need clean water and driving to get it when you are folded up on the floor in pain with diarrhea coming out of you almost as fast as you put fluid in means you are not going to be going anywhere any time soon.

On average nore people die a year of diarrhea than just about any other disease at an estimated 1.6million people and it can and does happen almost anywhere when clean water supplies are interupted.

Personally I think anybody claiming that cutting clean water off from properties is a good policy needs their head looking at, preferably with something hard and heavy.

Just remember that the reason the US is in such dire straights over COVID-19 is because politicians willingly chose to ignore basic medical advice. You can ask any doctor you like and I think they would tell you the same basic thing,

    Cutting off of basic sanitation is a very very bad idea and can not be justified.

Ignore such advice at your peril...

JonKnowsNothingAugust 7, 2020 11:24 AM

@MarkH @Clive

re: Infectious Diseases in High Class Urban Areas in USA

There are a good number of such outbreaks in wealthy neighborhoods as well as poor ones. These rarely make MSM reports.

Lack of toilet facilities for the homeless have been linked to outbreaks of serious contagious diseases in San Diego and other cities. By closing down public toilets and prohibiting private port-a-potties and other sanitation options like portable showers and portable wash basins through Anti-Homeless Laws enacted throughout the USA, have caused clusters of outbreaks of nasty-stuffs.

Taking a poop between cars means the car owners trod on the leavings and carried the illnesses back to their multi-million dollar mansions. Once the 3% got sick they cleaned the streets and opened some public toilets for limited access.

Farm workers have had to fight a long time to get such facilities while working harvesting food stuffs. They now get a tow-rig of portable potties, portable wash basins, a towable lunch bench with umbrella and fresh cold water. Well, that's what they are supposed to have, whether the labor contractor supplies it is another issue.

iirc(badly)
A number of years back there were reports of Orthodox Jews getting Trichinosis. This is a parasitic worm carried by pigs and it causes some serious damage in humans. Orthodox Jews do not eat pork. The outbreaks in the wealthier communities were traced to household help coming from locales where such infections are common. The infections were passed along during their normal working day tasks.

Additionally in the USA and elsewhere where COVID19 has impacted slaughterhouses and farms, the responses to fewer workers has been to speed up the kill and processing lines to make end-of-day targets. Fewer people doing more work.

A unpleasant by-product is the lack of inspection and proper cleaning of the stuff going to the market. Inspections were not that good before but now barely time to do more than a quick. What that means is all the stuff cows, chickens, pigs can have, can be passed down in your hamburger, chicken legs and pork chops. Cook everything well and then some.

another iirc(badly)
An outbreak of some serious bad stuff was traced to Parsley. This herb is commonly added to a plate as a color garnish but also chopped up as a food enhancer. It caused a huge recall in the USA. The offending parsley was eventually traced to a very high tech farm. They triple washed the parsley prior to shipment. They had all the recommended sanitation in place and no evidence of any contamination was found on the farm. Further investigation and tracing found that the source was the Local Water District.

Water Districts typically filter and sanitize water for delivery to homes and businesses. In that situation the Water District stopped sanitizing the water and even though the farm paid for "clean purified sanitary" water, they got contaminated water instead.

The farm installed their own water purification system.

There are legions of stories in the USA now of contaminated water as well as other unhygienic practices that end up in the Supermarkets and in homes. Water shutoffs have been used in poor neighborhoods for decades. Lots of places have no clean water, contaminated wells, or no water at all (dry camp).

Wealth alone doesn't protect you.

ht tps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

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

echoAugust 7, 2020 2:06 PM

First a rehash which gives my consolidated view on pandemic measures. I'm in favour of zoning, airlocks, and invasive measurures. This includes variable locking down of nation states, cities, and postcodes; hard and soft airlocks from NBC level precautions through to "enhanced health and safety" to two week isolation; mandatory masks, contact tracing, food pacels and priority for home deliveries. Hightened resources and support and isolation measures (a.k.a gauranteed and real time resources and seperation) can be provided for key workers and not just snotty nosed professionals but also abatoir workers and care home workers who as we know in reality were "worked like slaves" and "thrown to the wolves". To ensure everything is safe and well implemented and abuse doesn't get out of hand we also have access to a range of expertise from human rights experts to health and safety experts to technical experts of all varieties. There are also measures to feed the mind and maintain social contact and maintaining business including funding the arts and free internet if need be. There are also people who may be marginalsied and at risk and some latitude for positive measures can be created. Resources are not a problem. We have the money. Money is not a problem.

After reasonable measures have failed and a situation cannot be de-escalated and people sent packing I have no problem with party goers having utilities cut off. People can behave irrationally and no music etectera sends a signal they cannot ignore. When the situation has been made safe and people either arrested and/or sent home utilities can be turned back on again.

@Clive

The problem is managing a random gaggle of Kevins not a military siege.

My personal opinion is we have the very worst government and people in government many of whom are very likely guilty of unconstitutional and criminal behaviour. I also perceive them as "in office but not in power" pending the day when they go on trial.

Singapore Noodles August 7, 2020 2:20 PM

@echo

zoning, airlocks, and invasive measurures

This and similar suggestions can perhaps be viewed as intuitive solutions to a control theory problem. Has anyone looked at a more formal approach via dynamic programming à la Bellman etc. ?

echoAugust 7, 2020 4:15 PM

@Singapore Noodles

I wouldn't be surprised if there was formal work in these areas. Certainly stuff in computer science and systems theory I guess. There is a load of other work psychologists and sociologists could comment on too. (Forget virologists and most of the medical profession as they are brains on rails habit fuelled ass-covering careerists when you start getting funky.) Kinda interested in where your question may lead.

Myself I blagged my ideas off pretty much everything which wasn't nailed down from the Cold War to grabbing stuff off the Chinese and rest of Asia, Germans, French, some American stuff, historical stuff back to the 16th Century and WWII and general junk and clutter.

Singapore Noodles August 7, 2020 7:10 PM

@echo

I should have done a bit of web searching, there seem to be numerous articles on optimal control and epidemics, e.g. a random example

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0025556413002356

echoAugust 7, 2020 7:19 PM

@Singapore Noodles

That looks casually interesting. It's also on Sciencedirect. They're a really well curated website.

MarkHAugust 7, 2020 8:53 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Clive:

Cholera is a particular infection, not a blanket term for some set of digestive illnesses.

According to my reading, in the U.S. cholera is rare (about 1 case per 30,000 population per year), and in practically every instance contracted abroad: it is seen in people just arrived from countries where cholera is common. I'd guess that the picture is similar in other developed countries.

In much of the former Soviet Union, outages of heat, hot water, water supply altogether, and electric power range between frequent and regular.

Multi-day heat outages in temperatures below -20 C, stiff winds, and 19th-century wood-framed windows would distress me greatly, but I've met Russians who not only cope with this often, but accept calmly as their normal lot.

With some adaptability, people who have greater resources than (say) the poor of sub-Saharan Africa, or whatever can be found in endemic war zones, demonstrate a good ability to manage temporarily without essential services.

It's my observation that those of us lucky enough to have spent our lives in industrialized countries struggle to grasp how much greater is the misery of the poorest 25% of humanity, as compared to typical poverty in our homelands.

JonKnowsNothingAugust 7, 2020 10:53 PM

@MarkH

Cholera is one of many diseases that comes from lack of toilet and sewage treatment. As you indicate it is mostly associated with "3d world" economies.

The other shoe drop is that "1st world" economies can and do fail at preventing outbreaks of many illnesses. Most are hushed up fast.

The vast majority of USA trained MDs and health workers have never seen some diseases or parasitic infections because they are so rare in the USA. These are at the bottom of the list or not on the list at all.

You can see that aspect in the Early COVID Days when tests were only given to people who "traveled from China". It never occurred to MDs or Public Heath workers that it was spreading from New York to California.

  Well, maybe it did occur to them but Herd Immunity Policy may have gotten in the way.

In relation to Cholera

The bacterium's natural habitat is brackish or saltwater where they attach themselves easily to the chitin-containing shells of crabs, shrimps, and other shellfish.

V. cholerae can be spread by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. This illness is also spread through humans making skin contact with contaminated water from human feces.

Regularly California Sewage Plants get overloaded and raw untreated sewage is dumped into the Pacific Ocean. It can also happen during mechanical breakdown in plant equipment or when treatment pond levies collapse.

This happens in major beach areas all along the coast line. Warning signs are occasionally posted about the high bacteria content.

personal anecdote:

During one such over flow event in the Monterey California Beach area, warning signs were posted to not touch the water.

The signs were in English.

A non-English speaking family was at the beach and the adult was holding the toddler while they splashed in the water.

I translated as best as I could. Pointing to the sign and the water -> "Muy Peligroso".

Oyster Farming is particularly sensitive to having raw sewage as part of their shellfish diet and that "dozen oysters on the half shelf" might pack more of a wallop than you expect.

Sometimes the results are attributed to "local suspects" which in Texas is Flesh Eating Bacteria.

Wealth does not and will not protect you when "trusted systems" are no longer "trust worthy".


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

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Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.