Friday Squid Blogging: Rhode Island's State Appetizer Is Calamari

Rhode Island has an official state appetizer, and it’s calamari. Who knew?

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 August 21, 2020 at 4:11 PM132 Comments


myliit August 21, 2020 5:25 PM


afaik, it’s more complex than what you wrote above, at least without going to your links.

Would you like to summarize your points here?

Nick Levinson August 21, 2020 6:04 PM

@myliit: Precisely because it is more complex than what I wrote above, I wouldn’t try summarizing it to substitute for the article. The above has only one link. When you have the time, please let me know if I omitted anything important.

JonKnowsNothing August 21, 2020 6:27 PM

News and Qs from the Burning Ring of Fire that is California

The solar coronal mass ejection (CME) from the sun arrived on Thursday 08 20 2020.

Starting @08 15 2020 California got hit with thousands a lightening strikes; by 08 18 2020 more than 12,000 lightening strikes starting more than 560 fires. Some of which have become big enough to require evacuation orders in parts of the state, including areas of Silicon Valley and its bedroom communities.

According to some science sites a correlation exists between solar activity and lightening was documented in 2014.

a 31% increase in average lightning strikes over central England (422 to 321) in the 40 days after major solar wind events compared to the days beforehand. Lightning peaked 12-18 days after the wind’s arrival. A

The finding were about the after effect of solar activity. The extraordinary lightening strikes in California pre-dates the arrival of the solar storm.


  1. Is it possible that the leading edge of the storm arrived early between 08 15 2020 and 08 19 2020 and impacted the lightening events?
  2. If the leading edge did cause some instability and the 12,000+ strikes, what about other places on the planet?
  3. If the predicted earthquake hits @08 25 2020, will it hit the antipode location of California which is near Madagascar or the Indian Ocean?

ht tps://

The California Fire Incident page. They cover most large fires in the state. Fire districts have various divisions and CalFire may not be involved in all incidents.
There are interactive maps and details about each fire and the latest official status on evacuations.

ht tps://
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm August 21, 2020 8:06 PM

@ Myliit

There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear…

the assistant director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Brian Harrell, “resigned”.


“For What It’s Worth”


Clive Robinson August 22, 2020 1:20 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

News and Qs from the Burning Ring of Fire that is California.

Almost as an anticlimatical follow on,

A number of people hear now will have heard of,

    EMP, HEMP, and CME events.

Which are very approximately caused by High Altitude Nuclear Detonation, Close in lightning strikes, and last but by no means least Solar flares. But very few understand why we should be concerned about them even though they are “technology killers” or as put by others more in the know about such events,

    “Why worry we are gonna die”.

Well this tells you part of why,

That fatalistic view is held by quite a few engineers etc.

The simple fact is that whilst a handfull of decades ago when Congress were informed of the EMP issue an EMP would have put the US in a bad position with something like 50% of the population in towns and cities they could at least have “got out”. However due to technology it has since got a lot lot worse.

Almost entirely due to the “free market” mantras of neo liberals and neo cons infrastructure protection grants etc have been used for other things. Thus maintainance and needed upgrades have not happened and nearly every politician has kicked this tin can so far down the road that now estimates are that over nine out of ten US citizens would be dead within a month or two of a well executed EMP attack, that believe it or not would not actually constitute a primary act of war (as the event would be in “International Waters”)…

Interestingly though some areas of technology have advanced to where we are starting to actually get to the point where we as individial “families” could actually survive an EMP with some forethought (and considerable expense). But we are being handicapped in every which way imaginable by “the powers that be”…

That is the joke of it is though, it means taking as much technology as you can out of everytging. For example 1970’s cars and earlier are almost immune to EMP (though the starter motors and batteries might be nixed). However the supply of fuel will likely stop with the EMP event, not that this is insurmountable as WWII “gassifier” technology showed. ICE’s supprising to many will run quite happily on hydrogen gas, natural gas and town gas if you keep an eye on a few things like temprature. Diesel engines will even run unmodified on vegetable oils provided you add either a little petrol or alcohol to it. It’s the electronic ignition etc that will not function in modern cars as a friend pointed out even models a decade old this technology was “managable”. That is it was limited to modules that you could aford to buy a spare or two off and put them in suitable protection in your basement, though more recent models forget it, the desire by the powers that be to track your every movment means that all the technology has to be there and operational even though all telecoms will be out of commission almost indefinately…

Similar issues apply to “white goods” like fridges and freezers where the “Star rating” foe energy efficiency etc has made them not just less reliable but extreamly fragile. One well known “household name” found that it had to go around and change the microcontroller board in their fridge freezers under warranty because peoples homes were a little to warm or a little to cold…

Thus “the desire to collect it all” or “be efficient” has forced National Security to become way way more fragile than it should be. It’s an aspect of ICT Security you very very rarely if ever at all hear talked about…

Gunter Königsmann August 22, 2020 2:04 AM

An EMP pulse big enough to destroy starter motors or batteries might also nearly big enough to melt the carossery:

The problem with EMP is that in most technologies the only thing that can insulate two things within a microchip is an diode… …and that two diodes make up an Thyristor: one device that once ignited can only be turned off by removing the power supply for a long enough time (might be a couple of nanoseconds). Igniting such a Thyristor is easy: Inject too many current into a diode or heat it up way too far. The current needed for igniting a Thyristor mainly depends on the distance between the diodes that make up the Thyristor. An expert designer will try to connect the vital part of all vulnerable thyristors to potentials that make it hard to inject the currents needed for igniting it. But if you optimize a chip for space EMP might make its insulations conduct until all batteries are empty or a fuse blows, still.

Singapore Noodles August 22, 2020 2:53 AM


What happens to biological electrical systems in an EMP ?

Also, what happens to superconducting equipment ?

myliit August 22, 2020 4:20 AM


“… the assistant director of DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Brian Harrell, “resigned”. …”

It might not surprise you that I don’t know what is going on, but I have opinions. Our President appears to be becoming increasingly desperate, and therefor, probably, increasingly dangerous.

I wonder about FBI, DHS, DOJ, and so on, being, for lack of a better term, gutted by our President or his lackeys. For example, FBI absent from Bannon’s arrest, the above at DHS, or Barr being contradicted by the SSCI report. For example,

From a pinned tweet:

“NEW: There have been no traditional NSC Principals Committee meetings—w/cabinet officials and Trump—or major joint press conferences about election security this year. Instead, much has been delegated to a little-known career IC official. My investigation:

‘We better get worried if Bill gets silenced’

Career intelligence official William [ Bill ] Evanina may be the one man standing in the way of Russian election interference. But the president’s dismissal of the threat puts him in an awkward spot. [ javascript required ]”


You might find it interesting, or worthwhile, to browse Natasha’s twitter feed.

echo August 22, 2020 6:21 AM

The chair of Ofqual threatened to quit this week unless Gavin Williamson publicly backed the exams regulator and admitted it was behind the U-turn that salvaged millions of student grades, the Guardian has learned.

Speaking of systems where job titles lay traps and mark their own homework it is increasingly obvious that the UK government is in office but not in power. This is not the first threatened resignation or resignation. Notably overt political appointments are laying low or being parachuted into made up roles to patch over the cracks. It seems like there is now open warfare between those with expertise and principles and those without on the chessboard we call the UK.

Personally, I thought they took their sweet time to make a stand but it’s always difficult when job titles running “the state” create the impression of total dominance and blanket agreement.

I strongly suspect the current and previous very bent Attorney-Generals are keeping a few government ministers and ex government ministers out of jail but that’s just my point of view.

myliit August 22, 2020 6:24 AM

@Clive Robinson, JonKnowsNothing

From below or above, vice versa, all of the above, none of the above, etc., Clive’s youtube video with a picture of diy cadillac [1], “Burning Ring of Fire”, and so on, led to:
Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire (Official Audio), bunch of views
She Works Hard For The Money Donna Summer, more views
(1979) The Flying Lizards – Money (That’s What I Want), fewer views
Johnny Cash & June Carter – Jackson, more views


[1] I thought Clive’s Cash YouTube video was in this thread, but now I am not so sure.[2]


echo August 22, 2020 7:34 AM

Neither EMP nor Carrington events are the big everyone is hysterically making them out to be. If a theoretical EMP event happenened it would become a military on military situation immediately. The people who tried it on could expect grisly deaths if they weren’t got to by their own side first for having such a stupid idea. As for Carrington events we’ve had a few since and nobody noticed.

The reason why I’m saying this is really there is no substitute for thought through policy. No politician is going to read this blog (if they have even heard of it) and go OMG before “ducking and rolling” like a pound shop Bond into an emergency carpet chewing desk banging throwing mobile phones at the wall shouty COBRA meeting! Assuming he basics are done there’s quite a bit of scope for hardening the system policywise and “plug and play” reserve stocks and modifications. Some of this has already been done and I linked to this video some time ago but oh no lets all get hysterical over a Youtube with a “never going to happen in real life” demonstration for giggles.
Royal Academy of Engineering
Extreme space weather: impacts on engineered systems and infrastructure

The rather long and boring report suggests electricity supplies in the UK would with some exceptions be knocked out for maybe a few hours at most. WOW. Up to 10% of satellites would experience temporary failure and be knocked out for a few days or a few weeks. WOW. UK cellular communications is not reliant on GNSS timing so resilient and UK emergency services have switched to using mobile networks supplied by EE and away from TETRA. I was reading about this a few weeks ago and didn’t post it because I felt without some hysterical “duck and roll” narrative attached it fell under the “too boring to read” category. (This isn’t a one to one swap as the cellular network has some disadvantages compared to TETRA but the provided services are “hardened” in various ways compared to the consumer level services. TETRA also provided nifty services like communciations mesh networks which could operate independently of a telecoms tower. TETRA was crap in other ways so, overall, swapping from TETRA to mobile is no big deal.)

Okay so while a handful of “critical workers” rush about like blue assed flies for a few hours for others the biggest inconvenience will be having to walk the dog for a few hours.

echo August 22, 2020 8:37 AM


blockquote>According to the documents, first reported by TechCrunch, Palantir plans to go public via a direct listing, “in which no new shares are issued and no new funds are raised,” the report says. “In most direct listings, shareholders are not bound by a traditional lockup period before they can sell their stock. But Palantir has imposed a 180-day lockup period. It will allow shareholders to sell 20 percent of their common stock immediately, but they must wait for the lockup to expire to sell more.”

“Palantir has arranged a structure to ensure that its founders retain power. They have a special class of shares, Class F, that will have a variable number of votes to ensure the founders control 49.999999 percent of the company’s voting power, even if they sell some of their shares. The company argued to its investors that this structure would allow it to stay ‘Founder-led’ after it went public.”



A company where you don’t own the data to a company where you don’t even own the company. Why do people keep giving these con artists the benefit of the doubt?

Now for a bit of a rant. Some of the data Palantir have filched from the UK has been acquired unlawfully. Some of that data renders its personnel liable for a custodial sentence if they look at it or even attempt to look at it. I’m not saying what but I’m not happy about it. Personally I’d be very happy if Palantair and companies like Cambridge Analytica or their rebranded successors suffered corporate death and their executives went to jail like the good like psycho Nazis they are. No they’re not IBM selling technology to gas chamber wielding goons or apartheid South Africas BOSS but in my mind differ only in scale and obviousness. When a company organises itself like Lukashenkos’ Belarus you have to ask hangaboutaminute. Ditto Facebook with its golden shares and treating people like serfs, and Murdoch too. It’s nonsense like this which fuels the UKs problems with austerity and Brexit and the hostile environment which is as close to the technical defintion of “genocide” as they think they can legally get away with.

echo August 22, 2020 9:27 AM
‘DiceKeys’ Creates a Master Password for Life With One Roll

I wouldn’t touch this with a barepole.

In a statement, the Counter Terrorism Policing South East unit said the man was originally arrested yesterday on suspicion of S4 (1) Explosive Substances Act 1883 – Making or possessing an explosive substance in suspicious circumstances.

It looks like the Dibbles caught someone trying to make bombs. Doubtless GCHQ has one of those machines which go “ping” when someone is daft enough to go buying the ingredients. I notice the Dibbles aren’t using the tip off was from a “man walking a dog” excuse like they used to. They’re also a bit quicker this time around than before. You used to be able to get off at least 2-3 test bombs before the seismographs got a lock and large “officers of the law” sprang out of bushes with yapping dogs. That or the paperwork caught up.

As for whether they are a swarthy nutter or someone with a gripe the police report does not say.

Clive Robinson August 22, 2020 11:42 AM

@ echo,

As for whether they are a swarthy nutter or someone with a gripe the police report does not say.

Most likely they are just someone having a bit of fun with practical experimentation. I used to create all sorts of pops whizzes, bangs and holes in the ground when younger one such hole is now not just a duck pond but a small “fishing lake”…

There was no intent to cause any one any harm just to have a bit of fun, and any knowledge gained, of which there was a lot was never going to be used for what you might call “evil”.

The thing is curiostity is a very strong emotional driver that underpins all of mankinds advancment.

The “powers that be” trying in every which way they can to control what is a very natural process that mankinds future critical depends on is not just exhibiting the worst of typical bureaucratic Patetnalistic misogyny and is down right Orwellian and smacks of “Popish Plots” and information control and the underlying psychopathic behaviours.

Singapore Noodles August 22, 2020 11:59 AM

@Clive Robinson

curiostity is a very strong emotional driver that underpins all

Succumbing to inner pedant: if by curiosity is meant “wonder”

MarkH August 22, 2020 12:48 PM


re. California wildfires

I suspect this train of thought rose somewhere into the ozone layer …

As a life-long “boy scientist,” I’ve been trained to prefer the simplest or least exotic hypothesis consistent with available data.

California has experienced temperatures much higher than normal since January. Vegetation is exceptionally dry. Recently, humidity was also abnormally high, creating a precondition for intense precipitation when combined with an influx (front) of cooler air. Unfortunately, the combination of temperature profiles and humidity was such that much of the precipitation sublimated or evaporated before reaching the surface, resulting in lots of lightning without much rain soaking the surface.

Whether any solar storm might have influenced these mundane phenomena, is beyond my ken.

To your first question — “is it possible that the leading edge of the [solar] storm arrived early …” — I believe that there is plentiful instrumentation capable of detecting such floods of particles. Whether it arrived sooner than expected, later, or right on time, scientists would surely have recorded it.

To your third question, concerning an earthquake predicted for 3 days hence … where did you find that? To the best of my knowledge, the ability to predict the date of an energetic earthquake is far beyond any present human capacity. Did this come from a psychic? Perhaps a pet psychic? (There really is such a thing in the U.S., sad to say.)

Because modern seismic detection networks register many earthquakes in an average day, I can confidently predict “there will be a quake on 1 September!”, sure that there will be some temblors somewhere on that date. If I’m lucky, one of them might be strong enough for people to notice, or even break somebody’s dishes.

If I want to be more specific, I can choose a region of current volcanic activity, or a place where the extraction of petroleum, pumping of groundwater or the like is stimulating many small quakes.

But to predict the date and location (within not many km, at least) of an earthquake powerful enough to matter for public safety? As far as I’m aware, no such capacity yet exists.

weather August 22, 2020 2:00 PM

It could be 5 on the scale, and no I’m no physic, but do know about charged particles and magnetic fields, o and electric motors, not so much fluid dynamic, a little MHD though.

blaqmailedchaingangliallaveseeqmc2matteraltern8evapor8 August 22, 2020 3:02 PM

checkmate against the exploding dinars; binars won. the score breaks the sillycon glossalia. currents of the mognetary shorelyinged poisson will bedrained unto into subdukti9n 321zones… sensayzha9nalismo ch9kes 9n this butlike network23 cannot deliver blipverts 9ver trojan sheep and fightthe honorable krak3n @ the same T m8nus leappicoseconds ah… sloopy hangon cos we didnt choose armageddon dillweeks. mppo3rfts.

Jon August 22, 2020 4:04 PM

@ echo

‘DiceKeys’ Creates a Master Password for Life With One Roll

I wouldn’t touch this with a barepole.

I second this. One of their Important Claims was that the dice remained as an off-line hard backup for password recovery if necessary.

Off-line. When you just took a picture of it with your smartphone. And loaded that into a web app*…

Yeah, there are times and places to roll dice to generate reasonable random keys. This “solution” ain’t one of them.

Thanks for mentioning it. If you hadn’t, I would have. 🙂


  • Yeah, they swear up and down everything’s run locally. So what? It’s still the master password in a picture on your phone!!

SpaceLifeForm August 22, 2020 4:10 PM

@ Clive

I suspect what b*8 did is a backchannel.

Do not have time.

Even if I did, there is probably an unknown OTP that was communicated via another path.

Maybe via a news article.

Jon August 22, 2020 4:17 PM

@ MarkH

Unfortunately, the combination of temperature profiles and humidity was such that much of the precipitation sublimated or evaporated before reaching the surface, resulting in lots of lightning without much rain soaking the surface.

I’d suggest that the unusual humidity didn’t get anywhere near precipitation, but did cause atmospheric upheaval, and thus the dry lightning.

The outcome is the same, and it’s what we’re battling now, so the point is trivially academic, really. Apologies for pedantry,


SpaceLifeForm August 22, 2020 4:26 PM

@ echo, jon

Yeah, it’s a joke. Security Theatre.

You can roll your own die as long as needed, to reach your desired entropy level.

Why would one keep their master private key locked-in, (locked in state), where it can be found in pristine state?

Have a beer or cocktail (or two), and roll, and record 200 die rolls.

You will have a strong random key.

Clive Robinson August 22, 2020 4:52 PM

@ MarkH,

But to predict the date and location (within not many km, at least) of an earthquake powerful enough to matter for public safety? As far as I’m aware, no such capacity yet exists.

It depends on the cause. Friction slipage is unpredictable in the short term but very predictable in the long term. It’s similar to nuclear decay and “half lives” in this respect.

Then there is a “known activator” if you pump water or other lubricant into a fault line you can pretty much give a guarantee of a minor earthquake or tremor to less than 24hours. In fact using piezoelectric feedback of the strain on the rocks to the fluid injection and past data you could probably get it down to an hour or so. Such was first indicated back in the 1970’s and later with the various “earth slip” prevention investigations designed to lett there by lots of quite minor tremors frequently rather than major earth quakes very occasionally.

Part of the ideas behind that came about due to the reqularity of “Old Faithfull” and similar around the world.

But we’ve known one set of physics facts from long before we were even aware of what sun spots were.

If you take a porcelain or fine glass gobblet or cup, even very gental hitting of it with a mass will cause it to “ring” as will a form of friction event caused by a the ridges on a wet finger tip as it is dragged around the rim.

Several thousand years ago both China and Japan were aware of rhe energy storage in the likes of gongs that were almost perfect resonators. Hit them very gently at just the right sub harmonic rate and the voulme of the gong will rise and subside (as a harmonic relationship).

So onwards to solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections(CME). The important word in CME is “mass” as you will find out it can be significant multiples of a “billion tons”. Yes it does spread out in space but the degree to which that happends rather depends on the “helix” magnetic effect that keeps the spread down. Whilst the particles are amongst the smallest, mass is still mass and a big tightly confined collection of particles has not just an electron shedding efect thus ionization it also can have a significant effect on the Earths magnetic field as well as effectively behaving like a hammer.

Thus people have theorized that a CME of sufficient size and the fact that the Earths crust is like the surface tension layer on a water drop that changes the shape of the drop when you blow on it will have a similar effect on earth. That is the impact energy will spread out around the surface and come back into focus again approximately opposit the impact. Then race back again to the point of impact and back again. That is the earth will behave like a resonator and the energy could build up to the point that “something gives” or “lets go” at any fracture points. Hence the potential for earth quakes.

I’ve not been bothered to look up if there is any evidence of this as it appears to be trivial compared to the potential and actually seen damage to over head power systems in North America and other parts of the world which have vulnerable transmission systems. As evidenced over the past fifty years of fairly mild CME’s.

But as for the number of earthquakes a day… Sand Point, Popof Island, Alaska has had over ninety quakes in the past month alone with one weighing in at 7.8 which is way more than a tremble…

@ echo,

Quite a few CME events have bumped into the earth since the 1859 Carrington event as well as very significant near misses. The UK has been lucky for a number of reasons compared to North America and other parts of the world including other parts of North West Europe. Firstly the UK power grid is relatively small and although “frequency phased” synchronized it is actually effectively segregated into even smaller areas with some degree of redundancy unlike a lot of North America. Further aside from the backbone of the UK grid most UK supply in urban and city areas is below ground in specialised cables making them very very much less suceptable to CME and HEMP events. Unlike North American local grids that are just slung up on poles with very much unprotected and some would say sub standard transformers up the poles arcing and sparking even a couple of years after instalation (UK substations are larger and better built and tend not to give problems for multiple decades, I know of some that are well over 50years in service and still going strong. As you appear aware of the NCSUni web site, you might have seen,

Which explains in part why the UK is less fragile than North America. Also the lecture from the Royal Institute by Dr Lucie Green on Space Weather I pointed to the other day. Towards the end it lists recent CMR’s and the damage they have done, some quite serious but “bullet dodged”[1],

But the other thing to note is that the UK does not realy sit on any active fault lines. The last earthquake I remember was a tiny little tremble under –a place I mentioned a few days ago– Melton Mowbray and that tremble was about a decade and a quater or so back.

[1] The “Halloween Storms of 03” which were the result of a Carrington event magnitude CME that just missed the earth. Even so it caused the loss of a half billion dollar space craft, significan numbers of aircraft diversions to avoid high radiation each costing between 10,000 and 100,000 USD at the time. On the ground there were a number of grid down events in Northern Europe with the loss of some grid equipment for which there were spares but replacing those took over two years in total.

[2] It needs to be noted that solar flares and CME’s are effectively different beasts but large CME’s are almost always accompanied by solar flares that act almost as a “lookout signal”. A solar flare is a bright burst of EM radiation detectable across many parts of the spectrum. This takes around 8mins to get to earth, it is followed a few minutes later by gama radiation. A CME however is a release of billions of tons of magnetic particles moving at a relatively slow speed it takes around three days to arive. The effect it has on the earths magnetic field is dependent on what phase it is in when it hits the earths magnetosphere. This in turn is dependent on the helix that keeps the particles constrained. Thus the solar flare has been likened by NASA as the “muzzle flash” visable from very broad angles and the CME as the cannon ball or grape shot that arives in a narrow target angle some time after the muzzle flash. Hence we get rare full on hits, some brush bys or partials, even more near misses, but over all most CMEs are just observed events that move through the solar system over 18 months or so, causing cosmic radiation to be swept asside from the few instruments we have out there. When you consider the earths diameter is about 42.6 light milliseconds or 10:1091 of the sun and the distance being on average 499.004 light seconds or eight minutes and 20 seconds a quick bit of maths shows why what can be quite frequent events few come our way let alone touch us.

sJ August 22, 2020 4:57 PM

Dicekeys (Slashdot article): Roll dice, generates 2^196 bits of entropy. That part sounds good. The bit where you are taking a picture to feed your dice results into software downloaded from a website, and run on a cellphone, seems less secure. The “get locked out if I lose my key” (drop my dice?) is also concerning.

I keep thinking of something Bruce always says: Have amateurs create your security, get amateur security.

SpaceLifeForm August 22, 2020 5:03 PM

@ jon, MarkH

Anytime there is some relatively cool, dry air near warmer, more humid air, then conditions are ripe for lightning.

It’s about the falling graupel, and the stripped electrons.

The graupel never has to combine enough to defeat gravity.

Compare virga, rain, hail.

WX is fascisnating because you can learn about gas, liquid, solid, pressure, and electricity all at once.

I always go outside to study strong thunderstorms.

Clive Robinson August 22, 2020 6:02 PM

@ sJ,

Roll dice, generates 2^196 bits of entropy.

Let me think for a moment…

Yup 6^76 / 2^196 = 1.373

Do you realy want to throw a dice 76 times and then do the work with pencil and paper to convert it to a binary number or hexadecimal number?

Nope me neither, which is why many years ago I wrote a bit of Borland C++ code running under MS-DOS where you just threw the dice and pressed the required digit on the numeric keypad. It would print to screen the number of digits for base-6, base-10, base-16, base-26 as well as –for one variety of– base-64. The number of digit numbers just got bigger and bigger on screen for each base untill you pressed enter. Then it printed it out to either PRN or into a plain text ASCII file with the respective bases in five digit groups, ten groups to a line, and fifty lines to a page. All surounded by “ding-bats” IBM extended charactets to make nice boxes around each number.

The important trick if you could call it that was to do the required recalculation of the numbers after every digit entered as this saved a big long wait on lowly CPU’s like 8086’s if you tried to do the convertions after pressing enter…

If memory serves correctly this required a 32byte array of char for each base number with an extra byte to hold the number of digits in. Also a pair of “working arrays” to do the long math in, but these were 32 ints of 16bit size as it made doing the long math easier. Oh and never do “divides” that’s just a nightmare when dividing by the likes of 3 etc.

I realy should dig the code out and post it somewhere, or rewrite it as javascript in an HTML page anyone can put up on their own machine.

SpaceLifeForm August 22, 2020 6:05 PM

@ Clive

You rang a bell.

Beirut was horrible shock wave.

But, Krakatoa. Wow. Just wow.

“That is the impact energy will spread out around the surface and come back into focus again approximately opposit the impact. Then race back again to the point of impact and back again.”

The British ship Norham Castle was 40 miles from Krakatoa at the time of the explosion. The ship’s captain wrote in his log,

“So violent are the explosions that the ear-drums of over half my crew have been shattered. My last thoughts are with my dear wife. I am convinced that the Day of Judgement has come.”

Closer to Krakatoa, the sound was well over this limit, producing a blast of high pressure air so powerful that it ruptured the eardrums of sailors 40 miles away. As this sound traveled thousands of miles, reaching Australia and the Indian Ocean, the wiggles in pressure started to die down, sounding more like a distant gunshot. Over 3,000 miles into its journey, the wave of pressure grew too quiet for human ears to hear, but it continued to sweep onward, reverberating for days across the globe. The atmosphere was ringing like a bell, imperceptible to us but detectable by our instruments.

myliit August 22, 2020 6:32 PM


U.S. 2020 Individual Election Planning Security
(recommendations, additions, deletions, etc., welcome)

1] Pre-Election thru 3 November 2020

A) request mail-in ballot early, vote early, and either
A1) use non USPS return dropbox or
A2) use USPS return. Regardless
A3) try to verify receipt of ballot and act accordingly

B) vote in-person

2] Election day thru ? end date

A) be prepared for our President to not concede. (period) regardless if he loses by a large margin.

3] misc.

A) try to vote using an auditable paper ballot, if possible

4] sources (not necessarily read yet) 11 August 2020 11 August 2020
What If Trump Won’t Leave? Trump is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep power. Can he be stopped? 27 July 2020
What if Trump loses but refuses to leave office? Here’s the worst-case scenario 6 April 2020 27 March 2019 19 February 2019
Secure the Vote

MarkH August 22, 2020 8:05 PM


I suppose that most of us get the meaning, but for clarity the claimed entropy is 196 bits.

The astronomically large 2196 is the count of possible distinct values for a 196-bit number … whether or not it really has 196 bits of entropy 😉

Arguably, the gadget is a time-saver. On the other side, it would seem that any person who can sneak a photo of the box of dice, and can reconstruct the generation algorithm, would obtain the key.


Conversion to binary isn’t necessary per se … remembering that hash functions are useful as entropy concentrators, the dice roll results could be represented as ASCII decimals, BCD, or even natural language words for numbers. Hashing this input in whichever format will yield maximum entropy, provided the number of cubic die rolls is at least the hash output length divided by two and a half.

Worries that the die or dice might be biased can be mitigated by including a few extra rolls.

Of course, if the width of the chosen hash function doesn’t align to the number of bits desired, a fair amount of time could be wasted making extra rolls to match the actual width.

echo August 22, 2020 8:06 PM


So America is up the creek without a paddle? Not my problem. If they want a solution they can pay like everyone else.

As for the almost psycho-sexual sadomasochism of the UK state I have a large set of files waiting to cross the border and be presented to various European based courts as and when I am “allowed” to get my passport. Again not my problem as I have no intention of returning. The hold up is so pointless and so unlawful.
I would actually like to know what my crime is. I’m not convicted of anything nor is there an injunction out on me just junior staff being somewhat deliberately stupid and different departments playing ping-pong. I may have to drop off at an EU member state embassy along the way and obtain a travel document. Christ, getting out of the UK is like trying to escape Colditz castle or trying to get out of Cold War East Berlin…

SpaceLifeForm August 22, 2020 8:11 PM

@ jer, Clive, MarkH, ALL

Wait until Kevin Underhill gets to Ohio.

The ‘state’ that was not part of US until 1953.

Yes, for 150 years, not official.

The “Mother of Modern Presidents,” Ohio was the birthplace of seven U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft and Warren G. Harding.

So, I digress. Not. Grant freed the slave that was ‘given’ to him.

Someone was trying to make him a racist.

Some group was trying to make him part of the cult.

His farm in St. Louis County is not far from me.

And, you should know more than that.

But, if you are outside of US and do not know history…

Ulysses S. Grant defeated Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Virginia, forcing Lee to surrender at the Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, thereby ending the Civil War. Grant was made a four-star general in 1866 for his courage and ability to lead the Union to victory.

I do NOT make stuff up.

echo August 22, 2020 8:28 PM


I wrote a bit of Borland C++ code running under MS-DOS

Small correction. Borland C++ Builder produced Windows command line executables. These don’t run under MS-DOS.

It’s been a long time so I’m a bit hazy about this but if you wanted to you could use the command line window to output diagnostic text by including the relevant libraries and running your own internal main loop as a GUI application.

Borland C++ Builder and Delphi were pretty funky and the way Borland declined was a sad artifact of the Microsoft monopoly. I also think the reasoning behind their design was better than the nonsense direction the C/C++ standards committee went in. Embarcadero who bought Borlands assets now charge stupid money. Then there’s Microsoft putting the boot into OpenGL and Apple putting the boot into Vulcan. Hate is a strong word but I certainly lost any emotional affinity for the industry a long time ago.

SpaceLifeForm August 23, 2020 1:46 AM

@ echo

It’s the same crap on this side of pond.

Trust me on this, there are literally billions of people on this planet that are praying that millions of US Citizens do the right thing on 2020-11-03.

They are really, really disappointed with US Foreign Policy.

They know things can get worse.

They know things can get much, much better.

As a US citizen, that WILL VOTE, I feel the weight.

I am serious.

Wear a mask. Vote. August 23, 2020 2:13 AM

Christ, getting out of the UK is like trying to escape Colditz castle or trying to get out of Cold War East Berlin…

Obviously, a sick mind.

echo August 23, 2020 3:08 AM


Yeah. Borland C++ is fine on MS-DOS. I misread it as C++ Builder. There’s no substantial academic papers I’ve come across but I have trauma induced dyslexia or something not far removed. You really wouldn’t believe some of the typos and word swaps I made when it was bad. Thankfully my biggest issue at the moment is a dicky keyboard.

As for the governance and foreign policy stuff we passed the “boiling frogs” part a long time ago. Nick Cohen’s article is going a bit soft on things but you sound like a lunatic if you put it stronger. It’s like how proving “constructive dismissal” and the like can be difficult.

As for this next article I think she was pushing an agenda too hard but at the same time it reeks of a frame job. You get funny things like this happen in organisations especially when people pay lipservice to policy and swerve around the formal protections and stuff goes off the record and behind peoples back. Things can get subjective very fast and what with “Chinese whispers” kicking in get unreal and very scary. It’s one incident and only one incident but I’ve seen a fair few things myself which don’t pass the sniff test. Organisations pay lip service to equality and human rights legislation is quite common. Reasonable adjustments magically tun into “business as usual” so not a reasonable adjustment at all. Investigations are rigged. Paperwork goes missing. Threats get made. Pressure is applied. Allegations made. Facts made up. Opportunities evaporate. Critical statements are not acknowledged and never recorded. No one single incident on its own is enough to prove anything. It’s actually really really scary when this kind of thing happens. Now imagine every single day is like this. A corporate “beasting” isn’t a very pleasant exercise if you’re on the reeceiving end.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 4:18 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Wait until Kevin Underhill gets to Ohio.

You mean the one that wrote,

(which finally convinced me that it was not just a chunk of the US legislators but likeise the judiciary were actively seeking ways to remove all legal rights US citizens had prior to this century).

@ SpaceLifeForm, echo,

With regards which of the many “Boarland” C++ compilers, it is one of the many I have aquired over the years. The one I used for this program I know produced both .COM and the “new fangled” .EXE files and unlike later verions came with TASM (which I was looking for the other week but could not find so went with a Shareware package I’d purchased back then which was “A86/D86”)

I still have an executable file of the program sitting on a 720k 3.5 disk in the lock box in the safe[1], and it’s a .COM (the source is around somewhere but it’s probably in a “project folder” of the real sort of folder you put in “file hangers” in real four draw filling cabinets (if people remember those 😉

Anyway the other thing I remember about the early Borland compilers other than I liked the DOS blue background IDE with it’s Wordstar key mappings, was that they were “slick” and “upto date” with the AT&T standards unlike products from a certain other supplier of compiler products… The thing was being as slick as they were it was easy to knock up a one or two page size function and test wrapper to prototype almost as fast as you could type.

Oh and the only reason to use C++ was I was using “cin” from iostream as it should have made the code more portable (I never got around to porting it though).

[1] It’s one of a number of programs I wrote that were designed to work with dice and making large random numbers, as well as make and print out OTP’s (to dot matrix printer on two part carbon copy fan fold) that I’ve mentioned befor. Oh and various bits of crypto code based around “Card shuffling” algorithms etc. Including some of the weird stuff I talked to @Nick P about for making chain ciphers.

echo August 23, 2020 4:56 AM


I still have an executable file of the program sitting on a 720k 3.5 disk in the lock box in the safe[1], and it’s a .COM (the source is around somewhere but it’s probably in a “project folder” of the real sort of folder you put in “file hangers” in real four draw filling cabinets (if people remember those 😉

I remember four draw filing cabinets. They were usually full of stuff nobody ever looked at or the weekly milk and tea fund and in some rumoured cases the odd bottle of whiskey.

I have a drawer of “file hangers” full of stuff. I’ve been getting rid of it and wittling things down to go paperless. “Scanbot” on Android and iOS with a lecturn is pretty handy if you want to go through a lot of paperwork and have the camera auotmatically take a picture when you present it with a new sheet. It has various settings from monochrome to colour to keep file sizes down too. The paranoid can use their own cameras or scanners offline.

Beyond routine shredding I found paper shredders are useless. You may as well bulk incinerate if you have a lot of paperwork. When I was doing this I was amazed at the amount of heat burning paper gives off. For the paranoid incineration is the only option. As we know stitching together shredded documents by the cubic metre is now available as a commercial service.

The only paperwork I need to keep in its orignal form for legal reasons can fit in a single box file. Hurrah.

SpaceLifeForm August 23, 2020 5:06 AM

@ Clive

Well, eventually, they came up with .cab files.

Guessing it would be tough to get a functional .cab file on a floppy.

Digressing… (Or not?)

Thoughts on securing ‘data at rest’?

Compare small filesize (floppy sectors) vs large (MB+).

Input appreciated.

David Rudling August 23, 2020 5:22 AM

@Cliive Robinson


ht tps://

(Fractured as usual to prevent autorun)

You have a choice from version 1 to version 5.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 5:43 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Closer to Krakatoa, the sound was well over this limit, producing a blast of high pressure air so powerful that it ruptured the eardrums of sailors 40 miles away.

Krakatoa still beats anything mankind has so far built for being “loud” and “destructive” as far as overpressure goes[1].

But the “sound” these people talk of was the slow high loss propagation through air. What I was referering to was the much faster “ducted” thus constrained propagation through the earth’s crust[2].

If you think of the earths crust[3] as being like a “wine glass” it’s not hard to realise why some are worried about potential resonance in it[4].

[1] whilsit it did not “helped me feel good about the bomb” it did atleast increase my understand that “humans” are still playing “tiddly-winks” when compared to Mother Nature. Oh and that as far as Mother Nature was concerned Krakatoa was at most “crumbs off of the table” when compared to Super Volcanoes and large lumps of rock dropping in real quick and those so far safely distant Super Nova’s which can rightfully be called “extinction events”.

[2] As I’ve mentioned before such “ducted” conduction of energy has some odd properties. One of which is that the apparent wavelength changes the second is the high efficiency of propagation compaired to air or “free space”. Whilst optical fiber is a good visable example for EM energy, the much older “railway lines” example is better for sound. That is if you are standing on a quiet platform of an over ground railway, you can hear the rails “twitch and sing” from an approaching train long long before you can hear it through the air. This effect is not realy down to the low speed of sound in air but the difference between radiated and conducted energy levels. As most know radiated “power” drops off faster than 1/(r^2) but few realise that for conducted / ducted power in a uniform diameter conductor it’s 1/(r). Conducted in a thin shell around a sphear the power first drops of, but then goes up after it passes the meridian circumfrance and aproches the antipode[4] getting back a substantial fraction of the power.

[3] As far as we can tell the earth has a unique crust when it comes to planatary bodies in the solar system. Xenogeologists talk of three different time periods for crusts on planatary crusts “primary” being the original crust caused by cooling of the planatary body, of which the earth now does not have any. The “secondary” crust which is often basaltic and caused by melting effects in the underlying mantal and is the most common crust in the solar system and forms the earths “Ocianic crust”. And “tertiary” crust that forms the earth’s “continental crust” caused by the likes of errosion and melting effects in the secondary crust. It is thought that tertiary crustvis probably unique to earth as it appears to require plate techtonics and as far as we know this is unique to earth.

What may “fly in the face” of the wine glass resonance idea is that whilst most terrestrial planets in the solar system do have fairly uniform crusts. Earth, with it’s two distinct crust types (continental and oceanic) and plate techtonics is not uniform. Both crust types have different chemical compositions thus physical properties, as well as being formed by different geological processes, which might well stop the earth having aby significant spherical resonance ability, thus behaving like a series of “damped resonators” at best.

[4] One of the interesting things with resonators that have a focus point is what happens when you “stroke” them with a continuous motion at the right rate rather than a percussive tap. This is especially true in a spherical resonator that has to focus points and all paths are equidistant between them. Whilst the energy from any individual part of the stroke is small it is stored in the resonator thus as it approaches,the antipode the peak energy level can easily be destructively high. The energy of a wave front converging and passing over a sphere can have this property… Hence the “in theory claims” some have been making, lets hope for all our sakes theory and practice do not align with space weather as we might not get to realise what has happened as “the glass will have shattered” as the “fat lady sings”.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 7:28 AM

@ echo,

As we were having a cheesy talk the other day about the US filching long existing brands etc it appears that Wisconsin (the state that nobody can remember how to spell) had decided to take preditory action against the Dutch due to a bunch of “upperty” fourth graders with serious political ambitions, and a lactate fixation and would let no politician stand in their way…

Oh and if you look at the bottom of the Governers official page,

What do we see given on a plate?

Yup i know that those from the state are both known as and call themselves,”Cheeseheads”[1] but it’s enough to make you want to Gouda somebodies vittles out…

[1] In the UK the word “Cheesehead” has a couple of meanings the first is it’s the unscientific name for a “bug” that eats rotting cellulose, but it also has a quite derogatory meaning as well… So if you are a Wisconsinite, visiting the UK you might not want to be too cheese obsessed. As for the Dutch during WWII the Germans used “Cheesehead” as a very derogatory way, so leave those “Packer’s Hats” back at home as well, especially if you go to Haarlem “Culinair” or other festivals (I think “flowerweekend” and “kidsmonth” are self explanatory, oh and don’t be unkind about their hill 😉

myliit August 23, 2020 9:07 AM


“ … And I’ll note that anyone can report an email addy [address?] to CF, [CloudF?] and then that person can be blocked by CF, Trying to comm to *any website blog. …”[1]

Might it have involved her talking to Federal law enforcement officers? I still want to know what that was all about, ie. Who did what when and where…

Regardless, I don’t recall if I posted this, by bmaz at emptywheel. see Draft above:

2]A) 3 July 2020

“… [Wirth and Rogers] have an article out together now in Newsweek entitled “How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President”. Also harrowing, and they are convinced that this is really Trump’s plan.

Wirth and Rogers lay out two paths they expect Trump to take. The first is the obvious one pretty much everybody is aware of, severe voter suppression and goon poll watchers challenging voters pretty much anywhere and everywhere, along with claiming fraud as to the vote by mail. But it is the second path that is truly frightening.

“This spring, HBO aired The Plot Against America, based on the Philip Roth novel of how an authoritarian president could grab control of the United States government using emergency powers that no one could foresee. Recent press reports have revealed the compilation by the Brennan Center at New York University of an extensive list of presidential emergency powers that might be inappropriately invoked in a national security crisis. Attorney General William Barr, known for his extremist view of the expanse of presidential power, is widely believed to be developing a Justice Department opinion arguing that the president can exercise emergency powers in certain national security situations, while stating that the courts, being extremely reluctant to intervene in the sphere of a national security emergency, would allow the president to proceed unchecked.

With this, Trump has begun to lay the groundwork for the step-by-step process by which he holds on to the presidency after he has clearly lost the election:

  1. Biden wins the popular vote, and carries the key swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by decent but not overwhelming margins …“ …”


echo August 23, 2020 9:52 AM


It’s interesting noting how the table lists both USA and Wisconsin (which is a US state) yet doesn’t list EU alongside the listed EU states. Do I care about Wisconsin cheese or it’s production claims? No.

As for that other thing I’d rather you didn’t bring up images like this. The whole topic domain can get very unpleasant for a lot of reasons and I’m not testing the limits of PG content. Now I do have an anecdote involving a large and very illegal revolver (of the type with bullets which makes a loud noise) and the Russian mob in London and the House of Lords which would make Putin bust a gut and the CIA and MI5 crawl all over this website for the next few weeks but I think Bruce would get a bit shouty if I mentioned it.

JonKnowsNothing August 23, 2020 11:22 AM

Update on few COVID19 numbers from my small portion of California that is not burning.

The COVID19 infections of agricultural workers in the fields, packing sheds and abattoirs continues to increase. Urban dwellers tend to get COVID19 from shopping areas, churches, schools and other urban gathering spots. Agricultural workers tend to get COVID19 from shoulder-to-shoulder work and from financial need to work while sick and the lack of PPE in some venues. There are agricultural work sites that are providing PPE but generically masks are very hot, the weather is very hot and they are uncomfortable. The air quality levels are past “Unhealthy” due to the fires and some may wear the mask just to keep down the amount of smoke they are breathing.

The death rate has skyrocketed over the last 65 days.

06 15 2020 55  dead from start of pandemic
08 20 2020  226 dead including 2 children (under 17 by definition)
The area population  1,000,000
Total COVID19 cases  22,000
Herd Immunity Policy Target = 70% of 1,000,000 = 700,000
Progress to Herd Immunity Target = 22,000 / 700,000 = .0314 * 100 = 3.14%
Time frame 6 months

At the current rate of infection it will take 15+ years to reach Herd Immunity Policy Target.

Clearly some acceleration of the rate of infection will be needed.

Sherman Jay August 23, 2020 12:29 PM

I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I knew. Was I the inspiration for the 21 Aug. friday squid topic? remember my post from 19 Aug.?
Sherman Jay • August 19, 2020 2:04 PM



The liveliest state, however, had to be Rhode Island, which declared itself >>>>>>> the “Calamari Comeback State,” complete with a giant plate of fried squid.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 2:57 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Urban dwellers tend to get COVID19 from shopping areas, churches, schools and other urban gathering spots.

And in the UK “the Blond Quiff MkII” who is desperatly trying to accumulate power is now trying the old “Uncle Tony” Blair technique of apointing crass, incompetent but importantly loyal Duning-Kruger types, who will cover up his “flip-flop” behaviours as he “U-Turns” or “Reverse Ferret’s” as he fails his way forwards.

His COVID-19 plan is still the indefensible “Herd Immunity Policy” of deliberately pushing the disease so it burns it’s way through the country as fast as possible, whilst shovelling as much money as possibble to the “Croney-Corps” such as Serco, Capita, Group Four, etc who “fail and defraud at arms length for 40%” and ensure the impoverished get pushed into no-PPE workplaces and the like…

In London and the South East we had started to get things under control finally by the very late measures of masks in public etc. Now Blond Quiff MkII wants to fully “open up” Schools, and adult gathering spots to give SARS-CoV-2 a nice new “soft ubderbelly” in the body of society…

That is both Schools and Social gatherings are long known to be what are now being called “Super spreader events” even though UK polititions tried to blaim anything and everyone else…

My prediction is there is going to be a very noticable increase in cases as the “children, and adolescents” going back to education in a couple of weeks will become “Granny Killers” by taking home COVID-19 and other leathal pathogens into their homes and infect elder family members. Likewise the adolescents and young adults will “catch and spread” from their “urban gathering spots” and similar, it’s unavoidable with “flesh upon flesh” contact aided by alcohol and the like as the nights draw in whilst staying warm enough for bare flesh.

I would not be at all surprised to hear one of the Blond Quiff MKII minnions having just thrown a serious spanner in the UK healthcare system, find a reason for not bothering with vaccines and national vaccination for “economic reasons”…

After all “wholesale slaughter of the old and impoverished” is turning out to be politically acceptable to those that are young or busy pushing Herd Immunity Policy and think they are immune… It’s turning into another Thatcher “Grabbing, shilling Society” that spawned the “Loads of Money Ethic” of the 1980’s that did so much harm.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 23, 2020 3:06 PM

@ Clive

who will cover up his “flip-flop” behaviours as he “U-Turns” or “Reverse Ferret’s” as he fails his way forwards.

Ha Ha…very funny. I could definitely see Tony Blair as a small rodent–teeth gnashing and a furry tail. Way to go, again!

Oh, and Gordon Brown as a hedge hog, agree?

Singapore Noodles August 23, 2020 3:12 PM


paper shredders are useless

There are available, seen them for ~USD 800, crosscut shredders that produce particles 2mm by 12mm. Stir these up and someone would have to really care to reassemble them. They would probably need a photo plus pattern matching system.

Or for ~USD 3000,1mm x 5mm particle size.

Question: could these be combined with a burner ducting system so the only output is ash ?

JonKnowsNothing August 23, 2020 4:24 PM

@Singapore Noodles @echo

re: shredders

re:someone would have to really care to reassemble them

Someone will, someone did, someone is still working on it.
Iran, Iran, Dead Sea Scrolls

re: probably need a photo plus pattern matching system

iirc(badly) A system has already been created that matches pieces and fragments of scrolls by edges, textures, ink, type and composition. Beneficially used by academics piecing together jumbled fragments of papyrus rolls and torn documents.

re: a burner ducting system so the only output is ash

iirc(badly) a new technique recently used to read “burned scrolls”. A sample of a papyrus scroll that was burned and could not be unpeeled without the entire roll collapsing, used this technique to read layer by layer through the burned scroll. The system was able to find ink markings within the layers.

If you want to make it harder, mix up the shredded output into many bags. If you don’t want it collected, don’t put it in the trash can on the street. If you burn it in a pit, they can dig it up. If you flush it be sure to flush in multiple locations far away and don’t get tracked by CCTV etc while moving about. Sewer filters are not uncommon if someone is THAT interested in what’s going down the loo. Dumping in the ocean might get you a eco-dumping/fly-tipping-ticket. Dumping in a forest you might get the same but you may get by with putting the ashes in a cremains-urn.

I don’t think doing any of the above would be that successful even so.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 5:26 PM

@ Who?,

Beware of bad cabling!

The problem is a very old one and whilst understood by Communications Design Engineers, your average Networking “line walker” may never hsve heard of the issue…

The oldest example that is so old even it’s grandchildren have white beards is the from First World War and earlier “Field Telephoned” (especially those that used “phantom circuit “wiring).

It’s told as a form of joke,

The forward officer on seeing sight of the enemy approaching calls the command post and says,

    Send reinforcements I’m going to advance.

Which is heard by the command post opperator as,

    Send three and four pence I’m going to a dance.

Droll and vaguely ammusing it gets a point over about low level signals and cross talk much of which is caused by “poor connections”. By poor connections it’s not realy using it in the colloquial way it is today by the majority, they realy do mean a poor connection in a plug or socket or punch down (IDC) terninal block. Where due to mechanical vibration, dirt or chemicals in the air the electrical connection goes from a low impedence low noise conection to a high impedence high noise connection that as part of a twisted pair causes pair imbalance thus very much increased suceptability to “cross talk” from adjacent also poorly balanced signal pairs.

In analogue systems which all communications are fundamentally you hear engineers talk of Signal to Noise Ratio SNR, log(Eb/No) and in some cases SINAD which include distortion caused by line amplifiers and the like trying to compensate for low signal levels. In a digital system the analogue signal goes into a “digitizer” such as a zero crossing detector, window detector, limiter or slicer to convert it into a digital signal. This hides the low signal level, high noise, distortion, and cross talk as “edge jitter” and “bit flipping” when reclocking or re-timing is applied to get rid of “edge jitter” that too can end up in “bit fliping” (the energy has to go somewhere). Which is these days usually measured / indicated as “Bit Error Rate”(BER). Thus it’s not unusuall to hear communications engineers talking about the BER for a given Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR).

BER has been well known about –though not under that name– from before WWI in “telegraph” and “Teletype” systems some of which go back into the late Victorian era. It eventually gave rise to “Error Correction Codes”(ECC). Before that though the errors had to be detected, the earliest of which most people have heard of but do not realise what it is for is “Parity Bits” you see in the likes of serial communications where modems were set to the likes of “5E1.5”, “7O1” or later “8N1” where the first number indicates the number of data bits the letter in the middle (OEN) was for Odd/Even/No parity and the last number the number of “stop bits”. Thus all odd numbers of bit flip errors could be detected, but not even numbers of bit flips. Which is very important to remember “some errors still get through” thus need to be detected further up the comms stack.

If you’ve read Cliford Stoll “Cuckoo’s Egg” you might remember that he exploited this by simple “Fault Injection” by the process of jangling a bunch of keys across the analogue telephone pair terminal block of the dial in modem. The person at the other end would see increasing levels of data errors which back then were a quite common event for various reasons esspecially on International phone links.

As data became “packitized” to increase “bandwidth efficient” then error detection became very much more important and we got not just parity bits on individual characters but also the mathmatical addittion of all the characters as “Checksums” whilst these improved error detection they did nothing for “error correction”, it was pointless having increased bandwidth efficiency by packitization if you lost it agaon by having to re-transmit data packets for a single bit error. Thus actual error correction became important and true ECC’s were developed which included the likes of Hamming, Reed-Solomon and trellis codes are the most well known. But even these codes fail at very low Eb/No levels as used in satellite communications. Thus the use of redundance where extra error corecting information is transmitted these are known as “Forward Error Correction”(FEC) codes.

Unfortunately as real error correction by Hamming Reed-Solomon etc is “expensive” in one way or another and only needed for the lowest of base analogue signal levels Ethernet only uses partial “error detection” via check sums.

Thus whilst many “bit flip errors” are detected in an Ethernet network they are not corrected and some slip through to create errors in higher levels of the communications level protocols (ie further up the comms/network stack).

This idea of “layered protocols” is common but unfortunatly it alows gaps to be inedvertantly created which can and unfortunately does cause vulnerabilities in “error correction protocols”

I’ve warned in the past several times with exanples on this blog how issues in “error corection” alows error correction protocols to be abused and open up a covert channel to get information in through even assumed “one way, output only” devices such as “data diodes” and data sluices.

This “packet in a packet” idea is just a variation on this idea to push an attack backwards through protective measures.

What Armis Labs has done is,

1, Exploit a natural “Fault Injection” attack.

2, To leverage an “Error Correction mechanism Fault”.

Both are “known classes of vulnerability” which I’ve talked about on this blog for some years now. And what they have done is combined them to come up with a “new instance” of attack in those classes of vulnerability. So it’s an “Unknown Known” or “Black Swan” attack.

I now expect there to be varients of this attack to be fairly quickly found and possibly published as there is one heck of a lot of “wriggle room” in both the known classes of vulnerability it uses.

Whilst few appreciate or even understand “Fault Injection” attacks be the natural/inherent or active they are nevertheless very powerfull attacks with very devistating results. Likewise “Error Correction Fault” attacks are very powerfull and barely understood by most. This is because of the way humans tend to think, after all the reasoning is “it’s an output” why expect it to be used in reverse as an input, or convay an attack packet through a firewall and other detection and protection systems by “wrapping it up” thus making it “A wolf in sheeps clothing” or to use an older Greek warning “A Trojan Horse”…

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 6:04 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, echo, Singapore Noodles,

If you want to make it harder, mix up the shredded output into many bags.

That’s not an “approved method” 😉

Something a lot of people do not realise is that paper is actually a very good fire retardant and way way more difficult to burn than semi-hardwoods. You can see this by using flour and water to turn sheets of paper into brick sized high density papier-mache blocks then try to burn them with a blow torch or cutting torch.

Which kind of resulted in one approved method that uses a chain of processes to ensure it realy does burn to less than ash,

1, Cross cut paper to dimonds/quarrels less than 4mm on each edge.

2, Put quarrels in a ball grinder to reduce to paper dust.

3, Emacerate[1] paper dust in fuel oil or similar

4, Use a recirculation or downdraft style burner/incinerator such that only CO2 and H2O are the exhaust primary outputs (heat via hot water/steam to heat building is considered a bonus).

5, Filter exhast through very graded to very fine mesh filters and static electricity dust traps

Because this process is only “so so trusted” the process is carried out at various locations randomly with the documents transported by specialised guards.

[1] The word “emacerate” has changed meaning over the years and is considered obsolete outside of certain circles. In this case it has the same meaning as it does in some areas of science “To soak a solid such that it breaks down to it’s individual fibers”. Thus the fuel oil becomes thickened and of different energy density.

echo August 23, 2020 6:29 PM


Blair actually had a sense of purpose and talented ministers and brought in some of the biggest legislative changes ever. Now I do agree he went weak on the City when he got into power and the Iraq war was a turning point and the Blair government began to flag as Gordon Brown began backstabbing and the government ran out of steam but there is a clear difference between the Blair government and current Tories. As for the neo-Thatcherite Tories they’re not Thatcherites but the Tory “Militant Tendency” hard right libertarians as we know. So be careful with cynical equivalences.

The Tories have a talent for the shiny and dogwhistle policies and outright lying. For some reason the British have a weakness for this in the same way the press copy-pasted Trumps statements and then began talking up threats real and imagined as if they were a done inevitable deal. I leave it to the psychologists to explain all the reptile brain, middle brain, and cognitive bypasses being played.

John Lewis is putting another nail in the UK coffin. Apart from betraying people with high street shop closures in favour of out and town stores and efforts to break the multiples limit for CEO pay their marketing has been all over the place this past year or so. They are now trying to “improve” by ditching the “never knowingly undersold” guarantee because they don’t get the quality proposition and are being hassled by so-called “retail analysts” (who are really schills for the banks) into higher margins. John Lewis is slowly turning from “aspirational” and “fair deal” and “socialcontract” and into another snobby cash grab because of the likes of Debenhams who, quite frankly, have appalling merchandising and service, and the tax dodgers Amazon. You simply cannot win a race to the bottom. And Waitrose can take a hike. Their online ordering system really did over the poor and disabled and vulnerable during the pandemic.

Clive Robinson August 23, 2020 6:50 PM

@ Name.withheld…,

Oh, and Gordon Brown as a hedge hog, agree?

More a “groundhog”…

As the Collins Dictionary defines it,

    A groundhog is a type of small animal with reddish-brown fur that is found in North…

They also have other habits in common such as a grouchy and curmudgeonly disposition thus mainly solitary existance.

Wikipedia has a list of alternative names one of which is “siffleux” that sounds sufficiently like a continental expleative it would be usefull if you happened to be wandering peacefully around Kirkcaldy in Fife, enjoying the Links Market Fair at Easter time and bumped into the aforementioned beast… Which a member of my family unfortunately happened to do once (and has been a great deal more observant since[1]).

But then again “Thickwood Badger” as an alternative…

[1] In a similar way I once had a reasonable excuse to give the blond quiff MkII a good kicking outside the houses of parliament early one evening when he was just a thick as swine scat MP. The twat came out of the “Clock House Yard” gate on his mobile phone carrying his bike briefcase and coat and not looking where he was going crashed into me as I was going by on my walking sticks. I guess it was my natural politness and the fact two police officers were standing at the gate that stoped me doing the whole of the United Kingdom a considerable favour…

Jon August 23, 2020 7:54 PM

@ Paper shredders

Strip-shredded paper, loosely wadded up in a ball, burns very nicely and completely. It makes excellent tinder. J.

Jon August 23, 2020 8:00 PM

@ MarkH

On the other side, it would seem that any person who can sneak a photo of the box of dice, and can reconstruct the generation algorithm, would obtain the key.

The algorithm’s downloadable – it’s the app itself (and obscure algorithms are no help).

But why worry about someone sneaking in and taking a picture? It’s already been taken and stuck into your phone! Are you really going to do a secure delete on your phone just after you got your hash code?


Wesley Parish August 23, 2020 10:09 PM

Just came across this doozy at ArsTechnica:

College contact-tracing app readily leaked personal data, report finds

In an attempt to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, one Michigan college is requiring all students to install an app that will track their live locations at all times. Unfortunately, researchers have already found two major vulnerabilities in the app that can expose students’ personal and health data.


Aura, however, goes all in on real-time location-tracking instead, as TechCrunch reports. The app collects students’ names, location, and COVID-19 status, then generates a QR code containing that information. The code either comes up “certified” if the data indicates a student has tested negative, or “denied” if the student has a positive test or no test data. In addition to tracking students’ COVID-19 status, the app will also lock a student’s ID card and revoke access to campus buildings if it detects that a student has left campus “without permission.”

[ “ouch” ]

A student at Albion, looking into the app’s source code, also found hard-coded security keys for the app’s backend servers. A researcher took a look and verified that those keys gave access to “patient data, including COVID-19 test results with names, addresses, and dates of birth,” TechCrunch reports.


COVID-19 lends an aura of urgency to the matter, but invasive location tracking on college campuses is not new. Schools around the country have been building out tracking systems for several years.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 24, 2020 12:19 AM

23 Aug 2020 — NIST 800-56C

Recommendation for Key-Derivation Methods in Key-Establishment Schemes,

The keying material derived using these methods shall be computed in its entirety before outputting any portion of it and shall only be used as secret keying material. This revision permits the use of “hybrid” shared secrets, and a newly added section specifies the conditions under which multiple instances of key expansion can be performed using a single key-derivation key obtained via randomness extraction.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 24, 2020 8:46 AM

But I don’t Know Anything About Computers

A Youtube video with Brad Smith of Microsoft discusses his book “Tools and Weapons” at Politics and Prose (Posted 23 Oct 2019 at hxxps://

Promoting the book titled “Tools and Weapons” at Politics and Prose the author, Microsoft’s president Brad Smith, gave a talk summarizing a few of the book’s topics. One component of this talk, in conversation with the host David Sanger of The NY Times, included the nature and sensitivity respecting data ownership, propriety, and geographic/state boundary issues. China and Russia were both identified in this context and the line of thought fell along that of data balkanization. Also, a prominent theme emphasized by Mr. Smith was the concept of a Geneva Convention agreement, a multilateral framework for civil society that makes the “weaponizing” of personal and private systems an act of undue aggression (or war).

An element of balkanization he considered in the book involved the intergovernmental consequences of services that have personal, business, or organizational content that may be vulnerable to external pressures respecting the relinquishing of data to other governments. Smith couched his concern as a human rights concern. For example, does it require locating the services/data in a particular country. Smith said, “Are we prepared to build a data center in a particular country. We have a human rights assessment before we make that decision.”

Further into the talk he said “There might be some business data that doesn’t raise human rights concerns, but consumer e-mail that’s a different story.” My take on this is that Smith is giving a pass to business information, i.e. we can play ball on the business side so there is nothing to see here. But, if an individual has data of interest, we will help identify it AND the person for you. Smith did not say this but this is how I untangle the meaning and thrust of his statements.

These arguments provide cover for the types of arrangements Microsoft already has with their customers. It is plainly evident in the multitude of EULA/License and purchase agreements that Microsoft’s lawyers have skillfully foisted a Trojan horse on their customers. It is hard to believe in this era Microsoft sees the purchase of their products as relevant to a customer–but moreover–a cross-licensed consumer and data broker arrangement. The customer is the data provider under the licensed operating system which allows Microsoft to claim priority, and, for that privilege you pay Microsoft a licensing fee. The icing on the cake, we will repair our faulty product up to, or until, we decide it is no longer necessary…and frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 24, 2020 8:54 AM

@ Clive

I agree that your observation is more suited as to descriptors, but, I have to give it to you for the footnote. A piece of art I must say.

[1] In a similar way I once had a reasonable excuse to give…

As to not detract from the marvelous soliloquy, or the wrath of critics/censors, I must say you have outdone yourself…again.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 24, 2020 9:11 AM

@ Clive, @ echo
As both you chaps have a keen interest in UK politics, let me take you back–the year 2002/2003. Hans Blix (sp?) is in Iraq, the stew made of 45 minutes is about to brew to a broil…and a weapons expert, David Kelley, takes a dive (two bullets to the back of the head, suicide on a country road–seems quaint–am using literary license here).

Did something appear dodgy with the whole affair or am I chasing rabbits again?

P.S. My literary license may have been revoked recently.

myliit August 24, 2020 10:48 AM

note: you might start with the pinned tweet; 1:00 minute, perhaps:

“… The most common cause of stress nowadays is dealing with idiots [dummies]. …

Don’t confuse education with intelligence! You can have a PhD and still be an idiot. …

“Only a few know, how much one must know to know how little one knows.”

— Werner Heisenberg (1901 – 1976) …

The goal of teaching should not be to help the students learn how to memorize and spit out information under academic pressure.

The purpose of teaching is to inspire the desire for learning in them and make them able to think, understand, and question. …”

Singapore Noodles August 24, 2020 12:52 PM



Idiots – tricky subject

If just idiotic, “suffer fools gladly”. If openly maliciously perverse, “cast not your pearls”.

All the while keeping in mind, “ who are you to judge another man’s servant?”

MarkH August 24, 2020 2:34 PM

Faithful readers of this blog will recall that in 2018 there were numerous comments about the Skripal poisoning in the UK.

The poison was identified as Novichok, the code name for a Soviet nerve agent.

The medical team now treating Russian dissident Alex Navalny in Germany (to which he was evacuated during the weekend), have determined that he was poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor, a class of toxins which impair the function of neurotransmitters.

They have not identified the poisonous compound, which at this late date perhaps might not be feasible.

It may be worthy of note that Novichok belongs to the category of cholinesterase inhibitors, though another compound with similar effects might have been used in the attack.

Although the hospital in Omsk where Navalny was initially treated insists that there is no evidence of poison, the use (or at least suspicion) of a nerve agent is consistent with unconfirmed press reports that Russian medical personnel were instructed to wear hazardous material protective gear when in proximity to the comatose Navalny.

German doctors say that his life is not presently in danger of death, though his prospects for recovery are unclear.

Clive Robinson August 24, 2020 3:22 PM

Bletchley hit by COVID-19

Most readers here will be aware of Bletchley Park home of the Enigma decrypts that were ULTRA during WWII, and some will have visited or be thinking about visiting. Sadly that soon may not be possible because the trust that looks after it is in trouble.

Due to the COVID lockdown and social distancing it’s lost most of it’s visitor income this year and has little choice but to lay of a large part of it’s workforce.

Hopefully the financing of such a vital historical asset to many countries can be put on a more secure basis than just visitor income in this pandemic that could easily carry on for another two to three years.

JonKnowsNothing August 24, 2020 3:44 PM

@Clive @MarkH @All

re: COVID-19 second infection in same person.

MSM report from Hong Kong that a person has now tested positive a second time after having recovered from COVID-19 previously.


  • 33yo male from Hong Kong
  • First infection of COVID-19, was in hospital, released April 2020
  • Traveled to Spain and UK and returned to Hong Kong
  • Second infection of COVID-19 tested positive August 15, 2020
  • Tests showed he had a different strain of COVID-19
  • He was asymptomatic for the second infection.
  • The Hong Kong man a had full recovery from first infection and did not test positive again for 4 1/2 months.
  • False Negative error rate in China 05%-15% (May 2020)
    False negatives occurred in discharged hospital patients
    Other reports in China of double infections might be from False Negative tests.

Nextstrain[.org] tracks all the genomes for COVID-19 and maintains lists, diagrams and research on genome sequences for COVID-19 and other viruses [phylogeny].

There are 3 main branches and some major sub-branches for COVID-19. Their maps and data (up through 08 15 2020) show which strains are found in which countries and details about each sub-level.

Every country has all of 3 main types and each country has a predominant version. Depending on the source of the information different designators are used for the branches. MSM reports use A B C types to designate the branches. Type A is found in the USA, Type B is found in Mainland China, Type C is found in Hong Kong. On the genome level there are many more nodes, more than 4600 sub-nodes globally (08 15 2020).

If the research is confirmed, this is Bad News for targets of Herd Immunity Policy because it indicates there are 2 more pathways towards their ultimate goals of global de-population.

In previously reported research, children are the ultimate vectors for infection. The demand by Herd Immunity Policy Countries for children to be in schools and in close proximity, backed up with expensive fines, are designed to vector the infection faster to the general population. As multiple strains of COVID-19 exist in every country, there are now additional opportunities to cross infect the population with all three of the current types and as the virus mutates additional infections can occur.

note: The MSM report did not provide a source link to University of Hong Kong Research. Research paper was submitted to a journal.

ht tps://
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 24, 2020 3:49 PM

@ Clive

…put on a more secure basis than just visitor income in this pandemic that could easily carry on for another two to three years.

Don’t threaten me with a good time! Joking of course, but, in the U.S. given the rate of growth in infection rates we may hit an entropic curve that may give rise to a herd immunity/community response.

It doesn’t take long if the take-up rate and distribution of infections, combined with an ill informed and somewhat ignorant public and a poor policy response, to have the thing go pear shaped–within six months give or take a week or two.

TRX August 24, 2020 4:02 PM

> Embarcadero who bought Borlands assets now charge stupid money.

So did Borland, at the end. Embarcadero just maintained the pricing scheme. (Inprise, Codegear? whatever)

I had a long history with Borland, going back to Turbo Pascal 2.0. Their price increases (over 500% for some products!) and their policy of letting owners of similar Microsoft products “upgrade” for less than what we registered owners could upgrade for… that was the end of my business relationship with Borland. And from how their business collapsed, I wasn’t the only one who had had enough.

MarkH August 24, 2020 4:26 PM


I’ve seen a number of reports of reinfection with Covid-19. My judgment at this stage, is that this doesn’t have much obvious significance.

Bearing in mind that this monster is only about 9 months old, and most information is quite preliminary, here is my take:

  1. Available evidence is consistent with the hypothesis that reinfection is quite rare, though it certainly doesn’t exclude that it’s more common.
  2. Typically, there’s a big variance of immune system responses throughout a population. Obviously, a person with a smaller magnitude of immune response might be expected to have a greater risk of reinfection.
  3. The human immune system is God-awful complicated. While most of us laypersons probably imagine a binary condition (either 100% protection or none at all), the medical reality is probably much more complex than that.
  4. If a tiny percentage of infected persons are likely to be reinfected within a short period of time, that may have a negligible effect on herd immunity.

There’s a very simple model of herd immunity based on absolute uniformity of susceptibility, exposure, and acquired immunity. This may be an extremely poor approximation for our huge, and hugely diverse, human family.

There’s a not-crazy (but completely unconfirmed) hypothesis that herd immunity for Covid-19 may require a much smaller percentage of infection than generally expected.

There’s a much more credible and straightforward case that people whose life makes them “hubs” (they’re regularly in contact with a lot of people) are (1) more likely to become infected, and (2) would have more of a population protection benefit should they become immune, whether by infection or vaccination. Analysis suggests that the very uneven distribution among population of frequency-of-contact lowers the proportion needed for herd immunity by more than ten percentage points.

Personally, I hope that the eventual attainment of herd immunity will be primarily by vaccination.

But the question of how many people need immunity for this, gets into a mind-bendingly vast statistical analysis of the most complex system known to us.

Clive Robinson August 24, 2020 5:23 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, ALL,

COVID-19 second infection in same person.

Yes it was something I was waiting to happen with some trepidation.

Even though there have been indicators that asymptomatic sufferers may well have got immunity from another CoV of potentially animal origin (yes having pets when children are young can help build a childs immune system).

However lurking in the back of my mind has been dengue fever and just how harmful that can be on a second infection due to a varient.

Hence your comment,

If the research is confirmed, this is Bad News for targets of Herd Immunity Policy

Is what scares me.

But even though I know you should never draw a hypothesis let alone a conclusion on a single case, I nevertheless hope that his asymptomatic response to the second infection is going to be indicative for everyone.

Whilst it’s currently to early to tell there may well be others[1] in fact logic implies that now we have observed one case there are other cases that we have either missed or have yet to see.

Thus if it’s found that subsequent infection is primarily asymptomatic then we would expect R0 to rise.

However those fond of the “Herd Immunity Policy” are apparently “linear thinkers” and no more understand exponential decay than they do exponetial rise. As the number of people that have become infected in any population increases the rate of infection drops, but importantly may not stop. In fact you would expect it to “stutter”. That is new uninfected people are born every day thus the uninfected population rises untill they meet an infectious agent which causes a fresh outbreak. Thus in effect there is a threashold at which the infection rate increases untill the ratio of infected to uninfected again causes exponential decay where upon the near linear increase in uninfected rises again and the new threshold is reached and infections rise again. The only thing stopping such a perpetual cycle is to eliminate the virus. Which as the case of “human to mink to human” demonstrates is now unlikely to happen, we can have zoonotic reservoirs acting as embers to start new flames.

[1] There is a saying that “The only numbers that realy make sense are none, one and infinity”. The implication being something does not exist, is unique or there’s an unknown number of them”. Set theory kind of says the same thing and in a way the fundemental law of natural numbers “The successor function”

SpaceLifeForm August 24, 2020 6:04 PM

@ Myliit

Your parser is working fine.

(the timing is accurate)

It is difficult to tell from the pic as to the state of the cat.

Maybe the cat had a canary?

Maybe MI5, CIA, et al, views this site as a Canary?

Maybe any IC group is really a Cat in a box?

Maybe there is no way to discern their ‘State’?

I am declaring 2020-08-24 as Super-Monday.

Because, until today, they were all Fridays.

We are all Canaries.

Wear a mask. Vote.

MarkH August 24, 2020 6:57 PM


I’m more hopeful about herd immunity … acquired by vaccination.

We know for a fact that vaccination can bring viruses to extinction, though whether it will in the case of SARS-CoV-2 I have no idea.

Even if the virus remains alive in natural reservoirs, sufficient administration of effective vaccines can reduce the reproduction rate to below one, which means that if some poor sod gets sick from a mink (or perhaps more worryingly, a house pet), very few others will catch Covid-19 from him before the ignition self-extinguishes.

There are at least 135 vaccines in one stage or another of development. My guess is that the odds are in favor of one or more of them making the grade.

On the other side, the cost of herd immunity acquired by infection is perhaps more than any society will willingly bear.

I haven’t written up a comment about it yet, but I’ve been collecting reports about hideous health consequences suffered by many who supposedly recovered from Covid-19. The picture looks really bad.

To everyone reading this: if you have the choice between risking a Covid infection, and doing something else, do the other thing.

SpaceLifeForm August 24, 2020 7:19 PM

@ name....

Recommendation for Key-Derivation Methods in Key-Establishment Schemes,

I stopped at the ‘N’, 16 chars in.

note that @ Clive may be pondering my Q,
RFC1149, and data ‘at rest’ vs data ‘in flight’.

echo August 24, 2020 7:20 PM


I had a long history with Borland, going back to Turbo Pascal 2.0. Their price increases (over 500% for some products!) and their policy of letting owners of similar Microsoft products “upgrade” for less than what we registered owners could upgrade for… that was the end of my business relationship with Borland. And from how their business collapsed, I wasn’t the only one who had had enough.

Kahn lost this grip at one point and then there is the whole Inprise thing. When Kahn finally regained a clue it was past the point of being too late.

As for the bloatware Microsoft and the C/C++ standards comittee have been pushing out plus all these fashionable bloated frameworks with duplication each insisting on being loaded not to mention the web standards gang?

I really do not care about any of this anymore. It’s all Hollywoodisation. Empire building. Lockout. Having to invest every single spare second of brain capacity betting on a single horse and hope you get it right. If I lived my life again I would never have done computing. So much of it is bullshit at the end of the day.

MarkH August 24, 2020 7:43 PM

@Bruce (on topic!):

To paraphrase The Most Interesting Man in the World, “I don’t always eat appetizers. But when I do, I prefer calamari.”


If I lived my life again I would never have done computing. So much of it is bullshit at the end of the day.

I feel your pain

echo August 24, 2020 7:43 PM


Hopefully the financing of such a vital historical asset to many countries can be put on a more secure basis than just visitor income in this pandemic that could easily carry on for another two to three years.

The UK state really doesn’t give a hoot about this or anything else. The state of management is so poor now it’s just deadweight wealth extracting careerists hanging on across many departments. What’s funny is the current psycho government we have with its “marketforces” dogma and the likes of Cummings who fancy themselves as mavaricks shaking up the system that a goodly proportion of their own voter base are very likely state employees. The same state employees both causing problems and the state employees they are complaining about.

To some degree you can see this in the election data. Where the Tories lost a lot of voters they also gained a lot of voters. The final demographics tilted in the voter base for the Tories self-selected to be more thick and nasty than before.

Bletchley Park is nothing more than a relic propping up the establishment and WWII mythology and a magnet for mugs dumb enough to subsidise tax dodgers while the establishment and Ukippers and tax dodgers laugh at you. Being on the receiving end of “the state” I regret to say I no longer care. I just want my passport so I can leave.


To everyone reading this: if you have the choice between risking a Covid infection, and doing something else, do the other thing.


A police chief has warned that people are acting like “the virus isn’t out there” after a weekend of illegal gatherings in the West Midlands, despite Birmingham edging closer to a local lockdown.

This is another example of why I just want my passport so I can leave this stupid country.

The British government has deliberately delayed taking steps necessary to secure the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – including payment of a £400m debt owed to Iran – for fear of offending the Trump administration, lawyers acting for the British-Iranian woman have alleged.


The UK stance is somewhat paradoxical, the letter says, in that the US has itself negotiated two prisoner swaps with Iran recently.

Case in point…

echo August 24, 2020 7:54 PM


We are all Canaries.

Wear a mask. Vote.

Yes we are and you make a very good and serious point. Where a system is inadequate and neglient and outsourcing costs and is built like a complex lock full of tricks and traps to prevent you getting redress and run by people with mixed motives amd creates a discriminating and undue burden where people begin to suffer harm or in some cases die you have this exact situation.

  • Everyone is a canary.
  • Everyone has to pre-emptively take measures to protectthemselves.
  • Everyone has to “decapitate” the people at the top abusing the system.

I think this is pretty much a univseral rule. When you have polarised authoritarians cheating and fixing the system and where redress only exists in theory but not practice you have no choice.

Clive Robinson August 25, 2020 4:09 AM

@ MarkH,

We know for a fact that vaccination can bring viruses to extinction

Yes as long as it does not escape from some lab where it’s still being kept for “research”.

But the necessary first step is of course having a safe and efficacious vaccine, and that is very far from certain.

Some vaccines cary a risk of about one in 12,500 people will suffer sideffects including death and longterm incapacity.

It appears that with first world healthcare the case fatality rate from covid has dropped from above 6% to less than 0.25% and is still dropping[1]. But more importantly it apprars only one in ten are actually comming to the attention of the medical proffession. Thus that 0.25% is more likely to be now 0.025% or less or something like 1 in 4000 or better, which is getting quite close to that 1 in 12,500 that is felt acceptable for some vaccines. Only time will tell about sequeli, but with systemic organ failure as part of the symptoms it would be reasonable to assume there will be more than lung damage and damaged immune systems in some peoples futures.

Thus like you,

though whether it will in the case of SARS-CoV-2 I have no idea.

I’m aware that a vaccine may not happen in my lifetime if at all. After all there are four CoV that do the rounds in humans and as the quip has it “Nobodies come up with a cure for the common cold”.

But whilst we can not stop you geting a CoV common cold, we now know enough about it to reduce it’s effects on those suceptable to a point where in our corporate view point a vaccine will not be a good idea… This is because more profit is made on remidies thus comming up with a vaccine that gets rid of the common cold would be adverse for profits… The only reason they bother with flu is that mutates so rapidly it’s unlikely an eradicating vaccine will be developed thus big Phama get the best of both in that it gets a steady profit stream on both vaccines and remedies…

[1] This drop may not be entirely due to healthcare. As with anything novel, you will have a wide range of suceptability and those that are most suceptable will normally get “winnowed out” first that is what natural herd immunity brings you. How long this winnowing out takes is of course mathmaticaly infinite but exponentialy decreasing. The reality is you eventually reach a sort of steady state with newly susceptable members of the population being born all the time, you get a stutering effect where the numbers are sufficient for a flare up to happen and die back. In practice it will not be to disimilar to that we see with some seasonal infections.

myliit August 25, 2020 4:51 AM


“… Wear a mask. Vote.“

That may be achievable, or at least we should try to do so and encourage others to do so as well. From a fascinating article: 21August 2020 2]A)

“What Happens if Donald Trump Fights the Election Results?

Stealing a Presidential election in America is difficult, but it has been done before.

[…] There are other nightmare scenarios. Foley, in particular, fears that counting delays will lead to states missing the December deadlines by which elections need to be certified to Congress. There are those who fear that Trump will exploit covid-19 to mandate emergency stay-at-home orders in Democratic-leaning cities in the final days or weeks of the campaign. There are others who point to a recently lapsed judicial-consent decree that, for decades, prevented the Republican Party from sending “poll watchers” out to intimidate voters in nonwhite neighborhoods. (“There is this real concern that officials who have been engaged in voter suppression as an electoral tactic can now weaponize covid to push that further,” Vanita Gupta, the former head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, who participated in the Transition Integrity Project, said. “Frankly, it’s all of a piece.”) And there are fears about the Portland or Lafayette Square-style deployment of federal agents across the country. Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, who sat in on two of the Transition Integrity Project’s games, told me that he couldn’t rule out Trump trying to drag the military into a postelection dispute. “That’s what worries me about this,” he said, “that anybody who told Trump that some action they were going to take was conducive to his retention of office would be told immediately, ‘Go do it.’ ”

As he has in other areas of American self-government, Trump has revealed how much of our democracy rests on norms rather than enforceable laws. Ultimately, the one norm that has been crucial to the resolution of past disputes is the one that Trump is perhaps least likely to observe: conceding defeat. In 1876, Tilden, from the start of the crisis, was privately prepared to concede and ultimately did so. And while the Supreme Court is popularly remembered as the decisive actor that handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush, it was Al Gore’s decision to concede, and to not pursue additional legal options, that really ended matters. In November, if Trump loses and refuses to concede, he may live up to one of his favorite boasts. No one will have ever seen anything like it. When I asked the Trump campaign what preparations it was making for the possibility of counts coming in slowly, or being too close to call, on and after Election Day, Tim Murtaugh, Trump’s campaign communications director, told me in an e-mailed statement, “We don’t know what kind of shenanigans Democrats will try leading up to November. If someone had asked George W. Bush and Al Gore this same question in 2000, would they have been able to foresee the drawn out fight over Florida? The central point remains clear: in a free and fair election, President Trump will win.”“

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 25, 2020 6:01 AM

Faustian Bargain, GOP Style — 25 Aug 2020
(Sung to the tune of the “Love Boat”)
It appears that in rejecting the political exercise of placing a governing theory on a placard as a hand out during a convening of Republicans has been replaced with a ring kissing ceremony. What’s troubling about this, the GOP in mass has decided to cast their lot with their new emperor and king, one D. J. Trump.

Getting Behind–uh–Your Lord…I mean Leadership
A party and its leadership doesn’t abandon their principals for tactical purposes, especially in this case, but to cement a covenant and align politically with a new authoritarian figure-head as a strategic maneuver. Trump is the tool and not the craftsman. As a failed political figure with a number of political toddies connected to his tit, there is no political strategy too outlandish. They bet the farm on the fact that the crops would come in, farmer Trump promised them. “He said if we planted magic beans we will have the best season ever, the greatest, the best. And that only he can produce the magic beans they need and want.” Wow, there really is one born every 14.14 femtoseconds.

Putting it All on Red
Evidentially the GOP did an all in trade as a means of survival. Their backers are aware of the deviation from political participation and helped make accommodations for convenience and self preservation and interest–in totality. A whole party has decided to jettison the exercise of politics and has moved straight to wielding naked power…this tells me the election is unlikely. Too bad the greater number of GOP members had no hand or say in how this is to work. The single determinate factor, one must be a Trump loyalist.

The Dance of the Seven Veils
In this situation, the group (GOP) has committed to a strategy to maintain power, not a democratic republic. The general public has not been informed of this change either. Duping their supporters into believing that might makes right not realizing they just traded their future away. Those thinking there is a seat at the table for them don’t understand that it is they that will be served up for dinner. If you don’t already have an assigned seat, you will have an assigned plate as a menu item. As the neo-kleptocratic-theonomic-fascists repeat; “God, Party, Country!”

“Lucy will do it this time, I’m sure.”
When the worst of the worst convince others to make alliances, the promises made were to the alliance for whatever it may bring. It is not to cement a relationship or foster a union of effort. The exercise of alliance is purely an instrument for the furtherance of another goal. People are blind to the con, they believe that they have access to the secret the street magician employs to keep the pea under a different shell. It’s only after the shell is lifted that the sucker realizes that they have been had, again and again and again.

Wesley Parish August 25, 2020 6:18 AM

Another from ArsTechnica

Bridgefy, the messenger promoted for mass protests, is a privacy disaster

A key shortcoming that makes many of these attacks possible is that Bridgefy offers no means of cryptographic authentication, which one person uses to prove she’s who she claims to be. Instead, the app relies on a user ID that’s transmitted in plaintext to identify each person. Attackers can exploit this by sniffing the ID over the air and using it to spoof another user.


myliit August 25, 2020 6:24 AM

Singapore Noodles

“ idiots …”

iirc, Feynman’s word not mine. i prefer to mutter, or mumble, a bunch of dummies, in general. On the lighter, not far, side I heard that The 3 Stooges had a version of a tisket a tasket in the movie i want my mummy. [1]. Anyway here’s Ella Fitzgerald in ride ‘em cowboy and Ella with Count Basie.
Ella Fitzgerald “A-Tisket-A-Tasket” 1942 (1938 recording, too, may interest you)
Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie – A Tisket a Tasket (Norman Granz Jazz in Montreux 1979)


“… Curly Howard recites a paraphrase of the (non-musical) rhyme in The Three Stooges short We Want Our Mummy (1939). …”

MarkH August 25, 2020 11:27 AM


I speculate that the most important factor in declining death rates, is a pair of changes in “nursing homes” (congregate residences for the elderly): first, they have learned protocols to prevent the virus from sweeping through unchecked; and second, many of the most susceptible residents already perished.

If that is true (and I suspect that it’s a reasonably accurate picture), then we can’t expect to extrapolate the declines in death rate — and in my judgment, the much more important rate of people with heart, lung, and nervous system damage.

Remember, there is serious reason to be believe that even people who never felt ill, have had their health significantly impaired, perhaps permanently.

I suggest that it’s very unlikely, that the public health damage from Covid-19 in an unvaccinated population will ever fall to the level induced by typical vaccines.

You keep mentioning profit motives, as though this were a typical context for vaccine development. It ain’t.

There are more than 135 vaccine developments in progress. This has never happened before.

The pandemic is costing the global economy a trillion dollars every few weeks. This has never happened before.

If it costs hundreds of billions of dollars to get enough people vaccinated, the money will be found: it will be cheaper than not vaccinating by a very large factor.

I understand your feelings about the Money Men: they are reptilian, sociopathic, selfish, and cruel. When it’s in their selfish and cruel interest to do something, they will get it done. Although there are profit opportunities in crisis, in the long run arresting the pandemic will improve their balance sheets … no altruism needed 🙂

JonKnowsNothing August 25, 2020 1:54 PM

@MarkH @Clive @All


I speculate that the most important factor in declining death rates, is a pair of changes in “nursing homes” (congregate residences for the elderly): first, they have learned protocols to prevent the virus from sweeping through unchecked; and second, many of the most susceptible residents already perished.

Interesting timing… I was doing additional research on the value of depopulation aka Herd Immunity Policy promoted by Anders Tegnell The Great Guru of Depopulation as a Benefit to the Economy. The recent FOIA reports from the Swedish Press on Anders Tegnell’s email exchanges is very illuminating.

In regard to your statement here are stats from California dated 08 23 2020.

These are metrics for the past 7 days from All Skilled Nursing Homes in California and as bonus the same site provides same data for All Licensed Health Care Workers in California too. note: family care givers and private homes are not included, only licensed facilities and licensed health workers.

The data is by day and cumulative. Totals and the top 7 deadliest counties in California for the current surge (which may be slowing as some of the overflow hospitals appear to be off-line).

Some simple takeaways from the morass:
 2500+ SNF Residents are currently infected with COVID19
 3900+ SNF Residents are dead from COVID19 (site definition)
 ~750 HCW were infected with COVID19 this week

You may notice a potential problem with your hypothesis.

COVID19 metrics (last 7 days)  dated 08 23 2020
    08 17   08 18   08 19   08 20   08 21   08 22   08 23
workers 63  63  51  86  83  60  62
    16,385  16,510  16,631  16,756  16,921  17,042  17,134
residents 08 17 08 18 08 19 08 20 08 21 08 22 08 23 w COVID19 2621 2713 2419 2714 2543 2458 2545 C19 dead 3770 3797 3826 3826 3891 3918 3933
CA Total Infected SNF Residents 2545 CA Total C19 Dead SNF Residents 3933 CA Total Heath Workers Infected 17,134 CA Total HCW Dead 140
Most Dead by County Los Angeles 2,061 Orange 270 San Bernardino 243 Riverside 188 San Diego 131 Alameda 104 Tulare 104

ht tps://
  to pop out the data table do a “share link” from the bottom and paste in a separate browser tab

ht tps://
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

MarkH August 25, 2020 3:08 PM


The statistics are unreadable on my phone, and even if I could read them I’m not confident I would know how to evaluate them.

Those of us who follow information security know that there are probably hundreds of thousands of pages of Best Practices and Lessons Learned publicly available to any who wish to learn … but most people don’t bother.

What I know, is that in my region, near one of the first U.S. “hot spots,” nursing home deaths were massive, and now reportedly are near zero. The safety protocols aren’t rocket science, but need a little knowledge plus plenty of discipline and organization.

I suppose something similar may have happened in Sweden, where care home deaths became a national scandal, and the total death rate has declined very sharply. Sweden is good at medical care and social services — once they knew what to do, they probably did it promptly and thoroughly.

My point to Clive is that cutting the heavy death rate in this specialized zone made a big difference in the total — but it’s a trick that can’t be repeated. Until there’s a medical breakthrough, there won’t be another intervention that can bring about such a large decline in deaths.

JonKnowsNothing August 25, 2020 6:08 PM


Smartphones not good for researchers – need ultra-wide screens 😉

The summary points are for California:

  1. Infection rates in Skilled Nursing Facilities is NOT going down
  2. Infection rates in Health Care Workers CONTINUES daily
  3. Death rates continue to be HIGH in Skilled Nursing Facilities
  4. Death rates are NOT slowing down (they lag infection rates significantly)
  5. Hospitals often avoid the death count statistic by moving TRIAGE patients to Skilled Nursing Facilities where the death counts are less visible.

California is a big state with lots of counties. Some areas will have zero reported deaths because there are none, some will have zero reported deaths because the baseline is set at 4 or 5, some will have zero reported deaths because the baseline is set at 100 and some will show zero deaths because they only update certain statistics once or twice a week or just once a month.

All of the above is true in California and depends on which Official Site you look at and how often you track the numbers. Such information is not easy to locate, any more than turning off location tracking is easy to do. It is by design and intention. It’s not a mistake or an oopsie. The good news is, that the data CAN BE found, there are some folks still in the background who manage to get the data out here and there. Sometimes you have to download the dataset and look directly for the columns that have been omitted from the public dashboards or find the raw numbers behind webpage presentation graphs.

It’s a puzzlement. One thing folks on this site like are Puzzles.

note: Skilled Nursing Facilities provide services to many age groups. Not just for the elderly but also for rehab and for disabling conditions. People sent for rehab from hospital for a physical condition have died there. It’s not just the old and infirm.

MarkH August 25, 2020 6:35 PM


Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?

A. To show the possum that it can be done.

(Apologies to non-U.S. readers.)

Preventing care facility deaths from Covid can be done; it’s been proven.

Typically in the U.S., this function is served by vast numbers of fairly independent private for-profit businesses. I still don’t know the death rate per unit of facility population in California, but if it’s as bad as it seems, then the best practices haven’t been followed 🙁

The state and county governments aren’t fulfilling their duties.

echo August 25, 2020 9:07 PM

Kevin Blowe, the coordinator of Netpol, which monitors policing, said he was looking out for instances of the police using the new measure to crack down on protests. “In this particular instance it’s because it is associated with carnival, and they have convinced themselves that it’s basically an alternative to carnival. That’s the alarming thing, the alarming factor of the police deciding what is or isn’t an article 11 [right to] protest.”

The UK has a problem with authoritarianism and too many job titles either politicising something or forcing people to the courts. This is one single isolated example and it’s not restricted to race issues but pretty general. Even if the job titles are “on your side” it’s usually because they are empire building and using you as an excuse to go on a begging trip.

Hundreds of psychiatrists have urged the government not to fine families for refusing to send their children to school in England, warning of anxiety if young people are asked to return to classrooms before they are ready. In a letter to the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, the chair of the faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr Bernadka Dubicka, said: “The threat of fines could force parents of children who feel anxious to send them back to school, even if they’re not ready. “This could have serious consequences on their mental health, especially if they are worried about family shielding. Fines could bring more financial stress on families as we’re entering a recession, severely affecting children’s and parents’ mental health.” The letter was signed by 250 child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Cops and psychs. Two sides of the same coin but like I said this tinpot god and special pleading nonsense is rife. They’re not the only “least effort” box tickers in town.

SpaceLifeForm August 26, 2020 1:31 AM

@ Myliit

re the ‘stuff’ Marcy received.

Best of my recollection, and piecing together ‘stuff’….

She received some information, unsolicited.

She was surprised, but did not act upon it.

Over time, as other events happened, she connected some dots.

I believe she realized that what she had received from the sender was a problem.

That the sender should have never had that information in the first place.

So, she went to the FBI.

Clive Robinson August 26, 2020 1:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, name.withheld…,

Clive may be pondering my Q, RFC1149, and data ‘at rest’ vs data ‘in flight’.

This “bird brain” can not remember the question, but I do vaguely remember 1149 was superceaded by 2549.

But speaking of our avian foes in city environments, the “flying rats” whilst stupid in many ways appear to have found a way of curing themselves of a couple of diseases (bumble foot and scaley leg[1]). For several decades the vermin were commonly seen in cebtral London and other city places in a state of obvious ill health one obvious sign of was rotting, bloated or missing feet. Another crusty skin and loss of feathers etc. In the wild anything less than fit birds would get picked off by other predators, but in towns and cities their natural predators are lacking so disease runs through the flying rats faster than an Olympic sprinter through a tape.

But… Apparently by building nests out of the discarded remains of cigarettes the high nicotine concentrations act as both a pesticide for the mites and also preventing the bacterial infections gangreen and necrosis and loss of feet.

So as well as not feeding the vermin, leaving “dog ends” around should be on the “DO NOT DO” list…

[1] Bumble foot (ulcerative pododermatitis) is a little like “Trench Foot” in humans, it’s caused by poor nutrition and standing in infected waste such as that from the gastric tract or from decomposing flesh. The flying rats stand clumped together more by choice than any other reason in their own droppings. This clumping together alows other parisites to easily transfere and this includes the mites that cause scaly leg etc (knemidocoptiasis) that has a similar effect in the vermin as “mange” does in foxes, dogs, and the like.

Clive Robinson August 26, 2020 2:07 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The article has a currious and key paragraph,

    “With tens of millions of dollars flowing in, both races are expected to be competitive, and the two parties are seeking every opportunity for an advantage.”

Firstly this is nothing but a gruby greed fest sponsored by unknown persons in an illegal way.

Secondly note how it says “two parties” even though it’s actually about “three parties”…

The US needs not just less money in politics it needs way way way more independent accounting, monitoring and above all transparency to those who vote. After all they should be entitled to know what low life sleeze balls are being courted for cash in that less than subtal whoring of campain financing and legislation buying / influance peddling.

myliit August 26, 2020 6:52 AM

@Clive Robinson

iirc, you have pointed out the Fox News influence on this side of the pond. 43:11 transcript available

“ ‘Hoax’ Traces The ‘Grotesque Feedback Loop’ Between President Trump And Fox News

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. In the new book “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, And The Dangerous Distortion Of Truth,” my guest Brian Stelter describes how Fox News provides talking points for President Trump and how Trump controls kind of parts of Fox News. Stelter is CNN’s chief media correspondent and hosts CNN’s Sunday morning show “Reliable Sources,” which covers how the media is covering the news. Before that, Stelter was a media reporter for The New York Times.

In his new book, Stelter writes, Fox effectively produced the president’s intelligence briefings and staffed the federal bureaucracy. Never before has a president promoted a single TV channel asked the host for advice behind closed doors and demanded for them to be fired when they step out of line. The book is based in part on Stelter’s interviews with more than 140 staffers at Fox plus 180 former staffers and others with direct ties to the network. He says some people who still work there told him Fox had become dangerous to democracy.


GROSS: Well, in terms of the future at Fox News, what if Trump loses this election and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected? What happens at Fox? They will no longer have the president’s ear.

STELTER: Trump is Fox’s Frankenstein. That’s the way one commentator at the network put it to me. They created this – (laughter) well, I guess, in the metaphor, he’s a monster. They created this man. And now he’s out of control. There’s certainly a fear at Fox that Trump will go off and launch his own network if he loses the election, that he will become a rival to Fox News. But there’s also a certain confidence inside the company that Fox is bigger than Trump now, that Fox is more powerful, even, than the president and that Fox is always most successful not on defense for Trump, but on offense against the Democrats. This is, I think, the most important thing that I learned by watching hundreds of hours of Fox television. The channel is more anti-Democrat than it is pro-Trump. And by being anti-Democrat, of course, they are helping Trump.

But at its heart, the channel is oppositional. At its heart, the channel is about being against Democrats. That’s why when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was elected to Congress, a Fox producer texted me and said, thank you, Queens, thank you to the Bronx, you know, because they were so thrilled they had this new enemy, this new, young woman who they could Create hours and hours of programming about. I think Fox executives look at a potential Biden presidency and they say, we will become the voice of the opposition just as we were in the Obama years. And that could be a very winning business model even though Trump will be out of office.

GROSS: I watch your show every Sunday. And…

STELTER: Thank you.

GROSS: You’re welcome. It’s a good show.

STELTER: (Laughter).

GROSS: And I love hearing people talk about, you know, the media and how the media is covering the news, which is what you do on your show. But my impression is – and correct me if I’m wrong – that you’ve changed in the years that you’ve been hosting the show. You’re much more outspoken about what you see. You’re much more opinionated and comfortable giving your own opinions. Am I right about that? And if so – what changed in you and in what you were seeing that led you to be more outspoken and opinionated?

STELTER: In 10 or 20 years, I want to be able to look back and be proud of how I covered the Trump presidency. I think that’s the ultimate test for any journalist right now. Will you be proud of what you said and what you did? I have definitely been outspoken on “Reliable Sources.” I’ve been doing more monologues than I used to and so have a lot of other CNN anchors.

I think we have found that those personal essays where we are just speaking straight to the camera are sometimes the best way to cut through all the noise of the Trump years. Sometimes talking straight to the camera and explaining what the president did or didn’t do, explaining how we know it’s a lie, I think that’s more effective than having a debate between two talking heads or falling for that both-sides trap because, Terry, there are certain things that we have to stand up for. Truth and decency and democracy, those are not partisan values. They should never be viewed as partisan values.

When we have a president who is indecent, when he is calling the press the enemy of the people, we should stand up against that. You’re definitely right, though, that I have changed a bit. I remember the weekend that he first called the press the enemy. And I said on the air, the American press is stronger than a demagogue. This is going to be a hard period. But we are stronger than any demagogue. And I think that’s been borne out in the past three years. This has been an incredible time for the news media to try to defend the very notion of truth.”

JonKnowsNothing August 26, 2020 2:15 PM

@Clive @All

re: Solar CME and Earthquakes 08 25 2020

Well nothing particularly earth shattering happened in my part of the world but there were earthquakes all over elsewhere. These are pretty normal afaik.

There were 3 bigger ones on the Pacific Ring of Fire but not particularly the on exact antipode of California.

  1. M 6.1 – 141 km SSW of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
    Time 2020-08-25 12:08:53 (UTC-07:00)
    Location 5.544°S 151.834°E
    Depth 25.2 km
  2. M 5.7 – 141 km SSW of Kokopo, Papua New Guinea
    Time 2020-08-25 12:02:58 (UTC-07:00)
    Location 5.549°S 151.845°E
    Depth 21.2 km
  3. M 5.1 – 133 km WSW of Labuan, Indonesia
    Time 2020-08-25 16:27:57 (UTC-07:00)
    Location 6.657°S 104.655°E
    Depth 35.0 km

ht tps://,-82.96875&extent=83.02726,450
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

JonKnowsNothing August 26, 2020 2:29 PM

@Clive @MarkH @All

re: COVID-19 second infection in same person.

Ars has posted an update to their report with a link to the research paper. They also had a link to a pdf showing the phylogenic tree.

The phylogenic tree seems to indicate that the infections are from 2 versions the B genome: B.1 and B.2

ht tps://
note: this was posted 08 25 2020

ht tps://
note: this has links to the full research and now published study.
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

vas pup August 26, 2020 2:51 PM

@MarkH, Clive and other interested in the subject bloggers

Modern spy satellites in an age of space wars

I put some good extracts, but article is very good as a whole and plus as usually short video inside. Enjoy!

“Space is a battleground for dominance among major powers. About a fifth of all satellites belongs to the military and are used for spying. The US launches two more this year.

For a spy satellite, America’s NROL-44 is a massive, open secret — both in size and fact. We know that the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) plans to launch this new classified satellite, and we know its name. We also know that it’s part of a class of US spy satellites called Orion (also known as Mentor or Advanced Orion) that began operation in 1995. But its legacy stretches all the way back to America’s original CORONA spy satellites in the 1960s and 70s.

At the time of writing, NROL-44 was scheduled to launch on August 27 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 2:16 a.m. EDT (0616 UTC).

It’s one of a set of NRO missions this year, which includes NROL-151, a national security satellite launched in January, and NROL 101, which is yet to come.

NROL-44 is a huge signals intelligence, or SIGINT, satellite, says David Baker, a former NASA scientist who worked on Apollo and Shuttle missions, has written numerous books, including US Spy Satellites and is editor of SpaceFlight magazine.

“SIGINT satellites are the core of national government, military security satellites. They are massive things for which no private company has any purpose,” says Baker.


“Technically, the boundary has become very blurred and the best of the civilian satellites are taking pictures that would only have been available to military people less than 20 years ago,” says Norris.

===>And governments do profit from the many commercial, hi-resolution satellites out there.

!!!!”These companies are spilling out vast amounts of images and all you have to do is pick that stuff up. You’ve no need to hack in,” says Baker. “Governments buy up information via third-parties and often it’s companies selling products in good faith to other companies, whose sole purpose is to pass that data onto governments.”

“Why space debris is “good for space defense”

The number of active satellites keeps growing. But there’s so much going in the world on that there still aren’t enough to cover everything, everywhere, says Baker.

So, we keep on launching satellites. As a result, some people worry about congestion in space, or satellites bumping into each other, and the threat of a collision causing space debris that could damage other satellites or knock out communications networks.

But that may have benefits, too — little bits of spy satellite can hide in all that mess and connect wirelessly to create a “virtual satellite,” says Baker. “There are sleeper satellites which look like debris. You launch all the parts separately and disperse them into various orbits. So, you would have sensors on one bit, an amplifier on another bit, a processor on another, and they’ll be orbiting relatively immersed in space debris.”

“Space debris is very good for the space defense industry,” says Baker, “because the more there is, the more you can hide in it.”

And France says it’s investing in space lasers.

“Lasers and particle beam weapons — those were the dream ticket of President Reagan in the 1980s — you don’t need all that hi-tech, gee whizz stuff,” says Baker.


Sherman Jay August 26, 2020 3:37 PM

I am not competent to dialog about quantum computing. I am aware of how tiny and vulnerable the latest conventional computer boards and chips are. So, I thought you might find this interesting.

And, there are numerous articles available all over the internet that talk about how the ‘current administration’s’ work slowing the covid-19 testing and changing the CDC recommendations to reduce the number of people tested (if you don’t have symptoms don’t get tested) are falsely reducing the number of cases the news reports to the public. Add to that that all the statistics have been hijacked and are going to administration political cronies, not health agencies, so they can falsify the numbers released anyway they want.

I say this calmly, thoughtfully, based on scientific/medical info: There are too many smokescreens. We are not safe. There is no security. It is not getting better. Stay masked. Stay distanced. Stay safe.

Sherman Jay August 26, 2020 4:31 PM

I promise this is the last for today:

more fun from the ‘but we already knew that’ Department:

the following is just a summary, all detail behind subscription paywall


Clive Robinson August 26, 2020 5:02 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Well nothing particularly earth shattering happened in my part of the world but there were earthquakes all over elsewhere. These are pretty normal afaik.

In a way we were lucky or more precisely not as unlucky as we could have been.

NASA and others had calculated the odds of being hit by the CME at various points from it’s solar flare being detected. But like “butterflies in Brazil” or where ever it’s supposed to be we do not know which one is going to cause the chaos or not. So we can only make an informed guess as to what will happen or more correctly might happen.

The CME was large and we knew fairly quickly we were not going to get it full on but to one side. Thus the questions of “how far off?” and “at what orientation?” came into play.

As I indicated some where predicting “no event” whilst others “Oh my God we will be crushed”. The thing to remember as I indicated is that the Earth realy is a very small target and even though massive in expanse relative to the size of the Earth the CME “mass” is not a big bullet when it gets out this far. Thus the odds of being hit let alone hard hit are realy not that big.

As it turns out as far as I can tell we did get sort of hit but it was from the quite dispersed edge. Thus bot a lot happened other than a little more light up in the sky.

The problem is CME’s like volcanoes erupting or large rocks/snowballs dropping out of the sky have quite a range even on a logrithmic scale. With the “when” a good less predictable than the mean.

Thus all though we can say, “there’s one on it’s way”, we actually can not say very much about it untill it’s too late to take precautions.

So all we can do is flag up a warning for people saying “take precautions if you wish too”.

Thankfully we are general wrong so we tend only to take minimal precautions.

In my case it was disconnect the antennas and power cables screw on the “dust cap” shorts and drop the kit in it’s metal boxes lock down the lids, then do the food/water checks those in tornado ally do, then go sit down with a nice hot cup of tea and wait for the all clear.

I do similar when stormy weather and lightning is likely to happen. When you’ve previously lost kit worth about the equivalent of 50,000USD in todays money you tend to keep more of a weather eye open.

Mind you whilst I know I can prepare for very high voltages, current is rather a different animal. EMP’s tend to be fast and high voltage, whilst CME’s are more likely to be slow and high current and IR heating is more of a problem than most realise.

Sherman jay August 26, 2020 6:44 PM

@Clive, @JonKnowsNothing, ALL,
I do seriously appreciate your info on the CME vs EMP voltage/current and Infrared Heating info. I have been searching and couldn’t find any info on whether, and how deep, underground storage (sealed from exposure) would protect electronics.

I apologize (I promised not to post anymore today, but it is too tempting)

I have a good amount of carefully selected redundant computer and electronics equipment in a faraday container (sealed, no cracks, solid steel, insulated lining of 1/2″ high voltage resistant plastic and isolated from the ground) as a JIC.

But, my whimsical mind envisioned me climbing into a full body Carrington Suit (all foil lined and sealed). Of course, I’d not be able to see anything and probably would bump into my desk and knock the computer off.

Thanks for putting up with me.

JonKnowsNothing August 27, 2020 1:51 AM

@Clive @All

MSM Report on new technique that reduces Dengue virus transmission

Infecting mosquitos with a bacteria and releasing them in the environment reduced dengue fever infections in areas where it is common. The mechanism is unknown but infecting the mosquitos with Wolbachia inhibited their ability to transmit the dengue virus. The infected mosquitos behaved normally and their population was not affected but the areas where the treated mosquitos were release had significantly less dengue infections.

This same technique has been trialed in other dengue infected countries and may be effective against other mosquito borne virus like zika.

buckets of mosquito eggs infected with Wolbachia were gradually distributed to homes in the city over a period of around six months. In total, about 6 million mosquitoes were released across an area of 13 square kilometres, where they then infected other wild mosquitoes.

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ht tps://

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Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.[1] Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection.[2] These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.[1][2] Recovery generally takes two to seven days.[1] In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm August 27, 2020 1:58 AM

@ Clive

I mentioned RFC1149 because of the bandwidth available, and possibly being more reliable and faster than the USPS. (USPS taking nearly a week to deliver a letter across town).

The security of the data whether ‘at rest’ or ‘in flight’ is a concern.

In the Avian Carrier case, the data ‘in flight’ may end up becoming data ‘at rest’, due to issues beyond control of the carrier.

In the USPS case, the data ‘in flight’ may be up becoming data ‘at rest’ (or worse), due to issues totally under control of the carrier.

My thought being, any cryptography applied to a chunk of data, should NOT take into consideration whether the data is ‘at rest’ or is ‘in flight’.

So, the question to me is: What would be design considerations for the data that must be encrypted and signed, in case of ‘lost carrier’?

What would be approaches and trade-offs in the cases where the data is small (floppy or less) versus data is large(MB or more)? If any?

We are past the point of a station wagon full of nine-track tapes when a pigeon with microSD cards has better bandwidth.

Putting these numbers together, if you were to load up a carrier pigeon to its maximum capacity of 75 grams with 1 TB microSD cards weighing 250 mg each, the pigeon would be carrying a total of 300 TB of data. Flying at its top sprinting speed, if that pigeon were to make its way from San Francisco to New York (4,130 km), it would achieve a data rate of 12 TB per hour, or 28 Gbps, which is several orders of magnitude faster than most Internet connections—here in the United States, the fastest average upload speeds can be found in Kansas City (through Google Fiber), at a paltry 127.0 Mbps. At that upload speed, it would take you more than 240 days to transfer 300 TB of data, in which time our pigeon could circle the entire globe 25 times.

This example isn’t very realistic, assuming some sort of super pigeon, so let’s tone things down a bit. Let’s use a more average flight speed of 70 km/h, and only give the bird half of its maximum capacity in 1 TB microSD cards to carry, 37.5 grams worth. Even if we assume that we have access to a very fast 1 Gbps Internet connection, the pigeon still wins.

And because of the forethought required to implement a carrier pigeon service, pigeon-comparable sneakernet alternatives (like fixed-wing drones) might ultimately be more viable. Having said that, pigeons still maintain some key advantages: they scale well, they work for literally peanuts (or the equivalent in pigeon chow), they’re likely far more reliable, they have highly sophisticated obstacle avoidance software and hardware already integrated into their airframes, and they’re experts at recharging their own batteries.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2020 3:28 AM

@ Sherman Jay,

voltage/current and Infrared Heating

The expresion “IR heating” is context sensitive. When talking of Voltage (V) current (I) and power (P) it referes to the power caused by a current in a resistor (R).

Thus from Ohms Law (V=IR) and basic electrical power law (P=IV) you get a couple of basic formular. The easiest is to substitute Ohms law into the power law to replace V,

P=I.V, =I.(I.R), =I2.R

Which as “Eye squared Are” is a bit of a mouthfull just gets called “IR heating”.

You will note there is no requirment for an alternating current (AC) component. However Infrared heating is a small part of electromagnetic (EM) heating which is all about the AC. EM heating is part of something called diathermy[1] or dialectric heating and works from about 13MHz in the middle of the HF band upwards. ~2.5GHz is where your microwave oven works as that is a good frequency for “-O-H” molecule tails to vibrate at you find a lot of them hanging off of organic molecules like “fat” and water –which is effectively two of them– so most food gets hot fairly quickly (the white of eggs is low in OH compared to the yolk which is why “whole eggs” go pop fairly vigourously in microwaves). The main trade off with EM heating is “wavelength -v- heating depth” the higher the frequency the smaller the wavelength which is good for mechanical construction, however it’s also a lot less heating depth, by the time you get up to infrared frequencies it’s the same as it is in a conventional gas/electric oven.

[1] Diathermy is derived from Greek and means “Heating through” the implication being it can cross “free space” via Electromagnetic Radiation which is most definitely an AC effect.

echo August 27, 2020 3:54 AM


Time and computational cost versus time to break. Quick and dirty versus slow and careful. The essential point being what is adequate. E.g. There is no point using a supercomputer to take three minutes to encrypt an amount of data versus a “Noddy” (See also “Fischer Price”) level CPU which can begin streaming instantly if the data only needs to be secure for as low as, say, three hours or three days or three weeks not three decades or more.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2020 4:07 AM

@ Sherman Jay,

I have been searching and couldn’t find any info on whether, and how deep, underground storage (sealed from exposure) would protect electronics.

Yes being underground does improve things, but “how deep” is extreamly variable. The place you will find most information is discussions on antennas.

This is because the ground acts like a mirror and reflects EM radiation, which is why we can have effective quater wave vertical antennas (all antennas need to be a halfwave or multiple to come to resonance thus the ground provides a reflection of the quaterwave making it effectively a center fed halfwave dipole).

Dry sand is realy little different to glass which is what the bulk of most soils are. The more minerals and organic matter it has in it the better it reflects (thus screens) the ideal being quite salty water which is why many “Ham Radio” operators like to operate near large bodies of water.

In the UK and Europe much of which is part of the “northern deciduous band” there is a lot of leaf and other vegitation matter in the top soik which traps water and minerals and alows the formation of clay soils that trap water even more effectively. It’s normall in the UK and Europevto bury mains power and telecommunications cables in the ground by two or more feet which due to the soil conditions does provide a good degree of isolation to EM signals.

But… An EMP burst and to a lesser degree CME event provides vertical movment of charged particles which tend to penetrate and be absorbed more than they do reflected. I’m aware that real world EMP research has been done, however as far as I’m aware much of the detailed information is still classified.

Thus to find out how effective the soil in your area is you would need to do some ground conductance tests as a starting point then move to other tests[1]. Altetnatively work on the theory that 5ft of deciduous forest floor type soil provided it’s near water saturation should be adequate. Alternatively down the bottom of a copper or silver mine might be a good storage place if you can stop the damp and corrosion.

[1] There is a delightfull story of people using long wave radio’s back in the 1960’s tuned to the then 200kHz BBC signal from Droitwich in the UK Midlands and digging a “test hole” and putting a radio in the bottom and when they could nolonger detect the signal they assumed they were “deep enough” for the coverage on their “bomb shelter”…

Clive Robinson August 27, 2020 4:56 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

In the Avian Carrier case, the data ‘in flight’ may end up becoming data ‘at rest’, due to issues beyond control of the carrier.

“There thum damn War Hawks gets themselves everywhere” 😉

So with a pigeon there is no real fall back it either arives “sometime” or it gets found as a skeleton in somebodies chimny in leafy Surrey seventy years later perhaps oddly by a Mr Martin[1].

Which brings us around to,

My thought being, any cryptography applied to a chunk of data, should *NOT* take into consideration whether the data is ‘at rest’ or is ‘in flight’.

When you think about it the mode of carrying the data should not impact the design of the data security unless it impacts the method of carrying (a pigeon could not carry an enigma machine but a Spitfire aircraft would hardly notice).

With modern electronics your design is thus dependent on the information theoretic security and time.

Information theoretic security is quite often “a bit iffy” with new attack methods making what was previously thought to be secure now less if not totaly insecure way faster than the expected improvments in computing power (see history of WiFi security).

But time is a human issue and contracts in normal use such as mortgages are 25years but property leases in the 1000-10000 years are rather more common than people might think (Guiness Brewery in Ireland being but one). One a more practical side, whilst I do not expect modern smart meters to last the old electromechanical meters could be 50years in service, which would imply a security requirment of atleast twice that long or a hundred years. Likewise for “Sealed Public Office Records” giving you 200 years.

So working on a blanket 1000 years secure time frame would be a starting point.

If you look back on this blog you will find discussions between myself and @Nick P about “chaining ciphers” because of the “unexpected break” issue. The idea being you use two or more encryption algorithms in series with the designs of the algorithms being “orthagonal” with respect to each other.

I’ve seen very little work on this subject but it’s a place where I would advise people to start looking.


Clive Robinson August 27, 2020 5:29 AM

@ echo,


blockquote>This is an interesting essay on Hegel and how “modes of reasoning”…

Yes it is, but the last paragraph kind of nails it down and it is from some of the clearist and keenest observers and thinkers in society “comedians”,

    “Freedom doesn’t mean being irresponsible. Freedom which only expresses itself as irresponsibility is the end of freedom,” said Schroeder, as the boos grew louder. “Freedom means you have to suffer someone like me. That, my friends, is dialectics.”

As I’ve been saying for some time now, it’s all about,

    “Individual rights -v- Social responsabilities”

Those who’s mantra screams the former, whilst denying the latter are failing to realise that their much touted “rights” come from the charitability of “society”. Without which they would be total failures.

Society is a tide that can lift all vessels that are worthy but those that are fragile fail and sink. A point I’ve been making about supply chains and outsourcing for all of this century and the better part of a decade before.

Whilst these ideas may not be palatable to some, centuries of conflict has shown that armies should never be made of individualists, or have long supply lines both of those are recipies for disasters. But you would have to have studied history and acknowledged it’s relevance, something that demagogues and those who believe they are entitled, rarely if ever do as they shout their mantras at whomever can be coerced.

On another not to disimilar note you made comment about MBA’s and blaim.

From my view yes they are to blaim for much of this nonsense, but then is it them as individuals or what they are taught? Also why is an MBA course that is so obviously wrong taught in the first place?

Sometimes money is the route of evil, even though it is just an agnostic tool.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2020 3:41 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, myliit, ALL,

A little more on the CME that missed us a few days back,

We kind of got lucky in that it mainly went south and east of us, but the auroral increase was worth it for some.

Also the ISS crew managed to catch some freshly launched satellites as thy went just over the auroral zone. If the CME had hit it would have been a significant event and those newly launched satellites could have been in trouble.

vas pup August 27, 2020 5:02 PM

Syria war: American troops hurt as Russian and US military vehicles collide:

Q: do we really need further confrontation with Russia now during COVID, mass riots around the country,trade war with China?

I guess the best policy is to select main target and subordinate other targets to main task, but they (you know who I mean) think they do have crystal ball and know better 🙁

SpaceLifeForm August 27, 2020 5:05 PM

@ Myliit

That was CliffNotes.

Strongly suspect the sender will be on TV

As a talking head.

RSN. Real Soon Now.

For small values of ‘Soon’.

Stay tuned.

SpaceLifeForm August 27, 2020 5:55 PM

A Metadata study:

Individuals with obesity and A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships

In addition to Covid-19’s critical economic constraints, its impacts on diets may pose lifelong risks to populations around the globe. Food habits developed during this period, particularly the intake of ultraprocessed foods, represent a major health risk.

[Is beer an ultraprocessed food? Maybe I should have ate the fly that flew into my beer last night]

Clive Robinson August 28, 2020 12:18 AM

@ vas pup,

Are lockdowns damaging our mental health?

The evidence comming in via health practicioners indicates that the first thing to consider is how much a person is in lockdown with regards their normal life. That is someone who leads a solitary work life and sublimates any social life to other factors such as work/education is going to be less effectad because the change in their life is smaller than for others.

After normalising for the actual level of difference it appears two factors come into play,

1, Where you are on a particular socio-economic ladder.

2, How gregarious you are within various peer groups.

The lower you are on the first and the more needy you are on the second indicates amongst other things,

1, Your likelyhood to increase the use of alcohol or recreational drugs.

2, Your likelyhood to increased iritability or depression.

3, Your likelyhood to breaking quarantine and other rules.

4, Your likelyhood towards violence or other ways of hurting people.

So yes like any change in life it effects us, the greater the “unwanted” change the more adverse effects it has on mental health, which leads, as it has a habit of doing in other non lockdown changes, to adverse physical effects such as excessive risk taking to try and make up for lost stimulation.

That said lockdown has been benificial for many and in a way liberating they have put their before life into some kind of perspective and acted upon it, and this is likely to have greater longterm changes than most people realise.

Firstly your ability to work from home is related to how far you are along the “works with information” path. Which tends to mean that the further up you are in managment the easier it is to work from home. Thus as many are realising there is no need to go to an office to do work[1]. This for instance has not been lost on the UK’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) who have less than subtly pointed out that Post-COVID offices in city centers will be of less and less relevance and usage will drop off, and this inturn will kill small busineses that have built up to support office workers. What the CBI did not mention is what the knock on effect on workers at the bottom of the ladder from cleaners and maintainence staff up through the 20-30% of the workforce who are there for “makework” reasons that arise from empire building, who will be superfluous if the organisations move from a central office in a city model to a distributed home working model. Personally I suspect their real concern is actually the “rent seaking” premises owners and the financial institutions dependent on them. It was once pointed out to me the ongoing price of a waste/paper bin that occupies one square foot of floor space in central London was at the time more than 200USD equivalent per year… Thus getting rid of empires in office blocks could be exceptionally profitable for a year or two. Thus executives mindfull of performance bonuses may well do the equivalent of the 1980’s Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). And as with last time do it wrong and totally screw it up as they follow “Chicago Mantra” not sensible policy.

@ Bruce,

You might want to consider penning up an op-ed on post-COVID “BPR” (Mike Hammer, Pete Drucker, Tom Peters) and it’s successor “BPM” and the effects that will have on information flows both formal and informal (Checkland “soft systems”) and the resulting hugely increased security perimiter. As well as the current poor “availability” of communications systems. One obvious change will be that “perimeter defence” will nolonger be possible as a security defence as the perimeter will effectively be gone, thus the old “Bastion Host” model will probably need to be “dusted off” as will “host surface minimisation” all of which flies in the face of Google, Amazon and Microsoft plans for data gathering of cloud users. Then of course there will be the “Human Resorces” demands to show “work metrics” as these are easy to measure compared to real productivity. Thus all the corporate spyware from “crotch heat detectors” through “Benthanism via Web-Cam” to “key strokes a second”. It will make the old “Lines of code per day”(LOC) metric look almost positive in comparison. Which will in turn have it’s own mental health impacts.

[1] The larger an organisation is the less time people spend doing productive work and the more time they spend either defending their position or assulting the position of others… Figures suggest that by the second tier of managment (one up from team lead) you spend as little as 25% of your time carrying out productive work…

echo August 28, 2020 12:41 AM

White supremacist groups have infiltrated US law enforcement agencies in every region of the country over the last two decades, according to a new report about the ties between police and far-right vigilante groups.

In a timely new analysis, Michael German, a former FBI special agent who has written extensively on the ways that US law enforcement have failed to respond to far-right domestic terror threats, concludes that US law enforcement officials have been tied to racist militant activities in more than a dozen states since 2000, and hundreds of police officers have been caught posting racist and bigoted social media content.

The report notes that over the years, police links to militias and white supremacist groups have been uncovered in states including Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Things are a bit more cute in the UK but I will happily go so far as to say there are plenty within the UK state who have axes to grind and are stuck in the past dogmatists. This is not confined to the police. It’s nothing especially overt. It’s more of a low level and pernicious kind of approach.

SpaceLifeForm August 28, 2020 12:59 AM

@ Clive, MarkH, All

No dry traps. Aerosols.

Ventilation. Ventilation. Ventilation.

It’s going to be critical in the coming Northern Hemisphere winter.

Note how long the virus was detected later.

Traces of SARS-CoV-2 were detected in February on the sink, faucet and shower handle of a long-vacant apartment, researchers at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a study published this month in Environment International. The contaminated bathroom was directly above the home of five people confirmed a week earlier to have COVID-19.

Clive Robinson August 28, 2020 1:32 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

“Food habits developed during this period, particularly the intake of ultraprocessed foods, represent a major health risk.”

That will be good news to Boris Johnson, now it’s starting to look like SARS-CoV-2 is not the “super killer” of “The bank of mum and dad”, thus nolonger going to solve all his economic woes by freeing up a third of the UK’s held assets and slashing his state pension bill by 90%.

That said, I’ve had the time to be more creative in my cooking habits and have not just lost weight but got better control on some of my medical issues.

I suspect the detrimental “Food habits” have happened for two reasons,

1, Increasing mental health issues in some who can not deal with “lockdown” for various reasons.

2, The lack of mobility and work causing the mind to look for satisfaction in other areas such as taste.

Fast food, Microwave Meals and the like tend to view 75% sugar “ketchup” as one of peoples “five a day” and salt as a flavour balancer along with monosodium glutamate and carcnogenic liquid smoke etc. All of which have been shown via Fast MRI to light up the same parts of the brain as addictive substances.

If the two “blond quiffs” want to get some kind of economic churn to make them look credible, than “deaths of asset holders are a necessity”, as are those who draw down on the tax take the quiffs need to buy off their “friends”…

Clive Robinson August 28, 2020 7:23 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Fortune unfortunalely requires me to bend over and bare all before it will let me on the site, and I’m not going to do that…

But yes there have been insufficient tests on SARS-CoV-2 persistance, which has not been helprd by the WHO putting out nonsense as authorative comment. They’ve got it wrong almost as many times as most Western politicians, if the WHO are not going to follow where science leads how do we expect politicians to do likewise?

Ventilation. Ventilation. Ventilation.

Is most definately the way to go but… Catch 22 buildings less than a quater of a century old are not designed to be ventilated because the designers do “energy efficiency on the cheap” by creating their own little “green house containers” of their air-con buildings…

Closed air-con environments were causing “sick building syndrome” and actuall rampant infection issues “legionnaires disease” being one of the more memorable ones, long long before SARS-CoV-2 turned up about a year ago.

The thing is closed air recirculation systems concentrate the unhealthy exhalation of people which actually is worse than it might at first appear. One of the reasons “mouth to mouth resuscitation” is depreciated is the bad chemicals we exhale, CO2 for instance causes changes to the way the body behaves, pushing even small levels into peoples lungs causes problems. Thus having such gases build up in a building is bad for the occupants.

An open window with draft sweeps out not just the bad chemicals but dilutes the “viral load” etc thus significantly reducing not just the chance of infection but also the severity if you do get infected.

Oddly perhaps Victorian Politicians grasped this essential idea when Florence Nightingale showed them the statistics she had come up with…

Our are current crop of politicians more stupid? Or just more Venal?

SpaceLifeForm August 28, 2020 4:38 PM

@ Myliit

Did you catch the drift last night?

Watch for some confirmation tonight.

Stay tuned.

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