Friday Squid Blogging: COVID-19 Found on Chinese Squid Packaging

I thought the virus doesn’t survive well on food packaging:

Authorities in China’s northeastern Jilin province have found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported squid, health authorities in the city of Fuyu said on Sunday, urging anyone who may have bought it to get themselves tested.

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 September 25, 2020 at 2:39 PM135 Comments


Grahame Grieve September 25, 2020 2:50 PM

The fact that DNA was found by PCR doesn’t mean that viable virus was found – those are very different things, and the first would not be surprising but the second would be more so (which doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but so far as I know, it has not yet been demonstrated)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 25, 2020 3:17 PM

11 SEPT 2020, From Steven Aftergood…summarized from the article at

In January of 2020, the Trump administration formally notified congress under the War Powers Act of a U.S. drone strike killing Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. The report cited in the notice was for the first time classified in entirety. Typically an unclassified report includes an annex to the classified material, but not in this case. An attempt in the Senate to request the information has been knocked down at every corner. Current classification remedies including the improper classification of materials suffers from a narrow interpretation by the ISCAP and the body said it would not consider any appeal to the ruling from any member of congress. This leaves the report on the War Powers Act on Soleimani fully classified and prevents congress or the public from understanding the legal and factual basis for his killing.

SUBMITTERS NOTE:This is troubling, in the extreme. In the instance where the U.S. government wields its largest hammer, the ability to engage in war or war like activities, actions the government takes cannot be withheld from the congress for any reason. Giving sanction to unilateral application of the weapons of war by the executive without determinate cause, rationale, or exigency—or just a piece of paper saying “Cause we said so.” must not stand. From this analysts perspective, this is antithetical to the purpose of the Act and to the power vested in congress to declare and the executive to engage. Truly a WTF moment if ever there was or is one…

MOTD: Neo-crypto-kleptocratic-theonomic-fascism

Anders September 25, 2020 3:20 PM

Fresh stuff.


so…no job or Amazon Echo either? 🙁

Who? September 25, 2020 3:55 PM

@ Anders

I guess our phones (for those who have one, I haven’t it and will not own a phone until strictly required by our friendly government) are better listening to us than the most powerful Amazon Echo. In fact, I guess they will be listening to us soon thanks to NSA surveillance technology providing good Amazon advertising next time we go to

No, wait! They are listening to us providing good and accurate advertising amongst other things right now! A bit late for this “improvement”.

As I see you like the emoticons in the new Schneier blog you can either:

Like (👍)
Do not like (👌)

this post.

P.S. whatever you choose you will like this post, but it is right. You have the choice to like it. 🙂

vas pup September 25, 2020 4:20 PM

Magawa the rat wins bravery medal for sniffing out mines

“UK charity PDSA has presented the African giant pouched rat with its Gold Medal for “life-saving devotion to duty.” His work helping clear land mines in Cambodia makes him the first rat to win the prestigious award.

Magawa, 7, has sniffed out 39 land mines and 28 unexploded munitions in his distinguished career.
He has cleared more than 141,000 square meters (1.5 million square feet) of land, or roughly 20 football pitches, in the southeast Asian country.
Leftover mines are a legacy of the nation’s brutal civil war in the 1970s and 1980s.
Up to 6 million remain undiscovered, according to data from the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC),Mine-clearing NGO the Halo Trust says over 64,000 casualties and more than 25,000 amputees have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979.

==>The rodents are taught to detect a chemical compound within the explosives and ignore scrap metal.

This means they can search for mines more quickly. Once they find an explosive, they scratch the top to alert their human co-workers. The training takes one year.

Magawa weighs just 1.2kg (2.6lb) and is 70cm (28in) long, making him small enough and light enough to walk over land mines without triggering them.

!!!He can search the area of a tennis court in less than half an hour, something that would take a human with a metal detector up to four days, according to the Tanzania-based Belgian charity who trained him up.”

Sam September 25, 2020 4:30 PM

Broken RSS timestamps

Hi Bruce,

You might want to ask your new website host to take a look at your RSS feed. Lately your posts have been coming through with “updated” dates that are days in the past. In my RSS reader, it’s causing all of your posts to show up in a scrambled order. For example, this post showed this (I changed the angle brackets to hashes so the HTML filter wouldn’t eat them):


The “published” date looks right, but the “updated” date is wrong.

Thanks, keep up the good work!

vas pup September 25, 2020 4:35 PM

Firestarters: The trees that burn and those that don’t

“Solutions? Trees and plants that don’t burn

But humans keep reshaping their environments, turning them into fully urban areas or making the bush (at least partly) residential.

Fortunately, the fynbos, as well as burning, offers protection against wildfires, too.

The fynbos has, what Scholes calls, a “complement of things” that hardly burn. He says they can be used horticulturally to protect people’s houses.

“For instance, we have a large family of succulents called Aizoaceae. They are pretty little flowering things with a fleshy leaf, and they wouldn’t burn if you put a blowtorch on them,” says Scholes.

Another common way to protect people and their houses in the bush is by surrounding them with lawn areas.

“Local governments and councils in Australia will give you a list of recommended trees and plant species, and those tend to be moist ones with thick leaves,” says Price. “They will still burn, though. So, the best thing you can probably do is have a large expanse wet grass — mown, wet, green grass. A golf course on the outskirts of your suburb is ideal for fire defense.”

Theoretically, a few redwoods around your house might be good, but you couldn’t just plant a few — we’re talking hundreds of years of growth. And the two main reasons they survive fires more often than younger trees, like eucalypts, is their thick trunks and bark and that they are so tall that the fires rarely have a chance of reaching a redwood’s crown.

Ultimately, perhaps the best advice is that we develop a better relationship with the land and accept that wildfires are a reality.”

JonKnowsNothing September 25, 2020 5:23 PM

@Bruce @All

re: squid, mass catches and avoiding notice and PanFamine

Huge mega fishing fleet from China is moving to a new location off Peru. It was previously anchored off the Galapagos Islands. The fleet stays just outside the territorial limits and is the world’s largest deep-water fishing fleet made up of 17,000 vessels. 325 of them were located near the Galapagos Sanctuary.

The fleet uses a variety of techniques to avoid being noticed including turning off or disabling GPS and other traceable systems, and altering boat names. Similar to the system the CIA rendition airplanes use by flying into an accommodating airport then changing IDs and indicators on the plane. One plane arrives. A different plane leaves. Neither plane exists.

During just one month, the vast fleet logged an astonishing 73,000 hours of fishing, pulling up thousands of tonnes of squid and fish as hundreds of boats scoured the sea on the southern limit of the Galápagos Islands’ territorial waters…

Fleets like this do not actually need to enter the outer zones, they hoover up everything they can and can put out massive nets. Fishing out an entire section before moving, including all the squid.

Like all mass harvesting the limit hits when there is zero left. It is called Fishery Collapse. This has happened many times and is preceded by historically high capture rates. High capture rates are used to demand reduced quotas or open unlimited catch, on the basis that the isn’t any shortage of the target species. Then the harvest market is flooded, each taking more and more. Shortly the fishery collapses and there is none.

China is getting a head start because once it is gone, it takes a long time or never to return.

Some notable fishery collapses:
  * Sardines – Monterey California
  * Cod – North Atlantic
  * Tuna – Adriatic
  * Anchovy – Peru
  * Sole – Irish Sea

Better get a bigger freezer and a generator for power backup.

ht tps://

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xcv September 25, 2020 5:34 PM


The fleet uses a variety of techniques to avoid being noticed including turning off or disabling GPS and other traceable systems, and altering boat names.

The high seas are not friendly places for junk electronics. There are pirates out there. You don’t want to be wearing the equivalent of an ankle monitor bracelet like a criminal or a registered hex offender yourself.

JonKnowsNothing September 25, 2020 5:48 PM

@vas pup

re: Redwoods

Redwoods grow very fast. You don’t have to wait hundreds of years to have a decent sized tree. In USA redwoods are sold at home improvement stores (’cause there are not many dedicated plant nursery sellers left) and come in a variety of sizes. If you don’t start with a twig you can have a nice tree in a few years. Larger trees in 2sqft boxes cost a bit more and you may have to find better outlet for the bigger trees.

Redwoods like company and will do better if you plant a group of them near each other.

Check your local zoning and housing HOA requirements because a good number of them prohibit large trees like redwoods and oaks.

Be aware that large trees can have invasive root systems and plan carefully where you will put it because the roots will travel towards the best water and nutrient areas and if that’s your backyard pool or your neighbors septic system or the city water lines, you can have some issues.

It’s also a good idea to note how your neighbor will take to your 25ft redwood 3 years later as it towers over the backyard fence and puts part of their house in permanent shade. Some neighbor wars have happened and the outcome is either a one sided shaved redwood or a dead tree from the accidental spillage of roundup along the fence line.

Redwoods grow pretty much anywhere in the USA.

note about fires:

Redwoods may not burn if the fire isn’t too hot but if your house is a stick frame or in the middle of a huge fire, your house will.

For those who maybe interested in the Burning of California, I’ve put a link to CALFIRE where you can see a map and the status of all the fires in California. There are 3 main fire fighting groups here: city fire fighters, state fire fighters (CALFIRE) and Federal fire fighters. They have different jurisdictions and different rules. The link is the the California State fire fighters.

The map is interactive and you can zoom in to the street level. Some fires have links to the damage assessment pages where you can see what burned and what partially burned. The map is updated daily.

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(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Clive Robinson September 25, 2020 7:15 PM

@ vas pup,

Magawa the rat wins bravery medal for sniffing out mines

I have a soft spot for rats and used to keep “fancy rats” as pets.

When young they are incredibly agile, curious beyond the point a cat has turned it’s toes up, and for the size of their brain highly intelligent.

If you handle them from early on they become not just accustomed to you but actually attracted to you and will quickly learn to respond to commands given audibly or by hand signals.

There sense of smell is according to some vastly superior to those that hunt them such as domestic cats and dogs. And given the right environment exceptionaly clean creatures.

They do have one or two downsides, older males tend to fight, sometimes to the death and they are canabalistic if given cause (which can be problematic if you are carrying out experiments on them such as diet related longevity).

They are by no means solitary creatures, and can easily form social groups when the males and females are kept a part (or the males neutered). In part that is why they can bond easily with humans who can then train them much faster than most dogs (including the collie family).

Oh and unlike mice they are very easy to toilet train they tend to do it naturally as a survival mechanism (unlike mice that poop and pee virtually every couple of inches).

For children they make ideal pets and are “very interactive” as well as very easy to keep. Also as fancy rats tend to live only about three years, children learn about the life cycle fairly quickly and hopefully befor Grandad or Grandma die.

Oh and if you keep their “cage” on the floor, if they escape you generaly don’t have to hunt them down as they come back to what they consider home fairly soon.

One down side is their teeth do grow rather rapidly. The easy but noisy way to deal with it is to give them nuts still in their shells. And remember like humans they don’t make vitimin C thus need fresh fruit or vegetables in their diet. I’ve found they are quite fond of “bell pepers” and as they have weight for weight about 20times the vitiman C that oranges do, they don’t need that much. They are also quite fond of kitchen vegetable trimings like carrot tops and bottoms (but not the green part) stalks of various green vegtables but no onions of any type and best to avoid potatoes and rhubarb or any of that family because where they are green they contain a poison. Oh and they are partial to “choclate drops” of the sort made for dogs as a very occasional treat, and they will quite happily eat traditional hard dog biscuits and rabbit pellet food, though they are not nutritionally designed for rats so are not even close to optimal. Like us rats are omnivores, and what is not good for us is not good for them either. Though they do eat meat in the wild, it’s best to avoid giving it to them (a good vet will tell you the does and don’ts).

Singapore Noodles September 26, 2020 12:17 AM

Everything old is newish again

Water based computers 1973

Water based computers 2015

Clive Robinson September 26, 2020 5:35 AM

@ ALL,

Some what tangental but it is “Food Security” without which we would not have any other kind of security…

Because just hunger let alone starvation is a powerfull driver of human behaviour and if it goes to far death follows in one way or another[1].

Well “food rationing” as I’ve warned is unsurprisingly comming back to the UK and I assume soon to other places for various reasons[2].

Currently in the UK it’s being done by retail outlets, and you might have heard on the news that UK retail outlet Super Market stores Morrison’s and Tesco’s are “rationing” cooking staples that are suitable for longterm storage. one of which is flour which for thousands of years was and still is the most basic and important of staples (remember the unfortunate explosion next to grain silos in the Port of Beirut in August this year that destroyed much of Lebanon’s grain leaving the entire country with less than a months reserves?).

The “official reason” the supermarket chains are given is “people panic buying” which is actually a compleate load of… It’s nowhere near panic buying it’s sensible people waking up to “the new reality” of “yoyo lockdowns” and all that means[3].

That is just ordinary people buying one or two large bags to stock up as they are seeing another “lockdown” in Europe comming within a month or two at the most. And it happens in the UK at this time most years due to the,”Great British Bake Off” very popular television program…

Well wheat shortages are historically not new, harvests fail and it’s why we find five and six thousand year old grain silos in long abandond middle east desserts etc. The importance of bread recognised as the most basic of daily foods, even millennia ago bread has had laws and Royal edicts about it.

So what could a “baker do” to make flour go further in times of shortage? Well substitute part of it with something else, it’s one of the reasons the US still has corn bread, grits and similar. With other countries having kept “harth cakes”, “drop scones” and what some call “biscuits” made with largish amounts of oat flour etc. Others with rye bread etc, to each culture their own harvest disaster memorised in “adulterated” bread.

However in the main people wanted “white loaf bread” not “bothy bread” or the derivatives that had large amounts of wheatgerm and bran in them or other starch substitutes.

Well one substitute that worked so well it never became a distinct cullenary item was using potatoes (and also parsnips in cakes, though the cake recipies are becoming popular again). Well This historic recreation might be of interest to those who want to experiment, and lets face it when locked down in your home taking up “experimental cooking” as a hobby whilst being “frugal” will also help keep you on the saner side of the road as you travel through it,

Oh what’s not explained is a “peck” is a volumetric not weight measure. So you use it in a ratio 1 volume measure of “potato rice” to two measures, of wheat flour. So 1cup of potato rice to 2cups of flour as you measure it out.

If you want to know what a “peck” actually is, as in the old saying “Everyone has to eat a peck of dirt before they die”[4] it’s actually quite a lot. As you can see from these traditional Scottish measures,

[1] Remember it was not so long ago in Russia –and other places before– where starvation in remote places drove people to murder and cannibalism… So the old joke about “Sweeny Todd Donor and Pita coming real soon to a place near you!” might get a bit more bite than usual :-S

[2] Yes there is a “shortage of Product” whilst a small part of that currently is production problems in the main it’s supply chain mismanagment yet again and politics politics politics. So just be ready for the fall out in November by which time winter malady season will have kicked in in the Northen Hemisphere[3].

[3] Lockdowns are going to be a major feature of life again along with job losses and financial difficulties and citizens of several Western Nations are going to go into both food and energy poverty quite quickly as food and fuel prises will be put up as part of “Disaster Capatilism”. It won’t be put that way, the politicians who are almost entirely to blaim for this situation will try the usuall “feckless, idle, layabouts, etc etc” nonsense whilst their short term thinking friends will vastly increase their profits and send inflation upwards whilst even those who keep jobs and their homes will be told the economy is bad you can not have pay rises to compensate. So recession will bite in hard and the same politicians will find others to blaim, but it will almost always be those that can not defend themselves.

[4] Yes when times were realy desperate people did eat hot mud to help keep them warm and sate their hunger so they could sleep.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 26, 2020 5:36 AM

@ Winter, et al
The story being reported is based on information from a DoJ investigation. If I we cynical I would flatly dismiss the story, bar it from my mind, as it is probably propaganda from the dipsh*+t state.

Clive Robinson September 26, 2020 9:38 AM

@ ALL,

On a slight tangent, but it is about “Food Security” without which all other forms of security are fairly moot[1].

As I expected and have past cautioned about, “basic staple” storable food rationing has started. In the UK the Morrisons and Tescos supermarket chains have put limits on basic long term storable food staples such flour, sugar and similar as well as the now “good old standby” toilet rolls… what would a phoney “panic buy” scare be without those…

Their excuse is “panic buying” which is a compleate load[2] of bovine…

But some people are behaving like “rational actors” they have experienced the previous “lockdown” and all the problems that caused. So they have very real knowledge of what happens. They are seeing COVOD-19 infections very clearly rising in Europe in the media and other sources. For instance the serious demonstrations in Madrid etc[3]. But what ever the cause COVID cases are going up in the Northern Hemisphere and come mid November things will start to get quite nasty if things are not done correctly. Because by then no matter what the politicians do the Seasonal Disease issues will have kicked in and healthcare resources will be at best “stretched”. Thus big lockdowns are very probably on the near horizon, with further job losses etc thus rational people who have the spare money are using it to stock up whilst they can aford to do so[4].

So if you can stock up on staples you can avoid some of the traps and pit falls, and hopefully be both alive and well if and when a safe and effective vaccine reaches you. In six to as long as fifty months. Because those governments that have so far failed to act on science and past disease history knowledge are hardly likely to change their behaviours now. Thus as modeling experts have indicated back in the first part of this year we will probably enter a phase of “yoyo lockdowns” of which the only realistic way out is mass vaccination.

[1] Hunger let alone actual starvation drives humans into often violent and other behaviours fairly quickly. It was actually not that long ago in remote Russian villages etc where cannibalism happened. Also murdering and eating people to survive has a very long and unsavoury history. It is possible the old joke of “Sweeny’s Donor and Kebabs comming real soon to a place near you!” might have some real bite.

[2] The actual problems are much more mundane. Whilst some of it is lack of production and consequent prices, much of it is down to other forms of miss managment to do with the supply chain by the supermarket chains themselves. Oh and to add to the fun the fact a very popular television series “GBBO” has just started,

Which every year causes people to go out and buy baking ingredients to “join in”…

[3] Due according to some media etc to the Spanish Government openening Spain for holiday makers who brought SARS-CoV-2 in “by the coach load” etc and have spread it into the younger population where it has now moved up to the older generations by community spread. Similarly France, but not Italy where the politicians appear to have been somewhat wiser.

[4] Few of us living in the Western world have seen anything even remotely like poverty untill this century. The two Financial / Banking Crises kicked it off with “greedy home owners” being blaimed when infact we now know it was not home buyers but financial organisations… With a few other finance industry shenanigans between then and now. Which this time it’s a disease that again short term thinking profiteers and those they “lobby” have compleatly mismanaged the response and continue to do so well outside of the interests of the majority of citizens. The result loss of jobs, loss of income, loss of homes, inability to buy food to put on a table you nolonger have because it’s been taken with the repossession etc and depression and desperation. The latter easily boiling over into crime. But even if it does not the politicians will blaim the victims for their actions and call them “lazy, feckless, indolent” and much more. When the simple fact is you can only have a job if someone “pays you”… If nobody is paying then no job and the rest follows in short order. Meanwhile those who lobby the politicians will employ all the “Disaster Capitalism” tricks they can[5] and will cause inflation and wage depression to make things better for them and far worse for the rest of us. Oh and a full recession will in all probability come in on it’s heals… If you know that’s comming as a rational actor what do you do? Well stocking up on staple foods that require no energy to store them is a starting point especially if you think as is likely food will go significantly up in price.

[5] One such trick is to control supply in a way that forces others to play your game. Fancy foods are over priced and last next to no time, thus if you stop people buying stable storable basic staples the only choice they have is to buy the fancy foods that carry a very high markup and profit. Another is to deliberately hold items back to create a shortage, put the prices up then talk up a “panic buy” and “kerching” it’s a few verses of “Were in the money” swilled down with fizzy plonk in expensive bottles (real wines will be likewise held back by others for the same reasons).

Clive Robinson September 26, 2020 9:59 AM

@ Ismar,

Here is a less political story that @Clive in particular might find interesting

It’s been posted a couple of times and I’ve commented on it.

Unfortunately the reason it happened is very political indeed and involved a senior at the UK’s OfCom deliberately witholding a report that said this sort of RFI issue was going to happen with the sort of equipment BT Openreach is installing in peoples homes… Equipment that not only did not meet the design specs but was not compliant with EU directives such as the RT&TTE and should never have been “placed on the market”.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 26, 2020 10:36 AM

@ Winter
Correct, the U.S. administration is awash in Christian Nationalists, what is news can be found at the State Department and the initiatives and foreign policy being wrapped in a “Biblical” view of rights–not human rights. Also, the power struggle is internal and under the radar so to speak. The sense that the time for taking the reins of power and using it for the purpose of bringing the “Kingdom of God” into purpose and action. This is scary stuff….this is the Handmaids tale actualized. Institutions of the U.S. have already fallen into its grips and the cult like fever that exists is starting to close the feedback loop.

The fascistic and authoritarian models we might expect to assert themselves have more predictable contours. The Christian Nationalists have for the most part played under a facade of “normal behaviors” but becomes another animal when exercised. The press and media have done little to either recognize or understand the un-democratic and ahistorical nature of this type of socio-political environment. Males, non-believers, must be disabled (I am stating it nicely). The question is really how far into the governance structure does this coup go? It has been testing the edges for quite some time and I sense the entropic curve of “Hey, we’re just like you.” to the “All those not loyal to the Kingdom, get on the train to the camps, now.”

winter September 26, 2020 12:11 PM

“This requires the cooperation of the military and would break the current constitution. ”

That is why I wrote “tries to install martial law”

His lackeys, Barr cs will follow him and these will try to use the forces they have under their command. The same forces that are already deployed in Democratic cities.

Then the question will be whether the military will intervene, or will wait for the outcome to be settled.

Trump will fight to the last American to stay in the White House. And the GOP will live or die with him

Clive Robinson September 26, 2020 12:11 PM

@ Winter,

I saw the run on flour too. I a curious why?

Best guess as it’s only some of the supermarkets I’d go for “mismanaged” their supply chain. Coupled with the start of the very popular “Great British Bake Off” competition television program, that always attracts a certain number of “me too” to take up baking as a hobby etc.

But realistically those who have “sheltered in place” at home on furlow can see a new lockdown comming and they are preparing for it. Not just in terms of basic supplies but as something to do to alleviate the boredom. In which case the preperation involved is in effect a displacment activity so the more intricate and time consuming the better.

xcv September 26, 2020 1:03 PM


A decrease of life expectancy in the US indicating a decrease in wealth of the population

We are at war with the gravediggers here.

All I know as an American from that is that other people are “expecting” me to die younger than I would otherwise, and they are also “expecting” to enrich themselves or continue their lavish lifestyle by inheriting or confiscating my money or wealth or property.

“Expectations” and “life expectancies” are not facts. Life is not a casino where we can shuffle the cards or roll the dice as often as we wish to calculate precise mathematical probabilities.

I have only one life, and obviously my political enemies have a shorter expectation of it than I do myself.

I don’t how anything can be more hostile than an openly expressed hope or expectation of seizing my money or causing me to die before my appointed time.

Sherman Jay September 26, 2020 4:38 PM

Based on the extensive studies and discussions of our organization on socio-political topics, we can only conclude that ALL capitalism is ‘disaster’ capitalism, since the concept of capitalism is based on greed and predation and is intrinsically parasitic on society.

@all re: surveillance –

— ht tps://

A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance 2019

and numerous articles by Bruce and
–vas pup • September 24, 2020 4:17 PM
@Sherman Jay
We are in the era of NO privacy. I guess Bruce’s hand was twisted to add those trackers.
You know those people – nobody can refuse their request.

Are we going to the Stasi-type era here in US?

My answer to vas pup is: YES, we are already there read:
h ttps://

SpaceLifeForm September 26, 2020 5:10 PM

@ Sherman Jay, JonKnowsNothing, Winter, vas pup

It’s time. Real Soon Now.

It’s time for Rod Rosenstein to spill the beans.

It’s time for Steven Engel to spill the beans.


novice poster September 26, 2020 6:09 PM

@Bruce Schneier: Wasn’t new zealand also hit by covid through warehouse shipments a month or two ago? And Italy in march also probably by shipments of some sort?

Clive outlined how long-lasting viral residue can be worst cade, refrigerated, in biofilms and so on, 9 days?

SpaceLifeForm September 26, 2020 6:25 PM

@ Sherman Jay, JonKnowsNothing, Winter, vas pup

HD Carrier LLC has a footprint over many Red states. Hmmm.

Shouldn’t they only have one home state base?

How does that happen?

Looks like Barr supression. Because whatever Grand Jury is doing should not be public in the first place.

Which points to a Prosecutor leaking.

Which should not surprise.


Filed on 2020-09-18

USA v. Jack Burkman et al: ‘Roger Stone Leak’ Investigation

Application for Non-Disclosure Order for Grand Jury Subpoena in USA v. HD Carrier, LLC regarding an investigation into John M. Burkman, Jr., a.k.a. Jack Burkman, and Jacob Wohl for suspected criminal contempt, obstruction of justice, and witness harassment involving “the unauthorized public dissemination of confidential juror questionnaires completed by jurors in the matter of U.S. v. Roger Stone”, filed at the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Clive Robinson September 26, 2020 8:02 PM

@ vas pup,

… improve the ability to mind-control brain computer interfaces (BCIs).

Back when I first helped out putting neurons and wires together the big problem was computers were dumber that a pile of bricks.

Therefore it befell on the test subject to produce very clear brain wave signals. Unlike riding a bike where atleast you can judge your progress good or bad, there was effectively no reliable feedback loop so you had to get lucky. But some people did get lucky.

But the big problem was not thinking the signal but not thinking a myriad of other signals. That is it was not finding a signal in “signal plus thermal noise” but “signal plus many other signals plus thermal noise”. As the many other signals were considerably greater than the desired signal the only effective aproach was to get the r^2 advantage by putting the sensor as close to the desired source as posible. As that involved not just making holrs in peoples skulls but the brain as well there was obvious reluctance to do so. Which meant that back then scalp mounted sensors were too far from the signal source to be effective.

These days with specialised signal hunting DSP algorithms and what passes for AI the learning process is easier, but the test subject still has to learn how to clearly think a signal with out actually conciously having to think it out, and also diminish other concious signals etc in comparison.

Thus like learning to drive a car etc you have to learn the “memory muscle” and tone it up.

For various reasons meditation and similar can help with this.

Wesley Parish September 27, 2020 12:54 AM

FWIW. @Bruce, you did mention something about this problem – IoT – a while back: have you read this?

When coffee makers are demanding a ransom, you know IoT is screwed

When Hron first plugged in his Smarter coffee maker, he discovered that it immediately acted as a Wi-Fi access point that used an unsecured connection to communicate with a smartphone app. The app, in turn, is used to configure the device and, should the user choose, connect it to a home Wi-Fi network. With no encryption, the researcher had no problem learning how the phone controlled the coffee maker and, since there was no authentication either, how a rogue phone app might do the same thing.

but wait there’s more …

Once the working update script and modified firmware is written and loaded onto an Android phone (iOS would be much harder, if not prohibitively so because of its closed nature), there are several ways to carry out the attack. The easiest is to find a vulnerable coffee maker within Wi-Fi range. In the event the device hasn’t been configured to connect to a Wi-Fi network, this is as simple as looking for the SSID that’s broadcast by the coffee maker.

happy happy joy joy …

In any event, Hron said the ransom attack is just the beginning of what an attacker could do. With more work, he believes, an attacker could program a coffee maker—and possibly other appliances made by Smarter—to attack the router, computers, or other devices connected to the same network. And the attacker could probably do it with no overt sign anything was amiss.

Getting DDoSed by your coffee machines is not a very fancy way to go, methinks.

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 4:07 AM

@ novice poster, ALL,

Clive outlined how long-lasting viral residue can be worst cade, refrigerated, in biofilms and so on, 9 days?

First off “refrigerated” is a little ambiguous as is “chilled” etc. But it’s not just the three surface tempratures[0] but also surface type and any air movment or special environment (gas packing) etc that need to be considered, and I don’t think any studies have been carried out on frozen foods.

The scientific papers I got data from all those months ago, carried out experiments on analogus of the SARS virus they were testing for “fomite” surface contamination that might be found in areas humans would move around in and touch as part of normal daily activities. This was because at the time the likes of the WHO were saying the spread of COVID-19 was not in anyway airborne, thus infection was by contact be it person-person or person-fomite-person…

Basically the researchers tested materials you would find in public environments in temparate zones such as on handrails and similar and shipping cartons so flat horizontal plastic, steel, cardbord etc surfaces. To get repeatable results the tests were caried out in still air conditions (off the top of my head I can not remember the humidity or lighting conditions). At nine days on certain surfaces at single digit tempratures they found biologicaly viable virus.

Again from what I remember none of the experiments dealt with tempratures below freezing as that effectively changes things significantly, in several ways (amongst others nucleation effects in water droplets and at a droplets surface).

Firstly remember the SARS analogues would have been stored frozen, and viruses can remain viable to cause infection again for several years from frozen. Likewise for the virus to not just be identified, but for it’s origin species to be identified.

For instance we know what the 1918 virus was and what animal it had originated from because bodies of people that had been killed by it had been buried in what is effectively “permafrost”. Thus when exhuming them nearly a century later samples were taken that were sufficiently viable for them to be positively identified[1]. Likewise scientists believe they can get viable samples from closed environments[2], and also bodies that are cold but not necesarily frozen[3].

Importantly many foods are frozen using what some call a “flash freezing” process where the water crystalises rather differently. In essence if you freeze water rich foods like soft fruits via normal or slow freezing as you would do at home or outside in many environments causes the cell walls to be ruptured whilst flash freezing does not. As Wikipedia puts it,

“Flash freezing is used in the food industry to quickly freeze perishable food items (see frozen food). In this case, food items are subjected to temperatures well below[clarification needed] water’s melting/freezing point. Thus, smaller ice crystals are formed, causing less damage to cell membranes.”

But even “fresh food” sold at a shop counter may well have been flash frozen for temporary storage or transportation.

With meat, polutry and fish flash freezing is used in bulk transportation to cross international boarders by ship and lorry as the journy times can be measured in days or even weeks…

Wisegeek[5] explains flash freezing in this respect and notes,

“Fishing boats often use flash freezing to keep their catch as fresh as possible, especially if they are working in remote areas and will not be reaching port for days or weeks. In these cases, the fish are cleaned and then frozen as they are caught, and when the hold is full, the fish are offloaded for sale.”

On looking at the Reuters article our host @Bruce Schneier links to, although it is not dated we find,

“In August, local authorities in two Chinese cities said they had found traces of the virus on cargoes of imported frozen food. The World Health Organization said then it saw no evidence of COVID-19 being spread by food or packaging.”

So as it’s seafood we are talking about, then it’s highly likely that flash freezing was used within minutes of it being pulled out of the sea and cleaned on a factory ship. As the origin is Russia where COVID reporting is apparrntly considered “unreliable” it’s probably quite likely as with the meat packing workers in both Germany and the US that COVID had spread amongst the workers. Also if it was a factory ship, as we know from the problems in the US Navy and with Cruise Liners the crew accomodation on such vessels turns them into “floating Petri dishes” of disease infection and incubation. Also the catch processing crews on such ships are likely to be young, so asymptomatic or low symptomatic thus “unseen” infection is likely to be the norm.

So unless scientists (not The WHO managment layer) can prove that contamination at the proscessing of the seafood prior to flash freezing could not have happened I would rate it based on the meat packing industry as actually quite probable.

Flash freezing would have in effect put the virus into “stasis” thus stoping it’s clock, which would start again at some unknown possibly long time when finaly defrosted (frozen fish and seafood are comodities traded for hedging amongst other things[6], and thus might not get defrosted for seven years before retail sale, likewise meat).

Then the food is likely to be kept at low single digit tempratures untill it was cooked or thrown into waste. So yes any humans or animals touching the defrosted seafood could “potentially” become infected. Likewise any spieces of animal that comes into contact with the food waste that can incubate the virus, thus potentially become a “disease reservoir”.

It’s this potential danger of disease reservoir species that causes me the greatest concern. Because whilst we know members of the cat and rodent spiecies can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 and it can down the line transfer back to humans via “zooinotic” transfer (seen in mink). What we don’t know is if some spiecies can contract the virus not as a respiratory infection but the more normal for animals and corona viruses gastro-intestinal infections that have much lower fatality rates thus reservoir the virus for years, decades or indefinately.

If this happens then all those who make claims of “getting out by the herd immunity effect” get blown out of the water, because each new generation of humans will bring a fresh crop of potential hosts. Then as we see with ebola, it will get back out of the animals into humans and community spread will happen, and may go through being a regional epidemic (but hopefully not a pandemic again if politicians actually learn some lessons). The only way out of this is by the global use of a safe and effective vaccine not just for now but into the future.

It’s why I consider the New Zeland case after a hundred days as being so important. Because of the four potential sources they had eliminatrd three and left two options,

1, Frozen food.
2, Animal disease reservoir.

Then the NZ authorities clamed up and international MSM has not persued it. Which is worrying because either way they both have the potential to start a new epidemic within a decade. Knowing which will alow us to make changes in the way we live to minimise any future outbreak to just quickly contained local outbreaks.

So the original “nine days” is still considered an upper limit for “contact infection” at tempratures above a couple of Celsius but, it’s likely that the virus could be frozen into food that might not be defrosted for years and start infecting people again…

I guess we will probably find out by 2030…

[0] With packaged food you have to consider three surfaces as a minimum,

1, Outside of packaging.
2, Inside of packaging.
3, Outside of food item.

Depending on the size and quantity of food items you might also have to consider surfaces inside the food such as inside a whole chicken body cavity. Or with mince and the like surfaces inside the food caused by mincing and other mechanical processing. With frozen foods like “bulk fish” you might have upwards of ten individual items pressed together prior to freezing where thr contact surfaces need to be thought of differently.

[1] How Spanish flu was identified from a body buried in permafrost at Brevig Mission Alaska in 1997,

The story also mentions a much earlier attempt to use tissue pteserved in formalin and wax.

[2] There have also been other attempts, one being a body buried in a sealed lead lined coffin,

[3] This article indicates that for preservation samples do not need to be actually frozen 1 degree Celsius is assumed to be sufficient,



[6] Many food items are “commodity traded” and keeping large reserves can smooth out supply and demand issues against most short term disasters/issues. However depending on how carefull you are the reserves might not be sufficient. That said the bulk of the worlds supplies of protein are ttaded frozen goods…

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 4:46 AM

@ Wesley Parish,

When coffee makers are demanding a ransom, you know IoT is screwed

In my mind I immediately saw a flash back of an episode of Fututama, where the coffee pot toaster and other kitchen appliances did this 😉

It’s the episode where we also learn the prof used to work for “Mom’s Robots” and had a torrid affair with her (and yes one of her three sons is drawn to look like the Prof 😉

As the way to stop the “revolt” of the machines Mom has started is via a hidden control device in her bra… the Prof is sent in on a “seduction mission” to retrieve the control device. Whilst the first part of the mission works, the prof is unable to retrieve the control device…

Nasty as it sounds it is as usuall very funny.

Robin September 27, 2020 5:41 AM

@Winter, @Clive, @All

On flour shortages: In France flour is more or less back on the shelves as normal, apart from some special varieties, which you need to hunt for, e.g. in the many ‘Bio’ shops.

But for months the shelves were empty and/or sales were rationed to 1kg per customer, although in some places you could buy it in plastic bags 1kg, 2kg or 5kg at a time. When we questioned why, the story was that there was no shortage of flour as such, but the distribution system was screwed. In normal times the distribution of flour in ‘small’ quantities for home baking was balanced by the demand from volume customers: restaurants, schools, businesses – anywhere providing food for dozens, up to hundreds of people at a time and who buy their flour in 25kg or 50kg bags.

Cue lockdown and all the people who were eating in restos or canteens were now eating at home: result – no small bags left on supermarket shelves, and wholesale suppliers stuck with warehouses full of 25/50kg bags and no means of putting it into small bags – apart from a few enterprising shops and individuals filling small plastic bags (and probably breaking a raft of food safety regs). Even the large millers didn’t have the supply lines to suddenly cut back on high volume and switch to large numbers of small volume bags.

Obviously they’ve caught up, although predicting future demand has become a bit tricky.

General rule – finely tuned supply lines are not easy to reprogram at the drop of a hat. Brexiters take note.

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 6:54 AM

@ Robin,

General rule – finely tuned supply lines are not easy to reprogram at the drop of a hat. Brexiters take note.

Yes it’s below the noise floor for most of the political classes…

Mind you as a design engineer of Fast Moving Consumer Electronics, I got spoiled in the Far East it’s not just China where you can realise you’ve got a production problem in the morning and have it sorted with new parts etc before lunch.

I’m one of those people who do buy 25kg bags of flour –and similar bags of veg etc– if you think about it, if you are baking at home for a family even with only a “breadmaker” machine thats slightly less than you need for a months bread (one loaf a day is only 16 slices of thick slice with morning toast and lunch sarnie it’s gone). Throw in pies, cakes, biscuits and thickening for sauces, stews etc and you might need double that. Even oats goes fairly quickly it’s not just porridge / oatmeal you add it to bread both in the dough and for decoration on top then there’s the “healthier snacks” such as Müesli / Granola bars.

It’s a bit frightening sometimes to realise just how much you get through[1] in grains we actually eat as most now buy it hidden in “finished” items[2]. Though with shop bought you actually eat even more… You make a home made pie or pasty and you make the pastry thiner and up the ingredients inside rather than a “toothpaste tube” type squirt of “mechanically recovered meat and water holding gelling agent in a 4-6mm thick soft effectively undercooked pastry of uncertain shortening that sticks to the roof of your mouth and teeth like mud to a blanket (good pastry should be light and dry, sometimes flaky and not stick like that).

[1] Due to lockdown I’ve kind of changed the way I buy meat, I nolonger get a whole lamb or goat, half pig etc and butcher it into “cuts-crowns-n-sausages” or other charcuterie as the bits you tend not to think of such as the cleaned hog / Ox bung casings are not something I want to buy online (as they have to pass the “snif test”).

[2] When a lot younger I used to sail competitively and for recreation. Back in the 1970/80’s I used to sail to European North Sea and Channel ports from Portugal to Norway. As France particularly Brittany was an easy day sail there was many a saturday afternoon and night spent there. The one thing that made me sad which was the change in bread eating habits in France. From some of the best bread in the world to “white sliced blotting paper” industrial sandwich bread from supermarkets, the dreded UK Chorley Wood “chicken feathers” process for that extra bounce…

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 7:18 AM

@ Bruce Schneier, ALL,

A previous Squid page asked about the difference between squid and calamari.

Well there might be in some restaurants…

If you are squeamish, stop reading now.

There are a number of oriental pork dishes and the Chinese have the reputation of using everything but the squeak.

If you look up “Pork Bung” that’s not yet been cleaned for Hog Bung sausage/salami casings you will find some interesting things.

The first is what the “bung” is, well starting from the anus and working back it is the rectum and large intestins etc.

The second is that appart from washing them out and soaking in salt water in some Chinese food they are chopped into rings and cooked.

Well the third is that at some point in time some, unscrupulous person realised that cooked in sauce or fried in batter they sliced Pork Bung do look like very much like calamari when on the plate… Also raw they can be made to look like precut squid rings.

Thus the fourth thing you find out is the persistent tails of restaurants swapping expensive Calamari for realy cheap Pork Bung…

Some say it’s an urban-myth, others claim it’s standard practice in places like New York…

Just a thought before you tuck into that plate of Calamari, “Would you know how to tell the difference?”.

Robin September 27, 2020 7:53 AM

I’m one of those people who do buy 25kg bags of flour

I’m a home-baker myself, but dislike keeping bags of flour too long. Do you have a method for deterring mites? Even if I keep the flour in what I think are sealed containers, the little blighters eventually make an appearance. I suppose they (or their eggs) are in the flour itself. Up to a point I turn a blind eye, but …

lurker September 27, 2020 12:34 PM

@Robin: flour weevils, like cheese maggots, form spontaneously with no progenitors. At least that’s the folklore version.

@Clive can probably fill in the technical detail, but if the mite/weevil lives on the grain in the field, then any treatment would be expensive and unpopular. Best answer I know from experience, always buy freshly ground flour[1], eat it faster, and store it at the lowest temperature you can.

Folklore is right here, flour kept too long in storage after grinding will oxidise, develop “off” flavours, and lose some of its baking qualities.

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 1:55 PM

@ Robin, lurker,

Do you have a method for deterring mites? Even if I keep the flour in what I think are sealed containers, the little blighters eventually make an appearance.

There’s the old way and the new way, but either way you do need air tight containers or vacuum seal bags.

Mites can get in your flour either before you buy it (common) or from your storage area ad they can live in on and off wood, they like dark warm and humind. So don’t use cupboards above stove or kettle hight.

So when you get new flour and don’t plan to use it immediately you can do a couple of thinks to kill any live mites or their eggs.

Basically you can either,

1, heat the flour.
2, freeze the flour.

The way I used to do it was pack the flour in Kilner jars and put in an oven at the lowest temprature then crack the door open a little. Start with the lids very loose so any moisture comes out. Then screw the lids down tight and stick on your pantry shelf out of daylight and where it’s cold and dry.

A friend uses plastic ziplock bags and a microwave oven on a low pulse rate setting. I’ve not tried it myself. However from previous experiments many years ago to kill “Death Watch Beetle” grubs. You might be surprised that the microwave energy travels happily through wood and boils the grubs inards… I’m assuming a similar effect works with mights and weevils.

Again you can put it in plastic bags to make airtight bricks then just put them in the freezer and leave them there for atleast a week or two or untill ready to use them.

People often do not realise that the mites may not lay their eggs in the flour but inside their cupboards etc. It’s why I tell people to avoid beach or similar “flour” boxes. They might look good but you can not stop the mites living in them…

Again I’ve not tried mylar bags deoxyginators and vacuum sealing, because I’m not looking to store for upto 25years or what ever some claim it is these days.

However I do know someone who breaks a big bag down into little ordinary plastic vacuum seal bags, I’ve never asked them about mites so I can not say. But I do know that they freeze all their dry goods for atleast a week.

The point about air tight containers and bags are moisture and oxygen, neither is good for flour and mites need both to live… So remove the moisture by heating to a low temp but warmer than your room will drive the moisture out them any small amount of oxygen in the airtight container/bag will quickly get used up.

Some people swear by bay leaves, I don’t know about those myself, but I do know various Indian leaves work.

The reason I used killner jars is when you’ve finished the flour in them you can “boil them in a pressure cooker” this not only kills mites weevils etc eggs, it kills mold spoors and most bacteria (there is one in rice bacteria,that needs it slightly hotter than an ordinary preasure cooker gets but you can always dry off in the oven at a sufficiently high heat).

I hope that helps.

JonKnowsNothing September 27, 2020 3:33 PM

@ Robin, lurker, Clive

Most grains in the USA are treated in some way to reduce grain pests but this only works for a short period once the bags are open. Even so, things slip past.

I once bought a larger quantity of rice. I stored it in my usual assortment of canisters used just for rice. A few days later, I noticed something “odd” in the rice but ignored it thinking it must have been a left over hull. A few days after that there were a lot of extra hulls in the rice and I realized something was Not-WAI.

I dumped the lot into a large plastic type tub and nuked it in the microwave.

Sure enough all the “hulls” quit moving but a great deal of moisture was generated and I had no way to dry out that much rice. So I started cooking it up for the freezer. I cooked up a lot of rice. I ran out of freezer space.

2 FPS September 27, 2020 8:39 PM

Nearly empty grab bag of questions:

Can “content” be dispensed with in messages and mere existence of a message suffice for all communications needs ?
Do any climate models actually honor all physics laws, e.g. conservation of energy ? Note that even if the continuous model were to do so, the discretized, computer model might not, unless so designed. Also, do the observations used really constrain the model sufficiently, or is there a significant indeterminacy?

JonKnowsNothing September 27, 2020 9:59 PM


re: The Bank of Mom and Dad
    COVID-19 Post Wave One, removal of housing and support subsidies

As we start to see the beginning of the tsunami of real estate changes there are several groups to consider. The entire subject requires much more data analysis than I can do with pencil and paper so I will provide some guide posts to consider as the data begins to roll out. Each country has it’s own benchmarks so there isn’t one global tide line. However, there are some areas where similarity of data or demographic can be determined.

Housing is divided into Residential and Commercial; Rentals-Leases and Ownership.

This does not capture the full spectrum of housing. To this needs to be added Long Term Under Housed, Short Term Under Housed, Poorly Housed and Currently Housed.

Within the groups are financial and age divisions. In the USA @60% of the housed own their home, but this is not true across all demographics. Nor is it true across all adult age groups. It can range 40%-70% depending on race-ethnicity.

The definition of “own their home” is also a misnomer because the majority of people who “own their home” have 30 year mortgages which is a form of long term lease with any equity acquired over time (by price appreciation-inflation) pledged as collateral. 30-40% fully own their homes with no mortgages (second mortgages or lines of credit are often omitted), varying region to region by age and demographics.

Type of housing is another variable across all ranges. Housing in less developed areas, using less expensive materials, size, style and features run the gamut from shanty towns, favelas, barrios, small, medium, large semi-portable buildings. In more structured areas minimum size, features such as running water and sewer connections, energy connection are mandated and alter the cost and likelihood of ownership.

Within age brackets, the majority of owners in the USA are 65+ years.

This is important to consider as COVID-19 offers the Real Estate and Governments huge incentives to “get the old folks out of their homes” and flip them to other buyers, which will ease some of the housing pressures. This has been a goal of the Real Estate Industry for a number of years (pre COVID-19) as the sales turn-over-churn slows down as buyers age. Older buyers downsize to smaller units that cost less, and do not move as often.

One thing to consider is that many people in care homes use their owned housing to subsidize or pay for their care. There are existing methods and laws in place to separate people in care or under legal guardianship from their home and assets. Quite often, once the person is legally displaced and loses direct control of their assets, the resulting asset conversion (sale) is depleted quickly and the person, is turfed out from their current facility into a lesser, cheaper care facility. Once the guardianship exhausts the funds, the legal guardian renounces control, leaving the person with few or no funds at all.

Within the category of COVID-19, there are 3 groups: Those that recover completely, those that do not recover completely and those that die.

The USA has passed 200,000 deaths. Within this group are 50% elderly and 50% workers. There will be a mix of ownership and rentals. Those that own their home can pass it along as an inheritance to survivors. Most rentals do not have a survivor clause except for the names listed on the lease. In previous posts details were presented on the value of inheritance and the value of the expected wealth transfers. Add on to that, the number of housing ownership changes, property valuations, property tax rate adjustments and inheritance taxes to the expected economic windfalls.

Of the 200,000 USA dead, the only property they will own maybe a burial plot or urn, the rest of their property is For Sale.

In the rental markets and housing markets, there will be huge shifts as forbearances expire. There will be another load of housing from evictions and foreclosures of rentals, housing, multiple house ownerships. The process will be similar to the housing crash and one might expect similar shenanigans on deed transfers.

MSM reports have indicated rental values crashing 20% with new satisfactory arrangements made between renter and landlord. In other cases demands of full back payments to be followed with expected eviction notices. In the first case the landlord will preserve some funding and a tenant. In the other, the landlord will forego the tenancy and any likelihood of collecting the forbearance, opting for vacancy, awaiting for the return to previous market levels. This may take several years.

It should also be noted that even in countries that had eviction protections in place, evictions continued during COVID-19 due to state, local and rental laws. They have been a preview of the expected surge in lost shelter.

sources: real estate analysis, pricing and housing trends, actuary tables and risk assessments, COVID-19 mortality index.

note: previous analysis on the value of the Bank of Mom and Dad can be found in the blog archives or perhaps on the Wayback Machine.

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(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm September 27, 2020 10:22 PM

@ 2 FPS

Can “content” be dispensed with in messages and mere existence of a message suffice for all communications needs ?

Sure. Also, the non-existence of a message can also communicate information. Elapsed Time is required. A simple example of the latter would be a Warrant Canary.

@ Clive

Now that it is clear why US IC has been holding intel close to vest and not providing much to ODNI, do you think the same kind of action is occurring inside UK IC?

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 10:44 PM

@ vas pup,

Do you think that could be helpful for teaching “memory muscle”?

All feedback systems can be good or bad.

But first a problem to solve when talking about behavioural feedback systems…

There are two terms,

1, Positive feedback
2, Negative feedback

And they mean compleatly different things to “teachers” and “engineers” and will create mayhem with your thinking process if you don’t know this or don’t understand from which perspective a statment is being made.

First simplistically to teachers “positive feedback” is things like “Praise” that is at the basest level when a baby smiles it gets lots of attention from the mother which is the incentivising “reward”. When training animals food rewards are used as well. So a baby learns to smile, and a dog learns to lie down etc, thus the babie or dogs behavioir is modified. But to a teacher “negative feedback” is “scolding” etc where you “punish” not “reward”. This is often done for what is seen as dangerous behaviour such as “reaching out to a flame” or for a dog jumping up at people etc, a sharp tone and raised voice are frrquently used. Some however still believe the use of physical “discomfort” or “pain” should be used, even though it’s been shown that all that realy does is start an adverserial proces unrelated to the training requirment, thus destined to fail.

When engineers talk of feedback as being negative or positive, it is as a direction modification of a signal derived from the system output and “fedback” to the systems input. In effect a difference signal between the desired state of the output signal and the actual output signal is fedback to drive the direction of the signal. Thus negative feedback which causes stability is often seen as good, whilst positive feedback which deliberately causes instability is seen as risky or bad. However the price of negative feedback is slower response times, where as positive feedback you get faster response times.

But back to bio-feedback systems the idea behind them is to change something by repetition and thus gain advantage. With toddlers we throw a ball and if they catch it they get rewarded.

However unlike the generalised feedback systems used by enginners to change a fixed systems output signal, a teacher is trying to change the “system”.

Another important difference is that bio-feedback comes with a number of assumptions,

1, the test subject wants to learn what is being taught.

2, The test subject can learn or change.

3, The test subject can somehow determin a feedback signal as a measure of changes in the system.

4, The test subject can determin the direction of the feedback signal correctly.

If any of those assumptions are incorrect then the lesson will not be learned.

The first assumption is a problem when a system / test subject has the ability to use “free will” and is why the likes of tourture fail to work.

The second assumption is where systems / test subjects fail for both teachers and engineers. If they do not recognise that a system / test subject is incapable of the task it is set, they will fail and often expensively so as they will have needlessly wasted resources.

One of the big problems in neurological bio-feedback systems is the third assumption of a recognisable feedback signal it’s self. Not only does a valid signal have to exist, it has to do so in a way that can be validly measured in an appropriatly short time so it is potentially usable by the system / test subject. So the signal has to be appropriate, sufficiently free of noise and interferance, and timely. Further as the fourth issue indicates the system / test subject must be able to not just recognise the signals existance but also validly measure it to provide the required information. When I had involvement with nascent neurological to electronic interfacing, signal selection was highly problematic, and I suspect it still is (otherwise why get AI involved).

Thus to answer your question on the assumption biology alows the “memory muscle” process to be not just controled but changed, then yes it could be done. But the process is going to be fairly fraught unless good, clear feedback signals are obtained, and to be honest I’m not entirely sure you can get a “real time” signal for such a process as we don’t understand how the “memory” process works[1].

So not impossible, but improbable at our current state of understanding and technology.

[1] It’s the same hurdle AI has, you can build an inferance engine and test it and find it works. The problem though is “correlation is not causation”. Inference engines build rules based on a very small subsets of observation data and two state logic rules. We currently assume such systems spot both correlation and causation and hope that the rules somehow magically reflect “causation” not “correlation”. In reality we usually cheat and select training data where we think “causation” is dominant, thus hope the rules generated reflect that (hence GIGO is the real game in AI). The actual issues are more subtle and to do with cognition, which is intimately based on perception. Computers can not “sense” thus they either need to have sensors added or be told things. However two state logic is not natures way, there is what was (past tense), what is (present tense), and what will be (future tense). So to ask “Is Socrates Mortal?” you first have to ascertain if Socretes had a point of origin in the time line, if he did, you then need to determin if he is dead or not… If he is dead “Then he was mortal” (past tense) if however he is alive (present tense) you can not say if he is mortal it’s not possible to know you thus have three states “True, False, Indeterminate” thus two state “True, False” logic can not answer an apparently simple question, which can then get you into the “Halting problem” and other quite fundemental issues.

Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 11:32 PM

@ 2 FPS,

Can “content” be dispensed with in messages and mere existence of a message suffice for all communications needs ?

It depends on what you mean by “content”.

The existance or non existence of a communications at a minimum is “one bit of information”.

However communications do not exist in issolation, they exist in both “time and space”. That is they have a point of origin and happen at a given time, both relative to the reciever. That is multiple recievers see differences in time or direction or both (if they do not then they occupy the same point in space and time thus are logically the same receiver).

A very great deal of information can be encoded into both the time and position of a communication transmission. One megabit of information per second is not that difficult to do, even without transmitting a synchronisation component.

A third party not knowing the refrence between the first two parties would see only an empty communication, and have no way to deduce what the message content was.

Whilst that does not cover “all communications needs” it does cover a few of the bases.

Do any climate models actually honor all physics laws, e.g. conservation of energy ?

They do not need to, nor in reality can they as they are not omnipresent. The laws to do with uncertainty provide a barrier as does thermal noise that we can not cross with sensors etc. Thus whilst the universe is discreet not continuous it’s basic granularity can not be measured.

Which should answer your questions.

SpaceLifeForm September 27, 2020 11:39 PM

So, Russia, like China, wants to know the name of a website that someone wants to visit. So, they can track and/or block.

But neither wants the website name to be hidden.


Readers may find it of interest that there are techniques to potentially bypass the DPI by these firewalls. None easily usable by a regular user. It would certainly require major effort on a rooted phone.


Clive Robinson September 27, 2020 11:42 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Now that it is clear why US IC has been holding intel close to vest and not providing much to ODNI, do you think the same kind of action is occurring inside UK IC?

I know it is.

The questions from then on are firstly,

“Is it intentional or as a result of the system or both?”

You can see how the questions can quickly fan out, thus provide another barrier that might or might not be intentional…

WmG September 28, 2020 1:01 AM

@Clive Robinson
I have seen intestine rings breaded, deep fried and served as “fried calamari” in an inexpensive Thai place in California, where owners should really know and do better.

As we ate, my friend asked if it was really squid? I had to admit that I couldn’t tell.

She picked up a ring, tore off the breading and there was clearly a ring of small intestine[1]. Being pretty cool, and not incidentally Chinese, she thought it was quite funny, a bit like ordering off the Chinese language side of the menu in an old-school Chinese restaurant. Of course with a random feature of not knowing what you’d get.

[1]Cross cut bung is said to be indistinguishable from squid rings. However, I think it likely that someone accustomed to eating properly cooked high quality, fresh squid would be able to tell the deference. Buying and cooking your own food is a good idea.

I SEE YOOOOOOUUUUUUUU September 28, 2020 2:59 AM



Here is the patent for Microsoft 1. WO2020060606 – CRYPTOCURRENCY SYSTEM USING BODY ACTIVITY DATA
look at the patent number, literally, “world order 2020 666.” This from the same guy who is publicly
saying he wants to put microchip tracking on every human on earth to prove you have been vaccinated,
to allow you to buy or sell.. Bill Gates needs to Beg God for forgiveness. Science with out Gods
standards is propelling humanity towards a calamity of biblical proportions. Even if Bill repents,
Elon Musk has made and is rolling out a 5g satellite grid around the whole earth and brain chips.
this is not a joke, this is some fucked up shit..

Revelation 13:16:
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their
right hand, or in their foreheads.
Revelation 14:9:
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his
image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine
of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he
shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence
of the Lamb.



The Untold Story of JFK’s Sister, Rosemary Kennedy, and Her Disastrous Lobotomy

The Forgotten Story Of Rosemary Kennedy, Who Was Lobotomized So That JFK Could Succeed

The Truth About Rosemary Kennedy’s Lobotomy
A never-before-seen photo surfaces of the forgotten Kennedy, who, after a disastrous lobotomy, was rarely heard from again

When Rosemary was 23 years of age, doctors told her father that a form of psychosurgery known as a lobotomy would help calm her mood swings and stop her occasional violent outbursts.

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 4:52 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

So, Russia, like China, wants to know the name of a website that someone wants to visit.

The ghost of Google strikes again with SORM++ and the illusive SNI.

Yes China and incidently most other countries are after the SNI field in plaintext form. To be honest I’m surprised other countries have not gone down the legislative route.

In fact a number of “service providers” –some US– discorage certain types of protocol as they see the unencrypted SNI field and the info it gives them on users as an income stream…

Most people don’t think about it, but lets look at it another way with the older “Phone Service”. How would people feel in the 1980’s if their phone service provider was making every phone number they called “public information” to who ever handed over a few cents?

For those that have some knowledge of “Trafic Analysis” the prospect would have been –and still is– terrifying.

P.S. Sorry for the late reply still trying to get my head in the right time zone…

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 5:24 AM

@ WmG,

I have seen intestine rings breaded, deep fried and served as “fried calamari” in an inexpensive Thai place in California, where owners should really know and do better.

I guess the real question is,

“did they taste OK?”

But yes squid is expensive compared to Pork Bung, but even so labour costs will still be the same… So I’m guessing it was a “family run business” where the “staff” don’t get wages just a share of the profits etc.

With regards,

Buying and cooking your own food is a good idea.

I think Machiavelli gave the same advice to “Princes” and it would certainly have been good advice in China and Japan oh a good four thousand years ago, where poisoning was part of the art of diplomacy.

It’s also in various treatise on “Fieldcraft” not just for spys but diplomats, soldiers and similar, especially guards.

Oh and of course these days “the rich and famous” and anyone who might get “Stalked” in one way or another.

It is most definitely a strange, not brave, new world we live in…

JonKnowsNothing September 28, 2020 8:16 AM


re: Bank of Mom and Dad
   COVID-19 Post Wave One Real Estate Turn Overs from Deaths

Analysis of the impacts and financial benefit of DePopulation aka Herd Immunity Policy Die Off, which provides some long term permanent benefit to the Real Estate Industry and USA economy. The valuations are approximate and the percentages are a mix from different sources. Housing is a complex topic area and the following are examples only.

Wall Street JournalInvestors are preparing for what they believe could be a once-in-a generation opportunity to buy distressed real-estate assets at bargain prices.

note: I know nothing. There are a lot of zeros and I might have added or dropped one on the copy-paste. Your calcs might be different.

Continuing from known base COVID19 numbers:

USA Deaths 200,000
50% old age or care homes 100,000
50% workers 100,000

Ownership Split 40% Older Owners 40,000 Working Owners 40,000
Fully Owned 70% Older 28,000 30% Working 12,000
Not Fully Owned 30% Older 12,000 70% Working 28,000

Renters Older Renters 60,000 Working Renters 60,000

California Deaths 15,000
50% old age or care homes 7,500
50% workers 7,500

Ownership Split 40% Older Owners 3,000 Working Owners 3,000
Fully Owned 70% Older 2,100 30% Working 900
Not Fully Owned 30% Older 900 70% Working 2,100

Renters Older Renters 4,500 Working Renters 4,500

A Bay Area City
Median Price House $760,000
Median Price Rent $3,000/month

Rental valuations 9,000 rentals * 3,000 = $27,000,000 / month
27,000,000 * 12 = $324,000,000 / year
note: This value is from non-eviction rentals as the previous occupants are dead.

Housing valuations
Fully Owned Older 2,100 * 760,000 = $1,596,000,000
Fully Owned Worker 900 * 760,000 = $684,000,000

Partially Owned Older 900 * 760,000 = $684,000,000
Partially Owned Worker 2,100 * 760,000 = $1,596,000,000

Expected Turn Over 6,000 * 760,000 = $4,560,000,000

Expected CA Sales Tax 3.33% * $4,560,000,000 = $151,848,000
note: This is a withholding tax, final tax is determined on annual filing.

Expected Real Estate Commission 6% * $4,560,000,000 = $273,600,000
Expected State Income Tax 12.3% * $4,560,000,000 = $560,880,000
note: This is the top rate tax bracket. Actual tax will be determined on annual filing.

note: This is the housing turn over from deaths.

Partially Owned properties will fall into two segments. Segment 1 will be able to continue payments and remain in the property. Segment 2 will have to vacate the property due to insufficient funds. A portion of Segment 2 will fall into a) foreclosure or short sales or b) normal sales.

Fully Owned Properties will fall into Inheritance Categories. See previous analysis on expected inheritance windfalls in the blog archives or perhaps on the Wayback Machine as some previous analysis may no longer be available in the archives.

sources: real estate analysis, pricing and housing trends, actuary tables and risk assessments, COVID-19 mortality index.

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 9:13 AM

@ ALL,

A new SARS-CoV-2 paper[1],

Molecular Architecture of Early Dissemination and Massive Second Wave of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus in a Major Metropolitan Area[2]

I’ve not had time to more than skim read it. So the bad news first,

“The genomes were from viruses recovered in the earliest recognized phase of the pandemic in Houston, and an ongoing massive second wave of infections. The virus was originally introduced into Houston many times independently. Virtually all strains in the second wave have a Gly614 amino acid replacement in the spike protein, a polymorphism that has been linked to increased transmission and infectivity. Patients infected with the Gly614 variant strains had significantly higher virus loads in the nasopharynx on initial diagnosis.”

In short there is a mutation in the spike protein which couples to the ACE2 receptors which has made people both more susceptible and more importantly shed considerably more virus. So at the very least it is a mutation that is going to spread through the population faster because it’s,quite a bit more infectious. Thus you should be more cautious about how you interact with society.

Now what should be better news,

“We found little evidence of a significant relationship between virus genotypes and altered virulence”

So apparently it is not anymore virulant/pathogenic within it’s self…

But people should remember that is only part of the infection story…

Because the effect SARS-CoV-2 has on people nieve to the virus, thus without an imunological defence, is dependent on their initial viral load.

So with those infected by this new virus sheading at more significant rates, it may give others a marked increase in viral load. The downside of which is likely to be an increase not just in R0 but also an in the cases going to hospital and like as not increased mortality rates “downstream” in those that are more susceptible[3]

So keep your distance folks and as we are heading into “seasonal infection” time make sure you top up your vitamins and minerals and get your flu shots.

[1] The intro carries a “pre-print” warning so apply caution to the information contained.

[2] The major metropolitan area is Houston Texas USA, which is an ethnically diverse region with seven million residents.

[3] This is unfortunately happening just as we go into the seasonal disease period in the Northern Hemisphere just when healthcare gets most stretched.

Winter September 28, 2020 9:13 AM

“Analysis of the impacts and financial benefit of DePopulation aka Herd Immunity Policy Die Off, which provides some long term permanent benefit to the Real Estate Industry and USA economy. ”

As you write, this is strongly dependent on the country you are looking at, that is, this likely is USA only. As such, this is a rerun of the 2009 foreclosure spree in the USA where people were illegally thrown out of their houses.

All OECD countries, except the USA, have universal health insurance coverage. In most (if not all) of these, medical costs for COVID would be near zero. Many (most?) countries include nursing homes in their coverage.

It is questionable whether this bank repossession of real-estate actually translates to other OECD countries. What I see around me in Europe is that houses transfer to the heirs after old people die. Houses are sold and the net worth goes to the heirs. House prices have yet to come down, BTW.

Winter September 28, 2020 9:16 AM

“We found little evidence of a significant relationship between virus genotypes and altered virulence”

Saw recent slides of Christian Droste (virologist with his own Wikipedia page) who also found no relation between virus variants and virulence. (recent as of this month)

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 9:52 AM

@ Winter,

The equality of “virulence” is a measure that is –or should be– given independent of other factors.

Likewise the effective infectivity should be given independently of other factors.

That is “other factors” such as “viral shedding” and “viral load” which are both interrelated.

If infectivity and virulence figures are not statistically independent then no meaningful comparisons can be made. I’ve not yet gone through the paper to check for this, hence my warning about it being a preprint paper. And to be honest I’d rather someone else did it because it’s not something I find any pleasure in doing.

But as you’ve mentioned in your reply to @JonKnowsNothing, the US is different in many ways.

One oddity that has yet to be explained…

The infection rate in the US was rising sharply, then an “administrative change” was made and the figures immediately down turned. Which caused considerable suspicion (and apparently still does in some quaters even inside the US).

However unlike Europe when it had an infection down turn and fatality rates dropped dramaticly in a similar way but time shifted, the fatality rates in the US did not drop in a similar way at all and are still higher than many would expect.

There are various reasons why this might be and not all involve the manipulation of infection figures. One such would be healthcare provision saturation…

Without more data it will be hard to tell…

Trudi Fenster-Klotz September 28, 2020 10:52 AM

“Our main thesis is that combining ideas from the theory of dynamical systems with learning theory provides an effective route to data-driven models of complex systems, with refinable predictions as the amount of training data increases, and physical interpretability through discovery of coherent patterns around which the dynamics is organized. Our article thus serves as an invitation to explore ideas at the interface of the two fields.”

It would be nice to see an examination of this in relation to the ANN work of S. Grossberg, which also uses dynamical systems (typically of a given form inspired by a natural analogue) to process real world data.

MarkH September 28, 2020 11:12 AM

A propos de “flour mites”:

My father participated in the management of several food processing operations.

One of them was large enough that throughout each day, long freight trains arrived carrying grain, and departed carrying product.

The trains were sufficiently long and numerous, that expectant mothers would strategize about the best driving routes to reach the hospital (on the other side of the rail line) once they went into labor …

Flour bugs (the common kind are actually tiny beetles, I believe) were an inescapable part of the business. In a laboratory, workers would study samples under magnification and count the bugs per unit of volume. Above some threshold, they would record “TNTC” (too numerous to count).

Natural products include natural pests … It is hypothesized that cats were first domesticated because they were so efficient at rooting rodents out from granaries. But even cats are no match for these little insects.

As a joke, some of my father’s staff made a gift for him. They bought an “Ant Farm” (a frame with two panes of glass spaced perhaps a centimeter apart, so you can see the ant tunnels in the sand), dumped out the sand and the ants, and filled it with flour … and a few flour bugs.

lurker September 28, 2020 12:20 PM

@Clive, WmG

On my first visit to China I had a minor language failure when I confidently ordered from the menu what I thought was pork liver as garnish in my noodle soup. I was only slightly surprised to see the little rings of intestine, and ate them confident that they are claimed to have similar therapeutic qualities as liver, specially for old men…

MarkH September 28, 2020 1:02 PM


If we survive the experience (and I mean this literally, considering their murderous negligence in response to the pandemic) …

… we can compare comb-over experiences.

JonKnowsNothing September 28, 2020 1:16 PM

@Clive, @ALL

re: A new SARS-CoV-2 paper on mutation

I am not a deep diver on this but from other summaries it is not clear to me what mutation is being discussed.

The D614G mutation has been around since March-April 2020 and earlier. The original version of COVID-19 was superseded quickly in China and it was the swap of these amino acids that improved the spike component into what is around now.

  * Pre-March 2020 96% of COVID19 was type D (USA)
  * Post-March 2020 70% of COVID19 was type G (USA)

There are on average 2 mutations per month but only the D614G version has made any difference and this is the dominant version with many sub-branches.

If first seemed that the report was of another series of mutations in the same spike protein but … the deep end got too deep and it didn’t seem they had found anything not already known.

Nextstrain has 4808 genomes sampled between Dec 2019 and Sep 2020 available for public viewing.

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

JonKnowsNothing September 28, 2020 1:30 PM

@Clive @All

re: USA COVID-19 number fudge

  * There are several “semi official” changes in how the numbers are recorded.

  * There are also a number of noticeable changes in how the numbers were recorded provided one kept a day to day track on published numbers.

  * There are differences between states (California vs Florida) on which numbers are published.

  * Some better numbers remain in downloadable datasets but in some areas those are no longer available.

  * Some numbers are published by different agencies with timing and counting differences such that there is no verifiable correlation between them.

  * Some hospitals off load patients into other facilities that have no reporting requirements or have minimal reporting requirements.

  * Testing procedures vary radically across the board.

  * There are also legitimate logistical delays in reporting data and then there are the 2x Weekly Reports were 3+ days of numbers are aggregated.

  * Within some of the “graphical dashboards” provided in different regions the graphs are manipulated.

  * In some situations when the dashboard was presented with daily data, the daily values would be altered in the following weeks.

  * Sometimes these alterations coincided with official government pronouncements.

  * The alterations also adjusted the view graphs to look “better” by moving data to previous periods or holding it until the next updates.

  * Additionally, there is some questionable timing in how and when some data spikes occurred and how they were reported.

  * Some data has been adjusted so many times that it is no longer of any value other than a nicely colored pie chart.

  * Additionally in the USA we have HIPAA a patient privacy protection law. This law prohibits hospitals, news media and other reporting agencies from reporting on identifiable persons unless that person or their survivors has granted legal permission to do so. In theory this was intended to prevent the Insurance Industry and Employers from checking out a persons health status. The USA has a record of nosy bosses and religious restrictions that might impact one’s employment. It also provides perfect cover for hospitals and care homes and rehab centers from disclosing some information to the public.

  * The Guardian and some other papers in the USA are running feature stories on health care workers who died during the pandemic. It is much harder to do in the USA because the public is not allowed to know the names of those who have died.

  * 200,000 anonymous persons have died in the USA; 15,000 in California.

Tatütata September 28, 2020 1:31 PM

The current New York Magazine published today an article by Sharon Weinberger titled “Is Palantir’s Crystal Ball Just Smoke and Mirrors? — An inside look at how Big Data’s scariest, most secretive unicorn got its start.

As the title immediately suggests, the piece is quite critical and pricks the balloon which John Poindexter (of Iran-Contra ill-repute) helped create:

It’s a strange moment, given the widespread alarm over the ever-expanding reach of technology, for a tech company to be marketing itself as the most powerful weapon in the national-security state’s arsenal — wrapping itself in what one Silicon Valley veteran calls “the mystique of being used to kill people.” But as Palantir seeks to sell its stock on Wall Street, even some of its initial admirers are warning that the company’s software may not live up to its hype. More than a dozen former military and intelligence officials I interviewed — some of whom were instrumental in persuading government agencies to work with Palantir — expressed concerns about the firm’s penchant for exaggeration, its apparent flouting of federal rules designed to ensure fair competition, and its true worth.”

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 3:09 PM

@ Tatütata,

Re the article that generously rates Palantir as being worth at best maybe 4-5% of the $20billion hype / myth says.

A friend would call the Palantir products described as a “blow up doll product” because it’s “A cute but plastic face with no brains or guts behind it and of damn little use where it counts”…

However the description of the marketing asspects were effectively only a bottom up look, and missed the real point.

Palantir want’s to replace experienced detectives and analysts with it’s not particularly good AI. But AI needs data, good clean data and normally that costs real money as the article notes. So Palantir’s plan is make your paying customer at the base layer type it in and Palantir get it for free. Then they harvest it repackage it and sell it to the next layer customers who add more data and so on up the chain. The reason they want to get rid of the detectives and analysts is three fold,

1, They are better than Palantir’s AI.
2, Palantir want the money they would be paid and some as well.
3, Palantir need them gone so that a dependency relationship is formed and customers can not go back only pay more for less from Palantir.

That is Palantir are following a “Drug Pusher Business Model” get a customer by giving it away, kill the competition, make the customer dependent, push the price higher and higher, for less and less quality.

That’s the reality of Palantir.

Oh the other thing the article did not mention was the “Trust” no matter how many shares Thiel and Karp sell no matter how high the price the Trust will always have 50% or more and rules that might put Facebooks Zuckerberg to shame to ensure they are always in control.

So share holders are in effect “Patsies taken for a ride”, the smart ones will have an exit stratagy befor they buy in essence turning their shares into “hot potatoes” where eventually somebody is going to be left holding them and “get burned” but such investors care not a jot as long as they have sliced the cream off the top.

The new “Great American Dream” at work…

SpaceLifeForm September 28, 2020 3:49 PM

@ Clive, All

Most people don’t think about it, but lets look at it another way with the older “Phone Service”. How would people feel in the 1980’s if their phone service provider was making every phone number they called “public information” to who ever handed over a few cents?

Criss Cross Directory is still a thing.

In the olden daze, while working for a campaign (late 70s), I went to the public library to correlate phone numbers to physical addresses. At the library, in a section not obviously available, was a physical book, the Criss Cross Directory.

It was in a special ‘Reference’ section.

And you could not get in without ID.

Via Post address, you could look up phone number.

Via phone number, you could look up Post address.

To canvas.

SpaceLifeForm September 28, 2020 5:41 PM

@ Trudi Fenster-Klotz

That is Gobbledygook 201.

It would be 101 but they threw in some AI.

Don’t buy the BS.

Clive Robinson September 28, 2020 6:15 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

At the library, in a section not obviously available, was a physical book, the Criss Cross Directory.

The “not obviously available” is the point.

Back in the 80’s I was teaching students about switches and how they were interfaced to computers. BT had a billing center outside of Cardiff in Wales, and in it’s aircraft hanger sized computer rooms was row after row of IBM computers printing out “billing information”.

Back then it was before “itemized billing” so what was used was the numbers read from “metering pulse counters”. Some were still read from the frame and hand written onto forms that got sent from a local exchange to a regional data entry and verification center.

The thing is there was no record kept of the actual number called back then.

But things were changing and the idea of “Itemized Billing” kind of set the stage for “collect it all”.

The phone switches started to became first digital and then computerised from the early 1960’s. When computerized recording the number dialed, from which consumer pair and at what time and day was fairly simple. Likewise automatically sending the data to the main data center over “leased lines” was almost trivial.

Without these changes to switches “collect it all” would not have been possible. And surveillance would have been bound by resource issues due to having to use “pen registers” to record the numbers.

Whilst engineers and technologists in their geeky bubbles knew all about this, even in the 1980’s not just everyday folk, but judges were not told about how much more power these computer driven switches were. But even when “itemized billing” did come in ordinary people did not realise the implications and judges were still making rulings based on the old model…

Thus data was being gathered in increasing amounts on the “Never To Be Discarded” basis, as the SigInt Agencies came into effect in the closing months of World War Two.

Even now after the Ed Snowden revelations most people and that includes judges as well, still think in the old electro mechanical POTS way.

JonKnowsNothing September 28, 2020 6:24 PM


re: Impacts of De-Population on Real Estate Turn Overs

As indicated the values are examples taken from resources on the topic. They are not universal as indicated in the introductory post above it.

Universal Healthcare and support systems vary by nation and region. The USA has little that is provided by the government but it does have a lot of what individuals are willing to pay for. In the USA we pay for everything.

Universal Health Care does not guarantee survival of COVID-19, nor do Universal Social Support systems.

1,000,000 people have died globally and their wealth will “trickle down”. Some countries like France have strict inheritance laws. Some of the issues of inheritance and taxes were posted July 2020-August 2020 or on the Wayback Machine as not every posted analysis done made it to the archives.

note: I have no plans to revisit those as the conditions have not changed.

Nearly every developed country has a system of property and real estate taxes.
Nearly every country has a form of rental system.

In countries where housing is not provided pro forma, 1Mill housing units are up for grabs. The types and quality will vary by country and the number of deaths.

Real Estate rarely goes unclaimed. Governments tax that value. If you sell your inheritance, taxes apply too. Not every house will have an inheritor. It is a large field in scope.

The primary point is that one benefit of DePopulation is 1,000,000 housing units over 9 months of COVID-19 pandemic are now available.

During WW2, when some countries emptied their populations of certain classes and religions, the housing was re-assigned and is still occupied. In modern times there are swaths of housing taken from one group and given to another, both existing dwellings and newly built structures.

It remains to be noticed that the COVID-19 dead occupied the same properties. The dead have always occupied properties but COVID-19 gives an incentive to some governments to push that process along.

SpaceLifeForm September 28, 2020 6:32 PM

@ Clive

Who would you guess is doing the DDoS?

And why? Who is escaping?


Our engineers are continuing to mitigate the attack on our systems and work to restore access to Flightradar24 services.

Trudi Fenster-Klotz September 29, 2020 12:26 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm

Re: That is Gobbledygook 201

How so ? I am trying to read it, and it seems to include Kalman filtering or optimal control as a special case. I was hoping it would discuss deriving a “recognizer” dynamical system from training data in some organic way, like a generalization of Grossberg. It’s sounding different at the moment, but perhaps it will touch on that area at some point.

JG4 September 29, 2020 12:45 AM

There is a deep connection between these two articles and security. It’s always and everywhere about cause and effect. A bit dated, but worth the price of admission.

The hidden signs that can reveal a fake photo
A picture may say a thousand words, but what if the photograph has been fabricated? There are ways to spot a fake – you just have to look closely enough.
…[the premise of Total Recall was implanting false memories]
BBC Future writer Rose Eveleth has also reported on the way that fake images affect memories.

To Build Truly Intelligent Machines, Teach Them Cause and Effect
Judea Pearl, a pioneering figure in artificial intelligence, argues that AI has been stuck in a decades-long rut. His prescription for progress? Teach machines to understand the question why.

WmG September 29, 2020 1:28 AM

@ Clive Robinson in re: “imitation squid”
“How did it taste?”
Not bad for chitlins, but substandard squid.

Rather bland and over-cooked, odd seeming for deep fried squid. Which is why the question came up and the breading was removed. In thinking about this, memory began to serve, and it was takeout, so I never saw the place, nor could make the inquiry I would have enjoyed making.

If pork bung is half the price of squid, intestine must be much cheaper than that. An obvious price incentive, but, one would think, more easily detectable.

Squid is best done on a hot grill. Though that stew is worth a try.

Other oddities from the food world, not new, but indicative:
Back in the early 1990’s the Safeway grocery chain was found to have been adding pork to their ground beef. No one would object to that, would they?

On a more absurd level was the case of Hindu French Fry lovers. They bought the fries at McDonald’s. Imagine the shock when they discovered that McD’s, at the time, enhanced the flavor of the fries with a component derived from beef. They say they’ve stopped that.

Also, thanks for your thoughts on Palantir.

Clive Robinson September 29, 2020 3:41 AM

@ MarkH,

we can compare comb-over experiences.

We need not only to survive the experiences, we also need to be able to talk about them…

If you look at the UK “Prevent” Scheme rules, many on this blog are now in effect directly comparable to “Terrorists” and the restrictions that follow simply because of pointing out the Capitalist way they hold up as Emperor actually “has no clothes”…

Even though the logic expressed here is sound and based on facts, that is not what the neo-cons want to hear. They have spent decades buying academic economists views and changing the education given in economics and MBA classes, raising faux boggie men and villains in the media and repeating false claims over and over like a religious mantra for acolytes to use to drown out the words of others they deem as heretics.

A simple RNA virus has in a way compressed time and has caused the neo-con arguments to be shown quickly and brutaly as false, dubious, or self interested at best, and murderous and oppressive of the general populous as standard, with rapacious of the dead and worse.

Thus the thought “vile and reptilian” is growing in many peoples minds and this is not according to neo-con plans. So now they can not persuade by trickery[1] they feel they have no choice but to enforce…

You can thus be reasonably sure that this is but a starting step in a journy, and that those steps will remain set in stone…

[1] One of the reasons people nolonger trust the reporting by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is that the current UK political encumberants a few years back changed the “BBC Charter” such that they were required to give equal air time to both sides of an issue. Whilst this at first sight sounds fair, it’s actually not. What it does do is make available a major world wide broadcasting platform to the “loonies and undesirables” who have no position in society. Thus the BBC has a choice, give societal undesirables a platform they neither deserve nor would get from other media, or not cover issues where this issue arises. Thus the result is either “propaganda” or “censorship” but again I’m not technically supposed to express such a “radical viewpoint” because I’m “being unfair by not sharing the platform equally with opposing viewpoints”…

Clive Robinson September 29, 2020 4:51 AM

@ Trudi Fenster-Klotz, SpaceLifeForm,

How so ?

I suspect the issue is actually,

“… with refinable predictions as the amount of training data increases, and physical interpretability through discovery of coherent patterns …”

To take the gobbledygook words off of it, it becomes,

“Keep bolting bits on to deal with exceptions caused by correlation not causation”

The first part is how the early Victorian beam engine designers worked. Every time a crack appeared they bolted a plate on thus a crack would appear somewhere else which got treated likewise… So not only becoming increaingly inefficient, with increasing rate of repair it became more fragile still untill the whole edifice colapsed under the weight of the “exceptions”.

Those early Victorian designers were artisans and used artisanal techniques to try to come up with “design patterns”. The trouble with “design patterns” is frequently they “do not scale” thus what works on a small engine does not work on a big engine. It was only as “Natural Philosophy” became “Science” in particular what we now call “Physics” that change became possible and the “design Patterns” were replaced with scalable formulars.

But the use of science to make engineering was realy driven by the common desire expressed via legislation for these artisan pattern designed engines to stop exploding and killing people in horrible ways. There is currently no such imperitive in AI, though as it’s use in surveillance and law enforcment is starting ti rapidly increase, I suspect there will start to be considerable harms likewise rising. Thus the “killing people in horrible ways” will increasingly happen (drone strikes based on Palantir etc output).

Hard AI has been stalled in almost a pre-artisan state for around six decades. Soft AI or rule based systems have been more successful, but they have no intuition of their own only rules to follow, they are in effect just “determanistic systems”. Back in the 1980’s “theory testers” came along and I had peripheral involvment with one called “Helps Uncover Latent Knowledge”(HULK) that was released by Brainstorm Computer Solutions.

HULK alowed you to test your hypothesis against a body of data thus could tell you if your hypothesis had merit on that limited body of knowledge. It was just statistical in nature and was in no way inteligent or intuitive.

Such systems evolved into “inference engines” but this time they used the likes of genetic and aneling algorithms to try to come up with hypothesis, but the reality is as I noted the other day they can not deal with the issue of “causation or correlation”. Thus you have,

Humans pre-selecting data sets to try and force the outcomes they want.”

However the result is almost always the rules found are based on “correlation” not “causation” the result is as you increase the size of the data set “correlation” breaks down so you end up with,

“Humans having to add exception handeling rules.”

Any time you have to,

1, Pre-select data sets.
2, Add exceptions as data sets grow.

You know almost for certain your rules are based on “correlation” not “causation” thus they are not even valid hypotheses thus candidate laws, they are just “observation correlations” thus mainly usless except on known to comply data sets.

When and only when we can reliably find a way to tell “Causation from Correlation” without throwing more data at the problem will AI move forward. In humans we call the ability to cut through quickly to causation “intuition” and as far as I’m aware nobody is even close to explaining intuition even despite the idea of throwing randomness and even quantum effects into the pot.

Winter September 29, 2020 6:44 AM

“During WW2, when some countries emptied their populations of certain classes and religions, the housing was re-assigned and is still occupied. ”

This does not describe the causal relations well. Some countries emptied the populations of other countries (and their own). But the rationale behind WWII was not in real-estate reassignment. That the houses of victims were taken (illegally or immorally) was a consequence of the wider lawlessness and destruction that follows total war.

The same in COVID-19. The fact that dead people leave empty houses is not a driving force in the pandemic policies of any but the most exceptional countries. Inheritance tax is too little of an income to offset the economic disaster that is COVID-19.

I will not say anything on corrupted policies in the USA, as I have no direct knowledge or insights in these.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 7:46 AM



The fact that dead people leave empty houses is not a driving force in the pandemic policies of any but the most exceptional countries. Inheritance tax is too little of an income to offset the economic disaster that is COVID-19.

On both counts you are not correct.

I recommend you read the reports on Anders Tegnell’s email exchanges for his “light touch” economic modeling. Reports on the FOI documents @August 2020.

From my previously posted analysis on the value of Dead Herds:

In the USA:
  * For every 65,600 older dead: $6,810,854,400 to $12,000,076,800 USD will be forfeited to the Social Security Trust Fund.

In the UK:
  * The valuation of inheritance taxation and escheatments in the UK for 45,500 deaths is Total In Hand Cash Savings = £2,028,390,000

Economic models are just as complex as science models. Depending on the amount of brute force the machines have depends on how complex each model can be and the number of variables you can manipulate for “goal seeking”. Large corporations have departments or consultancies that provide multitudes of outcomes. Governments spend vast sums of money running these models and they cover every aspect of the economy. Financial modeling is more well known.

One difference between Economic and Science modeling is Economic models are not necessarily open ended systems. They can have preset goals and all the rest of variables are driven to meet that goal.

There is a reason for all the deaths. It’s in the economic modeling.

I cannot replicate supercomputer based economic modeling with pencil and paper but one can add up some of the expected outcomes with help of a calculator.

  – Dead * earnings
  – Dead * housing value
  – Dead * expected inheritance
  – Dead * food consumption
  – Dead * pensions
  – Dead * health care consumption

This is not about morals. It’s about the money.

Winter September 29, 2020 9:25 AM

“* For every 65,600 older dead: $6,810,854,400 to $12,000,076,800 USD will be forfeited to the Social Security Trust Fund.”

Cost of 2 months of COVOD-19 mitigations: $2.14 trillion (this was in the spring).

The total costs are in the multi trillion dollar range for the whole economy. The same in other countries. President Trump and the Republicans are fighting an uphill battle to get reelected.

That does not really look like intentional policies. Not at all.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 9:44 AM


Rhetorical Question: What are costs?

Costs are not just “outgoes”; they are also “incomes”.

Cost of 2 months of COVOD-19 mitigations: $2.14 trillion (this was in the spring).

It was also $2.14 Trillion in INCOME to someone else: Salaries, materials, PPE, medications, services, rents, energy, etc etc etc.

Lost Labor is not Lost Dollars. The dollars just go somewhere else and into a different bucket or pocket. M. Bezos pocketed $13Bill USD in one day.

If you have access to a supercomputer you can add up all the valuations and all the “costs and benefits”. I can only add up one small segment at a time.

I can suggest that you do some crunching on numbers in your own region. There isn’t anything better than running the numbers for yourself.

Winter September 29, 2020 9:55 AM

“It was also $2.14 Trillion in INCOME to someone else: Salaries, materials, PPE, medications, services, rents, energy, etc etc etc.”

No, this was mostly a loss of productivity.

Less things were made, less things were sold, less things were traded. The economy shrunk. All economies shrunk. That is, the total of all incomes were less than they would have been by around 5-10% during the first months of the lock down. And that was world wide.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 10:17 AM


re: Some insights on USA aged income systems

There is a “nice” article about a 89 year old pizza delivery man and how the neighbors did a whip-round and gave him $12,000 USD as a “tip”.

As explained about the man’s aged income:

what sort of social security net forces an 89-year-old man to have to run around delivering pizza in his old age just so he can make rent? … Americans who are his age and make the average US yearly income of $35,977, can expect to receive about $1,579 a month in social security payments; barely enough to make the average rent…

Some things people may not understand is that in the USA, many support services are “means tested”.

  * If you have too much money you don’t qualify.
  * If you have too many assets (house, car, bank accounts) you don’t qualify.

The USA has a Tack-On for medical care that is means tested. The program varies from state to state and some states opt-out of the program.

This Tack-On provides lower costs medical payments and is also a gateway to other services such as food purchase support systems, a gateway to subsidized housing, home care support for daily living and other services.

A good many elders would be kicked out of these programs immediately by such a “windfall”.

It maybe the folks did it out of kindness and maybe they discussed this with a care service provider to verify their gift would not cause more hardships.

There are also a good number of people who fall above the threshold and will never qualify for any of these support services, in which case there wouldn’t be any problem with the goodwill gesture.

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

Winter September 29, 2020 10:34 AM

“Some things people may not understand is that in the USA, many support services are “means tested”.”

“The USA is for winners. Losers need not apply”.
That is indeed the message we got here, outside of the US.

Btw, the richest people in the US gained $637 billion during the pandemic:

How billionaires got $637 billion richer during the coronavirus pandemic

Maybe people in the USA could read up on some 19th century economists, or just the books by Thomas Picketty will do nicely.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 10:40 AM



No, this was mostly a loss of productivity.

Less things were made, less things were sold, less things were traded. The economy shrunk.

Economic expansion and contraction is part of the modeling. It’s what Anders and Cummings and every government and their dog are doing. It’s beyond the scope of my small calculations.

You have moved the end posts.

  – We started at the value of the depopulation on housing
  – Then the valuation of wealth transfers and inheritance taxes
  – Followed by US GDP COVID-19 Economic Costs
  – And on to US GDP economic forecasting darts

I return to you to determine why 1,000,000 people needed to died when only a few hundred were the victims at the start?

Early on, as mentioned by a good number of posts in the blog, stopping the planes and stopping the ships would have stopped COVID-19 from spreading.

8 Weeks is all it takes to stop it permanently.

We are heading to a doubling of the numbers.

$2.14 Trillion imaginary USD are going to be the least of your worries. It will make Andres and Dominic very happy.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 10:50 AM



Maybe people in the USA could read up on some 19th century economists, or just the books by Thomas Picketty will do nicely.

When discussing expanding our local Carnegie Library to hold more books, a rancher’s objections were succinctly put:

My cows don’t read

And we don’t write in cursive anymore either.

ht tps://

Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929

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(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter September 29, 2020 11:20 AM

“I return to you to determine why 1,000,000 people needed to died when only a few hundred were the victims at the start?”

That is just Nature. The black death killed 30% of the European population. There was no intend or reason behind it, just biology and evolution at work. If you have a large sense population, you get pandemics. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Except preventive vaccinations. But that is not going to happen.

And if there is one thing humans are good at, it is resisting change, especially if change would help them.

Winter September 29, 2020 12:02 PM

“My cows don’t read”

Slaves and women were forbidden to learn to read for a reason. If cows could learn to read, it would be a capital crime for them to do so.

It characterizes these farmers that they internalized the call for ignorance of the underclass to such an extend.

JonKnowsNothing September 29, 2020 12:13 PM



“I return to you to determine why 1,000,000 people needed to died when only a few hundred were the victims at the start?”

That is just Nature.

On this point, I do not agree.

Winter September 29, 2020 12:19 PM

“> That is just Nature.
On this point, I do not agree.”

Sorry, but I consider human stupidity a fact of Nature.

You should always remember that half of humanity has below average intelligence.

There is nothing we can do about that.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 29, 2020 2:18 PM

@ Moderator
A series of links that could be considered spam are posted to the thread, Liars and Outliers (blog/archives/2011/12/liars_and_outli_1.html). Links are DNS name mangled to obscure the target URL:,
These are obvious DNS mislabeling pointing to other than legitimate HP and Canon sites.

One of the last timestamps is 5:16 AM….

Sorry to be terse, have a scheduled event but needed to quickly post up…

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 29, 2020 2:22 PM

It appears a consist, though possible error, in the moderation of posts to the blog. Thematic in nature, which is concerning, forms the observational basis on my part in determining the nature of the moderation. Without seeding a post, that would be an act of subterfuge and do not participate in manipulation and discord. But, all I am left with is conjecture at this point given the nature of the topic in these posts. Just a concern, not yet a criticism.

vas pup September 29, 2020 3:18 PM

@Clive Robinson • September 27, 2020 10:44 PM

Thank you very much for clear and very logically based detailed input.

Sometimes I just thinking why we are ruled by some kind of mediocrity but not by the people with brain power as Clive has.

vas pup September 29, 2020 3:25 PM

Amazon One: Palm scanner launched for ‘secure’ payments:

“Amazon has announced a new payment system for real-world shops which uses a simple wave of the hand.
Its new Amazon One scanner registers an image of the user’s palm, letting them pay by hovering their hand in mid-air “for about a second or so”, it says.

The product will be trialed at two of Amazon’s physical stores in Seattle.

But the company said it is “in active discussions with several potential customers” about rolling it out to other shops in the future.

Palm scanners are not a brand-new technology, and there are already some commercially available solutions.

“Palm-based identification is based on capturing the vein patterns of the palm,” explains Dr Basel Halak of the Electronics and Computer Science School at the University of Southampton.
==>”These patterns are different for each finger and for each person, and as they are hidden underneath the skin’s surface, forgery is extremely difficult.”
!!!!Dr Halak said the level of security was roughly similar to a fingerprint scan, but could be used at a distance of a few inches, making it much more practical.
===>”In comparison with other form of identifiers such as physical devices, this form of biometric authentication is based on physical characteristics that stay constant throughout one’s lifetime and are more difficult to fake, change or steal,” he said.”

vas pup September 29, 2020 3:34 PM

Buried lakes of liquid water discovered on Mars

“Three new underground lakes have been detected near the south pole of Mars.
Scientists also confirmed the existence of a fourth lake – the presence of which was hinted at in 2018.

Liquid water is vital for biology, so the finding will be of interest to researchers studying the potential for life elsewhere in the Solar System.
But the lakes are also thought to be extremely salty, which could make it difficult for any microbial life to survive in them.
Now, a team including many of the same scientists from the 2018 study have analyzed a much bigger dataset of 134 radar profiles gathered between 2010 and 2019.

“Not only did we confirm the position, extent and strength of the reflector from our 2018 study, but we found three new bright areas,” said co-author Elena Pettinelli from Roma Tre University in Italy.

“The main lake is surrounded by smaller bodies of liquid water, but because of the technical characteristics of the radar, and of its distance from the Martian surface, we cannot conclusively determine whether they are interconnected.”

==>The team borrowed a technique commonly used in radar sounder investigations of sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica, Canada and Greenland, adapting the method to analyze the data from Mars.”

vas pup September 29, 2020 3:41 PM

Germany’s UN reform bid revives an old ambition

“Germany has been lobbying the UN and the five veto holders, in particular, to consider expanding the security council more broadly. The push is being ==>spearheaded by a group calling itself the G4 — India, Brazil, Germany and Japan.

The expansion plan foresees six additional permanent spots on the Security Council — two for the Asian continent, two for Africa, one for western nations, and one for Latin America and the Caribbean. The G4 plan proposes that they refrain from using their veto for at least 15 years, suggesting a conference then take place to review the changes. It also calls for a further “four or five” non-permanent slots to be made available in the Security Council, besides the 10 that currently exist.”

Read the whole article!

vas pup September 29, 2020 3:45 PM

UAE plans to shoot for the moon

“Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum has announced a plan to land a spacecraft on the moon and study its surface by 2024. The mission would be the third phase of a much more ambitious space program for the Arab nation.

The United Arab Emirates announced a new project on Tuesday to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by 2024.

The ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, announced the “first-ever Arab mission to the moon”, writing on Twitter that the lunar rover “will send back images and data from new sites of the moon that haven’t been explored by previous lunar missions.”

If the planned lunar mission is a success, then the UAE will be the fourth ever nation to land a vessel on the moon, following the US, the Soviet Union and China.

==>Sheikh Mohammed also announced on Twitter that the probe would be “100% manufactured and developed in the UAE by Emirati engineers.”

vas pup September 29, 2020 4:02 PM

Zhenhua data leak exposes China’s new ‘hybrid warfare’:

“More than 2 million people around the world have had their personal data collected on behalf of Chinese intelligence services, according to a leak of a dataset made public earlier this month by an Australian cyber security consultancy.

The list includes prominent political figures like Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi and their families, business leaders like Ratan Tata, US military members of all ranks, senior diplomats, academics, celebrities, ordinary people, and even gangsters.
The information was scraped mostly from open sources like social media profiles by a Chinese big-data harvesting company called Shenzhen Zhenhua Data Information Technology.

Zhenhua provides data-based intelligence services. According to analysts, its two main clients are China’s Ministry of State Security and the People’s Liberation Army.

At first glance, the information is seemingly innocuous: birth dates, political associations and marital statuses, family trees, bank details, job applications, communications between think-tanks, military service records, most of
!!! it scraps from Twitter, Linked-In or Facebook pages.

==>However, Christopher Balding, an American academic who was responsible for leaking the database, told DW the information is being strategically compiled by Chinese intelligence services for large-scale information campaigns aimed at influencing global public opinion.

“The reality is that open source intelligence is very valuable. It probably provides the majority of actionable materials that governments or intelligence agencies use,” said Balding, who had been based in Shenzhen but fled to Vietnam over security concerns.

The database was leaked to Balding by an anonymous source inside China connected to Zhenhua. Balding shared it with the Australian cyber security firm Internet 2.0, which then interpreted and analyzed the data.

“China is known to be building a techno-surveillance authoritarian state domestically,” Balding and Internet 2.0 founder Rob Potter said in a joint report on the findings, which claims to contain “the first direct evidence” of data collected by China to “monitor foreign individuals and institutions for purposes of intelligence and influence operations.”

Zhenhua, which also operates under the name “China Revival,” named the database the Overseas Key Information Database (OKIDB).

The data includes 2.4 million individuals and 650,000 organizations from around the world. The information was harvested from 2.3 billion news articles and 2.1 billion social media posts.

Analysis of the database showed it contains information on at least 52,000 Americans, 35,000 Australians,10,000 Britons and 10,000 Indians.

==>The OKIDB appears to focus on individuals and institutions China deems influential or important, Balding said. Analysis by Internet 2.0 showed that the database used a “scoring” algorithm to track importance.

==>Big data collection is, of course, not limited to China. Collection of open source data is also carried out by the US and other governments, along with global corporations and tech companies.

Zhenhua’s activities could be compared to the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved data from over 20 million Facebook accounts being harvested without users’ permission.

==>However, analysts point out the difference with China is that the data collection being carried out on behalf of a government that demonstrates authoritarian tendencies

“Facebook is collecting data on you so they can sell you things. They can say ‘click on the pair of shoes that you were looking at the other day.’ The data that Zhenhua is collecting is most certainly not used for that purpose,” Balding said.

!!!Analysts are exploring the possibility that Chinese intelligence is using picture location features on Facebook or Twitter to track US military members.

“We are talking about hundreds of thousands of very low-level personnel. They are following their Twitter and Facebook so they can geo-locate them,” Balding said.

“I think their ability to extract usable information from those types of environments is very interesting and should be worrisome to a lot of people.”

Read article as a whole and enjoy as usually good short videos inside!

vas pup September 29, 2020 5:02 PM

Opinion: Independent journalism is a pillar of open society

“Diversity and pluralism are the basis of journalistic credibility, as is competition between public and private media outlets, says Mathias Döpfner, president of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV).

We are living in confusing and uncertain times. The world order seems to be disintegrating. Europe and the US are growing apart. China is striving for global domination. Russia’s behavior is becoming increasingly outrageous. Islamists are assaulting open society. Populists are on the rise from London to Budapest. Artificial intelligence could make humans servants of algorithms. A virus has put the world in a state of emergency and occasionally brought it to a standstill.

===>In such times, thoroughly researched, truthful information becomes more and more important — a historic opportunity for journalism. During all this, our business model has been changing from an analog one to a digital one. This transformation is great, but it confronts many publishers with existential challenges.

!!!!Journalism involves a constant juggling act with regard to closeness and distance to the centers of power. Journalists have to be close to politics and political events so they can see things clearly. But they also have to be able to detach themselves to look at things from a distance. Both points of view are important. But where the financing of private media outlets is concerned, we cannot be far enough away from state institutions.

===>In recent days, discussions in the political sphere about the role of big platforms have become more and more frequent and increasingly critical. And the tone of these discussions is changing.

!!!The question is now frequently not whether these market-dominating companies should be broken up, but when and how. In my opinion, that can be only the last measure. And it does not need to be. We publishers just want healthy, successful players in a fair and working media ecosystem.”

Singular Nodals September 30, 2020 12:10 AM

@vas pup

Re: “… Independent journalism is a pillar of open society …”

If there were any such journalism. It’s humorously macabre to hear this said by a newspaper.

“So again, we have almost up to the last instant trusted the newspapers as organs of public opinion. Just recently some of us have seen (not slowly, but with a start) that they are obviously nothing of the kind. They are, by the nature of the case, the hobbies of a few rich men.”

Orthodoxy, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1908

Winter September 30, 2020 12:36 AM

“If there were any such journalism. It’s humorously macabre to hear this said by a newspaper.”

It is easy to recognize independent journalism. Eventually it criticizes all sides and everyone, because no side and no person is perfect and without fault. Everyone makes mistakes.

I was once in a dinner discussion with people from Finland and Poland about MSM and independent journalism. One of Polish guests stated that newspapers are divided by political party and that one side will always defend the current government, the other side will always attack them.

When the Finnish guest and I responded that there were no pro-government newspapers in our countries and that we would never buy such a paper, the Poles were dumbfounded.

In the end, partizan media are created by a partizan audience.

Winter September 30, 2020 1:34 AM

@vas pup
“More than 2 million people around the world have had their personal data collected on behalf of Chinese intelligence services, according to a leak of a dataset made public earlier this month by an Australian cyber security consultancy.”

I think all major countries are compiling databases of all people who are online. The breeches that became public showed an interest in, eg, all US public service officials.

Clive Robinson September 30, 2020 4:43 AM

@ vas pup,

The United Arab Emirates announced a new project on Tuesday to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon by 2024.

It’s something that people do not think about much, but “Space is becoming weaponised year by year”, it’s also getting filled with,”apparent junk”. If you link the two ideas together it does not take long to realise that it’s becoming like the cold war submarine game of a nuclear boomber with between ten and thirty multiple nuke warhead rockets was the “unseen deterent threat”. Which spawed the new generation of “Hunter-Killer” subs. Thus how much of that junk is realy junk?

Another issue is the tenure on orbits, operators are now required to have de-orbiting capability built in so that satellites can be removed from orbit.

Thus as an operator you have to play poker with your cards face up on the table, whilst others can not only play with their cards face down, they can chose to fold your hand when they chose…

However those rules do not aply to “scientific missions” to other “heavenly bodies”…

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between “science and surveillance”. Think about not just weather satellites but those that do crop/pollution/etc they are doing their “science by surveillance”.

Thus moon is to all intents and purposes a very large satellite that csn not be shot down or blown up and covers the world. Which was why the NSA did “moon bounce” or Earth-Moon-Earth(EME) communications with it during the the last half of the last century, and for all we know might well be doing so still today.

Thus the Moon represents a very real opportunity as a longterm science / surveillance base of Earth.

What we do not know is if other people have thought about it (highly likely) planed to exploit it (likely) or have already done so (possible).

As they say,

“Just something to think about”

Winter September 30, 2020 6:29 AM

“Thus the Moon represents a very real opportunity as a longterm science / surveillance base of Earth.”

I assume the different governments are only going to do something about the spying when they are also subjected to the surveillance. As long as it is “Only Us”, nothing will happen.

Or not, as they ALL see their respective populations as the real enemy.

Clive Robinson September 30, 2020 10:33 AM

@ ALL,

As some of you are aware the extradition hearing against Julian Assange is happening in london as now into 21 days.

Whilst it might be of academic interest as to what happens to Julian, the evidence presented yesterday is most certainly not.

It gives a very rare insight as to whay happens in US Federal maximum security prisons when the US Attorney General puts a prisoner under “Special Administrative Measures” or “SAMs”. As the AG is a “political Appointee” their decisions impartiality is at best extreamly questionable especially as it has been made “unchalengable” by various hurdles.

Which from looking into the US from several thousand miles away, I see should increasingly be of concern to every US Citizen and every person the US Government can get it’s hands on.

It is actually truly frightning about what it does to human beings, as the evidence given on day 20 of the trial shows,

Irrespective of what people think about Assange, I think people should read it especially US Citizens. After all,

“First they came for the…”

All US Citizens are on those lists one way or another, as are a great number of others. With such systems it’s just a question of time and probability. After all we know that the Chicago PD has just grabed people off of the streets and “disappeared them” before, very contrary to the law, and the US Administation and Judiciary just looked the other way…

Clive Robinson September 30, 2020 10:39 AM

@ Winter,

As long as it is “Only Us”, nothing will happen.

Or “Doing it for Us”, have a look at the history of the ruler of the nation concerned…

With regards,

… as they ALL see their respective populations as the real enemy.

The history of that country also shows that and worse.

But it’s also very true of the US, see my posting above on Day 20 of the Assange Extradition proceadings.

Clive Robinson September 30, 2020 11:21 AM

@ ALL,

There are growing questions as to if “Herd Immunity” is working with COVID-19.

The current increasing rates of infection where there has already been significant infection suggests that there are issues as yet unknown with “Herd Immunity”

One of the more worrying is in Amazonia in Brazil.

It’s been indicated that between half and two thirds of one population (Manaus) have been infected which is close to the 70% that various epidemiological models suggest would stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 so it should have significantly slowed down. Unfortunately that is apparently not the case, and infections are rising rapidly again,

The paper has yet to be peer-reviewed, which is a growing problem with COVID/SARS papers in that the supply of papers has significantly over taxed the peer review resources. It may be the case that some papers never get reviewed.

JonKnowsNothing September 30, 2020 2:17 PM

@Clive @All

re: Mink COVID-19 mortality changes

Veterinary Reports on COVID-19 outbreaks on mink farms in Utah and earlier in Denmark indicated that the minks were infected by humans. Sometimes dogs and cats were also infected. Any escaped minks are to be captured and any wild minks found dead are to be disposed of appropriately.

The following was reported first in the Danish outbreak and then in the Utah outbreaks; both reported a similar situation.

  * Multiple commercial mink farms were infected
  * Clinic signs were sick mink and sudden death
  * Testing confirmed COVID-19 in handler and mink
  * Area was quarantined
  * Some farms had full culls
  * After spreading to more farms no further culls were ordered
  * Veterinary Reports:

“Mink mortality rates on the affected premises have since decreased, returning to normal levels.”

As it is near normal harvest-cull time, it has the appearance that the cull took place as pelt-harvest happened. References were made to harvest-culling.

It may be supposed that any pelts from the infected mink farms will be sanitized prior to sale but this is not stated.

The indication of why a cull was not order is that the minks no longer got sick and the infection was limited in scope.

From previous outbreaks in Spain and other countries as well as lab testing on ferrets/mink, COVID-19 is high contagious to them with a very high mortality rate. In one outbreak in Spain the entire mink herd was infected and died between 14-30 days; by the time the Spanish authority ordered the cull most of the mink were already dead.

This leads to a number of questions about COVID-19, at least in mink.

Was there a genome mutation that happened during the Utah and Danish outbreaks that reduced the mortality and infection rates of COVID-19?

The genome analysis of COVID-19 shows that it mutates about 2x per month with the same mutations happening spontaneously in different strains. Some mutations reverse or reoccur. Only the D614G mutation of the spike protein remains dominant.

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JonKnowsNothing September 30, 2020 2:32 PM


US Prisons are notorious in their punitive measures. If a prisoner is of particular notice like Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner or any other prisoner of A Different Conscience than the Official View, their treatment will be on the legal side of barbaric. At least someone notices.

US Prisons where people are not of particular notice, get the same treatment or worse because there isn’t anyone looking out for them. Even if they have counsel, the systems are such that they cannot access it and the courts are not very inclined to take such cases in opposition to government policies.

Our courts determine “laws” not ethics or ethical standards. Our prisons are For Profit and overflowing. We have been out of space for decades and don’t have enough cash to build them any faster.

We are just one country that defines torture to as “enhanced interrogation”. You might know of a few more. Some countries just define torture as torture.

Clive Robinson September 30, 2020 3:07 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Some countries just define torture as torture.

Others call it “making routine enquiries”…

Yes it is sometimes caught in the UK. One police oficer knocked a kid around in the back of a van and told him if he did not become a “grass” then either he’d end up in court and never see the light of day, or his name would be given to the gang leader and he’d end up under a train.

Unbeknown to the police officer or the kids defense team the kid had recorded it on his cell phone. The kid told his side of the story in court much to the surprise in his own defense team and when the prosecution challenged it he pulled the phone out and started playing the recording.

The judge expressed surprise at the apparent rouge behaviour of the police officer and refered the case on. As far as I’m aware not much happened to the police officer…

The truth is this sort of nonsense goes on all the time, judges and prosecution are only to aware of it as are defence lawyers, the problem is,

A) Proving it.
B) Getting a conviction.

Put simply the corner of the carpet gets lifted and the broom pushes it out of sight…

There is probably not a country in the world where police misbehave like this. Sometimes it’s just to make the numbers, others because they think it’s your turn, or the fact your just the easiest to build a case against, or top of their suspect list, or you just had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Oh two pieces of advice,

1, Always reply “no comment at this time”.

2, Under no circumstances trust your own lawyer, in most cases they will talk to you on a phone line that they know full well is monitored, or in a room they know is wired for sound.

Oh and these days they send privileged information around on networks that are considerably less secure than writing it on a post card and asking the lead investigator to pass it on to you..

Remember at the end of the day for many the primary responsability they see is,

“Billable Hours”

So what they often suggest is based exactly on that.

Trusting a lawyer cost a friend of mine ~750,000USD equivalent and got him a criminal record and nearly lost him his company, because some joker in the UK’s OfCom decided it was his turn.

Personnally I keep away from both the Police and Lawyers because with one exception they have never ever done anything for me, or my friends.

The one exception was when I told a young lawyer exactly what he was to do and told him they were his instructions in writting. An older lawyer would have tried some shenanigans or said no. As it was the young lawyer got his fees paid for by the idiot trying to give me grief and I later watched the idiot get convicted, which cost him his job, home and family.

Singular Nodals September 30, 2020 3:09 PM

@ Winter

re: It is easy to recognize independent journalism. …

I’m not sure that this is the case. Opposition or support for government is not a sufficient criterion. Also to be considered are social ideology and financial enmeshment. These are also sources of “partisan” writings, and in the modern period are probably more important than party affiliations. They govern the coverage and commentary of the journal, and it is almost never simply seeking truth.

Short of direct involvement in issues being reported, one can only follow the old method of reading everything and sift sift sift.

SpaceLifeForm September 30, 2020 4:27 PM

@ Trudi Fenster-Klotz, Clive

Microsoft has spotted something.


“Model poisoning is the top perceived threat”

SpaceLifeForm September 30, 2020 5:36 PM

When you can’t control all of your silicon turtles all of the way down:

And the US government argues for backdoors?

Probably the first iOS 14 iPhone 7 running Android

No cell. I consider that a feature.


Clive Robinson October 1, 2020 12:34 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

It’s worth looking at the Microsoft document linked to, even though it’s nearly a 32MByte download[1],

“Microsoft Digital Defence Report 2020 September”

The real scary bit for everyone is given in the 6 pages before the introduction where it gives,

“8 Trillion signals a day”

That go into it’s ML system. Before telling you those signals all come from Microsoft’s Telemetry system you can not realy opt-out of…

As they say in the Martian “Do the math”… that’s about one telemetry signal every 3-4seconds for the average PC. As a comparison a lot of computer users do not type 1000 key presses an hour…

[1] The size is not due to the “information content” but the flashy graphics on nearly every page… Mind you for what it does say it’s a little “wordy” and “padded”, a kind of a “feel the thickness not the quality” style managment report. Thus an anoyingly slow read for a domain practitioner (ie it could be 1/20th of the size if written concisely).

SpaceLifeForm October 1, 2020 12:59 AM

New Microsoft product. May reduce Covid risk.


Functions best if installed upside-down.

JonKnowsNothing October 1, 2020 1:17 AM

@Clive @All

In ancient times Windows had an Event Viewer were you could look at the logged events. I used to spend some time checking for red tag events although for the most part they were not correctable, maybe if you got a driver update you could clear up a few.

The log files took up a load of space and some were circular but it could give you an idea of all the stuff they wanted you to send them.

The 8 Trillion are just the starters because before it gets to M$ the packet roves around the internet and backbone, hither and yon, over hill and dale, making sure to tag every jurisdiction hopping point the 5EY can set up. After jurisdiction hopping your packets they split them with a full unredacted load going direct to Israel per ES Docs.

Then there are the NoT-5EY folks that have their hoovers going full blast. I’m not sure how any packet escapes being hoovered up as it travels along the backbone/long haul systems.

There was an analysis of the supercomputer and storage systems in Bluffdale UT when it came on line some years back based on the civilian version. The storage capacity was beyond human comprehension. It could store every single piece of information from the beginning of recorded time until far into the future. I’m sure the newer systems have more capacity to grind it and more storage to hold all those zoom meetings.

I also remember an analysis of data retention rules in the USA at the time. There was a huge dog and pony show that the NSA only kept things for a few years but when you looked at the ping pong rules between agencies it was 30 years and more.

I doubt anyone could prove they ever purged or deleted even a semi-colon.

You have to ask the rhetorical question:

If the Feds where not storing up every single piece of pie on the internet, how do they come up with years of verbatim conversations decades after they happened?

Because they have the ice cream in Utah.

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

JonKnowsNothing October 1, 2020 1:23 AM


request: can you provide a link to something that is not Twit/FB/etc?

I would like to check some of the things you post but I don’t Twit-Tweet-FB-Zoom or do any of that MooAge Stuff.

SOK if you cannot.

Sherman Jay October 1, 2020 2:03 PM

I know it is just one day before this post becomes obsolete. But this is important.

The article below is very long. But, it is very important and comprehensive on this one (out of hundreds of) personal/health data vulnerabilities:

ht tps://

SpaceLifeForm October 2, 2020 12:18 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing

“but I don’t Twit-Tweet-FB-Zoom or do any of that MooAge Stuff.”

Nor do I. They are just webpages.

I also avoid PDF files.

In other news…

The October Surprise has arrived: POTUS tests postive for Covid-19.

JonKnowsNothing October 2, 2020 2:55 AM


One of your links above had this as part of the URL name.

  => hXXps://twit

It’s not just any old web page…

Also, just an FYI links like “1311359567452758016” or tiny URLs like those going to videos are not safe links to follow either. Sometimes they are used for paywall access tracking but you really have no idea what 8016 means or where it leads.

ymmv, mine is limited by the cost of replacement equipment.

MarkH October 2, 2020 12:29 PM

National Security Ripple Effects

Presumably (I don’t have current news on this, only reports concerning precedent), the U.S. vice president has been advised to stand ready to assume the responsibilities of the presidency, should the Trump’s health severely decline.

What has been reported — within a couple of hours of the positive Covid-19 tests being made public — is that military watchers observed flights of two E-6B “Looking Glass” aircraft.

The purpose of such aircraft is to amplify the deterrence value of U.S. strategic nuclear forces, by providing alternative communication pathways for the command and control of strategic missiles and bombers. In essence, they are supposed to dissuade a hypothetical “nuclear surprise attacker” from calculating that a first strike could disable U.S. retaliation.

Although members of the E-6B fleet take wing from time to time for training and readiness exercises, the sudden emergence of a pair of them — with transponders on, enabling easy tracking — seems likely to be a signal to any imagined “James Bond villain” types that the present crisis or uncertainty concerning the commander in chief should not be interpreted as vulnerability in U.S. military defenses.

Sherman Jay October 2, 2020 1:28 PM

We live in an insecure, surreal world where it is difficult to know the true motivations and facts of any right-wing political situation. There has, indeed, been no qualified medical person confirm the reported (rumored) ‘positive covid test’. I have reached the point where using many responsible resources still leaves me wondering what story is the more accurate. However, we do know that H. Hicks allegedly tested positive Wed. and the entire administration was told immediately. Yet the ‘president’ held an un-masked, undistanced INDOOR rally on Thursday. No one at that rally was warned about the administrations tests or exposure. That certainly seems criminally negligent.

On more closely related subjects:

ht tps://


ht tps://

Biggest Ransomware Attack Yet Crippled U.S. Hospitals Last Weekend
Now a Person Has DIED Due To Hospital Lack Of Protection Against RANSOMWARE ATTACKS

(I hope nobody minds that I will be posting this on the New Squid blog when it comes out Fri 02 oct)

SpaceLifeForm October 3, 2020 6:28 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

There was no space in the domain I posted.

That may be a clue as to what is happening.

SpaceLifeForm October 3, 2020 6:37 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

See above. Thoughts?

IMHO, there is wierd stuff happening.

No more details at this time.

JonKnowsNothing October 3, 2020 8:59 PM


I’m sorry I was too oblique.

I put the spaces in the name just to indicate that you were linking to a social media platform. Due to how things are parsed on backside giving the proper name would had added a tick to the data harvesters.

I know loads of people use that platform as some sort of litmus test for truth and spend hours ReTelling and ReCycling the used litmus papers. I see neither truth nor value in anything listed there, or at least in the few crumpled sheets on sites have it as a side bar.

ymmv – mine is zero, and there is only fire here.

SpaceLifeForm October 4, 2020 12:22 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive

Point taken. I will obfuscate more. And try to avoid.

But, there is something else going on besides simple text parsing.

JonKnowsNothing October 4, 2020 7:12 AM


The only thing I have problems with on the new site, it the “format” options are NotWAI for me. I don’t understand what I need to do, ’cause while things look ok on preview, they post wonky.

Some aspects maybe better as recently I noticed a name change on the buttons, but I am not that keen on doing QA just to get a linked list or indented paragraph. I’m hand numbering things (or *) and just forget about indented stuff.

I tried that markdown link which looks like wiki-markup-down lite but without the rest of the options. I tried the table maker bangs but it looked bad enough on preview that I figured it might just be run-on-text-wall if pushed.

However, my system is so old, it might not be able to handle the new formatting.

I would use an old manual typewriter, but when I glued the typed page to the screen that didn’t work either.

MarkH October 5, 2020 5:13 AM

I wrote on Friday (just a few comments up) about the observation of two E-6B “Looking Glass” aircraft flights, and the interpretation/surmise that these flights were a response to the illness of POTUS.

According to fact-checking site Snopes, there is no evidence to support such linkage. A military spokesperson has denied any such connection, and some of these aircraft fly every 1.5 to 2 days … so two of them being aloft would seem, in fact, to be nothing extraordinary.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons October 6, 2020 12:37 AM


As religious institutions are seen as the moral center and where a government is prepared to respond to the individual independent of moral or religious tests (citizen), religious institutions form as a tyrannical syllogism out of orthodoxy existing outside the context of the state via a moral adherence (read dogma) for citizenship. Christian nationalists assert that secularism with independent or ad-hoc sets and/or groups of citizens are problematic and cause the state to engender a paternalism wherein the state is rendered a “tyrannical democracy”. What the proponents of moral restoration and virtue attest as the singular means to achieve the goal of moral sanctity comes from a religious institution free of government, while simultaneously acting as government. This needs and deserves be flushed out—there is a referential coherence missing and on the simplest of terms, must be considered irrational. This is not a question of ordering, where morality (textually and spiritually) is required to form a model of governance that is efficacious while being morally and ethically sound.

Simply, needs that are not met by the state can only come from a biblical cannon re-asserted as to function as the state. I find what is overlooked in stating a moral depravity is in the codification of the problem or issues expressed and the manner becoming the only resolution of merit. The tenor of the problem is given much in the way of attention but the underlying baritone is all but made audible by this poorly enumerated, quantified, and speciously weak set of sociological “truths”. Beethoven’s 5th plays while perceptively and of unknown origin Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre’ disrupts the symphonic harmony in every movement and measure as written by the deaf composer. There is much here, of which I would intern as the collection of vague indeterminate outcomes arranged by a superficial treatment of many complex non-independent elements and addressed inadequately irrespective of institutional framework or thesis. Illustrative of this point is how the regurgitation of doctrinal legitimacy is proof the home of Theocracy stands only in moist sand. Case in point:

“The one fundamental concept that completely and ultimately separates Communist Russia from the democratic institutions of this country [is our] Judeo-Christian civilization..” — George Doherty

Is the codification of a problem so bereft of thoroughness and thought which is the moral depravity, I believe this to be case. The efforts of many, I being one in a group, to break the bondage that was made from a Cold War. A religious denomination wrapping itself in the cloth of victory in a conflict that crossed all boundaries of human endeavor and existential threat is remarkable–a hubris exceeded only by unwarranted pride.

Theocrats are expounding on a need for religious freedom, it is religion free of government. And quite frankly there is nothing offered in this arrangement that includes liberty or justice that one might recognize or want. The answer to what could be termed “sectarian centered democracy” by proponents fails to mention, the theocratic structure shares nothing to or with democratic governance. Moreover, the precepts and conditions by which a person, group, organization, state, or nation state fails in adherence to a moral certitude (defined through contextual affirmations to a shared story/narrative/commandment/order not by means of an objective truth) is completely removed from any “testable” frame on pretext, as it is unquestionable. How many Galileo, Copernicus, Mahatma Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, Julian Assange or Edward Snowden types do we need to kill insuring the fidelity and moral purity of a peoples? My first guess, all of them. I have the first draft of a critique in religiosity and saintly pursuits titled:

“Take my word for it son, those children were asking to be abused by our saintly priests.”

In that the piety and purity instilled in all Jesuit teachings and practices forms a rigorous shield prevent institutional abuse is not met kindly by history. The two identified issue here, the assertion of a moral right and practice faithful to all matters and people that secondarily is infallible as these institutions devised by God and run by man are sacrosanct. Don’t for a minute think that the later does not coincide with the former. Institutions have continued to demonstrate failure over time. As quicksand impede ones’ journey, humans impede progress independent of the sanctity of the method. A pure heart with a pure path and a pure goal are pure BS. I have written before of a person, one Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., acting to wake from a trance to see a new horizon knowing he would not be a witness. He had for years continuously swum in a maelstrom of lies, hate, and rage understanding that if he kept paddling he might reach shore. He also knew that if you failed to swim, the waters bottom would be his companion.

SpaceLifeForm October 7, 2020 2:42 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Bruce

It may be less confusing if there was a button to enable/disable markdown.

But, it may not be easy because the parsing happens on the backend, the PHP code being interpreted by the web server. In this case, nginx.

MarkUp or MarkDown, they are not really compatible.

SpaceLifeForm October 7, 2020 2:53 PM

@ MarkH

There is always at least one Looking Glass plane in flight at any time.


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