Friday Squid Blogging: Bigfin Squid Found in Australian Waters

A bigfin squid has been foundand filmed—in Australian waters for the first time.

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 December 4, 2020 at 4:11 PM132 Comments


SpaceLifeForm December 4, 2020 6:33 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, Winter

I saw this yesterday, and did not study it much, thinking, yes this is a known known.

But, now seeing her writeup (vs tweet), I look closer, and I have questions.

Was Case B Standing? No indications of empty seats there. A counter area with stools? I.E. closer to ceiling, closer to airflow.

It would be helpful it they had indicated where the return air vents are located.

Finally, since people very close to the airflow, but not directly facing the airflow (V1, V6, and V7) did not get infected, does this provide more evidence of infection via eyes?

In other news, this is the peak time for new cases to appear for those that traveled for Thanksgiving.

JonKnowsNothing December 4, 2020 8:06 PM

@ Clive, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter,

re: social distancing” rules of 2m/6ft are woefully inadequate

SKorea study restaurant patrons infected while more than min-social distance


During the last rounds of airborne droplet reports, the time for infection was altered from “15 minutes of constant exposure” to “15 cumulative minutes of exposure (per event)”.

The takeaway (ahem) was you didn’t need to be in the COVID-19 Cloud in a continuous time frame, like riding a bus or taxi. You could have any number of exposures during a 15 min time frame, like walking in a store, then standing in a queue or having people walk by you in park where during that period you were exposed to an infectious source.

So a person could be anywhere within range of the source, like picking up self-serve flatware or condiments (not sure they put those out anymore) and walk through the AC draft blowing active C19 around the place, either or both could give enough of a dose to get ill.

This plus the new or continuous vague reports about fomite transmission may suggest that as the COVID Cloud was blowing around the restaurant some active parts ended up on the tables where people were sitting. The environmental tests done 11 days later were negative. This has been the public finding in cargo container suspected cases too; tests days later return negative. The cases of the air-cargo container cleaners (1) may imply that the time frame for fomite infection is quite small.

The restaurant has no windows and 2 doors, a design similar to a cargo container. In USA we call this type of design: shotgun style. Depending on the weather there in June 2020 and the style of food served, humidity may also be part of the equation (noodle house).

1, MSM reports did not state what was in the cargo container or what methods the cleaners were told to use to clean it. They reported the cleaners wearing no masks and the inside was wet and damp. The container was flown in by a major air cargo company.

ht tps://

A shotgun house is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than about 12 feet (3.5 m) wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865) through the 1920s. Alternate names include shotgun shack, shotgun hut, shotgun cottage, and in the case of a multihome dwelling, shotgun apartment; the design is similar to that of railroad apartments.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

JG4 December 4, 2020 9:15 PM

Sorry that it took two weeks to say that I am emotionally scarred by the insults over Galt’s political framework. Especially in light of the projected intent purportedly deployed by the Israelis.

The future is here now, as I expected, but it is not evenly distributed. It never can be in a non-equilibrium thermodynamic system. May the entropy of our replicators be maximized.

New Robot Makes Soldiers Obsolete (Corridor Digital)
49,484,604 views•Oct 26, 2019

Cassandra December 5, 2020 5:08 AM

@Clive Robinson

Re: transmission/social distancing

My understanding is that this confirms the importance of wearing masks to decrease the chances of someone infecting others by spreading the infection by aerosol/air transmission.

If you read the linked open-access paper in the Journal of Korean Medical Science:

Evidence of Long-Distance Droplet Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by Direct Air Flow in a Restaurant in Korea


You see that the originator of the transmission, Case B didn’t wear a mask all the time:

Cases A and B engaged in conversation with their respective companions without masks.

On CCTV, case A and his companion entered the restaurant at 16:00 on June 12 and finished their meals before case B (with case D) entered at 17:15 using door 2. Case B and his colleague sat at a table near door 2, at a 6.5-m distance from case A, who did not leave from his table or share his table with others.

The conclusion I draw is that wearing masks to protect others in case you are infected is what people should be doing in social situations, and we should be very, very careful about being in a place where other people don’t wear masks – restaurants, gyms, choir practice etc.

Unless you are wearing an N95 mask (USA standard) or FFP2/FFP3 (European standard) correctly (which is hard), masks serve to protect others from you, not you from others, by cutting down the amount of aerosol/air based transmission from you.

Not wearing a mask should be at least as socially unacceptable as smoking in a non-smoking area.


Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 5:55 AM

@ Goat,

Clive Isn’t both social distancing and mask required?

In a sit down eatery mask wearing is not realistically possible and in general the social distancing is not by individual but clusters around tables.

All of which is based on quite “iffy assumptions” brought in more for economic reasons than epidemiologal ones.

Oh and it all blows up in “self service” / “buffet meal” eateries where the customers get within inches of each other as they select food to consume…

Their used to be a joke about “Restaurant Roulette” where one in six mushrooms was actually a “Death Cap” or similar. It’s not funny now “the live round” is a SARS-CoV-2 pre or asthmatic infector.

As I like I suspect one or two other readers of this blog are “high risk” I keep my “social distance” even with a mask on to 8m/26ft or more where possible. Which means selecting not just the time but the day I do things like go out and shop a major consideration. Oh and have other seamingly odd behaviours like crossing the road when people walk towards me on the pavement I am on.

I know the reality for me is a binary one, get infected and with a high probability die due to triage, or take care untill effective vaccination takes hold. Which means as there is a more than one in ten chance the vaccine will not work in me, living more or less like a hermit untill all the low risk groups have had a jab in the arm and 90days has passed. Which obviously means my “work potential” is a lot lower than I would like (but higher in lockdown… Yep go figure, the oddities of social reality).

Winter December 5, 2020 6:54 AM

“New evidence that current “social distancing” rules of 2m/6ft are woefully inadiquate[1],”

We know that no amount of social distancing is “safe”, only a hazmat suit is, to a degree. Social distancing is chosen to keep the risks acceptable. But we know, by now at least, that this depends on the situation, like the number of infected people around, the air flow or lack thereof, &c &c.

I read somewhere that the 1.5-2m rules came from hospitals. There they have found out the hard way that you should keep hospital beds ~6ft/1.8m apart to prevent too much infections between patients.

Face masks seem to help a little, but the evidence is equivocal. That in itself means that the effects of wearing face masks is less than stellar.

The choice for policy makers is to formulate a message that is easy to grasp and enforce and does keep down the risks to an acceptable level. Discussions about ventilation and ceiling heights are counterproductive in this communication.

We all know what is best: Stay at home with your direct family, all the time. But then, we have to eat and there is the matter of mental health. And then there are limits to enforcement in relation to elections.

Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 8:03 AM

@ Winter,

I read somewhere that the 1.5-2m rules came from hospitals.

If only… Remember that The WHO says 3ft/0.9m… and ” it ain’t gonna change” for what is ostensibly “political” reasons at the top, very much to the annoyance of the scientists and real medical doctors that work there…

We all know what is best: Stay at home with your direct family, all the time

Actually it’s “home alone” as the little critters have to go to school where they are almost guaranteed to get infected and bring it home along with the grime and grubiness they pickup…

Cassandra December 5, 2020 9:49 AM

I behave much like Clive re Covid-19: I do my best to minimise the risks, so I too avoid other people, keep shopping to essentials, and shop at times when the shops are less popular: and obviously wear a mask when in areas where there are other people, especially indoors. (This signals to other people that they should be wearing masks, too.)

Now, I don’t mind being an antisocial hermit. I have had a lifetime’s practice, but it doesn’t suit everybody.

However, an important thing you can do in terms of risk reduction is to wash your hands properly when necessary[1], and don’t touch your face: especially the area around your nose, eyes, and mouth. This is difficult. Imagine you are wearing an electrified mesh fencer’s mask which gives you a painful shock every time your fingers get near to your face. You’d soon learn not to touch. Behave like that.

There’s a fairly long document on Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) on the ECDC website which gives references to the evidence base for each recommendation. It is probably worth reading.

Guidelines for the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 24 September 2020


There is also a simplified infographic here:


Online ‘micro-learning’ available here:

Online micro learning activities on non-pharmaceutical countermeasures in relation to COVID-19



[1] Hand Hygiene Practices and the Risk of Human Coronavirus Infections in a UK Community Cohort

Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 10:12 AM

@ Cassandra, ALL,

Not wearing a mask should be at least as socially unacceptable as smoking in a non-smoking area.

In the UK we nolonger have “non-smoking” areas we flipped the logic into the “sin bin” of very limited “smoking areas” thus smoking in public is very much frowned upon and subject to fines etc.

I’m sort of OK[1] with “masks will be worn at all times in public” backed by big fines etc.

But apparently certain businesses would “hit the wall” hence the mask wearing exceptions. With people either not realising or wanting to ignore two basic facts,

1, The exceptions cause community spread that causes the lockdowns.

2, It’s the yo-yo mode of repeated ineffective lockdowns and quarantine that cause those “exception” businesses to go bankrupt.

The evidence for these facts can be seen in Australia and New Zeland, with supporting evidence from quite a number of Asian nations.

In short you can not protect the economy or businesses by having exceptions, lockdowns that are too short, or not having propper quarantine, be it for individuals or nations.

Mask wearing and effective issolation both help stop community spread. The idea that we can avoid them and survive is an anathema to both common sense and science.

Likewise lockdowns work best when you only have them of sufficient duration for the pathogen to cease to exist as it has no hosts that it can infect. That is effectively fourty days to “erradicate” with no possibility of infection “returning” or comming in from “outside” the quarantine area during the erradication lockdown and subsequently (China appears to have demonstrated this adiquately enough for others to pick up on it).

Doing this is also best for the economy. When you compare the accumulated time for the ineffective too short lockdowns and failure to quarantine an area, it’s magnitudes larger than the time for one effective lockdown and quarantine regime. Thus contrary to the bleatings of travel and entertainment etc “trade bodies” an effective regime and lockdown will cost them a lot lot less not just in the short term but the longterm as well.

As for the rest of us mask wearing, social distancing, and good ventilation not air conditioning is what brings community spread down from “wildfire” to “slow burn” managable.

[1] I wear glasses as you might remember, and my glasses are large, which has the down side with masks of giving me “total mist out” just when I need my vison to cross the road, or see what’s on the shelf in a shop… I’m told I should use “no tears shampoo” as that is how NASA solved the misting issue on the inside of space helmets, only I can not see it on the shelf…

Cassandra December 5, 2020 1:54 PM

@Clive Robinson

Any baby shampoo should work.

In fact, any surfactant should work, including standard washing-up liquid or shampoo. You use baby shampoo to stop it irritating your eyes if any gets in it (which is probably more of a problem if you get droplet formation in zero-G).

Fogging/misting is due to lots of tiny beads of water sitting on the glass (or plastic) surface. Covering the surface with a layer of surfactant ‘lowers the surface tension of the water’ allowing it to spread out and form a uniform layer rather than lots of drops.

Alternatively, you can use a product like Rain-X, which puts a hydrophobic layer on the surface, which means the small beads of water fail to adhere, and so the fog/mist can’t form.


SpaceLifeForm December 5, 2020 3:50 PM

Hey Google! Did you buy a vowel yet?


Hey Google! Did you extract JeffDean from The Matrix yet?

No results found.

lurker December 5, 2020 4:28 PM


Oh and it all blows up in “self service” / “buffet meal” eateries where the customers get within inches of each other as they select food to consume…

There might be something to be said for New Zealand’s graduated levels of lockdown. At the most severe (Level 4) nobody gets out. At Level 3 eating “out” is by pre-ordered takeaways. Some bottle stores managed a pre-ordered system with contactless payments.

At Level 2 Eateries and Drinkeries are limited to a maximum 100 patrons per establishment, all must be seated at tables. Each table in the same “family” bubble. Serving is by wait staff, the same wait person always serves any specific table. … Except the rules do allow “self service” / “buffet meal” operation where no alcohlic beverages are served. In many such establishments painted lines can be seen on the floor 1.5 metres apart.

Even at the lowest level 1, masks are compulsory on aeroplanes, and on public transport in Auckland, the largest city and international gateway; business premises must display the QR code, voluntary registering visits on the app is strongly encouraged, as is social distancing.

Those who persist in calling it the “China Flu” might like to consider the Chinese solution:

vas pup December 5, 2020 4:46 PM

@JG4 • December 4, 2020 9:15 PM
Thank you for amazing video link you’ve provided!
I guess it was programed not to harm real humans, so if you supply own soldiers as a war plane has system for distinguishing friend and enemy, then you could probably let robot to kill enemy on the battle field only.
But I see amazing future for utilizing it for police purpose using less-then-lethal tools to suppress riots and in similar type cases when civilians and combatant are both present.

vas pup December 5, 2020 4:56 PM

Italian police arrest 2 in defense data theft case

“Police have arrested two people accused of hacking sensitive information from an Italian cyber defense company. The hackers ==>were able to steal 10 gigabytes worth of data, including information on military gear.
Police in Italy have arrested two people in connection with the hacking of Italian aerospace and electronics company Leonardo, the Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.
==>The Leonardo group also has a cyber security division that counts NATO among its customers and is involved in making ==>electronic weapons and missiles. The hackers allegedly managed to steal sensitive data from the company’s computers between 2015 and 2017.

Prosecutors in the southern city of Naples said
!!!!a former employee of the company in the cyber security division had infected 94 computers with malware from a USB stick at facilities in Pomigliano d’Arco near Naples and extracted “classified information of significant value to the company.”

“At the end of a complex investigation by the Naples prosecutor into a serious computer attack against Leonardo … a ==>former worker and a company director were arrested,” a ministry statement said.

Investigators uncovered unusual activity on several computers as a result of the malware program. The hackers had been able to use the program to intercept messages ==>and capture images from other workers’ screens. Some 48 of the compromised computers belonged to work stations involved in the aerospace sector.”

CliveWasWrong? -impossible. December 5, 2020 6:04 PM


Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 7:43 PM

@ Ismar,

With regards the Gatwick Drone story, this little bit grabbed my attention,

But privately, some have doubts. “We work on evidence, and I haven’t seen any. That’s really all there is to say,” one police officer with knowledge of the case told me.

You would think with something aproaching 120 sightings some one would have a mobile phone with a camera but apparently not…

What are the odds of going to a nearby town like Horley just four miles north of gatwick and randomly picking 120 people and finding not one of them had a mobile phone with a camera?

Yup pretty small…

Eye witnesses are notoriously bad, failing to recognize people they know, or thinking strangers are friends even at quite moderate distances.

The article mentions thinking a helicopter at distance was a drone much closer. Well I used to work a little north of Gatwick in a “no horse town” called Salfords, situated on the main road T-junction with Honey Crock Lane. One thing I do remember was helicoptors buzzing around due to Redhill aerodrome that was maybe 5-6 miles north of Gatwick airport…

Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 8:12 PM

@ Cassandra,

… which puts a hydrophobic layer on the surface

Now that’s all I realy need “Rabid Glasses” 😉

Apparently even diluted egg yolk will act as a surficant (yes you can wash dishes with it provided the water is at most warm, I tried it years ago for demoing to kids to get them interested in science).

But it’s the “stinging eyes” problem that worries me, I walk on crutches these days thus I’m not “hands free” in any manner so “misting up” on the glasses or “tearing up” in the eyes are not something I want happening when I’m in the middle of crossing a main road.

My nearest supermarket is not far away and each time I’ve gone there I’ve had 100% “white-out” and have to stand there looking like an idiot waiting for things to clear.

But each time I’ve visited since they redid the inside taking out shelves to get more “COVID Space” they have been out of “baby stuff” and appart from over priced btand name shampoo the only stuff they’ve had has been various “family” and anti-dandruff/greasy/dry/flakey scalp/hair.

So whilst I was gently joking about not being able to see it on the shelf, they’ve actually not had any on the shelf to see whited-out glasses or not.

I’m begining to think that,

1, Baby/childrens toiletries.
2, Vitamin/mineral tablets.

Have all become the new toilet paper to panic buy. Mind you it must be about nine months since the first UK lockdown, so the baby stuff could be actual shortages…

Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 8:43 PM

@ parabarbarian,

With regards disrupting railways with track shunts, yes it’s very easy to do. In the UK you will find shunts and instructions for how to use them in most railway stations along with wooden padles, wooden rescue ladders and stretchers. It is all standard “safety equipment” in the case of the track shunts it’s incase people jump infront of trains and bounce into a different set of tracks. You check the track is clear then jump down and clip the shunts over the rails and thus protect not just the jumper but any wouldbe rescuers. I used to travel through Balham railway station in South London when Maggie Thatcher was PM, and attempted suicieds were common. Being a first aider I got to see and use shunts in action. Mostly the jumpers were young men often malnorished and looked like they had been on the streets for a while. They basically had given up on life as they had been trapped by political mantras and dogma that prevented them getting welfare or getting a bank account or postal address so they could stand a small chance of getting employment.

I got to know some of the people that worked on the railway and they told me stories of how the railways could be stopped by something like a coke can ring pull or a screwed up cigarette carton if they got in the wrong place, and there were plenty of those… I won’t go into details because of the reason the article mentioned about people reading up on the likes of homemade shunts and passing the details onto protest groups etc.

Clive Robinson December 5, 2020 8:56 PM

@ lurker,

There might be something to be said for New Zealand’s graduated levels of lockdown.

I think there is quite a bit to be said about New Zeland and how it has responded to COVID.

Which has been backed up in Australia where you compare thr successes and failures and why they happened.

New Zealand is doing a lot better than many firstworld states and nations you only have to compare and contrast with Europe and the US to see that.

JonKnowsNothing December 6, 2020 1:10 AM

@Clive, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, All

re: New Zealand COVID-19 Clear vs USA COVID-19 Collapse

The old joke story was California was going to slide into the ocean during The BIG ONE (earth quake) and Arizona would be the new beach scene on the western edge.

California is about to slide into a ginormous plague pit fueled by out of control COVID-19 infections. It’s just not containable anymore.

There are some interesting odd numbers in my area, some that I think relate to TRIAGE in the hospitals in the area and in the state. It’s clear there is not enough staff and not enough room in the hospitals, to handle the current load much less the upcoming ones.

California has doubled the numbers of Wave 1A. The death count and case counts are higher in Los Angeles but it’s all relative because small cities have small hospitals and fill up at similar rates.

One of the daily stats reported are ICU beds in use across the state and by region. There have been a number of shifts in what these numbers are, first due to a Trump change and also as some areas got Over Flow Units they also got Over Flow Beds; they did not get staff for the beds and most remain unavailable. One can come up with a “base count” by tracking the day-2-day numbers as reported.

A MSM report stated that the local area had only 10 ICU beds left out of 150 eg: 140 beds in use.

The upper number of 150 is one of the intermediate numbers previously reported during Wave 1A for max physical ICU beds. The State Dashboard for this area has no where near 140 people in ICU(1). The State Dashboard shows fewer than 60 beds in use (12 04 2020).

So, how does 140 and 60 end up in the same column? The reported numbers are snapshot at some point of time (60 beds in use). It does not count for the in-out-in-out as patients move from stage to stage or transferred to other facilities. These numbers are not reported and can only be partially inferred between snapshots. (12 03 2020 – 70 beds in use, 12 04 2020 60 beds in use). But this is no where near the difference as reported.

It could be that the reporters got it wrong, but the statement came from the local officials.

Which leads to the question:

Where are the other 80 people that are supposed to be in local ICU?

1, My personal tracking is that we have way fewer total ICU beds that are usable.

FA December 6, 2020 4:09 AM

Apparently even diluted egg yolk will act as a surficant (yes you can wash dishes with it provided the water is at most warm, I tried it years ago for demoing to kids to get them interested in science).

SCUBA shops sell a spray that is supposed to avoid ‘misting’ inside the mask.

I’ve seen very few divers use it. Most just spread some saliva on the inside, then rinse the mask with water and keep it horizontal with some water inside until they actually put it on. Works quite well.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2020 4:19 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

It could be that the reporters got it wrong, but the statement came from the local officials

When you can not make the numbers you’ve got tally, then there is something wrong.

The big question is where.

Wevknow that ICU beds are resource intensive, requiring not just a bed but a purpose built space, expensive support equipment, and well trained medical staff.

Frequently hospitals will have an excess of purpose built space as that is hard to change but just about everything else is fairly fluid. The reason it’s fluid is predictable seasonal events like winter flu season. You only “need” about 1/3rd of critical care beds in summer that you do in winter. A hospital has a number of “options” to deal with those beds. The first is to repurpose them for other functions, one of which is still as ICU but for use after major surgery that arises from “elective work”. Another is to down grade them and use the summer months to put in place planed maintenance and upgrades, though with electronics now making nearly all non major mechanical bedside equipment not just portable but near cable free using WiFi and similar to communicate with nursing stations it means that it and the staff can be redeployed else where thus many ICU bay beds can be left fallow or used for general surgury recovery etc.

Which brings us back to “staff” I don’t know about the US but in many places it’s recognised that ICU work is stressful and thus staff go through on rotation and training cycles. Thus the ICU burden is spread across staff giving more Critical Care Staff available for emergencies and seasonal high times.

Thus shall we say ICU “Places” is set by the expectations when the hospital buildings are built, ICU “Beds” is adjustable by season, maintainence etc, and ICU “Spaces” set by available staff and equipment and usage.

Three different numbers each smaller than it’s predecessor. And all adjustable to varying degrees (ie ICU’s can be put in gyms used as physiotherapy space, or even tents and vehicles if the need arises and occupy “car park” or “memorial garden” space). I know about “car park” usage because I’ve been wheeled naked in a bed from a “maternity overflow room” into a container vehicle for a “procedure” on my heart…

Which brings us onto another asspect, in some places there are what are refered to as “hotel beds” these are for certain non critical patients that are expected to have “family in tow” such as maternity and childrens surgical wards and some end of life beds. If you’ve been one of those in tow –and it’s a lucky parent who has not had a child end up in a childrens surgery ward– then you might have noticed that the spaces are actually “mini-bays” with only one current occupant, but designed for two or four close proximity beds with ceiling attachments for plastic screens etc to give pathogen issolation. In effect these are emergancy overflow spaces and when an emergancy builds elective surgury and procedures stop and the rooms converted from “space for one + family” to “just enough space for 2-4 + staff”.

Somebody I know who is now retired used to joke about how her “emergancy office” was the toilet cubical in the end bay, as even her ordinary office was equiped with the oxygen, vacuum, air and power sockets for a couple of emergancy beds.

Like ships, a lot of carefull thinking used to go into the design of hospitals, which used to make them expensive to build… Note the use of the “past” tense, most hospital builds in the UK now are done on the cheap under PFI deals that politically look good but are generally a disaster in waiting both financially and in anything even a touch out of the ordinary. The “design awards” they get are realy nothing to do with patient / health care needs but architects having a need for self promotion. Hence the lack of working ventilation and poor lighting and no ability to change capacity other than fill up now to narrow corridors. Oh and that spare ground space that was used for car parking and gardens, there’s hardly enough space for the garbage, the land has been sold to housing development etc. Oh and that also means no parking space for staff who now get funny shift patterns that means walking long distances in the dark and cold in places that many would consider “not safe”.

So the bed mileage you get in your area depends on a lot of factors you can not easily see.

But the more private money is involved the less flexible I would expect it to be.

Which is why your observation of,

It’s clear there is not enough staff and not enough room in the hospitals, to handle the current load much less the upcoming ones.

Is very probably true where you are.

Ultimately it’s the shortage of “specialised” be it equipment or staff that is going to kill those who might otherwised have easily survived. The vaccine is not going to get in enough arms for probably the next three years ahead for the same reasons which means we need to make more efforts to eradicate the virus and still find beter preventative and supportive medical care.

If as appears the case Vitamin D and C helps boost the immunity of “people at risk”, just giving such people a three year supply is going to be very inexpensive compared to them having any of the winter maladies and occuping hospital space. Likewise “area quarantine” we know it works if done properly, and doing it properly is not difficult and in all but the shortest of terms it’s the economically sensible thing to do.

If back early this year quarantine in all it’s forms from individual to national had been followed then SARS-CoV-2 would be extinct except for a few samples in freezers in laboratories. The cost 40days tops of hard quarantine at all levels. The nations that did it are back to nearly normal economically, those where the politicians pandered to self interested individuals well, their economies are effectively destroyed and the citizens will spend three or more generations paying off the debt created by those individuals.

But then you and others on this blog knew that back when it was still just a local issue in China, as our comments on this blog show.

If nothing else it proves one thing, that politicians and self interested “entitled” individuals must be seperated. The only way to do that is take the money out of politics and senior government employees. It’s going to be a hard task and they will fight every which way they can. But in the end the cost of getting rid of it is going to be far less than what it has already cost us.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2020 5:21 AM

@ FA,

Most just spread some saliva on the inside, then rinse the mask with water and keep it horizontal with some water inside until they actually put it on. Works quite well.

Yes it does because it forms a “closed environment” with the face and the temprature of the “glass” stays well down thus the intetnal surface remains out of the critical ranges in it’s closed environment and the outer surface is covered in water thus droplets can not form by condensation.

Sadly spectacles are not sealed to the face and the temprature variation changes wildly through the critical ranges, so when you come in from the cold to a warm environment the outside of the glasses mist up due to the high RH and temprature. With medical paper and cloth face masks, the path of least resistance is up around the sides of the nose and out the top just under the corner of the eyes something many divers masks prevent by their design. Some “builders masks” deal with this via a strip of soft aluminium in the top of the mask so you can make it tight fitting to your nose and then put large eye protection masks over the top having your glasses inside in a more stable non fogging/ misting environment. This works, but people look at you as though you have just crawled out from the deep or you are some how making fools of them or yourself. The latter is not much of an issue, but the former can be.

Any way that path of least resistance “jets up” warm very moist air over the inner surface of your glasses which if it was a more closed environment would not cause misting.

Thus what I want if possible is a way to attract the minimum of attention so I blend in and don’t get some Oik thinking in their pea brain I’m taking the p155 out of them and for them to start talking with their fists and screaming/spitting in my face… As has unfortunatly been witnessed in quite a few places world wide during this pandemic.

If it was anything safely alowed, I would have a full face sealed light weight divers mask. The air comming in through a 3ltr capacity UV-C lit light cell with baffels to spread the incoming air in the cell to get it all UV exposed for around 30sec. The air outlet then being over the head and released around the back of the collar with bateries on a belt in the small of the back.

It would be way more effective than an N95 unassisted respiration mask at protecting me and probably as good if not better than an assisted NBC respirator for viable viral and other live biological pathogens.

I drew up some designs for a friend and did the calculations and it’s quite a viable low cost design. You could build it and sell it at around 100USD. The most dificult part would be ensuring battery safety. After all you do not want a lithium fire strapped to the small of your back and the fumes getting pumped directly into your face. My friend already manufactured equipment in China and similar so looked on it as viable for supplying hospital staff (and with a minor addition of a second light cell for use by infected patients to cut the level of viable virus they exhale). The problem was “approvals” they would take about a year… We were still discussing the viability and how to move forward early this year when he had a fatal accident.

Fun fact, did you know that the plastic they use for making 1-3ltr fizzy drinks bottles out of is fairly transparent to UV light in the spectrum that kills bacteria and renders viruses unviable?

(if you are curious “air lasers” generate UV in these ranges and you can find information on what it will go through without causing issues so you can use liquid fluorescents that act like brightners in laundry soap to see the beam).

Anders December 6, 2020 5:37 AM

@Bruce @ALL

Unfortunately after the upgrade this blog is not
any more accessible from older system.

“An error occurred during a connection to

Cannot communicate securely with peer: no common encryption algorithm(s).

(Error code: ssl_error_no_cypher_overlap)”

Here at this blog constantly comes into discussion (Clive et al)
that older system are more secure, since there are no hardware
backdoors in chipset (read – Intel ME), no flash bios etc.
Systems that are roughly from around ~2000, powerful enough
to still use today.

Strangely, i can still use my older system to access
Gmail from old browser but from the same browser i can’t
even read this blog. Sad.

I hope something can be done here. This blog is valuable
information that should be accessible with any device that
can access internet, any browser. Security can’t become
an obstacle to access information.

Peter December 6, 2020 5:40 AM

Re fogging spectacles (could be an new expletive :-))

Some suggestions:

NB I have used toothpaste to prevent fogging of bathroom windows and mirror.
Put some on cloth, rub on surface, and then polish.

For car windows I have used shaving cream.
Here a test video hxxps://

Anders December 6, 2020 5:43 AM


In case someone missed i post here again, this is
very important.


And in connection of that:


Use CHIPSEC, scan your systems!

Clive Robinson December 6, 2020 7:35 AM

@ Peter,

For car windows I have used shaving cream.

It’s interesting in the earlier video how well the shaving cream worked but the baby shampoo did not. There is a possability from his soapy residue comment he put on too much or dod not buff it of sufficiently.

As for if shaving cream stings or not if resedue gets in your eye it’s not an experiment I directly intend to do, but as the stuff gets near peoples eyes when they are shaving anyway I suspect it’s not likely to do damage after all “a smooth shave that makes you blind” is not a good marketing line…

The advantage is my local supermarket did have shaving cream when I was last in there…

As for toothpast I’m aware that it contains “grit” and I’m also aware of what feels realy smooth to the fingers can eat porthole glass (walking round a table for six months using jewellers rouge to make a telescope lens).

So as my glasses lenses are UV sensitive, I’ll give the toothpast a miss for now.

Re fogging spectacles (could be an new expletive :-))

Yes… That did not occure to me till I actually said it out loud, one to add to the list of “non expleative, expleatives” for the next time I need it 😉

lurker December 6, 2020 11:45 AM

@Anders, have you got a permanent error? I’ve had an “unable to establish a secure connection” twice this weekend, but it clears later with no remedy on my part. I just assumed it was the old problem of too many birds on the wire…

xcv December 6, 2020 12:03 PM

@Clive Robinson

As for if shaving cream stings or not if resedue gets in your eye it’s not an experiment I directly intend to do, but as the stuff gets near peoples eyes when they are shaving anyway I suspect it’s not likely to do damage after all “a smooth shave that makes you blind” is not a good marketing line…

Years ago, some of my baby girl cousins were using some kind of caustic hair removal product on their legs — probably not realizing that the products were intended for adult women — and they complained of severe acid burns.

Anders December 6, 2020 12:14 PM


Yes, for me it’s permanent because it’s old system,
old browser, that doesn’t have the latest cipher suite.

So there’s two solution:

  1. Our host configure the web server so that older cipher
    suites are allowed (like Google has done).
  2. Allow also non-encrypted, plain http access.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2020 2:26 PM

@ Anders,

configure the web server so that older cipher
suites are allowed (like Google has done).

Google had no choice due to their own venal behaviour to Android phone users and users of Chrome…

Put simply every time you try to go to a web site it forces the use of their DNS server and Google Search if the website does not respond. Google decided you had to have not just javascript but cookies on as well so they could track your web surfing habits. Google unsurprisingly blaim the EU for their venal behaviour claiming all sorts of nonsense about data collection and how “impossible” it is to turn off in Chrome (which is untrue, but for those with long memories MS tried similar claims with IE in court and got not just fined heavily but lambasted in the press).

Anders December 6, 2020 2:59 PM


“Google had no choice due to their own venal behaviour to Android phone users and users of Chrome…”

Not only. Their business model depends on grabbing as
much of personal information as they humanly (and unhumanly)
can. So they can’t afford to turn anyone down.
Their systems work even with old Firefox 3.x

Despite that Google is bad to the bones, in this case
i welcome them as they support older system. Wrong reason,
but still, because you can’t avoid Google. Even if you don’t
use them, lot of businesses have their email as corporate
email solution. So sooner or later Google gets your personal
data anyway.

Anders December 6, 2020 3:05 PM


I hate where this world is turning.
4GB RAM is already too small for simple web
browsing every day. 64-bit system with 8 GB RAM
is already absolute minimum.

So we just produce constantly electronic waste in the name
of “security”.


Dr. Fish Head December 6, 2020 3:33 PM


“4GB RAM is already too small for simple web
browsing every day. 64-bit system with 8 GB RAM
is already absolute minimum.”

That would depend on what you mean by, “simple web browsing.” There are “simple” web browsers out there, ya know. I mean really, really simple.

Some examples:

  • elinks
  • links
  • links2
  • lynx
  • w3m

Some of these support graphics, even.

They are simple web browsers. Now if you want your cake and eat it too, or simply must have a “modern” experience, then the more complex web browsers like chromium, firefox and the other proprietary pieces of shit will require a lot more computing power.

So it all comes down to what one means by simple.

Anders December 6, 2020 3:46 PM

@Dr. Fish Head

Yes, i know about those simple browsers.
Please download ANY of them and try to access
THIS blog. Nothing fancy, just plain text with
anonymous submitting. Yet we arm this blog up to
the teeth with latest crypto protocols only. For what?


Anders December 6, 2020 4:31 PM

@Clive @ALL

Speaking of the Devil 🙂


Anders December 6, 2020 4:36 PM


Nothing could possibly go wrong?
They won’t leak, isn’t?


xcv December 6, 2020 4:42 PM

@ Anders • December 6, 2020 4:31 PM

Speaking of the Devil 🙂


Which points to fraternization among mid-to-upper management of various large tech firms, in an effort to keep production workers and their immediate supervisors in line.

Undoubtedly Google’s upper management is spying on the home internet use of tech industry workers in general and reporting any “concerns” or “issues” to mid-level managers and supervisors — at other companies as well as Google — in order to coordinate an unemployment-proof firing strategy for workers deemed to have online fetishes or other personal issues with internet use, even if they aren’t really doing anything illegal online in the privacy of their own homes after work hours.

Anders December 6, 2020 4:43 PM


Meanwhile in Kazakhstan…


orange man bad December 6, 2020 5:09 PM


If direct viewing is not possible, what about viewing via the wayback machine and/or ? There has to be another alternative, perhaps fetching via wget or some other like tool?

Anders December 6, 2020 5:13 PM


Next level – we need 24TB RAM to play Tetris 🙂


SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2020 6:08 PM

@ Anders

The reason your old browser is failing, as you discovered, it that is does not support the newer TLS ciphers. As a result of the upgrade, old ciphers are no longer available. This is good. It prevents downgrade attacks.

Is there a reason you can not get firefox to work?

You can still get a 32 bit firefox, unlike chrome.

Anders December 6, 2020 6:32 PM


Yeah, i know. This is an chicken and egg problem,
endless circle.

In order to use modern web, you NEED reasonably modern browser.
In order to use reasonably modern browser you need reasonably
modern OS, because older one is not supported. (Firefox doesn’t
support XP any more, next win7 support will disappear etc.)
In order to use reasonably modern OS, you need to use reasonably
modern hardware, because reasonably modern OS dictates what it
needs – support for specific CPU instructions, amount of RAM,
etc. Try to run win7 on ~2000 era hardware?

So in the end – just writing some text and sharing some link
i need a system that is overkill for that task. And so the
electronic waste is born.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2020 8:41 PM


If you care about Licensing and/or nmap.

Version 7.80 was all GPLv2.

Version 7.90+ has some extra license restrictions that are problematic.

Gentoo, Debian, GUIX, and NixOS see it as problematic.


You can still get the 7.80 version source

via hXXps://

but that is not obvious at hXXps://

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2020 10:37 PM

@ Anders

Interesting problem.

I’m guessing you are talking about an old XP box with low ram and little disk space left.

Not sure of the hardware obviously, but questions for you.

Will the BIOS boot from floppy?
Will the BIOS boot from CD?
Do you have USB?
How much ram?
Would it work for you to boot a live linux with firefox?
Do you also want to be able to see your existing files on windows?

I’m guessing even if you have USB, no way to boot from it via BIOS.

I’m still researching this, because I want it for old machines too.

I can tell you this much from bad experience.

Plop cannot boot USB on a lot of old hardware. It tries, but hangs.
Especially old DELL hardware.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2020 2:32 AM

@ Anders, SpaceLifeForm,

So in the end – just writing some text and sharing some link i need a system that is overkill for that task. And so the electronic waste is born.

Not just “electronic waste…

As with old cars, old computers become more “environmentally friendly” the longer they run as they amortize the initial energy input of manufacture over their used life (I still have a couple of 486 machines one of which is an SX runing with 8Mbyte of memory chuging along)

The real issue is not pushing you to upgrade hardware, but pushing you into a whole series of significantly abusive relationships.

It should be fsirly obvious that their is nolonger anything that is a “simple advert” they are all riddled with trackers of some kind or another and in many cases a lot lot worse. In short theu are all “malvertizing” these days.

If you look at a web page it might have just one or two images and a couple of hundred words of text, yet is upwards of three megabytes in size.

Part of this bloat is “page-making” software trying to be all things to all browsers, but much of it is code that runs on your computer to do their work.

Thus they steal,

1, Communications Bandwidth.
2, Memory to store the code.
2, CPU, GPU and Memory cycles.
3, Energy for those cycles.
4, Your time for the bandwidth and cycles they steal.

But that is not all, they also steal any information they can as well.

As I say from time to time,

“Turn off cookies and javascript and remove plugins”

Most pages will download, but much of the malvertizing and other junk will not get downloaded and run on your computer, saving your bandwidth and energy you pay for directly, your time which you will never have enough of and your privacy you can never have to much of either.

Unfortunately to stop you “stopping the theft” the likes of Google and other large silicon valley Corps, have abused the standardisation process and corrupted software companies developing browsers.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) thus has pushed more intrusiveness and theft methods into browsers. What HTML 5 gives you over HTML 3 is realy very very little for information you want to see, but mostly enablers for what the Corps want to steal.

And to be honest whilst there are what were once called “The young and the foolish” the Corps spend unimaginable amounts of time and money trying to turn people into “addicts”, of their criminal activities which makes them as bad as drug dealers selling into junior schools, which most would agree is something we should not allow to happen. But as Social Media users know these Corps also push “radical ideas” quite deliberately at people.

As an example Google via You-Tube “recomends” push all sorts of unsavoury religion, politics, behaviours and attitudes, in almost exactly the same way as terrorist organisations have done or tried to do. This undesirable abusive garbage turns up when you are doing simple hobby related issues such as asking for “HF antennas”. But to rightly complain you have to hand over so much personal information both directly and indirectly you will always get the bad side of the process and be abused.

I could go on but it just gets steadily worse, and after a little thinking it becomes a thought that the WWW has been turned from being something useful for diseminating knowledge and learning, into something decidedly unpleasent if not a direct health hazard by the Corps. That is from a sunlit meadow with rare plants and butterflies, to first a lawn with buildings, then a bog with ruines, that a stygian swamp infested with disease and parasites from which coruption spreads out and the evils it brings burrows like worms through the flesh of whomever it touches, sapping health, time, prosperity into it’s bottemless maw, to feed a beast of almost uncontrollable debased and debauched behaviours and lusts.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2020 3:07 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

If you care about Licensing and/or nmap.

Sadly this was bound to happen.

In essence various Closed Source Corporates, want to use nmap and charge for it. What is sometimes called “free-loading for profit”.

So to protect their profit they put nmap in a tiny little utility that just about follows the “legal wording” of the licence rather than the spirit of the licence. They then make this utility sort of open source but then use nmap’s product in their closed proprietary and presumably profitable products…

In other words doing exactly what they would be up in arms over and reaching for a battalion of over priced lawyers if you did the same to their software or data files.

The problem is to word a licence to capture the spirit of what FOSS developers want to do would make the licence one of “denial” stuffed full of “exceptions”. As such it would be unworkable.

It’s not the first and it certainly will not be the last time this “free-loading” problem arises.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2020 6:39 AM

@ #notedyearslater,

Wrong about what?

All those articles and others I looked at say in paraphrased form,

1, People hurt and became ill.
2, They complained and were written off as imaggining things.
3, The opportunity to look for and collect evidence was lost.
4, Pressure forced authoraties to do something.
5, Authorities prevaricated and still did nothing.
6, Medical evidence of harm built up
7, Authorities tried to ignore it.
8, The authorities came under pressure again.
9, The Authorities used delaying tactic number two and set up a commitee, to kick their ususual failings into the long grass.

So the stage is set what is the commitee supposed to do, well review evidence and draw conclusions and make recomendations is the usual remit.

But… No evidence from the time of the attacks so cause can not be directly identified.

The only evidence is medical reports on “the effects suffered”. And “effect is not cause” and trying to argue “cause from effect” is not science.

But there is for obvious reasons no experimental evidence that says “After subjecting test person X to concentrated energy pulses we found medical effects A, B, C, & D”

So the commitee has a history of looking and making vague statments about what it might be starting with what they think is the least far fetched. As further evidence dismisses or contradicts those vague statments they go on to make new vague statment, in effect “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.

They are effectively saying “microwaves, we have no evidence for it, but it’s the next on the list of improbables”.

Untill someone does a series of realy inhumane experiments on test subjects we are not going to find out the full panoply of insults (causes) that can lead to the medical effects so far found.

With the real direct evidence missing due to the ambivalence of the authorities in the early stages when the attacks were happening we are unlikely to actually find the specific cause.

All we can say is that,

1, The insult appears to have been from a directed energy weapon of more than one direction operating over a distance of upto 100m.

2, The directed energy appears to have been radiant energy of medium to short wavelength.

3, Both mechanical and electromacnetic energy could have been used we can not tell from the evidence so far available.

If you want to go through the reasoning of 1 above I can do in quite a bit of depth but will it realy help?

So shortform,

In essence the head is not a large object, maybe a 10cm sphere for targeting purposes. This implies a wave length of twice that or less with 1/16th being an upper limit in frequency due to absorbtion properties of building materials etc. So 1.5kHz to 48kHz for acoustic energy, 1.5Ghz to 48Ghz for electromagnetic. To do longterm damage that shows up on current medical imaging will require a series of pulses that have the equivalent power of a boxers punch repeated many times, or at the other end of the scale a single masive energy punch. The problem with the latter is heat, it would quite easily cook the brain, eyes etc. Thus the pulses must be of sufficient energy to not cause heat of a level to cause burns, and repeated not before the energy of the previous pulse has been transported away from the target area by normal conduction and the movment of bodily liquids. To get the targeting required realy requires two or more directed but effectively interfering beams. There is a formular used to measure the beam angle of antennas and other radiating objects and a calculation would show a dish to be improbably large to get the tight focus of less than 0.2m at a 100m distance. Hence the use of two much broader but overlapping at one edge beams which the early VHF “crooked leg” German bombers used during WWII, would probably be better due to the much smaller dish size required.

Either way would still require considerable power and electronic equipment as well as the antennas, not exactly something easy to conceal…

Something tells me we will only ever find out what happened is when one of those from the attacking side tells their side of the story…

FA December 7, 2020 8:13 AM

Either way would still require considerable power and electronic equipment as well as the antennas, not exactly something easy to conceal…

And at the power required to do any harm, any EM radiation will be detectable by even the most primitive measurement devices. I’d assume that the US Embassy in Havana has some not-so-primitive ‘spectrum monitoring equipment’ [1] and the people trained to operate it. But I’ve seen no reports of any measurements, be it EM or acoustic.

[1] that’s an euphemism.

Shaun December 7, 2020 10:49 AM


Thank you for your summary of current hospital construction and capacity flexibility in GB. It is much the same in the US.

I am a supervisor (non-clinical) in a hospital that is part of a much large group and we can expand ICU capacity about 200%. Most of that is doubling-up C19 patients in rooms and using some common areas. Unfortunately, our relatively new hospital cannot expand negative pressure systems in a timely manner. As you say, surge capacity is expensive and therefore not built into the plan, at least within the four walls of the hospital.

We have done rather well in other areas though. We have had great success moving most ILI/C19 testing outside the hospital as well as pharmacy delivery. All done from the convenience of your car. This has dramatically reduced foot traffic of sick people and therefore the spread of infection within the hospital. This has been a highly effective infection control win for us.

If patient load continues to climb, which most of us expect, we will likely go to tenting as you described.

While the patient load is manageable at this point, the stalking horse is mental health problems among staff. We see more reports of patients complaining of staff rudeness – something rarely seen in the past. Shortness between staff (the XYZ department really sucks, all of them…), staff barking at each other to stay 6′ away. Many of the staff I work with have seen family member die or remain in ICU for months. Many are also immunocompromised themselves but trying to keep their shoulder to the plow. Others simply ‘go silent’ and no longer participate in normal team banter about sports and family.

Much of this stress will affect clinicians resiliency in the face of acute patient load. NYC had many, many stories describing this problem.

Supporting staffs’ mental health has become a primary duty for supervisors and there are very few play books for this problem. In my experience, the most effective tool I have is to talk to staff regularly about C19: the science, the epidemiology and especially my personal experiences. This last part is meant to condition staff to understand it’s ok, not a sign of weakness, to talk about what’s going on and the stress it’s causing.

On several occasions I have told staff that C19 is not Republicans trying to kill black people or Democrats trying to kill Christians, it’s simply a disease we have to deal with like every other disease we are trained to treat.

This is a novel coronavirus and the impact to our work and stress levels is novel too.

I also tentatively agree with your proscription for a 40 day lock down. I believe it will bend the curve and protect the healthcare systems in the US.

But I think that ship has sailed.

It is clear to most reasonable people that our administration bungled the federal response to this pandemic. But the idea that a new administration will fix everything is exceptionally naive and parochial.


Because trust between citizens and their elected leaders has been very seriously damaged by biased application of extra-legal rules and the subsequent exemption of themselves and their friends from the very same rules. How many US governors and other elected officials demanded obedience to their lock down rules and then invited +200 of their friends to birthday party bashes or flew out of state to attend large family gatherings at Thanksgiving? Many of these have been publicized and it all were listed it would be quite a list. Regardless of where you fall on the lock down spectrum, this kind of public behavior cuts compliance off at the knees.

The incoming administration does not have the moral capital to fix this problem and while they may make ‘federal mandates’ it is unlikely they will be enforced in much of the country.

The context for all of this has been the last 4 years. Regardless of where your political allegiances may lie, the existence and power of the Deep State has been very publicly exposed and is plain to see. You may have abhorred it or reveled in it but no one says it doesn’t exist any longer.

And that Deep State power was never anti-Trump and pro-Democrats, it has always been pro-them and simply destroys anyone that doesn’t bend the knee. Glenn Greenwald’s writing is key here.

With all this in mind, I do not expect a federal lock down to be a success, no matter how much money they throw at it. It will have a marginal, regional impact and nothing like New Zealand, Australia, Japan or Singapore.

That ship has sailed.

MarkH December 7, 2020 11:15 AM

@FA, Clive:

I didn’t study the mystery very closely, but I seem to recall that at least some of the bizarre experiences reported by victims occurred in living quarters outside the embassy, in which case the embassy’s monitoring capabilities might not have been helpful.

I think Clive’s assessment is realistic, that clear answers will come when the perpetrators (if any) go public.

Winter December 7, 2020 12:09 PM

“And that Deep State power was never anti-Trump and pro-Democrats,”

I have always been puzzles by the US concept of ”Deep State”.

The USA Federal civil service consists of over 2 million employees who work for the civil service for a large part of their working life. These people have to follow fixed rules and procedures and are trained, and experienced, to keep their agency running come what may.

It is utterly inconceivable that such a massive workforce can be tugged around by some fire-fly politician who tells them to do everything differently. You could more easily tow an iceberg on a string.

What the USA experienced the last 4 years is what it experienced during 9/11 or WWI & WWII: A nation will continue to function as long as it exists. The moment the “Deep State” stops existing, the USA stops existing. (Most likely, it will immediately be rebuilt)

Clive Robinson December 7, 2020 12:43 PM

@ Shaun,

That ship has sailed.

Whilst that is probably true, the Uni of Washington models make a couple of dire predictions.

Firstly a half million dead by end of first quater next year.

Secondly even if vaccination occures to plan that will only save 9000 people at most.

Thirdly if 95% of the population wore masks that would save over 60,000 lives.

More interesting is that those 60,000 cross a tipping point between most hospitals just coping and significantly failing, in the latter case they can not calculate how many it will change the numbers by, because it’s very sensitive to time and other unpredictable factors such as staff and as yet not fully known seasonal maladies.

But based on other information from earlier waves you would expect upto five times the number of deaths once a hospital is saturated, many not due to COVID but accidents, heart attacks etc etc.

Based on other figures some think that by the time COVID has run it’s course in the US upto 1.5% more of the population will be dead above the expected five year average figures, either from COVID or from it’s spill over into other parts of the healthcare system.

A not well publicised fact was that 1/5th of patient’s in hospital with COVID had contracted it in hospital. Which suggests getting COVID patients into seperate fascillities with entirely seperate staff from the most senior to the most junior could save 20-30% of those expected fatalities.

I gave up looking into the subject because around 1/3rd of my family are “at the coal face” working in either hospitals or long care nursing fascilities and physical rehab etc. All of them either have come into contact with COVID or are in contact with it every day, and all expect to be incontact before the spring.

Some think they might have had it others do not know, in the early days even flu got assumed was COVID and staff sent home. For political reasons staff were not being tested at the time unless admited with sever respiritory distress. So they have no idea if they are immune or not. Many do not want the mRNA vaccine, the technology is realy untested for longterm effects and no matter what people say the longterm risks are most definately unknown.

As for their mental health, what can you say, it’s like “Battle Fatigue” which gives rise to PTSD and chronic depression and all that leads to. In some it is bringing out manic cycles followed by deep depression. They do their jobs but their eneny is silent and unseen, you cannot scream at it or charge it like a berserker, no matter how you fight it as a primal human it cares not and just swirls around entirely unaffected, by anger or rage.

It’s science not physical action that will render it unviable then hopefully extinct but that is three to five years away, assuming no animal resevoirs become established.

I’m normally quite detached about the mechanics of science and it’s models. This is too close to home to personal and I’m also at high risk for a multitude of reasons.

Whilst I can deal with solitude and what others call loneliness quite well it’s a lot lot tougher when those you love are at risk and you can not go to them…

Bad enough for many, but how much worse for those who’s job it is 12hours a day and day after day without break. Every day knowing they could be bringing it into their homes and their family.

We know in the UK what will make or break our ability to deal with COVID is frontline caring staff and those that support them. Technology is not realy going to do very much, and science can be madeningly slow

Combat soldiers are aware of how the next action may be there last hence their manic behaviour when away from the line. But soldiers do get rotated out for R&R, not so for caring staff, many have to work long hours on low pay just to put food on the table and keep a roof over their and their families heads with their partners either laid off or not alowed to work.

The stress of that and knowing every day could be the day you catch your bullet, unseen unfelt untill you fall. You see it happen to others you know it’s real with a sort of visceral horror that stays in the back of the mind haunting every hour, especially those you need to rest but can not as you see the shadows like ghosts.

How many frontline staff will survive this pandemic free from mental illness is unknown but honestly it can not be many. How many will leave the proffession taking their experience with them? Dr’s and nurses are bad insurance risks at the best of times, they have something like twice the number of motoring accidents of other professions, and smoking and drinking claim more than you would expect and worse suicide is higher than normal. Unsociable hours destroy relationships even if lucky enough to have one outside of the profession.

This is what people do not see normally behind that profesional face and kind smile.

In the UK for years the politicians have ground down on healthcare staff whilst giving themselves pay rises and bonuses at every opportunity. Year by year the healthcare staff however get poorer in real terms and politicians talk about taking all their rights away if they try to assert any individual or collective rights.

The staff know that todays fair words from politicians are nothing but empty words, likewise those that have the misfortune to come under private healthcare providers know exactly what is comming down the line from shareholders and senior managment.

Sooner rather than later something is going to break and the whole nation will be the poorer for it. It’s been decades comming, but this pandemic may well be that slight straw that brings the profession down on it’s knees broken and unfixable for many years.

I can fully understand how they feel and the desperate urge to run in the face of an implacable enemy that has no thought no morals can not be reasoned with and will claim your life without any impediment.

How many of us could face the same day after day, week after week, month after month, and now year after year, knowing that your best is not good enough and that saving others is dependent on researchers and scientists who likewise are too few and struggling.

There is a case that happened not far from where I live, a healthcare worker snapped in a shop. Apparently when an unmasked inconsiderate individual basically pushed and jostled them. Apparently it did not end well. If charges will be pressed or not I’ve no idea, it’s been kept out of all but the local newspaper, which hopefully means not.

The end of tethers have been not just reached they have been drawn tighter than bow strings. You realy can only expect them to snap, lash back or both.

As you note easing the tension is one of the more important but less realised things that has to be done if people are to survive the next quater and a bit. And as we have no idea who will be unfortunate, it’s best to assume we are all on the line and act appropriately.

Anders December 7, 2020 1:09 PM

@provoked pickle

Yes, it can be done but why?

The real problem here lies in nonsense use of https.
Again, this is public blog, anyone could read it.
Why on earth force to use https only approach here?
It’s the same as guard public library with the means
of fort knox.

Https has two goals – protect passwords (and other
personal information) and give certainty that the site
is the one i really want to connect.

For my threat model both reasons are unvalid. I post
here anonymously, i don’t care less if my ISP monitors
this traffic and looks what links i post. Later they
can come and read them all, by all means. And second
threat, that some three letter govt agency performs
network level attack and redirects me to some rogue site so my links don’t end here…
really…why on earth to do this?

Plain http is all i need here. https is really an overkill
and ultimately cuts people out from this information

goat with a pickle leash December 7, 2020 1:17 PM


Yes, it can be done but why?

You were on about requirements to view the web, modern browsers and so forth. I am here offering guesses and I see I have won as to how to browse the web while reducing the amount of RAM needed in doing so. So yes, it can be done, and now you know why.

canuckster December 7, 2020 1:38 PM

I don’t recall seeing this previously outside of Canadian media.

Investigation into the charges laid against top Canadian Intelligence Director.

Fellow Five Eyes partners could be concerned.

‘Ortis was arrested in Ottawa on Sept. 12, 2019.
Then director general of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre (NICC) for more than three years, he was one of the highest-ranking civilian members in Canada’s federal police force, with access to numerous sensitive national and multinational investigations.’

h ttps://

Anders December 7, 2020 1:51 PM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive

USB exists, but BIOS cannot boot from it.
All other boot options (floppy, cd, hdd) work.
Lack of USB boot isn’t a problem, i resolved it
via iPXE, this is just wonderful.

However linux, and especially live linux doesn’t
solve it. Older live linux that run nicely with gui,
their firefox is also too old. So newer firefox must
be downloaded, this causes lot of dependency problems
with the libraries.

I probably won’t post here for a while.

JonKnowsNothing December 7, 2020 3:13 PM

@Clive @All

[healthcare workers] “at the coal face” working in either hospitals

[the] desperate urge to run in the face of an implacable enemy that has no thought no morals can not be reasoned with and will claim your life without any impediment

a healthcare worker snapped in a shop.


In the early days of COVID-19 in Brazil, which is using Herd Immunity Policy (aka Do Nothing), the numbers were already staggering. A MSM report about how the health care system struggled having only a fraction of the facilities and material that other countries had.

The report told of an anesthesiology who’s primary job was intubating the scores and hundreds of patients arriving every day with COVID-19. Having gone home for a brief break, the nearby neighbors were having a grand party, lots of people with no masks, acting without cares or thoughts of what would happen.

The doctor snapped and used a baseball bat to break the windscreens of the fancy Mercedes cars parked along the street. The party goers spilled out; one of them was a martial arts expert and the videos show him picking the doctor up by her legs and swirling her over his head and smashing her into the ground repeatedly.

She survived with a damaged pelvis. She said she was overcome with rage at their callous behavior when so many were dying. She paid for the car damage. She said she could still do her job on crutches and headed back to the hospital to do what she could.

In my fire roasted deadly part of California, the healthcare workers are not the only ones burning out. Our local law enforcement agencies, city hall workers and public facing employees are also stressed with many out sick or in quarantine. There are not enough healthy people to do the jobs.

The only bright spot are the firefighters who have not had the same explosion. The firefighters here live together at the fire station. They have their own bubble. It’s when they go home and later return for their next shifts that their risk goes up. So far they are the luckier ones.

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2020 4:03 PM

@ Anders

If you got iPXE working, then you should be able to do something with Linux Mint which has newer firefox.

I was looking at this problem as if there is only a single machine.

Ideally, I just want to boot my kernel and initrd/initramfs (preferably initramfs), and have it find my USBkey which is partitioned, and then pivot_root/switch_root.

I can do this with old kernels because I can actually boot from floppy.

But newer kernels are more problematic due to size.

And I have not messed with kexec in so long, that I am not certain an old 2.4.* kernel can kexec to a more recent kernel. More research to do.

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2020 4:28 PM

@ Anders

Another angle since you have another machine.

Run mitmproxy on one machine, and change the settings in your old browser to point to your proxy. May be a lot of work though.

JonKnowsNothing December 7, 2020 9:38 PM


re: MSM Report of police raid on home of COVID-19 data scientist in Florida

Data scientist Rebekah Jones ran the Florida COVID-19 Dashboard in Florida until May 2020. The government of Florida required her to alter the numbers on the dashboard to minimize the extent of COVID-19 infections so they could promote “opening the economy”. She refused and was fired.

She then opened up her own Dashboard and has been expanding the data collection on COVID-19 in Florida.

It appears the police have raided her home, with guns drawn, and taken her computers and electronics. The police took her phone to obtain her contact and message logs.

The official explanation for the armed, guns drawn raid, was a recent hack of the Florida Health Department Network. An unauthorized message had been sent:

  speak up before another 17,000 people are dead.
  You know this is wrong. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late

There are @19,000 COVID-19 deaths in Florida.

ht tps://

ht tps://

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Clive Robinson December 8, 2020 12:27 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

re: MSM Report of police raid on home of COVID-19 data scientist in Florida

I am not surprised…

One of the downsides of the EU governmental structure is deeply embedded fraud. All the politicians of all the EU nations know it’s going on yet most of them are happy with the “fill yer boots”, “little piggies at the trough” mentalities as they “steal today to begger others tommorow”. In fact the EU council of ministers encorage it because it enables Germany amongst others to “asset strip” southern European nations for “National Security” reasons (basically cheep food)[1]. It’s almost exactly the same plan that certain economists in Germany came up with in the mid 1930’s only this time with a political not military method of enforcement.

Because of this the EU books never balance, and only little people get prosecuted for “low crimes” whilst those of high status used to get away with “high crimes” with impunity. The only real difference being the monatary value the swindlers take and how they spread little pieces around in various ways (monarchy bestowed hounours being cheap to give but highly prized make then worth more than any physical specie on earth as it confers status thus to a certain extent power[2].

Well atleast two accountants who tried to investigate the fraud which is what their jobs actualy were, found themselves hounded by “the authorities” for in effect having the temerity to go after the high status fraudsters rather than make public statments about the low status fraudsters as “window dressing”…

It’s endemic in “republican” systems so much so you could say it was the “over riding feature” not the silly status titles those at the top of the hierarchy award themselves.

In fact it’s the endemic feature of “hierarchies” when ever you have one power accumulates at the top as does the need for status. You can spot this when “The” goes in the front of what is in effect a job title. Thus “The President of…” rather than “Biz-Corp president…”. It’s also nailed dead when you keep it when retired as “Honorary rank” etc. The sad thing is that so many idiots buy into it, which I guess is a primary requirment for “authoritarian followers” and all that implies… In cluding sending “guard labour” after political enemies on flimsy excuses, effectively “SWATing” them in a ridiculous show of what thry think is power but others realise is “impotence” bring waved around in public. Such hierarchies of which the US appears to have a large number of attract undesirables who think that their personal status will rise… It’s like those militias and cults with their “Suprem Leaders” and fake military ranks.

A note for young people reading this, “job titles” all to often get used by emoloyers and their like to avoid paying an honest wage/salary for a job. To see how ridiculous this is buy a limited liability company and call it XXX, you can now call yourself “President of XXX” or any other silly title you wish. Does it earn you any money or more importantly inflation proof assets? No of course not, nor does it bring you any status except with the gullible. Just remember that whilst people might appear to take you seriously they might just be “being polite” in a sociak setting or “working out how to use you to their profit” in a business setting. The key to longterm success is “respect that is honestly earned”, not “deference to a questionably obtained title”.

[1] You have a similar issue in the US though most do not get to see it. Basically you have an industrialised north and withit a large densely packed citizen population that need feeding as cheaply as possible so that what they get paid can be kept artificially low. But the industrial north has neither the ground nor the weather to grow the required food. The opposit is effectively true in the agrarian south. Thus the north wants cheep import prices on food and high export prices on machinery to maximise profit for the “industrialists”. The agrarian south however wants high export prices on food and low import prices on machinery in effect the opposit but for the same reason a profit for the very few. The problem is the “fair political system” of “one man one vote” overwhelmingly gives power to the north and what they want. There are tricks to adjust this the Electoral College was one, but it’s not a “democratic process” another is “subsidies” which is a very dirty word to some who see it as their individual self entitaled right to “take everything and pay for nothing” (see the behaviours of the three famalies that were vying for control of the GOP prior to 2016 and more recently and how some of them view Trump as a puppet or usefull idiot).

[2] It can have it’s funny side. Back many years ago the lowest Regal Honours were just to much trouble to give out. Therefore they became entitlement recognition. Thus if you had land, wealth or both, you automatically had a right to a form of status title. If you had the equivalent of slaves tied to the land (surfs) you owned rather than those you had purchased you had a higher status title some of which became hereditary to the land not the family. Some of these titles are now freely traded I once purchased such a document that I got cheaply at auction that entitled me to add “m’lord” to the front of my name as well. In addition to the lesser status Esquire to the end of my name. Well the “m’lord” has degenerated over the years and is why someone who rents out property to others is a “Land lord”. As for the Esq. at the end of my name, well thats where the fun starts. In the US you do not have hereditary family/land or regal status titles, but your founding fathers amongst many others did not want to give up status titles for themselves after all politicians especially have status titles like Governor, Senetor, President etc. So being sekf important lawyers they came up with the idea of adopting the status titles under what were effectively “Guild Titles” that is a profession plus time served recognition that a guild would bestow on it’s members. Thus the American legal brethren nabbed “Esq.” as they alredy had it under the English titles system… Thus I have a special “vanity” business card for certain pompous “Americans” it has Esq after my name which I’m entitled to use along with my other qualification and military entitlements etc. But they pay it deference because of their lack of knowledge… My usual “personal” and “business” cards carry just my name, not even the almost obligitory “Mr” (and most definitely not the “Dr / DD” that I got for fiscal reasons). I actually am not in favour of such entitlements, honours and rewards, I would rather earn respect than be given deference to a salad of letters around my name. But for those who play the titles game I have a card just for you. What some do not know is that in certain Far Eastern nations the genuinely do “play cards” with titles. That is after work when they get together for drinks at the end of the week, they play “trumps” with business cards and the winner gets there drinks paid for by the looser. It’s why I had the “vanity card” printed in the first place, so I could give my friends and work colleagues an advantage 😉 and to ensure the cards lasted I got them made in engraved and embossed plastic, and a close lady friend of mine got some little red velvet pouches with gold thread made so they made little gifts come luna new year.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2020 2:02 AM

@ Anders,

Why on earth force to use https only approach here?

You are both right and wrong, it’s a context or point of view issue not a technical one.

You may remember I point out that there is an “Efficiency -v- Security” seesaw where the more you have of one the less you have of the other for any given point.

Well this is one of those occasions.

From an efficiency point of view you are correct “the minimum to get the job done” gives a mininal barrier to entry thus potentially the maximum number of users.

From a security point of view using a superset of the newere thus assumed more secure protocols ensures all users privacy of message contents. Which can limit the number of users.

Thus at first your point appears to give the maximum number of users.

However you have to consider the technology point issue. You and I like to use older equipment as do one or two others. Our reasons are probably different or more varied but we are in effect very much the minority. So much so we are considered “quaint” by others unless they are both aware of and understand our reasoning (though they may not agree with it from their own view point).

But you also have to consider what the market does. The lifetime as far as “tax cost write off” is concerned is about eighteen months. That is the tax man expects that after just a year and a half a computer purchased for a given task will for a variety of reasons nolonger be upto doing that task thus may need to be replaced etc.

The hardware market tries to maintain a “Doubling in power” –what ever that means– every 18months and give a glib answer of “Moores Law” when asked.

This alowes the software industry to double up on bloatware every 18months.

Thus by far the majority of people have to “buy-in” to this 18month generation/life cycle nonsense in some way. So they buy as high end as they can afford knowing that they might get two or possibly three generation times or three to five years before the software they have to have compatability with to do their job will not run or not run sufficiently well on their hardware[1].

So by far the majority of users or potential users of this web site will have hardware, OS’s and applications capable of supporting secure network communications using the more modern protocols.

Thus from a security perspective, forcing people to have the modern protocols is doing them a service to increase their privacy by default.

Also and rather more importantly from the “bigger picture” perspective it makes the use of high levels of encryption so common that it is de facto usage thus de jur attacks against it can not easily arise[3].

Further it also limits the “stand out” effect that can make you a “Person of Interest”. You might also call it the “TOR Effect” where the assumption is if you use it, you have something to hide, therefore you must be doing something illegal, thus there is probable cause to investigate you, and you will be made a criminal[4] and be paraded in public as such as a warning to others…

Thus by making strong security de facto you actually protect those such as activists and journalists who upset those with the power de jur and will wield it for the joy of having power over others rather than any real need (William Barr being a prime example of the type).

So yes it’s a trade off between “Efficiency and Security” and much though I would like both in as larger measures as possible, the world doew not work that way.

[1] Hence the idea behind Software as a Service (Saas) runing applications “in the cloud” as an extension to the “thin client” idea[2] which in turn derived from “Old Iron and Terminals” of the early days of business and accademic computer use (all of which are hoplessly insecure in various ways).

[2] You are by the sound of it trying to run a derevation of a “Thin client” solution but with local program execution rather than central server based with local UI presentation. This almost certainly is a Microsoft “Windows” perspective/legacy issue rather than a *nix “X-Windows” perspective issue. One that Citrix amongst others has tried to address and you can sort of do the same with VNC, NFS, TFTP, bootp, NetROM etc with some work.

[3] Hence the battle has moved on from just “crypto” to “end to end crypto” which means we should force E2E-Crypto on users to make it the de facto mode before the authorities make it illegal de jure. But the battle will not stop with “E2E-Crypto” the authorities previously tried the “golden key” backdoor approach, which got shot at and effectively baddly winged but they will try it again at some point. The current trick appears to be trying to hide behind faux §230 arguments. By the trick of setting up a committee to decide if you as a service providing organidation are “playing by the rules” effectively giving the committee unlimited power of rule maker, judge, jury and executioner… Basically “the law of the gun” but with nuclear tipped field artillery to “shoot sheep” as a public display of “justice being done” but in reality being a “willy waving” excercise that shows not only are they in reality impotent, but actually and more importantly cuckolds kow-towing to others whims.

[4] It’s a process known as “rights stripping” and it is much beloved by those working to pervert the US Justice system. Put simplyvthe deal is you are guilty in their eyes and you will submit to their view point. If you don’t they will destroy your reputation and bankrupt you to the point you can not continue to fight to prove your innocence. Like all “Kangaroo Court” and “show trial” systems the purpose is not “for justice to be done” but only for “justice to be seen to be done” or serve some other political purpose, and that “Authority is mighty” and is also “always right” thus you must bow down or be destroyed…

Robin December 8, 2020 2:20 AM

re: Fogging spectacles

A surgeon tweeted this suggestion a few weeks ago. Cut a strip of sticking plaster (“elastoplast”) and use it across the top of the mask and the bridge of the nose. This has two good effects:
– it seals the gap that lets moist exhaled air flow over the lenses
– it stops the mask slipping down the face to expose the nose.

This does reduce fogging a lot. A slipping mask is annoying, it’s particularly noticeable if I haven’t shaved – more traction on the mask as the jaw moves.

Bad side-effects: makes it more complicated to remove the mask (which I do if I’m walking around in the open with no-one about); sticking plaster is not nice to remove and not good for the skin. But I’ve used micropore tape which is more gentle and adequate for periods of an hour or two.

I’d certainly recommend giving this a try if you’re planning to cross any roads.

Winter December 8, 2020 3:37 AM

“I am not surprised…

One of the downsides of the EU governmental structure is deeply embedded fraud. ”

I do not want to detract from your message (although I think EU fraud is just a mean over member countries fraud levels).

However, I fail to see the connection between EU fraud and a Florida raid over COVID-19 numbers.

I must be missing something here.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2020 4:03 AM

@ FA,

My appologies for the delayed replly. But like you,

But I’ve seen no reports of any measurements, be it EM or acoustic.

I did not remember seeing any either, so I had another look around, again without success.

Which is odd becsuse as you note,

At the power required to do any harm, any EM radiation will be detectable by even the most primitive measurement devices.

What is even odder is like you

I’d assume that the US Embassy in Havana has some not-so-primitive ‘spectrum monitoring equipment’ and the people trained to operate it.

As I know that their security personnel are more than well aquainted with the use of high energy EM beams against not just US Embassies but US Residencies and other buildings used by Diplomats from the “Great Seal Bug” days when the equipment they used were what we would call “Primitive Crystal Receivers”[1]. Also more modern times with the “Non Leathal Weapon” and “Active Denial Systems” the US had developed and became of intense interest after what may have been the avoidable deaths of 4 US personnel during a terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

But despite having a look around, like you,

I’ve seen no reports of any measurements, be it EM or acoustic.

Which strikes me as not just odd but recklessly negligent of the protective needs of US Diplomatic Personnel, some of whom are just “kids” in their early twenties doing a job for not much compensation. And are by definition not just “Persons of Interest” to the host nation but very definately “targets” for various kinds of attack.

[1] Essentialy a Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) selector followed by a diode envelope detector (crystal set) feeding a “video amplifier” and display Y channel and the X channel driven by the voltage from the “tuning mechanism” that was in some cases “motor driven” making a “Pan-adaptor” or crude “Spectrum analyser”. Details of which can be found in refrences to the “Great Seal Bug” declasified information.

[2] The US developed a “non leathal” microwave weapon or “Active Denial System”(ADS) for “hostile crowd” purposes. As far as I’m aware it’s never been deployed (even though acoustic systems like the mosquito have). They tried to spin up good publicity for it by having a demonstration for journalists[3] which some reported,

If you read the article you will probably note the journalist did not appear to have much technical or scientific knowledge.

One thing you can see is the size not just of the antenna but also the EM gen-set and control systems, they are not exactly “unnoticeable”.

[3] The down side of such press conferences is some people will try a DIY route to such technology and muck it up in the process,

Though technically it’s a High Energy Radio Frequency(HERF) Gun, not an ADS / Non leathal weapon. With the right antenna (not the one in the article) you can cook a pork chop at around 6-12 inches and blow up electronic equipment out to about three-Five feet. Which is more than sufficient evidence you do not want to be anywhere near such a contraption let alone in the bore-sight of it’s radiator. There are safer designs out there to make high power Transmitters in the Ham / Amateur bands and I’ve built some variations on them. But in theory being both a qualified and experienced designer of high power transmitters I should know what I’m doing, so heed my words of stear clear and avoid becoming a freshly cooked “lamb chop” or worse the start of,

Clive Robinson December 8, 2020 5:15 AM

@ Winter,

However, I fail to see the connection between EU fraud and a Florida raid over COVID-19 numbers.

It was the abuse of political power via the heavy handed “home raid” to in effect provoke “terror” in not just the ex-employee but other people.

Look up what the EU’s OLAF anti Fraud unit had done to the German journalist Martin Tillack,

And the European Commission’s former chief accountant Spaniard Marta Andreasen,

You will note the name of Neil Kinnock in there, he was a UK politition from Wales and has tried to set up a “political dynasty” there by changing the voting system[1]. Let’s just say he has some of Trump’s less desirable features and then some more of his own. I know from direct experience his autobiography is a compleat load… He used to live close to me and what he says in the book is very far from the reality of the house, lifestyle and education his children were getting as was much else that others I knew from Wales who also had the misfortune to live close to Kinnock and his family confirmed.

Such was Kinnock’s infamy he became “the but of a joke” in the film of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the puppeters styled a Vogon Puppet after him. In the film there is a build up with a long “run down” on the Vogons and their least desirable characteristics thus why “you should endevor to avoid them at all costs” before presenting a bumbling low whitted low status vogon bureaucrat with a face and hair that so resembles Neil Kinnock it is hard not to make the mental connection almost instantly…

Any way for other background on what OLAF got upto in the way of intimidating people,

[1] Neil Kinnock cooked up a plan with Tony Blair, then UK PM to trial “proportional representation”(PR) in Wales. Whilst this might sound a good idea you have to understand it was done to create a political dynasty. Thus you have to look a little deeper.

The downside of their PR scheme is that you do not vote for a candidate but a party that then selects the candidates as it sees fit… Thus Kinnock fixed things so that he would be the first selected, ensuring that he could effectively not be got rid of, then puting others of his family next etc…

Wesley Parish December 8, 2020 5:30 AM

@Anders, SpaceLifeForm

For an up-to-date Linux you might look at Anti-X (pronounced “Antics”). I used it on an old XP-era (32-bit) laptop during the April lockdown in NZ, and it worked well.

JF December 8, 2020 5:47 AM


“They took my phone and the computer I use every day to post the case numbers in Florida, and school cases for the entire country,’’ she said. “They took evidence of corruption at the state level. They claimed it was about a security breach. This was DeSantis. He sent the gestapo.”

I saw the video before I found the story to read, and Gestapo is exactly the word that came to my mind when I saw it.

“In an affidavit signed by FDLE investigator Noel Pratt on Dec. 3, he concluded the email message was sent to approximately 1,750 accounts before it was discovered. Pratt said in the affidavit that he tracked down the IP address of the computer associated with the email and it directed him to Jones’ home address, which he said was probable cause to conduct a search of her property and seize her computers.

Jones said FDLE agents told her the Department of Health’s inspector general’s office gave them her IP address. “I guess they just signed off on that and showed up at my house with guns,’’ she said.”

You will note that the statement from Pratt does not exactly contradict Jones’ statement.

Winter December 8, 2020 5:57 AM

“It was the abuse of political power via the heavy handed “home raid” to in effect provoke “terror” in not just the ex-employee but other people.”

Yes, and they were properly put in the limelights as abuses of power.

The results being:

In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights judged that Hans-Martin Tillack’s right not to reveal his sources of information had been violated and asked Belgium to pay him €10,000 for moral damages as well as €30,000 in costs.

The hundreds of pages of seized documents were eventually returned to him in 2008.

In January 2009, the Belgian judiciary on Tuesday definitively closed the case brought by the EU anti-fraud office, OLAF, in 2004 against Hans-Martin Tillack. Aidan White, general secretary of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) which supported Mr Tillack throughout the case, argued the need for EU officials to apologise to the journalist.

The case of Marta Andreasen ended less “well”, her being sacked twice, once at the OECD and once at the EU. She was not reinstated. But she also was not “raided”. And she ended up in the European Parliament.

Winter December 8, 2020 9:16 AM

“Remember those of the MIC are more often than not, not just member of the GOP, but also make campaign contributions in large amounts.”

Power is a strange and fickle thing. Power is when other people do what you want them to do. And many a Supreme Leader found out that people can simply stop doing what they want them to do. The fate of Ceausescu of Romania was a stunning example, the rest of Eastern European leadership came in second.

In a republic where there is some kind of rule of law, power is always divided into small parcels. Those complaining about the “Deep State” or the MIC are generally those who want the Politicians, or one party, have control over everything. But that is only so under the likes of Stalin, Mao, or the Kims. All others have to share power.

In all cases, Joseph de Maistre was proven right that: People get the Government they deserve.

In the USA, power is divided over the two political parties, the mega industries, the financial sector, certain civic organizations like Unions and MSM, and various branches of the “State”, executive, courts etc.

Ask the American people about it, and you quickly see they indeed got the system they deserve.

All the complaints about this division of power seem to come from people who want all the power in the hands of only a single group. Few people have a balanced view about division of the powers.

Curiously, those who wrote the US constitution did have a good grasp of this problem. But society has changed over the past two centuries, so their description has to be adapted to be useful again.

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2020 12:07 PM

@Winter @All

In the USA, power is divided over the two political parties, the mega industries, the financial sector, certain civic organizations like Unions and MSM, and various branches of the “State”, executive, courts etc.

Ask the American people about it, and you quickly see they indeed got the system they deserve.

All countries have the same power-rights-wealth-distribution problems. This is not unique to the USA and it’s not unique historically.

The USA does have more than 2 political parties; the primary reason you might not know that because it is not very well reported.(1)

Political Parties are just a fraction of groups outside the big dogs you named that can and do influence government policies and many of them are quite successful at the local levels.

But Most Importantly:

The Citizens of the United States do not have the system “they deserve”,
we have the system “WE selected” and the system “WE wanted”.

While there are many deficiencies there is a singular aspect of our system that we selected starting in 1774 – 1789.

  * We have no monarchy.
  * No one is any better than any one else.
  * We have options do to and to be what we want in life.

That we fall short of our goals is the purpose of our system. We can change our minds, our laws, our policies and those that represent us.

We do it regularly: every year, every 2 years, every 4 years and every 6 years.

Oh, and Trump puts his pants on one leg at a time same as anyone else (except firefighters).

1, Newspapers are a For Profit business and they print what makes money. Pushing smaller political groups doesn’t make as much money as publishing self-reinforcing views matching those of the people that read them (echo chamber).

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

Winter December 8, 2020 12:31 PM

“> Power is when other people do what you want them to do.

That is the amoral view.”
No, that is a definition.

“People get the Government they deserve.”

A clarification of this original French quote. This is about “a people”, e.g., a nation. This is not about individual people. I assumed this to be obvious. However, not everyone is able or willing to understand the obvious.

The rest of your comment is beyond my abilities of understanding. I cannot make head nor tails of it.

Winter December 8, 2020 12:41 PM

“All countries have the same power-rights-wealth-distribution problems. ”

Every country have their own distribution problems.

“we have the system “WE selected” and the system “WE wanted”.”

== what “we” deserve

“The USA does have more than 2 political parties;”

But the others are all but powerless.

“* No one is any better than any one else.
* We have options do to and to be what we want in life.”

A lot of the discussions in the US are about that other people are worse than the speaker, based on the speakers preferred pseudo-science (IQ, race, gender, genes…).

Also, a lot of effort is put in denying poor people access to education and chances to be what they want in life.

Freezing_in_Brazil December 8, 2020 1:23 PM


In the early days of COVID-19 in Brazil, which is using Herd Immunity Policy (aka Do Nothing)

Brazil is a very big place and very diverse. You should take news like this with a grain of salt. When it comes to Brazil, you really have to be very specific, geography-wise.

*In Brazil states have different approaches. There’s no official herd immunity policy. There is a denialist federal president in charge, that’s the problem. The State Of São Paulo, e.g., has already purchased and received the first lot of vaccine (Sinovac-Butantan) and has a vaccination schedule in place,

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2020 1:47 PM


You are not correct, and you are not that informed on this topic.

anecdote (tl;dr)

Years ago in the micro-dust of what used to be, I had the opportunity to learn some “interesting aspects” about Europe. It was rather glaring all the things that were wrong, unjust, rigged and near impossible to fathom.

Yet, to the folks living there, it was Just Fine. They had an occasional revolt, a few deaths and broken bones to match the level of the unhappiness. Occasionally they changed governments. By and large, things remained As Is.

However, even to my youthful views, for which I often received a verbal comeuppance about my American Way of Looking at Things, I could discern, things had changed. Not to the magnitude of the changes we can make in the USA but given the centuries of deadwood dragging along in the population by osmosis, there was change.

One change was the local vacher (dairyman). He and his family worked on a grand estate, and lived in an unheated house, with no running water, no indoor or flush toilet, no shower, no electricity. 7 days a week, twice a day, he gathered up the estate dairy cows and milked them by hand and returned them to pasture. He took the required milk and cream to the Estate House and some for his family, as well as the other workers living on the estate, the rest went out to the street for collection by the local milk cooperative. He lived his whole life there. Some of the estate workers were born on the estate. He did what his father and his grandfather and all that came before him had done. He felt that he had the best of everything: A house, a family, work and a small amount of pay.

There was one thing that was different: His children went to school. They were studying hard and they were not going to be the ones milking the estate dairy cows when they finished.

He and his family were extremely proud of all that had changed and all that was changing for his children.

Change doesn’t always come from the top.

SpaceLifeForm December 8, 2020 5:00 PM

Interesting. A person you likely are familiar with, tweeted a comment about the FireEye hack. It magically disappeared within 15 minutes.

I read it. I know what it said.

And, it was an excellent observation.

SpaceLifeForm December 8, 2020 5:22 PM

Good marketing?


Anders December 8, 2020 5:30 PM



(and regarding to my second computer – my main computer died and this is only temporary solution. so soon no RW)

Clive Robinson December 8, 2020 5:59 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders,

FireEye got phished by FancyBear?

The funny thing is FireEye in their report on “FancyBear” that they call “APT28″[1] they noted that FancyBear had a habit of using sites they had attacked as network proxies for other attacks…

So don’t necessarily believe every thing you read from their site 😉 (listen for manic laughter “off stage left”).

As you may remember I had a fairly low opinion of Mandiant before FireEye purchased them. It looks like not much has improved since…

As the old joke has it,

“Sometimes when you pay for what you get, you get what you pay for…”

Or the more modern “When you pay s41t, you get…”.

I wonder if they like dogfood?

@ Anders,

my main computer died and this is only temporary solution. so soon no RW

I hope you get things sorted soon hopefully without great expense. The loss of machines can be a major “Embuggerance”.

[1] hxxps://

Anders December 8, 2020 6:09 PM



Rumors say APT29.
If i would be the attacker, i’d sure stole the client’s
pen test reports too. Those are more valuable than red team
tools. Pen test reports usually list organization network
layout, entry points, all the vulnerabilities etc. Goldmine.
Add those red team tools to that equation and you can perform
all kind of nasty false flag op-s. Expect that.

SpaceLifeForm December 8, 2020 10:26 PM

@ Anders

Basically, the tweet observation that disappeared was to your point.

That is, it did not make a lot of sense to just go after the red team tools.

Now, it apparently is coming out that the attackers were after more.

FBI will likely discern some clues but will likely never report.

NSA will of course say nothing being a customer. But they need to look inside.

They are saying this is a new attack. My hunch is microcode and UEFI related.

winter December 9, 2020 12:19 AM

“You are not correct, and you are not that informed on this topic.”

Please correct me if I am wrong. But I remember BLM and the Gini coefficient of the USA. And everything else I heard Americans complain about.

“Change doesn’t always come from the top.”

The education you describe does. But for the rest, I do see glaring problems in Europe, and elsewhere, too. In Europe, a lot of progress followed entry into the EU. Which is a lot of top-down.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2020 1:31 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

They are saying this is a new attack. My hunch is microcode and UEFI related.

They qualify it a bit, as a new attack to the them and those they’ve talked to. Which is actually important to note.

Apt28 has been known to use upto six “zero day” attacks in very short order, suggesting to some that not only did they had them to burn, but had state level funding to pay for the research[1].

The simple fact is the reality of vulnerabilities is such, that not only are they rather more numerous than many think, they are at all levels of the computing stack including “Layer 9 – Managment” and potentially above (and if likes of Bill Barr have there way then “Layer 12 – Legislative”).

The fact we rarely see vulnarabilities down in the “below CPU ISA level” is more a reflection on the perspective of those who are looking for vulnerabilities than the distribution of the vulnerabilities. As seen by the fact that known issues in CPU hardware design remained just “uninvestigated” for thirty years. When someone finally looked they became that “Xmas Present that never stops giving”. Even though earlier indistry known issues in lower layer hardware DRAM gave us RowHammer, these vulnerability finds, almost always appear to be “trail breaker led”. That is one person “breaks the trail” in what was formally virgin but not unknown territory, then others with the required skill sets in academia and the like come running down the trail widening it into a highway in a lust to grasp their little piece of fame that will atleast double their basic market value.

For years now I’ve been warning about “Efficiency -v- Security” which is where nearly all vulnarabilities arise from, and that the only sensible mitigation is propper issolation of systems via energy gapping and the like. Neither view point is popular with various parts of the industry, but that does not make them any the less true or viable as security mechanisms.

Quite a few years ago in a conversation with @Nick P on this blog, I indicated I did not think that it was possible to secure a laptop or similar such that it was secure enough to cross a national border (of a nation with a competent SigInt agency or simillar). It’s taken a few years to become a more widely held view as people get a little older and wiser. Hopefully they will start to realise the validity of the two points I’ve mentioned.

But a prediction, the Internet does not realy offer mankind new markets, just new faces for existing markets. That is shopping and crime make money, but advertising and newspapers that are information based have not earnt money thus underhanded effectively criminal tactics of stealing peoples privacy has been the model that has made early entrants wealthy. But they are desperately trying to diversify as rapidly as possible into other areas as they know that, not only are the other fishes growing rapidly, but the pond is shrinking and their effective cartel is being attacked from all directions. Not least of which being legislation with teeth, and worse for them, they know their response to the legislation is the equivalent of newspapers trying to profit from “PayWalls” is not going to work in the long run. The reason is the legislation has in effect done the information equivalent of putting in a “Distance Cost Metric” that economists tend to ignore that actually makes competative markets work.

Thus I expect other nations to start putting in legislation that is effrctively a “Distance Cost Metric” so that home markets will have a chance to compete. This will force even the likes of Microsoft to loose their effective monopoly.

But my prediction is that the Web as we know it has passed a tipping point into decay by rot. Browsers have tried to take over the duties of OS’s and have mainly failed bringing all sorts of security vulnerability classes back from the grave where we thought were long dead and buried by thoughtful OS design. Similar issues are going to occur with “user space IO” and the like in servers. Yes these changes away from the OS offer speed advantages, but the real issue is it’s a drive “for efficiency over security” and we know where that leads. By the time the required security has been put back the advantages of user space IO and similar OS bypassing technology in browsers will be small and have lots of managment issues (OS’s centralize security measure control making it managable, user space or application level security does the opposit).

In effect the idea of centralise security where a few experts can give it to all developers no matter how bad, will come back and much that will be done on the web due to what are lax security practices currently will have to be foresaken or moved back into the OS somehow.

As @Dave noted on another thread,

…it’s necessary to take all the geeks outside and shoot them…

Such dangerous geeks are to be found in web and smart device app development in the main curently. But they will “if hung correctly” mature with age. The question is though as they could be viewed as young wines “Will they develop depth and charecter as they mature or just turn into vinegar?”.

[1] But paying for research is not the Russian way especially when it can be had nearly for free… Thus they could have been taken from somebody elses stock pile[2], or those doing research were given something that they could not get but comes almost for free to the Government such as immunity from prosecution and extradition (which we know goes on for others carrying out activities abroad for the Russian Government).

[2] Ask yourself who alledgedly has the largest stockpile of “cyber-weapons”, and also has had “contractors” walk out the door with secrets from their computers atleast twice that we publically know? It might be why they are keeping very quiet, and why if there was a competent hand on the tiller of the ship of state rather searching questions would be asked of the agency…

JonKnowsNothing December 9, 2020 1:43 AM


re: Change and Education

As has been noted by others, during the attempts at COVID-19 lock downs or not, depending on the State of the States, an unpleasant realization hit even affluent parents: They did not know how to teach their children anything. For parents with less education or fewer horizon expanding experiences the impacts are even worse.

The US Education system is divided into For Profit and State schools. It’s divided by Religious and Secular curriculum. The standard and topics are highly contested by parents and proponents of any of a variety of view points.

The result is “A Mess” and it gets “Tested” as “A Mess” and it moves along as “A Mess” and it ends up at University as “A Mess”.

Much of our American Mythos surrounds education: That you don’t need one.
eg: to be rich, famous, glamorous, on twitter, on facebook, go viral … etc.

Parents have been conditioned to leave much of everything to “someone else” and now those “someone elses” aren’t there.

To be sure, there are many parents who do take things in hand and help but lots of folks in the USA have been betting on a basketball or football scholarship leading to the Big Time Sports Teams and pie-in-the-sky.

It may not be true anymore but EU had much tougher levels of education compared to the US. What the EU lacked was Imagination, Creativity and Yankee Know How.

If you want to see a real US revolt, just suggest disbanding the high school football team redirecting the money to fund science, maths and literacy.

a COVID-19 note: I would not hold my breath that very many in California will be responding positively to today’s statewide smartphone emergency message to STAY HOME. Unofficial reports indicate: rude hand gestures oriented towards the State Capital were a common response to the message.

Winter December 9, 2020 3:17 AM

“The US Education system is divided into For Profit and State schools. It’s divided by Religious and Secular curriculum. The standard and topics are highly contested by parents and proponents of any of a variety of view points.”

I know. A good education is extremely important for your chances to succeed in the US and elsewhere. A good education is next to unreachable in the US unless you have money to pay for it.

Other countries, other problems. I am not familiar with other countries educational systems. However, I do know that in many European countries, access to world class (top 200 Universities in the world) is not dependent on your parents having lots of money. That is not to say that these countries do not have inequalities in their educational systems.

Going back to my original point:
All good educational systems are build by nation states. All educational systems build on private money exclude most of the children from a good education and ossify inequality into a heritable system.

JonKnowsNothing December 9, 2020 9:20 AM


All good educational systems are build by nation states. All educational systems build on private money exclude most of the children from a good education and ossify inequality into a heritable system.

In the USA our basic education system is funded by State Property Tax levy.

If you own any property, home, land this is taxed and a lot of things are tacked onto the tax bill. An elected county assessor (1) is in charge of estimating the value of the property and buildings on it (home, commercial, land) and many different legal entities piggy back a percentage on the bill.

Renters pay indirectly as landlords will include the cost of the levy in their rental amounts.

Each state has their own levy amounts, each county and city has their own tack-on. In the rare cases where there is no property taxes or other taxes, the levy is shifted to a more “locally acceptable” item (casino taxes, sales taxes).

As part of the evolution of neoliberal/libertarian/austerity fiscal policies in the USA, Federal financial support for state education programs of all types dried up and the local property taxes, have been captured by the State to shore up the crumbling structures of “Public Good” projects that are now severely underfunded or no longer funded at all. Roads get a good portion but education gets not-much.

Pre-neoliberal/libertarian/austerity fiscal policies, many areas have very good to extremely good education K-12 and the advent of 2 yr colleges opened up opportunities for many. This is not to say, there were no inequities or racial bias or red-lining, there was and still is, however there were more options although some restrictions applied.

After the retraction of support by the Federal Governments and the increased advocacy of “private, charter, religious” school doctrines became standard, the split you described is quite noticeable.

Everyone is entitled to a Free K-12 education, there are programs for pre-K children. Most public schools do not have uniform or other hindrances to access. A bus service picks up children living farther from the schools.

There are programs to feed children but these often come under attack during our many election cycles. So the programs change from no-cost, low-cost, full-fee, food-shaming, and no meals depending on the election outcomes.

There is another aspect that affects the USA and maybe other countries. Black market, illegal employment in the drug trade snares younger people into trading their future lives for the short term possession of a Mercedes. Many in a disadvantaged setting, not enough food, shelter, clothing or funds to pay for school materials and tutoring (2) do not see education as something of value. For some, they know that they will be incarcerated for the majority of their lives and opt for the flash-of-cash now, since they maybe dead tomorrow.

This system is not going to be changing anytime soon, although some financially secure parents maybe able to buy catch-up tutoring.

One economic outcome of the neoliberal/libertarian/austerity fiscal policies is workers today have not had an increase in their Real Earnings in more than a decade and workers tomorrow will have negative Real Earnings. This is by neoliberal economic design and the rising cost of education is no longer matched by a Real Increase in work-value.

This is also not changing anytime soon, but the COVID-19 impacts on For Profit Universities is beginning to show on their ivory towers.

1, tax assessor is a position that has undergone many title changes throughout history. The object is to take money from the population and delivery it to the state, lord, king etc. There are other taxes like sales taxes with different titles but the same function: take money from the population for upward distribution.

2, California has no public pathway for 1v1 tutoring or supplemental education assistance. There are some programs that provide pathways to High School Equivalent diplomas (GED). pre-COVID there are tutoring corporations providing cram services however the cost is beyond the ability of many to pay for it.

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Winter December 9, 2020 9:45 AM

“Everyone is entitled to a Free K-12 education, there are programs for pre-K children.”

Yes, and I have seen reports that state funded K-12 education quality can vary enormously between counties depending on income differences.

A crucial inequality everywhere is access to vocational and academic training. K-12 does not teach you the qualifications needed to get a decent job. Entry into a decent tertiary educational institution is what makes the difference in a child’s future.

That transfer from k-12 to college and university is where I see the most complaints in the USA.

JonKnowsNothing December 9, 2020 12:26 PM


state funded K-12 education quality can vary enormously

That transfer from k-12 to college and university is where I see the most complaints in the USA.

There are several sets of presumptions in the USA about education and exactly what that means, what do people need to learn to function, be employed, be employable long term and have enough left at the end of their lives to have basic needs met: housing, food, clothing and healthcare.

None that this is really happening anymore.

There used to be an expectation that at entry to a 4yr college the person could read well, write (long hand in the old days), do basic and maybe some advanced maths and have enough funds to pay for tuition, living accommodations, food, transportation, social interactions (clubs interest groups) and learn a subject.

Much of this doesn’t happen any more either.

It isn’t just richer vs poorer either. There are some across all of society that meet or exceed any aspect of the above and others that do not.

It’s what do we want as a society to do about it. It is pretty clear what neoliberal/libertarian views are:

  * Do not expect any help from us. If you want it, get it yourself by yourself.

It is a rather narrow view. As long as corporations can get cheaper labor by outsourcing and the outsourcer’s outsourcing (loop)(1) they will muddle along because the CEOs only looks at 3months of activity (quarter returns). Anyone looking for 5 years or 10 years farther out can see there’s going to be a tough payback.

It takes more than 8years to become a MD in the USA (10-14yrs). Every MD we kill off during the USA COVID-19 Wave 1b, takes 1 generation + 10 years to replace. This excludes the costs and constraints of access to medical schools.

For every Clive that is lost, the replacement is impossible, at best 1 generation + 50yrs of high level technical work (doing call center support isn’t enough).

For every Bruce that is lost, the replacement is impossible. People with these skills are born rarely in a generation and even then do not always have the opportunity to develop.

The problems of the transferring students are just the tip of the problems.

As long as there is football on Friday Nights and Shape-up/Shake-down is considered good economic employment practices this isn’t going to change in the USA.

Perhaps the EU or China will do better.

1, A recent example in Australia, a private security outfit (A) won a big contract. Shortly after winning the contract something went pear shaped. The inquiry discovered that the contract company (A) did not have any employees and that they outsourced to (B) which was related to (A). (B) outsourced to (C) and …. I think they are still searching for the exit on that recursion loop

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In the “shape-up” system, workers had to ask for employment each morning, and jockey against each other for a job for the day. Additionally, employers could speed-up the work site by employing fewer workers, making the remaining employees work harder. They were also able to retaliate against non-compliant workers through a company union that kept track of workers with an employee “blue-book.”

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Winter December 9, 2020 1:04 PM

“  * Do not expect any help from us. If you want it, get it yourself by yourself”

Here you touched a nerve. Something I cannot understand from the Libertarians.

If you look at human “productivity” or effectiveness, however you define it, the more people can collaborate, the more productive and effective every individual becomes.

That was the basic message of Yuval Harari’s books. It is very much there reason there are corporations and nations. Getting their organisation in order is the basis of the spectacular rise of the East Asian countries. We see how China is able to coordinate 1.5B people and is on track to become the biggest economy in the world after having had famines just 50 years ago.

And in the USA there is a whole class of intellectuals who is opposed to national collaboration, who want to go back to village level homesteading.


SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2020 11:56 PM

@ Clive, Anders, ALL

A bit-flipping router in Silicon Valley. For weeks.

Does kind of point out that https does help.

This last link has test results from various people.



Hmmm. FireEye is close to this IX.

If you can detect a bit-flipping router, can one use it for exploit before others detect the problem?

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 1:07 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders,

If you can detect a bit-flipping router, can one use it for exploit before others detect the problem?

That depends on which bits it flips or you can make it flip and what and how you are going to attack.

In a properly defined communications protocol traffic should be protected at each layer by being encoded and checked with, parity / checksum / ECC / hash etc. Also due to avalanche criteria block based asymmetric encryption should fail hard (stream ciphers generally are transparant to bit-flipping which is why they are not used as much as they might otherwise be).

That is in the digital layers of a network “bit flipping” should be detected thus corrected or dropped. Any NetAdmin should be keeping a running check on communications errors in the lower stack levels and a SysAdmin likewise in the upper stack levels. Like bad blocks on hard drives bit-flips are usually a warning that hardware is starting to fail.

But you can only measure what you “see” or “look to see”…

One of the things that does happen when data communications is thought to be “reliable” is that “looking and checking” first get seen as an “overhead” then as a “pointless overhead” then “just a nuisance to code that steals performance”. Especially when you make the mistake of thinking “this is actually redundant because of other stack layers checking”…

Your eye might have seen a comment aluding to this issue in the tweet thread.

So the answer is a bit more complicated. For instance if you know there is a bug in someones network code, you might not need to flip specific bits just get the number of errors up so a counter or some such overflows badly and crashes a bit of kit, like a network sniffer on a network intrusion or monitoring device.

Especially if the attacker has two routes to a target, one through the bit-flipper error generator and one not.

Sorry to sound a little wooly on the answer but, you realy have to know not just what an attackers intent is, but also the failings of all the kit in the path to understand if random bit-flips may be of use to an attacker or not.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 8:09 AM

@ ALL,

Public-Key Cryptography Standard (PKCS) #11 v 3.0 has been released

That says what was approved back at the very end of July this year.

And this just out says what and why for a major Linux distribution,

Yes I know they are both dull but thankfully short reads but the bit at the bottom about FIPS mode and integrating with tokes should be of interest to quite a few people.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 8:53 AM

@ Bruce, Moderator,

You might have heard that YouTube has changed it’s rules,

Basically as far as YouTube is concerned the US 2020 election is “over” and the results called. Therefore it is removing any content that is now posted alleging any kind of election tampering / fraud / software glitches / etc, etc as soom as they become aware of them.

Hopefully now that YouTube have “closed the book” on 2020 election as history, others will now do the same abd a little normality will return.

Winter December 10, 2020 9:01 AM

“others will now do the same abd a little normality will return.”

We can all hope, but realistically?

I am pretty sure a certain public figure will get a book deal with “I won” and start his own TV channel etc.

But you are right, we do not have to read it, or watch it.

MarkH December 10, 2020 11:21 AM


Thanks for the news and link about YouTube.

For clarity, their restriction is more focused, on content “that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election”.

Note that read literally, this would not prevent videos conveying evidence or suspicions of particular election defects — as long as they don’t claim that these determined the presidential outcome.

It would be nice if things will calm down a little. I notice fewer election-denial comments here in recent days … maybe reality is setting in.

But knowing my country’s politics as I do, some will furiously denounce the YouTube policy as censorship of The Truth, and seize upon it as further evidence that Big Tech is at the heart of Vast Liberal Conspiracy.

And so it goes …

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 11:28 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

This one is a definate people are going to ask questions about,

In short the TCP/IP stack on IoT devices is so bad they are not in the slightest “fit for purpose”. No great surprise that some are borked, but big eye opener it is so many…

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders,

If you’ve read my response to the bit flipping router question where I mention things like parrity, checksums, ECC and hashes that should be not just generated but more importantly checked at every layer in the stack. The above article will tell you a small part of why I mentioned such bad development behaviours in network communications…

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 11:43 AM

@ MarkH,

And so it goes …

They say “Reality bites” so I can see why some might want to dodge the fangs of the beast 😉

@ Winter,

I am pretty sure a certain public figure will get a book deal with “I won” and start his own TV channel etc.

Probably not whilstvthe money is still rolling in to fill his “personal” polotical fund… Somebody mentiond it’s likely north of 200million by now…

But yeah at some point he is going to squeeze his ego back on the box… But in all honesty TV is actually dying especialy with the “Hip-n-Trendy” set who slurp up boxed sets and the like faster than a dehydrated Elephant at a watering hole… I guess though his main “voter base” are still cable TV types if they have the cash, broadcast if not. Fast Internet has probably passed them by as “economically unviable” thanks to Agit Pai at the FCC.

Winter December 10, 2020 12:21 PM

“TV is actually dying especialy with the “Hip-n-Trendy” set who slurp up boxed sets and the like faster than a dehydrated Elephant at a watering hole”

His base seem to me to be those wrestling for super 4k 85″ TV sets during black Friday. Trump preferred Fox and AmericaOne cable above all. His career was build on Reality TV. So I expect him to stay on TV.

JonKnowsNothing December 10, 2020 12:50 PM

@Clive @MarkH @All

re: Agit Pai at the FCC

There are some interesting bits of skullduggery at the FCC. There’s the normal amount of skullduggery and there is the New Incoming Crew Prevention skullduggery. Reports and analysis are still evolving.

recap: There are 5 commissioners: Currently 3 Reps + 2 Dems.

M.Pai has officially resigned but he’s still there for a while yet.

  * This leaves 2 Rep + 2 Dems

One of the Reps: Michael O’Rielly had his re-approval stamp withdrawn by President Trump.

  * Score: 1 Rep + 2 Dems

The Senate and Trump pushed through a replacement: Nathan Simington

  * 7th Inning Stretch: 2 Rep + 2 Dems

This blocks the FCC from doing much but (there’s always at least one), it seems that President-Elect Biden, can promote one of the Dems to Chair without Senate interference.

This sets up a fight with the Senate, as it is expected they will not approve anyone nominated (for any position). The Chair can order a shutdown or similar effect on matters like “cancelling upcoming spectrum auctions and suspending consumer electronics certifications”. This would pull the corporations into the mix since they have benefited mightily under the Trump Administration and would certain not want their rubber-stamp rules to be blocked.

In the mean time the score is still

  * 3 Reps + 2 Dems

And this maybe good-news/bad-news for Section 230.

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lurker December 10, 2020 2:38 PM

@Clive, ALL

Chrome on Android has a big bar at the bottom of the page:
“We detected this page is in French. Would you like to use Google translate? [Click]”

Apparently they haven’t got the message yet. Palemoon on Debian just gives me the page, no nonsense. Sure, at the bottom of the English language page there is one line:
“Nos valeurs: les principes de confiances de Thomson Reuters”, which even my schoolboy French can manage, but the embedded link and linked page are all in English.

lurker December 10, 2020 2:59 PM

@SpaceLifeForm: re “A bit-flipping router in Silicon Valley.”

The samples given on the github page looked to me just like a noisy line. All lines/channels (including all routers and repeaters) have some noise. It has always surprised me how generally reliable the internet is. Those samples show how TLS can make it even more reliable.

I come from an analogue radio comms background, and I agree with @Clive:

you realy have to know not just what an attackers intent is, but also the failings of all the kit in the path to understand if random bit-flips may be of use to an attacker or not.

SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2020 4:37 PM

@ Clive

That depends on which bits it flips or you can make it flip and what and how you are going to attack.

Hardware or software?

An attacker that controls a router could do it via software, but use hardware as an excuse.

Throw in some MTU manipulation too.

maqp December 10, 2020 4:57 PM

TFC 1.20.12 is now released

Well, what do you know, I actually found a new feature to add. That is, buffering of outgoing messages. The problem with Onion Service based messaging is its synchronous, both users need to be online at the same time for conversation to take place.

Previously if the user sent a message to a contact who was offline, if the contact didn’t come online before the user also went offline, the message would be lost. The hash ratchet based forward secrecy could recover from that, but it made conversing frustrating.

As always, the feature is implemented with privacy preserving design, discussed with more depth in the update log:

The rest of the small bug fixes are detailed there as well.

SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2020 5:52 PM

@ maqp, Clive

The problem with Onion Service based messaging is its synchronous, both users need to be online at the same time for conversation to take place.

Which, you do not want.

Are you really sure you control the buffer?

ResearcherZero December 10, 2020 6:19 PM

“Such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons,” Putin said in an essay published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s newspaper of record, “
Armies of the future, he said, would need weapons “based on new physical principles” including “genetic” and “psychophysical” science.

Though couched in careful, scientific language, the new report reveals strong evidence that the incidents were the result of a malicious attack. It attributes the illnesses to “directed” and “pulsed” — rather than “continuous” — energy, implying that the victims’ exposure was targeted and not the result of more common sources of microwave energy

Small enough to be portable by vehicle. Runs off a large alternator connected to a pair of large batteries and a fuel cell, along with large capacitors in series. Long enough exposure over a prolonged time can eventually lead to various forms of cancer (jaw, lungs, skin, liver, breast…)
Obviously we have gotten a good look at such a device at some point in time.
A highly immoral weapon, especially when used against civilian targets outside of a war zone, to cite a specific example.

Ionizing radiation is a form of energy that acts by removing electrons from atoms and molecules of materials that include air, water, and living tissue. Ionizing radiation can travel unseen and pass through these materials.

Ionizing radiation gives off energy by knocking electrons off atoms, which causes the atoms to have a charge. Another term for a charged particle is an ion. The charges on the atomic particles make ionizing radiation unstable and reactive. The particles radiate because they are trying to stabilize themselves.

Non-ionizing radiation refers to any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy per quantum (photon energy) to ionize atoms or molecules—that is, to completely remove an electron from an atom or molecule.
A cellular phone emits non-ionizing radiation.

maqp December 10, 2020 8:01 PM


The data stored in the buffers consists of three things: x448 public keys for TCB-to-TCB key exchange, group management messages, and standard message/file ciphertexts. All of that data is public by definition/by design. The group management messages contain plaintext data about group composition, but as that information can not be hidden from HSA that’s taken over the Networked Computer anyway, nothing changes wrt. the treat model.

If you want to make a stronger case, I suggest you describe the attack scenario in detail from the context that shows you’re familiar with the design and the code, and possibly with a piece of attack code that proves its possible.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2020 8:08 PM

For more than a quarter of a century, from 1953 to late 1979, the Soviets bombarded the US embassy in Moscow with microwave radiation that resulted in numerous American officials being found with abnormal white cell counts, causing severe health problems.

Three ambassadors died prematurely from cancer. What became known as the ‘Moscow Signal’ attack was covered up by the Americans, who decided not to tell members of the embassy staff until 1972. The attacks were not revealed to the public until 1976.

In 1979 James Schumaker, the embassy’s Political Officer, was told his white cell count was much higher than normal, and by 1985 he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). It went into remission by 1999. ‘I don’t know how I got CLL, or why it gradually disappeared,’ he said. ‘In the back of my mind, however, I have always considered the Moscow microwaves to be a prime suspect.’

Schumaker was lucky. Recent research by Jose Martinez, of the Technical University of Cartagena in Spain, found that at least three US ambassadors to Moscow died of cancer at relatively young ages.

They included Charles Bohlen, 69; Llewellyn Thompson, 67; and Walter Stoessel, ambassador from 1974 to 1976, who died in 1986, aged just 66.

The CIA has conducted its own inquiry and is said to have concluded that Russian agents got physically close to CIA operatives who suffered from ‘The Thing’ in Poland, Australia, Taiwan, and Georgia.

If you ever see someone pointing a small hand held parabolic dish towards you with what appears to be a UHF antenna protruding from the center, you begin to feel queasy, warm, and your body hair begins standing on end. That is likely not to be a parabolic microphone, the cables connected to the hand held array are likely to be connected to an energy source, rather than recording equipment. There may be electrons leaving your body as the the atoms radiate and the water inside you is cooked from the inside out.

That is why the movie The Thing is such a classic, each time we watch it we laugh, as that is what some of us are going to look like when we retire. It is what some of us did look like before they died of a slow painful death, barely comforted at all by the large quantities of morphine and other pain killers, often the only support offered to them.

Magnitsky laws seek to target the fallout to the guilty parties by freezing individual bank accounts, seizing property and cancelling visas. They are designed to punish gross human rights abuses and often corruption too where the local rule of law has failed.

Merry Christmas

SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2020 10:41 PM

@ name

This senator from the Show Me State sure seems distressed.
I’m sure he will find a way to turn it into a section 230 issue.


” .@Mastercard
has just informed me that they are terminating the use of their cards on Pornhub”

Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 10:50 PM

@ ResearcherZero,

Ionizing radiation can travel unseen and pass through these materials.

Actually ionizing radiation is very high frequency EM radiation. Depending on how you view it it starts at the upper end of the visable light spectrum and goes up in frrquency through ultravilot onwards through X-Rays etc.

The thing is that although they can be focused thus turned into a beam it becomes increasingly dificult with increasing frequency.

Which does not tie in well with,

If you ever see someone pointing a small hand held parabolic dish towards you with what appears to be a UHF antenna protruding from the center, you begin to feel queasy, warm, and your body hair begins standing on end.

If it was generating ionizing radiation then it would not be focused by such a structure. And if you think about it further if it could “pass through these materials” then the operator would no be in any way protected by the dish. Worse for them the beam energy drops of in radiant systems by 1/(r^2) thus as they would be atleast ten times closer than the target they would be geting R^2 the dose or a hundred or more times the damage the target is getting.

Which I suspect means that people without a technical background are conflating two or more entirely different things.

Which is kind of confirmed with,

For more than a quarter of a century, from 1953 to late 1979, the Soviets bombarded the US embassy in Moscow with microwave radiation that resulted in numerous American officials being found with abnormal white cell counts, causing severe health problems.

Microwave radiation can be easily focused into beams, because it’s of a way lower frequency than ionizing radiation. It causes damage by “I^2 R heating” not destroying chemical bonds or ripping atoms apart.

Thus I suspect what looked like a dish with a TV antenna in it was one of a number of “backfire antennas” used in the high UHF and low microwave frequences.

SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2020 10:52 PM

SVR. Smells like a double agent scenario since the cam hack. Would not conclude they have found, however.


Clive Robinson December 10, 2020 11:39 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

With regards,

has just informed me that they are terminating…”

This is actually very bad news.

In effect it’s censorship by illegal means and once it is alowed to start it will just get worse and worse.

The reason they get away with this nonsense is people do not think beyond what they are being spoon fed. You can see it in some of the comments on that twitter thread.

People have to understand the difference between “infrastructure services and technology” and “discretionary services and technnology”

When you run an “infrastructure service” you have to accept that you are a “Common carrier” that is you supply the service equitably to all without fear or favour. The system of transfering payments is without doubt a “common carrier” “infrastructure service” because denying it when you follow the logic down is the same as taking away somebodies right to exist in society.

The fact this is a very dangerous move to individuals and society can be seen by the use of “Think of the children” emotive manipulation to blind people to the real issue.

If people want politicians to make particular goods and services unavailable then there is a correct legislative proceadure to follow, and that is the route that should be taken.

JonKnowsNothing December 11, 2020 12:53 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Banking or not Banking

There are a number of scenarios floating around that impact someone’s ability to use modern banks. Many countries, USA especially, has some tough banking rules and if the powers-that-be decide you have tripped one of their wires, things will go pear shaped fast, locally and internationally.

If the USA government puts you On A List, you get no banking services.

Recently Carrie Lam in Hong Kong declaimed her problem because the banks closed her accounts due to USA putting her On A List. Since she was On A List the banks in Hong Kong which do international bank exchanges could no longer have her listed as a client. So she has to be paid-in-cash and has lots of it stashed at home. (personally I wouldn’t advertise that but she had no issues telling world-dog to look in the mattress).

Down Under Wonders and Other neoliberal economic believers have moved to a “cash less credit support system”. Other than not working, not having a bank account or having the funds not deposited on time or having them clawed back at random intervals with an occasional notice of “No Funds For You!”; the banking system is used to whip the poor even farther into poverty.

When it comes to freezing accounts, whip rounds for Snowden, Assange, various legal support systems (immigration, detention, etc) all get put on someone’s list. The USA has set their eagle-claws into revenues from books written by folks On A List.

Some folks in the USA wish they had a mattress like M. Lam’s that the government couldn’t find and tax. They’ve been digging up(1) a few old mattresses in the UK…

1, The UK Metal Detectives are getting so good at finding buried treasure hoards, the government plans to expand the definition of “hoard – treasure” to make sure they get it fresh from the dirt.

ht tps://

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

JonKnowsNothing December 11, 2020 1:03 AM


re: Banking or not Banking more

Another link

ht tps://

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter December 11, 2020 2:44 AM

@JonKnowsNothing @Clive @SpaceLifeForm @All

“re: Banking or not Banking”

China, Russia, and the EU are all working on a system to dethrone the $ as the international reserve currency.

h ttps://

(yes I know about caucus99percent)

xcv December 11, 2020 2:49 AM


” .@Mastercard
has just informed me that they are terminating the use of their cards on Pornhub”

@Clive Robinson

When you run an “infrastructure service” you have to accept that you are a “Common carrier” that is you supply the service equitably to all without fear or favour

Pornhub and sisters are not common carriers. They make money enforcing copyright law, tracking the viewership of photos and/or videos that some people consider obscene, and reporting “bad habits” to law enforcement officers, solicitors, private investigators, prosecutors, and more favored clients who pay money for less favorable information on less favored clients.

Clive Robinson December 11, 2020 5:09 AM

@ xcv,

Pornhub and sisters are not common carriers.

I never said they were but Mastercard by definition is.

I’m aware of some of the things that have been said about PH but I’m sure not all, and I’ve no intention of ever knowingly visit their sites.

But what you have to realise is that the powers that be have quite deliberately used the “think of the children” knee jerk response to turn the “denial of rights” behaviour they want to use on everyone –including you– into a “cause célèbre” for the policy so that it becomes “normalised” or worse a “mud sticks” tool to turn innocent people into evil do’ers in the public eye in the old “She’s a witch burn her” style mob rule, that boosted certain peoples power over others.

It’s all part of the “Justice being seen to be done” rather than actually being done and the “no attrocity to great because we are the good guys” of murdering inconvenient people their families and any who happen to be geographically near them by no fault of their own. Look at it this way, when a gang has a driveby shooting and innocent pedestrians get shot and killed we feel that those who did it should be brought to justice. But when a bunch of Americans quite deliberately shoot up journalists in another country that’s supposed to be acceptable, as is killing people at weddings or markets, all because of the “Americans are the good guys” self delusion…

Remember any time you hear “all for the common good”, “a higher calling”, “see the bigger picture”, “the blood of Christ…”, “For god King…” etc you are in the presence of the worst form of evil you can imagine. It’s one that wants to normalise “might is right” on any pretext so they can gain as near absolute power as they can. And as you and I and nearly everyone else “is not one of them” it’s not hard to guess which end of the stick we are on. Especially as you sure are not the one holding it, doing the beating down on your own head.

JonKnowsNothing December 11, 2020 11:07 AM

@Clive @All

re: ICU bed magic counts

note: Lots of cut n paste – ymmv

I’ve dug up some additional information on ICU capacity and the missing bed+patient counts in the Refrigerated Morgue Truck that is California.

The ever shifting sands of what’s defined:

  * ICU bed = a place where really sick people lay down
  * Total ICU beds in care setting = The Total ICU bed count in a single unit, like a hospital
  * Total ICU beds area counts = The Total ICU bed counts within a region including all licensed facilities, like multiple hospitals
  * ICU Staff = any person trained to deal with the complexities of ICU care
  * Total ICU beds with expected Staff = (Total number of ICU beds “∩” Total number of possible ICU Staff).
  * ICU beds with Staff In Use = A number less than or equal to the Total ICU beds with expected Staff.
  * ICU beds with Staff Not In Use = Any number less than or equal to the difference between (Total ICU beds with expected Staff – ICU beds with Staff in use)
  * ICU beds in use for COVID-19 = A number less than or equal to the Total ICU beds with expected Staff.
  * ICU beds in use NOT for COVID-19 = A number less than or equal to the Total ICU beds with expected Staff
  * Total ICU beds in use with Staff Capacity = A number less than or equal to ICU beds with Staff in use or the sum of (ICU beds in use for COVID-19 +ICU beds in use NOT for COVID-19)
  * Total ICU beds with Staff Capacity Ratio = ICU beds with Staff Not In Use / Total ICU beds in use with Staff Capacity

In California our lock down is based on the Total ICU beds with Staff Capacity Ratio. When it fall below a threshold (adjustable) the regional areas go into lock down.

The current value is: ZERO.
There are no ICU beds available with staff from mid-state to the Mexican border.


Hospital A – 20 ICU beds = Total ICU beds in care setting
Hospital B – 30 ICU beds = Total ICU beds in care setting

Hospital A + B = 50 ICU beds = Total ICU beds area counts

Hospital A ICU Staff – 50 certified persons = ICU Staff
Hospital B ICU Staff – 100 certified persons = ICU Staff

Hospital A 10 beds + 10 staff = Total ICU beds with expected Staff
Hospital B 20 beds + 20 staff = Total ICU beds with expected Staff

Hospital A 2 beds + 2 staff = ICU beds with Staff In Use
Hospital B 5 beds + 5 staff = ICU beds with Staff In Use

Hospital A 8 beds + 8 staff = ICU beds with Staff Not In Use
Hospital B 15 beds + 15 staff = ICU beds with Staff Not In Use

Hospital A n < 10 = ICU beds in use for COVID-19
Hospital B n < 20 = ICU beds in use for COVID-19

Hospital A y < 10 = ICU beds NOT in use for COVID-19
Hospital B y < 20 = ICU beds NOT in use for COVID-19

Hospital A Capacity = (n + y) <= 10
Hospital B Capacity = (n + y) <= 20

Hospital A Total ICU beds with Staff Capacity Ratio = 8 / 10 = .8
Hospital B Total ICU beds with Staff Capacity Ratio = 15 / 20 =.75

So when our local area ICU fills up with both COVID-19 and Non COVID-19 patients and the number of staffed ICU beds declines either because the beds are filled or because there is no staff to support them our "Official ICU bed counts" go south.

As to the missing 80 beds + patients, it is possible that these are Non COVID-19 patients and are not reported on the ICU Hospital Capacity numbers because those are defined as COVID-19 ICU patients. [People still have heart attacks and strokes]

As to knowing or verifying the reported numbers used for the ratio, this depends on the Staff available on any given day, week. California has many health care workers of all levels and underlying support staff that are sick, quarantined or dead. The gross-rounded numbers of sick HCW are published in a different report but there isn't any tie in to the ICU reported numbers (how many ICU staff are sick).

Currently, California is publishing a percentage and that number fluctuates but will remain near or at zero until Wave 1b declines.

Chris December 11, 2020 3:53 PM

Hi i used to come here before the situation and i specifically told you to do the math
I also said that security wise use linux
. My opionion was use manjaro
. The second opinion was go from manjaro to arch

There are still my points
I have gone from mint to manjaro
and from 20210101 i will go from manjaro to arch

What have you done?
I set a goal I do it

A Nonny Bunny January 9, 2021 2:35 PM

@Clive Robinson

New evidence that current “social distancing” rules of 2m/6ft are woefully inadiquate

Inadequate for what?
What do you think the goal of the social distance rule is? To completely eliminate any chance at all of getting Covid-19?
Cause I always thought the point was only to reduce transmission levels to a more manageable level. From what I read, iirc, up to 3 meters every foot extra reduces transmission roughly by half. That makes anything beyond that really insignificant.

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