Lawrence February 19, 2021 4:32 PM

West Point’s CTC has released an article on the evolution of the Boogaloo movement and how it represents a terror and security threat to the US.

An extract from the first paragraph:

The movement has gained national notoriety in that time, due as much to its eclectic aesthetic of colorful Hawaiian-themed apparel as its connection to disrupted violent plots—namely, the attempted kidnapping of a sitting U.S. governor. In 2020, members of the movement were accused of plotting to use Molotov cocktails during a Black Lives Matter protest, conspiring to materially support Hamas, and murdering law enforcement personnel.

The report is here:

Footnote [W] to the report states that two Boogaloo members “… expressed a desire to employ themselves as ‘mercenaries’ for Hamas as a means to generate cash” for their movement, and stated that they would be particularly valuable to Hamas as homegrown extremists as “two American-born white boys.” This quote needs context so it is best to read the whole of the footnote, and the one that preceeds it.

The Washington Post has a perspective on the FBI’s role in the “Hamas” situation here

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2021 4:44 PM


The fascists want to monetize information.

They do not want you to freely share information.

This is an attack on 1st Amendment and Section 230.

This is an attack on Copyright.

This is an attack on FLOSS.

They want to tax bits.

h xyzzy ps://

The inventor of the world wide web says proposed Australian media laws requiring tech giants Google and Facebook to pay for displaying news content risks setting a precedent that “could make the web unworkable around the world”.

vas pup February 19, 2021 5:17 PM

@xcv (continue from previous weekly blog):

Us vs. Them

I hope you’ll attentively watch and read information in links above. That may provide you logical and scientific answers/clarifications for the questions you are curious about.

Regarding how to establish judicial branch (just my own vision).
1. That issue included judges and prosecutors, not judges only.
2. Judges could be elected only of the lowest level – magistrate judges (that is related to State judges only). ALL other judges of district, appeal and State Supreme Court should be appointed in the similar way as Federal Judges, meaning by Legislative and/or Executive Branches (that could depends on each State), but never ever by election by citizens. Why? Did you ever take part in a voting process in US? You got huge ballots with names on the judges to be elected or retained, by almost ALL voters have NO (bleeping) idea who the hell they are. So, election of the judges on State level based on their Party affiliation – just political theatre.

Judges should be affiliated with Constitution and Laws only, not with Party. Then you’ll not have Republican or Democratic Judges – only independent of political trends judges.
And for sure, judges NOT create laws, they should resolve issues by laws on the book and gradually (we are not in the period of Wild West in the history) eliminate all precedents, obsolete in particular. I guess they should be appointed not for life, as federal judges, but rather for particular time without right for reappointment, e.g. 12 years.

That will provide combination of their independence and guarantee fresh judicial blood in the system. But judge after 12 years could be appointed for the next level: appeal court, supreme court having already huge experience as district trial judge.

Regarding State Attorney General and County Attorney General:
1.It should established strong professional qualification requirements: minimum 5 years of active participation as trial prosecutor (State of Federal) for Sate AG and minimum 3 years of active participation as trial prosecutor for Chief County Attorney.
2.Same procedure for appointment as for Federal prosecutors. NO election by voters based on party affiliation with OPEN to the public hearing during appointment.
Why? Because you should make right decisions based on Law, not by taking part in political games. How you can guide all your subordinate prosecutors if you have ZERO idea of the subject matter of prosecutorial job and just political appointee?

I hear You, and do think that Police Superintendent (or other chief police officer)should be elected by voters, not appointed by Mayors.

Please do not respond in Ping-Pong/tennis style without digesting with cool head information provided. Thank you! Have a good and peaceful weekend.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2021 5:46 PM

@ vas pup

“minimum 5 years of active participation as trial prosecutor”

That is a mstake.

Must have Judges that have been on Defense side.

xcv February 19, 2021 6:05 PM

@ vas pup

And for sure, judges NOT create laws, they should resolve issues by laws on the book and gradually (we are not in the period of Wild West in the history)

Thus gun control at all costs for all defendants without any actual defense permitted in court at all. Plus the merger of justice systems of crime and punishment with mental health institutions of drugging, torture, and other extreme punishments on lesser standards of proof than that beyond a reasonable doubt.

I guess they should be appointed not for life, as federal judges, but rather for particular time without right for reappointment, e.g. 12 years

I don’t know that the Constitution explicitly requires a lifetime appointment as commonly assumed, only that for whatever term a judge is appointed or elected, he/she should hold that term of office during good behavior, subject only to impeachment proceedings.

Why? Because you should make right decisions based on Law, not by taking part in political games. How you can guide all your subordinate prosecutors if you have ZERO idea of the subject matter of prosecutorial job and just political appointee?

VIPs, bosses, and supervisors in power — and even defense attorneys themselves — all with one consent come to court with an unbridled effort to ensure that guns are banned for all defendants for life no matter what, on mental health grounds by fiat if an actual criminal conviction is unobtainable on the merits in court.

Neither the Second Amendment of the Constitution nor any laws or interpretation of laws in pursuance of it carry any weight in U.S. courthouses.

Civil discourse on the subject has become altogether impossible given the extreme punishments decreed for mere possession of firearms — somehow deemed unlawful without even a crime having been committed with the said firearms — and the extreme desire of politicians, police, and prosecutors to seize and confiscate all firearms and weapons from certain private parties, especially sovereign citizens and targeted individuals.

Tatütata February 19, 2021 6:48 PM

Josephine Wolf, The U.S. Has Released the Most Comprehensive Catalog of North Korean Cybercrimes Ever Made Public, Slate, 19 February 2021

Just like the title says, an inventory of the crimes committed with a list of victims and an indication of the take, as documented in a 33 page long recently unsealed USDOJ indictment. The scams included wire transfer frauds, ATM skimming, cryptocurrency theft.

None of the alleged victims appear to be US residents or nationals, but some unspecified infrastructure in California was used, providing a basis for action under US law. (§5, p. 3)

xcv February 19, 2021 8:23 PM

@ Tatütata

None of the alleged victims appear to be US residents or nationals, but some unspecified infrastructure in California was used, providing a basis for action under US law. (§5, p. 3)

So they claim:

37. Beginning on a date unknown to the Grand Jury, but no later than September 28, 2009, and continuing through at least December 8, 2020, in Los Angeles County, within the Central District of California, and elsewhere, defendants JON CHANG HYOK, KIM IL, and PARK JIN HYOK, together with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, knowingly conspired: a. to intentionally access computers without authorization …


Six Individuals Affiliated with the Oath Keepers Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for Conspiracy to Obstruct Congress on Jan. 6, 2021

9 alleged Oath Keepers charged in conspiracy to attack Capitol

I’ll be damned if it ain’t the same old government employees unions on strike, relatively well-armed and well-heeled “police and active duty military” — and worse Nazis than the D.O.J. by far when it comes to gun rights for civilians.

To the All Knowing Mr. Kruger aka Clive Robinson February 20, 2021 3:14 AM

@ Clicve Robinson:

To the all-knowing, always Dunning-Krugering User Clive Robinson and his completely unfounded and baseless nonsense about the virus origin:

German Study: Laboratory Accident Most Likely Cause of Coronavirus Pandemic

To all readers: As has been shown in the past on multiple occasions, the drivel the user in question (yes, that is Clive) is continuously spouting like a never ending fountain of BS, clearly contains and adheres to various different agendas or even malicious intentions. Despite all evidence to the contrary Clive still believes that the lab origin is a PR tactic by the former administration, ignoring everything that does not fit to his predetermined conclusions in the process.

That guy is most likely a NSA asset or a state operative, might even be a group of such deranged individuals who have infiltrated this blog for decades in order to create doubt and uncertainty and to steer the discourse this place offers into the right directions. Wherever a light shines, contrast and shadows follow.

Sad to see that our beloved Clive still hasn’t managed to move beyond the valley of despair so to speak:)

_Anonymous_User_13_ February 20, 2021 3:15 AM


I personally have been have starting to pay more attention to the HIV proteins (gp41,gp120) in sars2 and their effects on the brain and CNS. I have a hypothesis that the sars2 HIV proteins can misfold other proteins in the brain and that this can lead to neurological problems which will be noticed faster than the T cell exhaustion and low white Blood cells normally encountered. The neurotoxins combined with the similarities to HIV are causing neuro degenerative effects, HIV associated Neurocognitive disorder (HAND).

SARS-CoV-2 Prion-Like Domains in Spike Proteins Enable Higher Affinity to ACE2

Do Vampire-Like Proteins Make Coronavirus More Contagious?

Thanks for reading.

To Clive's new Alias "To dumb to read the article?" February 20, 2021 3:19 AM

@ To dumb to read the article?

Nice how you lost an “o” there, always being too frugal where it matters, just enough to take your dump:)

You are Clive Robinson, your grammar, syntax, spelling, the (albeit limited) wordhoard and especially the repeated use of a certain vowel to introduce some seemingly additional thoughts, as if they just came to be that way as you were writing, give your depravity away. That is a tell by the way, but how does such a rather sudden amount of shyness came into being?

What exactly are you afraid of? Have you been uncovered, de-cloaked, has your camouflage been lifted by one of my previous posts? Why use a different handle then?

You’ve posted such a ludicrous amount of nonsense through your current and previous nickname here already, a little bit more of such self-enlighted botherheadedness wouldn’t really have spoiled the look of it anyway, would it?

You must know the saying, the one who has nothing to hide also has nothing to fear, so what do you have to hide Mr. Robinson that makes you too afraid to use your ordinary nickname on this occasion?

Do you really want to lead the other readers astray by seemingly standing above such mere factual criticisms while still being able to have the rebuttal your ego is craving with all its fanatic might?

Whatever it is that is driving your less than divine being to relentlessly and restlessly stick and lurk around, really like a rabid, flea infested, pestilent, old, senile cludgie-rat, it’s your actions that reveal your true colours more clearly than you could ever have envisioned.

Shame on you for, contrary to some magicians who are actually able to make their audience believe that they just pulled out a rabbit out of a hat, for pulling this sort of mullock out of YOUR hat, how is that?

Like the US strives to maintain full spectrum dominance the beloved Clive strives for full intellectual dominance but without the neurological firepower to back it up…the path to enlightenment of all twaddlers:)

Cyber Hodza February 20, 2021 4:05 AM

Interesting to see someone posturing like Clive attacking the Media moguls, shortly followed by an attempt to discredit its own post by attacking the fake Clive.
@Clive – something like this was long overdue given your unbiased coverage of current affairs , but not likely to be successful as many of the blog readers can attest to the constructive, unselfish and unbiased analyses Clive has given us for many years

Mr C February 20, 2021 5:49 AM

I posted this to the favicon tracking comments, but too late for anyone to see it.

Open question re Firefox’s partitioning scheme:

How does this interact with the way Google’s HTTP/2 protocol enables CDN tracking by design? From a cursory look at the description, it sounds like this Firefox change neutralizes this threat.

A related question: Can anyone summarize whatever became of the false start/snap start business from SPDY in the final HTTP/2 protocol? Are we still dealing with a protocol that wants to send data before hearing enough from the other endpoint to rule out MitM?

JonKnowsNothing February 20, 2021 12:40 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @Winter @All

re:Lull between the Waves

An update from the future CAL.20C, B117 Kent + Liverpool, South African B1351 and Nigerian B1525 with P1 Manaus and P2 Rio COVID Incubator in California.

The Net Cost of Wave 1b (Wave 1b – Wave 1a):

  • Wave 1b costs in California
      * 2,568,500 new cases
      * 31,510 new deaths
  • Wave 1b costs Local Area
      * 64,300 new cases
      * 936 new deaths *

The local area has reached 10-15-20% Herd Immunity from illness. Only another 600,000 more cases to go, more or less… ymmv

  • During Wave 1b the Local Department of Public Health ceased publishing deaths and ceased publishing local data. These numbers were not reported to the State.

The Herd Immunity Policy (HIP) backlash is starting to be felt in New York. It’s not like people in New York didn’t know what was going on. It’s not like any politician, financial officer, doctor, or Person In Charge, didn’t know either. Rather odd that all of sudden someone noticed?

ht tps://

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

lurker February 20, 2021 1:25 PM

@Clive, @ismar
in a fight between Rupert (the Bare) Murdoch and the Zuck, who are you gonna cheer?

Neither I hope, because there’ll be no winners: the two losers will be the Web, and quality journalism.

AL February 20, 2021 2:53 PM

Between Merdoch and Zuck, I’m cheering Facebook for the reasons outlined in this article.

To Facebook: Ree, ree, ree, hit ’em in the knee. Ras, ras, ras, hit them in the … other knee. 😉

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 20, 2021 3:38 PM

NOTE: Doubt this survives…
20 FEB 2021 — SPLC Needs to Be Heard
During the second impeachment trail of D.J. Trump, 45, Fox News failed to cover the U.S. Senate trail and proceedings. Instead Fox News decided that the newest conspiracy was the fake death of the Capital Police officer Sicknick.

For the same reasons that were proffered during the U.S. Senate Impeachment trail that the President’s failure to respond to the events of the 6th, even telling the minority leader of the U.S. Kevin McCarthy that he’s people cared more about the election than McCarthy did, Fox News has engaged in a similar process by not covering the U.S. Senate proceedings. And in covering Sicknick’s death as fake, has a similar tone…it is more important to deny the events of the 6th than cover any analysis of the events that occurred. Guilt by denial, suggests that Fox News is a co-conspirator with the former President in incitement.

I will go even one step further, the Southern Poverty Law Center needs to investigate and analyze the Fox News organization and determine, using their meterics, if Fox News is in fact a hate group.

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2021 4:51 PM

URL says it all. Second link has shoutout to here.

h xyzzy tps://

h xyyzy hps://

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2021 5:27 PM

@ 1&1~=Umm

Good link (but stop that, you will upset FB). I like that they use semi-non-ambiguous timestamps, but full-on ISO UTC is truly useful for readers.

From First Time Reader on 20 February 2021 at 9.06 am

Shared this on Facebook and predictably it got wacked with the news ban. Had to use a link shortener to obscure it.

vas pup February 20, 2021 5:27 PM

@SpaceLifeForm • February 19, 2021 5:46 PM
“minimum 5 years of active participation as trial prosecutor”

That is a m{I}stake.

Must have Judges that have been on Defense side.”

Yep, for judges it could be true, but future Judge should non-partisan, i.e. be on the part of TRUTH, not prosecutorial or defense side. So, REAL criminal is taking full responsibility and victim(s) are not making criminals as we sometimes recently see, unfortunately.

BUT my suggestion was NOT related to Judges appointment, but to appointment of AG of the State and Chief County State Prosecutors – see extract below from my initial post:
“Regarding State Attorney General and County Attorney General:
1.It should established strong professional qualification requirements: minimum 5 years of active participation as trial prosecutor (State of Federal) for Sate AG and minimum 3 years of active participation as trial prosecutor for Chief County Attorney.”

Best, VP

vas pup February 20, 2021 5:38 PM

@ALL related to political discussions:

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Every man can educate himself. It’s shameful to put one’s mind into the hands of those whom you wouldn’t entrust with your money. ===>Dare to think for yourself.” ~ Voltaire

And one more “Numbers do not make the truth: even million flies could not provide evidence for me that shit is tasty” ~ Unknown

1&1~=Umm February 20, 2021 5:41 PM


Regards: “Brave browsers tor feature found to leak onion queries to isps”

I am not in the least suprised this has happened.

The problem exists with all “Rendezvous Protocols” and rapidly becomes a nightmare when you have two or more destination database providers that need to be multiplexed securely.

The way DNS is mostly described to people it sounds like it has “elegant simplicity” thus should be easy to get right… The reality is a bit more complex and tangled when you start doing more than the very basics.

But that pales in comparison when for security you need to use two or more name to address services and keep them entirely seperate.

The easy way is “One or the other, but not both together” but there are times when you need to have the use of both, and they must be kept appart.

For instance when you are downloading from say an onion site modifying the data and saving to some drop box site or other nonlocal storage server, or sending it in an Email etc.

Traditionaly in secure systems such things would be done entirely seperately in a Red/Green channel model.

Well comercial/commodity OS’s are generaly designed and set up on the “one gateway address” principle of stuff all traffic out via the same upstream host address, and let the network sort out the routing.

Back shortly after the turn of the century I had to set up a Solaris 8 server that was visable from a general Internet and to a National internet of mixed and other Internet addresses, worse the same IP address could be visable from either path. All whilst keeping the traffic seperate… However for all sorts of reasons a user could come in from either network at any time but the server had to be a single computer with a single network interface… The whole thing was a nightmare to setup and get running… To this day I don’t know if it worked correctly or not… all I can say is I did not get any complaints in the few weeks I had left working at the company.

SpaceLifeForm February 20, 2021 6:28 PM

@ 1&1~=Umm

I also am not in the least suprised this has happened.

I also see what you did not explicitly point out.

Why does Path-Based-Routing even exist?

1&1~=Umm February 20, 2021 7:28 PM


“Why does Path-Based-Routing even exist?”

Long answer short,

‘Because there is not the bandwidth to do it other ways’

Local area networks back in the early days used to be ‘broadcast networks” of one type or abother (no routers or switches, just bridges).

Ethernet used a Coax cable (RG213 if memory serves and RG58 for the later thinnet) on which every host was connected. It used a horible collision detect and back-off system. Fine for the late 1970’s but ran into problems quickly. Put simply the traffic load went up as the power of the number of nodes and average traffic.

I’ve mentioned I was involved with the Cambridge Ring system back in the very early 1980’s which was in effect another ‘Broadcast System’ in that a packet went all the way around the ring through every node in turn, it did not have collision issues but the latency went up with the number of nodes.

Thus LANs needed to be small not more than 32 hosts to avoid issues.

It’s why switches and routers which did not “broadcast” became a necesity by the end of the 1980’s for meadium and large size LAN’s.

Both switches and routers need to know where a packet is going to decide what to do with it. Thus path based routing is required at the lower layers (0-3) of the stack.

The worst form of which is variations on “circuit switched” connections which in effect is what you get by default on LANs using switches unless dual-homing tricks are pulled for higher reliability.

That said there are ways you can implement variations on “broadcast techniques” on such networks but you still have the rendezvous protocol issues. You just can not realistically get away from them unless you want to go down the fixed grid fixed position addressing.

xcv February 20, 2021 7:43 PM

@vas pup

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I do not believe that.

It has been said by wiser and more prudent men that when the truth is spoken, it is spoken with love, and that without love there is no truth.

Those who maintain illusions, which they don’t want destroyed, are only lying, and they know themselves that they are lying: they do not want the truth to be revealed, because they have no love for the Law of the Most High God.

God’s truth is a saving and justifying truth which is always desirable and pleasing to the human soul, and all people at all times must seek that truth and desire to hear it in their innermost being.

xcv February 20, 2021 11:24 PM

Andy • February 20, 2021 7:49 PM

Facecrook: shows that Australia is facing a bad monopolist

>>>Facebook is engaged in a giant crime spree to steal ad money. A battle over speech in Australia shows what top executives really think of the rule of law.<<<

Sure. No denying that. All those companies like a flock of vultures have sharp talons, and they've been clawing far too aggressively for consumer eyeballs, just like that Revlon beauty parlor that stole $500,000,000 from CitiBank with the inside help of a fat-fingered teller and a loose john on the judicial bench, just so certain women can make themselves feel more beautiful and make more money with all those eyeballs (so wishfully assumed to be male) staring at them.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2021 2:21 AM

xcv • February 20, 2021 7:43 PM

@vas pup

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I do not believe that.


Robin February 21, 2021 3:03 AM

Funny old world: the internet was invented and developed some 60 or 70 years ago to be a multicentre, distributed communications network caopable of continuing to function despite multiple nodes being taken out in a nuclear attack. But over the years we have created administrative bottlenecks (the GAFA: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) that concentrate power in the hands of a small number of hyper-rich oligarchs. A nuclear strike won’t take out the internet, but the decision of one of these guys might do.

I am particularly incensed by the pretty much universal practice these days of contacting anybody and everybody (from all types of commerce through local and national government to healthcare providers) by “contacting our Facebook page”.

The vice is there: we have placed our own balls in it and invited others to turn the screw whenever they feel like.

SpaceLifeForm February 21, 2021 3:06 AM

Why AI/ML is a problem. Castle. En Passant.

hx tps://

Clive Robinson February 21, 2021 5:01 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

SARS Recombinant Mutation found.

We knew it was possible, in fact some think it’s the most probable way SARS-CoV-2 came into existance.

The recombinant RNA was discovered in a database of US SARS viral genomes held in the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, by Bette Korber.

On 2 February she said she had seen “pretty clear” evidence of it at a meeting organised by the New York Academy of Sciences. If confirmed and it’s likely to be, this is not unexpected but nether the less unwelcome news.

The two strains that went into the new recombinant hybrid-mutation are,

1, B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK and “highly transmissible”.

2, B.1.429 variant, probably originated in California and spread rapidly in Los Angeles it carries a mutation making it resistant to some antibodies.

Other than it’s been seen in that database little is known about it with regards to if it’s a “one off” from the individual the hybrid-mutation occurred in or if it is in the community.

Thus it’s actual charecteristics are unknown but we do know from the sequencing that it does carry,

1, Mutation Δ69/70 from B.1.1.7, which makes it more transmissible

2, Mutation L452R from B.1.429, which gives antibody resistance in some people.

Thus what the implications of the finding this hybrid-mutation are is not yet clear because very little is known about the recombinant’s biology in hosts.

Whilst hybrid-mutation from recombinant issues in a cell happen and might form a “best of breed” result, it’s way more likely it will be a “runt”, and not even make it out of the originating host.

Anyway more information at,

(Turn javascript off for a more peaceful viewing experience).

Oh if you want an “expanded bullet point” FAQ for “water cooler” type conversations,

xcv February 21, 2021 7:37 AM

SpaceLifeForm • February 21, 2021 3:06 AM

Why AI/ML is a problem. Castle. En Passant.

hx tps://

Sami people of northern Europe traditionally play all kinds of board games and collect a great deal of knowledge and trivia of such.

The game of “chess” you are referring to is the European variety of chess traditional for white people, as distinct from “checkers” or “draughts” played on the same board.

There are traditional Chinese and Japanese variants of chess as well as other games such as Japanese “go” with their own boards, pieces, and rules.

Traditional African cultures are also rich in board games, many of which perhaps correspond more to traditional European backgammon, involved chance, although there are many other African board games of pure strategy.

xcv February 21, 2021 10:25 AM

SpaceLifeForm • February 21, 2021 2:21 AM
xcv • February 20, 2021 7:43 PM
@vas pup
“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
I do not believe that.


And you’ve got a certain version of established “truth” and all these “fact-checking” websites to back your story up as the truth — but it’s not really the truth at all; only a pack of lies — and you wish to enforce your lies and propaganda against our will upon us who know and believe the truth, but we know what we know and believe is in fact reality and not the illusion you wish to impute by “pulling the wool over our eyes” so to speak, and moreover you leave out or omit to mention that truth does not come by force or violence, by censoring and extorting the speech of others, “subornation of perjury” etc. or however that may be termed in a court of law in such extreme circumstances.

That which is true is self-evident on any experiment, trial, or hearing of freely available evidence — by any reasonable process of scientific or legal discovery as the case may be.

Science is no longer science when it comes to be enforced as law in court.

The enforcement of law and knowledge as law negates the truth of the science which has to be based on impartial conclusions of free will that cannot come by force or be imposed by force.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2021 12:27 PM

@Clive, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL

re: New Hybrid COVID-19 marker

Well, it’s not good news but I am not sure it’s unexpected or bad news other than anything COVID-19 related is bad news.

California is a “destination” similar to New York. International Flights land here and Los Angeles is a very large city. Actually LA is a metro-plex of cities that have grown up to their mutual boundaries, so much so that you cannot tell where one city ends and another begins unless you spot the signs “You are Leaving X” and “You are Entering Y”. Los Angelinos know where the cities end but outsiders just see “Disneyland”.

As a melting pot and unable or unwilling to “STOP THE PLANES” (@SFL), there’s going to be a lot more mixing and matching.

One mutation to watch for is: deletion in Y144 = Y144del It is associated with prolonged virus shedding (154+ days).

If the hybrid contains mutation pair: K417T + E484K which is the significant Antibody Escape from the So African Variant, we might all be wishing for Bird Flu H5N8 which has now jumped from bird to humans.

H5N8 previously was found only in birds. There continues to be massive culls around the world from bird flu variants. Countries have culled millions of ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese as well as the mass die offs of wild birds.

If H5N8 escapes into the human population at the same time as we are dealing with COVID-19, that would be Not Good.

It’s time to restock pantry backup supplies.

ht tps://

  • Other strains of bird flu, including H5N1, H7N9 and H9N2, have been transmitted to humans before.

ht tps://

  • Bird flu caused deaths of 750 pelicans at Senegal bird sanctuary
    Weeks after 40,000 poultry culled by another outbreak

ht tps://

  • ongoing circulation of various strains (H5N1, H5N2, H5N8, H7N8, etc), outbreaks of avian influenza continue to be a global public health concern.

ht tps://

To summarise, the current HPAI H5 epidemic is still progressing in Europe, Asia and Africa causing severe impact due to dead and culled birds in the infected premises.It is more likely that the source of introduction in these outbreaks is through migratory wild birds and onward local spread.A similar situation of H5N8 epizootics associated with wild bird migration occurred in 2016/17

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

lurker February 21, 2021 1:03 PM

I share your incensement for those in government who are unaware of the events of late October 2003 at Harvard (ask them to lookup FaceMash). Thus unaware they have not observed that advancing years have not caused the chief protagonist to grow up, or find a better moral attitude towards his fellow citizens.

Last week a prominent Australian NGO leader was asked on ABC radio point blank if Facebook had no moral compass. The woman is a consumate politician, taking nearly a minute to explain why listeners may wish to agree, but never actually confirming that negative. The link no longer works for me, but I have no part of my anatomy in the vice.

Clive Robinson February 21, 2021 1:14 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

we might all be wishing for Bird Flu H5N8 which has now jumped from bird to humans.

It looks like many pf our “ecological damage” chickens are coming home to roost.

The last 30-40 years of unbridled US style “liberalism” and neo-con “exceptionalism” AKA “sociopathic greed” has done a tremendous amount of damage…

As was once noted “To the earth human life is an iritating skin disease” which has reached the point the Earth is metaphorically scratching…

I keep mentioning the imbalance of “Individual Rights -v- Social Responsability” and we have just seen a demonstration of this in Texas where due to the “Exceptionalism” of the very few the vast majority have suffered with easily avoidable significant harms and deaths.

What Texas has just suffered appears to be not a “Hundred year storm” but a “Ten year storm”, it’s customary practice most places to engineer infrastructure to stand up too hundred year storms. The fact the Texas did not even have 10 year storm resistance is a very shocking indictment on the infrastructure governance and those that have oversight. All of which is not helped by the Victim Blaming attitude of many wealthy Texans. Who think everyone can be rich and wealthy if they were not so lazy… The obvious logical fallacy of the argument fails to impinge on what appears a very “inbred attitude”. Put simply if everyone had a fair slice of the pie, then no one would be wealthy all would be about average income. Thus some people are very obviously taking active steps to stop “equal opportunity” any way they can, whilst perpetuating a very false myth. As someone has commented about the situation,

“You can not pull your self up by yoir boot straps, if you are not alowed to have boot straps”.

Oh and just to realy scare you the latest neo-con wheeze is to buy up all the water rights they can, so they can keep upping the price of water. With in some places legislation they have sponsored saying that the collecting of rain water is a criminal offence, migh like in other places not being connected to the over priced power grid is subject to punishment and fines, as is having your own solar and wind generation…

You have to ask the question “How long before the tree of liberty gets refreshed?”.

No doubt some one will knee jerk or worse out some comment about my “social responsability” outlook being “communist” or some such idiocy. Well before they do, pethaps they should ask why they support naked theft, extortion and protectionism?

Clive Robinson February 21, 2021 1:32 PM

@ lurker, Robin, ALL,

Last week a prominent Australian NGO leader was asked on ABC radio point blank if Facebook had no moral compass.

Of course Facebook has no moral compass the people running it are clearly sociopaths (as the FaceMash and other early prototypes for Facebook clearly indicate).

But then nearly all large corporates are run by sociopaths, News International being just one of many where this is obviously so. Such leaders have no moral compass, and simply follow any methodology that assists in their aims and objectives. They care not a jot for morality or legality, other than minimizing the problems ignoring them might give rise to, which could in turn inhibit progression to the objective.

I could give you reasons why so many large organisations are run by sociopaths with the ability to charm, but you can go and do a couple of courses that teach you not only how to spot sociopaths with a high degree of accuracy, but also how to deal with them.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2021 2:27 PM

@ Clive. MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

re: Water Rights in USA

The USA has a lot of different rules about “water rights”. Long while back, it was noted that the USA is divided along the Mississippi River by Water Rights or lack thereof.

East of the river, water is not historically much of a problem. East Coasters do not “get it” about what drives the West Coast and that it is not Hollywood.

West of the river, water is a big issue. There isn’t that much of it and there’s a constant battle to get it and to get more of it. It makes for good cinema but the realities of high desert and drought are not much fun to experience.

There is also the issues of what “clean water is” and “water delivery” to urban environments. Rural folks use wells and septic systems or outhouses.

Each state and each county may have differing views about water and who gets it and how much they can have. It’s the new oil that financially strapped localities are eyeballing for increased taxation beyond the amounts currently charged for water purification and delivery systems.

Buying up water rights is a well known tactic in the West. It’s what made Los Angeles possible. The history is in Saturday Serials for those that remember the days of 5cent / 10cent movies, B Westerns and Oscar Mega Productions.

Outside of Hollywood glitz, if you are planning on living in a rural area of any state, one best become familiar with the Rules of Water there.

In Montana, you can have a well with no problem, but you better not try to redirect any surface water or ditch run off or tap into any stream, even if it flows across your property unless you have also purchased the Water Rights. The Real Estate folks may omit to explain that to the new migrants from California who are moving there hoping to escape COVID-19.

In rural California not too far from the Owens Valley, you can have a water well provided you buy a permit, that you get enough water flow to satisfy local ordinances regarding the pumping levels during dry and wet weather and can afford the costs of the well and pumps ($40K-50K USD).

If you are on the downside of bad water, there’s nothing you can do but move. Poisoned wells, from upstream selenium pollutants were noticed by local farmers and ranchers but the most publicity was about the wild ducks.

The current level of Neo-Libertarian Exploitation is the dropping of enormous wells at the headwaters of “clean” streams and water sources by mega-multinational corporations to produce “hand held plastic bottled water”. These corporations cut deals with local communities to extract vast amounts of water from aquifer or under ground water systems. They all show up with charts, figures, computers, smartphones, suits and ties and wave wand loads of money at the local government.

  It’s just water and if we don’t use it,
  it will go downstream and someone else will use it.

Water defines the Western United States.

ht tps://

Originally known as “place of flowing water” is now a dry arid desert.

The valley provides water to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, the source of one-third of the water for Los Angeles, and was the area at the center of one of the fiercest and longest-running episodes of the California Water Wars.[4] These episodes inspired aspects of the 1974 film Chinatown. The current arid nature of the valley is mostly due to LADWP diverting the water of the region. For example, Owens Lake was completely emptied by 1926, only 13 years after LA began diverting water.

ht tps://

Since 1913, the Owens River had been diverted to Los Angeles, causing the ruin of the valley’s economy. By the 1920s, so much water was diverted from the Owens Valley that agriculture became difficult. This led to the farmers trying to destroy the aqueduct in 1924. Los Angeles prevailed and kept the water flowing. By 1926, Owens Lake at the bottom of Owens Valley was completely dry due to water diversion.

The water needs of Los Angeles kept growing. In 1941, Los Angeles diverted water that previously fed Mono Lake, north of Owens Valley, into the aqueduct. Mono Lake’s ecosystem for migrating birds was threatened by dropping water levels. Between 1979 and 1994, David Gaines and the Mono Lake Committee engaged in litigation with Los Angeles. The litigation forced Los Angeles to stop diverting water from around Mono Lake, which has started to rise back to a level that can support its ecosystem.

ht tps://

William Mulholland (September 11, 1855 – July 22, 1935) was a self-taught Irish American civil engineer who was responsible for building the infrastructure to provide a water supply that allowed Los Angeles to grow into the largest city in California. As the head of a predecessor to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Mulholland designed and supervised the building of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a 233-mile-long (375 km) system to move water from Owens Valley to the San Fernando Valley. The creation and operation of the aqueduct led to the disputes known as the California Water Wars. In March 1928, Mulholland’s career came to an end when the St. Francis Dam failed just over 12 hours after he and his assistant gave it a safety inspection.

ht tps://
ht tps://

ht tps://

In its natural state, the Colorado River poured about 16.3 million acre feet (20.1 km3) into the Gulf of California each year…

Flows at the mouth of the river have steadily declined since the beginning of the 20th century, and in most years after 1960 the Colorado River has run dry before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

xcv February 21, 2021 3:47 PM

JonKnowsNothing • February 21, 2021 2:27 PM

@ Clive. MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

re: Water Rights in USA

The USA has a lot of different rules about “water rights”. Long while back, it was noted that the USA is divided along the Mississippi River by Water Rights or lack thereof.

Apropos of security, we’ve all heard the conspiracy theories of Jews poisoning wells, or, well, maybe it’s their wells being poisoned as the case may be …

The neighbors had a well drilled, someone on the crew told me the water table was 220 feet below the surface (that is, 67 meters) — and I verified with the GPS on my cell phone that the water level in the river under a bridge about 10 miles down the highway actually is 220 feet below ground level at my home / building site, once I converted the metric from the GPS to feet.

The well drillers charge a whopping sum to drill a well that deep, at least $10–15,000 and upwards of that. I’m honestly not all that sure how it’s done.

The first section of well casing would have to be perforated somehow to let the water in when and if you reach water, then you’d have to weld a series of 20-foot sections of well pipe together one at a time as you drive the whole stack down.

I’m sure there’s more than one way to do it, if the drill bit is on its own shaft that fits down inside the well casing, but then you’ve got to pull it all the way back up each time you weld on a new section of casing. Keep driving down the casing as you drill so the well doesn’t collapse in on itself.

And it it’s a rotating drill, it has to lift the drilled material up all the way up out of the well somehow.

I’ve never seen it done, and all the methods are highly secretive and proprietary. I’m thinking about a rain barrel. They sell 62-gallon used wine barrels at the local Walmart.

JonKnowsNothing February 21, 2021 6:11 PM

@xcv, Clive. MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

re: Well Drilling

Your inscription is fairly accurate and the technique, drill type depends on the type of material the well drillers expect to hit on their way to the water table.

Your friend’s well of 220ft is a bit short for this area of California. Flat land home wells are around 300-450ft deep. Mountain, foothill wells run 500-1000ft or more deep.

The drillers keep going as long as you put up the money and you pay per foot drilled. There is no guarantee you will hit water or that if you do hit water it will be potable or it may have requirements for additional home treatment to become drinkable. Locally, on one side of a valley, you get a “salt water” well and less than 5 miles away on the opposite side of the valley you get good clean water. A feature of the geology for the area.

Domestic drilled wells locally are about 8inches in diameter. If you are dropping Ag Wells, those are much bigger and can go much deeper in order to pump out the thousands of gallons needed for each almond tree.

There is a sanitary casing at the top to prevent surface water and pollution from entering the well. Below that is a perforated section with screening over the holes to allow deeper water to seep into the well to recharge it. The well drillers will dump sanitary gravel into the bottom of the well to seal the bottom and prevent debris from being pulled up by the pump. There is a pool of water at the bottom and the well pump sits somewhere about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in the pool. The pump is timed to prevent it from sucking air by emptying the well too quickly and set high enough that it isn’t sucking up the gravel and sand at the bottom.

This is highly variable with the local ecology and geology dictating all aspects of the well, depth, casings, pump speeds and gals per minute of recharge.

Old wells can be dangerous, especially the classic looking village short walled water structures. The entire thing is subject to collapse and many people get injured or killed falling into a 30 or 40 ft deep structure with no ladders or exits. A regular news feature happens when a farmer’s cow or horse falls into one of them or he drives a tractor over the collapsed top and the tractor falls into the pit and the local fire department is called out for the rescue. Same thing with old septic systems.

Water wells are ancient tech with a bit more high tech added.

re: I’m thinking about a rain barrel

Rain barrels or cisterns can be used to provide water for many applications. They do come with some caveats. Modern houses in the USA often have composite, concrete roof tiles or treated wood shingles. The water run off from these roofs may not be potable (aka not ok to drink). They can be used to water landscape and non food shrubs and flowers. To drink rain barrel water, check with the local water utility folks if there are any hazards.

Common use of rain barrels to water landscape:

1, Position the barrel(s) where they will be useful.
  * Once filled they are heavy.
  * Set them to out of visual notice of neighbors to avoid complaints.
2, Tap into the down spout from the roof
3, Run the connecting hose into the barrel
4, Run a drip irrigation connector into the side of the barrel
5, Connect up the drip irrigation to the plants
6, Add shut off and overflow devices to the input outputs of the barrel
7, Add an optional water timer system to the output side.
  * Use an outside rated system
  * There are some good battery powered stand alones with 1-4 metered outputs
  * Consider solar panel battery recharge if you are driving a lot of landscaping
8, Expect yearly maintenance and cleaning depending on how dirty the roof gets.

There are lots of examples on the internet. Consider the application carefully and design it at a level you can maintain it. Like any network, you can over buy or under fund the project.

The only difference is you are pumping water vs electrons.

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

Lawrence February 21, 2021 6:29 PM


What is Going on India with toolkits ,I cant understand it as a citizen. Can You?

In this context a toolkit is collection of material that helps individuals understand what is happening to them and provide advice and assistance in challenging authorities over actions they are taking, have taken, or propose taking.

Here in Christchurch we devised an earthquake toolkit that helped victims understand their rights and, more importantly, how to get more information from insurers (Privacy legislation) and government agencies (official information). Such lists can also provide addresses to write to and suggest draft text for letters/e-mails to members of parliament, agency heads, and the media.

In New Zealand, as no doubt in India, there are many people who aren’t aware of their rights nor aware of methods to make politicians and bureacrats uncomfortable and their actions transparent. As we have seen here, and are seeing in India, their are vested interests anxious to keep the population at large ignorant of actions they can take.

lurker February 21, 2021 9:31 PM

@Clive: I confess to being a bit dumb and not understanding why it takes a once in ten year storm to demonstrate to people that much of the electricity available in Texas last week was spot priced. So why are those people only now railing against their multi-thousand dollar home power bills?

Clive Robinson February 21, 2021 11:44 PM

@ lurker,

First off I have no idea why they have,

multi-thousand dollar home power bills

You’ld have to say what the domestic kWh price and connection tariffs are. Is it just a local supplier or regional issue or do they burn through many tens of kWh/day.

In the UK the price differential between electricity kWh and natural gas kWh is large enough that for 900-1500sqft domestic users running a 2-4kW portable generator converted to run of natural or liquid gas makes economic sense[1]. Especially if it’s a well designed CHP system.

What many do not realise is that often the biggest use of energy in a home is that of moving heat around. Your fridge and freezer especially “uprights” are fairly power hungry, and because peoples feet are cold due to the way normal convection heating works they have the heating up way to high. With the top of the room more than 10C hotter than at the floor level (under floor heating is the norm in quite a few parts of the world because of this).

But most of that is not relavent to the events in Texas this past week. Basically Texas burns gas etc to generate electricity and they do it in the wrong places thus has high transmission costs with I^2R losses way higher than they should be on generation output. But more importantly, the generation is also in the wrong place for the supplies of gas… Thus a second set of transmission losses. Now the real problem that happened is that those on the gas transmission side have been cheap skates, and put in equipment of the wrong type. A decade ago a report was issued detailing what needed to be done in Texas to secure energy supplies against climate change effects (ie greater extreams of hot and cold weather). In typical Texas Political thinking that was “Federal interferance stealing profit from the self entitleds pockets”… Well they’ve had their “ten year” storm and the system colapsed and people have needlessly died and many many others suffered needless harm…

But to add insult to injury those on the inside decided it was a good time to “make a little extra” via that well known effect of “Disaster capitalism”. They knew demand was going to rise so they upped the price in various ways (I’ll let @SpaceLifeForm fill in the details).

But it suddenly became “bonus time” then… The lack of preparation in the natural gas industry gave rise to ewuipment freezing up… Gas stopped, electricity dropped, water stopped and other gas pumps that ran on the now non available electricity stopped, thus more power generation went of line and so on… Such things are called “Cascade failures” and they are fairly disasterous when they effect just one utility. When the utilities are too interdependent as they appear to be in Texas, unwinding what has gone wrong is most definately not a simple matter.

But no problem for some, Disaster Capitalism will fill their boots even more. Because as their costs rise they have to maintain “proffits on turnover” to keep certain people happy. There is only one place the money not just for the increased expenditure but the extra profit they have to make on top of it can come from… Yup the consumers. But with larger consumers such as industry on long term negotiated agreements their lawyers will be straping on the 45’s, chaps and spurs and riding out looking for damages, so more turnover thus more profit has to be made. Which means the little domestic consumer is going to get very disproportionately hit over the next two to three years… Such are the joys of certain types on monopolistic capitalism.

[1] I know some one in a sunnier area who has a lot of solar capacity both therm and voltaic, they have a natural/propane gas backup system that generates both electricity and hot water. They disconnected from the electrical grid some years ago when the price they were getting for feeding excess back into the grid did not cover the standing charges[2]

[2] One of the tricks used in some places to make an electricity supplier look less expensive is to significantly increase the standing charges to reduce the unit prices. If you are an above average user it could be a good deal but if you are a below average user you can get baddly bitten…

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2021 1:30 AM

@ lurker, Clive

Supply and Demand manipulated by the invisible hands[0]

Prevention of cascading failures should be addressed in design, not a marketplace. Especially with climate change. The large electric bills were a result of floating costs being passed onto the consumer (as always) with the thinking that the price would drive supply and demand into balance, and the price incentive to increase production would result in enough supply to meet demand.

Wrong. When your plants are frozen, more profit is useless. When your suppliers plants are frozen, more profit is useless. The price hike did not suddenly result in the plants thawing out.

It is Disaster Capitalism all right. Drove the prices up, and they are now trying to gouge the consumers, even if they were unlucky ones that had no power.

I suspect will find out later that the intentional blackouts were very strategic in a geo-political angle.

The two biggest players in Texas produce nearly half of total supply. And they are both huge coal and natural gas consumers compared to the other players. See the graphs. Note coal was frozen too, not just NG.

hX tps://

hxx ps://

Vistra Corp., one of the largest power generators in Texas, said it warned state agencies days before cascading blackouts plunged millions into darkness that internal forecasts showed electricity demand was expected to exceed supply.

[I would like to see some proof of that]

So, ERCOT spent less than 40 seconds planning for the cold front. Wow.

hx tps://

Talberg then said she had large shoes to fill and then joked that she was thinking of large cowboy boots.

Talberg lives in Michigan, while Cramton lives in California, background searches of the two board members revealed.

An ERCOT spokeswoman refused to provide Talberg’s contact information on Thursday.

The make-up of ERCOT’s 16-member board of directors, as well as the compensation packages many of them receive, will likely face heavy scrutiny in the coming months.

ERCOT is scheduled to be the focus of an emergency hearing before the Texas Legislature next week.

Publicly available 2018 tax filings for ERCOT show multiple board members received five-figure and six-figure compensation despite dedicating between five and 15 hours a week to the agency.

Magness was given total compensation of over $883,000 that year, the filings show.

0 – One hand is the marketplace, the other is Mother Nature

dbCooper February 22, 2021 11:40 AM

My state of residence in the USA, Nebraska, is considered a deep “red” state. Republicans running for office, particularly for federal positions, have little to no fear of losing to a democrat. Typically republicans carry the torch of capitalism unrestrained by government involvement. But not always.

It is noteworthy that Nebraska is the only state in the US where Public Power is required by law. Rates are stable, comparably lower than neighboring regions and service is reliable. Very few make any noises about changing from this de-facto socialist system to a market based for profit system.

If interested some information can be found here:

Homer J. Simpson February 22, 2021 12:27 PM

After a ridiculously long sixteen months (or roughly ten years in pandemic time) I’m excited to announce that OnionShare 2.3 is out! Download it from

This version includes loads of new and exciting features which you can read about in much more detail on the brand new OnionShare documentation website, For now though I’m just going to go over the major ones: tabs, anonymous chat, and better command line support.

Doing all the things at once

In the olden days, OnionShare only did one thing: let you securely and anonymously share files over the Tor network. With time we added new features. You could use it as an anonymous dropbox, and then later to host an onion site.

But what if you wanted to, for example, run your own anonymous dropbox as well as share files with someone? If your OnionShare was busy running a service, you couldn’t run a second service without stopping the first service. This is all fixed now thanks to tabs.

Now when you open OnionShare you are presented with a blank tab that lets you choose between sharing files, receiving files, hosting a website, or chatting anonymous. You can have as many tabs open as you want at a time, and you can easily save tabs (that’s what the purple thumbtack in the tab bar means) so that if you quit OnionShare and open it again later, these services can start back up with the same OnionShare addresses.

So with OnionShare 2.3 you can host a few websites, have your own personal anonymous dropbox, and securely send files to people whenever you want, all at the same time. Under the hood, the addition of tabs also makes OnionShare connect to the Tor network faster, especially if you’re using a bridge.

Secure, anonymous, ephemeral chat rooms that don’t log anything

Another major new feature is chat. You start a chat service, it gives you an OnionShare address, and then you send this address to everyone who is invited to the chat room (using an encrypted messaging app like Signal, for example). Then everyone loads this address in a Tor Browser, makes up a name to go by, and can have a completely private conversation.

If you’re already using an encrypted messaging app, what’s the point of an OnionShare chat room? It leaves fewer traces.

If, for example, you send a message to a Signal group, a copy of your message ends up on each device (the devices, and computers if they set up Signal Desktop of each member of the group). Even if disappearing messages is turned on it’s hard to confirm all copies of the messages are actually deleted from all devices, and from any other places (like notifications databases) they may have been saved to. OnionShare chat rooms don’t store any messages anywhere, so the problem is reduced to a minimum.

OnionShare chat rooms can also be useful for people wanting to chat anonymously and securely with someone without needing to create any accounts. For example, a whistleblower can send an OnionShare address to a journalist using a disposable e-mail address, and then wait for the journalist to join the chat room, all without compromising their anonymity.

Because OnionShare relies on Tor onion services, connections between the Tor Browser and OnionShare are all end-to-end encrypted (E2EE). When someone posts a message to an OnionShare chat room, they send it to the server through their E2EE onion connection. The OnionShare server then forwards the message to all other members of the chat room through the other members’ E2EE onion connections, using WebSockets. OnionShare doesn’t implement any chat encryption on its own. It relies on the Tor onion service’s encryption instead.

Huge thanks to Saptak Sengupta for developing the anonymous chat feature (doing the bulk of the work in like a single day (!), in the midst of a hacker con in Goa, India last March).

OnionShare from the command line

OnionShare 2.3 finally de-couples the command line and the graphical versions. You can install onionshare-cli on any platform, including headless Linux servers, using pip:

pip3 install –user onionshare-cli

You also need to have tor installed to use it from your package manager, or Homebrew if you’re using macOS.

It’s simple to use. For example, here’s how you start a chat server.

I hope you enjoy the new version of OnionShare!

— Micah Lee (but copy/pasted here by Anonymous)

vas pup February 22, 2021 5:07 PM

@SpaceLifeForm • February 21, 2021 2:21 AM

Agree with your post. Thank you!

Just small addition:
“”There are two different types of people in the world, those who want to know, and those who want to believe.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 22, 2021 5:11 PM

Programmatic or Machine Learning Biases as Classism?
Initially the thought that biases introduced by algorithmic and programmatic systems that manage information and data that is “public” seemed narrowly problematic. In fact, Bruce has enumerated the data commons as similar to a feudal or monarchical fiefdom. For the most part I agree, but I have some additional concerns about the contours of such observations (possibly the affect of gravitational lensing).

I offer another analysis that posits that a Machine Learning (ML) managed information system infrastructure is not completely based on only forward biased and feedback loop weighted scoring. A normative example of a system that uses unmarked or weighted side-channel scoring or ranking can be seen historically and can be measured relative to other proclaimed ML-based systems. Simply, editorial and source-based rankings along with human reviewers and analysts skews the nature of ML-based weighting, thus a form of censorship, that controls and exhorts influence over specific critiques and critics of the ideas of and in a “free market” can be seen.

The autocratic nature of the corporate structures that own, control, and manage private industry that operates the platforms upon which billons of people unwittingly rely on is concerning. What is more concerning is the opaque nature of the systems “handling” of contentious issues that do or do not merit the concerns of those billions. Beyond feudalism, there is a fascistic tendency as introduced by private autocracies that unnecessarily insert themselves into the melee that is the “public” space. As unseen actors, for example that might show up at a riot, their oversized role and dismissiveness of their influence cannot be ignored–or forgiven. This is another of the less enumerated crossroads between technologists and sociology.

vas pup February 22, 2021 5:18 PM

New heart radar can predict death four days ahead

“The idea of Professor Alexander Kölpin from the Technical University of Hamburg impresses with its simplicity: If radar can be used to locate ships, calculate flight altitudes and catch speeders on the highway, then surely this contactless technology can also be put to good use in medicine. “Radio sensors have great potential for making medical examinations more convenient, safer and more efficient,” says Kölpin.

Although, for example, the idea of using radar to locate people who have been buried alive by detecting their breathing and heartbeat is not new, Kölpin and his research team are the first in Europe to develop radar systems for medical use and to have clinical patient tests to show for it.

At the Institute of High Frequency Technology, the team has developed highly sensitive sensor systems for the medical monitoring of patients. With the new radar technology, both heartbeat and respiration can be analyzed continuously.”

Read the whole article if interested!

Wesley Parish February 22, 2021 7:48 PM

Well, no one’s mentioned this, so i may as well:

The [Joys] of Non-Disclosure

A zero-day exploit said to have been developed by the NSA was cloned and used by Chinese government hackers on Windows systems years before the cyber-weapon was leaked online, it is claimed.

I believe it is called an own goal in Association Football otherwise known as Soccer. But wait, there’s more.

The full sleuthing is outlined in an extensive technical report, and again raises the question over whether it is in the US intelligence community’s best interests to share the details of any exploitable vulnerabilities they find – rather than try to keep them a secret and use them themselves – because, ultimately the tools will leak (or the bugs be discovered by others) and expose US businesses and institutions to hacking attempts.

In Cricket, one achieves the same effect by swinging the bat into the stumps.

The security researchers note that society still has an illogical perspective on cybersecurity. “What would you say if we told you that a foreign group managed to steal an American nuclear submarine? That would definitely be a bad thing, and would quickly reach every headline,” they note. “However, for cyber weapons – although their impact could be just as devastating – it’s usually a different story.”

Nice to know I’m not the only one who sees “cyberweapons” as capital weapons on the same level as capital ships.

SpaceLifeForm February 22, 2021 11:11 PM

A large problem was mitigated via browser updates

Most users probably never knew.

If you can afford, I recommend two routers. I don’t believe this attack will get around two routers and likely prevents related attack scenarios.

hx tps://

The new attack variant can allow attackers to reach any device within the internal network and simply requires a victim to click on a malicious link.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 12:30 AM

@ Wesley Parish

Attribution is hard.

One, thing to keep in mind is that history has shown that fixes (what people call patches today, but that is another story), invariably are incomplete.

The fix to a flaw is not fully analyzed (time and money), so what looks like a fix, actually does not address the full problem. It’s a bad fix that temporarily hides the real issue. It appears to work via testing and observation.

An end-user gets the fix.

And then, they reverse engineer it, to try to determine what the fix was fixing. No choice, there are no ‘Release Notes’ like in the olden daze.

And, from that, they develop an exploit. Because the fix was not complete as it failed to fully address the underlying problem.

Even if the fix was complete, the reverse engineering effort still can lead to an exploit that can be used against those that failed to apply the patch.

So, it may be that multiple TLAs came up with similar exploit code because they both reversed engineered the fix.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 1:09 AM

@ Wesley Parish

Regarding the use of the word ‘patch’.

In the olden daze, one would patch at the machine code level. This is pre-library days. Static binaries. No time to re-build, re-test. May not even have the source code!

If you have the source code, you might even leave a ‘patch-area’ in your binary in case the bug that needed immediate emergency fix was not super simple like flipping a bit or two. Creating a patch-area without source code was not simple, but possible. Depends.

So, at machine code level, you may have to move some code into the patch-area, patch in a branch/call instruction at the point of the bug to goto the patch-area, and in the patch-area, at machine code level, fix the bug, then return from the patch-area back to where the bug was and continue the logic flow.

Of course, this is pre-NX days, when you could also programmatically modify the machine code at runtime on the fly. Because there was no concept of the separation of code and data. It was all data.

Interesting times.

Lawrence February 23, 2021 2:09 AM


What is Going on India with toolkits ,I cant understand it as a citizen. Can You?

Part 2

As it happens something akin to one of these “toolkits” has surfaced in the news in NZ. The first sentence of the news article linked to below goes:

"A pamphlet from a prison reform lobby group discovered at Spring Hill prison, described as "basically inciting people to disorder", has been referred to police."

The article goes on to say:

"Produced by People Against Prisons Aotearoa, it advises prisoners what to do if they're unhappy with their living conditions, from petitioning, to applying pressure through the media, to protesting."

It transpired that, perhaps as a result of the pamphlet, there was protesting which turned to rioting, damage, and more media interest than the politicians or prisons service were keen on.

If you do read the article (not lengthy) there are, as always, important facts that have been omitted. The prison facilities were seriously unfit for purpose, the water wasn’t fit for consumption, there had been recommendations that the facilities be closed down, but neither the politicians nor the prisons service were in any hurry to act. In addition, in my opinion, a number of senior prison managers are also unfit for purpose, there being systemic problems (involving deprivation and abuse) that never seem to be noticed, plus complaints of abuse ignored in this prison and elsewhere.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 2:20 AM

@ lurker, Clive, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

Re: Programmatic or Machine Learning Biases as Classism?

Texas Tea. Fixed or Variable?

As I noted previously, they let the prices float in Texas during the crisis to supposedly give an incentive to produce. Which failed.

Well, it is easy to see why the incentive failed.

Many people in Texas have a choice of fixed electrical billing or variable.

Fixed billing costs more per month than variable. The consumer is basically paying a premium to keep the bill consistent, which is good for budgeting purposes.

Many of the Texas consumers went with variable, because they are poor, and could save a few dollars every month. They bet it would be cheaper that way. Makes sense, especially if they could deal with summer heat.

But, there was a catch. In the fine print. In order to get on Fixed billing, they had to put up a large deposit and sign a contract for 1 or 2 years. There are two problems.

The first is that if a consumer forgot about the contract, in the fine print, it would revert to variable billing. Usage based.

The second was that some consumers were sold on a bad contract that said if their usage went over a certain limit per month, it would be then billed as variable.

Those on variable billing got slammed because ERCOT let the rate float.

Well, you can see how this played out for the poor PoC.

Now, look at it from the angle of the power generator.

If they know that most of their customers are on fixed, and the cost of generation will be higher than what they can recoup from fixed billing customers, then their choice is to blackout their fixed customers.

If they know that most of their customers are on variable, and they can pass on the costs, then they do not blackout.

But, apparently, that is not how it really works. There is a middleman. Actually, plenty. They are essentially, billers and collectors.

They do not necessarily control the power distribution to a consumers house. They are re-sellers. These middlemen are the ones controlling the contracts. Arbitrage.

And, a consumer can change which middleman they deal with, even though the physical wires to the consumer do not change.

It’s a huge scam operation. Texas Tea.


Winter February 23, 2021 2:34 AM

@Homer J. Simpson
The new Onionshare looks good.


PS: Before anyone starts, I know Onion routing & Tor are not perfect. My bicycle lock can be broken too. I still use a bicycle lock. Likewise, I still use Tor.

Whenever I am up against the NSA/FSB/GRU/PLA/MOSSAD/MOIS, I will reconsider. Until then, Tor will suffice.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 3:17 AM

@ Winter,

Remembe, bike thieves do not have time machines…


Whenever I am up against the NSA/FSB/GRU/PLA/MOSSAD/MOIS, I will reconsider. Until then, Tor will suffice.

You may not be able to, as “Collect it all” alows them to go back in time with ease.

But the other thing you have to consider is the MO of LEA’s and many IC organisations these days is not to find proof of guilt… Just some circumstantial evidence of potential collusion, being near, or off your normal pattern… Collect it all gives them that back longer than modt can remember…

Yes Tor is nowhere near as good as it could be, and yes we could do better ourselves.

But doing so is circumstantial evidence, or as others put it “Painting a target on your back”.

LEAs and the IC will thus “find a convenient target” on which to take aim, it’s how they do the “investigatory” things.

As it’s a semi target rich environment your odds become probablistic and get worse with usage time. But then stopping using such systems is you being “off pattern” which is as I said suspiciois to some people.

So you end up with the old quandary,

“Damed if you Do, Damed if you Don’t!”

It’s why I keep a deep seperation between Personal and Professional, and “Ne’er the twain shall meet”.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 4:27 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Programmatic or Machine Learning Biases as Classism?

Yes “method as discrimination” is a well known trick in all parts of life.

In the UK being “young male and black” was considered a criminal act by many policemen of the time (look up “canteen culture). Five decades later we still have the follow on from that. Some historians claim the attitude that being black equated with evil, started during WWII when “GI’s from the South” brought it over and it in turn comes from certain versions of the bible based on faulty translations of Hewbrew, that were used to justify slavery etc.

What ever the cause does not realy matter, because the reality is such discrimination is “tribalism at heart”. Which is also the basis of things like “the in crowd” etc.

The problem that makes it worse is “discrimination creates disadvantage” and where there is disadvantage you get social inequality which in turn encorages discrimination, and so the wheel turns.

In the UK we have “energy key meters” and these realy are a method of discrimination. The energy costs anything upto five times as much, and the rules behind how the system works is designed to punish people socially. Some you are only alowed one key and you can not put more than a small amount on it or in the meter, thus you are forced to go and “recharch the key” which makes for frequent visits to such places which in of it’s self is treated as “a walk of shame”. But worse the places are few and far between and people working long hours at low wages have difficulty getting to them, and in some cases they used to be only able to top up at only one shop…

I’m sure you are aware of things like “food stamps” and “milk vouchers” where for some reason only “premium price” food/milk gets covered by them or so the shop keepers claim…

The list of such “Discrimination by method” is so long it appears to be endless and is always a lot worse where there are prople who think themselves “exceptional”.

As for such people that see thrmselves as “exceptional” they lie to cover their “vested interests” as you are aware the failur to deliver power was “gas and coal” generation not renewable energy that supprisingly stepped upto the plate and did a lot more than deliver 110% performance.

But that “oficial lie” still hangs in the air kept aloft by other vested interests not least of which are the parasites caused by “out sourcing” into whst is called a “free market” but in reality is nothing like free in any way.

There are already “free market” arguments being spouted that the little domestic customer will punish the industry by going for the cheapest deals they can. Well in the energy market the consumer rarely has any power, because the suppliers know thst for you the clock is ticking rather fast and you will eventually have to sign on the dotted line long before they have to give way. Even if people hold out all the industry has to do is lay off people which then makes it easier to punish those who won’t sign.

A classic example in the UK about the most expensive water supply in the country is in south London / north Surrey they implemented an online system that made their administration need less staff. Well it was badly implemented and alowed those who wanted to do “identity theft” to get what others considered “proof of residence” on line by registering to be the “bill payer”. So the person who was thr bill payer, who could only pay by “Direct Debit” would get kicked off the system without their knowing or being warned in any way other than potentialy via payments stop appearing on bank statments. Bit bank statments are somethin that many banks likewise nolonger issue except on line and that means fairly risky online banking, so people do not do it.

So the identity thief gets a proof of residence statment via the online bill which checks out correctly if it’s checked. They take that to the Post Office to get temporary transfer of mail to some other address and so they start scaming. But they may only pay one bill if any, before they’ve set up other multiple bank accounts or online accounts etc. So they could be upto £10,000 / account up before just “disapraring” to pop up somewhere else. One person could with low risk have a five or six figure salary equivalent, no tax and close to zero liability.

But what of the house resident the first they know is that the water gets cut off… Then they get told they have to not only pay the bill, but all the fines, fees, charges and what rver other little scame that water board can come up with…

Oh and due to “data protection” they will not hand over the details on the account without a request from the Police, who won’t get involved. Likewise if you go to the Post Office they will not hand over the deyails of any mail redirects… And so on. Whilst you are trying to sort things out no water, and if you do make the mistake of paying then that is taken by the water company and just about everybody else as a proof positive of guilt, and that includes the UK water industry Regulator…

People think it’s not possible that such a system can exist, but three sets of people know,

1, The victims.
2, The identity thieves.
3, The utilities.

And the last two agree on one thing “the victim shall pay and pay and pay” whilst they both “Profit over and over and over” with in the case of the utilities “the less they do the more profit they make” so that’s “trebbles all round in the board room”…

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 4:58 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

If you can afford, I recommend two routers. I don’t believe this attack will get around two routers and likely prevents related attack scenarios.

If you look back on this blog for “Garden Path” you will see that I actually mrntioned the use of two routers with an IDS inbetween.

As I keep getting people telling me I should not publish the reasons behind such ideas on this blog (where they might do some good) and having had posts deleated because of them, I did not talk about things like punching holes through to the outside via java, javascript and similar.

Mind you, you would have thought it would have been obvious to people who had heard about how the FBI “allegedly” paid a University a lot of money to have a system to “de-cloak” Tor users…

Also why on earth do people think I keep talking about not alowing any javascript or any other code downloaded from outside the security cordon to be executed on internal machines, as some might say “Jease Louise”.

This attack method “class” is by no means new, as I and nodoubt several others can atest to, having a couple of attack “instances” around might wake people up, but…

As you’ve been discousing about patches, the wrong thing almost certainly will be done to fix this problem.

@ ALL,

Oh and for people that want to have something to think about,

“Compare HTML 5 with say HTML 3.2 and ask how those extensions are going to make your life a whole lot less secure…”

Because I asure you theu will.

Winter February 23, 2021 6:20 AM

“It’s why I keep a deep seperation between Personal and Professional, and “Ne’er the twain shall meet”.”

Which is why you know me as Winter. Is also a nice name to search for.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 8:11 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

In Scotland they have been comparing the Pfizer -v- Oxfard vacines at the “four week period”

Of those vaccinated,

6% of Oxford jab recipients went on to get COVID.

16% of Pfizer jab recipients went on to get COVID.

The Oxford vaccine apparently has lesser at the time side effects especially in those that have had COVID. The Pfizer jab on the other hand appears to hit people a lot harder, especially if they have had COVID.

Either way both vaccines show virtually no protection in the first week and a bit and maybe 50% efficacy vy week two. Weak three sees the imunity come up quickly and it’s mostly there by week four.

The moral is if and when you get your jab stay in hermit mode for a month.

But if you do have the misfortune to get COVID in or after week two it will hit you less than it would have done otherwise.

And lets face it which would you rather face, a week of fealing bad, four weeks in hospital, or eternity of being dead…

Still not sure what the EU MDA or US FDA are doing but it does not appear to be “helping the citizens in the short term”.

Still waiting for pre-print or peer-reviewed on the Russian and Chinese vaccines phase III or equivalent stage. From the little said both appear to be more broad range than the mRNA and Oxford jabs.

Winter February 23, 2021 9:13 AM

“And lets face it which would you rather face, a week of fealing bad, four weeks in hospital, or eternity of being dead…”

Indeed, all vaccines have side effects. A common side effect of not getting a vaccine is dying.

Spring is coming February 23, 2021 10:08 AM

@JonKnowsNothing: Y144del, up to 154 days of virus shedding.

The question with any virus shedding is if it’s actually contagious. And how it is shed, where, to be precise.
Don’t know either but would certainly want that question answered, preferably by reputable studies.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 1:09 PM

@ Patriot,

How about telling the truth about something?

You could start by doing that, but I suspect you are not going to…

But onwards and upwards,

Schneier cannot sell that, so he came up with a hand-wavy article that makes people think everything is going to be OK.

Sorry, I can not see any where in the piece you link to where he even remotely says that.

What he does say is “market regulation is required”, something that is an anathema to certain “liberal”, “neo-con” totaly self interested people who hold themselves exceptional. In other words,

1, They belive they should pay nothing to society.
2, They belive they should take as much social good as they can for free.
3, They belive they should be able to pollute the environment any way they can as much as they,can.
4, They belive they should never be held accountable for the harms they create.

Thus they argue vermantly for,

5, Little Government.
6, That they should carry out government function to profit unreasonably from the tax payer.
7, That they should decide who should and should not be subject to regulation so that they can establish either a cartel or monopoly.

I could go on but you might have sufficient knowledge and insight to know this. Then again…

His recent article in the New York Times is a disgrace. I condemn this lousy article. The American people deserve better.

Actually you hwve not, you’ve ranted in a not even “an arm wavey” way. As for “The American people deserving better” who died and left you in charge? Nobody, how about you actually come up with a reasoned counter argument? But I suspect if you try it will easily fall foul to one of the points above, and that you know that so you push out empty rhetoric instead, which might convince those who are cognitively challeged in some way but not those who can think rationaly[1].

But upwards we continue,

This is his website, and I understand that he regards it as his home. I’ll make sure to wipe the dirt off of my shoes before I leave.

So you make a promise and trapse in not in dirty shoes but bare foot like a rube from Nanjing, fresh from working in the pigsty[2], and just as unclean, pretending you are some kind of capatalist dumping their filth on the environment where ever they go as per rules 3&4 above.

Of course having had a little of your own medicine back, if you find argument with my comments please feal free to make it in a more polite way, and I will respond in kind.

[1] If I want to read such empty irational ramblings I guess there is always that utter pile in Ayn Rand’s 1957 diatribe “Atlas Shruged” again or some other of her cliques nonsense. No that realy is a “plastic Muck Meal” with less meat in it than those polystyrene chips that are so harmfull to the environment.

[2] In times long past the pigsty was directly adjacent to the building people lived in and they would throw household waste which was mostly human in origin in there for the pigs to eat, in China they used to have the “out house” directly over the sty, so the human waste just dropped in and on any unlucky worker who might be in the sty. Such practice is why there are parasites that live in the human GI tract but their eggs hatch and burrow into the pig flesh such that they reenter the human GI tract when they slaughter and eat the pig. Workers in such pens had to move the waste from the pigs to use to fertilise crops, their status in society was actually lower than the pigs they tended to and who were covered in the filth of the pigs and that of societies betters.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 1:41 PM

@ Patriot, Bruce

Got another source? Are you sure that NYT did not take his comments out of context?

I’m not going to read the article because the NYT has proven over and over again they will twist the facts and disseminate misinformation.

So, before you attack Bruce, maybe you should make sure you are not attacking a strawman.

Furthermore, your comment is hand-wavy.

It would help your argument if you had quoted some specifics and noted that which was not clear, or was misleading.

But, you failed to do so.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 2:10 PM

Senate Intel hearing on SolarWinds now in progress.

Amazon AWS declined to appear.

Reps from FireEye, SolarWinds, MicroSoft, and CrowdStrike are there.

Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 2:11 PM

@ Spring is coming,

The question with any virus shedding is if it’s actually contagious.

Not for the person who is having the disease run riot in their system…

As to if the shed virus is contagious that depends on two things,

1, If it is viable or not at the time to a potential new host.

2, If the viral load is sufficient to overcome a potential new hosts defences.

The human bodies abtibody immune system only comes into effect after earlier defences have failed.

If the virus does get as far as entering a living cell, then the cell it’s self has a mechanism that informs adjacent cells to effectively shut down such that any new virus from the now dead cell has difficulty infecting those adjacent cells. The whole defence system is in many many layers and so it may not get to the point that the body becomes infectious to others.

But what happens to the body when the virus has started infecting adjacent cells? Well those cells are going to die one way or another. Thus the hosts body enters a state where it is loosing cells that it needs to survive, at some point it has to have the cells replaced, which is an energy intensive process as is fighting the infection. So the longer a person is “shedding virus” the worse off they become and thus more vulnarable to orher opportunistic pathogens, that want to feed of the hosts body. One of the worst offenders in this is pneumonia which is often what actually kills people via septic shock[1].

So issolation of infected people is as much for their sake as it is for others. Thus whilst a mask might not stop the virus getting through, it can significantly reduce the viral load. But more inportantly a mask has a much greater stopping power on some secondary bacterial pathogens. Similarly washing hands, not touching your face and keeping rooms etc well ventilated to dilute any viral load significantly.

One of the problems with modern energy efficient homes and offices is that they are in effect “sealed” so the viral load builds up rather than gets diluted…

It’s why any engineering is hard, because often in solving one problem you create another that could be far worse.

The now classic example as has been just recently discussed on this blog is “Software Patches” but it also applies to “Software Upgrades” were new not originaly expected features are bolted on to existing code. Rarely are patches and upgrades tested properly or as fully as in the original code base design and build. Thus stress cracks open and nasties get in.

[1] Having had both pneumonia and bacterial sepsis at different times I can tell you neither is fun and they can both kill you quite unpleasently. Worse that your odds of surviving especially with sepsis can be both very short and very dependent on time treatment starts, with as little as a half hour delay in treatment changing those odds down from little to none.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 2:50 PM

@ Clive

Obviously, our brainwaves were communicating via ionsphere again.

@ Moderator

Again, I see something fishy.

I did SUBMIT on comment (after PREVIEW) which made it to DB.

The problem was that instead of seeing comment submitted, it immediately sent me back to router security article.

Which was NOT open in another tab on that device.

Posting from different route and device.

It COULD be browser issue. But I do not think so.

Maybe SOMEONE is trying to point out to me that there are issues. With BGP, DNS, TLS, CDN, MITM.

Preaching to choir 😉

AL February 23, 2021 2:56 PM

“The problem is apathy in the United States about its own security.”
Seems to me that the article tries to cure that with the statement that “Companies need to pay the true costs of their insecurities, through a combination of laws, regulations and legal liability”.

So, what’s the cure for apathy if not by law, regulation and liability?

It seems to me you don’t have much exposure to the corporate world. One of my earliest corporate courses given by my employer is the “Cost of Quality”. The theme is, you don’t spend any more money than necessary to secure the business or repeat business of the customer because if you’re spending more, there is no return on the money that you are spending.

Where Mr. Schneier strays a little bit is in saying “Social media companies too easily let hate speech and misinformation flourish on their platforms because it’s expensive and complicated to remove it” because he’s straying into political speech, namely the topics that Sen Hawley complains about, the regulation of Republican speech.

I’ll address the misinformation (“lying”) with an example.
“No one should take the Covid-19 vaccine, because you’ll be injected with a microchip. This microchip will be tracked using 5G technology to locate you, and the deep state will zap you with their Rothchild space laser if they think you have step out of line. (We’re not supposed to say Jewish laser.)

I think that’s a pretty good statement. My friends call me “Q” – the rest of you can call me Mr. Anon. Anyhow, Twitter will take that statement down because they’ll say it is not factual. But, it is “alt-factual” and “alt-factual”, meaning I can pull anything out of my rear end is an explicit component of the Republican party. “Alt-Facts” came directly out of the Trump administration.

The 2nd part, the hate speech, well, we have to look at a decades long strategy of the Republican party known as the “southern strategy” where, the business like folks in the GOP needed some support for trickle down economic, and recruited the fascists, racists, civil war reenactors, etc. They were the useful idiots for awhile – the business folks thought that they were the dog, and the people recruited with the southern strategy was the tail.

Well, they’re the dog now, and hate speech is a component of the Republican party. Don’t know how that gets regulated by law regulation or liability, especially when there is a Supreme Court ruling that Nazies can march in Illinois.

So, I don’t think the political speech can be regulated, but cheap insecure internet of things devices that can be used in a botnet can.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 3:03 PM

Attribution is Hard.

Out of FireEye, SolarWinds, MicroSoft, and CrowdStrike at the Senate Intel hearing, only Microsoft has mentioned the ‘R’ word.
(I can guess why)



Clive Robinson February 23, 2021 3:48 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

From the Twitter thread you link to,

“Everything about this aligned to a threat actor who is my opinion was more concerned about operational security than mission accomplished…”

Somebody atleast is making a valid observation.

One I wish many many more people would think about.

Especially when the SolarWinds product is used in most if not all first world Governments, quite a few second world, and even some third world governments including most nations the US routienly commits espionage against…

Thus the question of attribution is one that is going to prove interesting.

Look at it this way if as argued in the statment the attackers were “more concerned about operational security than mission accomplished” then almost certainly one major step they would have taken woulb be to ensure that if the exploit was found it would lead away from them to another entity.

Which means that attribution is going to be as hard if not harder than the skills of the attacker.

So far the only people we know who have tools to do such misdirection is the US IC one of whom was daft enough to loose them in a public space.

Whilst we can assume that all members of the extended Five-Eyes have such false attribution tools, the level of evidence we have is low.

Likewise I would expect any Level III attacker be they State Funded or Corporate/Privately Funded to have such false attribution tools in their toolkit as standard. As we know from Palantir’s activities and the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica tie up, such things are done by politically active hedgefund owners and others with very deep pockets. Arguably leaving false atribution trails on money through Russia and other nation states is almost “routine” for some people.

Remembering just how much scruitiny is placed on money trails, arguably laundering large sums of money is harder than laying down a false trail in cyberspace (hence Encrochat attack).

So yes as so often pops up hear on this blog,

Attribution is Hard.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 4:13 PM

Bit-Flipping Routers

Re Senate Intel hearing on SolarWinds

These routers are not Silicon-based. They are Carbon Units.

They are doing the hot-potato routing.

None of the players want to point at the Elephant to north of DC.

Worthless. Spineless. Money.

JonKnowsNothing February 23, 2021 4:52 PM


re:Un-Authorized Software Updaters

A small unauthorized change in my Firefox Browser today led me down an interesting rabbit hole.

disclaimer: I am not a Firefox Hack nor Cody Jockey just an End User.

Today’s rabbit hole revealed that there is a Separate Updater in Firefox that supersedes the normal Update Option one gets for a new releases (see Help/About Firefox/Release Number + Update Option).

Probably Firefox Code Jockeys know about it but it’s not anywhere on any Options Menu that presents user settings and the Stealth Updater is not blocked by the settings for “Firefox Data Collection and Use” or “Allow Firefox to install and run studies” when set to NO.

The Rabbit Hole:
* Firefox “Print Preview” has disappeared from the File menu; all there is now is “Print”

WHY? Because per the FF Coder:
* “The FireFox ‘simplify page’ feature (as opposed to the ‘reader’ mode) is a software masterpiece. ”

(ok,you can stop ROFLUAO now…)

It’s bad enough to fix something that is not broken but they did it by a Stealth Updater called Normandy (as in Invasion of)

This setting in About:Config enables the Stealthy Updates using end users PCs as test beds for “World Class Masterpieces” or anything that can tailgate into the updater.

Normandy is a system for updating Firefox between formal releases. It also is used to send surveys and conduct small tests. Usually the changes are pretty small, but occasionally they generate a lot of support questions.

A sample Normandy Config Option:
* app.normandy.startupRolloutPrefs.print.tab_modal.enabled true

And it’s no wonder that end users decline to update things.

ymmv mine is in need of an oil change.

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 5:27 PM

Rubio: Do we know what the initial point of entry into SolarWinds network was?

Ramakrishna: We have been narrowing down the options. We have three remaining hypotheses.

[Probably all wrong. I know where I would look]

hx xyzzy ps://

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 6:01 PM

@ lurker, Clive, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

ERCOT news

Maybe I mentioned some of these players earlier (rumour). Still one awol.

hxx ps://

The 4 @ERCOT_ISO board members who live outside of Texas will resign at tomorrow’s board meeting, according to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Sally Talberg, Peter Cramton, Terry Bulger and Raymond Hepper
#TexasBlackouts #WinterStormUri

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 6:21 PM

Keys or keyboards?

Zoom on the Keystrokes: Exploiting Video Calls for Keystroke Inference Attacks

hxt ps://

( @ Moderator. There are still weird things happening with PREVIEW )

SpaceLifeForm February 23, 2021 7:58 PM

@ lurker, Clive, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

ERCOT news

Billing, Collecting, and Arbitrage.

Number 5 shows up, and a potential Number 6 slinks away

Somehow, rats know when the hull has problems

hx tps://

In addition, Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, the market segment director for the independent retail electric provider market segment, will also resign her position as a board member. Craig Ivey, who was slated to fill a vacant unaffiliated director position, withdrew his application.

JonKnowsNothing February 24, 2021 1:17 AM

@Clive @All

re:Vax Queue Jumpers Crack Restricted COVID-19 Vax Appointment Access Codes

MSM reports of a critical failure in the California Vaccine Reservation Ticketing System. Special codes were given to under represented groups. These 1:N codes were distributed by Social Organizations to under represented at risk groups (aka BAME).

Seems some WFH (Work from Home) types figured out the codes and booked themselves into a good portion of the reserved vax appointments. Some of the folks are not eligible yet for vaccination but because they had a valid Ticket Code they were able to book a time slot and get the jab. These special codes were passed along via Social Media to other Not Eligible Persons who booked even more slots.

The governor said the codes were also misused during a mobile vaccination clinic held Saturday at the Ramona Gardens public housing development in Boyle Heights, where Newsom and other elected leaders were in attendance.

Newsom said that it was “pretty clear at that public housing site that not everyone was from that community.”

The Queue Jumpers reasoning:

Nobody thinks they’re doing something wrong…

They honestly have convinced themselves to believe that this is leftovers, that this is pilot testing, open to everyone.

Hmmm lets imagine:

A group of Not-BAME, driving hours across LA, in the comfort of a self-driving E-Snork car, wearing the latest style in High Cost University Togs, showing some Beverly Hills Bling and sporting the latest logo-motto from Ted Cruz, auto-parking in a Public Housing Development to get a jab because someone sent them an invite by mass Social Media…

Similar actions happen with raves, where someone breaks into a vacant home, and invites 3 states worth of friends on FB to come drink and trash the place. The house doesn’t even have to be vacant, they book one on AirBnB, state they are having a quiet weekend with 3 family members and omit the 3,000 others that will show up shortly. Raves also happen on farm lands much to the dismay of farmers, watching a bunch of people trampling their forage crop into mud while pretending to be eco-friendly – it’s just grass.

The Ticketing System is not WAI but these people are not WAI either.

They probably don’t realize their ticket and vax punch is logged and entered in a State Wide Database. Most States have these Vax Databases in prep for the future of Vaccine Passports. Their data is readily available and can be traced back to them.

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://

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

Clive Robinson February 24, 2021 2:23 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker,

The 4 @ERCOT_ISO board members who live outside of Texas will resign at tomorrow’s board meeting,

How convenient[1] what a surprise NOT, no doubt they will get a nice severance package, till the noise dies down and then pop up in some other “plumb job” to an even better rewards package for their hurt feelings…

Unlike the poor customers who will get shafted yet again whilst the new directors issue a “full private profits ahead” message to certain vested interests…

What’s the betting the same thing is going to happen again in the near future?

It’s not just the “Disasters come in three’s” observation that accompanies faux free markets, it’s the fact that the vested interests see no reason to change the game in the face of changing weather patterns.

Yes there will be some changes, but the reality is, it will only be the defered maintenance that should have been done years ago, but which got pushed aside in the name of short term profit. But even much of that will be “cosmetic” like a nice new coat of paint or even a rebranding excercise. The expensive and much needed structural and infrastructure protection work will be done as cheaply as posible. So you might as well schedule another weather event disaster in your seven year diary…

[1] Now nobody will find out just how incompetent they realy were… Because the organisation will go into PR run “self protection mode” and throw money at a bunch of “firemen” who will clean up the mess instead.

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2021 1:21 PM

Previously, I mentioned that a TLA had assets burned. That the double encryption did not work.

hxx ps://

“… a compromise of the agency’s internet-based covert communications system used to interact with its informants in dark corners around the world.”

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2021 2:13 PM

@ lurker, Clive, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

A lot of money was scammed out of the Texas consumers that could have been applied to hardening their grid.

Reliability provides Security.

Overpaying to be less secure is not a plan.

It’s like paying for Windows when you should be using FLOSS.

htx ps://

Clive Robinson February 24, 2021 3:00 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL

Vaccine efficacy on large cohort at 4 week point

There is a report from Scotland,

On 1.14 million people given either Pfizer or Oxford Astra Zenica jabs as part as “Maximize first shot policy”. About twice the number of people have recieved the Pfizer injection to the Oxford.

As several other reports show there is concern about “vaccine take up” in various communities. It is known that the Pfizer jab can hit people hard for a couple of days[1], especially if the person has had COVID (it’s actually probably a good sign that you feel realy crap). But people talk and spread their stories by social media…

However the Oxfard AZ vaccine has had less reports of such effects, which some have indicated might have changed many Australians views (the initial groups will get Pfizer whilst Auz gets it’s own Oxford vaccine production up and running).

The report from scotland has many cautions but the main “headline catcher” will probably be,

In a large cohort 1.14 million Scots who have been vaccinated a “4 week efficacy” study was carried out. The result is the Oxford efficacy is 94% therefore 6% risk, Pfizer on the other hand has 85% efficacy thus 15% risk. So the Pfizer single innoculation has 2.6 times the risk of the Oxford vaccine single at the 4 week point.

It needs to be noted that these figures will change with both time and when the second injection is given. But, the vaccines have not been around long enough to get to know anything other than the short term results in a large population.

Whilst 2.6 times sounds bad, it’s not because the overall efficacy is low, the actuall efficacy is way better than expected of both the vaccines.

But what is more important is the medium and longterm results, which we do not have yet, for obvious reasons.

There is also the question as to how specific these vacines are, and if the virus will out mutate them. Nobody knows the answer to that.

But we do know is that the rapidity of mutation is directly related to the “prevelance” or those currently infected. Thus the faster people are injected the lower the prevelance thus the less likely mutations are going to happen.

However there is one mutation method we realy can not predict and that is hybrid-mutation. Overly simply if you have two infections in a cell at the same time, the RNA of both viruses can get mixed up. Beta Corona Viruses of which SARs-CoV-2 is one, are known for higher rates of hybrid-mutation thsn other viruses. What we know from other hybrid-mutations, is the results are more likely to be less infective, less virulent and of less viability outside of a host.

But that does not stop the odd one being a nasty. In fact quite a few experts in the subject think that SARS-CoV-2 was more likely the result of natural hybrid-mutation rather than any other way by quite a large margin.

So getting jabs in arms as fast as we can is desirable to a high degree[2].

But do not expect miracles, the UK has done over a quater of the population and is heading to a third of the population in the very near future[3] but we still have community spread.

[1] The “Pfizer Pain” has been suggested by some to have put people off getting a vaccination, as part of faux news including one claiming “Microsoft is chipping you” or “5G Burn” etc…

[2] But seriously if you get an offer for either vaccine then “bite the hand off” to get it as fast as possible. It’s the flip side of “Individual Rights -v- Social Responsability” looking after No1 does a good turn for society as well as you so “win-win”.

[3] Yes my “number” has come up as a “group four person” with an “uplift” and I was offered a choice of Pfizer or Oxford. I’ve elected for the Oxford as I’ve said I would, as I’ve followed the evidence as best I can. So this Sat is “Ouch Day” and if people are interested then yes I will report back if any bits drop off, turn green, or I get the urge to suck the life out of garlic etc (actually the garlic sounds good so maybe “Pressed chicken with fourty cloves of garlic”[4] for Sat night dinner 😉

[4] One simple recipe,

Mine uses the two chickens “dead frog” spatchcocked and when it comes to the sauce, I use “onion marmalade” which is kind of “fried onions made in taste heaven”.

nik February 24, 2021 3:38 PM


Good luck on Sat. Let us know how it goes. In Colorado it will be till summer until I can get a jab. I’m 15 year or 15kgs shy of getting it earlier.
Contemplating gaining that weight and then losing it….well not really.

JonKnowsNothing February 24, 2021 4:33 PM


Excellent news that you are On The Good List!!

Things are as chaotic as ever in Sunny California, there are 2 options but no choice, there are vaccination carnivals with long tailbacks. The vaccine ticket system is not even up the California Lottery Bingo floating ping pong ball tech level.

It seems that Johnson&Johnson jab may get a nod in the USA soon, but the Oxford jab is sitting in limbo while the Pfizer folks rake in more loots. There is a badminton game between the CDC and the FDA, the shuttle cock floats between the 2 groups and no one knows on which side of the net it will drop.

If you feel a bit off, you can try this Proof for COVID symptom relief vouched for by a 105yo who got COVID-19 just after getting a second Pfizer jab. She was protected by the first jab and didn’t get too ill and credits her recovery to

nine gin-soaked raisins that she eats every morning.

“Fill a jar,” she explained to the Times. “Nine raisins a day after it sits for nine days.”

Raisins are good, the gin is better.

ht tps://

ht tps://

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

Clive Robinson February 24, 2021 4:59 PM

@ Nik,

Let us know how it goes.

Will do, especially if there are any realy choice icky bits 😉

But due to one thing or another I’ve got to the point where flinching even for arterial blood at the wrist for blood gas measurment is nolonger involuntary. I joke around with some phlebotomists by not flinching for a second or so when I should do, then go “ouch” pausing and then saying “Sorry I sometimes forget the ouch is obligitory” or similar. The older ones get the joke, and what it realy means, the younger ones not so much, junior doctors it can realy unnerve, consultants tend to nod and ask the real questions straight up knowing you know what answers they need.

However it carries a curse, which is the title “expert patient”. As I said to one cardiologist “If I was a real expert I would not be here” to which the consultant replied with a wry smile “If you were, I’d either be out of a job or writing a paper with you…” by a process of elimination and modern technology the problem did get resolved but it took a few years and an unpleasent time or two in “resusc” including having my heart flip from AF to flat line just because it was to lazy to stick with the beat.

Oh and if you are the patient and hear the expression “cardioversion” just remember involuntary flinching is the least of your worries, scorch marks that take days to heal or leave scars are not unknown, and there may not be time to give you the drugs to make things “less stressful” when you “body pop” break dancing style…

SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2021 5:24 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, Winter, ALL

As I noted previously, we are in a global petri dish.

As Clive noted:

Thus the faster people are injected the lower the prevelance thus the less likely mutations are going to happen.

In next 2 to 3 months, we (global we) can knock the spread down to managable levels. Just keep doing what we (global we) have been doing. Do not stop.

It will still be out there. It is stealthy.

This coming northern hemisphere summer, when it looks like it is gone, do not fall for that.

It will still be around.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2021 5:28 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

I mentioned that a TLA had assets burned.

Yes the CIA “Your ass is Coup de Grâce” system, that resulted in the deaths of quite a few people in China.

I remember it rather too well.

As I understand it some whiz kid web developer came up with a system, where people made the mistake of assuming “impressive” was “secure”. It was not. Worse it was easy to spot the traffic…

Of course nobody was to blaim…

It just goes to prove the point many make from time to time, about “Not rolling your own”. Unless you realy understand things at all levels of the stack, including those three layers below the point most “full stack developers” will not venture. And then on down into the myriad of levels hidden in the “physical layer”.

Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt and metaphorically pined it to the wall with a couple of Misericorde[1] as a reminder of how little a chink in your armour is required to receive the Coup de Grâce, if you are lucky.

But knowing that a well resourced agency with access to experts got it so badly wrong realy should be taught to all who want to do “secure”… Like all those “secure message app developers” who also get it badly wrong and they do not even have a clue why, or just do not care.


xcv February 24, 2021 11:03 PM

Top level domains .security and .protection are available for registration at $2,049.99 per year.

It’s a racket. Mañana. La ley de plata o plomo. Those prices are way too high, and I don’t like the implications, insinuations, and assumptions, either.

There are values. Things money can’t buy. These people don’t have them.

I want more information.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2021 11:23 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Things are as chaotic as ever in Sunny California

I’m sorry to hear the woes of what would be considered a prosperous “Nation State” in Europe or many other First/Second World regions.

If you remember back a year ago I assumed that due to “social policy” in some parts of California, the state would become a COVID hotspot and near disaster zone. Thus was pleased to be wrong when it did not play out that way.

However from what you’ve said over the past few months and what has been broadcast by various MSM outlets, it looks like my predictions were just delayed not wrong.

I can not help feeling that the delay was “An opportunity lost”, that is so much more could reasonably have been done, but did not happen for one reason or another (and being in a major election cycle will not have helped).

Mind you the “lighter side” artical you included that had the raisin story did make me smile. Even though there could be a little “promotion” there 😉 I still see those little red boxes of “California Maid” around supermarkets in the UK and in my sons case even when he was barely able to stand, one box was “never enough” and he was partial to them with humus and carrot sticks. Though I rarely see him eat raisins these days unless they are in something like “black bun” he still likes “Carrots with everything”, so much so you would think he would not just be able to “see in the dark” but have furry ears and a toothy grin as well…

SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2021 12:06 AM

@ Clive

While I appreciate your concern about bellingcat, this is definitely good OSINT. My dot: I always thought that the person in the DC alley was female, even though a tech female that I read did not think so.

But, this is a match to me. Solid match.

hxt ps://

hx xps://

hxt ps://

@ FBI, if I am correct, please donate the 100K to EFF. Thanks.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2021 5:05 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Not sure where you make the connection but lets run with it.

Firstly there has been a lot of noise about protestors being identified by semi unique featutes.

There was the woman with the limited edition tee shirt, and others.

They turn up to events wearing such items but orherwise do not leave forensic evidence that identifies them.

There is a saying about once is odd, twice is coincidence three times is enemy action.

Secondly did you take a look at the pipe bombs, what do you see?

They were supposadly placed the night before, and be absolutly genuine yet neither went off…

Whilst a 22year old might know how to make a pipe bomb from the occasional pictures that surface would they know how to make the detonator so it functioned as a bomb?

As a general rule there is one of two ways you get the knowledge,

1, Somebody who knows shows / trains you.
2, You aquire the information by experimentation.

However the old style “household” parts to make a detonator are becoming quite scarce as new more efficient lower cost technology has all but replaced them, as railway modelers have had to rework things know.

There is something very distinctly odd about the way it’s all been put together.

It kind of reminds me of the FBI associated “agent provocateur” activities a decade or so back, when the FBI were trying to make terrorists out of angry idiots who were at worst only a danger to themselves, and so incompetent they had to be led from place to place by the “agent provocateur”.

I guess we will have to wait and see what further “evidence” turns up.

As for the salute photos, they are kind of odd in a different way, the first thing I’d ask is where were they actually taken, when and by whom. The implication is it’s her home, but no evidence to that is given it could have been the boyfriends or other home. The dress is what you might call a “summer dress” yet the time stamp suggests it was taken 11/10/20 at 03:53 which might mean it’s been worn as a party dress. There is nothing designer about it it’s “off the rack” or “catalogue” so there are probably several thousand floating around.

As for the “distinctive sun glasses” how do I put it, the “Hammer” does not come across as anything other than a reseller, and it’s therefore likely that style of glasses are from Ali-Baba or similar right out of The Far East.

Likewise I’ve been seeing the “skull” type masks all over the place on the Internet when looking for a COVID mask. They are a mass produced item that was around before COVID, for “hip-n-trendy” cyclists, and have been in shops in the UK for years, often worn by cyclist dispatch riders with, guess what very similar sun glasses. Also untill atleast 2018 skulls were an ordinary fashion motief some called “Goth lite” in the UK with what you might at first glance think was “polka dot” actually being little skulls of the skull and cross bones variety. They were quite popular with 20-somethings who were most definately not right wing in their outlook.

When you look at the mask that’s being worn in the salute photo, it’s ill fitting and too large and very noticably different than ones seen in other photos… Look at the bear chair one see the difference?

As for the “blue lamp glow” in a reflection, I’ve got a blue LED lamp or two that go with the blue glass I have, part of which is two oil lamps you can use on a table instead of candles which at certain angles give out a very similar blue glow, they are not as uncommon or as unusuall as is implied.

So at best a trail of very circumstantial things linked together to push a story line.

I’m by no means saying they are not right, but the pictures are not telling the same story for reasons not explained.

Oh not sure what the “leg cutting” is all about, but you get the fealing she thinks her legs are her best feature and the salute picture does not show any sign of scaring

The other thing is the throat covered. When you look at the “bear chair” photo you see the dress has a matching neck piece with long ends, this is not there in the salute photo.

So lets see what other “evidence” comes up.

JonKnowsNothing February 25, 2021 11:07 AM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive

re:Who knows how?

The FBI does. They do regular demonstrations.

There are well documented cases where their assertions are “less than honest”.

tl;dr Old News
Case Unsolved: The attempt on Bari’s life remains an open case

On May 24, 1990, in Oakland, California, the vehicle used by Bari and Darryl Cherney was blown up by a pipe bomb.[26] Bari was severely injured by the blast, as the bomb was located under her seat; Cherney suffered minor injuries. Bari was arrested for transporting explosives while she was still in critical condition with a fractured pelvis and other major injuries.

The rapid presence of FBI bomb investigators at the scene, virtually simultaneously with first responders from the Oakland Police Department, raised suspicion that the FBI knew about the bomb beforehand and might even have been responsible for the bomb. In Bari’s words, it was as if the investigators were “waiting around the corner with their fingers in their ears.” It was later revealed that there had been a tip to law enforcement, suspected to be from the person responsible for the bomb, that “some heavies” were carrying a bomb south for sabotage in the Santa Cruz area.[22][27] The rapid response of the FBI to the bombing and their immediate focus on Bari as a suspect rather than a victim are consistent with surveillance of Bari after receiving a tip about a bomb.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) took jurisdiction of the case away from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, alleging it was an eco-terrorism case.[11][28] The Oakland Police Department was the local agency on the case. Bari’s wounds disabled her to the extent she had to curtail her activities. As Bari convalesced, Redwood Summer took place, turning into a series of demonstrations by thousands of environmental activists and counter-demonstrations by roughly equal numbers of timber workers and their families.

In late July 1990, the Alameda County District Attorney declined to press charges against Bari and Cherney, claiming insufficient evidence. The arrests and search warrants became the basis of Bari’s civil rights suit, filed the following year but not decided until 2002, five years after her death.

One of many theories:

Within a year of the bombing, Bari developed the theory that the bomber was an acquaintance of hers whom she suspected of being an FBI informant. The close resemblance of the May 24 bombing of Bari’s car to “crime scenes” fabricated by the FBI in a “bomb school” held in redwood country earlier that year, as discovered during depositions for Bari’s Civil Rights lawsuit in 1994, was taken by Bari and her followers as supporting evidence that the FBI was responsible for the bombing.

ht tps://
ht tps://’s_life

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

vas pup February 25, 2021 5:56 PM

What we know about the ‘California coronavirus’

“A new strain of the coronavirus, first detected in California, may be the most virulent and deadly form of COVID-19 yet. And it’s spreading internationally.

First, it’s important to note that at time of writing, scientists know relatively little about the so-called “California coronavirus.”

There are fears that it may be spreading faster than other strains of coronavirus, that it may lead to more severe cases of infection, requiring more intensive care, and that it may even be more deadly.

But all we have right now — as public information — is from a pre-print, published on an online platform called medRxiv.”

Read the article – link inside to medRxiv.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 25, 2021 10:22 PM

Scenario 1: Electoral Robbery
Where a post election process completes with officials certifying the results, how is it that a candidate in the election states “I just need 11,780 votes” and not be accountable. After asking for the votes, the candidate indicates that the officials are behaving illegally and are at risk, including the SOS attorney so they’d better play ball.

Scenario 2: Bank Robbery
If I go into a bank and state to the teller “I just need $11,780.00.” The teller says it is not possible or appropriate. And in response to the teller I say “Don’t make me pull my gun out of my pocket!”.

In the later scenario, number 2 at the bank, do the actions constitute a crime even if the teller does not hand over the money? Does the teller call the police or bank manager?

In scenario 1, who does the SOS call–the complainant must call a member of the candidates offices to make the compliant. How does this work?

Clive Robinson February 25, 2021 11:26 PM

@ name.withheld…,

How does this work?

Long answer short “It can not”.

History shows that the place with most corruption is the place with most influence. Which in hierarchies is ususual at the top of the heap.

Thus how do you stop the leader going rouge?

Well now ancient sayings such as “Who watches the watchers” how hard a problem it has been down through the millennia.

As William Shakespeare wrote, sometimes the only way is for the layer beneath to pull the leader down. Thus “Et tu, Brute?”[1] but what follows is almost always nasty, such is the nature of “power vacuums”. But even when there is a clear untainted replacment, the inertia built up that necessitated the eventual act of assassination or regicide moves on.

When the inertia does not run down safely but “hits the buffers” is when it gets realy messy and as observed by Thomas Jefferson’s infamous exhortation,

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

You get to a point where it appears inevitable, thus necessary, hence Jefferson’s nightmare it would not happen for at least another generation,

“God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion,”

The act of taking a life unlawfully is perhaps societies strongest prohibition, more so today in our soft almost coddled lives, than in previous more short lived and brutal times where surviving to fourty five was considered old aged.

What do you do with a geriatric determined to retain power at seamingly any cost? Perhaps pulling their teeth is the best solution, but will that second tier vote to lock and bar the door behind a deposed leader?

Some would say “party lines apply” but others “He embarrassed them all, and they want their pound of flesh”. Eother way without doubt, he was an “outsider” who “stole the ball” from “the players” and that may never be forgiven or forgotton. Because in their view Politics is a private club with rules, it is for the players, their managers and their sponsors, outsiders are not to be tollerated no matter what the rable may want.

[1] From Act 3 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”, where they all “put the knife in” including Caesar’s trusted friend Brutus plunges in a dager. The literal translation of the Latin “Et tu, Brute?” is “and you, Brutus?” and so more puzzled and perplexed, Julius dies. Then like all murderers the assassins find the murderous act is easier than dealing with the consequences.

MarkH February 26, 2021 12:14 PM

In the most recent meeting of Texas’ now-infamous ERCOT, it was revealed that the Texas electrical power grid came within 277 seconds of a comprehensive shutdown — that is, a state-wide blackout.

At the peak of the calamity, 48.6% of generating capacity was offline. Most of the failures were in gas-powered plants, with supply of fuel (rather than servicability of the generating equipment) being the primary cause.

One doesn’t need to be schooled in the operation of power grids, in order to visualize that restarting a massive power grid from a complete “black” condition is many times more difficult than recovering from partial and/or intentional (load shedding) outages.

Given the severe weather conditions, restoring power might have needed weeks to accomplished, had a system collapse occurred.

Clive has been “beating the drum” for a long time here, that there is no substitute for designing/building in resilience to systems which are critical for security.

Anonymous February 26, 2021 2:57 PM

@ MODERATOR: Will repost to the appropriate Friday Squid when available and under EDITORIAL DISCRETION
Programmatic Systems in support of Bad Faith
Senators such as Ron Johnson from Minnesota are engaged in a propaganda feedback loop that use materials provided by people such as Brietbart, Bannon, and Miller .

First, the position that the GOP takes is based on a response to an event or issue that is being contested in public but being manipulated and presented to the public disingenuously. Once this conspiracy is floated, the stamp of approval is given by the likes of FOX, OAN, NewsMax, and Christian evangelical pastors and pushed all the way to the pulpit. Once pushed, the operatives on the response side (GOP politicians) run a circular campaign based on the conspiracy (outright lying and violating public trust).


  1. Source the story, i.e. fabricate and establish a context for an issue that is the target of subversion.
  2. Delivery the story, either through the propaganda networks and churches, and use simple language to transmit to avoid diminution of the message.
  3. Certify or formalize the story, using either or both public officials and “news” organizations to carry the water.
  4. Conditionally jump to step 2 if the lie has transformed to a “alternate fact” else proceed
  5. If an alternate fact is established, tag as AF, else conditional jump to step 1
  6. If AF true, integrate with the matrix of political BS storage unit and continue–until destruction of representative governance.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2021 4:43 PM

@ Clive

“There is something very distinctly odd about the way it’s all been put together.”

Yes. End caps do not match. I have not found any real clear pictures.
Easily disabled by a water cannon. Not really hidden at all when they could have been placed a few feet away and been hidden. The one at DNC could have been put under the bushes. The one at RNC could have been put behind the recycle bin.

Maybe only meant to be discovered? Maybe never intended to explode?

My hunch is that whomever assembled was not the same person as in alley.

Person is alley is wearing very ill-fitting hoodie. Way too large.

Maybe the shoes were way too large also?

Maybe because the person in the alley was wearing someone else’s stuff?

Clive Robinson February 26, 2021 6:22 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Yes. End caps do not match. I have not found any real clear pictures.

That lack of clarity is also a hinderance, because you don’t get a clear enough view of the timers. But the only timers I’ve seen that look like those in the UK are the old mechanical timers for “kitchens” so maybe an hour at most countdown timer… And they both appeared to be at the zero position…

Now if you look up the use of such timers they are generally closed contact / connected at the zero position “as they count down not up”. Thus they can be dangerous to use as they are the equivalent of “firing at rest” thus you need a seperate arming procedure.

The proceadure to use them is,

1, Check at zero and you have closed contacts, and the arming switch is open.

2, Wind the timer around to the delay time.

3, Check it’s now open circuit.

4, connect the battery or switch the timer into the detonation circuit (ie arm it).

Step three is to stop you laminating your self to the scenery.

Now, lets have a think through.

You would not want the bombs going off before the rally as that would have the rally canceled and stop any Capitol Storming plans (which the voice recording more than suggests she had well in advance, as the comment about gloves demonstrates).

So why place them the night befor, especially if arming them would cause them to go off that night well before the rally.

It could be argued that they were placed to be later armed, but that realy does not make sense. Because if you armed them in situ it would be suspicious to anyone who saw you do it. That is,

1, You go upto an unowend bag.
2, You open it and spend thirty seconds to a minute minimum with both hands inside “fiddling”.
3, You then close the bag up again and walk away…
4, You do this whilst dressed like a street criminal.

What’s the odds an observer is going to think you are a thief and call you out or report you to the police, who will then find the bomb…

As I said it looks distinctly odd.

Also the video shows that either somebody knew where the cameras were and deliberatly walked in a route to give “full image” or they had not done even a primative recon in daylight looking for things to avoid. But look agsin at the way the person walked, it was like they knew exactly where they were going, which suggests they had walked that route atleast once before or were quite familiar with the area.

Just another oddity to add to the list.

Normally I’d not be looking for oddities, but as you’ve noted I get deeply suspicious when a certain group gets involved. They’ve effectively been caught out a couple of times before with probably faked images, so I get to look with my “is it hinky” eyes in, and a hand checking the short hairs on the back of my neck.

The result is I’m getting a vibe, not a strong one, but definately one that says there are things here that need more evidence / explaining / insight.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2021 1:55 AM

@ Clive

Bail denied today.

I’ve watched the videos hundreds of times. Height about 5 foot 5 inches per mug shot matches videos in alley. Body build matches. I know someone that has this exact body build, same height, not large breasts, but while at a brisk walk, has the exact same gait as in the videos.

In the one alley video, when the person rounds the corner, it sure looks like an obvious left breast to me. And interestingly, puts left hand into hoodie pocket immediately.

The other two videos have audio. Probably a Ring doorbell. In both directions, if you listen closely, it sounds metallic, like a set of keys hanging on a carabiner hanging on beltloop. Swinging hips.

Head down when crossing a side alley. Just not aware of cams.

hxx ps://

From the still shots, I do not see any battery. Prob 9 volt if there. The RNC one was supposedly set for 20 minutes, but was not ticking.

FBI ‘says’ it was viable explosive, but have been very mum for weeks.

So, all that said, not conclusive. But, wait! There’s more!

Good report. Just some snips that tie to my conclusion.

hx tps://

Watkins nonetheless admitted she was a “founder” and a “commanding officer” in an organization she called the Ohio State Regular Militia. She was also a member of the Oath Keepers.

Watkins said she “disbanded” her small personal militia despite being a co-founder with someone named “Montana.” She also said she was “cancelling” her “Oath Keepers membership.”

“I did it out of love for my country, but I think it’s time to let all that go,” she continued. “We’re done with that lifestyle.”

[ My bold. Tonto wants to know who ‘we’ is ]

Watkins’ attorney previously noted that Watkins wished to speak despite the upshot that any statement she made could be legally used against her in future proceedings. The judge also made sure Watkins understood the ramifications of speaking out at this stage in her proceedings.

Baset (Prosecutor) then told the judge that agents recovered pages from a 1971 publication known as the Anarchist Cookbook, many of which authored by someone known merely as “Jolly Roger,” from Watkins’ home. Many of the pages contained instructions for making explosive devices out of simple household products.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2021 7:34 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Many of the pages contained instructions for making explosive devices out of simple household products.

Ahh the “Anarchist Cookbook”, better known as “How to blow yourself up at home”…

You can get PDFs online with little difficulty and it’s technically out of copyright.

BUT, you will also find on line a big long list of things that are wrong with it.

On that allways amuses me is distilling hydrogen peroxide using a couple of beer bottles…

Now I do not know what passes for common sense these days but trying to boil a liquid in two beer bottles taped together you would thing would give people pause for thought…

But much of the stuff is pre 1970’s technology and you just can not get hold of it any longer without raising an eyebrow or two.

Have a think about the last time you saw those old screw in light bulbs for bicycle lamps for sale anywhere, it’s all high intensity “White / Clear Water LEDs” these days. Even getting hold of old style “non safety” matches is realy not that easy either.

I would say having a copy of the book is almost a “Confession of Stupidity” not any prowes at “infernal device” making.

MarkH February 27, 2021 11:43 AM

Re: Improvised Explosive Devices (pipe bombs):

I suggest an acute case of over-thinking.

Considering the context of events and likely planning for the insurrection, the most likely hypothesis (by far) is that these bomb-like assemblies were planted as diversions for law enforcement. They did, in fact, have a significant diversionary effect.

In such case, they might not have been intended to explode at all — in which case expertise would be superfluous.

For diversionary gadgets, it’s sufficient that their gross structure and primary components look enough like a real IED that law enforcement is obliged to take the risk seriously. Viable detonator: not needed!


History students may recall the “Doolittle raid” of 1942 which was a sort of publicity stunt. It bore two kinds of valuable fruit: it boosted U.S. morale at a time of many humiliating defeats by Japanese military forces; and it provoked a reaction in Japan of assigning great numbers of men and quantities of equipment to domestic air defense, which would remain useless to Japan for 2+ years.

The physical destruction from the raid was tiny (almost surely, less than its cost to the attackers) … its diversionary effect was powerful.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2021 1:59 PM

@ MarkH,

For diversionary gadgets, it’s sufficient that their gross structure and primary components look enough like a real IED that law enforcement is obliged to take the risk seriously. Viable detonator: not needed!

Or anything at all in the pipe.

But draw out the time line and these devices do not make sense diversionary or otherwise.

If they were deemed a credible threat then all sorts of things would have “not happened”.

It’s now becoming clear thst the raid on the Capitol building was planned at many levels, and although some idiots just “turned up for the crack” a core group not only had been there on a previous run, others were actually giving them directions aroind the labyrinthine corridors.

It’s also clear that the alleged bomb placer had planed to be in on the Capitol building raid.

So it does not realy make sense that the alleged bomb placer was putting bombs out the night before, as the effect would be to increase security thus make the Capitol raid that much harder or not possible at all.

So as I’ve indicated there are a number of oddities that do not make sense.

Now I can think of a whole bunch of explanations that might fit the very few bits of information that have been released. On the more wacky side one such would be that the alledged bomb placer thought she was acting as an agent provocateur for the authorities, but was actually being set up by them…

Normally I would say that is way to far fetched, but there have been a number of “far fetched” things involving the FBI to actually rule it out.

So as I said we need more facts / evidence / information. Hopefully that rules things out or in by logic rather than gut feeling.

But the paucity of information alone is odd in of it’s self when you consider other “terrorist” threats.

Thus I’m just going to point out oddities as I see them and otherwise sit back in the comfy chair with a large bowl of popcorn. I’ll let others come up with their own hypothesis and check against the information we have, which unusually is next to nothing.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2021 5:01 PM

@ Clive, MarkH

I believe that my working theory is the same as the FBI’s working theory.

Watkins, young and naive, got pulled into the conspiracy cult. She was the ‘useful fool’.

There are many ‘tells’ that I see from the pics and videos that she was naive and fooled.

The unbelievable amount of BS that these people and their lawyers are trying to spin in court, is, well, unbelievable.

Not just Watkins, but others. Many lawyers are grifting off cases that they will surely lose. Who is paying these lawyers?’ (see Devin Nunes and Steven Biss)

There is a large, diverse, effort to get these people out on bail.

So they can ‘disappear’.

I really believe that I am on same page as some in FBI.

It’s just that there is no solid evidence that would work in court.

Hence, the $100K reward.

FBI is trying to get someone to talk.

MarkH February 27, 2021 6:02 PM


I think I follow the logic (at least in part) of the argument you offered, but not the conclusions.

The gadgets could reasonably be expected to (and probably did) increase the level of security precautions away from the Capitol … which suits my purposes, if the Capitol is my target.

Having black powder or some such inside gives enough credibility to mandate a serious short-term response. Whether any detonation mechanism was viable, iffy, or completely useless is an analytic determination to be made at a later date, and most unlikely to affect law enforcement response to any discovery.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2021 1:16 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, MarkH,

Watkins, young and naive, got pulled into the conspiracy cult. She was the ‘useful fool’.

The question I always ask about bodies when they turn up is,

“Jumped, fell, or pushed?”

The story of “young and naive” does not jib to well with “master minded and ran an organisation” and is quit a way off the mark to “got pulled into”.

Though “useful fool” is akin to “patsy”.

@ MarkH,

The gadgets could reasonably be expected to (and probably did) increase the level of security precautions away from the Capitol … which suits my purposes, if the Capitol is my target.

Err no you are using 20/20 hindsight on what is a very unlikely happening.

Look at it from the point of the Secret Service, their job is to protect POTUS. Finding two pipe bombs outside of political offices would be a prime exanple of a “credible threat” and an “open air rally” would not be a place where they could protect POTUS so logically they would be expected to stop it.

But also a credible threat against politicians you would also expect security to be increased not decreased.

Having black powder or some such inside gives enough credibility to mandate a serious short-term response.

In theory all purchases of “black powder” are tracable, I know the reality is different, but even so where is a 22year old with little or no experience going to get a pound or two of black powder from?

Most likely it would have been given to her if she was the bomb maker, which to be honest I have my doubts about. There is a lot more to making a pipe bomb than reading the “anarchists cookbook” you need a degree of machine shop skills and other techniques that would not be in a book from the early 1970’s

With modern terrorism bomb makers are considered very valuable assets so do not have contact with their creations once finished. The placing and arming and detonation of the bomb is done by others.

Now on the assumption the bombs were fakes, which does appear likely you have to ask a question about how realistic you would make the fake?

If you were the FBI or other agency then you would make it as real as possible, as thst makes getting a conviction easier.

If however you were just a small group of “weekend wannabe warriors” making fakes for a distraction, then the chances are they would not want to risk blowing themselves up or being traced. Thus I doubt they had any explodives of any form what so ever in it or even a fake detonator. Just a pipe filled with –maybe black spray painted– sand for weight, and a hole drilled in the end cap with a couple or three wires pushed through with an overhand knot to stop them being pulled out and maybe a bit of glue, maybe both ends if you want to discorage the bomb techs. Likewise lots of cheap Home Depot hook up / bell wire and the timers from the home baking section of a large store like Wal-Mart. Then wash it down with IPA then domestic bleach and when dry put it in a large zip lock freezer bag so you can transport it around. When deploying squirt some disolved “pink curing salt” for any CAM devices and your placer is good to go…

SpaceLifeForm February 28, 2021 6:00 PM

@ Clive, MarkH

“With modern terrorism bomb makers are considered very valuable assets so do not have contact with their creations once finished. The placing and arming and detonation of the bomb is done by others.”

Not always.

hx tps://

hx tps://

Clive Robinson March 1, 2021 4:52 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Not always.

Exceptions that prove a rule.

The islamic woman “suicide bomber” blown up and two islamic men “handlers” who survived. I suspect she was not the “bomb maker” but one or both the men were. Disposable DNA has to be “crazy committed” not “technically knowledgable” the two generally do not go together.

As for “demo blows up in class” accidents do happen during teaching and training… A friend tells a funny story about “acids and bases” in a university lab, luckly nobody got hurt because people stayed “frosty” but it apparently made one heck of a mess.

I’ve witnesed “neglegent discharges” on gun ranges, and on spectacular one where what should have been semi-auto went “full with an arc of shot that went up into the blue”.

I’ve had one or two accidents in my time when showing others how –to not– do things like make adjustments on live systems. Blue DC sparks, purple RF arcs and the smell of ionised metal from the tips of tools do happen with “live work” any way, you generaly try to minimise the odds, but that gets hard with a half dozen or more heads all trying to “look n learn”. It helps to whistle the old Platter’s song “Smoke gets in your eyes”[1]…

I guess the real exception is technically trained people who go “Lone Wolf” they generally have more than just technical skills they can think logically in a very detached way not emotionaly and leave as little as possible to chance. They are difficult to stop, and know where real damage can be done with minimal effort, thankfully they are very rare.

[1] It’s amazing how easily the words of the song can be changed “flown away” be comes “blown away” is easy as are many others. I and a couple of others did so and sang it as a Xmas party Karaoke back last century, we dressed in tattered and singed “working dress” coveralls it got laughs and aplause which was what it was ment to do. Mind you there is no way I can hit those high notes any longer I’m well out of practice, I guess “raw hide” is about the best I could do these days with a bit of a run up at it.

Goat March 5, 2021 3:36 AM

@Clive, Lawrence Thankyou, It seems like the goverment in India is acting like an authoratirian and checks and balances are necessary.(as a poet who criticises those in power I am worried)..{have been busy so didnt see the reply :-)}

Clive Robinson March 5, 2021 9:20 AM

@ Goat,

as a poet who criticises those in power I am worried

Stay safe,


“He who lives to run away,
Lives to stab with pen another day.”

Whilst pen in hand seems small, Compared to the sword so grand, It’s reach however can be,
Ten thousand miles or more.

Goat March 6, 2021 4:07 AM

@Clive, Thankyou it seems the judiciary and others are doing their best to protect freedoms and protect the people of the nation. Even our teachers say things and ask the recorder to stop as criticism against the government seems scary to them. Hope this sedition power is diluted.

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