Godel February 12, 2021 3:05 PM

Despite Scanning Millions of Faces, Feds Caught Zero Imposters at Airports Last Year. U.S. Customs and Border Protection scanned more than 23 million people in public places with facial recognition technology in 2020.

“CBP did not adequately safeguard sensitive data on an unencrypted device used during its facial recognition technology pilot,” a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general said.

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yet another Bruce February 12, 2021 4:38 PM

Has anybody read “THIS IS HOW THEY TELL ME THE WORLD ENDS”, by Nicole Perlroth. Is it any good?

boubou February 12, 2021 4:40 PM

French Gendarmerie shut down OVH provider to install malware in itAbout criminal “secure messaging app” Encrochat

This is a very good article from a specialized about Dutch/worldwide criminal news.

“In order to be able to read all the chats of all users of the EncroChat communication system for a few months, the French Gendarmerie shut down one of the largest hosting providers in Europe for almost an hour last year to install malware in it……..

Dutch language (just translate with chrome or google)

xcv February 12, 2021 6:52 PM

Investigators in Fort Worth still picking up pieces of 135-car pileup that killed six people
Drivers as far south and west as Houston and north and east as New York could face icy roads during Monday morning’s commute.

That’s no accident. There’s an MS-13 “vice” agenda of applying chemical salts to icy roads and greasing them with certain petroleum compounds.

It’s all part of “the usual” theme of arranged accidents and premeditated heart attacks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

AL February 12, 2021 8:49 PM

Bloomberg has penned another story about Supermicro spy chips that claims that there were chips on Supermicro equipment that “phoned” home to China.

“China’s exploitation of products made by Supermicro, as the US company is known, has been under federal scrutiny for much of the past decade, according to 14 former law enforcement and intelligence officials familiar with the matter,”

My link is to the Register’s story. There is a link in that story to the Bloomberg story.

Bloomberg has expanded its claim that chips containing malicious spyware were added to Supermicro server motherboards, to also include word of malicious alterations to BIOS-level software to load and run surveillance code hidden in firmware, and to attacks on other vendors.

lurker February 12, 2021 9:11 PM

@Nick Levinson: re Ranked-Choice Voting
The article reads like the litigious US law profession over-thinking the problem. I mean, if the Australians can do it, surely anyone can?

AL February 12, 2021 10:10 PM

Ranked voting, otherwise called “instant runoff” is a way to resolve an election with one turnout of voters. If, for any reason, it is not workable, there is still the option that a winner would need 50%+1 of the vote, with a separate runoff election in the event that no one candidate gets 50% of the vote.

Right now, in the U.S., there is a choice between bad or worse. And that is because candidates can get elected with a plurality instead of a majority vote.

Maine serves as an example. Candidate Le Page won with say 40% of the vote where two other candidates got 30% of the vote. But either of the non-Le Page voters would have still voted against Le Page. Maine has institute instant runoff/ranked voting.

Runoffs, no matter what flavor, would energize 3rd parties. Current system is bad versus worse.

The U.S. sometimes characterizes itself as the “oldest” democracy. In other words, it is a Model T. It seems the newer democracies have reforms in them, that cure the deficiencies of a Model T democracy and that reform is the requirement that the winner have a 50%+1 of the popular vote, along with a runoff provision in case in the first round, no candidate has 50% + 1.

never forget Terry February 12, 2021 10:30 PM

@ Terry A. Davis – The Movie!:

“TPTB want you to forget about TempleOS and the idea of “do it yourself” software, unless of course it’s software THEY control! And the idea of “no networking” is peace of mind in the times of Internet of Things and everything connecting to the beast, I mean internet. Men in high and low places harassed this man and may have intentionally led to his death, in my opinion.”

Terry was one man who built his own OS and compiler by himself. Microsoft has trouble pushing updates, even, and look how many hands and money they have to work with. Inexcusable.

JonKnowsNothing February 12, 2021 11:07 PM

@AL @All

re: Ranked Voting

A MMORPG game that I play, has a player voting system and uses Ranked Voting.

It takes most folks by surprise and there are often long chats about how it works and why. In the USA we are only familiar with Pick 1 or Pick N, so it’s a bit of a jar at first. After a go or two, it becomes the player preference for voting, at least until the next new player comes and we have to ‘splain it all again.

There is a caution for Ranked Voting and that’s in how it’s set up and tabulated.

In a game interface it has to be setup correctly, and the process of marking preferences clearly indicated and the tabulation gets as much scrutiny as any RL voting system.

A ranked system can suffer the same fate as any other voting system if the setup and implementation is faulty.

SpaceLifeForm February 12, 2021 11:15 PM

@ boubou

That is how I surmised that the sting went down. I never bought the story that there was malware put on the phones (the alleged implant). There was no reason to go that route (pun not intended) when you can just control the server via court order.

SpaceLifeForm February 12, 2021 11:30 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, MarkH

Will know more later regarding variants. At least the vaccine kept their cases mild or asymptomatic.

But, it does show that even if vaccinated, one can still be a carrier.

So, keep doing the things you can do to prevent spread and prevent becoming infected. Don’t let your guard down because someone tells you they have been vaccinated already.

hx tps://

MrC February 13, 2021 12:55 AM

@ Patriot:

Smells like snake oil. Most of the coverage is a meaningless pile of buzzwords, but I did find an account with a few details:
If they are to be believed, it sounds like they were able to crack a MD5 hash with their quantum computer. Which is not exactly amazing. From there they jump without explanation to the claim that this result somehow imperils AES. From there they jump to selling you their patent-pending “solution.”

Clive Robinson February 13, 2021 2:47 AM

@ AL,

My link is to the Register’s story. There is a link in that story to the Bloomberg story.

I guess you are aware of the Bloomberg journalistic reasoning,

1, Be the first.
2, Be sensational.
3, Dish it out over and over.
4, Double down over inconvenient facts.
5, Maybe check if you have time that there are actually facts in what you write.

The trouble of course is that they only get paid on the first three in descending profitability so the fourth is an emergancy position and the fifth, well lets just say somebody once back in the mists of time thought it might be a good idea…

xcv February 13, 2021 3:34 AM

Godel • February 12, 2021 3:05 PM

Despite Scanning Millions of Faces, Feds Caught Zero Imposters at Airports Last Year. U.S. Customs and Border Protection scanned more than 23 million people in public places with facial recognition technology in 2020.

They make deepfake videos of suspects and targeted individuals, and post them on parler, pornhub or other social media. They’re cops.

It was that same ruthless gang of murderous law enforcement officers who had been following me, stalking me, roughing me up, shaking me down, hustling me and pickpocketing me day and night for papers, money, and valuables.

They played a dirty trick on me in yet another of their attempts to murder me. They graded, polished, salted, and greased the ice on the road in front of me on a long steep downgrade, and arranged an “accident” whereby my pickup flipped over, flew in the air, and landed on its roof in the ditch, almost killing me. I landed on my head and nearly died in the impact.

Then another of those murderous thugs spat on me, kicked my vehicle, disrespected me, and harassed me with more ticketing, traffic citations and paperwork for the heinous crime of driving with an out-of-state license, which they had made impossible to transfer into the state because of their incessant demands and harassment for paperwork.

The hired enforcers in blue with the guns and badges want me dead, so great is their hate, and so strong is murderous desire to kill me, that I see it in their eyes.

Every time I see one of them, they are calling on their radios, desperate for a warrant or any other cause to lock me up or put me behind bars for any reason, but there’s no cause, nothing that will stand up in court for them to put me away.

It reminds me of how the guards drugged me, tortured me, and beat me, nearly to death years ago in the Clark County Jail and Western State Hospital in Washington State, where I served a felony sentence for insulting a street hooker. They’re cops. They will not “help” me in this life, unless they feel there is something they can punish me for, something they can force me to do against my will, or something of mine they can deny me.

Western State Hospital has a new torture chamber for “violent” patients like me. I was a registered gun owners before they went to court to revoke my rights and make an instant felon out of me.

xcv February 13, 2021 3:51 AM

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provides a helpful literalization of the former point: an entire law-enforcement entity whose members regularly join criminal gangs, earn clout by harassing, assaulting, and killing county residents, and retaliate against their colleagues who dare to oppose them.

Sworn testimony made in June by a whistleblower, Deputy Art Gonzalez, details a pattern of such behavior inside the Compton sheriff’s station, which exists as part of the Southern California city’s partnership with the county sheriff to provide local law enforcement. Gonzalez claimed that Deputy Miguel Vega, who shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado during a June incident that sparked protests, was a prospective member of the Executioners, a dozen or so deputies who allegedly operate as a gang — setting illegal arrest quotas, threatening work slowdowns if they don’t get their desired shift assignments, assaulting their fellow deputies, and holding parties to celebrate when their members shoot or kill someone in the line of duty, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mañana, they call it. The law of silver or led. La ley de plata o plomo. Here’s another news article.

{Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department} has been ‘permeated’ by a violent deputy gang with matching tattoos called the ‘executioners’

They have been after me. It’s the same gang, all up the West Coast, not just California, but Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Yukon Territory, and Alaska. Certainly as far south as Sinaloa.

Sinaloa Cartel

“Cártel de Sinaloa, … also known as the CDS, the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is a large international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the late 1980s.”

Petre Peter February 13, 2021 6:34 AM

“There is a great difference between not wishing to do evil and not knowing how.”[Seneca]

Nick Levinson February 13, 2021 8:17 AM

@Lurker, @AL, & @JonKnowsNothing: On ranked-choice voting:

Thank you for reading it.

I don’t know the Australian system, and I don’t know what their courts’ role could be.

I’d be happy for any nation to learn from any other nation. The U.S. doesn’t like to (maybe most nations don’t), but it is a good idea.

I agree that some version of RCV is a good idea. I want to increase choice and turnout and RCV could. But badly-managed RCV could lower turnout over years and lead back to the traditional system.

Generally, where stakes are high, a failure to think ahead and plan accordingly is the fault of the one who failed. Where stakes are low, bliss may be fun. In governmental elections, stakes are often high enough to inspire lawsuits by the initial losers.

Does “the tabulation [in a game] get[] as much scrutiny as any RL [real-life] voting system”? If game software is proprietary, can a player subpoena the source code and depose the programmers? I don’t know, but I guess few players sue and that’s probably a prerequisite. Do clerks get hired in games to manually count votes and are they likely clerks who are affiliated with a party favoring one player against another because those are most of the workers who find out about the job openings? I’m not expert in games but I doubt it. Is there judge-found case law in effect on game voting systems? Probably a little and probably some general principles (e.g., no fraud for money), but otherwise I doubt it.

JonKnowsNothing February 13, 2021 9:52 AM

@Nick Levinson, @Lurker, @AL

re:Ranked Voting implemented in game

To explain and answer some of your queries:

This particular game has been around for a long time. It pre-dates many other games (2003) and is a non-combat simulation game. The game has a small player base and the creator of the game handed out his DID number for players to contact him. There were also meets and greets at the office and players regularly interacted with him. The game is now produced by another company which also continues to have direct contact with the player base. There are ticket support systems too but there are direct conversations between the Devs and the Players.

So, the players know a great deal about the mechanics of how things are implemented. Historically, before any major alteration in game play mechanics is implemented, there are Player Chats to explain the underlying implementations and of course, there are always things that burp and need fixes.

The source code of the game is proprietary and you probably cannot get access unless you license it. For a small subscription fee you can play the game long enough to experience a voting and resulting reports.

The Ranked Voting results are computer tabulated. There are audit logs too. All MMORPG games have extensive audit logs in case they have the unfortunate need to do a Roll-Back. No game has perfect audit trails but the case of Ranked Voting System it is pretty solid.

The game is a vast set of simulations, social systems and setups. There are groups, divisions and self-groupings. As a simulation the players bring their Real Life views with them and part of the game dynamics is how to reconcile diverse opinions and view points. It’s a dynamic that shifts regularly and the game is designed to “test” your views. The Devs and Players, of course, have differing expectations about what content they want or is feasible. There are pseudo-political systems in place and open elections generally on a monthly basis. Allegiances shift. There is no combat, but there is challenge and plenty of competition within the game.

There are some players that volunteer and are selected to be part of the background support system. The Game Masters have varying degrees of power and ability to reconcile technical problems. They are required to be Neutral to All Players and if they are not, they get booted and banned from the game. It’s part of the game too: Can you keep your power to yourself and use it only for the betterment of Others and Not Yourself.

There is a legal system within the game. Players propose new “laws”. Players vote on the laws after debates and the laws are enacted. There is a judicial system for complaints about other players that is run by the player base. How the players run the judicial system is part of the simulation.

note: Laws are not game upgrades or features which can be implemented in code.

Restitution or Damages are also part of the Judicial System and Game Master interactions. There are few overarching rules at the start and nothing can be created by Wand Waving. It’s totally up to the players to decide what to do about Griefing and Griefers, much like some of the exchanges here on the blog.

While most of your questions concerned the Judicial System, the game has a great number of other simulations and the greater part are based on science and maths. Of course it’s a game and things are made “easy” but game play is complex and it is not easy to get to the end point of the game. At the Start of Tale the only thing you have is your toon, your choice of clothing and sandals. The rest of civilization is up to you to create. No one can create a civilization alone. You might make great advances solo but you need cooperation to advance things faster. How players address this changes in every Telling.

It’s not a game that is simple even though it appears simple on the surface. It’s not a combat game where you bop the other guy on the head, but there is plenty of combat within the game. There is a lot to learn in every simulation, so much so that no one can really master 100% of the game in every Telling. There’s no magic and there’s no currency and there are no rules or laws and no one owns the land. You make what you want and how you want it and you use it as you desire. Each telling has special challenges.

One telling, a great plague descended across the regions (1). It was imported by sea farers. At first it was a small cough, then a big one and then incapacitating coughs. The players had to discover what it was, how it spread, how to tell if others were infected, how to treat it, and find a cure IF one existed.

Sound familiar?

I am surviving now because I played this aspect of the simulation. I know what it takes to stay healthy and I know what it will takes to Find Test and Track carriers and what it takes to have Temporary Immunity and what it takes to get full Immunity and Eradication.

For those interested, a new Telling 10 is soon to be released.

1, Many games run Plague or Zombie events. Most of these events are rather superficial in design and are primarily a format for PVP interactions. There is no science or development as part of the event, just Puking on the Other Guy.

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A griefer or bad faith player is a player in a multiplayer video game who deliberately irritates and harasses other players within the game (trolling), using aspects of the game in unintended ways.[1] A griefer derives pleasure primarily or exclusively from the act of annoying other users, and as such is a particular nuisance in online gaming communities. To qualify as griefing, a player must be using aspects of the game in unintended ways to annoy other players—if they are trying to gain a strategic advantage, it is instead called “cheating”.

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Nick Levinson February 13, 2021 12:01 PM

@JonKnowsNothing (also @Lurker & @AL): Ranked-choice voting:

That’s quite a description and I’ll take your word for it. I didn’t anticipate a game having its own adjudicatory system, and that’s a valid analogy, since real-life boards of elections can have internal adjudicatory systems and at least one does.

But my concern was with external adjudicatory systems, mainly the judicial branch of a government, made of courts run by judges who know election law but probably don’t specialize in it, although parties’ lawyers may, and judges are even less likely to understand the intricacies of programming. In the U.S., courts can order the production of source code, listen to the testimony of original programmers and experts, and then try to grapple with the source code and the procedures of RCV if they are less than clear.

A given game may work well. However, a simulation of real-life RCV, to be realistic, likely should be a rehearsal using a real RCV system, such as by holding a fake election using real RCV machines and staffing, and to cast certain role-players with the job of bending the system to their will either lawfully or, if unlawfully, in ways unlikely to lead to punishment. (In one real-life election, without RCV, poll-watchers, who were allowed to stay and copy vote tallies after doors close, were instead ordered to leave because an election staffer said the police announced a terrorism alert and the poll watchers would have to leave before getting the tallies, but the police had made no such announcement, and that was not known to the poll watchers until it was too late to do anything about it.) But you can’t realistically ask people who have legal responsibilities for running real RCV elections to violate the law, or you’d have to pre-arrange immunity from prosecution for the role-players who should test the law’s boundaries, but that makes that unrealistic, too, likely changing the behavior of both those role-players and others who interact with them. This makes the simulation much less useful than needed.

Therefore, we’ll have to depend on natural experiments, real-life events we can’t have asked anyone to do but which happened and were evidenced. We’ll have to depend on a few years of experience, on accusations and suspicions about specific methods having been used, and on rumors about what some people did. Rumors are tricky blobs on which to rely but violations of modern election systems likely greatly outnumber convictions and if we hear several similar rumors from multiple sources those rumors may be more credible, even if they’re not good enough as evidence for conviction.

We have relevant experience of recent non-RCV elections and of some RCV elections, both from real life. That experience, what I know of it, tells me that better planning is needed and that it must be reflected in real-life RCV design. I don’t think it has been. I haven’t seen much online discussion showing it has been, by the institutions responsible for it or close enough to such institutions. Their omission is the concern.

JonKnowsNothing February 13, 2021 12:38 PM

@Nick Levinson @Lurker @All

re:Simulations vs Real Life Ranked-choice voting

Simulations are just that: Simulations. They have strengths and weaknesses along with a host of “assumptions”.

  • One basic assumption is that “True and Correct Results” are the desired outcome.

This is clearly not the case in RL voting.

  • Another assumption is that “ALL registered or subscribed players MAY vote”.

This is also not the case in RL voting systems.

  • Another is that “Ballot proposals are not rigged or biased outside their stated definitions”.

This is not true in RL ballot listings.

  • An Implicit Assumption that “Ballots have no design or inherent bias in presentation, usage, or application”

This is definitely not true in RL ballot layouts and voting procedures.

What simulations can do, is teach you how it can be used, what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have to guess.

You also have to WANT to have a VALID UNIVERSAL SYSTEM.

There is no country or government on the planet that wants such a system.

Nick Levinson February 13, 2021 1:27 PM

@JonKnowsNothing (also @Lurker & @AL):

High-quality simulations try to avoid assumptions such as those you enumerate. They try to be realistic in as many ways as possible. You do still have to apply some guesswork, just not as much. That effort at greater realism makes them more difficult and costly to create and run. But I think we’ll have to rely more on natural experiments, viz., the history of real elections in relevant jurisdictions.

The quotations are not from me. Addressing them and your points:

— In real-life elections where democracy or republicanism has been a popularly embraced tradition, true outcomes are desired by most people, although significant portions of the electorate quietly and effectively object and try to bend the system to produce what they believe is right. A fair election system strengthens the hands of those who do want true outcomes.

— There are barriers to voting and simulations and historical analyses should reflect them.

— Ballot proposals are more or less as nonneutral as are candidates.

— Ballots and procedures are indeed designed with biases. Neutrality in ballot design and other procedures is often achieved or buttressed by balancing the biases. We needn’t decide whether neutrality is possible without balancing biases if we can come up with a system that both major sides and most participants agree gives all candidates a reasonable chance at winning (as long as they do the off-ballot steps necessary, such as defining issues their potential voters want supported, saying what they’ll do about those issues, building and rejecting potential alliances when voters look at teamwork, comply with legal requirements and challenging those that are unreasonable, raising money both to pay for this and to show early support, and so on).

Whether people want a valid universal system varies by person and nation, and a mathematically pure system is unattainable. People do want a system in which they have confidence in the outcomes.

To not bother trying to design a fair system when some kind of system will exist means an unfair system is more likely to remain. Trying to design fairness into the system is a lot of work. It’s worth it.

vas pup February 13, 2021 2:10 PM

Teaching computers to mind-read

“What if we could control machines with our thoughts? It might sound like science fiction, but researchers are starting to teach computers to read our minds. Isolating individual thoughts isn’t easy, as they involve an entire network of neurons.”

Very good seven minutes video addressing security/privacy concerns as well (starting minute 6).

JonKnowsNothing February 13, 2021 2:14 PM

@Nick Levinson @Lurker @All

re: Ranked voting and election systems designing fairness into the system

I will roll out a bit to the edge case: There is no such system.

Fairness regardless of who you are quoting is a biased on a point of view. The word “fair” implies a “judgement” comparing 2 or more possible outcomes.

There is nothing “fair” in 2+2 = 4. It just is; although there are many that still challenge it.

There is nothing “fair” in any voting system historically or existing. There are purposeful “judgements”: Who, Where, What, Why, Qualifiers, Eliminators, Procedural Barriers and Financial Barriers.

Removing one bias for another is not an “improvement” it only shifts the bias to another aspect.

In the context of the recent USA elections, one can see all the biased views in play. Removing one or mitigating an aspect, does not change the system because the current faults are “baked in” and “hardened to a core belief”.

Even in a MMORPG Game bias still happens.

  • Each paying account gets 1 toon.
  • Each active subscription toon gets 1 vote.

So far so good… but … Ready???

  • Some people have more than 1 account.
  • Some people buy 10-15-20 accounts
  • Some players have 10-15-20 voting toons.
  • Some players have access to friend’s accounts and toons.
  • 1 player can control all those votes.

Do players who control or have access to other accounts use all the potential votes to sway an election?

  Ubetcha they do.

Ismar February 13, 2021 2:17 PM

“Australia definitely needs to nationalise the important resource of search,” Gigablast’s Matt Wells said.

“It’s not just a matter of privacy and control, but one of national security.“

The cost of building a search engine to rival Google may number in the billions of dollars — but that’s not the only challenge to competing with the tech giant. Read the full story

vas pup February 13, 2021 3:01 PM

@ALL on election count and processing.

Dear Bloggers,

That is my own thoughts how improve future procedure of election of POTUS and Vice-POTUS of US.


POTUS and Vice-POTUS are only two elected officials which represent the WHOLE country, not particular State as Federal Senator and Federal Congressman are on the federal level.
It means that each State in accordance with principle of Federalism and Constitution do have a right to set up the procedure of voting and image of ballots, ballots count and assigning accordingly winner of the particular Senator and Congressman who will represent State on Federal Level.

Moreover, principle of allocation of representative for electoral college for POTUS and Vice-POTUS in this particular State is also right of the State because that is State prerogative (e.g. winner take it all or proportional or proportional)based on the vote count in Federal Election of POTUS and VICE-POTUS,

BUT, POTUS and Vice-POTUS represent not particular State but the country as the whole, meaning for those two I suggest the following:


  1. Separate ballot with uniform image in all States.
  2. Voting machines for those only are the SAME and uniformly certified through the whole country by Federal Authorities security reasons.
  3. Count of those votes/ballot’s processing and results certification is conducted in each and every State by Commission comprised of Federal and State members (e.g. for State part: Secretary of State, members appointed by the Governor or/and Legislature/State Judges and for Federal: Chief of the Regional Census Bureau, Federal Judges.)Commission will have two Chairmen and cosigners of results.

I just recall too many years ago I was working with supervisor who ALWAYS rejects most of my suggestions without explanation of the reason. Then, I asked Manager to ask Supervisor: if he rejects anything, he MUST provide better solution. Otherwise he is just a jerk.

Hopefully, some smarty pants lawyer will do graduation work out of my suggestions (or by logically criticize them). That is fine with me. Until better solution is proposed.

Happy Valentine’s Day! With love, VP

Nick Levinson February 13, 2021 4:01 PM

@JonKnowsNothing (also @Lurker & @AL):

What’s a better alternative?

@vas pup:

The effect would be two systems side-by-side, one for POTUS/Vice POTUS and the other for other elections, or, more likely, that the POTUS/Vice POTUS system would guide the other system. Then, innovation would be impossible until there’s a national consensus for it. Thus, no RCV. I want RCV, I just want a better thought-out RCV.


The article doesn’t say what editorial decisions would be made in the name of national security. You could do pretty well by indexing the more popular sites, say, the top 50%. I guess that would satisfy 90-95% of searches. Google’s non-U.S. servers offer only a subset of Google’s index (although maybe it’ll retrieve from the U.S. for more results). The problem is with maintaining algorithmic sophistication capable of handling the cat-and-mouse game with websites wanting top ranks without improving their content or trustworthiness and, for a complex algorithm and a need for fast SERPs, banks of fast servers, which are largely the newest computers, installed worldwide for low latency, and all that is costly.

I have a website with which Bing does a dubious job (I searched for an article and it indexed the portal but not the article pointed to by the portal). I suspect that represents its results across the Web and so I use Google.

Cuil had an index maybe 8 times larger than Google’s. Its algorithm was lousy. It’s out of business.

My sites, despite having low traffic, get indexed by at least two advertising companies (I sampled my logs and I don’t block any bots from most of my pages). I doubt indexing is expensive. Figures in the article suggest six pages per penny.

My guess is that national-government competitors intend to have less content, not more. After a while, that’ll only work where and proxy websites are blocked by a national firewall.

I like Google. Disagree? Make a better search engine. Expensive? That’s because users have high expectations. That’s because Google satisfied higher expectations. Microsoft has plenty of money but thinks most of is better spent elsewhere. Don’t make a lower-quality product and complain that you can’t compete. Don’t lock the door and complain that no one’s dropping in (i.e., don’t shut the Internet at the border and complain that your domestic Web is no longer good enough).

There may be some antitrust issues, but they’re around the edges of my searches, not fundamental. Turning a search engine into a publicly-regulated utility is going to lower search quality, because they’d essentially have to make their algorithm public and await government nondisapproval for each change. To see what could result, search and They have small market shares for a reason.

JonKnowsNothing February 13, 2021 7:06 PM

@vas pup

re: a procedure for election of POTUS and Vice-POTUS of US in separate special election

First, you have to change the Constitution….

POTUS and VPOTUS are not elected to represent the entire country. Clearly our new President represents just barely over half.

POTUS and VPOTUS do not have to be elected from the “same ticket” and historically had their own tickets and could be elected independently of each other. Current political parties changed this to present a “double ticket” to “double down” on ruling party control.

Elections are enacted by the states, again the Constitution is clear about the separation.

After that, you have to face down SCOTUS and not a one of them will be keen.

This is not an easy problem to solve. Lots of people over the years have envisioned changes, alterations and improvements. For every solution and new issue pops up. It maybe unsolvable.

It’s a Trust issue like all supply chain problems.

  Can you trust the source, the process, the transit, the accounting, the results?

Consider the status of other countries where “voting” may happen, rigged, faked, forged, legitimate, valid, truthful, representative, honest. In each some aspect has been addressed and the blow back exposed. Few countries are able to contain the amoeba pushing against the boundaries.

If a country is able to contain the counter push, Regime Change is the Other Option and triggered often. Jan 6, 2021 was just such an attempt.

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lurker February 13, 2021 10:03 PM


Another assumption is that “ALL registered or subscribed players MAY vote”.

In Australia All Registered voters MUST vote. They don’t round up all non-voters, but each election there are certainly a few prosecutions, pour encourager les autres.

Cassandra February 14, 2021 1:24 PM


The description of Encrochat I am most familiar with describes its operation as being ‘end-to-end’ encrypted.

If that were true, compromising the server should not give you the text of messages being stored-and-forwarded. Hence the need to compromise the security end-points (the phones).

Assuming the report is true and OVH was shut down to allow a compromised server to be installed in place of the real one then that leads to several possible inferences:

1) Encrochat was not actually end-to-end encrypted, or was using weak/compromised keys.
2) A compromised server was required to install the compromised software on the phones.
3) The compromised server was somehow able to get the keys used to encrypt the messages in a way not possible with the non-compromised server. (In other words, the phones were leaking keys).

Without knowing anything about the details of Encrochat, I would lean towards (2). If Encrochat were basically a standard Android ‘app’ on a reasonably standard phone, then there are mechanisms for updating apps that can be compromised to get the phones to download and install a new version. The rest follows.


Clive Robinson February 14, 2021 5:04 PM

@ Cassandra, SpaceLifeForm,

The description of Encrochat I am most familiar with describes its operation as being ‘end-to-end’ encrypted.

Unless of course it was “advertising” by those behind Encrchat…

As I understand it, not that much is known about them, and as the old saying has it they are “unavailable for comment”.

What is clear however is not everything is as the alleged “Lawful Authorities” are making it out to be… And that is problematic in the UK at least, brcause in the past we have had various government agencies set up schemes that eventually turned out to be in effect “entrapment” and that’s a bit of a “no no”… The result was mulriple cases colapsed millions in investigative cosys lost, people walking free and having thongs returned to them as well as in some cases the defendants starting proceadings against the various government agencies…

I suspect there is a good deal being hidden away, rather too much in fact. There are three basic ways the truth comes out in these cases,

1, Proper investigation.
2, Whistleblower
3, Too many people involved to keep the story straight.

I think that we’ve already crosed the threshold for people to stay in sync(3) and might in fact give things away by agreeing too much[1] with each other. So I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before either someone blows the gaff (2) or like a loose thread on a jumper somebody outside starts pulling ay loose threads untill everything becomes unraveled(1).

Now the real question is what will happen after the “dirty washing, gets hung out in public”… Almost certainly “the waggons will circle” as the authorities attempt to protect themselves on the excuse they are protecting “methods and sources”. In the main the “methods and sources” line is crap, basic justice requires “beyond reasonable doubt” thus if people have reason to think something is hidden for whatever reason doubt enters the equation, and when that starts it’s like a cancer, it quickly spreads and people get doubts about everything…

It’s why in the past there has been a very solid wall between Intelligence Officers activities and Police Officers activities, and judges would not entertain the former in their courts…

In the UK that started to change after the Matrix Churchill case as politicians had been embarrassed and worse some very senior ones had been caught trying to cover it up…

So rather than do the sensible thing, the politicians did what they almost always do when embarrassed, “the wrong thing”, which in this case was change the rules so covering things up became easier for them…

That said skeletons especially like to do a star turn in the lime light, thus they have a bad habit of not staying in the closet they’ve been put in to keep them out of sight… Leaving the question of just when the song and dance begins.

[1] The thing about interviewing people is not just to see where stories differ, but where they match to closely and don’t change with time. The thing is if stories match to closely, or worse get said exactly the same way each time, the chances are good the stories have been learned so the interviewee is in effect “reading from a script”. It two or more interviewees say almost the same thing, then you’ve probably enough circumstantial evidence that they are coluding or conspiring together. The other thing is if you interview people over time, if it’s a real experience rather than a scripted one, then the story drifts or evolves over time and becomes less and less factual as their brain “fills in” for various reasons (hence people get debriefed or interviewed as soon after an event as possible).

Cassandra February 14, 2021 6:52 PM

@Clive Robinson

I would suspect that whoever was responsible for the EncroChat server(s) was not following code-signing best practices. Of course, whoever it was (is) might have been ‘influenced’ to not do so.

I’ve composed a fair amount of text following a chain of supposition on this topic, but on balance think it wise not to go down that rabbit-hole. There are some interesting technical questions I would love to discuss about this whole business, but I would not be comfortable going through it all in an open forum. It is a pity criminal investigations are not documented like air accidents. Reading AAIB reports is interesting, simply to follow the careful technical detective work. We could do with the same dispassionate public scrutiny of Information Security accidents, with the same aim of reducing their incidence.


Clive Robinson February 15, 2021 1:25 AM

@ Cassandra,

… but on balance think it wise not to go down that rabbit-hole.

Yes, you would be surprised what you can find hiding in rabit holes, when I was a lot younger, I used to go “rabbiting” with a relative[1], and I nearly got bitten by an adder, which used to be Englands only venomous[2] snake.

As I’ve aged, what I’ve found to be true in the woodlands and hedgerows, I’ve also found has it’s analogues in shall we call it “business life”, only there appears to be quite alot more snakes in holes than you might expect…

In general there are a greater number of preditors in the population going about doing their business behind charm, smiles and handshakes, than many would like to think. And they can be a nasty bunch at the best of times even though they might not actually do anything physically, they don’t take prisoners either.

The problem for those that are aware is of course spotting them before they spot you. Unfortunately many as they say “Don’t actually look before crossing” and find out the hard way.

It is a pity criminal investigations are not documented like air accidents.

In theory they are supposed to be and so become part of the evidence that becomes the court records… But as more and more technology based cases are showing the Police and other authorities are leaving a lot out and the judiciary are turning a blind eye towards it.

Whilst it’s showing up in technology based cases, I don’t think such behaviour is unique to such cases. Personally I suspect it goes on in all cases as “a matter of time honoured custom and practice” with the unique thing about tech cases being it enables the defence to not just realise it’s going on but actually demonstrate it…

[1] Learning the skills of poaching might be wise for anyone who is ever going to have to be on the run. Unlike conventional foraging with traps and snares that search patrols will find, poaching teaches you the tricks such “rabbiting” with nets or fishing with “otter boards”. Aside from catching the prey alive and unharmed (think building up live stock) they are quiet quick and efficient without leaving places that you are going to come back to which can be found and where you are going to subsequently get ambushed (not something they tell you in survival books).

[2] Fun fact, snakes are not poisonous so you can eat them. I won’t go into details but as an emergancy food source for somebody stuck behind enemy lines they have certain advantages.

xcv February 15, 2021 2:31 AM

@Clive Robinson

Yes, you would be surprised what you can find hiding in rabit holes, when I was a lot younger, I used to go “rabbiting” with a relative[1], and I nearly got bitten by an adder, which used to be Englands only venomous[2] snake.

Hmm. I was bitten a few years ago by a western rattlesnake in my sleep, and I was very sick the next day. I ate an orange, a grapefruit, and a banana, and drank several gallons of water, because I was terribly thirsty all day long, but then I was okay without any medical care.

Later on I was bitten by a diamondback rattler, felt a little bit sleepy the next day, but not ill. There is some immunity to be had to venomous snakes.

Clive Robinson February 15, 2021 5:00 AM

@ xcv,

I was bitten a few years ago by a western rattlesnake in my sleep, and I was very sick the next day.

It happens, but often it’s because humans blunder upon rattlers whilst carrying out out door activities or doing some entirely bizzar activities.

The likelyhood of dying in the US from snake bite last time I looked was down around 0.14% or less than 1 in 700, and would be lower if humans behaved more sensibly. This low death rate in the US is due in part to the venom mix in rattle snakes favours hemotoxins rather than neurotoxins. Thus your odds of dying are very much dependent on the health of your blood system as well as where and how deep you get bitten and if you move around or not after being bitten.

But as far as I’m aware whilst you can be allergic to the various components of snake venom[1] the old “what does not kill you makes you stronger” saying does not apply.

For some strange reason the use of rattle snakes in certain distinctly bizzar religious rites is practiced by some semi issolated Pentecostal / Evangelical christian sects in the rural US. The practice started some time in the early 20th Century, and it’s known as “Appalachian serpent handling” it is still way more common than it should be, which unfortunately does add to the annual US snake bite count. Thus in turn the overall death toll, one in particular that stands out occured in July 1955 to George Hensley. He was one of the main proponents of the practice and who some think –incorrectly– started it. He died following a snakebite received during a service he was conducting…

[1] Yes I know talking about having an allergy to what many consider are poisons appears odd. However most snake venoms are a veritable cocktail of biologically active compounds many of which are finding use in the medical industry especially to help chronic conditions. But for those doubters, the most poisonous substance to mankind at around 1.5 nanograms per kilo of body mass is the acetacoline inhibiting enterotoxin that results from the anerobic sporation of Clostridium botulinum. As a longterm neurotoxin it has found common use at “botox parties”…

JG4 February 15, 2021 7:09 AM

Got my book Saturday. Thanks! Sorry that I’ve been too busy to stop by lately.

It looks like the commenters (@Clive) continue to do a good job of pointing out that “If you don’t have endpoint security, you’ve got worse than nothing.” I saw some headlines in recent weeks indicating that Signal has long been compromised. It was unclear if the endpoints were the issue, but that is one obvious weak spot. No surprise to any regular visitors here.

“What if we could control minds with our machines?” -not vas pup

“That is called television.” – JG4

Matt Stoller@matthewstoller
Big tech lobbyists are upset that Apple and Facebook are fighting…
“Advisers to the two companies, including law firms and lobbyists, are growing concerned that they won’t be able to work for both tech giants, people who work for the firms said.”
Facebook Meets Apple in Clash of the Tech Titans—‘We Need to Inflict Pain’
CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook are at odds over privacy, power and dueling visions of the internet. Their rivalry is increasingly personal—and public.
7:17 PM · Feb 13, 2021

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

New York City’s Surveillance Battle Offers National Lessons Wired

Conspiracy Theories Are Caused By Government Secrecy Caitlin Johnstone

American Values@Americas_Crimes
On this day in 1991, the U.S. bombed the Amiriya civilian air raid shelter in Iraq, which was sheltering a thousand sleeping civilians, massacring 408 Iraqi civilians (261 women and 52 children).
6:31 PM · Feb 13, 2021

see also – “War Crimes for Fun and Profit,” speaking of experimental drug testing. I had missed until recently that the Chief of the Spooks narrowly escaped being the victim of a Japanese war crime. his crewman were eaten.

“Does the government prosecute war criminals? Not usually. It is much more effective to hire them.”

Japan’s rabbit island Okunoshima has a dark and deadly history

Okunoshima’s population of bunnies brings tourists to the island’s shores. While there, they can learn of its gruesome past

Russell Thomas Published: 9:15am, 14 Feb, 2021

“Yes,” says Tanaka, “the head of Unit 731, General Ishii, was invited to a military research facility in the United States, in Utah. He gave a series of talks to the scientists of the US forces.” Just a few years before his alleged visit, the Dugway Proving Ground, in Utah, was home to the so-called Japanese Village, where the US Air Force honed their later firebombing of various Japanese cities.

Richard Drayton, professor of history at King’s College London, instead locates Ishii’s visit as having been to Fort Detrick, Maryland: Dugway’s parent facility and the centre for the US biological weapons programme. And there are additional claims, including by Tanaka, that Ishii was given “a huge amount of money” in exchange for information.

Clive Robinson February 15, 2021 11:23 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

Just been chatting to someone and they indicated that The Guardian had an article that might be of interest (but they could not remember the title).

Apparently in the UK from high up in the Dept of health, an edict has come down with what are in effect “DNR Orders” for those with educational etc non norms (ie those that do not measure up mentally or genetically).

I thought this sort of nonsense had been removed from Western Europe when Hitler and his cronies had been exorcised from the rest of humanity…

If I find the link I’ll post it.

JonKnowsNothing February 15, 2021 11:40 AM


re: For some strange reason the use of rattle snakes in certain distinctly bizarre religious rites is practiced by some semi isolated Pentecostal / Evangelical christian sects in the rural US. The practice started some time in the early 20th Century, and it’s known as “Appalachian serpent handling”.

fwiw: It’s not that isolated and it’s not that uncommon and it’s not that rural. The folks that engage in Serpent Handling live and sometimes die by their belief in Divine Protection. (1)

Is it any wonder why the USA has so many NoMaskers? They all believe in Divine Protection.

The rest get bit because they moved into rattle snake habitat and didn’t pay attention. Lots of folks now live in snake country (2) and there are many types of rattlers. They don’t always rattle and if you are not watching where you are going you might tread on or near one.

It’s not uncommon to come across them while horse riding. Having one leap off the uphill side of a trail embankment at you while on a horse, is rather startling and guaranteed to have the horse speedily exit the area. Best practice is to grab some mane and go with the horse.

1,In other countries and religions different venomous snakes are used in religious practices. Cobras are common.

2, The USA has a number of venomous snakes besides rattlers, Water Moccasins aka Cottonmouth, Copperheads, Coral. Plus imported cobras and other snake species.

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Clive Robinson February 15, 2021 11:41 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

You may be aware of similar disability discrimination in health care in the US,

But some info on the UK,

At the end of the day, all disabilities are spectrums not step functions. As was said about autism by a world respected expert “We are all a little autistic” the same effectively applies to every other disability.

JonKnowsNothing February 15, 2021 11:53 AM

@Clive MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, All

re:DNR Do Not Resuscitate used for COVID TRIAGE

I think this might be the article you refer to.

It’s a DNR for people with various disabilities some of whom are automatically enrolled in the DNR list.

Yes the DNR system is alive and killing plenty of folks for the HIP economists(1).

The previous lot of DNRs are still active. These were filled out in the UK by the local MDs or even local hospitals without consultation with the person or family.

How much of this is happening in the USA, I don’t know. It is certainly happening but the deaths are hidden by our Patient Privacy laws and only a few cases hint at what might be happening. That our nursing and care homes and rehab centers are still having massive infections can only point towards either a predetermined end or a huge number of coincidental deaths.

1, HIP Herd Immunity Policy. An economic policy to kill many people possible and and thus save the economy.

ht tps://

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

JonKnowsNothing February 15, 2021 12:15 PM


re: DNR Do Not Resuscitate in USA

In the USA and California, the DNR system was intended to provide patients with an option to die without major massive intervention. It came about at the same time Hospice Programs were permitted to care for the last stages of terminal illness. It was intended to allow the person to die with some say so about how they wanted to die.

It is not a program like Dignitas. The primary difference is the duration of death. In Hospice programs, death takes as long as the person continues to breath. In programs like Dignitas, the person can chose when they want to stop breathing.

Prior to hospice systems the common expectation in the USA was a death in Hospital with full panoply of medical systems deployed to keep the body breathing, the heart pumping, blood circulating. It was a huge financial source of income for hospitals and considered Standard Care. It left families with hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt.

There are other factors that now come into play when determining death, like brain activity. A particular difficult area is Vegetative State where medically the person is No Longer There, but the body is breathing, the eyes are open, and a whole can of dilemmas shows up. The current method of death is by Medical Starvation: withholding food and nutrients. Takes about a week.

The HIP(1) economists have discovered that DNR is a useful tool to help purge the Dead Wood out of the Economy. HIP countries have been using DNR or Similar to either directly or indirectly TRIAGE (withhold care) from COVID cases.

DNR is now a weapon.

Trying to retract or withdraw a DNR is like getting an error in your information fixed at a credit reporting service. Once filed, you have no way of knowing if the order was retracted or not. Once dead, you cannot file a complaint.

1, HIP Herd Immunity Policy. An economic policy to kill many people possible and and thus save the economy.

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SpaceLifeForm February 15, 2021 3:51 PM

@ Cassandra, Clive

My research into Encrochat leads me to conclude that it was poor design, and that there was no true end-to-end encryption, at least in the sense that the users controlled their keys.

Apparently, the server generated temporary session keys for the users.

So, get control of the server, control and/or log the temp keys, and Bob’s your uncle.

The fact that Encrochat was so secretive about the design tells you it was snake oil and certainly had implementation mistakes.

Here, a 42 minute presser by Eurojust. They don’t reveal much. But they do reveal that the investigation started years prior (prob 2017), and that Encrochat was really taken over in March 2020. Encrochat was blind for months.

hxt ps://

Winter February 15, 2021 4:23 PM

My thoughts about the current state of affairs in the US:

Literally turned this country into a third world sh&ithole in every aspect imaginable.

Shortage of certain goods. Stores not stocking up for weeks or even months.

Shitty customer service, no more returns of goods in most stores, like of which you can expect to see in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Hour long hold times on the phone for every goddamn business or government agency.

Slow and even more inefficient government agencies such as DMV.

Hotels and restaurants limiting their amenities to take advantage of this bullshit hoax. No more free refills, no more free breakfast, no more everyday housekeeping at most hotels. Very limited hours pool access.

Hyperinflation. USD has fallen ~25% against ALL major foreign currencies.

US passport is as valuable as Zimbabwe passport. A US passport holder used to be able to travel to 143 countries visa-free. Now, almost nowhere.

Rights? Freedoms? Constitution? Bill of rights? Are you out of your mind? In third world shitholes like Amerikistan the government tells you what can do, and what you can’t do. They will tell you how many people you can’t invite to dinner at your house. They will tell you what to wear. They will tell you how to dress your children.

What about PrIvAtE bUsInEsSeS? They can do whatever they want, right? Fu&ck No. The government will give them billions of dollars under the disguise of bailout to tell you what you have to wear on the plane in case of airlines. To censor you in case of social media. Well, what about small businesses that haven’t been wiped out yet? Tough fucking luck, you still have to bake that gay wedding cake.

A true third world sh&ithole in every aspect imaginable…

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 15, 2021 4:32 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm
Suggests that one should avoid getting your arse caught in an Elephant trap…

vas pup February 15, 2021 5:20 PM

Re: language used
Subtle choice of synonyms may tip your hand as to which political party you support

“Previous studies have shown people can identify the gender and race of a speaker based on the words chosen, but could a person identify something like political membership? A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found people are more successful at identifying language associated with Republican speech than Democratic speech patterns. The results are available in the February issue of the journal PLOS.

In the study, the researchers used
====>machine learning to scan the Congressional Record (2012 to 2017) and the presidential debate corpora to isolate linguistic variation between the two political parties. They identified 8,345 words that were part of the Republican corpus and 7,873 with the Democratic corpus.

The results of the four studies showed that even controlling for the dictionary definition of the word, the participants are more likely to associate “Republican language” with Republicans.

Oppenheimer believes the results of the study may skew more Republican because the five-year period of the study coincided with Republican control of the White House and Congress. He also noted that the majority of participants in the four studies self-identified as liberal, and the verbal cues may be stronger and more easily identifiable to those outside the party. In addition, the Congressional Record may not be representative of the variety of political speech people hear on a daily basis, which is more complex and adds context to the language used.

The language we use is predictive, and humans are amazing at picking up on the subtle social cues of language,” said Oppenheimer. “In a world where we are trying to create inclusion, if there are simple linguistic cues that we can [use] to make people feel less ostracized then that could be generally helpful to move toward these social goals.”

SpaceLifeForm February 15, 2021 5:38 PM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

One of the biggest things the Encrochat investigation discovered was the amount of money laundering.

I suspect that they wanted the operation to continue, but at some point, either it was leaked, or the amount of ongoing damage was too great to justify the continued operation. Either way, they had to burn the op.

Some Cryptocurrencies are setup for a crash when the money launderers are taken down. See the graph in this article.

hxx ps://

@vas pup February 15, 2021 5:42 PM

@ vas pup

“Previous studies have shown people can identify the gender and race of a speaker based on the words chosen, but could a person identify something like political membership?

That’s a lot of “gender research” for social profiling and personality profiling purposes. There’s a “women’s circle” on the Title IX college campus, and the goal is to keep men out because “all men are rapists” and the girls need to find ways to lock up the “bad guys” on allegations of “violence” without any hard “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Sabina J. Sloman
ROLES Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

So a woman is doing the actual work on this paper.

Daniel M. Oppenheimer, Simon DeDeo
ROLES Conceptualization, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Two men are acting in a general supervisory role in an academic department and their names are added to the paper as co-authors, even though that was not really their role.

There’s too much anti-trans sex and gender rhetoric coming from the college campuses, dormitory halls, and frat houses.

Clive Robinson February 15, 2021 6:33 PM

@ vas pup,

A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found people are more successful at identifying language associated with Republican speech than Democratic speech patterns.

In the UK the word “goper”[1] probably has a different meaning to that in the US[2].

And it does rather lend it’s self to an obvious play on words with “gopping”[3], which I shall avoid.




xcv February 15, 2021 7:17 PM

@Clive Robinson

In the UK the word “goper”[1] probably has a different meaning to that in the US[2].

The G.O.P. (Grand Old Party) is the RePUBlican National Committee — I’m sure there are “pubs” in the U.K. … you get the picture. People are in the back seat of a taxicab, human nature being what it is, people tend to be ruled by the same carnal instincts and innate desires regardless of their chosen or stated political affiliation.

And you have former British royalty like Meghan Markle going into a rather unseemly low-class “Labour” to have a baby “just like everybody else” with that lower lip shooting out just like the servants who babysit her kids, cook them breakfast, and make their beds in the morning.

And all those gun control “measures” in U.S. Congress with “broad” bipartisan support from the bosses who make the deals go down at the smoke-filled DNC boiler room …

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 12:05 AM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Only lost 30 GigaWatts you say?

Folks, don’t buy the spin about the Wind Turbines. They are not all frozen. In fact, they are probably the main supply at this moment.

It’s the old style electricity production that is learning a lesson. Besides the lesson that Texas has their own proprietary grid, which if they did not, they possibly could get some power from neighboring states. Of course the neighboring states are freezing also, so even if it were possible to send power to Texas, there would not be much, if any, available anyway.

hx tps://

Today, just like a decade ago, fossil fools do [NOT (my edit)] want people to understand what is really going on and are falsely blaming renewable energy and clean energy efforts for the outages. In Texas, today, natural gas power generation has gone down because of frozen pipes and other problems. There also gigawatts of coal and diesel generation that are offline. In addition, there are many wind turbines that are not producing power because of freezing frozen (perhaps 10-20 percent of the fleet) but the remaining turbines are outproducing the expected production and thus renewables are contributing more electricity than ERCOT had expected. The real story: fossil fuel systems are failing while renewables are delivering. Regrettably, that is unlikely to be the tweet you see or headline you read.

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 12:33 AM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

hx tps://

Clive Robinson February 16, 2021 1:06 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

One of the biggest things the Encrochat investigation discovered was the amount of money laundering.

I’m not sure “discovered” is the right word “revealed” or “illuminated” maybe.

Essentially the authorities know there are large criminal black holes in financial terms into which they have no spotlight. They know they are large with “Carousel Fraud” being just one of many they can see cash entering like the Niagra Falls, but they have no view there after.

Some put the size of criminal cash sloshing around in Euros as being the 28th state in the Euro Zone and almost the largest effective economy in the EU, and it has no books or bank records filed anywhere the authorities can see them.

So whilst the authorities could see some of the cash going into these black holes they had no idea what sort of economic churn it had within the black holes, or for that matter more importantly where the money was leaking back into the larger EU economy and causing as much harm as “junk Euro Bonds” to monetary policy thus the larger economy[1][2].

So the problem the authorities had and still have is not knowing where and in what form this money that has disappeared into these black holes was/is circulating and to who’s benifit. Especially with suspicions being some of it slushing it’s way like black snow through places like Russia and now to the South East of Europe Turkey and thus China, along with “dirty money” from US Politics.

As you might have seen from news shots of the Encrochat take down some criminals were storing millions of Euro’s in paper/plastic money on shipping pallets in warehouses etc.

It sounds like madness but you have to put it in the right perspective. It’s almost exactly the same thing the banks you can name do as well.

You could look on those sums large as they were as very small pocket change for the criminals, kind of like the executive “petty cash box” in a large corporation.

This sum in bilions going through crypto-coins is again fairly small change compared to the amounts known to be flowing into these black holes, that the authorities can not see into, and in many cases do not want to[3].

Thus the big importance was not what got snagged but the little bit of day light it let into just one criminal financial black hole.

For those that remember back in the early days when cracking was turning from “ego food” driven to fairly pathetic monetization, I said that the crackers had no clue as to what the real worth of what they had control of was worth.

The important part of that being that the crackers had no clue as to how to launder money. I predicted that crime would move in and a semi symbiotic systems would evolve…

Well, keep your eyes open so far this is still just “chucking peanut shells around the gallery” level stuff the curtain has not yet gone up, and the fat lady has not started breathing deeply yet, let alone sing a swan song…

[1] About a third of a million Euros will buy you on average a nice rentable house in urban London that will give a legitimate yield of around €26000/year or 5-9% all freshly laundered all before any increases in property value you generate[2]. There is so much “buy to rent” going on that it’s impossible to tell what shade of grey the often hidden owners are. It’s one of the reasons “Essex builder boy” is synonymous with “serious criminal”. In effect there are whole tower blocks of flats on the East Side of London that have been entirely criminally funded with money all the way through from petty street crime to dictators hiding billions in aid and other national treasury.

[2] One of the reasons house prices are high in the South East of the UK is that the London property market is involved with criminal money laundering[1]. In effect they pass property around like cash in bank accounts. Each time they mark the value of the property up a few percent and so a poor area sudenly becomes up and comming for a few years as the criminals pass the property around. Then as the % drops then unload onto others and “move into a new borough”. Whilst the property prices stagnate in the areas the criminals have left, the rents and such stay high because those that are left holding the potatos, have to pay the banks you can name their interrst on the money they have borrowed…

[3] It’s been said that when the financial crises hit the US the traditional money supply went ultra conservative and in effect dried up compleatly. Thus the only money in the US system at the time that provided liquidity to keep the economy on life support was that from “Columbian Marching Powder” being laundered… Obviously some people in the Fed and the CIA know how true this is, but it was not then, and still not now in their interests to actually “see” it, thus have to report it. It would after all not be very ammusing to US politicos to have it confirmed that the “enemy” in the “War on drugs” had stopped a global recession starting in Uncle Sam’s very own back yard…

Clive Robinson February 16, 2021 1:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

What was that mantra about “The free market will supply the need”…

And what was that famous saying “Only in America”…

I’ve been banging on about supply line fragility due to making things “to efficient” for quite a few years now (the curse of LEAN). I’ve repeatedly indicated nature has a fondness for about 2/3rds or in natural numbers “1-1/(2.71828)” as the efficiency with the greatest evolutionary survival prospects…

You would have thought it was obvious that if you design a system to be most efficient thus effectively “top out” at the average operating point then excursions even normal ones are going to cause you problems…

As with the California power cuts, the real question to ask is “How many deaths and injuries?” will the mantra be responsible for… Because it’s the managment mantra not the weather excersion that is at fault, the weather is not a 100 year storm after all.

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 2:08 AM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

@ Clive

Yes, this is poor planning, no doubt. Circular Footguns abound.

There is no redundancy. The gas pipelines are dependent upon pumps which are electric which depends upon electric production which depends upon the gas.

Everything is crashing horribly.

Now Water plants have shutdown. Cell towers are going down.
Water pipes bursting. People are trying to stay warm in their car. Probably will have trouble getting fuel for car because the pumps need electric.

It’s so cold that there are Lake Effect Snows showing up.

But, apparently you can get a room at a Ramada Hotel in Austin for only $1169 tonight. Includes taxes and fees.

This is a disaster. Reminds me of Y2k scenarios.

xcv February 16, 2021 2:36 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm

There is no redundancy. The gas pipelines are dependent upon pumps which are electric which depends upon electric production which depends upon the gas

They (the Communists) do not allow for redundancy. There is only one way, their way or the highway, and that’s murder, not a way to travel and arrive safely at one’s destination.

They don’t tell you what they feel you should know already. They punish you harshly and severely for violating any of their norms.

Any redundancy is in their favor. When they shut you off, they want to make double sure that you are shut off and locked out permanently.

Clive Robinson February 16, 2021 6:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There is no redundancy.

Not actually unexpected, to many people think redundancy is just “doubling up” sadly it’s at times like these they find out sometimes all to briefly that the two are rather different.

Whilst I accept that this is unusual weather for the Yellow Rose, it’s an almost normal for areas in and around New York, so there is plenty of “domain knowledge” within easy reach, if people had wanted to use it when planning systems.

It’s bad enough seeing cascades in one type of utility service provison, where at least you stand a chance of bootstraping back up. But when codependent systems cascade fail…

That as they say is a whole new ball of wax, and it needs good communications and good working relationships at the technical level across the services, with non technical managment invited to “sit it out, or get carried feet first out the room”.

At the turn of the century the utilities had independent but reliable and fault tolerant communications systems that had only dependency on some kind of energy source such as a car battery. But such systems were expensive and the spectrum space jealously sort after by other spectrum users who’s managers could just see dollar signs in front of their eyes.

So the “new” utility managers their drone MBAs and accountants got shot of it all and entered into unbalanced contracts with lets just say organisations that knew what was going to happen when push comes to shove. Some may remember the nonsense with California Government and EmComm hams and space in CalFire repeater vaults.

Whilst all these fancy comms systems have been sold at eye watering prices to not just utilities and first responders, they have no backup plan when it fails because the myth is “it’s all fully redundant” well it’s not and yes it’s failed.

So the one essential needed for fast recovery ie communications is now down and out for the count… I wish those effected well but I hope you’ve got your ninty days of supplies sorted out you are probably going to need them, especially if the sewers freeze up.

As for hospitals… Most only have short term backup plans, that is maybe 12hours of onsite backup, with the assumption that buys the time to “ship backup in” from somewhere, but I suspect that may not going to work well…

It’s so cold that there are Lake Effect Snows showing up.

I’ve heard about them years ago with places in New York getting twenty feet (a little under 6meters) of snow some years. I had a contract in New York and I was looking forward to seeing the effect[1]. Alas for other reasons (cockroaches) I got out before the winter, so did not even see the ordinary snow falls.

However as some may know the real effect of global warming is not “the summers are going to be warmer” it’s that both the highs and lows will increase causong a much greater differential that in turn crrates instability that in turn gives “chaotic weather events”…

Whilst there is counter argument from certain vested interests, on the science side the question is more about how such chaotic events will present… For some years those studying the great lakes, have indicated that they think “lake effects” will get worse rather more rapidly than other effects. Thus localised lake snow / blizzard / flood and other effects including that of wind storms and cyclonic events associated with warm masses of water will get rather more frequent than other events…

I know “one swallow does not a summer make” and it takes a number of events to show correlation rather than coincidence, but the simple fact is over this century we’ve seen more unusuall weather than we have preceading it in living memory.

You would have thought common sense would have said “don’t make things more fragile” but no “Just in time”, “Kanban” and the lunatic “LEAN” mantras have taken over the asylum big style.

That’s not to say that Kanban / JIT and LEAN do not work, we see it happening every day in the supermarkets that we take for granted. That is we go in we take what we need off the shelf when we need it. We don’t “stock up” at home like our grand and great grand parents did with having “cold houses”, “Pantries” and “larders”.

What most had missed untill this time last year was that all these supply chain systems have on fatal assumption underneath them. That is they only work,

“Because future timely supply is assured”

Kick that away at either end of the supply chain either by not putting in insufficient at the head end or taking out to much at the tail end and that assurance is broken, and due to certain basser human instincts chaos kicks in…

It’s what our grand and great grand parents understood by living a lot closer to nature than we do and having only local supply. They knew that “In fat times you save for lean times ahead” you put by about a third of what you need for any given time period thus four months supplies to see you over winter every year and build up about a year to two years supplies for the hard times that come around every once in a while when a years crops might well be lost due to bad weather… That’s natures way and if we ignore it as we have this century, that’s when we find we are in real trouble and there’s no backup because we sold it off cheap to make more profit…

Remember I lived through the 1970’s in the South East of the UK with “three day working” orchestrated black outs not just of electricity but gas, being sent to the store every day to see if they had new supplies of candles and paraffin and pay for it on the spot, having to walk everywhere because fuel was rationed and public transport were not alowing kids on busses as adults were more important as setvices were a lot less. Then there were the fogs, so thick you could not see your hand a foot infront of your face. Having to go and hold a flash light on the gate post so my dad could reverse the car into the garage. And with two adults working at upper middle class salaries we were considered a “well to do” house hold and one of the only two in the road with a phone, the other being the Dr. But as both my parents knew, from living through WWII “you can not eat money” so if you can not buy food you starve, it’s why we always had a very well stocked pantry. These are the things you do when,

“future supply is at best uncertain”.

And that’s the state California, Texas and a number of other US states are now finding themselves in. The sad thing is it was all to easily predictable, and just a little planning and forethought and not listening to the financial market mantras, and what is now becoming a major event if not emergancy, would probably been just an annoyance as it tends to be up south of the great lakes and central New York…

[1] Yes I know it sounds like madness wanting to see what is in effect bad weather. But you have to remember I’m from London UK that has a reputation for “the wrong sort od snow” almost every time just one flake appears over central London. I can remember several years when as little as two inches of snow has caused absolute chaos, with several side orders of mayhem thrown on top. Great for kids to make a snowman in the local park, but “business continuity plans” for an inch or two of snow, kind of tells you that “London does not do snow” or atleast used not to.

xcv February 16, 2021 7:49 AM

@Clove Robinson

As for hospitals… Most only have short term backup plans, that is maybe 12hours of onsite backup

So do they let the inmates out after 12 hours without power? I didn’t think so either. There’s a consultation between the doctor and family, and the family is expected to agree to “pull the plug” and let “terminal” patient die in a bargain with the devil for the lives of other family members that may otherwise be at peril within the medical Establishment.

JonKnowsNothing February 16, 2021 10:13 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

FWIW California and Texas have nearly nothing in common about how the state is setup politically and legally. What we do have in common is large land mass, rich minerals and resources, and farming.

Our weather patterns (historically) are not even close.

Ice storms are not common in Texas but they do occur. Ice storms like the one Texas is experiencing are not common at all. Texas also gets tornadoes and hurricanes on a regular basis. Texas weather is colder and snowy to the north and is part of the US tropical rain forest in the south (hot muggy rainy). The rain forest runs from Texas to Florida.

California gets tornadoes but not on the same scale and a good number of people don’t realize California has tornadoes at all. California gets the occasional hurricane; usually on the tail end coming up the coast from Mexico. Normally these hit the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

California gets tsunamis, which goes with having a huge coast line.

Both states get earthquakes and fracking-quakes are likely to be more common in Texas.

Legally both Texas and California have very different systems and state laws. Financially they are different too. There’s not a 1:1 equivalence.

There are different politics and attitudes in each state. Texas was historically a Blue state that turned Red. There is a strong Blue core and they may tip Blue as Red becomes less attractive to many. California is Blue on the outer edges and Red in the center. Southern California is Red and Red is gaining more traction with the center along with the Oligarchs on the outer rim.

The outcome is still the same: aging infrastructure, moribund ideas, fantasy and magical thinking that it will All Go Away. The funding is not there, attempts to fix infrastructure fail to achieve anything or become dead projects. There is no way to get things done in any efficient manner.

It is a failing on a huge scale, it is also the same failing globally. Both Texas and California economies are bigger than the economies of some countries. One might think that a state with such economic power would be able to Do More or Do Something but they do not.

The primary reason the USA has the system is does, is that these processes were designed to prevent too much shift or alterations. It was designed to stalemate and to prevent change. It’s WAI.

AL February 16, 2021 10:20 AM

@Polar Winds and Supply Chains
I’m in the Southwest Power Pool area, an 18 state area from the Texas panhandle to Canada. According to the press conference, the region has some wind reduction because of icing, and low wind. They also have some natural gas power plants down due to lack of fuel.

They’ve implemented “rolling” blackouts that last 1 hour, avoiding hospitals and equipment that moves natural gas. Beats Texas. But under the circumstances, the grid would have no power to send to Texas, even if it was connected.

Clive Robinson February 16, 2021 10:27 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

The outcome is still the same

Sadly as you note, that tenfs to be the case more often than not, and it’s clearly getting worse.

However another thing is clear,

Money is going in in large quantities, but very little, nothing or worse backwards progress results.

It begs the question of where the money is going and why?

Because if the way things are being run happened in a private entity it would fairly quickly go bankrupt or be investigated.

For some reason though “public money” appears not as protected as “private money”…

JonKnowsNothing February 16, 2021 12:07 PM


re: Where does the money go?

  • “a private entity it would fairly quickly go bankrupt or be investigated.”

There are some economic financial view that bankrupting the state(s) is desired. It creates Disaster Capitalism opportunities. Since normal state processes are stagnant at best, the only method these financial services can leverage is to bankrupt the state treasury.

This worked well in many scenarios, some orchestrated by governments to bankrupt other governments.

The debacle of the derivative-housing bubble hasn’t gone away, it’s lurking in the banks of Europe waiting to explode. The EU was able to defer the explosion by bankrupting Greece with the aftermath of their “No Hair Cut” stance. It’s still waiting to unwind.

These same policies and thinking apply to the infrastructure and financing of government level systems and services.

  • where the money is going and why?

For the most part, it’s known where the money goes and why. It ends up in off shore banking and investment systems. There are many pathways in the USA to get off shore funding as well as other parts of the world.

It requires a level of corruption or less due diligence and odd accounting system practices. Government Accounting is not the same as Corporate Accounting in the USA and there’s plenty of ways to go from A to B to NoWhere.

There is no oligarch or political party or major corporation that is interested in putting blocks in Off Shoring Money, it’s a lucrative business in of itself. Every accounting firm give Tax Advise and Tax Minimization Strategies.

Texas is a Herd Immunity Policy Plus state. Their belief in Divine Protection, and Rapture and No Masks makes it unlikely they will bother much about fixing the infrastructure. Their government doesn’t care who dies, much less why. Every death helps their “economic outlook”; meaning more gravy for their friends and plenty of opportunities at the feed trough for those with the Right Views.

Clive Robinson February 16, 2021 1:53 PM

@ xcv,

What’s so damned proprietary about it? Why is the COVID-19 information being kept secret

There are two parts to the story,

1, The mRNA.
2, The delivery mechanism.

The mRNA sequence used was put together in a couple of weeks by a person payed directly by the US Government.

That means the US Gov owns the IP on the mRNA, which means it has value to the USG, a lot of value…

There are effectivrly two different delivery mechanisms,

1, Pfizer.
2, Moderna.

They both have their own IP as well as using the USG IP on the mRNA.

The USG has also sunk billions into getting the mRNA to market and US legislation requires them to show some return for that investment, as USG funds come from taxation which means the US citizens and they have expectations that the money will not in effect be stolen.

So there is a lot of US dollars tied up in the mRNA system, including all those who pay taxes to the USG directly or indirectly which probably includes you.

Nowva little history about mRNA and similar, it’s been in the lab one way or another for quite some time, atleast it’s fourth decade from what some say. And in all that time it’s been less use than a rudderless sailboat in the harbour. Basically “A hole in the water into which you pour money and is taking you nowhere anytime soon”.

Some think that mRNA will be that universal anti viris, anti cancer, anti bacterial, anti etc, etc, etc[1] miracle cure that is going to be the new “better mouse trap”, well guess what it’s not been so before.

Now with the USG throwing money at the problem different groups of scientists got together who probably would have never done so before, hence the “Moon Shot” naming.

If either Pfizer or Moderna have cracked the universal delivery system safely and effectively not just in the short term but the longterm, one side effectct will be a prolonged life expectancy for the lucky few that can afford it.

My view is if it’s been stuck in the lab for more than thirty years, how come throwing money at the problem solved it?.. Thus my personal view is the longterm outlook on the mRNA systems is “Unknown”.. Now in theory I’ve got over 20years of life expectancy left to me, do I realy want be some scientists “lab rat” come “guinea pig” with the possibly significant longterm risk of premature loose of life involved. Or do I say well the adenovirus is new, but as a delivery mechanism it’s well known and tested and is low risk… It’s a tough call unknown-v-known but I made my choice on the evidence available to me, so mRNA is not on my christmas list even though the adenovirus is currently.

Such a view point that is not one the USG wants to hear when they realy expect to do well out of the mRNA…

As for mRNA in general if they have cracked the long term issue problem then there is one heck of a lot of money to be made and those billions sunk in will look like pocket change.

So yeh people are going to be interested in how it works. The only real answers are locked away as IP thus hacking by every one who can probably has happened. Is North Korea involved? well if they can hack other systems then yes they probably can hack these systems, just as Russia and even Australia are alleged to have…

[1] A bit like hard AI it’s always been just around the corner just not quite within reach but with more funding and a little more time and we will all be billionairs thinking driving it on despite it’s history of no shows even under ideal lab conditions.

vas pup February 16, 2021 2:28 PM

@Clive and @person masks as @vas pup
Thank you for input on language.

For blogger decided to be anonymous:
At the end of the day 2+2=4 and just as kind of keep you in psychological balance those quotes

“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”

“The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.” ~ Voltaire

“Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and
epochs, it is the rule.”

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become
a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back
into you.”

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”

“Do you want to have an easy life? Then always stay with the herd and lose
yourself in the herd.”

“The real question is: How much truth can I stand?”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The problem is we are currently in the age of 2021 version on Newspeak when gradually changing the words biased mass media change notion itself and sometimes not just modifying it but changing it to become the opposite. Kind of ‘War is a Peace’.
Language is very powerful tool to put shackles on your brain until you stop resistance to accept the idea that 2+2 may = 5 under some conditions or just do it not to be cleansed out.

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 4:11 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Only 30 GigaWatts?

Last I checked, earlier today, 45 GigaWatts was offline.

It will not get better until tomorrow, when temps start getting above freezing.

ERCOT is not going to admit this, but the main reason for the intentional blackouts was to prevent total grid failure of the entire state of Texas.

They were real close yesterday to reaching TOTAL GRID FAILURE.

Let that sink in.

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 4:37 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Texas Governor calls upon Fox to inspect Henhouse

hx tps://

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 5:04 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains


AL, you still there? How did that one hour blackout go?

Al? You there?

Guessing you are in KC area.


SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 6:18 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Pipelines, I.E., Supply Chains are literally FROZEN

Lost opportunity costs

hxt ps://

I see speculation generators are deliberately shutting down to avoid paying for high natural gas spot prices, causing the #TexasBlackout, and that ERCOT is just “covering for them.” That is demonstrably false. Generators earn $9,000/MWh now; spot fuel costs only <$400/MWh

xcv February 16, 2021 7:32 PM


Pipelines, I.E., Supply Chains are literally FROZEN

Laborers are on strike and venting propane, playing “the usual” practical jokes, dirty tricks, and party pranks at work on the job in the industry.

District of Columbia Capitol Police went on strike January 6 —


And Citibank is out $500,000,000 because of an employee’s fat fingered wire transfer to a beauty parlor and a bank robber judge’s order.


AL February 16, 2021 7:49 PM

There was no one hour outage. The way it works in my area is, there is no need to take many customers off the grid at any one time. So, if you’ve done your one hour, you are done for the 3 day event. More people won’t do an hour than those who will or have. There is no comparison to Texas. Today for us, rolling blackouts were between 6AM and 10AM. This is not a whole day event.

I might get an hour tomorrow. But, I think there is a decent chance of no outages at all tomorrow.

For us it is not primarily an electrical event. It is a natural gas event that has resulted in interruptions to electrical generation.

System-wide generating capacity has dropped below our current load of approximately 42 gigawatts (GW) due to extremely low temperatures and inadequate supplies of natural gas.

SpaceLifeForm February 16, 2021 7:52 PM

@ xcv, Clive

Do not buy into the CitiStory.

Believe me. I can tell you a story.

But I will not. It will come out later.

xcv February 16, 2021 10:15 PM

Regarding blog sponsorship and general advocacy issues:

EFF’s support of life-ruining gossip, lies, and slander has undoubtedly done more harm than any good ever to have come from the cursed work of that wretched organization.

EPIC seeks to ban facial recognition technology.

  • https:||
  • https:||
  • https:||

The lawyers are professionals, and their methods and practices are definitely not “open source.” It is unclear in many cases what they hope or intend to accomplish by their advocacy on any particular issue at hand.

xcv February 16, 2021 10:28 PM

How do you spell “referer?”

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that “Referer” is simply the correct formal spelling of the word, especially in American English, or perhaps Early Modern British English.

Why do people assume it is spelled incorrectly?

The verb itself is spelled “refer.”

Adding a suffix of “-rer” would be incorrect or at least odd or unusual for any verb in the English language, as far as I know.

Cf. “adviser” vs. “advisor,” “judgment” vs. “judgement,” “acknowledgment” vs. “acknowledgement,” etc.

xcv February 16, 2021 10:36 PM

An exception is the verb “demur” — “demurrer” — the final “r” is definitely doubled before adding the suffix here.

Or “travel” — “traveler” vs. “traveller” …

JonKnowsNothing February 17, 2021 2:08 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Third Wave in EU/UK

Interesting MSM report on the upcoming Third Wave in Germany/EU. Some decent explanations about multiple pandemics now due to the many variants and the likelihood of more immune escape variants rising in the population.

This part indicates that the PCR tests in common usage are unable to ID the new variants and not capturing those infections during quarantines or pre-activity testing is true:

positive coronavirus samples are currently being examined for the new variants using a special PCR test.

It was previously reported that in South Africa, that variant only triggers 2 out of 3 areas checked by current PCR tests.

As these variants become global (March 2021), countries are going to have to find new PCR tests because the current one has limited shelf life left.

There is a staggeringly awful prediction about the mutation pathway for COVID-19 as these mutations become the dominant version and the back flow from vaccinations.

rather than having developed herd immunity, it appears that the E484K mutation is also reinfecting people who had earlier strains of the coronavirus. That would mean that in Germany, as is now the case in Tyrol, small islands of infection could form again and again where the disease had already passed through

The more people that get vaccinated, the more likely it is that variants will spread in our country against which the vaccines aren’t as effective…

It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

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

Clive Robinson February 17, 2021 3:26 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

It has already been a bit of a rollercoaster this past year

Like others I was thinking that my predictions of what could happen were going to be a little to pesermistic or extream…

So far the virus is making me look almost timid in my outlook 🙁

A thought I suspect others here are nodding their heads to as well.

If I was to say, the two bricks yet left to fall from my earlier predictions are,

1, Wildlife disease reservoir.
2, Frozen food transmission confirmed.

I have this year added,

3, Mutation outpacing vaccination.
4, Mutation outpacing vaccine development.

What odds are people going to give me they are not going to have happened by this time next year?

I get the feeling that this 100xMore leathal than flu virus is maybe going to be,

A, With us for good.
B, Requiring vaccine every year.

And the stupid thing is, we did it to our selves, or more correctly the Politicians chose to be stupid… Which I know some are going to say “nothing new there”. But the politicians pandering to certain short term interests, has realy ripped the top off of the can of worms that is dirty money in politics, and we realy can not ignore it any longer. They have the blood of millions on their hands for not even thirty pieces of silver per head…

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 4:59 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

So, ERCOT relaxed price limits.

Still approx 30 Gigawatts offline.

ERCOT is lying thru their teeth.

JonKnowsNothing February 17, 2021 5:52 PM

@SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Polar Ice Storm in Texas meets Herd Immunity Policy (HIP)

For those outside of the USA, who have not completely understood Herd Immunity Policy as enacted in the USA by our previous administration, and local officials who follow a particular or peculiar neoliberal-neocon-libertarian variant of Let Em Die, a MSM report has captured the flavor quite well.

The mayor of a town in Texas has resigned after having a melt down rant on FB. During the rant he let slip his actual views of his neighbors and supporters.

Some choice bits as reported:

  • “Get off your ass and take care of your own family!”
  • “sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout”
  • [he] blamed “a socialist government” for the dire situation.
  • “No one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local government’s responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice! ”
  • “The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!,”
  • he suggested that people look to inspiration from their churches.
  • “Only the strong will survive and the weak will perish. Folks, God has given us the tools to support ourselves in times like this,”

After his rant was over and he resigned his apology was:
* “if I had it to do over again, I would have just kept my words to myself ”

Ron: Say it, I’m doomed
Harry: You’re doomed.

ht tps://

ht tps://,_Texas
  population was 4,146 at the 2010 census.
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 6:32 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

ERCOT players trying to disappear

Tilting at Windmills

There is always a bogeyman. Always.

hx xps://

Just received a text from the ERCOT spokeswoman that the names and bios were taken down because the “board members and executive team were receiving threats.”

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 7:29 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Hard to understand where they found educated people like this.

I guess this guy made it thru high school after he sucked on a 9-Volt battery.

[Serious profane comment redacted]

hxx ps://

“The ability to restore more power is contingent on more generation coming back online,” said Dan Woodfin who is the senior director of ERCOT’s system operations.

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 8:21 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

As I wrote over 24 hours ago…

“They were real close yesterday to reaching TOTAL GRID FAILURE.”

It was even closer than I thought. Minutes. Just Minutes.

My Bold below.

hxx ps://

Texas officials pointed the blame at the power company and called for investigations. US Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat who represents parts of Fort Worth and Dallas, said he’s learned from an industry executive that the power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before state agency officials initiated emergency rolling outages.

“If we had waited, and not done outages, not reduced demand to reflect what was going on, on the overall system, we could have drifted towards a blackout,” he said. “People feel like what we’re seeing feels like a blackout, but the blackout that can occur if you don’t keep the supply and demand in balance could last months.”

AL February 17, 2021 8:51 PM

The intellectual wing speaks out on the Texas decision to not participate in an interstate grid.

Former Texas governor Rick Perry suggests that going days without power is a sacrifice Texans should be willing to make if it means keeping federal regulators out of the state’s power grid. …
Perry, former president Donald trump’s energy secretary, however, blamed the rolling blackouts on the rise of wind and solar energy in Texas.

The blame is quite simple. Whether it was wind or natural gas, or other forms of generation, there was a decision to not winterize any of these assets, and it came back to bite them in the ass. There was a natural gas incident around 2011 due to winter conditions, but they ignored that incident.

Clive Robinson February 17, 2021 9:31 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL

Re : Polar Winds and Supply Chains

And the comment from the spokesperson of,

“People feel like what we’re seeing feels like a blackout, but the blackout that can occur if you don’t keep the supply and demand in balance could last months.”

That’s not a “blackout” where breakers flip and the system goes into “cascade shut down”.

No what they are talking about therde is a “hard cascade failure” where equipment becomes damaged effectively irreparably and has to be replaced from “spares” they no longer keep thus have to buy in with delivery periods of weeke, months, and if they realy get it wrong years…

What do I mean by “if they realy get it wrong” what I mran is they have takrn the safeties of on the network to try and squeeze all the power they can through the network…

To understand, you have to realise that even in normal times upto about 25% of the power they generate gets “lost to the environment”. That is by the I^2R heating effect in cables, transformer windings, and switch contacts.

But as the consumer end load rises they have to up the supply volts at the input from the generators to ensure the customer supply voltage remains in range and does not “brown out” which causes all sorts of problems these days that did not exist when most of the network had been built.

None of which is helped by “energy efficient equipment” that presents a very non linear thus very difficult to predict load…

When they take the safeties of what happens is they have moved the load from “safe operating” past the first red line, and into the poker stakes opetating” region of “manual control”. Where the actual infristructure has started acting non linearly. That is that straight line VI curve is not straight any more things are “going soft” due to amongst other things heat, and thermal run away is but a smidgen of control adjustment away. Part of the problem is a hysteresis curve with the added dimension of time delay. Think of it this way a kettle heats quickly in say three minutes but cools slowely over say ten times as long. Which means that there is residual heat effectively trapped in the infrastructure…

One tiny mistake in the manual control causes the start of a run away process that as the safeties are off all to quickly starts to cascade fail into actual equipment damage… And that can not be recovered from by adjustment of a manual control… The load drops the generators see a drop in load and their output voltage spikes which causes… And that cherry red glow of overload becomes the bright orange of wire thats gone soft enough to physically deform in the wrong way.

Ever watch a six inch nail in the physics lab be heated untill it glows, saggs and melts apart like a fuse but only slower? Now think of something similar in overhead cables, transformer windings and all sorts of other places…

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 10:28 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Need some water in Houston?

It’s simple. Collect snow from the ocean beach.

Boil order? Good luck with that.

SpaceLifeForm February 17, 2021 10:36 PM

@ Clive

“hard cascade failure” where equipment becomes damaged effectively irreparably

I’m pretty sure that is the case right now.

Probably 60 to 80 plants have major damage.

Which is why they are not back online.

ERCOT is like Soviet Union, just squished into less square miles.

xcv February 18, 2021 12:48 AM


Probably 60 to 80 plants have major damage.
Which is why they are not back online.
ERCOT is like Soviet Union, just squished into less square miles.

That’s industrial sabotage. Sand in the gearbox. Coca-Cola in the fuel lines. All “the usual” party pranks, practical jokes, and dirty tricks at work on the job in the industry.

Meanwhile our hardworking communist party government employees are at work seizing and confiscating all private property …

https:\\\assets\ …

The U.S. Marshals Service plays a critical role in identifying and evaluating assets that represent the proceeds of crime as well as efficiently managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by DOJ.

The Marshals Service manages a wide array of assets, including real estate, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, vehicles, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has issued a binding executive order for the federal forfeiture of all private property to be seized by state and local government agencies with service of process on private sovereign citizens.


Asset forfeiture is one of law enforcement’s most effective tools to reduce crime and its use should be encouraged where appropriate.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 1:07 AM

@ lurker

Anyone noticed? Do they care?

hx tps://

xcv February 18, 2021 1:13 AM

Guide to Equitable Sharing of seized and confiscated private property and forfeited assets for State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement Agencies

29 pages. 100% Communist Red literature …

All states and the federal government allow law enforcement to seize and forfeit cash, property and other materials …. The action is against the property—not the person—and can be seized even if the person is not charged or convicted of a crime.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 1:29 AM

@ lurker, Clive

I guess there is enough attention.

Is Google playing games and confusing the zuck?

hx tps://

Facebook’s decision was in contrast to that of Google. The latter on Wednesday said it has agreed on a revenue-sharing deal with Australian media conglomerate News Corp, which owns media outlets including The Wall Street Journal and New York Post.

In addition to pages run by news outlets, several government-backed Australian accounts were also wiped clean by Facebook on Thursday morning. Government pages affected include those providing updates on the Covid pandemic and bushfire threats.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 1:51 AM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

ERCOT is still lying thru their teeth.

Their website is making it look like that Supply is greater than Demand.

False. Because they have shed demand (intentional blackouts), the numbers look like they are doing fine. Well informed tech people that I read have actually fallen for this spin because they have not been paying attention since last Sunday (2021-02-14).

They are still about 30 Gigawatts in the hole.

Funny how the website can use Google-Analytics and hand out cookies, yet for some reason, they have not been able to get a TLS cert. Hmmm.

Clive Robinson February 18, 2021 2:35 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker,

Is Google playing games and confusing the zuck?

I’d start at a different point,

“Is zuck as an individual taking on a sovereign government?”

It would appear so. Which begs the question,

“Can zuck lawfully do so?”

To which the answer is a little complicated. But boils down to to the point I keep making,

Individual Rights -v- Social Responsability

If a non-citizen[1] of nation A living outside nation A with all their assets outside nation A decides not to do business with nation A or it’s citizens, then the “non-citizen” of nation A is within their “individual rights” not to do so. Such is the extraterritorial agreements recognised through most of the world.

However the society they live in be it the nation of their birth or another nation they have obtained citizenship of or residency of, may have entered into a treaty agreement with nation A that does give powers to nation A over the non-citizen.

Because the individual rights of the non-citizen become subsumed by their responsabilities to the nation they are living as part of it’s society.

Likewise if they earn their living via another nations citizens both legal and natural.

Thus zuck has two choices, ensure he has no contact with citizens of nation A in any way what so ever or pay up under his social responsabilities to them.

As zuck is trying to do something else, which is often called “blackmail” to perpetuate what is in effect “theft” then that makes him a crook, and potentially if he gets extradited from some other nation to nation A then he becomes a convicted criminal.

I’m sure zuck would argue he is just “providing a service” that the citizens of nation A want. But that does not change the fact that he must obay nation A’s laws to provide the service in nation A.

Look at it not as a service but a good like a car, nation A has the right to insist that the good is not only within it’s legislatory and regulatory requirments, but also that import duty be paid on the good prior to it being alowed entry.

I don’t want to get into the “services are not goods” argument the software industry pushes where ever it can because it has a recipricol argument which the online software industry also uses… That is, if something is a result of a service carried out in a foreign-nation it is entirely produced in that foreign-nation, then the citizens of a nation likewise have no duty towards that foreign-nation including paying for the results of the service…

Any way, “It’s another day, so another dollar” or hundred billion or what ever it is that zuck claims 😉

[1] I would have just said “person not living in the nation” but the US has this “our citizens are our slaves and they cannot escape” power trip going on…

MarkH February 18, 2021 11:47 AM

@SpaceLife, Clive:

Hopefully the damage to generating plants in Texas won’t be so hard to repair.

There’s no great mystery as to what has happened: the gas-fired power plants which provide so much electricity in Texas can’t get enough gas. When gas supply recovers, so will most power plant generation.

Contributing factors:

• Texas is extremely (and proudly) hostile to regulation, especially where petroleum is concerned.

• The Texas electrical distribution network is mostly isolated from the rest of the contiguous U.S. (in contrast to the other 47 states there, which are highly networked). This greatly limits the ability of Texas to import or export electric power.

• Although 48 other states allow electric utilities to charge resiliency investments like reserve capacity to customers, the Texas system generally does not allow this.

• Because they don’t spend on reserve capacity, and so much gas is produced in-state, Texas has minimal gas storage. Such storage as exists, is mostly underground (a liability in this case, see below). So, when the wells stop producing, the generator turbines soon stop turning.

• Cold temperatures have disabled valves, pumps, and sensors. At the point of production, most gas wells don’t just make gas — they produce some mixture of gas, liquid hydrocarbons, and perhaps water. In the network of piping prior to gas separation, the pipes can freeze.

• Some of those same cold vulnerabilities have prevented extraction of gas from underground storage.

• All of this equipment can be made reliable against cold temperatures … but in Texas, they haven’t made the investments.

From one of the articles about this:

Edward Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston, said the disinvestment in electricity production reminds him of the last years of the Soviet Union, or of the oil sector today in Venezuela. “They hate it when I say that,” he said.

Meanwhile …

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Keep them blackouts rollin’

AL February 18, 2021 11:50 AM

So lemme see – Australia targets two companies and says they have to pay content providers for links, but all other competitors like Bing – business as usual.

So Microsoft says wadda deal, the U.S. should do the same thing.

And so now Australia complains because the targeted corporations don’t embrace the concept. So Australia gets no news from one corporation, and Fox and Friends (News Corp) from the other. Australia presented a new deal to Facebook and Google, and only those two companies, and they’ve said no deal. Good. Australia changed the market, and they have to adapt to the new market conditions. Screw Australia.

JonKnowsNothing February 18, 2021 12:39 PM

@AL @Clive @SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Aussies vs Zucks Round 1

Ah but you forget: Disaster Capitalism!

Nature abhors a vacuum and we can count the minutes until another provider pops up in to fill the void. It won’t take long and once a vendor has proved untrustworthy for providing basic service (skipping the privacy parts), even should Zucks turn back on the faucet, it’s open season target practice.

Zucks maybe financially neutral about any revenues coming from the Aussies but the reverse is not true. The Aussies will see and react to the curtailing of “normal business practices” within Australia.

Those “normal practices” are like the power grid in Texas. Once busted there will be a stampede to do “something else”. Texas already had lots of home generators and will no doubt be selling more of them, since the grid is unreliable. The generator-equivalent will be happening in Australia. Both home made and larger installations.

In some Western US Cities, larger home builders are now required to provide huge water tanks, pumps and connections for City fire departments as part of their permit. A few urban fires, not enough water has made an impression on some cities that they cannot trust their own water sources. They need more storage and off load that to the building corporations which off load those costs in the home price.

The point is that when a system becomes unreliable alternatives will be found.

Australia is just the first of many to face off with Big Tech. Big Tech is based on the assumption that everything is On The Web and WE will deliver that to your phone and home. If they don’t deliver, then what use is a $1000 phone?

Clive Robinson February 18, 2021 2:15 PM

@ MarkH,

… they produce some mixture of gas, liquid hydrocarbons, and perhaps water.

Collectively known as “condensates” for exactly the reason you outline. In the oil industry the solutions have been,

1, flare off.
2, Collect and intersperse with main product.

The first is not exactly “environmentally friendly” and can result in high densities of poisons in the local encironment and any one in the area…

The second uses a couole of PIGs to send the condensate down in batches.

In the north sea gas supply there is a joke about the fact that various operators would these days happily burn the “natural gas” just to get the condensates that have become so valuable.

lurker February 18, 2021 2:41 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, &c.
I just heard a sound bite from one of the Oz ministers sounding like a pathetic wimp who
1. hadn’t read the contract, and
2. didn’t know FB is a private company that could shut up shop and leave Oz tomorrow if they chose.

Mind you, FB’s “accidental” also taking down the pages of emergency service providers raises the question: what is the world coming to that so many people rely on the Zuck when in peril?

SpaceLIfeForm February 18, 2021 4:48 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

It appears that they are starting to climb out of the hole, and that physical plant damage is not as bad as I feared.

Still about 10 GigaWatts down.

Will defintely know more about physical damage in a couple of days when it will defintely stay above freezing.

Interestingly, I see that for the moment, export of Natural Gas to neighboring states is shut down.

Have not read much on that angle, but it makes sense, as ERCOT must re-pressurize their gas pipelines to feed the genplants.

There may be more physical damage to gas compressors than physical wire damage.

As far as I know, may be wrong on this, but most of the gas pielines in Texas are above ground, exposed to cold.

I know that there are NG and Propane pipelines that come into my area from Texas or Oklahoma, but by the time they reach here, they are underground.

Time will tell.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 5:24 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains


Still down about 23 GigaWatts as of a few hours ago.

Still climbing out of hole.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 5:38 PM

It is actually OK to be wrong.

As long as one can admit it.

This is how you actually learn.

(not directed at Sen Cruz)

hxx ps://

xcv February 18, 2021 6:11 PM

@ vas pup

How our memories can deceive us

“You can’t always trust your memory.

It doesn’t matter. You don’t want to remember the hideously cruel things everyday working cops do on the beat with flashlights and billy clubs, let alone the guns they fire at targeted individuals for sport.

No. The damned cops need to be racked and tortured for that information. We can’t get any useful answers out of them until they are screaming incoherently in agony on the rack and they are given a little respite before they give up the ghost and yield their souls to the eternal damnation they have merited by their treatment of us anyways.

That’s the way cops treat us in America. Their sole desire is to punish and torture us all all costs for any cause at every opportunity no matter what. How do they think we will treat them when we get our hands on them?

We shouldn’t be so quick to kill cops, and we wouldn’t if they weren’t already firing their weapons on us, but gee whiz, what are we supposed to do? Let them suffer a while? Or is that how they get their kicks and find cause to further torment the innocent ones?

Or do we just wait here like sitting ducks until they kill us or kick in our doors, slam our heads to the floor, suffocate us nearly to death with their knees on our backs, handcuff us, and take us to a special torture chamber in the county jail, or throw us in with murderers and serial killers when we haven’t even done anything wrong to speak of?

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 6:28 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

So, at about 2021-02-15T01:15 CST, was the time of near TOTAL GRID FAILURE for Texas.

The time when the equipment shed the last remaining heat and it started to freeze up.

And, that is when they started the intentional blackouts. To shed load, and keep the grid electrically stable.

As Maxwell Smart (Agent 86) would say: “Missed it by THAT much”


hx xps://

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 6:55 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

If you are in US, and can watch Chris Hayes on MSNBC tonight (soon), I have a strong hunch he is going to talk about TOTAL GRID FAILURE. And the complexities of recovery. BLACK START.

xcv February 18, 2021 6:56 PM


And, that is when they started the intentional blackouts. To shed load, and keep the grid electrically stable.

They’re public employees on strike, sabotaging industrial equipment on the sly to help ensure their own job security and justify massive wage raises for themselves and rate hikes for customers of electric and other utilities, and even more aggressive government action to lien and foreclose private property (as for example how Idaho was ruined) on unpaid electric bills and other utilities and taxes — even when the electricity bought and paid for is not available or delivered to the consumer.

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 8:05 PM

@ Clive

Silicon Turtles

the good news is there aren’t that many Apple custom instructions

h xyzzy ttps://

Thread: trying random opcodes on the M1 in the “Naughty Apple stealing reserved ARM opcodes” range.

xcv February 18, 2021 8:17 PM

Damned cops thought or “assumed” — without requesting the presence of a doctor — that I was dead already, and they abused and disrespected my body until I awoke with my neck nearly snapped in half. They wanted to make sure I was really dead or at least paralyzed neck down as they prepared to haul me off in a body bag.

Clive Robinson February 18, 2021 9:32 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

With regards the Science Alert article you link to it contains the following gem of journalism,

“In a separate paper, astronomers found that it’s spinning nearly as fast as the speed of light.”

Now what the heck is that supposed to mean in real terms…

But they didn’t include a link or other way to identify the “sperate paper”…

There are times when I feel that the protagonist “Violet Elizabeth Bott” from the “Just William” series[1] who treated the anoyances in life she came across in a very direct and full frontal way with,

“I’ll Scream and Scream Until I’m Sick”

Had a point…

[1] A series of just under fourty childrens books writen over fifty years from the early 1920’s and into the 70’s, in which the main protaganist is an unruly perpetual eleven year old boy and Violet his nemesis. I can not help but get the feeling the creator of the Simpson’s must once have read some of the books or seen television productions of them.

Clive Robinson February 18, 2021 10:21 PM

@ vas pup,

How our memories can deceive us

Yes, it’s something I’ve known about for decades, allong with how you can, if you wish to, use such knowledge to change peoples recall of events…

As I’ve pointed out in the past, there is always one more point of view than the number of witnesses, and it’s called the truth, or reality. Which implies all the other points of view, that is all the witnesses are in practice lying in some way, most often about “lead up events” prior to them entering a state of arousal and focus.

As I mentioned the other day experienced investigators recognise these lies as usefull tools, because if there are too many then there is deliberate lying going on, too few and there’s a distinct posibility the witnesses are colluding.

The latter can generally be spotted by the fact witnesses stories don’t change with time (victims stories tend not to change in the same way, something else experienced investigators pick up on).

But crooked investigators know that you can change peoples memories with certain types of leading questions for two reasons,

1, People trust to much.
2, People try to please.

But peoples minds are actually quite deficient, we general can only keep “Five plus or minus two” points in our short term conscious working memory for maybe five to ten minutes usually a lot less. Secondly our minds try to “heal disparity”, that is they fill in the blank spaces between those three to seven points. Worse when something outside peoples experiences happens, they try to rationalise the events into a contextual frame they have experience of, and thereby use established coping mechanisms…

The implications of this are astounding, when you consider even just asking effectively neutral questions changes what people think they remember…

It’s why in the military etc they try to debrief people as quickly as possible and idealy before they’ve had the chance to,

1, Think the incident through.
2, To sleep on it.

The important thing to remember is that when it comes to trials and the like, witnesses especially confident witnesses are likely to be lying about a lot of what they say. Just about all the research into peoples memories with regards events that happen unexpectedly and their ability to recall it show that maybe one fifth of people, remember things of any relevance and then less than a quater of the things they say are even close to acurate…

SpaceLifeForm February 18, 2021 11:55 PM

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

“This is a helluva way to run a railroad”

ERCOT v. RRC, coming soon.

My BOLD below.

h xyzzy tps://

The Oversight and Safety Division has responsibility for Alternative Fuels, Gas Services and Pipeline Safety. This reorganization in January 2015 will bring even greater efficiency and consistency to these operations within the Commission, allowing the agency to better serve the state.

Texas has the largest pipeline infrastructure in the nation, with 479,798 miles of pipeline representing about 1/6 of the total pipeline mileage of the entire United States. Texas’ pipelines are divided into the categories of natural gas and LP-gas distribution lines (160,860 miles), hazardous liquid and natural gas transmission lines (79,034 miles), hazardous liquid and natural gas regulated gathering lines (8,656 miles), intrastate production and gathering lines leaving a lease (178,963 miles), and interstate lines (52,285 miles). The Railroad Commission of Texas has safety responsibility over the first four categories.

h xyzzy tps://

The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) will host a free webinar entitled Pipeline Safety, Permitting and Damage Prevention to inform and train energy industry representatives about their responsibilities under the agency’s jurisdiction to ensure that the pipelines in Texas’ pipeline infrastructure are designed, constructed, operated and maintained safely. The workshop will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

The webinar will cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Recent Chapter 8 Rule Changes and General Pipeline Safety Updates;
  • Pipeline Damage Prevention Requirements;
  • Form T-4, Application for Permit to Operate a Pipeline in Texas;
  • Form PS-48, New Construction Report; and
  • Pipeline Mapping.

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2021 12:58 AM

@ Clive

I’m sure that the Universe can confuse an observer. It’s a cosmic conspiracy I tell you!

Even learned ones do disagree.

hxt ps://

Clive Robinson February 19, 2021 1:02 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

This reorganization in January 2015 will bring even greater efficiency and consistency to these operations

Those two words realy mean,

Uniform fragility

Will be further pushed for the sake of kickbacks etc etc.

As for why railroads and pipelines, you might want to “Google” with the word accident…

Apparently in the US running fragile to vibration and impact metal high preasure gas pipelines immediatly adjacent to high vibration producing rail roads where a thousand ton or more train can derail into them is a good idea…

Clive Robinson February 19, 2021 6:13 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I’m sure that the Universe can confuse an observer. It’s a cosmic conspiracy I tell you!

As the old joke has it,

“It’s all relative”

More specifically it’s specific to the point of the observer.

If you think about two gear wheels locked together and you draw a line across with a bit of chalk as you turn them the chalk line rotates in two parts and when both wheels have rotated one rotation the line comes back together…

But now put a point of refrence in the picture and more fun things happen, but the result you find is you always end up with two rotations even if you think you have seen only none or one….

To the All Knowing Mr. Kruger aka Clive Robinson February 19, 2021 3:44 PM

@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 Clive still hasn’t managed to move beyond the valley of despair so to speak:)

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2021 3:47 PM

@ Clive

Polar Winds and Supply Chains

Cleared paths, RIGHT-of-WAY.

It’s a convience for profit.

This is why pipelines tend to parallel rail tracks.

h xyzzy ts://

_Anonymous_User_13_ February 19, 2021 4:01 PM


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?

SpaceLifeForm February 19, 2021 4:23 PM


I think you all can observe what is going on.

Pay attention to writing style.

Pay attention, is there a point made, or not?

Note all of the new handles.

To dumb to read the article? February 19, 2021 5:06 PM


You might have noticed great claims being made about,

By someone so confident in their abilities they falied to mention the article clearly states that,

1, The report is not writen by someone with an approrpiate biological background.

2, To quote what the article actually says of the report “It does not provide strictly scientific evidence”

3, The report is also based on what is technically “hearsay”.

Oh and their appears to be no peer review either as would be required if published in a recognised scientific Journal.

And the person who draws your attention to the article wants you to believe that this report in their “Exceptional” view point, some how out ranks and out weights all those peer reviewed and correctly published in journals “scientific papers” researched by those who do have appropriate scientific backgrounds, using verified scientific evidence not “hearsay”.

Make your own judgments boys and girls…

Clive Robinson February 19, 2021 6:57 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

It’s a convience for profit.

Yup and at the lowest cost possible, hence the inapropriate metal pipework…

I think that Texas energy expert quote of,

“We’ve watched this movie before and the sequel is worse than the original”

Applies equally as well for mounting easily fractured cast metal pressurized gas pipework next to train tracks where the railway companies use “hard couplings” between goods and other cars which cause significant vibration and the much increased likelyhood of derailment. As has happened before,

At least in this one no one was killed or injured, but the photo of the derailment is worth looking at… and thinking how the heck was nobody hurt.

Winter February 26, 2021 1:35 AM

“Texas Leaders Ignored Warnings A Decade Ago That Their Power Supply Was In Danger”

Libertarianism and infrastructure, a match made in hell. It is a lesson that the latter part of “live free or die” is much more real than is generally advertised.

Search for “A libertarian walks into a bear” for more entertaining examples of “freedom to feed the bears”.

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