vas pup March 26, 2021 5:26 PM

Can young blood slow aging?

Scientists at Stanford gave old mice plasma from the blood of young ones; certain proteins crossed the so-called blood-brain barrier and evidently enhanced their performance of everyday tasks. Is the process transferable to human neurodegenerative diseases?

Good 4 minutes video! I hope you can see vividly who can for sure benefit out of such treatment.

Clive Robinson March 26, 2021 6:10 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

This is hard to understand.

Not realy, it’s about time the IC and SigInt agencies had a good kick up the backside for their bovine scat “We are the good guys” nonsense.

They are commiting criminal acts, as they are fond of pointing out to other countries by issuing indictments. I said such politically inspired nonsense would “back fire” and now it has, they have been hoist by their own petard.

That as they say is “how the cookie crumbles”.

Google did the right thing, both legaly and morally the opposite of those they pulled the plug on.

This waily waily hair pulling and gnashing of teath is just doubling down on the stupidity.

The claim is as always “major terrorist” or “major drugs” or “major XXX” in one of the is it now 47 “Wars on XXX” the US is running to ensure it’s position.

Look at it another way US politicals for their own purposes outed a CIA operative which is a major crime, they outed a UK boots on the ground operative thus killing him off as an operational asset, they outed a European IC agency by revealing that they had hacked into the webcams on laptops in Russia killing that off as a method, and several more.

This “major XXX” is a knee jerk response more often than not closely followed by the “endangering of US lives” in a “think of the children” FUD campaign.

But whenever their claims have been contested and checked the facts appear not to be aligned with the rhetoric.

But flip it the other way, eleven zero days got fixed, we do not know as nobody has said yet if they realy were zero days. So as was alleged about Russia and China using the same exploits if correct suggests zero days get used by anyone who finds or sees them.

How much harm could be done by these eleven zero days, well we kind of know, when alegadly the Russian affiliates used a US IC zero day as fake ransomware…

So if we are going to have this sort of bull scat flung out by unamed US Gov representatives, perhaps people should issue counter balancing arguments about the harms the “We are the good guys” and “might is right” nonsense is causing.

As far as I’m concerned Google did the right thing ethically, morally, and legally.

So from that point of view not that hard to understand.

But is there a back story on this that is the implication being hung in the back ground. That is are Google “pushing back” against the USG for some reason? If it was Facebook I would not be surprised to see people raise it as a flag in the foreground.

History indicates that the NSA tapped many of Googles intersite back haul cables and that Google were upset about the illegal activity.

So I will reserve judgment on if this is “pay back” or not, but in a way Google has broken a dam the question is will others follow and reveal the truth of what US Agencies are upto, in the same way the US DoJ has done with it’s politically inspired indictments and much flapping of it’s gums.

We all know that with very high probability it was the US Agencies that started spying on other Nations via the Internet, the fact that sovereign nations have seen fit to retaliate in kind and the USG got all sniffy about it does not change the fact that if you throw stones at people they will throw some back as hard if not harder. There is that oft quoted line of “Do unto others as you woud have them do unto you”…

MK March 26, 2021 6:25 PM

Let’s see: to charge an 80 KWh battery in 5 minutes (1/12 hour) requires a charger that can deliver 960 Kw. That’s 1,600 amps at 600 volts. I don’t want to be anywhere near that vehicle while it is being charged.

SpaceLifeForm March 26, 2021 6:32 PM

@ Clive

I left out the ‘allegedly’.

It’s really only hard to understand if one has not been paying attention for decades.

That said, I am very curious to discern what op was burned.

In particular, if it was a US op. Which is my hunch. That it was not a non-US FVEY.

Jonathan Wilson March 26, 2021 6:33 PM

It doesn’t matter who is doing it or why they are doing it, in my book intentionally hoarding a known flaw in a piece of software so it can be abused for hacking rather than handing that flaw over to the developers of the software so it can be fixed is bad.

Clive Robinson March 26, 2021 6:53 PM

@ vas pup, MK, ALL,

Israeli 5-Minute Battery Charging to Revolutionize Electric Cars

As @MK has noted being around a 1MW charging unit is not going to be fun, especially in high humidity or rain.

But also the usual hype gets in the way of a little reality. Back in the 1930’s there were electric vehicles running of large lead acid accumulators. Even back then they knew that the supply of lead was not just finite but quite restricted in availability especially as it was used for many other things including roofing and water pipes.

Move forward nearly a century later and it’s lithium we are looking at. That to is finite but also restricted in supply. Realistically we do not have enough to make anything close to the number of batteries required to switch over from gasoline to electric.

But also we’ve known how to charge a battery in 5-Minutes or less for decades. The process is little different to putting gasoline in a fuel tank.

Just two methods of several that can used are,

Firstly, adding ethonal to a fuel tank to be used by fuel cells.

Secondly, by swapping the electrolite liquid in a battery that does not undergo chemical change to the electrodes.

The second is intetesting because the electrodes do not undergo chemical / physical change thus will last many thousands of charge cycles unlike more mainstream batteries. Esentially the charge station consists of two tanks, the first contains the depleated electrolyte from bateries. This electrolyte passes through a charging cell and goes to a second tank and holds the recharged electrolyte to put back in batteries.

The downside is that the energy density is low and the electrolite chemicals are realy quite unpleasent not just to humans but the entire environment.

Anders March 26, 2021 7:20 PM


Anders March 26, 2021 7:27 PM

IT happens even with the best 🙂


SpaceLifeForm March 26, 2021 7:39 PM


“force majeure”

Learn it. You will be hearing about it a long time. Probably until you die.

You will hear about it in court cases as a defense to stupidity.

Mark my words.

Weather March 26, 2021 8:23 PM

@clive slf
Its not ic ,just a bug, a 4 day test is post 31 char or less sha256, I should be able to give you the char, it takes 4 days so don’t be a dick.

Abbot March 26, 2021 10:34 PM

I was looking at power tools this week, and it seems “IoT” has begun to infect this business. Some Milwaukee tools have a “wireless”-looking logo on them. The manual says it’s a “One-Key” feature that can be used to track tools, and to remotely disable them (“If your tool is lost or stolen, render it useless by sending a remote shut-down command to the tool for the next time it comes within range of any open ONE-KEY app”). Doesn’t say what, if any, input is needed on the tool to pair with it; nor did I find any mention of whether it’s possible to disable the feature (the manual says it relies on a CR2032 cell inside the tool; doesn’t say whether it’s the feature or the tool that stops working if that’s removed, but an anti-theft feature shouldn’t be so easy to bypass, which makes me think the latter).

I’ve seen at least one other brand with a similar feature, and I find no public security research on any of them. That’s not a good sign, if the history of IoT is any indication (and given the text that says literally any phone can send the disable command—sure, it could be done securely in theory, but what are the chances?). Well, if any of y’all were looking for a project, here you go.

MarkH March 26, 2021 11:49 PM


Thanks for the link to the FT article on hydrodynamics and the Suez accident.

It’s interesting; the stuff about induced yaw was new to me; and hopefully this will contribute to figuring out how to avoid such accidents in the future.

lurker March 27, 2021 12:43 AM

re: fast charge batteries

The video mentioned the key point: getting the effective series resistance down. But, waving my Red Flag again, there are buses tootling around cities in China on supercapacitors. Granted they are free from range anxiety: at selected stops a pantograph rises to meet overhead charging terminals. 20% charge in 2 minutes is all they need. Enough capacity to stop-start a bus should translate easily to a lighter vehicle.

SpaceLifeForm March 27, 2021 2:29 AM

@ MarkH, Clive, ALL

Supposedly, there will be a crane barge large enough to remove containers from the Ever Given on site this weekend. I expect it to arrive Starboard.

The problem: Only one. There needs to be one on each side to keep the ship balanced as I seriously doubt the crane will be able to reach across.

Everything needs to be done VERY CAREFULLY.

Your second thought is what I was thinking. Very close.

I am surprised that I do not see any digging effort at stern. It seems to me that digging the stern free (holding ship in place with tugs), will reduce tidal stress on the hull. Because, at this time, the ship is basically a bridge. The west side has more sand than rock. Note the rock on east side is not solid rock, but large chunks. But you can not call it sand or even gravel.

If the hull is breached due to tidal stress, a huge problem and we are definitely into next year.

The other big problem is the digging on bow end. It must be balanced also. Sucking out the sand on bow port side is not going to free it. There really is plenty of rock.

This operation is extremely simple to completely screw up.

Done wrong, and it becomes keel over.

These are the two big issues: Hull breach, or, keel over.

This operation is extremely simple to completely screw up.

Richter ll March 27, 2021 2:50 AM


You would have to be such an idiot to think that the virus just by coincidence started in Wuhan and that it had nothing to do with the BSL-4 lab there that was doing experiments on these types of coronaviruses. Like… of all the places in the world that this virus could have started spreading… it just happened to be a few miles from this lab? Come on.
And not only did people not believe this, they thought it was such an outrageous claim that any talk of it should be censored, and the subject should not even be open for debate. How dumb are these people? It’s like there’s no hope for them at all. If they’re so brainwashed that they don’t believe the lab in Wuhan had anything do to with the virus emerging there, there’s really nothing they wont believe. How could any rational person truly think the lab being there was just a coincidence? Yet apparently all these “scientists” and “experts” who are supposedly only interested in truth and facts pushed the theory of animal transmission without any real evidence to support that idea.

SpaceLifeForm March 27, 2021 3:15 AM

@ MarkH, Clive, ALL

There is a reason I called this an ‘accident’. Note quotes.

I do not believe there is any hope that the tide will be large enough.

I do not see a 4+ foot rise as enough to lift her free. Which is happening right now.

Next shot, a bit better, in over 12 hours.


They say heavy winds knocked the ship into the sandbanks, but data so far shows it was also traveling 13 knots in an 8-knot speed zone when the accident happened, according to Konrad.

Several salvors have also said the most likely cause was a blackout power outage that compromised steering just as the wind gust came up. Coincidentally, this same ship was involved in an accident in Hamburg in 2019, when its owners rammed into a ferry and destroyed it. They had blamed the accident on a loss of steering power and high winds back then, too.

Salvors say the next opportunity to move the ship will be during spring tides on Sunday and Monday. If that doesn’t work, it could take weeks to dig her out of the sand, all the while trying to keep her upright and intact.

MarkH March 27, 2021 3:43 AM


Your posts are wonderfully persistent!

There is no natural rock at the grounding site. The geology of the canal in that region is clay.

The stones you see in the photos are a facing — probably not more than a meter
thick — call rip-rap by civil engineers.

This can be seen quite clearly, in some of the press photos of the work to refloat the monster. Where the excavators have dug, a few scattered pieces of rip-rap can be seen. Everything else is soft soil.

The Canal Authority puts rip-rap on the embankments, to protect the SOFT SOFT CLAY into which the southern canal is dug, from erosion caused by transit-induced waves. Rip-rap is not structural, so it doesn’t need thickness or coherence. It’s just a surface treatment to reduce erosion.

As I informed comment readers just a few days ago, less than 0.05 percent of the canal’s length had rock in the path of excavation.

As to barge cranes, some of the photos I’ve seen look titanic. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are capable of reaching across the width of the ship. The big ones are designed for extremely massive loads; for them, the weight of a shipping container should be as nothing, even at full horizontal extension.

If you are the captain of a huge ship, you are educated in what can cause capsizing, and how to prevent it. If you are the captain of a huge ship, capsizing is something you never, never, never want to happen, and you are extremely careful to prevent it.

It’s in nobody’s interest for Ever Given to capsize. The captain of Ever Given, and the salvage experts in attendance, will be exceedingly careful to prevent such a calamity.

It’s tragic that IT geeks don’t run everything … we’re so much smarter at every other subject, than the professionals who’ve devoted their entire careers to them. When will the world wake up to what it’s missing?

Clive Robinson March 27, 2021 3:49 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

That said, I am very curious to discern what op was burned.

We may never get to know the reality of the situation, because the IC agencies do not like being embarrassed in any way for various political reasons.

If as indicated eleven zero days were being used, then that is quite profligate usage indicating one of three things,

1, They have zero days to burn.
2, They think the zero days have no shelf life.
3, The target was sophisticated in it’s defence.

Whilst they agency might have zero days to burn, the reporting was that the zero days were all related to one code base. Thus they might have been a “find one find them all” single root cause that slipped through automated test of the code. I guess we will get to know more on that in the near future. It might also be that some other AV/malware organisation had already reported one or more of the zero days so the count down clock was already ticking.

But lets consider the implication of a sophisticated target. That is one that takes a serious approach to defending their ICT assets, thus might need that number of zero days to get past their defences.

The fact that they are overly cautious in defence when compared to others does not in any way make them a threat short term or long term. That is they may be a company doing research into security or other communications etc and a SigInt agency want’s in on things early for various reasons. Before others claim “Good guys don’t do that” or similar mantra, we know that is far from being true, the Five-Eyes do it routienly and they’ve be caught at it in the past.

The one that comes immediately to mind is the attacks against cryptographers and similar that occured through BelgaCom[1]. What we would actually call “industrial espionage” plain and simple, and something I know from experience GCHQ has no qualms what so ever about doing. As well as handing over the information gained to “favoured manufacturers” to build equipment for them[2].

Then there are “alied governments” there is a long history of the NSA using the likes of the Olympics to get inside of the security perimiters of host nation telecoms agencies to spy on their leaders phone calls. We have good reason to believe that the US sees the EU as a significant threat to it’s economic position and has for decades been spying on the EU and it’s leaders in various ways, including back-doored crypto kit via a certain company in Zug Switzerland, and using attacks against EU leaders mobile phones[3].

But ask yourself a more important question,

What evidence is there that “terrorists” might have the level of sophistication to need eleven zero days?

The answer is of course “none that we are aware of”. Because we know that they do not trust networked electronic communications, ever since a missile landed on a person using a satellite phone. Which got further reinforced by drone strikes. That is they learned quickly and appart from doing reverse attacks to cause drone strikes on civilians thus bad publicity for US and other troops they tend to do their high level security some what differently. That is using trade craft methods of physical communications that smugglers have used for centuries that are well tried and known to work and are very resource intensive to get into and any intercepts become obvious.

Hopefully that will give you an indicator on what operations have been effected, and they are not the ones the article quotes would lead most to believe.


[2] Duncan Campbell knows about it as “UK Security Services” stole his designs for detecting telephone taps like the “infinity decice” where an RF carrier of near MW frequencies was used to jump the small capacitance of the “hook switch” in the phone. The Security Services then got Marconi to make similar units for the Security Services and other Political, Diplomatic and Military services to use.


Clive Robinson March 27, 2021 4:13 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Learn it. You will be hearing about it a long time. Probably until you die.

It means “naked theft by Government” via their monopoly on violence as they fervently believe “Might is Right”.

metaschima March 27, 2021 5:42 AM

@ Richter ll

I read the German study on the likelihood of COVID-19 coming from BSL-4 lab in Wuhan that studies coronavirus. Indeed one of the first victims worked at the lab. It definitely seems plausible and maybe even likely that COVID came from this lab, either accidental or deliberate. Will we ever know for sure? Probably not, and if we do then it will be an international incident possibly starting WWIII. Either way, we can’t close pandora’s box, the virus is out now and we have to deal with it. I got my vaccine, so please get yours and continue to take measures as recommended. I fully acknowledge that corporations and governments are taking advantage of the crisis to grab more power and money especially from the poor, it’s sad but this is how they work, they are opportunists.

Czerno March 27, 2021 5:42 AM

@Clive, @All, Re: Oxford AZ vaccine, bloodclots.

Vaccination using the AstraZeneca serum which has begun in Continental Europe is encountering doubts about a rare but severe (upto deadly) possibility of atypical thromboses occurring around 8 days after the jab, which some health agencies have now confirmed appear highly correlated with the vaccine injection, in middle aged subject without prior blood problems or unusual “comorbidity”.

Starting just today my age class (70+) is eligible for vaccination in my country (FR) and I was going for the AZ, but these more-than-rumors about blood clots have made me wary. I don’t know what to think (as in benefit over risk). What I find surprising is if the British did not report similar accidents to what the Continentals say we are seeing. Any more info from the usual know-alls ?

I understand I have a choice to go for Pfizer instead but I’m less than enthused. What gives ?

Clive Robinson March 27, 2021 6:13 AM

@ MatkH, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Thanks for the link to the FT article on hydrodynamics and the Suez accident.

I did nor read the FT article for “pay wall” reasons.

However I suspect it was about the “Bank Effect” part of which is similar in effect to two ships moving close together then getting “sucked together” by the “working fluid” and fun things like the Venturi effect.

The thing is as the vessel aproached the port side bank the water would have speeded up at first and the preasure would drop, sucking the stern of the vessel closer to the bank. As the gap closed the water at the side of the vessel would become to constrained thus getting funneled under the esentially flat bottom, which would suck the stern down. You can actually see this effect in large vessels as they enter shallow shipping channels. But due to the shape of the bows more and more water gets pushed in beyween the bank and the vessel and a very fast nonlinear change happens. The suction at the bows gets suddenly reversed flipping it away from the bank, whilst the stern sees increased suction. The vessel “spins on a dime” but inertia still keeps the center of mass moving in the last direction. This causes the vessel to roll to the leewards side away from the bank forcing the bows downwards and in effect sucking the vessel down into the water.

What hapens next very much depends on the shape of the hull, but it’s known from barges that are relatively wide and flat that a lot of energy gets transfered into the water which like a spring gives it back. This either lifts the vessel or propelles it in a vectored direction very rapidly.

Years ago I saw a demonstration of this at the UK admirality Research center next to the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington South West London a little over a third of a century ago. They were trying to develop a “3D” imaging system using cohearant ultra sonic sources and were having problems (in effect lack of computing power, and lack of recording ability).

There is some mathmatics that has been developed but you get “cusps” around which chaos plays thus the models are way to sensitive to the inputs to be of use in real time predictions.

Robin March 27, 2021 8:21 AM


The benefits of the AZ vaccine vastly outweigh any risk. I had mine yesterday. Side effects? Very slightly under the weather – like when I’ve just done a 10km hike – which lasted about 4 hours. 1/2 paracetamol worked fine.

Benefits of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh any risk, says EMA
(htt ps://

There’s no proof the Oxford vaccine causes blood clots. So why are people worried?
(htt ps://

Ignore the political bickering.

Goat March 27, 2021 9:55 AM

re:”It’s tragic that IT geeks don’t run everything … we’re so much smarter at every other subject, than the professionals who’ve devoted their entire careers to them. When will the world wake up to what it’s missing?”

@MarkH Goodluck doing your taxes 😉

On a serious note though I would say that often the complexities of the problem can only be seen by an expert eye. And post-facto analysis is always easy.

Anders March 27, 2021 10:20 AM


Anders March 27, 2021 10:44 AM


ECC and geopolitics and more.

“UNK: All the CIS, including Georgia and Ukraine. Primarily because of geopolitics.”


NotACaptain March 27, 2021 12:14 PM

As regards that ship stuck in the canal… Would it be viable to build coffer dams on either side of the ship, add water to raise the ship, straighten her out, remove dams and steam away?

metaschima March 27, 2021 12:17 PM

@ Czerno

I recommend the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they are extremely safe and effective with no serious side effects except extremely rare anaphylaxis, but no deaths due to the vaccine. As for the Astra vaccine, I would say the blood clots being listed as the cause of death make those claims more believable, but overall it has been determined that the vaccine was not the cause. I took the Pfizer and that’s what I recommended to family, with Moderna an excellent second choice. Beyond that, if you don’t have a choice of vaccine, you should still get the vaccine. Your odds of dieing from COVID far outweigh any possible side effects from the vaccine. Just so you know, the flu vaccine has death listed as a possible side effect, but in my work (healthcare) I have not seen a single case and neither has anyone I know, and millions get the flu vaccine every year.

MarkH March 27, 2021 1:04 PM


I’m also not a captain, nor a civil engineer … so I wildly speculate that although the coffer-dam approach is practically guaranteed to work (if viable), its accomplishment might consume a month to several months.

The dammed section would need a low leakage rate. I think that clays are not bad for this purpose … but if I’m wrong, or it’s the wrong kind of clay, or if there’s too much sand in the mix, then the section would need to be sealed also, which is another big undertaking.

The Canal Authority can be expected to focus on faster remedies. Digging and lightening are simple, and elementary mechanics ensures their effectiveness.

Clive Robinson March 27, 2021 3:58 PM

@ NotACaptain,

Would it be viable to build coffer dams on either side of the ship

It won’t work on “either side” you would need to effectively encircle[1] the vessel to get the required strength and that would give rise to some interesting engineering to put it mildly, especially as the local source of materials sand/clay soil lacks the structural integrity to withstand even a small head hight of water without failing.

Thus you would somehow have to put a water proof layer of high structural integrity all the way under the vessel and then pack soil up behind it with about a maximum ofva thirty degree slope. In effect you would have to ship in very significan amounts of material probably more than required to make a ciry block of high rise buildings…

So yes it could be done in theory, in practice it would be easier to divert the canal around the vessel and turn it into a tourist attraction…

[1] It’s actually a very old engineering problem, you have to turn it upside down to see why. In essence you are building an upside down “dome” and you have to ensure the forces are vertical not tending to horizontal. The solution without all sorts of complicated buttressing is to encircle the base of the dome with a hidden chain that directs outwards forces inwards thus downwards and gives stability as long as the chain remains unbroken. The same principle would apply for this ship, unfortunately the local sand/clay soil lacks the strength to support even the minimum of water “head hight”.

vas pup March 27, 2021 5:49 PM

Thank you all respected bloggers for input related to fast charged batteries.

As I recall, in video it was mentioned that new type of charging stations will be needed – or I am daydreaming?

@lurker: maybe future belongs to supercapacitors in many other applications as well. We will see! Thanks again.

MarkH March 27, 2021 9:54 PM


You made an interesting point above:

“I am surprised that I do not see any digging effort at stern.”

Evidently the have been working both ends. I just saw a report that Friday night, the rudder and screws were freed (all able to move).

The dig goes on …

Clive Robinson March 28, 2021 4:54 AM

@ MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

The dig goes on …

There’s a tune for that…

But today and tomorrow are the spring tide…

If they are going to use tidal assistance the high tides of these next couple of days are the time to do it.

If they miss the high spring tides, and if they need them, then it’s a couple of weeks till the next opportunity.

Ismar March 28, 2021 3:50 PM

Australia’s cyber watchdog called in as Federal Parliament crippled by another hacking attempt

Australia’s cyber authorities are working to establish what has caused a crippling IT disruption at Federal Parliament that has left many of the building’s occupants without access to email across the weekend. Read the full story

SpaceLifeForm March 28, 2021 5:00 PM

@ Cluve, MarkH, NotACaptain

If they miss the high spring tides, and if they need them, then it’s a couple of weeks till the next opportunity.

The recent High Tide Tug Party was cancelled.

They are waiting for bigger tugs.

Float a Boat in a Moat

I really believe tbat is the solution.

Clay is exactly what you want to prevent leakage.

The fast solution is not true cofferdams built with steel and rock. But tons and tons of material pushed and dumped across the canal.

Two dams. Semi-close to the Ever Given, but not too close. All floating vessel equipment needed will need to be positioned inside of the future moat.

The dams will have to be very wide. They need to be wide enough to allow to allow large earthmovers to dump, and turn around. And room for bulldozers to push the dumped loads.

The material is there just off the eastern side of canal. The equipment is not.

Probably will require some buildup on the banks too.

Then pumps. Pump water over the southern dam into the moat. The dams can not be too far away from each other as you don’t want the surface area too large. Evaporation and leakage must be less than pumping rate.
But, you must have room to work inside the moat.

Will need to set up two fueling docks to service the floating equipment inside the moat.

So, you are looking at trucking in diesel.

And water, food, housing. Creating a city.

The Sands of Time.

Already 27,000 cubic meters of sand have been moved. Compare to the original estimate of 20,000 cubic meters of sand.

The sand keeps blowing in or swept in by water flow. The Ever Given is a sand trap.

If it works, you are looking at many months. The removal of the temporary dams will take the longest.

But if the Ever Given were to break or capsize, then you are looking at years.

It’s a matter of time. It is possible that the Ever Given has reached it’s final destination.

SpaceLifeForm March 28, 2021 6:40 PM

@ Clive, MarkH

Money is Time.

WRT to Money, they are running out of Time.

I am not optimistic WRT to Ever Given.

Just not optimistic.

I really think that the money pressure is driving short-term thinking.

I am concerned.

If they do not get lucky next 5 high tides, then, not good.

Mr. Peed Off March 28, 2021 7:21 PM

I suspect there is enough “shock and awe” in the area to clear the canal of the blockage. Time to put some of the bloated military budgets to productive use.

MarkH March 28, 2021 7:53 PM


I’m inclined to agree, that coffer dams might not be as difficult as Clive proposes. There’s an enormous amount of civil engineering experience with earth dams: my understanding is that they are vastly more common than the fancy concrete dams most people visualize.

Clay can be used as a liner, but it has to be the right kind. If the clay on site isn’t suitable, or has too much sand mixed in, then the whole proposition would get much more difficult — and it’s a big project, even if the soil is suitable.

Clive suggests that a bypass canal could be excavated in less time than coffer dams would need, which seems plausible to me.

Where you wrote “if the Ever Given were to break or capsize, then you are looking at years” — I just don’t see that.

Applying worst-case thinking, the entire load of containers could be taken off within a month. Capsize is unlikely unless the ship is made unstable, and I predict that the people working on the problem will be very careful about stability. The analytic theory of ship stability must be at least 150 years old; every student of naval architecture and ship captain is thoroughly schooled in it.

Even if the ship broke (beyond repair) for some reason, that’s no cause for it to remain in place for a long time. Remember that the structural weight of a ship is far smaller than its displacement — if not, it would offer no extra buoyancy for payload!

The structural weight of Ever Given is probably on the order of 50,000 tons, maybe less. Bridges of comparable mass have been recovered from riverbeds, whether due to calamity or controlled demolition, in a matter of weeks.

Compared to river beds, which often have irregular profiles and strong currents, working on the smoothly profiled bed of a 24-meter-deep canal with modest currents would an easy job. The hulk would need to be cut into sections (in this catastrophic scenario), but salvage crews have been doing that sort of thing underwater for generations.

Would such a calamity be expensive? Horribly.

Could it stop traffic for more than a month or two? Not Gonna Happen.

Just a few years ago, the Canal Authority added 250 meters of width to 35 km of a bypass — in one year. To put it simply (but not inaccurately), that was more than 8 square km of canal-depth excavation in one year, or better than 700 square meters of excavation per month.

It is even conceivable, that they couldn’t dig a few km of narrow emergency bypass canal in less than 2 months?


The worst case isn’t here, nor does it seem likely.

Ever Given is stable at present — the problem is that it’s much too stable at its perch! Divers have reportedly inspected the hull without finding evidence of cracks. If there were more than modest leakage, the crew would find this out promptly.

Digging the dirt is slow, unglamorous, and (by definition!) dirty. It’s simple. It works. Clive’s homeland has an artificial hill, more than 4,000 years old, made by human muscle power — about 250,000 cubic meters of soil.

Once enough soil has been moved, Ever Given will be free to move. If it’s not heavily flooded, it will float. The laws of physics are steady and dependable.

MarkH March 28, 2021 8:00 PM


My sleepy old head strikes again.

Where I wrote “better than 700 square meters of excavation per month,” the correct number is plainly 700,000 square meters (of canal-depth excavation) per month.

lurker March 28, 2021 9:06 PM


There’s an enormous amount of civil engineering experience with earth dams:

Indeed there is, usually built on dry land where the river flow has already been piped under the future dam, or diverted by temporary coffer dams of rock rip-rap. Here you are trying to build a dam underwater. As @Clive hinted: good luck with that. I’ll go along with @Mr.PeedOff and expect some contribution from overflowing regional military budgets.

SpaceLifeForm March 28, 2021 11:53 PM

@ Clive, MarkH, ALL

There may be a Gold Man trying to chase a Bear near a Canal.


SpaceLifeForm March 29, 2021 12:17 AM

@ Clive, MarkH, ALL

I got suckered. Now the story is ‘partially freed’.

There is so much fake news around this ‘accident’. For days, it’s been pure hope. Someone is manipulating the markets big time via media reports.

Sorry for the false hope. I learned my lesson. I’ll wait for the real evidence.

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 2:04 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There may be a Gold Man trying to chase a Bear near a Canal.

All driven by the braying of an ass behind a hedge, that thinks it’s a tiger…

It’s going to prove intetesting this morning in Frankfurt, London and later New York. Apparently US Media and Chinese Tec stocks have been dumped into the market to cover a series of trades gone bad, and the Asia markets were runing red yesterday as things plummeted.

Hold onto your hat and watch what might just be the “destruction derby” to “open the season” get rolling.

Put simply there is a problem production in the West has been well down for more than a year now. However the stock markets went on a rise, backed by not a lot… Thus many are expecting the laws,of financial gravity to start to play as what goes up spectacularly tends to blow like an exploding bubble or crash down like a meteorite digging a hole in the ground.

I guess we are going to have to wait and see…

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 29, 2021 2:52 AM

11 Mar 2021 — The Anti-Democratic Turn
Lecture Synopsis:
Professor of History at Yale Unisversity and permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Timothy Synder presents a lecture on The Anti-Democratic Turn. This is one in a series of the Phil Lind Initiative series at the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

Professor Synder postulates about several mechanisms that contribute to the reductionist philosophy that grips one of a two party system thus by definition rendering the U.S. a failed democratic republic.

The lecture presented on zoom is available on YouTube at:

hxx spt://

(url mangled for your pleasure)

What Synder fails to identify is what is the core disaffection and the process that hold onto a large swath of the U.S. citizenry under a propagandistic machine. Synder’s answer to the problem of the disaffected borrows from his work on reforms in post WWII German. It is this unparalleled reaction to one of the largest fractures in the geo-political environment was based on a philosophical and political debate concerning fascism.

I will argue that the largest single force in perpetrating a fractured social environment that is driven not by a philosophy but by a drive to form a theocratic state without a philosophy but a dogmatic and primitive social re-ordering. Synder’s failure to recognize the network of pastors that are essentially front loading the conspiracies that appear within the context of QAnon. If my understanding allows, it is QAnon acting as a clearinghouse of the conspiracies from the top GOP operatives/supporters that are whitewashed from the pulpits of evangelical churches across the country–especially in red states and rural counties.

Synder interesting states something relative to speech that I find compelling, “The collection of profitable utterances have lead us to the big lie.”

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 4:19 AM

@ name.withheld…,

Synder interesting states something relative to speech that I find compelling, “The collection of profitable utterances have lead us to the big lie.”

Synder appears a little slow on the uptake over this.

I’ve mentioned before the the three basic typrs of “ist” and their “isims”.

They are,

1, Those who blaim / attack due to their own inherant failings.

2, Those who have been harmed by individuals who they see as part of a larger group thus blaim any member of a group.

These are basic “tribalism” effects that appear to be built in by “nature” but certainly bloom under “nurture”.

Which leaves,

3, Those who profit by playing up “isums”. That is they can see money / power / status in dispute and thus encorage dispute in some way or another.

The thing is where someone sees and seeks profit, others come along to make their own profit in turn. You have a successfull business in some places and some one will come along demanding protection in some form or another…

MarkH March 29, 2021 4:27 AM

@SpaceLifeForm: (real-time location monitoring) confirms not only that Ever Given is at a lesser angle than before to the alignment of the canal, and that the stern now has considerable clearance — the prow seems to be at least a couple of dozen meters farther from the camel’s edge.

The clay section is supposed to have its banks sloped 33%, so the prow needs to be roughly 50 meters from water’s edge to ensure that the (normally) submerged nose is clear of the soil.

With a little luck, traffic might flow again in a day or two. The Canal Authority will need to make an underwater inspection of the bed and banks, to ensure that the profile is safe for traffic.

Weeks may pass before shipping recovers to its usual equilibrium.


Ironically, the news report I read refers to a maritime services firm called Inchcape, which may have made the first announcement of the ship’s liberation … enthusiasts of mediocre English verse will recall a poem in which a boat runs aground:

… the vessel strikes with a shivering shock: “O Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock!”

A smile a day... March 29, 2021 6:46 AM


“prow seems to be at least a couple of dozen meters farther from the camel’s edge.”

But is the proboscis under the tent flap?

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 8:13 AM

@ MarkH,

Weeks may pass before shipping recovers to its usual equilibrium.

Thatcis almost a given / inevitable.

I wounder how many are already in yransit for the Cape route…

“O Christ! it is the Inchcape Rock!”

There is quite a bit of history behind that rock…

Better known as the “bell rock” it’s a very nasty bit of red sandstone forming a largish reef. I’ve sailed close to it very cautiously at low slack water and you can see that it stretches a good distance away from the light barely breaking the surface.

The raising of the light house by the Stevenson’s is a story and a half in it’s own right, yet there are older stories[1].

There is a story about an Abbot horified at the loss of life, strived to put a bell on the rock as a warning to sailors. There is also anothet apocryphal story about how a pirate stole the bell, only for his ship to come to grief on the bell rock a year later.

In essence the poem is about those two stories.

A case of “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls…”.


Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 10:46 AM

@ Winter,

It’s funny how things pan out. For instance ~8AM this morning,

“Boskalis is the parent company of Smit Salvage, which has assisted in efforts to dislodge the ship. They indicated a new tug would arrive and water would be injected under the ship’s bow to help free it, but if those efforts did not work containers might have to be removed.”

Which is almost exactly what I expected would be tried.

It looks like sthe suction effect was not as bad as it could have been (think trying to seperate two pains of glass that have a little water in between).

I’m guessing that their reporting was a little pesermistic rather than optomistic (hardly surprising).

Ah well I guess the clock starts and it will take half a week to a week and,a half to clear the backlog, then there is the delays/congestion at ports that will take probably another two weeks to a month to ease off. Then the backed up / delayed goods in yards etc to be shipped to ports say a week or two later.

Then hopefully things will be kind of back to normal shipping wies. But heaven alone knows what the financial cost will be. 1/3rd of the worlds trade goes through that canal, it’s been stoped for 2% of the year… The costs will still be going up for the next week or three so about 3% of the worlds annual movment of goods, that’s gona hurt someone…

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 12:00 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Well trading has closed in the UK which lraves the NYSE being the place where things will run out a bit before the Asian markets open again.

You can read about some of todays fun,

It appears quite a bit of damage has happened but it’s localised (for now).

Put simply the West has not been producing goods this past year, yest the various stock exchanges have seen fairly vigours increases in paper value.

Thus indicating there is a bubble building like a festering boil… That is going one of two ways, burst as some boils do spreading muck every where, or it will leak out. Either way it’s going down the question iscrealy when and with a bang or a whimper. Most have their fingers crossed for the latter because there are still a lot of young punks with money to be taken off of them.

Most have heard of “GameStop” and all the fun that created.

In essence hedge funds were, naked short selling and got hit when the price did the opposit of what they expected.

Well hedge funds are still upto some of those tricks. One “family” fund decided to play silly games on Viacom shares assuming the price would continue to rise.

Only it did not a 3billion share issue went bad and Viacom dropped like a lead kipper out the back end of a jumbo. The hedge fund got a “margin call” and because they could not pay for what ever reason the banks started selling the shares the hedge fund held in large tranches, knocking the price out of them. This was other US Media companies and Chinese Tech stocks. This started on Friday.

Thus the bords ran red over the weekend and started going bad this morning…

However things have been contained for now.

However big questions are going to get asked about these family hedge funds and the way they operate with next to no transparancy or any real oversight. With several trillions tucked away out of sight and away from taxes do not be sueprised if such enquires become a bit more interesting.

But the simple fact is the market has been growing fueled by sucker investments and there is nothing to back up the inflated share values. Thus the question becomes one of,

1, How much more can be squeased out of the new kid sucker investments?

2, What happens when they are stripped whipped and hung out to dry.

The money has to go somewhere, at the moment it’s just pieces of paper blowing around in a small tornado lifting them up. But sooner or later those fantasy figures are going to have to become reality. For those that have been playing the game for a few years they have already git the real money out. Which means the rest is fantasy money like fairy gold, which is going to turn into lead rather quickly.

So the question becomes will the let down be fast hard and brutal or will it be gentle on those who have the good sense to move out of deep waters and into shallow seas and thus ride out the storm at anchor.

The trick is to know when to get off of the dogems and switch to the ponies.

For fun I’m going to be watching the metals markets(and I realy do mean watching not investing, I like my shirt). Copper is down due to the expectation of the Suez re opening so is oil. I’m expecting a few itchy feet to want to get out of Chinese Tech and Insurance/finance into what they see is safer waters. Traditionally that’s been industrial metals and secondary suppliers.

I guess I shall have to wait and see.

lu4ker March 29, 2021 12:09 PM

@MikeA: I too remember reading about those flywheel buses. They seem to have gone the way of the Stirling engine.

Winter March 29, 2021 12:14 PM

“Boskalis” was also involved in the widening of the Suez Canal. They and Smit are often called for the real tough jobs.

” But heaven alone knows what the financial cost will be.”

Given the reports, I guess it will end up in the $200-300M range. Probably a little more if everything is dealt with.

Being in the reinsurance business now might not be fun:

MarkH March 29, 2021 12:33 PM

@A smile a day:

Evidently, my phone’s autocorrect is so advanced, that it inferred I was writing about Egypt!

Czerno March 29, 2021 2:33 PM

Vaccine – followup – @Robin,@metaschima…

Thanks for the info and pointers you provided.

Meanwhile the French Agency for medicine security (ANSM) has ‘confirmed’ a albeit ‘very rare’ risk of atypical thrombosis associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, after a 24-yrs old medical student died in Nantes and other new cases of thrombosis detected in France. Authorities still underline the benefit-risk balance is ‘positive’ in front of the epidemy…

Which leads me to reconsidering in favour of taking the Pfizer, that anyway is easier for me to get (at the moment, things may change without notice…) My question, if you please, gentlemen, is there no reason to fear the newish m-RNA technique (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson?) as opposed to chimpanzee or other DNA (Astra) or more conventional inactivated virus (in vaccines not yet imported in France) as immunity inducing vectors ?

JonKnowsNothing March 29, 2021 3:17 PM


re: Witch Weekly Best Vac-simile Award

fwiw: Going over the same data that you are, reading this and that and checking the numbers and probability vs chances of exposure/death from waiting it out longer for a better vax.

A certain finality arrived:

  • In the end, no statistical number will help you.
    These are guides at best and directives at worst.

When you go for the jab: All bets are off. You get whatever happens at that moment and the days afterward. Good vax or Bad technique.

  • You can die instantly, 15 minutes later, 10 days later and repeat for 2-part jabs.

You won’t know, until the jab happens.

You can also get run over on the way to the jab center, pick up food poisoning while celebrating eating out afterward (to save the economy of course) and run into an angry personage wearing combat gear.

1 in 24 get COVID while waiting in the vax line, queued in the waiting area, sitting in the recovery area or from the medical personnel intending to save you….

What works for others, may or may not work for you. You can roll heads 100 times in a row and you can roll tails 100 times in a row. What you cannot know is which side of the coin YOUR jab is on, on the day you get it, at the moment of jab and the days that follow.

What you can know, is Wave 3 is crashing over Europe, Wave 1c is rising in the USA (un-publicized). France is already exceeding their November 2020 ICU numbers.

Everyone will get COVID-19, at some point. Everyone will get each and every COVID-19 Mutation that becomes dominant (B117 in EU). These aspects remain unchanged.

I worry about dropping dead from the vax because I have contra-indications to taking the mRNA vaxes available in the USA.

So, I am waiting for Godot and you know how that story ends…

Umm March 29, 2021 4:10 PM

@“JonKnowsNothing” at 3:17pm

You seem to “know” and spew a lot of anti-vax garbage. An almost perfect screed of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Weather March 29, 2021 4:39 PM

@jnn all
Different point of view, I live in a country that minimized the spreed, we have time to weight the situation, I understand that philzer waited tell trump got the boot and other network, but my opinion goes back to ,interview 1000 people in a pull and you know what the country will vote, yes saying they are good at there jobs, but they are not perfect, Johnson and Johnson we first to amit, so I’ll go with them.

tearoutbluetoothchipswedontneedthem March 29, 2021 4:44 PM

Trivia not trivial: (where else would we put these?)

Please stop mimicking Siths and Darth Vader and the Tyrannical Emperor.
Some of the impressionable kids have been unfortunately & tragiclally assuming that anything stylishly used must also be safe to use. We are already at the point where many kids that are so young or small are already strongly computer literate in their own ways.

Also, some parents have fast-tracked their kids into accelerated learning for some topics. This means that some kids are already at a historically intermediate adult level for computer literacy without necessarily yet knowing and participating in the advantages and necessities of hardened security.

As a solution kind of idea, provide healthier activities and alternatives as well as strongly memorable better role models instead of what the mainstream cynical and satyrical cultures provide for adults (while masquarading as family friendly).

NSFK = Not Safe for Kids
NSFW = Not Safe for Work
SNAFU = System Normal All “Effed” Up

Switching to grayscale or 1-bit (black & white; B&W), to just only luminance values (for a very wide pool of objects and devices and procedures) can help reduce some of the security problems associated with (temporarily) faulty image and pattern recognition tools. This can also sometimes become a benefit when needing to block some biometric visual devices and techniques. Sometimes we need to block them from deep use just to maintain more proper digital and nondigital boundaries.

Also, please beware of insecure (faulty) default cultural behaviors when such behaviors are too easy for malicious users to utilise. More than just being aware, avoid those cultural default behaviors and discontinue them especially if you really don’t need them.

These days there is a hyperabundance of too many devices being used to scan for exploit related materials, no matter how abstract or indirect or unrelated those related materials might be.

For that matter Wal-Mart’s previous computer promo >< is a severe security error. It's grossly wrong and incorrect and puts every person who passes in front of the computer camera to become vulnerable to malicious hackers and/or their tools. The imaging defaults are sickeningly set up for the alleged convenience of using biometric images instead of older traditional text "pas swords".

Last but not least, I still like the idea of using entire digital versatile disc "SHA-4096" (or similar) hashes for "pas swords".

As usual, avoid the kind of social hacks that are the in person equivalents of fonts to hide malware names and malware hidden as using the same or similar names as legitimate softwares.

Industry firmware providers: please always checksum and provide working checksums for your firmwares. Also allow us to use your firmwares without piping them and all related updates through Microsoft Windows products.

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 5:45 PM

@ Lu4ker,

They seem to have gone the way of the Stirling engine.

Are you perhaps thinking of the Felix Wankel rotary engine rather than the Stirling engine?

If you are then Mazda were apparently bringing it back in a hybrid in 2020…,

If you are talking of a Stirling “heat” engine they are very much on a resurgence these days as they have some very usefull properties not least are they run very quietly, and do not generate electrical noise nor do the generate vibration and with modern materials can be made smaller[1] lighter and more efficiently than most Internal Combustion Engines(ICE) of equivalent constant power rating.

Technically sterling engines are not internal combustion engines which means they will always be theoretically less efficient. But this has real advantages in quite a lot of cases, perhaps the most important is they need only heat so will run of any low grade fuel such as refuse and waasye bio-mass or even direct sunlight something the ICE can never do.

But Sterling engines are realy continuous power engines which is great if you are generating electricity for battery charging or feeding back to the grid etc. But not so good for cars, though NASA designed and built one and put it in a car using less spce and getting better fuel economy.

Stirling engines are thus to be found being put in all sorts of places these days. Sadly mostly out of sight, working quietly in the background doing “Sterling work”.

One use is to burn natural gas domestically to generate both electricity and hot water in a Combined Heat and Power(CHP) system. People tend to forget that power stations are generally bad news due to very high transmission losses some upto 25% of that generated just contributes directly to global warming as they heat the sky via I^2R losses.

I’ve actually got a denonstration sterling engine that runs on sunlight and cold water and generates enough power to light a few leds rather more if you stick it at the focus of a mirror. Also in the garage somewhere I’ve one from a CHP project that runs a 1kW generator off of gas and gives a realy nice clean electrical output, as well as also generating hot water. Somebody I know makes demonstration Stirling engines based on old CD’s that actually runs all be it slowly on the heat difference between your hand and room temprature. He demonstrates them at schools and leaves them behind in physics/science labs. I know it fascinates some teenage kids because they seemingly look like they run on magic and have helped some girls decide that STEM realy is the way for them to go.

So yeh Stirling engines are comming back into usefulness you just don’t get to see them as they are tucked away out of site and require little or no maintenance.

[1] It needs to be said that whilst a Stirling Engine can be quite small, they have a temprature differential issue between the hot and cold parts. To get efficiency you need to be able to effectively cool the cold end. As a boat engine or as part of a CHP system this is not generally a problem however in cars and vehicles you generally need a much larger cooling system thsn you do with an ICE.

name.withheld.for.obvious March 29, 2021 5:57 PM

29 MAR 2021 — God has never been hacked
From the ministries of Kenneth Copeland, a non-profit pyramid scheme
Broadcast on networks owned by the Copeland Ministries Corporation, “Faith for Every Nation” and “Victory News” the “Revival Capital of the World”

Structured Religious Vertical Marketing
As an example of how the underlying structure of religiosity has developed as a parallel construct to secular institutions. Where social services, education, and finances exist in the form of secular governments, sectarian cult-like groups have their religious text and transformed it into a theocratic basis for the management of the affairs of people.

Structured through what can be described as the Mary Kay or Amway religious organizations, have franchised their organizations with a financial chain of ownership. What is now happening is the religiosity of people is being subsidized by financial interests. This means that individuals financial health is tied to their religious relationships.

The number of examples respecting the organization’s ties to various elements of social enterprise is significant. Countries like Ukraine, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Columbia, Hungary, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, India, Vietnam, Egypt, Nepal, and Brazil are examples of the international scope of these efforts to de-secularize the world and prop up a “Kingdom of God”. NOTE: The list of countries follows closely to the rise of anti-democratic parties and movements.

Fixing the money thing, people are sitting on the bench (taken from Wall Street investor language), and need to move against the evil agents of Satan that currently hold wealth and power. This effort is escalating on a continuum and has been in the works for over forty years. This is an organized and deliberate effort to change the balance of power away from secular, non-exceptionalism, and other secular systems that are for the most part based on rational structures. Organizations of religious fascism are accelerating their message to their parishioners. They know that their agent-in-chief the former President number 45 had established the foothold into the largest most powerful nation in the world. Understand that the risk respecting the secular forms of governance is now at great peril.

The failure of capitalism to address the basic maintenance of the society in which they operate is the primary culprit. The vacuum of Neo-liberal capitalism and the lack of a governing theory other than austerity makes ripe a population willing to “believe” anything that might promise a better way forward. It is those that “believe” that the “faith” in the system is tied to the works of Satan.

Examples of the Language and Propaganda inside the Religious Movements
Faith = Knowledge
Knowledge = Accuracy
Freedom = Christ
Christ = All the treasures and knowledge, including that which is hidden
China and Russia = Thief associated with Satan (God has never been hacked)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 29, 2021 6:06 PM

Once again, though a bit more fuzzy around the edges, a fairly poignant submission that stated some simple observations, not asserting a truism but an observation that is probably unwanted. I chalk it up as Ostrich Syndrome.

Clive Robinson March 29, 2021 6:27 PM

@ Umm,

It’s fairly clear you have not a clue what you are talking about.

The point @JonKnowsNothing is making is that you have way way way more to worry about not taking any one of the jabs than you do taking one hardly anti-vax.

In fact the odds of death currently from any of the vaccines is so low even if contra indicated your risks are about 3500 times more likely to die of COVID if hospitals are not saturated and many tens if not hundreds of thousands if hospitals do become saturated.

Your risk of death from COVID-19 being exponential with age, with the original viral strain. New strains being more infectious, are now starting to move the curve downwards so even the young are now much more at risk than they were[1].

If the new Brazilian VoCs that are the successors of the P1 VoCs etc[1] that devastated Manus get you and hospitals are saturated, then your odds are not good at all. As reported,

“60% of all ICU patients in São Paulo, Brazil are now between the ages of 30-50 years”

Yes read that twice 30-50 year olds are 60% of the patients fighting for their lives in Intensive Care Units, with a low probability of making it…


MarkH March 29, 2021 8:18 PM


You did a sterling job above of laying out the comparative risks related to Covid vaccination.

I’m blessed with numerous friends who are smarter than I, and one of them had an idea which sounds comical, but I think would increase vaccine participation by many percentage points.

His reasoning is that many among the vaccine-hesitant don’t understand how to weigh different magnitudes of probability (polling repeatedly indicates that only a minority of vaccine-hesitant people have fully swallowed the anti-vaxx conspiracy theories).

He further reasons that people who like to buy lottery tickets have the same deficiency of mathematical understanding. (An old saying of perhaps uncertain attribution asserts that lotteries are a tax on those who are bad at math.)

My friend’s conclusion? Give a fat-prize lottery ticket to every person who gets vaccinated.

lurker March 29, 2021 9:41 PM

@Clive, yes it was the Stirling “external combustion engine” I referred to. About the time of the flywheel bus I read of solar powered Stirling engines to drive water pumps in the Sahel. By the time I got to the Sahel all the water pumps I saw were powered by men or beasts.

Now I have an application for such a machine, I find they seem to be nonexistent commercially: too reliable, no aftermarket for spare parts or replacements. And since they are not constrained to burn refined petroleum, they are showered with disincentives.

All the modern solar powered water pumps use p.e. panels and rotary electric motors. Surely that must be more capital and resource intensive, noisier, and less reliable…

Weather March 29, 2021 9:42 PM

Sterling engines are abit like thermoelectric modules, simple but not high efficiency based on the low temperature they operate at.

Winter March 29, 2021 9:45 PM

Bad news, but expected:

New Covid vaccines needed globally within a year, say scientists

Persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine-resistant mutations to appear, said 88% of the respondents, who work across illustrious institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Yale, Imperial College, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Edinburgh.

As they say, we are not safe until we are all safe.

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 12:37 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

New Covid vaccines needed globally within a year, say scientists

Actually they are,starting to be needed now[1] with new Varients of Concern (VoC) poping up all over the place and guaranteed to be heading our way because of short sighted money gribbing politicians and their backers…

Whilst our current jabs are covering the existing variants the efficacy is clearly dropping with the new VoCs, a sure indication that the drift is heading out of the covarage band, or the jabs we have are too narrow or specific in their coverage.

Also the drift as seen in Brazil is moving fairly quickly down the age range with 60% of those in ICU in the 30-50 year age range, which in the West is the age range that is most economically productive.

What ever the origins of the virus and how it got going does not realy matter, the response in all but a handful of places in the world has been worse than lamentable, it’s been absolutly negligent, moronic or both, if not criminally corrupt.

We should never have alowed the virus spread to get to the point of requiring vaccination in the first place, plain and simple, something any half decent history book shows. I’ve been through the political stupidity a number of times over the past year and a bit, and so have others, but a list of questions people should ask of the politicians,

1, How many needless deaths have we had?
2, How many are yet to come?
3, How many maimed and cursed to much shorter lives?
4, How many will be?
5, How long will people be Effectively enslaved to drugs companies for an ultra expensive jab twice or three times a year?
6, Are we going to be for ever cursed with yet another leathal pathogen for the duration of mankinds existance?

All for the sake of apparent political stupidity and money grubbing by old men and women who get given the finest health care in the world, a fortune of tax payer money can buy.

We knew how to stop the virus dead in it’s tracks, but short term money grubing stopped it each and every time, and because of that those that screamed loud, who would have survived the required lockdown are now gone destroyed by their own greed. Unfortunately now we are cursed by their greed, their sense of entitlement and their naked theft, and our very lives have rent owing on them to the drug store front and all that goes on behind it.

And still the politicians play their fiddles and stupid court games whilst civilizations around them burn…


Umm March 30, 2021 12:42 AM

@Clive Robinson @JonKnowsNothing
Sorry, and thank you for setting me straight on my misreading of Jon’s post. We are in agreement: get the vaccine unless you’re known to be allergic to it!

Having gotten the first Pfizer-BioNTech injection, I can report no side effects and greatly reduced anxiety.

The NY Times reports:

“Consistent with clinical trial data, a two-dose regimen prevented 90 percent of infections by two weeks after the second shot. One dose prevented 80 percent of infections by two weeks after vaccination.”

The source is the CDC:

ResearcherZero March 30, 2021 1:09 AM

Quite probably someone is scanning if you have applied the latest updates or not.

Failed to have implemented the patching operating systems strategy – one of the two Top Four controls that it had reported having fully implemented.

The Exchange server was not patched either apparently.

there was “every possibility” it was state-sponsored but it could also have been because the system was not patched

It is believed that the attackers were able to gain access to the email accounts of seven members of the German federal parliament (Bundestag) and 31 members of German regional parliaments.

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 1:15 AM

@ Weather,

Sterling engines are abit like thermoelectric modules, simple but not high efficiency based on the low temperature they operate at.

Actually when you do the maths on practical systems Stirling engines work where the supposedly more efficient Internal Combustion Engines(ICE) can not. But more importantly unlike ICE that require very very expensive fuel that has been endlessly refined very inefficiently, very expensively, and expensively transported, Sterling engines will work on “rubbish” fuels effectively, thus over all as a system way more efficiently.

People need to stop discussing how to make individual sub components of a system the most efficient they can and look at how to make the entire system from sunlight through to usefull “work” more efficient.

Stirling engines will work in places where energy would otherwise just be lost to the atmosphere[1] for instance the exhaust of an ICE contains enough energy to drive a Sterling engine to get sufficient work to run a water pump in a water system to get hot water via a heat exchanger in the system to heat a well designed dwelling and supply other domestic needs.

[1] The ultimate form of polution is “waste energy” from “inefficient systems”, something that many people for some reason have a hard time getting their heads around the implication of. In part because “knowledge gets siloed” into “research domains” thus they optomize their part with little or no regard for the whole process or system.

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 1:47 AM

@ Lurker,

All the modern solar powered water pumps use p.e. panels and rotary electric motors. Surely that must be more capital and resource intensive, noisier, and less reliable…

And less efficient in many respects especially over all.

Part of the reason is the issue of cohearant energy storage.

If the end product you want is just heat, a well insulated tank of water or a brine is the way to go, or even an appropriate phase change material (wax). But heat being effectively at the bottom of the cohearance curve is quite inefficient at being transported or converted to other forms of energy.

Electricity is very easy to store and convert into other forms of energy because it is very cohearant. As far as energy in to energy out modern battery technology even with all it’s other faults is still the best we’ve got in terms of energy utility.

Stirling engines are perhaps the best of the closed cycle heat engines and can work at the bottom of that cohearance entropy curve where other engines will not. You pay a price in theoretical efficiency, but that is a paper chasing game that all engines suffer from any way because high efficiency is related to the cohearance of the energy source. And getting high cohearant energy is generally a very inefficient process, even worse if you want it to be stored (think what it takes to grow crops, then prepare them for efficient use by bacteria to produce ethanol or other chemical fuel cohearant enough to be used in an internal combustion engine).

SpaceLifeForm March 30, 2021 1:58 AM

@ Clive, MarkH, JonKnowsNothing, Anders, lurker, ALL

Looking back on Covid-19

First link is a specific comment of mine, but the entire squid is worth re-scanning for the Covid comments given what has been learned in a year.

Check what a respected someone has to say about quarantine times…

Worth checking her thread found in the substack arcticle


Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 1:59 AM

@ MarkH,

… and one of them had an idea which sounds comical, but I think would increase vaccine participation by many percentage points.

Yes it would, as the UK lottery (something I’ve never put a penny into) motto has it,

“You have to be in it to win it.”

If and when COVID gets to the postscript phase, people will analyse what did and did not work and research papers will be written and discussed, disected and dissipated in that order.

You would like to think that mankind might learn something of use out of it…

But I can tell you this here and now, one very big part of it is “Greed is King” it has been indulged in by those who consider themselves elite or entitled, both or more.

So why should the rest of us not participate in what is naked greed as well?

JonKnowsNothing March 30, 2021 2:26 AM

@ Clive, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL

re: COVID-19 Mutant Vaccine Future Failures

In addition to the concerns of mutant proliferation vs vaccine effectiveness, there is a concern about our existing “official” COVID-19 protocols.

For some time, it’s been clear that even the best tests are failing to detect the mutants, like B117 (Kent, UK) and the Brazilian variants.

These spread the same way the initial virus did: by travel.

  STOP THE PLANES / SpaceLifeForm

Even countries that have strong quarantine systems are having difficulty containing sick travelers and outbreaks have occurred in COVID-Free countries because of the advanced difficulties presented by these mutations.

For these countries the major pathway is by human-carrier coming via air transport. Passengers, Crew are all subject to unexpected sickness. Air Crews generally isolate separate from passengers. Both groups have outbreaks.

Passengers become sick either before getting on the plane, during the flight, or while in quarantine. In New Zealand some have tested negative all through quarantine and have negative follow up tests, only to get sick several days after exiting their program.

In Australia, a Doctor and a Nurse working in a COVID-19 Ward with airline passengers that have became sick are the sources of a current outbreak.

Queensland authorities say the growing number of UK-variant coronavirus cases in Brisbane come from “two distinct clusters”, both of which spread into the community by unvaccinated health workers.

[An] unvaccinated nurse at the Princess Alexandra hospital’s Covid ward. Genomic testing indicates the nurse contracted the virus from a patient who had returned from overseas.

[The second group] has linked those cases to a doctor at the Princess Alexandra hospital who contracted the virus on 9 March.

At this point, 1 year into the pandemic, it is hard to believe a MD / RN cannot fit PPE correctly, although this was an early conjecture as to how COVID-19 spread throughout hospitals and care homes during the worse of the death waves in Wave 1 and Wave 2 (USA = Wave 1a, Wave 1b).

If we accept that the exposure was not from faulty fitting PPE or other risky behaviors on the part of medical staff, this would indicate that current protections are not good enough.

What is good enough?

Perhaps there isn’t any thing more humans can do, especially if you are unfortunate to live in a Herd Immunity Policy country like USA.

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://

40,600 people likely caught Covid while hospital inpatients in England

One in seven patients treated for Covid between 1 August 2020 and 21 March [2021] got it while in hospital

one in five hospitals at least a fifth of all patients found to have the virus caught it while an inpatient.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 2:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Check what a respected someone has to say about quarantine times…

Towards the end of the article we find,

“Students were, sensibly, let loose outside for lunch, he explained, and they spent the whole hour playing “infection”—essentially a game of tag, but with a pandemic theme.”

I have laughed so much I’ve tears in the corners of my eyes.

Though she is correct the fomite danger appears less than originally stated (it was The WHO basically said at the time the only route). We just do not know, because little or no research was done on it and is still not.

One of the reasons it might not show up is simple, in the majority of potential cases the protection against aerosol contamination is effective against fomite infection as well.

The only place it is most likely to occure is in “home food preperation” where people frequently do not take any precautions even against basic food poisoning bacterial infection (as CDC and similar year on year statistics show).

The problem being that deep frozen virus remains viable for undetermined periods, but several years may be probable, and some deep frozen foods like fish and pork get traded like bullion etc and may spend several years in deep frozen storage before being used…

Thus we need testing and if that shows a potential infection route we need precautionary measures. Most of which would also cut down home prepared food poisoning as well.

Nik March 30, 2021 3:32 AM

Sterling engine:
This is exactly what I need, living where it is cold most of the year and having strong sunlight. It does strike me as odd that there are no systems a consumer can buy.

For instance running a system like this would heat a greeenhouse as a side-effect; of course a good thermal buffer would be an advantage. no maintenance for 20 years and many start/stops are key features. now I wish I would have a machine shop and time.

I was thinking of parabolic mirror(s) heating; waste heat into the residence or green house. power-> Inverter->Residence+pumps

Even a small system would be a great addition to small solar. Battery buffers (I wish there would be good supercapacitors; did not look into it)

This system would be much better than grid power (with 2+ large outages / year)

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 4:27 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

At this point, 1 year into the pandemic, it is hard to believe a MD / RN cannot fit PPE correctly

They probably did fit it correctly…

Most PPE is at best an “impediment to movment” of pathogens. That is, it is a probabilistic barrier system with hole size many many times that of individual virus capsids. So all they realy do is lower the viral load, not remove it or render it unviable.

If you remember a year ago almost to the day a friend died in an unfortunate accident.

He and I had been looking into the design of a full face mask and an air filtration unit to remove dust etc prior to going into a very light weight plastic cylinder the size of a 3ltr soft drinks bottle, that would have battery powered UV-C leds to actually damage the Organic material of both viral and bacterial pathogens to render them non viable.

The reason for the design was because we both knew that PPE is only so-so effective as it has no “anti-pathogen” function just limited effectiveness filtering.

Sadly his untimely death put an end to further product development.

Robin March 30, 2021 5:05 AM

@Clive said: “in the majority of potential cases the protection against aerosol contamination is effective against fomite infection … people frequently do not take any precautions even against basic food poisoning bacterial infection”

Just as an aside, there was a (rather terrible) documentary on French TV on Sunday evening about wastage in the manufacture and distribution of pharmaceuticals. In one scene a meeting of sales staff were summarising sales for the whole of 2020, and the slide showed an almost 50% fall in sales of antibiotics and a 30% fall in ibuprofen. The antibiotics figures are quite striking; sales in the 3Q and 4Q must have been even lower. As the sales manager said, somewhat drily, “What do you expect? Everyone’s washing their hands all the time and mostly wearing masks”.

Winter March 30, 2021 6:45 AM

“What do you expect? Everyone’s washing their hands all the time and mostly wearing masks”.

The social distancing is very good against the flu. Since the first lock down, there has not been a “flu season” anywhere.

JonKnowsNothing March 30, 2021 1:46 PM


re: Google maps Indoors

MSM report on Google Maps Indoor Mapping abilities: “Indoor AR navigation”.

Using similar techniques to their Street View, Google sends their squaddies to indoor venues and film 360 images of the interiors. They use your phone camera and match it/location to their captured images. Multiple image sequences provide the animation.

Google demoed the feature in an airport terminal, where it can do things like figure out your location (GPS doesn’t work indoors) and identity what floor you’re on. In the demo, it tells someone where the escalator is and to go down a level to reach their terminal. Google says it wants to roll this technology out to “airports, transit stations, and malls,” where it will be able to “help you find the nearest elevator and escalators, your gate, platform, baggage claim, check-in counters, ticket office, restrooms, ATMs and more.”

“Indoor Live View” and says it “is live now on Android and iOS in a number of malls in Chicago, Long Island, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, San José, and Seattle. It starts rolling out in the coming months in select airports, malls, and transit stations in Tokyo and Zurich, with more cities on the way.”

A while back, it was reported that Google et al, was working on using all the images scraped off the internet and via image uploads to geomap coordinates for every visible item in the image. Any image that was send without geo coords is assigned map coords and stored in their archives.

The claim that GPS doesn’t work indoors is rather disingenuous, stores (pre-COVID) had ways of using Bluetooth, cell ID and other methods to track your exact location in the store. Some systems could even tell how long you studied the BBQ sauces and which ones you picked up or put back or abandoned at checkout. Malls and airports are loaded with security systems that track you as you travel through the buildings.

Now you can watch yourself on Not So Candid Camera.

note: recent MSM report of on going labor issues may impact some news outlets. ymmv

ht tps://

  • Candid Camera is a popular and long-running American hidden camera reality television series. Versions of the show appeared on television from 1948 until 2014. Originally created and produced by Allen Funt, it often featured practical jokes, and initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947.

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

ResearcherZero March 30, 2021 2:41 PM

@Mr Peed Off
That version doesn’t have the ‘set RNG decrypt’ bit.

“This erosion of trust began with the poor handling, by the OMS leadership, of the microwave attack on agency officers,”

He tried to stand up and fell again. It was the early morning hours of December 5, 2017, and his Moscow hotel room was spinning around him.

spouses and children who are suing, compared the attack that preceded their illnesses to “a science fiction horror film.”

Lawmakers and scientists also fear the department is trying to bury a detailed report on the episodes it received in August from a committee at the National Academies of Sciences.

Some of the attacks hit CIA officers who were traveling overseas to discuss plans w/ partner intel agencies to counter Russian covert operations. Some CIA analysts think Moscow was trying to derail that.

He and his family were evacuated from China in 2018 after he was injured. “This is a deliberate, high-level cover-up,” he said. “They have hung us out to dry.”

Maybe The State Department could release those reports now.

Attacking, abducting and killing civilians quite probably falls outside of the definition of espionage. It is also an international incident as it happened in a number of countries, including a number of Western countries where civilians were repeatedly targeted without being informed by their respective governments.
A device was also confiscated from a know Russian spy, who had been repeatedly targeting both personnel and civilians over a considerable extended period, with his underling.

No it’s not a parabolic microphone, their was a once skeptical intelligence officer who can verify that fact for you. It can work to pick up transmissions from bugs planted in a target’s environment, however turn up the power and it becomes a powerful weapon that can cook you from the inside out.
Long term exposure will also do significant long term damage to your body, which may eventuate in a number of forms of cancer, depending on the length of repeated exposure time and proximity to the origin point. Within 100M significantly increases the risk if subjected to repeated attack/surveillance.

Perhaps measuring the power output without exposing yourself would be a considerably safer method of testing the effect, though if you’d like to get a feel of the effect, I can assure you it’s quite far removed from being pleasurable, or like anything else you would have ever encountered.
Emitting steam is also a little off putting, and the general effect of bodily failure even more disconcerting than being electrified.

Not arresting the two known perpetrators in at least one instance, or informing the victims, is at least questionable behavior by Western governments. Given the length of time that has passed, it should be a candidate for declassification.

xcv March 30, 2021 3:03 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm • March 26, 2021 4:40 PM

Attribution is hard.

This is hard to understand.

A thief is a thief. Thieving scumbag feds without a proper warrant issued by a judge in a court of record don’t get to cry treason when they are caught red-handed with their fingers in the till.

@ Clive Robinson

As far as I’m concerned Google did the right thing ethically, morally, and legally.

So from that point of view not that hard to understand.

Please. Hang the dirty cops out to dry. Thank you very much. They’re the same ones, no doubt who smeared my name, ruined my life, and destroyed my career with unfounded allegations of mental illness, felony charges without the indictment of a grand jury, and false accusations of petty crime. They refuse to get the mental health gun control smut associated with my name off their universal instant employment and credit history gun control background check database. And they summarily revoked my passport for life on the same vicious allegations, without even going to court or so much as citing a U.S. Code statute.

SpaceLifeForm March 30, 2021 6:22 PM

Media sucks. Sure looks like back at Suez.

Must be inspected. To be fair, the vesselfinder report did not mention the year it was expected to arrive in Rotterdam.

The current position of EVER GIVEN is in Gulf of Suez with coordinates 30.35819° / 32.38659° as reported on 2021-03-30 22:54 by AIS to our vessel tracker app. The vessel’s current speed is 0 Knots and is currently inside the port of SUEZ CANAL.

SpaceLifeForm March 30, 2021 7:26 PM

Connect dots.

You are an idiot if you use aws.

See if you can spot the irony.

Apparently, the Washington State AG is not very technical.

Just G(aws flagstar)


The full disclosure is with the Washington state attorney general’s office (ht tps:// Flagstar said its investigation continues and the number of affected customers “may not be final.”

But 61,000 victims in Washington state alone? This breach could be enormous

SpaceLifeForm March 30, 2021 8:15 PM

Aw, what is really up with aws?


It was catastrophically worse than reported, and legal silenced and overruled efforts to decisively protect customers,” Adam wrote in a letter to the European Data Protection Supervisor. “The breach was massive, customer data was at risk, access to customers’ devices deployed in corporations and homes around the world was at risk.”

Ubiquiti has not responded to repeated requests for comment.

According to Adam, the hackers obtained full read/write access to Ubiquiti databases at Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was the alleged “third party” involved in the breach. Ubiquiti’s breach disclosure, he wrote, was “downplayed and purposefully written to imply that a 3rd party cloud vendor was at risk and that Ubiquiti was merely a casualty of that, instead of the target of the attack.”

MarkH March 30, 2021 9:31 PM


Not to worry … whatever text may say, the map shows Ever Given not far from the middle of Great Bitter Lake.

According to news reports, it was towed there for inspection of its condition.

Clive Robinson March 30, 2021 10:20 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The vessel is en route to the port of Rotterdam, sailing at a speed of 0.1 knots and expected to arrive there on Mar 31, 02:00.

Yes it does look odd untill you realise that neither the speed or ETA are accurate…

0.1 knots is about 180m/hour or 5cm/Sec…

That is the vessel is not underway under it’s own power, it would not be able to maintain any course at that speed. So is either drifting or being towed (the latter being more likely).

Secondly the destination and arival time is very probably based on it’s original logged itinerary.

Nobody realy expects computers to spot even the obvious unless programmed to do so. After all they have either eyes, nor ears so can not see the data is just “garbage in” thus it must be “Garbage out”.

Nik March 31, 2021 4:07 AM


This link claims to sell Stirling Generators:
[link removed]
I cannot vouch that these are actually Stirling engines and not just have Stirling in the name

I saw those as well, many chinese sites sell things under the wrong name – clickbait.
I did find ONE linear piston engine with generator for $19K on ebay; there was a Utah company that (used to?) make them for plants/sawmills etc. Produces 7.5kw and hot water. They seem to be used in remote places since they are 0 maintenance.

I saw pictures of such engines used with large parabolic mirrors (hot piston in the focal point)…..

If I had $20k I would be tempted to give it a go. looks cool. produces 295-390V DC. inverter required. plus a way to heat things by sun.

Clive Robinson March 31, 2021 4:32 AM

@ Nik, lurker, Weather, Winter,

This is exactly what I need, living where it is cold most of the year and having strong sunlight. It does strike me as odd that there are no systems a consumer can buy.

You could try “Sun Power Ohio” they have certainly made Stirling engines for various out in the middle of nowhere places for over half a century.

However these days their product line up suggests they appear to be selling mainly product that uses the stirling cycle in reverse as “cryo-coolers”.

Winter March 31, 2021 6:59 AM

@ Clive, Nik, lurker, Weather
“This is exactly what I need, living where it is cold most of the year and having strong sunlight. It does strike me as odd that there are no systems a consumer can buy.”

Sterling engines seem to be more efficient (see link). However, you can lay out solar panels as many as you want. Not sure whether laying out dish modules is more practical. In terms of maintenance, I do not see much maintenance with solar panels. And they do not have moving parts.

If you look at a direct comparison, the only real point is that solar cells deliver DC and Sterling engines can deliver 120V 60Hz AC directly. Not much of an advantage, as you will need to have some solar concentrator for a Stirling engine.


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons March 31, 2021 11:08 AM

31 Mar 2021 — Talkin’ bout my generation (or Technologist Under Glass, best served un-alive or non-living)
On the Menu:
The level of frustration that comes from watching one of your own abandoned by your peers and comrades suggests a willful blindness. Assange, the journalist that has suffered the disdain from an uninformed and misinformed public that is similar to what Edward Snowden suffered until federal courts ruled on the illegality of the governments actions. Assange cannot answer for or to others and the nature of the abuses visited on someone without maligned intent or malicious acts. Where courts have answered in the context of Assange, the governments of record ignored or rejected findings of fact and violated their own treaties and agreements. If this is possible for a visible case, what say you about the one that will be made of you.

Main Course:
How does the ACLU and EFF not see the most important human rights issue of the 21st century. Are there not lawyers at these organizations? Do these litigators not see their own image in the same well at the Old Bailey, because it will be you. The most likely scenario will be representing yourself in a hearing about failing to be loyal and pledging allegiance to dear leader.

The previous paragraphs may sound hyperbolic, but sadly are not. The persecution and the slow motion murder of Assange is obvious to many. Nils Melzer has written well about the situation and has dissected the elements of this issue in a clear and concise manner. If you cannot be bothered to spend 30 minutes to review the most recent and relevant facts I shall summarize and provide the only conclusion (shared by Snowden and Melzer); you are the target.

Dessert Anyone?
Following the timeline, from the release of the ‘Collateral Murder’ video to the 17 charges under the Espionage Act it is no coincidence that of all the material presented by the government, none of it included any reference to material and evidence surrounding that event. Instead the U.S. drags Chelsea Manning into a BS grand jury process as coercion, strong arming diplomats, presidents, state governors, and multiple courts in extra-territorial jurisdictions. How many countries have been pressured to cooperate in an international effort to quash a journalist reporting truth–truth that the U.S. government will not allow you to know. For shame you petulant child.

Nik March 31, 2021 11:09 AM

@ Clive, Nik, lurker, Weather

The nice thing is that there is a linear piston engine that moves a magnet though coils. This is very neat and a simple maintenance free generator.

I also just have found the “Sun Power Ohio” that Clive mentioned. And there is Qnergy.

This is definitely an area to investigate ( once I have more time – ha).

I still have to install small solar ~1KW and have all the gear; I just have to install it; I will use to to learn and while installing it I’ll put a siemens lightning surge protector in as well (to the mains)

Cheers !

Weather March 31, 2021 1:18 PM

@nik lurker Clive
Check out htt ps:// they have some wood stove 100watt generators, you need some water cooling.

xcv March 31, 2021 5:14 PM

@ Nik

The nice thing is that there is a linear piston engine that moves a magnet though coils. This is very neat and a simple maintenance free generator.

That might be a steam engine. Links to drawings and plans?

I still have to install small solar ~1KW and have all the gear; I just have to install it; I will use to to learn and while installing it I’ll put a siemens lightning surge protector in as well (to the mains)

I’m not opposed to solar power in principle for whatever anyone might find them useful. There are drawbacks, however: (1) the junk factor associated with broken glass and non-functional panels, and (2) the serious lack of sunlight in the winter to generate power when I would need it the most at 64°N latitude.

SpaceLifeForm March 31, 2021 6:42 PM

@ Clive, MarkH, JonKnowsNothing

It’s been over a year since I mentioned mammals, but use the salt.


Clive Robinson March 31, 2021 11:30 PM

@ Weather, lurker, Nik, Winter,

Check out htt ps://

The sort of “Thermo Electric Generator”(TEG) they are talking about using the Seebeck / Peltier Effect are effectively Semi-conductors made at the junction of two disimilar metals[1]. As the “thermal flux” travels across the junction it tends to pull a few charges across with it, hence the electric current.

This has all sorts of issues.

Firstly the net contribution to “potential difference” across each junction is very small, which means you need hundreds of them in series electrically. But thermally they need to be in parallel which makes building them fairly difficult to put it mildly.

A second major problem is that you need the electrical resistance to be very very low, but the thermal resistance high to get any kind of power out of them. As a general rule of thumb for the majority of materials with good electrical conductivity you also have good thermal conductivity. So the choice of materials is very limited… One such is crystals of either lead or bismuth “telluride”. Lead is not good for the environment and tellurite is sufficiently rare that it has a quite noticable price tag attached.

Even though TEGs appear to have no moving parts they actually do due to thermal expansion and contraction. Being crystals this causes them to eventually fail if they are frequently “temprature cycled”. Thus they are not really a good idea to use with Solar or low mass non controled heating systems such as wood stoves.

Then there is the issue of getting heat both in and out of TEGs. This requires the use of “Heat Exchangers”(HE) whilst these can be passive, they tend to have a large lag effect (look up “heatsinks” with power semiconductors and all the issues) thus, less efficient active HEs are used.

As I’ve previously noted it’s the over all efficiency of the system not the individual sub components you need to concentrate on, but as a general rule TEGs are not very efficient (5-8%) and this is made worse with the use of HE’s (90% or less).

[1] Sometimes called the thermocouple effect. You can make one at home using soft iron wire and hard drawn copper wire. Effectively twist them together tightly and then hit them flatish with a hammer. If you have a Gas Oven in your house you are likely to have one as a safety feature in the regulator that supplies gas to the burner at the bottom of the oven. You will see a probe in the flame of the initiator pilot, as it heats up it generates a very low voltage high current that goes to a small solenoid that controls the size of hole in the regulator from a tiny hole to larger hole. When a gas oven fails after ten to thirty years of use, it is usually the actual probe burning through that causes the failure of the regulator to open up.

SpaceLifeForm March 31, 2021 11:51 PM

@ Clive

Did not happen. Was not going to happen. Co in tel.

hx tps://

Clive Robinson March 31, 2021 11:56 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

It’s been over a year since I mentioned mammals, but use the salt.

I don’t read the WashPo rag any more.

For me certainly it’s notion of “democracy” has “died in the darkness” it’s owner created.

So your comment is context less without another source or more information.

SpaceLifeForm April 1, 2021 12:15 AM

@ Clive

It may be pure smoke. Seems like they are more concerned about foreign animals than their own human population. Probably more profit.



AL April 1, 2021 12:27 AM

Re: Assange case

As far as the U.S. case is concerned, the problem for Assange is not the publishing activity, which would keep him in Pentagon Papers territory, but involvement in hacking a password to access the information to be published. If true, I don’t see what EFF, ACLU or anybody else can do.

Publishers these days have “dropoff” boxes to further the separation between publishing and accessing the information. Assange is going to have a problem in claiming 1st Amendment protection for publishing information when he joined or formed a conspiracy to steal the information.

The best defense I see for Assange is over in England because reportedly, a Trump emisarry offered Assange a pardon if he would absolve Russia of involvement in the theft of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Because the trial was being used as leverage against Assange for political reasons, it seems to me that extradition should be denied because Assange faces a “political” trial in the U.S.. But, that is in the U.K.’s court. I personally think the extradition should be denied, because of this pardon offer business. That taints the case insofar as extradition is concerned.

But shoot ─ he didn’t keep the demarcation between stealing the information and publishing the information. ACLU and EFF doesn’t make law. I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about his U.S. chances. And, the man he helped elect, Trump threw him under a bus didn’t he, like he did with Sessions, Comey, etc.

JonKnowsNothing April 1, 2021 12:28 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm

It was an official announcement of a vaccine targeting animals by Russian Pharma. It targets dogs, cats, apes, mink etc. It’s the same vax given to the gorillas in the zoo.

It maybe the same vaccine given early in the year to an endangered species of wild ferret in the USA, the Black Footed Ferret.

Well, it’s just in time, there’s a new outbreak of SARS in mink farms in Spain (official report 03/26/2021 /outbreak date 03/14/2021).

These are breeding stock:

  • census of the farm: 6,554 mink (5,430 breeding females and 1,124 male mink)

Of potential interest:

  • asymptomatic animals diagnosed as part of the active surveillance sampling programme included in the programme for the prevention, surveillance and control of sars-cov-2 in American mink farms in spain.

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

Clive Robinson April 1, 2021 12:32 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

With regards the withdrawal of the Solar Winds report, “colour me unsurprised”.

We know from the get go the USG was doing a “It woz der buttler wot dun it” knee jerk response long before any real evidence had been collected.

So having started by going off half cocked the USG then kept doubling down likeca luckless looser trying to get their credibility back…

So you can expect the report if honest to be an embarrassment to parts of the USG, so lacking in content it’s not worth the paper to print it, or a pack of lies.

From the little we know publically those behind the Solar Winds attack were Level III attackers. Once this would have been indicative of “State level attack” but that is nolonger the case, there are an increasing number of faux security firms (actually surveillance to rent/buy) that would have been capable of this level of attack and more. So attributing the attacker would be harder than just the normal almost impossible.

One thing that did become clear was that it was not an attack on the USG specifically, it was very broad based and other Governments and major industry players were targeted.

One of which was Microsoft, that more than a few people think are still hiding the level to which they were actually penetrated.

If and when the report finally gets published, I realy do not expect it to be anything more than a “PR Press Pack” devoid of any tecunical or other usefull content.

JonKnowsNothing April 1, 2021 12:41 AM

@ AL @name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

Re: Assange case

Anything to do w M. Assange is likely to cause an uproar from all corners.

Over on EmptyWheel, they have been doing in depth, legal analysis with details about the situation and in short, it is not looking good for M. Assange should he ever enter USA jurisdiction.

The bad news, is in the details and bottomless pit of US Prosecution Warrants and Findings, located the depths and bowels of the many pages of legal double eye-crossing gibberish, are serious splash back effects on many others should the US Government positions be successful.

Marcy Wheeler has it all sliced and diced to be edible; not palatable, not nutritious, and not fresh baked. There will be a lot of cooked goose livers either way.

GregW April 1, 2021 2:58 AM

Many security implications of the development that you can capture individuals’ DNA from the air:

ht tps://

ResearcherZero April 1, 2021 5:09 AM

In case you have not patched and hardened Exchange servers you have until the 5th of March.

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities allows an attacker to access on-premises Exchange Servers, enabling them to gain persistent system access and control of an enterprise network.

If you are interested you can find much more information than this.

The hackers accessed emails in the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

the network the attack is likely from Russia ‘due to the sophistication of the hack’.

As Nine worked to resolve the issue, Australian Parliament was also investigating a potential cyber attack in Canberra on Sunday evening, which is affecting government-issued smartphones and tablets.

German national security officials have briefed the parliament, known as the Bundestag, on the incident, and all the affected lawmakers have been informed

“We were saved from total destruction by the fact we had launched the channel that day and the technicians were there,”

Putin probably isn’t that keen on resigning the nuclear treaty, it’s always worth a shot. Probably a smart idea too, but the smartest minds in generations are busy working out how to get people to click on ads.

the conning towers of the three subs breaking through a continuous sheet of floating ice near the Franz Josef Land archipelago

In December 2018, Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces tested the Avangard system, which included a hypersonic glide vehicle carried on a UR-100NUTTH/SS-19 missile.

JonKnowsNothing April 1, 2021 2:58 PM


re: Counting Waves All In A Row

COVID-19 waves rising and cresting in various parts of the globe make for an interesting counting problem: How do you count the waves and from where do you count them.

  • A Wave is generally Low to Max to Low again. Repeated.

In the USA it seems we have different counts in different parts of the country. Our CDC is counting a 4th Wave and in California we haven’t had a 3d Wave yet. Parts of Europe are rolling up a 4th wave and can expect a 5th wave there after.

A not unexpected preview of Future Waves in Herd Immunity Policy countries is that COVID-19 will be treated like Seasonal Flu. It will be forever and ever, pending a permanent vaccine and not a 6 month booster jab. As the flu kills 20,000-25,000 UK persons every year, the population will have to accept higher kill rates for SARS-CoV-2.

Slight difference is that Flu is weather gated, SARS-CoV-2 is aerosol and crowd carried. A crowd of 1 is all that’s needed.

ht tps://,_Mary,_Quite_Contrary

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

ht tps://

  • Chris Whitty: society will have to learn to live with Covid in similar way to flu
  • “The UK is a net exporter of [the Kent] B117 variant, so other countries are understandably putting their border measures up against us to slow that down. We are a net importer of other variants… “
  • “What we have got to do is work out some balance which actually keeps [Covid] at a low level, minimises deaths as best we can but in a way that the population tolerates….”

ht tps://

  • Was it airborne? Queensland’s Covid outbreak and mystery of hospital ward 5D.
  • The second and third Brisbane cases were two Princess Alexandra nurses who did not come into contact with the patient they caught Covid from [sic]

ht tps://

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

SpaceLifeForm April 1, 2021 6:06 PM

@ Clive

Interesting Ever Given lawsuit.

Pre-emptive BS. My bold.

Nice trick if one can claim a potential claimant as a defendant.

The lawsuit was filed in the High Court in London, The Lawyer reported, and makes reference to “the grounding of the M/V ‘EVER GIVEN’ along the Suez Canal, Egypt on 23 March 2021.” According to the lawsuit, the two defendants listed in the case are the Evergreen Marine Corp. and “all other persons claiming or being entitled to claim damages.”

Clive Robinson April 1, 2021 7:34 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

It may be pure smoke. Seems like they are more concerned about foreign animals than their own human population.

An animal vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is a necessity if we are ever going to stop disease reservoirs in domesticated and livestock animalls.

Whilst we know swine do not get COVID for some reason, we know they do get several variations on Swine Fever that absolutly devistate high intensity raised live stock and critically effect protein supplies to the world. Have a look at the figures for African Swine Fever in China and Europe and Bird Flu in chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys all of which are again low cost intensively reared protein.

You will see what could happen if more livestock species than just mink get infected by some variant of SARS-CoV-2, the cremating piles would be burning 24×7 for weeks and food prices would sky rocket even vegitarian/vegan foods would be hit hard.

But there is also the issue of “endangered species” our mark on the world and the resulting stain on humanity is the number of species we have driven to extinction or very close to it in the past couple of centuries. Morally, ethically and for our own survival we need as large a diversity in creatures as possible, mono-cultures are a sure recipe for disaster (look up what the likes of honey bees do for us and other wild creatures). So we need to ensure endangered species survive as well otherwise we die out for other reasons that could be prevented.

Clive Robinson April 1, 2021 10:21 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

You might want to read through this,

Basically the owner has insurance and commensurate “deep pockets”, so the world and his dog are going to try to make a claim, even if they never bothered to insure against “delay”.

Without seeing the actual court papers that will probably say very little currently it’s a “Keep of our grass – armed response” type action. In essence what ever you claim they will claim back pluss lots and lots of legal fees (hence induring and filing in the UK). The net result is to force any claims from the owners of the vessel to those opperatongbit at the time.

I would expect another court case to arise over “act-of-god” or similar, and in the end as I mentioned before, ultimately the vessel was under the pilotage of the Canal/Port authorities which are owned by the Egyption Government who are now probably the “insurers of last resort” and would have bern even if they did not own the canal…

In essence upwards of 10billion in court costs and settlements are going to rest on the word of one or two “Expert Witnesses” as to if what happened was,

1, Reasonably predictable,
2, Reasonably preventable,
3, Who was on authority.

The scary thing to watch out for is “re-insurance” and how it was shared out.

The theory is that re-insurance takes a very large risk with comensuratly large fees and spreads them thinly across as many insurance syndicates as possible.

However a few decades ago LLoyds of London was brought to it’s knees and hundreds of “new names” lost their homes and other assets with some committing suicide after having been dealt with by Mary Archer, –the wife of disgraced Tory peer and perjurer Lord Archer– who headed up the “Lloyds Hardship Committee” and very clearly understood she was in effect protecting fraudsters from their victims they had created by taking away any asset the could use to start legal proceedings.

This all started because of something that’s been called the fradulant LMX spiral where re-insurance was actually sold round and round in a circle under a different name at each step[1]. The result was a massive fraud set up by one or two senior members of LLoyds who were “old names” to divest themselves of known liabilities that were arising (asbestos risk from the 1930’s etc) onto the sacrificial “new names”.

I was shortly before it all blew up, being “courted” as a “new name”. Which on the face of it was a very attractive propersition[2]. It got to the point where I had done my paper work and I asked somebody I knew who was in the same regiment as I who actually worked as a broker on LLoyds floor to check my paper work over. They asked a few questions and made two statments,

1, Your paper work is in order.
2, The syndicates paperwork is questionable.

A couple of further questions gave rise to the term “dustbin syndicate” which was basically a tar pit for “new names” to be foisted off with all the risks and fees of reinsurance whilst the “old names” carried no risk and got the plumb business at the highest rates and also gathered the windfall of new name fees.

Needless to say when it came time for me to sign on the dotted line, I asked a couple of searching questions. The looks I got told me all I needed to know so, I did not sign. Unfortunately a couple of friends had signed, and they were not so lucky and basically got hurt. One of them named opd names to the media including effectively stating one senior member of Lloyds had less morals than an ally cat, something a Judge picked up on and used in their summing up…


[2] In essence you could get 7% return on your underwriting, which was limited to twice your provable assets so in reality 14%, then there were all sorts of other tax breaks and incentives. So in todays terms with about 300k in “cash assets” and 1.2million in “property assets” which is what a midle aged mid to upper middle class family would have would get you 210,000 as an annual return…

Clive Robinson April 1, 2021 11:58 PM

@ JG4,

“It’s Worse Than We Thought” | Edward Snowden

Those that have been readers of this blog for a little while, should know this.

But knowing and believing have almost always been a bit of a “gulf problem”.

As I say frequently say about technology that reduces peoples security (including earlier today[1]),

“Do the laws of physics alow this?”

Or equivalent, if the answer is yes, then sooner rather than later somebody is going to try to exploit it and probably succeed. Thus make it a practical exploit, which fairly quickly becomes easy if not common place.

If you look back on this blog, shortly before Bluffdale became a fact of life, our host @Bruce effectively asked if “collect it all” for phone calls was possible. I get the feeling he was actually shocked when he was told not only was it possible, it was fairly easy and well within off the shelf technical capabilities.

So whilst people will acknowledge the truth of “if the laws of physics alow” as factual, it’s more as an item of abstract knowledge, that they do not want to believe. With some even denying it’s possible right here and now…

We need to keep reminding people that what may be difficult for them to envision might well be trivial for others to create it all depends on what “domains of art” you are experienced in[2].


[2] As an experienced electronics design engineer over several decades I have a feel for the “fitness of circuits”. Circuit diagrams read almost like poems or novels to me. But conversely I can frequently design a circuit in moments, often faster than most people can type the basic circuit into a CAD / simulation package to get the values out. I even sketching out with pencil and paper a rough PCB layout to let others know which way will give the best performance. And I tend to forget that sometimes people see me doing it think I’ve got some supernatural skills, I don’t. It’s just because it is very familiar to me. As I point out, I can not pull fancy tricks on a skateboard, carve wooden statues, or paint pictures, sometimes even drawing a straight line “free hand” is beyond my abilities. Even though I can pull some fancy work on manual lathes and milling machines. They say it takes around 5-10 thousand hours to develop a skill to profficient. Some things I’ve spent more than 40,000 hours on which if you think about it is only ten years of 80 hour weeks :-S The real trick is actually getting people to pay you well whilst you aquire new skills and knowledge. But if you “think smart” you devote your time to things that apply across multiple domains of art, and if you “act smart” you use what would otherwise be dead time to learn. In my case it was speed reading during the three hours of travel on public transport every day (which in London is generaly faster than driving a car anyway). Likewise having a plan of action each day and avoiding meetings where ever possible (if you have to talk to four people or less, it’s often faster to walk over to each of their desks, rather than try and sort out a meeting room etc).

Clive Robinson April 2, 2021 12:49 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Speaking of litigation…

I realy have difficulty believing “SCO-v-IBM” is still going on,

It appears to be the same old same old of accuse of theft, but not identify what it might be untill late in the day, when what they produced in the past was at best a load of tripe…

A judge needs to call time on this nonsense once and for all and call them what they are “Malicious Litigants”.

lurker April 2, 2021 1:32 AM

Thank you to All for links and tips.

seems to have gone the way of the Stirling engine
@Clive: Sun Power Ohio’s website is a work in progress. They seem to be selling Seebeck/Peltier devices; but acknowledge that Stirling Engines are lost somewhere in their history.

@ Weather:
also Seebeck/Peltier devices for generating electricity; PE cells are arguably better.

@Winter: I cannot vouch that these are actually Stirling engines…
SEO in Chinese means Stirling Engine Obfuscator. There used to be Indian sites that did that too, but the Chinese seem to have overrun them.

@Winter: you can lay out solar panels as many as you want.
Yes of course, but that only generates electricity. My application is a water pump, and the Stirling Engine should convert the solar heat directly to mechanical action.

Southern California Edison also entered into a contract with Stirling Energy Systems to buy electricity from a 500 megawatt, 4,600 acre (19 km2), solar power plant which was due to open in 2009. The purchase was canceled in late 2010, as changes in technology reduced the cost of photovoltaic-based solar power to below that of solar Stirling generated power

Cost is not my highest priority, I’m after simplicity of mechanicals, which also reflects in reliability.

SpaceLifeForm April 2, 2021 2:48 AM

@ Weather, Clive, others that grok software

Someone was dismayed at the results. To me, works exactly as expected.

If you want to believe you know your code, force it. Make the parser swallow your intent. Parenthesis are your friends. (it’s documentation too!)

mysql> SELECT
‘2019-02-28 12:34:56’+ INTERVAL 1 YEAR + INTERVAL 1 DAY as a,
‘2019-02-28 12:34:56’+ INTERVAL 1 DAY + INTERVAL 1 YEAR as b

a: 2020-02-29 12:34:56
b: 2020-03-01 12:34:56

Clive Robinson April 2, 2021 6:51 AM

@ Robin, ALL,

As the sales manager said, somewhat drily, “What do you expect? Everyone’s washing their hands all the time and mostly wearing masks”.

Raised a wry smile on my face. In the UK we have a number of sayings about someone elses good fortune is somebody elses misfortune ranging from “Every cloud has a silver lining”, through “What goes around comes around”, and on to “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.

But more importantly I guess the “hands, face, space” message was geting through in 2020 in France…

But that level of drop in NSAID’s and anti-biotics, should be a rapidly waving flag / heads up to people.

The annual “flu epidemic” in most places was not as expected. They were expecting a nastier than normal variety thus increased hospitalization and deaths.

It did not happen, that is it was not a mild flu doing the rounds, it was “No flu epidemic”, all that hand washing and mask wearing made that varient of flu more or less extinct.

I’m also told anecdotally that all other non SARS-CoV-2 related respiratory infections were way down as well, as was serious incidents of asthma, hey fever etc (but smoking related were up). Oh and direct contact spread diseases of the “social kind” were down as well, though there may be a bump in the birth rate…

Showing that basic health care measures do work quite effectively if people have cause or reason to follow them out of “enlightened self interest”.

Maybe the oriental trend of “seasonal mask wearing” which started with SARS1 will become more normal in the West now. I hope so because I don’t think the SARS-CoV-2 varients will stop, any time soon. Because infections are too prevelent, and the mutation rate is associated with the prevelence. Unfortunately SARS2 appears different in that with many other virus infections you normally you get ill first then start sheding virus which is why SARS1 was rapidly made extinct. But SARS2 is the other way around, you shed then become ill, which tends to negate the usual evolutionary pressure for virus mutations to become less lethal with time.

So realistically we can expect SARS2 variants of concern to arise as on a probabalistic curve without the downward preasure on any of them. Thus those that are more virulent in the host population will win out. So as we innoculate we can expect two trends to emerge,

1, The virus will mutate towards the younger generation.

2, The virus will mutate towards those who the vaccine is less effective in.

Both trends are clearly being seen to happen especially with the Varients of Concern (VoC) that have indpendently arissen in different parts of the world, thus they are becoming dominant and shifting the mutation progression out from the narrow constraints of some vaccines and doenwards into the most economically productive members of society, which is bad news for those not getting upto date vaccines or in a little while latest boosters.

It would not surprise me if we got a new “multiple jab” in the very near future that is a combined flu&SARS2 annual autumn shot in the arm…

Clive Robinson April 2, 2021 7:06 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Someone was dismayed at the results. To me, works exactly as expected.

This happens due to the order you do things in, which is not always left to right (C is notorious for this issue being entirely undefined in argument passing and often bites people trying to do fancy tricks with the likes of printf() and friends)

I wonder what would have happened if the year had been 1999?

(that is though 2000 was divisable by four, which would be a leap year, it was also divisable by 400 which makes it not a leap year…)

Winter April 2, 2021 8:26 AM

“Do the laws of physics alow this?”

As the laws of physics allow quite a lot, the question should be changed. We must admit that we cannot meaningfully participate in social life nowadays without leaving a digital trail. We cannot buy, pay taxes, educate, join any type of social gathering, complain at the police, work, rent or buy a house or car without leaving an eternally persistent trail.

Leaving no digital trail is for life what is the computer locked in a safe, buried in concrete, and dropped in the Mariana trench. It is save, but is it useful/meaningful?

So, instead of asking “how can we avoid leaving a trail?” we should ask, “How can we balance privacy and security with a meaningful life?”.

This question has no single answer, and certainly, it has no technological answer.

Clive Robinson April 2, 2021 12:05 PM

@ Winter,

As the laws of physics allow quite a lot, the question should be changed.

That rather depends on which hat you are wearing.

Also remember only about 1/7th the world have ever seen/touched a Personal or Work computer, even less of the population uses one on a regular basis. Something like 2/3rds and rising fairly rapidly of Internet connected people use a “Smart Device” they do not realy “own” as that privilege is retained by one or more of,

1, OS Developer (walled garden)
2, Hardware developer (unremovable apps)
3, Service Provider (Over The Air control and unrenovable apps, drivers, etc).

Thus they are at best “tied in cutomers” more often “PII striped product”. Either way open to all sorts of attack beyond their control.


So, instead of asking “how can we avoid leaving a trail?” we should ask, “How can we balance privacy and security with a meaningful life?”.

Is a bit of a moot point.

Not only can by far the majority of Internet conected individuals NOT stop being “owned”, the changes in legislation by lobbying from both Government and Corporate entities, ensures absolutly unless you take control that you can not in any way have a choice other than that expressed in the 1983 film WarGames, when the computer says,

“A strange game. The only way to win is not to play.”

The other way to win is to not play by their rules, and “Say NO and mean NO” and be a right royal pain about how you say NO.

Untill everyone understands that and does that then they will either “sleepwalk into” or be “bit by bit herded into” the trap laid out which you list with,

We cannot buy, pay taxes, educate, join any type of social gathering, complain at the police, work, rent or buy a house or car without leaving an eternally persistent trail.

The funny thing is last century and for all recorded time before that we did all of those things without leaving a digital trail, thus just over a couple of decades ago your comment of,

We must admit that we cannot meaningfully participate in social life nowadays without leaving a digital trail.

Would have been laughable if not considered compleatly insane.

Thus there is absolutly no reason why we should not lead a life without computers, smart devices, mobile phones, credit cards, payment cards or any other of the near usless junk and services that actually make our lives oh so way more complicated and steal our privacy.

Living off the “digital grid” does not in any way mean leaving society to live in a hole in the ground in some remote place wiping your backside with stinging nettles because there are no amenities or the real comforts of life. I pay cash in shops and use checks with utilities. And I stubbornly refuse to be “data raped” by those entities and corespond on paper with anyone I do not have a fairly close personal relationship with.

Do I lose out, no not realy, do I gain anything, yes actually quite a lot. As I point out to people if they want to do business with me, they do it on my terms, not theirs. If they chose not to do so there are other people queuing up who will, such is the nature of a competative economy.

Winter April 2, 2021 1:32 PM

“Also remember only about 1/7th the world have ever seen/touched a Personal or Work computer, even less of the population uses one on a regular basis. ”

5B people use a mobil phone. 3B of them a smartphone. That is a large fraction of all people. F B alone has 2B regular users.

Clive Robinson April 2, 2021 3:15 PM

@ Winter,

I was differentiating between PC personal/work computers which were and in theory are still not “locked in” thus the user has “ownership control” and “Smart Device” users who are “locked in” where the user does not have ownership control.

The advantage the PC group has is freedom to run what ever software the chose or more importantly develop themselves free of censorship and control.

Smart device users usually have to go through “walled gardens” for their applications which gives them not just limited choice even if they do develop their own apps in effect they can be “censored out of the market” Apple for instance have routienly not alowed apps in that are seen to be better or more open than Apples own apps.

With mobile / smart devices the figure I last read was around 63% (~2/3rds) had Internet capability. Your figures give 60% (3/5ths) which is not exactly a lot different. Either figure will do the point is the trend is “locked in” censored and controled beyond most peoples abilities to change smart devices are connecting to the Internet at a vastly increasing rate compared to “not locked in” Personal computers including laptops.

That is people through fad or ignorance are giving up their liberties for no acceptable reason.

JonKnowsNothing April 2, 2021 3:17 PM

@Winter @Clive @All

5B people use a mobil phone. 3B of them a smartphone. That is a large fraction of all people. F B alone has 2B regular users.

Best not to conflate the number of devices with the same issues as Clive detailed.

In soon to be overly hot California, in the rural areas, lots of people have devices, they also have no connection unless they physically move to another place that is within reach of a tower.

In the big cities in this area, most folks have 1 bar, even though there are more towers in the city, than Carter has Pills (no one knows who owns the equipment mounted on the tower, and no one may know who actually owns the tower itself).

Huge swaths of this area are Zoom Proof because no one can get a Zoom Signal or maintain the signal for the duration of the call/school/conference.

I have a drawer full of devices, none of them work, most are obsolete but I have a museum load of them.

Then there are the ones that fell into the water trough…

ht tps://
idiom: “He/She has more _________ than Carter has Little Liver Pills”.

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Weather April 2, 2021 11:25 PM

@clive self
I saw 29/02 so though leap year, but I’m guessing it read left to right and did the year first, the re day.
Compilers suffer from the same thing, they can produce code were 0x0a newline but if it gets certain combination it can take abonminal paths.
Try pass 0x2d to strcmp windows function, you need the debcore but it takes the last jz instead of jmp to top.

lurker April 2, 2021 11:43 PM


Thus there is absolutly no reason why we should not lead a life without computers, smart devices, mobile phones, credit cards, […]

One reason might be the effort involved in convincing the world you are not from the tribe of Unabomber.

The advantage the PC group has is freedom to run what ever software they chose […]

Unfortunately the number who do choose to run something different to what the vendor installed, is less than a margin of error. So that advantage is wasted on the great unwashed.

Winter April 3, 2021 9:14 AM

“In soon to be overly hot California, in the rural areas, lots of people have devices, they also have no connection unless they physically move to another place that is within reach of a tower.”

In many ways, the USA is a technological and social backwater.

In China,you pay for your coffee to-go with your smartphone. In the whole of East Asia, you do most of your social and official life using your phone. It is less advanced in Europe, but coverage is next to universal. In the third world, your mobile phone is your lifeline. Refugees keep hold of their phones at all costs.

For 5B people, a mobil phone is a must and for most their only access to communication.

Goat April 3, 2021 9:41 AM

Re:”the third world, your mobile phone is your lifeline”

@Winter, Would second this peole who cant afford two square meals own one phone in India. They are enslaved to the screens and children more so. It is going out of hand.

Leave a comment


Allowed HTML <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre> Markdown Extra syntax via

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.