vas pup May 21, 2021 5:21 PM

The Navy sub commanded by artificial intelligence

“Around 260 miles away in Plymouth, another submarine made its debut that same day. A minnow compared to HMS Anson, this secretive nine-ton craft may have greater implications for the future of the navy than the £1.3bn nuclear boat.

MSubs of Plymouth, a specialist in autonomous underwater vehicles, won a £2.5m Ministry of Defense contract to build and test an Extra-Large Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (XLUUV) that should be able to operate up to 3,000 miles from home for three months.

==>The big innovation here is the autonomy. The submarine’s movements and actions will be governed entirely by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

He divides the AI problem into components – and mission management is the toughest. This attempts to simulate the presence of a trained captain in the little submarine’s programming.

This is AI working in total isolation from human contact, not least because maintaining strict radio silence is critical to a submarine’s covert role. The technical principle here is machine learning, showing an AI program examples of how a task should be performed until it has embedded the right actions in its own repertoire.

To do this, MarineAI is using a huge IBM AC922 supercomputer, “a monster, one of the biggest in the South-West of England” Mr Thompson boasts. In contrast the on-board brain of the submarine resides in a 15cm square box and relies on an Nvidia chip often found driving computer games.”

Read the whole article for more details if interested.

Ismar May 21, 2021 6:12 PM

This new theory proposes that black holes encrypt any information that is sucked in …

“By showing that the entanglement entropy tracked the Page curve, the team was able to confirm that black holes release information. It dribbles out in a highly encrypted form made possible by quantum entanglement. In fact, it is so encrypted that it doesn’t look as if the black hole has given up anything. But eventually the black hole passes a tipping point where the information can be decrypted. The research, posted in May 2019, showed all this using new theoretical tools that quantify entanglement in a geometric way.”

newqubesuser May 21, 2021 6:31 PM

People have no emotional safeguards in VR. People who are cautious on social media are not cautious in social VR Worlds.

If any of you are in need of a topic for your paper, try to measure this and try to figure out how problematic it could be.

No idea what the human review board will say.

JonKnowsNothing May 21, 2021 6:48 PM

@ vas pup

re: The Navy

Did you catch this MSM report about Navy ships pushing dead whale-prams about the ocean? One might think that the stench would be noticeable or a change in fuel consumption of gallons per nautical mile.

Dead whales found lodged under hull of Australian warship docked in San Diego

An Australian destroyer pulled into San Diego Bay last weekend with an unexpected cargo: two dead fin whales lodged against the ship’s hull.

And their size is no trivial matter.

The larger carcass belonged to a female adult measuring 65 feet long, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The other was much smaller at 25 feet long, probably a calf.

Large vessels frequently strike fin whales inadvertently and unknowingly, and the dead whale remains wrapped around the bow, held in place by pressure as the boat moves forward.

“Oftentimes, [mariners] don’t know until they come in and stop,” said Justin Viezbicke, coordinator of NOAA’s California Marine Mammal Stranding Network. “That’s when the whale falls off and floats out.”


ht tps://

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Freezing_in_Brazil May 21, 2021 10:09 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive Robinson, SpaceLifeForm

Re my AstraZeneca covid jab (from the last Squid).

Thank you, my friends, for the thoughts and good wishes. Know that it is reciprocal.

I’m fine now, having felt some very mild adverse effects (shivering a bit and a little feverish) last night. It surprised me, cause I had never felt vaccine side effects before. It is liberating, indeed, after 14 months of distancing. It has been like a (very long) isolation exercise, and I’m proud to have crossed the thick of it without losing my mind. I’m waiting for the complementary dose now.

It is a pleasant autumn night (for me), everything is going fine and the future looks bright. Let it be true for all of us.

I bid you peace

Diana May 21, 2021 10:55 PM

Wired has a story about the response of RSA Security to its SecurID compromise.

While somewhat interesting, I’m disappointed the author didn’t really probe how such an insecure design came to be. Even the epilogue is disappointing: “Duane’s harrowing experience in response to the intrusion taught him—and perhaps should teach all of us—that ‘every network is dirty,’ as he puts it. Now he preaches to companies that they should segment their systems and cordon off their most sensitive data so that it remains impenetrable even to an adversary that’s already inside the firewall.”

In my view, that’s true enough, but it’s not the main lesson that should be drawn. Rather, this proves Bruce’s point that data is a toxic asset. How does a company named after a public-key cryptosystem (a company, by the way, which was very much against key escrow in 1994) decide that it’s cool for them to create and store all of the private keys, as long as they’re really careful? Well, it was apparently an acquisition: RSA SecurID was originally Security Dynamics ACE Server. Bonus: it seems the protocol was originally secret; Adam Shostack notes this in a 1996 paper documenting an attack.

So I guess there’s another lesson there: don’t let technical debt build up. They just kept pushing similar products after the acquisition, with various updates but no fundamental redesign. I wonder whether any of RSA’s experts were asked to evaluate the security or see what it might take to get rid of the “toxic waste”. If not, why didn’t any feel empowered to do this themselves? Security was ostensibly the company’s business. Knowledge (about cryptography and secure programming) was rapidly evolving in the late 1990s. Manufacturers were touting “secure” chips that could generate their own random keys that could never be exported. It’s not 2011 that RSA should be embarrased about, but the preceding decade.

It reminds me of what Dan Kaminsky colorfully described as “The Final Destination Theory of Cryptographic Vulnerabilities”: Cryptographic vulnerabilities tend to be subtle, and telegraphed years, sometimes decades in advance; We don’t know how they’ll burn us; We don’t know when they’ll burn us; We do know we’re going to get burned; It will probably be epic; The relationship to the Final Destination series of movies is left as an exercise to the reader.

anonymous May 21, 2021 11:22 PM

Bofors HPM Blackout has proven destructive effects at considerable distance against a broad field of COTS equipment.


The kind of power generation requires a vechile for transport due to weight and size.

The resonant cavity transmitter is simple technical device called a passive radiator. A layer of thin metalized material is stretched across a closed metal tube. The size of the tube determined its resonant frequency. An antenna, is attached to the base of the cavity. The cavity is irradiated with a beam of radio frequency energy from an external source. The size of the cavity and the length of its antenna are designed so that a harmonic of the inbound radio frequency energy is rebroadcast. The metalized diaphragm acts as a transducer, and the audio range energy modulates the returned radio frequency signal that, in turn, is picked up by a receiver in a nearby listening post. It is important to note that the microwave signal that “powers up” the device is not the same frequency as the outbound signal.


“Although this agency is not presently involved in developing any directed energy microwave weapons, we do know that the United States, in the past, has conducted research and exploratory development on the generation of high power microwave radiation and its effect on electronic components.”


One GRU agent was caught using a device against civilian and non-civilian targets in the 1980’s, with devastating effect. Many of those targets later died, but a few are still alive today.

This is the identity of that agent

This is the identity of his partner, also GRU

ResearcherZero May 22, 2021 3:07 AM


People have asked why the government has not done anything about it.

The suggestion was that they did not want to provoke “an unreasonable fear among the public or create a panic”. The actual reason would more likely be that they did not inform specific members of the public that they knew had been exposed for years during foreign espionage operations (as those operations were being secretly monitored), and that the information had also been withheld from their own personnel.

There is simply nothing worse than a scandal, other than a clicking noise in your ears, bottles exploding as the liquid contents begin to boil, or perhaps your own internal liquids experiencing the same forces.

It probably was developed for eavesdropping, based on electronic bugging devices found at the scene of some of these events, but other applications were found for this technology, such as destroying equipment, and destroying potential witnesses and their credibility along with them.

If your fridge is next to your telephone (or visa versa), your fridge keeps breaking down, or the meat keeps quickly expiring inside your fridge, you might want to check behind it for a small round device with a sticky backing.

Though these days it’s much more simple to hack your smartphone, or other IT equipment, but family members of military and intelligence personnel do sometimes divulge useful information, so you could get lucky and experience the effects yourself one day.

And Karl Ocallaghan, he is the guy that was responsible for rolling out the police computer system. Here is the audit.


“Probing the management of IT risks, weaknesses found included no policies and procedures to document, assess, review, and report IT risks.”

“IT operations, meanwhile, also revealed many weaknesses, including a lack of user access reviews, no logging of user access and activity, a lack of incident management procedures, and no requirement for IT staff privy to certain sensitive information being required to complete a background check.”

No real surprises there.

Winter May 22, 2021 3:27 AM

“So I guess there’s another lesson there: don’t let technical debt build up.”

Maybe you found a second maxim:
1) Data is a toxic asset
2) Like any material structure, software and protocols need maintenance or they collapse (think bridge)

But this should be formulated better.

Clive Robinson May 22, 2021 6:36 AM

@ Diana, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

RSA SecurID was originally Security Dynamics ACE Server. Bonus: it seems the protocol was originally secret; Adam Shostack notes this in a 1996 paper documenting an attack.

You may be conflating two different things.

1, The RSA seed-warehouse was for RSA Sales and Marketing tech support to assist “customers” who had “fat finger” or similar, or just expansion issues. When you purchased the tokens you had an option to have RSA store the master seeds or not.

2, The customers resource seed-store, which the users authenticated to which is what Shostack Paper is talking about.

@ ALL,

Those customers who did not have their master seeds stored in RSA’s seed-warehouse were uneffected by the RSA security breach.

Unfortunatly from what has been said, even when customers chose to “opt out” of the RSA backup in the seed-warehouse often RSA did not actually delete the customers master seeds from the RSA seed-warehouse…

An unforgivable lapse of security by RSA that the customers had no way of checking had happened untill the breach. But unfortunately that was just one of several unforgivable lapses of security by RSA which alowed the breach to be successful. The reason for the security lapses was almost certainly quite deliberate and driven by a profit motive.

Another of the major security lapses by RSA was how they implemented their supposed “air gap” around the seed-warehouse and how data was transfered out.

Either they realy did not understand air-gap technology or they were criminally stupid to save costs (something I said on this blog back when we originally talked about the breach).

The general idea of an “air-gap” is “security by segregation” that way data can not,

1, Get into an air-gapped system.
2, Get out of an air-gapped system.

Whilst there are some systems this is OK for, mostly we need to get data in and out in both a “clean” and importantly “controled” way. This is where “gap crossing” by “mandated choke points” comes up.

Thus data coming into the air-gapped system is checked for malware etc as the first step in a lengthy checking process to ensure it is not just “clean” but actually should be allowed to cross over the air-gap demarc without modification etc.

Likewise data leaving an air-gapped system needs to be checked it is “clean” and free of “covert side channels” hiding sensitive information etc before it crosses the air-gap demarc.

Thus the air-gap demarc is rather more than a notional line between the segregated and non segregated environments and a “firewall” is compleatly insufficient as a choke point in oh so many ways it would take to long to list them.

Even data diodes are totally insufficient for other reasons such as “covert channels via error correction” and similar I’ve mentioned in the past. Even true “cut wire” data diodes have their failings and significant limitations. That’s not to say you should not use them as sub components of a mandated choke point air-gap crossing, but they are in no way sufficient to the task which has very many layers.

But one thing to grasp is the basic TEMPEST rules of,

1, Clock out from the secure to insecure.
2, On error fail hard and unpredictably long.

It especially applies to any “control channel”. That is all data flow across the air-gap demarc at all levels should be controled from the segregated side (clock out). Further on even the slightest error the action should be halted immediately and “backed off” for a long random period of time.

RSA did the exact opposit which whilst very quick and convenient for Sales and Marketing tech support etc work flows totaly destroyed the security of the air-gap…

None of this was either “rocket science” or “unknown” at the time. The basic TEMPEST or “passive EmSec” design rules have been known from prior to WWI over a century ago. In essence they are “What the laws of nature alow” or more correctly don’t alow others to use against you.

No matter how RSA try to hide it as a corporate entity, or involved individual try to spin it, RSA was criminally neglegent in the way they behaved. And almost certainly the underlying reason was “profit” in a competative market which had long prior been in a “race for the bottom” tail spin.

Something anyone who had looked at news on comparable ICT Security industry sectors such as “Certificate Authorities” should have been all to well aware of, because they were making exactly the same mistakes “for profit” and many still are.

Proof if needed for the maxim of “Those who do not learn from history…”.

Clive Robinson May 22, 2021 7:03 AM

@ anonymous,

Bofors HPM Blackout has proven destructive effects at considerable distance against a broad field of COTS equipment.

Whilst it has Giga Watt pulses, it is infact very little diferent to the “top hat” spark gap generators desigbed and built by Victorians back in the latter half of the 1800s.

Oh be wary of “Giga Watt” claims when it comes to “pulsed” systems. Power is a function not just of energy but time. The heating effect which is one of the major causes of device damage of the output of such a device is in practice related to just the energy, not time.

So whilst 1 joule of energy sent in one half of a billionth of a second is a two billion times the power of 1 joule of energy sent in a second the non disapated (calorimiter” heating effect is the same.

Also with RF emitters be aware of the issues to do with Q and the near field transition to the ~377 freespace load impedance Z0[1]. The very very high “Tessler” type voltages at the ends of the emitter due to the “rise to infinity before breakdown” impedence of an open quaterwave line, does not translate into EM fields in the way you might want.


Jon May 22, 2021 11:12 AM

@ Winter, Diana

1) Data is meat.

It needs to be cared for, and still needs to be thrown out sooner or later. 😉

SpaceLifeForm May 22, 2021 3:44 PM

@ Clivw, Diana, Winter, ALL,

What really makes little sense is that RSA was cutting CDs to send the customer the serial-seed data so the customer could setup/update their server for new tokens.

Why did they not the cut the CDs from the backend production environment?

Then hand-carry out of that environment to deliver to customer?

Absolutely no networking needed. Sneakernet.

vas pup May 22, 2021 3:57 PM

Human or machine?

“Modern prosthetic arms can not only grab objects but feel them too.
Systems that interface with the brain have been in development for some time, and the technology to connect electronic components to living cells is rapidly advancing.”

Good as usually short (7 min) video. Enjoy!

vas pup May 22, 2021 4:16 PM

Single fingerprint at a crime scene detects class A drug usage

“In a paper published in Royal Society of Chemistry’s Analyst journal, a team of researchers at the University of Surrey, in collaboration with the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Ionoptika Ltd reveal how they have been able to identify the ==>differences between the fingerprints of people who touched cocaine compared with those who have ingested the drug — even if the hands are not washed. The smart science behind the advance is the mass spectrometry imaging tools applied to the detection of cocaine and its metabolites in fingerprints.

Dr Melanie Bailey, Reader in Forensic and Analytical Science and EPSRC Fellow at the University of Surrey, said: “Over the decades, fingerprinting technology has provided forensics with a great deal of information about gender and medication. Now, these new findings will inform forensics further when it comes to determining the use of class A drugs.

“In forensic science being able to understand more about the circumstances under which a fingerprint was deposited at a crime scene is important. This gives us the opportunity to reconstruct more detailed information from crime scenes in the future. The new research demonstrates that this is possible for the first time using high resolution mass spectrometry techniques.”

Read the whole article if interested.

I’d put my nickel, but it’ll definitely trigger removal of this post. So, I refrain.

Clive Robinson May 22, 2021 4:28 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

With regards your two questions of,

Why did they not cut the CDs from the backend production environment?

Then hand-carry out of that environment to deliver to customer?

The answer to both is likely rather sad and it’s the “drive for 110% efficiency and productivity” nonsense coupled to the realy stupid “Don’t leave money on the table” mantras that the likes of the Chicargo School were instilling in those doing “economics”, “business” and MBA courses…

Thus “no expense spared to save money by spending money” on foolish ideas to increase “productivity” and “efficiency”. With no realistic measurands just faux time and cost estimates to justify mainly worthless projects, with the bigger the budget the better it looks on your CV as a driver, you can tell where things were going to go, and they did, big style, just as they were in other parts of the ICTsec industry. So when unsurprisingly the projects did not deliver and productivity was not realy increased and nore were the promised savings made, the senior managment were wide open to taking bribes from certain entities like the NSA…

The thing is such “spending to make savings” is almost always a nonsense, because improvments in productivity and efficiency become slimmer and slimmer with each round, but the cost just escalates upwards. Hence you enter “The hamster wheel of pain” or “Red Queens Race” scenarios. Neither of which is the smart way to go, no matter how good you think it will make either the balance sheet or CV look…

Jon May 22, 2021 4:48 PM

@ vas pup :

And if they applied similarly ultra-sensitive detection equipment to currency, they’d find that just about every piece of paper money is contaminated with cocaine.

So they should just seize every item of cash because it must have been part of a drug deal?

All human beings have in them a detectable amount of uranium. Therefore all human beings are terrorists trying to assemble a nuclear bomb?


Diana May 22, 2021 4:52 PM

The customers resource seed-store, which the users authenticated to which is what Shostack Paper is talking about.

I didn’t mean to imply the Shostack attack had any causal relation to the breach. Its main relevance was to document some historical context: that the protocol’s pretty old, and research was hindered by secrecy.

The RSA seed-warehouse was for RSA Sales and Marketing tech support to assist “customers” who had “fat finger” or similar, or just expansion issues. When you purchased the tokens you had an option to have RSA store the master seeds or not.

I’m sure you know the details better than I. By “store”, I didn’t necessarily mean over a long term. My complaint, rather, is that the manufacturer should never have known the keys, even for a second. In other words, a design in which the private key is created externally and pushed onto the device, then given to the customer (even via an “offline” method such as CD-ROM), is ridiculous. It’s an accident waiting to happen, and a company named “RSA Security” should have known better. Customers should also have known better than to accept “we’re not going to say how this works, but trust us, it’s secure” or “here’s the private key, and we promise we didn’t store a copy”.

Sure, the manufacturer could have made better efforts to secure the provisioning server; install air gaps, data diodes, “sneakernet”; close covert channels; etc. But why? Even in 1996, it was well known how to have a secure device, with limited CPU power, create its own key that cannot be easily leaked. Or without really changing the design at all, they could have had the customer push the key.

SpaceLifeForm May 22, 2021 5:07 PM

@ Diana

Thanks for the Shostack link.

After thinking about it some more, it exactly ties into what I noted timeframe wise.

Even though the ‘flaw’ was supposedly more attackable LAN side than WAN side.

Reminds me of an event over 20 years ago where I was working. We stopped using SecurID and just said to everyone: No more remote access.

[There is a story behind this story, TBH. Actually two. One is likely classified]

SpaceLifeForm May 22, 2021 5:31 PM

@ Diana

In other words, a design in which the private key is created externally and pushed onto the device, then given to the customer (even via an “offline” method such as CD-ROM), is ridiculous.

Correct. No outside party that one cannot control.

Much better to have the user roll their own PKI.

I have my own HSM where I roll my own PublicKey/PrivateKey pair.

Then hand out the PublicKey as needed.

There is no outside party that has the PrivateKey.

MarkH May 22, 2021 8:31 PM

If you’re not following madness in the USA, you might be surprised by an attack on election integrity now in progress.

In Arizona, the November general election was conducted without evident quality problems, and its results certified in accordance with law. So far no factual evidence has been made public indicating systematic error or tampering.

Now in Maricopa County (with the majority of Arizona’s population) an improvised “audit” of November ballots is underway. Note that this process is NOT in accordance with established election law, but rather the invention of one political party.

Maricopa already conducted an audit –lawfully and properly! — which sampled 2% of the ballots, and confirmed that the tally was accurate. Arizona is a state not yet using the preferred risk-limiting audits, but incorrect balloting or counting sufficient to change the election outcomes would have been detected with probability very nearly 1 by 2% sampling.

The new so-called audit, in which every ballot is supposed to be examined, has a variety of security implications.

The company hired to perform this stunt is “Cyber Ninjas” (not making this up). It has no experience in election security or verification. Its CEO propagated numerous election conspiracy theories for which no factual basis was ever adduced.

That he already concluded that the election was “stolen”, cannot distinguish fact from fantasy, and is easily deluded by fraudsters is supposedly of no concern, because he “won’t touch a single ballot” (his words).

His firm has been given all of the ballots and voting machines. The building where they have them has been left unlocked and inadequately guarded. The workers were seen using blue pens, in violation of a state standard that workers with access to ballots must have only red pens (ballots aren’t supposed to be marked with red; people with dark pens could alter the ballots).

All of the voting machines will now have to be replaced — at considerable expense — because giving them to this Clown Carnival has broken the state’s chain-of-custody requirements. The County Recorder and Secretary of State (officials responsible for the scrupulous conduct of elections) have no way to ensure that the machines have not been compromised.

Sad and grotesque as the above specifics may be, the wider implications are much worse.

The Putin regime in Russia grew weary of international election observers reporting that Russia didn’t meet standards for open, free and fair elections. It eventually denied visas for the observers, and created its own network of “international election observers” with other tin-pot dictatorships to certify that Russian elections are beyond reproach!

One U.S. political party, starting with the premise that any election it loses must be fraudulent, is following the Putin playbook. If legitimate audits confirm that they lost … well then, those must be supplanted by sham audits — corrupt from their inception — designed to find the bogey-men.

Movements are underway to replicate the Arizona “fraudit” in other states. I remain hopeful that reality will prevail, but brute authoritarianism is subjecting democracy to an intensive stress test.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons May 22, 2021 9:05 PM


Oh be wary of “Giga Watt” claims when it comes to “pulsed” systems. Power is a function not just of energy but time. The heating effect which is one of the major causes of device damage of the output of such a device is in practice related to just the energy, not time.

Working on a such a device, a HERF gun, two issues were consistent with respect to energy and efficiency. The affect of coronas on surface dielectrics of the emitter was always in play, rather rapid breakdowns with high energy output. Some unique emitter designs managed to distribute the overall charge field with respect to the emitter surface. The figure of merit for the device ultimately achieved terawatts.

Also, the current columnated via a Marx ladder required rapid quenching with respect to EMF synchronous charge and collapse of charging coils. Also, the large caps required have limited lifespans due to plate stresses.

So, the input is problematic and the subsequent output is as problematic. Wished you’d seen some of our testing, you would have laughed your arse off. Half a dozen people behind the antenna (emitter) pointed at a trailer (caged in copper) and a d-dot probe, fired up the device and the reflection arced the I channel joining the ceiling behind us. Only one of us was sporting a copper suit.

Clive Robinson May 23, 2021 2:23 AM

@ name.withheld…,

Wished you’d seen some of our testing, you would have laughed your arse off.

Trust me when I say unless you could give me “Over the Horizon Binoculars” I would not have been watching that particular barbeque party…

Over fourty years ago now, I was struck by lightning, or more correctly from what an observer said the upward pilot stroke not the full bore discharge down stroke.

Unsurprisingly it “futzzed” with my nervous system and gave me the snakes crawling under the skin fealing off and on for several days.

So I kind of developed a degree of wariness to the nonlinear effects of high voltages and their tripping into various “radiation transport” steps down to very high concentrations of random thermal energy.

I might be odd in my view point but I figure any event that can turn a couple of pounds of desert sand into dirty molten glass in a very small fraction of a second is something you do not want to be getting in the way of. But then that’s probably just me 😉

I used to know someone who was your archetypal “mad scientist” who did research into the non linear with time effects of arc discharges, as part of a way to divert plasma generated in shaped charges… If that was not dangerous enough, they moved into the development of FAE that could turn tanks over from a sizable distance.

I remember him saying that storing very high levels of coherant energy in fields was a little like trying to generate the inverse of a vaccum, it was something nature abhorred, sometimes a little more than violently…

Saber May 23, 2021 8:56 AM

Since cryptos now were a concern in another thread

Iran Is Using Bitcoin Mining To Lessen Effect Of Sanctions


echo May 23, 2021 9:02 AM

@vas pup

The Navy sub commanded by artificial intelligence

As a heads up the BBC is on my sanctions list as it has become a network hijacked by right wing and far right party interests and is an unreliable narrator. This is happening across a range of institutions too. Activists have documented political links between the Tory party, UK state institutions, and American far right political organisations and terrorists and funding. Most of the right wing media as we know is off its head, the Barclay owned Telegraph being one of the worst but not the only one. Not even the Guardian is immune from their editorial staff being got at by influencers and astroturf. Not to leave the Russians out of it the Russians being connected with Brexit remains uninvestigated. A number of high profile human rights organisations in the UK are currently under massive attack by astroturfers aligned with far right interests in an attempt to flood the system and cause a Denial Of Service by misuse of the Freedom of Information system both as a propoganda exercise and way around anti-extremist Prevent legislation and as a method to give the government an excuse to reform (aka remove) Freedom of Information law. As I write this Home Seretary Patel is threatening review of the BBC’s charty to add an external editoral board likely stuffed with party sympathisers.

One topical item is a big hoo-hah over Diana being conned into an interview. Johnson made a big play of saying the BBC needed to restore its credibility. This is in contrast to Johnson, who is in hock to Russian oligarches, has employed a very dodgy “ethics” advisor, has a Downing Street weaponised psychology department on his doorstep (staffed by dodgy behavorial psychologists), and the BBC which has Tory party political apppointments dropped in to all the key management positions, and a News and Current Affairs run by an editor who is a Tory leaning populist propagandist. Even the notoriously spiteful Home Secretary Patel has joined in while the unvarnished incompetent and corrupt Attorney General Braverman is off on maternity leave.

According to the old rules of war once you captured the palace and parliament and the broadcasters you had been judged to win and the enemy traditionally surrendered. It was a coup long in the making and not one bullet was fired.

With regard to what is possible and not possible, and how rules may be bent this may be a useful read to anyone with an interest in energy based systems, networks (whether technical, official organisation structures, informal etc), psychology, perception, and so forth.

Read this:

Theoretical physicist Chiara Marletto: ‘The universal constructor could revolutionise civilisation’


You argue for a radically different approach to physics, which you call the science of can and can’t. What does that mean?
It’s a new mode of explanation. Since Newton, traditional physics has been using laws of motion, describing how objects move in space and time – what happens to an apple if you set it in motion in this or that way. With one exception: thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics prescribe the impossibility of perpetual motion; by doing so, they put powerful constraints on all laws of motion – those known and those yet to be known. Constructor theory follows the same logic, but it extends to a much broader context. We express all fundamental laws as constraints about what transformations are possible and impossible. This apparently simple switch is very powerful. For example, it can capture entities that traditional laws of motion cannot handle exactly: information, the physics of life, and even the mind.

And watch this:
Breaking The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

MarkH May 23, 2021 12:59 PM

Belarus Forced the Landing of an Airliner, to Imprison a Dissident

Not many hours ago, a RyanAir flight from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania was forced down in Minsk. Its route included overflight of Belarusian airspace, in which air traffic controllers directed the civil aircraft to land. The transport was escorted by a MiG 29 fighter jet at the order of Belarusian tyrant Lukashenka.

The pretext offered by Belarusian ATC was a security threat, perhaps a bomb aboard. Notably, at the time of diversion the RyanAir jet was already closer to its scheduled destination than to Minsk.

After several hours of delay at Minsk airport, the airliner was reboarded and flew on to Vilnius. No bomb was found … and one passenger was missing, Belarusian dissident Roman Protasevich, who self-exiled to Lithuania after being designated a state enemy in his homeland and threatened with long imprisonment. Now he is detained in Minsk.

Protasevich publicized details of intensive police violence during protests last year against Lukashenka’s allegedly corrupt reelection, and has maintained a Telegram social media channel called NEXTA.

Within recent days, Protasevich said that he felt he was under surveillance.

This action of Belarus — effectively, an airline hijack and kidnapping — is obviously an outrage against multiple international laws and practices. The reaction is only beginning.

Tatütata May 23, 2021 2:18 PM

Re: Belarus incident

Who has access to passenger data generally? There are bilateral agreements, e.g., EU-USA, but can a third country access booking data? Or was the dissident perhaps followed?

Protests and outrage by our “democratic” governments will unfortunately sound quite hollow…

Belarus adhered to the Chicago convention of 1994 on 4 June 1993. The relevant part seems to be Art. 3:

Article 3bis

a. The contracting States recognize that every State must refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight and that, in case of interception, the lives of persons on board and the safety of aircraft must not be endangered. […]

b. The contracting States recognize that every State, in the exercise of its sovereignty, is entitled to require the landing at some designated airport of a civil aircraft flying above its territory without authority or if there are reasonable grounds to conclude that it is being used for any purpose inconsistent with the aims of this Convention; it may also give such aircraft any other instructions to put an end to such violations. For this purpose, the contracting States may resort to any appropriate means consistent with relevant rules of international law, including the relevant provisions of this Convention, specifically paragraph a) of this Article. Each contracting State agrees to publish its regulations in force regarding the interception of civil aircraft.

c. Every civil aircraft shall comply with an order given in conformity with paragraph b) of this Article. […]

Weather May 23, 2021 5:35 PM

@Bruce can I buy the new book next week with a SIG? 🙂

One then about travel and planes, I notice mucking around with the media player, when it landed my terminal was the only one that went through a win CE startup, a paper clip to short the USB normally crash’s windows 🙁

Clive Robinson May 23, 2021 7:59 PM

@ echo,

“the Online Harms Bill, which proposes internet regulation that would force companies to remove material or face multimillion pound fines, was “fundamental” to combating the issue.”

I can confidently make the claim it is going to fail in that stated objective. However it will almost certainly be a usefull revenue raising and censoring tool, with significant risk of it being a primary tool for political abuse of those with differing view points to that of those in political control (achiving similar to that which the talk of new govetnance for the BBC will achieve).

But the reason why it will fail in it’s declared purpose is quite simple,

Technical rules do not solve human issues.

They never realy have and they are even less likely to do so in the future.

This is a very bad technical cludge, and it will be almost trivial for “extremists” or similar to get around it.

It’s the same as the “war on drugs” will always fail. It’s simple economics, as long as there is demand and the ability to supply what is wanted then the market will exist to satisfy the demand.

What people step around is that “extremism” is in economics terms a “good” and thus as long as there is demand for it, the good will be supplied.

What is hard to determin though is radicalisation, is it a good that is desired and sort out, or is it a byproduct like addiction is with drugs?

As I pointed out a couple of decades ago one issue that has failed to be addressed is that of a strongly patriarchal culture where children are brought up to obay implicitly. That is they are not constrained by morals as they have never developed a “moral compass” they simply blindly follow that which they are told to do.

Thus two questions arise,

1, What if they are told to break the law etc?
2, What happens when there is nobody to tell them what to do?

Untill we solve this cultural issue both extreamism and radicalisation will continue, no matter what technical hurdles are put in place. In fact the technical hurdles will almost certainly make finding extremist materials more desirable as an activity…

That as they say is “human nature” when it comes to “forbidden fruit”.

Yes, depressing but true, but history teaches us that, “That is the way it is”… You only have to read a synopsis of why the Bible says why Adam and Eve got thrown out, to get the message about human nature, and it’s not just the Bible with stories that describe the same behaviours.

It’s funny to think an old agnostic like myself would use the Bible as a “Security Refrence” work…

echo May 23, 2021 9:44 PM


I can confidently make the claim it is going to fail in that stated objective. However it will almost certainly be a usefull revenue raising and censoring tool, with significant risk of it being a primary tool for political abuse of those with differing view points to that of those in political control (achiving similar to that which the talk of new govetnance for the BBC will achieve).

A range of law already exists. The cops are simply too busy, not paying attention, not giving the right priority, and so on to the extremist cases I have my eye on. In some part other arms of the state and government ministers as well as media and various seat warmers not getting ahead of the problems are playing an active role in enabling or encouraging extremism.

In critical areas the police lack personnel with sufficient skill to deal with particular classes of problems as well as cost cutting forcing the rolling up of this spread of functions into general purpose units. This only makes the problems worse as clearing workload and mediocrity triumphs.

While the police are correct to identify a problem I disagree with their proposed solution as it’s yet another heap of law acting as a blunt instrument to solve a problem created by the system itself including, yes, police who don’t listen when you’re trying to tell them and smallish problems grow into bigger problems.

Having drafted and reviewed my own anecdote which has a bearing on the general silliness of things it didn’t read too well for anyone not familiar with the track of the narrative. It’s a shame as it’s an entertaining story but best told conversationally over drinks between friends. I’m just no good at stories. I’m all over the place and have the tendency to think people are mindreaders and know the backstory and context so I usually end up sounding like the villain of the piece.

Weather May 23, 2021 10:10 PM

Based on information from a Twitter feed, would like to say, your country couldn’t supply diebatic medince after you help the internet and a lot of people. RIP Dan K

Clive Robinson May 24, 2021 5:46 AM

@ Weather,

Based on information from a Twitter feed

Err no, diabetic ketoacidosis which is what has been reported was the underlying cause of Dan Kaminski’s death is a complication of diabetes and it happens to people actively on insulin way more often than we would like to think.

One of the problems with the use of insulin is “forward guessing” what you might need for the next twelve hours. Unfortunatly whilst there are formulers you can use there are too many variables involved[1]. This is especially true for certain personality types that foster wildly changing daily routines and social activities, that I gather Dan did.

So the usual method prescribed is to “load up” on insulin and take in extra sugars if your BG figures get criticaly low. This unfortunately leads to excesive weight gain that neither excercise or changing diet will shift. You have to lower the insulin level so your body will pull the fat out of the cells… Thus you go from “walking a white line” to “walking the high wire” in risk. However if done properly and under cobstant supervision can add ten to twenty years to your life expectancy. As continuous monitoring is now not just possible in hospital or other lab type setting but via a bluetooth device on your upper arm you replace every couple of weeks, you can using mixed insulin types other medications and fasting, not just keep your BG at the bottom limit of normal but also loose most if not all excess body fat, getting down to the 5% or so that top flight athletes have, with all the health and other longevity and social and fiscal benifits it brings with it. However as indicated the risks of a “hypo” are very real, and the commensurately low insulin levels can if the continuous monitoring either fails or is not correctly processed cause ketoacidosis to happen.

Ketoacidosis apart from the fact it can kill you is not something you want, it can cause all sorts of unplesant effects and I can assure you is not something you want. Especially as the cure is as bad as the illness…

One of the things that can upset BG levels is “infection” you can easily see a massive jump in BG, which actually becomes a significant impediment to fighting an infection. A lack of insualin can lead to ketoacidosis[2] and it may well need emergancy hospitalization. Thus even a common cold or ear ache could send the BG/insulin balance hilter-kilter and the more finely balanced, the more likely it is to have downsides in either direction.

What ever the cause of Dan Kaminski’s ketoacidosis was as far as I’m aware had not been made public. But anti-vaxers and alt-right web sites jumped on it to peddle there various brands of nonsense to creat as much FUD as they can that they see will support their position no matter how much harm it does…



echo May 24, 2021 6:14 AM

Max Hastings writing in todays Times is slapping the Johnson regime. There’s also a video circulating of David Halpern, head of Downing Street’s “nudge” unit, stating in March 2020 that herd immunity was the regime’s goal. There are no big surprises here. It’s all known knows. We know who the guilty people are. We know what they did. We know the impact of this. There is little which cannot be quantified.

The same is true of Brexit and most nonsense which has gone on to erode the post-war settlement among other things.

We are long past needing a written constitution to put an end to this nonsense.

echo May 24, 2021 7:31 AM


I’m somewhat overstimulated so my head is full of everything at the moment so it’s a little crowded in there. I can’t even think of a falling pebble with dragging in the sweep of human history and economic theories and politics and every dratted topic you can think of. We’re continuously swimming in similar ponds so there is a statistically high chance of sniffing each others farts.

I read through a couple of topics out of boredom but refrained from saying anything as I would have been snarky and it was too far off topic to be justified. Now we are here…

For various reasons I’ve had a severe dose of physical exhaustion and brain fog, and the subject of opening up safely and exercise has crossed my mind. I tend to keep a minimal footprint and have done since the pandemic broke but really could do with the exercise. I’m lazy so never made anything of coming out of my box fitter than when I went in. It was interesting reading about athletes who had to keep up their fitness including those who lived in flats without gardens. I have a garden but like I said, lazy. If I am up I like walks in the early morning just as the world is waking up and before everyone starts going to work. Late at night is nice but a bit iffy in the city if you wear a skirt. Then again being where people don’t expect you to be is sometimes the safest place. I have gone for a walk and sat on a park bench in the pitch black. Thinking about this a folding cane can be useful and gives off no light unlike a torch.

Another thing is sitting relaxed in a chair with your feet in a sandpit listening to the wind and the trees is, as far as experiences go, effectively indistinguisable from being on the beach of a £20,000 a week private island without the travel and expense. File under odd stuff I think about. Also while everyone is getting out of the city and being stuck in traffic jams with red faces and squealling toddlers the city can be remarkably quiet and free of cars.

trsm.mckay May 24, 2021 11:49 AM

@ Diana

In the 80s/90s when HSM security had a stronger dependency upon physical locks and keys, the two market leading companies (for financial HSMs anyway) had very different philosophies. The company I worked for bought the most secure locks they could source, and told the customers “if you loose your key, you are on your own”. The competitor bought locks that had easier to duplicate keys, and retained a set of said duplicate keys. That way when a customer called, needing to deal with a “situation”, they could offer a better alternative than having a locksmith drill out the hardened lock (with attendant metal filings).

Looking back on it, I think both methods are valid (so long there is disclosure that it happens, and good communication of the safeguards). But of course one path is much more risky than the other. I have seen too many screwups, when dealing with both real and crypto keys; especially for a process that needs to last over decades. People slack off, the policies get short-cut, and changes are made without realizing the true impact to security. And it is even worse when there are multiple secrets involved (beyond just the company’s own keys).

The keys I am dealing with now are much less than of a target, than the financial ones in past jobs. So I emphasize long term sustainable policies as much as the typical security. If your security officer only enters a passphrase once or twice a year, don’t expect them to remember it. Have good methods and guidelines for them to securely store and recover the password. Remember the “N” is flexible in K-of-N, 2-of-3 is just asking for trouble because of typical industry turnover. Make it 2-of-5 or even 2-of-7. Have quarterly practice sessions, to make sure equipment and people are still functioning. Security practices erode…

MarkH May 24, 2021 5:10 PM

More information has emerged concerning the RyanAir hijacking.

When the airliner was forced down in Minsk, it was boarded by officials who promptly removed Protasevich.

The rest of the passengers were deplaned later.

Belarus apparently detained not only Protasevich, but also a Russian citizen identified by some sources as his girlfriend.

Three additional passengers did not reboard: European officials investigating the incident think it likely that they were agents of some Belarus security apparatus, likely their KGB.

The European Union is facing some pressure: an EU-registered civil airliner, operated by an EU company, on a scheduled flight between two other EU countries, with all passengers nominally under EU legal protection, was the target of hijacking and abduction.

MarkH May 24, 2021 7:54 PM


I enjoy your droll comparison … there are at least a few countries where fixation on the past is heavily impairing progress.

A distinguished Russian novelist saw a more distant time frame, writing (just a few years ago) that his country is a block of ice drifting back into the 16th century.

ADFGVX May 24, 2021 9:11 PM

@ MarkH

The European Union is facing some pressure: an EU-registered civil airliner, operated by an EU company, on a scheduled flight between two other EU countries, with all passengers nominally under EU legal protection, was the target of hijacking and abduction.

@ Fu*ck the EU • May 24, 2021 5:32 PM

Seriously, FU_CK THE EU, bunch of power hungry slumlords.

There’s an EU dentist and people have any teeth left? Kids go to a Christian Democrat church and have Swiss dentures for confirmation, but that’s okay because their parents’ and grandparents’ teeth were all pulled out for Swiss dentures long ago.

Winter May 25, 2021 2:52 AM

COVID confusion?

There is confusion only for people who cannot see Gray between Black and White.

There are still people getting infected by SARS-2 and dying of COVID-19. But the numbers are declining.

Given that, it is possible to “open up” society a little, step by step to lessen the negative impact of the COVID containment policies without increasing the risks too much.

What is a prudent speed of opening up is a political question and depends on the amount of risk accepted and the course of the pandemic from day to day.

Then what is confusing here? Maybe media coverage? Asocial media disinformation?

Curious May 25, 2021 6:32 AM

European Court of Justice apparently has given a verdict against Sweden and it’s military surveillance law known as FRA.

According to SVT (Swedish tv news channel, online), after a lawsuit that was filed some 13 years ago, from an organization known as ‘Centrum för rättvisa’ (Swedish by the sound of it), European Court of Justice (presumably ECJ) apparently says in a verdict that the Swedish law for military surveillance known as ‘FRA’ is lacking or somesuch in three instances. The article states that the verdict is binding and claims changes will be required in the Swedish FRA surveillance law. (article in swedish)

According to the article:
There is no protecting against information about “persons in law” (my translation) like organizations (or perhaps people working for them).

There is no protection re. the information about people that was given to other countries by Sweden.

The oversight of information gathered (“surveilled information”) is lacking, there being no accountability to how the information was gathered or subject to surveillance.

The article ends with a brief comment, in which it is stated that SVT (somehow?) is soliciting the military organization (FRA) asking for a comment. Though, it reads like, they haven’t really asked, just, putting the comment out there in the article, which sounds really weird imo. Couldn’t they at least state clearly if they wanted to contact FRA?

I can’t help but think that internet traffic routed through Sweden is probably subject to wiretapping, espionage activities and worse. Iirc it has already been pointed out in the past, that other European countries around Sweden end up having their internet traffic routed through Sweden, even if you aren’t visiting a Swedish webpage as I understand it.

I have no idea what European Court of Justice thinks of Denmark, which recently was shown to having allowed USA to monitor Danish internet traffic inside Denmark, using X-keyscore software and with Denmark said to have established a novel surveillance system inside Denmark of its own fiber networks (wouldn’t surprise me if this includes phone conversations as well as internet data).

I find the norwegian government and/or military to be untrustworthy to say the least, and so there is no hope for me even thinking I am safe and secure online.

Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 7:10 AM

@ Winter,

What is a prudent speed of opening up is a political question and depends on the amount of risk accepted and the course of the pandemic from day to day.

Whilst the politicians may have “grabbed” at the opening up question they have consistantly got it wrong in the Northern Hemisphere, which is why,

1 We a pandemic from an out break.
2, It has gone on through month after month and wave after wave.
3, Lockdown after lockdown.
4, Destruction of many small business.
5, Loss of many low pay jobs.
7, Destruction of low end socio economic communities.
8, Caused much violence and political unrest.
9, So far countless deaths of loved ones, destruction of families with considerable harm and hardship.

But that’s all right “the politician’s friends” are doing very nicely out of it, and those that are in effect information workers so can work away from others as long as they are paid are doing nicely so the top end of the socioeconomic ladder is more or less content with all but the “social anoyances” of lockdown.

So we get lockdown followed by opening up to soon followed by another lockdown followed by another opening up to soon.

We also get mutation after mutation at a rate that we get “bad ones” breaking through every month or three.

Try drawing some lines on a graph, smorh them and see if they are ever going to cross?

You might find that they won’t thus what could easily have been stopped in it’s tracks and made extinct in just over a month, due to political incompetence is now so embedded into the world that it is unlikely even vaccination will eradicate it in your life time or mine. The only light of hope so far has been that as far as we know there are no animal reservoirs out in the wild. If there is, then the chance of SARS-2 extinction diminishes to zero with a good probability.

All of this can be firmly laid at the door of a handfull of politicians in the “West” in the Northern Hemisphere that is those WASP nations where neo-con thinking is so prevelant.

Thus do you say “Cause or coincidence?” well if you look at other nations in the southern hemisphere where the politicians took prompt and more importantly appropriate action, they eradicatrd SARS-2 in their nations and their economies are more or less normal without lockdowns being needed, except when SARS-2 gets “in by plane”.

The solution to SARS-2 now is “stop the planes” and instigate hard borders with propper infection control, not the joke we still mainly have. Only when a population is,

A, Fully vaccinated.
B, Has zero community infection.
C, With all citizens movments across hard borders fully documented.

Should we even consider comming out of lockdown to resume traval.

Before people bleat about “travel brodens your outlook on life” that may once have been true but it is nolonger…

A tale from thirty years ago when I used to travel to walk in the wild up mountains. I had occasion to visit a well known country in the Far East on extended business, and I became sort of accepted socialy by those I worked with. I was chatting with a young lady one evening and was told that,

“There are three Thailand’s,
1, Thailand for American Tourists.
2, Thailand for American Tourists that wanted to see the real Thailand, and other tourists.
3, The Thailand that was for the Thai’s in all their ways.”

Thus travel these days for most is to visit a mirror of their own society with different guilding around the edges. Thus it is a safe comfortable entertainment, like going to the movies, not an education or meeting of minds and exchanging of philosophies and cultural outlooks / points of view.

Thus what most do is go visit “tourist towns” or glorified holiday camps that are in effect controled environments for the protection of those who have the money for a couple of weeks hedonism or Bacchanalian debauchery that a free hand with a dollar will buy…

It’s a “faux market” created to try and address regional economic differences, there are more efficient and safe ways to do that.

Now as they say, “Hand in a four to ten page essay next week on the causes and drivers of tourism and how you would replace them”.

echo May 25, 2021 7:49 AM


There’s whiffs of everything from the 11th to 18th Century in the UK depending on who you ask!

With regard to current geo-politics and rewatching Chernobyl I’ve been watching this video on the Russian Rolls-Royce rip-off. A lot of politics and culture and propaganda and Kopykatski school of design and other artifacts of Russia will be clear to anyone of a certain age with a mainstream Cold War perspective. I don’t know enough to comment on the engineering nor the car having been built with input from the FSB but it’s an interesting video.

Youtube usefully attaches a hygiene warning for those who don’t notice it is published by a Russian news agency so feel free to wear strings of garlic and wave crosses. I wanted to shriek and run away and have a bath in case I was communised but after a pat down discovered I was intact and fully capitalist.

Winter May 25, 2021 9:09 AM

“We also get mutation after mutation at a rate that we get “bad ones” breaking through every month or three.”

No need to panic:
“All COVID-19 virus variants that have emerged so far do respond to the available, approved vaccines,” Kluge told a media briefing.

ht tps://

For more in depth view:
Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants and Impact in Global Vaccination Programs against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19
ht tps://

To promote actions for the control of the emerging variants, a major effort is being put forward by different nations and institutions, such as WHO, CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), Gates Foundation, GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations), and others, with the purpose to make universal access to vaccines and to assure control of virus infection. Indeed, we have proven that current and incoming vaccines will cope with the control of variants and the potential eradication of the virus. In this regard, the results coming out from Israel on the high efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 infections are encouraging, in a country where the UK variant is prevalent. It will be only through the detailed understanding of the virus structure, biology, and vaccine developments that we can finally achieve the control of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

(URLs fractured for your protection)

JonKnowsNothing May 25, 2021 10:03 AM

@Clive Winter All

re: COVID-19 Mutants and Vaccine Pipeline

I recently saw an interesting “science reference” to the COVID-19 Mut+Vax Churn.


The COVID-19 Pandemic will be “over” as soon as the hospitals are no longer being over run with patients and their ICU are able to handle the case loads.

Vaccines, Immunity, Suppression or Eradication, Mutations don’t matter, only Hospital Capacity.

Winter May 25, 2021 10:09 AM

“Vaccines, Immunity, Suppression or Eradication, Mutations don’t matter, only Hospital Capacity. ”

I think you are right. That is actually the policy in the Netherlands, and undoubtedly, elsewhere.

In the end, the only thing that counts is people dying or ending up in the ICU. This is also what drives Flu policies.

Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 10:37 AM

@ Winter,

No need to panic:

A few points to note,

1, As they say in the insurqnce industry “Past Performance is no indicator of Future Performance”

2, SARS-2 has repeatedly not behaved as previous general models have predicted.

3, SARS-2 is very clearly moving from hosts that are nolonger avsilable[1] to hosts that are.

4, SARS-2 mutations because of 2 are more virulant and often more harmfull.

Thus it’s reasonable to expect,

1, Infection rates to rise.
2, Mutation rates that are oroportional to the current number of people infected to rise.
3, Mutations to increasingly target hosts not in the original strain profile[1].
4, Vaccines to become less effective, which is already clearly happening.

This is a downwards spiral as 4 loops round and feeds 1. Oh and,

5, Other opportunistic pathogens to follow on from a case of COVID or Long COVID. Which is already very clearly happening in India with “black mould” infections that cause significant necrosiss. And appear to be 98% leathal in India. In the more affluent west where the only drug treatment that reduces the infection is about 50-100USD/day for upto 8 weeks it drops to a little over 50% leathal. Oh and the necrotic tissue has to be removed surgically resulting in very very severe disfigament and all the attendent issues that raises.

The reason this Mould gets a grip on people is three fold,

1, Existing disease of Diabietes.
2, The use of steroids which is one of the only effective medications against COVID currently that can be afforded.
3, COVID wrecks the immune system for weeks or months.

Added to this,

4, All infections COVID included raise blood glucose levels significantly.
5, Insulin needed to deal with the blood glucose is unafordable.
6, Blood glucose monitoring outside of the affluent West where it is made free by the insulin providers, is not available outside of the West thus expensive and impractical lab testing is carried out.

So to be honest I do not see any real reason to not be very concerned, this downward spiral has started and vaccination is not going to catch up with it.

[1] The original profile was not just the old but the infirm and those with certain societal diseases such as type II diabieties, obesity and blood system, heart, lung and liver disorders. The UK varient brought the average age down by a decade, the Brazilian varients brought it down even further, the Indian varients likewise…

Winter May 25, 2021 10:58 AM

“So to be honest I do not see any real reason to not be very concerned, this downward spiral has started and vaccination is not going to catch up with it.”

Why did you wait to be concerned? SARS1 and Ebola had the same characteristics. MERS is still raging. Virologists have warned us for a new pandemic for decades.

But we had a vaccine within a year. A new vaccine against variants can be developed in months. Vaccine production is ramped up.

The fact that the future is unpredictable is not new. The only real development to fear is asocial media. We could get a deluge of contenders for the Darwin Awards from all those who blindly believe the disinformation.

Curious May 25, 2021 11:29 AM

(“GCHQ’s mass data interception violated right to privacy, court rules”)

“The UK spy agency GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated the right to privacy and the regime for collection of data was unlawful, the grand chamber of the European court of human rights has ruled.”

“The chamber, the ultimate court of the ECHR, also concluded that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal.”

Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 11:53 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Winter,

“Vaccines, Immunity, Suppression or Eradication, Mutations don’t matter, only Hospital Capacity.”

That is compleat and utter “Bovine Excretion”. It’s the sort of nonsense you would expect from an “anti-vaxer”, “neo-con”, “Hurd Immunity Policy” or loonie “piety / deity” proponent.

It’s not just factually wrong, it’s a deliberate attempt not just at “fake news” but out right attempt to manipulate public opinion into a disasterous course of action.

What hospital capacity does as we saw from the early days of the pandenic is bring the “Infection Fatality Rate”(IFR) down to the current “Case Fatality Rate”(CFR). Back then the “recognised” IFR was not far short of 5% of those infected, the CFR brought it down a hundred fold to around 0.05%.

What was not known was the long time required in Intensive Therapy often a month or more (the UK had someone who was in a coma for three months) which in various countries involved people being “killed” by being taken off ventilators as others with better socioeconomic factors and potential survivability came into IT behind them (the term for this kind of killing is “triage” and in some cases they were quite deliberately given “End of Life”(EoL) “cocktails” to get them into morgues quickly so beds could be “freed up”.

There is also the now known issue of “Long COVID” where those that survive the hospital admission are longterm dibilitated. How long for is unknown, I’ve not yet heard of anyone eith Long COVID recovering to the full health they had before.

I could go on, but even at the current hospital survival rates, the likelihood of dieing is still well more than 50,000 times the rate of those who have been vaccinated…

Who ever said those words is exhibiting all the signs of a sociopath, with a hidden agenda.

Winter May 25, 2021 12:05 PM

“It’s not just factually wrong, it’s a deliberate attempt not just at “fake news” but out right attempt to manipulate public opinion into a disasterous course of action.”

It might not be good policy, but it is actual practice.

The real problem seems to be that the alternative, an effective lock down, China style, is impossible to organize in Europe. Any politicians trying to organize it will be jettisoned from power before they could implement it.

Mr. Peed Off May 25, 2021 2:55 PM

“In addition to providing a tool for emergency services, law enforcement and the military, the technology could also be used to monitor the elderly and read vital signs of patients with infectious diseases like COVID-19 from outside a hospital room.

One indication of see-through-wall radar’s potential is the U.S. Army’s interest. They’re looking for technology that can create three-dimensional maps of buildings and their occupants in almost real-time. They are even looking for see-through-wall radar that can create images of people’s faces that are accurate enough for facial recognition systems to identify the people behind the wall. ”

Perhaps a better application for this technology would be on excavators helping the operator differentiate between underground utilities and rocks and other debris.

echo May 25, 2021 3:01 PM


Sometimes I think you need to lighten up. I have the same problem myself too so I’m not being a hypocrite. You mention being inspired by drama. There are studies which show the usual suspects with sociopathic traits and too much power and money are influenced by such things at an emotional level. Many scientists became scientists because they had been inspired by science fiction. Others have been inspired by the actions of an individual. But moving on…

I watched a video the other day which explained how the vaccines are efficacious and how once past a certain threshold the case rate stubbornly refused to move up. This was true of even the new variants. Studies are ongoing but so far things look pretty reasonable especially if you are fully vaccinated.

We all know what should have been done at the start.

We all know what could have been done.

We all have a clue what governance and social and other changes are possible.

If for agruments sake a new plague emerged today and we had to go into immediate worldwide lockdown I think it’s possible to get through this without exploding. It may just be me but I’d be thinking about this now rather than wait until after the current situation had cooled if for no other reason than it gets ahead of the problem but also frees my mind up for creative thinking and makes me feel less cranky.

As for the select club of advanced wealthy nations being okay and the rest not this is very simple. You sign the cheque because it is the proper thing to do.

So who do people vote for? Neo-cons who make them feel like shit or progressives who make them feel happy? I guess we will find out.

"::current_time(*)::" May 25, 2021 3:39 PM

(2021 A.D., during the calendar month of May; 5/12)

Dear security and safety enhancers,

Thank you for enhancing safety and security for such a long time successfully. Those and these acts are both significant and helpful for so many.

With much gratitude and appreciation,


MarkH May 25, 2021 3:40 PM

I’m re-trying part of a recent comment which vanished for no cause I can discern:

For those worried about vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 mutations, there’s hopeful news from the U.S.

Subject to several sampling caveats, the genome distribution among virus variants for “breakthrough” cases (Covid illness in fully vaccinated persons) matches the distribution for SARS-CoV-2 in the unvaccinated.

This suggests that the vaccines are working well against all of variants with significant incidence in the U.S.

SpaceLifeForm May 25, 2021 3:57 PM

To the China Bat Mine Robin!

DANAOSHAN, China—On the outskirts of a village deep in the mountains of southwest China, a lone surveillance camera peers down toward a disused copper mine smothered in dense bamboo. As night approaches, bats swoop overhead.

This is the subterranean home of the closest known virus on Earth to the one that causes Covid-19. It is also now a touchpoint for escalating calls for a more thorough probe into whether the pandemic could have stemmed from a Chinese laboratory.

In April 2012, six miners here fell sick with a mysterious illness after entering the mine to clear bat guano. Three of them died.

Chinese scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were called in to investigate and, after taking samples from bats in the mine, identified several new coronaviruses.

echo May 25, 2021 4:16 PM


(“GCHQ’s mass data interception violated right to privacy, court rules”)

“The UK spy agency GCHQ’s methods for bulk interception of online communications violated the right to privacy and the regime for collection of data was unlawful, the grand chamber of the European court of human rights has ruled.”

“The chamber, the ultimate court of the ECHR, also concluded that GCHQ’s regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal.”

This is not a surprise to anyone including yourself I suspect. The judgment also mentioned putting a governance panel in between government and intelligence services. What the judgment failed to note is that the UK government is currently “firing and rehiring” anyone in key places of governance including advisory panels who do not agree with the minister regardless of the results of consulations or surveys of public opinion where that disagrees with the minister. The BBC, OFCOM, Legal Ombudsman, Equalities department. There’s others I’m sure.


“Incitement of Racial Hatred” is a criminal offence according to sections 17–29 of the Public Order Act 1986 and punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Immigration protesters protecting ‘murderers and rapists’, says Patel

Sadly even as a former DPP Starmer’s best response to the situation is to duck this issue and call for more law with a new racial equality act. Don’t we already have enough law? The major problems are weak guidelines and training and efficacy of representation and complaints systems and social issues. Oh, and not prosecuting government ministers and other officials who themselves break the law like what Patel just did. Again. Speaking of which why was a certain frog faced far right extremist not prosecuted under this act? In WWII he would have been locked up. Lord Haw Haw was hanged.

Weather May 25, 2021 5:23 PM

Couple of things
Pfm example is exe ,boot sector can patch virtual ram even the keneral can. I have more but I’ve forgot the other question. You don’t need auto run registry keys to start at boot, maybe your a bit arrogant.

Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 5:25 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The mine and the miners that died is kind of old news, it was mentioned back in the very early days when the diease was just getting started in Wuhan.

Unfortunatly certain MSM organisations have “sanatised” their reporting from back then.

It came back into the news very briefly when SARS-2 was found in a frozen sewarage sample from before SARS-2 had been even named. The argument given after the original news was “labaratory contaminated samples” even though those who tested the samples claimed not.

It’s hard to know what to believe, but of one thing I’m reasonably certain, the claims of it being an engineered bio-weapon, that started all this “Wuhan-Lab” nonsense generated by a single individual in the previous US executive is basically not supported by current science.

The argument has been watered down from “engineered bio-weapon” to “gain of function accidental release” but aside from one or two loud mouth politicians in the US going on about “gain of function” research paid for by the US, the evidence is for one reason or abother either not there or has not been made public. In fact Dr Fauci has fairly clearly stated it was not the case.

What should be carefully investigated is the “bush meat trade”. It is known that whilst live animals of various types were available at the Wuhan wet market, this was only one of very many outlets in Wuhan where “bush meat” was available. That is “Chinese medicine”, restaurants, other businesses including small shops and even private individuals obtained animals from traders directly.

The Wuhan Wet Market was actually ruled out very very early, in that whilst initially epidemiology tracing suggested it was a common point, it quickly became clear that others that were traced had no contact with the market. Apparently samples taken at the time that have been tested indicate the market did not have a role to play.

This has been lept on by those whose basic logic is “If it aint the market it must be the lab” ignoring the fact that again epidemiological tracing indicated the lab was not involved either. The problem with their argument is that none of the very many other places in Wuhan where live bush meat was delivered have been tested, so they can not be ruled out so the arguers just ignore the issue.

Another false argument used is in effect “as the intermediate animal species has not been identified it must have been a lab a petri dish”. The problem with that argument is that “not finding” is most certainly “not disproving” that is you can not prove a negative with more than a binary option, nor draw any conclusion from the negative. Quite a few Western Nations have during the pandemic trotted out the “There is no evidence for” argument the UK Gov being a repeate offender in this regard.

All “no evidence” means is that no evidence is available to some entity at some point in time. Thus it also means “nobody has done any research”, “nobody has made their research results available”, “nobody has made their research results public” or the flip side points of “we have not looked for results”, “we are ignoring results” and a few more. But importantly it does not mean that something is “untrue” which strangely many people appear to think it does… why I have no idea. But they do not go on and ask the important question “Why are you saying there is no evidence?” which I suspect would cause considerable embarrassment for those making the “no evidence” statment.

What I do know is “research” has been “very selective” into SARS-CoV-2, such as the likes of very basic questions like, “What is the virus viability time against tempratures below zero Celsius?” it’s actually quite important when you consider fomite transfer and frozen foods being shipped around the world.

Because if you have “hard borders” around quarantine areas, you need to get food in. So the three major routes for the pathogen to cross over a boarder are,

1, Infected hosts.
2, Shared contact transmission.
3, Shared air transmission.

All are limited by the viability time of the pathogen in each senario. With the first being 2-21 days and the last being upto three hours has been demonstrated.

However “contact” transmission via fomites is still largely an open question with upto nine hours for tempratures above 5C and decreasing as the temprature increases. But of tempratures below 5C, such as 3C for fresh fruit/veg and “rapid chill cooked food”, -5C to -10C for storage upto a week, -18C for storage upto 3months, and lower still for storage of food upto seven years, there is little or no information.

We do know that for positive tempratures UV-C light is effective as a method of rapidly rendering the pathogen non viable on surfaces and in moderate sized droplets and even a number of liquids such as water. But I’m unaware of any research for negative tempratures such as are found in the ice layer on frozen items surfaces.

Likewise we also know that hydrogen peroxide is very effective at rendering the pathogen non viable. But even though we know hydrogen peroxide rapidly breaks down to water and oxygen and is safe to spray on foods etc, I’m not aware of any research that has published findings.

However I should note that after about a year, I stopped looking, because I have doubts anyone is going to do the research, as it appears to have been some how embargoed like other usefull research to do with mask effectiveness and viral load.

Why this may be I’ll leave others to come to their own conclusions.

vas pup May 25, 2021 5:46 PM

@Mr. Peed Off • May 25, 2021 2:55 PM
Thank you for link provided!
It was stated on this blog by many bloggers that technology is neutral, but it application is not.

vas pup May 25, 2021 5:53 PM

‘Did weak wi-fi password lead the police to our door?’

“In February, a conversation with a friend who worked in cyber-security alerted them to the possibility that their router, supplied by their broadband provider Vodafone, might hold clues to what had happened.

They had not changed the default passwords for either the router itself or the admin webpage, leaving it susceptible to brute force attacks.

“We think of ourselves as competent users but we are not IT experts,” said Matthew. “No-one told us to change the password and the setting up of the router didn’t require us to go on to the admin menu, so we didn’t.”

“It came with a password, so we plugged it in and didn’t touch anything.”

Ken Munro, a security consultant with Pen Test Partners, told the BBC that it can take “a matter of minutes” for criminals to piggyback on insecure wireless connections.

“First, a hacker would need to ‘crack’ the wi-fi password – and if that hasn’t been changed from the one written on a sticker on the side of the router, and the router is more than a year or two old – then it would take a matter of minutes to crack it,” he said

That would allow the hacker on to a private individual’s home network – ==>although they would have to be within about 20 meters of the house.

“Second, to do anything particularly sinister on the home network, the hacker will need to change the router configuration. That needs the router admin password,” explained Mr Munro.

“Most people don’t even know the router has an admin password, let alone change it from the one written on the side of the router.

“So what I guess has happened here, is that the hacker has cracked the wi-fi password and then made changes to the router configuration, so their illicit activities on the internet appear to be coming from the innocent party.”

Interesting article for more thoughts and reading.

At least do not let any stranger closer than 21 meters to your home when wireless router is on.

Q: Could this be done using drones like Stingray e.g.?

Weather May 25, 2021 6:19 PM

@vas pup
I can build a 10dbi Yagi out of PVC pipe and number 8 wire, that’s about a hand length that can travel 100+meters, plus you don’t have to attack there router,
I though people here are above a certain level?@bruce??

Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 9:06 PM

@ Weather, vas pup, ALL,

I though people here are above a certain level?

People who read this blog arecat all levels, it’s why I assume anything above a Kindergarten to Year 12 education level should be given a bit of a fuller explanation.

Also if you read the article you will find that the likely offending password was in effect on a “hidden page” as the users were not informed of it during the setuo procedure etc.

But, if you look back you will find our host talked about his “Open WiFi router” at home. Whilst this was some time ago and I mentioned it was kind of like leaving your shotgun on the back porch, I do not remember @Bruce ever saying he had changed his thoughts on the matter.

As for 10dBi (ie a little over three times the range of an issotropic radiator) it is only 7.85 dBd or 2.4 times the range of a standard dipole.

As a very very rough rule of thumb if you put a reflector behind a dipole it gives you a little under twice the range, then you factor in not the number of directors but the length of the array in front of the dipole,

dBd ~= 4 + 10log(kL)

Where ‘L’ is the wavelength (in lambda) of the array in front of the dipole and “k” is a constant based on certain properties of the antenna which also change the center frequency bandwidth and back to front ratio. This rule of thumb gives you an upper figure unless you start using angled elements.

Similar applies to other antenna types like the helical antenna where the opium turn spacing (L/4) gives a value of just under 3 per turn so,

dBd ~= R + 10 log(3t)

The important thing to note though is that doubling the boom length in front of the director only gives you an extra 3dB of gain thus you quickly run into the point of “vanishing returns” which is about 17dBd (or about 16 turns on a helix or boom length of 4L or 1200/fmhz meters or ~0.5m for the WiFi ISM band)

echo May 25, 2021 9:33 PM

Mozilla Thunderbird spent the last couple of months saving some users’ OpenPGP keys in plain text – but that’s now been patched, the author of both the bug and the patch fixing it has told The Register.

When you stop and think about it that would be the last place anyone would look.

I suppose if someone was being really clever passwords being left lying about to be found with a causual search could be a canary of their own.

SpaceLifeForm May 25, 2021 9:43 PM

Old man yells at clouds.

Port 443? Never heard of it.

… A malicious actor with network access to port 443 may exploit this issue to execute commands with unrestricted privileges on the underlying operating system that hosts vCenter Server.

… Shodan shows that the top users with vCenter servers exposed on the Internet are Amazon, Hetzner Online GmbH, OVH SAS, and Google.


Clive Robinson May 25, 2021 9:57 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I see Amazon and Google are in the line up, I wonder how many other cloud suppliers have this sort of security vulnerability, just waiting to be exploited…

Call me old fashioned, but I see so many things wrong with Cloud provider solutions, I think “Why on earth would someone be that daft” to use them. All the trust and security models are the wrong way around to start off with and it’s all down hill from that point onwards…

Rachel May 25, 2021 10:40 PM

Mark H

A good discussion of the Belarus incident compared to the Morales
incident. BTL comments are, as always, insightful


Nice to see you
On Off Guardian there are some recently articles colloborating evidence Guardian is definitely co-opted by the security arm of the state as a mouthpiece. It has no credibility.
As for Diana and the BBC. One, just one of the seriously offensive things about this phenomena is all the hand waving about ethics is occuring only now – how many decades since the interview?

with love xo

SpaceLifeForm May 26, 2021 2:01 AM

@ echo

I suppose if someone was being really clever passwords being left lying about to be found with a causual search could be a canary of their own.

Like putting “Solarwinds123” on public GitHub back in June 2018?

Rachel May 26, 2021 2:51 AM


You can belaboour the matter. You always display exceptional clarity in both your comprehension and your presentation. The topic is exceedingly pertinent here.
I don’t really see the Morales indcident as central to the problematic components of the incident at all, even before reading your astute reframing

Winter May 26, 2021 10:03 AM

I expect Dominic Cummings to make the history books as the man who did more damage to the UK than any other post-WWII. But in the COVID response, he might have been instrumental in the UK cabinet leaving the path to total NHS collapse (if you want to believe his own words).

Google employee helped UK government switch from disastrous COVID-19 strategy, according to Dominic Cummings
Explosive Whitehall testimony also reveals former Faculty data scientist Ben Warner’s influence on decision making during national emergency
ht tps://

Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, now part of Google, is said to have been instrumental in convincing the UK prime minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings to “hit the panic button and ditch the official plan” in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020.

echo May 26, 2021 12:44 PM


On Off Guardian there are some recently articles colloborating evidence Guardian is definitely co-opted by the security arm of the state as a mouthpiece. It has no credibility.
As for Diana and the BBC. One, just one of the seriously offensive things about this phenomena is all the hand waving about ethics is occuring only now – how many decades since the interview?

I like to keep my feet on the ground but will agree there are problems with the Guardian and BBC (and rest of the UK media) and this has been true for years. It’s just getting more obvious now. It can be difficult to pin down as it’s never necessarily one big thing but more an accumulation of suspicions about a tilt here and emphasis there and missed opportunity or editorial skew but it all forms a hazy picture which on some things becomes a bit sharper.

I think someone described the British media as being taken over by middle-class out of touch know nothing trustafarians and this sounds close enough. One compromise and another then another…

Weather May 26, 2021 3:20 PM

@clive VA’s pup all
If you muck around with arrl antenna design program you can get up to 30dbi at 2.1 meters and 1 degree beem width, in involves changing element thickness and spacing, what I read is 3dbi you double the distance, so 0.5 meter is 400 meter.

But disregard those two posts, bad day

echo May 26, 2021 5:03 PM

I rarely glance at the Mirror but this is the first link I clicked on so here it is:

Dominic Cummings’ 33 most damning revelations of Covid incompetence that killed thousands.

The former chief aide took aim at Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and other key officials in a seven-hour hearing painting a picture of chaos in the heart of government. While he is a biased witness, his claims raise big questions – here they are in full.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons May 26, 2021 8:07 PM

I believe this explains a lot, the rescinding of executive orders that controlled publication rules in a manner that forced media companies to publish specific, knowingly false, posts and messages on various platforms. Recently published on the White House GOV site:

hxx at://

This is a reflection of how much power has been vested in the executive, and frankly, it should never been allowed to happen. The office of the President of the United States in some need of serious reforms–pronto. The office is now instrumented as a political bowling/football–yes, both.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons May 26, 2021 8:14 PM

Didn’t Lukashenka do an interview with western journalists about a year ago? I believe he was asked about the treatment of journalists in Belarus, he’s reply was striking. In essence he claimed that the western media had no authority to question the treatment of journalists, then he pointed to Julian Assange to make his case. Nuhf said.

echo May 26, 2021 8:34 PM


I believe this explains a lot, the rescinding of executive orders that controlled publication rules in a manner that forced media companies to publish specific, knowingly false, posts and messages on various platforms. Recently published on the White House GOV site:

In the UK there is this…

Margaret Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son, James, was killed in the disaster and who was the last chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, called the outcome a “cover-up of the cover-up of the cover-up”, adding: “We’ve been put through a 32-year legal nightmare looking for the truth and accountability. Now they’re saying the police were allowed to change statements and cover up at Taylor. The legal system in this country really has to change.” Later Aspinall held a joint press conference with the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and the Liverpool metro mayor, Steve Rotheram, in front of the Hillsborough memorial at Liverpool’s Anfield football ground. They called for the urgent introduction of a law to impose on all public authorities a “duty of candour” in public inquiries and other investigatory processes. “The Hillsborough law is needed to close the loophole that has allowed this to happen,” Burnham said. “There needs to be a duty of candour in law for public officials, there needs to be parity of legal funding at inquests between the state and bereaved families. Until we correct that, inquests will be an uneven playing field.” […] Sue Hemming, the CPS director of legal services, said the outcome of the trial “will have been surprising to many”. In a statement she said: “That a publicly funded authority can lawfully withhold information from a public inquiry charged with finding out why 96 people died at a football match, in order to ensure that it never happened again – or that a solicitor can advise such a withholding, without sanction of any sort, may be a matter which should be subject to scrutiny.”

I have an idea a number of critical human rights and discrimination cases against the state would go differently if there was more candour on the part of the state sector. I don’t know enough about the law to know whether the acquital of perverting the course of justice is valid or not, or the judge was taking things out of context and hairsplitting. Nor do I know enough about law or practice or law to know whether the lawyers on either side missed questioning the statements and picking up on the fibs before they were submitted as evidence. Without reading the article again I can’t remember but there is a fraud element to this.

This whole thing whiffs a bit like the judge not dismissing Brexit because the referendum was “advisory”.

Judge getting the cops off over a technicality they pulled out of their posterior? How very 1970’s.

Winter May 27, 2021 12:18 AM

“Judge getting the cops off over a technicality they pulled out of their posterior? How very 1970’s.”

I have always had the impression that the EU forcing the UK to uphold and enforce Human Rights (including fair trial) was an important motivation for Brexit.

Ismerian May 27, 2021 3:30 AM

In the days of a sovereign society you’d simply murder the king or lord and be done with it, problem solved

Not just because they were solely to blame, but also because that was the only option. Serfs were not allowed to emigrate and could be hunted down if they tried. In the modern day with a complete lack of anonymity this would literally be no different than slavery. Point is, the only option was an uprising since if you decided you did not like the system, the alternative was likely death anyway.

I get your point though. But it just seems naive to assemble the argument as “inability to pinpoint the source of issues on one person causes hopelessness” or that that is even a bad thing.

Climate change is a good example. If there were a global leader maybe people would stab them until they got someone who cared. But with our current system, national climate policy is a prisoner’s dilemma and, and corporate pollution is a tragedy of the commons. Recognizing that these are the result of optimal strategies in a mind-bogglingly complex strategic interaction can be a good thing if it helps you move past the hopelessness and simply accept the confines of your actionable strategies.

I guess it comes down to whether helplessness comes from the lack of actionable strategies which accomplish a goal, or the elimination of actionable strategies under tyranny. Under the first interpretation, a serf is not helpless due to the ability to kill the king. In the second, an individual concerned about the global climate living in a world without a global leader is not helpless because no actionable strategies can be eliminated due to tyranny for the simple reason that there is no actionable strategy in the first place (as opposed to killing a global leader if one existed).

- May 27, 2021 6:59 AM


It appears the Troll-Tools back again living up to the,

“Trumpiam 400lb incel bashing away at it for all they are worth, but failing to get what they want…”


“No joy, makes for a grumpy boy”


“Touchy if not more correctly ‘can not touchy’ because ‘too tichy to find’ especially in the vast expanse of self induced wasteland that is their total outlook as they try to see downward into the ‘great depression’ they have created in that ‘back bedroom’.”

More seriously though, I randomly selected a couple of sentances from the diatribe, and they turned up in search engines in other places on the net… So ‘plagiarism’ is yet another failing the Troll-Tools have…

Have you noted that the day of attack changes in an apparent rotation… Suggesting maybe “shift work” plays a part.

That said the person I feel sorry for is the @Moderator who has to /dev/null it all.

echo May 27, 2021 12:04 PM


I have always had the impression that the EU forcing the UK to uphold and enforce Human Rights (including fair trial) was an important motivation for Brexit.

I agree. I suspect power, status, and wealth in their cruder forms are motivators to one degree or another. I’ve suspected love of power more than money was the motivator. Doing away with human rights is one route in their mind to upholding their power and worldview and power over other people.

The cleverly argued deceit of “parliamentary sovereignity” is a drug to some. Perhaps a religion. How dare those continentals place limits on MY POWER and so on.

vas pup May 27, 2021 3:41 PM

From the secret services with love

“The world’s intelligence agencies have taken to social media to recruit future James Bonds. But will this strategy work?

There’s no second chance for a first impression. That’s true for dating but also for the social media presence of the world’s intelligence agencies, many of which have only recently discovered the world of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

“Liebesgrüße aus Mitte” or “Love from Mitte” was the first Instagram message that the German foreign intelligence service (BND) ever posted, referring to the Berlin neighborhood where their headquarters is based. That was last week. GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence and security organization, posted its first tweet in 2016: “Hello, world,” it read, a phrase that would have been familiar to all computer programmers as it refers to the coding used to teach an electronic language.

The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution also resorted to a particular form of trademark official humor for its first appearance on Twitter in 2018: It posted a comic strip in which one spy says to another “Du auch hier? – Ja, aber erzähl’s keinem!” which translates as “You’re here too?! – Yes, but don’t tell anyone.”

But it was arguably the US Central Intelligence Agency that was first to use such humor when it tweeted in 2014: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”

What is behind the German BND’ssocial media offensive? “Our main aim is to depict it as being an exciting and modern employer and to arouse interest among talented young people,” the agency told DW. So, it now has an Instagram account and a YouTube channel and earlier this year it launched a major Twitter campaign to recruit hackers.”

Read more if interested.

vas pup May 27, 2021 3:49 PM

Amazing short video inside the article as well see previous post.
All must watch it!

echo May 27, 2021 4:14 PM

@vas pup

“The world’s intelligence agencies have taken to social media to recruit future James Bonds. But will this strategy work?

There’s also Kate Archer from the No One Wants to Live Forever game franchise! There’s lots of Germans and dodgy foreigners in there too.

I wouldn’t embarass myself with applying. Any intelligence agency who didn’t want their boss landed in hot water on a regular basis would seek me out. I proudly flaunt my eclectic workshy credentials and unreliability. I also have a seething hatred for the establishment and corrupt penpushers coasting to retirement and am complete blabbermouth so that’s another black mark. If they want to sign a big cheque to make me go away and stay away I’ll happily cash it.

What is behind the German BND’ssocial media offensive? “Our main aim is to depict it as being an exciting and modern employer and to arouse interest among talented young people,” the agency told DW. So, it now has an Instagram account and a YouTube channel and earlier this year it launched a major Twitter campaign to recruit hackers.”

I’ve heard people regard DW as what the BBC used to be. Fair comment given the way the UK has gone recently. As for whether working for the German security services is a barrel of laughs and whether they are any good I have no idea. As for whether it’s a serious recruitment exercise (I suspect not) or whether it’s more a PR offensive to swing public opinion so younger people who become older voters don’t give them a hard time, it’s hard to say.

vas pup May 27, 2021 4:20 PM

It’s done so much for human well-being, but it’s far from perfect. Will capitalism as we know it evolve into something new?

“In recent years, capitalism’s shortcomings have become ever-more apparent. Prioritising short-term profits for individuals has sometimes meant that the long-term well-being of society and the environment has lost out – especially as the world has faced the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. And as political unrest and polarisation around the world have shown, there are growing signs of discontent with the status quo. In one 2020 survey by the marketing and public relations firm Edelman, 57% of people worldwide said that “capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good in the world”.

Perhaps most significantly, in many developed nations late-20th Century capitalism has contributed to a significant gap between the wealth of the richest and poorest people, as measured by the Gini Index. And in some countries, that gap is growing ever-wider. It’s particularly stark in the US, where the poorest individuals have seen no real income growth since 1980, while the ultra-rich at the top have seen their income grow by around 6% per year. The richest billionaires in the world are almost all based in the US, and have amassed staggering fortunes, while at the same time the median US household income has risen only modestly since the turn of the century.

!!!!Behavioural economists have shown that “our status compared to other people, our happiness, is derived more by relative measures and distribution then by absolute measures. If that’s true then capitalism has a problem,” says Stanley.

A central challenge for governments in the 21st Century will be to work out how to balance these long-term benefits of global trade with the short-term harms that globalisation can bring to local communities affected by low wages or unemployment. Economies cannot become completely divorced from the demands of democratic majorities who seek jobs, affordable housing, education, healthcare and a clean environment. As the Chilean, Yellow Vest and Trumpist movements show, many people are asking for change to the existing system so that it accounts for these needs, rather than only enriching private interests.

In sum, it may be time to reconsider the social contract for capitalism, so that it becomes more inclusive of a broader set of interests beyond individual rights and liberties. This is not impossible. Capitalism has evolved before, and if it is to continue into the longer-term future, it can evolve again.”

Yeah, it is better to fix it from the top than wait of fixing from the bottom.

vas pup May 27, 2021 5:20 PM

Deepfake pornography could become an ‘epidemic’, expert warns

“A leading legal expert is warning of an “epidemic” of sexual abuse where images of people’s faces are merged with pornography and made available online.

Deepfake pornography is where computer technology is used to map the faces of celebrities and private citizens on to explicit sexual material.

Prof Clare McGlynn said it made it much easier for perpetrators to abuse and harass women.”

Read the whole article – very informative on the subject!

JonKnowsNothing May 27, 2021 7:25 PM

@Clive MarkH Winter SpaceLifeForm All

re: COVID-19 Reinfections in UK

As expected and discussed the immunity for COVID-19 fades and reinfections are happening.

The immunity window was thought to be about 6 months both for those who survived the illness and also for vaccinations. Vaccination boosters are expected to be offered soon, depending on country and which vaccines you got the first round. Trials are underway about mix-matching which vaccines are compatible to be mixed.

From outbreaks in Manaus and other locations in Brazil, natural herd immunity does not block reinfections. You can be reinfected by the same variant, different variants, simultaneously, back to back and ping pong infections.

The current UK report on COVID-19 status has a section on reinfections (May 25, 2021)

Individuals who have 2 positive tests (PCR and/or LFD) at least 90 days apart are classed as possible reinfection cases.

In recent weeks there have been a number of reinfections with VOC-21APR-02(B.1.617.2) [aka Variant 2 found in India and near dominance in UK].

Number of sequenced reinfection cases and the variant assigned. (Data as of 25 May 2021 [Table]

* B.1.1.7 = 540
* B.1.617.2 = 54
* Others = 218
* Total = 812


ht tps://

On Line PDF = SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England Technical briefing 13 27 May 2021
(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Winter May 28, 2021 1:13 AM

@vas pup
“Deepfake pornography is where computer technology is used to map the faces of celebrities and private citizens on to explicit sexual material.”

There was a time that people believed what was written in a book, or what was drawn on a painting, because it was written or drawn.

There was a time when people thought that a photo must be true to life.

Now there are still people who believe a random movie clip must have really happened. Poor creatures.

The effect of deep fakes will be that you now can simply say that the compromising photo or movie is a fake. It is the accuser who has to prove that what is depicted really happened.

SpaceLifeForm May 28, 2021 1:28 AM


You have failed to ID fake winter from real winter.

See if you can spot the fake weather from the real weather.

See if you can spot the fake summer from the original summer.

You will fail. You have not been around enough.

Writing Style. Writing Style. Learn it. Be one with the Writing Style.

Maybe I should write a HOWTO?

Waco May 28, 2021 3:37 AM

Never forget the totalitarian, police state, martial law and extrajudicial military killings of the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas, esp. chimpman, reno, clinton and the murderous assassin horiuchi:

“Ruby Ridge

In 1992, while working at sniper position Sierra 4 for the FBI Hostage Rescue Team at Ruby Ridge, Horiuchi shot and killed Vicki Weaver and also wounded her husband, Randy Weaver, and family friend Kevin Harris.[2]

After his first shot hit and wounded Randy Weaver, Horiuchi fired a second shot at Kevin Harris, who was armed, some 20 seconds later as Harris was running into the Weaver home. The bullet fired at Harris struck and killed Vicki Weaver through the doorway just beyond Harris, who was entering the home. Weaver was holding her 10-month-old child behind the door through which Harris was attempting to enter;[2][3] the round also struck and wounded Harris.[4]

Following the conclusion of the trial of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris in 1993, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) created a “Ruby Ridge Task Force” to investigate allegations made by Weaver’s defense attorney Gerry Spence. On June 10, 1994, the Task Force delivered its 542-page report to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility. The Report stated: “With regard to the two shots fired on August 22, we concluded that the first shot met the standard of ‘objective reasonableness’ the Constitution requires for the legal use of deadly force but that the second shot did not satisfy that standard.”[5]

The surviving members of the Weaver family received $3.1 million in 1995 to settle their civil suit brought against the U.S. government for wrongful deaths of Vicki Weaver and 14-year-old Samuel Weaver, who was killed the day before during an encounter with U.S. Marshals. In the out-of-court settlement, the government did not admit any wrongdoing. In a separate suit, Harris received a $380,000 settlement from the U.S. government in 2000.[6]

Manslaughter charge

In 1997, Boundary County, Idaho Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, with the help of special prosecutor Stephen Yagman, charged Horiuchi in state court with involuntary manslaughter over his killing of Vicki Weaver. The U.S. Attorney filed a notice of removal of the case to federal court, which automatically took effect under the statute for removal jurisdiction[7] where the case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on May 14, 1998, who cited the supremacy clause of the Constitution which grants immunity to federal officers acting in the scope of their employment.[2]

The decision to dismiss the charges was reversed by an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit, which held that enough uncertainty about the facts of the case existed for Horiuchi to stand trial on state manslaughter charges.[2] Ultimately, the then-sitting Boundary County prosecutor, Brett Benson, who had defeated Woodbury in the 2000 election, decided to drop the charges, because he felt it was unlikely the state could prove the case and too much time had passed. Yagman, the special prosecutor, responded that he “could not disagree more with this decision than I do.”[8]

The Ninth Circuit granted Boundary County’s motion to dismiss the case against Horiuchi on September 14, 2001.[9]


On September 13, 1993, Charles Riley, a fellow FBI sniper deployed during the Waco Siege claimed that he had heard Horiuchi shooting from “Sierra One”, an FBI-held house in front of the compound holding eight snipers, including Horiuchi and Christopher Curran, on April 19, 1993. Riley later retracted his statement, saying that he had been misquoted, and that he had only heard snipers at Sierra One announce that shots had been fired by Branch Davidians. Riley later clarified that he had heard a radio report from Sierra One that someone at that position had witnessed gunfire from within the compound.”[10]

Three of the twelve expended .308 Winchester shell cases that the Texas Rangers reported finding in the house were at Horiuchi’s position. However, officials maintain that they could have been left behind from the earlier use of the house by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives snipers on February 28, 1993, and that it would be “nearly impossible” to match them to Horiuchi’s rifle, as it had probably been fitted with a new barrel since that time.[11]

For the five months following the Waco inferno, Timothy McVeigh worked at gun shows and handed out free cards printed with Horiuchi’s name and address, “in the hope that somebody in the Patriot movement would assassinate the sharpshooter”. He wrote hate mail to the sniper, suggesting that “what goes around, comes around”. McVeigh considered targeting Horiuchi, or a member of his family, before settling on a bombing attack on a federal building, choosing to target the Murrah Building.[12]

Contemporaneously Contentious Content May 28, 2021 8:47 AM


How to test the veracity of your argument vs. old man winter.

Without PKC who is authentic? Our names are veils and the content itself is authenticity.

Which came first the sarcasm or the megalomania?

I have a day job, imposter aside I have a list of projects currently including a gas compressor 2 electric ones a 30amp 220 breaker a balancer 2 campers to juggle and outfit a backyard to fence and pickup some scrap to take in. Not to mention two different returns to take in some recycling to do a harddrive to unlock a server to restore and some cameras to install.

Just remember, impersonation is the highest form of flattery. I don’t believe for a second that I missed my mark, while I may have missed the actual post I was attempting to reference (thank you irritating spammer) I do absolutely believe I pinned down the proper disjointed culprit.

But I have neither the server side capabilities to verify nor the time for an exhaustive comparison of the entire comment history of some random eager beaver.

Doctor livingstone, I presume?

Our comments and our actions are our authenticity not some random unenforced self aggrandized title.

- May 28, 2021 9:02 AM


You appear to have hit a nerve judging by the level of “clean up” that is now required.

JonKnowsNothing May 28, 2021 9:39 AM


re: I asked someone why I should get the shot if I already had covid

The reason you should get the vaccine is that your antibody response to COVID-19 diminishes over time, after about 6 months the response is low.

It doesn’t matter if you had COVID-19 and survived, or you got a vaccine, the decline is the similar within the same time period.

When your antibody response to COVID-19 is high, is when you are most protected.

Getting a vaccine now, after your experience with COVID-19 will boost your antibody response and you will have better protections against the many variants now circulating the globe (1)

You can get COVID-19 multiple times and a vaccine may help you if you get re-infected. (2)


1, Reported today (05 28 2021) there are 100+ variants of COVID-19 now in circulation globally. There are about 20 that are “of concern”. The ones that are of “most concern” depend on your country/location.

ht tps://

  • Post on COVID-19 reinfections in the UK 05 25 2021

(url fractured to prevent autorun

SpaceLifeForm May 28, 2021 5:42 PM

@ -, Moderator

Hopefully, I missed it as I try to sleep between GMT+3 and GMT+11

As I see few artifacts, I am guessing that @Moderator did the cleanup in aisle 13 whilst asleep.

Clive Robinson May 28, 2021 8:09 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Moderator, ALL,

I am guessing that @Moderator did the cleanup in aisle 13 whilst asleep.

I’m sure @Moderator wished they could 😉

But I suspect for now they can not.

Some hard choices will have to be made, and unfortunately that is probably going to involve necessary actions that most of us do not want to see the changes that could potentially result.

Quite a few people have tried implementing “reputational systems” that do not require “real ID’s” to be used, and make the mistake of thinking that “giving the users a vote” will work.

Unfortunately as those “up/down vote” systems have shown, they can be gamed, and people will do so if they think,

1, They can do so.
2, They can get away with it.

Some will do so even if they can not get away with it.

As @JonKnowsNothing has pointed out in the past, even online Multi-User Role Playing Games develop “protection rackets” and other criminal activities if considerable care is not taken. It is considered such a problem in some cultures that countries have extended the legal protections from the real world into the virtual world by legislation.

I suspect that over the next couple of decades what is currently a nascent research area, many currently consider a “back water” at best, will become a mainstream branch of law. So what we do now, will have an effect on all our futures.

Goat May 29, 2021 1:30 AM

One Fact to recognize is that 80% of the comments here come from people who are regular commentors and some form of pgp authenticated account that can later be blocked if it leads to spamming. Even if account creation is left to a limited number of entries per hour it can …. Wait they will come in and spam the sign up. I can’t say anything now 🙁

Changing the security question may have surprising short term result.

SpaceLifeForm May 29, 2021 1:50 AM

@ Goat, Moderator

Changing the security question may have surprising short term result.

Doubtful. A random challenge. First problem is, it is hardcoded.

Second problem is that the Troll-tool is actually real people. It is not a bot.

A random challenge will barely slow them down.

Winter May 29, 2021 2:50 AM

@Clive, SLF, All
“Some hard choices will have to be made, ”

Basically, attacks must become more expensive and defense cheaper than attacks.

There are several attacks going on:
1) Imposters
2) Inappropriate content
3) Readability attacks
Where 2 is in some sense the “payload”.

There are technological approached to these three attacks:
1) Add a hash of handle + secret to comment, e.g., the email and/or passphrase. This allows readers to spot imposters. If necessary, keep a database of used handles and mark differences

2) AI assisted content filtering with increased scrutiny for new posters (ad 1)

3) Simple filters that prevent space filling and UTF tricks

1&3 are within current means and will undoubtedly be imperfect but can be made adequate. 2 is theoretically possible and would initiate an arms race. Thus 2 might on the long run be unsustainable.

But this all boils down to making successful atacks more expensive while keeping the costs of adequate defense within bounds.

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