XYZZY August 13, 2021 4:59 PM

Tim Bray comments on the quality of apps:

Is software getting worse in general or is it just getting (and sometimes unnecessarily) more complicated?

SpaceLifeForm August 13, 2021 6:01 PM

We have been past the tipping point for over 50 years. Mother Nature will fix the problem via volcanoes. You just will not be around to witness it.


SpaceLifeForm August 13, 2021 6:53 PM

Ice, Ice, Baby

The continental shelves exist because the ice ground the surface into the oceans.



Anders August 13, 2021 7:58 PM

Don’t know whether the Squid had a good year or not,
but someone had definitely a bad day.


Anders August 13, 2021 10:37 PM


Web we had.

NO crappy JS.


News from this site (=our host) must be added there too.

Clive Robinson August 14, 2021 2:38 AM

@ Anders,

someone had definitely a bad day.

That Li Bat fire was a couple of weeks back or so it feels.

The EEVblog posted this as it was happening,

EEVblog 1411 – Tesla Victoria Big Battery FIRE!

And a link was posted to it here at the time. It makes fun watching as many of Dave’s videos do.

Clive Robinson August 14, 2021 3:14 AM

@ ALL,

Once upon a ceey long time ago, funny items would get swapped on the Friday Squid as a way to give people a little lift at the end of the week.

Well we’ve become a lot more drear as the years have gone by, so you have to find a smile where you can…

And I’m sorry some folks will be upset by this, but it does actually raise a smile even if it’s just a wry one or three,


“Windows 10 PrintNightmare has been handled irresponsibly by Microsoft, says security expert”

It quickly explains thay “PrintNightmare” nolonger applies to a single vulnerability but a whole truckload all to do with the MicroSoft print spooler and drivers, but that Microsoft will not fix for what are vanity or backwards compatability reasons.

Weather August 14, 2021 5:06 AM

I think Microsoft should open a call centre and ring people to see if they need help fixing any printer issues.

echo August 14, 2021 7:59 AM

I’m sitting on some links I gathered mostly on goverance and abuse of power and far right terrorism. Oddly, not more than a few days passed since my querying the UK security services (mostly not not exlusively MI5) Home Secretary Priti Patel, she of the perma smirk, decided to take personal direct control of MI5 rather than a middle ranking minister. When you consider the police dropping investigations into the Brexit fraud and Russian interference (which may be less of a big deal than US far right dark money by a long chalk) it doesn’t take much of a step to accuse the current UK goverment of terrorism and collusion with terrorism. But anyway on to what I want to discuss now.

I’ve been after airtight and waterproof storage boxes for some time and bought some airtight boxes this week to try out. Some observations:

Ordinary boxes where the edge connects with a groove in the lid are not as commonplace as I hoped.

Most boxes have no clips or only two clips securing the lid.

Of the boxes I found which are airtight they are airtight under limited conditions. They have six clips which is good. One at each end and two along each side. The design is nothing special apart from a soft slightly sticky gasket. It’s only airtight when “at rest” not “while in transit”. The clips do not exert any pressure on the lid.

I discovered a cigar retailer uses the exact same boxes I sourced both rebadged and direct from the same manufacturer as humidors. Previously they had used large airtight cooler boxes.

I think these boxes may be okay especially with another box on top or a light weight placed on top. Otherwise it crossed my mind to replace or modify the seal. A long rubber tube of the kind you can buy for sealing the gap between floating floors and walls may be ideal. These come in different sizes and you can buy long rolls of the stuff. Failing this a 3-5mm (or 5-10mm) bead of silicone used for DIY projects for filling on top or as a complete replacement may do the job.

The only airtight boxes I can find with rubberised seals and clips which hold things tight are industrial grade boxes which the likes of the movie industry or people who like to throw things out of the back of Hercules might use. They are over engineered for my needs and cost ten times as much.

I haven’t bought any yet but I’m looking into buying rechargeable silica gel packets. They visually change colour when used and can be dried in the microwave in 2-3 minutes, in the oven at gask mark six for forty minutes, or on a radiator over 24 hours. Volatile corrosion inhibitors, or oil or wax may be options for some people’s storage needs.

Another storage option for some people are industrial barrels with seal on lids. These are common in the catering and farming industry for bulk powder items. Reused plastic or metal paint cans may be an option for smaller items.

I have one large and awkward item I may like to store. This might involve modification so the item collapses. Alternatively an airtight and waterproof bag possibly sealed with wax or a rubber bung to keep the damp out.

For the curious I just want to store tools and electrical equipment in my shed. I’m not storing 1000 kilos of rice and AK-47’s or a bag of hurry up money.

Clive Robinson August 14, 2021 10:22 AM

@ Weather,

I think Microsoft should open a call centre and ring people to see if they need help fixing any printer issues.

Where will they find enough staff?

@ ALL,

For those that do not know many many years ago in the last century back at the end of May 1995 Microsoft had Windows 3.1 on MSDOS, and surprise surprise launched Microsoft Windows NT 3.51 as an emergancy update to NT 3.5 that had been launched nine months before that…

Most of the current windows print subsystem is from NT 3.51…

That is Microsoft has done very little in well over a quater of a century and the “technical debt” has built up like a Japanese Tsunami…

As I’ve said several times before, a lot of Microsoft’s OS goes back to that time, which is not good news but will probably still be true in Windows 11.

It’s a time long ago when Dave Cutler walked around with rude tee shirts[1] and proclaming he could make a better unix than unix… And the world is still waiting and Microsoft is holding all that debt technical and now financial…

[1] He was the alleged star of DEC VAX VMS thus some thought he had Rock Star Status.

Bloated Cow August 14, 2021 10:26 AM


I’ve been after airtight and waterproof storage boxes for some time

When our refrigerator died I put it in my outbuilding for storing things like soil amendments, animal feed supplements, etc. It has been good storage for me.

echo August 14, 2021 11:26 AM

From next week, soldiers will be deployed to several of England’s ambulance services after a military aid request to @DefenceHQ by @DHSCgovuk – I say again for the NHS to be here in August is hugely worrying.

All the fun. Reading through the thread contributions indicates almost all the information is coming direct from staff and patients not via any job titles or departments and certainly not the government.

As well as the Home Secretary seizing political control of MI5 this week Downing Street has a unit dedicated to processing Freedom of Information requests it decrees to be “politicially sensitive”.

echo August 14, 2021 11:28 AM

I had to split this post as auto-moderation was getting twitchy about links.

Also more on the NHS data grab:

NEW: is your [REDACTED] shaped like a banana? Are you – like Rishi Sunak – addicted to coke?

Please watch @rorybremner
& @thatjanravens
explain why #NHSDataGrab is still such a threat

What’s in *your* medical records that you’d prefer to keep private?

This contains a video sketch voiced by the comedian impressionist Rory Bremner. Language of tweet redacted to keep things on this blog certificate PG.

How @rorybremner’s impressions of ex-PM John Major proved so realistic he inadvertently thwarted a revolt of Tory MPs against him – as revealed in the National Archives today #r4Today

This contains a video interview with Rory Bremner on how he accidentally single handedly stopped a Brexit coup by shady politicians trying to unseat then prime minister John Major. See also previous topic about AI enabled “spearfishing” attacks.

Clive Robinson August 14, 2021 11:51 AM

@ echo,

They are the subject of systematic harassment and are desperately waiting for help from the EU.

It will never turn up.

Remember Catalan and Spanish illegal activities? Where the EU Council of Ministers decided they would get better “asset stripping” with the worthless parasitic Madrid Government than dealing with a Catalonian Government that actually had real worth…

Well I expext the citizens of Poland to fare worse, a lot worse.

Whilst there are good things in the EU the council of ministers is not one of them. It tends to be the counter balance to all that is progressive, and fair. It would be nice to claim they were Satanic or some such, but they are just your fat good for nothing ego centric status loving politicians bought off by lobbyists and the like with invites to Davos and other nonsense.

Sut Vachz August 14, 2021 12:35 PM

Problems with the What3Words algorithm exhibiting approximate “continuity”, close word triples yield close spatial locations


The What3Words algorithm is a kind of hashing function. Do hashing functions such as MD5, SHA-x etc. also have this problem at some level ?

any moose August 14, 2021 12:41 PM

Researchers Spot Deep Fake Profile Photos Linked to Pro-China Twitter Accounts

rfa DOT org

The use of “deep fake” photos attached to pro-China accounts is a relatively new phenomenon, according to the report.

The pictures were made by stealing real-life profile photos and using a machine learning framework called StyleGAN.

The deep fake photos are generated by algorithms, so they are composed in a similar way.

For example, the eyes are always in the same position, and there may also be some very subtle defects, such as fuzzy hair, distorted limbs, or curled ears.

echo August 14, 2021 1:32 PM


Remember Catalan and Spanish illegal activities? Where the EU Council of Ministers decided they would get better “asset stripping” with the worthless parasitic Madrid Government than dealing with a Catalonian Government that actually had real worth…

Well I expext the citizens of Poland to fare worse, a lot worse.

Whilst there are good things in the EU the council of ministers is not one of them. It tends to be the counter balance to all that is progressive, and fair. It would be nice to claim they were Satanic or some such, but they are just your fat good for nothing ego centric status loving politicians bought off by lobbyists and the like with invites to Davos and other nonsense.

The Spain and Catalan situation is entirely different. That was involving the fundamental issue of independece and EU competencies. Catalan is not an independent region in the legal sense of the word sufficient to allow Catalan to claim indepedence. That is a pretty cut and dried subject. As much the EU has no role to play in the matter as it is the internal affair of a state.

The whole Catalan thing is not much different to the French problem of the mayor of Marseille being a pain in the neck. Catalan is not and never has been a state in any way it will qualify as one in law. It is not like Scotland more like Cornwall which has also had its share of reckless bigmouths talking up independence as a joke which got out of hand.

I suggest you read some Council of Ministers decisions especially with regard to human rights. Yes they may be talking the talk not necessarily walking the walk but decisions especially on sensitive human rights issues are progerssive even if a bit slow to get there or as is the case with some issues handed out as none binding resolutions because, simply, they cannot get a binding resolution past the usual intransigents.

As regards the Polish situation (as well as Hungary) the EU and member states are acting as best they can within the EU competencies and available European not necessarily EU institutions. They are not simply doing nothing. In fact the EU has come down very heavily on Poland for “No-go LGBT zones” and tied lawful behavior to EU funding. That is not zero action. The EU parliament has also set up a forum for dealing with the far right threat including EU states with far right inclinations or third party state or corporate lobbying and influence. That is not doing nothing. The President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen has put the entire weight of her office and personal reputation behind these initiatives. That is not doing nothing.

Note: Edited down because of auto-moderation word limits.

The real summer August 14, 2021 2:28 PM

@ – •

“Still bat guano crazy?”

I’ll let the readers decide.

“None of what you offer is even remotely evidence of anything”

It’s the stated opinion of one of the scientists that worked in the WHO team’s investigation into the origin of sar-cov-2.
If you can do better, tell the WHO scientist where he’s going wrong.

“full peer review”

This is not a science question (unless you believe that China has been open and honest.)
You’ll never get 100% peer-reviewed data when assessing intelligence material.
That’s not the way intelligence assessment works.

echo August 14, 2021 2:59 PM

Many more people around the world will die of Covid if western political leaders “reject their responsibility to the rest of humanity” by prioritising booster shots for their own populations instead of sharing doses, the head of the Oxford vaccine group has warned.

This question came up during the last Independent SAGE conference (available on Youtube). The answer given was much less thrill than the tone of this media article.

The more nuanced view was this is not an either/or question and that great consideration must be given to weighing the efficacy of a third dose versus the number of people worldwide who have not received vaccinations. They also mentioned that the number of vaccination doses required was in the billions while the number secured for international distribution to poorer coutries so far is in the low hundreds of millions. There is also the question of supply chains and that simply handing over vaccine doses requiring -80 Celcius storage to countries without the infrastucture to manage this would lead to wasted doses and that this had already happened. That factor alone determines not just how many but what vaccination is distributed.

The concluding comment and I think it is a good one and one I was personally calling for from the beginning is we go “all in” with “Action This Day” memos flying like confetti to build the capacity we need to meet the global vaccination need as quickly as possible. This may involve patent and technology sharing and perhaps other skill transfers and expertise to make this happen. Indeed, there are other benefits to having a worldwide pharmaceutical production capacity.

The pair conclude: “Since we have the two-dose luxury of having time on our side, we should not rush into boosting millions of people, while time is running out for those who have nothing. First doses first. It’s that simple.”

Yes it is that simple.

“The UK is committed to supporting a global recovery to the Covid-19 pandemic and improving access to vaccines – and we have committed to donate 100m doses by June 2022, with the first deliveries starting last week.”

We need 10 billion.

CLIVE Robinson August 14, 2021 4:10 PM

@ echo, ALL,

We need 10 billion.

My honest opinion is it is not that likely we will make even the promise of,

“and we have committed to donate 100m doses by June 2022”

Which means we need another strategy, to buy us the time to get the probable 23.5 billion doses[1] into arms, plain and simple.

We know we do not have the time currently and the high rate of infection caused by VoCs just makes new VoCs that much more probable, so the faster and faster the infection wheel turns[2]…

Whilst SARS-2 and it’s VoCs can not be said to be inteligent in any way or even technically alive just “viable” it will respond to it’s environment. Again this response will be via fairly simple mathmatics based on available hosts to be infected. In essence groups such as children that have previously been low risk will increase in risk and the numbers infected. With past viruses for flu and the common cold the way infection worked caused varients of those patgogens to get weaker with time.

But as I’ve been explaining on this blog for around 16-17 months, SARS-2 behaves differently it’s infection curve does not favour traditional infection models. Thus there is no requirment for new VoCs to be less harmfull… Which is why the SARS-2 VoCs are not just becoming more infectious they are becoming more lethal.

Thus we need to reduce the spread of SARS so that the number of infections goes down significantly and any community infection is limited as much as ppssible.

We only know of one way that works and it has been fairly thoroughly proved. That is wide area quarantine as hard lockdown if even one prson in the area becomes infected.

Whilst stupid politicians want to avoid area quarantines and have seen not just their population but economy decimated becaise of their stupidity. Those politicians who have gone for and maintained effective lockdowns and area quarantines are in effect seeing no decimation to economy or population…

Thus as I’ve been saying for more than a year and a half, we need to implement wide area quarantines to slow not just the spread of infection, but the probability of running up any new “community spread” by a new VoC.

So my opinion based on hard facts and basic mathmatics is that if we are serious about reducing or elininating SARS-2 then we have to be serious about area quarantines, being firm, hard, and well implemented.

[1] I suspect that in the near future there will be a VoC that sufficiently avoids the current vaccine and possibly post infection immunity. We have already seen problems in Brazil where people got a second infection on one of the VoCs that was there. This realy means three injections, potentially from three manufacturers that all cover slightly different bases hence the near 24billion shots in arms.

[2] The increase in VoCs with the number of infectious people going into a spiral is not some crazy notion of some scare monger. It is simple mathmatics that any high school student should be able to produce and in effect answer as an exam question. It’s not even as hard as working out how fast unrestricted breeding in rabbits reaches the available food supply thus becomes restricted breeding.

JonKnowsNothing August 14, 2021 4:36 PM

@Clive @All

re: SARS-2 behaves differently it’s infection curve does not favour traditional infection models. Thus there is no requirement for new VoCs to be less harmfull…

AY.3 and AY.3.1

I have road rash from hitting the tarmac so often.

flat August 14, 2021 8:51 PM

in The Guardian live blog on Afghanistan:
( )

This piece by Human Rights Watch’s associate Asia director, Patricia Gossman, is worth reading.
It includes this on alleged warcrimes by Australian and US forces:

“Today, Australia is grappling with the fallout of serious allegations about a pattern of potential war crimes its special forces committed during raids in Uruzgan province that included murdering children, kicking detainees off cliffs, and planting weapons on men whom they had summarily executed.

The alleged crimes echo those of US special forces, including the never-prosecuted 2012 murders of 17 civilians who were detained and tortured to death in Nerkh district. Afghan victims of such crimes never saw justice – which is why the International Criminal Court has sought an investigation into crimes by all parties to the conflict, including the US military and CIA, as well as the Taliban and Afghan government forces. The US response has been to reject the ICC’s jurisdiction and try to shut down any investigation.”

flat August 14, 2021 9:06 PM

And from that same The Guardian live blog:

“A report from Kabul on what the evacuations are like for westerners in la Repubblica (translated from Italian):

Embassies close, they leave the country. US citizens receive airlift emails – go to the airport now or we won’t be able to help you anymore. Same for Canadians. Then it’s up to us, the Italians: ‘We inform you that, given the serious deterioration in security conditions, an air force flight will be made available tomorrow, August 15’.

The embassy suspends work: only the consul will remain in Kabul, to assist the translators who for years have helped the Italian soldiers in Afghanistan, to whom Italy has guaranteed assistance to leave the country.

All others who want it – diplomats, humanitarian personnel, journalists – will be evacuated by military flight from Hamid Karzai airport, now controlled by the Turks, who have deployed troops after the withdrawal of NATO.”

flat August 14, 2021 9:18 PM

“And thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one — no one U.S. forces or any forces have — have been lost. Conducting our drawdown differently would have certainly come with a increased risk of safety to our personnel.

To me, those risks were unacceptable. And there was never any doubt that our military would perform this task efficiently and with the highest level of professionalism. That’s what they do. And the same is true of our NATO Allies and partners (…)”

- August 15, 2021 3:06 AM

@The real summer:

“If you can do better, tell the WHO scientist where he’s going wrong.”

Actually as readers of this blog will know, it’s already been soundly debunked as arm waving nonsense based on false logic and assumptions, several times on this blog. Because that is what it realy is no matter who’s personal opinion it is. False assumptions as premises almost always give false outcomes, this is well known and taught in science.

I thus invite you to actually do some proper research rather than thinking others will just fall for your nonsense and gross political bias.

As for the way intelligence process works you very obviously either do not have a clue, or are deliberatly playing it dumb. How the intelligence process works has also has been explained repeatedly in the past on this blog so “Go research”.

It would be wasting a lot of blog space on your nonsense to explain why what you say is an utter load. Which I suspect is part of your pathetic objectives to gain credibility. As I do not intend to “give your nonsense” any credibility, I will not waste more than the minimum required to call you on your nonsense.

So my original question still stands,

Still bat guano crazy?

Winter August 15, 2021 3:29 AM

“If you can do better, tell the WHO scientist where he’s going wrong.”

The other members of the WHO committee already did. The matter is like @- explained: Arm waving and whats-aboutism. Intelligence information is utterly unreliable. That has actually been proven time and again, with real evidence.

So, unless you have something that is not hearsay or “what about X”, ie, evidence, this is a conspiracy theory targeted at a political enemy.

Clive Robinson August 15, 2021 6:00 AM

@ echo,

Well, this is one way of getting a one time pad or encrypted message or keys over the border.

It’s certainly been used for moving “keys” around, and not just information ones.

As I’ve indicated in the past on this blog, when I was young I could look at a “physical security key” walk home and even several days later cut a working key using basic hand tools such as a junior hacksaw and needle files. To me easy to others impossible even though they saw me do it.

Even now I can see those physical keys in my mind hanging in their “break glass” alarm boxes, some half century later and yes, to prove a point I sketched one and dimensioned it and checked the measurments against a real key in the safe. So forgetting for me is every bit as much a problem as others have remembering…

But it was not just physical keys, I could and still can remember, it was data sheets, circuit diagrams and very much else besides. Yes I do have certain “photographic memories” but my skill was being a “human database” mainly of engineering, not a “photo library”. But my database abilities were not just a skill for me but for others as well, it made me very employable in oh so many ways.

But even though you meet a lot of people it’s actually a lonely life, those you work with don’t trust you, because of your memory. You rarely make friends for the same reason, as for life partners, no it does not work out even when you think it might.

As I’ve indicated befor privacy is very important to individuals and thus society as a whole. But it’s a little more subtle than that alone. Society works only because “society forgets”, embarrassment is thus transitory and sins forgiven, people given time no longer feel the hurt or pain the same way, or the fear that somebody may remember.

Yes the Internet is changing that this century, and a serious security question is,

“Will society as we knew it survive in the face of “forever embarrassment”?”

It’s a question few dare ask and one few dare answer out of a very real fear, that society will be destroyed.

Well I very very rarely talk about this but I can give you some of those answers and you probably will not like them.

Whilst your ability to remember all the football scores makes for a fun trick at the Xmas party, in the backs of other peoples minds some will think “what else is he remembering” the implication being I would remember indiscretions and then use them to my advantage later (a natural fear of those that have considered actually blackmailing others that way).

They actuallt have an expression in the army about discretion it’s,

“Don’t leave ammunition for the enemy”

The flip side is a good memory automatically makes you the collector of ammunition, in peoples minds, thus by their default logic you must also be “the enemy”.

People do not relax around you, where ever you go that you are known a tense bubble surrounds you, people are both edgy and nervous you can see the “fight or flight” reflex being faught in their eyes.

Yes you are usefull, faster than the Internet especially when they can not put precise words on what it is they are looking for. But the fact you “apparently” know what they are working on better than they do and thus can just give them the answer to their problem, that scares them, makes them think you judge them or think you are better than them…

Worse it was found when I was quite young I also had a high tolerance for alcohol, not only did I not get drunk easily, I had the bad habit of remembering everything that others can not even when we were drunk. I can look back with a photographic image, to all of those teenage “firsts” where things did not go right, those moments that almost every one else forgets, and they instead remember as “perfect” later moments as “firsts” where it all went right.

Not realy a nice life, but one you can learn to live with. You learn lots of jokes, especially the “groan worthy ones”, you work out how to do silly magic tricks like being able to always “know” the side the coin is going to come out after you flip it, be both a good and more importantly a bad dancer, likewise both a good and bad singer, and always have stories of how you fell flat on your face or arse with all the actions to demonstrate. It gives the veneer of “being human” to them.

You also learn to be a very very good chef/cook as people will almost always follow their nose and taste vuds when they are hungry. With these skills, as others get slowly merry or tippsy drunk for just a little while you appear human and fun in their eyes…

When in reality you would rather be reading a book on mathmatics or engineering because these you understand because they don’t lie to you like humans do, and they will still say tommorow what they say today.

The thing is when so many people lie to you, you can see through more easily to what they realy are, the person they try to hide from society. Those with lots to hide socially in fear of what others may think, actually make the few real friends you have amoungst the hundreds of acquaintances, because you are both in effect damaged goods with hurt and pain in common.

Now ask yourself a question, what happens if you lose that cursed ability in mid life? Is it a blessing or even more of a curse?

Well in 2000 I found out the hard way, I was attacked and suffered a full fracture of the lower jaw and partial loss of taste and smell and the ability to sleep. As well as I could not read or even remember much that was new.

Whilst I could still remember all from before I could remember next to nothing after. The skill that made me usefull was gone, but the fear that people felt around me still remained.

That’s when you find out just how little humans know about the mind and memory. All the supposed experts claiming what ever their pet theory was, and next to none with evidence that was either verifiable or anything other than usless.

You loose your very well paying job fairly quickly and you fall, a long long way, to just about the bottom, from “top Drs salary to bums handouts” all in a moment. Those social coping skills are now of no use, especially when you’ve lost the ability to cook good food, the fact you also start to keep passing out unexpectedly means your career choices are limited to none because of the way the legislation is written. That is if an employer can not get insurance cover for you, you can not legaly be employed, and there is no law as there is for drivers that says insurance companies have to insure you no matter what…

Well I taught myself to read again after a fashion, but not at the speed I used to by a very long way. There is no more read a paper back a day, a third of a technical book and around a hundred data sheets a day. My ability to remember was still virtually totally impared, except oddly from hearing. So the solution read into a tape recorder, and then play it back… Eventually the ability to remember returned but not to the same ability again by a very long way, but still better than many people.

I then had to develop compleatly new skill sets, both professionally and socially, but I’m nowhere near back where I was, and I very much doubt I ever will be.

There are a few funny sides to things being nearly Neurotypical at the dumb as a stump level, that I might one day joke about, but mostly it’s been much much more of a curse.

So to people out there who want that good memory remember there is a real reason for the old saying,

“Be careful what you wish for”.

But also remember we need to remember in a non judgmental way. Sorry you made a mistake, yes it was embarrassing, and yes just thinking about it makes you mortified. But which is realy worse having the whole world know you did something human just as they have done, or live in fear that someday someone will bring it all back to blackmail or ridicule you?

Well I made a speciality of making my mistakes as funny as I could and acting them out, because I wanted people to think me not just human but like them I could make mistakes.

But the real reason we need to remember is even though most mistakes are unique in some way they are all mostlt avoidable at some level if we learn from others similar mistakes. Hopefully if we learn enough we all get to live a little bit longer and with less pain and sorrow, and to me at least that is a gift worth giving everyone.

echo August 15, 2021 6:07 AM

The other members of the WHO committee already did. The matter is like @- explained: Arm waving and whats-aboutism. Intelligence information is utterly unreliable. That has actually been proven time and again, with real evidence.

So, unless you have something that is not hearsay or “what about X”, ie, evidence, this is a conspiracy theory targeted at a political enemy.

There is also a Herbert in the Russian news agency TASS trying to reboot the Soviet Chernobyl era mindset with complete denial over the space station incidents. Whether this comes from the top is is merely the enthusiasms of a careerist agitator I do not know.

RT as we know is the Russian equivalent of the Daily Mail/Fox News.

I couldn’t even tell you the name of another Russian media outlet let alone any media outlets in the former Soviet states.

The fact that Alex Salmond for appearing on RT and the American “broadcaster”(mocking ironic scare quotes) Tucker Carlson for wooing one of the satellite state regimes suffered reputational damage should tell these former Soviet countries something.

But the main point really is standards matter. Standards of understanding. Standards of communication. Standards of science and the law. The standard which you aspire and hold yourself to. Many of us fail and fail routinely but nonetheless standards matter. These are fairly universal and open book and should come as no surprise. One does not need certifications or arcane woo-woo knowledge or allegiance.

echo August 15, 2021 7:29 AM


That’s quite a confession and I know what you mean of the “been there, done that” variety. In different ways to different degrees by different routes but the general organic shape is close enough. Having understanding and insights and skills and aptitudes which can scare people is, as you say, a lonely place to be. I’m not the “nod along to get along” type. As for rote learned thin skinned avoidant social climbing I’m no good at that either. Not to mention enough faults and failings the skeletons in my cupboard could put on a Broadway show. But, memory, yes. It’s a funny thing.

Moving on for one reason or another I have found this week to be one of those weeks where I find keeping my gob shut is better. There have simply been too many coincidences. Not only that I sense a change in dynamic in some quarters. Some people can and do eventually figure it out for themselves.

As for a change in situations and damage yes this can lead to difficulties and own group biases kicking in. This is well documented stuff which the usual suspects of psychiatrists and lifestyle experts make their money off for little result in my mind. It’s also true that a lot of “senior” people and middle class types have their conceits and darknesses which power and wealth can disguise especially if they mark their own homework. Disempowerment and poverty can reveal and compound things in a vicious cycle as many discovered during the pademic. Not just as individuals but as a society.

As for food and smell I’ve had a lifelong problem with this. It’s an area of my brain which is fairly underdeveloped while I strongly suspect my amygdala is overdeveloped. I had a range of reasons why I took an interest in French cooking but one thing would be “shocking” my sense of taste and smell into action. There’s a paper kicking around on this. It’s also scaffolding for slowly waking my brain up. Now most people don’t care that much and certainly not to a professional degree. The pressure of work and life has even caused food to decline in France to the point where the French government is worried.

I am not traditionally good with people much less dealing with “clothes policing” and social expectations. Wear my three piece salmon skirt suit and the world snaps to attention. Dress like I’m off shopping to Waitrose and traffic stops to let me cross the road. Wear a pair of fishnet tights ripped off at the bottoms so I’m wearing them like fishnet leggings and I scare men. Yes I actually overheard this on the way out of the shop. Wear it on a Friday night while going out for a takeaway and the reaction is the complete opposite.

It’s funny how challenging things can be yet I also remember people saying they wished they had my confidence and I’m reminded of the thought there are plenty who wish they had what I call problems.

Earlier this caught my eye:

Apes Have Been Observed Starting And Ending Interactions Just Like Humans Do

Anders August 15, 2021 9:40 AM


This is especially for you – Morse code!


Clive Robinson August 15, 2021 2:18 PM

@ Anders,

This is especially for you – Morse code!

If memory serves correctly they nicked that code from earlier attackers…

As for the rest of the Microsoft document, did you look down to the section,

“Mitigation actions”

Did you perhaps see,

Stop using Office 365

Section? No me neither, you’ld have thought it would be first on the mitigation list 😉

Then maybe,

Don’t have users connected to the Internet


echo August 15, 2021 5:49 PM

The article is full of technical details. We don’t strive to provide a full summary but, simply put, Argus is a transparent system built on the Ethereum blockchain that allows people to anonymously report piracy in exchange for a bounty.

I still remain to be convinced anything involving crypto-blockchain-thingy stuff is a good idea.

Pirated content is traced back to the source through a unique watermark that corresponds with a secret code. When a pirated copy is reported, the status of the source (licensee) is changed to “accused.” The system provides an appeal option, but if that fails, the accused status changes to “guilty.”

That’s going to have a few judges and lawyers looking very funny at the scheme.

Whether Microsoft has any plans to test the system in the wild is unknown. It theoretically works with various media types including images, audio and software.

That said, it’s unclear how effective it will be. The researchers “assume” that the watermarking technology deployed is tamper-free, which isn’t always the case today.

There’s simply too many ways to detect watermarking and mitigate it. Now there are schemes and I daresay AI can find ways to make these more subtle in execution but this is another arms race to nowhere.

Now there’s also Microsoft’s attempts to lock down the PC platform too with Windows 11 and I don’t doubt this and other wheezes aren’t too far from the front of their minds.

Things look a little different if you view this through the lens of abuse of market position and social policy. With respect to anti-piracy at no point in the UK at least has any single politician made a stink about opportunity and equality. Exclusivity and high prices lock a lot of people out of opportunity and that has lots of knock on effects such as loss of opportunity which effectively steals from the future – those careers and creative and other works will never happen. It also has other effects such as increasing costs elsewhere in terms of uemployment, bad mental health, social exclusion and so on. Then again I don’t expect multi-millionaire American executives who have spent the majority of their careers insulated from the real world to get this.

The way in see it is if people like this don’t want to pay tax then I don’t see why other people should feel a strong obligation to hand them money when they don’t have it.

Anders August 15, 2021 6:11 PM

Lebanon doesn’t learn.


I’m starting to see a pattern here.

echo August 15, 2021 6:36 PM

To defend organizations against this campaign and similar threats, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 uses multiple layers of dynamic protection technologies backed by security expert monitoring of email campaigns. Rich email threat data from Defender for Office 365 informs Microsoft 365 Defender, which provides coordinated defense against follow-on attacks that use credentials stolen through phishing. Microsoft 365 Defender does this by correlating threat data from email, endpoints, identities, and cloud apps to provide cross-domain defense.

False assurance, marketing, and distraction techniques all rolled into one. You’d think people would have clicked by now. Notice also “monitored by” and “security expert”. “Monitored by” is to create the impression of gimlet eyed overwatch and soap powder advert style “white coat” reassurance by duck and roll coiled spring “security experts” with laser focus jacked up on a dozen cups of coffee an hour. It doesn’t just asses but it OMG “correlates” multi-variant data as listed in the “full spectrum” word salad. I’m surprised they didn’t throw “heuristic” in there although I admit it sounds a tad 1990’s McAfee.

Presumably Microsoft staffers with the job title of “security expert” don’t stay employed for very long if they suggest “don’t buy Microsoft”?

Using xls in the attachment file name is meant to prompt users to expect an Excel file. When the attachment is opened, it launches a browser window and displays a fake Microsoft Office 365 credentials dialog box on top of a blurred Excel document. Notably, the dialog box may display information about its targets, such as their email address and, in some instances, their company logo. See below:

The dialog box prompts the user to re-enter their password, because their access to the Excel document has supposedly timed out. However, if the user enters their password, they receive a fake note that the submitted password is incorrect. Meanwhile, the attacker-controlled phishing kit running in the background harvests the password and other information about the user.

Is this thing still a thing? Like, how about doing something about it before it becomes a problem? There’s half a dozen opportunities missed before the photons from the screen hit the eyeballs of the user.

The rest of this article reads almost exactly the same as a scam site like they’re baffling and flattering the person read it as a form of idiot test so they begin drooling and click on the “buy Microsoft” button.

I don’t use Office 365 or whatever and likely never will. Nor do I read HTML “plain text” emails because I have all that nonsense switched off and, yes, I have been known to look at the real plain text and scan it for issues.

Haven’t these people learned anything?

Clive Robinson August 15, 2021 7:33 PM

@ Anders,

I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Lebanon whilst a very beautiful country in many places such as the Bekaa valley, is still effectively “dirt poor” tiny nation of a little under 7million people. It is however a lot more open than the last time I was there back last century when things were more than a little hot.

It’s history saw it becoming the Arab Switzerland for banking and the Arab Paris for culture after the late 1940’s it’s rising wealth and power suddenly turned downwards in the mid 1970’s for political reasons. That turned into war and it became a place of near endless conflict as the “Arab Cold War” used it as a proxie between various factions through the 1980’s (Israeli, Palestinian, Syrian). Around a quater of it’s then population left never to return.

It became a place of lawlessness and major drugs growing which still continues to this day despite attempts by the Government to stop it. Sadly drug production has started to increase again in recent years due to events in Syria and other nearby places.

The Bekaa valley is still the main economic area responsible for around 40% of the legal economy. Consisting of farmland and some light industry, supprising to many it produces a considerable quantiry of high quantity wines.

Strangly on paper GDP of Lebanon looks good, however the reality is very different. The average earnings is around 2,500USD/person/year however wealth disparity is vast and beyond the comprehension of many. One of the causes of the disparity is the two economies, the legal economy that is in effect basic live stock and grain based agrarian economy of little return, and the illegal economy that invades every part of life and in effect controls many of the base necessities such as fuel.

Thus many even in the capital live a hand to mouth existance, and if they do not or can not work that day they do not eat that day and be homeless the following day. Inflation in effect destroys any real chance for many to build up any kind of security, thus any even apparently minor disturbance in either the legal or illegal economies can be disastrous way beyond that many would expect.

It is known that the illegal economy also pays for gangland style business operations, where burning down a competitor is something that happens but rarely is anything done about it.

What will happen to the Lebanese over the next decade is unknown but the ruthless tribal / warlord crime families in the north of the Bekaa valley will be one of the things that will need to be dealt with fairly ruthlessly by the government, but without starting more armed conflict.

lurker August 15, 2021 8:21 PM


Using xls in the attachment file name is meant to prompt users to expect an Excel file. When the attachment is opened, it launches a browser window and displays a fake Microsoft Office 365 credentials dialog box on top of a blurred Excel document.

Is that a FileSystem browser, or a web browser? It used to be that you could pass Windows a url, eg. and Internet Exploder would open it in an Excel window. IE had a hard wired list of 7 file type suffixes it could handle. Anything else and it would complain loudly and die, instead of asking the user to find the app like the RFC suggested it should.

W3C unhelpfully gave up on .rtsp and now most things are done on .html. That is, things that aren’t done in VB on Office…

Jon August 15, 2021 9:32 PM

@ echo in re. airtight containers:

The only airtight boxes I can find with rubberised seals and clips which hold things tight are industrial grade boxes which the likes of the movie industry or people who like to throw things out of the back of Hercules might use. They are over engineered for my needs and cost ten times as much.

Suffice it to say that you get what you pay for.

There are reasons why the film industry and the military pay the going rate.

As ‘airtight’ you have entirely failed to specify just how much differential pressure you’re allowing for. Atmospheric variability – or are we talking a spacesuit here? “air-tight” means two entirely different things based upon those contexts.

Have fun, J.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 15, 2021 11:23 PM

2 July 2021 — Österreichisscher Journalist*innen Club in Zusammenarbeit

Available on U-of-the-Tube, Nils Melzer reads from his latest book…

Portion of the Introduction, Translated by name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons
“…is usually to one of the tasks of a UN special reporter, especially not one about a single very specific case a declaration is therefore in place. For me this book is an urgent appeal, a warning call to the world of states because the system it has created for the protection of human rights tasks fundamentally fails. A wake-up call to the public because this system should alert every citizen of our democratic constitutional state to an alert which is therefore also a personal invitation to wake up, to look and to takeover of personal and political responsibility.

As a UN special rapporteur, does not want to be understood by the human rights council of the United Nations to monitor compliance with the ban on torture and ill-treatment worldwide to investigate evidence of violations and to ask the affected states questions and recommendations regarding to the clarification of individual cases. I was entrusted with this important task because, as a security policy advisor to my government. I have been a professor of international law and a specialist book author, but also as a Red Cross delegate and legal advisor in war and crisis areas for more than 20 years, dealing with violations of human rights and international martial law. I have thousands on four continents of prisoner refugees and their relatives visits many of them victims of torture and violence. I negotiated in palaces, ministries, and command centers as well as with soldiers and rebels in the no man’s land between the fronts if I look for evidence of torture and ill-treatment then I know what I am talking about.

I let myself be roused, I don’t let myself be quickly disconcerted and new [translation issue] voters to exaggerate nor am I looking for the limelight, my world is that of diplomatic dialogue and mutual respect, but also always truth and integrity, because diplomacy must never become and end in itself but always remain a means to a higher end in my case this purpose is compliance with the torture and mistreatment of the prohibition as wall as the investigation of punishment and reparation for injuries. If this can no longer be achieved by diplomatic means then I must not sacrifice this purpose but have to choose another means to achieve the goals of my mandate and one of these means dear reader is this book that you will hopefully have in your hands soon. Is about an original, not a martial idiom to reformulate for my peaceful purposes, so to speak, the continuation of diplomacy with other means.

falsum nomen August 16, 2021 3:53 AM

@echo: “Catalan is not and never has been a state in any way it will qualify as one in law.”

Catalonia used to be a principality. So sort of like a state.

hX Xps://

Anders August 16, 2021 11:49 AM


Question isn’t here about Office 365, the
whole Microsoft architecture is rotten.
Too sad that a lot of companies just depend
on it. It should be burn down to the grounds.

But even if/when we get rid of MS – there’s another
devil – modern web, modern web applications. Web was
never developed for the application, this was a quick
hack. Moreover, a lot of web sites work only with the
latest browsers available only on limited OS. OS/2 is
not one of them and quite often i myself have a lot of
troubles to access even this site.

Just some threads from OS/2 forum to see the problem that
OS/2 community has.


But Microsoft is dead end. Sooner the companies realize it,
the better for them. Domains are so simple to take over when
everything is Active Directory / Single Sign On.
(And you can’t run MS servers and workstations without
internet connection, not allowing them to call home. They
start complaining very soon. Another rotten design).

SpaceLifeForm August 16, 2021 12:34 PM

Rolling your own security tool

(14:39 video)

Defeated with simple tools

(10:34 video)

[Once you see the title of the first link, it will all make sense. Watch them in order]

The real summer August 16, 2021 2:46 PM


“The other members of the WHO committee already did.”

Ergh. Wot? From
“Peter Ben Embarek, who led the scientists dispatched by WHO to Wuhan …”

He led the team and made his statement on 12th August.

“A lab employee infected in the field while collecting samples in a bat cave—such a scenario belongs both as a lab leak hypothesis and as our first hypothesis of direct infection from bat to human. We’ve seen that hypothesis as a likely hypothesis,” Ben Embarek argued.”

The story is evolving. Maybe it will go nowhere. We’ll have to wait and see.

Lenin August 16, 2021 3:52 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm

What crickets?

Oh, this?


USA has officially degraded to GAS STATION as it flees from Afganistan as a coward.

‘America is no longer a superpower. It’s a regional power. The United States of America is North America’s gas station. American greatness is over…’

SpaceLifeForm August 16, 2021 5:05 PM


Try FireFox.

V8 is used in the following software: Google Chrome and other Chromium-based web browsers, including Brave, Opera, Vivaldi and Microsoft Edge.


Trick #6: Disabling W^X at Runtime

[Note: even FireFox may be exploitable via Weird Machine, but you probably
will notice via the slowness]

[Note: did you ever notice that the word ‘weird’ does not follow the ‘i’ before ‘e’ accept after ‘c’ rule? Weird, huh?]


lurker August 16, 2021 5:15 PM

@ echo: re airtight containers
I just want to store tools and electrical equipment in my shed.

One consideration is the temperature range of the environment. As the temperature changes so does the pressure inside the “sealed” container. Air leaking out doesn’t matter, except, when the temperature cools the pressure inside the container drops, and air can easily be sucked in. It’s the moisture content of this cool ambient air that matters too…

I speak from experience with NATO spec “sealed” equipment used outdoors in the tropics.

Clive Robinson August 16, 2021 5:34 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I stoped watching the first video when the “dufus” said,

“Remember the way to pick a lock is one pin at a time

That immediately told me he knows nothing about locks or lock picking.

The way to pick any mechanical lock and most electronic locks is

“To find the mechanical or electromechanical design faults and take advantage of them”

So in the case of many cheap locks “bumping all the pins simultaneously” works fairly easily. This is most definately not “one pin at a time”…

Similarly many electronic locks fail to a strong magnet that pulls in many parts simultaneously.

If your whole protection mechanism design focus is to stop “one pin at a time” attacks, the odds are high you will not protect against any simultaneous attacks… Except by chance…

Clive Robinson August 16, 2021 5:47 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

did you ever notice that the word ‘weird’ does not follow the ‘i’ before ‘e’ accept after ‘c’ rule? Weird, huh?

Not as weird as you might think a lot of words break that rule, so many in fact, I remember being told a few years back they were going to stop teaching it, as there would aleays be atleast one “smart Alec” in the class, to “make the teachers day” as it were…

Think of the Monty Python “What have the Romans ever done for us?” sketch to see why 😉

SpaceLifeForm August 16, 2021 6:11 PM

@ Clive

You gave up watching too quickly.

The engineer had no lock experience. LPL was still impressed. LPL found problems, but they are addressable.

Rolling your own with review is good.

Watch both.

echo August 16, 2021 6:22 PM

The shift away from the magnetic stripe points to both consumers changing habits for payments and the development of newer technologies.

I forget what I was reaing earlier this week which triggered the though (for the umpteenth time) but this one will do. It’s kind of interesting in a way how changing technology obsoletes or removes the potential for drama in movies or forces directors and writers to find new ways of expressing drama.

JonKnowsNothing August 16, 2021 8:00 PM

@ Clive @ SpaceLifeForm @All

re: Weird Words

iirc from before dirt was invented

I before E except after C
when sounded as “A” as in neighbor and weigh

Some words you do have to have a faux-brit accent to mimic the “a”

Then there are words like “waistcoat”

  • Weskit or Waistcoat
  • Wainscot

Depends on the pond side.

There is no help at all for

  • Featherstonhaugh, Fetherstonhaugh and Featherstonehaugh

Lots of ghoti to catch….


ht tps://

ht tps://
ht tps://

ht tps://

ht tps://

  respelling of the word fish, used to illustrate irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation.

  • gh, pronounced /f/ as in enough;
  • o, pronounced /ɪ/ as in women;
  • ti, pronounced /ʃ/ as in nation

(url fractured to prevent autorun)

Intind77 August 16, 2021 8:34 PM


“Cases, where people landed on the no-fly list for refusing to become an informant, aren’t unheard of.”

“Note, it is not confirmed if the server leaking the list belonged to a U.S. government agency or a third-party entity.”

Clive Robinson August 16, 2021 9:20 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Rolling your own with review is good.

It’s part of it…

The real problem is the way designers design and for whom and when…

That is they generally follow a “solutionary approach” that is “one solution focused”. They are given a fault or problem to fix and they solve it without asking “Should we?”.

That is they tend to solve “instances of problems” not “classes of problems’.

You can generally tell how experienced a designer is in how broadly they defend against “classes of attack” rather than “solutions to individual instances of attack”.

This can be difficult to spot unless you are equally or better in design. It can be difficult to describe as well, much like beauty, you almost feel the elegance of the design.

Heck it’s often difficult to describe the difference between an “instance” and a “class”…

Which is why I talk about “fire escape drills” actually being designed as the more general class of “evacuation drills”. They should be designed to get people safely out of a building for, fire, flood, hurricane, bomb threat, power loss, chemical spill and much more besides. The skill comes in not just the design of an evacuation route but the placment of work activities around the building such that a safe route remains safe no matter what the emergancy or emergancies are.

This can be quite hard to do as you have to be able to think not just broadly but a long ways sidewards as well. Or as our host @Bruce used to put it “thinking hinky” and mad as it might sound the way to start thinking that way is by thinking like “Dr Evil” or some such movie villain. That is plan how you would come up with a system that looks good on paper but is actually the worst in reality. Like having a fire proof stairway that actually suffers baldly from the “chimney effect” then use a room at the bottom for storing “re-cycling” to be collected but with no fire suppression system but an open gas fire to keep the place dry/warm in winter…

Sadly I’ve seen way to many such designs in reality and you kind of have to bite your tongue and not shout “What @@@@ing loonie designed this death trap?”. Especially when you can see that it is probably an optimum design for “re-cycling”… Which brings in the risk-v-reward issue, where you know managment will only smile on “reward” no matter what the risk is for others…

Winter August 17, 2021 2:47 AM

@Jon, Clive, SLF
“re: Weird Words ”

Ha, take this:
Poem of English Pronunciation
ht tps://

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

[and much more, follow the link]

Winter August 17, 2021 2:49 AM

Here is an even longer version of the Poem

ht tps://

Clive Robinson August 17, 2021 3:23 AM

@ Second thought,

smile for the cameras

Hmmm… There is something oh so wrong with,

petting zoo worker bitten by alligator

A “petting zoo” implies cute fluffy / furry creatures that you could put on your lap or are smaller than say a seven year old standing by them. The primary requirment is that they don’t bite, scratch, kick or maul “little molly” or other “little darling” of potentialy litigious parents…

I just can not see an eight foot alligator called “Darthgator” fitting the “petting pet” criteria even at one heck of a squeeze…

Maybe it’s me, call me “old fashioned”, but I’d like to see the “risk analysis” paper for that exhibit published, even I like a bit of fantasy writing from time to time.

echo August 17, 2021 6:00 AM

The real problem is the way designers design and for whom and when…

That is they generally follow a “solutionary approach” that is “one solution focused”. They are given a fault or problem to fix and they solve it without asking “Should we?”.

That is they tend to solve “instances of problems” not “classes of problems’.

You can generally tell how experienced a designer is in how broadly they defend against “classes of attack” rather than “solutions to individual instances of attack”.

This can be difficult to spot unless you are equally or better in design. It can be difficult to describe as well, much like beauty, you almost feel the elegance of the design.

Heck it’s often difficult to describe the difference between an “instance” and a “class”…

See also Drucker on management, Ogilvy on marketing, and C Northcote Parkinson on everything else. Modern managers and politicians and journalist don’t seem to have appraised themselves of these kind of works. Nor do lawyers and this is especially bad in the UK where strategic legal actions are rare in comparison the the rest of Europe and the US. In fact there is a real state of denial in UK regulators and government on the whole topic with many filters obvious and not so obvious at first glance preventing anything strategic from getting off the starting blocks. The whole system is tilted with cherrypicking extra-judicial kangeroo courts before you begin. See also ECHR judgment within the past few months on “remedy”.

I will also note that “elegance” or “beauty” as a design success criteria is conceited. As Sabine Hossenfelder eloquently put it it many a theory has been described as “elegant” until new discoveries showed it up as stupid then it began to look quite ugly in retrospect. See also “certified professionals” and “echo chamber” and “closing ranks”.

Thus the circle is complete.

echo August 17, 2021 6:25 AM

@jon @lurker

I think if you re-read my initial post you will find the specification and range of factors and mitigations considered. I’m writing a comment not a white paper.

I’m approaching this in a lazy scientific way. The colour changing silica gel packets will cater for air moisture at the time of closing and indicate whether there is a leak. I can always reinforce or replace the seal later. The plastic box has enough give in it to cater for minor changes in atmospheric pressure.

I’m not being funny but it would be cheaper to buy new tools and materials than a lab/military grade container.

As a suppliment I store all my herbs and spices bought in bulk in one set of containers and in use materials in small pots. Appropriate “mise en place” also stops damp air from cooking getting into the small pots. Everything is stored in a dark cool cupboard away from heat and light.

Pretty much everything in my house is stored in a labelled box or caddy so I can find it, stuff doesn’t fall over itself, and it’s kept clean and hygenic. I even keep my remote along with other frequently accessed junk in an ornate wooden box!

Clive Robinson August 17, 2021 8:14 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Speaking of “how not to” of design, this 1minute video railsd a smile,

@ echo,

I will also note that “elegance” or “beauty” as a design success criteria is conceited.

Sorry no it’s not “conceited” at all. In fact it is part of the “Fitness Function” built into most human beings as part of our evolutionary survival mechanism.

It’s in part the way which we apraise other humans as mates etc and also in part how we also decide as a huristic if things are safe / honest and many other difficult to quantify “human measures” that have to be made very quickly.

Whilst you might argue beauty is “conceited”, disease of many forms makes people “ugly” in many odd ways and that warns us to “stay away”. The problem is how do you tell by a system of measurement if a person who is red in the face, perspiring freely, has difficulty breathing is because they have just been running hard to catch game for food, or because you have a bad case of the flu?

We actually do it fairly easily at a glance, but how would you encode it in rules for a machine to measure and assess you by?

Whilst the evolitionary “fitness function” that humans use all the time is hard to capture, it’s often not hard for you to detect because your bosy tells you via that “gut feeling” or “prickling of the short hairs” or many other physiological effects that are in part, part of the “fight or flight” mechanism that has to work very very rapidly, way faster than the concious mind.

The ability for humans to be able to apply this ability to increasingly abstract things some call “thinking hinky” because it is not at all understood, but we know it works. Any successful designer who has been around for a while will tell you that they have a “sense” about “fitness of function” and that ignoring it when it says it’s bad, frequently causes issues down the line.

Oh, just ask yourself a question, why do you think people are urging certain cautions about your “air tight box” issue? They have heard your description and it does not “feel right” to them for various reasons, and it’s activated their “fitness function” and they are letting you know in a gentle way that you are sort of “heading for the rocks” you’ve not seen, but they have from past experience of various kinds.

A little experiment for you to try, you need four empty 2.0 ltr fizzy drinks bottles and a barometer and thermometer. Just open the top of one on a bright sunny warm day that is probably humid ensure the bottle is fully inflated and screw the top down. Write the pressure and temp reading on it. On three other days when the weather is quite different do the same with the other three bottles. Then just keep an eue on them. You might be very surprised at just how much they “creak and make odd noises” especially as day turns to night and vice versa, and just how crushed a bottle can look from season to season.

It’s a little “home science project” I did with my son years ago, I think you might be a little surprised at just how crushed a bottle can end up looking.

Also remember that the distance water will hold a vacuum[1] is ~32ft/10meter and mercury about one tenth that distance hence presure measured in “millibars” (1013 at sea level).

Anyway the answer to your question is to use,

1, Vacuum drawn heat sealed Mylar bags.
2, With Water absorber.
3, With Oxygen absorber.

Should be good for 20-50years. The oxygen absorber is the important thing because “pure” water does not cause rust to form it’s just a catalyst, but the oxygen in the atmospher forms one of several iron oxides. Whilst removing water will slow the rusting process down and entirely stop one type of oxidation, other oxidation will still continue as long as there is “available oxygen” and iron.

[1] Technically a tube sealed at one end such as a barometer does not hold or suck anything, it’s actually the weight of our atmosphere pushing down in the open end and pushing the liquid be it water or mercury up,

Now the more common Pascal measurment that due to the mass of water and the assumed gravitation constant of the Earth at sea level gives 1 millibar being equal to 100 Pascals.

Freezing_in_Brazil August 17, 2021 8:27 AM

@ All

Re weird words

Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

It doesn’t get any weirder than that

(*) I’ve been ‘reading’ it for ten years [and counting]


MarkH August 17, 2021 11:42 AM


So in the case of many cheap locks “bumping all the pins simultaneously” works fairly easily.

I first learned about lock bumping roughly 15 years ago, from a video published by TOOOL (, I think).

The presenter bumped several supposedly pick-proof locks for the camera.

As I recall, he said that the technique was not effective for cheap locks, because its success depends on the closely controlled dimensional tolerances typical of expensive locks.

echo August 17, 2021 3:11 PM


Sorry no it’s not “conceited” at all. In fact it is part of the “Fitness Function” built into most human beings as part of our evolutionary survival mechanism.

Oh do give it a rest Clive. You know as well as I do what is meant. I’ve also posted enough on neuro-psycho-sociology with enough links to videos and papers in the past too which you handily dismiss as junk when it suits you while also opining at great length on when it suits you. We’ve also discussed “thinking hinky” in the past and I’ve corrected the not very useful jargonism too not that you bothered to acknowledge this and if you spent five minutes reviewing your own writing you’d be able to work it out yourself.

Should be good for 20-50years.

And why would I want to store my tools and materials in my shed in mylar bags? I want them to be accessible not open a museum. Anything sensitive or delicate is stored indoors in the warm and dry. It’s a solution which works for me for reasons I don’t have to disclose and is a done deal and better than what was done before.

This wouldn’t be the first time you’ve been solving the wrong problem with an over-engineered solution.

Anders August 17, 2021 5:46 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @MarkH @ALL

While having temporary access to modern browser
again i drop by and leave you this.


Sut Vachz August 17, 2021 7:54 PM

“A new island formed by a submarine volcano was spotted off the coast of Japan this weekend.”

https: //

Actually, the story is wrong. After a long, long rest, Capt’n Nemo is moving his submarine again.

Anders August 18, 2021 12:42 AM

Don’t know whether the Squid had a good year or not,
but someone had definitely a bad day.


MarkH August 18, 2021 1:08 AM


So in the case of many cheap locks “bumping all the pins simultaneously” works fairly easily.

I first learned about lock bumping roughly 15 years ago, from a video published by TOOOL (, I think).

The presenter bumped several supposedly pick-proof locks for the camera.

As I recall, he said that the technique was not effective for cheap locks, because its success depends on the closely controlled dimensional tolerances typical of expensive locks.

Anonymous August 18, 2021 7:18 AM

About Cobalt Strike

Raphael Mudge created Cobalt Strike in 2012 to enable threat-representative security tests. Cobalt Strike was one of the first public red team command and control frameworks. In 2020, HelpSystems acquired Cobalt Strike to add to its Core Security portfolio. Today, Cobalt Strike is the go-to red team platform for many U.S. government, large business, and consulting organizations.

echo August 18, 2021 7:20 AM

In The Light That Failed, the best account so far written of western liberalism’s failed transplant to the east, Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes draw a distinction between Communist party dictatorship and the USSR as a national homeland. Most Russians despised the former. The latter’s disintegration caused them chaos, poverty and heartbreak.

Conflation of the two made it hard for outside observers to comprehend the potency of Soviet nostalgia that was Putin’s most effective tool for discrediting democracy and consolidating his power. It also makes it pointless to classify Russia’s current regime in ideological terms bequeathed from a different era. Putinism is not obsessed with racial purity in the typically fascist style. Nor is it a class-based proselytising doctrine like Leninism. It doesn’t present itself as a coherent rival to democracy, except to the extent that it casts itself as more realistic about the power games to which all politics can, in a cynical analysis, be reduced.

Police increasingly believe that anti-women propaganda may have fuelled anger in the Plymouth gunman before his attack, with his links to the “incel” movement a main strand of their investigation.

Jake Davison, 22, shot dead his mother and four other people on 12 August. It emerged that he had engaged with extremist ideology including the “involuntary celibate” movement, though this is not considered to be enough for security officials to declare the mass shooting as a terrorist attack. Counter-terrorism officers continue to aid the investigation as detectives trawl through the attacker’s electronic devices.

Nobody is eally joining the dots because perspectives and emotional responses and political and social drift can tend to muddy things.

I’ve commented in the past on the West’s response after the Soviet Union collapsed. Most of the criticism can be levelled at the US for an over-aggressive pile-on while old women were reduced to selling their fixtures and fittings to buy food. It was so bad at one point European states were beginning to grumble in undiplomatic ways.

In the UK getting the police to take any crime against women seriously is an uphill struggle at times to even get a crime reference number. Not only has there been a breakdown of access to services and support and healthare but polcie resolutely refuse to begin to grasp what social policy led policing actually means and the UK government refuse to even talk about it.

Hate crimes are up across the board.

The EU and European Parliament are taking hate crimes and far right activity including from the usual suspects very seriously as are some NGO’s. I have previously linked to analysis and reports on this for most of the past year or so.

The UK government continues with an austerity led hostile environment and it’s standard of governance can best be described as reckless lawlessness.

The security services effectively make no mention of any of this in the published list of security priorities.

Studies indicate more people are cognitively discombobulated than a decade or more ago.

I don’t think the phrase “toxic masculinity” is especially helpful but I see a clear line being drawn between politicians, institutions, and the incel terrorist threat. I’m also joining dots between the rise of authoritarian mindsets in some quarters and “certified professionals” who conceitedly claim to be “security experts” in large monopolies and their lawers too of lacking a proper ethics and sociology framework. The tactical agression of the large tech companies and funding of lawyers within the European jurisidiction is matched with equal zeal by the far right – both of which which have been reported in media and NGO reports.

If there is one thing I would home in on it’s the lack of standards and excessive closing of ranks by (mostly male) job titles which causes own group biases and emotional and social over-reactions including copycat behaviour and “mirroring” to kick in.

echo August 18, 2021 2:17 PM

In Rebel Law: Insurgents, Courts and Justice in Modern Conflict, Frank Ledwidge explores the role of courts and law in insurgencies and civil wars. This is an intriguing, engaging and comprehensive account that is particularly compelling when discussing insurgent justice in the Muslim world, finds James Baldwin, valuably diverging from the tendency to read such phenomena solely through the prism of extremism.

This is an interesting examination of viewpoints, institutions, and law in practice and how this effects outcomes.

Rebel Law is an intriguing and engaging book that covers a lot of ground. Ledwidge’s criticisms of the nation-building project in Afghanistan are broadly familiar, but they are presented with fresh details and anecdotes from his personal experience there. Meanwhile, Ledwidge’s approach to insurgent justice in the Muslim world is compelling: he brings a much-needed comparative perspective that serves as an antidote to the tendency to read such phenomena only through the lens of extremist ideology.

Basically, what I was saying earlier.

Winter August 19, 2021 2:11 AM

comment-386987 [ Anonymous • August 18, 2021 7:18 AM ]

Verbatim copy of the home page at Looks like an attempt to plant copyrighted material on the blog.

Clive Robinson August 19, 2021 2:58 AM

@ paranoid android,

MS response is priceless.

Yet another reason to not use Microsoft 365 product…

In the case of this bug I am trying to think is it,

1, Accidental by inexperience.
2, Accidental by design.
3, By design made to look accidental
4, A quite deliberate design choice through and through to deliberatly leak information.

I think most can work out that with the number of 365 “errors” that are comming to light, I’m tending toward the high numbers.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons August 19, 2021 12:40 PM


13 years later, the 9th Circuit Court punts.

Hadn’t seen anything from EFF on this, I assume they will post it to their deep links and the Jewel case.

This seems like a ridiculously long time to reach a conclusion. It is one of the reasons our political systems are so screwed. Politicians and operatives know how long legal decisions can take and bank on that in order to game the system. It is this glacial pace that makes what technologists do within the context say of social media to understand let alone prepare for contingencies arising from the applied use of said technologies. We are continuously fighting around the edge of progress and it seems our will gives way to our means. In other words, we know better but we don’t do better.

It appears that the campaign to bury Assange has been quite successful. There has been no appreciable coverage of the topic even in the corners of the press let alone any main stream coverage. I am afraid that the press, as a freedom, will slip quietly into that good night.

Clive Robinson August 19, 2021 4:27 PM

@ vas pup,

ATTENTION: drones are NOT weaponized!!!

And are effectively “singular and slow” back when I was healthier 28mph on the push bike was easily achieved as was heading for woods and other “drone no go areas”.

The thing is I’ve developed a little bit of very lightweight “technology” for mobile equipment not much heavier than a smart phone.

It is in effect a “Software Defined Radio”(SDR) that acts as a “signal recognizer” / bug detector. It will not just find the control channel of a drone, it will transmit garbage on it in the right format.

The thing is it will work with a local drone “locked-out” thus you could hang it from a “hunter drone”.

At the moment it’s directional capabilities are not up to it being a “commercial product” for those who are “point-n-click jockeys” but it will make an effective anti-drone device.

@ ALL,

I suspect some of you may be familiar with the old ECM ECCM war of attrition in Electronic Warfare in the 1980’s and onwards?

Now ask who will be the looser of that battle if it’s repeated with drone technology….

So the reality is this Police Drone is realy a political “puff piece” much like the very early “CCTV in Town Centers” political puff pieces were last century…

vas pup August 19, 2021 4:48 PM

@Clive – thank you for your input.

What is the real technical option to fight wave of violent crimes in some big cities in US?

Why CCTV is working in China very effective?

I am not for ‘1984’ paradigm at all(snitching in your phone, your internet records as phishing expedition, bugs in your dwelling installed without proper court authorization – so I am against Wild West paradigm for LEAs – like Stasi, NKVD you name it), but at the same time regular folks should be and feel safe in public areas.

LEAs should have as much as possible non-lethal technical tools to fight violent crimes, mob outburst in public areas I guess.

Chaos should NOT substitute rule of law and order regardless of motive.

paranoid android August 19, 2021 4:53 PM

@ Clive

Office 365 is a nice name – holes all around in all directions (360 degree) + a few thrown in extra.

But in reality we need to ditch whole MS product line.

Read for example this.

This is a nice example how MS cripples the OS, limits their capability. Win 10 Pro that majority desktops use, can’t use processor groups so the performance is severely crippled. Want better? Pay and upgrade!

‘Now the thing is, Workstation and Enterprise are built with multiple processor groups in mind, whereas Pro is not.’

SpaceLifeForm August 19, 2021 5:51 PM

Silicon Turtles


lurker August 19, 2021 8:57 PM

@vas pup: Why CCTV is working in China very effective?

Because they have two millenia of looking out for their neighbours. [links avoided: search “quoted” items on Wikipedia] “Shang Yang” as Chief Minister to the first Emperor codified, 356 – 350BCE, Liu Kui’s Book of Laws, including that those aware of a crime but failing to report it would receive the same punishment as the perpetrator. His system of groups of households responsible for this surveillance fell in and out of usefulness over the dynasties, until

Wang Anshi revived it as the “Baojia system” during the Northern Song Dynasty. The regulaton of this system was tightened through the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Some people mistakenly believe that “Mass surveillance in China” was invented by Mao Zidong. The system was centralized 2000 years ago and used for despotic rule over the people. CCTV and the internet have simply eliminated the delay between observation and execution.

SpaceLifeForm August 20, 2021 12:13 AM

Memo to those laundering money thru cryptocurrency:

Keep up the good work, you are doing a fine job. You are invisible.


Winter August 20, 2021 12:24 AM

““Shang Yang” as Chief Minister to the first Emperor codified, 356 – 350BCE, Liu Kui’s Book of Laws, ”

The legalists of the First Emperor have been, and still are, heavily despised by the Confucianists that came in power from the Han dynasty on. There are good reasons the Dynasty of the First Emperor did not survive him for long. The inhumane legalism is one of them.

JonKnowsNothing August 20, 2021 12:25 AM

@SpaceLifeForm, Clive

  • Air New Zealand to Sydney Australia
  • Sydney Australia to Hong Kong

“Hong Kong has some of the most stringent coronavirus entry requirements globally”

They might want to talk with NZ about that.

SpaceLifeForm August 20, 2021 12:41 AM

@ vas pup, Clive

Drones are definitely weaponized


SpaceLifeForm August 20, 2021 12:48 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing

As New Zealand is now in full lockdown over a single case, does that mean one may have to take the slow boat to China?

JonKnowsNothing August 20, 2021 1:01 AM


1 to 21 (08/07/2021 – 08/18/2021) soon to be 50+

Hollywood gets to Pass Go hitting AU first and flinging on to HK because they are The Golden.

and there’s way too much road rash, like over bright bloom filters.

Clive Robinson August 20, 2021 6:22 AM

@ vas pup,

What is the real technical option to fight wave of violent crimes in some big cities in US?

Is the wrong question.

As I’ve mentioned before trying to solve a social issuse with a technological issue, won’t work or won’t work very long.

So of “real technical option” there is actually none.

The reason being the technology is “agnostic to use” it is just a “tool” in the “hand” under the control of a “Directing Mind”. What is “good or bad”, “saintly or evil” “hero or terrorist” is a matter of “opinion” and “timing” in another human “Observing mind”.

One of the reasons “crime and punishment” fail and fail badly in any place a dumb politician says they will be “tough on crime”, is that when you take out what is behind crime from consideration, you do nothing about it, therefore the causal conditions remain.

It should be fairly obvious that as a person starts to feel hungry, they will get to a point where their body in effect takes over their rational mind out of evolutionary self protection and the likely hood they will steal available food goes up.

Even the achient Romans recognised this which was why wheat/bread was made available to the citizens for free (yes odd as it might seem to our eyes “Bread and Circuses” was a “social policy” that some think worked).

Thus “punishing crime” does not work even when the punishment is beyond draconian (execution without trial without cause). Which is something history shows happening over and over.

Remember many “crimes” are actually against “false morals” that a society has been forced to adopt, usually by initial false promises given out by corrupt leaders of entities designed to obtain power[1].

The solution to crime is in solving what is behind the actual acts of crime. Be it failings in society or failings in individuals heads. Both of which are actions that only changes in society can bring about.

Using technology is going to fail, because of the “evolutionary process”. Those who prosper in some way by crime, will simply work out a technologies faults and failings, and thus out evolve it. As humans have had unknown millennia of “evolutionary survival” built into generation after generation, the criminals are likely to remain ahead of any technology that we create and use for quite some time ahead, if not indefinately (by paying a legislator not to make your crime a crime etc which we see happen rather a lot of these days with tech and other well financed organisations).

You then realise that the solution is most definately not setting up an army of authoritarian following thugs, giving them weapons to randomly inflict pain, suffering, and death on who they chose, then have a backend system designed to enforce the thugs power. Because you have created a “dependency organism” that can only survive and grow by the creation of “crime” they can use to show they have a valid purpose[2] that in reality they do not.

You can then join the dots together to see why giving the thugs technology to keep doing rather more of the same is not actually a good idea for society as they are in effect parasites. And you know where it is going to go, as we see when such thugs are made to use technology that limits their power, it rather quickly goes wrong in their favour. Yet look at the backlash from the thugs when others record the thugs in action, the demands that making recordings of the thugs in action be made illegal or inadmisable etc, the attacking of innocent people and the destruction of property etc, it tells you a rather sorry story[3].

[1] It’s an old game, you promise people you can stop a natural event or equivalent, which you can not. You know you can not so how do you rig the game in your favour? Simple you invent a “god” or similar that has to be kept appeased in some way. When the natural event happens again, you blaim the people for making the “god” angry by not appeasing it sufficiently… Or you can go one better and promise “life after death” or equivalent that involves a “one way door” to paradise for the devotees “buying their way into heaven”.

[2] Yet abother ages old game is “creating offence” against a god, or society. Basically you create an “enemy” and keep people fighting it, but you ensure you are the “Witch-finder General” who has set themselves up to find “witches”. In reality you come up with trials you will always loose at. Thus the idea expressed by “trial by water” if you float you are guilty, drown you are innocent. Either way if you were accused you ended up dead thus giving both entertainment and fear to a population… So the very fear of being accused would keep many in line, and paying the Witch-finders keep. The Witch-Finder just had to have as many witches to kill as would keep them and their men/women in comfort, so finding new “offences and trials” was an ongoing activity.

[3] Mind you so should the history of the FBI under Hoover. As well as all those “Police States” around the world both historic and current.

Winter August 20, 2021 7:16 AM

@Clive, @vas pup
“The solution to crime is in solving what is behind the actual acts of crime.”

Starvation, or lack of the necessities to survive, are obviously a drive to “crime” that cannot be stopped by any punishment short of certain death, and even then it will not stop “crime” all the time.

But that is rarely, if ever, a motivating factor in industrial societies. Only the most dense of people are unable to understand that you cannot stop starving people from stealing food with punishment. Not that there is a shortage of people that dense.

What is generally the case is that the inequality of society does not allow young people to start a family. When this happens to young men, you get revolutionary uprisings. This is currently the driving force of Islamic Fundamentalism (ISIS et al.) as all over the Islamic world, young men are unable to start a family.

In general, if there are no legal career opportunities for young men, they will choose an illegal career opportunity. This is one reason why so many highly educated and competent ICT specialists from Eastern Europe/Russia move into digital crime. There are to few legal careers available in their countries.

The same can be found in the drug trade in, e.g., the USA. In many communities, social stigmata, poverty, and discrimination prevent young men from getting an education and an entry in legal careers that fit their abilities and ambitions. However, there is always a career in the drug trade. So, very competent men started to lead drug gangs instead of leading their own companies.

It has been found a long time ago that getting boys into a successful school career, from kindergarten on with family counseling, was an effective way to reduce future crime.
ht tps://

But that is not tough enough on crime[1], and most importantly, it means rich people have to spend money to the benefit of poor people. So that is not gonna happen.

[1] It is tough on Crime, but not on criminals. Punishing criminals seems to be the real aim, because it feels so good to punish people.

Clive Robinson August 20, 2021 7:45 AM

@ paranoid android,

This is a nice example how MS cripples the OS, limits their capability.

Yes, Microsoft have a long history of this, but before them there were others like IBM and all the big hardware and later software companies doing “big iron” before PC’s started “consumer” computing.

I could go through the facts that as far as I’m aware all Microsoft Kernels and basic infrastructure support have not realy changed since NT 3.51 some decades ago, and vulnarabilities are still being found on a regular basis (the stuff with the MS print spooler being just one of the more visable).

It should be clear to all that Microsoft has realised it’s “run out of steam” and it’s “technical debt” is unsuportable and thus it’s moving it’s business model to one it controls not just the software, the hardware, the user data, but the users as well just like Google and Co.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t use Microsoft Products or others bells and whistles products where I can avoid them[1]. I use stuff I can build from the machine code level up, and sometimes even below the CPU ISA (yes I’m old enough to have done Microcoding with a soldering iron and RTL coding with a wire wrap gun and enjoyed the benifits of PALs and the likes as they came along). I’ve even made “crypto-logic” with relays to investigate various “TEMPEST” techniques[2] to see if a “story” was actually potentialy “history” or “fable” (it came out as potential history and a quite difficult problem to solve).

I guess you could say I was born suspicious, but no I was just born curious. It was other people that taught me the need to be a “toolmaker” that is not self reliant on “what you’ve got” but how to create what you have not got so you can create the tools to “make what you need”. Later it was others who taught me the need for caution, thus privacy, thus secrecy and all that involves. A lesson most people do not learn in life, or learn way to late…

I don’t “trust” by default, it does not stop me being social or friendly, just “reserved”. But when you look at “social networking” you find many have not yet learnt what “TMI” means, thus are in the words of my youth “Cruising for a bruising”…

The goal of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al these days is “legalised data rape” and worse when you look into the likes of Peter Thiel and friends Palantire Technologies. You realise that what they aim to do is just horrendous and ought to be made illegal. As they by legislators by the ton, you know that legislation is not going ro happen. Thus your only defence is “Not to leave ammunition for the enemy” or any other “aid or comfort” for that matter…

Thus their aim is to force you to “give it up” in various ways. I made warning noises at the time of Win 10, and said why Win XP on an issolated system was as far as I would go. Most did not believe it, but more are starting to, which is good.

The problem, is how do they wean themselves off of Microsoft and similars products?

That’s both simple and hard. I can tell you “how” but will you want to give up “convenience”? how about “features”? What about “bells and whistles” and all that other “ICT sugar” they are turning people into “IT Diabetics” with…

They say the hardest part of giving up smoking is not the “Drug Addiction” but the “social habit” and the “finger habit”. I suspect the same applies to software, you use what other people use for XXX reasons thus you are effectively “locked in”.

[1] As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve written my own “tool-chain” as well as BIOS etc for microcontrolers that for around 1USD will run early versions of *nix the editors, text formatters etc. I actually recomend that people “write” and “format” documents seperatly as part of a production chain. Thus just about everytging I write is done in either a simple editor, or DOS era Word-Processor for which I have the source code in most cases… Does this make me “less productive” than say using a programmers IDE with bells and whistles and coloured ballons? Well that depends on how you define “productive” and how you chose to “measure” it over time. IDE’s enable code to be cranked out quickly at a certain level, they have a degree of auto-correct etc so they can make you slightly faster at churning out lines of code, but what about everything else required for good engineering of software? Well arguably IDE’s make you more sloppy in the code you produce… The same arguments apply at every level. In fact back in the 1980’s for running on an Apple ][ a company came up with a “Fourth Generation Language” called “The Last One”… Yeah well hear we are some four decades later and the aim of an ultimate programing language is still just as far away today as back then…

[2] But I’ve still to make my own “thermionic tubes/valves” though I have got a lightbulb or three to work the next step will be the diode (I’m into “industrial archeology” as a hobby and sometimes the only way to work out how to do it, is to do it whilst we still can).

Winter August 20, 2021 8:16 AM

“It should be clear to all that Microsoft has realised it’s “run out of steam” and it’s “technical debt” is unsuportable”

That might have more than a little to do with the embrace of Linux in WSL. There are many good reasons to avoid Windows in Containers, and new businesses.

It is pretty clear that Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, (or even Hotmail) and all the others would not have been possible if they had been forced to be developed and run on Windows back-ends.

Clive Robinson August 20, 2021 9:32 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Silicon Turtles

If memory serves correctly, have we not discussed the use of security enclaves for malware and worse snoopware from OS vendors and the like.

I can remember the early days of TPM and later @Wael, myself and others had on and off discussions as to what could and could not be done with the external chips that putting in the CPU chip would limit or stop.

As I keep pointing out,

1, Tools are agnostic to use.
2, It’s Directing minds that decide the use.
3, It’s Observing minds that decide if the use is good/bad or not.

From which it follows that,

4, The Observing minds opinion is generally defined by the “mores” of the time period of the scociety it is in.

5, The “mores” of society arise from scociety it’s self and from those that wish to control society often for their own benifit.

I could follow the logic down further but at point 2 is where it allways goes horribly wrong.

You could in theory beat the people of a village to death with a stick. But it would be slow, messy, and very likely to fail. However come over the horizon with a C34 with a couple of mini-guns and a hold/tail ramp loaded with napalm and your chance of success rises.

There is no arguing that technology can be nasty especially when in the hands of certain Directing Minds. Thus it should be the Observing Minds in scociety that “limit the harm” whilst “maximizing the benifit” of any given technology. The real question is “How?” for which I have no real answers.

Could the chip makers have put in “oversight” on a TPM system? The answer is obviously “yes”, but there was no way various self-intetested sectors were going to let that happen…

So we are stuck with shady, self-interrsted individuals in charge of even more questionable entities controling our “modern” computers.

A game I got out of personally in several different ways more than a couple of decades ago. Whilst it is still open to some who want to walk that path, the path is being closed rather rapidly by “techbology”.

Whilst it is still possible to get the equivallent of a DEC Micro-Vax on a single chip, that opportunity is closing. The reason is “System on a Chip”(SoC) technology. It is now so cost effective to add hardware to microcontrolers that “Internet of Things”(IoT) chips contain way to much IO to be considered safe any longer.

How we become “secure” from this time forward is going ro get harder and harder…

Intind77 August 20, 2021 10:10 AM


one of my favorite scenes from Monty Python seems fitting in this discussion.


“She turned me into a Newt!….I got better.”

Clive Robinson August 20, 2021 1:03 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

Hollywood gets to Pass Go hitting AU first and flinging on to HK because they are The Golden.

What was that famous song about flying with the stars…

Fly me to Hong Kong,
Let me play among the stars.
Let me see what de death thing,
is like On a-relative and Mars.
In other words: hold my hand In other words: baby, kiss me Fill my lungs with SARS
And let me wing it for ever more.
You are all I need for All I infect and adjure.
In other words: please, turn blue In other words: I infect you

Or something like that (with appologies to Bart Howard, who wrote and Kaye Ballard who sang it in 1954 a decade before Frankie Blue Eyes got his mob-mits on it).

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