Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Game Cryptocurrency Was a Scam

The Squid Game cryptocurrency was a complete scam:

The SQUID cryptocurrency peaked at a price of $2,861 before plummeting to $0 around 5:40 a.m. ET., according to the website CoinMarketCap. This kind of theft, commonly called a “rug pull” by crypto investors, happens when the creators of the crypto quickly cash out their coins for real money, draining the liquidity pool from the exchange.

I don’t know why anyone would trust an investment—any investment—that you could buy but not sell.

Wired story.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven’t covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on November 5, 2021 at 4:11 PM183 Comments


vas pup November 5, 2021 4:19 PM

Gaia-X cloud: A safe haven for Europe’s data?

“Europe’s independent cloud ecosystem

Gaia-X is a Franco-German project idea that was first presented to the public at a European Digital Summit in October 2019. About one year later, the Gaia-X Association (AISBL) was founded as an international nonprofit organization based in Belgium. Its aim is to foster the digital sovereignty of European cloud service users, and promote European values of transparency, openness, data protection and security.”

Many interesting details inside and short good video as well.

vas pup November 5, 2021 5:07 PM

Innovative chip resolves quantum headache

“Quantum physicists at the University of Copenhagen are reporting an international achievement for Denmark in the field of quantum technology. By simultaneously operating multiple spin qubits on the same quantum chip, they surmounted a key obstacle on the road to the supercomputer of the future. The result bodes well for the use of semiconductor materials as a platform for solid-state quantum computers.”

echo November 5, 2021 9:20 PM

Merchants of attention have learned that nothing adheres us to their traps like emotion, and that some emotions are stickier than others. The new and alluring, the surpassingly cute. The frenzied thrill at the prospect of conflict or violence. The misfortune of others. Perhaps most emblematically, the expression of our anger, rightful or hateful. All of this lights up a part of our brain that will not release us from its tyranny. Our fingertips seek it. To say that we are addicts does not capture the magnitude of what is happening.


The platforms that churn through content with the greatest velocity shape the emotional responses of consumers almost in real time. Watch a video on YouTube, or like a post on Facebook or Twitter, and you will be offered another, and another, and another. Behind the suggested offerings is a logic of emotional response. The technology is seeking your trigger, whatever draws you deeper and keeps you clicking. Nothing quite does it like outrage. Moral outrage. Those we know are right to hate; those we love because we are united together against those we know are right to hate. This is the logic behind the viral campaigns leading to the slaughter of Rohingya in Myanmar. And the logic of the increasingly truculent divide between right and left in America today. Driven by engagement and the profit that it generates, each side drifts further and further from the other, the space between us growing only more charged, only richer with opportunity for monetization. The cultural clash in America today has more electrical engineering behind it than we realize.


Whether the concerns of the many are louder today than before is hard to know. But they may be more inescapable. One of the characteristics of the automating technology is how effective it is in herding opinion in ways not meaningfully different from policing it. The tech has created gathering places for our various camps of confirmed bias. These agglomerations of outrage are not just left-leaning or right-leaning, groupings superintended by slogans of belonging and creedal statements honed, like trademarks—or shibboleths—to the very locution. The result is a widespread and punitive stridency.

Framing and creating and monitizing hate.

SpaceLifeForm November 5, 2021 9:36 PM

The story of the drone attack on the electrical substation is nonsense.

The worst that would happen is the substation would trip offline. Many would lose power for a while until the substation was reset. Two hours maybe.

MarkH November 5, 2021 10:34 PM


I wish that were true.

At the moment, I’m not comfortable going into specifics on a public forum … but our EEs will know.

echo November 6, 2021 1:11 AM

Glass is glass.

And glass breaks.

Smartphone technology has improved rapidly in recent years, giving us more battery life, better performance, and improved photo-taking capabilities – but they still come with screens that have a tendency to crack after being knocked or dropped.

Scientists have made encouraging progress in developing lead halide perovskite (LHP) screens that offer top-quality brightness and clarity as well as excellent strength, and which could be fitted to the phones, televisions, and laptops of the future.


Clive Robinson November 6, 2021 2:34 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The story of the drone attack on the electrical substation is nonsense.

Err what attack? (not every one is in your news zone and in time it will be forgoton, so a link that works in Europe would be nice).

But if you remember back a year or five somebody hit a substation with automatic gun fire and did not take it off line immediately.

Suggesting the transformers and switch gear are fairly robust, thus the load carried by ordinary hobby style drones would very probably be insufficient.

Yes professional drones can at the high end carry 5kg/11lb loads, but they are not easy to obtain as apparently those involved in the drugs trade find them of use.

Ben November 6, 2021 4:21 AM

“I don’t know why anyone would trust an investment — any investment — that you could buy but not sell.”

Examples: We usually invest in our families. Nations invest in their much to sell, but a great return on investment (albeit not always to the investor) is expected.

Others invest in a learning experience, aware (like training) or unaware (like this rug pull). Lessons for life.

lurker November 6, 2021 12:09 PM

@Clive, SpaceLifeForm: the story of the drone…
I assumed that any post here had been /dev/nulled or SLF was obfuscating to avoid that fate. A quick search revealed multiple versions of an incident that seems at script kiddie level rather than a Nation State adversary. It must say something about the condition of a society when random riffraff want to remove essential infrastructure. Although attribution is hard …

MarkH November 6, 2021 12:30 PM


My intuition is that this was the project of either nihilistic teens who wanted to test (and probably brag about) their prowess, or would-be terrorists making a feasibility experiment.

Luckily, whoever did it was dumber than a bag of rocks.

David Leppik November 6, 2021 3:26 PM

Bots are convincing people to tell them their 2FA codes. This is a remarkably simple but effective scam. When a bot needs a 2FA code to break into an account, it calls the victim and uses an obviously computer generated voice to tell them that the bank/service needs the user to enter the 2FA to verify something.

This is particularly compelling since people expect these large corporations to contact them via automated messages.

SpaceLifeForm November 6, 2021 3:37 PM

@ Clive

There are plenty of media outlets just using this story to spread FUD. Which is why I did not provide any link.

Dailymail has coverage, btw.

Best report I have found


[the copper wire would be instantly vaporised. Substation: Bird or Squirrel? Oh well, proceed]

[to trip a substation takes a lot of mass, that a small drone could not lift]

SpaceLifeForm November 6, 2021 4:55 PM

@ David Leppik

Main problem is the SMS, which goes over SS7, which is not secure in any way.

And, now, you have Google forcing this.

Time to get a Yubikey or equivalent, which is way safer than SMS. Maybe.

Clive Robinson November 6, 2021 4:58 PM

@ lurker, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm,

I assumed that any post here had been /dev/nulled or SLF was obfuscating to avoid that fate.

Possibly the former probably the latter…

My search on drones and sub stations only pulled up a refrence to an incident back in July 2020 in Pennsylvania. Wired has a piece with a panic now headline with a sub-head of,

“An attack attempt in 2020 proves the UAS threat is real—and not enough is being done to stop it.”

Which is a bit silly realy, it’s a social problem not a technology one, and as I’ve noted in the past,

“You can not fix social issues with technology, it only ends up failing”[1].

The Wired article then launches in with the utter bullcrap of,


blockquote>“Two 4-foot nylon ropes dangled from its rotors,”



Which gives no confidence from then on in. However it’s apparentky from a DHS report so maybe it’s their operatives that need an education.

It goes on to say,

“The device had been stripped of any identifiable markings, as well as its onboard camera and memory card,”

Odd that the camera had been removed, that is if it was capable of sending back live feed to the operator (might account for crash). Assuming the camera was just a video camera dumping to the menory card the it would have been “dead weight” so removing it would make sense.

It goes on to say,

“constitutes the first known instance of a modified, unmanned aircraft system being used to “specifically target” US energy infrastructure. It seems unlikely to be the last, however.”

Is not exactly correct. Firstly as it is assumrd to have crashed it did not reach any kind of target that we know was the target. Without knowing a lot more it would be daft to speculate to far. However it needs to be noted that drones carrying wire hanging down have “accidently” crashed into overhead power systems in the past. Apparently in the UK one was found just dangling probably weeks after it became entangled.

As for,

“When it comes to the potential for consumer drones to wreak havoc, experts have sounded the alarm for at least six years, saying that their broad availability and capabilities provide opportunity for bad actors.”

It’s way way longer than six years for “Unmaned Aerial Vehicles” it goes back to the 1970’s and the “Irish Troubles” to my knowledge with regards,”radio control” aircraft and making them unavailable for sale, as well as providing patrols jammers that worked on the RC frequencies. It did not work then, so what are the odds these days?


“That mounting threat has not been met with proportional mitigations.”

Is one of those “No 5h1t Sherlock” statments that totally misses the point. The genie is out the bottle on this, and there is no technological solution.

You can bet dollars to stale donughts, that anything done to the code on drones like geo-fencing will be “reverse engineered” out, likewise any of those anti-drone guns that fire beams of RF can be easily avoided by anyone with a little electronics knowledge. As the parts are readily available and the algorithms used to make them fly are readily available, it would not be that difficult for a “home constructor” to make their own coptor and software.

The simple fact is making your own RC aerial vehicle is under graduate project level or less stuff. With quite a few high school kids more than capable of making one. Heck there was that guy that turned a motor bike into a quad fan aerial vehicle a few years back. So payload is not realy an issue.

As for,

“Two 4-foot nylon ropes dangled from its rotors, a thick copper wire connected to the ends with electrical tape. “

Aside from the “dangled from its rotors” nonsense, it would be quite unlikely to work in that claimed configuration (not dificult to work out why). Which does raise the question of if the attackers target was cables etc or something entirely different…

It is known from the first Gulf War that the US or other prosperous nations military hand worked out that deploying “carbon fiber threads was the eay to go. Something that is not just public but fairly common knowledge.

At least the hobby drone industry spokes people have some contact with reality,

“Just like the manufacturers of pickup trucks or mobile phones, we have almost no ability to control what people do with their drones once they have them”

Yup, so the real question is,

“Why is this the ‘first time’?”

To which the answer is probably

“Why bother when their are simpler and way more effective ways to go about damaging infrastructure”.

[1] Any one remember when CCTV was touted as being the cure for street crime and a number of other social ills. Well all that happrned was idiots were rounded up, the less stupid just moved to where CCTV was not, and the smarter ones devrloped new tactics… The average community CCTV costing tens if not hundreds of thousands more or less failed within six months. The criminals simply “out evolved the technology”. Thus we see the latest round that will fail against criminals which is ML / AI bio-metrics, which we know is already failing. So the only people being hurt is the ordinary citizen. As China’s Social Score system is showing, which is realy a very blunt instrument of fear, the systems the West are,rolling out in the UK and other places will be more subtle, but “coercion is the name of the game” currently as Chicagos “black site” showed. Which the US MSM knew all about but chose to ignore… As the UK MSM is very obviously ignoring similar, as are many European nations MSM if the reports I get from friends etc are correct.

lurker November 6, 2021 5:30 PM

@David Leppik
There’s nowt so queer as folks, but then I’m not a target demographic for these attacks. My bank states specifically it will never contact me by phone. Unsolicited 2FA codes go the same place as unsolicited email, which has diminished from some sources since I played their game by bouncing spam to their security dept.

Scam Coin November 6, 2021 9:24 PM

All cryptocurrencies are scams. The idea that one of them is any worse than the others or that they can be “regulated” just perpetuates the myth. They are sin against the democratic ethos and a curse upon mankind.

Humdee November 6, 2021 9:32 PM


Nothing has changed in 2000 years. Ethos, logos, pathos. The idea that technology is “warping” out brains; 2000 years ago it was that devil the numen e.g. the golden calf. Mix Cicero with technology and one gets the hand wringing and pearl clutching in that article you linked to.

AI robots invading your dreams, secretly commanding you to buy white robes and kill minorities. LOL. As if overt racism wasn’t enough.

Fear monger, much?

echo November 6, 2021 10:15 PM

Former prime minister John Major has blasted Boris Johnson’s “politically corrupt” approach to government in the wake of the paid lobbying scandal.

Sir John, who led the government from 1990 to 1997, described his party’s conduct as “shameful” and said it had trashed the reputation of parliament.

This article is your average broadsheet newspaper coverage on this issue but a few others things about the whole story caught my eye…

The BBC is no longer a reliable commentator and hasn’t been for some years now. The suspicion the BBC had problems with its news and current affairs department began creeping out during the Cameron government and its taken a long time to piece things together and make a case for government and Tory party capture. I have come across teachers on social media saying they warn students the BBC can no longer be considered a reliable source.

The critical element of this story is on Radio 4’s Today programmeis when John Major began blasting into the Johnson regime Nick Robinson tried o finesse the discussion back to Brexit. Perhaps this is Nick being Nick or a journalistic addition to “gotcha” moments or clickbait or similar but I feel it is yet one more momentary beneath the radar example of how the narrative is being controlled. Much like the corrosive influence or corruption or in the workplace contractive dismissal or a regime of inadequacy and recklessness small signals like this can be indicators. They all add up. A micro-feint here, a micro-nudge there, a shift of emphasis, an evasion of rationality by attempting to manipulate emotion.

Most of the media and social media is missing it but the trouble going on inside the BBC is as big as the unrest which happened within Google and Facebook.

It’s not just sleaze and corruption. It’s not capturing headlines but when the government and BBC give the far right – the genocidal far right with terrorist links an uncritical audience and uncritical hearing you know something very very badly wrong is happening.

echo November 6, 2021 10:38 PM

Missing N.C. teen found after using TikTok hand sign alerting she was in danger.

The 16-year-old girl used hand signals known “to represent violence at home — I need help — domestic violence,” authorities said.


The sheriff’s office did not describe the sign used by the teen, but a hand gesture first introduced by the Canadian Women’s Foundation last year has been adopted by many globally who need to discreetly ask for help or show they’re in distress.

The gesture is a hand up, palm out, with the thumb tucked, then folding the fingers down.

I have far too many thoughts floating around my mind about state abuse and media polarisation and negligence to comment much but this is a notable and interesting event for many reasons.

“Mayday” and “SOS” are well known. Another one to add to the list.

Ted November 6, 2021 11:12 PM


Re: hand signal for violence

I think that is important. If it helps at all, here is a direct link to the tweet with the hand signal.

I have to wonder if not everything about this girl’s situation looked wrong, beyond just the hand signal and surely the look in her eyes.

I remember being at a gas station once and seeing a situation that didn’t look right to me. There was a young lady dressed in an above-knee-length skirt, with a man in a rather dingy van. The vibe: shady. I kept looking at the girl, but she appeared to have a phone and wasn’t looking frantic. I regret to this day that I do not know exactly what I should have done.

SpaceLifeForm November 7, 2021 12:15 AM

Rotten Fruit

What do most people do with rotten fruit?


SpaceLifeForm November 7, 2021 1:46 AM

@ Clive, Ted, ALL

Can you see the method behind the madness for the above 4 comments?

The actual links are not relevant. They are just a hint.

Can you spot what happened?

SpaceLifeForm November 7, 2021 1:55 AM

@ Clive, Ted, ALL

I forgot what time it is.

539,540,541,542 are the comments of note.

Ted November 7, 2021 6:25 AM


Can you see the method behind the madness for the above 4 comments?

I would like to venture a guess, if that is okay? Is it that 3 of the 4 videos have the word time in their title, but the one that does not (the Orchestra-accompanied version of Fooling Yourself by Tommy Shaw) is the one to pay attention to?

Because the musicians actually look like they are not just playing the music but really enjoying it.

So the method would be that doing things you enjoy takes time out of the equation? What did I miss??? Was this technical?

echo November 7, 2021 1:57 PM

House of Commons Speaker refers historic ‘abuse’ sent by LGB Alliance to Scottish MP John Nicolson to security after David Amess killing.
‘Abusive’ tweets sent to a SNP MP by a LGB campaign group have been handed to House of Commons security as part of a review following the killing of MP Sir David Amess.

I keep saying this is bigger than Savile and bigger than Matrix Churchill. It’s not just human rights abuse but an attack on the foundations of law and democracy. The far right and the far right aligned UK government and BBC et al and an increasing array of institutions and regulators captured by this government are up beyond their eyeballs in it.

The rot goes deeper still. It’s hardwired into these state organisations some of which are feudal in nature. All you have to do is read their “lessons will be learned” reports which gather dust and the spiteful way whistleblowers are treated and the opinions of their own staff both on and off the record whether anonymously via intermediaries or more public to know this has been a downhill slide for years decades even.

echo November 7, 2021 3:02 PM

Clever Experiment Reveals The Ideal Deadline to Set to Actually Get Stuff Done.

With deadlines, is it best to set a tight one, or one further into the future, to allow for more time to complete the task? Or perhaps no deadline at all works best? That’s the question posed by a new study, and the results might surprise you.

Study Reveals Shocking Risks Pregnant People Would Face Under a National Abortion Ban.

Outlawing any and all terminations of pregnancies across the entirety of the United States could result in a 21 percent jump in pregnancy-related deaths, estimates a recent study. Among Black communities, the figure is an even more shocking 33 percent.

Getting stuff done and human rights are both topics in themselves. It’s interesting to note how some job titles footdrag when things need to be done while pushing vigorously depending on the personal worldviews and dogma. Current reports on state sector senior appointments and corruption and human rights abuses and underming of law should be viewed in this context.

Policing of this is almost always reactive and very often the trail goes cold or information goes walkies. This is aother reason to keep your eye on the ball and retain a broad spectrum of analysis and evidence so when the other shoe drops you are good to go.

echo November 7, 2021 3:53 PM

Cases of scurvy double in the 10 years the Tories have been in charge.

Jonathan Ashworth said the huge rise in cases of the Victorian illness was ‘a shameful indictment on a decade of the Tories’.

While I’ve been maintaining a lifestyle and lamenting I need to buy in some fresh chicken from the local butcher because I only have lamb chops and salmon in the fridge (along with potatoes in the cupboard normally reserved for French restaurants you cannot buy for love nor money in the US and cannot buy in the UK unless you know where to shop) I am acutely aware of the difficulities some people are experiencing through no fault of their own. While I am eyeing up induction cookers the reality hasn’t escaped me that the current government missed an opportunity (among many) in the budget to reconfigure home energy use for a zero carbon target while redistributing the ill gotten gains of the rich in fairer ways via progressive taxation.

Away from the mostly government and right wing billionaire owned media headlines and chink of middle class wine glasses it’s not an exaggeration to say some people are living under conditions akin to Soviet East-Germany.

lurker November 7, 2021 5:34 PM

@echo: cases of scurvy in UK have doubled to an annual rate of 3 per million population. I apparently don’t know where to look, as the figures for comparative diseases seem scattered in too many places. Should ascorbic acid be added to beer?

MarkH November 7, 2021 7:41 PM


Too funny! With the notorious British “sweet tooth”, adding it also to candy would go a long way.

As to your question about eCNY, I don’t see who called it crypto.

echo November 7, 2021 7:53 PM


In the UK rickets, scurvy, and tuberculosis are all up as well as other healthcare related problems. This is indicative of problems caused by dogmatic and malignant government policy driving poverty as well as abuse of immigrant labour. Other areas of public policy are similarly impacted. More so recently but it’s the end result of 30-40 years of social and economic mismanagement as assets were sold off and, as the saying goes, Peter was robbed to pay Paul.

Everyone posting in this blog is easily in the top 5% worldwide.

Ted November 7, 2021 8:06 PM

@lurker, echo, All

Re: Scurvy

I once requested a book on Scurvy from the library. It must have been a topic too obscure for my local library system, so I believe they had to make a special request to add the title to the circulation.

The book was called “Scurvy: How a Surgeon, a Mariner, and a Gentlemen Solved the Greatest Medical Mystery of the Age of Sail” and it came in audiobook.

It tried to listen to it while at work, but couldn’t hold two thoughts in my head at the same time, so I don’t know how much I picked up.

I remember feeling vaguely frustrated and wanting to yell … “Oranges! Eat the oranges ye swollen-gum maties!” But it took centuries for them to figure it out.

Here is an excerpt:

It was not uncommon for a proud and lumbering warship to slide to sea from Portsmouth or sally forth from Brest with more than seven hundred mariners and return months later with only thee hundred sickly wretches—the unlucky others perishing horribly from the “grey killer” during the months at sea, the life slowly sucked from them on a diet of salt pork, biscuit, and grog.

So yes, I think adding ascorbic acid to beer would be a rather fine idea, if not a practical necessity for many a sea dog 🍻

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons November 7, 2021 10:16 PM

@Jonathan Wilson
Okay, I’ll bite. So hackers are hoarding data? The Atlantic should know better than to generalize a group that was once synonymous with hobbyist or ham operator. As a hacker myself I take offense to the derogatory aspersions denoted in the context of the statement. What the Atlantic article probably doesn’t pay enough attention to is the same data being “hoarded by hackers” but for different reasons, government agencies.

lurker November 8, 2021 12:50 AM

the crypto reference came from a floating teaser on @echo’s scurvy page with a shock horror headline. The teaser seems to have gone, but the page is still up
Do not follow their link to “”, it appears to be a shill for something called BitCoin-era.

Winter November 8, 2021 3:50 AM

“I remember feeling vaguely frustrated and wanting to yell … “Oranges! Eat the oranges ye swollen-gum maties!” But it took centuries for them to figure it out.”

Actually, Vasco da Gama already knew about this before 1500. There are many more accounts of expeditions that used this knowledge well before 1700. I think this ignorance was a combination of the NIH syndrome, the problems of preserving ascorbic acid containing foods (try to preserve oranges in the tropics for months), and not valuing the crews enough (to a large extend they were disposable).


Cassandra November 8, 2021 4:30 AM

@lurker @Ted

Re: adding ascorbic acid to beer.

Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon (aka “Old Grog”) was almost ahead of you. He introduced the practice of providing the sailors’ ration of rum diluted with water to diminish the level of drunkenness. It appears some sailors took to adding lime-juice and sugar to make the drink more palatable.

Vernon issued Captain’s Order No. 349 on August 21st of 1740 which stated that all rum provisions must be mixed with water. And those members of the crew “which……are good husbandmen may from the saving of their salt provisions and bread, purchase sugar and limes to make it more palatable to them.”


Winter November 8, 2021 5:32 AM

The Fight of the Decade:
The Dinosaurs against Big Bird. Who will win?


Sumadelet November 8, 2021 5:35 AM


Gemini is being used extensively by the author of h++p:// I find the easiest way to get an overview of current stories is via the RSS feed h++p://

Not everyone will like or approve of the content on Techrights, but there are some interesting nuggets. The coverage of the EPO is long-running, and not mainstream, and similarly much of the other coverage is very much not mainstream; which may be an advantage, or not, depending upon your point of view.

As for Gemini, the Techrights introduction page (h++p:// is a possible place to start. It links to very detailed instructions at h++p://

Clive Robinson November 8, 2021 6:08 AM

@ Winter, Cassie, Ted,

Actually, Vasco da Gama already knew about this before 1500.

He was meer European, and thus the European views point of view about knowledge. It appears that there is evidence in Egypt and China that certain fruits stopped symptoms that sound like scurvy…

This “Not invented here” mentality in Europe was repeated several times in the US (and arguably still does). US centric views killed over 100,000 and badly effected around three million others for over thirty years from around 1904 due to “share croppers disease”. Primarily caused by the value of cotton being considerably greater than food crops. Therefore the growing of “corn”[1] as it took less land. The fact those in Mexico and south america knew how to make corn considerably more nutritional to humans was “not in the US viewpoint”.

[1] In corn the “essential vitimin” niacin is bound and not available to human digestion it can be freed in two ways, the first is by cooking and steeping in an alkaline solution producing “homenie”. Which appart from releasing niacin also added to the mineral content, with calcium from the lye and iron from cooking pots etc. The second is by certain alcohol producing yeasts, where the yeast is rich in various “essential vitimins”.

echo November 8, 2021 6:11 AM

I had my suspicions the links for TLE and Gemini might be problematic. I won’t be posting them twice.

Ted November 8, 2021 7:18 AM

@winter, echo, lurker, Cassie, Clive, All

Actually, Vasco da Gama already knew about this before 1500.

I see, I see. Well apparently there is more in the book that untangles that and why an estimated two million sailors died from scurvy during the Age of Sail, even though some earlier people and civilizations had their own observations on curative agents.

Pardon my long quote, but the author does a good job laying out his research:

Even when captains knew that sailors were showing the early signs of scurvy, they were loath to put into port or to anchor close to shore to search for fresh provisions. In port desertion was a problem, while along coasts without friendly ports it could be dangerous business to send hunting parties and scavengers to search for greens.

Unless the ship had a botanist on board (by the end of the eighteenth century, surgeons were encouraged to acquire this skill), captains had no way of identifying whether a plant was antiscorbutic, or indeed if it was poisonous

[…] and even if the crew were showing the early signs of scurvy, officers would sometimes forbid sailors, apart from the water brigade, to go ashore—particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when so much of the world was new and unknown.

So what you added is certainly relevant and a good summary of why curing scurvy didn’t happen over the course of years, but rather over a much longer timeframe.

JonKnowsNothing November 8, 2021 10:13 AM


re: Wayward chips – the edible kind

A MSM report of a shortage in “crisps” in the UK (aka potato chips or just chips in USA) that will last for at least a month.

Among other issues discussed in the article about the Global PanFamine, the problem at the chip factory does not appear related to any shortage of spuds (aka potatoes) or workers “spoit by choice” (1).

a botched computer upgrade disrupted the world’s biggest crisp factory…

A recent IT system upgrade has disrupted the supply of some of our products. Our sites are still making crisps and snacks but at a reduced scale…

The article did not expand on what sort of IT Glitch would knock out an entire automated production line but one might imagine a number of bottlenecks or limited redundancy-backup systems.

A good number of people have never seen automated food lines other than a few snaps of people in the abbatoir standing shoulder to shoulder. Many food commodities can be produced in “dark factories” where there are no people at all. The farm product, like sugar cane, is dropped off from field trucks into large receiving bins that are timer or weight activated to start production. The entire process takes place with zero people and the final processed sugar is automatically bagged and stacked on the other side loading dock waiting for a truck to haul to a distribution point.


search terms

Walkers / crisps / IT glitch /

AU farmers / overseas workforce / ‘spoilt for choice’

  1. “If I said to him, ‘I’ve got seven farms, where do you want to work?’ There’s no way. It’s similar money to stacking the fruit and veg shelves in air-conditioned comfort versus sitting in a damp field for half a day.”

JonKnowsNothing November 8, 2021 10:36 AM


re: “Mayday” and “SOS” are well known

The words and spelling of mayday and SOS are still recognized (USA), as is a common distress signal of flying the US flag upside down (1).

The Morse Code version is remembered by those of us old enough to have learned it but it is no long taught. Ham radio operators used to have to know Morse Code but that requirement was removed because the newer integrated systems can do it for them.

Younger persons may not recognize the importance of the buzzing sequences and presume it’s an odd ringtone from “SpamRiskCallerSender”. Similar to the recently discussed hiker who ignored incoming calls from an UnknownIDCaller, which was actually from rescue workers attempting to find out if the hiker was OK.


  1. A keystone cop routine ensues when it happens accidentally on a US Military Base. Once the flag starts up the pole you cannot lower it until the end of day as the base cannot have 0 flags flying. A storm flag has to be retrieved and run up the pole before the ginormous base flag can be lowered and realigned properly. The accompanying military band will beat “retreat” in quick time.

ht tps:// pedia. org/wiki/Morse_code

Until 1991, a demonstration of the ability to send and receive Morse code at a minimum of five words per minute (WPM) was required to receive an amateur radio license for use in the United States from the Federal Communications Commission. Demonstration of this ability was still required for the privilege to use the HF bands. Until 2000, proficiency at the 20 WPM level was required to receive the highest level of amateur license (Amateur Extra Class); effective April 15, 2000, the FCC reduced the Extra Class requirement to 5 WPM.

Finally, effective on February 23, 2007, the FCC eliminated the Morse code proficiency requirements from all amateur radio licenses.

(url 3x breaker)

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons November 8, 2021 10:40 AM

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a state secrets case where the government may or may not be compelled to disclosure in the maintenance of “privileged” information. When the case such as Jewel V NSA, the court said the defense could not even make an in camera review. Saying that a judge, not even defense, can come to finding belies the plaintiff. The sneaking thing that Kavanaugh has brought into the case is privileged in the context of the executive. Say that a review is required due to the state secrets and co-joining executive privilege with state secrets. This is not good…

The implication is that the evidence is not exculpatory for any plaintiff and thus not damning on the government. It is a very definition of evidence, saying that the government only holds affirming evidence.

Winter November 8, 2021 11:01 AM

“He was meer European, and thus the European views point of view about knowledge. It appears that there is evidence in Egypt and China that certain fruits stopped symptoms that sound like scurvy…”

18th century doctors, captains, and officers can be excused for not being current on early Egyptian, Chinese, or Indian sources on disease prevention. However, 16th and 17th century Spanish, Portuguese, and French sources should have been accessible to British who cared about sailors.

JonKnowsNothing November 8, 2021 11:14 AM

@Clive, SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, @All

re: SARS-CoV-2 in wild deer

A new MSM report on a pre-print study of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in wild deer in the USA. Some while ago it was already noted but now it’s getting more attention.

One theory of how COVID got into the wild deer population was from infected hunters who may have traveled into the hinterlands.

Infection is now wide spread in several states (Iowa and Michigan) but how the deer spread it among other deer is not completely certain. Deer-to-Deer in captive populations spread it the same way as humans via aerosols but how deer in completely different geographic areas and different non-contiguous herds spread it in now under more study.

  1. In Iowa a dozen different SARS-CoV-2 lineages are in the deer population. The most common of these was also the most common among the strains circulating in humans in Iowa. (Human->Deer)
  2. Deer could provide a substantial reservoir for the virus. The white-tailed deer has a population estimated at 25 million in North America
  3. Potential virus evolution in deer and ability to thrive in its new hosts.

There is a veterinary vaccine, created for the mink trade, now available for many susceptible animals. Zoos and other captive programs are vaccinating their herds (1).

A potential area of concern is that deer are Ungulates. Ungulates are hoofed animals. Single hooves are members of the Equidae, horse family. Odd toed members are rhinoceroses. Even toed members are cattle, pigs, giraffes, camels, sheep, deer, and hippopotamuses including Cetaceans such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

The potential distribution is global:

  • White tail deer are native to North America, Central America, Ecuador, and South America. They have been introduced to New Zealand, all the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico), and some countries in Europe, such as the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Romania and Serbia.

Deer often follow cattle herds because ranchers feed the cows when forage gets short. Deer know a free meal when they see one.

If SARS-CoV-2 makes the jump from deer to other even toed Ungulates (cattle, pigs, sheep), it could become a Big Deal.


  1. otters, sea otters, Asian small-clawed otter, lions (some have died), tigers, snow leopards, gorillas, apes, giraffes, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, ferrets, chimpanzees, fruit bats and pigs.

Mike November 8, 2021 11:22 AM


“Ham radio operators used to have to know Morse Code but that requirement was removed because the newer integrated systems can do it for them.”

Not exactly. The Morse requirement was removed because it was needlessly exclusionary. Without Element 1 (Morse Code Endorsement), a radio operator was excluded from entire bands, not just the portion(s) of a band allocated for CW (Morse Code).

JonKnowsNothing November 8, 2021 11:30 AM


re: Gen2 and Gen3 SARS-CoV-2

Some of the Gen2 vaccines and treatments are starting to make their way into the distribution chain. Supplies will be limited for a while. Gen3 medicines maybe available in Q1-Q2 2022.

A few names among many:

  • AZD7442   A first-of-a-kind monoclonal antibody (mAB) treatment to prevent the disease. Designed to boost immunity for up to one year.
  • sotrovimab   A Gen1 mAB still very useful but also limited availability.
  • Molnupiravir   A prodrug: the pill ingredient becomes active on digestion
  • NVX-CoV2373   A Gen2 vaccine uses “purified” pieces of spike protein / genetically engineered “moth” genes
  • VLA2001   A Gen2 vaccine uses “inactivated” COVID-19 virus particles
  • AXA1125   A Gen2 treatment for Long COVID / Endogenous Metabolic Modulators (EMMs) / composition of six amino acids and derivatives

There are lots more in the pipeline. The trick is staying alive long enough for the supply lines to get to your location.

JonKnowsNothing November 8, 2021 12:23 PM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @MarkH, @All

re:Updated numbers available for The Bank of Mom and Dad

There are a series of posts titled “The Bank of Mom and Dad” which may be found in the archives here or perhaps on the wayback machine. These posts detailed many of the economic and demographic costs early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

At that time Herd Immunity Policy (HIP), an economic policy, was being promoted and competed against the Elimination Policy (Zero COVID) advocates. As HIP policies align with neoliberal economic ideals, HIP has become the primary economic policy for the USA, UK, EU, and many other countries.

  • A summary of HIP = let the virus rip through the population. As vaccines come on line, continue the “open economy” model. Death rates will be high/very high/extremely high, but all deaths have economic benefits.

A recently published study on the demographics of COVID-19 across 31 counties for the year 2020, has many of same categories used in the Bank of Mom and Dad posts. The study is fairly detailed.

I will leave it to those who are interested to look up the old posts which have detailed calculations and they can plug in the newer numbers. Perhaps they will want to concentrate more on their own locality rather than global valuations.

Life Expectancy has improved or remained stable across those countries that used Elimination Policies.

  • New Zealand men: +0.66, women: +0.41

to 0.89)

Life Expectancy has declined across most of the world that use HIP economic policies.

  • United States men: −2.27, −2.39 to −2.15; women: −1.61, −1.70 to −1.51
  • England men: −1.35 (−1.72 to −0.99), women: −1.27 (−1.57 to −0.99
  • more than 222 million years of life were lost in 2020, which is 28.1 million
    (95% confidence interval 26.8m to 29.5m) years of life lost more than expected (17.3 million (16.8m to 17.8m) in men and 10.8 million (10.4m to 11.3m) in women).
  • Excess years of life lost associated with the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 were more than five times higher than those associated with the seasonal influenza epidemic in 2015

A summary of an exchange between @Clive and a @HIP poster 03 27 2020; indicates the magnitude by which HIP modeling estimates were publicly understated in 2020.


ht tps://www. bmj. com/content/375/bmj-2021-066768

ht tps://www. bmj. com/content/bmj/375/bmj-2021-066768.full.pdf

ht tps://www. theguardian. com/theobserver/commentisfree/2021/nov/07/we-can-be-confident-there-have-been-far-more-than-5-million-covid-deaths

Posting from @Clive with a succinct summary of the problem then which can be compared to the current outcomes:

ht tps://www. schneier. com/blog/archives/2020/03/friday_squid_bl_722.html/#comment-348431

summary of posting exchange:

If we have a choice between losing 100,000 people and losing a trillion dollars of wealth, what’s the right answer?

As it’s the wrong question the answer really does not matter.

The reason the question is wrong is you have an assumption in there which is,

  losing a trillion dollars of wealth

Fiscal wealth is not real wealth, these days it’s just ones and zeros…

Thus the real question you should be asking is,

  If we have a choice between losing 100,000 people and losing a 200 million hours of production, what’s the right answer?

(url 3x breaker)

SpaceLifeForm November 8, 2021 2:58 PM

@ Ted, Clive, Moderator

I was doing a technical test. Going Back To The Future.

Moderator zapped some of the comments, so it no longer obvious what happened.

I noted that the links were not relevant to the test. Most were Time related as I was killing time listening to Time Related music to perform the tests.

Tbe gist of the test: Find out how the server was dealing with the Daylight Saving Time fallback.

So, I did the various test posts.

Some between 01:00 CDT and 01:59 CDT.

After the clock fallback, some were between 01:00 CST and 01:59 CST.

In particular, I did one at 01:30 CDT and one at 01:30 CST. I was watching my clock, which is NTP, just like this blog.

Here are the results:

Tbe server is sorting on Local form of comment timestamp. But, in an ambiguous manner.

It would make more sense, from a server performance perspective, to either sort on the comment-id or on the UTC timestamp.

Certainly, the Article-id and Comment-id combination is a Primary Key in the Database.

Whereas, a Timestamp Column is certainly an Alternate Key in the Database. Which is more overhead performance wise.

So, with my two ambiguous 01:30 comments, I found my result of the test. Because, the second 01:30 comment (CST) sorted Above the first 01:30 comment (CDT) even though it was one hour later.

So, the comments are not sorted in UTC order or comment-id order.

Which is wasted performance overhead.

From a Database performance perspective, I would just sort on article-id and comment-id (Primary Key), and not worry about some ambiguity that may appear during a 2 hour window only once per year. Why create a Database performance impact all year long, when the problem is only visible in a 2 hour window once per year? It makes no sense.

Otherwise, if there are reasons not to do that, then at least sort on full UTC Timestamp.

Another conjunctive option, show timestamps as UTC anyway.

If @ Moderator can resurrect tbe 4 specific comment-ids that I noted, then it becomes clear if one mouses over the timestamp and notes the order of the comment-ids.

echo November 8, 2021 3:14 PM

I’ve just been reading some commentary on US public policy.

The US government is linking aid for combatting AIDS/HIV to criminalisation and the prohibitionist so-called Nordic model. Not only does this lead to an increase of violence and poverty but there isn’t a single hint of promotion of civil structures or welfare or economic programs to give people a choice or lift people out of their situation. It’s a little indistinct to people who aren’t familiar with public policy issues but this is another area where neoliberalism and authoritarianism and the far right meet. The so-called “traditional housewife” model is another not unrelated and problematic area which is also peddled by the far right and far-right aligned women’s lobby groups as well as the long standing anti-abortionists.

If you step back from the broad policy areas you can see the overall shape and tilt of the policy pressures. The policy sphere as a whole removes self-autonomy, choice, and educational and career opportunities and economic and political influence.

The Atlantic currently has a handful of articles covering the issue of power and abuse of power and erosion of rational and fair and science and evidence led democracy. All the above should be viewed within this context.

In the UK NGO’s which are traditionally organisations created to solve a problem not currently solved by government whether by practical assistance or lobbying (much like unions and trade associations) have been under subtle attack and/or infiltration by the UK government. Gagging orders in exchange for funding are now routine as are legislative measures to band “political” commentary by NGO’s, and media attacks by Tory party far right aligned media or attempts to take over the management structures are another worrying trend. At the same time loopholes to hide “dark money” funding of far right aligned “think tanks” who have the privileged ear of government remain open and largely unchallenged by the majority billionaire owned far right aligned media.

None of anything I have written in this post is a state secret. It’s all out in the open and thoroughly documented by authoritative and reputable sources.

echo November 8, 2021 4:16 PM

I found in research for my recent book on running elections around the world that the independence of these bodies has a positive effect on the way elections are run. Electoral authority independence is shown to be a thorn in the side of autocrats wanting to dictate rules. Even in countries where we might be sceptical about about the body’s real independence, such as Russia, research has shown that formal independence boosts actual independence.

However, in the political sphere, the last four decades have witnessed a sea-change. Particularly following the bursting of Japan’s economic bubble in 1991, Japan faced a crisis of national identity. As unemployment rose and standards of living fell, nationalist politicians looked for an external target towards which public discontent could be redirected. As a result, the government’s anti-miltarist approach to foreign policy, which had proved so successful during the boom years of the 1960s-1980s, was questioned.

Both articles when viewed side by side help show how “frameworks” and “attitudes” can be hijacked then changed then provide no direction or safeguard at all. What is interesting is how one person within a given context given enough “plausibly legal” power and distractions via manipulating people’s emotional responses can push through things when the moment presents itself.

Ortega has come a long way from the young left-wing revolutionary in the 1970s who fought in the guerrilla war against the US-backed anti-communist dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza, whose family had been in power in Nicaragua for more than four decades. After the Sandinistas led a popular revolution to topple the Somoza dictatorship on July 19 1979, Ortega became a member of the revolutionary junta. It embarked on a radical programme of social change, including land reforms and a successful literacy campaign.

This is not a unique case and rather proves the point.

echo November 8, 2021 4:31 PM

Microsoft will now snitch on you at work like never before

You think there are limits to what your employer can see you do online? Some new Microsoft updates may make you think a little more about that.

There may be some case law in the UK covering this. I don’t have a link to the case but there was a case where an employer monitored the work of an employee in an arbitrary real time way and I think they lost the case. I’m not sure whether it was a none precident setting tribunal or the high court. I suspect a tribunal. I will be surprised if Microsoft’s “365” does not lead to court cases.

There’s some solid science on privacy and people as social animals so there’s going to be a large chunk on mental health and trust.

I feel Microsoft as well as other US tech giants have been pushing things a bit lately whether it’s getting aggressive with retaining their monopolies via floating policy goals or increasing the headcount of their lawyers to head off regulators, or feature creep to push lock-in or utrn their customers and employees into corporate property. It hasn’t escaped my attention that similar US government aggression and outsoiurcing their loses has also had a public policy impact on Europe and East-Asia. Both are mitigating against US policy aggression and Europe more recently is viewing the US as a not wholly trustworthy partner. The US is certainly having difficulty attracting now top talent from Europe and Europeans are much more wary about investing the US or being left carrying investment vehicles hiding bad debt.

None of this even considers legal restrictions due to certain types of data requiring privacy protection nor does it consider espionage.

SpaceLifeForm November 8, 2021 5:55 PM

IRS is paying attention


SpaceLifeForm November 8, 2021 6:19 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Silicon Turtles

Scroll Lock as a workaround? Really?

I had no idea that this exists.

Legacy Game Compatibility Mode in BIOS.


echo November 9, 2021 6:06 AM

Boris Johnson news – live: Raab defends Geoffrey Cox’s £900,000 role as PM told to apologise in sleaze row.

I said he was bent. Attorney General Geoffrey Cox’s legal position during Brexit was suspect and given everything which has happened since as well as the conduct of current Attorney General Suella Braverman I’m wondering why more questions are not asked.

It’s also interesting hearing of (and I’m taking notes) of public sector workers who lie both in terms of facts and law and how this may be defrauding the public of what they are entitled to. None of this is a one off that much I do know.

As for “fill in a complaint form” we know how that goes…

Clive Robinson November 9, 2021 8:31 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I’m not a gamer so that aspect kind of passed me by.

But the Intel E-corez in their supposed “12th Generation Processors” are going to be a problem to rather more than gamers, and I suspect they are going to add to the “Xmass,Gift that Keeps Giving” that Meltdown and Spector kicked of what feels like ages ago…

As I’ve pointed out in the past Intel spent way way to much time on “Go Faster Stripes” that run at the full CPU internal clock speed. Intead of doing what other CPU designers like ARM were doing.

The problem is the faster you clock logic the larger the waste heat problem gets… The way Intel were going they were getting close to manufacturing “illegal” incandescent light bulbs that did a bit of computing on the side…

There is not that much info about what Intel has done to get theire new “efficient” 12th Gen working and even less about the E-cores…

However there were not a lot of ways they could go, “heat death” is apptly named for good reason. The simple solution is using a lower clock rate or making that you do clock at a hifh rate effectively dispersed over a wide “real estate” on the chip.

So whilst third party “Digital Rights Management”(DRM) for gaming software, written before 12th Gen E-cores appeared, may recognize them as another system entirely and barf on them, I suspect we are just looking at the start of a long que forming up…

JonKnowsNothing November 9, 2021 9:36 AM


re: You can’t hide something THAT big…

Not too long ago there was a discussion about the operating capacity of NSA’s Bluffdale computer system. That system is so large it requires nearly the entire output of a power plant located nearby. Reports at the time indicated it was one reason the NSA selected that site because there was hardly any demand drain for the power from that plant (a neoliberal cost sink) so the NSA could suck up all power they wanted.

But we can guesstimate the processing based on the external power and cooling consumption.

A similar situation is underway in Oregon but this time it’s a Google massive server farm and the water consumption for cooling the systems.

Water is in rather short supply in many parts of the USA including the western section. The Northwest area (Washington State, Oregon) has historically been wet, rainy and part of the NA Northern Rain Forest. Climate change has turned the area into a dryer and more fire prone region.

Water is also pulled from the underground aquifers and deep wells by agriculture, gas and oil extraction (fracking) and urban cities use wells to provide for the water needs for growing their populations (expansion requirements for neoliberal governments).

There’s a lot of demand for “clean water”.

As water becomes scare, and a good deal of water is now polluted beyond the current capacity of urban treatments, some of the locals became aware that the nearby Google server farm was sucking up huge amounts of water to cool their systems.

There are many schemes proposed on how to “meter water usage” for industries and farms where normally the only constraint is “how deep” is the well or how many wells you can drop. One requirement is to know “how much water is being pumped or used”.

This is a dead giveaway for Google’s server farm. From the water consumption it can be calculated how much capacity is behind the walls.

Google claims the water consumption rate is a “Trade Secret”. So far, the City has sided with Google as the City had cut a “sweet heart” deal to have Google locate the server farm there in the first place.

You cannot hide something THAT big….


Search Terms

Oregon / Google / water use / secret

Clive Robinson November 9, 2021 7:04 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,


You can’t hide something THAT big…


When I saw the story last week, my first thought was: Bluffdale2

I must admit I had wondered if Google had set up a factory to create “Crypto-Coin” scandles of the “pull the rug” variety. That is where the cost of minting a coin rises to some power law so the early entrant gets “value for nothing” or as near nothing as makes no difference compared to those “mining” in later times.

Crypto-coins are the kind of thing we know Mark Zuckerburg was hoping to profit by, and, AWS has been used by some for “early mint” so suspecting Alphabet / Google is actually not as strange as it might at first appear.

Look at it another way, generating a new variety of crypto-coin, would make a fine “stress-load” for “acceptance testing”. The old “don’t leave money on the table” neo-con mantra applies, because “You have to stress test anyway why not make money out of it?” and minting a new crypto-coin would be one way…

Clive Robinson November 9, 2021 10:07 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

while the content is material to that thread, tell me what else you observe.

You are not clear about what you are looking for answers on…

The actual comments are ~33mins appart according to the time stamps.

The links within them are not how you normally greate links in that there are a bunch of unwanted spaces in their after // which is realy realy annoying.

The guardian link comes up with a fairly dull page information wise, however the photo at the top is curious…

Appart from the solar pannels, it appears to be of a near derelict building. In the top left corner of the image there are clearly not just broken windows but the attempt to put a temporary weather protection is aged and blown through. The windows on the ground and first floor at the left do not match. With those on the bottom appearing to be the old single glazed iron metal frames whilst those on the first floor appear to be sealed double glazed units, possibly “frosted” as you might find on a bathroom. The air con and cables above appear to be dangerous due to neglect. The orange NSO group pannel is discoloured and weather stained, and the logo “spray painted” on using “a very crude stencil”. Not sure if the ladder to the right of it was put there or just dumped there but it has no “access control”. The windows on the right appear to be the old iron frame single glazed on ground and first floor, with the ground floor possibly damaged. The concrete walkway is broken up with age and would be dangerous under foot. The whole building appears to be either on the very edge of a town or just a derelict pile in the middle of nowhere.

My guess is nobody actual works there, or has done in quite some time, if at all since the logo got spray painted…

lurker November 9, 2021 11:33 PM

@CliceRobinson, SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing

The New Zealand govt in its wisdom or otherwise chose to go 100% with Cominarty, which is the commercial name in this part of the world for the product of Pfizer/Biontech. They have steadfastly refused to say why they chose Pfiz over other products made on more conventional vaccine lines. They have also steadfastly refused to disclose the price paid [with public money] claiming such disclosure could endanger our supply.

Today the Min of Health has at long last approved AZ for those people who have contra-indications for Pfiz; and for those whose job requires them to be vaccinated but who for other reasons won’t (sic) take the Pfiz.

The cold storage needs, and another bizarre govt decision to keep local GPs out of the loop has led to predictably low uptake in remote rural areas. The govt seems in no hurry at all to release one of the more conventional vaccines to local doctors…

Clive Robinson November 10, 2021 2:44 AM

@ lurker, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

You might have noticed that things have gone missing…

Such are the issues with some types of quite valid security concerns…

Winter November 10, 2021 6:12 AM

“I still want your input.”

I am certainly not the person to ask about international spy&crime organizations.

But I’ll give my 2 satoshi (0.1 cents) anyway.

The NSO group seem to be a classical case of a mercenary company among the likes of Blackwater and the Wagner group. They pose like “security” but are hired to do the dirty work. Money generally comes from opaque “private investors” or “private equity”.

They are disposable, and after they have been burned, they “change” ownership and get a new name. As the active private investors behind the companies remain hidden, it is prudent to assume nothing really changes.

JonKnowsNothing November 10, 2021 8:12 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re:missed worms

While I make an attempt to “catch the early worm” I cannot claim to catch all the worms before they get eaten. There are some glaring lost worms when I spot the holes in the apples.

I have reduced the number of apples in the barrel because I don’t particularly feel it’s a contribution to do a tonnage of research and cross checking and validation only to have the core removed as soon as the apple is placed in the basket.

After all, I’m not the one who needs to know.

JonKnowsNothing November 10, 2021 8:31 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re:Not Buying is now Culpable

It is a curious aspect of the supply chain collapse that companies still expect you to buy what’s not there and to risk your existence doing so. Tech companies have sold “vaporware” for decades and a fair few mega-tech-cos have cashed in on their repeated empty-sets.

Early in the pandemic there was the “Eat Out to Help Out” promoted by the British government (8 July 2020). This lead to some eye popping reports of folks who did as directed, took the family out for dinner because the UK Gov said it was “safe” and then died from COVID19 a short while later.

Now there is the “They are NOT Eating Out to Help Out” problem as reported by a major restaurateur chain in the UK.

[Wetherspoon] pub chain’s chairman, Tim Martin, blamed lower sales on older customers staying away because of lingering caution about the danger of Covid-19 infection.

Time to breakout the VR-FB-MetaVerse-Matrix scene where Cypher gets a free steak…

You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize?

Ignorance is bliss.

WhiskersInMenlo November 10, 2021 9:54 AM

What threat model does the hardware demands of Win11 address?

None of my machines qualify. I cannot yet tell if a new machine qualifies from vendor marketing literature.
I guess any new laptop or desktop less than $1000 has a less than 10% chance of qualifying. Are all the MS branded machines Win11 qualified?

What threat? What improvement?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons November 10, 2021 1:35 PM

As one might do when investigating or researching a topic attempt to resolve the importance or attention a particular research topic and for whom there is a parallel interest. As part of this research, issues of civil rights, U.S. law, and support for research in various contexts and the means of communications, I happened upon a circumstance I’d not anticipated. Okay, go ahead, I can hear it now–so how long have you been flat footed.

Of the sites for topical material, in particular the Tube of U’s (said as from the movie “My Cousin Vinny”), specific types of commentary that are sources of material for what could be considered political dissent are being cross indexed to Russian servers. The servers registered in the .ru domain appear to be separated by subject matter using namespace distinctions. One server instance is dedicated to collecting commentary on Black Lives Matter, another towards U.S. constitutional legal issues, another on information related to government secrecy, and so on.

It is instructive to think that political speech may be collected for the purposes of disinformation, or worse. This is exactly the type of thing Snowden, Assange, and others have stated about the national security complex and the risk to the population to manipulation and repression. We have seen this played out in reverse, i.e. used in creating a prosecution strategy that is designed to tear at every element of justice and rule of law while using its instruments to do so.

SpaceLifeForm November 10, 2021 4:36 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

This was quick


echo November 10, 2021 5:55 PM


It is instructive to think that political speech may be collected for the purposes of disinformation, or worse. This is exactly the type of thing Snowden, Assange, and others have stated about the national security complex and the risk to the population to manipulation and repression. We have seen this played out in reverse, i.e. used in creating a prosecution strategy that is designed to tear at every element of justice and rule of law while using its instruments to do so.

I don’t pay much attention to Snowden and even less attention to Assange or even the Russians. I find the worst of the worst is usually domestic in the UK or emanating from the US.

I’ve noticed the far right aligned underbelly of the internet have certai habits. They hae lots of cognitive dissonace, projection, and stealing of clothes tactics. They’re very quick to adapt and take advantage of any opportunity but very obiously irrational and pay no regard to the law or science. The trick they are using to drum up support or the appearance of support are very clearly organised. A large part of the funding comes via front organisations almost all of which can be traced back to the Heratige Foundation of Koch Industries or similar. On trick this week is a form letter where you supply your postcode and click send. They automagically send a protest letter to your individual MP. That’s an obvious cheat of the system as most people who hae concerns either aren’t that bothered or would need to take time to think them through but it’s a neat counter to human rights orientated lobbies taking a position and attracting signatures.

Higher up the food chain people are more distant from the action and chose their words more carefully and their friends in the media cover for them,

I find the right wing to be mostly transparent. They have been rotting on the inside for years. They’re gone in the head and deliberately nurture fringe agitators because it’s the only way they can stay relevant during a election under the FPTP voting system. Do away with this and they would never win a majority again because there really is no support in society for extremists like this.

As for collecting material you’re correct. I knew it was done but was myself suprised this week when I discovered how the far right aligned types collect material. I’ve seen it weaponised ore tha once this past few weeks ad months. Often it is packages with misinformation and their campaig bullet poibts. It’s an attempt to persuade with lies or shock tactics, or keep the people they have sucked into their cult believing in the agenda. Some of these people are connected. They have or had influential jobs. Some hae the backdoor ear of ministers in the current UK government. Noe of the material survies any scrutiny at all but it’s persuasive to people who don’t know much.

I’ve been told some of this material especially hosted on murky far right websites and chatrooms can get very disturbing.

I don’t think it’s correct to keep singling the Russians out. Yes Russia is accountable where things happen but it’s not just the Russians. It’s US, UK, and other places too. Extremism is trans-national. People who may otherwise hate each other find common cause.

lurker November 10, 2021 7:10 PM

To be expected in high caseload area, or as described elsewhere it is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Contrast that with the slowness of our govt response as the virus creeps towards my domicile. A publican 90km away closed his tavern, deep cleaned and personally phoned as many patrons as he could identify, 24 hours before Min of Health advised he was a “location of interest”.

The Minister responsible for yesterday’s announcement later on a talk radio show hinted anyone could get AZ instead of the official Pfiz, provided “they had a conversation with their Dr. to get informed consent”. The news hasn’t reached our Drs. yet…

JonKnowsNothing November 10, 2021 8:09 PM

@lurker, @Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re:You get what’s on the local menu

There are dozens of vaccines available world wide. Due to the organization of government sovereignty, each country has their own selection process. Some countries have no selection process because they have no vaccines available at all to select from.

Way back in the early days of COVID19 vaccine development there were many discussions here about how the pricing and distribution was going to roll out. It rolled out just about as one would expect.

Countries with beaucoup cash got the goods, people with beaucoup cash flew to countries that had the goods(1).

Countries where HIP (Herd Immunity Economic Policy) became the prime method of dealing with the pandemic saw Disaster Capitalism writ large for those in place to profit from it. Money was the method of distribution and remains the prime way vaccines are distributed.

In countries like NZ with Zero COVID policy, they just had to wait in line and they got whatever the Disaster Capitalists were willing to pass along. US vs UK vs EU.

Other countries that had Zero COVID policy got a move on and made their own vaccines, which are in use pretty much everywhere were cash money is in short supply.

  • Ain’t no way the US CDC/FDA gonna let in any of THOSE vaccines…

There are dozens of Gen2 and G3 vaccines on the way into the pipeline and for those countries with Disaster Capitalism as a basic method of distribution are going to have problems, because a fair few are from Other Places.

AstraZeneca is creating a separate division for COVID19 vaccines and antibody therapies because the mRNA’s turned out not to be that tweakable for the new mutations (Delta-AY1-AY38). They see a long term opportunity.

So you may not have many choices now, you may have more choices soon or none at all. You get what’s on the menu unless you can get a private jet to another location with a different menu.


  1. The King of Spain’s daughter came to visit….

ht tps://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/I_Had_a_Little_Nut_Tree

Freezing_in_Brazil November 10, 2021 8:33 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

Some say there`s no supply chain collapse, and the issue is really on the demand side [which is an interesting new angle].

Monetary Policy 3 created a self-reinforcing demand explosion that is getting harder, not easier, for supply to keep up with.


SpaceLifeForm November 10, 2021 11:41 PM

@ Freezing_in_Brazil

Supply chain bottlenecks

The historical inflation issue is not what is happening today.

These are intentional problems to gouge the end consumer.

The big corps do not want to pay decent wages, so there is a supply chain problem, aka lack of workers. They are all desperate for drivers and warehouse workers. If you see a delivery truck, check the back. There is probably a sign that says they are hiring.


Winter November 11, 2021 12:43 AM

What might be worse than US jail?

Capitol riot suspect seeks political asylum in Belarus
ht tps://

But he might know what he is up to:

The court filing says Neumann’s LinkedIn profile said he “participated in the Ukrainian Orange revolution” in 2004 and 2005, when mass protests followed claims that a presidential election was beset with fraud and malpractice.

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 1:34 AM

F12, Right Click

If you are still using a Chromium based browser, this is probably not what you want. Note where this is coming from.

Permit blocking of view-source


Ted November 11, 2021 1:36 AM

No money for ransoms

Fun fact: The $1 billion cyber grant program for state and local govs in the infrastructure bill specifically bars using any of the grant money to pay a ransom to hackers.

The tweet thread gives a link to the bill which according to The National Law Review “will now move to the desk of President Joe Biden, who has indicated a bill signing ceremony will happen soon.”

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 1:58 AM

@ Ted

Re: No money for ransoms

That rule will probably not work. They could pay a ransom, and say it came out of Budget X when it did not.

The big thing is the IRS change, where the KYC (Know Your Customer) rules and SAR requirements (transactions over $10K) will apply to cryptocurrency.

That has teeth.

Ted November 11, 2021 2:19 AM


That rule will probably not work.

Yeah, more of the tweet says “Grant details will come later from DHS.” There is a section in the bill about compliance oversight, but your guess is as good as mine on how it gets implemented.

I wonder why they specifically mentioned no grant money for ransoms though. It must put quite a hole in the boat among other reasons.

Woo yeah. Messing with the IRS would give me the shivers too. When will those changes about cryptocurrency go into effect?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons November 11, 2021 3:33 AM

I am not implicating Russians, the fact that severs are registered in the country TLD, Russian does not control the root records, infers only a potential location or route. And if my hunch is correct, this is a means to an end. Imagine, a U.S. government agency wants to covertly collect political speech in order to identify or create risk profiles of citizens. Most, if not all U.S. domestic intelligence and collection laws say something to the effect; “no information or action is based on the exercise of first amendment rights.”

In other words, front some servers originating from a TLD / geo-ip address (registrar at USC I think, if ITU is not) and use these systems to collect information that would otherwise be in violation of many statutes of Federal code. I think the CIA would be the mostly likely agency if this is the case, could be state department or DOD. It is just not clear, if I get further into I will follow-up.

Clive Robinson November 11, 2021 4:21 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Yes, it’s played out more or less as expected…

You get a taste of it with the first line at the very top of the page,

“Welcome to We hope you enjoy the site, and we welcome your feedback.”

Like heck they don’t, the obvious falshoods and misrepresentation of known facts is appaling.

But remember I said all they would do at most was offer short term virtually usless credit protection from the lowest bidder?

Well guess what…

Now tell me how much a year do they waste on that idiot in the big office?

Clive Robinson November 11, 2021 4:55 AM

@ Freezing_in_Brazil, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Some say there`s no supply chain collapse, and the issue is really on the demand side [which is an interesting new angle].

Well either there is supply to meet demand or there is not.

Clearly demand is currently greater than supply at the point of exchange that forms one end of the “supply chain”.

So on the face of it from that point then yes the “supply chain” has colapsed.

But what is the other end of the “supply chain”?

Well it depends on how you define it. Some think it’s “goods at the factory loading bay”.

Whilst this is sort of true in terms of shipping, it alows people to say there is no “supply chain colapse” because there is no goods on the factory loading bay… That is the supply chain is not there to collapse as nothing is required to be shipped.

You can follow the argument backwards, so why no goods to be shipped currebtly? Simple they were never ordered in the first place…

That is certain neo-con mantras came into play and one of the first rules of “Disaster Capitalism” is,

“Create a shortage, to justify the price inflation”

That is due to “scarcity” you can ask a 1000% price increase and over twice that in profit results.

Then the “Don’t leave money on the table” mantra kicks in, and rather than “re-order” you “speculate” and buy up stuff you can then create another shortage with thus profit obscenely again, or much better get a monopoly in a “rent seeking market” and use your monopolistic position to derive an over inflated continuous income stream (it’s why realy strange things have been happening in the real-estate market).

The money is then unavailable to re-order, which is where the “Big Lies” start…

To stop people asking “Where’s the money gone?” they instead “blaim the victims” they have created.

Hence “people are panic buying”, “hording”, and any other sin that can be imagined up and pushed out as “scare stories”.

If you look in George Orwell’s book 1984 you will find this general form of tactic described.

But don’t expect them to put their hands upto it, as Upton Sinclair observed,

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Or in this case “war monger profits”.

Freezing_in_Brazil November 11, 2021 10:25 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Clive, JonKnowsNothing, All

Re supply or demand

In fact, my friends, I posted it partly in jest about the fact that finance people always find a way to twist concepts until they fit their worldview. The bulletin on the link, authored by an investment firm, appears to have been designed in an attempt to calm investors. Which proves that capital is truly a cowardly animal.

I have been following the crisis and this article caught my attention due to the original nature of the proposition. Thanks for the thoughts.

JonKnowsNothing November 11, 2021 11:47 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All (1)

re: Fomites? Remember Fomites?

Another report on the Human-Deer-Deer SARS-CoV-2 transmission included an extra set of details.

The earlier report-study confirmed the infected deer virus genomes matched the local sequenced human genomes and confirmed the transmission is Human-Deer.

The theory is that infected hunters went up the mountains to bring Bambi home for dinner and left COVID19 as a thank you.

There are some unexplained aspects because COVID19 is now widespread among White Tailed Deer, which have nearly a global presence due to their nice dinning manners, across multiple states in the USA. 25 Million deer (USA) do not have direct contact with the hordes of hunters stomping about and climbing up trees to spend their winter holidays freezing with a bucket toilet waiting for a deer to pass by their tree-blind. (2)

Today’s little tidbit was:

[Deer] may contract it by grazing on discarded food, drinking contaminated wastewater, or nosing through undergrowth where a person has spit or relieved themselves.

“If they come in contact with the virus from any means of source, they are going to be infected,” Kuchipudi said. “It is highly likely that the animal will pick up the infection even though face-to-face interaction never happened.”

If fomite transmission of COVID19 Deer-Deer is verified that has a big implication for other ungulates: cows, pigs, sheep. If long-term fomite transmission is confirmed that’s an even bigger concern.

New Question:
  How often does a wild deer “nose though the undergrowth” right after the infected hunter takes a piss in the same bushes?


  1. Due to potential inclement weather, some list-names may be omitted but are definitely included.
  2. The use of trail cameras and some clandestine feeding can pinpoint the paths and probability of a deer passing by a specific tree in which a hi-tech tent is pitched, many with full accommodations.

ht tps://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Transmission_of_COVID-19#Surface_(fomite)_transmission

As of July 2020, “no specific reports which have directly demonstrated fomite transmission” although “People who come into contact with potentially infectious surfaces often also have close contact with the infectious person, making the distinction between respiratory droplet and fomite transmission difficult to discern.”

Each contact with a surface contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection…

ht tps://www. theguardian. com/world/2021/nov/11/us-covid-wildlife-virus

(extra breakers)

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 4:28 PM

@ Clive

Recall the Sat Pic you reviewed?

The building on the north side was destroyed by fire on 2021-11-01.

Can you guess what was there?

Some of the IT operations of Missouri State IT.

As I previously noted, the dese[dot]mo[dot]gov web site was easily scrapeable.

Remember, the original story was 100k education folk. Now it is 620K.

There is way more to this story.

Clive Robinson November 11, 2021 5:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There is way more to this story.

Thus the question “How many other loose threads to pull on” before the wgole thing unravels…

You did not say if you could see “what I thought I could see” in the (not) satellite picture.

Clive Robinson November 11, 2021 6:11 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

I cringe everytime I hear about “Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CG-NAT).

When it’s described it sounds oh so simple… It’s not and I have alligator teeth margs in my ass to prove it…

One of the largest back in 2002 was the UK NHS-NET it was distinctly problematic for service providers.

The UK Gov had decided that for “security” UK National Health Service (NHS) computers should not be visable from the internet, but could reach out to internet services etc.

The problem, the likes of “teaching hospitals” already had valid IPv4 address ranges that were NATed from internal “non-routing” address ranges out to the internet, as well as providing teaching resources from the Internet for students to study from home or their work place etc. They all did things in different ways.

The service I had to setup had to have one foot in NHS-NET and another foot on the Internet again so students to study from home or the workplace. For reasons of licencing only “One Server” was permisable.

It was a compleate nightmare to set up and required one truck load of paperwork…

The thing is even “dual homed” hosts are only supposed to have one “gateway” not two or more… And the usual way to deal with this was not going to work…

Because those teaching hospitals with their own IP address ranges, to get their systems to work, advertised their IP range to both NHS-NET and the Internet… So you could not set up routing tables…

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 6:13 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, ALL

The human to deer vector is probably not the hunters.

The deer know when hunting season is.

Based upon stuff…

The likely vector was infected asymptomatic humans that have bird baths and bird feeders.

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 6:39 PM

@ Clive

You did not say if you could see “what I thought I could see” in the (not) satellite picture.

Correct. It is fishy. It appears to be a composite image to me. Some sat, some low level drone. The tree shadows (or lack thereof) do not compute.

Did you notice all of the white vehicles parked in the NE area of the south parking lot?

I am pretty sure I know what they are.

JonKnowsNothing November 11, 2021 9:22 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: It appears to be a composite image to me

In a current court proceeding the prosecutor wanted to use “pinch to zoom” on an image. The judge and defense objected because there seems to be no definition of exactly what gets zoomed and how it’s displayed.

Unlike the old fashioned enhanced images of non-existent weapons of mass destruction which appears to have some validation from the 3Ls that do the enhancements of the fictitious items, the “pinch to zoom” is an un-vetted algorithm that “fills in the blanks” with an “guesstimate” of what’s possibly there.

The judge asked the prosecutor to get a tech-spert to explain the fill-ins as it’s the prosecutor that has to validate the evidence (not the defense).

All very hot potatoes… probably full of nargles…

SpaceLifeForm November 11, 2021 11:46 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

Silly me. I always thought it was un-pinch to zoom.

The bots don’t need much to spot hot topics.

g(pinch to)

SpaceLifeForm November 12, 2021 12:12 AM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

Also, I have no way of knowing that what you viewed and what I viewed, were, or are, the same.

Based upon your description, I believe we viewed the same image, but there is absolutely no way to prove that.

And, of course, we also do not really know how the pixels were assembled.

Pinch or un-pinch?

SpaceLifeForm November 12, 2021 12:59 AM

@ Ted

It’s not in place yet, and I think, as written, it has a sunset.

Supposed to start 2022-01-01.

I guarantee you, they are following the money laundering.


Gerard van Vooren November 12, 2021 1:05 AM

@ anyone,

I know, I am a a bit late in the crypto money, like bitcoin. My question is: What are the benefits and downsides of a crypto currency? (And which one is preferred?)

Clive Robinson November 12, 2021 3:49 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren,

Long time no “here” I hope you are well?

With regards,

What are the benefits and downsides of a crypto currency?

I have problems with all of them.

I see traditional currency in it’s two basic forms of,

1, A physical item of worth.
2, A promisory note of worth.

As having no real value put into their generation[1].

That is you take a refined metal of worth and you use a little effort to “strike coins” out of it. Or you use a little effort to “print a contract” of worth on paper, cloth or plastic of little worth.

The minting or mining of crypto currency “coin” is a significant energy sink, thus also “fiat money” sink, as well as being a precursor to a con[2] and significant environmental harm.

There is a reason I say both minting and mining as they are in effect to seperate processes.

Minting :- is a “private process” where the inventors of the coin, generate them both “cheaply” and most importantly “unopposed”. Thus all their energy produces valid coin at very low fiat money cost to them.

Mining on the otherhand is a “public process” and more importantly is “in opposition”. That is it is a gamble based on speed in a “first past the post race”. Thus if there are ten people mining, they are all putting in energy, however only one coin gets issued and that on average is to the person with the largest & fastest rig. Which means the other nine entrants in the race loose considerably in terms of energy thus fiat money used and worse at a greater rate than of simple calculation.

Thus the mining process is biased in favour of a very small number of individuals. Likewise so is the minting process.

So making of coin is,

1, Very biased in favour of a few.
2, Increasingly energy intensive to no valid purpose.
3, A significant fiat money sink.

It’s obviously a “rigged game” and easily used as a method of conning people out of money (see how a “rug pull” works).

The claim is such coin is a “speculatory investment” but the same is said of Ponzi and other such “long cons”, but they generally do not come with a major harmfull environmental impact built in…

But there is an extra twist with these coins, not only are they a “long con” but also a “rolling con” that uses a “pump method” to extract the fiat money out whilst also keeping the con going to “milk fresh marks”.

There are three basic types of people that hold coin,

1, Minters, inventors & partners.
2, Whales, exchanges / Big Rig miners.
3, Speculators, shills / suckers / marks.

The fiat money flow is basically upwards not downwards, with a big chunk moving out sideways at the “Whale(2)” level as the miners have to pay their energy bills.

It’s upwards because the first two layers actually control the imagined value of the coin, thus they will prime for “cash out” and do so at the appropriate time. In general if run only as a “long con” there is only one “cash out” and that is done as a “rug pull” or similar.

However if the those in control are running it as a pump or “rolling con” someone who is “fly” can in theory spot the signs, invest when the coin is down, cash out just before the peak, and do the same over and over…

However if you are trying to be “fly” remember you will not always get it right. So whatevere you do, do not do a “roll up” investment, where you keep putting cash in such as your previous cash out earnings, all you are realy doing is being a “sucker”.

To see why remember the fundemental rule of these coins,

“The only fiat money that can be taken out is the fiat money that has been put in.”

That is,

“There is no ‘utility added’ process.”

So if you “roll up” you might think you are increasing your slice of the fiat money pie… But you are actually not. Because you don’t sit on the top table thus have access to the cutting of the pie. You just get the crumbs those who sit at the top table and control the pie cutting let you have “to maintain confidence” so more “marks will put in fiat money”.

But… To encorage / stop you from cashing out those at the top table who run the exchanges etc put in place large fees and big time constraints that only apply to you the “Speculators(3)” not the “Whales(2)” or the “Minters(1)”. So you are going to loose 20% of your fiat money input any way.

So unless you can be “fly” consistently, you stand a good chance you are going to “loose your shirt”.

When you think about it you would actually be better off puting your money in a charity that you know does good works in the area you live.


1, You will feel good and,
2, they improve your area,
3, they provide a safety blanket,
4, they tend not to do major harm.

Don’t under estimate that “safety blanket” or “community chest” aspect, it’s one of the oldest forms of insurance there is. If you are lucky you will never have to seek assistance, but society is being driven more and more towards instability, so the odds you will have to are increasing with time.

[1] I’m talking about the basic process, not some of the extras needed for counterfeiting limitation of fiat money.

[2] No doubt there will be a bunch of “shills” comming around to try and “shoot me down” but as they are trying to be “fly” and in effect “benifit from the proceeds of crime” as well as turn you into an “easy mark” I’d treat them with caution. But I’m not the only person calling these coins a “long con” or a “rolling con” a quick internet search throws up the likes of,

That say some of what I’m saying. Interestingly they have dated it with tommorows date…

Something that used to happen in the magazine business where the “September issue” would “hit the news stands” in mid or early August.

Ted November 12, 2021 4:21 AM


Re: Infrastructure bill and bitcoin tax provisions

Oh what you said earlier especially makes sense now! Sorry if I was a little slow in picking it up. That was a great article you linked!

The article didn’t mention anything specifically about money laundering (verbatim) as I read it. However that particular use of the law would have some pretty serious ramifications.

The article really only seems to say that lot of people in the cryptocurrency community are very nervous about the overly broad language in the bill, which would require:

brokers to report trader information on transactions of more than $10,000 to the IRS.

and that this

could impose these reporting requirements to miners and wallet developers, not just brokers like Coinbase

I guess these could tie into money laundering? Gotta love overly broad language! This seems like a whole can of worms to let loose!

A related The Verge article says:

Cryptography groups failed to stop the provisions in the Senate, and all hopes now rest on stripping the language from the House version of the bill.

Did they mean cryptocurrency groups?

Winter November 12, 2021 4:40 AM

@Gerard, Clive
“My question is: What are the benefits and downsides of a crypto currency? (And which one is preferred?)”

The foundation of cryptocurrencies is the “global ledger”. There is one “True” record of all transactions, the blockchain, and it is global and distributed.

The relevant features are: Incorruptible, Decentralized&Distributed, Consensus

Obviously, it is possible to break a blockchain, like every human artifact. But Bitcoin has been able to store a trillion dollars of worth without being broken. That does tell you the bitcoin blockchain is rather robust.

Using the blockchain for representing “value” creates cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the main one. The main benefit of a cryptocurrency would be to allow efficient secure global point-to-point transfers of value (e.g., dollars) without intermediates. Compared to the current Remittance industry, bitcoin has delivered on this promise (the remittance industry is a leech on poor people). The efficiency improvements over the current (Swift) banking system are left as an exercise for the reader.

Now, having secure, efficient, point-to-point transfers of money has some downsides we are all well aware of.

Blockchains can also be used to create algorithmic contracts that make “Code is Law” a reality in financial matters. Ethereum is the main cryptocurrency here. It is possible to encode a contract or governance in blockchain code and enforce it on all participants. That has its pitfalls, but can work.

The promises of Decentralized Autonomous Arganizations (DAOs) are grand. It would allow people all over the world to organize pseudonymously in a shared enterprise with guaranteed enforced governance rules. That too has its downsides, you can all list easily yourself.

As for the other downsides, Clive did list a lot.

Clive Robinson November 12, 2021 5:46 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I am pretty sure I know what they are.

As they appear to be all the same…

If they are genuinely in the picture, then they would most probably be a “large contract” buy/lease.

Such arangments are very very common in large “commercial vehicle fleets” and state/federal “Government agency buys”. As they do not appear to have any of the normal “commercial vehicle” indicators, and appear to be “stock white” that makes “Goverment-issue”…

The size of vehicle shown is often to the likes of investigators / enforcment as they have “baricade” potential.

So we could go hypothesize,

Government investigators on site, with the “boss” sitting in his dark blue vehicle with the door open for some reason.

But that would realy be just a guess on little or no information and quite some speculation.

It’s what some might call “intelligence” if they had an intention of having their own “boots on the ground” presence and were considering potential “hostiles” to that intent.

Ted November 12, 2021 6:56 AM

Looking for opinions only on this:

Not cool, guys. Not cool. At that point, you’re not Red Team, you’re just an attacker who knows how to invoice.

  • Randori discovered and used a Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect VPN zero-day (CVE-2021-3064) as part of its red team engagements for a year before disclosing the issue to the vendor

    Clive Robinson November 12, 2021 7:36 AM

    @ Ted, ALL,

    Looking for opinions only on this

    In an unregulated “free market” that certain crazy nut jobs want, that behaviour would probabky be described as,

    “Leveraging competitive advantage”

    I do like the “Not cool, guys.” quote though as I’m very much on the general security side of the fence.

    But of course it also means I’m not going to die as a multibillionaire…

    Gerard van Vooren November 12, 2021 11:46 AM

    @ Clive Robinson,

    “Long time no “here” I hope you are well?”

    No, not really. A few years ago I suffered from a stroke, a heavy CVA. That day was the last day that I worked. I was all right except that my talk and my memory was gone. I had to remember it all. It is a real PITA when you know there is a word or a name but you can’t remember it. Right now I am all right, I guess, and I am skeptical and critical as always. And how is the great philosopher? Are you all right?

    Clive Robinson November 12, 2021 1:17 PM

    @ Gerard van Vooren,

    A few years ago I suffered from a stroke, a heavy CVA. That day was the last day that I worked. I was all right except that my talk and my memory was gone. I had to remember it all. It is a real PITA when you know there is a word or a name but you can’t remember it.

    I’m sorry to hear that the last bit I suffer from as well it’s why we know that one of the TIA’s I had was more than “transitory”. So you definately have my sympathy.

    And how is the great philosopher? Are you all right?

    Not sure about the philosophy that’s always been a bit flaky 😉

    I’m not long out of an extended stay in hospital. Apparantly the anti-coagulation medicine I was on –rivaroxaban– I should not have been on[1]… And other stupidity by my “General Practitioner”(GP) practice. The result a blood clot the size of a thumbnail in the right atrium and a heart that looked like a pregnant goldfish feebly flapping round a bowl in the ultrasound… Oh and a very low cardiac output ~5% which was why I was getting giddy standing up and stairs were taken with caution and I had near continuous palpitations which as you may know are a real pain when you are trying to get to sleep, especially when they do not play nicely with the tinitus…

    That and the usual complaints so not much different to last time I guess[2].

    Anyway the, plus side is apart from the hair, none of my bits have sofar dropped of (that I’m aware of 😉

    I’ll give the hair untill New Year to sort it’s self out, and if it has not, well time to shave it all off abd go bald and reshap the beard to be less swarthy sailor and more evil genius / Guy Forks, that way I won’t have to by one of those “masks” Anonymous used to favour…

    [1] Apparantly after I had been put on it, some time later it was discovered that there were certain issues. Now I don’t remember reading them in the medication leaflets, and certainly no Doctor at my General Practitioner(GP) practice said anything about it at the half yearly “medication reviews” even though I had been nagging about heart issues since before last Christmas. Well they have me back on Rat Poison (Warfarin/Coumadin) and all the attendant problems that causes.

    [2] One upside of not sleeping is it makes remembering things harder. Whilst this is as you say a PITA. But there is a very small upside, which is you don’t tend to remember previous aches and pains as much.

    name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons November 12, 2021 3:04 PM

    Back in December of 2014, the U.S. congress was duped, fooled, or misled respecting legislation posted to the legislative repository. Sources to legislative members had been modified prior to passage and then restore afterwords. The bill they signed might not have been the one they were reading from. Not unlike an attack on build of some software system for a hardware platform. The bill had a section modified that was essentially a copy of a different section. But what it masked was the most forward attack on the fourth amendment every brought to law. The section, 309, had been replaced with text from another paragraph from the bill that rendered it harmless. It was reported here and Amash hit the alarm bell to no avail. Now very little history remains of the incident and more of it keeps disappearing. In case anyone is curious, the bill HR 4681 section 309 contained the toxic brew.

    Ted November 12, 2021 4:37 PM


    Re: 2014 legislative switcheroo

    Scandalous! By chance to you happen to have a link to further reading?

    Ted November 12, 2021 5:09 PM

    @SpaceLifeForm, Clive, All

    PAN has some splaining to do.

    Was it just Palo Alto? Based on all the comments on Catalin’s tweet, I was thinking something a little different.

    You’ll have to let me know what you think if you take a look at those 😊

    SpaceLifeForm November 12, 2021 5:34 PM

    @ Ted



    Ted November 12, 2021 8:38 PM


    Re: 12333 and Friday

    So appreciate the article. You find some good ones. EO 12333 rings a few bells, but I hadn’t thought about it a whole lot lately. Pretty controversial for many. I wonder how it’s been doing?

    It is Friday! And Friday’s are special! (Unless today is special for a whole different reason. If so, yay for that!)

    MarkH November 12, 2021 10:54 PM

    Re: Covid in deer populations

    I’ve been reflecting on this news (thanks to Jon for bringing it to my attention), particularly on night-time walks in a place where I see an average of about one deer per visit.

    As I’ve explained in the past, if fomite transmission of Covid-19 between people were not very rare, then the data confirming such transmission would be extremely strong.

    That doesn’t rule out fomite transmission to or between other species, but it does suggest that the combination of fragility of the virus on surfaces — and the importance to success of getting into the recipient’s airways — makes fomite transmission unlikely for other species too.

    As far as we know, (almost) all transmission between people is via droplets drifting in air.

    Is it conceivable that that deer may step on contaminated surfaces, and then use that virus-laden hoof to rub their eyes or nostrils???

    MarkH November 12, 2021 10:56 PM

    Covid and deer, continued:

    That the distribution of strains among deer is similar to that among people very likely means that the transmission vector from people to deer is a short/efficient one.

    That hunters would be a primary carrier strikes me as unlikely. I suppose that what deer hunters virtually never try to do is to get within a few meters of a deer (unless the animal is already shot and being collected).

    In certain environs deer can become “tame” in the sense that they’ll let people approach to bring food. Might not airborne droplets in such encounters be a more likely vector?

    JonKnowsNothing November 13, 2021 12:57 AM

    @MarkH, @Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

    re: Fomites Deer to Deer COVID

    As noted, this is a peculiar situation and wild deer don’t often hang around during hunting season, although most States with Deer Licenses the hunters get their full quota bagged.

    Consider: How is it passed in zoos.

    One might think, that people working with rare and sometimes endangered species might be a tad more cautious about their C-Bubbles than they are with other humans but reports do not indicate there is much recognition by the keepers of how COVID19 spreads in general.

    Keepers do 2 things: feed and clean. Same as any other barn animal: feed the front end and scoop the poop from the back end.

    Most of the time, keepers are not allowed inside a pen with the animals present, the animals generally are shifted to another paddock/pen/cage while the current one is cleaned and sanitized. When working with rare animals sometimes sanitizing is very important part because humans are big germ factories.

    So, how does a keeper pass it on to a lion or tiger? They either have to get close (not recommended) or sneeze or blow snot onto the food.

    We know that the aerosols can carry 26+ft. Something that was rejected very early in the pandemic but turned out to be the primary means of transmission. And we also know that for humans 10 seconds of exposure is all that’s needed.

    But we also know that the duration the virus lives on fomites is limited. A recent article promoting hot-bunking restaurant seating by not sanitizing the table between diners claimed that sanitizing wasn’t necessary because COVID19 only lives 3-4 hours on fomite surfaces.

    So snot on a nose-paper dropped while out and about tromping over hill and dale does not seem a likely vector. Lots of hunting areas now require “no trace” camping where everything must be hauled out: poop and paper included. So there shouldn’t be that much left behind on Public Lands.

    Private lands might be a better direction to look at because only the owner and the hunter with the permit know what’s going on barring something not allowed like shooting the wrong species or taking a doe without a doe-tag.

    Deer follow cattle outside of hunting season, especially in winter as the ranchers feed their cattle and there are also gatherings at waterholes and water stations were stock and wild animals both drink from the same cisterns.

    So it might be local ranchers out for a few hours checking on the herd and water systems that are the culprits.

    Still it’s a lot of deer and spreading fast.

    IF it spreads into other 2 toed herbivores like moose, antelope, and elk then we could see it spread farther into the carnivore population with bears, wolverines, mountain lions.

    We already know what happens with minks. That strain is extinct except in the lab for now. The same mink mutations popped up in multiple countries and distant farms. The only link is: human introduction.

    SpaceLifeForm November 13, 2021 1:59 AM

    @ Clive

    re NHS-NET


    They all did things in different ways.

    For reasons of licencing only “One Server” was permisable.

    So you could not set up routing tables…

    Well, you could, with a lot of effort and multiple additional routers at each site, and some iptables trickery, and some squid.

    2002? Windows environment? Oh, never mind. There is no budget to do things correctly.

    Clive Robinson November 13, 2021 7:22 AM

    @ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, ALL,

    … feed the front end and scoop the poop from the back end.

    To much concentration on the “front end” not the “back end”…

    SARS-CoV-2 is a corona virus assumed to have come from the the wild. In part that is because corona viruses that effect humans are rare very rare.

    Importantly in humans unlike the animal kingdom it targets the respiratory then cardiovascular systems causing systemic organ failure and people die because of that route.

    In animals corona viruses tend to go a different route that is the GI tract, they are a lot less fatal quite often less so than the human cold viruses we nearly all get in autumn. But importantly the main infection route is via the output of the GI tract onto the ground and in water courses. Thus grazing animals are quite susceptible.

    The history of SARS-CoV-2 is “doctors get it wrong” that is just about everything about SARS-CoV-2 that came out of the UN WHO, US CDC, etc, etc was wrong. Unfortunately these errors have been blaimed on “Power/Institutional Politics” rather than “ignorance and assumptions” which is where the faults mainly originate.

    SARS-CoV-2 is “novel” in many many ways so much so that scientests who should have know better made statments without evidence. Some to grab lime-light have made unsuportable logic defying claims.

    Other individuals claiming science or a scientist “told them” or equivalent have for political reasons started conspiracy theories, desperatly searching for “The smoke that will lead…”. The reality is, “smoke happens all the time, all around us”. Finding smoke does not mean that every time it must mean there is a crazy arsonist trying to burn the world down, more often than not it means nothing of import.

    The problem is of course way to much noise hiding what might be important signals, that need to be investigated.

    Though not well publicised, we know that SARS-CoV-2 is found comming out of the vottom end of the human GI tract. In Hong Kong there was epidemiological evidence that fecal matter was a transmission route in humans, but it was not realy followed up.

    The fact is biologically fecal transmission could be the primary transmission vector in humans, BUT… modern societies sanitation practices stop it being so…

    In wild, farms, barns, and zoo enclosures animals do not have the benifit of “modern societies sanitation”…

    We don’t know because there has been little or no actual hard science in controled environments via laboratory experiments. So we are starting from “ignorance” and rather than eliminate that, we are largely proceading on “assumptions”.

    Which unfortunatly leaves the tent flap unlaced and like the famed camels nose things that should not even be there become the dominating often sole presence inside. As we have seen unfortunatly there is rather more than one camel, and that are nearly all of different stripes and colours, all trying to dominate by raising the noise level way beyond discordant.

    Thus as the old saying has it “A lie, has run around the world before the truth has got it’s shoes on”. The reason, well as any propaganda merchant will grudgingly tell you is “If you tell a lie often enough then in peoples minds it becomes the truth”… But as a behavioural psychologist will tell you “One something is believed to be true if becomes unreasond belief, as a significan cognative bias”… In many people their “id” is not rational it is belief, if you chalange their beliefs they will try to “defend them unto death” in some cases violently so. Sound familiar?

    I tend towards curiosity which means I investigate things by a rational process. I’m occasionaly known to say “We do not know enough, we need more public evidence”.

    Guess what I’m going to say about these white tailed deer?

    Yup, We do not know enough, we need more public evidence, so we need actual verifiable knowledge from controled research not “ignorance and assumptions”.

    JonKnowsNothing November 13, 2021 11:40 AM

    @Clive, @MarkH, @ALL

    re: gastro-tracking

    An interesting adjunct to consider, is the unprocessed waste from animals. Normally farms compost their waste or have it hauled away to a dump site where it may or may not be composted.

    There are problems with industrial farm waste due to high use of antibiotics and other medicines which maybe prohibited in a standard municipal compost system, so that waste is either dumped into a non-compost system or in the USA into huge sewage ponds like those for pig waste.

    Many pig waste ponds are so large and deep natural decompostion and evaporation cannot effectively deal with volume and these remain open-pit systems until the levee walls break and millions of gallons of untreated sludge pours out into the environment.

    So untreated or under treated animal waste might play a role.

    Since fairly early on, some insightful waste water treatment scientists were able to track and zone in on COVID-19 as it flushed into the sewer systems. For cities that have good systems they can zone in pretty closely to the source location.

    This omits cities and countries and farms with septic systems or no waste treatment plants, dumping their raw sewage into the nearest river or stream.

    Many urban dwellers do not really “get it” about how this is allowed to continue and there are lots of cases where localities are left with no treatment when the system is blocked and the authorities refuse to repair the pipes or extend them to prevent ground soil contamination.

    In short – there’s a lot of poop plopping around and the average person remains blissfully unaware of just how close they are to it all.

    So, if there’s a component of COVID19 in deer poop and it remains viable for 3+ hours (fomite) that would be a good vector for the deer.

    Deer poop and eat as they go. Heads down in the grass and rumps up. The deer following behind gets a nose full. There are times when animals consume excreta directly or indirectly and that may be another avenue.

    Unlike mink, it appears that deer do not die in large numbers. There are different interest groups each animal, but both have significant economic value. When Chronic wasting disease (CWD)(similar to BSE), got into the elk and deer population, that caused serious concerns.

    And then there are the squirrels… (1)


    ht tps:/ /www. theguardian. com/environment/2021/feb/26/thames-water-fined-23m-for-raw-sewage-pollution-incident

    ht tps:/ /www. latimes. com/environment/story/2021-10-30/california-water-crisis-state-intervenes-to-help-town

    ht tps://e n. wikiped ia.or g/wiki/Chronic_wasting_disease

    ht tps: //en.wi kipedia . or g/wiki/Elk#Parasites_and_disease

    1. iirc(badly) MarkH? was voting for rats as reservoir vectors.
        Squirrels: rats with fluffy tails.


    MarkH November 13, 2021 12:46 PM

    @Clive, JonKnowsNothing et al:

    I suppose that determining transmission vectors between members of a free-living deer population is difficult and expensive.

    It’s worth bearing in mind that the primary vector among free-living animals may be distinct from that for the same species in captivity.

    The question of how the virus gets from people to free-living populations is much more difficult, and perhaps will never have a definitive answer.

    SpaceLifeForm November 13, 2021 6:26 PM

    @ Clive, MarkH, JonKnowsNothing, ALL

    Bird baths and Bird feeders

    Another vector angle

    Squirrels, aka Tree Rats.

    As everyone likely knows, Squirrels really like Bird baths and Bird feeders.

    Where do the Tree Rats defecate?

    It’s not in their treehouse.

    As I previously noted (many months ago), that I observed a decline of coyote.

    Well, I have also noticed a decline of Deer population this year. It may be due to WX conditions, but that explanation does not fit in my neck of the woods this year.

    I have also noticed fewer Squirrel.

    And, I have heard many more hooting Owls at dusk. (prime time for Owls to hunt Squirrels)

    Deer hunting season (longarm) started today in my neck of the woods. I will have a better idea in a few days to a week as the numbers come in. But I suspect the numbers will be lower than estimated.

    Gerard van Vooren November 14, 2021 3:30 AM

    @ Clive,

    Yes, you are the great philosopher. Aren’t you aware of that? Me, I am always struggling with English because it is not my first language. That is why most of the time I keep my line number down. That and privacy of course 😉

    I am sorry about your hair loss. That sucks. Everything else sucks too, of course. I was 2 months in the hospital because they thought it was some strange condition that I could have and in the end my arm was comparable with a seasoned professional bicyclist. The last day they opened up my skull to get a sample of my brain… and they didn’t find one the thing that they were worried about so they let me go. That day I shaved my head and I left it that way for a long time but now it’s grown back. The carpet is of course a lot thinner on the top than what it was when I was 18.

    The reason why I “love” hospitals is that they always leave nice marks of what they are doing. In my case everyone who looks can see the result of the operation. But we have to deal with it.

    It is always good to talk with you.

    Erdem Memisyazici November 14, 2021 5:02 AM

    Not sure why my comments haven’t been posted here and initial one removed but in case the modetators thought I’m merely posting misinformation, don’t take my word for it and read the cnet article posted today.

    Of course one thing not in the article posted is what I mentioned on my first comment stating all hashing algorithms are subject to collisions. It’s commonly called “pigeonhole principle”.

    So, not being technically possible to remain decentralized, crypo currency is basically like reinventing regular currency but with added technical issues.

    Why anyone would buy into that is beyond me but I feel compelled to inform the public of the facts.

    Ted November 14, 2021 8:03 AM

    Please pardon my observation, but I wanted to mention a good book I once read, called “My Stroke of Insight”

    It was written by a Harvard-trained brain scientist who experienced a massive stroke at age 37. In four hours she lost the ability to walk, talk, read, write, and more. Head injuries are no joke.

    The book shares her experience and the journey of her 8 year recovery. I can’t remember if I read it or listened to it as an audiobook. It has received very positive reviews.

    Clive Robinson November 14, 2021 8:44 AM

    @ Erdem Memisyazici, ALL,

    Why anyone would buy into that is beyond me but I feel compelled to inform the public of the facts.

    Well C|Net don’t believe in doing that,

    “Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to change finance, eliminating middlemen and bringing accounts to millions of unbanked people around the world.”

    Note the “weasle words” of “hold the potential”… Used to push three highly questionable at best points,

    1, Change finance.
    2, Eliminate middlemen.
    3, Give “unbanked” accounts.

    Are basically in reality all untrue currently and I can not see that changing the way the author wants to push it any time soon.

    What we know currently,

    A) The US and other regulators are forcing “Know your Customer” rules on to crypto-coins.

    The reason there are so many “unbanked” is that they can not meet anywhere close to the requirments of the “Know your Customer” rules.

    B) The US are talking about white / black list individual crypto-coins, which is a bit like the dirty trick they pulled with gold many years ago.

    So the non speculating side of the finance industry will not play with something the USG can render from valuable to valuless at the stroke of a key on a keyboard. So I can not see the finance industry wanting crypto-coin not just on that but also a whole bunch of other block-chain issues. Oh and crypto-coins are basically “long cons” or “rolling cons” that are in essence a ponzi scheme.

    As for replacing fiat money… Not at all likely to happen any time soon. Because to use crypto-coins in the real world, to buy your groceries etc, you have no choice but to change it to fiat money first.

    C) To change crypto-coins to usable fiat money, you have to go through a bunch of middle men who charge exorbitant fees, deliberately run transactions increadibly slowley and find all sorts of ways to “gouge the investor”…

    So C|Net editors are letting an author get away with “fake fact pushing”. Ironically as I mentioned the other day, the essence of propaganda is to tell a lie often enough that people think it must be the truth because everybody is saying it, and so start believing it…

    To quote a song[1],

    “It ain’t necessarily so, It ain’t necessarily so, The t’ings dat yo’ li’ble to read in de Bible, It ain’t necessarily so.”

    [1] The song “It Ain’t Necessarily So” comes from George Gershwins’ 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The music is by George Gershwin and those oh so inportant lyrics by Ira Gershwin.

    Erdem Memisyazici November 14, 2021 1:20 PM

    So C|Net editors are letting an author get away with “fake fact pushing”.

    There is nothing fake about it. Have a look at NISTIR 8105, more specifically Table 1.

    If forking also requires a “majority” (digital one), and I can mine it all out before releasing my “currency” a la selfish mining, it is impossible to make it decentralized.

    Crypto currency is investing in a fiat currency “like” system but it comes with added deficiencies. No ifs or buts about it.

    The guy you are talking about is apparently a professor at Stanford btw.

    Ted November 14, 2021 2:02 PM

    @Erdem Memisyazici

    The guy you are talking about is apparently a professor at Stanford btw

    Who was the professor at Stanford?

    Clive Robinson November 14, 2021 4:04 PM

    @ Ted, Erdem Memisyazici,

    Who was the professor at Stanford?

    There you have me…

    I was talking about the C|Net author of the article @Erdem Memisyazici linked to, and I quoted from the first paragraph in my previous post.

    This is the authors “short bio”[1] as a “Staff Writer” for C|net,

    “Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET’s beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.”

    (the ‘read more’ on the page appears not to have any function).

    No indication of holding any academic title or qualification is given.

    Any way even if he was the most senior in one of the most research oriented Universities, So what?

    If he’s wrong, he’s wrong. I was brought up to believe in the old British Civil Service touch stone,

    “Speak truth unto all, without fear or favour”.

    Admittedly some do not like it, but consider why? Anyone who objects to having the truth[2] told to their face, is someone who is at best emotional running on an irrational belief system[3] and not rational in their thinking process with regards to it.

    Some however know that they are indeed peddling untruths or fake facts, almost always because they see personal advantage in so doing. Some however have incurable mental deficiences, such as narcissism, or being socio/psychopatic, their responses are not likly to be desirable in the slightest (as in little or no inpulse control and a desire to what can be called dramatic revenge).


    [2] Which brings up the question as to what is truth especially undeniable truth. In effect truth is seen within a frame of refrence, which sets a shared point of view for all who understand the domain. By the application of basic rules things that are true within the frame of refrence can be distinguished from those that are not true. However care has to be excercised, because many things can go beyond a frame of refrence and exhibit different behaviours outside of it. For instance take a flexible object well within it’s “plastic limits” it’s ability to flex and by how much is linearly proportional to the force applied and it does not deform so returns to it’s original state when the force is removed (hence we can have wegging scales etc). However outside of that frame of refrence things start to cease to be linear, or non deforming.

    [3] Unfortunately many “belief systems” cause cognative impairment, which in turn causes cognative dissonance when faced with inescapable or ubdebiable truths / facts. Whilst many can overcome the belief, that is not true of all. Some very few at the “tails” will not be able to. On one tail they can collapse in on themselves to the point of catatonic behaviour as exhibited by some with schizophrenia. Whilst more are on the other tail and will tend towards anger, with some fraction of those actually using violence, in effect “shoot the messenger behaviour”.

    Ted November 14, 2021 6:55 PM

    @Clive, Erdem Memisyazici,

    Thanks Clive. I saw similar to what you did on the article’s author. Hope I didn’t miss anything 🙂

    Maybe, the one thing we agree on is that cryptocurrency faces beaucoup problems, not just quantum computing problems. I personally don’t know enough to debate its finer points well, but if all the best and brightest get on board then I’ll consider that it’s got more than a snowball’s chance in hell.

    Clive Robinson November 14, 2021 8:07 PM

    @ Ted,

    I personally don’t know enough to debate its finer points well…

    Of all crypto-coins, and smart-contracts, you can say they have one thing in common,

    “No matter how you look at these systems, they’ve lots of angles, and they are all crooked”

    Ted November 14, 2021 8:26 PM


    “No matter how you look at these systems, they’ve lots of angles, and they are all crooked”

    makes sense 😊

    Ted November 15, 2021 10:00 AM

    @MarkH, ALL

    The question of how the virus gets from people to free-living populations is much more difficult, and perhaps will never have a definitive answer.

    Science and the “real world” do seem to be less instantly gratifying than, say, solving a math problem IMO. I don’t know if this has to do with science problems having more variables or a less constrained logic sequence or what. Those kinds of questions can certainly bow the greatest minds to say the least.

    Clive Robinson November 15, 2021 12:10 PM

    @ Gerard van Vooren,

    I am always struggling with English because it is not my first language.

    It’s my first and I guess only living language, and it causes me problems every day.

    Amoungst it’s “lesser virtues” it is so delightfully imprecise, thus a simple statment could have two different meabings,

    “I saw a man eating ham sandwich at the circus today”

    Being similar to,

    “Eats shoots and leaves”

    But then there is the dred,

    “Buffalo buffalo buffalo…”

    As for,

    I am sorry about your hair loss. That sucks. Everything else sucks too, of course. I was 2 months in the hospital because they thought it was some strange condition that I could have and in the end my arm was comparable with a seasoned professional bicyclist.

    Given time, hair loss comes to us all as does wrinkly skin and eyesight that can not see the colours of nature as brightly as they once did. Though I have reason to think in my case it may be related to some of the drugs they have put me on.

    Prelonged hospital stays can have their advantages. In the UK free tea and biscuits being one, oh and not having to traipse around the shops for milk, when you’ve run out. Then there is the sport of making nurses laugh which can be a bit of a giggle. Once you have them smiling it’s time to turn your abilities on the other patients, yould be surprised how many need to be reninded a smile and a laugh can make you feel better about the day.

    But I understand the arm issue…

    For some reason my veins are both “shy” and “granular” and getting a needle in very “miss and miss again” some in the medical profession resort to what I call “bug raking” where if the needle misses they don’t pull it fully out before pushing it in in a zig zag or fan progression… Yup it’s as unpleasent as it sounds.

    But you know when you’ve been into hospital too much… It’s when you say not just Hi to nurses in town when shopping, but also the hospital porters and their grand children by name…

    One nurse I’m still in contact with, even though Brexit has caused her and her family to go back to Romania. We swap recipies for preserves and similar and her eldest has recently turned three and she realy does have one of those smiles that makes you just smile back.

    JonKnowsNothing November 15, 2021 3:01 PM

    @Ted @All

    re: Math v Physics v Real World

    The first 2 are attempts to provide a method to calculate a per-determined out come for the 3d.

    Sometimes one is closer than the other and sometimes they aren’t even in the ballpark. Sometimes they don’t even know there is a ballpark.

    It is possible to have a formula or paradigm that will tell you how to boil water, at what temperature the bubbles start to form, quantify the variations in water mineral content and how to brew a Real British Cuppa (which is neigh on impossible in the USA).

    It’s another problem entirely getting the horse to go in the direction you want it to go. Generally it’s a good idea to go the direction the horse goes because otherwise you are on your backside, on the ground, Shanks Mare.

    There are many ideas, theories, and practical methods to achieve the goal of having the horse go where you want.

    Mathematically and in Physics a circle is a precise figure. To a horse they are None of the Above.

    2 main goals in riding are: ride a straight line and ride a circle. Gold Medals are awarded to those that come closest.

    Ted November 15, 2021 5:03 PM


    Mathematically and in Physics a circle is a precise figure. To a horse they are None of the Above.

    Yes, that is a very interesting thought. I wish my life was sterile enough for mathematical concepts to solve most of my problems. Granted, I am probably the cause of most of my problems. That and the 24-hour stores reducing their hours due to covid.

    My step-father was a engineer and I think he would have had to use a lot of the math-y and physics tools. I’ve seen a few of his OS manuals, and he highlights those things up. So at least he’s found a few wild horses to try to keep up with 🙂

    Maybe you have some too!

    JonKnowsNothing November 15, 2021 6:59 PM

    @Ted, @All

    re: Ancient Tech

    In millennia past people made great buildings, cathedrals, pyramids, walls and roads without BigCatD road graders. They navigated land and sea without a GPS. They build fantastic machines we can barely understand to tell time and planetary movement without BillionaireBobs. They solved problems and designed buildings using techniques that improved perception of height and straightness without laser beam levels.

    The vast majority of these works were done by people with little or no ability to read, write or options for freedom. What they could all could do is Read The Design Schematic and Build to Spec.

    The underlying maths and physics are more for us moderns than ancients, it’s more to help us figure out How Did They DO THAT? They certainly knew how and they didn’t need BigBlues to work out the structural integrity.

    Their works still stand while those of the “modern world” collapse in 50 years or so.

    Once you understand they did it all with compass, string, and plumb bob; a wet sand table, beeswax or clay tablet, a few flint, stone, copper or iron tools then Bob’s Your Uncle.

    Now.. just move the capstone of the pyramid a bit more to the left…


    ht tps://en. wikipedia .o r g/wiki/Parthenon

    The Parthenon was built primarily by men who knew how to work marble. These quarrymen had exceptional skills and were able to cut the blocks of marble to very specific measurements. The quarrymen also knew how to avoid the faults, which were numerous in the Pentelic marble. If the marble blocks were not up to standard, the architects would reject them. The marble was worked with iron tools — picks, points, punches, chisels, and drills. The quarrymen would hold their tools against the marble block and firmly tap the surface of the rock

    A big project like the Parthenon attracted stonemasons from far and wide who traveled to Athens to assist in the project. Slaves and foreigners worked together with the Athenian citizens in the building of the Parthenon, doing the same jobs for the same pay. Temple building was a very specialized craft, and there were not many men in Greece qualified to build temples like the Parthenon, so these men would travel around and work where they were needed.[59]

    Other craftsmen also were necessary for the building of the Parthenon, specifically carpenters and metalworkers. Unskilled laborers also had key roles in the building of the Parthenon. These laborers loaded and unloaded the marble blocks and moved the blocks from place to place. In order to complete a project like the Parthenon, a number of different laborers were needed, and each played a critical role in constructing the final building

    ht tps://en.wikip edia.o rg/w iki/Entasis

    In architecture, entasis is the application of a convex curve to a surface for aesthetic purposes. Its best-known use is in certain orders of Classical columns that curve slightly as their diameter is decreased from the bottom upward. It also may serve an engineering function regarding strength.

    Clive Robinson November 16, 2021 5:26 AM

    @ JonKnowsNothing,

    There is an important security lesson to be learned from this, but first as I often say, “a little history”,

    You forgot to mention one of the most important devices, that is still used in “setting out” today, that’s the 3/4/5 triangle that has 30/60/90 angles that go neatly into 360 degrees 12/6/4 times respectively.

    From this most other complex objects could be drawn out and from those “mathmatical proofs” made. That is there are similar ways to accurately get other angles using squares etc set out with the 3/4/5 triangle.

    Although not invented by the Romans they had surveying equipment that consisted of a staff with a flat cross on top that could be leveled with a dish of water (the equivalent of a modern “bubble level”). From the arms of the cross hung four blumb bobs of equall length. They also had an early version of a “quadrant board” to measure verticle leveled angles. With these there are very very few structures that can not be “laid out” as long as they are in sight of a central refrence point or “pin” driven into the ground. Oh the Romans also clearly knew that “still water in a ditch holds it’s level” something that you have to know to make aquaducts work. The chances are good that they could also have worked out from that not just that the earth is curved but also how the curve of chain hanging from both ends changed shape as you rotated those fixing points, thus come up with “atheisiticaly pleasing” curves and corrections.

    The ancient Egyptions found their angles by the use of squares from corner to corner you get 45 degrees, if you put four squares together as a square you get three angles and so on.

    As in actuality all of these are ratios of the multiples of a fixed length they scale to all sizes, so they just “worked”. The problem everybody had was coming up with that “fixed length”… At least in the kitchen they had the egg to give them a near enough standard for weight and volume (it all worked out again because of ratios not absolute measures).

    A very accurate true north or south could be found by transiting or transiting of the stars at night or sun by day. It’s not difficult you just have to be patient. The Chinese were said to have a chariot that always pointed south, you can make one yourself when you understand ratios thus how to make gears and importabtly diferential gears that both count up and count down, thud maintaining a constant.

    Whilst a south-pointing chariot suffers from accumulation errors from wheel slippage, a simple board with pins on it, and inscribed lines as well as a water clock could be used like a sun-dial but in reverse to make shadow sightings from the suns position to make corrections during the day (much as you can do with an analog dial watch and a sun compass in the desert or at sea).

    Such a board when understood and with a reliable clock can navigate you around the world from way point to way point. But it’s known that the Vikings had a mineral that polarised light, which they used to navigate by a little before documentary evidence of a south-pointing chariot in China, and the same mineral is also found in China. It’s also known that the Vikings used to point their long boats at the sun midday and find where the shadow of the mast fell on the boat where markings would tell them how far north or south they were from home.

    Thus the important question arises “Why do we forget these things?” well the answer is in two parts,

    1, We eventually find a better way.
    2, Sunk cost losses.

    @echo brought up the other day the question of fuel injection in WWII fighter aircraft and why the British did not use it though the Germans and later Americans did.

    The reason is that as you go down a path, it’s seen as less expensive to stay on the path than to go all the way back and start on another path. Worse we misjudge the cost of improving the path we are on. The cost of improvment follows a power law of “Diminishing returns on investment” but intuatively we think it is linear, or better. Hence the “oh just a small tweak hear abd there” reply when asked when something is going to work properly.

    It also blinds us from investigating in new directions. That is having got to a certain point of development, what you have is going to be better than an alternative that has not been as developed yet or there is not sufficient size of market yet. If you try investigating in a new direction you will get quite forcefully asked “Why are you wasting time, and money on that?”… It’s almost the same reason the Jet engine got stalled in development.

    It’s actually quite scary to consider that most of mankinds achivments have happened because people did not talk to each other or wilfully chose not to listen. That is geographically seperated people took different paths and developed different solutions quite a way up that power curve. All before they came up against a different solution that was as equally developed by other people on a different path, then and only then could it be seen by direct comparison which was the better technology at that point in time.

    As has been seen with the internet, global communications kills parallel development of ideas. So unless the best path was selected first, we remain stuck on another path…

    It’s actually essential to security in all forms that we don’t fall into this “first to market takes the market”. Because history shows that inveriably “the first” is more often than not down with the worst, not up with the best ways of doing things.

    The reason is the worst is usually the least complicated, thus the easiest to understand and importantly learn from. It’s only by things going wrong that we learn how to make things not just right but better, and importantly make them scale, which the worst generally does not do…

    As the saying has it,

    “It you build something and it works you learn nothing you did not know already, if it fails and you fix it you learn something new, success is built on failure not success.”

    Ted November 16, 2021 9:43 AM

    @JohnKnowsNothing, Clive

    These quarrymen had exceptional skills and were able to cut the blocks of marble to very specific measurements.

    Some of the buildings and cathedrals, especially in Europe among other places, are really magnificent.

    lurker November 16, 2021 1:00 PM


    … that’s the 3/4/5 triangle that has 30/60/90 angles that go neatly into 360

    Maintenance call required for the AI bot masquerading as Clive Robinson:
    a 3/4/5 triangle has angles

    The 30/60/90 triangle delighted/frustrated the Greeks with its sides having a factor of sqrt3.

    Levelling a cross with a dish of water is a tedious clumsy way compared to the A frame level. The Chinese version has only two legs and a non-elastic cord for the lower horizontal. Pivoted at the top it can be easily folded to carry. A plumbob line hung from the pivot aligns with a knot in the centre of the horizontal cord.

    6449-225 November 16, 2021 3:40 PM

    @ Clive Robinson @ lurker

    Yes, but what we really want to know is how they levitated those stone blocks for the pyramids.

    JonKnowsNothing November 16, 2021 4:14 PM

    @Clive, Lurker, Ted, All

    The Classical and Roman engineers were “advanced” and clearly more expert than many people in basic knowledge of how to make things work.

    Water Wheels may come back into use and there are some sources showing magnificent water wheels in long chaining systems.

    There are some very interesting hi-tech versions which are small enough for camping and hiking that can generate enough electricity to recharge batteries and devices. If you have a flowing stream or sailing a boat you can toss the thing in the water, some will work on airflow if you bike or drive. The wheels spin like they did for the ancients, except the ancients didn’t use them for battery recharging.

    There are in-line plumbing water wheel generators available. These are PVC pipes with the wheels embedded inside the pipe and wires that are external. Using standard Schedule 40 PVC pipes you can glue them in-line and connect up the wire leads.

    There are some wind powered versions too.

    However, if you go back a bit farther you will find earlier examples of high level engineering done by civilizations that are no longer in existence. Some of their methods can be guessed at but many remain “How did they DO THAT?”.

    Old Tech isn’t necessarily simpler. It may be far more complex because there are no horses, oxen or mules and not enough workers or slaves to do it the “fastest” way. They found other ways to do it.

    Some of the new ground radars are giving insights into how “fitted stone” was done. Fitted stone is not squared off as seen in classical buildings using quarried stone. It’s used As Found with minimal alterations.

    There are some Reenactment Groups that work on doing it the Old Way for a few weeks of vacation. There’s a group in Germany that pulls out the Roman Survey Cross that you mentioned and they are pretty good at using it. Just winding the rope a catapult or trebuchet requires some knack too.

    A recent MSM article on a Sieve Wright, a dying tech, showed there’s a lot of knowledge and techniques that are being lost because it’s easier to by a plastic one than have one that lasts generations.

    And… going in the same direction….

    Those of us who remember WHY and HOW for tech, become fewer. Without the contributions of those who post in the blog, a great deal of knowledge would be lost. The information saved may not last the centuries that papyrus and parchment did, but they will last as long as someone can read the text and wants to try to figure out “How did they DO THAT?”


    ht tps://e n.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Twelve-angled_stone

    ht t p s://en.wik

    h t tps:// en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Ashlar
    * Dry Ashlar construction

    ht tps://ww m/artanddesign/gallery/2021/nov/15/taking-the-strain-the-last-sievewright-in-pictures

    JonKnowsNothing November 16, 2021 4:36 PM

    @6449-225, @Clive, @lurker @All

    re: Yes, but what we really want to know is how they levitated those stone blocks for the pyramids.

    For much of it we “guess” they used massive ramps, that lead from the river to the construction site with wood rollers. Based on some images found in the monuments there.

    The capstone may have been raised using a course of ramps going around the exterior and then the square corners were laid down as the ramp was dismantled.

    Getting the blocks on the boats to get to the construction site is still problematic and moving huge obelisks the same problem but more prone to cracking in transit. There are images of these in the monuments.

    The obelisk that were moved to Paris (Napoleon) was done using modern systems for that time.

    There are some serious Engineering Bloopers when they do those “Modern Engineers meet Old Tech” documentaries. Like using an AI CAD system to design a widget, sometimes it looks good on paper but it cannot be built.

    There was a junk yard show similar that had backyard mechanics making stuff out of what was in the junk heaps. You had to know not only what you are looking at, how it is used but also how to make it work for the goal.

    A particularly interesting recreation was the Roman Mile Counter. It was very precise but many attempts to make one, even with the schematic description failed. An answer was finally found: how the compass as used.

    lurker November 16, 2021 4:55 PM

    how they levitated those stone blocks for the pyramids.

    There’s a Dogon legend says the engineers came from the Little Dog Star (tiny twin of Sirius) and had useful technology…

    Clive Robinson November 16, 2021 6:01 PM

    @ ALL,

    Somewhere in a file in a filing cabinate in NASA is a report from a UK Professor about “Egyption Project Managment”

    In that report is a section I wrote a rough draft for from my discussion with the Proff back in the 1990’s whilst doing an MSc.

    It’s known that making ramps of sand would not work nor is there any evidence Egyptions actually built ramps[1] or that they used either pullies or capstans to lift heavy weights although we know they lifted them.

    Well you can lift heavy weights with four ropes using the “triangle of forces” that can give you a ten to one lift advantage.

    Imagine a weight suspended by two inelastic ropes ~32ft/10m long in parallel. If at the middle of the ropes you pull them apart the weight has to rise by a small ammount (you can work it out with Pythag).

    Now if you have four ropes the other two go slack so you can shorten them. If you now pull in the middle of the two shortened ropes you lift the weight further, and can shorten the now slack ropes.

    Once you have the pattern of how to do this you can lift very heavy weights fairly quickly. Importantly unlike pullies or a capston it’s inherantly safe, and has built in at rest points for all those taking part. The most dangerous job is taking in the slack.

    I’m by no means saying this “IS HOW” the Egyptions did it but it is well within what we know they could do.

    [1] To build a ramp with sand they would have had to add other chemicals / minerals that would still be detectable in the area today, and I’m told there is no evidence that there ever has been. Sand by the way, acts more like a liquid than it does a solid you can see this in an old fashind “egg timer” or “Hour Glass”. Interestingly the shape that is formed by the sand is well known and is a normal distribution curve in three dimensions of continuous growth.

    6449-225 November 16, 2021 9:41 PM

    @Clive Robinson @ALL,

    four ropes

    Not sure if I am imagining this correctly, but would the arrangement allow all ropes to be pulled in unison, producing a continuous smooth rise of the weight ?

    6449-225 November 17, 2021 8:44 AM

    Added to above:

    As continuous and smooth as the cycling “ratchet” effect would allow, that is.

    JonKnowsNothing November 17, 2021 10:44 AM

    @6449-225 @Clive @All

    re: Rope Lift

    Some rope lifts require a pivot point or secured point against which you use the “dally” (as its called in USA) which is a series of wraps or full turns around the post.

    Provide you have such a post, the lift should be smooth if the line(s) are pulled evenly. (1)

    For a “ratchet” you need an gear with a special tooth pattern that allows motion in one direction. You need a stopping or blocking piece to hold the gear in place.

    You can achieve similar using ropes but these require a different tension holding method.

    When dealing with old tech one never really knows for sure how it was done. We can only guess that is was done ThisWay, unless we find some images or books/scrolls or a person still using those old techniques. We maybe able to recreate “the item” using methods we think were in use but it’s still a best guess.

    There was at least 1 ramp found in Egypt but that does not mean the Ancient Egyptians always used ramps and it does not mean that was the only way they might have gotten the blocks from the quarries to the construction site. It only shows they knew about ramps.

    A tantalizing problem is we know how long some of the buildings took to make. We can count the number of external blocks and sometimes we know what the internal layout was from fallen walls (rubble fill). We can see the way the stones are stacked (bond) and how they positioned them (orientation).

    In order to complete the building within the recorded time frames the Ancients moved a lot of blocks and they moved them quickly to their construction sites.

    Buildings like Cathedrals took hundreds of years and have different issues. (2)


    1. Ashley Book of Knots and online sites have many versions of rope lifts with and without block and tackle.
    2. ht tp s://en.wikipedi a. org/wiki/Sagrada_Fam%C3%ADlia#Recent_history
    • Computer-aided design technology has been used to accelerate construction of the building. Current technology allows stone to be shaped off-site by a CNC milling machine, whereas in the 20th century the stone was carved by hand.

    Clive Robinson November 17, 2021 10:44 AM

    @ 6449-225,

    would the arrangement allow all ropes to be pulled in unison, producing a continuous smooth rise of the weight ?

    Yes you could pull all four ropes appart in unison, but there is only so far you can pull them into a 3D diamond shape before you loose or go into negative lift advantage.

    To get maximum lift advantage the ropes have to hang down as straight as possible and parallel as they each form the hypotinuse of two right angle triangles. Where the opposite is effectively zero as the ropes are the same as the adjacent length.

    So when you see the 2D two rope view, wheb you pull the ropes appart the opposite is nolonger zero so from pythag,

    H^2 = O^2 + A^2

    If the hypotinuse (H) is fixed then the adjacent (A) must get shorter as the opposite(O) increases from zero.

    If you draw it out with four right angle triangles with the OA angles being at the “fixed point” and the “load” beneath it, with the HO angles being in the middle of the ropes, all the OA 90degree angles remain in the middle of the 2D diamond at the intersection of the vertical and horizontal. Because the ropes are 2H long the vertical distance between the fixed point and the load point is 2A and the horizontal width of the diamond 2O.

    Obviously there is a point where the lift advantage decresses to zero then goes increasingly negative.

    So you want to hold the two ropes you are pulling on, then shorten the other two ropes and adjust the halfway point on them. As you ease the pull on the ropes under tention the load transfers to the now shortened ropes, so you can take up the slack on the ropes that were under tention. Having shortened the rope length you get the lift advantage back.

    Obviously the dimond gets smaller as the 2H lengths get shorter. So you need the “fixed point” to be atleast half as high again as the distance you want to lift by/to, more if you can do so.

    MarkH November 17, 2021 11:22 AM

    @lurker et al:

    The archaeology discussion is incredibly irrelevant, but lots of fun.

    One hypothesis is that after the site was very nearly level — perhaps using gadgets like you describe — the engineers cut one or more tiny trenches and put water in them, to guide leveling to an accuracy perhaps unobtainable without using such means.

    The appearance of π in the dimensions also has a simple explanation. If the bases were measured out by rolling a wheel of unit length at the end of a stick — a very simple design still in use today — and then made the height in units (cubits or whatever) half the number of wheel rotations, the ratio falls out automatically.

    No advanced mathematical theory required.

    JonKnowsNothing November 17, 2021 11:52 AM


    re: Flood leveling

    This is still in use in Flood Irrigated Fields although modern version (USA) requires there to be a slight slope to the land so the ditch water pours in at the top of the field (nearest the ditch) and then flows down hill (slowly).

    If there are divots or humps it is noticeable but in modern industrial fields these are rarely fixed because there is enough water coming in at the top to bypass that topography.

    X amount of water flows in at the top and at the bottom Y depth of water is required after N-Time to traverse the field size. Water absorption depends on the dirt conditions and components and is part of the X value of how much water flows into the field.

    Rice Paddies are another version of flood leveling. Using small dirt berms to hold the water, Y depth of water is needed to plant the rice. Using no-math it’s about an ankle’s depth.

    One aspect of Ancient Tech is that those who had the Tech didn’t necessarily want others to have it too. Like deliberate errors in formulas, red herring instructions would give away anyone trying to impersonate one of the Big Names of the Day.

    Security and National Defense often depended on an “Ankles Depth of Water”.

    6449-225 November 17, 2021 12:48 PM

    There are references in the Myths and in Plato to automata of various types, including moving (vehicle) tripods and ships. One is tempted to dismiss it all as nothing but imaginings, but then somebody finds something like the Antikythera mechanism.

    Erdem Memisyazici November 17, 2021 4:22 PM

    @Erdem Memisyazici

    The guy you are talking about is apparently a professor at Stanford btw

    Who was the professor at Stanford?

    I may have misread that, I think it’s Berkley or something like that. Either way the point is it’s well researched.

    Most of these concepts are quite easy to understand. You don’t need to be a professor to know if your input is larger than your output you will get collisions. If knowledge is all that’s keeping something from ripping people off I think it’s best that people know it instead.

    Trade secrets aside, technological methodology must never be kept a secret in my opinion.

    If people want to make their own money, that’s fine but one must understand it’s actually worse than money with the technical overhead added, yet it’s being sold as “decentralized currency”. BS.

    Ted November 17, 2021 4:34 PM

    Hi @Erdem Memisyazici

    It looks like you pulled your and mine and Clive’s conversation.

    I see you are referencing points in the article made by various persons, one of whom is from Berkeley.

    Just so I don’t misunderstand you, can you please say again what your overall thoughts on the article are. I think I am getting confused, and I think there are points we agree on.

    Ted November 17, 2021 4:44 PM


    Also, I remember you saying some of your posts were held for moderation. It is happening for many of us. I just try to reformat my comment and submit again.

    I think there’s lots of spam bots, etc out there. And the filter settings may be erring on the side of caution to prevent these?

    Ted November 17, 2021 11:04 PM

    @SpaceLifeForm, Clive


    You crack me up. Do you have any more on this? An article or tweet per chance?

    SpaceLifeForm November 19, 2021 5:13 PM

    @ Ted, Clive, MarkH, ALL

    Are we sure the bits are really Random?

    Maybe there is a reason Mozilla has not bit on this. Maybe, they know better than to slip on GREASE.

    It seems that this number is random. I mean if you refresh the page, those number will change:

    [cleartext ip traffic with allegedly random bits]

    This isn’t high priority, but we might consider accepting a patch (or several, since there are multiple items that might be greased).

    Clive Robinson November 19, 2021 6:49 PM

    @ SpaceLifeForm,

    Are we sure the bits are really Random?

    It would make a rather interesting side channel to leak out some “master secret” from which all other secrets can be derived.

    As I’ve mentioned in the past years ago I used such a trick to leak secret key information in a communications program. As I’ve noted my intent was not to backdoor the product but demonstrate just how usless the “code review” process was the way managment had set it up.

    The thing is I can not find any clear articulation of what the problem is that TLS Grease is supposed to solve.

    Anyone reading the “extensibility” argument is going to call BS or think it’s above their pay grade.

    Without a clear explanation it is at best open to abuse, and quickly slides through suspect to suspicious.

    Clive Robinson November 20, 2021 3:42 AM

    @ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

    Allegedly, the purpose of TLS GREASE is to find broken servers

    I’m glad you prefaced with “Allegedly” because it’s born to fail…

    Look at it this way the values Google claim to use for this will simply get “hardwired” to be ignored by server side software developers as a “default ignore”.

    But from a security stand point it should be the server not the client that sets the security level.

    That is if a server sees any cipher suites it does not support in the list the client offers it should ignore them any way, and it should only use the most secure ciphers of those it does support in common with the client.

    If the client does not offer what the server sets as a minimum or above –decided by the server admin– then the server should drop the client request.

    Likewise the client should drop the request if the server does not offer the minimum or above level of security set by the user.

    Otherwise both the server and client will be susceptible to protocol fall back attacks by MITM attacks.

    I still can not see of what use GREASE is for other than a very lame excuse to include a covert channel.

    Look at it this way so Google Chrome discovers what it thinks is a broken server what is it going to do with that information?

    Hmm let me think… from the user perspective nothing that it would not have done without GREASE… ie fail to connect.

    So to be of use “ET must phone home” to the mothership, which means at the very least Google is tracking users…

    The fact that the designer of the protocol has very very deliberately put in “redundancy” auto-magically makes it a side channel. The addition of “random” makes it a prime backdoor candidate. The fact it happens in a “plaintext” protocol guarenties that it will get used as some kind of information leaking mechanism in the future.

    So taking a look at,

    Section 7 : Security Considerations

    The first sentance leaves me with “cold dread”,

    “GREASE values cannot be negotiated, so they do not directly impact the security of TLS connections.”

    Note the use of the weasel word “directly”…

    This is a false security argument, as it ignores compleatly a very large class of security failings that alow covert channels to be established in a plaintext protocol.

    As in a number of similar things the reply to Googles David Benjamin’s RFC8701 “GREASE”, should be the Nancy response of,

    “Just say NO”.

    Otherwise your head will be messed with sooner or later, with worse to follow. Because as I’ve said this is a way I’ve implemented a back door in a crypto product before…

    SpaceLifeForm November 20, 2021 4:36 PM

    @ Clive, ALL

    Look at it this way the values Google claim to use for this will simply get “hardwired” to be ignored by server side software developers as a “default ignore”.

    Mission Accomplished.

    This has nothing to do with Protocol Negotiation, or downgrade attacks however. It’s the fact that 4 or 8 bits can leak via every TLS Handshake because the TLS Handshake is plaintext.

    So to be of use “ET must phone home” to the mothership, which means at the very least Google is tracking users…

    Or someone that can MITM plaintext TLS Handshakes. Google is already very good at tracking users.

    The Future is now, Use FF.

    lurker November 20, 2021 6:26 PM

    @SpaceLifeForm, All

    I live in a marginal signal area and if I move about inside the house I can experience dropouts and reconnections, to the same tower, next nearest is 5km away. The latest iteration of Chrome obligingly has a new added notification bar, Black: No internet connection; Blue: Back online. An increasingly annoying number of sites now on reconnection also throw a Chrome error page:
    Your network was disrupted, please Reload this page.

    Now I’m guessing they think this is to protect me from MITM, but sheesh, if MITM wants to, he will. Do I now have to run a packet sniffer on my handheld device to be sure the G isn’t being too naughty? I wonder how long before my old version of Chrome gets banned from the ‘net…

    SpaceLifeForm November 20, 2021 9:19 PM

    @ lurker, Clive, Ted, ALL

    Your network was disrupted, please Reload this page.

    Connect dots.

    Back up now. How’s that Random working for you today?

    Note my block quote from the stackexchange link.

    It seems that this number is random. I mean if you refresh the page, those number will change:

    Refresh. Reload. Same difference when you may think your Random is decent.

    Except when it is GREASED.

    Clive Robinson November 20, 2021 10:11 PM

    @ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

    How’s that Random working for you today?



    Without getting a very very carefull look at the RNG to be used, my money is on “setup for backdooring the browser”.

    Look at it this way, lets assume that for now it is just random, in a short while everyone will ignore these extra bits of plaintext… As they become normal.

    Then lets assume a few users become,

    “Persons of Interest”

    If their RNG got replaced with an RNG that was say a bi-phase or phase invertion modulated stream generator. There would be nothing to see on the wire as “random would be random”, unless you knew what the stream generator was outputing…

    We know the NSA tampered with Cisco equipment, we know that the RNG in the Jupiter Networks equipment got “backdoored” thus we know that some agencies have the capability to modify the code, or if the code is setup correctly flick a softswitch to output an encoded | encrypted version of a master key etc.

    As I’ve said, it’s something I did years ago to an encryption product, and I’m no “super genius” so I should think there are plenty of people capable of getting such “backdoor” code past “Code Reviews”.

    Or write the code in such a way it is easy to “blind patch” with as little as a byte.

    lurker November 20, 2021 11:47 PM

    To remain extensible, servers must ignore unknown values. However, servers may have bugs and reject unknown values.

    The reason I’m not in that side of the business is because if some servers might break, I’d let’em break. Then hopefully they might get fixed

    Clive Robinson November 21, 2021 8:01 AM

    @ lurker,

    Then hopefully they might get fixed

    When they are doing the right thing security wise?

    The whole story behind these values is so shallow it smells distinctly of being a “shim sham flummery”. Or as the spooks are apt to say “finessing”.

    From a security perspective,

    “Creating a,
    1, plaintext
    2, de facto or de jur channel
    3, that has redundancy
    4, that is randomly selected
    5, without provable need”.

    Is a recipie for a covert channel that should not exist, because it will be at some point abused to leak secret information.

    Or if you want to put it in other words a,

    1, Golden key
    2, Front door
    3, LEO snoop-way (LEAF)
    4, Back door,
    5, NOBUS,
    6, etc, etc, etc.

    That is the purpose Google are putting into TLS by these values and the very badly described behaviour is distinctly suspicious.

    As I’ve said years ago I used similar “shim sham flammery” arguments to put a covert channel in the eighth unused bit in a byte that carried 7bit ASCII in a stream cipher.

    I used a simple argument for my “back story” that the eighth bit leaked KeyMat that could be used to “reconstruct the sequence of an LFSR and it’s internal state (which is true). So it gave me a cover argument to put a “random bit” in the eighth bit before it went into the stream cipher. I then tweaked the stream cipher generation function again using the same argument such that it generated KeyMat with that eighth bit clear. Thus the output had the “plaintext” of that “random” generator”. I used a trick[1] in C to malloc() a block of memory for temporary use. I used it to build a carefully constructed secret in which was used as a session key that got copied it to another buffer. I then used free() on the temporary memory. In the next subroutien I called malloc() again with exactly the same values, so ended up with exactly the same block of memory with that secret in it… However to a programmer not familiar with this slight of hand trick they would assume –incorrectly– that the secret had disappeared with the free()… Having passed the secret I then used it to build the output of that supposadly random generator, by bi-phase, phase inversion modulation I effectively turned that eighth bit into a “Direct Sequence Spread Specturm”(DSSS) signal modulated over and over with the all important secret that was the session key for the encrypted message that went out over the wire…

    In otherwords what we would call a “LEO snoop-way” or “Law Enforcement Access Field”(LEAF) or a very crude “Nobody But Us”(NOBUS) back door.

    I did it not to put a backdoor into an encryption product, but to prove to managment shortly before I left, that the way they did “Code Audits” was a compleate waste of time and effort as those they had tasked to do it were shall we say not the best or brightest light bulbs in any codingverse.

    It’s why I have zero confidence in the likes of “code signing”. Likewise not much more than that in the OSS “many eyes” argument. Yes eyes can look at the source code, but unless they are “expert eyes” the chances of catching such tricks are slim. Especially when there is a plausable sounding “back story” to cover the “oddities in the code” that get “supposadly random bits to the wire as plaintext”.

    It’s why I am very deeply suspicious of what Google are upto with this. Look at it this way they would just love to have their own NOBUS in chrome that gets used by so many people. Think of the data it would alow them or others to “hoover up” on an industrial scale.

    It would compleatly undo the HTTPS for All initiative that was calked “Going Dark” by some. That Google, the NSA, CIA, FBI and others hatred because of the fact HTTP was “plaintext on the wire” and made their snooping oh so easy.

    [1] Oh this malloc-free-malloc trick to create a covert channel in the code, comes about as a direct result of “Efficiency-v-Security”. Put simply the way malloc/free used to work was it neither initialized memory on malloc, nore cleared it on free as that would burn CPU cycles that for 99.9…% of the time would not be of any benifit what so ever. The fact it gave you a realy juicy covert side channel was obviously not given consideration back then. Oh and trying to solve the problem with calloc is the wrong way, the memory should be cleared by free.

    SpaceLifeForm November 24, 2021 5:47 PM

    @ Clive, ALL

    Yes, free() should zero out the storage.

    But, you can not trust libraries.

    What if I created a malicious malloc(), calloc(), and free() in a library that your dynamically linked executable actually got linked to at loadtime or during runtime?

    Unless you build a static binary, using library code that you compiled from source yourself (.a,, you must code for defense in depth.

    If you build a dynamically linked program, you can get subverted via libraries and/or toolchains.

    Unless you built them from source yourself.

    Even then, stuff can slip thru.

    So, you review source code.

    Even then, stuff can slip thru.

    Keeping the codebase small really helps.

    And, if I can not trust free() to actually zero the block, how can I zero the block after my pointer is allegedly no longer a valid pointer?

    You cannot due to threading issues.

    So, as part of Defense in Depth, the calling code must not rely upon software contracts that a library function is allegedly going to honor. The calling code must zero the block before it calls free().

    Clive Robinson November 25, 2021 12:44 PM

    @ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

    The calling code must zero the block before it calls free().

    Actually the calling code must zero both immediately after EVERY malloc() and immediately before EVERY free(). Better yet the programmer should get one chunk of memory using

    Assuming of course that the code can correctly determin the length of the block, which might not be possible without some hard work.

    And that’s the problem… Doing that work swallows CPU cycles, that many programmers still think are a waste…

    For those old “hackneyed” programmers in times gone by the use of brk() or sbrk() would be used to gey a big wadge of “heap” that the programmer would manage themselves (the only realy sensible thing to do). Then came along file mapped memmory with mmap()/munmap()…

    But… These days you are not supposed to do such things it is “Verboten”. Whilst brk(), sbrk() and mmap()/munmap() are allegedly kept for historical reasons. They were part of the supposed “Legacy Feature ” in Single UNIX Specification, Version 2 (if you still have such systems). But they officially have been withdrawn and so are not supported as part of Version 3. New applications should use malloc().

    Then there is the fun of kmalloc()… Which you need to play with if you are writing hardware drivers, especially those using DMA… The advantage, low mem, locked in memory and all contiguous (so from a “hardware dude” perspective spot on).

    As a discussion about memory handling can fill a book, or at least a couple of chapters of one, it’s best to download “Linux Device Drivers” Version 3 and read the chapters on “Allocating Memory” and “Memory Mapping and DMA” in there. Even though it’s more than a decade and a half old…,

    Then go looking for more up to date info…

    For those that want to know what goes on at the lowest levels, you should know that Linux uses a basic “buddy allocator” as described by Donald Knuth, he says it was invented just about sixty years ago by Harry Markowitz,

    With quite a few “go faster stripes” added in the more modern Linux,

    Allison wicks December 2, 2021 10:21 AM

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