Izzy December 3, 2021 5:38 PM

Apple has alerted 11 U.S. Embassy employees that their iPhones had been hacked in recent months by Pegasus spyware from NSO Group, an Israel-based company that licenses software to government clients in dozens of countries that allows them to secretly steal files, eavesdrop on conversations and track the movements of its targets, according to people familiar with the notifications.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 3, 2021 5:41 PM

Civil Rights, in Absence, Confer a Level of Civic Security?

What say ye…

With the attack and outright disregard for civil and human rights in the United States, does this represent a threat to individual or collective security? Does life and liberty infer a right to its pursuit? Does self governance require individuals to honor others rights? As those that confuse political and governance as purely an exercise do not recognize the personal security it affords. Devolving into a “might makes right” renders many vulnerable to a authoritarian aggregation of power and control.

ResearcherZero December 3, 2021 6:20 PM


This is a problem around the world. The internet and the flow of information threatens “might makes right”, hence we see an increasing flow of disinformation and misinformation, much from authoritarian states.

The free flow of information also threatens the privileged members of society, who have long ‘closed ranks’ to maintain this privilege. Hence they are only too willing to allow the increase of surveillance powers, in a hope it will help them maintain their authoritative and privileged position.

A jab in the arm is uncomfortable, but the soothing surveillance of the electronic panopticon is oh so subtle and comforting. It will surely keep us all safe from all the terrifying and confronting changes that assault our senses on a daily basis.

I am hoping to achieve the lowest possible social credit score, and I won’t be moving an inch on that (mostly because I won’t be free to move an inch because of that low score).

Yavol, we halve no bananas December 3, 2021 6:32 PM

Granted, this is allegedly from the calender year of 2017, however;
America, we seem to have a problem(!):

Does anyone have a more updated chart of this?

SpaceLifeForm December 3, 2021 9:22 PM

@ popehat, mmasnick, emptywheel, bmaz

It has always been RICO

The perps can not spell that.

Four letters is an overflow condition.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 3:10 AM

Earlier this year, the Australian Capital Territory’s highest court, the ACT court of appeal, ruled that Collaery’s trial should be held in the open, citing the importance of open justice and the need to deter political prosecutions.

But the ACT court of appeal never published its reasons for making that decision, because the Commonwealth wanted them partly suppressed on national security grounds.

The court of appeal refused to redact the judgement.

In a dramatic escalation late on Friday, the Commonwealth sought leave to appeal in the high court to have parts of the judgement suppressed.

The attorney-general Michaelia Cash did not respond to requests for comment. But the high court confirmed the application had been filed.

Justice David Mossop questioned whether there is any prospect of completing the prosecution of Mr Collaery, given the process to update the evidence could take in excess of a year given any appeals.

Justice Mossop said he was “thinking out loud” when pondering if the evidence and the case would be “stuck in a perpetual vortex of being updated”.

He also queried whether his decision was constrained by the ruling of the appeal’s court, which overturned his decision to have the case heard in secret.

It’s the latest in a never-ending, Kafkaesque attempt to prosecute the barrister and former ACT attorney-general for offences stemming from the disclosure of information about Australia’s bugging of the Timor-Leste government.


Australia spies on the heads of state of its neighbours.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 3:27 AM


It’s a very common practice. Also backdoors are popped into equipment, then someone else finds it (like Russia discovering a certain CIA backdoor in a certain encrypted communications system, which was set up by the CIA and sold to a certain other country).

Wiretapping from an embassy is illegal in nearly every country. But that is precisely the task of the SCS, as is evidenced by another secret document.

CDRs – call data records – which record the numbers called and calling a phone, the duration of calls, and whether it was a voice call or SMS

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 3:33 AM

Australia has offered to share profits 80-20 in Timor Leste’s favour, but with the oil and gas processed in Darwin.

Timor Leste wants a 70-30 split but with processing done in its own country to encourage the growth of a domestic processing industry.

Australia has been ordered to cease spying on East Timor and its legal advisers, in a landmark decision by the International Court of Justice relating to a bitter dispute between the two countries over $40 billion of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 3:57 AM

East Timor is one of the poorest nations in the world.

Normally a dispute such as this would be referred to the International Court of Justice or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for an impartial decision, but the Australian government had withdrawn from these international jurisdictions (solely on matters relating to maritime boundaries) shortly before East Timorese independence.

Nevertheless, under public and diplomatic pressure, the Australian government offered instead a last-minute concession solely on royalties from the Greater Sunrise gas field.

Other developments within waters claimed by East Timor but outside the JPDA (Laminaria-Corallina and Buffalo) continue to be exploited unilaterally by Australia, however.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 4:35 AM

Steve Bracks, a former Victoria state premier and founder of the Timor-Leste Governance Project aid organization, described Australia continuing to take revenue from Bayu Undan as “pretty outrageous.”

Charlie Scheiner, a researcher at La’o Hamutuk, an East Timorese research institute, said Australia had made $5 billion from oil and gas that it now agrees is in East Timor’s territory.

“Australia had no right to get 10% of Bayu Undan,” Scheiner told Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We hope that Australia will do the right thing and repay the money that it took from now things that they don’t even claim belong to Australia anymore.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade did not comment on the question of compensation, but said in a statement on Tuesday: “We look forward to formally bringing the treaty into force as soon as possible.”

The treaty states that “the parties agree that neither party shall have a claim for compensation with respect to petroleum activities conducted in the Timor Sea.”

Rothwell described that clause as “a little unusual,” and reflected the multiple Timor Sea agreements over the decades that Australia had with Indonesia then East Timor.

“Having that sort of compensation clause is really a lawyer’s way of making sure that there’s no further comeback on these issues,” Rothwell said.

Jon PENNYCOOK December 4, 2021 5:25 AM

I didn’t want to research how true this was in case Amazon decided I was an anti-vaxxer or something, but it seems that people may be putting their wireless routers in Faraday Cages to protect against “radiation”:-

Crazy conspiracy Q-heads buying Faraday cages for their WiFi routers and then writing bad reviews because their wireless no longer works is just peak 2020.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 6:17 AM


You need considerably higher power than a router to emit energy capable of causing any damage. Electronics have strict rules to stay within the safety range which is very safe, by a very considerable margin.

However, the Russian government isn’t concerned with such matters as stupid rules in other countries, they have a more nihilistic approach and produce a very high powered device, that needs to be transported by vehicle due it’s significant size and power requirements.

“During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Burns raised the issue with the leadership of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, and the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR. He told them that causing U.S. personnel and their family members to suffer severe brain damage and other debilitating ailments would go beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior for a “professional intelligence service,” said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive conversations.”

The Russian government is in the process of moving some equipment currently.

Footage shows a line of military troop-carrying trucks steaming down a highway in Bryansk around 100 miles from the border.

Additionally, the document states that “equipment may be left behind at different training ranges to enable a rapid, final buildup.”

“Additionally, in the past month, our information indicates Russian influence proxies and media outlets have started to increase content denigrating Ukraine and NATO, in part to pin the blame for a potential Russian military escalation on Ukraine,” the official said.

“Recent information also indicates that Russian officials proposed adjusting Russia’s information operations against Ukraine to emphasize the narrative that Ukrainian leaders had been installed by the West, harbored a hatred for the ‘Russian world,’ and were acting against the interests of the Ukrainian people.”

In his comments in Latvia, Blinken cautioned the Ukrainians not to give Russia a pretext for military action.

“We’re also urging Ukraine to continue to exercise restraint because, again, the Russian playbook is to claim provocation for something that they were planning to do all along,” he said.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 6:56 AM


They may have their WIFI isolated, but what about their radio or their string quartet? If they are worried about radiation such as microwaves, why not shroud the entire house?

It’s probably a good market to corner, aimed at people that have not realized what Faraday Cages are actually for. Large cages could be sold as protection from nuclear weapons.

The pitch:

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Why bother with an expensive bunker you might never use, when you can be protected from radiation in your own home? You could even protect yourself from toothpaste, hair cream, cosmetics and suppositories that you may have left over from the 1940’s. If your smartphone isn’t working, you know it’s really working.

Winter December 4, 2021 8:08 AM

@Paul Suhler
“Kill Switch”

It is a breathalyzer style anti drunk driving device.


Given the appalling number of fatal traffic accident in the USA (it is a record breaker in the developed world), I can see the point in that.

Curious December 4, 2021 9:39 AM

I don’t know anything about this below other than having read the tweet, but it looks to me like this pdf viewer that is mentioned, is used for academia stuff for viewing academic papers online, but supposedly it sort of records your reading habits, or so it is claimed:

“Of course Elsevier’s “enhanced pdf viewer” tracks where you click, view, if you hide the page, etc. and then transmits a big base64 blob of events along with ID from University proxy when you leave. I’m sure straight to SciVal for sale.”

Presumably, it is about this pdf reader:

Clive Robinson December 4, 2021 9:49 AM

@ Paul Suhler, Winter, ALL,

“BARR: Biden’s ‘Infrastructure’ Bill Contains Backdoor ‘Kill Switch’ For Cars”

You can kick the “political rhetoric” to the curb side, the capability is already built into many cars for “insurance reasons” using OnStar. Read,

And look for “Advanced Automatic Collision Notification” (also does eratic driving notification) and “Stolen Vehicle Slowdown” (also does stop).

The technology started being put in US vehicles over a decade ago.

The only thing that was not there was the legislation enabaling Police Use without a court order.

But it could have been done at any time by a number of insurance companies quite legally.

It’s why I wish people would read the small print in the documents of what goods they buy (car) likewise what services (insurance) they get.

Currently some insurance policies alow the insurance company to monitor your driving style via OnStar or similar and charge you appropriately. As they can change that charge at any point in time they can technically void your insurance whilst you are driving so slow you down and stop you…

Sometimes that “good deal” is not at all good when you consider all the legal possibilities.

Curious December 4, 2021 10:06 AM

What are ‘vanity RSA keys’?

Sort of sounds to me like this is a known thing and maybe not a new thing.

“To be clear, we are aware of others having successfully factored the key, but we arrived at our solution independently. Here’s how we did it.

Something about factoring a key but I don’t understand what this is, or even what the point of it is. I guess something to do with signing digital certificates.

Leonid Isaev December 4, 2021 10:20 AM

@Clive Robinson:
Re: insurance companies’ monitoring

True. StateFarm offered me a discount if we install a bluetooth device in the car paired to StateFarm app on my smartphone, to monitor speed and mileage.

Clive Robinson December 4, 2021 11:17 AM

@ Curious,

I don’t know anything about this below other than having read the tweet, but it looks to me like this pdf viewer that is mentioned, is used for academia stuff for viewing academic papers online, but supposedly it sort of records your reading habits, or so it is claimed:

This sort of thing has been going on to my certain knowledge for the past three decades.

I was aware of it first being told of it in the 1980’s as the reason why Big Phama and similar do all research “in house” including looking up citations, papers and patents. That is they would buy the databases via obscure front companies and similar and then only run them on closed and issolated internal networks.

The reason was to stop what are “side channel leaks”, just looking up a paper tells a lot about what a researcher is thinking, the more citations etc or the actual search parameters are a gold mine not just for industrial espionage but investors and speculators.

In the 1990’s I took on a technical role for a citation database supplier. I was warned several times that our major competitor collected the information in their online offering. Unfortunately they took over the company I worked for and there behaviour was confirmed when I went through the source code. It was the reason they and I parted company. As far as I am aware nearly twenty years later what little is left is “online only” so researchers in Universities and the like are being ripped off in all ways imaginable.

The “publishing industry” around science is one of the most dishonest market places there is and it’s costing research, universities and similar billions with it’s fraudulent behaviours very year one way or another…

They have even approached me some years ago to write a book… obviously I was somewhat flattered who wouldn’t be. However my sixth sense said there was something hinky… So I looked into what they actually did and phoned around a few people I knew… The result I was horrified by what I found out. A few carefully chosen questions over a nice lunch kind of confirmed what they were upto so after they paid the bill I said I had things to think about as to how I was going to rearange work scheduals to fit it in. Then led them on for a while before saying that I was realy to busy.

In short they wanted me to spend about a year of my life writing a book, which they would pay royalties on, but no advanced fee. I checked through friends in university libraries and they basically said it was a scam as they would only print up a hundred or so books in hard back and only try to sell them to Uni libraries in the UK at around ~two dollars a page so a very high income per item. However the royalties were based on the number of copies sold starting at cents and getting upto maybe a couple of dollars, but with penalty claw backs based on unsold copies…

Clive Robinson December 4, 2021 11:53 AM

@ Curious,

What are ‘vanity RSA keys’?

It depends on who you ask.

One type is where you generate lots of keys looking for ones that start or end with your organisational name…

For obvious reasons these are very rare as the larger the organisational name the more searching you have to do.

However RSA keys can “hide information” in them because they are generated in a highly redundant way. It’s the basis of “Kleptocryptography”. A point noted in a paper in 1980.

On such form of hiding would be a short indicator as to where to start a prime search to find one of the two primes, thus critically weakening the public key[1].

However such redundancy means that RSA keys come in a range from veey weak to quite strong.

If you think about it the search for a vanity key puts constraints on what primes you can use. As a consequence it would make weak keys more likely.

[1] As I’ve mentioned before on this blog I once backdoored an RSA key generation program quite a few years ago as not just a proof of concept but also as proof that code audits were not a security panacea. The “secret” was generated using a quite short PubKey that encrypted a truely randomly generated number. The TRNG number was then determanisticly lengthened and used as the start point for the prime search for one of the two primes. The prime search then looked for two primes that when multiplied put the “secret” in the upper bits of the final RSA PubKey…

SpaceLifeForm December 4, 2021 4:40 PM

@ Clive, Ted, Winter

Good funny.

Did you spot the other mistake the students made?

If they had stayed on the plane, they could have gotten free cocktails during the trip back to the hanger.

[429 – retry]

Ted December 4, 2021 5:19 PM


Re: MO Governor and DESE website misconfig

Those recent articles shine some pretty bright lights on what went down with the state’s cyber team, the FBI, and the Governor.

I sometimes want to give people the benefit of the doubt, but it’s becoming harder to believe that Gov. Parsons was receiving or listening to good strategic advice.

I was pleased that the state’s civil servants and LE seemed to have a their constructive and informed wits about them. Which makes the Governor’s aberrant behavior more perplexing.

I really feel bad for the professor who had helped the newspaper verify the vulnerability. The fact that he hired an atty to potentially defend himself against malicious prosecution sounds so stressful.

I hope he feels tremendous support from his community and teaches his students all that he is learning about the politics and legality of disclosure.

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 8:07 PM

“It would hide corruption, not expose it,” said Stephen Charles, QC, a former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal and a director of the Centre for Public Integrity.

“It falls short of its state counterparts on almost every level. It is a breed of its own and does not deserve to be called a watchdog.”

The pair were helping Timor-Leste mount a case against Australia in the international courts, arguing that the Timor Sea agreement had been rendered void by Australia’s spying.

Australia’s domestic spy agency raided their homes in 2013. Witness K’s passport was seized, preventing him from travelling to The Hague to give evidence.

After Timor-Leste and Australia reached a new agreement on the Timor Sea, the Australian government signed off on a prosecution of Collaery and Witness K.

The defendant, Witness K, was sent to jail – and not even the ACT Justice minister, with oversight of the prison system, knew about it.

Christian Porter, the attorney general who made the decision to prosecute Bernard Collaery, will resign at next election.

“I always did so trying to respect the rights of the people who were accused, but I always gave everything I had to doing right by the victim in the often traumatic process of the justice system.”

In early February, Porter and his bureaucrats tried to prevent Bret Walker SC from participating in the Collaery case by initially refusing to provide him with permission to join the case under national security provisions, and refusing to agree to moving the hearing dates so Walker could participate.

Porter was also accused of interfering in the court proceedings by screening documents held by Woodside Petroleum. Independent senator Rex Patrick used Senate question time recently to ask why Porter demanded the federal government have “first access” to documents held by Woodside before they were provided to Collaery.

As for holding the Collaery hearing held behind closed doors, Collaery said: “I want to defend myself in public. That’s the hallmark of our democracy, a public trial.”

Former NSW Supreme Court judge Anthony Whealy says there is no need to hold the trial in secret. “There are no real national security bases for suppressing that evidence and keeping it away from the public,” and because the horse had well and truly bolted. Whatever damage may have been done to Australia’s reputation was done years ago and “these events have been discussed many, many times in the press.

“It is very curious that the Australian government should now claim that release of a 20-year old cabinet submission on the Timor Gap negotiations would damage national security and specifically harm current security operations,”

SpaceLifeForm December 4, 2021 8:11 PM


Someone here mentioned PDFs, but I lost the thread.

According to a recent study, employee surveillance is rampant in today’s corporate work environment. This study documents how, often under the pretense of cybersecurity or risk analysis (sort of like academic publishers, actually), companies analyze the behavioral data they collect from their employees to help them make “evidence-led”, i.e., algorithmic employment decisions. Some of the tools are used to assign risk scores to employees and to categorize them into risk groups:

ResearcherZero December 4, 2021 8:19 PM

StandOut CV found that 22% of those programs can access a device’s camera to take pictures of their workers, 19% support GPS tracking, and 9% can listen in on employees through their computers’ microphones.

One in three UK workers are being monitored by their employer — including in their own homes.

a productivity optimization tool with a cutesy game-themed “score”

Clive Robinson December 4, 2021 8:54 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Right-wing activists are openly ‘weaponizing’ Twitter’s new private media policy

Several points to not just remember but burn into everyones brain,

1, A pendulum is either of no use or swings first one way then the another under external forces.

2, All technology enables societal pendulums, if good or bad at any given point in time is a societal not technical view point.

3, Sociatal issues can never be solved by technological means, only shifted temporarily.

4, When ever and where ever a pendulum swings there will be those that win by it’s current direction and those that loose by it.

5, Pendulums can swing in more than one dimension at the same time, even though it may not be immediately apparent, thus their path can appear unpredictable in the short term.

6, There can be more than one set of forces acting on a pendulum at any one time, thus their path can appear chaotic at all times.

The more people realy realy understand this the better society will be. Even if they only Grok the first three, especially the third.

chimp December 4, 2021 8:56 PM

Why do batteries drain faster when listening to AM/FM radio vs. playing a CD?

You would think the laser/motor for the CD would wear down the batteries faster than listening to the radio, so what gives!?

lurker December 4, 2021 9:04 PM

@SpaceLifeForm: there’s that 5 letter word again

anyone running relays: try to get connected to the community so we can build some trust among each other

trust? anonymity? choose one…

Leikhus Skartgripir December 4, 2021 9:06 PM

@ Clive Robinson

technology … pendulums

While it’s true that once the genie is out of the bottle, the only option is to manage as best as can be done, nevertheless there are some technologies that make what was a remote possibility something proximate and thereby increase social danger.

Clive Robinson December 4, 2021 9:57 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Are you sure you want to use Tor?

Long answer short “No you would be crazy to do so”.

The longer answer is more complicated, but as I’ve repeatedly pointed out in oposition to the fan-bouys that pop up then disapear Tor is designed either badly or deliberately to be insecure to the likes of traffic-analysis. This just demonstrates what I’ve been saying…

However it’s important to note,

“KAX17’s focus on Tor entry and middle relays led Nusenu to believe that the group, which he described as “non-amateur level and persistent,” is trying to collect information on users connecting to the Tor network and attempting to map their routes inside it.”

Is not telling the whole story which is of concern. Because either Nusenu is missing something important or is keeping it undisclosed for some unspecified reason.

As I’ve pointed out for many years here one mistake people make is not understanding the physical makeup of the internet with respect to geographicaly made “choke points”.

Without going into detail there are a few points were vast amounts of traffic go through a single geographical node. Bude Cornwall in South West England is a case in point. Many Satelite and sub-sea cables all come through a virtually unknown “single building”. There is a similar place in Australia and just a very few others around the world where nearly all the worlds non local traffic traverses.

Such choke points make certain types of traffic analysis very much easier and way way more effective.

What needs to be done is identify where these KAX17 nodes are located, and which choke points they are pushing traffic through. If this is done over time it will help show where the monitoring is most likely being done.

Interestingly due to the “all roads lead to Rome” or more correctly “US” for the Internet it is less likely to be the US that is responsible for seting up these KAX17 nodes. That is they would get to see the bulk of Tor traffic as do Australia and the UK. So whilst I can not rule out the US or other Five-Eye members, they would be less likely than others to need to re-direct traffic through a choke point they control.

My gut feeling on no more than previous BGP4 “errors” is the Tor traffic is going in the Far East direction…

It’s probably wrong, but untill we actually “Map the CAT” –as we used to call it when looking for unauthorized nodes in corporate networks– we won’t know.

If KAX17 is sufficiently “on the ball” then by now they will have taken steps to hide their use of geographical choke-points. One of the best ways to do this is by creating logical choke-points between their nodes. With to hide what is going on, all the nodes being as near “vanilla” as possible, so looking at them will provide few or no clues. But with the KAX17 operators putting an “upstream” switch or router at the node that “copies” the traffic on one port to another port where it is enumerated out of sight of ordinary investigation (it’s not just the NSA that hide in unseen “router-land”).

Whilst “Internet routers” can be seen at the internet protocol level as they are in higher levels of the IP stack, things below the IP level can not except by certain physical law restrictions such as “timing”. That is an IP network at the physical layer can actually be sitting on a telco X25 network or similar where IP traffic gets encapsulated and then routed out of sight.

As you can see it can be a fun game trying to track it down. Importantly though just ElInt may be insufficient and “boots on the ground” needed, as in the case of you finding out about what actually goes on at Bude below what your IP tools can reach…

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 12:48 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, vas pup, ALL,

The joys of “stealth mode” for operating covert radio stations,

Oh and if you want to be less susceptible to being “DF’d on the Groundwave” then have a look into “Near Vertical Incident Skywave”(NVIS) operating to cover 150-300kM around you.

The upside of NVIS operating is you don’t have to throw antennas up into trees, just laying them ontop of bushes etc about six foot or so off the ground is usually sufficient (but there are powerloss issues). Especially when working 5MHz and down where a resonant 1/4 wave antenna would have to be 71m/Fmhz in length as a minimum. So for 1.6Mhz (bottom of marine band etc) would be 44.375meters or ~146ft. But the end impedence would be very low and you would need a second wire of similar length underneath on the ground for it to “work against” as a radial.

However if you consider this just under 300ft of wire you can put more length on the bushes for less length on the ground. That is a 1/4wave antenna is very low impedence hence current fed and needs a near full 1/4wave as a “counterpoise” however a 1/2wave antenna is a very high impedence so voltage fed[1] and needs only a minimal counterpoise if any (it can use the outer of 30ft of coax). The so called “random length” antenna is not a 1/4wave or a 1/2wave but something inbetween and it’s impedence is somewhere between 200 and 900 ohms which can be matched with a 3:1 turns ratio (9:1 impedence ratio) transformer to 25-100 ohm which most 50ohm transmitters will stomach. So about 200ft for the wire ontop of the bush for about 100ft under it will work but you will need an “Antenna Tuner/matching Unit”(ATU) to make the transmitter “happy”. Or… Bang a ground spike in at the far end and put a 950-1800 ohm non inductive power resistor rated at about half the TX power from the end of the wire on the bushes down to the ground spike. Tgis forms what some call a “mini Beverage” antenna.

Thankfully though there are slightly shorter (50m, 165ft) variations of end fed random wire antennas for those that know a little more “antenna theory” and what to do if things are not quite right on the day/frequency[2]. Though as a rule of thumb for NVIS due to the shape of the ionosphere the further away from the equator you are the lower the NVIS frequencies so the longer the wire you need.

The advantage of NVIS is not just that it’s very hard to Direction Find, but you can actually at a pinch run the antenna out on the ground in just a few moments. End fed antennas especially are good for secret/covert work[3]. You can drap a cammo net over two bushes and sit underneath in the middle with your antenna running out kind of in the direction you want to operate to. This is especially usefull on the edge of a wood or in the evening and at night just sitting in a field. The sort of stuff that “four man bricks” and “stay behind” people used to get taught.

But… Modern signalling by computer adds a new twist. I can if I wish to send an ASCII Email to HF gate way in Yugoslavia by Winlink or other mode if there is a gateway I can reach (of which there are several). Likewise I can send SMS’s through both HF and VHF or UHF APRS and similar gateways. Then there are the satellites or even the International Space Station… All good fun but it gives you a good idea of what is possible for those that know what they are doing.

[1] See this quick explanation of antenna “end fed” impedence,

Other pages on the site will give you other antenna info.

[2] This guy whilst being a ham radio operator also is involved with the Swedish “territorial” forces,

[3] For a longer discussion on secret/covert NVIS comms,

JonKnowsNothing December 5, 2021 1:21 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Remember the Ruby Princess?

The global cruise industry is certainly trying to get things right but they haven’t achieved “safe” yet.

The industry is doing a lot of pre-screening, pre-testing etc. to keep COVID19 off their ships but they have similar problems to airlines, with a slightly different dynamic.

All guests and crew are required to be 100% fully vaccinated so you can safely do what you’ve always wanted to do on a cruise — EVERYTHING. Let’s get back to living life to the fullest, together. Sail Safe. Feel Free.

ht tps:// Norwegian Cruise Line

Then this:

12 04 2021

… 10 people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship approaching New Orleans [USA] have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday night.

The Norwegian Breakaway departed the city Nov. 28 [2021] and was due to return this weekend after making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico in recent days, Louisiana’s health agency said.

More than 3,200 people are on board. Officials did not immediately say whether the passengers had been tested for virus variants.


ht tps://www.wd icle/covid-cases-identified-on-norwegian-cruise-ship-disembarking-in-new-orleans/38430520

h ttp s://e n.wikiped

h tt ps:/ /en.w ik

Ted December 5, 2021 5:57 AM

I would like to read these comments.

Commerce @BISgov requests public comment on priorities for US-EU export control cooperation on emerging tech to help inform the U.S-EU Trade and Technology Council Export Control Working Group.


On June 15, 2021, President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council at the U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels.

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 6:28 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing,

I’m not sure if the source was the 2 hippos at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium

That CNN link, is full of adverts…

Ironically one is for unsold cruise cabines at knock down prices…

But South African scientists feel they are getting kicked for being good at their job and spoting the variant first…

Well remember that UK or Kent variant that took the world by storm?

It almost certainly “arived” from another European country by lorry driver. Whilst we now know where it came from, we don’t know if it arrived there from somewhere else first…

And that’s the sad thing realy.

It’s nations with foresight and thus good testing and screening that are picking up the price for other nations that don’t have good screening (eg US where O-Heck has been for a while) or don’t have at all.

The other problem both SA and the UK have is being “travel gateways” people come through on the way to somewhere else.

It’s time we should realise that “travel gateways” are being used to avoid flight bans and the like. If you could not fly from say Pakistan to the UK then simply fly Pakistan to Turkey, then Turkey to London, which is what happened not so long ago and will happen over and over again.

Back speaking of “crosses to bear” at the start of this you said,

“Stop the planes”

And I said,

“It will follow the silk road and fill in the places in between.”

We also said a few other things (lets not go back to Herd Immunity Policy and the culling of Mom&Pop for cold hard assets it still makes me sick to my stomach).

How are our “crystal ball” scores doing?

Even if it was just logical thinking any body could have, and many politicians should have, done and acted upon early on?

Do we even want to know, realising the butchers bill?

Ted December 5, 2021 6:32 AM

DEF CON retweeted:

The @US_FDA announces release of “Playbook for Threat Modeling Medical Devices,” developed by @MDICOnline, and @MITRECorp.

“For more examples about using Attack Trees, a good resource is an article by Bruce Schneier [6].”

The fictional example they use is the Ankle Monitor Predictor of Stroke (AMPS). They define the following:

  • AMPS core technology
  • The device
  • The patient app
  • The cloud service

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 6:53 AM

@ Ted, ALL,

President Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen launched the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council at the U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels

Yes, it has two drivers,

The first is to build another “our tech” block again to stop the export of ideas and products to “unworthy countries” even if those countries invented or came up with them.

It’s a new varient on the “US did not invent 5G, so none shall use it” argument (which has to do with patents and profits way way more than anythibg else).

The second is to “punish nations”. For instance it’s no secret that the current US President and the current EU president want to punish the UK over the “Irish boarder issue” Biden because he thinks it’s what his great grand pappy N times removed would want. Lyden because she has screwed up over and over and despite being a medical doctor got the COVID play for the EU totally wrong whilst other Anglo Saxon countries did way better. But it’s to get at other countries as well, Canada, China, Mexico, South Anerica, Africa and even Australia and New Zeland. They all make the US and Europe look bad in one way or another so it’s “retribution time”.

If you think having the daughter of the founder of the worlds largest telecommunications company held illegaly was bad, you wait and see what will be done under this bit of US-EU nonsense. Those US “Snatch and rendition” troops that poped up like mushrooms under Bush are idle at the moment, you know what they say about the Devil and idle hands… It’s just a question of time.

Ted December 5, 2021 7:29 AM


Re: Dual-Use Tech Export Controls and the TTC

Well, there are no ‘official’ comments on this yet. Comments are due by Jan 14. Who knows if they’ll get any? Would be nice if they did.


You say:

The first is to build another “our tech” block again to stop the export of ideas and products to “unworthy countries” even if those countries invented or came up with them.

Err maybe. But this too:

The main goals of the TTC are to expand and deepen bilateral trade and investment; avoid new technical barriers to trade; cooperate on key policies on technology, digital issues and supply chains; support collaborative research; cooperate on the development of compatible and international standards; cooperate on regulatory policy and enforcement; and promote innovation and leadership by U.S. and EU firms.


I guess there was a stakeholder meeting that was held on Oct 27. The notice says more details about the mtg with be posted on BIS’s website:

I don’t see anything there yet though.

In this hyper-competitive environment, do you think we can stop to ask who came up with what first?

Ted December 5, 2021 11:04 AM

So that Paris Peace Forum has deets too.

Today I learned there is collaborative effort known as the “The Oxford Process on International Law Protections in Cyberspace.”

One of their initiatives deals with the health sector, another with elections, and I think there are three more? In regards to the health sector initiative, 136 signatories signed the statement on “International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector.”

One of the positions they ask states to consider is:

6) Cyber operations against medical facilities will amount to international crimes, if they fulfil the specific elements of these crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Laws are good. And proposals for laws are nice too. But isn’t attribution still the beast?

JonKnowsNothing December 5, 2021 11:10 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All (including Hippos)

For those who wish to try their luck at some simple forecasting

From the floating petri dish:

Infection Rate D 0.71 OH 2.4

Transmission Rate D 5 OH 6.3

Population 3200

Start Date 11 28 2021 (zero cases)

Current Date 12 04 2021 (10 cases)

Elapsed days 7 (or less)

Incubation Period 3-14 days

It’s an interesting exercise in plotting the next data points. None of which will be published but you can still find out the Wind Direction.

I did this exercise in depth for the Human-Mink-Mink-Human exchange in Spain, before the big culls to the North. The Vet mink culls were set for 30 days. 30 days was the time it took to have 100% infection rate across all the animals. The animals died from the disease within 10-30 days making the cull a matter of bookkeeping, as nearly all the animals were already dead. Only the isolation kept it from escaping.

Later to the North, they were not so lucky but they had some sense of what lay in store if they didn’t cull faster than 30 days.

More later, in the USA, mink farms “had it”, were not isolated and zero culls happened.

There have been reports of infections across “multi-toed” animals. Hippos are included in this group.

Who is getting THAT close to a hippo?

  Aerosol and Fomite (food, pen and pool).

Ted December 5, 2021 12:23 PM


Some of us have bitter memories of the “Wassenaar arangment”

In many ways it’s your experiences that make you so enjoyable. Oh, the stories you could tell. What a sweet dab of menthol your words must be to someone who has endured the aches you mention. And feels relief knowing they are not alone.

But there are still joys to be had. And there is food, and maybe even good food, and spirits and pleasant breezes that call for one to sit and enjoy them. Enjoy them we must😉

Anders December 5, 2021 2:59 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Real Crypto 🙂


Ted December 5, 2021 4:44 PM

Hacker News has a lot of chitty chatter on the NSO hack of US state dept officials.

571 comments and counting

From tschwimmer:

Looking farther back, during the Falklands war in the early 80s there was much controversy over the Exocet anti-ship missile, which was manufactured and sold by France. When these missiles were successfully used against British warships near the Falklands, Britian successfully lobbied for France to stop selling them to the Argentinians.[1]

So yes, it’s actually very common to put the responsibility of how their products are used on arms manufacturers. It’s a good thing and it keeps the world safer.

lurker December 5, 2021 6:56 PM

@JonKnowsNothing: re cruise ships

All guests and crew are required to be 100% fully vaccinated so you can safely do what you’ve always wanted to do on a cruise – EVERYTHING.

To get vax rates up our government is also propagating this part truth as a widespread belief that the vax will wholly prevent infection, contagion, morbidity, and mortality.

MarkH December 5, 2021 7:53 PM

A follow-up concerning law enforcement use of mobile location data in a recent Australian child abduction case, from a news account citing an anonymous police source:

There are at least three new mobile base stations located not far from the remote campsite where Cleo vanished from at Quobba Point, in Western Australia, on October 16.

Telecommunication providers then gave police a list of phone numbers that had been used in the area during the times of interest.

‘So we put the phone data over numberplate-recognition data, CCTV, witness accounts, forensics… And when you layer them on top of each other you solve crimes and that is merely what we have done here.’

At the time, commenters here offered the usual buffet of conspiracy theories to explain why it took so many days to safely recover the child.

A prosaic explanation is that when you gather a vast quantity of data, sifting through it is slow.

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 8:12 PM

@ Anders,

It’s why a whiley purson would as instructed from on high “first take backups”, then use those.

Microsoft pulled other tricks to try and stop “disk copying” working but the “games industry” was way ahead of them as were the “disk crackers”.

I actually built my own “disk analyser” for 5&1/4 floppies. Back then things were “less integrated” so you could remove the interface but keep the motor controler and head amps etc so read/write not just raw data into “tracks” but “quater tracks” as well.

So accurate disk duplication in those “pre and post” tracks was easily possible. As well as catching different write format codes on alternat tracks and similar nonsense.

Some old disks are now “unreadable” not because they are in anyway damaged, but because they relied on the lack of integration in floppy drives to do some of their tricks with their own special drivers…

Fun times…

Oh and as for hidden writing of user and company name, remember they took that idea into MS Office where it’s tucked away in that “funny four K” at the begining of the file that does to things,

1, Gives the NSA “known plaintext”
2, Forensic investigators “back trace” to a given machine.

Oh and a few more other things to catch out the unwary…

Remember it’s why I say,

Paper, Paper, NEVER data.

But even that is not 100% Microsoft subtally changed the shapes of their fonts with different versions of MS Office supposadly to take advantage of better printer technology. The reality is it enables even printed documents to identify which version of Office was used, so “faking” old documents needs not just old hardware but software as well…

Then of course is the question of what is hidden in the variable proportional spacing…

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 8:21 PM

@ MarkH, ALL,

A prosaic explanation is that when you gather a vast quantity of data, sifting through it is slow.

You just know that some one is going to say it…

“What better excuse do you need for ‘parallel construction’ from ‘secret’ methods?”

Sometimes it’s life, not attribution that is hard 😉

Clive Robinson December 5, 2021 9:15 PM

@ lurker,

To get vax rates up our government is also propagating this part truth as a widespread belief that the vax will wholly prevent infection, contagion, morbidity, and mortality.

If people listened in their high school maths and science lessons they would know that “wholly prevent” is not possible, the laws of nature and probability do not allow it once something exists.

Entropy so far only works one way, and all work is inefficient. So genies can not be put back in bottles the way they were once they are out of the bounds of confinement.

Starting from there you can by a series of logical steps work out fairly well what is going to happen.

One thing people often do not get is “survival of the fittest” does not mean what they think it means…

It’s actually about “energy minimisation in changing environments to achieve a given objective” and why “nature” appears to love the 2/3rds rule[1].

As most should have heard by now there are these “R” numbers which is a change by time “ratio” and you get to hear “exponential growth” in infections etc. All it realy is is a percentage in a given time.

Easy to see in an uninfected thus novel population. But as people cease to be viable hosts due to death or immunity the available population starts to drop exponentially so at some point what is exponetial growth becomes exponential decay.

So even though the infectivity rate of a pathogen remains constant, the population available to it does not so the actual infection rate changes.

So for a pathogen to survive it must also change, so that hosts that were immune to it’s old form, are now available again to it’s new form. We call the process mutation. It has it’s own “R” rate so is proportional to the number of people currently infectious.

Thus it should be clear that as the infection numbers rises the muation numbers rise, thus the mutation that adapts against immunity the best becomes dominant for a while, then another mutation takes over.

At the right R numbers this goes on indefinitely and that is when a pandemic becomes endemic.

The only way to stop this is be faster at making hosts in a population immune than the pathogen can mutate.

The important point to note is “in a population” the smaller the population the easier it is to make them immune, because the mutation rate is consequentially lower in small populations.

Thats why quarantine works, it gives the pathogen no hosts way faster than it can mutate, therefore its only options are,

1, Ceases to exist
2, Become dormant
3, Switch hosts

Obviously the last is the least desirable and the first most.

Sadly the larger the population size the way more likely the last option is…

It’s also the most likely way this pathogen started…

Knowing these details and having the R numbers population size etc alows you to fairly accurately model the broad brush strokes.

I pointed most of this out back in the begining and it’s why I called for very local area lockdowns, that have due to stupidity not happened.

We could have been rid of SARS-CoV-2 in a little over a month if we had taken decisive action at the begining…

Now it is not just mutating at an uncontrolable rate, it is also swapping hosts so disease reservoirs are building… So it is now endemic much to the financial delight of certain vested interests…

Entirely predictable, just from understanding simple percentages.

[1] It’s actually not 2/3rds but close enough for most. It’s actually based on “e” which is all to do with percentage change, so pops up everywhere by simple implication of growth or decay by a steady ratio with time.

Ted December 5, 2021 9:57 PM

You all I tried to read through as many of the 500+ comments that I could on Hacker News about the NSO-US State Dept tango, and the best thing I found was:

It’s a Darknet Diary podcast about NSO from Aug 31. Citizen Lab’s John Scott-Railton is the guest of honor. Go get ‘em tiger 🐯 rar.

I’m sorry if someone has already mentioned this podcast. There has been ABSOLUTELY no shortage of stellar coverage here, but it’s a big, big golden haystack!

Still if you need any catch up on background info, and your eyes are a little tired from reading… I would classify the podcast as PHENOMENAL.

Ps: I don’t think anyone on HN had any particularly new or classified info. Lots of really, really good info here for that matter. 🙂

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2021 1:17 AM

Silicon Turtles

At least there is a microcode work-around.

This is fairly long and technical, but one can get the gist of how hard it is to find bugs in the cpu.

This blog article highlights some technical details of a CPU bug we observed on a specific Intel Atom CPU. The bug hunting journey was equally educational and frustrating, since the debuggability of the underlying issue was highly limited by the CPU simply misbehaving at an architectural level.

It was a kernel panic when running a seemingly harmless workload. Strangely enough, the issue occurred only on the newest stepping of that very CPU model. Older steppings and different CPU models worked just fine.

Intel needs better QA

Apparently, the underlying problem was known before, as microcode updates for steppings 2 and 9 prove. However, that knowledge got lost for stepping 10, suggesting this is a QA fail, either as in not thoroughly enough verifying the bug was, indeed, (not) fixed by the new stepping or, even worse, by simply forgetting to include the fix already present in earlier releases.

MarkH December 6, 2021 3:29 AM


What’s hard, is seeing reality for those who consistently prefer hypotheses of baroque complexity when prosaic explanations are at hand.

As the saying goes, neurotics build castles in the air, but psychotics live in them

I suppose we all need some escapist fantasy sometimes.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 4:21 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

What is being sold is “Getting Back to Normal” as the ultimate direction when “Not Dying” is the true goal.

Whilst yes for the individual “Not Dying” is the real name of the game, what is that of the State?

Whilst it might appear to be “Getting Back to Normal” it’s not, nor can it be, they alowed a significant change has happened and now there is no going back.

There’s a new reality and a price to pay for political stupidity.

That price will be not just the onwards cost of jabs, and the flip side of lost opportunity cost, but worse, it will almost certainly involve loss of life a lot of it.

Not only will some die through lack of vaccine, but even in those vaccinated many will die earlier than they would have, whilst others will suffer a lingering disability or new autoimmune disease that will rob them of a life they should have had.

1xjabs, 2xjabs and 3xjabs keep you from dying. They do not prevent you from getting sick, infecting those around you and do not prevent you from getting sick again and again and again.

If you are even alowed to purchase the jabs, which many can not do so. The poorer societies in the world where life is already short and often brutish, become just a useful to some disease reservoir. So not just making the disease endemic, but also brewing up new mutations to be profited by, such is the mentality of some.

Worse we still do not know and can not know for another century, what this now effectively endemic disease will do to the lives of children yet to be born. Will it become a childhood disease that makes you very sick and kills one in just a thousand or two. Or like the flu or common cold it is related to, an annual specter of death scything through the population taking an early toll on those not rich enough to pay the pipers.

But it gets worse, society is changed, not just by the direct effects of the disease, but by the scheming of those corrupt beyond common understanding. We glibly name it “Disaster Capitalism” but in reality it is not the honest application of wealth to create utility thus further wealth in turn. No it is a dishonest and usurious preying on people to prevent them being anything other than itinerant serfs beholdent to those who now seek rent on their very lives.

Such is the price of political vanity and dirty back room deals.

Winter December 6, 2021 5:15 AM

“But it gets worse, society is changed, not just by the direct effects of the disease, but by the scheming of those corrupt beyond common understanding.”

Society has seen that:
1) There are life-and-death problems that can only be solved by the state, and only solved internationally

2) Money is not the problem, people are

3) The really, and only, essential people are the ones that fill the stocks in the shops and stand next to your bed in a hospital

4) Outsourcing can kill you, figuratively and literally

5) There are, and always will be, people that will deny any problem, however deadly or urgent, for personal reasons

6) There are, and always will be, people that will oppose any solution to a deadly problem, however benign and however necessary, for personal, and selfish reasons

These points all fly in the face of everything neo-cons and libertarians have ever said. It will take some time before people can be made to forget this.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 6:22 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

This is fairly long and technical, but one can get the gist of how hard it is to find bugs in the cpu.

It can be fun…

I had the joy of finding then tracking down a fault on a microcontroler back in the mid 1990’s and it took more than a little time.

I’m not supposed to say the part number or manufacturer even today but I can say this, it was a very new top of the range part at the time that we were using because we hoped it would save development time on a time critical project for a very major customer who wanted everything on it… I was in charge of the small software development team and playing “fireman” for other teams including mechanics PCB design and the all important LCD design.

The microcontroler would these days be called an early “System on a Chip”(Soc) and it had an inbuilt serial port peripheral, that very occasionaly did not read data. As we had it on hand built prototypes on matrix board with ribbon cables and other flying wires including the head from the emulator board. It was put down as being an anoying “dry joint” or similar problem, when infact it was not.

The reason it did not show up very much on the prototypes used to do software development was two fold,

Firstly for most of the software development we used a dirty little trick which was to just “loop back” the TX to the RX on the chip.

Secondly that the emulators used high stability Xtal master oscillators…

So the software was almost fully developed without incidence.

So when we moved to actuall PCB’s that were populated with “production parts” it was more than quite late in the design cycle…

The production part in question was that instead of high stability xtal oscillators used on the emulators and mid to late design peototypes, it was a “ceramic resonator” instead.

Ceramic resonators have a much lower frequency tolerance than XTAL’s thus when you had one in one a mobile device and one base device they could be quite a few kHz appart unlike the XTAL’s.

It was only then did the communications problem through RF modems show up…

Well you can guess what kind of emergancy it caused and why people that sort out such issues get called “firemen”.

Well testing eliminated the radio modems in fairly short order as firstly the problem disapeared when the On-Board Chips were replaced with sockets and hooked back upto the emulator. Likewise the “hot wiring” the TX to RX from the seperate chips with flying leads showed the problem continued.

So the problem was in the chip. As I was software not hardware I got selected on the “fresh eyes” principle along with one of the senior hardware engineers to test “voltage” and similar around the Oscillator circuit, and we could not find anything that was in anyway out of tolerance or misbehaving. Another senior engineer that also was software was tasked with looking at the serial port side of things.

Well I wrote some test software that looped back data from one chip’s through the TX to the second chip’s RX got reflected by the second chip back out it’s TX back to the first chip’s RX. I also brought out various error conditions onto the LEDs so we could see when errors were detected… I noticed that the error did flicker very occasionaly when running on the emulators but it did not sync up with any data values that is it just appeared random. For the other sebior engineer to test with I programed a couple of now very precious PROM parts and tested them. It became clear not only was the error rate much higher, but importantly that the errors were “cyclic” in nature, and when displayed on an oscilliscope produced what looked like a 1bit sampled sinewave… I mentioned this and that it was unrelated to the data to the senior engineer when I handed over the units for him to test.

A few water cooler conversations later we realised that the problem was the frequency difference between the oscillators on one chip and the other chip… But also depending on which was higher in frequency dictated which data path the errors were in… Which was most odd to put it mildly.

Well as you can imagine faxes were flying backwards and forwards between us in the UK and the manufacturers Hong Kong design office which was not helped by the fact that we could not speak Chinese and their written English though good was not “expessive” enough in a technical sense so there was a little “lost in translation” going on.

Anyway one bleary eyed morning a bunch of faxes had come in from around six seperate teams in Hong Kong and we were passing them back and forth between us trying to “fathom the riddle of the sands” as it were. I said to Steve “just exactly how does this port work? as I’m not seeing it!” as I held up a one of the faxes. He started explaining and as we talked it through we eliminated things bit by bit working backwards from the CPU and it looked like we were about to eliminate all of it… When that illuminating look appeared.

The problem was in the early late edge detection sync circuit.

Overly simply you clock the data internally at sixteen times the data rate into a shift register, and you sync up to get the edge transition around eight using a pulse swallow or inject circuit. You look at which bits show the transition and adjust accordingly. This way your receiver clock stays synced to the transmitter clock. You do it the same way with a “bit banger” software serial port only you use counters not a shift register as software Inc/Dec are easier than ShftUp/ShftDn (LSHFT/RSHFT).

Steve realised it was in effect only “counting one way” thus could sync to a higher frequency but not a lower frequency so the errors were appearing at the difference frequency between the two clocks, hence the 1bit digitized sinewave seen on the oscilloscope.

We sent a “question” to ask if this had been checked to the HK office. Not much later an urgent fax arived from the manufactures UK office to say that ten ion laser corrected parts were on an aircraft and would be hand delivered to our office as soon as they had cleared customs…

Problem gone, and apart from a file box of very faded faxes and data sheets and photo copies of log books there is very little to show. Oh other than a “Which Best Product” award a first for the company I worked for and a letter from the customer saying they were putting it on their “rental list” because of that. It was the first and only one of the product type they ever did, which made the product quadrupoly unique.

That forth unique factor… Even though I had not designed the software to meet a standard none of us were aware it should meet, it passed with flying colours as an “Office exchange” or PABX…

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 6:30 AM

@ MarkH, ALL,

What’s hard, is seeing reality for those who consistently prefer hypotheses of baroque complexity when prosaic explanations are at hand.

But with out it… Conspiracy Theories would just be silly stories that even children could see through”

It is after all why at this time of year we talk of a very fat old bloke in red getting down chimneys that most dwellings do not even have anymore, and the fact children should leave out a mince pie and glass of milk…

How do you explain away a belly that can hold half a billion mince pies?

But we do and that’s why Xmas atleast is magic 😉

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 6:55 AM

@ Winter,

It will take some time before people can be made to forget this.

I do not want people to ever forget it.

For two good reasons,

1, Society needs rid of such thinking.
2, Society doe not need it happening again.

Because in both cases it can lead in only one direction “the death of society” as we know it.

Winter December 6, 2021 7:44 AM

“I do not want people to ever forget it.”

Alas, we have seen so many “No more….” that were forgotten just a few decades later.

Hands up who uses two characters to indicate a year, i.e., 21 instead of 2021?

Ted December 6, 2021 7:45 AM

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of US Cyber Command, acknowledged Saturday that the military is “imposing costs” on ransomware groups.

This is apparently the the first public acknowledgment of offensive measures against them.

It sounds like these actions are strongly related to attacks that haven taken place against US critical infrastructure, such as Colonial Pipeline and JBS beef plants.

According to Gen. Nakasone:

“This really has to be a whole-of- government effort,” … “This is why the diplomatic effort is important. This is why being able to look at a number of different levers within our government to be able to impact these type of adversaries is critical for our success.”

Jay Healey commented with a bit of initial concern on Twitter, but maybe this will subside?

Winter December 6, 2021 8:02 AM

“This is apparently the the first public acknowledgment of offensive measures against them.”

The ransomware gangs are starting to endanger re-election of politicians and the bottom lines of big players. The big ransomware gangs all collaborate with “enemies” of the USA who use them to destabilize the US, just like terrorists. I expect it will not be long before they will get the same treatment as terrorists.

Just think, if you were a ransomware gang, would you try to blackmail Gazprom? or a large Chinese bank?

If you did, what would you think would happen? (this is a rhetorical question). How long before the USA will start acting the same way.

The days the purveyors of ransomware can take a holiday in the sun are already over, seeing the number of arrests. I expect that the people behind the software itself will start to look over their shoulders a lot. And I would not be surprised if they will start to die young soon.

Ted December 6, 2021 8:48 AM


The ransomware gangs are starting to endanger re-election of politicians and the bottom lines of big players.

Yes sir. Some of them appear to be stepping into that deep water. The NY Times article says:

The first known operation against a ransomware group by Cyber Command came before the 2020 election, when officials feared a network of computers known as TrickBot could be used to disrupt voting.

Election tampering is a big no-no, generally. I am not sure if these ransomware gangs have been informed on what critical infrastructure is, election infrastructure being one of those. But maybe they do know and they just want to feel the burn return? Who knows.

Also, the NY Times article is accessible without a subscription if you access it through the Twitter link. I like free info the best 😉

Ted December 6, 2021 9:33 AM

@MarkH, Clive

Re: Cleo

But they still have to take it to court right? So they still need presentable evidence?

Speaking about the rescue, Western Australia’s Deputy Police Commissioner Col Blanch previously said: “We’ve collected phone data, witness statements, DNA, fingerprints, rubbish along the highways, CCTV – we’ve collected everything.

Winter December 6, 2021 9:56 AM

“But they still have to take it to court right? So they still need presentable evidence?”

I am not sure whether that will be tricky.

For a life-or-death rescue, there is little that is not allowed. I would be surprised if after the girl was rescued, the kidnapper can get off the hook because finding the girl was not done in the correct, legal way.

But Anglo-Saxon law “works in mysterious ways”, so what do I know?

Ted December 6, 2021 10:17 AM


I would be surprised if after the girl was rescued, the kidnapper can get off the hook because finding the girl was not done in the correct, legal way.

I think this depends on how good the lawyers are. I’m sure there’s some fun examples that fall on either side of the fence.

I listened to a podcast about Bill Cosby’s conviction getting overturned on a legal technicality. I hate using this example, so I hope there are better examples.

Do you have an example of someone getting convicted in Cleo-type circumstances (or any circumstances) where it was not provable legally? Let’s travel the globe😉

Winter December 6, 2021 11:05 AM

“I think this depends on how good the lawyers are. I’m sure there’s some fun examples that fall on either side of the fence.”

I think the point is whether the cops had a legal reason to enter the house. The rescue of a kidnapped person, ie, prevention of a serious crime against the life of a person, seems to me a perfectly legal reason to enter a house.

With a legal reason to enter, any evidence found would be legal too. Or so my IANAL reasoning would work.

Winter December 6, 2021 11:52 AM

“I think this depends on how good the lawyers are. I’m sure there’s some fun examples that fall on either side of the fence.”

I did find a real US example that follows basically the same reasoning:

Oliver v. United States
656 A.2d 1159 (1995)

Appellant challenges the warrantless police entry into her home which resulted in the retrieval of a kidnapped baby. We conclude, as reflected in the trial court’s ruling, that the entry and seizure of the baby were justified by emergency circumstances and hence lawful under the Fourth Amendment. The identification of the baby as the kidnapped baby sufficiently attenuated the taint of appellant’s conceded illegal seizure to make appellant’s subsequent confession admissible into evidence. Accordingly, we affirm appellant’s conviction of the offense of kidnapping.[1]

JonKnowsNothing December 6, 2021 12:34 PM

@Clive, @All

re:Review of Rules

There have been a few reports (MSM, WHO) about reviewing the requirements for vaccine approvals. Some of them are already known such as Fast Track applications.

The concept under review is “What is an acceptable Level of Protection”?

If you have many candidates then you can pick the Best of the Litter. However many diseases are on the “orphan List”, where there are few options either 1 or None.

This also affects C19 and its future mutations because some of the folks involved with C19 vaccine development are hinting strongly that “we may not be able to keep up” [with rapid mutation changes].

At the beginning of C19 the CDC set the bar at 50%+. Anything that could hit that mark could get a Fast Track. Other countries had their own minimum levels. Collectively in the USA/EU, we lucked out that the first ones off the production line were way above the 50% threshold. Other vaccine candidates and those in other countries may have a lesser threshold.

The WHO is recommending a vaccine roll out for Malaria, which is a serious scourge of humanity. Current treatments cannot deal with the magnitude of the never-ending disease process and the mosquito vectors have been highly adaptive to our attempts to make-them-bite-less.

The point WHO is making is that the Malaria vaccine is the best they have. It prevents 39% of malaria cases and 29% of severe malaria cases.

This is far below the CDC standards but the bottom line is:

  • 627,000 people died of malaria last year
  • deaths had risen by nearly 70,000 last year, an increase of 12%
  • 50,000 were attributable to disruptions during the pandemic
  • [supply chain] disruption: 25% of insecticide-treated bed nets were not distributed in 2020.

“A reduction of 30% [in] severe cases of malaria means a massive public health impact, larger probably than any other vaccine against any other disease being used right now.”

Dr Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO’s global malaria programme, on the topic of RTS,S vaccine

In application to the current pandemic, some of the future options may be in similar territory. The rolling out of Molnupiravir / Lagevrio

Merck Original Claims

Molnupiravir cut the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by about 50 percent in infected people at risk of severe disease.

CDC Findings:

The pill is only 30 percent effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

It will still save a large number of people and as such it’s being rolled out in the USA and UK.

30% is better than None.


road rash happened.

Winter December 6, 2021 12:54 PM

“The concept under review is “What is an acceptable Level of Protection”?”

For any drug holds that the benefits for the individual should outweigh the risks. Vaccines are different because they are given to heathy people that might not get sick at all.

But a vaccination also has a public health dimension. A vaccinated person protect other people against infection.

In most cases the calculation is easy, say vaccination of elderly people against the flu. Their risk of dying from the complications of influenza are considerably larger than the risks of a side effect.

Measles is another easy case. Without a vaccination every child gets infected and the risk of serious complications of the disease are considerable. So all children are vaccinated.

For COVID, it is more complicated. The young transmit the infections, but the older people die. So, unless the younger people get vaccinated, the older people keep dying.

Now the risk benefit calculations get complicated as the risks and benefits are distributed unequal.

For Malaria this leads to rather difficult policy decisions. Should we go forth with this not very effective vaccine that will reduce the disease burden a little at a considerable financial cost? Possibly giving vaccines a bad name hampering future efforts. Or should we put the effort into a more effective vaccine?

Ted December 6, 2021 1:06 PM


Re: Legality of Emergency Exceptions

Dang it. That’s really interesting. Learn something new everyday.

I guess what I’m trying to understand now is if only “secret” methods can be used to justify emergency actions.

And I guess I’d like put this question in the realm of matters that do not pertain to natl security, and also in states that are not ‘failed.’

I’m not quite sure if MarkH and Clive were debating about how long it took the police to find Cleo, and why this was. Did Clive think that the ‘state’ had found Cleo earlier, but she hadn’t been allowed to be recovered until the ‘state’ could justify retrieving her via parallel construction? Is it possible the delay was due to bearucracy issues in non-national security infrastructure?

I wonder if MarkH has a link to the article he quoted?

I am not a lawyer, obviously. But it seems like it would be risky for someone to act immediately if they only had ‘secret’ sources. It looks like the police would have more protection if the operate in the bounds of the law.

Because the government has the burden of justifying warrantless searches and seizures occurring under this exception, officers need to fully articulate the specific facts and circumstances known to them at the time they acted.

Winter December 6, 2021 3:32 PM

“I guess what I’m trying to understand now is if only “secret” methods can be used to justify emergency actions.”

I think you should separate two cases:
1) Learning about an emergency situation, e.g., the location of a kidnap victim

2) Collecting evidence using lawful entry of a house

For 1), anything goes. If you find the and rescue the victim, you can legally do a lot. Which allows you to spot evidence 2) when entering a private house where the victim is held.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 4:30 PM

@ Ted, MarkH, Winter, ALL,

Did Clive think that the ‘state’ had found Cleo earlier, but she hadn’t been allowed to be recovered until the ‘state’ could justify retrieving her via parallel construction?

Err no.

My comment was to point out the more unlikely a set of circumstances sounded to be on the surface, the more, certain types of people would claim “conspiracy theory”.

The simple fact is “magic thinking” happens by people who do not for some reason wish to understand.

As a fake example of the problem that however describes it nicely. In one of his books Terry Pratchet talks about a Cheese Rolling Competition[1] and why a certain young lady who is probably the best cheese maker in the area does not put her cheeses into the event. It’s because as,she is also in a position of authority as the local “Witch”. Thus she would be accused of using magic if she won, but would loose respect if she did not…

A clasic example of “Why you can not win when you are in a position of authority”, so should not play. The ITsec version being the immortal words from the 1983 film WarGames, where at the end the WOPR computer says “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”.

[1] Yes in England we do have the quaint but dangerous sport of cheese rolling held in the county of Gloucester at Cooper’s Hill near Brockworth. The annual Spring Bank Holiday “Wake”[2] event has been historically described as “A score of young men chasing a cheese over a cliff” (pressumably as an excuse to help find a wife). Whilst not actually a cliff it is a steep 650ft slope down which a full sized ~4kg “wheel” of Double Glocester is rolled and can reach speeds in excess of 110kph, which certainly puts it in the “unstopable munition” energy range, and some people actually cartwheel or spin faster which is a sight that has to be seen to be believed, especially when they pick themselves up and walk away eith a smile… Whilst it once was the preserve of young village lads, it’s open to anyone who has apparently had their brain amputated 😉

Supprisingly the “butchers bill” is not as high as you would expect… Such supprises do happen as I’ve mentioned befor, I found out myself when unintentionally descending 300ft down part of The Devil’s Staircase in Glen Coe one year.

[2] Contrary to what many people might think by association the word “Wake” is not about sadness and death. It actually means “to celebrate life” and to an extent “rebirth” or “spirit / essence rising”. Which is also what the word “spring” used to mean, hence the “spring wake” was a celebration of the winter brought to life for summer.

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 4:35 PM


“With a legal reason to enter, any evidence found would be legal too.”

We had a case here where a magistrate and lawyer took out a restraining order against the police, then abducted a young woman. The lawyer proceeded to rape her for three days before the location where she was being held was identified. I was asked to to see if I could enter the house, then call in police on establishing the crime.

In Australia, even with police present, it’s up to the victim to pursue sexual assault charges. The prosecution then decides if it will proceed. The prosecution acts on behalf of the victim as it is a crime against the state. The prosecution also represents anyone working for the state who might have conducted said sexual assault.

No charges were laid although the police caught the offender in the act. The offender recently may have announced retirement from politics.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2021 4:52 PM

Imposing Costs

The squeeze is on, the actions may be SWIFT.

Despite a 2016 push to force title insurance companies to report the identities of all-cash homebuyers, non-profit Global Financial Integrity estimates $2.3 billion has been laundered through the U.S. real estate market over the past five years.

Half of the transactions it reviewed involved “politically exposed” people at higher risk for bribery and corruption.

[And blackmail]

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 4:56 PM

Australian Government proposes cake for law enforcement

One of the changes flagged in the discussion paper is a formal expansion of the number of agencies that can make use of Telecommunications Act sections 280(1)(b) and 313(3).

The government said it wants “communication” to encompass “phone calls, emails, instant messages, video conversations and conversations via over-the-top messaging applications”, including “draft emails” and “unsent” IM messages.

It also believes “communications” should stretch to “a person’s activities on the internet; electronic files stored locally or in the cloud; “interactions between a person and a machine” such as via chatbots; and machine-to-machine communications.

Section 280(1)(b) will be well-known to telco observers as the “loophole” that enables a range of agencies from councils to the RSPCA and environmental authorities to access telecommunications metadata.

The changes also canvas redefining “communication” in surveillance legislation to cover a wider range of technology platforms and services.

The government is also considering handing “state and territory corrective services the power to access telecommunications data, for the purposes of monitoring criminal offenders; the Australian Border Force with the power to use tracking devices to investigate border-related measures; and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) with the power to use its electronic surveillance powers for a slightly wider range of investigations.”

“the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)… the power to access telecommunications data for the purpose of protecting public revenue from serious financial crimes”.

“[The] ATO experience demonstrates that telecommunications data would also be a critical tool in excluding non-involved individuals from lines of inquiry, or in establishing a relationship between an original person of interest being investigated (for example, for tax fraud) and a larger group of individuals committing serious criminal offences (such as large-scale fraud against the Commonwealth).”

It says the government will consider providing “the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) with the power to access telecommunications data for the purposes of fulfilling its dual financial intelligence and regulatory roles to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing”.

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 5:08 PM


Australia and the U.K. have also agreed to co-operate with the U.S. on laundering activities by introducing legislation. I have not read through the finer detail of the proposals yet, but similar statistics were found in both Australia and the U.K.

“…the most recent data was from 2017 but it went back over 10 or 15 years.”

“We have done some analysis recently on some of the laundromats that have come out of Russia and the former Soviet Union, and a disturbing proportion of the money that comes out of those laundromats—not much shy of 50% in one case—were laundered through UK corporate structures.”

“That is not through the UK or UK financial institutions—some of the money will never have touched the UK—but corporate structures that have been set up through UK systems.”

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 5:10 PM

@ Ted, Winter,

I guess what I’m trying to understand now is if only “secret” methods can be used to justify emergency actions.

New or novel methods are often kept secret on the basis that if they are known then they will nolonger work[1]. However as I frequently note about alleged “Forensic Science” such “secrets” have a bad habbit of being some “pet theory” unfounded in logic, reason, or science, and are nothing more than stupid ideas pushed beyond the bounds of credability, so kept secret to protect the stupid, and venal lawyers.

Have a read of,

To see “Cognative buy in” of one such idiot in charge, who even when his idea to entrap an individual was thoroughly discredited still went on blaiming an innocent man.

[1] One such is the use of the all pervasive “mains humm” that more or less totally surounds us in our home, offices and many other places where mains electricity is. What few rralise is that it is not just synchronous across the country or state, it’s slight frequency variations caused by “load” are unpredictable thus random but importantly are recorded. Mains hum although a very low frequency signal gets into nearly all recordings via,

1, Electrical field.
2, Sound from magneto constriction
3, light from modulation of light sources.

So it can be “phase synchronised” and an accurate time stamp obtained… Unless you know of it and add your own phase offset signal such that your signal replaces it or the sum of the signals provides a different signiture.

ResearchZero December 6, 2021 5:24 PM

“The proposed laws, which passed the Senate with unanimous support late on Wednesday will allow the Australian government to sanction individuals and entities responsible for “egregious conduct”, like threatening international peace and serious human rights violations.”

“Prominent supporters of Australia adopting such legislation include Bill Browder, who was instrumental in promoting the US legislation, and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, who provided a draft bill in his submission to the parliamentary inquiry.”

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 5:50 PM


1) Learning about an emergency situation, e.g., the location of a kidnap victim

In cases where we had recordings of offenders planning to kidnap a victim, as the recordings of the conversations were recorded secretly, we would have to wait for them to commit the act of abduction in order to then make an arrest.
This complicated things significantly, and secretly obtained evidence of the planning of the crime could not be used in legal proceedings.
Some of the offenders also understood the laws of evidence and procedure quite well. For example, they would place their firearm on the dashboard of the vehicle when surrounded so they could not be shot.
Evidence would also be frequently struck out and not allowed to be heard, each offense heard separately, including prior kidnapping of the same victim by the same offender, and other offenses.

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 6:25 PM


Australia has many ‘loopholes’ in it’s legal system, and it has some crazy people who take advantage of it for their own gain.

George Christensen uses US conspiracy show appearance to call for Australian embassy protests.

Mr Christensen urged Jones’ international viewers to protest outside Australian embassies. “The rest of the free world, please stand with us, please support us, and every time we see people out there protesting, whether in front of an embassy or elsewhere… it really does embolden the patriots, the people who are for freedom in our country to stand up,” he said.

As far as I understand a narcissist believes that they are the main character in life’s story, and others are bit-players, supporting actors there only to support, their own lives just an act.

A top criminologist told me that Australia has the perfect environment for narcissists and sociopaths to thrive, due to an unfortunate combination of social and environmental factors.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2021 6:26 PM

@ Ted

Clicking on a link that you found on twitter does not always work.

Random javascript tricks.

‘please signup or login’

‘something went wrong’

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2021 7:31 PM

@ ResearcherZero, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, Ted

The squeeze is on, the actions may be SWIFT.

Gee, who knew that there was blackmail and Devin Nunes would retire?

Remember, Apple has the receipts.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2021 8:15 PM

@ ResearcherZero,

A top criminologist told me that Australia has the perfect environment for narcissists and sociopaths to thrive, due to an unfortunate combination of social and environmental factors.

If you look at any WASP or most other First World nations you can say the same thing.

All you have to do is slightly change the weightins you give to “social” and “environmental” factors.

The truth of the matter is a little more subtle, think about it in terms of “echological niches”.

That is think of “sociopaths” as “town pigeons” / rock doves and narcissists as “wood pigeons” both are similar in many ways but again different in others.

The supposed perfect environment for “rock doves” is cliffs so as “Town pigeons” they find cities desirable. Which is not the same for “wood pigeons” that supposedly find large trees in farmland the perfect environment. However those views are actually wrong now… Urban housing with back gardens is a place where both thrive more than any other but is neither city or country.

It begs the question as to what “environment” features give rise to “social” features that makes life more acceptable in urban environments to both…

It’s the same with narcissists, socio/psychopaths, and sadists. Where ever there is an environment they can “exist” they will develop socialy to make it more suitable to them to make it “home”.

Another way to look at it in the UK is the “fox” they live longer and healthier lives in the countryside but short and diseased lives in the city. But in urban environments they breed way more successfully than they do in either the city or the country. Because whilst in a city food is plentiful, they frequently do not live long enough to breed snd raise the next generation. Out in the country they live long enough to breed two or three times but there is not the food to sustain the resulting population. In urban environments they live long enough to breed once, but have the resources to fully sustain large litters.

So for an individuals survival the country gives longest life, and the city fat resources. But for the species the best survival stratagy is in urban environments.

Though less visable the same applies to rats. So saying that a city is an ideal envirenment is true from one virw point, the country from a different view point and urban a different viewpoint again. All are both true and false depending on the weightings of your view point

There is similar trades in advantages / disadvantages for all those with pathological / incurable mental disorders.

But importantly they exist in most environments so how do you decide what is “ideal”. So it’s your viewpoint based on the weightings it conveys that decides what is “ideal” not the reality for those you are observing.

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 8:40 PM

@Clive Robinson

I’d definitely have a bias on these matters due to the exposure I had of having to deal with such matters and individuals. Probably the criminologist did too has he performed psychological assessments of criminals and police officers.

It was definitely not a healthy environment to work in, as we went around cleaning up the mess of well connected individuals and politicians, also intervening to rescue victims when it was outside the reaches of the law due to those complications. The agencies frankly have better ways of spending time, and though there have been some improvements with the law over the last 40 years, there are some outstanding issues.

Cake is bad:

‘These things, these matters should be looking at criminal conduct, not who your boyfriend is,’ Mr Morrison said.

‘That’s what it should be, these things should be looking at criminal conduct. Criminal conduct is what this should look at not chasing down someone’s love life,’ he said.

The inquiry heard Ms Berejiklian said she would ‘throw money’ at Mr Maguire’s electorate and said she had secured him $170million for a new hospital in ‘five minutes’.

the West Australian MP became embroiled in controversy earlier this year after the ABC reported an unnamed cabinet minister had been accused of raping a woman in 1988, in a letter sent to Mr Morrison.

Mr Porter identified himself as the unnamed cabinet minister, and strenuously denied the allegation in a tearful press conference.

Asked if he knew about the mystery benefactor before Mr Porter updated his register of interests on Tuesday, the Prime Minister revealed that Mr Porter “only recently” discovered the surprising news that he was the beneficiary of a blind trust of substantial value from an anonymous donor.

The Industry Minister faces legal bills in the range of $600,000 to $1 million after he launched and then discontinued a defamation case against the ABC over historical rape claims that he strongly denies. His accuser died by suicide last year just 24 hours after she rang police and told them she didn’t wish to proceed with a complaint.

The Prime Minister and Attorney-General knew one of their colleagues had a written account from the woman who had claimed the rape, and they knew the document had been sent to police.

But they did not read it. They did not try to read it. They did not ask for it.

There are other victims, but they likely do not have a ‘blind trust’ to pay for their legal costs. Mr Morrison was very interested in the details at the time of the incidents, but we were not willing to disclose them to him. Though as a shrewd and able political animal, he’d be very capable at finding out details regarding a top Liberal Party power broker’s son, and anything he may have been involved in.

ResearcherZero December 6, 2021 9:03 PM

It is a ”Rite” that is totally elemental, as primal in expression of basic emotion as any tribal ceremony, as hauntingly staged in its deliberate bleakness as it is rich in implication.

And yet its power – in fact, its terror – comes from the sense it contains of how we live today. For all its abstract atmosphere as a nameless desolate plain, it is a work of disturbing and modern urban tension.

Ted December 6, 2021 9:35 PM

“Clicking on a link that you found on twitter does not always work. Random javascript tricks. ‘please signup or login’ ‘something went wrong’”

🥸 but i need the data

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2021 10:16 PM

SPAR down

SPAR is down, because James Hall is down.

I am smelling dots between Kaseya and James Hall & Co Ltd.

When will businesses learn to not put all of their eggs in one basket?

MarkH December 6, 2021 11:23 PM

@Ted, Winter, et al.:

First, I’ve seen no information to the effect that police obtaining a list of cell tower mobile phone contacts within a certain time interval is per se illegal in Australia. Has anyone found a citation to the contrary?

Second, the “exclusionary rule” we know in the U.S. is distinctive to this country. Most legal systems handle evidence rules very differently.

In particular, Australia seems to have no counterpart to the U.S. system of evidence exclusion. Even improperly obtained evidence may be relied upon at the Magistrates’ discretion, and there is no “fruit of the poison tree” doctrine for the case in which improperly obtained evidence leads to otherwise lawful gathering of evidence.

Please post contrary facts if available.

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2021 12:04 AM

@ Ted

This is not a recommendation, but, maybe, sometimes, just mouse over the link, and hand-type it into another tab.

You also could check into nitter, but I would not.

Did I mention Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin?

There is also Cookie AutoDelete which you may find handy.

The combination of those 3 really help to cut down the noise.

Not completely, but it really helps. The good thing is you do not have to babysit and tweak the plugins. They work fairly well by default.

After that point, you will have to add a javascript filter, and then allow javascript on a site-by-site basis most likely, and then you will find worthless web sites by default because they will not load unless you allow javascript.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2021 12:15 AM

@ ResearcherZero,

What really matters in the end is that we all get a slice of the cake…

There is quite a bit behind that Sub deal that people are not talking about, and it’s not just politics.

Those French “diesel subs” are how do I put it like comparing an over reved two stroke 125cc Japanese motor bike from the 1970’s to a Perguet hybrid car of today.

They would be a waste of money to buy as the Chinese would know where they were virtually all the time, in any kind of war they would be blown out of the water within a very very short period of time.

As I’ve said before it’s fairly clear that China want’s not just uncontested control of the South China Seas but the entire western Pacific ocean.

The US carrier fleets are an anachronism in modern sea warfare. Aircraft carriers had their “15 minutes of fame” back towards the end of the Pacific War that effectively closed out naval warfare of WWII.

Nearly fourty years ago a minor scirmish in the South Atlantic heralded the end of surface vessel led attacks.

Modern naval warfare has three parts,

1, Space systems
2, Air systems
3, Sub-surface systems

Because “surface vessels” are “siting ducks”. Both China and Russia are developing long range stand off launched hypersonic missiles with nuclear capability. It’s also reasonable to assume they have or are developing autonomous sub surface nuclear devices that are in effect self relocating mines.

And lets be honest China, Russia, India have all recently demonstrated “red line” anti-satellite weapons, following the US lead some time ago.

Surface vessels can not hide from Satellites or over the horizon radar systems and I’m reasonably certain that puting the equivalent of satelite survalence systems in high altitude planes and missiles has not just been contemplated but tested and prototyped.

Importantly surface vessels can not hide from IRBMs and ICBMs China and Russia are both known to be rapidly developing the former. Oddly whilst people talk a lot about EMP they don’t tend to think of it in terms of an “offset radar source” for Over the Horizon Radar…

Australia is simply facing the reality that modern naval warfare will be carried out in the waters of interest around them by nuclear submarine for a whole host of reasons. France is most certainly not anything like a world leader in nuclear submarine design, or even conventional submarine design. For instance Sweden’s Gotland class that devistated the US Navy in two years of war games has had midlife modernization with key technologies that are central to their A26 class. But cost “millions not billions” to build. Their AIP system using Sterling engines outperforms the French MESMA system in a number of ways, which might be why the US is investigating and China and Japan have built stirling engine based AIP powered subs.

But I suspect there are two political angles causing a major throwing of toys out of the pram.

Germany has new leadership and France is about to go to voting and money is not on the current encumbrant. This will cause a re-assesment of the Franco-Germanic axis which in effect controls Europe. It would appear that US money is heading northwards towards Germany rather than France as being the political partner to favour.

This is not helped by the AUKUS in the deal, certain French politicians have been playing the Brexit card rather heavily especially those who might not be sitting in the inner Parisian Circle much longer.

Why the UK is involved is a rather interesting story to do with the technology origins of certain US sub technology, unfortunately not as much is known about it as we would like to know and “joining the dots” is not easy. The commonly held view is that the UK is the only country the US has shared nuclear sub tech with… But that’s because they are not asking the obvious question…

But it is of note that it was the UK that took the lead on AUKUS which should raise eyebrows in several places. Not least being the other two members of “The Quad” India and Japan.

But politics aside the “rational actor” needs to note that whilst China has been building up certain parts of it’s military to face externally not –the traditional– internally in recent times, outside of certain mini-sub developments sub-sea warfare is a visable Achilles heal for China… More so now that it appears that India is picking up in this area…

How this cake is going to get sliced and diced is going to prove interesting.

ResearcherZero December 7, 2021 12:30 AM


The Magistrates’ discretion is the important bit. In some states a prosecutor can now be jailed for not following the magistrates instructions.
Magistrates vary from very good, to appalling in both skill, demeanor and behavior. Snakes and Ladders is a term often used as a description, though if the case receives public attention, there can be a marked improvement in behavior. The magistrate can always have the case suppressed and closed to the public if they do not care for the attention.

Ted December 7, 2021 1:08 AM


Did I mention Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin?

You are thoughtful and helpful. Thank you

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2021 2:33 AM

SS7 of course

The co-founder of a company trusted by Google and Twitter to text security codes to millions of users also ran a service that helped governments secretly surveil and track mobile phones, according to former employees and clients.

Mitto has attracted main expertise giants as clients, together with Google, Twitter, WhatsApp, Microsoft’s LinkedIn and messaging app Telegram, as well as to China’s TikTookay, Tencent and Alibaba, in accordance to Mitto paperwork and former staff.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2021 8:29 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I’ve known SS7 to be insecure for decades, and have mentioned it here a few times.

But stories about Mitto AG have been circulating for about half a decade, but no real evidence was given (as is still the case).

It kind of started as Mitto AG not just established itself, but had a meteoric rise to being a major player in SMS traffic handling. People did not see where the resources were comming from for such growth so “shady backers” similar to those we now know about for Crypto AG were speculated.

I’ve previously mentioned the power for surveillance what some call “SMS 0” messages have, and where they can be found “built into the specifications”.

I’ve also mentioned in the past the Five-Eyes “finessing” inyernational phone standards to enavle easy surveillance by the use of FUD and the likes of “Health abd safety” arguments.

After all how can you argue against “think of the children” style arguments when the representatives of the WASP nations are playing “tag team” to run circles around you and make you out to be some heartless anarchist fiend or lover of terrorists?

That’s the reality of what goes on.

Did Mitto AG managnent know what was going on? Very probably not next to nobody knew in Crypto AG. Likewise think of AT&T and those locked rooms in certain exchanges.

Also I know British Telecom were in it upto their eyeballs for years and have mentioned it from time to time.

Our host @Bruce worked for BT for some years, do you think he even had an inkling? It’s just one of the reasons when he sold his business to them I advised him on this blog “cashing the cheque” quickly might be wise.

Heck we know Mossad actually used IBM as cover for “field offices” around the world as I’ve mentioned befor I caught them out at it back in the 1980s. Any sufficiently large organisation can be used as a cloak in many ways, much to the shock of those incharge of the actual organisation when they find out (often to late to do anything about it).

So consider the origin of this story is Bloomberg, they have a bad habit of poor editorial control, and a liking for sensationalist corporate gon bad stories. And lets be honesy here they get technical information /details badly wrong (remember the spy chips on motherboards story).

It’s entirely possible SMS 0 has been pushed at a Bloomberg journalist and spun up by using Crypto AG and Google style arguments into a corporate “dark cabal” conspiracy story. Rather than the more prosaic but more concerning Five-Eyes “doing what they do” and have done since before they existed (read up on eavesdropping on telegrams going back into the Victorian era).

Ted December 7, 2021 8:58 AM

@SpaceLifeForm, Clive

Re: Mitto

Did you see the comments on Mitto by a Citizen Lab researcher?

Also from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism article:

Ilja Gorelik is a co-founder of Mitto who allegedly led a side enterprise, selling government surveillance contractors access to Mitto’s networks to secretly locate people using their mobile phones.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2021 9:53 AM

@ Ted,


“…co-founder of Mitto who allegedly led a side enterprise…”

Him and hundreds others…

You don’t need access to Mitto AG’s network to do this, never did long befor, still don’t now.

You just need access to the globe spanning SS7 network or any SMS port where you can format the SMS message directly.

You can even do it from a hacked mobile burner phone as there realy is no security at all in the system once you have access to the baseband to network modem.

Back many years ago when various UK Mobile phone networks were selling “bulk SMS access” they used radio modems that I had worke on the design of back in the 1990’s. If you knew how to connect the radio modem (actually designed for Amateur / Ham use) that spoke X25 you had unfettered access as I demonstrated one day to a company I had worked for in the 80’s.

Back then every one was using Phil Karn (KA9Q) open source software often as a network stack on Microsoft OS’s like Win3/MS-DOS, even the MS ones that came with the OS that were crap implementations of what MS had nicked from BSD.

In the UK the first successful independent Internet Service Provider “Demon” was using a hacked up version of KA9Q… They were not happy when I and a couple of others pulled together what we now call a NAT Firewall to multiplex a small office of computers onto a single IP address and “shock horror” make an AX25 Radio Network Gateway to the Internet… Apparently it was not in their service terms so all they did was “grumble” but we switched to another ISP when they tried upping the fee…

The big elephant in the room of telco network security is “there is none” it’s all based on “physical access control” from back when the telecommunications networks were owned and operated by ONLY government entities. Deregulation and opening up of the market that started in the 1980’s not only blew their over priced monopolies out of the water it permanently sunk any hope of getting real security in telecommunications networks.

We are stuck with non-secure protocols that “trust all who connect” to them. Worse many are in effect “text protocols” that you could hand type on a terminal into a “Packet Assembler / Dissasembler”(PAD) that buffered it up to send synchronously using HDLC, rather than asynchronously via RS232-C over ITU logical signalling V.8bis over V.24/V.28 electrical interfaces.

It realy is a game of “squeak the magic words and the door will open” that Alibaba and the Fourty Thieves started with “open seseme”. You just have to “talk the talk to do the walk” through any one of probably thousands of doorways these days and just drop a dime with a smile…

Ted December 7, 2021 10:04 AM


You just have to “talk the talk to do the walk” through any one of probably thousands of doorways these days and just drop a dime with a smile…


John December 7, 2021 1:01 PM


In the very early days, there was a conference center across the street. Reverse WIFI access point with NAT and onto the internal 10baseT network. Worked great. Until some paranoid soul figured it out and put up all sorts of crazy stuff.

By then you could afford cheap DSL which I am still using right now. Handles zoom just fine. All wired except link to abandoned cell phone which does zoom to open wifi until some passerby hacks in…. Unplug router, replug, back on the air :).

Hard to hack really old stuff. Nobody remembers it :).

No ethernet switches just a very old ‘router’.

Nothing worthwhile to hack :).


Ted December 7, 2021 1:21 PM

Israel’s Defense Ministry imposed new restrictions on cyber exports on Monday.

… the Defense Ministry’s Defense Export Control Agency released an updated version of its “end use/user certificate,” a form that must be filled by an Israeli firm looking to sell its products abroad, which more clearly defined what does and does not amount to terrorism and serious crimes, “in order to prevent a blurring of the definitions about this,” the ministry wrote in a statement.

The new form, for instance, explicitly states that “an act of expressing an opinion or criticism… shall not, in and of itself, constitute a Terrorist Act” or a “Serious Crime.”

That’s nice says the supporters of Mexico’s soda tax.

ResearcherZero December 7, 2021 3:33 PM

@Clive Robinson

Surveillance is an industry, “one that gets taxed and drives economic growth”, as the CEOs of surveillance companies are keen on pointing out at every opportunity.

Buying access to these systems is dirt cheap, and there is no shortage of people happily willing to sell access. The game is collection, it really is Alibaba and the Fourty Thieves.

Surveillance software has been used to monitor targets and their families.

“Israeli officials not only ‘permitted’ the sale of NSO and other cyber weapons to authoritarian states that would put them to questionable uses but ‘encouraged’ it, using these backroom deals to buy the public support of countries which had been hostile to Israel.”

“Once the software is sold to the licensed customer, NSO has no way to know who the targets of the customers are, as such, we were not and could not have been aware of this case.”

Ted December 7, 2021 3:57 PM

@ResearcherZero, Clive

“Once the software is sold to the licensed customer, NSO has no way to know who the targets of the customers are, as such, we were not and could not have been aware of this case.”

Was this someone’s quote RZ? I’m not sure if you were feigning a wee bit of innocence here or if this is what someone actually said. I haven’t read the ‘On Pegasus’ article quite yet. Is this what it said?

This was from a Darknet Diaries podcast on NSO:

A few months ago, the NSO Group put out their very first transparency and responsibility report. In it, they say that customers are contractually obligated to provide logs to NSO which includes which NSO product they use, how the process was done, why they used it, the duration of use, and who was targeted. So, if that’s the case, then the NSO does have a way to collect logs from its customers and maybe they do have a central place to store those logs.

And this was from a Transparency report from NSO, so surely this couldn’t have been the half of it.

I really want to look through more info on this. Bruce has more, Citizen Lab does too:

Ted December 7, 2021 4:08 PM

Mandiant is tracking Nobelium, the same group responsible for the SolarWinds supply chain compromise.

Does anyone understand their recent reemergence in the news?

Mandiant put out a blog post on them on Monday. It looks like they also have some info on the threat actor’s infrastructure:

Mandiant believes a misconfiguration by the threat actor meant that the VPN services running on the VPS stopped functioning after 8 hours. Mandiant was then able to identify numerous TOR exit nodes that the threat actor used based on new authentication events.

ResearcherZero December 7, 2021 4:32 PM


ANSSI has observed a number of phishing campaigns directed against French entities since February 2021. Technical indicators correspond to activities associated with the Nobelium intrusion set. These campaigns have succeeded in compromising email accounts belonging to French organisations, and then using these to send weaponised emails to foreign institutions. Moreover, French public organisations have also been recipients of spoofed emails sent from supposedly compromised foreign institutions. Overlaps have been identified in the tactics, techniques & procedures (TTP) between the phishing campaigns monitored by ANSSI and the SOLARWINDS supply chain attack in 2020.

Ted December 7, 2021 5:05 PM


Re: Nobelium

Bless you! Thank you.

The recommendations from the Dec 6, 2021 report “PHISHING CAMPAIGNS BY THE NOBELIUM INTRUSION SET” are:

5.1. Restricttheexecutionoffileattachments
5.2. TighteningActiveDirectorysecurity

I copied and pasted these recommendations, so hopefully the spaces are self-evident. Thank you!

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2021 5:23 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL

NCOV-2019 is stealthy

Everything is re-aligning with my original hypothesis, because it is that time of the year again.

My theory: Plenty of Silent Spreaders. But, when it starts to get cold, three things happen. First, people get less Vitamin-D via sunlight. Second, they spend more time indoors, in probably not well ventilated buildings. Third, when indoors, they likely have more group events.

So, when indoors, in a group, in a poorly ventilated building, the viral load in the air builds up, and at some point, some of the people are exposed to a level that their immune system can not handle.

It is a simple model, but it matches the evidence.

If one can not get much sunlight due to WX conditions, take Vitamin-D. Stay out of buildings with poor ventilation and crowds.

I doubt Omicron started in South Africa, it was more likely transported there via plane from Europe.

Note Houston, detected, but no cases.

As I said earlier, Omicron has likely been around for months. I doubt it started in South Africa, but was actually taken there via plane travel.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2021 8:00 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I doubt it started in South Africa, but was actually taken there via plane travel.

I would bet a large amount it did not originate there, but how it got there is another matter.

Even the SA Doctors and Scientists feel a little aggrieved about it (same as we did in the UK with the Kent VoC).

Put simply the “right resources”, “due diligence” and “hard work” ment they saw what others had let slip by.

And the reason it came their way, Pretoria which is in the area it has been observed is a “travel and work hub”, the same as Kent in the UK, oh and originally Wuhan.

It may not have been a plane, a lorry is probably more likely, as it was with Kent and Wuhan before it.

But by foot, donkey, bus, lorry, boat or plane, once in a travel stream it simply flew from place to place both literally and figuratively as people rubbed along…

JonKnowsNothing December 7, 2021 10:11 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, @All

re: More stealthy than you think…

There are already 2 sub-lineages BA.1 BA.2

The names are following rules to reduce the number of sub-trees as B.1.1.529 is already at maxlen.

COVID19 PCR tests use selected sections of virus for matching pattern. There are 3 selected sections.

Once before the scientists in SoAf found that a variant only tested positive on 2 of the 3 sections. At that time it was decided you needed 3 out of 3 positive sections to qualify as COVID Positive, once the PCR test was found lacking, that changed up fast.

BA.1 PCR tests currently lack the indicator for an “S” gene: SGTF (S-gene target failure) which was the key waiting to be found although other variants also had SGTF. However as current rules state COVID19 is “All Delta All the Time”, no one north of the equator looked to verify.

So now we know the SGTF may be a marker for OHeck.

Except now we don’t.

BA.2 doesn’t hit any of the PCR tests sections at all.

The new sub-lineage (putative BA.2) does not carry the spike:69/70del deletion and will thus not be detectable by SGTF (S-gene target failure).

BA.2 lineage is South Africa, Australia, Canada.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2021 12:47 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Except now we don’t.

At some point the “lay person” is going to ask the “When is a duck, not a duck?” question.

Or at what point is the mutation such that it can sensibly considered nolonger falling under the SARS-CoV-2 genus?

Winter December 8, 2021 1:14 AM

@JonKnowsNothing, Clive
“However as current rules state COVID19 is “All Delta All the Time”, no one north of the equator looked to verify.”

I think you are confusing the labs that check the tests for positives and the labs that do the monitoring. The idea that no one North of the equator looked is simply not true. Variants are spotted all the time, but most are not worth reporting on outside of the professional forums.

When the public does tests in droves, expecting the results within a day, the labs have to do standardized (PCR) tests, which is necessary to have the required quality (sensitivity and reliability).

These labs for the public regularly send samples to central public health labs, e.g., like the CDC. These labs do full sequence analysis. That is how the South Africans caught the new variant. As it is prohibitively expensive and time consuming to do full sequence analysis on the tens to hundreds of thousands of daily tests, relatively small samples have to be used. And while a new variant circulates at a low level, it is easy to miss them.

When a new variant is spotted, the routine tests are adapted to reliably catch that variant too, if necessary (as was done with the delta variant). That takes some time, but if you look at the work in the field, you will see that it is buzzing with activity adapting and validating the tests and investigating the consequences of the new variant(s).

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2021 1:38 AM

@Clive, @All

re: Or at what point is the mutation such that it can sensibly considered no longer falling under the SARS-CoV-2 genus?

note: This is above my pay grade. It might also get road rash.

afaik, The definition of SARS-CoV-2 lies in the length and layout of the genetic material inside the virus. It isn’t a long sequence like influenza virus. It’s quite short.

Within these short parts the mutations happen. Some are swaps, some are adds and some are dels. But the main sections of the strands remain static.

The current methods of “naming” things define virus’s with the same common sequences to be the same variant and the sub-lineages define extra mutations along the strands. When there are common main sequences and common extra mutations those are given a sub-lineage name. Delta had @130+ AY and Omicron has 2 BA.

Mutations defining difference for Omicron from Delta

K417N Yes
P681R, E484K, and K417T No

So any virus genetic sample that has those 4 mutations (y/n) will be defined as Omicron.

This same pattern happened for D614G (before we got cute names). All SARS-CoV-2 now carry D614G and N501 mutations.

If we got a virus without DG14G or N501 and the length of the genome shifted a lot, we might not have a COVID19 virus but something else. However, it might still be a COVID virus because the Wuhan version did not have D614G or N501 as those mutations came later.

From the Public Health folks view:

  • They all makes you sick, you might end up in hospital, you might end up in the ICU, you might end up on a ventilator and you may end up dead.

Their primary concern is to give you the proper monoclonal antibody for the type of variant you have. Delta was pretty straight forward except for Delta AY.1 and Delta AY.2 where the CDC made this alteration:

From the California Dept of Public Health

** B1.617.2 sublineages AY.1 and AY.2 have an additional mutation in their spike protein and have been shown to have a reduced susceptibility to the anti-SARS-COV-2 monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab/etesevimab.

The FDA does not authorize use of bamlanivimab/etesevimab in any state where resistant variants to this product exceed 5%.

At this time, AY.1 and AY.2 sublineages together make up <1% of all circulating variants in the state [of California].

So there are 2 groups of folks in the Name Game: The genetic genome tracers and the MDs in the hospital trying to save people’s lives. The names matter to the first group more than the second.

There is a 3d group that gets involved but not in the naming or health aspect but the political management of a global disruption to the normal schemes of business. For these folks no names matter. Only thing that counts is if they can convince people to Forget All About it. That drives group 2 into overload and drives group 1 to find new mutations from the overload.

Winter December 8, 2021 1:47 AM

@Clive, @All
“Or at what point is the mutation such that it can sensibly considered no longer falling under the SARS-CoV-2 genus?”

Why would that be a relevant question? If a virus circulates that makes people sick, it will be monitored and the target of public health interventions. What name you call it is irrelevant.

The whole concept of a “species” is difficult to define in viruses and bacteria anyway.

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2021 2:04 AM

@ Winter, @Clive @All

re: PCR Tests vs Genome Tracing

The PCR test sequences are selected from a given set of SARS-CoV-2 variants. They select a representative sample of the most likely sequences. The PCR test uses 3 of these representative selections. The PCR tests are generally very accurate.

The other tests are far less accurate.

Genome tracing is the only way to Know For Sure. Some countries do the heavy lifting while others just skate.

There’s several aspects to the research:

One is database scrounging. It’s not unique to the virus. Folks hunting through GISAID or other databases looking for bits and bobs.

There are the folks doing the genetic extractions and initial definitions.

There are the folks that verify and test what it all does, like antibody effectiveness.

There is however a group doing what might be called sloppy research. They didn’t look beyond what was there because they thought there was nothing to see. When the SGDF happened repeatedly on the PCR test no one caught the change.

Thousands, millions of PCR tests are done and logged everyday. The database scroungers didn’t look because SGDF was an already known. The PCR test makers didn’t look because they still hit their normal detection level DoF.

And that should make any technical person sit up because this isn’t the first time this has happened.

If I have a network and it drops packets or the packets don’t arrive or are scrambled on arrival it might be a good idea to check it out.

We are lucky that someone in South Afrika was paying attention, twice now.

Winter December 8, 2021 3:04 AM

“The PCR test sequences are selected from a given set of SARS-CoV-2 variants. They select a representative sample of the most likely sequences.”

What I learned from people designing and using the actual tests is that they select stretches of sequences that are identifying the bug of interests while not picking op other germs (remember, there are 4 other “species” circulating. There are restrictions on the number and length of sequences that can be used in a test. Too few/short, and you pick up a lot of false positives. Too many or long, and you miss each and every mutation. The longer the sequences, the more incomplete copies will emerge and the more opportunities for errors.

This is simply a balance of true vs false positives and true vs false negatives.

You can complain all you want, but this is simple detection theory: You cannot have perfect tests.

The only rational strategy is to do efficient testing in large numbers of people using your knowledge of what variants are circulating, and do in-depth analysis of limited samples to monitor what variants are circulating.

Btw, whenever I speak to people working in these labs about cybersecurity, they also have a lot of advice on how to improve computer security, and how current security advice from security experts is stupid.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2021 7:07 AM

@ Winter,

Why would that be a relevant question? If a virus circulates that makes people sick, it will be monitored and the target of public health interventions. What name you call it is irrelevant.

Because “brand matters” to most humans it’s why they pay silly amoints more for a product.

So, we’ve had SARS-1, MERS, SARS-2 what next SARS-3?

As far as most are concerned

SARS-1 was a scary SOB that is now extinct.

MERS was more than scary but avoid camels abd you’ll be OK.

SARS-2 OMG destroyed the world as we know it killed millions and is still marching stronger than ever. Many still think or claim it is a bio-weapon or a curse from God for mans wickedness.

Notice the progression?

What do you realy think people are going to think when the new brand on the block is MERS-2 or SARS-3 or what ever they end up calling it?

There is a reason I’v called the latest VOI O-Heck because I’ve seen what the media has been upto, and it’s clear someone has been “pump priming”.

There’s a lot we don’t know about it yet but some things already said include,

1, It’s more infectious.
2, It might be less leathal.
3, It’s killing those unvacinated that had natural immunity.
4, It targets and kills young economically active men.

As far as I’m aware only the first has some basis in epidemiological observations.

The others are on what has been observed on two distinct but very small groups with quite different sets of outcomes. It was thought that this was down to vaccinated to unvacinated, but there is abother important question, as of yet HIV related figures have not yet been figured in, which others think might be responsible for some of the observasional differences as well. Sadly the only way we will get more information is with larger numbers of infected people.

Some are saying O-heck is a good thing, and effectively it might even be the “saviour varient”… Basically the logic is its high infectivity rate will push out all other varients (sort of true but with many buts some big). Which as it’s so mild will make SARS-2 the new common cold (ignores on heck of a lot of issues).

The point is though that expectations are being talked up, and the one thing we should know by now is SARS-2 has a bad habit of defing what we think we know so re-writes “the rule book”.

Winter December 8, 2021 8:23 AM

“Because “brand matters” to most humans it’s why they pay silly amoints more for a product.
So, we’ve had SARS-1, MERS, SARS-2 what next SARS-3?”

Now, “species” do not suddenly change genus. There have to be rather large changes in genetic makeup and structure. But what is a species and what a genus is always foggy. So, is Homo really a separate genus or just the third Pan species?

Now about, SARS. SARS was actually a disease, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, and not a specific virus, which was eventually called SARS-CoV. It just became the name of the causing agent. Just as AIDS is a disease and HIV is the infectious germ that causes it. There are even two forms of AIDS that are caused by two different HIV viruses. So, SARS3-CoV would be a disease that differs in symptoms and behavior from SARS2-CoV, just as SARS2 behaves differently from SARS1.

Given the way nomenclature works, it is unlikely that any descendant of the agent that causes SARS2-CoV will be labeled SARS3-CoV. The viruses causing SARS, MERS, and SARS2 are not descendants of each other, nor are they even very closely related.

However, if someone wants to make a splash calling for SARS3, like someone tried to do for G6 cellular networks, he would have to get the community with them.

Winter December 8, 2021 11:04 AM

“Is the US VP being paranoid about not using Bluetooth earbuds?”

Not paranoid, just prudent. And even a president needs a phone.

Anders December 8, 2021 12:34 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

More SPAR.


AL December 8, 2021 12:37 PM

“Or at what point is the mutation such that it can sensibly considered no longer falling under the SARS-CoV-2 genus?”

I don’t have that answer. I noticed that the original Covid-19 seems to be no longer around. I hear that the Delta variant “competed” with the original and won the competition and became the dominant variant.

This Omicron variety has now shown up, with significant mutation. So, new variants can mutate from either Delta or Omicron at the present.

What I am sitting back and looking for is when these variants stop competing and start coexisting, so that we’re dealing with two variants at a time. Whether or not they can be under the same genus is less important (to me) than whether they are dissimilar enough to each other that they start coexisting.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2021 1:08 PM

@ Ted, Winter, ALL,

Is the US VP being paranoid about not using Bluetooth earbuds?

I’m with @Nicholas Weaver on this one.

But with regards

… even a president needs a phone.

Provably not true, the position of US President long predates the ideas of communications by the “movment of charge”[1].

In the UK there is the old saying of,

“The monarch does not carry money”[2]

The reason being in times past it was an official job to hold the Royal Purse, and it was given to “the groom of the stool” who after several historical twists and turns since Henery VII these days is better known as the First Lord of the Treasury[3] or just Prime Minister, who still recommends members of the monarchs “privy council”.

The point being “Heads of State” don’t need to carry anything other than what they personally chose to. That is there is a “functionary” or “office holder” that is technically tasked with carrying just about every thing else.

For instance that “nuclear football” briefcase carried by a millitary officer, is alledged to have a couple of books, a “Gold Code” card known as the “biscuit” and MilStar communications equipment all weighing in around 20kg. There is no reason why the US President could not carry it themselves if they so wished… In fact it’s known that a couple of Presidents used to carry the biscuit in their jacket pocket. But at 20kg who’d want to carry it when somebody has an “official position” to carry it…

So back when phones were not even lugable there was and still is a communications officer for the official communications. Especially as US Law requires a record to be not just made but kept.

As for personal phones there was the famous “Obama-berry”, and that required rather more than a casual personal choice to be in the Presidents pocket…

[1] Interestingly though a lot of people try to say that one person who was a US President was key to getting the ball rolling on “movment of charge”.

[2] This is actually more true of the US President, it’s a standing joke in the Secret Service that the President “Never buys a round, that’s the job of the purse carrier” implying it’s the “nuclear football” carriers job as they are Military not Secret Service. Actually it’s known that the current UK monarch Queen Elisabeth II, does on occasion carry a purse in her handbag and she has been seen to use money around Balmoral in Scotland.

[3] The actual “Chancellor of the Exchequer” is the Second Lord of the Treasury.

lurker December 8, 2021 1:27 PM

@Clive: When is a duck not a duck?

Rephrased: When did we come down from the trees? Because a chimpanzee adenovirus is deemed sufficiently close to a human adenovirus that it is used in our vaccines.

Winter December 8, 2021 1:44 PM

“Provably not true, the position of US President long predates the ideas of communications by the “movment of charge”[1].”

Several presidents were of a different opinion. Presidents have family and friends too, whith whom they want to communicate in private.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2021 1:55 PM

@ AL,

Whether or not they can be under the same genus is less important (to me) than whether they are dissimilar enough to each other that they start coexisting.

The answer to that I know is a “qualified yes”…

And it causes all sorts of “amplification” or “modulation” issues within a persons immune system.

SpaceLifeForm December 8, 2021 5:42 PM

@ Ted, ResearcherZero

IIRC, this statement is an exact Copy and Paste from that which NSO wrote in a court filing in the Apple vs NSO lawsuit.

“Once the software is sold to the licensed customer, NSO has no way to know who the targets of the customers are, as such, we were not and could not have been aware of this case.”

They are trying to stick to their story.

Apple has the receipts.

Ted December 8, 2021 5:51 PM


Yes, I see that now. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Their transparency report also says:

Solutions Impact Testimonials:
During COVID-19, NSO’s tools were essential for the exposure and capture a ring of pedophiles.

So it’s cool. Nothing to see here folks.

Ted December 8, 2021 6:12 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, ResearcherZero

They are trying to stick to their story.

I love their July statement.

Enough is enough!… Due to the complete disregard of the facts, NSO is announcing it will no longer be responding to media inquiries on this matter and it will not play along with the malicious and slanderous campaign.

Enough is enough everyone.

ResearcherZero December 8, 2021 10:56 PM

The world’s policy choices have led to wealth trickling up rather than down.

Indeed, the richest 10% of the world’s population hold 76%, or two-thirds of all wealth.

“inequality is a political choice, not an inevitability.”

The data serves as a complete rebuke of the trickle-down economic theory, which posits that cutting taxes on the rich will “trickle down” to those below, with the cuts eventually benefiting everyone.

More than 170 of the Fortune 500 companies have a Luxembourg branch.

“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,”

Big companies can book big tax savings by creating complicated accounting and legal structures that move profits to low-tax Luxembourg from higher-tax countries where they’re headquartered or do lots of business. In some instances, the leaked records indicate, companies have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent on the profits they’ve shuffled into Luxembourg.

“combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”

The key players in the system include elite institutions – multinational banks, law firms and accounting practices – headquartered in the U.S. and Europe.

“I see a vacant seat in the poor chimney corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the future, the child will die.” – Ghost of Christmas Present

“God bless us, every one!” – Tiny Tim

Winter December 9, 2021 12:29 AM

“The data serves as a complete rebuke of the trickle-down economic theory, which posits that cutting taxes on the rich will “trickle down” to those below, with the cuts eventually benefiting everyone.”

Did anyone outside (or even inside) the USA ever believe that?

To me it has always looked like the Economics equivalent of the Flat Earth theory. That too is/was mostly popular in the USA.

JonKnowsNothing December 9, 2021 1:25 AM

@ Winter @ResearcherZero @All

re: “trickle down” theory

Did anyone … inside … the USA ever believe that?

Oh yes. Very much so. Several Presidents were firm believers in Trickle Down. Several Presidential candidates campaigned on the issue.

‘Twas very popular. Still is.

In 1896, Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan described the concept using the metaphor of a “leak” in his Cross of Gold speech:

* There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below.

* The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.

The modern incantation is from Milton Freeman a member of the Chicago School of Economics. The Chicago School embodied the ideas of Friedrich Hayek who’s ideas lost out to John Maynard Keynes for the global economic recovery post WW2.

Other variations are named: supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, voodoo economics, free-market economics.

A stroll through Wikipedia for the following names is worth understanding the modern dichotomy between

A) Those that think we should help our neighbors, strangers and family to the benefit of all.

B) Those that think What’s Theirs is Theirs and keep your hands out of MY pockets.

One can see these viewpoints are very much alive.


  • Neoliberalism [note there is nothing Progressive in Neoliberalism ]
  • John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes
  • Friedrich August von Hayek
  • Frank Hyneman Knight
  • George Joseph Stigler American economist, the 1982 laureate in Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
  • Chicago school of economics
  • Milton Friedman
  • Reaganomics
  • Presidency of George W. Bush
  • Presidency of Barack Obama
  • John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Alan Greenspan American economist who served five terms as the 13th chair of the Federal Reserve in the United States from 1987 to 2006

Winter December 9, 2021 2:08 AM

“The Chicago School embodied the ideas of Friedrich Hayek who’s ideas lost out to John Maynard Keynes for the global economic recovery post WW2.”

Surprising! The empirical evidence (aka, history) has always shown that the income of the masses only rises if unions and laws force them to increase.

I am curious how Americans square the trickle down theory with a doubling of real GDP/capita and fixed real family incomes over the last 4 decades.

I suspect they use the Flat Earth method of fact checking?

ResearcherZero December 9, 2021 4:29 AM


Alan Greenspan admitted in one of his books after the 2008 financial collapse that maybe he was wrong. It’s a pretty dry read, ‘The Map And The Territory 2.0’, and thoroughly not worth reading.

Sources with knowledge of the cyber infiltration attempt said the cyber-attackers were less than 30 minutes away from shutting down power.

the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has kick started an extensive search with all chief information officers (CIOs) in agencies across the State told to hunt for the Russian mole malware from this morning (Tue, May 18, 2021), after being sent secret information on what to search for.

Wizard Spider developed unique malware geared towards espionage known as Sidoh malware. Analyst1 could not validate how Wizard Spider uses Sidoh in attacks; however, its existence alone is troubling.

The espionage malware it is using, Sido, seeks to capture information only, there is no financial component.

Winter December 9, 2021 10:26 AM

“Someone made a mini version of it for ransomware. I’d like to see more of those. Educational if not funny 😆”

Especially as it illustrates the obvious: Offense and punishment do not prevent crime. Prevention is the road to go.

It is like controlling rats. It is extremely difficult to kill rats faster than they can multiply if there is food. If you want to get rid of rats, get rid of the food.

If you want to prevent ransomware attacks, clean up your software problems. Going after the perpetrators might give the satisfaction of revenge but does not stop the next attack.

lurker December 9, 2021 11:25 AM

@ResearcherZero, @All

Luxembourg Schemes could be defeated by national transaction taxes: whenever and wherever money moves, tax it. We have the technology now to do this for all except the odd suitcase. Trapping all of the economy that moves “on the wire” could mean such a low rate of tax that evasion would be uneconomic. This tax should bring in enough that all other taxes could be abolished. Such a low rate would make the first nation to do this appear to be a tax haven. Fear of this inhibits nations from making the first move.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2021 12:14 PM

@ lurker,

Such a low rate would make the first nation to do this appear to be a tax haven. Fear of this inhibits nations from making the first move.

Wrong, you do not get what tax is realy all about…

Tax is in theory to pay for “social good” and it sounds very nobel and “we are all in the boat together”.

But it’s not. It’s realy about raising money to fund the aims of those in who see themselves in charge. In the past that was warfare, or control of the people.

Over time others realised it was a way to put money in their own pockets without having to go out and earn it.

Later yet it is seen as a way to differentiate those with status and those without.

That is tax is now there “To make the rich richer, and the poor poorer”… But as part of that is legislation to take real assets away from the poor so they stay poor, whilst those who have the real assets do nothong other than “rent them out”.

If you look at US fiscal legislation over 90% of it is to ensure that,

1, The rich have sufficient money,
2, To buy up all real assets,
3, So the poor have to rent,
4, Thus the poor live in fear,
5, So they can be kept as serfs.

It’s the same in most other nations it’s just the % that varies.

It’s also why “trickle down” is actually “flood up”.

Remember if you are rich enough you can buy any legislation you want as long as it is not to obvious.

So… The reason for the new game in town.

Tax is now at the point where no matter how much comes in from the poor, it is not enough to meet the demands of the rich and the politicians vanity projects. And those vanity projects are important as they are a form of Immortality, they would not otherwise get.

So how to get more money, without raising taxes to beyond the point where the,obvious unfairness of the system is blatent that the burning brands and pitchforks start heading down the boulevard towards the halls of power?

Easy make people pay in a way that makes it look like it is their own fault…

The easiest way,

Income related fines, for petty crimes.

You get accused of some “major crime” then you get a plea deal, where you in effect “buy the system off”. It’s known as a “shake-down” and is as old as piracy and highway robbery and it puts the more modern protectionism to shame. It’s aimed not at the poor but the middle classes and professionals who through care have saved up for not just themselves but their families so their children might have better lives…

The point is it’s a lottery, the system is rigged as you get accused without evidence, then you have to prove you are innocent… Most can not so,

Pay the fine for your never was a crime…

How do they ensure the system works, simple they make those payed from the public purse “performance related” and savagely cut the Dept’s they work for budjets, but give them about 1/5th of the fines they raise instead.

That way the “Upton Sinclair Observation” of,

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

Rises quickly like vomit on a puddle, as the meerkat advert says “Simples”…

Clive Robinson December 9, 2021 12:35 PM

@ Winter, Ted,

It is extremely difficult to kill rats faster than they can multiply if there is food. If you want to get rid of rats, get rid of the food.

But what do you eat if you have got “rid of the food”?

The solution is “segregation”…

If a rat can not get at the food you have stored because they have no way into it, then you get to eat for as long as the stores last whilst the rats starve.

It’s exactly the same principle in both physical and information security.

Just keep the rats out nature will take care of the rest.

Think about ransomware, if the rats get in then you have to pay the price.

Properly issolate and segregate your systems and the rats stay out of them so you don’t have to pay.

If you put in a “ground floor door” in your secure systems, you know darn well at some point some idiot on a “smoke break” will prop it open with a fire extinguisher, and leave it propped open when they’ve done… So the rats just “walk on in”. The same applies to information systems.

Oh and remember,

Yep, that’s why I try to update my software.

Realy? That’s kind of like taking on staff from the Mafia these days… They don’t prevent problems they just move the ones you’ve got, break things, help themselves to what they fancy, and then add new problems for you to worry about.

Winter December 9, 2021 2:11 PM

“Tax is in theory to pay for “social good” and it sounds very nobel and “we are all in the boat together”.”

The taxes keep my feet dry, educate the kids, and care for the (grand-)parents. Roads are good, utilities also are doing well.

We in the Netherlands pay close to 40% of GDP in taxes and income inequality has not changed much in the previous 4 decades. So I think this goes pretty well, comparatively.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2021 2:32 PM

@ Winter,

We in the Netherlands pay close to 40% of GDP in taxes and income inequality has not changed much in the previous 4 decades. So I think this goes pretty well, comparatively.

As you well know North West Continental Europe has been a bit of an anomaly re Taxation.

It used to cause quite a bit of strife in the North Sea Oil Industry when I used to work in it some “cough cough” years ago.

JonKnowsNothing December 9, 2021 6:33 PM

@ Winter

re: The Chicago School of Economics

Surprising! The empirical evidence (aka, history) has always shown that the income of the masses only rises if unions and laws force them to increase.

I am curious how Americans square the trickle down theory with a doubling of real GDP/capita and fixed real family incomes over the last 4 decades.

I suspect they use the Flat Earth method of fact checking?

1) The ideas behind the Chicago School of Economics are not about “the income of the masses”. It’s about the income of the wealthy.

2) The US imported their “flat earth economic view” from Austria. You know that place? Somewhere in the middle of Europe? Very prominent during WW1 and WW2.

  • Friedrich August von Hayek, Order of the Companions of Honour & Fellowship of the British Academy, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics 1974 (8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992)
  • Citizenship Austrian (1899–1938)
  • British (1938–1992)

The British also imported the Austrian economic model. Hayek ideas ran both the London School of Economics and The Chicago School of Economics. Maggie Thatcher was a big fan.

fwiw: I rarely find anyone who has heard of Hayek, yet he was one of the creators of the modern economic models that run much of the world today. People may recognize a few of his disciples and some of the politicians that promote(d) his views.

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2021 8:20 PM

@ Clive

I doubt it was a Sharpie from 1964.

It must have been a new Sharpie.

To keep your Sharpie sharp, always store it in a horizontal position.

Laffer probably had it in a pocket protector, stored in the wrong orientation with respect to gravity.

He probably had a TI-80 calculator in a nearby pocket.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 9, 2021 9:16 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm
My pocket protector is never populated with sharpies. And no, not a calculator but a slide rule, thank you very much.

I do have an HP 41CV with all the modules, but I digress.

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2021 11:16 PM

Silicon Turtles 🤦

Intel has updated the code it says allows the implementation of “software-defined silicon” (SDSi).

Chipzilla dropped some code for SDSi into the Linux Kernel in September 2021, describing it as tech that allows users to activate dormant features in silicon. The code outlined a process for enabling new features by verifying cryptographically signed licences.

Winter December 10, 2021 12:27 AM

“fwiw: I rarely find anyone who has heard of Hayek, yet he was one of the creators of the modern economic models that run much of the world today.”

He is world famous in the USA Libertarians. The rest of the world not much. Austria never tried to implement his ideas. His models, IIRC, were mostly about free market dynamics. As free markets have a habit to be taken over by monopolies or thugs (cf, USA), these models are of limited use in the real world.

A prime example are the models of the Chicago school. These were applied heavily in Chili. It can be argued that they helped the Chilean economy grow. But few people consider torturing and raping thousands of young people an acceptable means to grow an economy.

BTW, Chilean wealth never trickled down. It took actual laws and unions to achieve that.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 3:17 AM

Much about the Able Archer war game was first made public just six years ago, when, after more than a decade of legal battles, the National Security Archive, a private research organization, obtained a lengthy, extremely classified U.S. intelligence report detailing exactly what NATO forces did, and how Soviet commanders responded, during the exercise.

But the fact that the Soviets armed their aircraft with nuclear bombs—a discovery based on U.S. and British intelligence intercepts of Soviet communications at the time—has not been declassified until now. The new fact elevates to a higher level the danger that the world briefly faced, even though—unlike with other nuclear near misses, such as the Cuban missile crisis—almost nobody knew it at the time.

It turned out, top Soviet leaders thought that the war game was real—that the U.S. and NATO really were about to launch a nuclear first strike against the USSR—and top Soviet military commanders took steps to retaliate.

In one of those steps, the new documents reveal, the commander of the Soviet 4th Army Air Forces in Eastern Europe ordered all of his units to make “preparations for the immediate use of nuclear weapons.” As part of that order, crewmen loaded actual nuclear bombs onto several combat planes.

In order not to be decapitated by a surprise nuclear attack, the KGB initiated Operation RYaN (Raketno-Yadernoye Napadenie, “nuclear missile attack”). Its objective was to find evidence of preparation for a U.S. nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union, which the Soviet Union intended to pre-empt with a nuclear strike of its own.

The deterioration in relations accelerated in November 1983, when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conducted Exercise ABLE ARCHER. The exercise scenario culminated with a NATO nuclear strike in response to a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. Aside from the fact that the exercise simulated the attack the Soviet Union already believed the U.S planned, three things made the period around ABLE ARCHER exceptionally dangerous.

In order to renew the nuclear balance, the United States and Russia will hold a first meeting at the highest level in Geneva on July 28, as confirmed by Moscow and the State Department. This meeting, called Dialogue on Strategic Stability, is the first between the two superpowers after the summit held on June 16 in the Swiss city between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Democrat Joe Biden. As soon as he became president, Biden announced that he would extend until 2026 the 2010 New START treaty, signed by then-presidents Barack Obama and Dimitri Medvedev, which limits the number of nuclear warheads deployed by Russia and the United States to a maximum of 1,550 and 700 ballistic systems on land, sea and air. According to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Washington has about 3.600 nuclear warheads in its arsenals and Moscow about 4,300 and no other country has more than 300.

The United States and Russia maintain thousands of nuclear warheads on long-range ballistic missiles on 15-minute alert. Once launched, they cannot be recalled, and they will strike their targets in roughly 30 minutes.

The potential protection space-based defenses might offer the United States is swamped therefore by their potential cost: a failure of or false signal from a component of the Russian early warning system could lead to a disastrous reaction and accidental nuclear war. There is no conceivable missile defense, space-based or not, that would offer protection in the event that the Russian nuclear arsenal was launched at the United States.

It would require only 50 nuclear weapons to bring a nation’s society to ruin, and 300 nuclear weapons to destroy a civilization according.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2021 4:28 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

It must have been a new Sharpie.

What, one that did not give you a fit of the vapours…

There is an expression in the UK which you don’t hear as much as you used to which is said after someone has done somethin really dumb or stupid, which is,

“Must have been sniffing the glue”.

I don’t know what was in Sharpies back in 74, but I always remember the “spirit” smell, and it was worse than the famed glue. I was not the only one, there was a UK “light entertainment quiz show” where they had to write things bold and clear… One of the guests was a well known comedian, who pretended to sniff one and float away higher than a kite…

Just wondering if those that were around that table, –especially as they could not remember the month– had figuritively been “Sniffing the Sharpie”…

Ted December 10, 2021 6:50 AM

“Hence the question – who will do what if they start pulling from a cozy hole?”

-From a Russian Dark Web Forum

Some cybercriminals are starting to fear their government may be actively hunting them down. Getting a handle on ransomware has become a global priority.

”The whole question is, what are you ready for if the hunt begins on you.”

Are the engagements between Biden, Putin, and the world at large bearing fruit?

JonKnowsNothing December 10, 2021 8:01 AM

@Winter, @Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

A prime example are the models of the Chicago school. These were applied heavily in Chili. It can be argued that they helped the Chilean economy grow.

But few people consider torturing and raping thousands of young people an acceptable means to grow an economy.

Only Sharpie Sniffers(1) would think killing 5,000,000 people was an acceptable means to grow the global economy.

But here we are: 5,000,000 dead and another 1,000,000 before Q1-2022 (500,000 UK-EU and 500,000 USA)

Amazing all the things you can do with a Laffer curve.


disclosure: I was fairly fond of mimeograph fluid fumes. It was one of the perks for running the machine.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2021 8:37 AM

@ Ted,

Are the engagements between Biden, Putin, and the world at large bearing fruit?

Ask yourself a question…

Why did things only start happening after the “big money men” behind US Politics started getting burned? For instance like the Colonial Oil cartel members?

Me thinks some politicos are getting “lent on” by the “Financial Mafia” that owns 90% and do not like “others hands in their pocket or till”.

I think it’s sometimes called “Real-politic”, or “Where the Robber baron, meets out on the toad”.

Winter December 10, 2021 8:46 AM

“For instance like the Colonial Oil cartel members?”

USA: Hamper the flowing of Oil -> Bombs

E.g., Iraq, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan[1], …

[1] ht-tps://

Ted December 10, 2021 9:31 AM

@Clive, Winter

Why did things only start happening after the “big money men” behind US Politics started getting burned? For instance like the Colonial Oil cartel members?

USA: Hamper the flowing of Oil -> Bombs

Obviously there’s probably some truth to that. But I wouldn’t say that the bed-fellows of business, politics, and law enforcement act solely on unadulterated greed. Some greed yes, but survival too.

Let’s just take the recent example of the Russian-based botnet Glupteba. Here’s just one example of a ‘criminal scheme’ from the complaint:

53) Stolen Accounts Scheme. The Glupteba Enterprise harvests data that is maintained in internet browsers on infected devices, including data from Google Chrome and Google Ads. The stolen data includes confidential information belonging to the legitimate owner of the device, such as login credentials (usernames and passwords), URL history, and authentication permissions (cookies). This stolen information is used in numerous ways to benefit the Glupteba Enterprise.

So the fact that Biden and Putin are talking surely can’t be simplified just to the puppeteering of green-eyed monsters. Who wants all their information stolen??

About bombs and oil. Maybe that’s a different topic.

Winter December 10, 2021 9:53 AM

“But I wouldn’t say that the bed-fellows of business, politics, and law enforcement act solely on unadulterated greed. Some greed yes, but survival too.”

The power and economy of the USA are build upon controlling the flow of oil. If the USA lose control over the flow of oil in the world, they lose their power and their economy, aka, the dollar, will get a serious hit.

Ted December 10, 2021 10:04 AM


Re: Nuclear warheads and “Once launched, they cannot be recalled, and they will strike their targets in roughly 30 minutes.”

It’s amazing to think that a cyber-physical attack could render varying degrees of destruction in a much shorter time.

Ted December 10, 2021 10:07 AM


The power and economy of the USA are build upon controlling the flow of oil.

Well what is it in your neck of the woods?

Clive Robinson December 10, 2021 10:17 AM

@ Ted, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Did The Register really call Intel “Chipzilla”?

Yes, and for good reason, what I and others call them won’t pass the Four Utered Curse Keyword” Filter…

A little bit of knowledge first,

Algorithms in hardware are 5-500 times faster in”Aplication Specific logic Integrated Circuit”(ASIC), 5-50 times with “Field Programable Gata Array”(FPGA) and the like, than software on a General Purpose CPU or even GPU.

It’s why Bitcon mineing machines went from CPU to GPU and then FPGA, or these days almost entirely ASIC based.

Intel used it’s “cash pile” to buy up one of the largest FPGA manufacturers, so it is now arguabbly at the top of FPGA companies,

Now we know that Intel have plans to integrate Very Large Scale FPGA tech directly into their CPU systems for people running “Enterprise” or bigger applications that require performance well above that of current super-computers.

So a bit of many decades old history,

It’s been claimed that Chairman of the Board of International Business Machines (IBM) once said,

“I think there is a world market for about five computers”

At a time when IBM made more punch card tabulators than any other company and were happily selling them to anyone who had enough money (Nazi Germany being one major customer).

But the prognostication was wrong and thr like of the University Computers and the “Liones Tea Houses” LEO1 showed there was a market for what became known as “Big Iron”. Importantly market protectionism and the building of monopoly behaviours was rampant and realy needs to be remembered.

From the late 1950’s onwards “Big Iron” manufacturers like Burroughs started to appear, their systems were unafordable by all but governments and the largest corporations hence only IBM, and later Amhdal, Perkin-Elmer, etc appeared abd they all used “vender lockin” with propriatary interfaces and the like with huge anuall licence fees to make vast profits and also steal their customers software designs…

The likes of DEC and other “Mini-Computer” manufactures joined in. Again with “lock-in” by default. It was actually the democratisation of computing by Intel’s 8bit CPU chips that alowed the “Home and Personal Computer” market that sky rocketed in the 1980’s that brought about the end of this sort of “vendor lockin” starting in the 1980’s and was mostly gone by the turn of the century. So every one thought that the end of “lock-in” was gone for good…

Intel fought AMD and lost for good reason, and a small English Company that started at Cambridge called “Acorn Computers” has taken over the world because of their ASIC technology developed by a small part “Acorn Research Machines” that got sold off and became “ARM” with a very unusual business model.

Intel, can not compete on a level playing field any longer and their mainstay x86 has long since crashed into a wall of their own making, and they know that bo matter how many cores they put in a chip performance is not going to scale and ARM are eating up what was once their main market.

Which is why they bought into FPGA and why they want as much “vender lock-in” as they can get.

Unfortunately the stupidity of “Cloud” is giving Intel this on a “gold platter” and they are going to abuse it to the maximum untill legislators start jailing their execs, as even the largest fines in the world won’t stop them when they have a foot hold.

And that’s what this addition to the Linux Kernel is all about, they are trying to get into a podition by stealth where they csn then blackmail any corporation or legislative house to give them what they want. The big looser appart from “we the citizens” will not be ARM or China, but Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other large cloud providers. Who will just pass the “Intel Tax” back down the line…

But one thing is almost certain is that both Intel and the US Gov entities will use it for “technology theft” for both Corporate and National benifit.

To see why have a look at the history of “Masked Programed” CPU chips and microcontrolers. Even now you have to agree to hand over any technology to them otherwise you don’t get your parts.

Originally this was done by COCOM then later Wassner Agrement to control the disemination of technology to those the US did not want you a foreign company to do, in competition with US companies…

You’ld get told “crypto restriction” or similar nonsense and if you did not do as you were told “no chips”. So you got the 40bit or less treatment whilst US companies were alowed 80, 96, or more bits…

I can explain further if you want but this post is long enough already.

Winter December 10, 2021 11:05 AM

“Well what is it in your neck of the woods?”

1) Diplomacy
2) Blending in with the environment
3) Mighty neighbors that refuse others dominance

We need oil, but Germany gets it’s oil, and most of its other raw materials, through our country. Which means Germany will ensure we get the stuff in the first place.

But the US dollar and a large part of the budget deficit is financed by oil transactions. Which makes these vital for US governments.

Ted December 10, 2021 1:09 PM


We need oil, but Germany gets it’s oil, and most of its other raw materials, through our country.

Wow. I had no idea the Netherlands has the largest seaport in Europe, and is second only to seaports in Asia. That would indeed make it a vital region. It’s also pretty impressive that so many Europeans can speak so many different languages. So beautiful.

Winter December 10, 2021 2:03 PM

“It’s also pretty impressive that so many Europeans can speak so many different languages.”

Easy to spot. If television and movies are subtitled, people speak foreign languages, ie, English. If not, they don’t.
Many small countries air TV and movies in original with subtitles.

Also, if I drive in any direction for 200 miles, I am abroad (or at sea) and people speak a different language. Helps to motivate language skills.

JonKnowsNothing December 10, 2021 2:32 PM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: The Laffer Curve strikes Missouri USA

A court ruling in the State of Missouri USA stripped state health agencies of a variety of disease-prevention powers, particularly regarding issuing isolation and quarantine orders.

  “You should stop enforcing and publicizing any such orders immediately.”

The State Government has no plans to challenge the court ruling.

The county public health departments are no longer allowed to order quarantine or isolation. Any compliance with recommended isolation must now be voluntary on the part of the infected person.

[One] County Health Department, announced that it has ceased all COVID-19-related work, including case investigations, contact tracing, quarantine orders, and public announcements of current cases and deaths.

“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into!”


Arthur Betz Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve. The Sharpie Event.

In 2020, Laffer advised the Trump administration on how to re-open the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Laffer argued for halting coronavirus rescue relief spending, calling instead for payroll tax cuts. He advocated for taxes on non-profit organizations in education and the arts, as well as for salary reductions for professors and government officials. He argued against expansion of unemployment aid, arguing it discouraged people from working.

h ttp s://ar ste chni c a .com/science/2021/12/missouri-tells-health-depts-to-stop-enforcing-and-publicizing-covid-measures/

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 2:35 PM

Lord Chief Justice Ian Burnett, the judge that will soon decide Julian Assange’s fate, is a close personal friend of Sir Alan Duncan, who as foreign minister arranged Assange’s eviction from the Ecuadorian embassy.

The two have known each other since their student days at Oxford in the 1970s, when Duncan called Burnett “the Judge”. Burnett and his wife attended Duncan’s birthday dinner at a members-only London club in 2017, when Burnett was a judge at the court of appeal.

As minister, Duncan did not hide his opposition to Julian Assange, calling him a “miserable little worm” in parliament in March 2018.

Duncan watched UK police pulling the WikiLeaks publisher from the Ecuadorian embassy via a live-feed in the Operations Room at the top of the Foreign Office.

He later admitted he was “trying to keep the smirk off [his] face”, and hosted drinks at his parliamentary office for the team involved in the eviction.

Duncan then flew to Ecuador to meet President Lenín Moreno in order to “say thank you” for handing over Assange. Duncan reported he gave Moreno “a beautiful porcelain plate from the Buckingham Palace gift shop.”

“Job done,” he added.

Clive Robinson December 10, 2021 2:47 PM

@ Ted, Winter,

Wow. I had no idea the Netherlands has the largest seaport in Europe

And you can only get to it by,

1, Going around Scotland (not good in winter storms and tail end hurricanes).

2, North Up the narrow English Channel.

The Franco-Germanic axis is what much pivots around in Continental Europe not just in trade, but politics and much more besides. It’s been upset by the recent German elections and it will almost certainly get upset again with the pending French elections. These things happen the only question is if it’s just ruffled feathers or crossed tallons at dawn.

Things are not being helped by the fact the US is currently making apparently serious overtures to Germany. Where as the previous US administration and currently the Ukrainians are kicking off about NordStream 2 from Russia and how Russia uses the supply of gas through GazzProm for political reasons.

The French leader has had his nose put out of joint several times very recently not least of which is the embarrassment over Australian Submarines. The French know that the lead in AUKUS agrement happening, and France loosing a huge arms contract humiliatingly so, was the UK. Some think for political reasons rather than technical reasons.

The French leader has lost a whole other load of “Brexit things” or appeared “namby pamby” or impotent. Many right wing leaning French people think this has caused France to be humiliated on the world stage.

So the odds of a non right wing leaning government being elected in France look less and less by the Day. Saddly some in the UK look forward to this with great enthusiasm and very little thought.

Some French politicians have started being a bit “srum and flag” and apparentky vowed to start sending any ME imagrants over by boat or plane to the UK and even put money in their pocket as punishment on the British… Others have talked about fishing wars, and other more loonie ones about closing the English Channel…

Now… Think about what is going to happen if say Germany does not like the idea of France shutting down the English channel one way or another.

Or worse some loonies actually try to close it?

The thing about politics, is it’s all fun and games, untill some decides it’s not and that’s when people start getting hurt…

Whilst I doubt there will be serious conflict, it could cause issues for years. It’s been pointed out that one advantage of Britain being in the EU was “it squared the triangle”… Yeah it took me a moment to work it out when I first heard it from a German friend. Essentially what it means is three powerfull nations don’t generally form opposits, where as two almost always do or worse act together to the exclusion of everyone else. Thus Britain being there alowed other nations to occupie the fourth corner and balance things up and have some measure of input. Currently the balance is not there and things are apparently starting to spin around that axis rather more and faster than many woukd like.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 4:08 PM

“To receive and renew their press cards, journalists will soon have to undergo a 90-hour annual training partly focusing on Xi Jinping’s “Thought”.
At least 127 journalists (professional and non-professional) are currently detained by the regime.”

“The breakdown of global press freedom is closely related to the broader decline of democracy that Freedom House has tracked for the past 13 years. Although the press is not always the first institution to be attacked when a country’s leadership takes an antidemocratic turn, repression of free media is a strong indication that other political rights and civil liberties are in danger. Assaults on media independence are frequently associated with power grabs by new or incumbent leaders, or with entrenched regimes’ attempts to crush perceived threats to their control.”

This sums it up nicely:

I thought I’d take a walk today
It’s a mistake I sometimes make
My children lay asleep in bed
My wife lay wide-awake
I kissed her softly on the brow
I tried not to make a sound
But with stony eyes she looked at me
And gently squeezed my hand
Call it a premonition, call it a crazy vision
Call it intuition, something learned from mother
But when she looked up at me, I could clearly see
The Sword of Damocles hanging directly above her
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms around me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

They called at me through the fence
They were not making any sense
They claimed that I had lost the plot
Kept saying that I was not
The man I used to be
They held their babes aloft
Threw marsh mellows at the Security
And said that I’d grown soft

Call it intuition, call it a creeping suspicion,
But their words of derision meant they hardly
knew me
For even I could see in the way they looked at me
The Spear of Destiny sticking right through me
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

Now I’m at the hairdressers
People watch me as they move past
A guy wearing plastic antlers
Presses his bum against the glass
Now I’m down on my hands and knees
And it’s so f**king hot!
Someone cries, “What are you looking for?”
I scream, “The plot, the plot!”
I grab my telephone, I call my wife at home
She screams, “Leave us alone!” I say, “Hey,
it’s only me”
The hairdresser with his scissors, he holds up
the mirror
I look back and shiver; I can’t even believe what
I can see

Be mindful of the prayers you send
Pray hard but pray with care
For the tears that you are crying now
Are just your answered prayers
The ladders of life that we scale merrily
Move mysteriously around
So that when you think you’re climbing up, man
In fact you’re climbing down
Into the hollows of glamour, where with spikes
and hammer
With telescopic camera, they chose to turn
the screw
Oh I hate them, Ma! Oh I hate them, Pa!
Oh I hate them all for what they went and
done to you
Oh Lord Oh my Lord
Oh Lord
How have I offended thee?
Wrap your tender arms round me
Oh Lord Oh Lord
Oh My Lord

Clive Robinson December 10, 2021 4:14 PM

@ ResearcherZero,

Sir Alan Duncan

Used to be MP for Melton Mowbery, with his constituency office just down by the bridge.

He’s been in trouble numerous times over “MP’s Expanses” and fiddling “Right to Buy”. He’s also been castigated over his attitude towards those who have chosen service rather than riches at others expense. He’s a firm beliver in “might is right” and not having any kind of safety net for society that he would not benifit from.

I’ve met him once or twice by accident he’s certainly not in Boris Johnson’s class of crassness, or rudness and comes across as cheerfully curtious, rather than Johnson’s boarish buffonery and self centerd behaviours.

However he has a murky past in oil trading and is an “inteligance type” not as bad as “rockets” Rifkind but certainly someone who does not appear to have an independent manner. He ran a sort of “inteligence Op” of his own making, in a non impartial way which is not what you would realy expect from someone in a position of public trust.

Having spent time in Melton for various reasons, I can say that for what was supposed to be a very safe seat, he was not exactly popular for several reasons. Seen as “a party man” chasing high office rather than “a constituancy man” serving those that he supposadly represented.

But his desire for closeness to Spookery is not exactly an encoraging trait. Let me put it this way, I’ve had to work with them in the past, I in no way want to be one of their crowd I’ve better things to do with my life, like actually have one.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 4:33 PM


I think the most scary thing about Able Archer, was when Reagan armed the weapons, intelligence had not detected the KGB had set up Operation RYaN, which was a first-strike retaliatory measure in case they detected preparations for a nuclear launch.
The Kremlin freaked out, but luckily they intercepted communications that it was not a serious threat, and Reagan wasn’t actually preparing to nuke them. For a while however, everyone really was praying.

Of course this was long before we had glide platforms and hypersonics (space weapons), which are so much easier to jump to conclusions over what the adversary may be doing with them, and give very little time to advert disaster.

Of course this stuff is all kept as vague as possible so the public doesn’t know what is going on, but there are negotiations taking place.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 4:44 PM

@Clive Robinson

They are certainly an interesting bunch. I don’t really appreciate their sense of humor, it’s a little psychotic. ‘Lord of The Flies’ springs to mind, and that is also not an island I wish to be on.

SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2021 5:38 PM

@ Ted, Clive

Re: Intel and “software-defined silicon” (SDSi)


Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to figure out what the B means in my newly rolled acronym.

Ted December 10, 2021 6:38 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, Clive

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to figure out what the B means in my newly rolled acronym.

Still thinking about it. But I think it’s closely related to BaaS or Brandy-as-a-Service. It adds new features and you’d like them all to be good.

ResearcherZero December 10, 2021 7:55 PM

B is for Burns?

During a visit to Moscow earlier this month, Burns raised the issue with the leadership of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, and the country’s Foreign Intelligence Service, the SVR. He told them that causing U.S. personnel and their family members to suffer severe brain damage and other debilitating ailments would go beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior for a “professional intelligence service,” said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss highly sensitive conversations.

The situation in India could have dramatic implications: the CIA director’s schedule is tightly held and there are deep concerns among US officials about how the perpetrator would have known about the visit and been able to plan for such an aggression.

The person traveling with Burns who experienced the symptoms in India received immediate medical attention when they returned to the US, sources said.

Some former officials suggested that if it was an attack and an adversarial power was responsible, striking at Mr. Burns’ delegation would amount to an egregious escalation.

Clive Robinson December 11, 2021 3:16 AM

@ ResearcherZero,

… that is also not an island I wish to be on.

Funny there are many on this “bigger island” we used to proudly call home that are now thinking the same…

What is that saying about,

“You can take the boy out of the island, but you can never take the island out of the man”…

Turns out it might be true but in a different way. Unkike the book and it’s dark prognosis of mankind, in real life things can be different, more hopeful,

When “doing my English lit” as a school boy, the school decided that to learn we would read C.S.Forester’s “The Ship” whilst not written for 12year olds, I picked it up found it engaging and much to my mothers annoyance read it all in one go. I got away with it by whining “it’s home work I’ve got to read it”… Having read it the following week at school saw me in trouble. English lit back then involved “class reading” and having read the book from cover to cover on the previous Saturday, and had built the characters in my mind and given them flesh beyond the description, I found the “double lesson” unbearable, they were ruining it, and foolishly I said so… The teacher did not believe my when I said I’d read it. She was kind of shocked to find I had just read it from cover to cover in a day, and remembered it in places word for word.

However… out of the choice of “Lord of the flies” and “Stig of the dump” the exam board had set, the school decided we were going to do “lord of the flies”… Oh god how can anyone in their right mind inflict that on anyone? It was literally soul destroying. I later found out that the author William Golding was a depressive and maudlin when drunk, and the book clearly reflects the darker side of these moods, no doubt amplified by reflections on the hell of World War from a few years before.

When it came to the exam… I could not do what was there, it was not in me to even recall the “death of piggy” the nice kid at the hands of rock rolling psychopath Roger. I looked through to the questions for those who had instead read Clive King’s “Stig of the Dump” a book I’d read maybe three years before and enjoyed. I could answer them and did. Unbeknown to me at the time of the exam sometimes the teachers “look through” the students work. I got pulled aside a few days later and was asked Why? It was then that the horrors of Lord of the flies came back to me and I said what I thought. Perhaps “not wise” but “it needed to be said”… Many years later when in a cinema with my son watching the latest StarTrek movie, there is a scene where Spock’s father Sarek says, “Speak your mind Spock.” and Spock replies “That would be unwise”. To which his father says,

“What is necessary is never unwise”

And spock replies with the oft quoted,

“I am conflicted as I once was as a child”

My memory came flooding back from decades before… To me the important line is not the oft quoted, “I am…” but the preceding one from his father. Sometimes you just have to say it…

My advice is give “Lord of the flies” the elbow, the author might have won a Nobel Prize, but that does not make that particular work of fiction a worth one, or more importantly a reflection of most of mankind.

Clive Robinson December 11, 2021 3:58 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ResearcherZero, Ted,

Your mission, should you decide to accept it…

It is a cold damp grey morning here, and my usual cup of “Strong Brownian Motion Generator” restorative, “Sure ain’t doing the trick for me”. Thus my cognition is not what it could be… So your BaaS challenge is currently only giving rise to words that would incite the “Four Uttered Curse Keyword” Filter…

Think of synonyms for “Banjaxed” but a little more anatomical as being the politest so far…

SpaceLifeForm December 12, 2021 4:23 PM

@ Clive, Ted, ALL

Decoding BaaS in Silicon Turtles

Tis an Honour to have stumped you Clive. For a bit of time. I know you will figure out where I am coming from on this angle.

The two starting dots you need to connect:

Open them in separate tabs, so you can easily bounce back and forth. Then open the two links I linked to, also in separate tabs.

And then think outside the box.

Hint: The fix for the cpu hardware bug only required setting one bit in a micro register, which changed tbe flow of the electrons over the silicon cloud.

So, what does the ‘B’ mean in BaaS?

When it hits you, then you will facepalm.

And then you will incite the “Four Uttered Curse Keyword”.

And then, you will think, yeah, obvious.

Clive Robinson December 12, 2021 6:27 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Tis an Honour to have stumped you Clive

Oh it’s easy to “stump me” just buy me a firkin of scrumpy and leave me in the middle of a cricket pitch :-/

I had thought of “bugs” and “bankruptcy” but my thoughts kept straying to “the naughty words list” as they frequently do with Chipziller. So I’m definately not on Santa’s nice list ={

There must be something special about B to have so many “naughty words” begin with it.. I guess it really alows you to put the explode in expletive and get the full throw yourself into it arm swing

If you are old enough to have seen “Blazing Saddles” the “Authentic frontier gibberish” scene comes to mind

Ted December 12, 2021 7:44 PM

@Clive, SpaceLifeForm, ALL

Re: “Blazing Saddles” and “Authentic frontier gibberish”


That was the first audio file I translated to text with, but I ain’t gonna post it, because nothing could possibly top that heartfelt delivery 😂

SpaceLifeForm December 13, 2021 6:16 PM

@ Clive


It is in your mind. You have decoded it but have not yet connected the dots. The Electron holes are just not aligned yet.

Reparse what you wrote in link below.

Slowly, 7 bits at a time.

The needle is small.

When the logic gates connect, just say you got it, and do not expound further, as it is most certainly classified.

Clive Robinson December 13, 2021 8:25 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

do not expound further, as it is most certainly classified.

Sometimes the obvious is classified, and they get away with it for years.

ResearcherZero December 14, 2021 9:52 PM

@Clive Robinson

My wife is also keen on moving. Personally I can’t understand it. I mean what is wrong with facing a possible future with a small chance of being slightly on fire?

I laid in a ditch once in a firestorm, terrified along with all the other creatures that climbed in there. “Hell isn’t that bad,” I thought, “All these creatures seem to be getting along, probably due to the absolute terror of this fire storm.”

Also, Australia is a funny place. It’s completely mad, while at the same time having the strange ability to convince everyone that it really isn’t.

This is funny.

How to blow smoke up the world’s a_se

“in order to get the Australia FTA over the line, DIT can drop both of the climate asks (ie on precedence of Multilateral Environmental Agreements over FTA provisions and a reference to Paris Agreement temperature goals.)”

Also funny.

One stop mining approval shop opened.


What do want to mine, uranium, coal, silica? It’s all been earmarked and the ‘One-Stop-Shop’ can approve applications in a matter of a few weeks.

Also funny.

Australian Government rebukes UN for “internal interference”.

“The future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian Government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down costing thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for our economy,”

They are planning to mine everywhere. More than 60% of electricity in Australia is supplied by coal. They have been planning to mine uranium, coal, silicon, bauxite, lithium… for decades. You have to pay more bribes in Australia than in countries in Africa and Asia, so I really don’t see that changing any time soon.

I think a future something akin to the films “The Rover” or the “Mad Max” series sounds kind of exciting, but it’s hard to maintain a good kitchen and source ingredients in that kind of environment, so I can understand my wife’s concerns.

Clive Robinson December 15, 2021 4:02 AM

@ ResearcherZero,

I mean what is wrong with facing a possible future with a small chance of being slightly on fire?

To quote a song,

“For forty thousand years I’ve been the first Australian”


“I am the ancient heart, The keeper of the flame”

Australia was ecologically managed by people that had worked out how to be it’s guardians. Then unfortunately,

“I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come”

And those that claimed the knew better and still do devistated the place.

Australia is not ment to be “green” those words,

“I came from the Dreamtime, From the dusty red soil plains”

Tells you something…

Canada had a similar problem, they did everything they could to stop fires. Each time though fires happened and each time they were worse. Untill someone realised that lots of little fires most of the time is what nature was designed for (see life cycle of some fir cones).

So now men go out and set small fires to keep things as nature intended, if not slightly better.

Both Australians abd West Coast American’s need to think about that. And the corresponding lesson,

“If you don’t manage the land inline with nature, then the land will manage you inline with nature.”

Back when I was young, in “Englands green and pleasant land” I saw every year “the burning of the stubble”. Many people said on their opinion it must be wrong for various reasons such as unsightly smoke, and these days carbon foot print. The point those arguments miss and that my great grandfather and his father in the 1800’s knew, is that fire does many things, it is natures pesticide and fertilizer. It kills harmful bugs through rodents and rabbits quickly and efficiently without poisons moving up the food chain into us. Likewise it also quickly releases valuable chemicals that enrich the soil without causing massive ecological damage that chemical plants that make fertilzer do…

Sometimes the old ways are better than the new ways especially when “mother natures” hand is on the wheel.

Yes having eucalyptus trees around your home looks and smells nice and gives pleasent shade. But a full grown eucalyptus tree is saturated with high octain oils[1] and cyanide. Neither of which you would be alowed to store adjacent to your home if they were “chemicals” from an industrial plant.

[1] I once saw an assesment of the energy available by “combustion” from a full grown eucalyptus given in sticks of dynamite equivalent… The numbers were large enough to think “surely this can not be right?” but it very probably was…

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