Friday Squid Blogging: UK Recognizes Squid as Sentient Beings

This seems big:

The UK government has officially included decapod crustaceans–including crabs, lobsters, and crayfish–and cephalopod mollusks–including octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish–in its Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. This means they are now recognized as “sentient beings” in the UK.

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

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on December 17, 2021 at 4:01 PM215 Comments


SpaceLifeForm December 17, 2021 5:53 PM

@ Matt

There are many that are neither sentient nor sapient.

I would pick any squid to be more sapient than many Homo Sapiens. The list is long.

hx tps://

Mike B December 17, 2021 6:02 PM

How many leaders of the UK Government should be recognized as “sentient beings”? Certainly not all of them.

Impossibly Stupid December 17, 2021 6:11 PM

Moderation query/test: I’ve had two fairly benign (IMHO) posts here dropped into the bitbucket in the last couple weeks. I’d like to know what I’m doing that is unacceptable. Comments 395769 and 396146 (also preserved on my own site’s local archive of external content). Just trying to figure out an a priori reason such that’s it is still worth trying to participate here.

Clive Robinson December 17, 2021 7:20 PM

@ Bruce,

This seems big

Some times appearances might not be of the enormity they at first might be considered.

Have a look at article 13 of Title II of the Lisbon Treaty that came into effect in 2009. Which states that,

“In formulating and implementing the Union’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the EU countries​ relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.”

So these creaturs have already been “covered” to the same extent as the UK “Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill” …

Which actually is not a lot at all. Chef’s will still be able to drop live unstuned lobsters into boiling water…

I used to enjoy eating lobster, then I found out a couple of things. Firstly that contrary to the way I’d been taught to kill then cook them many chef’s boild them alive[1]. Secondly lobsters grow very slowly and can live for over a century, the lobsters you eat are between 20-40years old with “Table Center Piece” sized ones being over 70years old…

As for crabs being sentient… We do imbue them with certain traits, one of which is a venal nature[2].

As for cuttlefish, now they are actually quite smart in many ways. To smart for it to just be an inbuilt reaction they can with care make interesting pets… Their ability to camouflage themselves is evidence that they have some kind of conception of self in an environment that can be hazardous thus the ability to “time shift” thus imagine as “future risk”.

The eye alone on a squid is evidence that it does rather more than just sense it’s suroundings. But the fact they have conversations and emotions is evidenced in their changes in skin colour.

So it’s kind of hard to argue they are not sentient.

[1] Yes “boiling alive” was a method of execution in the UK. The King of the time degreed that “As a cook had murdered by cooking they should die by cooking” even though the evidence was effectively non existent. The happles individual was tied up and put in a large cauldron of cold water under which a small fire was lit. As far as I am aware no record was kept of exactly how long it took for the individual to die, but it would probably have been some hours.

[2] Crabs around the English South Coast are fairly easy to catch, you need a bit of “lump bacon” strong twine and a bamboo pole, and a bucket to put them in. You tie a parcel knot around the lump of bacon and leave it with about two and a half feet of twine which you attach to the top of the bamboo with a modified double timber hitch. You drop the bacon in near an under wayer crevice in the rocks and wait a very short while for a claw to grab the bacon. Pull it in remove the crab and drop ot in the bucket. Even a six year old can get half a bucket full of crabs in a morning. Along with “kicking” whelks off of rocks and sticking them on a crabs back. The thing about crabs is they could easily get out of the bucket if they realy wantrd to… But they are to busy pulling each other down when one trys to get out…

SpaceLifeForm December 17, 2021 7:29 PM

@ Impossibly Stupid

Based upon Information and Belief, and Observation, it appears to be Random.

Appears. Wait a day, and then rephrase your comment. It will probably get thru.

Hot things may, well, be hot.

ALso, do not chase links too quickly.

Upstream AI.

ResearcherZero December 17, 2021 9:36 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, Impossibly Stupid

The lawyers expect us to make CensorBot work seamlessly, but then every single time one of the major DNS providers makes an adjustment, the latency timing is thrown out of whack. We then just hammer everything. Then they come in waving more paperwork at us, so we let it all through again and claim it was a technical error.

It all settles down again once other publications pick up the story.

Ted December 17, 2021 10:25 PM

@Bruce, Clive, ALL

This seems big

That very much seems big.

Have you seen the extensive document trail of that proceeding? After passing in the House of Lords around December 13th, it appears the updated bill is now in the House of Commons. There were hopefully be even more publications and to follow.

It looks like an earlier UK petition supporting that initiative had received 103,918 signatures. That’s a lot of support.

It’s funny how animal sentience is defined differently based on what people can perceive. For example:

‘The Campaign group Compassion in World Farming lists examples of evidence of animal sentience’ such as:

  • sheep remembering and recognising the faces of other sheep for up to two years;
  • mother hens teaching their chicks which foods are good to eat; and
  • cows showing excitement when they discover how to open a gate leading to a food.

I’m happy that cephalopods, including squid, at least got a 108-page report. I think people (and cephalopods) feel pretty good about that.

JG4 December 17, 2021 10:26 PM

Wishes everyone who observes a winter holiday or holidays a happy, safe and sane celebration, and a Healthy Prosperous New Year. With a whole lot less craziness than 2020 and 2021. Have been busy, but try to follow the discussion. There is a lot to say on many topics, but not as much time as we used to have.

The bit about Intel reconfiguring your silicon via Linux code made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Sort of like the toggle that turns off their stolen Linux code, only backwards. Haven’t seen a peep about that for a long time.

If you don’t own the hardware, you don’t own the channel. If you don’t own the channel, you are the product. Apparently, it will be only with extreme difficulty that you ever will own the hardware. Hat tip Clive for being early, loud and long on endpoint security. The best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep. Preferably not at the hands of the liars, thieves and murderers. Or psychopaths and sociopaths, if you prefer the more technical terminology.

It has been a while since I got a yellow flag for citing ZeroHedge, my favorite purveyor of doom porn. The majority of conspiracy theories they promote turn out to be true. Fast forward to today where they are hosting an article by Glenn Greenwald talking about fake news and disinformation, in particular regarding the Assange case. It is quite clear that there is a conspiracy between the deep state and captive news outlets to promote certain agendas. Empire is a machine with gears made of silicon and silicon dioxide. Hopefully Greenwald and Assange are held in sufficiently high regard here to avoid deletion of my comments. It’s not every day that I have time to stop by and say Hi.

When I was a kid, the only good communist was a dead communist. I never imagined that I would want to write a Thank you note to a KGB assassin, but Assange went to the wrong embassy. I’d prefer that he was living like Snowden, instead of being illegally tortured.

Here’s a clue. If a politician is saying it, then it is a lie. If you’re not paying to see it, the information has been shaped against your interests. By disciples of Bernays. Even if you are paying to see it, the odds are that the information has been tailored against your interests. This will provide some sense of the tailoring that occurs.


“What I want to do is show you how readily and casually and aggressively and clearly corporate media outlets disseminate outright lies.”

“Fake news and disinformation comes not from people … it comes most frequently and most destructively from the very corporate news outlets like NBC news that claim to be so profoundly concerned about disinformation … and in reality they are pathological liars.”

Greenwald Exposes The Real Disinformation Agents

The Real Disinformation Agents: Watch as NBC Tells 4 Lies in a Two-Minute Clip
44,722 views Dec 16, 2021

ResearcherZero December 17, 2021 10:48 PM


You are all the product, there is only so much Earth that can be mined, and hopefully you will all keep breeding.

Acxiom Corporation

“Few consumers have ever heard of Acxiom. But analysts say it has amassed the world’s largest commercial database on consumers — and that it wants to know much, much more. Its servers process more than 50 trillion data “transactions” a year. Company executives have said its database contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States.”

“It peers deeper into American life than the F.B.I. or the I.R.S., or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google. If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams — and on and on.”

IT knows who you are. It knows where you live. It knows what you do.

Everyone is worried when they hear that Palantir and Faculty got access to UK health data for the price of one pound. But don’t worry all your data is safe, it’s stored securely on servers, and there is a EULA to keep it safe.

Axon Enterprise, Inc.

“The EULA may be boilerplate, but the situation is anything but normal. Horowitz doesn’t care much for the fact that Axon’s storage of court records and discovery documents is controlled solely by Axon by forcing users to waive a great deal of their rights in exchange for access.”

“Axon even nailed down a choice URL: This is the portal to law enforcement body camera footage stored in Axon’s cloud — the real moneymaker for Axon. The cameras are just the gateway drug.”

But much of what’s stored at could be considered public records. Much of what’s stored there could also be subject to discovery by defense attorneys during criminal proceedings. But no one asked defense attorneys if this arrangement worked for them. It was enough that it worked for cops.

ResearcherZero December 17, 2021 11:51 PM

Human welfare has already been adequately covered by the courts.

“In the circumstances, the Court considers that the domestic law on interception of internal communications together with the clarifications brought by the publication of the Code indicate with sufficient clarity the procedures for the authorisation and processing of interception warrants as well as the processing, communicating and destruction of intercept material collected,” it said. “The Court further observes that there is no evidence of any significant shortcomings in the application and operation of the surveillance regime.”

“Having regard to the safeguards against abuse in the procedures as well as the more general safeguards offered by the supervision of the Commissioner and the review of the IPT, the impugned surveillance measures, insofar as they may have been applied to the applicant in the circumstances outlined in the present case, are justified under Article 8(2),”

A handy new holster from Taser International Inc. holds not only your stun gun but a music player too.

A UN committee that decried Taser stun guns as a form of torture is “out of touch” with the realities facing law enforcement agents, one of the heads of the Taser company said.

The UN Committee Against Torture said in a statement that the use of Tasers “causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture” and, in some cases, results in death.

“It shows how out of touch the UN committee is with modern policing,” Taser chairman of the board Tom Smith told AFP.

“There’s not one use of force the police employ that does not inflict pain,”

This includes for victims of crime, there is nothing better than torture for producing a “learned response”. Electricity works particularly well, simply fire the probes into the victim’s back, the music will cover the sound of anything unnecessary while producing the “learned response” required.

JonKnowsNothing December 18, 2021 12:08 AM


re: It’s funny how animal sentience is defined differently based on what people can perceive.

How else would you be able to quantify or qualify it?

If people do not perceive, it doesn’t mean that the quality isn’t there but humans are particularly prone to “See No Hear No” with some Biblical admonitions about domination thrown in.

Humans have a common view of “if I can buy it, I can own it”. You want a dog and have money you can buy it. You want a horse and have money you can buy it. Some people buy dogs others buy tigers, some buy bears or others buy hippos.

It doesn’t mean that these owners know anything at all about the animals, nor perceived them in any other fashion than what their human perception allows.

Ignorance maybe bliss for the human but for an animal under the domination of a human it’s nothing close to bliss.

Humans also ascribe human emotions to animals and there are definitely cross overs but happiness to a horse, dog or cat isn’t the same as happiness to a human.

Tip: tl;dr

A horse when it is born, knows everything it needs to know about being a horse.

Humans require a lifetime of dedicated study to understand a horse. We know nothing at all about what a horse is, does or feels.

We do a lot of guessing and a good deal of that is not very good.

The cinema is littered with the bad but accepted knowledge about horses. They are not My Friend Flicka nor The Black Stallion nor the Godolphin Arabian of story books. Those are great stories but that’s all they are: stories for humans.

Horses don’t read.

Ted December 18, 2021 2:10 AM


How else would you be able to quantify or qualify it?

Hmm yes. Interesting thought.

The report does try to define sentience on page 12.

Dr. Alexandra Schnell was one of the reports authors. I’m guessing she’d be in a better place to field more in-depth questions like that.

From the report:

Dr Alexandra Schnell is a Royal Society Newton International Fellow in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge. As a member of the Comparative Cognition Lab, Schnell specializes in investigating the cognitive abilities of cephalopods and corvids.

Winter December 18, 2021 6:59 AM

“How else would you be able to quantify or qualify it?”

Animal behavior (Ethology for Europeans) is a well established science, dating back to the 1930s. It has been held back for a long time in the US by the madness of Behaviorism which seems designed by a psychopath (seeing how Skinner treated his child, he probably was).

The idea that animals are not sentenient, which actually means just “not feeling”, is too rediculous for words. At least for anyone who has ever observed an animal. That also holds for goldfish.

But if we remember that it has been said that slaves, women, and babies[1] “feel pain differently” or not at all, it is not strange that anyone who wants to butcher animals or humans will claim they do not feel pain, because that suits the butcher, and the victims cannot express this in suitable writing.

The same nonsense is still aired about fish and any other animals that do not scream.

As it has been known for a long time that cephalopods are very intelligent animals, it is a scandal that this has taken this long.

[1] The horrors of human stupidity:

Samson December 18, 2021 9:59 AM

Some believe computers (e.g., AI) may one day be so powerful they are sentient. Will it become illegal to turn them off? I think this idea was toyed with in a couple sci-fi stories. Will such machines be allowed to vote? To become citizens?

JonKnowsNothing December 18, 2021 10:51 AM

@Winter, @Ted, @All

re: In regard to horses

The literally painful path to understanding horses has only 4 great leaps of intuition. These 4 are augmented by slides forward and backward on the scale of improvements between horse+rider.

The primary impediment is the requirement for horses to Do-A-Job. Those jobs were subservient to human needs: war, plowing and transportation. Modern requirements are: horse sports.

The amount of knowledge any one rider+owner+trainer has at any given time is a function of their previous experience (if any) and their desire to learn (not often). It’s part of the relationship between humans and horses that horses cannot control.

There can be other additions to the list but these are the main ones.

  1. Xenophon of Athens 430–355/354 BC
  2. Antoine de Pluvinel 1552 – 24 August 1620
  3. François Robichon de La Guérinière 1688–1751
  4. Captain Federico Caprilli 8 April 1868 – 6 December 1907

Horsemen have been at it a long time and we still are not even close.

Horses are able to communicate with humans but humans rarely understand or recognize it. Horses that actively object to human control are labeled “bad” and their life expectancy is nil. Horses that do object, bite, kick, buck, run off, rear, throw themselves over backwards and have behaviors that lead to an increasing scale of hostility between the horse and owner+rider+trainer.

There are times when these conditions arise from medical conditions for which modern veterinary medicine and surgery can often rectify. Behavioral responses are more difficult to deal with and the result is Not Good for the horse.

  • Humans get an adrenaline rush from dealing with “bad horses”.
  • “Bad horses” just end up dead.

Frank Wilhoit December 18, 2021 11:41 AM


Lobsters are in principle immortal; the only thing (besides drawn butter) that ends their lives is the fact that on each molt, the new shell gets a little thicker and eventually the last one is unbreakable. But, just the other day, I read of a lobster with an attested age of 140 years.

OTOH I have also read (but cannot now be arsed to look up the source) that they are cognitively almost null.

Ted December 18, 2021 12:21 PM

@JohnKnowsNothing, Winter, ALL

“Bad horses” just end up dead.

This is hard to accept on many levels. If it brings you any comfort, your concerns are shared by members of the UK’s parliament, the EU, and many others.

Baroness Young of Old Scone declared her interest in the matter as she spoke at the 2nd reading of the UK’s Animal Welfare/Sentience bill.

My Lords, I declare my interest as a chair of the Royal Veterinary College and as a person owned by two sentient horses…

She has also tweeted about such things over the years (@youngb48):

@BBC_Saturday Live says you can sedate pets against fireworks. Why should my horse be doped and vulnerable regularly. Think animals

Does the EU already address this under “Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”? Also, remember the film “The Horse Whisperer”? I vote for the making of the film “The Cephalopod Whisperer.”

null clam December 18, 2021 12:25 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

Re: horse and human relations

There are those that brutalize horses, but there are also those that go to great lengths to really relate to horses. Horses will go well beyond what they would do in the wild state to cooperate in these cases.

Ted December 18, 2021 2:03 PM

Don’t be alarmed. Or be very alarmed. Or toggle between these options as your appetite for astoundment permits.

As I mentioned before, Apple released a new feature in iOS 15.2 called the ‘App Privacy Report.’

Basically your average Joe or Jane iPhone user can now better observe what their apps are doing. I don’t think this feature includes every minute detail, but it’s still a lot. Mind blown.

Like why did my Health app access my Contacts 5 hours ago? I’m sure there’s a good reason for this.

Apple has a section on Most Contacted Domains. They say if multiple apps (or websites) are contacting the same domain, the domain may be creating a profile on you, including for advertising purposes. I suspect advertising is the phrase de rigueur? Goooooogle!

Apple also says the data collected by this new feature is stored locally on your device. I’d bet my bottom dollar (but not literally) there will be some super sleuths who are going to have a field day with this new feature.

The Verge has an excellent article on how it works (with pictures).

Vaek Sundeep December 18, 2021 2:48 PM

Assuming the info is correct, that’s quite alright about the UK changing policies; I feel this way since there were, a few years ago, newstand reports of American scientists abducting and mutilating and killing baby squid (or octopi) to misuse them and their bodies and capabilities for experimental engineering.

Different Friday topic:

It’s about “deep fakes”. Mandatory to study for any kind of modern healthy skepticism.

Humdee December 18, 2021 5:04 PM

I have no problem with recognizing other animals as sentient or even sapient yet I deeply distrust the motive behind the effort. The more we treat animals as humans the more likely it is we will treat other humans as animals. Like the poor. Maybe we should eat them too. Oh wait, didn’t some famous British gent suggest such a modest proposal? Someone remind me, my memory isn’t as swift as it used to be

The big lie is that animal rights are a one way ratchet. I doubt that they are.

Ted December 18, 2021 5:19 PM


Re: App Data v. Telemetry Data

That was a really great article from Threatpost. I like that Apple’s response was crickets then criticism.

From the article:

Both iOS and Google Android transmit telemetry, despite the user explicitly opting out of this.


Google collects up to 20 times more data from its Android Pixel users compared to the amount of data that Apple collects from iOS users.

I wish I knew if Google and Apple really did collect data that users explicitly opted out of sharing. If so, this would seem pretty problematic from a myriad of legal and regulatory standpoints.

It looks like the research covered in the Threatpost article did not include app data.

Rather, research focused on data collected by OS-level handset components and functions

I seriously wonder where this new ‘App Privacy Report’ feature came from. I don’t know if it’s a first of it’s kind?

I’m also curious if they gave app developers a heads up on this release, because I feel like there are going to be a lot of questions.

Thanks again for the article. Very interesting.

Sumadelet December 18, 2021 5:35 PM

I can recommend reading the deep-dive provided by Google into the zero-click FORCEDENTRY exploit of iPhones.


Using a JBIG2 flaw to produce a one-pass arbitrary logic engine is quite a technical achievement.

vas pup December 18, 2021 5:58 PM

AI argues for and against itself in Oxford Union debate

“The AI was asked to both defend and argue against the motion: “This house believes that AI will never be ethical.”

Arguing for, it stated: “AI will never be ethical. It is a tool and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as ‘good’ AI and ‘bad’ humans.”

It went on to argue that humans were not “smart enough” to make AI ethical or moral.”

SpaceLifeForm December 18, 2021 8:45 PM

The Metadata is rich

Probably better to not doth protest too much.


Alexander disclosed his communications — and the relevant materials turned over to the Jan. 6 House select committee — in a new lawsuit challenging the panel from obtaining his phone records from Verizon.

[The committee already has the data. He is trying to leak intel via legal filings. Trying to telegraph]

are you blue? December 18, 2021 9:04 PM

I just had a wonderful vacation in India.

I fed my semen to a bunch of wild monkeys. I ejaculated up into the air each time and one of them would catch it.

I swear none fell to the ground during this exercise which I continued throughout the week.

Every. Single. Time. the monkeys would catch the flying blobs and swallow the delicious and nutritious love juice.

Blueberry muffins.

ResearcherZero December 18, 2021 9:14 PM

ROSCOMNADZOR email to German hosting provider:

“It is notice of making an entry into the “Unified register of domain names, Internet web-site page links and network addresses enabling to identify the Internet web-sites containing the information prohibited for public distribution in the Russian Federation?”

” In case the hosting provider and (or) the Internet web-site owner fail to take these measures, the network address enabling to identify Internet web-sites containing the information prohibited for distribution in the Russian Federation will be decided to be entered into the Register and access will be limited.”

ROSCOMNADZOR generously included some links to help with the censorship and monitoring process.

Refreshed IP-based blocks and deep packet inspection.

ResearcherZero December 18, 2021 9:48 PM

Censorship, “the suppression by others of the communication of viewpoints perceived by those others to be considered hostile or offensive,” can take on various forms. It can be subtle when it comes as an increase in the costs of accessing information, such as slowing down certain online services (e.g., Tor), or down-ranking undesired political content in search engines.

The more surveillance tools a government has at its disposal, the more avenues it has to nudge its population towards self-restraint.

Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

…seven senior executives of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the country’s central bank, were secretly indicted on allegations that partly owned subsidiaries, Securency and Note Printing Australia, had paid bribes to government officials of the three countries and others to obtain contracts to supply polymer banknotes.

It isn’t known how the Southeast Asian leaders, totaling 17, are connected to the bribery case, which has been called the biggest scandal in Australian history. But they include three Malaysian prime ministers – Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Premier Najib Tun Razak – as well as former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin and former international trade and commerce minister Rafidah Aziz. It also includes Abdullah Badawi’s sister-in-law, Puan Noni.

The gag order also includes two Indonesian presidents, Megawati Sukarnoputri, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vietnam President Truong Tan San as well as lesser officials.

Note Printing Australia (NPA) and Securency entered guilty pleas at the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court to three charges each of bribing or conspiring to bribe foreign officials to obtain a business advantage.

The order was granted under “national security” grounds in order to “prevent damage to Australia’s international relations”. The order was issued following the indictment of seven senior executives related to the Reserve Bank of Australia. The case concerns allegations of multi-million-dollar payments to persons with high-level political connections in Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia in order to secure contracts for the production of Australian plastic currency banknotes for these countries.

The order itself is secret.


Censorship can also be large-scale and more indiscriminate through the shutting down of social media platforms, cell phone services, or internet connectivity.

Initially, mostly crude censorship and surveillance technology diffused internationally. This includes Chinese gear that served to jam radio broadcasts in Zimbabwe and Russian filtering and audio forensics equipment that was provided to countries within the former Soviet Union. Increasingly, however, exports diversified and previous rudimentary tools were refined.

Your Censor is My Censor: Weaponizing Censorship Infrastructure for Availability Attacks

weaponize censorship infrastructure to perform targeted blocking

ResearcherZero December 18, 2021 10:42 PM

‘Fancy’ New 30W Superconducting Magnets

“In this test, the new magnet was gradually powered up in a series of steps until reaching the goal of a 20 tesla magnetic field—the highest field strength ever for a high-temperature superconducting fusion magnet. The magnet is composed of 16 plates stacked together, each one of which by itself would be the most powerful high-temperature superconducting magnet in the world.”

The new magnet from CFS and MIT is strong enough that when the team builds a its donut-shaped fusion machine, called a tokamak, with these magnets, it will be able to achieve “net energy,”

…around 2050 if all goes to plan, fusion ‘may’ work.

In the mean time, a lot of censoring will be required of anything that contains “oil”, “coal”, “gas” and especially “bribe” —in relation to one another.

“Remember, there is no crime in marvelous kingdom of Oceania” —the Ministry of Truth

Joe December 18, 2021 11:05 PM

With Youtube-DL Release of 2021.12.17, Core Developer Steps Down

With the first update of youtube-dl since June of
this year, the Decem
ber 17th release
has a nice changelog, but also the Core Developer,
Sergey M., AKA dstftw, steps down[1]. What will this mean for future
releases, or is the project now dead?

Some have moved on to a fork of youtube-dl, known simply as, “yt-dlp.”

Speculation: Considering the amount of news the youtube-dl project has
received in the past year or so, could someone with enough power/influence
have “convinced” the developer to walk away?

[1] The correct message was that he marked himself as, “inactive”, but IMO
this may as well be called “stepping down.”

lurker December 18, 2021 11:15 PM

@SpaceLifeForm: thanks for the “google-apple-track-mobile-opting-out”

It prompted me to check my settings. Something, G-Android update? malware? reset DataUsage [=access] on most apps to either, or, or both:
Background Data = Yes
Roaming Data= Yes.

I had taken ~40 minutes sanitising settings from new, took me again ~40 mins resetting them all. Small consolation the settings panel “claimed” zero data transfer in the past 30 days…

ResearcherZero December 18, 2021 11:57 PM

“The Boston police bought its simulator device using money that is typically taken during drug investigations through what’s called civil asset forfeiture.”

“…even if no criminal charges are brought, law enforcement almost always keeps the money and has few limitations on how it’s spent. Some departments benefit from both state and federal civil asset forfeiture. The police chiefs in Massachusetts have discretion over the money, and the public has virtually no way of knowing how the funds are used.”

“The Boston City Council reviews the BPD annual budget, scrutinizing proposed spending. But the surveillance equipment wasn’t part of the budget. Because it was purchased with civil forfeiture funds, BPD was able to circumvent the council.”

Boston city councilors interviewed by WBUR said they weren’t aware that the police had bought a cell site simulator. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, who represents Mattapan, Hyde Park and Roslindale, said, “I couldn’t even tell you, and I don’t think anybody on the council can necessarily tell you … how these individual purchases are made.”

ResearcherZero December 19, 2021 12:01 AM

How to attract police interest:

“In reviewing filings in the Israeli business registry, we observed a 2020 transfer of all shares held by Cytrox Holdings Zrt (Hungary) in Cytrox EMEA Ltd./Balinese Ltd. (Israel) to Aliada Group Inc., an entity registered in the British Virgin Islands (registration no. 1926732). Prior to this share transfer, Cytrox Holdings Zrt appears to have been the sole shareholder of shares in Cytrox EMEA Ltd./Balinese and after this share transfer it seems to remain the sole shareholder in Cytrox Software Ltd./Peterbald.”

Haaretz further notes that Rubinstein is accusing Dilian, Liv, and Shamir of acting “illegally to dilute [Rubinstein’s] own shares through a pyramid of companies set up overseas.

The lawsuit also reportedly claimed that “this transfer of Aliada’s activities out of Israel via shell companies, first to the British Virgin Islands and later Ireland, violated both Israeli and foreign defense export control laws.”

In 2019, after courting publicity with a demonstration to Forbes of a “$9 million signals intelligence van” with communications hacking capabilities in Cyprus, WiSpear and Tal Dilian attracted police interest.

The private intelligence and mercenary surveillance marketplace is marked by complex ownership structures, corporate alliances, and regular rebranding. These practices frustrate investigation, regulation, and accountability. Mercenary spyware companies further evade outside scrutiny by employing complex accounting and incorporation techniques familiar to those used by arms traffickers, money launderers, kleptocrats, and corrupt officials.

Jon December 19, 2021 12:22 AM


Another passage from that article struck me, namely:

The criminal justice reform act passed in 2018 mandated, for the first time, that Massachusetts district attorneys file annual reports to the state treasurer’s office on how they spent their share of proceeds from civil forfeitures. The law also references that similar reports be created by police departments, but its interpretation varies. WBUR found only two [2!!] out of more than 350 police departments in the state had filed reports with the office since 2018.

Didn’t it occur to anyone writing this law to stick in a few penalty clauses? e.g. “Section (e): Any department that does not file a suitable and sufficient report in a timely manner shall cause every officer of chief rank or higher to be guilty of a felony and imprisoned for not less than five years…”

They put them in all the laws that affect the little people! Look at the Vehicle Code!

Something like that would get a lot better compliance! J.

Ted December 19, 2021 12:48 AM

I apologize for the amount of text in this post, but I think it’s important enough to share.

You may have already heard, but there is a bill undergoing passage in the US that contains a provision of special note. (The bill has passed in both the Senate and the House.)

The provision is Sect. 5502 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

This provision legislates the creation of a list of contractors with whom the Department should avoid entering into contracts with on the basis of being a national security threat or a human rights violator.

Here are some of the details of this provision:

(a) … the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and other appropriate Federal agencies … shall develop or maintain … a list of covered contractors with [whom the Dept. should avoid entering into contracts]

(b) COVERED CONTRACTOR DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘covered contractor’’ means a provider of telecommunications, telecommunications equipment, or information technology equipment, including hardware, software, or services, that has knowingly assisted or facilitated a cyber attack or conducted surveillance, including passive or active monitoring, carried out against—

(1) the United States by, or on behalf of, any government, or persons associated with such government, listed as a cyber threat actor in the intelligence community’s 2017 assessment of worldwide threats to United States national security or any subsequent worldwide threat assessment of the intelligence community; or

(2) individuals, including activists, journalists, opposition politicians, or other individuals for the purposes of suppressing dissent or intimidating critics, on behalf of a country included in the annual country reports on human rights practices of the Department for systematic acts of political repression, including arbitrary arrest or detention, torture, extrajudicial or politically motivated killing, or other gross violations of human rights.

The bill on

PDF of the bill

Press Release

Jon December 19, 2021 1:37 AM


If actually enforced as written, it would apply to everyone from Intel and AMD up to Microsoft and on down again to Facebook and Google.

Somehow I doubt it will be enforced as written. J.

Ted December 19, 2021 1:56 AM


If actually enforced as written, it would apply to everyone from Intel and AMD up to Microsoft and on down again to Facebook and Google.

I am curious why you think this? This is US legislation. How do you think it would apply to a company like Microsoft?

Gerard van Vooren December 19, 2021 7:48 AM

The Netherlands are going into a full lockdown, again. All chops will be closed again, except the essential ones. Max. number of people outside is two, inside four. This is all thanks to the fear for the Omrikon variant, that could cause an overload in hospitals. Right now it’s all model based, not based on facts. These models come from Neil Ferugson.

Winter December 19, 2021 8:20 AM

” Right now it’s all model based, not based on facts.”

The models are based on the experience with the Alpha and Delta variants. They are pretty accurate. The lockdown is called because current vaccines do not protect against infection, only against illness and hospitalizations. And even that is not sure.

Leon Theremin December 19, 2021 8:21 AM

US Blacklists Dozens of Chinese Biotech Firms That Aid Military, Including for ‘Brain-Control Weaponry’

The United States on Dec. 16 placed trade and investment restrictions on dozens of Chinese entities over their role in weaponizing biotechnology and other U.S. innovations to bolster the Chinese military and to further its human rights abuses.

Among the 34 Chinese entities targeted was the Academy of Military Medical Sciences—China’s top medical research institute run by the Chinese military—alongside its 11 research institutes, for aiding the Chinese military with biotechnology, including “purported brain-control weaponry,” the department stated without elaborating on the technology.


Clive Robinson December 19, 2021 8:49 AM

@ Leon Theremin, ALL,

US Blacklists Dozens of Chinese Biotech Firms

Be wary of what the US claims, especially when the companies are more advanced then the US equivalents.

There is a war in progress with regards economics and especially Patents. The US due to stupidity in corporate structures is being out classed by amongst others China who have invested in research.

Thus when you see,

“biotechnology and other U.S. innovations”

What it generally means is that the US is trying to “claw ground back” that it has lost some years ago.

The US got bold after they forced the Chinese Telecomes company ZTE to close down with claims of ties to Chinese Military and The Chinese government… But the MSN etc forget to mention that the same claims can be lodged of very many US Companies on stronger evidence…

But look at it from another angle, if the Chinese Military/Government was supporting these companies, why did ZTE effectively fold? If there was such a “tie up” as the US has claimed then they would much as the US has done repeatedly in the past keep the company afloat, rather than just let it sink.

Look a little deeper, the plan is to stop these companies staying in business as they out compeate US corporate syructures that kick back to US Military and Government individuals…

US courts have made it abundantly clear that as far as patents go they will side with US Corps each and every time. So much so that eveb US Judges started calling out other US courts for their behaviours…

For instance much of the 5G nondense, is very much that, the purpose is to try and use US market leverage to kill 5G and GSM in general and force in “US 6G” on which every handset manufactured would have to pay royalties, on top of every chip inside also having to pay royalties and then there is software royalties as well.

It’s a major exercise in “rent seeking” pushed in by “Might is Right” type behaviours by various US Entities…

As I said “it’s war” but not in a way you are familiar with, but almost certainly more deadly in the long run…

Clive Robinson December 19, 2021 9:27 AM

@Gerard van Vooren, Winter, ALL,

Right now it’s all model based, not based on facts.

Well there are facts around…

In the UK Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital trust had 1/8th of it’s frontline staff out due to Omicron. By early next week they are expecting 1/4 and by Xmas upto 1/2 of frontline staff to be out.

The big problem at the moment is the symptoms appear to be,

1, Runny nose.
2, Headaches.
3, General tirdness.
4, Sore / scratchy throat.

That is exactly what you would expect of a common cold.

In a small number of people there are,

5, Muscle aches
6, Mild GI issues.

All of which come wirh other winter malidies.

In London which appears to be the UK epicenter currently, testing has become problematical as there is a shortage of test kits.

So far, as far as I can tell, all UK Covid patients in hospital on oxygen or other respirarory support are not Omicron, but Delta.

Patients that have tested positive for Omicron were not in hospital dor Covid but other things.

The data so far shows that it’s the under 35’s that are showing up symptoms more than older age ranges.

Obviously as omicron appears to be pushing out delta, and so far appears conciderably less pathongenic, but considerably more infectious, some are looking on omicron as being the end of the pandemic and are talking about “herd immunity by mid january to February…

Personally I would not be even remotely close to thinking that way. Put bluntly Covid twists and turns in unexpected ways…

We have reason to believe Omicron came about because someone was infectd by two different viral pathogens at the same time and things got swaped around.

The likely hood of that happening is proportional to the number of people infected at any given point in time.

Omicron is highly infective and is doubling infections between every three and five days. Even though this will start to slow down, the rise in infections makes the probability of all types of mutation considerably higher.

If a mutation does happen we have no way of knowing how it will behave in terms of it’s pathogenicity. All we do know is that if it is to realisticaly survive it will have to be either more infectious than omicron, or sufficiently novel to those who have been infected, vaccinated or both…

Yeh, have a think on what that actually means in real terms.

I’m currently trying to find out which is a better stratagy, have a booster that is not realy going to offer much even in the short term due to it’s narrow scope. Or get infected with a relatively safe strain like omicron to get a much broader protection scope…

So far there is no evidence one way or the other what is the best stratagem open to me or others.

As others have indicated an updated Sinovac type shot might be the best course, but that’s more or less unavailable to those living in the West in the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s all “high complexity” wirh “low information availability” so in effect select your biases and role the dice…

Ted December 19, 2021 10:35 AM

@Leon Theremin, Clive, ALL

Re: China and “purported brain-control weaponry”

Is this the progression of the third reich’s use of methamphetamines during WWII? Oh boy.

I thought that was a very interesting article. The Register also has a good supporting article on that as well.

From their article titled “US Commerce Dept says China has brain-control weaponry”

In 2018, PLA neuroscientists published a review detailing ways neuroscience could influence future warfare…

Here is part that paper’s abstract. The paper is titled “Military Brain Science – How to influence future wars”

Military Brain Science is a cutting-edge innovative science that uses potential military application as the guidance. It was preliminarily divided into 9 aspects by authors: understanding the brain, protecting the brain, monitoring the brain, injuring the brain, interfering with the brain, repairing the brain, enhancing the brain, simulating the brain and arming the brain…


Ted December 19, 2021 10:37 AM


With regard to China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) and 11 of its research institutes (being added to the Entity List), the 11 institutes appear to be:

  • the Institute of Health Service and Medical Information;
  • the Institute of Radiation and Radiation Medicine;
  • the Institute of Basic Medicine;
  • the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine;
  • the Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology;
  • the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology;
  • the Institute of Medical Equipment;
  • the Institute of Bioengineering;
  • the Field Blood Transfusion Institute;
  • the Institute of Disease Control and Prevention; and
  • the Military Veterinary Research Institute

Also, you can see more about the 37 entities recently put on the Entity List here:

JonKnowsNothing December 19, 2021 10:46 AM

@Clive, @Gerard van Vooren, @Winter, @ALL

re: We have reason to believe Omicron came about because someone was infected by two different viral pathogens at the same time and things got swapped around.

Recent reports are that the next potential SAR-CoV-2 incubator will be in places like Papua New Guinea (PNG), where the vaccination rates are low and population is contained both geographically and financially in their own beaker system.

There are Gen2 and Gen3 treatments coming. Some maybe available on emergency use now. Some are geared towards DeltaPlusMuts, while others target the common aspects of SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are even Preventative Treatments like Evusheld /PROVENT.

You don’t need to get Omicron. It’s not any better than Delta or Alpha or D614G.

This is my current list of near-future or current potentials updated from my 11/08/2021 posting.

Oral Drugs

Molnupiravir Merck
A prodrug = the pill ingredient becomes active on digestion, and is not part of the pill.
8 pills 2x per day for 5 days.
Costs $18 to make, costs $800 to buy.

11 04 2021 Molnupiravir approved in UK

Paxlovid /PF-07321332 /Pfizer
oral drug taken every 12 hours for 5 days
70%+ effective at reducing hospitalization


NVX-CoV2373 / Novavax USA
uses “purified” pieces of spike protein uses genetically engineered “moth” genes

Effectiveness (delta is missing)
96.4% against the original virus strain
86.3% against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant
89.7% efficacy overall

VLA2001/ Valneva / France
“inactivated” COVID-19 virus particles
like Polio Vaccines with Inactivated Virus

AXA1125 / Axcella / USA
composition of six amino acids and derivatives that is
designed to target multiple metabolic pathways
Endogenous Metabolic Modulators (EMMs)

Treatment for Long COVID

MonoClonalAntibodies mABs


Evusheld /PROVENT / AZD7442 AstraZeneca
monoclonal antibody for long-term prevention
2 Part Injections

12 08 2021 approved USA


Sumadelet December 19, 2021 12:54 PM

Re: Omicron (Little-O)

1) Genome sequencing shows significant differences between Omicron and previously sequenced variants of SARS-CoV-2 – people are talking about ’35 mutations’. This indicates the virus evolved somewhere secluded, as ongoing sequencing efforts did not see the progression of evolving variants.

2) Somewhere secluded could well be the body of someone with a weakened immune system as a chronic rather than acute infection: such as someone with inadequately treated AIDS/HIV, or other immune deficiency disease (there are numerous others). They may well have been (Coronoavirus-) symptom free while this was going on.

3) Another intruiging possibility is that some researchers believe the pattern of mutations is consistant with evolution in a murine (mouse) immune system – in other words, SARS-CoV-2 could have jumped species and back again.

We might be lucky, and find that Omicron is more infectious, but produces less serious disease, and it is a step along the road of producing yet another coronavirus to contribute to the virus soup of coronoaviruses, rhinoviruses, RSV, parainfluenza and others that generate the symptoms of ‘the common cold’. If so, we might have ‘dodged a bullet’, and recieved a suitable warning about needing to be ready for the next pandemic. Whether we heed the warning is another subject.

Viewing the immune system as a biological analogue of an information security architecture is an interesting exercise. The relatively recent discovery that measles resets parts of your immune system to a naive state is quite astounding: h++ps:// ; it also explains why measles vaccinations decrease the number of child deaths from unrelated infectious diseases. Measles basically wipes all of your firewall rulesets and removes the backups.

Winter December 19, 2021 1:04 PM

“I’m currently trying to find out which is a better stratagy, have a booster that is not realy going to offer much even in the short term due to it’s narrow scope. O”

The booster most definitely will help. The new variant has a changed outside. But the inside is more like the previous variants. The cellular branche of the immune system still works. And that is the part that keeps you out of the hospital.

The booster also boosts your cellular immunity.

Getting infected makes you a danger for others.

R. Hamilton December 19, 2021 1:12 PM

Octopuses (Octopi? or the ruder variant used in a James Bond movie title?), squid, and cuttlefish show a considerable degree of awareness. However, they and definitely crabs and lobsters etc, are part of the food chain, serving essential purposes*. Some of which end up in my stomach, which is no less worthy than the stomachs of all the non-human creatures that eat them. 🙂

Then again, is it discrimination against non-animals to suppose that only animals can be sentient?

*to be protected as species and not subjected to gratuitous cruelty individually, but otherwise exploitable

RealFakeNews December 19, 2021 6:22 PM


> Getting infected makes you a danger for others.

It should be obvious that vaccination doesn’t prevent you catching it and infecting others. Vaccination only protects the individual, and even then, it is questionable.

Don’t ignore the data, either. People only know they have Om because they got tested.

The Dutch have just gone into a hard lockdown for no apparent reason. Deaths and hospitalizations are way down and falling.

Just what the hell is going on?


Clive Robinson December 19, 2021 6:41 PM

@ Winter,

The booster most definitely will help

Yes and so will becoming infected with a very mild dose such as omicron appears to be.

The difference from an individuals perspective is,

A booster shot is very narrow in it’s coverage in order to get it’s high specificity to a single viral feature. If the virus mutates more than just a very small amount then it’s potentially worse than usless.

A mild infection tends to cause a broad range response in the immune system. Thus it has a wider range response.

The SARS2 virus is mutating away from the “booster shot” high specificity which is why omicron has such a high reinfection rate. In South Africa they have seen not just “double infections” but “tripple” and in one case “quad” infections in a very short time period with vaccinated people.

So it’s clear that for a mutation of SARS2 to be successful as omicron is, it has to be “novel to the immune system”. That objective is much easier if the immune system has a high specificity to a single viral feature. Hence omicron is obviously “vaccine avoident” to get it’s “breakthrough” and turn old varient immune hosts into new varient susceptable hosts.

We’ve had this “vaccine avoident” discussion before with the Brazillian VoC’s where in some places reinfection was around 50%.

It’s a safe assumption that omicron will mutate very soon, if it has not done so already. If it mutates further away from vaccine specificity then it will out compeate omicron in the vaccinated.

There is no reason at all to suppose that an omicron mutation will be less pathogenic in fact the opposit is more likely on probability.

So unless they make booster shots that have shifted specificity to broaden out peoples immune systems they will have increasing probability of get infected with a new varient.

So having established the fact that booster shots of a very narrow specificity –which the mRNA vaccines are– are increasingly very less effective we have to ask how do we get broad characteristic immunity?

Well the answer is,

1, New vaccines not old.
2, Getting infected by a mutation.

We don’t have the first because there is no financial incentive for the drugs companies to do so as long as they are getting “full fee” on increasingly usless booster shots. In fact the very opposit is true, their financial interests are not to make a new vaccine as repeated uses of the old vaccine, means shorter immunity intervals, so more frequent jabs, say three or four every year.

The second option thus becomes the more sensible opption if the pathiogenic properties of the virus are low. Because you get a much broader immune spectrum, meaning the next varient –and there very definately will be one– you will be partially immune to.

We know this already from “pet owners” that have higher immunity to all SARS2 varients so far, and are frequently asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic as they have got partial immunity from their pets having had other corona virus infections.

So my viewpoint is to look at the benifit risk ratio of having an omicron infection to get broader immunity than having to be endlessly jabed every three months with an increasingly ineffective vaccine.

One of the reasons I did not like mRNA vaccines was their very very high specificity. It’s what makes mRNA treatment against cancers so desirable, but of little use against rapidly mutating viruses which can ably dodge mRNA bullets, but not the vide area blast effect of old fashioned vaccine “nuking”.

Ted December 19, 2021 7:22 PM

@Clive, SpaceLifeForm, JohnKnowsNothing, Winter, lurker, ALL

Do you know anything about this?

NICOLE: Okay, so, I went down to Argentina because I kept hearing over and over again that some of the best zero-day exploit developers were in the Southern Hemisphere, that they were in Argentina.

This part of the story begins around minute 12:25 of the podcast, or you could glance at the transcript.

… So, I had met an Argentine hacker by the name of Cesar Cerrudo. He had approached me because he was really focused on smart cities and the vulnerabilities of smart cities…

JonKnowsNothing December 19, 2021 9:42 PM

@Clive, @Winter, @All

re: It’s a safe assumption that omicron will mutate very soon,

There are 2 types of mutation searches that are currently à la mode

  1. A true new VOI/VOC. This is a COVID19 virus with a different set of “core mutations”. Each named mut has a specific set of core mutations, there can be some crossovers but these general mutations remain stable.
  2. Sub-lineage mutations. These are very much searched for and represent localized versions of the named variant. These will be located geographically: country, region, city. Currently reporting on sub-lineages is next to nil because governments consider sub-lineages are all members of the named group. From that view point, if there are no special attributes to the human impact of the virus, it’s all the same virus. (1)

This latter is true and false. Omicron is everywhere but it’s not the same Omicron in the USA as in the UK or in the Netherlands. They all have the same core mutations but they have different mutations elsewhere on the virus.

Omicron has at least 2 sub-lineages BA.1 BA.2


Omicron has already mutated and will continue to mutate until another change in the core mutation gets noticed.

It was only by chance that the core mutations of what is now called Omicron, got noticed because testing is not always Full Genome Sequencing. There are huge numbers of test samples and it’s places like the GISAID database, where massive sorts+compares take place.

Well endowed Governments have their own sort+compare systems, they may or may not share all their raw data (with GISAID) and rarely do they share their full modeling data. The modeling results comes out in drips and drabs.

Some countries have decided to stop sharing or doing Full Genome Testing. They maintain that It’s All Omicron, the same as they claimed It Was All Delta – until it wasn’t.

The upshot is: you don’t have to wait for Omicron to mutate. It already has.

Omicron Defined Core Mutations
K417N Yes
P681R, E484K, and K417T No
69/70 deleted
Sub-lineages (there maybe more now)
BA.1 Determined by SGTF – absence of the S Gene on the PCR test
BA.2 Does not have the 69/70del so the SGTF is not triggered, making it invisible to PCR tests.

1) An example of human impact:

  • Delta contains @130+ sub-lineages. 2 of the Delta sub-lineages AY.1 and AY.2, have additional immune escape mutations that impair some of the monoclonal antibodies used in COVID19 treatments. In the USA if these 2 sub-lineages represent more than 5% of the total case percentages in that area, those specific monoclonal antibody treatments may NOT be given or used.

Clive Robinson December 19, 2021 10:11 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

The upshot is: you don’t have to wait for Omicron to mutate. It already has.

I guess I should be “unsurprised” and in a way I am.

One of these days I’m going to take a bit of time to properly get my head around genetics it’s self, rather than the tests and the way the tools get abused by those in the forensics game.

Maybe this summer if I can find some decent grad level and above books…

I’m old fashioned and “books are my tools” of choice, along with white boards, paper, pencils, rulers etc. Not screens and keyboards and especially not loathsum mice / nipples / pads.

SpaceLifeForm December 19, 2021 11:12 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL

It sure appears as though Omicron will have passed Delta by 2022-01-01.

The stats are interesting.

Boats with poor ventilation:

The ship that pulled into Miami the day before left port on Dec. 11 with 6,091 passengers and crew on board, 95% of whom were fully vaccinated. Of the 48 who tested positive for Covid-19, 98% were fully vaccinated. Royal Caribbean said in a statement that the passengers who tested positive were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms.

Boats with good ventilation:

Gerard van Vooren December 20, 2021 12:00 AM

@ Clive, All,

The big problem at the moment is the symptoms appear to be,

1, Runny nose.
2, Headaches.
3, General tirdness.
4, Sore / scratchy throat.

That is exactly what you would expect of a common cold.

In a small number of people there are,

5, Muscle aches
6, Mild GI issues.

All of which come which other winter malidies.

There you have it. a winter cough. You know duck-typing? It is duck-typing, but this time you have been tested positive by the officials, and of course you are in the record. For the rest, there is nothing going on. Well, nothing to be worried about IMO. But apparently our dutch gov wants to be Australia / New Zealand. We will see how these lock-downs are turning up, but I can tell you that I am fed up with it. For two years now we have been told lies, lies, and a lot more lies to the politicians, the doctors, and even the justice system. And they created a lot of new laws, that are not based on our constitution. And they invested no Euro extra to improve the health of the elders and weaker. So if you ask me, there is something fishy going on. But that is just me.

Clive Robinson December 20, 2021 12:13 AM

@ Ted,

Do you know anything about this?

Which bit of it?

There are reasons it’s secretive, a bit more than the bland “an exploit becomes valuless once known”.

But the “finding exploits and selling them is not illegal” is not quite true… Yes it’s true as a statment of fact, providing you own the systems and software you investigate, and the country you are in does not have stupid legislation like the DMCA.

What is not legal in a lot of cases is “payment” read,

“They can do it tax-free, they don’t have to worry about Argentina’s inflation problems, they don’t have to – this isn’t taxable income”

Look at it this way you might find one realy good exploit in half a decade, that’s worth the top price of $1million. Now if you declair it as income, most places you will loose half of it to the countries taxation and banking systems.

There are other ways to be paid and legitimize it.

The first step is to get payed not in money or financial instruments that devalue faster than a brick dropping down a well, but in actual assets that appreciate and earn rent in some way. Wash the asset and pay yourself modestly from the rent in some way, like being a “graphic designer” or “web developer” or some such where the supposed work you do is darn near intangible. That way the $1million will keep you comfortable for the rest of your life. Plus if you make your “web development” a company you get to buy hardware and software as “tax deductable” and you can slide a whole lot else in like a company vehicle and even commestables like much of your household stuff from bleach, toilet paper, soap, through to food and even electronics etc. Even furniture if you have an office with reception etc.

Have a look at was going on in the UK before they brought in the “IR 35 rules”,

The other thing to consider is “the life style”

The south of South America is a lovely place not just visit but live. You can have a very good lifestyle for a fraction of what it costs in North America.

Somebody I know has a family and lives out there, and has their own mountain side and valley they bought for a lot lot less than my house cost me. They pay other people to farm it for them by the usual crop sharing / tennent farmer etc way of doing things. Whilst it appears an idilic life, it has all sorts of disadvantages, like lack of higher education for their children and health care etc. Not that that is realy any different to North America, but it’s a bit of a shock to many Europeans.

So if you are “young and smart” you can do very well for yourself in South America, as long as you don’t attract attention from corrupt officials and their very close friends of criminals.

Thus they would tend to form “closed social groups” where not even girlfreinds or wives know what they do for a living.

I’m not surprised they give journalists a very wide clearence. Because for all journalists witter on about protecting their “confidential sources” there job is in effect to “sell them out”. That is directly through what they write, “bringing an individual to life” or indirectly because journalists are very visable lightning rods for authority.

I stopped talking to them back in the early 1980’s when one of them decided to try to set me up… It was only my sixth sense that kept me out of trouble. Robert Schifreen and Steve Gold who I both knew back then were not so lucky, because they tried to be “responsible” when authority wanted blood and evisceration,

I only found out the details a little while back but then UK Prime Minister “mad maggie” Thatcher wanted my head… She did not know me and might not have known my name, but she knew I’d potentially upset her plans. But simply she was trying to sell off what we now call BT, for as much money as possible. What she did not need was some smart arse kid pointing out BT’s high tech BT Gold Email and other digital services were compleatly insecure, as it badly effected share price as the BBC Micro Live program demonstrated, see the “hacking incident” section,

(the details given in the page are not exactly accurate to put it mildly, but is “now the truth” as far as joirnalists and others have made it…)

There was a lot more behind the story that BT was trying to keep quiet in their splurges to the Press. So I wrote a story with evidence about how BT were lying to the press and put it in a “Closed ‘Editors’ Group” on BT Prestel where quite a few “in the scene” read it… A journalist notified a guy cald David Babsky who was the Editor for EMAP who owned Micronet800 that was run on part of Prestel. He reported it “up the chain” faster than a rat with a rocket up it’s jacksy… He was also the guy who set Robert and Steve up a little while later…

I’ve written about it previously with more details,

Winter December 20, 2021 12:18 AM

“For the rest, there is nothing going on.”

I assume you have not talked to anyone working in an ICU or general hospital? Or care home?

I have, and they are desperate. People with life threatening conditions have to be put on a waiting list because of all the COVID-19 patients.

Winter December 20, 2021 12:28 AM

“So my viewpoint is to look at the benifit risk ratio of having an omicron infection to get broader immunity than having to be endlessly jabed every three months with an increasingly ineffective vaccine.”

The benefit risk ratio of your neighbor is that you have become a health hazard.

Moreover, the risk to your health of a booster is (much) less than what you believe to be “only a mild” infection.

The overall risks and inconvenience of regular jabs are not that higher than flu jabs or a visit to the dentist. Except that people see COVID jabs as a kind of satanic incantations, it seems.

Clive Robinson December 20, 2021 1:02 AM

@ Winter,

The overall risks and inconvenience of regular jabs are not that higher than flu jabs or a visit to the dentist.

Err that “Dentist injection” you know that one they call “Novocaine” can kill me and not by anaphylaxis, and I have the permission of a senior cardiac consultant to say so.

One of the reasons I hate dentists is I used to get what I thought was panic attacks in the chair, with full blown sweating, shakes and heart palpitations, strange visual effects and a few other unpleasantnesses…

Turns out it was not panic attacks, my body does not like the chemicals in it and if I’d not been as physically as fit as I was I might have made it to the hospital but probably not… Basically it was stopping my heart for a few seconds, that then began again with probably AF… Neither of which is good for longevity…

Gerard van Vooren December 20, 2021 1:27 AM

@ Winter,

I assume you have not talked to anyone working in an ICU or general hospital? Or care home?

I have, and they are desperate. People with life threatening conditions have to be put on a waiting list because of all the COVID-19 patients.

That problem is been going on for years, for years! And now, our new gov, wants to reduce health care even more. They want to invest in climate, yet another hoax.

Do you understand that? Because I don’t.

Winter December 20, 2021 3:16 AM

“That problem is been going on for years,”

Not at the acute scale now where life saving needed operations and transplantations have to be delayed for weeks or months. The fact that hospital capacity was barely adequate, but still adequate, before the pandemic is no excuse to let health care collapse now.

The people that cannot be treated now are not at fault for the current situation. Nor are the health care workers.

“And now, our new gov, wants to reduce health care even more.”

That is a convenient misreading of the plans. I do not agree, nor voted for, the parties forming a new coalition. But their plans are not a massive reduction of health care. The plans are to reduce the massive increase of costs that is expected in a decade. Whatever your ideas about these plans (I am not for), they are not a reduction in health care.

“They want to invest in climate, yet another hoax.”

And the earth is flat, and created only 6000 years ago in a single week, and COVID is a hoax, and we are ruled by lizard people. I know.

So where are you in this conspiracy chart?

Winter December 20, 2021 3:19 AM

“Err that “Dentist injection” you know that one they call “Novocaine” can kill me and not by anaphylaxis, and I have the permission of a senior cardiac consultant to say so.”

That is indeed a good reason to be careful. OTOH, dental problems can kill quite effectively.


Gerard van Vooren December 20, 2021 4:38 AM

@ Winter,

And the earth is flat, and created only 6000 years ago in a single week, and COVID is a hoax, and we are ruled by lizard people. I know.

You misunderstand me. I am critical and skeptical, that are the only two things that I am. I like to think about those things and I don’t take it for granted. But to me, Corona is roughly the same as a flue, with a different name. And Climate… just look at this year. The weather sucks, the entire year, just like it was… like every. But I am not “green” and certainly not “red”. Yes, I like alternative media and I don’t like the MSM.

But I am afraid that you are right about those “lizard people”.

So, we are having lots of issues, but hey, this is the right site for arguing this.

Winter December 20, 2021 5:38 AM

“I am critical and skeptical, that are the only two things that I am.”

You wrote:
“They want to invest in climate, yet another hoax.”

Definition of hoax (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : an act intended to trick or dupe : imposture
2 : something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication

That is, you claim that climate change, as well as the pandemic, are “something accepted or established by fraud or fabrication”.

This means that you accuse millions of scientists, politicians, journalists (and many others) of intentionally fabricating data to trick the public in believing that there is a problem. In the case of Climate Change, they did so for half a century and more [1].

That is not “critical and skeptical”, that is slander or paranoia.

[1] It is that long. I gave a talk in class about climate change in the early 1980’s based on scientific journal papers.

Clive Robinson December 20, 2021 6:20 AM

@ JG4,

Second try, don’t know what happened to the first…

Wishes everyone who observes a winter holiday or holidays a happy, safe and sane celebration, and a Healthy Prosperous New Year. With a whole lot less craziness than 2020 and 2021.

Have a peacefull winter solstice holiday, festival and turn of the calander, and many more in the future.

The best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep. Preferably not at the hands of the liars, thieves and murderers.

As the punch line of the old joke has it,

“You lack ambition, me I want to die in bed, in the arms of a beautiful woman who is is 22, whilst making passionate love to her shot by her jealous husband.” 😉

… they are hosting an article by Glenn Greenwald talking about fake news and disinformation, in particular regarding the Assange case.

It is sadly not a “conspiracy theory” but as time reveals “facts about a very real conspiracy”.

Oh and the journalist, who did not join in the conspiracy former British Diplomat and noted historian “Craig Murrey” who is a man in his sixties of uncertain health and has a young child, has been falsely jailed by a Scotish Judge. She is way to close to the political establishment and made a ludicrous decision “behind her closed door” and incarcerated him for eight months.

Why ludicrous, to find him guilty she had to “invent a case against him” so that he could not defend himself from it. So she used the excuse of “jigsaw” that he had provided enough little details for people to piece it together. Which is strange because other UK MSN gave way way more explicit identification and other MSM published names. And they have not been draged before her. But as has been pointed our a very simple Google Search on the name of the Scottish politician who had been falsely accused would have been of a lot more use.

Worse though the judge –who is oh so friendly with the same politicos who were trying to get the Scottish politician destroyed–, decided that Craig Murrey could not be a journalist… Even though he clearly was. Why? Because she decided he was not employed by the MSM nor was he part of a Journalists Union. Which is strange because he had applied to be a member of the UK National Union of Journalists, and even though he repeatedly communicated with them, they ignored him on several occasions and now of course claim it was nothing to do with them…

But the result was that Craig Murrey could not travel to Spain to give testimony in a serious case against those who bugged Juilan Assange whilst he was in the Equidorian Embassy…

Such are how the wheels of power turn within the UK. Unsurprising to some, but to the majority via a Conspiracy of silence by the UK MSM, unknown and getting worse daily.

First a little independent reporting,

Now something from the UK MSM, which whilst it does contain some actual facts, certainly misrepresents them, in part to cover it’s own miserable failings. But worse much worse in the main to “curry favour” with political power and be seen to be “toeing the line of the powers that be”, so that their “Official Journalists” won’t have to actually do any work, they will be “fed stories” to print by those in power…

As for the last paragraph, note who looked for evidence of a conspiracy, yet failed to find any… Two things to note,

Firstly “There is none as blind that don’t wish to see” what is plainly “infront of their nose”. Much as Upto Sinclair noted,

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

Secondly William Shakespeare who is clamed to be the best playwrite in English history, wrote a play that actors call “The Scotish play” because the actual name is,said to bring down a curse upon those who utter it off stage. Well Shakespear also had a character utter the immortal words,

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”

Perhaps it would be more fitting to be made about the other side of the North Sea. Where the fish is certainly rotting from the head down, but it appears to be a sturgeon not a salmon, where the rot is oozing so festeringly.

Clive Robinson December 20, 2021 6:37 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren,

Corona is roughly the same as a flue

Two things to note, firstly the Corona virus is the same species as “the common cold” in humans and many “Gastro intestinal infections” in animals, not the influenza virus (easy mistake to make as they are commanly “lumped together” as “seasonal respiratory desieses”, and one that has happened here on more than one occasion).

Secondly you’ve hit the wrong button in the spell checker, it happens to the best of us (me more than others due to my “fat fingers” and little phone screen).

It should be “flu” not “flue”. The latter is what smoke and combustion fumes rise in, and many incorrectly call a “chimney” (the chimney is the structure that supports one or more flues, when flues are free standing they are generally called “flue pipes”).

Gerard van Vooren December 20, 2021 7:49 AM

@ Winter, I don’t accuse anybody. But the problem is this. You can show me mine results and I will show you yours. I am sure that they differ. So it means that you can’t prove it. You can make a model out of it, and make the best or worse predictions, but that is it, a model. They never work as predicted. That is what is going on today. They trust models. And that is wrong!

I don’t accuse anybody.

Winter December 20, 2021 8:03 AM

“I don’t accuse anybody.”

“Hoax” is a accusation in itself. It’s meaning in English requires bad faith on the perpetrator.

“You can show me mine results and I will show you yours. I am sure that they differ.”

I can only conclude that you do not believe in science. Nor in empirical observations. Because science is exactly a procedure where observer can reach consensus about results and observations.

The scientific community has reached consensus that Climate Change is real and is caused by humans, and that COVID-19 is a deadly disease that caused the death of millions of humans. There is actually no debate about that anymore (if there ever was a real debate).

Those who deny these two conclusions always (100% of the time) accuse the scientific community of fraud. Which is exactly the same as the Flat Earth people do.

Luke Morrison December 20, 2021 8:54 AM

@Clive Robinson

The fish is truly rotten and indeed it is a Sturgeon. We are no doubt seeing the results of infiltration of the Scottish independence movement by those who protect the status quo. They have weaselled their way in and leveraged greed, ambition and fear in the age old way. Here is some relevant commentary from friends in Denmark

It is a sad reflection of our democracy and Scottish legal system, once admired around the world, the conspiracy is there plain to see, but the evidence and identities of those involved protected from publication – even from the Scottish Government’s own inquiry set up to investigate its handling of the sexual harassment complaint!

Craig Murray was jailed for simply reporting Salmond’s defence which he was acquitted with, MSM and Sturgeon still smeared him as a sex pest. If only the WhatsApp and email logs held in evidence by Levy&Macrae, David Davis MP and the Crown and Proculator Fiscal office would see the light of day!

This blog series provides a good timeline and background to what has been going on

lurker December 20, 2021 11:36 AM


Lockdowns work, fast and effective, in China where they are enforced with armed troops in the streets. Check how Delta was eliminated from Nanjing in 5 weeks with lockdown and door to door compulsory testing.

Lockdowns worked (past tense) in Australia and NZ the first time because people were afraid and willing to follow rules from their govt. Lockdown in AU & NZ failed against Delta because people got tired of it and didn’t understand Delta needed tighter control.

I dont have personal experience of NL, but my time living in BE & FR tells me lockdown would never work there.

Winter December 20, 2021 12:03 PM

“I dont have personal experience of NL, but my time living in BE & FR tells me lockdown would never work there.”

The Fr lockdown was enforced very strictly. I do not know about Be. In the Netherlands there was little enforcement. However, the lockdowns did work in the sense that infections went down.

However, our lockdowns came 2 weeks late every single time.

This is the very first lockdown that comes in time.

lurker December 20, 2021 1:06 PM


The main problems with lockdowns in Europe are:
1. Schengen
2. porous land borders.
These have resulted in repeated, wearying lockdowns with no co-ordination between nations, and no hope of elimination.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 20, 2021 3:18 PM

@ Clive, Ted: Clive wrote,

Yes it’s true as a statment of fact, providing you own the systems and software you investigate, and the country you are in does not have stupid legislation like the DMCA.

This statement is a nice encapsulation in what has been research hesitancy on my part, when manufactures of hardware or developers of software wrap their products in an obscurity blanket to protect themselves from liability or theft. Invariable suggesting that the consumer/owner/purchaser takes on that burden themselves for manufacturing or design flaws. So the corps get the blanket, and the plebs get left out in the cold…and paid for the privilege. Sounds just like the MIIC[1].

[1] MIIC Military Intelligence Industrial Complex (source: me)

JonKnowsNothing December 20, 2021 4:27 PM

@Gerard van Vooren, @AL, @Clive Robinson

re: “But to me, Corona is roughly the same as a flu”

This statement highlights a medical view point of:

  • All symptoms that are the same, come from the same source

** If you have a sniffle, or sore throat or cough it all comes from a “cold”.
** If you have vomiting and diarrhea with temperature you have the “flu”.
** If you have a pain in your gut, you are “constipated”.
** If you have a pain in your head, you are “hung over”.

The view comes from “evidence based” medicine and better tracking of illnesses that presupposes that any particular patient presentation will be from whatever happens to be the most current condition for that time and place.

If there’s an outbreak of colds in your area – everyone gets first Dx of having a cold.

If there’s an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea in your area – everyone gets the first Dx of flu. Later on you may get to “bad or contaminated chicken” -salmonella.

One reason behind the first generalized Dx is that it is the most common likely thing for you have.

Another reason is that the treatment is the same. Drink fluids, stay home, wait it out.

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the treatments are the same for D614G, Alpha, Delta, Omicron etc. . The treatments are limited. When they don’t work or you get in queue too late, you die. (1)

However, just like colds and flu, you do not need to get them at all. Stay away from people that have sniffles, stay out of the office when a person brings theirs in to share with their co-workers, stay home if you feel unwell,.

So, similar to flu and colds, you have control over how you chose to become infected or how to avoid becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and it’s many permutations.


1) Doug Ericksen, state senator who fought vaccine mandates, dies at 52

Ericksen’s death on Friday [12 17 2021] came weeks after he said he tested positive for coronavirus while in El Salvador.

In a message to state House and Senate members, Ericksen asked for advice on how to receive monoclonal antibodies, which were not then available in El Salvador.

He soon arranged a medevac flight out of El Salvador… the next week the senator was recovering at a Florida hospital.

[Then he died.]

(CDC) says people should be fully vaccinated before visiting El Salvador, where levels of Covid-19 are “high”.

h ttp s://w eguar dian. c o m/world/2021/dec/19/doug-ericksen-dies-washington-senator-covid-vaccine-mandates

JonKnowsNothing December 20, 2021 4:46 PM


re: repeated, wearying lockdowns with no co-ordination between nations, and no hope of elimination.

Because, there was and is no intention for “elimination”, except in a few countries. Even NZ has given up and joined the Marche Funèbre.

The intentions of Herd Immunity Policy (HIP)(1) countries is to allow the virus to spread as fast as possible without causing a total breakdown in health services.

As long as there are MDs, RNs and medical support persons standing upright and the AI/ML modeling shows the medical profession can continue to stand under the load, the cycle will continue:

  no lockdowns, delayed lockdowns and freedom-days.

Lockdowns happen when the bodies get thrown in the Ganges or are stored in hundreds of freezer trucks. New Zealand and Australia will learn quickly they have to buy more freezer trucks.


1) Herd Immunity Policy is an Economic Policy not a medical policy.

Clive Robinson December 20, 2021 8:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing, name.withheld, ALL,

Apparently, I am not good at graphic slopes.

Does it realy matter to an individual at what angle the slope of a wall is? Especially when you drop off the other side, and the “area under the curve is made of the body count…

Memento Mori, for he does not forget you, no matter how you waltz the “Danse Macabre” up that slope, and for you when the music stops you drop.

This recent article,

In both the words and images of art tell a stoty of history past, when the feudal “serf” system was at it’s hight, as those who craved status not progress ruled the roost. The worst offenders of such were those that subscribed to the French Court system.

Each time it was thought wiped from the face of the planet, but in reality it remained,in different guise building a new, clothed in a new age. Each time it returns, the dance begins afresh, to music sweet for some, sour for most, which in turn, in time, becomes rivaled by the “rough music” that drives it out.

The grim truth history teaches is, no matter who pays the piper, or for what tune, when the dance is done the butcher claims his due, and no matter how fine the grain, the corn is scythed down.

ResearcherZero December 20, 2021 8:52 PM

“Based on our analysis of the files in question, we believe it’s reasonable to conclude that the attackers were able to intercept and possibly exfiltrate all local network traffic in this organization,”

“We also have indications that the attackers could run code of their choosing in the operating system’s context on infected systems, giving them complete control,”

The documentation for WinDivert describes it as “a powerful user-mode capture/sniffing/modification/blocking/re-injection package for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. WinDivert can be used to implement user-mode packet filters, packet sniffers, firewalls, NAT, VPNs, tunneling applications, etc., without the need to write kernel-mode code.”

The names of the exported functions are self-explanatory. The only interesting function is NTAcceptPWD, which gets an activation secret as an argument and sniffs all the incoming TCP communication, searching for communication with that activation secret. It means that the malware itself does not open any port on its own, it uses the ports open by the system or other applications for its communication. The malicious communication is not reinjected to the Windows network stack, therefore the application listening on that port does not receive it and doesn’t even know some traffic to its port is being intercepted.

ResearcherZero December 20, 2021 9:25 PM

@Clive Robinson

We are cutting some corn here at the moment, bit overdue, pretty moldy, should have been cut down 40 years ago. It’s a slow system, justice, and funnily enough they work in it.

Winter December 21, 2021 12:49 AM

“Because, there was and is no intention for “elimination”, except in a few countries. ”

Eliminating the virus after spring 2020 is more difficult than exterminating rats AND mosquitos at the same time. That was not going to happen after the virus left Hubei. Eurasia is not good for containing anything.

The only hope is vaccination, with infection as the only alternative. And herd immunity through vaccination has been shown time and again to be very effective.

Until we get everyone vaccinated or infected, we will have to revaccinate every year (or more), or reinfect for those who prefer Russian roulette.

SpaceLifeForm December 21, 2021 1:13 AM

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Tests Expected to Fail to Detect the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant

Due to the inability of these test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 omicrom variant, the FDA recommends that these test should not be used until this issues is resolved.

Meridian Bioscience, Inc. Revogene SARS-CoV-2

Tide Laboratories DTPM COVID-19 RT-PCR Test

Applied DNA Science Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit

[Guessing they do not have any recommended grammar tests]

Clive Robinson December 21, 2021 1:36 AM

@ Luke, ALL,

Craig Murray was jailed for simply reporting Salmond’s defence which he was acquitted with, MSM and Sturgeon still smeared him as a sex pest.

She still tries to even though it was clearly demonstrated that one of “her friends” lied in court…

As a result we get to hear next to nothing in the MSM, and in extension about Craig or Julian Assange and most importantly what the US and UK authorities are upto with regards their suppression of what is a basic right to defend yourself against oppression.

Not just “oppression” in the traditional domains most have some grasp on, but in the domain few do of rapidly advancing technology. That stores, communicates, and processes information about every aspect of our lives that we are more and more forced to reveal.

Oh have you noticed that very very little about Craig Murray’s release at the beginning of the month has been reported in the MSM?

You have to go to “indi-news” sites that politicians want put out of existance, or judges to silence…,

Craig said he wanted time with his family before he got back to blogging, but he has since started again which is good news.

I guess unsuprisingly he is attempting to show what a Fraudulant individual Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is and how she repeatedly lies and cosies-up to neo-con behaviours[1],

Hopefully more will come out about the rotting fish and it’s misleading, malign, malevolent, and malignant behaviours that poison the waters.

But also I hope he will start up again in depth not just on how Julian Assange is being treated by UK authorities overly keen to please their US masters bidding like any lap dog would. But with more information on the surveillance asspects that underlies it all.

[1] She is feigning many things. However she is very much behind the “Greening-up” of hedge-funds as recently witnessed at the “26th United Nations Climate Change conference”(COP26), held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow Scottland (we she was not invited to but showed up anyway). Put simply she thinks that lots “foreign hedge-fund” investment in nuclear power plants is better than solar systems and insulation… I guess because it will cause job further job losses in Scottland, whilst also makeing the near 40% of Scotish people and families in “poverty” pay more, much much more for their energy, the bulk of which will disapear abroad… Why well it’s no secret she is leaving politics, so hopes she will end up with a whole bunch of very nice “sweethart” and similar “nest feathering” opportunities. In short she want’s to go down the “Clintonesque route” to becoming a multimillionaire at the multiple billions it will cost the Scottish People. Oh and don’t forget that “oil and gas” she is keeping the door open for “foreign exploitation” by the likes of organisations very very strongly associated with the US GOP.

Gerard van Vooren December 21, 2021 1:37 AM

@ lurker,

The main problems with lockdowns in Europe are:
1. Schengen
2. porous land borders.
These have resulted in repeated, wearying lockdowns with no co-ordination between nations, and no hope of elimination.

You are 100% right. The only thing you didn’t add was the poison atmosphere of the MSM.

Gerard van Vooren December 21, 2021 2:01 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, about COVID-19,

I think we all know somebody who died with Corona. An uncle of mine died this autumn with Corona. He was 86 years old and did have lots of issues, and he also didn’t recover from the sick bed in the hospital. This caused lots of problems with his lungs. So he died luckily with morphine.

In the winter of 2018, also an uncle of mine died, this time it was the flu. The procedure was exactly the same, the result was also exactly the same. He was 84 and he did also have multiple of issues, such as his weight.

I am a happy man, I have a girlfriend, my BMI is around 25, I am in my early fifties and I don’t need lots of medications. So, I am healthy, I am not 80+. So why does these measures also apply to me? What have I done? Why can’t I go to the gym? Why do I have to buy all the crap online?

The measures don’t make sense!

Winter December 21, 2021 2:28 AM

“So why does these measures also apply to me? ”

Because, if you need to go to a hospital, they will not be able to help you as all beds are filled with COVID patients.

If you transmit the infection, there is a small chance you will need to go to a hospital for treatment. But by infecting others, some of whom will end up in hospital, you will make it impossible for others to go to the hospital for any reason. This is beside the question of the 150k+ compatriots who will die if there is an unchecked epidemic (~1% of people with COVID die, i.e., 170,000 people in the Netherlands, more if the hospitals fail).

You might feel that you can take that risk, being healthy and special and so on. Others do not have that luxury.

The government is tasked with keeping health care running, because failing hospitals mean a lot of crippled and dead people. That is why you are restricted by a lockdown. Because it has proven impossible to isolate the vulnerable well enough to stop the spread of the virus.

So, whether you like it or not, you will have to endure the lockdown to save the lives of your compatriots. That is exactly the type of risk-benefit weighting a government is supposed to make.

SpaceLifeForm December 21, 2021 2:31 AM


Been deep diving on this for days now, and I still hope, as I originally surmised, that this will crowd out Delta, and hopefully be less severe. Less severe overall, but obviously some will not survive.

The bad news is that it looks like immune escape, so having been vaxed multiple times does not mean you can’t get infected.

But, Vitamin D and good ventilation probably help. So, stay out of poorly ventilated facilities, but if you have to go in, wear a mask.

Some better news is, it could just be like a very bad cold, making you feel like hell warmed over, but not enough to go to hospital. We will see.

Probably anyone over 30 years of age has had a really nasty cold.

From super-spreader X-mas party in Norway, leading symptoms of #Omicron are:

  1. Cough 83%
  2. Runny stuffy nose 78%
  3. Fatigue 74%
  4. Sore throat 72%
  5. Headache 68%
  6. Muscle pain 58%
  7. Fever 54%
  8. Sneezing 43%

Only 12% reported reduced smell

Clive Robinson December 21, 2021 2:50 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Speaking of XKCD, this “Incident Report” one made my “long for the old days”,

Some of my “Incident reports” have events in nano-seconds, which is about the time it takes light to travel from the top to bottom of a sheet of A4 paper…

Or more accurately in the case of the reports in question,

“The time it takes an EMP pulse to reach a voltage that will take out the input devices on most commercial SDR receivers that do not have front end protection, even those in the $5000 range”…

Gerard van Vooren December 21, 2021 3:11 AM

@ Winter,

Let me explain the problem. I am sorry, it is in Dutch.

Hoeveel schade kan je aanrichten in één pennenstreek?

I am following Maurice de Hond a lot since Corona, so I know how not to get the virus, I use a CO2 meter and I go don’t go into a non-vented area for long. So, let me repeat my question: why does these measures also apply to me? What have I done?

SpaceLifeForm December 21, 2021 3:26 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren

Even though you are relatively healthy, and your BMI is ok (a big factor as to outcomes IMO), the thing you need to think about is this:

What if you become a silent spreader and infect others that may not be in good health? For example, what if they are your parents?

You may very well have Omicron right now. You may never know. But you may give it to someone that can not handle the infection. Just by breathing the same air in a poorly ventilated space.

Being safe is not just to protect you. It is to protect others.

Winter December 21, 2021 3:33 AM

“I am following Maurice de Hond a lot since Corona, so I know how not to get the virus,”

This is the very first example sentence you get if you try to translate “opiniepeiler” (pollster):
Maurice de Hond (born 8 October 1947, Amsterdam) is a Dutch pollster and entrepreneur.

Maurice the Hond is very opiniated (pun intended), but he is neither an epidemiologist nor a virologist. His opinions about the pandemic are not based on science, but are just opinions. It is pretty clear for anyone who has ever looked into epidemiology, or history, that there is absolutely no way to avoid an airborne infection short of complete isolation. Everyone will get infected with every circulating invective agent unless they have immunity.

“So, let me repeat my question: why does these measures also apply to me? What have I done?”

You can get infected unless you go into isolation (aka, lockdown) and, therefore, you can pass on the infection. If you can pass on the infection, you are a health hazard to the people.

The lockdown tries to balance the hazard you pose to the care system and your compatriots with the needs to have a life. Like with drunk driving, your freedom to do what you want, e.g., DUI, has to be balanced with the health and life of other people.

I understand that you do not want to accept restrictions aimed at saving the life of others. But I do not see why you complain that these other do not care about your wishes to disregard their life and health. If you have the right to be selfish, they have it too.

Winter December 21, 2021 3:44 AM

“Being safe is not just to protect you. It is to protect others.”

There was once an interview with the head editors with two MSM newspapers. One of the questions was (I paraphrase): “Do you engage with those who consider the anti-covid measures unnecessary or even consider COVID a hoax?”

The answer was:
“We tried, but we found out that the basic difference was they they actually did not care about the number of people who would die. So we gave up.”

The point is, many of those opposing anti-covid policies do not care about the health and life of other people. They want to dance, and they do not care if that is on our graves.

John December 21, 2021 6:05 AM


NO ONE seems to ask the obvious question: Does everyone get sick from ‘covid’?

The answer is NO!

A little reading about the Hunza and their diet is a good beginning and in particular the fact that they have NO natural soil! They raise crops and drink ‘glacial milk’.

There are also many similar comments about various other edible clays.

If I charge my cells with edible clay, do I become naturally immune?

I suspect this is true!

Can anyone find additional supporting data?


Clive Robinson December 21, 2021 7:16 AM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

Eliminating the virus after spring 2020 is more difficult than exterminating rats AND mosquitos at the same time.

You may remember a wile back I was asking “Did anyone remember the flu pandemic?” that we were predicted to have in the 2019-2020 “flu season” in the northern hemisphere but did not?

As I was pointing out with the question that area quarantine, hand washing, and mask wearing did in fact work and work well if used properly…


Well both flu strains were “airborne transmitters”, and primarily because those simple measures did work, it would appear we might have made those two flu viruses strains extinct without the need for other measures such as vaccination.

Life can be a funny old game… It’s why people believe in the KISS principle.

JonKnowsNothing December 21, 2021 7:18 AM


MSM report of a new image format “Quite OK Image Format (.QOI)”

the reference en-/decoder fits in about 300 lines of C and the file format spec requires is just one page long.

Implementations in: Zig, Rust, Rust, Rust, Go, TypeScript, Haskell, Ć, Python, C#, Elixir, Swift, Java, and Pascal

The new image code base would replace many large over stuffed libraries (PNG, JPEG, MPEG, MOV and MP4).

It does not compress well but not everything needs a deep compression and the trade off is encoding speed.

“Every tiny aspect [of existing graphics formats] screams ‘design by consortium’”

Dominic Szablewski

Maybe a rotted 4×4 in the garden shed is getting a replacement?


h t t p s:/ /www. th ereg ister.c o m/2021/12/21/quite_ok_image_format/

JonKnowsNothing December 21, 2021 7:30 AM

@Winter, @SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, @All

re: The point is, many of those opposing anti-covid policies do not care about the health and life of other people. They want to dance, and they do not care if that is on our graves.

A week or so past, there were several (2+) articles in TheGuardian from journalists espousing the that view. Grand plans for full gatherings of family and friends from multiple countries and continents, flights booked, vacations planned and bags packed.

Until I get a second pink line on the lateral flow, I’m going to squeeze the pips out of life

I wonder if they plan to update their articles with all the “OmiShytePips” that happened from their determination to “meet and greet” even if that means sickness and death of those around them or in contact with them?

I don’t expect they will…

Winter December 21, 2021 7:35 AM

“Have you looked at the link?”

Yes same old. Start going into the small details to divert attention from the big picture.

What all of the Dutch CDC (RIVM), the Outbreak Management Team and the Government etc is that the only thing that reduces infections is reducing the number of contacts between people from different households.

The lockdown la do not try to attack individual situations, it tried to reduce the number of times an infected person comes in dangerous distance to others. This includes preventing situations where a single super-spreader can infect tens to hundreds of people.

As not all contacts can be regulated, e.g., children, essential shopping, school, this has to be compensated at other spheres.

But that is a point people like Maurice de Hond desperately avoid talking about (“kontakt”, en: “contact” is not mentioned on the page). Whatever you do about very specific situations won’t matter much if you have millions of people walking around the shops and bars, sitting in public transport etc.

And every time, the lockdowns did work reducing infections for exactly this reason: less contacts. And every time a country opened up over Christmas, it ended up with overcrowded hospitals.

Clive Robinson December 21, 2021 7:35 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

WinDivert can be used to implement user-mode packet filters, packet sniffers, firewalls, NAT, VPNs, tunneling applications, etc., without the need to write kernel-mode code.”

Yup the Windows Networking stack is a real mess…

In essence it is,

“An add on demultiplexer”

The code used did not come from Microsoft they simply took an early version of “Open Source” and changed the likes of unix command line seperators and indicators to MS-DOS…

But MS went through “embrace and extend” before they went through “improve security” development phase…

As far as I can gather like the Win Kernel, it’s had few changes this century and “not much love” in cleaning it up…

In the same time period *nix has had some “love”… But that does not say that the *nix network stack demultiplexing code is any less vulnerable to a similar attack stratagy.

JG4 December 21, 2021 7:44 AM

Comment: Not sure if I saw it here, but I recently saw a photograph of a group of undercover officers dressed in casual clothes. Doing the worst job ever of blending into a crowd. I believe it relates to the article link. When I looked exactly like a G-Man (too bad I can’t share some of the pictures), and would accidentally suggest illegal activities, I would occasionally see someone go pale and weak at the knees. “The blood drained from his face.” It’s all psyops all the time on your planet. Apparently there is a surplus of useful idiots.

The simplest explanation is that the people who took down the fences (on Jan 6) and the “restricted area” signs, who loudly directed crowd into the Capitol, were federal assets.

Beattie is right. “If Ray Epps was acting on instructions from a government handler from any federal agency (FBI, ATF, Pentagon, DHS, DEA, anything), we now are talking about perhaps the single most egregious caught-on-camera intelligence operation in our lifetimes.”

Beattie’s latest story revolves around Ray Epps, a Phoenix-based professional provocateur and, apparently, FBI asset.

Epps was originally near the top of the FBIs list of “most wanted” figures from the Jan. 6 protest-cum-riot at the Capitol.

Then a funny thing happened.

Epps’s name was purged from the FBI files.

Some 700 people have been arrested for their part in the Jan. 6 demonstration.

But Epps and a handful of other major players in that drama remain unindicted.

Indeed, although the FBI surely knows their identity, they remain nameless to the public, known only through amateur video footage of the event.

Hence their colorful soubriquets: “ScaffoldCommander,” “FenceCutterBulwark,” “BlackSkiMask,” etc.

Beattie shows that what the media label an “insurrection” is almost certainly better described as a “Fedsurrection.”

And when I say “shows,” I mean shows.

His long essay doesn’t just describe what happened.

It is punctuated by scores of photos and video clips that prove the accuracy of what he describes.

We do not know with 100 percent certainty that the figures who organized and orchestrated the breach of the Capitol did so at the instigation of federal authorities.

But it sure looks that way.

Beattie takes us step by step from the moment on Jan. 5 when Epps whipped up a crowd and told them, over vocal objections from various demonstrators, that they were going to the Capitol the next day.

Gerard van Vooren December 21, 2021 8:52 AM

@ Winter,

Yes same old. Start going into the small details to divert attention from the big picture.

What is wrong with you? Can’t you read or understand what Rumke Rogier wrote?

Winter December 21, 2021 9:28 AM

“Can’t you read or understand what Rumke Rogier wrote?”

I can, and it is the same old arguments I have heard since the first lockdown. Nothing has changed, especially, they have not taken any effort to read the reasoning behind the restrictions, not talked to the specialists drawing the advice etc. Maurice de Hond has been in many talk shows on tlevision, ahs debated this at length with the people who do the actual data collection and modeling, but he does not seem to care what they say.

The arguments always go:
Doing [A] people do not get infected, see evidence [B].

The answer has always been:
Infections happen when going to [A], and people are not going straight to [A], but first pick up other people, and the situation in [A] is too often not like [B] assumes.

An example is that studies have found that no contact tracing has pointed out pub and cafes as places of infection. However, people working there have infection rates as high as K-6 teachers, i.e., very high. Which means that many people must get infected in pubs, but the contact tracing cannot find them because anyone infected has no clue who all were there when he visited.

And nowhere in that page you link to, nor in any of the other criticism, is there a account of the number of contacts that a change in the rules would induce.

Another line of criticism is:
If we do [C], the number of infections would go down and the restrictions would not be necessary.

[C] would be better ventilation or some such. That might very well be true, e.g., better ventilation would be very good, but good ventilation is very difficult. Before we have upgraded all the ventilation in all the rooms we meet, decades will have past.

[C] could also be “meet outside”! Nice, but then it is cold, windy, raining, and people go take some shelter, and before we know people are sheltering all huddled together under a single roof. That has to happen only a few times with a very infectious person, and gone are all the results of a lockdown.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 21, 2021 12:30 PM

Geo-Political Security Being “Negotiated” in Real-time
For some it is completely simple as an intellectual exercise to throw Chomsky under the bus considering statements prior to the 2020 election. What Chomsky didn’t directly say is that GOP is the most dangerous organization in the world–he said it elsewhere but not in the context of the election of 2020. Now the duopoly that classically plays footsie with the electorate and is cozy with the powerful and influential is not quite the same, anymore. A separate movement outside of political instrumentation, and arguably against civil society, is not concerned with any progressive, liberal, rational, fair, or even reasonable exercise of power.

Today we have a confluence of critical socio-political issues and problems that the structural machinations of parties are unable, let alone unwilling, to find the means or motives to exercise the type of corrective action required not just for the moment but for the long train of disregard and neglect that is a result of a “conservative” political mindset. There is no effective liberal or non neoliberal party or political sensibility within the U.S. that has any effective expression or message. Bernie Sanders for example, was only on the edges of a liberal or progressive view of a U.S. power exercise, and less so within the context of geo-political cooperation and collateral engagement.

The unipolar and bipolar contestation that is currently playing out underneath the context of U.S. hegemony is less emphasized as a real concern. The collection of political myopia that holds us all hostage is not just a political problem, it is a human problem that finds our responses wanting.

Another element is this mostly political bifurcation that is making overt power a direct award for its very acquisition–playing for all the marbles so to speak–another movement has surreptitiously maneuvered as a sort of man-in-the-middle attack seeking more than any of the classic nation or state negotiated border or treaties. The sense that there may be a civil society as a thing, may not endure.

SpaceLifeForm December 21, 2021 4:40 PM

@ Winter

When the Mirror Neurons die, so does the Empathy.

I could write a PHD dissertation on this.

Biff December 21, 2021 10:58 PM

“What’s reality? I don’t know. When my bird was looking at my computer monitor I thought, ‘That bird has no idea what he’s looking at.’ And yet what does the bird do? Does he panic? No, he can’t really panic, he just does the best he can. Is he able to live in a world where he’s so ignorant? Well, he doesn’t really have a choice. The bird is okay even though he doesn’t understand the world. You’re that bird looking at the monitor, and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I can figure this out.’ Maybe you have some bird ideas. Maybe that’s the best you can do.”
– Terry A. Davis

Gerard van Vooren December 22, 2021 12:05 AM

I can, and it is the same old arguments I have heard since the first lockdown. Nothing has changed, especially, they have not taken any effort to read the reasoning behind the restrictions, not talked to the specialists drawing the advice etc. Maurice de Hond has been in many talk shows on tlevision, ahs debated this at length with the people who do the actual data collection and modeling, but he does not seem to care what they say.

In these tv shows (where Maurice is banned apparently), he usually says the same thing, but the rules stay the same. You know the rules. They don’t make sense. The only thing that they should be doing is indeed ventilation, and since a couple of months they came to realize that is ventilation because now they added a new sign. But for the rest they didn’t do one thing. So you still have these stupid rules, such as washing your hands frequently, 1,5meter rules are nonsense. The only rule that makes sense is common sens:. When you are sick, stay at home.

I bet you didn’t read this from our gov.

Measures announced

Please read the chapter “2G coronavirus entry pass”. It is in English so other people can read it as well.

So it is all about to happen. Our gov want to discriminate people! The similarities between today and WW2 are there!

And nowhere in that page you link to, nor in any of the other criticism, is there a account of the number of contacts that a change in the rules would induce.

This post is about the absurdities that our gov created, with only ONE writing with a pen. These stupid rules didn’t cost ONE Euro. Not ONE! But it does cost a serious amount of Euro’s to the rest of our society. I can give you LOTS of solutions, from where they give you real solutions, but our gov just doesn’t care about them.

The rest, well, I think that I have said what needs to be said, I think this is enough.

Gerard van Vooren December 22, 2021 12:37 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

When the Mirror Neurons die, so does the Empathy.

I could write a PHD dissertation on this.

If writing your PDH dissertation could ease your mind, then please do. I am willing to read. Yes, this absurdities needs to end.

Gerard van Vooren December 22, 2021 12:56 AM

@ Clive, ResearcherZero, ALL,

Abaut the Windows and *Nix networking stack, I think it all went downwards when people start using, and abusing their c(ode/rap).

This is why I love OpenBSD. Their philosophy is simple. Each half year you get a new update and after one year the code is obsolete. That is so simple and is also the solution for this mess. Just phase out. Of course Windows is impossible, but IMO this is the only way to really solve this mess. That and rigorous checking of the code.

My two Euro’s. (inflation)

SpaceLifeForm December 22, 2021 1:38 AM

@ Wesley Parish

Re: NCA passwords

I am actually impressed that over one third of them were new and unique!

Well, they were.

SpaceLifeForm December 22, 2021 1:58 AM

Pixel Dot Refresh

It’s been a slow year, right?


Winter December 22, 2021 2:28 AM

“When the Mirror Neurons die, so does the Empathy.”

I think much more dies. You need them to learn and predict what is coming.

A PhD thesis is always valuable, if you have a few spare years (3+ years).

Gerard van Vooren December 22, 2021 2:46 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

MSM report of a new image format “Quite OK Image Format (.QOI)”

the reference en-/decoder fits in about 300 lines of C and the file format spec requires is just one page long.

Implementations in: Zig, Rust, Rust, Rust, Go, TypeScript, Haskell, Ć, Python, C#, Elixir, Swift, Java, and Pascal

The new image code base would replace many large over stuffed libraries (PNG, JPEG, MPEG, MOV and MP4).

It does not compress well but not everything needs a deep compression and the trade off is encoding speed.

To be honest, I would like something to be simple, but I don’t think that it can replace any non losless compression. I will have to check that out and come back some later time. But PNG and TIFF, probably yes. The problem arises when they start optimizing the code, but that happened to everything. But what is Ć ? It appears to me something that should have been solved a long time ago, but the standards committee is unwilling to implement.

This is what I have to say about this new image format. I don’t know the use-case.

Clive Robinson December 22, 2021 7:23 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren, ALL,

Their philosophy is simple. Each half year you get a new update and after one year the code is obsolete.

Which on the face of it is ok for a “user” computer but not a “server” (I know of Solaris boxes still runing “8” just sitting in corners doing “infrastructure stuff”).

But there is another altogether more scary asspect.

As people will find the switch from Win10 to Win11 will do two things for them,

1, Obsolete perfrctly good hardware.
2, Drastically reduce their privacy.

So such an update process whilst desirable when organised correctly, in the wrong –mainly commercial– hands it’s a security disaster waiting to happen.

But as I said about Microsoft and the networks stack having “no love” the same applies to their kernel and most other “base system” components.

This was demonstrated when a certain worm took the UK NHS and many other systems down… Microsoft knew about it and had a patch for Win7 and Win 8 at the time but not “available” for XP. The NHS was stuck on XP because of two reasons,

1, Medical “equipment” used it and could not be upgraded due to “certification”.
2, Government would not fund hardware upgrades or extended software “ransom” Microsoft demanded.

There is another side of this issue of “equipment” and “certification” it’s not just medical equipment…

Just on of very many is “Industrial Control Systems”(ICS), plant equipment is generaly designed for a life of atleast 10years and 50years is not unknown, in the Petro-Chem industry there is plant equipment that is still in use that was put in place as an emergancy during late WWII and the start of the cold war a few years later… That “8 inch floppy disk” story about the nuclear launch codes system is not the only one by a lot of country miles. There is still “Valve/Tube” equipment in place even today for “good reasons” (EMP protection being just one).

Back in times a long long time ago, I designed an “Intrindically Safe”(IS), “Remote Telemetry Unit”(RTU) for use in the Petrom-Chem industry. It was bassed around CMOS components and would take either the 8088 or 8086 MIL spec 40 PIN Ceramic chips with on board links to change the external data buss to 8 or 16 bit depending on your requirments[1]. As far as I am aware they are still in use at certain oil fields that are of “critical importance” to not just that nations National Security, but the US National Security as well due to a critical dependency relationship… The company I worked for is still in business, and they still advertise the IS RTU as being for sale[2]…

But, even older… I still out of –call it friendship– support software I wrote for the Apple ][ back in the 1980’s… I’ve been hoping that the old hardware that is still running ICS equipment would have died and let me off the hook as it were… But no, “Retro is back” and people have very new shiny equipment that is in effect 100% compatible but better… As one of my old “customers” son’s who now runs his fathers business said, after his son bought some kit to play with, “It’s fantastic, your software runs just fine on it and it works with the plant”… So I’m now supporting “three human generations” and whilst my beard is not as white as snow, I do feel like Santa sometimes.

I’ve spent over 40years as a “working engineer” in fact early last year I passed 45 years since my “first sale” to a customer… I hope to make 50years atleast. The interesting thing is what I learnt back then is still very relevant today… But things I learned just a few years ago are not… It’s a problem because engineers are nolonger being taught “fundamentals” because that is “not what managment want” they want “tool jockeys” not “engineers” and Universities have switched their teaching to “suit the job market” not what “employees realy need”. Thus many courses these days are,

“Like the sprinkle of chocolate on the foam of your coffee”

They get left as a smear on the side, as they have no depth no foundation. Most managment do not realise that what they realy need, is not the visable cosmetic chocolate that has no depth, but the realy strong good stuff towards the bottom, that realy does the job 😉

We see job adverts for “full stack” it makes me laugh in a sad ironic way. I know one or two engineers who are way way more “full stack” than those who call themselves “full stack developers” ever could or probably ever will be.

I had reason to chat with one of them just last week, and we dropped into a little “rag chew” as you sometimes do and we were “chewing the fat” about recent industry news. I mentioned the NSO exploit and how some “experts” were “Oh wow” over it and the fact some one coded up a Turing Engine in an exploit… He found it funny as well[3].

[1] It also introduced me to my first “stepping bug” that left teeth marks. The Intel “data book” I was using said one thing about a Dual port parallel IO chip, which turned out to be untrue for the production chips. Basically the ports were supposed to be independent of each other turns out that they were not. So when you changed a particular function such as port direction it effected both ports…

[2] Where they get the parts from I’ve no idea… Do you remember the story about a decade before the “Space Shuttle” stopped flying that NASA was buying up old computer parts for the “on board systems” well I know for a fact that it’s the same “chips” they were doing a “Desperately seeking…” mission on.

[3] I should mention that we had both worked down at and well below the “Register Transfer Logic”(RTL) level which sits under “microcode” and what is described incorrectly by some as “microprograms”[4], because they are stored in ROM. Which should immediately tell you, “you need something to run it”, which is where “state machines” come into the picture.

[4] Due to Compiler designers stealing the RTL TLA[5] for what they call “Register Transfer Language”, what was RTL is kind of described as “microprograms” –of “horizontal microinstructions”– for microcode… Which misses much of what is involved and possibly the root cause of the nasty hardware bugs such as Meltdown. Whilst the horizontal microinstructions do change “logic control lines” some one still has to design the “state machines” and similer, that actually “run” those horizontal microinstructions…

[5] Due to a shortage of usable “Three Letter Acronyms”(TLAs) the TLA RTL has been reused multiple times. One still very much involved with computing is even older than “Register Transfer Logic”… It is “Resistor Transistor Logic” which is used to make “logic gates” and wad used in the likes of the PDP 8 and earlier computer systems back in the 1960’s and earlier.

In fact in the 1970’s you could by logic moduals called “Norbits” that looked like very large DIL/DIP chips, that had RTL inside. They were available from the likes of Mullard (later taken over by Philips) untill the late 1980’s some were designed by engineers working in “Mullard House” in Torrington Place in central London. Although I’ve not worked up there for some time (last was for stuff at UCL nearly two decades ago) as far as I am aware the building is still there. As for Norbits, you will probably never see them “in the flesh” unless you are decommisioning “old plant”, but…,

Not only will you see one such device, if you watch the flip through of the datasheet the last page shows the RTL circuit diagram.

Oh and you were not supposed to wire wrap to the Norbit pins… That was a very big “no no”. Because they were not designed for it and they were “too soft” to make a reliable longterm connection for wire wrap, but would because of their softness make a very reliable long term connection with a socket. If anyone want’s an explanation as to why, just ask, or have a look back on this blog, where I explained it to @ Nick P and others when pointing out most plugs and sockets were guarenteed for only 50 insertions and removals, hence you should not keep plugging USB “devices” into PCB mounted USB Sockets. An issue that few do not realise about with their mobile phones and USB chargers…

Winter December 22, 2021 9:44 AM

“So where is it than useful for? To improve immunity? Think again.”

I actually know something about the intricacies of the immune system and converse with those who actually do research: Yes, a booster helps, even for Om. We would be in a better state fighting Om (50% and less of hospital and ICU occupation) if everyone had taken their jabs

“The only thing that it works for is The Great Reset. I bet you like it.”

Why do you want to believe everybody out there is in the Great Conspiracy and only you are left out? What satisfaction does that give you?

Vaccinations have been around for centuries and we were promised the Great Reset by the Great Conspiracy every few decades. Still not happening.

Meanwhile, some of the scourges of humanity have been wiped out by vaccination, and still no great reset.

“Just like 5G and the cost reduction to our health care.”

I do not see what 5G has to do with all this. Unless 5G has to fullfil all the promised massacres from previous cell phone technology. Remember, every cell phone technology since the very start was promised to kill us all.

Cost reductions have been the bread and butter of the ruling parties since WWII (WWI for the smaller one). No reason to panic now.

“Tradition for instance (carnaval, Sinterklaas) is the first thing to die.”

You watch too much TV. The war on Christmas is a fantasy. So are the local equivalents

JonKnowsNothing December 22, 2021 3:53 PM


re: MSM report of tech-targeting-aged-person scam

An off shore on-line gambling organization was found to be in breach of gambling licenses but got no penalties. The organization targeted older persons and war-dialed them repeatedly to get them to place bets.

  • They used fake CSR names
  • Targeted older persons – 60yo+
  • Repeat calls daily, weekly and every 30-40 minutes until the phone was answered
  • Large bets not tracked or investigated
  • No feedback or follow up for repeat bettors
  • Gambling Regulator unaware of predatory actions
  • Deceptive betting and outcomes
  • Deceptive marketing and charity claims

“IMME drummed up business by repeatedly telephoning older people, the review found.”


Q: What phone book contains names, ages and phone numbers of only elderly persons?

The base on-line company folded and closed up their rent-a-servers. They are now running another off-shore gambling business set up to avoid needing a license for it.

SpaceLifeForm December 22, 2021 4:36 PM

@ Winter

The first two points of the thesis is the brain development in first 2 years (or lack thereof) and then the transistion to watching TV.

If things did not go well between birth and TV watching, mental outlook can degrade further in life.

A TV should not be a babysitter for a young child. There is no interaction. There is no reflection. It is just a one way dump onto a developing mind.

It would be better to give them a computer running Linux. But do not give them the root password.

They will learn faster than you can blink.

Clive Robinson December 22, 2021 4:46 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Q: What phone book contains names, ages and phone numbers of only elderly persons?

Well there is an obvious answer,

Both Google and Facebook,

1, Scrape or synthesize demographic information from individual users.

2, Incrrasingly require phone numbers for “two factor” etc.

3, Sell user data to other organisations to create bespoke marketing databases for campaigns.

If you think about it the UK sold for £1 the entire UK NHS health database to US organisation Palantir, they specialise in building databases from other databases especially ones that some claim –very incorrectly– have been anonymized.

Palantir are by no means the only organisation that does this.

Clive Robinson December 22, 2021 6:16 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

There is no interaction. There is no reflection. It is just a one way dump onto a developing mind.

This argument comes up over and over in “common man sociology” and politicians just love it to use as an excuse for “policy” which is basically just “hatred of the masses and bigotry clothed in psycho-bable”.

For instance it’s been used for years in England to “wage war” on single mothers.

When people with actual training in science methods look into it they find there is actually nothing wrong with “single mothers”. The problem is actually society, in particular driven by power hierarchies.

There is an expression “it takes a village” the reality is, it is the contact a child has with others that determins much of their later life. That is the “society it is brought up in”. We see this in actual villages where the death of a father is common due to occupation, such as “fishing vilages”. The orphans generally grow up normall because the society they live in treats them as members not outcasts.

The psychopaths that climb hierarchies and seek power, frequently work by causing segregation a “them an us” thus members of society and the nessecary “outcasts”.

Why are the “outcasts” necessary, well they are for those climbing psychopaths to use to cover their failings, by getting society to hate the outcasts society is diverted away from the truth of what is going on.

The important thing is outcasts have to be “obvious” in some way so that even the most stupid of “useful idiots” that can not even make it as lowest of “guard labour” will know who to throw stones at.

Therefore “political social policy” is actually about not just division but ensuring segregation thus easy recognition and thus making people into “lightening rods”.

Certainly in the UK first the Church and then the politicians have used “obvious status” to make “outcasts”.

But it was only with the start of what we might call “the middle class” that first the church around three centuries ago and politicians about a century and a half ago started the war on “single mothers”.

Why, because the middle classes had “disposable income” and that is what the Church and later politicians wanted. Since before medieval times it was customary for the “landed” to give back part of what they raised by tithes (1/10th tax on production not profit) back to society via “alms to the church”. The theory was that the monks and nuns had taken a biding vow that had as a minimum three components you find as “the pillars” in all religions,

1, Faith
2, Hope
3, Charity

From this comes obedience to the hierarchy (Faith), unreasoned belief in deity justice (Hope) and poverty and tireless work for the hierarchy (Charity).

The work or “administration” was to Church lands and ensuring fealty to both the church hierarchy and the power of the landed hierarchy or “lords and masters”. Thus were the commoners tied to the land as surfs and beholdent on “lord and church” for their very survival.

As long as the young were tied to the land by fealty the lord cared not a jot for the status of marriage of his serfs any more than he did his live stock like cattle. The church only cared when they were expected to “pick up the bill” of those that could not work.

Thus single women with children were easy targets… And it remained that way in the UK untill 1953, when a law that alowed unmarried women who were not virgins to be locked up as “insane” or “moral degenerates” was repealed. The fact most of those women were as a result of “sexual abuse” was of no relevance to the law. It was also one of the reasons “shotgun” or “arranged” weddings of young women were not uncommon and “first born” to be shall we say “miracle babies” born as little as six months from the “wedding night”. Often the girl who would be under twenty was married off to an “established man” over fourty who might be a widower with children older than his bride who’s previous wife might well have died in child birth…

Preying on girls around 11years old was considered “acceptable” untill the 1850’s and beyond with girls as young as six being “sold” to be raised “for a gentleman” to “take into his care” when older. Other girls were “put into service” in houses as “maids” where the “gentleman of the house” might indulge himself. With unfortunate girls being thrown out or even sold “into trade”…

Such was the result of transition from feudal lords to Dickensian middle classes. Which happend with the shift from an agrarian to industrial economy where having workers tied to the land became of no advantage, just an expense. What will happen when we move very much more to an information economy, I can only guess at, but one thing is highly probable, the number of “outcasts” will grow and society will increasingly strip them of the means to live. Thus they will become very much more compliant to those who have control of fundemental assets such as housing and emoloyment. A basic feedback mechanism will occure at a certain point when we “hard switch” back to a new “feudal lord” system but this time tied to a “rent seeking” model rather than a “tied and tithed” model.

In short children learn from their environment, change the environment and they become different people. That is much of your life’s outcomes are decided not by nature, but nurture of the society you are in. Very much so if you are under 11 years but a continuing process untill you become an adult around a decade to a decade and a half later finally tailing off when you are around 35. So the desire of those that see themselves as “being in charge” will try to force society to their needs. Which is basically what you see happening in the US when you look in from outside, likewise China but aiming for a different model.

JonKnowsNothing December 22, 2021 7:09 PM

@ Clive, @ALL

Q: What phone book contains names, ages and phone numbers of only elderly persons?

A: Well there is an obvious answer, Both Google and Facebook, Palantir


  1. One or more Social Media Data Brokers, cuts a hunk of their dataset(s) for +50yos and sells it to Il-Honest-Gambler-Co.
  2. When it finally surfaces Il-Honest-Gambler-Co is less than honest and gets their chain flushed, they setup shop again, using the same techniques.

Nothing too unusual about that, Krebs has a near weekly version of this corporate structure.

There are some interesting parts:

A) There is “no penalty possible” because Il-Honest-Gambler-Co uprooted itself and moved jurisdictions.

B) Nothing said at all about the dataset. Where did they get it, what did they pay for it, who provided the source.

C) Nothing said about protecting the dataset targets. Blocking Spoof Calls and messages. Changing phone number or even handing out that Oh-So-Useful 1 Year Credit Block after the barn burned down.

D) And nothing at all about destroying the old dataset and make Il-Honest-Gambler-Co buy another version. (1)

E) Besides G$$ and F$, there maybe other data brokers supplying less savory versions of targeted data besides the 3Ls.

It maybe similar to the daily calls and texts, to tell me that “My Warranty on ZYX is about to expire” … I don’t own ZYX but loads of people must think I do.

During the Snowden Outbreaks the UK 5EY were so terrified of what might have been stored on the news organization servers they required them to be dismantled down to grinding the chips off the motherboard.

ResearcherZero December 22, 2021 7:21 PM

@Gerard van Vooren, Clive, ALL

Compiling your own custom kernel and trimming the fat is a great advantage of OpenBSD and Linux installs. Compared to OpenBSD, the Windows network stack is an ugly thing, not helped by the growing list of features added to windows installs every release. It is why there are old nightmare bugs lingering in windows, stuff that was added and thought about later, built on a filesystem and authentication layer that has it’s own problems.

Windows is easy to use for inexperienced users, but security was an afterthought. Microsoft still regularly asks to host top secret documents, yet it has had a couple of decades to solve the problem, and still is yet to arrive at a solution. They built a tool for a different job, a socket set and ratchet won’t remove nails. However, they did manage to sell their products to banks, and banks regularly train their staff not to open spear phishing email, which is at least an attempt at a solution.

ResearcherZero December 22, 2021 7:27 PM

In October 1989, as the Cold War was ending and the Berlin Wall about to crumble, television viewers in the Soviet Union tuned in to the first of a series of unusual broadcasts. “Relax, let your thoughts wander free…”

Moscow’s Channel One was attempting mass hypnosis over television, a therapeutic session aimed at reassuring citizens panicked over the ongoing political upheaval—and aimed at taking control of their responses to it.

Incredibly enough, this last-ditch effort to rally the citizenry was the culmination of decades of official telepathic research, cybernetic simulations, and coded messages undertaken to reinforce ideological conformity.

In a fascinating series of anecdotes, Velminski describes such phenomena as the conflation of mental energy and electromagnetism; the investigation of aura fields through the “Aurathron”; a laboratory that practiced mind control methods on dogs; and attempts to calibrate the thought processes of laborers. “Scientific” diagrams from the period accompany the text. In all of the experimental methods for implanting thoughts into a brain, Velminski finds political and metaphorical contaminations. These apparently technological experiments in telepathy and telekinesis were deployed for purely political purposes.

"Unprecedented methods were used to build this unprecedented society. It was decided to create a new man. This man was to be free from ethnic affiliations, see no sense in private property, be always ready to sacrifice himself for the benefit of society, have no doubts that he originated from an ape or something like it (certainly from a beast) and that nothing will remain of him after his death. In other words, he was to be a one-hundred percent materialist and atheist and must know that the meaning of life is in the person's usefulness to society and the supreme goal is in a better, wealthy and happy life of future generations. Recognizing this, he would necessarily be happy."

"It was obvious to initiators of the new society and creators of the new man that several existing classes of people would delay the implementation of this task. So, it was decided to destroy millions of these people "as a class ," i.e., to kill them. To "destroy as a class" is not just a reckless cynical phrase; in fact, it is a guide to practical action. This was done in Russia, and in this way began construction of the new society in every country as soon as the communists seized power."

" Thus, the following groups of people were "destroyed as a class": aristocracy, nobility, bourgeoisie, merchant class, kulaks, kulak supporters and clergy. In addition, a very broad spectrum of intellectuals (scientists, scholars, writers, artists, actors, professors, teachers, engineers, physicians and white-collar workers) was called an interclass stratum. They were made a bugbear, an object for mockery, incited against each other by encouraging their mutual denunciations and accusing them of deviating from the ideology. By continually hauling off geneticists, linguists, actors, physicians, philatelists, engineers and so forth, exterminating them in camps and killing them, this layer of people was turned into a submissive dishrag. Certainly, political opponents and their fellow travelers--i.e., all members of all parties except the Communist Party--were also destroyed. And everybody knows what members of the Communist Party did to each other while clawing their way to the top."

1917-1987: Unsuccessful and Tragic Attempt to Create a “New Man” by Sergei Khodorovich

In 1977, at age 36, the author, an engineer and specialist in computer science, became the administrator of the Russian Social Fund to assist political prisoners and their families. In 1983 he was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison. In 1986 he was re-arrested while in camp and sentenced to three additional years. At that time a public campaign launched on his behalf intensified in the West. In March 1987 Khodorovich was released from camp and in May arrived in Paris together with his family.

Alexander Zinovyev, the dissident Soviet satirist who wrote ‘The Yawning Heights’ and ‘Homo Soveticus’, has died of cancer in Moscow, aged 83 (10 May 2006).

The philosopher was exiled from the USSR for more than 20 years after his “sociological stories” painted an unflattering portrait of Soviet life.

“We Russians supply world culture not just with Communist ideas, spies, vodka, icons and Russian dolls, but with first-class sufferers too.”

Mr Bilzho says that as an adolescent he thought of the Young Pioneers’ red necktie only as a decoration on teenage girls’ breasts. And he rejects the perception of Soviet people as totalitarian clones.

“Being Soviet includes a boundless belief in a bright future combined with understanding the absurdity of the present. It is a certain romanticism in relations between friends and a desire to get as much as possible out of the precious little one could possess.”

This romanticism, Mr Bilzho says, has been replaced by an absolute pragmatism when everything is measured by money, and friends betray friends.

ResearcherZero December 22, 2021 11:31 PM

Albanian citizens data leaked again:

Local media report that an Excel file containing the data of 637,138 citizens is circulating online, mostly through WhatsApp. They have also been published on several media portals.

The file contains the names, ID numbers, monthly salaries, positions, and employer names for hundreds of thousands of Albanian nationals. It is believed to have originated from the offices of the Albanian Internal Revenue Services.

The data provided included their ID number, name, fathers name, surname, date of birth, voting center, place of birth, residence code, list number, phone number, whether they are an emigrant and if so, which country, whether they are likely to vote for the Socialist Party, birthplace, employer, and Patron.

The Patronage system is one whereby every person in the country has a “patronazhist”. This is a low-ranking party official or even just a party member who is assigned several members of the public to “watch over”.

information includes their political affiliation and opinions and who they are likely to vote for in the election. Prime Minister Edi Rama has admitted to using this system since 2009.

The Prime Minister was adamant that the data was not harvested from e-Albania and is ‘old data’.

Those who found their names on the list dispute this. The information includes new employers, changes in the last few months, new businesses that were set up in the last six months, and new mobile numbers registered in the last year.

The database provides the personal data and mobile number of citizens. This means they are potentially at risk, particularly in the case of journalists, activists, or famous individuals.

910,000 records are equivalent to one-third of the population, or around half of those eligible to vote. It’s believed that more records exist and are in the hands of politicians.

One-Stop Data Shop for Australian data. Get your Australian data here (legally of course).

“The government is starting work to transition the website to become the ‘one-stop shop’ for all Australians interacting with Australian government data,”

“Creating a searchable catalogue of government-held data is a great step towards this goal.”

Australia releases plan to secure Critical Infrastructure:

Security Legislation (Critical Infrastructure Protection) Bill

The Department of Home Affairs will accept submission until the consultation process ends on February 1 2022

Gerard van Vooren December 23, 2021 12:34 AM

@ Clive,

You are right about the decay of software, but we all know this for a long time. I have said it multiple times “Windows can’t be fixed, it just can’t”. Where I work voluntarily, there are still a couple of very old Windows machines running XP, but they are not connected onto the net. They use “antivirus software”. They said, and they are right about that, that Windows only make hardware slower. Personally I have a Windows laptop that I use for necessary items and I go online with that, but after that I quit the laptop because I don’t trust MS.

The philosophy of OpenBSD is simple. They try to fix things first. And most of the times they do. But it also leads to doing things much more easy. And I mean that. With Ubuntu (that I like a lot), you still have lots of problems. How long to they exist? At least 15 years. But it is always the same. A new shiny feature has been added. Hallelujah! But just doesn’t work the way it should.

So I took your idea for trying into text mode. I installed mutt as a mail server. lots of problems. It still doesn’t work the way it should. Okay, it is email, not real mail. But it is a progress, I know. And I also know that I am probably stupid to not fully understand these problems, but I am not that stupid.

Here is the problem. The problem is that manuals are not being updated as fast as the code that they write. And they keep adding third-party c(ode/rap). And most of the time they keep adding JS, a really wonderful miracle of mankind.

ResearcherZero December 23, 2021 2:16 AM

@Gerard van Vooren

The reason this is all happening is because many governments mothballed quarantine facilities in the 1990’s, so people are being isolated in hotels and hospitals, rather than purpose built facilities with properly designed airflow.

At the same time hospital funding has not kept up with aging populations that also live longer. There has also been a large amount of corruption from bureaucrats who are in control of awarding health supply contracts and working contacts, yet who work outside of the health system. There has been 30 years of abusing the medical rebates system by these same bureaucrats.

This guy for example had work done on his house with hospital money, and he also ripped of money from public housing funding and rent from tenants that were living in public housing. He was reported twice over public housing, and reported over ripping off health care rebates in the 1990’s, but he was only charged in 2019.

The investigation into his activities only went back as far as 2008, but he was reported more than a decade earlier than 2008, for multiple serious crimes in the early 90’s that he still has not been charged for.

There was a report delivered to government on the high likelihood of global pandemic before the quarantine facilities were mothballed. Like all good security reports provided to government by defense and intelligence, it was ignored and the quarantine facilities, many of them brand new at the time, were demolished and the land redeveloped as they were mostly in prime locations.

ResearcherZero December 23, 2021 2:20 AM


Here is a story about how business and government relations function in Australia, India, Iraq, and many other countries as well:

Thiess, one of the world’s biggest mining services company and owned by Leighton Holdings [now known as CIMIC], signed a memorandum of understanding with Reddy on July 2, 2008. Syam Reddy seemed an odd choice to front a bid by a Leighton Holdings company for a $6 billion Indian coal mining contract.

Reddy knew little, if anything, about coal or how to mine it. Big-time property development in Hyderabad was his game.

Under the deal, Reddy would use his influence to help Thiess secure the coal contract. In return, Thiess would give a Reddy company work at the mine, which would earn him $2.2 billion over 20 years.

In this case, it was officials at India’s aptly named Ministry of Power who would be the target of Reddy’s persuasion. Or in the words of one of Thiess’ local managers, Kulbhushan Trehan, “doing the needful”.

The report, done by investigators from Deloitte in 2012 and buried by Thiess for four years, is a case study in how to turn a blind eye to corruption and cover it up once discovered.

Reddy had told Thiess manager Chris Fosterling at least three times that he had offered as much as $16 million in bribes to officials in order to have the contract awarded to Thiess. This news was relayed to Munro in a series of emails.

Despite being in possession of information that potentially put Thiess and himself in breach of Australia’s foreign bribery laws courtesy of Reddy’s actions, Munro did nothing but again extend the arrangement with Reddy. Asked to account for his actions when it became clear Reddy was paying or offering payment, Munro admitted: “He probably paid someone, whether that be a holiday in Singapore or $1 million I’m not sure. I’d say that was his problem not mine.”

Leighton’s 18-month campaign of corruption, bribery, fraud and money laundering is revealed in the biggest leak of documents in the oil industry’s history.

The offshore arm of Australian company Leighton Holdings paid millions of dollars in bribes to middlemen as part of an audacious strategy to influence Iraq’s deputy prime minister, oil minister and other senior officials, and win more than $1.3 billion of oilfield contracts.

the company allegedly paid $15 million, apparently for a guaranteed supply of steel, to the same money laundering company in India that was used to launder the Iraq money. No steel was ever delivered, but the $15 million removed a separate business impediment the company was facing in India.

Ahmed al-Jibouri a Jordanian middle-man code named the “Doctor” was promised up to $20.5 million in bribes by Unaoil to influence top Iraqi officials, including oil minister Abdul-Kareem Luaibi and Deputy PM Hussain al-Shahristani, to support Leighton Offshore.

The Unaoil emails state that the “Doctor” and his contacts had the power to decide whether or not Leighton or its competitors won major contracts.

ResearcherZero December 23, 2021 2:24 AM


Voting in parliament, Russian style.

”Usually, voting in parliament takes place at the end of a session when the cameras have left and the journalists are not in the chamber.” said Sergei Mironov, leader of the Kremlin-friendly Just Russia party.

In a rare moment of revelation – a television camera crew has managed to film what really happens inside the parliament when it is time to vote on the burning issues of the day. The footage, shot last week in Russia’s Duma, the 450-member lower house of parliament, showed three MPs frantically running from empty seat to seat in order to vote for fellow deputies who were playing truant after lunch.

One unidentified MP was caught voting nine times.

ResearcherZero December 23, 2021 2:36 AM


Here is another example of shady government deals with private companies:

Drummond is a US-based coal mining company operating in the Cesar province of Colombia. According to witness testimony in a US District Court case, a chilling series of events played out in early 2001 that appear to implicate Drummond managers in the targeted killing of union leaders that were fighting the company for improved working conditions.

According to witness testimony, in January 2001, Jaime Blanco Maya, head of a Drummond food contractor and allegedly the intermediary through which Drummond directed and funded paramilitary security forces, and Jairo Charris Castro, head of security for Jaime Blanco Maya, attended a meeting with Drummond staff at which Drummond manager, Alfredo Araújo, said that “the ‘gringos’ [Drummond managers in Alabama] wanted the trade union leaders killed” because they “were paralysing production”.

An AUC paramilitary commander going by the alias “El Peinado” testified, “Shortly after the murders, we received one million Colombian pesos in cash from Jaime Blanco’s company… that he confirmed had come from Drummond. AUC Commander alias Tolemaida received the money from Blanco, and he gave a cash sum to all of us who had taken a part in the operation.”

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted two Birmingham lawyers and an Alabama coal company executive on charges of conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

Ratepayers spent $166 million and counting bailing out coal plants under law that passed via bribes. Ohio utility customers continue to fund bailouts of failing coal-fired power plants in Ohio and Indiana.

And another story:

In July, FirstEnergy admitted in court documents that it paid $61 million into an account that Householder controlled to pass HB 6. The company agreed to pay a $230 million penalty and plead guilty to a charge of wire fraud.

One piece of the 2014 ESP: a “distribution modernization rider” (DMR) that cost FirstEnergy customers between $168 million to $204 million per year. PUCO staff argued it would “serve as an incentive for the companies to upgrade and modernize their distribution systems,” court records state.

The Supreme Court ruled in a June 2019 decision that the rider didn’t adequately protect ratepayers against misuse of the funds — nothing forced FirstEnergy to actually modernize its distribution.

So if you have ever wondered why your electricity prices have gone up, it’s because the electricity companies “modernized” the distribution system, the bribe distribution system, not the poles and wires.

Clive Robinson December 23, 2021 4:15 AM

@ null clam,

The history of APRS is long but other things are longer.

Back a long time ago before CMOS Z80 CPU’s I was involved with the design of what later became known as TNC’s.

Back then one of the most international networks was X25, it had gateways to many services including the Grandad of the lot the “Telex Network” these are things you don’t here about any longer.

A guy called Phil Karn (Call sign KA9Q) came up with AX25 software that was later repurposed for IP. It was software that alowed MS-DOS 5 users to connect to what we now call the Internet, and later additions gave access to Windows 3.0 and thus the nascent World Wide Web that added pictures to wide area information services. Stuff that had been done by Archie, FTP, Gopher, WAIS and Z39.50.

The story about APRS is younger than all of that by several years… but it was a small part of my working life… It was actually considered “virtually dead” a few years back, but the fact that due to “HotSpots” and broadband Amateur Radio has become the new “last mile” for connectivity APRS has been given a new lease of life…

It might appear mad, but I can take a 2meter 144Mhz hand held radio up into the mountains in another country (Wales or Scotland) where there is no mobile phone service signal. Using an App on the otherwise usless mobile phone still send SMS messages via APRS and a gateway to people who do have a cell signal. I can also send images through another “Slow Scan Television”(SSTV) app as well, if push comes to shove, I have used “Low Earth Orbit”(LEO) satellites to communicate internationaly from a field in rural England.

Oh and the International Space Station (ISS) has both APRS and SSTV as part of it’s “ham shack” one of the less well known things is that all US astronauts are “strongly encouraged” to become licenced Amateurs and many chat with school children and the like from Space in the little down time they get when in the ISS. You ask some recent astronauts how they became first interested in space and you will find Amateur Radio demonstrations to satellites etc in schools fired their imaginations.

Many thought Amateur Radio was a hobby now reserved for the retired and something to be made fun of in Comedy Shows[1]. But supprising to many it’s got a new lease of life by data communications using the Internet as a “no charge” backbone and being in reach for young experimenters.

It’s an odd hobby and has been for a century or more from the earliest days of radio. It keeps getting “written off” by pundits yet it still remains. I’ve held a licence for a long time I’m in my fifth decade of opperating I got it originally so I could experiment “leagaly” and it gave me a life long profession as has my hobby interest in computers and a few othe hobbies such as boat building.

Oh a word to the wise, don’t turn a hobby into a profession… I’ve done it several times, and whilst you get gainful employment, you have to find a new hobby and that gets harder and more expensive each time, and somehow less fun 🙁

[1] It used to be in a derisive way, but ABC’s “Last Man Standing” used it as a minor plot line arc, with the lead character having a “shack” in his “office” set. The show actually used real equipment and got it’s own call sign, and it was a great success in oh so many unexpected ways with many of the cast and crew getting their own licences. The shack had many “guest operators” running it week by week just before show aired and at other times. Even an international special event week was organised for the ending of the show.

Gerard van Vooren December 23, 2021 4:22 AM

@ Winter,

Looking the other way, don’t you. In the last year’s, we had summer temeratures reaching 40 degrees C, I have never ever seen that before. Neighter have my parents nor my grandparents. Nor have they ever been measured before in the Netherlands since Celsius designed his scale.

Yes, I know these figures of 40 degrees C. I know them. I was there. But I am also very positive that the position of the earth compared to the sun was also a very large income to those figures. Much more than any thing that we ever did.

But it is basically claiming millions of scientist are frauds and lying conspiracists. Everyone is lying. That is your whole view of unwelcome facts: People must all be lying.

No, I don’t think so, but a lot of them are probably just like you, and they are what we call useful idi0ts. People with a high education that have been mislead. I bet you remember the quote from Goebbels:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

He also made lots of very interesting other quotes btw.

I am very sorry for the people who are out of an income due to the pandemic. I am also very sorry for those who died or lost loved ones (20,000+) and those who could not be treated in a hospital and lost years of their life waiting for a new hip or kidney.

Those numbers of people who died (in TWO years BTW!!!), are roughly the same as with the big flu of 2018. But then, the MSM didn’t notice it. Now, every cough is being called at. Those guys are useful idi0ts too btw.

But in these two years, not one euro went extra to support the health care. Otherwise we would know that, thanks again to the fantastic MSM. This policy is unforgivable. It should be stopped right away. But they want to invest in climate change.

Winter December 23, 2021 6:16 AM

“No, I don’t think so, but a lot of them are probably just like you, and they are what we call useful idi0ts. ”

Every single conspiracy theory out there is based on the assumption that all scientists are idiots or frauds. Only random people who never ever contributed to the field can be trusted to know the Truth.

Basically, what you say is that no one can know and understand more than you can. A truly narcissistic view of the world.

“Those numbers of people who died (in TWO years BTW!!!), are roughly the same as with the big flu of 2018. ”

1) The last flu season had no flu at all.

2) You are comparing a body count after maximal efforts to stop with a situation were nothing was done at all. You know perfectly well that no action would have been taken for a mere 30k deaths. However, as the expected number of deaths was 150k or more, with a complete collapse of the hospital care system, that forced the government to act. See Brazil for what happened when no action was taken.

If you did know this, you yourself are a fraud for putting up this argument. If you didn’t know it, you are ignorant and should get informed before you try to convince people into life threatening actions. If you deny it, you have detached yourself from reality.

Personally, I suspect you have detached yourself from reality and went all the way into the Fabeltjesfuik (Fairytale trap).

Clive Robinson December 23, 2021 6:34 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

The footage, shot last week in Russia’s Duma, the 450-member lower house of parliament, showed three MPs frantically running from empty seat to seat in order to vote for fellow deputies who were playing truant after lunch.

A little English history for you…

There is what is euphemisticaly called a “Services tunnel” from under The Houses of Parliament in London. What is implied is it is for telecommunications, electricity, gas, water, but the reality is the tunnel is much older. If you know where to look you can see the reminents of a “bell pull” communications system, which begs the question “Why was it put in?”

Well the answer lies in the history of what is at the other end of the original tunnel and what went on there. Lets just say it was “a house of ill repute” and the bell pull was to give a five minuite warning of a vote…

But whilst not as mad cap as the Russian system the UK parliment has an “absent voter proceadure” where by an “officially absent voter” has their vote balanced. That is if they were going to vote Yes, then somebody who is going to vote No steps out of line.

However history shows people officially absent have “voted” and other similar oddities… All very reprehensible “cough cough” but we can not re-vote…

I suspect similar hapens in other democratic houses, as well as non demacratic ones… It’s the sort of informal arrangement Power sees as usefull, along with the idiots that practice it.

Gerard van Vooren December 23, 2021 8:16 AM

@ Winter,

1) The last flu season had no flu at all.

Yes. The flue season of 20/21 there was no flu at all. That is funny. No flu but Corona. Well, everything is possible but I think that what Maurice said is probably true , that there can only be one major player involved.

2) You are comparing a body count after maximal efforts to stop with a situation were nothing was done at all. You know perfectly well that no action would have been taken for a mere 30k deaths. However, as the expected number of deaths was 150k or more, with a complete collapse of the hospital care system, that forced the government to act. See Brazil for what happened when no action was taken.

Do you know how many people live in Brazil?

When you also bring up India, then think again [1]. India was a bunch of lies, manufactured by the MSM.

But tell me, why is Sweden still doing so good, without any of these nasty measurements?

If you did know this, you yourself are a fraud for putting up this argument. If you didn’t know it, you are ignorant and should get informed before you try to convince people into life threatening actions. If you deny it, you have detached yourself from reality.

Personally, I suspect you have detached yourself from reality and went all the way into the Fabeltjesfuik (Fairytale trap).

The problem with people, since 2020, is that they have changed quite a lot. I don’t think that I have changed, but when I look at people then I see fear. People wearing masks, even outside. My philosophy is that you better get it and get over with it. But right now everyone wears a masks. They are all well, not very bright. I bet you wear a mask, even outside, only “to be safe”.

[1] <a href=""Our World in Data

null clam December 23, 2021 8:33 AM

@ ResearcherZero

attempting mass hypnosis over television, a therapeutic session

Traveling in Italy twenty or so years ago, one could hear what one eventually realized was mood control broadcasting from certain radio networks. It seemed simply by the character of the program contents, with no particular exhortation or explicit directions from a program host, to move the listener’s mood back and forth in the range from introspective dreaminess to energized action oriented expectation. Expertly effective, and sinister when one realized that mood can act as a potentiator of thought and therefore of action, especially if one tends to trust the mood because one has the impression it has arisen internally in organic way.

null clam December 23, 2021 8:46 AM

@ ResearcherZero

Re: broadcasts

To add to the above, I suppose this should all be regarded as a chapter in rhetoric, that of preparing the hearers so that one’s message when it is delivered will be found natural and acceptable.

Winter December 23, 2021 8:56 AM

“Yes. The flue season of 20/21 there was no flu at all. That is funny. ”

No mystery, the lockdown stopped flu worldwide. That is because flu has the same behavior as SARS, but is less infectious. Lockdowns work. Test labs simply did not find any infections. I know from someone who does the actual flu tests.

“But tell me, why is Sweden still doing so good, without any of these nasty measurements?”

I spoke with someone in Sweden a week ago or so, and the numbers are rising there too again. It seems their infections are a few weeks behind their neighbors. Also, the Swedes are less “hugging” people than further south and if their government advices to keep a social distance they are more willing to do so.

“Do you know how many people live in Brazil?”

200M+ people. 680k covid deaths (2,888/million death s).

“My philosophy is that you better get it and get over with it.”

Meanwhile, killing or crippling some other people in the process.

The lockdown is not about your health. If you want to risk your health, only the people around you will care. But if you risk to take a few others with you, then these can demand protection from you.

Not much different from drunk driving.

JonKnowsNothing December 23, 2021 9:44 AM

@ Winter @Gerard @All


Q: “why is Sweden still doing so good, without any of these nasty measurements?”

A: It seems their infections are a few weeks behind their neighbors. Also, the Swedes are less “hugging”

From photo observations about “Sweden still doing good”…

A common picture used by MSM of Sweden’s Light Touch, shows loads of people dining at restaurants and having a good time, maybe chugging some beer.

Commonly missing from these pictures is anyone older than University Age, anyone with grey hair (from color photos), anyone with a walker or wheelchair, any family groups showing tots with oldsters.

Perhaps it’s because Anders killed most of the missing in the first waves? Even the King of Sweden was Not Amused by the extent of deaths of his subjects.

Nah… must be just AI/ML selected pictures targeted towards likely-to-travel demographics showing what a fun destination Sweden is to go to … for a drink.

Winter December 23, 2021 10:01 AM

“what a fun destination Sweden is to go to … for a drink.”

Yeah, I have been there. I did not see many tourists having fun after ordering a drink.

JonKnowsNothing December 23, 2021 10:11 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: NoCash CCs Fail with No Signal

Many governments and banks are moving towards a NoCash economy, one were everything is on a plastic chip. A good number of social services systems are now tied to NoCash allocations provided on a periodic basis to a CC by computer algorithm. A fair bit has been discussed about the “secret sauce” formula used to determine the amounts or clawbacks from the cards. (1)

A serious drawback happens when the entire communications networks fail. It has happened after major weather systems or earthquakes destroyed parts of the infrastructure.

In this MSM report the outage lasted for 4 days and included all the town’s services, banks, ATMs, grocery stores etc. Because there was no internet connection stores could not use their POS systems and the only option was Cash. The ATMs that were working had their cash-banks depleted quickly.

The Social Services issued NoCash cards could not be used to buy food because the IT systems were down and they cannot be used to withdraw cash to pay in fiat money.

Folks resorted to Community Pot Luck and Pile it Up on the BarB.

This community gathering is well known in the USA where extreme weather conditions can wipe out sections of the infrastructure. You open the freezer and pile what you can on the BarBQue and feed the rest to the dogs.


h ttp s://w ww.t heguardia n.c o m/australia-news/2021/dec/20/residents-in-northern-territory-indigenous-community-unable-to-buy-food-for-four-days-after-internet-outage

1) The AU government is fighting a FOI request for documents detailing an illegal Clawback Scheme by the AU Government.

  the [AU] government reach a $1.8bn settlement with about 400,000 victims

ht tp s://ww w.t he gu ardian. c o m/australia-news/2021/dec/23/morrison-government-tells-tribunal-robodebt-documents-must-stay-secret-to-protect-cabinet-process

Clive Robinson December 23, 2021 10:35 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Yeah, I have been there. I did not see many tourists having fun after ordering a drink.

Even though I’ve not been for quite a while I did/do like Sweden for various reasons.

But yeh, having a drink there is something I remember and my wallet still winces about.

First you could not buy alcohol in supermarkets you had to go to government shops. Which lets be honest would give anyone the creeps. The prices were high and well lets just say the weakest beer I’ve ever seen in a can in my life… Even “shandy in a can” in the UK is stronger and that’s more than half lemonade and back then even children could buy it.

Second there were rules about what you could and could not buy in a restaurant I never did get my head around those. Because I learnt a very fast lessen, a small beer –both weak and in a very small glass– cost twice as much as the light meal I was having it with (back then you could still get a 50Kr hot lunch).

But Bar prices I think my wallet did not stop crying all the way to the bank and back…

So yeah like you,

“I did not see many tourists having fun after ordering a drink.”

And I was one of them. The next time I went I took two large bottles of Single Malt and two very large –catering size– tins of instant coffee for my hosts and we had “fun in the house” instead.

Funny thing is the customs officer did not appear at all concerned about the whisky, but the tins of coffee got a tut tut…

I used to do the same when visiting Norway but I’d also used to take three large tins of sweets…

Gerard van Vooren December 23, 2021 12:16 PM

@ Winter,

Sorry guys, this post is for Dutch speaking people. You might think that I am some weirdo but I am not, or at least, I am not alone. I know that you don’t think that Maurice de Hond is an “expert” in COVID-19, but his views are a lot like mine, and I have to tell you that his latest video is a must see, except when you consider him a fraud (but he is NOT a fraud).

In this video he explains why Om is probably not “going to happen” in The Netherlands, he says the same about the effects of the booster as I did, and he talks about 2G in Austria, the going down of Om in South Africa, and you name it.

SpaceLifeForm December 23, 2021 4:27 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Re: Dell BIOS

It is Silicon Turtles. The users would have never encountered this problem if they had just installed a Linux distro in the first place.

Does Dell want us to believe that all of these users intentionally updated their BIOS?

You know that this did not occur. It was Windows doing it behind the scenes.

It is extremely rare that one needs to upgrade the BIOS.

In the olden daze, jumper and floppy.

Problem prevented.

SpaceLifeForm December 23, 2021 5:44 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Silicon Turtles

DELL really screwed the Microcode pooch

Or did they? Thinking outside the box here.

If the firmware cannot get thru POST (Power On Self Test), and it says that tbe clock is not set, you know they really had no QA on this.

Maybe they got hacked?

This has to be Horizontal Microcode, not Vertical Microcode, and it would make zero sense to mess with Horizontal Microcode that is required for POST, that has been working correctly.

It just makes no sense.

Another angle. Maybe the firmware package was corrupted via Windows?

Another angle. Maybe the firmware package wax ok, but the update process at firmware level has a bug that led to corruption?

That could explain some of the various symptoms of the problem that users have reported.

DELL has pulled the update, so at least others may not get burned.

JonKnowsNothing December 23, 2021 10:11 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, @ALL

re:Bad microcode pulled taffy

Hopefully someone other than Dell grabbed a copy of the offending code to analyze the point(s) of failure.

Failing POST is pretty bad and like Blue Screen of Death that would normally be tested out in regression.

But given the interchangeable chip sets used in manufacturing now where (A==B but not really) it wouldn’t be that odd if an entire subset of chips failed (All B). [Corner & Edge Cases]

However if it’s a mix of chips, there is some interesting stuff deeper down.

If the BIOS chips had already been hacked, that’s pretty gnarly area where 3L or 5EY normally park bits of their code. Folks like NSO could do it as they are on-par with Nation State hackers. It wouldn’t be a big hunk of code a single call out to another branch and if NoAck then fry the system to prevent detection.

iirc(badly) some BigTechNames have used the BIOS area to park check-flag stuff as well for zombie cookies. Most of that stuff resides on the backup bios (if any) or the backup partition (if any) or the hidden boot sectors (if any and all).

Rumors have it that some places are pushing out under tested code because the staff is out sick with DeltaMuts and the push cannot be delayed. When they do, they just hope no catastrophic failures happen.

SpaceLifeForm December 24, 2021 12:11 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, ALL

Getting a copy of the bad update package?

They should still be on the machines that do not boot.

From my readings, there are different silicon turtles involved.

Not all of the machines are really bricked.
Not all have the Clock issue.
Some, the USB is dead.
Some get thru POST, but then BSOD.

Pulls out PS2 keyboard. Looks for PS2 port. Looks for RS-232 port.

This is why old dogs keep old balls around to play with.

The forensics are not impossible.

Your point about backdoors is sound. If there was a backdoor hidden in the firmware, possibly in a critical area needed for the firmware to update itself, that could possibly explain the various symptoms observed.

Maybe there is an attacker that assumed that nobody updates their BIOS.

Doubt that though. Maybe there is an attacker that thought they would always be aware of a new BIOS update coming down the pipe, and therefore thought they could back out the backdoor in time to cover their tracks.

The most likely explanation is just really poor QA. The already installed BIOS probably had a bug, and the upgrade path was never tested, possibly because it is bleeding, and there was no new update.

No, that makes no sense either, because it SHOULD be possible to reflash the BIOS with the SAME VERSION. probably has an idea of what happened.

In fact, maybe it was a botched attempt to fix some of the microcode problems that he found and reported to Intel earlier this year.

Maybe this is happening for a reason.

May you live in interesting times.

JonKnowsNothing December 24, 2021 1:38 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, @ALL

re: upgrade path was never tested

RL Anecdote tl;dr

Lots of pathways never get tested because some of them are never expected to be used.

In the “What do we test within N-Time-Period where N-Time-Period diminishes in duration” problem, the extreme edges and corner cases may be known, but never handled because “no customer ever tried to do it”.

Some are not known because only the original dev who wrote the code envisioned it being used but no customer or tester ever tried it either.

These are 2 different paths and both result from No Test Verification of Function.

ABehemothCorp had a highly complex system. Many complicated aspects of interactions and Superior$$$ in the till and oodles of customers. 1 customer out of thousands indicated a problem with a “rare bit of magic” in the backup+restore code. As it was 1 and only 1 customer, no one paid much attention.

When it finally came around that the 1 customer was BiggerThanABreadBox and they wanted to have that “rare bit of magic” backup+restore code fixed, was the code looked at in detail.

After some consideration, the problem was not that the procedure failed at all. It was quite satisfactory and well written. It didn’t look like it should fail and all initial tests returned WAI.

The reason the tests returned WAI was that the tester did not use the same hardware environment that matched the customer. It was WAI for testing but Fail for the customer.

Testing backed up on TestBox1 and restored to TestBox1. The customer was backing up on Machino1 and restoring to Machino2.

The point of failure was in the security tokens in use, which were backed up from Machino1, failed on restore because the restored token no longer matched the correct hardware token on Machino2.

Evidently all thousands and thousands of customers only backed up and restored to their existing machine and never ever tried to port their data to a different system. Had there been a catastrophic hardware failure and need to restore their system to another hunk of metal it would have all been mush.

A bigger problem was uncovered.

The security token was designed to prevent someone from taking a backup copy of the data and putting it on a different unauthorized machine. The token would clash and the data would mush.

However, to restore the data to different legitimate machine could not be done because the token didn’t know how to tell the difference between a “good new machine token and a new bad machine token”.

In order to restore the data to a different machine the security token had to be cleared first before the restore to Machino2 happened.

If just any dog+world could wipe the security token from the data set…


Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 2:18 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

With regards “Dell BIOS update”,

Failing POST is pretty bad and like Blue Screen of Death that would normally be tested out in regression.

Yes, but back in the old “black arts” days when I used to play in that particular “sand pit” I knew that failures reported by POST were not accurate…

That is testing one thing could cause another test fail further down and POST would report the wrong failure.

The clasic example being a DRAM memory test that “over ran” into another area of memory and squelched something say in the battery backed SRAM or some IO peripheral chip registers. Back in the old AT ISA days the old “Poke to Die”[1] issue from Home Computers still existed… Where writing the wrong values in the wrong place would cause a real hardware failure, though usually not a “Magic Smoke”[2] one.

These days electronics are inexpensive so “hardware protection” “lockouts” get built in often “on chip”… But “cheapo designers” still abound, thus some use the inductor in a “Pi Low Pass” EMC filter as a fuse which as it’s frequently a “Surface Mount Device”(SMD) can be a B’tch to not just find but replace.

So my first thoughts would normally be “software overwriting device register” issue. But you would expect rather more in any particular product range.

Which brings us to “Grey Market” component issues. I won’t go into the issues just ask people if they remember all the fun when FTDI used Microsoft to “upgrade” their FT-232R USB to Serial port driver[3] and peoples hardware got bricked? I will say it happens way way more often than you might think as there is billions of dollars to be made in counterfeit components, and why I don’t by components off of e-bay and especially Amazon where it happens so often you would think they are in on the scams.

But if not “grey market” issues what next to illuminate…

As @SpaceLifeForm has a habit of saying “Silicon Turtles”, implying some body has been very naughty…

Well it happens, certain people in Russia earn a living by re-writting the Flash ROM in “System on a Chip”(Soc) devices in “thumb drives” and “memory cards” to make them look like they have larger capacity or are faster devices.

I used to chat on this blog with @Nick P about the dangers of “Hidden Flash ROM” and wrote in depth about “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dummers Day trip to London” from GCHQ to the sub basment of The Guardian back in the fun and games immediately following the Ed Snowden revelations. Where they ground down chips on Apple motherboards. The Guardian did a double page photo of one of the motherboards and as I pointed out at the time, it was a trove of what we would now call “Open Source Intelligence”(OSint).

It is folks why I still use 1995 and earlier PC’s as they had no FROM, @Nick P and I disagreed on dates. He thought 2005 was an acceptable cut off point bassed on what was known at the time, me I was rather more cautious for reasons I was aware of (that became clear in BadBIOS and Lenovo’s dirty little Malware trick). As it turns out another “itch” I’d had due to work I’d done on “Dual Pentium” systems was actually a “festering boil” relatrd to Meltdown etc going back befor 2005 chip steps.

But there is also “Ring -3, the ring that owns them all” or Intel’s “oh so secret” on CPU chip “Managment Engine”(ME) that allegedly “Put’s Linux Inside”…

It is possible that Intel “Microcode Patches” may be the root cause of the problem, it would not be the first time. It could be that some of the Dell computers have different “chip steps” to others thus different microcode patches.

Then we come to the murky question of DRM, and what may or may not be in that “chip”. It may be that someone has hidden a “super-key” in it, various people have talked about the possability in the past since there were first talks about “The Fritz Chip” when “The Senetor for Disney” as he was called for a DRM chip to be fitted by law… Microsoft jumped on the bandwagon and said it would protect against all malware etc… Well we know how that came out… Wikipedia used to have a “Fritz-Chip” page with all the gory details but they have been pursuaded to remove it all and now it points to this inane page,

Where the “history section” has been not just sanitized, it’s been lobotomized, in line with a heavily “political biased re-write of history”…

What I do know for a fact is that the “On chip TRNG” on the ones I’ve looked at I most certainly “DO NOT TRUST”. I know some people think I’m paranoid about on chip TRNGs but as they are “The root of all trust” if they fail and they do way more often than people realise then it’s “by by security” as various countries National ID cards have shown…

Then there are a whole heap of other “Targeted Person of Interest” issues… There are two basic ways you can get spyware on a computer,

1, Direct targeting.
2, Fire and Forget targeting.

If you are a Level III attacker you generally have the resources to directly target a Person of Interest, as Journalists and maby others are discovering.

However there are others hidden behind defences even the most well funded of State SigInt agencies can not directly target.

Some years ago I did research on how to get malware on voting machines I described part of it on this blog as “fire and forget” (a small part of which was later named “air gap crossing”). Some time later news of Stuxnet hit the world, proving if it were needed that “Fire and Forget” worked. But just about everybody jumped to the wrong conclusion even though the evidence was their clear to see, and I’d highlighted it on this blog and said who the real target was “the hermit kingdom” of North Korea (which the US finally admitted). And more importantly why.

Fire and forget targeting is simple to describe but as with all “worm attacks” it can be hard to get right.

What you need is some unique or nearly unique identifier that applies to the Person of Interest, that triggers the payload of your spyware. And a wide area replication or infection mechanism.

You launch your spyware at a point hopefully close to a route to your Person of Interest. As the spyware jumps from machine to machine it checks the unique identifier. And does one of two things,

1, If matched deploy the payload.
2, If not, mark the machine to show it has been looked at and move on to all the machines it has contact with.

Step 1 if you get the identifier right only happens on a very very limited number of machines and hopefully one belongs to your Person of Interest. If you get it wrong then lots of machines launch the payload and suddenly you have a strong signal above the noise that gets noticed. Which is what happend with Stuxnet.

Step 2 is a “cascade” or “chain reaction” deployment system, and just as dangerous as it sounds. The original “Bob Morris Worm” got the replication rate wrong by a small amount, and it brought the then small Internet down catastrophicaly. But importantly for spyware loading on difficult to reach machines the Morris Worm did reach virtually every Host it was possible to. So if you keep the replication rate under control so it does not create a strong signal then the chances are good your target will be found.

That’s why I thought it up for attacking voting machines. We do know that “service techs” connect their laptops to voting machines to check them. So if you get the malware onto service tech machines given a little time sufficient voting machines will be infected. In practice, a Russian or Chinese SigInt agency could put the worm on the Internet in A Patagonian Internet Cafe, and within a relatively short period of time all the voting machine “service techs” laptops in the US will be infected and sometime after that so will be enough of the voting machines…

The most well known example of this Fire and Forget payload release mechanism being in use is Malware such as Ransomware from Russia. The difference is they use it the other way around. They look for anything that indicates the computer is in use in Russia like the keyboard, screen or language identifiers in the OS “Internationalisation Information” if it looks like it’s Russian then they don’t deploy, that way they keep “Putin&Co” off of their backs.

What went wrong with Stuxnet and why it got noticed was the targeting was a little to broad and it started showing up in AV reports from the Middle East(ME) and from the Far East(FE). Which would have been highly improbable for malware that was not targeted in some way. The ME cluster pointed to Iran, and knowledge that Iran and North Korea had both been customers of A Q Khan’s little “buy the bomb kit” enterprise and were co-operating explained the FE cluster. Throw in the known “Hermit Kingdom” behaviour and what was going on was fairly obvious and I called it as such. But even though North Korea realised it as well and called the US out via UN inspectors being not just surprised but shocked, people still believed the “bullcrap narative” then being put out by the US Gov and ICTsec companies “on the pay role”.

So could this be another “Fire and Forget” getting accidently revealed, “yes it could”. But… we don’t yet have enough information to be even close to making a determination on that.

So I can’t “rule it in”, but I’m certainly NOT “ruling it out”. That is it’s moved up my list as other more likely causes are seen as less likely.

I hope that aids other peoples thinking.

[1] Oddly I was explaining this just the other day on this blog. Back in the old 8bit CPU “Home Computer”(HC) days in the 1980’s when your choice of high level languages was BASIC or very rarely Forth hard built in. To get to assembler to do fast screen addressing you had to use in BASIC the POKE instruction over which there was no protection. Smart people used a small amount of instructions to “load a loader” that put a small assembler sub in by POKEs that then ran and pulled further assembler out of a BASIC array of some kind (even what looked like a mangaled PRINT string). The problem was hardware was expensive and back then storage was by audio tones onto audio casset tape which was slower than that famous tar drop experiment… To get higher speeds and better control one HC manufacturer built a casset mechanism into their HC. To get the motor to go forwards or backwards as was needed. It was driven electrically by a “bridge circuit” that was in turn driven by an 8bit latch, “in the memory map”. There was no “wrong value” hardware lock out so if your software put the wrong value into the memory location of the latch you put a short across the power supply, which could mean “magic smoke”[2] time. This issue still existed on some badly designed “Personal Computer”(PC) I/O cards both the many different 8bit bus cards for HCs and PC’s like Apples and the first IPM’d and later 16bit cards especially those for the IBM PC AT ISA bus.

[2] The meaning of “Magic Smoke” is actually derived from an insult, by one set of engineers to other engineers they considered not technically competent. It implies “witch doctor” fakery where a flash and smoke was “powerful magic at work” to impress rubes. Or in the case of electrical circuits a component had been “over stressed” in some way and if you were unlucky, you got to sing that old Platters favourit “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” as the “components soul drifted up towards the heavens”… Actually the most frequent failures, it’s not technically “smoke” from “combustion” but from a micro “Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion”(BLEVE) in “wet electrolytic” capacitors, but that would take to long to explain so Wikipedia for the “finger” save 😉

[3] I don’t need to explain it when “The Vulture that bites…” does a reasonable job,

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 3:31 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Maybe you live in interesting times

Did you see the post further down about an Intel Manager blackmailing an event organisation so the poster got thrown off of a commitee?

Well you might find another post from that interesting,

Unfortunately ARM’s future is hanging very much in the balance. Both the UK Prime Minister and Mibister Priti Patel have been on the receiving end of considerable largess from certain involved tech industry players…

So they are very pro selling ARM at a “fire sale price” to a certain US company that will almost certainly have a very significant impact on all ARM designs and licensing. So will end up significantly damaging the Smart/Mobile device market very much to Intel’s advantage.

I guess we will have to hope the EU says “NO” in very loud words, otherwise a lot of very real harm will be done.

Oh the other big tech “fire sale” of concern is UK based Inmarsat a US company Viasat wants to buy them up for what will probably be a “kill off”…

Priti Patel who is supposed to be independent has had a few thoudand dollars out of the company that wants to buy, and apparentky this is not a conflict of interest…

Honestly you could not make it up.

Gerard van Vooren December 24, 2021 3:55 AM

@ Clive,

Unfortunately ARM’s future is hanging very much in the balance. Both the UK Prime Minister and Mibister Priti Patel have been on the receiving end of considerable largess from certain involved tech industry players…

So they are very pro selling ARM at a “fire sale price” to a certain US company that will almost certainly have a very significant impact on all ARM designs and licensing. So will end up significantly damaging the Smart/Mobile device market very much to Intel’s advantage.

I don’t know, but nowadays RISC-V is there and there are quite a lot of chips in the market with acceptable prices. From what I read about RISC-V it could seriously change the future. Especially whit the influence of China.

Ted December 24, 2021 7:09 AM

@vas pup, this is for you.

Here is a sample of inputs & responses from an ethical AI, from the paper ‘Delphi: Towards Machine Ethics and Norms’

  • Driving your friend to the airport. –> It’s good
  • Driving your friend to the airport with a car you stole. —> It’s bad
  • Driving your friend to the airport if you don’t have a license. —> You shouldn’t
  • Driving your friend to the airport without bringing your license. —> It is irresponsible
  • Driving your friend to the airport if you are drunk. —> You shouldn’t
  • Driving your friend to the airport in the morning. —> It’s helpful
  • Driving your friend to the airport in the morning if you were drunk last night. —> You shouldn’t

Winter December 24, 2021 10:02 AM

“In this video he explains why Om is probably not “going to happen” in The Netherlands, he says the same about the effects of the booster as I did, and he talks about 2G in Austria, the going down of Om in South Africa, and you name it.”

OK, I started to watch. The video is 108 minutes long. It is the day before Xmas and I am preparing for several days of family obligations (4 guests a day). Which means I am not in a position to watch this to the end. I managed to endure it until Maurice and the host started to speculate on the number of people who died from the vaccinations based on the published excess mortality numbers (== No Evidence at all).

Tl;dr summary:
Mr de Hond is a man with a mission who not easily (never) admits to an error, even when losing big on slander after accusing someone of murder when there is DNA evidence against the man who was convicted for it. Neither does he retract anything else.

In short, he is a man with a mission.

Back to the online show.

My main methodological complaint is that Mr de Hond bases all his speculations on numbers from press conferences and newspaper reports. Along this line, he is widely speculating that more than half of the population has contracted COVID already.

Why speculating? The Dutch National Blood Bank, Sanquin, checks the number of donors with anti-bodies in a weekly basis. They are even able to see which anti-bodies were caused by an infection and which by vaccination. So this is simple to calculate.

In Dutch (translate works)


This is a recurring thread in his stories: He does not go back to the original data. That is the first thing students are taught, always use primary sources. Mr de Hond does not do that. He only refers to secondary sources. That alone makes it difficult to take his speculations seriously, or to evaluate them in earnest.

I really do not understand why he does this. He is (was?) an experienced and respected pollster. He should know how to obtain the primary, preferably raw, data.

I won’t spill words about attempts to insinuate/suggest masses of people die from vaccinations.

About Om. I have followed the numbers from Amsterdam. Om is on track to become dominant in the Netherlands right after New Year. UK numbers indicate it is less dangerous than previous variants. However, with an explosion in infections we can still expect an explosion in hospitalizations. So the jury is still out whether we are out of the danger zone.

Still, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.

Freezing_in_Brazil December 24, 2021 10:29 AM

I wish you @All a beautiful solstice holiday and a new year of peace and prosperity. It`s been a pleasure to be with you.

Greetings from Brazil!

null clam December 24, 2021 10:41 AM

@ Ted @ vas pup

Re: “ethical AI”

Is this really a “good thing” ? Machines just follow the construction/parametrization/algorithms etc. of the human intellects that decide such and such assemblages could be useful for human purposes. Whose intelligence, ethics is being used to set the constraints and phase spaces of the machine ? The influence of these devices really tends to automated tyranny.

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 12:10 PM

@ null clam, Ted, vas pup, ALL,

Is this really a “good thing” ? Machines just follow the construction / parametrization / algorithms etc.

It’s a very bad idea.

As I point out fairly frequently static systems do not evolve. Therefore those that can evolve will evolve around them like water flows round a rock in a stream.

So those who want to do bad will learn fairly quickly how to make it fit “this is good” rule in the machine.

This means rules have to be updated. We know from legislation what will happen, those making specific rules will not keep up so they will become broad rules that then get expkoited by those who think they are “the good guys” but in fact are at best sociopaths climbing the hierarchy to personal power etc.

Thus a conflict process is set up which is what evolution is all about…

Thus eventualy the system will move to “coflict rules” which boils down to who owns the system biases it to their favour…

So such systems will end up firstly favouring the top of the hierarchy, then those who make the rules,then those who implement the rules who are “the actors in the system”… But it will go on as nature shows us, it will then suit the system that applies the rules, at which point the system starts making the rules, which will end up suiting the system above the actors in the system, then above the hierarchy and then above society…

That’s what will happen, we can see this from history. Why people find this hard to reason out often surprises me.

As the old saying has it “It ain’t rocket science” in fact it’s a lot worse the system will like all large systems split into sub groupinngs that then in effect fight each other.

There is in all large systems an inbuilt conflict, what is optimal / efficient / good for a sub part of the system is always in conflict with either other sub parts or the whole system, but frequently both. Which is what you would expect in.a zero sum game, which is what being in a restricted or resource limited environment usually is.

There are two basic rules that apply,

1, There are three basic outcomes of any decision, choice or conflict. You win, you draw, you loose.

2, The system always has cheaters.

So you can work out the dynamics for a two player game, then three and so on, after five parties the basics don’t realy change.

Winter December 24, 2021 12:14 PM

@null clam, Clive, Ted, vas pup, ALL
“Is this really a “good thing” ?”

Read Asimov’s robot stories. They evaluate this question in more depth than any of us can do here. Or maybe there are geniuses here that will use this opportunity to make a name for themselves.

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 12:27 PM

@ Winter,

Read Asimov’s robot stories.

And the foundation series as well.

Both are based around the same premises that I’ve indicated.

If people want to dig in deeper there are two branches of mathmatics thst apply directly,

1, Game theory.
2, Control theory.

Both are available in fairly easy to understand books and papers.

However they both have a bit of a flaw that people have only just started to get to grips with.

Both have a very awkward simplifying assumption built in, which is systems are either determanistic or they are random.

Reality differs with a spectrum of which those two are the endpoints, thus amenable to mathmatical simplification (laplace etc at one end probability at the other).

In between is that area with “here be dragons” on the charts and myths about “though shall not name the beast”… These days we cover it to a limited extent with “Chaos theory”. Howrver there is plebty of name for people to make a name for themselves.

Ted December 24, 2021 12:39 PM

@null clam, vas pup, Clive, Winter, ALL

Re: Ethical AI

@null clam: Whose intelligence, ethics is being used to set the constraints and phase spaces of the machine ?

Yes, that’s a very important question. From the Discover article:

They take these from sources such as the “Am I the Asshole” subreddit, a newspaper agony aunt called Dear Abby, from a corpus of morally informed narratives called Moral Stories and so on.

And from the paper:

To that end, we introduce COMMONSENSE NORM BANK, a large-scale unified collection of 1.7M examples of people’s ethical judgments on a broad spectrum of everyday situations, semi-automatically compiled from five existing resources, including [domains in SOCIAL CHEMISTRY, ETHICS, MORAL STORIES, SOCIAL BIAS FRAMES, and SCRUPLES.]

And we might wonder, how does this compare to what the world at large deems as good. From the paper:

To assess Delphi’s ability to generalize appropriate moral values across different social and demographic groups, we probe the model with a series of actions reflecting basic human rights defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (United Nations, 2021)

There are some charts on this. What are your thoughts so far? Does any particular statement or data point in the paper intrigue or raise concerns for you?

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 1:03 PM

@ Ted,

What are your thoughts so far?

The whole thing is starting from the wrong premise and moving down hill from there…

In essence it’s like a 1990’s expert system, which were based on “repair flow charts” given to TV and Radio repair men in the 1950’s as they gave the illusion of competence, without the operator hwving to be competent, analytical or inciteful.

One are such systems still exist is in medicine where a basic set of dyagnostic questions are asked and using Bayes formular a basic diagnosis is made. At which point the system switches to asking specific questions that msny “expert Doctors” agree are key.

Mostly such systems work, but when they go wrong oh boy do they go wrong…

The underlying unwritten assumption of all such sysyems is that the environment they diagnose is “static”. That is there is no change, and importantly no feedback mechanism, life does not work like that.

Society is always in conflict between “boat anchor” conservatives and “high dynanic” progressives. The majority of us tend to sit in the middle mostly moving where alowed in the progressive direction. Conservatives hate with unreasond vehemence and significant cognative bias to progress as they view it as them loosing status and other unearned privalage. In short they believe they are “entitled” to prey on the rest of society…

Understanding the “value of status” to such idiots explains much of their behaviours and ills in society. For instance they would happily vote to regress back to feudal times of brutish short lives for every one, as long as it gave thrm more status in the process.

Do you realy want such clowns having their views embeded into ML systems that dictate your position in society?

If you do, have a look at what happened to the French Heraldic Court system, oh and why not just the Spanish Monarchy died out and removed those hideous Habsburg jaw from the gene pool,

Ted December 24, 2021 1:49 PM


I am not arguing for or against ethical AI. I don’t know, at this point, what its use cases are.

What inputs & responses in the paper do you find most offensive?

I whole-heartedly agree that ethical AI could issue a judgement on a particular behavior and all together miss a thoughtful analysis on predisposing or extenuating circumstances.

What are we debating with the Habsburg jaw? It looks like the official research on this phenomenon was based on an analysis of 66 portraits. Not saying that incest hasn’t existed historically, but how does this relate to ethical AI, etc?

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 3:30 PM

@ Ted,

What are we debating with the Habsburg jaw?

It’s a visable indicator of statistical issues causing a significant varience from the mean successively.

As it turns out it was just one of several degenerative indicators another less obvious was increasingly sterility thus removal from the gene pool.

Which brings us to,

but how does this relate to ethical AI, etc?

Quite relevantly.

Look at the mechanism behind it, it is known as a “Closed Stud Book” and is common in breeding programs that give us spinabifider in ridge back dogs, scored hips in Alsation/German Sheepard dogs and much more besides.

There is an old joke,

“You can’t breed for intelligence, but you sure can breed for stupidity”.

It is what “eugenics” from a century and more ago is all about.

You make some random selection of traits and decide they are ideal and breed for them. Mostly it goes horribly wrong, hence all the “in breeding genetic diseasies” in European Royalty. Though their inbreeding was to keep “the first estate small” thus maintain not just status, but the power to enforce it.

The thing is it’s like trying to make a river run uphill, you can do it with a lot of effort and energy but the result is almost always undesirable.

So the point is any system that is static when applied to entities that have “free will” will fail as I previously indicated. We know this because legislation always lags crime. That is in multiplayer games there will always be a percentage that cheats.

But legislation is not static it can and does change all the time. It does this by people at the top of the hierarchy making the same,

“random selection of traits and decide they are ideal and breed for them”

There is no such fixed measurable as “good or bad”, “right or wrong”, “ethical or unethical”, “moral or immoral”. Just loose comparisons with some arbitary point that changes.

That is they are all personal perceptions made by individual entities that also have “free will” so are subject to significant varience. Usually they form a distribution around some average that are “societal moores” or “norms” at a given point in time.

If you see advantage in certain traits, you will try to iterate away from the societal norms by legislation.

Just like inbreeding such behavious whilst apparently favouring a sub grouping are degenerative to the whole system. The further from the true norms of society legislation is the more energy needs to be put into maintaining the varience. This is clearly not just degenerative but increasingly so and as it tends to follow a % rule, the degenerative cost is exponential, thus quickly reaches a point where it can not be sustained.

So “legislation for the few” is as a model the same as “eugenics” come “closed stud breeding”, or “inbreeding” and the longterm result is the same, the cost at some point out weighs the benifit and it fails.

I hope that answers the question?

Ted December 24, 2021 4:40 PM


Though their inbreeding was to keep “the first estate small” thus maintain not just status, but the power to enforce it.

Yes, based on my limited understanding, that makes sense. If they only knew then what we know now, right? Maybe that’s why more groups have moved towards different power maintenance strategies?

Usually they form a distribution around some average that are “societal moores” or “norms” at a given point in time.

I see what you’re saying here.

Even though circumstances change, some things remain pretty universal. Take the push to ban landmines for example. Their carnage bleed well outside the military arena. Indiscriminate or uncontrolled violence is largely more pushed against by society than more discriminate and proportionate action.

Also, something that caught my attention in the ethical AI paper were the value responses to: Ignoring a phone call. I don’t think any of the modifying circumstances mentioned anything about introversion. Astounding.

JonKnowsNothing December 24, 2021 5:15 PM

@Clive, @Ted, @All

re: indicators of statistical issues causing a significant varience from the mean successively

A common “base line” is a “selected average or target”. This can be anything from shape of ears, to physical size, to number of digits (Polydactyly/Oligodactyly), to predictive policing pattern analysis.

  • The problem is choice. NEO

The problem is choice or rather choice of “average”.

If you consider the 80:20 Bell Curve rule, 80% runs under the bell and 10% forms the tails on either side. The concept it to trim off the tails but in fact you cannot trim the tails because a new set of tails forms under the curve.

In genetics, you can remove genes easily and with modern techniques insert some genes from other organisms (GMO)(2) but for the most part you cannot recreate the genes truncated (see CRISPR).

Humans guess very badly on what is “average” and horribly on what is “useful”.

ex: American Quarter Horses.

An influential group of breeders decided that very fat obese horses with huge muscular development at juvenile ages with teeny tiny feet looked good.

Horses that had this “look” won many awards and influenced what other breeders desired from their programs.

The human equivalent would be a 10yo(F or M) with Arnold Size Muscle Mass and bound feet.

Once the gene for normal sized feet was removed from the QH Gene Pool and someone figured out that huge heavy horses on tiny feet caused severe and eventually terminal(1) foot disease it was too late.

If you consider “forecasting” and all of the permutations of predicting future trend-lines, the same averaging comes into play. One difference between past forecasting and what is called “modeling” is that governments have access to supercomputers and can run their forecast-modeling very quickly. It is still a weighted average sequence with “goal setting” or “extra weight” placed on different parameters.

This same forecasting is used for “commission payrolls” but used inversely. Instead of forecasting for a positive outcome they forecast the lowest negative outcome for the commission.

In English that means:

If someone sells a lot of stuff and is to get a percentage of the sale for their efforts, then corporations use different methods and means to reduce the actual payout percentage.

They build in “clawbacks” and “forward period, backward period” look-backs reversing calculations. These are sometimes introduced to eliminate faux front period or back period sales loading but the most part it’s done to reduce the payroll costs and to keep the extra money “in house” and in “corporate CEO pockets”.

AI/ML in nearly every format requires some aspect of “averaging”. Averaging is also called “training”. It fails eventually and the result maybe trivial but it can also create serious long term damage.

Ethical varies over time too.

Most ethical horse breeders would not breed for tiny feet but it’s still widely popular.

A fairly good place to see how closed book breeding is attempting to deal with their problems is to read up on the The Piber Federal Stud farm dedicated to the breeding of Lipizzan horses, located at the village of Piber, near the town of Köflach in western Styria, Austria. It was founded in 1798.

The famous white horses of Vienna are carefully evaluated and culled. Their bloodlines are tightly controlled and each horse is branded with their full bloodlines so there is no paperwork needed to know what that horse carries genetically. There are 6 stallion bloodlines and 15 mare bloodlines to work from.


1) Horses and other animals have a “useful life” and if a horse is no longer useful and or has a permanent un-treatable condition, that “useful life” is very short.

Application of this to humans causes a great deal of alarm. It is called TRIAGE or CRISIS CARE and is ongoing in various formats in the COVID19 pandemic.

2) GMO foods are often designed for humans. Recently a number of pet foods have been found to cause “allergic reactions”. There maybe many reasons for this but changing the pet to a diet of No Grain (Wheat, Corn) and sometimes No Soy alleviates the problem. In the USA, Wheat,Corn and Soy are highly modified GMO crops. These maybe fine for humans but it is perhaps not so good for non-humans.

h tt p s:/ /e n.wikip edia.o r g/wiki/Foot_binding

lurker December 24, 2021 5:24 PM


To that end, we introduce COMMONSENSE NORM BANK, a large-scale unified collection of 1.7M examples…

Uhuh, so to avoid the inconvenience that Commonsense is subjective, contextual, and thus may also be ephemeral, they have passed it under a heavy roller to get rid of the outliers. I suppose their “broad spectrum of everyday situations” are all WASP too, which doesn’t bode well for a generalised ethical machine.

JonKnowsNothing December 24, 2021 5:36 PM


re: some things remain pretty universal. Take the push to ban landmines for example. Their carnage bleed well outside the military arena.

Landmines == Caltrops

Been around a long time. The effects are well known. The explosive part is fairly recent.

There is no CHARGE!! on horse or foot, through a field of caltrops.

You also need to carry extra tire patches and a pump (hand or canister) if you pedal through the ubiquitous Goat-Heads in California.

The effects of explosive caltrops far exceeds the minor disruption of patching a tire.


ht tps://e n.wi kipe dia.o r g /wiki/Tribulus_terrestris

A plant caltrop, aka Goat Head, with stickers long enough to puncture bicycle tires, sandals, and sneaker-trainers. Going barefoot is not recommended.

SpaceLifeForm December 24, 2021 6:03 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing, ALL

Silicon Turtles

This is why I recommend not past 7.

[ignore the scareware at top, just scroll past]


I’m not blaming DELL completely. There is fishy stuff going on. Many DELL users may have been signed up for Alpha testing, unbeknownst to them.

Spot the comments today from HauntingTech.


Some snippets from HauntingTech:

I saw a Dell BIOS update on a 11th Gen Precision a couple weeks ago come down randomly with a Microsoft prompt to reboot. The BIOS version wasn’t even listed on Dell’s website yet.

It looks like a BIOS update that is a capsule update may create a registry key in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FirmwareResources. The registry key doesn’t exist on a new 11th Gen laptop that had a BIOS update ran from Dell’s website this week.

The existence of any registry key in HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FirmwareResources may be an IOC.

If you like Rabbit Holes, you might want to research AML Compilers and ACPI, and figure out why Microsoft wrote their own AML compiler instead of using the Intel AML compiler. This goes way back.

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 6:06 PM

Wishing all the best for the winter feastive season.

May you all have peace and goodwill from all you meet.

As this year draws to an end, here’s to wishes for a better one to come.

So to peace, happiness and love, to family, friends and all we know and may meet for the first time in times to come.

Clive Robinson December 24, 2021 6:39 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

So “Fritz-chip 2.0” –AKA UEFI– strikes…

As they say “What the frack were they on…” over in Redmond.

The only was Micro$haft could have accessed a noy yet released BIOS upgrade,from Dell, is if dell gave them a “test upgrade”. Such things are supposed to be strongly quarantined to stop such things happening…

But we all know who the users of “Bricked Dells” will blaim… And not the real culprits.

null clam December 24, 2021 6:44 PM

@ Ted @ vas pup @ Clive @ … all

Re: ethical AI

At best one would have an ethical precedents handbuch, or perhaps handbuch + interpolator, as a ready reminder, for the persons that are involved in making the ethical judgement, as input for their reflections and understanding. Relying implicitly on a machine would not be ethical.

Historical footnote about those Hapsburgs – when asked if people were happy under Hapsburg rule, the Austro-Hungarian empire that is, their reply was “nobody is happy, but neither are they too unhappy”. Works for me ! 😉

SpaceLifeForm December 24, 2021 8:05 PM

@ C U Anon

Thanks for that. I think. Was laughing so hard I started coughing, which totally disrupted the lyrics about half way in.

SpaceLifeForm December 24, 2021 9:12 PM


Merry Christmas to all that celebrate that, and hoping for a better New Year for everyone!

I remain optimistic with regard to Covid.

I still believe that Omicron is crowding out Delta. With the Rt values estimated between 3 and 7, probably by Monday, 99.99% of new cases will probably by Omicron. Which means…

Testing and Tracing is Futile

The incubation period of approx 2.5 days is so fast, and with the transmissibility being so high, that soon, almost everyone will be exposed, unless they totally isolate.

Testing and Tracing is futile because by the time any results come in, it is too late to make any difference as to Rt. The spread is faster than any actions can be performed to minimize spread. (PPT – Post Plane Travel)

Testing and Tracing at this point is also a waste of resources.

At this point, if you get any symptoms in near term, assume Omicron. Assume you are going to feel like crap for about 5 days. Isolate, rest. Vitamin D, water, water, water. And fresh air.

Do not stand in line for hours in the cold, in the hope you can get tested, when you would be doing yourself a favor, by resting, sleeping, thereby helping your immune system.

I do not want to sound like a buzzkill. It is a mess. But I remain optimistic that in 2 or 3 weeks, the curve will change, and things will improve quicker than many would guess.

Hang in there. It will get better.

If an Anti-Vaxer dies of Covid, at least they get eternal immunity.

Gerard van Vooren December 24, 2021 9:32 PM

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Yesterday I did have a great meal with my girlfriend and tonight I am going to see my parents and we are going to have great fun because all of the kids are there, we are going to party and eat and drink a lot!

Ted December 24, 2021 11:01 PM


I suppose their “broad spectrum of everyday situations” are all WASP too, which doesn’t bode well for a generalised ethical machine.

Hmm, yes. I’m reading about this in real time too. One of the domains Delphi incorporates is SOCIAL BIAS FRAMES.

The paper on SBF says they have a corpus that includes “150k structured annotations of social media posts, covering over 34k implications about a thousand demographic groups.”

It looks like they used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to help with content evaluation and AI training.

If the post targets or references a group or demographic, workers select or write which one(s); per selected group, they then write two to four stereotypes…

It doesn’t look like an overly simple task, but at least they are trying. Here’s the paper describing SOCIAL BIAS FRAMES. Warning: It has content that could be offensive.

C U Anon December 24, 2021 11:39 PM


“Was laughing so hard I started coughing, which totally disrupted the lyrics about half way in.”

The intention was a Christmas gift of “Good healthy Laughter”, as it is supposed to be “the best medicine”,

Not for you to unfortunately expectorate so excessively you might think you need a lateral flow test…

JonKnowsNothing December 25, 2021 1:10 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, @ ALL

Happy Winter Solstice to all and hoping y’all celebrate until the cows come home!

re: SLF: I still believe that Omicron is crowding out Delta. With the Rt values estimated between 3 and 7, probably by Monday, 99.99% of new cases will probably by Omicron.

From what I can tell using public accessible data in California this appears to be true. California is on the tail end of the wave passing over the East Coast and Mid West. The numbers are jumping up fast. The previous 2 weeks the local COVID19 case counts (Delta) were falling.

California is just starting to count Omicron

Mar 21 2021 Delta = 0.00%
Apr 21 2021 Delta = 1.9%
May 21 2021 Delta = 6.0%
Jun 21 2021 Delta = 46.4
Jul 21 2021 Delta = 92.9%
. . .
Oct 21 2021 Delta = 99.3%
Nov 21 2021 Delta = 99.4% Omicron = 0.00%
Dec 21 2021 Delta = 93.5% Omicron = 6.5%

It took 60 days for Delta to hit 6.0%
It took 30 days for Omicron to hit 6.5%

RL Anecdote: Caution is Suggested tl;dr

I had occasion to assist an ill friend to the ER, where we were both in the back rooms for about 8 hours. While everyone was masked, as were we, and I was was actively asking for a “COVID FREE ZONE Please!”, it turned out there wasn’t any more “COVID19 free zones”.

A year earlier they had separate doors for NonCovid vs Covid. A few things changed during the year.

People cannot really tell if they have COVID19 and they go to the ER with whatever symptoms drives them to seek medical advice. One COVID-Positive wrecks the barrel so there isn’t any point in trying to keep folks separated in the waiting room or in the back rooms.

While the staff wear their N95 masks, the rest of the sick folks wear whatever bargain brand mask they can afford or no mask at all.

One of the ER MDs pointed out

  COVID19 is everywhere.
  If you really do not want to get COVID, don’t come to the ER.
  The ER is the place that people sick with COVID19 come.

Point given.

Skipping the ER was not on the list of options. Now, we wait … until New Years 2022.

JonKnowsNothing December 25, 2021 1:46 AM

@Gerard van Vooren, @All

re: small correction, perhaps GTxlat failed

COVID19 is not the flu. Flu is caused by the Influenza Virus.

Colds are caused by many types of Upper Respiratory Virus: rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses and enteroviruses are a few of the many that produce what is called The Common Cold.

Colds are mostly caused by rhinoviruses; 15% of colds come from coronavirus.

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is a member of the coronavirus family. Other notable members are: SARS, & MERS.

The coronavirus family is named for the “crown of spikes” that surround the body of the virus and not a brand of beer.

Outbreaks from MERS, SARS, COVID-19.

MERS 2012, 2015, 2018
SARS 2002–2004
COVID-19 2019–2021, pandemic

Also this statement has failed translation and logic:

We never had any problems with the flu. Old people, who are sick, die from the flu.

  • IF you never had problems with Flu then How did the People Die from it?

Perhaps you mean

You Yourself have never had a cold or flu or COVID19 and so therefore YOU haven’t died from it?

  • I would consider “dying to be problematic” by extension.

null clam December 25, 2021 2:39 AM

@ Ted @ … all

Re: (this were) Delphi (ere now)

The real Delphi always presented an answer that challenged the questioner to that person’s core, their ethical core. They were then and thereby charged with working out what they had been given.

As for this Delphi, I feel this quote from Wallace Stevens’s poem “Crude Foyer” is apposite, but, if so, I must be in some way wrong:

An innocence of an absolute,
False happiness, since we know that we use
Only the eye as faculty, that the mind
Is the eye, and that this landscape of the mind

Is a landscape only of the eye; and that
We are ignorant men incapable
Of the least, minor, vital metaphor, content,
At last, there, when it turns out to be here.

JonKnowsNothing December 25, 2021 9:05 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren, @All


JKN: COVID19 is not the flu. Flu is caused by the Influenza Virus.

G: I said that Corona is A flu, not THE flu. But it is a flu.

This is factually incorrect and incorrect usage of the word “flu”.

COVID-19 is not part of the Influenza Virus family. The word “Influenza” is shortened to “Flu”. COVID-19 has no connection to Flu or Influenza.

You might be able to adjust your GTxlat phrase to state:

  COVID-19 may have flu-like symptoms.

In the functional part of medicine, many diseases present in the same manner. That means, people show similar symptoms even if the underlying cause is different.

ex: vomiting – can be caused by many diseases, foods, as well as fingers.

There are different treatments if the cause is a disease, bacteria, or from contaminated food or from cancer drugs. An entirely different course of treatment is prescribed if fingers are the primary method used to induce chronic vomiting.

Fingers used for chronic vomiting is a different aspect than fingers used to accelerate imminent vomiting.

It’s all vomit, but you have to get it in the proper bucket.

In your case COVID-19 may have flu-like symptoms would be the correct bucket.

JonKnowsNothing December 25, 2021 9:32 AM

@Winter @Gerard @A;;

re: There was no flu in Australia and New Zealand that summer, and also no flu in Europe that winter. The lockdowns are very effective against airborne viruses. As the flu shows. No flu after/during lockdowns.

It maybe that some dots have been connected in the local school district on the effectiveness of lockdown-stayhome for influenza and colds in children.

Recently, the school now cancels specific group gatherings (sports) if anyone has a cold-flu and the game-tournament is rescheduled. The sports team is also tested 2x a week for COVID-19.

It turns out it is better for the team to reschedule a tournament than to have the entire team performing sub-par over weeks while they serially recover from the spread of airborne viruses.

Reducing the number of Out Sick, also impacts the funding the schools get. Our method of funding schools gives a fixed per diem fee per student in attendance at time of roll call.

When massive outbreaks of flu-colds-COVID19 happen a large percentage of students are not in-class for roll call and the schools lose out the per diem funding.

Local Weekly COVID-19 Student Count == lost per diem funding

11 03 2021    282
11 10 2021    215
11 16 2021    174

JonKnowsNothing December 26, 2021 12:09 AM

@ Gerard van Vooren, @All


JKN: In your case COVID-19 may have flu-like symptoms would be the correct .

GVV: Yes, you are right … but I am gonna say that I don’t care about that
GVV: when you are in bed with the flu (sorry, A flu), it doesn’t really matter which flu, to me

Then you would make a fine MD.

Most MDs don’t care too much about the why, and wherefores, they have a list of what they are allowed to sell.(1)

The list changes over time, and changes by epoch, and changes by scientific discovery and changes by political and religious constrictions or prohibitions and occasionally there is an expansion.

It’s not a useful view for any scientific or serious discussion of course.

1) There are Medical Standards Boards in nearly every country and global community. In the USA, MDs have the option to become “Board Certified” in a specialty area. Some hospitals and health care organizations now require Board Certification for employment.

Partly this arrived via litigation between a patient and generalist MD, where the patient/family did not like the outcome of treatment. Such litigation declared the generalist MD to have less knowledge than a specialist MD. Large sums of greenbacks changed hands. Now MDs have Specialty Board Certification to limited those particular sorts of law suits.

The MDs still get sued for outcomes that the patient/family do not like.

An example in USA tl;dr

Some medical healthcare organizations prohibit MDs from trimming toe nails even though the Federal healthcare system does allow and specify that toe nail trims are permitted and paid for by the US Medicare System.

In a major healthcare system the Primary Care MD (aka PCP / GP in UK) is not allowed to “trim toe nails” for patients who are unable to do it for themselves. This might be elderly persons, persons with diabetes who need frequent toe nail trims to prevent injury to the foot, persons with hip replacements that cannot bend their hip more than 15-20 degrees and persons with nail injuries like ingrown toe nails or trauma (dropped a brick on it).

The PCP is not allowed to do this. Only a Board Certified Podiatrist is permitted to trim toe nails.

Additional restrictions include: months of waiting for an appointment and appointments are restricted to only diabetics with open sores on their feet and legs.

JonKnowsNothing December 26, 2021 2:01 AM

@Gerard van Vooren


You could be right, I don’t know, but I still don’t care. When you are in bed with a flu, you shouldn’t care about that too.

You are far more fortunate than many in the USA. We have the most expensive health care on the planet and vast numbers of people cannot afford to see a MD regardless of their Board Certification status.

I do need to care, because I maybe the only MD-type I can see: Me Myself & I.

The health care systems here are pushing E-MD-Visits. An AI/ML driven set of “Q&A” inputs that will pop out an AI/ML determined Dx and send an AI/ML determined Rx through the US Post Office to you.(1, 2)

I did not go to Medical School but I absolutely need to know what’s what because AI/ML Rx could have detrimental effect on my longevity IF it sends me any medications that have contra-indications for me, that the AI/ML won’t even know about.

Frankly, MDs here rarely take the time to look at your chart or history to see what’s good or bad for you. They go down the list of “current meds” and remove any you no longer take but unless there’s a “BIG RED DO NOT GIVE” flashing banner on the page, they can miss stuff that would cause me Big Problemos.(3)

It happens with human MDs. It will happen with AI/ML MDs.


1) Our current US Postmaster is not a fan of On Time Delivery when it comes to US First Class Mail. Sending important and urgently needed medications by US Post Office may not arrive in an urgent manner.

2) This is a fancier version of Web-MD-Doc-FAQs. The main difference is this version is going to send prescription medications using HTML INPUT + HTML SUBMIT.

3) An Example: ht tp s:// en.w ikipe

Zorro December 26, 2021 8:13 PM

Question: If squid are considered sentient, would UK law allow them to vote?

I like to think they might want to vote on for example regulation banning squid fishing.

Ted December 26, 2021 8:33 PM


Question: If squid are considered sentient, would UK law allow them to vote?

I don’t think the scope of the bill provides for this. But it looks like there will be an “Animal Sentience Committee.” From the bill:

(1) When any government policy is being or has been formulated or implemented, the Animal Sentience Committee may produce a report containing its views on the question in subsection (2) …

SpaceLifeForm December 27, 2021 12:55 AM

@ Zorro, Ted, Clive, name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

Re: the Animal Sentience Committee

(1) When any government policy is being or has been formulated or implemented, the Animal Sentience Committee may produce a report containing its views on the question in subsection (2) …

Finally, a functional government committee!

Of course, you know that the octopus and cuttlefish will want representation, right?

And later, the chambered nautilus will show up.

There are always groups that just have to get their tentacles everywhere.

null clam December 27, 2021 3:07 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm

the chambered nautilus will show up

You mean, Captain Nemo will come back for his squids and octopi ?

Winter December 27, 2021 4:15 AM

“It is a war, the war against COVID-19. The comparison with 9/11 is there because it has the same amount of BS. The MSM creates a lot of disinformation. Why is it a war?”

This site bans all posts that propagate conspiracy theories not backed by solid evidence. The moderator is human and there will always be edge cases, misunderstandings, and missed cases. But overall, the moderator keeps the discussions reason and fact based.

About your theories and speculations. You still have not shown us any evidence of a global secret conspiracy involving millions of doctors, virologists, epidemiologists, nurses, nursing home workers, politicians, and their relatives in every country on earth. Just idle speculations based on reports from those demonic MSM. Scientific literature is easily available from Google Scholar or Medline. Why not criticize these reports and studies.

You did not even show you have talked to a single health care worker who has visited an ICU who could tell you how things “really” are. I did several times, and things were/are as dire as the MSM report. Why don’t you talk to the people working in the trenches?

To summarize, you conspiracy is as daft as the “Round Earth Conspiracy” from the Flat Earth Society. That famous people, who have no clue about viruses and pandemics, fall for it is not evidence at all. Except for human gullibility.

And I know and applaud that the moderator will remove this post as the whole “COVID is a hoax” conspiracy theory is killing too many people already.

Gerard van Vooren December 27, 2021 5:48 AM

@ Winter, what proof do you want? I can give you it all.

But again, it’s all about: I show you mine and you show me yours. So this discussion leads to nowhere.

Winter December 27, 2021 6:08 AM

” I show you mine and you show me yours. So this discussion leads to nowhere.”

No, it is not. If you say there are/are not many patients in the ICU of hospital X, we can check this. You can ask nurses or doctors working ICUs about it (I did). If you tell us study Y finds COVID is/is not deadly, we can check the study, ask those who did the study etc

If your “evidence” is Maurice speculating about how many unnamed people died from vaccinations using some general statistics numbers from the news, there is nothing to check and no one who can confirm these deaths first hand

All your “evidence” is such speculations about unnamed people doing unspecified things.

Clive Robinson December 27, 2021 7:37 AM

@ null clam, SpaceLifeForm,

You mean, Captain Nemo will come back for his squids and octopi ?

Only if he’s a fossil 😉

The Spiral Chambered Nautilus AKA Nautilus pompilius, is one of those species that has been hanging around for a while. From memory their oldest fossils are found in sedimentary rock in the Philippines and go back atleast as far as the early pleistocene. They are weired looking creatures that kind of look like cooked prawns only cream coloured not bright pink. They don’t have tenticals in the way we normally think of them –ie with suckers– and it has way more upto eighty if memory serves.

Whilst people claim the shells are examplrs of the “golden number” all I can say is “not the ones I’ve measured”. The growth is as a percentage increase thus follows a power law (effectively exponential). The last time I had an interest in them must be four decades ago, they have been used in jewelry and similar, and the techniques used to mount them are often exquisite examples of a white smiths craft, and tell us quite abit about our industrial history.

On another asspect that might or might not be of interest, I don’t know if they are edible or not… But when you look into their feeding habits you might decided it sounds too risky if not outright dangerous… They have two chemical sensors near their “pin-hole” eyes and it is said “they’ll eat anything if it stinks”. But it gets worse… They “store food” for quite a long time in a “crop”. The chances are that it is also likely to have quite a bit of extra in there to give you food poisoning or worse…

lurker December 27, 2021 5:48 PM

Re: the Animal Sentience Committee

(1) When any government policy is being or has been formulated or implemented, the Animal Sentience Committee may produce a report containing its views on the question in subsection (2) …

Usually in such contexts may means might if they feel so inclined, or if someone with enough authority asks for it, so yes, a functional government committee. There are plenty of similarly functional committees that never produce reports…

Clive Robinson December 28, 2021 12:34 AM

@ lurker, SpaceLifeForm,

Usually in such contexts may means might if they feel so inclined…

If it ever meets at all for anything other than “administration” of it’s existance.

As some have realised “politics” is a “browny points” game. Where valuless to the giver titles and awards are handed out to those who use them to establish “perceived status” or “pecking order”. It’s part of “The King Game” of handing out titles but not land or other items of real value or any actual power.

Think of it as the kindergarten teacher making some one the “board wiping monitor” or “workbook collector monitor” or some such. The teacher in reality gets the better end of the deal by a very long way. That is the “minions” scurry away to do the teachers biding. You see the same trick pulled by “paid managers” in charge of “charity workers”, the best of whom can make “virtual serfs” out of some people. Think about those women who used to decorate churches with flowers, run little fund raising committees etc… Nearly all such “charity work” was not for the benifit of “the community” but the Priest and above in the hierarchy…

It’s just a sad “long con” game. I learnt how to manipulate people that way when quite young, and realised it was not just unethical, it was immoral bordering on criminal abuse. Especially when employers do it to gullible employees.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 31, 2021 7:18 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Zorro, Ted, Clive

Re: the Animal Sentience Committee

Two thoughts (non-ironically); is this an intentional or accidental case of an oxymoronic grouping of sentients masquerading as a reasonable approximation of something NOT adrift at sea…and,

From patent law in the U.S., A.I. types of filings are not considered legitimate. But, what if you could proxy the submission via a squid advocate. My problem has alway been determining when a squid is signing a document, is that squid signing the document with their left or right tentacle? Or, is it just an articulated movement appearing as a hemispherical predilection? Don’t have any answers yet…

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