Friday Squid Blogging: The Evolution of Squid Eyes

New research:

The researchers from the FAS Center for Systems Biology discovered a network of genes important in squid eye development that are known to also play a crucial role in limb development across animals, including vertebrates and insects. The scientists say these genes have been repurposed in squid to make camera-lens-type eyes.

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 January 14, 2022 at 4:12 PM156 Comments


Anders January 14, 2022 4:26 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Someone attacked Polish systems too.


vas pup January 14, 2022 5:14 PM

REvil ransomware gang arrested in Russia

“Authorities in Russia say they have dismantled the ransomware crime group REvil and charged several of its members.
The United States had offered a reward of up to $10m (£7.3m) for information leading to the gang members, following ransomware attacks.
Russia’s intelligence bureau FSB said the group had “ceased to exist”.
*However, it does not appear that any Russian members of the gang will be extradited to the United States.
The agency said it had acted after being provided with information about the REvil gang by the US.
According to the Russian state news service Tass, REvil “developed malicious software” and “organized the theft of money from the bank accounts of foreign citizens”.

*Many countries not only Russia do not extradite their citizens on criminal charges based on generally accepted principle of International Criminal Law : ‘Out vivere out judicare’ (pardon my spelling in Latin). It means either extradite or bring to trial in own country. Former usually applied to foreigners, latter – for own citizens regardless what country requested extradition.

null clam January 14, 2022 7:31 PM

From the article:

“In fact, a squid is more closely related to a clam than it is a to a person.”

Yes, in fact, we clams had eyes, but now we endeavor to lead our existence so as to not need this power.

Anders January 15, 2022 1:52 AM

More about Polish military leak.


ResearcherZero January 15, 2022 3:22 AM

“We ended at about seven in the morning,” Putin says. “When we were parting, I said to my colleagues: we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.”

Four days after that February 2014 meeting, unidentified soldiers took over the local parliament in Crimea and deputies hurriedly voted in a new government. The Ukrainian province was then formally annexed by Moscow on March 18, triggering international condemnation.

The military operation was initially kept secret and despite the increasingly obvious actions of unmarked Russian forces on the ground, Moscow insisted that only locals were involved in the upheaval. Later, the Kremlin conceded that it had been behind the power grab.

The difficulty in predicting the Russian military moves echoed a similar intelligence gap in August 2008 when Russian troops backed separatist forces in South Ossetia against the republic of Georgia in a five-day war. The CIA was caught off guard at the time, officials said later.

A former CIA case officer, who also declined to be named in discussing sensitive issues, said that the agency’s focus on counter-terrorism over the last 13 years has undermined its ability to conduct traditional espionage against key adversaries, including Russia.

The US has also seen Russian influence actors begin to prime Russian audiences for an intervention, the official said, including by emphasizing narratives about the deterioration of human rights in Ukraine and increased militancy of Ukrainian leaders.

“During December, Russian language content on social media covering all three of these narratives increased to an average of nearly 3,500 posts per day, a 200% increase from the daily average in November,”

Clive Robinson January 15, 2022 7:46 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Mother Nature knows how to solve the Global Warming problem

Yup by turning up the gas like a real republican 😉

But from memory it’s not exactly on the Pacific Rim of Fire…

But in other news if you believe people we are just about to get fried by the sun… Yup space weather has “storm warnings” in abundance this weekend from NOAA and the like, and some are pulling “The end is neigh” type stories. The reality is as always with solar weather a heck of a lot less interesting,

But look down to that image of the solar ejector and tell me it does not look like a read devil / sprite / angel rising out of the sun, that is almost guarenteed to cause a fit of the vapours “Down South”.

But speaking of Devils… If you remember I mentioned both Dust Devils and Mars a couple of days back?

I indicated Dust Devils were “mostly harmless” but ultra fine dust was a problem… Well it appears things are getting decidedly interesting right now,

Meanwhile I’m keeping an eye on propagation as this lifting sunspot activity is opening tgings up and upper HF and low VHF bands should prove interesting 🙂

Curious January 15, 2022 8:03 AM

I made a post re. X-keyscore and a recent treason charge(s) in Denmark, but the post was apparently removed, or just disappeared after pressing the submit button. No idea why it would be moderated out of existence if so.

ResearcherZero January 15, 2022 8:59 AM


Just wait a while until story cools or, post links like below.

“The plan, according to the intelligence service, was to attack Russian troops stationed at a weapons depot near the border with Ukraine and blame it on Ukrainian forces.”

“A senior Ukrainian military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said that while not all details of the plot were known, any provocation in that region could be used to justify an attack on Ukraine’s southern flank, possibly from Russian naval resources in the Black Sea.”

Just as Ukraine was making that accusation, a cyber attack hit the websites of its foreign ministry and a range of other government agencies.


Russia has mapped out a military operation involving as many as 175,000 troops.


lurker January 15, 2022 11:36 AM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive, All

The eruption was certainly explosive, sufficiently to rattle a window frame 1600km away. There were a series of booms unlike the usual agricultural noises around here. After the third one I went outside to determine the location, difficult because of a stiff breeze, but seemed to be from ESE, apparently curved around cyclone Cody. Sounded like artillery 5 or 10 miles away, went on for several minutes, and was heard further south than Wellington.

Ted January 15, 2022 11:40 AM

On a different tack, I started listening to the audiobook “An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle for Domination.” It looks like the book was published in July 2021.

It’s amazing to hear how the company was pieced together. It didn’t start as the behemoth its become. Still, its opacity and privacy-gouging behaviors seem pretty core to the company’s practices.


Ted January 15, 2022 11:42 AM


The book “An Ugly Truth” really goes several very satisfying layers deeper into the company, and I would definitely call it a good read, or listen.

An excerpt:

“And through the Facebook app that she had installed on her phone, he saw her real-time location. It was more information than the engineer could possibly have gotten over the course of a dozen dinners. Now, almost a week after their first date, he had access to it all.”

“Facebook’s managers stressed to their employees that anyone discovered taking advantage of their access to data for personal means, to look up a friend’s account or that of a family member, would be immediately fired. But the managers also knew there were no safeguards in place.”

I believe it was Alex Stamos who first proposed restricting engineer access to user data in 2015. And the book stays this interesting, imo.

Anders January 15, 2022 2:45 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL


Clive Robinson January 15, 2022 2:57 PM

@ lurker, SpaceLifeForm, All,

The eruption was certainly explosive

Sorry, it’s got to be said,

“A new crack a tonga?”

But getting serious you would think such an event such as this would be “big news” within hours, but apparently not.

I guess Aus, NZ and a big chunk of the East Pacific coast are going to see some tsunami effects, but what of Tonga, and it’s people?

It’s a tiny nation that has scant resources, so is far from wealthy, or in much of a poistion to deal with potentially months of disruprion…

lurker January 15, 2022 5:37 PM

@Clive, All

phone-camera footage got out last night of a tsunami 1~2 metres in the streets of the capital Nukualofa, and there was audio from a person wading thru water attempting to escape. Since then “the lines are down” which is concerning especially since we know the potential of HF battery powered radio. The internet being offline is not surprising, underwater fibre cables are probably not designed to withstand the forces applied to them yesterday. But where’s the backup?

null clam January 15, 2022 6:46 PM

Tonga is on the Ring of Fire. Are there other indications of something happening on the ring ?

lurker January 15, 2022 8:34 PM

USGS reported a M4.5 about 150km north of the volcano at a depth of 150km about 40mins prior to eruption. Same place, same depth & magnitude this morning at 9.40 local time. Speculate if you wish. Tonga is at the point where the NE corner of the Australian plate is sliding over the Pacific plate and has pushed a significant dimple into the “ring” of fire.

Clive Robinson January 15, 2022 8:47 PM

@ lurker,

I’m taking your words out of order a bit,

The internet being offline is not surprising, underwater fibre cables are probably not designed to withstand the forces applied to them yesterday.

Not just that, think about the cables to peoples homes that can be easily swept away when above ground.

But also small vehicals float and become battering rams, likewise trees and poles are easily brought down by flooding water and become significant hazards in many ways. You can be swept from your feat by as little as 100mm / 4 inches of water moving at 2.2m/S or 5 miles an hour. That’s the sort of water movment you can have in a large stream or small river you would not think twice about crossing. But as an unconscious person you can drown in half that depth of water, and even when not flowing water sucks the heat from you atleast twenty five times faster than ordinary air at just under fog/dew point that even in summer gives you the chills. Just ten mins in 4 degree Celsius water for too many is a slow and horible death sentance without first world medical care.

As an engineer with knowledge of “intrinsically” and other types of “safe system” I’ve had to learn,

“The How? When? and Why? of failure”

Both inside and outside of the lab.

But also the stark details and mechanisms of the tragedy that almost invariably comes when things fail in the real everyday world.

It takes a certain mindset to put the “empathy” and “anger” aside yet not be “fatalistic” about such things. To accept the necessity to treat it “as data” knowing that if you get it right good will come from it, if not then you know what is going to happen.

When I’ve been in the US and other places where “cables are on poles” it reminds me of why “free market” and “infrastructure” should never be together. Stringing cables on poles though full of risk in it’s self is cheap and quick and easily expanded. But if yoy are honest you know it’s going to fail in all probbablity suddenly, unexpectedly, and with significant consequences in fairly short order…

Which is why you ask the sensible question of,

But where’s the backup?

The the thing about the free market is it is unregulated thus free to pick and chose what it does. It also as PEG customers have found takes a very very short term view point about “Shareholder value”

So if you don’t know or don’t care about the down side you will not see the need for backups, especially as they do not come for free and have eternal costs and no profit.

But there is another darker side to the supposed free market and that’s the “Drawbridge effect”. Technology moves forward and reduces in cost as quickly. The system you put in today will in as little as three years will have a competitor at double the capability at half the cost. So to make money you have to stop alternative systems. In the US people who want to go “off grid” are told that is illegal… The joke of it is they are told it’s for “safety” as a backup… Well Texas has revealed the truth about that particular lie.

The drawbridge effect is simply where a free market entrant as they establish devote large amounts of resources to turning the free market into a regulated market. The sole purpose of the purchased regulation being to stop alternatives and competition to give the entrant a legal monopoly. The US political system makes this much easier than most other first world countries.

Which brings us to your observation of,

which is concerning especially since we know the potential of HF battery powered radio.

Comparatively it is “expensive” and Tonga has an economy that is small and a population by first world standards that is poor. Thus the take by taxation from the economy has “further to go”.

Oh and you can be absolutly certain that those infrastructure companies aluded to the reliability of there systems and so much more when taljing about putting the systems in. But you can be equally as sure they have not been contractually, or by regulation let alone legislation, been made to put in place any such guarantees. And if by chance there is, something, you know those companies are just going to walk away.

The sad thing is we know this is all going to happen, yet we don’t do what is necessary, which is put in place legislation for the benifit of the citizens, just the corporations.

lurker January 15, 2022 10:04 PM

Apparently the NZ High Commission has an alternative channel available for official purposes. They are reporting that local mobile phones are working. A NZ P3 Orion is available for outer islands reconnaissance subject to ash dispersal. A NZ naval vessel with drinking water making capacity is also on standby awaiting a request for assistance from Tonga. These things must be done with proper protocol.

Clive Robinson January 15, 2022 10:23 PM

@ null clam, ALL,

Tonga is on the Ring of Fire.

Actually Tonga is not “on” the Ring of Fire, it’s actually “in” the Tonga Trench subduction zone[1] which makes a big difference as the two island chains are quite geographically different and in turn differebt to other parts of the ring. Especially when you ask,

Are there other indications of something happening on the ring

The answers are at the moment,

1, There is always something happening in that region.

2, Aside from the actual event it appears there were no clear lead up signals that “stood out” from the others(1).

3, At the moment there are after effect signals but what they mean has not yet been made clear.

But a lot of water has been displaced some of which will make it across to the US Pacific coast all along from the tip of South America up to Alaska. The movment of that weight of water is enough to cause the earth to change shape slightly if that will trigger other faults or not is yet to be seen. Personally I think not, after all the moon is causing the earth to change shape all the time.

As far as I can tell though, from available information the subsea “explosion” is from “a continuous process” where in effect “the pot has boiled over” and will do again in around a thousand years. So the question of if sufficient energy has been bled off or not.

From a personal perspective you should be “aware” of what effects flooding or earthquakes have or could have in your area and act accordingly. If not now would be a good time to “do a little research”.

As for what to do for the people in the effected areas, appart from what aid agencies are currently doing, there is not much else, due to lack of information due to no communications. For all we know most of the basic infrastructure may not be critically effected so got back up and running fairly quickly when the waters subside and things dry out a bit. But it’s been indicated there is also volcanic ash, that stuff is always bad news.

[1] Warning this is a large picture as the map is quite detailed,

You can not see where Tonga, or the Tonga Trench are because of all the blue, red, green dots and yellow triangles over the top.

Winston Smith January 15, 2022 11:23 PM

Headline: Mathematicians Clear Hurdle in Quest to Decode Primes

“Paul Nelson has solved the subconvexity problem, bringing mathematicians one step closer to understanding the Riemann hypothesis and the distribution of prime numbers.”

“The problem Paul Nelson solved is two steps removed from the Riemann hypothesis.”

Bernhard Riemann still not satisfied, but interesting nonetheless. Subverting the endpoint is still more practical.

JonKnowsNothing January 16, 2022 12:17 AM

@Clive, @null clam, @ALL

re: … available information the subsea “explosion” is from “a continuous process” where in effect “the pot has boiled over” and will do again in around a thousand years.

Other boil overs occur in a special type of lake.

A layer of good water accumulates over a denser layer/material below which becomes “gas packed” under the weight of the water above. A land slip or tremor can displace enough of the weight above to allow the under-layer to spew upwards.

Depending on the extent of the upward movement and the composition of the under-layer, serious disasters and deaths have been recorded.


A documentary about lake overturn included a demonstration of how heavy gasses were accumulating in small depressions in the area around the lake. As the gasses are invisible to humans and livestock any of them wandering into a deep enough depression died from lack of oxygen. Small animals like goats and children were especially vulnerable.

The demonstration was a standard lit road flare that was tossed into a depression. You could see the exhaust from the flare layer out across the depression, laying on top of the heavier gas at the bottom.

A similar effect can happen to people visiting camping parks in the USA.

Most parks have large toilet huts now. They have moved away from the single tank johnny that needs to be emptied daily to a huge tank that only needs to be emptied once a month, depending on the number of visitors to the park.

People drop their smartphones in the deeper tank, and try to fish them out. There is no oxygen at the bottom of the huge tank and often several members of the family will die trying multiple rescues as they serially try to grab the persons at the bottom.


Search Term: Limnic eruption, lake overturn

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 4:01 AM

@ Curious

I am sure it was due to the ongoing investigation angle.

What was going on in August 2020? (rhetorical question)

Be careful these days. There is a lot of misinformation being spread by various players in the media.

Actually, you touched on two buttons, and combined, they could be considered a controversial subject, so you got a multiplier effect.

If you had any specific links (that one may find on the first search results page), that may also have been a factor. There are some that I would never even read nor reference here, just based upon the sites reputation.

It probably will remain hot for months.

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 4:22 AM

@ Anders,

What they are smoking there?

The same grass as grows around that “Keep Off” notice…. Only “Parkie” has not been doing his job and some little mushrooms have got into it too..

Is I suspect, the message the organisation “The Daily Beast” wants their “journalist” / “Mouth piece” to put out…

Which is why it also looks a lot like a deliberately “lost in translation” message.

But is it realy that unusual?

We’ve heard such messages from a military War-Hawk “bigging it up for the citizens” and the boss[1] before. After all when this super weapon gets draged through Red Square on May Day the people standing in the cold their empty bellies rumbling and their feet freezing have to know what green cylinder to chear extra hard for…

The thing is history is a fickle thing, because people forget to easily… Such as that the US used to be full of such people as well, it’s why the film “Dr Strangelove” worked so well.

Which ever way you look at it “It’s your propaganda money at work” the only question are they Rubles or dollars?

[1] As it is taken “out of context” we do not know why it’s being said. But it could simply be a statment of fact, that Russia as does every country has the right to fight off any and all nations or other enterties that actively threaten it’s existance. Oh and that’s the reason “The war on Terror” has been alowed to “come of age” (very profitably for some).

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 5:02 AM

@ Winston Smith, ALL,

“Paul Nelson has solved the subconvexity problem, bringing mathematicians one step closer to understanding the Riemann hypothesis and the distribution of prime numbers.”

Which part of the general subconvexity problem?

Perhaps of more interest to some here though, is that just solving it for some L-Functions would make life a little more interesting in the world of “Knapsacks” and other supposadly “one way functions”.

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 5:41 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing,

With regards Lake Nyos and,

“The event resulted in the supersaturated deep water rapidly mixing with the upper layers of the lake, where the reduced pressure allowed the stored CO2 to effervesce out of solution

The same process as gives those Mento&Cola fountain eruptions…

A different “trapped energy” boiling out, effect hurts quite a few people in the kitchen every year. And although I understood the process I did not start taking precautions untill I was very nearly one of their number…

If you put a cup of liquid like black coffee in a microwave oven it is possible for the liquid at the bottom to get above boiling point, but the weight of the cooler liquid on top to hold it in place.

However when you agitate it by say just picking it up, it flashes to boiling, that comes violently out of the cup and if you are not lucky all over your hand… (I was lucky I was holding the handle and the angle caused it to boil away from me and back into the microwave)

But imagine if the liquid is not like water but thicker and stickier? Say like thickened stock used in soup or similar. Not only is the boiling temprature higher, you can not get it off your flesh anywhere as easily…

The solution is to put a spoon or similar in the cup that goes from the bottom to out the top…

Only people are frightened to do this because they’ve been told “metal explodes in a microwave”[1] or similar.

Such are the problems with urban myths based on rare observations that get retold over and over and grow with each telling.

[1] Metal does not “explode” –in the formal sense– in a microwave oven, it actually behaves like a safety fuse in your appliances. That is if drawn thin enough the I^2R heaing effect of a circulating current, heats it, melts it, and as it open circuits the inductive effect may cause the voltage to rise sufficient to “arc” which causes a flash of ionization, thus oxidization, and hence the smell.

Anders January 16, 2022 5:47 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL


Ted January 16, 2022 8:16 AM

@Anders, ALL

Re: DEV-0586

This is pretty destructive malware.

  • Stage 1: Overwrite Master Boot Record to display a faked ransom note
  • Stage 2: File corrupter malware

I don’t know how this malware spreads, but it’s interesting that Microsoft would recommend MFA “to mitigate potentially compromised credentials and ensure that MFA is enforced for all remote connectivity.”

AL January 16, 2022 8:58 AM

The U.K. government is launching an advertising campaign about the evils of encrypted communications.

The UK government is set to launch a multi-pronged publicity attack on end-to-end encryption, Rolling Stone has learned. One key objective: mobilizing public opinion against Facebook’s decision to encrypt its Messenger app.

This campaign uses the “think of the children” theme. We’ll see if the “fighting terrorism” theme shows up later.

JonKnowsNothing January 16, 2022 9:25 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Super Heat and Super Cold

Super cold works a similar way.

If the ice crystalline structures in a cooling-to-freezing liquid are not aligned the liquid doesn’t freeze, it remains in liquid form.

The formation of the crystalline structures can be thought of like rain drops forming on particles high in the atmosphere. The impurity gives a “cling” surface for the water molecule. If the ice liquid doesn’t have a starter or cling point, the ice crystal may not form.

Super Cold water can get well below freezing and still remain in liquid form.

Any disturbance will cause the liquid to collapse into the crystalline form near instantly (per human visual time perception). One moment you have a very cold glass of water, the next a block of hard ice.


Search Terms: Supercooling, Freezing Rain

Anders January 16, 2022 11:01 AM


“Does anyone know what is KitSoft?”


“We are Ukrainian company, which develops and implements digital technologies for state authorities and commercial organizations. We help our clients to arrange and automate internal processes and to interact with consumers. We set new standards of the field, which allow us to be in a step ahead.”

null clam January 16, 2022 11:02 AM

@ Winston Smith @ Clive Robinson

Part of the subconvexity problem, yes.

But the real question remains: why do hotdogs come in packages of 10, but hotdog buns in packages of 8 ?

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 11:32 AM

@ null clam,

But the real question remains: why do hotdogs come in packages of 10, but hotdog buns in packages of 8 ?

Oh that’s easy, did your mum never tell you it’s to do with “House Rules”.

But first, you’ve heard of “spoilers” with information such as story lines…

Are you sure you want to read on?

Well the physical universe has it’s equivalent which is “spoilage”…

For which there is the “Five Second” counter rule. Which can be applied before “dropped” becomes “spoiled” (you hear kids especially call “five second rule” with toast when they grab it up). Where they claim the pickup right.

Now there is also the “loved pet rule” that can be applied but is given not claimed, which alows stray “dropped” to become exempt from “spoilage” as long as there is a pet to “snaffle it up”.

It applys for about ten seconds before the arbitter in all things gives the finall call on “spoilage” with something along the lines of “johnny, just you pick that up and put it in the bin!” when it gets to the bin it comes under the mortal sin of “wastage”.

Most “snaffle” pets are carnivours and see free meat as a bonus and as we know moral teaching about waste is more strict with meat than wheat or vegtable, which is important with mortal sins.

But… Pets are not supposed to recieve “table food” but can have kitchen “scraps”…

But you don’t get “scraps” with processed foods…

So how is the pet in the house supposed to feel loved by the occasional tasty treat, not excluded by the lack of what their owners get…

Those extra two hotdogs alow for such transactions “under the rules” Oh and importantly turn a potential mortal sin into a saintly act of love for our four footed friends 😉

JonKnowsNothing January 16, 2022 11:57 AM

@Clive, @null clam, @All

NC:   But the real question remains: why do hotdogs come in packages of 10, but hotdog buns in packages of 8 ?

C:   Oh that’s easy, did your mum never tell you it’s to do with “House Rules”


I thought it was so you would by 10 of one and 8 of the other, then open the “tail gate” of your pickup truck, light up the BBQ briquettes, open the ice chest filled with cold-buzz, set up your rocking recliner folding camp chair with can holder arm on one side and handy plate holder on the other, fire up the solar powered inverter and plug in your 60″ LED super high res display and pretend you are inside a stadium watching your favorite form of “footie”, while handing out the proceeds of hot-bun-dogs, maintaining social distancing from others and the stadium. (1, 2)


1) Mustard, Ketchup, Mayo, Pick Relish (dill or sweet) can create serious disruptions to the Ad-laden TV coverage. Packets in suitably labeled baskets, suitably distant from each other is recommended to avoid cross contamination from those who prefer the Other Option. BYO-Sauerkraut.

2) Boris’s mistake: he didn’t have hot dogs. Dilyn ate them.

squid brain January 16, 2022 12:19 PM

= Host of Youtube-dl Web Site Sued by Major Record Labels

This comes just as (12-17-2021) the main dev changed his status to, “inactive.”[1]

Gee, I wonder why?

IMO, TPTB won’t be satisfied until they get the youtube-dl program completely chased into the underground. Is the successor (yt-dlp) next? (/r/youtubedl)


Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 1:26 PM

@ Ted, Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

This is pretty destructive malware.

Apparently so, and it should not be if what Microsoft has said is true.

But it should never have been an issue in the first place… To see why consider the first question I ask, and I ask it over and over till those answering it get it and tell the truth,

“Was there valid business logic to have these machines connected to the internet or other external communications network?”

The answer starts as “Yes” becomes “Umm yes” and after further prevarication becomes the real reality which is “Of course not, it just seemed like a good idea at the time”.

Call it a maxim of ICTsec,

If they can not reach it they can not attack it

Never ever forget that “Somebody let them in”…

But back to the more specifics of what Microsoft are talking about,

MBR attacks are from the early 1980’s and they came about within months of the MBR’s launch back in 1983 for PC DOS 2 therfore were a known thing by the time Microsoft got around to supporting larger than floppy semi-mutable media.

The “Master Boot Record”(MBR) is the second –in time– of a special type of “boot sector” that is physically at the very beginning of a computer semi-mutable mass storage device and alows for one physical device to be partitioned into upto four logical devices that are Primary (bootable) or Secondary partitions (extended partitions came later).

The first sector (zero, that is sector zero, cylinder zero, head zero) on all bootable semi-mutable media was where the “leaver loader” was located, and it had to be less than 512bytes on a hard drive.

For those to young to know the “bootstrap loader” that reads Sector Zero into menory is in the Firmware and can not be changed. The “leaver loader” however is on the seperate media so can be changed. As such it does not do much it just pulls into memory another much larger and more capable OS specific program image. To load in the first stage of the operating system into System Core RAM.

The “partition table” got added in 1983. However the specs alow “one of” or “both of” with no requirment to their order… So it’s upto the BIOS and drive Firmware to sort it out… Back in the day it was not uncommon to boot from floppy and use Debug, to manually edit the table entries on a hard drive to get around limits that the IBM assumed CHS format imposed.

At it’s original simplest an MBR contained a data table with four entries which are the CHS numbers for what are now called the “Primary Particians” over time this data has grown…

But in general the MBR is “static data” as is the leaver loader so their deletion are or should be annoying rather than destructive. And easily rectified with a little time and “hard drive chops”.

Importantly replacing the sector zero stuff with your own code is absolutly trivial and several Debug versions were published back in the 1980’s by R A Penfold and others (I’ve got copies in the dead tree cave). One of which is used to show people how to edit floppy disks with Debug and what it alowed you to do like display an “owner record” or similar message that came up when you tried to boot from it.

So very nearly 40year old publically available technology, of the 16bit era only in need of a dust off for the 64bit era…

As for what the second “destructive” part does, as described by Microsoft again it’s early Unix era type stuff… Find a file, open it write crap to it close it loop and repeate…

So I became suspicious and I re-read that Microsoft piece…

If you strip out the nonsense what you are left with does not make sense.

Either the author does not know what they are talking about, or they are deliberatly trying to push misinformation in what looks like a deniable way…

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 2:24 PM

@ squid brain, ALL,

IMO, TPTB won’t be satisfied until they get the youtube-dl program completely chased into the underground

That is not the intention of the law suit.

The intention is to get “creative commons” and similar licencing being made illegal or ineffrctive.

From a publishers point of view creative commons very specifically discriminates not against them but their potential to make money by,

1, Fully controling rights to publish.
2, Stealing from those who self publish and using it themselves for profit.

In short you have to go through them to have any protection from banditary that they mostly practice against creators.

What they are aiming to do is get a legal president they can use directly or as a steping stone, so they are not in any way going to backdown.

But there is the side question of whether YouTube’s “rolling cipher” is or is not a technical protection measure. Well no it’s not, but that is not going to stop the lawyers having a bun fight over it.

There are only three things fundementally you can do wirh information,

1, Store it.
2, Communicate it.
3, Process it.

You then ask where does YouTube’s “rolling cipher” apply

Does it apply to storage of information? Obviously not on YouTube’s Servers or on the client computer where things have to be stored “un protected” to function.

Does YouTube’s “rolling cipher” apply to Communicating information? Obviously yes at some point between YouTube’s Servers and the client computer and some little distance in to the YouTube defined security end points. Outside of that no it does not. As youtube makes the plaintext of the file / information available to the user for processing without restriction it is very obviously not a technical protection measure. It is in fact at best a privacy protection measure.

Does YouTube’s “rolling cipher” apply to Processing information? This is the only place “a technical protection measure can actually work” if you think it can anywhere else you are misleading yourself. As indicated YouTube’s “rolling cipher” in no way provides any protection in this area. Therefore it is not being used as a technical protection measure method in the formal sense. Actuall technical protection has to come by other means, and currently it does not in YouTube’s entire distribution system.

But as I said that is not what the lawsuit is about, and the sooner people realise this and make appropriate noise about their personal rights of self determination and expression being stolen the better.

Ted January 16, 2022 2:51 PM

@Clive, AL

If they can not reach it they can not attack it

This was from liveuamap:

Cyber-attack on Ukrainian government websites carried out through one 3rd party outsource IT company Kitsoft, which developed these websites using October CMS website content management system

I don’t know if October CMS is saying that a vulnerability was exploited bc people didn’t patch their systems? From October CMS:

Based on the information available from the news, the hacker used a vulnerability that was known to October CMS maintainers and the community. The update (commit) fixing it was pushed on Mar 31, 2021, and the corresponding public build with the vulnerability removed was released on Apr 15, 2021.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 2:57 PM

@ Ted, Anders, Clive, ALL

If you strip out the nonsense what you are left with does not make sense.

That is my conclusion also.

It is interesting that CISA points to this Microsoft report, but does not clearly endorse the conclusions of Microsoft.

It’s almost like they have questions.

If you know what you are doing, and have the right tools, you can rebuild the MBR.

Not trivial, but possible.

There is no way the fake ransom message can be stored in the MBR.

It seems that what Microsoft refers to as stage1 and stage2 is a distinction without a difference.

lurker January 16, 2022 3:30 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, All

If you know what you are doing, and have the right tools, you can rebuild the MBR.

I have done so more than once, on Classic MacOS with Nortons Disk Tools which were designed just for such jobs. When Apple went to OS-X Symantec didn’t follow.

But seriously, an MBR attack in this day and age? Didn’t eliminating floppy boot rid us of that? (I know, don’t answer)

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 3:45 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

There is no way the fake ransom message can be stored in the MBR.

True but it does not have to be…

At one time the convention was just sector Zero at CHS-0:0:0. However it was not enough so it was sector zero and sector 1, and like Topsy the cat once hard drives got above a certain size and LBA was there the entire first track ie CHS-0:0:- was left free. GNU have some documents around if you want to read them but the cliffs notes is,

“Do not use any sector in track zero as it is reserved for the boot process.”

For some reason some people even exclude the entire zero cylinder… Which means there can be quite a lot of space enough to store an entire OS and apps to give a shell interface and low level maintainance tools…

Some further info can be found via,

But it deals mainly with the top side of GRUB not the bottom where the BIOS/IO firmware inter reacts with GRUB or other bootloaders found via sector zero.

Anders January 16, 2022 4:39 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Yes, wiping alone MBR is not destructive at all,
it’s also relatively easy to rebuild – boot code is standard,
only important thing is partition table. Modern OS don’t
care about CHS, only LBA, so you must find the start of the
partition, that’s easy too if you know the disk layout.

Historically partition started at cylinder boundary, so
first cylinder has enough free space (63 sectors).
So on older OS partition started typically from LBA 63
(hex 3F), on modern OS partition starts more further,
on win7 for example at LBA 2048 (hex 300 = 1 megabyte boundary).
Multiply start LBA with sector size 512, plenty room to hide things and code.

NotPetya encrypted MFT [1]while showing fake chkdsk disk repair.


Ted January 16, 2022 5:00 PM

Microsoft: “The hashes for the two-stage destructive malware are now in VirusTotal”

An analysis from Malware RE @ MSTIC:

As seen in the stage1.exe MBR wiper sample, the malware overwrites the first 16 sectors of the disk (sector 0 being MBR) each with a hardcoded 512 blob. The blob contains the 16-bit assembly code used to, upon system restart, display the ransom note on the screen.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 5:27 PM

@ Ted, Anders, Clive, ALL

It starts with a phish in a Windows environment.

The CVE score was way too low, which led to failure to patch.

Let’s go back to the CVE and parse closely. I am adding some dashes for readability, and some bold.

CVSS Score – 6.4

Seems low to me. Dots to follow.

Confidentiality Impact – Partial (There is considerable informational disclosure.)

Partial is equal to Considerable?

Who knew?

By now, creds have been leaked. No surprise that Microsoft is pushing MFA.

Integrity Impact – Partial (Modification of some system files or information is possible, but the attacker does not have control over what can be modified, or the scope of what the attacker can affect is limited.)

Thems Fighting Weasel Words. If only one file can be placed, with the correct hardcoded name, it will be skipped by Windows Defender.

Availability Impact – None (There is no impact to the availability of the system.)

Well, DOH! Why would the attacker want to block their access?

Access Complexity – Low (Specialized access conditions or extenuating circumstances do not exist. Very little knowledge or skill is required to exploit. )

A phish that leads to a javascript exploit in the browser of the user that got phished, will work. Or just convince the user to open an attached file.

Authentication – Not required (Authentication is not required to exploit the vulnerability.)

Of course not. You do not need Admin.

Gained Access – None

Sure. Did I mention I have a bridge for sale?

The CVE score should have been near 10.

Same problem as SolarWinds and Kaseya.

MSP Supply Chains. That people blindly trust. When they should not.

Do not outsource. Hire people that know what they are doing, pay them well, and listen to them.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 6:23 PM

@ lurker, Ted, Anders, Clive, ALL

Your partition layout is your password.

Write it down on paper. Use the tools Luke.

You can then recover with live boot and/or live install tools.

It will be a pain if you do not know Linux. Of course, one can always do the recovery route on ‘modern windows oem boxen’, and lose all of your data. Your choice.

If your partitions got encrypted by ransomware, well, you probably will not understand what I am referring to.

That may be your wakeup call to stop using windows.

But, then again, if you use Linux, you probably will never encounter ransomware.

Just saying.

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 6:32 PM

@ Ted, Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Remember I said there was something odd with Microsofts post?

Well from the tweet,

“The blob contains the 16-bit assembly code used to, upon system restart, display the ransom note on the screen.”

Which is what I would expect.

Microsoft said it ran on shuting down…

So yeah my suspicions are even further aroused ={

But man “16bit asm” I guess the Kremlin still has metal filing cabinets with old PC mags stacked in the bottom…

Maybe someone should contact R.A. Penfold and ask if they are using his code?

Tell you what if I found somebody was using my 16bit assembler code from a third of a century ago I’d get it printed on T-Shirts 😉

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 7:08 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Anders, lurker, Ted, ALL,

The CVE score should have been near 10.

And MITRE’s CVE is considered the “bug reporter of last resort”…

But put your hand up if you had heard before today of,

1, October CMS
2, Laravel PHP Framework

Yup me neither (even though they are considered significant).

But as for the score being “to low” any score should have had it mitigated or patched within days of the patch at most, in any sensible business organisation.

As for using PHP I guess the least said the better…

null clam January 16, 2022 7:37 PM

@ Clive Robinson @ JonKnowsNothing all

@ Clive, thanks for the enlightening commentary on the historical background and classical theory of the “Spoilage” problem, ie handling the Remainder Term, and @JonKnowsNothing, for the extension to the multi-prime (-time) context, and drawing attention to the exemplar Boris-Dilyn special case.

And, I didn’t know that Riemann had a dog.

If you read the classic treatment of the zeta-function [1], don’t let the dog eat your homework !

  1. Edwards, H. M., “Riemann’s Zeta Function.” Academic Press, New York, 1974.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 7:50 PM

@ lurker, Ted, Anders, SpaceLifeForm, ALL

The elephant in the room (her name is Stage0) is constructed of swiss cheese called windows, grandfathered by AML and Microcode.

It has nothing to do with October CMS
or Laravel PHP.

That software should never require root for its functionality.

Nonroot Userland Software should never be able to write to MBR.

It is all about backdoors.

That are known by MSPs by design.

Stuff is happening.

Ted January 16, 2022 8:37 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, ALL

According to Bleeping Computer:

Sources have told journalist Kim Zetter that all 15 compromised Ukrainian sites were using an outdated version of the October CMS, vulnerable to CVE-2021-32648.

This is a critical (CVSS: 9.1) authentication flaw allowing an attacker to send a specially crafted request to perform a password reset on the platform, thus taking over admin accounts.

Then the malware is launched using Impacket commands.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 9:10 PM

@ Clive, lurker, Ted, Anders, ALL

Bad C+P, forgot to fix.

As to Notpetya, likely same issue in the OS. The problem is not really fixed, by design. They say they fixed, but.

Oh, did you need to upgrade your OS or app?

Did you know about the problem?

Are you running an old non-supported Windows version?

Must be your fault then.

Hey, we have patches for that problem. Upgrade, and you get the fixes for that old problem, and you get our new latest and greatest new shiny backdoors.

We take your security seriously. These backdoors are really difficult to detect. Trust us, we have your back.

There is a TLA or two or three, that are on top of this problem. They use 7.

They do want to go past 7. Most sane people do not want to either.

Stuff is happening.

[I am rate-limited on sarcasm and snark tags. I hope you can parse and figure it out]

It sure looks like there are plenty of actors spreading False Flags.


Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 9:35 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Nonroot Userland Software should never be able to write to MBR.

But has in the past.

Back in the long dark history of Oracle, wanted performance at any price… So the bypassed the OS file system and had “raw” access to the device…

There was a “vulnerability” –which Oracle claim they never have– that enabled a DB administrator to “write before” to earlier sectors on a hard drive. If as sometimes happened things overflowed back to lesser numbers earlier sectors fell into range, such as sector zero.

As I note above Oracle claim they never have bugs that give rise to vulnerabilities, if true then the vulneravility must have been by design 😉

The problem with Oracle is that many of their security claims did not hold water, and as one of their seniors for security put on her blog one day their customers were forbiden by contract to look for –and I thus assume talk about– Oracle software failings… The blog post went viral in the tech community within an hour or two. Even though she took it down rapidly copies can still be found as can trade journal articles.

So facing the wrath of such a harridan, who would dare report such a dire vulnarability to her despotic minions, but out of courtesy they might let others they could trust know 😉

CVE may be the place of last resort, but not all things need go there.

ResearcherZero January 16, 2022 10:03 PM


They don’t want to start a ‘privacy vs safety debate’. That’s real cute.

The plans include a media blitz, campaign efforts from UK charities and law enforcement agencies, calls to action for the public to contact tech companies directly, and multiple real-world stunts — some designed to make the public “uneasy.”

“most of the public have never heard” of end-to-end encryption – adding that this means “people can be easily swayed” on the issue. The same slide notes that the campaign “must not start a privacy vs safety debate.”

In the meantime they have been arguing that back doors are unsafe.

“At the core of the case, those officials said, was a software update from Huawei that was installed on the network of a major Australian telecommunications company. The update appeared legitimate, but it contained malicious code that worked much like a digital wiretap, reprogramming the infected equipment to record all the communications passing through it before sending the data to China, they said.”

“Australia’s intelligence agencies determined that China’s spy services were behind the breach, having infiltrated the ranks of Huawei technicians who helped maintain the equipment and pushed the update to the telecom’s systems.”

American intelligence agencies that year confirmed a similar attack from China using Huawei equipment located in the U.S., six of the former officials said, declining to provide further detail.

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 10:08 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There is a TLA or two or three, that are on top of this problem. They use 7.

Do you renember the “update” that put the Win 10 “auto exploder” on peoples earlier Win computers and in some cases caused them hugh roaming charges as they were abroad when MS forced the Win10 download?

A friend who has some legal knowledge in these areas did point out over a drink one evening that what Micro$haft had done was very probably illegal. They took a sip of their expensive wine then observed that your chance of getting it to court was considerably less than you might hope, “As you would have less standing than that oh so reasonable ‘Man on the Clapham Omnibus’, after he had been thrown under the wheels of it”.

Such a tactfull way to put it for a legal gent… Who in his younger days had earned his way through tuition by being a bouncer at a famous London “strip joint”.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 10:33 PM

@ Ted, lurker, Anders, Clive, ALL

So, CVE-2021-32648 score jumps from 6.4 to 9.1

How does that happen?

Was there a tsunami?

Just asking, for two friends that drowned on Peru beach.

ResearcherZero January 16, 2022 10:36 PM

“The ad campaign will run online, in newspapers and on radio stations with the aim of turning public opinion against E2EE – and, presumably, driving home the message that encryption itself is something inherently bad.”

Other announcements due this week, from notoriously anti-encryption Home Secretary Priti Patel and intergovernmental meetings, will explicitly condemn Facebook’s contemplated rollout of E2EE.

“The U.S. kept the intelligence highly classified until late last year, when American officials provided details to allies including the U.K. and Germany, according to officials from the three countries. That was a tactical turnabout by the U.S., which in the past had argued that it didn’t need to produce hard evidence of the threat it says Huawei poses to nations’ security.”

Huawei is unique in having this kind of access and doesn’t tell national security agencies, one unnamed official said. The US apparently didn’t start sharing these claims until late 2019, having changed its mind after previously insisting that it didn’t need to provide tangible evidence. It partly declassified some of those assertions, but those weren’t public knowledge until now.

…in an era where hostile foreign countries actively hack large stores of personal data for their own purposes, placing encryption barriers in their way is no bad thing.

James Clapper, Director of the US’ National Intelligence body, has suggested Beijing is behind the successful attacks on the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which resulted in the theft of millions of federal employees’ (including intelligence workers) highly sensitive biographies.

The Office of Personnel Management acknowledged earlier this month that it had fallen victim to a massive cyber-attack – described by some experts as the worst of its kind in history – involving personnel data on 4.2million current and former federal employees.

Another attack targeted information of millions more Americans who applied for security clearances. Some media reports said 18 million were affected in that attack.

The unprecedented data breach gave hackers access to US government job applicants’ security clearance forms detailing past drug use, love affairs, history of violence, and foreign contacts that officials fear could be used for blackmail or recruiting purposes.

Clive Robinson January 16, 2022 10:36 PM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

American intelligence agencies that year confirmed a similar attack from China using Huawei equipment located in the U.S., six of the former officials said, declining to provide further detail.

Beware any technical article from Bloomberg, that contains “unnamed insiders” it usually turns out to be a compleate pile of cack. As it was with the “china inside” on motherboards to be used by Apple.

Take a look at what is being said and then realise just how dumb it is,

“At the core of the case, those officials said, was a software update from Huawei that was installed on the network of a major Australian telecommunications company. The update appeared legitimate, but it contained malicious code that worked much like a digital wiretap, reprogramming the infected equipment to record all the communications passing through it before sending the data to China, they said.”

So all data gets recorded and forwarded to China… Begs the simple question “How?”

That is “Where is the bandwidth?” and “Where is the physical route?”

In short things very obviously do not add up, yet that Bloomberg Journalist just swallows obvious lies, and his editor likewise just swallows obvious lies… So either they are incredibly incompetent and terminally naive or they full well know they are publishing very bad propaganda for political favours.

ResearcherZero January 16, 2022 10:50 PM

@Clive Robinson

It’s the beauty of technology, the national security mindset allows for vague descriptions of complex matters, then reported as easily digestible sound bites for mostly technically illiterate consumers.

In the end consumers never realise that their lives are a data mining bonanza worth trillions of dollars.

SpaceLifeForm January 16, 2022 11:54 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Re: Oracle “raw” disk access

I do recall that. But, IIRC it did not require root to run the Oracle engine. I do not recall that I needed root to enable “raw” access.

I had root. Maybe I have forgotten. But as the DB admim, and DB architect, and manager of the code repository, and the toolchain, and the entire distributed build system, and the lead debugger, I think I can say I knew what was happening.

Maybe I was wrong.

We kept our root passwords on paper.

Maybe we set up a group permission.
It would definitely not have been wheel.

I do not recall. Decades ago.

There is a TLA that should have the documentation on the setup if it is still in use.

Kick your neurons here. Was it specifically a Slowaris issue?

That would be my hunch.

Clive Robinson January 17, 2022 1:18 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

I do recall that. But, IIRC it did not require root to run the Oracle engine. I do not recall that I needed root to enable “raw” access.

To get “raw” access to a partition you needed the correct permissions on the device. To set those correctly you needed root at the point in time you do it.

But before that the device has to exist and that needs root privileges to achive.

But even so the the application should not get access to sectors outside of the “raw” partition…

That is the OS should protect the sectors outside of the assigned partitian for the raw drive at all times. Also all the OS tools –bar one or two– should not alow an active MBR to be included in a partition (so flags need to be cleared first and that can only be done by root).

The point is though, that the MBR should have been “off limits” so when the Oracle Engine said write to “sector XXXX” and it got signed int or what ever wrapped around to write to “sector 0000” inside the Oracle Engine, it should have not been alowed to happen. But it did and there went your drives active MBR…

The thing is few noticed that it happened for a couple of reasons. Firstly because once a system is up and the Oracle engine is running the MBR is not used again and the uptime on some systems was years… The second was few admins used the active boot drive for the Oracle Engine raw partitions. Instead they used dedicated drives so they could get better performance.

So for the fact the boot sector thus MBR has been slagged to be shown, the raw partitions would have to be,

1, On the active boot drive
2, In the right place on the drive.


3, The system would have to be comming up from reset.

So on most servers it did not ever show untill something horible happened to the active boot drive or the server it’s self. And I’m sure Oracle were glad of that as they did not have to tell anyone, and if it was found it could be blaimed on the “something horrible”.

However when Oracle started to push out from just the “Big boy servers” for Corporates and Governments, towards smaller enterprise systems with a way larger market using that illusive “middleware for web” the fault became known to some, and they worked out how to get it to happen.

It was after all once you know, relatively easy to fix with a periodic check and if required a run of a dd as root to put a new boot sector with MBR in place. The fact few sys_admins would know how to find out the binary file just sitting somewhere on a drive realy was a “boot sector image” made it all the more usefull.

I used to have some odd files hanging around one had the encrypted form of a password I knew by heart that you could run within a script that would drop it into the top of the shadow file by inode without needing to be root… Usefull when you had contractors being the day to day SysAdmins.

John January 17, 2022 3:11 AM


The whole discussion seems silly to me.

Unless the ‘drive’ has the write current physically turned off, any program can write to anywhere!

So use 2 drives. One that is read only.

That leads me to the question: Does 64 bit mode have ‘hidden’ extra features that enable various undocumented functions?

Curious that so much software is abandoning 32 bit mode for no real reason.


ResearcherZero January 17, 2022 3:49 AM

@Clive Robinson

In all truth, to move lots of data requires very little bandwidth, all that is required is time. Lax security practices, no encryption, and the system of trust within an organization can all be abused to exfiltrate data. There are still many government departments that have all the same security problems, and worse.

Cox’s letter points to what appears to be a lack of encryption protecting the breached personal data, “a cybersecurity failure that is absolutely indefensible and outrageous.”

The OPM had no IT security staff until 2013, and it showed. The agency was harshly criticized for its lax security in an inspector general’s report released last November that cited its lack of encryption and the agency’s failure to track its equipment. Investigators found that the OPM failed to maintain an inventory list of all of its servers and databases and didn’t even know all the systems that were connected to its networks

The hack began in November of 2013, when the attackers first breached OPM networks. This attacker or group is dubbed X1 by the Congressional OPM data breach report. While X1 wasn’t able to access any personnel records at that time, they did manage to exfiltrate manuals and IT system architecture information.

May 27, 2014, when the attackers began to load keyoggers onto database administrators’ workstations.

on May 7, 2014, an attacker or group dubbed X2by the report had used credentials stolen from KeyPoint to establish another foothold in the OPM network and install malware there to create a backdoor.

In July and August of 2014, these attackers exfiltrated the background investigation data from OPM’s systems.

Fingerprint data was exfiltrated in late March of 2015; finally, on April 15, 2015, security personnel noticed unusual activity within the OPM’s networks, which quickly led them to realize that attackers still had a foothold in their systems.

data exfiltration

April 15, 2015, a security engineer named Brendan Saulsbury set out to decrypt a portion of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic that flows across the agency’s digital network.

The operatives used encryption and ‘man-in-the-mailbox’ during Operation Aurora

At least 34 companies including Yahoo, Symantec, Adobe, Northrop Grumman and Dow Chemical were targeted.

“The initial piece of code was shell code encrypted three times and that activated the exploit,”

“Then it executed downloads from an external machine that dropped the first piece of binary on the host. That download was also encrypted. The encrypted binary packed itself into a couple of executables that were also encrypted.”

Juniper Backdoor

When the magic text is presented as a password over SSH or Telnet, the firmware grants total access to the equipment: regardless of the username given, it allows anyone to bypass authentication, and the password is hardwired into the operating system.

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 6:51 AM

@John, @All

  Unless the ‘drive’ has the write current physically turned off, any program can write to anywhere!

So use 2 drives. One that is read only.

Exactly how and where will you turn off “write” and turn on “read only”?

Data can have a ReadOnly data bit set but it’s a software setting, similar to Archive data bit, which is also software setting.

The RW is done on the physical layer, so you will have to disable W there but as much is chip controlled so if you can poke the chip you can RW. Even if the chip set does not include a W option, you can still get around that the Old Fashioned Way by direct control of the mechanism: writing a mini-driver.

With memory chip storage, you don’t have to worry about the servo motors, only the row and access methods.

If you are cloning or using any data sync RT methods you are going to have to W to the secondary device. You can use SneakerNet if you use removable storage that is compatible with 2+ devices. Removable SSD/USB/SD etc have their own problems with data corruption outside of the slotting/mount/dismount issues although some have a W block tag. (1)

All of the above can be compromised at some point either through direct attack or hitting the Mean time between failure (MTBF), which in some cases is on first use.


1) A generic description of the mechanics involved. The application remains pretty much the same across many storage devices. Data compression and capacity is what changes and manufacturer specific details. Standards limit the number of not-common features, unless a not-common feature becomes part of the standard.

h ttps:// en.wi kipedia . org/wiki/Floppy_disk
ht tps:/ /en.wikipe dia. o r g/wiki/Floppy_disk#Operation

h ttps://e n.wikipedi a. org/wiki/Write_protection

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 7:13 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: It’s FOMITES again!

MSM report that China has traced an Omicron infection to a package sent from Canada. The package traveled from Toronto, via the US and Hong Kong. The package was in transit for 4 days before delivery. The package was a “cold chain” item.

Somewhere along the path from boxing to drop off to delivery a fomite happened. (1)


1) There are early discussions about fomites in the blog archives or perhaps on the wayback machine.

Clive Robinson January 17, 2022 8:46 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

There are early discussions about fomites in the blog archives or perhaps on the wayback machine.

And with it my limited opinion, which is still almost as limited due to lack of testing.

I see no reason to say fomite infection can not happen, especially with something as infectious and upper airway as Omicron is.

So on that assumption we would then need time profiles of viability against temp, humidity, and sunlight. With each going full expected range.

Let’s put it this way -30C zero sunlight I suspect we would be looking at years not hours.

Which leaves the question of the route in viability. We know early covid strains were suspected to move around with “chilled air” in “meat packers” and even though in effect frozen get up to bioactive in short order of being inhaled by a mammal.

I guess we are going to have to wait on science to catch up with informal reasoning….

JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 11:25 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Fomite duration

A recent MSM report of a not-peer-reviewed study on aerosol viability didn’t reveal much not already known but did confirm that under standard conditions Sars-Cov-2 loses 90% of its ability to infect within 20 minutes of becoming airborne. The greatest part of the decline is within the first 5 minutes.

  Not much of a relief to joggers and shop goers.

The interesting part of the article is that the researchers had built a new machine model to better spew and test aerosol particles.

They also found that distance still matters as does proximity to viral load.

If the package was cold-chilled and the virus was glued to the package during the chilling phase, it would have to have enough viral load on thaw. Perhaps C02 Dry Ice thawing?

Per the article, the genome matches Toronto, precluding contamination along the way unless a crew member, pilot, handler were on the plane had picked up the Toronto variant while picking up the package.

Search Terms: Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect within 20 minutes

Clive Robinson January 17, 2022 2:27 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Sars-Cov-2 loses 90% of its ability to infect within 20 minutes of becoming airborne.

So if my brain is working, a “halflife” of around 6mins 15secs…

With aproximately one sixth the viral load of Delta needed. The first order outdoor increase in distance is between 1.82 to 2.45 times[1]. Or as others prefer to say 80% to 150% increase as it sounds less scary…

Which as the limit was 7.8m/26ft it is now 14-19m / 47-64ft range… That’s greater than quite a few streets/paths are wide…

So yes,

Not much of a relief to joggers and shop goers.

In fact potentially a lot worse hence some of those “50% of us will have been infected by XXX day” prognostications we here from time to time.

[1] Note I’m not taking time or other effects into account, just an increase in volume or expansion surface to get the required infective viral load. If you do start taking those into account the increased distance numbers will come down but not in a “straight line” fashion. Worse case though with a “channel” such as a narrow low corridor it would be six times 26ft or ~156ft so you don’t want to be “going to a XXX” in a modern office or similar building…

vas pup January 17, 2022 5:23 PM

China’s Chang’E 5 lunar lander is first in history to find water on the moon up close

“n a press release, the researchers noted that the “lower water content of the soil, as compared to the higher water content of the rock fragment, may suggest the degassing of the mantle reservoir beneath the Chang’E-5 landing site.”

A lunar regolith sample that Chang’E 5 brought home upon its return to Earth on Dec. 17, 2020, confirmed the real-time findings, reported Space. The lander’s arrival marked the first time since 1976 that any country has brought rock samples from the Moon.”

Video inside as well.

SpaceLifeForm January 17, 2022 5:37 PM

@ Clive

re: “raw” access

Thanks for the refresh. Yes, it was a setup thing. I forgot because while I had root, I had a sysadmin that dealt with initial setup. I had root because basically I was the backup sysadmin, and if there was a problem, and my sysadmin was not around, I could fix the problem.

Was pretty rare that I needed to do so once we got our processes and procedures in place. Even then, stuff can break. And when that happened, fun times. It rarely was ever a simple fix. But, sometimes there was a quick and dirty work-around.

I guess I never learned of this bug because we never placed any Oracle database files on root drive. The database was too large anyway, so the system was always deployed with dedicated drives for the database.

Curious about your shadow file manipulation. What OS? No race condition expected?

flat January 17, 2022 6:58 PM

Find the differences


JonKnowsNothing January 17, 2022 7:11 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @John, @ALL

re: Boot from CD-R Or punch cards, or yellow paper tape.

Ah… the old punch tape trick… Do we get a spindle with that?

Not sure the CD-R is that good.

iirc(badly) there were some that were dual use but marked (1W RO). Others were session gated, with 1WRO+1Session then disk locked and others were 1WRO multi-session until the CD was full.

A lot depended on the CD drive too.

Later you needed a disk stack read/write as stuff exceeded the CDROM size. I still have an audio player CD stack cartridge system w 6 CDs in a cartridge.

lurker January 17, 2022 8:45 PM

@flat Find the differences

differences from what? from the very similar speech Xi gave at Davos 2017 when he was seeking a 2nd term as Secretary-General? I’d have to sit down with both side by side, diff doesn’t work well on bureaucratic Chinese…

ResearcherZero January 17, 2022 10:47 PM


Putin is set on ensuring those differences are exploited domestically and internationally, to create division. He was stationed in East Berlin when the wall fell and was not too happy about it. Putin targeted anyone in his way in the KGB, anyone in his way to becoming president, and has no reservations about targeting innocent people not in his way. He has written papers on psychological and kinetic warfare, and has likely authorized the use of weapon systems that damage health without leaving evidence.

This weapon has been operational since the 1980’s and has been used against both government employees and civilian targets, including children, for intimidation and surveillance purposes by undeclared GRU intelligence officers in a number of countries.

“The National Security Agency confirms that there is intelligence information from 2012 associating the hostile country to which Mr Beck traveled in the late 1990’s, with a high powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate or kill an enemy, over time, and without leaving evidence.”

“Such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons,” Putin said in an essay published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the Russian government’s newspaper of record,“

Armies of the future, he said, would need weapons “based on new physical principles” including “genetic” and “psychophysical” science.

James Lin, the leading US authority on the biological impact of microwave energy, said a large apparatus would not be needed to focus energy on a small area, heating it a minute amount and causing “a thermoelastic pressure wave” that travels through the brain, causing damage to soft tissue.

“You can certainly put together a system in a couple of big suitcases that will allow you to put it in a van or an SUV,” Lin, professor emeritus in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Illinois, said. “It’s not something that you need to have enormous amounts of space or equipment to do it.”

(this matches the description of the device used by GRU agents in Australia, which the main instrument boards and interface were indeed housed in a couple of big, heavy, old suitcases)

Combined with cognitive warfare, influence operations will continue to prime audiences and political foes against one another to promote division.

Misinformation and disinformation operations in the age of social media are powerful tools in harnessing disappointment, mistrust and resentment, which was bread and butter for the KGB, and is how Putin cut his teeth. The same methods are employed by him against his own people on a daily basis.

As is typical in these situations, government has been slow to develop policy to counter cognitive warfare (PSYOPS), as well as less than transparent, which has been taken full advantage of. One of the tenets of CW (PSYOPS) is to act early. No one could agree who was responsible for countering CW and policy only began to be developed in 2020.

Assessments highlighted a lack of preparedness in the 1990’s. The continued lack of transparency and preparedness allowed for an information environment ripe for exploitation by bad actors to spread conspiracies such as Plandemic, 5G, Qanon and others… suited for amplification by social media algorithms.

ResearcherZero January 17, 2022 11:19 PM

In comparison, the Australian government had no response, proving itself an ideal testing ground. We went to a lot of funerals. The GRU sat outside the cemetery, stirring the pot.

Clive Robinson January 18, 2022 4:27 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

With regards the article, one of the first quotes made me cringe,

She said the airborne Omicron variant “would never survive” on an envelope shipped across the world.

Ouch that is bassed on way to many assumptions to be valid “she” should no better.

Because we know that omicron does survive on surfaces “for a period of time” that is dependent on several things like,

1, The surface characteristics
2, The humidity
3, The temprature
4, The amount of shorter wave length UV light.

You note that later quotes all give qualifiers in their statments.

Do I think it would survive on a paper envelope that went through a sorting office warm enough for humans to operate then in the belly of a modern aircraft for half a day, the answer is very probably not, and even if it did it would be insufficient of a viral load.

Now ask me if it would survive on a plastic film coating of deeply frozen food my answer would be noticeably different.

Now I do not know what China is claiming specifically or how they got to their conclusions.

If you remember NZ had some “impossible to explain” infections, that eventually revealed that people were not being honest or scrupulous which opened potentially new routes some of which likely to be viable (and one probably was, as the infection happened).

All we realy know is that,

1, There is a “Toronto varient”
2, It is claimed that, that varient has been found by China.

It is possible that the varient the Chinese have found actually happened in China. The probability is quite low but not impossible. It could also be due to lab errors etc.

It could also be an “illegal entrant” into China…

Or even a “cover story” for some reason. It could be the start of a “false flag” for some reason…

It’s into “anybodies guess time” and most conspiracy ideas will probably have a greater possibility of being real than some of the mundane things one of which probably was the actual reason. We simply don’t know and due to politics and human nature at all levels, the chance of us actually finding out with certainty is well neigh impossible now…

So just “Stick it in a Z-file and move on”.

Winter January 18, 2022 5:29 AM

“James Lin, the leading US authority on the biological impact of microwave energy, said a large apparatus would not be needed to focus energy on a small area, heating it a minute amount and causing “a thermoelastic pressure wave” that travels through the brain, causing damage to soft tissue.”

Sounds like something you could detect with a fish tank and a hydrophone. Or just fish[1] instead of a hydrophone.

This raises the question why no one tried that?

[1] Fish are very sensitive to vibrations. Our ears evolved from their pressure sensors.

artichoke January 18, 2022 9:51 AM

When you ‘Ask app not to track,’ some iPhone apps keep snooping anyway

Parts of the article

But something curious happens after you ask not to be tracked, according to an investigation by researchers at privacy software maker Lockdown and The Washington Post. Subway Surfers starts sending an outside ad company called Chartboost 29 very specific data points about your iPhone, including your Internet address, your free storage, your current volume level (to 3 decimal points) and even your battery level (to 15 decimal points).

In other words, it’s sidestepping your request to be left alone.

Apple’s rules say apps aren’t allowed to track people who say they don’t want it. So why is this happening? Privacy advocates say this kind of data-gathering is likely tracking, just by a different name: fingerprinting.

Our investigation found the iPhone’s tracking protections are nowhere nearly as comprehensive as Apple’s advertising might suggest.

JonKnowsNothing January 18, 2022 11:04 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Hamster cull in Hong Kong

It’s known that hamsters are used in labs for SARS-CoV-2 testing but pet trade hamsters haven’t been much noticed.

Evidently, sick staff or handlers infected some hamsters at a pet store that were sold on to the public. Now government officials want those hamsters back and plan on a deep cull.

The curious thing is that Pet Stores normally buy their stock from pet species breeders. They buy the canaries and budgies and fish etc that are delivered to the stores in rotation to sales. Easter is a fine time to sell baby bunnies which grow into larger bunnies and then need bunny-rescue for re-homing; same with baby chicks most of which die shortly thereafter but outside of Spring, those sales are very slow. (1)

So, the likely source of the hamsters is a breeder(s). The source of COVID is likely the employees of the pet store, except

  • It’s Delta variant
  • Hong Kong has stricter COVID protocols


  • Detected on 11 hamsters out of 178 hamsters, rabbits and chinchillas tested
    at the pet shop and associated warehouse.
  • Hong Kong’s first untraceable Delta variant diagnosis in more than three months.
  • 2 or 3 store employee confirmed to have the Delta.
  • Ordered the immediate suspension of hamster sales and imports of all rodents.
  • An estimated 2,000 hamsters, including any bought since 22 December 2021, must be handed over for cull, and the owners must report for testing.


Search Terms: Hong Kong to cull thousands of hamsters

1) Pet breeders cross the entire business gamut from Very Conscientious to Extremely Unscrupulous. Finding the first can be difficult, while encountering the second is far more common. The second versions often bundle the pet with serious life long or life shortening health problems.

The cute animal might run thousands of dollars in veterinary care later. Price is not a guarantee of health. People do not always calculate the cost of veterinary care when they tote up the cost of feed, cage, bedding, toys and the fantasy of “fun walkabouts”.

I met a Puppy as I went walking;
We got talking,
Puppy and I.
“Where are you going this nice fine day?”
  (I said to the Puppy as he went by).
“Up to the hills to roll and play.”
“I’ll come with you, Puppy,” said I.

A. A. Milne

Freezing_in_Brazil January 18, 2022 1:07 PM

@ Clive

I guess we are going to have to wait on science to catch up with informal reasoning….

Good one. The twenty-first century in one line. 🙂

Ted January 18, 2022 1:09 PM

I just wanted to add a side note that our local police IMPLORE us to lock our homes, cars, etc. From their weekly rundown:

How many of you lock your interior garage door? We always harp on locking up your vehicles and exterior home doors, but think of how easy it is to get into your home if you leave your garage door opener in the car that you left unlocked.

You can feel their sadness. Our local parks are also filled with signage “Lock It or Lose It.” I’d like to think they want us to be less easy pickings.

Clive Robinson January 18, 2022 6:36 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Remember the Y2K22 bug?


Oh and remember with “Abstract Data Types”(ADT) abstract enough and they are all the same data type “A Big Bag Of Bits”, and GIGO blesses them all 0:)

But from where I look up, all that type stuff is meta-meta-data all I realy care is which register… 😉

lurker January 18, 2022 11:34 PM

follow the link to the original which can be paused, zoomed; the sound pressure wave is visible as a circular arc in the southwest quadrant

SpaceLifeForm January 19, 2022 1:26 AM

@ lurker

I’m not sure which satloop you are referring to, but yes, the shock wave is quite visible.

Even in London, barometers detected the pressure wave as it passed overhead.

Estimates of propagation speed range from 500 mph to 800 mph.

At the high end, being over the speed of sound, then maybe what some heard, like in Alaska, was actually sonic booms. As I have experienced more sonic booms than I can count, I will say that the audio from Fiji is not what I know of as a sonic boom.

Then again, what I experienced was due to jet fighters flying directly overhead (I could see them as they were just getting up to speed), and the sound was more like a very sharp, very loud bang. It was always interesting to go thru 3 to 5 in a row in seconds. My windows survived. Others did not have lucky windows, and after years of complaints, the instant mach speed practice was discontinued until the planes were further away.

It sure looks like a lot of mass has slipped back into the caldera.

ResearcherZero January 19, 2022 2:31 AM

Glaring Failures in Countering Information Warfare

The report said the Russians had sent expertly tailored messages carrying malware to more than 10,000 Twitter users in the Defense Department. Depending on the interests of the targets, the messages offered links to stories on recent sporting events or the Oscars, which had taken place the previous weekend. When clicked, the links took users to a Russian-controlled server that downloaded a program allowing Moscow’s hackers to take control of the victim’s phone or computer–and Twitter account.

What chaos could Moscow unleash with thousands of Twitter handles that spoke in real time with the authority of the armed forces of the United States?

“Using these technologies, it is possible to undermine democratic government, and it’s becoming easier every day,” says Rand Waltzman of the Rand Corp., who ran a major Pentagon research program to understand the propaganda threats posed by social media technology.

If there has ever been a clarion call for vigilance and action against a threat to the very foundation of our democratic political system, this episode is it,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress on May 8.

The 2016 election revealed how ill-prepared the country was to address the soft-power tenets of information warfare (IW), especially those information-enabled campaigns and influence operations that integrated disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda against a civilian population.

…while the U.S. government has developed and enacted national strategies addressing cybersecurity, there is no equivalent for the soft power elements —namely propaganda and disinformation— of IW performing the same public service. Solely focusing on the ones-and-zeroes glaringly fails to address the information aspects of the larger information security ecosystem.

Winter January 19, 2022 3:27 AM

“The 2016 election revealed how ill-prepared the country was to address the soft-power tenets of information warfare (IW), especially those information-enabled campaigns and influence operations that integrated disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda against a civilian population.”

The US political system has been evolved to a Two-Tribe internal warfare where one party has been left with the support of only a minority of the people. Instead of trying to win back the support of more people, they have decided to rather prevent the majority from influencing politics than changing their policies.

As the party/ies have used misinformation and fake news for decades (Laffer curve, Climate Change, anyone), it is no surprise that outsiders can latch on to that and take over the very people who are so used to reject reality.

This was a wholly self-inflicted wound.

Winter January 19, 2022 3:31 AM

” (Laffer curve, Climate Change, anyone)”

Just to prevent confusion, I meant here the pushing of the Laffer curve as sound economic theories and the DENIAL of Climate Change science.

SpaceLifeForm January 19, 2022 4:13 AM


The RansomWare Blues

Serious. Turn Down every internet facing service you can. Now. Just do it. Now. Seriously, just do it. No more RDP until further notice. Do not argue. Just do it. Get everything off of the internet you can. Just do it. Backups. Offsite Backups. The weekend is fast approaching. Be prepared.

CISA is telling you stuff. Pay attention.

“My files are all encrypted, they got the backups too”

Freezing_in_Brazil January 19, 2022 8:09 AM

@ All

Re: Physical switch

There’s a USB-C port with 15 W charging, a headphone jack, a 13MP main camera, and an 8MP front camera. The back cover pops off, and inside the phone, you’ll find a removable battery (whoa!), a microSD slot, pogo pins, and a series of privacy DIP switches that let you kill the modem, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, microphone, rear camera, front camera, and headphones.


We were discussing this subject days ago. Does anybody think the Linux phone will ever take-off?

Clive Robinson January 19, 2022 9:21 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Hand cranked Ham Radio would be very useful now

Probably not…

Unless you are using some of the newer specialy designed portable and QRP (low power) sets most standard QRO 100Watt HF sets for Ham operators draw 1-2amps at 13.8v even when just in receive mode and +20Amps in transmit. The TX/RX cycle in a MsgCen is around 1/3 so (2+2+20)/3 ~8amps or +100Watt continuous. There are two reasons for the heavy RX draw, firstly the flashy back lit displays, secondly the fact that the “Power Anplifer”(PA) stages have a high bias to be “linear” and most kit manufacturers don’t switch it… But these days EmCom is not “key or voice” as it was still just half a decade back, it’s nearly all digital modes these days that can be plugged into data networks and be

First find a hand crank that will do even ~50Watts and then try using it…

I used to own an ex millitary device and it came on a specially designed and heavy duty tripod. On which were welded a fold up saddle seat and foot loops and was heavier than a 1980’s era “jimpy” GPMG or Detachment Support Weapon[1]. It was designed so one person could actually use their whole body to get the required mechanical power in via the handles that had a two foot turning circle.

The adult male at rest consumes about 2100 “cals” which is about 100Watt continuous for 24hours which is why when doing those “efficient house” testing we used to use side table lamps with 100watt bulbs to be the people in rooms etc. Your upper body is actually not that strong unless you carry out certain excercises which will ruin your body before you are fourty. Now even in my “healthy days” when I was considered fit, I would be like a damp dishrag after just a few minutes use of such a “hand cranked” generator.

Also being a mad keen cyclist doing a hundred miles a day or walking/running 20miles I also found the leg crank equivalent was difficult to maintain at any sensible output power. If you search Ebay or equivalent for “Peddle Generator” or similar you will find they are ludicrously expensive and down in the 15-50watt range[2] and certainly more efficient than those in the 1980s and earlier.

It’s why anyone doing serious “off grid” / “Grid down” “Emergancy Operations”(EmOps) or EmComs uses SolarGen or WindGen, and as I said QRP, with digital modes. Not QRO kit and voice / key.

There is a US ExPat living up at “60degree North” (call sign OH8STN) and he does a lot of U-Tube videos and blogging not just on “off-grid” but EmCom type stuff where he packs a hot tent and all the other gear you need for just a couple of days in the field in the sort of testing conditions you might have after a small disaster. He recentky did a QRP+Amp -v- QRO test,

Note that the “clear weather” made Solar operation possible. Half a mountain of dust in the air from a volcanic eruption or worse brings you down to almost twilight conditions for days look up “Nuclear Winter” for details (I’ve been doing some work with emergancy HF Kits for Iceland which has the occasional grumbling mountain issue and they assume low light condirions).

I guess if it was down to me I’d look into a sealed gen set, like a heat powered Strling engine or equivalent external combustion engine. Then as long as you can get about a fifty degree difference you can get power out.

[1] A typical light / detatchment support weapon of the 1980’s would be a Belgium FN “MAG” split between two squadies and extra amunition with other squad members,

[2] You will find the likes of the “K-Tor 20 watt Pedal power generator” that is not exactly robust or well designed, for more than $300…

Clive Robinson January 19, 2022 9:38 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The RansomWare Blues

Yup, kind of says it on the low down, brung down minor key…

But seriously for well over a decade there have been warnings on this blog about “PROPERLY test your backups” but of course many bean counters and the like do not listen untill demands for a few hundred BitCons hits them in the wallet…

Something about “leading horses to water…” comes to mind.

JonKnowsNothing January 19, 2022 4:50 PM

@Clive, @All

re: the gent from down my way … data check

I watched the opening and got to the part of “I am going to prove… ”

Then I got stuck behind a long endless loop of survivalist dehydrated food promos, featuring brightly colored packages with dog whistle names and testimonials from folks that who look like they might have vacationed on the East Coast over Dec 37, recording from the W-Hotel, where they booked rooms along with other like minded tourists.

I am not 100% sure about the “COVID never going away” part, although it looks like that might be correct for the moment; until the next variant pops up as expected soonerisher (WHO).

SpaceLifeForm January 19, 2022 5:40 PM

@ lurker

Protocol delay

This should have started days ago, but when there is no power and no comms, and protocol must be followed, well, stuff does not happen.

It was obvious that Tonga would need help, and as a purely humanitarian response, New Zealand should have sent at least one ship immediately. To assess and provide comms.

No internet for a month is current estimate for undersea cable repair.

Everything is covered in ash, so no solar power until cleaned. What is the state of the humans that can start cleanup?

The Tonga Government has approved the arrival of HMNZS Wellington and HMNZS Aotearoa which departed New Zealand yesterday, as well as a C130 Hercules once the airport runway is clear. The vessels are expected to arrive in Tonga by Friday, depending on weather conditions.

lurker January 19, 2022 6:26 PM


I guess you could label our govt Timid, after all those are military ships and aircraft. Some nations wouldn’t blink at charging into a neighbour with armed troops…

JonKnowsNothing January 19, 2022 7:33 PM

@lurker, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Disaster Delay is Normal

Along with the blankets and dry goods, Tonga has firmly requested that the responding countries do not bring COVID with them.

It was a serious point on the list.

Tonga has had only few cases of COVID and are not at all interested in buying into the AU Policy of LetItRip. NZ recently sealed their borders (again) to all arrivals (except VIPs, Celebrities and Governmental Junkets). NZ continues to prefer VIPs to returnee citizens, and reserves only a few rooms in their quarantine hotels for them, the rest go to the highest bidder, while VIPs travel to their prestigious residences.

MSM reported that the disaster agencies had near guaranteed no one would be COVID positive on arrival. They implied it’s a Khe Sanh Touch n Go drop.


In the USA we have had plenty of experience with local and regional disasters. Help does not arrive quickly and it leaves sooner than expected. It often leaves behind things you don’t want and the “help” is highly limited to Disaster Capitalism for which you must qualify for the Capitalism part. After the Help leaves, the state on the ground remains pretty much the same state as before the Help arrived.

The 2010s Haiti cholera outbreak is the first modern large-scale outbreak of cholera occurring not long after the disastrous earthquake.

It is widely believed to be the result of contamination by infected United Nations peacekeepers deployed from Nepal.

Since then cholera has spread across the country and become endemic, causing high levels of both morbidity and mortality. Nearly 800,000 Haitians have been infected by cholera, and more than 9,000 have died.

Clive Robinson January 19, 2022 7:55 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Technical Debt. MD5. No Salt.

Whilst I feel for the six and a half million users.

In a way I’m also glad, not because I’m callous or uncaring, in fact the opposite. The company payed the ransom yet, the data still got released so what good did paying do them?

Effectively none, this should tell everyone that paying the ransom is pointless[1]. And although painfull if people do not pay and get the authorities to act[2], then being in the ransoware business will be a whole lot less profitable[3] and a lot more hazardus.

[1] People realy should know this by now, ever since the age of photography over a century ago “information” became fairly easily copied. So further ransoming or disclosure incredibly easy thus highly probable.

[2] Getting the authorities to act, appears to be well neigh impossible unless realy bad news for them is likely to come from their inaction.

[3] Criminals use crypto-coins, and crypto-coins are bad news in oh so many other ways such as being an environmental disaster. The US Gov has made noises about “blacklisting” coins for various reasons. If there was a legal requirment that all crypto-coins not only be propperly registered but blacklisted if used for any kind of crime (including buying a quater of happy grass) then the value of holding crypto-coin would become not speculation but high risk. With the chances being likely that crypto-coin and the lunacy of the Web 3.0 notion would become basically worthless.

Clive Robinson January 19, 2022 8:04 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Then I got stuck behind a long endless loop of …

None of that came up in the UK on a non logged-in account with cookies turned off…

He went through some interesting figures about areas around LA basically indicating take up was about the same regardless of the colour of the county, yet reported infections were very different… The implication being socio-economic or something worse not ubrelated to todays thread…

lurker January 19, 2022 8:57 PM

@SpaceLifeForm re Covid aid

which is why we hesitated before sending ships, awaiting an assurance that the docks were in sufficient working order for “contactless delivery”, a well honed procedure for our vendors of fried chicken, but perhaps not so well practised dockside Nukualofa.

null clam January 20, 2022 12:06 AM

For armchair infectious disease modelers, and even those sitting in hardback or swivel chairs, or on shooting sticks, a book possibly of interest

An Introduction to Infectious Disease Modeling, Emilia Vynnycky and Richard White Oxford University Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780198565765

Book’s supplemental materials website

“This book introduces individuals interested in infectious diseases to this exciting and expanding area. The mathematical level of the book is kept as simple as possible, which makes the book accessible to those who have not studied mathematics to university level. Understanding is further enhanced by models that can be accessed online, which will allow readers to explore the impact of different factors and control strategies, and further adapt and develop the models themselves.”

Recommended as a good place to start by American Mathematical Society feature column contributor Bill Casselman, see his columns on infection modeling at

SpaceLifeForm January 20, 2022 1:13 AM

@ lurker, ALL

Tonga relief

Inter-island transport may be an issue (boat engines and ash), but this is good.

“The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water containers, kits for temporary shelters, generators, hygiene and family kits, and communications equipment,” New Zealand’s foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said in a statement, referring to the New Zealand plane.

Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said its aircraft was loaded with supplies including water desalination equipment, shelter, kitchens, and a sweeper to help remove ash from the airport. A second Australian aircraft is due to make the flight on Thursday.

The delivery of the supplies was contactless to ensure Tonga remains free of the coronavirus.

ResearcherZero January 20, 2022 2:49 AM

“We are pursuing this complex issue with analytic rigor, sound tradecraft and compassion, and have dedicated intensive resources to this challenge…”

…while covering up that we knew Russia had been using a portable microwave system since the 1980’s, because that may give the appearance of lacking compassion for some 200 individuals who were targeted.

“The revelation that CIA agents were targeted by a sophisticated microwave weapon while in Australia last year proves such devices are real, a security expert said.”

Lawmakers and scientists also fear the department is trying to bury a detailed report on the episodes it received in August from a committee at the National Academies of Sciences.

“This is a deliberate, high-level cover-up,” he said. “They have hung us out to dry.”

Some of the attacks hit CIA officers who were traveling overseas to discuss plans w/ partner intel agencies to counter Russian covert operations. Some CIA analysts think Moscow was trying to derail that.

A current official briefed on the probe said GRU agents “are the only ones [we] know have the capability to attack our people like that on our soil.”

Giordano is restricted from giving details on which country had developed what kind of device but he said the new weapons used microwave frequencies, able to disrupt brain function without any burning sensation.

James Lin, the leading US authority on the biological impact of microwave energy, said a large apparatus would not be needed to focus energy on a small area, heating it a minute amount and causing “a thermoelastic pressure wave” that travels through the brain, causing damage to soft tissue.

“You can certainly put together a system in a couple of big suitcases that will allow you to put it in a van or an SUV,” Lin, professor emeritus in the electrical and computer engineering department at the University of Illinois, said. “It’s not something that you need to have enormous amounts of space or equipment to do it.”

“This weapon is designed to target the living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system,” the letter added.

“Here we have an unclassified document from a U.S. intelligence agency admitting it knows of this before Havana,” Zaid said.

unclassified NSA report

“associating the hostile country to which Mr Beck traveled in the late 1990’s”

perhaps so we could secretly develop our own device based of the portable system GRU intelligence officers were using, which just happened to have the main interface and control panels inside a couple of large suitcases, …?

…and also because it’s hard to notice any effects with most Australians.

Winter January 20, 2022 3:30 AM

“white noise does not stop microwaves”

I assume the objective of Assange’s use of white noise was to prevent eavesdropping, not assassination.

Blocking microwaves would likely involve grounded metal meshes covering all outside facing surfaces. White noise would not enter the equation.

ResearcherZero January 20, 2022 3:45 PM


Just wondering about his mental deterioration. The Russians were said to be camping in the area also.

Considering we have this huge intelligence apparatus, drone programs, Tomahawk missiles, black sites, torture and detention facilities, it seems a little odd we have let Russian intelligence officers run around with a portable microwave system, conducting surveillance, intimidating, derailing and inflicting harm against personnel and their families for decades.

Kind of thought we had laws against inflicting harm against people, and those laws would apply equally to foreign actors on our soil. Would I be allowed to microwave one or two undeclared GRU intelligence officers, supposing I knew where they lived, and they had done it first, do I have the right of reply?

It’s always best to seek clearance on these kinds of things.

SpaceLifeForm January 20, 2022 6:29 PM

Tonga relief

The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster is coordinating with local, regional and global partners including the University of the South Pacific (USP), RedR, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) to deploying small satellite terminals for internet connectivity from Fiji to Tonga, via a landing state in Brisbane set up as part of the regional preparedness to overcome communication challenges currently existing.

SpaceLifeForm January 20, 2022 6:59 PM

Silicon Turtles

  • Due to its emplacement on SPI flash which is located on the motherboard instead of the hard disk, the implant is capable of persisting in the system across disk formatting or replacement;
  • The purpose of the implant is to facilitate the deployment of user-mode malware that stages execution of further payloads downloaded from the internet;
  • The infection chain itself does not leave any traces on the hard drive, as its components operate in memory only, thus facilitating a fileless attack with a small footprint;

flat January 20, 2022 7:11 PM

@ResearcherZero, Winter
On the other hand:

SpaceLifeForm January 20, 2022 7:45 PM

Looks like Twitter is down.

It’s DNS, right?

NO? How about BGP?

NO? How about something else inside?

uptream connect error or disconnect/reset before headers. reset reason: remote reset

Clive Robinson January 20, 2022 8:32 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re “Moonbounce” and “Silicon Turtles”

Do you remember back to BadBIOS,

What about the photo of the Apple Motherboard from the UK Newspaper “The Guardian” basement? After they had dremmeled off a whole bunch of chips under the guidence of “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dummer” on a day trip to London from the GCHQ “mothership” over the Ed Snowden trove,

They were discussed extebsively on this blog with regards the ROM that is not ROM and how it can be used to hide some real nasties

Or how about half a decade before that?

And then some… Is how long people have been reporting discussing the FirmWare-Malware issue on this blog, some in quite technical detail (remember BadBIOS mechanism was first identified here, to much credulity). It’s why as I tell people I still use PC hardware from the mid 1990’s where ROM realy was ROM not Flash or other Electrically Alterable Memory.

It’s just another variation on the hardware issues that underline the “soft-switch” Apple never turned off malware idea discussed on this blog just a few days back.

Does the ICTsec industry never learn even from it’s very recent living history?

Yes I know I soubd like a cracked record… if anyone even remembers “vinyl” these days 😉

lurker January 20, 2022 10:39 PM

@Clive where ROM realy was ROM

About the time they stopped using proper boot ROMs Apple started to call it for what it was, NVRAM, Non Volatile RAM. After that, with their secret key strokes at boot time you could get in and adjust quite a bit more than BIOS settings via F2.

BTW vinyl doesn’t often crack, it’s the bakelite 78s that crack; golly, you might be older than me…

ResearcherZero January 21, 2022 12:55 AM

“This CISA Insights is intended to ensure that senior leaders at every organization in the United States are aware of critical cyber risks and take urgent, near-term steps to reduce the likelihood and impact of a potentially damaging compromise,”

All organizations, regardless of sector or size, should immediately implement the steps outlined below:

The individuals designated today act at the direction of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), an intelligence service sanctioned by the United States, and support Russia-directed influence operations against the United States and its allies and partners. The four individuals have played various roles in Russia’s global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin’s political objectives.

JonKnowsNothing January 21, 2022 1:00 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re:A half-dozen fomites

MSM China reports that 6 additional packages tested positive for Omicron fomites originating from Toronto.

Canada says “T’aint True”.

Other unrelated anomalies:

Aussie’s shipped COVID Positive persons from Quarantine to a remote and vulnerable community in Northern Territory (NT). No one seems to know how the persons got from quarantine to the plane, or knew they had arrived. No one in the community was warned or informed as would be normal procedure about the InComing.

This: Two-thirds of passengers on first flight to Covid-free Kiribati diagnosed with virus .

Flight with 54 passengers, 36 of whom were diagnosed with Covid after arriving from Fiji. No one knows how the passengers contracted the virus. All had been in pre-departure quarantine for two weeks before the flight and had undergone regular testing. They were only allowed on the flight after returning negative tests.

The island will now go into lockdown.

And the hamsters (now culled) were recently imported from the Netherlands. Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas and White Mice also culled.


fyi: Hamsters are not Guinea Pigs. In the USA these names can be interchanged when people are not informed of the difference. They are both small rodents. The second is more edible.

ResearcherZero January 21, 2022 1:16 AM


It’s a bit odd the CIA are claiming they didn’t know that CIA agents were being attacked for years by Russian intelligence officers using a portable microwave system. First time ever that people are being officially recognized and are going to receive treatment for something not officially recognized by the CIA.

This kind of thing only happens when the assessments are classified.

Now that I think about it, I don’t actually remember knowing anyone from the CIA, can’t recall meeting with anyone from the CIA, or being interviewed over such matters by the CIA.

I don’t remember anything else either, at this time your honor, and in my defense I have been abducted and belted around the head pretty hard on a few occasions, perhaps tortured… possibly? But it’s OK because I have completed AITP. I was previously tortured before AITP, so I really enjoyed it, which I was informed “is disturbing”. It was Russian torture though, so it was pretty weak and pathetic torture.

SpaceLifeForm January 21, 2022 4:44 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL

Re: Two-thirds of passengers on first flight to Covid-free Kiribati diagnosed with virus

It’s a mystery, no?

It sounds like they are asymptomatic with Omicron.

Maybe the pre-flight tests and/or procedures flat out failed. That some, or many, were asymptomatic, but the tests never caught.

Or, of course, they were infected on the plane.

But, in this case, being infected over a 4 hour flight and immediately testing positive, while possible, does not seem likely unless the plane was really loaded with the virus upon boarding. Obviously, it had plenty on arrival.

They need to review the actual test kits and procedures that were used pre-flight. My guess is they did nasal swab only and/or the test just was not good enough to detect Omicron.

What are the odds that 36 of the 54 were actually infected pre-flight, and the exact same 36 tested positive post-flight? And none of the other 18 got infected on the flight? What are the odds? I will pick slim.

If it is possible to go from true uninfected to testing positive via a 4 hour plane flight, well, maybe the answer is to stay off of airplanes.

Clive Robinson January 21, 2022 6:39 AM

@ lurker,

BTW vinyl doesn’t often crack, it’s the bakelite 78s that crack; golly, you might be older than me…

My dad was the 78 collector of jazz, I’ve got an Elvis 78 with the original tax paid postoffice postage stamp on it.

But they were not bakelite from memory that had a specific smell the records did not and was quite durable. My dad said the records were “shellac” which apparently is a ressin that pours like liquid tar… Oddly it’s something I’ve never looked into (So “Your mission Jim should you wish to accept it” is to dig a little 😉

As for my age, lets just say I’m like a stately old oak man-o-war, when under full sail you can hear my joints creak a lot 😉

Clive Robinson January 21, 2022 6:51 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

All organizations, regardless of sector or size, should immediately implement the steps

As always my first question would be,

What is the VALID business reason to have these machines connected to an externally available communications system?

And when you get down to it very often there is not realy one, “It just seems like a good idea”. Well you’ld have thought the message would have got across by now “It’s a realy bad idea”.

As I keep saying,

If they can not get at them they can not attack them.

If people have seen the latest UEFI APT attack you should by now realise as long as a machine is connected it will be successfully attacked, it’s just a matter of time…


“Pull the plug and buy yourself some time”.

It you genuinely can not pull the plug, work out how to “mitigate” but that’s a much longer more lucrative set of advice 😉

ResearcherZero January 21, 2022 7:58 AM

@Clive Robinson

It is handy to have machines connected for censorship, altering files for court cases, police/health systems, or other matters that may result in unfortunate disclosure without modification of the record. But mainly so that they can be logged onto without appropriate auditing in place.

If there was a suppression order in place preventing me from reporting certain matters, I couldn’t say if it existed or not. So if I was to have such a hypothetical order lifted, it would require remote conferencing with the High Court in Queensland, as the High Court in Western Australia was shut after making a ruling unpopular with the government. If it had of been my case I may not be able to report that, in case a suppression order existed.

A type of gag order was for a while used by courts to restrict the press from reporting certain facts regarding a trial. This gag order became more common after the Supreme Court’s 1966 decision in Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 86 S. Ct. 1507, 16 L. Ed. 2d 600, in which it reversed a criminal conviction on the grounds that Pretrial Publicity had unfairly prejudiced the jury against the defendant and denied him his Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial. However, in a 1976 decision, Nebraska Press Ass’n v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539, 96 S. Ct. 2791, 49 L. Ed. 2d 683, the Court held that pretrial gag orders on the press are unconstitutional. It ruled that such orders represent an unconstitutional Prior Restraint and violate the First Amendment, which guarantees the Freedom of the Press.

In Australia a suppression order is made when a court prohibits the disclosure of information about a legal case.

They can be wide-ranging, clamping down on nearly all – and at times all – information about a trial, or narrow, obscuring just one person’s name (or two).

Preventing prejudice to the proper administration of justice

National or international security

Protecting the safety of a person

To avoid causing undue distress to a witness who suffered a sexual offence or family violence offence

To avoid identifying a child who is a witness

*If the victim was a child at the time of the offence*

The above is not an exhaustive list, and the grounds for granting suppression orders vary between jurisdictions.

Australian suppression orders apply overseas because they usually include anything that “can be accessed in Australia”. Thanks to the internet, this means any online news published by an overseas outlet, a tweet or post – unless it is geoblocked. Again, whether such breaches could lead to prosecution will largely be a matter of practicality.

One way of dealing with a high level of publicity is to hold a judge-only trial, with no jury. All jurisdictions allow this for criminal trials, barring Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

The court can issue a suppression order on the suppression order. This means nobody can even report that the order exists – so they can’t explain why they’re silent.

Critics of some suppression orders say they go too far and clamp down on open justice, or hide corrupt behavior by powerful people…

Winter January 21, 2022 8:03 AM

@Clive, lurker
“My dad said the records were “shellac” which apparently is a ressin that pours like liquid tar…”

That is also what I heard. The reason these were so “bad” was that they added cotton fibers to make the shellac durable. However, the fibers were hygroscopic and swelled when absorbing water from the air. The result was the characteristic wood fire sound that developed after some time.

At time of pressing, the audio quality of these records was very good. Only, that did not last for long.

As for Vinyl. I hated it with a passion. There is music where I still unconsciously wait for the needle to get stuck in the groove whenever I hear them. That is more than 30 years after I made the switch. And the endless bother with the needles that got clogged with dust and the fiddling with the tangential needle “pressure” and the wear of the records. There were people who would copy a new record to tape immediately after buying it so they would have a “pristine” copy for when the tape wore out.

ResearcherZero January 21, 2022 8:38 AM

I have a lot of records, two removal trucks worth.

The Australian government regularly goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent embarrassing public disclosures.

“Even if a state bars reliably disciplined prosecutors for misconduct — and this never happens — prosecutors are protected by a special rule. Judges have decided that prosecutors need the power to make end-runs around lawyers during the investigation phase of cases, and that this conduct is therefore “authorized by law.”

Courts have decided that it would be too burdensome to require federal prosecutors to abide by local ethical rules, rules that apply to literally every other lawyer in the United States (and Australia), and too restrictive of law enforcement to prevent them from making such pre-indictment contacts as they see fit.”

As an example and just an example:

Australian intelligence officers and NSA technicians had covertly installed an elaborate system of fibre optic bugging devices throughout the embassy during its construction in the late 1980s.

Within the ‘Five Eyes’ club this operation was quietly proclaimed as an electronic intelligence gathering triumph – but some spies had reservations.

Former Australian intelligence officers alleged that Australians had taken all the risks, yet once listening devices were operational, the US assumed control of the bugging and selectively withheld diplomatic and economic intelligence gleaned from the operation.

The former Australian spies claimed that in withholding information, the US gained a competitive edge over Australia in trade deals with China.

By early 1995, the operation and the allegations of the disgruntled officers were common knowledge in Canberra’s defence, political and media communities. It seemed everyone was in on the secret except the public.

Despite the operation being clearly compromised by this time – the Australian government went to extraordinary lengths to prevent further embarrassing public disclosure of the bugging and the equally damaging allegations of mistrust within the highly valued UKUSA intelligence sharing club.

So sensitive was this spying mission that foreign minister Gareth Evans issued a suppression order via a Federal Court injunction, blocking publication of the story by the Sydney Morning Herald, resulting in a five week legal battle with the newspaper’s lawyers.

Any further public leaks were also swiftly suppressed. After briefly discussing this freedom-of-speech tussle on talk back radio, broadcaster Alan Jones and Sydney radio station 2UE were also served with an injunction.

…But the US does not share the results of the surveillance with all of these foreign partners, the document continues. In many cases, equipment and technical support are offered in exchange for the signals accessed. Often the agency will offer equipment, training and technical support to gain access to its desired targets.

There are four Australian signals intelligence bases and the Waihopai facility taking part in the XKEYSCORE categorising and processing system.

X-Keyscore reportedly processes all signals before they are shunted off to various “production lines” that deal with specific issues and the exploitation of different data types for analysis – variously code-named Nucleon (voice), Pinwale (video), Mainway (call records) and Marina (internet records).

The US Australian Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap near Alice Springs and three Australian Signals Directorate facilities: the Shoal Bay Receiving Station near Darwin, the Australian Defence Satellite Communications Facility at Geraldton and the naval communications station HMAS Harman outside Canberra are among contributors to the NSA’s collection program codenamed X-Keyscore.

JonKnowsNothing January 21, 2022 10:39 AM

@lurker, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: Aussie flight to Tong: Drop N Do Not Pass Go

An Aussie guaranteed NO COVID rescue flight with humanitarian aide to Tonga, had COVID POSITIVE crew. Flight was told to return to Aussie base.

The items were loaded onto another plane with promise of NO COVID crew again.

It was not clear at what points the flight crew were tested:

  • Before departure
  • On departure
  • During flight
  • On nearing landing zone
  • On landing but before doors open

It appears that the positive test was sometime during the flight, because the plane was turned around prior to landing.

JonKnowsNothing January 21, 2022 11:22 AM

@Clive, @All

re: local data set

I am not sure what data the guy presented as I wasn’t interested in another meal of dehydrated survival food (not logged in, JavaScript off, but it’s google and the USA).

There are some alarming numbers I’ve gathered locally. Our local area only publishes some data sets once per week.

There are significant differences in the demographics between my location and LA or SF. This area is agricultural, LA and SF are urban areas. All areas in California have significant poverty, homelessness (living in tents if lucky) and houselessness (living in RVs,cars). Many of these people work in urban areas but cannot afford housing, food, etc. Silicon Valley, San Francisco, San Jose are home base to many TechBros with mega$$$. The people working for these TechBros often sleep in their cars 5-6 nights per week and drive home for their day off. Many of them work multiple jobs or pull double shifts to enable paying the increasing costs of food, etc. (1)

Weekly Local Data

Date / Positive Rate / Positive Rate per 100K / Equity Metric (2)

01 03 2022 / 5.9 / 16.5 / 5.5
01 10 2022 / 14.0 / 39.5 / 13.0
01 18 2022 / 28.2 / 172.8 / 28.2

Daily Regional Data (TRIAGE)(3)

Date / %Staff ICU beds available / %COVID+ in beds

01 18 2022 / 10.3 / 44.2

no data reported for 01 19 2022, 10 20 2022

Daily Local Hospital ICU beds available

Date / Bed Count

01 15 2022 / 13
01 16 2022 / 14
01 17 2022 / 9
01 18 2022 / 7
01 19 2022 / 7

1) My axiom:

A person gets .13USCents (aka pennies) per hour increase for $1/day extra in their paycheck before taxes and deductions:

  This is called Inflation. It is highly discouraged.

A TechBro earns millions of dollars per day and gets tens of million of dollars extra bonus during a pandemic:

  This is called Profit. It is highly valued.

2) Equity Metric is score that determines the equitable distribution of vaccines to under served populations. It was an attempt to prevent governmental jurisdictions from focusing on all one class, all one sector, all one wealth index while leaving the under served vulnerable.

3) When the “%Staff ICU beds available” value is less than 10% (9.9999) for 3 days, then regional TRIAGE protocols are enabled for 7 days. These protocols require any hospital outside of this region to take patient transfers provided they have capacity.

While it might seem common sense that other hospitals take the overload, it isn’t done often, because Counties in the USA are responsible for the Public Health for their residents. Los Angeles County, San Francisco County, Sacramento County etc pay for their residents but they are not interested in paying for residents of other counties, even if there are reimbursements.

During the worst of the Delta wave, this area spent 22+ days in TRIAGE mode with a data hiccup that enabled the threshold to reset. It was @30+ consecutive days omitting the hiccup.

Even with TRIAGE mode, other counties did not take the overflow because they claimed they didn’t have capacity.

  Locally there was 1 ICU bed, LA County had 600+ available ICU beds.

lurker January 21, 2022 12:36 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, @Clive
re dehy survival foods

The ads are regional. In NZ we got a govt announcement on testing and quarantine procedures with that particular item. Surprisingly for the importance of the ad material we also got the Skip Ad in 5,4,3,2,1,now.

I have a few times been forced to watch the first ad before being allowed to Skip the next. Dehy survival food must be a Californian thing…

Clive Robinson January 21, 2022 2:36 PM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Critics of some suppression orders say they go too far and clamp down on open justice, or hide corrupt behavior by powerful people…

So say many in Scotland…

Where Graig Murray got given 8months for “jigsaw identification” by a Scottish Judge[1], who was way way to Close to Scotland’s First Minister who’s friends were lying in court about sexual abuse stories they chose to make up and claim had been committed by a political rival of the First Minister.

Now you or I would probably say such lying in court under oath is perjury, which carries a significant tarriff and rightly so. But these “accuser” friends of the First Minister are just poor bewildered individuals and apparently justice would not be served by taking action against them for their proven lying…


“It ain’t what yer knows, but who!”

Speaking of which, this witch hunt of course would have nothing what so ever to do with Craig Murray’s continued reporting on Julian Assange (who in turn probably fears going to Australia as much as he does to America).

So as always,

“Something is rotten in the State of Denmark”

(Marcelis, From Act I, of Shakespeare’s Hamlet)


Clive Robinson January 21, 2022 3:04 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Evil, just Evil



As I keep asking,

“What is the VALID business case for these machines to be connected to an external communications network directly or indirectly?”

As for the ususal reasons[1] they are not credible and have mostly been disproved rather painfully by the thousands of millions of stolen items of Personal, or Private Information”(PPI) and subsequent crimes.

The problem is that nobody in a position to change things wants to change them.

1, Businesses and corporations see “income and low costs today” thus quick profit.

2, Law enforcment see something they can not investigate because…

3, Governments especially in the West currently see great opportunity to “re-educate” the population into submission for a “Papers pleez!” or worse feudal society of non-persons.

Behind it all is the ridiculous ideas of some with strong narcissistic dissorders that will do almost anything and everything to return to what they view as a golden age of “status” ignoring all the lessons that history teaches us such inane and basically stupid notions give rise to. So they ally themselves to others with other disorders such as those exhibited by socio/psychopaths who will “make it happen” for them. Such people make things happen by in turn useing a cohort of those with sadistic traits to form a guard labour force to instill fear and subservience in others[2].

[1] When you cut off the wordy cruft of “business consultants” and the like, it boils down to they do not have not a proven valid case in fact the opposite. That is just blind “faith” and “mantras” originating from teachers and other people of influance genuflecting to the Chicago Business school and similar now thoroughly disproven economic faux theories generated and paid for by certain neo-cons with only one real intent.

[2] In essence you get an effete inbread hereditary class, floating around consuming and not producing. They are kept in place by those who see them as “useful idiots” or “puppets” to carry out their own plans of accumulating wealth or more normally power. To ensure this they employ terror tactics of cowards and bullies by using significant force against issolated and defencless individuals under authority granted by the “useful idiots” and “puppets”. History shows that the only way to stop this is by pushing back early and often, with significant effectiveness, before,

“The tree of liberty is refreshed by the blood of many.”

Clive Robinson January 21, 2022 5:13 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Lack of Amateur/Ham radio in Tonga.

Basically they don’t have any licenced operators or equipment. The few that do “pop-up” from time to time are “DXpeditions” where First world Hams drop in for a week or two with all their own kit etc.

Also even if there were, there are “electrical storm” issues caused by triboelectrification in the suspended volcanic dust,

Oh and a mention of the preasure wave being measured in the UK.

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