vas pup February 4, 2022 4:29 PM

This company says it’s developing a system that can recognize your face from just your DNA

“A police officer is at the scene of a murder. No witnesses. No camera footage. No obvious suspects or motives. Just a bit of hair on the sleeve of the victim’s jacket. DNA from the cells of one strand is copied and compared against a database. No match comes back, and the case goes cold.

Corsight AI, a facial recognition subsidiary of the Israeli AI company Cortica, purports to be devising a solution for that sort of situation by using DNA to create a model of a face that can then be run through a facial recognition system. It is a task that experts in the field regard as scientifically untenable.

Corsight unveiled its “DNA to Face” product in a presentation by chief executive officer Robert Watts and executive vice president Ofer Ronen intended to court financiers at the Imperial Capital Investors Conference in New York City on December 15. It was part of the company’s overall product road map, which also included movement and voice recognition. The tool “constructs a physical profile by analyzing genetic material collected in a DNA sample,” according to a company slide deck viewed by surveillance research group IPVM and shared with MIT Technology Review.”

Many interesting points in the article related to face recognition as well.

null clam February 4, 2022 5:18 PM

octopus and squid could be of extraterrestrial origin

It’s extraturtlestrial all the way down …

Hedo February 4, 2022 5:53 PM

Hi everyone,
any thoughts as to how to go about checking for presence of illegally and secretly/hidden planted Apple AirTags in a newly purchased vehicle, house, apartment?
I mean, how do civilian citizens sweep for those, and/or other tracking devices? Any tips anyone? Thanks.

John February 4, 2022 6:06 PM



Supposedly the airtag emits a bluetooth signal periodically.

Being near the airtag ‘should’ make the signal relatively easy to receive?

While it may be difficult to use usefully, most cell phones have bluetooth receive capability.


Adrian G February 4, 2022 6:13 PM

An interesting article in Ars on crypto[currency] theft.

What’s interesting to me is that they call it “theft”, when a major goal of cryptocurrency is to make computer code the ultimate arbiter of contracts. That wasn’t a secret to the people who put 323 million US dollars in that account; it was the whole point. If the cheerleaders of this ecosystem really believed what they were peddling, they’d be saying that someone earned money by fulfilling the terms of the contract.

SpaceLifeForm February 4, 2022 6:47 PM

@ Adrian G

It is not Theft.

It is Money Laundering.

And it is being tracked.

Crooks do not understand Metadata.

ResearcherZero February 4, 2022 9:11 PM

Four “core characteristics” were prominent among these AHIs: the acute
onset of audio-vestibular sensory phenomena, sometimes including sound or pressure in only one ear or
on one side of the head; other nearly simultaneous signs and symptoms such as vertigo, loss of balance,
and ear pain; a strong sense of locality or directionality; and the absence of known environmental or
medical conditions that could have caused the reported signs and symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of AHIs are genuine and compelling. The panel bases this assessment
on incident reports, medical data from affected individuals and interviews with their physicians, and
interviews with affected individuals themselves. Some incidents have affected multiple persons in the
same space, and clinical samples from a few affected individuals have shown early, transient elevations
in biomarkers suggestive of cellular injury to the nervous system. The reported signs and symptoms of
AHIs are diverse and may be caused by multiple mechanisms, but no case should be discounted. Prompt
medical evaluation and care is particularly important; many individuals who have been treated
immediately after an event have improved.

A subset of AHIs cannot be easily explained by known environmental or medical conditions
and could be due to external stimuli. Although some signs and symptoms of AHIs are common in known
medical conditions, the combination of the four core characteristics is distinctly unusual and unreported
elsewhere in the medical literature, and so far have not been associated with a specific neurological
abnormality. Several aspects of this unique neurosensory syndrome make it unlikely to be caused by a
functional neurological disorder. The location dependence and sudden onset and offset, for example,
argue for a stimulus that is spatially and temporally discrete. The perception of sound and pain within
only one ear suggests the stimulation of its mechanoreceptors, a specific cranial nerve, or nuclei in the
brainstem, all of which mediate hearing and balance. The lack of other symptoms also helped rule-out
known medical conditions.

There are several plausible pathways involving
various forms of pulsed electromagnetic energy, each with its own requirements, limitations, and
unknowns. For all the pathways, sources exist that could generate the required stimulus, are
concealable, and have moderate power requirements. Using nonstandard [REDACTED]
antennas and techniques, the signals could be propagated with low loss through air for tens to hundreds
of meters, and with some loss, through most building materials. [REDACTED]

Stimulation and disruption
of these biological systems has been credibly demonstrated in cells and tissues, and persons accidentally
exposed to radiofrequency signals described [REDACTED] sensations similar to the core characteristics.
However, there is a dearth of systematic research on the effects of the relevant electromagnetic signals
on humans.


“many individuals who have been treated immediately after an event have improved.”

Maybe, and this is just an idea, if the victims had of been informed, they may have been inclined to release their health information, and “health insurance silos” would not be a problem.

Some of the victims were not very happy they were uninformed, before they died, despite the large amounts of painkillers they were prescribed.

Still, if there is a lack of “systematic research on the effects of the relevant electromagnetic signals”, the families of the victims may be quite willing to share just what those effects were and release any relevant medical data.

Perhaps all some people want is some answers, and giving them some would be doing them a kindness.

Leon Theremin February 4, 2022 10:11 PM

Reminder: all processors have silicon trojans that are controlled by radio. All phone towers have silicon trojans and can cause Havana Syndrome by sending their full power output at target’s heads (the more towers in the area, the more powerful is the effect).

ResearcherZero February 4, 2022 11:20 PM

@Leon Theremin

Actually none of that is true, the occupational limit includes a safety margin, protecting workers with the potential for close proximity to radio transmitters. Standards are very well enforced.

The name “Havana Syndrome” is an inaccurate description, as the occurrences started well before Cuba. This 5G nonsense is ‘blowback’ from the secrecy surrounding the initial instances, and the following instances.

The GRU has no doubt seized on the opportunity afforded to them by the secrecy, along with Cuba who would be quite unhappy with the label, but a lack of information has also contributed to wild conspiracies.

If you begin experiencing migraines, hair loss, tumors growing out the side of your face, and a clicking sound coming from a certain direction, you should be able to establish the location of the undeclared GRU intelligence officers in one of the surrounding residences or a van parked close nearby.

What you then do with them is entirely your decision. Though I don’t think they’d waste their time with anyone who isn’t working for the military or an intelligence agency. Too big a risk for very little gain.

ResearcherZero February 4, 2022 11:52 PM

I can give you some idea about two of the culprits involved in some of these instances.

undeclared GRU officer No.1, caught with the equipment

A controversial former policeman found to have engaged in misconduct in the wrongful conviction of Andrew Mallard will not be investigated after all over his new $130,000-a-year job

David Caporn said he had not stopped thinking about Ms Spiers and the other two women who went missing …

West Australian Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has cancelled an internal review into an assistant commissioner, after he resigned from the force to take up another public service position.

Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan today accepted Mr Caporn’s resignation from WA Police, which was a decision entirely of Mr Caporn’s making.

Former assistant police commissioner Mal Shervill, who played a big role in the wrongful imprisonment of Andrew Mallard, has resigned.

undeclared GRU officer No.2, long time associate of David Caporn, and also ivolved in numerous kidnappings, the attempted kidnapping of Sarah Spiers, as well as numerous children.

Former WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan has slammed an explosive report which trashes his legacy in the WA Police force.

The independent report, which has been kept secret for more than a year, revealed bombshell allegations of sexual harassment, fraud, problem gambling and potential criminality within senior ranks during his tenure.

If you have any questions about the two, ask Mal Shervill, he can tell you about what the two got up to. He quite often accompanied them on their little outings, lent a hand hear and there.

All further questions should be directed to Australian Federal Police, as they have had the many boxes of evidence for the last 30 years.

lurker February 5, 2022 12:13 AM

I’ve read a few books recently on evolution and planetary bio-chemistry. Most acknowledged the possibility of extraterrestrial seeding, or re-seeding following extinction events, but then proceeded to demonstrate the probability was too low to dislodge the prevailing paleo-biological mantra. The early development and continued existence of cephalopods is deemed to be just part of life’s rich tapestry. But the H-W theory comes from astro-physicists, what would they know about cellular biology? Hoyle still has a credibility problem in some circles following the steady state universe, where hydrogen was continuously created from imagination.

John February 5, 2022 1:35 AM


Hmm… Good point.

That said, I bet an apple tag finder app would be a BIG HIT in our paranoid world!

If phones were really open source, it would already be out there!

Really needs to show signal strength in real-time so you can easily scan whatever. Maybe beeps louder the closer you get.

All just SMOP — Small Matter of Programming! lol!!


Robin February 5, 2022 2:38 AM

The following sentences, taken from the news article cited ATL, are quite striking:

“Octopuses and squids may have been catapulted into the heights after a volcanic eruption or meteor strike. This was according to a study conducted by Australian molecular immunologist Edward J. Steele, before traveling millions of kilometers in suspended animation.”

The vision of squid and octopuses being catapulted into space is rather unsettling; and Professor Steele leads an interesting life.

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 3:36 AM

@ null clam, ALL,

It’s extraturtlestrial all the way down …

And there was me thinking it would be so much more fun if it was an “extracthulhulian”[1] experiment in planetary colonization =)

Think how happy all those practising Lovecraftians for the near last century would be 😉

Then of course on the more serious side Sir Fred Hoyle FRS creator of the term “Big Bang” would be delighted. He originated two quite related ideas,

1, Stellar nucleosynthesis[2].
2, Panspermia[3].

Stellar nucleosynthesis although Sir Fred’s idea, and now accepted widely got others Nobel Prizes (as I’ve mentioned before)…

As for Panspermia it was mainly rejected by the scientific community for a number of reasons. But in essence Panspermia is what this squid are extraterrestrial is all about…

Stellar nucleosynthesis, is about the origin and distribution of matter in the universe.

The idea that everything in the universe is made of atoms is long accepted but where did they come from? That was what Fred Hoyle came up with. That is with the exception of hydrogen atoms came from stars “burning” first hydrogen creating helium and so on. With lower mass stars ejecting out atoms continuously to for gas clouds or nebulae and heavy mass start ejecting out nearly everything when they go supernova. So the idea has three components,

1, An existing “seed” used,
2, By a “creation” mechanism,
3, And spread by a “distribution” mechanism.

In this way the atoms of the periodic table are fused together from hydrogen and distributed around the universe. Note importantlt that the theory does not account for the “seed material” hydrogen, just how things move forward from there.

Hoyle’s Panspermia idea when looked at, is in a way a very very similar idea to Stellar nucleosynthesis. In that there is a “seed”, “creation” and “distribution” involved. But Hoyle deals only with the distribution mechanism.

In essence it argues that the building blocks of life also get spread around the universe by all kinds of objects from space dust through spacecraft[4].

Back from the mid 1970’s Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe argued firstly this was probable due to the amount of carbon in space objects that Wickramasinghe later proved was correct. But they later further contended that life forms continue to enter the Earth’s atmosphere, and may be responsible for epidemic outbreaks, new diseases… A subject that is still very contentious today.

Before anyone asks, no I have absolutely no idea if Panspermia is viable or not as an idea. What I do know is that the basic laws of physics certainly alow such a mechanism to exist. But on the human nature side there are no alternatives with any more credability on the table.

But and this is the fun bit, that circumstantial evidence suggesting it might be possible is building and feathers are getting ruffled.

But the fun side continues, the arguments against Panspermia are not realy scientific arguments but human ones of ego hence ruffled feathers and such like. Hoyle only argues a distribution mechanism, not a creation mechanism or origin seed. The main argument against Hoyle’s idea is that he never came up with an origin seed argument, but then nobody has come up with any real idea for the origin of life, so in that respect Sir Fred had the majority on his side 😉

You almost get the feeling that humans especially scientists for ego reasons want Earth to figuratively be the “origin seed” of life thus the center of the universe in that respect. If anyone doubts that go look at the “bun fights” around the,

“Where are the Extraterrestrials?”

Question, there are very many noses with put out joints in them around that one.

My opinion is the ideas may or may not be true, as of yet we can not prove them, but also we can not disprove them, and importantly I don’t have any skin in the game. So figuratively I’m putting another bag of pop-corn in the microwave and adjusting the easy chair for comfort and will just sit back chill and watch the fun as egos not science get pitted, after all every one loves a good bun fight.




[4] This is certainly true, it’s well known but not much tallked about, but in early space flight human waste was “ejected” into space with Fred Hayes making a joke about the “Constalation of Urine” on observing it twinkling in sun light. Subsequent tests on objects that have been retrieved from space shows that the human waste gets attracted to and coats objects in Earth orbit. Astronauts don’t talk about it much… But hey they don’t much talk about where the water they drink up there comes from either as it has that eh-ow factor, lets just say “re-cycling at it’s finest”.

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 3:54 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Crooks do not understand Metadata.

Nor do most understand “metadata”…

But of thise few who have some comprehension of “metadata” how many have an understabding of “meta-metadata”?

For instance it explains why it is not possible to “hide” something, only hope that the knowledge of it is ephemeral, and the metadata becomes to defuse a signal that it is down below the noise.

SpaceLifeForm February 5, 2022 3:57 AM

Knowledge is being lost

He did not know that you can call a number to get the time.

Hopefully, this guy will be ok when he learns that there are phone numbers that one can dial, that will tell you the phone number you are calling from.

Works on POTS Rotary too!

Probably would be traumatic for some to learn that you had to pull the chains on a Grandfather clock every day.


Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 4:40 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker,

My Philosophy is that Space makes H.

Which has the same credibility problem that the “Big Bang” has. Which is it’s a,

“Something from nothing”


But the alternative “steady state” idea has similar problems.

I’ve discussed it with @Wael on this blog in the past and you always bump into,

1, Turtles all the way down.

Which is logically impossible or

2, Something from nothing

Which is also logically imposible.

Oh both the “big bang” and “H from imagination” could both be true and false simultaniously[1] but we will never know.

The issue is “time” is it more fundemental than mater/energy or as a consequence of mater/energy?

If “as a consequence” is the case then information from before our current time bubble existed would be sealed off from us.

But most would just shrug and say “Does it matter?” and in a way they would have been right. But some people think we might be able to as an experiment create a universe our selves… A thought that is some what thorny.

[1] Have a think about the idea of a pinhole camera. The smaller the hole the sharper the image, thus the more discernable the information. However how small can you make the hole? We know at some point you will get to a point where things get interesting (Thomas Young’s 1801 double slit experiment). Is our entire universe in fact a construction by information from interferance pattern’s and all that implies?

null clam February 5, 2022 4:53 AM

@ Clive Robinson @lurker @ all

Re: original origins

Everything physical is contingent and passes away so wouldn’t seem to have within itself the cause of its own existing, so it must have received being/existing from something else … Before every turtle there must have been … … another “turtle” … … , but what accounts for the existence of turtles of any sort at all ?

Curious February 5, 2022 7:13 AM

Facial recognition, or, “totally-not-facial-recognition”, sneaking into stores apparently.

(“Supermarket cameras to guess age of alcohol buyers”)

“Major supermarket chains have begun testing an automated age-verification system, to avoid the wait for staff at self-checkouts when buying alcohol.”

“The trial will use cameras that can estimate each customer’s age.”

“This is not facial recognition, Yoti is keen to stress, which tries to match individual faces to those on a database.”

“And the system will not retain the images it takes.”

Freezing_in_Brazil February 5, 2022 7:29 AM

@ Clive

Sir Fred Hoyle FRS creator of the term “Big Bang” (…)

1, Stellar nucleosynthesis[2].
2, Panspermia[3].

I’m a Fred Hoyle’s fan. I see the steady state theory [an hypothesis, in fact – and a very elegant one at that?] as the first time that certain quantum-ish explanation of reality [e.g. ‘creation of matter ex nihilo.’] were introduced to the physics discourse. That was a radical, out-of-the-box concept [as panspermia, which is still an open question]. He rightfully has his place in the pantheon.

Oh, and the infinite universe used to be so comforting [sigh]…

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 7:30 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker, ALL,

BTW, do you think storing information in RNA in a Comet is a viable long-term strategy?

That “depends” on other factors.

If the temprature is reduced quickly via immersion / blast “flash freezing” and kept at say -30C then food remains viable nutritionaly for a very long time some say “indefinitely” although they realy only mean “beyond a human life expectancy and some”.

DNA has error correction abilities and can be stopped from “self degrading” which is why it gets looked at as a storage technology every so often.

The problem and why you need the error correction is external energy causing degredation. That is chemical bonds that hold The molecules wirhin DNA can be broken by external influance. So the question moves to an the one of “How long does it take on average for the errors to become uncorrectable?” The answer to which is very environment dependent as well as dependent on the type of error correction.

Take a three bit by three bit data array. Do parity on a row or column alone and you can “detect but not correct” a single or odd number of bit errors but not even numbers of errors. However use parity on borh rows and columns and you can correct one bit but detect a lot more but again not all (I’m not going to work it out it’s Sat lunch time 😉

Another type of error detection that enables a choice of selecting correct data is to store the data multiple odd times in a process sometimes called “mirroring”. Then compare the multiples with “voting circuits” and go with the majority.

But there is a problem, that 3×3 data array has two 3×1 parrity arrays appended to it giving a total if 15bits, so has a 15/9 or 1.66 times chance of having an error. All three arrays are vulnerable to one or more bits being in error. In the case of the parrity arrays if you get an error indicated in one but not the other, you have an error but you don’t know where it is. Whilst it is an error detection you have no idea if it is in the data or parity arrays…

So some systems use both mirroring and parrity. The most likely place you can read up on this is discussions about RAID storage systems.

However there is another way to detect errors and that is by encoding the data using say a 4 to 6 bit code. So only 16 out of 64 possible codes are valid. Depending on how you code you can get error correction, but you can read up on it in Wikipedia or some such as even PhD candidates can seriously bend their brains detrimentaly whilst trying to understand it.

But which method is best… Well that is still environmentally dependent. If you store the data arrays in one, two, or three physical not logical dimensions makes a considerable difference to what you might need…

So anyway that’s the easy stuff mentioned I’ll leave someone else to talk about the merits of RNA and DNA as storage systems.

Just remember nature especially evolution does not realy care about “accuracy” but “viability”. In fact if it’s too acurate it’s detrimental to eveloution.

ResearcherZero February 5, 2022 8:01 AM

Delivery system


The group is relentless and chooses its phishing targets carefully…

Officials said the group —which the SSU tracks internally as Armageddon but is more widely known in cybersecurity circles as Gamaredon— operated from the city of Sevastopol, Crimea, but acted on orders from the FSB Center for Information Security (also known as “Center 18”) in Moscow, a known hub for the FSB’s cyber operations.

Five members were identified by name and position and the SSU said it sent them “notices of high treason”:

Chernykh Mykola Serhiiovych (head of the 4th section of SCO of the FSB Sevastopol branch)
Sklianko Oleksandr Mykolaiovych (deputy chief of the 4th section of SCO of the FSB Sevastopol branch)
Starchenko Anton Oleksandrovych (officer of the 4th section of SCO of the FSB Sevastopol branch)
Sushchenko Oleh Oleksandrovych (officer of the 4th section of SCO of the FSB Sevastopol branch)
Miroshnychenko Oleksandr Valeriiovych (officer of the 4th section of SCO of the FSB Sevastopol branch)

Known as Gamaredon (Eset, PaloAlto), Primitive Bear (CrowdStrike), Winterflouder (iDefence), BlueAlpha (RecordedFuture), BlueOtso (PWC), IronTiden (SecureWorks), SectorC08 (Red Alert), and Callisto (NATO Association of Canada), the group began operations in June 2013, just months before Russia forcibly annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Since that time, the SSU says the group has carried out more than 5,000 cyberattacks against more than 1,500 Ukrainian government systems.

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 8:07 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Knowledge is being lost

Speaking of which,

Do people know why there are letters around the dial of a rotary phone?

Well back when you used to “place a call” through the operator you had to tell them “echange and number” as the phone exchanges had names not numbers (hence the intro tag in “The Prisoner”).

As automation started the first three letter of the exchange names became the automatic dial number it’s why there was a highen in phone numbers so you ended up with


1212 Was the number reserved for Police Station so,




Knowing this made life oh so much easier…

The local energancy number was always 999

The reason was the shape of rotary dials. And that zero was a special number that alowed for local dialing so +44-1- was in england just (0)1-

It used to be that (0)-1212 would call your local police station.

Whilst this all worked while the number of phones were few, changes in the 1960’s caused these rules to be first not taught and then forgoton then nolonger used so adding phones became easier (if you’d ever worked on an exchange frame you would understand why numbers were never issued sequentially).

Freezing_in_Brazil February 5, 2022 8:18 AM

re panspermia, etc.

I think that DNA is a universal substance. Because it has to be. I think that every time element disponibility and environmental conditions allow, the DNA molecule will form.

Now entering the Wonderland territory [because it’s Saturday], I’m used to hypothesize/fantasize that features like bilateral symmetry derive [somehow] from properties like the chirality of the DNA [in combination with other properties]. Therefore, within this framework, it would be likely that all the carbon-based creatures in the universe, sharing the universal DNA, will also share bilateral symmetry [our ET squids do have lateral symmetry].

Whatever the reality may be, the pricniple of caution dictates that it still too soon to rule panspermia out.

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 8:24 AM

@ null clam,

Everything physical is contingent and passes away so wouldn’t seem to have within itself the cause of its own existing, so it must have received being/existing from something else

The logical answer is it must have started with something “non physical”…

As the “something from nothing” rule precludes “nothing” as does your argument, it would appear that it has to be something non physical with some form of agency.

The only truly non physical thing we know of currentky is “information”.

Can infornation have agency? That is difficult to answer as “software” is ultimately instructions to a physical interpreter.

So “Can you have a non physical interpreter?” I believe the answer is more likely yes than no.

But… “Can a non physical interpreter have a physical output?” that is something I don’t remember anyone having talked about let alone have a valid proof for.

But that still leaves a “Predecessor Question” of “Where did the instructions come from?”

So “virtual turtles?”.

Winter February 5, 2022 8:32 AM

“tumors growing out the side of your face”

Tumors from microwaves? You have found something revolutionary that would earn you the Nobel price.

JonKnowsNothing February 5, 2022 11:38 AM

@Curious , @All

re: Facial recognition … the system will not retain the images it takes.”

Consider Carefully:

Exactly what does that mean, and what doesn’t it mean. It certainly means more than it implies and less than it promises.

1) A camera take a picture. What is a picture?

2a) A picture used to be an image captured on photographic film. This film was developed in a dark room, using chemicals and the film contained a reverse image of the item. It was (still is where used) a physical item.

2b) A digital picture captures and image and does what? It stores it in any of hundreds of digital formats on a media platform. The platform might be hard drives, RAM drives, memory sticks etc. The image is electronically encoded on a physical device. Even if it’s “memory only” it’s been encoded using whatever image protocol is used.

2c) So the image is already in a physical device somewhere just by “taking” a picture.

3) In order to do a comparison between X&Y another image, that is stored on a device somewhere, needs to be retrieved. It has to be in permanent storage to be used/useful.

4) Retention rules may apply and those rules may change, but both the X&Y images are already “stored” and at least one of them “retained”.

Captured light or captured bits are still captured.

If they were not storing images, they wouldn’t take them in the first place.

MikeA February 5, 2022 12:16 PM

Celestial cephalopods could explain a lot, including the badge for NROL-39.

I could never quite believe the “revelations” of certain tabloids that many (all?) (U.S.?) politicians were disguised Lizards from Space. I mean, comeon, Lizards are vertebrates. Congressional Cephalopods makes a lot more sense.

Futher evidence of how deep this goes: The comment form does not recognize “cephalopod” as a word. Censorship!!

Anders February 5, 2022 2:13 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

“We obtained a foreign intelligence report, detailing the Russian plans for the “post-war-order” in Ukraine.”


I love to wear scrotums as hats! February 5, 2022 2:41 PM

But you know what’s my all time favorite feeling?

A nice warm and waxed scrotum on my bald head, one testicle over each eye and the penis taped down my nose. I love to wear this for parties or just everyday lounging around!

lurker February 5, 2022 3:32 PM

Yes, I would certainly find it traumatic to have to wind a grandfather clock every day. The most popular models lasted at least a week, and it was Father’s duty to wind it on Sunday before going to church. Wedding present/heirloom 400 day clocks were something else, with their horizontal rotating escapement.

Clive Robinson February 5, 2022 5:37 PM

@ Freezing_in_Brazil,

Whatever the reality may be, the pricniple of caution dictates that it still too soon to rule panspermia out.

The reality is we know both ends of the journy although highly improbable are possible.

But the smaller the planets/moons the higher the possibility of success… But I suspect, the possibility of a first planet/moon is going to be small and retain a sufficient atmosphere for long enough for life to emerge is way to small.

Then how long would the journey take? My guess is a lot lot more than say the the duration of the first ice age.

Nick Levinson February 5, 2022 9:56 PM

Zoom is used for a summit meeting between two of the world’s most powerful heads of state, Biden and Xi of U.S. and P.R.C., respectively, obviously targets for any number of hackers (okay, not more than the world population of about 7.5 billion) happy to cut in and Zoom-bomb them. I think I heard somewhere that it was standard Zoom software, now available for $240 or less. The Zoom manufacturer’s HQ is in the U.S., not a neutral party in this case.

I expected that the two nations would have tasked their secret communications agencies to design their software (the NSA once wrote a cipher for use by both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R./Russia that shouldn’t compromise ciphers meant to be indecipherable by the U.S.S.R./Russia), not use a commercial off-the-shelf product.

But after Googling months later I don’t see an article on the technical aspects for this meeting.

Has commercial software security gotten so good that its presence is not newsworthy?

SpaceLifeForm February 5, 2022 11:51 PM

@ Nick Levinson

Has commercial software security gotten so good that its presence is not newsworthy?

No. I assume your question was rhetorical.

Weeks ago, Putin and Xi had a zoom call.

A couple of days ago, they met face to face.

Does that tell you anything?

Ths actions will be SWIFT.

Clive Robinson February 6, 2022 3:30 AM

@ Anders,

With regards Julian Roepcke’s “SCOOP” actually it’s probably not.

The intelligence it purports to show is just a rehash of what has happened to Belarus, the rest is a “salami-slicing” attack. Both of which you know I’ve talked about.

So if I can think it up as a probable senario, so I should think can many others.

Thus rather than an “order of battle” plan report, it may be actually post event analysis reports on Belarus and Crimea. The evebts of which are similar to evebts prior to WWII made by Germany. Such “history files” get drawn up all the time and “put on the shelf” to be pulled down and reworded quicly as needed for politicians and the like who frequently demand answers faster than they could read such a report (so such reports get re-made all most continuously so they can be “pulled out of the hat” at “the drop of a hat”).

Putin actually knows that his meddling in Belarus is a self inflicted wound and I would expect such a report to “tactfully” indicate that under “political repercussions” or similar.

As I’ve indicated Russia can not be an Empire if it wants a functioning economy the people desperatly need. But to stay in Power Putin needs to push the “Strong Russia” and Empire fantasy the Rus have had for centuries.

He’s effectively ended up in the cleft of a forked stick of his own making. His only way out is to find something that makes him look strong at home but gives him a mythical enemy in Orwellian style to blaim for his real failings. Which is what all the talk up about “anglo-saxons” is all about it’s code speak for “UK/USA Special Relationship” nonsense.

Whilst Putin has the forces to take part or all of East Ukraine in a blitz attack, he does not have the resources to hold it against a hostile population or even a small army (think drunken football fans occupy a town square as the bars close, but by morning the local police have sent them on their way home leaving a mess to be swept up).

The “wriggle room” for Putin is the 11million “Rus” in east Ukraine. They are buying into Putin’s “Strong Russia” myths because they are effectively “built in” to Rus. The reality was they were actually better off under non Russian rule, and whilst Putin might be able to buy them off for a short while, their fate will be that of those in Belarus, in fairly short order.

Which is actually not what Putin needs, he actually needs both Belarus and the Ukrain to be vibrantly economically viable, so they will trade with Russia and thus alow the Russian economy to build.

The problem is the “sentimentality” of many many Germans, that also look toward the Rus Myths… In a not to disimilar way that Argentineans looked on the “English way of life” myth.

So I’m very far from surprised it would be a “Bild Scoop” in fact I would say from that alone treat it with extream caution of beeing either fake, or drummed up into what is effectively a fake (look up “Yellow Cake” urabium as an example).

What ever happens going forward is going to be messy, that can not be avoided. The real question is,

“How messy do people want to make it?”

It’s easy to win a few battles, and perhaps a war… But winning the peace, that is hard very hard look at Afghanistan, Iraq and similar.

The way to win is not by Military Empire building, but by economic trade. Something way to few politicians want to acknowledge, because millitary victories though fleeting, gives politicians a spotlight to stand in and they think “look good” to their voters… It’s called “Jingoism” and it is a pestilance on humanity.

Clive Robinson February 6, 2022 4:30 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker, ALL,

May I commend to you,

“My Grandfather’s Clock”

The lyrics of which you will find here,'s_Clock

You might also note it was sung by a “Time Lord” aka “Dr Who” played by Jon Pertwee,

Whilst many know him only as “the best Dr” he was actuall a consumate actor, comedian and singer of “ditties”[1],

See the album “Songs for vulgar boatmen”,

My father had this in his record collection, and as an “innocent young lad” I would sing along… Much to my morher’s disapproval. He also had such others as Tom Lehrer’s “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”,

John February 6, 2022 4:50 AM


Nice analysis.

Now about Asia….

I don’t read much about the cracks in the armor. But they are there and getting harder to hide?

One of the most profound suggested that major regime change is needed in Asia every 100 years and that that time has arrived.

More computers off the web would certainly help keep things running.

I have been sending memory sticks even though write once CDs would be much better.

Hard to get good bandwidth VIA ham radio :).


CarpetCat February 6, 2022 10:57 AM


So McDonald’s in Vietnam? Or more broadly, the typical USA response of trade embargos and bank restrictions is incorrect?

Should the U.S. instead do the opposite with Russia, North Korea, etc, and engage fully economically?

null clam February 6, 2022 11:14 AM

@ Clive Robinson @ lurker @ SpaceLifeForm @ Freezing_in_Brazil @ all

Re: who what where with what why how when whaa?!? long has this been going on ?

This is an exceptionally difficult problem. (Note: not that kind of exceptionalism.)

Creo quia absurdum est. (Note: Maybe also might help explain, you know, p r i m e n u m b e r s)

From a page [1] at nLab [2]

“In the philosophy of science and particularly the philosophy of physics, the philosophical sentiment which expresses the following perspective on the description of physics by mathematics might deserve to be called universal exceptionalism or similar:

Since nature (reality) is exceptional in that it has existence, it is plausible that it is the exceptional structures among all mathematical structures – such as the exceptional examples in the classification of simple Lie groups, the exceptional Lie groups – that play a role in the mathematical description of nature, hence in physics and specifically in phenomenology.

This may be contrasted with empiricism.”

  1. Note: page is http – xyzzy://

JonKnowsNothing February 6, 2022 3:42 PM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

Re: Fomite testing at the Olympics

An interesting photo showed up in MSM Olympic report showing 2 techs, in full PPE, swabbing a gym locker door.

Other interesting bits:

  • As long as China has no new measures to prevent the imported
    strains of the coronavirus from triggering large-scale transmission
    and with no effective way to contain the epidemic, the country will
    not adjust its dynamic zero-tolerance policy for now, because
    relying on only vaccines cannot contain COVID-19.

    if you want to end the epidemic through building up the
    herd immunity but mutated strains can evade immunity, this
    concept will no longer [work]…

    Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control
    and Prevention

COVID-19: endemic doesn’t mean harmless

Aris Katzourakis is a professor who studies viral evolution and genomics at the University of Oxford, UK.

Search Terms:

  • Wu Zunyou Global Times zero-COVID Large-scale transmission
  • Katzourakis Nature Endemic Not Harmless

Clive Robinson February 6, 2022 9:06 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

With regards,

…but mutated strains can evade immunity, this
concept will no longer [work]…

Evidence is building, that you need to be infected by one or more varients of SARS2 to not get immunity but widest protection.

For instance increasing medical evidence is building that mRNA “booster shots” are showing “diminishing returns”… In that their effectiveness at preventing hospitalization or reinfection is down to ten weeks… Where as having been infected appears to work for atleast a year.

Denmark has basically lifted all Covid restrictions on scientific evidence.

I hope they are right because of a snafu with the way they are doing things in the UK. It means for medical reasons (PEs and blood clots in heart) I should not have a “mRNA booster” but a “third vaccination”… Which requires a special authorisation letter. So as that is “considerable hassle” thus “work in progress” it’s more likely I’ll get infected by Omicron before I get the letter…

Anyway my local hospital ran tests and apparently I’ve not been infected (yet…).

A senior cardiologist came and saw me whilst I was laying on the gurnny and gave me one of those big cotton buds and said “back of the throat, then nose” and I enquired “why that order?”… To which the reply was “So you don’t put boggies in your mouth”, and without thinking I said “I’ve not done that since I was nine”… The cardiologist let me down gently by saying “It was fourteen for me”.

Either you get the strangest of conversations in my local hospital, or it’s something the medical proffession see in me… Not sure which is more worrying :-S

Jon February 6, 2022 11:35 PM

@ Clive Robinson

The local energancy number was always 999

The reason was the shape of rotary dials.

In the UK, perhaps. In the USA, the emergency number was always 911, because it was faster to dial. J.

null clam February 7, 2022 2:34 AM

@ Ismar @ Clive Robinson

Re: more information

There is also the earlier book

Frieden, B. Roy. Physics from Fisher Information. (1998). Cambridge University Press.


A Unification

This book defines and develops a unifying principle of physics, that of ‘extreme
physical information’. The information in question is, perhaps surprisingly, not
Shannon or Boltzmann entropy but, rather, Fisher information, a simple
concept little known to physicists.

Both statistical and physical properties of Fisher information are developed.
This information is shown to be a physical measure of disorder, sharing with
entropy the property of monotonic change with time. The information concept
is applied ‘phenomenally’ to derive most known physics, from statistical
mechanics and thermodynamics to quantum mechanics, the Einstein field
equations, and quantum gravity. Many new physical relations and concepts are
developed including new definitions of disorder, time and temperature. The
information principle is based upon a new theory of measurement, one which
incorporates the observer into the phenomenon that he/she observes. The
‘request’ for data creates the law that, ultimately, gives rise to the data. The
observer creates his or her local reality.

This fascinating work will be of great interest to students and researchers
from all areas of physics with an interest in new ways of looking at the subject.”

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 4:26 AM

@ null clam, Ismar,

There is also the earlier book

Yes, R.A.Fisher’s statistics will produce second order differential equations IF and ONLY IF you select your limits and twiddle factors.

And that’s the rub they actually give meta-data on a known effect, they are not “predictive” in any manner. That is an amp meter will give you an integrated indication of the movment of a considerably large number of individual charges. It won’t tell you the individual paths or make a prediction from one point in time to another other than as a bulk effect and the observer fitting past data to a known curve of their choice. So it won’t tell you in advance when a switch will be thrown unless there is also a known determanistic algorithm for that.

Worse many at the time thought Frieden’s work was an atempt at more “man at the center of the universe” type theology or metaphysics. The reason for this is in part Frieden’s “extream locality” view point and that the observer has to be at the center. It was found his ideas broke down when you changed from Cartisian to Polar coordinate systems, which it realy should not. The “natural” viewpoint for such an observer is to use polar coordinates.

But the other issue, statistics does not tell you in advance –ie predict– if you are heading for a minima or a saddle, it can not (see later work on Chaos).

Which brings us to the issue of there is more signal if you make more measurments… We generally except that all measurments are imprecise for two reasons, they are “an average” of a “stochastic source”. Digging deeper with finer measurments does not remove the stochastic nature of the source. But even more measurments in time does not remove it either. The process of “curve fitting” is generally by piecewise aproximation, yes we get taught Newton’s infinitesimals but we can never know the true shape of the curve at any given point in time or location therefore we can not tell exactly where it is going thus at some level “Chaos Rules Supreme”. Because whilst the variables may not be hidden, they are obscured by the randomness of both source and measurement to the point that reliable prediction is not possible.

Take a ball rolling down a slope, your first measurment gives you a point, your second another, and you can draw a straight line between then or a near infinity of curves. You need a third measurment to tell if it’s a curve or not, but whilst the third point will enable you to “fix a circle” most curves are not circles but they are reducable to circles and their harmonics by the likes of Fourier Analysis. But even then their predictive function is limited by both the number of measured points and the windowing function necessarily used because the number of meaurments is not infinite nor can be.

But the other thing against Frieden’s system is we have moved on. There is an implicit assumption in Fisher’s statistics that things are continuous and not granular. Science now is coming around to the notion that things are fundamentally granular in nature. If true, and the universe is not highly ordered and uniform in structure –think crystalline– then you will not be able to predict where you are on the “step” your measurment “lands on”. So like the throwing of a switch in future time you need information that is unavailable to you.

Remember the average of random is still random just integrated over the past, not the future.

Winter February 7, 2022 5:43 AM

@Clive et al
” In that their effectiveness at preventing hospitalization or reinfection is down to ten weeks… Where as having been infected appears to work for atleast a year.”

The current version should be treated as a new disease wrt immunity. Protection from earlier infections of jabs is only partial. Getting infected does exposes you to the full risks of the disease. That is not a very good strategy to prefent the risks of disease.

The supposed “Controlled Infections”, ie, get all young people infected to obtain herd immunity, are an oxymoron when talking about respiratory diseases. The young people will simply infect everybody else.

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 6:12 AM

@ Ismar, null clam,

With regards the Guardian review, you will find this little gem of nonsense,

“Before life exists, there cannot be any such thing as information.”

The writer is mistaking “knowledge” with “information”.

Information exists whenever there is more than one of something. Like the distance between two points. The information is implicit, the value we chose to give it and call it “knowledge” is based on our invented system of measurments that change with scale.

The ratio of the circumfrance of a circle and it’s diameter does not change with the measurments we use. All that would change is the value of what we chose to call Pi but not it’s implicit relationship.

Like the falling of a tree in a forest, not having an observer does not change it’s fate only our knowledge of the event.

With regards,

“you get two new two-headed worms, even though they have exactly the same DNA as the original one-headed worm.”

All this demonstrates is that there is something “more than our current knowledge”, it’s called epigenetics. Think of the cell as a reproductive interpreter, RNA as it’s instructions, DNA as a higher level language to frame the instructions in a short form, and epigenetics as in part the “library” that is linked, as well as things unknown to the developer to do with state.

Thus the actual behaviour of say printf() is defined in part by the library and in part by things the source code developer can not know such as the mapping of stdout in the OS/Drivers/Hardware. Such are the joys of “abstraction”.

As for the teleological issue, it’s back to a theological perspective and “free will”.

Simple objects have no agency, however put a number of simple objects together and the increase of complexity alows for “apparent” free will. A simple “micro-mouse” style robot can “apparently learn”. If you do not know how the internal complexity of an object works then it looks like the robot has agency, even though it is following instructions.

Now as with Conway’s “game of life” it can be seen that even very very very simple automata can exhibit highly complex behaviour. There is a branch of mathmatics that covers part of this, and deals with fully determanistic systems that are highly sensitive to their variables as input conditions, thus knowledge of them is no real predictor of future behaviour.

One thing that came out of Conway’s game of life, is that in a multicellular system, the order events happen in effects the outcome as the sensitivity and both feed-forward and later feed-back. Thus it can be seen that even simple components in sufficient number will produce behaviours that are unpredictable.

Evolution takes time but it is brutal in it’s selectivity. From time to time I mention the 2/3rds rule of thumb. It comes about as a “sweet spot” between two independent things one of which is chaotic in the short term.

For instance “food supply” is we know seasonal, but it is also sensitive to a large number of input conditions. So if you have a creature that does not store energy, the first lean time puts it’s feet in the air. So storing energy is desirable… But the more energy you store the greater your mass will be, it literally weighs you down, and other basic laws of nature come into play, which means that your ability to gather food is impared and your longevity impared.

So you need a balance between working weight and energy storage weight, the point is dependent on how you measure things, but even in diferent measures like Pi the ratio comes out close to ~2/3rds. It appears to be a fundemental rule because it also applies to fully determanistic systems with random inputs like “supply chains”.

So both over-optomisation and under-optomisation is detrimental to a “system” of parts, though the parts will have different optomisations such as light to energy conversion by photosynthesis.

So you have to “think in systems” and “agency” does “appear” to arise from very basic fundementals via the way of “complexity” and “sensitivity”.

But there is another asspect, that is most biological systems can above a certain level of complexity copy themselves. So if a random change causes even a fractional increase in either longevity or reproduction then it will be favoured. Hence the notion of “evoloution” being fundemental to what occurs.

The result is specialisation that gives advantage, starts to take become predominant… Untill it becomes less adventageous or another varient gains a different advantage.

We can see this in action in “real-time” currently with the varients of SARS, Delta got replaced by Omicron which in turn is being replaced with another varient of Omicron.

Eventually it’s “assumed” an effective symbiotic system will develop and SARS2 will become like the other common cold Corona Viruses that infect humans a background oppotunist. But will it? It’s followed a different tactic than the cold viruses in that it significantly gets reproduced before humans become symptomatic. Further where as in times past the symptoms such as “chills” attracted us to others thus aiding infections, modern societ shuns such behaviours. Thus at some point there will be an argument made that SARS2 reflects changes in society that are not more than half a century in existance.

Obviously this is not “agency” by the virus and definately not “free will”, but that is what it looks like…

Sensitivity in multicellular systems gives rise to complexity, which in turn gives rise to increasing complexity tempered by rules we see as “evolution” from unpredictable input. Is there actually a need for the notion of “free-will” or “theology”?

I’ll let others fight that one out, as to me it’s not that important in the short time we get.

Bob Paddock February 7, 2022 7:18 AM

“any thoughts as to how to go about checking for presence of illegally and secretly/hidden planted Apple AirTags in a newly purchased vehicle, house, apartment?”

This is what the App AirGuard does:

With AirGuard you get the anti-tracking protection you deserve!
The app periodically scans your surroundings for potential tracking devices, like AirTags or other Find My devices.

The AirTags and other Find My devices are simple, small and perfect to track Android users!
Without tracking warnings, as integrated on iOS, anyone could try to track your behavior by placing an AirTag in your jacket, backpack or car.

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 8:41 AM

@ Winter, et al,


blockquote>The young people will simply infect everybody else.



So I’ve little choice, I will get infected, as will all others that do not live in an issolated bubble.

So knowing that you have a choice to make,

1, Keep pushing the rock up hill which will eventually fail probably badly.
2, Go with the inevitable, whilst it is relatively benign for a fully vaccinated person.

But also as I’ve indicated the Medical profession believes my direct risk from the vaccine is way too high[1] to give me a booster shot. So little choice becomes no real choice.

1, Live in a bubble that will eventually fail, knowing that with each passing day my immunity is decreasing. So the longer I avoid the worse I will be for it. And the varient then might be considerably more pathogenic.
2, Go with the inevitable, whilst I still have some vaccination protection, and the current varient is relatively benign for a recently fully vaccinated person.

Denmark has lifted all restrictions based on what appears to be currently sensible scientific evidence.

Added to that when you have health care professionals with expertise in the area saying,

“Omicron is the vaccine we could not aford to make or distribute”

You have to ask what that realy means, not just on a societal but individual level.

No action people take is risk free, even not getting out of bed or shutting yourself away has significant health risks. Thus the question not just of “comparative risk” but “changing risk” arises.

At the moment I have some immunity from the vaccine, but this is waning. But also the current varient, though highly infectious, has low pathological risk for a fully vaccinated or previously infected person. That might not be true in a few weeks when a new varient inevitably arises, and may get a toe hold.

Imagine if you can the related MERS which is very pathogenic (~30% fatality rate) with the infectiousness of the latest Omicron. It’s easily possible with high infection rates.

[1] Back in July, well short of 28 days since getting my second vaccine injection, I was rushed into resuss (critical emergancy care) in danger of imminent death by blood clots in my lungs and heart. In the case of the latter a blood clot the size of the end of your thumb loose in the right atrium that was interupting blood flow so that my cardiac output was on average 5% or less on standing up or less than 20% when lying down resting.

Now… personally I do not believe in any way it was down to the vaccine, but a screw up over prescription medications that could have easily been avoided by an informed clinical review, rather thsn a “box checking” joke by the General Practice I was registered with.

But when I tried going forca booster thay went “Oh waily waily” and effectively said know by bureaucratic process.

Winter February 7, 2022 11:17 AM

“So I’ve little choice, I will get infected, as will all others that do not live in an issolated bubble.”

It is a calculated risk. Please, make sure you are in contact with or proximity to professional health care at all times.

QC February 7, 2022 11:32 AM

So IRS wants people to provide a video of their face to a third party ( for, “identification purposes”. The said third party of course “promises” to keep the data safe and not to abuse it (were you born last night, you might even believe these promises).

Since nothing is completely safe anyway, it is just a question of time when someone breaks into the servers and copies their data. The company probably would not even notice.

And then we have this sort of services now:

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 11:43 AM

@ Winter,

It is a calculated risk

And one I would not otherwise take.

But it was clear some time ago the politicians want to “open up” on any excuse. So my choice was taken away from me, some time ago, it is just a question of the clock ticking down. Hence my thinking about it since last year.

I will get infected, not because I wish/want to, but because my choice has been renoved. Avoiding everyone who might be infected is impractical, so at some point I –probably– will get both infected and symptomatic, but hopefully not to the level that requires hospital admission…

It’s nothing personal to the medical proffession but I’d like to stay out of hospital I’ve been a guest far to often. Let me put it this way if they gave “frequent flyer airmiles” I’d have enough to fly around the world a couple of times…

But the reality is, if I’m going to get it without choice, then sofar as pathogenicity is concerned it’s at the lowest it’s been in two years.

Will the next varient be any less pathogenic? I’ve no idea it could go either way, but up is probably more likely than down from what is being said. What I do know is my immunity like everyone elses is on a count down clock…

ATN February 7, 2022 11:45 AM

“13. Evolution of intelligent complexity”

It seems that Douglas Adam’s got it wrong, it is not about Dolphins leaving earth, not about mouse, it is not a sperm whale and a bowl of petunias who fall down – but a squid who did fall down…

Maybe the sperm whale got transformed to a squid under higher improbability drive?,Universe%20than%20we%20do%20now.%E2%80%9D

Now, why did the bowl of petunias said as it fell “Oh no, not again”?
“if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

Winter February 7, 2022 12:34 PM

“A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click”

Solution: generate lots of “porn” switching men’s faces onto female actresses. Preferably, well known men.

That will defang this app pretty quickly.

JonKnowsNothing February 7, 2022 12:40 PM

@Clive, @ Winter, et al,

re: The Winter Storms of Omicron

W: Please, make sure you are in contact with or proximity to professional health care at all times.

You won’t “be well” if you snag a copy of Omi where I am. The TRIAGE lights are still up and will be for a good long while yet. There’s no room in the hospitals and no patient transfers of consequence happening. Just good old “let em die in the hallway” treatment.

I am is the same boat with Clive, with the probabilities remaining extremely high for infection.

The Bank of Mom and Dad HIP-RIP Economics 2022 (preview) (3)

I’ve been working on determining exactly “what benefit is expected” from HIP-RIP policy insuring a constant roll over of 30% of the population every 2-3-4 months to any COVID virus. They are all still active: Alpha, Delta .. the whole alphabet although in small numbers compared to Omicron.(1)(2)

If you consider that each quarterly cycle has 2 outcomes: Non-lethal and Lethal.

Lethal Group:
* Each quarter a percentage of “new applicants” to the lethal group by age and health are included. Every year, 4 sets of this group Age In or Sick In.

The Non-Lethal Group
* This group returns to work after 0-14 days and can remain on duty for 2-3 months baring re-infection by a different C19 letter. This group increases as children enter the workforce.

Global Demographics

  • A good number of countries have low birth numbers, meaning that there are fewer children to replace aging workers.
    ** In many countries with low birth rates there are pressures and laws being enacted to “encourage” higher birth rates to counter the population age shift.
  • Few countries are concerned about their aging populations other than the costs of maintaining them.
    ** Countries that have economic resources carry an expectation of continuing support until natural death.
    ** Countries without resources have few expectations for aged care.

For HIP-RIP countries that carry an expectation of aged care support, having a quarterly blow-out has direct economic benefits.

However, HIP-RIP countries are not currently geared economically to have 30% of their workforce off-line for 0-14 days every 3 months. Those sick longer than 2 weeks get statistically moved to the Lethal Group.

It is not yet clear how this will balance economically and demographically over a longer period of years, instead of months.

In Australia, the Omicron outbreaks in Aged Care Facilities is an example.

In the care homes, the workforce got sick and unable to continue. There was no one available to help feed, provide fluids, toilet, clean, dress, or do the 1001 things that need doing for the aged, infirm and disabled.

The aged care operators requested assistance from the government and were rebuffed. The government had indicated there would be “backup resources available” for any crisis. It turned out that this “backup resource group” was fictional.

The aged care operators next requested the Australian Defense Force (ADF) be deployed to assist them. Again they were rebuffed, multiple times.

Now the ADF is supposed to come assist, in the near future.

Current estimates are that 500 people will have died from lack of care, before the ADF will show up.


Search Terms:

  • Cost–benefit analysis (CBA)
  • trade-off (or tradeoff)

1) Omicron is not a mutation of Alpha, Beta, Delta. It is a direct sprout from D614G (Wave 1 COVID). D614G was supposed to be extinct after the global wipe outs from the lettered versions, especially Delta.

Reported numbers are generally statistical roll ups, to the extend that any count has validity, and often are not reported if a minimum threshold is not met.

All sorts of counts are subject to these minimum reporting thresholds, and a report of 0% does not mean “eradicated”.

2) WHO and other groups tracking SARS-CoV-2 mutations, have indicated new mutations are expected. Omicron BA2 will be making the rounds as BA1 fades.

Other yet unnamed variants, are expected with the massive mutation opportunities being provided.

3) See previous postings on the Bank of Mom and Dad. These maybe in the archive or on the wayback machine.

notyourmediocre February 7, 2022 1:32 PM

@Bob Paddock,

Most people use their cell phones nowadays to communicate, connect, share data, etc.. but please keep in mind that there are few animals out there that have, and unfortunately still want to, hurt others by using cellphones to activate explosive devices. So, using something, anything, for illicit purposes, whose inventors did not intend it to be used for. We used to call it – hacking, but the meaning got perverted over time. So with that intro, I hope I tickled your imagination a little bit as to what the AirTags might and will turn into, in the very near future, but unfortunately, time and time again, I keep being disappointed by the know-it-all wannabees here on this blog that cannot think or see outside the box.

@Leon Theremin,
Yes, especially if you are a Muslim in Boise Idaho who’s involved with Intellectual Property theft and Online Piracy.

pup vas February 7, 2022 1:39 PM

NSO Group: Israel launches inquiry into police hacking claims

=Israel’s government will set up a commission of inquiry to examine reports the police used spyware made by NSO Group to hack the phones of Israeli public figures without authorisation.

Officials, protesters, journalists and a son of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were among those targeted, the local newspaper Calcalist said.

A witness in Mr Netanyahu’s corruption trial was also allegedly monitored.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said the reports, if true, were “very serious”.

The company has insisted that !!!!!it does not operate the software once it is sold to clients and has previously stated that it could not be used to track Israeli citizens. It has not commented on the latest development.

Pegasus infects phones, allowing operators to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones and cameras.=

More details inside.

pup vas February 7, 2022 1:53 PM

Chinese ‘space cleaner’ spotted grabbing and throwing away old satellite

=A Chinese satellite was spotted in late January grabbing another long-dead satellite and days later throwing it into a “graveyard” orbit 300 km away, where objects are less likely to hit spacecraft.

Chinese ‘space cleaner’ spotted grabbing and throwing away old satellite

Last month, a private satellite tracking company spotted a Chinese spacecraft apparently grabbing and throwing a dead satellite away into a “graveyard” orbit.

ClearSpace1 mission

In 2025, the first active debris removal mission, ClearSpace-1, will attempt to “throw away” the upper part of a Vespa (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter) from Europe’s Vega launcher.

Something out of a Star Wars movie occurred in Earth’s orbit last month.

A Chinese satellite was spotted in late January grabbing another long-dead satellite and days later throwing it into a “graveyard” orbit 300 km away, where objects are less likely to hit spacecraft.

These rare events were presented by Dr. Brien Flewelling in a webinar hosted by the Center of Strategic and International Studies and Secure World Foundation last month. Flewelling is the chief space situational awareness architect of ExoAnalytic Solutions, a private U.S. company that tracks the position of satellites using a large global network of optic telescopes.

The Chinese SJ-21 satellite was seen on January 22 changing its usual place in the sky to approach decommissioned satellite Compass-G2. A few days later, SJ-21 attached to G2, altering its orbit.

Chinese officials haven’t yet confirmed that the apparent space tug occurred.

Over the course of the next few days, the spacecraft couple started dancing westward, ExoAnalytic’s video footage showed. By January 26, the two satellites separated, and G2 was kicked into oblivion.=

More interesting details in the article.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 7, 2022 2:38 PM

7 Feb 2022 — Whitewashing History is not just for Educators
Historic national security critiques disappear over time…how the past is slipping away from the net.

As a semi-regular exercise a search from Google representing information
filtered back to queries related to intelligence legislative activities and bills related to national security. Having simplified the search terms over time to provide for the broadest possible result set, the following string passed to the search engine is as follows:

H.R. 4681 Intelligence Authorization Act

Past searches included the problematic section 309, it was dropped this time.

What is different, section 309 and the year has been dropped. Critical articles and papers respecting the law have all but disappeared. There were approximately three sources cited by Google’s search in the recent past. Now, no significant criticisms are listed but one and a half (Hacker News is not a significant critique). The only explanation I can come up with is there must be a references to CRT in the legislative text.

The following are listed on page (all legislative references) one:

The following are listed on page two (non-critical bill reference: (non-critical lobbying list) (non-critical section language)

Sites referenced critical of the bill listed on page two:

The following are listed on page (reverts back to legislative references) three :

The remaining 5 pages of results are of various reference forms and nothing from more independent news sources.

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 4:44 PM

@ QC, ALL,

With regards the IRS surrogate embarrassment / hell child, you say,

The company probably would not even notice.

I would say that what will happen is it will get noticed at the bottom of the tree by some lowly tech.

They will report it up, but it will somehow as if by magic disappear up the chain.

Come the sense of “embarrassment” of being publicly caught in the spotlight of being so well and truly forcefully intruded into through the rear door by persons unknown to them. They will nodoubt wish to cover their shame.

So what are they do to hide it, obviously sitting on it is nolonger an option, nor is pretending that they were not acting in a manner that would positively attract such intrusions into their rear door.

So there needs to be some third party to be blaimed… Enter stage left the lowly tech, somehow no matter how they reported it, they will be blaimed, or if the info stopped at a higher level, then “procedures” will be blaimed…

Now this would suggest that all lowly techs should take care to carefully document such things to cover their “sit upons”.

But it won’t work, such things are career suicide for lowly techs, as managment in no way want to know, that figuratively they are standing in public with thei pants round their ankles, with a welcome mat at their heels, all in the name of squeezing that little bit extra money into their pocket.

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 5:10 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Winter, et al,

With regards,

Omicron is not a mutation of Alpha, Beta, Delta. It is a direct sprout from D614G (Wave 1 COVID). D614G was supposed to be extinct after the global wipe outs from the lettered versions, especially Delta.

The story –as I’ve seen no evidence yet– is that, in a true Douglas Adams way,

“The mice are to blaim!”

So shouting “to business” in a squeaky voice…

Apparently in some dark corner of a nation to poor to aford even asprin to cover their populations needs, they do not count anything as they have nothing to measure with, people to tally, or communications systems to report by.

In this black hole of information “it is said” that D614G had a reverse zoonotic transfer into rodents with close contact with humans (something you may remember I had very specific concerns about with regards to “disease reservoirs”). Where it remained for some time before undergoing a zoonotic transfer into humans again…

Apparently the rodent in question is the “household mouse” or local equivalent there off (a plague humans have ironically spread around the world by trade, as Australians are only too aware of, and something else I’ve expressed concerns about).

Now the “Trillion Dollar Question” is,

“Has it established a disease reservoir in mice or not?”

If it has this “pandemic” will be officialy over, because it will have officially been “steped up” –not down– to “endemic” status.

SpaceLifeForm February 7, 2022 5:37 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, Winter, ALL

re: it is stealthy

Baise, China in full lockdown. Omicron.

US Olympic Figure Skater tests positive.

I’m pretty sure there was plane travel involved.

Antibodies were detected in 99% of individuals who reported a positive COVID-19 test result, in 55% who believed they had COVID-19 but were never tested, and in 11% who believed they had never had COVID-19

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 5:39 PM

@ notyourmediocre,

but please keep in mind that there are few animals out there that have, and unfortunately still want to, hurt others

Please do not call them “animals”.

They are without any doubt part of our society and are found very much in politics and business managment where they do rather more damage than those few wgo are in terrorism.

Estimates vary from 5-20% of the Western population have this mental disorder, that they chose to inflict on others. So many in fact the “spectrum” argument has come up, with some saying “we are all on the spectrum”.


1, Calling them animals.
2, Saying all on spectrum.

Can and will be used by such people to hide behind. With the result they will be able to continue to terrorise the rest of society through “Politics” and “Corporations”.

With regards,

I hope I tickled your imagination a little bit as to what the AirTags might and will turn into, in the very near future, but unfortunately, time and time again, I keep being disappointed by the know-it-all wannabees here on this blog that cannot think or see outside the box.

Some of us are only too aware of this. But in the past others have complained when we mention such things and thus censorship builds up.

Some years ago now I pointed out that nearfield devices like those used in passports could be used to act as nationalised / personalised bomb triggers by not their data which is encrypted, but by their powerup turn on charecteristics.

I’ve also explained that if you virw the AirTag as a “leaf node” on a graph, identifing / finding specific iPhones is not just possible but relatively simple.

So you might be surprised at just how far “out of the box” some of what you call “wannabees” here have thought, in high probability further than you have and a lot longer ago.

We have to “message between the lines” on such prognostications, otherwise they can disapear. Which would certainly be the fate of this message, if I went into the full tchnical detail, which as I’ve said before is “well within an undergraduate” or even “high school” project.

I suspect that those in that University in Israel, are rather more than aware of this, so chose with care what they put in their “published” papers (which leaves open the fact of “classified” papers/reports of very limited circulation).

Clive Robinson February 7, 2022 6:03 PM

@ vas pup,

Chinese ‘space cleaner’ spotted grabbing and throwing away old satellite

About time to.

I’ve had more than a passing interest in this for a couple of decades.

The “insustry” preasured legislators into “end of life self deorbit” as a solution to “debris”. It’s not for atleast four good reasons,

1, The same fuel that will be used to deorbit is also used for station keeping. So it’s highly probable that an operator will use up the fuel during the operational phase, and push any fines etc far into the business future.

2, It is in the nature of all things to fail, you only have to look into the clocks on the EU GPS satellites to see this.

3, The Space Industry” is a major poluter in oh so many ways, that it would not exist if they had to pay to “clean up” not just of their act, but the mess they continue to make, and will continue to do so if not legislatively stopped.

4, The “colission cascade” potential even in a higher orbit remains. A Kessler Cascade/Syndrom expands outwards so will put debris back in lower orbits over time. Which is the reason “impactor” systems are such an act of lunacy.

As the design of “End Of Life”(EOL) systems is actually quite hard for various reasons, 2 above is to be expected as a sigbificant percentage of launched vehicles.

So sending up a reusable “grab and spin” or similar system makes a lot of sense.

The fact it can also be used as a weapon –though way more safely than an impactor– is of course a concern.

lurker February 7, 2022 7:12 PM


Baise is an important stop on the rail line between Canton/Hongkong and the Yunnan plateau. They have the High Speed Rail now, no planes needed. It is a compact city surrounded by relatively uninhabited (by Chinese standards) countryside. Few routes in/out make lockdown easy, but give western headline writers hysteria.

SpaceLifeForm February 7, 2022 7:26 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing, Winter, ALL

“Has it established a disease reservoir in mice or not?”

It is clearly endemic.

I asked this question nearly two years ago: Will it be all mammals?

Well, the data keeps coming in.

Mink, Deer, Rhinoceros, Hamster, and now Rat. Some Cat, some Dog. I’m sure I have missed some. Don’t forget Civit and Bat.

Wastewater treatment. If it can circulate in the water supply, then it definitely will be endemic. Wild animals that can drink water from the outflow of a wastewater treatment plant will likely get infected.

Downstream water production plants may be feeding contaminated water to their consumers.

Supply Chain.

We just have to hope it will continue to mutate in a good direction. I’m still optimistic that by July 2022, it will be much calmer.

Those that live in Antivaxland, may not see this outcome.

lurker February 7, 2022 7:54 PM

@pup vas, @Clive

Having a garbage truck in geo-sync orbit to dispose of dead geo-sync birds would be
a) a useful tool since geo-sync spots are getting rare and expensive;
b) somewhat easier than trying to clean up some of the lower orbit junk;
c) causing jitters in some circles until somebody else can demonstrate capability here.

null clam February 7, 2022 9:08 PM

@ Clive Robinson @ ismar @ all

something non physical with some form of agency

only truly non physical thing we know of currentky is “information”

need for … theology

Full disclosure (as if it were needed) – amateur trying to find sense, with no recourse but to trust mental equipment clearly sub-par, casting a line into the lake and hoping something bites etc.

Nothing physical, however elaborate in form, has “exists” as part of the form that defines and makes it what it is (its nature), that is, nothing physical can account for its own existence. Nevertheless things to exist, so their existence would seem to have to be caused by something else (that had existence).

Following this out, we are lead to the propostion that to account for the existing things, there must be something that does have “exists” as its nature. From this it is quick work to see that this particular being must have all the usual attributes of “god”. This is the non-material agency we’re looking for. 😉

This line of analysis (the argument from being, see Aristotle, Aquinas) also shows that the arguments by “Intelligent Design”, such as Hoyle apparently espoused, can never be more than arguments from proablitiy and do not have in themselves the potential to prove existence of a god.

“Information” seems to be basically “number”, which is something in the mind that corresponds to an external physical thing. We don’t find it physically existing in the world, e.g. you can find six apples, but you can never find just “6”.

So theology, at least natural or philosophical theology, is needed, because what we see and know points to it.

Take it for what it’s worth. Together with $3.50, I am sure it will get you a skim-milk latte anywhere in town. 😉

SpaceLifeForm February 7, 2022 9:18 PM

@ lurker, JonKnowsNothing, Clive, Winter, ALL

Few routes in/out make lockdown easy, but give western headline writers hysteria

No hysteria required. It is going to RIP in China and Russia.

They just have to hope their vaccines worked well enough to keep the Memory-T cells paying attention, and that an individuals immune systems will respond to Omicron BA.2 and defeat it.

I have my doubts tbat it will proceed well in China or Russia.

It is likely better to have been vaxed and then get exposed. Twice, to different variants.

Russia and China are behind the curves of curves.

lurker February 7, 2022 11:36 PM

@SpaceLifeForm “It is going to RIP in China…”

Sure, but they’ll keep locking down until these Winter Games are finished and all the foreigners sent home…

Curious February 8, 2022 12:39 AM

I wonder, would this article interesting to cryptographers?
I don’t understand the piece of math here below myself though.

Abstract: We prove that the discrete logarithm problem can be solved in quasi-polynomial expected time in the multiplicative group of finite fields of fixed characteristic. More generally, we prove that it can be solved in the field of cardinality P^n in expected time (pn)^2log2(n)+O(1).

(“Discrete logarithms in quasi-polynomial time in finite fields of fixed characteristic”) (paywalled or something afaik)

I guess, for all I know, there are possibly hundreds of such papers made each year.

Winter February 8, 2022 1:13 AM

“Another of Mr.Z’s acts of omission: nipples are no-no, but blood and guts are OK…”

As they said long time ago, it is censored if you kiss a breast on TV, but totally OK if you cut it off.

That is the message children get.

Clive Robinson February 8, 2022 1:31 AM

@ null clam,

Nevertheless things do exist, so their existence would seem to have to be caused by something else (that had existence).

That is the “Turtles all the way down” / “fleas have lesser fleas” argument of infinite regression.

Or “every action is caused” so anything else must be “an action by an uncaused entity” that is a “God”. Or if you prefer “aliens outside our time and space bubble” we call the universe. And in part gives rise to “the many universes argument”.

But none of that asweres the basic question of “something from nothing” which worries various scientists as it should do.

So onwards and up the stack of turtles,

“Information” seems to be basically “number”, which is something in the mind that corresponds to an external physical thing.

Err no not “number” but “ratio” the first is dependent on your measurand the second is not. As Pi demonstrates when presented in any base or scale you chose the diameter to circumferance is a constant “ratio”.

A ratio is a fundemental entity numbers are just a way of measuring it. It can take a while to get your head around it and get comfortable but it is important.

Oh and have you noticed mathmatics as opposed to arithmetic is not about “numbers” either. But “ratios” as “constants” and the manipulation of symbols by logic and “set theory”.

Ratios are why I talk of information being “stored between two or more points”. Which leads on to what I call “Data shadows”. Take any two binary bit streams and use XOR on them and you get a third data stream. It’s the basic idea in secure cryptography the same applies to other operators and their inverses under certain conditions (bijection).

But you can think of it another way, however many points you use you can encode another new point different to those you already have. It’s a basic property of “spaces” that are multidimensional. Each point’s position in an N dimensional space is encoded from it’s position in the lesser dimensions. The implication of this is that there has to be consistancy. That is perform an operation in a lower dimension then the results in a higher dimension must be “consistant” in both behaviour and in any coordinate system you chose to use irrespective of the measurand scaling.

So now consider carefully,

“What is the physical form of a data shadow?”

Does it even have physical form? The answer is no it does not, it is the ratio of the arangment of points in a space that has no need to be physical.

Information can has three basic functions,

1, Stored
2, Communicated
3, Processed

None of which actually require direct physical agency. However remember only the “natural numbers” or “countable numbers” apply to the physical universe (and computers). The difference between negative and positive numbers is not magnitude but direction.

But humans, being of the physical universe, we can only interact by matter/energy under forces.

So we use information that has been “impressed” on matter/energy and thus must use forces to process it.

So where do matter and energy come from… Well some think they are just a side effect of multidimentional information.

It’s an intriguing notion, that actually gets around the “Turtles all the way down” argument of matter/energy.

Are we just an artifact of some unseeable entities celestial computer?

That sound you hear is of egos being bruised 😉

With regards,

When I tried to read Frieden this kept bothering me, the “thing” was needed before there could be “information”.

An important point to note, is his system does not maintain consistancy across coordinate systems… Which from my perspective makes it either incomplete or a total bust.

Clive Robinson February 8, 2022 2:20 AM

@ lurker, pup vas,

causing jitters in some circles until somebody else can demonstrate capability here.

Won’t stop the jitters, in fact it adds to them (think mutually assured destruction failed when a third party gained capability).

People do things for three basic reasons,

1, Benifit / Reward.
2, Oppression / fear.
3, Unexplainable / irrational.

Game theory generally only regards the first as “Risk-Reward” in usually a “zero sum game”, importantly where the actors/entities are “rational”.

So at a basic level it predicts without accounting for agency.

That’s not to say Game Theory is useless but it is limited…

The way to stop a rational person doing something is to ensure that by their doing it they loose in all ways. Importantly by their own actions not by the actions of others (a mistake politicians make almost all the time).

I’ve no objection to this Chinese development, “heaven knows we need it” but it is just a technology.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, technology is used by a “Directing mind” with agency. The good/bad is an evaluation of an “observer” who by logic has a Different “Point Of View”(POV). Obviously what you think is good or bad depends on your personal POV.

The problem is POV’s don’t have to be rational (actually most are not). With the result that has been expressed before,

“Whilst you can please some of the people some of the time, you can not please all of the people all of the time”

Personally I would add “or at any time” to keep it consistant with zero sum games.

So the question of “mutual benifit” arises, which via the argument of “legislation / regulation” boils down to

“Personal Rights -v- Social Responsability”

Nations can be seen as legal persons therefore they exist in a society of nations. Something larger states tend to forget, thus they bully irrationally. Worse they treat the expected result of “no” as further cause for bullying…

So you get the idiocy we see in some parts of the world where some believe they are somehow “exceptional” thus “entitled”. The reality is nobody is “exceptional” in that way and they most certainly are not “entitled”, those that think they are are thus “irrational actors”.

Whilst irrational actors may make very short term gains, long term they end up not doing so, in fact most times they loose long term.

The trick is to make the game longterm not zero-sum, that is,

“A rising tide lifts all boats”

Type thinking, where all those who play get something from the game.

John February 8, 2022 4:40 AM



I see myself as somewhat of a “Student of Relationships”.

How can I arrange things so I want you to succeed and you want me to succeed?

There are no ‘contracts’ needed except to clarify what we said and ‘agreed’ to.

This site has been helpful for me in defining whether to do another new product.

I see it as helping others by making things easier to understand and take positive action as a result….

As always, time will tell and customers will drive the ship.


Jon February 8, 2022 6:54 AM

What I want to know about the facial recognition idea at the IRS is;

a) Who thought this was a good idea? Someone must have brought it up in a meeting sometime.

b) Who signed the contract with

b.1) What made them think this was a good idea?

b.2) How much did promise to pay them?

c) And how are they going to be punished for wasting the US taxpayers’ time and money?

d) not to mention risking a gigantic database breach?

e) and exposing every taxpayer to an ad-funded network

f) Et cetera.

Thanks. J.

MarkH February 8, 2022 10:21 AM


Good catch!

My understanding of this stuff is not better than skin-deep, so I could be missing something essential.

That being said … if

(a) the proof is correct (43 pages of dense argumentation), and

(b) their theorem can be used to design a practical algorithm,

then this development would seem to be of cryptographic significance.

The best useful algorithm for cryptographic discrete log in integer fields has sub-exponential time complexity.

The authors’ claimed time complexity of quasi-polynomial is one rung better on the ladder of complexity theory.

Another caveat: although a faster complexity class is in general preferable, for a given size of practical problem the complexity formulae can evaluate such that the “faster class” algorithm is slower than the “slower class” algorithm.

merc February 8, 2022 10:22 AM

IRS ended up cancelling the plans with, but those are good questions.

In other news:

A little-known agency tasked with ensuring the federal government’s counterterrorism efforts don’t trample on privacy and civil liberties has long been hobbled by vacancies that rendered it at times ineffective. Now, it’s poised for a revival.

On Monday, the Senate confirmed by voice vote the nominations of two new members for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), which was created by Congress in 2004 in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


null clam February 8, 2022 10:47 AM

@ Curious @ Mark H

Re: discrete logarithm in finite fields vs. integer (rational) fields

As you say of the result, in regard to factorization, i.e. primes, finite fields are shown to have a certain property, while the rational field is not yet known to have the property.

Speculating wildly, it is tantalizing to note that there is a parallelism about the notion of primes, namely the Riemann Hypothesis for finite fields was shown to be true [1], while the Riemann Hypothesis for the rational field is still unresolved.


MarkH February 8, 2022 3:22 PM

@Curious, clam:

I note that this has been out for more than a year, and that a Twitter user identified as Dr Robert Granger commented, “this is only quasi-polynomial when p is fixed and n tends to infinity” (my italics).

So what we seem to have is:

• a very large proof which has not necessarily been adequately verified

• an implied algorithm whose implementation might be both highly complex and very difficult to validate

• potentially, faster only for problem sizes much larger than those encountered in crypto

Most likely, if this is a real-world breakthrough, then either (a) it’s not yet confirmed, or (b) we all would know it by now.

Clive Robinson February 8, 2022 4:25 PM

@ MarkH, Curious, null clam,

Most likely, if this is a real-world breakthrough, then either (a) it’s not yet confirmed, or (b) we all would know it by now.

Or (c) it’s a start point, for further work.

So it might just possibly be like a stress crack in which the point of a wedge can be driven.

So with more work it will grow from just a crack into potentially a major fissure or better.

The trouble is sometimes such things can be very slow to boil, as not much work is put in their direction.

I guess we will have to wait and see.

That said the argument, is rather more than I want to get my teeth into… So I’m hoping for a “Cliffs Notes” or “algorithm implementation” to look at.

null clam February 8, 2022 6:19 PM

For those looking to broaden their scientific historic cultural apperceptive background (and who isn’t, you ask), the following might be of some interest:

Maxwell’s Mathematical Rhetoric: Rethinking the Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. Thomas K. Simpson. (2005). Green Lion Press

“… the first major study of Maxwell’s Treatise to take seriously the way Maxwell presents his arguments.”

The press also publishes a number of other books centered on the development of science, dealing with the works of Ptolemy, Euclid, Kepler, Newton, Faraday, and more Maxwell.

MarkH February 8, 2022 6:30 PM


I might have written here some months ago about a multiplication algorithm that is probably as fast as possible … but only for numbers so enormous that the Universe lacks enough potential storage capacity to encode them.

It’s based on prior algorithms which are the fastest known (but slower than the supposed theoretical limit) for numbers which are huge, but manageable on present-day computers.

My impression was that there is not an expectation in the research community that the “impossible number” algorithm will lead to faster ways to multiply less Brobdingnagian numbers … but things happen often, which nobody expected.

From my super-quick scan of the paper (not paywalled, at least in the U.S.), the authors’ approach seems to break the problem into a substantial list of particular cases: not fun to implement, and a bear to test.

I’ve no clue where the expected “crossover” size is, for which the new approach should be faster than GFNFS. If it’s extremely large, who will go through the bother of coding and validation?

MarkH February 8, 2022 9:08 PM


Thanks for the correction — my clumsy fingers and my phone’s on-screen keyboard seem to be natural enemies.

Link to which?

ResearcherZero February 8, 2022 9:33 PM

the European Central Bank, led by former French minister Christine Lagarde and which has oversight of Europe’s biggest lenders, is on alert for the threat of cyber attacks on banks launched from Russia, the people said.

While the regulator had been focused on ordinary scams that boomed during the pandemic, the Ukraine crisis has diverted its attention to cyber attacks launched from Russia, said one of the people, adding that the ECB has questioned banks about their defences.

Banks were conducting cyber war games to test their ability to fend off an attack, the person said.

Russian researchers unlock Intel processors for reverse engineering

“Things like all the speculative execution bugs (Spectre, Meltdown etc) become easier to discover and analyse with this level of debug access,”

“JTAG allows the use of hardware level debuggers, which essentially gives us the ability to inspect and interact within the deepest levels of the processor,”

It does this by exploiting a bug in the CPU that Intel has released an advisory on, and then unlocking the CPU to see the chip’s internals through an interface known as JTAG. Developed by the Joint Testing Action Group, JTAG is a chip-level interface.

We will talk about internal structure of Atom processor family, which will allow a better understanding of how modern Intel CPUs work. We will vividly show how, even without access to restricted documents, … we will demonstrate a number of interesting facts about how microcode works.

“Diamond Sponsor – Zerodium”

SpaceLifeForm February 8, 2022 10:01 PM

@ MarkH, Curious, Clive, null clam

Thanks for the correction — my clumsy fingers and my phone’s on-screen keyboard seem to be natural enemies.

We have all been there. It threw me off since I was thinking there may be a General Finite Number Field Sieve algorithm.

It most likely exists, yet to be discovered. All Composite Natural Numbers must exist in at least two Finite Fields. That would include those large semiprimes used in RSA cryptography.

It’s those Primes that hide.

Link to which?

I am assuming that you were referring to something that Curious referenced. But I am not seeing what you are referring to specifically.

It may be that I am not seeing all of the comments by Curious.

MarkH February 8, 2022 10:41 PM


The various comments are in response or follow-up to Curious, time stamp February 8, 2022 12:39 AM

As I understand the matter, adding “finite” would be redundant because number fields are finite by definition.

It’d be cool if I invented something by mistake! But not this time.

Maybe … Gloopy Finger Not Finely Spelling?

SpaceLifeForm February 8, 2022 10:51 PM

@ ResearcherZero, null clam, Clive, ALL

Silicon Turtles

Red Unlock.

Are you aware of how Intel is going to ‘fix’ this?

The ‘fix’ will not be applied to expensive xeon processors.

That are used in cloud.

Think outside the box. Connect dots.

SpaceLifeForm February 9, 2022 12:20 AM

@ MarkH

multiplication algorithm that is probably as fast as possible

That is what I am curious about. Because carries slow you down.

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 1:29 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Because carries slow you down.

We’ve not made much progress on “Carry Look Ahead”(CLA) logic in adders this century…

That said the usual assumption from high school maths is that “full addition” is an integral part of multiplication at each partial step. Well whilst that appears to be true for higher bases binary is different as bit wise multiplication does not carry so the actuall multiplication (AND function) and addition function can be seperated and done as indipendent steps.

Further with addition you have carry in and carry out, but also the full range of output.

Statistically carry out is more local on multiplication as larger numbers are more sparse. Draw up a ten by ten multiplication table and put in two digit results and mark where carries do and do not happen, and write out a list of missing results in the 00…99 range.

You can feel that there is a pattern thus also structure, but can you gain a time advantage from it?

Even if you can is it actually worth it?

People have asked these questions in the past and yes trade offs have been found. The simplest is to use a lookup table to multiply, no carries are required. Further the fact half the outputs are missing can reduce the size of the stored elements.

But reducing the stored output increases the complexity of the decoding… So the next question is,

Is there a sweet spot?

SpaceLifeForm February 9, 2022 2:32 AM

@ Clive, ALL

Country Mile view

21 months ago…


3 weeks later…





Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 3:04 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Clearly, it is a conspiracy

Launching satellites is a little like throwing eggs up onto a high shelf.

The egg is more or less “safe” when at rest in your hand or on the shelf. Though it’s somewhat less safe in flight, your main concern is getting just enough energy into your throw so that the eggs motion is just over the hight of the shelf but with sufficient forward momentum to go onto the shelf.

This can be calculated quite precisely well in advance, but once the throw is made there is nothing you can do, the egg either gets on the shelf safely or you’ve got a clean up operation to perform. So any changes in the environment the egg passes through tends to favour the latter eventuality.

So with satellites they take a two step approach they aim to throw the satelite into a low fairly rapidly decaying orbit (in effect a requirement[1]). The idea being that around the highest point of the orbit the satellite uses it’s onboard systems to push it’s self into it’s final orbit.

If for some reason the push does not happen, then the satellite comes back towards earth and hit’s the exponentialy rising atmospheric density, and drag goes up and the orbit decays[2] more than a couple of times around and the chances are sufficient momentum has been bled off that it’s nolonger going to get to a hight were the satellite can still push up into it’s correct orbit, or not arive with a viable amount of fuel for lifetime station keeping and importantly end of life de-orbiting.

From the C-Net article it sounds like the launch success would have been known to be marginal[3] but they launched anyway.

What I’ve not yet seen is why things went wrong with the sats comming out of their safe mode. That is was their a communications loss –which does happen– or something else in the sats…

SpaceX are going to have to “up their game” in more than just launches as the current Solar Cycle develops to a peak over the next half decade.

[1] Such orbits tend to be quite elliptical to ensure rapid de-orbiting on failure. As I understand it SpaceX go for a 600kM perigee but just 10% lower gives a way low success rate due to the exponential increase in drag. We are heading into a new Solar Cycle, which is good for HF radio as the ionization in the upper atmosphere makes it behave like a mirror. But it is not good for satellites or satellite services like GPS your SatNav works with.

[2] There is a computer game called “Kerbal Space Program”(KSP) which enables you to design and build your own space craft and realistically launch them. A few years back somebody released the “SpaceX” mod,

So you can play with launching etc without having a messy crash and burn clean up.

[3] SpaceX would have known prior to launch that a solar storm was heading to earth, as the “space weather” moves much more slowly than the speed of light, and the Sun generally gives sufficient indicators for four or five day forcasts. Look up the Space Weather Woman she provides frequent forcasts on her website and YouTube, but as I know you like “twitter”,

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 3:28 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

With regards Red Unlock, that was “last years news” as far as the RC4 key being recovered by a couple of Russian Researchers[1].

As a “keymat leak”, like a genie “not be put back in the bottle” the only thing Intel can do is change the key and/or change the encryprion in “Furure CPUS”.

I was not aware that Intel had made any comment recently, if they have can you post the link of your source?

[1] Even though many in the US think their legal writ is universal, it’s not. Russia has it’s own laws and reverse engineering there is not just legal but to be expected.

Winter February 9, 2022 4:13 AM

Stolen bitcoin is traceable, which we already knew:

FBI seizes $3.6bn in Bitcoin after New York ‘tech couple’ arrested over Bitfinex robbery
Ilya Lichtenstein (yes really) and partner cuffed via blockchain records

“[B]eginning in or around January 2017, a portion of the stolen BTC moved out of Wallet 1CGA4s in a series of small, complex transactions across multiple accounts and platforms,” explained IRS investigator Christopher Janczewski in his affidavit [PDF]. “This shuffling, which created a voluminous number of transactions, appeared to be designed to conceal the path of the stolen BTC, making it difficult for law enforcement to trace the funds.”

Despite these efforts, said Janczewski, authorities traced the stolen BTC to multiple accounts controlled by Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, a Russian-US national living in New York, and his wife Heather Morgan.

SpaceLifeForm February 9, 2022 4:35 AM

@ Clive

I have no definitive documentation. Just some dots from various folk.

But the story is that SGX will no longer exist in non-xeon cpus.

It must be important and magical in the cloud. Pixie Dust.

In other news, it was Patch Tuesday, and new exploits are ready and the Windows Admins will have yet another busy weekend.

JokingInTuva February 9, 2022 5:14 AM

@Courious, MarkH, null clam, Clive
“Discrete logarithms in quasi-polynomial time in finite fields of fixed characteristic”

Even if in the end it has some impact in current Crypto (mainly Asymmetric), this Crypto is also under Quantum Computing risks in the mid-term. So the relevant thing could be that this has no impact on the new PQC being developed, and PQC is by-design far from the underlying problems of classical Asymmetric Crypto.

null clam February 9, 2022 9:04 AM

@ Curious @ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm @ Clive Robinson @ JokingInTuva all

Discrete logarithms in quasi-polynomial time in finite fields of fixed characteristic

The twitter feed of the person noted by @ Curious making the comment on this result contains a mention of a paper on a related topic. The authors include the commenter and the authors of the discrete logarithm paper.

Computation of a 30750-Bit Binary Field Discrete Logarithm

null clam February 9, 2022 9:11 AM

Re: Computation of a 30750-Bit Binary Field Discrete Logarithm

Forgot to quote the assessment by the authors in the abstract of this paper

“Finally, this computation should serve as a serious deterrent to cryptographers who are still proposing to rely on the discrete logarithm security of such finite fields in applications, despite the existence of two quasi-polynomial algorithms and the prospect of even faster algorithms being developed.”

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 9, 2022 10:14 AM

@ Clive
On the issue of real estate, man and our place in history. The theory (more hypothesis) of a triad ordering is similar but different in several ways. Formally, as I understand it, two of the legs collapse and the other leg is different from the classic definition. The last leg has been restated in a fundamental way and is also more damning then the original structural definition both as a power dynamic and as a social construct.

In restructuring power dynamics, authority and the ability to actualize or realize control over populations requires two countervailing elements; the ability to make plausible the authority, the willingness of those not in authority to recognize both the legitimacy of authority and the acts required of authority. It is simple but it in actuality is not easily accomplished. When a rise in centralized authority makes demands, both its legitimacy and demands merit scrutiny. And any scrutiny requires some level of cognitive ability and access to reliable information. I am certain you are aware of this or similar constructs in organizing theories but just wanted to state what is problematic for the record. Where one leg of the stool is static, impervious to analysis and question, and the other an attempt to organize around such a structure, the dogged nature of man is to inflict oneself with a lie or provide conjecture that is implausible but believable. Also, the unimaginative philosophy requires so much suspended disbelief as to make it comical at its very best, and wholly diabolical beyond that.

Guess as to duration, causal results? Decades. The temporary suspension of intellectual saliency and the inability to solve issues relevant to ourselves and others. Short of a destabilizing force, not difficult to affect in such and environment, the profound affects will make themselves obvious–even those still sleeping.

null clam February 9, 2022 10:55 AM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

unimaginative philosophy

This is rapidly obtaining everywhere, but has its origin, with tactical tips from Machiavelli, in Francis Bacon, and Descartes, the latter who even provided a research project proposal with grant funding suggestions.

MarkH February 9, 2022 11:37 AM

@SpaceLifeForm et al, re. Algorithms:

Complexity theorists usually disregard the “gate level” (including stuff like carry).

To see why, consider the way most people would hand-sort a jumbled collection of old-fashioned library catalog cards.

If someone were to code that sorting method as carefully hand-optimized assembly language on the fastest available GPU, the execution time would be longer than that of quicksort running as interpreted BASIC on a processor as slow as the original IBM PC, for dataset sizes encountered in real-world applications.

A typical “accounting unit” in complexity theory is a one-digit operation, subsuming carry and other components of fundamental arithmetic and logic operations.

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 1:12 PM

@ name.withheld…, null clam,

The last leg has been restated in a fundamental way…

Normally History on looking back kind of assumes “rational behavior” by the players. Sadly modern living history tells us rationality is at best is in very short measure.

In the past, there had to be some recognisable rationality in leaders, because of human agency in those that were needed to support them as guard labour and the like.

With technology more than ably replacing vast swathes of gurd labour, rationality is of less importance as technology does not have agency by which to mutiny etc.

WB and MP both believed in divine right ahead of all else, which is extreamly scary and most definately not rational, even when you get to chose who becomes the usefull idiot as the puppet out front.

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 1:18 PM

@ MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, et al,

Complexity theorists usually disregard the “gate level” (including stuff like carry).

Yes and no, it depends on what dominates.

If it did not then “space-time-memory trade offs” would not become clear.

pup vas February 9, 2022 2:24 PM

COVID: Chinese researchers develop 4-minute PCR test

=Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai say they have developed a technology combining the speed of the rapid antigen test with the accuracy of PCR testing.

PCR tests are the most accurate on the market, but must be processed in a lab, which so far takes a few hours at minimum. When labs are overwhelmed by local surges in infection, processing can last days.

Quicker, 15-minute rapid antigen tests are less reliable than the PCR alternative.

Researchers at Fudan University collected nasal samples from 33 PCR-positive COVID-19 patients, 23 PCR-negative patients, six influenza-positive patients and 25 healthy volunteers. The test accurately processed all cases without error in under four minutes, according to a peer-reviewed study without error in under four minutes, according to a peer-reviewed study published Monday in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.

PCR tests are more precise than antigen tests because they are more sensitive. Antigen tests require a higher concentration of the virus than PCR tests to show a positive result. This means antigen tests are more likely to show a false negative.

!!!!Antigen tests seek pieces of virus-infected proteins, while PCR tests search for viral genetic material like nucleic acids and RNA.

“China tends to be more open to experimental methods,” he said, allowing approval processes to move more quickly than they would in Europe or the US.

!!!!!!!!!The test developed at Fudan University uses a hypersensitive electromechanical biosensor to detect nucleic acids previously difficult to identify due to their low concentration in test samples.

Researchers said the development of portable tests featuring such technology could enable on-site testing at airports, clinics, emergency departments and at home. They added it could also be used for the quick diagnosis of other types of diseases.=

MarkH February 9, 2022 3:01 PM

Algorithms, pt. 2:

Those who study big-number algorithms may be aware that GIMPS (a distributed project searching for very large primes) performs integer multiplications by means of floating point Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) computations.

For giant numbers, this is much faster than the best previously known algorithm … but would be slower for the smaller integers used in cryptography.

The FFT-based multiply algorithm is due to Arnold Schönhage and Volker Strassen, who conjecture that the fastest possible multiply would require n log n digit-operations for arguments of n digits. [Their own algorithm is slower than that by a logarithmic factor.]

Though their limit conjecture remains unproven, it seems plausible.

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 5:28 PM

@ pup vas,

“The test developed at Fudan University uses a hypersensitive electromechanical biosensor to detect nucleic acids previously difficult to identify due to their low concentration in test samples.”

The same technology csn be used for DNA testing…

So one step closer to the desire of many “law enforcment” for “on the spot biological proof of identity” testing…

null clam February 9, 2022 5:59 PM

@ pup vas @ Clive Robinson

hypersensitive electromechanical biosensor

This kind of nearly instant direct detection of nucleic acid sequences seems to have a longish history, at least in a laboratory research context, e.g., [1], one of many papers going back to the early 2000’s:

  1. Biosensors for DNA sequence detection


DNA biosensors are being developed as alternatives to conventional DNA microarrays. These devices couple signal transduction directly to sequence recognition. Some of the most sensitive and functional technologies use fibre optics or electrochemical sensors in combination with DNA hybridization. In a shift from sequence recognition by hybridization, two emerging single-molecule techniques read sequence composition using zero-mode waveguides or electrical impedance in nanoscale pores.


MarkH February 9, 2022 9:07 PM

Algorithms, pt. 3:

Probably most engineers are accustomed to think of FFT in one dimension (as applied to a vector time series). However, Fourier analysis can be extended to an arbitrary number of dimensions.

In 2019, David Harvey and Joris van der Hoeven published work showing that asymptotically (as n increases without bound), multiplication can be done using multi-dimensional FFT with cost (in single-digit operations) converging to O(n log n); ten or so dimensions are sufficient.

So, an algorithm has already been found to attain the conjectured performance limit. The catch? It’s faster than Schönhage / Strassen only for numbers greater than some nominal threshold X.

I haven’t found any very specific estimate of X, but apparently its length in bits would need more bits to represent than there are elementary particles in the universe.

For comparison, imagine a number each bit of which is encoded on one elementary particle; the greatest possible length of this hypothetical number could be written in fewer than 300 bits.

The universe is too small to represent the length of X with bit-per-particle encoding … not only X itself, but even a count of the bits of X.

Clive Robinson February 9, 2022 9:10 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re Musk’s Starlink Icarus event.

You may find this of interest,

“Storm Storm Comes & How Starlink Fell | Space Weather Briefing 02.09.2022”

From Tamitha Skov

From a security aspect next to nobody in ICTsec actually talks about Solar Storms, Cornal Mass Ejections etc.

Why is probably the famed “Ostrich Mode” of behaviour in progress.

Solar Storms primarily effect,

1, Wired Communications
2, Wireless Communications
3, Power Grids

Mostly negatively.

As we all should know by now 😉 computers run on electricity to provide mostly communications based functionality.

Ye are,at the very begining of the multiyear Solar Cycle, and the Storms are going to get worse and the chances of blackouts in North America, Canada and Northern Europe increased as well as other less populated places in the higher attitudes.

So the probability of failures is increasing, which has the side effect that the opportunities for attackers is likely to increase…

ResearcherZero February 9, 2022 9:12 PM

“Australians who were targeted by the foreign intelligence service included current and former high-ranking government officials, academics, members of think-tanks, business executives and members of a diaspora community,”

ASIO recently detected and disrupted a foreign interference plot in the lead-up to an election in Australia,

The case involved a wealthy person – described as the ‘puppeteer’ – who had ‘direct and deep connections with a foreign government and its intelligence agencies’.

“The puppeteer hired a person to enable foreign interference operations and used an offshore bank account to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for operating expenses,”

The employee identified candidates likely to run in the election who either supported the interests of the foreign government or who were assessed as vulnerable to inducement.

The person used relationships with politicians, staffers and journalists to select potential targets.

“The puppeteer and the employee plotted ways of advancing the candidates’ political prospects through generous support, placing favourable stories in foreign language news platforms and providing other forms of assistance.”

The candidates had no knowledge of the plot.

“Our intervention ensured the plan was not executed, and harm was avoided,”

A major trend developing over the past two years has been the foreign spies, using social media and dating apps to target Australians with sensitive information

“seemingly innocuous approaches’ such as job offers which progresses to direct messaging on different, encrypted platforms, or in-person meetings, before a recruitment pitch is made.”

“There’s been a jump in suspicious approaches on messaging platforms like WhatsApp. It’s an easy way for foreign intelligence services to target employees of interest,” the spy boss said.

“ASIO is also tracking suspicious approaches on dating platforms such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. My message for any potential victims on these sites is a familiar one – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“we are seeing attempts at foreign interference at all levels of government, in all states and territories”.

“When we interviewed members of the network, some of the contacts suspected they’d engaged with spies, but most had no idea – and were shocked when we knocked on their doors.”

“The behaviours we are seeing in response to COVID  lockdowns  and  vaccinations are not specifically left or right wing,”

“They are a cocktail of views, fears, frustrations and conspiracies.”

“As a nation, we need to reflect on why some teenagers are hanging Nazi flags and portraits of the Christchurch killer on their bedroom walls, and why others are sharing beheading videos. And just as importantly, we must reflect on what we can do about it,”

JonKnowsNothing February 9, 2022 9:43 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm

re: Cache in Flash? No way to Factory Reset?

iirc(badly) A MSM report on Right to Repair had this tidbit:

The normal Right to Repair discussion revolves around access to the diagnostic port and access to the diagnostic port reader used to retrieve the error code.

One car manufacturer altered how they enabled the port and the diagnostics in cars shipped to different US States.

One family purchased 2 of the same vehicle style in separate years. The older car had features that were “turned off” in the newer car and had been disabled for all new cars in their State.

On discovery that there was something weird it turned out that the company was using(not) the car’s telemetry and updater to capture, analyze and set the error code. In the new car the telemetry had been altered and certain updates blocked.

What is odd, but not really if you think of all the telemetry being sent by the car’s computer systems, is the assumption that the error code is set In The Car by Car’s Computer Diagnostics.

In the above case, the car manufacturer claims the error is set AFTER the telemetry is sent and analyzed at some corporate computing complex, and THEN the error code is sent down to the car via wireless update. Because the company does not want to enable the diagnostic port access, they simply do not resend the error code.

The upshot being, you can access the port, plug in the magic decoder ring and get a “Drink Ovaltine” solution.


Search Terms:

Secret decoder ring

ResearcherZero February 9, 2022 10:27 PM

@Clive Robinson

Security assessments are laying in a cabinet somewhere which is gathering dust. There is so much dust that they fly helicopters around blasting it off the transmission lines. And all the while they are collecting more. They deliver it to the politicians who use it as ear plugs.

I’ve been running this office
For so long I can’t recall –
I’ve gone and pi**ed thirty years
Up against a wall.

ResearcherZero February 9, 2022 11:07 PM

There is a theory that an area near the sun exists that has no dust

Parker is studying coronal mass ejections and sniffing the energetic particles that the sun spews out where the spew is freshest.

“We’re missing something very fundamental about the sun’s corona and the solar wind.”

“It’s like 20 times larger than the standard model of the sun and its rotation predict,”

The transient nature of the corona has been well characterized for large events, but questions still remain (for example, about the initiation of the corona and the production of solar energetic particles.)

and MAGPIE (The Mega Ampere Generator for Plasma Implosion Experiments), is studying what may be happening in the lab.

New insights have been gained about stellar winds, streams of high-speed charged particles called plasma that blow through interstellar space.

A series of wires representing the sun are suddenly electrified and vaporized by this pulse of energy. This generates the proxy solar wind plasma, which then accelerates at three times the speed of sound into a magnetized target mimicking Earth’s magnetosphere.

In MAGPIE, plasmas are generated by sending a million amps of current through metal wires that are as thin as your hair. This happens in hundreds of a billionth of a second.

These wires get so hot that they vaporise and turn into a plasma. Four very large capacitor banks are charged up and release this huge surge of current when discharged. MAGPIE generates approximately 1 terawatt (1 with 12 zeros) of power which is more than the average power output of the UK National Grid.

null clam February 9, 2022 11:36 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing @ SpaceLifeForm

Re: Right to repair Secret decoder ring

This is why we can’t have nice things, cars, unless we do open source design and use 3D printing. Looking forward to my Rolls RISC V Cabriolet.

null clam February 10, 2022 12:05 AM

@ MarkH

David Harvey and Joris van der Hoeven published work

Thanks for mentioning this. Searching for the author names, I found their paper

Integer multiplication in time O(n log n)
David Harvey and Joris van der Hoeven


which (so far 😉 ) seems to provide a very readable summary and main ideas explanation of the Schönhage and Strassen result, as well as a nice exposition of the newer n log n result.

ResearcherZero February 10, 2022 3:45 AM

A wealthy figure in Australia linked to Russian spy agencies and President Vladimir Putin’s regime has emerged as the likely mystery “puppeteer” caught in a recent ASIO operation that thwarted an overseas attempt to interfere with a local election.

“The spies developed targeted relationships with current and former politicians, a foreign embassy and a state police service.”

Intelligence sources familiar with the matter have told the ABC it was orchestrated by Russia, which wanted to bankroll vulnerable political candidates in an unspecified Australian election to get sympathetic MPs elected to parliament.

SpaceLifeForm February 10, 2022 6:37 PM

And I thought my Airtags were so Retro!


As part of its effort to prevent AirTags from aiding in illegal activity, Apple now says it will partner with law enforcement to provide paired account details should police issue a subpoena or “valid request.” The company claims to have already worked with law enforcement to successfully find suspects, which has led to them being arrested and charged.

[is a valid request equivalent to a court approved warrant?]

Clive Robinson February 10, 2022 8:02 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

As part of its effort to prevent AirTags from aiding in illegal activity

It can not be done and still be acceptable as a product.

If they shorten the time window a tag alerts, then they will rapidly become nuisance, and Apple’s little device will get called,

“The little bu66er”

Or similar.

Also 8hours is way to long…

I could glue one to a nice little magnet you can buy by the dozen on Amazon eyc etc, with a spot or two of gorilla glue or similar, spray paint it the colour of your car and stick it somewhere convenient to reach but not immediately visable. Put it on shortly before when I know you are likely to drive it, follow you and pull it off before it gets to the 8hour mark (because very few people drive to/from work for eight hours, or even travel by car, train or plane that long)…

Obviously disabling the speaker is almost as easy for a novice, but a matter of just a couple of minutes work for someone with just a little experience and skill.

The next thing is to make a small timer that turns the power on and off so say 7 hours on with 5 or 17 hours off then repeate the cycle (or what ever time is required for Apple to ignore it again).

Then of course multiple tags… I put one on your car you are likely to do a “pit stop” within eight hours so I swap the first tag for the second and so on…

But why bother if I’ve made a timing circuit using a programable chip (see Philips I2C range of devices) I can just put four or more on a little metal strip rig-up…

So yeh Apple have a problem of their own making and maybe now the fan buoys might start to wake up to the fact Apple is not the best thing since sliced white bread (even though you could cut a slice to look like… 😉

But with regards,

[is a valid request equivalent to a court approved warrant?]

As far as I can work out as the AirTags are not “phones” but “network devices”, so the protection of wiretap and similar laws don’t apply… So probably the equivalent protection of “Third Party Business Records” and Apple almost certainly will have a “for technical reasons” clause in their paperwork…

So I guess just walk in the door at Apple HQ, show badge, present letter, sit and drink a coffee and leave with the information, would probably cover it…

But in a short while if Apple have not already done so there will be a more streamlined system by email, phone, or even a CALEA access port so they can just log in…

According to,

“Some government agencies argue that it covers mass surveillance of communications rather than just tapping specific lines and that not all CALEA-based access requires a warrant.”

Make of that what you will.

null clam February 11, 2022 6:03 AM

@ MarkH

Re: computations etc. related to primes

Part of the real reason all these questions are tough is that nobody really knows what prime it is to be, that is, primes are characterized negatively as the “not-composite”. Progress being made is equivalent to gradually revealing what the true positive characterization of primality is.

MarkH February 11, 2022 9:24 AM

@null clam:

I understand (and sympathize with) the characterization of primality as having a negative definition.

However, I don’t think that it is defensible mathematical logic. For example, I could say that “compositeness is negatively defined as not prime.”

More generally, in number theory Ω(n) is defined as the count of factors in the prime factorization of n, so for n > 1 we can say that

Ω(n) = 1 ⇒ n is prime

Ω(n) > 1 ⇒ n is composite

Neither of these is a negative definition. The hardness of their evaluation, is the hardness of factoring. The cost of factoring into primes is what makes many of these number theory questions so distinctive … and has kept RSA (when used properly) secure.

MarkH February 11, 2022 9:26 AM

Footnote to the above:

It could be argued that using the Ω function just “shifts the problem sideways” because it’s defined in terms of primes. However, Ω can alternatively be defined as the factor count of the longest factorization into factors greater than one, without making any explicit reference to primeness.

YOU February 11, 2022 12:33 PM

C.I.A. Is Collecting in Bulk Certain Data Affecting Americans, Senators Warn

The Central Intelligence Agency has for years been collecting in bulk, without a warrant, some kind of data that can affect Americans’ privacy, according to a newly declassified letter by two senators, Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich.

A partly declassified letter from the two senators does not say what the data is.

null clam February 11, 2022 12:40 PM

@ MarkH

Re: what is prime

It seems to me the two definitions of factor-count both ultimately use characterization by negation.

Positive characterization is to give the real definition or statement of what the thing is. Although logically (at least for non-intuitionist logic 😉 ) A is convertible with (not (not A)), and this can be useful in logic calculations, this doesn’t seem it would provide much help revealing the essential character and properties of A.

If we take the (true) description of primes as the non-composite numbers, or the numbers whose longest factorization has 1 element, as the definition or essence, we may be missing important features of these numbers. E.g., we might lumping together things that are actually different in character. For all we know, 2, 3, 5, 7, etc. may be different in some fundamental way. We might be in the kind of situation we would be in if we divided geometry as the square figures and the non-square figures. This leaves out a lot. A triangle is much more than “not a square”.

Not perhaps relevant directly to primes, but analogously, this kind of opacity is seen also in using mathematical induction to prove. It convinces us of the fact of something, and aids progress, but it typically sheds only limited light on what properties are fundamentally responsible for the result. For example, one can use mathematical induction to prove the closed form formula for the sum of the cubes or fourth powers etc. of the first N integers, but one gets a lot more insight by proving these formulas directly. Induction must be using the real natures only indirectly.

Another situation that seems to point to seriously incomplete access to the definitions is the case where the proof involves handling a collection of special cases one by one. Again we are convinced of the fact, but we don’t probably are missing a grasp of the operative definitions and objects.

MarkH February 11, 2022 4:39 PM

@null clam:

Positive characterization is to give the real definition or statement of what the thing is.

The thing is … an integer greater than one, having zero non-trivial divisors.

Seems like a real definition to me …

I too consider that people can (and often do) apply formalisms to obtain literally correct results, without having or gaining insight into underlying relationships and meanings.

null clam February 11, 2022 5:50 PM

@ MarkH

zero non-trivial divisors … a real definition

It does seem so. One knows these must occur, since no matter at what integer one starts, the chain of exact division has to come to a stop, and we call those stopping points prime.

But it still seems almost perfectly opaque ! 🧐

SpaceLifeForm February 11, 2022 5:59 PM

@ null clam, MarkH

Re: what is prime

The non-negative characterization I use, that is true, yet not easily solvable:

Every odd number N greater than 1 fits into one of 3 catagories.

Let N = X^2 – Y^2. Assume X and Y are positive.

If N is Prime, there is only 1 solution.

If N is a Semi-Prime, then there are exactly 2 solutions.

If N is what I call a Complex Composite, then there exists at least 3 solutions.

All odd numbers N greater than 1 will be one of Prime, Semi-prime, or Complex Composite.

It would be useful to be able to determine the solution count given N, without having to actually find the solutions in X and Y.

Clive Robinson February 11, 2022 6:19 PM

@ MarkH, null clam,

Seems like a real definition to me …

No it’s just one “attribute” and not particularly useful.

It’s like saying,

“Random is not determanistic”

You can not invert it and build out from it.

null clam February 11, 2022 6:56 PM

@ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm @ Clive Robinson

We can get along making progress for a while and for some purposes with descriptions that are not necessarily statements of the real definitions.

For example, Green’s Theorem, Stokes’s Theorem, the Divergence Theorem (Gauss’s Theorem) all involve geometrical objects and computational expressions, are “correct”, and are useful. But none of them are actually truly scientific and expressed in terms of the correct definitions. They are all special limited cases of one theorem, the so called general Stokes’s Theorem e.g., see [1]. This theorem may be the real scientific theorem and is at least is closer to that if not. It uses the proper intrinsic geometrical object and computational expression. It is clear how the other results are just special restricted cases of this result and that there is one proof, not three proofs. The general result is also much clearer to state and easier to prove rigorously, almost a triviality.

We may be in this boat with our current understanding of prime and composite. We have useful descriptions, can prove results, make progress etc. But we may not yet be in sight of the real underlying concepts, objects, definitions and so forth. E.g., we start out with the natural numbers, we notice factorization, establish interesting facts, build impressive things like the zeta function. But perhaps these are also specializations. The notion of factorization applies to integers, but it applies to more objects than integers. Perhaps what we really need to understand is outside the integers, including the integer case as a restriction.

  1. Spivak, Michael(1965). Calculus on Manifolds. New York: W. A. Benjamin

SpaceLifeForm February 11, 2022 9:25 PM

@ null clam, MarkH, Clive, ALL

The notion of factorization applies to integers, but it applies to more objects than integers.

I totally agree. There is way more going on than meets the eye.

There is something interrelated with discrete logarithms. Keys are pi, e, and, in particular, the square roots of 2 and 3.

That is my thinking anyway.

We (collective we) have just not put our finger on it yet. It is there. It exists. It must exist. It is truth.

But, like factoring the Semi-Prime N, it is no easier to derive log(N) and then find two other logs, log(X), Log (Y) that sum to log(N).

I think it is possible, but not easy.

Especially when you know the logs are not rational numbers.

Clive Robinson February 11, 2022 10:05 PM

@ null clam, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm,

With regards,

“Calculus on Manifolds”

I realised one morning that I was not cut out for a topological future…

When I found no matter how good my pullback was I could still tell the difference between a coffee cup and a donut.

Likewise my ladle and kitchen door key, my thinking had become torus and the ringing everywhere.

And still of the words I could make no sense,

null clam February 11, 2022 11:03 PM

@ Clive Robinson @ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm



And I found that late night studying that stuff tended to Stoke the appetite, and if I did not pullback from the coffees and donuts, my volume form would start to Diverge from my surface integral in an alarming way.

SpaceLifeForm February 11, 2022 11:24 PM

@ null clam, Clive, MarkH, ALL

LOL. Tears. You guys started this.

Partial Differential Equations can be problematic.

Clive Robinson February 11, 2022 11:49 PM

@ MarkH, null clam, SpaceLifeForm

But did you spot the accidental jokes including the crypto one in “Les moulins de mon coeur”[1], where even @Bruce’s work gets mentioned all be it as childs play 😉

[1] The song was written before even DES existed, but the rewording in English in the mid 1960’s will give more ICTsec related stuff…

null clam February 12, 2022 12:30 AM

@ Clive Robinson @ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm

… I did see some verses mentioning rounds and wondered …

null clam February 12, 2022 3:34 PM

@ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm @ Clive Robinson

Perhaps one last note regarding the general issue of getting straight on what the question is –

The papers at the conference below deal with this issue in the not totally unrelated area of Galois Theory.

Note: links below are http, not https

A propos of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Evariste Galois


SpaceLifeForm February 13, 2022 12:42 AM

@ Clive

Silicon Turtles

I’ll bet you 50 of my never used 3.5 inch floppies, there will be non-fixable problems found in the Silicon. SGX. No work-around possible in microcode.

Had to check. Yes, you can get a 100 pack of 3.5 inch floppies for $125 from Amazon, and they are only aged 10 years. Mine are actually Y2K Compliant.

50 never used Y2K Compliant 3.5 inch floppies. Final offer 😉

htxps ://twitter .com/_markel___

Clive Robinson February 13, 2022 1:41 AM

@ null clam, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Perhaps one last note regarding the general issue of getting straight on what the question is

But there is never “one last note” in theory 😉

But… How about in the real world where the theory earns it’s keep?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when talking of factoring large integers?

Yup… So this fell under my gaze whilst looking for something else,

How to crack RSA-512 on off-the-shelf hardware in 4 days

But… “Remember boys and girls” RSA is like Henry’s bucket[1], it leaks big time if you don’t treat it with care.

So as a little added spice for those who still work with RSA a little straw,

Using RSA securely in 2022/

[1] Not sure children get to sing this any longer, but half a century or more ago we were taught it and it’s still of relevance in design and engineering as well as in life,'s_a_Hole_in_My_Bucket

Clive Robinson February 13, 2022 1:52 AM


And just to prove that,

“But there is never “one last note” in theory”

Quip, how about,

“Chosen Ciphertext Attack”(CCA) secure ElGamal encryption over an integer group where ICDH assumption holds

And so of to bed, it’s been a busier than expected night…

null clam February 13, 2022 2:09 AM

@ Clive Robinson @ MarkH @ SpaceLifeForm ALL

never “one last note” in theory

True, and as you show, even more in practice.

God speed good journey asking the right questions !

SpaceLifeForm February 13, 2022 3:48 AM

@ Clive, null clam, MarkH, ALL

The soatok link is excellent.

If possible, I would move away from RSA and use Curve25519.

Clive Robinson February 13, 2022 8:52 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Silicon Turtles

Now Intel’s x86 house of cards has been not just unlocked but thrown open like an old maids trousseau / glory box to public gaze and ripe for plundering what is to follow?

Well, maybe the fact they’ve just anounced their support for RISC V at the Fab level is a clue,

Something tells me that Intel promising to throw $1billion at it is not what is going to happen now that Nvidia has been told it can not buy ARM for fire sale pricing.

I think the best thing that could happen to both ARM and Risc V is “builtin hardware algorithm support” via a big chunk of FPGA. Something Intel would be desperate to stop or atleast derail.

As for,

I’ll bet you 50 of my never used 3.5 inch floppies…

All told if you lump the three different capacities together I’ve got oh about ten times that number of floppies. Others have been formatted as boot disks for MS-DOS and have the Mirror II editor/serial comms program on them along with Debug and Basic. Others have Borland C on[1]…

Which if your Skilzz are as old as mine is quite usefull 😉

Oh and if you need replacment drives, I’ve 3.5 and 5.25 new and unused.

[1] I keep meaning to build a Linux boot CD/DVD with an appropriate DOS emmulator with Turbo Basic / C / Pascal on it all “ready to run” on it for a bit of retro-fun. I was thinking of using Puppy Linux, so even those with older hardware could play along.

Anders February 13, 2022 10:32 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

Have you ever used XDF floppies?
They had some cool hacks.


Anders February 13, 2022 12:16 PM


BTW, 1.44 or 2.88?

The latter one makes a big difference 🙂

Oh, and being almost an Eastern European country,
floppies were once a scarce resource here. At best
you could get a Bulgarian IZOT. Quality…however…

Track 0 bad, disk unusable

John February 13, 2022 5:18 PM



I wonder if I am the last person in the world using an IBM PC clone with dual 3.5″ floppies and a VGA monitor running as a working production tester. Programmed in Power Basic. Works great. Complete with menu system, etc.

It drives a serial bus with several different boxes driven from the single serial port. That bus drives a relay matrix switch, a micro driven bit-bang sigma delta voltmeter and a connectorized cable array to connect to whichever product I am testing.

Reliable. Lots of spare parts available !


Clive Robinson February 13, 2022 9:40 PM

@ John,

I wonder if I am the last person in the world using an IBM PC clone with dual 3.5″ floppies and a VGA monitor running as a working production tester.

Look up an Amstrad Portable computer…

I have one and it works and as I’ve mentioned before it spends much of it’s time locked up in an alarmed safe along with a dotmatrix printer and carbon copy fanfold I had printed up last century with individually serial numbered sheets.

It gets used maybe twice a year to print a couple of dozen sheets that then get put individually into sealed envelops that get hand carried and delivered by a secure delivery person to named individuals, who then take personal responsability for them, and hand carry on to their assigned places of work.

It’s dull and tedious but sometimes emergancy communications have to work the old fashioned way over HF radio and the like.

SpaceLifeForm February 14, 2022 6:51 PM

@ Anders, John, Clive, ALL

re; floppies

It must be 1.44 only. If you want to inter-operate and/or make your sneakernet work. Especially if you have to use a USB connected floppy.

I have a 1.44 floppy image I built from source. It has a 2.4.18 kernel, legacy grub, memtest, busybox, and dropbear, and a couple of nic drivers. Runs out of ram. The floppy filesystem is minix, which has 5k of freespace. Besides minix, it also does ext2, which is why on old kit, I always make the root partition ext2. Actually, I usually make the root partition on modern kit ext2 because old habits die hard. Once burned, twice shy.

I have used it to rescue headless routers (homemade, not commercial) because it was faster than hooking up keyboard and monitor.

I still use it sometimes, especially on older kit that will not boot Finnix from CD or the CD-ROM drive is failing or failed. The lasers in CD-ROM drives eventually fail.

Anders February 14, 2022 7:58 PM


Yes, floppies are still good and trustable stuff.

And since Ukraine/Kiev is hot topic currently :


Scroll down a little bit until you see the green ones.
Yes, “Elektronmash, Kiev”

I bet you have never seen those ones 🙂

John February 14, 2022 8:33 PM



You are right!

It helps to have a box of new 3 1/2 in floppies.

It still amazes me what useful work a 1MHz CPU can do!

Not sure if I still have one of the first 3 1/2 inch drives.

Now a small uMMC is 32 Gig! And a small Linux dist. is multi-meg.

I have one or two old Linux systems that can R/W 3 1/2 inch and also do 10base2 and 10baseT.

and parallel printers that just plug in and work.

Isn’t USB wonderful??


Clive Robinson February 14, 2022 10:04 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

The lasers in CD-ROM drives eventually fail.

Some more than others IDE drives more so than SCSI, oh and the faster the drive the higher the diode current, hence heat and other undesirable junction effects.

Whilst you can get “replacment parts” often they are more expensive than just buying two new compleate DVD drives…

What has supprised me is the lack of takeup on BlueRay, the drives are expensive, many don’t support BD UHD and those that do appear to need USB 3.1… Oh and also some do not come with either writer software or Player software, that you then have to pay extra for.

One of the things that has always ticked me off with Android is it’s lack of support for mechanical drives and USB Network adapters.

John February 15, 2022 3:47 AM



I just tried USB floppy drive on my Samsung Galaxy A11. It works!

Previously, I was amazed to find that plugging a Best Buy generic USBC to USB adapter and then plugging in a USB to Ethernet adapter I could turn on ethernet tethering. Plug in a NAT router and otherwise active my wired home 10baseT network.

I just plugged in an Imation USB to 1.44mb floppy with a very early copy of our 6502 assembler. Files visible. I could open a .pdf on that same floppy.

Braindead Android 11 claimed it did not know how to open as65_c which was doubtless really as65.c.

Where oh where is a real command line? lol.

This does NOT work on my T-mobile access point. But the access point gets MUCH better RF connectivity. Not really a surprise.

Some Linux wizard could doubtless turn USB access point internet into local NAT ethernet on any normal Linux box.

I never got into BlueRay.

I hope this is helpful!


John February 15, 2022 4:17 AM


I forgot to mention that several times this Samsung Galaxy A11 with Android 11 has turned on Bluetooth by itself!! NOT COOL!! Of course who knows what they are really doing!

Maybe they are trying to play catch up with AirTag?


SpaceLifeForm February 15, 2022 4:51 AM

@ Anders, John, Clive, ALL

Those Army Green floppies look normal. But I no longer have any MFM drives to take them for a spin and see if I can squeeze out more bytes of storage.

About 24 hours ago, I thought of a way to get maybe 2k more free space on my floppy. My thought was that instead of using memtest+, I would use pcmemtest, which is based on memtest+, but some stuff ripped out. So, I compiled pcmemtest with -Os as I had done before.

So, I booted my floppy, on an old box that has issues (bad hard drive, bad cdrom), just to check the size of the memtest+.bin.gz that was max compressed with gzip -9.

Then compared to my newly build pcmemtest.bin.gz and it surprised me that pcmemtest.bin.gz was 5k larger than memtest+.bin.gz!

Then I remembered my build environment was not the same.

I last built that floppy in July 2004. In fact, on the floppy, I had documented the key pieces of software and their versions inside the minix filesystem inodes via empty dot files.


I still have the build box next to me. An old HP Vectra VE, Pentium II, designed for Windows NT or 95. I originally installed SuSE on it.


Did I hear something from the back of the room?

Alright, alright, I’ll do it.

Checking cables…

OK, wrong monitor cable. Yep, it is still working.

Blowing off dust…

Oops, wrong keyboard.

hda is 171MB
hdb is 40021MB
350MHz Pentium II
192MB ram
Kernel is 2.4.28 which I built on 2004-11-19 per uname.
All partitions are Minix or Ext2.

Has been off for years since a power outage.

The clock is only behind by 45 minutes.

Got to like old kit!

John February 15, 2022 11:31 AM


Wouldn’t be nice if ‘newer’ hardware worked that well!

Badly manufactured caps seem to be a serious problem right now.


Clive Robinson February 15, 2022 2:23 PM

@ John, SpaceLifeForm,

Badly manufactured caps seem to be a serious problem right now.

A problem for whom?

Often life is close to being a zero sum game for two players at any point in time.

So a loss for one player is seen at that point as a gain for the other player.

The shorter term your view point, the more likely you are to take immediate gain over longterm loss.

So if my immediate concern is meeting “quater figures” or some such and I can “cut cost” by sourcing from a “new to me” supplier, I might not do due diligence… Especially if any issues won’t realy show up untill I’ve “moved on” in some way where it will not effect me…

I could also argue, that my duty to “share holders” made the purchase decision effectively a requirment (not actually true but one you hear over and over).

Anders February 15, 2022 2:36 PM


“A problem for whom?”

Consider the situation – you have lost your job,
you are running out of the money and then your
computer monitor doesn’t start up any more after
a power failure because of bad caps.

And this is your only computer.

And yes, that has happened to me.
Luckily i can repair electronics.
However most people nowadays can’t.

Clive Robinson February 15, 2022 4:01 PM

@ Moderator,

Just tried to post a reply to Anders.

Got a 429 response.

Tried to post it again

Told “being held for moderation”

This is most likely a bug in the blog software.

Can you please pull it out of moderation.

SpaceLifeForm February 15, 2022 4:49 PM

@ Anders, John, Clive

Yes, cheap caps are a problem. In fact, the reason I had the wrong monitor cable, was because I had forgot that the monitor I had previously used with the box had died. Caps of course.

To keep the caps in good shape, do not power cycle every day.

Bad caps are rampant these days in cheap monitors. And cheap laptops.

Heat is the enemy. Power cycling is the enemy.

John February 15, 2022 6:55 PM


True cap. story.

My late father in law had an older Oldsmobile than I.

After he died, we got his car. His EL backlight worked fine even though the car was essentially rusted out.

My newer car, the EL backlight failed!!

Who wants to take apart a plastic dashboard to find the bad cap. and replace it!

One of my techs. discovered that when our products came back from the field, the first thing was to look for ‘puffy’ caps and replace them. Often that was all the repair needed!

I wonder if ‘reliable’ caps is also a business opportunity? Maybe just like getting reliable lithium vehicle batteries. You gotta make your own!


SpaceLifeForm February 15, 2022 10:28 PM

@ Clive, ALL

re: 429 errors

If you get one, close any tabs for here, then clear your browser cache.

Then start over. It works.

Yeah, I know, it makes no sense. Maybe that is a hint.

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