Friday Squid Blogging: Do Squid Have Emotions?

Scientists are now debating whether octopuses, squid, and crabs have emotions. Short answer: we don’t know, but can’t rule it out.

There may be a point when humans can no longer assume that crayfish, shrimp, and other invertebrates don’t feel pain and other emotions.

“If they can no longer be considered immune to felt pain, invertebrate experiences will need to become part of our species’ moral landscape,” she says. “But pain is just one morally relevant emotion. Invertebrates such as octopuses may experience other emotions such as curiosity in exploration, affection for individuals, or excitement in anticipation of a future reward.”

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

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on April 8, 2022 at 4:12 PM117 Comments


SpaceLifeForm April 8, 2022 4:38 PM

There is no debate. Invertebrates like worms and insects definitely know.

When I try to save an earthworm after rain, the worm is definitely in a panic situation. The worm is scared. Should I ignore and let it drown, or be eaten by a bird? I try to get it to a safe spot, that is drier, where it can live, and help the soil. Yet, the worm fights me, not knowing that I am helping.

An insect? Definitely. Watching a chipmunk eat a cicada, very noisy.

sid olufs April 8, 2022 5:04 PM

Agree with SpaceLifeForm. Our position as dominant species is easier to take if we deny emotional lives of other living beings. So, SLF helps worms, too.

vas pup April 8, 2022 6:03 PM

Elon Musk has 3 rules for managers: show why he’s wrong, ask for clarification, or execute the order. Here’s a closer look at his leadership style.

That part I love:
“If following a ‘company rule’ is obviously ridiculous in a particular situation, such that it would make for a great Dilbert cartoon, then the rule should change,” he [Musk]wrote.”

That is because Policy and Logic are very distant relatives.

In some organization silent motto should be “In Policy logic is not applied”.

But Musk clearly understood this quote
“In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”
George Orwell, 1984

Same applies to STEM. Please do not rush to delete. Apply logic.

SpaceLifeForm April 8, 2022 6:04 PM

Reverse Engineering Yandex Browser

Paranoia runs deep

What I found a bit concerning is that Yandex has built this infrastructure where they can remotely add additional custom root certificates to a user’s browser. In theory, this could be used to deliver a custom root certificate to a subset of the users in a transparent and very targeted fashion. For example, based on IP address or the unique client identifier included in the HTTP request. Which, in turn, could be abused to decrypt their HTTPS communications.

SpaceLifeForm April 8, 2022 6:25 PM

My ip address is 123.456.7.89

Go for it.


Clive Robinson April 8, 2022 7:37 PM

@ sid olufs,

A quote for your list,

“Politic Science becomes simply the search for honesty by measurment after you realise the whole political process is no just dishonest but immeasurably so.”

Ted April 8, 2022 7:38 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, sid olufs

That’s very thoughtful. I have been out cleaning up some of the planting areas in the yard. Every other shovel scoop seems to have an earthworm or a sleeping cicada. I love that you try to put them in a safe space. I do too.

I sometimes wonder about the plants. You should see how they respond to the sun and spring weather. In my subjective opinion, it makes them very happy.

Clive Robinson April 8, 2022 9:31 PM

@ vas pup,

Elon Musk has 3 rules for managers: show why he’s wrong, ask for clarification, or execute the order.

The third rule is usually “The given rule” in most hierarchies. It’s based on power accumulation by “might is right”.

But most managers rarely give orders, just approval. You go to the average manager with a problem and they will not make a decision as that carries personal risk. Managers want you to come to them with solutions, if they see no real risk you will be told to proceed. If it succeeds that was their good idea/managment if it fails it was your bad idea/failure to reveal all the risks…

The second rule is actually fairly normal in engineering or other complex environments, where understanding requirments can significantly effect outcomes. But as a rough rule of thumb the reasoning behind the third rule will still apply.

The first rule is the problem rule, to be effective it implies both parties have no cognative bias, and behave as rational actors. Further it implies rational argument is possible, when it is not always possible.

There are to basic types of reasoning that are considerd “sound”,

1, Inductive : Specific to General.
2, Deductive : General to Specific.

That is “Inductive Reasoning”(IR) is the process of taking specific known information and abstracting out generalised rules that can be used for moving engineering forwards on a solid foundation.

The opposit is “Deductive Reasoning”(DR) is where you take a generalised hypothesis and argue down to a specific case.

That is they are opposit ends of a fairly lengthy stick with quite a bit of “unsound” middle ground where Ad-hoc / Abductive Reasoning(AR) is found.

Those who tend to favour claimed facts and instituted rules as a working base gravitate towards DR. Which effectively begins with a hypothesis / theory, then find supporting observation and thereby arrive at a confirmation… The problems are the correctness and relevance of the htpothesis, and the “cherry picking” in the middle of selecting supporting observations. You see lots of this in “studies of studies” and frequently the results are not of quality or even sound.

DR is very dangerous in the likes of the misnamed Forensic Science, which argues from known effect back to some wanted cause. There are many people who have suffered due to this. The conclusions of DR are only sound provided the premises are relevant and true and can be logically linked. Take the argument of,

P1 : All bald men are grandfathers. P2 : Harold is bald.
C : Harold is a grandfather.

Whilst valid logically, P1 is a nonsense, as baldness and siring children have no relevance to each other and can be demonstrated as such. So P1 is unsound because the underlying premise is false, therefore the conclusion whilst it might be true in the case of this Harold, is likewise unsound.

That said inductive reasoning follows what many think of as the “Scientific Process” that is it begins with one or more events (experiments / tests) and observations of them. It then extracts patterns from the observations and then arrives at a hypothesis or theory. Whilst this is a more detached process, the number and type of observations are however critical to success. Again “cherry picking” comes into play with the selection of the events and observations.

Mostly though in society we play in the middle ground of mixed reasoning, because neither DR or IR are suitable due to the agency of the test subjects and their ability to learn from an experiment and carry it forward.

This is where “Ad-hoc / Abductive Reasoning”(AR) occurs. Basically it is not sound in it’s conclusions due to to little information but can be used to form earl testable hypotheses.

AR is most often used where the subjects have agency or only partial information is available. For instance I hold a bag of balls and you take one out and it is white, using AR you could tentatively conclude “the bag holds white balls”, each successive ball drawn if white strengthans the conclusion. However it remains unsound untill the last ball is taken from the bag, if it is also white then the original conclusion was correct though unsound, because it will not of nececity apply to subsequent bags.

Frequently Doctors make a diagnosis based on necessarily limited test results, likewise jurors make determination based on the evidence presented to them. In both cases the information is incompleate thus they use AR to reach a conclusion.

The danger of Elon Musk’s first rule is that mostly argument can only use Ad-hoc / Abductive Reasoning which is likely to be quite “unsound”.

Clive Robinson April 8, 2022 10:22 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

My ip address is 123.456.7.89


How about,

Read around the word “child”, does it make any sense?

And that is apparently is from the so called “experts” C.V.

This is a “very last minute” call up of a supposed “expert witness” who, by definition becomes “an officer of the court” to give “qualified hearsay impartially”

Something tells me they are actually a “nothing burger” and the Special Council’s case is likewise a “nothing burger”.

But worse I suspect the special council is “highly complicit” in this charade, and is working on the theory that there is not going to be someone sufficiently expert on the jury or in the court to call it out for what it is…

The Special Council and his Expert should be “defrocked, debagged, tarred, feathered, and run out on a rail” at the very least, as we nolonger have “hanging judges” for egregious contempt.

Nick Levinson April 8, 2022 11:05 PM

@Clive Robinson:

Expert witnesses are not officers of the court, in any U.S. court, to my knowledge. No witnesses are, to my knowledge. (I just tried Googling to ascertain this and basically got nowhere.)

Nick Levinson April 8, 2022 11:14 PM

Squid have emotions, I think, given the scientific finding some years ago that some microorganisms make choices, and squid are too large to be microorganisms, thus likely have more complexity in their brains (or equivalent among microorganisms), thus probably capacity for emotions, and emotionalism likely is usually useful to any specimen with it.

Pain as an emotion must be referring to psychological pain rather than to physical pain. Physical pain is a way of telling the specimen that something is wrong, such as when you cut your skin. Psychological pain is likely more complex.

Moral issues to be implemented by humans are up to humans to decide. If squid have emotions and other complex processes in their brains, they may well have their own moralities. The same may be true for, say, sharks. If so, whether sharks should bite humans could be a moral issue among sharks, but the sharks may believe that humans don’t feel psychological or physical pain and thus can be crushed without moral concern, since, as far as they know, we don’t mind. Perhaps some sharks asked us and some of us swimming nearby neglected to answer. Perhaps a few sharks conducted a randomized controlled trial on humans by biting half of them (with double-blinding managed by a shark qualified as a nurse) and did not notice any response that sharks would recognize as pain among sharks, thence concluding that humans do not feel pain, then telling other sharks that the fringe belief that humans feel pain is merely an old shark-wives’ tale, to be dismissed outright by all right-thinking sharks.

Jon April 9, 2022 2:07 AM

David Foster Wallace covered this quite well in his essay “Consider the lobster”. And SpaceLifeForm? There is no ‘9’ in octal. So there. ;-P

Winter April 9, 2022 2:50 AM

“Are there any true one way functions?”

Thanks for the link. I have a weak spot for Kolmogorov complexity and will certainly read the original paper.

SpaceLifeForm April 9, 2022 4:25 AM

@ Winter, Ismar, Clive


Winter April 9, 2022 7:26 AM

“@Winter, Ismar, Clive”

But still no proof 🙁

On One-way Functions and Kolmogorov Complexity

Anonymous April 9, 2022 7:55 AM

if pain isnt present, what is the mediating factor in the other possible emotions? For example, we know we like to explore by the contentedness of exploring, and by the pain of not being able to explore.

Clive Robinson April 9, 2022 8:04 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

…and will certainly read the original paper.

Be warned the paper has one of my “why on earth do they do that” anoyances.

If you look at the very begining, it has the abstract. Which is short and for some right to the point.

However to many it will not directly make sense because they do not have sufficient knowledge of what a “polynomial” is in the mathmatical sense or likewise “Kolmogorov Complexity K^t”. But they can look those up in Wikipedia or via internet search, and so in half an hour have sufficient knowledge to gain either understanding or a solid toe-hold on the climb.

But then we get “PPT”[1] a dreaded “Three Letter Acronym”(TLA) what does it mean so you search it and discover the big proplem with TLA’s is as there are so few of them usable they get “overloaded”, with very many having multiple meanings. Not just across different knowledge domains but within a single knowledge domain… Which means you have to understand the context within the domain, which is unlikely if you are not reasonably versed in the domain and it’s numerous contexts…

So in effect the gate on the the path to the garden of knowledge gets “slamed in your face”… and what you could have worked your way through you cannot for the lack of a simple key…

Yes I know why this happens, but with just a little thought and care by authors, something that is unaproachable to all but a select few becomes much more widely understood.

Oh and to those writing papers, even when you have a high reputation, getting your papers more frequently cited is not likely to do you any harm, in fact the opposit.

Making your papers approachable, makes them more widely read thus more likely to be cited…

[1] They authors tell you on the first page of the paper in the introduction,

“probablistic polynomial-time (PPT)”

So you can look it up in a web search and find it in say,

Which would be worth reading… You also find the TLA “BPP” applies… And so, you go down a rabit hole that untutored learning can become. But the destination is usually worth the journy provided you avoid the snakes, when you don’t have a ladder a good tutor would give you.

Clive Robinson April 9, 2022 8:49 AM

@ Winter,

Re : But still no proof

Nor may there ever be…

But when you read the papers introduction not very carefully,

“OWF’s are both necessary and sufficient for many of the most central cryptographic primatives and protocols (e.g., pseudorandom generators, pseudorandom functions, private-key encryption, digital signitures, commitment schemes, identification protocols, coin-flipping protocols, and many more).”

From the cryptographic point of view it might be the most important sentance in the paper.

Because the examples given and all the systems in practice they talk about are all “Fully Determanistic Algorithms”(FDAs) from a “route of trust” “shared secret”. Where the length of the shared secret is much less than the average message length “m” from the set of all messages “M”.

Implicit to which is that the FDA sequences are neither random or independent on a bit by bit basis or any larger basis upto and including the size of the ciphertext.

What the authors are excluding are systems that are both random and fully independent from the smallest basis of bit by bit upwards. Which is the base definition in “Perfect Secrecy Systems”(PSS).

Whilst PSSs like the “One Time Pad”(OTP) have issues with “Key Managment”(KeyMan) not least of which is the quantaty of “Key Material”(KeyMat) they have numerous advantages that FDA systems do not have.

It is turning out that in the ever increasing surveillance world, the extra advantages PSSs give are rapidly becoming more important than the advantages FDAs and their very short “shared secrets” used to give.

So it is entirely possible for some types of communications in surveillance heavy hostile environments the question of if OWFs exist or not becomes of little or no importance.

Winter April 9, 2022 9:14 AM

“However to many it will not directly make sense because they do not have sufficient knowledge of what a “polynomial” is in the mathmatical sense or likewise “Kolmogorov Complexity K^t”.”

This is written for mathematicians. I am not a mathematician, but I have read my share of papers about Kolmogorov complexity, and computational complexity in general[*].

“So in effect the gate on the the path to the garden of knowledge gets “slamed in your face”… and what you could have worked your way through you cannot for the lack of a simple key…”

Hey, this is a proof of an equivalence between two different mathematical problems. This is part and parcel in the computational complexity field, and is what the discussion around P=NP is all about. But this article is certainly not written for readers who are new to the concept of computational complexity. They are better of reading a blog or introduction about it.

[*] Yes, I have strange hobbies

Winter April 9, 2022 9:19 AM

“Because the examples given and all the systems in practice they talk about are all “Fully Determanistic Algorithms”(FDAs) from a “route of trust” “shared secret”.”

Computational Complexity is about FDAs. The point of one-way functions is that in a fully deterministic system, the outcome of the function will protect the input value just as well as having to guess it. How you protect against guessing it is not part of the mathematics.

If you have a fully, unpredictable, random input, you will need a one-way function to use it without divulging the input itself.

Winter April 9, 2022 9:22 AM

“It is turning out that in the ever increasing surveillance world, the extra advantages PSSs give are rapidly becoming more important than the advantages FDAs and their very short “shared secrets” used to give.”

PSSs, like OTP, require secure transmission of at least as many bits as any intended message. That is a requirement that is too much for many, if not most, users.

&ers April 9, 2022 11:23 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL

Although i have been dealing with electronics
long enough, i still sometimes just surprise
how far we have come.


Although old news, i believe those are still currently
the smallest Linux networked computers, publicly & commercially
available. If i’m mistaken here, please point me out the current
appropriate ones.

But those are all civilian ones. This makes me wonder what actually
government/military can do now.

Clive Robinson April 9, 2022 1:07 PM

@ &ers,

Although old news, i believe those are still currently
the smallest Linux networked computers, publicly & commercially

They were not the only ones…

Back in oh 2008 if memory serves correctly, when ZTE were still around and made a combined USB “thumb drive” memory card and GSM “broadband modem” dongles… I hacked some up with info from a Russian “reverse enginering group” as a prototype system with USB interface to a dirt cheap “photo frame” display device. For what became “The Taxi Job” to have location aware adverts inside taxi cabs.

Whilst older versions of Linux and even BSD –prefered at the time– would fit on these devices, these days not likely…

In fact anything with the dred “SystemD” nonsense probably won’t get on “gum-stick” and smaller SBC’s.

Which begs the question, “With the likes of Puppy Linux et al, going quiescent, “What is there out there?” for older chip Embeded Systems…

SpaceLifeForm April 9, 2022 3:33 PM

If you can not authenticate over a network, maybe if you try again…


When the server hands you a session cookie for free, who needs creds?

vas pup April 9, 2022 4:44 PM

@Clive said:
“The first rule is the problem rule, to be effective it implies both parties have no cognitive bias, and behave as rational actors. Further it implies rational argument is possible, when it is not always possible.”

Clive, I guess when key Owner is Top Manager as well as Musk is, that rule should work because when both roles are combined in one person, to behave as rational actors is the only workable option. In this case goal is not ego, but actual result – positive outcome benefiting more or less all links in the chain of command.

LittleBitOfFat April 9, 2022 6:25 PM

@ &ers

Reminds me of my amazement when I’ve had contact with the 28nm Rockchip SOC’s [1]. Sometimes the juice is actually on some of the DSP IC’s living inside the SOC’s that if you have the sheets you can do magic.

But nowadays things are getting more interesting with some leaks as with the NVIDIA ones, where you have at your disposal silicon for “convolutional auto-encoder neural networks” [2] that you can repurpose for doing computational voodoo. Interesting times.


JonKnowsNothing April 10, 2022 10:33 AM


As BA2 runs over the USA, there is an excellent graphic on the CDC site that shows exponential rise and exponential decay quite nicely.

It is the colored stacked bar graph of variants under the Nowcast header (data for USA).

It shows the dominance of BA1.1 from 01 2022 thu 02 19 2022. This bar is not the exponential one, although it shows how the march of BA1.1 oozed over the other variants.

Starting around 02 19 2022, BA2 becomes trackable (the US CDC doesn’t map low percentage variants). The stacked bars of BA1.1 and BA2 couldn’t hardly do a better job on the display.

I haven’t run the maths myself so it may not be a “perfect” rise and decay but it’s quite understandable all the same.

note: if you want to grab a screenie, the “U” is very nice atm. The graph will be pushed left on the next updating day and the shape will shift. There is a date selector on the page but I dunno how well that works as the USA (and other HIP-RIP-LOVID governments) is redefining terms, data collections, and reporting data and reporting periods.


ht tps://covid.c

(url slightly fractured)

SpaceLifeForm April 10, 2022 2:27 PM

@ Winter

PSSs, like OTP, require secure transmission of at least as many bits as any intended message. That is a requirement that is too much for many, if not most, users.

I believe that the premise is not true, and therefore the conclusion is not as onerous as it appears.

It seems that as long as I can send a small (bit wise) keymat securely, then the recipient should be able to generate the OTP.

Alice randomly generates some keymat. This becomes program parameters. Using that keymat, and an open source program, and some publicly available data, Alice the generates the OTP, which she then uses to encrypt the payload. Note: The program can generate the OTP on-the-fly, and then on-the-fly encrypt the payload, and output the encrypted payload to a file. Same happens on the decryption.

She puts the encrypted payload somewhere, where Bob can find it.

She then transmits tbe keymat (program parameters) securely to Bob.

Bob collects the encrypted payload, and using the keymat, generates the OTP that Alice used.

Think of the keymat being 256 bits at least.

One can generate so many possible OTPs that any given one would be indisguishable from random. And so large, that you never run out of pad for your payload.

Not every possible OTP will necessarily exist, but there are so many, that it makes no difference.

Note: the encryption and decryption will not be as fast as could be accomplished with a single full size pad previously transmitted.

The more secure you want it be, the slower it will be. 256 bits should not be guessable.

The key of course, it to never re-use the keymat. Which should be possible using good random, a timestamp, and a nonce.

And, that the 256 bits can actually be securely transmitted.

There are an infinite set of OTPs that have small Kolmogorov complexity.

Winter April 10, 2022 2:57 PM

“It seems that as long as I can send a small (bit wise) keymat securely, then the recipient should be able to generate the OTP.”

IIRC, it is not a PSS anymore if you do that.

SpaceLifeForm April 10, 2022 4:23 PM

@ Winter

It may not be Perfect, but it can be made very Painful for an attacker computational wise.

This can be used as a test also, to see if the channel that the keymat has been transmitted on, is actually not secure.

If the payload is actually a compressed tarball, then it will be very difficult to attack, because the compressed tarball will look very random.

Apply the one of the many possible OTP to that.

The only thing the attacker will know is the payload size. The attacker will need the keymat to decrypt.

Oh, and one can even make it more complex for the attacker. For example, the actual keymat needed to decrypt may actually be the XOR of 3 different keymats. Alice and Bob may have a pre-arranged protocol. They may transmit fake keymat. They may even create fake encrypted payloads. Signal, meet Noise.

Keep in mind, the keymat and the encrypted payload are separate, not part of the same transmission.

lurker April 10, 2022 6:58 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, “Alice and Bob may have a pre-arranged protocol. They may transmit fake keymat.”

Wouldn’t this fall under security thru obscurity?

Clive Robinson April 10, 2022 8:09 PM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm,

IIRC, it is not a PSS anymore if you do that.

Correct it is the same as sending Bob an AES key and IV to use in an AES-CTR generator, to print out what looks like a standard OTP but is in fact a faux-OTP.

Whilst it can be secure, people do call it a “One Time Pad” or OTP system it is not. Because each bit of output is,

1, Fully “determanistic”.
2, Fully dependent on “state”.
3, Bits “are NOT independent” of each other.

It is this third issue that effectively robs you of the advantages fully independent bits give, not just PSS.

The unicity distance of AES if I remember correctly is around “two blocks” which means that deniability potential is virtually a “dead duck” after the first block of output and for practical purposes after any two output blocks[1].

That is if the second party Bob betrays the first party Alice to a tgird party Eve, by handing over the faux-OTP. Then Eve can prove within a very high degree of certainty after just any two blocks from the generator that Alice sent the message. All because the “generator” has “no true independence” on the bits.

In this day and age “Deniability” via “equiprobable” is one of the most desirable things for cryptography used outside of “commerce”. That is what was once seen as the second biggest weakness of a True-OTP of “bit flipping attacks” is now probably it’s most desirable feature[2].

It’s easy to show that a true OTP ciphertext is useless for evidentury purposess on it’s content.

Because anyone can come up with a message that is the same length as the cipher text and make a fake-OTP from it. It is so trivial that anyone who can use a printed lookup table and a pencil could do.

So Alice, Bob, Eve, “Uncle Tom Cobbly and all” could do it. The thing that both Alice and Bob have to do is meticulously maintain full seperation between the message content and their actions, so that Eve can not correlate them. Secondary to thay is if a very limited number of potential correlations do have to happen is to build in a high degree of deniability.

There is as I’ve indicated in the past a way to send “apparent plaintext” that is generated by an OTP. Thus you can send an SMS, tweet etc that anyone can see, and not be aware that infact around a dozen bits of information has been sent.

It’s something I’ve been building into a model for a Covert Bot Net Command and Control system using unrestricted social media servers or search engines as ab update to what I did quite a while ago about attacking air-gapped voting machines (something I mentioned on this blog some time before Stuxnet poped up above the grass).

As for the “oft quoted” argument of don’t use True-OTP due to KeyMat size… Do me a favour £8 can get you 32G Memory cards as small or smaller than the fingernail of your index finger. Likewise you can buy for very little “trick coins” that have been machined out that you can hide such memory cards in. As long as you take care to weight the coin down correctly it will pass all non “targeted in depth searches”.

Just use the memory card for “one time transportation” only and know how to “copy and destroy”[3] the memory card securely when it gets where it is going.

Storing the copied data on A4 printed paper (80cols by 66lns) is actually not that difficult[4] and if done correctly makes KeyMat destruction after use relatively easy.

[1] There is a very very small probability you can find a second AES key and IV that would produce a valid plaintext from the faux-OTP ciphertext. But I’m not sure you could find it in this liftime currently (or any lifetime for that matter).

[2] Just about every Student of Cryptography gets told about “stream ciphers and bit flipping attacks” along with a bunch of “Oh Waily waily, we’re doomed” type warnings… Well they are long out of date, because whilst true before the use of even CRC’s, Hamming Codes, FEC and other ECC’s it’s not now. All you have to be aware of is where you use the Error Correction or Detection Codes. If you use them on the plain text they are actually useless because if the plaintext is known it can be replaced. Worse even if the plaintext is not known any error detection that does not chain all the bits of the plaintext together is vulnerable so all “mod 2” or XOR based systems, even addition and multiplication in the least significant bit. However if you use a chaining error detection code on the ciphertext, that ensures the ciphertext is protected from any trabsmission errors etc. But “IMPORTANTLY” it does not remove the deniability aspect… It’s an important thing to remember, but oddly not many people talk about it and it’s not the “KeyMan” and “KeyMat” issues that are to blaim for this as outside of commerce these are long solved issues.

[3] One of the issues of high density storage, is it is just way to difficult to destroy… Even apparently grinding a memory card to dust can go wrong if you do not exercise caution (dust can be carcinogenic as a minimum). However lower density storage such as “magnetic tape” can be rather more easily destroyed IF you know what you are doing. Supprisingly even tapes from 30years ago are still usable (my DAT/DDS certainly are, but so are the punch paper tapes from 47 years ago not that getting new tape is easy).

Some have real fun,

Sad thing is the only mag tape format still in main usage is LTO-9 and only IBM makes the drives any longer. So I’ll let you guess the price but it starts north of $20,000 and tapes around $400…

[4] Data can be stored as printed 2D bar codes and the like with 20kB per side of A4 possible around @~50dpi (call it 0.5mm squares). Though 5-6kByte a side or with Base64 3.85kByte “human readable” would be a better estimate about 130 sheets per MByte.

Jon April 10, 2022 10:28 PM

@ C. Robinson, [4] : Black and white printing is miserably inefficient on paper. Use 256 levels of gray-scale – or, even better, color – and you can encode much more in the same space. J.

Clive Robinson April 11, 2022 4:55 AM

@ Jon,

Black and white printing is miserably inefficient on paper. Use 256 levels of gray-scale – or, even better, color – and you can encode much more in the same space.

But over what period of time?

Most inks “fade”, paper and other media twist, warp, shrink, etc…

I found this out in what could have been a very expensive way.

Quite a few years ago now, about half a decade befor all the nonsense kicked off that led to the UK IR35 rules, I had my own small business. I religiously kept all the recipts for expenses made from pocket or petty cash in weekly and monthly sandwich bags stapled to a laser printer print out in a file cabinate in folders and hanging dividers for easy access. All neatly printed out so they were nicely legible.

Then the UK Inland Revenue decided to do an indepth audit on me… Not a problem, till I went to get the recipets from the file cabinate…

You would be shocked at just how much the till reciepts had faded, I very certainly was. Those that used thermal paper like “Fast Food”, “Motorway Service” and other big chains had faded so far within just a few months that they were effectively invisable to all but the sharpest eye and tipping them back and forth in the light. Those using blue ribbon ink had likewise faded through purple in a year or two. Other till print technology was just as bad. But worse the laser print outs had stuck to anything plastic clear document wallets, each other and the sandwich bags and “lifted the printing off the page”… What had been neat and orderly had gone to hellish mess in short order (an object lesson in entropy).

Luckily because it made things easier for working with the “accountant” and lady who did my office admin, early on I’d got one of those all in one printer, scanner, fax, photocopier modem devices and had scanned all the recipts in, in an orderly way, and had kept them as parts of letters not just as “single sided” laser printer printouts in the file cabinate but in an electronic document repository I’d built, to easily search and display them.

Yes back then I to had dreams of “the paperless office” that are now through experience nightmares. It’s also part of the reason I say “PAPER Paper NEVER Data” to people when it comes to what could become “evidence” at some future point[1]

It took time to put enough of it back together such that the IR man by having random questions answered decided I was being honest not deliberately deceptive…

A few years later when colour printing became more common, and colour inkjets started appearing with the idea you nolonger needed to get photograps done at the chemist you could just “print them out” the inks in those were far from stable…

So as the two old sayings go,

“Once bitten twice shy.”

And for printer and checkout/till manufacturers,

“Fool me once shame on you…”

Document archiving is becoming such a concern in some places with even computer media like optical disks not making it to a decade, that some have gone back to “filmstock in freezers”. Where you use 16mm “projector film” to record images, as first an actual image, then a scan of the image in a high contrast series of squigly lines you would get as an analogue signal from the back of the colour sensors as you would see on the “sound track” of an older film…

Back at the turn of the century some one I worked with was married to an archivist, and we were chatting at the Xmas party and she noted that hand written leters using a “real lead” –White’s metal– pencil was probably the only thing that would make it to a thousand years…

And thats all before we start talking about “encoding”… The desire to get more data in less space has resulted in two bad trends,

1, Complex signal encoding.
2, Complex daya compression.

Both turn usable data into “near noise” to get to the “Shannon limits” of the media in use. So much so that complex error correction needs to be added. Much of these codings are “proprietary” thus are never “known” so if the reading device breaks, then though you have the data it’s almost as inaccessible as if it had been encrypted (which in a way it has as it’s been dependently / differentially / chain encoded).

[1] A few other reasons not to send data to people,

1, Meta data you can not see.
2, If you make their life easier they just ask for more.
3, Data is always an intangible copy that can be untracably altered.

The one we see most often in the press is the first showing up the third carried out by the naive (often organisationaly senior “self entitled”).

But the second is the real “nut cracker” these days, the legal fraternaty have discovered just how much in fees they can make via “electronic discovery”. Worse it makes building search databases easy so they can then find things to hit you over the head with for more fees or costs to drive you into bankruptcy etc.

As I’ve indicated before there are ways to stop this nonsense or turn it into asymetric warfare, where they have to swallow the fat end of the costs not you.

JonKnowsNothing April 11, 2022 7:38 AM



I got the dreaded phone call yesterday..

Hello, how are you? I’m calling to inform you that a health care professional that you have been in near contact with has tested positive for COVID-19.

We are sending round some Rapid Tests.

Good luck and have a nice day.

I have “symptoms”:

  • Altered smell. I thought it was some odd cleaning fluid odor.
  • Drippy nose. I thought it was an allergy.
  • Sore Dry throat. I thought I needed to drink more fluids.
  • Feeling tightness in chest. I thought it maybe a chill or grief.

I thought this because for 2.5 years I’ve hidden inside my home.

The only reason I was around any one, specifically health care persons, was they were caring for my gravely ill spouse who passed on Friday 04 08 2022. On Sunday 04 10 2022, I get the call that someone in the last week tested positive for COVID.

Oh and to improve matters, they notified me on Thursday 04 07 2022, I’ve been exposed to C.Diff while caring for my dying spouse. C.Diff is the forever bug…

I go for PCR test today.

When getting the appointment I requested the COVID Drugs (any of the 2 that remain viable) and got a “hmmm ahhh hmmm” response. The drugs are in short supply. Even though technically it would be “early enough” to take them, I am immunocompromised and doubt that I will be in the lucky group.

The height of irony: 2.5 years of shelter in place and I get COVID anyway.

fwiw: Yes, I kept my mask on 100% of the time when talking to others and standing as far away as possible from them in the house. They all had their masks on too. There’s only so far away you can stand when caring, feeding or giving medications. There’s only so far away you can stand from death.

fib April 11, 2022 9:03 AM

I had posted the one-way function link last week and it didn’t get much attention then. Glad to see somme discussion.

@Clive Robinson

Re Puppy Linux

An eventual demise will be a terrible lost. In fact, it’s been 18 months since the last edition. It will be badly missed.

Clive Robinson April 11, 2022 10:39 AM


My thoughts are with you.

Any one of the things you mention would be on it’s own, cause for much sadness, all together, I can not imagine what you must be feeling.

Please stay in contact with us here, I’m sure that many will be holding you in their thoughts.

Hopefully you will not need the medications and will recover quickly, and that peace will be with you.

Take care,

  • Clive.

MarkH April 11, 2022 10:48 AM


Such a dreadful loss, of your Other Half …

It’s no earthly use to you, but my tears are flowing.

Please tell us how you fare, when you’re able.

fib April 11, 2022 12:02 PM


I’m sad to hear of your devastating loss. May you have the strength to go through this difficult period.

You have my solidarity.

I bid you health and peace of mind, my friend.

SpaceLifeForm April 11, 2022 2:44 PM

@ JonknowsNothing

I am sorry to hear this. Hang in there.

Air out your house asap. The viral load may have been so high, that you got infected via your eyes.

lurker April 11, 2022 3:51 PM


The English composer John Sheppard studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, and later was a Fellow of the Chapel Royal. An influenza pandemic afflicted Europe 1557-9. Perhaps previewing his own mortality, perhaps for the funeral of his friend Nicolas Ludford, Sheppard composed a setting of the antiphon to nunc dimitis for the later Thursdays in Lent, Media Vita in Morte Sumus (In the Midst of Life We are in Death). Sheppard died of the flu in December 1557.

The Media Vita is a beautiful piece of music, and several modern recordings are available.

My condolences, take care.

SpaceLifeForm April 11, 2022 5:19 PM


I feel a disturbance in the force.

Something is going down soon.

This is not about what I am seeing (hence no links), but what I am not seeing.

Something is happening. RSN. Arrests.

SpaceLifeForm April 11, 2022 11:16 PM

Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation


Clive Robinson April 12, 2022 12:11 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation

Is at best “insufficient” and a stop gap measure.

We need to more importantly,

1, Reduce density / occupancy.
2, Increase volume and appropriate light.
3, Reduce temprature and humidity.

None of which modern buildings are designed for, nore are employers and their bean counters prepared to pay for.

There are two types of “Sick Building Syndrome”,

1, The first kills the building.
2, The second kills the occupants.

Both have to be resolved. The thing is English Late Victorian builders knew this and built accordingly it’s why despite developers trying to eradicate them, there are very many buildings from a hundred and fifty years ago in London still doing what they were designed to do.

As for those buildings of the 1960’s and later they are being torn down at a very high rate. So much so only those office blocks that hung in, are now being converted to shody housing to builk those who are desperate to own their own home.

One can only hope that those glass and concreate monsters from the likes of Lord Rogers and Co get dispatched as rapidly as possible, and get consigned to the garbage truck of history.

ResearcherZero April 12, 2022 4:21 AM

“hundreds of transactions worth almost $1.9 billion between 23 companies with links to Solway between 2007 and 2015 in leaked banking data”

Reporters found that companies from the group of 23 had transacted with other companies used in Russian tax evasion and money laundering scandals.
At the same time as the 23 companies were transferring funds to each other, several were also transacting with companies that have been used to move money in major Russian money laundering scandals.

“We obviously want to get that behind us.”

The Fenix mine, which Hudbay sold to Cyprus-based Solway Investment Group in 2011, reopened in 2014 after being closed for three decades.

“assailants took Choc Cuz to the edge of the eastern Guatemalan town of El Estor and beat him between the night of March 30 and early morning of March 31. He died that day in the hospital in Puerto Barrios”

In May 2017, Carlos Maaz was shot dead during a protest against Solway/CGN’s mining operation.

“I saw Mynor Padilla pointing his pistol at me,” Chub testified. “When I turned around, I heard the gunshot.”

Padilla’s yearlong trial has been plagued with what the prosecution calls “irregularities”. Though a warrant was issued for Padilla’s arrest shortly after the 2009 shooting, Padilla remained at large for three years, and continued to be on the payroll of HudBay’s Guatemalan subsidiary.

The suit claims security personnel for Skye Resources — which Hudbay bought in 2008 for US$451 million to acquire the Fenix mine project — worked with Guatemalan military and police to clear the land and raze the Mayan Q’echi community of Lote Ocho for the mining project.

“It was these men just like this that raped me when I was three months’ pregnant,” one of the plaintiffs said, adding, “And it’s men just like this that are the ones that burned my house, and they burned my clothing and they burned everything I had in my house.”

pup vas April 12, 2022 1:56 PM

Why it’s hard to repair a smartphone

=Preserving raw materials, avoiding trash and saving money — there are many arguments in favor of using electronic devices longer. But repairs are costly and not yet a routine procedure.

Non-repairable gadgets to be banned

The Fraunhofer researchers have found that smartphone batteries and displays are by far the components most prone to break. Proske, therefore, demanded that even ordinary customers should be able to replace them and pointed to a major downside of commercial repairs. “Devices are usually returned to customers with all personal data completely erased.

This is why doing repairs yourself at home is much better,” she said. What could be a problem, though, is that the phone might then no longer be waterproof or dust-resistant, and wireless charging could also be impaired, she added.

IZM’s findings are contributing to legislation currently being prepared by the European Commission to improve so-called environmental and reliability engineering with regard to smartphones and tablet PCs sold in the EU. The rules are intended to define new product design requirements such as ensuring the supply of spare parts, battery durability and other standards to enhance the lifespan of electronic devices.

“The minimum goal intended is a commercial ban on non-repairable gadgets,” said IZM researcher Karsten Schischke. He advocates for a “repair label” to give customers a product choice, similarly to the labeling already in place for energy consumption.

On a national level, France in April 2021 introduced a repair friendliness index for TV-sets, smartphones, laptop computers, washing machines and lawn mowers, with the manufacturers giving themselves points from 1 to 10. =

SpaceLifeForm April 12, 2022 2:19 PM

Remember Anom?

DOJ is going RICO, so there must be a lot of interesting stuff yet to be revealed.


SpaceLifeForm April 12, 2022 4:20 PM

Modern wristbands


lurker April 12, 2022 4:59 PM

@pup vas

Devices are usually returned to customers with all personal data completely erased.

Why? Govt requirement in Germany? Repair shop just being stroppy?

I’ve had a screen replaced in one device, soldered in battery in another, no problems with personal data. Oh, maybe syphoned up to Arizona, but there was nothing nasty in there…

Clive Robinson April 12, 2022 7:39 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Modern wristbands

What surprises me is the number of people going on about the clothes he is in…

In short he has been “cleaned up” from what ever state he was in when captured, and put in not just clean but fresh out of the packet clothes.

I suspect he has no belt, but he does appear to have shoe laces which is odd. I would expect him to be put on not just “suicide watch”, but “no-run” cloathing not that unlike US Prisoner Transportation “garb and irons”…

Importantly the Ukranians need to keep him not just alive but well, otherwise they hand Putin propaganda material, which they realy don’t need.

If he is seen as been “well” or atleast “fairly treated” then it encorages others to consider if they want to face the rath of Putin, or time in comfortable prison for a few years.

Because much as we realy do not like the idea, these people have to play a part in Ukrains future… Otherwise it validates Putin’s nonsense in Russian eyes, and it will all just happen again…

The trick will be to get Russian Citizens to not just depose Putin but be shot of his supporters as well, in the least violent and messy way possible…

SpaceLifeForm April 12, 2022 9:51 PM

Still using Windows 7? Patch now available.

Remote Procedure Call Runtime Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would need to send a specially crafted RPC call to an RPC host. This could result in remote code execution on the server side with the same permissions as the RPC service.

Frisky The Snowman April 12, 2022 10:29 PM

The microchip implants that let you pay with your hand

Patrick Paumen causes a stir whenever he pays for something in a shop or restaurant.

This is because the 37-year-old doesn’t need to use a bank card or his mobile phone to pay. Instead, he simply places his left hand near the contactless card reader, and the payment goes through.[1]

“The reactions I get from cashiers are priceless!” says Mr Paumen, a security guard from the Netherlands.

He is able to pay using his hand because back in 2019 he had a contactless payment microchip injected under his skin.

“The procedure hurts as much as when someone pinches your skin,” says Mr Paumen.

A microchip was first implanted into a human back in 1998, but it is only during the past decade that the technology has been available commercially.

And when it comes to implantable payment chips, British-Polish firm, Walletmor, says that last year it became the first company to offer them for sale.

“The implant can be used to pay for a drink on the beach in Rio, a coffee in New York, a haircut in Paris – or at your local grocery store,” says founder and chief executive Wojtek Paprota. “It can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted.”

Walletmor’s chip, which weighs less than a gram and is little bigger than a grain of rice, is comprised of a tiny microchip and an antenna encased in a biopolymer – a naturally sourced material, similar to plastic.

Mr Paprota adds that it is entirely safe, has regulatory approval, works immediately after being implanted, and will stay firmly in place. It also does not require a battery, or other power source. The firm says it has now sold more than 500 of the chips.

The technology Walletmor uses is near-field communication or NFC, the contactless payment system in smartphones. Other payment implants are based on radio-frequency identification (RFID), which is the similar technology typically found in physical contactless debit and credit cards.

For many of us, the idea of having such a chip implanted in our body is an appalling one, but a 2021 survey of more than 4,000 people across the UK and the European Union found that 51% would consider it.

However, without giving a percentage figure, the report added that “invasiveness and security issues remained a major concern” for respondents.

Mr Paumen says he doesn’t have any of these worries.

“Chip implants contain the same kind of technology that people use on a daily basis,” he says, “From key fobs to unlock doors, public transit cards like the London Oyster card, or bank cards with contactless payment function.

“The reading distance is limited by the small antenna coil inside the implant. The implant needs to be within the electromagnetic field of a compatible RFID [or NFC] reader. Only when there is a magnetic coupling between the reader and the transponder can the implant can be read.”

He adds that he is not concerned that his whereabouts could be tracked.

“RFID chips are used in pets to identify them when they’re lost,” he says. “But it’s not possible to locate them using an RFID chip implant – the missing pet needs to be found physically. Then the entire body gets scanned until the RFID chip implant is found and read.”

Yet the issue with such chips, (and what causes concern), is whether in the future they become ever more advanced, and packed full of a person’s private data. And, in turn, whether this information is secure, and if a person could indeed be tracked.

Financial technology or fintech, expert Theodora Lau, is co-author of the book Beyond Good: How Technology Is Leading A Business Driven Revolution.

She says that implanted payment chips are just “an extension of the internet of things”. By that she means another new way of connecting and exchanging data.

Yet, while she says that many people are open to the idea – as it would make paying for things quicker and easier – the benefit must be weighed up with the risks. Especially as and when embedded chips carry more of our personal information.

“How much are we willing to pay, for the sake of convenience?” she says. “Where do we draw the line when it comes to privacy and security? Who will be protecting the critical infrastructure, and the humans that are part of it?”


ResearcherZero April 12, 2022 11:25 PM

More Putin purging

“All of those ousted were employees of the Fifth Service, a division set up in 1998, when Putin was director of the FSB to carry out operations in the countries of the former Soviet Union with the aim of keeping them within Russia’s orbit.”

the Fifth Service represents “the most sensitive department of the FSB department, which is in charge of espionage in Ukraine. And now it looks like Vladimir Putin finally understood that the intelligence he was given before the invasion was not extremely accurate. And he has started looking around trying to find someone to blame.”

Winter April 13, 2022 1:06 AM

Putin thinks Ukraine is not a country, so he tries to kill everyone who believes in Ukraine as a country. We should have known when Putin accused the Ukrainians of genocide on Russian speaking compatriots. You know that whatever his plans are, he will accuse his opponents of doing it.

Biden accuses Putin of ‘genocide’, wanting to ‘wipe out’ Ukrainians

“Yes, I called it genocide,” he told reporters in Iowa on Tuesday shortly before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington. “It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being a Ukrainian.”

A United Nations treaty defines genocide as actions taken with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.”

JonKnowsNothing April 13, 2022 1:47 PM


re: the dreaded phone call …

I am relieved to report I got the results of the PCR tests today and the result is:


This is really good news on a number of fronts:

  • I most likely have a cold; although my sniffer is still whiffing an antiseptic smell.
  • My spouse died COVID Free; I am sure y’all know how emotionally charged that statement is.
  • While I am recovering from the cold, I can get on with the business of life and final dispositions. Something a very large number of people on the globe are not able to do and will never be able to do.

Thank you to all for the well wishes and kinds words, they meant a great deal to me.

SpaceLifeForm April 13, 2022 2:02 PM

re: CVE-2022-26809

The good news:

There are only about 1M +/- 250K servers on the internet that have port 445 open.

The bad news:

An exploit will likely be developed by tomorrow via reverse engineering.

JonKnowsNothing April 13, 2022 2:08 PM


Cleaning up the battlefield has to happen.(1) Cultures handle the process differently. Often the most effective means were giant funeral pyres.

The USA does a lot of “whole body” transportation, even if the coffin is empty. There is an entire section of the military devoted to mortuary, burial, services and specializes in the detailed and arcane rituals for military funerals. This happens when and where there isn’t any fighting and after the body has been flown to the USA.

Leaving the dead, whether military or civilian, laying around on the ground is a recipe for mass outbreaks of diseases. Even the military knows that and they can use it as part of siege mechanics: famine, thirst and disease.

After the towers fell in New York, the dust and particles covered an enormous area and sifted into buildings and apartments. Each one had to have specialist hazmat cleaning crews in to remove the dangerous residues.

The same has to happen after our “standard ordinary violent events” too, but the victim’s family has to pay for the clean up out of pocket.


1) There are different groups that can be tasked with cleaning the battlefield. Sometimes the task is ordered as a Cultural Punishment against groups that do not share the same battle enthusiasm as the ones who ordered the war.

SpaceLifeForm April 13, 2022 3:29 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing

Good to hear. I would still ventilate now because there was a person infected in your house, and he/she may not have been using a good mask.

JonKnowsNothing April 13, 2022 9:52 PM


re: Live or Memorex images

A new feature has popped up on my views of MSM news pages.

As I do not click on the images of the UKR-RU conflict, although I look at them, the AI/ML system has decided to put a bright white caption across the top section of the image. (1) It shows up as bold white lettering descriptor.

It is only on the images of the UKR-RU war zone. It doesn’t show up on the TV Serial Episode Recap images. (2)

The AI/ML must be getting desperate for a click. Maybe it has been threatened with an adjustment to it’s metrics.


1) It’s usually the top visible edge but as it’s AI/ML driven it might meander to other parts of the image obscuring whatever it is the AI/ML has determined I should be noticing.

2) As the MSM has given up on No Spoilers, one doesn’t need to spend any time at all watching the shows, because they give a blow by blow (ahem) report of all the ins and outs of the episode, including any Easter Eggs(3) with BIG HINT HERE arrows. If one is really interested, it takes only moments to read what you might have otherwise spent an hour watching. This way you can save 55 minutes and do something else.

3) Easter-Eggs in gamer jargon, mean something unusual to find or notice or collect. Often in conjunction with some special event where the “Easter Egg surprises” are pseudo-randomly scattered around the landscape. Most games insure that players collect a good number of them; only a few hard core games scatter an insufficient number of Easter Eggs for all the players to find the full collection. Often these events happen on a repeating schedule so that players have the opportunity to Collect It All and trade it their haul for in game gear, or mounts, or other kewl non tangibles.

ResearcherZero April 13, 2022 10:29 PM

“We were clinging to the idea of building bridges to Russia that our partners warned us about,” Mr. Steinmeier said, after Mr. Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador, accused him of enabling Mr. Putin. “We failed to build a common Europe,” Mr. Steinmeier said. “We failed to incorporate Russia in our security architecture.” He added: “I was wrong.”

…the war has set off a cycle of soul-searching, even among prominent politicians like Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the former foreign minister and now federal president.

A senior member of Mr. Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, he was a prominent supporter of the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline, now halted, that bypassed Ukraine and that Washington opposed.

“Russia has shown that it does not want a stable relationship on this existing security order, which is now an empty shell.”

“People need to let these old ideas go and adapt to reality as it is, and not as they want it to be,”

Schröder and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin agreed the venture in 2005.

The briefing on proposed Nord Stream venture was some time prior. It contained a section informed by an almost unparalleled wealth of intelligence.

“Schröder, along with his old chum Russian President Vladimir Putin, signed off on the €4-billion gas pipeline less than a fortnight before he lost Germany’s general election in September.”

…Schröder should know better. His decision to head the advisory board of the North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP) appears as if he is being rewarded for pushing through the politically sensitive project…

Schröder fought back on the front page of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. There is “a lot of nonsense being spread by politicians and the media,” he said.

(Schröder forgot to mention the briefings from intelligence agencies)

The position is considered controversial due to the political support Schröder threw behind the project while still in office. Indeed, he signed the final go-ahead with Russian President Vladimir Putin only in September (2005) — in the final weeks of his administration.

All the files provided by [REDACTED] turned out to be very accurate, along with the large quantity of separately sourced and vetted supporting evidence.

“it turns out that the chief executive of the pipeline consortium is none other than a former East German secret police officer who was friendly with Vladimir Putin”

“What’s hiding under that sediment is anybody’s guess.”

“the EU’s eastern European member states have complained that it would allow Russia to cut off their gas supplies — as it did to Ukraine in January 2006 — without affecting supplies to its richer Western clients.”

The Ukrainian gas crisis heightened fears that Moscow would be willing to use its energy resources to exert political pressure in any disputes with its former satellites.

Gazprom has nominated former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to join its board of directors

Schroeder is also a board member at Russia’s top oil producer Rosneft and head of the shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream

“Now it is down to the international community to respond to this unilateral, unjustified and incomprehensible action taken by the Russian president. We need to coordinate our approach … in order to send a clear signal to Moscow that activities of this kind cannot remain without consequences.” – German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

ResearcherZero April 13, 2022 10:57 PM

Matthias Warnig

June 15, 2009

According to his declassified Stasi file, his codename was “Arthur” and he began working for the Stasi in 1974.

The files list a number of targets Warnig – “Arthur” was assigned to spy upon. These ranged from a report he submitted in May, 1987 which contain documents about the energy business in West Germany, to a report dated December 8, 1987 about the policies of enterprise management in the West. He also submitted reports about biotech research in the West, computer technology and dozens of other reports mainly dealing with industrial espionage.

Warnig’s career was furthered by his alleged relationship with KGB Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Putin in Dresden. According to German press reports, the two men were allegedly collaborating on recruiting West German citizens to work for the KGB according to Warnig’s former colleagues.

Warnig eventually became the head of the Russian division of Dresdner Bank. Under Warnig, the Moscow office enjoyed a lucrative business relationship with Gazprom and the state oil company Rosneft, handling debt issues, loan valuations and loan management. In 2004-05, the bank advised on the Rosneft-Yukos “merger.” It also lent Rosneft money to secure its stake in the Siberian production arm of Yukos -Yuganskneftegaz”

Warnig’s upcoming visit to the U.S. (he made a similar visit a few months ago to attend a PR event sponsored by a leading Washington law firm) indicates that Gazprom and the Russian government intend influencing policy makers in Washington that Nord Stream is in the national security interests of the United States.

Few in the new administration will relish talking to a former Stasi agent and many members of Congress will be reluctant to listen to his soothing, if somewhat dubious message.

ResearcherZero April 13, 2022 11:23 PM

“In China, government-affiliated users might flood social media feeds with Chinese history or inspirational quotes,” Hobbs said. “So what might Russian trolls use in the U.S.? Entertainment content popped out of the automated analysis method.”

“If someone posts a ton of entertainment content, and your feed only shows 10 posts at a time, then having eight posts that are now unrelated to politics pushes everything else down in the feed,”

“We’ve seen flooding as a social media strategy in both China and Russia; for example, in the past decade Russia has frequently manipulated social media with respect to Ukraine,” said political economist Alexandra Cirone, an assistant professor of government in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) who teaches a class on fake news and disinformation.

“But an autocratic country, trying to do it to a democratic country in the midst of an election – we’re in new territory. It’s surprising how well these strategies transplant.”

Asymmetric flooding as a tool for foreign influence on social media

The aim of this blog post was to present a method for reverse engineering Android application protected by DexGuard using opensource tools, in the context of a real-world example. …Stacking layers upon layers of obfuscation doesn’t help against a motivated attacker.

Clive Robinson April 13, 2022 11:26 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

It is good news to hear it’s probably only a cold.

But all viral illness takes it’s toll on a body. So rest where and when you can my friend, even though things are for most unimaginably difficult if not fraught.

All I can say is I hope things go forward with out problems and that you can reestablish balance and peace in your life.

My thoughts are with you and yours.

Clive Robinson April 13, 2022 11:43 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

There are only about 1M +/- 250K servers on the internet that have port 445 open.

Is that servers or hosts?

But what ever the number about to be “fed to the slaughter” from an RE’d patch, one thing will remain clear.

The SMB system was ill thought out from day one, and I’ll be honest and say I can not remember how many vulnarabilities / patches there has been with it…

I know that when ever I’ve had to configure, external communications from a LAN and even internal to a LAN my default was “deny all” to Microsoft protocols, this century, and fight a significant “rearguard action” when ever anyone queried the choice.

Some you win on the day, some you only win a pyrrhic victory on in the ashes of an aftermath.

But the lesson is clear, keep Microsoft designed or generated traffic locked down good and tight… and if you can not for some reason, then where you can “jump ahead of the gun”.

ResearcherZero April 14, 2022 12:36 AM


It’s increasingly annoying that kind of stuff, along with the blurring of images if you block scripts or ads.

“The need for analysis of change and individual differences in change has advanced the development and application of growth curve models in behavioral and social sciences.”

Growth curve modeling is a popular methodological tool due to its flexibility in simultaneously analyzing both within-person effects (e.g., assessing change over time for one person) and between-person effects (e.g., comparing differences in the change trajectories across people).

Data Analysis can be used for some good things however…

Grand corruption and government change: an analysis of partisan favoritism in public procurement

“Incoming governments sometimes abuse their power to manipulate the allocation of government contracts so as to buy loyalty from cronies.”

“Drawing on theory regarding the role of institutions as constraints on corruption, we identify three spheres of political influence over government contracting and show how elites can manipulate two of those spheres to increase their opportunities to influence the procurement process and minimize external accountability, facilitating the corrupt allocation of contracts to partisan allies.”

Government contractors report

“The shift into the online realm – accelerated by the pandemic – has had a profound impact on patterns of transnational crime. UNODC research shows how, due to the Covid-19 crisis, a rapid rise in public spending, the relaxation of due diligence checks and simplified procurement rules have created conditions ripe for corruption and fraud.”

“while contracts are a tiny slice of the spending we have data for (less than 2%), they have been a big cause for concern when it comes to potential waste and corruption”

“some of the nation’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and U.S. Bank, prioritized the applications of their wealthiest clients before turning to other loan seekers”

Find out where COVID-19 funds were spent.

further data can be obtained here

But the theory is that corruption and data brokers ruined the internet (and everything else). And that is why many websites are s**t, because the internet too was commercialized, hence ruining all of our lives.

Now I’m off to check images on news sites, because it’s a good excuse to look at something else for a while.

Winter April 14, 2022 1:59 AM

“Cleaning up the battlefield has to happen.(1) Cultures handle the process differently. Often the most effective means were giant funeral pyres.”

In this case the bodies would be from war (crime) victims and the piles assembled by those who did the killings. That is not a “cultural” thing, but looks a lot like criminals destroying evidence of war crimes. This behavior has well known historical examples.

ResearcherZero April 14, 2022 2:37 AM

Built by Members, for Members

“they design privatization programs so as to ensure that state assets are sold to cronies”

Politicians are motivated to corrupt the procurement process partly to channel private gains to themselves and their families but also because the strategic allocation of state resources buys loyalty which in turn helps them to consolidate their power and gain an advantage over their political competitors.
This ‘loyalty’ also comes in many forms, including donations to political parties or individual campaigns, direct bribes or ‘kickbacks’ on contracts, and sometimes in-kind provision of services…

These relationships also benefit the companies, which secure a steady stream of easy business and see their competitors kept out of the market…

Therefore, such practices can quickly become systemic. Rather than being ad hoc corrupt acts by individual politicians or businesses, the entire public procurement process may be captured by a closely knit political-business elite, which becomes increasingly interested in (ab)using its power to further protect the market.

Given that public procurement accounts for on average 29% of total general government expenditure in OECD countries (2013 data) (OECD 2015), and closer to 50% of public spending in developing countries, these practices can cause serious damage to the economy and to public confidence in institutions.

“lobbyists for foreign interests have routinely failed to comply with the law”

Just check two different boxes to avoid the law…

Based on the records the Department maintains to enforce the law, we found that in more than a quarter (26 percent) of the 2012 filings, it was impossible to determine whether the lobbyists complied. For example, in many cases, the records did not show when the lobbyists disseminated the materials to the targets of their lobbying. In a glaring omission, the law does not require lobbyists to provide that information. Without it, there may be no way for the government or the public to know whether lobbying materials were filed on time.

The cornerstone of the Registration Unit’s enforcement efforts is encouraging voluntary compliance,” a Justice Department website says. When lobbyists do not voluntarily comply, the Justice Department rarely uses one of the key tools at its disposal to enforce the law—seeking a court injunction.

It appears that some registered foreign agents have been distributing materials but not filing them with the Justice Department. It’s unclear the extent to which that illustrates a lack of compliance with the law or loopholes in the law. In the process of researching this report, POGO noticed that many more lobbyists were registering as foreign agents than had filed informational materials that we could locate at the FARA office. To determine what was happening, we looked at a sampling of questionnaires that the Justice Department requires registered agents to complete every six months. Some checked one box indicating they had distributed materials and another box stating they did not file them with the FARA office.

The law requires lobbyists for foreign interests to plainly and conspicuously identify themselves as such in any materials distributed in the course of their lobbying—for example, emails, other correspondence, or publications. We found that many documents filed with the Justice Department lack this identification statement; furthermore, many lobbyists admitted that they did not comply with this requirement. More than half (51 percent) of the registrants we examined in a sample from 2010 checked a box on a the semi-annual Justice Department questionnaire saying they had filed informational materials, and checked another box saying they had not met the legal requirement that they identify themselves in those materials as working on behalf of foreign interests.

A Large Purple Wang

The Network is touted as championing “equal opportunity on behalf of its members and is an inclusive, volunteer-based organisation built by members, for members”.

Winter April 14, 2022 4:51 AM

“Politicians are motivated to corrupt the procurement process partly to channel private gains to themselves and their families but also because the strategic allocation of state resources buys loyalty which in turn helps them to consolidate their power and gain an advantage over their political competitors.”

That depends on their environment, ie., the people. Not every country has the same problems. In general, corruption requires power, aka, power corrupts. The larger the power inequality, the larger the corruption. Countries with more egalitarian power structures tend to have lower corruption.

Corruption Perceptions Index

JonKnowsNothing April 14, 2022 7:44 AM

@ Winter

re: Cleaning up the battlefield Hows and Whys

When dealing with a lot of dead bodies, there are only a few ways to handle that. We’ve watched over the last 2.5 years how that works. Most folks never see massive death like the 6.5+Million from SARS-CoV-2.

You can take a pick of methods:

  • Leave em rot
  • Dig a pit
  • Burn the lot
  • Toss in the drink

Only a few get Shot to Space, although plenty of SciFi stories include orbiting coffins and asteroid columbariums.

I defer to your expertise on the reasons for and against. All are in use in the UKR-RU war. If one doesn’t suit, try another.

JonKnowsNothing April 14, 2022 7:59 AM


An odd MSM story about a legal dispute involving text messages between several parties.

One of the parties engaged the “services of an IT expert” to download messages from their phone as part of the case proceedings.

Except, now those messages are no longer available…


Because the “IT Expert” has “forgotten the password which he used to encrypt the material” .


Search Terms

IT expert ‘loses password’

‘Wagatha Christie’

Winter April 14, 2022 9:51 AM

“When dealing with a lot of dead bodies, there are only a few ways to handle that.”

All these methods should include recording the identity of the dead person or details that can help to identify them and relevant details about the circumstances of their death and burial or cremation.

The fear is that one party will try to dispose of the dead in ways that hides crimes, or even completely hide that they died. That is a crime.

This is not about caring for the dead, but about destroying evidence of war crimes.

Clive Robinson April 14, 2022 10:18 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Me thinks the lady doth protest to much

Or after reading The Guardian article on the story and seeing,

“However, Rooney’s team said they have been frustrated by “a series of unfortunate events” while trying to access the messages”


She hath read to much Lemony Snicket[1] when young,

Perhaps a quote has stuck in her head such as,

“There are two types of panicking: standing still and not saying a word, and leaping all over the place babbling anything that comes into your head.”

And she has “perhaps perchance” taken the wrong fork from it, as she is apparently not standing still.

But some will nodoubt claim I “should not doubt the varacity of a lady” but then there are other quotes about how you recognise a lady by her behaviour…

My question is of course how many unfortunate events have to happen for her to get out of the hole she so egerly and blindly jumped in?

I know some say that “there is no bad publicity just publicity” or similar, but perhaps one should first equire where the PR Specialists hand is when such statments are made.

But what of the supposed IT Expert?

1, Who is he?
2, What did he do?
3 What is he an expert at?

The obvious question being why would an “evidentiary” back-up be encrypted?

Oh and why would the owner of a phone in question,

1, Drop it over the side of a boat?
2, Be so stressed she can not answer questions?
3, Yet not be too stresed to have somebodies legal representative present her version in writing?

The newspaper by the way is owned by “Rupert the bear faced lier” Murdoch, who likewise was apparently so dodery he could not face questions from Parliment over much henious goings on at “his Organ” at the hands of the manipulative Rebecca Wade, spousal abuser and rumored to get pleasure from military stallions, placed at her disposal for service… His fit of the vapours apparently required a US Specialist or some such, so like his children he became “unavailable” and beyond the reach of British Justice. Unlike some unfortunate journalists etc who ended up “doing time”…

It is just one of oh so many reasons the newspaper concerned is frequently called “The Scum” I will let others judge if that refrences the contents the readers or both.

Lets put another asspect on it English Justice is not fond of what it sees as “Entrapment” and some hint that this is what went on prior to the accusations that caused the retaliation of “slander”. There have been to many “unfortunate events” on that side of the court. In the UK Military you will hear the saying,

Once is “happenstance”,
Twice is “coincidence”,
Thrice is “Enemy Action”.

So yup man the battlements it looks like there will be more “incoming”.


JonKnowsNothing April 14, 2022 11:34 AM

@ Winter

dealing with mass dead

All these methods should include recording the identity of the dead person or details that can help to identify them and relevant details about the circumstances of their death and burial or cremation.

First, are you sure none of that took place?

Death documentation may or may not have taken place but the problem of what to do with the bodies still exists.

You know the old adage about fish and visitors?

Sometimes the fastest way to preserve information is to bury it now and dig it up later for reburial. This is a common practice.

You can see that in the cemeteries in Normandy.

Just take a walk down the rows and rows of markers. Then take a side trip over to the German cemeteries in Normandy were the same care was taken for those soldiers, although the German sites get far fewer visitors than the Big Named Allied ones.

I can give you a hint: Not many troops died in nice neat rows, conveniently spaced with handsomely designed markers, along side parking lots and bus boarding areas.

With most modern armies, troops carry Dog Tags. A set of metal or wooden tags often kept on a chain or cord around the neck. Sometimes there are several tags and the collection of these from the battlefield or morgue are used to not only ID the body but may be attached to some body part (like toes or wrists (1)) for tracking the remains if the remains are to be shipped somewhere.

Civilians can also carry dog tags or other permanent ID, mostly for medical conditions like allergies and other information.

There are many semi-successful “hidings” of civilian or execution deaths. Most of the ones folks refer to historically where not successful at hiding anything. It was In Plain Sight All Along.

  • The Dirty War Argentina
  • Francoist Spain

People do not forget. They do not forget their family, loved ones, friends and neighbors. The legacy is not lost and much can be recovered, provided governments allow it. When governments prevent the discovery, people will still pursue the search although with less publicity.

The 43 Mexican Students that “disappeared” haven’t been forgotten. Recently it was reported that the students were being tracked by Mexican Law Enforcement, and the government knew All Along What Happened, When and Where.


Search Terms

Dog tag


Dirty War

Federico García Lorca

2014 Iguala mass kidnapping

1) Wrist tags are common in hospitals. Colored wrist tags indicate various conditions or cautions. Some wrist tags are required to enter a facility or indicate if you are a visitor or a service technician.

Winter April 14, 2022 12:11 PM

“Sometimes the fastest way to preserve information is to bury it now and dig it up later for reburial. This is a common practice.”

You might not have followed this particular thread in the news.

The Russian army brought with them mobile crematoriums. They were widely seen as a way to prevent body bags from arriving home, ie, for cremating fallen Russian soldiers. Now they are reported to have been moved into Mariopol. Russia claims they did not kill civilians in Mariopol. The Ukrainians are reporting that all the dead bodies are disappearing from the streets.

So what do you think the Russians are going to do? Collecting evidence for future war crime tribunals?

SpaceLifeForm April 14, 2022 2:10 PM

@ Clive, ALL

re: CVE-2022-26809

It is tomorrow

Problem is integer overflow leading to heap overflow.

Full exploit probably exists at this time. I do not use windows, but, everyone should be concerned, because someone you do business with, probably does use windows. And they may stupidly have TCP port 445 open to the internet.

Note that the problem can also be exploited via LAN side.


As can be seen from the table, CVE-2022-26809 is a zero-click bug which requires no interaction to be exploited. For this reason, it scored highest with CVSS 9.8, indicating the high severity of the vulnerability as well as the likeliness of attackers rushing to exploit it.

Who is vulnerable?

Any Windows machine where port 445 is exposed and the RPC runtime library is not patched is vulnerable. According to Shodan, more than 700k Windows machines expose this port to the internet. According to Microsoft, servers that listen on this TCP port are potentially vulnerable.

FA April 14, 2022 2:40 PM

How the state got rid of an inconvenient dissident 2000 years ago.

“Seniores populi consilium fecerunt, ut Jesum dolo tenerent et occiderent. Cum gladiis et fustibus exierunt tamquam ad latronem.”

Loosely translated:

“The elders of the people convened to discuss how, with some ruse, they could capture Jesus and kill him. They acted using swords and clubs, as if they were arresting a thief.”

The Latin text is from Carlo Gesualdo’s [1] ‘Quinta Feria, Tenebrea Responsoria’ [2], performed traditionally during the night of Maundy Thursday in a church lit by only a single candle. Not only that setting but also the music make it a haunting experience, even for an atheist.

A happy Easter to all !


SpaceLifeForm April 14, 2022 4:45 PM

Moskva may have encountered a mine. One of their own.



SpaceLifeForm April 14, 2022 5:31 PM

When Lightning strikes an EV, the battery gets charged









_ April 14, 2022 10:00 PM

Mystery surrounds cold-blooded execution of Microsoft exec

shot dead in front of his two-year-old daughter when he got out of car to move tire from middle of road in affluent Florida neighborhood

Microsoft executive Jared Bridegan, 33, was shot dead February 16 as his two-year-old daughter watched from a car seat

  • He was moving a tire obstructing the road in a Florida neighborhood when he was gunned down
  • Police believe the killing may have been targeted, and said the assailant shot Bridegan from close range, about four feet away
  • It was specific, [Bridegan] used this route all the time. Whoever [killed him] knew the route,’ said Jacksonville Beach Police Detective Sergeant David Young
  • A $30,000 reward is being offered for information – currently, there are no leads
  • ‘I still have hope… but it’s frustrating that it’s been two months and whoever did this is still out there,’ Bridegan’s wife, Kirsten, said

ResearcherZero April 15, 2022 12:25 AM

Scott Morrison effectively ditches promise to establish anti-corruption commission if re-elected…

Australian businesses report being more vulnerable to fraud and corruption than they were before the pandemic and there is no indication the risk is subsiding.

Deloitte warns of a potential spike in bribery… the survey leaves no doubt that Australia’s reputation has slipped over the last two years.

ResearcherZero April 15, 2022 12:31 AM

“A powerful adversary can only be defeated through … sophisticated, methodical, careful, and shrewd effort to exploit even the smallest ‘cracks’ between our enemies … and within their elites.”

“It is only by mobilising all the resources at our disposal, both administrative and financial, that we will be able to get results.”

“Soviet intelligence officers will continue to actively target and seek to cultivate influential American citizens, U.S. Government officials, journalists, and political activists. Much of this activity will be overt in nature, although Soviet intelligence officers are always alert for the opportunity to recruit Americans who are in positions to facilitate or assist Soviet active measures operations.”

Russia sees ‘active measures’ (aktivnye meropriyatiya) – from supporting populist parties through disinformation and espionage campaigns, all the way to incidents such as the attempted coup in Montenegro – as an essential part of its efforts to influence Europe.

One Russian journalist expressed amazement that “the methods, even much of the language is the same: left or right, radical or conservative, you can use the same approaches with both sides, just change some of the language.”

The Russian government’s methods to pursue its goals abroad are “largely determined by the correlation between the strength of the countries’ national institutions and their vulnerability to Russian influence.”

The Kremlin coordinates these multi-platform efforts from within the Presidential Administration, which controls the FSB and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), among many other agencies, and is described by observers as “perhaps the most important single organ within Russia’s highly de-institutionalized state.”

alternative messages, either to refine or correct… or simply to spread confusion, uncertainty, and deniability

“Threatening nuclear weapons is the very last resort. It’s harmful rhetoric, and it’s not something I welcome,”

worth a read


“It has been confirmed that the missile cruiser Moskva today went exactly where it was sent by our border guards on Snake Island!”

ResearcherZero April 15, 2022 1:12 AM

Russia has been identified as one of the main countries attempting to interfere in Australia’s democracy, with intelligence agencies monitoring continuing efforts by Moscow to influence politics here.

“Don’t hide the information.”

In these influence activities, we looked at what is covert, what is coercive and what is corrupting. That was our framework. And as we examined the four case study countries, we circled around a couple of areas where Chinese and Russian influence activities really concentrated.

This may be an intelligence problem or a counterintelligence problem, to be precise, where the goal should be outing this information, getting parliaments and press to know about it. Don’t hide the information.

It raises a question about elite capture, which for those who haven’t figured it out, means bribery and recruitment. A little bit of money goes a long way.


Winter April 15, 2022 4:23 AM

“Moskva may have encountered a mine. One of their own.”

The Kremlin propaganda machine has to chose between claiming it was the result of Gross Incompetence or Ukrainian Excellence. That is, between a rock and a hard place.

There are reports that the Ukrainians used a Bayraktar drone to distract the war ship’s defenses. This was also the first deployment of the Neptune cruise missiles, which might have blindsided the Russians about the danger.

‘Cannot be hidden’: Real reason for Russia’s fury over sinking of prized ship

“The Kremlin’s current story of losing the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet due to an accidental fire and ammunition explosion will, at minimum, likely hurt Russian morale and cannot be hidden from the Russian domestic audience,” the assessment stated.

“Both explanations for the sinking of the Moskva indicate possible Russian deficiencies — either poor air defences or incredibly lax safety procedures and damage control on the Black Sea Fleet’s flagship.”

The Russian response is, predictably, to kill more unarmed civilians with bombs.

Winter April 15, 2022 5:14 AM

Things are going swell with the special operation in the Donbas.

“Shoigu Is In Intensive Care, Surkov Under House Arrest”

1. Shoigu is out, he may become an invalid if he survives. He has suddenly had a massive heart attack, he is in intensive care, hooked up to devices. There are rumours that the heart attack might not have been caused by natural causes.

2. 20 Defense Ministry generals have been arrested. All of them staff officers. Here it is clear – the total embezzlement of funds intended for preparing the Ukrainian leadership and population for the welcoming ceremony of the Russian liberation army. About $10 billion of the money allocated by Putin to prepare the blitzkrieg has been stolen since 2014.

Other reports:

Putin’s defence minister Shoigu in ICU after massive heart attack

‘Everything is clear here – the total embezzlement of funds for the preparation of [taking over the leadership of Ukraine]. Since 2014, about $10 billion (USD) allocated by Putin for the preparation of the blitzkrieg has been stolen.’

If the exiled businessman’s claims prove to be true, it would confirm suspicions of a major disconnect between Putin and the highest ranking members of Russia’s army and security services.

Shoigu Has Heart Attack, 20 Defense Ministry Generals Arrested In Russia – Nevzlin

Winter April 15, 2022 5:39 AM

There is this meme with the Moskva sailing with music from the Titanic. This rendering is better:

idk who made that version, but a friend made this one 😂
Ghost of Kyiv fangirl 🇺🇦 (@SarahIsAwsm)

Winter April 15, 2022 6:34 AM

“Sometimes the fastest way to preserve information is to bury it now and dig it up later for reburial. This is a common practice.”


Ukraine says Russia is using ‘mobile crematoriums’ to burn the bodies of civilians in Mariupol and hide evidence of war crimes

Ukraine news live: Russia ‘digging up graves in Mariupol’ – as Moscow ‘strikes factory on outskirts of Kyiv’

Winter April 15, 2022 6:45 AM

The most important question:
(The answer seems to be along the lines of “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it“, or the institutional inability to learn)

Why are Russian armed forces performing so badly?

But this is not a one-off atrocity by a bunch of Russian soldiers who have gone rogue— it’s very much how Russians conduct anti-partisan warfare. They carry out collective punishment and hold communities accountable for individual’s acts of resistance. Bucha is just one area in Ukraine to experience this brutality, which will become widespread as the war continues. The method was perfected in the Russian civil war a hundred years ago, and was repeated in World War Two, in Afghanistan, and again in Chechnya. Collective punishment is a doctrine embedded in the Russian manual of fighting.

Most modern militaries rely on a strong cadre of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Sergeants make sure that vehicles are maintained and exercise leadership in squad tactics. The Russian NCO corps is today, as it has always been, both weak and corrupt. Without capable NCOs, even large numbers of technologically sophisticated vehicles deployed according to a compelling doctrine will end up broken or abandoned, just as we have seen in vast numbers scattered throughout towns and villages in Ukraine as the Russian forces retreated. Amateur phone videos have revealed repeated tactical blunders – vehicles bunched up on roads, no infantry covering the flanks, no closely coordinated artillery fire, no overhead support from helicopters, and panicky reaction to ambushes. Russia’s inability to concentrate its forces on one or two lines of attack or to take a major city has been striking. So too are its transparently massive problems in logistics and maintenance.

The Russian army operates with fewer support soldiers than other militaries. The US army, for example, deploys about ten support soldiers for every combat soldier, whereas the Russian army appears to have less than one to one. The Russian plan to dominate in long and fast initial pushes also stretched its supply lines beyond breaking point. A conventional approach would have been to plan a slow, steady advance, controlling air space and setting up secure mini bases, including repair depots, medical stations and stockpiles every 30 to 40 miles. The fact that they didn’t, reinforces the view that they expected a quick and easy victory. The Russian chain of command is also clearly confused and inept, resulting in at least fifteen senior commanders, including seven generals, being killed in the first four weeks of fighting.

Winter April 15, 2022 6:56 AM


The most important question:
(The answer seems to be along the lines of “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it“, or the institutional inability to learn)

The Russian army is running out of options

This highlights the problem with Russia’s small army. It never had enough troops to take all of Ukraine. It could have enough troops to take parts of the south and east, but will then have no good units left to try and hold these areas. If Russia is to fight a longer war, it will have to do it after it has burned through this original invasion force. This will require the Russian state to raise, train and equip an entirely new army—one that will have to include a large number of conscripts. That will challenge Russian society’s commitment to the war, completely demolish the Russian state’s lie that this is a successful war to liberate Russians and de-Nazify Ukraine, and test the country’s already creaking and unproductive economy.

The basic problem that the Russians face in Ukraine is not that it is a big power, it’s that its army is too small and has too few soldiers that the Russian government trusts to actually fight. It seems the Russian army could be in worse shape that many imagined.

Clive Robinson April 15, 2022 8:31 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

With respect to Russia’s militaries failure to “get the job done”.

They did a lot worse than I expected… As you know I said “Putin could take Ukraine but not hold it”. My reasoning not being to disimilar to the journalists.

However my reasoning said their “terror techniques” would not realy work. The West Ukrainians have seen what has happened to the north in Belarus… Their choices are scant,

1, Fight the Russian’s out.
2, Fight the Russian’s as underground fighters
3, Live in a horror few in the West can imagine and die early unpleasent at best deaths.

The latter would be a certainty for non-Rus in the west due to Putin’s mind set. But it’s not just Belarus, many of those that live in the East of the Ukrain have seen the lifestyles of many Russians… Lets just say it’s little better in Russia than it is in Belarus…

Thus a high percentage of Ukranians know what they are fighting for.

Because the Russian army are actually less organised than a peasants revolt the Ukranians have managed to stop the initial Russian “grab the streets” tactics not quite in their tracks but well enough to blunt and stop the inertial impetus.

Thus the Russian troups who are not at all well trained just brutalized have gone as far as they can and have no training, support, or supplies to fall back on.

In a number of western armies, you train soldiers to be capable of being one or two ranks up. That means the “Ordinary Ratings”(ORs) can step up to fill the job of a higher rank almost seamlessly. The Russian brutality system works the other way, you rise by your ability to take by selfinterest and psychotic behaviour not by leadership which requires the respect of those beneath you as well as the knowledge to be able to command by thinking in a collective not selfish manner.

I would not be surprised to find a number of senior Russian NCO’s and Junior officers with Russian bullets in their backs. It would after all be the optimum stratagem for others of lower rank to preserve themselves. The same may also be true of more senior officers, the fact that much in the way of “Expected Equipment” such as secure radios, etc is missing from the Russian troups tells a story about corruption that goes all the way to the very top.

But whilst a soldier’s wound can be stiched up by a commrad and both can in theory still fight, the same is not true for equipment. Even the simplest of tractors need mechanics to get them to go any distance. There is a reason that Western armed forces are mainly specialised support not front line grunts. Because modern combat requires force multipliers and even the simplest mechanical devices like guns need repairs. A modern fighter jet can have a million seperate parts in it, any one of which can limit it’s performance or entirely stop it’s function should they go wrong. There are very old sayings that goes back to the first formal Navy of Henry VIII if not further,

“The ship was lost for a h’apath of tar”

“A stitch in time saves nine”

Both tell how what can appear as OK realy is not, a majestic man-o-war in harbour, will take on water if there is insufficient tar in the caulking above the dock waterline, and the sails will burst from their leaders and rip in even moderate winds if not properly stiched. Both of which require maintainence, and more skilled labour to carry out.

At the very least you can not charge at the enemy if your boots lack soles that stay shod, or your feet are rotting from lack of hygiene, knowledge, and self discipline.

It’s becoming clear that the Russian plan was simply to “rush in”, “grab the streets” and “hold the civilians hostage”… Whilst the started the first objective… It baulked at a smaller more determined force that had not just knowledge and training, but tactics and support.

It was once pointed out to my that the Samurai Fighting Style was ineffective and effectively suicidal. It’s all offense and no defence, worse it is in essence just a single rapid strike and little else.

Like the snake that strikes with fangs, that leaves it’s head and spine all the way down vulnerable to the stick. So if the strike bites on a feint, then it has no defence, and pays the price and is beaten, usually to death.

There is a saying that has ended up with fighter pilots but it’s origins are far far older,

“There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but few old and bold pilots”

The apparent Russian stratagy, was not a good one as it assumed those it attacked were the equivalent of scared and defenseless peseants. They were not, importantly they were better trained way better motivated, and by the sounds of it better led.

They have so far drawn the Russian fangs… Thus the question of what happens next.

Putin is old enough to have witnessed the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan. Historically Afghanistan has survived and repeled all invaders from long before the British went to the Kyber Pass.

I suspect the Western Ukranians are aware of this, thus I suspect Russian “terror tactics” will not work, as the Ukranians will know that by simple numbers they can fight a war of attrician even Russian mobsters will not be able to win. It’s why I originally said “Putin could take but not hold the Ukraine”. A thought the criminal leadership in Belarus might now be contemplating a lot more than they did now they will realise that Russia can not “Back stop their power plays”.

As long as the Ukranians keep getting,

“Bombs, bullets and bandages”

They will win. Especially if they deny even one of those to the Russians, it will end fairly quickly for the Russians.

Whilst I do not wish any harm to the average Russian, they need to suffer a tragady so large and so obviously of their own making that they can only blaim themselves and those they have alowed to lead them.

Then hopefully their societal temprament will change, and they will drop their sentimentality for faux stories of past glories to be regained, and realise that a future of forward thinking practicality will bring them more, far more than the ways of serfdom to self entitled fools can ever do.

Winter April 15, 2022 9:22 AM

“It was once pointed out to my that the Samurai Fighting Style was ineffective and effectively suicidal.”

From the Shogunate on, Samurai Fighting was nothing but spectacle, tournament, and dueling. Before, their were knights commanding infantry. Also, a Samurai sword is used as a shield too.

” I suspect Russian “terror tactics” will not work, ”

Terror tactics work, more or less, in Russia and some tribal societies. They do not really work against people who are used to organize across family or tribal boundaries.

I was amazed by the sheer courage of individuals who were willing to step up and put their lives om the Line on television or in the streets protesting. Also someone like Navalny who walks into the dragons den and keeps fighting. That shows to me there is more going on in Russia than we think here.

SpaceLifeForm April 15, 2022 3:01 PM


If you still use a Chromium based browser, and have not updated in 24 hours, well, you need to do so.

Yep, yet another V8 problem.


SpaceLifeForm April 15, 2022 3:36 PM

Moskva approximate location:


A ship matching Moskva’s size and situation is seen at 45°10’43.39″N, 30°55’30.54″E. This position is east of Snake Island, 80 nautical miles from Odesa and 50 nautical miles from the Ukrainian coast. The satellite passed at 6.52pm local time. Based on analysis by multiple people, we are confident that this shows Moskva’s final hours.

Approximate altitude is -50 meters above sea level.

Ted April 15, 2022 9:33 PM


My deepest condolences on the passing of your spouse. I lurk here more than post but I am very sorry for your loss.

I too got Covid after being extremely vigilant. There are doctors in my family, I worked in pharma for decades. All my acquaintances were stunned that I caught it. I know you know this but it’s not your fault. Despite what we know, there is still an immense amount that we do not know about the virus.

I am so very sorry that life has hit you with so much at one time. The internet is a strange anonymous place but for what it’s worth there is a stranger out here in the ether that is very sad for your loss.

Ted April 15, 2022 9:42 PM

Can the Ted who has so kindly responded to @jonknowsnothing please use a unique name on this forum

Now Leon not Ted April 15, 2022 11:08 PM

Sorry, as I mentioned I don’t post here a lot. Happily cede Ted to a more recent and relevant Ted. Leon or something else. Sorry about that mate.

Ted April 16, 2022 12:31 AM


Thanks so much. That is much appreciated. I’ve been going by Ted for a little while now. I’m sorry if you had been using it previously. Your supportive and personal words to @JohnKnowsNothing were words I wish I could say were my own. I hope John knows how much he is thought of. You chose a very meaningful time to post. I sure know he’s been in my thoughts too.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2022 2:19 AM

@ Winter,

They do not even want to fight. They too see it as a Cain vs Abel fight.

What many forget is soldiers for the most part do not fight because they are ordered to do so, but because they have a reason to do so.

In times past that was why mutiny carried a death penalty. At the end of WWII the concept of illegal orders was extended retrospectively so that many people could be found guilty of war crimes.

Now technically giving the order to execute a person for mutiny is a war crime, no matter what nonsense tribunals you put in place.

It makes Officers and Senior NCO’s liable for not just their actions but any orders they give.

Thus just to say “Take no Prisoners” is an illegal order just as much as “Raise the village to the ground” or worse. Orders that were still being given well into the 1970’s and later, and left soldiers open to both criminal prosecution and civil liability, stripping them of the protection of military tribunals.

Soldiers are sometimes given cards that outline what the rules of engagment are, they are fraught with legal complications even when followed. Because a lot can change in society in less than fifty years. So an action that was deemed acceptable in the 1970’s would now be viewed as a war crime or worse.

The problem Putin and his cohort of criminals have, is that modern communications has made people more aware of not just their rights but their liabilities.

Those in Belarus, nearly had the freedom the Ukranians desire, unfortunately Putin interfered, and the average Belarusian knows that their future is very much dependent on the fall of Putin and Co. If the Ukranians get to the point of pushing Putin’s troops out, then the cabal in charge of Belarus know that their days will be numbered.

Thus the real question for the West is not dealing with Putin, but stopping the East of Europe turning into a blood bath.

Some of us remember the last such conflict in Serbia etc it was a mess from begining to end, and four decades later it still causes problems that might take another five to ten generations to work their way out.

Winter April 16, 2022 3:00 AM

“What many forget is soldiers for the most part do not fight because they are ordered to do so, but because they have a reason to do so.”

I always understood that soldiers fight to protect/help their mates. So, merging groups of soldiers, like the Russians have to do now, will reduce the will to fight.

Clive Robinson April 16, 2022 3:04 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Approximate altitude is -50 meters above sea level.

This is not exactly unexpected, nor should it be so to longterm readers here.

As I’ve pointed out in the past the end of Navy Capital Ships started with the blowing up and sinking of HMS Hood with the loss of all but a handfull of sailors.

The German pocket battle ships then proved the point further.

For just a few short weeks, aircraft carriers had their “15 minutes of Fame” at the end of WWII in the battle of the Pacific.

Then almost 40years to the day the old US light cruiser USS Phoenix sold to the Argentine, and had become their flagship as ARA General Belgrano, was sunk by a UK submarine.

As I’ve said several times the days of battleships, aircraft carriers and carrier groups and other large surface war vessels is long over. They are slow and have nowhere to hide.

When even civilian satellites designed for other purposes can find such vessels at sea no matter what the cloud cover you know it is game over all bar the shouting and screaming of “all hands” going down with the vessel.

OK the Ukranians probably used conventional missiles. But remember Turkey has nuclear bombs, that can be “lob shot” launched from aircraft. Such devices can stop a carrier group in it’s tracks.

The Chinese are assumed to have nuclear torpedos and mines…

There is no way a carrier group can steam out of the way. The offensive aircraft on those carriers have less than half the range of nuclear cruise missiles and UAV’s that can be launched from submarines.

For now, the only maritime vessels that can prosecute a war between advanced nations is submarines…

Battle ships and carrier groups are now “tin bath toys”.

As for “merchant vessels” used to move food, goods, military hardware and men, their days are long gone as well.

Back in WWI and later WWII submarines demonstrated that. The only reason that the merchant vessels made it through was because the submarines of the day were very primitive, as were their weapons and they lacked targeting information.

Today any merchant convoy would be identified as it left harbour, and it’s location verified every 15-90mins. Submarines with nuclear cruise missiles with 1000 nautical mile range could attack it very quickly, likewise ICBM and IRBM missiles. The convoy would be dead in the water very quickly.

The only way to stop that would be to take out satellites and other targeting systems… Something that is not going to be easy to do, and would destroy satellites on both sides in fairly short order due to the fact the shrapnel from any weapon or satellite will it’s self become a long term weapon. Thus mankind could close space before it even gets to explore it.

How warfare will develop in the future I can not say, but I can say what currently known technology can do to shape it…

Clive Robinson April 16, 2022 5:41 AM

@ Winter,

I always understood that soldiers fight to protect/help their mates.

And their friends, lovers, family, and much else that passes for the “society” they live in or are part of. The so called “fight for a cause” is often “fight for a group” or “fight for a way of living”.

For all the “My Rights” nonsense you hear get blasted out by idiots, actually most of us see “Our Responsibilities” as more important, because we are social / tribal and when we get down to it we know we need the support and help of others.

Any soldier knows, that if they are to sleep safely, then someone they trust has to “stand stag” to ensure their throat does not get slit before they can wake.

Likewise any farmer in a war zone knows someone has to watch over them whilst they work.

The thing the military teaches people more than anything else at the end of the day is how reliant we are on each other.

It’s why when you hear these nut-bar libiterian types wittering on you know one of two things,

1, They have not a clue about what they say.
2, Or they think you do not have a clue.

Either way, they are not the sort of people you want hanging around, as they will get people hurt.

Winter April 16, 2022 6:27 AM

“It’s why when you hear these nut-bar libiterian types wittering on you know one of two things,

1, They have not a clue about what they say.
2, Or they think you do not have a clue.”

I have conversed with US libertarians for years. I also have read some of the literature. My conclusions were:

1) They really have no clue. Their minds are closed like your average salafist or Opus Dei fanatic. Their world view is largely USA Midwest.

2) Their “theoretical framework” has as many gaps as flat earth theory.

A majority jumped onto the Trump bandwagon at the first opportunity. That and the overal White Supremacists and anti-feminist undercurrent that pervaded every discussion drew me to conclude that the only freedom they cared about was their own. So:

3) Libertarianism is White Supremacy in disguise for many of the adherents.

JonKnowsNothing April 16, 2022 6:28 AM

@ Clive, @ Winter , @All

re: Soldier Cohesion

Nearly every military has a method of re-programming a person from civilian view to military view. In the USA, this is done during Boot Camp and Basic Training.

Anyone can qualify and anyone can be reprogrammed to this view. It takes a bit longer for mature adults than it does to under 20s. Which is one reason military recruiters target the 15-18 year ages as they can begin the military grooming process early enough and often the parents think it’s a good thing and a good deal (GI benefits, VA health care etc). The parents rarely consider the down payment required.

note: Some countries have a required enlistment period, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to field enough uniformed bodies in short order.

A few items on the list

  • No more use of personal pronouns. The word “I” is replaced by “This Recruit”.
  • Tasks that require group participation to complete. Hauling telephone poles around a parade yard. If anyone isn’t pulling their share (aka weight) the rest of the team is punished when unable to complete the task. From this process there are 2 ways to “Get With The Program”. The DI (Drill Instructor) will focus more attention on the slacker and the other members of the team, group will be sure to let them know when they get back to barracks.
  • “It pays to be a winner” contests. Teams with good cooperation finish their tasks fastest and get to take a break while the other teams struggle.
  • Re-Grouping and Re-Assignment to make sure that the Winning Group doesn’t become disconnected with the rest. They will be split up amongst the lower performing groups to see if they can build up the same cooperation.
  • Near death experience. A manufactured setting were the recruit is exposed to a potential deadly situation, where they will be rescued by senior DI/NCO/Officer. Like having to hold their breath underwater for a long time. This is separate from training situations like Chem Warfare Training where the recruits are exposed to nerve gas and have to self administer an antidote.
  • Group rewards for defined achievements, medals, ribbons, insignia.
  • A cursory overview of history and history of their service organization. Emphasis on defining “OTHERS” and ensuring that when the bayonet enters the target the “OTHER” is well defined and meant to be killed.
  • Instill an acceptance of hierarchy. In heavy combat this might fail (fragging) but not often and the consequences are explained LOUD AND CLEAR.


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