Friday Squid Blogging: Ten-Foot Long Squid Washed onto Japanese Shore—ALIVE

This is rare:

An about 3-meter-long giant squid was found stranded on a beach here on April 20, in what local authorities said was a rare occurrence.

At around 10 a.m., a nearby resident spotted the squid at Ugu beach in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. According to the Obama Municipal Government, the squid was still alive when it was found. It is unusual for a giant squid to be washed ashore alive, officials said.

The deep-sea creature will be transported to Echizen Matsushima Aquarium in the prefectural city of Sakai.

Sadly, I do not expect the giant squid to survive, certainly not long enough for me to fly there and see it. But if any Japanese readers can supply more information, I would very much appreciate it.

BoingBoing post. Video.

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 29, 2022 at 4:08 PM195 Comments


SpaceLifeForm April 29, 2022 4:57 PM

Silicon Turtles


What processors are affected?

Only Apple silicon processors are affected. We have confirmed the existence of the DMP on the A14, M1, and M1 Max. We believe some older A-series processors and the newest M1-family (M1 Pro, etc.) chips are also affected but have only confirmed this on the M1 Max.

What is a “data at rest” attack?

Data at rest microarchitectural leakage is a type of attack where the targeted data is never read into the core speculatively or non-speculatively, and yet is leaked.

vas pup April 29, 2022 5:33 PM

New Disinformation Governance Board

“Definition of disinformation

false information deliberately and often covertly spread (as by the planting of rumors) in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.”

So, covering part of information to create desirable bias is false information or not?

Just curious: what is next in the list of ‘1984’ implementation? Legalization of Room 101?

SpaceLifeForm April 29, 2022 5:38 PM

@ Winter, Ted, Clive

When one broadcasts their location, and self-documents their bad OPSEC

You really can not make this up.


… live reporting on social media TikTok that their mission was completed successfully …

SpaceLifeForm April 29, 2022 6:19 PM

@ vas pup, ALL

Please avoid links to Fox, NYT, WAPO, BBC

They are known to spread disinformation.

That is not to say that all reports are bad from those outlets, it’s just that there are Bad Apples inside those barrels, so if you can, find alternate


Nick Levinson April 29, 2022 8:59 PM

I don’t want my clothing to connect to the Internet. I don’t want smarty pants. I want dumb clothes. The dumb stuff has been working for about 170,000 years. It’ll be good enough tomorrow.

But would my enemy please wear the smart stuff so I can tighten his tie until he chokes? And can I command his sleeves to keep his hands away from his neck while he chokes? And if he manages to call the police, can I use his sleeves to keep his hands in his pockets so the police think he’s going to fire a gun they can’t see and so they kill him? If he drives a car and he’s in his driveway, can I make his shoe flatten the gas pedal (or equivalent) and cause him to smash his house and let me hope a ton of stone falls through his windshield onto his noggin? If he survives and celebrates his good fortune, can I publish a list of with whom he has been intimate because both people’s clothing is geolocated and can I publish the dates and times because both people’s clothing was moving around fast until it stopped moving (like if it’s on the floor) and then an hour later was moving at a more leisurely pace? If he goes to a restaurant I don’t like, can I make his shirt tighten in the middle a bit so he doesn’t enjoy dinner so much? If he goes to an important meeting and I want to sabotage his career, can I make his wardrobe malfunction a dozen times so he’ll have some explaining to do? A jacket unbuttoning, a shirt untucking itself, and a collar flipping whenever the board chair speaks should be enough to convey my enemy’s disrespect for the chair, whom I don’t even know. Then, can I please make his pockets disgorge their contents on a street during rush hour?

Oh, I forgot. The clothing will come with settings and a user authentication procedure that won’t take more than 15 minutes per garment to set just right (different brands will have different settings and layouts to force users to rethink for each garment). And it won’t have to be reset after a laundry or a rainstorm, will it? Or will it? A hacker wouldn’t be able to change a wearer’s password, right? Being able to take off one’s own clothing should be worth a $10 ransom or fee, right? Could a manufacturer build in a ten-wearing limit for a garment and, after the limit is reached, cause threads to unravel and expose a label offering a sale on a replacement?

Just hypothetical. I’d like to hope it’ll stay hypothetical, but I doubt it will.

Links (URLs are as accessed 4-22-22 and 4-29-22):

— Clothes can help with already-connected wearables, like watches, might even extend battery life or draw smartphone battery power, and might improve privacy (but I’m dubious someone won’t hack around that last at little cost). Business Insider article on clothes that improve signal or battery life 1,000:1.

— A jacket can screen your phone calls and set your music volume. Eyeglasses have microphones, four mics. Pants vibrate in different spots. Socks measure how you step, in detail. Lifewire article on clothes being sold.

— “Garments . . . to . . . challenge a user[‘s] physical boundaries, uncovering his/her inner athlete”, that have GPS, or “garments . . . that . . . send . . . a hug . . . from remote locations” can be concerning. MDPI Electronics (2018) article reviewing IoT garments and textiles (but the publisher might be predatory, and if so is unreliable, but the article in relevant part seems okay anyway to my inexpert eye).

Sheilagh Wong April 29, 2022 9:13 PM

I watched a Peter Zeihan video where he hints that the NSA has broken in Russian communication and has been monitoring emails and phone records of Russian military brass. Does anyone know if this is true and are there any articles on how they did this?

Leon Theremin April 29, 2022 10:21 PM

@Nick Levinson
The future of privacy/security is clothing made of metallized fabric to block microwave imaging (enables theft of inner speech by observing minuscule throat/face muscle movements) and block directed energy attacks.

Encryption is useless when microwave imaging of your throat and face can unveil even your inner speech. If you don’t live in a SCIF, you are under full surveillance and the data isn’t used for national defense but to select which advertising to show you and also to let cyber terrorists try to kill you.

ResearcherZero April 29, 2022 10:49 PM

@Sheilagh Wong

I imagine it will take some time for that information to be divulged. There have been reports of corruption in the supply lines leading to poor quality equipment and officers resorting to the use of inferior equipment.

There are some further details in this article which may be of some interest.

“Russian forums discussing the radios also feature complaints of ‘childhood illnesses’ and short battery lives for the Azart family, as well as further evidence of Chinese parts in the radios.”

Russian intelligence discovered the CIA’s backdoor in US encrypted comms a few decades back, from a certain particular manufacturer who did not know they had been compromised, and decoded the communications delivered over those encrypted handsets.

@Nick Levinson

Can’t see myself purchasing pants that offer privacy either. I don’t want a networked fridge, washing machine or toaster. I’d be happier if they could invest a little more resources in the maintenance teams for communications and networking equipment, before they connect everything else to it.


Bloodworms harvest copper from their environment to produce jaws that are composites of protein, melanin, and both mineral and ionic copper.

the study was able to reconstruct the intricate part that a multi-tasking protein (MTP) plays in attracting and processing copper from the worms’ environment. The protein achieves these ends “by assuming unprecedented roles as a building block, organizer, and fabricator—a processing feat of considerable relevance to the autonomous production of other polymer composites, blends, and/or networks,”

“Proteins are a hugely important component in how biological organisms template and synthesize materials, so finding the protein used in bloodworm jaws may help us understand how to unlock novel strategies for melanin synthesis.”

Bloodworms are also easily provoked into battle with members of their own species, and their sudden strikes can even send humans to the hospital with severe allergic reactions.

Some species of birds really like bloodworms, Fairy Wrens especially love them. If you want to make friends with wrens, which are shy little creatures, then be careful not to get bit by the bloodworms when harvesting them. Good fishing bait as well for fishies that feed at the lower depths.

ResearcherZero April 29, 2022 11:10 PM

@vas pup

I see Fox News has not linked to any details of this “Ministry of Truth”.
How are Fox News helping to stop the spread of propaganda, disinformation and misinformation, or do they see themselves playing a key role for the Ministry of Truth?

Old Rupert is a pretty self serving kind of guy. Fox news is featuring heavily on Russia Today lately.

I also saw an article from the Murdoch press that says the US is going to ban meat, which it based on some entirely unconnected research. That article contained a happy helping of disinformation and misinformation.

The US has had no official policy for dealing with disinformation for a very long time, but they have been working on developing policy for how to deal with it.

Clive Robinson April 29, 2022 11:16 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Silicon Turtles

Realy with the name Auguary it should be “Staring at birds”[1]…

But “colour me unsurprised” Apple are not exactly experts on CPU design nor unlike Intel, AMD, ARM do they have any substative history of design of CPU’s.

Off the top of my head this is the second or third “silicon turd” they have dropped from above on their modifications to other peoples CPU designs.

Back when Intel deliberately held back news of Meltdown/Spector so that two sales would happen (Christmass and that directors shares), I said that these hardware faults would be a “Gift that keeps on giving”.

By that I ment, that there would be quite a few more in existance that researchers would find in Intel, AMD, and ARM CPUs.

What I did not expect was that Apple would come and add new ones to the list… By not understanding the history of what led to Intel and Co’s “Silicon Fails”.

So what’s the odds of another “Silicon Fail” in the remainder of this year?

Me I’d say over 50%… In fact I might put the price of a pint of beer on it 😉

[1] Standing there like a statue staring at birds looking for bad luck, is in effect a self fulfilling wish, guarenteed to work. Because at some point a bird is either going to drop one from the sky on you, or perch on your head and do the same.

Clive Robinson April 29, 2022 11:59 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Ted, Winter, ALL,

When one broadcasts their location, and self-documents their bad OPSEC

The real question is “How did he broadcast?”

From the phone signal to Tic-Tok or via his “general” having skimmed the Personal Equipment purchase?

Look at his “kit” and you will see a “tape-measure antenna” which looks very much like a cheap Chinese knockoff of an “ABBREE Tactical Antenna”,

Probably attached to a cheap Chinese knockoff of a “Baofeng UV5R”.

You can tell it’s probably a “knockoff” if you look at the size of the “eye protector”, it looks smaller and cheaper than on the genuine antenna…

Mind you as one of the commenters noted if it was from the phone then it would give a “10 digit Grid Refrence” you could just dial in.

I mourn the loss of all life especially those that are premature. But look at it this way if it happened as portrayed, it was a quick probably painless death for him. Unlike many of the deaths Russian Soldiers have inflicted on so many Ukranian civilians.

ResearcherZero April 30, 2022 12:27 AM

@Sheilagh Wong

“In the call, you hear the Ukraine-based FSB officer ask his boss if he can talk via the secure Era system. The boss says Era is not working.”

the cryptophones require 3G/4G data connections to work, and Russian forces in Kharkiv have destroyed so many 3G towers, and replaced others with surveillance equipment, that it is not working.


On the subject of disinformation and misinformation.

People in positions of authority need to dial down the rhetoric and drama, as it is leading to increases in hate speech and attacks.

“Antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in the United States in 2021, with a total of 2,717 incidents of assault, harassment and vandalism reported to ADL (the Anti-Defamation League). This represents the highest number of incidents on record since ADL began tracking antisemitic incidents in 1979 – an average of more than seven incidents per day and a 34 percent increase year over year.”

SpaceLifeForm April 30, 2022 1:16 AM

@ Clive, Ted, Winter, ResearcherZero, Sheilagh Wong, ALL

To 2G or not to 2G, that is the question.

You have the dots.

ResearcherZero April 30, 2022 1:19 AM

Australia does not have to worry about such bothersome problems of freedom of speech, such as the press has in the US, along with all other western democracies.

“A person seeking to enforce the implied freedom would need to bring a court challenge to a law they believe falls foul of it.”

This does not apply to minors, as the court can hear children’s cases in a closed session and issue a suppression order against any publishing of the details.

“Those sections [of the Constitution that imply freedom of political speech] do not confer personal rights on individuals. Rather they preclude the curtailment of the protected freedom by the exercise of legislative or executive power.” Therefore, the implied freedom of political speech cannot be used as a defence to defamation.

Australian police have raided the home of a journalist who reported that the government was considering a secret plan to spy on its citizens.

The raid sparked a national debate about press freedom, which intensified when AFP officers searched the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over a different story the same week.

The High Court unanimously found the warrant was invalid because it failed to specify the offence being investigated.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said he was frustrated the process had left Ms Smethurst in limbo for so long.

“The decision now to not pursue that investigation was made independently of government by the agencies in question,” he said.

Reporting on the government spying in on it’s citizens is a big no no.

Children have no right to free speech, and can be jailed in some jurisdictions at the age of 10. The government acts on behalf of those who are subjected to abuse in Australia, as it is a crime against the state, and it also defends anyone working for the government. For crimes like abduction of children, just be sure to get someone to bribe the prosecutors, police and probably the judge, so it helps if you have cash.

If you spike girls drinks in Australia, abduct them, and rape them, you can sue for defamation and get away with it, as long as you work for the government, or have political contacts (your dad is a political power broker for example).

Few people speak out as Australia is predominately populated by cowards

“I have to say, sitting here watching police using a media organisation’s computers to track everything to do with a legitimate story I can’t help but think: this is a bad, sad and dangerous day for a country where we have for so long valued — and taken for granted — a free press,”

no warrants needed…

More government agencies are accessing people’s phone and internet records than originally envisaged, in what critics are describing as “authority creep”.

data set required to be retained and secured

Winter April 30, 2022 5:15 AM


You really can not make this up.

A soldier is killed while he life streams his actions during an invasion to social media.

Is there a better illustration of the madness of war?

Winter April 30, 2022 5:42 AM

@ Sheilagh Wong

I watched a Peter Zeihan video where he hints that the NSA has broken in Russian communication and has been monitoring emails and phone records of Russian military brass.

We are talking about US TLAs spying on everyone and their pets. I am pretty sure that includes Russia. If Bellingcat can find out who pulled the trigger on MH17, the NSA er al. can too.

Any evidence?

Did you notice the USA published the Russian plans well before they actually started the execution? [1]

Putin also purged his top bras and FSB for fear of moles. Putin seems to think the USA is effective on this job. [2]

And Zelensky is still alive and in charge. He was the prime target of Russian death squads. Maybe the Ukrainians were informed well in time?

[1] ht-tps://



[2] ht-tps://

Winter April 30, 2022 7:34 AM

@ Sheilagh Wong
US intelligence


How US intelligence got it right on Ukraine

The use of political warfare — including the rapid declassification and publication of secret intelligence — exposed and effectively blunted Putin’s plans to use disinformation and lies as instruments of war.

The greatest defeat the United States ever suffered in the realm of political warfare came at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when a wannabe autocrat came perilously close to overthrowing the rule of law.

Preemptive, public US strikes winning intelligence war with Russia: ANALYSIS

In recent weeks, the U.S. has gone so far as to share intelligence on the inner workings of the Kremlin, asserting that Russian president Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisors because “they are too afraid to tell the truth” about their military’s failures in Ukraine—a move Harding says could be aimed at shaking the confidence of the country’s elite.

Clive Robinson April 30, 2022 8:49 AM

@ Sheilagh Wong, ALL,

Re : Is there any evidence?

It rather depends on what you mean as “evidence”.

Science is mainly a reductive process where “cause to effect” is the way the timeline is progressed.

One of the things that happens is as you approach the potential effect on the timeline it becomes more certain that is other potential outcomes go down in probability and the actuall outcome goes up in probability.

In a fully determanistic universe there would be no probability the outcome would always be the same. So there is a discrepancy, that needs to be accounted for.

There are three basic ways that you can account for it,

1, The universe at some level is not determanistic.
2, Your ability to process the information about the causes is deficient.
3, The information you have on the causes is incomplete.

The reality in our universe is that all three have a certain degree of truth as we currently understand things.

However I’m known for saying,

“There are no accidents, only a lack of information and time.”

Which whilst that can be seen fairly easily to cover the last two points it does not the first.

Only it does… If you fire a projectile there is always an error due to our inability to measure the initial velocity and direction and further during it’s tragectory the effects of mass, and much else in the trajectory path we can not at the time measure. That is the accuracy decresses with distance from the firing point.

This is something we accept from our everyday observations. But we tend not to consider the opposit is true.

That is at the target point the information we have is the same accuracy map just flipped over, that is our knowledge that we are where the projectile is going to land goes up the closer the projectile is to us.

Most if not all evidence is a matter of “qualified opinion” we generaly do not consider the time and probability aspects because we “examine after the event”. Where unfortunately we frequently make the mistake of “going from event to cause” which is the very opposite of a reductive causal reasoning process.

To see why take the statment of some passed event of,

“The ground is wet”

If you say as forensics people effecyively do,

“If rain occured then the ground will be wet”

And simply reverse it to,

“Wet ground is caused by rain”

You fall into a problem that is,

“If full bucket tipped ground will be wet”

Which when reversed gives,

“Wet ground is caused by tipped bucket”

The problem is the “wet ground is caused…” statments are not exclusive there are four potential states from just those two statments,

1, They Both happened
2, The first not the second happened
3, The second not the first happened
4, Neither happened.

Two things to note, the number of potential states is the square of the number of statements. One statment automatically implies the set of statments is incomplete. Logically this means the number of potential statments is infinite and the number of actual states infinity squared (a concept you realy want to take a slow run up to as several mathmaticians went mad contemplating it).

In the real world things are finite, which thankfully means that the number of states are as well, oh and the N^2 relationship with statments must at some point must either fail or the number of statments is small by some measure.

In forensics they like to say they play “the probability game” but is that trie or not?

Basically they say “their guesses have some probability because they guessed them”… That is they are claiming that their “qualified opinion” is actually realy “qualified” in some way and not just the result of eating lunch to fast and then misattributing the cause of the resulting “gut feeling” effect. So exhibiting the danger of “effect to cause reasoning” it alows any stupidity to rule the roost (look up pour patterns). Worse it encorages “reductio ad absurdum” reasoning that then gets reversed…

To try to stop this they asign each state they have come up with, with a probability… This is actually mathmatically an absurd thing to do. The rule is that the probability in the set of ALL states sums to one, if one of the terms in the set is “unknown” and potentially infinite which the “neither state” is, the probabilities are nonsensical from a logical reasoning perspective.

All you can get realy are ratios by observation that is if you’ve seen X number of occurances of a given state in your chosen set. All you can honestly say is “based on limited observation one state is X times more frequent than another state”. The weasel word there is “observation” you can skew the ratios simply by deciding that something is or is not “in your opinion” a “valid observation” or even a “valid state”… Which takes us back to the “gut feeling” issue.

So much for “lack of information”, that is as in Forensics the “event” has happened there is no time componet.

The same is not true for “intelligence analysis” it happens from prior to the launch untill the projectile lands. So it very much has a time component.

But as I pointed out the probability fans out in reverse time from the event and can thus include increasing numbers of causes to be included.

The hidden issue is if you consider two or more events their causes may very well overlap. That is an observed cause prior to the event can be causal in a range of events.

An inteligence analyst has to look at a whole number of potential causes and work out what the probable event is.

This is hard enough when the causes are not put in place by entities with agency, but becomes near impossible when the entities do have agency.

Take Putin moving troops to the Ukranian boarder, there are quite a few reasons why this might be so. But the action as a cause that has not played out can have one of very many poyential resulting events.

The analyst has to not just work out what they are, but also supply information in a a time limited environment that can change the potential outcome.

Obviously this is not “evidence” as the outcome has not yet happened.

Now tricks can be played on actors with agency.

Let’s assume that due to a very rare OpSec failure a single message between one of the command staff and a field/tactical commander becomes known (this happens even with the use of ultra-secure OTPs when the rules are not explicitly followed).

What to do with it?

Well you can keep it secret and use the potential intel as part of the analysis.

But what if it contains little or know intel of real use… From an analysis perspective it is of low value.

But if you release it to the world in it’s exact form, then the adversary has a problem.

They know you have read atleast one of their messages, but they do not know how. Therefore they do not know how many other messages you might have read ranging from the one, through some to all of them.

This puts uncertainty into the adversaries calculations.

If the adversary has time they can “test and observe”, that is they can send fake messages and observe how you respond.

The fact you do not respond actually makes the adversery more uncertain than if you do.

Therefore as an analyst you advice a “standard course of action” that is you do the things you would do irrespective of if you had intercept intel or not.

And that is what we’ve seen play out.

The fun thing is that the adversaries ineptness, plays to their cognative bias. The adversary will tend to assume they are not inept and all their misfortune is down to communications intercepts… The result is usually that they change procedures, that actually cause further operational security mistakes, so does make communications intercepts more frequent thus causing an unstable positive feed back loop.

But worse for the adversary is any change in communications such as reducing it’s frequency, transportation or range tends to “ham string” their military activities…

So any “evidence” you see or think you see or hear is unlikely to be what you think it is.

Winter April 30, 2022 8:50 AM

@ Sheilagh Wong
US intelligence


What U.S. intelligence got right and wrong about the war in Ukraine

… one of the intelligence successes is information provided to the Ukrainians about the location of Russian forces, as well as – get this – details about where the Russian missiles are located and what Ukrainian targets they are focusing on. Now, this has allowed the Ukrainians to move troops and, let’s say, air defense equipment to avoid being hit.

U.S. intel helped Ukraine protect air defenses, shoot down Russian plane carrying hundreds of troops

Ukraine continues to move air defenses and aircraft nearly every day with the help of American intelligence, which is one reason Russia has not been able to establish air dominance. In some cases, Ukraine moved the targeted air defense systems or planes just in time, the officials said.

“The Russian military has literally been cratering empty fields where air defenses were once set up,” one U.S. official said. “It has had an enormous impact on the Russian military’s ability on the ground.”

Winter April 30, 2022 9:43 AM

@ Sheilagh Wong, all
US intelligence


The question about US intelligence has a broader reach than the current mishap of Russia in Ukraine. It tells Russian military that their dreams of taking on NATO is a pipe dream.

As one analist said:

Imagine if that invasion force had stumbled into Poland instead. The casualties that we’re seeing now are high enough, but the entire invasion force would’ve been wiped out.


It is also a warning towards China, that reports about the death of the USA are exaggerated:

The United States has also been willing to use its intelligence in diplomatic cables warning what China might be planning to do to assist Russia. What is interesting about this announcement is that only a few days later, E.U. officials made it clear that they were persuaded.


That article also points out how the USA was able to keep Zelensky alive and kicking:

The contrast with Russia’s intelligence services is revealing. Russian efforts to capture or kill Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have come to naught. The chatter among some Russia hands is that some Russian intelligence officials have helped tip off Ukrainian officials about possible intelligence operations.

All in all, the USA intelligence reports were able to pre-bunk all the Russian disinformation effectively. Keeping their foreign policy on the wrong foot constantly.

‘A real stroke of genius’: US leads efforts to publicise Ukraine intelligence

The revelations are a plank of a wider strategy that has been in place since the start of the war to declassify information about Russia’s plans and movements to rally international support for Ukraine and combat Russian efforts to carry out “false flag” operations and spread disinformation.

Who? April 30, 2022 10:18 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, vas pup

The same thing happened in my country during the COVID-19 lockdown—our government created its flavor of the Ministry of Truth in a secret meeting, and announced its creation in an obscure bulletin on a Sunday morning.

Few things I despise as much as a dictatorial government that is ashamed of what it is.

Ted April 30, 2022 1:54 PM

@Sheilagh Wong, All

Re: Peter Zeihan interview

It’s a really intriguing clip. However, I’m caught on a few points so far.

With regards to the Russian emails, I heard Peter say NSC or NSE rather than NSA. In the full-length interview it’s at about the 30 second mark. Do you still hear NSA?

And my personal favorite is when the NS(?) published a couple of emails from their counterparts in Russia complaining about the NS(?) reading their emails.

I haven’t seen reporting on this elsewhere. So that’s curious to me too. He also goes on to say:

The Chinese aren’t even going to exist as a country by the end of the decade. [0:09:10]

This forecasting seems a little extreme and out-of-step with other assessments I’ve heard about China’s capabilities. So I don’t know either.

The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? April 30, 2022 2:57 PM

[1967] Jim Garrison Interview “In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can’t spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can’t look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won’t be there. We won’t build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the populace in line. We’re not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work. But this isn’t the test.

The test is: What happens to the individual who dissents? In Nazi Germany, he was physically destroyed; here, the process is more subtle, but the end results can be the same. I've learned enough about the machinations of the CIA in the past year to know that this is no longer the dreamworld America I once believed in. The imperatives of the population explosion, which almost inevitably will lessen our belief in the sanctity of the individual human life, combined with the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment, seem destined to seal the fate of the America I knew as a child and bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the state and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act.

I've always had a kind of knee-jerk trust in my Government's basic integrity, whatever political blunders it may make. But I've come to realize that in Washington, deceiving and manipulating the public are viewed by some as the natural prerogatives of office. Huey Long once said, "Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism." I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

lurker April 30, 2022 3:08 PM

@Ted, re Zeihan

I hear NSC. Top of the list @ acronymfinderdotcom is National Security Council

A governmental body specifically designed to assist the President in integrating all spheres of national security policy.

I’ll find time later to listen to the rest of it. China appears to be nurturing domestic unrest over its covid handling…

vas pup April 30, 2022 5:35 PM

Regarding disinformation:
1. During war/military conflict BOTH sides are lying. Period
2. Those who support openly one side (see 1. above) trapped into motivational reasoning, believing only those inputs matching their biases, not facts.
3. There are NO independent sources of information at all: they depend more or less on owner(s) opinion and agenda by filtering factual input, mixing facts with opinions, providing one-side coverage of events, suppressing opposite opinions.

Solution? I could trust only overlapping part of information from hostile to each and independent from each other sources.

Thank you for suggestion, but as soon links are not OPENLY banned by blogs policy (Bruce/Moderator) I reserve my own right to make decision regarding posting.

SpaceLifeForm April 30, 2022 5:38 PM


Bank Dots

Remember, Anonymous has provided free offsite backup (many terabytes) for various Russian orgs, including Petersburg Social Commercial Bank.



DB causes the creation of a lot of SARs to FINCEN. More than any other bank in the world.


DB can try to spin this all they want, and say they are cooperating, but there are Bad Apples inside.

DB is the Thumb of the Hidden Hand of the Marketplace.

Well, they used to be.

Ted April 30, 2022 6:10 PM

@lurker, All

I’ll find time later to listen to the rest of it. China appears to be nurturing domestic unrest over its covid handling…

I hadn’t been keeping tabs on this issue, but reports definitely support that.

Many woke the other day sealed inside their compounds behind green fences. Not a single case can slip through. With the zerocovid strategy, ruthlessness is a feature, not a bug


Yes, it did sound like NSC. Also Zeihan said Japan is on par with US re: semiconductors. Then Taiwan and Korea. Then Thailand and Malaysia. Then China… think smart blenders, IoT. (Semiconductor bit at min 15-16.) Wish I knew more so I could better evaluate.

RealFakeNews April 30, 2022 7:50 PM

My moniker is a joke, but being absolutely serious:

The fact the Government needs to create a “disinformation” department at all tells you there are huge problems ahead.

If you think it is to stop actual, real, disinformation, you are nieve in the extreme.

I know there are a lot of Left-leaning people here, and it is interesting to see how they think their version of events are absolute and unquestionable (just check the comment history on certain topics).

Why is it so “out there” to suggest the Government want to actively lie to its own people? That is the only reason the department was set up. It otherwise has no purpose to exist.

There are some “hot topics” I could name as examples, but I respect our host and don’t want to cause problems. I’m sure you can figure out which topics I’m referring to though. There is hard evidence, but certain quarters would just dismiss it as “conspiracy theory” or think truth are lies. I find it very interesting that those same people would defend a Government department named “Disinformation Task Force”.

Most, if not all the MSM are now propaganda outlets. Social Media has been hijacked for years by people of a certain political persuasion. Dare to cite an actual, real, scientific paper against the vaccine, and all hell breaks loose. It’s madness, and it must stop.

Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police May 1, 2022 12:13 AM

“John Reston: Television can control public opinion more effectively than armies of secret police, because television is entirely voluntary. The American government forces our children to attend school, but nobody forces them to watch T.V. Americans of all ages submit to television. Television is the American ideal. Persuasion without coercion. Nobody makes us watch.

Who could have predicted that a *free* people would voluntarily spend one fifth of their lives sitting in front of a *box* with pictures? Fifteen years sitting in prison is punishment. But 15 years sitting in front of a television set is entertainment. And the average American now spends more than one and a half years of his life just watching television commercials. Fifty minutes, every day of his life, watching commercials. Now, that's power."

ResearcherZero May 1, 2022 2:22 AM

Rampant cartel-like, anti-competitive behavior, and increasing censorship used as tools to game the market, at the expense of free expression, and unfairly profit from the labors of others. Leveraging dominance to carve out fiefdoms.

“The SMART Copyright Act is a thinly veiled proxy war over mandatory filtering of copyrighted works. . . mandatory filters are error-prone in ways that hurt consumers, and they raise entry barriers in ways that reduce competition.”

More generally, the SMART Copyright Act would give the Copyright Office a truly extraordinary power–the ability to force thousands of businesses to adopt, at their expense, technology they don’t want and may not need, and the mandated technologies could reshape how the Internet works.

The bill would authorize the Copyright Office to designate technology as “‘designated technical measures” (DTMs) that all UGC services must implement, and copyright owners could sue any services that don’t properly implement DTMs. In practice, copyright owners will force the entire Internet industry to adopt technology preferred by copyright owners–including mandatory filtering technology–and make the Internet services pay for it.

In the past few weeks, governments around the world have renewed their efforts to restrain free expression online. In Canada, a revised “Online Streaming Act” comes as the latest in a long-running attempt to bring streaming under a restrictive regulatory regime. In the UK, a new “Online Safety Bill” seeks to censor “legal but harmful content” in a way that would threaten open digital spaces. And in the USA, content filtering is once again being floated as the answer to online copyright infringement, this time via the “SMART Copyright Act of 2022“.

If the SMART Copyright Act were to pass, the Copyright Office would select a “technical measure” every three years that online service providers would be required to implement. The intent, as supporters have made clear, is for the Copyright Office to mandate technical measures that would automatically “filter out” allegedly infringing material. Lobbyists and lawyers for the owners of these technologies would be allowed to petition the Copyright Office to require the adoption of their own products.

Google moves to expand it’s own billing system over other operators in the online space…

“Bandcamp has used its own billing system on Android since 2015, and was able to do so because of rules exempting digital music from having to use Google’s billing system”

“However, Google is now modifying its rules to require Bandcamp (and other apps like it) to exclusively use Google Play Billing for payments for digital goods and services, and pay a revenue share to Google,”

“If Google’s policy changes stand, beginning on June 1st, we would have to either pass Google’s fees on to consumers (making Android a less attractive platform for music fans), pass fees on to artists (which we would never do), permanently run our Android business at a loss, or turn off digital sales in the Android app. Furthermore, the policy changes would impact our ability to pay artists quickly – instead of receiving payment after 24 to 48 hours, artists may not be paid until 15 to 45 days after a sale.”

ResearcherZero May 1, 2022 3:35 AM

@vas pup

Probably the biggest sin, is that governments had the knowledge of what was going to take place in Ukraine for decades. They simply ignored the reports, eyes instead turned towards the money that could be gained, above all else. Greed has dominated both domestic and foreign policy for nearly 40 years.

Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself.” – Ivan Boesky (stock trader)

Boesky used inside information provided by Robert Wilkis and Ira Sokolow, two investment bankers, and purchased securities for entities Boesky was affiliated with. The inside information typically involved tender offers, mergers or other possible business combinations, for companies such as Nabisco Brands, Inc., R.J. Reynolds, and Houston Natural Gas Corp.

“He was cooperating with the government—in fact, he had been undercover for the Feds for the past few months, building cases against others with whom he had trafficked in inside information.”

Graduating today means you are through with…the cold sweat of sleepless nights preparing to answer seemingly impossible questions. Well, that’s a feeling we banking executives know pretty well these days – we call it ‘testifying before Congress.’ ” – Jamie Dimon (JPMorgan Chase)

“The government said in court papers that the $64.8 billion was based on the purported amount held collectively by Madoff investors as of November 30, 2008, based on about 4,800 client accounts.”

In reality, prosecutors said, the Madoff firm “held only a small fraction of that balance”

“Legal experts who have been following the case, however, believe the purported scheme was likely too complex and went on too long to have been carried out by one person alone.”

We should not be surprised then to see a re-emergence of the value placed by markets on trust and personal reputation in business practice.” – Alan Greenspan

… Greenspan admitted he was wrong in 2002, but continued as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board until 2006.

Winter May 1, 2022 5:09 AM


I know there are a lot of Left-leaning people here, and it is interesting to see how they think their version of events are absolute and unquestionable

I think I am on the left side of the spectrum here. If I were a German, I would vote for the German Green Party.

There is a difference between the terminology in the Anglo-Saxon world and continental Europe. What is called “Free Speech” in English, is often called (translated) “Freedom of expression and opinion”.

The point is that the right is directed at the freedom to formulate and express your opinion. Different from the USA, this is a right of humans, not of legal entities. Organizations of people, e.g., parties or unions, are covered. Payd-for, or commercial speech, aka, advertising, is definitely not covered by this right, neither is state propaganda.

Note that in Europe, it is possible to make a distinction between opinions and (empirical) facts.

The differences with the US “Free Speech” are smaller than dogmatics make it look. There are many restrictions of speech in the US. Defamation and libel, truth in advertising, fraud, investment and stock price manipulations, medical, legal, or investment advise are all areas where legal tools restrict what you can say in the US.

Now, in practice, indices about the freedom of the press put most EU countries at a better place than the USA, which is #44 in the Reporters Without Borders index.

So what about “disinformation” and “facts”?

Facts are not an opinion. We have quite rigorous legal, journalistic, historical, and scientific norms to establish the validity of empirical observations and facts. Disinformation are narratives that flaunt those rules and, almost always, involve intentional lying. In short, disinformation is propaganda intended to make people believe lies, or counterfactual narratives.

What should a community do when it is swamped with propaganda? It can do what it does in cases of defamation or libel. It can demand evidence. If you do not give evidence, you can be silenced.

Is this dangerous? Yes. Is doing nothing dangerous? Yes. People are killed by disinformation.

Winter May 1, 2022 5:48 AM


Most, if not all the MSM are now propaganda outlets.

I am sorry about the state of affairs where you live (#44 on the Freedom of the Press list?).

However, I would suggest to widen your view. Try Aljaseera, BBC world service, French World service, Deutsche Welle (German World service). They all give different views of the world, which you can cross check easily.

I, for one, subscribe to one of the bigger Dutch newspapers (names are not needed, they are all mostly the same). My newspaper never supports a government, any government. It will always question any government or party’s proclamations. It always ads information about its sources to any story. It will always indicate whether or not information could be independently verified.

What more can I ask? Especially as there are many other sources available to verify their stories.

Also, when a journalist on the evening news reports from a war zone, say Ukraine, I see what she or he is doing and can compare that with what this same person said and did on other occasions. I know this person’s track record so I can judge the value of her or his reports.

Why should I distrust these journalists, but trust the likes of Putin, Xi, or Trump?

I know the latter lied in the past, every time. Why should I trust any outlet that supports a government or party? Say, why should I trust Fox News when they broadcasted very bad advice about the disease that affected us all? When I also remember a report from Fox News about my home country that was fictional from start to finish?

But also, why should I extend that distrust to outlets that do enforce journalistic principles, eg, the NYT? Every media outlet has its limitations. But a limitation does not necessarily means that they are corrupt.

“Trust No One” is a one way ticket to death. You must trust some people to survive. By starting to distrust everyone, you always end up trusting the wrong people.

I live by the proverb: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

John May 1, 2022 6:51 AM


I am still trying to learn whom to trust! Leftovers from growing up!

I like your point about multiple independent sources.

For me I try to avoid sources that give me ‘information’ at their rate. Radio, TV and movies. This seems to help a lot.

Open internet unfiltered worldwide seems to me to be a good beginning.

Curious that it is not easier to record and transcribe your telephone calls and texts so you can easily look back at what ‘they’ said and what ‘they’ did!


Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 7:16 AM

@ RealFakeNews,

I know there are a lot of Left-leaning people here, and it is interesting to see how they think their version of events are absolute and unquestionable (just check the comment history on certain topics).

A point of correction, whilst there are what some would consider “Left-leaning” people on this blog, there are also “Right-leaning” people poping up quite a lot as well.

Which brings us to “just check the comment history”, those with Right-leaning views have also expressed them with just the same “absolute and unquestionable” fervor.

Generally though such Right-leaning commenters are at best inept as amongst many others the Dec37 crowd have shown. Thus their “FauxNews” get’s easily seen for what it is by people of normal intelligence. That is, the bleatings of unquestioning authoritarian followers, who can not think for themselves, nor be bothered to check what they are being fed, due to their cognative impairments.

When they get called on their spoutings and shown the evidence that they are falshoods, their cognative imparment kicks in on overdrive and they double down through antisocial behaviours… Necesitating repeated calls for “clean up in isle 13” and similar, thus necessitating “clean up”.

In short the behaviours you describe have no party political alliance, and you should not have tried to say so in the overly obvious way you did…

Winter May 1, 2022 7:34 AM

@vas pup

  1. There are NO independent sources of information at all: they depend more or less on owner(s) opinion and agenda by filtering factual input, mixing facts with opinions, providing one-side coverage of events, suppressing opposite opinions.

That is simply not true. If I want to know whether it rains in NYC now, there are many independent sources of information. At this moment online sources say it is fair and dry. But I can ask as many inhabitants of NYC as I like whether it rains now. I can look through webcams etc.

The same about the situation in, eg, Kyiv. I can look at reports from journalists or inhabitants. I can contact people on the ground, either directly or through refugees who contact their families.

So, there are independent sources of information. This information does find its way into news outlets in the world.

The diversity of voices in the world is still great. There are still many that are reporting impartial and factual news. These outlets are not hidden and unknown. They are even among the most well known, and most vilified news outlets in the world. Remember that people are much more often attacked and murdered for telling the truth than for telling a lie.

For the English speaking world, there is an abundance of choice in high quality impartial and factual news sources:




GregW May 1, 2022 8:35 AM

FYI, new chip x-ray tech to find implants in IEEE Spectrum:


JonKnowsNothing May 1, 2022 8:37 AM

@ Clive, @ RealFakeNews, @Winter, @All

re: Leaning Right Leaning Left

If this were an AI model, the bias would be clear in the assumption that:

  • Everyone always, all the time, forever more, Lean in the Same Direction.

There are people that hold the same views for a lifetime or for a long time but people do change their views. We change our minds all the time.

Some views are more difficult to change, often due to the internal dissonance that the change causes.

  • As in, when Alan Greenspan, the god of Wall Street, and creator of legions of Greenspeak Diviners, discovered that for his whole life running the US Federal Reserve, governed by the Principles of Libertarian Ayn Randness was a statistical fluke. The US markets don’t respond to these principles and the shock both nationally and internally caused a great deal of pain, suffering, guilt and shame, all around.

People change in myriads of ways.

RL anecdote tl;dr

Training horses is filled with legions upon legions of ideas, opinions, techniques and misinformation. One fairly common view is “My Horse Does XXXX”.

To which one might ask:

* Why?

* Why do you continue to allow that?

Generally the Why? will include some version of “The horse has always done it..” followed by “I tried NNN technique and it didn’t work”.

If you point out that the horse could not have done XXXX forever, because horses learn from people what people want them to do. Horses know what horses are supposed to do, but they learn from people what people want them to do.

This might get a 1-eyebrow raised response.

If they are still listening, you can point out that, either the technique is faulty or not quite correctly implemented and they might want to re-think what it is they want to achieve.

As a last resort, or rather last comment:

* You have decide what it is you want the horse to do and how you want the horse to do it. You can change your view point, learn a new method or better application of a method, or you can continue to complain about your horse doing XXXX.

It is also a reason we have TWO HANDS. The right hand is there so we can lean against a wall on our right side, and the left hand is there so we can lean against a wall on our left side.

It’s not the hands that indicate the direction of lean, it is the orientation of the wall.

Winter May 1, 2022 8:53 AM


Everyone always, all the time, forever more, Lean in the Same Direction.

But left and right do not mean the same thing now as it did when I was young.

I have changed my views considerably over the years. But so has the rest of the world. It is just that I still find myself in the left side of the spectrum, both in my own country, as world wide.

Winter May 1, 2022 10:57 AM

Not exactly new, but still news:

‘Troll factory’ spreading Russian pro-war lies online, says UK

St Petersburg outfit hijacks discussions on Twitter, TikTok, world leaders’ social accounts and media websites, as well as manipulating opinion polls

The analysis suggests one main activity is “brigading”, to steer attention of discussion on social media and in comments sections of newspapers towards favoured opinions. Manipulation of polls in western media was also observed, including to skew the results of a survey on whether sanctions against Russia were supported.

Winter May 1, 2022 11:28 AM

Directing social media influencers about the war is not exactly new.

Russian TikTok creators have reportedly been paid to share propaganda

It’s unclear who is behind the campaign, but the operator claims to be a journalist and has looked for posters for additional pro-government content (such as supporting Russian athletes in the Olympics) and private companies. However, TikTok’s ban on new videos from Russia apparently isn’t an obstacle. The channel administrator tells influencers how to dodge the ban, and at least some producers have posted videos after the ban took effect.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 11:53 AM

@ GregW,

Re : new chip x-ray tech


It’s been a while since you last posted, hope you are well, and things are moving forward.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 12:10 PM

@ Winter,

Russian TikTok creators have reportedly been paid to share propaganda

I suspect similar is happening on YouTube as well.

For various reasons I get informed about some of the “Ham Radio” goings on on YouTube. Apparently there has been an upsurge in posts coming from Russian Ham Operators (who by definition are monitored by the Russian State).

The upsurge is in “shorts” and mostly of no content value. It would appear without any further analysis that they are in effect “trolling” by grabbing the YouTube algorithms.

Thus swamping, so discoraging the general purpose looking at Ham / Amateur Radio posts…

From what I’m told the short videos do not contain propaganda, just inane footage of no actual interest to anyone. So whilst propaganda would fairly quickly get reported and the responsible accounts get locked or banned. This way they fill the lists with inanity which YouTube will ignore, even though it fills the lists with what is garbage, but does,push other people out, away from adverts thus advertising income for YouTube’s parent companies.

Chunder Buddy May 1, 2022 12:26 PM


What are your thoughts on the dismissal?

And where can I find Harold Holt?

Winter May 1, 2022 12:31 PM


It would appear without any further analysis that they are in effect “trolling” by grabbing the YouTube algorithms.

Not unlikely. These algoritme are rather stupid. It is well known that their input can be poisoned to create “backdoors”. Could be that they are investigating this route.

Winter May 1, 2022 12:39 PM


Some data poisoning attacks

If recommendations can be manipulated, so can we

How data poisoning is used to trick fraud detection algorithms on ecommerce sites

How data poisoning attacks corrupt machine learning models

lurker May 1, 2022 1:25 PM


It is also possible to vote with your feet, turning to lean against the wall with your back. This has the disadvantage that you won’t see when the wall is about to fall over…

Winter May 1, 2022 1:57 PM

Coming back to US intelligence in Ukraine. This one might be an example

Putin’s top military commander wounded in Ukraine and scurries back to Russia just days after sent to take charge of war

The unconfirmed claim is that Gerasimov, 66, was wounded in Izyum in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which is at the centre of intense fighting.

It is also where Russia’s ninth general Major General Andrei Simonov, 55, was killed, according to reports today.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 2:01 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

There are people that hold the same views for a lifetime or for a long time but people do change their views.

Some things I have no “fixed opinion” on, others my opinion is shall we say pinned by what we call the laws of nature.

That is Science, Enginering and some Technology “truths” I have found to be either sufficiently the case to be considerd probably true, or I’ve found a way to link them to fundemental truths of the laws of nature.

With regard the “human condition” my shoulders get plenty of excercise shrugging, and long ago a squease observerd that she should be able to find a second, cross crease on my backside because I spent so much time sitting on the fence… To which I replied that no, there wouldn’t be because rather than sit on the fence I got a lot of healthy excercise bunny hopping from one side of the fence to the other and back again so I really needed a pogo stick.

The truth is I’m both “conservative with a small c” and “socialist with a small s” as there are advantages as well as disadvantges in both, often simultaniously which perplexes many. But I genuinely belive in the lifting power of rising tides, and that mankind needs a little more faith in it’s self.

But I do detest authoritarians not just the leaders but the followers, they realy don’t think, don’t create, or do anything of particular worth to society invariably though they do appear to think they run it, or they should do. Whilst not immovable the are frequently “boat anchors” to society progressing in any usefull direction, thus to them “stagnation or worse is the name of the game”.

Lets be honest some of the more recent and public authoritarian followers are the embodyment of the old saying about a “goyisher kop” which is the equivalent of “The IQ rises when they leave the room”.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 3:29 PM

@ Winter, ALL,

With regards,

“The unconfirmed claim is that Gerasimov, 66, was wounded in Izyum”

Without being nasty I think it is possibly the best thing that could happen to him.


1, He is still alive.
2, He is out of the war zone.
3, Possibly to ill to return for some time if at all before war end.
4, Unlikely to be blaimed thus culled by Putin.

SpaceLifeForm May 1, 2022 3:38 PM

@ fib, ALL

Hi-res tornado video. Clearest I have ever seen. The drone survived. Zoom in and see houses explode. You can even spot pink fiberglass insulation. No one died.


vas pup May 1, 2022 5:20 PM

@Clive said

“So, there are independent sources of information. This information does find its way into news outlets in the world.”

Agree. I was meaning doubtful independence of world news outlets.

I’ll check links you’ve provided. Thank you.

vas pup May 1, 2022 6:05 PM

@Clive Thank you.
I checked links and love the third one
not only for list provided, but for the following inside it:

“The search for truth is not easy. And If you want to get factual, unbiased information, you need to take the following steps:

1.Get information from various sources (including the sources with opinions opposite to yours)
2.Try to detect any bias involved and filter out the truth
3.Be conscious of your own biases

=> 4.Take consideration of the context
!=> 5.Know that sometimes the truth is not what you want it to be.


It is important to note that sometimes, there is no such thing as an objective truth, and even if there is, it is too hard to find. Therefore, sometimes your truth might not be compatible with someone else’s truth.”

My nickel: “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 6:05 PM

@ GregW, ALL,

With regards the X-Ray tomography of chips article in IEEE Spectrum.

The last paragraph of,

“So someday soon, if you’re suspicious of your new CPU or curious about a competitor’s, you could make a fly-through tour through its inner workings to make sure everything is really in its proper place.”

Applies only to one chip every day or two, not a whole wafer of them. So whilst it has potential to be a design diagnostic tool it’s not going to be able to keep up with any kind of production line.

Now whilst “random sampling test” can provide basic Quality Assessment with about a 10% sample, that is still way to big a number of chips…

So as a security tool for devices comming of a production line it’s most definately inapropriate.

Well somebody is going to ask “Why?”

Well the basic reason is for security checking it has to be every chip checked…

Because there is a major issue I’ve mentioned before when security testing came up.

Do you remember back to Bloomberg’s supposed “scoop” on chips hidden into motherboards destined for Apple’s cloud that alledgedly had a hidden microchip?

I pointed out back then a rather awkward fact, that it appears had not occured to other people.

You have to ask the old question of,

“Q : How many bad apples do you need to turn a barrel of apples rotten?”

To which the answer is,

“A : Just one.”

Well the same applies to a room full of racks with fourty or more motherboards in each. Just one rotten motherboard potentially could turn every other motherboard rotten on the same LAN or collection of LAN’s that are not correctly issolated.

As I pointed out back then, motherboards in data centers, that have two or more network connections frequently use one network connection on an internal private network for “managment”. In my experience back then, whilst the public facing / connected network ports had security such as firewalls to segregate things, the managment network was not very secure in terms of segregation etc… So down at the physical layer things were not at all secure. So one bad motherboard on a Managment LAN could potentially infect hundreds if not thousands of motherboards.

I pointed out that the only way to check the “Security” of the motherboards was by “destructive testing”. Which would mean that the absolute minimum would be tested in a batch of motherboards, maybe as little as one in a thousand… I asked for people to consider the odds of having one bad motherboard being found by random testing?

I concluded that the odds very much favoured an attacker.

The same logic applies to a wafer of the specialized chips now going into cloud service motherboards.

That is only one chip needs to be bad in a wafer for it to have a high probability of ending up being in the same batch of chips packaged up and put in the same batch of cloud server motherboards so ending up in the same rack or room…

Thus the odds are greatly in favour of an attacker who only has to get one bad chip on a wafer mask. Whilst the cloud owner would not be able to realistically test for one bad chip let alone a motherboard of chips in any sensible time period and not a chance of testing a couple of hundred motherboards.

But there is another issue not covered in the article… Which is what can be seen of the actual semiconductors on the chip as the article only talks about the metallization layers being seen not the actuall doped silicon.

Because you do not need metallization to “back-door” a chip, a capacitor made in the doped silicon is sufficient…

So yes it’s technically interesting, but it’s not going to realistically solve the security issues any time soon.

SpaceLifeForm May 1, 2022 6:10 PM

Location OPSEC

Airpods are just like a John Deere tractor.

You can track them when they are transported into Russia from Ukraine.

It is slightly easier to put one in your pocket.



SpaceLifeForm May 1, 2022 7:26 PM

@ Clive, GregW, ALL

Silicon Turtles

Thank you for reading that IEEE article. I bailed immediately because I had a paywall thrown at me. I will always bail, and will never provide any link where others have to endure a paywall.

I will look for an alternate source.

That said, yes, you are correct, you can not X-ray every chip. Not possible.
There can be subtle lithography bugs that may only occur on the chips near the perimeter of the wafer. Especially dealing with smaller, go faster stripes.

If the only sampling occurs from the chips in the middle and they pass the tests, it proves nothing about the chips near the outside circumference.

So, yes, you can end up with Bad Apples inside the Wafer Barrel.

It is why people trying to overclock their machine encounter different experiences. They may have the same chip model, same stepping, but they get different unexpected crashes.

Anything I say, that you disagree with, I will defend because I can say that it was due to a Cosmic Ray, ordained by $DEITY. I will defend my turtles all of the way down.


JonKnowsNothing May 1, 2022 7:32 PM

@ Clive, @ GregW, @ALL

re: Test ’em all

RL anecdote tl;dr

Years back when there was still manufacturing inside the USA, we tested 100% of all devices built. Even with 100% testing there were defects and returns, although the rates were far below any other manufacturer.

There were several things that caused defects:

  • Bad chips
  • Bad construction, cracked motherboards or bad solder joins
  • High “early failure” from undetected conditions.

So the 100% testing caught most of these and the burn in times allowed for a decent product death rate check.

Nothing can help a board if the truck runs over it…

Now, with so much software of dubious quality and constant versioning, even 100% check might only find a small percentage of failures (regression testing).

Hidden code can be lurking; with the same effect of a truck backing up into a palette load of devices.

JonKnowsNothing May 1, 2022 7:44 PM

@ vas pup, @Clive

re: temet nosce

It maybe dated but a viewing of MATRIX series, especially the first one, is a hodgepodge of ideas about “reality and what we know”. Of course, it spawned an entire sub-culture, but if you just enjoy the trip, before it becomes one giant kung-fu-series, there are some interesting points there.

The other fun part of the series is that everyone in the Matrix is a computer program or represents a computer program. I enjoy guessing (and still guessing) about which parts of the system each “identity is”.

The Train Man still give me laugh…

note: I have no idea if my guesses have anything whatsoever to do with what the movie is intended to show or be. I prefer to keep “temet nosce” at a cookie distance.

lurker May 1, 2022 8:26 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, “Thank you for reading that IEEE article. I bailed immediately because I had a paywall thrown at me.”

Must be a geolocated thing, or maybe you’ve used up your three free reads. I got an invitation to subscribe, closed the invitation and carried on reading. Problem is where they put the counter: cookie and “storage” management is a nightmare between browsers & OSes.

I agree with @Clive, this is an interesting start, looking at the tracks, but it will become a lot more useful when it can tell the difference between a P-N junction and N-P.

Jon May 1, 2022 9:46 PM

Nothing can help a board if the truck runs over it…

The pressure per unit area while being run over can be greater for a bicycle than a truck. The pressure’s much less – but the area is even smaller.

Now, hit by a train… J.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 10:46 PM

@ vas pup,

Re : Thank you

Your two thank you’s of

to me should have been to @Winter for,

Anyway I hope this finds you well on this May Day “long weekend”.

In the UK supposadly “Spring has Sprung” as various flowers are in bloom, but the temprature has dropped to “a little chilly” having crossed a couple of degrees back below 20C…

Not as bad as a friend in the US who was complaining about four inchess of snow falling unexpectedly and is muttering dark curses about it ruining their day off to fix some “winter storm damage”.

Clive Robinson May 1, 2022 11:14 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Airpods are just like a John Deere tractor.

Two names I never expected to hear on the same sentence…

I can not find the link now, but a friend in a far distant place, used an online translation service where they translate an OCR of a product manual into a different language and back[1]… They showed,

“Air-pod” became “Gas-bag”

Where in vernacular english a “gas bag” is an expression for someone who talks or more correctly nags a lot. Which made me smile on reading the El Reg link that is titled,


Lets just say I know one or to who say the same about their ex gas-bags 😉

[1] This “translate the manual” is apparantly a widely played game in some places and was originated with “Chinenglish” but works with other languages where “Hydrolic Ram” becomes “Male Water Sheep”. But best of all with instructions becoming accidently human anatomical, like an egg poacher instructions that will make your eyes water just thinking about it…

Ted May 1, 2022 11:19 PM


My post to you was moderated. So let me try again.

I was listening to Brad Smith’s book Tools and Weapons. As you recall, he is a lawyer and the current president of Microsoft.

In Chapter 1 of his book he brings up the case of John Wilkes. Wilkes was an outspoken member of the British Parliament whose criticism of the king led to his arrest, and the arrest of 49 others in 1763.

Smith’s primary interest in Wilkes’s case was the extreme and over-broad nature of the general warrants used to pursue him. And more remarkably, the fact that the courts ruled in Wilkes’s favor – breaking centuries of power structure dynamics. The courts would now require greater probable cause and more limited searches.

Earlier in the book, Smith describes the architecture of Microsoft’s data centers and the team’s reaction to learning about PRISM. It’s a really fantastic read and I think an important book. I still have 14 or 15 chapters to go.

Ps: It was sunny here. And spring is wonderful. I am trying to see if I can propagate some lilac cuttings. I trimmed them off a bush, dipped them in rooting hormone, and have them under some grow lights. We shall see. I’m also trying to grow some lavender and pumpkin plants from seed. No luck yet. But I only started them a few weeks ago.

Winter May 2, 2022 12:28 AM

@vas pup

It is important to note that sometimes, there is no such thing as an objective truth, and even if there is, it is too hard to find.

Look at it like a criminal court case. Sometimes, there was a real crime committed, but it is not possible to find out who did it.

That is a larger problem in “historical” cases, where the course of an event has to be determined. History had a course of events, it did happen, but it is often impossible to gather the evidence to prove what actually happened. In history, there is always the possibility that evidence emerges that shows things were really different than everyone thought.

Nick Levinson May 2, 2022 12:33 AM

@SpaceLifeForm & @lurker:

With the IEEE article, I didn’t get a paywall. The wall that came up, for free access to some content (I think pay beyond that) and I don’t recall a limit of 3, had a close button and, after I clicked that, I continued reading the article to the bottom.

The button was near the top right, which is standard; some other sites put the button elsewhere, often top left, and/or obscure it graphically and/or put it outside the most visible boundaries of the popup. Some instead respond to the Escape key.

Paywalls are not illegitimate although they’re inconvenient. The idea that information wants to be free neglects that someone spends time and energy creating the content and may want to be paid for it. We choose what to pay for.

If I were to post a link to something behind a paywall, I would expect to say so where a reader can read it before clicking the link.

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 12:42 AM

@ Ted,

Wilkes was an outspoken member of the British Parliament whose criticism of the king led to his arrest

Yes, John Wilkes was not at all popular in some quaters at the time.

So much so that the famed artist William Hogarth who made paintings in colour so accurate we would assume them to be photographs, pen and inked this caricature of Wilkes,!Large.jpg

Note the face to be drawn as that of a “village idiot” (or inbred).

But then others saw Wilkes in a very different light, and some named their children after him out of political belief, a not uncommon practice of the time. One such couple[1] named their nineth illigitamate child after him, and the child inturn gained his own notoriety.

With regards,

the extreme and over-broad nature of the general warrants used to pursue him

As a person who lives outside the US but “looks in” my view is that when you consider that back then “general warrants” were used to grab “papers and possessions”, with “papers” or letters being the communications of the time. If anything things are much worse, with most modern communications being grabbed without judicial approval or oversight, and where warrants are obtained they remain hidden not served. Thus a persons privacy can be invaded for years whilst investigators wait for some comment they can misrepresent, as well as avoiding a US Citizens right to speedy justice, thus robbing them of the “equity in arms” such rights are ment to give, to balance the power of the state.

A view I’m sure makes me unpopular with some.

[1] English Shakespearean actor Junius Brutus Booth and his mistress Mary Ann Holmes… Apparently John Wilkes was a distant relative, but I suspect it was “political belief” motivated. Several of the family were known to have what even back in the 1830’s were radical leanings even for such politically turbulant times, and Junius being a violent drunk tended to threats and violance. Which is probably why John Wilkes Booth was a known Confederate supporter and a “Know Knothing” member. A radical splinter Republican group which had a secret sect suspected of political violence. But his bitter rival elder brother Edwin as so often happens in such families went the other way and was a staunch Unionist.

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 12:59 AM

@ Nick Levinson, SpaceLifeForm, lurker, ALL,

The idea that information wants to be free neglects that someone spends time and energy creating the content and may want to be paid for it.

On that site, like many others that publish academic papers, often the authors are not paid for their writings.

Like those who work for government their work is often payed for out of the public purse, therefore in a sense is owned by “we the tax payers”.

Most academics are happy to provide copies of their papers either on their own web pages or by request by Email or even written letter.

Increasingly though many academics are upset by “journals” that deliberately control not just which papers are published but the profits such journals make at the authors expense.

I’ll let you look up the events that led to the current IEEE position on journal articles, I’ll just say it was not arrived at bloodlessly.

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 1:42 AM

@ Winter, vas pup,

That is a larger problem in “historical” cases, where the course of an event has to be determined.

This also happens with “living history”.

Which is why we have what looks like the madness of what some describe as the “undeading process”…

Some people for a number of reasons “get removed from history” in some way and thus become first “missing” then after a longer period of time “officialy dead”.

Perhaps the most well known are those taken captive or prisoner and kept in secret by their captors. But also occasionaly people loose their memories, others simply move away from their old lives, for various reasons and do not bother keeping in contact with those they leave behind.

The point is “officialy dead” people do turn up alive and well, and return to some real legal problems and others get caught in legal problems as well.

Look at it this way if you are married and declared legaly dead, your spouse is widowed and thus legally free to marry someone else. When you return “under the eyes of God” of some religions you are still married, thus your spouse is considered at the very least a bigamist, or to have committed infidelity… As you may be aware some nations treat the views of religious courts with more presidence than judicial courts.

And yes, some countries even have an “undeading form” that you fill out as the start of the process to bring you back from “bureaucratic death” and “legal limbo”…

Oh interesting quirk that has come to light. What if a country legally disowns you as a citizen? Well apparently yes they can still declare you dead, but there is currently no legal recourse you have by which you become undead.

This has happened with people moving abroad into excile or having become statless for various reasons, such as a Government Dept conveniently destroyed the paperwork. With the person having their citizenship, pension and other property rights terminated. Where on trying to return or get their statehood, entitlement etc they are rebuffed as having no legal standing or entitlement.

Nick Levinson May 2, 2022 2:08 AM

@Clive Robinson, @SpaceLifeForm, & @lurker:

Academics are not paid by the publishers but often make a better living in their professorships because of their publications list and in what they’re paid for books they write.

In the U.S., Federal work product is not under copyright and can be freely copied with few exceptions (e.g., you can’t photocopy a $100 bill and try to spend it even though it’s not under copyright).

That “. . . academics are upset by ‘journals’ that deliberately control . . . which papers are published” is surprising. It’s well established hat if you want that kind of control you publish your own journal.

Winter May 2, 2022 2:37 AM

@Nick Levinson

Academics are not paid by the publishers but often make a better living in their professorships because of their publications list and in what they’re paid for books they write.

  • 1 Publishing in scientific journals cost you money, it never earns you money
  • 2 The same for books, unless you are one of those few that can land a well used text-book
  • 3 Academics earn money by winning grants and tenure (in that order)
  • To win grants and tenure, you need publications and visibility

That “. . . academics are upset by ‘journals’ that deliberately control . . . which papers are published” is surprising. It’s well established hat if you want that kind of control you publish your own journal.

Publishers really do not care what is published in their journals. Scientific editors and paper reviewers are all volunteer scientists. If you do not get published, you have not convinced you peers, colleagues, that your manuscripts matter. That can be frustrating, but on the other hand, if you cannot even convince your colleagues and peers that your work is worthwhile, who will read it?

Nowadays, there are open access (=paid-to-publish) journals that only check whether the content of the manuscript is technically sound, e.g., PLoS and PLoS One (with surprisingly high impact). There are also preprint servers that only check for insanity and madness, e.g., arXiv and bioRxiv.

If your theory is indeed considered insane, there are other archives that will store your article. It is obvious that the further you go from peer reviewed research, the less respected readers you will draw.

A whole other branch of business are predatory journals. Here you can get anything published, as long as you pay. There is not always, or even any, circulation and no readership to mention. But it gets you a “publication” you can cite in your resume.

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 3:23 AM

@ Ted,

For those wanting to know what all the fuss was about with John Wilkes, in Hogarth’s sketch you will see a writing desk with inkwell and quill, beneath which are two pieces of paper titled “The Northbritton”.

This was an anonymously authord newspaper in response to the apointment of a detested Scot (Bute[1]) into the Prime Ministerial position.

Week 45 of the newspaper pointed out that the “Kings Speech” was not the Kings words but Butes. Whilst almost certainly true, Bute was incessed thus started a legal process in the Kings name for defemation against the “suspected author” John Wilkes by draging the publisher through the courts.

You can see a copy of edition 45 starting on page starting on the 274th page of,

(though titled as page 261).

The lines started by inverted commas are those used in the case against the publisher.

[1] John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, who some in my family have reason to say is my ancestor. As some have pointed out a few years back I looked eerily almost exactly like one of his decendants,

Who they indicate would be my great grandfather…

Nick Levinson May 2, 2022 4:53 AM


Your first part essentially agrees on earning indirectly and not directly.

My understanding is that the editors very much care, depending on the journal.

Your description sounded a lot like it was of predatory journals before you got to mentioning them explicitly. Publication in a predatory journal may damage your career.

Winter May 2, 2022 5:22 AM

@Nick Levinson

My understanding is that the editors very much care, depending on the journal.

Depending on the field, editors will mostly or exclusively be volunteer scientists themselves. Most journals I use have scientific editors that are not employed by the publisher.

There are exceptions. I have heard from people working in fields that publish in Nature and Science that these employ scientific editors that do get involved in the selection of papers. However, these scientists considered this an argument against papers published in Nature and Science.

Your description sounded a lot like it was of predatory journals before

Not quite. The Public funds research, and then funds publications, and funds the volunteers that do the editing and reviewing and then has to pay to read these publications. The likes of Elsevier make hefty profits from this public funding.

In Open Access publication, the public funds the publishing directly as part of the research process, but then does not have to pay for expensive[1] journal subscriptions.

Publishing in respectable Open Access journals is not cheap, but is generally related to the reach of the paper and the costs of the preparation. For instance, publishing a paper in some of the PLOS journals (a non-profit) can cost over $5000 and in Nature (a for-profit) it is twice as much. If you think that is expensive, doing the research for such a publication can easily cost 2 orders of magnitude more. Writing such a paper itself could take ~0.5-1 person-year.

[1] Subscription prices can be far beyond ludicrous La-La land. You have to see it to believe it.

Ted May 2, 2022 8:02 AM


Re: John Wilkes

Per Smith:

“…[Wilkes] challenged not only the prime minister but also the king with words so colorful they would make some of today’s politicians blush (almost)…. and soon the government issued a search warrant that was so broad, the officers of the peace had the authority to search almost any place at any time.”

So it sounds like you both are on the same page recounting some of the dynamics there – you providing tremendously interesting details on top.

I really want to read Chapter 17 – TECH AND THE NATION-STATE: Europe and the Future of Digital Sovereignty. It looks like that is a new chapter in the Kindle version, but not in the audiobook.

John Stuart, eh? It’s a wild, wild web. 🙂

Winter May 2, 2022 9:42 AM

The title says it all:

Logging and monitoring can be a form of bullying, and make for lousy infosec

“Surveillance isn’t making things more secure. It’s reactive, not pro-active, and it’s very expensive,” Leins says. “Surveillance is mostly used to find a scapegoat after the fact. It’s for reinforcing the existing power structures, not creating systemic change.”

Dr Leins argues that the choice to implement surveillance has more to do with the biases of those responsible for the system design than any objective measure of outcomes. “Fear and control doesn’t improve productivity, but it is a favored approach of bullies and authoritarians,” she says.

I think I can wholeheartedly agree.

Obviously, bullying is counter productive:

“As soon as you implement a surveillance system, even at an organisational level, there’s always ways that people can circumvent it,” says Dr Monique Mann, senior lecturer in Criminology at Deakin University. “That also perhaps creates greater risks to information security in some regards because people are resisting and not using the approved channels.”

A better approach:

“To support our customers, we know that our staff will need to have a look at people’s support settings all the time, and we don’t want to have to audit all of that activity,” Nye said. “So we obfuscate everybody’s personal data – their mail, their contacts, their calendar entries – it’s all turned into lorem ipsum.”

Winter May 2, 2022 10:12 AM

Putin doing a Stalin: Direct your army yourself. That killed many more Russian soldiers than was necessary 75 years ago. It will probably do so again.

Russian officers in ‘shock’ at Putin’s impossible demands – ‘400 dead and injured a day’

Putin has ordered his generals to capture the city of Kryvyi Rih, the birthplace of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.

If the city, Ukraine’s second-largest by area and with a population of roughly one million, should fall, it would present the Russian leader with a major propaganda victory.

“We are told from communication interceptions that Russian officers are simply in shock.

“They have losses of 400 soldiers a day killed and wounded, and their equipment keeps breaking down.”

JonKnowsNothing May 2, 2022 12:04 PM

@Winter @All

re: Shocking numbers

Why would you be “shocked” by these numbers? They are actually quite small in terms of battlefield casualties.

There are battles that took out 1,000,000 men a day, still in living memory.

The USA can clock that many COVID deaths in a week during a LOVD-lull.

After 1,500 years of battles in regional areas, this hasn’t changed much and one might be better prepared that the costs in lives, infrastructure and recovery for all parties will be much greater than what’s being reported. Along with recognizing that, in the aftermath, certain aspects will never be recovered.

What’s that motto about “learning from history…”????


Search Terms historical references “fierce fighting”.

Mikhail Skobelev / Mikhail Dmitriyevich Skobelev

Siege of Plevna

Battle of Shipka Pass

Battle of Geok Tepe

Winter May 2, 2022 12:22 PM

The 2006 manual Putin is following to conquer the West:

Putin Is Just Following the Manual
A utopian Russian novel predicted Putin’s war plan.

Yuriev’s book, like Putin’s war with Ukraine, is an expression of post-Soviet neo-medievalism, a far-right, anti-Western, and antidemocratic ideology that assigns “Russian Orthodox civilization” a dominant role over Europe and America.

Yuriev also imagined, with disturbing accuracy, how Europe’s dependence on Russian energy exports limited how far it would go to punish Russia. Statements by Vladimir II in The Third Empire are nearly indiscernible from contemporary speeches by Putin. “You don’t like us?” the emperor mocks a French-television interviewer. “All right then, go to war with us and conquer us … Or refuse to buy our energy products, oil and gas, so that we starve to death.”

Winter May 2, 2022 12:50 PM


Why would you be “shocked” by these numbers? They are actually quite small in terms of battlefield casualties.

Because they amount to a considerable fraction of fighting soldiers.

It is generally believed that many Russian units are not battle ready anymore. Newly combined units consisting of survivors of previous units have been send into East Ukraine. These too are considered to be not battle ready anymore.

The morale in the Russian army was low to begin with. It now consists of a considerable fraction of traumatized survivors of earlier lost battles. Officiers have been known to shoot at their own soldiers to get them to fight, to no avail.

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 1:14 PM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : Putin doing a Stalin

Sadly it’s not unsurprising.

Putin has been lying to the Russian people for years, with fake history and the like so he could live out his destiny dream…

Put simply he wants to do two basic things,

1, Put his name in history for uniting the Rus.
2, Reestablish the Russian Empire.

Which will give him the illusion of “Strong Russia” marching into a future where his name and statue are revered…

Well neither the Belarusians or Ukranians want to be under the Russian boot heal again as they are all to aware of what it means.

What is going to happen is the covert fighting against Russian troops is going to keep spreading as the people in Eastern Europe realise two things,

1, Putin is worse than a wild animal trapped in a corner, he has become like a rabid dog.
2, Russian troops having been trained by thugish bullying are mostly no more than that, so like all thugs and bullies, poor fighters and cowardly at that.

So the Russian troops are now in a “meat grinder” because the Ukranian soldiers and people know, that they have next to nothing to loose and much to gain by killing as many Russian troops as possible. To loose to Putin’s bullies will only bring down a living hell for not just them but their families.

As I said before this conflict started,

“Putin has the troops to take the Ukraine but not hold it”

The Russian troops then failed even in their first objectives. So they have not taken the Ukraine…

As expected their equipment has failed, for want of skills and parts. Their supplies have failed so food, fuel and ammunition are scarce. Perhaps worst of all their tactical and command communications security has failed.

Much of this was inevitable Russian troops are an army of many conscripts trained to bully on streets by force of numbers send two dozen thugs to drag out an unarmed family onto the street and beat them so all can see how mighty the Russian bullies are.

The Russian troops are not a fighting army, they lack the training, tactics, and other skills. Even the basic ability to support and resupply in active conflict is beyond their abilities. It’s because of the Russian command structure which is little different to that of conscript forces two centuries ago. Puting a man in a uniform and bullying him does not make him a soldier. It makes him a fearful animal hiding in a pack of animals with a herd mentality driven forward by whips. So the best the majority of the Rusian troops can do is like a beserker driven mad, push forward till they fall unless they attain safety to rest, eat, clean and have shelter and an oppressed workforce to repair what has been broken.

The Ukranian troops are better trained have better skills, are better supported and on home ground and they know the Russian weaknesses. Thus they are fighting a very asymmetric war to their strengths and the Russian troops weaknesses. So now the Russian troops and command are finding out the cost of being kicked back, in body bag count and the like, by those who would rather fight to the end by hit and run, rather than be bullied for another hundred years.

But take a little pitty on those Russian troops, their bullying command structure has found you can not bully an opponent who hits and runs.

As I’ve mentioned before one of the things a sniper gets taught is the power of “long gun feaver” where the enemy gets no rest has no safety and fears the thought of the cross hairs on them. One sniper and their spotter can tie down whole regiments. That shot that comes without warning at any time preys on the mind, it churns the guts it makes troops frightened, they can not rest they can not repair they can not prepare they become ill and weak. There is the old saying about “the old and the bold”. The Russian command structure demands the officers be seen to be bold, so a sniper knows not to let them get older…

But part of having soldiers fight well is that they trust their commanders with their lives you will hear it refered to as “the covenant”. And in return the commanders must not use the soldiers as cheap coins. Soldiers have to know they can fall back when needed and be supported. They need to know they will be resupplied, and rested as best they can be with equipment repaired and available. An army marches on so much more than it’s stomach. Bulled conscripts however know their lives will be thrown away by a bullying command structure. The result is some will shoot a commander in the back and run, and once it starts there can only be three ways it can go, there will be a culling of the commanders, the commanders will have to oppress by brutality and killing, the troops desert to the enemy. Meanwhile the enemy soldiers fill the game bag, on head or two at a time.

Putin is out of stupidity and desperation forcing the commanders to throw the troops lives down in costly grandstanding. He will no doubt insist on “mutiny shootings” to “enforce discipline” history shows that none of this generally works.

I suspect more Russian troops will desert where they can for a ticket into Europe and to be able to live a life less oppressed. Those that can not desert as they have family behind in Russia will turn to killing commanders and some will becoming “outlaws” or other criminals. So the next line of “Petit Putins” small minds behind large fists, hell bent on self entitled gratification and enrichment, with unless they are eradicated little fiefdoms of serfs they think are Empires, and so the wheel turns and the rut deepens.

SpaceLifeForm May 2, 2022 3:57 PM

@ Winter, JonKnowsNothing, Clive

Still looking for alternate sources to the report that Putin has cancer. Would not surprise me as he probably is short on Vitamin-D, fresh air, and exercise. I doubt he has walked outside in some time.

lurker May 2, 2022 4:58 PM

@Ted, re Zeihan global-macro talk

He tries to surround his his topic, but I feel there are gaps in his analysis. His prognosis isn’t as precise as Kurzweil’s singularity, but the chronology is similar. His dismissal of China overlooks the pseudo-stability of Confucian ethics

For another perspective hear also this viroligist at about 5’30”

SpaceLifeForm May 2, 2022 5:02 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Supply Chains and Fancy Shackles

See comic


[429 retry]

Clive Robinson May 2, 2022 6:46 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Supply Chains and Fancy Shackles

What made me sad was the “our oils domestic” etc…

You can not “drink” mineral oils, and you can not “eat” electronic toys and gizmos.

People need to realy consider two things,

1, Where does our food and water come from?
2, Who else might compeate or control your food and water supply?

Whilst energy is important mostly you care about,

1, Three days to be just about dead without a drink.
2, Three weeks to be just about dead without food.

The Mormons and some other religions belive you should keep a year’s supply of food and water in your home not just sufficient for your family but often your neighbours as well…

I’ve been through the quantaties on this blog before, and it will shock many if they have to do it themselves.

My parents faught in WWII the 1920’s and 1930’s were not at all good times for various reasons and food was quite often a scarcity.

They learnt from their parents how to keep a pantry and a root-veg / fruit store as well as how to preserve meat etc, all without the aid of energy for fridges and freezers.

I learnt some of my knowledge from them and more by experimentation and a couple of times from necessity as I was unemployed due to employers going pear-shaped etc.

I know how to survive without electricity or gas and how to obtain and store food without money.

Most I know would not survive a month in 1920’s / 30’s common poverty conditions.

But hey as long as they have “cell service” and “the internet” they don’t need “nufing else”…

Most people I know can not light a fire with just one match. Let alone make a fire that burns sufficiently efficiently that they can actually gather enough fuel they will need to cook…

Try talking to people about using a mixture of “rocket stove” heating and “Hay box cooking” and similar and they have not a clue.

As for “thermal mass heat storage” they mostly don’t know what the words mean in real terms (though some do understand that “storage heaters” are full of bricks, but not why).

As for “gasification” to run an electricity generator as petrol is nolonger available…

These might not be “wild-side” “survival skills” but then most people would be dead in well less than six months if they tried to live in the wild… You just can not do it you have to “farm or die” as you need 3000cal a day if you labour and there needs to be between 8-12 able bodied labouring adults in a group to make it work. 3000sq ft is about the amount of land you need to grow basic food crops for a year for a four person family with one to two hours often back breaking labour a day. But it will only work if you can get the water… A gallon a day per person to drink/wash and twice as much again for growing food so atleast 13 qubic meters of rain water storage preferably twice that so a 3x3x3 meter storage tank which is an 11ft by 11ft room size and an average rain fall of 1.4mm every day on a 20ft/30ft roof (oh sorry no flushing toilets, baths or washing machines included…).

lurker May 2, 2022 7:28 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, re supply chains

A simple cartoon cannot show that even before the war China’s ruthless lockdowns had created global shortages with ships and containers parked up in Chinese ports. Commentator Zeihan linked by @Ted above, believes China has become so globalised it will be the first to fall.

JonKnowsNothing May 2, 2022 7:41 PM


re: Battle ready

Very very few armies are ever battle ready. Some do endless drills and a few focus on a tiny group of troops for “elite training”.

Battle ready is really not that important in warfare. Like HIP-RIP, deaths are expected and the troops are expected to die on command. They don’t need to think, analyze, question or engage any brain cells other than the ones that pull the triggers based on whatever training they have had. (1)

Yes, there are conventions about “lawful warfare” and “unlawful warfare”. There is a timing problem and troops rarely get that option.


re: deserting

Deserting has a very bad outcome. Anyone considering desertion really needs to think how they want to die (Barrier troops). Those in WW1 trenches often had to decide who was going to kill them: their own UK officers or the Hun. Finding a way out without dying became Catch 22.

In the USA, there are still many raw feelings over those that got drafted and spent their 14+ months in the jungles, and those that Drifted North for asylum (no longer permitted) and those that were able to buy off their deployment (ala USA Civil War conscription; wealthy US oligarchs).

Deserting has a life long penalty and that penalty spreads over the entire family and is indelible.


1) A recent MSM picture of a soldier, located somewhere in a warm climate, riding a horse at full gallop with 1 hand on the reins and the other holding a AK-style weapon. He wasn’t Trooping the Colour.

I was impressed he hadn’t already shot himself the way he was pelting along. Clearly an recipient of the “stick em with the pointy end” training method.

lurker May 2, 2022 7:57 PM

@Clive Robinson

3000sq ft is about the amount of land you need to grow basic food crops for a year for a four person family …

I had always believed the area required was one acre, which is about fifteen times greater. Modern references seem to average out at about 1.8 acres given Nth American climate and soils. About equal areas will be needed to grow food crops, and fuel crops.

MarkH May 2, 2022 8:05 PM


Is “battle-ready” a term of military art?

For what it’s worth, in the past day or so UK military intelligence estimated that about 1/4 of Russia’s units in the line of battle are not “combat effective.”

Every soldier is capable of dying on the battlefield, and some fraction are even willing.

However, a soldier’s death is not per se of military advantage to his side. As George S Patton III is quoted, “No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.”

It takes more than “cannon fodder” to be effective at doing so.

I think Clive could confirm (from his lived experience) that there is a very large range of variation in readiness for battle among military units.

To comprehend the magnitude, those of us who work in software can consider the ratio of productivity between the top 10% of programmers we’ve seen, to that of the bottom 10%.

Nick Levinson May 2, 2022 10:08 PM


Why would scientists object to being published in journals that select what they publish? Selectivity is an additional bar that authors who get published there have met and, if you’re a reader who respects the journal, you will have additional reason to respect the authors’ contribution. If they fail at that bar, they can turn elsewhere, including anything from offering to another selective journal to posting on a website that accepts user-generated content (UGC) without charge. It used to be that a scholar in, say, physics who believed he had discovered a principle would tell a colleague who then would verify to the world that the first scholar had the answer. That was peer review but not anonymous and was more likely to be influenced by career interests, personal relationships, and so on than when anonymous. With anonymous peer review, the peers would like to know that the editor sending them a paper believes it is a good paper worthy of consideration for publication, subject to the peer’s recommendations, and therefore the peers would like selectivity. Stephen Hawking had on his website a request that people please not send him their new discoveries even if right, and he was himself a peer. Nature and Science are, I think, the top two peer-reviewed journals in the world and are selective; it would be unlikely that they would maintain that leadership if they stopped being selective; they would be flooded with papers and if they only used postmark dates or the like or random selection to decide what to publish, overall quality would go down and readership with it. And then some other journals would take the mantle by being, among other things, selective.

Whether editors are volunteers may not matter to quality. They may be highly qualified and unwilling to risk their reputations by being shoddy just because they don’t get paid to edit. It depends partly on who it is and who the publisher is.

Funding may be partly public, but single-source funding may not be good. Libraries and scholars paying to subscribe may indicate that the journals in which government grantees publish are good and that could vindicate a decision to make a grant, thus encouraging more grants and the taxes to pay for them.

Subscriptions are expensive because someone’s willing to pay. The University of California reportedly has balked and switched partly to open access for consumption. Whether that works or scholars are subscribing as individuals, perhaps getting lower rates, I don’t know.

How long it takes to produce one paper must vary a lot. I see some scholars’ scholarship publication lists are too lengthy to reflect only one paper every 6 months. It wouldn’t be full-time work, in that the same scholars may be teaching, writing other kinds of papers and books, and doing overlapping research (e.g., while plants for one investigation are growing, there may not be much to do, so that time may go to studying insects that dwell on plants, leading ultimately to two or more papers).

We may be going a bit afield from the scope of this squid blog. I still don’t disagree with a publisher having a paywall in most cases. Someone else might cover the gist of the IEEE article. If I can’t afford to read an original, I may have to settle for a sketch of it, but the IEEE article was by two professors and someone, somehow, had to pay them. They paid about $50 for a processor and they or someone else paid a lot more for the facilities they used for their X ray work that couldn’t be satisfied with a standard medical X ray machine. So, even if there was a paywall that would have stopped me, I would have benefited from the work.

Ted May 2, 2022 10:24 PM

@lurker, All

Re: China analysis

Really enjoyed the RNZ podcast on Omicron. I was surprised to hear China may extend its zero-COVID policy minimally until October.

Another article mentioned that the CCP doesn’t want to deal with a severely compromised hospital system or turmoil in the run up to the Communist Party Congress. Xi Jinping is expected to announce his third term at this event.

I don’t know how this zero-COVID policy will impact supply chains. I agree with you, though, that Zeihan’s dismissive stance of China seemed to be missing a lot.

There was a Lawfare podcast: What the War in Ukraine Means for China’s Global Strategy that seemed a little more informed. It sounds like China would rather be building global partnerships right now, than assuming a cold war mentality.

MarkH May 2, 2022 10:56 PM


The majority of cancer pathologies occur before age 70 (which Putin will attain this October, if he survives). At least one in five men his age will have had cancer, so it’s not far-fetched.

However much you may disdain Western media, historically news sources in Russia have been far worse, rendering that country a word-class rumor mill.

It’s a long-running joke that Russia’s most trusted news source is «ОБС», being the initials for “one grandmother said.”

Reports of Putin health crises have been surfacing for many months. I don’t find them in (for example) NYT or WaPo, because those journals fact-check. If they could report that Vova was seriously ill, they would be extremely excited to do so … that they have not, tells me that they can’t confirm these rumors.

Apparently, nobody can.

MarkH May 2, 2022 11:02 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, 2:

Speculative, but perhaps plausible:

Lots of pundits think Putin wanted to announce some modest “victory” on 9 May (an enormously symbolic holiday there) so he wouldn’t have to admit defeat for his “special operation.”

If he disappears from public view for a while (until well after Victory Day) for some medical treatment, the failure to attain victory might be dismissed as the sad consequence of not having The Great Man at the helm, during a critical period.

Purely personally, in the photos I see he seems to have deteriorated pretty rapidly.

MarkH May 2, 2022 11:06 PM


I caught that too, and guessed it to be a typo for 30,000 square feet.

According to my ecology textbook, in temperate zones primary production (i.e., plant growth) is nearly proportional to annual rainfall, so results will vary!

Of course, soil quality is a crucial independent variable.

Winter May 3, 2022 12:38 AM

@MarkH, JonKnows

Battle ready

Age caused a brain glitch. I was looking for “combat effective”, but my mindvs English dictionary refused to serve it up.

Winter May 3, 2022 1:01 AM

@Nick Levinson

Why would scientists object to being published in journals that select what they publish?

They don’t, as long as the selection procedure is on quality, not subject. When an editor pushes pet theories or sensationalism, they object.

Whether editors are volunteers may not matter to quality.

It matters. Who pays the piper calls the tune. A volunteer editor needs to keep his image and standing with his colleagues. Being shoddy gets known and makes people less likely to ask you for collaborations, other jobs, and makes it less likely that you get cited.

I see some scholars’ scholarship publication lists are too lengthy to reflect only one paper every 6 months.

There are still fields where single author papers are a thing. And these authors probably will not do two papers a year. In most STEM fields, the lists of authors at the top of a paper starts at half a dozen. In Big Science, a 100-odd authors are not uncommon.

One of the most prolific authors was the mathematician Paul Erdős. He published more than 1500 papers during his life. He spend all his waking hours to mathematics. He was also a prolific collaborator.

Clive Robinson May 3, 2022 3:51 AM

@ Lurker, Winter,

I had always believed the area required was one acre, which is about fifteen times greater.

The “acre” was once a measure of “labour” as it was how much land a person could plough in a day.

The equation for “food” is quite complicated, for instance you get about 4 times more calories from a potato crop than you do a wheat crop, but wheat is now where near as nutritional compleate (look up wholefoods).

However wheat also gives animal bedding/feed which potatoes certainly do not as the greenery of potatoes is mostly poisonous. You need to keep some animals for dairy products for fats and calcium which are extrodinarily difficult to get in a vegtable only diet. Whilst you can feed animals potatoes over winter they do better with “whirzles” and other beets.

Also sugar which is an essential food preservative is difficult bordering on impossible to get from wheat or potatoes, but is possible to get from some beets.

Also wheat straw is an essential basic building material for medieval style house and outbuilding construction. Think of it like modern day “chop strand fiber glass” for reinforcing plastic resin to make GRP.

Straw is also extreamly important in things like “Hügelkultur” and the “Ruth Stout” methods of reduced labour gardening as well as for holding water and air in the soil, keeping weeds down and also adding bio-mass (but you do need to know what you are doing as it varirs by soil type and as your soil changes).

But you can not grow the same crop year after year in the same place. That is, you have to “rotate by thirds” that is divide your land into a minimum of three and plant three different complementary crop types and rotate them through.

Whilst you can survive on eating just about only potatoes you can not grow them in the same place year after year, and you need to use atleast six different varieties if you want to avoid the likes of blight.

The reason for the Irish potato famin was three fold,

1, Land owners needed 1/4 the land per tenant labours family for potato growing than grain growing. Thus got more land for profit crops.

2, This reduction in land caused a mono-crop issue that led to weak plants that could not fight a blight.

3, The land owners blaimed the tenant farmers for “indolence” and just let them starve though other food sources were plentiful, they were profit crops.

The lesson is gardening / farming for food without industrial production of “soil improvers” is a lot more complicated and easy to get wrong than most gardeners with their bags of compost and organic fish/blood/bone meal fertilizers realise.

Speaking of fish, you should also have a carp pond, and feed them with “cow or horse muck”. There is a very sound reason why you should eat fish once a week as a minimum.

John May 3, 2022 5:34 AM


If you find a happy farmer, visit their farm and observe no use of chemicals or external inputs, you have a good chance of learning what really works.

Much of the very old literature is MUCH better written and MUCH more informative as to what really works.

Check out alley cropping, food forests for some thought provoking information.

Most of the recent written stuff is vacuous and very costly !!


Winter May 3, 2022 5:42 AM


The reason for the Irish potato famin was three fold,

Actually, the immediate reason for the famine was the same as for the Bengal famine of 1770, ie, profit maximization. However, the reason the famine was not stopped was pure genocide. Killing and driving off the Irish in Ireland was a political goal. I would answer the of the following question with “Yes”.

Famine movie on its way but was it genocide by the British?

As Coogan painstakingly recounts, every possible effort by local organizations to feed the starving was thwarted and frustrated by a British government intent on teaching the Irish a lesson and forcing market forces on them.

Charles Trevelyan, the key figure in the British government, had foreshadowed the deadly policy in a letter to the “Morning Post” after a trip to Ireland, where he heartily agreed with the sentiment that there were at least a million or two people too many in the benighted land and that the eight million could not possibly survive there.

Clive Robinson May 3, 2022 6:08 AM

@ lurker, MarkH,

Re : Acre origin and yields.

There is a US programe called “American’s Heartlands” which has apparently been a weekly show for some time now.

It has an “ask a farmer” question and answer feature.

Well some one asked about an acre and what it yeilds, and this is part of the answer,

What it does not tell you is two things,

Firstly oxen are not at all good at ploughing, they need frequent resting and “turning the team” is a very slow process. You might have heard of a “furlong” measurment which is 1/8th of a mile or 220yards or for those in the rest of the world ~200.64m. Well that was about how far the oxen could go so it’s one “furrow long”, which is for other reasons “ten chains” of 22yards or ~20.1m. So with resting and turning you would do maybe 80 10inch furrows a day in plowing season in the South of the England.

The second important thing to note is an acre is not actually a “surface measure” but a projected or map measure. Therefore if you have a south facing valley your growing surface area can be upto 20% bigger, oh and due to light angles the energy input can be 30-50% bigger with a commensurate longer growing season so can give double the crop yield…

The Hügelkultur” method is a form of “raised bed” growing which increases crop yield in two ways firstly the increased surface area but also the oportunity to grow more seasonal crops with a shade prefering slow crop or two on the north and two or three direct light fast crops on the south. But also as with the “Ruth Stout” method you get thermal insulation and water retention thus extending the productive season also and yield. Also weeds get held down and worms and similar are way more numerous but pests are not, as well as upping the bio-mass content year on year.

My father used to trench and improve. He would lift the soil in a trench down to the clay level and put in whole newspapers laid flat that had been soaked in water for a day or two. On top of this would go a couple of inches of “stable manure” and a couple of inches of compost or hay/straw and then the soil would be put back. This would be well watered and covered with a thick layer of “mulch” often straw or hay (sifted out from the “stable manure”). This was then used to grow spring crops, then water dense crops like marrows, cucumbers, tomatoes and similar as the “first rotation year crops”. Over the years the crop yields more than trebbled as the soil improved. Most do not realise that 60-90% of plants are leaves, stalks and roots that are not used as food. This “waste” gives you “compost”. I won’t go into animal and human waste as that induces a Yuck or even gag reflex in most people, but it’s highly valuable, as some nutrients like phosphates just can not be obtained except with such a “short closed cycle” system… It kind of brings new meaning to “You are what you eat” with “you eat what you were” added 😉 Obviously there are health issues which is why you have to “hot compost”, and the excess heat can be used to heat a home very effectively, as well as “cold frames” to start crops early or grow the likes of tropical fruits.

The “engineering” behind such efficient and low labour gardening is a fasinating subject. Sadly it’s frequently very dificult to find.

Clive Robinson May 3, 2022 6:55 AM

@ Winter,

… the immediate reason for the famine was … profit maximization.

I covered that in my three points.


However, the reason the famine was not stopped was pure genocide. Killing and driving off the Irish in Ireland

However it was not “the British” and it was not realy “market forces” or the “Irish” don’t fall for the “what we teach to children” text book cleaning up of the past.

Actually it was the “English” land owning “Lords” and other Members of Parliment living lives of luxury, off of others, who also had some very serious “religious” views about “Catholics”[2] and how they should be wiped from the face of the earth. Catholics were the under dogs the Protestents the guard labour and above. Have a look at what Oliver Cromwell and his forces got upto in Ireland, that realy was “Rape, Pillage, Plunder and enslavement”[1]. Oh and the history behind “One Man One Vote” and similar anti-catholic policies passed into law by the English Parliment.

Those self entitled Lords etc tried to do and very nearly succeeded with the Scots. The anti-Catholic bias is still very much in evidence today not just in legislation, but political, ethical and moral attitudes in English society. One of the things that annoys me is the “divertionary tactics” current politicians are using via “anti-Semitic” claim overplay. That is whilst anti-Semitic behaviour is clearly present, anti-Catholic behavior is way greater and way more engrained in not just the English but now “British Protestants”. But by making lots of noise about anti-Semitic behaviours anti-Catholic behavioirs can be tucked out of sight. If you look at the Brexit arguments the exit arguments were designed to play to anti-Catholic sentiment with a helpful fig leaf of “anti-Muslim” terrorism being pushed. In essence refugees being pushed into “Protestant countries” via “Catholic countries”… (actually refugees move to prosperous industrial “North” through way less prosperous “agrarian south”. A south the north has to keep under very firm control as the north can nolonger feed it’s self…).

[1] What people tend to forget is that “slaves” in the traditional sense are quite expensive as a work force. You have to feed them, stable them, train them, and also “guard them”. So it is more economical to have “land tied serfs” and later tenant farmers, a subject I’ll let you look at, at your leisure.

[2] As many here are probably aware I’ve very litle time for “Churches” as they are historically a political tool to control and kill people and “hold them in their place”. As for $DEITY well that is just a compleate nonsense used as an excuse for control and an excuse for any behaviours the self entitled had… The pious “I’m $DEITIES humble servent” behaviour is a total crock of scat so the “By $DEITIES command” excuse can be pushed and if called then you are “A heretic in $DEITIES sight” so your death at their hand will be righteous not a sin… And loads more scat shoveled on top of that.

JonKnowsNothing May 3, 2022 8:13 AM

@John, @Clive, @Winter, @All

re: Old School Farming

There are a lot of better ways of farming and ranching using Old School Methods but keep in mind Old School isn’t easier or less physically demanding. It’s something that people can miss when looking at pictures of the “old time farms”.

Weekend farming, or working a garden plot isn’t quite the same as 24x7x365 sole income farming.

RL disclosure:
While millions of people grow potatoes as their staple diet and technically for small plot farming, all you need to do is put some compost in an old trash bin, and punch a few holes in the bottom sides for drainage and toss in a few “organic taters from the market”, water a bit to have a nice crop… I would long ago have starved if I had to live off the number of potato from my tater-bins.

It gives a good reality-check on what it was like during the potato famines and also how many potatoes you have to grow to live 365*N Years until the next harvest.

Clive Robinson May 3, 2022 9:31 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, lurker, MarkH, Winter,

also how many potatoes you have to grow to live 365*N Years until the next harvest.

Irish labourers used to need between 10-14lbs of raw potatoes a day to survive.

A desk bound person probably needs 6-8lbs of raw potatoes.

You have to cook them quite a bit to get as much of the energy into your system as you can. Which means you can loose quite a bit to the water… So in Eastern European nations they tend to cook them with other foods to make soups, stews and similar.

So slow cooking of 6-10lbs of potatoes with a little fried off meat or beans in 6-8pints of stock on a low heat, then add a lot of leaf vegtables say 4-6lbs of cabage towards the end of cooking would make a hot evening meal for a family. Removing the excess potatoes and cabage to “dry” over night that can be chopped and minced together in the morning pressed into paties and fried off as “bubble and squeak” with an egg for breakfast. The now thickened broth can have dried peas, or lentals added or even barely to make a thickened soup for lunch. Any left over liquid added to the starting for the next evening stew…

It sounds dull but much of the world lives in a similar way or less with just an evening meal. All that realy changes on a day to day basis is the herbs and spices.

Winter May 3, 2022 10:31 AM

@Clive, JonKnowsNothing

Irish labourers used to need between 10-14lbs of raw potatoes a day to survive.

Don’t forget to keep enough seed potatoes to put back into the ground for next year’s crop.

Not sure how many seed potatoes have to be prepared to get the same harvest.

Ted May 3, 2022 10:37 AM

@Clive, JonKnowsNothing, Winter, lurker, John, All

JKN: Weekend farming, or working a garden plot isn’t quite the same as 24x7x365 sole income farming.

Perhaps not. However, I am already anticipating that I could run out of space for growing things. At least indoors 😉

Buying mature plants is a little pricey, so I’m hoping working with the seeds and cuttings will save me some cash.

Last xmas I received an AeroGarden as a gift. It’s basically like a small hydroponic unit for starting seeds. I’m already seeing some tiny green leaves of thyme, mint, basil, and parsley!

I had also received some seed pods for lettuce and tomato plants, but I think I need to think that through a little more. There are also ‘grow anything’ pods. So after the herbs reach their glorious maturity, I might transfer them and experiment with a few other types of seeds.

Of course, I’ve got a few seeds in regular soil, and a few cuttings I’m seeing if I can get to propagate in water.

My grandpa grew tomato plants galore – either that or the plants put out a lot of fruit. They had one deep freeze that was brimming with tomatoes. Wish I liked tomatoes as much as chocolate, but oh well.

I don’t know if I feel guilty for relying on some of these more recent technological advancements – like the hydroponic unit or using pre-mixed soil instead of compost. But starting somewhere is better than not starting at all!

Winter May 3, 2022 10:50 AM

@Clive, JonKnowsNothing, Ted, lurker, John, All

Perhaps not. However, I am already anticipating that I could run out of space for growing things.

Note that high yield means high on manure. Growing your own crop is also not necessary cheaper than buying it.

fib May 3, 2022 12:32 PM


Regarding the tornado footage.

It is amazing. I don’t remember having seen one with the base of the funnel so disorganized yet so powerful. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

fib May 3, 2022 12:55 PM

From an article on The Atlantic[1], mirroring quite faithfully @Clive’s comments on the Russian army:

Russian military life is a miserable existence, overseen by brutal and uncaring officers, and characterized by bullying of young soldiers, low pay, and poor living conditions. For decades, draft dodging was rampant, and understandably so. Reforms over the past decade, including shorter terms of service, cracking down on traditions of hazing and bullying, and allowing a bit more freedom for conscripts, have been successful in mitigating these problems.


John May 3, 2022 3:11 PM


I just visited a farm where the soil is good enough to be growing rows and rows of healthy crops with no added fertilization. So it can be done!!

First such farm of many I have visited. Amazing.

If you are into measuring Brix, their produce is way up there also.


lurker May 3, 2022 3:56 PM

@Clive Robinson

The “acre” was once a measure of “labour” as it was how much land a person could plough in a day.

One “mu” (~700 sq.metres) was a measure of how much land a man could hoe in a day. The mu is still the basic unit of land measurement in China. Numerous separate one mu plots, several per family, can still be seen around villages in rural China.

You need to keep some animals for dairy products for fats and calcium which are extrodinarily difficult to get in a vegtable only diet.

Pigs and chickens are the most efficient at converting inedible-to-humans vegetable material into meat and fat. They can also forage for invertebrates. Sufficient calcium can be obtained from tofu, pulses, and dark green leafy vegetables (but not spinach). Vitamin D comes from living in a climate with sufficient sunshine. (Why do people choose to live in places like Moscow or Glasgow?)

SpaceLifeForm May 3, 2022 4:14 PM

@ fib

What is amazing about that tornado video is the clarity. Many times, or most of time, the videos are obscured by rain and/or darkness.

That video is so clear, that it definitely will be put into a computer model.

Note that this was caught just as it started. It was just reaching the point of touch down which is really when it becomes noticable at ground level. The rotation and uplift always start high.

What is visible higher up is water vapor condensing due to pressure drop. Zoom in to up and right on the second section of video, and you will see the partial spirals forming just as the ground debris starts. When it is visible at ground level, what is visible is debris at the start. If the pressure drop is large enough, the water vapor condensation will drop to ground level, but by then, it is such a mess you will not be able to see any details.

It was on the ground for 21 minutes and covered 12.75 miles. There are later pics that would look typical.

This video will be heavily studied for years because of catching the start, and the clarity.

F3, Andover, Kansas, 2922

You can find the video I originally linked to elsewhere now.

vas pup May 3, 2022 5:47 PM

@Winter • May 2, 2022 12:28 AM
I agree with your point on history events.
I want same standards applied for evaluation of actions of all historical actors regardless are they just SOB or our SOB. Same apply for moral right to blame others for the similar actions committed by own historical actors. Bad precedent from powerful actors sooner or later would be copycatted by less powerful ones.
In a joking way, madam of the brothel could not profess virginity. 🙂

vas pup May 3, 2022 5:58 PM

“Finally, De keersmaeker and colleagues (2020) showed the power of the
==>illusory truth effect, the tendency for people to believe info is true if they have heard it before. It doesn’t matter if it is actually true—just hearing it over and over makes it feel true. The illusory truth effect cuts across individual differences in cognitive ability and style. It’s a robust evolutionary short-cut that makes fake news and alternative facts so powerful.

In a caveman world governed mainly by physical reality and predictable animal behavior, illusory truth is a great approximation because repetition is reliable. However, in our world, where social reality reigns, the illusory truth effect is a ==>fearsome brain hack.”


What surprise me this phenomenon was researched in 2020, but Joseph Goebbels actually utilized it in 1933-1945 for brainwashing Germans on a mass scale.

SpaceLifeForm May 3, 2022 6:28 PM

@ John, Clive, ALL

Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium do not grow on trees.

I just visited a farm where the soil is good enough to be growing rows and rows of healthy crops with no added fertilization. So it can be done!!

Not sustainable.

As the produce is shipped, besides the Nitrogen, you are shipping the other 4 away.

You can maintain the Nitrogen level via Alfalfa.

You must rotate crops and recycle.

You must re-incorporate animal waste.

As Clive alluded to, most people do not get it.

I wish all kids had to spend their summers actually working a farm, slopping pigs, milking cows, fixing fence, collecting eggs from henhouse, learning to drive a tractor, bailing hay, milling wheat, etc.

Life does not grow on trees, it takes work. Some can go to the grocery store, because they have money. But, ultimately, it is all the result of others work. Hard work.

Hard work due to exploitation.

lurker May 3, 2022 8:19 PM

@DpaceLifeForm, “As the produce is shipped…”

No, we’re discussing sustainability, not truck farming. All outputs remain on the land. But even with use of clovers and legumes, and recycling wood ash and animal and human manure, the output per acre will be significantly less than industrial orchards and gardens.

It’s about understanding the complete production and disposal cycle.

MarkH May 3, 2022 9:53 PM

A tid-bit, which some of readers may find of interest:

I’ve seen several photos from Ukraine of the turrets of destroyed tanks, some distance from the chassis.

To my poorly educated understanding, the way this often happens is what the British (with classic understatement) call “brewing up” — an impinging warhead piercing the tank’s armor ignites the target machine’s own ammunition, which typically burns with ferocious power.

The tanks on both sides of the fighting seem to be antiquated Soviet T-72s.

The U.S. M1 Abrams stores the ammunition in a compartment at the rear of the turret, with (a) a rugged sliding door which opens and closes very quickly when the loader extracts a round, and (b) a blow-out hatch designed to open at pressure well below the limit of the sliding door.

In the T-72, the ammo is stored in a ring at the floor of the turret … I recently saw an article describing the results as “jack in the box”. Ouch

SpaceLifeForm May 3, 2022 10:58 PM

@ lurker, John, Clive, ALL

Perhaps I was not clear. When I said not sustainable, I was referring to the soil. If any thing is shipped off-site, chemicals are lost and must be replaced.

There is near-zero amount of totally self-sufficient working farms today.

BTW, what definition of ‘output per acre’ are you describing?

SpaceLifeForm May 4, 2022 12:19 AM


FYI, there is a new RCE for Chrome on win10. Probably any Chromium based browser. Not fixed at the moment.

But, hey, if you want to keep on keeping on, and not use FF, go for it.

Winter May 4, 2022 12:54 AM


From an article on The Atlantic[1]

That article links to a prescient 2015 article that explains the delusions of Putin and the Kremlin as a whole:


This is not a new problem for the Kremlin. Many years ago, a former KGB official said to me that he’d been assured by Soviet military leaders that if the USSR had wanted to attack during the Cold War, Warsaw Pact forces could have cut through West Germany in a week. I agreed. “You could have gotten in,” I said. “How were you planning on getting out?” An uneasy silence followed: my interlocutor’s clear assumption was that by Day Seven, NATO would have surrendered already, and there was no real need to think about Day Eight.

Putin’s bluster and the Russian military’s continued probes and feints into NATO territory are all predicated on the Soviet-era belief that NATO is essentially a charade, a phony alliance made of spun glass: pretty to look at, but so delicate it will shatter at even the smallest blow. Should Putin attack, it will not be to defend the “rights of Russian-speakers” or some other fantasy, but rather from the delusion that one sharp military strike will smash NATO as a political entity once and for all.

This article again, links to a 2015 Russian language article (use Translate) that predicts quite well the current war in Ukraine and explains the ineptitude of the Russian army. Even the fact that Putin wil go to war against NATO in 1920-1925.–but_putin_may_try.html


The question is, will the Kremlin learn from the Ukrainian mishaps? I seriously doubt they will ever learn. Psychopaths do not learn from failure. That is a central part of the pathology.

ResearcherZero May 4, 2022 1:48 AM

Australian government has confirmed it’s intention for ‘anti-troll’ bill

“making it easier to sue means those who have abused the legal process in the past to silence critics or financially harm people who have offended them means there will be much more of the same in the future. Meanwhile, online abuse and harassment will continue to be a problem without solutions most residents can actually access.”

“These will be some of the strongest powers to tackle online trolls in the world,”

…experts say the legislation is political theatre because it won’t do anything to stop most forms of online bullying. Instead, it could undermine individuals’ privacy and fuel the current trend of government MPs suing their social media critics.

“I would not be surprised if we see more and more cases of politicians suing.”

“This proposed law is political theatre, designed to frame government ministers suing regular citizens as somehow morally justified as a ‘fight against trolls’,”

“Unlike all other Five Eyes countries, Australia has no fundamental human rights charter,”

The situation is classified as “very bad” in a record number of 28 countries in this year’s Index, while 12 countries, including Belarus (153rd) and Russia (155th), are on the Index’s red list (indicating “very bad” press freedom situations) on the map.

Within democratic societies, divisions are growing as a result of the spread of opinion media following the “Fox News model” and the spread of disinformation circuits that are amplified by the way social media functions.

At the international level, democracies are being weakened by the asymmetry between open societies and despotic regimes that control their media and online platforms while waging propaganda wars against democracies.

Clive Robinson May 4, 2022 3:05 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Life does not grow on trees, it takes work. Some can go to the grocery store, because they have money.

And there is the core of four centuries of geo-politics…

As those with good growing land in the south, in effect pushed the beginings of industry to the north where land was poor, so cheap. As we moved from agrerian to indistrial the reversal of fortune brought conflict and much worse (see europe where industrial north dictates to agrerian south and inflicts swaging and crippling economic policies on them, and uses that to take any industrial growth they have made away from them, it’s a repeate with more stealth of what happened nearly a hundred years ago and a hundred before that in America).

But I was chatting with a friend yesterday and the subject of biolgical and computer security models came up.

Oh around half a century ago we started trying to explain computer malware to other people via likening it to a biological model of “viruses”… But have you noticed how in fairly recent times we are starting to explain biological pathogens and the like in terms of computer failings…

The one that sprung to mind is the dangers of mono-cultures, not that easy to see in bio-systems due to their great diversity. But oh so simple to see in comp-systems where the diversity at all levels of the computing stack is very small to non existant these days… Primarily due to the “winner takes all” effect very low cost supply chains engender.

Thus we see a second example… In bio-systems distance is usually expensive thus pathogens had been self limiting, that is they ran out of hosts before they could spread to “pastures new”… Die to the tech industry pushing “the cost of distance” about as close to zero as it’s going to get, we had overnight glob spanning malware attacks… Within a year or two we had a globe spaning viral pandemic because the cost of distance is so small…

I remember hearing someone explain the viral pandemic spread in comp-system terms to some high school age kids…

There is a sociological lesson in there if anyone wants to research it…

Cassandra May 4, 2022 4:11 AM

@fib @Clive Robinson

Just to echo the thoughts. It is the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, where a professional army was up against a conscript army, which had had several months to prepare defences against an invasion force.

A fair amount has been written on the poor conditions experienced by conscripts in the Argentine army, especially compared to the officers. It most likely didn’t help. To quote one of the British forces: “if we’d been in those Argentine positions, with 3 months to prepare like they’d had, we’d still be there now and they would still have not got us out.”

(I’m not giving a link to the quote. It’s in a long thread on a somewhat specialist forum, often written in very blunt language. Clive could well be familiar with it.)

It is a little simplistic, but I think it would be fair to say that in any conflict between professional soldiers and conscripts, I would usually back the professional soldiers.


ResearcherZero May 4, 2022 4:25 AM

taxpayer-funded contracts, without a public tender, worth more than $1.1 billion

Health Minister Greg Hunt wrote and signed a glowing letter of commendation for a politically connected healthcare company while it was in the midst of negotiations with his department for lucrative multimillion-dollar PPE deals.

Former Health Department Secretary Stephen Duckett said he had never seen a letter like it.

“Here we have a minister in charge, or who’s a minister assisting in the area of the public service, writing a letter, which is highly dubious, undated, fulsome, to whom it may concern,” Mr Duckett said. 

He said the fact that Mr Hunt signed it while the government was in talks with Aspen Medical was remarkable.

“So it is extraordinarily unusual, and in fact, dangerous for a minister or in fact for a public servant, to actually have any contact, any engagement, and certainly to write a letter of this kind.” 

Canberra-based Aspen Medical would go on to win taxpayer-funded contracts, without a public tender, worth more than $1.1 billion. After combined losses of $7 million over 2018 and 2019, these deals have seen the company’s pre-tax profits soar to more than $420 million during the pandemic.

Although Aspen Medical had no prior experience in such large-scale procurement, its PPE deals with the Department of Health were worth $500 million more than any other government supplier, including those with a background in the industry.

Winter May 4, 2022 6:18 AM

Freedom is only for men:

Data Broker Is Selling Location Data of People Who Visit Abortion Clinics

A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards, according to sets of the data purchased by Motherboard.

JonKnowsNothing May 4, 2022 9:22 AM

@ MarkH

re: Tank armour piercing shells: tank turrets of destroyed tanks, some distance from the chassis.

That is what the armour piercing shells do. The body of the tank has angled re-enforced armour in different areas to deflect lighter weight munitions. An armour piercing shell, does what the descriptor says, punching thru the armour to the inside, exploding the interior ammunition and roasting the tank crew alive.

All tank corps know this and all fear it.

iirc(badly) A long time ago, there was an interview with an Israeli General(?) who had commanded their tank corp during one of the decisive battles with their neighbors. It was one of the last major tank to tank battles. (1) The battle was fought at high speed and rapid fire.

The idea is to hit the other tank and explode the ordinance and kill the crew, which disables the tank from further combat and also reduces the number of captured alive enemy combat troops.

His tank took a near direct hit. He survived because he was pulled from the burning wreckage. His description of the experience would dissuade anyone from wanting to the volunteer for any tank corps.


1) Most modern tank warfare is rarely tank to tank. Counter tank attacks are done by air-drone missile high accuracy targeting or by shoulder carried rocket launchers which can also take out aircraft and helicopters.

Clive Robinson May 4, 2022 9:42 AM

@ Cassie, Freezing_in_Brazil, ALL,

I think it would be fair to say that in any conflict between professional soldiers and conscripts, I would usually back the professional soldiers.

At the end of the day the morale of those fighting comes down to two things,

1, Belief in their own abilities.
2, Belief in what they are asked to do.

The first is based on training and commitment to what they see as a profession and those around them. The second is based on their trust in the chain of command and the rightness of what they are asked to do.

But also a trust in politicians and national leaders to not spend the soldiers lives without good reason and that the soldiers and their families will be looked after, should a soldier be disabled or die whilst under flag.

This forms the essential core of “the covenant”, without which you do not have soldiers, just bodies in the rag tag bags of a uniform, oft there because they have little or no other choice in life.

This is something few modern politicians appear to realise, which is why they get it wrong such a great deal of the time.

The US Military, is increasingly feeling “the covenant” is being broken by politicians who want to divert needed resources from the soldiers to political friends… They are probably not wrong, the same issue is happening in the UK, where recruiting is so low, it won’t be long before they press gang pensioners and their grand children…

In the UK in the past, soldiers were almost always trained to two ranks above their current rank sometimes more. Thus a private will within a year get taught how to lead a small body of other soldiers, then a squad and start on the basics of running a squadron. This way they know not only their own job and tasks but why they need to be done, and how they should be administered. Further and quite importantly they can step up a rank as and when required and do the job. It also enables those above them to see who should be promoted and in which direction and why.

Unfortunately in any collection of people there are “the sad, the bad and the mad”. It’s best to get rid of the sad fairly quickly for their own protection, there are several ways to do this open including a medical discharge. The bad are always a difficulty, what makes them bad can be very very usefull, being a successful criminal for instance requires a certain type of very usefull intelligence and skill set that is very valuable in modern style of often asymetrical warfare and combat, also putting a fox in charge of a hen house can have advantages. What is not needed is the mindlessly bad, of bullies, thugs, and effectively cowards, they need to be weeded out fast and discharged. But also bullies and the like tend to be on the edge of, if not upto their neck, in delusional madness. No sensible soldier want’s to be close to someone who want’s to be a hero, because you are signing your own death warrant.

By and large the military can absorbe most people and make them “millitary” however there is one group they never realy can make “millitary”. That is those who have not just usefull skills, lots of intelligence, and abilities way beyond the norm. But who will always be a wrong shaped peg for a military hole. They are generally very self reliant, but ignore much of “The military way” a wise officer quickly learns to ask not order, and to listen not dictate. Such soldiers are beyond what most consider “proffessional” they will pick up multiple trades they will organise efficiently and what needs to be done gets done quickly and usually better than anyone else can. But they don’t do spit and they don’t do polish or shine without reason. They don’t paint it or salute it unless there is good reason. They often “lead from behind” and as such the squad around them appears to “carry them” the reality is the squad knows darn well they make them shine, even the Officer Commanding(OC) will run interferance to look after them, even though he feels he should pull his hair out.

Wise senior commanders look for such people as they are rare and more valuable than diamonds. Which is why they get shuffled around into what sometimes gets called “the awkward squad” and often used to break junior officers into the roles of commanders. When the going gets difficult they are the people who get it done, without complaint and generally just on a nod and OK. Officers know to say “Is it possible…” or “Can you do…” and will not just listen but when asked back “What is it you are actually trying to do…” will answer chearfully and truthfully.

There is a saying about the “Special Services” about them being “the first in” even they know that’s not true, they know it’s the awkward squad getting what they need in place so they can then do their job and shine at it.

These are the people a modern army desperatly need, and a conscript army never gets the benifit of. Often they are not “regular soldiers” but “reserves” and they don’t play at being soldiers, they are there because they want to be there. Often they hold down civillian proffessional jobs at levels way beyond any army can train to.

Much like a sniper can hold an entire enemy regiment down, members of an awkward squad can lift their regiment up, not just where they need to be but well supported, often as comfortable as can be, but ready to do their job about as safely as can be. They are frequently multiskilled and can turn their had to most things with an apparent easy that others can only guess at.

What was clear from the Russian Military incursion into Belarus and the Ukrainian was they did not have “proffessionals” in fact mostly they did not even have “soldiers” they had the “sad” bullied and cowed in bad uniforms who could not look after themselves, their supplies or their equipment. A fuse blows and the truck gets dumped, a wire works loose likewise, any one of a thousand minor things brings things crashing down… Worse they had the bad and the mad suiting themselves, and the officers were mostly quite useless as they have no real command experience and no leadership skills, and were not in anyway respected or trusted. They don’t know how to lead, or inspire confidence, and those under them have no respect for them just fear… And fear, rots the guts, makes you ill, and for others destroys any morals they have…

Which is about what we have seen…

If Putin thinks they will bring him success then he’s not playing with a full deck…

The best he can do is keep throwing bodies on the fire hoping to quench the flames… Any “victory” he might try to claim will not even qualify as pyrrhic…

But then he’s burned his bridges, he can not go back, he’s committed to throwing his conscript army and indolent and arrogant officers onto the pyre… That the Ukranians and I suspect in the not to distant future the Belarusians will keep burning brightly as a war of savage attrition.

They are soldiers who not just believe in themselves, they believe in those commanding them, but as importantly they believe in what they are doing. As they know that to stop fighting will bring worse down around not just their heads but the heads of their families and loved ones, because Putin can now only persue genocide to maintain his lies.

Thus I wonder, will the Rus become united? I actually think it’s possible. But what do you call Russia without the Rus?

JonKnowsNothing May 4, 2022 9:58 AM

@Ted, @Clive, @Winter, @lurker, @John, @All

re:Growing in small spaces

There are some good advances in growing in smaller areas. Not all crops are suited for small spots or “container” gardening; you need to select the seeds that are specific for this; there are organic versions.

Container plants tend to be bushy plants rather than tall trailing ones. So they take up less vertical space too.

Some “dwarf” tree-plants may produce the same size fruit as normal ones but often are 1/3 the total height. You can get dwarf citrus and fruit trees and grow them in larger containers. I would recommend with good size wheels on the base so you can push them about (1).

For fruit trees you can get “multi grafted” trees were each branch has a different variety. These have to be the same sort of fruit: apples with apple grafts or “stone fruits” peaches and nectarines as the grafts.

Most of the above is for home gardening and not commercial farming as the mechanical harvesters are designed for the normal sized tree type.

Terracing interior growing is also possible and there are some interesting designs on the web that show how to set up a rack of plants with drip lines at the top and the drain lines running down to the next levels to max water usage.

A common problem is that home plants or interior plants are still subject to bugs, mildew, fungus and virus. If you are planning on using ultra pure growing techniques, research using no-dirt options like vermiculite and perlite. You will still have to add fertilizer to the plants but soil borne problems will only be from the transplanted root ball.

As others have mentioned, it is not necessarily cheaper to grow it your self and that’s one of the plus-minus of modern mechanical agriculture: cheap food stuffs. However it is a good hobby and you may find the food tastes a bit different due to the different varieties you can grow compared to the standard commercial varieties grown and developed to tolerate mechanical harvesting, found in grocery markets.


1) Versailles Orangerie

At the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, there is the citrus house. Citrus was nearly unknown outside of warmer climates and was imported. The French Kings built a huge green house, when glass started to be widely available although exorbitant in price. The trees were planted in huge boxes on rollers. When the sun is out, they open the doors and roll the trees outside. During the cold and snowy days, the trees stay inside their warm barn.

note: A post on land measurements got road rashed.

Winter May 4, 2022 10:28 AM

@JonKnowsNothing, MarkH

Tank armour piercing shells: tank turrets of destroyed tanks, some distance from the chassis.


The issue lies in the fact that Russian tanks carry their supply of up to 40 shells in their turrets, which means that even an indirect hit can cause the entire ammunition store to explode.

The issue is particularly prevalent in Russian-made T-72 and T-80 tanks because they have autoloading mechanisms that typically store about 20 rounds when fully loaded, Steven Zaloga, an expert on Russian and Soviet armor, told military publication Task & Purpose.

He added that the internal volume of Russian tanks is much smaller than Western ones.

That last point harks back to the auto-loader that reduced the crew size and allowed the turret to be lower. But it also removed the armour between the munition and the crew. (I read somewhere else).

fib May 4, 2022 10:49 AM


Thanks for sharing the interesting .ru link


Yes, I think you’re completely right as to the superiority of professional soldiers [an argument which @Clive expands on his comment].

JonKnowsNothing May 4, 2022 11:08 AM

@ Winter, @MarkH

re: Shell loading

The shells have to be carried in the tank somewhere. Shells have to be stockpiled for use and hitting an ammo-dump big or small, causes a lot of fireworks.

It maybe a faulty shell storage and loading design but a tank, in any format, is a moving oven.

The men roast alive inside. The ones killed outright are the lucky ones. The rest scream, until they cannot scream anymore.

Consider it a replacement method for being burned alive at the stake.


Search Terms

Dirk Willems (died 16 May 1569; also spelled Durk Willems) was a Dutch martyred Anabaptist who is most famous for escaping from prison but then turning back to rescue his pursuer—who had fallen through thin ice while chasing Willems, to then be recaptured, tortured and killed for his faith.

ordered that he be burned at the stake on 16 May 1569,

Willems was executed in Asperen, and with a strong eastward wind blowing that day, the fire was driven away from the condemned’s upper body, thus prolonging his torturous death. It was reported that the wind carried his screams all the way to nearby Leerdam,

Winter May 4, 2022 11:53 AM


The shells have to be carried in the tank somewhere. Shells have to be stockpiled for use and hitting an ammo-dump big or small, causes a lot of fireworks.

But other tanks put armour between the crew and the ammunition. That does seem to save lives. These Russian tanks did not, as an innovation, I understand.

Maybe, just maybe, the lives of the crews did not matter that much after the tank was not functional anymore?

But there were other tradeoffs that might not have worked as well as planned? Cutting down the number of crew members counts for something.

Winter May 4, 2022 11:57 AM


Dirk Willems (died 16 May 1569; also spelled Durk Willems) was a Dutch martyred Anabaptist who is most famous for escaping from prison but then turning back to rescue his pursuer

Now you know one reason why my countrymen shortly thereafter started a war of secession lasting 80 years against the Spanish rulers. Spain was the leading superpower then.

SpaceLifeForm May 4, 2022 3:16 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Stop the planes

due to the tech industry pushing “the cost of distance” about as close to zero as it’s going to get, we had overnight glob spanning malware attacks… Within a year or two we had a globe spaning viral pandemic because the cost of distance is so small…

Jumbo frames: Planes or ethernet? Either can deliver malware efficiently.

MarkH May 4, 2022 8:43 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Winter:

1) Because modern tanks may be compartmentalized to some extent, a round penetrating armor does not necessarily incinerate the crew.

2) If an armor piercing round does breach the turret, that will not (in my estimation) in itself likely toss the turret skyward — it’s the ignited ammunition that is prone to do so.

3) I’ve seen a video of a test of the M1 ammunition compartment: extreme fireworks from the rear of the turret, interior ok.

4) Russia’s newest — which they’ve been bragging about for years, but has never been publicly seen except in military parades — is the T-14 Armata. As far as I can discern, it doesn’t protect the crew from the ammunition either.

Russia seems to prefer auto-load mechanisms, by which they (a) achieve high rates of fire; (b) reduce the crew by one; and (c) store all of the ammo in a ring low in the turret.

Nick Levinson May 4, 2022 9:12 PM


The whole Internet can be shut down if enough parties with the electricity and other infrastructure so wish. The reason it seems they can’t really has to do with the will to do so, and that’s limited by parts of the Internet being desired when other parts are despised, and selectively shutting the Internet down then becomes more complicated, which is when many parties fail.

JonKnowsNothing May 4, 2022 10:46 PM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, @All

re: new 19 waves washing ashore

Even though many governments, including the USA, have reduced or ceased collecting and reporting data on the SARS-CoV-2 global outbreak, they did not inform the virus, which is quite happily mutating away.

The latest editions are BA.2, BA.2.12.1, BA4, BA5 a whole pile of Xns (where X indicates recombinant) all with very high transmission rates, some running 1:25.

A preprint study on “BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies elicited by Omicron Infection” contains a lot of interesting and concerning data points. It is a longish paper @46 pages with lots of details.

The executive summary is this:

The new mutations easily escape previous infection antibodies and also escape the antibodies produced by vaccinations.

This means: the antibodies you have from recovering from a bout of COVID-19 or from a booster shot won’t work that well.

This is one of several reasons that China is struggling to contain their BA2 outbreaks. Among a number of issues there, a low vaccination rate in the older segment of the population leading to increased excess deaths in that age group, and the escape immune mechanisms of these rapid mutations of virus causing massive sickness, and with a high rate of transmission (1:25) moving quickly through large sections of the population. Additionally, recovery from the virus is not producing reliable antibody protection, something upon which the HIP-RIP-LOVID policies are based.

China must have already been aware of some of these problems as they have ordered huge 400+ bed Nightingale style 4-day-build-on-demand setups in many cities.


Search Terms

ht tps://www.biorxiv. org/content/10.1101/2022.04.30.489997v1

ht tps://www.biorxiv. org/content/10.1101/2022.04.30.489997v1.full.pdf

(url lightly fractured)

lurker May 4, 2022 11:58 PM

@Nick Levinson

…selectively shutting the Internet down then becomes more complicated, which is when many parties fail.

The linked report is interesting for noting how many parties succeed, who, and how. Even my own NZ gets a passing mention for DPI.

Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 2:58 AM

@ lurker, Nick Levinson, ALL,

Re : Shutting the Internet down.

One problem could be called “the latch down effect” and it hits way more than the Internet.

Take “the power grid” it needs to be controled which means it is reliant on the communications grid.

Back in the old days of “hardwired POTS” lines you had a reliable pair or pair of pairs lengths of wire from your control center to your electrical switch gear. All you needed was a reliable source of +-48V to keep control going. So a bunch of well maintained lead acid truck or boat batteries did the job.

But the batteries required continuous expensive maintainance and the renting or maintaining of the hardline communications was likewise expensive.

So when the technology became more available, they switched from hardline communications to Radio Communications, with masts yagi arrays and lead acid batteries at both ends. But the radio licence fees were a lot lot less than the telcos had been charging for just one or two of the thousands of hardlines. There were other significant cost issues, but they got offset by the gains of having their fleets of vehicles controled by their own private radio network.

With out going through all the intermediate steps, the power grid is now dependent on a multi node switched IP based grid requiring connection to the power grid at thousands of places, and their now severly savaged maintainence fleet reliant on mobile network based internet…

When the power grid goes down very shortly there after both comms grids go down.

If either comms grid goes down then the power grid goes dowb shortly there after.

Which ever way it starts realy does not matter because when both power and comms grids are down they are not comming up again without the other…

They are “latched down” in a chicken and egg situation, which needs twenty to fifty generations of both to get it all back up again…

The engineers have been in effect flapping their wings over this, and managment have seen them as “headless chickins” running around crrating noise. With managment on both sides seeing the marketing nonsense of the other side as sufficient to make further “cost savings profit”

@lurker, I don’t know how old you are, so I don’t know if you remember the lunacy of the two big Aukland Power downs.

Jan 1998 was a big one it stayed doen untill Mar 98 and was still causing issues three months after that. The reason four aging high voltage cables that had been unreliable for years finally hit that 1 in 16 chance of all being at fault together… In fact it was a bit more complicated, in that just one cable went out and “throwing the load” in that very hot summer caused a cascade load… Amongst other remidies Ships in the harbour ended up supplying power. It was a mess to put it politely and the private company that had made profit for shareholders and directors by cutting maintainance got replaced… By more or less the same people.

Things got better slowly, and held together for over half a decade… Then a new run of major “poor managment” events that happened in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2018, 2020 that I’m aware of and no doubt a few more. The power of shareholder greed appears to know no limit.

Speaking of which there is of course California, with it’s rolling intentional black outs… Again because of very “poor managment” and burning other peoples property to the ground the power provider got sued into bankruptcy… So rather than fix things, every time it got a little windy, they turned the power off to people with little real warning…

I live in a country where blackouts are a thing of “shock and awe” they happen so infrequently. However due to major “new home construction” where I live we’ve had three major power outages that lasted over an hour, and five by my last count “load dump” black outs from a couple of seconds through to a minute.

I have double layer backup in place of battery UPS for one or two essential systems… Oh and one petrol and one gas generator…

But another “latchdown” set of incidents…

Some know they have to reset electric clocks adter a black out. But increasingly are seeing “the computer forgets” problem…

Just about all your home appliances run on microcontrolers these days. When they loose power they loose memory and state… Now if the backup battery is good, then it often restarts without issue, as the menory gets pulled back but not always. Other times that backup battery has died and you do not know about it or the state is lost.

One Chinese washing machine manufactures customers found out the hard way that a power cut during a wash could cause the inlet valves to remain “open” thus their homes got flooded… The same can happen with gas valves in boilers…

The design of “safe systems” is actually quite hard as it involves hundredsds of little potential state changes that inexperienced developers do not know about thus do not address correctly…

With the relentless “free market” grind to reduce cost, these problems get worse not better.

The only “apparent” solution is regulation and legislation… Only it’s not, the punishment is by “fines” which are easy to avoid. At worst a large company sets up small single project companies through cut out companies which funnel profit in and costs out. By the time the fines get imposed the single project company is not just bankrupt, it’s a “tax write-off” for the cut out company. The same for the main company if a cut out gets regulatory attention.

The only solution to that game is “pay forward” by having to pay fees before development startes into a central fund. A look at the US Health Care system and that of most other nations health insurance tells you just what a trap that can be. Then take a look at car or home insurance… The word “scam” is not far from peoples lips when they do.

Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 3:19 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Re : 19 waves,

What can we say…

Oh yes, we predicted this would happen…

Oh we also indirectly predicted that Big Phama would do nothing unless given another few billion emergancy funding for new vaccines etc…

And so it has come to pass, we have a very virulant series of strains running through populations faster than measles, but so far not as pathogenic if you’ve been previously infected or vaccinated.

The chances are that this comming winter in the northern hemisphere will be the start of another pandemic that could easily be avoided, and the odds are it will be of increased pathogenicity… If in fact it does not kick off in the southern hemisphere in the next month or so.

The hallmarks of Covid in history will be,

1, To little to late responses.
2, Bankruptcy of small nations.
3, Deaths by the millions
4, Much long term incapacitating.
5, New immuno compromise diseases
6, Shortening of life expectancy

But also,

7, Abdication of responsability.
8, Disaster profit mongering
9, Populations pushed into eternal rent paying.
10, Governments cutting pensions and other wealfare.
11, No changes to policies that created the pandemic.

All of which will lead almost as certainly as night follows day into another new pandemic…

One of the stronget indicators of capitalism is it’s a zero sum game, so there are loosers for each winner. The winners then buy the legislators to keep “their luck going” which means capatilists never learn from even their living history…

Winter May 5, 2022 3:28 AM

Earlier there was a discussion about the use of NATO (USA) intelligence by the Ukrainians.

More revelations about this link:
U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals, Officials Say

USA obviously denies giving information intended to kill generals. This probably is true, but was not what the NYT wrote. The fact remains that Ukraine receives intelligence from the USA that helps them taking out commanding officers.

Winter May 5, 2022 3:42 AM


And so it has come to pass, we have a very virulant series of strains running through populations faster than measles, but so far not as pathogenic if you’ve been previously infected or vaccinated.

Still slower than measles (R0=12). As everyone will get Om, comming winter, everybody will have passed through at least one episode. Maybe not in China, but they will get there eventually.

another pandemic that could easily be avoided,

Short of a mass vaccination with the richt vaccine (which does not yet exist), stopping all travel is the only option. And “stop the planes and trains”, ie, another lock down, is NOT easy at all.

One of the stronget indicators of capitalism is it’s a zero sum game, so there are loosers for each winner.

Whatever I have against free market fundamentalism, it is not a zero sum game.

Winter May 5, 2022 5:04 AM

@Clive, lurker, Nick Levinson, ALL,

Shutting the Internet down.

Not all that simple. If we exclude low bandwidth connections like RFC1149, internet has been transported over phone land lines, cell phone, cable&fiber, satelite, and drones&baloons. A country can shut it down if they control these all.

That costs a lot of money, and much more in opportunity cost. No internet means back to phones, radio and TV, like in North Korea where they lock even radio receivers and have “problems” with DVDs and USB drives. Clive’s illustration of the power grid is a good example of what awaits anyone attempting to shut down the internet.

The Russian invaders showed they could not kill the Ukraine cell network without crippling themselves. They still cannot shut down Telegram because their own supporters and minions need it.

It will take the Russians at least a few more months before they have their own internet iron curtain (imported from China, no doubt). And that is only achieved if they can keep their kleptocrats at bay.

Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 7:35 AM

@ Winter,

The fact remains that Ukraine receives intelligence from the USA that helps them taking out commanding officers.

What the Ukraine does with information received in the aprehension of dangerous War Criminals is up to the Ukranians provided it staus within an acceptable framework.

The fact is the US as required by international treaty are handing over information to stop genocide that is clearly in progress. Genocide is perhaps the most serious of War Crimes, as well as a crime against humanity.

These crimes are being committed by Russian forces that have illegaly ingressed into Ukraine territory, as a primary act of war, which is yet another War Crime.

Putin, his surounding cleaque, the generals and other commanders, even some of the base troops have commited War Crimes, against defencless civilians, and attempted to destroy the evidence. As such other Nations are required by not just treaties but UN membership to ensure that war criminals are where possible, stopped, detained and brought before an appropriate tribunal.

As those in the US are aware, resisting arrest by offering armed force, can be seen as “with deadly intent” thus met with unlimited force by lawful authorities.

The only lawfull authorities on Ukranian territory are those appointed by the Ukranian Government.

So aside from the Russians, every one else appears to be acting the way UN Membership, International Law, Treaties and National Legislation requires them to do.

But as noted before both Turkey and the Ukrainians have developed their own drones of apparantly quite a good degree of sophistication.

I’ve also pointed out that develiping small intelligence drones is now within hobbyest pocket money abilities

Anoyingly a post I made about the increasing capabilities of commercial satelites has “gone walk about” from a couple of weeks back.

I shall drag it off of online backup sites and repost it a little later today.

But the simple fact is the Ukranians are a way better class act than the Russians, something most apparrntly want to ignore for various reasons.

As I’ve said from before the Russian’s crossed the boarder,

“Putin has the troops to take the Ukraine but not to hold it”

The Russian troops failed to do even the minimum, because of their command structire it’s corruption and other incompetence.

It is the combination of the corruption and incompetence that is putting Russian Generals and other Senior Commanders out in the battlefield where they arr not just vulnerable, but due to their corruption with radio systems and the like, very easy pickings even for soldiers so under resourced as the Ukranians.

Every time a Russian general or other commander opens his gob near a radio, he is letting anyone within 60km know exactly where he is to even “hobby drones”. Even if he gets the orders relayed, it gives away the position of the command center…

So as it’s the usuall “unnamed suspects” do not be to sure of the accuracy of the reporting to the NYT, after all the US has a reputation for not just syealing other nations credit, but burning their methods and sources, for any minute political advantage…

I suspect the journalist has to a certain extent been hood-winked by political operators, looking to boost ratings for early November.

I fully expect to see more of what will probably cross the line into fake-news as some people yry to wrap themselves in the flag…

JonKnowsNothing May 5, 2022 8:06 AM

@Winter, @Clive, @All

re: … everyone will get Om, coming winter, everybody will have passed through at least one episode.

I’m going to step out on the limb and state quite firmly

“Everyone who ignores COVID-19 Mitigations will get COVID, every 2 months, year round, for the foreseeable future.”

  • COVID mitigations, masks, distance, vigilance: work. (social engineering)
  • NOT TRUSTING that it’s OK NOW because Boris Said So. Trust, as we know, is a difficult thing to achieve. If you believe Boris, you will get COVID. If you don’t believe Downing Street, you have a chance to avoid 1 or more bouts of COVID. (social engineering)
  • Current Vaccines are becoming less effective. WHO stated long ago The West Cannot Vaccinate Themselves Out of the Pandemic. (see mutations)
  • Treatments for COVID are on the decline. Only 1 monoclonal antibody remains effective at the moment, although the CDC and others will try to pull some rabbits out of the hat. All others, including the “famous Trump savior” were pulled a good while ago. Getting drugs like PAXLOVID (1) is difficult as the supply chain and costs are impeding distribution. (see mutations)
  • The duration of antibody protection from either vaccination (P or M) or from recovery is 6-8 weeks. After 8 weeks the titres are too low to be effective. Either you will have another round of COVID or you will be in queue for another booster. (see mutations, reinfection rates)
  • BA Sub-lineages and the X-recombinants all have important mutations that increase their transmission rates and have “deeply concerning mutations” that are similar to Wild Type D614G. (see mutations)
  • No one HAS to get COVID.
  • No one ever HAD to get COVID (after the initial outbreak).
  • People CHOSE to get COVID. Unless they live in a support facility where the Governments decide whether they get COVID or not.

If you are planning on getting COVID, be sure your information and estate is well setup before you do. (2)


1) In a conversation with a MD and requesting a standing supply Rx for PAXLOVID, the MD refused because he said it was “dangerous for older persons, and can cause kidney failure”. I was surprised because this was not a concern from standard reports.

I expect that it’s a supply issue and that people over N+years are not going to get this drug which will be held back for younger generations.

In another conversation with a MD about the supply side, they indicated it was nearly impossible to get and the MD had to contact many pharmacies before they found one that had it in stock.

2) In a recent discussion a person shared that a member of their family got COVID recently. They died in 5 days. The last days were spent using a tablet and the dying person typing out directions for important financial and estate information to their spouse.

People are still dying, they are still in hospital and BA2121 is rising exponentially in the USA. 25% last week.

Winter May 5, 2022 8:12 AM


What the Ukraine does with information received in the aprehension of dangerous War Criminals is up to the Ukranians provided it staus within an acceptable framework.

Everything within the Geneva Convention is OK. And if the Ukrainians kill foreign soldier on their soil carrying a weapon, then I will not fault them.

But I understand that the US insists it is NOT telling Ukraine how to kill Russian service men as that could be considered partaking in this war. As long as no US personnel is actively involved in fighting action on Ukrainian or Russian soil, they are not officially involved in the war, I assume.

What always strikes me is how deeply insulted Russians are when their victims fight back.

So aside from the Russians, every one else appears to be acting the way UN Membership, International Law, Treaties and National Legislation requires them to do.

When I hear “Kremlin” I always think of thief’s den in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”, or, even more appropriate, Tamerlane and his genocidal hordes of thieves.

So as it’s the usuall “unnamed suspects” do not be to sure of the accuracy of the reporting to the NYT, after all the US has a reputation for not just syealing other nations credit, but burning their methods and sources, for any minute political advantage…

I know that many TLAs are observing what is happening in Ukraine. Some with very good sources, eg, former Soviet and Warsaw pact members. I also know that most are very willing to give the credit to others.

If I were leading an intelligence service (best not to do so, I agree), I would crinche every time my bureau would be in the press, even with “unnamed sources”. However, if the CIA or NSA would volunteer to take the blame, I would be delighted.

I fully expect to see more of what will probably cross the line into fake-news as some people yry to wrap themselves in the flag…

In my hypothetical role leading a TLA, I can only stimulate them.

Winter May 5, 2022 9:57 AM


  “Everyone who ignores COVID-19 Mitigations will get COVID, every 2 months, year round, for the foreseeable future.”

That sounds overly pessimistic, if not alarmist.

I know no one who gets COVID every 2 months, even though I know people who do not do (m)any mitigations. Also, those who do get infected are much less sick than before. All restrictions have been lifted in the Netherlands, and hospitals are emptying of COVID patients.

SARS2 is here to stay, but this does not mean it will be pandemic on pandemic. More like flu season upon flu season.

Winter May 5, 2022 10:14 AM

The Fog of War: Every day a new angle

Vladimir Putin leading Russia to civil war and total collapse, FSB agent claims
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is aware of the inevitability of civil war in Russia and is playing along the lines of a possible split, according to an insider

Describing the upcoming conflict as a “Donbas meat grinder”, the FSB insider said that Kadyrov is “guaranteed to keep his forces intact”.

While the rest of Russian forces will be “heavily drained and exhausted” in any outcome of the battle.

He continued: “In general, Kadyrov cannot but realise that after the Donbas battle, he will retain the most powerful and combat-ready military force in the country.

Seeing is believing, but I am pretty sure people in the Kremlin will want to keep an eye on the Caucasus. Which might exactly be the aim of this article.

fib May 5, 2022 10:49 AM

@Clive, All

If in fact it does not kick off in the southern hemisphere in the next month or so.

I think you’re spot on, my friend. This morning there were two cases of the XQ variant in the news down here. Interestingly, this is the first cold day of the season. The stage is set.

A propos:


Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 12:15 PM

@ Freezing_in_Brazil, JonKnowsNothing,

Did you include the wrong link?

As it was from a couple of years back.

This very recent one,

Shows that in some parts of the UK, that during two years of Covid life expectency dropped by just under a decade (9.7 years) across a nation.

But in smaller almost local regions like some parts of East London[1] the male life expectency was only about 50years to start with so 1/5th of their life expectancy gone…

With a death at 40 years old unless you start younger than normal your children will be teenagers or younger…

[1] London as a region shows one of the biggest life expectancy differentials in the world with parts of East London down in the 50year range for the least fortunate members of society, and parts of West London up in the 85+ for the most fortunate members of society pre covid. A distance you can measure on a map from Hackney to Hampsted, a distance of just 10km or a good walk, had a drop of a day in life expectancy for every step of that walk from West to East…

vas pup May 5, 2022 4:14 PM

How drones are changing the way of war

“Optimized: Phoenix Ghost

Phoenix Ghost drones have similar capabilities but are not exactly the same as the Switchblade, Kirby said.

David Deptula, a retired lieutenant general who sits on the board of directors at Aevex Aerospace, was quoted by Politico as saying that Phoenix Ghost can fly for longer than Switchblade — up to six hours.

Deptula is reported to have said that Phoenix Ghost was a single-use drone that ==>launches vertically and that it can operate at night with infrared sensors. The drone was effective against “medium armored ground targets,” Politico quotes Deptula.”

Leon Theremin May 5, 2022 4:51 PM


“Security for you: Whether you want it or not, whether you like it or not, wether you survive it or not.”

Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 6:51 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

RE : FIDO barking mad over Bluetooth

That has to be the most “dumb ass maliciously evil idea” I’ve heard this year…

From the article,

“As the whitepaper explains, “Bluetooth requires physical proximity, which means that we now have a phishing-resistant way to leverage the user’s phone during authentication.”

First off Bluetooth does not require physical proximity… So the rest of the argument fails at that point.

Secondly, it’s also NOT the “users proximity” but the “devices proximity”… So that kills the argument as well.

Thirdly as we all realy should know by now, the users phone is NOT in any way secure, we do NOT even own our phones, they do… So it’s an unsupportable pretense to make such a ludicrous implication… So that kills the argument as well.

And that’s before we get into FIDO issues…

And importantly as you note the broadcasting of not just your ID, but your location and the fact you have just logged in…

Great for a covert team on a “Find Fix and Finish” mission…

Lets go bag us a few Generals…

To say the idea is moronic is assuming that the three organisations are just beeing duller than a dumper truck full of farmyard sweep up. The reality is, it is actually a carefully thought out extreamly malicious step by them, and should be faught against at all costs… Because it is being done by them with extream evil intent.

Clive Robinson May 5, 2022 7:30 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

RE : How drones are changing the way of war

You might have noticed I’ve been mentioning this very fact on this blog for several years now.

It’s not exactly difficult to do, and as I’ve repeatedly said,

1, Undergrad one term project.
2, Hobbyist pocket change cost.
3, Parts easily available.
4, Open Source software already there.

I actually design what are effectively “drone deployable” packages as part of prototyping for CubeSat satellite and similar payloads.

As for “munitions” people tend to think about things in the wrong way.

For instance if you look up the development of the atom bomb, one method they considered was the “gun bomb” where you fired the two sub-critical halves of the fission core at each other with sufficient velocity that they would become a supercritical mass.

The project got “hung up” in the design of the gun barrels, for quite some time as they could not come up with a light enough design. Then the penny dropped, they were not designing artillery gun barrels that had to fire thousands of shots, they were designing a disposable barrel that was onky going to be used once.

Once they realised the “one time use” they realised the barrel needed to be little more than a cheap metal tube of not very much weight.

Similar reasoning applies to all one use ordinance, hence the reason that the “suicide drones” exist. The fact they get blown to pieces when used is not for “security” but because it makes then light and extrodinarily inexpensive compared to a reusable system, or other one time use systems like missiles.

You could with a little shopping around build a simple basic system for as little as $200… A reusable system that “drops” the likes of handgrenades can be made for under $1000 using a “fusable link” release system made with easily available “fuse wire” as has been used for remotely detonated booby traps and similar in several conflict zones in recent times.

However all UAV systems have major down sides for those that don’t have experience designing them. That is they have some major Achilles heals. Once you know what they are designing around them is fairly easy.

Ted May 5, 2022 8:03 PM

Could the ‘Ted’ who said this, please choose a unique handle?

Submissions going to the moderator are basically /dev/null, right?

Thank you!

lurker May 5, 2022 8:11 PM

basically, yes. The reasons are mysterious but include “Discussion of this subject is now closed.”

lurker May 5, 2022 8:21 PM

No gambling here, friend. As the Om tail winds down the 7 day rolling average fatality rate hovers around 3 per million per day. Modest by some other measures, but of those 3, two are males aged over 65…

fib May 5, 2022 9:14 PM


Did you include the wrong link?

Yes, my bad, sorry. That link is from the First Normalization. It was lying there for two years! 🙂

Normalizations are becoming so normal…

Ted May 5, 2022 10:12 PM

@ Ted:

Could the ‘Ted’ who said this, please choose a unique handle?

So because there are thousands if not more people in the world with the name of “Ted” they should all change their names to accommodate you?

lurker May 5, 2022 11:34 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, All, re Fido Blue

The Ars article goes on (and on) about BlueTooth, so @Clive is rightfully concerned at the BT signal wafting over the ‘hood. But I scratched around on the Fido website, and found lots of pretty pictures with dotted arrows labelled “Challenge” or “Response”, with no indication of the phy layer. It took a while before I got to

During registration and authentication, the user presents the second factor by simply pressing a button on a USB device or tapping over NFC or BLE.[1]

So, not wide area coverage, but still accessible to the evil maid’s listening point. Would it work over USB-ADB? Existing Fido dongles are presumably OK. As for fingerprints, I’m a peasant and work in the soil. My fingerprints are often worn or damaged…

John May 6, 2022 12:46 AM


Just cleverly worded excuses for big and little brother trying to control the world.

Time to get back to useful work…. People helping their neighbors share a good life together. I help you, you help me.


SpaceLifeForm May 6, 2022 1:08 AM

@ PoodleTed

If you have anything to contribute, great.

But, if you keep trolling, you will be blocked. This is the last place you should be trying this immature crap.

You are not fooling anyone here.

SpaceLifeForm May 6, 2022 2:00 AM

@ Boris

When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Good article. Besides telling you how much dead weight management actually exists, said management will find out that WFH is actually more productive due to the lack of interruptions. The dead weight management has to justify their existence somehow, but most management could be fired and productivity would improve.

Play time reduces stress and improves productivity.

Let people do their job and don’t stress them out!

Nick Levinson May 6, 2022 2:25 AM

@Boris & @SpaceLifeForm:

The cost of technology, thus the cost of processes, dropping and competition among entities putting old ways an entity might use at risk of costing competitive advantage mean these kinds of monitoring will be worldwide, including most developed nations and some developing nations, and reach business, military, civilian government, nonprofits/NGOs, and so on, except for the smallest ones. Some, e.g., creative artists, usually won’t use this. In some nations, it’s more openly discussed, but that’s not a measure of use in other nations.

Some of us work better away from people on our backs, as measured by the managers, but some of us work worse, but think we’re going great. Virtually everyone I know would say they’re working hard. Only some are.

An unapproved interjurisdictional move would reasonably be ground for immediate termination unless the individual first moves back to an approved jurisdiction. The legal risks are large in occurrence and damage and often irremediable.

Interesting article. It reminded me of a comment by a criminal litigator on ankle bracelets for criminal defendants ordered to stay home because that’s cheaper than jailing them pending trial, the bracelet being a monitoring device to ensure presence at home: A defendant might put the bracelet on their pet cat. But that likely doesn’t happen very often or the bracelet system would’ve been changed.

Clive Robinson May 6, 2022 7:27 AM

@ lurker, Freezing_in_Brazil, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm,

RE : of those 3, two are males aged over 65…

A point that suggests the pathogenetic effects are not as many Governments are claiming to their citizens due to it being only the “sick, infirm, or immuno suppressed” that are dieing.

That is those who are over 65 are not suffering from such pre-conditions of age yet they are still dieing…

We know that the elderly are less likely to be vaccinated[1]

Government triage at work?

On the “Bank of Mum and Dad” scale I rate above average, having the net tied up property worth of an average couple/family, not singleton.

[1] I’ve been repeatedly denied a “booster shot” of vaccine, via many different excuses. To many to be incompetence and to varied to be true… So there has to be another reason they are not disclosing.

Clive Robinson May 6, 2022 7:32 AM

@ Freezing_in_Brazil, lurker, ALL,

RE : Yes, my bad, sorry

Bad no, not at all, it’s actually still highly relevant, as the nonsense is still going on.

I just wondered if you had clicked on the wrong one in the “relevant” list, of which the one I linked to shows “The Cat is still at play”.

It kind of links inro what @lurker has pointed out.

Clive Robinson May 6, 2022 8:36 AM

@ lurker, ALL,

RE : So, not wide area coverage

The limited coverage area is based on two fairly flaky assumptions,

1, Range falls as 1/(R^2)
2, To at or below the Noise Figure of the receiver system.

At which point the signal and noise have the same average amplitude “in the noise bandwidth” of the receiver.

There are thus some issues to consider.

Firstly the 1/(R^2) drop off is based on the assumption the signal radiates omnidirectionally from a point origin. That realy is not true, in an appropriate wave guide it will drop at a tiny fraction of 1/R due only to absorbtion or dielectric losses. Behaviour you would actually expect of a high quality effectively loosless transmission line. One such interesting “waveguide” is the so called “G wire”[1] it is surprising just how many conductors can behave this way.

Further there are many ways to boost the signal above the receivers assumed noise floor. One is the use of reduced temprature higher quality receiver circuits in the past Masers and Parametric Amplifiers have been used and will still provide improvments today. Other methods are high gain receiving antennas others are multiple phase coherant receivers. But “data signals” do not have linear bandwidth usage. This means there are DSP tricks you can use, whereby you gain synchronization to the inherant data clock signal and use this in combination with speciallised “channel bank” techniques via lossless integrators to recover data.

When it comes to intentionaly radiated EM signals the distance can astonish people. For instance systems in space 500km away can pick up just one or two milliwatts of radiated signal. For instance a 5Volt logic signal into a 50ohm or less line is the approximate equivalent of (2.5×2.5/.05) = 125 milliwatt signal some 50-100 times as much, giving an expected 7-10 times that 500km range…

It’s one of the reasons TEMPEST proof systems are quite difficult to design.

[1] The G Wire transmission line is one that holds the EM signal close bound around it’s self. In essence it is half of a “two wire” or “open pair” transmission line. As it has a fairly high natural impedence, where it is used purposefully to carry power it have impedence matching at either end. Whilst this can be “lumped circuit” it is more often seen as circular matching horns of atleast three wavelengths radius. Howrver any adjacent conductor can act as a non purposeful matching unit. In the past “cordless phone” signals have been easily received at 30km which is 150 times the assumed radius of 0.2km based on 1/(r^2) and noise figure calculations. Due to near by metal fencing and overhead mains power or telephone transmission lines.

JonKnowsNothing May 6, 2022 9:10 AM

@Clive, @lurker, @Freezing_in_Brazil, @SpaceLifeForm, @ All

re:To boost or not to boost

I was lucky to get a JJ booster this week, just before the USA FDA pulled it from the open market. Technically, you can still get J&J but you have to ask for it (which I did).

A UK boggle view is to withdraw vaccinations from younger people because

  • “You just don’t achieve anything very useful… “

  @Clive, maybe they think your age is a single digit?
  A UK Gov database space saving, Y2K converted to YJabU?

Seriously, it’s appalling you cannot get a jab… please keep trying. The jabs aren’t working that well but it’s all we have. The Gen2 Gen3 aren’t going to work any better due to:

  • Delay in production, distribution
  • Time for multiple Trials
  • More delays in analysis
  • Price and Costing fights
  • Entrenched market monopoly (USA P&M)
  • COVID virus isn’t standing still

Additional new problems on the horizon for the USA

  • expiration of COVID-19 pandemic funding
  • reluctance of government agencies to pass addition COVID funding
  • planned reduction in all COVID funding
  • ending of FDA/CDC “emergency rules” removing “fast track” authorizations and returning to “standard slow track” regulations and procedures.
  • Any item authorized under “fast track” reverts to “slow track” and has to complete all the slow track processes, even though the item has been in use.
  • And COVID mutations are not waiting on the long track either

There is a “side issue” now in the USA that is going to cause some serious disruptions to the entire population. It appears that SCOTUS will strike down the option for women to have a termination and return that decision to the States by declaring it Not A Federal Item of Interest. Half the states will prohibit and criminalize terminations and the other half will allow it.

If the leaked document, authenticated as preliminary, makes it to the final announcement, health care for 50+% of the population is going to take a tank. It also means that the affected age groups are going to shift where and how they access health care. Moving 50% of the population around is going to be disruptive at the very least and have long term implications.

If the USA can’t fund COVID research because a large portion of the government isn’t willing to put the dollars in the pot, but they are more than willing to double that amount for military support for the UKR-RU situation, it says a lot about our future prospects against SARS-CoV-2.

It might be time to try for a medical vacation in Cuba? Their vaccine isn’t too bad and you would have the right to go there, where as I cannot.


Search Terms

Healthy young people
may never be offered another Covid jab
Adam Finn

Ted May 6, 2022 10:11 AM

@SpaceLifeForm, thanks!

@JonKnowsNothing, great idea about the citrus tree on wheels. I am slowly building my gardening confidence. Just saw I have two pumpkin seeds that sprouted. yay!

Clive Robinson May 6, 2022 12:32 PM

@ Boris,

I thought employee tracking & surveillance was only a thing with US companies.

No it’s been in the UK for quite some time now, sadly the current UK political encumbrants appear to think it’s absolitly fine for every one but them and their chosen few.

I was going to put this as a modern day “Brothers Grim Fair-rye tale” and call it something like “The Bark-loudly Brothers and their hot crotch peeping tom habits”. To make it even better they have a castle on an island and believe they have rights to dictate over others as petite lords…

The thing is they are according to reports like those annoying little dogs that bark at anything and everything because they lack the discipline they should have.

Because many see them as a very unfunny joke, they aquired a failing newspaper, that was under their managment just failing faster.

So the pair decided to invest in employee managment and office down sizing…

As far as I’m aware they just wasted money hand over fist and saw no return on it. In fact there are stories about people actually selling them compleatly usless technology because they were easy marks…

So it’s not surprising that rather than make a fair estimation of their own inabilities they would blaim the employees…

So even though the office had been downsized, and hot-desking installed they did not think their various software spying applications were telling them the truth about employees…

So one morning the emoloyees came in and it was not long before they discovered camera like objects under the desks designed to “view a persons crotch area”… Which as there were quite a few young women in the office who regarded the two brothers as creepy, boardering on nasty perve types, simply confirmed their suspicions. Especially when it was pointed out they used Infra Red sensors that could see right through clothing…

Needless to say there was a bit of an uproar and very senior journalists phoned other senior journalists working bot just at orher newspapers but television and radio…

The story thus got out big time around the western world, and within a couple of days the “Hit Crotch viewing technology” was removed, but ad far as I’m aware there was no refund to the brothers bank accounts, so they had been conned by tech sales people once again…

The point is these systems are a compleate waste of resources, and any manager installing them is realy only telling the world just how incompetent they are as managers…

At the very least the most valuable staff a business depends on will go find “jobs less surveilled” and those that remain will be at best the “timid” who usually end up dowing the “make-work” in organisations.

You can tell just how imbecilic the managment are who waste resources on such technology that will fail them and fail them badly, by the transparant of the lies they use to justify the systems…

It’s the equivalent of a politicians bleating of “think of the children”. Unfortunately in Australia it would appear that the way some of their politicians think of children is not just scandlous but criminal and makes them candidates for life sentences in jail, if they were not so busy corrupting the judicial system…

[1] Perhaps the kindest of reporting on the moronic idea of the brothers grim,

JonKnowsNothing May 6, 2022 2:38 PM


re: Pumpkins and Melons

Depending on what sort of seeds you selected, you might be growing a trailing vine type.

Every node where the vine touches “ground” can grow a fruit. However, most modern varieties cannot grow all the fruit that sets. So you may have to be ruthless and pinch off extra flowers after you get the first good sized melons so further nutrients go to them.

Depending on the size and shape of your garden plot you might want to put something under the melon before it gets too big to shift. Be careful not to dislodge it from the vine but slide a good size card board under it to keep it off the ground where ground dwelling pests can get to it. You still have plenty of other opportunistic pests to battle, so no worries you will miss out on that part of the fun. (1)

If you happen to be growing the Giant Heavy Weight Pumpkin Festival types, you need a fork lift pallet under the fruit.

  • The record for the world’s heaviest pumpkin, 1,226 kg (2,703 lb), was established in Italy in 2021.

If you want to have a “special message or pattern” in the pumpkin skin when you harvest, you can gently scratch the tender skin when it is small and the scar will grow with the pumpkin. You can also buy pre-made plastic pumpkin masks that you tie on to the pumpkin and the same thing will happen. The pumpkin will grow into the voids and be constricted in the tighter spots. These are the No-Carving Methods.

There are some pretty fancy pumpkin carvers now and they use a variety of scalpels to carve 3D images and scenes on the surface. These works of art, don’t last too long, so enjoy it before it wilts.

You can also plan out what you want to do with results: pies, leaves and seeds.


1) iirc(badly) a documentary video of some Pumpkin Festival Heavy Weight growers visited their different gardens. One was in Canada or North USA. A few days before he was going to ship out his entries for the Pumpkin Festivals, a moose decided to visit his garden and put a big hoof right thru the middle of each one of them.

Clive Robinson May 6, 2022 5:36 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Ted,

but slide a good size card board under it to keep it off the ground where ground dwelling pests can get to it.

I’ve not had any real experience of pumpkins as I don’t realy like them (except fermented and then distilled, but that’s a whole different story).

My father was keen on marrows and cucumbers etc. The trick as you say is thick cardboard underneath, but make sure it’s bare cardboard not got any printing or plastic or other stuff on it as the fruit skin needs natural contact if you don’t want nasties. My dad also used to but a little tension on each day in the norning, as he said it helped them grow long and straight. If it’s true or not as an idea, I have no idea but it sounded plausable back half a century ago and well I’ve no reason to think differently.

The one thing that did make sense was to mix up salt and petrolium jelly together and smear it liberally around the edges of the cardboard to keep slugs and simiar off.

He also used to pop clear plastic bags around the fruit when it was young as this acted like a miniture glass house.

And he swore by good horse manure rotted down for a year to fertilize the soil. He said that melons, marrows, cucumbers and tomatoes were “dirt vampires” that would suck the life out of the ground.

Whilst he did occasionaly grow large marrows, for the summer fair, he pointed out quite rightly they were not good eating.

Marrow is an odd vegtable to both cook and eat, and mum used to stuff them with a highly herb seasoned lamb mince concoction. When baked slowely with the skin on, the result would be then sliced into about an inch thick rounds and served with “in season” root vegtables. Lets just say it filled a growing lads belly, even if he was growing in all the wrong directions 😉

One of those smells that throws me right back more than half a century into childhood is the smell of hot lamb fat from the belly being used to fry thick slices of very fresh bread in… You want it to go just golden not brown and still be soft and moist in the middle, with a fresh fried egg with runny yolk to top it and fresh ground black pepper.

JonKnowsNothing May 6, 2022 6:13 PM

@Clive, @Ted

re: salt and petroleum jelly together and smear it liberally around the edges of the cardboard to keep slugs and similar off.

There are lots of concoctions in garden centers for slugs but many of them are toxic so you have to be cautious around food plantings.

An artistic approach is to use copper based pennies and a glue gun to make a decorative pattern 3+ lines wide on something you can wrap around the plant. Like a water dish or along a board that you can make a frame from. In theory, slugs and stuff don’t like oozing over the copper. They most likely will go underneath 🙂

You can also buy copper based bender board and use that as part of the bottom frame. I had good results with this and it’s reusable or if your planting area is permanent is size, a one time installation.

Anything inside frame isn’t affected and anything that can get over the frame isn’t affected either. It’s the security model of “hoping snails will always slime the same pathway”.

SpaceLifeForm May 6, 2022 6:18 PM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons, Fincen, FBI

Some purses carry large amounts

Some wallets carry large amounts

Dots (NY, LA, Miami, ATL, Lost Wages)


Wow, that is a great looking purse you bought!

Yeah, it was on sale, only cost $50 Million!

Ted May 6, 2022 9:58 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Clive, All

Depending on what sort of seeds you selected, you might be growing a trailing vine type.

It’s going to be a surprise! Well sort of 😉

The seed packets don’t seem to list a botanical name. I guess big, orange, and hardy met all the criteria! One packet does say Small Sugar and the other Jack O’Lantern. The first sprouts are two of the Small Sugars.

Great idea about the cardboard and the “baggie” glass houses. You all had some pretty fantastic ideas about pest control too. The packet mentions dish soap, but it may take a little observation to see what works best.

What a comically ornery moose! Lol! And yes, runny yolks are delicious. I don’t know what I will do with them yet. For the time being just the miracle of them growing is kind of cool.

Clive Robinson May 7, 2022 3:40 AM

@ Ted,

The packet mentions dish soap, but it may take a little observation to see what works best.

You are obviously not in Europe…

The use of “dish soap” or even “bath water” was regulated against quite some time ago, as it’s “persistent” in the soil and washes out into streams and rivers causing significant ecological harm… It used to be used as an effective spray against aphids and the likes.

It’s kind of a pain because of “drought orders” from Water Companies saying you can not use “their water pressure” to water your garden (look up “Hosepipe bans). People used to,collect their “grey water” and use that, whilst still technically legal within the hosepipe legislation, the household soap / detergent / wash powder in most “grey water” is not…

In the US this caused a lot of people to look into what it was that made the soap / detergent / powder so unacceptable ecologically, and as a result they now make their own more ecologicaly friendly replacments…

In the UK it’s not unknown for people to install their own “grey water processing” to re-cycle water. So bath water becomes used for flushing toilets as well as watering the garden… Supprisingly it’s mostly to save money as the grey water processing saves quite a bit of money if you live in the North or south west.

A friend even harvests rain water and uses a reverse osmotic purification process to reduce their water bill to the minimum possible.

JonKnowsNothing May 7, 2022 5:33 AM

@Clive @Ted

re: The use of “dish soap” or even “bath water” was regulated against quite some time ago [in EU UK]

That is quite interesting!

There is a difference in the USA, between “detergent” and “soap”. We use “insecticidal soap” sold over the counter at garden centers, which is basically soap and some versions have pyrethrin included.

The soap only works on direct contact. You have to actually spray the bug with it. (1) Pyrethrin is often sold as a powder and the bug has to eat it.

There is an ongoing fight with BigAgriTech over their inclusion of pyrethrin in their GMO seed stock. Because of the overuse, BigAgriTech is breeding pyrethrin resistant bugs. It’s the same process that HIP-RIP-LOVID is doing with SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Dishwashers and Washing Machines use detergent and while you can do gray water reclamation, it’s not always cost effective and it should not be used on food plants, only trees or shrubs.

Rain Water collection is getting more interest but the composition of the roofing material matters as to what you can do with the collected water. We have several common roofing systems: tar & gravel, tar based asphalt shingle and a composite “clay tile or slate tile” appearance that can contain fire retardants and other not good for you chemicals. In parts of the USA metal roofs are common.

Unless you know for sure that the collected water is safe to drink by getting it tested at the local water district (which they often do free of charge or for a small fee), it is used for landscape watering. There are some clever designs for water collection in urban environments where “out of sight” is the by word for installation. Small tanks hidden behind hedges can be linked in an array for storage and then drip lined to their destination. For people or companies with large landscape areas they can save a significant amount of money after the installation costs are accounted for.

In the USA, you do have to be mindful of “water rights” because the water falling on your roof, or as run off from your property may not be yours to take or store, it may legally belong to someone else.

The poor man’s roof water collection and distribution method is: use a plastic sleeve over the exit point for the roof downspout, and roll the sleeve out to the landscape. They sell these at garden centers for a nominal amount of money and some versions come with a spring loaded retractor to coil it up after the rain stops.


Search Terms

Insecticidal soap


Tanacetum cinerariifolium / Chrysanthemum

1) If you have the occasional unwanted crawler visiting your abode, you can use a “soap spray” to kill it. Foaming shower cleaner, foaming kitchen counter cleaner are often handy. Using the spray try to flip the bug over in the suds and dowse it with the spray. Lots of crawlies have their air vents underneath and their carapaces will just shed the suds. If you have a lot of crawlies, seek professional advice.

JonKnowsNothing May 7, 2022 8:55 AM

@Winter, @Clive, @Ted

re:bubble clouds

There are a lot of things that can form foam or bubble clouds besides an over application of suds in the wash.

In the USA, most dishwasher and washing machine products are “low sudsing” and don’t produce blowing clouds. Some claim more eco-minded residual effects, but that maybe hype or puffery.

If you want to run grey water, the system is separated into 2 components: one is the direct wash or bath-shower water with the suds, going into the sewer or septic system and the other is the cleaner water (which still may have some fecal and chemical contamination) into a separate tank. Some septic tanks have special chambers for grey water. We have color coded tanks for water types and reclaimed or untreated water goes into purple tanks with purple pipes.

It isn’t uncommon though to see someone putting bubble bath in a fountain or pond feature, particularly if there’s a fast fountain stream which will really churn the bubble effects.

We do have a problem with PFAS and fire fighting foams and the similar foams used for munition deactivation-containment. These foams are forever foams and seep into the ground and leach in spreading pools

  • A town, south of San Jose, California, which is Silicon Valley (not San Francisco), there was a long time manufacturer of road flares. The components of the flares seeped into the ground and has now traveled through several towns along the underground water ways. The road flares, commonly used to warn of accidents and delays, when ignited also leaves a toxic trace.

In countries with no regulations all sorts of things produce bubble clouds and none of them are things you want to get near or breath in. The people in those areas have little choice. Market Economics 0%:100%.

A huge problem that isn’t bubble related but hazardous, toxic and stink related, are the ginormous ponds of pig poop where they store the excrement of millions of pigs. There is little or no waste treatment and often times the ponds are left untreated and unattended until their levee breaks and millions of gallons of pig sludge rolls down stream.

Overall and globally, the water treatment systems are not working well, they may be working as intended (none, some, or little) but they are not addressing the needs and requirements of the global public and the entire ecosystems.

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