SpaceLifeForm July 15, 2022 4:13 PM

re: US v Schulte

Judge Furman received an email today


&ers July 15, 2022 4:21 PM


How the US is holding up?


lurker July 15, 2022 5:44 PM

General populace here are over covid, forget the scanning in, forget the masks, open the borders for all the new flu variants. Result: winter flu hospitalizations are three times admissions for covid; but BA5 is keeping death rates at five times flu deaths. BA2.75 seen here and thus far being observed with an abundance of caution. Govt acting in accordance with popular opinion will not increase restrictions; antivirals and masks will be available free to elderly and other susceptibles.

SpaceLifeForm July 15, 2022 6:54 PM

@ &ers, lurker, JonKnowsNothing

re: Stealthy Covid

My readings indicate that BA.5 is flying amoungst the Anti-vaxers. They keep flying on planes.

Fat Cells.


Clive Robinson July 15, 2022 7:05 PM

@ &ers, lurker, SpaceLifeForm,

Re : How the US is holding up

Probably not good, based on UK figures. Assume that they will get six to eight times worse than the UK peak that is yet to happen…

Here in the UK we are still monitoring and running two independent sets of stats obtained by entirely different methods. The UK Government “National Audit Office”(NAO) “test kit”, and the Kings College London ZOE-COVID “symptom tracker” with around 4.7million daily contributors run by Professor of Epidemiology Tim Spector (Scientific Co-Founder of ZOE). Both agree quite well –when the week delay in NAO figures are accounted for– and report we probably have the highest figures ever for Covid and they are significantly on the rise currently.

As for the BA 2.75 or what ever it is officially named mutation, it does appear to be less lethal and is replacing BA 4 and BA 5 varients.

With symptomatic increase around 350,000 and rising with the infection rate of R=1.1.

So depending on where you are betwwen 1:17 to 1:13 in the population are symptomatically infected. With many being repeat infections of a short term. In the young it’s upto 1:10 symptomatically infected. Hospitalisations “from” rather than “with” are up to 2,000.

The current minimum reinfection time in symptomatic people appears to be around three months since a previous infection…

However… we are at the start of the “summer school holiday season” when respitory infections are traditionally lowest.

With current symptomatic respiritory infections worse than traditional winter Flu&Cold season, this does not bode well for “back to School” at the begining of Sept when usually respiritory infections jump up significantly.

That said the traditional summer sniffle “viral cold” infections have been almost entierly replaced by Covid, and asymptomatic Covid infections are expected to be two to three times symptomatic currently.

As I was excluded from a booster shot last year, due as some may remember to the Doctors getting all twitchy due to my having been admitted to hospital with an end of your thumb size blood clot in the heart three weeks after having my second jab… I am these days a significant mask wearer and shuning human contact as much as possible.

Which unsurprisingly is making life not just unproductive but difficult as well, but “We Soldier On” as they say…

Nick Levinson July 16, 2022 9:09 AM

In People’s Republic of China, resistance to surveillance seems to be becoming more open since a theft and offer for sale of government data on a billion Chinese and the failure to secure various databases of private information, including government databases (article in News Tinger (the text reads oddly and I think may be based on an article in The N.Y. Times that may be behind a paywall)).

Clive Robinson July 16, 2022 11:00 AM

@ Nick Levinson, ALL,

“… resistance to surveillance seems to be becoming more open since a theft and offer for sale…”

I’m not surprised, in fact I expected it sooner.

As our host @Bruce pointed out quite some years ago aggregating entirely seperate databases is not a good idea security wise[1].

For some reason in the “West” the majority of people appear to be dumber than sheap droppings. Why we “buy-in” to the big data nonsense I’ve no idea, but as a long con it’s paying off the middle man very handsomely.

The Confucianism that under pins Chinese Society has certain view point advantages over apple pie capitalism.

[1] It’s the old “all the eggs in one basket” issue. There are several downsides,

1, Everything is commonly indexed.
2, Everything is in one place.
3, The place is easy to find.
4, Once defences are breached all data is vulnerable.

Which is great for attackers, but, there are no real upsides for the data subjects, or for that matter the supppsed data holders.

Nick Levinson July 16, 2022 7:21 PM

@Clive Robinson:

Aggregating databases into one and making it secure: I’m not sure it’s bad. If the databases have separate human managers, the databases likely should be separate. If the databases have the same human management and all the databases need nearly similar degrees of security, aggregation makes sense, because then you only need to secure one database, saving on costs while efficiently delivering high security, and you can limit the powers of subset administrators so one can work with one data subset and another can work with another data subset without leakage. If the databases have the same human management and all the databases need very different degrees of security (like if one stores nuclear launch codes and the other is one child’s list of toys with the child as sysadmin), aggregation is too expensive.

Skilled managers may command mantle-crushing salaries, but even a disaggregated db with a high security demand will need that manager anyway and there’s not much security difference between a given db and another db with ten times as many records, all else equal, so if you can find a satisfactory manager for the one you likely can find a manager for the aggregate.

Perhaps some DBMSes are not good with a very large db, but I would think that some modern (and expensive) DBMSes don’t have a size limit. For example, a record number could have as close to an infinite length as the storage medium and a transmission protocol will allow.

Big Data with its controversy is not about db size alone. It’s about the variety of data kept, especially without most of the subjects realizing the extent, as well as size.

I don’t think I’ve seen @Bruce’s take.

SpaceLifeForm July 16, 2022 8:05 PM

re: Twitter v Musk

SEC: More popcorn please


  1. On April 28, just three days after signing the Agreement, Twitter restated three years of its mDAU numbers, despite never disclosing the issue to Defendants pre-signing. Post-signing, Defendants promptly sought to understand Twitter’s process for identifying false or spam accounts. In a May 6 meeting with Twitter executives, Musk was flabbergasted to learn just how meager Twitter’s process was. Human reviewers randomly sampled 100 accounts per day (less than 0.00005% of daily users) and applied unidentified standards to somehow conclude every quarter for nearly three years that fewer than 5% of Twitter users were false or spam. That’s it. No automation, no AI, no machine learning.

[Aside: Since Thursdays Twitter outage, Nitter now has way less issues. No more 429 errors, actually responsive almost all of the time. Coincidence? For some reason, I doubt it was coincidence.]

SpaceLifeForm July 16, 2022 11:03 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

Check this URL, Force reload, and tell me what you see. Scroll back. Thanks.


Nick Levinson July 16, 2022 11:56 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @Clive Robinson, & @JonKnowsNothing:

I tried it except that I don’t know where to scroll back to (the URL didn’t require scrolling in the first place). I didn’t see a difference after I read the comment and reloaded.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 12:51 AM

@ Nick Levinson, Clive Robinson, JonKnowsNothing

Load the url I mentioned in a new tab. It should be at the bottom of the comments. Force a refresh just to make sure you do not have a stale copy of the webpage.

You can just scroll back to what JonKnowsNothing wrote at 9:20PM. That is sufficient.

Do you see what Clive was responding to after what JonKnowsNothing wrote?

Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 2:14 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing. Nick Levinson,

Re : Do you see

It was –past tense– a post that was there, that had two links in it.

One link was to a US Gov site that I got the text I quoted, the second a US CNN site that put the first in context…

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 3:15 AM

@ Clive Robinson, JonKnowsNothing

So, as I knew, you checked out the urls. Thanks for confirmation, btw.

But, Clive, did you see any reason the post would be deleted?

Did I forget to put the single quote in front of the two urls? I may have, but I do not recall for sure.

Basically, in response to what JonKnowsNothing wrote at 9:20PM, I was noting two events that related to his question about the possibly lost text messages.

I was connecting dots using public information. It certainly will be discussed in the media over the next 48 hours.

Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 3:30 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : More popcorn please

Is best answered by,

“Why am I not surprised…”

With other “social media” sites running at between 20-30% fake traffic in one form or another Twitter claiming 5% or less was fairly suspicious just as a “paper claim”…

Anyone looking at a Twitter comment thread of more than around ten reply commentators would see obvious fakes of various kinds, even people just posting a smiley to get their name seen. With these fakes rising more quickly as the thread lengthens. Thus the 5% claim is laughable to the naked human eye.

For Twitter to make it a claim with legal repercussions to a Federal Government Authority that has significant legal powers and likes to use them against “HiTech Corps” was at best ill advised. If not out right deception for financial gain (fraud). Supportable as the lie it is only if the Twitter board could keep the “claim method” out of sight.

Mr Musk has had a few run-ins with that particular Federal Authority for way less. Thus you would think that the Twitter Board would consider that should Mr Musk become involved with Twitter he would go to the SEC in a public way to draw a line in the sand as well as to cover his own back.

Now that the Twitter “claim method” has been given in publicly accessible documentation and appears to be not a method of repute the fun starts…

And I suspect it will not just be for Twitter…

One of the reasons the Federal Government Agency is taking an interest in “Hi-Tech Corps” is without doubt politically inspired.

I suspect most in the First World are aware of all the alleged “Fake News” and “economic agents of a hostile foreign power” manipulating US Citizens views and political oppinions, and how various US political interests have had their boat rocked and are deeply unhappy to the point of being vengeful if not screaming for blood, scalps, or heads on platters.

Whilst not being able to get at the “economic agents of a hostile foreign power”, the politicians can get at the carriers of the messages, those “Hi-Tech Corps” via Government Agencies…

It would take very little to cause the more cautious investers to pull out of “Hi-Tech Corp” stock, lets be honest Twitter has been on a down hill slope for some time befor Mr Musk even started purchasing it’s stock and is going to have to 100% increase it’s value, to get back to the value it was once at. To do that just as we are entering what is becoming a significant inflation cycle would appear to be unlikely to happen.

The question then arises as to if a run on Twitter stock would cause a run on other “Hi-Tech Corp” stock? All of which we know is “over valued” and the “Social Media” side full of fakery and not delivering any real end returns just the froth of churn.

Once cautious money is seen to move, generally others start to follow and the snowball starts to roll…

Add to the fact that US citizens are seeing the underlying effects of the double digit inflation in basic consumer item pricing also turning into a quite real recession as the kick back from “out sourcing” lands on them via downgrading of employment through to unemployment and thus the hits on their pensions and childrens college funds, loss of healthcare etc.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 4:01 AM

Re : More popcorn please

Hollywood Accounting

I don’t know of many businesses that can lose money 10 out of 12 years.


&ers July 17, 2022 4:33 AM


When reality meets fantasy.


&ers July 17, 2022 4:56 AM


A very nice presentation.

“Security, Moore’s law, and the anomaly of cheap complexity”

Thomas Dullien / “Halvar Flake”


Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 5:49 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Did I forget to put the single quote…

I remember “cut and pasting” both URL’s but not specifically why.

The technical security asspect of the post should have been given as well as it’s quite important.

Are text messages equivalent to “informal talk” or “written record” and therefore does “factory reseting” phones actually delete the messages on them and if so is it destruction of evidence or not if they can be recovered other ways (something that recently came up in a UK civil case).

I suspect that the text messages are available “off of the phones” or in fact the factory reset has not actually deleted them.

Something to which even the US Secret Service appears to agree as they say they still have them even though some of the phones involved have been scrubbed[1]. But for some reason have not handed the messages over despite repeated quite legal requests for them.

It does not help as the text I quoted shows the comment from the USSS senior was to be blunt quite inflamitory in nature, and appears to be inventing some kind of persecution conspiracy.

Which naturaly suggests there is rather more going on behind this than just the technical security asspects…

What I suspect may be rearing it’s ugly head is the latency of law in a technical domain. The crack it creates, what drops into it, and some do not want fished out.

Back in Nixon’s time most heard for the first time the question of the status of an analog audio recording as an “official record”. Prior to that it had mainly been assumed that,

1, Spoken was “ephemeral” unless noted down as a written record or transcript.
2, Written was in Government circles a record to be “archived” in perpetuity.

This can be seen in various bits of associated legislation. For instance in British Law a distingtion is made between a formal transcript, and jotted notes used as an aid to memory. It’s basically one of those very awkward “mental state” arguments, and likewise equity of armour[2].

With everything “going digital” and the cost of storage being very close to zero, and social changes where an informal word that once would have been spoken now being typed as an SMS or equivalent, it’s become oh so messy. With some who see an SMS for prosecutorial reasons as the equivalent of “written record” things are getting very very awkward.

As should be becoming clear to more people, lawyers do not try evidence these days but innuendo. That is they will pick on any tiny tiny thing and weave from it a rope by which to hang you.

As you noted the other day there is an argument between six lines or two lines going on over the alleged Cardinal Richelieu[3] quote of,

“If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”

Personally, I think in terms of not lines, but words singular as in the infomous,

“Do not say a wrong word”

That is a single word can be used to find you guilty by abusing it’s usage.

One such word is the British english word “popped” it has more than one meaning two common ones are,

1, To burst : the soap bubble popped.
2, To put down in an easy to reach place : She popped the book on the table.

A US prosecuter deliberately claimed the word was directly the same as “punched” or “dropped” in an alledged “shaken baby” case[4]. Which became quite famous as apparebtly it stopped the death oenalty being re-introduced in a US State.

[1] A friend currently here in the UK who has knowledge of these things, tells me the use of “scrubbed” can be different in the US to the UK. In the UK it would mean “removed” as in “a stain scrubbed out”, but in the US it can also refere to “motion” as in “scrubbed back and forth”. So when applied to say video tapes “scrubbing” can mean detectives have gone “back and forth” looking intently, or as in the UK “scrubbed” can mean it has been removed, cleaned, or deleted.

[2] English law and thus to an extent US law, has a history going back to “trial by combat”. To stop or at least lesson the accusation of it being “might is right” made against the process, there is the notion of “equity of arms”. In the modern parlance there should not be an imbalance in the process that favours one side over the other. Thus anyone testifing from memory should face their opponent who should equally be testifying from memory of the event… But what if one party jotted down “contemporary notes”? What is the status of those notes? Well as both parties could have made notes to re-mind them selves then they became sort of acceptable. But what of notes made from an audio recording? At what point do they stop being notes and become a transcript? Simple answer is nobody knows and nobody in their right mind wants to go there as it becomes a “legal minefield” using the nuclear option.

[3] Cardinal Richelieu by all accounts a thoroughly unpleasant individual for whom power obtained by coruption was ideal as it gave control beyond measure. Such is the evil he is claimed to have wielded, it has become a measure by which not just others but entire Governmental Entities are measured,

[4] In 2007 the Boston law magazine “Exhibit A” named the defendent the “most notorious criminal convicted in Massachusetts”, which shows just how much power can be vested in a single word by one man (Gerard Leone) against a 19 year old girl from another country.

He has subsequently gone on to do very well for himself though quite questionably,

Clive Robinson July 17, 2022 1:11 PM

Quiz of the week 😉

Earlier today about 20hours ago, on You-Bloob somebody calling themselves “S2 Underground” posted this video titled,

“Tradecraft: One-Time Pads”

And it’s had over 1000 views an hour since…

Somebody drew my attention to it and asked what I thought about it… So I watched and within moments of the presenter speaking I was cringing…

Whilst what it basically conveying about the mechanics is sort of OK much of the “history” and other bits are wrong or only partially true (see bit about Stasi and coding tables, yes they did do it but they “borrowed” it off of earlier people who in turn..).

See how many errors or inexactitudes you can spot from the first claim “it’s uncrackable”.

There are no prizes to collect, just a kudos / hat tip from other readers.

lurker July 17, 2022 1:13 PM

@Clive Robinson, ‘does “factory reseting” phones actually delete the messages’

Most phones now have user adjustable setting: Store TXTs on SIM, or store TXTs on “phone”, ie. in the user’s home directory which is supposed to be wiped on reset. Which is the default may well depend on model of phone, and many offer the same option for contacts/address book.

Storage on a SIM might be limited, but it would be handy when swapping handsets.

But I have had one Android phone where “factory reset” removed contact list, documents, stored emails, but not camera photos, or sound or video files.

I have always assumed that TXTs would exist in a backup store somewhere on the network, like email does. This might be a network operator choice. Is there any evidence of this?

Winter July 17, 2022 3:28 PM


‘does “factory reseting” phones actually delete the messages’

If you do not overwrite the storage, the original bits are still there and the original files and content can be reconstructed.

If the storage had full-disk encryption, overwriting the original key would make the original content unretrievable.

Whether that is actually done during a factory reset is another question.

&ers July 17, 2022 3:42 PM

@lurker @Winter

Remember – today’s storage is flash.
There you don’t control what’s get overwritten.
Firmware is in charge.
(in flash memory cells are only deleted in block count,
firmware waits when the whole block is allowed
to erase. that can take some time).

And even then you don’t have a certainty.

SpaceLifeForm July 17, 2022 4:33 PM

@ Clive

The technical security asspect of the post should have been given as well as it’s quite important.

Good point. I assumed it was obvious, but maybe it was not. In my defense, it was late and I was tired. But, you are correct, I should have mentioned that.

Supposedly, the Jan 6 Committee will have the texts in two days.

vas pup July 17, 2022 4:49 PM

Machine learning identifies gun purchasers at risk of suicide

“Previous research has shown the risk of suicide is particularly high immediately after purchase, suggesting that acquisition itself is an indicator of elevated suicide risk.

Risk factors identified by the algorithm to be predictive of firearm suicide included:

older age
first-time firearm purchaser
white race
living in close proximity to the gun dealer
purchasing a revolver"

lurker July 18, 2022 2:24 AM

Another Horseman for your Apocalypse,
Ghana reports Marburg in the wild.


JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:27 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P1 retry)

The funny numbers just keep rolling out in MSM in my end of the spectrum. Lots of folks really have bought into “it’s just like the flu” but rarely are their articles about people being happy they got it and then, once they have had a bout, realized it’s every 28 days now. The COVID-Kill-Cycle is working well.

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:28 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P2 retry)

An example of funny numbers. They look funny to me, but I am sure that there are official “explanations” for the calculations… These numbers are reported 2x a week with a 3d or 4d gap in reporting.

New Cases State of California

07/08/2022 +39,818 (+0.4%)

07/12/2022 +79,204 (+0.8%)

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:29 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P3 retry)

Other funny numbers come from the TRIAGE reports. They have it setup if less than 10% staffing for COVID ICU beds, the regional hospitals get a demerit but they “may” get a patient transfer option. As the regional-counties are responsible for footing the bill on health care and COVID care, the funding is important, or was. It’s how TRIAGE was moved from one county to another and the death counts were obfuscated by various thresholds and rules. This time, there is a surprising amount of staffing available for COVID ICU. Over 20%-30% depending on regions. Took me a bit to sort that one out…

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:34 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P4 retry 3)

If ACounty takes a patient from BCounty on transfer, BCounty is supposed to reimburse ACounty for the costs. Some counties get more $$ than others.

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:37 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P5 retry 3)

So, no one wants to do a transfer

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:40 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P6 retry 3)

as the exchange isn’t favorable.

JonKnowsNothing July 18, 2022 6:42 AM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm

re: BA5 is a numbers game (P7 retry)

  • Omitting data and paragraph on calculation / some words just won’t go through

lurker July 18, 2022 7:47 PM

Polish up those petrie dishes: the cruise ship industry and clients haven’t yet got the message . . .



SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 2:45 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing

re: BA5 is a numbers game

They sure are funny. Let’s interpolate.

It appears they are dumping the new case counts into a Wednesday bucket and a Sunday bucket with very few new cases reported on Thursdays or Mondays. On Friday or Tuesday, they report the change over the prior two days.

07/08/2022 +39,818 (+0.4%)

07/12/2022 +79,204 (+0.8%)

But, if you take the difference in new case counts over those 4 days, that difference being 39386, and dividing by 4, we are at 9846 new cases per day.

If you take the 39818 and divide by 1.004, you would be at 39659 for the prior day, a difference of only 159.

If you take the 79204 and divide by 1.008, you would be at 78575 for the prior day, a difference of only 629.

Just as a quick calculation, using 39818 and 9846 we are looking at 24% increase over one day. Granted, it is not linear, but over a 4 day timeframe, it is close enough for this exercise.

Clearly, someone is definitely trying to hide the fact that the spread is growing quickly. I’m pretty sure the virus does not know the day of the week.

Looks to be on fire.

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 3:26 AM

@ Clive

re: Quiz of the week

I pulled it up via

And immediately jumped to chapter 26. 26:43 mark.

It may have been cringe-worthy at the beginning, but later in the presentation, duress codes are brought up, and the missing nines.

Even though it is 50 minutes long, some may find it useful.

The comments are interesting.

&ers July 19, 2022 9:07 AM


And how you are holding up?
I read there’s a massive heatwave in
UK, up to 40°C


&ers July 19, 2022 9:46 AM

@Clive @ALL

“Some UK data centers have a low-tech way to avoid meltdowns during this week’s heat wave: spraying the roof-mounted air conditioning units with water.”


Winter July 19, 2022 10:29 AM


And how you are holding up?

The same question from the Netherlands. For once, the UK has higher summer temperatures than we have. Keep cool and follow that example of keeping your roof wet if necessary.

I understand that the UK tabloids are still in full denial of Climate Change, while filing their pages with disaster stories about the heat.

JonKnowsNothing July 19, 2022 12:02 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm @All

re: BA5 is on fire

Thank you for hosing off the numbers!

A few more MSM reports popping up about “Living with COVID” is not working out exactly as the public thought it would, but it is doing a spectacular job on the Bank of Mom and Dad.


Search Terms

Living with COVID
Infection Rate

new cases 3M
deaths 3K
hospital 2x week

Fall is Too Late

Clive Robinson July 19, 2022 2:21 PM

@ &ers, Winter, ALL,

Re : massive heatwave in
UK, up to 40°C

Firstly I should say that yes whilst 40°C is “record highs” for the UK, I know of plenty of places where 50°C in summer is known (middle east being one).

But people should realise it’s not the temprature that is knocking people sideways with heatstroke but the humidity of a maritime climate.

50°C with very low humidity and a breeze or movment of air is tolerable even though it’s 10°C above the temprature protein starts to break down, and if peoples blood temp reaches it people start twitching and have loss of body control, tremors like they have St Vitus dance, that can progress into full blown seizures and death. Apparently the medical profession keep changing the criteria for some reason as to what counts, but I can assure you it is very unpleasant as I had it a few years back when I had bacterial sepsis which kills well over 30% of people… Heatstroke starts when you can nolonger “loose the energy” so your body temp goes up…

With low humidity your body perspires if you have sufficient fluid reserves, and the energy gets taken away by evaporation. But if the humidity is high you broil, unless you can increase the energy removal. There are two basic primary ways,

1, Increase air flow.
2, Add cooling fluid to body surface.

Which is why in some parts of the world people wear light cotton cloth and “wash down” with sprinklings of water and sit where they can create an air flow.

I tend to use pasive heating and cooling in my home, which can be achieved simply by the use of heavy curtains and the ability to open and close windows at appropriate times of day.

So in the summer when high temps are expected I open the windows in the laye night and through the early morning and use the “chimney effect” to take heat out. As the sun rises closing of white backed curtains kerps the sunlight out. As the morning temp rises the windows get shut again.

Unfortunately this only gets you so far. A wet cloth and fan make a reasonable air conditioning.

But… It’s a maritime climate when the ground is wet the water goes up… People tend to forget that sudden rises in temprature effectively “drag in storms” I would not be surprised if we get some major thunder storms that might include hail…

But so far I am coping but… my health has not been good lately so fingers crossed…

&ers July 19, 2022 3:48 PM



Any hot tea on those hot days?
This is how people in Central Asia
live in hot summer – drink hot tea.
That serves 2 purpose – keeps fluid
level in order and accelerates evaporation.
Rapid evaporation cools down the skin.
That i learned is Uzbekistan while it was
still the Soviet Republic.

(and yes, for the western people it first
seemed to be a complete madness – hot tea
on hot day)

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 4:06 PM

@ Leon Theremin

re: Silicon Turtles

Your link was deprecated for this one:


There are two dots.

First, it helps to understand the difference between Horizontal microcode and Vertical microcode.

Second, understand what happened long ago, when a jumper was no longer required to update your motherboard ROM.

Custom microcode updates delivered over the internet and installed by the OS.

Bug or Feature?

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 4:27 PM

@ Leon Theremin, Clive

re: Silicon Turtles

I’m still reading the HN thread, and I clearly see that others are on the same page as I am.

This is going to have a lot of comments, let there be no doubt.

Bookmark it. Check it in two days, and dedicate hours of reading time.

I’ve been following this story a long time.

Clive Robinson July 19, 2022 5:51 PM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : while filing their pages with disaster stories about the heat

It’s not just the UK…

Apparently the Hoover Dam had an explosion, which caused the usual speculation stories doing the rounds.

Obviously the “T-word” got mentioned.

Then as it’s a transformer that has done the old Vesuvius routine the speculation moved on to “Summer Heat” and “overload”.

Whilst I would not rule out “lack of preventative maintenance” for “share holder value” reasons being at the bottom of it…

Apparently some think that it’s down to “Crypto-Coin” miners putting too much stress on the infrastructure…

Does this indicate that the MSM are soon going to have a new boogeyman of “crypto-coin miners”?

I guess they would make a convenient scapegoat, for “managment”, but… As normal we will have to wait and see.

I’m betting that what ever the real cause is, we won’t get to hear about it any time soon.

ResearcherZero July 19, 2022 10:29 PM

How to get a job…

Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro told his chief of staff that the plum US trade commissioner role was the job he wanted when he left politics, an inquiry has heard.

Mark Connell this morning made a statement to the parliamentary inquiry investigating Mr Barilaro’s controversial appointment, which comes with a $500,000 annual salary package and is based in New York.

Mr Connell said he had a conversation with Mr Barilaro in April 2019, after a meeting with the then treasurer Dominic Perrottet and minister Stuart Ayres.

“He said, ‘I’ve just come from a meeting with Dom and Stuart regarding trade’,” Mr Connell wrote in his statement.

“‘And we’re going to bring back the Agent General in London as well as a bunch of other postings around the world’.”

The former chief of staff claims Mr Barilaro then added: “This is it; this is the job for when I get the f*** out of this place.”

“I responded to Mr Barilaro and stated, ‘but John, the Agent General role will be filled well before you retire from this place’,” Mr Connell said.

“Mr Barilaro then said, ‘I don’t want to go to London, f*** that, I’m off to New York’.”

Pork barrelling is “what elections are for”

Barilaro, who has favourably adopted the nickname John Pork–Barrel-aro, also defended the practice, saying he was “sick to death of the mistruths spun about pork barrelling”.

“If we fund a government seat, it’s a rort,” he said. “If we fund a non-government seat, it’s only because we want to win them at the next election.”

While he admitted that shredding documents “does not give confidence to anybody”, Barilaro argued that what others call “pork barrelling” is actually an “investment” in the regions.

“When you think about it, every single election that every party goes to, we make commitments. You want to call that pork barrelling, you want to call that buying votes, it’s what the elections are for.”

…“There are hundreds of projects for which you signed off, more than $210m of public money … when nobody did a merit assessment. Can you explain how or why that happened?”

Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) held public hearings in October and November 2021 into the misuse of taxpayer funds and community grants in the Victorian branch of the ALP. The IBAC said while the identified misconduct was considered to be “egregious”, the watchdog was hampered by weak laws around parliamentary accountability.

“We criticise a legislative framework that provides few, if any, consequences for abusing public resources and that allows such conduct to continue unchecked,” IBAC commissioner Robert Redlich said.

“The difficulties in proof and the state of the law are such that we cannot recommend prosecution.”

Mr Redlich said numerous examples of unethical behaviour within the party were put forward at IBAC hearings.

“The evidence, both public and private, painted a compelling picture of jobs on the public purse according to factional loyalties, and widespread misuse of public resources for political purposes,” he said.

“The report illustrates a catalogue of unethical and inappropriate behaviour ranging from the hiring of unqualified people into publicly funded roles, using those roles to support factional work, nepotism, forging signatures, bullying and attempts to interfere with the government grants process,”

SpaceLifeForm July 19, 2022 10:37 PM

When they do not understand the tech


ResearcherZero July 20, 2022 12:43 AM

Map of fires in Europe

Heatwaves and fires in Europe, Africa, and Asia

Global Fire Map – Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS);@0.0,0.0,3z

Well, the wine taster with his nose says it
The fireman with his hose says it
The pedestrian, the equestrian
The tap-dancer with his toes
“I’m on fire”
“Yeah babe, I’m on fire”

The cattleman from Down Under says it
The patriot with his plunder says it
Watching a boat of full of refugees
Sinking into the f**king sea
“I’m on fire”
“Yeah babe, I’m on fire”

ResearcherZero July 20, 2022 1:13 AM

A journey back in time…

“By the middle of next year (2004), three prototype hydrogen-powered buses will begin operations in Perth. Each will have nine hydrogen tanks and two fuel-cell stacks on the roof to convert the energy in hydrogen to electrical energy to run the bus motor. These remarkable vehicles will produce no smog or greenhouse gases; the only exhaust emission is water vapour.”

“The Mercedes Benz Citaro buses will run on normal Perth bus routes, have an anticipated range of 200 kilometres, a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour and capacity for 70 passengers at a time. They will be quiet, efficient, and low to the ground.”…-a0112128901


“The three hydrogen fuel cell buses in the Transperth fleet, operated by Path Transit, have covered more than 260,000km and carried more than 330,000 passengers during that time,”

SpaceLifeForm July 20, 2022 1:56 AM

France, à quoi diable penses-tu ? Ne soyez pas si stupide.


Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 5:55 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Leon Theremin, ALL,

Re : Hacker News on Intel Microcode

OK the “Reverse Engineering” work carried out is quite impressive.

But I realy get the feeling that the level of understanding even in the ICTsec crowd is at best poor.

Which makes,

“This is going to have a lot of comments, let there be no doubt”

A very veru high noise to signal read at best (as I’ve waded through that Stygian mess this AM I can confirm this.

It appears that essentially all commenters have no idea what Microcode is or the underlying “Register Transfer Logic”(RTL) is or why Microcode came about or when[1]…

For those that don’t know a microprograming system implementing a microcode language is in effect a block of memmory used as a ROM the address inputs of which are driven by a state machine. The Data outputs of the ROM drive the lower level hardware of ALU, MUX and Registers via their respective control lines. Importantly some of those data output lines also go back into the state machine thus enabaling it to be Turing Complete. In essence it is the hardware “interpreter” at the bottom of the “software stack”.

The distinction between horizontal and vertical microcode is a little bit fuzzy and means different things to different people (such is life).

At the simplest horizontal microcode is seen as “one data bit for every control line” and vertical microcode as N-data-bits to M-control-lines. For instance if you have a register file that drives the ALU, you might have eight, sixteen or a lot more actual registers, only one of which you can use at a time. So rather than have say 64 data-bits driving 64 registers, you have only 6 data-bits driving an “address decoder” that has the required 64 outputs to drive the register control lines.

So in a simplistic way, vertical microcode is in effectct “compressed” horizontal microcode.


[1] When some people talk about “microcode” especially if they come from an IBM background they get it wrong. You will often hear refrence to the “MIT Whirlwind” system in the 1940’s. In fact it was not the first computing system designed with such a sequential control store system (see Babbage’s engine ~1810) and that has it’s history in pattern stores on looms (see Jacquard box ~1800). But the Tommy Flowers designed system in WWII you can see a rebuild of at Bletchly Park, well predates the MIT Whirlwind by quite some time.

By the time of the MIT Whirlwind the use of “Diode Matrix” sequential and switched control stores was well established by decades in what we would now call “Industrial Control Systems”(ICS) in the form of switched “Ladder Logic” the earliest examples most would have come in contact with being “lift controls” and the “Phone Network” in the 1930’s. You can still find similar electromechanical systems in some old washing machines still chugging along from the last century. The use of “diodes” just made things smaller, faster, and eventually less expensive.

It was in 1951, Maurice Wilkes head of Cambridge University mathmatics dept, published the first book on programing. He also had came up with the term “microprograming” and “microcode” and published a paper on it in that year (an idea IBM filched for it’s later 360 systems). Conceptually microprograming and microcode was a very very different idea to that of using a simple “diode matrix” in a switched sequencer system. His leap forward was to add “conditional execution” by using a second matrix and state machine. It also alowed “code reuse” so got way more from the control store than a simple Diode Matrix sequencer ever could. More importantly though less recognised is it gave rise to the idea of heirarchical programing hence our high level languages. As a more practical side effect a microprogramming aystem also easily alowed variable clock cycle instructions thus improving through put. As I’ve mentioned before, back in the 1980’s I met Prof. Wilkes when working on the Cambridge Ring at another University. In many respects he was the father of modern personal computing as we understand it,

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 6:56 AM

@ Researcher Zero, ALL,

Re : Hydrogen fuelled busses.

Note the thing missing from the statment,

“These remarkable vehicles will produce no smog or greenhouse gases; the only exhaust emission is water vapour.”

No mention of where the hydrogen comes from and how much “smog” and “greenhouse gasses” will be the result of extracting it.

We’ve seen this before with “electric vehicles” back when the only source of charging power was “raw coal” fired power stations…

You need to keep your eye on the whole energy supply chain, from fusion in the Sun to Infer-Red re-radiation of the energy back into space from the earth…

vas pup July 20, 2022 4:15 PM

Heatwave forced Google and Oracle to shut down computers

“As record temperatures hit much of the UK on Tuesday, tech giants Google and Oracle suffered outages as cooling systems failed at London data centers.

Data centers are large highly secure buildings that hold banks of computers and are the powerhouses behind many online services.

But the concentrated computing power generates heat so powerful that cooling is essential.

Both companies say the problems have now been resolved.”

What about crypto currency mining centers?

vas pup July 20, 2022 4:22 PM

UK studies reusable hypersonic military jet technology

“The UK project, announced at the Farnborough Air Show, would look to develop a super-fast, uncrewed air vehicle that could deliver payloads at great distance and then return to be used again.

The team behind the venture includes Rolls-Royce, the RAF, the defense research agency DSTL and the Oxfordshire company Reaction Engines.

It’s also got the backing of the UK’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund.

Essentially, this will see pre-cooler heat-exchangers put on the front of a jet engine to allow it to achieve velocities in excess of Mach 5 (five times the speed of sound; approaching 4,000mph).

At these hypersonic speeds, the temperature generated inside a gas turbine would begin to melt components unless they were cooled in some way or made from exotic materials.

“Thermal management is absolutely key to this project. Because, as you all know, the faster you go, the hotter it gets, and we’re talking about a vehicle that potentially could travel a mile a second in terms of speed and where temperatures would be in excess of 1,000 degrees centigrade,” explained Mark Thomas from Reactions Engines.

“That’s what our cooling technology allows. It takes that heat threat away and drops the temperature from 1,000 degrees, or above, to ambient in less than a blink of an eye.”

Along with Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines had started investigating this approach in 2018, using an EJ200, the gas turbine that powers the RAF’s Eurofighter-Typhoon fighter. They’ll take the lessons learned from that exercise but apply them to a smaller, undisclosed jet engine.”

vas pup July 20, 2022 4:46 PM

@Clive and @ALL:

A solar storm is coming. Should we be worried?

“Peak in 2025

The sun is on 11-year solar cycles. The current one will peak in 2025, scientists say, by which time flares will be more intense and extreme.

This could be cause for some concern. Our existing internet communication structure is vulnerable to violent solar storms, according to a 2021 University of California-Irvine study.

According to author Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, if a particularly strong solar storm crashed into the Earth, it would have the power to not only disrupt power grids and satellites, but also to paralyze the internet long term. She said our internet infrastructure is not designed to withstand severe solar storms.

Communication via unprotected satellites (like GPS navigation systems) and =>undersea cable repeaterssaid, would be to shift the internet infrastructure to the south, for example to Central and South America, because the northern latitudes are more susceptible to solar storms.

She also suggests shorter and therefore more resilient internet connections, such as in Europe and Asia, and the implementation of additional overhead cables, which are less vulnerable than long submarine cables requiring many repeaters.”

=Is Faraday Cage sufficient protection as for EMP?
=Why undersea cable repeaters affected? My guess was water should work as a shield. Yeah, common sense, but Your expert opinion is highly appreciated.

lurker July 20, 2022 6:16 PM

@vas pup, All

One thing I’ve observed over the years is solar weather prediction is like terrestrial weather prediction: quite good in the short term, but the longer into the future you look, the flakier it gets.

And the year 2025 features in a number of doomsday scenarios. Time to put aside some popcorn?

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 7:08 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Re : Heat is the ultimate form of pollution.

It’s funny you should mention,

But the concentrated computing power generates heat so powerful that cooling is essential.

So much so a well known company I won’t mention was looking at an interesting idea…


1, Off shore wind farm generation
2, Off shore tidal geberation
3, Sub sea containerised data center
4, Fish farming.

The UK especially up in Scotland has some of the most reliable wind and wave power in the Northern Hemisphere. It could generate around eight times the energy from the total pipline gas that Russia was pushing into Germany / austria (where I’ve been led to believe natural gas prices are up 300% with electricity soon to follow, and significant outages expected this autumn/winter in Austria).

Also the sea is of the right depth for wind and wave generation but shallow enough that you could put specialy designed unmaned data centers on the seabed[1].

The excess heat measured in megawatts could be used to warm the water just one or two degree C which would make certain types of fish farming much more productive…

So all you need is very high bandwidth data communications, running with the back to shore power transfer. The data centers effectively run on the difference between generation and on shore consumption.

[1] Off Shore engineering is a bit of a black art at certain water depths due to build up effects as deep wayer waves hit shallower water. It does not take much imagination to work out the sort of energy required to lift a wave of water –think cylinder on it’s side– 30ft / 10meter in hight and 20km long… Thus protecting the base supports for off shore wind farms can be a significant engineering task. But… If you take the energy out with wave power generation on the prevaling wind side you reduce the engineering required for the wind farm suppprts, so some people see wind and wave as complementary.

Clive Robinson July 20, 2022 8:00 PM

@ vas pup, lurker, ALL,

Re : A solar storm is coming. Should we be worried?

Well that depends…

The Sun spews out massive amounts of matter at significant speeds all the time as “Corona Mass Ejections”(CME).

The thing is we are quite some distance –8 light minutes– from the sun and both the sun and earth rotate. We are in effect quite a small target to get hit.

We measure the sun in the X-Ray, ultraviolet, visable, infrared, microwave EM bands as well as measure particles as and when they get here. There is a considerable delay in particle arival compared to the EM spectrum arivals. Also there is quite a bit of uncertainty in the velocity of the particles.

All of which means that yes we know a CME has happened, and of it’s approximate size. But… Although we know when it left the sin and in what direction we don’t have sufficient information to say if we are going to get hit…

There was a large CME a few days back and it was heading in our direction and could have given us a fairly significant slap yesterday or the day before… In fact some business MSM outlets in India were talking about it being the equivalent of the wrath of a significant Hindu God. I did start typing up a jovial posting about it and thought it’s not going to do much…

And so it turned out much of it went out and over our heads in the north, and whilst there was some aurora fireworks and some polar absorbsion of radio signals very little happened I think we haf about a 40% chance of minor activity.

Very very occasionally the earth does get a direct hit, then when the van Allen belt gets hit with a massive charge of particles it effectively shields us from E field issues in a positive reinforcment process. But not always (NOAA has a “space weather” section that explains the processes behind the general reinforcment and very occasional reversal.

However, the E field effects, annoying as they can be, they are generally not the problem. It’s the H field effects we need to worry about with overhead power cables and the like. Because not only do they induce massive currents in over head cabling it’s near on impossible to stop… And the H field effects can “travel deep”…

As for “EMP” it’s a bit more dificult to explain. But in practice CME EMP and Nuke EMP like “Starfish prime” are significantly different. Nuke device EMP has a very fast rise time and very very high E field effects, but as it’s “fast to rise” in general we can protect against it. With CME EMP the energy curves are very different they have slow rise times and are difficult to deal with as the inductance required to provide protection is way way to small.

Whilst the chances,of being hit by a valid CME are very small, at some point we will have another Charington Event and our “high tech world” is not realy designed to deal with it.

Hopefully the next CME event will not be anywhere near similar to the Charington event and we can “siphon off” sufficoent energy to avoid harm.

I could go into more depth but this post is long enough already… And the probability is we will see more “little green fairs” than normal not hi-tech Armageddon.

&ers July 21, 2022 11:23 AM



SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 4:00 PM

As the Cryptocurrency Ponzi money laundering schemes continue to implode, remember that lawyers have to eat too.

They will not accept Bitcoin.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2022 4:59 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Bruce, ALL,

“Cryptocurrency Ponzi money laundering schemes continue to implode”

Yes they do, BUT…

A question has to be asked,

“Is this the bubble bursting irrevocably, or just the start of a larger cyclic phase?”

Or to put it another way,

“Just how many idiots out there, so that a long con can be kept going?”

I’m thinking there are still many who fall into,

1, More money than sense.
2, Economically desperate.

Or both. Yet there will be others who think,

3, They are smarter than others.
4, Smarter than the market riggers.

Who will get in low and get out ahead because… Not that they were as they delude them selves smart, but because they were not just alowed to but encorraged to…

In a stock yard there is a “goat” that walks through whilst those behind get slaughtered[1]. The goat does not realise that it is not it’s skill that gets it through, but because those who run things find the goat makes their life easier when it comes to directing the live stock from apointed place to apointed place then finally to the slaughter.

What neither the goat or those who think they are smart realise, is that the goat gets slaughtered when it’s not as usefull and other goats have been brought forth…

[1] In the US in the 1800’s the term for such goats, historically used in all cultures and faiths for millennia, became amalgamated as “Judas Goat”,

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 5:00 PM

@ Clive, Leon Theremin, ALL,

Re : Hacker News on Intel Microcode

One way to look at Horizontal microcode vs Vertical microcode is this:

You need Horizontal microcode to get thru POST.

After that, the Magic Vertical microcode can come into play.

It is not just compressed, it is programable logic.

If you get delivered some new Magic Vertical microcode over the internet, and your OS forces a reboot at say 03:00, do you know what changed?

There is no jumper to protect the ROM.

It really is Silicon Turtles.

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2022 5:45 PM

@ Nick Levinson, Clive Robinson, JonKnowsNothing

Egregious: Adjective describing USSS

Pence knew what was happening, and that is why he refused to get into a USSS vehicle on Jan 6. He knew he would be killed in an ‘accident’.

Dot: USSS used to be part of Treasury Department, until DHS was created, in response to 9-11.

9-11 was created to scare Congress. It worked. See Patriot Act and how the CongressCritters were scared and never read the bill.

I hope that gives you a clue as to how far back in time the conspiracy to overthrow the US Government was planned.

It goes back to JFK assassination actually.


To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above,” DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray on Wednesday evening. “This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.”

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