Mr. Peed Off August 26, 2022 4:40 PM

Fourteen years after the late Aaron Swartz published his Guerilla Open Access Manifesto calling for the liberation of publicly funded scientific literature, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has called for taxpayer-funded research to be made available to the public at no cost.

“The US is committed to the ideas that openness in science is fundamental, security is essential, and freedom and integrity are crucial,” Nelson wrote in her memo. “Improving public access policies across the US government to promote the rapid sharing of federally funded research data with appropriate protections and accountability measures will allow for greater validity of research results and more equitable access to data resources aligned with these ideals.”

SpaceLifeForm August 26, 2022 5:34 PM


Just some Dots and some macro processing

LET T equal Twilio
LET F equal FireEye
LET S equal Solarwinds
LET X equal okta
LET K equal Kaseya
LET W equal Twitter
LET Z equal Zoom
LET M equal Mandiant
LET L equal lapsus

$T $X

Then $W, $F, $K, $Z

You may have heard of them.

These hacks go further back in time than that which you are hearing.

‘ ars information-technology/2022/08/the-number-of-companies-caught-up-in-the-$T-hack-keeps-growing/

Just some Random searches . . .

I swear, truly Random 😉

‘hx tps:// $F. market/vendors/$X

‘hyzy s:// helpdesk dot $K .com/hc/en-gb/articles/360004748651-How-do-I-set-up-$X-Integration-to-$K

‘hzz ps:/[slash] documentation [dot] $$X.htm

‘xyzzy s:[slash] /www.itpro [dot] com/security/cyber-security/367236/leaked-$M-report-$X-breach-$L-operation

‘zyys :[slash] [slssh] /customers.$T [dot] com/1087/$W/

‘nuts [colon] //www. $T .com/blog/$T-$Z

Clive Robinson August 27, 2022 12:52 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

You might find this recently discovered over thirty years old bug ammusing,


Winter August 27, 2022 2:32 AM

@Mr. Peed Off

the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has called for taxpayer-funded research to be made available to the public at no cost.

Good to see the US catching up.

Open access publications have been a standard requirement in the European Framework programs for a decade now. At least several national research funding programs have this requirment too, if not all of them.

The Netherlands had this put in law five years ago. If any co-author was paid by any branch of government, she can make the publication Open Acces.

Open Science and Open Data are requirements for most funding agencies.

lawrence August 27, 2022 3:38 AM

Tried posting this an hour or so back but no luck, so …

An interesting story about WWII spying in Egypt appears in an article on the NewLines Mag website at hxxxx ps://

Maybe a bit for everyone? Spies, odd-ball people, bellly dancing, clubbing and conspicuous high living, radio transmissions with no one listening, a few seductresses, Bletchley Park, kidnapping, Anwar Sadat, a Daphne du Maurier novel as a cipher book.

A good long read for those so disposed.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2022 5:05 AM

@ The usual suspects,

Signed Driver as rootkit for Ransomware

A ransomware operator has found that a legitmate signed “driver” used for anti-cheating in a racing game, not only can be loaded on any Windows machine, but it’s also “as is” usable as a rootkit.

Having got the signed driver onto a target computer the ransomware operator is using it’s rootkit capabilities to disable anti-virus and other end point protection mechanisms.

Being a sufficiently popular role playing game getting hold of the signed driver is not exactly difficult, especially as the games developers are apparently not as proactive as they could be. As Trend note,

“As of this writing, the code signing for mhyprot2.sys is still valid. Genshin Impact does not need to be installed on a victim’s device for this to work; the use of this driver is independent of the game… …Since mhyprot2.sys can be integrated into any malware, we are continuing investigations to determine the scope of the driver.”

But the question is of course why did Microsoft sign the driver?

It’s not as though they don’t charge a Kings Ransom to do it… You would have thought there would be some Quality Control at Microsoft to assess the code as it’s their reputation as well as the games developer…

So from now on I guess we have to assume that Microsoft Signed code to be lacking in Security…

As they say “You have been warned”.

Clive Robinson August 27, 2022 2:25 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

“Will Digital Immortality Enable Us to Live Forever?”

Probably not.

Think about the difference between you now as corporal human flesh and potentially “you” as some program in a computer?

No matter what people say, that “program” is not going to “sense” and “feel” the way you do now…

So it will not be you but at best a facsimile of you.

But even then it still will not be you. You are the sum of your experiences, every one of which changes you in some way. A program can only have at best partial knowledge of some of those experiences, because it’s not you and has at best very incompleate knowledge of you it can not predict how you will experience an experiance even if it has a high fidelity knowledge of the experience.

Over a decade ago the technology was such that human movment could be read into a computer analyzied and thus reproduce that movment.

But it was incompleate, because even the way we walk is in part based on our emotional state. This is most obvious with children, and it alows their parents to “read their childs mood” at quite some distance without seeing their childs face. The same is true in adolescents and adults to those that know them well.

A little over half a decade ago there was a famous chocolate advert that appeared to use a famous actress in her prime from fourty years or so before.

Yes it was entirely fake but the point was it made a lot of “Stars” realize there was value in their “after images” not just in death but also in life.

There are now “body robots” that move around and interact with people. Some are little more than LCD screens on a pole on top of one of those two wheel self balancing hover boards.

The point is how would you know if the image you see is the real human or some projection of a person using AI?

The question that arises is,

“When would it matter?”

Not to the stored computer personality but to the flesh and blood human interacting with the robot.

Now that “home working” has been given a large kick by C-19 lockdown people are talking about using such robots for heakth and safety reasons.

One thing I am sure on though is that the robots will improve fairly quickly and will become more human than the humans they are projecting.

That is you will at 30 be able to project your physical looks when you were 20 etc.

Imagine if you can a room full of robots projecting fit healthy 19year olds, but behind which are people with the worldly experience of say a sixty year old…

The robot is not the sixty year old, and if instead of a live human it was an AI projection it certainly would not be the person who the image was once…

So no it would not be “Immortality” as we currently think of it. Even with the best AI the personality projected will be no more real than the image.

Nick Levinson August 27, 2022 8:08 PM

A sound can destroy a hard drive. The sound can simply be audio from a nearby source and of a certain frequency available in one pop song.

A report is about an old hard drive model. This one was one from Mitre that works at 5400 RPM but the problem affected other brands’ models, too. See and, both as accessed Aug. 21, 2022.

Winter August 28, 2022 2:26 AM

@vas pup, Clive, ALL,

“Will Digital Immortality Enable Us to Live Forever?”

I agree with Clive, you are not just your brain.

But if you want to have some fun time reading about it, get yourself Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson


RealFakeNews August 28, 2022 7:05 AM

@Clive Robinson

It has always been the case that Microsoft will sign anything so long as:

1) Money
2) Code has a legitimate purpose
3) Code being signed is not itself malicious

Microsoft don’t go so far as to ask if anything in the code could be abused to break other things.

It would be useful to know what this driver actually does and what it allows, because if it is lacking in functionality but is only a conduit to allowing kernel-mode access to more general functions (how and which ones?), then this is definitely heading towards the realm of “highly questionable”.

AlanS August 28, 2022 12:09 PM

@Mr. Peed Off

Whitehouse statement here. This extends earlier requirements that have been in place for years. For example, anyone who has written a NSF proposal in the last decade had to complete a data management plan for sharing data with other researchers.

Open access to publications is one thing. Open access to de-identified datasets is another. The latter is problematic when the data has been collected from human subjects, usually with promises of confidentiality. How do you protect the data they provided from re-identification attacks? Usually, with great difficulty. The little catch in the Whitehouse statement:

The new guidance makes clear that responsible sharing of data requires agencies to ensure that privacy and security protections are maintained.

Nick Levinson August 28, 2022 12:15 PM

@vas pup, @Clive Robinson, & @Winter:

A human can change their mind without realizing it, especially in subtle ways, leading in steps from one end of an opinion spectrum to the opposite end, or flipping from near one end to near the other end and back again without noticeably stopping at all the intermediate steps. This can be perhaps entirely due to influences all dating from before the first state of mind.

In one study of humans, subjects were invited to go into a room and select and keep any poster they liked. On their way out, half were asked why they liked it. Six months later, all were asked their opinions of the posters they had taken and the half who had previously been asked why they liked theirs didn’t like their posters as much anymore. Humans are also influenced by knowing they’re supposed to have certain opinions and saying them in certain contexts without realizing that that’s what they’re doing; research linguists run into this problem all the time when trying to find out how people pronounce words and people try to remember their third-grade teachers’ directions without being conscious of it.

I don’t know if AI does all that yet.

AI, I think, like other software, still follows a plan. AI could exploit randomness, but the human brain abhors randomness and randomness is not the same as changing a mind for more complex subconscious reasons.

I don’t think we know how to replicate a human into AI in a way that would include that property.

I’m not an expert on AI.

Clive Robinson August 28, 2022 2:38 PM

@ Dancing On Thin Ice,

“Private citizens have no need to retain even unclassified papers.”

That is incorrect advice.

There is no real limit on liability in the US or UK or anywhere else based on Old English legal systems.

As such the Old English legal system is based on “trial be combat” via proxie through appointed champions. The champions weapons these days are information.

Thus not keeping documentation that contain infornation that might be of relevance in future legal actions would be inadvisable.

I realised fairly early on that “clasification” was mainly about two things,

1, Stealing from those who create.
2, Wallpapering over crimes committed and potential embarrassment caused.

It’s mainly only “National Security” because “National Security” is being used as “heavy armour” to hide behind by those who are basically wishing to hide their criminality and incompetence.

Whilst there are legitimate needs for National Security they are a tiny fraction of what is actually covered.

One argument used to justify such over classification is the “joining the dots” rational. That is all information that is known is a bread crumb trail to some secret.

Unfortunately this rational does not take into account the obvious and quite major opposite… Which is most information can not actually be hidden, and trying to keep it hidden only draws attention to it, as it in effect creates a hole the shape of which indicates much further information. Whilst half a century or so ago this was a difficult path to follow, these days modern information search systems make “joining the dark spots” as easy as “joining the dots”…

Whilst people are starting to understand “meta-data” most especially in the legal proffession do not grasp or are very uncomfortable about it. When you start talking about “meta-meta-data” you can see they are bot ready, in fact they see it not as “Heresy” but “The work of the devil incarnate”.

lurker August 28, 2022 3:00 PM

@Dancing On Thin Ice
“Private citizens have no need to retain even unclassified papers.”

Who defines need?
Some Private Citizens will have a want to retain things. Their motives may be questioned now. Future historians may thank them. Who will balance these conflicting ideas?

JonKnowsNothing August 28, 2022 4:37 PM


re: “Private citizens have no need to retain even unclassified papers.”

Who defines need?

It has not been uncommon in the USA for papers to be classified, unclassified and stealth reclassifed, as well as reclassified after the fact (post arrest or post investigation).

A good number of cases have made their way through the courts all finding that if the thing is classified at the time of the trial (in general terms), then having that in your possession makes you guilty even if you didn’t know that it was classified or had been reclassified.

iirc(badly) A very very old document on how to use a Rotary Phone to connect in a secure method, which was obsolete and had been declassified decades early, was reclassified after it was found in the possession of a Person Of Interest. The person had the declassified version but was convicted for having the document that was now reclassified.

It was a sticky wicket case for the 3Ls and it didn’t improve their image much during what was allowed to be reported on the trial. Lots of Ex Parte exchanges. (1)


1) Judge and Prosecution only, no information given or exchanged with the accused or their legal representative.

JonKnowsNothing August 28, 2022 5:11 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm, All

re: Stop the planes!! Q3 2022 version

A MSM article about a row with USA and China over the number of COVID positive passengers USA planes going to China are allowed to have on board.

The row has gotten so big there is a tit-for-tat cancellation of flights going to and from.

China has a “zero-COVID” policy and the USA (and western economies) have a LOVID policy (Living with COVID) where COVID happens where, when and how the population decides to spread it. China is objecting to the USA exporting US COVID and the US sub-lineages of COVID to China.

Before Aug 7 2022 ~9 COVID positive passengers were allowed to travel per flight.
After Aug 7 2022 not more than 4% of the entire passenger manifest can be COVID positive.

After arrival in China, a larger number of passengers are testing positive than the initial pre-takeoff declaration.

USA airlines that get blocked (see: refunds, rebookings etc) complain it is not their fault that people in the USA have COVID and chose to travel to China with COVID. That China is discriminating against the airlines for things that are common in the USA and beyond the control of the airlines.


Search Terms

LA Times
US China
COVID dispute
US Department of Transportation
flight suspension

vas pup August 28, 2022 6:39 PM

New market for recycled computers

Many companies renew their computers and servers every few years. It comes at a huge cost, both financially and to the environment. But in recent years, the market for refurbished computer equipment has really taken off.

Good short video. The security issue is guarantee that computers submitted to recycling REALY wiped out of data in such way that nobody (private or government) could neither use this data directly or restore it.

lurker August 28, 2022 6:59 PM


Start the planes! But make sure you have enough trained staff. Lost, delayed or misdirected baggage is approaching pandemic proportions.

SpaceLifeForm August 29, 2022 12:00 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, ALL

re: Stop the planes!! Q3 2022 version

After arrival in China, a larger number of passengers are testing positive than the initial pre-takeoff declaration.

This fits my theory. Which I never fully laid out, so will do so now.

Remember, is it stealthy. Previously, I surmised that the virus hides out in fat cells. Other locations have also been proposed.

Remember the flight from New Zealand(?) to Fiji, and all tested negative on departure after two weeks of quarantine, and two thirds tested positive on arrival 4 hours later?

Well, my thinking is that almost everyone has probably been exposed by now, but many never know it. Totally asymptomatic.

But, and this is the key, under stress conditions the virus erupts.

The stress response will most certainly vary from person to person, as some people handle stress better than others. For example, young people tend to deal better with stress, but as one gets older, they find out that it is not as easy as it used to be, and the smart ones avoid stressful situations.

Which leads to the planes. Many people find flying to be stressful because of the gravity of the situation.

But, there are other factors in play when it comes to flying.

Reduced Air Pressure. Reduced Oxygen levels. Reduced Humidity. Cool or even chilly temperature environment.

I believe all of these factors combined may cause purely asymptomatic carriers to endure extra stress. It can be a double whammy. Increased metabolic activity possibly causing the virus replication to crank up, and also the stress impacting the immune system response.

JonKnowsNothing August 29, 2022 1:33 AM

@SpaceLifeForm @Clive, ALL

re: asymptomatic and testing failures

BA.5, can result in symptoms so mild that healthcare workers are still working despite the illness. Some people are not testing positive until four or five days after they start showing symptoms of COVID-19. (1)

In California, the general situation is “ignorance is bliss” but there are still some pockets of science at work.

We know the cruise industry has had nearly zero success at running a cruise without an outbreak of COVID. Last MSM report I read, after the US Rules on COVID Cruises expired and was not reinstated, the cruise industry in and around the USA is going to treat COVID outbreaks as a No Incident Event, even when large percentages of passengers are ill.

Prior to that, everyone had to have a negative test and some cruise lines did extraordinary protocols to prevent outbreaks. They still had outbreaks even so, primarily due to not fully understanding the extent of what needed to be controlled. A hole in their security and health protocols:

  • All passengers are negative but 1 crew wasn’t. A last minute replacement.
  • All passengers are negative, all crew is negative. Testing did not catch the asymptomatic passenger until they became symptomatic 3-5 days into the cruise. During those 3-5 days a lot of people got exposed and a lot of people got sick.

We know the exposure rate of BA4 and BA5 1:50. So 9 symptomatic passengers on a USA-China flight exposed the whole plane over flight duration. The new limit of 4 COVID positive is still going to expose the entire flight between USA-China.

We know from the outbreak in Tonga, were people in the city, far from the port where the infected Aussi Navy ship was berthed, got sick and was genetically linked to the Aussies. The virus traveled 1 mile in 15 minutes with a 4 mph breeze and drifted into different neighborhoods there.

Our arsenal of Paxlovid drug regimen has a serious protocol problem. To get an Rx you have to be symptomatic, you have to have an MD do all the work up and Rx. If your blood tests are not current, you have to get an updated lab draw. The optimal time to start the drug is when symptoms first appear and you have the first positive test. The delay in Rx means many people are not able to get the drug in time. Additionally there are serious contraindications for its use and the lab work is needed to evaluation potential issues. It’s been recently found Not Useful for “younger persons”. Older persons can get the drug but often have contraindication medical issues. It’s also being evaluation for the “rebound” re-occurrence of COVID after the full regimen is complete.

Testing does not catch asymptomatic cases. Symptomatic cases are already too late. Not everyone will get sick during any particular exposure event. The more times you have COVID it increases the likelihood of additional episodes. Additional episodes leads to increased health issues and Long COVID conditions.

re: Well, my thinking is that almost everyone has probably been exposed by now, but many never know it. Totally asymptomatic.

No. Not everyone has been exposed. Not even close. (2) Many people in urban environments are working on their 2,3,4,5 rounds of COVID but there are still plenty of people who remain unexposed.

However, there are several possible scenarios that meet your condition:

1, Exposed but never symptomatic
2, Exposed by vaccine and never symptomatic
3, Never Exposed and therefore never symptomatic

The principle difference is the genetic presence of COVID viral fragments for 1 & 2. For 3 there would be no viral fragments.

Vaccine manufacturers and testing protocols about who’s been exposed, when and where have been selecting from areas that had heavy infestations. UK and EU. Even the mink got it.

As a reminder:

It’s still the cytokine storm that is lethal. Organ viral damage generates the reaction. Health care organizations are better prepared to deal with the cytokine storm. Health care organizations in California are having serious personnel issues; health care professionals died, quit, or no longer wish to work in the intense environment of constant waves of COVID.


1) Search Terms
LA Times
Working while sick
fooled by mild symptoms

2) In my area @20% of the counted population has had COVID. Some 70-80% of the county has not had COVID. There is cross over between waves, so add whatever SWAG to those numbers.

During this last wave @15,000 people were actively infected and counted. As the rate of infection decay is approx 2 weeks, there is a running count of 15,000-30,000 active infections.

Population is 1,000,000+.

This is all going to change fast. School is back in session. No masks, No COVID test, work while sick, come to school while sick.

Clive Robinson August 29, 2022 7:32 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

“This is all going to change fast. School is back in session. No masks, No COVID test, work while sick, come to school while sick.”

Yup end of first week in Sept is when Schools start going back in the UK.

And… The UK Government has decided no more asymptomatic testing, and their idea of symptoms is not even close to what it should be.

The expected result will be a rapid rise in cases especially in those who are older…

Oh with regards,

“Not everyone has been exposed. Not even close.”

As far as I am aware I’ve not been exposed (though the 2-3mile windborne is a distinct posibility with later varients).

The fact that three weeks after my second shot of vaccine I was hospitalized with a serious cardiac condition (blood clot the size of the end of my thumb in one of the heart chambers and at best a 5% heart output, not expected to live even a year). Ment I could not get a booster shot… Basically all the Drs played either “Pass the Parcel” or a “Pass the Hot potato” game.

As I noted the other day the UK Government has decided to go down the mRNA from the now shown to be highly litigeous Moderna Inc is suing both Pfizer and BioNTech, for undisclosed sums for patent infringment.

A friend who has been involved in IP litigation, suggests that though Moderna have the potential to win that will take years to settle. So the main motive is sales oriented, in that Moderna will effectively block sales of both Pfizer and BioNTech products simply because the law suit has started.

It’s been suggested that the UK Government were aware of this, thus went for the Moderna vaccine, which is the most expensive and probably least efficatious of all the mRNA vaccines, simply not to have supply chain issues.

To be honest I do not want an mRNA vaccine especially one that is very likely to be effectively usless for reasons I’ve stated before.

My choice if I could get one would be an old style vaccine made by brewing up viruses of most of the mutations, and effectively rendering them non functional as viruses. Because not only does such a vaccine have a very large “skirt” unlike mRNA, it alows an individuals immune system to select what it becomes sensitive to thus making the number of hosts reduced[1] to any new varient that comes along.

Thus the question of how to get something that would in all probability be benificial, as opposed to a Government Mandated vaccine that in all probability will not be benificial and may well be more harmfull long term.

[1] Basically nearly every ones immune response would be both broad, and individual. Each person would be more or less immune to a new varient depending on which part of the vaccine viruses their body picked up on. Statistically this reduces the suseptability on a wide curve, not a narrow curve of the mRNA vaccines. Also there is a lurking question about mRNA and one of the three basic types of long covid that could turn into autoimmune disease in the heart and lungs.

Dancing On Thin Ice August 29, 2022 9:09 AM

The original comment ironically seems to have been redacted from the site despite numeous references to it.
(Possibly accidentally deleted in a group of comments made around the same time.)

This is the full text pointing out the separate issues:
In the name of transparancy, why gripe about redactions in a search warrent for classified government documents which would be even more restricted that are being held by someone that hasn’t been transparent themselves?
Private citizens have no need to retain even unclassified papers.

This is separate from other issues of how secure blacking lines out, documents incorrectly marked or adding a lable on items that may be embarasing vs harmful to national security.

JonKnowsNothing August 29, 2022 9:44 AM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm, All

re: Q4 2022 & Q1 2023 Pandemic Responses

Although, the HIP-RIP-LOVID governments continue to dismantle health protocols, it doesn’t mean that these are not needed anymore. If anything, the governments have thrown their populations to the COVID Virus Wolf and all the other opportunistic tag-a-long virus like Polio.

The reduction in surveillance is not going reduce exposures and outbreaks.

Fairly recent articles about the trajectory of both the virus, exposure, vaccines, and mutation rates have indicated that we are in for 3+ years of the same conditions.

If there is going to be any significant new development, it isn’t going to be from the USA. The indicators are such that it isn’t possible. All of the COVID Fast Track Rules are being unwound, so future drugs and vaccines will be going through the Slow Track protocols and all the testing required. As the rules are removed, existing drugs and vaccines are required to resume fulfilling the long development rules and reports; they only got a temporary exclusion, not a permanent one.

Which is one reason behind the Vax Patent suits, the umbrella protection against needing licensing agreements for use of competitor’s technology has closed. Now these side-lined companies are seeking their share of the pie, from which they had been previously excluded.

Clive Robinson August 29, 2022 12:48 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

“All of the COVID Fast Track Rules are being unwound, so future drugs and vaccines will be going through the Slow Track protocols and all the testing required.”

There may be a reason for this, that people are not talking about.

If you remember back, wheb Northern Italy became the first European hotspot, I pointed out that there was a lot of lying by authorities over death rates.

It was clear by the massive multiplication of obituaries (12 pages not 1-2) that the excess death rate was massive.

At the time I was one of the first to point out that the key figure to follow was the excess death rate as the figures could not realy be forged or dressed up.

Well people should still be keeping their eyes on the excess death rate because it is still up by around 10%. Even though it should if things were returning to normal be down by the slightly more than that due to the previous excess deaths killing of people years early who would otherwise have been dying now.

If you do the figures, the unexplained, excess death rate is getting on for being larger than the reported deaths from covid. It’s been suggested there has been a masive rise in coronary and pulmonary deaths that are not attributable to the usual causes.

What is not clear but other figures suggest is these excess deaths may be due to drugs/vaccines not to pathogens or natural diseases.

Currently there is no easy way to tie an excess death to any line of treatment but the US figures are pointing to mRNA as being a potential cause…

We need more evidence but the deaths are unusual as they are “across the age range” of those vaccinated…

lurker August 29, 2022 2:57 PM

@Clive Robinson, Usual Suspects
re Guardian on patent suits

Digging out the patents to read is a job for Ron, but it looks like the patent system is broken again/still. We can’t patent living organisms, but we can patent bits of them?

Patents for the machines to make mRNA would be expected. How can the messenger be claimed to be artificial when it performs natural functions inside a cell?

Winter August 29, 2022 6:05 PM


If you do the figures, the unexplained, excess death rate is getting on for being larger than the reported deaths from covid. It’s been suggested there has been a masive rise in coronary and pulmonary deaths that are not attributable to the usual causes.

No need to drag prevention into it. The virus can do that all by itself.

Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of C

Our results provide evidence that the risk and 1-year burden of cardiovascular disease in survivors of acute C* are substantial.

SpaceLifeForm August 29, 2022 10:32 PM

@ Clive, ALL

A Tale of Two Cities

When there is funny stuff going on, they always settle instead of having the real dirt become exposed.



Twitter has agreed to pay $809.5 million to settle a consolidated class action lawsuit alleging that the company misled investors about how much its user base was growing and how much users interacted with its platform.


Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook has in-principle agreed to settle a lawsuit in the San Francisco federal court seeking damages for letting third parties including Cambridge Analytica access the private data of users, a court filing showed.

SpaceLifeForm August 29, 2022 11:33 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Not so fast Meta, sayeth the judge

Interesting. The flash drive is to be delivered directly to chambers, not the clerk’s office. By 2022-08-30 14:00 PDT (San Francisco). 14.5 hours from now.


Clive Robinson August 30, 2022 1:30 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

“When there is funny stuff going on, they always settle instead of having the real dirt become exposed.”

Well let’s put it this way, I’ve suspected for some time that some on the Twitter Board “Were moonlighting on comedy central”. The signs of a venture capital style “pump and dump” are written in the share price.

As for the other mob of “Psyco central” it looks like “situation normal”. It’s fairly clear that certain people had a more indepth knowledge of what the link up with CamAna was all about than they let on… I suspect one of them from his history was probably getting off on it.

Clive Robinson August 30, 2022 1:48 AM

@ lurker, ALL,

“We can’t patent living organisms, but we can patent bits of them?”

Firstly remember not all places that grant patents have the same rules. The US alows a lot more than others…

But whilst you can not patent living organisms yet[1], you can patent methods of issolation and production and if one of those processes involves adding a unique molecular component that was manufactured by a distinct mechanical process then as I understand the rules then yes that can be patented.

There is a quip I’ve heard,

“You can not patent a hickory handle but you can a new way of puting iron on one end and calling it a hammer.”

[1] Only because no one has yet realy come up with a way to actually make a living creature from just a bunch of chemicals by a unique process (though arguably we are close).

Clive Robinson August 31, 2022 8:35 AM

@ Ferritecore, lurker, ALL,

Re : US Plant Patents.

As I noted the US has laxer rules than other places. However the last time I looked this was covered by “35 U.S.C. 161 Plant Patents”

If you look it up you will find some very important words,

“A plant patent is granted by the United States government to an inventor or the inventor’s heirs or assigns, who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.”

The “asexually reproduced” constitutes what is the method of the invention.

But also the “other than a tuber propagated plant” reinforces the “method over nature”.

But also note the “uncultivated state” which should stop people just finding and patenting.

Unfortunately as a group of islanders who had over a considerable period of time developed a specialised strain of rice discovered. This did not stop a US Agro-Corp just taking it and patenting the strain of rice and stealing it from the islanders. Last century it was given the term “Bio-Piracy” and it unfortunately still goes on a US Corp called RiceTec based in Texes caused a memorable uproar in India,

Winter August 31, 2022 10:08 AM


Unfortunately as a group of islanders who had over a considerable period of time developed a specialised strain of rice discovered.

Note that you should add American before every word referring to a person.

USA Intellectual Property laws do not protect anything created outside of the USA unless it is protected by a state that can retaliate.

The USA only became part of the Bern Convention after Asian countries refused to enforce American copyrights untill they enforced “foreign” copyrights. There are still many loopholes and exceptions.

US patent laws are nothing less than a license to repatent foreign inventions.

[1] ‘–where-america-joined-late.html

Clive Robinson August 31, 2022 11:06 AM

@ Winter,

“Note that you should add American before every word referring to a person.”

If memory serves, the Corp concerned, was not technically American but Chinese.

The Chinese appear to have been the first to take advantage of US changes in the 1980’s.

There’s a bit more information and history in,


Winter August 31, 2022 12:50 PM


The Chinese appear to have been the first to take advantage of US changes in the 1980’s.

Remarkable. Foreign companies being able to abuse US patent law seem to be rare.

vas pup August 31, 2022 4:07 PM

Undeclared pools in France uncovered by AI technology

“The discovery of thousands of undeclared private swimming pools in France has provided an unexpected windfall for French tax authorities.

Following an experiment using artificial intelligence (AI), more than 20,000 hidden pools were discovered.

They have amassed some €10m (£8.5m) in revenue, French media is reporting.

Pools can lead to higher property taxes because they boost property value, and must be declared under French law.

The software, developed by Google and French consulting firm Capgemini, spotted the pools on aerial images of nine French regions during a trial in October 2021.

The tax authorities say the software could eventually be used to find undeclared home extensions, patios or gazebos, which also play a part in property taxes.

Antoine Magnant, the deputy director general of public finances, told Le Parisien: “We are particularly targeting house extensions like verandas.

“But we have to be sure that the software can find buildings with a large footprint and not the dog kennel or the children’s playhouse,” he added.”

Yeah, more money in technology could make tax collection more effective. Good example to follow.

SpaceLifeForm August 31, 2022 7:32 PM


Anyone know what the G really means in a SI-G Classifiction Marking really means?

I know the SI means SigInt. Does the G mean Global?

SpaceLifeForm September 1, 2022 4:43 PM


Fog Reveal

If you use FF, PrivacyBadger, uBlock Origin, and Cookie AutoDelete, you probably will not have to think about this. That is a hint folks. No ad data to track you. Do not use branded apps.


SpaceLifeForm September 1, 2022 6:04 PM

@ PanosTheWonderchild, Clive

I do not believe the ‘G’ in this case is shorthand for ‘Gamma’. It might be, but I have never Observed it.

Speaking of Observation, have you ever Observed a Clsssification Marking of SECRET//SCI instead of TS//SCI ?

Well, there are many that have not.

It is valid, but very rare apparently.

I assume you saw the FBI pic introduced into evidence. Did you note that FBI redacted with carefully placed 8.5 x 11 paper, but did some scissor work to make it clear to the Loose Cannon judge that these were actual Classified docs?


BTW, I was not the only one to note the carpet.


Clive Robinson September 1, 2022 7:36 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

There is a mish-mash of classification systems in place…

For instance in the UK they did not have “Top Secret” just “secret” then into codewords.

NATO had other indicators as well due to incorporating other nations military classification equivalents.

But again there were other international agreements between SigInt and IC agencies, again with their own arangments

Back at the turn of the century some attempts were made to clear the mess up and have a more unified process… From what I have heard this caused an “uplift” effect in that less classified documents got up classified into a higher classification, or the existing classification got lifted up.

The problem is that everyone wants to tighten their classification into “compartments” which in theory means that the classification is secret and above to get codeword status.

Likewise there used to be country classifiers last century where some allies were more trusted than others. But these could and did cause embarrassment when a classified document went walk-about or was “observed” as happened all to frequently…

I gave up trying to keep track of things quite some time ago as it’s not just Goverment Agencies that have their own classification systems. One organisation I’m aware of had “Candy Stripe Boarders” in rainbow hues on every piece of paper to signify their classifications.

The real problem is not the classifications as such, but the proceadures… We’ve all seen movie clips of people in banks accessing private deposit boxes via the two key process. Where the customer is first authenticated then taken to where the boxes are kept and they and the bank attendent release the box with their keys. Then the attendent pulls out the box and carries it through to a room with a small table surounded by curtains puts it on the table and leaves it with the customer…

Lets just say I’ve worked in one or two odd places where it’s the “librarian” that brings the documents that you want to access in the equivalent of a safety deposit box and you wait there in a curtained alcove to read them… Very dull and not very helpfull in a design environment…

SpaceLifeForm September 1, 2022 7:50 PM


re: Fog Reveal


As one Maryland-based sergeant wrote in a department email, touting the benefit of “no court paperwork” before purchasing the software, “The success lies in the secrecy.”

Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 7:36 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Trying yet again with URL modifiers and now partitioned due to “held for mod”…

So Part 1,

Re: Fog Reveal

I wish I could say that this technical process was news to me.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve had involvment with companies involved in Geo-tracking movile devices on mass.

Some uses are socially legitimate such as “traffic census” and similar for infrastructure planing. Others such as “witness trawling”[1] are extreamly dubious and others just society destroying. It gets especially scary when it gets linked to facial / body tracking systems[2].

To track mobile phones is fairly trivial thanks to US Politicians… Who insisted for alledged “Health and Safety” reasons that all US sold mobile phones should have GPS fitted to them. With the Intelligence services knowing that in FMCE “single item production” is realistically the only way to stay in profit, thus the rest of the world would get “in your pocket tracking” added by default.

They would also have known that “marketing” would then make GPS a distinguisher to sell more product. Which in turn would require App developers to have “easy access” to “location data”…

Which is why we are where we are now… With “Fog Reveal”

So now you know who is to blaim you can join a few more dots together and see why US legislators are extreamly unlikely to vote any time soon for personal location data to become restricted (and that’s before the lobbying you would expect from a multi hundred billion dollar industry).

But as you know, you to can get in the same game if you aquire access to a “Signalling System Seven”(SS7) feed which is becoming easier by the day.

Whilst “not having apps” might limit one source of location data spewing from your mobile device, it’s not going to stop it all… So the best advice is “leave it at home”. The second best “keep it turned off and bagged” when you are not at a chosen location free of other types of surveillance such as the near ubiquitous CCTV in high traffic / footfall public areas. Leaving your phone on charge locked in your desk draw when you go out for lunch can be a good idea as the same “interface” that provides location data often provides battery/charge status information along with movment/orientation and ambient light…

Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 7:39 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

So Part 2,

Unfortunately you not “being connected” can prove to be a source of argument and cause that “Karen behaviour” to “police your life” for others who will make many complaints that you won’t use or divulge a mobile number. I have a number of pithy replies to such behaviours but so far have not resorted to the dodge of a friend, who collects those “private service” mobile numbers from phone boxes and gives those out to those he is never going to want to hear from…

On a more practical note you could also build yoursef an “SMS to Pager” Gateway that works “locally” or in some places “nationaly”. You can do similar for Voice Mail and use a VPN via a “Mom & Pop Shop” WiFi (avoide big chain outlet WiFi as it is usually “surveillanced all the way up to eleven” hotels especially[3]).

You could even if you know what you are doing send an APRS through the ISS 😉


It had a rather usefull upgrade on the 12th of August,


And there are still some US Navy satelites that are getting pirated on a regular basis, oh and some EOL’d but not “Graveyarded” ones as well,


Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 7:41 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

So Part 3,

[1] There is a culture of non cooperation with the police in quite a few parts of London which given the Met Police’s behaviours over the last five decades is not exactly unsurprising. When such suspicion arises crime thrives and street violence especially rises, but witnesses decline rapidly. Back in August 2011 there were “The London Riots” that errupted all over the place one that was notable was down in South London in Croyden. This involved the movment of many young criminals from other parts of London down to Croydon. It became clear that the Met Police had immediate and unwaranted access to mobile phone data including supposadly secure Blackberry Messaging and that RIM were either just turning it all over or letting it all be accessed by the police through some backdoor (the latter appeared more likely). What was shocking was just how quickly they were idebtifying people on CCTV footage. It was suspected that the accessed footage from fixed CCTV cameras many of which were controled by Transport For London ( with time stamps and located all the nearby mobile phones via cell phone data and who they were. Which split people into two primary groups,

1.1 Suspects
1.2 Bystanders

The first group being those whos mobile phone location “tracked the action” the second being those local to an area where the action crossed their path.

It was this second group where the “witness trawling” happened. Put simply the Met Police pulled in a number of young people based on location data and used threats etc to get them to turn on other people. All most all who got threatend knew was that the Police had CCTV footage of them[2] being there or were told that their “travel card” information showed they had been there. Whilst the Transport for London cards are “wireless/contactless” cards, at the time they were based on the lowest security Philips Electronics ISO14443A compliant “Mifare Technology” system which uses 13.56 MHz transceiver chips that are without specialised equipment of quite limited range of around 2-5 inches. Thus many with a sufficient technical background concluded “there was unwarranted phone surveillance being used” was the most likely explanation.

Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 7:42 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

So Part 4,

[2] What was not well known then was that Transport For London ( had not only the largest CCTV network in London but also the largest surveillance network as they had been experimenting with body / facial tracking (via work at Kingston University). Supposadly to spot beggars, vagrants and potential terrorists. A half decade later they were tracking Smart devices by their WiFi,


What happened to the face / body tracking is not clear but TfL have later claimed not to be using “Facial Recognition”,


But we do know they are still at the forefront of tracking technology, way over and above their alledged “planning census” claims.

Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 7:44 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

So Part 5,

[3] Fun fact hotels with room WiFi are known to sometimes add hidden CCTV to some rooms that for ease of deployment also use the WiFi. If you unplug the WiFi and not too much later Room Service come “a calling/knocking” then it’s best to assume you are under surveillance. I’ve mentioned before how you can find hidden CCTV via “red-eye” 180 degree internal reflection that all lense focused systems have. Basically as primitive as closing the curtains and turning out all the lights and susing a pencil flashlight with tight beam up against the side of your head and slowly scan looking for “glints”. Similarly Infra-red emitting “night vison” can be found with many mobile phones cameras. Whilst some at the back of the phone might have IR filters those at the front usually don’t (you can test with a TV remote control if you can see the flashes from it when you press a button it does not have IR filtering). Likewise “fitted mirrors” up against walls can have CCTV cameras behind them simply tapping the mirror to see if it sounds hollow can be a clue, another is to “steam it up” with the room kettle, the condensation pattern will reveal areas with quite small temprature differences. Oh and watch out for the likes of “smoke detectors” these can have quite high resolution miniture cameras in them that can “shoulder surf” quite easily…

lurker September 2, 2022 1:46 PM

@Clive Robinson

To track mobile phones is fairly trivial thanks to US Politicians… Who insisted for alledged “Health and Safety” reasons that all US sold mobile phones should have GPS fitted to them.

Thus phones everywhere have GPS. But in more enlightened jurisdictions the carrier firmware/OS gives the user a way to switch GPS off.

Google in its wisdom or otherwise had a measure, then took it away, then reinstated it, where users could see if an app “needed/wanted” GPS, and could turn it off during installation, or later via the Settings menu.

Do U.S.A. residents really have no means to turn off GPS? or do they not have the wit to do so?

Clive Robinson September 2, 2022 3:25 PM

@ lurker,

“Do U.S.A. residents really have no means to turn off GPS?”

I’m not sure what the state of play is, the simple thing to remember is,

“You don’t own it they do”

Because the “Over The Air”(OTA) interface has priority through the SIM thus via SMS(0) “silent” messages the network operators can turn on and turn off things like the microphone…

Then there is the lack of control of a Smart Device where the OS is mangled up and uncontrolable even for knowledgeable users.

For instance whilst it is possible to get a command-line prompt on an Android device trying to move files around is a task that could make even Hercules have second thoughts.

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