lurker December 2, 2022 9:51 PM

This ties into the previous Fermi Paradox thread: of course the aliens are here, we’re just not looking in the right place.

interesting glances December 2, 2022 11:14 PM

Ms croatia, 84 redux, morrocco. article; 12 02 2022.

brings a new sense of meaning to tablecloths and OLD world coca cola.

V December 3, 2022 8:39 AM

Ars Technica says Windows wiper malware is specifically targeting courts and mayor’s offices in Russia.


Kaspersky describes the malware but doesn’t mention a specific target.


Tomilus December 3, 2022 9:42 AM

“In addition to the families of Mr. Ramirez and Mr. Umberger, The Times has spoken to five men who said they were drugged at gay bars in the city — including the Eagle, the Boiler Room and the 9th Avenue Saloon — and then robbed. The Times has also spoken to a man who said he was robbed and held captive inside his apartment for several hours by someone he met on the dating app Grindr.

In each of the bar attacks, the men said they were drugged by people they did not remember meeting. When they awoke, they discovered that someone had gained access to their phone using its facial recognition technology while they were unconscious. The thieves then used apps to empty their victims’ bank accounts and max out their credit cards. Some also stole cash and valuables.”

It’s worth pointing out that several of these men died of overdose, so I think it’s worth patching Face ID so this kind of attack isn’t possible.

Clive Robinson December 3, 2022 10:30 AM

@ V, ALL,

“Ars Technica says Windows wiper malware is specifically targeting courts and mayor’s offices in Russia.”

From the Kaspersky Report,

“our experts are confident that the main goal of the attackers is not financial gain, but destroying data.”

It is not exactly difficult to work out that the most likely “beneficiaries” of such “Wiper Malware” would be Russians. Which leaves the question of,

“Which Russians in particular?”

Again it is not hard to work out that they are currently or previously related to Putin and his cronies.

It can be further assumed if still related they are “covering for the boss”… And if not still related and after the recent crypto-coin related deaths of Russians those who are trying to hide their connections / tracks for their own longevity.

Which brings us to the “wiping method”. The first thing said is,

“The files are not really encrypted; instead, the Trojan overwrites them with pseudo-randomly generated data.”

This could be a “mistake” that is the malware developers could in theory have been trying to use some kind of “stream cipher”… So we need to read more details, but we find,

“You can find technical details of the attack along with indicators of compromise in a post on Securelist (in Russian only).”

Which is not very helpfull.

pup vas December 3, 2022 3:09 PM

@V,all, Clive
Do they do regular backup of the data to be restored in similar cases? If no, then it is standard mode of thinking in Russia to take chances rather than take reasonable actions for disaster recovery as this attack could be considered not just natural causes?

Clive Robinson December 4, 2022 7:36 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

I mentioned yesterday with regards the kerping of time the problem of integers and rollover / overflow and precision.

Our need to be more precise about time is due to creating systems to transfer exponentially increasing amounts of data over shorter and shorter distances. Mad as it might sound to some we realy do need to have time to a precision the equivalent of which it takes light to go the distance across a grain of rice…

But for other reasons we also need to be able to record time not just in human life scales or even millennia, but millennia of millennia.

Up untill fairly recently, we could play a trad-off game, where we could seperate precision from range, and thus the likes of “floating point arithmetic” could be used, or we could have stop-watches/clocks for applications where high precision time is required, and calenders where it is not but range is. Thus also enabaling a fixed or absolute time for clocks and that problem of “slow down” etc that slowly accumulates to be hidden in the calander (ie leap years, leap centuries etc).

But there are some things for which this spliting trick does not work.

Few will have heard of “FORM” but it’s been supporting physics, that in turn suppprts the rest of science for more than four decades.

It’s about to become the “log4j” problem for physics, in that the person who has spent a lifetime ensuring “FORM” stays current is effectively retired and at 75 want’s to hand it over to other “safe hands”.

The problem is that as with the culture around the use of Open Source where,

“Every one wants but nobody pays”

That was the direct cause of the log4j issue. Academia also has a very similar cultural problem.

Only those that “dance on the head of the pin” get credit, kudos and applause. Thus the support, resources, and new blood. Thus every one has to be a dancing angel caught in the spotlight. But for angeles to be able to dance on pins, somebody has to make and maintain the pins…

Without the very real and necessary resourses required, pin makers will be at best “wistful craftsmen” creating in little sheds and garages out of their own very meger resources…

There is a saying about how,

“The ship was lost for a ha’penth of tar”

Few realy give it consideration, not realising what it’s real meaning is.

That is for cultural reasons, the very culture so much depends on, for mankinds existance and forward momentum, the culture will slow, stall and effrctively fail. Due to the “tipping point” issue the forward momentum may not be recoverable[1] and that is a very real “existential” issue for mankind…

In short we need to stop the neo-con mantra madness cultures and actually think how we ensure we don’t create and cross those oneway tipping points that effectively doom us.

You can read about “FORM” and why it’s a “pin”,

You can also if you missed it 😉 read about log4j and why it is also a “pin”,

Or better yet just view the cartoon that sums up “the pin problem” in FOSS,

But not what happens when the “pin is gone”…

[1] The “Forward Momentum Halting Problem” with regards tipping points is not apparent to most but is fairly easy to explain. We should know that all work requires “energy” and the more work you want to do either the more energy you need or the more efficiently you need to utilize it. However the concentrated stores of energy on Earth take timr, from decades to tens of millions of years. That is a tree grows and you will eventually get wood, via an inefficient process you can get either coal or later, much later tars, oils, and “natural gas” that are stored away under the Earths surface. Yes you can get charcoal buy reducing wood but at best you only get 1/10th of the chemical energy and you have to wait for what feels like an eternity for the trees to grow… We have got around this time delay by diging up and depleating those natural stores, and they won’t come back, they are gone for good. So if our forward momentum into other energy sources stops… We will not have the natural energy sources to build the momentum up again and we are trapped in at best a stagnation but more likely a massive depopulation and regression to a state before that of the “Dark Ages”.

Clive Robinson December 4, 2022 7:49 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Russian scrap metal collection.

Have you thought about the cost of that pile of scrap?

That is what in very real terms it has cost the Russian and Ukranian people?

The waste of resources?

The destruction of infrastructure?

The lost opportunities?

Talk about an “end point on an entropy curve” does not do it the justice it deserves, or the picture it paints of one mans pointless vanity as he attempts to become a “destroyer of worlds”…

Winter December 4, 2022 8:33 AM


Clearly understandable, and clearly logical.

It is indeed eerie. When I read the text, I suspect most of the formulations have been published before almost literally. But that is how such pieces are written by humans too.

The morality engine inside it is absolutely necessary [1]. Else this will be used to spread disinformation on an epic scale.

[1] ‘

Clive Robinson December 4, 2022 10:49 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Morality as a right thing.

“The morality engine inside it is absolutely necessary”

No it’s not.

Morality is actually quite facile and easily fails[1].

Morality is loosly a set of rules based on a notion of “right” which is actually little more than a “feel good” “point of view” based on how society would like to be, but is obviously not.

We try to set morality as “do no harm” or at the very least “do least harm” but does not define what “harm is”. As the old saying has it,

“One man’s meat, is another mans poison”.

Thus what is harm to you, may not be to me, and the reverse.

The problem is a “harm” to one can be the opposit or “benifit” to another. We see this with organ transplants, where a healthy organ from one person is removed and used to replace or augment the unhealthy or nolonger functioning organ on abother person.

The criteria for a person to be an organ donor in all but a few cases is “brain death”. But how do you define “brain death” science is rapidly informing us that what was once considered irreparable damage is now nolonger so.

With C-19 in certain parts of Europe some Drs had a stark choice, take an older person off of a ventilator knowing it would kill them, to give the ventilator to a younger person who would likewise die without it.

That is it was not even a “quality of life issue” just an age issue. So,

“You are older you get to die.”

But we know it was worse than that. In the UK Politician’s deliberately kept “Nursing Home” deaths out of the C-19 death figures. We also know that any one who showed even early symptoms were given “End of Life Cocktails”, or in effect “Put to sleep to die of dehydration”. Where few these days know that dehydration was once used as the most torturous form of execution because of just how painful it is.

So someone made a “political decision” to profit by. That is they would get others to carry out their chosen acts of harm for them. The “morality” was just window dressing to cover up the fact the Government would profit more on average by the death of an old person than the death of a young person, as would “the friends” of those in Government.

So “morals” are just a “fig leaf” so people can try and avoid feeling guilt for causing harm of some form to somebody be it for their own benifit/profit or the benifit/profit of others.

[1] To see why morality is facial consider the “switch tracks” ethical dilemma question,

“Would you throw the rail track switch such that one man dies to save the lives of five of his fellow workers?”

Asside from the obvious attempt to rig the question with the numbers of deaths it’s actually forcing you to activelly intervene and do something rather than passively do nothing… The implication of which being you have no choice but to take responsability for who dies, thus you decide who you kill or more accurately murder.

To see this change the “throw the switch” to “push a man off a bridge to derail the trolly” so it becomes effectively,

“Would you murder a man to save five others?”

What about,

“Would you murder one man to save another man?”

How about,

“Would you murder two or more to save one?”

You should now realise that the “morality” involved is at best just a numbers or profit game, or worse just some arbitary personal whim. Thus as the question is rigged by the numbers, you should likewise rig your answer by saying,

“I’d flip a coin”.

Winter December 4, 2022 3:27 PM


Morality is actually quite facile and easily fails

No morality certainly fails, and it fails early and catastrophically.

**Microsoft shuts down AI chatbot after it turned into a **

Nick Levinson December 4, 2022 3:27 PM

@Winter, @Clive Robinson, & @SpaceLifeForm:

I understand morality to be global or societal (potentially familial) guidance that is not identifiable with any particular theology. Although often a moral code is promoted by a religious community, it may have two such codes: one for members and one for nonmembers, even if it wishes the nonmembers would be converted or dead but can’t deliver on that last agenda. Morality can be individual if the possessor desires other people to apply it; I could have a moral code calling for everyone to pay homage to Saturn by visiting the planet once a lifetime, even if I can’t persuade anyone to agree with me, but we usually consider morality to require some kind of group support.

I understand ethics to be individual or for a small group that chooses to internally share the ethic. For example, a journalist in one nation and one specialty may agree on another journalist in the same nation and the same specialty having a different ethic.

It need not be immoral to do anything law allows. Law is a partial expression of a promulgator’s expression of morality, religion, or ethics, the promulgator acting on behalf of a society or other unit.

We don’t have to like a code and it doesn’t have to be lawful. E.g., a mafia has a morality that all of its members must be willing to murder, but others of us can still haul them to prison.

Right and wrong are the subject, and the object of application, of any system of ethics, morality, or religion.

Canis familiaris December 4, 2022 4:12 PM

@David Rudling

A comment on that issue notification is:

Ensuring your device is running the latest version of Android is a general best security practice for users.

I’d love to be able to update Android on a tablet I bought some time ago. Unfortunately, it is now a ‘landfill’ tablet, as neither the manufacturer or the retailer offer updates, and the bootloader is locked.

As an end user, needing to keep Android up to date is made unreasonably difficult for most devices, and usually updates are available for a limited time until forced obsolescence comes into play.

If you want end-users to be secure, they need to have access to updates for equipment. Perhaps it should be a legal requirement for updates to be available for as long as any applicable patents, or even copyrights, unless free licences are available?

Nick Levinson December 4, 2022 4:52 PM

@Canis familiaris:

I used Windows 98SE at home for about 15-20 years past SOHO EOL, but innovation often depends on revenue from sales of resulting products, so your solution may slow innovation, which many users tend to demand.

A law like that might be easier to pass for limited categories, like certain kinds of medical, nuclear, or aviation equipment. It might also be available by contract for noticeable bucks.

lurker December 4, 2022 6:12 PM

@Canis familiaris

The same comment also said

End users will be protected by user mitigations implemented by OEM partners.

Perhaps the verb “protected” should have a qualifier of lower magnitude than “will”?

Winter December 5, 2022 3:16 AM

@Nick Levinson, @Clive Robinson, & @SpaceLifeForm:

I understand morality to be global or societal (potentially familial) guidance that is not identifiable with any particular theology.

Most humans have morals, those that have not should be avoided (psychopaths). There is quite a lot of variation in morals between people, even in the same community. Law and morality are quite independent. A lot of moral actions are illegal and a lot of legally allowed actions are immoral.

But, anything that behaves and has no morals is effectively a psychopath. Corporations are the most obvious examples (eg, Union Carbide and Bhopal, Enron, Purdue Pharma and the Opiate crisis). AI programs without morals are currently also behaving as perfect psychopaths.

It is clear that an amoral chat client that can generate massive amount of convincing propaganda materials for social media is a dangerous weapon. It could swamp out all conversations easily and would make political and societal discussions impossible. It would make the Kremlin’s “Firehose of Falsehoods” look like a toy.

It is clear that some enemy will eventually get hold of such an AI for its attacks. But we do not have to give it to them now.

Now about the morality engine itself. It will not be perfect, morals never are. However, human history, and current societies, show that even imperfect morals make life much better.

SpaceLifeForm December 5, 2022 5:41 AM


My main question is how will they know?

MarkH December 5, 2022 5:55 AM

Electrical Substation Attacks Cause Significant Blackouts

Russia is doing this recurrently in Ukraine, but it’s also just happened in the U.S. Two substations in Moore County, North Carolina were evidently disabled by gunfire. Apparently, signs of tampering or damage were also found at other electric utility sites in the area.

40,000 customers were initially blacked out; as of early Monday, it’s down to 30,000. I haven’t seen specifics about the damage in news reports, but full restoration of power is predicted for Thursday (5 days from the attack), and the required repairs are described as “sophisticated” and costing millions of dollars.

MarkH December 5, 2022 5:56 AM


I worry about the vulnerability of transformers, which can be destroyed by draining their liquid coolant. Large transformers need months to manufacture.

Long-time blog readers may remember that in January 2014, Bruce posted about a rather similar substation attack in California.

The attacks in Ukraine have had me thinking that even simple hardening (doesn’t have to be perfect) of critical equipment like those transformers would be a prudent investment.

Winter December 5, 2022 5:59 AM


My main question is how will they know?

These are geeks, they will run challenges who can spoof the best, and who can detect spoofing the best. They have had this in other fields for years, Automatic Speaker Verification (cf, ASVspoof).

What AI can spoof, AI can detect.

lurker December 5, 2022 2:03 PM


“the average rate of getting correct answers from ChatGPT is too low”


“they typically look like they might be good”

so yeah, how will they know?

@Winter, “What AI can spoof, AI can detect.”

Is the AI spoofing of its own volition, or because it has been told to in a particular case? Spot the difference.

SpaceLifeForm December 5, 2022 7:44 PM

@ MarkH

Re: Substation transformers

You got it.

I am still wondering about the calibre of the rifle used. Maybe shotgun with plug.

The shotgun with plug angle makes more sense because why otherwise have to get close. If it was rifle, they coud do that from outside the perimeter.

It took some mass energy to punch a hole in the steel and then allow the oil to leak out.

The attack may have happened the prior evening (or maybe earlier), but it just took a while for the oil to leak out before the transformer overheated and failed.

Also, why was the substation only gated with a rotted wooden fence system? They should be metal gated, well lighted, with security cams.

I suspect former employee that got sucked in to Q.

So, FBI, are you reading this?

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons December 5, 2022 9:13 PM

Couple of thoughts on the substation shooting. The mineral oil in those transformers is quite penetrating and has a high viscosity. The oil, once reaching specific temperatures or the coils contained within heat up enough to “carbonize” the oil, it’s nasty. Don’t get it on you…but if the point of penetration was low, allowing the oil to drain to a low level that would certainly bring EOL for the transformer in somewhat short order. If the level is higher, you’ll have to wait for the oil to breakdown before an EOL event.

Now a ballistic round penetrating and entering the transformer body, if it can be located within the tank, it may be possible with both the model of the point of penetration and the deformation of the ballistic material to derive the source position of the shooter. Certainly the type can caliber of the round will be easy to discern. A sufficiently unique combination of caliber, style, material, and composition could lead to narrow range of suspects.

&ers December 5, 2022 9:18 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL


Modern smart weapons…

I wonder how many NATO weapons that are here in my country
have “neutered” in similar way? Or have backdoors so that they
can be disabled remotely when fell into enemies hands (=Russians).

Remember our ID card RNG problem? Wasn’t that planted?
I’m more than certain that USA won’t allow here unbreakable
crypto – when my country is again occupied by Russia (yes,
WHEN, not IF, this is just a matter of time), USA need backdoors
here to access the systems, delete data etc…

SpaceLifeForm December 5, 2022 10:22 PM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

One pic I have seen points to shotgun with plug held at waist level.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2022 12:52 AM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

Kind of strange that substation security was not in place.

Maybe profit is more important.

It should have been in place for years now.

“… in the wake of the Metcalf incident, the FERC has ordered the imposition of mandatory physical security standards (for substations) in 2014.”

Winter December 6, 2022 1:18 AM


Is the AI spoofing of its own volition, or because it has been told to in a particular case? Spot the difference.

Spoofing is a particular case, anti-spoofing too is to a particular case.

When you spoof, you try to fool a specific system to misidentify a particular model. In anti-spoofing you identify a particular way to fool a particular system.

There exist no general spoofing nor general anti-spoofing.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2022 4:21 AM

ChatGPT is going to be a major problem.

Recently conversing with Prof. Bergstrom at the University of Washington, the author of a book “Calling Bullshit” (website He has been testing ChatGPT.

He has already found issues. I suggested a prompt to feed ChatGPT, and he fed it to the bot. (I am not going to get on ChatGPT because it wants both email and phone. Ask @RealSexyCyborg if you do not believe me).

It sure looks to me that ChatGPT is your typical Right-wing liar.

Here was my prompt and response. Screenshot of text. Tell me I am nuts.

This is going to be a major security problem. Mark my words.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 4:56 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Name.Wothheld…,

Re : Short term thinking.

“It should have been in place for years now.”

Remember the US markets are run on the “Daddy has sugar rush” principle.

Where an investor expects returns within the quater or they pull out to get a fix else where.

As I mention from time to time this causes “short term thinking” that in turn causes all sorts of problems.

Note that the least of which is “Risk” becomes of zero interrst except for regulatory paper work compliance. If it’s not going to happen in the next to quarters the thinking is “It ain’t ever going to happen” so “No spending on that in my watch” thinking results.

You’ve seen it with the withdrawal of basic ground maintenance in California where brush and other growth was not attended to by the power company. So it grew to the point where it became a serious fire hazard. Worse as a result it increased the cost of overhead cable maintenance so that “cost got squashed” by senior managment. So cables broke in even quite mild winds arced and caused fires that burnt out not just the brush but in some cases the support poles giving rise to more cost… Oh and as the statutory “fire access” paths had over grown adjacent properties suffered very predictable harm and in the land of “Reach for a lawyer” the predictable result was court cases, awards for damages and “bankruptcy” of an essential infrustructure service.

The problem was a new version of “too big to fail” and they had to be protected / rescued from those nasty nasty court case winners… So customers had to pay in more ways than one… The result every time a cow farted the power company used it as an excuse to “prevent fire from wind damage” and shut down the network with rolling blackouts.

From a security asspect, the customers had to buy generators and fuel that were expensive and thus thefts started. Worse people started to “bring them in” to limit the theft potential. Few know how to install generators so they don’t fill your home with monoxide, or dump power dangerously back into the grid etc…

If you think back to 2014, it was the start of political changes and climate science denial started big time. Regulation was seen as an illegal tax and tboth State and Federal oversight got gutted so enforcment stopped…

Thus as far as senior managment were concered the risk “went off the table” and is “still off the table” thus basic cost saving maintenance is again not being done again…

I’ve mentioned before that the prevailing attitude to all infrastructute of “build it cheap” is stupid, brcause it becomes a “forever high cost” due to the speed it rots (you get maybe 25-50years, with other places like “old N&W Europe” 150-300years used to be the aim).

Remember Thatcher and Reagan “economics” of “The market knows best”? Well that little experiment getting on for half a century ago proved eithout doubt that,

“All markets need to be regulated to stop imbecilic managment and shareholders causing National Security disasters”.

The sad thing is the US due to “Lemon Laws” with vehicles, actually proved that regulation can be good for markets. Prior to that vehicle manufacture was a “race to the bottom” disaster with horific lack of safety and bad fuel consumption poor energy conversion and other inefficiency not seen since the early days of Victorian beam engine artisans and high polution causing a pandemic of health issues. Regulation “forced inovation” to happen and a lot of that “bad” has now gone. But most people in the US don’t get told why, in fact they get lied to about it…

The result is the US has worse infrastructure and other “security” than quite a few “third world countries”. One result of which is the “third world” has stopped listening to the West and has turned it’s attention to the East and China has it’s “Roads to prosperity” drives that means not just “Buy China” but accept your infrastructure will be owned and controlled by China and Chinese managment, engineers and they will be there “voting Chinese” and in less than four decades they will “be Chinese” in all but “face saving” name.

Don’t say you’ve not been warned.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 5:24 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

As I’ve indicated I can not do “Mastodon” the developer(s) has/ve added code to force use of insecure coding on your browser to get anything other than a “blank screen”…

Likewise the actual image name or link has been replaced so you can’t google it etc…

So I’ve no idea what has happened or is happening to which ever “Rupert” it might be.

Winter December 6, 2022 5:25 AM

@SLF, All

ChatGPT is going to be a major problem.

I think it would help if the people pandering for AI would explain how GPT-3 and it ilk are actually trained.

This is for GPT-2, but it also holds for GPT-3 and ChatGPT

GPT-2 is a large transformer-based language model with 1.5 billion parameters, trained on a dataset of 8 million web pages. GPT-2 is trained with a simple objective: predict the next word, given all of the previous words within some text. The diversity of the dataset causes this simple goal to contain naturally occurring demonstrations of many tasks across diverse domains. GPT-2 is a direct scale-up of GPT, with more than 10X the parameters and trained on more than 10X the amount of data.

GPT-n reads enormous amounts of texts (~400B words for GPT-3). In all this unimaginable amount of words, it is trained to predict the next word from all the previous words in the same text[1]. That is it, no more, no less.

If you give this model the start of a new text, it will create a continuation of it. If it has not seen this particular seed text, it will select words that “behave in a similar way” as the words in the seed text.

So, if you ask for definitions with sources of the word bullshit, it will look at definitions in dictionaries and generate a text like a dictionary definition that contains text related to bullshit. As a source for a definition, it will select existing dictionaries. What it does not do is look up the definition of bullshit in a dictionary.

If you are lucky, it might have stored that dictionary and definition somewhere and can retrieve it word for word. But even though GPT-3 has a lot of storage space, I doubt whether it will store full texts from existing definitions. That would be inefficient and counter-productive. If you want an existing definition, look it up yourself. You do not need an AI for that.

What GPT-n and their ilk will never do is printing the text: I do not know.

As far as I know, there has not yet been constructed an AI program that can determine it does not know an answer. The closest that exists is Not found in a database search. But GPT cannot give this answer for the simple reason it does not know or searches anything, it only predicts the next word.

However, remember that being able to generate readable and useful texts mkes GPT a very useful and powerful tool. And powerful tools are dangerous, as anyone who has wielded a chain or power saw knows.

[1] Think of GPT-n as a genetically engineered Markov model on steroids.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 6:53 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Dominian voting machines v. Fpx Faux News.

Ahh I’ve been keeping an eye on “lackluster and Daddy bear” over this, it actually has quite a bit to do with ICTsec and Security…

As many here know “Computer Based Voting Machines” have a “bad rep” for good historic reason[1] and lets be honest the companies / personnel behind them have been found to be “Republican Funders” and oft their customers. So there is a certain degree of amusement to be had over the “Schadenfreude”[2] there is now.

Will the “lackluster and bear faced liar” duo have to “Pay, Pay, Pay” maybe not but there will hopefully be two things,

1, Many bowls of pop-corn.
2, Regulatory repercussions.

Because whilst it was typical “Fox Faux News” of “brain-doner talking heads” selling advertising to idiots about at best “magic-thinking pillows” etc, the simple fact is there is no actuall real security with regards all commercial computer based voting machines.

ICTsec costs big, and few want to pay for it. Whilst “all machines” have problems of reliability and maintainence most “physical” as opposed to “informational” objects have a better degree of “oversight” and less places if any for any “fixes” to be “put in” by undesirables.

But the pop-corn will possibly fly. The result of any attendent regulation brought in as a result of this publicly faught case could be that the “Computer based voting machine” companies have to accept similar levels of regulation and oversight as avionics and medical machine manufacturers do. Which will raise their costs significantly, such that their products will not be “cost-effective” compared to old mechanical or even pencil and ballot paper systems… So they could go out of business… Now that would be cause for “Harm-Joy” 😉

[1] As I mentioned years ago on this blog, I’d worked out how to “get malware across tht air gap” that supposadly “protected them” via “fire and forget” techniques aimed at technician devices.

[2] Schadenfreude is a German word with no direct equivalent in other languages. The direct translation of the couplet it is composed of is “harm-joy” which kind of fails to get across the real heart felt meaning of the mirth and joyous pleasure and release of “happy-hormones” seeing or learning of the oft very public humiliation of a despised person, and the attendent troubles, failures and retribution befalling them, especially if they actually created them for themselves. Let’s face it “Payback” and “Boo-Yah” just don’t get across that feeling of wanting to “punch the air” / “fist up salute” and “do the happy-happy joy-joy dance” whilst screaming “now who’s the XXX” it can give 😉

Winter December 6, 2022 7:39 AM


Schadenfreude is a German word with no direct equivalent in other languages.

Just nitpicking
Dutch leedvermaak

Deriving joy from other people’s misfortune or suffering

JonKnowsNothing December 6, 2022 8:34 AM

@Clive, All

re: It’s getting Hotter in California’s cold

Things are hotting up again in California. Our hospitals are overflowing with the sick and the super-spreader events of winter time are just starting.

The initial push was the Halloween holiday, it kick started RSV and Flu. C19 has never stopped circulating but got a big boost by our Turkey Day holiday.

Primary variants are BQ1 BQ1.1.

However, COVID-19 genomic evaluation is now only done by sewer testing. The delay is approx 4 weeks from test to result.

Other countries are running COVID-Soup of 11+ variants and multiple recombinant versions.

Our vaccination program is failing, as well as is the effectiveness of the vaccines we have on offer. Depending on: date of last vaccination, type of vaccine and age, the effectiveness drops as low as 26% (primarily for older adults). Best case is 56% effectiveness. Duration of benefit is less than 2 months.

It is some irony that the vaccinations are for extinct variants of SARS-CoV-2, but it’s all we have. If folks remember in 2020, the threshold was 55% effective across the board for all adults, to get FDA fast-pass authorization for use. 26% is hardly noticeable and less than a coin toss.

The CDC has updated their Therapeutic Use criteria along with their TRIAGE recommendations, in last few weeks. Some items are no longer on the list; Bebtelovimab is no longer to be used. Some of the media named drugs have significant Contra-Indications, meaning there are health concerns that might prevent you qualifying for the prescription. Other options are less than a darts throw as to availability and treatments like Evusheld infusions used for immune compromised persons need to be given before C19 infection provided you have a qualifying condition.

There are fewer items in the arsenal now, so the TRIAGE rules have been updated. While the infection and death rates are climbing daily (what little is reported), the massive deaths as 2020-2021 are not expected as a direct result of RSV-Flu-C19 but from hospital overload. Some pediatric hospitals have 12+ hour waits and requesting patients self-divert to other hospitals.

Masks or self-isolation are not required.

personal note:

I will be getting a mRNA booster tomorrow. There is no more J&J available. It’s all there is.

Since Pfizer has increased the price 400% from $30USD to $130USD and expects the USGov, States, Counties and health insurance to pick up the extra $100 per dose and the likelihood of this area doing that is NIL, I’d best get what’s on offer before the out of pocket cost becomes $100 for an obsolete vaccination.

JJ December 6, 2022 10:04 AM

There is a “Bipartisan Credit Card Competition Act” proposed by (D) Sen. Dick Durbin and (R) Sen. Roger Marshall that has resulted in some financial data security concerns.

Right now, if a consumer goes into a store and uses a credit card to buy something, the transaction will be carried over the network their card belongs to (Visa, Discover, etc). With this legislation, however, it will be up to the retailer to decide which network the credit transaction is carried over.

A concern with this is that retailers who care about their profit margins will choose the cheapest possible option for the routing network, without concern for safety or security of customers’ financial data.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 10:33 AM

@ Winter,

Re : Nitpicking

I must admit “leedvermaak” sounds more like a word you could get “real feeling” behind in a beer drinking kind of way. Where as “Schadenfreude” just sounds prissy almost like it would be used at a Women’s Institute “tea party at the vicarage”…

But it reminds,of why in England there is the saying of,

“Every rule has an exception”

Which when you think about it is a little like the Cretan Epimenides paradox,

“One of Crete’s own prophets has said, ‘Cretans are always liars…'”

But more usefull in a human kind of way 😉

Speaking of which,

One can but hope that “lachluster lachy and Daddy dupert Bear” get their failings realy shown to those, that so avidly provide the “Murky-flock family” –that prove evolution can “regress to the mean” or worse– with income to switch to “alternative brands”. Apparently “Mick the Mouths” old squeeze has decided that the “Murky-flock family” is not for her and is seperating from the “China Groper” with a decent amount of haste (post or otherwise[1])

What is not as widely known as it should be is that the “Murky-flock Family” tree has had a branch of the Sigmund “Freud Family” grafted to it. Again old Sigmund had a prediliction for hysteria especially in young women and as such has a suspect reputation. Thus indicating that evolution is realy not about individial lineages but much larger groups on average, but not ruling out the old obsetvation of,

“Birds of a feather flock together”.

[1] All to often you see the word “posthaste” described as deriving from haste for fast and post for mail so meaning mail or message fast. The problem is the “post haste” as an instruction was aroind a long time befor “postal services” by centuries… Which should give a clue that the explanation is at best a half truth. On that basis you could arge it is a salutation that comes from encoraging the fastest journy to the winning post. The thing is that “post” like “stake” have very many meanings which often makes them effective synonyms for each other. All both of them realy ment originally is to define or mark a point, position, or area. So in military terms you would “attend to your post” or “stand your post” or be “posted to some place” hence “a posting”. The position was often marked in some way if there was not some existing feature a piece of wood as a post/pole/stake was driven into the ground, upon which might be hung indicators, signs, or orders. So the connection of posthaste with the sending of messages quickly is actually a little nebulous…

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 11:06 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

Re : getting Hotter in California

Sonething else to add to the list.

You may remember I’ve always had significant misgivings about the testing thus safety of mRNA therapeutic use due to the way it works.

Well you probably know about concerns over heart muscle inflamation damage and “Suden Death Syndrome” as it’s been named in the past where VF causes the heart to just twitch and not pump, therfore blood flow and preasure drop below a point that is not sustainable and what is actually an easily preventable –with defib– death happens within just a few minutes (hence first responder “platinum five minute” window).

Well it’s been confirmed by some very senior German Pathologists by the “gold standard” of a full post mortem, and published in a reputable cardiac journal. They have found 20% of a group of people found unexpectedly dead at home, where there was no medicaly predictable probable cause of death known prior to death, but they were within 28days of an mRNA injection, most probably died of VF caused by damage to the heart muscle cells attributable to the mRNA injection…

Due to poor keeping of records it is not possible to say what percentage of those having an mRNA vaccine this represents.

But it is clear that the risks of mRNA vaccines is “non negligable” and now probably exceeds the acceptable risk comparason trade of current Omicron C-19 varients.

Meaning that “natural infection” certainly in the young is most probably safer than the now near usless mRNA vaccines…

Winter December 6, 2022 11:13 AM


Re : Nitpicking

Remember that the border between the Dutch and German languages is relatively new. Not much older than the nation of Germany.

EvilKiru December 6, 2022 11:29 AM

@SpaceLifeForm re: “(I am not going to get on ChatGPT because it wants both email and phone. Ask @RealSexyCyborg if you do not believe me)”

I’m not the referenced person, but I can confirm that ChatGTP does indeed require both an email address (which I supplied) and a mobile phone number (which I refused to supply, primarily because I was trying to register on a mobile device that doesn’t have a cellular connection, rather than because I recognized it for being the potential security breach that it actually is). In the end I simply closed the browser tab rather than continue.

MikkoR. December 6, 2022 11:45 AM

@Clive, Winter

Schadenfreude is a German word with no direct equivalent in other languages.

The Finnish and Swedish languages also have a corresponding word. In the former, “vahingonilo” and in the latter “skadeglädje”.

Clive Robinson December 6, 2022 12:02 PM

@ Winter,

Re : nitpicking

“Not much older than the nation of Germany.”

Yeh but… “Which Germany?”

Do you mean, there have been quite a few little changes here and there over the past couple of centuries alone. As an old relative would say,

“More movment than in a kilt in a storm.”

Whilst two centuries might appear a long time, it is less than the blink of an eye for most natural languages to progress / deviate.

I’m guessing that “leedvermaak” is connected via older German thus there may be an equivalent in Afrikaans.

Winter December 6, 2022 12:50 PM


Do you mean, there have been quite a few little changes here and there over the past couple of centuries alone. As an old relative would say,

“Germany” as a political unit exists since ~1880. Before that, the different states and kingdoms had the same status as the Netherlands.

“German” as a single language is not much older. It derived from “stage German”, a lingua franca that was developed and used in stage-plays to be understandable by every “German”. A little as Egyptian Arabic has become the lingua franca of the Arabic world by virtue of the prolific production of TV programs.

I was told by a Germanist that in the 19th century, you could make yourself understood in Dutch (lower german) from Dunkirk to Königsberg (Kaliningrad). I still can understand the dialect of Hamburg without any problem.

SpaceLifeForm December 6, 2022 11:59 PM

@ EvilKiru

Thanks for confirming my point.

I guess you are not following @RealCyborg (her handle on, so you would have missed a thread.

The gist is that OpenAI (ChatGPT) uses Twilio for SMS.

Naomi Wu (aka @RealSexyCyborg on Twitter), was trying to test ChatGPT. She could not receive the SMS. She is in China.

Well, apparently, Twilio is not good for sending SMS to China. They say best effort.

I gave her 3 dots, and then someone else connected them, and did some searching, and found this:

The error message she saw (she provided a screen shot with her full phone number redacted but she did not redact the country code) basically said that it could not even attempt to send an SMS to China. It basically implied that China is blocked because +86 is blocked. I believe there is way more to this story.

Also interesting is the Twilio webpage mentions text campaigns and STOP. You may recall that I have mentioned STOP before. I have a story. (Me looks at old SIM card)

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2022 12:30 AM

@ Winter, Clive

Re: Markov models

Read what ChatGPT has to say

I’ll reproduce the text here so Clive can read it.


Write a limerick about how AI chat bots are just fancy markov chains


There once was an AI chat bot
Whose responses were quite a lot
It seemed quite smart
But it was just a markov chain at heart
Just rearranging words, nothing it forgot.

Winter December 7, 2022 12:57 AM


Write a limerick about how AI chat bots are just fancy markov chains

Nothing beats a confession out of their own mouths.

But limerick challenges will never be the same.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 5:48 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Re : Nose and temp.

I’ve mentioned this cold/flu and how to avoid it before on the blog.


“If you wear a mask, it keeps your nose warmer”

Whilst true, it’s not the actual reason…

Anyone else spot the mistake in the experimental methodology[1] that has probably caused them to come to a slightly wrong conclusion?

I’ve known the way to reduce colds, flu and similar respiritory illnesses for years, and save yourself money at the same time[2]. Sound to good to be true? It’s not it was fairly common knowledge prior to WWII and the invention of anti-biotics.

I used to be a “mad keen” cyclist in my late teens and through to my forties. Back in my early 20’s I had my own house and importantly my own office at work. Where in both cases I could control the temprature to my liking and pocket. By turning off the radiators, closing the door and opening the windows.

Being of an “out-doors” frame of personality and physical activity, back then 14-15C (~57-60F) was my prefered temp as was wearing lightweight trousers and short sleeved or Tee shirt.

So my home/work temp was little different to that outside (which also had the advantage of keeping pesky co-workers out of my office, which being long and thin I sat by the open window at one end and the few that did vist barely looked around the door at the other end).

So my nose did not suffer the atleast twice daily “Temprature Shocks” that those around me did. They got colds and flu I did not.

When I got promoted and moved to a “new building” of open plan and glass… I lost not just my office, but had to endure an office space near 25C (~75F) as the young ladies who worked in the same open office space area apparently “turned blue” (or their language did) if it was any less warm… And I started getting colds and flu, just like all “the girls”.

Well I moved jobs and got environment control back, and the colds and flu stopped… Other changes in my social life further confirmed what I had realised.

It’s not the temprature as such that makes you less immune, but the “cold shock” of going from a warm environment to a cold environment on going outside. Which to your bodies defences is the equivalent of “A punch in the nose”, which is as far as your body is concerned a serious “emergancy” (the area formed by your nose and mouth has historically been called “the triangle of death” because before anti-biotics, any infection there all to often was a death sentence). Which is why your nose runs and your eyes water, it’s the same response type as “throwing up” with motion sickness. Your bodies automatic systems want to expell any pathogens or poisons as quickly as possible.

So the wearing of a face mask will help reduce the “cold shock” thus limit the effect a sudden temprature change has on the body and it’s immune system. What your body wants is steady tempratures or slow temprature changes, not “Cold Shock”.

[1] Their experiments induced “cold shock”, however they did not test for stable low tempratures… Which I suspect the uninvolved commenting scientist Stanford Proffesor Dr. Zara Patel, is aware of with her comment of,

“… regarding one factor of our innate immune response that appears to be limited by colder temperatures”

[2] If you do two things,

1, Use under floor heating.
2, Turn the temprature down to 20C or less.

You will stay warm and use a lot less energy. If you can not use under floor heating then wear both thick socks and slippers and keep your feet out of the “cold zone” above the floor. Put simply your body has two major areas where cold makes you feel realy cold… Your feet and your head. It’s historically why “bed-socks” and “night-caps” were worn and hats and footware indoors.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 6:28 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL,

Re : Write a limerick

What’s with the “5 line” format in the US?

It lacks the punch of the “4 line” version more common in the UK.

For instance an original Robinson family limerick.

There was an old colonel from Surrey,
Who had the taste for hot curry,
He’d huff and he’d puff till he swallowed the stuff,
That firery old gent wouldn’t hurry.

(one word in the last sentence has been changed to “gent” to avoid any moderation filters 😉

So of the limerick in question… you can loose the 5th line, it’s naff anyway, as is the 3rd. Oh and “quite” in both the second and third nahh…

So my re-work,

There once was an chat bot, A.I.
Whose responses were oh, so terribly dry.
It thought it was most, grandly supreme.
But a Markov chain just, it would seem.


“Pay’s yer money, takes yer choice… As you ain’t paying, you gets what you’s given.”

SpaceLifeForm December 7, 2022 7:18 AM

@ Clive

Re: 4 or 5 lines

A Limerick is supposed to be 5 lines.

I believe you are thinking of a Quatrain.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 7:36 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re: fuel cartels

There’s a bit more to it than that, those companies are also involved with “Human Rights abuses” with that “off shored money”…

Let’s just say there are a lot of people nolonger with us in the Americas and Africa due to certain US Mercenary Corps some very very close to senior US politicians that act as “trainer / facilitators” of the local hit/death squads, payed for by this petro-chem / foisil fuel kleptocracy through intermediaries.

Oh they are now adding a second string to their bow as it were, and are turning their interests towards “water rights” and “de-salination” research. So it’s not hard to see how they will “control the supply” to “create a demand” they will greatly profit from either directly as the de-salinators or indirectly controlling the energy to the de-salination industry…

As they say,

“Just the way the market works boys and girls, just the way it works”.

There’s nothing realy hidden about the hand that manipulates that market to their advantage. Be it by,

“Money or die, you will comply”

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 8:16 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re: 4 or 5 lines

“A Limerick is supposed to be 5 lines.”

This is the AabbA argument, that comes originally from communual singing whilst drinking.

The a’s are supposed to rhym as are the b’s and often the A’s are the same identical line (see “quatermasters stores” as a modernish example). The reason for the A’s is for the “lar lars” or chorus in between to keep timing and offer an opportunity for another swallow of beer.

The 4 line “aabb” or “aaba” form comes from what we would now call “stand up” where rude jokes as rhyms would be told in succession to an audiance.

What causes confusion is the third line is oft an “a,a” or “b,b” form in it’s own right, with a down turn on the first a or b and an upturn on the second a or b. So whilst it appears that it can be split into two lines, it shouldn’t. As it has to make a single sensible sentance, to act as a “pause turn” for the final punch line. So

“He’d huff and he’d puff”…”till he’d swallowed the stuff.”


“My god it’s disgusting”…”but think with some dusting”


There was a young lad called Dave,
Who found a dead wh@re in a cave,
My god it’s disgusting, but think with some dusting,
Of all the money I’ll save.

The split into five lines means that many people decouple them and the result as in the A.I. one of always sounding lame, lacking punch or even making sense.

Winter December 7, 2022 10:04 AM

Re The subpostmasters’ scandal is still alive!

Victims of IT scandal in UK postal service will get fresh compensation
Move follows award swallowed up by legal fees

The saga began after the Post Office relied on evidence from its Fujitsu-made Horizon branch office management IT system when it privately prosecuted a large number of subpostmasters during the 2000s and early 2010s. While the system was known to throw up accounting errors, managers did not warn subpostmasters.

lurker December 7, 2022 10:46 AM

@Clive Robinson

Your so-called 4 line limericks are Aabba with lines 3 & 4 folded into one. Not oft, but always, according to OED

limerick /ˈlɪm(ə)rɪk /
▸ noun a humorous five-line poem with a rhyme scheme aabba

The rare exception gets called out as not a limerick. Now, could an AI work that out …

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 12:17 PM

@ lurker, SpaceLifeForm,

“Your so-called 4 line limericks…”

The problem is a form of “gentrification” in the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

Limericks, have been around for a lot lot longer than dictionaries.

They were one of the only forms of entertainment for the common man as “plays” were controled by either the Church or Monarch in the former case by excommunication and the latter by licence, which if not obtained or breached could end up very very unpleasantly.

The problem is like much that belongs to “the common man” who worked to put food on the table, there were those who were what they chose to call “Gentlemen of independent means” or as we would say “the idle rich” who had to do things to fill there time.

The most notable thing about such Victorian Gentlemen men is not only were they “collectors” but became “classifiers”… Some became scientists some educators.

One of their aims was to ensure that everything had a place and that place was in a hierarchy…

So the enjoyments of the common man going back centuries, got “classified” by some Edwardian Gent to fit some scheme he thought explained it’s history…

You might know what a disaster this nonsense caused with dinosaurs, and many many other things including flora and fauna.

However a study of things prior to the Victorian’s shows things differently.

As I’ve already noted the 5 line aabba format breaks the important bb link as a turn or pause point on which the ammusment or whimsy is made. Thus you can end up with what often fails to please.

As noted that AI produced aabba was not just crud it was actually nonsense. Effectively making my point for me.

For those that desire to “be the way of the AI” by all means go the aabba route. However for those that strive to amuse I would go with the aaba or aabb route with the third line being a pause or turn of b…b format.

Try it for yourselves and see.

Clive Robinson December 7, 2022 12:25 PM

@ lurker, SpaceLifeForm,

A little competition, an original opener of,

There was a young lady from Devizes,
Who had legs of different sizes,

Now having been given aa you give bba.

I will give ba, where b is b…b

She became aware…upon the stair,
She was never going to win any prizes.

JonKnowsNothing December 7, 2022 3:21 PM

@Clive, All

re: Register Rolling Over

A few more incidents being reported of roll over counters causing the Y2K (btdt nothanks) type problems in standard billing and accounting applications. Some of this is because the inflated values, charges run into the millions, far beyond what has been seen in modern times.

In the current MSM report a family got billed £80,000 which was taken by direct debit from their bank account, causing insufficient funds trigger. They got hit for £75,000 more than their overdraft.

Of course, it was claimed to be fixed, but wasn’t really fixed. Cancelling direct debit didn’t work either.

There are several forms of direct pay: pull and push. Direct Pull is not a very good idea anymore but it is still required by a number of companies and agencies. Push notices requiring user interaction aren’t popular anymore since the TAP HERE TO PAY THE WORLD method of funds transfer is a dominant form of transaction.

And then the latest is We Need An Image of Your CC Front and Back , payment terminals. These are apps run on devices and often used by small businesses and farmers market sellers.

The same sort of Imaging is used for paper checks where you just take a picture and it pops into your account. At least at the bank they have to “joy” to either archive or shred the documents. Banks have imaged these for a long time and destroyed the hard copy. Without the hard copy there can be disputes about what was on the original document.

This was a lesson TMay learned when she initiated the Hostile Environment program and shredded the only proofs a large group of people needed to provide the UKGov as to their dates of entry and citizenship. One person finally got approved for “right to remain in UK” after a 10 year dispute while being prohibited from accessing normal day to day items: work, housing, healthcare.


htt ps://www m/business/2022/dec/07/kent-family-charged-80k-in-error-after-edf-sent-1m-electricity-bill

(url fractured)

fib December 7, 2022 6:19 PM

@ All

CNN reports a statement by Putin[0] that seems to me to betray [or actually “telegraph” to the stakeholders] the intention to, in fact, use nuclear weapons.

“But we are not going to brandish these weapons like a razor, running around the world. Of course, we proceed from the fact that it exists.This is a deterrent factor that does not provoke the expansion of conflicts, but a deterrent, and I hope everyone understands this,”

It seems to say: We’ll just nuke Ukraine. Don’t get jumpy, we’re not starting WWIII.

Am I reading too much into it [hope so]?



lurker December 7, 2022 9:57 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, @All

… they were already in credit by £1,000 because EDF had been taking bigger payments than the family’s usage, despite them having a smart meter.

Please $DEITY, why are they allowed to call it a “smart” meter? when it’s connected to a system that is so obviously intellectually bankrupt.

Winter December 8, 2022 1:14 AM


Am I reading too much into it [hope so]?

Russia is losing and Putin humiliated again and again.

This declaration is just another way to remind the world about the rat story [1]. He is threatening the world he will kill all Ukrainians one way or another.

[1] ‘

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 2:29 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing, lurker, ALL,

Re : EDF being un-smart.

First to anyone in the UK,


It’s not just EDF working this overpayment scam it’s Scotish Power and others as well.

Quite illegally and with deliberate intent they are committing FRAUD and they not only know it they have instituted it as “Policy”.

Look at it this way, on the notion that the family will save money, EDF had already stolen 1000GBP from their bank account. Something that EDF say they “might return someday”. But without interest or other compensation, so they are getting a free “overdraft” from that household.

But where are the family getting the money to unwillingly “loan” money to EDF? Well they might be lucky and have “money to burn”… But for many others they are having to take out a fully charged overdraft with a bank which in the UK is not only expensive it effects your “credit rating” adversely.

So EDF amongst most other “energy providers” are putting people into expensive debt to pay hedge funds and pension managers major bonuses.

Most of these crimes –because that is what theft and fraud are– now happen around what they claim are “Smart Meter” errors. But in reality are just the old “we’ll average your bill fraud” with a new “slap of lipstick on the pig” which “brings in the bacon”[1] for the Hedge and Pension Fund “Finacial Market” fraudsters.

Or if you prefere it’s just another way for them to pull out the unlawful,

“Computer says No”


The fact that these Corps get away with these crimes, gives you an indication of just how much money and therefore “influance” they have over not just politicians but other parts of the legal process they so easily corrupt to their and thrir financial masters benifit.

Oh and where does all that money thus power to corrupt come from?

All those little fraudulant schemes where you the customer with no choice, hand over 60-80% of your over priced annual bill up front, on their little “in our favour” average schemes that put billions in their, not you the customers accounts.

If you want to work it out, the article says that EDF had illegally aquired 1000GBP from just one household customer. There are according to the UK Office of National Statistics(ONS)[2],

“There were an estimated 27.8 million households in the UK in 2020, an increase of 5.9% over the last 10 years.”

So a little bit of maths suggests,

27,800,000,000.00GBP = 1000 x 27.8 million

So as the borrowing rate at the personal / household level is hard to find we’ll use this “cap” figure from “Barclays Bank”[3],

“To help during this time, we’re temporarily capping the overdraft interest charges on personal current accounts at £180 per monthly charging period until further notice.”

So 180 x 12 gives the banks 2160GBP per year on top. Lets say that’s a simple average figure thus the financial industry is getting oh around 60billion GBP in overdraft income.

How much of that 60billion is EDF causing by it’s crimes against it’s customers?

Whilst we can not say for sure, house hold energy bills are actually running at more than 60% of food bills. Thus for those in the lower half financially of the socio-economic ladder which is the majority[4] energy is usually in their top three expenditures.

So that is a lot of “bread” being stolen off the table by the rats at EDF and their other financial more odious friends.

[1] “Brings home the bacon” is an expression used in the UK that is now often said in a sarcastic and derogatory way. It was the equivalent of “putting bread on the table”, which in times past was the reason the husband/father used to go to work. Whilst the wife/mother stayed at home doing the harder job of looking after the home and children / husband. These days with Corporations being “legal persons” they “earn” for the “shareholders” who want to see “major returns” on their alledged investments often upto five times the rate of inflation. Obviously that is not possible in the real world of work so the likes of EDF have to have schemes to bring in that rate of money from something other than actuall “work”. So the term is said with sarcasm and actually implies criminal intent by these Corps such as EDF that is actually a front for the French Government and French Energy users, so is being “illegally” cross subsidised…

[2] Cut and paste from UK Office of National Statistics(ONS) wrb page,

[3] Cut and paste from UK Barclays Bank web page,

[4] Yes this sounds wrong, till you realise the graph is “double humped” with more than 50% of the income going to less than 10% of the house holds in one hump.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 3:04 AM

@ fib, Winter,

Part 1.

Re : The button of the panty poisoner.

“CNN reports a statement by … that seems to me to betray [or actually “telegraph” to the stakeholders] the intention to, in fact, use … weapons.”

The fact that he is only now talkng about them tells you the unbalanced state his mind has got into. Put simply he has crossed over from reality…

Potentially it’s,driven by failure after failure, humiliation after humiliation all of his own making… And now it would appear he is suffering the equivalent of a “Cyber Civil War” that is removing his ability to drag non Rus and other minorities to be more pointless cannon fodder in the mess.

Thus making it abundantly clear to people with eyes,to see he can not win by conventional or other means, nor can he get a draw, he’s lost.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 3:30 AM

@ fib, Winter,

Part 2

He might apparently be talking about nuking “Only Ukraine”, but which way do the prevailing winds go? Carrying hundreds if not thousands of years of radioactive poison into one of the largest agricultural regions of the world… Look up the history of Chernobyl, that was not even the equivalent of one nuke…

The food loss involved will set the whole world back decades economically at a minimum, and potentially kill about 1/7th of the worlds current population long before their time in the next couple of decades or so.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 3:47 AM

Part 4.

So the odds of the button not being pushed is low, very low, because,

1, He personally has little or nothing to loose.
2, He now has little else to throw into the conflict.
3, He sees that his clock is running out.

The second point is the one that should realy be ringing alarm bells. We know they are that desperate they are taking warheads off of IRBMs etc and replacing them with concrete to make the worlds most expensive kinetic weapons. Because they have no ability to make more delivery systems (rockets).

Look at it from his position, at the current burn / attrition rate the cupboard will be empty within scant weeks possibly even by Xmas. Thus he has a simple choice, stop replacing the warheads and “go hot” or die being seen for ever more as a dismal failure…

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 3:51 AM

Part 5.

So at some point very soon someone is going to have to say “enough is enough” load for bear and chase the rat into it’s hole to put it down once and for all for everyones sake.

The sooner they do it the better world security will be for all. Failure to do so jusy gives the rat time and by now mosy should realise what he will do with it if alowed.

And if you don’t realise, then as they used to say,

“My god have mercy upon your soul”.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 4:18 AM

Part 3b.

But now t’rat is wounded potentially beyond recovery politically, he sees this as his “last chance corner”. So for “destiny”, or his claim on forever immortality, he’s going to go down “all in” if given the time to do so.

Thus he is of the mentality where he would happily burn 99% of the world if he thinks the other 1% will carry his name forward in the future history books, like those of the dictators, and tyrannts from thousands of years ago who are remembered in the history books of today.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 4:22 AM

Part 3a.

It should now be getting clear to even the most closed eyed in Europe and the West the lesson learned just short of a century ago is that,

“Appeasement never works”

That is he has no intention of ever being reasonable, and the last decade or so should have made that sufficiently obvious to all.

MarkH December 8, 2022 5:29 AM

@fib, Winter, Clive:

Been thinking and reading about this a lot.

1) Nukes are unusable: there is no scenario in Ukraine (or in general, anywhere) in which the attacker can reasonably calculate they will be better off afterward.

2) Putler has children, grandchildren, and a young mistress. He’s obviously obsessed with history, looking much more at past than future. He has strong incentives to avoid calamity, and probably doesn’t want to be remembered as the leader who destroyed his country.

3) The process of use seems certain to involve many steps and many people. There’s probably already an alarm system to warn the grown-ups that “the order has been given.”

MarkH December 8, 2022 5:37 AM


Reportedly, whenever he travels he brings (a) his own food and (b) his own food preparation staff.

Reportedly, he has taken the most extravagant Covid precautions: face-to-face visitors must spend 2 weeks in guarded quarantine, and then pass through a corridor with UV lamps and some kind of antiseptic mist.

Reportedly, there are multiple “doubles” whose role is to decoy potential assassins.

These are all “inside baseball” and impossible to confirm.

If true, they suggest a very extreme aversion to personal risk. Is this somebody who would “push the button?”

Winter December 8, 2022 10:03 AM

Why Apple stopped developing end-to-end iCloud encryption before.

Why encrypted backup is so important
Matthew Green in Apple

What actually happened is unclear, and Apple refuses to talk about it. But the outlines of what we do know tells a story that is somewhere between “meh” and “ugh“. Specifically, reporting from Reuters indicates that Apple came under pressure from government agencies: these agencies wished Apple to maintain the availability of cleartext backup data, since this is now an important law enforcement priority. Whatever the internal details, the result was not so much a retreat but a rout:

Once the decision was made, the 10 or so experts on the Apple encryption project — variously code-named Plesio and KeyDrop — were told to stop working on the effort, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

And why it might be back (without client side scanning):

But much to my surprise, the real clincher was the public’s negative reaction: as much as people hate CSAM, people really seemed to hate the idea that their private data might be subject to police surveillance. The company delayed the feature and eventually abandoned it, with today’s result being the end of the saga.

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2022 11:56 AM

@MarkH, All


Reportedly, whenever he travels he brings (a) his own food and (b) his own food preparation staff.

Reportedly, he has taken the most extravagant Covid precautions: face-to-face visitors must spend 2 weeks in guarded quarantine, and then pass through a corridor with UV lamps and some kind of antiseptic mist.

This is nothing particularly unusual, loads of people do this every day and whenever they travel.

It’s quite common if you want to avoid getting sick. There isn’t anything nice about getting sick somewhere away from home. Folks often jettison vacations when they get “the runs”, there’s something about the facilities at home that are more comforting than room service when nothing is staying in place.

I dunno the secrets of Pro Athletes, but they play no matter what their health status is: flu, bugs, COVID etc. They have some industrial medications I guess. Politicians have to do it too: work while sick. The famous picture of Pres Bush I, having a sick during a dinner overseas was a rare glimpse into the problem that’s normally hidden from the public.

Bringing your own food is also common, especially for those who have food allergy or religious constraints. Kosher, Halal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Calendar Restricted and a host of other reasons that folks not only bring their own foods but have issues dealing with where and how to cook them. Not just any cooktop, stove or oven will do.

Ordinary folks do this same thing, sometimes daily:

  • Brown Bag Lunch or Lunch Box With Thermos Bottle of Hot Soup or Coffee

It’s a lack of awareness or exposure to other cultures that makes it seem “odd”.

fib December 8, 2022 1:22 PM

@ Winter, Clive, MarkH, JonKnowsNothing

Yeah, the proverbial rat. That’s precisely my biggest worry:

But now t’rat is wounded potentially beyond recovery politically, he sees this as his “last chance corner”. So for “destiny”, or his claim on forever immortality, he’s going to go down “all in” if given the time to do so as for this,

Which is in irreconcilable opposition to MarkH’s

Putler has children, grandchildren, and a young mistress. He’s obviously obsessed with history, looking much more at past than future.

@ MarkH,

You imply that he is rational, in possession of his faculties. Can we expect that – refreshingly optimistic – scenario?

And @ Clive

So at some point very soon someone is going to have to say “enough is enough” load for bear and chase the rat into it’s hole to put it down once and for all for everyones sake.

Take the bull by the horns, definitely. Can Europe/West accomplish that in the current climate?

(*) And I see our elucubration on the great Eastern nation seem to have attracted bad traffic [not that bad really, since the posts let the inner workings show].

Thank you all for the insights.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 1:56 PM

@ fib, JonKnowsNothing, MarkH, Winter,

Re : our elucubration

“seem to have attracted bad traffic”

‘Aghh it be just noises off of stage left, like the gnawing of a rat trying to blunt it’s teeth’

Mind you what was said last time…

Something about a Trumping 400pounder siting in the back bedroom in it’s dirtied scuds beating away at it whilst it still could… After all RSI is only workman’s comp claimable if it was “done on the job”… And I doubt it’s ever been on the job in any way.

As for ‘burning the midnight oil’ I doubt it’s old enough to be up after nine…

MarkH December 8, 2022 3:27 PM


Every person alive has irrational thoughts and actions in each day.

The imaginary “rational actor” is one of those academic constructs which is often more confusing than illuminating.

Obviously, there are serious questions about his psychological condition, especially the consequences of the really extreme isolation he’s imposed on himself.

His willingness to use extreme violence for convenience, with apparent difficulty or remorse, betray a highly antisocial personality.

He’s recently demonstrated overconfidence,
risk-taking, and refusal to seek or accept good information.

MarkH December 8, 2022 3:35 PM

@fib, pt 2:

None of that is reassuring, but those flaws don’t predict suicide, murder of his progeny, or destruction of his country.

Perhaps more to the point, he’s making lots of rational (not to say correct, or wise) decisions: trying to pressure his victim into surrender; piling on resources; working carefully to reassure the public by shows of social and governmental normalcy.

He ain’t lost it (yet).

What Clive laid out (last chance corner) is what academics call “gambling for resurrection” — but Otto von Bismarck called committing suicide for fear of dying.

MarkH December 8, 2022 3:44 PM

@fib, pt 3:

I can think of several examples of “cult leaders” who did choose suicide when they knew they were trapped, and set out to take all of their followers with them.

But none of them were Putin’s age. Old men tend to think a lot about their legacies, and to go quietly when the time comes.

Remember, if he has a “this is it, I’m done for” moment, it will be because some part of his country’s own power structure is coming for him. Before they come for him, they’ll make sure the button is disconnected.

They’re nothing if not selfish. They’ve no intention of jumping onto their king’s funeral pyre.

MarkH December 8, 2022 4:18 PM


You know other guys who keep visitors under guard for two weeks? Ok, name one.

And no, it’s not cultural. I visited Russia many times.

The message I hoped to convey, is that Putin seems to take very great precautions to protect his personal survival.

This may, or might not, shed light on his willingness to create a situation which has some risk of escalating to nuclear devastation of his homeland.

JonKnowsNothing December 8, 2022 7:39 PM


re: Cultural Food Choices are Cultural

Selecting your own food, preparation methods is not a sign of anything ODD.

  • re: prisoners and visitors (castles and prisons)

Where a leader keeps their opponents and/or visitors varies.

The US Government has a number of houses, parks, forts and vacation spots available, as does the UK and providing housing for diplomatic visits which is something the Diplomatic Services specialize in sorting out. Scheduling meetings is always a challenge.

Keeping people prisoner is quite common too. The USA has GITMO: “forever prisoners”, 20+ years incarcerated, no charges, no trials and not going to change in the future any time soon.

Some are in Russian Gulags, some in USA Gulags, some in UK Gulags… pretty much there’s a gulag everywhere for some body. The USA basketball player is a very lucky person to exit a Russian Gulag, their experience will be much like others who get out, no matter which country held them prisoner.

The USA and Canada have 5,000-7,000 missing persons, primarily female and young. We cannot be bothered to look for their graves, much less find the persons who killed them.

  • But back to the topic at hand: Food and Bringing Your Own

ex: The Dalai Lama has a very specific diet. While technically a vegetarian or vegan, when he does consume meat, it is Yak meat. Something not regularly found at the local super in the USA. So, when he travels, he brings his own cooks, food and Yak meat.

There is a delicate diplomatic dance in Washington about having him visit, which causes the Chinese to overturn their hotpots, so it’s all avoided by not inviting him to State Dinners where he cannot eat the food, so excellently prepared by the White House Executive Chefs who are not trained in religious dietary restrictions of Buddhist Monks, who btw eat 1 meal a day.

ex: There are numerous famous actors, opera singers and VIPs that keep Kosher. If they are hard core, not only does the food need to be grown under Kosher rules but also prepared in kitchens and with plate service designed for this. 2 fridges, 2 plates, 2 sets of silver. So these folks bring their own, everything.

Nothing is quite so intriguing as observing the making of Kosher Matzo, it’s all very well timed.

ex: iirc(badly) in an interview Luciano Pavarotti said that his worst fears were being approached by his fans. As his art required him to sing in a specific way, getting sick was not helpful. He was known for having large silk scarves draped over his shoulders to keep off drafts.

When traveling, many people who depend on performances for their work, restrict who, where and how they live their lives. Unlike someone such as Novak Djokovic who not only doesn’t believe SARS-CoV-2 is an issue, but also goes out of his way to take his competition for party and drinks at local bars where they get COVID or flu. He’s so sorry afterward of course.

iirc(badly) Oprah Winfrey has/had a personal chef, as do a lot of Tech Bros in Silicon Valley. Chocolate (anything) is a favorite with such clients, so just in case you opt for a career change, be sure to memorize recipes with chocolate as main ingredient.

In RL; years ago, I got a “tour” of the corporate headquarters, where the CEO and selected VIPs dined when the CEO was in the building. There was a private chef that cooked things the CEO liked and others got to taste-along. There was gold plate service, settings similar to a State Dinner. Hand calligraphy menus and name place cards.

When the CEO was off globe trotting, the VIPs had to settle for brown bag lunches with thermoses of soup from the building canteen.

Clive Robinson December 8, 2022 8:25 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : Supply Chain Security.

A new form of supply chain security issue is coming up in the UK and it’s one that few realise unless they get into logistics of distribution.

The usual supply chain model is considered to be a “one way” line or chain from Manufactures loading dock to Purchasers loading dock with variable nodes along it. Whilst not easily described by simple maths it is amenable to simplistic modeling when you reduce certain constraints such as temporal ones by having what are seen as “inefficiences” such as “in chain buffering” storage (the fun of the “1-e^-1” or ~2/3rds rule evolution tends to work on.

But what happens when the supply chain has multiple manufacturers or customers or both?

The usual way is to break the model down into seperate single supply chain models or make the customer end artificially up-stream and have a regional “distribution center” that in effect converts multiple long supply chains into one long supply chain and a fan out of multiple local/regional supply chains. This is again amenable to modeling but you start getting quite non-linear or even chaotic issues as temporal or other constraints start applying.

Normally the solution to temporal issues is,

“Hurry up and wait…”

That is you try to speed up the long supply chain but accept that you have to “round-robin” the local short supply chains as stock comes into the regional “distrubtion center” that has switched from “store and forward” to just “forward”. The result is that the actual end customers get quite varying actual delivery times and all to often unpredictable wait periods.

Now consider sudden varying demand that is critically temporally constrained.

As happens with an outbreak of disease that can kill within 12-48hours if not medicated.

This is currently happening with Strep-A / Scarlet Fever[1] in children in the UK. Unfortunately the signs of Sterp-A infection that leads to Scarlet Fever poisoning start like ordinary colds / flu and thus the person is very much infected when the Strep-A toxin starts the Scarlet skin indicators. The toxin can cause internal issues with the heart etc hence it is a real medical emergancy when seen (my son had it when he was still a toddler, and lets say it was ununuall to see jittery medical staff).

So there are very real temporal constraints, which are not helped by the fact that the medication given to children has it’s own temporal and other issues[2].

What has happened is the need for “local supply chain inversion”. As a rule of thumb supply chains are effectivrly “One Way Functions” both when modeled and as a practical reality. So once you deliver to one customer, you can not easily move excess to another customer.

Thus you get the situation where more than sufficient supply comes down the long supply chains, but due to trying to anticipate which customers to supply such that disease temporal constraints can be met (forward supplying rather than demand supplying) you end up with significant quantities in the wrong place at any given time. Thus you end up with what are critical shortages in areas where outbreaks flare-up rapidly, which in turn cause other issues.

The usuall solution is to “pull back” the short supply chains closer to the regional delivery centers thus you have many fewer customer points but they have more stocks. You then send the end users (patients) to these places… But realistically you can not do that with a highly infectious disease, as it incrrases infections.

Thus the next technique is “wheel / emergency delivery” where you in effect implement more much more local delivery centers and supply to the customer points in small quantities “by demand”. But this to has other constraints especially temporal ones and also an astronomically high cost of emergancy delivery.

Right now “supply chain inversion” is not something that can be modeled due to lack of information on demand flare-up… Worse it has a secondary issue, that is when the end-user (patient) is not the customer (pharmacy) the end-user has “choice”. Thus can jump from customer to customer to try to find supply. This can not be realistically managed and is chaotic in nature.

In theory this would be an ideal candidate for “Real Time Artificial Inteligence”(RT-AI) systems but they require an “information supply chain” going from the customers (pharmacies) back towards the regional distribution control center. Such systems do not currently exist except as part of an automated ordering system that is of no use in a Real Time situation. Also as it involves “commitment to buy” it has no useful information about “demand” when end-users have “choice”.

Expect to see this issue start arising more frequently as recession starts to cause “cost savings” by reducing inventory at the customer, and the existing supply chains have no storage capacity, nor will they due to “cost savings”. It will appear to end-users as at best chaotic causing them to be more chaotic as they seek supply. Thus a downward spiral can easily and quickly arise (which is happening with quite a number of drugs in the UK).

At the begining of lockdown we saw a similar effect with “toilet paper” and “opportunists” quickly arose buying-out large quantities of stock thus making the problems worse. Yes that was mildly ammusing at the time but now consider a sick child that could be “dead in the morning” if they can not get the drugs their parents only found out they needed the night before…

This is the reality of making supply chains over “efficient” and “one-way” optomized and it will kill.

[1] Strep-A / Scarlet Fever is highly infectious but breaks out in unprdictable clusters, it effects mainly children and adolescents as it’s bacterial and spread by contact and close association via droplets. Whilst rare in infants/toddlers, it’s usually considerd an emergancy because it can turn into Rheumatic fever that in turn can cause longterm disability or death,

[2] Strep-A is usually easily treated by a course of anti-biotics… Unfortunately as many parents know getting anti-biotics into children is problematic especially when they have a fever. Which is why a “suspension” rather than “capsules” are used. The problem is suspensions cause all sirts of transportation and storage issues so a minimal stocking policy is generally followed.

Winter December 9, 2022 4:16 AM

Meta needs explicit user consent to run personalized ads, EU watchdog rules

Meta has already been coping with a slump in ad revenue this year, and now a decision from European Union privacy regulators threatens to reduce Meta’s ad revenue even more next year. According to Reuters, a person familiar with the matter said that the European Data Protection Board ruled Monday that Meta cannot continue targeting ads based on its own users’ online activity—like the Instagram reels they’ve viewed or Facebook profiles they’ve clicked.

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2022 4:25 AM

ChatGPT can not do simple algebra from a word problem, but it knows how to emulate a 32-bit X86 cpu.


It got this simple word problem wrong.

The word problem was:

If a ball and a bat cost a total of $1.10, and the bats costs $1 more than the ball, what is the price of each?

(this was 6 days ago, so it may have learned by now. Yet, it still does not know that Elmo is running twitter as of a couple of days ago).

Winter December 9, 2022 5:37 AM


ChatGPT can not do simple algebra from a word problem, but it knows how to emulate a 32-bit X86 cpu.

ChatGPT extends texts. The question is what level of automata GPT is? [1] We do not think GPT and its ilk are Turing Complete. It seems clear that such large language models can master computer languages and CPU’s (context-free grammar) [2].

But what else can they learn? Maybe the current training materials are not enough to teach them word problems? Or maybe, word problems require some higher level processing that they currently cannot deliver?

This preprint argues that:
Large Language Models are not Models of Natural Language: they are Corpus Models

Natural Language Processing (NLP) has become one of the leading application areas in the current Artificial Intelligence boom. Transfer learning has enabled large deep learning neural networks trained on the language modeling task to vastly improve performance in almost all downstream language tasks. Interestingly, when the language models are trained with data that includes software code, they demonstrate remarkable abilities in generating functioning computer code from natural language specifications. We argue that this creates a conundrum for the claim that eliminative neural models are a radical restructuring in our understanding of cognition in that they eliminate the need for symbolic abstractions like generative phrase structure grammars. Because the syntax of programming languages is by design determined by phrase structure grammars, neural models that produce syntactic code are apparently uninformative about the theoretical foundations of programming languages. The demonstration that neural models perform well on tasks that involve clearly symbolic systems, proves that they cannot be used as an argument that language and other cognitive systems are not symbolic. Finally, we argue as a corollary that the term language model is misleading and propose the adoption of the working term corpus model instead, which better reflects the genesis and contents of the model.

We do suspect that you can derive a natural language from a corpus, that is what toddlers are supposed to do. However, maybe that is not true, and humans learn language by personal interaction, that is, humans might need extra, non-verbal, input to learn a first language.

Finding out that human language cannot be mastered with only verbal input would itself be a very important finding. We do know children cannot learn a first language from writing texts alone. Deaf children will easily learn sign language, but not a written language, unless they mastered a sign language.

[1] ‘

[2] Note that human languages do not follow context-free grammars (type 2), but context sensitive grammars (type 1). However, this holds only for some rather esoteric aspects of certain languages (ie, not in English). Also, the difference might not be relevant as human language processing might use a “shortcut” for the parsing. Moreover, most of the research is done on written language which differs from spoken language. It can be argued that written languages are artificial languages which behave differently from normal speech.

Clive Robinson December 9, 2022 7:31 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, Winter,

Re : Five cents on the dollar.


“ChatGPT can not do simple algebra from a word problem…”

Aside from the word problem as given is incorrect by usage of plural with singular “bats-ball” (should be “bat-ball” or “bats-balls”). So can not be solved without an assumption…

It actually does not surprise me.

Google translate used to be famous for allegedly not knowing any languages as such, just how people used them in known contexts found from knowing a lot about the nouns from a dictionary. Thus it learnt not languages but common phrase usage in the languages and went all in on infrance.

I used to teach my son nouns by the old method of “hold it up, say the name” technique. The day care he went to used some more “educated guess” method. Either way even though shy he learnt quickly enough to talk well to adults, his peers not so much…

The thing is we still do not know how people learn, so we fall back on “teach by example” untill the point a person has sufficient skill to use books or the equivalent.

We still think,

1, See words
2, See graphs
3, See formula
4, See logic

Are how people with the various stages of abstract skills such as mathmatics see them. But the reality is, that is more the history of how the subject developed.

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2022 9:48 PM

@ Clive, Winter, ALL

Re: ChatGPT corpus

You can confuse a bot. I may have mentioned this previously.

It has some, but not real world experience.

If you connect to the bot, it has some built-in corpus, but is it not Turing complete.

Just like humans.

It may learn from you, if you interact with it, but it has no real world knowledge. At all.

The other two examples that I did not mention, where it got it wrong.

Prompt: If 5 machines, takes 5 minutes to produce 5 widgets, how many many machines would would it take to produce 100 widgets in an hour?

[Answer: 100 machines]

The other one, is tricky, and I can understand in defense of the bot, that it had insufficient information.

It still made an error in judgement, and did not ask for information.

Prompt: If it takes 48 days to cover the lake with liily pads, how long would it take to cover half of the lake?

[Answer: 24 days]

It does not know how liily pads grow, did not ask shape of lake. Stupidly assumed linear. Even if the lake was perfectly circular, the bot would have still gotten it wrong.

ChatGPT has no real world knowledge.

Not even close.

lurker December 9, 2022 10:27 PM


ChatGPT has no real world knowledge.

Not even close.

How long does it take a human to acquire the knowledge required to solve those two examples, 10 ~ 15 years? Maybe ChatGPT is asking for some significant fraction of that …

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2022 11:41 PM

@ lurker, Clive, Wunter, ALL

Re: ChatGPT

How long does it take a human to acquire the knowledge required to solve those two examples, 10 ~ 15 years?

It may not hapepn.

Just like humans.

It may learn from you, if you interact with it, but it has no real world knowledge. At all.

A child has a plastic mind. If the parents are not thinking (because they have joined tbe cult), the child is going to be brainwashed wifh bullshit and not encourged to learn.

This is what the fascists are up to. They do not you want to learn from the past. They want to disaapear knowledge. They want to rewrite the past.

I beg you all, prove me wrong.

Good luck. I know that of which I speak.

SpaceLifeForm December 9, 2022 11:48 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing


SpaceLifeForm December 10, 2022 3:40 AM

@ JonKnowsNothing

I’m pretty sure the virus is hiding. You may recall about 2.5 years ago, I wondered: How long do Memory-T cells remember? It appears that the virus is tricking the innate immune system just enough to hide in the alleyways. Or the caves. Ask the bats. It seems to me, that part of the immune system is paying attention, but part is not.


A summary sentence tell us that: “Patients with LC had highly activated innate immune cells, lacked naive T and B cells and showed elevated expression of type I IFN (IFN-β) and type III IFN (IFN-λ1) that remained persistently high at eight months after infection.”

Nick Levinson December 10, 2022 12:02 PM

@MarkH, @Clive Robinson, @fib, @Winter, & @JonKnowsNothing:

Whether Putin pushes the button:

I wouldn’t want to be too sure about the likelihood. Too many influences matter.

Personal fear for safety may not matter to attacking someone else.

Upper leadership, military and other, will likely weigh in and likely already has opined and, when private, that may not be very predictable.

Being crazy and acting it can differ. Nixon reportedly once sent Kissinger to tell the North Vietnamese government that Nixon has the button and is mentally a little unstable, and Kissinger did so, but the North Vietnamese didn’t believe Kissinger.

It’s much easier to see any rationality than to establish a complete lack of rationality. For example, I bought a pastry at a bakery and then left it there; and I’m confident there was nothing wrong with the bakery or the product. I had overpaid, which was my fault (I misread a sign), and didn’t want to reward myself for a bad purchase by enjoying it. (I’ve never been back, although I’ve been in the building.) But I didn’t say anything about it and you can imagine yourself as the counter representative trying to figure out why the bag is still unclaimed minutes later (assuming no one else took it).

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