Friday Squid Blogging: Squid-Inspired Hydrogel

Scientists have created a hydrogel “using squid mantle and creative chemistry.”

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

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on January 27, 2023 at 5:59 PM101 Comments


vas pup January 27, 2023 6:12 PM

ChatGPT is changing education, AI experts say — but how?

“Chatting with ChatGPT is like chatting with a real person,” Mathew added. “If I had known this earlier, I could have saved myself so much time and work.”

Daniel Lametti, a Canadian psycholinguist at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, said ChatGPT would do for academic texts what the calculator did for mathematics.

Calculators changed how mathematics were taught. Before calculators, often all that mattered was the end result: the solution. But, when calculators came, it became important to show how you had solved the problem — your method.

ChatGPT does not understand the essays it writes — it does not understand the meaning of the language. Like a parrot in a professor’s office that listens to conversations and “parrots
them,” an AI chatbot merely processes and presents the language and facts that it has been fed. And that can lead to problems.

There are examples of ChatGPT texts in which the language reads as though it was written by an expert — but the text is factually incorrect.

So, as with other AI technologies, humans are still required to review and correct AI-generated texts. That editing is often complicated and requires real knowledge of a subject, and that could be graded at universities in the future.

AI is coming to your workplace. Is Europe ready?

“Renan Rodrigues had been working as a food delivery driver at Swiss company Smood for about a year and a half when “the robot” took over. This is how the 33-year-old describes the algorithm-powered program that allocated deliveries and shifts for him and his colleagues.

Smood had used such software since he started working there in 2020, Rodrigues told DW. But at a certain point, “the robot” became entirely responsible for planning his working day,
according to him, and appealing to human managers was no longer possible.

What Rodrigues and his colleagues dubbed “the robot” is also known as algorithmic management, when workplace decisions are made according to computer-powered calculations known as
algorithms. It is closely linked to artificial intelligence (AI), which according to the European Commission “refers to systems that display intelligent behavior by analyzing their environment and taking actions — with some degree of autonomy — to achieve specific goals.”

AI tools are quickly making inroads into various sectors of the economy. For white-collar office jobs, they can be deployed in recruitment or to track performance. A 2022 survey of 1,000 companies by professional services consultancy PwC found that between a sixth and a quarter had used AI in recruitment or employee retention in the past 12 months. Among the companies that were most advanced in the use of AI, around 40% had used it to improve employee experience and skills acquisition, or to increase productivity.

Companies can use data about employees or candidates in a variety of ways, as a report published last year by OpenMind, a nonprofit initiative of Spanish bank BBVA, highlighted.

“Human resources professionals make decisions about recruitment, that is, who to hire; in worker appraisals and promotion considerations; to identify when people are likely to leave their jobs; and to select future leaders. People analytics are also used to manage workers’ performance.”

Take the example of HireVue, a US company that, according to its website, has more than 800 clients, including major multinationals like Amazon, G4S and Unilever. Using video job interviews, the company claims it can massively speed up recruitment, offer candidates greater flexibility and actually make hiring fairer. Algorithms can be trained to eliminate
unconscious race and gender biases common in human hirers, so the argument goes. Citing the example of a British customer, the Co-Operative Bank, HireVue said its tools helped push down a gender bias favoring men from a 70/30 ratio to 50/50 — gender parity.

In the European Union, two key pieces of bloc-wide legislation are on the way that should affect the way AI is deployed at work. The European Commission has stressed that, in general, AI can be beneficial for citizens and businesses, but that it also poses a risk to fundamental rights.

Under the proposed AI act, employment, management of workers and access to self-employment are specifically mentioned as high-risk uses. For makers and buyers of such AI tools, the law should provide specific obligations before products hit the market, chiefly a conformity assessment.

!!!!This test would scrutinize, among other things, the quality of data sets used to train AI systems (poorly trained systems can produce biased results), transparency provisions for buyers and levels of human oversight. AI developers would also have monitoring obligations once a product hits the market.”

Two good video inside!

kissed by a * January 27, 2023 6:22 PM

“According to a report, Microsoft is working on a redesign of its Edge web browser, code-named “Phoenix,” that should better differentiate Microsoft Edge from its browser competition.”

How original, oh wait, NOT:

“Firefox was created in 2002 under the code name “Phoenix” by members of the Mozilla community who desired a standalone browser rather than the Mozilla Application Suite bundle.”

That’s ONE MICROSOFT WAY for you. Billions of dollars yet they still have to copy/take/buy from others.

SpaceLifeForm January 27, 2023 7:08 PM

Some debugging work.


Was the difference in OpenSSH or in LibreSSL? Telling my OpenSSH to use the system libcrypto resulted in the same failure, so it seemed pretty clear this was an issue with the Apple version of the library.

dorukayhan January 27, 2023 10:13 PM

@kissed by a *

How is MS codenaming the Edge reskin “Phoenix” even a bad thing? It’s a cool name, and code names have no need to be universally unique.

water becomes the vessel January 27, 2023 10:45 PM


Let’s peek back into some history:


MikeRoweSoft settles for an Xbox

“Canadian student Mike Rowe, who Microsoft put under legal pressure over his Web site’s name, has agreed to bury the hatchet out of court for an Xbox and some training.”

Names/symbols are important. If M$ can be a little b1tch and pull stunts like the above, so should Mozilla go after M$ just for the fun of it. Besides, copycatting is lame.

lurker January 28, 2023 4:12 AM

The phoenix is an immortal bird associated with Greek mythology (with analogs in many cultures) that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again.
. . .
The origin of the phoenix has been attributed to Ancient Egypt by Herodotus
. . .
Herodotus, Lucan, Pliny the Elder, Pope Clement I, Lactantius, Ovid, and Isidore of Seville are among those who have contributed to the retelling and transmission of the phoenix motif.

Seems like the name “Phoenix” is fair game for anything that crashed and burned in a great flaaming mess, then was dredged out of the ashes, patched up and lives again …

Nick Levinson January 28, 2023 9:00 AM

@kissed by a *, & @dorukayhan, @water becomes the vessel, & @lurker:

Maybe Phoenix is a trademark issue or a trade secret. I think MikeRoweSoft was an unfair competition issue. Otherwise, I don’t think the new working name matters much.

Nick Levinson January 28, 2023 9:12 AM

If a whistleblower’s voice is disguised in a broadcast for a statement that’s at least a few hundred words long, and the whistleblower is an organizational insider, does the disguise have much chance these days against the organization’s attempts to unmask the whistleblower? Knowing the announced types of distortion applied to a statement and textual analysis might be enough to narrow the whistleblower to only a few people, which would make traditional forms of investigation (e.g., interrogation) more quickly and cheaply applicable; and the applicable standard may be that for employment termination, not the shadow of a reasonable doubt or even the preponderance of the evidence. This kind of unmasking if for a nontech company could easily be outsourced. When disguising is done for journalism or legislative testimony, needs for journalistic or legislative integrity tend to limit the use of undisclosed types of distortion. Or is now too soon to worry about this?

JonKnowsNothing January 28, 2023 9:55 AM

@Nick Levinson

re: MikeRoweSoft was an unfair competition issue

iirc(badly) Microsoft Legal claimed that Mike Rowe would be mistaken for Bill Gates.

Some countries only have 1 name designator, some have more than 5 designators. It’s a problem for USA database designs. Not only do we have insufficient methods of producing the correct letters, accents and modifiers in our base American English layout, we also have only 3 fields in a database: FirstName, MiddleName, LastName. There maybe a notation field with open text formatting where you can make a list of the rest of the names but the base layout does not have the correct identification.

It’s a problem for some folks when there is a selection of names to pick from. (1)


  • Juan Antonio Samaranch y Torelló, 1st Marquess of Samaranch, His Excellency The Most Excellent, The Marquess of Samaranch

Will the Real Juan please raise their hand?


1) WikiP often has a disambiguation page for words and names that may hold multiple meanings or designations. There are 14+ entries on the query return for Juan Antonio.

Nick Levinson January 28, 2023 11:12 AM


Confusion between brands qualifies for unfair competition. I doubt confusion between CEOs (by whatever titles) qualifies, but the entities’ names were close enough to be confusing to consumers.

A database designer can design in whatever fields they want and some databases have more than 3, perhaps adding prefix and suffix. A question is whether to design for cases that are unusual where the db is to be used. The case you describe includes a title, which can get its own field, and, in any major society, relatively few people have titles that are stated with their names. Titles can occur in front, in the middle (as in one religion), or at the end. Some names found in the U.S. from East Asian immigrants, and perhaps others, put a family name before a given name. In the 3-field scheme you reference, the last name field should be the field by which records are normally sorted. Wikipedia’s disambiguation method is useful though not much used elsewhere; but some db designs use queries that search multiple fields at once.

lurker January 28, 2023 2:23 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Nick Levinson, &c.

Phoenix (disambiguation) appears to have 221 distinct entries. There are also 191 entries under Phoenix in Popular Culture, some of which might be on the disambiguation list. Plenty there for a legal lunch.

This is one of those rare times I’m with Microsoft. They’re using something which appears to be public domain, and they may have previously used themselves. As for whether Mozilla has any dibs on the use of Phoenix for web browsing, see the 10 entries under Computing on the disambiguation list.

But yes, MS will have to be watched closer than the proverbial hawk. Their use of Phoenix appears to be only an internal project codename. But beware any signs of TradeMarking, or stomping on other people.

Clive Robinson January 28, 2023 2:58 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing, name.withheld…, MarkH, Winter

Remember your complaint about how slow The WHO was to respond over the pandemic?

Well here is something to mull over,

Are they jumping the gun, wall papering their sit-upons, or have decided is now a realistic probability that the likes of London are on a count down to becoming “Ash City” as US service personnel used to call it back in the 1980’s.

Whilst this is depressing it is not unexpected, effectively the World Health Organisation has indicated they think it probable… And based on how they delayed and delayed over C19, we can assume they think it’s going to be sooner rather than later if not “real soon now”.

It’s curious to see how quickly it happened after the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward to 90s the closest it’s ever been,

Oh and a certain person has anounced to the nation he holds to ransom that the movment of NATO tanks is an act of war for which a button push would be fully justified,

Bluff, threat, or promise?

Personally I think that he is visably loosing power and he only has a short time to make his name remembered for the next couple of thousand years, and he cares not what for. Therefore he will quite happily throw the Armageddon switch if he is alowed to…

Thus will others further down the pecking order follow such orders through? If they do then the skies will get lit up, and a whole new winter will come to us.

Others much much closer to UK healthcare are saying similar with good reason,

Yuri January 28, 2023 6:34 PM

Whilst this is depressing it is not unexpected, effectively the World Health Organisation has indicated they think it probable

Since you have declared them incompetent before, what’s your point ?

No name, no credentials, irrelevant videos of missile launches, no coherent discourse. Who is this idiot ?

Clive Robinson January 28, 2023 7:35 PM

@ Yuri,

“No name, no credentials”

You might try looking a little harder. As I indicated,

“Others much much closer to UK healthcare are saying similar with good reason,”

He gave a very good description of the issues in the UK and exactly what the likely result of that was.

“irrelevant videos of missile launches,”

Go take another look at those videos and where they came from (they are credited) and it might tell you something.

So I think many could see wgy I suspect your comment and style.


“Since you have declared them incompetent before, what’s your point ?”

I’ve indicated in the past that the WHO problem was in the very senior managment, not those actually doing the ground, research, and policy work that the WHO can and does do very well.

As I said above,

“based on how they delayed and delayed over C19”

Which if you check is quite factual, and has been put down by others to “undue political influence” from both the USA and China over “funding the WHO”. The funding is a matter of public record and if you go look at it you can see why some might conclude that. Then there is much other quite messy politics that arose directly from the US Executive and houses which again you can look up.

I’m simply suggesting that the very senior managment at The WHO may have decided on a very different time line this time for various reasons.

SpaceLifeForm January 28, 2023 8:23 PM

@ Clive

CDC is not on the yearly boost bandwagon per my reading.

Have they decided resistence is futile?

JonKnowsNothing January 28, 2023 9:51 PM

@Nick Levinson

re: Absurdity in Design : A database designer can design in whatever fields they want

When was the last time in the USA, you saw the standard prefix list (Mr Mrs Ms M) include “Marquess” as an option?

No doubt in the UK, Spain, France and other countries that retain vestiges of monarchy they do have such options. We read them in the news reports: Lord, Lady, Sir, Dame, etc. (1)

The point is: There are many names, many derivations, many spellings, and we do not include them in database design.


1) One of the current royal celebrity couple living in the USA, use royal titles. Such titles are technically not permitted in the USA and US Citizens getting “knighted” have to have special permission for the ceremony. iirc(badly) There are restrictions about Bending the Knee.

Clive Robinson January 28, 2023 10:35 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing,

Re : Low rank Vogons…

“Have they decided resistence is futile?”

Not sure, but lets be honest, with research figures saying the mRNA risk could be as high as 1 in 1000 and the apparent efficacy being minimal to zero due to the virus variants having moved clear of the skirt that makes the risk/reward calculation kind of high.

The thing is you hear “Oh but it will help your immune system” but I’ve yet to see any evidence of that with the new varients

What I have seen is evidence that each booster reduces the benifit of subsequent boosters…

I’ve never liked the mRNA vaccine as it works the same way as an active (live) virus behaves causing cell death and the release of all sorts of chemicals you don’t want added to your system. Where as other vaccines that use deactivated virus activate your immune system without having to kill your healthy cells in the process.

The thing is the deactivated virus gives your immune system way more target sights to use thus gives you a broader range of immunity opportunity for your body to work with.

But the real question is if you’ve had three shots or one of the actual varients, do you actually need yet another booster.

The varients are getting less harmfull still, so what is your actuall risk if you do get one, compared with say one of the common cold viruses?

Yes I know a new “super varient” could happen if someone got a cold and covid at the same time… But would the current vaccine actuall be effective against it? very probably not.

Nick Levinson January 28, 2023 10:45 PM

@lurker & @JonKnowsNothing:


I doubt I’ve ever seen that (“Marquess”), but I’ve seen a control in which a menu can be selected from but into which a user can enter something not in the menu.

Even in such a drop-down list, I haven’t seen “M” or “Mx”. We should see the latter, but I know of no use for the former. Maybe you meant the latter.

I’m in favor of flexibility for users, including employees who enter data about customers et al., but the argument for constraint is that data should be error-free, and long lists of options tend to be confusing and, for the sake of speed, tend to lead to erroneous selection of wrong menu items.

On what royalty here may do: I haven’t checked the law deeply, but the Constitution textually says less than you suggest.

@lurker & @JonKnowsNothing:

Someone can get a trademark on a common word, but that kind of trademark is harder to defend, except for a narrow purpose, than a spelling that is not found in a dictionary, especially a spelling that is more than one letter off from what is in an unabridged dictionary (including implied entries such as inflections). So, for example, while Amazon has claimed a trademark for Fire, fire departments around the country do not have to rename themselves. But if someone else wants to make a tablet computer and call it Fire or Fyre or Phire or some such, when they get a nastygram from Amazon’s lawyer it’ll be cheaper to give up right away and rename it. There was a line of computers called the Apricot, but I didn’t hear that the Apple computer people legally objected. There was litigation a couple of times between the latter company and an Apple music firm associated with one or more Beatles, especially when the computer company packaged music software with the computer. Both, doubtless, had good lawyers.

Even if the Phoenix name is only for internal use, unless MS protects it as a trade secret and maybe even then, it might be infringing. Mozilla will have to decide if it has a claim to protect. It may not have to have registered the trademark to be able to protect it even against a registration by a competitor.

JonKnowsNothing January 28, 2023 11:01 PM

@SpaceLifeForm, @Clive, All

re: WHO, CDC et al: On COVID-19 Vax, Treatments, Medications

Well the good news and the bad news is: The is no effective vaccination.

What you have to parse very carefully when reading the latest info-mercial about any vaccine or annual jab are the fine details on what they actually tested and the results of that testing.

There are many hundreds of variants, only a few have Greek Letters. Most of them are ignored for public consumption. When the vax companies are testing things, they cherry pick which variant will give them the best profile. None of the profiles are good but some are significantly poorer.

They also split their results by differing demographics. This is not a bad practice but often the best profile is what gets reported, while the same vax has a poorer outcome in different groups and ages.

Sometimes when the reports are published, you will see TestA reported for one profile and TestA-B for a different one and TestB for a completely different aspect but it’s all lumped together as if it’s the same vaccine. Quite commonly the test results will be different versions of 2 or more vaccine candidates, presented at if it’s a single candidate.

If you recall, at the start of the pandemic 2020, when everyone had a push on to get something out the door, a bare minimum threshold of effectiveness was required. Far lower than other vaccinations. Anything would do if it was 53% effective. Slightly better than a dart throw or coin toss.

Now, we have a Commercial Lock in place, and the Fast Track has been withdrawn. The Victors hold the only approved vaccines. There are many vaccines for COVID-19 globally but each country has their own list of what’s allowed and what’s not.

Some of the recent reports on effectiveness hovered in the low 40%. Some barely scraped 53% with judicial rounding up. The tests were done on extinct version of SARS-CoV-2 and few done on anything as recent as the current BF7 waves in China and Australia, BQ11 in Western US or XBB15 as it oils its way around the globe.

Against these variants or predicting the future variants the primary method is still HIP-RIP-LOVID.

On the more bad news front: No Monoclonal Antibody drugs remains effective. There is one MAB, that maybe used but only if the genetic variant is an older one.

Drugs like PAXLOVID have pretty much failed too. It has many contra-indications, and the rebound means extra doses, each of which piles up the the contra-indications.

Zho, Where Are We Now?

  • Back to convalescent plasma (2020) and all the problems that evolved from that protocol

Still the best way to avoid a COVID-19 infection is:


Nick Levinson January 28, 2023 11:37 PM

AI from established and startup players is pitting ethics vs. innovational speed in figuring out responsibility and new possibilities. One program “allows anyone to generate chatbots based on short descriptions of real people”. Some big-firm AI employees are leaving for startups, which limits the ability to develop ethics. The ethics for established firms are often prompted by reputational concerns startups may not share, an example being whether Google would be liable if, instead of a search producing a bunch of links from which a user could choose, Google were to provide a single answer. See The Washington Post per Yahoo.

By the way, I’ve been using Google’s feature where I could search

define word

(for whatever word) and Google would put a definition at the top of SERP 1. I didn’t like that the featured answer didn’t say what dictionary it came from, so I’d scroll down for a reliable dictionary’s result. I sent Google feedback on not citing. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but soon after that, Google started citing a source with the answer, and Google’s choice of dictionaries for what I look up is good, which I can judge because it is cited. I’m told AI bots are not good at citing.

Robin January 29, 2023 4:15 AM

re: Phoenix. from the Wikipedia Article: “Firefox early version history”:

“The name Phoenix remained until April 14, 2003, when it was changed because of a trademark dispute with the BIOS manufacturer Phoenix Technologies (which produces a BIOS-based browser called Phoenix FirstWare Connect). The new name, Firebird, met with mixed reactions, particularly as the Firebird database server already carried the name. In response, the Mozilla Foundation stated that the browser should always bear the name Mozilla Firebird to avoid confusion with the database software.”

Phoenix was a hot potato even for Mozilla, even in its Firebird form.

JonKnowsNothing January 29, 2023 12:17 PM


re: A rose by any other name…

For those who may be following the latest in Police Killings in the USA of Tyre Nichols, the police officers involved belong to a unit with the name “Scorpion”. The police department has disbanded this unit.

I was considering how some names with violent or aggressive connotations might impact the behavior of a group. Many sports teams have names that have aggressive or historically aggressive meanings. Military groups do not often name themselves “kittens or guppies” but lots of Lions, Tigers and Sharks are part of the name. War like imagery is part of US Schools Mascots and Team Names: Spartans, Gladiators, Buccaneers are common examples.


Many decades ago, when Afrika was starting to gain independence from Colonial Rule, one locale was setting up elections. The primary problem for the election was that despite many years, decades or centuries of Colonial Rule, few of the population were literate: they could not read or write. So the election committee decided to set up an animal mascot for each candidate.

They soon ran into a big problem. Some animals are considered to be more powerful than others and some had greater cultural significance than others. There was an over abundance of candidates wanting to have a Lion Mascot but Crocodiles and Snakes were not too popular.

It might be beneficial if military and policing units could have non-aggressive names: wild flower, guppy, sand dab. We know that culturally, words associated with “soft” imagery are derided by those with a more aggressive nature. These people might be less interested in joining up with an organization that had Minnow as a moniker.

It might be just the nudge needed?

Clive Robinson January 29, 2023 3:14 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, Winter,

Re : And bow the FDA lash up.

From what I understand the “Rosey FDA” presentation was a mish mash of wall papered over cracks in needed information, and more lar-lar land than reality based on the various card reports.

People realy should question the tie up between US based drugs manufacturets and the FDA. As for the European agency they should stop swallowing the US cool aid and grow it’s own set, of researchers, research and independent manufacturers.

Nick Levinson January 29, 2023 3:58 PM

Budget cuts may interfere with security in a nonobvious way: Cutting may be by someone who doesn’t understand how to cut consistently with security.

If security is well designed, cutting will likely increase risks. That’s obvious and, to upper management, typically acceptable.

The additional problem is that cutting should be where risks would be lowest. A manager who doesn’t know which security procedures protect against which risks (and that’s oversimplifying the correlation) will likely get cutting wrong.

Imagine that one procedure is enforcement of strong passwords when a cutter just knows that their PIN is good enough for their personal bank account holding a large balance, so the cutter decrees the use of PINs to save the cost of the annoying enforcement of strong passwords.

A counterargument may be that the person in charge of security, like any person with any responsibility besides budgeting, may be unwilling to cut, so someone else has to.

A good security plan, therefore, perhaps should label what has less return and therefore is more eligible for nonimplementation or cutting. For example, a plan could organize procedures into several priority levels, the first being the most important.

It may be helpful to circulate this plan, or a summary of the priority levels’ contents, to upper management so, if they cut, they’ll at least cut intelligently. However, one academic book about a large city said that City Hall doesn’t like to handle budgeting by telling agencies to cut spending, because agencies usually cut where it is politically most damaging whereas City Hall doesn’t have enough staff to figure out where to cut with less damage. Upper management intent on cutting may not have the time to even look at the plan’s priorities.

A U.S. President fired a high-level White House aide. The President had required that the aide submit periodic reports on current strategy, so, upon firing the aide, the President read the latest strategy and applied it by picking up where the aide had left off.

In one organization wanting IT security, I asked if they’re trying to keep out kid brothers or foreign governments. I’m not sure I had a viable plan for the latter on their budget, but I was interested in their level of concern.

Israel’s national airline is noted for its stringent security. Their security manager, decades ago (well before 9/11), was hired by an airline in the U.S. He later said that the U.S. airline was unwilling to spend the money it takes.

Doctors may apply the latest and thus highest standard of care for health even when a patient can’t afford it and a lesser level of care may suffice for a cure. Doctors may be concerned about being sued for malpractice, so they often won’t go for a lower standard. IT security professionals can be sued although probably not under the same level of liability. But doctors may have less knowledge of or concern for a patient’s views, whereas an IT security architect or advisor may have a large and intimate knowledge of the client’s issues. Thus, IT planning for budget limits is more feasible.

Clive Robinson January 29, 2023 3:59 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : Consumers not as dumb as hoped.

It would appear that “White Good” manufacturers who build in WiFi + “Spy Ware” into their products, have found consumers have not played into their domination games as much as hoped. Which means their share holders are not pleased (and may be migrating and lowering share price in the process).

Apparently 50% or more of people are detaching, whilst many others never attach so maybe 80% are not playing along to having their privacy stolen

What worries me is they might retaliate and go down the Amazon route where what you purchase is only functional when connected to Amazon servers. Thus Amazon have a level of control that is undesirable such as stopping what people have purchased working simply by not supplying the service any longer.

But if those people with longer memories remember back to when a certain E-Book took legitimate purchases off of peoples devices because they could.

Or a supplier of a “set-top” video recorder type system forced their boxes to download unwanted commercial entertainment.

The list of what these WiFi + Spyware device manufactures will try to do is frankly unbelievable at the behest of shareholders. Which maybe is getting through to some consumers.

Clive Robinson January 29, 2023 5:21 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Facial Recognition used against lawyers

New York’s “Madason Square Garden”(MSG) which that in the pasr provided universal access to entertainment at a price, has implemented a discriminatory police supported by facial recognition sysyems.

The MSG strategy is to prevent any lawyer working for a law firm engaged against MSG to be baned from entry even if they have a validly purchased ticket.

What the article does not cover is how MSG got the images of the lawyers for the facial recognition systems to work. If it was done unlafully or not and the many other backend asspects involved.

As many will know in Europe such a discriminatory database would be unlawful thus subject to legal action etc.

JonKnowsNothing January 29, 2023 6:16 PM

@Clive, @SpaceLifeForm, Winter, ALL

re: the tie between US based drugs manufacturers, the FDA, and European agencies

One of the serious problems is that no one has anything in The Planning Stages or In The Pipeline, that has any better profile of effectiveness, provided 30-40% effectiveness is considered acceptable at this point.

Globally, countries that were out bid for vaccine access during 2020-2022 waves, don’t have anything at all, so they are not included in any calculations, even though many of these countries contributed mightily to the science of how SARS-CoV-2 works. Not so much in vitro, but by their own population being live experiments.

What is known is that none of the existing techniques really work against SARS-CoV-2. It mutates too quickly. It garners the ability to evade our biological immune systems at faster rates with nearly every iteration. Humans have no defense at all.

The HIP-RIP-LOVID model of continuing to use less and less effective vaccines, is the concept that these jabs will “ramp up” whatever we have, and somehow the ramped up system will overwhelm the virus. The effect is a self-administered cytokine storm: get enough of anything and everything then have it flood the immune system. It doesn’t really work, because the virus evades nearly every antibody humans have.

An analogy:

  • It doesn’t matter if you flood the highway with 1,000,000,000,000 electric cars, if you have no power grid, they don’t go anywhere.

And neither will SARS-CoV-2 as it rolls over the human population.

One small bright note:

There are some indications that people with specific gene sequences may resist COVID-19 infections better than others. It’s not that they have any different antibodies but something in their particular DNA sequence helps them reject the virus before it gets established.

ex: A family gets exposed to COVID-19. A number of family members get sick, testing positive for COVID, in series (A gives to B, B gives to C etc) . A member of the family does not get sick, even though they are in close proximity to the sick and exposed over the duration, as the illness progresses though the rest of the family.

JonKnowsNothing January 29, 2023 7:03 PM

@ Clive, @ Bruce, ALL

re: the article does not cover is how MSG got the images of the lawyers

One company that provides this same type of service, got their images from scraping LinkedIn profiles.

The same techniques are used in a number of concert venues and stadium sports gatherings. In concerts, they try to stop the targets from entering at all. In sports stadiums, the local and federal LEAs, scan the stadium taking images of everyone after they are seated. Once the game starts most won’t be moving from their seats for several hours.

ResearcherZero January 29, 2023 8:28 PM

As armed conflicts digitalize, can digital technology be leveraged to strengthen the protection of medical facilities? Can we incorporate the century old idea that ‘hospitals, ambulances and evacuation parties … shall bear a red cross on a white ground’ into the digital environment? Is it technically possible, and what would be the benefits and risks of doing so?

Clive Robinson January 29, 2023 8:42 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Re : Tyre Nichols video aftermath.

“For those who may be following the latest in Police Killings in the USA of Tyre Nichols”

I’ve not seen the videos and from the few words I’ve read about them I don’t think I could stomach doing so.

From what I’ve thankfull all though there were protests in many places they all passed off peacefully enough.

With regards the SCORPION unit, from what’s appeared in non-US press they were a special setup unit designed to be hard on certain types of crime (and were not succeeding in denting the stats).

From experiments around the world in many nations and cultures, the success of community policing depends a lot on “earning trust” of the community. I think we can take it as read that this incident has failed in that respect.

I’m still unclear as to what Tyre Nichols was stopped for, he was apparently within a very short distance of his mothers home looking to park up, never offered resistance or fought back and having been hand cuffed he was beaten with a baton and kicked in the head amongst many other blows.

Apparently it’s not just the five officers so far suspended, charged and dismissed, there were atleast another three police officers involved in some way.

But, as I’ve mentioned in the past there is the “Platinum Ten Minuites” of emergancy medical treatment for those with serious injury that can make a very significant difference to the odds of survival. Apparently the ambulance did not arive on scene for twenty minutes for reasons not yet explained.

It’s not just Tyre Nichols’s family that needs answers, nor is it just the community in Memphis that need answers, the entire US needs answers as do many others looking inward at the US.

I still remember the events back in 1991 surrounding Rodney King and the visceral shock it caused back a third of a century ago.

All I can say is I hope some good comes out of this tragedy, and that it never happens again nor anything like it, as such an event diminishes us all.

SpaceLifeForm January 29, 2023 9:28 PM

@ Clive, JonKnowsNothing

My gut feel is that Scorpion was set up to be a RW indoctrination op.

ResearcherZero January 30, 2023 4:37 AM

@Clive Robinson

I’ve usually assumed that Australian’s are thick as s__t. I’ve yet to come across any rural bumpkins yet to connect white goods. Everyone I know that delivers and services, also seem to tactfully avoid connecting unneeded WIFI or network cables. The added workload is probably more hassle than it is worth.

Aussies, including the elderly, have even mastered setting satellite decoders and displays to the correct output.

Yuri January 30, 2023 4:54 AM

I’m simply suggesting that the very senior managment at The WHO may have decided on a very different time line this time for various reasons.

Yes. It’s all suggestion and insinuation, phrased in such a way that any intent is deniable.

Which leaves me with two questions:

  1. What is the real purpose ?
  2. Why would an intelligent person ever use that stupid video to support whatever point he/she wants to make ?

Just take the part from the ‘submarine launching missiles’ B-movie. Who on earth would ever believe this has anything to do with reality ?

Clive Robinson January 30, 2023 5:54 AM

@ ResercherZero,

“I’ve usually assumed that Australian’s are thick as s__t. I’ve yet to come across any rural bumpkins yet to connect white goods. “

I’ve had limited contact and mainly I’d assumed they were most interested in being not stressed and having fun (I used to drink in “The Church” where most were twenties to thirties, and it’s been quite a few years since I was last in Sydney and environs)

If such a “relaxed ‘tude” makes them more secure than what can I say that octogenarian Paul Hogan has not already said[1] in adverts?

[1] Mind you he has had a number of choice words for the ATO over the past couple of decades 😉

PaulBart January 30, 2023 7:27 AM

@Clive Robinson

Facial Recognition used against lawyers

As many will know in Europe such a discriminatory database would be unlawful thus subject to legal action etc.”

Yes, EU has very poor if any recognition of private property rights. And no recognition of natural law.

Winter January 30, 2023 7:51 AM


Yes, EU has very poor if any recognition of private property rights. And no recognition of natural law.

And intentionally so.

Yuri January 31, 2023 4:57 AM


And intentionally so.

Indeed. It’s probably nowhere stated as succinctly as in the German constitution: Eigentum verpflichtet (Art.14).

Loosely translated: Ownership comes with obligations.

Which may be seen as an application of ‘With power comes responsability’.

And it makes sense. The whole concept of private property has meaning only as an agreement between you and the society you are part of. So that society can impose its conditions.

The alternative is the ‘law of the jungle’: you ‘own’ something only if you are capable of physically defending it, and if someone beats you at that you are on your own.

Nick Levinson January 31, 2023 5:22 AM

@PaulBart, @Winter, & @Clive Robinson:

It is not possible to ignore natural law. Maybe they try to ignore some of it. And the content of natural law is legitimately in dispute.

It consists of physical and metaphysical and the physical is known through discovery, almost never through promulgation. The physical includes that 1+1=2 and I doubt any nation consistently tries to ignore that. The metaphysical is theological, the concept that it exists being high, even above general international law, but the content being, I think, a matter of national domestic law, thus one nation can (and often does) reject another nation’s claims to state the content of metaphysical natural law.

If someone is adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to owe $100 and pays $1 and says $100=$1 when the debtor feels like it, that will fail the chuckle test and they’ll be required to cough up the other $99, at least.

Winter January 31, 2023 5:40 AM


It consists of physical and metaphysical and the physical is known through discovery, almost never through promulgation.

I think you misunderstood the meaning of “Natural law”. It does not mean what your comment implies:

Nick Levinson January 31, 2023 6:34 AM


Wikipedia is not a reliable source, although a source it cites should be.

I wish I had the title of the work on which I rely, but it is modern. The Wikipedia article is largely on the history of the understanding of it. What I wrote and what Wikipedia says for the modern are not far apart; my explanation is crisper. Would you like to say specifically where you believe I erred?

modem phonemes January 31, 2023 6:51 AM

@ Yuri @PaulBart, @Winter

The whole concept of private property has meaning only as an agreement between you and the society you are part of.

Private property is an extension of the fact that we have bodies. It follows from our nature, and therefore it precedes any kind of social “agreement”. Making societal agreements primary is implicitly totalitarian.

Nick Levinson January 31, 2023 8:22 AM

@modem phonemes, @Yuri, @PaulBart, & @Winter

That’s a good argument for why we should have a concept of private property, but it does not inhere in the existence of bodies, and it can be countered by a need to share what would otherwise be property and by a need for an owner of property to be responsible for it, creating a problem if the owner owns too much to effectively control what happens with it against other people.

The human species is not as distinct from other species as we used to think. If property ownership were to inhere as an extension of having bodies, then apes would own property, and so would flies and amoebas. Imagine the boundary disputes.

ResearcherZero January 31, 2023 8:28 AM

Johnson: *He threatened me at one point, and he said, ‘Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ or something like that. Jolly. *

Peskov: he didn’t understand what President Putin was saying to him

ResearcherZero January 31, 2023 8:51 AM

The above is a kind of boundary dispute. The formatting is not too flash either.

I didn’t have much trouble understanding Putin when he was a young KGB officer. He had his little pistol in his hand. He insinuated he might like to shoot a Russian fella cowering behind me. I insisted that it wasn’t a good idea, there were more guns gathering behind him, and what ever he thought the fella had said, was likely a misunderstanding. Putin eventually agreed yes, it was all a misunderstanding, and we all went our separate ways.

Apparently Putin had been talking with someone in the walk-in storage room at the embassy, and that guy had made a joke that they were probably kissing, or something like that. Perhaps jokes about coming out of the closet don’t translate well in Russian.

Winter January 31, 2023 9:15 AM


The Wikipedia article is largely on the history of the understanding of it.

“Natural law” has a long history in the philosophy of law. It is a well known concept in continental European legal thinking. It has nothing to do with the laws of nature.

If you use it with a different meaning, you get confusion.

Winter January 31, 2023 9:44 AM


Making societal agreements primary is implicitly totalitarian.

This is basically simply nuts. “societal agreements” are what makes populations societies.

Private property is an extension of the fact that we have bodies.

All animals have bodies, few have properties, only humans have laws (as far as we know). The whole concept of property, what can be owned, who can own it, under what limitations, and with what obligations, is all an agreement between you and the society, or, the individuals that make up a society.

Property is part of the “laws” of a society. All human societies have laws, and all laws are agreements between the members of a society. But only Libertarians believe it can be different.

As @Yuri wrote:

The alternative is the ‘law of the jungle’: you ‘own’ something only if you are capable of physically defending it, and if someone beats you at that you are on your own.

And that is exactly what Libertarianism ultimately comes down to: Might is Right. Hence the obsession with high powered guns, in the end, a Libertarian believes he [1] should defend his territory against other human animals.

[1] Or she, I am not saying women are different from men in this respect.

ephemeral January 31, 2023 1:53 PM

Flaw reported in KeePass: CVE-2023-24055

KeePass through 2.53 (in a default installation) allows an attacker, who has write access to the XML configuration file, to obtain the cleartext passwords by adding an export trigger. NOTE: the vendor’s position is that the password database is not intended to be secure against an attacker who has that level of access to the local PC.

The argument that the game is already over when an attacker has write access to the config file seems specious – this vulnerability provides a path to exfiltrate data with a very light touch.

I still deadbolt my doors at night, even though someone with a crowbar will not have a problem getting in. But he’s at least going to have to make some noise.

vas pup January 31, 2023 6:37 PM

A neuro-chip to manage brain disorders

“Researchers have combined low-power chip design, machine learning algorithms, and soft implantable electrodes to produce a neural interface that can identify and suppress symptoms of various neurological disorders.

“NeuralTree benefits from the accuracy of a neural network and the hardware efficiency of a decision tree algorithm,” Shoaran says. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to integrate such
a complex, yet energy-efficient neural interface for binary classification tasks, such as seizure or tremor detection, as well as multi-class tasks such as finger movement classification for neuroprosthetic applications.”

!!!NeuralTree functions by extracting neural biomarkers — patterns of electrical signals known to be associated with certain neurological disorders — from brain waves. It then
classifies the signals and indicates whether they herald an impending epileptic seizure or Parkinsonian tremor, for example. If a symptom is detected, a neurostimulator — also located
on the chip — is activated, sending an electrical pulse to block it.

The chip boasts 256 input channels, compared to 32 for previous machine-learning-embedded devices, allowing more high-resolution data to be processed on the implant. The chip’s area-efficient design means that it is also extremely small (3.48mm2), giving it great potential for scalability to more channels.”

Clive Robinson January 31, 2023 7:12 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

You might find this document of interest,

It points out one of the major failings that gets code a CVE entry is “Memory Safety” or more correctly lack there of.

A big problem I see in the embedded world is the use of C/C++ and the use of pointers via malloc() and friends with incorrectly used free().

I could go on at length about why garbage collection does, or more often disastrously does not work when people implement the various “common” algorithms in C/C++.

Fun though being “close to the metel” with C/C++ is, it’s got to the point where it’s advantages nolonger outweigh it’s disadvantages, and we should think about pensioning it off or just nailing the lid down.

Clive Robinson January 31, 2023 8:38 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, Winter,

Re : PET and Self Discharge.

This is curious to put it mildly.

PET is one of those near “universal plastics” you find just about everywhere you look, from plastic waste bins under your desk to that bottle of soda or overpriced water you hold in your hand.

It gets everywhere including into the batteries in our “Personal Electronic Devices”(PEDs).

Well one downside of batteries that most don’t think about is “how long they hold a charge” lithium chemistry is supposed to be one of the best, yet…

Well one reason turns out to be the use of PET,

I must admit the explanation of the chemical fascinates me in much the same way sodium citrate does in fizzy lemon soda.

Oshner January 31, 2023 8:50 PM


100% efficacy with any drug or vaccine is rarely achieved.

The flu vaccine is formulated each year based on what has happened in the northern/southerns hemisphere’s preceding winter. The formulation is an educated guess. Sometimes efficacy is high and in other years they miss the mark and efficacy is lower. Despite these limitations I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a clinician who would not recommend the flu shot except in a setting where there is a contraindication (note contraindication is not hyphenated).

While avoiding all sick people is of course ideal, it is not possible for many individuals. So while lower efficacy and viral mutation may not make current vaccinations perfect as my late friend who has a major level 1 trauma center named after him used to say, “Perfect is the enemy of good”.

Clive Robinson January 31, 2023 9:17 PM

@ ALL,

Intel uses head for target practice

Put simply the Intel CEO has decided to penalize staff for his actions –and those of his predecessor– by stoping all staff bonuses and also cutting their basic pay.

Why so he can conpleatly kill Intel’s future to pay thrir ludicrously high quaterly dividend,

Cutting R&D compleatly and not building new plant as old plant becomes inefficient and worthless and holding out the begging bowl to US Government for subsidies is stupidity of the highest order…

JonKnowsNothing January 31, 2023 10:08 PM


re: Influenza Virus is not SARS-CoV-2 virus

Early days of the pandemic, there were many posts about this comparative analogy between virus types and vaccine types. Lots of that is in the archives: look for posts by Clive, SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, Winter, among others.

The outlook for any type of virus for which a vaccine exists, depends on how good the candidate vaccine might be.

There is an amount of guess work and modeling about what will be floating into your lungs during your local influenza season. The same guesswork will be predicting rhinovirus and other upper respiratory diseases that get marketed under the Generic Names of “Flu and Cold”. They are not the same, and they have different viral profiles.

The reasons for marketing them as “Common Flu and Common Cold”, is that while they come from different viruses they present with the same symptoms: fever, sniffles, snotty nose, cough, hacking cough, phlegm, fatigue. So for pharmaceutical purposes of selling of “otc remedies”, they are called “Flu and Cold”.

What is useful to understand is how the Candidate Vaccines are ranked. This ranking determines what you might get in your jab. If young, you might get 1 jab, if older, you might get 2 jabs of the same vaccine.

  • If you wonder why older people may need an extra jab, it’s because their immune systems often do not respond quickly enough or long enough for desired protection profile.

To determine whether a vaccine gets into the rankings race, they test the vaccine on Known Virus Samples. The number and depth of this sampling varies by vaccine and virus type. (1)

The reports on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness, the selected test groups are picked from extinct versions of the COVID-19 virus. They don’t exist anymore so, you can expect that candidate will be 100% effective because you will never get that virus. Looks great on paper and MSM. When tested against current circulating variants these candidate vaccines score poorly: 30%.

So, you can get 100% effective against an extinct version. I’m more interested in the effectiveness against the 300+ current circulating versions.

Looking for perfect isn’t a question here. Presenting proper science results is.

There are many virus, bacteria, fungal infections for which there are no treatments and no vaccines. There are cases where there are vaccines or counter measures but they are administered too late and the person or animal dies (ex: Rabies). Recommending people deliberately infect themselves with a lethal condition, is not good science and not good practice. Promoting these ineffective vaccines costing $130/dose USA is the best we can do maybe all we can do, but maybe we can do better.

Informing people that even if they get a jab, they have 50%-100% chance of getting sick, and 30% chance of staying out of hospital. If they fall into the following demographics they have a significant chance of dying: NoVax, LowVax, Elderly, Round2s. For the Round2s, each Round# of COVID19 illness, carries an increasing risk of long term and permanent damage.

Keep your mask on. Stay away from places where there is raging COVID. You might live a bit longer.

While it may no longer be fashionable, it should never be left unsaid, that the folks who risk their lives, every day, every hour, every minute, to help heal and save people’s life, deserve every praise that can be given. They deserve more than a name on a building or a cenotaph.

The first person to die from COVID-19 in the currently flooded area of California where I live, was a wonderful healthcare worker. At the time, there was no PPE, no plans, nothing. The Medical Administration, the CDC, all hid behind the reality of what was happening.

I remember.


1) Ebola Sudan v Ebola Zaire / Dengue Fever I, II, III, IV

  • The 2022 Uganda Ebola outbreak was an outbreak of the Sudan ebolavirus
  • Sudan ebolaviruses causes Ebola clinically indistinguishable from the ebola Zaire strain
    • Sudan ebolaviruses : no vaccine available
    • Zaire ebolavirus (aka Ebola) : December 2016, a study found the VSV-EBOV vaccine to be 70–100% effective against the Zaire ebola virus.
  • Dengue virus
    • Dengue vaccine used to prevent dengue fever in humans… hindered by the need to create immunity against all four dengue serotypes

SpaceLifeForm January 31, 2023 11:13 PM

Volcanoes erupt

Mother Nature is telling you something.

Pay attention.


Nick Levinson January 31, 2023 11:25 PM

@modem phonemes, @Yuri, @PaulBart, & @Winter:


I don’t doubt that it has a history and it’s likely interesting, but, as I noted, I focused on natural law as it stands in modern times. When in past years I heard of natural law, it was usually about theology, and that seemed to be nonsensical as law that a court could enforce, given the U.S.’s First Amendment. But it turns out that natural law exists and has two components: physical and metaphysical.

Physical natural law has a lot to do with the universe: we don’t doubt that basic arithmetic is universal, true on Earth and outside our galaxy, and therefore applies in Mexico, Cambodia, Portugal, Nebraska, and when astronauts visit the moon. That’s in physical natural law. What else is within physical natural law may be debated; scientific findings of psychology of humans across cultures may be within physical natural law but that would be up to litigation to determine. I don’t think any court would consider the existence of gravity to be in need of evidence through expert testimony; judicial notice would suffice, although some finer points of gravitational theory may have to be subject to determination after expert testimony.

Metaphysical natural law itself has two components: concept and content. The concept is simply that there is such a thing as metaphysical natural law; probably most people worldwide would place that concept very high in the legal hierarchy, next to physical natural law (we can debate which of those two is higher but, either way, nothing comes in between). Since the norms of international law make an international war unlawful unless the cause is sufficiently justified (and appropriately scaled) and the behavior of nations is that waging a war by one nation against another is not justified by religious differences alone (apart from whether religion motivated other issues such as nonpayment of debt or the waging of unlawful war) then nations generally apparently believe that the content of metaphysical natural law is a matter for the domestic law of each nation (and could be a subject of a treaty), not in or above the norms of international law. The content of metaphysical natural law is not universal or even supranational.

Examples of the content of metaphysical natural law being within domestic law of each nation include that the U.S. has the First Amendment; the U.K.’s monarch is defender of one faith; P.R. China allows membership in one of 5 religions for people who are not members of the Chinese Communist Party; France requires at least Muslim imams to submit sermons to the government in advance; Saudi Arabia requires being Muslim of people living there.

The phrase “laws of nature” if not coincident in meaning with “natural law” needs defining. Natural law is law recognized by courts and by the community of nations that can enforce it. The phrase “laws of nature”, if not coincident, sounds somewhat vague. In that case, maybe it includes what some people wish were laws enforceable in courts or by breach of sovereignty (such as war) but are not such law. For example, some might argue that God governs people through God’s chosen representatives and no one may usurp God’s authority to do so; and so democracy, by positing someone to govern people when that governor (with any title or none) was not chosen by God to govern people, violates the laws of nature. They can believe that, given the vagueness or subjectivity of so-called “laws of nature”, but the concept of democracy does not violate natural law on an international level.

@modem phonemes, @Yuri, @PaulBart, & @Winter:

If I have private property and therefore I can exclude you from using it, that is by agreement, whether with you or with someone powerful enough to enforce the property right. Such an agreement need not be totalitarian.

Societies differ on what property may be private. No class of property must be private worldwide unless nations or the norms of international law agree. In the U.S., you probably can’t own an ICBM.

MarkH February 1, 2023 12:23 AM


Thanks again for a remarkable item of tech news!

I should be shocked that nobody seems to have checked before whether the plastic could conduct, but sadly I’m not.

A plant where I worked sent out multiple replacement “standby batteries” for computers which were returned as non-functional.

The computer was military, using a rather large high-capacity battery intended for missiles instead of the usual coin cells.

Investigation soon revealed that the shipping department enclosed all electrical components in anti-static bags, which were sufficiently conductive to kill each battery by the time it was needed.

In today’s money, those wasted batteries cost about $2000 each.

Winter February 1, 2023 1:48 AM


I don’t doubt that it has a history and it’s likely interesting, but, as I noted, I focused on natural law as it stands in modern times.

Indeed, it has a history. But it is still an active field of legal research and influence.

From Wikipedia:

In De Re Publica, [Cicero] writes:

There is indeed a law, right reason, which is in accordance with nature; existing in all, unchangeable, eternal. Commanding us to do what is right, forbidding us to do what is wrong. It has dominion over good men, but possesses no influence over bad ones. No other law can be substituted for it, no part of it can be taken away, nor can it be abrogated altogether. Neither the people or the senate can absolve from it. It is not one thing at Rome, and another thing at Athens: one thing to-day, and another thing to-morrow; but it is eternal and immutable for all nations and for all time.[28]

The Renaissance Italian historian Leonardo Bruni praised Cicero as the person “who carried philosophy from Greece to Italy, and nourished it with the golden river of his eloquence.”[32] The legal culture of Elizabethan England, exemplified by Sir Edward Coke, was “steeped in Ciceronian rhetoric.”[33] The Scottish moral philosopher Francis Hutcheson, as a student at Glasgow, “was attracted most by Cicero, for whom he always professed the greatest admiration.”[34] More generally in eighteenth-century Great Britain, Cicero’s name was a household word among educated people.[34]

Thomas Jefferson, arguably echoing Locke, appealed to unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[129] The Lockean idea that governments need the consent of the governed was also fundamental to the Declaration of Independence, as the American Revolutionaries used it as justification for their separation from the British crown.[130]

To get to more recent times:

Nobel Prize winning Austrian economist and social theorist F. A. Hayek said that, originally, “the term ‘natural’ was used to describe an orderliness or regularity that was not the product of deliberate human will. Together with ‘organism’ it was one of the two terms generally understood to refer to the spontaneously grown in contrast to the invented or designed. Its use in this sense had been inherited from the stoic philosophy, had been revived in the twelfth century, and it was finally under its flag that the late Spanish Schoolmen developed the foundations of the genesis and functioning of spontaneously formed social institutions.”[136]

Natural law jurisprudence is currently[when?] undergoing a period of reformulation (as is legal positivism). The most prominent contemporary natural law jurist, Australian John Finnis, is based in Oxford, but there are also Americans Germain Grisez, Robert P. George, and Canadian Joseph Boyle and Brazilian Emídio Brasileiro. All have tried to construct a new version of natural law. The 19th-century anarchist and legal theorist Lysander Spooner was also a figure in the expression of modern natural law.

Winter February 1, 2023 1:59 AM


and that seemed to be nonsensical as law that a court could enforce, given the U.S.’s First Amendment.

It might be useful to get a less parochial view of the world. More than 95% of the world’s population is not bound by the formulation used in the US constitution.

Natural law is law recognized by courts and by the community of nations that can enforce it.

Sorry, but that is simply a Orwellian new-speak with no basis in reality. “Natural Law” is an existing name of a well defined concept in the legal professions. Trying to define that away is truly Orwellian discours manipulation.

It is also simply false. Natural law is at the basis of the Declaration of Human Rights which do have force of law in the world, e.g., the 400+M inhabitants of the European Union.

modem phonemes February 1, 2023 2:16 AM

@Yuri @PaulBart @Winter @Nick Levinson …

what makes populations societies

Unless they respect the intrinsic nature of humankind, society, its agreements, forms, laws etc. are in name only. Human nature and what follows upon it (such as private property) are prior to society and laws, and inform and constrain them. To the extent that social systems ignore or contradict human nature, they are anti-human, dysfunctional, despotic, and, in the extreme, totalitarian.

Nick Levinson February 1, 2023 2:24 AM


The Declaration of Independence is a political and historical document, but is no longer a legal document and is not enforceable in court. Once England recognized U.S. nationhood, the Declaration, if it was ever law, no longer was law. So, its statements, such as on inalienable rights, are not now legally binding on the basis of their being in that Declaration.

Hayek’s comment, as given by you, is less than clear. Where Hayek refers to “spontaneously formed social institutions” and apparently means by “spontaneously formed” that what thus was formed was not formed by “deliberate human will”, “spontaneously formed social institutions” is a contradiction in terms, unless Hayek is saying humans accidentally formed the institutions. I don’t think most institutions are accidentally formed, although the intent may be trivial, especially if the institutions become substantial well after formation. If by “spontaneously formed social institutions”

All major bodies of law undergo change, through promulgation or discovery, interpretation, and application; and nonenforcement can lead to a law becoming a dead letter that people later are exempt from having to obey, although becoming a dead letter can take a while.

Nick Levinson February 1, 2023 2:59 AM

@modem phonemes, @Yuri, @PaulBart, & @Winter:


You slipped. Where I wrote “and that seemed to be nonsensical as law that a court could enforce, given the U.S.’s First Amendment.”, it was in this context: “When in past years I heard of natural law, it was usually about theology, and that seemed to be nonsensical as law that a court could enforce, given the U.S.’s First Amendment. But it turns out that natural law exists and has two components: physical and metaphysical.” I was stating what I had heard in past years and that was followed by “[b]ut it turns out that . . .”. In other words, I was now contradicting what I had heard earlier. I also did not state anything like the Constitution having worldwide applicability. It has no such reach and never did. I was saying that what I had heard of natural law back then was nonsensical, because the First Amendment would not allow it to be enforced in the U.S. I’ve since learned more about natural law and I see that it is enforceable in court and by other means, and I said so.

You quoted me as saying “[n]atural law is law recognized by courts and by the community of nations that can enforce it.” Then, purporting to contradict this, you say on your own behalf: “‘Natural Law’ is an existing name of a well defined concept in the legal professions. . . . Natural law is at the basis of the Declaration of Human Rights which do[es] have force of law in the world . . . .” In other words, we essentially agree or you are not saying what you mean. We both say that natural law is enforceable. We agree; we don’t disagree.

@modem phonemes, @Yuri, @PaulBart, & @Winter:

Private property became much more important to humans when agriculture was developed, some 12,000-plus years ago, from conflicts between farmers who grew crops through great effort and expected to reap the benefits in the end and gatherer-hunters who plucked anywhere at will and reaped the benefits whenever they were hungry. If we had private property among humans 6-7,000,000 years ago, then primates and maybe birds (some birds make tools) likely had private property, too, so private property is probably not uniquely human and almost certainly is not prior to society. Elephants have society. It’s also likely that the meaning of private property has been extended over thousands of years to allow ownership to continue when a purported owner is too far to see it and communication between people too far to see each other was almost nonexistent.

Winter February 1, 2023 3:17 AM


I’ve since learned more about natural law and I see that it is enforceable in court and by other means, and I said so.

Which means I did indeed slip up. My apologies.

Winter February 1, 2023 3:25 AM


So, its statements, such as on inalienable rights, are not now legally binding on the basis of their being in that Declaration.

But they are embodied in the Universal Declarations of Human Rights [1], which gave rise to quite a body of Human Rights Law [2], eg, the European Convention on Human Rights [3].

As such Inalienable rights have force of law in the EU. Which, to come back to the original discussion of “Laws of Nature” versus “Natural Law”, makes “Natural Law” something utterly different, and independent of, the “Laws of NAture” and the “Laws of Logic” (mathematics).

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

[3] ‘

Winter February 1, 2023 3:36 AM


Human nature and what follows upon it (such as private property) are prior to society and laws, and inform and constrain them.

As Nick already wrote, private property is NOT something that was found in early humans in any form that is relevant for the current discussion.

In most of recorded history (ie, post agricultural revolution), women had NO property rights at all in most of the world. There even is a “A History of Women’s Property Rights in the United States” [1], which started with “No rights to own property”. Only from 1860 on, women got the right to own property by herself in the USA. And that was rather revolutionary in the world. In most other countries it took quite a long time for women to get those rights in full. And in many places of the world, women still have no right to own properties or open a bank account.

So, if “Property Rights” are a “Natural” aspect of “Human Nature”, that seems to be limited to Men, and exclude Women.

[1] ‘

Winter February 1, 2023 3:49 AM


Why so he can conpleatly kill Intel’s future to pay thrir ludicrously high quaterly dividend,

Intel is dying [1]. AMD is eating their lunch in costs and Intel missed the bus on low powered computing. In their biggest market, servers & cloud, the only people buying the newest Intel chips are those that are locked in to Intel chips[2]. Everyone else is looking to move to lower cost, AMD, or higher performance/Watt alternatives, e.g., ARM.

That is behind their current troubles. And the power consumption issue is only going to become more important next year.

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

modem phonemes February 1, 2023 5:33 AM

@ Winter @ Nick Levinson …

most of recorded history

Whether those accounts of women’s historical property rights give a correct picture (and I don’t think they do), they at most show that the understanding of what should follow in positive law from natural justice may have been misestimated in diverse places and times.

Winter February 1, 2023 6:20 AM


Whether those accounts of women’s historical property rights give a correct picture (and I don’t think they do)

That is a curious statement. It is not that law and court decision in the 17-19th century are inaccessible. Also, there are ample countries now where women are denied property rights. [1] Also, there is living memory of legal practices in Europe where this was indeed the case. Where women had no say over any property, but that all they “had” was administered or owned by their male “guardian” (father, husband, brother) to be dealt with at their discretion.

If I understand it correctly, you doubt whether women had no right to own property in the past, even though the written law and court decisions at the time, as well as historical records, say this was indeed the case?

they at most show that the understanding of what should follow in positive law from natural justice may have been misestimated in diverse places and times.

That is a very bold statement. You mean to say women were not discriminated in law and practice in the past? Is there any evidence you can point to, to justify this “doubt”?

[1] ‘

Clive Robinson February 1, 2023 7:04 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : The begining of the end?

Intel has been going bad for some time, do you remember the sell off of shares by one of the seniors just before the announcement of Specter / Meltdown issues found in 2017[1] (that I said were an Xmas gift that would keep giving for a half decade or so on the “Securit-v-Efficiency” paradigm, and new varients are still being found…).

In the Tom’s Hardware, article you link to, note the “core competence” comments.

What is not said is that in reality those “core competencies” are in the hands or more correctly in the minds of the employees. So what does he do, he majorly deincentives those people. Which repeated experience tell us that the best and most needed will leave for new jobs elsewhere. And only those who can not leave due to personal issues/inabilities etc will stay, and act like a boat anchor on the company.

I can only see one reason to do what has been done –much as was susspected with the pre-Xmas share sell off by the Intel senior back in 2017– which is to artificially inflate the share price so a few can “get the heck out of Dodge” with some gold in their pocket… So if you hold Intel shares you might wait for the dead cat to bounce, but I think this one is rotten enough to just go splat at head down terminal velocity.

The real question is what is going to happen to all the other “technology” Intel bought in like for instance FPGA specialists Altera and Omnitek. The fact Intel are killing RISC V does not bode well for their intent towards FPGA (Intel have said just about nothing on this, which could be good as in keeping new products under wrap, or bad, giving it the old meat cleaver[2]).

FPGA is actually seen by many as the way forward for CPU’s that have run out of steam and can realisticaly only go for “more cores” and the problems entailed. In essence a 500-5000% speed improvment can already be made by using an FPGA as an “algorithm coprocessor” (and it’s been pointed out FPGA might push Quantum Computing out for quite some time even if it does get here).


[2] This article is mislabeled,

The analysis is interesting, but stops before it gets to the snipity snipity predictions.

[3] Market expectations on other FPGA are better AMD with Xilinx is seen as “doing well” and Lattice as doing quite nicely,

Nick Levinson February 1, 2023 9:21 AM


I don’t dispute what you say about rights being inalienable in European law or in treaty law; I haven’t checked, and I haven’t checked if the U.S. is a party to such a treaty, or a party without a relevant reservation.

I’m still unclear on the legal content of “laws of nature” as distinct from natural law, but I can try to look that up elsewhere, time permitting.

Laws of logic can be part of natural law; I don’t know whether any are not. Whether they are part of laws of nature as distinct from natural law is something I don’t know.

Court decisions, by the way, can be part of law; I’m not sure if you meant to distinguish between the two. Law need not distinguish between statute, case law, regulation, and so on (although some people, especially laity, do write as distinguishing), provided whatever instrument is considered is law and not, say, something that is legally void due to being in conflict with superior law or, in U.S. case law, an obiter dictum.

Thanks for the acknowledgment and sorry about a sentence fragment ending a paragraph (I should have deleted the sentence fragment).

Clive Robinson February 1, 2023 10:02 AM

@ MarkH, ALL,

Re : Feel the burn…

“Investigation soon revealed that the shipping department enclosed all electrical components in anti-static bags, which were sufficiently conductive to kill each battery by the time it was needed.”

They were lucky not to have had a fire in transit (remember the Airbus aircraft amoungst others).

In the UK you are not alowed to put batteries in the post (Royal Mail),for this reason, so they have to be “shipped by courier”.

There’s all sorts of arguments about what they mean by “battery” and the list is long and includes wrist watches and mobile phones…

Winter February 1, 2023 10:41 AM


I’m still unclear on the legal content of “laws of nature” as distinct from natural law,

I know “laws of nature” only as a thing in physics. Never saw it as part of legal proceedings.

Jazz Handler February 1, 2023 11:03 AM

@Clive, SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, Winter, et. al,

Re: PET and Self Discharge

I’ve been buying low self discharge Lithium Ion batteries for years now. And not just so I can have a bag in the kitchen drawer labelled “LSD”, I’ll have you know.

So how is this being treated as a problem only solved last week?

lurker February 1, 2023 12:25 PM

@NickL, Winter

re women’s property rights,
from inside a thought bubble it might be hard to see the matriarchal societies (since millenia) of sub-Sahel Africa. These were the societies that provided gold and salt to Egypt, Rome, and the later Islamic realm, and still exist where they haven’t been suppressed by European colonialism.

modem phonemes February 1, 2023 1:47 PM

@ Winter

Where I wrote “misestimated” it would have been clearer to have written “defective”.

The only point I have been trying to make is that human nature entails natural justice, and positive law, social forms etc. need to take this as a principle and starting point. This is in contradistinction to those that say human nature is basically a blank slate and that any social agreement may justly be imposed.

Clive Robinson February 1, 2023 5:33 PM

@ Jazz Handler, SpaceLifeForm, MarkH, Winter, ALL

Re : Batteries and usage.

“So how is this being treated as a problem only solved last week?”

It tells you in the article did you read it all?

If so go back and read about why seeing it was “blood red” was a surprise and what was different that probably made it that colour.

Did you do what the article indicated to your batteries?

I suspect not, getting any battery to that temprature is to put it politely unwise.

Oh and for those with lithium bateries do not try charging the close to or below the freezing point of water, you will destroy them very quickly. However you can keep discharging them at quite a bit below that.

Hopefully the BMS attached to your individual battery cells will keep that under control.

If you need a battery with a much wider charging tempreture range and an almost indefinate discharge-recharge cycle (upto 30,000) compared to both lead acid (200) and lithium (2000) then Nickle-iron or NiFe batteries get used in some quite odd places. They can have a fourty year life and are quite tollerant of abuse, they don’t use environmentally dangerous chemicals and they are ideal for unatended solar and wind generator power storage,

I used to use them in “pilot buoy” aeronortical/marine radio location beacons I designed with a fried to be used in quite remote places (admitidly not as long as the Russian plutonium decay generators, but they were an environmental hazard big time).

Clive Robinson February 1, 2023 11:29 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re: UK strikes

“It’s a start”

Which ones?

The cost of living in real everyday terms has more than doubled and “public sector” workers have not had a pay increase in over eight years in the UK. Their income in some cases is worth less than a third in real terms of ehat it once was.

Let me put it this way, do you want nurses and teachers having to keep their families alive via “food banks” because that is what is starting to happen.

The curent UK executive have stripped people of the right of protest and have repeatedly tried to extend legislation to stop workers taking action to defend themselves against government behaviours[1]. Worse the Govetnment especially under Boris Johnson significantly uped the surveillance on UK citizens by organisations clearly in the employ of a foreign power.

The UK Government however have handed over vast amounts of money to various “offshored” US companies that pay no tax, yet lobby for concessions and money, whilst actively attacking the UK infrastructure and core industries.

To say people have been starting to mentally measure up wall space and lamposts should be a warning to the UK politicians yet they carry on as though “the people” have no rights or relevance…

Major civil unrest is very rare in the UK but localized civil unrest does happen I’ve seen it up close and personal in Brixton, Croydon, Streatham, Lewisham, and a couple of other places including a couple of times in Central London. It’s also happened in other places as well. Almost always the politicians blaim it on the people or some subset of the people or on “police canteen culture” and the like. However it takes very little historical study to show that the actual cause was frequently quite deliberate government policy having been effectively captured by certain non elected “interests”.

Thankfully at the moment we’ve not seen the rise of the religo-political movments that have been plaguing the US of recent times. But it certainly tried to creap in via Tony Blair when he was PM, and he has resurfaced yet again like one of the “undead” and is apparently trying to become head of that shadowy organisation that call’s it’s self the “World Economic Forum”(WEF). He want’s full digital surveillance of people and things in the Western World and is trying to force it through as a Digital Vaccine Passport system that in actual fact will be a more full blown ID Card system worse than China is imolementing. It will be set up outside of elected political control, such that those who own/operate the databases own you or your property and can leave you unable to function in society and destitite,

Further the “World Economic Forum”(WEF) which has no official status is where a small group of the very right wing elite of the “self entitled” try to push their views onto the world. Don’t bother asking who is actually behind the WEF it’s as much as possible kept secret.

Oh and this is not the first time Tony “blood on his hands” Blair has pushed his digital agenda. He was responsible for the worlds largest ICT project called the “NHS Spine” and it quickly turned into the worlds biggest ICT disaster. However it did digitize every UK Citizens Health Records that despite legislation to stop such behaviours has all been shipped off to atleast two US Off Shore “no tax” corporates. One of which is the very scary Colorado-based surveilance corp Palantir setup and effectively owned by the psychotic billionaire Peter Thiel. I’ve mentioned before what their basic plan is, which is to gather all surveilance data they can on every individual in the Western World, and build dosiers that then get selectively given back to LE and IC agencies, in return for raw access to the reports etc the LE and IC agency staff type in. The idea is to displace detectives and investigators and replace them with Palantir systems. Which Palantir would 100% control the information on. Palantir would then sell this “up the food chain” to anyone who is stupid enough to get in Palntir’s web.

If you are thinking “Why would Governments do this?”

Have a search on the UK 77th Brigade that has very recently been outed by a whistle-blower to see what they were upto during Covid amongst other things.

To say it’s all getting very scary is an understatment, and unless some one takes the preasure of this festering boil, it’s going to explode…

[1] An old battle Mad Margaret Thatcher imposed first on GCHQ workers and further tried it on with the miners, which turned much of the country against her. She did unaccountable damage to millions of peoples lives and hundreds of communities and whole areas of the country parts of which are still in many ways “off the map” societaly and socioeconomically with stripped out public services for health and education.

Oshner February 1, 2023 11:34 PM


While I understand that the rate of mutation exceeds the speed at which new vaccines can be created and therefore efficacy might be impaired, I think your comment overlooks the fact that what the virus is doing is mutating spontaneously and not wholly transforming its entire structure. As with all evolution most mutations are discarded or do not confer a selective advantage but the relevant covid strains that are the focus of research are ones where a mutation or series of mutations has conferred an advantage. Vaccine research as a result does not restart from zero. That’s why they call them variants instead of labeling them as new viruses.

As to your point about other viral infections such as the rhinovirus or influenza, it must first be noted that there is not a viable vaccine for the rhinovirus, thus the saying we can’t even cure the common cold. The influenza virus is a more useful example. As noted previously public health officials monitor the flu in the winter of the opposite hemisphere to make their best effort a creating a viable flu vaccine.

As far as the OTC meds that you listed for colds and flu they are largely composed of similar ingredients and target symptom relief rather than cure. Fever reducing medications like Tylenol or decongestants provide the patient some relief but are not disease modifying agents. As a side note, one of the largest drivers of the rise of resistant bacteria is the overprescribing of antibiotics for viral diseases.

As an internist I know once said about medical statistics. The risk for the individual is always zero or one. That is why discussions of cost efficacy are vexing as if you are the one your opinion on cost may change.

Again, I strongly agree with you about masks and social distancing but remain in favor of continuing vaccine research and deployment. Lastly, while there is mixed data on Paxlovid virtually every clinician I know recommends it for patients with elevated risk factors.

Clive Robinson February 2, 2023 12:38 AM

@ Oshner, JonKnowsNothing, ALL,

Re : Antipathogenic micronutrients.

“As far as the OTC meds that you listed for colds and flu they are largely composed of similar ingredients and target symptom relief rather than cure.”

Sadly those OTC meds you list, are actually more likely to kill you than cure you. The reason is that often they work against your bodies natural anti-pathogenic behaviours.

However there are now long known but ignored group of chemicals in the UK and US that do assist rather than hinder the bodies natural anti-pathogenic behaviours, and they are available “Over The Counter” and they have considerably less side effects than “pharmaceuticals” from the major drugs companies.

We tend to call them vitimins, one of which is now shown to be more efficatious than the very very expensive and mainly usless pharmaceuticals like Paxlovid,

Sadly in the UK and US “revolving door” and similar have led to “regulatory capture” thus the research which could have saved gundreds of thousands if not millions of lives was actively opposed.

Go figure…

JonKnowsNothing February 2, 2023 3:55 AM

@Clive, @Oshner, All

Just a few add-on points to your comments:

re: about medical statistics

There is quite of bit of commentary about this in the archives. You might want to grep through them so we don’t have to retread the tire or at least not all 4 wheels.

There’s lots known in the readership here about statistics, data harvesting, selection and rankings. There’s also a great deal known about Medical Decisions, Selective Decisions and certain common fallacies in Decision Processes.

  • I recommend a detailed explanation given by @Clive on the topic. I don’t have the post link but perhaps someone has it handy. It was ~2021-2022.

re: SARS-CoV-2 virus is not Influenza Virus nor the 200 viruses that make up COMMON COLD

Specifically in regards to the published papers on COVID-19 Vaccines, I certainly am not calling their methods of testing into question. The tests are straight forward. The results are clear. I have also made posts on the topic on testing methods, you might find those under the topic of “COVID-19 Human-Mink-Mink-Human” mutation and the specific testing and mutation results from the start of COVID-19 in Mink (2020). There are follow up posts about Karnivak-Kov vaccine for dogs, cats, mink etc.

What is questionable is mixing the results of multiple tests in a manner to present a “rosier outlook” than is warranted. When comparing Apples is best to use Apples as a reference and not introduce Oranges that have no connection with Apples. Or imply that Apples, Oranges and Grapefruit have the same profile (1).

The analogy of Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 was one you proposed. I explained in finer detail why this is an improper comparison, although it is a favorite of MSM, and Business and Medical Corporations.

  • If you want your workers to man the factory floor, you have to pretend they are not exposed to a deadly disease while assembling the latest iPhone for shipment to Western Economies to bolster the US UK EU Stock Markets and Mega Buck Payouts to Billionaires in Western Economies. note: We cannot include Billionaires from Russia because they are sanctioned by the West so they have to spend their Billions in the East.

re: call them variants instead of labeling them as new viruses

The naming and nomenclature for viruses and their variants is well established. There is some confusion because there are at least 5 different naming standards in use. PANGO Lineage is one of the common ones. Early versions of SARS-CoV-2 were known by their specific mutation (ex D614G this is the one the killed millions). Once COVID-19 started to mutate rapidly WHO used Greek Letters. It was not too long later that the WHO realized their new Greek Letter nomenclature was going to flop, as the mutations happened so quickly, so they reverted to PANGO Lineage names (ex XBB.1.5, BF.7).

What’s more important are the mutations carried in any lineage. These are identified and logged. GISAID, Nextstrain, CoVariants, and others have excellent cross references to the different naming conventions. (2) The CoVariants site has a very nice graphic at the bottom of the front page showing a simplified family tree of SARS-CoV-2.

Unfortunately, due to Global Governments’ reduction in public information, along with the reduction in science resources and budgets, it is much harder now to track the progress of COVID-19. There are still people diligently working on the many issues, in spite of Global Governments’ opposition to providing the information. It takes much longer now for information to filter out, data can be weeks or months out of date, where in 2020-2022 it was daily.

For COVID-19: Kansas has gone bye bye / The Matrix


1) This is a bit of tongue in cheek, because if you know about Grapefruit, you will also be aware that Grapefruit is on the verboten list for many drugs. Oranges and Grapefruit may both be Citrus, but they don’t have the same profile with medications.


htt ps://gisaid.or g/

htt ps://nextstrain.or g/

htt ps://covariants.or g/

(url fractured)

Oshner February 2, 2023 1:02 PM

@jonknows…. et al

I think the watchword is specificity. Oranges and grapefruits have differing drug interaction not because the are citrus but because grapefruit juice contains compounds that interfere with the of the liver’s cytochrome P450 CYP3A4 enzyme which in turn affects metabolism of drugs such as atorvastatin.

As Maggrite said, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, pointing out the gap between nomenclature and reality (along with infinite other resonances). Whatever naming convention is used the characteristics of the variant are what they are.

I agree that naming conventions are well established but their proper application is important. By way of example, conservations may the green footed wombat species is in danger of extinction. When queried they will tell you that the green footed wombat (fictional) can mate and produce fertile offspring and therefore is not actually a separate species but rather an isolated population that has developed unique characteristics. Similarly, COVID 19 has mutated in innumerable ways but these variants retain enough resemblance that no matter what particular nomenclature system you apply they still are fundamentally SARS-CoV-2. To your citrus example, the Venn diagram of oranges, limes and grapefruit may overlap in the region of citric acid containing fruits but do not overlap in the CYP450 specific enzyme regioin.

I do think you have identified a vitally important point in that funding for tracking and identification has fallen off. In decades to come much will be written about the inadequate epidemiological work that was done during COVID.

lurker February 2, 2023 4:22 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Oshner

The cytochrome inhibitor in grapefruit is bergamottin, which gives the tangy aroma to the fruit, and is also present in Oil of Bergamot which flavours Earl Grey tea.

Until I was prescribed grapefruit antagonist drugs a few years ago, I used to make grapefruit marmalade. I suspect bergamottin might undergo some change when boiled in saturated sucrose solution. My layman’s search of the literature found many ways to synthesise bergamottin, but nothing on its behaviour in a standard culinary environment. My doctor and pharmacist were blank stares too.

So that might be one of the great unsolved mysteries of modern science. I miss my marmalade …

JonKnowsNothing February 2, 2023 7:55 PM

@Clive, @lurker, Oshner, All

re: Winding down COVID funding, medications, treatments in USA

We are fast approaching a date where the US President Joe Biden will declare an end to all Federal COVID Emergency Declarations (May 11, 2023) (1) . States will follow thereafter. Some State have already set up their End of Declarations (Calif Feb 28, 2023).

So, what does that mean?

  • 48,000 COVID Deaths October 2022 – Jan 2023
  • 17,000 Flu Deaths October 2022 – Jan 2023
  • Emergency operations centers for COVID-19 to be deactivated
  • COVID testing sites, treatment centers will be phased out
  • COVID Vaccines, Treatments, Test Kits and Drugs are on transition from Federally provided for Free or No Cost to Consumer, to Pay For Service fee schedules
  • Insurance Providers will have greater determination in COVID Care, Access, Treatment and Support offerings
  • Some classes of low-insured and non-insured persons that were granted full COVID insurance enrollments, will lose their enrolled status
  • Some cities, and locales may continue providing extended uninterrupted service based on budget allocations. Wealthier cities may have better service options that rural or underfunded areas
  • COVID deaths in care homes, rehab centers and skilled nursing facilities will remain high. HIP-RIP-LOVID (2)


  • If you know people that have had COVID, maybe you are hanging out with the wrong people?



ht tps:// m/california/story/2023-02-02/covid-emergency-is-ending-what-does-that-mean

(url fractured)

2) HIP = herd immunity economic policy / HIP-RIP-LOVID

Search Terms

Deaths from Covid

Aged Care
300 deaths Dec 2022
600 deaths Jan 2023

(300 * 6months) + (600 * 6months) = 1800 + 3600 = 5400 probable deaths 2023 for Australia

JonKnowsNothing February 3, 2023 3:31 AM

@lurker, @Usual Suspects

re: Reinfections are ~40% of total cases NZ


A large fish tank. Inside the tank are millions of guppies. All kinds, colors, fancy tails and fins.

Introduce The Condition that kills many of the fish, damages their fins and shreds their colorful tails (note there are fish diseases that do this).

As the condition swirls around the tank, more fish are exposed, re-exposed and soon there are very few fish that have never encountered The Condition.

This is a problem facing vaccine and drug producers.

As more people have vaccinations, they have problems finding un-vaccinated people to trial their potential new candidate. Having a previous type of vaccine, might skew the outcome of the trial. There is difficulty separating out the results from a “contaminated pool”.

The number of people never exposed diminishes each time a “noob” gets sick. They may have missed any number of previous exposures; just one illness will knock them off the trial list.

So, it can be expected that in the near future, 40% re-infection rate will be a low count. Each wave takes a share of the Never Exposed and a share of the Already Exposed and leaves The Dead behind as a remainder.

In China over their holiday in Jan 2023, they estimated 80%-90% of the population got sick from BF.7. That would be well over 1BILL people; leaving 300-500MILL unexposed. The number of dead reported varies from 60,000 to 600,000 to 1+MILL. The Chinese are hoping that the 90% exposure in Wave 1, will result in a lower count for Wave 2. Wave 3 is TBD.

SpaceLifeForm February 3, 2023 5:47 PM

@ lurker

Re; China balloon


SpaceLifeForm February 3, 2023 6:27 PM

@ lurker

Re; China Balloon

My observation was confirmed.

Best pic I have seen.

I was not close enough to see this detail, nor did I have a telescope or binoculars.


SpaceLifeForm February 3, 2023 6:49 PM

@ Clive, lurker

See the pic from link above.

I find it an interesting array.

My guess is SLAR. That the balloon did not go directly overhead of security related sites in my area.

My Q is, does that array fit for SLAR?


JonKnowsNothing February 4, 2023 12:31 AM

@Clive, @Oshner, All

re: Medical Decisions, Selective Decisions and certain common fallacies in Decision Processes. A detailed explanation given by @Clive.

I went archive diving to find the link.

Clive Robinson • April 8, 2022 9:31 PM

The topic started out about how Elon Musk has 3 rules for managers: show why he’s wrong, ask for clarification, or execute the order.

Followed by a discussion about effective reasoning and decision making.

1, Inductive : Specific to General.
2, Deductive : General to Specific.
3. Abductive : Ad-hoc.

Today, a jury found that M.Musk can tweet all he likes about buying out companies and having funding in place to do so, because no one really believes his tweets.

lurker February 4, 2023 1:11 AM


Oddities: MSM insisted a) it was “hovering” over Billings, and b) was much lower altitude than “normal” stratospheric research balloons.

And c), how come the US has no way to capture stray balloons?

Clive Robinson February 4, 2023 2:17 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker,

Re : Balloons -v- Satellites

“I find it an interesting array.”

It may be a hoax… or not.

The first question I would ask is,

“How is it phoning home?”

The BBC article implied that as the ballons are cheaper than satellites, China was developing a non satellite survailance system[1]. Taken with the knowledge China and the US both have anti-sat missile there is a very small chance it’s a hoax, or more likely even a “thumbing of the nose” or warning. Because whilst it is at a very high altitude, this is not the days of the U2 where you could “fly safe above” so shooting the balloons down is possible.

However the BBC article implied from selected use of US Military comments that the balloons were some how highly targeted. Take a look at the map and the very wide spread of simillar balloons in WWII[1].

So my next question is,

“How does China guide it?”

Closely followed by,

“How does China stabalize it?”

Because to see a specific target you would have to get within range and be able to point your surveillance equipment in the right direction.

Then there is the most important question that keeps satellite designers up at night,

“What is the power to weight ratio”

Energy storage such as batteries is generally very bad for power to weight and a balloon very definately has weight limitations potentially more so than satellites. It’s why the early Russian Satellites only transmitted for a few days at most[2].

It was a problem Richard Branson had to “white board out” back in the 1980’s. The solution they came up with as it was a “hot air” balloon was to attach “detachable gas canisters” around the mission payload of the crew-capsual[3].

These China balloons are unmaned and the “lift gas” thus buoyancy unknown but approximations can be made.

SLAR is an active EM technology, which makes it power hungry compared to passive EM monitoring. But either way unless it’s a hoax data has to go back to China, and that needs a minimum amount of energy per bit of data. So the more data you send the more energy you need in a shorter time, thus the power you need goes up a lot, which runs you into all sorts of thermal issues. Yes there are high efficiency designs, I’ve been involved with the design of 90% efficient VHF transmitters for the broadcast industry, and some very odd designs that are higher efficiency for AM systems. But waste energy from inefficiency is heat and you have to get rid of it, which is very difficult when the atmosphere is so thin and solar heating is doing a blow-torch impersonation alternating with nighttime freeze and you don’t have “mass to spare” which is much much less of a problem with satellites (some of which are in the 7000kg range).

So we have lots of questions but no answers currently.

But remember China are not the only nation to launch international balloons US college students do it, likewise European[5]. And quite a lot of Ham Radio operators some have flown “Weak Signal Propagation Reporter”(WSPR) balloon beacons” that have gone across both Russia and China and on across the pacific[6].

And back in my youth a couple of friends and I used a packet of condoms, a bottle of “party balloon gas” and a striped down 136MHz bug that put out about 10mW running on a small 9v battery. We let it go in SW London one evening thinking it would only stay up for a short while but… we know that it’s signal was picked up in Belgium. All jolly good original fun in the 1980’s, but a few hundred USD buys you ready made kits these days (though the lift gas is getting expensive[7]).

[1] This is not the first time the US has had “hostile balloons cross it’s borders. Back during WWII Japan developed a bomb system that revealed the existance of the Jet Stream,

Note the spread on the map, and as the article notes of 9000 launched by Japan only around 2.7% were noticed, and only one caused deaths.

[2] The short life of the early Russian near earth Satellites was due to the fact the wrong battery technology was used –due to assumptions about temprature– and there were no solar pannels available at that time. So nothing like the upto 25years we have today which is an artificial cap due to international agreement. From memory the longest running near earth satelite was “Prospero” launched in 1971 and stayed semi “operational” for nearly fifty years (I have fond memories of tracking it’s VHF beacon when younger). But also in the 70’s we had the launch of some deep space spacecraft, that are still semi “operational”. Even with the 25year limit on “operation” many satellites are designed for fifty or more year operation in “parking orbits” above the geo-stationary zone, so hopefully one day we can clean up the mess without locking our selves out of space for a couple of centuries or more.

[3] Back when I was doing my MSc with a group of “a+ types” I was probably the only “engineer” in the room when the presentation on how Richard Branson “project managed” it was given. To the presenters supprise the students questions were not about the project managment aspects, but about the “near disaster” of early in the flight loosing half the gas canisters. I ended up having to explain that it worked in the same way the Saturn-V rockets worked where 90% of the fule mass was used in the first stage burn that only just got it outside the earths atmosphere. I also mentioned the Challenger disaster[4] and the space shuttle external fuel takes and solid fuel rockets and why you can not get into space with solid fuel alone.

[4] It is this time of year that we have the NASA “lest we forget” ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center to remember those lost, because the Challenger disaster happend on the 28th of Jan 1986 and the Columbia disaster on the 1st of Feb 2003. Even though the first was 37years ago and the second 20years ago they both remain very much etched in my mind. Whilst primarilly the public remember just two women one in each disaster –such is the MSM effect– both disasters and the original Apollo launch pad fire are ever present in my mind when designing parts for cube-sats or for safety-critical systems. As a spiecies we don’t always learn by our mistakes, but those who design should always have the lessons from disaster in mind.

[5] The UK does not alow such balloon flights currently, which is a shame, and a little pointless, because Southern Ireland does alow them and the prevailing south westerlies qyickly bring them into UK air space… Something some other friends of mine have exploited ruthlessly.

[6] See the “WSPR Balloons Rock!” web site for info,


For some “live ones”.

[7] Chating with a friend one day about the price of gas and the thermal problems a thought occured, why not make a lift gas give a little more lift by using the waste heat producing payload inside the balloon envelope. He’s since done a few practical experiments, and even though it’s mechanically difficult –think old incandessent bulb structures– it can give you a slight advantage.

Oshner February 4, 2023 3:09 AM

@jonknows…. et al

“48,000 COVID Deaths October 2022 – Jan 2023
17,000 Flu Deaths October 2022 – Jan 2023”

I suspect we are in fervent agreement that the statistically absurd premature pronouncement of the pandemics demise is absurd and sadly the stuff of dystopian novels.

Society has collectively plugged its ears while humming Camptown Races and thus likely increased by a large measure the inevitable emergence of other novel pathogens that thanks in part to our failure to systematically collect data on COVID will leave the world similarly unprepared.

It disheartens me that we lost in excess of a million US residents and the country’s response was a collective shrug and a return to the sports page.

We have been relatively lucky but luck isn’t a strategy.

JonKnowsNothing February 4, 2023 11:46 AM

@lurker, @SLF All

re: how come the US has no way to capture stray balloons?

Publicly we do, but it’s got some problems with the capture part.

iirc(badly and sadly)

Some years ago a recreational balloon lost its tethers. It started to rise up quickly with no one in the basket. One person continued to hold their tether and while it was funny in Harry Potter, the person was pulled up like Auntie Marge, hanging from the guy rope, which was not funny at all.

It ended tragically when the person could no longer hold on, and they didn’t fall into a convenient lake, like Harry and Co did when they bailed off the dragon from Gringots.

The balloon was now without anchor and without control as it sailed over the city. Police helicopters were dispatched to use their wind turbulence to push the balloon away from houses and people. They did not puncture it as that might have led to a catastrophic and erratic decent into the city and risk from overhead electrical lines. So they pushed it out towards the country and had to wait for the fuel tanks to drain, the fire burner to go out, and the balloon to collapse on its own.

The problem in a simpler context is:

  • if you inflate a standard party balloon and then let go of it, can you predict which directions it will fly?

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