Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Processing Facility

This video of a modern large squid processing ship is a bit gory, but also interesting.

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 February 24, 2023 at 5:02 PM125 Comments


SpaceLifeForm February 24, 2023 6:48 PM

Stick to plaintext folks


Clive Robinson February 24, 2023 7:28 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re: “My voice is my Passport”.

From the article the real reason this nonsense is abounding,

“A [UK] Lloyds Bank spokesperson said in a statement that “Voice ID is an optional security measure, however we are confident that it provides higher levels of security than traditional knowledge-based authentication methods, and that our layered approach to security and fraud prevention continues to provide the right level of protection for customers’ accounts, while still making them easy to access when needed.””

Or rewritten,

1, It’s cheaper for the bank than MFA.
2, It easily alows the bank to make false claims about user authentication.
3, It alows the banks to externalise both the cost and risk they would otherwise carry –in the UK– for such fraud.

Then of course, forcing customers to use such services,

4, Enables bank branches to be shut.
5, Enables Bank ATM systems to be shut.
6, Forces users to use expensive and fraud ridden bank card systems rather than cash.
7, Enables the banks to get rid of cash businesses and all the cost of the staff needed to support them.
8, Plays directly into the desires of certain politicians and law enforcment to have absolute surveillance thus control over ordinary citizens.

So from the banks and politicians perspectives, “What’s not to like”.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2023 9:20 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : No it’s not 1st April.

Under the title,

“UK Proposes Even More Stupid Ideas for Directly Regulating the Internet Service Providers”

Tech Dirt lists some political and law enforcment fantasies,

As the article notes this is not the first time the current UK Government Incumbents have tried this nonsense and failed, they are now “doubling down” on Oppression and what if it were not online would be very illegal behaviour.

Proof yet again that “Human Rights Legislation” needs to be uprated to cover all forms of electronic communications before it is too late and privacy has been destroyed in the name of a jack-booted Surveillance State.

Clive Robinson February 24, 2023 10:14 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

“Electrical Network Frequency”(ENF) and using it to identify when recordings are made.

Some might remember this first coming up over a decade ago, others will have known about it’s potential for a lot lot longer.

But the essential point is the mains power wiring in your house etc is part of a transmitting antenna for 50Hz or 60Hz depending on where you are in the world.

The thing is that as it’s frequency is generated mechanically it’s not at all frequency stable and the instant frequency is related to generator capacity pushing power into the grid and load from all the items sucking down power from the grid.

So the frequency changes act like a form of time stamp, sufficient to have been accepted in court.

Well somebody has not just written it up, but also has provided some software.

Oh one thing to note, what actually gets recorded is the vector sum of all frequencies around the “mains hum frrquencies”.

Somebody who knows what they are doing can render the signal on the recording either invalid or worse can make it look like another time altogether…

lurker February 25, 2023 12:41 AM

@Clive Robinson

fron TechDirt [emphasis added]

… given the right to cede control of the domain and/or IP addresses to trusted parties for [whatever]

Gotcha! Who trusts whom in Whackamole, Spy vs Spy, … The most trusted people around Whitehall are the tea ladies, if they still exist, and they might have more tech expertise than most MPs.

ResearcherZero February 25, 2023 9:12 AM

@Clive Robinson

Victoria has a proposed bill borrowing on British law that the state government is looking to implement at the request of police.

“The Victorian government has moved to give police discretion to register children, lawyers, journalists, doctors, priests, parliamentarians and judges as human sources. Despite royal commission findings and a High Court ruling that a lawyer who informs on their client to the police while purporting to act for them is a clear breach of ethical obligations, this legislation in its current form would legitimise such conduct.”

“The legislation states privileged information includes journalistic privilege, client-legal privilege, medical privilege, parliamentary privilege, judicial privilege and the confidentiality of the confessional.”

Legal professional privilege belongs to the client.

Human sources will be breaching their confidentiality “because they are providing information that has been provided to them in confidence”.

The system for investigating police misconduct, corruption and criminality is hopelessly flawed. As it stands, 98% of such cases are investigated by police.

ResearcherZero February 25, 2023 9:17 AM


That’s what those TrustCor certificates are for that come with browsers. 😀

If it has ‘trust’ in the name why wouldn’t you trust it?

Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference (FIMI)

There is no longer any distance between the Kremlin’s diplomatic and FIMI arms.

threat actors hack-and-leak sensitive information to further a specific narrative

This post was made at 16:31 GMT on Saturday 4 February. Just over twenty minutes later, at 16:55, the Russian propaganda website SouthFront published a slightly different version of “James’” query, this time apparently directed to their editors, along with the now-widespread redacted version of the letter.

propaganda is also strategically useful to incapacitate opposition, within and outside the country

Russia’s diplomatic corps acts as a global network for propaganda, in which the same claims can be recycled and tweaked for different audiences in different nations.

ResearcherZero February 25, 2023 9:37 AM

@Clive Robinson

It’s one of the things that is supposed to set apart democracies from authoritarian regimes, critique the government, speak truth to power or anyone else you jolly well like. If it takes them 30 years to crack down on fraudulent invoicing by their own bureaucrats, and murder, which I thought was regarded as a serious crime. People are going to get a little snaky.

There were contractors here paying bribes for decades and they didn’t even get jail time. They only lock up the crooks who build huge houses that everyone can see. It takes so bloody long that witnesses have died by the time the case is heard. Accidents and suicides are all too common.

If I did what those jokers have been doing for years, I’d be in the clink.

ResearcherZero February 25, 2023 9:46 AM

Chinese intelligence gathering dating back to February 2020

“a database with profiles on the thousands of foreign reporters”

Plans for a system that can compile individual files on such persons of interest coming to Henan using 3,000 facial recognition cameras that connect to various national and regional databases. …the tender was unique in specifying journalists as surveillance targets and providing a blueprint for public security authorities to quickly locate them and obstruct their work.

“sources were harassed, detained, or called in for questioning by police more than once,” and that officials seem to be supporting lawsuits or threats of legal action against reporters.

The Strategic Support Force: China’s Information Warfare Service

China additionally has less-attributable or unattributable communication options that it can draw on to influence opinions more surreptitiously.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2023 1:23 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

I’ve been hearing stories about bird flu having crossed into mamals very recently… Some of the story,

And now that it’s been found in humans the fatality of an 11 year old girl in Cambodia and her father testing positive is causing other questions,

In the past two decades there have been over 850 human infections with over 450 ie more than half being fatal.

What is not known and won’t be for some time is,

1, If it’s bird to human, or human to human.
2, If human to human if it is sustained thus likely to start community spread or not.

The other problem is disease reservoir in mamals such as vermin. It would be easy for rodents like mice and rats to not only come into contact with infected birds due to “bird feed” issues, but direct blood contact as well from sick birds unable to defend themselves. But just as likely for the same rodents to come into direct contact with humans and bite/scratch into blood vessels etc.

Hopefully it will come to nothing.

But in the UK Imperial College’s professor of mathematical biology and epidemiologist Dr Neil Ferguson OBE who’s models allegedly caused “lockdown” in both the UK and US,has popped up again according to –right wing– Daily Mail,

Some belive Prof Ferguson’s models have been flawed and thus caused over restrictive government policies (we are talking the Spectator’s abonymous columnist that in policy can make the US GOP look almost socialist),

Various other right wing or ultra conservative money sink groups like the Heritage Foundation of US vote manipulation fame,

have also chimed in in with their paid for political views,

So expect another major bun-fight if human-human transmission is shown to happen with more than very small fraction R0 figures.

Clive Robinson February 25, 2023 2:11 PM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : Days of freedom passing.

“It’s one of the things that is supposed to set apart democracies from authoritarian regimes, critique the government, speak truth to power or anyone else you jolly well like.”

Those were the days of last century shortly after WWII and into the 1970’s. In the 1980’s with Reagan and Thatcher, democracy was forcefully turned to the dark side.

The result of that we are still trying to deal with very unsuccessfully now, into the fifth decade later.

What we see China and Russia doing is to many western politicians and their backers the prototype for 2025 onwards. The “Man of Iron” nonsense a clear indicator that the politicians concerned can not either think, or failed to learn their history lessons from over the last century.

What makes it worse as one or two others have pointed out is the deceitful behaviour and morality of quite a few allegedly “christian” tribes/churches.

A beief look at the political behaviour of the Russian Orthodox Church will not just shock but give significant pause for thought, as they act as an enforcement arm of oppression for the Kremlin, especially of women and girls.

The fact that this is very much on the rise in the US and certain parts of the UK, is actually more worrying than “white supremacist” groups…

SpaceLifeForm February 25, 2023 4:20 PM

Balloon shot

This was apparently geolocated close to where I saw it. Definitely a closer view than I had from the ground. Note the forward swept wing. I originally thought the plane was heading EB, but if that is the shadow, then it was heading WB at the time of pic.


JonKnowsNothing February 25, 2023 5:21 PM

@Clive, All

re: bird flu having crossed into mammals very recently

There are a number of variants in what is commonly called “bird or avian flu”. The one that has been circling the globe for the last few years, decimating both wild and domestic birds is H5N1.

There are other variants that have a known crossover to humans but H5N1 has not been one of them until recently.

H5N1 has crossed over to the same mammals that we saw when SARS-CoV-2 made its crossover to mink, ferrets and where it remains as a constant reservoir in the global white-tail deer population.

H5N1 is why UK and other countries had few holiday dinner birds. It is why eggs are now sky high priced. It is why “free range” is being redefined to “free barn”. It is highly contagious and there is no vaccine for birds or people.

Given our myopia about human susceptibility to airborne illness, I’m not overly optimistic that H5N1 will burn out before it mutates. H5N1 has been going strongly for several years now, circulating with bird migrations. There is no plane to stop.

In an odd way, we may be witnessing the final days of dinosaurs.

vas pup February 25, 2023 5:27 PM

The AI emotions dreamed up by ChatGPT

…chatbots are programmed to simply follow human instructions. There is little scope for them to develop faculties that they haven’t been trained to have, including emotions – although some researchers are training machines to recognise them. “So you
can’t have a chatbot that’s going to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to learn how to drive a car’ – that’s artificial general intelligence [a more flexible kind], and that doesn’t exist
yet,” says Sahota.

…the most likely route to algorithms with feelings is programming them !!!to want to upskill themselves – and rather than just teaching them to identify patterns, helping them to learn how to think.

“In hindsight AlphaGo decided to do a bit of psychology,” says Sahota. “If I play an off the wall type move, will it throw my player off the game. And that’s actually what ended up happening.”

According to Sahota, these types of “black box” scenarios, where an algorithm has come up with a solution but its reasoning is opaque, could present a problem for identifying emotions in artificial intelligence. That’s because if, or when, it does finally emerge, one of the clearest signs will be algorithms acting irrationally.

“They’re supposed to be rational, logical, efficient – if they do something off-the-wall and there’s no good reason for it, it’s probably an emotional response and not a logical one,” says Sahota.

And there’s another potential detection problem. One line of thinking is that chatbot emotions would loosely resemble those experienced by humans – after all, they’re trained on human data. But what if they don’t? Entirely detached from the real world and the sensory machinery found in humans, who knows what alien desires they might come up with.”

Steve February 25, 2023 5:52 PM

Re voice recognition.

This morning I woke up with an entire pond’s worth of frogs in my throat.

While I can do a creditable impression of a Tuvan Throat Singer, if I had voice recognition I probably couldn’t access my bank account.

Why a spoon, cousin? Because it's dull you twit it'll hurt more! February 25, 2023 7:40 PM

Nokia launches DIY repairable budget Android phone

  • Nokia G22 has removable back and standard screws allowing battery swap in less than five minutes at home

Nokia has announced one of the first budget Android smartphones designed to be repaired at home allowing users to swap out the battery in under five minutes in partnership with iFixit.

Launched before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Saturday, the Nokia G22 has a removable back and internal design that allows components to be easily unscrewed and swapped out including the battery, screen and charging port.

Nokia phones manufacturer HMD Global will make “quick fix” repair guides and genuine parts available for five years via specialists iFixit, in addition to affordable professional repair options.

“People value long-lasting, quality devices and they shouldn’t have to compromise on price to get them. The new Nokia G22 is purposefully built with a repairable design so you can keep it even longer,” said Adam Ferguson, head of product marketing for HMD Global.”

Clive Robinson February 25, 2023 7:53 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing,

“In an odd way, we may be witnessing the final days of dinosaurs.”

Unless they witness the final days of primates first…

If it does go Hum2Hum transmission with R0 of say 5 or higher with a IFR of over 50% in humans…

You can imagine a zombie apocalypse / Maf Max style movie… But to be realistic you would have to answer the question of how would humanity survive for maybe three generations?

Being in a space colony on another planet or the equivalent of a space craft on earth…

But for real lockdown you would have to be in a deep hole in the ground, for quite some time and solar cells would not get even close for that…

So you’ld need something like a large RTG-RiPS[1] of atleast 1KW continuous output and a 90year half life to power amongst other things the UV-C light sources in the air scrubber, low preasure water distilation purification and body&waste water recovery units for minerals and such like, oh and health and grow lights for the organics. The list of power requirments would be long just for a family and 24kWh may not be enough.

Oh and with god alone knows what sort of insect life having evolved without birds as their primary preditor awaiting the very few who come up…

Well that’s this weeks “Movie Plotkin” done and dusted 😉


Clive Robinson February 25, 2023 8:56 PM

@ Steve,

Re : Voice recognition, not…

“This morning I woke up with an entire pond’s worth of frogs in my throat.”

I know that feeling…

A few weeks back I got taken to hospital by ambulance having “creamed in” to the ground big style according to witnesses.

After a week of dicking about with medications the hospital kicked me out. But not soon enough as I came away with a whole bunch of nasty little pathogens that came out to play the following day.

It quickly turned into the worst head cold I’ve had this century and possibly ever. My sinuses were both blocked and draining into my throat, like an endless slug sliming it’s way down… Which felt worse than I could possibly describe.

Along with almost ear drum busting sneezes that turned my nostriles into two or three Newton thrust rocket venturies and splattered projectile mass all over the place as it shot through the paper hankies like the plasma of a shaped charge. I also had a deep braying cough which was, as the medical proffession put it so politely, was “productive” and quickly went that yellow green colour of secondary infection…

Well things are sort of improving, in that I now sleep for 16-18 hours a day in around three hour spurts. In which luckily I don’t cough so the throat is nolonger a burning pit dropping straight down to the furnaces of hell via a volcano (or that’s what it did feel like).

Though I am still coughing enough for the neighbors to complain… I think it’s not so much the cough they don’t want to hear, but the fact it turns into growl like you get in the old westerns when the bad guy hawks up and twangs it into the spitoon at the end of the bar. I don’t get the twang though as the muck comes up so thick it’s enough to tile a bathroom with…

As for “voice recognition” I could barely whisper at one point… So when I finally spoke to my “General Practitioner”(GP) doctor on the phone about the secondary infection, he was quite sympathetic and said “Your not the first today, there’s a lot of it going around at the moment”…

So yeh I send my best to your frogs and hope they are evicted soon, as for my slugs, I think they’ve taken an option to buy…

MarkH February 25, 2023 11:56 PM

Success Story: Good Decision-Making vs. Bad Software

On 26 January, two Alaska Airlines planes (both departing Seattle for Hawaii) suffered “tail strikes” during take-off … just 6 minutes apart.

Tail strikes happen when the pitch angle is too steep while the wheels are still on (or very near) the runway. They are rarely serious, and happen from time to time — but the airline’s on-duty director of operations (former USAF) knew that this coincidence showed something wrong, and immediately ground the whole Alaska Air fleet.

The stoppage lasted only 22 minutes, as airline personnel figured out that software performing takeoff parameter computations was giving wrong numbers; a change in the way the software was used served as a work-around.

MarkH February 26, 2023 12:02 AM

Success Story: Good Decision-Making vs. Bad Software, cont.

The software vendor — which carefully tests the correctness of outputs when releasing revisions — ascertained that the wrong numbers were returned only when their system was heavily loaded (many aircraft requesting take-off parameters at the same time), and promptly issued a fix.

Perhaps some readers of the blog have seen this kind of error … or even coded this kind of error.

I salute all involved, for quickly and safely handling the problem.

Analysis showed that the flights with wrong data were well within margins for safe take-off, and the paint-scraped planes were returned to service the same day (airliners have little “humps” specifically to limit tail-strike damage).

JonKnowsNothing February 26, 2023 11:51 AM

@Clive, All

re: H5N1, Oddity and Oh?


  • The UK is prepping Lateral Flow Tests to detect H5N1 viral fragments


The MSM report describes how hundreds of rhesus macaque monkeys have gone missing from their normal habitat near a Temple complex in Thailand, where they are fed by the monks and public. The monkeys are free to travel to and from the forests which they do. However, the population at the Temple is noticeably lower than usual.

There is a significant increase in the value of the monkeys for pharmaceutical testing. The price used to be $20/monkey. The new local price runs $200/monkey. The current US Pharmaceutical Testing Businesses price is $20,000/monkey.


Not too long ago, a different MSM report on how known sick monkeys were allowed to be imported to the USA. They were brought in under US approval and released on one of the islands the US uses as a monkey testing reserve. Some may be in the possession of the Pharmaceutical Businesses and actively used for testing.

Some such testing is Destructive Testing, meaning the monkey does not survive the test, and is dissected as part of the test protocol. So there is an constant need for new monkeys, even sick ones will do.

So, 3 dots not connected?

  • H5N1 Lateral Flow
  • Missing monkeys in Thailand
  • Increased needs for monkeys at Big Pharma

Clive Robinson February 26, 2023 1:57 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, lurker, ALL,

Re : Criminals are mostly scavengers.

“The monkeys are free to travel to and from the forests which they do. However, the population at the Temple is noticeably lower than usual.”

First lets take a little side journey…

When it comes to petty crime like house breaking it’s assumed that it’s by stupid males as these are the ones that get caught. The only women caught for theft are generally “stupid drunk” and stole “street furniture” or the like in full sight of CCTV or mates mobile selfie etc, or have it in their home as a trophy etc.

The reason the males get caught is they make their crimes “obvious to ablind man” at the time they commit them. Thus the evidence against them authorities gather is at just about it’s best. That is not suffering the effects of entropy etc.

Whilst women who have been burglars are caught in other ways, like the fence or recipient of the proceads of the crime “grass them up”. Because their crimes have been cautious and gone unreported at the time or at all.

Because they don’t make the crime “obvious” and they plan a little so as not to leave evidence. So much so that the crime might go undiscovered entirely by the people who have been robbed, or they assume what is missing has been mislaid or moved by a family member and it will turn up. Or a friend might have done it etc but have no idea as to when. And any evidence of the criminal has long since been walked over / Hooverd up / cleaned over, or in other ways degraded or destroyed.

So back to the missing primates…

Taking the primates from a place they go to frequently because they get fed and not harmed would almost be trivially easy. But is also “obvious” and has already caused “noise” that those taking the primates don’t need.

Hence they are being stupid, because at some point the authorities will have to take action. Not because the primates are attractive to the locals, but the money the tourists bring in is and to a certain extent the local economy depends on the primates attracting in the money.

At some point DNA testing will become involved to prove where a primate comes from. If that happens the US etc will start testing primate DNA as it is imported and record it and make the animals tracable.

Having the animals tracable in that way is not what drug testing companies want as it leaves them open on all those “destructive tests” regardless of if they are legal or not.

So rather than stop doing the testing at the higher ethical standards in the US and West, the drugs companies will do it in other places where a brown envelope stuffed with green pieces of paper generally quiets all enquiries.

Such places have lower standards for just about everything so Bio-Security is way way more likely to be compromised and go unreported (some people have already implied that Cambodia might be a good place to test H5N1 for these reasons).

Also there is the “loss of jobs” factor. Drugs testing is expensive in various ways one of which is skilled workers that in the West expect good salaries, health care for them and their family, good and safe working conditions etc. Thus workers abroad could cost maybe 1 to 5% of their US counter parts. As someone with an eye only on the bottom line what’s not to like about such “savings”…

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2023 3:27 PM

@ MarkH

Re: Tail Strikes

I wonder if the #WX was also a factor.

Lower pressure and temps than normal.

Maybe variable winds.

Only so many planes can take off per minute, so I am not convinced that it was due to comm traffic load. May have been a factor because flights were already delayed, but there may been other factors.

Nick Levinson February 26, 2023 3:47 PM

Laws to require that privacy breaches of computers be disclosed to affected persons have been at least conceptually proposed for the U.S. Federal government.

However, already, New York State has such a law. I think California may have such a law. I have not checked jurisdictions other than New York State, looked for a list of known laws in various jurisdictions, analyzed this N.Y. law, its interpretations (such as in case law), or its history of success and failure, or other inferior law such as regulations.

For free access to the text of the N.Y.S. law as amended (not an old text), there is not, to my knowledge, a direct URL, but here are breadcrumbs: > Laws (in upper navbar) > GBS General Business > Article 39-F.

Reading law is not always to be literal. You should first read it literally but if a literal reading does not provide enough clarity for application to the facts in question then the statutory purpose or legislative history up to and at the time of enactment by the legislature (perhaps up to when the Governor signed or declined to veto the bill) may be considered.

Citation is normally to a section, in this case, for the two sections comprising the Article, N.Y. General Business Law, section 899-AA et seq.

Paid services will also have it, likely with annotations that might be enlightening on the statute’s history and on case law. Major public libraries may also have it in book form, probably also with the annotations. I do not know if a law journal article or a treatise, sources on which attorneys and law professors typically rely, has more on this particular law.

devN February 26, 2023 4:54 PM

I found an interesting essay about, IDK, taking linux apt for granted as being secure(?) The author points out a significant long term issue and a proof of concept of a partial mitigation, I think. I’m certainly no expert about this stuff, but I think I’m getting the main idea. I tend to agree with the author here:

Thank goodness there are at least a few alternatives, but they do couple with specific linux flavors.

JonKnowsNothing February 26, 2023 5:05 PM

@ Nick Levinson , All

re: Laws to require that privacy breaches of computers be disclosed

Increased disclosure is not a bad thing but practically it means very little. A consumer gets a 1yr Newsletter Notice Service at best, at worst their entire financial and personal life is extinguished.

Like doxing, once the information is out, the good news is there isn’t much chance of further blackmail, but information you would rather not have in the public sphere remains. Even when you have good privacy laws like in EU a person has no more privacy than accessing a search engine accessed from another jurisdiction. The Right To Be Forgotten is pretty limited in actual practice.

There isn’t any plan for recovering those transmitted bits flying across the internet, residing in silos of data hosted by private and government systems.

Now if we could have a Super Databit Magnet that could tunnel into every database everywhere on any device and recover our stolen information, I don’t see how that would be of help. It would not be much different than what LEAs and 3Ls do today, except they keep it all hoping to find Kompromat they can leverage.

vas pup February 26, 2023 7:31 PM

China is using spy buoys in the Arctic, says Canada

“The Canadian military has discovered Chinese spy buoys in the Arctic which are monitoring US submarines and melting ice sheets.

Such “activity is not new”, Canadian defence minister Anita Anand said in televised remarks, implying that China has been engaging in surveillance efforts in the region for some time.

Officials described the objects as “dual-purpose technologies” =>but they have been reported in Canadian media as buoys used for spying.

!!!It is unclear whether the Chinese buoys floated into Canadian waters or were purposefully anchored into the waters.*

Monitoring buoys can follow environmental and weather conditions, the salinity of water, and track fish.”

*That is interesting.

Question: buoys in international waters are legitimate object to be immune of any foreign interference?

I have no doubt when buoys of any foreign country are within waters of any other nation without open consent is legitimate target for any actions including destroying.

Any objection?

Please pay attention to word ‘any’ that implies equality under International Law.

SpaceLifeForm February 26, 2023 11:24 PM

Big Bang is illusion

Many will continue with denial and come up with bolt-on theories.


Clive Robinson February 26, 2023 11:43 PM

@ vas pup,

Re : China is using arctic spy buoys

“Such “activity is not new”, Canadian defence minister Anita Anand said in televised remarks, implying that China has been engaging in surveillance efforts in the region for some time.”

No it’s not new at all.

As far as I’m aware the British started it by hiding a “signals submarine” up on the route taken by shipping to Russia during WWII.

Supposadly they were looking for signs of German U-Boats by finding “oscillator leakage” from the receiver inside the U-Boat tuned to Germany’s U-Boat command “Fleet Broadcast” System.

However it’s way more likely even then that they would also have been listening to Russian armed forces etc communications as well. Winston Churchill hated the Russian leader and distrusted him entirely and acted in a way that made it fairly clear. This had unfortunate consequences when the US president changed. As it turns out it appears Churchill was right, Russia was actively spying on both the UK and US and at the very least stealing nuclear secrets.

Only a little later the British signals intelligence planes and submarines performed early monitoring of Russias active defence systems like radar and founded what we now call “Elint”. After the war other signals gathering related to weapons development and control continued, and upset quite a few in the US who were envious of the raw inteligence “from the brits” that their own military services were not supplying due in part to the ubexpected outbreak of the Korean war (and I’ve been told to significant interservice infighting/rivalry). An issue that led to the formation of the NSA in 1952 and thus a reshaping of the BRUSA “special relationship” that later gave rise to the Five-Eyes as the US discovered it had no territorial access in areas it needed them.

Elint became very dangerous work when in the 1950’s a decision was made to go from “passive monitoring” to “active probing” where Russian defence systems were jammed or “lit up” and as a result there were fatalities. We know that one British submarine HMS Turpin was repeatedly “depth charged” by the Russian’s in the 1950’s.

Basically the French had modified a magnetron design and come up with a new high power Backward Wave Oscillator(BWO) tube/valve in the early 1950’s that could not only be tuned across a very wide bandwidth, it was quite insensitive to load varience, thus was much easier to interface to a feed and antenna system that was not tuned to the frequency of operation (thus was quite frequency agile(. Also being small / compact for it’s output power and having quite a high efficiency, it ended up in most jamming equipment. Called a “Carcinotron” it was the use of this that caused the submarine to be not just “Found” but “Fixed” and the Russian’s moved into the “Finish” phase…

The US military joined in the Elint game firstly as they did not like getting primary intelligence from what they viewed as at best a minor partner. But secondly because they had the manufacturing capability to make the equipment that Britain lacked (basically Britain was not just bankrupt after WWII but all the machines etc used for manufacture had been entirely worn out to the point they had broken down doing war work and were not replaced or properly repaired).

Later with Russian shipping and submarines sneaking out, the US deployed two lines of monitoring devices attached to the sea bed, using systems not to disimilar to acoustic mines in design.

Over the years these systems were upgraded including the development of a couple of “cable laying” submarines to put in more sensors. (I’ve been told that the traffic came ashore and went through the GCHQ Bowermadden listening post near Wick untill it closed in the 1970’s)

By the mid 1960’s the entire north North Sea and up into the arctic circle area and even around to Murmansk and into Russian harbours were criss crossed with sensors one way or another. Other European nations also were putting their toe in to these surveillance waters, so much so that as I was only half humorously told it was unlikely that “a goldfish could fart without it being known”.

As for information in the public domain there is a chapter or three in Richard J. Aldrich’s 2010 book[1].

Sadly much information is still “sat on” in the UK even though the copies given under BRUSA later UKUSA to the UD have been released and Google has scaned many of them into their archive[3].

[1] For a book written in 2010, Richard J. Aldrich’s book,

“GCHQ : The uncensored story of Britain’s most secret intelligence agency”

ISBN 13, 978-0-00-727847-3

has a very bad index, that makes finding things difficult at best. Worse it’s actually very light on technical information, so can be quite a dull read for those less interested in the political figures.

[2] You can read a little about the Carcinotron including a picture of one from the 1950s,

[3] As I’ve mentioned before on this blog I was surprised to find documents I’d provided technical input to available with just a simple Google search…

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 12:03 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Big Bang is illusion

“Many will continue with denial and come up with bolt-on theories.”

That is called “situation normal AFU”, so far when presentd with things that don’t fit the word “dark” is thrown into the pot.

Whilst there is some realism to “Dark Energy” I’ve yet to see a convincing argument for “Dark Matter” other than “it balances the scales”.

The real problem is the early stages of the start of this current universe we inhabit are basocally unknown and more mathmatical theory than anything else. So a telescope that can see further back in time, is going to see things we did not know about before.

So we now see stuff that does not align with our theories based on more limited observations… Not exactly that great a surprise.

Hopwfully it will but the can lid on many of those dark matter papers that even ChatGPT would not come up with…

As you know I almost always say of physics “as we currently know it”, well we now know a little more, though what it means for the bigger picture I’ve not a clue currently (hey using the word “currently” twice in a single sentance is that kind of the same as using a double negative 😉

MarkH February 27, 2023 1:53 AM

Jet Takeoff Data


In simplified form,

[1] Pilots check in with the airport tower declaring their intention to depart, and tower identifies their flight’s runway assignment.

[2] The departure runway, air temperature, aircraft type, fuel loading and payload are all inputs to the takeoff settings computation.

[3] Computation outputs include engine power setting, high-lift (flaps etc.) setting, and takeoff reference airspeeds.

[4] Guided by these values, the pilots get the plane airborne with conservative margins of safety.

MarkH February 27, 2023 2:03 AM

Jet Takeoff Data, 2

According to my reading, when the software malfunctioned, it under-computed the aircraft takeoff weights by large percentages, so its specified engine power settings were significantly low.

When the planes reached their specified VR values (also computed by this software), at which the pilots are supposed to pitch the plane up, the speeds were too low to create enough lift for the actual aircraft weights.

Somewhat instinctively (I suppose), the flight deck crews increased pitch to higher angles in order to get their planes off the ground — it was these large pitch angles, which led to tail strikes.

MarkH February 27, 2023 2:08 AM

Jet Takeoff Data, 3

The computations are more complex than one might expect. Airlines used to perform them in their operations offices; the reason they pay good money to use the fancy software, is that it can minimize engine power settings while maintaining standard safety margins.

Avoiding needlessly high takeoff power settings pays the airlines back in terms of engine life, maintenance costs, and perhaps even reliability.

Airport air temperature is needed, because it is the main determinant of air density ρ, which affects engine performance, lift, and drag. Otherwise, I know of no reason why weather would contribute to tail strikes.

MarkH February 27, 2023 2:12 AM


Currently, the latest cosmology/cosmogeny is far past my understanding.

[This sentence is equally true with “recurrently”]

Winter February 27, 2023 5:08 AM

@MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Clive

Currently, the latest cosmology/cosmogeny is far past my understanding.

That will be true for me, and most, if not all of the commenters here.

I discussed this matter with someone who does research that involves cosmological simulations from the very early universe to now.

She told me that the state of the observed universe, near/now to far away/long ago, can be very well modelled and simulated. Such simulations can reproduce the dynamics and statistics of the universe out to the farthest galaxies/earliest times observed when they assumes visible matter, star physics, dark energy, and particular cold dark matter. The details of the Cosmic Background Radiation (CMB) can also be fit almost perfectly using a Cold Dark Matter/dark energy inflation model.

Currently, there is no other cosmological model that can do anything like it. Every alternative model fails at some scale or at some historical period.

The current standard model is very complex and depends on many processes, each with its own uncertainties. Any deviation of the predictions from new observations at some early time of the universe will first be used to adapt the parameters of the model.

Then, they will look closely at Dark Matter. Dark Matter has very peculiar characteristics that have been linked to changes in gravity at very large scales.

But, unless someone comes up with an alternative that is at least as good at explaining the CMB, the composition of the early universe, and the observed evolution of galaxies, the Big Bang will not go.

FA February 27, 2023 5:32 AM


The computations are more complex than one might expect.

They are. You mentioned most of the required inputs, one more would be the vertical profile of the runway – few runways are exactly horizontal.

Two things surprised me in this story.

  1. That these computations were done by some external facility. At least on modern aircraft, the Flight Management System is able to do them. And probably the pilot’s ‘Electronic Flight Bag’ – a laptop with all sorts of flight related software – as well.
  2. That the bug depended on system load. That really indicates a fundamental problem with that software, quite scary IMHO.

Winter February 27, 2023 5:36 AM

@MarkH, SpaceLifeForm, Clive

Currently, the latest cosmology/cosmogeny is far past my understanding.


For those who are interested, here is a review of the “tensions” in the standard ΛCDM model. I have not yet read it all 😉 (the Bibliography alone is 44 pages):

Cosmology intertwined: A review of the particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology associated with the cosmological tensions and anomalies


The standard Λ Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) cosmological model provides a good description of a wide range of astrophysical and cosmological data. However, there are a few big open questions that make the standard model look like an approximation to a more realistic scenario yet to be found. In this paper, we list a few important goals that need to be addressed in the next decade, taking into account the current discordances between the different cosmological probes, such as the disagreement in the value of the Hubble constant , the – tension, and other less statistically significant anomalies. While these discordances can still be in part the result of systematic errors, their persistence after several years of accurate analysis strongly hints at cracks in the standard cosmological scenario and the necessity for new physics or generalisations beyond the standard model. In this paper, we focus on the tension between the Planck CMB estimate of the Hubble constant and the SH0ES collaboration measurements. After showing the evaluations made from different teams using different methods and geometric calibrations, we list a few interesting new physics models that could alleviate this tension and discuss how the next decade’s experiments will be crucial. Moreover, we focus on the tension of the Planck CMB data with weak lensing measurements and redshift surveys, about the value of the matter energy density , and the amplitude or rate of the growth of structure (). We list a few interesting models proposed for alleviating this tension, and we discuss the importance of trying to fit a full array of data with a single model and not just one parameter at a time. Additionally, we present a wide range of other less discussed anomalies at a statistical significance level lower than the – tensions which may also constitute hints towards new physics, and we discuss possible generic theoretical approaches that can collectively explain the non-standard nature of these signals. Finally, we give an overview of upgraded experiments and next-generation space missions and facilities on Earth that will be of crucial importance to address all these open questions.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 6:40 AM

@ Winter,

Appart from giving the abstract, the page you give a link to fails to function, even if I turn on Javascript and cookies…

So I guess I’m going to have to find something else to spend my time on whilst waiting on the medical proffession today[1]…

Perhaps oddly I understand what the astrophysics people are going through, I was once involved with developing a model to get ships as efficiently as possible around the globe back in the 1980’s (EU “Efficient Ships Project”).

On the face of it, it’s not difficult, you are working on the boundry between two “working fluids” one of which is rather more constrained than the other…

As I understand it, nobody has come up with a good model for it oh about four decades later…

As one of my relatives once told me,

“You have to cook low and slow if you want the best flavour from a tough old bit of meat”.

Well I’ve found some of these problems are when you get right down to it, “all gristle n bone”.

And as my grannie said,

“A watched pot, cooks no faster for the watching.”

[1] waiting your turn for tests can be duller than most can imagine, especially when you have multiple 5-10min tests spaced across more than half a day… But it’s better to get them all done on the same day, than waste a half day on each test.

Winter February 27, 2023 6:55 AM


Appart from giving the abstract, the page you give a link to fails to function, even if I turn on Javascript and cookies…

Strange. Maybe the actual link to the pdf works?


So I guess I’m going to have to find something else to spend my time on whilst waiting on the medical proffession today[1]…

I wish you strength.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 7:38 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

You might find this of interest,

One of the big problems we have is the period that preceded the “reionization” time and followed the CMB recombination.

It’s called the “Dark ages”-“cosmic dawn” for good reason as matter during that period was not putting out much in the way of anything with regards EM radiation.

It surprises many to learn that in thr earlier period matter was sufficiently compact that acoustic effects caused the uneven distribution which effectively got “frozen in” untill the “cosmic dawn” driven by gravity started to heat things up again.

So in some ways it is “an absence of evidence zone” and in some respects still a “black box”.

It all is a bit weird and many under grads find it hard to get to grips with. As for post grads and post docs, I have it on good authority they don’t find it any easier either they just talk a better game 😉

P.S. Oh that “image” or a varient of it pops up all over the place where Lambda CMB gets talked about, it’s one of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s rather excelent graphics that is not just free to put in your own documents, but you can change a little.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 7:47 AM

@ Winter,

Thanks for the alternate link.

After a number of redirects it started the download.

At 163 pages, it’s more of a “paperback” than a journal, and a little worrying that it takes ten pages to get to thr introduction ={

It might take a day or two to get to grips with 😉

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2023 3:46 PM

Always ask the AI clear questions

You may get clear answers


In 2020, $314B profit, $0 tax.

MarkH February 27, 2023 3:52 PM


Good to see a comment from you!

When the assigned runway is known — for example, SEA 34C — whoever is performing the takeoff computations can look up that the runway is 9426 feet long, starts at 363 feet MSL, and rises at 0.8% gradient.

The runway identification is key.

I suppose that much more important than runway gradient, will be that some crazy airports in mountainous regions have non-standard obstacle clearance requirements, perhaps combined with the need to make a steep turn soon after liftoff.

Takeoff computations must account for all that.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 7:47 PM

@ vas pup,

All part of the service 😉

Which reminds me I’ve got to “push in parts” my reply to you that failed last week.

tropical contact high February 27, 2023 8:12 PM

“I shoved an entire potato up my hiney.” cried Luke.

“Oh YEAH?” Terry said. “I once shoved an entire watermellon up my anus!”

“How did it feel?”

“Why don’t we try it together?”

Execute plan #4041.

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 8:43 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Accident or Foreign Sabotage?

Not sure if you have seen the news that Taiwan based Foxconn that has plants making Apple products in India had a major fire that has apparently destroyed 50% of the plant,

Time to think about some dots…

1, I know the US Gov wanted if not effectively insisted Apple bring back “on shore” manufacturing with roumors of using various “War Act” and similar national security legislation.

2, Apple however have been looking more than favourably at moving quite a bit of it’s manufacturing to India.

3, Also the US Gov want Taiwan to move not just high end chip but other manufacturing to the US, under clear indicators the US realise it can not aford to keep Taiwan and other South China Seas nations from significant Chinese military influance if not effective take over…

4, The Taiwanese Government are for obvious reasons not realy playing ball with what the US Gov want. Because they can clearly see the US intent behind the moves. Part of which will be concern over “So sorry war act / national security” nationalisation of Taiwanese assets making the US as bad if not a worse risk than being next to China…

5, The US Gov is far from being “besties” with India currently as India is looking toward both Russia and China’s economic pact and what that does with regards Afghanistan and the US “cats paw” of Pakistan (both India and Russia want the Taliban and their Palastani backing gone as the 80% of problem opiates come from Afghanistan).

6, India are also looking towards Iran and the Middle East but in effect to box-out the US-Israeli regional hegemony.

7, As ties between Iran and North Korea tighten with the blessing of both China and Russia, this means India will almost certainly look favourably towards North Korea in certain ways.

8, Israel has decided war in the Middle East within five years is in effect a certainty and they are starting to “weapon up” with US aircraft etc, as it’s more effective they buy than manufacture under license. Thus keep domestic production on the economy as well as building up land forces weapons.

9, The US are very likely to down grade Ukranian support as shifting obsolete stock comes towards the end. In part to try to force the EU to further “man-up” over Russia via NATO, and reduce US military spending.

So the question arises as to who would benifit most from a very significant factory fire in India effecting not just India, but Taiwan and the largest of US consumer tech corps…

Clive Robinson February 27, 2023 8:58 PM


Auto-correct spell checker trouble in my above. It should be “Foxlink” not “Foxconn”

Foxlink : Is a unit of Taiwan’s Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co Ltd. Which set up the factory in Andhra back in 2020.

Foxconn : Is a Taiwanese international multinational electronics contract manufacturer also trading as Hon Hai Technology Group in China and Taiwan. Foxconn is headquarters in Tucheng, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

lurker February 27, 2023 11:20 PM


Just reading the abstract made me wonder how much damage a sophon could cause in this field. After all a sophon is not much less likely than some of the theories being floated.

SpaceLifeForm February 27, 2023 11:42 PM

@ Clive

Thank you for catching the error.

If it was Foxconn, I was ready to provide another angle.

Well, not much different.

I would follow the money either way. Driving up prices.

MarkH February 28, 2023 12:06 AM

Covid-19 Lab Leak Hypothesis

It’s going to come up here sooner or later, so I’ll get the ball rolling …

The most likely explanations for Covid-19 infecting people are by (a) transmission from other animal species, or (b) inadvertent exfiltration from a medical or biological research laboratory.

A few days ago, news sources reported that the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has made an assessment that the more likely source was a laboratory.

Though this may seem a major development, when viewed in context it rather shrinks.

In 2021, the Biden administration tasked eight federal intelligence organizations with assessing the origins of the pandemic.

MarkH February 28, 2023 12:14 AM

Covid-19 Lab Leak Hypothesis, 2

To start with points of agreement, the eight intelligence groups reportedly have strong unanimity that was not a biological weapon.

The majority found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus shows no signs of genetic engineering.

So, which of the two hypotheses do the favor? Until recently, the tally stood thus:

4 concluded natural spread, with low confidence;

1 (FBI) concluded lab leak, with moderate confidence;

3 couldn’t find a basis to choose one explanation over the other.

MarkH February 28, 2023 12:19 AM

Covid-19 Lab Leak Hypothesis, 3

One of the 3 in the “don’t know” column was DoE’s intelligence arm. At some point (timing not clear), DoE changed their conclusion to “lab leak, low confidence.”

So here’s the new tally:

4 concluded natural spread, with low confidence;

2 concluded lab leak, one with moderate confidence, the other with low confidence;

2 still haven’t found a basis to choose one explanation over the other.

Earth-shaking? Cover-up?? Proof of a sinister conspiracy???

You decide!

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 28, 2023 12:50 AM

As a thread here reminded me, affiliated groups of those with an affinity for tyranny, often seek out their purported enemies well before popping their heads above the parapet. An example I found pointed to Russian aggregation of YouTube content and information related to specific topics and content. It was a fairly narrow list that I documented and shared here. I have not returned to the scene to understand if this has changed, but I am more confident of (not using the DOE as a source) is that this information is not a state-based activity in and of itself. I have also seemed to have preliminary found a link between PayPal, Lexus-Nexus, and Card Processing companies. Most banks do not directly process the transactions by their clients, a mediated third party typically stands inside the transaction.

The friendly advice to those concerned with their banking relationships and their transactions are not fully aware of the branches and trees that are a part of modern commerce today. There a plethora of organizations and companies associated with even the smallest of transactions.

Just for a thought experiment; consider or quantify the number of elements between say a post on this blog and the number of data points (discrete locations for any and all components of this communication) and the possible distribution henceforth. For example, from my host system to my first internal network device, to another device and to a firewall, to a service provision (session, connection, data layers, etc.) to a distribution network, a NAP, back down the chain to the hosting service for Bruce’s site. Something like a network report from and end-to-end perspective that notes all the intermediary connects and possible jumping off/in/out points, identifying friend and foe along the way.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 28, 2023 12:54 AM

Interestingly, my post went through as most times, but in this environment I have drastically changed my operating environment. This is my first time posting in this context and find it interesting that it was not met with some sort of skepticism as I expected.

I know that page doesn’t track feedback elements (ie the rate at which a field might be populated and keystroke or character generated timings) so I assume it is completely contextual not withstanding the basic network topology data.

SpaceLifeForm February 28, 2023 1:23 AM

@ name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons

Well, you have to be patient.

What do you expect in 4 minutes? 😉

Your comment was too factual and looked like ChatGPT-speak, so it just flew thru!

Have you seen any news about Wirecard?

There be dots there.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2023 1:48 AM

@ MarkH,

Re : Lab or not.

I suspect a lot of oppinions outside of the science community changed with Omicron out of Africa.

It apparantly did what the alledged original virus did which was change through a mamalian species and come out of nowhere to become the dominant varient.

But the original bio-weapon from a lab hypothesis if you remember did not come out of the science community. But a political wonk on the rise in the last executive after chatting with his lady friend.

It was “politically inline” with what the then executive wanted, to change the script to cover over the foul-up that the executive made in the first days of the infection.

Something the science community in general was not going to provide.

But as you might not know The WHO very recently has decided under the same leader it had before, to discontinue the science investigation of the outbreak. As others have noted, safely preserving the funding it is getting from China whilst the US has again not payed it’s dues…

So about the only thing to come out of all these investigations is,

What a dirty game politics is.

Winter February 28, 2023 5:00 AM


But as you might not know The WHO very recently has decided under the same leader it had before, to discontinue the science investigation of the outbreak.

There are good reasons for that:

  1. It does not make a difference where the disease started
  2. New diseases emerge every year from a myriad of sources, lab stories are just distractions
  3. Nature out-diseases us every time (see upcoming bird-flu, AIDS, Ebola, …)
  4. There is zero evidence and a lot of political deviousness going for lab-origin
  5. Interested parties are falsifying and fabricating evidence left and right in the absence of any real evidence

Given all this, and the situation on the ground, which changed a lot during the lock-downs, what would be the point of the “search”. Finding the source virus might have value, but that won’t be found in the lab, whether or not it ever was there.

The origin of the outbreak around the Wuhan market is well documented by now. The closest relatives of the virus are found in bats, flying animals that can cover large distances. The Chinese are moving around animals over large distances. All this makes any human intervention unnecessary and uninformative. So, as long as there is no real evidence, this is just a politically motivated devious just-so story.

MarkH February 28, 2023 5:17 AM

@Clive, Winter:

I agree with Winter that tracing the origin is not of urgent necessity — but it could still be very useful to know the details, if they can ever be discovered.

In fairness to all involved, it took decades to find the sources of both HIV and ebola.

After more than a century, there are a few origin hypotheses for the “Spanish” flu, but no scientific consensus on how and where it first came to humans and how it initially spread.

Most important, we already know a lot about (a) how to decrease the risk of virus transfer between animals and people, and (b) how to reduce the risk of accidents in virus research.

The world needn’t wait for “the answer” on Covid 19, in order to apply valuable safeguards.

Winter February 28, 2023 5:45 AM


After more than a century, there are a few origin hypotheses for the “Spanish” flu,

Ironically, it seems to be that the outbreak originated in Oklahoma army barracks.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2023 8:56 AM

@ Winter, MarkH,

Re : Where 1918 originated.

Time has mostly taken it beyond direct evidence, so documented[1] evidence is the next best we have.

The general consensus was,

“A polutry farm in Kansas”

From which it moved into the military at a transit camp who were then being shipped out all over the world.

Considering what happened to Cambodia in our life times, it’s amazing just how sophisticated they have become again in such a short time.

Apparently the 11 year old girl, from a rural area was diagnosed and “sent up the chain” and was fairly quickly diagnosed by Reverse Transcript. Sadly the “Infection Fatality Rate”(IFR) is well above 50% even though Human to Human infection is currently not known and the girl did not survive. But importantly the Cambodian authorities have been quick, efficient and open on this for which they are to be commended. With the result that the viral clade has been identified and it’s in a known grouping that has been around for quite some time.

As far as I can find out the only case of mamailian to mamailian transfer known wass in a mink farm where raw infeced poultry products were fed to the mink. As many are aware high intensity mink and poultry farms are about the closest thing to living hell on earth we currently have in terms of welfare for livestock keeping.

What is of concern is that we have a worse than normal resperatory disease cycle this year, and a human flu is getting about more than expected. This means that the chance of a person becoming infected with both viruses at the same time is increased. Which in turn increases the risk of a “Varient Of Concern”(VOC) occuring which would get characteristics from both viruses.

If it does happen there is currently no way to predict which way the various parts of RNA would recombine. The worst case of high infectivity and high pathogenicity is generally considered low.

However mask wearing, hand washing and sanitizer use should be back on peoples daily activities, if just to lower your risk of catching one of this years respiritory diseases (unfortunatly my week in hospital gave me rather more than I wanted as a “take away” hence my worst head cold this century, if not six decades of living memory).

I suspect the risk of the Avian Flu becoming an issue is currently “statistically low” but as a friend once observed

“As with Russian Roulette you ain’t interrsted in average risk, but specific risk and you just can’t tell till it happens.”

So a bit of prevention, and some preperation should be the routine of the day, stock up some on shelf stable stuff you like as well as those every day staples like rice and pasta and jars/tins of tomatoes and similar some sauces and packet soups, stock cubes and “herbs and spices”. For a jaded tongue, you would be surprised at just how quick the hotest of hot sauces can become your bestie when stuck in doors all day.

Just spending a couple of dollars a day extra where you can on “Pantry goods” will almost always actually save you money, especially in times of high inflation. When you throw in unexpected job termination without compensation that also happens when inflation is high it can make the difference between scrape by or starve… Remember even with food pantries, and soup kitchens they only have limited supplies, and you have to know where they are, how to get there and how to do it safely, so a little “advanced planing” whilst you still have a mobile phone & Internet might be a good idea as will finding out all your welfare options should you fall sick etc.

Even if as I hope nothing happens with avian flu, the experience of doing a little preparing will make you a better person in oh so many ways as it gives you knowledge and perspective as a minimum and in most cases improved self confidence and a broader outlook on life and other people.

One of the few upsides of C19 is that people got off the hamster wheel of pain their everyday lives had become, and they said “no more” and made life changes that they would not otherwise have made, and are in many cases the better for it.

[1] As with all documentation there was a lot more created than survives today. But even that which was created is at best patchy in it’s geographic coverage.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons February 28, 2023 9:23 AM

Books, A Teachable Moment, and those Naughty, Bad, Words

What is the latest spat of book banning, and yes, book burning all about? Wonder if ChatGPT or whatever has any feelings on the subject. Maybe a supposition given to the Wizard’s machine along the lines of, “So my mechanized friend, my orthogonally mounted silicon wafer buddy, have you heard? The people of X are readying pits to put dynamic RAM, all of it, pouring gasoline atop, lighting it on fire, and roasting nuts. How does that make you feel?”

Banning books at this point is about developing a jumping off point, once banning so called inappropriate books, the focus will shift. Next it will be about banning books about trade unions, activist themed stories, human rights struggles (oh wait, they’re already doing that one).

In the future, any books that are non-confirming and ideologically subversive or doesn’t have the central theme woven with a Christian theocratic tenor will be the only acceptable books. Heck, might even get to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and all books will become targets. It is as I have been arguing for nearly a decade, the date set on the “Wayback Machine” is approximately the 14th century (thankfully AD) and the Middle Ages, before the Enlightenment or the Magna Carta.

Clive Robinson February 28, 2023 10:48 AM

@ name.withheld…, ALL,

Re : Books are not for burning.

“What is the latest spat of book banning, and yes, book burning all about?”

It is a good question.

But the answer is realy nothing to do with books, like artwork and other “food for thought” it’s more about those doing it than what they are doing it to.

Look on it the same way as burning flags etc the idea is to say “I can destroy what you value” but in a realy impotent way.

The ring leaders are usually pursuing something else, from their personal agenda, and they see it as being the decals down the side of the hot rod they are making the journy to their chosen destination in.

The fact is those participating in the banning and burning are actually less than impotent, they are actually declaring to the world that they can not think for themselves, and just like livestock to the slaughter they are following a Judas Goat.

If you like it’s similar to seeing those who wear mismatched paramilitary look alike gear from a cheap outdoor store over a “from my cold dead hand” Tee-Shirt, by someone who is clearly in the 5XL range of “Myocardial Infarction”(MI) candidates on the 500yard wheeze. You just know they can’t even get it out the holster.

Similar with a certain Four letter acronym on a cheaper than cheap baseball cap after all what does “Manage A Groan Aday” realy mean 😉

The simple fact is they are neither thinking or performing in a way that is going to impress anyone on the pluss side of the mean. And you can take a guess at what those “leaders they follow” realy think of them… But I guess willing cannon fodder has to come from somewhere.

A look at the history of the likes of “Puritanism” tells you where it’s likely to go, and some leaders realy should be aware of the fate of the likes of Oliver Cromwell.

But of those that follow the warning from the same time and place of “Matthew Hopkins” self proclaimed “Witch Finder General” should be thought about as the midden always attracts the unclean opportunists like roaches.

FA February 28, 2023 6:02 PM


I suppose that much more important than runway gradient, will be that some crazy airports in mountainous regions have non-standard obstacle clearance requirements, perhaps combined with the need to make a steep turn soon after liftoff.

Yes, some airports have very specific requirements, and not only some weird ones in the Himalayas. LOWI (Innsbruck, Austria) comes to mind.

Similar calculations are required to check if a safe landing is possible when diverting in case of an emergency. Which is why all the required info and the software must be (and on commercial airliners actually is) on-board in the FMS database.

So I still wonder why the take-off performance calculations were done externally…

MarkH February 28, 2023 7:45 PM


AFAIK (not an expert), it’s long-standing tradition for jet transport pilots to get these parameters via radio, going back to the days of less automation.

Pilots have a heavy workload preparing for departure; it’s a sensible division of labor for specialists in the airline’s operations department (who have their own VHF frequencies for crew communication) to do this time-consuming work.

Further, the operations department probably has more direct access to some of the raw data (including weight-and-balance info such as cargo loadings), so the pilots would probably be radioing them for some needed information anyway — so why not get the answers, instead of some inputs?

MarkH February 28, 2023 8:01 PM

@FA, continued:

As mentioned, the selling point of the vendor is that they find optimally minimal engine power settings. I don’t know why onboard computers don’t do this, but in aggregate the computations are complex enough that the optimization problem might be rather deep.

I thought some more about gradient — it’s effect might be smaller than expected due to “balanced field length.” For example, when the gradient is positive, it will take more time and distance to reach the threshold speeds, but an abort at V1 will required less braking distance.

In the U.S., major airport runways are limited to 2 percent gradient. Worldwide, a few runways are freakishly steep (would you believe 1 meter elevation per nine horizontal meters?!?!?), and I’m sure gradient is included in computations.

MarkH February 28, 2023 8:10 PM

@FA, one last thought:

Another selling point for outsourced takeoff computations might be timely adaptation.

The network of a major airline is extensive: AA for example works about 350 airports in 50 countries.

Conditions can change at any airport at any time for reasons such as construction projects and mishaps.

Further, international operations can implicate a rat’s nest of malleable aviation regulations.

Keeping real-time track of every possible variant seems a large and costly job, so perhaps one attraction to the outsourced model is that the vendor guarantees to monitor and update for all such changes.

MarkH February 28, 2023 9:43 PM

@modem phonemes:

In theory, if a U.S. repossessing creditor sells the car for more than the loan balance, the borrower may be compensated for the difference.

This is likely to be governed first by state law, and second by specific terms of the loan agreement.

PS Rent-as-needed could have numerous advantages.

lurker February 28, 2023 10:52 PM

@FA calculating externally.

The flight crew might not know how the baggage pallets are being made up, or what other cargo might be being assigned to supposedly “free” space. I’ve been on flights (~20 seater) where the co-pilot is the loadmaster and stuff gets put in the right place.


1:9 gradient is common for bush strips; whatever the wind, landing is always uphill, takeoff always downhill. In this part of the world such strips if licenced for passenger traffic, also require that the pilot is certified for that particular strip.

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 12:11 AM

“I could’ve also generated as many valid government approved drivers licenses as I wanted to for anyone of my choosing. This is only the tip of the iceberg and there was a lot more that was possible. Oh and also, the entire process of finding and exploiting these vulnerabilities took me just about three hours in total.”

To authenticate, you only needed an application number and the applicant’s date of birth. However, an endpoint intended to check the application state was flawed, so an attacker could supply a random application number to learn the associated applicant’s date of birth, name, address, and driving license number – as well as pull up a photo of the individual.

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 12:32 AM

“It is not red or blue; it is green.”

Clive Robinson March 1, 2023 1:02 AM

@ Modem Phonemes,

Re : Car purchase, is not a purchase.

“What about the part of the car you have already paid for ?”

You have not paid for any part of it in many cases.

You need to understand there are three parties involved and two entirely unrelated transactions,

1, Manufacturers retailer.
2, Loan Company.
3, Customer who takes out the loan.

As the customer you take out a loan agreement with the loan company.

Importantly you do not in any way own the vehicle it’s owned by the loan company, and a small subsection of the loan agreement details under what terms you borrow or effectivrly rent the vehicle from them.

Which is why when you get a “lemon car” you have to be very carefull as you don’t have rights with the manufacturer unless you can prove individual harm, and the “loan company” will usually limit your remediation with them to effectively nothing. In essence you can return the vehicle at any time, but you will not receive a replacment and you must continue making the loan payments.

Oh and watch out for snatch-back clauses or finall differential payments. If you took out the agreement and since then the vehicle has appreciated in fiscal value, to gain “full title” you have to pay an extra fee the loan company will claim it’s entitled to. If you don’t pay it them they will hit you with “recovery charges” even if you take it to their premises. Either way not paying is in some places actually a crime not a tort, so jail time as well as bankruptcy and sequestration of assets for fines etc…

It varies from country to country and I assume state to state in the US.

Oh and watch out for the agreements that are not for purchased but lease, they are covered by a whole different bunch of legal codes.

My advice for what it is worth is “never ever borrow money to buy” that is if you can not save up for it, you can not afford the risk, as you are sleepwalking into a whole world of hurt, you will not realise due to the legalease involved.

The exception used to be “buying your home” but that was “last century” advice that died with Financial Crisis 1 and got buried with Finacial Crisis 2.

From the little I understand of what is going on in the US currently it’s a nightmare with local government committing fraud left right and center because their taxes are based on purchase price and homes being sold for as little as $5000 or even given away don’t earn tax that pays enough to collect it… So they cheat and claim all sorts of things they are not entitled to and use legal loop holes to stop you getting a judge to stop them…

Clive Robinson March 1, 2023 2:01 AM

@ ResearcherZero, SpaceLifeForm, -, ALL,

Re : Dominion v. fox redacted documents.

With regards the “votes that count case” of Dominion Voting Machines versus the now discredited Tucker Carlson and many other Fox Numb-heads and those pulling their strings…

Has anyone put up an “unredacted” or list of redactions, as I realy don’t feel like working through so many redacted pages in a 160+ page document looking for the little gems.

As far as I’m aware much of Fox’s claims for “honest reporting” or what ever they called it was originaly based on the very questionable word of a single individual (Swing seat installet Ed Solomon?)

Then there was the “oh so secret we can not tell you who they are” expert withess[1] Who got a $25,000 fine etc. For going from Court Room to Court Room on an “all expenses paid trip” using multiple false ID’s and Social Security numbers, for the two intoxicated women (Sidny Powel and friend) behind the “stolen votes” fantasy tour[2].

The reason for “intoxicated” was how else do you describe the in places incohearent written submissions to court[1]. I vaguely remember that they were going to be refered to their “Professional Standards” body, for quite a few things, not sure if it actually happened or not.


[2] One of whom got outed as an example of simple OSint in action on this blog by if I remember correctly,

1, A picture of the two of them drinking wine in a kitchen.
2, A couple of first page Google searches.
3, And a realators video of the house that showed the kitchen in the photograph, oh and it’s address.

Oh and a bus stop on the corner…

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 2:54 AM

@Clive Robinson

This has many of the ‘tit-bits’


How Russia’s fake claims about Ukraine bioweapons spread from Telegram anti-vaxxers to Fox News

In many cases, the RT logo was scrubbed from videos that also appeared in full on RT’s website – suggesting the outlet was purposely obscuring the origins of its content to bypass YouTube’s rules.

“Without using our brand, we open a channel on YouTube, it gets millions of views in a few days. After three days [YouTube’s] intelligence services figure it out […] and close it.”

“in 90 percent of cases, he says, the platform replies telling him everything looks normal”

Russia demanded a Security Council meeting to discuss its brazen lies about Ukrainian dirty bombs, and then didn’t bother to assign anybody who knew what they were talking about to draft the letter, appears to reflect a deep contempt for the Security Council and its processes.

Russia appears to view its own activity as successful.

Winter March 1, 2023 3:11 AM


In many cases, the RT logo was scrubbed from videos that also appeared in full on RT’s website – suggesting the outlet was purposely obscuring the origins of its content to bypass YouTube’s rules.

I have for a long time considered Fox News the Pravda [1] of the USA.

Them collaborating with the mouthpiece of the Kremlin is completely in line with their US behavior.

[1] ‘

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 3:48 AM


asked whether he could have told CEO Suzanne Scott or those hosts to take Rudy Giuliani off the air. “I could have. But I didn’t,” he replied. At another point, Murdoch appeared to express regret over his network’s coverage of Trump’s conspiracy theory: “I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight.”

Newsmax’s airing of stolen-election claims was reckless enough to meet the high legal bar required for defamation.

“participants were about twice as likely to share a false article that represented their political viewpoint as they were to rate it as accurate. Specifically, close to 20% of people rated false headlines that matched their politics as accurate; yet close to 40% of people said they would share these same news stories.”

“This persistence of misinformation has fairly alarming implications in a democracy because people may base decisions on information that, at some level, they know to be false.”

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 5:43 AM

Channels full of stolen data and login credentials

I’m a cyber-terrorist
Just how cool is that!?
I’m gonna take on the World Bank
And knock the bastard flat
The broadband is my minefield!
The command prompt my gun!
The fact is I’m a dickwad,
And so very young

Rebellion’s not been tried before,
Not that I’m aware:
We’re the first in history!
If not, I wasn’t there.
There was some sort of thing in France –
My teacher once did speak –
It can’t have ever come to much,
And I skipped school that week.

No-one’s ever thought before
The thoughts inside my head!
Before us cyber-terror-kids
No-one sliced their bread!

Numerologists understand that the number 9 holds an exceptionally wise, spiritual energy. It contains every other number that has come before it (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 + 9 = 45, and 4 + 5 = 9). So symbolically, the number 9 is the container for all worldly experiences.

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 5:47 AM

Whales burp and fish jump in their mouths.


Clive Robinson March 1, 2023 5:58 AM

@ ResearcherZero, Winter, ALL,

Re : New Age Gossip.

“close to 20% of people rated false headlines that matched their politics as accurate; yet close to 40% of people said they would share these same news stories.”

Gossip has been around for probably as long as mankind could grunt.

The primary requirments for gossip are,

1, It should be salacious or hurtfull.
2, It should be about people we know.
3, It should make us feel superior on some way.

The result is it pushes confirmation bias strongly, amoungst groups of people who have a yearning need to feel moraly superior in some way as they are more often than not at the bottom of the pile or even socially “on the wrong side of the tracks”. So they form cleaques where they try to out do each other for group approval. It does not have to be true, only be vaguely belivable in their view and sound “juicy”.

In some ways it’s the same reason we tell jokes that reflect some “isim” the group is likely to believe in.

In the UK we used to have jokes about shopping trollies and a certain group of people who had been socially stigmatized by what others had social stigmatized as “Loads o’Money” Canary Warf types (where the bankers used to be).

It’s when all said and done a form of “Tribal war-paint”.

It’s why I don’t partisipate in gossip and tend to tell mild mannered jokes about my misfortunes in life. Because being somewhat large and scary even though old and decrepit, makes people less afraid of me thus laugh with me which makes them think I’m a raconteur hiding a mischievous old, but lovable rougue inside who is just cute enough not to be scarry.

JonKnowsNothing March 1, 2023 9:10 AM

@Clive, @ Modem Phonemes, All

re: in the US currently it’s a nightmare with local government … their [property] taxes are based on purchase price

Depending on what you buy there are many types of taxes or fees that can apply. It does vary by Federal, State and Local taxation rules. There are a lot of them.

For internet connections or phone connections, there is about $10.00 USD in taxes that maybe applied per-line or per-account. The $10 is made up of nearly a dozen individual taxes and fees. So no matter how cheap you can negotiate a connection, that $10 is tacked on.

Another aspect is how the connections are defined. I have an internet connection and a smartphone connection. It doesn’t matter if they are handled by the same supplier, they are defined legally as two different items, so each gets a $10 tack-on tax, so $20 extra per month in taxes. (1)

That is just the tax part of the bills. The suppliers have lots of stuff inside they can charge extra for.

Right now a popular item is Auto-Pay or Direct Debit. It’s almost as bad as the Pre-Pay or Pay-As-You Go Utility Meters in the UK, that have been forcibly installed by the thousands, if people underpay or default on their utility bills. Auto-pay is connected to a Bank account or a Credit Card. When the bill rolls around the company runs an ACH (automated clearing house) transaction and sucks the entire amount of the bill from the account.

You have no doubt, heard about bank accounts being drained when the bill exceeds your budgeted amount. It’s not uncommon and getting your funds back, should there have been a misreading, isn’t easy or quick. Once the bank account balance is drained a domino effect of underpay/default happens and you can quickly find yourself in a serious quagmire with your “good interest rate” shooting upwards of 30% Int per month.

So Autopay gets pushed, and as a bonus they will grant you a $5 or $7 discount on the bill. This is a bumper amount included in the price, so the $5 discount isn’t a discount at all, it’s a penalty that is removed for you paying the bill yourself.

It should be noted that paying the bill yourself may still involve a debit card or credit card payment, where you call in to pay over the phone or you can have a tickler file setup in a budgeting program or bank app. It’s the same payment just initiated by you.

Pull vs Push payments.

In California, Property Taxes also include a long list of taxes and fees. Streets, Street Lighting, Parks, and lots of stuff on the detail lines. There are 2 main components: the value of the land (low) and the valuation of the house (high).

Land itself has no or little value for tax purposes. So an unimproved site, held by a housing developer for 10 or 20 years generates very little in tax revenue. Housing developers buy huge tracts of land and hold it until the market pricing makes building on it profitable. The cities agree because we need housing. Most cities won’t approve smaller homes and builders don’t want to build them. The land costs the same but why should they build a small house for small profit when they can build big houses for huge profits.

When a house is sold, the Sales Tax is based on the price. The higher the price house, the bigger the taxes. Property Taxes also start off as a function of the sales price. New housing or Resale the price affects the amount in the House Valuation part of the property tax. (2)

The trick is how you get more taxes out of property AFTER it’s sold. How to raise taxes 1, 2, 5, 20 years later. Unless you have made substantial changes to the house, in theory, you paid the price and all you need to pay is the long list of city provided services.

This is done by “Comps”, those are the reports that realtors use and are on the net when you look at houses for sale. It’s an approximate comparison of similar houses that have sold and maybe an indicator of the sale value of your home. That’s a MAYBE. Cities use Comps to compare your home, with the sales values of homes around you. If the valuation of the homes around you goes up, then your property is “more valuable” and they raise the House Valuation portion of the tax.

ex: House yr 1, property tax $4,000. 5yrs later after new housing and resales have happened; using Comps the taxation claim is $7,000.

You don’t have to do anything at all to get the additional $3,000 in taxes applied. Just your neighbors selling, or new housing being built nearby, will do.

Nothing has changed other than Market Perception.

It’s also a tactic to get access to housing that the city wants for other purposes. There are a number of ways they can do it but using property taxes is a useful crowbar. There is a direct benefit to forcing people out; it creates the desired RE Churn-Turnover that generates more and more taxes for no direct investment. (3)


1) $20 fee is the cost of participating in the internet. It’s the cost of posting on forums, a tax on internet games and reading e-news.

2) As Clive mentioned with cars, if you have a RE Loan on your house, you do not own it, The Bank owns it. Depending on the type of loan, you have at best, a 30 year fixed rate rental agreement.

3) RL tl;dr iirc(badly) A long while back, a housing developer wanted to build a golf course, fancy houses aka mega-mansions and purchased large tracts of farm lands for that purpose. One farmer did not sell. So the developer built the golf course and mega-mansions all around that farm. Then the city began to tax the farm at the same rate as the mega-mansions. The farmers were forced out, the city got the property for the cost of the defaulted property taxes, at the time about $80,000 in yearly taxes. The city sold the farm to the developer for the $80,000. The developer build more mega-mansions.

The city was happy they had mega-mansion wealthy people in the community. The developer made a lot more money from the housing sales. The farmer ended up with nothing except continuing legal problems resulting from the city’s efforts to evict them for non-payment.

vas pup March 1, 2023 6:22 PM

US intelligence: ‘Havana syndrome’ not foreign foes’ work

“The US intelligence community concluded it was unlikely that the so-called “Havana syndrome” was caused by a foreign adversary.

The new intelligence assessment found !!!no credible evidence that any US adversary had a weapon or device capable of causing symptoms behind the mysterious syndrome.

What did US intelligence conclude?

The Washington Post first reported that seven intelligence agencies reviewed over a thousand cases.

Of the seven agencies, five determined that it was “very unlikely,” while the other two said it was “unlikely.”

==>A US official told reporters that most of the cases “can be reasonably explained by medical conditions or environmental and technical factors, including previously undiagnosed illnesses.”*

*Question: no other foreign diplomats reported same illness, so ‘environmental and technical factors’ are working within US Embassies only.

Should independent technical and engineering expertise be done on design and implementation of Embassy buildings as well as technical means of security within Embassy and how they affected health of diplomats and staff?

SpaceLifeForm March 1, 2023 6:43 PM

Tik-Tok ?


From another source:

Col. Gregory Mayer, the commander of the 5th Mission Support Group, and Maj. Jonathan Welch, the commander of the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, were both relieved of their jobs, a Minot Air Force Base spokeswoman confirmed to on Tuesday morning.

vas pup March 1, 2023 6:44 PM

Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding

“One weeding innovation that moves away from spraying herbicides altogether instead uses high-powered thermal lasers that zap =>weeds once they have been identified by AI-enabled cameras.

Called the LaserWeeder, it has been developed by Seattle-based Carbon Robotics, which claims that it can eliminate up to 100,000 weeds per hour when pulled along by a tractor.

==>The lasers destroy weeds instantly, and the burnt remains are composted back into the soil, explains Paul Mikesell, Carbon Robotics’ chief executive.

So far the system has been used on fields of potatoes, onions and garlic in US states such as California, Washington and Idaho.

Mr Mikesell adds that the first units sold out when released last year, and it is now manufacturing more for the US and Canadian markets. Expansion into Europe is said to be further down the road.

Killing weeds with lasers allows farmer to avoid the dreaded “spray drift” that can happen with herbicide spraying, even if the targeting is as exact as possible. “If you spray anything outside, it will always drift in some way,” Mr Mikesell says.”

More information in the article if interested in a subject.

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 10:35 PM

@vas pup

US intelligence: ‘Havana syndrome’ not foreign foes’ work

classified at such a level that no one is ever going to find out s***

the alternative is these kinds of websites




“Like a child putting it hands over its eyes and thinking you can’t see it”: Commissioner eviscerates robodebt’s quasi-legal charade

Stuart Robert said ‘we will double down’ after being advised robodebt was unlawful

“So what you said there, to your knowledge, at the time was false?”

“Do you know why?” he said to one person with whom he was meeting in late 2019, before taking the liberty to answer his own question. “Because I can.”

“consequences for people if they were unhelpful to the government”

the then-government designed the robodebt program with the intention of having it run completely online without people needing to speak to anyone in person, as a cost saving measure.

report found Robodebt was so “deeply flawed” it should have been “stopped”

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 11:46 PM

One agency, which the officials did not name, determined that it was “unlikely” that a foreign actor was at fault, a slightly less emphatic finding that did not appreciably change the consensus. One agency abstained in its conclusion regarding a foreign actor.

Foreign government could be responsible…

A comprehensive review conducted by the CIA and released in January found it was unlikely that a foreign power was behind most of the incidents, but a later interagency report found that some of the cases were likely brought on by directed energy or acoustic devices, suggesting they were the result of deliberate attacks.

CIA shared intelligence Community-coordinated analysis with interim findings on the specific questions of whether a foreign actor is responsible for anomalous health incidents, assessing that U.S. adversaries are not engaged in a sustained global campaign involving hundreds of incidents to harm or collect intelligence on U.S. personnel – but continuing to investigate whether a foreign actor was involved in a subset of cases.

pulsed energy could be generated by various methods, easily hidden, dependent on modest amounts of energy, and able to travel through buildings

The panel ruled out several potential causes, including radiation, chemical or biological agents, and electromagnetic energy.

Pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radiofrequency range, plausibly explains the core characteristics, although information gaps exist.

40 diplomats in Havana and a dozen in China suffered symptoms “consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed, radiofrequency energy” and called that the “most plausible” explanation for many cases.

ResearcherZero March 1, 2023 11:58 PM

It is important that information prior to 2016 is tightly controlled.

The suggestion from the Washington Examiner should not be taken seriously.

Lest information walk out the door.

ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 12:32 AM

“they tracked down every lead” except for “counterintelligence situations that have arised with respect to surveillance and interactions with human individuals with respect to our intelligence officers that haven’t been investigated.”

But I just spoke with the head of the intelligence community experts panel, David Relman, and he disagreed. He said that the panel found that a device could have been portable, concealable, and there could have been more than one mechanism used.

And he said, look, the U.S. simply doesn’t know enough about directed energy to know for certain whether it could have been used or not in this case.

“I think at the core of this … that there was a real attack of some kind with some kind of intentionality and with some kind of device. We also believe that there’s a huge amount of psychogenic transfer going on, especially once it’s in the public domain. The psychogenic hypothesis is that the human brain and the power of suggestion is very strong and can cause physical symptoms.”

Has anyone ever encountered a situation that a bureaucracy has investigated successfully, let alone an Australian bureaucracy?

After a report is handed over, it comes back looking like a rat had a go at it, and that rat owned a black sharpie.

for example

ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 12:36 AM

or ‘completely redacted’


and in some cases, for very good reasons

ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 12:51 AM

If you were to find out what we know, next you’ll ask how we know, inevitably followed by questions of why no one did anything about it.

Former human services department secretary Renee Leon told the commission Mr Robert dismissed legal advice from the solicitor-general in 2019 that the scheme was unlawful.

Professor Leon said that when she presented the solicitor-general’s findings, Mr Robert told her: “Well, secretary, legal advice is just advice.”

MarkH March 2, 2023 1:48 AM

This (from the head of USAID) may provoke interest / cynicism from some readers:

[The U.S.] blacklisted flagrant offenders, such as Positive Technologies and NSO Group, both of which sold hacking tools to authoritarian governments. And in the coming months, the White House will finalize an executive order barring the U.S. government from using commercial spyware that poses a security threat or a significant risk of improper use by a foreign government or person.

Dated 16 Feb 2023

ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 2:03 AM

If you have any more questions ask Davey Plumb

ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 2:13 AM


ResearcherZero March 2, 2023 2:49 AM

Australia – defamation capital of the world

half of Australian journalists don’t publish things they know are true because of the fear of our crazy-strict defamation laws


Scott Morrison apologised to Higgins for the “terrible things that took place here”.

Nick Levinson March 2, 2023 3:27 AM

A U.S. Federal law enforcement agency (Marshals Service) system was cracked for ransom, causing serious damage although it was not the agency’s main system: 2 per Yahoo News (both reports similar) Gizmodo and NBC News.

Nick Levinson March 2, 2023 4:06 AM


Half? In the U.S., it would be all journalists, except a few (almost certainly new to the profession) who didn’t have such knowledge; and even they likely had some such knowledge before they began studying journalism.

In my opinion, trade libel is a big problem.

One reporter learned of alleged murders against a gay community and learned who some members of that community suspected, but couldn’t publish that at the moment. So, he investigated. He found they were in the insurance business. He selected one offense listed in a statute, wrote to a prosecutor, and asked for a list of the elements (what would have to be proven against a defendant to be found guilty of that offense). The reporter guessed that if the suspects did murder then they wouldn’t mind committing insurance fraud, even if unrelated. The prosecutor obliged with a letter listing elements. The reporter, presumably having no badge or gun, set about collecting evidence in support of every element and soon published an article in the local gay press about insurance fraud committed by two individuals. Readers likely would have puzzled how this insurance business was at all relevant to the gay community (my guess is that this business didn’t cater to the gay community) or would have to have known about the unpublished allegations. The individual suspects went to prison for a long time, not for murder but a long time is a long time.

Clive Robinson March 2, 2023 5:19 AM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Re : Havana syndrome

It is what you would kind of expect.

As I’ve explained before, basic physics appeare to exclude,

1, Directed energy weapon
2, Energy transmitted radiative means.

Essentially the energy falls off with an initial large drop (near field to far field transition). Then drops by the distance squared 1/(r^2) for radiative or by distance cubed 1/(r^3) for volumetric. Which means that it is most dangerous at the emitting device so the operators are at higher risk than the targets at even relatively modest distances.

Also the size of the emitting device, basically if you assume a parabola or parabolic device you can work out just how big it has to be to focus the energy into a given direction, which applies to any radoative energy system even one made of focussing lenses.

So many would consider radiative energy systems ruled out at that point.

The obverse side of the problem is the medical evidence. It’s fairly clear Havana syndrome has a “physical insult” component, that is it’s caused by repeated insults numbering the hundreds or thousands. As seen in those involved with “head contact” sports like boxing or American Football or other sports like ice-hocky, rugby etc. As the NFL found the state of immaging technology could not show the damage in a living brain, however it does show up in certain types of autopsy.

Thus a period of “no tangible evidence” occurs, and “mission focused” organisations for essentially political reasons will not accept the observations, thus will go with any explanation that allows them to go forward. Typically this involves “Victim blaiming” then to further keep the lid on a double down of “Victim Victimization”. At which point the organisation has been taken over a tipping point and again for political reasons it can not back down untill the evidence is overwhelmingly against them.

So we saw first “it’s all in your mind” then “mass hallucination” and people being “removed from post” pension, health care and essentially further ability to eithe get well, get compensation or at the end of the day have an economic future. If they try to speak out they get essentially accused of being traitors and sanctioned in various ways.

So the big issues is that basic radiative weapons have apparently been ruled out by the current known rules of physics as applied to inanimate objects.

Basically they have considered the “heating effect” as the NRPB and other radiative energy protection bodies around the world do. This is because it’s both a high water mark which industry wants and is easy to explain with near simple mathmatics.

The problem with this is it ignores any other effrcts that sit between the unknown low water mark and the high water mark. Worse it enables people in positions of authority to put their fingers in their ears and sing “nargh, nargh, nargh can’t hear you” Or the famous Nelson telescope to the blind eye and saying “I see no ships”, thus alowing “their mission” to procead “full steam ahead” (yes I know don’t mix metaphors especially across vast historic time lines).

But… Look again at the medical evidence of it being similar to hundreds or thousands of “physical insults”. In effect each insufficient to cause harm on it’s own.

Two effects spring to mind,

1, Metal fatigue.
2, Energy built up by resonance.

We know that even quite minor vibration can lead to aircraft falling out of the sky even if the vibration is random if ot goes on long enough ie months. We also know the effects of resonance are way more harmfull and can rip devices of circuit boards in seconds or minutes.

We also have known via the use of gongs, just how powerfull hundreds of llttle hits at resonance or sub resonance can be, and from electronics any harmonic as well. Whilst the mathmatics appears complicated, the actual physical process is easy to see both physically with pendulums and graphically with pencil and paper.

As I’ve said before I’d look into this area for Havana syndrome.

Firstly for the reason given above but for a second reason going back to radio navigation systems of WWII.

If you use two radient beams you can with a little care with the mechanical setup radiate a very narrow beam of difference or coincidence where the two much wider beams just overlap. So if one beam transmits Morse style “dashes” and the other synchronized “dits” you get a continuous tone very narrow beam that you can easily fly along due to the very wide “dit” or “dash” beams.

But we also know that you can take a perfectly random pulse signal and subtract a “wanted” signal from it and end up with a second perfectly random signal. Transmit those two random signalls as the two main beams and where they overlap a very narrow beam or area of “wanted signal” occures.

So as noted with random signals and metal fatigue it would take a very long time to come to harm, as any energy build up would not be at anything like a harmonic or sub harmonic let alone resonance. So seperating the two transmitters over a reasonable distance will protect the operators. Howrver at the area of crossover where the two beams are coincident then the wanted resonance signal appears and just as with metal fatigue the damage would be quickly done…

Thus it’s not the “heating effect” we should be looking at but “resonance” or similar specialized wave forms.

But then what do I know I’m “just an engineer” and don’t have a long list of research grants and published papers. But I have seen such things as resonance effects in actuall implementations. For thosr “qualified doubters” you can find videos of components flying off circuit boards on YouTube (EEVblog has some for instance). Oh and you can buy or rent the transducers to induce such resonances from quite a few manufacturers. But also experienced plumbers also know about it as “apparently random” waterflow turbulance makes “pipes sing” that then fail very quickly”. Oh and as I’ve said “aircraft fall out of the sky”, it’s just a matter of “Mean Time To Fail”(MTTF) and what it is under certain conditions.

Clive Robinson March 2, 2023 7:31 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : iGun.

The article starts with,

“An alleged drug dealer has been charged with owning what police believe could be a replica gun that looks like a mobile phone, as they try to work out whether it can be used as a firearm.”


1, They are not even sure it’s a fake (replica).

2, They are trying to prove it is a firearm.

Kind of putting the cart before the horse you would think.

But firstly does a real firearm have to look like a hsnd gun?

Of course not, if you have seen “The Man with a Golden Gun” movie you will see a gun built quickly from a pen and cigarette lighter, that then looks like a hand gun (and one was built that actually did fire).

Anyone who knows about the SOE and their more curious weapons will know about the “Welrod” pistol[1]. It looks like the big brother of that golden gun, in part due to the inbuilt moderator and caliber of ammunition.

If you did not need to have sound “moderation” you could use “point 22” rim fire ammunition and a barrel that is neither rifled or very thick walled and would be not much thicker than quite a few of the slimer mobile phones.

If you only needed a single shot at a time then the design of the breach and firing mechanism would be very simple and could be reduced to a screw fit device and the mechanism from a childs toy, or a 3D plastic print of one.

Something almost anybody could make with little more than a toolkit that would fit in a rolled up mans handkerchief…

Another fairly simple design would involve a “flip-up” “end-block” on the breach making rapid manual reload easy. But this would require slightly more tools (like the ability to braze the pivot onto the barrel to keep it slim).

There are a few other tricks, but if I give any more, some one will accuse me of giving those of ill intent ideas if not effective construction plans (so I’ve stuck to what can be seen in almost any museum that has very old firearms from even before flint locks, and children’s toys).

[1] The Welrod used by the SOE during the Second World War for assasinations, is a suppressed –silenced– pistol thought up and designed British Army Major Hugh Reeves. It is basically a simple magazine fed bolt action, pistol that used heavy bullet ammunition that was sub-sonic in velocity. Thus had killing power but not the sonic-boom crack that most cartridgr based ammunition causes. The reason the tube is so large is that the gun barrel whilst quite slim, feeds into the chambers of the “moderator” / “suppressor” causing the acoustic impulse energy to be smeared across time (same process as “whitening” used in computers and the like to get under the EMC mask).

Winter March 2, 2023 10:30 AM


The future is here, and books with a Christian theme are the ones being banned and only those promoting woke narratives are acceptable.

Sounds like trolling. In many Southern states, schools are already banning books that describe the plight of the black population pre- and post-slavery, e.g, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and To kill a mockingbird .

Texas wants to ban all web-sites discussing help with abortion.

Grima Squeakersen March 2, 2023 2:42 PM

@why a spoon re: Nokia DIY repairable phone
I would have a great interest in such a device, but there are two key ingredients required to make that dish palatable: compatibility with specific mobile networks; and the ability to upgrade to successive versions of Android as required over time. I suspect the network providers themselves, who add to their copious revenue streams for providing bandwidth by selling expensive devices to their customers that are largely crippled in those respects, will do their best to sabotage this initiative.

SpaceLifeForm March 2, 2023 6:42 PM


When you do this, you have created a dependency out of your control.

My guess is it a Twilio problem, but this is not confirmed.


SpaceLifeForm March 2, 2023 6:54 PM

Worthy of perusal

uBlock Origin and font control.


Clive Robinson March 2, 2023 11:23 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, lurker, ALL,

Re : SMS as a side channel.


When you do this, you have created a dependency out of your control.”

As the probable inventor of “SMS as a side channel” for security, or atleast the discoverer of how to make it work effectively, back a decade or so into the last century and publicising it early to mid 1990’s… I now regard it as being one of my most significant security failures.

It is a prime example of why technology should never be used to solve a human or societal problem.

Oddly today I’ve already posted twice on the failings of factor based authentication / identification,

And concluded most factor based authentication / identification is a security failure… Leaving only the “Something you Know (memory)” factor of the traditional triad. Further noting we realy need to improve that by playing to the strengths of the human mind not it’s weaknesses. Which because weakness is “easy to code” we mostly do currently…

Clive Robinson March 3, 2023 1:24 AM

@ Someone, ALL,

Re : “big key” algorithms for PQC

“Could this FrodoKEM & Classic McEliece algorithms survive in the long term even if they are not standardized?”

Two things to consider,

1, How big is big?
2, How long is a long time?

When you consider the size of modern multimedia files/streams those “big” key sizes are,

“Relatively small by comparison.”

And for many things secrecy is only needed for a very short time, such as colabaratively working on a document that will become “published” almost immediately it is finished.

ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 3:12 AM

“In reading the report, there’s a myriad of errors, mistruths, twisting of the truth and flat out, as far as I’m concerned, lies in there.”


Historical Overview of Directed-Energy Work at Dahlgren


” S.U.V. was parked near her house, and that a man on the other side of the street seemed to be following her. …Geolocation data, which is based on signals from electronic devices, indicated that both victims had been in the vicinity of G.R.U. vehicles when they began experiencing symptoms.”

It comes in two versions: a stationary edition and a vehicle-mounted edition. The latter is said to look like a minibus with a radar antenna.

ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 3:44 AM

How does one go about providing evidence for a gun (or device) that fires (or emits) no detectable projectile?

That is the standard by which the law must establish proof. In a shooting there must be a bullet, and that bullet must then be traced to a specific gun.

Without a bullet then the offender must be caught in the act. If this act includes foreign actors – then cue standard political bull*** and diplomatic w***speak to avoid international tensions… blah blah blah

But that doesn’t help the victims or address the problem of why each and every agency or department is unable to corner a single van, or deal with one or two individuals. They are capable.


This problem is not just going to go away. Eventually someone is going to lose their patience and call Mr X again – and then there will be an “international incident”.

ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 4:02 AM

Legality and Integrity of Automated System Implementation

Porter, who has left politics, said he didn’t ask more questions about the scheme’s legality is his recollection that in early 2017 “someone” assured him it was legal. He couldn’t recall who, but said it was a public servant.

The inquiry heard Mr Hanks gave a presentation in 2017 to an administrative law conference that was attended by government lawyers, where he detailed his views that Robodebt was unlawful because it used income averaging.

“It’s just simple maths.”

I had to lie. I was the Minister for Human Services

Consulting firm was confident it would win three more years of work with the mega Human Services Department after agreeing to change the scope of its review. (paywalled)

Staff questioning robodebt were screamed at and had their jobs threatened, the royal commission into the illegal scheme has heard.


ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 4:59 AM

heavy targeting against Australian, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Philippine organizations

MQTT is typically used for communication between IoT devices and controllers, and the protocol hasn’t been used in many publicly documented malware families.
MQsTTang is distributed in RAR archives that only contain a single executable. These executables usually have filenames related to diplomacy and passports.


This latest wave of attacks are using similar a formula as we have observed previously with similar large-scale global attacks.



ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 5:02 AM

To bypass Secure Boot, BlackLotus uses the baton drop (CVE-2022-21894): Secure Boot Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability.

Revocation of broadly used Windows UEFI binaries can lead to making thousands of outdated systems, recovery images, or backups unbootable – and therefore, revocation often takes too long. If the revocation would happen after BlackLotus persistence is set, the bootkit would remain functional, as it uses a legitimate shim with custom MOK key for persistence. In this case, the safest mitigation solution would be to reinstall Windows and remove the attackers’ enrolled MOK key by using the mokutil utility (physical presence is required to perform this operation due to necessary user interaction with the MOK Manager during the boot).

UEFI DBX (UEFI revocation list) has yet to be updated with the untrusted keys and binary hashes used in booting systems that have Secure Boot enabled.


Patch for Cisco’s Secure Web Appliance as well as various versions of Cisco Secure Endpoint (including Windows, MacOS, Linux, and cloud).



a backdoor which will append in the event data when it exceeds segmented byte size

laundered IP addresses of the victims and employed 326 detour servers and 26 member states to make tracing difficult

Lazarus Group “reportedly targeted energy providers in multiple member states using a vulnerability” to install malware and gain long-term access.

ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 5:04 AM


ResearcherZero March 3, 2023 5:08 AM



SpaceLifeForm March 3, 2023 9:04 PM


Re: Security Theatre

Besides SMS, I would avoid Yubikey.

Actually, any USB HSM. Not just Yubikey.

Better off with a long complex password.

ResearcherZero March 6, 2023 12:00 AM

Mass Hysterics


“Russian diplomats were also kept in the dark about Putin’s plans to attack Ukraine. …they found out about it on the morning of 24 February through the media.”

“Confusion and bewilderment ensued, with no one having prepared any talking points in advance. Russian diplomats’ role in the West is reduced to a monotonous repetition of propaganda lies. Russian ambassadors, finding themselves in an information black-out, are regularly forced to improvise at international meetings.”

Is anybody
Out there please?
It’s too quiet in here
And I’m beginning to freeze
I’ve got icicles hanging
From my knees

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