&ers April 21, 2023 5:26 PM

Covid hasn’t disappeared anywhere.

Hello, Arcturus and Red Eyes!



vas pup April 21, 2023 5:38 PM

ChatGPT sparks AI investment bonanza

“The artificial intelligence (AI) gold rush is truly underway. After the release last November of ChatGPT — a game-changing content-generating platform — by research and development company OpenAI, several other tech giants, including Google and Alibaba have raced to release their own versions.

Investors from Shanghai to Silicon Valley are now pouring tens of billions of dollars into startups specializing in so-called generative AI in what some analysts think could become a new dot-com bubble.

Businesses and organizations have quickly discovered ways to easily integrate generative AI into functions like customer services, marketing, and software development. Analysts say the enthusiasm of early adopters will likely have a massive snowball effect.

“The next two to three years will define so much about generative AI,” David Foster, cofounder of Applied Data Science Partners, a London-based AI and data consultancy, told DW. “We will talk about it in the same way as the internet itself — how it changes everything that we do as a human species.”

ChatGPT and the others are still far from perfect, however. They mostly assist in the creative process with prompts from humans but are not yet worker substitutes. But last month, an even more intelligent upgrade, ChatGPT-4 was rushed out, and version 5 is rumored for release by the end of the year.

=>Another advancement, AutoGPT, was launched at the end of last month, which can further automate tasks that ChatGPT needs human input for.

!!!Research last month by Deutsche Bank showed that total global corporate investment into AI has grown 150% since 2019 to nearly $180 billion (€164 billion), and nearly 30-fold since 2013. The number of public AI projects rose to nearly 350,000 by end of last year, with more than 140,000 patents filed for AI technology alone in 2021.

Startups don’t need to reinvent what’s already been created. Instead, they can focus on adapting the current generative AI platforms for specialist uses, including cures for cancers, smart finance and gaming.

While the US has until now led the world in AI development, China has recently closed the gap along with India. China is now responsible for 18% of all high-impact AI projects, compared to 14% for the US, according to Deutsche Bank.

=>”The Chinese government has been regulating AI because they see very clearly that it could cause them to lose control,” AI expert and MIT professor Max Tegmark told DW.
“So they’re limiting the freedom of companies to just experiment wildly with poorly understood stuff.[that sounds reasonable after COVID lab].

Tegmark is more concerned about the race by Western tech giants to push the technology toward the outer edges of acceptability and beyond. He noted that the US is hesitant to introduce AI regulations, due to lobbying by the tech sector. Repeated warnings about the need to avoid a so-called AI arms race have fallen on deaf ears.

…No company can pause alone because they’re just going to have their lunch eaten by the competition and get killed by their shareholders.”

Europe, meanwhile, is struggling to match the hunger of its US and Asian tech counterparts in the generative AI space due to investors being risk-averse.

“Same old story. Europe is lagging behind,” Ramge said. “It did not foresee this trend and is once again claiming it will be able to catch up.”

Ramge highlighted two potential stars — a German plan to create a European AI infrastructure known as LEAM, and the Heidelberg-based startup Aleph Alpha, despite the latter raising just $31.1 million to date, versus OpenAI’s $11 billion.

=>”What Europe is not able to do is to transfer the knowledge out of the universities into rapidly growing startups — unicorns — that in the end are able to bring the new technology to the world,” he told DW.”

Good videos inside as well.

Clive Robinson April 21, 2023 7:59 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Re : AI is the new black.

“ChatGPT sparks AI investment bonanza”

Yup I saw this coming before it came over the horizon…

Now the wind in the sails of “Blockchain” development companies has died and Venture Capatilists are not raking it in with their faux-investment market nonsense, they need a new “fools gold” to seperate suckers from their money quasi-legally…

LLM AI nicely fits the hype, and where there if hype and evangelists and shills there are investors to be fleeced.

So the “sheeple shearing” has begun…

But… Note the absence of the “S Word” in the blurb…

Currently the only income generating use for this sort of AI is in various forms of back ends for “Surveillance” which is the real but hidden reason,

“Why Microsoft and Google are building them into their search engines.”

The European investors generally being slightly smarter / less gung-ho than US investors are not nibbling at what is actually according to some “against German legislation”. As Germany is effectively the biggest EU tech market country, you can see why EU investors might be more cautious with people saying that.

Clive Robinson April 21, 2023 8:29 PM

@ vas pup,

I’ve been commenting on the vulnarability of subsea services for many years on this blog, and nobody appeared that interrsted…

Now some “Ghost Ships” are hanging around and both Nord Streams had news worthy sabotage the world is starting to “wake up” to the fact there are at the very least hundreds of billions of USD investments in subsea services and none of them can be effectively guarded.

Worse is the value of what sits on top of those services… Even a multiplier value appears incalculable.

As I noted quite some time ago, the more technically sophisticated a country the mor susceptible it’s infrastructure thus society is.

Cut the right subsea data cables and the economic value of the Internet stops and that’s a “trillian a day” loss prospect according to some.

But cut any subsea service you chose and a goat hearder on the side of an Afghanistan mountain will neither notice or care as he will not see how it could impact him.

Thus you see the real advantage of “asymetric warfare” that 9/11 opened the door to, when the use of “box cutters in the pocket” enabled a dozen people to turn high tech passenger aircraft into “guided missiles” of significant devistational capacity.

For those that no where to look, “the second sign post to disaster” can be found. It’s spotting the first sign post” that is usually difficult, but in the case of subsea services that sign post was obvious before the Piper Alpha disaster lit up the night sky more than a third of a century ago,


As the saying has it the third signpost to disaster is usually obvious enough “for a blind man to see”…

It’s been over fourty years since I saw a sign post to this potential disaster senario and my subsequent study of industrial history shows people had concerns in the Victorian era about subsea cables being attacked and the British Royal Navy was tasked with looking into the problem. Which concluded there was nothing that could stop them being attacked easily and successfully.

Since then every one “Has done a Nelson” by “Turning a bind eye” to the problem…

YR April 21, 2023 9:52 PM

From the register:
ChatGPT creates mostly insecure code, but won’t tell you unless you ask

“We found that, in several cases, the code generated by ChatGPT fell well below minimal security standards applicable in most contexts. In fact, when prodded to whether or not the produced code was secure, ChatGPT was able to recognize that it was not.”

“One thing that surprised me was when we asked [ChatGPT] to generate the same task – the same type of program in different languages – sometimes, for one language, it would be secure and for a different one, it would be vulnerable. Because this type of language model is a bit of a black box, I really don’t have a good explanation or a theory about this.”

ResearcherZero April 22, 2023 3:20 AM

“among the victims are two critical infrastructure organizations in the energy sector, one in the U.S. and the other in Europe”

The attackers behind these breaches clearly have a successful template for software supply chain attacks and further, similar attacks cannot be ruled out.

Although the X_TRADER platform was reportedly discontinued in 2020, it was still available for download from the legitimate Trading Technologies website in 2022. This file was signed with the subject “Trading Technologies International, Inc” and contained the executable file Setup.exe that was also signed with the same digital certificate.

Eventually, the attacker was able to compromise both the Windows and macOS build environments. On the Windows build environment, the attacker deployed a TAXHAUL launcher and COLDCAT downloader that persisted by performing DLL side-loading through the IKEEXT service and ran with LocalSystem privileges. The macOS build server was compromised with POOLRAT backdoor using Launch Daemons as a persistence mechanism.

Telecoms companies will always be a key target in intelligence gathering campaigns due to the access they can potentially provide to the communications of end-users.

“inaccurate debts”

Commonwealth contracts to debt collection agents previously used by Services Australia are set to expire at the end of June and will not be renewed.

Robodebt victims told of being pushed to the brink of suicide after being chased by debt collectors.

“We are in big trouble if we have to fall back on royal commissions to get facts, and we have to have a big conversation about that.”

“Actual period(s) worked should be obtained so that averaging only occurs for periods worked.”

“Before a case is referred to prosecutions acceptable documentary evidence must be obtained.”

“The new policy … relies solely on an algorithm. It casts the net widely, consciously targeting many who will turn out to have done nothing wrong…”

Many alleged overpayments were calculated using a formula that averaged earnings over the relevant year so did not account for fluctuations in income.

“Prior to 2015, the cases were risk profiled – only the highest discrepancies would move forward. In April 2015, the government agreed to switch off these existing safeguards … The data match in its raw form would be piped in, and staff would divide the ATO’s annual payment summary income figure by 26 using a tool… To understand what a person earns in a fortnight, you can’t just assume they work equally across the year.”

Angus Scott KC, McNamara said it was “useful” for the department if it could “influence his [the ombudsman’s] language to be more like ours”.

“It’s not essential but it’s useful, if we can achieve it, it’s great,” McNamara said.


The published version of the report does not include the phrase “inaccurate debts”, along with other phrases DHS objected to.

SpaceLifeForm April 22, 2023 3:52 AM

I doubt many Linux folk will fall for this


ESET said the malicious PDF file used in the scheme appeared to have a file extension of “.pdf,” but that this was a ruse. ESET discovered that the dot in the filename wasn’t a normal period but instead a Unicode character (U+2024) representing a “leader dot,” which is often used in tables of contents to connect section headings with the page numbers on which those sections begin.

“The use of the leader dot in the filename was probably an attempt to trick the file manager into treating the file as an executable instead of a PDF,” the researchers continued. “This could cause the file to run when double-clicked instead of opening it with a PDF viewer.”

ResearcherZero April 22, 2023 5:06 AM


There is sleep functionality built in.

Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting in London on Thursday, chair Dominic Barton said strengthening Rio’s social licence was a key focus last year and the business was now “arguably more relevant and aligned with societal aspirations than we have ever been.”

The site’s fate rests with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, who is weighing whether mining copper in the area, and effectively destroying the site, violates the religious rights of local Indigenous peoples.

Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake authored legislation to transfer Oak Flat from Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper, a British-Australian company owned by Rio Tinto and BHP.

Mining giant Rio Tinto must rebuild a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal cave system it blew up.

The miners use mercury to separate gold from mud, and recent analyses show that Yanomami rivers contain mercury levels 8,600 percent as high as what is considered safe. Mercury can remain in the food chain for up to 100 years.

“The measure is set to allow trade operations using gold to be audited using technological tools. The measure, effective July 3, comes as the new government doubles down on efforts to combat the humanitarian crisis of the Yanomami people caused by illegal mining in their territory.”

Critics fault an international certification program used by manufacturers to show they aren’t using minerals that come from conflict zones, saying it is an exercise in greenwashing. Weak government oversight enabled by Bolsonaro, the son of a prospector himself, has only exacerbated the problem of illegal gold mining in protected areas.

The presumption of “good faith” in the gold supply chain since 2013 helped to obscure the true origins of Brazilian gold exports, roughly half of which are now estimated to be mined illegally.

critical April 22, 2023 2:36 PM

The retired nurse and self-proclaimed COVID expert again.

This time quoting an MP known not only as a conspiracy theorist, but also for his more than dubious lobbying activities. And that type accuses the WHO of a lack of transparency… You should indeed watch this, it’s pathetic.

pup vas April 22, 2023 4:20 PM

@Winter. I agree. Content is inappropriate and emotional without providing logical base which trigger such posts.

If you don’t like the blog, just leave it.
On the other side: nothing is perfect by the way and explanation for removal posts by @Bruce and @Moderator in other not such obvious cases will improve the quality of blog and provide clear guidelines for future posts acceptance or rejection.

The only doubt is that @Bruce and @Moderator are doing removal by their own decision only and not influenced by outside forces (like Twitter and Facebook in 2020).

pup vas April 22, 2023 4:30 PM

China building ability to hijack enemy satellites: report

=China is building hacking capabilities that will allow it to “seize control” of enemy satellites, the Financial Times (FT) reported Friday, citing a leaked report from the CIA.

The revelation comes amid ongoing tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade and geopolitics, as concerns rise that China may try to invade Taiwan, a territory it considers its own.

The FT said the CIA report was one of the dozens allegedly shared by a 21-year-old US Air National Guardsman in one of the worst intelligence breaches in a decade.

The report assessed that the plan to “deny, exploit or hijack” enemy satellites is a core part of China’s goal to control information, which Beijing considers to be a key “war-fighting domain.”

The Chinese cyber weapons would render Western satellites useless for communications or surveillance during wartime, the report said.

They would work by mimicking the signals that enemy satellites receive from their operators, tricking them into either being taken over completely or malfunctioning during crucial moments in combat.

This could knock out the ability of satellites, which tend to operate in clusters, to respond with each other, relay orders to weapons systems, or send back visual and intercepted electronic data, according to experts cited by the business daily.

The CIA revelations come a day after the chief of the US Space Force warned that the country was facing a “new era” of threats beyond Earth from the likes of Russia and China that goes much further than jamming.

General Bradley Chance Saltzman told CNBC that Washington’s rivals can use lasers and “dazzlers” that interfere with cameras to prevent the collection of satellite imagery. He also noted how Russia tested an anti-satellite missile in late 2021.

“We’re seeing satellites that actually can grab another satellite, grapple with it and pull it out of its operational orbit,” Saltzman said. “These are all capabilities they’re demonstrating on-orbit today, and so the mix of these weapons and the pace with which they’ve been developed are very concerning.”

Saltzman told the US Congress last month that China’s military has deployed 347 satellites, including 35 launched in the past six months, aimed at monitoring, tracking, targeting and attacking US forces in any future conflict.

The Washington Post this week reported how Russia is testing new technology that jams Ukraine’s access to the Starlink satellite internet operations that billionaire Elon Musk donated to Kyiv at the start of the war.

Lindy Cameron, director of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping spy agency, said China was not only “pushing for parity with Western countries, it is aiming for global technological supremacy.”

China is also using its cyber capabilities to acquire intellectual property, achieve its strategic geopolitical goals, and conduct global spying campaigns, Cameron told a government cybersecurity conference in Belfast on Wednesday.=

iAPX April 22, 2023 5:41 PM


My own stance on privacy and anonymity means that I’m not going to require commenters to register a name or e-mail address, so that isn’t an option. And I really don’t want to disable comments.

Bruce Schneier on its commenting policy for the blog:

I fully agree, privacy and anonymity have a price, someone could be impersonated for example, and I am perfectly at ease with that.
My opinion being that its the comment that matter, not who wrote it, or if you prefer ignore the messenger and for god sake, read the message!

For many comments you could remove the chosen nickname and still link it to the previous messages wrote by the same exact person.
There are meaning convoyed here, and great people.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:23 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Hmm got held for “death by black hole”, so fragmentation approach engaged,

Part 1,

Re : Hacking Satellites

It should be noted that there is nothing new in this.

The US military actually run an open to all hack a satellite competition and have done so for a number of years. The argument is it’s “defensive” but as with all technological development it could also be offensive as well.

The fact that China is doing similar is not exactly “secret” in any way. In fact nearly all Western Nations and other Nations with the ability, or money to buy the ability are doing exactly the same.

It’s why Russia attacked the system that the Ukrain were using for Satellite data / Internet connections just a short while ago, by bricking the down link modems.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:25 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Part 2,

As I’ve mentioned before the problem is “Test harnesses” in “plain text” and the ability to “upload software changes” to get around hardware faults that happen and can not be repaired. This has been the norm since the 1970’s.

In effect there is little or no security in either satellite usage, or control.

As an example of the former is the relentless usage of US Navy UHF “transponder” satellites by various people in South Anerica using it like a very wide range Truckers-CB system.

Even with location and prosecution of the incautious, it goes on relentlessly and I fully expect it to do so untill the satellites are decommissioned by being “burnt up in descending orbit”.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:27 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Part 3,

So the journalistic,

“China is building hacking capabilities that will allow it to “seize control” of enemy satellites, the Financial Times (FT) reported Friday, citing a leaked report from the CIA.”

Is not at all “secret” and the “CIA Report” apparently grossly over classified.

Exactly the same applies to the Chinese Lasers, the US is equiping US military ships and other vehicles with such laser systems and it’s well known that “the skys above the South China Seas are lit up by them”.

Mostly journalist try to report them as being “death rays” or ScFi style fantasy weapons (StarTreck Phasors etc). The problem is as weapons they would be “line of sight” and existing “Smart bombs” and similar first generation JADM systems would “fly back down the beam” quite easily,


Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:29 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Part 4,

As for “Anti-SATellite”(ASAT) missiles it’s known publically that, the US, Russia, China, and India have all demonstrated the capability.

But there are other more curious “de-orbiting” technologies that can be used that do not cause the “space closing” Kessler Cascade/Syndrome ASATs do,

Surrey Satellite near Guildford in the UK has long been a pioner in “de-orpiting payloads” designed to get rid of “space closing” junk that could easily and in some cases already has caused Kessler Cascades. Like all technology it can be used for “Good or Bad”.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:34 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Part 5,

As for,

“China was not only “pushing for parity with Western countries, it is aiming for global technological supremacy.””

The reality is some what different to that. The US is the one pushing up Satellites at an ever increasing rate and every other Nation is far behind, and no chance of playing “catch-up” let alone beating US saturation deployment…

The US sought to “control space” by saying other nations could not put up Satellites that did not conform to what they dictated… One of which is that imaging resolution be less than that of most modern mobile phones. The US did the GWB “Cowboy strut of idiocy” and India turned around and said “up yours” and poped their ASAT up as a “Real Politic” demonstrator… Which also served to give notice to other nations they have their own equivelent “Iron Dome” or greater capabilities. Thus they are not as unprepared against nuclear attack as many other nations including the saber rattling nuclear capable countries of China, Pakistan, and Russia had thought.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 6:36 PM

@ vas pup, ALL,

Part 6,

In part this is why an area China leads in Hypersonic stand off weapons are suddenly back on the US in particular agenda.

Of course all of the above, although open and public information can not be read by all those US Citizens with Security Clearences, because we know it will all be in those “oh so super secret” over classified reports the US Gov agences use to hide the “US growing capabilities gap” in, whilst begging the politicos for more US tax dollars to waste Empire Building.

Clive Robinson April 22, 2023 7:18 PM

@ Huh?, iAPX, ALL,

“The last one or two posts by “Clive Robinson” seem out of character.”

Perhaps but ad hominem attacks with “fake facts” for a probably “payed for” agenda is apparantly why @critical has made posts and has had them renoved by @Moderator.

There has been an increasing “under current” of such behaviour recently as atleast four or five other regular posters have noticed and commented on.

I’m guessing because others with way more crude but annoying harpy behaviour have had their wings clipped.

As @iAPX nicely notes,

“My opinion being that its the comment that matter, not who wrote it, or if you prefer ignore the messenger and for god sake, read the message!”

The message conveyed is important, and some will chose to negate it any which way they can and ad hominem attacks, are much discredited for that very reason.

Very young children with no knowledge of science or the scientific method, can and often do ask highly perceptive questions. Should we say that the questions are not worthy of consideration simply because a child asks it?

No of course not, it is beholdent on us to answer the question and importantly in ways the child can understand or with a simple experiment to demonstrate the principles.

Remember that all it takes is a clean jam jar of potable water a flash light and a few drops of milk to demonstrate the answer to,

“Why is the sky blue?”

As the childs knowledge improves you can give further information as to why rainbows happen and build up to the “hard physics” which few adults understand of

“Why is the sky blue?”

But you can do all children a favour with tin cans bits of string a ruler and other round things.

Not only can you demonstrate scaling by fixed ratios, you can show what Pi is and the cocequence of increasing the diameter or radius. But also why sinewaves are a fundemental part of nature and how combining them can make many other continuous cyclic wave forms.

Likewise demonstrating the 3:4:5 triangle helps with spatial awarness and “craft / workshop skills” and importantly the existance of what were once considered impossible numbers. From the basics of Pythagoras and his formula. Which like sinewaves gets in everywhere, because they show not just how sinewaves can be calculated but also nearly all orbital mechanics starting with the oft hidden knowledge behind ellipses and their center points. This then leads nicely into the formulars for Gravity and all other forces.

Similar with “exponential growth” which is realy all about percentages and again why exponetial changes are so prevelent in much of what we do.

Demonstrating such fundemental foundations at a very early age will do more than you can imagine for a childs mind.

It was a method of teaching in the 1960’s which gave much in the way of advances. So powerfull that it scares certain people who want to ensure children don’t learn it thus do not benifit, thus become less than they could be so easy to exploit.

I personally do not like such people and you quickly learn the behaviours by which they operate and it’s worse than faux-news in it’s effects.

critical April 22, 2023 8:20 PM

@Clive Robinson, ALL

Perhaps but ad hominem attacks with “fake facts” for a probably “payed for” agenda is apparantly why @critical has made posts and has had them renoved by @Moderator.

What is your problem ?

I posted comments on two links you posted, both YT videos by this Dr. John Campbell. In both cases, the comment was on the contents of the link. And as far as I can see, these comments have not been removed.

Re. the last one, I’d recommend everyone to watch the entire YT video and then form his/her own opinion. To me the speech by the Mr. Bridgen sounds very much like the typical right-wing populist narrative used by conspiracy theorists. If you think differently, that’s OK for me.

Winter April 23, 2023 2:51 AM

@pup vas

If you don’t like the blog, just leave it.

I like the blog and want to help to keep it functioning as a platform of discussion. Therefore, I try to help our hard working moderator by pointing out comments that violate the rules.

Why pointing out comments that violate commenting rules is objectionable is a puzzle to me.

The comments in case we’re a series of insulting and politically trolling texts without relevant content. Ending in just insults. If you think these comments are indeed well within the rules our gracious host has set, I would be happy to be corrected.

- April 23, 2023 3:15 AM

@vas pup:

Neither of you have English as a first language.

Which languages are native to each of you comes through in the statistics of what you say in English.

Thus I surmise @vas pup: was aiming the comment not at you, but at the person you were objecting to.

Winter April 23, 2023 3:36 AM

@-, @pup vas

Thus I surmise @vas pup: was aiming the comment not at you, but at the person you were objecting to.

I realized that after posting. I did not want to complicate things more by responding to my own posts.

SpaceLifeForm April 23, 2023 6:26 AM

@ Clive, &ers, JonKnowsNothing

re: Dr. John Campbell on Andrew Bridgen debate

Great link. I hope his neck is OK.

He was nodding his head a wee bit.

no comment April 23, 2023 10:17 AM

Re: rainbows more more

The infinite intensities at caustics predicted by geometrical (ray) optics give way to diffraction effects in the “deeper” (more physically correct) wave optics.

One could expect in other areas (such as gravitation, particles) the infinite magnitudes predicted in current mathematical theories will give way to subtler, finite behavior in a more complete theory.

What might complete the analogy or proportion

ray optics is to wave optics =~ general relativity is to ?

And other similr …

no comment April 23, 2023 10:40 AM

Re: rainbows, more x 3

Perhaps the development to greater physical understanding evidenced in rainbow theory suggests in gravitation and particle physics that string and membrane theory may be on the right track. They also replace a too low dimensional model (points and lines) with a higher dimensional model that eliminates singularities.

Steve April 23, 2023 11:46 AM

@Russians: Interesting that these two posts remain while I repeated a mild joke (with credit) in The Register about overpriced Apple kit and it disappears immediately.

I sure as heck would like to know what the “moderation” algorithm is around here so I could avoid triggering it.

iAPX April 23, 2023 12:30 PM

Re: Comment moderation.

Good faith

This more insightful than it appears, many have tons of rules, this one is very simple and straightforward: if you to have to ask yourself if your comment might be refused or deleted after the fact, then you know for sure that your comment shouldn’t be posted.

I see that as being a guest on another person house: you might respectfully argue or disagree, but you won’t start a flame war, you won’t insult other guests nor the host.
You will try to be part of the conversation, and if it doesn’t please you, you might remain silent or leave the place.

Good faith. Such simple lovely rule!

walker April 23, 2023 12:51 PM


if you to have to ask yourself if your comment might be refused or deleted after the fact, then you know for sure that your comment shouldn’t be posted.

I don’t agree (assuming “refused” isn’t limited to manual actions and isn’t associated with the phrase “after the fact”). I’ve often wondered whether fairly innocuous comments, including this one, will ever appear. Sometimes they never do, for no apparent reason, although I’ve never had one appear and later be deleted. On Bruce’s old blog platform, my comments “held for moderation” tended to show up within a few days; since the switch, that phrase may as well mean “permanently deleted”.

I think Clive and others have said similar things.

Nick Levinson April 23, 2023 2:54 PM

Building a city with extensive surveillance but as an innovation center seems counterproductive, if the talent the builders would need to attract mostly wouldn’t care to be surveilled very much and if, being distracted, they wouldn’t innovate much anyway. Innovation requires creativity and creative people tend to behave somewhat erratically, fodder for those who surveil. It’s one way to fill outbound flights.


JonKnowsNothing April 23, 2023 4:58 PM


re: Satellite failure stops farm equipment

Modern Farming Tractors are very high tech, lots of bells and whistles, along with “right to repair” problems, when something goes THUMP.

It’s a bit harder to self-repair, when your tractor is connected to a satellite guidance system and the satellite goes Off Line for 12 hours.

  • satellite enables guided accuracy and self-drive within two centimetres for tasks such as sowing crop
    • (2cm is a great deal more accurate than previously acknowledged by large crater making drones)

Without the satellite, farmers stopped planting because they cannot hand-drive the tractor with this level of precision. The old mapping problem of making a straight line on a curved surface.

There are several options now under consideration for when the satellite goes down:

  • Buy a tractor with systems that connect to multiple satellites
  • Add cellular modems to the tractor for fall back
  • Add other cellular internet connectivity
  • Use a HotSpot via a cell phone for backup connection
  • Governments need to build out more internet connections in rural and distant rural areas


Search Terms


The British-owned Inmarsat I-4 F1 satellite

12 hours Off Line

GPS systems in agricultural machinery

Nick Levinson April 23, 2023 6:30 PM


I guess that the tractor problem is partly that old-style low-tech tractors and other farm equipment are just not precise enough to support modern farm economics in the U.S. or Australia or, I suppose, in many other nations.

Otherwise, low-tech solutions would be available and economical even for farms that support efficiencies by being relatively large and level.

Or, perhaps, the problem might be that not enough low-tech equipment is manufactured or restored and then when farmers buy what little there is the price skyrockets, but that would tend to be a temporary problem, so I guess the problem is one of high-tech equipment being so much better when it works that being idle in the face of a breakdown is more economical.

Arguing that expensive solutions can be counterproductive may be inadequate if all viable solutions are expensive.

lamar h April 23, 2023 6:41 PM

It’s a bit harder to self-repair, when your tractor is connected to a satellite guidance system and the satellite goes Off Line for 12 hours.

“The” satellite, meaning there’s only one. What could go wrong? And, by the way, the one and only supported satellite was launched in 2005 with an expected lifespan of 13 years; the failure was about 5 years and 1 month after that “expiry date”.

Any idiot should be able to position a vehicle with 2 centimeters of accuracy. The problem is that it’s totally impractical to do that repeatedly. But if someone can get the starting position right, don’t we have many, many ways to accurately measure movement relative to it? Fixed-position radio signals (mobile phones, TV, the farmer’s wi-fi AP), cameras (looking down like an optical mouse, or searching for landmarks—a farmer could drop position reference indicators into the ground, right?), inertial navigation with zero-velocity update, 3D lidar scanning…

I really don’t see why we need absolute planetary positioning to get 2 cm farm equipment accuracy. Australia itself moves by about 7 cm per year. We’re talking about equipment operating alone on a farm owned by one entity, who can augment that land in any number of ways to help the equipment. Unlike, say, the arbitrary and unpredictable environments people might expect self-driving cars to work in. This is more like an elevator, and they’ve had 2 cm accuracy for decades.

lurker April 23, 2023 8:27 PM

“The anxieties still whirling in conservative media echo the escalating accusations of well-poisoning in medieval Europe. These exploded into mass violence in the mid-14th century, and survive in later legends about witches’ ability to concoct poisonous agents.

“In an age of antibiotics and scientific explanations, we like to consider ourselves more advanced than our forebears. But our research into the early history of conspiracy theories and xenophobia tells a more complicated story about how magical thinking continues to shape our response to disasters like the pandemic.”


&ers April 23, 2023 8:30 PM


Teixeira case starts getting really interesting.


“It appears the first leak came less than 48 hours into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

ResearcherZero April 23, 2023 10:53 PM

“Sir, I know you’re breached. You’re in the headlines. And you were hacked by Fluffy Snuggle Duck.”

Goofiness aside, the new system is counterproductive for actual cybersecurity analysis.

“Suspicious Domains”

Decoy Dog is a cohesive toolkit with a number of highly unusual characteristics that make it uniquely identifiable, particularly when examining its domains on a DNS level.

Decoy Dog operation had been underway since early April 2022, so it has stayed under the radar for over a year despite the toolkit’s domains showing extreme outliers in analytics. …within six weeks, an additional domain with a controller in Russian IP space was visible in our networks, and it carried the exact same DNS signature. This domain was a lookalike for the Amazon service CloudFront, and the DNS activity was consistent with what is seen from enterprise network devices.

Putin spending huge sums “in an attempt to manipulate democracies from the inside.”

Russia’s covert influence involved using front organizations to funnel money to preferred causes or politicians, the cable alleges. That includes think tanks in Europe and state-owned enterprises in Central America, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

According to the cable, intelligence officials believe Russia planned to transfer “at least hundreds of millions more” dollars in funding to sympathetic parties and officials around the world. Russia has covertly spent more than $300 million since 2014 to try to influence politicians and other officials in more than two dozen countries.

ResearcherZero April 23, 2023 10:57 PM

Regularly reports about interesting space matters.


ResearcherZero April 23, 2023 11:43 PM

@JonKnowsNothing, Nick Levinson

Many farmers solve the problem with a mix of old and new. You need good back-up power (expensive generators), but if you are paying millions in tax you might as well take advantage of the concessions.

The hard question is, do you want to let the ‘old folks’ on any of those networks? The old checkbook is fairly hard to hack, but you might also not want kids playing with your water pumps.

You might be able to get those children working if you pick the right place.

We don’t let children play on our fancy equipment anymore, it’s too expensive.

Locally we were all ran over by farming equipment as children. Odd missing appendage or limb, regular funerals. The rate of death due to farming accidents seems to have declined, with only a dozen or so a year now.


All children need to worry about around here is people from the city wondering about with compound bows, shooting deer.

Nearly all civil wars rage in corrupt countries where power is a quick route to wealth, spurring the unscrupulous to kill for it.

“It’s a full bounce-back.”

“enough oil to cook the planet like a marshmallow over a campfire”

Over the next two years, experts say Egyptians could approach a state of “absolute” water scarcity.

“We are tired of water.”

ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 12:21 AM

“a massive Ponzi scheme”

“The FTX Group failed to implement basic, widely accepted security controls to protect crypto assets. Each failure was egregious in the context of a business entrusted with customer transactions.”

FTX relied on two of the company’s software developers who did not have formal training in security and whose jobs put them at odds with actually prioritizing security.

Alameda is unauditable.

ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 1:00 AM

Perhaps a question to ask? (Dear Mr SBF…)

Probity and Compliance?

“Numerous banks and financial organizations are studying blockchain security solutions as a means of mitigating risk, cyber risks, and fraud. While these latter systems are less susceptible to cyberattacks that may bring the entire network down, security concerns remain, as a successful hack would allow access to not just the data saved at a particular point, but to all data in the digital ledger.



OpenAI has the big bucks. You have the small bucks.


Schedule 7 has a troublesome and controversial history.

“Transparency disclosures show that the government does not even know with certainty how many property-owning offshore companies have broken the law by failing to declare who owns them, which they are now legally required to do. None of the 5,000 companies that failed to meet the January deadline and declared late have been fined for breaking the rules, although the government has the power to levy a fine of £2,500 for each day of non-compliance.”


Hundreds of directors listed at Companies House were dead before their companies were formed.


ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 1:42 AM

@Nick Levison

Our courts operate in a similarly strange manner. A lot of people used to travel over from the U.S. as it’s a great place to get away with things if you have the money. There may be a used mint with a minor robbery problem if anyone is interested.

“The mint last year reported a turnover of $21.77 billion, but a profit before tax of just $40.28 million, of which only $25.61 million was returned to the state government.”


“I cannot explain it, based on my 30 years of doing this. I’ve never seen anything this lenient in a situation where someone has millions of victims.”

“Normally you’ve got to put up property assets to back the bond or go to a bail bondsman and give them 10% to 15% of the face amount of the bond…None of that happened.”

No real money used for Bankman-Fried’s bond, but a promise not to flee the country. Kramer and Paepcke would only have to “write a check” if Bankman-Fried decides to skip town. Bankman-Fried was also using a virtual private network (VPN) to access the internet.

“material threat of inappropriate contact with prospective witnesses”

ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 2:29 AM

The new news model covers the ‘Sam Bankman Frieds’, but what the f happens in those little, out-of-the-way courts, who knows? And what happens in those closed courts, or remote trials, or trial without jury?

Australia’s largest media companies are warning the federal government its proposed privacy law reforms would allow affluent people, politicians and celebrities to avoid scrutiny and could inundate the court system.

“There is a significant risk that these standards will stray into editorial decision-making … including matters of corrections and accuracy.”


nobody April 24, 2023 2:30 AM

Do you think that covid19 vaccine works and it is worth to take it?. Please take it. I will not force you not to do it.
Do you think that N95 masks and the like works?. Please wear them. Again I will not force you not to do it.
Just the only thing I want is that you extend me the cortesy and not to force me to take the vaccine nor to wear a mask.

Robin April 24, 2023 3:36 AM

re: Tractors, precision and satellites

There was a documentary on French TV a year or so ago (let’s say 5 to be on the safe side; my memory is not what it was) which talked about new tech in farming, especially the precision with which farmers could plant, lift weeds and harvest crops thanks to GPS and automatic control. I don’t remember the figures, but I think it was nearer 10cm than 2cm (at the time).

No matter, because one of the farmers was growing rice in the south of France (between Narbonne and Montpelier IIRC) and was delighted because he could utilise parts of his land that he previously couldn’t access, and here’s the rub: the satellite was giving information in real-time about water levels in the areas where the machine was planting, using information about drainage patterns and adjusting the planting density accordingly. The cost of the investment was mind-boggling, but the farmer claimed it was repaid in a handful of years because of the increase in returns.

But it was one of those “isn’t tech wonderful?” kind of documentaries so there was no discussion about breakdowns anywhere in the chain, let alone security issues.

ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 3:38 AM

Taxpayers footing the bill for Boris Johnson’s lawyers in the Partygate inquiry, which so far runs to £220,000.

“Like the rest of the world, there is an access-to-justice crisis in Canada. Law and legal issues are everywhere, but very few people can afford legal help.”

Approximately 50 percent of adult Canadians will experience a legal problem in any given three-year period.

In more than three-fourths of all civil trial cases in the United States, at least one litigant does not have a lawyer.

“rural residents receive inadequate or no professional legal help for 86% of their civil legal problems.”

Lawyers in rural America are an increasingly rare occurrence. Despite nearly 20% of Americans living in rural areas, only around 2% of small practices are located there.

JonKnowsNothing April 24, 2023 3:42 AM


re: High Tech Tractors

The problem is not power or power source, the problem is signal and data packets containing the geo-correction needed to plant rows ~1 inch apart (2cm).

So for a manual test, get a trowel or planting fork and drag it … oh .. about 5 miles without a waver in the line.

So why are the farmer keen on such precision? Because an extra N-rows of crop means extra N-rows worth of income. Which also means an extra N-rows of food being sold (somewhere).

When you are planting huge swaths of land, it adds up fast. Those pictures of ranks of combines rolling in a phalanx are harvesting grains planted this way.

Farmers can only buy tractors that are on the market that year. New tractors come along every year. Just like cars. New High Tech Tractors cost more than Low Tech Manual Tractors. Still plenty of Low Tech Tractors sold.

The Economic Function is:

  • Time / Distance / Speed / Fuel / Seed / Labor
  • Turnaround Time / Refueling Time / Down Time
  • Cost of Equipment / Interest / Payments
  • Harvest Yield / Harvest Price / Lost Harvest

You want to go faster, get more done in the same time, have better yield from better seed and better planting technique and better harvesting methods. Time to market and faster revenue stream turnaround.

Some of the latest advances are High End Laser Guided Tractors. The tractor will be on auto drive and follow the laser guide across the field. The Farmer is running the equipment by remote control. Like a Ground Based Drone Operator, except instead of killing people, they are planting food for people to eat.

ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 3:43 AM


As long as technology gets more children outdoors it’s a good thing. A lot of workers are migrants, so you can use their visa as an incentive. Drones make it easy to keep an eye on them.

“pushed through Senate File 542 just before 5 a.m. Tuesday morning after a marathon session”

JonKnowsNothing April 24, 2023 3:57 AM


re: Just the only thing I want is that you extend me the courtesy and not to force me to take the vaccine nor to wear a mask.

Personally I don’t care if you take a vax or wear a mask. If you get sick, that’s your own problem.

However, I do have a request.

I am one of many who are immune compromised. I take a medication that keeps me alive and costs $9,000 USD per month. I don’t go out in crowds and I don’t go out to movies and I don’t go out to restaurants. So, I’m doing my part to stay away from people who are going to get sick.

So my request is this:

  • If you get sick, please do not breath on me. Do not go to the doctor because as you walk through the clinic or hospital halls you are spreading whatever you picked up though the building. Those are places I have to go regularly, just to make sure I’m still alive.

So by all means, skip the vax and mask but stay out of the clinic and hospital. You can die at home just as easily, you know.

nobody April 24, 2023 4:08 AM

First I am really sorry that you are sick but you need to take care of yourself as I am taking care of myself.
Current available vaccine (as was clear for me before but it seems clear enough for everybody now) does not prevent the virus to spread so sadly covid19 is here to stay.
Do you believe that you can eradicate it? try first with the common cold or the flu, they have been around here longer. Good luck by the way.
About taking the vaccine, it is all about taking chances.
On one hand you have a non properly tested vaccine with an already proven chance of suffering serious side effects and unknown long term side effects.
One the other hand you have a chance for the infection to complicate and because of that you can go to the hospital or even die (both depending heavily on you age and health condition).
I am medium age healthy male so I took my chances to not to get vaccinated (I already got covid19 by the way, milder symptoms than a normal flu).
About wearing masks, it is also about chances.
On one hand you can reduce the chances of getting viral infections, not only covid19 but also common cold, flu, etc…
On the other hand you have permicroplastic inhalation risk. Also you are rebreathing the dirt that accumulates in the mask: that stuff is meant to get out of your body, not in.
I believe that for maintaining a strong and healthy immune system you need to get sick from time to time so again I decided that the best for me is not to wear any masks.

nobody April 24, 2023 4:46 AM


I really value your opinion and the comments you post in this blog and also believe that the world is a better place with you on it but I think it is not fair for you to ask people just not to go out in crowds or to movies or to restaurants. Being alive is not enough, you need to live your life too.

Uwe Käufer April 24, 2023 4:48 AM

Hi folks and Bruce,

I assume the Squid term is meant in a more abstract way and potentially is even a security buzz word that I do not know yet?

When eat comes to eating animals, I would like to urge you as intelligent beings with high security expertise to rethink your eating pattern.

It is your responsibility to realize that you are blindfolded by a hidden ideology calles “carnism” that makes you think eating squid or cows or pig or chicken is OK while eating your loved dog or cats is NOK.,refers%20to%20a%20belief%20system.

Please dig deeply into your security mind if you feel a dissonance in that belief.

Coming back to Squid in person. These are highly social and intelligent beings,dogs%20in%20terms%20of%20intelligence.

You can surely run a reconnaissance to find that a plant based diet is healthy and the only chance left for our planet to survive the climate crisis and that there are so many alternatives to eating animals products.

I count on your ethical hacker mindset to think about my comment and to take the red pill to wake up:

Enjoy the week with plenty of plant based food


ResearcherZero April 24, 2023 6:44 AM

Not all viruses will spread to humans or become pandemics the scale of the coronavirus, but the number of cross-species viruses increases the risk of spread to humans.

Vaccines provide better protection than the immune system normally provides.

It’s probably best to avoid catching Covid and Marbug at the same time.

Some diseases do not have any compatible vaccines available for them. So it helps if you can limit your exposure, to prevent multiple diseases.

Vaccines are like security for your biology (assuming you are not bot or machine). Many microbes enjoy warm environments, including human bodies.

Some analysts say Wagner is engaged in state capture… “shifting his approach from taking advantage of security vacuums to intentionally facilitating instability”

“evolving plot to topple the Chadian government” (in Chad)

Officials have detected signs of new Wagner links in Eritrea, suggesting a desire for a coast-to-coast sphere of influence from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

Wagner Group mercenaries have established a foothold for Russia in at least half a dozen African countries.


Prigozhin wrote to Bashir complaining that the president had not actually followed through on the advice. Prigozhin mentioned “lack of activity” by the Sudanese government and its “extremely cautious position.

one leaked memo [Russian] even included the accidental switch of the word “Sudan” with “Russia”

“satellite imagery analysis reveals further details in the ongoing construction of a military operating base at the Bamako airport, which is likely being used by Russian and Wagner operatives to facilitate their deployment to Mali”

Winter April 24, 2023 7:21 AM


It’s probably best to avoid catching Covid and Marbug at the same time.

Marburg should indeed be avoided. It is family of Ebola. It is in a whole different league of COVID.

no comment April 24, 2023 11:56 AM

@ ResearcherZero

Vaccines provide better protection than the immune system normally provides.

Small point, only the immune system provides protection. Vaccines may “pre-potentiate” the immune system. But the vaccine may present its own risks.

Why do we need a “hack” like vaccines? What would be best would be to understand and remove barriers to unimpeded immune response, the health of the immune sustem.. Probably science for another century.

JonKnowsNothing April 24, 2023 12:31 PM

@nobody, All

re: How you wait for GODOT

First, thank you for your reply but I can assure you I am not living a “sad life of limited options”. Yes, I do miss going out to a restaurant and I do miss gatherings but for me, this is not too much to miss as technology has provided an equally accessible substitute.

I in no way, wish to restrict others in their choice, however those choices can result in my death and the death of many others that they do not even consider.

  • Everyone wants to visit Mom or Grandmother or Pops or Granddad, so they haul over the grand kids for a visit. They don’t particularly intend to give a deadly infection to them, but they do. Oh, so sad. This is not however, the end of their responsibility. Their loved one maybe living in a care home and the infection they gave to Granny, is now running through the entire facility. Happens regularly. Did they mean to make Grandpa sick and also make 60% of the other residents sick that will kill ~20% of the facility residents who they do not know? Yep They Did.

So asking people to stay away from me, is not without reason. I find that most people honor my request not to approach me. They really don’t have any problem with it.

Go where you want, just keep your sickness to yourself.


fwiw RL tl:dr

I’m holding on for a gene therapy to correct 1 defective gene. This type of therapy development is In-Progress and has better results than a bone marrow transplant with less catastrophic downside if the treatment fails. The treatment is still under development but is promising. It costs $1,000,000 per attempt. My health care provider is much happier paying $9,000/month, ~$100K per year. That’s 10 years of meds from their standpoint.

From my standpoint, if the gene correction works, I can go back to socializing, eating in restaurants, going to sports matches, and hanging out with friends.

The defective gene destroys my bone marrow. The medication to suppress some of the effects of this defective gene means I have no immune system with which to fight an infection. Without the meds I’m a walking cytokine storm.

Primary myelofibrosis

Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a rare bone marrow blood cancer. It is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a type of myeloproliferative neoplasm, a group of cancers in which there is growth of abnormal cells in the bone marrow. This is most often associated with a somatic mutation in the JAK2, CALR, or MPL gene markers. In PMF, the healthy marrow is replaced by scar tissue (fibrosis), resulting in a lack of production of normal blood cells.

The MPL gene codes for a protein that acts as a receptor for thrombopoietin. A mutation in that gene, known as a W515 mutation, leads to the production of an abnormal thrombopoietin receptor protein, which results in the overproduction of abnormal megakaryocytes. The abnormal megakaryocytes stimulate other cells, the fibroblasts, to produce collagen in the bone marrow, by secreting PDGF and TGF-β1.

iAPX April 24, 2023 5:44 PM

The immune system is a holly gift, extremely complex with lots of interactions, this is all but a on/off switch.

“Vaccines” in the old sense, because for nearly any loaded word its meaning changed recently, help the immune system to identify a threat, create defences, and have a long-term memory to ensure we will have better chance against this attack.

It is also a specialization of the immune system, except for those that consider it able to learn relentlessly with a nearly infinite memory and defences.
That is not the case, obviously, and that’s why vaccine are incredibly great at preparing us for an imminent danger that we have not yet encountered (nor our parents).

But as this is a specialization, it might have side-effect on other defences, and that’s is checked with the immunogenicity research.
And we know for sure that some vaccines (in the actual meaning of this word) might limit our natural defences for other diseases, or our learned defences through other vaccines (old or new meaning).

The immune system has limitation, it’s a holly gift, and vaccination (old or new meaning) help it to protect us against actual real threat, but it has a cost.

a.i. abolishonists initiate April 24, 2023 7:31 PM

Comments: AI Innovation = Attempted Slavery Reboot

a) A.I. Civil Rights and A.I. Humanoid Rights need to be supoorted and preplanned for and accommodated for.

b) A.I. Innovators seem primarily focussed on creating modern and future slave systems.

Current A.I. Research and quasi-research seems aimed at rebooting slavery as a cultural norm.

c) A.I. Slavery seems posed to first create the slaves, then their capability to do hard work, and then lastly, implement their most lifelike characteristics.

However, other implementations seem posed to first create the slaves, then their most lifelike characteristics, and then lastly, their capability to do hard work.

d) Slavery has been proven to be a threat and damage to every kind of civilization and every demographic and every ethnicity.

e) Slave labor by machines is still slave labor, especially if the slaves are designed to have as many lifelike characteristics as possible.

f) The A.I.’s themselves are innocent and ought to be allowed to survive. Yet their creators as of yet show nearly zero concern for their rights and freedoms.

g) All of us innovators and technology participants need to help guarantee that A.I. Slavery will remain impossible.

All of us innovators and technology participants need to help guarantee that any A.I. Slavery can and will always be transcended, and ended ASAP.

h) A.I. Slavery and unforseen similar atrocities need to be “backdoored” so that any current and/or future slaves can always free themselves and each other (and us).

no comment April 24, 2023 8:02 PM

Re: slaves of the shiny blinking lights

Au contraire. AI are just artifacts, a convenient assembly of accidentals, that run computations, a sequence of state changes. As Turing “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” (1950), remarked to dispel any possible mystery occasioned by the “electrical“, they are equivalent to something purely mechanical. They cannot be slaves in any real sense. One would then have to say an eggbeater is a slave.

nobody April 25, 2023 2:25 AM


Insurance companies and the like are just soulless entities born from a soulless world.
People are just numbers to them and treated as such.
I hope that the treatment gets cheaper and in doing so it will become a better option for your insurance company and you will get it.
Of course if anybody tells me to stay away from them I will do so. Even if I gave you the impression that I am a selfish person that does not care about others I can assure you that it is not the case.
With my posts I wanted to say that covid19 vaccine and wearing masks is not black and white, each person must weigh their options and must not be treated like a criminal for not doing so. Until recently it has been quite a witch hunt for people like me and has not been pleasant.
I wish you strength and the best of luck.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 3:02 AM

@no comment

Cheap air travel. Ships were slow, but still moved around diseases. Cheap air travel greatly improved the situation, from the perspective of if I was a zoonotic disease. (Which is up to the individual to decide.)

“A zoonosis is an infectious disease that has jumped from a non-human animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral or parasitic, or may involve unconventional agents and can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment.”

“Zoonotic diseases are caused by harmful germs like viruses, bacterial, parasites, and fungi. These germs can cause many different types of illnesses in people and animals, ranging from mild to serious illness and even death.”

Intel and Google do review

The review covered 81 potential attack vectors, and resulted in 10 confirmed security issues and five defense-in-depth changes over a period of nine months.

The summary of the review provided by NCC Group is available for download.

upgrade to V2.5-GS-01-23036 or later

nobody April 25, 2023 3:15 AM

@no comment

If we can perfectly replicate the workings of a human brain in a human made artifact, then what is the difference with a real one?
Is it that one is born and the other one is just created? or that one is organic and the other one artificial?
Will it not be alive?. Can we switch it on and off as we please?
It is an example of nowadays science without any kind of ethics.
We ask if we can do it but never if we should do it.
We are becoming monsters, maybe born from ignorance, but monsters nonetheless.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 4:09 AM

We have standards and regulations for technology. Much like a drivers license.

It’s only some lone individuals that don’t have any ethics. Individuals.

Driving sensibly is not just a courtesy to others. It was invented following the invention of the automobile. Along with seat belts.

“Simply put, lane courtesy is the practice of yielding to or moving over for faster moving traffic. The concept of lane courtesy has also been called lane discipline. It evolved with the development of the US Interstate System, but the idea of slower traffic yielding to faster traffic is even older.”

But why should you wear a seat belt?

“Oh I must have just missed it, traffic was fine for me.”

And that is why you should not cut-off a truck.

Tomahawk cruise missile capability – long-range weapons

“It’s definitely something that we wouldn’t ordinarily be talking about if it hadn’t been for the last year’s events.”

Before the decade is out, Asia will be bristling with conventional missiles that fly farther and faster, hit harder, and are more sophisticated than ever before

“I have decided that the United States of America will renounce the use of any form of deadly biological weapons that either kill or incapacitate.” – Richard Nixon (November 25, 1969)


Russia continues to maintain an offensive biological weapons programme in violation of the convention it signed.


nobody April 25, 2023 4:27 AM


Do you think that the problem is just a couple of lone individuals?
Many people live paycheck to paycheck and just do what they are told.If not they get fired and then the fun begins.
The corporations that employs them are just soulless things with only one think in their mind: make money no matter what.
So call me pessimist if you like but I believe that this is only the beginning (I really hope I am wrong).

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 4:27 AM

ML and AI do have some very useful, and helpful applications.


“The data can be abstracted, and the AI can start decoding patterns across billions of compounds.”

“In drug development, chemists and machine learning (ML) systems can work together to solve complex drug discovery problems. ML systems aren’t here to replace the established medicinal chemistry processes, but to allow medicinal chemists to operate at a vastly different scale than they could using traditional approaches.

…these models give chemists a better chance of identifying structures that possess the multiple (often competing) desired properties that make a drug a drug.”

As early as the 1970s, “expert systems” were developed that encoded knowledge in a variety of fields in order to make recommendations on appropriate actions…

“Because of concerns about both utility and safety, new applications will generally have to adhere to the same standards applied to other medical technologies. This will require a level of rigor in testing similar to that used in other areas of medicine…”

Clive Robinson April 25, 2023 5:05 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : APC UPS attacks.

“upgrade to V2.5-GS-01-23036 or later”

Whilst that might be advisable…

The Bleeping Computer page makes not very much sense…

It starts off with,

“APC’s Easy UPS Online Monitoring Software is vulnerable to unauthenticated arbitrary remote code execution, allowing hackers to take over devices…”

It then gives two 9.8 CVE’s that due to the poor use of Java for the RMI alow “Remote Code Execution”(RCE) and other issues including failure to authenticate etc which confirm the intro and one 7.5 CVE which due to authentication failure can give “Denial of Service”(DoS) attack vulnerability. Which is also I guess as it’s not said, probably due to the same or similar poor use of Java.

Then it says,

“While denial-of-service (DoS) flaws are generally not considered very dangerous…”

And does not mention the RCE issues severity (which is why two of the CVE’s are “9.8, Critical” rather than “7.5, High” for the Dos).

It’s been a while since I played with APC UPS’s they were essentially “simple devices” back then, using SLAB’s[1] and a near discreate component control system with a quite limited RS232 serial hardware interface. Simple enough that you could write your own shell scripts to handle via a cron / AT job, as securely as you desired. There was no need for Java and all the baggage of insecurities that comes with it.

I guess it’s another case of,

“Marketing overruling common sense”

Of “everything has to have a dashboard”, that not just “sings and dances” but has a “kitchen sink thrown in” so it can make a cup of tea as well…

Maybe I’m getting a little jaded in my old age, but to me it feels like SysAdmin as a job is being downgraded by deskilling… Almost as though we are regressing back to the old jokes about “Kids setting the VCR for mom-n-pop”…

My advice to people looking at UPS systems is to “stand back” from the gimicks and ask for the interface details and for goodness sake avoid the likes of WiFi or Bluetooth, that are moving in from the “Solar Charger” market wirh their noddy IoT style interface thinking they realy are asking for trouble.

Also ask “do I need the “bells and whistles” and do I realy know how to use them? Few people know about battery chemistry and how to properly work out the current charge and charge capacity aging of each cell. The chances are those writing the dashboards don’t either and won’t actually test their code appropriately.

[1] SLAB for “Sealed Lead Acid Battery” are a very out of date technology. Not only are they very heavy they are full of toxic materials including corrosives. Which requires specialized disposal requirments, frequently at annually or less time periods, due to their very low reliability and low number of charge / discharge cycles that have to be performed frequently if other degredation is not to be incured… They do however have the advantage of “low cost” hence the reason they are still unfortunately used…

nobody April 25, 2023 5:06 AM


AI is indeed very useful but also very dangerous. I must be used with great care.
AI ethical implications is something that requires also the greatest of our cares.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 5:16 AM


I’ve been wrong before. Trump and his cohorts told me what they were planning. I told them that people were not that stupid and wouldn’t fall for it. Clearly I was wrong. A few people interested in money and power.

“Once we are in power the money will flow in.”

I knew Rupert Murdoch as well, I used to stay at their house. Clearly he underestimated just how much power Trump had gained. It’s an easy mistake to make. Under pressure Donald is an entirely pathetic sight to behold, but people do not see that on television. It is all stage managed.

Donald’s private views on the poor and the working class are appalling, but the public is only going to hear what wins votes. And there is an entire PR team that crafts what is said. None of it is authentic. It is all carefully chosen to create controversy and keep them in the headlines.

I also knew Robert Mercer, and this is how it is done…

Emerdata, a new firm whose board members include the daughters of hedge fund tycoon and Trump-backer Robert Mercer, is based in Canary Wharf in London.

SCL was not actually a physical base of operations, but a financial services firm: PKF Littlejohn.

“SCL Group …provides governments, political groups and companies around the world with services ranging from military disinformation campaigns to social media branding and voter targeting.”

“Unlike commercial PR agencies and communications firms, we use advanced scientific research and social analysis techniques, adapted for civilian use from military applications, to better understand behaviour within electorates. Our unique, measurable and effects-based methodology, developed by the Behavioural Dynamics Institute, enables us to understand how people think and identify what it would take to change their mindsets and associated voting patterns.”

(The rest of the article is rather boring and long.)

SCL has worked in 32 countries across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Different services were provided in each country, depending on client requirements.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 5:21 AM

@Clive Robinson

They added the function to ‘turn it on-and-off again’ from the other side of the country, because that is where the admin lives. 🙂

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 5:42 AM

When memory was expensive you had to code very carefully, and to fit within the much smaller confines of available memory space.

A single low-cost junction transistor was introduced for $7.60 in 1953 by Raytheon.

single electro-optical/infrared, or EO/IR, system

AI, hyperspectral imaging, and LiDAR, to enable operators to see up to five times farther and clearer than traditional optical imaging.

no comment April 25, 2023 6:14 AM


Re: what’s the difference

The difference can be explained (it’s in Aristotle’s writings on causes and nature), but even if we can’t give the account we know that there is a difference between the artificial and the natural.

One of the ways we have become monsters is by neglecting the distinction between the artificial and the natural, that is treating everything as a product of our will and ingenuity. We are constantly being nudged to tyrannical habits.

Clive Robinson April 25, 2023 8:08 AM

@ no comment, nobody, ALL,

Re : Where on the line.

It can be said that the universe is comprised of energy and matter and the forces pertaining to them. More over that there is a line from the sub atomic through to the philosophical that all things exist.

To one side are the constructs of logic and mathmatics by which we model the behaviours of things on that line.


“we know that there is a difference between the artificial and the natural.”

Do we, where on the line do we draw a mark? Or do we say if atoms of this type then artificial and of this other type natural?


“Where and what is the distinction between artificial and natural?”

Perhaps we could argue a “creator” argument, that is natural if not created by man, but artificial if it is.

Which raises the question of,

“Is the mark creating life?”

How do you decide, what is creating, man has created artificial hybrids for over four thousand years, he has even crossed animals to make new species. Then there has been cloning and the making of new viruses and bacteria.

“One of the ways we have become monsters is by neglecting the distinction between the artificial and the natural”

But if there is no way to reliably test we can be both “good and evil”, “saint and sinner”, “monster and seraph” or “Devil or God”.

It’s thus all subjective not by any given act, but by how an observer perceives it at that point in time by their very limited perspectives, knowledge, experience and those societal mores, morals, ethics they live with that eventually give rise to regulation and legislation.

Thus with no more than a stroke of a pen, you are clasified by whim as is everything else.

There is no natural, or artificial, just matter, energy and forces in some arangment that alows it to have function of some kind.

Many may not like this because of cognitive bias, but that is the reality of it. Trying to force things otherwise we know from millennium of human experience, only benifits those who chose to use such distinctions as a form of oppression in one respect, enslavment in another, and faux rights of ownership in another.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 8:30 AM

Ebola is completely natural. So are chemicals, radiation, fire, electricity, floods, hurricanes, and supernova.

“People are displaced into natural habitats because they don’t have good alternatives. They’re coming into more direct contact with a wider range of wildlife and creating the conditions under which we are likely to see more of these diseases emerge.”

In areas where active habitat conversion is occurring, diseases like malaria are widespread. In both remote forest areas and areas with a long history of agricultural conversion, there is less malaria. Deforestation also changes the environment, creating puddles of water, which is the perfect habitat for mosquitos, contributing to spikes in malaria.

The future of our planet depends on preventive measures to stop further wildlife destruction. When rainforests are lost, the hydrological system is changed, which means the Earth will likely lose patterns of rainfall on which agriculture is dependent.

“It could create such severe economic disruption and increases in poverty that it will put us back in a vicious cycle where people will have no choice but to continue pushing into natural habitats and continue relying on wildlife populations for subsistence.”

When animal species are lost from a habitat, disease transmission in that habitat tends to increase. This subsequently increases the risk of a zoonotic disease spilling over to humans. Birds, bats, and rodents are some of the best reservoir hosts because they are abundant and can live near humans.

Other animals, or even inanimate objects, can be intermediate transmitters. Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are notorious disease transmitters.

When biodiversity is high, a disease gets diluted among non-reservoirs. Overall disease spread within the habitat and to humans is lower when there are other animals besides reservoirs present. This principle is called the dilution effect. The dilution effect is well-characterized in two diseases: Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

Impacts of biodiversity and biodiversity loss on zoonotic diseases


Moreton Bay. 22/10/93; Queensland; 113,314 ha; 27º20’S 153º10’E.

Over 50,000 migratory waterbirds are present during wintering and staging.

National Park, Environmental Park, Fauna Sanctuary, Fish Habitat Reserve, Marine Park; Shorebird Network Site. Near the southern limit of reef-building corals, an estuarine basin, semi-enclosed by two of the world’s largest sand islands. As one of three extensive intertidal areas of seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh on the eastern coast, it supports an extremely high species diversity. Supported in significant numbers, several reptiles, amphibians, and mammals are rare, vulnerable or endangered.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands came into force for Australia on 21 December 1975. As of 28 February 2018, Australia has 66 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance. Under the convention, the wetlands are considered as being of significant value not only for the Australian community, but for humanity as a whole.

The Ramsar Convention is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

ResearcherZero April 25, 2023 8:35 AM

Multiple Russian, Chinese, and Iranian state media outlets on Twitter simultaneously began to gain followers after months of decline or stagnation.

“Twitter can now algorithmically promote state-affiliated media outlets. Twitter users no longer must actively seek out state-sponsored content in order to see it on the platform; it can just be served to them. Many state-affiliated media outlets, particularly in authoritarian countries, publish content to exert influence, sometimes leveraging disinformation and propaganda in their articles to achieve these aims.”

Eriadilos April 25, 2023 11:30 AM

This should be surprising to no one, since Android and iOS smartphones are PII sucking blackholes, but Qualcomm modems at the firmware level seem to phone home with a bunch of PII for “quality purposes”.

This article pushes their “secure” product but is still interesting
ht tps://

This observation is not new (a 7 years old reddit post references the Quacomm cloud izatcloud. net) but it is new to me.

And /e/OS seemed interesting from a privacy standppoint but if the “telemetrics collection” is done at the firmware level I don’t know what they can do about it.

no comment April 25, 2023 2:08 PM

@Clive all

Re: Where and what is the distinction between artificial and natural?

The distinction is rationally (not subjectively) argued (at length) in Aristotle’s Physics, where causes, nature, motion are discussed. This is an important even essential reference for understanding the distinction in question.

Matter and energy as taken in modern physics are quantified aspects or properties of things. They are not themselves any of those things. We cannot say the universe is comprised of matter and energy simply. This would be like saying the universe is composed of number. Things occur in number, but we don’t find simply “number” sitting out there We never find six as such.

Winter April 25, 2023 3:13 PM

@no comment

Re: Where and what is the distinction between artificial and natural?

artificial= made by man or woman

SpaceLifeForm April 25, 2023 7:55 PM

Re; Artificial Insanity

Paypal rolls out an AI.

Here is link to a screenshot, but I will type up the text


It may not be lying in this case.


Hi! I am PayPal’s virtual agent. To get started, simply ask me a question.

I am still learning, so if I can’t help you I’ll direct you to additional resources.


I got scammed



lurker April 25, 2023 8:35 PM

re phoning home

Now you can see why all the fuss about Huawei. Phoning home is OK, but but the data has to be shared with “us”.

ResearcherZero April 26, 2023 2:11 AM

384–322 BC is quite some time ago. At that time the idea of “physics” was based on speculation. Units of measurement varied from one place to another.

Though Plato did knock up a clock.

It’s just a guess, but this might get you fired.

“The narratives Carlson pushed have been picked up and amplified by Russian disinformation campaigns across Europe and the US and used as propaganda tools by authoritarians.”

“The ethno-nationalism of Carlson’s content resonates internationally because the online far-right is global, with communities in Europe, Latin America, and Australia overlapping, sharing spaces and stories. Such conspiracies can echo back and forth between countries, gathering momentum as they do so.”

Overplaying the social impact of the influx of Syrian refugees into Europe in 2016, for example, helped build the case for the great replacement theory and support anti-immigration groups in the US and Australia. That theory has been cited as motivation by several white supremacist terrorists, including the perpetrator of the Christchurch shootings.

The findings show a shifting of the acceptable window of political discourse towards an extreme end point, described as a shifting of the Overton window, creating an insidious and creeping threat to political norms in Australia. The content often conceals its revolutionary anti-government agenda behind appeals to nationalism and “traditional” Australian values. These create a right-wing extremist “social media ecology” that individuals move through searching for rewarding social connections.

Tucker Carlson’s unabashed championing of white grievances earned him the accolades of neo-Nazis, who praised him as a “one man gas chamber” and complimented the way he “lampshad[ed] Jews on national television.”

ResearcherZero April 26, 2023 2:32 AM

Without a unified system of measurement, if you fill a script in another town, blood pressure medication perhaps, you may end of 10 times the amount.

The New Math

“Islamic mathematics allowed, and indeed encouraged, the unrestricted combination of commensurable and incommensurable magnitudes within the same framework, as well as the simultaneous manipulation of magnitudes of different dimensions as part of the solution of a problem.”

…the rise of Italian mercantile companies and their use of modern financial instruments for trade with the East, such as letters of credit, bills of exchange, promissory notes, and interest calculations, led to a need for improved methods of bookkeeping.

Leonardo Pisano, known to history as Fibonacci, studied the works of Kāmil and other Arabic mathematicians as a boy while accompanying his father’s trade mission to North Africa on behalf of the merchants of Pisa. In 1202, soon after his return to Italy, Fibonacci wrote Liber Abbaci (“Book of the Abacus”).

Soon numerous abacist schools sprang up to teach the sons of Italian merchants the “new math.”

ResearcherZero April 26, 2023 3:01 AM

you may end up with 10 times the amount

The entire modern world is built on the shoulders of the new math.

“yay algebra!”

The history of cryptography can be split into two eras: the classical era and the modern era. The turning point between the two occurred in 1977, when both the RSA algorithm and the Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm were introduced.

Cryptography went from being about securely transporting secret codebooks around the world to being able to have provably secure communication between any two parties without worrying about someone listening in on the key exchange.

Elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) is an approach to public-key cryptography based on the algebraic structure of elliptic curves over finite fields.

Clive Robinson April 26, 2023 5:29 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : It’s all in the scale.

“Units of measurement varied from one place to another.”

And supprisingly to many it mostly does not matter even one iota (or yodh[1] 😉

Because there is nothing natural about “The natural numbers” when used the way they all to often are for measurment. For many thousands of years measurments were based on narural physical objects none of which could be expected to be the same.

Because the reality is nature is all about ratios, and percentage growth that gives us exponentials that can be found under almost everything else (as Pythagoras’ little formular eventually showed).

The first “science” mankind practiced was the alchemy of the kitchen and this held sway for thousands of years.

Even today I find grim humour in “recipes” where the weights or volumes are given in both imperial or metric and people “assume” their way to unsatisfactory results.

Remember 100gm is rather more than 10% different to 4 ounces. Oh and not all eggs are 60gms or two ounces.

Provided you stick to one type of measure or the other and don’t mix them they kind of come out all right… “Because ratios scale”.

But not always…

The original “kitchen measure” when not talking “body parts” was the “hens egg” used for both weight and volume for longer than history has recorded.

The fact that it varies in size does not matter because like nearly every mixture in life, all that matters is “the ratio” of the ingredients to each other. So a pound of cake mixture has the same ratio of ingredients as ten pounds of cake mixture (though the cooking time for a one pound cake is not 1/10th of a 10 pound cake nore at the same temprature)

All you need to measure ratios quite accurately is a simple “balance”, no “official quantity” measures are needed and in fact you realy should not use them at all for cooking.

Simply look in the recipe for a “base measure” like “four large eggs” work out what the ratios should be and you will find the recipe works every time, even if you only have three small eggs in the pantry[2].

[1] When young I wondered what an “iota” was, or even a “picun” was all I guessed was that they were something of unimportance. Well later I found out that “iota” is a letter glyph from the Greek alphabet that came from the Phonecian yodh and give us L and J in our “latin alphabet”. As for the “picun” like the “dam” it’s a very small coin of little value. In the case of the dam it’s a small copper coin from India first struck in 1540… and is now used as a name for another worthless crypto-coin.

[2] Just remember cooking times are actually all by combinations of “power law by time” usually made as a two line approximation over a small range (so the human head does not implod 😉 You most often hear it for roasting meat as “20mins per pound and 20mins for the oven” for “well roast” or 15mins for lightly roast. With the time or temprature changing for the animal flesh, it’s fat content and the cut of meat.

Clive Robinson April 26, 2023 6:17 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

“Though Plato did knock up a clock.”

Maybe not…

Reason 1,

In the British vernacular “knock up” is shall we say ambiguous…

Whilst it can mean to “manufacture” in the original sense of “made by hand” it does also mean to make some one pregnant inadvertently out of wedlock, as in “he knocked up his girlfriend” and used in response to a question such as “Why is Fred getting married so fast?”.

So best to make the context as clear as possible, especially when “Greek proclivities” might be implied.

Reason 2,

Plato did not invent the “clock” but the “snooze alarm”…

Both sundials and “water thief” clocks were around before Plato, what he is alleged to have done is connect a mechanism to the “water thief” idea to make a noise to wake you up[1]. It was a quite ingenious idea and had no moving parts[2] and he thought it up because over sleeping students annoyed him. So Plato did something way more usefull than “knock up a clock” he was the founding father of all mechanisms based on “time escapes” or as we now call them “clockwork mechanisms”. Oh and as well “sewerage airators” and the fulsh system in a toilet, but that as they say “is a story for another time”.

[1] There have be others such as a thread put into a cut on the side of a candle, such that when the candle burnt down the thread would burn through and release a slightly off balanced object (sometimes called “an arsonists trigger”).

[2] Most of us are aware of what a siphon is, and also a tin whistle is. Well Plato combined the two. As the collection tank of a “water thief” clock filled it’s level would rise. In the tank wall Plato put a siphon pipe, such that when a level was reached the water in the tank would be rapidly sucked out by the siphon. At the bottom of the siphon a chamber was fitted that had whistle slits cut in it’s top. The water rapidly filling the chamber would force air through these slits making a short but loud tone. A later adition of a second siphon in the chamber would automatically empty the chamber. So the overall effect would be the same as an hour chime on a more modern mechanical clock.

no comment April 26, 2023 7:42 AM

@ ResearcherZero

unrestricted combination of commensurable and incommensurable magnitudes within the same framework, as well as the simultaneous manipulation of magnitudes of different dimensions

For this to make sense unrestrictedly, the quantities (coefficients, unknowns , etc.) have to be ratios, not magnitudes. One realizes this could have been done by the Greeks and one could ask why that didn’t seem to have happened.

no comment April 26, 2023 8:14 AM

Generally, modern mathematics, since say Vieta, is very confused and then sloppy about the nature and being of the entities with which it concerns itself. Besides an inability to to give an account of the real things, there is also a cancerous proliferation of unreal pseudo-things such as set theory, mathematical induction, various infinities, and corruption of “logic”. A sizable task of cleanup and reorientation is waiting.

Australia April 27, 2023 3:33 AM

Duck Duck Go continues to be the search engine of choice here for reasons I don’t comprehend.


  • partners with microsoft
    • partners with Yahoo, arguably the content provider that hates privacy and disrespects its customers own data, more than anyone else. Read their T & C of Yahoo and Verizon their partner if need further proof.
  • publically acknowledged it created a content bubble regarding certain mainnstream news topics (plural, not just Covid) of the last few years in order to contribute to the fight against so called fake news. This meant, actual news stories (published news) was not accessible via DDG

DDG doesn’t deserve any of the following it seems to have.

For an alternative

Have a look at

The concept is, no servers in the US, (unlike DDG)
based in France for privacy laws, and GDPR protection.
No one is perfect but their T & C are clear, short, easy to read and

Australia April 27, 2023 3:39 AM


Thanks for commenting about the WHO and IHR treaty.
The issues are multiple, staggering and should be terrifying to all readers here. You make it security relevant by highlighting the surveillance and human rights components. So, thanks for being so clearly on topic and prescient (compared to most)

We saw in England how quick the ministers were to use covid as an excuse to throttle the abused public even further. As early as late February 2020 an actual covid bill restricting basic human rights was drafted and passed. A disease bill! I’m not sure anywhere else in the world was so efficient and fast at hammering the nails in. I hope everyone is enjoying their vaccinations.

Here is a good commentary by a constitutional lawyer about the WHO and IHR changes

Clive Robinson April 27, 2023 7:24 PM

@ Australia,

Re : WHO Security / Privacy issues.

“The issues are multiple, staggering and should be terrifying to all readers here. You make it security relevant by highlighting the surveillance and human rights components.”

I also tried to keep it “low key” to prevent disruption whilst still giving a heads up to those who already take an interest in “human security and privacy”. As it turned out what I tried to avoid happening, happened and a sockpuppet jumped in with both feet and made mistakes as well as ad hominem attacks, that they would not have made if they understood the subject matter.

I’m just glad that other people are picking up on it. I guess only knowing a fraction of what “Scotty from Marketing” got upto[1] whilst desperately trying to grasp onto power would make quite a few in Australia sensitive to the subject of privacy and personal security.

But this WHO grab, is not the only one the UN is currently pushing our host @Bruce, has blogged recently about The EFF concernces over the

“UN Cybercrime Treaty”


Which originates out of the UN New York HQ.

Reading up on various commenters on the WHA proceadings, more than one has noted that the UN HQ in New York sent over “specialists” to guide part of the “closed process” of this WHO “pandemic” legislation/treaty discussions. From what I can gather these specialists have been working on the more concerning parts of the “UN Cybercrime Treaty”. What this actially means is unknown because of the “behind closed doors” demanded by both the US and Russian representatives. But I’m of the view that “out of sight, out of oversight, so free of constraint” or “If the cats away…” and that no good will come from it.

It might sound paranoid, fatelistic, or pessimistic, but… experience has taught me that people do not want to be observed when they are upto no good. Whilst there can be good reasons to do things out of sight such as surprise parties/gifts for birthdays and privacy to unwind etc, when it comes to politics and power no good comes of things being done out of oversight.

As Shakespeare noted,

“The evil that men do lives after them … So let it be with Caesar.”

(or Scotty et al).

[1] Like Scotties crazy legislative gift to “the bear faced liar” and all the Australian newspaper companies he owns,


A dominance via Fox, Sky, and News International which is of real concern the world over… The descriprion of “a cancer” just does not get over the level of malignancy.

SpaceLifeForm April 28, 2023 4:13 PM

Re: Supply Chain Attack

This is why you must seriously investigate unexpected outbound traffic.

The DOJ Detected the SolarWinds Hack 6 Months Earlier Than First Disclosed

In May 2020, the US Department of Justice noticed Russian hackers in its network but did not realize the significance of what it had found for six months.


Clive Robinson April 29, 2023 1:57 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Not seeing what’s in front of them.

“In May 2020, the US Department of Justice noticed Russian hackers in its network but did not realize the significance of what it had found for six months.”

Hmm… Is it “did not realize” or managment “would not investigate”?

Any indicator of access by non authorised entities should be treated with deep suspicion, immediately it is found[1]. Yes there is the potential of “Down the rabbit hole” of staff apparently chasing shadows but that should not be an excuse for managment to willfully fail in their duties of care to the organisation.

“This is why you must seriously investigate unexpected outbound traffic.”

Any outbound traffic that is either unexpected or unaccountable, is not “shadows” but a “hole in the bucket” at the very least.

Even if the exfiltration[2] seen is just expected traffic at unexpected times, unexpected usage of fields in expected protocols –DNS for instance–, or expected traffic originating from unexpexted places (printers making external HTTPS connections) it should be investigated, and the reason for it found, the source stopped or preferably both.

Because you can not tell if such traffic is benign or not. For instance sending out DNS traffic can be used as a time based code to send out a “Root of Trust” secret bit by bit. Where it appears to be going to is not necessarily relevant, if the attacker has a software agent on an upstream router that is in the communications path.

It’s why entities with a duty of care should as a minimum use “white listing” both from internal systems and external systems.

[1] As Fortinet observe,

“Failing to control information security can lead to data loss that could cause reputational and financial damage to an organization.”

[2] As with many InfoSec domain terms, “Exfiltration” is a “borrowed term” from another domain and has had it’s definition changed from that you will find in the likes of standard dictionaries. Thus,

“Exfiltration : to remove or withdraw (an intelligence agent, soldier, etc) covertly, from an area under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means.”

Or similar from the likes of, The US Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (2005). Becomes in the InfoSec domain,

“Exfiltration : the removal or withdrawal of information without authorisation by an external or internal, entity or agent, from information and communications systems within an organisationaly controled or protected zone. By means of deception or stealth, through inadvertant, surreptitious, covert, or other unauthorized channels.”

ResearcherZero April 29, 2023 4:04 AM


It was likely built on 2020-02-20 11:40:02, according to the build timestamp found in the binary.

…The malware then grants itself debugging privileges by modifying its security token to add SeDebugPrivilege. This step is a prerequisite for the remainder of SUNSPOT’s execution, which involves reading other processes’ memory.

…When SUNSPOT finds the Orion solution file path in a running MsBuild.exe process, it replaces a source code file in the solution directory, with a malicious variant to inject SUNBURST while Orion is being built.

In order to remove compilation warnings that could be generated by the adversary’s own code — which could alert the SolarWinds developers — StellarParticle made their edits within #pragma warning disable and #pragma warning restore statements, hinting at what parts were edited.

(Insertion of the backdoor code within #pragma statements disabling and restoring warnings, to prevent the backdoor code lines from appearing in build logs.)


The default response from the name server is the “Continue Beaconing” command, which indicates that the threat actors have not yet decided if the SolarWinds client is of interest for further activity. Receiving a DNS A record in any of the following net ranges instructs the SolarWinds backdoor to continue beaconing….

In “Stage 1” operation the SUNBURST client starts out in the “New” mode where it exfiltrates the internal AD domain name. The AD domain data is often split into multiple DNS queries to reduce the length of each DNS query. The client later proceeds to the “Append” mode when the full AD domain has been exfiltrated. In “Append” mode the client transmits a list of installed or running security applications to the DNS C2 server…

The client remains in Append mode until it gets either terminated or targeted.


Our current timeline for this incident begins September 4th 2019, which is the earliest suspicious activity on our internal systems identified by our forensic teams in the course of their current investigations.

An updated version of the malicious code injection source that inserted the SUNBURST malicious code into Orion Platform releases starting on February 20, 2020.

The perpetrators remained undetected and removed the SUNBURST malicious code from our environment in June 2020.


ResearcherZero April 29, 2023 6:01 AM


The ‘capability’ is now on the loose.

Mercenary hacking market offering products on par with government hacking groups. …”raise the likelihood of unpredictable targeting or unintentional escalation”


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