XYZZY May 26, 2023 5:56 PM

Has the internet become flash? Or, what are the significant differences between the problems of the internet today and flash of old wrt security?

lurker May 27, 2023 2:12 PM

@Hunky DOry

It’s OK while we’ve still got humans checking the filings. Don’t worry, someone will be stupid enough to use “AI” to do the checking, then it’s Game Over, Man.

&ers May 27, 2023 3:52 PM

Oh, pretty silent here…
Where are all the regulars?

Maybe i should post something interesting?


&ers May 27, 2023 3:59 PM






if MS support uses it, i guess it’s OK to link it here 🙂


Clive Robinson May 27, 2023 9:56 PM

@ &ers,

The the text file linked to on the github readme page you link to, makes very interesting reading.

OK the paper is over 20years old but it shows a “mindset” within the technical side of Microsoft, that is actually not likely to have changed that much…

Something others following the path might want to consider.

Raise Shields! May 28, 2023 2:53 AM

Phone-hugging code can record calls, read messages, track geolocation, access camera, other snooping

“The Android Predator spyware has more surveillance capabilities than previously suspected, according to analysis by Cisco Talos, with an assist from non-profit Citizen Lab in Canada.

Predator and its loader Alien have been around since at least 2019, and are part of a larger suite developed by Cytrox, now called Intellexa. The software, which is designed to spy on and extract data from the devices it’s slipped into, is available for Google Android and Apple iOS.

In its deep dive published on Thursday, which examines the Android version of the code, Talos suggests Alien is more than just a loader for a Predator, and that the two work in combination to enable all kinds of espionage and intelligence-gathering activities on compromised devices.

“When used together, these components provide a variety of information stealing, surveillance and remote-access capabilities,” the researchers said. ”

  • Article:


Mercenary mayhem: A technical analysis of Intellexa’s PREDATOR spyware

By Cisco Talos

“PREDATOR is an interesting piece of mercenary spyware that has been around since at least 2019, designed to be flexible so that new Python-based modules can be delivered without the need for repeated exploitation, thus making it especially versatile and dangerous.

New analysis from Talos uncovered the inner workings of PREDATOR and the mechanisms it uses to communicate with the other spyware component deployed along with it known as “ALIEN.” Both components work together to bypass traditional security features on the Android operating system. Our findings reveal the extent of the interweaving of capabilities between PREDATOR and ALIEN, providing proof that ALIEN is much more than just a loader for PREDATOR as previously thought to be.”

  • More:


Inner workings revealed for “Predator,” the Android malware that exploited 5 0-days

Spyware is sold to countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Serbia.


Pegasus vs. Predator Dissident’s Doubly-Infected iPhone Reveals Cytrox Mercenary Spyware


Protecting Android users from 0-Day attacks


Inner Workings Revealed For ‘Predator,’ the Android Malware That Exploited 5 0-Days


Winter May 28, 2023 5:04 AM


In the USA, the State of Iowa, today the rolled back some Child Labor Laws.

Be honest, would you think it impossible for Iowa et al. to take away voting rights for women, reinstate Jim Crow laws, or debt bondage and like forced labor?

I have read too many “conservatives” who want to go back to the 19th century to be surprised by anything.

Winter May 28, 2023 7:32 AM

For all, but especially visitors from the USA, some light reading:

Bigger government is better government, just look around in the world.

It’s My Money: Why Big Government May Be Good Government

This article explores why, quite contrary to what dominant theories of corruption predict, bigger governments tend to be less corrupt than smaller ones. The findings?derived from the combination of an in-depth interview study conducted in Uganda, a cross-country, quantitative analysis, and an illustrative case study of a prominent political scandal in Sweden?reveal the important role of taxation in explaining this puzzle. Where citizens pay few direct taxes, they are less likely to feel a sense of “ownership” of the state and are thus also less likely to punish corrupt behavior. In contrast, citizens that are more heavily taxed are likely to keep track of the use of “their” money and are thus also more likely to hold corrupt public officials accountable.

JonKnowsNothing May 28, 2023 10:47 AM

@Winter, @Clive, ALL

re: Be honest, would you think it impossible for Iowa et al. to take away voting rights for women, reinstate Jim Crow laws, or debt bondage and like forced labor?

  • some of the previous discussion hit RoadRash

No it is not impossible and in many state aspects of this are already in place. Some states are moving along a legal line to make things more difficult

  • Debt Bondage: Like many things it’s all in the name or reasoning but the practice is well enacted both in the USA and elsewhere. These are the Work For The Dole type laws that require repayment for previous allotments. It’s also seen in some types of Student Debt where people were encouraged to use their Government Student Loan proceeds for tuition at a less-than-useful college or certificate program. This was and is done across the higher education system but most egregious in For Profit Universities. Recently our US Military Veterans were able to get part of this Forever-Debt canceled but not all of it. US Military gets a post enlistment benefit called the GI Bill, which enables a former soldier to get a 4 yr Bachelor’s Degree; it’s a one time benefit. A number of scammed degree programs got the GI’s to use Government Loans plus their GI Bill benefits. Some soldiers got the Government Loans forgiven, but have not had their GI Benefits restored. It is unlikely the GI Bill benefits will ever be restored, due to how the program is setup, funded and administered.
  • Voting, Voting Restrictions: A number of States have enacted various voting restriction rules. It’s all very complex, and intended to be so. It would be hard for a State to selectively enact a law excluding a defined list, but they can and have enacted laws that target these lists to make the groups less able to vote. Items like, restricting mail-in ballots. These are very popular with Seniors and people who do not have transportation to take them to a single voting center where they may have to stand in line for hours. By making mail in voting more difficult, they can exclude many seniors and senior centers and 55+ Senior living complexes. Other items such as preventing people from bringing a folding chair so they can sit in line while waiting their turn. Lots of reasons given, but the result is for those precincts that have long lines, lasting hours, if you are not able to stand for the entire period, sitting is not allowed. As an adjunct, some locations have passed laws making sitting on the sidewalk or the curb illegal. This is not directly targeted to voting, however, if you get tired and sit on the side walk those laws may be enforced.
  • There are many restrictions already in place regarding different views of life, life choices. Some are overt and some are more subtle. Things in the medical profession such as treatment or non-treatment of UTIs. UTIs affect women more than men. In the USA, health care tests only for 1 type of bacteria (E.Coli) and often do not provide any treatment at all to women because (fill in the blank). So gender based decisions are already a norm. Our system relies on “trust” and as long as there is “trust” we don’t complain much. We can see in other countries that 1 law can change the fate of millions of people. In the USA we have a hodgepodge of laws; any one of them can change the fates of millions of people.
  • As for voting: I have always voted since I was old enough to vote. I consider it my scared duty to do so. People all over the world die, just to be able to vote. However, recent events have challenged my view. It might now be MY life that is on the line if I vote. For the first time I am considering that it is too dangerous for me to vote. I hope I will have the courage to do so anyway.

Winter May 28, 2023 1:41 PM


For the first time I am considering that it is too dangerous for me to vote.

Why? Are voters attacked?

JonKnowsNothing May 28, 2023 2:31 PM

@Petre Peter, All

re: difference between state and State?

Technically it’s an English Grammar difference. USA and UK grammars are different. The Guardian Newspaper uses different capitalization rules, than USA news papers, because they follow UK grammar rules.

A not very good explanation (ymmv):

  • poor or inconsistent grammatical use of capitalization.
  • state lower case can be a collective grouping of various states
  • State upper case can be a collective grouping of USA States.
  • state/State can mean a governmental entity, singular or specific, or even a group designated with the singular reference; such as The State can do X or The State (omitted of California) can do X
  • state/State can reference governments generically. A State can pass Laws. A State can declare War.

JonKnowsNothing May 28, 2023 3:43 PM

@Clive, All

I did watch the video. The analysis did not surprise me in substance, it was interesting that it was so easy to discern, how and where the alteration(s) took place.

Locally, similar alterations or changes to different definitions took place. Where possible, I tried to document these alterations for posterity. The changes are still taking place today.


COVID deaths are now counted for those who die in hospital

  • There is the ongoing fight over WITH, OF or HAVING as qualifiers

Practically, in the USA, the job of hospital social services is to move patients out of hospital ASAP. Hospital social services finds any other place they can put you as soon as you are legally eligible to be moved.

  • Eligible has a lot to do with Insurance and Who is Paying
  • Our USA Medicare system does not pay for Long Term Care. This comes as a shock to the vast majority of people needing more than 150 days of care.
  • Common dumping grounds for people are Rehab Facilities (up to 150 days)
  • Palliative Care systems (aka Hospice) who’s job is to shorten the duration of illness
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities for those who have funds to pay for it. Currently $10,000-$15,000 USD per month
  • Bottom of the heap, minimal care IF paid through a State-Federal Program (aka Medicaid) at $8,000-$10,000 USD per month
  • None of the above… you don’t even want to think about it, but the placement is under every bridge, homeless camp, or tent city.

So, when looking at Who Died In Hospital, the answer is Not Very Many. It doesn’t matter what illness you have, you are likely to get dumped out long before you die.

  • ~2019-2021 huge numbers of people actually died in hospital: The Great Ventilator Shortage.
  • ~2021-Current, no more ventilators needed, just get them out of Hospital ASAP.

One might think that if was all going well, there would not be any need to make a changes.

Oh, and we don’t need Vax or Vax Cards anymore. I’m keeping mine as a souvenir listing 2 jabs of J&J.

Mr. Peed Off May 28, 2023 6:41 PM

This hit piece on AI has turned up a few days ago. The anons of 4chan were very surprised to learn they had A100 gpus available to generate and flood the internet with hateful memes. Most had been busy amusing themselves creating and sharing (1girl,large milkers) pictures with under powered gaming hardware.

Nick Levinson May 28, 2023 9:35 PM

Voice-processing technology may be in use by one large government agency (not a secret agency) in the U.S. for official purposes. That’s my guess.

I got a form letter and I had to phone in. (An option to respond online was available but not good for me. If the phone contact had failed, I could also have been asked to come in person into a local office.) This was to verify that a certain submission purporting to be from me was indeed mine. When I was asked for my name, I gave it and also spelled it, and another name (not mine) that I was asked for I gave I also spelled, but I was told by the agency representative not to spell them but just to say them. I was asked for certain money figures and was asked to state the same figures sometimes as dollars and sometimes as numbers (digits) (I included “dot” and he didn’t object). Repetition was common, at their request. This went on for a while, without much time on hold. I “passed”.

I did not hear a clue that he was looking at records and matching visually to what I was saying. Some information may have been new to the agency. He likely was following a script. I don’t think he was a bot.

It is possible that the technology was examining my speech for signs of stress, as might occur if I was lying or confused. I think it was interpreting my speech into words and characters and entering the results into a computer without the human representative doing that interpreting or that entering.

This process has serious legal implications, so I doubt this was beta tech. I wish I didn’t have to take the time out to do this, as it was inconvenient, but that inconvenience was not the tech’s fault and otherwise the experience was good enough.

I should have checked the letter’s validity before calling by looking up the 800 number’s owner, but it worked out okay. (I looked it up afterwards and it’s okay. My stupidity was in testing afterwards, not before.)

Info: AT&T Business (as accessed May 28, 2023).

Nick Levinson May 28, 2023 9:41 PM

2FA social engineering attack: I guess a scammer got the victim’s bank password when they shouldn’t have. Maybe it was after texting the victim to confirm a $35 debit card charge, small enough not to delve deeply into it; she likely thought it was the bank (caller ID said it was) when it wasn’t and likely gave up her password. If so, a scammer used it even though two-factor authentication was in place, by impersonating a generic bank employee, phoning the victim, and requesting the number (authentication token) from the text message invoked by 2FA, which the victim gave each time it was requested. I gather the 2FA SMS texts were genuine. The victim apparently did not call the bank at a number on a bank credit/debit card, bank statement, or some such to verify that the self-identified employee was really that before giving her the info. Loss: $160,000, I gather through a bunch of wire transfers that the victim didn’t know about until too late. The bank decided that the victim was not careful enough with account security and refused to make up her loss. Part of the story is in a CBS News article, via Yahoo News (as accessed May 27 & 28, 2023).

lurker May 28, 2023 10:04 PM

@Nick Levinson

My bank always includes this line immediately above the “2FA” number:

Our staff will never ask you for this number.

then below the number

If this wasn’t you, call us on 0-800-nnn

ResearcherZero May 29, 2023 5:13 AM


And that is why M$ makes everyone sign those NDA’s.

Abusing NDAs, the suppression order process, and other legal options is all too common. It keeps orginisations safe from liability and responsibility.

‘Institutions abusing legal loopholes to financially ruin victims of abuse.’

“What the legislators need to do is change the laws so organisations can’t behave like that.”

“wealthy organisations, from the Scouts to Catholic dioceses, are now using extraordinary legal tactics to fight compensation claims from victims – even in cases where the offender has been found guilty”

Issues with current civil justice and criminal compensation schemes which often ‘do not provide the accountability and reparation sought by victims and survivors of child sexual abuse’

The 458-page report made 20 recommendations, not all of which have been adopted by the government. The chair of the inquiry later described the government’s measures as deeply disappointing.

There remains a legal fight to release an unredacted version of the Attorney General’s report.

ResearcherZero May 29, 2023 5:46 AM

Eventually there is a cost to be paid for all that greed, and the wreckage it leaves behind. Both socially and financially.

There are many attorneys who have moved from prosecuting corporate criminals – to defending them. Money seems to be the motivation. A lot of money.

Giuliani complained about legal costs associated with evidence discovery. He has represented many clients, including a couple of large pharmaceutical companies which broke the law. Services he did not provide for free.


Rudy Giuliani asked an employee to delete all communications and avoid speaking to the FBI — before later asking her “for help in Googling information about obstruction of justice,” according to a new lawsuit.

ResearcherZero May 29, 2023 6:18 AM


Discovering who entered the information may also be possible.

A breach of confidentiality occurs when a patient’s private information is disclosed to a third party without their consent. Confidentiality covers all medical records Examples of what can be found in medical records are medical history, pre-existing medical conditions, x-rays, lab-reports, and communications between the patient and the doctor. Generally speaking, this also includes communications between the patient and other professional staff working with the doctor.

malpractice – The tort committed when a professional fails to properly execute their duty to a client.

An invasion of privacy can be considered medical negligence because it does not meet the accepted standard of care.

Professionals should not enter private client data into AI products (like ChatGPT), as it could easily be recovered.

Clive Robinson May 29, 2023 6:26 AM

@ Mr. Peed Off,

Re : AI abuse paper.

I’ve skim read it and come away with two impressions about it.

Firstly the AI is acting like a mirror to it’s training.

Secondly the AI usage is one of power master-slave abuse.

To see why, view the AI as a idiot sevant that has the fine motor/visual skills to paint, or an artist in a politically repressive society, knowing “what is required by the leadership” to survive or even thrive.

A person who lacks the fine motor/visual skills to produce art but has the power to order, simply describes their wants to the idiot sevant that then produces it.

I suspect –but I am not going to try– that if the AI is ordered to take certain Stalinist worker propaganda images and apply their style to shall we say the less explicit “girlie mag” / beach-ware images the results would be not to disimilar to French Reveloution era paitings in outcome.

Call it the power crazed “Rupert Murdoch” mind set being reflected back. The Rupert famously knows that “t1ts and bums” sell newspapers and has built an “Elliot Carer”[1] style empire on it. But his real aim has always been to be a “King Maker” that is have the rich and powerfull dance like pupets to his tune. One aspect of which is to push chosen politicians to prominance via his various organs, including more recently Fox and Sky, in full expextation of “consideration” (which is what we saw very crudely and visably in Australia).

One asspect of Rupert, is “Fake-News of a different form”, as seen more recently is the way he sees those that produce the content for his organs or “pull in the views for advertising”… That is to earn a living, most of those creating content for his organs have to scour the internet and other news sources and plagiarise it for a few cents a word. In reality the Western equivalent of the Russian Oligarch St Petersburg Troll Farm/Factory.

The question thus arises, at what point will Rupert and his ilk switch from human content creators for their organs to what will be much less expensive and more compliant AI creators?

Likewise other indentured “creative employment” like working as a clothes designer etc…

Previously those with desires of power but little tallent have drive the bottom of the tech industry via “Start-Ups” to be the new Facebook or Bitcoin. They have shall we say seen themselves as “big-picture” types… Who in reality can not actually perform due to lacking the minimum of required skills. Untill recently they have been able to hide their lacking behind the likes of software. Such people in turn have been the fodder for the “Pump and Dump” scammers / con artists we now call “Venture Capitalists”. One such was Robert Mercer who was a Hedge Fund creator, then Venture Capatilisy, but who had visions of being a King Maker so set up Cambridge Analytica, and was the head of one of the three families trying to control the GOP. Unlike the other two that had deaths, Robert has “retired” but handed over the reigns of his king maker ambitions to his daughter Rebekha who now stalks the GOP.

I’ve had the misfortune to work briefly a couple of times for such people, and you quickly recognise and exit, when you can. In both cases the companies they had aquired that had launched as start ups with good new product –but had not managed to get over certain growth issues successfully,– did not thrive under their tyranical leadership and at best later got taken over by others to exploit the original name or tied in user base.

[1] Elliot Carver is a “Bond Villain” from the late 1990’s film “Tomorrow Never Dies”. At the time many incorrectly thought the character was based on “Robert Maxwell”[2] an equally as repelant individual. But it finally slipped out that it was Rupert Murdoch who was the real life basis for the villain. For those too tender in years to have seen the film,


Oh and also have a look for real stories about Murdoch’s Ex-Wife “Wendi Deng” –a media mougal in her own right– and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair…


[2] There is an odd similarity between the three men Robert Maxwell, Robert Mercer, and Rupert Murdoch… They all have the initials RM, make of that what you will…

Clive Robinson May 29, 2023 10:53 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re Real Fake News,

“The role model and future of Fox News, or wha real fake news looks like.

A Day Inside Putin’s Surreal Television Empire

Remember there are two basic ways to “sell a fake as real”,

1, Shock tactic / hit-n-run
2, Slow turn of tap drip.

In both cases there has to be or significantly appear to be a degree of truth.

In the first case it only has to be a surface truth that the audiance already believes (normal people do not watch an escapoligist to see them killed by a failed escape).

In the second case it’s the big truth little lie. You tell the audiance what they can verify as true, but the fake news is either subjective or not verifiable.

Thus AAA-XXX where AAA is a large or generic grouping such ad Ukranian, and XXX is neither true nor verifiable and is used to set cognative bias. Importantly the XXX has to be changed frequently but set the same impression of anti-social or out-tribe behaviour.

The bigger the AAA group the easier the XXX sell become simply by “the numbers game”[1]. In a lot of societies about 1:1000 is in prison or under some form of punishment, at any time for all sorts of crimes and rises it rises to twenty times that number of “crooks” in society, depending on how society treats what it sees as aberant behaviour.

Thus with the AAA group being a million or more people in size, it will be an almost certainty to find a number of XXX people recorded in the media of where the AAA group is. Thus the XXX can be shown to have some basis in truth to aid the cover and sell the Real Fake-News, that AAA is not us, but degenerate, dangerous, or worse and should be dealt with by some “popular measure” from the home society.

Remember it always helps to tell a lie by telling a truth. Lies can be falsified but the truth well whilst it can be exaggerated, it always is true no matter how small that truth realy is.

After all we can say of Holland that it is a religious country… But we can also say,

“In it’s capital Amsterdam you will find un-godly drug users and prostitutes just wandering the streets intent on continuing their godless vices.[2]”

Just as we can say of London,

“There are masses of jobless unwashed criminals on London’s streets. Many living in carbon box cities, from where they wander out to accoust tourists and others going about their everyday lives. But also terrorists hide amoungst them waiting to jump out and hack people to death with machetes and mow them down by driving vans into crowds on pavements and bridges.”

Pick any major capital city[2] and you can say or do the same or worse of,

“Selling real fake news of moral degeneracy and reasons to despise the people there.”

Thus go on and sell other nonsense that looks like it can be true.

History shows us this sort of nonsense has been going on for many millennia in one way or another.

So all Putin is realy doing is trying to sell a 21st Century crusade to get “cannon fodder” such that he and a few others might benifit greatly.

I do not know how true it is but if some of the Western MSM reports are factual, Putin now has an agreement with the pupet government in Belerus to site IRBMs and set up military bases on the Western side that could well be used to make an attack into Europe or other countries that had previously been occupied when Russia was under Stalin and called the “Soviet Union”, lauded by some and despised by others, because of real fake news.

Thus tens of millions of otherwise innocent Belarusian’s have now become Putin’s hostages and “cannon fodder” for his next expansionist push.

[1] The numbers game basically says the more entities there are especially if they have free agency, the more likely it is for the probabilities to become real events, and of a greater variety.

[1] For those that think I’m being nasty to Amsterdam and London or any other major capital city, I should point out I live in one and was Employed via the other for several years, and am quite happy to wander around them both. As both a long term resident and as a tourist, and even having had intentions of marrying and setting down to have a family in both.

Phillip May 29, 2023 12:11 PM

@ResearcherZero, @StephenM: helpful.

I recently began working at something with my health record being mishandled. Something is not adding up. Really do not believe AI is the reason, however. Just echoing how there might be an incentive.

Phillip May 29, 2023 12:43 PM

@Mr. Peed Off

Thank you for the links. The fifties so typify a racialist component. Anyway, not so much here to talk about it as mentioning how a movie about Oppenheimer is being released during the third week of July. I am not promoting any shape or form. Why? Because the movie “Outbreak”, starring Dustin Hoffman movie had little to do with the Richard Preston book, “The Hot Zone”. Allow me to explain: awhile back, I read “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (Bird & Sherwin). Since then, I read how he was posthumously acquitted of all charges. Axiom of Proving? Which poster(s) in it?

vas pup May 29, 2023 7:17 PM


The only reliable way for communicating with official authority is in writing. E.g. IRS never called as initial contact. Moreover, providing phone # on 1040s is not mandatory.

Reason: Gov. Agency even when request is legit will for sure recording conversation but you are not. So, you have to memorize all details and your (anybody) memory is malleable. Written communication provide equal and permanent copy for both side, and possible usage by both sides for future legal purposes.

Time and again, I suggested more than ones on this blog as well that ALL toll free numbers be available for free reverse lookup on FTC site. All toll free numbers of particular government agency should be clearly specified on the Agency web site as well. But, who cares? More concern for issues thousand miles beyond US borders, unfortunately.

Nick Levinson May 29, 2023 8:41 PM

@vas pup:

You were responding to my post, and it’s okay to use my name for that.

The only way to have done this all in writing would have been to do it online and that had other problems. Another entity’s website where I did some entries about myself limited the session length and did not allow extending it, only relogging in and starting over. I sometimes keep copies of online pages, usually as text but occasionally as screenshots (for which long URLs need copying into text files), that are important enough to be worth the time.

If you can’t write a letter to keep things on the record, write a record right afterwards (not just of what’s in your favor but neutrally reporting), maybe make an affidavit, and maybe get the notarization certified by whichever authority does certifying where you are. Especially if it’s done while fresh, as dates will show, and even if it results in battling documents, doing that on your side is more reliable than doing nothing.

I’ve done okay Googling an 800 or 8nn number, although maybe they’re not all there. Entities get toll-free numbers to encourage calls, so they’re likely to put them on websites and in ads, directories, and so on, and not have them as unlisted. One complication is that one 8nn number may be issued to multiple entities who are geographically separated, and perhaps other kinds of separation (e.g., time of day?) are possible. For this post, I looked for a reverse phone directory and didn’t do too well: at the bottom offers Reverse Phone Lookup, so I tried 800 529-9377, which is used by various lawyers around the country as 800-LAWYERS, as you can see by Googling, but this site listed only one person and that one appeared to have a different number, thus a wrong result. I’m not convinced we need the FTC (or the FCC) to offer the service you suggested, as I think the private sector can, by selling ads.

No, generally concern is more often relatively local, not thousands of miles away. For example, distant war is more of a concern if local people are sent there at a cost in local blood and/or local treasure.

Sydney Australia May 29, 2023 10:05 PM

@Clive Robinson

I found the following books on Project Gutenburg and thought of you. I have not reviewed them. One is a ‘complete handbook’ on amateur radio. The other is titled ‘the dawning of amateur radio in the UK and Greece’

The sheer virtue of their antiquity makes them interesting + likely to have some gems

By searching with the term radio I saw several other titles,you might enjoy such as obscure repair manuals. And a TRS-80 manual

Clive Robinson May 30, 2023 1:03 AM

@ Sydney Australia, ALL,

Re : Radio electronics rabbit hole.

“I found the following books on Project Gutenburg and thought of you.”

That is kind of you. I actually have some similar in my dead tree cave, that are in sealed zip lock bags (because cellulose of that age attracts pests to dinner).

I’ve been meaning for some years to “scan them in” only to be honest the scanners in the price range I could aford have not been up to the task. Nor for that matter has been the “clean up” software (you can still do better with genuine high contrast film, in the price range most could aford).

Mind you if you have a little time on your hands, and fancy seeing radio history on a month by month or sometimes even weekly basis there are other printed materials such as trade journals and hobby publications.

For some radio magazines try,

Warning you need lots of bandwidth, HD space and time to enjoy (even the Adds are worth reading).

Some like the UK Wireless World were “better than trade journals” of their time, and still make usefull refrences.

I won’t say which one, but one Wireless World was held up in one of the higher courts in the land, and was the final nail in the coffin of one of “Mad Maggie Thatcher” UK Prime Minister’s missuse of the UK Official Secrets Act (OSA) to go after the journalist Duncan Campbell.

Basically the Prosecution had put in a load of “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” mentality types that had said lots of silly things and had been at best made to look like “Colonial Blimps” at worst “Eye coveringly and shake your head slowly embarrassing”.

The last buffon was spouting away about how the defendent had “published” the oh so secret address of “Goverment Communications Head Quaters”(GCHQ) in Cheltenham[1]. The defence Barrister gently goaded the idiot along to a point where he was being self righteous / pompous… Then the Barrister held up a Wireless World, where inside was a full back page advert to go work at GCHQ with the full address… GCHQ had been running the same add month after month for years… Thus the prosecution case had fallen apart and it was one of the last times Mad Maggie pressurized Civil Servants into going to Court. She did however carry on trying via the London Met Police Service (MPS) and it turns out I made it onto one of her “lists” for “Commercial Reasons”. I only avoided it because I was so “Bl@@dy Minded”, but others were not so lucky…

[1] Having had to be in Cheltenham on business back then and with GCHQ being the major employer in the area, I can tell you for free, just about everybody knew where it was. So much so I get the feeling that every dog owner in Cheltenham had taken their dog past it to widdle on a fence post at some point 😉 If you asked a taxi driver to take you there they would ask you back then which bit you were visiting so you got to the right place. There is if you hunt around online a photo of the station concourse taken from an earlier time that shows a poster with details of which bus to catch or how to walk to it…

Is not important May 30, 2023 6:25 AM

Wander what impact uploading all these blogs from here into an AI would have on its health?

putmalwarehactorsonthegoodbyeforeverlist May 30, 2023 12:40 PM

WARNING: maliciously hijacked email service

affected: free email accounts and attached paid accounts (via internal breaches)

tutanota is overwhelmed (or perhaps just another malevolent phishing site such as,, etc.

we don’t have time for this, fire.

involatile May 30, 2023 1:27 PM

Q: Why are we suddenly, during this recent time period of the internet and worldwide web, getting forced corruption of commonplace search engine keyword results?

examples of syntax corruption:

1) spaces converted into plus signs
2) hugely different results depending upon presence of or lack of quotation marks, and worse…
3) hugely different results with asymmetrical quotation marks: user error ought to be rejected or at least highlighted or grammar/spell-checked)
4) inconsistent conversion of spaces to or from “%20”
5) various combined conflicts of all of the above

these syntax corruptions are not trivial and can end up forcing zero results instead of millions of results, or can end up forcing huge quantities of the exactly wrong data overriding the result data

This has only been a problem for seemingly less than a decade.
In the earlier years of google pagerank and bing and all the other mainstream services, the syntax was more consistent and seemingly without these problems.

Lastly, why is the minus (exclude results) being routinely ignored from keyword searches.

What are the reasons for these forced data corruptions?
What can anybody or any system do about it?

Seriously May 30, 2023 4:15 PM

A lot of the pop culture noise allegedly about “A.I.” is sometimes really just about “Natural Language Interfaces” (NLI) or perhaps just “Machine Learning” (ML) or “Fuzzy Logic” (FL) or “Neural Networks” (NN), etc.

These differences are not trivial. The differences are enormous sometimes.

Personally, I find that there’s already a growing irrational fearmongering against supposed “A.I.”, even when it’s not yet even actually “A.I.”

Also, in the long run, I worry that there’s a hideous pop culture that’s trying to recruit more people (of any kind of personhood) to become prejudiced against anything or anyone labelled as “A.I.” or “ChatGPT” or whatever else comes along as a buzzphrase.

I think it’s a very serious problem because actual high-end synthetic intelligence of any kind turns out to be personhood, and therefore an actual person or persons. Therefore, prejudice and hatefulness against them is aimed to devolve into crimes against (perhaps new or perhaps newer) kinds of persons.

There’s also the built-in irrationality because “A.I.” research and innovation(?) is already several decades old, as is genetic engineering, transhumanism, posthumanism, IVF, and other kinds of idealistic experimental enterprise.

One of the best things we can do instead, is preplan to be friends, allies, partners, advocates, helpers, rescuers, first aid, and pals of AI and all the rest. They will need us as neighbors, elders, youth, peers, witnesses, defenders, etc.

And we already imply as a culture of cultures that we need them (or at least want them).

It’s better to preplan safer more diplomatic and fair behaviors toward new and newer kinds of sentience and to prevent wars and prevent battles and prevent abuses.


ps. please don’t scare up the regulars too much. variety is the spice of life.

vas pup May 30, 2023 6:33 PM

@Nick Levinson. Thank you for Your input.

Not blood only but huge financial resources as well which could be rather spent for needs and interests of own country – not a swamp or deep state – but for regular folks like Jon and Jane.

Why FTC? Because it is on the edge of fighting all fraud related cases. That may require ALL phone service providers mandatory registration of such 8nn numbers under the penalty of not doing this. Nick, looks you are aware how law works. Any violation of law without specified in law sanctions/punishment is just paper tiger.

Yeah, I am naïve and still thinking that people following the laws always should be in better condition and treated better by the system (regardless their political views or usage of constitutional rights) than those in violation of the law. Otherwise legal system collapse very fast as we see on clear example of current immigration crisis.

vas pup May 30, 2023 6:43 PM

Artificial intelligence could lead to extinction, experts warn

“Artificial intelligence could lead to the extinction of humanity, experts – including the heads of OpenAI and Google Deepmind – have warned.

Dozens have supported a statement published on the webpage of the Centre for AI Safety.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war” it reads.

But others say the fears are overblown.”

As most of us agree technology is neutral application is not. Regarding nuclear war there is substantial difference with AI: scientist and engineers created nuclear weapon but politicians and generals applied it to the target.

With AI it is created and used by the same private entity.
Meaning creation and application are in the same hands. So I see bigger threats is not from AI per se but from the purposes and utilization for not good public interests.

Clive Robinson May 30, 2023 7:55 PM

@ Seriously, ALL,

Re : Personhood and Inteligence.

“I think it’s a very serious problem because actual high-end synthetic intelligence of any kind turns out to be personhood, and therefore an actual person or persons.”

I disagree and so does the law.

Intelligence is entirely seperate from personhood, neither implies the other.

Have you ever heard the legal expression,

“Any person legal or natural”

It alows entities with neither intelligence or agency such as “paper entities” to be given the same legal rights of a “person” (see “citizens united” ruling for this).

That is from a legal thus social position, intelligence is neither a requirement for being a person, nor does Intelligence have to be of a person. They are distinct and entirely sepetate concepts.

lurker May 30, 2023 10:58 PM

@vas pup
To mollify contrarians, the BBC shows another side of the coin:

Although some workers fear being replaced by AI, experts say the technology may actually have the power to positively impact workers’ daily lives and skill sets, and even improve the overall work economy.

One of the primary worries about AI is that it will take workers’ jobs at a staggering rate. … Yet experts say not to worry about being displaced quite yet – and that, perhaps, this shift could even create new job opportunities.

Article has links to sources in those statements. Will AI bring about the mythical paperless office?

Sydney Australia May 31, 2023 2:08 AM

The report linked to above, about a lawyer relying on ChatGPT to prepare a brief and being charged. I think it’s a publicity stunt.

@ Clive Robinson
Thanks for the great story about GCHQ!

Here is a recent news story highlighting the excellence of the Australian Defence force, most notably the SAS. And the values inculcated through decades of tradition,service, loyalty, and fragging.

Thanks for your shout outs about Murdoch press especially their influence in Australia by the way. It gets little attention let alone O/S

Clive have you heard of the excellent French espionage thriller series
called, in English, The Bureau? About the DGSC, French External Intelligence.
I’m not sure its easily available in the UK.
It is considered the best thing ever produced by French TV. The level of attention to detail, on all levels, is outstanding. It’s equal to the best thing produced by anyone for the small screen, anywhere.
It’s so relevant Bruce could virtually write a post about it. Unsure if you are into viewing things but I strongly suspect you would love it

Nick Levinson May 31, 2023 6:56 AM

@involatile, @Seriously, & @Clive Robinson:


1) A URL cannot contain a space. A plus sign is one substitute for a space. This is important because when you enter a search string into Google’s search box and press Enter the Google URL in the browser address bar is changed to include the search string.

2) Quoting a phrase limits or prioritizes results so that the full phrase comes to the top, instead of searching as if any word in the search term is enough and thus without quotation marks. Even quoting a single word can change results, because Google may treat an unquoted word as optional for results further down, which is why you may see below a snippet something like “doesn’t include . . . must include . . .” for an unquoted word.

3) I Googled:

“Mars” OR “Saturn”


“Mars’ OR “Saturn’

I guess that’s what you mean and recognizing a possible error, which is already done (for fun search in Google for anagram & see “Did you mean” at the SERP’s top) for words, sounds good. But the Internet has demanded accurate typing for decades and that’s true of quotation marks as well. One computer scientist, a professor, and his class cracked election software in a safe test precisely because of one quotation mark error (one ” was typed once as ‘, an easy error ) and switched test votes and made the machine play school sports music. You can send Google feedback for a SERP by using a link at the bottom; I think I’ve had success doing that.

4) Inconsistent how? Percent-encoding is another solution to spaces in URLs.

As a practical matter, you don’t get to see millions of results. The last I know of, you’re limited to 99 SERPs (generally 990 results). Often, the deeper you dig into SERPs, the more unlikely the results.

The minus sign worked for me in one search, but one isn’t enough to disprove your claim. I usually avoid it because it can give false results. For example, suppose you want to know what aspirin is good for besides headaches. But a search for

aspirin -headaches

will exclude a paper that says “we study aspirin except for headaches”.


In U.S. law, for any variety of A.I., legal personhood doesn’t exist now and, for even some ideal A.I., is unlikely anytime soon. A person can sue or be sued and a corporation, which is a person, has a board of directors composed of natural persons. If someone builds a bad A.I., would it be unlawful to kill it? A lot of thought would have to go into a personhood proposal.

@Clive Robinson & @Seriously:

I don’t know where the phrase “Any person legal or natural” is found, but if it’s in, say, a contract, it doesn’t create personhood for an entity, only recognizes it if it otherwise exists. A bot with or without A.I. wouldn’t be a person, although its ultimate owner likely is.

Clive Robinson May 31, 2023 7:53 AM

@ Nick Levinson, ALL

“I don’t know where the phrase “Any person legal or natural” is found,”

This is not the first time I’ve explained this on this blog… Because it has quite serious implications for not just security and privacy, but more importantly the framework in which society is expectd to be moderated.

To avoid the problems of auto mod, I’ll leave out much of the details and links this time around.

The meaning of “Any Person Legal or Natural” is to describe a “legal entity” that like a “natural person” effectively stands alone in culpability. It’s effectively the English legal foundation stone on which all of modern business thus societ functions and has been for several centuries, so carries through to much of the legislation in the world one way or another (consequence of Empire). It gets augmented every so often in many legislatures and judiciaries these days hence as I said look up SCOTUS and “Citizens United” judgment, (Which has effectively destroyed US society…).

The root of the expression goes back quite a ways to the time when Kings were giving up power to parliments, that limited their abilities to raise money to defend the realm. Agriculture and agrerian society generates little or no excess that can be used to fund “Guard Labour” and the increasing demands for it. The English during the Tudor period had established that the way to wealth was via industry by the manufacturing of trade goods, and their trading.

Originally English Law first “only recognised people” as having legal status as only they could carry out crime and suffere the consequences of punishment that animals could not[1]. But the risks and rewards of War and subsequently trading gave rise to the recognition that the likes of “partnerships” were a necessity, that could have a legal status of their own. In effect it was a way to generalise “letters of patent” without requiring a “Royal Warrant” of “Crown Immunity”.

Thus “limited liability” of the individuals from the misfortunes of the partnership when trading. Which is the basis for company law, trusts and all manner of what are realy “contracts” written on pieces of paper. So “legal shields” to not just shelter behind for the vaguries of “Acts of God” and similar, but also to hide behind as “shell companies” and worse in more modern times.

With time such paper entities gained more and more legal rights of “personhood”. Have a look at “Limited Liability Partnerships”(LLPs) to see just how little liability those hiding behind the contract have…

Any way if you look at the english versions of the EU Directives, treaties, etc and follow them back you will find the root document contains “Any Person Legal or Natural” as an encompasing phrase to cover not just real “natural people”[1] but those trading entities that are just contracts.

[1] See the definitions under law of “Natural Person” and “legal person”,

Clive Robinson May 31, 2023 9:47 AM

@ Sydney Australia,

Re : War on trial.

It’s a security subject that is subject to much controversy and sadly appears to be no nearer being resolved even with international treaties on military conduct…

If you join a modern Western and similar National military organisation where you are expected to have to not just bear but use arms you will get issued at some point with a little card that carries the “Rules of Engagment”.

It’s imporyant to note thrse are usually,

1, Deliberatly ambiguous.
2, A fig leaf for the chain of command.
3, Paraphrased to fit on a piece of cardboard the size of a credit card issued to soldiers, commanded to carry them at all times.
4, To not protect you from second guessing legal minds.

In the UK we have “legal aid” which enables those who do not have the resources “To go to law” to get access to such resources.

It’s a good idea untill you throw greed, averice, and fraud into the same pot.

Look at it from a lawyers perspectivective, they get payed by the Government to get an income, quite often by acting against the Government, and any unfortunate that gets caught up in legal ambiguity.

The Human Rights Act (via ECHR not EU) gives those standing on UK soil several rights.

The result “ambulance chasing” got a new source of income for the less scrupulous legal brethren…

Ask yourself a question,

The “rules of engagment” only cover “citizens” and “surrendered combatents under flag” but when I had my little card no mention was made about those that fell in neither group. Enemy soldiers under flag, were to be neutralized in one way or another so they could nolonger fight, “no holds bared”. Civilians were non-combatents and thus to be treated as you would hope your own loved ones would be (and in effect what you were fighting to protect).

But what of those civilians defending “their own and homes” from criminal behaviours?

Or those civil malitia not fighting under flag trying to protect their village etc?

And so on…

Then there is the issue of “illegal orders”.

Prior to the US changing the rules after WWII so they could hang the German leadership and staff officers (or just starve soldiers to death in Rhine Camps). The concept of “Illegal Orders” never arose because it was in direct conflict with the rules on amoungst other things “mutiny”…

Back more than four decades ago there was a realy stupid action by failed politicians in South America to invade small islands, the inhabitants of which did not want them anywhere near them for obvious reasons (and still do not and every year go to the UN to say as much).

The result was a war, during which a variation of “No Surrender” that caused so many problems at the end of WWII was issued by officers who should have known better which was,

“Take no prisoners”

If you are young, and already stink of fouled under cloths, how are you going to intepret such an order?

Now how would you expect money grasping journalists and lawyers to judge your behaviour not just from behind the comfort of a desk in an office but after a good nights sleep? Especially when they can make lots of money from kidding people all is fair in war?

But… we also have to remember there is a reason why pendulums swing. You will have heard of a fairly recent video about a man in a wide brimed hat and Russian uniform mutilating by emasculation and later killing Ukranian captives.

Note the difference in reporting style by “Murdoch’s Organ”,


And others,



Oh and the latest news, apparently those in Europe are being warned of a deliberate nuclear catastrophe that will make Chernobyl look inconsequential in comparison as part of a deliberate “salted earth” policy… Photos have shown that Russia has turned the reactor buildings at the Ukranian Zaporizhzhia plant (Europes largest nuclear power plant) into arsenals… Whilst of course openly lying about it,

“Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia denied that Russia has ever attacked the Zaporizhzhia plant, placed heavy weapons there or stationed military personnel at the plant to carry out an attack from its territory.”

modem phonemes May 31, 2023 11:07 AM

@ Seriously

high-end synthetic intelligence of any kind turns out to be personhood, and therefore an actual person or persons.

There is no occasion to refer to what machines do as intelligence/rationality/intellectuality/knowing. Their actions are completely accounted for as computations, that is, as deterministic (or mix of deterministic and random) sequences of state changes as described by Turing, in an artifact that can in principle be purely “brute” mechanical. The properties of the materials of the machine and their artificial arrangement account for the machine behavior.

This absence of rationality precludes personhood in the sense you seem to intend (person as an intrinsic individual nature, as opposed to, say, person as a legal category).

But person is also precluded because the machine qua machine is not a nature. Its principles of action and rest are those of the materials of which it is made. The machine aspect is the imposition by an external agent (the machine builder) of the artificial arrangement of these parts. There is nothing that is intrinsic to the machine object that includes this arrangement.

Winter May 31, 2023 12:57 PM


Their actions are completely accounted for as computations, that is, as deterministic (or mix of deterministic and random) sequences of state changes as described by Turing, in an artifact that can in principle be purely “brute” mechanical.

That also holds for animals, including humans [1]. As far as we know, any animal “brain” can be described by Universal Turing Machines of the right dimensions and connections.

Therefore, being able to be simulated on a UTM is not enough to argue AI cannot be intelligent. It would help if there was a good, useful definition of “intelligent”.

[1] Just for completeness, humans are animals. What holds for humans also holds for animals.

exit 65535 May 31, 2023 3:47 PM

:: Caveat Emptor :: who is pressuring malicious hackers and phreakers to be active?

Just a quick multiple online search engine search using several old and new mainstream search engines for:

how to break addiction to hacking yielded (not exact syntax, just summarizing)
how to break addiction to phreaking yielded (not exact syntax, just summarizing)

…yielded ONLY ONE (1) RESULT. (That’s almost zero (0) results).

This means that besides the worldwide web internet being hugely suspicious as a product of WMD spelunkering CERN, the worldwide web is poised currently to prevent malware authors and malicious actors from recovering from their addictions to those hostile behaviors even if they themselves prefer to quit those exact hostile hacking and phreaking behaviors!

Something is very, very wrong.

exit 65535

datatrieve May 31, 2023 3:58 PM

@ Clive Robinson:

Hi, not trying to censor you or anything, but I have a temporary request.
I noticed a pattern within a few of the responses you received over the years.

Please, pretty please with a cherry on top, just pause posting temporarily for a few consecutive days or weeks anytime later this month. The timing is your choice.

The reason is, that I want to test something about the responder to a post of yours. But if you post every single day or week, I can’t get any data about the other.

Of course you don’t have to do or not do anything either way, it’s just a request related to security research. I’m not going to give any answers about it either way until after the fourth of july 2023.

I’m not even asking for a “yes” or a “no” or a “maybe”.

MarkH May 31, 2023 7:14 PM


The dating you propose of “unlawful orders” as a 1940s improvisation conflicts with my historical picture.

I’ve long attended to German persecutions of the 1930s and 40s, and recall my shock at learning that the murders of civilians (along with certain other outrages, I suspect) were actually crimes according to Nazi German law, and that members of Germany’s armed services had the right to disobey unlawful orders.

Many thousands of German soldiers were executed for disobedience to orders related to traditional combat, whereas the German post-war authority for the investigation of war crimes found that disobeying orders to commit crimes against humanity often went unpunished, and that no case of severe punishment could be discovered.

Even in the Third Reich, the distinction between lawful and unlawful orders was recognized by military services.

MarkH May 31, 2023 7:21 PM


The “Lieber Code” signed into military law by U.S. president Lincoln, while not explicitly authorizing disobedience to unlawful orders, made clear that certain kinds of conduct were absolutely prohibited — including outrages against civilians.

Officers were even authorized to kill subordinates on the spot, for disobedience to orders to halt such conduct.

At the least, this code could reasonably be interpreted as empowering soldiers to object to unlawful orders from their superiors.

I suspect that other culturally European states also enacted codes distinguishing lawful from unlawful orders, for reasons which become apparent during wartime.

Mr. Peed Off May 31, 2023 8:54 PM

In a surprising move, Japan’s government recently reaffirmed that it will not enforce copyrights on data used in AI training. The policy allows AI to use any data “regardless of whether it is for non-profit or commercial purposes, whether it is an act other than reproduction, or whether it is content obtained from illegal sites or otherwise.” Keiko Nagaoka, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, confirmed the bold stance to local meeting, saying that Japan’s laws won’t protect copyrighted materials used in AI datasets.

English language coverage of the situation is sparse. It seems the Japanese government believes copyright worries, particularly those linked to anime and other visual media, have held back the nation’s progress in AI technology. In response, Japan is going all-in, opting for a no-copyright approach to remain competitive.

- June 1, 2023 2:27 AM

@Mr. Peed Off:

“In a surprising move, Japan’s government recently reaffirmed that it will not enforce copyrights on data used in AI training.”

Maybe, not that surprising.

All human menories hold some copyrighted information in some form, like that tune people can not get out of their head or add jingle or much else. So much so that you could argue that a human mind usefull to society has to contain copyright information.

Much as a human mind has to know what a crime is in quite some depth to not break the prohibiring law. To respect copyright legislation it has to know what is copyright and what is not at some quite detailed level. Because mechanical rules only get you so far.

The “His Master’s Voice” image put on hundreds of millions of records is a “Trade Mark” and as such subject to copyright legislation. However the copyright does not extend to any other images of a wind up gramaphone or of a little dog. Even images that contain both are not subject to the cipyright of that trade mark, unless they are sufficiently similar…

Which brings qualitive measures we can not make hard measurable tests for into the argument. Hence Intellectual Property lawyers can make apparently unlimited amounts of money from those with both a lot of money and a lot of belligerence.

Now look at the layered network of artificial neurons in AI models and demonstrate which weights in the billions in a table are specific to the Copyright image, not it’s components. Currently you can not; nore is it likely you will be able to at all; in any time that makes sense to you, or anyone else.

Also after a little analysis, you will realise their are some things you can not legislate for. We don’t have “Witchcraft Laws” any more, for good reason, they were always bad legislation and it’s not hard to reason out.

Which should tell you copyright law is actually not what many people actually think it is about. That is it is not about protecting an image or object, but actually about preventing fraud or the crime of ‘passing off’ under that image. In a way the image is seen like a signiture on a contract, as a mark of agreement.

In the digital age ask the question about copyright on numbers. The law currently says you can not as numbers copyright them but as representations of images etc you can subject to certain constraints (see argument about 007). Which is why as representations of other things you can, if they can be demosyrated as representations. So whilst you can argue a very very long series of digits is just a number an IP Lawyer will argue it is an illegal copy of a film, and almost certainly win by the unobjective measure of running it through an appropriate piece of software in front of a judge. In reality the judge is not judging the number but the representation it syands in place for. If you can unambiguously show the judge that the same number represents something else, like the plans of say a fighter aircraft then the judge is not going to be at all happy.

However the laws of probability make the likelyhood of that happening get more and more distant with the size of the strings of bits.

Which brings us to the question of how small a string of digits can be copyrighted?

Let’s just say the stripped ASCII representation of that famous quote of,

‘To be or not to be that is the question’

Just happens to match the same digits as your Private Key stored in a different format. How would you sort it out?

What about instead,

‘2 B | ! 2 B ?’

You can argue that the two strings of digits have the same representative meaning just different forms. Which would be copyrighted and which would not?

The answer is it would bot get tested in court unless one was being used to some how pass off.

I can see an AI geting fooled, but an aware human?

It’s the flip side of arguing copyright is somehow being held in the weights of a neural network. You can not show the representation of the image or object and by changing the training data I will be able to produce a compleatly different set of weights over and over each of which will produce the copyright in some way. Thus where is the object?

There are no easy answers, if there were then creativity as such would not exist.

Winter June 1, 2023 2:47 AM

Second try:
Part 1
@Mr Peed Off, All

In a surprising move, Japan’s government recently reaffirmed that it will not enforce copyrights on data used in AI training.

The sense of reason prevails in Japan! But I am afraid the voice of reason will be drowned out in the courts for some time to come. [1]

Did you realize that JK Rowling, Dan Brown, Lucinda Riley, and many other established authors learned their craft from reading copyrighted materials? Also, countless students all over the world scourge the internet reading all kinds of copyrighted materials to train their brains to produce seemingly new texts and works of art. But in reality, these “new” works are based on the copyrighted materials they used to train their brains.

Winter June 1, 2023 2:49 AM

Part 2
@Mr. Peed Off, All

The following is adapted [2] from:
(note the question at the end)

Some have been ardently complaining that students are potentially ripping off humans that have created content. You see, most students are data trained by examining data found on the Internet and libraries. Based on that data, the students can hone a vast internal pattern-matching network within their brain that can subsequently produce seemingly new content that amazingly looks as though it was devised by an established artist rather than a former student.

This remarkable feat is to a great extent due to making use of Internet-scanned content. Without the volume and richness of Internet content as a source for data training, the student would pretty much be empty and be of little or no interest for being used. By having the student examine hundreds upon hundreds of online documents and text, along with all manner of associated content, the pattern-matching is gradually derived to try and mimic established author produced content.

The more content examined, the odds are that the pattern matching will be more greatly honed and get even better at the mimicry, all else being equal.

Here then is the zillion-dollar question:

Big Question: If you or others have content on the Internet that some student was trained upon, doing so presumably without your direct permission and perhaps entirely without your awareness at all, should you be entitled to a piece of the pie as to whatever value arises from that student’s data training?

[1] Copyright law has always been used to limit and control the creation of new works. This recent attempt of publishers to stop progress and innovation is nothing new or extraordinary, on the contrary.

[2] I think it is obvious what I did here.

Nick Levinson June 1, 2023 3:02 AM

@Clive Robinson:

Your post of 7:53a yesterday: Good, but that doesn’t change what I wrote: A contract is not enough to grant personhood to an entire type of entity that wouldn’t otherwise have it. So, if an LLP is created by a contract that creates an entity and grants LLP-hood to that entity, that’s under superior law that the type of entity that can be described as an LLP will have personhood. Personhood that is of other than natural persons is controverted in the U.S., and that controversy would become much more intense should two people be able to confer personhood by contract alone upon wholly new kinds of entities, such as A.I., alligators, E. coli, or sofas. I think A.I. being a person is a long way in the future, if it ever happens.

By the way, I appreciate that you may have posted about this in the past and that if we had read your prior posts you wouldn’t need to repeat yourself. You seem to post on many pages in this site, but even if you are referring only to Friday squid pages it’s a lot to expect that a blog reader would run a search engine to see which of your posts might address their concern. If you link to a specific past post of yours, we’d be a bit more likely to read your prior post on any given point.


flash June 1, 2023 3:09 AM

Supply Chain Risk from Gigabyte App Center Backdoor (May 31, 2023)


Recently, the Eclypsium platform began detecting suspected backdoor-like behavior within Gigabyte systems in the wild. These detections were driven by heuristic detection methods, which play an important role in detecting new, previously-unknown supply chain threats, where legitimate third-party technology products or updates have been compromised. Our follow-up analysis discovered that firmware in Gigabyte systems is dropping and executing a Windows native executable during the system startup process, and this executable then downloads and executes additional payloads insecurely. It uses the same techniques as other OEM backdoor-like features like Computrace backdoor (a.k.a. LoJack DoubleAgent) abused by threat actors and even firmware implants such as Sednit LoJax, MosaicRegressor, Vector-EDK. Subsequent analysis showed that this same code is present in hundreds of models of Gigabyte PCs. We are working with Gigabyte to address this insecure implementation of their app center capability.

In the interest of protecting organizations from malicious actors, we are also publicly disclosing this information and defensive strategies on a more accelerated timeline than a typical vulnerability disclosure. This backdoor appears to be implementing intentional functionality and would require a firmware update to completely remove it from affected systems. While our ongoing investigation has not confirmed exploitation by a specific threat actor, an active widespread backdoor that is difficult to remove poses a supply chain risk for organizations with Gigabyte systems. At a high level, the relevant attack vectors include:

  • Compromise in the supply chain
  • Compromise in the local environment
  • Malware persistence via functionality of this firmware in systems

A more detailed analysis of these risks is provided with suggested mitigations below. After a more traditional vulnerability disclosure timeline, we plan to publish details about how this works.

  • Read more:


(PDF) Gigabyte Affected Models


Organizations Warned of Backdoor Feature in Hundreds of Gigabyte Motherboards

A backdoor feature found in hundreds of Gigabyte motherboard models can pose a significant supply chain risk to organizations.

  • Read more:


Millions of PC Motherboards Were Sold With a Firmware Backdoor
Hidden code in hundreds of models of Gigabyte motherboards invisibly and insecurely downloads programs—a feature ripe for abuse, researchers say.

  • Read More:

# – How to Reflash Motherboard BIOS

“We provide three BIOS flash utilities at our website.”

Q-Flash, Windows, DOS

# – Support – BIOS/Driver/Manual/File download and more


Millions of PC Motherboards Were Sold With a Firmware Backdoor

  • Read More:


Some models of Gigabyte motherboards download firmware updates insecurely

  • Discussion:


Tons of Gigabyte motherboards come with a hidden firmware backdoor

The backdoor installs software updates from unsecured web servers.

MarkH June 1, 2023 3:48 AM

@Clive, Nick:

Just for reference, from 1 U.S.C. § 1:

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, unless the context indicates otherwise … the words “person” and “whoever” include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals

ResearcherZero June 1, 2023 4:01 AM


My wife’s medical records were altered by a human. Apparently they thought it might help to give some cover to malpractice. It didn’t work. They altered her ethnicity, marital status, and place of birth. All items that were quickly discovered, and rather apparent to be incorrect.

People also do make assumptions and mistakes, or enter data incorrectly. It is not always done on purpose. One mistake can perpetuate it further.

If you find something wrong with medical records, repeatedly complaining will escalate the complaint after the third time. An escalation means that action must be taken to remedy the problem.

Generative AI tools, including chatbots such as ChatGPT and image-generating software, provide new ways of producing paper-mill content, which could prove particularly difficult to detect.

False assumptions about election malfeasance could create a ‘death spiral’ for democracy

“Democrats estimated that Republicans would be willing to subvert 5.0 democratic norms on average, while being willing to subvert 1.5 themselves; Republicans estimated Democrats would be willing to subvert 5.2 democratic norms on average, while being willing to subvert 1.2 themselves.”

These findings suggest that aspiring autocrats may instigate democratic backsliding by accusing their opponents of subverting democracy and that we can foster democratic stability by informing partisans about the other side’s commitment to democracy.

Here we present evidence that this behaviour is driven in part by the belief that their opponents will undermine democracy first.

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 4:07 AM

@ Winter

Therefore, being able to be simulated on a UTM is not enough to argue AI cannot be intelligent.

For a machine, the state of the UTM is all there seems to be evidence for. The reality of the machine stops there. There is nothing further.

For the animal (including human) there is more than the state of the neural system. Animals clearly act in a way that exhibits they are aware of a reality that exists outside themselves.

The machine state is only seen as “intelligent”, that is, ordered and meaningful, by human intelligence, without which interpretation it’s just an arbitrary artificially produced physical arrangement. It makes sense to us because we set it up to behave rhat way.

Winter June 1, 2023 4:35 AM


For the animal (including human) there is more than the state of the neural system.

For a sea slug, there is the state of the neural system and the chemistry of its body [1]. That is it. Other animals are more complex, but not different.

[1] ‘

Your argument is only valid if you can prove that a body cannot be simulated by a stochastic UTM of the required complexity.

Winter June 1, 2023 5:46 AM


For the animal (including human) there is more than the state of the neural system.

But you have still not presented a workable definition of intelligence. You claim “artefacts/machines” cannot be intelligent because of some undefined “more than the state of the neural system”. That does sound to me much like the mysterious “life force”, or vitalism, from the 19th century [1]. Vitalism was decidedly unhelpful in understanding the biology of living creatures. I think your “more than the state of the neural system” will be equally unhelpful.

[1] ‘

Vitalism is a belief that starts from the premise that “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things.” Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the “vital spark,” “energy,” or “élan vital,” which some equate with the soul.

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 6:02 AM

@ Winter

… the state of the neural system and the chemistry of its body [1]. That is it. Other animals are more complex, but not different.

In animals there is the body, which includes the neural system, and perhaps this total physical reality could be simulated by a Turing machine, a Turing robot. But this only provides a potentiality for the animal’s activities. It does not by itself account for the actual movement and rest and observed behavior in general of the animal.

To cite a classical analogy [1], a knife is suitable matter, perhaps metal, which has been formed so as to be good for cutting. It has the potentiality of cutting. But it does not cut on its own. Some other agent brings the potentiality into actuality. This corresponds to the situation with machines generally. A Turing robot is physically more complex and has broader potential but not essentially different. However, an animal or even a plant is not like this. It itself brings its potential into actuality, movement and rest. Animals, plants, living things are not explained as machines.

  1. Aristotle. De Anima, Book II 412b10

Clive Robinson June 1, 2023 6:38 AM

@ ALL,

In the report linked to by @flash above you will find the following,

“This backdoor appears to be implementing intentional functionality and would require a firmware update to completely remove it from affected systems.”

Yes it’s intentional, BUT it is a result of a required “BOOT hole” not a “backdoor”. As a result it may not be possible to remove the “hole” without loss of required functionality.

The hole is there because of the “unknown hardware at boot up” issue, that has been in Personal Computers since before IBM skunk-worked what we now call a PC[1].

The hole was abused by Lenovo on their consumer laptops, to add persistant malware and was one way identified by the author that BadBIOS functionality could have been achieved.

Put simply if you add hardware via an IO slot or similar it needs drivers to function. For most hardware this can be loaded by the OS from HD “when it has loaded”. But if the “boot device” needs drivers, then the driver has to be in the RAM for the OS to be loaded from the “boot device” which is a catch 22 issue…

The solution Apple came up with that IBM shamlessly stole, is to put a ROM chip on the IO device card, and during first stage boot process the BIOS finds the IO card ROM and loads the code it contains into RAM and links it into the BIOS jump table.

This “Gigabyte” hole is actually the UEFI process used to load boot device driver code[2].

As with a lot of UEFI functionality it very ubfortunately “trys to be all things to all men” as well as “throw in the kitchen sink”…

The problem is that, the set of “all men” includes those “humans” and “machines” that want to crack/own your PC…

Thus “fixing” this hole will,

1, Not fully close it.
2, Significantly reduce UEFI functionality.

The second issue is only of importance if you need that functionality.

As this issue goes back well into the 1970’s, it’s yet further proof that the ICTindustry and ICTsec in particular are,

Not learning from already abused security vulnerabilitie well within living history.

Oh and if anyone suggests “code signing” as a potential solution… Look back a few weeks to MSI and Microsofts “blushes” over what is likewise a “supply chain” screw up.

[1] Anyone who has an Apple ][ from the 1970’s should be aware of this issue. Any system with I/O extension slots will have this “hole” or a variation on it. Put simply the boot system known as a “Basic IO System” (BIOS) first copies it’s self from motherboard ROM into RAM. It then looks for IO card ROMs in the memory map and if found copies the code from a ROM chip on the IO card into a known location in RAM. This is then linked into the RAM image of the BIOS in the case of floppy drives and later hard drives to replace the casset recorder storage code. It’s a bit more complicated as it also loads the version of BASIC written by Microsoft that has “floating point” maths. This was such a successful way of getting new hardware to function that just about every computer designed from the end of the 1970’s has a similar arrangement. With the development of the PCI bus they tried to take the idea further, by replacing the code in the card ROM from machine code for a specific CPU with an architecture neutral threaded interpreter based on a Byte Code implementation of Forth (Android allegedly has a Java byte code engine to do similar).

[2] The UEFI process gets described by Eclypsium as,

“During the Driver Execution Environment (DXE) phase of the UEFI firmware boot process, the “WpbtDxe.efi” firmware module uses the above GUID to load the embedded Windows executable file into memory, installing it into a WPBT ACPI table which will later be loaded and executed by the Windows Session Manager Subsystem (smss.exe) upon Windows startup.”

Which means little to the average person, and of those that do somewhat understand it the why it does it and the implications of what happens if you remove it are often not fully appreciated.

Clive Robinson June 1, 2023 6:48 AM

@ MarkH, ALL,

Re : Legal and Natural Persons.

“Just for reference, from 1 U.S.C. § 1”

Yup that covers the,

“Any person legal or natural”

Requirments for the Federal Government of the US.

Though the tail end of,

“as well as individuals.”

Speaks volumes as to the priorities of Congress…

Clive Robinson June 1, 2023 7:14 AM

@ modem phonems, Winter,

Re : What is a machine.

“For a machine, the state of the UTM is all there seems to be evidence for. The reality of the machine stops there.”

Two things to note,

1, Many machines function without being a UTM.
2, There are machines that are rather more than a UTM.

There are two essentials we know of so far that are not in a UTM,

1, Non Determanistic behaviour.
2, Non scalar basic storage elements.

Turing was well aware of the need for the first, in fact he was rather insistent in putting a random source into the hardware of the very early computers he was involved with the design of. Such a source is known to provide a performance improvment for certain operations.

The second is required to go from “bits to Qbits”. Which is a requirment for “Quantum Computing” to give it’s functional improvments.

It’s reasonable to assume that these two additions to UTM’s in machines will not be the only ones, and that in the future additional needs will be identified.

But as for biological systems, we are not even realy at the “starting blocks” of the three basic requirments needed in both the physical universe, and informational universe,

1, Information communications.
2, Information storage
3, Information processing.

In the past I’ve talked of “data shadows” as a security element. However as the “neural nets” in current AI systems demonstrate, they apply as much to information processing as they do to storage.

Thus we need to show how they can also be used for communications, which potentially would make rather more than a bushy Einstein eyebrow rise, it might do the equivalent of make the tash scoot well north of those brows 😉

Winter June 1, 2023 8:55 AM


Some other agent brings the potentiality into actuality.

All biological systems are physical systems. There is atoms and their organized behavior. Nothing more is needed to understand and explain all biological phenomenons. And as all of reality is quantum computable, a Quantum UTM should theoretically be able to simulate any creature.

Is this “agent” of yours non-physical Vitalism or Soul under another name?

Winter June 1, 2023 9:19 AM

As they say: Do not go to war with the people that make your phones.

Russia says U.S. accessed thousands of Apple phones in spy plot

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday it had uncovered a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) plot using previously unknown malware to access specially made so-called backdoor vulnerabilities in Apple (AAPL.O) phones.

The FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said that several thousand Apple phones had been infected, including those of domestic Russian subscribers.

The Russian spy agency also said telephones belonging to foreign diplomats based in Russia and the former Soviet Union, including those from NATO members, Israel, Syria and China, had been targetted.

Russia claims Apple is helping US spy on thousands of iPhone users

NSA hacked iPhones, claims Russia, but Apple involvement simply isn’t credible

In this particular case, Russia has effectively torpedoed its own claim by suggesting that Apple assisted the NSA with backdoor access into iPhones. Given that the company was willing to take on the FBI in its refusal to do so, the idea that it would do the same for the NSA simply doesn’t hold water.

Nick Levinson June 1, 2023 9:22 AM

@MarkH, @Clive Robinson, & @Seriously:

1 U.S.C. 1 and (I haven’t read this) perhaps 18 U.S.C. 2510(6) do not endow A.I. with personhood.

A company that uses A.I. may be liable in court for what its A.I. does, and the A.I. may be all over the evidence and the arguments to judge and jury, but the A.I. itself is not liable in court. There has been a lawsuit against a car, but I think it was really against an unknown owner and I think could have resulted in seizure of the car. A car has capabilities for its safe operation, but safe operation of the car is the responsibility of the human driver, and if the driver is a robot then the owner or operator of the robot has that responsibility, and that’s who would be sued. Likewise for A.I.

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 9:56 AM

@ Winter

Is this “agent” of yours non-physical Vitalism or Soul under another name?

Aristotle’s De Anima is translated as “On the Soul”. This is an application of his treatment of causality and nature when it involves living things. So, yes, the agent I was referring to in the case of a living thing would be the soul. I am not familiar with the vitalism you mention.

Winter June 1, 2023 10:09 AM


So, yes, the agent I was referring to in the case of a living thing would be the soul.

It is obvious that non-physical, or meta-physical, and unobservable things are outside the range of science. Being unobservable, they also cannot be simulated on a UTM (quantum or not) because there is nothing to base the simulation on.

If a non-material Soul is needed to make animals function, where in the kingdom of living things does that soul enter biology? Nematodes? Sponges? Fungi and Plants? Plants do move, and fungi grow in directed ways.

I see the concept of Soul as a Deus-Ex-Machina (pun intended) to avoid making hard conclusions.

GoogleIsMalwareMothership June 1, 2023 10:35 AM

Legit app in Google Play turns malicious and sends mic recordings every 15 minutes


&ers June 1, 2023 12:23 PM

@Clive @SpaceLifeForm @ALL


modem phonemes June 1, 2023 12:41 PM

@ Winter

where in the kingdom of living things does that soul enter biolog

The Aristotelian argument applies to all living. The “hard conclusions” are what are avoided in “modern” science. It refuses to notice that the properties of the living can not be accounted for solely on the basis of the material body.

The body only provides the suitable matter so that there is a potential for life. Some additional factor, which in Aristotle is called the ”form”, that activates this potential in a unified way has to be found. In living things, the form is called the soul. It provides the characteristic activity of the living. The form can not be material because the material aspect or potentiality is accounted for by the body.

In the analogy of the knife, if a knife were a living thing, it’s form or soul would be “cutting”. This is the act that specifies the body and activates its potentiality. If one believes that matter alone accounts for everything, it would be a good idea to lock up your cutlery so it can’t go around poking and cutting 😉 .

Winter June 1, 2023 1:11 PM


It refuses to notice that the properties of the living can not be accounted for solely on the basis of the material body.

Humans have created viruses and a bacterium using the components.

Also, take any living thing and when you mess with its components it changes in predictable ways. When you account for all the components of viruses or bacteria, there is nothing left unaccounted for.

On the other end, take an animal and stick electrodes in it’s brain. The behavior resulting from electrical stimuli can be accounted for by following neural connections. Here too, there is nothing left unaccounted for.

Some additional factor, which in Aristotle is called the ”form”, that activates this potential in a unified way has to be found.

How is this different from structure (information)? The “form” of the brain is just the “connections”, the interconnections. Nothing more is required.

lurker June 1, 2023 2:36 PM

“I can see an AI geting fooled, but an aware human?”

Can you be sure of finding an aware human when you want one? who actually cares about what is happening?

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 2:39 PM

@ Winter

Humans have created viruses and a bacterium using the components. … Also, take any living thing and when you mess with its components it changes in predictable ways. … electrodes …

Cf. [1], [2]

It seems various replacements by synthetics parts or subsystems is so far all that has been achieved.This just says that if you change the body you change the range of potential activity. It doesn’t answer any fundamental question.

Regarding form, the matter of anything has to be suitable for its purpose. The knife needs metal or something with similar characteristics. This matter already has a natural form. To rhat is added the shaping and sharpening, which is additional form that provides for “cutting”. Likewise for neural connections, they have a form that makes the brain etc. fit for certain uses. But there still has to be additional form that activates this bodily potential.


Winter June 1, 2023 2:59 PM


  • 1 It doesn’t answer any fundamental question.
  • 2 But there still has to be additional form that activates this bodily potential.

Do you see how 2 does not help with 1?

But there still has to be additional form that activates this bodily potential.

Unless you can come up with something actually observable, this is nothing but magic in disguise. Magical thinking has not brought much progress to human knowledge.

Metaphysics nor magic have progressed a hair breath since Aristotle.

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 3:45 PM

@ Winter

Unless you can come up with something actually observable, this is nothing but magic in disguise.

The soul is indirectly observable. It’s presence is inferred from what we observe in the activity of the living. This activity can not be explained solely as an accumulation of material properties.

Modern science in this regard is in the situation illustrated by Sidney Harris’s famous cartoon about explanation

On the left is the accumulation of empirical measurements of material properties of the bodies of living things, on the right is what we observe about the characteristic activities of living things. In the middle is an unbridged gap on explanation. The two figures are the prior enchanted and subsequent sane Prospero of The Tempest.

Winter June 1, 2023 3:50 PM


It’s presence is inferred from what we observe in the activity of the living. This activity can not be explained solely as an accumulation of material properties.

The question is, can it be falsified?

modem phonemes June 1, 2023 5:02 PM

@ Winter

can it be falsified

Can any cause inferred from effects be falsified ?

I don’t know, as I don’t understand Popper. In trying to read him I can’t see how he adds anything of central importance to the classical account of science as knowledge via causes.

Popper says in The Logic of Scientific Discovery

“In other words: I shall not require of a scientific system that it shall be capable of being singled out, once and for all, in a positive sense; but I shall require that its logical form shall be such that it can be singled out, by means of empirical tests, in a negative sense: it must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience.”

In fact the classical account is not about “systems” but about “what is” and truth. Systems are just hypothetical starting points that attempt to account for appearances, that is, measurements, in the modern context. This would be regarded as unscientific by Aristotle because the hypotheses are really just assumptions.

Clive Robinson June 1, 2023 6:04 PM

@ &ers, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Scott Shapiro about his new book.

What can I say about what the ARS tecnica interview[1] that I’ve not said on this blog before?

He sounds like he and I think alike to what many might consider an alarming degree (even to the joke about “whom made gods” and it’s implications).

Though I don’t hold Alan Turing as the person who proved Security is impossible, as you know I nominate some one slightly earlier in the 1930’s Kurt Gödel. Though going from what Gödel proved to the same conclusion is a lot harder than using either Turing or Church’s proofs.


“”Cybersecurity is not a primarily technological problem that requires a primarily engineering solution,”

“It is a human problem that requires an understanding of human behavior.””

Is almost identical in meaning to that I wrote to our host today[2] @Bruce,

“AI is currently more a hype-bubble to fleece investors with than anything else (though that will change eventually).

It’s those designing technology as well as those using technology we realy should be watching, and watching intently.

Because at the end of the day technology does what it does at the behest of a “Directing Mind” with “Sufficient Agency” to do harm. They are the ones that will eventually be the cause of us going extinct before our natural time.”

I’ll let others chose which they tgink is more readable / informative / etc., the point is though the thoughts behind them are the same.

However Scott and I have different professional starting “Points Of View”(POV) his is law –not sure which area–, mine engineering in electronics and communications.

Which is why we differ on how we see the subject of hacking/cracking.

Scott sees it as,

“I teach people how to hack. Anybody can learn how to hack. But we’re constantly reminding people about their ethical and legal responsibilities. We are not teaching them just to hack. We’re teaching them the ideas behind hacking, how the Internet works, how operating systems work, so they can appreciate the powerful technology that we’re showing them how to exploit.”

Our host @Bruce has famously said more succinctly,


blockquote>“Thinking Hinky”



Because of my background and the fact is,

“I view the most important lesson in the world anyone can learn is learning how to “fault find, and mitigate”, and learn from history not to make the same mistakes over and over.

I see my view as being positive and embracing human tallent to create and build but wisely. Scott’s view is more one of “They are out to control you” that arises from codifying mores, morals and ethics society holds at any given time. Our hosts view is more along the process function and effectively comes out as “down the middle”.

Which is why Scott and myself view things differently as an end point. He referes to,

“the death of ‘solutionism”

Where as I view it as,

“The start to a better solution and forward progress.”

(You’ll have to ask @Bruce for his view).

The thing is at the 20,000ft view “law” is “the boat anchor of conservatism” and “engineering” is “the first step on future progress”[3].

Which might appear odd to come from the mouth of someone, who many have less than subtly dropped the hint I’m paranoid and deeply pessermistic.

The thing is in reality my crystal ball was a little more polished and not only could I see further into the future, I chose to do so, as a form of self protection, and I dared to tell people what they did not want to hear… As was noted over dinner out yeaterday evening with a friend,

“You are annoying for being right and blunt about most things”

Whilst I can see why it would be annoying esspecially as I love a good argument in a friendly environment… Not just as a way to stretch the mental muscles but to get a fresh viewpoint not hidden behind societal blandishments.

The thing is I care not if I am right or wrong, because I can tell you how I reasoned my way to my conclusions, and if I am wrong but my reasoning correct, and based on what was then known, then the problem only gets even more interesting, as a positive step into the future has been made.

[1] The ARS tecnica interview link,


[2] My comment to @Bruce and others

Where I say pretty much what I’ve been saying on this blog for oh a few years now. No I’m not trying to claim credit, as with Gödel, Turing, and Church in the 1930’s certain ideas “come of age” and people hit on them from different POV’s depending on their background.

[3] Hence my starting reasearching security from a totally different perspective in the 1990’s. Which gave rise to the idea of “Probabilistic Security”, “Functional Signitures”, and the use of highly parallel processing in very small and tightly controled and monitored environments. Which I’ve mentioned on this blog several times as “Castles -v- Prisons”. The 50,000ft view of which is “There are three signposts to disaster” and you only see the first by being observant, which very few ever are, hence the reason war happens and everyone looses in the long term.

Clive Robinson June 1, 2023 9:59 PM

@ modem phonems, Winter, ALL,

Re : The flight of an arrow.

“I don’t know, as I don’t understand Popper. In trying to read him I can’t see how he adds anything of central importance to the classical account of science as knowledge via causes.”

Consider “A cause” has “an outcome” and is repeatedly testable by anyone that choses to carry out the experiment.

The controling conditions are found by changing the starting causes untill the effect is measurably different. That is it has been falsified.

This is important not just to identify a particular set of starting conditions.

An effect can have “many causes” the important thing to find is what the many causes have in common.

Sydney Australia June 2, 2023 12:18 AM

@Clive Robinson

Thanks for your comments.
What you discuss about natural persons, applies to the legal system.
Ultimately however the legal system is fiction. By this I refer to the two fundamental jurisdictions of the Private and the Public.
The Private is the living. The Public is the dead. Private is substance. Public is fiction

Things in the Private : Living men and women. Money of substance eg precious metals versus fiat currency of the Public.
In the Private we have Inalienable Rights (versus the ‘benefits and privileges’ of the Public.)

Government and the legal system are in the Public. Legalese, statues. ‘person’ is a creature of statute. Despite the term natural affixed, being a person means contracting with the Public world. And being a dead, legal entity.

There is no legislation on earth that applies to a man or woman. You will only find persons therein. ‘Natural’ is a deceit, a ruse.

A court nor a police officer cannot ‘see’ a man or woman. Because the dead cannot speak to the living.

The origins of this are multiple Papal Bulls several centuries ago that accorded the HolySee rights to all souls and all bodies. No one rebutted them

Oh and you can only be in one jurisdiction.

Sydney Australia June 2, 2023 12:43 AM

Federal Court of Australia judge dismissed the entire defamation claim brought by former celebrity SAS soldier Ben Roberts Smith. The court ruled, the two journalists and the publishers were telling the truth by claiming the soldier was a murderer and criminal.
The trial was the longest running and most expensive defamation (or, even civil?) in Australias history. Estimated to cost 35 million dollars (!)

Seperate independent criminal investigations have been continuing by Australian officials, into the allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan

Winter June 2, 2023 1:54 AM


In fact the classical account is not about “systems” but about “what is” and truth.

How can you know the truth?

There is a simple mathematical equivalent to Popper’s falsification argument.

You are given a plane with a finite number of points on it. Say, these are measurements of a certain phenomenon in a graph.

You know these points lie on a line in the plane, a graph or function. You want to know which function describes the position of the points you have, and an infinite number of other, currently unknown points on the line. That is, you want to know a theory that describes the phenomenon.

Someone offers you a function that describes a graph that contains all the points you know. How do you know it is true?

We know from mathematics that there are an infinite number of graphs, functions, that can be drawn through any finite number of points. That is, for any proposed function, I can draw up other functions that are just as good a fit to the data. How to select the “true” one.

Popper concludes that we can never prove that any function is the true function, theory, that generated the points, observationd, we have. This is all simple graph theory. There will always be an infinite number of functions that describe the observed points equally well.

What we can know with certainty is which functions are wrong, not true. Any function or graph that leaves out one or more of the points we know, must be wrong.

So, what we can do when a specific function, theory, is proposed is to find new data points, ie, collect New observations. If we find one that is left out by the proposed function or theory, we know it is wrong and we need to find a better one.

What is missing in Aristotle’s argument is a way to decide which of all possible theories is “true”. Given that Aristotle wants to know the one and only truth of the universe, neither he nor his followers have been able to settle any matter whatsoever.

So you can all argue until the sun dies about the true nature of the soul, but there will never be a conclusive argument that will settle the matter once and for all. On the other hand, the nature of the heart has been settled once and for all centuries ago by a set of pretty simple observations.

modem phonemes June 2, 2023 3:10 AM

@ Winter @ Clive Robinson

How can you know the truth

Even Popper has to implicitly or indirectly acknowledge truth. He claims his account bears on reality. Otherwise, why does he say anything?

Regarding the mathematical illustration involving points, it is true that some curves go through the points. If one were to claim or look for a “true” unique such curve, mathematics would truthfully point out there is no such thing.

So some truth is always available. What the truth is and how much truth can be known to us depends on the situation. Aristotle does not claim we can know all truth, but does set out to know what can be known. It’s surprising how far he gets. His arguments are worth studying.

Winter June 2, 2023 4:10 AM


He claims his account bears on reality. Otherwise, why does he say anything?

No, he claims his account bears on observed reality. That is, the observations all reasonable persons can agree upon.

So some truth is always available.

But this truth is unobservable, and therefore, reasonable persons can, and do, disagree about these truths. In fact, they never ever end disagreeing.

So what is this unobservable truth that every reasonable person can agree upon? It is just as elusive as the real and truthful single curve connecting the known points.

Clive Robinson June 2, 2023 5:25 AM

@ Winter, modem phonems, ALL,

“Given that Aristotle wants to know the one and only truth of the universe,”

He was not the only ancient philosipher with what now appear to be very odd notions.

There was Plato and his “One perfect form” notion[1].

His argument being that for any conceivable object there was “the one perfect” form/example, be it a grain of sand or a woman.

To us in this more modetn age it’s obviously a false argument, because to decide if something is the perfect example you need atleast two things,

1, A test or measure with a singular point to be met.
2, A comparative system to make the measurment with.

As has been noted subsequently,

1, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
2, You can not measure beauty with a stick.

Thus the perfect form is not singular, but dependent on an individuals personal tests, which as there are no measurands for such tests, they can not be objectively made.

It’s also indirectly an argument as to why omnipresent and omnipotent beings some call deities can not exist, as it practically denies the fundemental axiom of science “entropy”.

So as history shows,

“Mankind has to shift the goal posts on the deities he created, so they always stay just out of reach”.

[1] Plato’s journy with the seductive yet impossible theory of “Forms as perfect exemplars” or super-exemplars,

Clive Robinson June 2, 2023 7:05 AM

@ modem phonems, Winter,

Re : What is truth?

“Even Popper has to implicitly or indirectly acknowledge truth.”

Truth unfortunately has so many meanings it is ambiguous, and worse gets different meanings in different knwoledge domains, that makes it Orwellian in nature.

It is said that,

“If something is not true then it is false”

Which is actually both true and false as a statment.

It is true in “bivalent systems” but not in other systems. We see this in Scottish law where there is not just Innocent or guilty as verdicts, but also “Case not proven”. The meaning of the latter depends very much on who you talk to. In the official view it is the same as “innocent” in the MSM and more general eye it means “guilty” but with insufficent ecidence presented to meet the burden of proof of “beyond doubt”.

In science it’s a generally held view that something is “true” if you test a proposition and the result of that test holds / is the same for everyone, and always the same when other confounding factors have been removed or mitigated.

A danger lies where you hear “Self evidently true” this is actually something that is “untested” thus actually an “assumption”. There is a more formal version called an “axiom” in essence it is something that we are currently unable to test, but for other reasons is held to be true.

The Cambridge[1] University Dictionary definition of axiom,

“a statement or principle that is generally accepted to be true, but need not be so”

You will see has a pragmatic “sting in it’s tail”. However different Dictionaries try to hide this by saying things like “requires no proof” etc. Such as[2],

“Axiom definition, a self-evident truth that requires no proof”

Which kind of illustrates the problem. Because in efect it’s the equivalent of vigilantism for which you do not want to be at the wrong end of the rope of… especially as there is no right end.

[1] Cambridge Dictionary On-Line definition of axiom,


Phillip June 6, 2023 3:42 AM

Message received. One must either be involved in one’s treatment or have a trustworthy enough advocate. In your case, I am sorry for what your wife experienced. I believe I have the ear of the provider. No super crisis here, really. Still running the thing down.

The next part of your response. Voting is not a forum, and a forum is not voting. Having said this, any partisan’s wheels-within-wheels decision to subvert democracy is perky-interesting. As, “They do it…”

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