Clive Robinson June 2, 2023 11:28 PM

@ lurker, JonKnowsNothing, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

“Cabinet Office appears to be shielding former PM from C19 inquiry.”

Appearntly Mr Johnson is “at odds” with the Cabinet office, which acts for the current UK PM’s interests not past PM’s… They are apparently “veting for National Security”.

But it’s long been known that the Cabinet Office takes the view that “it has primacy in all things” and that mear judges are seen as “unentitled nose prods”. So you get a contest of wills, even when it’s not required because if the Cabinet Office gives ground just once, it will set a precedent for future times…

But on the more fun side the documents the enquiry judge has requested will cover a time period that has other altogether more sinister sets of allegations in…

On the BBC web site there is a page covering “today’s Front Pages” from the MSN. One of which says,

‘Saturday’s Telegraph leads with a story from its investigations team about “a secretive government unit” which it says worked with social media companies to “curtail discussion of lockdown policies” during the pandemic.’

Now if that is found to be true –and it very probably will if people look– there will be “fireworks” that is for sure. But also another front page,

“The i paper leads off with results of its own polling, looking at the connections between difficulties in Britain’s economy and Brexit. It reports 63% of those surveyed believe leaving the EU is fuelling food price inflation, and 57% say Brexit is having a negative impact on Britain’s economy.”

As some will know it was the stupidity of Brexit that put Boris into the PM seat, from where he has done immense harm to UK society, especially during “lockdown” where he became effectively a dictator / Tyrant.

So yes there is a lot of mud to be stird up or flung, some of it might well lead to more serious enquiries to do with C19 so the Cabinet Office are probably looking at not just what it sees as “the thin edge of the wedge” attack with respect to it’s power, but also on ministerial culpability on thousands of C19 deaths “for profit”.

Clive Robinson June 2, 2023 11:46 PM

@ ALL,

As some will know I’ve been keeping an eye on HP and it’s effectively illegal activities with regards it’s printers (and I recomend consumers look elsewhere for obvious reasons).

Well for other’s who want to know just a little of HP’s highly questionable activities,

Put simply HP’s policies are against not just one but several EU Directives and legislation in other Sovereign Nations. As such it puts HP into a not disimilar position as more traditional “Racketers”…

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 12:07 AM

@Clive Robinson


The impact of Brexit will be significantly greater than the impact of Covid

“Brexit had reduced GDP by 5.5%, investment by 11%, and goods trade by 7% in the second quarter of 2022.”


The pound lost nearly a fifth of it’s value following Brexit.

Food Prices have gone up as the the pound has fallen.
“the pound has taken a beating, making imports more expensive and stoking inflation while failing to boost exports, even as other parts of the world have enjoyed a post-pandemic trade boom.”


“Using constructive and destructive interference between individual transmitters, a bank of power transmitters is able to shift the focus and direction of the energy it beams out—without any moving parts.”

“The transmitter array uses precise timing-control elements to dynamically focus the power selectively on the desired location using the coherent addition of electromagnetic waves. This enables the majority of the energy to be transmitted to the desired location and nowhere else.”

MAPLE features two separate receiver arrays located about a foot away from the transmitter to receive the energy, convert it to direct current (DC) electricity… MAPLE also includes a small window through which the array can beam the energy.

The power transmission antennas are clustered in groups of 16, each group driven by one entirely custom flexible integrated circuit chip.


JonKnowsNothing June 3, 2023 12:08 AM

@Clive, @ lurker, SpaceLifeForm, ALL

re: Looking back at the horror

It isn’t just the UK that’s having COVID-19 peeks under the covers about what happened.

  • Sweden UK France Germany Bavaria USA Italy Lombardy

And many more countries are doing inquiries. Some of those listed are regional inquiries on top of the national versions. Especially in places that took the worst of it, while Eat Out To Help Out (to get everyone sick) was the policy of the day in the UK.

There are 3 basic responses:

  • Nothing to see, everyone is dead
  • It’s none of the public’s business to know what the Government knew
  • OMG why didn’t they DO SOMETHING!!

So part of the inquires are based on the economics 2019-2022. Not so much the GDP or Basic Economy, but the pork barrel DID call to the old chap chums to get a no bid contract for anything-we-can-think-of.

The roll back of all the Pandemic Inputs both economic and health care are bubbling the cauldron of poverty and destitution. People are falling into the pot, same as it happened in Greece when Germany refused to Take A Hair Cut. Many more people now understand aspects they had never thought about or had been led to believe was different. (1)

MSM reports that in the USA, 10-25% of all COVID cases are Long COVID. The more often you are re-infected the higher the probability that you will land in the Long COVID tail.

There’s only so much the governments can do the hide the magnitude of the problem(s).

For now, it’s a look back to see what SHOULD have taken place.

There are people that are highly aware, that the pandemic is not over, and will never be over. SARS-CoV-2 has not stopped mutating. It’s endemic meaning everywhere, and mutating so quickly, they cannot publish data fast enough to keep up with the alterations.


1) RL tl;dr

A family I know has been having hard times financially. They are not above water, they are drowning. There isn’t enough of anything to pay for their needs, so each month something gets partial payment or goes unpaid. They are not buying a $200 Million USD Mansion in Malibu.

After a good deal of encouragement, they finally went to the food pantry. They got some good items, not enough but something. One less can of tomato sauce to buy at the market.

On their 2nd visit, as they were standing in line, several other families queued up behind them. Those families had never been to a food pantry before. My friends, were able to explain how it all worked, and in a way, paid-it-forward, so the ones behind them would be able to get something to eat.

fwiw: The Central California Food Bank in Fresno County, which provides the food to all the Food Pantries in the county where I live, is out of food. Yep, O U T.

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 1:44 AM

economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. – $14 Trillion

Economic impacts are shock dependent. Timely governments’ fiscal response is crucial to support the economic recovery and influence economic expectations.

the economic outlook for late actors looks bleak, having caught politicians, policy makers, and financial markets off guard

“The combined weight of climate shocks, heavy debt, rising poverty and hunger, and other pressures, such as the economic impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, mean once short-term humanitarian demands are turning into longer ones.”


“critical need for improved collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, pervasive gaps in sex-disaggregated data caused knowledge of the gender impacts of the pandemic to be incomplete.”

The assessment of compound risks requires an adaptation of the analytical tools that support policy making.


ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 4:42 AM

Using an artificial intelligence algorithm, researchers at MIT and McMaster University have identified a new antibiotic that can kill a type of bacteria that is responsible for many drug-resistant infections. Acinetobacter baumannii is also a leading cause of infections in wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“the researchers first exposed A. baumannii grown in a lab dish to about 7,500 different chemical compounds to see which ones could inhibit growth of the microbe. Then they fed the structure of each molecule into the model. They also told the model whether each structure could inhibit bacterial growth or not. This allowed the algorithm to learn chemical features associated with growth inhibition.”


“researchers trained a machine-learning algorithm to identify chemical structures that could inhibit growth of E. coli. In a screen of more than 100 million compounds, that algorithm yielded a molecule that the researchers called halicin

This molecule, named after the fictional artificial intelligence system from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” has been previously investigated as possible diabetes drug.

The model picked out one molecule that was predicted to have strong antibacterial activity and had a chemical structure different from any existing antibiotics. Using a different machine-learning model, the researchers also showed that this molecule would likely have low toxicity to human cells.


“The deep sea comprises the vast majority of the world’s microbiome,” said Dr Best. “But the majority of our antibiotic research has focused on the on land-based microbiome, so there’s huge potential for potential novel antibiotics from deep sea sources. Sea sponges harbour huge colonies of novel bacteria species which are competing for nutrients, and producing antibiotics to fend off the competition”.

In a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology, FAU Harbor Branch scientists examined 50 actinobacteria strains from these marine samples to look for new anti-infective agents. All of these strains were cultivated from marine sponges.

“We have found that deep-sea microorganisms, especially actinomycetes, are an attractive, untapped source for the discovery of anti-infective agents.”

Extreme conditions of some environments, like the deep seas of Antarctica, allow for organisms to evolve new ways to protect from infection.

The compound, named “darwinolide,” produced by the Antarctic sea sponge, Dendrilla membranosa has been found to kill 98.4% of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) cells.

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 5:31 AM

“In reality, different drivers are likely to interact with each other; for example, cultural factors may be activated by economic shocks.” – (the financial crisis of 2008 for example)

“There is a short-term boost in economic performance. Populists seem vindicated. In the second phase, as aggregate supply does not catch up with fiscal and monetary expansion, inflation starts to rise, there is a growing lack of foreign currency. Higher inflation expectations result in the buildup of inventories and further decline of aggregate supply. Third, as inflation gets out of control, there is capital flight and the slowdown of economic activity.

Populist governments respond with food and transportation subsidies that weaken the fiscal stance and further raise inflation expectations. Eventually, the economy becomes “dollarized” with multiple exchange rates (official and black market). Real wages fall, often dramatically. If the government introduces price controls, it results in pervasive shortages. The populist government eventually falls, unable to cope with rising unemployment, high inflation, shortages, and capital flight.

In the fourth phase, a new government pursues orthodox stabilization, often with IMF support. Real wages further decline and stabilize at a level below the beginning of cycle.”

“a certain factor can have major consequences for the phenomenon of interest, without being a major explanation for that phenomenon. Yet this distinction seems to get muddled in the debate over populism’s causes.”

Whether they are governed by politicians on the left or the right, populist political experiments share one thing in common: they tend to usher in economic collapse.

how populists dismantle and destroy liberal institutions on the road to employing populist policies

By offering identifiable foes and simplistic solutions, populists tend to exacerbate social turmoil and through their policies damage the world’s economies.


Clive Robinson June 3, 2023 5:58 AM

@ ALL,

Re : Hunger and despair as ICTsec risks.

As @lurker asked, and @JonKnowsNothing, @ResearcherZero and myself indicated The events of the past half decaded have been quite intense socioeconomicaly and a lot of people have been harmed in various ways and can nolonger meet even the meeker poverty-line in the nations they live.

As we also know ICTsec threats and criminal acts have gone up in the same period.

Whilst some will claim almost anything to avoid having to admit their policies / mantras / etc are wrong history shows that there is trouble in store.

Put simply the economy as we’ve known it tgis century works by spinning debt around from hand to hand, with each hand taking a slice of benifit off as it passes through their hands. With the result the debt gets deeper and the person left holding it at the end of the line is in serious trouble offten through no fault of their own.

In the past the debt got payed by utility. That is the debt went into the production of goods where the resulting usefulness of the good exceeded the cost of the raw materials and energy required to transform them into the good thus make the utility available.

As some will have realised and others are finding out the hardway, the Finance Industry does not make goods, and it’s services are mostly manufactured to create longer lines of hands grabbing fees. But it is only of benifit for those at the very front of the line. Those at the end just get increased debt.

The result is many at the end of the line see those at the front of the line as criminals, and in some cases criminals that are trying to kill them and theirs.

This is a situation when society starts to break down and crime rises significantly.

It does not matter if it’s up close mugging or distant ransomware attacks, people will fight crime with more crime which creates a growing spiral.

It also creates a mind set, once you’ve been forced by events beyond your control to commit one small crime such as shoplift some food etc, you cross a barrier both legally and in your mind morally. You become a crook, and if caught and prosecuted a criminal with little future outside of further criminal activity. This is compounded by the fact that the first crime makes the second and subsequent crimes easier and often more rewarding. However eventually the majority of crooks get caught no matter how clever as they “stand out” in various ways and that attracts attention to them either by other criminals or indirectly through others talking the authorities. There is no honour amoungst thieves or desperate people thus the authorities eventually get to know.

So as those at the front of the line have no intention of changing their behaviours, and in fact will get worse, the numbers harmed at the other end of the line will go up.

So the number of criminals will rise as a consequence and so will the authorities via guard labour and the like. As the pie gets smaller there will be increasing numbers of diseases getting out of control making poverty even worse and as disease knows no societal boarders will get to everyone rich or poor where it can.

Morals will depreciate crime will rise and society will start to descend… Oh ans politicians will be paid to fail to act (studies have shown that the levels of crime committed by politicians are between four and ten times that of the general population… And probably more due to the “iceberg effect”).

The crime will cover all parts of societal activity from the aforementioned shoplifting, mugging and ransomware including burglary and worse. We know that within the past century and a bit extream poverty has led to canabalism and the murder and butchering of people like “bush meat” to fill a need to fill bellies and earn income thus benifit.

These are the things that will happen if things carry on progressing the way they currently are, as history shows.

So untill things change for the better they will change for the worse as the pendulum keeps swinging.

This means that ICTsec crime which is often seen as “victimless” by those committing it is going to rise significantly. As is the worst of crimes against the individual.

So do you, me, and everyone else a favour, think and take the necessary measures to protect yourself and your society. The first of which is think ahead, the second is be vigilant along the journy. As noted above “paying back” can be as little as telling people where they can get help or help others.

Agenda Nachbrenner June 3, 2023 7:43 AM

@ Clive Robimson

Re: printer ink

Or, avoid ink, toner altogether by impressing diffraction grating directly into the paper, a derivative of the Lippman color photograph process.

JonKnowsNothing June 3, 2023 10:25 AM

@Clive, @ResearcherZero, ALL

re: ICTsec crime: aka PVP

I play online video games, and some of them are Player v Player games. Generally a combat format; originally based on paper version games like D&D with elaborate scoring and tracking of achievements; all of which are now computerized so the only thing that matters is which button to push and when.

An interesting corollary to the ICTsec risks is how these play out in game formats. It’s a micro-view of what people really are doing and how they think about what they do. It’s an interesting social experience, not always a fun or nice one.

There are 2 aspects I want to bring forward:

  • Age in the Real World of Game Play

As those of us who started out with PONG now reach well past retirement, many of us are still playing online games. Where previously our group was the dominant gamer population, we are now being eclipsed by younger generations of players.

In more recent months, there has been an adversarial exchange between younger players and older ones. It’s not hard to determine age if you run an audio conference server and the audio/text messaging systems in-game are ample sources of how players feel about each other (in the context of game play). The gamer term is “salty” (not everyone enables the profanity filter).

There are always gripes about which player, class, skill is better, but the salty exchanges between younger and older players is fairly new (to me). It’s quite intense at times.

It’s a shift in how Gamers see each other. I find that if it’s being done in games, it’s not too far behind in RL.

  • Exploits and Unintended Game Play

Like all computer programs there are bugs in the code. Like all computer programs not every bug will be fixed. Some have been around so long, it’s consider Intended Game Play to trigger the bug (to your advantage).

There is another class of bugs, like all computer programs, that trigger very unintended game play: invulnerability is an example. In PVP context, the opposing player either is immune to damage, causes your skills to not execute or positions themselves in a part of the game board where game physics blocks incoming attacks granting immunity while they remains in that area. (1)

Every game has some of these. What is interesting is how players use or do not use the unintended option.

A good deal depends on

  • How long the exploit has existed. The longer it’s been around, the less likely it is to be fixed or mitigated. If it was an easy fix it would have been done long ago, so they are not easy fixes.
  • How extensively used the exploit is. If everyone is using it, then it becomes part of the game play de facto. Only new players won’t know about it (aka noobs) but will find out the first few times they get ganked.
  • If the exploit favors one player/class/skill over all others. This is where things get really interesting because the effect is lopsided and there is no counter skill to mitigate or block it.

It is this last one, that is of current interest because it gives one player or group of players extreme advantage over the other players. It generates a lot of salty exchanges. It requires a fix that may never happen. Plus players faced with such imbalance often migrate to better exploit that strategy.

And that’s where things get really interesting from a social view.

A player using a one-sided exploit, knows they are using it. They have to trigger the exploit. They share the exploit with others that are able to use the exploit, leading to a shift in the type of preferred combat (melee v ranged). As there is no counter, the scoring is also lopsided: losing is losing you get no points; winners take all.

In the context of Age vs Exploit, neither is exclusive of the other. There is a rationalization that “They do it, I will do it too”. And this goes right to the heart of @Clives, concerns.

  • ICTsec crime is an exploit, where “If I can do it, I will win more points” and “If they do it, I will do it too”.

PVP is a very interesting game. Whether it’s card games, board games, checkers, chess or on line, it’s all about The Advantage of ME over You.


htt ps://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Game_physics

htt ps://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Physics_engine

(url factured)

lurker June 3, 2023 3:04 PM

@Clive Robinson, HP printerd

HP used to make good printers, easy to service. I still have somewhere in my treasure cave a HP4MV, for some years the only soho model that printed A3, with a multi-tray that took all the B sizes and envelopes. The M in the model nr. indicated it worked with the postscript drivers in MacOS. I wonder if I can still get toner from Elbonia …

pup vas June 3, 2023 4:39 PM

Elon Musk’s Twitter loses second trust and safety chief

=Twitter’s second head of trust and safety under owner Elon Musk has resigned, according to reports.

Ella Irwin took the post when previous head Yoel Roth left in November 2022 – a month after Mr Musk took over the company.

The head of trust and safety is tasked with content moderation, a topic which has come under the spotlight since Mr Musk’s takeover.

However, it comes a day after Mr Musk publicly criticized a content moderation decision made at Twitter.

He called the decision to limit the visibility of a video over allegations of misgendering, “a mistake by many people at Twitter”.

“Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws,” he wrote.”

Absolutely agree with last statement above.

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 5:01 PM


I stopped playing video games quite a while back when younger players started talking racist nonsense, and because of their cavalier approach on gun safety.

They don’t seem to grasp that computer games, TV and film, are a very long way from the reality of being sprayed with automatic fire and/or heavy rounds/munitions. They have not experienced the damage such forces have on the human body, and do not seem to grasp why trenches are dug and the force limiting effect they provide.

Dirt is your friend, until it gets in your wounds. But kissing it is better than lead and shrapnel.

Most of my friends and colleagues are in grave yards. Some in pieces or no body at all. The screaming, blood and guts is certainly different than TV. Anyone left has had problems with booze or drugs just trying to sleep at night. The only funny stories are the ones that happened at home, and none of those involved blood and screaming.

Anyone who wants to play war games should do first aid and volunteer as a medic for the local ambulance. They should also drag all kids up to the trauma wing, to get a first-hand account from the patients.

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 5:37 PM

Clearview claims it’s database is not private, but it charges for access, and the photos were collected without consent.

Your face is ours

“This is the untold story of Clearview AI, the story the firm did not want us to tell.”

Charles C. Johnston is a founder and proponent of Clearview AI and claims to be building algorithms for deportation squads.

Johnston however has a history of misidentifying people, and being prosecuted.

But bulls*** brings in a lot of money…

“Johnston created Wesearchr, a donation hub for doxxing, as well as means to pay for the legal defense of actual neo-Nazis.”

Including the same neo-Nazi who… “orchestrated a harassment campaign that has relentlessly terrorized a Jewish woman and her family”

“wrong on basically every level that it’s possible to be wrong”

Charles Johnston – creator of Fake News for $$$

Johnson worked behind the scenes with Peter Thiel, a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group – and founder of Palantir.

ResearcherZero June 3, 2023 6:59 PM

The Sari Club explosion was so enormous it had been picked up by seismic sensors, pinpointing the exact moment of its detonation: 11:08:31pm Bali time.

“Pastika knew this already — he’d looked in the skies and said, ‘The answer will come from the skies,'” Keelty said.

‘You mean from God?’ and he said, ‘No, no, no: from satellites.'”

“We knew that if we overlaid the data from the seismic blast with the data from telephone records, that we would be able to pretty much precisely identify what the number was that was dialled that detonated the other bombs.”

“By turning off the phone and taking the SIM card out, it gave us clues to find them.”

Bombing mastermind Mukhlas attempted to evade detection by regularly swapping SIM cards, not knowing that DSD was tracking him through his phone’s unique IMEI number, leading to his arrest by POLRI in central Java.

aynonmouse June 3, 2023 10:23 PM

I going to put this out here for now with very sketchy details on purpose

iPhone is not secure even in lockdown mode. Any Intel & Govt can take control of your device as Admin. Exploit possible in skywalk, pegasus? causes memory buffer overflow in kernel and iBoot eventually to apple mdm paired remote with multiple wifi users, via radio signals to org & companies that convert to signals to ip addresses

Apple Security is aware of this. CISA, FBI as well. I will not disclose how they are doing this but it is one sophisticated technique and yes my life is in danger b/c of this

Bottom line iphone is not secure

Clive Robinson June 3, 2023 10:28 PM

@ Mr. Peed Off, ALL,

Re : AI market and NVIDIA

“The politicians are a bit like prostitutes, how much happiness can the corps afford?”

Where politicians are “white stale and male” they pretty much always have been. It’s just that they are a heck of a lot less discrete about it these days than they were half a century ago (back when Nixon had the highest approvals rating and the Presidency could be bought for around 30million USD, not the now expected 1.25-1.5 Billion or a 1.5million/day for a four year term).

With regards the two “”(TA) links you give… I was not aware the site existed, so I will give it a more general read over breakfast as it’s Sunday[1]. But you could have read the same on this blog posted by me over the past few weeks as I say from time to time this blog is usually “Ahead of the curve” odten by more than half a decade 😉

Which begs the question as to how the TA author and I have been saying the same thing?

Well four basic answers spring to mind,

1, The TA author and I are the same person.
2, The TA author read my posts and reworded them.
3, Some weird sort of synchronicity
4, It’s obvious if you know what / where to look.

Whilst I would not rule out the second or third, I’d say the fourth is where people should be looking (sorry to spoil the magic 😉

The signs that the US Finance market is not just stagnated but being only just kept alive by the tech-sector acting as a,”Heart-Lung bypass” machine has been clear for more than a couple of years now. The burst of the crypto-coin, blockchain, NFT, Web3.0 bubbles should have been painfully obvious back last year. The hoped reemergance of VR died with the transformation of Facebook into Meta… And that transformation loosing 3/4 of it’s worth was only not “headline news” because of Hellon Rusks dumb behaviour over the clearly dying and sibking to the bottom Twitter.

So… the faux build up of the AI market as the replacment bubble should have been clear to anyone looking since the begining of this year. Especially as the VC’s now having seen the Crypto-Coin bubble burst and are in need of a replacment for their pump-n-dump of “start-ups” schemes.

I’ve documented all this including saying investment in NVIDIA and why on this blog for quite some time now[2]… And this blog does reach any handy smart pad, you might want to read on your static excercise bike in the spare room on a Sunday Morning…

[1] Using a whole sunday morning untill “brunch time” on the “Sunday Dead Drops” of Main Stream Media that took half a tree and went “thud through your door”… Used to be an acceptable thing to do when being a middle class person of a certain age (My choice once Sunday trading happened was to spend Sundays in book shops reading the latest Tech/science as I’m not that middle class sort). These days though, you can sit on your “Smart Excercise Bike” and read via a smart pad. Not quite “Driving Miss Daisy” but Hellon Rusk is still working on making that “middle class”.

[2] Though I can’t say for certain, I suspect NVIDIA is going to “come off the rapid boil” fairly soon, so if I had shares I would be looking to move… Because unless a new bubble that is so dependent on their “One Trick” GPU’s arises, their current rise will flatten when this VC engineered faux AI bubble stops the demand for their high end product… And with the sudden “Open Sourcing” that has got AI down onto a high end laptop and even a Raspberry PI, I suspect that the “mega-bucks to Unicorn” the VC’s were trying to engineer for all those lucrative fees might just have taken a knock-back… So have a look instead at those who manufacture High-End laptops with GPU’s in them, it looks like their turn for a spot of accelerated growth might be arriving.

Oh and note Sony have decided to adopt a market position behind the production of Raspberry Pi SBC’s for upwards of a million per month which would be oh around four times the production rate of Q1 this year,

‘Stock is apparently being resurrected with the help of Sony, which is stockpiling the “non-silicon elements of” Raspberry Pi’s bill of materials, Upton said. Sony has sold Raspberry Pi image sensors since 2016 and bought a minority stake in the company in April. Raspberry Pi now has an 11-year manufacturing contract with Sony, and in a May interview with Jeff Geerling, Upton said that Sony now manufactures “every core Raspberry Pi product.”‘

Sony obviously think there is money to be made there, so Broadcom etc might be worth keeping an eye on… Oh and I might not be the only person to think this 😉

Because whilst the information is fairly freely out there if you know where to look, if you want to pay people to tell you the same thing,


Clive Robinson June 4, 2023 12:15 AM

@ ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : Traceable Communications.

“Bombing mastermind Mukhlas attempted to evade detection by regularly swapping SIM cards, not knowing that DSD was tracking him through his phone’s unique IMEI number…”

Even Osama Bin Laden knew this and kind of made it clear to those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

In fact his “friends of a feather” used it to get the US IC / Executive to do highly embarrassing very big time news-worthy “collateral Damage”.

Simply by buying new mobile phones and using them with “plaintext” voice and messages for a short while, then giving them to a kid or some such… The NSA would find the phone via “the plaintext” via voice printing and similar, then those “burger munchers in Nevada” would “fly a hell-fire” down the beam from a drone a couple of weeks later into some home or social venue killing lots of innocents, that then “got on the news”.

As the retired US IC “big boss” Michael Hayden publically said “We kill people based on meta-data”[1]. They were doing that more than a decade ago back when Obama was in his first term. Back last century Chechen Rebel leader Dzhokhar M. Dudayev was killed by a missile flown down the TX signal of a satellite phone he was using. More recently journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed similarly. And hands up those who did not see that “explosive moment” video of a Chechen officer killed as he brags about defeating Ukrainian forces on his phone… And that’s just the snowflake ontop of the iceburg of information about how dangerous electronic comms is for those that feel the need to talk.

For those planning on having covert communications, it should be obvious if you have to pay a subscription or rent service then every thing is going to be 100% tracable. Likewise if you’ve heard of Stingrays and similar that have been repeatedly in the MSM, as have the arrests of those using the likes of Tor.

Further if you are within the blast radius of a 1000kg device when your transmitter is active then you are going to be “Crispy Fried Pieces” fairly quickly. And 1000kg devices dropped from aircraft or in the nose of a cruise missile is what the third F in “Find Fix and Finish” is all about or if you prefer “Termination with extream prejudice”.

Anyone who has studied the history of WWII and the German Radio Service and SS will know just how many SOE and other radio operators got “Fixed” thus “Finished” in some cases by being burnt alive.

Yes there are ways you can do covert communications if you realy are a “Mastermind” with an engineering PhD level background with five or more years relevant experience under your belt, but even then, you need a certain mind set that our host @Bruce calls “Thinking hinky” and few posses it… I’ve mentioned how you might go about doing these things in the past, if you understand physics sufficiently well.

But, the powers that be, be they corporate money grabbers and their bought legislators, or various Guard Labour intelligence types using scare tactic briefings are doing just about anything and everything they can to stop anonymity for their benifit/profit.

In part because the CIA has done so badly at being covert, it should raise a very large red flag as to how difficult anonymity in communications is[2].

Just two examples of this which have got in the MSM,

The notable loss of Chinese and Iranian “sources” because the CIA did not understand the basics of how electronic networks like the Internet work…

Also there was the embarrassment of “armchair warriers” using easily available low cost “Software Defined Radio”(SDR) and cheap laptops to receive ADS-B and similar required “safety beacons” from aircraft and ships and putting the data in online databases.

So all the “funny flight patterns” could be traced back to airfields and via registration to shell companies and the like, thus traced back through the “sloppy trade craft” the CIA has had a reputation for since day one.

More recently a similar beacon database has been used to “unpick” the goings on in the area of the NordStream pipeline Sabotage…

But the CIA are not alone in the “should have known from experience” stakes. The UK SiS and it’s fake rock in a Moscow Park we got to know about because the Russian’s chose to make it public. But likewise Russia has had it’s losses with some of it’s operatives getting caught with a car full of surveillance equipment, that another government decided to make public.

So whilst you can still do “covert electronic comms” if you actually do know what you are doing, you still have to be not just way “Smarter than the average bear”, you have to be very much “on the ball” as well. Because things change so fast, especially as we are being forced as fast as possible into a “rent seaking world”, where some feel they are entitled to,

“A slice off the top of every electron or photon that moves.”

Which means everything has an anonymity breaking tag attached for billing and control.


[2] If you think the Tor software based on a TOR network gives you anonymity think again urgently, don’t listen to the Fan-bois who get their “Porn and blow” via it who claim it has to be secure because… It’s not nor will it ever be secure untill those behind Tor start doing certain things, which they apparently have no intention of doing…

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 3:48 AM

@Clive Robinson

There is a lot of scouting and confirmation done, but collateral damage does happen because those giving authorisation (i.e. – the politicians) are sitting around scratching their bums two weeks later after request was made. Then his SAT phone number leaks and he leaves the location ASP…

…or sometimes it’s just simpler (and the same cost) rather than send a bunch of people into the mountains to do an extraction, so someone sitting off the coast launches a missile. Less of your own people get ambushed, shot and blown up.

The people targeted have killed a lot of people to get on the list.

Spear phishing campaigns, masquerading as journalists, academics or individuals with credible connections to North Korean policy circles.

North Korea relies heavily on intelligence gained by compromising policy analysts.

“Once the criminals have then secured these credentials, they can then log into the target’s work email accounts and steal military and aerospace intelligence that can be used to advance their own programs.”

“targeted entities may discount the threat posed by these social engineering campaigns, either because they do not perceive their research and communications as sensitive in nature, or because they are not aware of how these efforts fuel the regime’s broader cyber espionage efforts”



This particular cluster of activity began on May 5th 2023, and continues as of this report.

Malware specifically tailored to evade defenses and exploit platform weaknesses.

ReconShark decides what payloads to deploy depending on what detection mechanism processes run on infected machines.

“The spear-phishing emails are made with a level of design quality tuned for specific individuals, increasing the likelihood of opening by the target. This includes proper formatting, grammar, and visual clues, appearing legitimate to unsuspecting users.”

“Notably, the targeted emails, which contain links to download malicious documents, and the malicious documents themselves, abuse the names of real individuals whose expertise is relevant to the lure subject such as political scientists.”

Winter June 4, 2023 4:28 AM

@ResearcherZero, JonKnowsNothing
Re: Brexit, COVID, Populism, food banks

What these four subjects have in common are that they all involve 19th century, nation based, solutions to 21th century global problems.

Over a century ago, all problems affecting the lives of the (mythical) common people were caused by events and people in their own country. Employment, food, epidemics were all national produced and solved.

Nowadays, there is hardly any matter of importance that is not mainly produced across the border. Employment hinges on factories and clients on the other side of the globe. The food that feeds the cattle we eat is grown in another continent, and often the cattle itself too. Pandemics rage until the people on all continents are able to produce and deploy vaccines and drugs.

Any purely local policy will simply fail. The poor in California cannot get food unless the war in Ukraine is over and the supply chains for industry are working again. Until then, the only thing local politicians can do is bandaids, eg, distribute food and subsidize energy and housing.

modem phonemes June 4, 2023 5:17 AM

Re: generally useful stuff

“For it is not enough for a definitional account to express as most now do the mere fact; it must include and exhibit the cause also. At present definitions are given in a form analogous to the conclusion of an argument; e.g. What is squaring? The construction of an equilateral rectangle equal to a given oblong rectangle. Such a definition is in form equivalent to a conclusion. One that tells us that squaring is the discovery of a mean proportional discloses the cause of what is defined”

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 5:26 AM


“Buy local or lose local,” as they say.

Politicians were warned about it for years and ignored it.

The first draft report was written in the 1990’s and it was a heck of a lot more detailed than this publicly released document.

The original was produced drawing on our most sensitive intelligence programs and the fools that showed up for the briefing laughed at it, as well as other more worrying reports. Those reports were not about Russia or foreign issues, they were all focused on local economic and structural issues.

other background material

History as they say, is doomed to be repeated.

“We’re talking about repressions of Stalin’s scale.”

“This wave of denunciations is one of the signs of totalitarianism, when people understand what is good — from the point of view of the president — and what is bad, so ‘Who is against us must be prosecuted.’”

“In Russia, mobilization and martial law actually go hand-in-hand.”


These institutions survived Russia’s turn towards authoritarianism in the 2000s.

“appointing rectors, increased influence on the appointment of conformist deans and faculty, and new constraints on interpreting Russia’s past and contemporary politics”

It is far from clear that Putin has seriously studied the history of the Cold War or comprehended its lessons.

“You can imagine how much military equipment we lost there [at Kyiv]! All of this was senseless, and from the military point of view, a display of ignorance, incompetence, and illiteracy.” – Nikita Khrushchev

The death of the generals is a symptom of the way both Stalin and Putin chose to govern.

Stalin’s proscriptive leadership meant Red Army commanders – unlike their German counterparts – couldn’t exercise their initiative. The result was that the Soviets were outwitted by the flexible tactics of their opponents as Stalin in the Kremlin interfered in the detail of how his troops should fight more than 450 miles away.

Putin’s original attack plan for Kyiv was just as inept as Stalin’s attempts had been to hold the city over 80 years before. Putin’s inflexible demand that the Ukrainian capital be taken in a matter of days resulted in thousands of Russian deaths. His generals – just like Stalin’s – were either too terrified or too useless to prevent this epic strategic disaster.

The once-vaunted Russian army has become bogged down in Ukraine not just because of fierce resistance but by something more prosaic: logistics.

Though Hitler blamed the winter weather for the failure of the Moscow offensive, the entire operation had suffered from a lack of long-term strategic planning. Counting on a quick victory, the Germans had failed to set up adequate supply lines to deal with the vast distances, icy weather and harsh terrain.

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 5:31 AM



Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence …

The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 7:11 AM

“Caden securely stores an individual’s data from their connected services (e.g., Streaming services, e-commerce retailers, rideshare services, etc.)” $$$💵

…it’s child’s play to connect real names to the dots that appear on the maps. Here’s what that looks like:

HIPAA policies permit massive troves of digital health data to traverse the medical–industrial complex unmonitored and unregulated. $$$💵

“This report examines 10 major data brokers and the highly sensitive data they hold on U.S. individuals.”

“It finds that data brokers are openly and explicitly advertising data for sale on U.S. individuals’ sensitive demographic information, on U.S. individuals’ political preferences and beliefs, on U.S. individuals’ whereabouts and even real-time GPS locations, on current and former U.S. military personnel, and on current U.S. government employees.”

There is virtually no regulation of the data brokerage circus. $$$💵


It’s About The Culture War Stupid Enlist…

“So by you filling out my survey I capture 300 records on average right. And so that means that, all of a sudden, I only need to engage 50,000, 70,000, 100,000 people to get a really big data set really quickly, and it’s scaled really quickly. We were able to get upwards of 50 million plus Facebook records in the span of a couple of months.”


Clive Robinson June 4, 2023 7:17 AM

@ ResearcherZero, Winter,

Re : Loss of resiliance by distance.

“Politicians were warned about it for years and ignored it.”

If you look back on this blog you will find I’ve made the same warnings about the dangers of “out sourcing”, and “supply chains” and the “short term view” or “neo-con mantra” as well as frequently noting that economists fail to inclued “Distance Cost” metrics in their ideas.

The fact it took a global pandemic to show these issues in enough relief such that they were visable to all but those who deliberately chose not to look brings no satisfaction now we talk of “supply chain” security mostly vacuously. In fact it brings significant sadness, and begs the question could I have done more, or could anybody have done more?

I suspect the answer is no, and that the same “evil” will shortly take up residence again…

But the major loss that few still do not want to see is the loss of competitiveness due to “de-skilling the population”.

Skills are aquired in three basic ways,

1, A primary education.
2, A secondary practical use of 1.
3, A Terciary use of 2. To work

They say things like 2,000 hours to become a novice and 10,000 hours to become skilled and 30,000 hours to become a master. Which is why you have to be 35years or older to do some jobs.

But few realise that what is lost in just a few years by outsourcing will take more than a lifetime to get back. For two reasons,

Firstly, knowledge moves forward quite rapidly these days.

Secondly, before you can educate you have to be skilled sufficiently and too much changes in 15years of do nothing,

So much so if you take even 5 years out of industry you may never catch up again in your lifetime. Nor will others.

Importantly the “hidden skills” that were once “Guild Secrets” and later “trade secrets” become first lost in your local, and then a gulf you can not bridge.

It’s why China has been doing what it has for the past quater century, and what the US was doing at and before the begining of the previous century.

We might call it “Economic Espionage” or “IP theft” but the reality is, without the knowledge you die. One of the things “Masters” do is “Research and Development” and whilst 99% of it may appear to investors and accountants wasted resources or of little worth, it is the actual life blood of industry from which all else comes.

Both the UK and US have fallen drastically behind in “skills” because of the views of neo-cons and economists paid by just a few, to say short term greed is good for every one, and worse pay politicians to set it in legislation.

Economists talk of churn, because others talk of “money left on the table”, but the reality is that churn only happens with innovation in “goods” not “faux-services” of the supposed Finance Industry.

As I’ve been noting recently the Venture Capitalists have made money out of the crypto-coin and block chain bubble they pushed. However NFT’s and Web 3.0 did not happen for them, which is why they are likely to be going at AI like a rabid dog to create a new bubble faux-market to bilk people via what is a pump-n-dump con.

Because these VC cons / bubbles are the only economic activity showing apparent growth[1]. And as with all “Black Tulip Markets” the wealth is illusory it’s not based on real utility improvment that manufacturing brings and mean while the base issue of skills just gets worse…

We get told by various people “Socialism is bad” or “Captilism is bad”. The reality is they are both right and wrong. They are extreams on a spectrum thus either in excess or insufficience is bad, where as both in moderation is good.

Socialism is a way to ensure that the nation is both robust and strong enough to be vibrant, and so the people are capable of being productive, not just physically, or mentally but most importantly creatively. Capitalism by applying excess resources to creativity and production gives rise to goods with utility that can be traded which allows productivity from the creativity, which creates real wealth, of which some of the excess can be fed back to ensure the people of a nation remain both robust and vibrant. So you need a little of both socialism or capitalism and anyone telling you otherwise is delusional to the point of endangering all.

[1] Appart from the secondary markets needed to supply “goods” for the bubble “faux-services” to build. In the case of crypto-coin/block-chain and now AI it’s GPU’s from NVIDIA. Which whilst it has done well by it has kind of entered an evolutionary cul-de-sac much as Intel did with the IAx86. Will NVIDIA not just realise it but act on it, might not matter if the next bubble needs a different technology. Facebook brcame Meta and to investors “bet the farm” on VR and the investors left in droves and 3/4 of Meta’s market value evaporated. Intel even though they’ve realised FPGA’s and “algoritmi in silico” is realistically the only way forward for the next decade or so may not have convinced the all powerfull but fickle finance markets, thus may well fail to recover.

Winter June 4, 2023 7:31 AM

@ResearcherZero, Clive

“Buy local or lose local,” as they say.

Politicians were warned about it for years and ignored it.

That only works in limited spheres. Buy locally produced CPU, LEDs, cars and planes is only possible for some people from some countries. Trying to buy a fully locally produced car or computer is absolutely impossible.

But to be able to buy some foreign parts, electronics, cars, or oil requires that you are able to export something to buy it with. Which means “they” must be willing to import stuff from “you”.

“Buy Local” is the other side of “Beggar they Neighbor” and ultimately, autarky leads to extreme poverty and famines, North Korea style.

What should be implemented is supply channel robustness. That is, being willing to expend some costs to make your supplies somewhat more reliable and robust.

But that is antithetical to the Free Market Fundamentalists that are paid by those who reap all the benefits but never bear the costs.

Winter June 4, 2023 8:41 AM


the dangers of “out sourcing”, and “supply chains” and the “short term view” or “neo-con mantra” as well as frequently noting that economists fail to inclued “Distance Cost” metrics in their ideas.

To rid the world of poverty and hunger, “outsourcing” is key. The world literally has become a better place due to the economic growth of China and India.

Both the UK and US have fallen drastically behind in “skills” because of the views of neo-cons and economists paid by just a few, to say short term greed is good for every one, and worse pay politicians to set it in legislation.

All economic growth is the result of R&D and education. The Anglo-Saxon world has leeched of the educational expenditures of other countries by importing educated workers and cutting on education spending.

Winter June 4, 2023 9:02 AM


There is virtually no regulation of the data brokerage circus.

Not in the USA, no. Elsewhere, there is. In a number of countries, these brokers would be quickly bankrupted and/or jailed.

From Caden

Once permission is given and the key is provided, Caden transforms the data from the vault into a first-of-its-kind Semantic Knowledge Graph by removing identifiable information to create an integrated yet anonymous representation.

Although not “impossible”, I consider it highly unlikely that no re-identification is possible. Current technology is much better at connecting the dots than to make the dots in unconnectable.

JonKnowsNothing June 4, 2023 9:42 AM

@Winter, @Clive

re: To rid the world of poverty and hunger, “outsourcing” is key.

A rather broad statement and easily disproved.

There are 2 items in that statement that have little to do with each other, although they make a good connected sentence.

  • Poverty
  • Hunger

These are completely separate items and their potential amelioration is dependent on what gets included or excluded from the implied definition. Definitions are malleable and they get changed with every new government, official, administrator all the way down the pipe line through the supply chain to whatever end point you select.

*RE: Hunger

There is no outsourcing for hunger and no outsourcing that removes hunger. Hunger is a function of food distribution networks (supply chains) that have been manipulated by corporations, governments, military to produce the desired effect.

When a population is just hungry enough, they don’t bother looking at what the other guys in Malibu have. (1) This is an age old tactic used by every government, ruling body, or any group that wishes to control a larger group of people. Guns can do it, so can arrows and cannons, but food is the easiest weapon.

There are all types of manipulations, really an inexhaustible supply of them, but all have the goal to induce hunger or food insecurity as it is called now.

Outsourcing does not fix this. We can shift some items from point A to B but we do it in a way to maintain hunger. We pretend that the grain from UKR is going to Afrika, but it’s really sitting in silos in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. We pretend that the grain from UKR is going to go Somewhere but conveniently it does not.

It isn’t just UKR, its the USA, Canada, France, UK, China, RU, India – just about anyplace you can plant a seed.

You cannot outsource farming. You can do a lot of things to farmers, you can make it difficult or you can make it easier; there is no EASY to farming.

One might conflate Technology with Farming. Technology can make it easier or much harder to farm. Technology can backfire, like DDT, which is still used in many parts of the world. Technology does not fix hunger.

Hunger is a function of monetary controls, because fiat money and fiat global financing, are the means of controlling food distribution and ensuring hunger remains at just the “right level” to maintain a Status Quo.


1) Jean-Claude Duvalier 1951-2014

Nicknamed “Baby Doc” (Haitian Creole: Bebe Dòk), was a Haitian politician who was the President of Haiti from 1971 until he was overthrown by a popular uprising in February 1986.

iirc(badly) MSM reports of a special event held the ruling government at the time, was one of the first mass broadcasts in the country. TV screens where setup so the ordinary people could watch it live.

Per the MSM reports of the time, what they saw was:

  • Huge Air Conditioned areas, cold enough so the wealthy could wear their furs and mink coats in the normally humid and hot climate.

The display of extravagance, caused a display of outrage, outrage caused a regime change.

It did not end hunger and it did not end poverty because those are weapons used by other countries, primarily the USA, to maintain control of A Place of Interest.

modem phonemes June 4, 2023 9:49 AM

@ Winter @ ResearcherZero

From Caden’s website


Caden is a next-gen data company, debuting the first Open Data platform, which puts users firmly in the middle of the marketplace so they can be in control of their data and make money from it.

‍We believe every digital citizen should be a part of the data economy and be the one who can decide how their data is used, and what they want in exchange. We’re completely obsessed with privacy, so you can rest assured that every function and product we offer protects privacy, period

I hope they include the option “I the user agree not to want anything and you the broker agree not to take any data”.

Until the Caden utopia arrives – Dear ad brokers, I promise not to buy anything if you promise not to show me any ads.

Winter June 4, 2023 10:09 AM


Hunger is a function of food distribution networks (supply chains) that have been manipulated by corporations, governments, military to produce the desired effect.

Hunger is a function of power. It is always the powerless who are hungry, and poor. Outsourcing gives people a position in international exchange. This is better than merely trading basic goods.

You cannot outsource farming.

That is exactly what, eg, McDonalds is doing. Does this induce hunger?

Hunger is a function of monetary controls, because fiat money and fiat global financing, are the means of controlling food distribution and ensuring hunger remains at just the “right level” to maintain a Status Quo.

Hunger is a function of power. Democracies rarely endure famines as politicians are voted out when they occur. Bread riots are politically the most dangerous types of riots. Famines only occur when people have no way to influence policy.

The textbook example is the Irish potato famine. The only reason a quarter of the population died and a quarter fled was a lack of political clout to be even allowed to grow their own food or get at the food that was readily available in England.

People all over the world get power if their work force has value. Outsourced work is a prime way to give work force value in places it did not have value before.

Money follows value and productivity.

JonKnowsNothing June 4, 2023 10:28 AM

@Winter, @Clive

re: Hunger as a form of government control

There is a current example of how hunger is used by governments to control portions of their populations.

From MSM reports, a change in the definition of who qualifies for food supports in Australia, is on the table.

  • Currently: Single Parent Families with children under 8yr get support. At 8yrs the support ends.

It must be an Aussie thing, to even consider an 8yo as not needing food. So a change is on the table to make the cut off at 14yrs. An improvement to be sure, but older people know that from 14-25 teenagers can empty a refrigerator in a nano second.

The problem is in the timing of the change.

  • 8,000 Single Parent Families will lose their access because their children will be 8yrs before the new date kicks in to make it 14ys

Yep, birthdays are hazardous events when it comes to government determinations of who goes hungry.

8,000 families, will fall into a different category, they will have to file different forms, apply to different programs, they will have to spend time and resources to reapply and reapply after the initial application is rejected because the family had been moved to a different definition of benefit. Benefits defined by the government, for the government and by the government, administered by the government, and adjudicated by the government.

That’s 8,000 families going to be too busy to worry about AUKUS or Ben Roberts War Crimes or 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum.


ht tp s://www.theguardian.c o m/australia-news/2023/jun/03/labor-urged-to-bring-forward-single-parenting-payment-changes-or-have-kids-going-hungry

htt p s://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/2023_Australian_Indigenous_Voice_referendum

The 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum will ask voters to approve an alteration to the Australian constitution, creating the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to represent Indigenous Australians to the parliament and federal government on matters of Indigenous affairs.

(url fractured)

Winter June 4, 2023 10:51 AM

re: Hunger as a form of government control

The Irish potato famine was that too, an attempt to depopulate Ireland. The war in Ukraine is also an attempt by Putin to establish a wheat kartel to blackmail the rest of Europe, and Africa, with famines.

Another example is the denial of disaster relief to Puerto Rico by the Republican Government after Hurricane Maria hit it.

New probe confirms Trump officials blocked Puerto Rico from receiving hurricane aid

Winter June 4, 2023 10:56 AM

Re: Caden

Caden works differently. It tries to get users to sell their data.


Caden, which launches this week, aims to give users an easy way to vacuum up their information from the online services they use, and then sell the combined data for some extra money. Users could one day make $50 a month using his app, Roa claims—that’s if Caden can turn around the ad tech industry. (In the meantime, starting rates will probably be closer to $10.)


JonKnowsNothing June 4, 2023 11:03 AM

@Winter, @Clive, All

Moi: You cannot outsource farming.

W: That is exactly what, eg, McDonalds is doing. Does this induce hunger?

  • No – you cannot outsource farming.

McD is a corporation that buys farm goods from farmers. Some corporations actually do farming as a business, ADM, Purina and others. The farming part cannot be outsourced.

There are lots of ways to get farming products into the hands of commercial enterprises or into the hands of consumers. This is a business transaction and not actually farming. It’s anything from contract growing, to having a stall in a farmers market, or selling bags of oranges on street corners.

  • Yes McD produces more hunger as a by product to their business model.

There are many forms of hunger and we know a good deal about modern hunger models and manipulation of consumption habits. McD depends on hunger to fuel their corporation and stock market value and shareholder benefits. The hunger model used by McD (1) is not much different than the pizza joint or hotdog stand. They sell food, but they also create hunger in order to do that. They create both long term and short term hunger. Another by product involves the definition of poverty, to which their food sales contribute to the increased poverty levels in many areas.

  • Food, in this case, is a commodity sold by corporations, the basics of which are produced by farming. The commercial conversion of huge amounts of raw agricultural products into modern convenience foods, fuels hunger and destitution and despair along with that bag of french fries.

There is a difference between Hunger and Appetite.


1) iirc(badly) When McD first opened in RU, the lines were huge. People took boxes of BigMacs on the trains back to Villages in Siberia. It cost a fortune by RU standards of the time.

An amusing farm problem occurred when McD tried to buy Mustard Seed. They have a very specific recipe for those mustard packets and they could not find any RU farmers who could grow what was required.

McD had to import the mustard from an EU country to make the corporate recipe so it could travel all the way to Irkutsk.

Winter June 4, 2023 11:46 AM


McD is a corporation that buys farm goods from farmers. Some corporations actually do farming as a business, ADM, Purina and others. The farming part cannot be outsourced.

No, McD does not buy farm products on the open market. It contracts farmers to deliver McD specific products to McD.

I consider “outsourcing” as paying outside people to do work you specify how to to and what to deliver.

There are many forms of hunger and we know a good deal about modern hunger models and manipulation of consumption habits.

I only care for the famine kind, where people get too few calories to survive. Other forms are irrelevant for this discussion.

Clive Robinson June 4, 2023 11:56 AM

@ Winter, ResearcherZero, ALL,

Re : Anonymity requires zero information be transferred.

“Although not “impossible”, I consider it highly unlikely that no re-identification is possible. “

It is actually impossible, without doubt. Basic information theory from three quaters of a century ago proves that. As does simple reasoning about cause and effect in a tangible universe constrained by it’s physical laws of matter/energy and forces.

In a more rarefied way it’s why Locard’s Exchange Principle[3] not just exists but is extendible from the tangible physical universe into the intangible information universe thus applies to the very foundational issues of information within our universe of,

1, Communication
2, Storage
3, Processing

If you can reason about something than by definition it exists in potentia, and further has effect on all other things. Which is why the enigmatic,

“No man is an island”

Holds true, in some quite surprising ways, for instance think for instance how familial DNA alows unknown criminals to be found and in theory brought to justice. Likewise the existance of relatives you are unaware of becoming known to you. (I’m told that DNA analysis has progressed to a point where some base physical charactristics can be reasoned out thus even a basic E-fit).

So it can be shown that even knowledge such a record exists in-potentia[1] leaks information that aids in de-anonymisation of the individual.

In essence meta-meta-data alows you to reason about the shape and characteristics of a “hole” that can be filled in bit by bit. At each stage objects move from the “potential set” to the “ruled out set” often rapidly reducing the “potential set” to a point where other techniques will rule out all but a single object which is thus in practice deanonymised.

Interestingly emptying the “potential set” does not of necessity indicate you’ve made a mistake in reasoning. It can also indicate errors in available data.

Call it “noise”, “distortion”, or “measurment limitations”, this is what those who claim “we can anonymize data” hope you will be fooled by. The simple fact is “noise averages to zero” as does distortion and effectively so do measurment limitations. Thus their argument is in effect,

“If you don’t look, then you won’t find.”

Which is what you might expect to hear from a slightly smarter than average five or six year old (in effect what has been described “as your basic prototype for a psychopath”).

[1] Something that is “in-potentia” formarly exists “in posse but not in esse” (as a possibility but not in essence/actuality to you as an observer). That is there is meta-meta-data about it’s actuality existing or not[2], this is in of it’s self atleast one bit of information, usually a lot more. That the object does not have to exist for you in your domain only the idea that it could is sufficient that it can be used for reasoning and logic about the object and it’s characteristics. Thus you can reason about it’s properties and enable you to test for them (basic science of form hypothesis and test). The oft given classic example of this is “Black Swans” long before they were known to exist in the West they were reasoned about by amongst others “the church”. Eventually knowledge of “Black Swans” in the Orient traveled West along what is now considered part of the “Spice Route” and not long there after some of the live creatures, and mostly the in-abstencia reasoning about Black Swans was found to be correct.

[2] A more tangible more modern example is information about what we now call meta-planets that orbit outside of the normal orbital plane, unexplainable changes in the known planets orbits alowed reasoning backward to the existance of “point mass” of sufficient size. Point mass is how all known physical celestial objects appear in Celestial mechanics both Keplerarian and Newtonian, where density quickly becomes of less and less relevance the greater the distance from the centrum mass of the object.

[3] Dr. Edmond Locard sometimes called “The Sherlock Holmes of Lyon” (France). Has been credited as one of the foundational pioneers of what is loosely described these days as “forensic science”. Locard’s principle is that any object involved in a crime will both bring a trace ot it’s self into a crime scene and leave with a trace from the crime scene, with the result that both can be used as evidence of the involvment of the object in the crime. It became known as “Every contact leaves a trace”, and is correct in that “with contact between two objects, there will be an exchange”. Unfortunately it is actually incompleate as it has neither temporal or spatial bounds or warning of intermediary contact by a third object. But the principle does not require direct contact to hold, anyone who has tried to extend the orbital “two body calculation” to three or more celestial bodies knows and effectively curses it due to the complications it drags in. Which indirectly shows that it’s matter or energy via forces that is exchanged and that therefore includes information modulated/impressed upon them.

JonKnowsNothing June 4, 2023 12:14 PM


re: Definitions mean many things. Yours are your own.

  • I consider “outsourcing” as paying outside people to do work

Farmers hire people to harvest for them. They pay people to plow their fields. They pay for people to spray pesticides on the crops. They buy fertilizer and pay to spread it on their fields. They buy tractors, trucks, trailers, bank-out trailers, fuel, tires and computer driven AI/LLM software programs that determine Depth, Moisture, Nutrients and inject the correct amounts at time of planting so that each seed gets the best start. They buy seeds from huge producers of seeds; some are standard, some are enhanced, some are bio-manipulated, some are genetically modified.

Farmers pay a lot of people to do work for them.

Contract Farming, still requires the “farming” part. Your french fry doesn’t get in the ground like that, nor does it come out of the ground like that. It goes through a lot of steps before it lands in the bag along with the burger.

iirc(badly) Some people trace problems with modern potatoes to McD French Fries. The demand for long, unbroken fries requires a potato of a certain shape to get the most fries from each potato. It’s a secret potato variety and grown under specific conditions as dictated by the farming contract. However, that shape and type (russet) has driven many other potato varieties into extinction.

  • I only care for the famine kind, where people get too few calories to survive.

Then you have missed the entire point of farming and what Hunger is and how it is perpetrated and manipulated. All around you today, is famine. You just have not looked to see it. It’s not just in the popular stories gracing the pages of MSM especially at times of Fund Raising Campaigns. Those are all true enough.

Yet all around you are people experiencing the same conditions, yet you do not see them.

The questions to ask yourself are:

  • Are you looking?
  • Are you seeing?
  • Does your eye slide over the reality?
  • Does your brain dismiss what you see?
  • Does your moral compass shift at all?
  • Do you chose not to see?

It is a choice to see or not.

There are groups of people who band together to deny what they see all around them. They make up stories about the people they see and they make up stories about why those people are that way.

Famine is everywhere.

Winter June 4, 2023 12:52 PM

Re: outsourcing


Outsourcing is an agreement in which one company hires another company to be responsible for a planned or existing activity which otherwise is or could be carried out internally,[1][2] i.e. in-house,[3] and sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another. The term outsourcing, which came from the phrase outside resourcing, originated no later than 1981.


Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services or create goods that were traditionally performed in-house by the company’s own employees and staff.

McD did this originally in the US, now worldwide.

Given the level of control and the close collaboration of McD, the farmers are as close to McD as is possible without being “inside” the company.

modem phonemes June 4, 2023 1:47 PM

@ Winter

Caden works differently. It tries to get users to sell their data.

I understood this from their website, but I would hope users will be wise enough not to accept this lure to put their head under this yoke..

I can’t see this or any other current data/ad brokering as being responsible entrepreneurship. Even if a user accepts it it is too open to exploitation.

lurker June 4, 2023 2:55 PM

@Winter, All

Caden, which launches this week, aims to give users an easy way to vacuum up their information from the online services they use, and then sell the combined data for some extra money.

But that info is already being vacuumed up by Uncle Tom Cobbely and all. By inviting the user into the flow and clipping the ticket, Caden is just another pig at the trough. I’m with @modem on this, but one still has to feel a little sympathy for those with bad reading skills who get sucked into this.

Clive Robinson June 4, 2023 4:34 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Winter, ALL,

Back in the early 1990’s there were two seperate expressions,

1, Outsourcing
2, Offshoring

Even then outsourcing was under flux, with Offshoring being nebulous. Over time the meanings got muddled and mixed, and I guess you’ld have to hold a wet finger in the air to find out who means what.

Originally Outsourcing was about “core competencies” and “ancillary functions”. If you were say a large accountants with an office building you used to run it all inxluding buying the loo rolls and hand soap.

The idea was that your profit was from “core competencies” and “ancillaty functions” were just costs of non core competency functions like cleaning and maontainance.

So as the acknoledged wisdom of the time was that big was better and could get lower costs from suppliers it could do any task at lower cost thwn inhouse staff…

So you would “outsource” the function to a specialist provider for whom say cleaning was their core competence…

The thing is nobody does something for nothing, so yes whilst they could get supplies for less it was only a few percent,not the thirty to fifty percent required to make it worth while…

So staff transfered over on TUPE had all sorts of nasty things done to them, to get rid of them and replace with cheap labour on less than minimum wages that rarely if ever did the job to specification.

Worse the companies deliberately fostered bad relations and antaganism so they could gain advantage. Thus trabsfered staff that got transfered under TUPE got fired and replaced with trouble makers. I was incharge of several computer rooms where cleanliness was important. I knew from experience how long it would take to clean properly and why. Thus I was almost instantly at loggerheads with the outsourced managers. And it ended up with me revoking access to most of the new cleqners for “unsafe working practices” and things got quite fraught with me fighting the outsourcing company managment who just lied and their bad mouthing me to my own managment. It realy got to breaking point when I went to “Employment Tribunals” to stand as witness for staff sacked by the out sourcing company… All of a sudden I was on the wrong end of disciplinary charges… Something I had been expecting and had been preparing for since I’d first heard about the out sourcing. To say it got acrimonious was an understatment, but unbeknown to them I’d already found a new job, so I wqs out to screw them for all I could get… The result was a nice cash sum and a few weeks “time off” before I started the knew job.

The point is such outsourcing is almost never benign and frequently involves fraud of some kind at all levels. But with the outsourcing companies keepcking back big sums into political party funds, they rarely suffer penalties even when there is very clear evidence of criminal behaviour.

The point was “outsourcing” was of the managment and costs, not out of the building or country…

Offshoring was using cheap unskilled day labour abroad and was as far as I can remember started in the “fashion industry” back in the 1980’s, as a follow on to Japanese Electronics Companies doing semi skilled labour in the 1960’s to kill off domestic production. In effect the japanese companies were funded out of the Japanese Post Office Savings Fund, which alowed them to sell goods below cost. European and US companies could not compeat and production went to the Far East. But there was a fly in the ointment that made it all very much worse. As a UK manufacture you had to buy your components through a three layer distribution model wirh each layer putting 30% or more on top so you were paying more than twice as much for components as you would in the Far East… You can not compete with that and all the other little push the costs up tricks that were going on. During the 1990’s I was an electronics design engineer and got to see it up close and personal at various jobs. The result I ended up doing dewign of Consumer FMCE that was made in various Far East Manufacturing plants under the MSI brand… And for various reasons I got out well ahead of the crunch that happened at the end of the 90’s.

But when the Chinese got in the game it started getting nasty. Their intent was to steal tecunology. Not just of the products, but more importantly the skills / trade secrets of production and manufacture… Against all contrary advice senior managment were seduced by the low costs… They then later were shocked to find their short term profit increase was followed by competition that bankrupted them…

I can give you gory war stories of what was going on, but as I’ve said before China had and still does have a major advantage and that is “Rare Earth Metals” where they could just cut the supply to the Western manufacturing… Thus forcing manufacturing and the secrets of production and manufacture into China where they stole it, and often all the tools and other property of Western Companies.

Yes you can get stuff manufactured in China, but be darn sure you know what you are at best giving away, if not loosing having stolen.

When the Chinese discovered people were “getting wise” they moved to different tactics. One wise up that many tried was to put most of the product in software and keep that out of China in various ways. I did that for a company of a friend and used quite sophisticated multi layered crypto techniques to stop reverse engineering… The result was the appearence through one of the European Distributors was shall we say one “Jenny Yang”, “Economic Agent of a Hostile Foreign Power”. Who despite repeated warnings wormed her way in and got one of the senior staff to leave a laptop with all the source code on it at her house… And oh unsurprisingly her romantic interest in him wained rather rapidly, and a couple of months after that a new competitor appeared on the scene with product with almost identical features. Unfortunately that happened at a time when UK Chancellor George Osborn known even in MSM news papers as “Gidiot” and “White Lines” for his chemical based habits and behaviours, was so pro-chinese you knew nothing was going to happen…

So remember all to frequently senior managment are “fools unto themselves” as well as wrecking the companies they run and destroying jobs as well as damaging the national economy…

Worse some realy do not get it. They off shore jobs in their own customer base. If you kill of jobs for your customers, by ludicrous foreign production, who do you expect to buy your product when they nolonger have enough money to buy food and keep a roof over their heads…

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 4:44 PM


One of the recommendations made was to get the security and privacy legislation in place 30 ******* years ago.
But the response was – “It will stifle development and growth!”

AI processing will be added to hardware other the coming years, for consumer and commercial markets.

SDN-OT (fully programmable network controllers and data planes) options are available for critical infrastructure.

So where exactly is the ethics?

“Uber Inc., which steamrolled into markets, sometimes illegally, knew that once it hit critical mass it would be able to call the shots.”

“In fact, generative AI makes disruptions like ridesharing look miniscule in comparison.”

According to a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, more than half of U.S. adults (57.6%) haven’t heard of the tool, and another 22.4% are aware of ChatGPT but don’t understand what it is.–heres-why/

vas pup June 4, 2023 4:47 PM

“All economic growth is the result of R&D and education. The Anglo-Saxon world has leeched of the educational expenditures of other countries by importing educated workers and cutting on education spending.”

More than agree. Just want to add merits as main reason for job and education selection is just short path for ‘Idiocracy’. I hope this comedy is available in Your country.

It is exact prediction as Orwell’s book ‘1984’.

vas pup June 4, 2023 4:49 PM

Nvidia taps into Israeli innovation to build generative AI cloud supercomputer

“US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia said Monday that it will build the nation’s most powerful generative AI cloud supercomputer called Israel-1 which will be based on a new locally developed high-performance ethernet platform.

Valued at several hundred million dollars, Israel-1, which Nvidia said would be one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers, is expected to start early production by the end of 2023.

AI processes analyze enormous datasets and require both ultra-fast computing performance and massive memory. The rise of generative AI applications and workloads like OpenAI’s ChatGPT present new challenges for networks inside data centers. As a result of the major changes AI cloud systems need to be trained using huge amounts of data.

Announced at the Computex tech exhibition starting this week, Israel-1 will be based on Nvidia’s newly launched Spectrum-X networking platform, a high-performance ethernet architecture purposely built for generative AI workloads. Developed in Israel the platform is tailored to enable data center around the world transition to AI and accelerated computing, using a new class of ethernet connection that is build from the ground up for AI.

Israel-1 will run at a performance of eight exaflops and will be one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers, Nvidia said. An exaflop measures the ability to perform 1 quintillion – or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 – calculations per second. Israel-1 is also expected to perform peak performance of more than 130 petaflops – the ability to carry out 100 trillion operations per second – for traditional scientific computing workloads. It will be equipped with data processing units (DPUs) called BlueField-3, which were developed in Israel.

In 2020, Nvidia bought Israel’s Mellanox Technologies Ltd., a maker of high-speed servers and storage switching solutions used in supercomputers globally, for a massive $7 billion, adding about 1,000 employees to its Israel operations.”

vas pup June 4, 2023 4:52 PM

Israel’s 3D printing firm XJet seeks to raise $10m from Nasdaq IPO

“Israel’s XJet, which develops inkjet technology for 3D printing of small metal and ceramic parts, is seeking to raise about $10 million from an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the Nasdaq.

!!!XJet’s technology seeks to enable manufacturers to print small ceramic or metal parts with the ease and versatility of printing a document on an inkjet printer but with mass scale. The startup has developed a liquid ink based on nanoparticles of raw materials to create customized parts using its 3D printing technology.

=>Its patented technology is based on a so-called nanoparticles jetting (NPJ) process that uses inkjet printing technology to create extremely thin layers of ceramics or metal material. The NPJ ink is stored and delivered in sealed cartridges and inserted into its printers in an automated process.

XJet says its technology enables the production of “geometrically complex and high-quality metal and ceramic end-use parts that are otherwise difficult or impossible to produce.”

“XJet’s technology enables 3D printing or additive manufacturing of totally new designs with the press of a button which would be hard to create with traditional manufacturing.”

It would be banned in US for sure to prevent fire arms printing. We will see if my prediction is correct.

vas pup June 4, 2023 4:55 PM

@Winter and @ALL – sorry happy fingers:


“Just want to add ABANDONING merits as main reason for job and education selection is just short path for ‘Idiocracy’

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 5:00 PM

This is somewhat similar to how Scientology collects data, and other cults use similar techniques when preying on their victims…

“So by you filling out my survey I capture 300 records on average right. And so that means that, all of a sudden, I only need to engage 50,000, 70,000, 100,000 people to get a really big data set really quickly, and it’s scaled really quickly. We were able to get upwards of 50 million plus Facebook records in the span of a couple of months.”


…and little has been done to improve election laws and regulate such practices.


…it’s child’s play to connect real names to the dots that appear on the maps. Here’s what that looks like:

Unique identifiers such as IMEI numbers are no longer as important now due to the increasing volume of data points available.

lurker June 4, 2023 5:17 PM

re nVidia, RasPi, outsourcing

There are Shenzhen backstreet sbcs available at a quarter the cost of the red fruit. A user group has massaged an OS that runs most of them, but not on the red fruit, because of the Broadcomm blob in its boot code. q.v. Armbian

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 5:47 PM

During the Cold War large sums of money were pumped into regional and remote communities through various community programs.

There are some reports locked in a vault somewhere on the effect of the end of Cold War funding for regional programs.

The American South and the Cold War

“Increased military spending pumped untold millions into the region’s economy, helping to train its workforce and ultimately contributing to the South’s dramatic social changes throughout this period.”

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 6:28 PM

Suggestions that natural disasters, global pandemic, war in Europe’s bread basket, energy security, and large changes and disruptions to the economy – would all line up were not taken seriously. (also archived)

They are not easy problems, but ignoring many of them didn’t help.

After all, those many researchers and analysts, very expensive reports and sensitive intelligence programs were just for s***s and giggles.

Quite a few died getting some of that information, but f ’em too. Right?

So there are these systems…

… U.S. spy agencies also employed Palantir to connect databases across departments.

but still all these years later…

Overall confidence in U.S. government institutions is also decreasing, and that has hit the U.S. military as well. In 2021 the annual Reagan National Defense Survey, conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, found that just 45% of Americans had a great deal of trust and confidence in the military, down 25 points since 2018.

Among Americans surveyed by the Pentagon who were in the target age range for recruiting, only 13% had parents who had served in the military, down from approximately 40% in 1995. The military considers parents one of the biggest influencers for service.

Nearly half think they would have physical problems.

“They think they’re going to be physically or emotionally broken after serving,” said one senior U.S. military official familiar with the recruiting issues, who believes a lack of familiarity with military service contributes to that perception.

Because many family members have not served they don’t understand s***, and they don’t want to talk about anything either or at least try and understand.

“Your home now, you should be fine.”

Building social housing, once you have supply chain issues, and too many already homeless is probably a little bit late.

Cutting socially programs cuts them for veterans as well.

ResearcherZero June 4, 2023 6:49 PM

Critics also say the growth of short-term rentals pioneered by Airbnb has contributed to a shortage of affordable housing for residents, particularly in vacation towns. Those complaints extend far beyond US borders.


Rather than dealing with the problems of poverty, homelessness, and inequality, there are a bunch of morons fighting their little “culture wars” and all too busy with ‘moral panic’ – rather than sensible policy.

robert June 4, 2023 7:00 PM

Is anyone familiar with the hacking tools mentioned in here
Personally I do have vague recollections of hearing of a tool called “Care Bear” but the other tool “Dark Wall” is new to me.
None of what’s claimed sounds all that difficult especially given the historical open nature of most cell phones. But still implementation in the real world is always more difficult than hacking in a lab setting.

Winter June 5, 2023 2:36 AM


Their intent was to steal tecunology. Not just of the products, but more importantly the skills / trade secrets of production and manufacture…

Steal? What about “Learn”?

The Chinese did absolutely nothing the USA, UK or any other industrial nation has done. None of the big industrial nations recognized foreign “IP” until they got themselves at the level of their competitors.

The USA only ratified the Berne Convention in 1988, a full century after it started. The USA still does not give foreign copyrights the same protection as US copyrights and USA patent law is still written to subvert foreign patents.

Basically, patents are used as a tax on innovation, they are more costly than beneficiary:

Clive Robinson June 5, 2023 5:33 AM

@ Winter,

Re : IP rights.

“Steal? What about “Learn”?”

The history of patents[1] is long and curious and all to do with “Might is Right” from the “King Game” and “Spoliation”[2] under Ecclesiastical law. Both of which concerned the affairs of others in the functioning of the “First Estate” of King, Court, and Church.

The Monarch being the “Godhead” was the bridge between the spiritual above and the estate below. Thus could issue benificence not just as property from the estate like land but rights from the spiritual such as to hold fairs, markets and similar and have disbursment from the gains or tithes (tenth parts). As well as give office to individuals.

Thus any person infringing on such rights was by definition a criminal both spiritual and temporal thus suffer death, banishment, or excommunication, etc.

Further anyone giving information to a foreign person/state was guilty of treason and the foreign person or agent guilty of espionage (and still are see for instance US with regards giving aid, comfort, and succour to the enemy – where the definition of enemy does not require hostilities being actively prosecuted).

But as both you and I have noted in the past,

“… did absolutely nothing the USA, UK or any other industrial nation has done. None of the big industrial nations recognized foreign “IP” until they got themselves at the level of their competitors.”

But that is “a mere trifle” when “might is right” and “Do as I say, not as I do” and the self delusion of faux “moral highground” is involved. Such is “wrapping yourself in the flag” faux Nationalism, drumed up by faux patriotism, which amongst other things gives certain political types undue power, as we’ve seen the reemergence of.

But as with all such things what started as a good idea, –to protect an inventer– it very quickly got perverted by others for their own gain, and the balance of power rapidly crosses a tipping point.

[1] Letters Patent are “open letters” were in England documents issued under the Great Seal and confired a “benificence” from the monarch. Originally to an individual and later to a holder who is “any person legal or natural”. They covered a huge range and diversity of not just property but rights. Under “Good Queen Bess” such letters were issued to those with fast ships that were armed to be in effect lawfull pirates against another Sovereign. During her reign the first Letters Patent were issued to protect the ideas of inventors from being stolen by others. As part of the patent a written description of the invention protected was given. As Letters Patent are “Open Letters” to all the invention was thus made publically known, thus transgretion or infringment should be clear to all.

[2] Spoliation was a process under Engish Ecclesiastical law to do with “entitlement” disputes, that more or less has a disimilar meaning these days under Tort law.

Historically Spoliation was,

“A suit sued out in the spiritual court to recover for the fruits of the church or for the church itself.”

Used to redress,

“An injury done by one clerk or incumbent to another, in taking the fruits of his benefice without any right to them, but under a pretended title.”

It’s roots are long and run deep, and has been, and still is a vexed area of law. You will find it’s legacy in various places. The most recent I’m aware of is in the UK “Companies Act 2006” under “Unfair Prejudice” § 945-999.

Winter June 5, 2023 5:39 AM


The history of patents[1] is long and curious and all to do with “Might is Right” from the “King Game” and “Spoliation”[2] under Ecclesiastical law.

Basically, both copyright and inventor patents started as a way to control information and innovation, aka, censorship.

That censorship was simply outsourced to the private sector.

PaulBart June 5, 2023 8:10 AM


So much intel on Russia and Russian security apparatus. Would you also have information on Israeli security apparatus to share?

Clive Robinson June 5, 2023 1:28 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Another “Clop ransomware/extortion” attack believed to be have effected several major UK companies via out-sourced “pay-roll”,

Apparently the pay-roll company used MOVEit software that is extreamly vulnerable according to Microsoft amongst others.

Microsoft attribute the attacks to a Russian language using group they call “Lace Tempest”. What the actual relationship is to the Clop Ransomware developer/operators is not yet clear.

However UK politicians are still vascilating to vapid on these sort of attacks.

I’ll let others decide if they want to lable it a “Supply Chain attack”, as the term is realy getting over used these days…

Clive Robinson June 5, 2023 1:57 PM

@ ALL,

Re : The problems of timing…

The Register is making noise about the fact that the UK Ministry of Defence”(Mod) has in the same week as all the noise about AI being an existential risk to mankind, issued a Procurment for “Skynet” replacment/upgrade.

Now whilst you might think you’ld have to be a real old foggy to remember the first Film mention of SkyNet that got fame with Arnie as a cyborg AI

The Register journalist does not appear to know when the name Skynet got used first… Nearly sixty years ago The UK Royal Signals “Signals Research and Development Establishment” started development for a geo-stationary satelite to network up UK armed forces “East of Suez” (a term which can be looked up). As a result the comms network in the sky as opppsed to sub-sea became known as Skynet first unofficially then later officially whilst Arnie was still wearing short trousers outside of Graz 😉

JonKnowsNothing June 5, 2023 2:39 PM


re: An interesting mystery: the lost Blue thumb drive and it’s importance to an FBI investigation

Over on Emptywheel, Marcy Wheeler has an article about the FBI Cyber Division report on the contents of 2 thumb drives: Red and Blue.

The story is very complex because much of it deals with legal procedures, chains of custody and complex convoluted court cases that Marcy specializes in deciphering.

Within that framework, there is much about the 2 thumb drives that are central to the court case and how the FBI Cyber Division did or did not properly handle the drives and their contents.

A few heads up in the details:

  • The Blue drive when walkabout for some time. It had several mini-resurfacing only to sink again into an Unknown So Don’t Mention It state.
  • Acting Assistant Director of Cyber Eric Sporre, who at first put the thumb drives in his safe, then handed them over to Nate Batty.
  • Within hours … Batty and Hellman started mocking the white paper [report]
  • [fbi email log file] ncbatty to hellman

But I’m thinking we should at least plug the thumb drives into … a computer and look at the files…

What do you think?

I’m not sure what to think.

  • They wrote a report about the contents of the 2 drives without ever looking at the contents on the drives.
  • They just “plugged them into some random computer” when they finally decided to check the contents of the 2 thumb drives.
  • Then they misplaced the evidence by losing the Blue drive.

I dunno but FBI Cyber Division maybe a total misnomer.

Marcy Wheeler aka emptywheel

ht tps://www.emptywheel. n e t/2023/06/04/fbi-cyber-divisions-enduring-blue-pill-mystery/

(url fractured)

SydneyAustralia June 6, 2023 12:31 AM


I appreciate you are very fond of the pandemic narrative. I’m sure you are a gentle soul and each to their own.
Nonetheless, I must ask you something based on the mechano-set logic you’ve provided in your post above, about ‘long’ covid.

Are you aware of what happens/what is happening when/as a virus mutates?

It becomes weaker.


There are many data points that when added together suggest the tragedy at the Sari Club was a state sponsored false flag.

JonKnowsNothing June 6, 2023 1:38 AM

@SydneyAustralia, All

re: virus mutations

Virus mutations are, from the point of the virus, only useful if they provide improved survivability for the virus. It is neither a matter of weaker nor stronger, per se, but what advantage a particular mutation gives.

SARS-CoV-2 has a very short genetic sequence, so it’s much easier to track, trace and analyze the mutations and to link them to specific changes in how the virus interacts with its hosts. SARS-CoV-2 preferred host was Humans. It has readily adapted to many other mammals that carry enough of the ACE2 receptor to make them viable hosts for the virus. (see: white tail deer, mustelidae : mink, otter, ferrets, and others).

Mutations can be of any combination and Sequence Deletions can be of any combination. These arise though spontaneous mutations and also by environmental selection.

The primary mutations that all COVID variants now have are Escape Mutations specific to Human Immune Response. That means the virus is not much affected by our human immune system. It infects us, makes us sick and we spew our infection out to anyone within a distance of 60ft to several miles (depends on air currents).

That the virus is able to keep us spewing infectious material is not a “weaker” mutation. It provides COVID more than an ample opportunity to pick up other mutations from other variants and also from spontaneous changes. DG14G was a single mutation that killed millions.

Every mutation is a dice roll for humans, COVID has an endless supply of hosts, human and animal. Any mutation can be a game changer for both.

SARS-CoV-2 is not weaker. Not by a long shot. It is not as deadly as the D615G variant (pre Greek letters) but it is still very deadly.

In the first five months of 2023, COVID caused more than 37,000 deaths in the U.S., a typical toll from the flu in an entire year.

Scientists estimate an annual U.S. COVID death rate of at least 100,000, dwarfing other infectious diseases.

And the virus continues to evolve: The highly transmissible XBB.1.16 subvariant (Arcturus), currently making up about 15% of cases nationally, is expected to be the dominant strain by summer.

* Peter Chin-Hong is a professor of medicine and an infectious disease doctor specializing in immunocompromised patients at UC San Francisco (1)


1) Why is COVID still killing so many people? Peter Chin-Hong

Los Angeles Times June 5, 2023 3:01 AM PT

ht tps://www.latimes.c o m/opinion/story/2023-06-05/covid-booster-deaths-protection-vulnerable-groups

(url fractured)

Clive Robinson June 6, 2023 2:38 AM

@ SydneyAustralia, ALL,

Re : Virus mutations

“It becomes weaker.”

That is an MSM myth… Based on a probably wilful misinterpretation of past viral events that we knew from near day one SARS-CoV-2 did not adhere to.

The assumed life cycle of infectious (viral) disease last century was,

1, You became infected.
2, You developed chills that made you seak out the comfort of other humans.
3, You then became infectious and infected them.

Well in this century human behaviour has changed and mostly when adults feel ill we issolate from other humans so that “chain of infection” got more or less broken and only remained with children and care givers. Which is one of the reasons why respiratory viral outbreaks tend to realy start to happen at the begining of term time (likewise other pathogens such as hair lice etc).

SARS-CoV-2 was noticably different in that,

1, You got infected.
2, You became infectious
3, You became ill.

That is all those infected were “Typhoid Mary Types” and asymptomatic whilst highly infectious. Thus it spread easily in adult work and social environments, hence the “super-spreader” issue was more prevelent.

But viruses have lots of traits and as we know with ebola, they can get more pathogenic as well as more infectious.

With just two traits there are four change possabilities,

1, Less infectious, Less deadly.
2, Less infectious, More deadly.
3, More infectious, Less deadly.
4, More infectious, More deadly.

As well as the effectively “no change” states (hence 3^n not 2^n potential states). But, each human has different susceptabilities so any change blurs across a number of states.

So the “It becomes weaker” statment can be seen as a blandishment of hope rather than based on science. Nespapers and similar sell on emotion not fact, hence the reason it’s effectively an MSM myth.

But there is a more dangerous myth going around about “long covid” in that “you get over it” there is actually no real evidence that is true and a build up of evidence that it is actually the start of an “auto-immune” disease. That is over time it damages organs in the body. The scientific community is comming to the conclusion thatva lot of longterm disease especially auto-immune disease such as diabetes is actually triggered by a viral infection.

As you might know Type II diabetes takes upwards of a decade of low level disease before the symptoms become significant enough for it to be diagnosed by which time the medical proffession assumes it’s killed you, even though you are still walking. The same is true for various cancers, and the more we look the more suspects we are finding that certain types of heart disease may also be triggered by early life viral infection.

One thing we do know from German research into an upsurge of “Sudden Death” in younger people there are definate signs that it is related to what has happened during the Covid pandemic (which is still with us). Other evidence suggests there are significant issues that are not SARS-CoV-2 related, but to other virus infection like events, as some people apparently have long covid without having had covid.

nuk3 1t fr0m 0r81t June 6, 2023 7:50 AM

Robert Hanssen, former FBI agent convicted of spying for Russia, dead at 79


By Caitlin Yilek, Pat Milton, Arden Farhi

Updated on: June 5, 2023 / 7:46 PM / CBS News

Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent who was one of the most damaging spies in American history, was found dead in his prison cell Monday morning, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

Hanssen, 79, was arrested in 2001 and pleaded guilty to selling highly classified material to the Soviet Union and later Russia. He was serving a life sentence at the federal penitentiary in Florence, Colorado.”


ResearcherZero June 7, 2023 12:39 AM

Skynet is used for a couple of systems. None of them feature Arnie, or killer robots, at least not at this point. Though some AI is used for analysis in at least one system, for looking at communications data (phones for example).

Institute for the Study of War think tank reported that Moscow may be planning an attack on the dam which it would blame on Ukraine.

The ISW described these efforts as part of Russia setting the “information conditions” to make a false flag attack. In the ISW prediction, flooding resulting from the explosion of the dam would be used by Russia to cover any retreat by its forces eastwards, and would also provide a distraction from its losses.

Kremlin is preparing ground to blow up facility and decimate villages and towns

The Russian military had seized control of the dam in February 2022, in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, …and controlled the dam at the time of its destruction.

overview of Russian held territory

lurker June 7, 2023 12:46 AM


A scorched earth retreat, eh? I seem to have heard of that before …

ResearcherZero June 7, 2023 1:15 AM

@Clive Robinson

“Signals” is pretty self explanatory in hindsight.

There was this fella that showed up once, a long time ago. John Durham perhaps he was called. He was trying to play down some information, though he didn’t really know what it was. Everyone thought it was a bit odd, as the information had just come in and was still being assessed, yet he seemed to think it should be ignored. I can’t say anyone ever did that before.

He looked nervous, so he may have wanted to impress someone else, or mistaken the subject of the content.

Winter June 7, 2023 1:45 AM

@ResearcherZero, lurker

Re: scorched earth retreat

It is instructive to read the report of June 5th.


Russian forces are “repelling” Ukrainian attacks further and further east of Bakhmut and the rift between the Wagner group and the official military is widening. Also,

Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that Chechen forces are ready to defend against raids in Belgorod Oblast, likely in part to keep his forces out of combat in Ukraine.


The Russian Black Sea Fleet is attempting to mitigate complications with logistical support in occupied Crimea by shifting resources to mainland Russia. information is rather suggestive of standard Russian incompetence : (June 6th)

Ukrainian officials stated that Russian forces intentionally destroyed the KHPP dam and suggested that the Russian military did not prepare for subsequent flooding.

Footage published on June 6 purports to show Russian forces withdrawing from flooded positions, suggesting that these forces were not prepared for the flooding that resulted from the destruction of the KHPP dam.

Ukrainian officials acknowledged that Russian formations and positions on the east bank may have been caught off guard and threatened by the flooding due to the topography of the area, some Ukrainian officials suggested that this was a result of the chaotic handling of the intentional detonation of the dam by Russian forces.

ResearcherZero June 7, 2023 2:07 AM

Asked if he is confident that the World Food Programme can keep food supply lines open, Beasley said “no, I’m not.”

Former Russian president and senior security official Dmitry Medvedev called food exports a “quiet weapon” in the fight against Western sanctions, indirectly confirming Beasley’s statements.

“Many countries depend on our supplies for their food security,” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on April 1. “It turns out that our food is our quiet weapon,” he wrote. “Quiet but ominous.”

Winter June 7, 2023 2:57 AM



Putin is an admirer of Stalin [1]. He embraces all the tactics of Staling. Stalin starved millions (3.5-5M) of Ukrainians to death.

Putin obviously tries to outdo or at least reenact Stalin’s “successes”. Luckily for us, one of Stalin’s successes seems to have been the destruction of a functioning society. The incompetence pervading current Russian society did not only give us Putin and this war, but also made them too incompetent to achieve anything but destruction.

PS: Russia does have a history of crushing defeats:

[1] To get an impression on the state of mind in Kremlin circles, see the ideologue Alexander Dugin

Dugin’s catechism, adapted from these ideas for his Eurasia Youth Union of Russia, runs more or less like this: “Frankly, the modern world is rubbish.” And by “modern world,” a phrase to be uttered with a sneer, Dugin means first and foremost the United States of America and liberal ideology, which “represents processes of degradation and degeneration.” The reasonable alternative to this state is the “dictatorship of the new elite,” which has as its model not only the USSR, but Tsar Ivan IV, known as “The Terrible,” and the Grand Duchy of Moscow in the 16th century. Ivan established oprichnina, the policies that put the terror in “Terrible,” with secret police, mass repression and public executions.


Heiser then proceeds to dissect Dugin’s political and geopolitical ideology of Eurasianism. The core idea of this is that “liberalism” (by which Dugin means the entire Western consensus) represents an assault on the traditional hierarchical organization of the world. Repeating the ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Dugin says that this liberal threat is not new, but is the ideology of the maritime-cosmopolitan power “Atlantis,” which has conspired to subvert more conservative land-based societies since ancient times.

In order to be so united “from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” this Eurasian Union will need a defining ideology, and for this purpose Dugin has developed a new “Fourth Political Theory” combining all the strongest points of Communism, Nazism, Ecologism, and Traditionalism, thereby allowing it to appeal to the adherents of all of these diverse anti-liberal creeds.

ResearcherZero June 7, 2023 3:01 AM

Best to patch it…

All MOVEit Transfer versions are affected by this vulnerability.

Signs of trouble and mitigation

A VPN does not need to be configured on a device for it to be vulnerable. Successful exploitation of CVE-2023-28771 allows an unauthenticated attacker to execute code remotely on the target system. The vulnerability is present in the default configuration of vulnerable devices and is exploitable in the Wide Area Network (WAN) interface.

vulnerable products and updates

Eriadilos June 7, 2023 4:35 AM

The article is in French, but it shows well how governments in Europe (in this case France) are slowly but surely trying to break encryption, and if not possible make it illegal to use.

In a nutshell :
The accused persons have painted a target on their backs because they fought daech in Kurdistan.
They are accused of, and for some “preventively imprisonned”, because they use encrypted messaging services, TOR, linux distros for confidentiality, and custom phone OS for confidentiality. The rhetoric is that if they use encrypted and confidential means of communications and/or navigation on the internet, they have something to hide, probably illegal.
Not surprising from the US but doesn’t fit with the idea I had of France.

Clive Robinson June 7, 2023 11:39 AM

@ Eriadilos, ALL,

Re : France and encryption.

“Not surprising from the US but doesn’t fit with the idea I had of France.”

Certainly since the end of WWII the French attitude to encryption has been one of the worst in the Western World.

They have been rabidly anti-encryption more so than the Five-Eyes in just about everything regarding private and commercial communications for as long as most in the communications industry can remember.

I’ve mentioned it a few times over the years on this blog.

One reason is that it gives certain people a lot of power. One head of their SigInt agency publicly stated back last century that industrial espionage was way less expensive than R&D… Having been on the receiving end of it I can confirm that their attitudes are extreamly dangerous.

But look at it this way, how much power does having “leading edge R&D” information give you with your home nation industry?

Yup the potential for such corruption is immense.

However if pushed French Officials mumble about “Terrorism from within” and will refere back to various nations that they had held as colonies fighting for their freedom, and how French Military opposed to the relinquishing of control of such colonies had used strong encryption.

Thus to certain people in the French Civil Service, the use of encryption equates directly with terrorism and I suspect always will do because it makes the acquisition of power thus influance, wealth, etc so much the easier.

You will here about all the issues with encryption with mobile phones in the EU and other standards bodies… Almost always you will find French organisations and their personnel fighting any ability for people to have privacy from the state…

JonKnowsNothing June 7, 2023 12:47 PM

@Clive, @ Eriadilos, ALL

re: the French attitude

Or as they used to say “French technique” is not anything at all like USA or UK. Their laws and legal systems are totally different in their fundamentals from the USA-UK. We are not on the same wavelength.

For the most part the USA runs on UK Common Law, inherited from our “commonly thought of” connection as UK Colonies. There is another system in use in parts of the USA, based on French Laws. It is generally found in the French Colonies of the USA.

The average person is less aware of our French Connections. People living in the French Colonies or who came here after they were exiled and deported by the UK King-of-the-Period from Canada, are well aware of our French side. They adhere to French Laws.

The French attitudes to what the 5EY Wants is:

  • You Are Not French, followed by a generous string of (expletive deletes).

ResearcherZero June 8, 2023 12:25 AM

“The work that we’ve got to do now is to understand, during the period the vulnerability existed, what was the information that went through that system, what was it connected to and what information is in there that may have been able to be accessed.”

ACTION NOTICE: Impacted ESG appliances must be immediately replaced regardless of patch version level.

Barracuda Email Security Gateway is an email security gateway that manages and filters all inbound and outbound email traffic to protect organizations from email-borne threats and data leaks. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow for unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on the server in the context of the System user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Barracuda has stated CVE-2023-2868 has been used to impact ESG appliances as early as October 2022. Barracuda has identified a subset of appliances where CVE-2023-2868 was utilized to obtain unauthorized access, deploy backdoors, and deploy malware.


SALTWATER is a trojanized module for the Barracuda SMTP daemon (bsmtpd) that contains backdoor functionality. The capabilities of SALTWATER include the ability to upload or download arbitrary files, execute commands, as well as proxy and tunneling capabilities.

Identified at path: /home/product/code/firmware/current/lib/smtp/modules on a subset of ESG appliances.

The backdoor is implemented using hooks on the send, recv, close syscalls and amounts to five components, most of which are referred to as “Channels” within the binary. In addition to providing proxying capabilities, these components exhibit backdoor functionality.


SEASPY is an x64 ELF persistence backdoor that poses as a legitimate Barracuda Networks service and establishes itself as a PCAP filter, specifically monitoring traffic on port 25 (SMTP) and port 587. SEASPY contains backdoor functionality that is activated by a “magic packet”.

Mandiant analysis has identified code overlap between SEASPY and cd00r, a publicly available backdoor.


SEASIDE is a Lua based module for the Barracuda SMTP daemon (bsmtpd) that monitors SMTP HELO/EHLO commands to receive a command and control (C2) IP address and port which it passes as arguments to an external binary that establishes a reverse shell.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 2:01 AM

Worrying Attack on .jars via Minecraft “Mods” ecosystem

This is actually a technically interesting attack that is still being investigated,

Put simply Mincraft is a very popular game once described as a way to get children into CAD.

As such it uses Java to make running on multiple platforms easier. Which in turn allowed a “Modding community” to build up.

The problem is that security was never a consideration.

Well someone has exploited that, which I guess is not exactly unexpected.

However what the malware also does in stage 3 is look for all .jar files the user account has access to and tries to infect those…

So it will infect more programs than just Minecraft.

It’s of particular concern in “Educational Software Environments” because to be “multi-platform” fairly easily a lot of interface software is Java based on Open Source components.

It’s kind of the first 24Hour period on people trying to tackle this, so keep your eyes on it, as it’s got the hall marks of being “the first of a new trend” of attack methodologies.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 2:13 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

This is potentiallt going to muddy the journalistic waters on AI.

Put simply using “Reinforced Learning”(RL) a group of researchers have come up with “faster search algorithms”.

I will note there is nothing intelligent in RL in just the same way there is nothing inteligent in water running down hill.

However to some it will look like it must be “inteligence” because it has done something they will see as “What could only have been done by human inteligence”.

Winter June 8, 2023 2:38 AM


I will note there is nothing intelligent in RL in just the same way there is nothing inteligent in water running down hill.

Water running downhill has historical been extremely usefull and powered some early “industrial revolutions”. 😉

RL is akin to genetic algorithms on steroids [1]. Nothing really “new”. What is nice is that it could be used to improve on some of the oldest algorithmic problems (Knut spend a book on sorting).

I do see this as important progress in the development of algorithms.

[1] ‘

Eriadilos June 8, 2023 3:16 AM

@Clive, @JonKnowsNothing

Re: French and encryption

Thank you very much for the input, cryptography history and the political stance of countries towards encryption is not something I know much about but is definetly worth reading up on.

@Clive if pushed French Officials mumble about “Terrorism from within” and will refere back to various nations that they had held as colonies fighting for their freedom

No need to go back to the Algerian independance war ! Bataclan, hyper cacher, and Mohamed Merah are much more recent events that still scare many french people and that our politicians know very well how to use when they need to take away our privacy and freedom.

Winter June 8, 2023 3:38 AM

The importance of the study is not in the current incarnation of the application, but in the way to do develop new iterations in an arms race:

Scientists claim >99 percent identification rate of ChatGPT content

Initial experiments reported the classifier was able to discern between real science writing from humans and AI-generated papers 100 percent of the time. Accuracy at the individual paragraph level, however, dropped slightly – to 92 percent, it’s claimed.

They believe their classifier is effective, because it homes in on a range of stylistic differences between human and AI writing. Scientists are more likely to have a richer vocabulary and write longer paragraphs containing more diverse words than machines. They also use punctuation like question marks, brackets, semicolons more frequently than ChatGPT, except for speech marks used for quotations.

The original study:
Distinguishing academic science writing from humans or ChatGPT with over 99% accuracy using off-the-shelf machine learning tools

ChatGPT has enabled access to artificial intelligence (AI)-generated writing for the masses, initiating a culture shift in the way people work, learn, and write. The need to discriminate human writing from AI is now both critical and urgent. Addressing this need, we report a method for discriminating text generated by ChatGPT from (human) academic scientists, relying on prevalent and accessible supervised classification methods. The approach uses new features for discriminating (these) humans from AI; as examples, scientists write long paragraphs and have a penchant for equivocal language, frequently using words like “but,” “however,” and “although.” With a set of 20 features, we built a model that assigns the author, as human or AI, at over 99% accuracy. This strategy could be further adapted and developed by others with basic skills in supervised classification, enabling access to many highly accurate and targeted models for detecting AI usage in academic writing and beyond.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 5:06 AM

@ Winter, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Style is everything.

“They believe their classifier is effective, because it homes in on a range of stylistic differences between human and AI writing.”

It’s very probably true.

It took me very little time to develop a “sixth sense” or “hinky feeling” for LLM output.

To me it felt like a mixture of “marketing and managment speak” which is something I detest to a level most would not appreciate, so I’m somewhat sensitive to it.

So if an old goat like me can pick up on it fairly quickly I’d kind of expect a young “kick ass algorithm” to be even better 😉

Winter June 8, 2023 5:20 AM


To me it felt like a mixture of “marketing and managment speak” which is something I detest to a level most would not appreciate, so I’m somewhat sensitive to it.

The study was done with Perspectives articles from the journal Science as the human standard texts and ChatGPT generated texts as the “fake”.

Now, the genre of “Perspectives” articles in Science will indeed have a very peculiar style. There might not be enough samples of such writings for any LLM to get properly trained for the peculiarities of that style.

The wider message is that if you want to distinguish human versus LLM generated text, you should make sure to delineate the style well. That does not bode well for Student Homework Assignments versus LLMs. There will be enough training materials and each Student Essay will be peculiar in its own very personal way. 😉

modem phonemes June 8, 2023 5:20 AM

@ Clive Robinson @Winter

Put simply using “Reinforced Learning”(RL) a group of researchers have come up with “faster search algorithms”.

This is a learning moment ! Did they find an essentially new algorithm or refine the details of an existing one ?

Maybe they can turn their approach to improving the proof of the Four Colour theorem, perhaps by reducing the number of maps that have to be checked for “unavoidable sets of reducible configurations”. From [1],

The Four Color Theorem was finally proven in 1976 by Kenneth Appel and Wolfgang Haken, with some assistance from John A. Koch on the algorithmic work. This was the first time that a computer was used to aid in the proof of a major theorem .

Using mathematical rules and procedures based on the properties of reducible configurations, Appel and Haken found an unavoidable set of reducible configurations, thus proving that a minimal counterexample to the Four Color Theorem could not exist. Instead of examining all possible map configurations (an impossible task), the Appel-Haken proof was able to reduce the problem to looking at a particular set of 1,936 maps. Each of these maps, it was shown, could not be part of a smallest-sized counterexample to the Four Color Theorem. Since checking all of these maps by hand would be tedious and time consuming, Appel and Haken used a special-purpose computer program to confirm that each of the maps had the desired properties.

The Appel-Haken proof concluded that no smallest counterexample exists because it must contain, yet cannot contain, one of the specially chosen 1,936 maps. This contradiction shows that there cannot be any counterexamples and therefore the Four Color Theorem must be true.


Winter June 8, 2023 5:44 AM


Maybe they can turn their approach to improving the proof of the Four Colour theorem, perhaps by reducing the number of maps that have to be checked for “unavoidable sets of reducible configurations”.

That would be a real breakthrough. But I am afraid that is such a monumental task that the electricity consumption alone would be “university-breaking”.

Winter June 8, 2023 6:32 AM

The end of the “clean” LLMs. More fun and problems for LLM producers.
Ross Anderson is at it again!

ChatGPT is like a blurry jpeg of all the text on the Internet, and that copies of copies get worse
Ted Chiang

Will GPT models choke on their own exhaust?

In our latest paper, we show that using model-generated content in training causes irreversible defects. The tails of the original content distribution disappear. Within a few generations, text becomes garbage, as Gaussian distributions converge and may even become delta functions. We call this effect model collapse.

The Curse of Recursion: Training on Generated Data Makes Models Forget

Stable Diffusion revolutionised image creation from descriptive text. GPT-2, GPT-3(.5) and GPT-4 demonstrated astonishing performance across a variety of language tasks. ChatGPT introduced such language models to the general public. It is now clear that large language models (LLMs) are here to stay, and will bring about drastic change in the whole ecosystem of online text and images. In this paper we consider what the future might hold. What will happen to GPT-{n} once LLMs contribute much of the language found online? We find that use of model-generated content in training causes irreversible defects in the resulting models, where tails of the original content distribution disappear. We refer to this effect as Model Collapse and show that it can occur in Variational Autoencoders, Gaussian Mixture Models and LLMs. We build theoretical intuition behind the phenomenon and portray its ubiquity amongst all learned generative models. We demonstrate that it has to be taken seriously if we are to sustain the benefits of training from large-scale data scraped from the web. Indeed, the value of data collected about genuine human interactions with systems will be increasingly valuable in the presence of content generated by LLMs in data crawled from the Internet.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 6:46 AM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : Economists, Price gouging, and security.

As some know, I’ve a fairly low oppinion of many economists for various reasons I’ve indicated before. Not least of which is mostly tge current crop and their theories are not based on any tested reality. That is they can not be bothered to examine the lessons of history.

In part because the accademics are in effect paid by the wealthy to make what the wealthy want to do look like some kind of science based inevitability, which history shows it not to be…

And academics who go against that cosy arrangement can get pilloried…

In the past those doing the pilloring got away with it because of time lags and short term memories.

Well Covid kind of put a gimp in that and what is going on at the Eastern edge of Europe made things obvious in a very very short time period.

Thus an academic who had “done her history homework” found that whilst she was first given the “Burn the Heretic” treatment by those doing very nicely out of the old cosy relationship the rapid changes made her points stand out sufficirntly for even jaded politicians to wake up and smell which way the smoke was blowing,

Put simply much of inflation is not caused by consumers purchasing as the current economic model had it, but suppliers and the markets the control price gouging those consumers by blatant market manipulation to profiteer.

But you miggt ask “what has this to do with Security?” not just in the general sense but in the ICTsec sense.

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out blatant profiteering gives extream fragility. A historic example is “Lemon Cars” that gave rise to regulation, that not just increased passenger safety, but actually kick started innovation in the auto industry. This need to “engineer a way out” gave rise to a rise in utility, and a very real reversal on what had been a “race for the bottom” by corporate thinking.

We are currently seeing a rise in this “corporte thinking” again especially with “DRM in Everything” being the corporate aim to gouge the customers pocket, and “Surveillance Capitalism” trying to gouge manufacturers etc.

It’s making the ICT industry quite fragile, and it’s getting worse…

With that “fragility” we see a coresponding rise in “insecurity” of all forms…

Thus those against “Market Regulation” realy need to learn a few lessons from history, their ideas do not work for society, or ultimately them either.

Winter June 8, 2023 7:13 AM


Put simply much of inflation is not caused by consumers purchasing as the current economic model had it, but suppliers and the markets the control price gouging those consumers by blatant market manipulation to profiteer.

I believe the term is Grabflation.

In part because the accademics are in effect paid by the wealthy to make what the wealthy want to do look like some kind of science based inevitability, which history shows it not to be…

That was also a consistent story after the 2008 financial crisis when economists and experts were called to task abou mispredicting absolutely everything.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 9:43 AM

@ Winter,

Re : More fun and games.

From the quote,

“The tails of the original content distribution disappear. Within a few generations, text becomes garbage, as Gaussian distributions converge and may even become delta functions.”

Hmm it’s kind of what you would expect.

From a different view,

If you throw a fair dice the values come up with a flat distribution. Throw two dice and add the values and the distribution looks like a pyramid. Throw and add three dice and the top flattens and the tails start to appear. With four dice the “normal distribution” or “bell curve” starts to become quite apparent. From then on the more dice you add the more the tails come into view.

Now think of doing it in reverse and you can see why what is described could happen.

However also using “biased dice” would have a similar effect (just harder to visualize). Whilst the area inder the curve remains the same as that is defined by what would be the required number of throws, the bias narrows the spread of values down and the shape approaches that of a single value (effectively a unit impulse).

When you feed back data that is the result of existing data you are using the equivalent of “biased dice”…

Petre Peter June 8, 2023 9:53 AM

“Vim does not have a mechanism to check if the key is the right on (this makes it much harder to break the key).”
From VIM manual 9.0

lurker June 8, 2023 2:57 PM

@Winter, Clive, All

Academics have apparently trained a machine learning algorithm to detect scientific papers generated by ChatGPT

Now it’s published, it’s useless to hope that said researchers energy gapped their research. The GPT brethren will now “know” how to not look so silly.

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 5:19 PM

@ lurker, Winter, ALL,

Re : It’s all fun and games, till the boomerang comes back.


“the value of data collected about genuine human interactions with systems will be increasingly valuable in the presence of content generated by LLMs in data crawled from the Internet.”


1, Human = valuable
2, Generated = dross

Who will be in a position to know which is which?

The answer is certain big Silicon Valleu Corps like Alphabet-Google, Microsoft-bing, Amazon-AWS and similar who collect “Direct input” from users and have no need to “scrape” webpages.

Now you begin to understand who will be the winners in this game.

Also consider that the LLM’s will also be the biggest source of input for “Surveillance Capitalism” and due to certain US legislation Dian Wrinklestein pushed through the US Gov gets access to atleast all that raw data for free…

But hey as they say in Auz where “spy on your citizens” is worse than the US,

“No worries mate, fair dunk’m in the dunny”.

lurker June 8, 2023 9:01 PM

Chinese proposed regulations on “short-range ad hoc network information service providers” will require them to use real names, keep logs, not auto-pair, and a lot of other restrictions. The proposal is aimed at Bluetooth, wifi, Apple’s Airdrop, and a bunch of similar functions from Chinese domestic handset makers. South China Morning Post has an informative article, but their website is an abomination.
(there should be an English tab on that page)

Clive Robinson June 8, 2023 11:20 PM

@ lurker, ALL,

Re : Chinese proposed regulations on “short-range ad hoc networks

“The proposal is aimed at Bluetooth, wifi, Apple’s Airdrop, and a bunch of similar functions from Chinese domestic handset makers.”

Yes that appears to be “reasonable” within the Chinese Gov’s current views and plans.

In that it has two major purposess,

1, It clamps down on ad-hoc smart dust[1] style networking.

2, It will force Western Phone and orher similar communications device manufacturers to make their products less secure.

It’s the second point you should watch, because I doubt currently any Western Govs will enact counter legislation or object in any way.

[1] See papers from UK Cambridge Computer Labs going back a quater century or so ago on highly localised peer to peer networks with non-local to global coverage that started with “The Eternity Service”,

And went on with various privacy establishing mechanisms in hostile environments including,

Also the likes of properly designed Mix Nets and Onion Routing (not Tor software which is insecure by design).

Winter June 9, 2023 4:01 AM

Fake news and Trump, a match made in heaven:

DeSantis ad uses fake AI images of Trump hugging and kissing Fauci, experts say

The DeSantis campaign ad is not the first to use AI. In April, the GOP released an anti-Biden ad that used AI-generated images.

The best response I found in the comments was from @PatrickFisher who said:

There’s no point in pointing out that an AI-generated photo isn’t real when it’s targeting people who don’t believe in reality.

I’m not sure what the solution here is.

PS: Could DeSantis really be more incompetent than The Donald?

Clive Robinson June 9, 2023 6:42 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : Real or not

“Could DeSantis really be more incompetent than The Donald?”

In the UK we have two expressions,

1, Need you ask?
2, Ask a Silly question…

Meaning that the user of them knows that the person asking the original question is being to some extent “sarcastic for effect” and of course the answer is in the affirmative.

The trouble is your question is such that neither quip is of sufficoent adequacy for the task 😉

Even the standbys of “Does a bear…” and “Is the Pope…” don’t feel adequate either.

Tell you what, if we get an AI to produce a video of Putin bare chested, and DeSantis in a frock tripping lightly through a field of wild flowers holding hands and gazing longingly at each other like a couple of young lovers… Would it be “Any more real?” for oh a 100million US voters?

Winter June 9, 2023 8:57 AM


Even the standbys of “Does a bear…” and “Is the Pope…” don’t feel adequate either.

I must admit that after having seen Dan Quayle and GW perform, I should have known the answer.

As a violent people begat Stalin and VV Putin as their leaders, a certain type of people voted in Reagan, Quayle, GW, and Trump as their preferred leaders. Birds of a feather… [1]

My real question should be how incompetent would be too much to be selected as a candidate in the USA. But Reagan (and possibly GW) already had developed Alzheimer’s when running for a second term. So, I suspect a beating heart might be the lower threshold.

If that is correct, DeSantis certainly still qualifies.

[1] Idiocracy seems more and more a prophetic movie.

Clive Robinson June 9, 2023 10:47 AM

@ Winter,

Re : Any on who had a heart[1]

“I suspect a beating heart might be the lower threshold.

If that is correct, DeSantis certainly still qualifies.”

You are making quite an assumption there…

After all as we know with many parasites, slime molds, and plants “a heart” is not a requirment for innane or totally destructive action, the death of millions in the short term, and nobody can even guess how many and by which horific harms in the long term…

But as long as the quif[2] is held in place…

[1] It’s a song from the early 1960’s. In the UK it was “Cilla Black” who brought it to fame in 64 at the start of the swinging 60’s when life was not as it was in the US in many ways… But since that time many of our less noble politicians have tried to turn us into a pale imitation of Porta Rico or similar by making the worst of the worst their desirable goals… So we can crawl around for the crumbs as the least state not in the union…

The lyrics include,

“You couldn’t really have a heart,
And hurt me like you hurt me,
And be so untrue,
What am I to do?”

So fairly apt I suspect.

[2] A quif has also been recognised as looking like thus termed “A duck’s arse” or just DA. It originates from an earlier time even than the old creakies that occasionally comment here. That said I’ve never been quite sure if it’s named realy about the hair or the supposed entity with agency that hides beneath. As you know both Trumpeter and BlowJo sported such hair.

Winter June 9, 2023 11:38 AM


After all as we know with many parasites, slime molds, and plants

They are not eligible for election in public office in the USA. I suspect being technically alive is a requirement for humans to be electable.

ResearcherZero June 9, 2023 3:31 PM

“Security may hinder growth and development” was the excuse. But they left out the (… of more money in pockets).

When confronted with the coming changes that the future would bring, many just lost their brains entirely and began positioning themselves to take advantage of that changing world.

Selling of public housing stock for example, and collecting a portfolio of dwellings in areas that would not be subject to future flooding. Or pleasing developers who in turn provided campaign contributions.

Others let ambition completely go to their heads and lost all objectivity.

And with that the lawyers decided to split, accompanied by the usual lawyer speak.


One count of false statements and representations.
One count for allegedly participating in a scheme to conceal.
31 counts of willful retention of national defense information.
One count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
One count was for allegedly withholding a document or record.
One count of corruptly concealing a document or record.
One count of concealing a document in a federal investigation.

ResearcherZero June 9, 2023 3:51 PM

“Homelessness among service personnel is not just a personal tragedy but a collective failure of society.”

In the past year, almost 6000 or 5.3 per cent of Australia’s half a million veterans were on the streets.

If left unaddressed, veterans’ homelessness would cost $4.6 billion over the next 30 years, while veteran suicides would cost $140 million per year.


Australia’s former service men and women is three times the rate of the broader population.

Veterans in Tasmania are increasingly in need of help be it paying for things like rental bonds, or mental health support. Requests to the RSL rose 900 percent last year.

Give Me Shelter: Leave No Veteran Behind

The report calls out the critical need for government to commit to further research and service policy reform to address homeless veterans’ needs.

“As such it is the core service need for chronically homeless veterans, yet for many this need is not being met. It is unlikely that we will have a significant reduction in veteran homelessness unless the needs of chronically homeless veterans are met.”

“Additionally, our research has revealed that older Australian veterans go to great efforts to isolate themselves from family, and live in a manner that avoids authorities and attention.”

ResearcherZero June 10, 2023 6:07 AM

@Clive Robinson

Prosecutions for price gouging have increased.

There is a lot of data from consumer advocacy groups that indicate price gouging taking place in some markets dominated by low competition and high market concentration.

‘The definition of price gouging is driven by politics, not economics.’

In some states, retailers are allowed to pass on wholesalers’ costs, and in others, they’re not. It’s a random patchwork of guidance that uses words like exorbitant, excessive and unconscionable with regard to pricing without defining what those terms actually mean.

Politicians will now try to untangle that old knot between economics and ethics, the same one that the philosopher Plato wrestled with in his “Republic” more than 2,000 years ago. So this latest attempt to define price gouging – oh, it might take a wee while.

“economic efficiency will NOT be optimal if self-interest is “unfettered,” or otherwise unconstrained by ethics”

In an economic system in which self-interest is appropriately constrained, outcomes beneficial to the larger community will prevail. However, whenever people pursue their self-interest, while simultaneously violating these ethical principles, pursuit which is therefore “unfettered,” or without constraint, then markets perform inefficiently, or fail to prosper. Unconstrained selfinterest, then, is tantamount to greed.

Americans are saving less, bankruptcies are becoming more common, and politicians are pushing for policies to make it easier to take on debt.

Results indicate that real estate prices were the most important drivers of household debt which we interpret as the result of speculative dynamics in real estate markets.

“Our results are consistent with the credit deregulation and low interest rate hypotheses, but their explanatory power for the 1995-2007 period is low.”

“Although the link between context and evaluation is uncontroversial among behavioral scientists, the reigning economic models of consumer behavior completely ignore it. These models assume that each person’s consumption spending is completely independent of the spending of others.”

During the late 1900s and early 2000s, income inequality in the United States rose dramatically, and expenditure cascades occurred. During the 1980s, the income-tax structure was altered to favor top earners in regards to after-tax purchasing power.

The fossil fuel industry has very good intel and is well positioned to take advantage of it ahead of time, along with some other industries that have a ‘seat at the table’ and hence good insight and influence over government policy.

…a cache of internal PwC emails released last month showed “the international tax network within PwC was operating internationally to subvert the Australian law development or the application of the law”

ResearcherZero June 10, 2023 6:36 AM

Again it is a collective failure of society because most everyone failed to take any interest until we all started to feel the pain.

Problems like homelessness are a failure of families, society and government policy. Veterans are dumped in caravan parks by their own families. Families and society are not interested in the difficulties veterans are facing, and community outreach and psychological support is underfunded.

“I’m not crazy! I do not need to talk to a psychologist!”

~“I do not want to understand! I would prefer to ignore the problem rather than help address it!”

International Journal of Communication

social media users copy the way in which their politicians turn “fake news” against media and spread it on the digital platforms

“The media’s failure to refute fake news accusations has adverse consequences for public debate and trust in media.”

Winter June 10, 2023 7:45 AM


Problems like homelessness are a failure of families, society and government policy.

You have the order wrong. Government should organize the economy in ways that allows people to obtain a home. Society should support all initiatives, political and private, that help those that fall off the economy. By the time people get homeless, the support of families has already broken down.

But if the economy is organized such that even two jobs cannot house and feed a family, it is government that is entirely responsible.

Let us take the USA as the shining braken that is an example for us all.

Since 1980 (Reagan’s terms), real median family income has grown by a third. That growth ended in 2000. And for that little growth, the poor had to get two jobs per family. The real GDP per Capita doubled in this period. So by far most of the growth ended up with the richer half of the population.

So, the growth of the economy should have allowed every household roughly a doubling of standards of living wrt 1980, but in reality, the poor have done much, much worse.

That is what is driving people onto the streets.

ResearcherZero June 10, 2023 9:27 AM


Social stability and security are at risk

Prediction and Its Limits

BEFORE the First World War, farmers composed the largest single group in every country.

…if a population gains knowledge of the future, will their behaviour change enough to thwart the coming of that future?

“If we get some of the predicted impacts on rainfall, for example, we will get large parts of the wheat-growing regions suddenly subjected to either drought or flood and in some cases both.

“So suddenly, wheat gets much more expensive. All your classic staples in terms of pasta, bread, pizza, which have been cheap, suddenly start to become quite expensive. Are there other alternative grains? Are we going to shift to different growing regions? There are all sorts of interesting possibilities there.”

…in a financial crisis, being an advanced country was no protection.

“So, unless there’s a lot more regulation, we could do this again.”

During the eighties, he thought that supply-side economics was stupid, but he didn’t think that much about it.

“I had very little sense of what was at stake in the tax issues,” he says. “I was into career-building at that point and not that concerned.”

Everyone is affected by social stratification

Neighborhood spatial and racial stratification can have an effect on differential access in mortgage credit.

“Mobility climbs to the rank of the uppermost among coveted values – and the freedom to move, perpetually a scarce and unequally distributed commodity, fast becomes the main stratifying factor of our late modern or postmodern time.”

Winter June 10, 2023 9:46 AM


Social stability and security are at risk

Indeed, when part of the people lose hope and feel betrayed, they will start to rebel. If the system does not serve them, they will blow it up.

Historically, such “peasant” revolts do not end well. And you can replace “peasant” by “city dweller”. It put Julius Caesar in power, and Robespierre, and in between ransacked France every century or so, but also propelled 20th century tyrants who killed 100+M people, and The Donald.

Maybe the main corrolary here is that growing inequality, and thus also a very efficient free market, will eventually blow up any society.

Clive Robinson June 10, 2023 10:23 AM

@ ResearcherZero, Winter,

Re : A problem long solved.

From the quote,

“So suddenly, wheat gets much more expensive. All your classic staples in terms of pasta, bread, pizza, which have been cheap, suddenly start to become quite expensive. Are there other alternative grains?”

This problem only exists becaise of “economists” pandering to “neo-con short term mantras” and similar compleate nonsense such as the “free market” BS that has gone ebtirely ahaonst what history and evolution have shown to be the way to go.

There are two ways to have a shortage,

1, Use up a resource.
2, Not husbanding resources over time.

It takes no great brains to work out the second causes the first.

Grain silos going back more than four thousand years and accounting records on amoungst other things clay tablets show these problems were fairly well understood and mitigated.

Those running the place via astronomy and other records, knew without a doubt that fwmin and glut were cyclic…

The solution,

Store excess from good years to pay back over bad years, thus stabilize supply over half a decade or more.

But that is heresy to the “take the money and run” types who’s long term view is as we know a decade or so for them and their families, and a starve the rest into “fire sale” sell off of assets tomorrow for them to profit off.

Most religions warned against the dangers of feast, when famine was sure to be around the corner. Even today quite modern religions insist on their adhetants hwving atleast a year of food, water and other necessaries, not just for their immediate family, but also for the immediate society.

But even if you do not subscribe to that, just about everything we know about evolution shows that the 2/3rds or 66% rule (actually based on ‘e’) is how nature works much of the time…

Not doing such simple sensible things robs you of realsilience to even normal expectated cycles.

If they were very aware of this more than fourty centuries ago and were still practicing it upto the “Great War” just a century ago…

“How come we are so stupid to ignore it now?”

I think most can with a little thought work out who benifits the most, and how they try to twist legislation to make the problems for general society a lot worse, but very much to their benifit…

Winter June 10, 2023 11:06 AM


But that is heresy to the “take the money and run” types who’s long term view is as we know a decade or so for them and their families, and a starve the rest into “fire sale” sell off of assets tomorrow for them to profit off.

“Locusts” is the term of the trait.

Note that classical, Milton Friedman, school of economics has taken a beating after it’s ideas and practitioners were decidedly “unhelpful” during the 2008 financial meltdown and positively counterproductive during the current grabflation crisis.

They were, though, very helpful to Pinochet when he murdered a generation of students.

I consider “Locusts” the term that best describes these economists.

Leon Theremin June 10, 2023 12:19 PM

“Introduction of Electromagnetic Information Security”
Lecturer: Prof. Yuichi Hayashi, Nara Institute of Science and Technology

YouTube Premiere Session: Friday, April 28, 6:30 PM JST (GMT+9)


Your CPU has silicon trojans that can exfiltrate data with it’s own radio. Terrorists sponsored by Silicon Valley can use these to steal your files and passwords and also to sabotage your system. There is no security while using US designed CPUs.

Contact me for details on BadBIOS, Hardware Trojans, Havana Syndrome and Electromagnetic Surveillance and Sabotage.

JonKnowsNothing June 10, 2023 1:01 PM

@Winter, @ResearcherZero

W: the growth of the economy should have allowed every household roughly a doubling of standards of living wrt 1980, but in reality, the poor have done much, much worse.

There is an important change that needs to be included in the calculation and that is Marketed Expectation. This is a huge driver in the consumption economy. It started subtly but has gained momentum since end of WW2, in the USA and many parts of the globe.

It’s rather difficult to put hard numbers to this but it drives choices and those choices drive economic decisions and turn into a feedback loop.

An example in USA:

In preWW2 periods, poverty in the USA was the common state of country. There were incredibly wealthy people but the majority lived in terrible conditions. When people had housing, such as generational farmers, multiple families lived in the same house. A new bedroom or perhaps a wing would be added for a newly wed member of the family, but one house was home to several families.

The postWW2 Marshal Plan to rebuild Europe fueled huge advances in the economics of the country. A single wage earner could buy a house for a single family. Such houses were obtained on the GI Bill. They were cheap, not very well made, but they homed 1 family with 2 or 3 small bedrooms and 1 bath, small kitchen but a fairly large yard, where victory gardens were still able to be grown. Such a house cost $10,000 USD. The Down Payment $100 at an interest rate of 2-5%. The square footage was 1000-1400 sqft, big rooms were 10x12ft and normal bedrooms were 10×8 or 8×8.

The advent of TV was a great driver in changing expectations, we wanted what we saw on TV. A master bedroom suit with private bath, shower, Jacuzzi, steam room, sitting area that was 1,000 sq ft just for that room. No one was interested in small housing because we all bought into the Fantasy House. (1)

So now the feedback loop starts and continues to run today.

RL tl;dr

A new housing complex has been built in my neighborhood. The average square footage of each house is 3,500 square feet. They have 3 or 4 bedrooms, living room, dinning room, family room, 2 car garage. They have no yards and are Zero Lot Line buildings. 1 family lives there (2). They cost $900,000 USD.

City and County Property Tax is based on the Sales Price of the house (@1.5% of the sales price) and yearly adjustments are based on what houses that are equivalent are selling for. Houses that are not equivalent (smaller) get a different treatment because if the City or County wish to claim your house for a big house property developer, they will raise your property tax to match the higher priced homes. Essentially Taxing you out of your home and land. So the City and County make a lot more in taxes if they have Big Mega-Mansion Homes.

Developers make a lot more too, there is a second feedback loop at play in the Real Estate Market in the USA, which is Refinancing and Resales. The Resales are often created to entice a family to buy a bigger home. Our USA IRS Tax Codes penalize buying a smaller cheaper house, and allow you to roll over the long term gains taxable portion of the sale into a new more expensive home. It’s a very common enticement as an “investment”.

So, Cities and Counties do not want to build 1,000 square foot 2 bedroom homes, Builders do not want to build them, Tax Authorities do not want them built either, because they all make huge profits from The Fantasy House. More importantly, Buyers do not want them either; they want Fantasy House.


1) A similar change took place with the publication of TV cookbooks showing huge portions of food served to a family of 3 or 4. Those pictured portions previously would have fed a larger family.

2) These homes are single family homes, but people cannot maintain the payments so many rent out portions of the house even if that is against the city ordinances.

JonKnowsNothing June 10, 2023 1:51 PM

@Clive, @ ResearcherZero, Winter, All

re: The price of wheat. Are there other alternative grains? Are we going to shift to different growing regions?

These issues have been around since the agricultural revolution and the advancements in warfare. It’s not new, but it is made more serious due to modern economics and government policies and global conflicts of the day.

1) Mono Planting. Historically there are many types of wheat or grains growing in the same plot of land. Plant selection has made some of these extinct, in favor of plants that produce more of what humans want or what humans select. The problem with this method is that when a pest or virus attacks the plants, the entire field is lost. In recent mentions of the Irish Potato Famine, one of the drivers was a potato variety that became susceptible to a pest and the entire country crop was lost. The follow on was strictly political. So mono planting makes an adverse outcome worse, but it also makes a bonanza when there are not adverse conditions.

Modern farming is nearly all mono planting. Even growers that plant several varieties usually plant them in matching fields. Series mono planting.

True Mixed Planting of multiple varieties in the same field, mitigates the problems if one of the varieties dies but the overall harvest is lower.

Another problem with Mixed Planting is cross contagion of plant diseases. Potatoes have a lot of virus and other blights. Planting different varieties in the same soil can contaminant future seed potatoes.

  • iirc(badly) A regular task at heritage seed companies is to periodically grow the seeds to determine viability and to generate a new batch of seeds. Sometimes, these seeds are distributed to volunteers to grown. During one cycle of potato growing, very valuable seed potatoes that had never been exposed to pests or blight, came back contaminated. An unintentional by product of maintaining seed stocks.

2) There are other seeds that humans can eat but globally we grow 5: Corn, Wheat, Rice, Soy, Potato. We feed the world on these 5 types.

  • Humans only eat about 200 out of the world’s 400,000 plant species

Every area has other crops they can grow with cultural and national food preferences. Countries and Governments are aware of the danger from mono planting. Farmers are aware of the dangers from global warming. Village and Small Farmers are aware of the danger from warfare.

The fertilizer explosion and destruction of the silos at the Port of Beirut, destroyed the country’s imported grain.

  • 15,000 tonnes (14,800 long tons; 16,500 short tons) of grain were lost, leaving the country with less than a month’s worth of grain in reserve

lurker June 10, 2023 5:20 PM

@Winter, Clive, ResearcherZero, All

re: social stability and the downfall of regimes

From Square One the prosperity of civilizations depends on the production of food, which in turn depends on adequate rain (not drought or flood) falling on suitable soils, and suitable temperatures for crop growth, and sufficient sunshine for photosynthesis. Humans do not yet have the ability to control any of these.

These factors are currently under stress from human induced climate change, but have through history and could again at any time suffer catastrophic destabilisation from a random volcano.

See also Peter Frankopan The Earth Transformed, an Untold History

Clive Robinson June 10, 2023 5:54 PM

@ lurker, ResearcherZero, Winter, ALL,

Re : What makes food.

“From Square One the prosperity of civilizations depends on the production of food, which in turn depends on adequate rain…”

Before all of that comes energy, which is why in the past I’ve talked of “Energy Wars”,

“Becoming the new water wars”

Apparently I’m not alone in my reasoning. That said those who have invested in “energy control” are seeing it slip from their hands via “green initiatives”.

So some are doing everything they can to block people becoming “energy independent” in varioud ways (legislation to force people to remain “grid connectd at exhorbitant rates, and stop personal electricity generarion via both spurious safety and “CO2 emmission” controls).

Whilst others have gone back to Water Wars and are busy buying up all the Watet Rights they can, as well as stoping people “rain harvesting” and the like, in some cases making the punishments worse than you would get for white collar crime.

But… At the end of the day every thing we do needs energy, and like all work it is inefficient, thus the ultimate form of polution which nobody is realy addressing is “low grade thermal waste”. The only way to get rid of it realistically is by pushing it out into spqce ad IR radiation at night…

lurker June 10, 2023 8:51 PM

@Clive Robinson

Before all of that comes energy, which is why in the past I’ve talked of “Energy Wars”,

“Becoming the new water wars”

When there is insufficient water or energy, wars will only hasten the collapse of civilizations. Try eating coal or oil. There is sufficient energy falling from the sky to satisfy humanity’s needs, but “venture” capitalists are too shortsighted to see the long-term benifits of investing n this field. The Chinese and Greeks were building their houses to face south centuries before Justinian codified the rights of a heliocaminus to unobstructed sunshine.

BTW machinery is already freely available on the market to harvest your “low grade thermal waste.” q.v. heat pumps supply municipal heating schemes in Nordic countries.

JonKnowsNothing June 10, 2023 10:31 PM

@ lurker, @Clive, ResearcherZero, Winter, ALL

re: Scarce or Not Scarce Resources

There are some resources that can be quantified as scarce because there is so little of it.

However, at one time diamonds were scarce before huge mines were dug and the geological realization that diamonds are formed in certain types of volcanic eruptions and if you find the volcano outlets you can find lots of diamonds. Diamonds are not scarce anymore but their price is maintained through the De Beers Diamond Consortium.

So some items are truly scarce and others are made scarce.

In the USA, East of the Mississippi there is ample water; West of the Mississippi there is a shortage of water. The west of the USA is a desert. Some deserts have lots of water but the soil conditions are such that the water drains away quickly and the vegetation does not hold it in the ground. Some of our water issues come from these differing views of water and it’s availability.

We also make choices on how to use the water. We water more and more and more acreage using ground water aquifers because they have been a dependable source (no longer). There are plenty of Dry Land farmers but their crop yields are variable unlike irrigated fields.

We fill Jacuzzies and pools which for the most part become stagnant mosquito growing puddles. We wash streets and cars and irrigate golf courses. We chose to waste the water in the West and the East has no idea what desert looks like outside of a NatGeo program.

We eat things that require enormous amounts of water.

In my area, farmers have been ripping out orchards of peaches, pistachios, pomegranates, walnuts and pecans to plant almond trees. Orchards that used to be diverse now are mono planted in almonds. Almonds take large quantities of water to grow.

When orchards had a variety of items, their water schedules intertwined so that rarely did everyone need a large amount of water at the same time. The ground water draw was stable although still greater than recharge rates. Once everyone had planted almonds their watering schedules all lined up at the same time. Every farmer trying to pump millions of gallons of water for their orchard faster than their neighbor. The one with the bigger well got the most water. New Well Wars started, with farmers desperate to get water to their trees by digging more wells, bigger wells, and deeper wells. A side effect was that no one got enough water, they all got some but they shorted each other and their orchards failed. So some dug deeper into brackish water. You can water your orchard for a year or two but then the minerals will kill the trees. Farmers hoped their neighbors would go bankrupt and once those trees died, they could tap cleaner water with no competition and wash away the contamination.

An interesting aspect is the reappearance of Lake Tulare from the winter rains. The snow melt is coming now. One aspect not mentioned is the land in Central California has subsided ~100ft due to the over draw of the aquifers. So the land under Lake Tulare is 100ft deeper than it was before it was drained. An extra hundred feet deep filled with runoff.

So, this time will we keep Lake Tulare and hold the water in it, or will we drain the lake to restore the farms and towns and communities that are now inundated.

It’s a choice we make, but we are also encouraged to make poor choices.

Next time you eat almonds you can consider how much water it took to grow it.

  • a single almond requires roughly 1.1 US gallons (0.92 imperial gallons; 4.2 litres) of water to grow properly.
  • In the United States, production is concentrated in California where 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) and six different almond varieties were under cultivation in 2017, with a yield of 2.25 billion pounds (1.02 billion kilograms) of shelled almonds

lurker June 10, 2023 11:50 PM


Coffee, tea, or almond milk?

The problem with almonds is a (hopefully) short term religious one: the 10,000 year old custom of milking cows has been declared cruelty to the cows, and bad for the planet. The almond chasers had better learn quick that oat milk is superior to almond, nutritionally, and in its ability to grow on poorer soils and climate.

JonKnowsNothing June 11, 2023 6:51 AM

@ lurker, All

re: Mares eat Oats, Little lambs eat Ivy

Almonds v Oats misses part of the problem.

Some 20-30% of crops are grown for animal feed, the balance is for human consumption. Even within a potential human food (corn, wheat, oats) there are varieties that are not suited for humans, they are intended for animals. Some of these are genetically modified but not all (1).

Of the 80% or so foods that are grown, large quantities are grown in a specific geographic region that suits the growing pattern of the plants. Rye grows well in Northern Europe, Wheat does not grow well in the Amazon. So the range of some plants is limited to certain geographic land areas with specific climates.

So, we grow a lot of wheat in the middle of the USA and a lot of wheat in middle of Canada. We do not grow wheat in the Rocky Mountains or Andes or the Alps. This means there is a tremendous concentration of production in the correct climate.

Once you the the idea of having huge amounts of anything harvested within an area, the problem of “GLUT” happens. We have too much and we don’t have a use for the surplus.

Surplus can be a wide definition of conditions; in this case it means: No Immediate Buyer. So it gets stored for a while; storage costs $$. The cost is only worth it if you can sell it before it goes bad and still make a profit.

  • Apples are harvested mostly in the fall. When you buy an apple in July at the at market, do you think it fell off the tree the day before?

So, in the case of Almonds, Oats, Soy beverages, these are from GLUT. Too much grown, not enough buyers, not enough buyers willing to pay enough (2), storage costs too high, and new incoming harvests.

What farmers do with the glut varies, they try to find something else to do with their product. In this case they make a drinkable beverage and use Marketing to make you think that you are doing something “good”.

They chocolate coat the product, which is a big seller. Plenty of folks will eat chocolate covered Almonds, Nuts, and Granola Bars (oats and soy). Helps the sugar industry too.

They use the rest to feed livestock. Almond hulls are popular cattle and horse feeds in CA, twigs and all.

Some of goes into compost or perhaps a silage heap.

It does not get sent to starving people, who as Winter rightly stated: do not have enough calories to sustain life.

So when you enjoy your Oat Beverage, you may not be much higher on the morality scale than the person enjoying Chocolate Covered Roasted Almonds Clusters.



ht tp s://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/StarLink_corn_recall

  • The StarLink corn recalls occurred in the autumn of 2000, when over 300 food products were found to contain a genetically modified corn that had not been approved for human consumption.

2) Pay enough is another topic: Marginal Profit

  • marginal profit is the increment to profit resulting from a unit or infinitesimal increment to the quantity of a product produced. Under the marginal approach to profit maximization, to maximize profits, a firm should continue to produce a good or service up to the point where marginal profit is zero.
  • At any lesser quantity of output, marginal profit is positive and so profit can be increased by producing a greater amount;

ht tp s://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Marginal_profit

(url fractured)

Winter June 11, 2023 7:19 AM


but “venture” capitalists are too shortsighted to see the long-term benifits of investing n this field.

It is a little more complicated.

Solar requires a lot of new infrastructure, eg, cabling between the place under the sun and the place where the electricity is needed.

For Europe, the best place under the sun is in the Sahara which is “political unstable” which is an euphemism for full out civil war.

There are countries that have their own deserts, eg, China, Australia, and the USA. But there, there is a strong sunk cost problem and political lobby for fossil fuels.

Investments will only come when there is some policy for infrastructure and some legal framework that ensures ROI to the investments.

Morocco is trying to step into this gap, so we will have to wait and see.

JonKnowsNothing June 11, 2023 8:30 AM

@Winter, @lurker, All

re: there ain’t no sunshine …

The USA has it’s own share of problems with deploying large scale solar or wind systems. They are not environmentally kind, and they require a different type of maintenance than our old systems. It’s not always a better trade off depending on what you think you are trading.

Large sections of western desert are under solar farms. Desert may not seem much to trade away but it has it’s own eco systems. Desert in California is different than desert in Arizona.

So these enormous fields of solar collectors are constructed on a fragile eco system, tearing the delicate surface to shreds, a damage that will take millennia to repair, if ever. The desert soil has a crust that prevented wind erosion, now the winds howl through the fields driving the soil into the atmosphere. The constant maintenance with trucks and heavy vehicles continues compaction and furthers the damage.

Solar panels need cleaning and that causes another disturbance to the eco system.

Some of the worst damage is from the shade of the panels. There is no sunshine under the panel. We might think shade is good but it is not if you are a desert creature or plant. These plants and animals are adapted to hot temperatures in summer, freezing cold in winter, and little water.

All of this is traded away for permanent darkness on the face of the earth.

The following contains some of the most beautiful passages in the English language:

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness:

Winter June 11, 2023 9:46 AM


Desert may not seem much to trade away but it has it’s own eco systems. Desert in California is different than desert in Arizona.

All technology has environmental impact.

That has not been much of a public issue for coal, oil, and gas, until the transition to sustainable energy. As fossil fuels destroy all environments, I do not see much environmental advantage in sticking to the old ways.

Desert ecosystems deserve to be protected too. But the surface areas needed for solar energy are relatively small compared to the (growing) area of the existing deserts. 15% of the Sahara can produce all the energy needed by Europeans up to the Urals, and then has room to spare for Africa.

and they require a different type of maintenance than our old systems.

Indeed, but that is something that is not inevitable going to destroy the deserts. That is a choice. The same holds for oil transport and spills. The governments of the world have all been looking away from their responsibilities and still are. Solar panels are not exactly worse than oil and gas.

JonKnowsNothing June 11, 2023 2:00 PM

@Winter, @lurker, All

re: What are you trading for?

As people still control technology, for the moment, it is people that make the decision about what to trade.

Humans have a long history of trading what does not belong to them, or belongs to someone else, and taking it for themselves. Our current history shows some remorse for this attitude, yet that attitude prevails because we Do Not Wish To Be Inconvenienced.

Whatever historical time period you look at, these trades are base on that perceptions of of what’s needed. Whales were sacrificed because no one owned them and we needed whale oil for lamps and our nascent machinery.

  • I remember whale oil still in use to lube the gears of my G-G-G-Ma sewing machine; I was allow to use the eyedropper and place the droplet. Now we use synthetic oils for sewing machines; droplets are placed in the same locations.

It’s about what you perceive as important, and our willingness or laziness to not do something different. To not take what is not ours, to recognize that what is there has been there much longer than our needs and perhaps we should not destroy it.

In my home I have loads of electronics, I have loads of vampire converters, which I attempt to place on a switched circuit. I have Instant On electronics, I have LEDs for sure but also night lights inside and a permanent light outside (fire department regulations), there are street lights too but I cannot control those. All the items consume electricity. I use far more than I really need because it is convenient. I do not run the A/C but I do run air fans for hours while the outside temp is cooler, to bring cooler air inside the house and then after I close up as the day heats up, I run them for the “cool feeling” so even when the temp inside hits 95F my skins feels a cool 91F (its a mind game).

Contrast to early users of electricity. There were the big electrical displays of opulence, such as the lights on the Kremlin pre WW2. Ordinary people that had electricity used limited electricity. They turned On-Off the electricity as they entered and left rooms. They did not use electricity in places they were not, except when early refrigerators became common. They used only what they actually needed at the time.

Rhetorical Question:

  • Can you imagine how much less electricity we would use if we only used it in one place and only when we actually needed it?

Turning off even battery powered items at night, because they require charging the next day. We feel self important to run electricity while we are asleep. We pay for in fiat cash but we also make the planet pay.

The desert is not empty or void. It is filled with life, life you cannot see because you are not looking for it; we are looking to exploit the desert and seeing life there might muck up our calculations for claiming it for our own greed.

  • How far do you expect an ant, a snake, and mouse to move?
  • The plants cannot move, so those get bulldozed.

Because we will not turn off the lights when we do not need them.


htt ps://en.wikipedia.o rg /wiki/Sahara_Desert_ant

htt ps://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Hemorrhois_algirus

  • Algerian whip snake

ht tps://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Cairo_spiny_mouse

(url fractured)

Winter June 11, 2023 3:08 PM


As people still control technology, for the moment, it is people that make the decision about what to trade.

That is not quite the best perspective. It is true that people have always had the choice of what technology to use and what not. However, there was never a choice of using no technology. Without fire and a host of other technologies, humans simply die. Even the Aboriginal Tasmsnians who lost many fundamtal technologies, did still need some technology to survive.

Humans have a long history of trading what does not belong to them, or belongs to someone else, and taking it for themselves.

Ownership us a religious concept. In practice, it is might is right. Slavery over the millennia has shown that everything could be appropriated by force. And everything that had value would be taken.

modem phonemes June 12, 2023 9:35 AM

@ Winter @JonKowsNothing

Ownership us a religious concept. In practice, it is might is right.

Property (ownership) is a consequence of having a human body. It is primarily natural, not religious. But it is a circumscribed good, not absolute. There will always be circumstances in which ethically and morally the owner should should share or given away property.

Winter June 12, 2023 9:44 AM

@modem phonemes

Property (ownership) is a consequence of having a human body.

Many people do not have ownership of objects, eg, non-agricultural hunting gathering people. All living things have bodies, but few have property. Also, of the people that recognize “property” only agricultural people tend to recognize personal ownership of land/animals. Many people over history and the world have been legally and culturally forbidden to own any property, eg, slaves, women, and children.

Winter June 12, 2023 10:06 AM


It is primarily natural, not religious.

But property rights are always grounded in religion, from Genesis where it was forbidden to eat fruit from a tree owned by god to the ten commandments who enshrined property rights, of animals, women, and slaves, in god’s law. Other religions have comparable laws.

The idea that “property” is grounded in “work” is a Liberal/Protestant (libertarian/Calvinistic) invention where Economic Freedom is transferred into the Olympus as a new god. This idea was also used to rob native people and aboriginals the world over of their homes and lands as they did not fulfill the European definition of “work”, so they did not “own” their birthlands.

Studies with native American people showed a pattern where property rights, mostly non-material rights, or secrets, were based in religion [1].

[1] The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber, and David Wengrow.

modem phonemes June 12, 2023 11:22 AM

@ Winter

So much for “Human Nature” requiring “personal property”.

There is no injustice intrinsic to the notion of property. It flows from human nature and is justly limited by the same human nature.

Individuals and societies frequently, even routinely, act in a way that is against human nature. Sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for bad.

Winter June 12, 2023 12:16 PM


There is no injustice intrinsic to the notion of property.

Neither is there justice intrinsic to the notion of property. Americans from the US, especially Libertarians do consider property sacred. In many (most?) cases, historical crimes have become the law of the land.


Even animals have developed “property rights” in the forms of hunting ranges/areas and foraging domains.

Possession is not property. Possession is what you can defend, property is ownership that is recognized by others, even if you do not have possession.

Animals do not recognize property, only possession as far as I know.

In the end, all property starts with Might is Right.

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