Friday Squid Blogging: Chromatophores


Chromatophores are tiny color-changing cells in cephalopods. Watch them blink back and forth from purple to white on this squid’s skin in an Instagram video taken by Drew Chicone…

It’s completely hypnotic to watch these tiny cells flash with color. It’s as if the squid has a little sky full of twinkling stars on its skin. This has to be one of the coolest looking sea creatures I’ve seen.

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

Read my blog posting guidelines here.

Posted on July 21, 2023 at 5:10 PM74 Comments


Anonymous July 21, 2023 7:33 PM

Is anyone here at Schneier following this case?
I still find it unbelievable that something like this is happening in Australia. We’re not talking about Iran or Libya or any other country ran by a deranged despot, this is what now passes for reasonable/enforceable “law of the land” in a five-eyes country.
How insecure do you need to be to even consider prosecuting this case?
Logic is clearly playing no role in this decision process, it’s game-on and their first move is a stumble, drop the ball and turnover possession.

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2023 7:56 PM

Byte of the Apple

Maybe NSO has been outed.


Then, it reallocates certain kernel objects inside those physical pages and manipulates them directly from user space through the dangling PTEs in order to achieve a KRKW primitive, short for “kernel read/write”.


Wannabe techguy July 21, 2023 8:04 PM

@ Anonymous
I get “stumble and drop the ball”, but what is “turnover possession”? Sorry I’m not a sports fan, though I used to follow baseball somewhat.
Anyway, I’m not surprised by this. The “five eyes” and others have been going this way for a long time. Don’t expect logic from any of them.

Clive Robinson July 21, 2023 8:52 PM

@ Anonymous, ALL,

Re : Held as a spy is not new.

“Is anyone here at Schneier following this case?”

I’ve no idea, your post is the first information I’ve seen on it. As far as I’m aware it’s not been mentioned in any MSM else where.

“I still find it unbelievable that something like this is happening in Australia. We’re not talking about Iran or Libya or any other country ran by a deranged despot, this is what now passes for reasonable/enforceable “law of the land” in a five-eyes country.”

Err it has been in Australia before, Canada, New Zeland, UK and US for the last four decades in one way or another.

From the little I’ve seen I suspect you might want to read up on the UK and Matrix-Churchill trial of four business men and seperately executives working for Ordtec. They were all working for the UK “Secret intelligence Service”(SiS) / MI6 but the then independent nutbar “Customs and Excise” started prosecutions and documentation was withheld under “Public interest immunity” and miscarages of justic followed immediately behind. The whole mess started under UK Prime Minister “Mad Maggie” Thatcher, and I know from experience it was inkeeping with her ludicrous style, it went on to blight the succeeding John Major Government, that in turn alowed the worst crook in British politics in then living memory Tony Blair, to get in and aid in starting the Gulf War via the dodgy dossier and worse.

A lot came out in the “Scott Inquiry” that might make your eye brows go up so far that they flip over the top and become a neck warmer…

However I must caution that if you are searching on it I would advise sticking with reputable MSM. In the UK The Guardian and The Independent are as far as I’m aware OK, but treat anything from Rupert “The Bear Faced Liar” Murdoch stable either then or now and the “Weirdo Barclay Twins” with significant caution. As lets just say “online information” has been known to “change with interest and influence” and that include the likes of Wikipedia as well.

That’s about it off the top of my head, I’d need to search around to verify information as “factual” and that can be a slow process at best after more than three decades.

But it still goes on in other ways the lunatic behaviour of John Boulton actively trying to start wars with both China and Iran in any way he could including falsification of information. With able assistance from William Barr should be reasonably fresh in most peoples memory. Why war did not happen shows more about the rational behaviour of both China and Iran than it does about the entire Five-Eyes nations.

For some reason many politicos of a conservitive view point appear not to realise that they are falsely living in a past that never existed. That starting a war is going to be of less than zero benifit because some Nations have more wisely learned the strengths and weaknesses they need to address. Whilst the Five-Eyes continue to “sleepwalk into mayhem of their own making” and are in effect “looking for reds under the bed” yet again. When analysed you will find these conservatives so fond of the “Strong Man” myth are very like Putin and are thus behaving irrationally at best about active conflict.

lurker July 21, 2023 9:16 PM

@Anonymous, Clive R.

I had seen a headline of the case in some MSM, but didn’t give it much attention because of the strange love-hate relationship AU has with CN. There is an intense trade relationship in which both strongly desire to see large quantities of coal, iron ore, wheat moving northwards aross the equator. And there are remnants of the Cold War antipathy in both countries which surface from time to time according to the demands of the domestic politics of each.

Carrying a hand-written “shopping list” does seem like bad tradecraft. Any further comment would be outright speculation …

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2023 9:59 PM

@ Wannabe techguy, Clive

‘turnover possession’ in this case probably means money capture.

turnover == revenue

The terminology depends upon the country.

Anonymous July 21, 2023 11:01 PM

“turnover possession”
means to give the ball (in this case political / security/ information advantage) to the other team (which in this case is China)

Think about it, if Australia thought they had uncovered a deliberately planted deep-cover MSS Agent would they acknowledge this publicly?
Makes absolutely no sense to tell the world (and the agents handler) that we’re on to you, unless that is your intention.
When would it be your intention? Probably only when the person in question is of absolutely no advantage and in no position to discover anything of value any to anyone. Basically they burned a useless pawn. But think about this, there are probably about 1M Chinese diaspora in Australia (I’m guessing) yet they burn a white guy that lived in China. This is a message targeted for the western Expat community living in China.
In my opinion it’s deliberate, there’s nothing accidental about this.
Kill the Chicken to scare the Monkey

SpaceLifeForm July 21, 2023 11:24 PM

I feel a disturbance in the Force.


Clive Robinson July 22, 2023 8:00 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Luke’s armless drop of faith.

“I feel a disturbance in the Force.”

As ratus ratus vacates the floundering aquatic vessel.

You might remember my posting about how to be a success even though failure is guaranteed.

Stage 1, is start a very large project that will take quite some time to fruition, even if everything goes perfectly.

During stage 1, you become a project evangelist and network like crazy, getting your name and face known as widely as possible.

Stage 2, Spend spend spend, get in the news over the stupendous scale of the resources.

Stage 3, Jump Ship.

This way the project is at it’s point of maximum or peak entropy and the possabilities are maximal, and talked about as such.

But importantly you can claim all this “success” as your vison etc etc when you go looking for that bigger better job, and you will if you’ve networked hard enough find many doors sufficiently open to just need a little nudge to give you all you want including a parachute of finest golden cloth fit for any Emperor.

The project you’ve left behind now starts to work towards an outcome but as it’s internal and proprietary little real information comes out.

So you can be doing Stage 1 in the new organisation keeping your face well known and appearing in the trade papers conferences etc.

Then Stage 2 again.

By which time there will be leakage from the first project but few if any will be interested in the MSM / trade press because of the second project and “hype, hype, hype” and the Vulture Capatilists will be creating a faux-market to grab their slice of the action.

You now do Stage 3 again.

The thing is even if the first project is going down hill faster than a lead brick down a well, it does not matter…

If it’s a success you claim it was your vision and planning they followed. If it’s the proverbial “crock of 5h1t” wgich lets be honest is more likely, you simply claim it was because they went off script and lost their way rather than stick with your vission and plan…

So you win either way.

After the third time your name should be sufficient that you become a “consulting guru” appearing at conferences etc etc, you make enigmatic but basicaly zero substance statments about som future a decade away…

Or you find a new idea to create a “bubble market” and get those Vulture Capitalists to pay you to “bless them”.

OK call my cynical if you want 😉

But have a look around what’s happened this century in ICT and similar…

All those “burned” in bio-medicine, crypto-coin corp and similar faux-bubble / black tulip markets about to spend long years cooling their heals in Federal fashion accessories, are burned because they were not bright enough to know when to “Stage 3”. They started believing their own nonsense and went “all in” and sank everything it… So went down with the first ship bailing like crazy, rather than be two ships away safe and dry sipping the best at the Captain’s table…

&ers July 22, 2023 9:24 AM


Seems this haven’t covered here yet…


vas pup July 22, 2023 6:03 PM

US blacklists Israeli-controlled firms behind Predator spyware

“WASHINGTON — The United States blacklisted on Tuesday four Israeli-controlled firms whose spyware has allegedly been used by governments to hack the phones of opponents.

The Commerce Department announced that Greece- and Ireland-incorporated units of
Intellexa, and Hungary- and North Macedonia-based units of Cytrox were placed on its Entities List, which tightly restricts Americans from doing business with them.

The Commerce Department said Intellexa and Cytrox dealt in exploits to break into IT
systems, “threatening the privacy and security of individuals and organizations

The action came after both so-called mercenary surveillance vendors have been accused of supplying spyware that was discovered on the phones of governments’ political opponents.

Intellexa and Cytrox are behind the spyware called Predator, according to cyber security firm Talos.

According to University of Toronto’s The Citizen Lab, which studies hacking and
spyware, Predator was used to hack exiled Egyptian politician Ayman Nour as well as an Egyptian television journalist whose identity was kept anonymous.

Meanwhile, in January Greece’s Data Protection Authority fined Intellexa 50,000 euros ($56,000) for refusing to cooperate with an investigation into the use of Predator to spy on Greek political opposition leaders, journalists, military chiefs and others.

According to marketing materials, Intellexa offered customers the ability to hack both Apple’s IOS and the Android operating systems.

In a report last month, the Haaretz newspaper said state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries was an early investor in Cytrox but sold its shares around early 2019 to Intellexa.”

My nickel: as with Pegasus [Phantom], US LEAs and IC probably copied Predator already and slightly modified it for own usage – authorized or otherwise – just educated guess based on previous practice.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2023 4:57 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

“Feature, not bug.”

Hmmm we are led to believe the appropriate response on one side of the puddle is,

“Them’s fighting words…”

Followed by gristle severing noises and soggy wet meat hiting the floor splats.

Whilst on the other side of the puddle a presentation of a little “billet-doux” along the lines of,


Your words stab at my very core like a brigands rough sword, therefor I demand satisfaction. Unless you retract your barb I will send my second to speak to your second to arrange a time and place where I may obtain the justice I feel is my due.

Yours faithfull, ….

Hopefully you now think I’m a smidgen less cynical as the air fare I hear is positively ruinous these days =(

Hopefully the above has put a smile on your face 😉

Phillip July 23, 2023 12:25 PM

@Anonymous, @All

I agree it must be maddening with any pandemic pretext for him being effectively “detained”, seemingly for the mystery reason.

Next, I think with the proven Five-Eyes, there must be a rule prohibiting any more-or-less untrained person insinuating themself, which is not even fair, owing to any reasoning behind his holdover.

Yes, I might think there is something which does not smell right. The article states he withheld his shopping list. One might ask why he would actually do this, as he otherwise maintained notes of is saga with Chinese authorities during the time away from Oz. Possibly, his mental health may be a reason. Wonderful if: in keeping his notes, he gave his own game away. I would advise he cue up “Useless” (Depeche Mode, 1997).

Phillip July 23, 2023 1:24 PM


I do like most Palo Alto Networks analyses – they provide reasonably enough detail to write something with. In past research, I’ve only wished they covered more cases.

Disabling JavaScript might seem like a big ask, though recall how disabling any JVM proved standard practice.

There are great development tools emitting JavaScript. I am no expert in JS – I find little fun with it. Dart is nice. My reasoning has it: these need not die on the vine, were JS deemed an accidental awakening.

Phillip July 23, 2023 1:45 PM

People want others to open up his or her encrypted App as, “Go ahead and send me something.”

Soon enough, one is on the receiving end of racist conspiracy theories, including links to content. Open up much, if anything, and the usual or customary, encrypted App is lying to you.

I had to explain to one person how my daily feed was quickly corrupted by suggestions for stuff I was never even interested in.

Where is the missing consumer advocate to explain to consumers how the most popular encrypted Apps might be behaving with selling anybody’s family out?

&ers July 23, 2023 3:46 PM


I already have a years and years and years the standard
procedure to browse the most of the web without JavaScript.
For those sites that are important for me and where the JS
is absolutely needed (bank etc) – i use browser inside the VM.
Yet another VM, this time disposable, is used for untrusted
sites. There i restore VM fully from scratch after visiting
the sketchy site. Takes only a second or few.


But this is me. Your mileage may vary…

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2023 3:47 PM

@ Clive

LOL. You obviously saw the invisible snark tag.

If people do not have even a smidgen of cynicism, they are likely to get fooled and part with their money.

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2023 4:05 PM

Re: Twitter migration to X

About 15 hours ago, x[dot].com was just a parked domian, probably from long ago. It did not have a TLS cert.

Now, it re-directs to the twitter login page.

It is still http only.

Interestingly, if you try with https, and with or without www you get different behaviour.

So, obviously, still a wip.

The good thing about the X, is that you can close the twitter tab that way.

It is a handy mnemonic.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2023 5:05 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

“If people do not have even a smidgen of cynicism, they are likely to get fooled and part with their money.”

Even with enough cynicism to fill the boat, I still have alligator teeth marks in my rump.

Draining the swamp is best started with a low flying Warthog 😉

As I’ve mentioned before, back in the 80’s when I was wearing the green, we were setting up an HF TX site to work intercontinental. So there we were on some farmland up on the topmost edge of some cliffs in the North of England and I was puting up a big arse transmission line antenna for the entire HF band using a Clark Mast and some serious cable. When my teeth and eardrums left my head as a couple of warthogs came in across the sea at near zero hight above the cliff. At the last moment the lead pilot realised he was about to fly into over heads and stood on his tail pipes with full burn unfortunately not many feet above me, and my eyeballs got peeled by hot gasses as I looked into what can best be described as hell. Oh and my liver felt like it had gone through the entire foie gras production cycle in about 15secs… There are nights when it comes back to me with a clarity I realy don’t need…

Clive Robinson July 23, 2023 5:13 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re: Twitter migration to X

There is a saying in England that,

“X marks the spot”

But it does not say what sort of spot it is… So,

1, In a spot of bother?
2, In a spot of grease?

Or one of several others that the auto-mod might reject 😉

Mind you, how much do you think Hellon Rusk has payed to become an X?

SpaceLifeForm July 23, 2023 5:50 PM

Popehat won the internet today.


Here is how to distinguish Elon Musk’s new from 1994 computer strategy gaming classic XCOM: one involves a brave struggle against freakish, hideous alien intelligence seeking to undermine world civilization with advanced technology and the other is a computer game

Phillip July 23, 2023 8:53 PM


Ah, I see – and might push this once kernel into the popper.

Otherwise, an interesting topic this way: I want to know the degree of pushback, were organization policy to realistically change what for most, is status quo.

I am of opinion with: Sometimes, design-by-committee proves better than a single guru/rockstar/whatever. At least, more egos in a room might face sticky security.

Clive Robinson July 23, 2023 11:19 PM

@ Philip, &ers, ALL,

Re : Javascript is always bad news by definition.

“Disabling JavaScript might seem like a big ask, though recall how disabling any JVM proved standard practice.”

A fundemental security rule is derived from the old pre-web days of,

1, Do not run untrusted code on your system.
2, Only use code verified as trusted.
3, No internet deliverd code can be sufficiently verified.

The rule that was derived is,

Do not run any code from the internet.

Then some person with less security sense than a dung beetle came up with the notion of “code signing” that we’ve been cursed with since.

If you go back more than a decade and a half on this blog you will find a conversation between @Nick P and myself as to why code signing is such a bad idea.

What has surprised me is, with all code signings weaknesses how long it’s taken people to realise the hard way just how usless code signing realy is.

We learnt with Flash and similar that arbitrary code that runs on your system even in a sandbox is basically a risk you do not want to take…

Which is why I’ve advised repeatedly on this blog that you need as an absolute minimum to,

1, Disable all “externaly available” storage.
2, Do bot have any interpreters available to external entities.

So No Cookies, and No Javascript as standard, and if you can run the likes of web browsers in their own “dung heap” via a chroot() or better such as a “RAM only container” as a “jail” that has the minimum of resources and gets wiped, as frequently as possible…

Should be SOP for everyone all the time as the most basic of steps.

Phillip July 24, 2023 12:34 AM

@Clive Robinson, @ers, All

It is a problem worth solving. People like gizmos.

Oh yes, there’s an app for even everything.

A browser also runs on God’s, whose, computer.

We’re healthy if we decide what there is to do about it.

Winter July 24, 2023 1:21 AM


People like gizmos.

And I add: and play with fire

That’s how our ancestors became humans, by playing with fire [1] and liking the original “gizmos”, tools made of wood and stone.

Stopping people from liking gizmos and playing with fire would remove a big part of what makes us human.

[1] Without playing with fire and “gizmos” there would be no humans.

SpaceLifeForm July 24, 2023 3:38 AM

Re: Twitter implosion

It is close to the end now.

Someone overlooked that there was already an existing account on X (nee Twitter) with the handle ‘X’.

You can not make this stuff up.

Oh, and the account is locked!

Eriadilos July 24, 2023 6:34 AM

ht tps://

I didn’t know about the TETRA standard, it is “the most widely used police radio communication system outside the US”.
The paper describing the attacks seems interesting to put on your reading pile once it becomes available.

Clive Robinson July 24, 2023 6:54 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re: Social Media implosion and ICTsec.

It’s not just the Twits that are,

“… close to the end now.”

Have a look at Meta’s “Swan Dive” as for others even Linkedin is looking increasing like a fragile shell.

The premise behind Social Media is that,

“The users were the product.”

To be sold off to others.

But there is an obvious issue that few appear to have considered or if they have spoken about it.

The market for “warm bodies” is “finite” lets say 2billion people world wide. Well data on most of them is already collected, packaged and sold and held in many different databases. Thus realistically there is very little information of sufficient value left to be squeased out of warm bodies compared to what there was in the past. So they are in effect “mined out” to just a shaft, with the reality of the market has shrunk to just a few percent of what it once was.

So the Corps have tried pushing adverts, to stave of the inevitable… But as has been seen “the product” is playing by their rules not those of the Corps, by investing in add blockers / black holers and the like. The desperate lunacy of You-Tube with dozens of “Quack toe nail fungal treatments” and worse scams increasing and quality adverts dropping tells you that “online adds” are not working thus that income stream is drying up.

I suspect shareholders are realising social media Corps “as are”, with their “users as product” business models are never going to make money now. Because the business model is one with an inbuilt exponentially decreasing income… Thus social media Corps are nolonger worth investing in for returns, or speculating with, and now just a hot potato game looking for patsies to gull.

The sale of Twitter, showed that the facade pushed by the executives was effectively fraudulant by just about any reasonable measure. Such that it was, people woke up and realised it was not just “Twitter going rogue” it is industry endemic.

So the question is,

“Will the social media bubble explode, or deflate?”

Curently a look at stock prices says it’s deflating, but that could change.

One thing that can be said for Social Media is the “secondary market” has done very well out of it. Be it the suppliers in of hardware etc or the criminals exploiting via it. Of the former the loss of a major income stream is going to have a knock on effect in hardware pricing and production that will hurt the entire ICT sector. As for the latter, criminals come and go, but quickly adapt, so are not going to just disapear so the question,

“Where will they go next?”

Is something ICTsec practitioners need to be asking to get ahead of the curve.

PaulBart July 24, 2023 7:15 AM

“However I must caution that if you are searching on it I would advise sticking with reputable MSM.”

Best quote in awhile. “reputable MSM”. MSM would never cover up stories or state a certain laptop was “Russian” disinformation.

Winter July 24, 2023 8:16 AM


MSM would never cover up stories or state a certain laptop was “Russian” disinformation.

What was this all about Bengazi and “her emails” and all the dead voters who had casted votes? Some news media made a lot of hay with it. The same media that are now pushing the laptop.

There are indeed more and less reputable sources of information.

The idea that the laptop contained “Russian disinformation” came from fifty security officials part of whom had worked under president Trump. That alone would oblige the MSM to publish about it.

Also, IIUC, the emails attributed to have come from the laptop were “provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani”. As reputable sources of information go, Mr Giuliani must ranked at the bottom.

In short, I get a certain suspicion that you dislike all MSM but some more than others based mainly on whether or not they support your (MSM informed) prejudices.

SpaceLifeForm July 24, 2023 5:59 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Silicon Turtles

And some javascript added for flavor.

I have, a now 3 year old Ryzen box that has never seen power.

I had my concerns. I smelled a smell.

Why I ever bought it, I do not recall.


A new vulnerability has been discovered in AMD’s Zen 2 processors—one that allows data like passwords and encryption keys to be stolen from the CPU. Disclosed publicly this week by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, this bug affects consumer chips as well as server, including Ryzen 3000 series parts.

As detailed by Ormandy in a post, this “Zenbleed” vulnerability was first shared with AMD back in mid-May. It can be used to execute code through Javascript on a webpage—no physical access is needed for an affected PC. And if exploited successfully, Zenbleed allows attackers to see any CPU operation, including those happening in sandboxes or virtual machines.

Clive Robinson July 24, 2023 7:57 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re Silicon based turtles.

“I have, a now 3 year old Ryzen box that has never seen power.”

Ah “The Xmas gift that just keeps giving…” with AMD and ARM joining Intel’s original party… So much fun down towards the bottom of the computing stack.

I did originally warn everyone it would keep on giving and giving and so on… And so far it’s been worse than I actually expected. Which means either the young research minions are busy dig dig digging very industriously or… it’s a damn sight worse than I reasoned. The latter being the front runner 😉

My actual personal production machines are all last century. So by and large are not effected. Also they are rather more than “air-gapped” for various –actually non-paranoid– reasons (remember I do RF Engineering and have designed many a high end and high price electronics surveillance device over the years which is why that 2008/9 NSA ANT catalogue looked like a “tonker toy” catalogue to me in late 2013 😉

Though long prior to that @Nick P and I had an extensive chat on this blog over a cut off time on Intel etc CPU’s. I indicated no later than Mid 1990’s @Nick P thought Mid naughties. Turns out that some faults go back, way back to Y2K or close to, so my usual pessimism / cynicism has sadly proved right again.

As for JavaScript I’ve been warning about it for well it feels like forever if not longer… I had bad things to say about both it and Java oh about a quater century or so ago back around 96 if my mind serves me correctly, and Flash and Silverlight .NET etc etc at the begining of this century.

Yet here we are and their use is still being “talked up” when the whole lot have should have slimed out the bottom of the trash can.

I’m not realy singling any of them out they are “all bad by design’. Furthet we know that browser sand boxes are all more like sieves made with chicken wire, and leak in more ways than you can imagine. With side channels being just the latest on a list longer than a full grown orangutans arm. So anything that is interpreted that runs inside them is going to haemorrhage information one way or another. Security wise it’s a given…

Then… The idea “code signing” was a reliable way to do anything other than fool yourself… @Nick P and I came up with a long list of failings and I think there’s only a couple left we’ve yet to hear are being exploited…

So as the saying has it,

“Colour me unsurprised”

I suspect even our host is a little jaundiced about “Chip Security” or more correctly it’s lack there of…

Mind you I doubt I or anyone else reading could do any better except by pure chance. There are so many ways to not get it right, that getting it wrong is near on a foregone conclusion.

Which suggests that people should assume around the worst and mitigate as best they can with unfortunately a significant loss of efficiency. Which kind of takes you back to the performance,

“Of those Chips of 95.”

SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 12:34 AM

Sigh. Not surprised.


SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 1:57 AM

Hold my beer. I need to get more popcorn.



Clive Robinson July 25, 2023 7:47 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Radio Encryption ETSI back door.

I thought the TETRA back door was well known already, it’s the same in all “Approved for public use” communications sysyems that require “Type Approval” to be sold from back in the last century.

I was talking about it back years ago when the A5/1 A5/2 issue in GSM mobile phones became public “by accident”,

I’m aware that Bart Preneel of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is aware of TEA1 / TEA2 as we joked about it being “The French Influence”[1] when talking about why even the supposadly more secure A5/1 was not secure[2].

It’s in the standards “you don’t see” unless you are “signed into the NDA club”

Just about every communications terminal chip has a “security bypass” in it in one way or another. Even Siemens analog telephone chips through DECT etc, Motorola Radios likewise. The list I know of is quite extensive.

As a communications electronics designer you get a feel for what goes on, even if you’ve never been involved with the “Standards Process”.

For instance, if you want to design a new telephone or other telecommunications equipment you have to take it through “type testing” and “approvals testing” before you can “Put it on the Market”. The testing can be fast or slow depending on what components you chose to use…

“Use the Siemens chip and follow the manufacturers recommend circuit ‘exactly’.”

Was what I was told verbally when visiting a national test house in Europe back in the early 1990’s… Something that did not overly surprise me. Most think it’s some kind of “National Market Protectionism” but… The nation I was in was not one that would apply in… So if you trace the history of company ownership, much like you have in the past with Crypto AG in Zug Switzerland your eyebrows might meet at the back of your neck…

Well the recommended circuit was “odd” in various ways and had some RF issues… Let’s just say if RF at the bottom of the MF band or top of the LF band got on the line, it would “get through the hook switch” and suffer cross modulation from the phone audio circuits thus…

[1] There is an old joke about the French and standards. Which is,

“The French will agree to anything as long as it’s titled in French.”

But it has a less well known rider of,

“Unless it’s for secrecy, then it’s nan, hors de question, non Non NON! all the way.”

Which is why you will find most ETSI crypto is French in origin and comes in two flavors, “very weak” and “weak”. Which you might call these days “LEO with a laptop” and “SigInt with a computer rack” grade. Either way broken in near real time, just a cost difference in resources. Which also means that amatures can do both with a pocket change SDR dongle and a,little cash thrown the AWS way…

[2] People have often pushed back when I talk about these things, especially when I talk about the fact that none of your “on the market” obtained phones etc are secure. Which is why the likes of secure messaging apps etc ar not just insecure, they CAN NOT be made secure by the software developers. Because they are using foundations that are “insecure by design”…

It’s why I talk about “endpoints” and why your “security endpoint” needs to be beyond your “communications endpoint” and why I talk about using paper and pencil “One Time Pad”(OTP) usage (realistically the only “hand cipher” that is “secure”) even though they have all sorts of issues.

People realy need to get to grips with “unicity distance” and what that means to crypto algorithms. It tells you just how little cipher text is needed to nail you with, and why you realy should do way more than use crypto algorithms in fancy modes.

modem phonemes July 25, 2023 8:25 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm

Re: eggx in your beer

But – I thought the folks who drafted the X Window System via email and three face to face meetings owned the name X. Prior art and all that.

Clive Robinson July 25, 2023 9:10 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Hellon Rusk childish throw outs.

There is a link on the Futurism page you link to, to another link about Helly’s comment on the age of the Universe,

Read it all the way to the last paragraph… It made me smile.

Then read,

It appears that each time a “big ass telescope” goes up, we have a “sea state change”.

[For the sake of “Full Disclosure” : I’m ambivalant about “Dark Matter” because after something like a hundred years of it being punted around, it is still way to nebulous. Dark energy however is a bit more solid 😉 and if true has some real implications for all science hence my “as we currently know it” caution when I talk about the “laws of nature”.]

SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 5:44 PM

More coverage of Zenbleed

It smells like Spectre and Meltdown.

I’ll just copypasta my post a bit.


It does not look like everything is there yet.

Just one chipset so far.

Disable SMT to be safer.


AMD has already issued a firmware update mitigating the issue for servers running the EPYC 7002 chips—arguably the most important of the patches since a busy server running multiple virtual machines is a more lucrative target for hackers than individual consumer PCs.

AMD says that “any performance impact will vary depending on workload and system configuration” but hasn’t provided additional details.

SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 6:04 PM

@ JonKnowsNothing, Clive, Winter, MarkH, ALL

Re: excess deaths

Gee, what a surprise.

Darwinism works.


SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 7:44 PM

When you pay attention and connect dots


SpaceLifeForm July 25, 2023 7:54 PM

BTW, I found the above because I follow over 1500 people which most of them are tech and infosec folk.

I am dropping a hint. A vowel. Buy it.

It is worth the investment.

Clive Robinson July 25, 2023 9:10 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, JonKnowsNothing, Winter,

Re : Not only Darwinism works.

“The adherence to other health measures—social distancing and masking—may also contribute to the political divide. The researchers suggest more research will need to detangle all the possible factors.”

The divide was actually probably less than it could have been.

It is known as I mentioned just a few hours back that certain types of people with certain cognative biases resorted to attacking others in various ways.

Some of the attackers were “superspreaders” others just violent causing victims to seek medical help in hospitals many of which had become disease nexus in their own right.

But there is something else that needs to be untangled. There is now sufficient evidence to say that the mRNA vacines have caused damage to organs, and autopsies have confirmed that people have died of atrial fibrillation.

As I mentioned I was admitted to hospital with 5% or less cardiac output and a massive blood clot in the atrium.

I went with the punches at the time and assumed what the Drs thought –anti-coag prescription screwup– was correct. But subsequent behaviour by other Drs and the leaking out of the adverse reaction card data, has suggested that it was as likely to be an adverse vaccine reaction, and that I got lucky. Possibly because of the coctail of prescriptions I was already on to prevent clotting etc…

If you remember I had distinct qualms about the mRNA vaccines long before they started being tested. With adverse reactions being given as between 1 in 660 and 1000 in some age ranges I’m horrified by what has happened.

There is a series of lessons we need to learn from the pandemic, firstly that we should have gone into lockdown way earlier and way more effectively.

The US lost something like 1 in 500 or worse unnecessarily, due to easily preventable deaths. We don’t know what it was world wide but 16 or million is not unlikely. That’s between a 1/4 and a 1/3 of a European nation and greater than many other nations some of considerable wealth.

But of more concern is that the increase in excess mortality carried over into 2022 the UK for instance saw a ten percent rise still remaining.

Thus the question as to the cause, some are putting it down to the decimation of healthcare due to frontline burn out. Few of us can imagine what primary health care workers went through and in some parts of the medical proffession between 2% and 5% of workers are leaving at various age breaks. Some to take up non related careers or even shopwork others are taking early retirment. The result with 5year training cycles is a significant skills shortage, which can only lead to excess deaths.

Some are saying we are even less resiliant now than we were in early 2019…

So which ever way you look a mess…

Winter July 25, 2023 11:28 PM


Re: excess deaths

Normsn Fenton would probably disagree.

I do not see the relation.

Mr Fenton pushes a naratiy that the initial response to the pandemic included a number of misdirected policies that lead to unnecessary deaths everywhere (globally). That is in itself not controversial although I think he seriously overstates his case with the limited data he shows. I have not seen any opposition to vaccinations by Mr Fenton (but I could have missed it).

The study about the relation between political beliefs, vaccinations, and mortality is a late (2021), local effect on mortality. At that time, there was more knowledge and more medical consensus about how to approach the disease. The effects studied were the results of well known politically motivated objections against collective actions to stem the pandemic.

Personally, I do not find it particularly controversial or surprising to hear that people who belong to a party that advices old people to die for the economy [1] behave in ways that increases their risks of actually dying. Especially as the party narrative was to not get the jab as a batch of honor for political purity.

[1] ‘

lurker July 26, 2023 3:17 AM

@Winter, modem
re. misdirected policies that lead to unnecessary deaths everywhere (globally)

The exception to prove the rule: NZ had negative excess deaths in 2021. Lockdowns and restrictions reduced the number of workplace and road traffic accidents.

Winter July 26, 2023 3:39 AM


There is now sufficient evidence to say that the mRNA vacines have caused damage to organs, and autopsies have confirmed that people have died of atrial fibrillation.

All medical intervention and non-intervention has side-effects. Just looking at the side-effects of one side is deceptive to the point of deceitful.

As the original report (GOP&Excess Death) illustrated, there is also now sufficient evidence to say that not being vaccinated have caused much more damage to life and limb in the population. The available non-mRNA vaccines were largely less effective and as a result, led to more morbidity and mortality than the vaccines themselves.

Real world effectiveness

Types, thoughts, and application

A neurological perspective

Winter July 26, 2023 3:48 AM


The exception to prove the rule: NZ had negative excess deaths in 2021.

Good catch!

Have all the policies in place, but without the virus. That does illustrate (if not show) that the restrictions and lock-downs were in themselves already saving lives. Japan and Australia had similar stories.

One obvious cause were the missing flu seasons. Two years of no flu did show that the restrictions and lock-downs were highly effective at slowing down infections.

When opening up before people had actually been fully vaccinated, these examples also showed the effectiveness of the vaccinations.

Clive Robinson July 26, 2023 5:37 AM

@ Winter,

“Just looking at the side-effects of one side is deceptive to the point of deceitful.”

Yes it is, which is why I’m surprised you have not mentioned it was not a two sided discussion we had. I had pointed out there were other options including propper quarantine and the more traditional style antenuated vaccines which did not invade and kill healthy cells, and provided a much much wider skirt of immunity.

And it would appear were safer in most age ranges. But the drug companies wanted their “Moon Shot” with what had been a failure for four decades or more ad I’d noted. So safer alternatives had to be denied to the people who were paying through their taxes.

But the pertinent point as became clear eventually after it was tried to be kept hidden, was for some age ranges the risk of the mRNA vaccines far far exceeded the risk of the virus.

Worse even long after it was known that mRNA was extreamly risky, and it was also known that the mRNA vaccines had been escaped by the virus so they were effectively useless, the drug companies were still pushing hard for what they knew was medically usless but potentially leathal vaccine to be injected into those most vulnerable… Why I will let others draw their conclusions from, but… before they do a look at the company profits would be advised in the sake of looking at “the other side” of the “side-effects”.

Sometimes, not just for brevity the other-sides are not mentioned, likewis the other options for the sake of not turning things into a non constructive mud slinging match. But hey I’ve an arm that can throw so I can line up with the rest of them for a good hurl if you want.

Winter July 26, 2023 6:30 AM


And it would appear were safer in most age ranges.

If you look at the links I added, less side-effects was combined with less effectiveness. And they were not all “safer”, some alternatives were (temporarily) banned after some very serious side effects surfaced. For instance, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine proved to be less effective than the mRNA vaccines while causing some widely published mortality.[1] Something like that happened with AstraZeneca. [2]

In short, “safer” proved to be less safe in the reality of the pandemic, at least in the eyes of the public. In the end, the side effects of all the types were comparable, and very rare indeed. It is only the efficacy that really distinguishes the different types.

So safer alternatives had to be denied to the people who were paying through their taxes.

Both Russia and China banned these new vaccines and relied on their own, traditional, vaccines. These proved to be much less effective and hence, caused a higher mortality. The people who were forced to use these vaccines actually had no say in the fact that they could not get the more effective vaccines and were not happy with it. Moreover, it was often public outcry about some very rare (under 1 in a million) complications that drove vaccines from the market. As happened with the Johnson & Johnson one.

But the pertinent point as became clear eventually after it was tried to be kept hidden, was for some age ranges the risk of the mRNA vaccines far far exceeded the risk of the virus.

Indeed, but for young people, no vaccine was beneficial, as their morbidity and mortality from the virus was essentially nil. Which is irrelevant for those who actually were at risk from the virus. Most countries did not vaccinated young people.

Worse even long after it was known that mRNA was extreamly risky,

They were safer than getting the virus by a large margin.

the drug companies were still pushing hard for what they knew was medically usless but potentially leathal vaccine to be injected into those most vulnerable

Vaccination was advised by public health scientists who did have to weight the risk of infection to the risk of the vaccine. Your definition of “useless” is rather limited to say the least. The science behind the booster campaigns was that the new vaccines would not protect much against the new variants, however, they increased the existing immunity response to prevent the worst symptoms of a reinfection. Also, those who had had their jabs before would bear less risk of side-effects from a new one anyway.

Sometimes, not just for brevity the other-sides are not mentioned, likewis the other options for the sake of not turning things into a non constructive mud slinging match.

As I wrote before, every medical intervention bears risks, and also every non-intervention bears risks. During the whole pandemic, this trade-off was the basis of scientific epidemiological advise. No one seems to have been interested in both sides as I am challenged to find a single, non-scientific publication that actually covered both sides of the risk calculation.

For the rest I would like to cite XKCD 2806:

[1] ‘

[2] ‘

Winter July 26, 2023 1:45 PM


Vaccines are an unnatural, hackish, outmoded, ultimately dead end technology.

Every part of this sentence is simply wrong. Vaccines are

1) Natural, invented several times in history, eg, in Africa, China, and England. Vaccines were brought to the US by an African slave. Vaccines take existing or artificial antigens to prepare the body against harmful germs. They are the ultimate remedy against infectious diseases. Currently they are the only tool to stop a most of the infectious epidemics.

2) Wholesome and natural. What is more natural than using cowpox from cows to fight the deadliest of all curses of humanity, smallpox.

3) Fully new and hype. Without them, there is nothing stopping measles and a slee of deadly diseases to do our children in. Vaccines were the single technology that stopped COVID

4) There really is no replacement for vaccines. Antibiotics and every drug we ever invent will ultimately fail. We will always be able to develop a new vaccine against a new virus or a new variant.

Basically, you have nothing to replace vaccines and if we abandon them ever, a new disease like smallpox will arise and start wiping out whole communities without a cure.

The real scientific question is how the immune system works, or more generally the self/non-self “system”, and what impedes it.

We know how it works. Not all the details, but a lot of it. I have a strong impression it is you that does not understand the fundamentals of the immune system.

And the immune system has a lot in common with the brain. It is a learning system. It has to learn which antigens are dangerous and which are harmless. When to attack, and when not.

To learn, the immune system has to experience antigens and learn how to react. Vaccines are lessons for the immune system. Lessons that allow it to learn without the risk of the disease.

If this was understood one would know the real, natural route to removal of impediments.

You are dreaming of learning mathematics without studying proofs nor doing exercises. The immune system is the memory of the body. You cannot have memories without experience.

But you also believe in Socratic knowledge [1]. Every person already knows everything there is to know, it just has to be brought to light. But that is not at all how the Mammalian immune system works.

[1] Meno dialogue of Plato

Clive Robinson July 26, 2023 3:20 PM

@ Winter,

You are going decidedly odd…

You gave a link, to a wikipedia page, then said something that contradicted it.

I quoted that wikipedia page back to you making it clear it was from wikipedia,

Now you quote it back to me as if it was my own words..

As for why I thought a vaccine would take over a year, two things to note,

1, I was as I said back then basing it on what the industry it’s self had taken in the past ie 18 months minimum to get FDA approval.

2, Quite a few of the eventual vaccines took over a year.

I will however note that those that got the short times also took the short route on testing… That is they were not actually fully tested and got “emergancy” status from the FDA, so even now not having been tested fully, arguably they are still not “available” as a fully FDA aproved vaccine…

But you are “boxing yourself in” and as I’ve no wish to be blunt to the point of rudeness, I will leave you to mull more on your oddities.

SERE July 26, 2023 6:17 PM

We are running out of ecological survival time worldwide due to too many technology and war and crime distractions.

extrapolate from current “ARSON” and deforestation and urbanization trends, lack of food supply, droughts, lack of ecological education, and this:

The most basic logical information of how to keep this Earth alive is being actively ignored lately with the actions killing us all in advance.

The average industrial or collegiate maintennance worker or hardware store (pseudogardening) is actively wiping out what our atmosphere depends upon to be much cooler: forests and vegetation (chlorophyll lifeforms for not just oxygen).

The EPA is too late on this.
Active ecologists might get more traction on this topic with leaders and innovators of other countries. Our USA biosecurity is thoroughly AWOL.

modem phonemes July 27, 2023 1:13 AM

@ Winter

There really is no replacement for vaccines …

At the moment, they are all we have so of course their use has to be considered. If your car’s coolant hose develops a hole, and all you have is chewing gum, chew and patch the hole. (This can actually work – personal experience.) But the method is makeshift. One should be asking what causes holes to really get somewhere.

The vaccine method relies on the organism’s immune/metabolic system restoring health. The immune system is part of the self/non-self system which is innate and doesn’t need to be ”taught”. Memory plays an optimizing role.

But why doesn’t it just do that successfully in the disease context ? We don’t understand the immune and metabolic systems adequately. If we did there would be no need for chemotherapy, radiation, and other makeshift methods in cancer treatment. We don’t understand the impediments to the innate healing function.

Winter July 27, 2023 4:25 AM


The immune system is part of the self/non-self system which is innate and doesn’t need to be ”taught”.

That is simply wrong for mammals. It holds for insects, but even there not entirely. But the self/non-self/pathogen system in mammals consists of an innate and an adaptive system. So your ideas rest on a fundamental error.

Mammals have a limited repertoire of innate markers for non-self but have to learn to distinguish between self/non-self and between self/food (to suppress food allergies) for most of the pathogens we know. Things that cross the skin/mucus barrier are treated as non-self, but not everything is treated as a pathogen. The immune system has to learn which antigens it has to attack and which it should not attack, and when to stop.

Just in case you still might want to know more about human immunology:
An introduction to immunology and immunopathology

Clive Robinson July 27, 2023 8:13 AM

@ Winter,

Re : Confidential Documentation.

“You obviously did not read the test reports.”

Another very odd thing to say…

The documents were not public so could not be read by me or I suspect most people, including those on this blog.

But it gets odder,

From what we now finding out those who’s job it was to read them, either did not understand them or did not know what they ment.

As it appears that they documents were shall we say “at best selective of what was included”.

If as you imply you know so much about the subject, then I would expect you to be cognizant of this information…

I’ll leave others to make their assessment of what you churn out.

But claiming I should know what is not public, was not known at the time, and a number of other incorrect out of time / 20:20 hindsight claims realy does not do your credibility much good.

Winter July 27, 2023 8:29 AM


The documents were not public so could not be read by me or I suspect most people, including those on this blog.

They were leaked.

However, the blinded trial was fully published here:

As this was done with 30k subjects (15k placebo) from October 2021 to March 2022, it is rather enough to determine efficacy. So, I would say you can have a go to see what was “wrong”.

I do not really care about procedural matters. I only care about efficacy and safety. And complaining that the 2020 pandemic was not an “emergency” requiring speeded up procedures is not getting the word “emergency”.

modem phonemes July 27, 2023 8:54 AM

@ Winter

the self/non-self/pathogen system in mammals consists of an innate and an adaptive system

I meant “innate” in the sense that the capacity or functionality or mechanism for self/non-self recognition is inherent in the nature of the organism. Both the innate and adaptive immune system systems in the sense you use them are only possible because of this.

It seems there might be analogues and clues in epigenetics.

A fundamental mathematical model would be nice to have for this incredible dynamical system [1].

  1. Thom, René. Stabilité Structurelle et Morphogénèse, Essai d’une Théorie Générale des Modèles

Winter July 27, 2023 10:10 AM


I meant “innate” in the sense that the capacity or functionality or mechanism for self/non-self recognition is inherent in the nature of the organism.

That is “innate” in the sense that the ability to learn a language is innate. That does not mean that you do not need to learn a first language and then spend a lot of effort to learn any more.

Learning to recognize a pathogen, eg, smallpox, polio, or measles, so it can be neutralized or cleared is something you rather do not do while being sick from it. Because by the time you have learned to clear it, the damage might already have been done.

JonKnowsNothing July 27, 2023 11:04 AM


re: I do not really care about procedural matters.

Procedural matters delineate the separation between “acceptable practices” and “unethical practices”.

Similar to the Trolley Problem, medical ethics rotates regularly and things that were acceptable in one context are not acceptable in different ones. We regularly jettison “bad research” based on the “defined procedures” used.

All researchers would prefer to hide results that do not align with their hypothesis and some actively do it. Some get “away” with the lies until someone else with a tad more moxie or just plain old “I’m not giving up”, shows up the fabrication.

It matters far more than the outcome because if the procedural aspects are not correct, the outcome is compromised or of little value.

It doesn’t stop researchers in all areas from trimming the corners, but things have a way of slipping out into the open. It doesn’t stop established “norms” from making detracting counter claims in order to preserve the status quo. When it gets exposed The stink spans the globe.


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

  • Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison is a 1998 book by Allen Hornblum. The book documents clinical non-therapeutic medical experiments on prison inmates at Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia from 1951 to 1974, conducted under the direction of dermatologist Albert Kligman.
  • The title of the book is a reference to Kligman’s reaction on seeing hundreds of prisoners when he entered the prison: “All I saw before me were acres of skin” … “It was like a farmer seeing a fertile field for the first time”.

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

  • The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male[1][2][3] (informally referred to as the Tuskegee Experiment or Tuskegee Syphilis Study) was a study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the United States Public Health Service (PHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a group of nearly 400 African American men with syphilis.

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

  • The Guatemala syphilis experiments were United States-led human experiments conducted in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948. The experiments were led by physician John Charles Cutler, who also participated in the late stages of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Doctors infected 1,300 people, including at least 600 soldiers and people from various impoverished groups (including, but not limited to, sex workers, orphans, inmates of mental hospitals, and prisoners) with syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid, without the informed consent of the subjects.

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

  • In 2010, Israel was accused of a “sterilization policy” aimed towards Ethiopian Jews, for allowing the prescription of contraceptive drugs like Depo-Provera to the community. They stated that the Israeli government deliberately gives female Ethiopian Jews long-lasting contraceptive drugs like Depo-Provera.
  • Israel initially denied the claim of injecting Ethiopian women with Depo-Provera without their informed consent, but later issued an order for gynecologists to stop administering the drugs for women of Ethiopian origin

  • a documentary aired in December 2012 on public television. In it, 35 Ethiopian women who had immigrated to Israel said they had been told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to the shots.

h ttps://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori

  • Helicobacter pylori, previously known as Campylobacter pylori, is a gram-negative, microaerophilic, spiral (helical) bacterium usually found in the stomach
  • The bacterium was first identified in 1982 by the Australian doctors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren.

  • H. pylori was first discovered in the stomachs of patients with gastritis and ulcers in 1982 by Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren of Perth, Western Australia. At the time, the conventional thinking was that no bacterium could live in the acid environment of the human stomach.

  • In their original paper, Warren and Marshall contended that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were caused by bacterial infection and not by stress or spicy food, as had been assumed before.

  • skepticism was expressed initially, but within a few years multiple research groups had verified the association

  • In recognition of their discovery, Marshall and Warren were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

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

  • Cold fusion is a hypothesized type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room temperature. It would contrast starkly with the “hot” fusion that is known to take place naturally within stars and artificially in hydrogen bombs and prototype fusion reactors under immense pressure and at temperatures of millions of degrees, and be distinguished from muon-catalyzed fusion. There is currently no accepted theoretical model that would allow cold fusion to occur.
  • In 1989, two electrochemists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, reported that their apparatus had produced anomalous heat (“excess heat”) of a magnitude they asserted would defy explanation except in terms of nuclear processes.
  • Many scientists tried to replicate the experiment with the few details available. Hopes faded with the large number of negative replications, the withdrawal of many reported positive replications, the discovery of flaws and sources of experimental error in the original experiment, and finally the discovery that Fleischmann and Pons had not actually detected nuclear reaction byproducts.

Winter July 27, 2023 11:24 AM


Procedural matters delineate the separation between “acceptable practices” and “unethical practices”.

Nice to say, but when I am drowning I do not really check whether my life vest has had its regular checks as per the safety regulations and procedures. I use it to stay afloat. I am all for checking life vests regularly and by procedure, but not when I am drowning.

What is at stake here was that during the pandemic, when hospitals were unable to care for flood of patients at risk of dying, an emergency procedure checked whether the only life-saving drug worked and was save as far as had been tested and then gave a temporal go for use. That was all there is: People looked at the available data and determined whether it was sensible to use the vaccine. And it was. It worked and was safe. The full trial done after the emergency application showed that all was indeed well.

Obviously, there are people who would have rather waited 10 years to see whether there was absolutely no unknown risk whatsoever. These people were probably willing to risk the lives of a few million other humans to make absolutely sure. But the authorities put priority to saving lives over removing all risks whatsoever.

JonKnowsNothing July 27, 2023 3:53 PM


re: when I am drowning I do not really check whether my life vest has had its regular checks as per the safety regulations and procedures. I use it to stay afloat. (1)

This probably not the best example because if the procedure to make the life vest was flawed or fraudulent, you have just as much chance that the life vest does not work at all.


Some decades ago a US Navy person went overboard while at sea.

No one saw him go in the water. His “helpful” crew mates answered for him at roll calls (in the loo, taking a shower) so it was days before anyone asked “Have you actually seen and talked with him?” Since it emerged that he had gone overboard and given US Navy protocols not much of a search was done. The presumption was he had drowned and as the ship was on the way to somewhere and had 2+ days of travel from the site of the accident, the Navy decided to motor onward and sent condolences to family.

It was somewhat of a surprise when a short while later the family got a phone call from the drowned-man who asked for money to get a ticket home. He had been picked up by a small fishing vessel and had to wait for the fishermen to get their quota before coming back to port.

He had stayed afloat for days using a technique the Navy taught in a survival course.

* He shucked his trousers and tied a know in the foot end
* He repeated hoisted them over head and captured air inside the wet pants legs
* He had to do this multiple times a minute because the air holding capacity of wet trousers is minimal
* He did it far longer than the Navy had ever expected anyone to have the strength or stamina to do it

Good technique to know, in case that self inflating air vest got a puncture in it.

Safety vests are high tech and highly tested devices. Their utility varies in application and often times it’s provided more as a plush toy for comfort, rather than having any true survival value.

Much of this depends on how long you will be in the water, and how cold the water is when you go in. In some cases the vest will deploy but you have only seconds before your hands freeze and you cannot hold on to a rescue rope.


1) A Buddhist parable about a warrior wounded with a poisoned arrow

h ttps://en.wikipedia.o r g/wiki/Parable_of_the_Poisoned_Arrow

  • … It’s just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me… until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short… until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored… until I know his home village, town, or city… until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow… (continues)

Winter July 27, 2023 4:38 PM


Self/non-self is part of the existing “definition” or form of the organism. It is already set to react against intrusions.

These are empirical questiond. In insects, that is indeed the case. In humans, not so. See the link about the human immune system.[1]

Contrary wat many people think, most important questions require structured observations and study to answer. Just sitting in your chair thinking about an answer was the preferred way in the old times. But this does not cut it with real problems like epidemics that kill real people.

[1] The Self is partly the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). But that is just the easy part. And even that cannot be encoded in DNA for obvious reasons. The immune system should ignore antigens in food and some other situations. When it doesn’t, you get, eg, a deadly peanut allergy. But it should respond fast and decisively against anything connected to eg, inflammation or cells presenting the wrong type of antigens. Eukaryotic infections, parasites and fungi, are the worst as they look a lot like self.

SpaceLifeForm July 27, 2023 4:49 PM

Intentional Bitrot

aka, disappearing knowledge


Clive Robinson July 28, 2023 6:00 AM

@ Winter,

“I remember that ambulances in the UK were queing up desperately looking for a free bed in a hospital. Hospital staff everywhere were working until they broke down.”

That was before vaccines were being tested… Which is why I find,

“What is at stake here was that during the pandemic, when hospitals were unable to care for flood of patients at risk of dying, an emergency procedure checked whether the only life-saving drug worked”

Which is compleatly untrue, if you had Covid at that time and were hospitalised it would in no way have been a consideration, because,

1, They were unavailable.
2, Giving you any vaccine would not have improved your condition.

In fact it would probably have worsened your condition, much like being infected with two different diseases or strains at the same time (which has happened with covid and the results of the much worse condition of patients in hospital with it documented).

But also, by the time the vaccines became available, the virus had significantly mutated as was much less pathogenic. Hence the vaccines were actually not that effective to begin with as the mutations were escaping it’s all to narrow skirt.

So you claiming the vaccine was “the only life-saving drug” in the senarios you posit are not true. The vaccine(s) could certainly not have done so at the time, and it is also untrue now with regards the well over priced mRNA vaccines.

Thus the risk of taking an mRNA vaccine of that vintage far far outweighs the zero benifit they offer especially in certain age ranges. A point you’ve been trying to avoid in your current crop of statments.

So when you say,

“Vaccines worked.”

I can truthully say,

No they did not as medicines for those infected which is what you are trying to push as a hypothesis.

Whilst they can work in the uninfected to boost the immune system, the benifit only happens if the virus mutation falls under the vaccines skirt. The last time I looked the mRNA vaccines did not cover the covid mutations circulating in the population. So again the risk is way way greater than the zero benifit.

But even now if you are naive to the vaccine you need two shots upto around 12weeks appart then upto another 12weeks to get the level of protection that will keep you out of ICU to some mutations that might still be kicking around in wild reservoirs.

Which is maybe why the UK Government are not offering the mRNA vaccines or even combinations involving those mRNA vaccines any more.

But consider, if a new variation of the mRNA vaccines come out which is being talked about, if the skirt is again too narrow as is likely, then they will fail fairly quickly to the state where the risks far outweighing the benifits in certain age ranges (there is evidence from an independent Swiss Study that tests show harms to the heart as high as one person in twenty from troponin markers).

As noted by @JonKnowsNothing, there are actually many other vaccines out there, and quite a few do not destroy healthy human cells in organs, unlike the mRNA vaccines. Also they have a much much broader coverage skirt, so cover a much larger number of mutations as well as working with a greater range of immune systems. So when a benifit to risk analysis is done they will over all be better, even though they might be less efficacious against a spicific chosen viral mutation. Look on them as being “12 guage -v- .22”

But yet again you have been making odd comments. Some of which are not factual and you appear to be effectively trying to hide it with confusing time line.

I guess others might also start checking into things.

Which brings up another point, you’ve given links to papers etc behind paywalls, that you would not expect an individual to have access to. But would be available to those in institutions and organisations doing research…

Clive Robinson July 28, 2023 6:21 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Intentional Bitrot

“aka, disappearing knowledge”

I’ve noticed similar with other “tech sites” in the past. You might remember I mentioned it as an apparent degradation of DDG switching to Microsoft.

And before anyone asks yes thinking back those I observed were shall we say “Microsoft neutral” publishing without “fear or favour”.

I’ve also noted through DDG that this site has also been “ghosted” in various ways.

But I put it down to “Bing being drunk and incapable” pre advertised AI usage. It has got realy bad of late with sometimes only the first two words of a search term being used, and then badly.

Winter July 28, 2023 6:29 AM


That was before vaccines were being tested… Which is why I find,

I know it is common to assume politicians have absolutely no foresight, but it is rediculous to assume they would not think Maybe we should prevent this from happening again?.

And, actually, they did try to prevent it from happening again by speeding up vaccine development. I understand this might be difficult to understand, but if you look back at the newspapers from that time, there was some anxiety about such thing keeping happening. And people also realized that there was nothing but vaccination that could prevent it from happening again.

And maybe, there is a reason why it did not happen again after the vaccines were used? I added some links that calculated the numbers of lives that were saved by vaccination.

But also, by the time the vaccines became available, the virus had significantly mutated as was much less pathogenic.

Hindsight is so much 20/20. Except that people were still piling up in ICUs at an alarming rate.

No they did not as medicines for those infected which is what you are trying to push as a hypothesis.

I know many people reject prevention out of principle, but luckily, not all politicians do. But it warrants repeating:
If you prevent people from becoming sick, you do not have to cure them.

And if the only thing available from preventing them from becoming sick is vaccination, you use a vaccine.

Whilst they can work in the uninfected to boost the immune system, the benefit only happens if the virus mutation falls under the vaccines skirt.

The vaccines did still work.[1] They reduced the number of serious cases. The virus did indeed mutated out under the vaccine, as viruses tend to do, but the vaccinations reduced the severity of the symptoms.

But even now if you are naive to the vaccine you need two shots upto around 12weeks appart then upto another 12weeks to get the level of protection that will keep you out of ICU to some mutations that might still be kicking around in wild reservoirs.

That is for full protection. During that time the protection builds up. But even if full protection is needed, this means that if you want to get room in the ICUs in 24 weeks, you should start vaccinating now.

Which is maybe why the UK Government are not offering the mRNA vaccines or even combinations involving those mRNA vaccines any more.

They are not needed anymore. When the epidemic is over, the risk-benefit of vaccination shifts. We also do not do smallpox and tuberculosis vaccinations anymore.

As noted by @JonKnowsNothing, there are actually many other vaccines out there

There are now. Not at the height of the pandemic. It seems you are against vaccinations, or mRNA vaccine. That is your prerogative. The rest of the world sees that differently.

Which brings up another point, you’ve given links to papers etc behind paywalls, that you would not expect an individual to have access to.

Sorry, I try to avoid that. Must have slipped through. If you point out which one that is I will try to find a replacement.

[1] Vaccines are not one trick ponies. They effect different parts of the immune system.

Winter July 28, 2023 10:30 AM


which is why as I’ve frequently pointed out I chose the Aztra not the Pfizer of the only two offered.

The ChAdOx1 vaccine in the Nature link is the AstraZeneca Vaxzevria vaccine. In that study, the AstraZeneca vaccine does not perform that different from the BioNtech/Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine.

So maybe you are out of luck in this respect.

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