seigler1 September 8, 2023 5:58 PM


…What specific citizen right does 4th AMENDMENT guarantee ?

most Americans do not know or care, and could no figure it out if the text of that Amendment was right in front of them.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 8, 2023 6:14 PM

8 Sept 2023 — World War Three, A Warm War Today
Article Summary and Reference, ML version 8 bibliographic standard for footnotes.

News article from Moscow Times, Teachers have resigned refusing to allow “Ukrainian Veterans”, Russian soldiers having served in Ukraine as occupiers and worse, into classrooms to provide lessons to children. Advocating for war in the classroom is wrong, an assertion made by a group of educators which will result in teachers becoming outcasts–whatever that means.

[1] Moscow Times, sxtpt://, Sept 7. 2023, downloaded Sept. 8, 2023, Moscow Times website

Clive Robinson September 8, 2023 7:26 PM

@ name.withheld…,

“which will result in teachers becoming outcasts–whatever that means.”

If as has happened before,

“Defenestration” after an unexpected hospital visit.

Or dropping 30,000ft in half a jet aircraft that belonged to a Russian PMC

Or a number of other “family 1st flying lessons” without benifit of technology or safety nets…

Others less obviously, maybe a “jab in the leg on a bridge” or a “nice gram of polonium tea” or a squirt of the latest “novice fragerance” Novichok, and oh so many more. He’s not called “The Panty Poisoner” without reason.

If you remember there was a discussion here about his “stop the Ukranian food for the third world” behaviour almost exactly a year ago,

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 8, 2023 9:06 PM


If you remember there was a discussion here about his “stop the Ukranian food for the third world” behaviour almost exactly a year ago…

Yes, and other places we have both mentioned Putin’s lack of moderating behavior, as with the ex President in the U.S., Putin is not an irrational actor (partially), he’s an unreasonable one.

There is something about wanting to take your neighbors land, change the street name and address, and then move your people. And it all start with going to your neighbors house to borrow a cup of sugar, whilst brandishing your AK-47 as you do. And, you never returned with the sugar which really upset your wife and kids. The family did however enjoy the new extension to the living room, den, kitchen and garage, and all in one fell swoop.

Love SHA-8192, baby that's where it's at yeah September 8, 2023 11:13 PM

Sure i’m late to the party, but why the hell are so many sites supposedly about security listing ********** (name withheld for obvious reasons) as a security and privacy tool when instead it’s the world’s most popular script kiddie hacking kit?!?!?

This is madness.

Also, I peeked at a face-swapping site or two.
I really can’t tell how much we’re being fooled by scamconners. For example, is Natalie Portman a victim of computer-generated pr0n substiting her face onto someone else’s body, or is she just jumping 100% into pornography for the fans and royalties?

Last but not least, ChatGPT and all the like seem 2000 % harmless. I mean, really a parlour trick. And yet we have so many bozos blaming extinction risk on ChatGPT instead of nuclear weapons, biological weapons, dna weapons, neurological weapons, worldwide arson, or mass deforestation and loss of the entire viable food supply.

I’m really not trusting the zeitgeist anymore.

1&1!=3|Me September 9, 2023 12:31 AM

@Love SHA:

“And yet we have so many bozos blaming extinction risk on ChatGPT instead of nuclear weapons, biological weapons, dna weapons, neurological weapons, worldwide arson, or mass deforestation and loss of the entire viable food supply.”

Well ChatGPT and friends use at least as much energy as those Chinese Crypto cash mining rigs of old.

So have a carbon footprint getting on for about the equivalent of a major western country or three

So watch out for polar bears surfing in on ice berg fragments that were once umpteen millennium old ice sheets. Now uncovered and breaking free due to global warming and polar cap ice melting that’s already raising the water level and effectively drowning some cultures and desalinating and killing what were once rich food sources for other creatures…

But hey just keep pumping the lead boot on the gas pedal it’s all just harmles existential fun untill some one get bit. Speaking of which just remember to throw your children to the bears but steal their sneaker laces first, that way you might out run them and get away from the bear.

Winter September 9, 2023 3:50 AM

@Love SHA

Last but not least, ChatGPT and all the like seem 2000 % harmless. I mean, really a parlour trick.

Ken Olsen, 1977 to the World Future Society,
“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.”

And this classic:
Excerpted from Newsweek: The Internet? Bah!, Feb 26, 1995

Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana

After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two.

But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community – the internet.

Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense?

The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.

Clive Robinson September 9, 2023 6:07 AM

@ Bruce, SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : When in Texes do as the big boys do…

As many little people know the price of energy is up by 80% in a year in many places, and in Texas they know a lot about the lack of reliable energy supply delivery when they need it most (and yes it kills people and the energy industry knows it)…

So Texas has “gone big” by robbing little Peter to Pay big Paul to do nothing.

In one case a crypto currenc mining Corp and big energy user has earned more by turning their rigs off than by mining coins.

“Bitcoin mining outfit Riot Platforms earned $31.7 million from Texas power authorities last month for curtailing operations – far more than the value of the Bitcoin it mined in the same period. “

Remember that $31.7 million from Texas power authorities had to come from somewhere, and you can be sure it was not from those with muscle…

pup vas September 9, 2023 5:07 PM

AI Is No Match for the Quirks of Human Intelligence

=The emphasis of intelligence testing and computational approaches to intelligence has been on well-structured and formal problems. That is, problems that have a clear goal and a set number of possible solutions. But we humans are creative, irrational, and inconsistent. Focusing on these well-structured problems may be like looking for your lost keys where the light is brightest. There are other problems that are much more typical of human intelligence and deserve a closer look.

One group of these are so-called insight problems. Insight problems generally cannot be solved by a step-by-step procedure, like an algorithm, or if they can, the process is extremely tedious. Instead, insight problems are characterized by a kind of restructuring of the solver’s approach to the problem. In path problems, the solver is given a representation, which includes a starting state, a goal state, and a set of tools or operators that can be applied to move through the representation. In insight problems, the solver is given none of these.

With path problems, the solver can usually assess how close the current state of the system is to the goal state. Most machine learning algorithms depend on this assessment. With insight problems, it is often difficult to determine whether any progress at all as been made until the problem is essentially solved. They’re often associated with the “Eureka effect,” or “Aha! moment,” a sudden realization of a previously incomprehensible solution.

Insight problems are typically posed in such a way that there are multiple ways that they could be represented. How you think about a problem, that is, how you represent what the problem is, can be critical to solving it.

Laboratory versions of insight problems generally do not require any specific deep technical knowledge. Most of them can be solved by gaining one or two insights that change the nature of how the solver thinks about the problem.

Relatively little is known about how we solve insight problems. These problems are typically challenging to study in the laboratory with much depth, because it is difficult to ask people to describe the to describe the steps that they go through to solve them.
=>We all know that people do not always behave in the systematic ways suggested by logical thought.
These deviations are not glitches or bugs in human thought but essential features that enable human intelligence.

We do not seem ordinarily to pay a lot of attention to the formal parts of a problem, =>especially when making risky choices. The psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman found that people made different choices when presented with the same alternatives, depending on how these alternatives were described.

People preferred the certain outcome over the uncertain one when the certain one was framed in a positive tone and preferred the uncertain alternative when the certain one was framed in a negative tone.
=>The frame or tone of the alternatives controlled the willingness of the participants to accept risk.

Correct and incorrect decisions are both produced by the same brains/minds/cognitive processes.

Unlike computers, we are relatively limited in what we can keep in active memory at one time. Digit spans were used in some early intelligence tests.

…we have a complexity to our thinking and intellectual processes that is not always in our favor. We jump to conclusions. We are more easily persuaded by arguments that we prefer to be true or that are presented in one context or another. We do sometimes behave like computers, but more often, we are sloppy and inconsistent.

Daniel Kahneman describes the human mind as consisting of two systems, one that is fast, relatively inaccurate, and automatic. The other is slow, deliberate, and when it does finally reach a conclusion, more accurate.

The first system, he said, is engaged when you see a picture and note that the person in it is angry and is likely to yell. The second system is engaged when you try to solve a multiplication problem like 17 × 32. The recognition of anger, in essence, pops into our mind without any obvious effort, but the math problem requires deliberate effort and maybe a pencil and paper (or a calculator).

What he calls the second system is very close to what I call artificial intelligence. It involves deliberate, systematic efforts that require the use of cognitive inventions.

Computational intelligence has focused on the kind of work done by the deliberate system, but the automatic system may be just as or more important. And it may be more challenging to emulate in a computer.=

More interesting facts following the link

lurker September 9, 2023 11:49 PM

“Two men arrested under Official Secrets Act – Met Police”

Uhuh, they don’t usually say anything about those cases; aah, but this is Because China, and party politics. No link, there’s an angle to suit at most MSM.

ResearcherZero September 10, 2023 2:40 AM

@Love SHA-8192

Aedes aegypti

Malaria kills more than 600,000 people every year, and incapacitates another 200 million. Along with dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis this causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually.

Not until the end of the nineteenth century was it scientifically established that mosquitoes transmitted malaria. Before then, the miasma theory, holding that fevers travelled independently, through fetid environments, held sway, reflected in the very word “malaria”: we thought we were the victims of “bad air.” That these tiny biting insects might be affecting our lives so profoundly was a leap beyond imagining.

“Great was the stench of death. . . . All of us were thus. We were born to die!”


Disease-carrying mosquitoes kill more people annually than war, terrorist attacks and homicides.

“We estimate the species only arrived in Africa some 50,000 to 80,000 years ago”

Aedes aegypti arose more than 7 million years ago on islands in the Indian Ocean, some of which had no mammals of any kind.

The most at-risk regions in the world for high-impact heatwaves

“These regions have had no need to adapt to such events and so may be more susceptible to the impacts of extreme heat. Statistically, these regions are also more likely to experience record-breaking extremes than other areas. Regions which have, so far, not experienced a particularly extreme event may be less prepared for the consequences of such an event. Further research into the greatest plausible climatic extremes is essential to allow policymakers to plan for possible future events.”


here we show where regional temperature records are statistically likely to be exceeded, and therefore communities might be more at-risk

ResearcherZero September 10, 2023 2:46 AM

The F.S.B. has been secretly using allies inside nominally independent organizations to spread propaganda and cultivate ties with rising leaders, efforts that are intended to play out over long periods of time.

“The co-optee influence operations are built primarily on personal relationships … they build trust with them and then they can leverage that to covertly push the FSB’s agenda.”

Russia is also now using cut-outs, or individuals who act as intermediaries between agents, as part of its intelligence operations.

“Russia’s influence actors have adapted their efforts to increasingly hide their hand, laundering their preferred messaging through a vast ecosystem of Russian proxy websites, individuals, and organizations that appear to be independent news sources.”


“Confusion in the information space is one of the aims of the Kremlin information operations—to make everything equally unbelievable so people’s trust in all kinds of sources is undermined.”

“Western influencers who are sympathetic to Russian causes that will translate those narratives and then share them on mainstream platforms”

ResearcherZero September 10, 2023 3:15 AM

French Patriot looking for a loan? (solve all your problems)

Le Pen, as a member of the European Parliament, requests a meeting with Sergei Naryshkin – one of Putin’s closest allies, current Russian spy chief.

“Please find enclosed a copy of the letter sent on 25 March 2015 by Mr Jean-Luc Schaffhauser and my colleague Ludovic de Danne to Mr Sergei Naryshkin, Chairman of the State Duma, requesting a meeting with him on my behalf.”


“possible political counterparties in exchange for a Russian loan contracted by the former National Front in 2014”

Or an American Patriot, thinking of moving to Russia? (after getting a loan perhaps)

“Gleason publishes a newsletter on Substack and, along with Bausman, moderates a public Facebook group that provides advice to prospective Western emigres.”

They have established specifically designated communities, including one outside Moscow, to cater to Western conservatives.

Steve Turley has ties to the same pro-Kremlin network of Christian nationalists as Charles Bausman, the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, man who fled to Moscow, leaving his Christmas tree lights hanging, after he was filmed inside the Capitol on Jan 6.

The website, Russia Insider, was directed at an English-speaking audience.

“Charlie speaks excellent Russian. So he was a valuable asset — he was like the young American prince of Moscow.”

‘ appears to be a web hosting and development firm in Russia,” Squire noted. “The user ‘errand’ also claims to have been employed by Russia Insider.”

All three sites include identical code for a different .ru address, which she described as a “known malware distribution site.”

ResearcherZero September 10, 2023 3:21 AM

Perhaps China then?

Foreign companies working with the CCP are “targeting and recruiting U.S. and NATO-trained military talent across specialties and career fields.”


ResearcherZero September 10, 2023 4:07 AM

@Love SHA

All of these events were predicted within the epic Cowboy Beebop. The dates are a bit off. There are no rock showers, as the Astral Gate accident has not happened yet.

…but if you have plenty of ₩ (Woolong)

(The PDF is a tad over $5,000, so you will need a few.)


₩1 is worth slightly less than €0.01, a little more than 1¢ US or around 1 Yen (about ½ a penny)

The Cowboy Bebop episode ‘Waltz for Venus’ showcases an electronic wallet used to transfer Woolongs stored on smart cards.

Still a favourite.

CVE-2017-0199 – RCE (affects specific Microsoft Office and WordPad versions precisely when they parse specially crafted files)

Of around 10,000 companies worldwide that are responsible for exposing clients’ data to hackers, almost a quarter are based in the U.S.

India and the United Kingdom follow with roughly 750 and 600 businesses respectively.


Up to 40% of cyber threats now occurring indirectly through the supply chain.

“76% of respondents in a 2022 case study covering the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand say their organisation has suffered at least 1 cyber attack this year. This is a large increase over the 55% figure in 2020.”

“73% of SMBs agree that cyber security concerns now need action, with 78% saying they will increase investment in cyber security in the next 12 months.”


SpaceLifeForm September 10, 2023 4:57 AM

@ Bruce, Clive, ALL

re: Texas, Ercot

That’s a nice grid you have there, be a shame if something happened to it.

The cryptocurrency miners and Ercot are extorting money from the citizens of Texas.

The next couple of days will be interesting.

Ercot needs to die. Texas should be on national grid.

FERC should just say that if you do not interconnect, and you have a grid failure, you are on your own, and do not expect any Federal bailout.

RobertT September 10, 2023 6:40 AM

@lurker re: Two men arrested….

what does this tell us about modern day opsec?
If the met confiscated my computers they’d need the decyrpt keys to before they could make any progress at all, maybe they have ways of convincing me to part with these keys, but I suspect that most people (with anything to hide) would take the decyrpt keys to their grave. I mean why help to hang yourself?

I get the feeling that the real problem here is one of poor opsec.
And what does that tell you about their controllers?
IMHO poor opsec is really an institutional problem, it indicates poor training and a very poor understanding of the operational space AND most importantly a complete disregard for the safety of those in the field.

I guess it’s a simple calculus of how many representatives I can burn before I myself get burned, but seriously is this a calculation that anyone operating in such an opaque space really cares to make?

what more can I say…

Clive Robinson September 10, 2023 7:26 AM

@ lurker, ALL,

Re : Two men arrested under UK OSA.

“Uhuh, they don’t usually say anything about those cases; aah, but this is Because China, and party politics.”

The two main reasons why the don’t say much about “Official Secrets Act”(OSA) cases when politicians are involved, are,

1, It’s embarrassing for politicians.
2, All to often it’s a put up job and what further comes out will be realy embarrassing.

But also it used to be unclear as to if being a spy was actually a crime in the UK and so we’ve had quite a few UK politicos certainly pocketing Russian money in the past for their thoughts etc.

Few realise that in most spying cases using socially acceptable legislation, the power generally does not exist in the hands of the prosecutor but in the hands of the defendant… Which in part the reasons for OSA changes[1] and it’s not clear if the two men are guilty of anything yet (old rules).

But add to that cautious spys always know way more than they’ve said and can put together 2+2+S, to come up with a nice number. Where S “is the magic number” by which to make anyone look guilty and not just by association. In effect a spy can sit there and deny, and in open court burn the Government down…

Lets look at the little we know[2],

1, Two men one in his twenties one in his thirties.
2, The younger is a Parlimentry researcher.
3, Has had significant contact with Tory Party MPs.
4, Some are senior Party MPs.
5, The current Prime Minister may be one who knows him.

This is mot exactly unusual, “unpaid interns” trying to cut a place in politics for one of the three main vices of “delusion, money, power” run around Parliment like thieves in Faigin’s Den, Some even end up Tory Wives, Mistresses, Lovers or toy boys.

But it’s important to note that “slave worker culture” is endemic in UK political parties, few ever get any rewards for their efforts or knowledge and those who get rewarded are often selected by lets call it favouritism not ability, knowledge, or skill.

Thus they can be “easy pickings” for others with a few drinks, a little ego stroking, and other such techniques journalists use.

But it also flips the other way because “when you buy on the cheap”… The younger is said to have spent some years living in China thus understands the culture which would have made him usefull as a researcher. But this in turn may have led to him being “got at” in various ways by various “friends of China” I’ve mentioned in the past, who pretend to help people sort out Chinese travel paperwork but in fact are collecting information for Chinese Intel agencies etc.

Such are the basic ethics of political parties in the UK they’ve been accused of “Any warm body can vote” type morality.

However… if you do the calculations on politicians themselves and their behavioiurs they are atleast four times more likely to be criminals than ordinary middle class citizens. In part because they think they are untouchable and above all that… Where as the reality are some are so immersed in what we might call the depravity of their failings and the illusion rather than the substance of power…

But as for “spying” who else remembers Tory Chancellor “White Lines” Gidiot? Also called “Mr China” or similar and later fairly usless news paper editor. He was very keen on China in ways that some claimed should have led to him being detained and questioned and the key thrown away… But he was “Chancellor” which kind of made it difficult under the then OSA [1]. But occasionaly the “Where is he now?” question comes up and the last I remember said,

“George Osborne to become full-time banker.”

Yes… thankfully I was not drinking a cup of tea, as it could have been messy, but I certainly had to read it twice to ensure I’d not misread it.

[1] Because the OSA legislation was so baddly abused by “Mad Maggie” Thatcher when she was UK PM they became an embarrassment and kind of fell out of use and did not get updated unlike other WASP nations untill very recently. It’s not at all clear under which rules this case is being run. But also note it also appears to be at a “politically opportune” if not “stage managed” time line.

Read the bottom of this to get a few more details,


[2] Other online reports claim the two are 36 and 41 and arrested in Harrow West London… Which means they are probably confusing things with an earlier Spying Story,


Clive Robinson September 10, 2023 8:13 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Business as usuall…

“The cryptocurrency miners and Ercot are extorting money from the citizens of Texas.”

It’s actually Ercot and Texas politico’s squeezing Texas cirizens, via a bunch of freeloading “energy free market” traders.

Because Ercot are incompetent they were easy to squeeze by those who could “lay off load” in a near instant.

The “energy free market” is like a mix of a very high stakes poker game and Russian Roulette. The rules are such that those who can most quickly bring up capacity get premium rates for what they generate…

Hence the reason two miles of down hill rail track and a bunch of trains full of scrap with their engines rigged as generators makes fiscal sense… As it’s a couple of Megawatts for a couple to ten minutes in just a few seconds notice. You can then wait to “cheap rate” to put the engines in reverse and back up the grade with a nice fat electronic checque going “ding” in your account.

Now look at the crypto miners, they can do the same trick, except “generating” by “dropping load”. Very few if any power consumers can just “drop load” but crypto work be it coin mining or cracking codes can due to it’s basically simple but very fast algorithms running in vastly parallel systems.

So yes the crypto miners have drawn up a seat at that poker table, yet they don’t have any stake to loose unlike the other “generators” sitting around the table. So they have a high hand to start with.

What has yet to be seen is how hard they are going to play the very real “power” they have such an advantage. They could go a very long way on the political side with just a little “blackmail”.

Because the Texas game is a small one compared to the Federal one they would probably get away with it.

Winter September 10, 2023 8:22 AM


If the met confiscated my computers they’d need the decyrpt keys to before they could make any progress at all, maybe they have ways of convincing me to part with these keys,

The UK has mandatory decryption laws. If you do not decrypt your computer, you can get jail time just for that.


The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), Part III, activated by ministerial order in October 2007,[36] requires persons to decrypt information and/or supply keys to government representatives to decrypt information without a court order. Failure to disclose carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail, or five years in the cases of national security or child indecency.

Winy September 10, 2023 9:53 AM


The “energy free market” is like a mix of a very high stakes poker game and Russian Roulette.

A free market for utilities ends badly always.

Winter September 10, 2023 10:24 AM


The Failure of Electricity Deregulation: History, Status and Needed Reforms

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 10, 2023 11:26 AM

10 Sept 2023 — Global Security Failing — Institutional and Organizational Shortcomings
I surmise most are woefully unaware of the struggle lying underneath the tensions between east and west. In a general sense, western power has predominated for over seventy years with a lot of accompanying damage. Additionally, eastern countries have expanded their economies, and to some degree lifted many of their people out of despair but also having caused other damage or harm. But let us bring the firmament of which nations scheme, as most countries goals and aspirations differ from both their peoples and leaders, and examine that a country’s leaders champion or engage while explaining to their people how this is a good and proper thing.

Shared Interests and Goals?
Political actors such as Xi, Modi, and Putin act largely out of self interest. Their goals and objectives are wholly separable from that of their people. And yes, western nations exhibit much of the same behavior, but are mostly or somewhat transparent. And here’s a kicker, there is a struggle underneath the visible struggle. But it is not as one might expect if one is to attribute or ascribe philosophical, cultural, or religious connotations as the basis for these machinations. Raw power, wealth, and privilege are the single greatest factor in all the BS that is being carried out at the expense of their respective country’s populations. Make no mistake, people are being duped into a series of beliefs, belief systems, and propaganda attributing or laying claim to some just cause, when there isn’t one. When the powerful and wealthy want to re-order the world, they task their people to carry out their desires.

Who ordered the Salad
The global order, of which there is none, is a system of systems that was designed in theory, not in practice. The very nature of such a system implies order, and the evidence demonstrates otherwise. All countries are incapable of providing their people with the necessary and fundamental environment to promote and maintain their peoples health and well being irrespective of the instrument of tools used to achieve such a goal–heck for most countries that isn’t even a thing.

An attempt must be made to recognize and deal with the institutions and organizations we as individuals and nation states hold up as useful and effective capable of demonstrating some level of efficacy. When THAT activity starts happening, let me know, otherwise we have leaders unwilling and incapable of doing the right thing. Any global order is doomed from the start, why, humans. We have not developed the capacity and vision required to allow divergent and fanciful behaviors to flourish in whatever context people find themselves and all without causing harm or pain. More importantly, we have not moved from the “treat your neighbor well” to “be your neighbors brother”.

Winter September 10, 2023 1:34 PM


The global order, of which there is none, is a system of systems that was designed in theory, not in practice.

There is a lot of global order. We respect national borders and fight when they are violated. We talk more than we fight. We trade. We travel and communicate. We transfer and exchange money. We handle mutual taxes. We defend each other. We launch each other’s satellites.

And so on.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 10, 2023 2:23 PM

Speaking of the war in Ukraine, of relevance and interest though a few errant assertions (2 out of 100’s) is a video interview segment on Silicon Curtain titled:

“Grigor Atanesian – Putin Believes the Digital Information Space is a Battlefield – That We’re at war”


name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 10, 2023 2:33 PM


There is a lot of global order.

The global order is a collection of ordered groups, in a global group that is largely or mostly unordered. Like I said, a system of systems.

The problem is unlike a Mars rover (representing the global community) for example, a series of systems are integrated and are operational as a unit of one and consists of systems dependencies on which the system relies. The Rover being the system, the communications, navigation, propulsion, control, data collection, analysis, and human interfaces systems are coordinated and largely operated as a unit (it isn’t even a cohesive integration, standards and protocols allow dissimilar and various manufactures to be responsive in the whole).

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 10, 2023 2:47 PM

Our global community is a series of systems in which, as mentioned by Winter, a whole host of inter-nation mechanisms serving to provide specific interests and priorities, many are not in the interest of one or more parties to such arrangements. Trade agreements are often unbalanced and calling it ordered is a stretch. Communications can at times be misinterpreted or deliberately maligned causing great harm (think of early warning systems, a false positive could be disastrous beyond comprehension). Our legal and supposed moral expressions are rife with localism, laws and statutes can be completely at odds in one community while seen as workable in others.

My argument is not just philosophical, it is functional and qualitative too.

If a common, or ordered, definition for “global order” is possibly a good starting, or jumping off point, depending on your own perspective/bias.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 10, 2023 3:20 PM

Utilities, as said previously by Clive and others are problematic due to the deep bifurcation in mission and motive. Texas, by insisting on its own grid, is not a grid as envisioned by most participants, or more importantly most citizens, and doesn’t even function as a “market”. It is interesting that you brought up demand load, as when generators which are either reactive or inductive to the grid, these modes produce huge price differentials in priced KWH. I only bring this up so Clive can assail my statements with his usually helpful wording and clarity–I muddle often.

California and several states in the west under the Bonnieville Authority are a good example, the CalISO is responsible for integrating the independent operators (400+) connected to the system . Services provided to the grid are allocated and distributed through a series of forcing events including type of generation, percentage of availability/reliability, cost per KWH, and so on. It is a quasi market but it too has an ownership problem. I could argue that almost the entire energy ecosystem (pun intended) could be characterized in a similar manner (some sectors better, others far worse).

The market problem is the evident in incentive structure and the other is found at the “Energy Gambling Table”, these are not the only problems but represent serious challenges to efficient and cost effective operations. California, as Texas, hurt their ratepayers in several ways, most significantly by the nature of gaming the system. When opportunity strikes, greed meets in secret and cuts a one way deal to “capitalize” on the situation. Disaster capitalism, not my term but from Naomi Klein’s book titled so. This is just a snippet of the challenges based on observable and documented behaviors, it is not theoretical.

As monopolies form in energy sectors, their transparency and accountability are the first things to be quashed. Not too dissimilar to power structures, both mechanical and philosophical.

RobertT September 10, 2023 5:51 PM

“The UK has mandatory decryption laws”
yep and this is why you need a “duress” decrypt key, maintaining the “duress” side of things is just as important as maintaining the real encrypted side of things, ignoring one to focus on the other is just plain poor Opsec.

It’s one of these things where it’s what you have to do, but doing so definitely paints you as guilty in the eyes of those who may be willing to explore extrajudicial avenues.

Can they prove that they were given only the duress key? If they don’t care about proof then you’ve crossed over and are playing an entirely different game, but interestingly one where really good Opsec is even more important.

That’s my point, good Opsec is essential.

Winter September 10, 2023 5:59 PM


Our global community is a series of systems in which, as mentioned by Winter, a whole host of inter-nation mechanisms serving to provide specific interests and priorities, many are not in the interest of one or more parties to such arrangements.

On the one hand you complain that the world is not ordered according to your norms, on the other hand you seem to say a “just” order should be everybody’s order.

That is a bit inconsistent.

There is enough order among the countries in the world to let them largely live in peace and trade with each other. [1] But the humans of this world still cannot agree on a single order to rule them all. The compromise we currently live by is that each society rules itself according to it’s own devices in nation states, but that nation states interact according to a loose set of rules that are not entirely consistent.

This system is very far from perfect and not very stable, but it allows 8 billion people to live together without too many disasters. It can fall apart any time, but it has already survived for 3/4 of a century.

To me, that is order and as long as humans have not agreed to a better ordering, this is all we’ve got.

[1] All wealth comes from trade.

Winter September 10, 2023 6:22 PM


Utilities, as said previously by Clive and others are problematic due to the deep bifurcation in mission and motive.

I disagree. Utilities are well understood. They deliver vital function in a modern industrial society. These utilities depend on a common infrastructure that is a common good. Which means they should be run like a common good.

As people’s lives depend on these utilities, normal price mechanisms do not work. In a “free market” those depending on the utilities invariably pay more and get less than when the utilities are state run.

In countries where utilities are properly regulated, eg, all OESO countries minus the USA, they deliver high quality service for a low price. When privatized and unregulated, they tend to deliver (dangerously) low quality at a high price.

Winter September 10, 2023 6:28 PM


That’s my point, good Opsec is essential.

You might find that trying tricks with a duress key are wholy unconvincing in court. It is really difficult to come up with a scheme that has no president in court.

The Opsec for plausible deniability is likely a order of magnitude more difficult than for “simple” encryption.

vas pup September 10, 2023 6:46 PM

Apple releases major security update to counter Israeli firm NSO’s Pegasus spyware

“Apple released a significant security update for iPhones and iPads on Friday to patch newly discovered security vulnerabilities in the devices’ system software.

The issue was discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, who said the software flaw was being “actively exploited” to deliver commercial spyware called Pegasus developed and sold by the Israeli company NSO Group.

Pegasus is an expensive tool typically used to target dissidents, journalists and
political opponents, so ordinary users likely have little to fear. Still, Citizen Lab recommended that all users should “immediately” update their devices.

The software can install itself on a phone without requiring users to click a link, and gives the hacker complete access to the entire contents of the phone, as well as the ability to use its cameras and microphone undetected.

How to install the update:

To install the update, users should open Settings on their iPhone, then select

“General” followed by “Software Update.”

Tap to begin installation of the iOS 16.6.1.

If the update is not there, go back to the General page, then tap “About” to check the iOS version number.

If it’s 16.6.1, the phone or tablet already has the update installed.

If the phone is still using 16.6 or an earlier version, repeat the above steps.

If there still isn’t an update, try restarting the phone.

If that doesn’t make the update appear, double-check the internet connection and then wait a bit before trying again.”

Clive Robinson September 10, 2023 9:15 PM

@ Winy,

Re : Free Markets fail.

“A free market for utilities ends badly always.”

It’s not just utilities it ends badly for.

Economists payed by shall we call them people of a market rigging mindset always talk about “competition”…

The simple fact is contrary to what they would have you think competition can not work unless there is a significant reason to make it do so. Which in a non tangibles market there is generally not as they are all based on “laws of nature” not “laws of man”.

The simple example is “the cost of distance”.

If you build and get running a factory making tangible goods, you have the advantage that you built or aquired the plant etc with “old money” which purchased rather more per unit of currancy than “new money”. As long as inflation exceeds interest you are effectively making profit.

If you build a new factory you are effectively behind the curve as you will have to spend more thus a higher fraction of the sold good unit price goes to servicing the build cost.

So in effect you can not be competitive (it’s what we’ve seen with the likes of the internet). In effect “The First to market owns the market”.

However the laws of nature say that moving tangible goods is work and requires energy that has to be paid for. So this cost has to be added to the factory door cost.

Thus at a sufficient distance, you can build a factory at new money pricing and service your local market at a lesser cost than the old money factory that has to pay ever increasing transport costs.

Thus competition can happen because the laws of nature on tangible goods force sufficient difference in pricing.

Get rid of the “Distance Cost Metric” as the Internet effectively does, and the only market is “First to market”. If you can maintain the lead from starting first you attract more market share that in effect acts like gravity and pulls in more and more market share. It has to be new or better done to attract market share. Which is why you see the crazy things we’ve seen in the last decade or two happen.

It’s not just the “Distance cost metric” there are others some the only market equalising constraint on is the speed of light. Needless to say the distance involved on an object the size of Earth to equalise markets is dependent on time criticality. For most things humans do times of less than 1/5sec are usualy neither noticable or relevant.

However in artificially created “faux markets” where the goods are either directly intangible or traded by intangible means then the movment of “information” becomes the limitation on trades. Hence we have “High Frequency Trading” where all manner of nonsense to beat the effects of the speed of light become desirable. Such as spending billions shortening radio paths, by making tunnels through mountains.

As the sunspot index is rising currently and the ionosphere is consequently becoming more ionised at lower levels. As the ionised layers act as mirrors to communications at lower altitudes thus considerably shorter radio path lengths make “High Frequency”(HF) radio bands both simpler and shorter to exploit… Guess who has set up a “coalition” to pertition the FCC to have very high power high bandwidth HF point to point links?

Yup those woth a lot of money in HFT…

It’s one of the reasons I’ve been asked to look into the feasability of medium altitude drones as radio repeaters using Solar Energy to keep them aloft and in position. The figures are suggesting that it’s not just possible but, might be less costly than Space X’s low orbit internet.

lurker September 10, 2023 11:38 PM

running utilities for the common good

is different to running utilities for private profit. This might as you say be well understood, but the difference in motive is a factor that runs through the political fabric of different communities and thus creates disorder between them.

Winter September 11, 2023 1:17 AM


The simple fact is contrary to what they would have you think competition can not work unless there is a significant reason to make it do so.

Adam Smith already wrote in 1776:
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

Contrary to what Mr Smith wrote in the follow up of the quote, anti-trust laws work very well and there is indeed no competition, nor free market, without them. Unless the government colludes with the businessmen.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 11, 2023 2:53 AM

If this isn’t about security, I don’t know what is…worth an essay I am sure. Something to do with Global Order? (Couldn’t think of a catchy show tune with Ethel Merman at the mic.) This crosses many disciplines and multiple jurisdictions topically, but it is worthy of attention.

Referenced from an article (interview with Rachman) from the Financial Times, 19 April 2023, “Is there such a thing as a rules-baed international order?”[1] In the transcript I quote Rachman, “These two great powers increasingly see each other as dangerous rivals. It’s very, very hard to have an international system that works.” This is a starting point, as I stated earlier. There is so little clarity, we are muddling through this and it is more than concerning, it is troubling.

I offer in two parts, a background brief and perspective, and a partial list of definitions including historic and contemporary. This structures the discourse to the normative features and suggestions respecting other or different consideration. My contribution, It is ad hoc, non-authoritative so do with it what you wish.

I invited people to enter a dialog about “global order” by first defining it…the space is so muddled. It is difficult to make sense of where we are with this, we have a multipolar bifurcation (that word again) of power and order currently. Putin has Putinism, Xi has a Capitalist autocracy, and Modi has Hindu Democratic Capitalism (for lack of a better descriptor) and much of the west operates under two systems, Rules-based Order (US/UK/Canada) and International Law (most of Western Europe with a portion tied to the Rules-based Order). Italy is offering something different, as is Hungary but it is not a competitor in the battle being waged to define just what that order is. The global south represents a mix of systems, some consisting of International Law and the Rules-based Order while others are their own thing–Venezuela and Argentina for example.

The Global Order — My Personal Definition — Value Estimate ~0.02 Euros or 2 pence
A simplistic definition is: A unipolar power structure mostly organized and controlled by the United States acting as the ultimate arbiter in international affairs.

NOTE: Like it or not, I don’t care about any qualitative descriptions, I am concerned with functional and operational conditions and terms. It is why there is a war in Ukraine, it is aligning countries governing and social systems, and may or may not lead us all down a very bad path. A reason I believe to suggest there is no “global order”.


Historic definitions include the following:

  1. Brenton Woods Agreement
  2. IMF and World Bank
  3. Rules-based Order, Liberal International Order, and Rules-based International Order

Some contemporary definitions consist of the following:

  1. International Rules-based Order
  2. International Law

Some interesting work is being done to revisit the issue of a global order, well outside the normal range of discussions and developments of many think tanks or governmental organizations. To evidence my statement, “the absence of a global order, a two-fold or twin characteristic can be the basis for my assertion.

Ordering, A Global Crisis
First, the Covid-19 pandemic served as a convenient (not in an experiential way) demonstration of a non-working global order. Countries around the world either succeeded wildly by themselves and others failed miserably and many just didn’t rate a response. To measure the effectiveness of a “global order” I would understand the lowest scoring entity is the marker. Many western countries changed behavior, largely due to the banal and feckless response as a total response. Given the highly politicized environment and antagonist behaviors with or to other countries, cooperation was frequently derailed by interests not related to a response to a pandemic. Perfect example, a national leader’s response concerned the prospects of maintaining that leadership irrespective of the pandemic in either its scope or affect. This behavior infected other nation state’s responses and degraded overall effectiveness. Welcome to Influenza 2.0, and we had a hundred years to formulate a strategic response. Well done humans, you get a gold star.

My scoring of humanities response, that being in the global order, a D-. I believe this to be a reasonable account but is hard to make any counter-factual assessments which are meaningful or useful. We still are unaware of the knock-on effects of long Covid. I do not discount the ability to ramp into specific vaccine strategies and development methods (excluding patent issues) but do understand much that failed was in what a global cooperative infrastructure (us) does in acting to counter such events.

Ordering, A Human Crisis
The war in Ukraine is being waged as a bet, a bet that what becomes the global order is defined by Russia. It is quite that simple, though the crisis and the reasons for it are not. That concludes my arguments not in defense of a global order as we understand it. A international recognized nation state has unilaterally decided to terminate the existence, by name and person, of another equally recognized nation state. I see a problem…

This problem is why we are here, Bruce has often stated how security problems are made more egregious as behaviors, expectations, and forthrightness are weighted improperly in responses to known issues. We revisit this so often, the cliche used to describe it has become a so outdated lexicon as to be irrelevant, “I hate sounding like a broken record.”

[1] The Financial Times, “Is there such a thing as a rules-baed international order?”, April 19, 2023, downloaded 10 Sept 2023, xsppt://, Podcast/Interview Gideon Rahman

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 11, 2023 3:40 AM

CORRECTION: I attributed the quote to the interviewer, Gideon Rachman, the quote cited is from John Ikenberry in a statement made during the interview.

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 3:44 AM

@ RobertT, Winter, ALL,

Re : Schedule 7 Terrorism Act (UK)

In the UK, it’s not just RIPA you have to be aware of theses days, especially as droping a chewing gum wrapper can come under the Terrorism Act.

Which gives under Schedule 7 “no right to silence”, thus you would then be required to answer questions about it…

The solution has always been and will remain to be the “I do not know the key, and have provably never seen the key”.

You might end up in jail or disapeared for good but you can not give up that which is not nor ever has been in your concious possession.

There are ways you can do this in essence you have a document guardian who is under the control of a number of third parties. The guardian will only show you a document if the minimum number of third parties –the key holders– consent.

If you need access you make request to the guardian who ensures certain “provisions are in place” then via a suitable protocol requests the third parties who respond with a message that might or might not contain a valid “key share”.

The Guardian takes what it has been given as key shares and “blindly” builds a key which it then uses to “blindly” decrypt the file. It is the user who either sees what they expect or garbage. This “blind” behaviour by the guardian avoids a type of attack against it as well as simplifing it’s design.

As long as the third parties are not in UK jurisdiction then they can not be forced.

If the Judge acts dumb etc[1] they can be reminded that the blind guardian process[2] is based on an old system used to handle “secret documents” not just in the UK but other parts of the world some of which were quite well known for the thugish nature of their guard labour.

[1] A trend noticed in the UK in more recent times where “judges act dumb etc” as they have done in cases where International thug guard labour and political idiots have desires, unfortunately shows that judicial impartiality and independence are not what they once were.

[2] The document guardian process is traditionally quite simple and not to disimilar to accessing a “bank security box”.

Basically you go to the desk and a guardian takes you to a room with just a table and chair and they “search you” for prohibited items. You then hand over your request, the guardian leaves locking you in the room. The guardian then forwards the request to a librarian who will check your details etc. If they are accepted the librarian will get the file and put it in a container such that the guardian can not see it. The guardian then takes it to the room, enters and gives you the container and leaves locking you in. When you finish you put the file back in the container and the process is in effect reversed, including you being searched again to ensure you’ve not taken any pages etc from the file.

Dull and slow, and you always had that moment of dread when the door opened, would it be the guardian, or some security officer happy to turn you into “example of the day” or what ever…

Winter September 11, 2023 3:59 AM


“Is there such a thing as a rules-baed international order?”

My $0,02: No, if you refer to an all encompassing rules-based system. Yes, when we refer to partial systems that more-or-less work.
(I missed the Rachman interview and have not yet been able to listen to it)

But not all orders are rules-based. And not all orders are global, covering all people.

An example:

  • Is there order in an ant-hill? Yes.
  • Is that order rules-based? No.
  • Is there order between ant-hills? No. [1]

The question then would be whether we could bring all humans, or most humans, under a single rules-based order, now? Looking at the different people in the different corners of the earth, I do not think so.

I can think of no single rule all humans would want to submit too.[2] For instance, a sizeable fraction of humans demand the right to exterminate a certain class of people or to take by force what is now belonging to other people. They will fight any order that denies them these rights to murder and pillage.

Can we build a global rules-based system for nation states? I think so. We have done so several times in the past century alone. Even the Nation State is defined in one such rules systems.

Can we make a rules-based system that will give us global justice and peace in our time? No, that is currently totally out of reach.

To summarize, I consider any ideas about a world government, or world order, now as just dangerous pipe dreams. What is achievable is to take communities, or nations, to task about how their behavior damages others and demand change or reparations.

[1] There is an exception for Argentine Ants who create super-colonies.

[2] See the global opposition to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

ResearcherZero September 11, 2023 4:12 AM

Do you give your consent?

“It appears that China has a high level of intent to interfere with the UK government, targeting officials and bodies at a range of levels to influence UK political thinking and decision-making relevant to China.”

Security officials believed that the researcher was recruited as a sleeper agent while living and working in China. He was then sent back to the United Kingdom “with the intention of infiltrating political networks critical of the Beijing regime.”


MI5 warned lawmakers in January that the Chinese Communist Party had employed a woman to exert improper influence over members of parliament.

New legislation would make it an offence to be an undeclared foreign spy, introduce a new foreign interference offence and widen responses to the use of drones and cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and other targets.


“The UK government is considering withdrawing the requirement for consent to cookies from UK law.”


Clause 122, known as the ‘spy clause’, could see the private sector being mandated to carry out mass surveillance of private digital communications.

Privacy campaigners had said the proposals were “irresponsible” and would make it harder for people to “challenge the government or corporations.”

Elsewhere, the government has rejected proposals to remove the right for individuals to challenge automated decisions made about them, a right enshrined in the EU GDPR, a piece of legislation the government had promised to move away from after Brexit.

“A statutory public interest defence should be available to anyone charged with an offence under the Official Secrets Act 1989 (including civilians and journalists), that they can rely upon in court, if the court found that the disclosure was in the public interest.”


Winter September 11, 2023 4:21 AM


You might end up in jail or disapeared for good but you can not give up that which is not nor ever has been in your concious possession.

I remember some cases involving Irishmen in UK courts during the troubles. I have zero trust in UK courts of law.

When using encryption I would always balance the secrecy against the possible consequences of having the secret. Is hiding the key worth the consequences? If hiding the key costs you X and divulging the secret would cost you 2X, then the choice is easily made. But if the costs are reversed, I think divulging the key would be preferably.

The upside is, that having encrypted the secret gives you the option to hide the key. Without encryption, the only other option would be to not have a secret.[1]

[1] For those who think that having no secrets is the Holy Road, think deep whether you really have no information you do not want to share with others, from house and car keys, mobile phone pin, credit card number, bank accounts, to family history and your own life. The right to be forgotten has been put on a legal basis in Europe.

ResearcherZero September 11, 2023 4:25 AM

@Winter, @name.withheld

It depends on examples set by other nations. If States set poor examples, then adherence will be poor…

Australia has had years to meet our OPCAT obligations, but we have failed to deliver on our treaty promises.

OPCAT is designed to protect the rights, health and safety of people experiencing any kind of detention. This includes people in prisons, youth detention centres, immigration detention, hospitals, mental health facilities, aged care facilities and facilities for people with disability.

“laws to facilitate this have not been passed, and nor has the extra resourcing been made available”

January 20, 2023, was the deadline for all states and territories to have put in place oversight regimes, or national preventive mechanisms (NPM), to monitor human rights protections in police cells, jails, mental health facilities and other places where people were in detention.

States have “diluted cardinal principals necessary for preventing and suppressing torture and ill-treatment.”


“the degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

…And it’s examples like that which lead to examples like this…

“murders, mutilations, abduction of children, forced displacement, deportation, sexual violence against children and kidnapping”

widespread & systemic

The UN torture expert gathered harrowing testimonies involving electric charges being applied to ears and genitals, beatings of all kinds, mock executions at gunpoint, simulated drowning, being required to hold stress positions, threats of rape or death, and various ceremonies of ridicule and humiliation.

Moscow’s refusal to address the issue represented tacit approval of its use.

“They put a rifle to my head, loaded it and I heard three shots,” said one man who had been blindfolded. “I could hear the bullet casings falling on the ground, too, and thought that was it for me.”


“My friend whose eyes I closed before his body cooled down. Another friend. And another. Another.”

The occupiers made sure the cries could be heard by turning off the building’s noisy ventilation system.

“They turned it off so everyone could hear how people scream when they are shocked with electricity. They did this to some of the prisoners every other day… They even did this to the women”.


“There is a structure to it. Someone is supervising it, someone is perpetrating it, and someone is interrogating and has this role to do that.”

ResearcherZero September 11, 2023 4:31 AM


Australia courts are closely modeled on British courts. Brutal, especially to children. I watched the little bastards walk out completely broken every week, and they were the victims of crime. And the best way to deal with a victim of crime is to accuse them of one. Make sure they never open their mouths again.

ResearcherZero September 11, 2023 4:50 AM


The prosecutors call it a “second raping”.

Because they are real “nice” guys full of warmth, love and respect for children who have been abducted, abused and then horribly raped. They would make them describe the ordeal in excruciating detail, and then mock and belittle the victims. They got away with it because the Childrens Court is a closed court.

All the people working within it refused to make a formal complaint, and due to gag orders none of the individual cases can be reported on, as the victims were minors.

They did sack the senior judge, because he had the courage to do something about it.

A lack of faith in the courts can well be warranted, as human beings are too often gutless cowards – who fail to rise to the occasion when it really counts. Even when it’s just a small group of people with what is perceived as a little bit of power.

And the greatest cowards of all are the so called ‘strong men’, which is comforts all the others.

PaulBart September 11, 2023 8:14 AM

Break a deal spin the wheel.

NATO lied to Soviets about NATO expansion. There is a price to pay for lying.

“The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement. That was what he sent us. And was a pre-condition for not invade Ukraine.”

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 8:24 AM

@ Winter,SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re : Is defence a utility?

We’ve been talking about some of the things behind what’s been going on with energy supply “Down Mexico Way”.

But the thing is energy supply is a national requirment as is defence in a first world nation. That is every citizen puts into it and every citizen in theory benifits from it, so they are in some respects quite similar.

So can the effects seen in one industry help to explain the other?

Well it can not harm to have a look… and perhaps in another case of odd synchronicity,

Winter September 11, 2023 9:41 AM


The background was that President Putin declared in the autumn of 2021, and actually sent a draft treaty that they wanted NATO to sign, to promise no more NATO enlargement.

I agree with @Nobody.

Why should Putin decide what Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, or Armenia do? Are Ukrianians, Georgians, or Armenians not adults who can run their own country? Is Russia the ward of NATO, with a veto?

The next question would be, is there any reason to trust the Kremlin with any treaty?

Recent history tells us the Kremlin will violate each and every treaty and renege on every promise when they see a profit.

1&1-=Umm September 11, 2023 11:02 AM


“NATO lied to Soviets about NATO expansion. There is a price to pay for lying.”

It was not NATO that did the lying.

However from Stalin onwards the Soviets you appear to hold in such high regard have lied a lot, broken treaties, and murdered many people. But that as they say is just politics.

And surprise it’s politics not NATO that is the cause of the current issues, as most moderately intelligent people can see, even if many were taken in by the rhetorical nonsense of Putin.

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 11:09 AM

@ Winter,

“defense is a classical national common good.”

Which also describes the national energy supply.

Remember energy supply was run as a “common good” until some idiot got “free market fever”.

Winter September 11, 2023 11:23 AM


Which also describes the national energy supply.

How? The benefits of “defense” are non-exclusive and available to anyone in the country whether they pay or not.

As far as I know, you have to pay to enjoy the benefits of the “national energy supply”. They are very much exclusive looking at those who are cut off from the grid or who cannot avoid the gas prices.

An argument can be made for the infrastructure involved in energy harvesting and distribution being a “common good”. But the energy itself has to be paid for or you will not get anything.

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 11:36 AM


On the Rise of ChatGPT

It appears that a major use of ChatGPT is for “OMG the AI can’t be coming for!!!” type spoofs/jokes to take a rise out of AI…

Well it being a work day lunchtime I got passed this one,

And yes it does raise a smile even in grizzled old types, as well as some younger ones 😉

(Not being a movie goer I did not know untill told followed by a quick lookup Anna Akana is a fairly well known film actress, stand up commedian, and musician).

AL September 11, 2023 12:32 PM

“Why Russia should decide who can join NATO?
NATO is a defensive organization”

It was in the best interest of Ukraine to remain neutral. Using a tried and true formula, there was a coup in 2014, followed by a non-stop civil war. There was a proposed Minsk agreement to avoid this war, and it was in the best interests of the Ukrainian people to go with it.

Hm’mm, who’s that working on the Zelenskyy campaign?

Why, that is our Ministry of Truth czar, Nina Jankowicz. Zelenskyy is our boy. And why we hear the popular narrative, what if the following is actually what is occurring?

What if the government of Ukraine is conscripting their people in order to turn Ukraine into a kind of sovereign Blackwater (or Wagner Group) to fight a war to benefit the United States and advance US foreign policy as described in the Wolfowitz doctrine?

That would be depraved. Unfortunately, I think that is exactly what has happened.

I am aligned with the Ukrainian people, particularly the working man and woman who what to go to work, send their children to school, and relax in the evening. I am not aligned with this war that should have been avoided. Ukraine should have never put itself in the middle of a Russia US conflict.

I think the war supporters are aligned with the U.S. and the Wolfowitz doctrine. And I think that is depraved, as was starting the civil war in Syria, and decades long policy of starting civil wars in South America if the people vote in a socialist government.

This is not a new and strange situation. This civil war approach prodded by external pressures has been going on for a long time. I didn’t like it in South America, or Syria, and I don’t like it here.

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 3:20 PM

@ AL,

“Ukraine should have never put itself in the middle of a Russia US conflict.”

Go study your history a bit more.

The Ukraine was a nuclear state, but at the time of the break up of the Soviet Union did not have the resources to maintain the numbers they had. However they knew they nerdd them to keep Russia out (it’s the same reason Turkey will not give up their nukes they have from the US).

The UK and US however did a deal in that the Ukranian would get rid of it’s nukes and the UK and US would support them in keeping Russia out.

The US and UK reneged on the deal so Russia appart from shooting passanger aircraft down formented continuous trouble so that it could start the process that led upto this invasion by Russia.

In Short there was no way the people of the Ukraine could be neutral because the Russian elite had decided to cure their economic problems in the way they have for a thousand years by invasion subugation and theft of resources.

Russian or more correctly the failing Russian leadership started this and because the UK and US just lookedthe other way on their promises it simply emboldend the failed Russian leadership.

At heart those “Strong Men” in Russia that gop alone knows how many US politicos envied, are like all bullies cowards and generally not that bright.

There are solutions to Russia and the first rule is,

Never turn your back on them.

The second is,

Keep your eyes on them at all times, and alow no nonsense even marginally.

There are other rules but they are a bit more complicated, because Russia has to be brought to a state where it is not endemically corrupt, run by criminals and incapable of behaving like a first world nation.

In short Russia needs to trade not build empires and build it’s self up on it’s trade.

But If you think about it it’s not in the US and UKs interests to have them go that way…

lurker September 11, 2023 5:10 PM

re. cookie crumbs

When selecting a web browser to use, among its features must be the ability to delete cookies when the session is closed. A plus feature might be the ability to build a cookie whitelist. Will browsers that do this become prohibited munitions?

SpaceLifeForm September 11, 2023 6:49 PM

@ Clive, ALL

Gee, who knew that a side channel can leak? /s

This is interesting. I doubt it is limited to numerical.


Winter September 11, 2023 7:09 PM


I am aligned with the Ukrainian people, particularly the working man and woman who what to go to work, send their children to school, and relax in the evening.

You mean the people that wanted to have nothing to do with Russia. That wanted to join the EU, that drove out Russian minions twice? The people that wanted to avoid the fate of their neighbors the Belarusians that were beaten, raped, and tortured back into submission by Russian troops?

You tell us you are aligned with people you deny a say in their own lives.

How do you call such a person? A friend of the Enemy?

Clive Robinson September 11, 2023 9:11 PM

@ SpaceLifeForm, ALL,

Re :

“Gee, who knew that a side channel can leak?”

I get the feeling that the “not” got left out 😉

For those new to this game the expression “side channel” is often used in ways that appear almost at odds with other usage.

In this attack (WiKI) case I would have thought anyone who had actually been listening over the pasy decade and a half or more, about picking up user input from keypads, touchscreens and the like in a myriad of movement ways, would have considered sending “motion data in plaintext” to be a significant security risk.

But what do I know, apparebtly Microsoft Software can still be tricked into using a secure communications channel where the “fall back protocol” is “plaintext”…

ResearcherZero September 12, 2023 3:21 AM

@Clive Robinson, @AL

The US and UK reneged on the deal

This quite correct.

We had very solid information that plans were being drawn up to invade Ukraine by the end of the 90’s. Including early designs for a bridge to Crimea, a pet project of new Russian leader.

ResearcherZero September 12, 2023 3:27 AM

China Sows Disinformation About Hawaii Fires Using New Techniques

The disaster was not natural, they said in a flurry of false posts that spread across the internet, but was the result of a secret “weather weapon” being tested by the United States. To bolster the plausibility, the posts carried photographs that appeared to have been generated by artificial intelligence programs, making them among the first to use these new tools to bolster the aura of authenticity of a disinformation campaign.

The researchers suggested that China was building a network of accounts that could be put to use in future information operations, including the next U.S. presidential election. That is the pattern that Russia set in the year or so leading up to the 2016 election.



“The Chinese are infiltrating across the board; they go for anything and everything. What is new is how effective they are, and how far they have managed to go.”

Notably, there is a growing convergence between Empire Dragon’s narratives and those propagated by Russian disinformation campaigns.

Empire Dragon’s use of tactics like employing “useful idiots,” fringe political groups, and account impersonation further reflects this convergence.


Stealthy Iranian campaign installed backdoors in 2021

“App updates are great for both app users and apps – updates mean that developers are always working on improving the app, keeping in mind a better customer experience with each update.” – message in the service configuration of Sponsor backdoor.

Ballistic Bobcat probably exploited a known vulnerability, CVE-2021-26855 (SSRF), in Microsoft Exchange servers to gain a foothold on these systems.

“executed a Meterpreter reverse shell”

(Meterpreter is deployed using in-memory DLL injection. As a result, Meterpreter resides entirely in memory and writes nothing to disk. No new processes are created as Meterpreter injects itself into the compromised process, from which it can migrate to other running processes. Meterpreter uses a reverse_tcp shell.)

“the reverse shell dropped a batch file, install.bat, and within minutes of executing the batch file, Ballistic Bobcat operators pushed their newest backdoor, Sponsor.”

The Sponsor backdoor uses configuration files on disk, dropped by batch files, and both are innocuous so as to bypass scanning engines.


It is worth mentioning that the backdoor is being run within a .NET context, so therefore it does not spawn “powershell.exe”.


Winter September 12, 2023 4:02 AM

@ResearcherZero, @Clive Robinson, @AL

We had very solid information that plans were being drawn up to invade Ukraine by the end of the 90’s. Including early designs for a bridge to Crimea, a pet project of new Russian leader.

I think the US and UK did not think that Ukraine could be defended against Russia. Ukrainians voted in Russian Marionettes twice, there was rampant corruption, and the East was seriously pro-Russian anyway. Even Zelenskyy was initially seen as a plant from a pro-Russian Oligarch. And, obviously, Putin was the most powerful person in the world. [1]

Also, Ukraine wanted to become a member of the EU, and I seem to remember that both the USA and UK were not enthusiastic about strengthening the EU. The initial expansion East did not bring about the chaos and dilution of the EU they had hoped for, on the contrary. So a new expansion was not desired.

Everybody was surprised about the fierce resistance the Ukrainians put up, and the Ukrainians were surprised the most. Talking about surprises, Zelensky was the man of the moment, going from that clown to the hero of the nation.

Then that other surprise hit, Ukraine was still standing after a few days and Russia and Putin showed to be utterly incompetent in everything.

Only then the EU and NATO decided that this was the ultimate opportunity to break the back of the Russian Army and get rid of the Russian threat for the coming decade(s). It should never be forgotten that the ultimate aim of the Kremlin was to weaken and dissolve NATO and the EU and to extend Russia’s power even beyond the Warsaw pact states (from Lisbon to Vladivostok) [2]. Instead, the current biggest worry has become the collapse of the Russian Federation.

Ah, those childhood memories. Now I visualize Putin in a ScoobyDoo cartoon:
“And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling [Ukrainians]!”



Winter September 12, 2023 4:10 AM


To bolster the plausibility, the posts carried photographs that appeared to have been generated by artificial intelligence programs, making them among the first to use these new tools to bolster the aura of authenticity of a disinformation campaign.

A digital image is nothing but a row of numbers. These numbers can be created like any drawing. There was a time that people believed paintings were depictions of real things. Now we must come to terms with the fact that an image is no more real than a painting of drawing.

The more people play with AI image, text, and deep fake generators, the more they will know how unreliable images, text, and movies are.

An image or movie is as trustworthy as its creator. No creator, No trust.

ResearcherZero September 12, 2023 4:21 AM


Saying no is just so much easier in the short-term, which of course is their raison d’etre.

Politicians and Executive Government will not get involved until the proverbial hits the fan. Unless of course it is complete and utter crap, in which case they will jump in up to their necks. Wade around, do some backstroke, then squirt out of their mouths something “no reasonable people would believe”.

“Tony Rodrigues discusses how extraterrestrials engage in star-making projects that are designed to build and ignite stars in gaseous nebula so suitable habitats can be created for life to flourish. He claims he spent ten years as a pilot on a star-making project as part of a deal negotiated between a German colony on Ceres and a distant extraterrestrial civilization.”


SpaceLifeForm September 12, 2023 4:21 AM

@ Clive

For your morning tea. Set it down first.


Winter September 12, 2023 4:40 AM


Saying no is just so much easier in the short-term, which of course is their raison d’etre.

The US, Russia, France, and China have not shown much reluctance in participating in wars in far away places. But they tend to do so only when there is a tangible benefit to do so.

There was not really a benefit large enough to get from Ukraine to risk a war with Russia.

But if the Russians can shoot themselves in enough feet and the Ukrainians do the dying, then there is obviously no reason not to send Ukrainians the weapons to destroy Russian hard- and wetware and to help the Russians to shoot in more of their own feet.

ResearcherZero September 12, 2023 4:43 AM

This is another good one.

It is being claimed that election technology company Smartmatic is being utilised in New Zealand’s 2023 general election in order to rig the vote.


Australia to use Dominion voting machines!

“There are countless examples of Voice architects, activists and campaigners arguing that the Voice is the tool to demand taxpayer-funded compensation, pay reparations for historical wrongs, to force Australians to ‘pay the rent’ and abolish Australia Day.”


In Australia, votes are made and counted by hand.


And yes – ‘Australia Day’ is actually a real day!


Winter September 12, 2023 4:57 AM


And yes – ‘Australia Day’ is actually a real day!

Is it a day or mourning and remembering the tragedy?

PaulBart September 12, 2023 8:04 AM

“There are other rules but they are a bit more complicated, because Russia has to be brought to a state where it is not endemically corrupt, run by criminals and incapable of behaving like a first world nation.”

“There are other rules but they are a bit more complicated, because NATO has to be brought to a state where it is not endemically corrupt, run by criminals and incapable of behaving like a first world nation.”

Fixed it for ya.

Zelensky, a billionaire piano “player”. Hunter Biden, a crack ho sitting on board of Ukraine’s largest gas company.

Seriously, take the blinders off.

Nobody September 12, 2023 9:10 AM


Frankly, I don’t know what do you pretend to achieve trying this kind of low grade propaganda in this forum.
Do you think that you are dealing with a 60 old year brainwashed Russian citizen that only watches Russian national TV 24/365?
Do yourself a favour and use your time doing something else.

Winter September 12, 2023 9:22 AM


Seriously, take the blinders off.

Those wearing a virtual reality headset demanding others to take their blinders off.

It is revealing how some political circles go after the children of politicians and political activists. It is also predictive of the type of society they are after.

But I think the forced labor laws for women they install already told us that.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 9:41 AM

@ SpaceLifeForm,

Re : Morning delectation.

“For your morning tea.”

Sadly due to pain my sleep cycle is more like a Picasso from his cubist period.

So it is well into afternoon now.

Not sure why the carton should be funny, it’s only telling the truth 😉

Rumour has it the only intelligent life in “No 10 Downing St” is the cat, that at least has the good sense to stay outside most of the time keeping an eye on the bloke in a funny hat =<

PaulBart September 12, 2023 9:57 AM

I feel sad and dispirited. You can not get past “my team #1”, even with the truth of corruption staring you in the face. The pics are there for you to see with your own eyes. You just need to open them.

Realizing one’s own countries corruption and depravity does not conversely mean believing other countries power elites are pure as snow.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 10:04 AM

@ ResearcherZero, Winter,

The histor spreads further back, but you are right the UK and US might well have had alternative motives.

After all it’s a matter of public record that Trump’s Ambassador to Europe, openly told Europe’s diplomatic corp that he had been sent to destroy Europe.

Which we know has been “State Dept Poilicy” for quite some time, likewise the CIA… An issue any US President is going to have –and have had– significant problems with.

Winter September 12, 2023 10:20 AM


You can not get past “my team #1”

Eh, what evidence is there against PotUS?
Why attack his only remaining son?
Is attacking the children of politicians an acceptable strategy?

Is Ukraine corrupt? Yes.
Is Russia more corrupt? Yes.

Did Ukraine attack Russia? No.
Did Russia attack Ukraine? Yes.

Did Ukraine threaten EU member states? No.
Did Russia threaten EU member states? Yes.

The list is endless. In no way did Ukraine attack or threaten any state. Russia does this on a daily basis. Why should we not back Ukraine against a common enemy?

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 10:23 AM

@ PaulBart,

“Zelensky, a billionaire piano “player”. Hunter Biden, a crack ho sitting on board of Ukraine’s largest gas company.”

Tell me what is it you are shoving up your nose “Russian marching powder”?

As for the pizza-gate style attacks that started gaining popularity in the US on politicos of all colours and their families, it’s kind of hard to work out what many there are getting high on but it’s clearly rotting brains badly.

Winter September 12, 2023 10:40 AM


it’s kind of hard to work out what many there are getting high on

The Anti-Social Media have shown that people can get high on their own dopamine if you feed them the right type of fairy-tales.

Fake-News is the new Meth.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 12:01 PM

@ Winter,

“Fake-News is the new Meth.”

Crystal or otherwise it’s very bad news due to the harm it causes to the brains that consume it.

AL September 12, 2023 12:03 PM

@Clive Robinson
Here’s some recent history, from Radio Free Europe.
“The United States, which signed a new defense cooperation agreement with Ukraine in November, has been training its military personnel, upgrading the country’s ports to fit U.S. warships, and supplying it annually with hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid.

So, the US wanted to be able to pull up a missile cruiser and hit Moscow in 5 minutes, instead of the 30 minutes if a missile was fired out of Poland.

This war is all about US interests, not Ukrainian interests. I think at some point, Zelenskyy will be persona-non-gratis in Ukraine for putting the interests of the US in front of Ukraine. They should have stayed neutral, and there would have been no war.

Even the Pope got it.

You people who liked the war, and opposed neutrality, start liking the causalities. I think it is depraved madness. At some point, truthful numbers regarding these fatalities will start coming out.

Winter September 12, 2023 12:07 PM


Crystal or otherwise it’s very bad news due to the harm it causes to the brains that consume it.

Quite a number of people ended in ICU or jail due to a fake-news addiction. And fake-news junkies end up losing friends, families, and jobs.

Not that different from crystal meth.

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 12:38 PM

@ AL, ALL,

Re : RFL / RL

“Here’s some recent history, from Radio Free Europe.”

Pardon me for being cautious of Rflrl, it is after all a direct propoganda station from the 1950’s directly funded by the US Gov and still is to the tune of 1/4billion a year.

So… With regards,

“So, the US wanted to be able to pull up a missile cruiser and hit Moscow in 5 minutes, instead of the 30 minutes if a missile was fired out of Poland.”

Can I suggest you get out a nautical chart and have a carefull look at it?

You will see that is a realy bad idea…

As for,

“They should have stayed neutral, and there would have been no war.”

Are you realy that stupid?


“Even the Pope got it.”

What complete senility?

Have you not noticed that Catholic and Orthodox Churches that came from the Holy Roman Empire have always sympathized with fascist, tyranical and despotic leaders?

In part because it gives them more power and more money etc.

You realy need to get out the history books and do a little studying.

Winter September 12, 2023 1:13 PM


upgrading the country’s ports to fit U.S. warships,

Which port in Ukraine? Odessa Or Sebastopol? Or maybe Mariupol?

Are you serious? Or is this a joke?

lurker September 12, 2023 3:09 PM

“This war is all about US interests, not Ukrainian interests.”

What about the interests of those who bought food from Ukraine? or those elsewhere whose lives and trade are changed by the disruption in the global fuel and fertiliser markets? This war isn’t a spat between two banana republics.

JonKnowsNothing September 12, 2023 4:12 PM

@lurker, @AL

re: Ukraine Farm Commodities

fwiw not too long ago I put up a post about Ukraine and Farm Commodities in general. Perhaps someone can find the link or it’s on the way back machine.

In short, Ukraine does not sell any farm commodities. FARMERS and Corporate Farms sell farm commodities to Commodity Brokers. Those Brokers store the items in huge silos until The Price is Right and then sell them on – they are middlemen in a series of transactions. Some brokers will have existing contracts to sell the goods to various buyers (globally). The problem brokers have is delivery.

  • FOB Shipping Point v FOB Destination

When the MSM touts news of problems shipping by boat down a war zone river, it’s about who is paying for the shipping. It’s not about the food itself, but the cost to move it from A to B.

There are countries where the government does buy and sell commodities but these are generally “command economy” countries where the government acts as a central receiver (same as a grange), like Lebanon does with their wheat imports which they need to support their local bread. Lebanon does not grow enough bread grains for their population, so when that ship blew up in the harbor it took out all the grain silos holding 6 months of bread grains.

The USA government buys up a lot of farm products. These are generally not released to the public. They are stored until rotten or destroyed (creosote dump). The intention is to create a false-shortage and keep the price of the item higher than it would other wise be (Price Supports).

The USA government will be very happy to sell you a horse directly. Right off the range. Never touched by humans other than being rounded up and kept in holding pens. $125 USD will buy you a freeze-brand certified wild mustang captured inside any of a dozen locations. BYOH – Bring your own halter.

Australia is not so nice about the fate of their wild Brumbies.


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

  • FOB (free on board) is a term in international commercial law specifying at what point respective obligations, costs, and risk involved in the delivery of goods shift from the seller to the buyer
  • The term FOB is also used in modern domestic shipping within North America to describe the point at which a seller is no longer responsible for shipping costs.

ht tps://www.blm.g o v/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoption-and-sales/events

  • The BLM offers wild horses and burros for adoption or purchase at events across the country throughout the year.

ht tps://wildhorsesonline.blm.g ov /

  • US Bureau of Land Management Online Wild Horse Auction

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

  • A brumby is a free-roaming feral horse in Australia. Although found in many areas around the country, the best-known brumbies are found in the Australian Alps region. Today, most of them are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland. A group of brumbies is known as a “mob” or “band”.
  • reference Banjo Paterson’s iconic poem, The Man from Snowy River

(url fractured)

Clive Robinson September 12, 2023 5:19 PM

@ ALL,

Severe storm & floods in Lybia

This is fairly horific news with 10,000 or more missing and 1/4 of the city of Derna destroyed and a 1/6th effectively wiped away into the sea.

‘Disastrous beyond comprehension’: 10,000 missing after Libya floods

“The situation in Derna, the Libyan port city where two dams burst over the weekend, has been described as “disastrous beyond comprehension”, as the Red Cross and local officials said at least 10,000 people were missing after the devastating floods.

The confirmed death toll has exceeded 5,300, Mohammed Abu-Lamousha, a spokesperson for the administration that controls the east of Libya told a state-run news agency late on Tuesday. Tariq al-Kharraz, another representative of the easter government, said that entire neighbourhoods had been washed away, with many bodies swept out to sea.”

I’ve not been there since the 1980’s but it’s a place I had a certain fondness for…

lurker September 12, 2023 6:02 PM

@Clive Robinson
“a certain fondness for a place”

reminded me of Prince Feisal (Alec Guiness) telling Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) that “the English have a liking for desolate places.”

More to the point the naysayers can argue all they like about the causes, but they cannot deny the climate is changing.

lurker September 13, 2023 12:01 AM

Russian corn harvest reduced,
well, by the amount ploughed up by an A320. What’s worse is the heavy-handed way of getting it off the field …


Winter September 13, 2023 9:01 AM

New attack vector:

How to snoop on passwords with this one weird trick (involving public Wi-Fi signals)

KI is capitalized here to indicate “keystroke inference” – inferring what keystroke occurred from the BFI [beamforming feedback information] data. As a surveillance target moves their finger around their phone or tablet to type out things, like a password or passcode, the diffraction pattern of the wireless network’s radio signals between the device and the base station is disturbed enough that it shows up in the BFI, which can be eavesdropped and used to infer which keys are being tapped on screen, it is claimed.

Clive Robinson September 13, 2023 12:36 PM

@ Winter,

@SpaceLifeForm brought up the WiKI attack a few days back and I responded to it.

Put simply,

Like a lot of “side channel attacks” this works because the side channel in question is in “plain text”.

Also what the side channel reports is way to accurate for the task intended. The reason this might be is one of “future growth alowance” however I’m not sure if we will ever need the sort of accuracy it can potentially give…

So the first step is to stop using “plain text communications channels” but this is not as simple as just “slapping encryption on it”. As is often demonstrated with the Encrypted Linux Tux image, getting encryption right with sparse almost static data sets can be difficult. Importantly it carries a computational load that critically effects battery life, which is kind of important with modern smart devices.

Anyway it’s a “standards committee” issue to fix it…

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 13, 2023 12:51 PM

You can’t have the truth…

This continuing drama, and I hate to state it as such, is perplexing and alarming. With so much credence given to the ability to know the truth, one cannot ignore Julian’s situation as it is the epitome of the farcical exercise of power as it exists. Reminding of Galileo’s treatment under the Catholic Church and the refusal to recognize the heliocentric view of our solar system. The truth be so damning to the men occupying robes or righteousness made the pen and paper incapable of holding words which might describe the nature of heliocentric prose. Not even fiction is permitted to be written according to papal rulings. Today, a papal edict recognizing the heliocentric description of the solar system as fact remains unwritten.

Julian’s situation is a reassertion of pre-enlightenment thought and an attack on modernity. It is for the very same reason Galileo was persecuted, the holders of robes to be donned, ordained, for separating the wheat from the chaff as is “required”. Yet again, another emperor having hired a fraudulent tailor and seamstress making vexatious attire from the yarn of lies begs the question “How did you become emperor?”[1]

[1] The peasant scene from the Monty Python movie, “The Holly Grail”

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 13, 2023 1:15 PM

@Clive, Winter, et al

The handle for the errant posters (or imposters?), suffering from a post-modernity, post-truth panic attack, gives a clue to the source of this disinformation, sounds like something from Breitbart.

Not bright at all, holding down the alt-right key for too long.

Clive Robinson September 13, 2023 1:30 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

Re : Apollo Lander got there first.

One of the reoccurring themes in ICTsec research is how to get physical side channel information on user actions.

After all what better way to get a users password than to “know the key strokes”.

The latest such attack is WiKI that uses sensitive physical positioning information changes to read the user touching the screen to read the PIN number being typed in…

Well back in 1972 Apollo 17 touched down on the moon and deployed a number of quite sensitive seismic sensors that sent accurate data back to earth over the following years which is available by request for research even today.

Now, as some are aware “hot machines” make noise when they heat up and cool down. Mostly we only hear the “cool down noise” as materials contract after the engine is turned off. But what goes down must have gone up so even though we did not hear it over the engine noise the machine must have made expansion noises as it heated after start up.

Well… It turns out these thermal expansion and contraction noises also happen with the Apollo lander modual still left on the moon and every lunar dawn and dusk the noises would be transmitted down the legs of the lander modual as vibrations that would create the equivalent of micro earthquakes in the lunar surface.

These were sent back to earth and became historic records, which scientists have analysed via “Machine Learning”(ML) and pulled them up as signals distinguishable from noise,

So we have recordings of mechanical noise from the 1970’s on the Moon working exactly the same way as the mechanical movments of smart devices today today…

Winter September 13, 2023 1:36 PM


Not bright at all, holding down the alt-right key for too long.

At the basis it is white men that feel they are outrun in the rat race by women, non-white people in general, and everyone who they think is not a real man.

So they want to resort to force and violence as the way to get back their rightful place in society. That is why they adore Putin, the prototypical strong man, wife beater and savior of National Christianity. A man who grabs whole countries as their property.

Winter September 13, 2023 2:04 PM


one cannot ignore Julian’s situation

Who is Julian? What is this situation he is in? And why should we not ignore it?

PaulBart September 13, 2023 4:03 PM

“Tell me what is it you are shoving up your nose “Russian marching powder”?”

Ahh, pushed your buttons.
Danger Clive Robinson. Beep. I am a Russian AI bot spreading disinformation. Beep. Get new playbook. Beep. 2019 playbook is tired and worn. Beep.Boop.Bop.

lurker September 13, 2023 5:59 PM

France halts iPhone 12 sales over radiation levels.

But reading between the lines it looks like EU regulations may be written in a way that US testers can easily misinterpret, just another he said, she said case. When it comes to fudging test results, I’ve been there, done that.


Clive Robinson September 13, 2023 10:02 PM

@ PaulBart,

Re : Button Pushing or back peddling?

“Ahh, pushed your buttons.”

No not at all. Your limited outlook on life has apparently addled you cognative processes to the point where you are insensitive to social norms and the attendant warnings that you had been given by several people.

Therefor you required a more obvious kick up the proverbial without going outside of acceptable behaviour for a social setting.

The fact you are trying to back peddle by behaviour so low in manner it would embarrass a child in a school playground, tells all who can see it about your less than stellar abilities.

I’m sure you will have seen other side comments “talking across the top of your head”, I guess because of your limitations, you might have had comprehension issues with regards to them. Go back and have a second look, you might start to gain a little insight as to why your “faux-claims” that were so easily disprovable caused such derision from others.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 13, 2023 11:15 PM


The Julian I am referring to is Assange of Wikileaks fame (or infamy, but you’d be wrong). Assange is still in Belmarsh four+ years without charge or cause–at least not in the U.K. where he is being held. Pinochet under the U.K. care, as a wanted war criminal, enjoyed house arrest in a penthouse apartment awaiting extradition. It is such a cluster bomb, with the CIA having admitted indirectly to the planning and plots to assassinate Julian. In the U.S. lefties believe Assange threw the election to DJT, at least those sympathetic to his Assange’s case, is does not matter how much they believe it, it poisoned their minds regarding Assange. Add the false sexual assault claims used to smear Assange, facts be damned. The facts do not support such assertions, there was even the weasel Dana Rohrbacher, republican from Orange County, California, trying to arrange a side deal–Assange was having none of it. None of the print media of record (Times, Post, Gazette, Journal) in the United States reported the bombshell story published by Yahoo News. Pompeo, former CIA director, said that those leaking this information should be prosecuted. Pompeo had a personal beef with Assange, the revenge of agents perceived to be wronged by the release of Vault 7, the CIA hacking toolkit.

Kevin Gosztola’s latest book, “Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange” is a first hand account of the trials of Julian Assange in England and a long-time report of Wikileak’s trials and tribulations. From the time Julian spent at the Ecuadorian embassy to his illegal arrest as an Ecuadorian Citizen under diplomatic asylum, to his final jog through the shame process the Crown court of England used to persecute Assange. For an exacting story, please read Meltzer’s book, “The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution”. Nils Meltzer is a professional human rights lawyer, torture and depravation are his speciality, having worked for the U.N. and documented the charade in detail.

Stone told the story of being in touch with Wikileaks, but that what it was, a story. Assange never talked to Stone or his associates and they ran wild with conspiracies about links to intel sources, it was all bravado and bluster. They only thing the DJT campaign accomplished was the indulgent of wishful thinking, Assange was not a party to any deal or backroom arrangement. It was all made up. Think of it, the CIA had him looked down 24/7, if there was any evidence supporting their claims they’d state as much, but they haven’t. The cutout UC Global was black bag operation, even trying to collect fecal matter. They collected information from all the visitors devices that entered the embassy, there are legal cases still pending.

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons September 14, 2023 1:23 AM


What may not be obvious, the rules-based order by definitions I’ve given do exist, but are they operable? To my mind, yes a system of rules, highly programmatic in fact, are currently in development and in beta. The underlying mechanism has already been described by Edward Snowden, “Turnkey Tyranny”. The old east/west paradigm is broken, it is a struggle delineated by code and data, not national borders–kind of.

Governments realize the power in their hands, as do their corporate overlords, of data and information capture. And moreover, the capture and retention of information about their citizens has value commercially and socially. I long ago stated what two systems are part of an alignment by governments, one set of countries is deploying the model I call “WeChat” (or the East), and many western countries are locked into “WeSpy, but don’t tell anyone” model. One model is overt, the other covert. Neither to my mind is acceptable, especially as actions forwarding these visions are mostly out of the public eye and are provided without consent or disclosure. Part of Putin’s alignment with Xi was the embrace by Putin of the WeChat model.

Winter September 14, 2023 1:46 AM


one set of countries is deploying the model I call “WeChat” (or the East), and many western countries are locked into “WeSpy, but don’t tell anyone” model.

Another perspective is that there are two views on government:

1) The People choose their Government (West)

2) The Government choose their People (East)

People everywhere prefer option 1). Those in power everywhere prefer option 2). However, most people in the world have a definite opinion about some groups in their country they consider as “aliens” that should be expelled. This allows those in power to implement option 2).

What sets aside countries is whether those in power openly advocate option 1) (USA, UK, EU) or 2) (Russia, China)

ResearcherZero September 14, 2023 2:05 AM


When warnings were passed on to individuals that they were being targeted by Russian influence and disinformation operations in the 1990’s, take a guess at which individuals ignored those warnings?

The ones now facing multiple law suits. Those same people used to try out ‘muck raking’ stories to see which ones might fly, and they were always looking for more. They went looking for crap, and they were fed all the crap they were looking for.

Sydney Powell was very specifically warned she was a target, along with some others.

Dirty Tricks

Unlike a “dirty trick“ against a corporation, which might be remedied in time for a product to rebound, a “dirty trick” timed to occur before the election can have a definitive impact even if it is proven to be false.

Dirty tricks and Faustian bargains have a very long history in the U.S.

The United States presidential election of 1876 was one of the most disputed presidential elections in American history.

Intelligence agencies compartmentalize sections off from one another, then spend years verifying information by range of sources and methods to sort the wheat from the chaff.
That is why the low, medium*, and high confidence ratings exist.

Russian disinformation, and now increasingly China also, try and make everyone doubt all information to create confusion. They do not care which side swallows it.

Media Manipulation

“Media manipulation” refers to any attempt to shape news coverage by people whose politics you dislike. It also has a very long history…

The pamphlet “The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion” is thought to have been forged by tsarist secret police and was published in 1903 in a St. Petersburg newspaper under the headline “The Jewish Program To Conquer The World.” The pamphlet was studied as part of the national curriculum in Nazi Germany.

In 1921, the London Times presented conclusive proof that the Protocols was a “clumsy plagiarism.” The Times confirmed that the Protocols had been copied in large part from a French political satire that never mentioned Jews — Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu (1864).

In the United States and Europe, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and Holocaust deniers continue to endorse and circulate the fictional Protocols.

Winter September 14, 2023 2:07 AM


The Julian I am referring to is Assange

I understand now. You do not have to convince me. Assange is punished for uncovering USA war crimes. The US wants revenge and will do everything it needs to get their revenge.

Nothing done by the UK, USA, Sweden, or international organizations in this case has any relationship with justice or law.

ResearcherZero September 14, 2023 2:12 AM


In the 1828 election, President Andrew Jackson was accused of executing his own men in war, adultery, and cannibalism by supporters of John Quincy Adams.

A country that China would “have an interest in from a strategic perspective.” The new attack resembled those of Chinese state-backed threat operation APT41.

“the frequency at which CNI organizations are being attacked appears to have increased over the past year and is now a source of concern”

Espionage actors are continuing to mount attacks on critical national infrastructure (CNI) targets, a trend that has become a source of concern for governments and CNI organizations worldwide. Threat actors maintaining a long-term, persistent presence on a national grid presents a clear risk of attacks designed to disrupt power supplies and other vital services in nation-states during times of increased political tension.

The first evidence of intrusion on the targeted network dated from February 28, 2023, when ShadowPad was executed on a single computer. It was executed again on May 17 2023, suggesting that the attackers had maintained a presence in the intervening three months.


Beginning in July 2023, Storm-0324 was observed distributing payloads using an open-source tool to send phishing lures through Microsoft Teams chats

“Storm-0324 manages a malware distribution chain and has used exploit kit and email-based vectors to deliver malware payloads. …This filtering capability allows attackers to evade detection by certain IP ranges that might be security solutions, like malware sandboxes, while also successfully redirecting victims to their malicious download site.”


ResearcherZero September 14, 2023 2:22 AM

“Too Scary” 😩

The federal government has brushed aside a call from former defence leaders who are urging it to release a secret report into the national security risks posed by climate change.


“We make no apologies for not releasing national security advice, which, appropriately, goes to the national security committee. That is a position that we have had for a long period of time, and that will remain the position.”


Argentinian Surveillance System used to spy on citizens

“Only Argentina’s around 40,000 fugitives from justice may be searched for with the system,” he says. “But the number of personal data requested by the city was almost 10 million. The government could never explain why so much data was requested that did not belong to fugitives.”

“That’s where they kept me for six days.” He slept on bare concrete, in a small cell. The second night they gave him a blanket. “The facial recognition system identified me as a criminal,” he says. The crime he was alleged to have committed: “Armed robbery in a city where I had never been in my life. The possible sentence, they told me—up to 15 years.”


RCE with SYSTEM privileges on all Windows endpoints within a Kubernetes cluster


‘Set Security Standards for Cloud Providers’

Australian businsses are heavily and increasingly reliant on the security postures and investments of outsourced third-party providers.

“These businesses typically contract on standard form contracts with IT providers on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis. These standard-form contracts are generally designed to minimise the IT provider’s responsibility and liability for cyber security, which reduces incentive to invest in and prioritise robust cyber security.

“To address this, we recommend that IT providers are subject to additional specific regulations in relation to cyber security which do not rely on bilateral negotiations between IT providers and their customers.”


‘Expand Protection Zones’

“Australia’s cyber security strategy should not overlook the physical elements of the internet. Access to, and influence over, submarine cable infrastructure can have direct effects on security. …multiple parts of the submarine supply chain can potentially be compromised.”

“Countries with only one cable are especially vulnerable to outages, as was seen in Tonga when its sole submarine cable was damaged by a volcanic eruption in 2022, taking almost six weeks to repair. Australia should continue to fund and co-fund strategic submarine cable projects in the Indo-Pacific, as recommended by security policy experts, working together with countries such as Japan, US, India, the UK, and the EU.”


ResearcherZero September 14, 2023 2:37 AM

@PaulBart, @Clive, @Winter

I wasn’t allowed to spy on U.S. politicians, because of The Bill of Rights. But Australian politicians were fair game. Not heavy spying, no taps or bugging, but in-person (preventing the odd crooked ones getting up to mischief). I tapped and bugged a lot of other people though, especially friends and family. 😉 Cops, spies etc.

Caught a few people trying to sell stuff to RIS.

Winter September 14, 2023 8:19 AM

If you need to communicate electronically [1], you can do so more securely with Veilid, or so the developers from “Cult of the Dead Cow” claim.

Veilid: A secure peer-to-peer network for apps that flips off the surveillance economy
‘It’s like Tor and IPFS had sex and produced this thing’

DEF CON Infosec super-band the Cult of the Dead Cow has released Veilid (pronounced vay-lid), an open source project applications can use to connect up clients and transfer information in a peer-to-peer decentralized manner.

The idea being here that apps – mobile, desktop, web, and headless – can find and talk to each other across the internet privately and securely without having to go through centralized and often corporate-owned systems. Veilid provides code for app developers to drop into their software so that their clients can join and communicate in a peer-to-peer community.

In a DEF CON presentation today, Katelyn “medus4” Bowden and Christien “DilDog” Rioux ran through the technical details of the project, which has apparently taken three years to develop.

[1] Some will say you never should communicate electronically as it is never Secure™. Then, you have no need for Veilid and you should not be reading this comment.

Clive Robinson September 14, 2023 10:35 AM

@ Winter, ALL,

Re : Secure is always relative.

“Some will say you never should communicate electronically as it is never Secure”

Quite true and in some respects you can never make it even close to sufficiently secure for some peoples needs (ask the CIA about China and Iran).

The real problem is though the lack of alternatives to “communicate electronically”… and various people are doing the best they can to shut any and all alternatives down. In much the same way they are trying to “Kill Cash” and force “Plastic Cards” with all the tracability they give.

But worse employment is such these days that work-home are increasingly seperated apart. This makes having what I and others of our host @Bruce’s age consider “normal social communications” increasingly difficult.

I don’t speak to or even recognize any of my neighbours currently I actually know the check out staff at my local supermarket and their names… When I aquired my first home back in very early 1980’s it was in a quite quiet place but I used to know all my neighbours not just by sight but name, their children and even grandchildren. I also mostly knew what they did work wise and their hobbies and interests to some extent. This was normal for back then.

A lot has changed in fourty years and most of it not for the better, the sense of community in all but rural areas is pretty much gone these days.

Near where I live there is a more upper middle class area. Several roads do not see residents walk down the street… They go out their front door, get in their car, press the button to open the 6ft or more high gates drive down their drive way and drive off to where they are going. No children play in the street, ride their bikes etc and they get driven to and from school. Even the dogs get picked up by “dog walker vans” to be taken to one of several “Royal Parks” etc, to be returned later…

I could go on but you can see just how very tracable and surveiled their lives are, and how little any “natural sociability” there is, not even any “curtain twitchers” they all have Amazon Ring etc to do that for them…

Winter September 14, 2023 11:25 AM


ask the CIA about China and Iran

What I have heard about the CIA does not make me believe I should ever ask them questions about “Security”, “Safety”, or “Confidentiality”. The main message I got from what I heard about the CIA is that I should avoid them like the plague if I wanted to stay healthy (or even alive).

lurker September 14, 2023 2:12 PM

The more, the murkier. Today’s cry of desperation,

from the Basilisk v2023.09.12 Release Notes:
The BigInt primitive (base number format) in JavaScript allows JavaScript to handle excessively large integers (whole numbers). This primitive is especially useful for specialized scientific applications that need very large yet accurate numbers, but has seen widespread adoption for an as of yet unknown reason as part of web frameworks, causing general web compatibility issues for Basilisk when scripts expect BigInt support and instead have an error thrown. We have now implemented this primitive for use so we no longer have compatibility issues with these frameworks. It is still unknown why BigInt is in use there and for what. Critical note: BigInt might be tempting to consider for JS-backed cryptography but this is very ill-advised, as BigInt operations are, by their nature, not constant-time and allow timing and side-channel attacks.


bl5q sw5N September 14, 2023 4:08 PM

@ lurker

Re: baleful basilisk

Large integers are probably never needed in daily life. The important is to be able to efficiently compute any specified digit in a computation without finding all the others, à la Borwein et al method for ranges of digits of pi.

Clive Robinson September 14, 2023 4:13 PM

@ lurker,

Re : Crypto and Math Lib.

“Critical note: BigInt might be tempting to consider for JS-backed cryptography but this is very ill-advised, as BigInt operations are, by their nature, not constant-time and allow timing and side-channel attacks.”

There is cryptography and there is cryptography… Secrecy is not relevant to one, just speed/efficiency.

For instance lets say you want to come up with malware to find some crypto currency on somebody elses power bill?

All you are interested in doing, is being first at the tape,

“So speed is all, and secrecy not at all”

Might well be a malware developers view point.

fib September 14, 2023 4:57 PM

@ All

This seems interesting in the context of a future AGI. As @Clive put it, on another squid thread, which I tried to find to no avail, [from memory, along the lines of] “(…)systems exhibit a sort of reward process, like leaves following the light, etc.(…)”

What could possibly act as a sort of reverse-reward mechanism to enable the punishment of artificial intelligence? Btw, would that be advisable, or ethical, or even needed? What physical stimuli – or lack thereof could be used as punishment, or non-reward? Energy rationing? Physical stresses beyond the point of nominal tolerance, etc.? I mean, how could we make AI feel physically bad [of course there’s gotta be tensors for that, too – and all that jazz…] given the absence, to date, of any sensor data integration into the AI models?


Clive Robinson September 14, 2023 6:22 PM

@ Bruce, ALL,

As some might have noted, I’ve a side interest in what we now call AI ML since the 1980’s.

In much more recent times I’ve had an interest in using neural networks for broadcast engineering for the likes of audio compressors etc.

However as I’ve written these “Large Language Models” are akin to taking white noise, crudely filtering it and using it to excite resonators (ring bells)[1]. Basically what you do when using them is set the crude filter[2] to get a minimized “match set” you hope matches your requirments[3].

Another way of looking at LLM’s is using them is like, typing into a search engine which pulls up results, then rather than you reading through the results and applying logic and reason based on knowledge to select sensible results, the search engine just takes a weighted average and gives you that.

So “No logic”, “No reason” just crude maths you probably first learnt before 5th grade (~10years old). Which means there’s quite a bit of scope for GIGO to work, depending on the quality of the original data in the effective database. Also regression to the mean is neither learning or intelligence, but also lacks reality[3].

Which is why if you ask these LLM’s “new riddles” or even basic maths or logic problems they fail miserably unless they have specific “traps” to change the way they work into a different type of passer.

Well I keep my eye open for other writers on AI ML and thus currently LLM’s that actually have sufficient actual knowledge and the ability to put it into not quite layman terms but ways that most can understand easily or build upon sensibly.

This one has “just crossed my desk”,

It’s actually quite reasonable, and points out where “experts” might be in one domain, but are compleatly off base and out of their depth with AI ML in either “depth or breadth”. Thus make what are in effect idiotic statments or throw mud in the water.

[1] To actually see a real world example of this exciting resonators effect, try putting your head inside a baby grand or similar open framed piano and shouting. You get to hear the strings store and release the energy of your shout like a dull echo. The effect is similar if you sing. In fact if you know what you are doing you can turn the bed of the piano into an audio spectrum analyser. One a smaller and some would say safer scale you can get a much more limited demonstration with an acoustic guitar or other stringed instrument, as it’s the strings that are the resonators.

[2] Some years ago now someone wrote software to make you sing in pitch. Basically it took your voice stripped off the low frequency envelope and put the tones that were left into an audio analyser, corrected the pitch of the tones to the correct value and applied the voice envelope back. The result was it made a moderately good singer sound better. Later versions could be programed by applying a music score to weight the audio analyser response. Which could make those frogs sound more like angelic princesses…

[3] This “regression to the mean” can actually be quite funny and when I see some that amuse enough I link to them, such as,

Clive Robinson September 14, 2023 7:51 PM

@ fib, ALL,

Re : Punishment is for society not the offender.

“What could possibly act as a sort of reverse-reward mechanism to enable the punishment of artificial intelligence?”

It’s a good question and boils down to we would have to “build it in”.

Look at it this way, if I genetically engineered a human that had no real sense of physical pain then old style medieval punishments less than perminant physical injury such as chopping of a hand would not work.

Also execution does not work on the offender, it’s actually aimed at society, because it is felt by others that people have a fear of death.

Arguably the reason humans have a sense of pain and a fear of death is in part an evolutionary driver such that you last long enough to produce offspring.

But we know some will voluntarily give up the right to produce offspring in return for what they think at the time will give them a better life.

In terms of animate and inanimate, consider sinew. Traditionally it was thought it has no pain sensors except at the places it attaches to muscles bone and blood vessles that do have pain sensors (lookup mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors for more modern “sixth-sense” thinking). It’s been given as one of the reasons certain joint injuries can be very problematic.

That said sinew works both in living creatures and after being cut out and cleaned as strong cordage for the likes of certain types of weapon. Would you improve sinew by adding pain sensors?

When it is in ligament form –bone to bone–, yes as it would help reduce injury but reduce it’s effectivness. Arguably nerves in the attachment points would surfice for all but certain types of swelling. Similar arguments for tendons –muscle to bone– can be made.

However sinew is generally sufficiently strong that our muscles are insufficient to damage them without force multiplication via lever effects.

So outside of proprioception it can be argued that nerves in sinews are unnecessary.

When you look at the design of robotic arms from the 1980’s and still today, the equivalent of sinew is not equiped with sensors, in line with that view point.

At most robots get strain guages are fitted at “pully points” and proprioceptor functions are carried out by rotary encoders and preasure sensors on surfaces. Damage limitation is carried out by “limit switches” either at extent of travel or against pully point tensioners.

Thus the robotic arm design has no way to “feel pain” in it’s equivalent of sinew, at most all it can do is vector calculations based on rotary encoders and preasure sensors.

But take this lack of sensing a stage further. Robots have no sense of society. What you do to one robot does not have any effect on other robots. If a robot could scream in torment there would be no other robot to hear it’s scream or in any way interpret it.

So punishment is effectively an abuse of a set of evolutionary processes in living creatures as a way to correct behaviours. Evolution built in the processes to limit what was effectively “self harm” and incapacitation.

We don’t currently build in such self protection processes in robots, so there is nothing to abuse for punishment.

Also untill fairly recently we did not build in the equivalent of sociable processes into robots. However that is changing as we investigate “swarm-bots” where small general purpose robots cooperate to perform colabarative endevors that not so long ago would have required a prohibitively resource intense specialised robot for just a specific task. The hallmark of such swarm-bots is that each member of a swarm is effectively fully autonomous and not under control of a single central system, they are asked not directed and are in effect cooperatively organising.

Thus there is the potential to make punishing a swarm-bot reflect into the swarm dynamic.

Anonymous September 15, 2023 12:12 AM

I was waiting for Monty Hall to pop up again in regards to LLM. Given the large corpus of incredulous experts documented and the meta-analysis around such, it is both funny and unsurprising that AI has had a hard time with it. Of course, there is no universally correct answer to the problem, as we all know

MarkH September 15, 2023 4:59 AM


Eastern Europeans have a long history of hearing lectures from arrogant know-nothings in the rest of Europe, and in the U.S., about what’s good for them, and when to stop getting “uppity.”

They now call this Westsplaining.

If you want to be aligned with the Ukranian people, a good start would be learning about their lives, dreams, values, and hopes for the future.

This is only possible, for those who let go of the hyper-egotistical fantasy that everything that happens in the world is about the U.S.

bl5q sw5N September 15, 2023 7:05 AM


long history of hearing lectures from arrogant know-nothings in the rest of Europe, and in the U.S.

Such as Woodrow Wilson

fib September 15, 2023 8:47 PM

@Clive Robinson

Always a pleasure to enjoy your style and take advantage of your experience. Thank you. Too bad I got to the thread very late into the week.

at most all it can do is vector calculations based on rotary encoders and preasure sensors.

Exactly. That’s how the integration between the sensors and core of the neural network itself begins. I imagine it is possible with parallel neural networks processing inputs from sensors, chemical, acoustic, piezoelectric, just as our computer vision systems already do. You will need to figure out a convenient way to vectorize all these various inputs, label/annotate the relationships between all of them, and put it all together into a snapshot of reality, in real time.

The contribution of empirical experience through our biological sensors to the formation of thoughts and, ultimately, human consciousness cannot be underestimated by those interested/seeking AGI. I am very interested in this topic and will seek to return to it here when the context allows.

This question is not to be discussed in Academia only [if it is].

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