Tips – December 2017

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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172 Responses to Tips – December 2017

  1. Steven Fraser says:

    EM: just got my hands on Oracle VM. Never had work that needed that, now do!

    Familiar? If not, will write a ‘newbie review’ … impressions so far.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    I last touched Oracle about 1982? when I helped port it to Unix on Amdahl mainframes… I suspect it has changed since then ;-) So “review” appreciated.

  3. philjourdan says:

    1982? I was porting a labor tracking package off of a Honeywell mainframe to a NOS (Novel 86). Because they were moving the mainframes TO Amdahls!

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now the green folks and the folks who understand the mathematics of geometric growth are beginning to recognize the current growth in bit coin value and effort to mine them, cannot continue to grow at this rate indefinitely. Bit coins are really tokens that represent wasted energy.
    They are also realizing that a very small population of early adopters like any Ponzi scheme will get enormously wealthy by skimming money from the late adopters.

    The current price frenzy will and must crash when it becomes obvious to all that this gold rush trajectory of growth cannot continue. Right now the growth in bit coin is driven entirely on an expectation in inflation of prices. Like buying and flipping houses in a housing bubble, it is built on a logistic curve that must eventually crash. It is driving massive purchases in high speed computing power and the power to feed them. Like the dot-com bubble what happens when the demand for this hardware goes away? This shift also is moving productive capacity for computing away from useful problem solving and practical hardware into an electronic pet rock that everyone must have even though it is a cat chasing its tail problem.

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    OTOH, I’m looking at some of the BitCoin miner chips on USB and wondering how hard it would be to turn them into math co-processors for Climate Models… so not all wasted. Some of them look fairly easy to program in modestly HLL like C.

  6. Another Ian says:

    Expect the “Russia Collusion ” to hit peak scream when this gets found

    “Russia recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated in a surprise announcement on Thursday, obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post. ”

    Dated 6th April 2017

  7. Another Ian says:


    “In May, the Czech Parliament voted and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
    (Source Lubos Motl’s blog, The Reference Frame).”

    Both from

  8. Another Ian says:

    For something entirely different

    “Demand for anal bleaching soars by 23% as women follow in the footsteps of celebrities ”

    And the comments!!!

  9. pouncer says:

    The Mueller / “Russian” investigation seems to be using Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm’s “John Doe” investigation as precedent and template.

    Which goes to Our Host’s advice about running separate devices with encrypted data on disposable hardware…

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Things I didn’t know existed, and wish I still didn’t ;-)

    Per Jewish Capitol:

    I’ll be glad when they just get it over and recognize that a sovereign country gets to choose where their capitol is located. Just stand up and say “Where the capitol is located is decided by the host country, not us.” and de-fang the attack.


    I had no idea that was going on in Wisconsin. It’s horrid.

    But yes, you never know, now, when someone will come and break down your door and confiscate all things electronic. It has become SOP Standard Operating Procedure.

    I first started on my “secure the home computing” process after TallBloke was raided for no good reason. He ran a blog ( I run a blog ), he was anti-Global Warming ( I am anti-Global Warming), he reported on Climate Gate ( I reported on Climate Gate) and it looks like the person who got the UEA emails sent him a link ( I could just as easily have been selected by the person had they liked my blog more…).

    So that’s when I started to implement “industrial strength measures” at home.

    Separate your financial stuff onto a distinct platform (easy now that a ‘platform’ can be a single chip for a R. Pi…) and run on cheap hardware available by overnight from Amazon ( Pi, Odroid, etc.). Keep an encrypted copy of the data in an off-site secure location. (That can be as simple as a friends house, or as complicated as a VPN to a “cloud storage” vendor in another country under a fictitious name) or as mundane as the old mason jar buried under the porch…)

    Separate your general web browsing onto another such chip / system.

    Separate your data storage onto another such system. For bulk data like climate records, no special treatment (though encrypting it can keep the attackers decryption engine busy a long time ;-) but for things you think nobody else needs to see, encrypt it strongly. AES 256 comes to mind…

    Have a target “honey pot”. For raids, this is just an old PC set up on the desk to look like the main machine. Occasionally use it to visit Disney, research the Royals Wedding Plans, and check up on the best recipe for making gift cookies for orphans… Download lots and lots of speeches by your local Democrats… and file them in folders with names like “LoveThisOne” and “HeIsGreat”…

    There’s more, but I’ve said it here before over the years…

    While it isn’t as fast as some of the other choices (so I’m not using it on R&D systems), the fact that BerryBoot lets you have encrypted system chips is ideal for a cheap and easy encrypted system. Since the whole thing is LUKS encrypted, a bit-by-bit backup of it via a dd copy is also encrypted. At no time is your data / system open to view other than when in use (and they you ought to have IDS / IPS running and be watching blinky lights for too much traffic and…). Someone crashes your front door, pull power and pull the chip, it’s now a locked box and only you know how to open it. Drop the chip down your heater vent and it will take a very thorough house deconstruction to find it. Or just drop it in your fish tank… the things are generally water proof / resistant… but not if you have a big fish that might swallow it ;-)

    In general, I have about 1/2 dozen “systems on a chip” in active use at any one time. Only one or at most 2 if doing R&D at the same time as browsing, is ‘on the desk” at any one time. The rest are in obscure storage… That, alone, is a big win. Essentially, the raid and take all approach now requires the cost of searching every single nook, cranny, knothole, coffee pot, bottom of cup, flowerpot, cat litter box, etc. etc. for something the size of a little fingernail that will end up strong encrypted anyway (and many of them “distractors” and honey pots at that). All to find out I don’t do anything particularly interesting anyway… Talk about pissing in their coffee cup! ;-)

    Now also realize that most Regular Police have no clue about R.Pi and mini-SD cards. They get sent out with orders to “collect computers and cell phones and hard disks”. That’s big boxes and phones… (Eventually this will change, but not yet…) So right out the gate, most of the raids have no idea you are not in the “regular model” of home computer. That’s 1/2 the game right there.

    The things just regular folks have to do, now, just to be left alone by over zealous prosecutors and excessive police tactics, even in the USA, is a bother, but not that hard. They upped the game, I’m just reacting…

  11. Steven Fraser says:

    EM: Newbie review of Oracle VM product, as previously volunteered.

    Intro: Oracle VM is a virtual system manager that runs as an app in 32- and 64-bit MS Windows environments. I installed mine just the other day on top of Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit, on a Lenovo 64-bit i5 laptop. Most Intel-based OS’s will run within it.

    After the free (yes, free) download from Oracle, I created a 32-bit virtual Machine, and allocated some of my host resources to it. In my case, chose 25GB of disk (either statically sized, or dynamic…I chose dynamic), 1024M of my main memory and of my 4 cores, allocated 2 of them at 70% cap, and 27M of screen memory. I selected Windows 7 32-bit as the OS from the picklist to install, and used an appropriate .iso file (a disk image) to install the OS. Once installed, I ‘turned on’ the virtual machine, and it booted up with the familiar splash screen and login character of Win7.

    I stopped that vm, and tried to repeat the process with a 64-bit Win 7 Pro, but it would not allow it. The Bios had to be told to allow virtualization. Once that was done, the 64 OS’s appeared in the picklist, and the rest of the install proceeded apace.

    Supported vm hosted OS’s:
    Windows versions: 3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT 4, 2000, XP 32 and 64-bit, 2003 32- and 64-bit, Vista 32- and 64-bit, 7 32- and 64-bit, 8 and 8.1 (both 32- and 64-bit), 2012 and 2016 32- and 64-bit, 10 (32- and 64-bit).
    Other OS’s, with multiple sub-versions: Linux, Solaris, BSD, IBM OS/2, MAC OS-X and ‘Other’.

    Now, I have 3 running operating systems on my hardware, simultaneously, sharing the same hardware. I installed an app (for my actual project work) in the Win7-64 environment, and other than competing for mem,disk bandwidth an the network interface. The virtual machines all have TCP/IP available, so can talk to each other programmatically, too, and also ‘see’ the internet via the host’s adapter.

    By installing the Client extensions in the Win7-64 virtual machine, mouse pointer transitions across the resizable screen boundary of the virtual machine cause the focus to automatically follow, much like can be done in any elegant windowing system (i.e. It also supports shared folders that can be seen from the host OS and from the vms, and click-and-drag of files across the host/vm boundary.

    To see how things were competing for resources, I pulled up my host Task Manager, and could see the VM manager, and the 2 vms represented as if they were single tasks, with processor util, disk and network statistics. Within a vm, the sam task manager app only sees its own vm, as if it was on a machine by itself.

    If I were going to get serious about this, I would get a horsier machine. My 8GB, 4-core Lenovo is a bit puny to do much more than prove the concept. I’d recommend for serious use 8 cores, a min of 16GB RAM, and enough SATA disk to make some statically allocated vm disk space. A 1/2 TB drive with 4 120GB spaces would do nicely.

    There is a lot more to be explored… that is just the beginning.

  12. Steven Fraser says:

    EM: The formal product name is ‘VirtualBox’, and is accessible at

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Oh Wait! I ran that some years ago on my laptop! Then it was called Sun Virtualbox. I didn’t recognize it with the Oracle buy out rename.

    I remember it running well. IIRC, I even put a Solaris on it using a 64 GB SD card just to abuse the limits and see what happened. It ran well, but a bit slower than I’d like. Still, it was fun to have this SD card I could just stick in the laptop and have a Solaris at my disposal. Then just kick out the chip and there was no evidence it had ever been running on the host box. A very nice way to get some “security isolation” of multiple systems with only one box…

    IF I were still running decent sized Intel hardware, I’d be using it. But the fan died on my ( 4 core!) laptop and I just haven’t gotten it fixed… and got sucked into Pi Land instead… (Fix fan, $150+, vs Pi M3 at $35… hmmm….) I’ve since inherited a dual core laptop… maybe I’ll see if I still have those old VM images in cold storage and if I remember the passwords :-)

    It was where I first started doing the “different images for different things” process. One for financial, another for “variety browsing”, another for Unix skill maintenance, another just as a play space with different strange OSs…

    I was really ready to head down the whole virtual machine path, then FUNT! and I discovered using real hardware for each system image, just really cheap SBCs…

    IIRC, I did an evaluation of several different Linux images under VirtualBox and it wasn’t 1/2 bad. I think Puppy was one of the choices. That may have been the first tie I tried Puppy…

    I really ought to do more with Virtual Machines…

  14. Another Ian says:

    Xmas shopping choices

    “Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. A British firm calling itself Women To Look Up To is selling tree topper “angels” of none other than Hillary Clinton. The perfect gift for the Radical Leftist near you!”

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    OMG, Hillary from on high… GAK!

    Yeah, trolls are a major PITA. At first I tolerated folks being trollish. Over time, I decided the only course that would keep this place polite and focused was a firm counter attck to any trolling. Anthony has it worse than me as he has orders of magnitude more traffic and visibility. He gets the funded professional trolls and the True Zealots. I get the trainees ;-)

  16. philjourdan says:

    ” I get the trainees”

    I have noticed the quality of trolls going down. I guess you do not allow those trainees to gain much experience. :-)

  17. Another Ian says:

    Hillary isn’t winning here either

    “Prat of the Year”

    But Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is running second

  18. p.g.sharrow says:

    Generally trolls only play where they can create action and seize the thread.
    If ignored or even better censured they go else where. Here they get reprimanded for disturbing the peace of intelligent conversation and good manners.
    DON”T feed the trolls! is the best policy…pg

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    I like my approach of public exposure, analysis, and dissection. They get hot for a while, then change color and become quiet… Roast Troll? Yum! :-)

  20. jim2 says:

    California governor blames devastating wildfires on climate change and says deadly winter infernos will be ‘the new normal’

  21. jim2 says:

    Even though the current fire season has burned less acreage than in 2012 or 2015, it has claimed the highest number of fatalities. This tragedy, as Pyne sees it, is the culmination of nearly a century of failed fire management practices that have been unable to address the increasing escalation — and conflict — between California’s growing population and development, and California’s intrinsic “fire proneness.”

  22. Another Ian says:

    Neat headline wording imo

    “Fighting truth decay:

    Trump Blasts WaPo’s Dave Weigel After Reporter Heckles Him with Fake Photo”

    Then more truth decay

    “Delingpole: ‘Fish Prefer Plastic to Food’ Study Was #Fakenews, Science Misconduct Committee Finds”

    And In keeping with this, (sent from a friend in Jerusalem)

    Where was the outrage when Putin and the Czech Republic did this early in the year?

    There is a cartoon over at CTH which has an aide saying to Trump “Hamas is promising a day of rioting” with the response “Well just a normal day then” (IIRC the wording)

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    Round #2 on bit coin hacking? Not a surprise when the main feature of crypto-currency is it is anonymous, can be spent anywhere in the world without you having to go there physically, is undergoing rapid appreciation, and being digital (ie you can steal a bank vault of it and carry it on an SSD card). More importantly, you can steal the whole bank vault and it is possible no one will notice for hours – days or months.

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Perhaps useful observations on bitcoin:

    NassimNicholasTaleb‏Verified account
    Dec 9
    Bitcoin: my answer to the repeated questions.
    No, there is NO way to properly short the bitcoin “bubble”. Any strategy that doesn’t entail options is nonergodic (subjected to blowup). Just as one couldn’t rule out 5K, then 10K, one can’t rule out 100K.

    Randy Mitterling‏
    Follow Follow @MittCapital
    Replying to @nntaleb @Silver_Watchdog
    Bitcoin futures are cash settled. No delivery requirement. It’s just a sentiment indicator that could be completely wrong compared to the actual price. Truly the most highest form of speculation ever created.

    NassimNicholasTaleb‏Verified account
    10h10 hours ago
    More NassimNicholasTaleb Retweeted Randy Mitterling
    Very big point. Futures that don’t have deliverables require a very, very deep market. Otherwise someone long the future can push prices higher at settlement time with impunity, by “locking” profits (never having to resell a deliverable).

    NassimNicholasTaleb‏Verified account
    56m56 minutes ago
    Replying to @nntaleb
    Note that Bitcoin has a limited number of natural sellers. The entire concept is very concave supply (it costs more and more to extract). The number of producers shrinks with time.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    The whole Bitcoin thing is just a psych bubble. It could go to $Billion / bitcoin as folks get excited and hoard; or it could open at $1 tomorrow depending on government actions and a bubble pop.

    While fun to watch, I’d do no trade in it longer than a day trade or overnight swing trade. It simply MUST be watched hour by hour as there is NOTHING to dampen emotion driven swings since the only thing in it is emotion of irrational buyers and sellers.

    Like folks paying $40 Million for a painting (or $1/2 Billion?). Looks, it’s just a picture. Yet folks with more money than brains want to buy scarcity even if it has little intrinsic value.


    Yeah. The biggest issue with the fires is that we’ve packed 2 x as many people into the State, often into places that burned before but with no people in them, and then done crappy fire mitigation actions in a fire storm landscape.

    Nothing at all to do with “Climate Change”. (In fact, fires are often worse after reasonably wet years due to more growth than after hotter drought years with no or little growth.)

    Governor Moonbeam got that name for a reason… a very good reason…

    I like that: “Fighting truth decay” 8-)

  26. Lionell Griffith says:

    Bit Coin: Just because you call it money doesn’t make it money.
    US Reserve Note: Just because you call it money doesn’t make it money.

    One is rare the other one is not. Neither have any value for personal, industrial, or luxury use beyond its value for trade. Hence its value is exactly and only what you can trade for it. If no one will trade, it has zero value. There goes your presumed store of wealth in a puff of nothing. They are nothing but checks drawn on an empty account with the recipient providing the value. The first check that bounces, the pyramid scheme collapses.

    Gold and Silver have luxury and industrial uses. As long as that is the case, their value will not drop to zero. Yet, if you can’t use it for personal things and no one will trade something for them, their value is also zero. That will happen only if there is no economy. Otherwise they can be used as money and as a store of wealth. If there is no economy, no amount of that kind of wealth has anything to buy. Then no matter how much wealth you have, you have nothing of value.

    Governments and Bit Coin operators don’t want you to understand this. That way, they can float checks drawn on an empty account without end and ignore what happens to the economy that sustains it all. The final outcome is not pretty. All pyramids collapse eventually.

    The bottom line is something like: I will trade you a live chicken for ten pounds of good potatoes. If we don’t trade, I still have the chicken to eat or the eggs it lays and you still have your ten pounds of potatoes to eat. It really is as simple as this.

    Substitute Bit Coins, US Reserve Notes, Gold Coins, or Silver Coins, doesn’t change the fundamental principle. Yet, almost everyone ignores that fact and tries to get away with pyramid schemes that all eventually collapse. Even as they argue endlessly about macro and micro economics, it all comes down to personal one on one exchange of value and the values necessary to live and thrive.

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    Twitter just started showing video clips.
    Lots of high profile folks are posting them (pushing them) are these being tweeted for them??? They are click bait type clicks that almost anyone would want to click on, like a video describing a new crime called sliding where thieves creep up to your car while you are pumping gas, and open the off side door, grab what they can and then split, all while you are distracted watching the fuel meter as you pump your gas.

    Here is the contents of the App authorization that pops up:
    Top of banner
    You’re about to authorize your first app! Sweeet! Learn more about apps (link)

    On the right side of the image it says:
    “Twitter Video
    Twitter is requesting authorize in order to protect users from inappropriate content.

    Underneath the “authorize app” button on the left is states the following:
    This app will be able to:
    Read tweets from your time line.
    See who you follow, and follow new people
    Update your profile.
    Post tweets for you
    Access your direct messages.

    Will not be able to:
    See your email address
    See your twitter password

    On the bottom of the banner it says:
    You can revoke access to any application at any time from the Applications tab of your settings page.
    By authorizing an application you continue to operate under Twitter’s Terms of Service.
    In particular, some usage information will be shared back with Twitter. For more, see our Privacy Policy.
    Seriously they want you to approve an application that will “make tweets for you”?
    “Follow new people for you”?
    “Update your profile”
    “access your direct messages”? (these are supposed to be person to person messages seen only by the two participants – no telling what personal info those will leak to the app.)
    They really think all this is Okay????

    Just how does this protect you from inappropriate content (asking for a friend)

  28. catweazle666 says:

    The only sensible thing ex-UK PM David Cameron said was “how many twits make a twat”?

  29. Another Ian says:


    Those Mercs will be right for a while longer

    “Save the world with internal combustion engines”

    But it will likely take this a while to work through the “egg on many faces”

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    When I was getting my Econ degree, they went to some lengths to class things as “money” which WAS a store of value vs “currency” that is used in trade exchanges but NOT a store of value. I.e. you can use paper as currency, but it has no inherent store of value. Gold does have some store of value. (Folks generally do like making things with it and it is essential for some semiconductor mounts) True, in a complete economic collapse, potatoes and cigarettes are a better ‘store of value’ (at least as long as they don’t rot…) and will have a higher exchange rate (though soap and perfume and spices also go high then…) but in general economic conditions, rare metals are a longer term store of value as they tend to not degrade.

    Recently the trend in the trash called “Modern Economic Theory” (or something like that) is to blur the line between the definitions of Money and Currency. IMHO a grave error.

    In any case, I hold very little currency at any one time. Most of my net-worth is in “stuff” of one sort or another. So I don’t worry about it all that much. Mostly it’s just a question of assuring you have inflation escalators in long term payment contracts (think SSI / Annuities).


    OMG! Looks like a way to turn every user into a Bot to generate more traffic stats…

    @Cat: LOL! (no, really!)

    @Another Ian:

    The reason I drive an old Diesel is exactly that. I know it is the most resource efficient mode of travel (as the real $$ are the lowest…) That’s how markets work so well…

    eCars are for people who can’t do math and don’t understand engineering…

  31. jim2 says:

    @catweazle666 – it depends on the twat in question …

  32. catweazle666 says:

    “@Cat: LOL! (no, really!)”

    Well, LOL you might, but after starting my association with computers just before Christmas 1964 on a computer course from school with FORTRAN on punched cards, and programmed in more languages since than I care to count – including some diabolical scripting languages for comms packages and the like (the first package I bought for my first IBM PC contemptible was Microsoft Macro Assembler) on more different operating systems than most people have had hot dinners and when MD and chief necromancer of my own company been consulted on arcane matters by some of the largest companies on Earth, I find it very relaxing these days to use something that I can write practically in my sleep and that doesn’t overstress my few remaining brain cells!

    Oh, and the other day while rooting in the attic I found my original Windows (no version number) SDK – a truly diabolical monstrosity – complete with its 5 1/4 floppy disks, and I’ve still got one of these, along with a ZX81, az number od Spectrums and an Apple ][:

  33. E.M.Smith says:


    OMG! Maybe when I’m cleaning out my garage I can find my collection of 1980s toys and see if they still work ;-)

  34. pouncer says:

    It’s official. ASDL works over a wet string.

    This may be the transmission media AT&T is using in my neighborhood …

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    Related to the above:

    There is more but I have not found a link to the second page yet, but the first covers the essential intent of the proposal.

  36. Another Ian says:

    “Laser Boron Fusion — What if it works? (Forget “climate change”)”

  37. Another Ian says:


    For things around the UK keep an eye on

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    You will have to put this image into an image viewer to blow it up enough to read the text but very interesting commentary about what the author thinks the real agenda was behind Net Neutrality.

    A summary of what Net Neutrality was likely intended to accomplish

  39. llanfar says:

    @Larry: I hoped would work on your blurry image… guess not.

  40. Another Ian says:

    “Bitcoin Total Wipeout Alert

    It’s Official: Bitcoin Surpasses “Tulip Mania”, Is Now The Biggest Bubble In World History. ”

  41. Lionell Griffith says:

    “Bitcoin Total Wipeout Alert

    We are seeing classical economics at work here. The seller has nothing of value to sell and the buyer trades real value for it. Those who buy and sell before the bubble bursts, make out like bandits. The last one holding gets burned. Those who didn’t buy, break even and can’t get burned. The ultimate of a hot potato. The bubble will burst when there are no more buyers. Until then its price will go up seemingly without limit.

    A bit coin’s value is zero, its price is whatever someone will pay. That makes its price to value ratio undefined no matter what non zero price is paid. In what universe is this a “good deal”? Can natural born suckers really be that dumb?

    Come to think of it, the difference between a bit coin and a federal reserve note is that the reserve note has a nominal value of the heat it can give when burned. Which is not enough to cover the cost of printing. Additionally, the government thugs who printed it will use their guns (aka the law) to force you to accept it as payment of debts. Still, as with a bit coin, the last one holding gets burned.

    By comparison, tulip bulbs are a better deal. At least you can produce flowers and more tulip bulbs with it even if you are the last one holding. No such luck with bit coins. All you can do with federal reserve notes, is burn them for the little bit of heat they can offer. Not a good deal in my opinion.

  42. E.M.Smith says:



    “And the result – it works!!! Not even that slow (3½Mb/s down) though slow uplink. Don’t dare touch the string though…”

    Yeah, salt water needed… but still… 3.5 Mb/s over wet string? Golly…


    It would be nice…

    @Another Ian:

    Interesting article, but…

    “The paper said simulations had shown”… then a decade to a prototype?

    The thing is all hypothetical and no reality at present…

    Love the Brits political cartoons ;-)


    Why I hold only about $200 of “cash” at any one time. I really don’t care much if it goes to some stupid rate. All that matters is the “inflation adjustment” formula on future income promises (Social Security) and the real value of real assets owned.

  43. jim2 says:

    RE: “inflation adjustment”

    Instead of raising the price of stuff, manufacturers are just putting less and less stuff in the packaging. I’m pretty sure that isn’t accounted for, but could be wrong. Cars cost a lot more. Houses too. Oh well …

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    Candy bars are one of the best examples of that, They make the individual bars smaller but sell them in 2 packs or 4 packs so you think you are getting a bargain. Some candy bars are now “air fluffed” to make them smoother and creamy as you bite into them but by air injecting the chocolate they are the same size but lower density.

    Grocery items that used to come in 16 oz sizes now come in 14 oz net weight in the same sized box.

    Dog food that used to be sold in #50 pound bags is now sold in 35 – 40 pound bags (“to make it easier to handle” )

    During the great depression my grandfather worked at meadow gold, and when the inspectors were not around their 1 pound butter was cut smaller so the net weight was 14 ounces not 16 ounces. The difference in size of the individual bars of butter was small enough it was not obvious.

    During the 1970’s oil embargo some stations fiddled with their gas pumps so although the counter showed $5.00 of gasoline it really dispensed $4.95 of gasoline at the stated price etc. etc.

  45. E.M.Smith says:

    Newsy says “Golden Globes” is going to have women wearing black to raise awareness of sex discrimination and “abuse”… I’d boycott it, except I’ve not watched it for decades already… No desire to watch overpaid emotionally unstable people preen for each other. Some other celebrity gig was doing something else for the same “cause”, but I’d already tuned out by that part of the report…

  46. Lionell Griffith says:

    EM: “Golden Globes”

    A bunch of self congratulatory individuals who are good at reading scripts and pretending to be other people with real thoughts, emotions, and motivations. They use that skill to pretend to be experts of politics and morality that all must follow except for themselves in private.

    The political and morality script they follow is what they think their fellow pretenders think they should be following. If they don’t do that, they fear they will no longer be permitted to pretend being real people and getting paid for doing it. Without such a script, they don’t know what to say or why to say it. It is let’s pretend all the way down. Reality left the building a long time ago.

    It is sad because real entertainment has a value for we mere mortals. We struggle to exist, to improve our lives, and to find joy in living. There are times we need relief from our struggles and to experience that reaching our goals is still possible . This is the true function of art, literature, and the theater. Yet, there are thousands of movies, episodes, and documentaries on Netflix and elsewhere with only a pitiful few providing that much needed relief. It is far too much about the depraved, the sick, the failed, and the futility of it all.

  47. jim2 says:

    Ha! Wonder if THAT was actually the thrill up his leg??
    “An MSNBC spokesman confirmed Saturday the company made a separation-related payment to one of Chris Matthews employees after the woman complained about sexual harassment.”

  48. Another Ian says:

    “Delingpole: ‘Bitcoin and Porn Cause Global Warming’, Environmentalists Warn”

    Latest crises!

  49. Larry Ledwick says:

    File this under really neat technical feat in process –

    They are attempting to get a radio frequency image of the black hole event horizon of Sagittarius A the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

  50. Larry Ledwick says:

    In the opposite extreme of scientific research we have this on early life on earth.
    Hopefully the “wishful thinking” quotient is manageably small in this research.

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you want to go down a statistical rabbit hole regarding how real data with fat tail curves does not fit many of the statistical tools used in “science” (particularly climate science) this is a good place to start your journey.

  52. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Odd… something in that MichaelSmithNews link is causing firefox to crash on Devuan. I’ll have to try it from a different platform.

    Well, I can understand how porn could cause global warming … ;-0


    While I like statistics and enjoyed my stats class, many folks just glaze at the mere mention of the word… So I’ve generally avoided doing ‘treatments’ of how stats are handled (aside from pointing out the bogus nature of averages in many ways – since most folks have an acceptance for the concept of AN average, even if they don’t ‘get it’ that there are many kinds of averages…)

    So I’ll enjoy the link, but likely won’t write much as a consequence…

    I find it interesting they still want to run articles saying we are going to “see” a black hole but also stating it is impossible for light to get out. Would it really be that much of a loss to accurately say we are going to see the stuff just before it gets consumed by the invisible black hole?… Tidy isn’t that hard… but apparently “sellers puff” lies are easier and sell better… Still, the tech is neat.

    “The team identified a complex group of microbes: phototrophic bacteria that would have relied on the sun to produce energy, Archaea that produced methane, and gammaproteobacteria that consumed methane, a gas believed to be an important constituent of Earth’s early atmosphere before oxygen was present.”

    So we’ve already got a few different kinds of bacteria, some using sunlight, and 2 broad groups (one being Archaea). That means something had been around for a pretty good time before that.

    I think the evidence (or at least the statistical probabilities) are lining up for bits of bacteria drifting in space “seeding” planets that have recently left the overheated stage and started forming water oceans… At that time period, Mars would have been wet and with an atmosphere (as it evolved faster being smaller and using up it’s nuclear fuel faster, so turning into a cold airless thing eventually); and we know Mars bits have landed on earth after impacts. It is quite possible that the first microbes on Earth came from Mars about 4 Billion years ago… Someone needs to go looking at 4 Billion year old Mars deposits and see if they have matching fossils…

  53. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like a couple links on that page are now broken, but I really liked the book Black Swan and Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s willingness to call out silly statistics. I never got into statistics myself but find his descriptions of why most public use of statistics is seriously broken.

    He is also very much not impressed by titles.Such as the following twitter comments:

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb‏Verified account
    19 hours ago

    The only thing you can learn from a business school professor is how to become a business school professor.
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb‏Verified account
    18 hours ago

    This is not to say business schools are useless: what you learn is either on your own or in the drinking parties.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb‏Verified account
    4 hours ago
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb Retweeted Peggy Bishop Lane
    Never met an economist who “knows” statistics. Requires understanding Fat Tails since ~ALL econ variables are fat tailed.

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    Perhaps this is useful regarding risk assessment and models (related to above)

    Understand model error before you use a model 
    To talk the talk you also need to walk the walk
    How to do risk analysis without the nonsense
    When and if we model, we go from reality to models not from models to reality
    Take risks you understand, don’t try to understand risks you are taking
    Risk education should not aim at impressing a regulator but developing real-life competence    
  55. Another Ian says:


    Michael Smith item works ok on windows/firefox

  56. Another Ian says:


    I’m just reading “The Codebreakers” by David Kahn. There is an interesting chapter called “Crisis of the Union” about Democrat vote buying in the Garfield / Tilden run-off.

    The last sentence is

    “But perhaps the most lasting value of the Hassard- Grovenor cryptanalysis and its dramatic disclosure by the Tribune was noted by Reid’s biographer: “It had pilloried once and for all the single madifestation in our annals of the idea that the Presidency was a purchasable honour”.

    He might have to rephrase that in an update!

    And I guess that Democrats don’t do history.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Worked on Firefox on the Macintosh as well. Likely something “fancy” in the page display code that tickles an older FireFox into a bellyache.

    The history of Politics has a long long set of corruption. The Democrats are only the most recent practitioners…

    I posted a comment there pointing out that the Nazi were in fact Socialists (in reply to someone claiming it was not) but it black-holed. Likely has I had something like 5 links in it and the default SPAM level on many sites is 3. Not going to bother with the repost effort. No time…


    Yes, a gem…


    I was lucky enough to have Stats in the Math Department in the same class taken by math majors (i.e. not some cut down version for econ and biosci…). There was an entire section devoted to “How to lie with statistics” – a cute way to show us how errors can easily mislead and what to look for to spot bogus statistics usage…

    I remember, for example, a Loooong discussion of how you could get tremendous precision in an average (that was not in the original data) but that that number was NOT of the same units as the original thing, but was in fact just a STATISTIC about the original number distribution. (I.e. an ‘average temperature’ to 10 digits was a statistic ONLY about that set of numbers, and NOT a temperature at all. You could only use it as a statistical quantity for stats math. IIRC, the example used was the height of a doorway. You could measure it a dozen times and eliminate random error, but at the end of the day, you only had a statistic about your measurements, not an actual height of the doorway… and that more measurements done with another ruler with different systematic error would change the statistic, but not the height of the doorway…)

    In retrospect, my school was remarkably interested in teaching how to keep a tidy mind, both in stats and in programming classes. Math and Engineering schools… gotta luv ’em. ;-) The actual Econ classes were much more “loose”, as were the biosci classes. (Chemistry not so much… the calorimetry section was particularly picky…)

    So I ended up with a healthy skepticism about most statistics in common use. Like the medical survey stats where they look for a 95% confidence window doing 50 different data surveys and don’t realize some will hit that by random distribution of the data…

  58. Another Ian says:


    Check later. That site seems to go into auto-mod so your comments don’t appear straight away.

    I saw that comment and wondered what you might have thought

  59. Another Ian says:


    It is up now

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    On that Michael Smith thread, that guy might want to brush up on history a bit, he obviously was not paying attention in 1972, because it was common knowledge in this part of the country at that time, that the NAZIs were simply a different branch of totalitarian socialism than the communists. That is why they hated each other – they were competitors for the same end game. Hitler and Stalin just thought the other was doing it wrong.

    The left has been slowly nudging the world’s collective recollection of Nazism away from its original self asserted socialist roots and gradually using rhetoric to shift and rebrand it as right wing when it is nothing of the kind.

    The only significant differences of consequence between Soviet Communism and Nazism was what you defined as the “state” by the Soviets and the Father Land (ie nationalism) by the Nazis. Nazism was centered on an ethnically defined nation, where the Soviet version of socialism had to ignore national and ethnic differences since it was a Union of many nations and ethnicities. The second difference was how directly the state controlled the means of production.

    In the USSR it was direct control of industry by state planning committees, where in Germany the control was exerted indirectly via the nominal owners of the companies (ie industry) but there was a heavy hand on the shoulders of those owners of industry through the certain knowledge that they could find themselves in a freight car en-route to a work camp or in front of a firing squad after being stripped of all their wealth if they did not go along with the wishes of the party leadership.

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    From weather tap on twitter:
    8m8 minutes ago
    Winter officially begins at 10:28 a.m. CST! Of course, we already started winter in meteorology, with meteorological winter having begun on Dec. 1. But, we’ll let the astronomers have their day today :) #wintersolstice

    Happy winter solstice! The sun angle map image is useful to visualize the effect of low sun angle on the arctic and related global warming discussions too!

  62. Lionell Griffith says:

    Larry: Hitler and Stalin just thought the other was doing it wrong.

    That is true for any flavor of socialist and explains why it is tried so often, with consistent catastrophic results that are ignored by the next flavor of socialist. They believe THEIR whim can determine reality and that his gang can do it better. They and everyone else discovers that reality is what it is and not only does not cooperate with their whims, it is oblivious to them. It continues to be exactly what it is.

    The socialist’s whims are relevant only to living, breathing individuals who are partly or totally consumed by the socialist gangs. Catastrophe is the only possible outcome of all such attempts. The choice is catastrophe for the socialist gang or everyone affected by the gang’s thoughts and actions including the gang. Which will it be this time?

  63. Lionell Griffith says:

    A Joyous Winter Solstice

    The sun has stopped its southern slide.
    The night will no longer so much daylight hide.
    The warmth of spring will soon appear.
    For that, let us give a hearty cheer!

    Live Long and Prosper – Happy New Year!!!

  64. jim2 says:

    I saw part of the Tax Bill announcement yesterday. It warmed the cockles of my heart and additional cockles as well.

    Trump was exuberant. He heaped praise on everyone involved, including and especially Ryan. A black congressman spoke about the aid to poor communities in the bill. No offense CIO, but as an inhabitant of flyover country, I don’t want to support blue states in their quest for socialist utopia, so I was happy about the limits on state taxes. You need to move and join us deplorables anyway.

    Yes, the bill is imperfect. I can only hope companies will be enticed to move here or back here, as the case may be, and an increase in economic activity offsets the cost. Also, I believe cuts may be coming to compensate to some extent.

    The caveats notwithstanding, it was a grand day for us deplorables. I feel vindicated for voting for our tempestuous leader.

    It is a cherry on top of the dessert of dodging HRC as President.

  65. cdquarles says:

    Amen, jim2. Trump has already exceeded Ronaldus Magnus as a president. [Yeah, they’re still using the playbook against Trump that the did against Reagan (which most don’t remember it, but they tried the sex stuff on him, too, until Nancy put a stop to it, I think).]

  66. catweazle666 says:

    “in Germany the control was exerted indirectly via the nominal owners of the companies…”

    AKA Fascism AKA Corporatism, as favoured by Mussolini, another brand of totalitarian Socialism the the Socialists have managed to rebrand as a Right wing ideology.

    Quietly being re-invented right now by the Kommissars and apparatchiks in Brussels busily working on constructing the Fourth Reich.

  67. Glenn999 says:

    Can anyone recommend an email provider for a business entity?

  68. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well this is interesting in its implications!
    How much of this applies to HRC, her foundation, and DACA imigration and sanctuary cities and churches etc. ? Depending on how exactly this is interpreted it could lock up a bunch of pro-leftist activity related funds (G. Soros you have a call waiting in the lobby).

  69. cdquarles says:

    @Larry, oh, that’s going to leave a mark.

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting inside look at the budget process:

  71. Another Ian says:


    Methinks there is a point or two here

    December 22, 2017 at 3:45 am · Reply

    Wind and solar power will always be more expensive than fossil fuel power, because wind and solar companies use more energy in their operations than they can ever produce with their monstrous wind turbines and solar panels. The fossil fuels used in wind and solar operations would generate more electricity if they were burned directly in power plants. The so-called positive “energy balances” calculated by wind and solar companies are bogus because they are “narrow-boundary” analyses that don’t include energy usage, for example, by the companies’ employees and their dependents. When a company’s only product is energy, it’s energy output must exceed all of it’s input requirements, including employee requirements, if it is ever to provide lower cost energy. In the U.S. especially, employee’s commuting and life style energy requirements are very high. That’s why highly automated fossil fuel operations will always be less costly than labor-intensive wind and solar operations. That’s also why wind and solar power companies always lose money with current technologies, unless they are given subsidies or set-asides.”

  72. Another Ian – the politicians tell us how many new jobs there are in renewables relative to traditional systems. It seems pretty obvious that if you need more people then it’s going to cost more for the power produced. The real cost is in the human hours needed to produce a certain amount of energy when you look all the way down the supply-lines for the equipment needed for each stage. What is dug out of the ground is actually free, but the costs are the people and machinery (built by other people) required to get it to the final customer.

  73. Larry Ledwick says:

    Glen999 if you register a domain for web hosting with you can set up your own email addresses. They take care of the general issues regarding the email system (security updates etc.), you just have to manage the email address names.

    They are located in Utah and I have had good experience with them on the rare occasions I have had to talk to technical support.

  74. Steve C says:

    @Glen999: Although I’m only a “Personal User”, I’m very happy with my paid-for email account at Hushmail (the link is to their Business page). Encrypted, decently secure for those confidential documents, they’ve always been very helpful sorting out problems (all minor), etc. They must be worth looking at, especially if security is at all important to your business.

    But … leave it for a few days. Meanwhile, warm wishes from across the Pond to everyone here for a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Cheers!

  75. interzonkomizar says:

    Heads Up to crypto geeks …
    Happy Yule!
    sandy, Minister of Truth.

  76. E.M.Smith says:

    Ah yes, the whole Dual Eliptic Curve fiasco:
    Where NSA was caught with their fingers in our cookie jars….

    Nice that it looks proven now, but it was a hot topic several years ago.

    Also why I advocate sending encrypted files over encrypted links… so you do something like 256 bit AES or 4k Blowfish, then send over a TLS link.. “Somebody” decrypts your link, they find an encrypted payload with harder encryption…

    Also very intriguing how it interacted with extended random choices. That RSA took money to make it the default confirms my suspicions about US Government buying off commercial vendors to hobble products (cough, Microsoft, cough,,,)

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    That exec order is interesting. Don’t know who those folks listed in the annex are, but the blanket power deligated could catch all sorts of folks, then one clause drags in anyone who helps them, so say Huma got blocked so the Clintons hand her walking aroubd money, then they get blocked.

    I do worry about future abuse by the likes of an Obama if this stands, though…

  78. Gail Combs says:

    That exec order is interesting. Don’t know who those folks listed in the annex are…

    I have been hanging out at the CTH (Got sucked into Trump politics — the never ending mystery thriller.😋 )

    Anyway there are some youtubes showing connections between the named Greber (sp) of African Diamonds and the Clintons and Gates.

    This twitter thread has two other names and the Clinton connections:

    There is the Politico Article on Obummer allowing hezbollah to make money selling drugs in the USA. Makes you wonder about the Fast and Furious gun running since at least one of the guns showed up at a Paris Terrorist attack.

    That links into Cash for Clunkers maybe:
    “This is genuinely frightening. We know that Iran (Hezbollah) was running a money laundering scheme ‘selling’ and then ‘exporting’ cars (stuffed with money from car sales & drug sales – mainly cocaine) from the USA to Africa, the money then being directed to Lebanon.”

    AND it gets worse from there…

  79. Gail Combs says:

    There is very little out there about the AWAN BROTHERS.

    Much of it is scattered to heck and back or as a few lines in comments. So far this is what I have put together:
    1. They showed up at the same time Obummer became a Senator.
    2. They were Pakistani (Think Taliban training ground)
    3. They were payed much more than the rest of the IT staff
    4. They were accessing DC computers FROM Pakistan, computers of people on important committees.
    5. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, refused to fire the Awans even when they were caught with GOVERNMENT OWNED stolen goods. Debbie was the chair of the DNC…
    It seems BBC says a server whose IP was hard-coded into the virus found on the DNC’s server and traces to a company called Crookservers that is based in PAKISTAN, run by a guy named Usman Ashraf. — ERRR, that doesn’t sound like the Russians were hacking the DNC computer…Debbie completely flipped out when the cops grabbed her computer that was found (in a tunnel?) and made threats to the police.

    Then it gets even wierder…
    FBI Suspects Members of Congress Leaked Grand Jury Indictment to the Awans; DOJ Officials Possibly Implicated Too
    “This was a call from the top, Comey and McCabe,” a well-placed FBI agent said. “Anyone else would have been held and with that cash she didn’t declare she could have been locked up. The agents at Dulles wanted to hold her but they were told to stand down.”
    “The lead FBI case agent at Dulles was Brandon Merriman who has been on the job for a little more than a year and was investigating Imran and Alvi Awan’s bank schemes. FBI sources said he did not have the political juice to plead for Awan’s arrest and as an agent, there is little he could have done to keep Awan in the states since his bosses decided to put her in the wind. “

    There is a complete news blackout on the Awan Brothers but it sure looks like a major espionage ring was operating IN Congress.

  80. Gail Combs says:

    A few more tidbits. This is worrisome because if we lose control of the House and Senate to the Demi-rats they WILL impeach Trump even if they have zero evidence. At the very least they will castrate his ability to continue guiding this country. (Not that the rats in the GOPe are actually helping.)

    From the Conservativetreehouse:
    Is Media Response to Obama’s “Operation Cassandra Scandal” a Precursor For Response to FBI/DOJ “Operation Trump”?

    “Operation Cassandra Scandal” = Obama BLOCKING law enforcements attempts to curb hezbollah drug running and money laundering into the USA.

    A Counterintelligence Timeline With a Bill Priestap and James Comey Reminder is a very nice round-up of Obama/Clinton trying to throw the election followed by the coup against President.

    Oh, and for a nice cherry on top
    “…In interviews with the FBI after being “deactivated” from the terrorist group’s external operations wing, Kourani allegedly told the feds he was recruited because of Hezbollah’s interest in obtaining dual-citizen sleeper agents who could be activated in case of an emergency….
    IJO operatives with dual citizenship have been linked to a number of incidents in recent years…”

    The Syrian ambassador to India says that over 20% of refugees to Europe may have links to the Islamic State

    OH, and guess who chooses the Rapeugees sent to the USA — The United Nations.

  81. Glenn999 says:

    Thanks Larry Ledwick and Steve C. for the email suggestions.

  82. Gail Combs says:

    More on that President Trump’s Christmas EO and connecting the names to the Clinton Foundation

    Get out the popcorn and beer guys, this should get interesting.

  83. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is interesting – President Trump has expressed an intention to harden our electrical grid against EMP and cyber attacks.

  84. Larry Ledwick says:

    From pages 12 -13 of the plan

    Click to access NSS-Final-12-18-2017-0905-2.pdf

    Critical infrastructure keeps our food fresh, our houses warm, our trade flowing, and our citizens productive and safe. The vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructure to cyber, physical, and electromagnetic attacks means that adversaries could disrupt military command and control, banking and financial operations, the electrical grid, and means of communication.

    Federal networks also face threats. These networks allow government agencies to carry out vital functions and provide services to the American people.

    The government must do a better job of protecting data to safeguard information and the privacy of the American people. Our Federal networks must be modernized and updated. In addition, the daily lives of most Americans rely on computer-driven and interconnected technologies. As our reliance on computers and connectivity increases, we become increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Businesses and individuals must be able to operate securely in cyberspace.

    Security was not a major consideration when the Internet was designed and launched. As it evolves, the government and private sector must design systems that incorporate prevention, protection, and resiliency from the start, not as an afterthought. We must do so in a way that respects free markets, private competition, and the limited but important role of government in enforcing the rule of law. As we build the next generation of digital infrastructure, we have an opportunity to put our experience into practice.

    The Internet is an American invention, and it should reflect our values as it continues to transform the future for all nations and all generations. A strong, defensible cyber infrastructure fosters economic growth, protects our liberties, and advances our national security.

  85. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interested in severe weather in Europe and adjacent countries?
    Just found this site (also has twitter account)

  86. E.M.Smith says:


    Nice find on the weather link!

    Per Internet Security:

    Most companies have separate networks for PII vs Secret vs Internet connected. (PII is Personal Identifying Information – i.e. name, credit card, etc.). Government needs to learn to do the same thing (so have military on their own net, internal government on their own net NOT connected to the internet…) and a separated internet connected network.

    Oddly, just about everyone fights you if you propose this. Even at Apple, running a super secret project, where Apple made the Macintosh so it was at cost; we had a very hard time selling the notion of putting 2 Macs on the desks of the 40 or so people involved. Why oh why did we need 2 computers and 2 network drops? Never mind that we were protecting about $100 Million of R&D. That $20k was just TOO much. (We eventually got it approved…)

    Now the use of VPNs instead of leased lines has become so pervasive that it is hard to convince folks that they ought to buy a leased line from the Telco instead of just setting up a VPN (Virtual Private Network) over their existing Internet link. This means even the private internal corporate workers need an “internet connection” at some level as the internal corporate network runs over it.

    On top of that, the Telcos are provisioning out of shared hardware in many cases. So your “private” network may actually just be a configuration done on one big box at their central switch center. (Generally, though, the telcos are hardened enough that they are not the place cracked – but they do have backdoors for the TLAs…)

    So what’s a party to do?

    Well, first off, just DO NOT CONNECT THINGS TO THE INTERNET THAT DO NOT NEED TO BE CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET. Like, oh, dams and power plants. Use leased lines (on separate telco hardware if at all possible) IFF there really is some level of communications that is essential. Just Pull The Plug on internet connectivity for anything that can run stand alone.

    Have a Private Side and an Internet Side and never the twain shall meet. Put a very strong firewall between them IFF there is some need for a connection (like a VPN from a box that ONLY does the VPN and denies all other activity). Heck, I do this at home, so it isn’t THAT hard. One router for entirely private things. NO external connectivity. Another as my “interior router” with tight rules to the internet, but still connected. Then the Telco Router with whatever security they manage used for things like the Roku TV Stick to Netflix… Even at that, any given computer is turned off when not in use and any given computer may well have the wire pulled if I’m not using it for network stuff at the moment. (“Practices” help, so just WHY have that network wire plugged into your PC when doing your taxes or composing your novel? Why not have a tablet you use for the random web browsing to do “research” for the novel, but do your typing for it on a dedicated un-wired box? Unplug that 1 TB USB disk unless you are actively using the data from it – especially true for disks used for backups storage.)

    Have your own DNS server with hard coded addresses for key things where you do not want anyone able to shift them without your knowing (yes, that means some labor for maintaining the tables). Black hole internet sites that are abusive (also useful for advertising names…)

    Use your router to hard code ip ranges and routes. GROUND whole networks to places you will never be connecting (like, oh, China and Russia… Really. WHY do I ever need them to connect? Just route their IP ranges to localhost… why would ANYONE need to have the entire world connected to their computer? Learn to be more selective…)

    The list goes on, but I’ve said it many times before.

    THE big problem, IMHO, is that the TLAs don’t want any real security. They want to be able to get into everything everywhere (“Total Information Awareness”) so promote bad practices along with promoting universal connectivity along with promoting back doors in products. Given that, everything else is just “for show”…

    It’s a classic “Scare the children to herd them off the cliff” tactic. Scare us with EMP and Hackers so we give them free reign to poke, prod, insert “standards”, etc. etc. instead of just pulling the damn plug or having a leased line.

    Oh Well.

  87. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting article on sanitation issues and related disease outbreaks in California as their homeless problem gets out of control.

  88. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well apparently they published a San Francisco poop map so you can avoid areas where street people are relieving themselves on the street/sidewalks/alleys.

    What a novel feature for a major tourist destination city. Good job Gov JB

  89. Another Ian says:

    “Your future sex robot could be hacked and programmed to murder you”

    Link and comments

  90. jim2 says:

    RE: Another Ian – sex robot.

    That reminds me of a Sopranos scene where Tony couldn’t make a victim talk by threat of death. After a phone consult with his father, Tony instructs his henchman of the hour to get the bolt shears – the threat to Mr. Winky rendered the victim verbose.

    That would be a concern re a “sex” robot. Frankly, I’m not getting the attraction here, but hey, I’m old fashioned.

  91. jim2 says:

    A brief scan of headlines, on Google, shows that many, many news outlets are leveraging the usual year-end summary to trash Trump. The lies and distortions will be piled higher and deeper as 2017 winds down.

  92. E.M.Smith says:


    And people wonder why I don’t like going to San Francisco…

    A decade or two back I christened it “The city that does not want you to pee” as there was nowhere to find a bathroom. (At some point they installed these automated pay monstrosities that look like green tombs and are all too far apart. If you take too long they automatically hose you out, so I’ve been told.)

    I was in SF and needed to “go”. There was nowhere. You could not get past the lobbies without an appointment in the big buildings. Small shops all had a no bathroom policy of some sort. Gas stations (IF you can find one) had the “broken” signs up. Eventually my appointment time got close enough at one building that I could get in… and use theirs. But unless you have a pile of money to buy something, the only choice is the Mausoleums with a sack of quarters or find a bush…

    I like the ‘burbs much better. Malls with open bathrooms, gas stations ever few blocks with restrooms, even the odd grocery store or Walmart… Heck, even the random Macdonald’s, Burger King, or Jack In The Box isn’t an issue. (IIRC the Macdonald’s in SF had a ‘buy something to get the key’ policy the one time I went there.)

    Frankly, it had just never been an issue anywhere at any time for decades… until I discovered that San Francisco is the city that forbids the bathroom break.

    @Another Ian:

    Who in their right mind would want a sex robot with an internet connection? The LAST thing I’d want the TLAs to know about was “activity” with same… so just buy one without any WiFi and don’t worry about it…


    My problem would be that since programming is something I expect to be paid to do, it would seem too much like work for me ;-)

    Per The News:

    Oddly, as my regular news scans had ever more Trump Bashing as theme, my frequency of scans has dropped proportionally. I’m now down to about once / week. Last time I did any look at a general “headlines” news source on line (i.e. not a highly directed search) was months ago.

    They are just selecting for a reduced audience of the already indoctrinated. I’m certainly not in their audience / customer group any more. I’ve not seen CNN in many months (since shortly after the inauguration), nor MSNBC in weeks (even as opposition research). Bloomberg and CNBC are also now being skipped. I’m uninterested in AOL headlines, Yahoo headlines, etc. etc. I don’t use Google (having shifted fully to duckduckgo some long time back).

    Part of that is the effect of the Roku giving so many choices, but part of it was already underway prior to making the move to internet based TV. The change of search engines was years prior, as was dropping my (then 3) newspaper subscriptions.

    Once a source starts to get that faint sour stinky smell of propaganda operation about it, my interest starts to drop. At this point they’ve “4 walled” the Trump Bashing so much that as soon as it starts, the thing gets dropped like a hot rock as I’m just having that repugnant reaction to it and them. Doesn’t matter if it is a TV or Radio station, a web site, or printed media. Evidence of Trump Bashing marks it as a turd in the punch bowl and something to be flushed.

  93. philjourdan says:

    Who in their right mind would want a sex robot with an internet connection?

    Howard Wolowitz

  94. Another Ian says:

    “@Another Ian:

    Who in their right mind would want a sex robot with an internet connection? ”

    Well remember there is the anal bleaching crowd so maybe around that crowd?

  95. Another Ian says:


    Some sites at Pointman’s Prat link might be of use – go to the rhs of the screen and scroll down to

    “Uncensored alternatives to mainstream sites.”

  96. Larry Ledwick says:

    Very interesting NYT article complaining about google search results returning both pro and con results on global warming and climate change. They are highly offended that links from wattsupwiththat show up when you do a search.

  97. Larry Ledwick says:

    For the last 12 hours or so there have been massive street protests in Iran against the Theocratic state and the Islamic Republic. The major media have not made any attempt to cover this.

    From twitter:
    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account

    Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests

    8:42 PM – 29 Dec 2017

    Alireza Nader
    17 hours ago

    “We’ll die to get Iran back.”

    Alireza Nader
    2 hours ago
    #iranprotests reportedly spread to Tehran

    Alireza Nader
    9h9 hours ago
    Regime will use force to try to crush #iranprotests, but the floodgates have been opened. The protests are everywhere. This is a spontaneous mass uprising.

    Alireza Nader
    9 hours ago

    Regime will use force to try to crush #iranprotests, but the floodgates have been opened. The protests are everywhere. This is a spontaneous mass uprising.
    Alireza Nader
    11 hours ago

    There is nothing confusing about the reasons and causes for #iranprotests. It’s Iranians’ reaction to a regime that has robbed them of their livelihood, dignity, religion, and personal freedom.

    Alireza Nader
    15 hours ago

    And many appear fearless and so fed up they are attacking the security forces and even bringing their kids to protests. So far the security forces’s response has been half hearted. That could change. But even the most die hard Basijis may have doubts about killing their own people

    Alireza Nader
    15 hours ago

    If #iranprotests spread to Tehran then the regime has a bigger problem on its hands. There have been calls for Tehran protests at noon Saturday so there are a few hours left. Regime can undoubtedly resort to force, a strategy that has worked before. But force doesn’t always work.

  98. Larry Ledwick says:

    CNN after largely ignoring the anti-government demonstrations is mostly only covering pro-government demonstrations now, looks from the content of this France 24 article that the Iranian government is preparing for a crackdown as they are issuing warnings for folks to avoid illegal demonstrations.

    Same coverage here from the BBC

  99. E.M.Smith says:


    Al Jazeera – nothing.
    Reuters – nothing.
    etc. etc.

    Looks like the typical “All news services on holiday so no news is happening” with pre-packaged stories cycle…

    So if you ever want to have a revolution, plan your news coverage cycle accordingly… For secrecy, launch on major holidays, for maximal coverage, launch when the news cycle is starving for content… (June?)

  100. Larry Ledwick says:

    Latest from twitter:

    Alireza Nader
    51 seconds ago
    #iranprotests are not scattered or due to only economic reasons. This is an anti-Islamic Republic uprising, directed particularly at Khamenei.
    Alireza Nader
    16 minutes ago
    So far the regime’s response to the #iranprotests has been incredibly muted. Have they been caught off guard? Struggling with internal differences? Or planning a brutal response?
    Alireza Nader
    34 minutes ago
    Reports of Iranian protestors being shot and killed in Iran
    Alireza Nader
    45 minutes ago
    Khamenei is the focus of #iranprotests ire. His posters are being toppled all over Iran
    Alireza Nader
    58 minutes ago
    Iranians call for an “Iranian Republic.”
    Alireza Nader
    1 hour ago
    Iranians chant “death to the dictator” in Ahvaz.
    Alireza Nader

    1 hour ago
    #iranprotests are asking Khamenei to give up power in the biggest anti regime demonstrations…….ever.
    Alireza Nader
    2 hours ago
    Some of #iranprotests are calling for the return of the Pahlavi monarchy, in particular Reza Shah, Iran’s modernized and the father of the last Shah.
    Alireza Nader
    2 hours ago
    Iranians attack security forces in Zanjan
    Alireza Nader
    3 hours ago
    #iranprotests have taken place mostly in many big and small cities but not really Tehran. It may be due to more severe economic conditions outside of Tehran and a heavier security presence in the capital.
    Max Abrahms
    3 hours ago
    A Sunni jihadist group has claimed to have blown up an oil pipeline in Iran’s southern Khuzestan province, the scene of other attacks by Arab separatists.
    Telling psychotic split between the BBC coverage and CNN coverage

    Josh Caplan
    3 hours ago
    #IranProtests memes emerging. Now things are getting real.

  101. Larry Ledwick says:

    Alireza Nader
    3 minutes ago
    Reports that commander of Law Enforcement forces has asked the Revolutionary Guards to step in and crush #iranprotests

    From twitter – Location map of protests held over the last 3 days:
    From Conflict News (

    Saeed Ghasseminejad
    2 hours ago
    After not reporting the #Iranprotests the fake news mainstream media covers the “pro-government rally”, saying Iranians support the supreme leader. Poor Iranians! they should fight the IRGC, Basij, Hezbollah, Obama crowd, CNN and multinational corporations at the same time.

    CNN Breaking News
    10 minutes ago
    Iran warns against illegal gatherings after 2 days of anti-government protests that prompted Trump to say the “world is watching”

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 Retweeted
    İyad el-Baghdadi | إياد البغدادي
    1 hour ago
    Protesters tear down poster of IRGC leader Qassem Suleimani #FreeIran
    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸
    15 minutes ago
    Meanwhile in Iran
    Raman Ghavami
    twitter video clip

  102. Larry Ledwick says:

    Josh Caplan‏
    Following @joshdcaplan
    #IranianProtests: Alarming footage of protesters in Ahvaz running away as regime forces allegedly open fire on crowd
    قاسم المذحجي
    Twitter video clip

  103. Larry Ledwick says:

    People are beginning to notice the selective coverage of the protests in the Media:

    Omri Ceren‏
    Follow @omriceren
    Gotta be honest. I got this one sort of wrong.

    Thought news outlets that helped sell Iran Deal would say protests just about econ not about regime (sets up narrative about boosting moderates). Didn’t expect them to go full Pravda: “the People are united with the Regime, comrade”

    Jerry Dunleavy 🎄 🎅🏽

    2 hours ago
    Replying to @omriceren
    Jerry Dunleavy 🎄 🎅🏽 Retweeted Jerry Dunleavy 🎄 🎅🏽
    The deafening silence of
    the Iran Deal Echo Chamber —
    from the top on down —
    is worth noting as well.🤔
    Covfefe Kimmie

    51 minutes ago

    Replying to @omriceren
    The propaganda from our MSM is mirroring the propaganda spewed by the state run media in Iran. That’s s all you need to know America.
    Marc Schulman
    2 hours ago

    Replying to @omriceren
    Marc Schulman Retweeted Omri Ceren
    On many things I don’t agree with Omri,but he is 100% right on this. How can the @nytimes be going with a story on pro regime rally in Iran at the moment-We don’t know where this will go but anti regime protest cld be the most important story of the yearMarc Schulman added,

    Omri Cere

  104. Larry Ledwick says:

    Iran is still a fuse burning toward a bundle of high energy boom stuff.
    Josh Caplan
    21 minutes ago

    VOA FARSI: Internet shut down in the city of Mashhad, where #IranProtests began
    4h4 hours ago
    BREAKING NEWS; Reports say Iranian forces have opened fire at protesters in Lorestan, Iran. Unconfirmed reports of three protesters dead. Bodies carried away by crowd.

    Alireza Nader
    7 minutes ago

    Reports that Iranians have taken over the city of Kashan #IranUprising

    Mike Cernovich
    3 minutes ago

    Tasnim News exists to “Defending the Islamic Revolution.”

    CNN is literally pulling propaganda images from Tasnim News for its coverage of #IranianProtests


  105. Larry Ledwick says:

    EM I am kind of filling up Dec tips, but think this is important since the major media are not doing any useful coverage. Let me know if you want me to knock off feeding these extracts to your blog.

  106. jim2 says:

    The (not) Nigerian Scam:

    “This may come as a shocker, but Neu is not a prince, nor is he Nigerian. He is a 67-year-old male possibly of German descent (based on his last name) who is facing 269 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for his alleged role as a middle man in the scheme. Following an 18-month investigation, Slidell police say Neu participated in hundreds of financial transactions involving phone and Internet scams designed to con money from victims across the nation.”

  107. jim2 says:

    LL – I hope the people of Iran prevail, but not holding my breath.

  108. E.M.Smith says:


    Go right ahead. Dec isn’t full yet and Jan starts in a day… Saves me opening a thread for an event where I’m behind the news cycle…


    Who knew I drove right past the Nigerian Prince each time I went coast to coast…

    Slidel is a nice L.A. stop on the New Orleans bypass… I-12 IIRC.

  109. Larry Ledwick says:

    More from twitter:
    Looks like it is crossing over into a true uprising, security forces are choosing sides and the formerly untouchable Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is being challenged by the crowds.

    Jacob Wohl liked
    Josh Caplan

    15 minutes ago

    #IranianProtests: Protestors in Rasht chant against Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “while warmly welcoming members of the security forces into their midst”


    Thomas Wictor

    8 minutes ago
    Thomas Wictor Retweeted Borzou Daragahi 🖊 🗒
    THIS is VERY significant.

    They’re hugging the security forces, who are UNARMED and not attacking them.

    Thomas Wictor liked

    Zain Khan

    2 hours ago

    #BREAKING : #Iran: Protesters have stormed the governor’s building in #Arak City.


    Farnaz Fassihi

    Verified account

    3h3 hours ago
    A first in #IranianProtests #Rasht crowds chant: “Death to Revolutionary Guards.”
    #Iran #IRGC #تظاهرات


    Hope Star

    2h2 hours ago
    Dec 30 – #Iran
    Image baton and vest of an #IRGC Basij member with a note saying, “I will not raise a baton against the #Iranian nation. Your Basiji brother. No to cruelty. Enough is Enough.”Interesting
    #IranProtests #يحدث_الان_في_ايران


  110. Larry Ledwick says:

    WND commentary on the Iran situation

  111. Larry Ledwick says:

    Woman who took off her hajib in protest has been detained

  112. Larry Ledwick says:

    Right now it is 05:47 in Tehran, so new day about to start. Things are quiet on twitter right now but apparently protest crowds have burned a couple officially connected buildings.

    They demolished a Ministry of Justice building, and nobody stopped them.
    For what ever reason the security forces (not IRGC) have been relatively non-violent with so far only a couple protestors shot. (this is remarkable given their past behavior in similar situations).

  113. Larry Ledwick says:

    American Media is black holing coverage of Iran protests.

  114. Larry Ledwick says:

    Olivier Knox

    Verified account

    4 hours ago
    More Olivier Knox Retweeted AFP news agency
    Iran state news channel *forbidden to cover the protests*.

    AFP news agency‏Verified account

    Main networks interrupted at least in Tehran shortly before midnight as protests spill into third night

    Thomas Wictor Retweeted

    Rita Panahi

    Verified account

    1h1 hour ago
    More Rita Panahi Retweeted Alireza Nader
    If you watch the videos of the protests the people are chanting against the mullahs & the Islamic republic. They’re chanting death to Rouhani. You can be imprisoned/killed in Iran for such dissidence.

    Alireza Nader‏

    #iranprotests are very different than 1999 and 2009 protests. This is the most vehemently anti regime event I’ve ever seen. Not just about the economic situation, but a deep and desperate cry against an unjust and repressive system.


    Babak Taghvaee

    6 hours ago
    More Babak Taghvaee Retweeted Babak Taghvaee
    Tonight #IranProtests will be brutally suppressed :
    1-Internet networks on cell phones blocked under direct order of #Khameni & #Rouhani .
    2-Telegram channels of #IranProtests organizers are blocked.
    3-#IRGC media mark protesters as criminals to justify their brutal suppression.

    ATTENTION: #TasnimNews Agency which belongs to #IRGC has started releasing #Fakenews about #IranProtests claiming that a small number of people all with criminal backgrounds have attacked people’s cars & shops, buildings & other facilities in #Tehran and other cities !!!

    (is this their spokesman?)

    (there is video of security forces vandalizing cars and throwing rocks through windows — perhaps the same “criminals”? )

  115. Larry Ledwick says:

    It looks to me that the protests in Iran are in the precarious tight wire walk stage where lots of people are trying to decide which way this is going to go. If enough believe the protest has a chance (or the authorities commit an atrocity that triggers the people) there will be flood of folks moving to support the protests. If the first case (general belief it can work) it could be relatively peaceful revolt, if the latter case (triggered by a misstep by the authorities) it could flash into massive violence.

  116. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmmmm Veeery Interesting!

    Iranian backed group conducted a terrorist attack on a Saudi Judge 4 days ago – – – one day before the Iranian protests started.

  117. E.M.Smith says:

    IMHO, the reasons American News are not covering this event in Iran are pretty simple.

    1) They don’t have any reporters or camera crews in Iran. If it isn’t on the video feed, it isn’t real.

    2) It’s a Holiday. No news ever happens during party time. Whatever it is can wait until Jan 3rd when the hangover is gone and the New Years Canned Reporting is finished.

    3) Iran? Really? You think American’s think anything about Iran other than it sometimes gets a Presidential Spanking? Unless a President is talking dirt about them, they aren’t interesting.

    4) How will covering Iran increase ratings or please a sponsor? It won’t, you say? Then ignore it.

    5) Can’t blame it on Trump or Russia.

  118. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting tid bit from twitter:

    Strategic Sentinel
    ‏Verified account
    40 minutes ago
    Large amount of aircraft leaving Iran at the moment, many with no callsign, origin, or destination. Exodus in progress?

    [ Rats leaving the ship? ]

  119. jim2 says:

    Fox News Sunday is covering the Iran uprising.

  120. jim2 says:

    “Newsweek’s National Politics Correspondent reports on “a horny nest of prostitution ‘hobbyists’ at tech giants Microsoft, Amazon and other firms in Seattle,” citing “hundreds” of emails “fired off by employees at major tech companies hoping to hook up with trafficked Asian women” between 2014 and 2016, “67 sent from Microsoft, 63 sent from Amazon email accounts and dozens more sent from some of Seattle’s premier tech companies and others based elsewhere but with offices in Seattle, including T-Mobile and Oracle, as well as many local, smaller tech firms.””

  121. Larry Ledwick says:

    Checking out twitter this morning – very little info on Iran getting out right now. Looks like they have almost completely cut off outside access to the country. Best summarized by this tweet:

    Max Abrahms
    ‏Verified account
    3 minutes ago
    If you’re following TV you don’t know something important is happening in Iran.

    If you’re following Twitter you know something important is happening in Iran but you don’t know what.

    A few images getting out of large protests and use of water cannons but little else other than last nights aircraft movements which implied lots of connected people were getting out while they could.

    Sort of side tracked at the moment we have a serious police incident going on in the south Metro Denver area – multiple deputies of Douglas County Sheriff’s office reported down but no info yet on what is going on.

  122. Larry Ledwick says:

    It appears my local issue is a disturbance call gone bad and an active shooter hole’d up in a home. Swat getting prepared to try to go in, not sure of status of injured deputies.

  123. E.M.Smith says:


    If I had a few $ Million, as some folks with lots of good stock options got, I might spend $100k of it to buy a sex traffic victim and set them free… just say’n… The other point is that some of those sites have teams dedicated to finding, blocking, and taking down or outing illicit activities. It could be a sting on the criminals.

  124. Larry Ledwick says:

    Some stuff is getting out of Iran, it is just past midnight there now and this video shows crowds engaged in hand to hand combat with security forces who use force against rioters. It looks to me like one of the security guys gets mobbed by a dozen protesters after he strikes a couple protesters.

    Josh Caplan

    12 minutes ago
    #IranProtest: Protesters allegedly set ablaze regime forces’ trucks amid tense clashes in city of Shahin Shahr

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸

    17 minutes ago
    Iranian protestors flip over security van
    VOA Farsi

    Rita Panahi

    Verified account

    Dec 30
    They’re chanting: “we don’t want, we don’t want an Islamic republic”
    These protests aren’t small & they’re not just about economics as CNN & NYT claim. #IranProtests

    There are still unidentified planes leaving Iranian air space, no call signs, not point of departure and no destination listed on tracking.

    Strategic Sentinel
    18 hours ago

    Charter flight company SCAT has an aircraft coming out of Iran with no registered callsign, no registered destination, and no registered origination point.

    This is in addition to two flights which are Iranian in origin with no callsign inside Iran: one from Iran Airtours and one from Iran Aseman Airlines. Both of these planes also have no callsign, no destination, and no origin, but are clearly landing in #Tehran .@AircraftSpots

  125. Larry Ledwick says:

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸‏Verified account

    MoreProtests in Iran take an anti-Islamic tone as they set fire to a Muslim seminary

  126. Larry Ledwick says:

    Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸‏Verified account

    Iranian protestors are translating Trump’s tweet and sharing on their main social media channels

  127. Larry Ledwick says:

    Holy crap big demonstration here:
    Imperator_Rex Retweeted

    I. La Madriz 136k

    5 minutes ago
    @realDonaldTrump 300,000 march for democracy #Iran please retweet @VP


  128. Larry Ledwick says:

    Apparently this video above was from 2011 in Bahrain not current events.

  129. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm – if true would explain some things.

    dio heerai

    4 hours ago

  130. jim2 says:

    @David A : Yes, this analysis needs to get to some of the committees in Congress that are investigating the FBI.

  131. Larry Ledwick says:

    Things are about to get messy in Iran – from twitter:

    Conflict News
    1 minute ago
    Conflict News Retweeted Farnaz Fassihi
    IRAN: Reports Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRCG) will take control of Tehran security following days of protests.

    World-Events Live Retweeted
    PM Breaking News
    4 minutes ago

    Breaking: Iranian protesters are burning down banks in Ahwaz as clashes between demonstrators and security forces continue to intensify

    [CNN finally is covering the protests – while pretending no one is aware they have been going on since Dec 29 2017]

    CNN Breaking News
    ‏Verified account
    4 minutes ago

    Fresh protests break out in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Amateur video shows demonstrators chanting anti-government slogans.


    Sanam Shantyaei‏Verified account
    Follow Follow @SanamF24

    Young Iranian who was active during the 2009 so-called Green Movement tells me it’s not our crowd this time around. These are lower income protesters. They have nothing to lose. We don’t share the same grievances. We don’t necessarily feel good about them either (1) #Iranprotests

    Sanam Shantyaei

    2 hours ago
    (2) we are actually afraid of losing what we already have as a result of these protests. But these men and women haven’t had a voice up until this point. So this is their chance. They’re damaging property etc. It doesn’t get worse than this. #iranprotests

    Sanam Shantyaei

    2 hours ago
    (3) But if we put fear aside and if our government deals with this in a smart way, perhaps something positive could come out of these protests. #IranProtests

    Sanam Shantyaei

    2 hours ago
    (4) Most protests in Iran, since the 1979 revolution, started out in major cities, including Tehran. This time it’s the lower income sector of society in provincial towns. In fact we’re in #Tehran, and numbers are being greatly exaggerated. #iranprotests

  132. Larry Ledwick says:

    The view from Israel?
    Barak Ravid‏Verified account

    1 \ Exclusive: I published today on @news10 the details of a classified foreign ministry report about the #IranProtests which was sent to the PM office and to cabinet ministers. The main points are in this thread

    Barak Ravid
    42 minutes ago

    2 \ The @IsraelMFA report says the Iranian regime was surprised by the mass protest & is now trying to contain it through preventive arrests & crackdown on social media – while trying to avoid violent response against protesters

    Barak Ravid
    40 minutes ago

    3 \ According to the @IsraelMFA report the #IranProtests started over economic issues but very fast “took a political and violent turn which included harsh anti-regime criticism over government spending on Syria, Lebanon and Yemen

    Barak Ravid
    38 minutes ago

    4 \ The @IsraelMFA analysts wrote: “For now the #IranProtests are not a threat for the regime’s survival but they weaken it, damage its legitimacy & if continue it can threaten its stability”

    Barak Ravid
    35 minutes ago

    5 \ The @IsraelMFA report also said: “The radicalization of the #IranProtests messages & the fact people took to the streets shows in our understanding that the barrier of fear for the Iranian citizen started breaking”

    Barak Ravid
    34 minutes ago

    6 \ On the other hand the @IsraelMFA report stresses that many Iranians fear the #IranProtests might lead to chaos like in other countries in the region (Syria)

    Barak Ravid
    32 minutes ago

    7 \ The @IsraelMFA report also says that @HassanRouhani public image took a hit but still many Iranians support him because they see him as the least of all possible evils”

    Barak Ravid
    29 minutes ago

    8 \ One interesting bottom line in the @IsraelMFA report is that the #IranProtests emphasize the deep changes in Iranian society & the fact that part of it is distancing itself from the values of the Islamic revolution & demand more openness. END

  133. Larry Ledwick says:

    Armin Navabi
    26 minutes ago

    Female protester to older Iranians: “You raised your fists and ruined our lives [referring to the 1979 Islamic revolution]. Now we raise our fists [to fix your mistake]. Be men, join us. I as a woman will stand in front and protect you. Come represent your country.”

    Hawar Ali
    2 hours ago

    New protests breaks out in #Tehran with number of cars and #Iranian leaders’ images burned so far 16
    People killed by security forces and thousands more wounded or arrested

    [Press TV is an Iranian english language outlet not sure of their agenda yet but content of the video suggests it is a government organ (no big surprise – think Iran’s Pravada)]

    Press TV
    1 hour ago

    Watch: #Iranian officials and nationals alike have reacted to a recent gesture by US President @realDonaldTrump to support price protests that have hit several cities across the country. That and more, in this video.

  134. Another Ian says:

    “David A says:
    1 January 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I did not know McIntyre had commented on the supposed DNC hack – leak – plant?”

  135. David A says:

    Thanks @Another Ian.
    Has our host commented on these climate audit posts and the comments.
    E.M. ??

  136. Larry Ledwick says:

    Crypto cash continues to evolve, law enforcement are figuring out ways to track it so new crypto cash varieties counter with methods to block tracking and use analysis. Criminals are moving away from bitcoin (wonder if that is part of the push to higher prices as they cash out their funds?? )

  137. Larry Ledwick says:

    Iranian authorities are identifying protestors by their posted images on social media.

    (translation from twitter)

    The public prosecutor and the Islamic revolution, announced #البرز the provincial capital monitoring the images all exhibitors and people in marches without authorization in progress and identify … #ttps://

  138. philjourdan says:


    American Media is black holing coverage of Iran protests.

    Under Obama, the protests would never be heard. However, Trump’s tweeting on them is making it to the YSM, so they are getting out. A shame he has to run one estate and do the work of the 4th.

  139. E.M.Smith says:

    i “took a day off” for newyears. Basically just watched TV and ate. Curiously fun “doing nothing”. No parties. No whoop de do. No thinking, nor pondering nor worries.


    FWIW, National Public Radio had coverage of the riots in Iran on Sunday afternoon. Two lines. Approx: ~”There have been 4 days of demonstrations in Iran. We are having a hard time getting information as the government has shut down Twitter, {and 3 other internet things}.” In other news….

    I suppose I ought to care more, but I’ve gotten jaded about Iran. It will be a Religious Dictatorship right up until it isn’t. There will be riots that will be ruthlessly put down right up until one succeeds. Kind of like Venezuela (that is likely the reason I’ve moved to just “watchful waiting” since I’d figured it would be overthrown by now).

    Maybe I’m just becoming more normal. I’m more concerned with the fact I’ve not defrosted a “protein” for dinner tonight as it is a real concern that I can do something about, and Iran is just background noise in my life and has been for 40+ years.

    Maybe if we had more “Live From Tehran!” news coverage….

    I’m not denigrating the posted comments about it; in fact, they are a relief for me, as I can let go of feeling guilty for not “digging here!” on Iran… I know it could be a big deal and it needs monitoring, but I’m glad someone else is doing the work on it.

    @David A & Jim 2:

    No, I’ve not commented on them. I read a few of his postings on it, and generally they look well done. I think there is a small tendency to go “a step too far” than can be justified by the evidence; but that is based only on his assumption that the evidence is valid.

    Unless the equipment is “in hand”, you are assuming what was presented is in fact in the equipment (or recordings or…) but that is not proven. Similarly, even IF the equipment is in hand, it is an assumption that the evidence is not manufactured for effect. It is very important to keep that in the set of possibilities when doing forensics. Are the log files forged? Were the “warez” left behind the actual ones used, or a distractor? Is the IP address forged, or re-routed in transit from a NATing router? How many layers of shadow in this shadow game?

    That said, most daily system assaults are done by relatively pedantic folks using direct methods and not a lot of subtle misdirection. So it is a reasonable assumption that most likely what the evidence says on the top layer is valid. But like all assumptions, you want something to corroborate that it is valid too… I didn’t see a lot of discrepancy analysis (then again, a good misdirection leaves little discrepancy to find… for example, you change the system clock then do things then change it back then erase the date changes from the logs and there isn’t evidence for changing the dates on things as the system set them to the “right” time as far as it was concerned). But that takes a LOT more work, so folks often skip it.

    So given that:
    1) I don’t have the equipment.
    2) I can’t tell from here how valid the evidence is.
    3) The analysis looked pretty good from a quick read.
    4) I was busy with other stuff so not going to do a big deep digging in.

    I had nothing, really, to say. Posting “Looks good from a superficial read, hope he was more paranoid in the analysis process and data validity vetting than seen in the top posting level” is sort of empty of real content…

  140. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, had a nice experience looking up a random phone number that called me using these “whitepages” folks:

    Scam or Fraud
    Flagged as Telemarketer
    (443) 878-1900

    Columbia MD
    Spam/Fraud Potential: High Risk

    Didn’t have to pay to see that information (they do have a pay for more details option) and it wasn’t cluttered up with pop-ups and such.

    Only used it once, but so far so good.

  141. Larry Ledwick says:

    I’m not denigrating the posted comments about it; in fact, they are a relief for me, as I can let go of feeling guilty for not “digging here!” on Iran… I know it could be a big deal and it needs monitoring, but I’m glad someone else is doing the work on it.

    I understand I ran a specialty forum for a while and it got old real quick having to check on things constantly and such.

    I enjoy watching breaking stories and trying to read between the lines. I can walk away any time I want so no big deal, and thought some of the folks here would find it interesting. Now that the world at large at least knows it is happening bits of info are sneaking out through outlets like NPR.

    Like you, there comes a time when you say to yourself, there is nothing I can do about it regardless but given the holiday it was a good diversion to keep me occupied. You have enough readership it is probably difficult for you to go dark for a while and recharge the batteries if you know you don’t have some fresh traffic on the site. A few of us don’t mind periodically posting something so there is a bit of fresh mind teaser out there when folks log on to see what is going on so relax and enjoy your down time you certainly deserve a bit of “me time”.

  142. jim2 says:

    Germany seems to be sliding back into the muck of old … I can’t think of almost any reason to allow anyone to bar free speech.

    “A top lawmaker from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was blocked from Twitter and Facebook on Monday after slamming the Cologne police for sending a New Year’s tweet in Arabic.
    The incident caused the AfD to lash out further and criticize censorship as a controversial new German social media law known as NetzDG went into effect January 1 in a bid to clamp down on online hate speech.”

  143. Larry Ledwick says:

    File this under really cool tech:

    Scientists are reading historical documents too fragile to open by scanning them with x-ray and then separating the individual pages of information digitally.

  144. jim2 says:

    @E.M.Smith says:3 January 2018 at 12:17 am

    I agree that a step too far has been taken by concluding the Russians did it. If I’m interpreting what you said correctly, you agree with S.M. that given the evidence at hand, however tainted it may be, it can’t be used to conclude “The Russians Did It!!”

  145. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – Re: Number lookup.

    I use 800 Notes –

    It is more what others see. And it is free with no popups.

  146. Jeff says:

    @Jim2, Merkel&co. (as well as the SPD, Greens, and Die Linke) are fighting the Deplorables of the AfD tooth and claw. Seems the AfD resonate with those of us who are totally fed up with our new “guests” who keep blowing, chopping, and messing things up. For example, a fellow down here was blowing off fireworks (legal around midnight on New Years’ Eve for a few hours or so) from the 27th December (when they first go on sale) until TODAY! Not a German, btw, and *cough* recently “immigrated”. Sigh…

    At least today’s hurricane-force winds and rain blew and sort-of-washed all the crud away…

    @ Mr. Wonderful, yep, Intel is having a case of the tidy-bowl touch (Midas had everything turn to gold, tidy-bowl has everything turn to $#!+ ). They have a hardware security issue with speculative execution where the proposed software workaround will cause up to a 30% performance hit.

    And AMD CPUs are unaffected, as they have a different approach…..
    Nothing tougher than a duffer buffer stuffer :)

    Oh, and if this is depressing, this can perk things up:

    When all else fails, Trihydrogen…
    A Trihydrogen atom walks into a bar, orders a drink and says to the bartender,
    “I seem to have lost an electron”
    Bartender asks, “are you sure?”
    H³ replies, “I’m positive”…

  147. Larry Ledwick says:

    That intel hardware bug sounds like it will be a big deal – will have to wait and see if the software OS fix causes significant slowdown in our processing.

  148. Jeff says:

    There’s more information here:
    and here (in German, though):

    And ArsTechnica chimes in:

    Sounds like the elephant in the room is gonna hit performance. Hmmm. Would a pachyderm that didn’t matter be an irrelephant?

  149. Jeff says:

    I’m waiting to see what Christof Windeck (who just retired from c’t, the best computer mag over here, part of the group) has to say about this. The fact that the problem was known about in November (indeed patched on some M$ insider cuts), the Intel CEO dumped a lot of stock about a month later, AMD is NOT affected, because they are strict about page-level access
    (lords of the rings, as it were – probably a relic of the DEC’sters ideology), and just the whole “cost” of indirection forced upon us due to the perps out there.

    As a system internals veteran and longtime code jockey, I HATE reading scrambled dumps, although it goes with the territory. Anymore, the only scrambling I have to deal with involves eggs and bacon, but I feel for the poor sods who get to deal with their new Kaiser “roles” and the associated “ReiseFUHRER” guiding their trips through memory.

    Could be someone cut a few too many corners to “enhance” performance, and will now experience a non-speculative “execution” at the hands of the review boards…or, they just F’ed up royally.

    Since the majority of our kit is either ancient, or AMD, or (sniff) both, we’re OK. But there’s at least on RyZen on the Horizon now, and hope there’s the new laptop APU out soon, as the Empress of the house needs one, and soon (as in YESTERDAY, DARNIT!)…

    Hmmm. Maybe MuhRussians did it :)

    And some interesting comments from the ArsTechnica thread:

    packam Smack-Fu Master, in training
    reply 5 hours ago Popular
    ZippyPeanut wrote:
    Just so I can wrap my head around the real-world implications of this, can someone provide a real-world example of what kind of “information leakage” occurs? In other words, what’s the practical, real-world danger here?

    well the absolute nightmare for an amazon aws or azure kind of provider, would be for a virtualized unit to escape its boundaries and access the whole farm,

    the disclosure meeting to azure’s / aws’s engineers must have been a really stressful event, oh boy.

    normally butters Ars Scholae Palatinae
    reply 5 hours ago Popular
    I miss former Ars contributor Jon “Hannibal” Stokes. I highly recommend his book “Inside the Machine.” Chapter 12 discusses the introduction of speculative memory access in Core 2 Duo with memory disambiguation hardware which tries to predict false aliasing and avoid unnecessary pipeline stalls.

    Since Core 2 Duo is where the bug seems to have been introduced, this unique feature of the Intel Core microarchitecture is a likely suspect.

    cedral Smack-Fu Master, in training
    reply 4 hours ago
    BeowulfSchaeffer wrote:
    So if AMD processors are not affected, is the OS performance hit still operative when running on an AMD system?

    for sure not on linux. The Intel devs tried to do that but an AMD dev submitted a patch to block it on AMD CPUs

  150. E.M.Smith says:

    Per Intel:


    It is understood the bug is present in modern Intel processors produced in the past decade. It allows normal user programs – from database applications to JavaScript in web browsers – to discern to some extent the layout or contents of protected kernel memory areas.

    All you need to do is match that with a search sieve and you own the box. I used a similar technique to harvest passwords on a B6700 in college, but was limited to dredging swap space. Dredging actual memory is golden…

    The Good News: I think I have only one 64 Bit Windows box and it is AMD. I’m pretty sure the laptop is 32 bit so immune. The very old Mac I inherited is likely also pre-64 bit, but I’ll need to check it. (It no longer gets OS updates and hasn’t for a couple of years, so it may be time for me to make a Linux for it… then again, I only use it for random browsing and the build on it is “disposable” (lives on a micro-SD card subject to reflashing as desired).

    Well, the good news is that this, again, justifies my annoyance at Intel and my “talking dirt” about them starting about a decade back. I was peeved about other things they did (EUFI, Management Engine, Prism Program participation,…) and that has saved me much angst in the years following.

    Since now I’m about 95% of the time running on ARM chips, I’m essentially unaffected by this. Nice ;-) I’ll find an opportunity to pop a cold one and watch the folks all around me suffer and moan; with special emphasis on those folks who thought me too worried or worried about nothing… Payback, it’s a bitch, but it’s my bitch! ;-)

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  152. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes it does make those ARM based processors look like a good alternate path (assuming they are not also doing something similar and no one has found it yet.

    Any time an attack path like this is discovered it leads lots of hard core geeks to go poking around at similar systems to verify they also do not allow the same sort of compromise.

    Cert still has not announced this vulnerability nor has Centos Announce so the patch is still a work in progress it looks like.

  153. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, there is absolutely no way that the available public information allows a firm conclusion that “The Russians Did It”. They may have some additional private information, but that’s just saying the equivalent of “If there be fairy dust applied, magic may show it was the Ruskies”.

    More on Intel Bug:

    FWIW, my reading more detail shows this is from the hammering memory type of attack. One of my general behaviours is any time the system seems to bog more than reasonable, I crash the process causing it or reboot the system. This tends to prevent attacks that take a lot of time or system resources from being effective. Part of my “When in doubt shut it off” set of defenses. IMHO, if you don’t leave your desktop machine hooked to the internet running for a long time with high load that is not explained by what you are doing, this attack ought not to succeed.

    That’s part of why I always have a performance / resources monitor window running when I’m logged on. Something goes to 100% saturation of a core and I can’t explain why, it gets killed. (That does mean a lot of web pages with horribly heavy page weight that are doing God Only Knows What, including animated advertizing, end up being closed… IMHO a good thing.)

    In short: This bug matters a whole lot more to folks running data centers than it does to a guy with a tablet at Starbucks or a “boot it – use it – down it” desktop PC.

  154. E.M.Smith says:


    Part of the “charm” of the Arm chip is that it has (historically) been a much simpler architecture. Things that are simple are much easier to validate as correct.

    Recent 64 bit ARM chips are complexifying with things like piplelines and such, but are still significantly more direct than Intel chips. I doubt the ARM folks will ever have the hardware Aw Shits that Intel has had…

    FWIW, the old Burroughs architecture had a set of bits in each word to flag it as privileged or not, and those bits could only be set by programs compiled with a special compiler that only the systems devs and admins could use. Burroughs continued in use inside Governments for many many years past there “sell by date” and, IMHO, it was due to that hardware level security built into the OS and word layout. Essentially it makes impossible whole classes of attack. (Though they blew it on their protection of swap space when released ;-) so I could get passwords to accounts, but not privs escalation for programs)

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