W.O.O.D. 6 Feb 2018

This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

The current Stock Market not-quite-a-correction has lots of folks excited because the number of points moved is large, but the percentage is not even a normal 10% “correction” (yet….).

We’ve got a change of The Fed Chairman, so that’s got folks spooked (and more importantly the computer trading stations that automatically react to news key words acting spooked).

The USA Government is once again being held hostage to the inability of the House and Senate to do their job and not act like 5 year olds. (Or maybe 3 year old children is closer to the truth.)

The Global Warming Myth rolls on. Especially in EU centric news. Per France24, the Gobi Desert has created tens of thousands of “Climate Refugees”. Nevermind that it results from mountain uplift causing a rain shadow…


Lesser Known Asian Mountain Ranges Led To Expansion Of Gobi Desert
by editor

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Researchers say two lesser known mountain ranges in Central Asia helped lead to the arid conditions that regions like the Gobi Desert face today.
Scientists speaking at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco say the formation of the Hangay and the Altai mountain ranges may have led to the expansion of Asia’s largest desert.

“These results have major implications for understanding the dominant factors behind modern-day Central Asia’s extremely arid climate and the role of mountain ranges in altering regional climate,” Page Chamberlain, a professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford University, said in a statement.

Since last I looked people had not stopped geologic processes nor prevented mountain ranges from continuing to rise, I see no reason to claim a new cause for the ongoing Gobi creation by mountains.

But how can you make daily news out of a millions of years geological process? Can’t have that…

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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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99 Responses to W.O.O.D. 6 Feb 2018

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    To continue on the discussion of stock prices, it appears to me that the selling also tripped some stop loss triggers of folks trying to protect recent gains. When you get near landmark stock prices (magic numbers like 10,000, 15,000, 25,000 etc I suspect it is common for folks to use those thresholds for triggering stop loss (or for that matter buy decisions).

    It really irritates me that the media dwells on the numbers and not the percentage change when dealing with things like the stock market, tons of CO2 in the atmosphere, people killed by drunk drivers etc. You really cannot see trends very effectively when you are talking raw numbers (unless presented in a properly scaled chart that starts at zero) but it is easy to get an intuitive sense of the magnitude of a change when you express it as a percentage change.

    Of course when you are pushing click bait messaging you “want” to use the more dramatic less useful large numbers.

  2. cdquarles says:

    Fact is, Larry, reporting is horrible and has always been horrible. What did Samuel Clemens (19th Century) say about newspapers?
    My beefs: 1. reporting estimates as if they were actual facts, 2. reporting estimates without error bounds, 3. reporting estimates with error bounds but not reporting the error analysis, 4. reporting percentages when those are scary without absolute values to provide context, 5. reporting absolute values when those are scary without percentages to provide context, 6. reporting percentages misleadingly, such as conflating percentage point changes with percentages.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    Coming soon at 1:30 Eastern time the SpaceX Heavy test launch, which will put a Tesla Roadster into orbit around the sun (if it does not blow up the launch pad #39 which was the site the moon launches of the Saturn V lifted off from)

    It will also if successful see the safe return landings of 3 separate primary boosters, two to land based pads in Florida and one to an off shore seagoing pad barge.


    a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbSwFU6tY1c”>youtube video webcast of the launch

    Lots of other links out there online if this one is over loaded search for :
    SpaceX Heavy test launch

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    launch time has been pushed back to 3:05 Eastern at this time.

    Launch animation in this link in addition to their live coverage news.


  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    Just watched the Falcon Heavy launch here at work, and it was like the 60’s, had a crowd of folks here in operations watching the launch on one of our large screen monitors.

    Very happy that SpaceX managed another clean first launch (very impressive) and also stuck all three of the booster landings apparently (even more amazing).

    I think back to when as a kid we would watch space launches live in the class room on a dinky 19″ black and white TV one of the teachers brought into school. I sometimes shake my head to think how blessed I am to have seen the entire space age startup in my life time.

    First man made orbital object, first men and women in orbit, first American in orbit and those immortal words “God Speed John Glen”, The Saturn V launches, watching the first moon landing and step on the surface live, the shuttle launches and now a new heavy launch vehicle nearly as powerful as the Saturn V, able to return boosters to the pad after launch.

    What an amazing journey!

    Well done SpaceX – Well Done!

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    That SpaceX launch was a darn expensive way to get rid of your old junk car!
    Rich people do the strangest things when they have more money then brains. ;-) …pg

  7. J Martin says:

    I was always amazed by the Saturn V launches when the rocket motors would take the weight of the whole thing for a second or two and it hovered there before then heading for space. The Heavy Falcon launch was a little boring with too much of the exhaust interfering with the view. The rest of it was impressive and reminiscent of the excitement of the 70s space and Moon missions.
    Putting a car into orbit would never have been done by any national space agency. Inspired.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    Elon Musk just announced the outcome of the center stage return to earth. They only got 1 of the intended 3 engines lit and it hit the water at 300 mph.

    Still 2 out of 3 safe return for the very first launch attempt on this configuration is a major accomplishment.

  9. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, I grew up watching all of the Space Age happen too. Still waiting for the punch line of folks actually living on some other rock…


    Then again, that’s what makes it worth having really rich folks around. It’s got a lot of entertainment value. I’ll take it over the Socialist Boredom any day.

    @J. Martin:

    I wonder if, someday, 100,000 years from now, somebody finds a Tesla in orbit and calls up the archaeology department, just what they will say ;-)

    “inspired”? Or just with a crafty sense of humor about future space archaeologists?…

    I just wish I’d been able to watch it in real time instead of dealing with “car shit”…

    Oh Well.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Final burn to orbit was successful, we will have a Tesla asteriod every now and then, orbital path goes well beyond Mars. (which opens the door for SpaceX to do things like asteroid mining or transport in the distant future with this vehicle).

  11. Another Ian says:


    A different POV

    “The list of manufacturing faults must have been huge to go to that expense to hide them”

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    I also note in passing that this is in keeping with the thesis that everything Elon Musk has done is on a line to getting to Mars and colonizing. HE wanted to know he could put a capsule of a ton or so on a Mars trajectory. Now he knows…

    The Boring Company is how you build shelters. SpaceX is the way to get there. Tesla and Solar are power and transport once there. Etc. etc.

  13. philjourdan says:

    Elon wants to make sure that if a big rock takes out the Earth, the human race will not go with it.

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    Did a little searching this morning, latest info on the center core booster, is it hit the ocean at 300 mph near the drone barge. It had insufficient fuel on board to properly ignite all three descent engines (only one fired). The drone barge suffered damage from the impact but Elon says if the cameras survived the impact, it sounds like they will have some “fun footage” for a blooper reel.

    It appears that Starman and his Tesla can now be considered an earth crossing asteroid, and may sometime in the distant future return home. Technically I think it would be classified as an Apollo class earth crossing asteroid. (vs the Aten, Amor and Atira class asteroids)

    Or maybe it will now define the Tesla class which are man made earth crossing asteroids.

  15. Bruce Ryan says:

    OK, I’ll bite,
    If we assume this is all about letting humanity survive when the earth dies of … whatever,
    I see Musk and a few of his pals get away, but the question becomes, does Musk take breeding stock, beauty or brilliance with him? They will be in effect the new Adam and Eve of our, (forget our) future. For that matter perhaps whoever gets picked to go, they should get their choice too.
    So my question, will mankind’s future be a bunch of male and female bimbos, or geeks?

  16. Simon Derricutt says:

    Bruce – it is prophesied that the geek shall inherit the Earth.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bruce Ryan:

    The question of “who gets to space” is directly related to “cost to space”.

    At extremely high prices only the very rich and the very competent can go. As the price falls, then their hangers ons and friends can go.


    I have some insight into this stuff as I’ve been part of a project to pick the psych model for astronaut selection. (As test subject and proposed psych type).

    Not everyone will ever want to be in space. It is extraordinarily risky. It is very uncomfortable. There are few creature comforts. You will be isolated from all sorts of friends, things, experiences, places, family, etc. etc. for long periods of time; perhaps forever. You best not have any tendency to claustrophobia, anger management issues, lapses in judgement (space is very unforgiving about things like forgetting to lock the door…), sensitivity to smells, intolerance of poor and monotonous food, desire to smoke, do drugs, drink any kind of booze, wine, or beer; or really much of anything that isn’t needed to get the job done. Oh, and forget things like privacy…

    It helps to have a high tolerance for bad behaviours in others, and few bad behaviours yourself. Folks ought to not be very sensitive about things…

    Most people will simply not be interested at all in that nature of experience. Never smelling fresh air. Never seeing a tree. Never camping or fishing. No season tickets to any sport. No fun cars or weekend parties. A wardrobe of 4 uniforms, all the same.

    Now, if you fast forward a few hundred years and you get some terraformed space big enough, then sure, you can start to get past some of those things. But it’s still going to be a spartan lifestyle for a few generations.

    Now, if you can get the price down from the $20,000 to $10,000 / lb today to closer to $100 / lb (so a 200 lb guy or gal with luggage ;-) is going to cost $20,000 to orbit) then it STARTS to be affordable for rich folks to have an annual vacation back on Earth. (PROVIDED they have kept up a gravity or centrifugal load of about 1 G somehow… so not just on a Lunar Colony and maybe not even on a Mars colony).

    The only way past this that I can see is the O’Neil Cylinder.

    Then you can get to a situation where you have about 1 G experienced, a colony size about that of a small to modest town, and ability to visit other “cities” nearby at reasonable costs. Now you can start having trees and amenities and such. At that point, you will still be limited by cost to orbit and by the hostile nature of space not mixing well with impulsive and low competency types; but some of the ‘user hostility’ barriers will be removed.

    IMHO, even then, the “Bimbo” type will not be interested in living in a space colony, and would not do well even if they did go. Things like needing to know how to put on a space suit and run an airlock (even if just for emergency drills) will be self limiting… Then the notion that some significant percentage will have “space sickness” in transit (to or between sites) and the idea of persistent nausea is again self limiting. Nothing like saying: No fancy restaurants, limited shopping, a tendency to puke if you go somewhere, and mandatory skills tests; will tend to assure that. Oh, and not a lot of cheap labor to do things for you…

    So who do I think will end up in space colonies? Highly competent but boring folks with high emotional stability and tolerance for discomforts. Low “social need strength” and a tendency to a quiet and low stimulus preferences ( augmenter on the augmenter / reducer scale IIRC) will form the core. Then there will be a small group of rotating Rich Space Tourists visiting for a week or two and realizing they are glad to have a mansion on the ground…

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting / funny article about smart homes and all the info that they leak to the outside world.


  19. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting article.

    One “gem” from it is the link to the legality of your ISP selling your usage data (so looks like there’s a market for private ISPs and a need for more heavy use of VPNs. Future Task: Find a privacy oriented, fast, and trustable VPN provider).


    So now I’ll need to start treating my ISP as directly hostile (as opposed to only hostile when a TLA asks for information…)

    Second thing was that use of URLs for sending your info out. So now I’ve got a task of identifying the “Smart Spy Home Things” URLs and adding them to my DNS grounding blocker. “rewardtv.com”, “scorecardresearch.com” and how many more? Somebody will need to make a list of them… maybe already has.

    Well, it’s good to have confirmation that my “WTF? WHO would EVER want those things in their home?” reaction is in fact well grounded in the reality of it.

    I’m also pleased at how they pointed out the “Smart TV” being chatty even when not using the Smart function was a bit of an issue. Makes me happy I decided to go with the unplugable external “smarts” via the Roku sticks. My TV is a dumb TV. The Roku only adds intelligence when I let it.

    Clearly, though, in addition to the basic IDS/IPS system to detect and prevent intrusions, we (the Royal We) need to develop an ioT communications prevention system. CPS? Blocking certain IP ranges. Grounding certain DNS lookups. Blocking certain packet types. Routing some kinds of packets or destinations via a VPN automatically. Blocking some things based on time of day, perhaps. An internal WiFi router that that plugs into your ISP router and protects you from the ioT spies inside as well as your ISP spying outside.

    Or just not buy the Idiot Of Things devices in the first place….

    So far my only (tepid) foray into it has been the Roku. I do have an Android Tablet (and Android has data leakage to Google / Alphabet) but it’s used almost entirely for blog stuff and looking up maps when on the road. (To be replaced in a year or two with a roll-your-own SBC based tablet / laptop; or if I care enough, install Linux on it – I assured that was possible when I bought it.) But it is currently sidelined as the power cord has become slightly intermittent so I need to buy a new “30 pin special weird wire” to connect it to the dedicated only THEIR USB power brick will work charger… Or maybe it’s just time to move on…

    I don’t really want to be in the business of building my own computers, phones, routers and tablets, but it is looking ever more like that’s the only way to get a reliable “doesn’t screw you” product.

    Oh Well. It is what it is.

    Guess it’s time to start using TOR for “daily browsing” of nothing in particular so my ISP doesn’t “monetize me”. Maybe we need a new T-shirt “Don’t Monetize Me, Bro!”…

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yep it is going to be a “measure – counter measure” war just like ad blockers and robo-calls.


    And then there is the direct security threat from IoT devices used in botnets.

    Click to access 1702.03681.pdf

    Related to this is the new proliferation of dial your own domain names which should be blocked because they are almost always involved with undesirable web activity.


  21. E.M.Smith says:

    From that Cisco-CISOS link:
    “The data has shown us that about, I think the last numbers that I have seen was some 97 percent of all Android mobile apps have some kind of security or privacy risk associated with them but yet those are the very apps that are being downloaded by employees that also may have corporate data sitting on devices.”

    I’m shocked! Shocked I say!!! There are actually 3% not buggered? Well, I suppose that could be failures due to bugs in their code ;-)

    Then this bit further down (when it rolls to ‘next article’):

    New versions of a highly persistent adware program called Shopperz use a cunning technique to make DNS (Domain Name System) hijacking harder to detect and fix.

    Shopperz, also known as Groover, injects ads into users’ Web traffic through methods researchers consider malicious and deceptive.

    In addition to installing extensions in Internet Explorer and Firefox, the program creates Windows services to make it harder for users to remove those add-ons. One service is configured to run even in Safe Mode, a Windows boot option often used to clean malware.

    Moreover, Shopperz creates a rogue Layered Service Provider (LSP) in Windows’s network stack that allows it to inject ads into Web traffic regardless of the browser used.

    Therefore, removing the adware extensions installed in IE or Firefox won’t prevent the ad injection, Malwarebytes security researchers said in a blog post Tuesday.

    The adware program also uses DNS hijacking, which involves tricking computers to access servers controlled by attackers when users try to access legitimate websites.

    I note with satisfaction most of it is Windows Specific, so my choice of Linux again succeeds… then my habit of a clean install new browser and rotating systems frequently flushes anything persistent that does get through.

    Does make me think putting my own DNS hijacking function in the router is a good idea, so ANY DNS request is forced to my server… hijacking the hijacked. ‘They’ hijack the hosts file inside Windows, so one would need to put their IP addresses on a block or redirect back to the right ones list.

    I’m soooo glad I’m not Chief Security Guy anywhere anymore. IMHO it is no longer possible to have a perfect security record, so my decade or so run can’t be matched anymore (or preserved…) Retired undefeated has a better ring to it than ‘old champ down in round 4’.

  22. pouncer says:

    “So who do I think will end up in space colonies? Highly competent but boring folks with high emotional stability and tolerance for discomforts.”

    Uhm. I take it you have not yet read Andy Weir’s novel “The Martian” or seen the movie that the book inspired?

    The protagonist is Mark Watney – HIGHLY copetent but anything BUT boring; stable like a unicycle (keep moving or die) and tolerant of trade-offs (Yes, I’ll put up with the plutonium risks for the sake of a hot bath…)

    Worth your time.

  23. pouncer says:

    Mark may be Competent enough to spell copetent correctly … but I can’t. Covfefe!

  24. catweazle666 says:

    “So who do I think will end up in space colonies?”

    If the history of terrestrial exploration and colonisation is anything to go by, the first spacefarers to go to Mars in any number will be the same social groups that first went to the New World, undesirable elements mainly such as criminals to Australia and persecuted religions minorities to the Americas, perhaps.

  25. jim2 says:

    “Scientists warn of unusually cold Sun: Will we face another ice age?”


  26. jim2 says:

    ““But I have felt for some time — in fact, I’ve felt for the last six, seven years — that there was one major global influence… I’m talking about one massive attempt by a very rich man to change the politics across the whole of the West of the world, and I spoke about this in the European Parliament as recently as last November.”

    The Brexit campaign leader had told MEPs how Soros recently transferred $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations group; how the group boasted of holding 42 meetings with the European Commission in 2016; and how it had published a document listing some 226 MEPs it considers ‘reliable allies’ — including former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, who is now in line to become Angela Merkel’s vice-chancellor, Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, and a number of vice-presidents and committee heads.”


  27. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, looks like they have conveniently published the list of co-conspirators!

  28. A C Osborn says:

    Larry Ledwick says: 8 February 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Hopefully that 50% will increase as even more details come out, at some stage the MSM are going to have to report on it all, because you can guarantee that the Prez will Tweet it if they don’t LOL.

  29. A C Osborn says:

    jim2 says: 9 February 2018 at 5:45 pm
    He is not alone in this wide open Conspiracy, most of the Big Banks and the families behind them, plus all the UN committees etc.
    I would suggest Mark Carney of the BOE is also in on it.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Funny – Russian nuclear lab geeks use time on petaflop super computer to mine cryptocurrency.


  31. E.M.Smith says:


    It’s a very odd thing when you have left over cycles on a supercomputer. I’ve been there. They machine ships with an “Idle Daemon” that tells you how much time was unused. We, the staff, wrote some codes for various kinds of technical interests that ran at “nice -19” just one pin above the idle daemon. We also ran a password cracker in that tranche. We’d regularly send folks a notice “Your password – ‘foo’ – is too easy to crack, please change it.” I’d get a list of those we had cracked, then I’d decide if it was too easy or too hard a password. IFF we had cracked a ‘hard one’ that was well formed, I’d not bother the person… as most crackers didn’t have a “Personal Cray” to use…

    Now? I’d likely be playing with some cryptocurrency stuff too.

    @A.C. & Jim2:

    That was likely just from observing the Bildebergers and World Economic Forum. What this has done is expose it as a real thing, not a “Conspiracy Theory”.

    There IS a “Global Cabal”. It is running the EU. It does coordinate globally with the richest and most powerful (mostly behind the scenes, some on stage). That is no longer in doubt.

    Now it’s just a set of specifics. Who? To what ends? Using what instruments of power? Sources and methods? Corrupting who, where, using whom?

    So start with Soros, Rockefellers, the EU central core, the UN top tier, Global Central Banks, and anyone at the Bildeberger meetings. Expand the “contact trace” out from there. Rank by closeness to the top $Billionaires and Country Presidents / Premiers.

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another short notice asteroid flyby on Friday.


  33. Larry Ledwick says:

    One interesting thought on passwords.

    If a person frequently changes passwords (and has well formed passwords), Does the act of frequently changing the password actually increase the chance that a brute force attack will succeed?

    Suppose you have a strong password and the brute force attack method will succeed in cracking it after covering 70% of all potential passwords. But! You change the password halfway through the cracking attempt. You have 50% odds that your new password will actually fall inside the namespace that has already been attempted, but you likewise have an equal chance of the new password falling in front of the current cracking attempt, perhaps even being the next password to be attempted.

    Has anyone ever seen a probability analysis of that sort of situation and the likelihood that your new password will actually make the attack easier rather than harder for the cracker?

    With a single well formed password you can at least easily calculate the number of attempts needed to crack it 100% of the time. Presumably half that number would identify the average time to crack the password. In the case of a periodically changing password it would seem you would have equal odds of making the search harder or accidentally making the search easier if you made the change during a crack attack on your password.

    If true does it really do you much good to frequently change your passwords?

  34. E.M.Smith says:


    It will depend on how the attack is structured.

    A fast big dictionary attack can be done in minutes (to hours on slower machines). Few folks change passwords that often. (We would do a special dictionary attack first. All words, a name dictionary, and each with leading and trailing digits and special char for 2 or 3 spaces. Essentially a very very large dictionary with a couple of hundred leading /trailing variations per word. That caught most folks.)

    For a true brute force attack on a very large very secure password, the “crack time” is many many years. While your question is valid in that case, for simple information leakage and human factors reasons, one ought not be keeping a password for years anyway, so the point is a bit moot…

    FWIW as a sidebar: The length of the password is far far more important to crack resistance than the number of strange characters in it. Using “This is my password I shall not want” is easy to remember and type and unlikely to end up written down. It is also far more secure than the one my spouse gave me to get into our account at some media site. It was a very will formed set of substituting 0 for O and 1 for l and using cAps in odD P1lac3s and it was entirely unreadable. I had to get her to write it down (twice! once marking 0 vs O and caps more clearly). Yet it was short enough to be easier to brute force crack than the sentence based password.

    As compute speeds have risen, the brute force vector has become more usable, so longer is now more important than all the strangeness.

    So toss in a special char or numeral, but don’t go over the top about it.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes I have shifted to much longer and easier to remember passwords for that very reason.
    Entropy is king when it comes to passwords. One or two special characters is as good as 5 or 6, both force the cracker to explore the entire set of those special characters for a brute force attack.

  36. jim2 says:

    I don’t use any rules for passwords. One I especially like to avoid is repeating characters. Password cracker can take advantage of that, so I usually repeat a couple of characters, not in succession, in case they throw it out after used once.

  37. jim2 says:

    Oops! I do use some rules, but not some that are often repeated, like don’t use repeating characters.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    Dear developers – please make an add on for Firefox called “don’t play that damned video unless I click the play icon on it!”

  39. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting… I’ve been pondering some of the same.

    Why, oh why is “allow javascript” a configuration option? It ought to be a toggle button on the page.

    So I’ve wondered about what it would take to put some “controls” along the top control bar of the web browser to control shutting off (default) or turning on (require action) anything annoying or risky. So basic Java. Javascript. Sound playing. Linking away from page( like aol “activate links” nag). Various video things.

    It ought not be that hard. The page already has example buttons for things like “go to top of page” and “find”. So add one of those for the various functions you want to turn on / off. Then code to do it.

    The hard bit would be assuring that the needed facilities to DO those things were not something you were allowed to shut off… so you could not use, say, Javascript, to make it work.

    But so far my ad block actions have kept most of that to the acceptable level (or at least more acceptable than becoming a web browser hacker…)

    I’d likely structure it as a “meta page” that was loaded around each page. The metapage would have the controls for what you could activate / block; and then would activate the actual page on any change of the toggles. Basically a flexible “sandbox’ put around each page.

  40. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah it should be simple (for someone skilled at that sort of thing.)

    It just drives me nuts. I use Brave browser for some things it is pretty aggressive about blocking stuff. Many embedded videos do not play at all in Brave, so I have to cut and paste the URL to fire fox to even see the still image that gives me a clue what the video is about.

    On some videos on Brave it shows an option bar at the top of the page “Allow videos for this site” – – – NO I don’t want to give a blanket permission to play every frigging video you meat heads want to push my way, I want to view this specific video!

    I wish browsers had a pull down menu that showed all the stuff they are blocking so you could unblock specific items, but that is also too complicated, they just block it silently and you have to figure out what in the heck they are blocking and you also have no clue why they are blocking it.

    If they had a block list.
    Blocking video object – – – reason=invalid certificate

    I could make a choice, I trust this site (perhaps it is my own company’s internal web page and I know who they are and what the object is and that they are not going to push some bogus phishing scam on me while I view the company calendar or something.

    The most irritating and what triggered my minor rant is I went to a page that had an interesting tease as a news item. It had a video at the top of the page, I intentionally scrolled down past the video to read the text story. (I really really really had being forced to listen to a 7 minute news video clip when I can scan the text in about 10 seconds and figure out if it has anything I am interested in. Even more than that I detest “pod casts” talk about a stupid way to pass info. Let’s listen to a random discussion that is 55 minutes long to get 3 minutes of info you are interested in.

    Any way after reading about a paragraph into the text, I satisfied my curiosity and went to another tab (not closing that tab) and a minute or so later that video at the top of the page started auto-playing and I have no clue which open tab has a running video on it an have to play hide and seek to shut the video off.

    I guess the web page designers just cannot comprehend someone not wanting to listen to 10 minutes of crap to hear 30 seconds of useful info that satisfies the tease for the web page.

    Probably about time you dwell on the page and clicks for advertising rates but it is just plain stupid.

    If they served info intelligently everyone would not be running ad blockers to shut them up.

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like they are re-mapping North America altitudes based on gravity rather than physical altitude. As a result due to gravity fluctuations the theoretical mean sea level changes locally due to local variations in gravity (local density of the crust etc.)


    I am not sure I think this is a good idea, but apparently it is more suitable for things like flood risk and flood plane planning.

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    And this:
    How many people would have voted differently if this photo had been released in a timely fashion during the election cycles?


  43. Larry Ledwick says:

    New phone-scam using voice simulations to extort money.
    Looks like now you have to be careful where and how you talk to keep someone from digitally putting words in your mouth.

    Political types will love this!


    Years ago there was a story in Analog magazine (i think) where the President has not been seen in person for years and folks were suspicious all his public appearances on television were fake.

    Using precisely these techniques the technology is now on the cusp of making that happen.
    Has anyone seen Nancy Pelosi in person recently – maybe she is a robot??

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh Dear! One click past that article is this one:


    Seems Symantec and Google got into a pissing match because Symantec wrongly issued some certs, including the google one… so Chrome is going to stop accepting them. Firefox is jumping on the wagon too.

    Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!

    Well, melee. Dust-up? Minor inconvenience? But it’s coming!!
    By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 7 Feb 2018 at 08:02

    Tens of thousands of websites are going to find themselves labeled as unsafe unless they switch out their HTTPS certificate in the next two months.

    Thanks to a decision in September by Google to stop trusting Symantec-issued SSL/TLS certs, from mid-April Chrome browser users visiting websites using a certificate from the security biz issued before June 1, 2016 or after December 1, 2017 will be warned that their connection is not private and someone may be trying to steal their information. They will have to click past the warning to get to the website.

    This will also affect certs that use Symantec as their root of trust even if they were issued by an intermediate organization. For example, certificates handed out by Thawte, GeoTrust, and RapidSSL that rely on Symantec will be hit by Google’s crackdown. If in doubt, check your cert’s root certificate authority to see if it’s Symantec or not.

    The change will come in build 66 of Chrome – due for public release on April 17 – and the problem will get even bigger on October 23 when build 70 is released and all Symantec certificates will be listed as not being trustworthy.
    The issue doesn’t raise the slightly troubling fact that Google has basically put an entire company’s certificate-issuing operation out of business by declaring that it would no longer accept Symantec certificates. That’s a scary amount of power to have.

    Uh, yeah….

  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    This might get interesting if Symantec files suit on this black listing action. It is this sort of thing that could open the door to action to break up mega media companies like Google who have crossed the line into utility like usage with their nearly monopoly grip on the market and universal usage by the public.

    If Symantec can show that they have cleaned up that issue and Google knows it they could make a case for malicious behavior that is like some of Microsoft’s stunts aimed at crushing competition and molding the market rather than good business practices.

  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm interesting – not sure this is credible, may be totally bogus, but just pointing it out for historical reference if it checks out. Latest chatter on twitter is that the plane crash that killed 71 in Russia had some interesting passengers on the manifest.

    Worth watching to see if this is just random noise and fabrications or an actual thing of interest.


  47. philjourdan says:

    Spent the weekend checking out a Spear Fishing attempt. To my great delight, the intended victims noticed something amiss and did not fall for it (so my job was just to make sure the computers were not compromised). But this one was different in that one account on Office365 was hacked, and the perp added a rule on the account so the victim of the spear fishing’s replies (and all email from that person) would be diverted and never downloaded to Outlook. It took me awhile to find that (one of the first actions was to change the password on that account, so the second thing was to remove the rule).

    At least the news was good. People are questioning even the slightest changes from normalcy.

  48. E.M.Smith says:


    Congratulations! You have a well trained customer base…

    I do think folks are finally, if slowly, coming to realize the hazards their “devices” represent.

  49. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm very interesting approach to photography underwater. If I am interpreting their comments correctly the camera uses a pulsed laser and does not open its shutter until the laser pulse has moved beyond about 2 meters from the camera where you get intense reflections from the particles in the water. (sort of like time domain reflectometer using light)


    If I am correct this would allow you to view only a specific range interval by only opening the shutter when the proper range pulse reflection is returning back to the camera. They refer to this as a “range gated camera”

    Unfortunately the article does not include a sample image but I found this on twitter.

    EU Maritime & Fish

    Verified account

    24 Nov 2016
    Discover #H2020 @UTOFIA_H2020: new, compact and cost-efficient concept for underwater range-gated imaging system http://www.utofia.eu/

    This URL explains the system and how it allows them to take time “slices” and stack them to produce a 3D image.

  50. Larry Ledwick says:

    Next obvious question is would this technology allow a submarine to “image” its surroundings and see enemy submarines, mines and obstacles?

    Other than giving its position away to any observer able to see the light pulses sounds like highly useful concept for submarines and underwater drones.

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another twist on crypto currencies, using trojan software to make other peoples computers quietly mine crypto currencies in the background. Sort of a boinc for dollars project.


  52. Another Ian says:


    Re “Latest chatter on twitter is that the plane crash that killed 71 in Russia had some interesting passengers on the manifest.”.

    There was some on this at CTH yesterday – some initial enthusiasm followed by a dose of cold water.

    A handy saying I met early on is “Conjure up no more spirits than you can conjure down”

  53. philjourdan says:

    @E.M. – That is ONE customer. But then it is a small victory that I am very pleased with.

  54. Another Ian says:

    More Google

    …in a determined effort to make you a good little Lefty!”


  55. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is going to get interesting!

    Seems Susan Rice sent “herself” and email just moments before she left the white house for the last time, on Inauguration day, just as President Trump was in the process of going through the swearing in ceremony on the mall. It looks to be either a CYA letter or a poison pill letter sent at the last minute where the Obama administration would not be able to deep six it.

    It appears this will establish pretext to take testimony on possible Presidential interference by the Obama administration against a leading candidate for the presidential election (Trump). This just might be the key that unlocks the door to the closet with all the skeletons in it.

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    Let’s see credit info on 145 million consumers would be just about every adult in the United States. Nothing to see here please move along.


  57. Larry Ledwick says:

    You be the judge :

    When school kids look at these portraits 50 years from now, will they also be puzzled like many are today by the Obama portrait when compared to traditional Presidential Portraits?


    In fairness to the painter his discription of the work and its intent:

    Wiley, known for his stately paintings that depict contemporary African Americans in poses that reference art history, chose to portray former President Barack Obama in a comparatively relaxed fashion.
    He is sitting in a chair, leaning forward, wearing a black suit, plain white shirt, and no tie. The chair is almost engulfed by a lush background of botanicals, which includes the state flower of Illinois and other plants that are native to Hawaii and Kenya. “In a very symbolic way, what I’m doing is charting his path on Earth through those plants that weave their way through,” Wiley told the crowd.

  58. E.M.Smith says:

    Hey, just another fruit among the foliage… surrounded by bugs and with canines lifting a leg… to provide free “fertilizer”… Or maybe “Yet another weed in the garden”…

  59. p.g.sharrow says:

    A hundred years from now “Which one was Barack Husein Obama”?
    The one in the weed patch! ..pg

  60. E.M.Smith says:

    Come to think of it, maybe future kids will recognize him as the one office when weed was legalized and clearly was tripping in the painting… plants and all…

    Per Equifax:

    Yeah, pretty grim. Frankly, IMHO, the whole “credit reporting” business is a scam that ought to be ended.


    Your link has an extra ” on the end of it. I’ll fix it in a minute. For now, I’m just pasting the article here. They have a “3 for free” then block you nag, so since I never know when I might hit those walls, I’ll quote them excessively so in the future I don’t trip their limiter.

    I’m not cleaning the quote up much, so expect some artifacts out of place (like captions to photos not here).

    Maybe Better If You Don’t Read This Story on Public WiFi
    We took a hacker to a café and, in 20 minutes, he knew where everyone else was born, what schools they attended, and the last five things they googled.

    By Maurits Martijn, from De Correspondent
    Translated from Dutch by Jona Meijers
    Illustrations by Kristina Collantes

    In his backpack, Wouter Slotboom, 34, carries around a small black device, slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes, with an antenna on it. I meet Wouter by chance at a random cafe in the center of Amsterdam. It is a sunny day and almost all the tables are occupied. Some people talk, others are working on their laptops or playing with their smartphones.

    Wouter removes his laptop from his backpack, puts the black device on the table, and hides it under a menu. A waitress passes by and we ask for two coffees and the password for the WiFi network. Meanwhile, Wouter switches on his laptop and device, launches some programs, and soon the screen starts to fill with green text lines. It gradually becomes clear that Wouter’s device is connecting to the laptops, smartphones, and tablets of cafe visitors.

    On his screen, phrases like “iPhone Joris” and “Simone’s MacBook” start to appear. The device’s antenna is intercepting the signals that are being sent from the laptops, smartphones, and tablets around us.

    More text starts to appear on the screen. We are able to see which WiFi networks the devices were previously connected to. Sometimes the names of the networks are composed of mostly numbers and random letters, making it hard to trace them to a definite location, but more often than not, these WiFi networks give away the place they belong to.

    We learn that Joris had previously visited McDonald’s, probably spent his vacation in Spain (lots of Spanish-language network names), and had been kart-racing (he had connected to a network belonging to a well-known local kart-racing center). Martin, another café visitor, had been logged on to the network of Heathrow airport and the American airline Southwest. In Amsterdam, he’s probably staying at the White Tulip Hostel. He had also paid a visit to a coffee shop called The Bulldog.
    Session 1:
    Let everyone connect to our fake network

    The waitress serves us our coffee and hands us the WiFi password. After Slotboom is connected, he is able to provide all the visitors with an internet connection and to redirect all internet traffic through his little device.

    Most smartphones, laptops, and tablets automatically search and connect to WiFi networks. They usually prefer a network with a previously established connection. If you have ever logged on to the T-Mobile network on the train, for example, your device will search for a T-Mobile network in the area.

    Slotboom’s device is capable of registering these searches and appearing as that trusted WiFi network. I suddenly see the name of my home network appear on my iPhone’s list of available networks, as well as my workplace, and a list of cafes, hotel lobbies, trains, and other public places I’ve visited. My phone automatically connects itself to one of these networks, which all belong to the black device.

    Slotboom can also broadcast a fictitious network name, making users believe they are actually connecting to the network of the place they’re visiting. For example, if a place has a WiFi network consisting of random letters and numbers (Fritzbox xyz123), Slotboom is able to provide the network name (Starbucks). People, he says, are much more willing to connect to these.

    We see more and more visitors log on to our fictitious network. The siren song of the little black device appears to be irresistible. Already 20 smartphones and laptops are ours. If he wanted to, Slotboom could now completely ruin the lives of the people connected: He can retrieve their passwords, steal their identity, and plunder their bank accounts. Later today, he will show me how. I have given him permission to hack me in order to demonstrate what he is capable of, though it could be done to anyone with a smartphone in search of a network, or a laptop connecting to a WiFi network.

    Everything, with very few exceptions, can be cracked.

    The idea that public WiFi networks are not secure is not exactly news. It is, however, news that can’t be repeated often enough. There are currently more than 1.43 billion smartphone users worldwide and more than 150 million smartphone owners in the U.S. More than 92 million American adults own a tablet and more than 155 million own a laptop. Each year the worldwide demand for more laptops and tablets increases. In 2013, an estimated 206 million tablets and 180 million laptops were sold worldwide. Probably everyone with a portable device has once been connected to a public WiFi network: while having a coffee, on the train, or at a hotel.

    The good news is that some networks are better protected than others; some email and social media services use encryption methods that are more secure than their competitors. But spend a day walking in the city with Wouter Slotboom, and you’ll find that almost everything and everyone connected to a WiFi network can be hacked. A study from threat intelligence consultancy Risk Based Security estimates that more than 822 million records were exposed worldwide in 2013, including credit card numbers, birth dates, medical information, phone numbers, social security numbers, addresses, user names, emails, names, and passwords. Sixty-five percent of those records came from the U.S. According to IT security firm Kaspersky Lab, in 2013 an estimated 37.3 million users worldwide and 4.5 million Americans were the victim of phishing—or pharming—attempts, meaning payment details were stolen from hacked computers, smartphones, or website users.

    Report after report shows that digital identity fraud is an increasingly common problem. Hackers and cybercriminals currently have many different tricks at their disposal. But the prevalence of open, unprotected WiFi networks does make it extremely easy for them. The Netherlands National Cyber ​​Security Center, a division of the Ministry of Security and Justice, did not issue the following advice in vain: “It is not advisable to use open WiFi networks in public places. If these networks are used, work or financial related activities should better be avoided.”

    Slotboom calls himself an “ethical hacker,” or one of the good guys; a technology buff who wants to reveal the potential dangers of the internet and technology. He advises individuals and companies on how to better protect themselves and their information. He does this, as he did today, usually by demonstrating how easy it is to inflict damage. Because really, it’s child’s play: The device is cheap, and the software for intercepting traffic is very easy to use and is readily available for download. “All you need is 70 Euros, an average IQ, and a little patience,” he says. I will refrain from elaborating on some of the more technical aspects, such as equipment, software, and apps needed to go about hacking people.
    Session 2:
    Scanning for name, passwords, and sexual orientation

    Armed with Slotboom’s backpack, we move to a coffeehouse that is known for the beautiful flowers drawn in the foam of the lattes, and as a popular spot for freelancers working on laptops. This place is now packed with people concentrating on their screens.

    Slotboom switches on his equipment. He takes us through the same steps, and within a couple of minutes, 20 or so devices are connected to ours. Again we see their Mac-addresses and login history, and in some cases their owners’ names. At my request, we now go a step further.

    Slotboom launches another program (also readily available for download), which allows him to extract even more information from the connected smartphones and laptops. We are able to see the specifications of the mobile phone models (Samsung Galaxy S4), the language settings for the different devices, and the version of the operating system used (iOS 7.0.5). If a device has an outdated operating system, for example, there are always known “bugs,” or holes in the security system that can be easily exploited. With this kind of information, you have what you need to break into the operating system and take over the device. A sampling of the coffeehouse customers reveals that none of the connected devices have the latest version of the operating system installed. For all these legacy systems, a known bug is listed online.

    We can now see some of the actual internet traffic of those around us. We see that someone with a MacBook is browsing the site Nu.nl. We can see that many devices are sending documents using WeTransfer, some are connecting to Dropbox, and some show activity on Tumblr. We see that someone has just logged on to FourSquare. The name of this person is also shown, and, after googling his name, we recognize him as the person sitting just a few feet away from us.

    Information comes flooding in, even from visitors who are not actively working or surfing. Many email programs and apps constantly make contact with their servers—a necessary step for a device to retrieve new emails. For some devices and programs, we are able to see what information is being sent, and to which server.

    And now it’s getting really personal. We see that one visitor has the gay dating app Grindr installed on his smartphone. We also see the name and type of the smartphone he’s using (iPhone 5s). We stop here, but it would be a breeze to find out to who the phone belongs to. We also see that someone’s phone is attempting to connect to a server in Russia, sending the password along with it, which we are able to intercept.
    Session 3:
    Obtaining information on occupation, hobbies, and relational problems

    Many apps, programs, websites, and types of software make use of encryption technologies. These are there to ensure that the information sent and received from a device is not accessible to unauthorized eyes. But once the user is connected to Slotboom’s WiFi network, these security measures can be circumvented relatively easily, with the help of decryption software.

    To our shared surprise, we see an app sending personal information to a company that sells online advertising. Among other things, we see the location data, technical information of the phone, and information of the WiFi network. We can also see the name (first and last) of a woman using the social bookmarking website Delicious. Delicious allows users to share websites—bookmarks—they are interested in. In principle, the pages that users of Delicious share are available publicly, yet we can’t help feeling like voyeurs when we realize just how much we are able to learn about this woman on the basis of this information.

    First we google her name, which immediately allows us to determine what she looks like and where in the coffeehouse she is sitting. We learn that she was born in a different European country and only recently moved to the Netherlands. Through Delicious we discover that she’s been visiting the website of a Dutch language course and she has bookmarked a website with information on the Dutch integration course.

    In less than 20 minutes, here’s what we’ve learned about the woman sitting 10 feet from us: where she was born, where she studied, that she has an interest in yoga, that she’s bookmarked an online offer for a anti-snore mantras, recently visited Thailand and Laos, and shows a remarkable interest in sites that offer tips on how to save a relationship.

    Slotboom shows me some more hacker tricks. Using an app on his phone, he is able to change specific words on any website. For example, whenever the word “Opstelten” (the name of a Dutch politician) is mentioned, people see the word “Dutroux” (the name of a convicted serial killer) rendered on the page instead. We tested it and it works. We try another trick: Anyone loading a website that includes pictures gets to see a picture selected by Slotboom. This all sounds funny if you’re looking for some mischief, but it also makes it possible to load images of child pornography on someone’s smartphone, the possession of which is a criminal offense.
    Password intercepted

    We visit yet another cafe. My last request to Slotboom is to show me what he would do if he wanted to really harm me. He asks me to go to Live.com (the Microsoft email site) and enter a random username and password. A few seconds later, the information I just typed appears on his screen. “Now I have the login details of your email account,” Slotboom says. “The first thing I would do is change the password of your account and indicate to other services you use that I have forgotten my password. Most people use the same email account for all services. And those new passwords will then be sent to your mailbox, which means I will have them at my disposal as well.” We do the same for Facebook: Slotboom is able to intercept the login name and password I entered with relative ease.

    Another trick that Slotboom uses is to divert my internet traffic. For example, whenever I try to access the webpage of my bank, he has instructed his program to re-direct me to a page he owns: a cloned site that appears to be identical to the trusted site, but is in fact completely controlled by Slotboom. Hackers call this DNS spoofing. The information I entered on the site is stored on the server owned by Slotboom. Within 20 minutes he’s obtained the login details, including passwords for my Live.com, SNS Bank, Facebook, and DigiD accounts.

    I will never again be connecting to an insecure public WiFi network without taking security measures.

    This article originally appeared in Dutch online journalism platform, De Correspondent. All names in this article are fictitious, except for Wouter Slotboom’s. We handled the intercepted data with the utmost care and erased it immediately after our last meeting.

    Generally, yeah, standard WiFi hacking tools.

    Why I have a dedicated device for “on the road” and occasionally re-set things. Also why I have a dumb phone and don’t have a lot of Apps I use. Also why on my “ToDo” list is to make a personal portable WiFi Router where my devices only connect through it, and it opens an encrypted channel through the public WiFi node. Then they can see nothing but the bland router connection and a bunch of encrypted crap. Router gets reset after each use, so no legacy info to pick up either (like your home network name or other WiFi spots you visit with it).

    Haven’t done it yet as so far my “use tablet on road” has been “good enough”. That, and i tend to stay out of the more risky places. But probably about time.

  61. Another Ian says:

    More market fiddling?

    “One of the most popular measures of volatility is being manipulated, charges one individual who submitted a letter anonymously to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.”


  62. Another Ian says:

    “BREAKING: Tim Ball’s free-speech victory over Andrew Weaver – all charges dismissed!”


  63. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    That’s GREAT news! Score one for the good guys!

    Per Vix fiddling: Yeah, I can see that.

  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    From the abstract of the paper


    Our two-step process involves the partial removal of lignin and hemicellulose from the natural wood via a boiling process in an aqueous mixture of NaOH and Na2SO3 followed by hot-pressing, leading to the total collapse of cell walls and the complete densification of the natural wood with highly aligned cellulose nanofibres. This strategy is shown to be universally effective for various species of wood. Our processed wood has a specific strength higher than that of most structural metals and alloys, making it a low-cost, high-performance, lightweight alternative.

    Interesting side note regarding another process to enhance natural wood, about 30 years ago the Army Marksmanship program started treating wood stocks on their match rifles by drawing a hard vacuum on them and then saturating them with a resin. This resulted in a very stiff and dimensionally stable wood stock that was much cheaper than after market carbon fiber or fiberglass stocks.

  65. Larry Ledwick says:

    This should be fun – looks like spectre and meltdown vulnerabilities may be longer lived that first thought.’


  66. Larry Ledwick says:

    On the Florida school shooting, this showed up on twitter a little bit ago. I’m sure a lot more will come out, he was a known problem and according to one item I saw had been banned from the school campus.

    laguna Beach Antifa

    3 hours ago
    Please dont RT this picture of #NicholasCruz wearing an Antifa shirt. We dont need anymore bad press. #BrowardCounty #floridaschoolshooting

  67. E.M.Smith says:

    The wood thing is interesting. There is also a known process to make straw into “strand board” via pressure. This process implies a modest chemical dip up front and we can use straw to make effectively wood.

  68. p.g.sharrow says:

    Ah yes Meadowood! . We made it in Oregon, Stronger then plywood and fire resistant. A cyanoacrylate resin binder. very decorative and very strong glue ups with yellow wood glue for fabing fixtures.. There were also several other processes that worked well. All of them died out due to poor finance and marketing. Wood is cheaper due to gathering and manufacturing scale of size. Straw is just too expensive to gather and mill to compete with wood head to head. A real shame but historically wood by products have been the cheap substitute for straw….pg

  69. Larry Ledwick says:

    Natural wood is already stronger than steel on a pound for pound basis when used in appropriately engineered structures.

    A plywood where the two face layers were made of that densified wood, would also have interesting cost to strength benefits. In effect a natural high strength honey comb system. In the Mosquito aircraft they used plywood facing on balsa wood core to build some of the structure to get good stiffness.

    Their system implies that the same could be done with laminated cotton fabric and a binder, which could be structured with proper fiber directions to maximize the needed types of strength.
    Add a thin layer of fiberglass to the top laminates and if you had an adhesive that achieved good bond with the glass (basalt fiber) you could have really incredible strength with all natural materials.

  70. Another Ian says:

    Re the wood processing.

    Rotol made props for later Merluns and Griffons with processed wood blades as Hidulignum and Jablo

    The process is described down this thread


  71. Another Ian says:


    The Mosquito fuselage was built as two halves over a core (some were concrete). It was ply-balsa-ply sandwich. Some more details here. A crew at Ardmore in New Zealand have built a new mould set for fuselages. They rebuilt the (IIRC) only one still airworthy – there are u-tubes on the test flights


    De Havilland pushed the construction a bit further with the Hornet.


    Less well known is that the Germans also had a go


    Also a lesson in how to wreck a wooden aircraft program – bomb the glue factory

  72. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting, my Dad used Weldwood Urea Resin glue which he said was used in building and repairing the wooden structures of the PT boats in WWII. It is a very interesting glue that had a bond stronger than the wood you were gluing together was.

    He made back packing frames for us and built the center portion of the frames out of layers of cotton sheet saturated with the Urea Resin glue. When done it was like a sheet of fiber glass, light weight and very strong.

  73. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like the Mosquito also used urea formaldehyde glue for assembly.

    One of the nice thing about the urea formaldehyde glue is that it is mixed with water but once set is not water soluble (it is also extremely resistant to other chemicals ) it was used as a chemical resistant top coating for work benches.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting that we’re talking about wood tech on a W.O.O.D ;-)

  75. Larry Ledwick says:

    You would think we would talk about wood on the W.O.O.D wouldn’t you?

  76. Another Ian says:


    Another wood to weave into that string

    “Sharpest knife…..made of WOOD!!”


  77. Another Ian says:

    “Medicated To Death”

    Link at


    IIRC there was a mention here of interactions of antidepressants and salt deficiency in the diet a while back

  78. Another Ian says:


    Economics ?0?

    “This One Simple Trick Will Send a Lot of Municipalities Into Bankruptcy”


  79. Just a note that the glue “stronger than the wood itself” was most likely Cascamite. I first used it back in ’71 for building guitars, and it certainly works very well. It was unavailable for some time a decade or so ago, so at that time I got something that claimed to be “as original” but wasn’t (it was somewhat gritty in texture), but the original was again for sale a few years ago so I got some again. It’s a really good wood-glue, with the only problem being that once you’ve mixed it it’s going to harden so you only mix what you need at any time. Another slight problem is that it doesn’t set well in cold conditions, and really needs normal room temperature to properly harden. As the name implies, it’s based on Casein, so if you have milk there ought to be a way to make your own version.

  80. E.M.Smith says:

    “Cascamite” MSDS here: https://www.chempoint.com/products/download?grade=5232&type=msds

    GHS product identifier: Cascamite(TM) TS-44S(CO)
    MSDS Number: 000000100444
    Product type: Urea Formaldehyde Resin
    Material uses: Wood Adhesives, Composites, Laminates or Related Board Products
    Section 3. Composition/information on ingredients
    Substance/mixture: Mixture
    Ingredient name % by weight
    Zinc Stearate 2 – 3
    Formaldehyde 1 – 2
    There are no additional ingredients present which, within the current knowledge of the supplier and in the
    concentrations applicable, are classified as hazardous to health or the environment and hence require reporting in this section.
    Occupational exposure limits, if available, are listed in Section 8.

    So I’d say it’s just a urea formaldehyde resin… No milk required.

  81. Larry Ledwick says:

    The weldwood version is now owned by DAP.
    Link to datasheet:http://www.dap.com/dap-products-ph/weldwood-plastic-resin-glue/

  82. p.g.sharrow says:

    Weldwood powdered urea formaldehyde glue is great stuff. We use to use to build plywood high performance boats before fiberglass and resins were available. Also good for gluing up really hard woods such as Rock Maple into cutting boards where other glues fail after a time…pg

  83. Another Ian says:

    Casein was the original aircraft glue. Its problem is microbial deterioration with high humidity. The smell test was part of wooden sailplane maintenance.

    Sailplane wood joints are tapered splices – a splice in a 5 mm timber section was about 75 mm long and flat – the training hazard was an instructor with a straight edge saying “I can see daylight there”.

    Apart from that the life of such wooden sailplanes designed to BSS Section E “Cloud flying gliders” was estimated as “for all practical purposes indefinite”

  84. EM – it was my woodwork teacher who told me it was Casein based back in 1970 or so, and over all these years I never thought to check the information. Thanks!

  85. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s 48 years ago. I’d be very surprised if in that time, including a market absence and return, the formula was never changed nor updated…


    Casein glue

    This product is made by dissolving casein, a protein obtained from milk, in an aqueous alkaline solvent. The degree and type of alkali influences product behaviour. In wood bonding, casein glues generally are superior to true animal glues in moisture resistance and aging characteristics. Casein also is used to improve the adhering characteristics of paints and coatings.

    So it likely was in the past.

  86. Another Ian says:

    Link to a Mark Steyn piece here – good read imo


  87. Larry Ledwick says:

    Ubuntu will gather info on user setups during installation soon?


  88. E.M.Smith says:

    Someone somewhere had asked how certain I was that all the coal and oil on land would eventually erode back into the environment anyway.

    I’ve been watching the series “Voyage of the Continents” on Netflix, about plate tectonics and geology. One episode about North America pointed out that the Appalachians had been some 3 or 4 times larger but have eroded a lot. Tonight was about India and the Himalayas. They pointed out that sediment studies have been done all the way down to the Bay Of Bengal and something like 3 x as much of the Himalayas has eroded to sediments than the present volume of the mountains. all in about 20 million years IIRC.

    If you look at a map of coal deposits in the USA, you can see that what had been a few large flat areas have now got large gaps between them where river valleys have eroded them away, making a patchwork.

    Then there is the parade of “supercontinents”, where every few dozen million years all the continents slam back into each other again. New mountains, new subduction zones, new erosion zones. Then it all splits up again and goes floating off to raise more sea floor into mountains (The Andes, the Sierra Nevada, the Himalaya, the…) and then start it eroding back to the sea all over again.

    The oldest stable parts of the continents are called cratons. These are generally not the places where you find oil and coal as that stuff is in more sedimentary areas. Not much of the early rock survives anyway. It’s the smaller orange patches generally on the interior of continents on this map:

    where they call it “shield”.
    bolding by me.

    A craton ( /ˈkreɪtɒn/, /ˈkrætɒn/, or /ˈkreɪtən/; from Greek: κράτος kratos “strength”) is an old and stable part of the continental lithosphere, where the lithosphere consists of the Earth’s two topmost layers, the crust and the uppermost mantle. Having often survived cycles of merging and rifting of continents, cratons are generally found in the interiors of tectonic plates. They are characteristically composed of ancient crystalline basement rock, which may be covered by younger sedimentary rock. They have a thick crust and deep lithospheric roots that extend as much as several hundred kilometres into the Earth’s mantle.

    The term craton is used to distinguish the stable portion of the continental crust from regions that are more geologically active and unstable. Cratons can be described as shields, in which the basement rock crops out at the surface, and platforms, in which the basement is overlaid by sediments and sedimentary rock.

    The word craton was first proposed by the Austrian geologist Leopold Kober in 1921 as Kratogen, referring to stable continental platforms, and orogen as a term for mountain or orogenic belts. Later Hans Stille shortened the former term to kraton from which craton derives.

    Now yes, there will be some coal and oil in sediments on platform areas, but sediments erode faster than crystalline bedrocks. Eventually sediments return to the water…

    The one thing that is different with people digging them up and using them is that the rate is way faster. Instead of 100 Million Years or a Billion, it’s a couple of centuries.

    Near my old home town are the Sutter Buttes. About 2000 feet tall and formed not that many million years ago as a volcano. It WAS 6000 feet tall then. What remains is only an eroding root. Eventually it will return to being a flat plane. Similarly, the uplift that formed the Sierra Nevada also filled the lake in front of it with sediments to make the Great Valley (and now the rivers start cutting it out again as the land rises from giant lake to above sea level…) The Natural Gas under the Central Valley will either be pumped and burned, or leak out on its own.

    But no worries. Eventually all the plants and animals in the seas end up as either carbonate rock, or as new oil and gas deposits. Those same sediments covering those bits of dead cutting off the air and letting them compress and eventually cook into new “fossil fuels”. The “Circle Of Life” includes making oil and coal, then returning to the air again much much later.

  89. Maybe worth noting that the AGW people say that the increase in CO2 is human-sourced because they are looking at the isotope ratios, so can tell what comes from fossil fuels. The various coal, carbonate rocks etc. that are subducted will have that same “fossil fuel” Carbon isotope signature, and so we really can’t tell whether the CO2 is from us burning oil/coal or whether it’s geologic processes.

  90. E.M.Smith says:


    It’s even a bit worse than that. I covered it somewhat in one of my earlier articles. But each oil and gas deposit has its own C12 / C14 ratio… And we don’t know what that was for all the stuff that was burned up as we didn’t sample isotopes until recently and only some of them.

    Then there’s all the oil and gas eating bacteria… guess what ratio they get, and what ratio goes into the animals that eat them…


    IMHO, it’s another one of those urban legend things where a few samples once gave a general idea and now it is held as Holy Canon.

  91. Another Ian says:


    “Update: Oh my God section 44 accuses them of using HASHTAGS ON TWITTER and section 45 says other people unknowingly retweeted some of their stuff”

    “Russia! Russia! Russia!”


    There are a few /s’s in there

  92. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is interesting if true. Author says he has confirmed it with 5 different sources.


    Makes you wonder a simple miscommunication or a test?

  93. Another Ian says:

    After how many million dollars?

    “Too Funny: Special Prosecutor Mueller Patched Together Much of His ‘Muh Russia’ Indictment from Old News Articles…”


  94. E.M.Smith says:


    Were I POTUS, I’d have a mixed martial arts expert be the guy with the “football” and the next in line too. From the description of the “skirmish”, it sounds like someone else has the same idea.

    Mess with the guy with the case, wake up a day later going “Wa…?”

    I’m also practiced enough at dealing with Chinese (mainland) to not be surprised something like that might happen. Be ready for anything and exert superior force, with grace…

  95. Pingback: W.O.O.D. 19 Feb 2018 | Musings from the Chiefio

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