Fauci on masking #





  1. Bloomberg: The David Rubenstein Show: Anthony Fauci, May 22, 2019

  2. Spectrum News: Disease Expert: Flu a Bigger Risk in the US Than Coronavirus

  3. 60 Minutes: March 2020: Dr. Anthony Fauci talks with Dr Jon LaPook about Covid-19 (See also Preventing coronavirus: Should you wear a face mask?)

  4. Spectrum News: Disease Expert: Flu a Bigger Risk in the US Than Coronavirus

  5. CNBC: Anthony Fauci on The News with Shepard Smith, October 28, 2020 (See also Fauci voices support for national mask mandate)

  6. CNN: Dr. Fauci responds to study that says masks didn't work


/misc | Sep 18, 2023

FACT CHECK: Fauci's claim that "CDC doesn't mandate anything" #

Rating: FALSE

Anthony Fauci was interviewed by CNN's Micheal Smerconish* and made the following claim:

"Organizations like the CDC recommend (CDC doesn't mandate anything) I mean recommends, that people wear masks." 📺

The CDC itself contradicts him:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order [PDF – 11 pages] on January 29, 2021 requiring the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs to prevent spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This Order was effective February 1, 2021 and was published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2021.

"The terms of the Order, which were no longer enforceable as a result of a court order (effective, April 18, 2022), have now expired due to the conclusion of the Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023."


* Apparently on September 2, 2023 based on the CNN URL.


/misc | Sep 03, 2023

Switching a Pixel 4a from CalyxOS back to stock Android #

seems simple enough, but both the web installer and manual factory image methods failed repeatedly under Windows and Linux. PixelFlasher saved the day (H/T: u/Malaka__).

/misc | Aug 26, 2023

Hacking Tower Swap with Cheat Engine or Bit Slicer #


Bit Slicer

  1. Open Tower Swap in Firefox and press Play (optionally go offline once game has loaded)

  2. Press Shift+Esc to open Firefox's Process Manager and find the Tower Swap tab process ID (e.g., 696)

  3. Launch Bit Slicer → from the drop-down menu at top left, select the process ID found in step 2 (e.g., "FirefoxCP Isolated Web Content (696)")

  4. Enter the current number of swaps in Tower Swap (e.g., 5) in the box at top right and press Return

  5. Make a move in Tower Swap to change the number of swaps to 4 → enter 4 in the box at top left and press Return

  6. Repeat step 5 until only two addresses remain

  7. Double click value for first address → change value to desired number of swaps → press Return

Cheat Engine3

  1. Install Rosetta 2 if missing (optionally back up for offline use)

  2. Open Tower Swap in Firefox and press Play (optionally go offline once game has loaded)

  3. Press Shift+Esc to open Firefox's Process Manager and find the Tower Swap tab process ID (e.g., 696)

  4. In Terminal, convert the process ID from decimal to hex via printf '%x\n' 6962b8

  5. Launch Cheat Engine → File → Open Process → click Processes tab → click process matching hex vaule (e.g., "000002B8-FirefoxCP Isolated Web Content") → click Open

  6. Enter the current number of swaps in Tower Swap (e.g., 5) in "Value:" → click "First Scan"

  7. Make a move in Tower Swap to change the number of swaps to 4 → enter 4 for "Value:" → click Next Scan

  8. Repeat step 8 until only two addresses remain

  9. Double click first address → double click the decimal value in the bottom pane → change value to desired number of swaps → click OK


  1. Failure to disable SIP returns "Search Failure: FirefoxCP Isolated Web Content's memory cannot be searched due to system protections." in Bit Slicer and "Error while opening this process. Have you disabled 'System Integrity Protection (SIP) yet?" in Cheat Engine. 

  2. Unlike Cheat Engine, Bit Slicer is: signed and notorized, a Universal 2 binary (i.e., Apple silicon-native), and not time-limited trialware. Both projects maintain GitHub repositories: CE | BS

  3. H/T: Piepop101 

/mac | Aug 07, 2023

iOS: Display random line from a large TXT file #

with iSH Shell & GNU Coreutils' shuf and fold:

   shuf -n 1 book.txt | fold -w 30 -s

Enjoy aleatory quotes from ebooks, etc.

/nix | Jul 27, 2023

Avery Design & Print labels drifting across page, #

gradually going from too high at the top to too low at the bottom when printed to a Brother HL-L2370DW monochrome laser printer. Cause turned out to be default "Microsoft IPP Class Driver"; replaced with driver from Brother.com to resolve.

/windows | Jul 11, 2023

A new Windows P2V guide #

has been added to the docs section.

/windows | May 23, 2023

The portrait of Kandiaronk and the Wendat #

painted by Graeber & Wengrow in The Dawn of Everything1 is rather economical with the truth. The pair claim that [emphases added throughout]:

And while they dismissively acknowledge:

"...[the Wendat] had formal political offices and a stratum of war captives whom the Jesuits, at least, referred to as ‘slaves’..."

the academics knew (assuming they read their primary source2) that Kandiaronk himself3 described such "war captives" in no uncertain terms:4


  1. Graeber, D., & Wengrow, D. (2021b). The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Quotes are from pages 45, 40, 43, 48, and 40 respectively.

  2. Cited as "the 1735 English edition of Dialogues"; since no such title exists, they must be referring to Lahontan's New Voyages to North-America of the same year (which appears in their bibliography and contains the dialogues). While the first French and English (1, 2) versions of Nouveaux Voyages de Mr le Baron de Lahontan dans l’Amérique Septentrionale were both published in 1703, only the English edition contained the dialogues (as alluded to on its title page: "Done into English. In Two VOLUMES. A great part of which never Printed in the Original."). The dialogues appeared the following year in French with the publication of Suite du Voyage de l'Amérique, ou Dialogue de Monsieur le baron de Lahontan et d'un sauvage dans l'Amérique.

  3. Graeber & Wengrow argue that Lahontan's work reflects actual "conversations between Lahontan and Kandiaronk" as opposed to being a fiction invented by himself; in fact, they go so far as to replace the pseudonym "Adario" with "Kandiaronk" when quoting passages from the book.

  4. Lahontan, 1735. New Voyages to North-America. 2nd ed. London: J. Walthoe, et al. Quotes are from pages 114, 156, 145, and 144 respectively.

/misc | May 11, 2023

Prepend magic bytes to filenames #

with Marco Pontello's HdRen, a simple Python 2 script that adds file signatures to filenames, making it easy to spot imposters:

$ ls -1
$ hdren.py foo/
$ ls -1

/nix | May 07, 2023

Windows XP Activation: GAME OVER #

For almost two decades, MSKey Readme1 has heralded the defeat of Windows XP's product activation, not via mere circumvention, but by cracking the encryption algorithm itself.

Based on the even earlier Inside Windows Product Activation: A Fully Licensed Paper2, WindowsXPKg3 launched on Microsoft's GitHub platform four years ago (see update #3 below). While it can generate product keys, the program relies on an external, third-party server to return the Confirmation ID.

In a post last year on the Windows XP subreddit (Windows XP web activation is finally dead…), retroreviewyt shared xp_activate32.exe4, which calculates the Installation ID then generates and optionally applies the corresponding Confirmation ID to activate Windows XP, all offline. Wiping the system and reinstalling Windows XP results in the same Installation ID being assigned by Windows (assuming no change in hardware or product key), thus the same Confirmation ID obtains even in msoobe's standard telephone activation window.

Long considered out of reach, this development bodes well for salvaging old systems even after Microsoft shuts down the activation servers. Given their curious tolerance (even use!) of MAS (hosted on their own platform!), which impacts all modern versions of Windows, perhaps Microsoft will see fit to release an official XP activation tool for posterity.


  1. The apparently oldest extant copy, dated January 18, 2005, is signed "yag". A few months later, it was posted to Tool_Delphi2005 by Alexandre Trevizoli. By 2007, Kevin Hatfield was hosting it, and he claimed copyright by 2008, thereby becoming associated with the document in later years.  

  2. In fact, the paper was released in July 2001, before even Windows XP was released to manufacturing. However, it was kept "a little vague at some points in order not to facilitate the task of an attacker attempting to circumvent the license enforcement supplied by the activation mechanism". 

  3. Elliptic Curve Key Tool is a similar app that does not require recompiling for each combination. 

  4. 18432 bytes with a SHA-256 hash of 5a4bcac5a50eb5113dd6a2f88c35ebdb709c4df8a792c71ad03ea347afaced52 (first seen by VirusTotal on 2020-10-16).


  1. Neo-Desktop has forked WindowsXPKg to include a fix for compiling and running properly under Linux. They are also at work on disassembling xp_activate32.exe.

  2. The purported source code for xp_activate32.exe has been posted to MDL (since deleted) by diamondggg, who referenced such a tool in 2021. See this thread for more information.

  3. On the provenance of WindowsXPKg, Endermanch stated: "This repository is not the original source for the Windows XP Keygen. The original was uploaded to PlanetWPA as part of MSKey 4-in-1 algorithm sources back in early 2000s and was made by z22." The comment has been updated with additional details and, along with his XPKeygen README, is sine qua non for understanding the history and mathematics behind this story.

/windows | Apr 23, 2023

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