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Monday, April 24, 2017

YouTube News Downloader Script, Music Composition for Lazy IT People, and More

YouTube News Downloader:
- if you're on a Not Really Broadband Network (NRBN) you somehow need to deal with networking/buffering issues when dealing with videos. I've written a tool deal with this since it was just getting too frustrating of late. You can pick it up here:
- option to pipe via Tor network is there for privacy reasons but primarily to help route around network connectivity issues. From time to time I have network connectivity problems that I can't seem to deal with except via this particular method (using an alternative route/proxy)
- short summary...
#    This script is to aide downloading of online videos for an arbitrary
#    YouTube channel video webpage. The main reason why I created this was 
#    because of dodgy local Internet connectivity and resources which caused
#    all sorts of weirdness on my local browser.
#    As far as I know, this should be allowed/perfectly legal in most 
#    jurisdictions because this is effectively works in the exact same
#    fashion that most web browsers work 'behind the scenes'. For instance,
#    look at about:cache (or the Temporary Download folder) in many browsers
#    and look at the largest files in them. They're often pure video 
#    which can be viewed by VLC.
#    It works by using the following tool and grabbing the pure video (or audio) 
#    stream only (you can change it if you know how. Pretty simple) and
#    downloading it into a relevant file/container:
#    Obviously, this script can be made to work for a whole host of websites 
#    out there and can be run at regular intervals to save you the trouble of
#    having to manually reach go to a website. Do more work to parse the JSON 
#    and there's a whole heap of interesting stuff you can do with it.
#    As this is the very first version of the program (and I didn't have
#    access to the original server while I was cleaning this up it may 
#    be VERY buggy). Please test prior to deployment in a production 
#    environment.
- you may want to see this if you're dealing with traffic throttling or shaping...

Music Composition:
- if you've been watching this blog for a while you'll know that I play around with algorithmic music and music in general
- I've been looking into quicker ways of starting off new tracks/songs. Obviously use samples packs, templates, etc... whenever you can
vocal sample packs
bass sample loop
- of late though I've been looking at this slightly differently. There seems to be an abundance of automated tools/software out there to generate tracks. The problem is that for the most part they're 'unsuitable'
max4live beat generator
ableton max4live drum generator
max4live arpeggiator chords
bitbucket music loop generator
edm midi sequence
- the main issue seems to be translation of ideas in my head via an instrument into something that can be sequenced in a DAW (such as Ableton, Cubase, FL Studio, etc...). My thinking is this. Since, most people can hold a tune and there is a voice to MIDI feature for many different DAWs out there use this instead of worrying about using an instrument? Useful on many different levels. Since people can harmonise already you could effectively do this to write many different parts and then auto-generate the rest via software (maybe, I'll do a show and tell some time later down the line)?
edm music for dummies
Basic EDM Music Theory Tutorial
Fl Studio 11 - How To Make An Awesome EDM Melody!
How to Make EDM in FL Studio 12
How To Use The Circle Of Fifths_ EDM
FL Studio 12 - EDM Tutorial - Melody & Drop
FL Studio  2015   How to make simple EDM chords sound pro and how to make a fat EDM bass
Fl Studio _ Beginners Tutorial _ Making a Simple Song
How To Create Timeless EDM Tracks (Logic Pro X Tutorial)
How to Make a Hit EDM Melody in Minutes!
How to make an Electro House Song in Logic Pro X
Writing Melodies Tips _How to Write Songs (Edm) (2015)
wav to midi linux cli
- use a drum machine (or 'beatbox') to lay down beats. Don't stick to basic stuff. This forms the core for your track so either find a decent VST, set of samples, or else buy something proper like Battery in Komplete
- establish a group of core effects, sounds, etc... in your toolbox. Can be frustrating wading through heaps of useless stuff
MPC style note repeat
software vocoder
- with the advent of software and Auto-DJ magic remixes aren't that difficult anymore. They're very useful for gaining a following/attention though... I've noticed that even if a mix is horrible you can still get tens of thousands of people listening if you're on the right website
remix comps
- if you don't already know it's possible to convert Max4Live plugins into fully fledged VSTs. It actually saves a lot of trouble since toolchain setup for VST development can be a bit of a pain at times and the Max4Live development environment isn't that bad actually
max4live to vst conversion
- if you're wondering yes, you can fuse certain software with others to produce interesting MIDI sequences from your computer keyboard
Trick: Using a computer keyboard to control any plugin button/switch
qwerty to midi open source windows
Trick: Using a computer keyboard to control any plugin button/switch
- if you've looked at my previous work you'll have noted that I looked at AI/Neural Networks
best edm chords
- automate as much as you can. You want to focus on creation not translation of idea. Use generative music options to look at options that you may have never otherwise have come up with?
generative music max4live plugin
- make use of software to come up with a whole heap of alternate/different parts/clips (doesn't matter whether we're talking about sound clips, MIDI clips, patches or presets, etc...) that you can just drag and drop into a DAW to see whether you like them or not? It's easier to know the theory prior to embarking down this route (unless you're already have a 'decent ear')
Why do I need music theory when I have "Scale" and "Chord"?
Chicago House, Juno 60
- most transitions are pretty basic now. Normally, a pause or a bunch of builds and transitions. You could easily just drop in random sound/s in between clips
- look for data with regards to trends, templates, and patterns in music
- think carefully about the data. Is there another way you can look at things to make things easier?
add video to music mp3
add video to music file
- think of different methods for monetisation (if that's what you're interested) and collaboration. For instance, Google Wallet, Paypal, Selz, etc... My products/services are on a variety of different platforms (thank you to those buying my stuff and using my services by the way). Some work much better then others
sell music online
music collaboration
- note that a lot of electronic music has a general problem. While computers make it easier to do things it can lose it's 'humanity'. Think about ways of injection your own perspective into your tracks. As you've heard others say you can either become really good at something that others are also good at or find a niche. Obviously, the latter is far easier then the former?
Groove is the sense of propulsive rhythmic "feel" or sense of "swing" created by the interaction of the music played by a band's rhythm section (drums, electric bass or double bass, guitar, and keyboards). 
- have a library of tracks that you can look to for reference material. For instance, for layering you might have a group of tracks you look to
Reminds you something out of music/dance film of late...
- obviously, you'll need to learn to program to do the above. Note that some file formats don't really allow you to 'lock it' to allow you re-sell them... Learn to use Macros. Useful in more ways than one. This is required in order to save presets and so on in Reaktor programming
Reaktor - Creating an Arpeggiator Device from the Ground Up - How ...
- plenty of websites where to sell and/or give away instruments...
- know the Internet inside out. Most of what you can do can be achieved from FOSS, demo products, 'lite products' that you often get free or bundled cheaply with existing music hardware. Have strategies to dig yourself out of a rut if you get into one
Maschine 2.0 Drag n Drop tracks into your DAW
Remixing with Ableton Push
Robert Stevenson - Maschine Hip Hop
Ableton Push & Sylenth1 - VST Integration with Banks & Macros
- new products aren't going to change things much as long as learning something important/useful. There's only so much a dial, knob, fader, button can do. The rest comes down to you...
FREE PC_Mac MIDI Chords & Scales App – AutoTonic CM
[RELEASE] Omnisphere VST Presets for Push
Novation Bass Station
Push can browse Komplete 9 Ultimate, UAD, Soundtoys Presets
audiomodder - komplete 10 - Push
Anyone using Ableton Push?
Arturia V collection, Sylenth, Diva, Alchemy, Zebra etc, 
How's jBridge working for you?
Post Your Push VST Mappings

Random Stuff:
- a funny novelty is watching cartoons in foreign languages. The Simpsons in Arabic is 'strange'?
- you have to admit that the North Korean situation is kind of funny at times... Decades on and they still havne't been able to settle their differences
- heaps of money saving websites out there now...
A smaller version of OzBargain 
- apparently, you can post to Wordpress via email too!
- been invited to yet another social network...
- this is kind of neat. Access to shell from web browser...
- if you want News gadgets (like I do on this blog up the side and down below for Linux and International news) and run Wordpress you can do so too!
wordpress.com rss extension
- wow, a lot of hoops to jump through for a job in Japan?
- given the status and profiles of Assange and Snowden now I'd be very curious to know how they would go as possible political candidates in a straight and fair contest?
Assange for MP WikiLeaks boss trolls UK, says may run for Parliament in snap election
CIA chief knocks Assange, but deems Wikileaks 'intelligence agency'
'Democracy flourishes in conditions of security, US can’t march in & tell people to be democratic'
- latest in finance and politics
- can't believe this stuff happens?
- this could break things open completely... Imagine how many applications this suddenly opens up?
- if you don't know much about airport science and technology this gives you an idea of the progress that has been made over several decades in the construction of many of the world's largest airports (the focus of this documentary is on Heathrow)
Biggest Airport in the World Ever Built - Full Documentary
- latest in science and technology
- if you don't already know there's multiple ways to format web pages. The issue is finding one that one that works, is easy to work with, portable, etc... Sounds easy but sometimes isn't. I've seen some really wierd rendering of some webpages that I've come across or made that didn't really make sense?
formatting columns html
- sometimes you want to just kick some people. I recently came across a project that requires Delphi. May have to hack a solution together or else find a copy of the program somewhere?
kylix linux
- not that hard to build a book creator if think about it a bit...
- tested my own blog with it. Not bad? Honestly, if Google wants to make improvements to their service the thing I'd be focusing in are bugs (look and think carefully. There are lots but many people often don't notice), support (if you've ever been in contact with them they're not much different from your average ICT company), speed (I think they're own stats sort of tell you this), streamlining (not that easy if you're looking to make things more useable simultaneously though), extensibility (their attempts to simplify a lot of things makes it very difficult to get some things done)
59/100 Mobile Friendliness
70/100 Mobile Speed
87/100 Desktop Speed
- latest in defense
World War 3 - Google searches on global military conflict at record high
Comic Book World Boris Johnson lumps Russia in as part of 'Super-villain league’
Iran made fighter plane Qaher F 313 taxi test
Hyperjump Technology - US TR-3B Aurora Anti-Gravity Spacecrafts
US 'can create any story as a pre-text' to start military campaign - Assad’s key advisor

Random Quotes:
- Disadvantaged schools are being starved of wealthy and high-performing students, who are flocking to wealthier government and non-government schools.

Wealthy schools are taking on more affluent students and shutting out poorer and low-achieving students through entrance exams and high fees, according to the report.

Two-thirds of the country's wealthiest students, 66 per cent, had enrolled in the richest schools in 2010, rising to 70 per cent in 2015. A quarter of the student population in the nation's poorest schools came from the wealthiest families in 2010, but five years later, only one fifth of the most advantaged students remained in the poorest schools.
- The Chinese Shenyang J-31, (or development thereof), is strongly speculated to be Pakistan’s choice of fifth generation fighter. However, author, analyst and former Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail believes this is still unclear, but “emphasis on an indigenous design” is serious.

The air chief “is well aware of the limitations in exercising full operational autonomy over foreign-supplied weapon systems. Additionally, the perennial issue of sanctions has hobbled PAF's front-line fighters continually, something that a small air force can ill-afford,” he said.

As also outlined by Aman, Tufail believes the JF-17 program laid the groundwork and “instilled sufficient confidence” to consider moving from a 50-50 partnership, as with the JF-17, to one featuring perhaps 70 percent to 80 percent “local design and production.”

Tufail thinks the existing, “highly qualified and well-trained crop of engineers and technicians” are ready to take up the challenge and can form the nucleus of a wider knowledge and technical pool to provide “the basic wherewithal which can be tailored to the new requirements without much difficulty.”

However, he said a failure to turn around Pakistan’s “mismanaged and under-taxed national economy” will effectively doom the program as increased defense spending “does not go well with political governments whose focus always remains on showy development projects.”
- Isn't this a bigger responsibility for business?

Yes. Andrew Forrest says CEO's of big name brands have told him they deliberately turn a blind eye to the issue. 

"These are not household names, not necessarily Australian, and they've looked me straight in the eye and said I will not look for slavery in case I find it."

Mr Forrest said he thinks the best way for governments to deal with the issue is to create an environment where business leaders can out themselves and be "celebrated" in the media for actively searching for it and then stamping it out. 

"It is very much carrot not stick," he says. "The modern slavery bill in the UK does have punitive measures in it unless of course you don't report," he says. 

What is the Australian government doing on this issue? 

Australia is trying to use the Bali Process, an international forum of 48 countries that focuses on human trafficking and people smuggling to combat the issue. The Global Slavery Index gives Australia a triple-B rating in 2016.
- Seeing as a modern raptor is not yet designed... they will never build another. Why? To reopen the line, you've to build a sufficient number... that takes 4-5+years of building... that puts number 150 of any F-22B off the line in 2031...(10 years to design a F-22B, build a facility & train it's staff, source materials & work past LRIP failures) and 2031 is 1 year AFTER the F-22A's replacement the F-X is supposed to be in prototyping ... you DON'T spend billions & billions on outdated jets that are due to be retired in 5years... especially when you can't afford your old legacy jets past 2021...
- In 1977, the Prime Minister of Canada was invited (G7), and as from 1978, the President of the European Commission. In 1994, the Russian President was also invited, and was officially integrated in 1997 (G8). The Western powers were convinced that after the collapse of the USSR, Russia was about to join with them to create a unipolar world which they would dominate together. This was the era of the creation of an international ruling party whose ambition was boundless. It imagined that it could do away with international law and substitute itself for the UN Security Council, in order to govern the world without control.

In 2000, the G8 supported the proposition by Paul Wolfowitz and the World Bank to cancel the debt of the poorest nations. There was however one small condition – these countries would have to completely liberalise their economy, leaving them open for unrestricted pillage by the multinationals. Of the 62 countries concerned, only 9 accepted this fools’ bargain. The G8’s stand on this issue raised a universal wave of anti-globalisation. During the following summit in Naples (2001), repression of the demonstrations caused one death. It was decided that as from now, these summits would be held outside of major cities, under military and police protection. Anything could therefore be plotted out of the view of the public.
- In January it announced that it was testing simulated trading on blockchain with 10 of the world's leading banks and Mr Whiteing told the conference that the bank had completed more than 25 blockchain-related experiments to date.

"We shouldn't be excited about the blockchain as a construct, but what we should be excited about is the possibility of the things we can do on top of the blockchain. That's what interests us as a business.

"There's a large number of areas where there is friction in the system today. Trade finance contracts, for example, on average take 28 to 30 days to clear ... all of those elements that sit in a trade finance contract could be codified in the blockchain and they could be automatically cleared ... the settlement of a trade finance contract could spring to two to three days globally."

Despite the advances the bank is making in new technologies and creating a more innovative culture, Mr Whiteing admitted that one of his major worries was getting the balance right between maximising its big player advantage, and moving fast enough to ward off the newcomers.

"You can't out-Google Google ... and to some extent we're not going to out-fintech fintechs," he said.

"We have to be very thoughtful about our proposition and our proposition as a universal bank should revolve around convenience, a near digital-like experience and an ability to engender trust through what we do.

"The one thing I wrestle with sometimes as a leader with that advantage and that success is that it can lead to complacency and I worry that we don't always have the urgency that the circumstances require us to have."
- One concern is that without substantial profits on foreign books the Australian distributors wouldn't be able to invest in local talent (an argument the Productivity Commission deals with by saying it would be cheaper and more certain to support Australian authors directly). Another is that Australian books are heavily discounted overseas. Some are in bargain bins. Their fear is that if Australians weren't overcharged relative to, say, Canadians, Australian books would never be published.

But websites such as Amazon are already eating away at that overcharging, and destroying bookshops in the process.

After seven reports recommending the free import of books the government said yes in November. It asked the Productivity Commission to advise on how to do it. The commission wants the restrictions gone by December 2017.

This isn't because the commission members are philistines or have a "perverted world view", as Flanagan puts it. The head of the inquiry, Karen Chester, says she comes from a family of hard-copy bookworms. For years she was among the biggest buyers of books at her local bookstore. She is on the side of consumers, and on the side of bookstores, believing that if they are able to compete on a level footing with websites they might just survive.

The worst outcome for consumers would that Labor backed Flanagan and Keneally and Szubanski and won the election. We'd keep paying much more for our books or drift away and move online.

The commission's report deals with much more than imports. Submissions close on Friday. Access to books is too important a question to leave to authors.
- The Dalai Lama says he hopes the Atlas can be a tool for cultivating good in the world by defeating the bad within us.

"Ultimately, our emotion is the real troublemaker," he says. "We have to know the nature of that enemy."

The Dalai Lama says he has been encouraged by President Barack Obama's reaction to the project when he told him about it in India.

"Obama seems, I think, to show more interest about our inner value," he says. "In the past, compassion was something of a sign of weakness, or anger a sign of power, sign of strength. Basic human nature is more compassionate. That's the real basis of our hope."

While excited about the Atlas, however, the 80-year-old Dalai Lama will probably not be clicking around the interactive site. He is much more comfortable turning the printed pages of a version that was custom-made for him.

"Technology is for my next body," he once told the researchers.
- Denouncing people in the United States who viewed China as a threat, which he believed was not a mainstream U.S. view, Zheng said the two countries had proved they can cooperate well on joint issues of global concern, like North Korea and Syria.

"China's development won't threaten any country," Zheng said. "I hope certain people in the United States set themselves straight and spurn Cold War thinking."
- Many people are stymied by the Great Firewall, the filigree of censorship and website obstruction that confines China’s online space. There are factory owners trying desperately to retrieve foreign orders via Gmail. There are students who are blocked from accessing foreign university websites. And there’s anyone who hankers after YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the thousands of other overseas websites that are banned in China, including TIME.com.

Now, another influential group is raising its voice in frustration: Chinese scholars. At a scientific conference held late last month in Beijing, domestic researchers protested that the nation’s Internet restrictions are harming their ability to innovate. One unnamed Chinese academic told the China Science Daily that “it is very difficult to achieve world-leading results or to be a frontrunner in global scientific research without any knowledge of [other countries’ achievements] and without comparison.”
- The oath of male and female 'yun-armists' (young soldiers) reads: 'I swear to aim for victories in studies and sports, to live a healthy lifestyle, to make myself prepared for the service and labour for the sake of the Motherland, to cherish the memory of the heroes who fought for freedom and independence of our Motherland, to be a patriot and a dignified citizen of Russia.'
- Vaccines have long come in handy in preventing viral infections, but now German scientists say they can also fool our immune system into going after cancer cells all guns blazing.

A team of scientists from Germany’s Johannes Gutenberg University have come with what may be a revolutionary method of fighting cancer, described in the Nature journal on Wednesday and cited by the Independent.

The technique, described in the paper published on the Nature’s website, involves nanoparticles of fat charged with cancer’s genetic RNA code being injected into a patient’s body. The unwitting immune system views cancer cells flowing in the bloodstream as a common virus and rolls out its defense mechanisms, particularly by producing “killer” cells whose mission is to attack cancer.
- "Your question is full of prejudice against China and arrogance – from where I don't know," he said on Wednesday Ottawa time. "This is totally unacceptable."

Mr Wang said only people in China knew best about human rights conditions in their own country, and "other people don't know better". He asked the reporter, from online news outlet iPolitics, whether she had ever been to China.

"Do you know that China has lifted more than 600 million people out of poverty? And do you know the China is now the second-largest economy in the world from a very low foundation? ... And do you know China has written protection and promotion of human rights into our constitution?"
For the record, here is the question from the Ottawa press gallery (addressed to the Canadian foreign minister) that set Mr Wang off:

"There are no shortage of concerns about human rights advocates such as the Hong Kong booksellers and detention of the Garratts not to mention the destabilising effects of its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. Given these concerns, why is Canada pursuing closer ties with China – how do you plan to use that relationship to improve human rights and security in the region?"
- RAND Corporation released a new report on May 31, stating that China, Russia, and Iran are using “short of war” methods to erode the influence of the United States in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. It says each of these countries is using strategies that include (but aren’t limited to) terrorism, aggressive diplomacy, and covert action.

“Nothing can be done to eliminate the threat posed by measures that are short of war,” said Ben Connable, lead author of the report and a senior political scientist at RAND, in a press release.

“Instead, addressing use of these tactics requires an effective U.S. grand strategy that seamlessly incorporates measures short of war into a long-term, globally integrated plan,” he said.

The report was sponsored by the U.S. Army, and its full title is “Stretching and Exploiting Thresholds for High-Order War: How Russia, China, and Iran are Eroding American Influence Using Time-Tested Measures Short of War.”
- Amid rising social unrest as yet another bailout is negotiated to pass-through Greek government hands to the banks, this week brought some potentially good news for the Greek economy. Following Tsipras and Putin's meetings this week, ekathimerini.com reports that Defense Minister Panos Kammenos unveiled a new partnership with Russia to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles "ending the prospect of Greece's defense industry shutting down." There's just one small condition for this growth-enhancing, job-creating program to begin - Europe must end its embargo with Russia (and break with its Washington vassal status).
- It looks so easy on TV. Buy a bargain-basement house, pull up some nasty carpet, re-tile the bathroom, paint away the wall stains and sell it for a hefty profit.
It's not, however, all those popular shows that are driving the flipping market today. It's pure and simple prices — and profit. There is a severe lack of good quality, turn-key homes for sale, and that has created a seller's market across the nation, even for those reselling homes.
After cooling off in 2014, home flipping is on the rise again — its share of all home sales is up 20 percent in the first three months of this year from the previous quarter and up 3 percent from the same period a year ago, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, which defines a flip as a property bought and resold within a 12-month period.
While flipping today is nothing like it was during the housing boom a decade ago, when investors used risky mortgages, it is reaching new peaks in 7 percent of the nation's metro markets, including Baltimore, Buffalo, New Orleans, San Diego and even pricey Seattle.
"While responsible home flipping is helpful for a housing market, excessive and irresponsible flipping activity can contribute to a home price pressure cooker that overheats a housing market, and we are starting to see evidence of that pressure cooker environment in a handful of markets," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
That's because flippers today largely use cash — 71 percent did in the first quarter of this year. Compare that to just 27 percent who used cash at the height of the housing boom. That helps keep most flippers conservative, but it also exacerbates the problems for entry-level homebuyers, who are facing one of the tightest housing markets in history. They simply can't compete against all-cash buyers.
Usually flippers look for distressed properties either in the foreclosure process or already bank-owned. These are not always listed on public sale sites. There are fewer of those today, so flippers are moving to the mainstream market, creating that new pressure.
"A telltale sign is when flippers are acquiring properties at or close to full market value. Those markets are so competitive that even the off-market properties flippers are looking to buy are not selling at much of a discount — and there may be very few distressed properties available," said Blomquist.
- According to Vitali Kremez, Cybercrime Intelligence Analyst, of Flashpoint, "Ransomware is clearly paying for Russian cybercriminals. As Ransomware as a Service campaigns become more wide-spread and accessible to even low-level cybercriminals, such attacks may result in difficult situations for individuals and corporations not yet ready to deal with these new waves of attacks."

Most of this ransomware avoids any form of command-and-control infrastructure, instead including payment and decryption instructions in a text file included with the infection. Thus payments outside of the typical $250 - $500 range noted earlier must have been pre-meditated – there have been many reports of hospitals being asked for tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Is there no honour amongst thieves?
- Chinese leaders only rarely receive open questions from the press. When they do, they typically deflect them with platitudes about how China conducts its affairs according to its own laws. During a visit to Beijing by Stephen Harper in 2014, Premier Li Keqiang was asked about the detention of Kevin Garratt, a Canadian now indicted by China on spying charges. “China continues to build a country under the rule of law,” Mr. Li said then, smiling.

Mr. Wang’s outburst this week marked a striking departure, his anger underscoring China’s refusal to accept criticism, particularly as its economic might gives it the ability to penalize other countries for speaking out against it.

That has led some countries to take unusual measures in voicing displeasure. Twice this year, Canada has participated in joint letters sent with other countries, including the United States and Germany, that laid out objections to Chinese policies on security and the regulation of foreign non-governmental organizations.

On Thursday, however, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying sought to strike a gentler tone, asking correspondents at a daily briefing to “ask yourself whether reporters are fair to China, whether you are objective and fair in your knowledge of China, whether you are accurately transmitting or describing China’s current situation to readers, whether you are telling a correct story about China.”

She suggested it would be good for “friends in the media to think about this issue,” before extending an invitation.

“We also welcome more friends in the media to live and work in China, and use their own eyes and hearts to feel the development and progress China is making.”
- The new warship is being designed with anti-aircraft, anti-ballistic missile, anti-surface and anti-submarine capability. It is also likely to have a significant land-attack capability using long-range cruise missiles such as the Kalibr-NK. From what little is known about the Leader-class, the vessels are expected to be equipped with 60 anti-ship cruise missiles, 128 anti-aircraft guided missiles and 16 anti-ship guided missiles. There are no details available about the exact mix of missiles that are expected to be carried onboard, but the air defense systems are likely to be based on either the S-400 or S-500 [5] while some of the anti-ship weapons are likely to be variants of the Zircon hypersonic missile. [6]

The Russians have not said much about the Leader-class’ propulsion system—but the vessel is expected to be nuclear powered and will likely reach speeds well in excess of 30 knots. It would also likely be able to remain at sea for up to 90 days without support [7]. Late last year, the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence suggested that the Russians would build a dozen of the new warships.

“Depending on propulsion type, the design could be a 8,000 to 18,000 ton ship combining both destroyer and cruiser characteristics with robust air, surface, and submarine warfare, as well as anti-missile defense capabilities. Russia reportedly intends to build six such ships for both the Northern and Pacific fleets (12 total),” reads an ONI report on the Russian Navy [8]. “The lead unit is not likely to be built earlier than the mid-2020s. Press reports have mentioned that the propulsion for this class, whether conventional gas turbine or nuclear, is not yet determined. The resolution may depend on decisions yet to be made regarding a new aircraft carrier which, if built, is likely to be nuclear-powered.”

Assuming that Russia can build the Leader-class given its current economic situation, the massive new warships would outgun the largest surface combatants in the U.S. Navy’s fleet—carrying roughly double an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer’s missile tubes. Moreover, the Leader-class’ nuclear propulsion system would allow the enormous new warships the ability to sortie around the globe without the need for auxiliary refuelers or any requirement to make a port call. That would afford Moscow a potent power projection tool that’s just short of a carrier strike group.
- "I worked so hard and earned the trust of suppliers by always being honest with them," said Thao, whose mother was a teacher and father, a pharmacist. "I didn’t have much money. They gave me more and more products with longer credit terms."
After making her first million three years later, Thao moved on to trade steel, machinery, fertilizer and other commodities.
She returned to Vietnam and invested in Techcombank, also known as Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, and a second lender, Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank.
She later lodged an application to run an airline in anticipation the communist government, which adopted a market economy in 1986, would open up the industry to compete against state carrier Vietnam Airlines.
- For China, there has long been a great insecurity about a deficiency of soft power on the global stage, and changing the "negative" tone of how China is covered in the Western media is a goal.

In the past, propaganda officials have suggested a UN-style body to regulate the world's media organisations so they promote "fairness" in their reporting.

And just this week, China's Premier Li Keqiang told an alliance of 30 news editors from across Asia to promote "an optimal environment for peace and prosperity", according to the China Daily.

For Australia, the way news organisations engage with state-run counterparts from a country with media values that are anathema to Australian notions of freedom of speech, is just one of the tricky aspects of the Australia-China relationship.

For China, the hope is that increasing co-operation deals will eventually lead to influence that can reshape the way Australian journalists report on China, in a way more agreeable to the leaders in Beijing.

The question Australian news companies must ask themselves is whether they are willing to play a part in that.
- Ever wondered why young Australians feel angry and disillusioned with party politics? It's because demographics and democracy skew the system against youngsters by a factor of almost three to one.

Official Australian Electoral Commission figures released on Wednesday show 22 per cent of registered voters for the forthcoming election are aged 65 years and over. Only 18.7 per cent are under 30.

Broken down another way, 14.8 per cent of registered voters are aged 70-plus yet only 10.6 per cent are aged 24 or younger - the selfie generation.

In pure numbers of people, the contrast is more stark. The 2.3 million Australian voters aged 70-plus vastly outnumber the 1.65 million who are 18-24.

There are 6 million voters aged 55-plus versus 1.65 million aged 18-24.

Hold on, we have a one-vote, one-value democracy, don't we? And haven't the older voters worked enough and paid enough taxes to feel entitled to leave their stamp on the nation?

Sure. But that older 55-plus group plans to vote 60 per cent to the coalition and 40 per cent to Labor, according to two-party preferred result in the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll. The 18 to 24-year-old youngsters plan to vote 61-39 to Labor.
- Location data has been collected for many years but only became visible when Google released Timeline in July last year. This is not dissimilar to the Facebook feature that keeps a permanent record of everything that a user has shared.

While both Android and iOS combine such data with information from GPS, Wi-Fi networks and other sources, Apple has a much stricter policy on it: "Unless you provide consent, this location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, your device may share its geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services."

But Google does not have any such policy and when it collects location data, it is more or less open slather. It uses the data to target advertising and makes billions each year from these activities.
- "Realistic looking" emails sent from compromised accounts include a link to a compromised site which in turn redirects to a fake but also realistic page containing a capcha (presumably to block automated tools used by security companies).

While the attackers currently pretend to be AGL, that could change.

The page then installs a keylogger (apparently with the aim of obtaining more email credentials) and ransomware.

Interestingly, "If a user tries to visit this page via a mobile device or Apple Mac it will give them an error message saying they need to access it from a Microsoft Windows computer. This results in a number of users forwarding it to their corporate e-mail."

Check Point said its anti-virus product detects and blocks the malware, but gave no indication of exactly what it is.

The company recommends HTTPS inspection (a controversial measure, as it is basically a man-in-the-middle attack), sandboxing to detect and block the incoming file (at least some email filtering services include checks for malicious URLs), keeping intrusion prevention systems updated to detect and prevent exploits, and having "a well-rehearsed and tested incident response plan."
- There's an old joke about an economist, a physicist and a chemist stranded on a desert island with no implements and a crate of canned food that washed up from a shipwreck.

While the physicist and the chemist set about devising novel ways to open the cans, the economist says: "Let's assume we have a can opener."

The punch line satirises the tendency of economists to make unrealistic assumptions, and devise elegant models based on those assumptions that are at odds with the real world. It's highly relevant to the debate about cutting company tax.

Cutting the company tax rate is central to the Coalition's "10 year plan to boost jobs and growth": the core of its pitch to voters in the federal election.

To support its claims, the Coalition is relying on modelling by the Treasury, and modelling by a firm of consultants hired by the Treasury, which concludes that the benefits of a company tax cut won't be captured by business, but lead, over time, to greater economic output, higher wages and more employment.

Unsurprisingly, vested interests such as the Business Council of Australia, a lobby group for the CEOs of the nation's 100 largest companies, have jumped on the bandwagon; those who stand to gain most are using the Treasury modelling to claim that workers will be the real winners from cutting company tax.

Even economists and economic commentators who oppose the planned company tax cuts are somewhat wowed.

The Age's economics editor Peter Martin, for example, has concluded that while the case for a company tax cut is weak, it is backed by "serious modelling".

I disagree. Like the economist on the desert island who conjured up a theoretical can opener, the model's assumptions are divorced from reality.
- American spies and the UK’s listening post GCHQ regularly intercept the emails of British MPs and peers, including privileged correspondence between parliamentarians and their constituents.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly has access to intercepted emails sent and received by all MPs and peers through Parliament’s Microsoft computer system, Office 365.

Intelligence agency GCHQ on the other hand, allegedly accesses the data when it leaves UK’s borders on its way to Microsoft’s data centers in Dublin and the Netherlands.

The revelations have been made public through an investigation by Computer Weekly, based on leaked documents by the now-exiled former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
- This week, the first three families received their free hectares in Russia's Amur region. The region’s Arkharinsky district, which borders China, was chosen as the pilot area for the initiative.

In April, the Russian State Duma adopted a law allowing Russians the right to claim a free hectare (10,000 square meters) of land in the Far East. The areas include Yakutia, Kamchatka, Chukotka, Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin and the Jewish Autonomous Regions. The land can be used for any lawful purpose and the new owners cannot rent, sell, or give it away for five years.
- When analyzing American ballistic missile capabilities and anti-aircraft missiles with long range ballistic capabilities, Russian experts have found that the problem is that Americans rockets cannot intercept any ballistic missile in the mesosphere (the altitude of 35000-80000m). Therefore, Russia has focused on developing means of hypersonic cruise flight running for long distances at this difference of heights.

The principle used by the US antiballistic shield is to send a rocket into space or within a point of impact before calculating the trajectory of ballistic missile. Therefore, American interceptor missiles are operating as suborbital rockets with solid fuel. Once they are started they cannot be stopped and traction cannot be adjusted. If it does not comply with ballistic missile target trajectory calculations or avoidance maneuvers, missile intercepting misses.
- "If you look closely at the armed conflicts in the world, war is now fought mainly in the cities, no one fights in the open anymore, because it is, in fact, instantaneous destruction," said Khalitov.

"But you can fight quite successfully in the city and in urban areas generally. Therefore, while analyzing Syria and the wars in Iraq and the Middle East, we came to the conclusion to make a special set of additional protection systems, which could be installed on the vehicle at the right moment, to fight more efficiently in urban environments."
- America's resources are overextended. Its military and diplomatic position has been eroded by a weakened economy, including massive debt, low growth, a huge trade deficit and porous borders. Its trade deficit is now approaching $1 trillion a year. (Trump does not add, though surely this must be a consideration in his bluster about China, that the US economy is able to continue only because of Chinese money, invested from its massive trade surplus.)

"To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again ... a reliable friend and ally again ... We are getting out of the nation-building business and instead focusing on creating stability in the world."

China, he says, respects strength, "and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all of their respect".

More generally, around the world, "I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must fight to win ... Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction."

Australia has spent the past two decades in a generally very profitable triangle in which we have sold raw materials to China, which has manufactured from them to sell particularly to the US. Meanwhile, large sums of money going to the US from Australia in intellectual property payments, services, investment income and profits have helped pay America's interest bills. Australia should be out polishing the vertices. It should be part of our "plan".
- There are certain months when you should close your eyes, click your heels together three times, and think to yourself: The jobs report has a margin of error of 100,000 jobs. The jobs report has a margin of error of 100,000 jobs. The jobs report has a margin of error of 100,000 jobs.
- In varying degrees, the economic language of our major parties is constrained by the logic of neo-liberal economic rationalism. Labor is more willing to push back but often struggles to make headway against insistent demands to cut government spending, even when it can be demonstrated that the spending, if well targeted, can inject energy and growth - not only into an abstract notion of the economy, but into the lives of real people.

Worshippers at the altar of neo-liberalism would have you believe that a perfectly formed model of the market economy is a virtuous end in itself.

It's not. The economy is supposed to function in response to your needs, not for the benefits of markets and financial institutions.

So perhaps the question posed to Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten should borrow from Robert Skidelsky's subversive logic: in whose interests are you managing the economy? There should still be time to ask it, in the never-ending election campaign.
- The chance New York real estate developer Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States has gone from impossible to improbable to likely in the relative blink of an eye. Several recent national polls have him running even with or even ahead of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

He's nipping at her heels in state polls, too. In New Jersey he's behind by four – 38 percent to 34 percent. They're tied in New Hampshire according to one poll, 44 percent a piece, and Trump is ahead in Oregon by two – 44 percent to 42 percent. Sure, it's early in the race, the voter screens may be unreliable and both candidates have a lot of ground to cover between now and their nominating conventions later in the summer. Nevertheless, the louder the liberals scream about Trump, the better he seems to do.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Serious people have put serious effort into explaining why Trump is doing so well while Clinton is comparatively in trouble. Whatever they may conclude, however, it all comes down to one thing: vision. He has it, she doesn't and the voters know it.
She also can't campaign promising to extend the policies of Barack Obama and the progressive turn the national electorate appeared to take in 2008. America remains a center-right nation. European-style socialism, with a small "s," may be catching on among the portion of the electorate that likes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but it's hardly mainstream. Not yet, anyway. Just about every credible independent national poll taken over the last six months has found only 25 percent of the country feels the United States is headed in the right direction. An astonishing two-thirds of those surveyed – and go ahead, pick your poll – believe this nation is on the wrong track. The next presidential contest is a change election that Clinton will not win if all she can do is promise four more years of what we've experienced over the last eight. 
- "Jupiter’s rotation once every 10 hours usually blurs radio maps, because these maps take many hours to observe," said team member Robert Sault, from the University of Melbourne in Australia. "But we have developed a technique to prevent this and so avoid confusing together the upwelling and down welling ammonia flows, which had led to the earlier underestimate."

When this algorithm was applied to the images captured by the Very Large Array, which was just upgraded to allow researchers to capture pictures at even greater detail, the team was able to create a highly-detailed map of the entire planet’s ammonia flows. 
- Supercavitation, in a nutshell, involves surrounding an object with a bubble of gas, so it can pass through the water with very little friction. In the case of GHOST, the objects in question are its two submerged buoyant tubular foils. Although the company isn't clear on how the process works, presumably the foils would have to be designed in such a way that when GHOST's gas turbines thrust it forward, water is deflected outward at the front of each foil, creating an envelope that closes behind it.
- Using specially synthesized crystalline materials, scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have created a substance that is able to absorb and store oxygen in such high concentrations that just one bucketful is enough to remove all of the oxygen in a room. The substance is also able to release the stored oxygen in a controlled manner when it is needed, so just a few grains could replace the need for divers to carry bulky scuba tanks.

The key component of the new material is the element cobalt, which is bound in a specially designed organic molecule. In standard form – and depending on the available oxygen content, the ambient temperature, and the barometric pressure – the absorption of oxygen by the material from its surroundings may take anything from seconds to days.

"An important aspect of this new material is that it does not react irreversibly with oxygen – even though it absorbs oxygen in a so-called selective chemisorptive process," said Professor Christine McKenzie from the University of Southern Denmark. "The material is both a sensor, and a container for oxygen – we can use it to bind, store, and transport oxygen – like a solid artificial hemoglobin."
- ...i think that real lyricists are afraid to show their true talent in a market that doesn't really shine a light on articulate verbiage, opting for the new club hit or mundane quotes repeated over and over with an almost brainwashing effect...the other day, i felt myself slipping into panda, while my panda was pandering pandas and panda's panda said panda... 
- A team that has created a supersonic jet design resembling a flying shuriken has been awarded a US$100, 000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program to continue development of the aircraft. Aside from looking suitably futuristic, the concept plane’s four-pointed star design serves a practical purpose. By rotating in mid air, the plane can transition between broad-wing subsonic and shorter wingspan supersonic configurations.
- Despite criticism that BRICS countries don't have much in common, there are clear political objectives these nations seek to pursue.

As a collective they are unhappy with, and critical of, Western dominance of multilateral institutions. This is because they have for many years been on the margins. They're also dissatisfied with the perceived refusal of the West to share global power.

As a group, BRICS' disenchantment with the contemporary global system has reinforced its desire to amplify its voice and strengthen its representation in international financial institutions.
- For Rigby, the influence of China's Communist Party locally is something that Australians are only now beginning to think about.

"We are encountering China in more and more areas of Australian society ... while China's rise is also changing the rather comfortable order we have lived in since World War II," he says.

"If China was just the enemy [like the Soviet Union during the Cold War] then it would be pretty simple. But that's not the case as we have benefited hugely from China's rise."

Those benefits have largely been seen through the historical boost to our terms of trade, but as has often been noted, in China economics and politics can't be separated.
- But here are the facts:

If you have poor relations with the West, you need an army. If you need an army, you will also need defense contracts and a Military/Industrial Commission.

If you have poor relations with the West, you will need doctors and engineers in the event of war.

If you have poor relations with the West, you will need to develop various research and technology gimmicks to beat the enemy, and other tricks to neutralize its effort to destroy you. That means you will need science and scientists, and even if you steal technologies instead of inventing your own, you will need scientists to decipher a stolen drawing.

If you need the defense ministry, doctors, engineers and scientists, you will need an educational system.  

And if you have poor relations with the West, you will need industry and agriculture, because they won’t sell you anything, since you are an enemy. Some things will be under sanctions.

And if you have poor relations with the West, you will need your own financial system, so you will not need to take money from the West, which will surely cut you off.

That means you will need officials, the most disgraceful of which will betray you and move to the West in order not to lose their money. You need people to develop defense, science and so on down the list in order to achieve at least a few decent results.

If you have poor relations with the West, you will need a national elite.

Besides the elite, you will need people to work, once you begin to revive the army, industry and education. Migrant workers won’t do.

But if you need all the above, you will need to invest money, and create a domestic market and domestic demand.

Since this provokes economic growth, as grandpa Keynes taught us – and he was, to put it mildly, smarter than grandad Kudrin.  Besides, Kudrin isn’t really a grandad but an enemy.

If you need your own country, you will need your own economy. If you have your own economy, you will invest in it, instead of buying US securities. If you invest money in it and care for it, you will have economic growth. Because if you have poor relations with the West, you won’t hope for better ones.

If you have good relations with the West, you will have a house in London, a yacht on the right bank and a billion in the bank No, two billion. No…Many billions in your account.

And you won’t need anything else.

Actually you don’t need anything else.

Although you will have gratitude.

To Kudrin, a good economist.

There will be no economic growth, but your personal economy will grow.
- The Federal Reserve has been under constant attack by hackers since at least 2011, including four attempts it labels as "espionage."

But it is unclear if hackers have penetrated the Fed's security system.

Records obtained by CNNMoney list more than 50 incidents that were labeled as either "unauthorized access" or "information disclosure."

In a statement to CNNMoney, a Federal Reserve representative said the central bank is facing a barrage of cyberattacks.

"As with other government agencies, the Federal Reserve is a target for cyberattacks," the statement said. "However, our security program and processes for detecting and countering attacks are robust and our critical operations have never been affected."

According to CNNMoney, the language used in the internal reports hints that hackers did access -- and perhaps even extract -- information from the Federal Reserve.

Cheesy Tomato Based Pasta Recipe, Adding Subtitles to Video Files, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapeasyhealthy-tomato-based-pa...