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Monday, June 26, 2017

No Dependency Debian Packages, Random Stuff, and More

- come across issues with packages on Debian from time to time. Came up with a following script which basically strips dependency checking from relevant packages. You can download it here:
- description is as follows (am aware of other options to force packages to install but if you've used them you'll know that they're imperfect solutions. Hence, this script)
# If you need to work a lot with various software packages you eventually
# you come across one situation over and over again. Namely, sometimes 
# someone has mis-packaged a piece of software which makes it impossible
# to install even if you've technically fulfilled all the correct
# pre-requisites. This script deals with this problem by modifying the
# necessary 'control file data' in Debian packages so that it no longer 
# requires any dependencies allowing it to be installed quickly and easily.
- as usual if you're interested in some of my work please take a look at my website for a better overview (though I admit it doesn't get updated often):

Random Stuff:
- recently noticed a strange trend in my blog's traffic. Basically, it was headed downward. I did a check of some terms in that would likley lead to my blog. Something wrong is happening? Direct search of traffic would suggest something entirely different? For instance, if I were to search for X, it would provide me with Y (with another option to search for X) for results (I've noticed this with some other websites out there as well?). What's more I recently started receiving emails from Google AdWords asking me to advertise for more traffic. Honestly, if this is a cynical mechanism by Google to try make some money off of me (and others) this is unbelievably low and desperate (problem seems to have been fixed prior to this post though...)?
- funny and interesting animal story roundup
Get me out in the field! Cow interrupts friendly football match in Bulgaria
Dance Like Nobody's Watching Gorilla breaks internet with moves in Dallas zoo pool
‘Bad news’ Barkley bear may be heading home
Police catch bear breaking into cars! - Bear Crimes - BBC
Bear Gets Stuck in a Car
Giant Bear Ruins A Tourist's Car
Police catch bear breaking into cars! - Bear Crimes - BBC
- latest in science and technology
SpaceX launches Bulgarian satellite on recycled rocket
[NEW VIDEO] Žižek, Assange & M.I.A.  on AI Controlled Social Media at Meltdown Festival
Hunger Games - CIA contractors fired after hacking vending machines, stealing snacks
- latest in defense
UpFront - Is it over for ISIL - UpFront special
Long-term US anti-Iran agenda begins with destabilizing Syria – Martin Jay
Russia Shoots Down US Drone Near Syria
The US and Russia Could Move Beyond a Proxy War
Media Review - North Korea
White Helmet member allegedly caught on camera disposing of beheaded soldiers (GRAPHIC)
Pilot ejects from burning F-16C at Houston Airport
Gust of wind flips USAF Thunderbirds F-16D In Dayton, Ohio
Russian fighters scrambled 14 times in past week to intercept foreign aircraft — ministry
- latest in finance and politics
[66] Peter Joseph - Solutions To The End Of Capitalism (PART II of interview with Lee Camp)
[153] Amazon Is Not What It Seems, Killer Cop Gets Acquitted, DEA Disaster & more
Keiser Report - 'Initial Coin Offerings' (E1087)
Keiser Report - Financialized Economy (E1088)
[NEW VIDEO] Žižek, Assange & M.I.A.  on AI Controlled Social Media at Meltdown Festival
The Listening Post - Vietnam's imperiled bloggers -  The Listening Post (Feature)

Random Quotes:
- Iran’s military has unveiled its latest drone, and it bears a number of similarities to the American UAV that crashed in the Islamic republic five years ago.

On December 4, 2011, Iranian forces captured a RQ-170 Sentinel drone near the city of Kashmar. While the US government claimed the aircraft was shot down, Tehran said it commandeered the UAV with a sophisticated cyberattack.

Over the weekend, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards revealed its new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and its design appears to be based on the downed Sentinel.

"This long-range drone is capable of hitting four targets with smart precision-guided bombs with high accuracy," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division, according to state news agency IRNA.

Tasnim news agency reports that the drone has been dubbed the "Saeqeh," or "Thunderbolt," and that it can strike targets with "pinpoint accuracy."

Iran has not given any indication of the aircraft’s other attributes, including range.

While the United States initially denied that its Sentinel had been downed, the Obama administration later acknowledged the incident and requested the drone’s return.

"We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond," President Obama said at the time.
In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, a Russian Tu-22M3 bomber stands on the tarmac while another plane lands at an air base near Hamedan, Iran.

Tehran refused.

"Instead of apologizing to the Iranian nation, it [the US] is brazenly asking for the drone back," then-Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to the Telegraph.

"[Iran] will not back down from defending the nation or its interests."

The unveiling was accompanied by the release of photos that showed a number of US and Israeli UAVs captured by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. This included a General Atomics MQ-1C "Grey Eagle," an AAI RQ-7 Shadow 200, and an Israeli Hermes 450.

"Iran now has a broad range of UAVs which can be used for both civilian and military purposes," Tasnim reported.
- Berkut’s primary goal will be aerial photography, surveillance and communication, but the airship could also be employed for more militant pursuits like electronic warfare, target designation and air defense.

It should be noted that stratosphere airships may become a cheap and efficient replacement for communication satellites, both civilian and military, as a blimp soaring at an altitude of 20 kilometers can provide communication coverage at 760-kilometer radius.
- This is the heart of the matter. Somehow we are expected to go along with the sophomoric sophism that “If we have nothing to hide then we have nothing to fear,” yet at the same time we are asked to believe that the government must keep all manner of information secret from the public in order to carry out its work of “protecting” that public.
- In future, the bacteria could improve the health of humans, leading to the discovery of an 'elixir of life', he said.

Another bacteria found in the permafrost allegedly has the ability to 'destroy petroleum molecules, turning them into water with the potential one day to create a new system for cleaning up oil spills,' The Siberian Times reported. 

'A third strain of ancient bacteria is capable of eliminating cellulose molecules.'

Dr Brouchkov said: 'We want to understand the mechanisms of the protection of genome, the functioning of the genes.

'The key question is what provides the vitality of this bacteria, but it is as complicated as which human genes are responsible for cancer and how to cure it. The scale and complicity of the question are nearly the same.'

He said the permafrost where the bacteria was found is estimated to be around 3.5 million years old.

'This bacteria was isolated from the outer world in ice, so we are quite sure that this bacteria was kept in the permafrost for such a long time.

'Yet we are still working to prove this.'

He claimed: 'I would say, there exist (in the world) immortal bacteria, immortal beings. They cannot die, to more precise, they can protect themselves.

'Our cells are unable to protect themselves from damage. 

'These bacteria cells are able to protect themselves.
- An audit into politician's perks has recommended Victoria dump all allowances and make MPS shell out for expenses and claim reimbursements later.

The report, which looked into the controversial secondary residence allowance claims by former Speaker Telmo Languiller and Deputy Don Nardella, has been tabled in state parliament
- Only 36% of software engineers in India can write compilable code based on measurements by an automated tool that is used across the world, the Indian skills assessment company Aspiring Minds says in a report.
The report is based on a sample of 36,800 from more than 500 colleges across India.

Aspiring Minds said it used the automated tool Automata which is a 60-minute test taken in a compiler integrated environment and rates candidates on programming ability, programming practices, run-time complexity and test case coverage.

It uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to automatically grade programming skills.
- I did some research on the type of processing power of different fighters

F-22-2 CIP-132 slots of i960x and Power PC G3. i960 is clocked max around 100 MHZ, while PowerPC can go up to the couple hundreds. 
http://www.f22fighter.com/avionics.htm
http://www.militaryaerospace.com/articl ... rades.html

F-35-CIP-2 racks of PowerPC G4-31 total slots-I believe the PowerPC G4 the F-35 uses has around 500-800 MHZ power
http://www.aviationtoday.com/2003/09/01 ... xcellence/

Rafale-18 total slots-PowerPC G3 at around 733 MHz. However I think only 5 are used.
http://www.portail-aviation.com/2014/12 ... ution.html
https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.word ... er-france/
- Asked to clarify whether Russia would view U.S. military hardware in Baltic states -- which have expressed serious concerns of a potential Russian invasion in light of Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its ongoing role in the unrest in eastern Ukraine -- as a "provocation," Peskov chose not to use the term when he spoke with Palmer.
- A Swiss researcher has discovered a keylogger in an audio driver on many Windows laptops made by HP Inc.
The software in question has been developed and digitally signed by Conexant, a  manufacturer of integrated circuits, that has emerged from an American armaments maker.

The researcher, Thorsten Schroeder, said the purpose of the software was to recognise whether a special key had been pressed or released.

"Instead, however, the developer has introduced a number of diagnostic and debugging features to ensure that all keystrokes are either broadcasted through a debugging interface or written to a log file in a public directory on the hard-drive," Schroeder wrote.
- I been hearing about this about theory about a potential global thermonuclear war with Russia. Not probable but so are most war games.

The current US strategic nuclear arsenal is:
(ICBM)~400 Minuteman II each with 400 Kt Warhead-Total 400 warheads
(SLBM)~239 Trident II MIRVed with either 100-400 Kt warhead-Total 900 warheads
(BOMBER)~80 Strategic Bombers with cruise missiles and bombs
~Total Megatonage:~500 Megatons

The current Russian arsenal is:
(ICBM)
~46 R-36 MIRVed with a total of 460 warheads
~72 Mobile Topol with a total of 72 warheads
~60 Silo Topol-M with 60 warheads
~18 Mobile Topol-M with a total of 20 warheads
~63 Yars Mobile with 252 warheads
~10 Yars Silo with 40 warheads
(SLBM)~160 missiles with 704 warheads
(BOMBER)~66 Strategic Bombers with cruise and bombs
~Total Megatonage~800 Megatons
- Graham wrote that the owner of equity stocks should regard them first and foremost as conferring part ownership of a business. With that perspective in mind, the stock owner should not be too concerned with erratic fluctuations in stock prices, since in the short term the stock market behaves like a voting machine, but in the long term it acts like a weighing machine (i.e. its true value will be reflected in its stock price in the long run). Graham distinguished between the passive and the active investor. The passive investor, often referred to as a defensive investor, invests cautiously, looks for value stocks, and buys for the long term. The active investor, on the other hand, is one who has more time, interest, and possibly more specialized knowledge to seek out exceptional buys in the market.[13] Graham recommended that investors spend time and effort to analyze the financial state of companies. When a company is available on the market at a price which is at a discount to its intrinsic value, a "margin of safety" exists, which makes it suitable for investment.
- U.S. democracy may be facing one of its toughest challenges in hundreds of years, but for Russia, this is a time for heaping servings of schadenfreude. After decades of hectoring from Washington on issues such as unfair elections, a clampdown on the press, and widespread corruption, Moscow is happily watching chaos and scandal embroil the Trump administration. The more lawless Washington appears, the more Russians are howling with laughter. When Trump tweeted last week that Russians must be “laughing up their sleeves” at the United States, he wasn’t wrong, exactly — though the target of Russian laughter might not be quite what the U.S. president thinks.

Some of the joking comes in the form of Saturday Night Live-style political comedy. The Russian comedian Dmitry Grachev, for instance — known for his chillingly accurate impression of President Vladimir Putin — regularly heaps scorn on Trump while in character. In a widely viewed clip mocking the leaders’ first telephone conversation, Putin is handed a mobile phone and told Washington is on the line. “The what house? I didn’t recognize you,” he tells the supposed leader of the free world. Various impersonations of Trump are also beginning to appear on Russian television, which typically depict the U.S. president as a buffoon who gets outfoxed by Moscow. In March, the popular Russian TV show Comedy Club, shown on the youth-focused channel TNT, featured an actor as Trump. The ersatz Trump thinks former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a type of sushi. He then plays charades against Grachev as Putin. Trump is visibly scared of the Russian president, but proposes expanding NATO in Europe. Putin responds by acting out a missile landing across the ocean and Trump hastily retreats. “Are you threatening me?” Trump asks. “No,” Putin replies, maintaining the façade of playing charades. “It’s just a grasshopper jumping in a pile of flour.”
- About The PAI
The Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society (Partnership on AI) is a not-for-profit organization, founded by Amazon, Apple, Google/DeepMind, Facebook, IBM and Microsoft.  Our goals are to study and formulate best practices on the development, testing, and fielding of AI technologies, advancing the public’s understanding of AI, to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society and identify and foster aspirational efforts in AI for socially beneficial purposes. We actively designed the Partnership on AI to bring together a diverse range of voices from for-profit and non-profit, all of whom share our belief in the tenets and are committed to collaboration and open dialogue on the many opportunities and rising challenges around AI.

Full list of partners

AI Forum of New Zealand (AIFNZ), Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), Centre for Democracy & Tech (CDT), Centre for Internet and Society, India (CIS), Cogitai, Data & Society Research Institute (D&S), Digital Asia Hub, eBay, Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), Future of Humanity Institute (FHI), Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Intel, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI), McKinsey & Company, SAP, Salesforce.com, Sony, UNICEF, Upturn, XPRIZE Foundation and Zalando.
- Last year, we published a chart showing that tech companies have displaced traditional blue chip companies like Exxon Mobil and Walmart as the most valuable companies in the world.

Here are the latest market valuations for those same five companies:

Rank Company Market Cap (Billions, as of May 11, 2017) Primary Revenue Driver
#1 Apple $804 Hardware
#2 Alphabet $651 Advertising
#3 Microsoft $536 Software
#4 Amazon $455 Online Retail
#5 Facebook $434 Advertising
TOTAL $2,880
Together, they are worth $2.9 trillion in market capitalization – and they combined in FY2016 for revenues of $555 billion with a $94 billion bottom line.
- Hanging over the whole business is a question about the tactical wisdom of Rosenstein's appointment of a special counsel.

This is how the logic goes – in pursuing the letter of the law, Mueller could come up empty-handed when it comes to crafting criminal indictments that might be proved in court. The point here is that in the US, it's often what is deemed to be legal, as opposed to illegal, that is shocking. Political stupidity is not necessarily a crime.
- Sources told Foreign Policy magazine it’s common knowledge in the White House that Trump cannot concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time and that all presentations should include maps and graphs and repeat his name to hold his attention.

“It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,” one source said. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of Nato, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing. They’re freaking out.”

In the past, Trump has asked his staff to restrict memos to one page and it’s rare for his meetings with them to last longer than 15 minutes, reports The Australian.
- One minister told me recently that, with a majority of one, the government is in no position to be brave. He has a short memory. Remember all the highly contentious legislation that Labor's minority government passed from 2010 to 2013. Remember that John Howard's Coalition, sans Senate control, was still able to privatise Telstra, implement the GST, boost waterfront productivity and slash the debt and deficit.

Critics will say the government is on a winner. After all, polls show the public supports the budget measures of increased government intervention, which repudiates Joe Hockey's fiscal austerity. 

However, this analysis demonstrates a complete denial about the true nature of the economic problem that Australia faces today: we are living beyond our means; we are spending too much; we are taxing too much. As for the 2014 budget, the problem had more to do with the Coalition's broken election promises than any backlash against what Kevin Rudd once proudly called "economic conservatism".

Unless Canberra hacks back at spending that is dramatically rising as a percentage of GDP, the financial markets and credit agencies will lose confidence in Australia, which would result in soaring interest rates and inflation. If that happens, then it is not just the Treasurer who is in strife. All of us face dark times. 

The cold hard reality is that Morrison and Turnbull are failing to educate the country about the perils of the spending spree. They need to return to an economic philosophy where taxes are cut not for their own sake, but to encourage "the forgotten people" to work, save and invest. Governments can't create optimism, wealth and jobs; only the private sector can do it. 

As it happens, this week marks the 75th anniversary of Robert Menzies' landmark address in praise of "salary earners, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers" and the like. "They are envied by those whose benefits are largely obtained by taxing them. They are not rich enough to have individual power." The Liberal party founder declared: "They are taken for granted by each political party in turn... and they… are the backbone of the nation." 

Somebody should pass a copy of the "Forgotten People" speech to the Treasurer.
- Depending on how good the F-35's sensors are...use enemy AWACS to detect enemy planes.

Think about it. F-35 detects enemy AWACS radar. If there are enemy (non-stealthy) aircraft, they will likely reflect the radar energy to a certain extent as well. The F-35 may be able to use the time delay between AWACS signal and enemy aircraft signal to get an approximate estimate of the distance, and may be able to get a bearing on the plane directly depending on its sensors.

So basically bistatic radar...except using the enemy AWACS as the transmitter. Enemy air forces might not really want to send up an AWACS...

Edit: Oops, apparently this has already been thought of before. It's called passive radar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_radar
- Windows (all versions) still has the biggest threat payload with 473 million threats/variations, with Android at 23 million, macOS at 53,000, Linux at 33,000, and iOS at 600. “Windows threats are largely from old style hackers who use unpatched vulnerabilities perhaps a decade old, there is not much innovation there, they go after low-hanging fruit,” he said referring to its 90%-plus share of the desktop market.

“The new style of hacker is looking to compromise iOS, macOS, Android and Linux, but it is hard to find Mac or iOS engineers to turn to the dark side – Windows, there are plenty of old engineers. The fast growth of Linux threats today is more about Internet of Things and smart devices,” he said.

He was concerned that the increasing iOS and macOS attention seemed to be perpetrated by “state-sponsored” attacks, “to get secrets from their iPhones.” He later commented in a press conference that every operating system has flaws and there is inordinate attention being paid to the Apple camp.

“I have some good news and some very bad news. Now with the industrial revolution 4.0, we have advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to sift through the 600,000 unique attacks we see daily and identify about 300,000 new variations most days. The very bad news is that the bad guys have the same, if not better, AI and ML working out how to get around our defences,” he said.

“I have some good news and some very bad news. Australia has its own cyber security division – good. But Russian cyber criminals are very good due to our heavy educational emphasis on engineering. The Chinese, Koreans (both North and South), other Asian nations, India, the US, parts of Europe are very good cyber criminals too. Many 'states' have cyber weapons and many have military cyber divisions ready to bring down enemy infrastructure,” he said.

“The bad news for Australia is that it is far behind other nations. The good news is that you can, and are quickly learning, from the best like Israel and Singapore. The problem with security is that humans are simply not designed to care until it happens to them. The media needs to repeat the message that it is everyone’s responsibility to think about cyber security and protect their assets,” he said.
- Chris Fordham, EY Asia-Pacific Leader, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services, said the survey highlighted the significant impact ethical conduct has on hiring and retaining employees, with more than three quarters (79%) of Australian respondents stating they would look for a new job if their organisation was involved in a major fraud, bribery or corruption case.

“Employees are demanding absolute clarity and anything short of that impacts morale, hiring, retention and overall business performance. Corporates need to simplify their compliance protocols to ensure employees follow them,” Fordham advised.

He said slow economic growth, coupled with growing pressure to exceed the business bottomline, was taking its toll on Australia’s ethical conduct, with close to a third of Australian respondents (32%) believing bribery and corrupt practices had increased because of tough economic conditions and increased competition.

“What’s most concerning for Australian business is the overwhelming belief that achieving economic targets trumps the need for ethical behaviour,” says EY Oceania managing partner, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services, Rob Locke.

“Our survey revealed that despite wanting to work for ethical organisations, 17% believe it is justified to deliberately misstate a company’s financial performance to meet financial targets. A further 20% of respondents believe it is justified to amend financial reports to provide a more positive outlook on results.

“CEOs, boards and senior management not only play an integral role in setting compliance policies but have a responsibility to ensure the wider company is following them. With 43% of Australian respondents believing people with questionable ethical practices are seen to be promoted, Australian business leaders need to recognise that perception is reality when it comes to ethical conduct.”

The survey also found that 61% of APAC respondents said they had a whistleblowing hotline within their organisation.

But when it came to reporting unethical acts, employees were reluctant to use the existing internal whistleblower hotlines as they did not trust their organisation would protect their anonymity or follow-up with proper remedial actions. Nearly a third (28%) said they would prefer to use external law-enforcement hotlines and even social media channels to report misconduct instead.
- "There is spending for spending's sake - and then there is spending wisely," observes US strategic analyst Richard Fontaine, who once worked for Republican John McCain, in warning there is no magic in the 2 per cent figure.

Writing in Foreign Policy magazine overnight, Fontaine is in favour of allies carrying their weight but argues defence spending should be judged on capability, too.

"In some European countries, for instance, defence spending is as much about job creation as it is about safeguarding national security," he writes.

And if that again sounds familiar to those of us here in Australia, what has been the Coalition's rationale for a splurge of $89 billion ($89 billion!) on the naval shipbuilding industry?

"This is a plan for jobs, it's a plan for security, it is a plan for the opportunity that investment in our defence industry brings not just today and tomorrow, but for generations to come," boasted Malcolm Turnbull a fortnight ago.

Did you catch the order there? Jobs, then security.

A scorecard to flash up next time Turnbull meets with Trump.

Bible Codes, Random Stuff, and More

On Bible Codes: Obviously, I am somewhat curious about the origin of religion... Recently, I came across a book called 'Bible Code...