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Messages - Palloy

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1
Geopolitics / Re: Ukraine Civil War
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:55:18 AM »
So, the great peace conference has come and gone, the only outcome being the short and vague http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/140417_01_en.pdf Joint Statement  , immediately followed by
http://rt.com/news/kiev-troops-southeast-ukraine-244/ Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement
http://rt.com/usa/obama-press-conference-ukraine-268/ Obama: We are preparing additional sanctions against Russia
http://rt.com/business/russia-west-oil-prices-136/ Putin says oil wars with Russia will make West bleed
and today this from the Polish Defence Minister:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/04/18/u-s-ground-troops-going-to-poland-defense-minister-says/
U.S. ground troops going to Poland, defense minister says

By Fred Hiatt   
April 18 2014

Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.

But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends.

“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a U.S. presence in Europe any more,” Siemoniak said, speaking through an interpreter. “Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”

How likely is such a reversal on defense spending? Siemoniak said there was widespread support at a recent meeting of European defense ministers. “Now they’ll go back to their presidents, prime ministers and ministers of finance, and this will stop being easy,” he admitted.

[more]


2
Geopolitics / Re: Ukraine Civil War
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:59 AM »
In Blum's latest Anti-Empire Report (always worth a read), he mentions The Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation whose Partners include US Department of State, the National Endowment for Democracy, Chatham House - no need to background them.

Other Partners are:
NATO Information and Documentation Centre, Ukraine
Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a project of the German Marshall Fund. This fund was set up by Germany, but is headquartered in Washington DC and is an American public policy think tank and grant-making institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between North America and Europe.

Horizon Capital - private equity fund manager .

Swedbank, the largest bank in Sweden and the Baltic region. Its Ukrainian branch was sold in 2013 to Mr. Mykola Lagun, the majority owner in Delta Bank:
https://www.kyivpost.com/content/business/mykola-lagun-expands-in-banking-324158.html
Mykola Lagun has become one of the most active players on the Ukrainian banking market since 2010.  Local businessmen are rushing to pounce on the golden opportunity being offered by foreign banks, who continue to divest their Ukrainian assets at prices far below those they paid before the global financial crisis.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Pinchuk is a Ukrainian jewish billionaire industrialist
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Pinchuk
In 2004 Pinchuk and Rinat Akhmetov, two of Ukraine's richest men, acquired the Kryvorizhstal steel factory for about $800 million.[5] Later, the first Tymoshenko Government reversed this sale, and held a nationally-televised repeat auction that netted a $4.8 billion.[5]

International Renaissance Foundation  is part of the Open Society Foundations network established by investor and philanthropist George Soros.

And finally Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

3
Geopolitics / Re: To Disobey and Get Away
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:54 AM »
FREE THE EGGS !  :emthup:


4
Energy / Re: Electric Car Sales Plunge To 4 Year Lows
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:37 AM »
Quote
MKing: There is not, nor will there ever be, an energy shortage, as long as the local nuclear furnace keeps doing its thing.

Now, if you want to discuss affordable power generation, that is something else altogether. For some reason, people do not understand this distinction, and yet it is at the core of any "energy" argument.

OK, if you must split hairs, then it is an affordable power generation problem.  Now explain to me why YOU don't seem to understand the implications.  I understand that most people's eyes glaze over when presented with a spreadsheet, but I know that YOU can do this.

Scenario: 1 kW(p) of PV panels fixed facing due South with tilt = Your Latitude
Set up a spreadsheet that accepts ERoEI, Lifetime and Your Latitude, Your Insolation (kW.hours/day for flat plate at your location, see http:// ) as input parameters, so that we can change them easily and see the effects.
Create a group of cells that represents the lifetime of the panel, with year = 0 representing its production, and year = 1 thru Lifetime representing the panel's output.
Calculate the energy produced for each year of the Lifetime, assuming the panel's output declines steadily to 80% after 25 years. 
Total those values to give the ER of the panels over their Lifetime.
Calculate the year 0 value = -EI (= -ER / ERoEI)
Chart those values.
You will see that it starts off negative, representing the EI, and then increases each year over its lifetime, breaking even after ( Lifetime / ERoEI ) representing the Energy Pay Back Time (EPBT).

Now imagine that the PV factory that produced those panels has a lifetime of 30 years, and that it produces another cohort of panels every year.
So replicate that group of cells 30 times, offset by 1 year each time, to represent the factory's yearly energy budget.
Sum the values in each year, to represent the cumulative energy budget, and chart that.

You will see that the cumulative energy doesn't reach break even until 2 x EPBT

5
Cyber Security / Re: How to do End-to-End Encryption using GPG4USB
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:29 AM »
As mentioned in the tutorial, once you have GPG4USB set up, you can copy-paste backwards and forwards between any app, not just your email program.  Webmail, web forums like DD, and so on. 

Sending emails of course relies on someone providing you with a service (a mail server), and the same for the recipient.  Instant Messaging (IM) also needs someone to provide the service of an IM server.  Fortunately these services are usually provided for free.  This is all fine so long as the servers remain on-line, but the ProtonMail fiasco shows that no one can keep their servers on-line when things get difficult.

So in an effort to minimise the services required of others, I have installed an IM/Chat server on a VPS space I control, which gives me control over the SSL keys that protect the traffic, and control over the critical file and server logs - in fact there won't be ANY server logs once the service is working smoothly.

To test this out I want Diners to register and practice sending/receiving Instant Messages, and chatting in the chatrooms.  If this works OK, then I could also set it up on DD's VPS space, with mine as a fallback if DD is off-lined (as we saw with the attack earlier this year, but also due to DD-ers doing "unamerican activities" like criticising the Government!).

Choice of IM client app

The main problem with IM is compatibility between the language that the server and client can speak in (called the Protocol).  There are at least 14 different protocols that are common - IRC, ICQ, Jabber(XMPP) etc.  My server speaks XMPP, so your client app must be able to as well.

The app also has to be able to run on your operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac, etc) obviously.
So the best choice for your IM client is Pidgin, which runs on Windows/Linux/Mac and can speak every protocol.  It is free and open source, and a very stable product.

You can download it at https://pidgin.im/download/ , virus check it, install it, and run it.  The first time it runs, it won't have any accounts set up and will offer to Add a new one.

Setting up your Pidgin account

Protocol: XMPP
Username: your DD username
Domain: palloy.in
Resource: leave blank
Password: something long
Remember password: checked
Advanced settings
Connection security: require encryption
Connect port: 5222
Connect server: chat.palloy.in
and finally, down at the bottom
Create this new account: checked

Then click Add and it should all spring to life.
You will be referred to as "username@palloy.in"

Running Pidgin

The controlling window, titled Buddy List, has a menu bar with Buddies on it.
The two main items on that sub-menu are New Instant Message ... and Join Chat.
There is a chatroom called "bar" which is always open, even if no one is there, so I suggest you make that your first port of call.

Pidgin > Buddies > Join Chat >
Room: "bar"
Password: your password
Click Join




6
Cyber Security / Re: Secure Chat
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:24 AM »
Yes I understand what you mean, but that would need a special app to interface Pidgin to SMF as well as the XMPP server, and it would only get used once.

Well I just downloaded Xabber, Trillian and something else from the Google Play Store, and they all had to be set up the same way.  How could they not be?  You must be forgetting all the hoops you have to jump through to set up Thunderbird (or any email client) with a new email account.

The point is that you only have to do all stuff ONCE, and then it is done.

7
Cyber Security / Re: Orange Pi - the $15 computer
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:20 AM »
Now that I've had time to play with it a bit, here are my second thoughts.

After initially loading the OS "Ubuntu Vivid + Mate desktop", which worked OK, I tried loading the Lubuntu 14.04 version, which I use on my other machines, and that worked a bit better (less overheads).  That is the one I would recommend - you have to copy a couple of extra files to the boot partition.

I got a shock when I looked at the system log, and saw lots of reports of CPU temperatures up around 75°C !  Researching on-line, I found lots of reports of these temperatures, at which point the system cuts power to an increasing number of the 4 CPU cores - that explains why the benchmarking figures were so poor (the benchmarks try to drive all cores at 100%, in practice you would never do that).

Then I decided to take the board out of the plastic case, and run it naked - temperatures dropped from 73 to 60, and 56 if I turned the board on edge.  I got it down to 52 if I kept blowing on it.  I think I will try and make a heatsink for it, because you can't be too cool.


8
Just to remind you of how China is threatening Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea:



And why wouldn't they build a run-way that was long enough to take long-haul, big-lift planes, since that is what it will take to service the remote islands?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-01/us-seeks-maritime-hegemony-acting-irresponsibly-south-china-sea-beijing-warns
US Seeks "Maritime Hegemony", Is Acting "Irresponsibly" In South China Sea, Beijing Warns
Tyler Durden
2/01/2016

It’s now been nearly a year since the world woke up to what Beijing was doing in the South China Sea.

Early in 2015, satellite images seemed to show that China had embarked on a rather ambitious land reclamation effort in the Spratlys a disputed island chain claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.

As the months wore on it became readily apparent that this was no small project. Ultimately, China would build 3,000 acres of new sovereign territory atop reefs in the area much to the chagrin of Washington’s regional allies.

Especially disconcerting for the US was the construction of a giant runway on Fiery Cross Reef (one of the artificial islands).

It’s long enough to land military aircraft and just last month, Beijing began to land planes on the man-made outpost.

China also build a number of other things on the islands including cement factories, greenhouses, ports, and a lighthouse.

Beijing contends it has every right to continue its construction efforts. In fact, China says it can forcibly expel other nations from the area if it so chooses.

As the summer wore on, the situation devolved into a war of words between Beijing and Washington with each accusing the other of acting "aggressively" in the Pacific. Each side also swore up and down that in the end, the "agression would not stand - man."

The staring contest lasted until late October when, after months of deliberation, the Obama administration sent a warship to the islands in what Washington called a "freedom of navigation" exercise.

Fortunately, China didn't shoot at the vessel, but Beijing was profoundly displeased. The Pentagon patted itself on the back for reasserting America's right to control the shipping lanes through which some $5 trillion in global trade pass each year and Washington promptly decided to conduct the exercises several times per quarter.

As it turns out the US has so far kept its promise. Late last week the USS Curtis Wilbur, a guided missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of Triton island.

China is not happy.

"The so-called freedom of navigation plans and acts that the United States has upheld for many years in reality do not accord with generally recognised international law," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing on Monday.

Lu didn't stop there. He also accused the US of "ignoring numerous littoral states' sovereignty and security and maritime rights [on the way to] seriously harming relevant regional peace and stability."

And just to drive the point home, Lu delivered the following sharply worded assessment:

    "Its essence is to push the United States' maritime hegemony in the name of freedom of navigation, which has always been resolutely opposed by most of the international community, especially certain developing nations. What the United States has done is dangerous and irresponsible."

What's particularly interesting there is that it was just last month when we reported that Japan is set to build a missile blockade in the East China Sea in order to keep China from exerting complete control over regional waters.

In other words, both sides say the other is attempting to establish maritime hegemony. Of course there's one glaring difference: these are waters are nowhere near the US mainland. Why should the US get to decide what goes on in China's backyard?

9
Economics / Re: The Casey Research con-job
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:08 AM »
If your destination is in the Caribbean, I would strongly recommend you buy your own yacht and sail there when it's time to get out of Dodge.  Yacht's are NEVER searched on exit, and only very rarely on entry if you declare guns on board.  Also you can leave one jurisdiction for another unannounced at any time you like, and if you don't make formal entry at an official entry port, no one will catch you.

10
Primitive Living / Re: Shelter Building doing the Full Primitive
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:54:04 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Uwtu_DARM9I

Love it   :emthup:

Loads of big palms here, and the base of each leaf that clasps the stem can be flattened and dried to produce big, light tiles.  This one is 3 foot by 18":



Of course they only last a year, but if you spend 362 days collecting from the immediate area and drying, and 3 days re-roofing, I reckon that's OK.

There are loads of stone tools lying in the top layer of dirt here.  This one fits the hand beautifully, and is ideal for scraping the soft flesh off the very bristly fruit of a Pandanus.  Other chisel tools for breaking into the nutritious nut kernels inside.



If you send the kids off to play in the creek (while you get on with the serious business of drinking) and reward them if they bring back the white rocks (quartz), then you heat the rock up in the fire, and then chuck it in a bucket of water, whereupon it shatters into a million tiny razor-sharp fragments - perfect for gutting a fish, and the odd one good for a spear/arrow tip or piercing tool.  They get blunted very easily, and chucked away - thousands round here.



The big danger is losing contact with your roots, or at least the locals' roots, from before industrial civilisation.

11
Energy / Re: Oil Price Crash: Who Cooda Node?
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:53:47 AM »
Quote
http://qz.com/637318/epiphanies-and-economics-whats-pushing-workers-out-of-oil-and-gas-and-pulling-them-into-renewables/
The executives leaving oil and gas behind for jobs in clean energy
Edinburgh, Scotland

http://www.efficientenergysaving.co.uk/solar-irradiance-calculator.html
shows that in Edinbrugh in December the solar irradiance averaged over the last 10 years on a horizontal panel is 0.38 kW.h/day .  They don't go into it, but obviously it is more efficient if your panel faces South and is tilted at the Latitude angle (56° for Edinburgh).  This increases the solar interception by (1 / Cosine(56°)) = 1.79 . So for an average day in December a 1 square metre tilted panel would receive 0.38 * 1.79 =  0.68 kW.h/day . For June the figure would be 8.3 kW.h/day .  Clearly 1 square meter is not going to be enough to run a house.

If the house is heated by fossil fuels (I had an anthracite-burning enclosed system and changed to a gas system, which was much better) then the electricity demand will be much less, but we are phasing out fossil fuels, aren't we, so how much electricity demand for a home in Edinburgh heated by solar electricity?  I don't know, but it doesn't matter does it, because we are going to have our electricity tied in to the grid, at the extra expense of a grid-tied metering system, but with the advantage of the feed-in-tariff.


12
I think you've got longer than a billion years before the Sun goes Red Giant - maybe 5 billion years.  Trying to make anything last that long would be a tricky problem - even continents don't last that long.  The oldest buildings in the world are less than 7,000 years old.

13
The Kitchen Sink / Re: Checkmate
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:53:16 AM »
The system's weakness is in its complexity - if one minor sub-system fails, there will be a cascade of other sub-system failures, due to interdependencies.  Eventually, if not immediately, a critical sub-system will fail and the cascade of failures from that will suddenly encompass everything.  Deadly embraces will prevent any attempt at getting things going again, and anyway the food will run out.

14
Surveys / Re: Renewable Energy Survey
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:53:10 AM »
Quote
AG: When hydrogen gas combusts with oxygen gas, we get water gas, which quickly turns into to liquid in a standard atmosphere.

When you are doing thermodynamics, phrases like "quickly turns into" have to be accounted for.  It takes energy to boil water, and you get that energy back when it "quickly turns into" liquid again.  If you choose not to capture that energy (perhaps in a condenser) that's your fault, not Hess's fault.

To repeat the Methane burning calculation:
CH4 + 2O2 => CO2 + 2H2O (steam) + energy
∆H: -74.81 + 0 = -393.5 + 2*( -241.8 ) + X
X = 393.5 + 2*241.8 - 74.81
X = 802.29 kJ/mol
A mol of Methane has a Mass of (12 + 4*1) = 16 grams
So Methane has an Energy Density of 50.143 kJ/gram

Now do the same calculation for Hydrogen gas burning:
2H2 + O2 => 2H2O (steam) + energy
∆H: 2*0 + 0 = 2*( -241.8 ) + X
X = 2*241.8
X = 483.6 kJ/mol
A mol of Hydrogen has a Mass of (2*1) = 2 grams
So Hydrogen has an Energy Density of 241.8 kJ/gram

As RE points out, gases can be compressed (P*V = N*R*T), where N is the number of molecules in a mol = 6.022E+23 for ALL gases.  So while gases have an Energy Density in Volume terms as well as Mass terms, you have to be careful when considering pressurised gases, because a gas at above Standard Pressure has had Energy used to compress it, and

15
Surly Newz / Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« on: June 06, 2017, 01:52:58 AM »
When Micah White says we should "build an electoral movement", that is NOT something new, or a strategy that will work.  Maybe Micah hasn't done it before, but I have. 

The electoral nature of the movement requires that its structure is shaped like the electoral system - Federal, many State and very many County level groups.  Although the movement's members can operate at all levels, there needs to be at least a Candidate for each electorate, who is elected by majority of branch members  (we're still democrats, aren't we?).  The membership list has to be maintained by a Secretary, and fees collected and accounted for by a Treasurer.  At first maybe those jobs will be filled by volunteers, but as things progress, those will become important positions and will have to have elections themselves.  Meetings at the Federal level are going to be vital, so who is to go to them? - State Representives, who are elected by State Members, likewise State level meetings are attended by County level Representatives who are elected by their County Members.  For transparency reasons, all minutes of meetings should be open to all Members and probably the Public (all potential members).  So far so good.

Of course some discussion has to be non-public - strategy, tactics and policy formulation, so the entire machinery for communications has to be duplicated for public/non-public communications.  Membership lists have to be kept private, for personal privacy reasons and because you don't want to telegraph your strengths/weaknesses to the opposition, but they also have to be easily available within the party.  Can you see a problem here? - you want new Members, and being politically-minded, they are likely to have come from other parties/movements, and they are going to get access to a lot of important information and be eligible to be elected to important positions, but there are going to be spies and spoilers among them.  There are going to be activists from the climate change movement, from GreenPeace, from WWF, from Black Lives Matter, from Muslims Matter, from Mining Towns Matter, from Permaculture, from Legalise Marijuana, from Legalise All Drugs - every disenfranchised, alienated group you can think of.

So there are going to be endless arguments over policy, with different policies being favoured at each structural level.  We want to be all-inclusive, to maximise the vote at elections, but the broader you cast your net, the more difficult it becomes to cater for all opinions.  Who wins out? - the most cohesive factions, the smart political operators who understand about branch-stacking and how to undermine the other factions' power base, Candidates who know how to sound like they are on everyone's side, while privately doing what favours their own opinions - in other words POLITICIANS.

And that's how your noble movement gets captured by politicians, and your noble philosophy gets corrupted.  If it is democratic, it will evolve into something that isn't democratic at all - that's why the parties we have now are like they are.

I've seen it happen, and I can't see it turning out any other way so long as humans are involved.


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