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Understanding Indian Govt attitude to Iran and Iraq wars

This is a collection of links for a geo-strategic analysis, and the economics of wars and allies. The author neither condones nor condemns current global dynamics in the balance of power.

nations don’t have friends or enemies…nations only have interests

In 2003

The war in Iraq had a unique Indian angle right at the beginning. Some members of the US administration felt they needed more troops in Iraq, and they started negotiating with India. Those negotiations broke down because the Indians wanted to fight under the UN flag and on MONEY!!

India wanted-

  • More money per soldier deployed,
  • more share in post War Oil Contracts,
  • better diplomatic subtlety
Govt changed in India due to elections in2003 (Muslim voters are critical in any govt forming majority party), and the Iraq war ran its tragic course without any Indian explicit support.
In 26 Nov 2008, Islamic Terrorists killed US, Indian and Israeli citizens in terror strikes in Mumbai Sieze- thus proving that appeasing terrorist nations is just riding a tiger.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2003-06-13/india/27203305_1_stabilisation-force-indian-troops-pentagon-delegation

NEW DELHI: There will be a lot a Iraq on the menu over the weekend before the Pentagon team arrives here on Monday to talk India into sending troops to the war-torn nation.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2003-07-28/india/27176989_1_troops-issue-stabilisation-force-defence-policy-group

Jul 28, 2003, 01.28pm IST

NEW DELHI: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Richard B Myers, who is arriving here on Monday evening on a two-day visit, will request India to reconsider its decision on sending troops to Iraq.

and

Jul 29, 2003, 07.00pm IST

NEW DELHI: Though Gen Myers flatly denied his visit had anything to do with persuading India to send troops to Iraq, it is evident that the US desperately wants Delhi to contribute a division-level force of over 15,000 combat soldiers.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2003-09-10/india/27176101_1_stabilisation-force-force-under-american-control-regional-dialogue

Sep 10, 2003, 05.34pm IST

NEW DELHI: Even as the US-drafted resolution on Iraq is being heatedly debated in many countries, American Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca held a series of meetings with External Affairs Ministry officials on Wednesday.

Though it was officially called “a regional dialogue”, the US request to contribute a division-level force of over 15,000 combat soldiers to the “stabilisation force” in Iraq is learnt to have figured in the discussions.

The penny wise -pound foolish attitude of then Def Secretary Rumsfield led to break down in negotiations.

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

In 2012

Indian govt again faces elections and we have 150 million Muslim voters just like other countries have influential lobbies.

and while Israelis are being targeted again in attacks in India-

India is still seeking money-

India has struck a defiant tone over new financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran for its nuclear programme, coming up with elaborate trade and barter arrangements to pay for oil supplies.

However, the president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association, said Monday’s attack on the wife of an Israeli diplomat in the Indian capital will damage trade with Iran and may complicate efforts to resolve an impasse over Iranian defaults on payments for rice imports worth around $150 million.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Unfazed-by-US-sanctions-India-to-step-up-ties-with-Iran/articleshow/11887691.cms

India buys $ 5  billion worth of oil from Iran. Annually. Clearly it is a critical financial trading partner to Iran.

It has now gotten extra sops from Iran to continue trading-and is now waiting for a sweeter monetary offer from US and/or Israel to even consider thinking about going through the pain of unchanging the inertia of ties with Iran.

There are some aspects of political corruption as well, as Indian political establishment  is notoriously prone to corruption by lobbyists (apparently there   is a global war on lobbyists that needs to happen)

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Unfazed-by-US-sanctions-India-to-step-up-ties-with-Iran/articleshow/11887691.cms

 Feb 14, 2012, 05.54PM ISTUnfazed by US sanctions, India to step up ties with Iran
India is set to ramp up its energy and business ties with Iran. (AFP Photo)
NEW DELHI: Unfazed by US sanctions and Israel linking Tehran to the attack on an Israeli embassy car here, India is set to ramp up its energy and business ties with Iran, with a commerce ministry team heading to Tehran to explore fresh business opportunities. 

The team is expected to go to Tehran later this month to discuss steps to expand India’s trade with Iran, part of a larger strategy to pay for Iranian oil, said highly-placed sources. 

Despite the US and European Union sanctions on Iran, India recently sealed a payment mechanism under which Indian companies will pay for 45 percent of their crude oil imports from Iran in rupees. 

So diplomats with argue over money in Israel, Indian and US while terrorists will kill.

Against Stupidity- The Gods Themselves -Contend in Vain

Analytics for Cyber Conflict

 

The emerging use of Analytics and Knowledge Discovery in Databases for Cyber Conflict and Trade Negotiations

 

The blog post is the first in series or articles on cyber conflict and the use of analytics for targeting in both offense and defense in conflict situations.

 

It covers knowledge discovery in four kinds of databases (so chosen because of perceived importance , sensitivity, criticality and functioning of the geopolitical economic system)-

  1. Databases on Unique Identity Identifiers- including next generation biometric databases connected to Government Initiatives and Banking, and current generation databases of identifiers like government issued documents made online
  2. Databases on financial details -This includes not only traditional financial service providers but also online databases with payment details collected by retail product selling corporates like Sony’s Playstation Network, Microsoft ‘s XBox and
  3. Databases on contact details – including those by offline businesses collecting marketing databases and contact details
  4. Databases on social behavior- primarily collected by online businesses like Facebook , and other social media platforms.

It examines the role of

  1. voluntary privacy safeguards and government regulations ,

  2. weak cryptographic security of databases,

  3. weakness in balancing marketing ( maximized data ) with privacy (minimized data)

  4. and lastly the role of ownership patterns in database owning corporates

A small distinction between cyber crime and cyber conflict is that while cyber crime focusses on stealing data, intellectual property and information  to primarily maximize economic gains

cyber conflict focuses on stealing information and also disrupt effective working of database backed systems in order to gain notional competitive advantages in economics as well as geo-politics. Cyber terrorism is basically cyber conflict by non-state agents or by designated terrorist states as defined by the regulations of the “target” entity. A cyber attack is an offensive action related to cyber-infrastructure (like the Stuxnet worm that disabled uranium enrichment centrifuges of Iran). Cyber attacks and cyber terrorism are out of scope of this paper, we will concentrate on cyber conflicts involving databases.

Some examples are given here-

Types of Knowledge Discovery in -

1) Databases on Unique Identifiers- including biometric databases.

Unique Identifiers or primary keys for identifying people are critical for any intensive knowledge discovery program. The unique identifier generated must be extremely secure , and not liable to reverse engineering of the cryptographic hash function.

For biometric databases, an interesting possibility could be determining the ethnic identity from biometric information, and also mapping relatives. Current biometric information that is collected is- fingerprint data, eyes iris data, facial data. A further feature could be adding in voice data as a part of biometric databases.

This is subject to obvious privacy safeguards.

For example, Google recently unveiled facial recognition to unlock Android 4.0 mobiles, only to find out that the security feature could easily be bypassed by using a photo of the owner.

 

 

Example of Biometric Databases

In Afghanistan more than 2 million Afghans have contributed iris, fingerprint, facial data to a biometric database. In India, 121 million people have already been enrolled in the largest biometric database in the world. More than half a million customers of the Tokyo Mitsubishi Bank are are already using biometric verification at ATMs.

Examples of Breached Online Databases

In 2011, Playstation Network by Sony (PSN) lost data of 77 million customers including personal information and credit card information. Additionally data of 24 million customers were lost by Sony’s Sony Online Entertainment. The websites of open source platforms like SourceForge, WineHQ and Kernel.org were also broken into 2011. Even retailers like McDonald and Walgreen reported database breaches.

 

The role of cyber conflict arises in the following cases-

  1. Databases are online for accessing and authentication by proper users. Databases can be breached remotely by non-owners ( or “perpetrators”) non with much lesser chance of intruder identification, detection and penalization by regulators, or law enforcers (or “protectors”) than offline modes of intellectual property theft.

  2. Databases are valuable to external agents (or “sponsors”) subsidizing ( with finance, technology, information, motivation) the perpetrators for intellectual property theft. Databases contain information that can be used to disrupt the functioning of a particular economy, corporation (or “ primary targets”) or for further chain or domino effects in accessing other data (or “secondary targets”)

  3. Loss of data is more expensive than enhanced cost of security to database owners

  4. Loss of data is more disruptive to people whose data is contained within the database (or “customers”)

So the role play for different people for these kind of databases consists of-

1) Customers- who are in the database

2) Owners -who own the database. They together form the primary and secondary targets.

3) Protectors- who help customers and owners secure the databases.

and

1) Sponsors- who benefit from the theft or disruption of the database

2) Perpetrators- who execute the actual theft and disruption in the database

The use of topic models and LDA is known for making data reduction on text, and the use of data visualization including tied to GPS based location data is well known for investigative purposes, but the increasing complexity of both data generation and the sophistication of machine learning driven data processing makes this an interesting area to watch.

 

 

The next article in this series will cover-

the kind of algorithms that are currently or being proposed for cyber conflict, the role of non state agents , and what precautions can knowledge discovery in databases practitioners employ to avoid breaches of security, ethics, and regulation.

Citations-

  1. Michael A. Vatis , CYBER ATTACKS DURING THE WAR ON TERRORISM: A PREDICTIVE ANALYSIS Dartmouth College (Institute for Security Technology Studies).
  2. From Data Mining to Knowledge Discovery in Databases Usama Fayyad, Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, and Padhraic Smyt

Some Ways Anonymous Could Disrupt the Internet if SOPA is passed

This is a piece of science fiction. I wrote while reading Isaac Assimov’s advice to writers in GOLD, while on a beach in Anjuna.

1) Identify senators, lobbyists, senior executives of companies advocating for SOPA. Go for selective targeting of these people than massive Denial of Service Attacks.

This could also include election fund raising websites in the United States.

2) Create hacking tools with simple interfaces to probe commonly known software errors, to enable wider audience including the Occupy Movement students to participate in hacking. thus making hacking more democratic. What are the top 25 errors as per  http://cwe.mitre.org/cwss/

-http://www.decisionstats.com/top-25-most-dangerous-software-errors/ ?

 

Easy interface tools to check vulnerabilities would be the next generation to flooding tools like HOIC, LOIC – Massive DDOS atttacks make good press coverage but not so good technically

3) Disrupt digital payment mechanisms for selected targets (in step1) using tools developed in Step 2, and introduce random noise errors in payment transfers.

4) Help create a better secure internet by embedding Tor within Chromium with all tools for anonymity embedded for easy usage – a more secure peer to peer browser (like a mashup of Opera , tor and chromium).

or maybe embed bit torrents within a browser.

5) Disrupt media companies and cloud computing based companies like iTunes, Spotify or Google Music, just like virus, ant i viruses disrupted the desktop model of computing. After that offer solutions to the problems like companies of anti virus software did for decades.

6) Hacking websites is fine fun, but hacking internet databases and massively parallel data scrapers can help disrupt some of the status quo.

This applies to databases that offer data for sale, like credit bureaus etc. Making this kind of data public will eliminate data middlemen.

7) Use cross border, cross country regulatory arbitrage for better risk control of hacker attacks.

8) recruiting among universities using easy to use hacking tools to expand the pool of dedicated hacker armies.

9) using operations like those targeting child pornography to increase political acceptability of the hacker sub culture. Refrain from overtly negative and unimaginative bad Press Relations

10) If you cant convince  them to pass SOPA, confuse them ;) Use bots for random clicks on ads to confuse internet commerce.

 

Google Cloud SQL

Another xing bang API from the boyz in Mountain View. (entry by invite only) But it is free and you can test your stuff on a MySQL db =10 GB

Database as a service ? (Maybe)— while Amazon was building fires (and Fire)

—————————————————————–

https://code.google.com/apis/sql/index.html

What is Google Cloud SQL?

Google Cloud SQL is a web service that provides a highly available, fully-managed, hosted SQL storage solution for your App Engine applications.

What are the benefits of using Google Cloud SQL?

You can access a familiar, highly available SQL database from your App Engine applications, without having to worry about provisioning, management, and integration with other Google services.

How much does Google Cloud SQL cost?

We will not be billing for this service in 2011. We will give you at least 30 days’ advance notice before we begin billing in the future. Other services such as Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage etc. that you use with Google Cloud SQL may have their own payment terms, and you need to pay for them. Please consult their documentation for details.

Currently you are limited to the three instance sizes. What if I need to store more data or need better performance?

In the Limited Preview period, we only have three sizes available. If you have specific needs, we would like to hear from you on our google-cloud-sqldiscussion board.

When is Google Cloud SQL be out of Limited Preview?

We are working hard to make the service generally available.We don’t have a firm date that we can announce right now.

Do you support all the features of MySQL?

In general, Google Cloud SQL supports all the features of MySQL. The following are lists of all the unsupported features and notable differences that Google Cloud SQL has from MySQL.

Unsupported Features:

  • User defined functions
  • MySql replication

Unsupported MySQL statements:

  • LOAD DATA INFILE
  • SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE
  • SELECT ... INTO DUMPFILE
  • INSTALL PLUGIN .. SONAME ...
  • UNINSTALL PLUGIN
  • CREATE FUNCTION ... SONAME ...

Unsupported SQL Functions:

  • LOAD_FILE()

Notable Differences:

  • If you want to import databases with binary data into your Google Cloud SQL instance, you must use the --hex-blob option with mysqldump.Although this is not a required flag when you are using a local MySQL server instance and the MySQL command line, it is required if you want to import any databases with binary data into your Google Cloud SQL instance. For more information, see Importing Data.
How large a database can I use with Google Cloud SQL?
Currently, in this limited preview period, your database instance must be no larger than 10GB.
How can I be notified when there are any changes to Google Cloud SQL?
You can sign up for the sql-announcements forum where we post announcements and news about the Google Cloud SQL.
How can I cancel my Google Cloud SQL account?
To remove all data from your Google Cloud SQL account and disable the service:

  1. Delete all your data. You can remove your tables, databases, and indexes using the drop command. For more information, see SQL DROP statement.
  2. Deactivate the Google Cloud SQL by visiting the Services pane and clicking the On button next to Google Cloud SQL. The button changes from Onto Off.
How do I report a bug, request a feature, or ask a question?
You can report bugs and request a feature on our project page.You can ask a question in our discussion forum.

Getting Started

Can I use languages other than Java or Python?
Only Java and Python are supported for Google Cloud SQL.
Can I use Google Cloud SQL outside of Google App Engine?
The Limited Preview is primarily focused on giving Google App Engine customers the ability to use a familiar relational database environment. Currently, you cannot access Google Cloud SQL from outside Google App Engine.
What database engine are we using in the Google Cloud SQL?
MySql Version 5.1.59
Do I need to install a local version of MySQL to use the Development Server?
Yes.

Managing Your Instances

Do I need to use the Google APIs Console to use Google Cloud SQL?
Yes. For basic tasks like granting access control to applications, creating instances, and deleting instances, you need to use the Google APIs Console.
Can I import or export specific databases?
No, currently it is not possible to export specific databases. You can only export your entire instance.
Do I need a Google Cloud Storage account to import or export my instances?
Yes, you need to sign up for a Google Cloud Storage account or have access to a Google Cloud Storage account to import or export your instances. For more information, see Importing and Exporting Data.
If I delete my instance, can I reuse the instance name?
Yes, but not right away. The instance name is reserved for up to two months before it can be reused.

Tools & Resources

Can I use Django with Google Cloud SQL?
No, currently Google Cloud SQL is not compatible with Django.
What is the best tool to use for interacting with my instance?
There are a variety of tools available for Google Cloud SQL. For executing simple statements, you can use the SQL prompt. For executing more complicated tasks, you might want to use the command line tool. If you want to use a tool with a graphical interface, the SQuirrel SQL Client provides an interface you can use to interact with your instance.

Common Technical Questions

Should I use InnoDB for my tables?
Yes. InnoDB is the default storage engine in MySQL 5.5 and is also the recommended storage engine for Google Cloud SQL. If you do not need any features that require MyISAM, you should use InnoDB. You can convert your existing tables using the following SQL command, replacing tablename with the name of the table to convert:

ALTER tablename ENGINE = InnoDB;

If you have a mysqldump file where all your tables are in MyISAM format, you can convert them by piping the file through a sed script:

mysqldump --databases database_name [-u username -p  password] --hex-blob database_name | sed 's/ENGINE=MyISAM/ENGINE=InnoDB/g' > database_file.sql

Warning: You should not do this if your mysqldump file contains the mysql schema. Those files must remain in MyISAM.

Are there any size or QPS limits?
Yes, the following limits apply to Google Cloud SQL:

Resource Limits from External Requests Limits from Google App Engine
Queries Per Second (QPS) 5 QPS No limit
Maximum Request Size 16 MB
Maximum Response Size 16 MB

Google App Engine Limits

Google App Engine applications are also subject to additional Google App Engine quotas and limits. Requests from Google App Engine applications to Google Cloud SQL are subject to the following time limits:

  • All database requests must finish within the HTTP request timer, around 60 seconds.
  • Offline requests like cron tasks have a time limit of 10 minutes.
  • Backend requests to Google Cloud SQL have a time limit of 10 minutes.

App Engine-specific quotas and access limits are discussed on the Google App Engine Quotas page.

Should I use Google Cloud SQL with my non-High Replication App Engine application?
We recommend that you use Google Cloud SQL with High Replication App Engine applications. While you can use use Google Cloud SQL with applications that do not use high replication, doing so might impact performance.
Source-
https://code.google.com/apis/sql/faq.html#supportmysqlfeatures

Page Mathematics

I was looking at the site http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/index.html

and I saw this list (Below) and using a Google Doc at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AtYMMvghK2ytdE9ybmVQeUxMeXdjWlVKYzRlMkxjX0E&output=html.

I then decided to divide  pageviews by users to check the maths

Facebook is AAAAAmazing! and the Russian social network is amazing too!

or

The maths is wrong! (maybe sampling, maybe virtual pageviews caused by friendstream refresh)

but the average of 1,136 page views per unique visitor per month means 36 page views /visitor a Day!

Rank Site     Category        Unique Visitors (users) Page Views Views/Visitors
1  facebook.com	  Social Networks	880000000 1000000000000	1,136
29 linkedin.com	  Social Networks	80000000     2500000000	31
38 orkut.com	  Social Networks	66000000     4000000000	61
40 orkut.com.br	  Social Networks	62000000    43000000000	694
65 weibo.com	  Social Networks	42000000     2800000000	67
66 renren.com	  Social Networks	42000000     3300000000	79
84 odnoklassniki.ru Social Networks	37000000    13000000000	351
90 scribd.com	  Social Networks	34000000      140000000	4
95 vkontakte.ru	  Social Networks	34000000    48000000000	1,412
and
Rank Site	Category  Unique Visitors (users)Page Views	Page Views/Visitors
1 facebook.com	Social Networks	880000000	1000000000000	1,136
2 youtube.com	Online Video	800000000	100000000000	125
3 yahoo.com	Web Portals	590000000	77000000000	131
4 live.com	Search Engines	490000000	84000000000	171
5 msn.com	Web Portals	440000000	20000000000	45
6 wikipedia.org	Dict    	410000000	6000000000	15
7 blogspot.com	Blogging	340000000	4900000000	14
8 baidu.com	Search Engines	300000000	110000000000	367
9 microsoft.com	Software	250000000	2500000000	10
10	 qq.com	Web Portals	250000000	39000000000	156

see complete list at http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/index.html (more…)

Heritage offers 3 million chump change for Monkeys

My perspective is life is not fair, and if someone offers me 1 mill a year so they make 1 bill a year, I would still take it, especially if it leads to better human beings and better humanity on this planet. Health care isnt toothpaste.

Unless there are even more fine print changes involved- there exist several players in the pharma sector who do build and deploy models internally for denying claims or prospecting medical doctors with freebies, but they might just get caught with the new open data movement

————————————————————————————————–

A note from KDNuggets-

Heritage Health Prizereleased a second set of data on May 4. They also recently modified their ruleswhich now demand complete exclusivity and seem to disallow use of other tools (emphasis mine – Gregory PS)

21. LICENSE
By registering for the Competition, each Entrant (a) grants to Sponsor and its designees a worldwide, exclusive (except with respect to Entrant) , sub-licensable (through multiple tiers), transferable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right to use, not use, reproduce, distribute (through multiple tiers), create derivative works of, publicly perform, publicly display, digitally perform, make, have made, sell, offer for sale and import the entry and the algorithm used to produce the entry, as well as any other algorithm, data or other information whatsoever developed or produced at any time using the data provided to Entrant in this Competition (collectively, the “Licensed Materials”), in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without further approval by or payment to Entrant (the “License”) and
(b) represents that he/she/it has the unrestricted right to grant the License. 
Entrant understands and agrees that the License is exclusive except with respect to Entrant: Entrant may use the Licensed Materials solely for his/her/its own patient management and other internal business purposes but may not grant or otherwise transfer to any third party any rights to or interests in the Licensed Materials whatsoever.

This has lead to a call to boycott the competition by Tristan, who also notes that academics cannot publish their results without prior written approval of the Sponsor.

Anthony Goldbloom, CEO of Kaggle, emailed the HHP participants on May 4

HPN have asked me to pass on the following message: “The Heritage Provider Network is sponsoring the Heritage Health Prize to spur innovation and creative thinking in healthcare. HPN, however, is a medical group and must retain an exclusive license to the algorithms created using its data so as to ensure that the algorithms are used responsibly, and are only used to provide better health care to patients and not for improper purposes.
Put simply, while the competition hopes to spur innovation, this is not a competition regarding movie ratings or chess results. We hope that the clarifications we have made to the Rules and the FAQ adequately address your concerns and look forward to your participation in the competition.”

What do you think? Will the exclusive license prevent you from participating?

Checks in the mail more effective checks to your pay

Paycheck (film)

Image via Wikipedia

NBER (whose excellent monthly newsletter I subscribe to- among others) http://www.nber.org/ in a recent paper claims that cheque in mails (one time) sare better spent than monthly pay increases.

I wonder what this conclusion can be used for in designing annual bonuses versus higher pay in private sector compensation- but people do seem happier receiving a bigger one time boost than 12 small mini boosts.

 

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16246

Check in the Mail or More in the Paycheck: Does the Effectiveness of Fiscal Stimulus Depend on How It Is Delivered?

use a mirror
Use a mirror
download in pdf format
(176 K)

email paper

Claudia R. Sahm, Matthew D. Shapiro, Joel Slemrod

NBER Working Paper No. 16246
Issued in July 2010
NBER Program(s):   EFG ME PE

An NBER digest for this paper is available.

Recent fiscal policies have aimed to stimulate household spending. In 2008, most households received one-time economic stimulus payments. In 2009, most working households received the Making Work Pay tax credit in the form of reduced withholding; other households, mainly retirees, received one-time payments. This paper quantifies the spending response to these different policies and examines whether the spending response differed according to whether the stimulus was delivered as a one-time payment or as a flow of payments in the form of reduced withholding. Based on responses from a representative sample of households in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, the paper finds that the reduction in withholding led to a substantially lower rate of spending than the one-time payments. Specifically, 25 percent of households reported that the one-time economic stimulus payment in 2008 led them to mostly increase their spending while only 13 percent reported that the extra pay from the lower withholding in 2009 led them to mostly increase their spending. The paper uses several approaches to isolate the effect of the delivery mechanism from the changing aggregate and individual conditions. Responses to a hypothetical stimulus in 2009, examination of “free responses” concerning differing responses to the policies, and regression analysis controlling for individual economic conditions and demographics all support the primary importance of the income delivery mechanism in determining the spending response to the policies.

This paper is available as PDF (176 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record – MARC, RIS, BibTeX

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