Friday Morning [?!]: Chamber of Delights

It’s Friday. FINALLY. And it’s jazz exploration day, too. Today we sample some chamber jazz, here with Meg Okura and the Pan Asian Chamber Ensemble.

It. Me. That is to say, of all genres, this one feels most like a part of myself. Here’s another chamber jazz favorite — Quarter Chicken Dark from The Goat Rodeo Sessions. And another — Model Trane, the first cut in this linked video by Turtle Island Quartet.

You can see and hear for yourself what makes chamber jazz different from other genres: chamber instruments used in classical music to perform jazz.

Whew, I needed this stuff. Hope you like it, too, though I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

My morning was overbooked, only have time today for a few things that caught my eye.

Encryption and privacy issues

Go To Jail Indefinitely card for suspect who won’t unlock hard drives (Naked Security) — Seems odd this wasn’t the case the USDOJ used to force cracking of password-protected accounts on devices, given the circumstances surrounding a less-than-sympathetic defendant.

Amicus brief by ACLU and EFF for same case (pdf – Ars Technica)

Supreme Court ruling extends reach of FBI’s computer search under Rule 41 (Bloomberg) — Would be nice if the Email Privacy Act, now waiting for Senate approval, addressed this and limited law enforcement’s overreach.

Climate change and its secondary effects

India’s ongoing drought now affects 330 million citizens, thousands have died from heat and dehydration (Oneindia) — 330 million is slightly more people than the entire U.S. population. Imagine what could happen if even one or two percent of these affected fled the country as climate refugees.

Tiger poaching in India dramatically increased over last year ( — Have to ask if financial stress caused by drought encouraged illegal killing of tigers, now that more tigers have been poached this year to date compared to all of last year. Are gains in tiger population now threatened by primary and secondary effects of climate change?

Though severe El Nino deepened by climate change causes record drought now, an equally deep La Nina could be ahead ( — Which could mean dramatic rains and flooding in areas where plant growth has died off, leaving little protection from water runoff. Are any governments planning ahead even as they deal with drought?

Hope your weekend is pleasant — see you Monday morning!

10 replies
  1. bloopie2 says:

    In the section “Climate change and its secondary effects” you raise some really, really good questions. But I (as an expository writer by trade, not a headline writer whose goal is to grab people’s attention) would be more careful and call them “possible secondary effects”. Because we don’t know if the drought in India is caused by climate change; there have always been droughts. And we don’t “Have” to ask if tiger poaching is a secondary effect of climate change; there has always been tiger poaching. Still, excellent points you raise—almost everything, especially something as massive as climate change, will have secondary effects that are not seen until close and extended observation.
    But I’m stumped by your last item, drought now leading to floods and runoff issues on denuded lands. “Are any governments planning ahead even as they deal with drought?” I would venture to say that the actual field level people, the first level foresters and land watchers etc., are keenly aware of this issue; one often sees such concerns in reportage on wildfires, for example. The question is, are their higher-ups doing anything about it? And if so, how does one plan for another Dust Bowl?
    Thanks for posting. It’s Saturday morning here, better late than never! I always tune in; there are a million neat things that one could think about, but I personally need someone to point them out to me!

  2. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (5:46) — nice to see you so *bright* and early on a Saturday morning!

    WRT India’s current drought: one could make the case this is just another drought like many others India has experienced over history. And one could make the case that this drought, like others in history, is a result of an El Nino event.

    But this particular ENSO event is much worse than many other recorded events with extreme impact (note record severity of drought in SW U.S. last year, record bleaching coral bleaching event around Australia, so on) — earning the label “super El Nino”. Scientists attribute the severity to overall increases in ocean temperatures due to climate change.

    The last super El Nino event was in 1997-1998. If this El Nino spawns a correspondingly strong La Nina like that which followed the 1997-1998 El Nino, the problems of crop failures will be compounded by record flooding, and a population larger than the U.S. will be even more beleaguered than they are this year.

    At least one portion of India suffered serious drought in 2013; that drought was as bad as one in 1972, spawned by an El Nino event. Has that area recovered adequately? The Tamil Nadu and Chennai in northeastern India suffered severe flooding this past winter, draining financial resources; what’s left in India’s budget to address drought this year, and plan ahead for a severe La Nina event? Given the likelihood that other climate-related crises will drain the global economy, how will the rest of the world be able to pitch in to assist?

    All of this plays out in much smaller scale in SW U.S., especially California where record drought has depleted water stores threatening produce production for the country.

    WRT government planning: Clearly scientists can see the writing on the wall. But there’s a serious disconnect when a noted scientist feels compelled not once [1] but twice [2] to communicate with both government and the public by way of op-eds in a major newspaper to encourage dialog and planning about a disaster already under way.

    For that matter, why do I have to write about this at all? Because I see *zero* discussion among policymakers reflecting awareness, subsequent planning and implementation of policy change, only more frantic communications by scientists trying to encourage action.

    WRT Tiger poaching: seems like a minor thing, but tigers have been making a slow comeback from the edge of extinction only very recently. There are still less than 4000 tigers in the world. The area most affected by drought in India right now is the same as Bengal tigers’ territory, meaning tigers there may face pressure on their habitat from climate AND from human predation. Like polar bears, tigers are an indicator of ecological health — and the indicator numbers aren’t good.

    It’s all connected, a very big game of Jenga. Pull out some water, add some heat, remove a few tigers…~sigh~

  3. Rayne says:

    Just read this piece about climate refugees in Alaska — U.S. Interior Dept. concerned especially about 400 people on coastal island.

    AK’s total population is 732K, of which 45% live in two cities. The largest urban centers aren’t at risk as much as smaller indigenous communities, which cannot simply be picked up and plunked anywhere.

    We’re so not ready. At least current admin is talking about it. Hate to think what will happen during/after transition to next administration.

    • bloopie2 says:

      You are so right. The more I think about it, the more I conclude that this ‘climate change’ event is unprecedented in scope and magnitude. I have to tell you, ## years ago when I was in school, no one ever thought about such stuff (as far as I was told). So, my generation is being blindsided with it now, and we think, ‘it’s all so new, do I really really have to deal with it or can I just plug away at life for another few years then retire and forget about everything?’ And, do younger generations feel that they are too young to have to bear such a burden since we have already placed so many more immediate burdens on them? So, as that great James Kilbane song goes, whom shall I send?

  4. Ian says:

    Rayne said[on Thursday]:
    · Apple’s stock tanked yesterday falling 7% in response to a drop in demand for iPhones; Apple suppliers likewise took a hit. Come on, there’s a finite number of smartphone users, and the limit must be reached some time. Shouldn’t have rattled the market so much — not like the market didn’t notice China’s market woes and subsequent retrenchment of purchasing over the last 6 months, too.
    I say:
    Thank you Rayne for the Thursday & Friday morning update. I have some inkling of the heavy workload that these types of posts impose. Can I take the liberty of adding one or two more news items to your already extensive wide ranging collection that you have highlighted to add a bit of context to your noting the changes in profits and outlook at Apple and the market’s reaction to it?
    In April 2016 alone we have seen Intel—60% of whose Revenue/Sales comes from the manufacture of computer chips for PC’s and many of whose factories(“foundries” as they are called) remain in the USA announce a 12,000 employee lay-off because PC sales are down[a]
    In April 2016 we have also seen Qualcomm[b] has tried NOT to explain why it is losing many/some/all of its orders for microchips from Apple, and why Intel are winning the new orders. Qualcomm make much of their sales/Revenue from the manufacture of chipsets account for yet only 9% of operating profit, with 98% of TOTAL profit coming from the licensing of the patents they hold[in Q1 2016]

    In April 2016 we have seen Apple announcements for “no more iPhone sales growth” with 60% of sales are iPhones [c] and the vast majority of its profits coming from iPhones
    As an industry, the fear most industry observers have long noted is that many of these self-proclaimed “USA-High-Tech” corporations are actually “one-trick-ponies”—they are corporations that know well how to do “just one thing”—they know NOT how to design & build a wide variety of microchips and sell them—BUT only how to design & build microchips for use in set-top boxes owned by cable TV companies in the USA where the consumer is prohibited from buying their own set top box and managing their own connections from multiple cable, satellite & internet providers (for example).
    The USA version of High-Tech Consumer Electronics industry is therefore reliant on a Business Model/a method of operating that is “Brittle”—it is NOT “Resilient”
    A good example of a “brittle” business model is Apple, which claims that their “idiosyncratic”/below-International-industry-standards “business model”/way of doing business is not only “the best” –it is: “ fundamental to the way they do business”.
    In accordance with their way of doing business they claim that their practices of ensuring privacy for the iPhones users & their encryption programming source code and such can never be submitted to “peer-review”, it can never be “registered” with any “authorized by law” agency for any countries government, they must never pay a “find-a-bug” bonus to “white-hat-hackers” and when they say an iPhone 5C or an iPhone 6 can never be “accessed” against the users/owners wishes——— everyone who shows they were “misstating” the security,i) the privacy of their iPhones 5c [the FBI etc reported at 2015 & 2016 ] or ii) of their iPhones 6[a bereaved Italian father of his deceased 12-year old son] [d] –—-or iii)European police forces who can’t understand why their search warrants are ignored in 50%+ of all cases yet American police forces have their search warrants answered in 80+% of all cases[e]–must be demonized—“because Apple needs the money”.
    So Apple is “super brittle”.
    Intel with 60% of sales to a declining number of “Wintel monopoly” chips in PC’s where Microsoft can’t even “give away” Windows 10” and Microsoft as a software house never deciding how to transition from “ a Windows license sold to PC manufacturers & retail stores for “upto $100/a device/machine” with mandatory “forklift upgrade”[from XP to 7/vista/8 etc etc etc] at time of their own choosing” to “ how do we compete with software providers for cellphones/smartphones at $2/$5 per devices. ——Count Intel as “brittle”
    Qualcomm is license-royalty income collector for chips for “cable TV set-top boxes”.The chip making foundries are an encumbrance to it —it has become a team of patent attorney’s.
    We have already seen how [US TV network] CBS in its “60 minutes” show on “SS7” spying [f] had to go to Dublin, Ireland firm Adaptive Mobile( to act as “Technical advisor” .Adaptive Mobile sells “securing your network” software to 9 of the 10 largest (non-Chinese) cellular/mobile network providers in the world covering almost 1,000m [1bn] subscribers.
    They explain that:
    i)” SS7 tracking espionage” is the function of several National Intelligence Agencies programs [because you have to use the skills of greatly skilled telecommunication carriers employees prior to directing the programmers–& that means National Intelligence Agencies—NOT teenage boys with Anonymous][g]
    ii) the NSA/Five Eyes program is called “AURORAGOLD” and they highlight various “Snowden released” documents showing the status of the SPECDEV (research project) in 2012[h]
    The reason that CBS had to use a Dublin,Ireland firm as a Technical Advisor to their show was NOT because they were “off-shoring” to the cheap labor haven of Dublin to avoid the very expensive skills of brave & patriotic Americans—-but because the entire “ecosystem” of Mobile Communications ON THE PLANET was organized through the valiant efforts of the British & French Governments in the 1986-1991 period, and was after the Reagan-era FCC Commissioners FAILED in their duty to their country & their compatriots by refusing to create a [US] National Technical Standard to Enable Digital Cellular/Mobile communications.
    The European-derived Technical Standard was originally called Groupe Spécial Mobile then Global System for Mobile Communications now GSM
    The GSM Association [] remains the main Industry Standards-setting body and it remains headquartered in London, England.
    The main corporation for designed the microchips used in digital cellular/mobile devices is called ARM Holding plc (Cambridge, [LON:ARM & as an ADR: ARM:H on the NASDAQ].Unlike Apple they have not chosen to defy International Industry standards, unlike Qualcomm they not chosen to compete with their own hardware suppliers—the foundries where microchips/chips are fabricated. Unlike Intel they have not “optimized” their chips to work primarily with one programming language[Microsoft’s Windows-the infamous “Wintel” monopoly for PCs].Because their “heritage” design philosophy is designing chips for mobile devices, which are battery-powered & not powered from the residential mains electrical supplier [at 110V/240V around the world] for PC’s & cable TV set-top boxes or 600V at the Industrial supply transformer point [as with IBM’s mainframe’s] they have chosen to concentrate in designing “very frugal”[of electrical power] chipsets—which extend the battery life in a mobile device.
    Their licensing pricing philosophy is :
    i)to sell a license & the design tools to execute the design in silicon to anyone who wants to buy one, regardless of color, race, creed or nationality [with the possible exception of N. Korea][i.e. no “exclusives”]
    ii) at a price that could easily be explained as “cost + a reasonable margin”
    As a result while Intel & Apple & Qualcomm & Microsoft are—this quarter at least, explaining that while they might not actually be a fabled “unicorn” they are still able to make a profit,—–provided they can reinvent their business yet again—ARM is [i] advising that about 15 billion of the designed-by-them chipsets were produced during 2015,that that 15 billion was an additional 15 billion after the first 60 billion since the firm’s founding [i.e. total 75 billion] that those chipsets powered about 80% of the world’s “mobile devices”, that only about 45% of their “designed-by-them”chipsets went into mobile devices, about 45% of their “designed-by-them” chips went into devices associated with “the Internet-of-Things”[the IoT].
    Why should anyone in this country care about a foreign company designing most of the world’s microchips?
    Because of an announcement made simultaneously in Cambridge, England in English[i] and Beijing,China in Mandarin Chinese[j] on April 15,2016 under the title: —“Server and Cloud Leaders Collaborate to Create China-based Green Computing Consortium”
    The Chinese Government was organizing a number of Chinese based electronic hardware assemblers, using various Chinese academic establishments to create new suppliers for Computing hardware for server farms, supercomputer sites,Cloud providers ALL WITHIN CHINA.
    The Beijing government individuals attending included Huai Jinpeng, deputy minister of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Diao Shijing, director of Electronic Information Division, MIIT and Zhao Bo, director of China Electronics Standardization Institute.
    The assemblers of electronic equipment that are being “coordinated/organized/encouraged /eligible for financial incentives” to design, to build & to sell for use in China & globally” anything from IoT devices to “supercomputers –in-the-cloud” with server farms in between” include:
    Alibaba,: ARM, Baidu, China National Software and Service, Dell, Guizhou Huaxintong, the joint venture company of Guizhou and Qualcomm Hewlett Packard Enterprise/H3C (HPE), Huawei, Lenovo and Phytium
    ——-PROVIDED THEY DO SO USING THE ARM ECOSYSTEM of chipsets—already the majority of the world’s chips & the only obvious designer of microchips/chips AS A COMMODITY PRODUCT.
    It seems that ARM’s designs have become so powerful in their capabilities that it is not unreasonable to expect “clusters” of them to be able to act as “Supercomputers” while ARM’s CEO has already noted some of their IoT chipsets are already being sold by the foundries at $0.20 a time–& that is a common price point it seems, not “distress pricing”.
    Now, to be sure, just as Apple is capable of producing lots of sanctimonious cant about how “secure & private & encrypted” it’s over-expensive products are —Beijing is also capable of producing wonderful words about they will cause a new globally exporting industry of unlimited size & unlimited computing capabilities AS A COMMODITY PRODUCING INDUSTRY, selling regardless of color, race or creed & nationality.
    We shall have to wait & see what actually happens, —for both Apple & it’s idiosyncratic/below-International-standard ways & for Beijing with its long list of industries where they have already “conjured out of thin air” global spanning industries [e.g. the High Speed Railroad industry/the shipbuilding & ship-owning/commodity-steel/smart-phone etc etc etc.]
    [a]Intel to cut up to 12,000 jobs as PC industry swoons—April 19 2016: r
    [b] How Long Can Qualcomm Go Without Mentioning Apple or Intel?
    [c] Apple’s stock suffers worst week since 2013–
    [d]Apple Inc: Has Cellebrite Succesfully Hacked into iPhone 6?
    [e] Apple complies with greater proportion of US data demands
    [g]Tracking the Trackers: The most advanced rogue systems exploiting the SS7 Network today
    [h] SS7 Security : Putting the pieces together
    [i] Arm Holdings geared up for the next technological revolution
    [j]Server and Cloud Leaders Collaborate to Create China-based Green Computing Consortium [in English]
    [k] Additional information on the GCC, including the official announcement, can be [in Mandarin]

    • bmaz says:

      You know, I approved this run on gibberish with multi-links this one time because you actually engaged in discussion. That will not happen again. Please, if you want to participate, be far more concise in thought and willing to hyperlink and opposed to serially bullshit linking.

  5. bloopie2 says:

    This comment I’m blatantly pilfering from the Guardian says something I’d not considered, but it seems to be so on point.
    The amusing thing that’s going to make this November so interesting is that Trump is actually the candidate that represents the people achieving victory over the party, while Hillary represents the party achieving victory over their people.

  6. briny says:

    Thanks for the jazz music links. It’s a type I hadn’t heard about (never really looked though) and definitely fits my moods and my particular background in music.

    As for climate change, while we have steady states from time to time, there do exists transitions from one to another with radical changes for the inhabitants. The question remains: can we set a preferred climate (in our power) and the costs involved. Unfortunately, politics as usual almost certainly can’t set a particular steady-state as it has to be one that can be chosen/enforced. Nature has to cooperate with the horse-trading politics requires. So far as I can tell, Nature doesn’t listen all that well.

    Advice: examine all the past climates available in the natural world. Pick several that we know we can engineer into a preferred state. Then horse-trade. Execute the accepted goal. Ruthlessly if necessary.

    [Aside: Geo-engineering is something we have “unintentionally” been doing since man started altering the environment some tens of thousands of years ago. IOW: what we have now and in the historical past isn’t “natural.” Even such things as our food stocks aren’t “natural” despite what some natural-foods advocates assert. What planetary-state do we really want. Fellow eco-freaks, ya’ll need to have a serious rethink about goals and methods.]

  7. Rayne says:

    briny (9:57) — Nice to see you, glad you enjoyed the jazz.

    WRT climate change: Yes, we are geoengineering, but we have been doing so unconsciously when it comes to fossil fuel consumption for far too long. We can limit the extent of fossil fuel-based geoengineering by simply changing consumption. We don’t have the luxury of picking climates when billions of people are already food insecure; any resources we’d have for deliberate engineering will be sucked up by crises.

    The simplest approach to buy us time is consume with far more awareness, and with an aim to reduce fossil fuel consumption. It’s not as if we haven’t lived without it in the not-to-distant past.

    WRT “natural” — Human expansion is as natural as any virus’ expansion. What’s unnatural is failing to use our consciousness and intellect — which virus don’t possess — about that expansion.

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