The Notoriety of Reconfigurable Products

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Every design is based on some expectations, which explicitly or implicitly determine the product intended meaning and which are realized as design requirements – once conceived relation patterns. These expectations always fit particular environmental conditions, which often become obsolete before the product reaches into the market place. A universal and obvious solution to this problem is to increase as much as possible the synchronic variety of the product by contriving appropriate decisions in design (the notorious idea of re-configurable products). Indeed, the more elaborate the structure of the product (or its concept), the larger the number of environmental situations in which it can maintain. Different product configurations can fit (or be adapted to) different situations and, therefore, in the case of dynamic environments, design evolution should increase the synchronic variety, making the product more complex to adequately react to the environmental changes.

Although the latter statement does not contradict the life-cycle semiosis laws and is, perhaps, true in general, this does not mean that the ‘best’ product must always be the most complex one, i.e. be the product with the maximal synchronic variety. Due to many reasons – economical (costs), technical (reliability), ecological (energy and material consumption, pollution), social and ergonomic (safety, convenience and easiness in production and operation), etc., the best is the product with the simplest possible structure for the given functionality, i.e. with the least possible (for the given environment) synchronic variety. In this sense, the ‘goodness’ or, better say, adequacy of the product depends on the characteristics of product environment in relation to the implemented design expectations, i.e. it depends on how well the intended meaning matches the meanings emerging through onto-, typo-, and phylogenesis (if any).

Industrial Semiosis. Note Quote.

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The concept of Industrial Semiosis categorizes the product life-cycle processes along three semiotic levels of meaning emergence: 1) the ontogenic level that deals with the life history data and future expectations about a single occurrence of a product; 2) the typogenic level that holds the processes related to a product type or generation; and 3) the phylogenic level that embraces the meaning-affecting processes common to all of the past and current types and occurrences of a product. The three levels naturally differ by the characteristic durational times of the grouped semiosis processes: as one moves from the lowest, ontogenic level to the higher levels, the objects become larger and more complicated and have slower dynamics in both original interpretation and meaning change. The semantics of industrial semiosis in industry investigates the relationships that hold between the syntactical elements — the signs in language, models, data — and the objects that matter in industry, such as customers, suppliers, work-pieces, products, processes, resources, tools, time, space, investments, costs, etc. The pragmatics of industrial semiosis deals with the expression and appeal functions of all kinds of languages, data and models and their interpretations in the setting of any possible enterprise context, as part of the enterprise realising its mission by enterprising, engineering, manufacturing, servicing, re-engineering, competing, etc. The relevance of the presented definitions for infor- mation systems engineering is still limited and vague: the definitions are very general and hardly reflect any knowledge about the industrial domain and its objects, nor do they reflect knowledge about the ubiquitous information infrastructure and the sign systems it accommodates.

A product (as concept) starts its development with initially coinciding onto-, typo-, and phylogenesis processes but distinct and pre-existing semiotic levels of interpretation. The concept is evolved, and typogenesis works to reorganize the relationships between the onto- and phylogenesis processes, as the variety of objects involved in product development increases. Product types and their interactions mediate – filter and buffer – between the levels above and below: not all variety of distinctions remains available for re-organization as phylos, nor every lowest-level object have a material relevance there. The phylogenic level is buffered against variations at the ontogenic level by the stabilizing mediations at the typogenic level.

The dynamics of the interactions between the semiotic levels can well be described in terms of the basic processes of variation and selection. In complex system evolution, variation stands for the generation of a variety of simultaneously present, distinct entities (synchronic variety), or of subsequent, distinct states of the same entity (diachronic variety). Variation makes variety increase and produces more distinctions. Selection means, in essence, the elimination of certain distinct entities and/or states, and it reduces the number of remaining entities and/or states.

From a semiotic point of view, the variety of a product intended to operate in an environment is determined by the devised product structure (i.e. the relations established between product parts – its synchronic variety) and the possible relations between the product and the anticipated environment (i.e. the product feasible states – its potential diachronic variety), which together aggregate the product possible configurations. The variety is defined on the ontogenic level that includes elements for description of both the structure and environment. The ontogenesis is driven by variation that goes through different configurations of the product and eventually discovers (by distinction selection at every stage of the product life cycle) configurations, which are stable on one or another time-scale. A constraint on the configurations is then imposed, resulting in the selective retention – emergence of a new meaning for a (not necessarily new) sign – at the typogenic level. The latter decreases the variety but specializes the ontogenic level so that only those distinctions ultimately remain, which fit to the environment (i.e. only dynamically stable relation patterns are preserved). Analogously but at a slower time- scale, the typogenesis results in the emergence of a new meaning on the phylogenic level that consecutively specializes the lower levels. Thus, the main semiotic principle of product development is such that the dynamics of the meaning-making processes always seeks to decrease the number of possible relations between the product and its environment and hence, the semiosis of product life cycle is naturally simplified. At the same time, however, the ‘natural’ dynamics is such that augments the evolutive potential of the product concept for increasing its organizational richness: the emergence of new signs (that may lead to the emergence of new levels of interpretation) requires a new kind of information and new descriptive categories must be given to deal with the still same product.

Layer 7 DDoS Attacks

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Layer 7 attacks are some of the most difficult attacks to mitigate because they mimic normal user behavior and are harder to identify. The application layer (per the Open Systems Interconnection model) consists of protocols that focus on process-to-process communication across an IP network and is the only layer that directly interacts with the end user. A sophisticated Layer 7 attack may target specific areas of a website, making it even more difficult to separate from normal traffic. For example, a Layer 7 DDoS attack might target a website element (e.g., company logo or page graphic) to consume resources every time it is downloaded with the intent to exhaust the server. Additionally, some attackers may use Layer 7 DDoS attacks as diversionary tactics to steal information.

Verisign’s recent trends show that DDoS attacks are becoming more sophisticated and complex, including an increase in application layer attacks. Verisign has observed that Layer 7 attacks are regularly mixed in with Layer 3 and Layer 4 DDoS flooding attacks. In fact, 35 percent of DDoS attacks mitigated in Q2 2016 utilized three or more attack types.

In a recent Layer 7 DDoS attack mitigated by Verisign, the attackers started out with NTP and SSDP reflection attacks that generated volumetric floods of UDP traffic peaking over 50 Gbps and over 5 Mpps designed to consume the target organization’s bandwidth. Verisign’s analysis shows that the attack was launched from a well-distributed botnet of more than 30,000 bots from across the globe with almost half of the attack traffic originating in the United States.

Once the attackers realized that the volumetric attack was mitigated, they progressed to Layer 7 HTTP/HTTPS attacks. Hoping to exhaust the server, the attackers ooded the target organization with a large number of HTTPS GET/POST requests using the following methods, amongst others:

  • Basic HTTP Floods: Requests for URLs with an old version of HTTP no longer used by the latest browsers or proxies
  • WordPress Floods: WordPress pingback attacks where the requests bypassed all caching by including a random number in the URL to make each request appear unique
  • Randomized HTTP Floods: Requests for random URLs that do not exist – for example, if http://www.example.com is the valid URL, the attackers were abusing this by requesting pages like http://www.example.com/loc id=12345, etc.

    The challenge with a Layer 7 DDoS attack lies in the ability to distinguish human traffic from bot traffic, which can make it harder to defend against the volumetric attacks. As Layer 7 attacks continue to grow in complexity with ever-changing attack signatures and patterns, organizations and DDoS mitigation providers will need to have a dynamic mitigation strategy in place. Layer 7 visibility along with proactive monitoring and advanced alerting are critical to effectively defend against increasing Layer 7 threats.

    As organizations develop their DDoS protection strategies, many may focus solely on solutions that can handle large network layer attacks. However, they should also consider whether the solution can detect and mitigate Layer 7 attacks, which require less bandwidth and fewer packets to achieve the same goal of bringing down a site.

    For the Full Report, visit here.

Classical Metrics do not Provide an Unambiguous Inner Product Between Timelike and Spacelike Vectors

The unified theory of mass-ENERGY-Matter in motion

Similarly, in Newtonian gravitation, the acceleration of a timelike curve must always be spacelike, and so the total force on a particle at a point must be spacelike as well. A vector ξa at a point in a classical spacetime is timelike if ξata ≠ 0; otherwise it is spacelike. The required result thus follows by observing that given a curve with unit tangent vector ξa, tannξa) = ξnnata) = 0, again because ξa has constant (temporal) length along the curve. Note that one cannot say simply “orthogonal” (as in the relativistic case) because in general, the classical metrics do not provide an unambiguous inner product between timelike and spacelike vectors.

When is the Spacetime Temporally Orientable?

space-time

In both general relativity and Newtonian gravitation, forces are represented by vectors at a point. We assume that the total force acting on a particle at a point (computed by taking the vector sum of all of the individual forces acting at that point) must be proportional to the acceleration of the particle at that point, as in F = ma, which holds in both theories. We understand forces to give rise to acceleration, and so we expect the total force at a point to vanish just in case the acceleration vanishes. Since the acceleration of a curve at a point, as determined relative to some derivative operator, must satisfy certain properties, it follows that the vector representing total force must also satisfy certain properties. In particular, in relativity theory, the acceleration of a curve at a point is always orthogonal to the tangent vector of the curve at that point, and thus the total force on a particle at a point must always be orthogonal to the tangent vector of the particle’s worldline at that point.

More precisely, we take a model of relativity theory to be a relativistic spacetime, which is an ordered pair (M, gab), where M is a smooth, connected, paracompact, Hausdorff 4-manifold and gab is a smooth Lorentzian metric. A model of Newtonian gravitation, meanwhile, is a classical spacetime, which is an ordered quadruple (M, tab, hab, ∇), where M is again a smooth, connected, paracompact, Hausdorff 4-manifold, tab and hab are smooth fields with signatures (1, 0, 0, 0) and (0, 1, 1, 1), respectively, which together satisfy tabhbc = 0, and ∇ is a smooth derivative operator satisfying the compatibility conditions ∇atbc = 0 and ∇ahab = 0. The fields tab and hab may be interpreted as a (degenerate) “temporal metric” and a (degenerate) “spatial metric”, respectively. Note that the signature of tab guarantees that locally, we can always find a field ta such that tab = tatb. In the special case where this field can be smoothly extended to a global field with the stated property, we call the spacetime temporally orientable.

Activists’ Position on New Development Bank, Especially in the Wake of 2nd Annual Meetings Held at New Delhi (31st March – 2nd April). Part 1.

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This is an uncut version and might differ largely from the Declaration which the Civil society Organizations put up. It is also inspired by inputs from the Goa Declaration. So, here goes:

Peoples’ Forum on BRICS is a forum of peoples’ movements, activists, trade unions, national-level networks and CSOs. We intend to win our demands for social, economic and environmental justice. We heard testimonies confirming that the BRICS countries and corporations are reinforcing the dominant neoliberal, extractivist paradigm. Negative trends in the areas of global and local politics, and on issues of economics, environment, development, peace, conflict and aggressive nationalism, or social prejudice based on gender, race, caste, sexual orientation are not being reversed by the BRICS, but instead are often exacerbated. The BRICS speak of offering strong alternatives to the unfair North-dominated regimes of trade, finance, investment and property rights, climate governance, and other multilateral regimes. But on examination, we find these claims unconvincing.The victories we have won already on multiple fronts – such as halting numerous multinational corporations’ exploitation, gaining access to essential state services, occupying land and creating agricultural cooperatives,  and generating more humane values in our societies – give us momentum and optimism.

Our experience with other Multilateral Development Banks in the past have had bitter experiences with their involvement leaving a trail of destruction and irreparable damage involving devastation of the ecologies, forced eviction and displacement, inadequate policies of rehabilitation and resettlement, catalyzing loss of livelihoods and responsible for gross human rights violations. Despite having redress mechanisms, these MDBs have proven to carry forward their neoliberal agenda with scant respect for environment and human rights. Not only have their involvement resulted in the weakening of public institutions on one hand, their have consciously incorporated sharing the goods with private players and furthering their cause under the name of growth-led development, ending extreme poverty and sharing prosperity on the other. Moreover, with Right to Dissemination of Information forming one of the pillars of these MDBs, concerns of transparency and accountability are exacerbated with a dearth of information shared, inadequate public consultations and an absolute lack of Parliamentary Oversight over their involvement in projects and at policy-levels. There are plenty of examples galore with privatizing basic amenities like drinking water and providing electricity that have backfired, but nevertheless continued with. In other words, MDBs have stripped the people of the resources that commons.

The Forum views the emergence of New Development Bank in the context of:

  1. Threat to Democracy with an upsurge of right-wing nationalism, not only in BRICS, but also beyond on the global scale.
  2. As a result of this threat, state repression is on an upswing and aggravated under different norms, growth-led development being one among them.
  3. Widespread ecological destruction, with catastrophic rates of species loss, pollution of land and air, freshwater and ocean degradation, and public health threats rising, to which no BRICS country is immune.
  4. The precarious health of the economy and continuing financial meltdown, reflected in the chaos that several BRICS’ stock and currency markets have been facing, as well as in our countries’ vulnerability to crisis-contagion if major European banks soon fail in a manner similar to the US-catalyzed meltdown in 2008-09.
  5. The longer-term crisis of capitalism is evident in the marked slowdown in international trade and in declining global profit rates, especially evident in the three BRICS countries (South Africa, Russia and Brazil) which have negative or negligible GDP growth.
  6. Addition to commodity crashes, one cause of the economic crisis is the deregulatory, neoliberal philosophy adopted by BRICS governments, which puts corporate property rights above human and environmental rights; in the guise of development.
  7. The new generation of Bilateral Trade and Investment Treaties will potentially have adverse impacts on lives and livelihoods of people across the BRICS and their hinterlands, and need complete rethinking.
  8. The world’s workers are losing rights, farmers are suffering to the point of suicide, and labour casualisation is rampant in all our countries, with the result that BRICS workers are engaged in regular protest, including the strike by 180 million Indian workers which inspired the world on 2 September 2016.
  9. The social front, the threat to our already-inadequate welfare policies is serious, especially in Brazil’s coup regime but also across the BRICS where inadequate social policies are driving people on the margins to destitution.
  10. 10.Patriarchy and sexual violence, racism, communalism, caste discrimination, xenophobia and homophobia run rampant in all the BRICS, and because these forces serve our leaders’ interests, they are not addressing the structural causes, perpetuating divide-and-rule politics, and failing to dissuade ordinary people from contributing to oppression.

New Development Bank calls itself Green. However, the Bank is shrouded under a veil of secrecy. The website of the Bank lacks information about its activities to the extent that more than official records, one has to rely on secondary and tertiary sources of information. Not that such information isn’t forthcoming officially, it is the nature of unproven, untested environmental and social safeguards that is the point of contentious concerns for the communities who might adversely impacted by the projects financed by the Bank in their backyards. Unlike the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which somewhat robust safeguards to be followed and grievance redress mechanisms (not discounting sometimes questionable efficacies though), the NDB is yet to draft any such operational guidelines and redressal. Although speculative at large, such an absence could be well off the mark in meeting established benchmarks. Due to the lack of such mechanisms, communities may face threats of displacement, evictions, ecological destruction, loss of livelihoods, and severe curtailment of basic rights to life. These issues have recurred for decades due to projects funded by other multilateral development banks. Moreover, as a co-financier with other development institutions, the intensity of NDB’s seriousness on the objectives of promoting transparency, accountability and probity stands questioned. Furthermore, the NDB intends to be “fast, flexible and efficient”, without sacrificing quality. The Bank will use various financial instruments to ‘efficiently’ meet the demands of member states and clients. This is where things could get a little murkier, as NDB too has agendas of economic development dominating social and political developments, and the possibilities of statistical number jugglery to establish the supremacy of the ‘gross economic development’ sometimes trampling on human rights and environmental concerns. Consequently, the economic measures taken on many occasions forgo the human capital in a relentless pursuit of development agenda.

NDB could likely put issues concerning the marginalized on the back-burner in its accelerated economic means without justifying the ends. Whatever be the underlying philosophy of development finance, questions of sustainability from both social and ecological perspective should always be decided along with genuinely informed peoples’ participation. This is possible only when the information is transparently disseminated and there are measures for qualifying accountability rather than quantifying it. Furthermore, the NDB seems to have learnt no lessons from other MDBs with not only an absence of safeguards and dependency on country systems, but with all the more reliance on national development financial institutions which are liable to be relaxed in specific cases. The NDB has not engaged with the people directly and its engagement with the CSOs is a farce considering that there is massive absence of communities, marginalized groups, indigenous peoples who are likely to face the brunt of its investments. Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) does not even exist in its dictionary. Adding to the woes is the accelerated pace of investing in projects without the policies being in place.

Everywhere that people’s movements have made alternative demands – such as democracy, peace, poverty eradication, sustainable development, equality, fair trade, climate justice – the elites have co-opted our language and distorted our visions beyond recognition. While we criticize the way world power is created and exercised, the BRICS leaders appear to simply want power sharing and a seat at the high table. For example, the BRICS New Development Bank is working hand-in-glove with the World Bank; the Contingent Reserve Arrangement empowers the International Monetary Fund; and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank serves mainly corporate interests – and all these financial institutions, despite their rhetoric of transformation, are opaque and non-transparent to people in BRICS countries, with no accountability mechanisms or space for meaningful participation by our movements. We have raised constructive critiques of BRICS in our plenaries and workshops. But beyond the analysis, we understand that only people’s power and activism, across borders, can make change. This Forum has found many routes forward for cross-cutting BRICS internationalism on various issues. We intend to win our demands for social, economic and environmental justice. The victories we have won already on multiple fronts – such as halting numerous multinational corporations’ exploitation, gaining access to essential state services, occupying land and creating agricultural cooperatives,  and generating more humane values in our societies – give us momentum and optimism.

Price Dynamics for Fundamentalists – Risky Asset – Chartists via Modeling

Substituting (1), (2) and (3) to (4) from here, the dynamical system can be obtained as

pt+1 − pt = θN[(1 − κ)(exp(α(p − pt)) − 1) + κ(exp(β(1 − µ)(pet − pt)) − 1)] pet+1 − pet = µ(pt − pet ) —– (5)

In the following discussion we highlight the impact of increases in the total number of traders n on the price fluctuation that is defined as the price increment,

rt = pt+1 − pt

We first restrict ourselves to investigating the following set of parameters:

α = 3, β = 1, µ = 0.5, κ = 0.5, θ = 0.001 —– (6)

It is clear that the two-dimensional map (5) has a unique equilibrium with pet = pt = p, namely (p¯e , p¯) = (p, p), given the above conditions. Elementary computations show that for our map (5) the sufficient condition for the local stability of the fixed point p is given as

N < (2(2 − µ))/(θ[α(2 − µ)(1 − κ) + 2β(1 − µ)κ]) —– (7)

From (7) it follows that, starting from a small number of traders N inside the stability region, when the number of traders N increases, a loss of stability may occur via a flip bifurcation. We shall now look more globally into the effect of increases in the number of traders on the price dynamics. Figure 1 shows a bifurcation diagram of the price increments rt with N as the bifurcation parameter under the set of parameters (6). For the convenience of illustration, Figure 1 is drawn using θN as the bifurcation parameter. This figure suggests the following bifurcation scenario.

0312065v1.fig1

The price increments rt converge to 0 when the number of traders N is small. In other words, the price converges to the fundamental price p when the active traders are few. However the price dynamics become unstable when the number of traders N exceeds about 1000, and chaotic behavior of the price increments occurs after infinitely many period-doubling bifurcations. If N is further increased, then the price increments rt become more regular again after infinitely many period-halving bifurcations. A stable 2 orbit occurs for an interval of N-values. However as N is further increased, the behavior of the price increment rt becomes once again chaotic, and the prices diverge. Let us investigate closely the characteristics of chaos that are observed in the parameter interval (2000 < N < 4000). Figure 2 shows a series of price increments rt with N = 4000 and the set of parameters (6). The figure shows apparently the characteristic of intermittent chaos, that is, a long laminar phase, where the price fluctuations behave regularly, is interrupted from time to time by chaotic bursts. 

0312065v1.fig2

Fundamentalists – Risky Asset – Chartists

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Let us consider the market for a risky asset, composed of two groups of traders having different trading strategies: fundamentalists and chartists. Fundamentalists are assumed to have a reasonable knowledge of the fundamental value of the risky asset. The fundamentalist’s strategy can be described as follows: if the price pt is below the fundamental value p, then the fundamentalist tries to buy the risky asset because it is undervalued; if the price pt is above the fundamental value p, then he tries to sell the risky asset because it is overvalued. The excess demand for the risky asset is given by:

xft = exp(α(p − pt)) − 1, α > 0 —– (1)

where α is the parameter that denotes the strength of the non-linearity of the fundamentalist excess demand function (1). The fundamentalist’s excess demand function (1) is derived in a one-period utility optimizing framework. The technical details of the derivation of (1) within a utility maximizing framework are given in Kaizoji. We can see that Equation (1) has captured the distinctive features of the fundamentalist’s strategy. While fundamentalists calculate the fundamental value, chartists estimate a trend in the price change. Chartists can be assumed to form their expectation of the price of the risky asset according to the simple adaptive scheme:

pet+1 = pet + µ(pt − pet), 0 < µ ≥ 1 —– (2)

where pet denotes the price at period t expected by chartists, and the parameter µ is the error correction coefficient. As above, the chartist’s excess demand function is given by:

xct = exp(β(pet+1 − pt)) − 1, β > 0 —– (3)

where β is the parameter that denotes the strength of the non-linearity of the fundamentalist excess demand function (1). The chartist’s excess demand function (3) means that chartists try to buy the risky asset when they anticipate that the price will rise within the next period; inversely, that they try to sell the risky asset when they expect the risky asset price to fall within the next period. Let us now consider the adjustment process of the price in the market. We assume the existence of a market-maker who mediates the trading. If the excess demand in period t is positive (negative), the market maker raises (reduces) the price for the next period t+1. Let κ be the fraction of chartists in the total number of traders. Then the process of price adjustment can bewritten as

pt+1 − pt = θN[(1 − κ)xft + κxct] —– (4)

where θ denotes the speed of the adjustment of the price, and N the total number of traders…..