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Special Access Programs

2012.11.18 04:25 super_shizmo_matic Special Access Programs

SpecialAccess is a community devoted to uncovering the hardware produced by Special Access Programs of the last 50 years. A Special Access Program (SAP) is a platform or project that has extremely controlled access. Long after a program has been completed, the massive security around it lives on. The astronomical costs associated with declassification keeps their status in limbo indefinitely. As a result these historic works of engineering are sometimes buried and their records destroyed.

2011.12.17 15:00 jclishman Welcome to Oviedo!


2020.03.24 18:29 DrMartyLawrence The new home for the Florida Risk Army

The new home for the Florida Risk Army. Message the mods to request access.

2023.06.01 18:18 redleadereu High Evoutionary: Why it is unintentionally Pay-to-Win

TL;DR: I believe Second Dinner forgot about existing cards and core concepts card game balancing while designing High Evolutionary. This, combined with the card acquisition system in Snap, set the game on the slippery slope of becoming pay-to-win. I recommend one change to the card to fix this: if High Evo is in your deck, no-ability cards get +1 cost. Details on why are at the end. Hi Ben, from one Blizzard alumni to another!
The actual post
Hi everyone, long time player first time poster. I wanted to breakdown why High Evolutionary is Pay-to-Win, from the perspective of game design, card game balancing & collectible acquisition systems. Who am I? I am a video game analyst with more than a decade of experience in the industry in top companies.
Foreword: I am not against a company designing a game to be P2W, I am also not going to tell anyone not to spend money because everybody is free to do whatever they want (although I will not be spending any more money myself). The reason I am writing this is: Second Dinner unintentionally made the game P2W, which speaks to the talent of their designers and in turn, the longevity of the game.
Vanilla Cards In card games, vanilla cards are when the card has no additional effect and the power of them is just the numbers on the card. In Snap, this is the cost and the power of the card. These vanilla cards are balanced around the mana/energy curve, and usually they get a higher powecost ratio compared to cards that do have other effects. Again, in Snap, this is represented well by the no-ability cards, (e.g. Thing, Abomination) while same cost cards either have either lower power and an upside, or higher power and a downside. High Evolutionary brings an upside to these cards with no in-game cost.
Power Creep The vanilla cards are almost always present in the early days of card games. However as time goes on, the card pool expands and these cards usually fall behind in power and in turn, usage. There are many ways to solve this problem, and I don't believe Snap currently has this problem as the game is comparatively recent. The addition of High Evo is expediting the power creep to a power trot for no reason.
Card Acquisition Among the many systems available in collectible card games, I would argue Snap is one of the slowest in terms of players getting new cards. The ability to target cards through collector's tokens is actually worse than being it entirely random, because these tokens are entirely separate from the size of the players' collection. Second Dinner remedied this somewhat with their changes over time, but the problem still persists that really powerful cards are much more accessible to paying players due to the Series 4/5 drop rates and Collector's tokens acquisition rates.
Why is High Evo P2W? Based on the information above, consider how you might make Vanilla cards more powerful, and enable an archetype of using them. Take Patriot, the other vanilla-enabler: - Patriot - Benefit: - Adds 2 power to no ability cards. - Drawbacks: - Has only 1 power - Needs to be drawn - Needs to be played - Has a cap / narrow interval of power it can grant to a lane: between 0-8.
Now consider High Evo: - High Evolutionary - Benefit: - "Unlocks" the abilities of no ability cards - Does not need to be drawn - Does not need to be played - Has 4 power - Has a super high ceiling of power it can grant to a lane - Drawbacks: - Fills up a slot in your deck(?)
We can already see on paper how this card is so much better in enabling vanilla cards. If you want to have a vanilla-card archetype, there is no reason to use Patriot over High Evo. To make things worse, here are the second layer of benefits: - High Evo abilities require floating energy, and there are a lot of cards that benefit from floating energy already (Sunspot, She-Hulk) - The counterplay to a High Evo ability is... not playing cards - There is no player counter to High Evo itself - it can't be destroyed, dis-Enchanted, etc. - Only 3 cards exist that can counter some (not all) of these benefits: Luke Cage, Valkyrie & Shadow King
When all of this is combined, currently High Evo is a "I win" card with minimal strategy or skill required with no counterplay. So what is preventing everybody from playing him? The 6000 token cost of acquiring him. For a F2P player that takes a ton of active play time, or you just purchase the tokens, either directly or through Collection Level boosts.
Why I think Second Dinner did not intend it to be P2W There are two that makes me believe SD did not think the design through when making High Evo. - Reason 1: Floating Mana as a "drawback" while having cards that benefit from floating mana, and locations that change costs or energy. - Reason 2: The powecost ratio of vanilla cards being higher than the curve. If these two were considered, it was an objectively bad design choice. If one or both of these were forgotten, I am very sorry to say it is incompetence; especially the second one. I don't want to read malicious intent, that is why I say it is unintentional.
So how can this be fixed? Remove High Evo, go back to the drawing board. Realistically though, here is my proposal: - If High Evo is in your deck, no-ability cards get +1 cost. This adds a drawback to the card, balances the powecost ratio, and require additional cards in the deck or relying on locations for playing that 20 power Hulk.
Thank you for reading. Just to pre-empt the obvious question: I am not using High Evo, because I do not have the tokens to unlock it. Even if I did have him, I would likely not use it as I don't like my win condition to be "opponent doesn't draw Luke Cage".
submitted by redleadereu to MarvelSnap [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:10 DagothHertil MoonSharp or How we combined JSON and LUA for game ability management


During the development of our card game Conflux we wanted to have an easy way to create various abilities for our cards with different effects and at the same time wanted to write smaller amount of code per ability. Also we wanted try and add a simple modding capability for abilities.

Format we introduced

Some of you may be familiar with MoonSharp LUA interpreter for C#, often use in Unity engine to add scripting support to your game. That's what we took as a base for writing the code for abilities. Each ability can subscribe to different events such as whenever a card takes damage, is placed on the field or ability is used manually on some specific targets. Besides having event handlers we needed a way to specify some metadata like mana cost of abilities, cooldown, icon, etc. and in the first iteration of the system we had a pair of JSON metadata file and LUA code file.
It was fine initially but we quickly realized that abilities typically have ~20 lines of JSON and ~20 lines of LUA code and that having two files per ability is wasteful so we developed a simple format which combines both the JSON and LUA.
Since LUA code could never really be a valid JSON (unless you are ok with slapping all the code into a single line or is ok with escaping all the quotes you have) we put the JSON part of the abilities into the LUA script. First LUA block comment section within the script is considered as a JSON header.
Here is an example of "Bash" ability in LUA (does damage and locks the target cards):
--[[ { "mana_cost": 0, "start_cooldown": 0, "cooldown": 3, "max_usage": -1, "icon": "IconGroup_StatsIcon_Fist", "tags": [ "damage", "debuff", "simple_damage_value" ], "max_targets": 1, "is_active": true, "values": { "damage": 5, "element": "physical" }, "ai_score": 7 } --]] local function TargetCheck() if Combat.isEnemyOf(, this.event.target_card_id) then return Combat.getAbilityStat(, "max_targets") end end local function Use() for i = 1, #this.event.target_card_ids do Render.pushCardToCard(, this.event.target_card_ids[i], 10.0) Render.createExplosionAtCard("Active/Bash", this.event.target_card_ids[i]) Render.pause(0.5) Combat.damage(this.event.target_card_ids[i], this.ability.values.damage, this.ability.values.element) Combat.lockCard(this.event.target_card_ids[i]) end end Utility.onMyTargetCheck(TargetCheck) Utility.onMyUse(Use) 

Inheritance for abilities

It may be a completely valid desire to have a way to reuse the code of some abilities and just make some small adjustments. We solved this desire by having a merge function for JSON header data which will look for a parent field within the header and will look for the data based on the ID provided in this parent field. All the data found is then merged with the data provide in the rest of the current JSON header. It also does it recursively, but I don't foresee actually using this functionality as typically we just have a generic ability written and then the inherited ability just replaces all it needs to replace.
Here is an example on how a simple damaging ability can be defined:
--[[ { "parent": "Generic/Active/Elemental_projectiles", "cooldown": 3, "icon": "IconGroup_StatsIcon01_03", "max_targets": 2, "values": { "damage": 2, "element": "fire", "render": "Active/Fireball" }, "ai_score": 15 } --]] 
So as you can see there is no code as 100% of it is inherited from the parent generic ability.
The way a code in the child ability is handled is that the game will execute the LUA ability files starting from the top parent and will traverse down to the child. Since all the logic of abilities is usually within the event handlers then no actual change happens during the execution of those LUA scripts (just info about subscriptions is added). If the new ability you write needs to actually modify the code of the parent then you can just unsubscribe from the events you know you want to modify and then rewrite the handler yourself.

MoonSharp in practice

MoonSharp as a LUA interpreter works perfectly fine IMO. No performance issues or bugs with the LUA code execution as far as I see.
The problems for us started when trying to use VS code debugging. As in it straight up does not work for us. To make it behave we had to do quite a few adjustments including:

What is missing

While we are mostly satisfied with the results the current implementation there are a couple things worth pointing out as something that can be worked on:

Why not just write everything in LUA?

It is possible to convert the JSON header part into a LUA table. With this you get a benefit of syntax highlight and comments. The downside is that now to read the metadata for the ability you have to run a LUA VM and execute the script if you want to get any info from it. This implies that there will be no read-only access to ability information because the script will inevitably try to interact with some API that modifies the game state (at the very least adds event listener) or you will need to change the API to have a read-only mode.
Another point is that having a simple JSON part in the file let's you use a trivial script to extract it from the .lua file and it then can be used by some external tools (which typically don't support LUA)


Adding JSON as a header to LUA has following pros and cons compared to just writing C# code per ability:
submitted by DagothHertil to IndieDev [link] [comments]

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submitted by AutoModerator to HQ_Courses_2023 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:06 CheatSheetProscom MLB & NBA "Prize Picks" & Player Props for Thursday, June 1st, 2023 from CheatSheetPros!

Article Link w/ Screen Shots:
MLB & NBA "Prize Picks" & Props for Thursday, June 1st, 2023!
After the long weekend I wanted to get some plays out today for the NBA finals game #1 and show people what to look for on the NBA & MLB CheatSheets! I made several updates to the MLB which you can see below!
JUNE MLB CheatSheet Updates >
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Two plays jump out at me on the MLB Prize Picks tab and those are 1) Ryan McMahon over 7.5 Hitter Fantasy Score and 2) Hunter Greene over 6.0 Strikeouts. Now you need to understand what I'm looking for so you can find the other plays hidden in the cheatsheet. Ryan McMahon is averaging a whopping 19.2 fantasy score over the last 5 games and that is a different of 11.7 fantasy score points than his line so that should jump out at you. Second, he is facing Zach Davies who is 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA so that should also slap you in the face and make you want to dig into him further. The next thing I would check is his BVP history and stats vs pitcher handedness. Hunter Green has a whopping 11, 10 and 8 strikeouts in the last 3 games and also has an average of 8.0 strikeouts per game over the last 5 games which is 2 strikeouts higher than his Prize Pick line of 6.0 meaning 5 and less gives you a loss so 6 is even a push so we like that. Now see the yellow arrow he is facing a team that has the 6th lowest K% so the matchup isn't great but that is built into the line at 6.0.
Kevin Gausman is one that I'm really considering in a same game parlay today but PrizePicks has a tight line. He has a great matchup facing a team with the 28th highest K% over the last two weeks and has been over his line of 7.5 in 3 of the last 4 games so don't mind it and the upside is there. If it was 7.0 I'd be all over it, but 7.5 is tight so I'll likely go to DK where I can get over 5.5 and over 6.5 and lay some juice.
Hunter Green Game Logs - Quick Tip!
Make sure that when you find a player you want to use that you look at his last 7 game logs on the cheatsheet. Here you can usually find out if he has faced this team recently and how he did against that team. Looking at his strikeouts I'd give him a range of 7-10 as a range of possible outcomes and then look at the PrizePicks line. Here we see a line of 6.0 so I like taking the over as his range of outcomes is well over that number giving us a high possibility of going over.
Let's dive over to NBA and Jamal Murray over 41.5 fantasy score is just glaring at me. Here you can see he has a 100% hit rate over the last 5 and 80% hit rate over the last 10 games. His last 5 average shows a fantasy score of 54.2 which is a whopping 12.7 points higher than his line. I like to find plays that have a high difference than the line so we have some cushion. Nikola Jokic is always a solid play but we can see he has a difference of only 3.5 and 8 on his props but Murray gives us a difference of 12.7 so I'd lean to Murray.
Caleb Martin has been in every NBA playoff bet I have made, specifically his 2+ and 3+ 3PM shots made. I can get a good line on DK at 2+ to start off a same game parlay and we can see he has 4, 4, 2, 2, 4, 3 and 3 over his last 7 games. If you can get 3+ you are usually at plus money but haven't checked it today. I'm sure PrizePicks will have a 2.5 line on it and I'd lean to the over if you only have access to Prize Picks. Miami should be down and playing catch up which should lead to more Caleb Martin beyond the arc shots. I will have a same game parlay on TwitteFacebook today for the NBA games and I guarantee he will be in it. I'm also impressed with his 10 and 15 rebounds the last 2 games giving us a look at his Points + Rebounds + Assists prop line at 24.5 but the 5, 4, 3, 4 and 4 score me a little in the prior games.
I would look at something like this and gobble up that free square on Jokic!
Hopefully you can blow these up and look at them and find some plays!
📷 📷 📷 📷 📷 📷 📷 📷 📷
Good Luck,
submitted by CheatSheetProscom to SportsBettingandDFS [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:05 corialis Having trouble with grabbing pageviews for specific pages

Hey everyone, looking for some help on finding the number of pageviews for a specific page. This page has URL parameters, so I need to be able to include the query string.
This is fairly easy to setup with Explorations, but data sampling means I'm not getting the real number of pageviews. I need to know the total number of pageviews, not the number of pageviews from 80% of the sessions.
The standard reports don't use data sampling, but I can't find an option for page + query string, only landing page + query string. But users aren't landing at this page, they're accessing it while they're already on the site. I can't guarantee the page title will always be unique, the unique element will always be the query string.
Any ideas?
submitted by corialis to GoogleAnalytics [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:04 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in IN Hiring Now!

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Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in in. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by SchlesingerMindy323 to indianajobs [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 18:02 endlessnumber Explorer Pauper Tournament, 3 June 2023

Explorer Pauper Tournament, 3 June 2023

Event Link


Welcome to another MTGA Explorer Pauper tournament! The event will take place on Saturday 3 June 2023 at 12p EST / 6p CET.
Explorer Pauper is an MTGA format where only cards released at common rarity on MTGA are legal. In addition, the cards must be legal in Explorer, which means printed on paper in a Standard set including or after Return to Ravnica. This format is highly accessible to nearly every player, even if you just started playing Arena. Use those common wildcards that you're hoarding and build a deck to compete!
Entry is free. The prizes are the joy of playing and the glory of winning. The tournament will take place in a Swiss format with Best-of-3 Explorer Pauper matches. The number of rounds depends on player turnout, but we expect there to be four rounds.
Also, this serves as a kick-off event for Season III of the new Explorer Pauper ladder league, which will commence the evening of Sunday 4 June. Play one Bo3 Pauper match a week against your paired opponent. Each season lasts six weeks.


  • Players are required to be a member of the MTGA Pauper Discord server. To allow for easy identification, we recommend changing your nickname on the Discord server to your MTGA username. Players who are not present on the Discord at the start of the tournament will be dropped.
  • 60 card decks and 15 card sideboards. No rebalanced cards. The deck type should be Traditional Explorer. All cards must have been printed at common in an Explorer-legal set. Full list of legal cards
  • Ban list: Persistent Petitioners.
  • Decklists must be submitted on MTGMelee.
  • Matches should be played using the Explorer Tournament Match challenge type. Using the generic Challenge Match will cut off each player's sideboard at 7 cards.
  • If the top two players have the same match record at the end of the event, an additional championship match will take place between them. All other prize payouts will be determined by Swiss standings.
  • If a player does not appear within 5 minutes of the round start time, their opponent for the round may claim victory for the entire match. It is your responsibility to be punctual and available for your matches. When each round starts is at the discretion of the TO.
  • Matches must be completed within the Explorer Tournament Match time controls (30 minutes per player). If a match did not start punctually and exceeds the round * timer, the TO reserves the right to call turns.
submitted by endlessnumber to MagicArena [link] [comments]


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submitted by Aggressive-Regular75 to u/Aggressive-Regular75 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:55 TheWinklevoss Worldcoin: Revolutionizing Online Identity and Empowering ENS

Worldcoin: Revolutionizing Online Identity and Empowering ENS

by Crystal Zurn
In an era where online interactions require trust and identity verification, Worldcoin is making waves with its groundbreaking concept of Proof of Personhood (PoP). Co-founded by Sam Altman (CEO of OpenAI) and backed by the team at Tools for Humanity, Worldcoin is redefining online identity by providing a unique digital passport called the World ID credential. In this article, we’ll explore how Worldcoin’s innovative approach to identity verification not only transforms online experiences but also benefits the ENS ecosystem.
Building Trust in a Digital World
Imagine scrolling through an e-commerce website and stumbling upon a product with rave reviews. However, skepticism sets in as you wonder, "Did a genuine human write these reviews, or could they be bots?"
With the rise of AI-generated content and the prevalence of bots, distinguishing between humans and automated entities has become increasingly crucial. Worldcoin acknowledges this issue and offers a practical solution called Proof of Personhood (PoP). PoP is embodied in the form of a World ID credential, acting as a digital passport that verifies a person's uniqueness without revealing their personal identity. With this innovative approach, Worldcoin is paving the way for a more trustworthy online environment and minimizing the spread of misinformation.
Privacy-Preserving and User Empowerment
Worldcoin places a strong emphasis on privacy. As an open-source protocol, it prioritizes user control over personal data. When using Worldcoin, there's no need to provide sensitive information such as name, email, phone number, or social profiles. Users have the freedom to decide which, if any, personal data they want to share with third parties. This empowering feature gives individuals greater control over their digital footprint, fostering a more privacy-conscious online experience.

Worldcoin’s 3-Pronged Approach
As part of its mission to reshape the digital landscape, Worldcoin is not just focused on identity verification but also on creating a global currency and a dedicated app. Worldcoin’s mission can be broken down into three areas:
  1. World ID: A global identity designed to verify your uniqueness (not your personal identity)
  2. Worldcoin token (WLD): A global currency
  3. World App: An app that acts as a versatile crypto wallet, allowing users to make payments, purchases and transfers using its own token, along with other digital assets and traditional currencies. A unique aspect of World App is that users do not have to worry about paying gas fees, which makes it even more user-friendly.
How to Get Started With Worldcoin
To begin your journey with Worldcoin, you can download the free World App, which is available for both iPhones and Android.
Then you will need to find a Worldcoin Orb and have it scan your iris (more about this in the next section). Don’t worry; it’s painless and takes less than 60 seconds. Once your eyes have been scanned, you are added to a database of verified humans. Worldcoin creates a “hash” or equation that is tied to you specifically. The scan of your iris is not saved, but the hash can be used to prove a person’s identity anonymously through the app.
The Iris-Scanning Revolution
To ensure a secure and reliable identification process, Worldcoin introduces a fascinating biometric feature: iris scanning. By downloading the World App and using a specialized hardware device called the Worldcoin Orb, users can have their irises scanned.

These Orbs are available around the world in unexpected places like universities in Kenya and shopping malls in Lisbon. Orbs will also be available for a limited time in select locations, ranging from major cities like Miami, NYC, and San Francisco. The process is quick, taking only 60 seconds to generate a unique iris code.
The Orb takes a picture of an iris and the device subsequently generates a unique encoding of the randomness of the iris (“iris code”). By default, the original biometric is immediately destroyed, leaving the iris code as the only thing that leaves the Orb. To be clear: the scan is not saved. Only the resulting hash remains, allowing individuals to prove their identity anonymously through the World App using zero-knowledge proofs. This cutting-edge technology not only ensures privacy but also establishes trust in digital interactions.
The Power of Genuine Human Identities
The benefits of creating a global network of genuine human identities extend far beyond individual convenience. Worldcoin envisions a world with advanced spam filters, digital collective governance, equitable distribution of scarce resources, and enhanced ID theft prevention through authentication. By utilizing Worldcoin's World ID, these transformative advantages can become a reality.
Building Trust and Identity with Worldcoin and ENS
Worldcoin and ENS are at the forefront of redefining online identity and decentralized naming. Together, they provide users with a unique and powerful ecosystem that enhances trust, security, and privacy. With the integration of Worldcoin's Proof of Personhood and ENS's decentralized naming system, users can enjoy seamless access to services, leave authenticated reviews, and engage in online interactions with a genuine sense of trust.
The synergy between Worldcoin and ENS represents an exciting step forward in shaping a more secure and authentic digital future.
submitted by TheWinklevoss to ENStoken [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:55 snakebiteboy556 DO NOT ORDER FROM BERELI

Having to file a claim with my CC company. Ordered a case 5/22/23 with order number. Never received a order confirmation email. But they’ve sent me multiple spam emails since then. Waited 20 minutes on their customer service line, left message and sent a follow up email .Never had phone call returned or email. Typical Florida BS.
submitted by snakebiteboy556 to ammo [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:55 sleepingbabydragon Does anyone else just absolutely loathe the BACB?

Sorry not to make such an aggressive post but I really need to vent about this.
I finally finished my hours last week and the plan was to submit everything as soon as I returned from ABAI. I have had so much trouble just accessing the BACB website, much less submitting my documentation.
The loading is so slow across devices, their contact forms aren’t working/loading, I get error messages for every single thing I’m trying to submit and then they have the audacity to tell me to contact them when their contact forms ARENT WORKING?? And of course there’s no contact number on the website?
They’re sucking all the joy out of this transition and honestly I just hate them for it. Rant over, thank you lol
submitted by sleepingbabydragon to ABA [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:47 plo_koon_ My proposed scheduling model for the SEC if they stay with 8 games

I have been thinking about alternative scheduling options for the SEC if they keep the 8 game scheduling format. I think that the idea of only 1 annual opponent is unacceptable since there are so many historic rivalries that should be preserved. So I came up with a model that has 4 protected annual opponents that allows every team to play each other every 3 years, here’s how it will work.
Each team will have 4 annual opponents Each team will have 1 opponent that they play every other year The rest of the teams will be rotated through a 3 year cycle
For example:
Alabama could have LSU, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State as annual opponents, and Vanderbilt as an every other year so this is a hypothetical 3 year schedule in no particular order:
Year 1:
Kentucky, Texas, Georgia
LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State
Year 2:
Texas A&M, Missouri, South Carolina, Florida
LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State
Year 3:
Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ole Miss
LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State
This will be a better scheduling model than the current since every team will be able to play each other in half the time as they do now while still allowing for a decent number of annual matchups to continue. Furthermore, keeping the 8 game schedule allows the 4 annual rivalry week matchups with ACC teams to continue and encourages more bold power 5 non con games to be scheduled like Alabama’s 2 per year for the next decade.
submitted by plo_koon_ to CFB [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:37 King_Crowley21 Dream N Sour 23% THC 1.9% Terps. You could smell it throughout the house as soon as I opened it. It says sativa but it hits hard and I can feel it behind the eyes. I smoked a gram an hour ago and still feel it. COA included.

Dream N Sour 23% THC 1.9% Terps. You could smell it throughout the house as soon as I opened it. It says sativa but it hits hard and I can feel it behind the eyes. I smoked a gram an hour ago and still feel it. COA included. submitted by King_Crowley21 to FLMedicalTrees [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:36 MightBeneficial3302 Carbon Credits and the Future of Sustainable Business: Exploring Best Practices $SHFT $SHIFF

Carbon Credits and the Future of Sustainable Business: Exploring Best Practices $SHFT $SHIFF
The trading of carbon credits can help entities and the world meet their climate goals by cutting carbon emissions and practicing sustainable business. While some companies have various means to get rid of their footprint, many simply don’t have any at their disposal. And so using carbon credits is a necessity for them.
But how can carbon credits help promote the best practices that ensure the future of sustainable business? How can they be instrumental in advancing both corporate sustainability and global sustainable development?
This article will explain how by looking into best practices that can scale up the voluntary carbon market and help businesses achieve their climate change goals.

Companies Ally in Conquering Climate Change

The number of businesses pledging to help put an end to climate change by slashing their own GHG emissions continues to grow. Yet many of them find that they cannot fully get rid of their emissions, or even reduce them as fast as they may like.
The challenge is particularly tough for entities with net zero emissions targets, meaning removing as much carbon as they emit. For them, it helps to use carbon credits to offset emissions they can’t eliminate by other means.
Voluntary carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, are bought by companies for reasons other than compliance. These market instruments help direct private financing to climate-related projects and initiatives that won’t otherwise be developed or take off. More importantly, these projects also offer added benefits beyond just carbon reduction like job creation and biodiversity conservation.
Carbon credits also have the potential to bring down the cost of emerging climate technologies by providing startups enough capital. And most importantly, this market tool can help drive investments to places where nature-based emissions reduction projects are most viable.

How Can Carbon Credits Help Companies Reach Their Climate Goals?

Achieving climate goals seems to be the finish line among organizations these days. But what does it really mean?
Collectively, that means limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels, and ideally 1.5°C. Putting that in context, it means cutting global GHG emissions by 50% of current levels by 2030 and bringing them to net zero by 2050.
More and more businesses are aligning themselves with this global sustainable development agenda. In fact, the number of companies with net zero climate commitments doubled in less than a year – from 500 (2019) to 1,000 (2020).
Among those businesses, reducing carbon emissions to be carbon neutral or net zero has major limitations. For instance, a big part of the pollution of companies operating in the cement industry comes from processes they simply can’t just stop.

So, how can they reduce their emissions without stopping their business operations? By buying carbon credits.

  • Carbon credits work like permissions allowing holders the right to emit a certain amount of carbon under the compliance market. Within the VCM, carbon credits represent the corresponding quantity of carbon that has been reduced or removed by an initiative.
Remember that each carbon credit is equal to one tonne of carbon removed or prevented from entering the atmosphere.
Carbon credits have been in use for years now, but their voluntary use has grown immensely only in recent years. As seen in the chart from Katusa Research, buyers have retired (claimed the impact of the credit) about 150 million credits per year since 2020.
And as global efforts to transition to low-carbon and sustainable practices intensify, demand for carbon credits will also grow. Based on industry estimates, annual global demand for carbon credits can go up to 1.5 to 2.0 gigatons of CO2 by 2030 and up to 7 to 13 GtCO2 by 2050.
That also means the VCM size can be between $30 billion and $50 billion by the end the decade, depending on various factors such as price.
Per McKinsey analysis, the supply of carbon credits to meet such projected demand will come from these categories:
  • avoided nature loss (including deforestation);
  • nature-based sequestration, such as reforestation;
  • avoidance or reduction of emissions such as methane from landfills; and
  • technology-based removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While the future of sustainable business becomes possible through carbon credits, some challenges exist that may prevent VCM’s scale up. If not addressed fully, these roadblocks can bring down supply from 8-12 GtCO2 per year to 1-5 GtCO2.

Key challenges include:

  • Most nature-based supply of carbon credits is concentrated in few countries
  • Difficulty in attracting enough financing
  • Long lag times between capital raising and selling carbon credits
  • Carbon accounting and verification methods vary, making supply of high-quality carbon credits
  • Some confusions in the definition of the credits’ co-benefits (benefits beyond carbon reductions)
  • Long lead times in verifying carbon credits quality, which is crucial to achieve market integrity
  • Other problems include unpredictable demand, low liquidity and limited data availability
Though these challenges are indeed daunting, they are not invincible. By adopting best practices in using and integrating carbon credits into climate change mitigation measures, the VCM can help secure the future of sustainable business.

Best Practices to Scale Up the VCM

As we have demonstrated, carbon credits can help promote corporate sustainability by helping companies reach their climate goals. And as most of us know, large companies are the most guilty in dumping carbon into the air.
As long as they are making efforts in cutting their carbon footprint and bringing it to net zero, they can still continue doing business sustainably. But what can these big businesses and other market players do to ensure that the market doesn’t wither but grow?
Here are the top four ways that could further develop the VCM and scale it up for more carbon reductions.

Having Uniform Principles for Carbon Credit Definition and Verification

The market for voluntary carbon credits still lacks ample liquidity to transact efficient trading. What causes this is the fact that the credit attributes vary a lot, affected mostly by the project generating it. The carbon credit price depends on the specific project type and/or its location.
Each project also delivers a different set of benefits and added values, which value varies as well. This attribute makes the process of matching the buyer and seller quite difficult and time-consuming.
  • But with uniform features that define or describe the credits, the match-making process would be easier. One of these features would be the quality of the credit.
The recent release of the International Council for the VCM of its “Core Carbon Principles” is a good starting point for both suppliers and buyers to refer to. The principles provided offer a good reference in verifying the carbon reductions claim of the credits.
This is also important when developing reference contracts of carbon credit deals and their corresponding trading prices on the exchanges. In this case, it would make it more efficient for the market to aggregate smaller supplies to match the larger bids of corporate buyers.

Developing Flexible Trading and After-Trade Infrastructure

A well-functioning VCM requires a flexible trading infrastructure. That function is to facilitate high-volume listing and trading of contracts. In effect, this enables the establishment of structured financing for project developers.
The top carbon exchanges often have this infrastructure in place, enabling them to support and help scape up the market.
The same goes for post-trade infrastructure, such as registries and clearinghouses. They must support the creation of futures markets and provide the necessary counterparty default protection.
  • Carbon registries, in particular, should be providing necessary services and facilitating the issuance of identification numbers for each project.
These infrastructures can help promote transparency of data and information in the market, and so, increase trust among buyers and sellers alike. This is currently not the case in the VCM as access is limited, making tracking difficult. Issues in transparency are plaguing the market, putting some projects under query and further investigation.
Analytics and reports that put together accessible reference data from various registries, like how APIs do, can help advance transparency. This startup that developed the first API for carbon credits seeks to address this task, aiming to improve transparency.

Building Guidelines for the Correct Use of Credits

Though many companies use carbon credits to offset their emissions, they’re not the automatic option in reducing emissions. Some skeptics said that they deter businesses to offset their footprint instead of reducing them directly. Others argued that they become a tool for greenwashing – claiming to be eco-friendly though the business continue to emit more.
This is why there must be clear and robust principles governing the use of carbon credits to eliminate doubts.
Specifically, offsetting should be an option for emissions that are too difficult to abate. They should not overtake other climate mitigation measures while ensuring more carbon reductions actually happen.
This best practice requires a business to disclose its carbon emissions first and create a baseline for it. From there, carbon reductions targets and strategies will follow. Only by doing so can the company know how much emissions it needs to offset and buy the corresponding credits.

Safeguarding Integrity of the VCM

Same with transparency, the VCM is also facing the issue of integrity. The main culprit is the wide differences in the carbon credits’ nature, making them plausible for fraudulent transactions.
One solution is to have a digital system in place that registers and verifies the credits authenticity before issuance. Verifiers must be able to monitor the project’s impact regularly to confirm their carbon reduction claims.
That won’t just safeguard the integrity of the carbon credits but can also help developers in cutting down associated costs. Digitization translates to standardization that lowers issuance costs while improving offset credibility in corporate climate commitments.
Ultimately, a governing body is critical to enhancing integrity by overseeing market players’ behavior and the overall market functions.
In sum, businesses and other organizations can reduce their carbon footprint by employing clean energy technologies and sources. Still, many need carbon credits to complement their climate change mitigation efforts while aligning them with their corporate sustainability goals.
By following the four best practices identified, a scaled up voluntary carbon credit market can help secure the future of sustainable business.
Article source >>
submitted by MightBeneficial3302 to 10xPennyStocks [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:35 7GatosNoDinero Need help figuring out who to go to or what resources to utilize when property management company basically starts ignoring any attempts of contact

This isn't regarding maintenance or trying to contact the general receptionist but the "community director" in charge of my specific complex (and for clarity, this is regarding LeFever Mattson Property Management, which I know has had a few articles written about them which only makes this seem impossible to handle).
Phone number on the website for my apartment complex goes to voicemail with no follow up (even the receptionist at their main office stated it is possible that no one has access to those messages due to the transfer of ownership); and previous attempts of contacting more regional higher up staff members via phone numbers (direct to voicemail) has resulted in more silence.
Further background info in comments, but basically, it seems their plan of action is just...waiting the problem out.
Right now I am trying to get answers regarding the lease so that I can exit out while ensuring the current tenants can have an online account to pay their lease; there's other stuff, but that's mostly it. Oh, and that they were incorrect about charging me $35 instead of $25 for a returned check charge (they even quoted the lease that lists the exact legal code that states that the first charge can be maximum $25); it's only $10 so really it is the principle of the thing that they can be pointed to the law and they just ignore my e-mails again.
I asked for the community director's direct supervisor, again ignored.
I don't know what to do, I done "following up on my previous e-mail" so many times, and nothing. I just want to leave to handle my family situation with all my affairs with this apartment in order (paperwork to exit lease, login accounts for housemates, etc.), but it's like nothing is happening and I don't want to be that person harassing the front desk receptionist (who is very nice!) in hopes to get an answer from the community director.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
submitted by 7GatosNoDinero to Sacramento [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:34 happyface32821 Chicago Wrigley Field Pre-Show Event?

Anybody in the Chicago area aware of any bars/restaurants near Wrigley Field that will be doing any sort of events prior to the show? We'll be flying in from Florida for the concert and were looking for a place to pre-game beforehand. We were hoping to find some sort of ticketed/wristband event that we could book ahead of time to have access to instead of fighting crazy crowds. Any suggestions of places to hang or any events the morning of? Thanks!
submitted by happyface32821 to FallOutBoy [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:34 monitaaa_ Never Been Able to Access Military Email

I have never had access to my military email even though I am supposed to. I go to the webmail log in, use my CAC, and enter my pin. However, right after I log in it will say, " Error: Bad Request. Please try again later. " This happens every time and I am in a leadership position and cannot afford this to keep happening, but no one has been able to help me. Am I supposed to contact the AESD help desk? If so, what is the direct call number for emails? Please and thank you.
submitted by monitaaa_ to nationalguard [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:33 BakedReality Guide - Crowdsec, Nginx Proxy manager & Cloudflare tunnel in a docker stack

I was struggling to make a setup work whereby I could combine the functionality of Nginx proxy manager, Cloudflare tunnels and Crowsec. With some tinkering and using a combination of a few different guides online (for which I can't find all of the links I originally used to give credit, sorry!) I managed to get this setup working. It also includes Goaccess for a visual representation of the Nginx proxy manager traffic. I've tried to make the guide as simple as possible, so that even someone with very little experience should be able to follow.

CAVEAT - Please read
I've had this setup working for a month or so now. At the time I wasn't thinking about making a guide so I didn't document every step. I'm doing this guide by memory and from looking back through my config files. I don't really want to tear down my setup and do it again from scratch (if it ain't broke don't mess with it!), so it is very possible some minor steps or settings may be missing from the guide. If you have trouble leave a reply and I will try to help! If I realise I missed a step I'll come back and edit the guide.

A domain name and a Cloudflare account with that domain name already linked.


If you are using Portainer click Stacks then Add stack. Name it something like crowdsec-proxy and paste in the following. Make sure to edit the sections next to the #comments Also make sure that the same password is used where it says 'random secure password A' and a different one where it says 'random secure password B':

Docker compose here:
version: "3" services: nginx_proxy_manager: image: baudneo/nginx-proxy-manager:bullseye container_name: nginxpm ports: - '80:80' - '81:81' - '443:443' volumes: - /config/npm:/data - /config/npm/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt restart: unless-stopped environment: PGID: "1000" SSL_CERTS_PATH: "/etc/ssl/certs/GTS_Root_R1.pem" TZ: "Europe/London" ADMIN_PANEL_LOG: "1" CROWDSEC_BOUNCER: "1" OPENRESTY_DEBUG: "0" DB_MYSQL_HOST: "" DB_MYSQL_PORT: 3306 DB_MYSQL_USER: "npm" DB_MYSQL_PASSWORD: " " # Random secure password A here DB_MYSQL_NAME: "npm" depends_on: - db - tunnel networks: crowdsec_proxy: ipv4_address: crowdsec: image: crowdsecurity/crowdsec:latest container_name: crowdsec expose: - 8080 environment: PGID: "1000" volumes: - /config/crowdsec/data:/valib/crowdsec/data - /config/crowdsec:/etc/crowdsec - /valog/auth.log:/valog/auth.log:ro - /valog/crowdsec:/valog/crowdsec:ro - /config/npm/logs:/valog/nginx:ro restart: unless-stopped depends_on: - tunnel networks: crowdsec_proxy: ipv4_address: db: image: 'jc21/mariadb-aria:latest' restart: unless-stopped container_name: npm_db environment: MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: '' # Random secure password B here MYSQL_DATABASE: 'npm' MYSQL_USER: 'npm' MYSQL_PASSWORD: '' # Random secure password A here volumes: - /config/npm/mysql:/valib/mysql networks: crowdsec_proxy: ipv4_address: tunnel: container_name: cloudflaretunnel image: cloudflare/cloudflared:latest restart: unless-stopped command: --config /etc/cloudflared/config.yaml tunnel run volumes: - /config/cloudflared:/etc/cloudflared environment: TUNNEL_TOKEN: ' ' # Your unique tunnel token from Cloudflare networks: crowdsec_proxy: goaccess: image: xavierh/goaccess-for-nginxproxymanager:latest container_name: goaccess restart: unless-stopped environment: - TZ=Europe/London - PUID=998 - PGID=100 ports: - '7880:7880' volumes: - /config/npm/logs:/opt/log:ro networks: crowdsec_proxy: ipv4_address: networks: crowdsec_proxy: ipam: driver: default config: - subnet: 
If you're using docker compose CLI create a docker-compose.yml file with the above pasted in and run docker compose up
You can run and then stop this stack so that it creates relevant directories and files, however it wont work properly until all the settings have been amended.


You will need to set up a number of config options. Firstly open up a terminal and navigate to config/clouflared and run the following commands:
nano config.yaml
Paste the following in to the new config.yaml file:
tunnel: #put your Tunnel ID here (NOT the same as your tunnel token which we used on the previous step) this is listed on the tunnels section of your cloudflare zero trust dash between Name and Status. No quotation marks required. warp-routing: enabled: true metadata: headers: - name: CF-Connecting-IP values: - "$http_x_forwarded_for" 
Next cd to /config/crowdsec and run
nano acquis.yaml
Delete the current contents of the file and paste the following this basically just tells crowdsec where to get the log files and what typre of log files they are:
filenames: - /valog/nginx/*.log labels: type: nginx-proxy-manager --- filenames: - /valog/auth.log - /valog/syslog labels: type: syslog --- filename: /valog/apache2/*.log labels: type: apache2 --- 
Whilst still in the crowdsec directory run
nano config.yaml
the only info you need to check/change for now is the line
it should already be set to, but amend if required.
We should now be able to start the stack. Check the log files for any issues.


We now need to add the NGINX proxy manager bouncer, so in a terminal run
docker exec -it crowdsec /bin/bash
Which will give us a bash session inside our crowdsec container. Now run
cscli collections add crowdsecurity/nginx-proxy-manager
*Memory is slightly fuzzy here as I think the collection includes the bouncer as well. If you get given an API key here you can ignore adding the bouncer separately with the command below, if not run the following:
cscli bouncers add npm-proxy
This should generate an API key, which we will need. Copy this key and keep it safe.
Type exit and hit enter to leave the crowdsec container terminal.
cd to /config/npm/crowdsec and run
nano crowdsec-openresty-bouncer.conf
we need to edit the top few lines of the config file to match this:
ENABLED=true API_URL= API_KEY= # enter your API key from the previous step here 
We now need to restart the stack.


I'd recommend generating a wildcard SSL certificate by going to the main Cloudflare dash, selecting SSL/TLS then Origin server. Click create certificate. Leave it as default RSA (2048) and add * Set the certificate validity to 15 years and click create. Open a text editor and paste the contents of the origin certificate box. Save this as Do the same for the private key box, this time saving it as Under the SSL/TLS overview menu you should now be able to set the SSL encryption mode to full (strict).
In your Cloudflare zero trust tunnels dash click on your tunnel and then configure. Click public hostname, then add public hostname. Add any subdomains you wish to expose externally (e.g. or
With all of these you want to set service type to HTTPS and the URL to This just throws all traffic at Nginx proxy manager to route internally. I also set the origin server name in TLS settings to the subdomain (e.g. or


Once you're finished adding all the subdomains on Cloudflare head over to the NGINX proxy manager dash which will be on localhost:81. It will ask you to sign in with the default login [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and password changeme. You will be prompted to set your own admin account here.
Firstly we need to set up the wildcard SSL cert we got from Cloudflare. Go to SSL Certificates then click add SSL Certificate, then Custom. For name just go with For the Certificate key browse to the file we recently created and do the same for Certificate (selecting the file). Intermediate certificate can be left blank. Click save.
Now head to Hosts, then Proxy Hosts. Click add Proxy Host. (I'll be using Vaultwarden as an example here, so amend the details as required) enter the domain name The scheme will likely be http (unless you've set up local SSL).

Forward Hostname / IP for containers running on the same docker network
If you connect any other services to the crowdsec_proxy docker network, you can simply reference by container name i.e vaultwarden and the forward port as whatever port vaultwarden is running on. In my case 8005.

Forward Hostname / IP for containers running on a separate docker network
You will need to specify the gateway IP of the docker network the service is running on. If you're running a management software like portainer you can go to networks to see all the networks running on the node and their relevant gateway IP addresses. To see this info from the terminal run docker network ls and then docker network inspect networkname (replacing the networkname with a network from the list) under config this will list the gateway IP. Add forward port as whatever port vaultwarden is running on, in my case 8005.

Check 'Block common exploits' and 'Websockets Support'
Under SSL select the SSL certificate from the drop down list. Check all the options here.
Lastly under advanced paste the following in to the 'Custom Nginx Configuration' box:
set_real_ip_from; real_ip_header CF-Connecting-IP; 
This will ensure that the logs show the origin IP addresses of traffic coming in to the server, rather than logging all traffic as originating from the local IP of your Cloudflare tunnel.


Visit and you should see the login page for your service.
Next we can ban our own IP address to make sure Crowdsec is working, so grab your external IP address
Open a bash terminal inside the crowdsec container:
docker exec -it crowdsec /bin/bash
cscli decisions add -i youripaddress
If you try to visit again you should get a 403 error message.
cscli decisions remove -i youripaddress
You should now be able to access again.
The following are also useful:
cscli metrics
cscli decisions list
cscli collections list
or just cscli to see a list of available commands


Head to localhost:7880 to see the all the graphs from your Nginx proxy manager logs.


I would recommend visiting where you browse collections, parsers and bouncers to Crowdsec specifically for other services.
User Ciphermenial who gave me some great info
You can connect your Crowdsec instance to their web GUI and add some blocklists of already flagged IP addresses.
I would also recommend checking out particularly around the setup of reCAPTCHA
Techno Tim did a great video on Crowdsec, although he is using Traefik rather than Nginx PM as a reverse proxy, so whilst the info is good the setup process is different.
Thanks to user who pointed out the formatting errors in the original post and for directing me to hastebin!
I hope this guide helps and sorry if I'm forgetting any steps. If you have any ideas on how to improve this stack, or any other additions that would be useful it'd be great to hear some ideas. Once again this is done from memory and was a long post to type, so apologies if I have made any errors (very likely)!
submitted by BakedReality to selfhosted [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:29 Altruistic-Prior8149 MHTCET answer key challenge notice

The document literally only shows number of successful challenges per shift per subject. We have no way of finding out which question it's talking about, question IDs aren't mentioned. The CET cell isn't going to release a final answer key either, just results directly. Since the grievance window (answer key challenge) ended, we can't even access our response sheet. How are we supposed to figure out which question it's talking about?
Funnily enough, the document says "No communication regarding the objections raised will be entertained by State CET Cell, Mumbai after this Notice " How are we even supposed to know which question has had it's answer changed? How are we supposed to cross check whether we're getting more or less marks than from initial answer key?
submitted by Altruistic-Prior8149 to JEENEETards [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:29 Redcoldbenjamin A fellow's take on NCERT news from yesterday. Please be kind this is my first post here.

Please be kind this is my first post here. 🤞
The De-emphasis of Evolution and the Periodic Table in Science Education
In recent years, there has been a growing movement to de-emphasize evolution and the periodic table in science education. This is due to a number of factors, including the increasing complexity of these topics, the growing number of students who are not interested in science, and the increasing emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The Complexity of Evolution and the Periodic Table
Evolution and the periodic table are two of the most complex topics in science. Evolution is a theory that explains how life on Earth has changed over time, and the periodic table is a chart that organizes all of the elements in the universe. Both of these topics can be difficult for students to understand, especially if they are not interested in science.
The Decline of Interest in Science
In recent years, there has been a decline in the number of students who are interested in science. This is likely due to a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of other subjects, such as English and history, and the perception that science is difficult and boring.
The Emphasis on Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills in education. This is because these skills are essential for success in college and the workforce. As a result, some schools have chosen to de-emphasize the teaching of evolution and the periodic table in favor of teaching these other skills.
The Debate Over De-emphasis
The decision to de-emphasize evolution and the periodic table in science education is a controversial one. There are a number of people who believe that these topics are important and should be taught in schools. They argue that these topics are essential for understanding the natural world and that they can help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
However, there are also a number of people who believe that it is okay to de-emphasize these topics. They argue that these topics are too complex for many students to understand and that they can be taught in more depth in college. They also argue that it is more important for students to learn critical thinking and problem-solving skills than it is for them to learn about evolution and the periodic table.
The Future of Evolution and the Periodic Table in Science Education
The future of evolution and the periodic table in science education is uncertain. It is possible that these topics will continue to be de-emphasized in schools. However, it is also possible that these topics will be taught in more depth in the future. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to de-emphasize evolution and the periodic table in science education is a complex one that will need to be made by educators, parents, and policymakers.
In my opinion, evolution and the periodic table are important topics that should be taught in science education. These topics are essential for understanding the natural world and they can help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. However, I also believe that it is important to make these topics accessible to students. This means teaching them in a way that is engaging and relevant to their lives. I believe that it is possible to do this without sacrificing the rigor of the material.
EDIT: Some countries have already taken steps to de-emphasize evolution and the periodic table. For example, the United Kingdom and Australia have removed the requirement for students to learn about evolution. There are a number of reasons why some countries do not require students to learn about evolution. For example, in Eastern philosophy, there is a strong emphasis on the individual and their relationship to the universe. This emphasis on the individual does not lend itself to the study of evolution, which is a theory that focuses on the development of species over time. In Western philosophy, there is a strong emphasis on reason and logic. This emphasis on reason and logic does not lend itself to the study of evolution, which is a theory that is based on evidence from the natural world. The Indian educational system has been criticized for being too focused on rote learning and memorization. This criticism has been particularly strong in recent years, as the Indian economy has become more globalized and the country has become more competitive in the global marketplace. The decision to remove the periodic table and evolution from the Class 10 science textbook is an effort to address this criticism.
submitted by Redcoldbenjamin to india [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:28 mrginga96 I have an interview next week but feeling impostor syndrome. How qualified am I really? What can I change or improve for future jobs I apply to? What do you think I should be applying for and how much am I worth?

submitted by mrginga96 to resumes [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 17:26 Drakos8706 Powerless (part 36)

Admiral Shane stood in the room usually used for training, but had been cleared out so he could make the conference over holophone, and a larger room helped with the scale when they were addressing the entire Federation Council.
It had taken only about 2 ½ days to get to the Golden Egg’s position, as with their progress in the uplifting process - and the fact that they had access to FTL technology - they had been allowed to send a ship out into the Federation, albeit supervised. As such, they decided on sending a military ship, seeing as there was a much smaller chance of an interstellar incident happening with disciplined Marines.
The chamber was a semicircle, with the Chairperson’s seat at ground level, in the center of the floor, with each next row elevated slightly, so that the gathered Representatives were situated in a step-pattern, ascending to the top row of the chamber. He noticed that the ‘insectoid’ species all were situated to his right of the chamber, if he was looking out at them.
Beside him stood Admiral Ree’Scote, being his ‘escort’ into the Federation; Kyle, as the boots-on-ground witness; Officer Kit’Ahnj, being the Federation’s liaison officer; and Captain Vohr’Doe, as the commander of the vessel that found the planet. But of course, it was him that was currently the center of attention.
He had reviewed the team's video logs, and he agreed that whatever was on that planet was likely hostile; the sounds that came from that darkness - not to mention the fear he felt when looking into it - were so… wrong, he didn't feel any other classification would be right. And - after the testimony of Officer Kit’Ahnj, backing up Kyle’s report, and the video - the Council felt the same way; however, they were less inclined to destroy the planet. He was currently being addressed by the Council Chairwoman, a bipedal crocodile, whose title was Chairwoman Hahss’Chom, (which - when she pronounced it - was little more than a hiss, followed by her snapping her jaws shut.)
“We have ways to prevent… whatever this is - from ever being able to exit their system, even if they were to develop FTL technology.”
“With all due respect, ma’am,” he said, keeping his focus on her, and not the - obviously - judging races that surrounded him, all of whom represented different animals from Earth, each one the Speaker for their respective races, “We’ve dealt with a mindless force of nature that was only intent on killing…
“Europa was one of Jupiter’s moons, and was roughly 90% the size of Luna. When we began spreading out from Earth, the question of drinkable water became a problem. And while it's - relatively - easy to make it from its base components, Europa was almost entirely water, though not all of it was liquid.
“Once we had developed the technology to land there, we set out drilling to the ocean, which was located beneath a shell of ice that was estimated to be between 10-15 miles deep… We made it four miles before we lost all resistance. The drills were shut down, and new readings were taken; but by the time they realized what was happening, it was too late.
“At first, the teams thought that it was a geyser, which are - were - a fairly common thing, though there had been no signs that one was building up there. Well, they managed to get far enough away before… The ice where they had been working melted, but there was no geyser. What came out of the hole resembled, well, it most resembled a machine AI that humanity dreamed up as a monster in a movie. The one I reference here was basically a metal ball with countless metal tentacles from its ‘back’, and what came out of that hole looked remarkably similar.
“And it wasn't alone. About a dozen of those [‘squids’] came out, and made straight for our people. It was… a massacre; our weapons had no effect on them whatsoever. And after they were done killing everyone, they began dismantling and consuming the ships and equipment. And afterwards, they turned their gazes upwards, launching themselves from the surface of the moon with the force of their limbs, alone.
“Judging from the fragments of their bodies we were able to recover after encounters with them in space, we determined that they were iron of the Fe oxidized variety, so the metal of their bodies didn't interact with the water. They were also incredibly light, especially for how dense they were; it took several missiles to destroy each, and we had no other choice, as they were heading directly at the ships in orbit.
“We retreated to a tactical distance, and while we tried so many different ways to communicate, we found nothing. We even captured one alive, and still, there was no way to communicate. Every attempt was met with the utmost hostility. And throughout this process, they continuously sent out others from beneath the ice, most of them sent towards our ships, yet others were sent out towards the asteroids that share Jupiter’s orbit around the sun. We had no idea what they were doing with the asteroids, whether they were mining them for food, or using them as places to reproduce - or both - so we eventually decided to bombard them with munitions until they crashed into the planet. But this was after we had exhausted every possible avenue of communication.
“We eventually came to a decision - as a people - to destroy the moon, but we had to be smart about it. The Europans had already proven they didn't need to breathe, as they could survive the cold, irradiated vacuum of space without any external protection, which took blowing Europa up off the table.. So - after much deliberation - it was decided to create a ship that could use tractor beams to move the planet. For this, we converted another of Jupiter’s moons - Ganymede - into a ship, and once the construction was complete, we renamed it the Europa Contingency.
“From there, we caught Europa, and towed it to Sol, where we cast it in, to destroy the Europans, down to the last one… It's not something that we’re proud of - as a people - but it was what we needed to do, in order to survive.”
There was a resounding silence after he finished with his speech, and he allowed them the time to process what he'd just told them. He was suddenly very self-conscious, and he felt as if he hadn't explained their plight sufficiently. They were already classified as the most aggressive that their measurement system could register, what must they think of humanity after this. Finally, the Chairwoman broke the silence.
“Though it sounds as if you may have committed genocide on a sapient species… This Council can claim no better. While we have ways to contain FTL travel, this was only put forth as a possible avenue to explore after our predecessors had glassed multiple planets who had turned out to be too hostile to conduct civil interactions with. To have that threat in the same system as you, with no real barrier between your peoples, well, I don't believe any here could truly blame your people for coming to this decision… However, we can't be sure that we face the same threat. Nor can we order anyone to go into the darkness to find out.”
The suul’mahr representative, Grol’Rosh - a solid white coloration to his fur - spoke up, his voice playing out over the speakers, as he was sitting in the topmost row.
“We could send a probe into the midst of it; that could tell us what we're dealing with. And if they are entirely hostile, we could take a specimen up to the atmosphere, to see if it survives.”
He heard a strangled sound of protest, and he didn't need to look around to see the fearful look on Kyle’s face; he gently held up a hand to assuage the Ambassador, as he knew full well what his concern was.
“We believe that the contents of the darkness are… harmful to the generally accepted term of ‘sanity’. And not in the sense of ‘it would be dangerous to any non-human’; as in, to anyone. If - however - you should need a volunteer, then-”
I will watch it,” Grol’Rosh cut him off. Admiral Shane merely looked at him, sighing lightly as he nodded once in acknowledgment to the suul'mahr. Captain Vohr'Doe stepped up at that point, calling to the hangar to release the drone, and to program it to enter the darkness just beyond the leading edge. A small communication satellite was set out after it to retain contact with the drone when the curve of the planet would render it beyond their scope of reach.
It took several minutes, during which Grol’Rosh inserted earbuds into his ears, and had his personal screen connected to the probe's camera. While he was watching the drone's progress, it was also taking its own readings, and sending them back as text. Which is how they knew when it was breaching the atmosphere, and when it encountered the darkness; Kyle had been right: it wasn't natural.
The reports coming back from the drone were confusing, to say the least; firstly because ‘the darkness’ was actually solid material, though ‘solid’ was used loosely here, as it was more like a ‘dust storm’. Except that it wasn't just dust - as there were readings of sand, and soil in the mess - because nanoscanners inside the drone determined that each grain of soil was coated in a thick, viscous material that absorbed all light that hit it.
The material was what caused the confusion, as when it was analyzed, it was determined to be… everything. There were traces of all genus of races, from canines, to felines, insects, to pachyderms; there was even all manner of aquatic animals, as well. There was no plant life detected in the sludge.
As imagined with readings like that, the drone had more difficulty descending to the surface of the planet than it normally would have, but strangely, not as much as one might expect; it was only when the craft sped up that they realized it was being pulled. The altitude of the drone continued to drop at a steady rate, until it was about 50’ from the ground, according to the readings from the expedition team, as it was heading for the exact location they had originally made camp. However, the drone was sending even more confusing information, as it was now reading the ground to be 25’ away, and moving quickly.
The drone was about 10’ from the ‘ground’ when Grol’Rosh began howling like he’d been stabbed. Looking up in his direction, everyone gasped in horror as he began clawing at his eyes, quickly rending his face, and entirely destroying the delicate orbs within. He wasn't done, however, as he then began clawing at his ears, his Gift obviously activated, as he tore straight to his skull in only a single swipe, the unnerving sound of claw scraping bone filling the room.
Two suul'mahr guards rushed towards him as soon as he'd begun clawing his eyes, and were almost to him when he reached his hands out to the sides, and brought them together - with his head still between them - with obviously tremendous force.
One of the guards - a dark gray specimen - leapt forward at the last second, tackling him by leverage of his left arm. That still left his right arm free, though it had only succeeded in a glancing blow, which still knocked him unconscious with a sickening /thud**. There was a stunned silence that followed that ordeal, until Chairwoman Hahss’Chom shakily gave an order for medics, who soon arrived, two kanfi’doe that - after stabilizing his wounds - quickly carried Grol’Rosh down the stairs, and loaded him onto a stretcher they had brought with them.
The silence reigned for a long minute after they’d wheeled him out, broken finally by the Chairwoman’s subdued voice.
“I call a vote: all in favor of allowing the humans to bring their ‘Europa's Contingency’...?” She tapped a few commands into the datapad in front of her, and there was a quiet flurry of movement as the rest of the Council cast their votes.
“It's unanimous: Admiral Shane, we hereby give the Europa’s Contingency permission to travel to this system, and then to return to Sol when the job here is done. Are we clear on this?”
“Crystal, ma’am. I can have the orders dispat-”
He was cut off as a keen'yohng appeared by his side.

Commodore Vah’Rin came out of subspace, his prey already in his sights. The eight other captains under his command confirmed lock-on status, and his communications officer informed him that they had an opening into their link, though it was protected by an unusually strong defense system.
“Well,” he replied, “We did intercept the report on humans; they have artificial intelligences. They probably have one with that cylindrical ship that has too many guns to not be military. Well, this certainly changes things: an a.i. would be by far more valuable than an entire hold of drahk'mihn. If we can capture it, and reprogram it to obey us, we could drop down far enough into subspace that we could make a trip of several months cut down to as many weeks… Patch me into their communication; I’m done hiding…”
He let a cruel smile play across his face as his entire bridge turned into the Federation Council Hall; his ship would project his image into their conversation, but not those of his crew around him. And there in front of him were the objects of his focus, as he was certain he appeared before them, wearing his black Commodore’s jacket.
“How nice of you to join us, Commodore.”
He turned to the owner of the cold voice that ‘greeted’ him.
“Ah, Council Member Toss’Vah,” he replied cheerily to her, “Good to see you again. How are things back home?”
She regarded him coldly, then almost spat,
“It was widely believed that you were still alive; I regret to have that theory confirmed.”
“What can I say?” he asked, smiling, “This ship was just too good to not take it. Give my regards to the president; this ship truly is state-of-the-art… But, I didn't break into this conversation to speak with you.” He turned to the humans, who regarded him with wary expressions, if his experience with the suun'mahs and kanfi’doe was anything to judge by.
“Greetings,” he began jovially - no reason not to be civilized, “I - as you may have gathered - am Commodore Vah’Rin, and I regret to inform you that you are under the guns of 9 ships, all of which are heavily armed. Now, this is normally the part where I tell you that if you cooperate, then we can get through this with a minimal amount of casualties - someone always has to try to be the hero, don’t they? - but I have a different proposition for you, today: give me you a.i., and we’ll leave this system - and your ships - without any hostilities. Refuse, and… Well, I think you get the idea.” He smiled a predatory smile that was more of a leer than anything.
“This is outrageous;” the current Councilwoman stated, righteous anger evident in every syllable, “We not stand for-” but he cut her off.
“We’re too far away from any Federation outposts, and the nearest suun’mahs patrol is… well, right here.” He gestured to Admiral Ree’Scote.
“So, no matter how this plays out, there’s really nothing that this council can do about the goings-on here. So - as I said earlier - I’m not speaking to you; this has nothing to do with any of you.” He turned his attention back to the humans.
“So, what is your answer? And might I remind you, while you may - or may not - be able to take on our ships at 3-1 odds, one of your ships is not only not made to fight, but is also filled with civilians; are you willing to risk all of their lives?”
“How about this,” the human who was obviously military began, “You choose six of your ships, and use those to square off against us; the other three can hang back, and guard the Golden Egg from leaving. If you win that battle, you can take the A.I. stationed there. If not, then your other ships have to leave us in peace.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name and rank.”
“Admiral Shane of the Sol Defense Force.”
“Ah,” he continued, “Well, Admiral Shane, I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. It’s all, or nothing, which means that even if you feel comfortable taking on all of our ships at once, we will still target the civilian vessel. There is no other option; sometimes you only have bad paths to choose from, and you must take the lesser of the evils.”
Admiral Shane stood taller, and defiantly responded with,
“We of the Sol Defense Force cannot - in good conscience - hand over a single soul to slav-”
But he was cut off by the other human behind him, the one he actually recognized. Reaching into his pocket, he retrieved a small blue cube, which he held out as he angrily stated,
“You can have mine.”
“Ah,” he replied jovially, turning to the smaller human, “Mr. Redding, I believe?”
“It’s Ambassador.” The defiant little monkey at least seemed pretty fearless in the face of life-or-death negotiations, so he figured that he deserved at least that recognition; he certainly seemed to realize the value of diplomacy over fighting.
Ambassador, then; good to see someone here has a level head on their shoulders.”
The cube reformed into a small human, as the Admiral rounded on his civilian counterpart; they both started talking at the same time.
Excuse me?! You have no right to auction me off like some-
“... hell do you think you’re doing?! How dare you offer up a Sollian to a slaver?! I ought to knock the sh-”
But they were both cut off as Ambassador Redding simply stated, talking louder than both of them,
“Artificial Intelligence Override Code: JKJKLOL69!
The small android stiffened up, and remained rigid, as if it were a simple robot, while the Admiral recoiled, raising an arm slightly as if to defend himself.
“How dare you?” he said with disgust to the Ambassador, “That’s only to be used in the event of a rogue A.I., this-!”
This,’ the Ambassador interjected angrily, “Is bigger than all of us! I know what I’m doing.” He turned to address the Commodore,
“You will take it, and you’ll leave. In peace. Give me… 12 Standard minutes - I have to collect the memory core - and we’ll meet halfway between the 'civilian’ ship, and your group, ‘cause you sure as hell aren't coming aboard either of our ships.”
“That sounds acceptable; however, once the transfer is made, you will keep your shuttle in position until we have determined that the package is authentic, at which point, we will leave. If it is a fake, then I won't hesitate to blow your little shuttle to dust, and then I’ll take everyone I can get my hands on; and with 9 ships, we have more than enough space to hold you all. And we will both come unarmed.”
“I’ll be accompanying you,” the Admiral said sternly to the Ambassador, “I need to document everything that happens so I can send it back as evidence in your hearing.”
“Yeah,” the smaller primate answered testily, “You do that…”
With a vindictive smile, Commodore Vah’Rin motioned to end the transmission.

Kahv’Hosh sat in the pilot’s seat, having been chosen to transport the humans out to the meeting spot. They were both currently silent, and the air was so thick with emotion that you could cut it with a knife. They were already in place, and were currently waiting on the pirate ‘commodore’ to reach their shuttle, with an estimated thirty seconds until they made contact. With a solid /thud/, they were connected, and Kahv’Hosh equalized the pressure in the sleeve, and soon heard a slight knock on their door. Kyle and the Admiral had already moved to the door - the large metal cube with the interface screen sitting beside it - and Kyle reached forward to open it.
The keen’yhong walked onto their shuttle, and his eyes immediately fell to Kyle’s waist.
“I thought we agreed no weapons.” The man’s voice wasn’t as hostile as he would have expected, as he stared at the big gun on Kyle’s waist, and the smaller - but still obviously deadly - pistol on the Admiral’s.
Yeah,” Kyle replied sarcastically, “Because you don’t have some hidden weapon on you…”
The ‘commodore’ simply smiled, and turned to the box.
“This is my a.i., I take it?” he asked, still smiling.
Kyle’s mood seemed to darken further as he reached into his pocket, pulling out the cube that became Kay’Eighty at his command.
“Begin downloading into the core, and commence factory reset.”
He set the cube down on top of an open slot beside the monitor, and a loading screen immediately came up. It only took a few seconds, but it was still a tense few seconds; soon, the box chimed, and Kyle removed the cube.
“I’ll be taking that, as well,” the ‘commodore’ replied, reaching a hand into his jacket; Kyle simply scoffed.
“No, you want to make your own mithril, then you figure out how to make it, yourself. You’ve already got the core, that’s all you need. And that’s all we agreed on. If you wanted the mithril, too, then you should’ve said so; not my fault you failed to specify that point.” There was no amusement as he said it, though it was obvious that he enjoyed that little stunt. And while the ‘commodore’ obviously had his hand on the handle of his gun, he wouldn’t be able to move faster than two humans; the two suul’mahr lurking just beyond the airlock wouldn’t be much help after he was already riddled with bullets.
The ‘commodore’ regarded him for a few moments, then began laughing a cruel, calculated laugh. He gestured behind him, and one of the suul’mahr - all-brown fur - came aboard, carrying the large box onto their shuttle. After he’d observed its successful transfer of the package onto his shuttle, the ‘commodore’ turned back to Kyle.
“As stated before: you will hold this position until either my flotilla leaves, or destroys you for trying to trick me. And this time, I expect you to follow my directions, because you’re already targeted by my lead ship… Well, until next time.” With that, he exited the shuttle, their airlock door closing behind him, both humans remaining staring at the door.
They finally turned away when the shuttle disconnected, moving to look out the viewport to watch the other shuttle go back to its ship. Finally, his nerves got the better of him, and he asked to no one in particular,
“Do you think he will truly spare us?”
“There’s a chance,” Admiral Shane replied, “Depending on what kind of pirate he is; they can have varying codes of honor. He does - however - self-admittedly sell people into slavery, so I don’t know how strong his sense of ‘honor’ may be.”
They were all quiet for a while as he considered this, until Kyle’s soft voice - filled with sorrow - broke the silence.
“I’ve never killed anyone before. I mean, the mahn’ewe were all in a fit of rage; and while I’d fantasized about it, I didn’t exactly plan it. Now, though - with all this time to stop and think about it…” He fell silent at that, watching the shuttle go, though Kahv’Hosh wasn’t sure he was actually seeing it. To his surprise, Admiral Shane reached up and grasped Kyle’s shoulder, his voice gentle as he replied,
“It’s never easy. And while the mahn’ewe can probably be overlooked by your conscience, this is - obviously - a different situation entirely. There’s a chance that you never truly recover from this, but just always remember the innocent lives you’re saving by doing this; they’re what’s going to get you through the low points.”
Kyle nodded in acceptance, and then his face contorted, and a predatory smirk lit up his countenance.
“Have you ever seen one go off?” he asked, not taking his eyes off the viewport.
“Well,” the Admiral replied, a mischievous note in his voice, “I have seen a number of tests; of course, there was that pirate faction that we traced to their base in an asteroid. One on each side, and it was history.”
Kyle let out a cruel snort of laughter, and - not taking his eyes off of the viewport - said,
“Kahv’Hosh, did you ever get around to reading about the women of Weinsberg?”
He wasn’t sure where this was going, but he decided to play along.
“I did," he replied slowly.
“And if you knew nothing else about humans,” Kyle began, a cruel smile on his face, “Would you have accepted that deal?”
He managed to take a breath in before something in his mind clicked. Something had seemed off from the beginning, but he couldn’t place exactly what it was. He’d been given clearance to review the transmission from the part where the ‘commodore’ broke in, and he had been replaying it in his mind ever since then, trying to figure out what was gnawing at his mind like a pup with a bone.
But nothing came out at first, as his mind struggled to form words; he managed simply to point out the viewport to the shuttle - that was almost to its ‘mothership’ - and to look back and forth between him and it, before he finally managed to spit out,
“Wh-... you-... why would the arti-... the ‘override code’: why would it be in Galactic Standard?!
The smile on his face widened, and he was suddenly aware that he was on a small shuttle with two Class 12 aggressors. Kyle - however - merely pulled the cube from his pocket, and said,
The cube began to dissolve, reforming into the humanoid shape that was her android form.
Yes, Ambassador Redding?” she replied in a distinctly… robotic voice. Kyle merely scoffed, however, and rebutted with,
“Aw, come on; it’s not like he gave us ample opportunity to talk: I had to think of something on the fly…”
She suddenly became much more ‘sapient’ crossing her arms, and looking off to the side as she sighed.
Fine,” she replied, “Whatever; what do you want?”
Kyle snorted in laughter, and asked,
“Has he made it to the optimal range, yet?”
Kay’Eighty sighed again, and looked out the viewport.
“Just about, yeah.”
“Then I leave the honors to you,” he finished, holding her up for a better view of the viewport.
“Detonation in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…”
Kahv’Hosh found that though he was sure this was going to be on par with their aggression level, he also couldn’t look away; like watching an asteroid impact a planet: he knew something bad was coming, but he just couldn’t bring himself to break eye-contact with the nine ships in formation, the middlemost one having already received the shuttle. And even as he watched, the ships seemed to draw closer together.
At first he thought that it must be his eyes playing tricks on him, but soon enough, not only were they drawing closer together, but they began to spin around the central ship, as if caught in the gravity-well of some insanely dense celestial body. He saw small explosions issuing from the sides. with little bits breaking off into the void of space, only for the expanding singularity - for that was obviously what it was - to suck the life-pods back into its center, where everything seemingly disappeared into nothingness. Soon, the ships themselves began breaking apart, still doing their destructive, tumbling dance around the spot where the ‘commodore’s ship used to be.
Piece by piece, the ships began to break apart, ‘falling’ into the center, where they were obviously compressed beyond what physics would normally allow. He tried not to think about the fate of the people aboard the ships, gravity increasing to the point that you were crushed under the weight of your own skin, having to watch - if they could even survive - as the ship around them broke apart, exposing them to the blackness of space.
He managed a quick look back at the humans, and was granted some small consolation in that the evil smiles had left their faces, and both had looks of somber determination gracing their features. And at that moment, he believed he knew what it was that set them so high on the aggression scale; even they were appalled by their actions - by their own weapons - and yet not even the prospect of becoming a monster would stop them from removing a perceived threat.
Soon, all pieces of the ships were gone, and about a Standard minute after that, the anomalous gravity readings disappeared. And suddenly space had returned to ‘normal’, as if nothing unnatural had just happened. Kyle broke the silence in a neutral voice as he said,
“Well, let’s get back to the ship; Cap’m’s gonna tear me a new one for this…”
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