Thursday, June 8, 2023

Short Takes – 6-8-23

Warplanes: The Many War Drones in Ukraine. article. Pull quote: “The government bureaucracy in Russia discourages and disrupts any private efforts to design and build not merely UAVs, but private efforts to build most anything which might compete with government ways of building or doing things. Because that will interfere with government corruption. Ukrainians have noticed that one of their assets in the war is the disruptive effect the Russian bureaucracy has on the Russian military.”

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Receives Two Silver TELLY Awards for Safety Videos. press release. Pull quote: “The awards were for: “Simultaneous Tragedy: Fire at Evergreen Packaging”Silver Telly Winner in Non-Broadcast - Health & Safety and “Wake Up Call: Refinery Disaster in Philadelphia” - Silver Telly Winner in Non-Broadcast - Health & Safety” The CSB continues to do these safety videos well.

Republican Insurgents Force Speaker Kevin McCarthy to Cancel Votes. article. Pull quote: ““You’ve got a small group of people who are pissed off that are keeping the House of Representatives from functioning,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R., Ark.). Headed into the appropriations process, he said he had serious concerns about “how antics like this…can impact the ability for us to do our basic job of funding the government.””

The Cyber Mistakes Chemical Manufacturers Can’t Afford to Make. article. Pull quote: “While this is a rare example of the most extreme response, it illustrates an oft overlooked or misunderstood truth: What works for IT does not always work for OT. Cybersecurity programs for operational systems must be built to support the plant’s critical functions.”

Cuba to Host Secret Chinese Spy Base Focusing on U.S. article. Nothing really new here… Pull quote: “During the Cold War, the Soviet Union operated its largest overseas signals intelligence site at Lourdes, just outside Havana. The site, which closed down after 2001, reportedly hosted hundreds of Soviet, Cuban and other Eastern Bloc intelligence officers.”

As Smoke Darkens the Sky, the Future Becomes Clear. article. Pull quote: “The health effects of pollution far from its origin have not been studied in such detail, but this danger from a distance is changing the way we think about the menace of wildfire and of climate change. If 10 years ago Californians feared fire, more recently they’ve begun to fear smoke — even as every one of the state’s 15 largest recorded fires has taken place in the past two decades. Six of the seven largest have burned since 2020.”

New Information Collection: Safety Impacts of Human-Automated Driving System (ADS) Team Driving Applications. Federal Register FMCA 60-day ICR notice. Summary: “It is a driving simulator study with a series of questionnaires that will quantify the safety implications of team driving applications between humans and ADS-equipped commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Specifically, this study will focus on team driving applications with an SAE Level 4 (L4) CMV. In L4 automation, as specified by SAE (2021), CMVs are capable of all functions and controls necessary for driving without human monitoring in limited conditions, and the human driver will not be asked to take over control of the vehicle. The L4 CMV will not operate outside of the conditions it was designed for without human control. Approximately 80 CMV drivers will participate in the study. The study will assess the safety benefits and disbenefits of human-ADS team driving applications and support the analysis of potential requests for relief from FMCSA's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.”

Prioritization to Prediction. article. A scary looking at patching velocity. Pull quote: “Tracking this change over time produces a curve shown in Figure 3, where we see that, on average, it takes firms about a month to remediate 25% of vulnerabilities in their environment. Another two months get them over the halfway mark, pegging the median lifespan of a vulnerability at 100 days. Beyond that, there’s clearly a long tail challenge for remediation programs that results in 25% of vulnerabilities remaining open after one year.”

Russian forces battling Ukraine's assault are discovering a nasty danger behind them, courtesy of the US. article. Pull quote: “The mine-laying artillery shell is designed to force desperate choices. Vehicles must run a gauntlet laid with mines to deliver fresh troops, ammunition, fuel, and food to front-line positions. It also can be used to set traps along escape routes for forces on the front lines.”

‘Why the hell are we doing this?’ McCarthy’s fractured leadership team faces new abortion tension. article. Pull quote: “In fact, the same tactics that conservative hardliners used this week could convince centrists to join Democrats in halting floor action next week [on an abortion bill] using a different arcane tactic. Losing ground on more agenda items would risk compounding the embarrassment that party leaders faced in recent days.”

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