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Forum Update, mSparks, September 6, 2015
A general note that I have moved the forums to phpBB3. Doesn't have the general integration implemented yet (e.g. posting this item and comments), so login for downloads almost certainly wont work yet (I think many of them are currently broken anyway), but it seems to have brought over all the old posts and forums successfully.

This should mean you are now able to register successfully. And to whoever it was that informed me of the problem, apologies for the delay, I've been crazy busy and can't find your email.

LTKTBM has been idle for several years now, all the work here has been on LTBTBM which is currently in private testing.
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LTBTBM Platform encryption, mSparks, January 23, 2015
Thought I'd share some of my plans for encypting the LTBTBM framework, and what I've found so far.

RSA - asymmetric encryption -
Point: Solves the problem of transferring encrpytion keys.
How: Public and private key - one key encrpyts, one key decrypts.
How is it broken:
attacks in the implimentation, e.g. heartblead, where web ssl servers can be asked to hand over the keys they are using (or in fact anything in the server memory).
attacks on the key:
There is a mathematical relationship between the public key and private key. Since you give out the public key, someone "could" calculate your private key. However, since the precise mathematical relationship is not known how to calculate independantly from the size of the key, bigger and bigger keys take longer and longer to calculate.
How long?
Well, a 256 bit key takes a fraction of a second,a 512bit key takes about ten minutes on hardware your average consumer has. both take a fraction of a second on dedicated distributed hardware.
anything less than an 8000bit key should be considered wholey insecure.
Attacks on the math:
implementations of big number calculators influenced to be much slower than they need to be, so calculations seem to take longer than they should.
Attacks on the random number generators - so they only generate a few keys:

Symmetric encryption:
Asymmtric encryption is also slow to encrypt/decrypt, so the solution is to use it to encrpyt the actual key used to encrypt a messsage, using a function that is "fast" to go from unecrypted message to encrypted message and vice versa.
How is it Broken:
getting the key (see above!!)
statistical attacks (calculating the probability of certain keys or ranges of keys, I suppose attacking the random number generator to limit the number of keys produced also fits into this category)
Poor implimentations e.g.

What's best - chaining more than one. My preference to date is first using the rabbit cypher, then AES on top of that.

These stem from the days when public keys were used to verify the integrity of the message. imho this is a stupid idea.
much better to imply verify integrity by having the integrity checks encrypted inside the message. The desire here is to verify the source of the message.


I was planning on building an integrated proxy to allow such messages via forums..
Much better now seems to be a way to create a way to make encrypted attachments for forums/email/any digital delivery mechanism.
This will take two forms:
public messages: Anyone can read/open the attachment, as long as they have been given the authors public key
private messages: only the intended recipients can read the message.

The way to acheive this, seems to be to have the output format a lossless png image, with the content being the encrypted message.
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So long 2014, mSparks, December 28, 2014
What an amazing year!

Been very, very busy, lots of fun, lots of thrills and spills. In a way I'm sorry I can't post more details of all the goings on here (for those not familiar, after the US software patent "coincidence" I really decided it was safer to keep much of the work I do secret, which is a real shame)

2015 is looking good, lots of big parts of the LTBTBM project are being dusted off and taken towards beta or even release status as more and more core functionality becomes real and battle tested.

Not sure if this will mean some actual public dev releases, rather than just more internal and commissioned releases, if I do get some time it would be nice to push at least some stuff out to a wider audience, but that will come with time.

Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, almost time for me to get on a plane (again...).
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Roar, mSparks, September 9, 2011
LTBTBM latest

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London Riots, mSparks, August 16, 2011
The following is an excellent [partial] summary ny bones of our current discussions regarding the recent riots in London.

It's great with internet technology thesedays, and the current make up of the board being a 'troll free' environment provided by owners and moderators, how we can have a rational and useful discussion on these riots.

The riots cover a huge range of subjects from the economics, racism, police abuse, political policy, social decay/exclusion/mobility, the benefits system, education, criminal justice, liberty vs authority etc.. It's probably quite fair to concede that given the huge range of controversial issues that lie behind the riots it's going to be near impossible to reach an agreed consensus about what happened and where we go from here. It's certainly not our job to solve societies problems, but I feel we can have a more rational debate here than what is taking place in the media and political arenas.

Riots/civil disorder take place in the context of wider society, which include the topics listed above and I think it's useful to recap and list the various factors that led the the trouble, because the media tend to frame serious issues as simply black and white, eg: either we are too hard on people or too soft, ignoring the whole spectrum of much wider issues that exist in-between.

The bbc had a list of the reasons, there's a summary of the theories at the link, but I wasn't too impressed with the scope of discussion.


I image that the events and caused behind the riots and the conditions that led to the riots are very similar to other mass civil disorder that has taken place in the past. Chris Cockling, a crowd psychologist makes some intelligent points in this short Al Jazzera interview.

I have come up with a list of the various factors surrounding the riots and some very brief summaries. Can anyone add other topics that I have missed? or does anyone take issue and think that some topics don't belong?

Economic Problems, cuts, price inflation of imports caused by currency depreciation, the fall out from the economic bubble was always going to lead to serious social problems, however, during the bubble part of the business cycle, resultant inequality of wealth, lack of social mobility, social depravation and failiour to tackle the issue creating underclass and then finding a role for them was the breeding ground for the problems, the riots the symptoms.

Social Policy, has the Labour years of increasing benefits for people with social problems simply exacerbated the plight of these people causing a poverty trap that takes away any incentive to work, and own a home. has this led to more of a fragmented family structure where positive male role models are absent. I don't think that lack of positive male role models is the major factor in bringing up law abiding children with improved life chances, and lack of a positive male role model is better than having a negative male role model imposed. The main issue to do with absent fathers I think is the role of the absent farther in society, no need to work, no need to build a home life, no reason to better themselves and stay out of trouble. Although all these problems also existed during the last Tory government, Nu-Labour had 13 years to address these issues, given that many of the people taking place in the riots were children, I feel that these are the children of Nu-Labours failed policies.

The criminal justice system. The failures of the criminal justices system have been evident for 15-20 years. I think its fair to say that theres probably a 10% chance you get caught for committing a crime, a 50% chance you actually get charged, a 50% chance it goes to court, a 25% chance of being convicted of the crime, and then a 50% chance you get away with very light punishment and only a 10% chance you actually receive a serious sentence, and at the end of the crime lottery a 90% chance that you only have to serve half of the sentence. ASBO's, on the spot fines, publicised crack downs on various types of headline grabbing topical crimes, are very much policing by slogans, advertising campaigns and gimmicks.

Unemployment. As a consequence of globalisation and cheap imports and increased immigration, off shoring of jobs, never really addressed since the 1980s, this has led to multi generational unemployment. Cycles of depravation, where whole families and communities don't have any positive working role models to learn from or to aspire to. In an deprived inner city estate, what answers do children give when they are asked "what would you like to be when you grow up?" Do people even bother to ask that question these days?

Immigration. This is a difficult and controversial topic, but it must be addressed, because if we can't have a rational debate about it, then the far right political parties will capitalise on the issue. Clearly the influx of large numbers of immigrants are going to have an impact of society, some positive and some negative. The ones with higher skill levels do benefit our society, but at the same time displace and restrict the opportunities of the socially deprived underclass people in the inner cities, some of which are themselves immigrants with lower skill levels. This benefits businesses with better workers and lower wages, hence lower consumer prices, but creates externalities that society if left to deal with, in the form of a growing benefits culture and lack of social inclusion. Immigration does have a key role in providing flexibility in any advanced economy, but maintaining a healthy balance is a controversial issue. I certainly can't find the right answers in a paragraph and it's probably impossible for any consensus to be made in wider society on the issue, but I do accept that immigration has both positive and negative side effects. The usual media debates on the subject consist of one side just promoting the benefits whilst ignoring the negatives and the other side ignoring the positives and focusing on the negatives, it's always conflict. The inability to have a sensible debate is another failure of government and media, which plays into the hands of far right extremists who will capitalise on the issue.

Police Image, Caused by Institutionalised Racism, abuse of Stop and Search powers, controversial Deaths caused by the police, inadequate investigation into police abuse, the cover ups and misinformation released to the media, all of which undermines the authority and respect of the police force. This is a consequence of long term political failure and weak leadership as obvious problems in the police force are ignored, by higher up's and politicians. Also the use of the police force to obstruct legitimate public protests, which has seen them put in an awkward and unpopular position with the general public.

House Prices, underpinning the mal-structuring of the economy is unaffordable housing, land and property, the inability of most people to have a steak in society. Again this overlaps with decreased social mobility, and also the economic measures taken to postpone the correction.

Moral Bankruptcy, A General lack of respect and trust in society, from politicians expenses, newspaper criminal hacking, police bribes and coverups, bankers bonus and fraud, people feel that if those at the top don't respect the law why should they, although those at the bottom of society have yet to learn that if you want to steal, wear a suit and carry a briefcase. The issue of personal responsibility for ones actions is also not helped by the examples set by, politicians, senior police all of whom exonerate themselves from any responsibility for the riots, the mis-handling and events that led up to them

The handling of the riots, Lack of leadership, from politicians and senior police, which led to weak policing on the ground allowing the situation to get out of hand. Another issue raised by a senior ex police chief on a Newsnight debate was whether the police should operate as a force with leadership, or if they should continue to act as a service with a bureaucratic structure. I felt there were different stages of the situation which required different responses, failure to recognise and respond properly to the changes and challenges as the situation developed is a failure of leadership. Police appeared afraid to confront and arrest rioters, perhaps this is because of orders, media criticism and fear of being prosecuted, but again this comes back to the handling and leadership, as when the situation became an wide-scale emergency, police should have been ensured the support from the people in positions of responsibility.

Opportunism, a large part of people actions can never really be explained or justified, many were obvious criminals taking advantage of the situations, others may have had what they felt were legitimate grievances, but took events to far. Mass psychology, humanities inner animalistic behaviour, the madness of crowds.

Modern Communication, theres been a lot of focus on Technology and Social Networking, I would also like to include the role the News Media in this area. Yes social networking, text messages and BlackBerry Messenger helped organise people to riot and loot, but the role of the media was probably far more powerful in amplifying the ineffectual political/police response which encouraged people to break the law (the ineffectual response was a true representation of the situation on the ground) I have spoken to officers in the Manchester area who have told me that a media blackout was ordered at 9pm to stop the media reporting the location of new trouble spots to stop others attending.

Other issues, Such as Gangsta Rap/Hip Hop and Multiculturalism, I don't really see these as major factors, they are just emotive political footballs for people to project their own personal preferences and prejudices onto in a veiled manner. Focusing on Music, Ethnicity, Culture, Video Games, Films etc.. all become rose tinted projections of an idealised yesterday, such as David Starkey on Newsnight, the Historian who seems to be under the most remarkable delusion of historical ignorance by imagining that violent gang culture did not exist before black people. The day I see a credible discussion on the subject is the day I will offer my opinion.


I felt msparks did a good job in summarising different stages of development during the riots, although I differ over some of the interpretations.


mSparks, on 12 August 2011 - 03:20 PM, said:
I'd say the numbers/backgrounds are fairly easy to estimate.
Day 1 rioters:The few hundred people in the vicinity of the assaulted girl
Day 2 Rioters:Several thousand friends, acquaintances and colleges of Mark Duggan and the assaulted girl
Day 2+ Rioters and looters: Tens of thousands of people and children seizing the opportunity of most of the nations police force fighting Several thousand friends, acquaintances and colleges of Mark Duggan and the assaulted girl.

And, imho, the only people the courts should be punishing are the police involved in the murder of MD and assault of the girl, because until their guilt is established, the guilt of everyone else is not establishable (unless they have a guilty conscience and plead guilty).


Imho, the killing of Mr Duggan appears to have the usual sort of botch job from the MET with subsequent propaganda style misinformation to cover up the mistake, however I strongly differentiate between the death of a man armed with a gun and the death of Tomlinson and Mendes.

1. I feel that the initial protest by Mr Duggans family was also badly handled by the police, especially the senor police and political masters who are ultimately responsible. this handling of a delicate issue at a time when there are many factors that can lead to civil unrest was the trigger for the first riots. Though still criminal acts, they can been seen as a political event. a reaction against police racism, abuse of stop and search, and the conditions created in society, following the pattern of almost all the other previous riots.

2. However, there were some opportunist criminals who took advantage of the situation, which maybe seen as a result of the other policy failures listed above. They took an element of the trouble into the realm of out right civil disobedience, criminality, looting, and given the lack of leadership of the authorities, things began to get out of hand.

3. The following nights of riots/looting became a continuation of the criminality caused by the type of people the complete failure of social policy has created - against the background of economic disaster compounded by the complete mishandling of the immediate situation by politicians and police. The pretext of events being an understandable political reaction to Mr Duggans death was simply a self serving delusion for those who wanted to have a ruck with their enemy, the police. or to steal from ordinary members of the public, small business and high-street chain stores.

It was like being in a dried out tinder-box forest in the middle of summer, along come the MET with a flame thrower, dithering politicians failed to take the correct decisions at the outset, leading to an ineffectual response by the police service on the ground. Other factors in society acted like prevailing winds fanning the flames, which led to still more dithering by politicians. Eventually the chaos and breakdown of law and order encouraged looters to enter the scene, setting even more fires to cover their criminal actions.


Unfortunately, I feel that the outcome of the trouble will not be a series of carefully thought-out attempts at solving the issues that led and contributed to these events.

The injustices which caused police and political resentment will be overshadowed by the violence and looting.

Other political, newspaper, police and business scandals will be swept under the carpet as the media place the focus of societies ills on the criminal underclass.

The liberal social policies will be abandoned hurting those who took part in the trouble the most, the public will favour more police over social workers, harsher prison sentences and benefit crackdowns.

Social divisions within society will become more entrenched, some areas will become police no-go zones and there will be zero tolerance for the underclass in wealthier areas and shopping centres.

Politicians will allow the police to abuse powers needed to control serious civil unrest to suppress public demonstrations.

House prices will fall heavily in the areas affected by the troubles, and sightly less in the untouched areas.

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