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by The Exquisite taste of The Ambassadors Reception. . 495 reads.

The Cable - September 2020


The Cable

September 2020 | The Embassy

_ PREAMBLE

We hope you enjoy this fourth edition of The Cable, our newsletter which aims to build communications between our embassies. Please share this with your region-mates by posting a link on your RMB!

What an exciting August! Update benders upset defenders. Approval removal raids were ran. We ended up wiser through TourAdvisor, and got to dissect an embassy collector. TV vs dinners polls found out the winners, and - now we've got news from The NewsStand.

But if you're just thinking, "I don't care about any of this. Why did I get a notification?", then this section is for you.

_ COUNTRYBALL COMPETITION

Get your MS Paint set out, and get creative! We'd love to show off your artistic skills in a future edition of The Cable. Have a go at hand-drawing a circle, and filling it with a flag. It's surprisingly difficult. Don't worry if you make a 'balls up - being bad at it is half the fun. I won't tell you how many "circles" I drew before I managed this one. It doesn't have to be your own flag, it could be anybody's. The NS-verse is your oyster. If you find you get the hang of it, maybe you could write a countryball strip. As motivation, we'll gift a Legendary card to the best (or worst) entry. Go on, give us a giggle!

_ WORLD ASSEMBLY - APPROVAL REMOVALS

On 27th August, some unusual raids occurred. Raiders swept in to certain regions, endorsed a resident (making them delegate), then left again with no noticable damage.

This unusual behaviour can be explained by looking at the WA Security Council approval process. Before any proposed SC legislation can be voted on*, it needs to be confirmed as "legal" (ie it complies to these rules), and it needs to have 6% of all delegates "approve" that the proposal should go to vote.

On the day, legal proposal Repeal: “Commend Evil Wolf” was in the queue, awaiting approval. With a total of 1044 delagates across NS, it needed 63 approvals to make it to the voting floor. A number of Gameplayers objected to the proposal (you can read why on the drafting thread). If they could somehow remove the delegate approvals, the proposal would never even go to vote. And that's where the raids fit in.

If a delegate suddenly stops being delegate, then any approvals they made are automatically withdrawn. By endorsing a resident and making them the new delegate, the raiders were removing the old delegate's approvals from the proposal. Effectively, they were trying to deny people the opportunity to vote.

Despite the raids, the proposal was approved. The vote went the raiders' way though - the proposal was heavily defeated.

This approval removal technique has been used before, for example to try and prevent Repeal: “Liberate Iran” reaching the voting floor.

So how do you defend against approval removals, which impact both executive and non-executive delegates?

The bigger the endorsement gap, the harder it is for the raiders. For example, if the delegate has 4 endorsements, and the resident with next highest has 3, then 2 raiders is enough to change the delegacy. But if the resident only had 1 endorsement, it would need 4 raider endorsements to change the delegate. So you could introduce a strict endorsement cap. But that limits the rate of influence growth for non-delegates.

The new delegate will only be delegate for 12 hours, as without the temporary raider endorsements, the original delegate will be restored at the next update. So you need to figure out who will be delegate at the time the approvals process ends, and ensure that your approval is registered. It takes quite a lot of organisation to put right.

Maybe the only real solution is a technical one (see the discussion here). One that gets coded into the game by the site Admin team. But it would need to be carefully thought through. Changing the way the approvals process works could introduce all sorts of unintended consequences. Possibly an automated telegram telling the ex-delegate that their approval had been removed could be the simplest technical solution to the problem. That way, people could at least make informed decisions as to what they should do.

*This is the technical process. For there to be any chance of your proposal becoming law, draft your proposal on the forums first!

_ POLLS

Belarus saw street protests this month. Lukashenko, president of Belarus for 26 years, claimed to have 80% of the vote in the recent presidential election. Thousands believed the vote was rigged, that Tikhanovskaya was the winner, and so protested. Lukashenko appealed to Putin for help. We asked: who will hold the power in Belarus on 1st September?

At the time of writing, Lukashenko is still at the top. There were a lot of cynical voters in this poll, with 55% saying Putin would be in charge! And of course, NS's Generalites had a lot to say on the subject.


While stuffing my face with takeaway food in front of the TV, I started wondering which was more important, Fast Food or TV?

United Steaks of America said "nobody is gonna choose TV 'cuz this days is ded". Well, it's not quite dead yet - just under a third of voters chose TV over fast food. Which makes me wonder what they're eating in front of the TV…?


United Steaks of America had a point. While I'm binge watching several seasons of a Netflix show, I still think of it as "TV", although there's none of the scheduling or adverts that old fashioned TV had. But I don't think of YouTube as TV (despite the ads). The content is too varied. So if we had to choose one, which would it be?

I was genuinely surprised at the overwhelmingly large number of votes for YouTube. At 85%, YouTube is clearly a bigger part of most voters' lives than Netflix. Is this because YouTube is "not TV"? Is it because it's free? Is it a generational thing? I'd love to know more about why people voted this way. Please share your thoughts on the RMB!

Click to see if we're running a poll. Need to vote some more? Check out your eligible polls.

_ AN EMBASSY COLLECTOR - TRAVELLING WILBURYS

On 21st August, the Linkdirty world of NationStates was Linkrattled when the Activity feed went into overdrive with a frenzied burst of embassy building. 16,211 embassy requests were sent out in 6 hours, 48 minutes, and 55 seconds. Next day, requests went out to the remaining 8,000 regions. The brains behind this mission belong to Nelson Wilbury of the Traveling Wilburys. LinkThe devil's been busy! We were lucky enough to land an interview with this superstar, so if you'd like to know them Linkinside out, mix yourself a Linkmargarita, find a Linkcool dry place, and settle down to enjoy the read.

The Ambassadors Reception: LinkYou took my breath away with that impressive feat of embassy building! Now presumably these aren't your first nations. How long have you been playing NS for?

Nelson Wilbury: I have been on NationStates for almost 5 years. Charlie T Wilbury Jr is actually the only nation for my partner in crime. She's an IRL friend of mine and I just asked her to help out with a "project" that I had been working on lol. My main is [REDACTED] but I'd rather keep that private haha.

AR: Don't worry, that's a secret that I can Linkhandle with care. What kind of things do you usually get up to on NS? (eg, social, roleplay, etc)

NW: I did some raiding a few years back and then took a gap, though more recently I've had strong interests in liberation and defending. It's crazy how things change over the years. Though initially I joined NationStates to roleplay and write resolutions as practice for Model UN, I served as a delegate for quite sometime in an active region of roleplaying natives, and I've been known to make the occasional post on NSG in the past. Currently I'm running for a high regional office in the region I'm active(ish) in.

AR: Why did you choose the Traveling Wilburys as a theme?

NW: Well over quarantine I've become quite the hippie. I've started taking a more minimalist approach to life, become increasingly spiritual, and I've grown out my hair and embraced a lot of late 60's countercultural ideals. With that came a shift in music taste and a strong interest in George Harrison specifically.

AR: The region was created almost three weeks before you sent out embassy requests. Was it always the intention to do the embassies, or did this idea come later?

NW: That was the eventual intent. I just had to come up with the way to effectively create the embassies and then wait out the throttle before I did.

AR: It looks like you must have reached almost every region in NS. Did you filter any out before you started? (For example, you may have chosen to ignore founderless regions).

NW: We think we're going to go back and filter our regions that have things like "fascism" or other key words in the name. We have no interest in groups that promote hate, but truthfully we forgot to go through our text files and do so beforehand.

AR: Logistically, it's a big challenge to make this many embassy requests. How did you go about it?

NW: I have a browser extension that cycles through regions in a list and uses ajax to send an embassy request to one per each keystroke I make.

AR: Embassy collectors can come in for some flak, as if sending embassy requests was one of the Linkseven deadly sins. Did you get any angry telegrams?

NW: We did get a few but I actually loved all the responses I got about people who liked the Traveling Wilburys! It was great to sit down and respond and have discussions via telegram over who our favorite Wilburys are, our favorite Wilbury songs, or even just who our favorite Beatles are. To answer those questions: George Harrison and Bob Dylan, LinkTweeter and the Monkey Man, and John as a Beatle but George as a solo artist.

AR: Where do you guys plan to go from here? Can we expect another storm of embassy requests? Or do you have another direction for the region?

NW: So requesting roughly 24,000 embassies is not an easy job, but following that we plan to use the API at the end of every day that we remember to, and request more embassies as regions are created.

AR: Well, with all these new embassies, you're certainly Linknot alone any more. LinkCongratulations on a plan well executed!

_ TOURADVISOR

Category (click to browse)

Total reviews

New this month

🗳️ Government

3

1

📖 WFE

8

1

👫 Community

20

8

🎟️ Activities

4

2

📗 Dispatches

1

1

🃏 Cards

2

🌍 TourAdvisor is the searchable, crowd-sourced guide of places to go in NS. Build the best browsable guide to the NS-verse by reviewing the places you've been, and the things that you've seen. Read our guidelines, and post your review!

An amazing thirteen new reviews were posted this month, bringing the total to thirty-eight. Covering pancakes, politics, poetry, and more, we got some great insights into the NSverse. A big thanks to this month's contributors, Atensi, Bribillichnoveroloriland, Roctaiciestahland, Sail Nation Travellers, and Traveling trader.


_ GAMEPLAY - UPDATE BENDING

A thousand new regions* were created this month, seemingly in response to a raiding technique known as "update bending".

As covered by LinkNationStates Today and The NationStates Chronicle, South Pacific was occupied by raiders during the month. Defenders tried to liberate the region with the largest defender force in NS history, but their efforts were thwarted by this technique.

Twice a day, NS updates. Each region is considered in turn. Amongst other things, the delegate is decided at this time, based on the number of endorsements each nation has. Raiders and defenders try to jump into regions seconds before they update. That means that there is little chance to eject them before their endorsements get counted.

The order in which the regions update doesn't change. But the exact time of update does vary. So to figure out the best time to jump into the target region, raiders and defenders use a "trigger". A "trigger" nation is placed into a trigger region that is known to update shortly before the target region. When the "trigger" nation gets updated, it's time to jump into the target region.

Now, the more nations (or embassies!) a region has, the longer it takes to update. And this is the feature that allows "update bending".

If you own a region that is just before the target region, you can move as many nations as you please in or out whenever you want. You can't do this with a region that isn't yours - that's known as "puppet flooding", and is against site rules.

So if raiders move lots of nations into such a region (the "bend" region), they can make the defenders' "trigger" longer. That gives raiders more time to eject defenders as they arrive in the target region. Alternately, they can remove lots of nations, making the defenders' trigger shorter. That means defenders are more likely to arrive in the target region too late to have their endorsements counted.

One way to counteract this (described by Chingis in this thread, started by Roavin) is for defenders to have their own region, inbetween the raiders' "bend" region and the target region.

Chingis says: "The real question is the feasibility of actually getting said region. While I'll agree with Derps that talking about founding 17k regions *after* a raid is entirely disingenuous, it is, however, the case that it is possible to found regions in advance"

So when a few days later, 303 regions were created with names that started "0527...", at least 299 regions called "Cassiopeia...", a 100 or more regions called "Orion...", and a large number of others, it looked very much like the search for such regions is on.

* Many more regions were created for other reasons, but it looks like around a thousand were created specifically in response to this.

Thanks to Roavin for sense-checking this article.

_ THE EMBASSY'S EMBASSIES

We're around 150 embassies down this month, against an increase of about 1300 regions in NS.

As at 1 September, we have 4,171 embassies, representing 17.01 percent of Nationstates' 24,528 regions.

_ THE NEWSSTAND - NEWS FROM ELSEWHERE

Read all about it!
- NationState News August 31
- NationState News August 30
- The NationStates Chronicle - Issue #2
- The Hindu: Issue III
- The Monthly Tabloid:India Regional Newsletter (August 2020)
- The NationStates Chronicle - Issue #1
- Layem Times Issue 14
- The Hindu: Issue II
- The WZAF Gazette
- The Hindu: Issue I
- Region Name Times - August 16th - Volume XXIII
- CoL Times | Issue #3
- LinkNS Today
- Daily Line

Get involved!
- Play Sands casino games
- Place a sports bet

_ DIPLOMACY AWARDS

The Diplomacy Awards celebrate the foreign dignitaries that interacted with our RMB in the past month, either by making posts, or clicking 'Like'.
We've abandoned the "Board Award", because we all know that Colin Advance Wars, the King of Spamalot, will forever be the leader.

Floored Award

We can't say it straighter - you're the greater orator. This month's premiers of praises per post are:

Style

Likes per Post

Nations

🖋

6

Bribillichnoveroloriland

🖊

4

The Texan Revolution

🖍

3.67

Andemo

Almerdonia, Andemo, Aredita, ArmedKing, Artsotska, Atensi, Bisingen, Bon Ton, Boris Cult, Brewers and Coffeemakers, Bribillichnoveroloriland, Brinckerhoff, Cash Money Haggis, Coasta Sol, Cong ress Poland, Consulate master, Dcxgefy4eeyt, Deadcopland, Demonos Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Derse and prospit, DICTATORSHIP10, DoLlYsTaNa, Dominions Pizza, Doom Soul, Elite leomonade, Eripolis, Ethics Committee of the SCPF, Exoiman prime, F for Surrender, FCN Blue Moon, Federation of Sarawak, Fourty, Free Press, German Roadblock, Golden Latern, Green Tombstone, Grinch Donnie Dictatorship, Grishahakkaverchynot, Grit Advance Wars, HardBassSchool, Harmonic Empire, Hindu Mahasabha, Hungae, Indusse, Insurrectionist Celadonia, Jeistan, Jewtown 347, JimAlv Liberty, Joeanian Republic, Kawaii Sharks, Kitty kingdom founder, Koyon, Lakeriddeat, Lardyland metrosexual army of obesity, Las hispania, Layem Puppet Storage Puppet, Lightford, Lotaijuunn, Makrovia, MeinFuhrer, Morales Evo, Mpia, Mukh, NATIONSTATES IN ALL CAPS, Nelson Wilbury, Neue deutsche Kaukasier, New Alba Gan, New Celadonia, New Good Order, New Polish Soldier Division 2, New Roakia, Nighthawk Township, Nister, North American Imperial State, Nowhere Islands, Of Altonianic Islands, PEOPLES GENERAL SQUACKKKK, Polish Commander, Polish Soldier, Propaganda Radio, Puppet SCP Fuadation, Random Country 453632, Random Expedition Team 2, Randomcrita, Roctaiciestahland, Sail Nation, Sail Nation Travellers, Santa Selena, Sarawak Commune, Sasha Advance Wars, ScotlandSerenity, Selson, Seven Seas, Siberian Socialist State, Solharcht Kirale, SomethingIsWrongHere, Springfield PP Admin Employee 5, State of Germany, Sysillia, Team Lennox, Team Leo, Testimesout, The Dream of Kirby, The Gold Mines, The Martian Nation, The Mexican Commune, The NewsStand, The Peoples Caribbean Union, The Reformation of Qing Dynasty, The republic ofTexas and northern Mexico, The sycenians, The Texan Revolution, Traveling trader, United Steaks of America, United Technocratic Nations, UwU help, Victorian era rp record keeper, Waldoven, Warren Buffet, Who Cares Bro 2, William Beebe, WWE WORLD, XiNzOsTaN, Yazakhastan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Zeritae, Zion-Israel, Zpuppet2

* Nations making multiple posts during the month are eligible for The Floored Award.

Adored Award

We think it is great to appreciate a state. This month's 'like' button bashers are:

Hearts

Like Count

Nations

86

DoLlYsTaNa

🧡

71

Khwhp

💛

40

The Gold Mines

2nd 7TP Division, Almerdonia, Andemo, Aredita, Atensi, Austria is Hungry, Austrian trade ship, Bon Ton, Boris Cult, Brinckerhoff, Canary Montgomery Burns, CDI Yu Suzuki, Coasta Sol, Consulate master, Danubian Hungarian Republic, Demonos Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DICTATORSHIP10, Dominions Pizza, Doom Soul, Dumb r Tags, Eripolis, Ethics Committee of the SCPF, F for Surrender, FCN Blue Moon, FCN Orange Star, Federation of Sarawak, Free Press, General Murdock, German Roadblock, Grinch Donnie Dictatorship, Grit Advance Wars, Hermes Express 123, Huben, Japanese Ronald Mc Donald, Kawaii Sharks, Kitty kingdom founder, Korean Pop EMPIRE, Lakeriddeat, Lardyland metrosexual army of obesity, Layem Puppet Storage Puppet, Mathuvan Union, Morales Evo, Neon CSA, Neue deutsche Kaukasier, New Alba Gan, New Metropolitan France, New Polish Soldier Division 2, New Springfield Power Plant Employee 8, Nister, North American Imperial State, Nowhere Islands, Of Altonianic Islands, PEOPLES GENERAL SQUACKKKK, Polish Commander, Polish Soldier, POLISH SOLDIER DIVISION 3, Puppet SCP Fuadation, Random Country 453632, Random Expedition Team 2, Randomcrita, Really Big Bama Fan, Roctaiciestahland, Sail Nation, Sarawak Commune, Sasha Advance Wars, Seven Seas, Siberian Socialist State, Skailin, Skundi, Sorianora, Springfield Power Plant Employee, Springfield Power Plant Employee 10, Springfield Power Plant Employee 2, Springfield Power Plant Employee 4, Springfield Power Plant Employee 7, Springfield PP Admin Employee 3, Springfield PP Admin Employee 5, State of Germany, Sysillia, Team Lennox, Terra Britania, The Age of Utopia, The Belacian States, The Chairman of The Board, -tHe ChIcKeN-, The Gold Mines, The Plutonian Empire, The Reformation of Qing Dynasty, The republic ofTexas and northern Mexico, The State Of Grand Colombia, The Texan Revolution, Trading Card Game, Ugosal, United Steaks of America, United Technocratic Nations, Victorian era rp record keeper, Voxija, Waldoven, Warren Buffet, Waylon Smithers Jr, Who Cares Bro 2, William Beebe, Yazakhastan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Board Award

We get really psyched about those who were 'liked'. This month's most praised posters are:

Awards

Like Count

Nations

🥇

165

Colin Advance Wars

🥈

42

Sail Nation

🥉

40

Eripolis

Almerdonia, Andemo, Aredita, ArmedKing, Artsotska, Atensi, Bisingen, Boris Cult, Brewers and Coffeemakers, Bribillichnoveroloriland, Brinckerhoff, Cash Money Haggis, Coasta Sol, Cong ress Poland, Consulate master, Dcxgefy4eeyt, Deadcopland, Demonos Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Derse and prospit, DICTATORSHIP10, DoLlYsTaNa, Dominions Pizza, Doom Soul, Elite leomonade, Ethics Committee of the SCPF, Exoiman prime, F for Surrender, FCN Blue Moon, Federation of Sarawak, Fourty, Free Press, German Roadblock, Golden Latern, Green Tombstone, Grinch Donnie Dictatorship, Grishahakkaverchynot, Grit Advance Wars, HardBassSchool, Harmonic Empire, Hindu Mahasabha, Hungae, Indusse, Insurrectionist Celadonia, Jeistan, Jewtown 347, Joeanian Republic, Kawaii Sharks, Khwhp, Kitty kingdom founder, Koyon, Lakeriddeat, Lardyland metrosexual army of obesity, Layem Puppet Storage Puppet, Lightford, Lotaijuunn, Makrovia, Mathuvan Union, MeinFuhrer, Morales Evo, Mpia, Mukh, NATIONSTATES IN ALL CAPS, Nelson Wilbury, Neue deutsche Kaukasier, New Alba Gan, New Celadonia, New Good Order, New Polish Soldier Division 2, New Roakia, Nighthawk Township, Nister, North American Imperial State, Nowhere Islands, Of Altonianic Islands, PEOPLES GENERAL SQUACKKKK, Polish Commander, Polish Soldier, Propaganda Radio, Puppet SCP Fuadation, Random Country 453632, Random Expedition Team 2, Randomcrita, Roctaiciestahland, Sail Nation Travellers, Santa Selena, Sarawak Commune, Sasha Advance Wars, ScotlandSerenity, Selson, Seven Seas, Siberian Socialist State, Solharcht Kirale, SomethingIsWrongHere, Springfield PP Admin Employee 5, State of Germany, Sysillia, Team Lennox, Team Leo, Testimesout, The Dream of Kirby, The Gold Mines, The Martian Nation, The Mexican Commune, The NewsStand, The Peoples Caribbean Union, The Reformation of Qing Dynasty, The republic ofTexas and northern Mexico, The sycenians, The Texan Revolution, Traveling trader, United Steaks of America, United Technocratic Nations, UwU help, Victorian era rp record keeper, Waldoven, Warren Buffet, Who Cares Bro 2, William Beebe, WWE WORLD, XiNzOsTaN, Yazakhastan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Zeritae, Zion-Israel, Zpuppet2


_ NOTIFICATIONS

With thousands of embassies, it is difficult to stay in touch with them all. The Cable uses notifications as the most efficient way to share our news.
You will have received a notification if you have been mentioned somewhere in this dispatch, and have a tick in the "Dispatch mention" box of your subscriptions page.

Almost all nations mentioned will have:
- posted on our RMB during the month
- 'liked' a post on our RMB during the month
- voted in one of our polls during the month
- subscribed (specifically asked to be notified)

If you would like to subscribe, please post the word 'Subscribe' on our RMB. Thanks for your interest!

If you would prefer not to be notified in future, your choices are:
- Un-tick in the "Dispatch mention" box of your subscriptions page
- Don't interact with our RMB or polls
- Existing subscribers only: send The Ambassadors Reception a telegram asking to be removed as a subscriber. (Don't ask via our RMB, or it will automatically trigger another notification next time).

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